~ notes from an uncommon journey ~

Positive Thinking Me-Style

A few months ago while I was having dinner with a friend and we were talking about our lives, I realized a way--that would work for me--that I could start do some positive thinking in my life. (And in case you've forgotten, here's why I "hate" what I perceive to be the typical positive thinking message.) I don't even remember now what exactly about our conversation prompted this realization. I just know that I'm extremely grateful that it came to me.

My whole thing about this topic has long been: If I'm going to think some (new) positive thought, it has to be something I can believe. And what I realized in a new way that evening is: There are already positive things that I do or can believe. There are probably plenty of them in fact. Specifically, I thought of 3 categories of things I could start to note and spend time dwelling on:
  • Things I'm grateful for. Journalling things I'm grateful for is something that two counselors have suggested to me. Sadly, if at the time I did it at all, it certainly hasn't become a habit...yet.
  • Good things that happened during the day. Somewhere in my head I know that really, there are good things that happen every day. Am I even noting them, much less dwelling on them? Obviously not. Of course, that's the deal about depression: You can be so caught up in the sadness and so debilitated by the lack of motivation...that you just don't see those things. They don't even enter your "radar." But--I can make a point to change that.
  • Things I like about myself. Since, in my adult years (mostly the last six), I've finally gained a real measure of self esteem and confidence, there are many things I like about myself. Imagine that. And I'm realizing I could spend a lot more time thinking about those things rather than, say, beating myself up so much for my failures (real OR perceived...the latter probably being the larger portion!).
I didn't have all the above thoughts about this stuff during that conversation--I just wrote down those 3 categories on a notepad in my purse...where it sat for a couple of months, while life went on, while Project: Reclaim hit another low (which I'm choosing not to detail except to a few). But I knew it was there...waiting for me to flesh out.

And--this is just the beginning. Two other experiences in this same vein have happened in the meantime and are waiting for me to give them their full treatment. I'll do so in future post(s). [3/4/11 update: I can no longer remember which experiences I was referring to...Ah well.]

As always...thanks for listening.

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