This week I had a sudden, unexpected schedule change at work. I could look at it as an event that got in the way of my prior plans, or I could see it as a benefit to current issues and events in my life. I prefer the second viewpoint.
While my husband and I did have to change plans that we had made, we didn’t lose the time we had planned to spend together. The time just got moved to a different day, and we will have more of the day together. I didn’t lose a day off, I gained a longer weekend.
Much of what we think, say and do, is based on thought processes we learned at an early age. I grew up in a household where anger, negativity, complaints, etc were more than a little common. It was every day. Many of us had the same experience as children, and we grew up not knowing anything different. Then we find as adults, that much of what we do as a society is the same way. Our thinking becomes shaped by the addition of what we see and hear through every form of media, our workplaces, other people we interact with, which is often negative as well.
We are just learning that this stress is part of what is creating a variety of issues, which then leads to more negative thinking, and it all becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. It often feels like a merry-go-round, spinning faster and faster until you can’t let go or you’ll fall off and get hurt. One of my favorite things to do with merry-go-rounds as a child, wasn’t just the spinning. It was putting my foot on the ground, and forcing the ride to stop.
Negative thinking is just like that. It can be stopped at any time. Sure, the first few times you try it may not last long, so you try again. Sometimes, you may stop for long periods, sometimes, only for a few seconds. And the more you try, the better you will get. That’s why sudden changes can be very beneficial. They force us to find the good in something out of our control. Sudden changes force us to challenge our negative thinking, and just like the merry-go-round, we don’t have to wait for the spinning to stop. We can put our foot out and create the beneficial change ourselves.