Why Focus on The Positive?

Today, I am committed to talking about some “inner work” that can benefit you in your own growth and, ultimately, assist you in becoming the partner that you want to be. In short, it’s thinking about how we’re thinking, and then doing something to enhance how we think. Awareness of your thoughts is vitally important, and then changing the ones that are not serving you or your relationship.

It can seem like everywhere we look, this advice: Focus on the Positive is screaming for us to pay attention. Recently, I have seen this idea in “women’s” magazines, business journals, books, Instagram, Pinterest, on bracelets for men and women, and on the television.

When you hear the advice to Focus on the Positive, do you immediately have any of these questions?

  • Does it mean I must forget negative experiences or events? No, just to experience it, learn from it and use that knowledge to move forward in your life.
  • Does it mean my partner shouldn’t be accountable for mistakes? No. But it does point out that if we dwell on our partner’s mistakes, it will make you both unhappy. It’s preferable to see the problem, acknowledge it, figure out what to do about it, then move past it.
  • Does it mean I should emotionally push down difficult or sad events or situations? No. Knowing and understanding what happened is powerful. And so, it learning from it and then letting it go.
  • What if my partner doesn’t focus on the positive? Will I be left always being wrong? This is a tough situation at first. But it’s not important to model your own behavior on the behavior that you don’t like. You might be a model of more accountability and your partner might make movement too. But even if that doesn’t happen, if you continue to think the way that makes you happy, then you are living according to what you think is right.
  • Is it wrong to be angry? No, it’s natural to be angry at times. That said, it’s not helpful to keep running the angry thoughts though your mind over and over, making yourself more angry and miserable.

These are all good questions that definitely need some additional clarification. Otherwise, the “positive” just seems like the next self-help fad. It probably is a self-help strategy, but it’s not a fad, exactly.

The benefits of focusing on positive thoughts have been proven through brain research to help people feel calm, happier, more productive and more effective at leading their families and at work. That’s a lot of benefit from positive thinking.

Before we get deeper into the idea, it’s important to dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings about the idea. First, what it means: focusing on positive thoughts is a choice. In any event, we can look at the negative or positive aspects. We can pay attention to either; our choice. Let’s say that one of you loses your job in a lay-off.

Negative Thoughts.

There are several possibilities of how to think about this, some of them negative and fear-based: “Oh no! No money.” “I bet they got rid of me because the boss didn’t like me.” “I bet they laid me off because I spoke up at the last meeting about my concern about the company’s direction.” “What if I never find another job.”

Any or all of these may be true, but they also may not be true, or not completely true. It’s certain that dwelling on any of these thoughts will cause you to feel more and more unhappy, disappointed, angry, unvalued, bad about yourself and a victim of unfair treatment.

Positive Thoughts.

On the other hand, there might be some positive things that you could consider thinking about, such as: “I didn’t like the job very much so maybe I can find a better one.” “We have enough savings to carry us for 6 months, so I have a little time.” “What possibilities does this open up for me. I could take some time and consider what job I could get that aligns better with what I like to do and feel good about doing.” “I always pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward. I can to that now.”

These thoughts lead to feeling empowered, good about yourself, calmer, more at peace and more confident. Also, happier.

Most people, when a disturbing event happens, swing back and forth between the negative and the positive thoughts, or just get stuck in the negative. The point I want to make is that when you choose the positive, you are telling the truth, while also choosing to focus on the positive truth. It’s not that the negative thoughts are completely false, but getting stuck thinking about them too much diminishes our power to take positive action to get past the unfortunate event.

The idea of choosing what you think may be a new idea, but one that has been proven to increase our happiness and our ability to make good decisions, take powerful action and learn from our experiences. It’s a highly effective technique and I hope that you give it a try.

With love,
Carol

PS: If you want more information about this or about other aspects of taking your relationship further along the path of achieving the relationship you’ve always wanted, then I invite you to contact me: carol@caroljhenry.com

PSS: If you like this blog, PLEASE LIKE it! Or Comment on it. I would love the feedback!

Valentine’s Day – Not Always Happy

LOVE.

It’s definitely a big deal. We all want it (most people, anyway). Valentine’s Day reminds us to celebrate our love. It certainly can be a very happy day, for people in love. They think of their loved one as they see every store window decorated with hearts. They must buy cards, chocolates or flowers or, maybe, all of those. There may be proposals make in romantic settings.

But, what about the couples that aren’t exactly vibrating with love any more, even though they do love their partner and are committed to that partner? For many of these couples, Valentine’s Day reminds them of the vibrant, enchanting love they once shared, which has now cooled down.

That earlier form of love may seem like it’s buried under a pile of resentments, boredom stress and same-ness. They may gaze longingly at the reminders of their exciting love, but wonder, “Will we ever get that back? Have we let our romance languish? Have we gotten too complacent? Has our love become lifeless?

Questions I hear often from my private clients include: How do we keep love alive? What does “in love” mean when we’ve been together for 15 or 20 years? How can we stop arguing so much? We’ve lost the romantic feelings; can we get them back?

Continue reading “Valentine’s Day – Not Always Happy”

COUPLES COMMUNICATION —PART 1

 

COUPLES COMMUNICATION —PART 1

5 Tips to Get a Tough Conversation Started Right Away

This week and next week, we’re going to discuss Couples Communication. This topic is the number one issue reported to be a problem for the 100s of couples I’ve worked with over the years. Communication difficulties cause much pain and distress. When couples finally make some inroads to improve their communication, they are happier and more hopeful. Without good communication, they can’t move forward in their closeness or satisfaction with their relationship.

Continue reading “COUPLES COMMUNICATION —PART 1”

Our Attitudes and Beliefs Determine What Our Lives Will be Like

Our Attitudes and Beliefs Determine What Our Lives Will be Like

That may seem like a bold statement to you… let’s unpack it and see if you agree.

First of all, as I write this, I’m thinking primarily about couples.

However, it’s actually a universal truth—it applies to all of our relationships, including our relationship with ourselves. Continue reading “Our Attitudes and Beliefs Determine What Our Lives Will be Like”