Friday, August 12, 2011

Think positively

When something went wrong, no matter how big or small, my dad would often conclude: "That's the trouble."

Today, my brothers, sister and I often laugh when we remember our Dad's worry-wart personality and his sometimes pessimistic view of life. Unfortunately, it rubbed off on me, and I've had to consciously work not to worry so much and to be more optimistic in the face of even minor challenges and change.

One thing that helped is cognitive behavioral therapy. It's the practice of replacing negative thoughts with positive, affirming statements. It means choosing to focus on what you can change instead of things you can't control. It's about choosing to see what is "good" instead of focusing on the "bad" and avoiding assumptions about what will happen before it does.

As Mark Twain said, “Some of the worst things in my life never even happened."

Here's a link from the Mayo Clinic with more about cognitive behavioral therapy.