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Finding the Bright Side | Cultivating Happiness

Finding happiness

When life throws you lemons, we can often find it difficult to envision enjoying lemonade, let alone setting aside the time to make it. It’s easy to dwell on negative situations happening In your life. Why? Because our brain Is programmed to function that way. It’s a protective mechanism and survival instinct. Think about it, millions of years ago cynicism saved many humans from life threatening situations. Imagine hunting and gathering food sources to return to your family; consistently being aware of the threats would keep you and your family alive. And yes, humans have evolved immensely overtime but many of the functioning areas of our brain remain the same. However, that's a topic for a future blog post!

Back to the bright side... Despite our tendency to focus on potential problems, research shows that finding the silver linings can help breed happiness and optimism and can enhance feelings of gratitude and life satisfaction. If we can learn to notice the small successes in life more consistently, out outlook on life shifts significantly.

Practice, Practice, Practice

How do you typically increase skillful ability? Practice, practice, practice. The more that you practice putting the positive spin on a challenging situation, the easier it becomes.

For example: You're stuck in traffic and are late for work

Here are a few silver linings:

You had more time to listen to your favourite music You were able to enjoy your morning coffee on the way to work You listened to a podcast of interest You have a car to be able to drive to the job that provides financially for your family

Try This at Home!

Try implementing this shift of thinking in your day to day actions.

  1. Write down 5 things that make life enjoyable

  2. Briefly describe a recent moment of frustration. A time when something didn’t go your way.

  3. Spend some time reflecting on the silver lining. Make a list of three positive things that were a result of your moment of frustration.

"Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold" ~Maurice Setter

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