As I was looking past the pink post it notes all over my windows to keep the birds from meeting an untimely death on my patio down below, I was reminded that we get to choose what we focus on. I’m training myself to look past those pink pieces of paper and see the lovely forest view beyond. The post-it-notes are not pretty AND they save the birds. They are messing my view AND my view is still pretty and is there. In therapeutic terms, clinicians speak of us experiencing “cognitive dissonance” when we are holding two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values at the same time.
Opposing truths can both be true at the same time.
There is plenty to focus on right now that can really bring us down and challenge our ability to be in a state of being our best selves and functioning in our own optimal state. Being calm and content can be incredibly challenging even when we have enough food to eat and a place to live.
Those post it notes are a constant metaphor reminding me that no matter what is upsetting me, I get to choose what I will focus on. And that two opposing emotions can exist together.
Here are my Top 10 Tips for Focusing on What Is Good
- Stop watching/reading the news.
- Stop discussing really frustrating or sad topics.
- Notice when I’m focusing on something frustrating.
- Be conscious of what I will choose to focus on.
- Practice being grateful for the things that are good in my life.
- Spend time with people who are not just going to complain incessantly about all that is wrong with the world.
- Have boundaries about what I will do and be clear on what those are.
- Move my body in a joyful way.
- Use all 6 senses to notice things that are good.
- Find humor in as many things as possible.
When you’re living with all of the world chaos and fear that is happening AND you have a loved one fighting an eating disorder, this concept of duality of more than one emotion being true at the same time can be a sanity saver.
What emotions are you noticing right now? Are they all true? What might help you to allow all of them to exist at the same time?
It may help to ask yourself, “What do I know to be true in this moment?” And it may help to acknowledge all of the emotions you’re feeling.
If you’d like to explore this further to enhance your self care practice, reach out to me for a free 30 minute coaching consultation to see if coaching could be a good fit for you.
Here is what one my clients have said that coaching did for them.
“Before Becky Henry’s support, I was lost and overwhelmed in the world of Eating Disorders. Becky made a profound impact on my experience with my daughter’s eating disorder and the world of treatment. She is highly skilled at providing support while facilitating a parent’s parallel process of personal growth and learning to “be a lighthouse” in her words. She helped with each step of navigating various options of treatment and supported positive and more effective communication with my daughter’s treatment team. Becky’s coaching took me from a place of overwhelm and despair to a place of strength, clarity and greater confidence in managing an extremely sensitive and challenging life experience.” ~Coaching Client