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Growing the Positive

I believe we all want to be happy and we want others to feel happy, especially our loved ones. I don’t think we are seeing a high degree of happiness around us today. Instead we are pointing fingers to fixate on who to blame for the present day challenges. Did you know there was a native society where there was no word for blame? If mistakes happened, it was accepted and people moved on. This is so similar to the birds and animals of our planet. A bird does not blame the sky for rain and the tiger does not curse the hot weather. They accept the challenges that life presents. Just our country alone places 20 % of the incarcerated people of the planet in jail, when our population is only less than 5% of the world’s population. We have more attorneys and judges than any other country. We are a country of finding fault and blaming others. No wonder people are afraid!!

Our brains work in such a way that the negative worries, mistakes, guilt and fears take more of our energy and concentration than the positive experiences of life. This is a survival technique that helped our ancestors survive for thousands of years. When our brains remember and concentrate on negative experiences, we can better be prepared to escape harm. Now we are in a world where fear, worry and unhappiness has a hold on many of the people of our planet. Let’s talk about a way to combat this high degree of fear worry and unhappiness.

There is a book called The Nurtured Heart written by Howard Glasser. He advises parents, teachers and even ourselves to start speaking about and focusing upon the positive aspects and behaviors of others and ourselves. I want to take that a step further and ask us all to really embrace wonderful, sweet, beautiful or kind experiences, daily. Look up at the tree you are walking by or go over and feel the texture of the bark. Look at the colors and the beauty of nature with the flowers and birds and butterflies. Feel the cool breezes when it is hot or the warmth of the sun when you are cold. Watch the sun rise or sunset as the light of day changes. Listen to the birds singing. Tell yourself what a great job you are doing when you exercise or help someone or go to bed at a decent hour. Give compliments and soak in compliments that come your way. We can grow our appreciation and awareness of all of the wonders of this world, big or small by focusing more time and attention on those things, instead of worrying or being in a state of fear. We can change our brains through what scientists have discovered and named neuroplasticity. Growing our focus on positivity actually changes the brain and increases our ability to be happy. If each of us heightens our vibrational energy, we cab=n actually influence others and help the earth and all its inhabitants heal.

- Janet Whitney, MA. LMFT.

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