For this poster I used an image that is a happy memory for me, to remind myself of happy memories. Because pain and negative memories are actually easier for our brain to remember. It is wired that way. It needs to remember anything that might help with survival and anything that might have traumatized us caused us pain or suffering sticks in there. They have done studies on it. Negative connotations… we remember. Positive images, not so much.
It presents a problem when every day it is;
Butt-ton of pain
What are we thinking about and focusing on? All that past pain. The present pain. All that future pain. The joys. The happiness. Gets subsumed by pain, suffering and negative moods.
This is why we have to maintain our moods. We are exposed to more negativity and stress than most people are. We have to actively do things that will maintain and life our moods. Which then helps us cope with future pain.
Another thing we can do is a gratitude journal. So our brains are focusing on all this pain and suffering. We have to reign it in and force it to focus on the good parts of each and every day. What we are grateful for. What we are thankful for.
Like, I was thankful I was able to sleep in today to get some much-needed rest.
I was thankful I could get some writing done today on my blog, fiction and do content creation… time to myself to relax and do some activities I enjoy.
How to go about this is any way you want to. There are apps for it. I use Happier.
Here are some tips:
1) You don’t have to do it every day. Even three times a week shows benefits.
2) You can be grateful for the small things and the large things. Just really think about what it is you are grateful for and even why.
3) Don’t have a minimum. If one comes to you, fine. If five, that is great too.
4) Don’t wait for time to write them down, like at bed. Write them in the moment. This is why I find the app works well for me.
5) Focus more on people than things. I also put in there activities, because with chronic illness these are important and make me feel better.
6) Never put anything negative in there.
7) Give it a chance.
Science has reported that gratitude journals have these benefits:
- Stronger immune systems;
- lower blood pressure;
- Higher levels of positive emotions;
- More optimism and happiness;
- More generosity and compassion;
- Less lonely and isolated.
- Reduces stress. (“Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress,” Emmons says. WebMD)
Maintain a gratitude journal. Emmons’ research showed that people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.WebMD
Get yourself started with a nice simple gratitude journal: