“What in the world are you doing?” I asked with a smile.
Jim was gently rubbing his collarbone with his left hand.
“Rubbing it in.” he smiled back as he gave one last, quick rub.
“Rubbing what in?”
“The good feeling of being here with you, of course.” he replied.
Then it dawned on me. Jim was taking time to focus on the good feelings we were sharing as he “rubbed it in.” He was adding one more positive moment of life to a new habit of being happy. He was retraining his brain!
You’ve heard the phrase, “ Take time to smell the roses.” Corny but true. Taking time to savor and be grateful for the sweetness of a ripe peach, the good feeling that comes with a genuine compliment, the joy of a family at dinner having a good belly laugh together, or like Jim, the pleasure of just hanging out together.
Positive psychologist, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, suggests that these “good” events are typically subtler than the negative ones and harder to recognize. Also, she says that we tend to take positive feelings in stride because they are less novel, not necessarily out of the ordinary, and not threatening. Studies show, however, that good events outnumber bad events by three or four or five to one and that staying aware of them is good for us.
Happy people generally have better medical, dental and psychological health, suggests Dr. Kurtz of the University of Virginia and coauthor of Positively Happy. Positive people also tend to see improvement in the physical and psychological conditions of people around them.
Here’s the point. Do you tend to focus on the negative? Do you find yourself craving continuous moments of high passion and intensity and disappointed with the small things in life? Or do you have a mindset that allows you to look for and enjoy those micro-moments of positivity? You have choice! Instead of automatically going to the negative, you can choose to look for, and enjoy life’s everyday small moments of pleasure, good relationships, satisfactions, and joy. And there’s more good news. You have lots of them. Your choice…
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