This is a time of year where we think a lot about stories – holiday stories, family stories, the story of our traditions during this season. We also tend to think more about our personal stories, what has happened in our lives.
Each one of us has had positive and negative things happen to us. No exceptions. The balance is clearly different from person to person, but I’d like to propose that you have a say in the way you remember your story. I’m not talking about being unrealistic, or “writing out” the painful parts.
You made it this far. What I’m suggesting is that, even during the difficult or out-of-control times, look back and remember how you got through it. You are reading this blog which proves that you somehow found a way to tap into a reserve of strength to survive.
By purposely remembering your strength in the past (think stubbornness, persistence, ability to let things roll off…), you can decrease the power of those negative events to influence your present. Perhaps you didn’t come through unscathed, but you did come through. Celebrate that you overcame!
Practicing thankfulness. Another way to write a happier story in the present is to be grateful for what you currently have. A fun way to do this is with the Post-It Note Gratitude Project. Keep a pack of Post-It notes handy at all times, and jot down any little thing that comes to mind that you like, enjoy, or are grateful for. Then post these on your bathroom mirror, a door in your house or office, or on the refrigerator for a visual reminder of the good in your life. It’s encouraging to watch them collect over a few weeks and to realize just how much good there is. Try it between now and the end of the year!
These techniques won’t sweep away the “bad” or render it non-existent. However, like a camera lens, you can choose to focus on the bad or on the good, and that choice has an impact on how you feel day-to-day.
If you’d like help with reframing your life story or any other issue that you may be struggling with, I would be happy to meet with you personally. Just give me a call at 636-234-0035 and we’ll schedule a time to talk. My office is conveniently located in downtown Washington Missouri across from the Old Dutch Restaurant.
I look forward to helping you feel better!
Katie Walker, Licensed Professional Counselor