Last weekend our family had the opportunity to perform service at our elementary school. We were given the task of picking up trash on the playground.
When we looked from afar we thought this would be a snap, but as we started to focus on the "trash" we saw trash everywhere.
We became really good at finding it. Every square inch we were able to find even the littlest piece of trash.
Our finding trash didn't stop there. We live in a very lush neighborhood and every time I drive through it, I think how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful place. But that day, when I was driving home, all I could see was the trash, not the flowers, or the palms trees, or the grand oaks, just the small pieces of trash I noticed everywhere.
Once again it taught me how amazing our brains are. How we hold so much power in creating our experience with what we are thinking.
Whatever we are thinking our brain will find evidence for. It's amazing.
Try this experiment. You will be astonished.
Think of a thought, write it down and continue reading it throughout the day. I like to pick a positive thought that makes me feel good, but it is also interesting to see how much power your brain has to see the negative. Every time I do this, my brain finds vast evidence for my thinking.
Right now you might be thinking “The world is a very negative place.” Is that true? Yes. But you can also see the beauty in the world and think “The world is a very positive place.” Is that true? Yes.
This is about genuinely looking for positive things in the world, and seeing if you can find them. Because they are there.
Which one are you going to choose to believe, to focus on, and find evidence for?
What about in your smaller world, your family and especially your spouse? Are you looking for the "trash" in your mate? There is no upside in focusing on the "trash".
The drive home that day did not give me my usual feeling of gratitude. I missed it. All the beauty was still there but I couldn't see it.
Your relationships are the same way. We all have beauty mingled with a little "trash". It is not our job to focus on each other's "trash". When you focus on each other's beauty you don't even notice the "trash". It's a beautiful thing.
When we approach life looking for the positive, the beauty in the world and others, it is also a reflection on how we are viewing ourselves.
If you find yourself focusing on the ''trash", it's time to do some serious thought work. You have the power to create a more beautiful experience through your thinking.
Your brain is amazing, once you start using it to its fullest capacity.
You are surrounded by beauty but you do need to be able to SEE it. We sometimes need help forming the skills to SEE the beauty in ourselves and others. SEEing the beauty has tremendous upside for us. It will improve our self-image, our relationships and most importantly our everyday life.
If you would like to talk more about how managing your thoughts is important for your mental health, please book a consult with me at www.jeniehuntercoaching.com. Remember an investment in your mental health is just as important as an investment in your physical health.