Baan Dek

An Attitude of Gratitude

Thoughts & Reflections

We have this tendency to see things not as they are, but as we are. Things are not good or bad, the glass isn’t half-full or half-empty, it’s just how we choose, or how we’ve trained our brains, to view things. Sometimes it’s habitual, other times it’s the side of the bed we woke up on, or even how we view certain behaviors. Maybe it’s a behavior that could fall under the umbrella of disrespect, or lazy, or rude, but we all have something that pushes our buttons just a bit more than the facts of the situation might necessitate.

In the same way, we tend to think more poorly of ourselves than the facts of the situation necessitate. Families worry they’re not doing enough, not addressing a situation properly, am I a bad parent??

According to science, it’s not you, it’s evolution! We have a negativity bias that has helped us to survive — no that’s not just a shadow it’s a predator and it’s gonna getcha! — but it’s so hard to let go of. In stressful situations, and the pressures of raising children can be the most stressful, our lizard brain kicks in and we focus on the bad. All the things we didn’t do right. All the things that could have gone better. The ways I should have done and said and better always better. As this lovely article states, “Because natural selection favored hyper-vigilance, we need to make a concerted effort to notice and focus on the positive—and even savor it.”

There’s the good news. In a post about shifting our focus, you didn’t think we’d just give you the bad news, did you?

We have the ability to train our brains to overcome this negativity bias. By noticing the good, even by making a practice of writing it down, we can shift our view away from a highlights reel of all the mistakes we or our children made during the day, to a positive view of things that went right or even things that just Are.

On this day when many of us are celebrating Thanksgiving, in a season when there’s joy and busy and stress and wonder, what a marvelous time to practice an intentional shift toward noticing the good. Wonderful things happen all the time, and, with a little practice, we might even see them.

If you’re still having a bit of trouble finding the good, here’s a beautiful inspiration from Big Life Journal.

Baan Dek

Written by:

Charlotte Wood

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