It’s hard – we all spend so much time running around, thinking about the past, worrying over the future, noticing what’s wrong with our day, that we don’t actually see the good things. Really see them, and take time to appreciate them. It sounds trite, but it isn’t. It can make the difference between a deep depression and a positive attitude toward life in the face of all kinds of challenges. Over the last few years I’ve been coming up with some coping strategies, which might be fun to write down now and then as I feel like it – in the Good Things category :) No matter what happens to me, I want to experience the good things as they happen, and take the time to notice them.
My first approach was developed during a year when I was forced to stay in bed most of the time due to an illness. I couldn’t work much, or get online, or leave the house. Not knowing whether things would improve in the future caused a pretty difficult depression that took some work to get beyond.
This strategy is so simple – just spend a few minutes in bed at the end of each day, consciously thinking of one good thing that happened to you that day. And if your day was so awful – like a day where you had a horrible migraine all day long – that there really was nothing good, then, I was always, always thankful that I had a dry, warm house, a comfortable bed to lie in, money for food and medical care. But most days, there is something better than that, and thinking about these things every day changes your mood. After a while you get into the habit of noticing things throughout the day and stopping for a moment to savor them.
This last year I’ve had a special pleasure that falls into this “little things” category. The sun rises over my house across the street – and in the back of my house is a forest which my bedroom window looks out on. When the sun rises, it hits the trees behind my house, and there is something about the special quality of the light as it is just rising that causes them to burst into a golden glow – trunks and leaves, framed by the blue sky and green of the evergreens behind. The whole scene is truly glorious – and typically I wake up just long enough to see it for a minute, revel in it mentally, and then fall back asleep :) This has been a constant source of enjoyment all summer! Later, the sun is shining on the trees, but it looks completely different.
More of these moments to come, as they happen… in case sharing them can help