Mental Gym

Suggested Workout

Assume the Best

  • Begin by taking a brief snapshot of your life at the moment.  
  • For the next 7  days assume the best in everything and everyone.
  • Notice how often you feel a temptation to assume the worst.
  • Keep track of each time you intentionally changed your attitude.
  • At the end of seven days, pause and review your week. Has anything shifted?
  • Re-up for another 7 days.

When practiced in earnest, you will notice that your outlook changes when you change your outlook.  

If you can’t imagine a favorable interpretation, simply decide that what seems like a  snag is either an opportunity in disguise or a blessing that has protected you from harm.  Remain alert to the opportunity.  Examples of  assuming the best when we might usually assume the worst:

  • Someone cuts you off on the road and you assume they didn’t see you or they had an emergency so you send them a silent blessing instead of a curse.
  • You miss your flight and assume that  there is a good reason for the delay.  Grateful for the ‘found free time,’ you seize the opportunity to catch on reading, journaling, writing, etc.
  • You don’t get the job you were hoping for and assume that something better is right around the corner.
  • You get such a bad cold that you don’t get out of bed all day and assume that your body knows that if it doesn’t slow you down, you could harm yourself.  So you take the day to rest, watch old movies, read magazines and just relax.
  • Your children are misbehaving and you assume that they are releasing tension from the day in a safe environment where they are not rejected or judged.  You are so grateful that you know how they tell you about their stress and can help them through  times when they want to act out instead of feeling our feelings or because we don’t know what to do about our frustration.
  • You were left out of a social event and assume it was an oversight and that you would have been in a compromising position by someone at the event or something wonderful will happen as a result of the oversight.

It is easiest to think about adopting this attitude “just for today.”  Sometimes I break it down even more.  In very challenging times, I have broken it down to hours and even minutes.  I can tell myself (and believe) that at this time I am okay.  I appreciate the fact that this thing that wants to cause me fear has not yet come to pass.  I can take that perception of ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ and turn it around one minute at a time.  My friend, Walter, once told me, “I can swap my sense of impending doom for a sense of impending wellness.”  I love that!

I can choose to swap a sense of impending doom for a sense of impending wellness.  What to I have to lose?    

 

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