you’ve got to accentuate the positive

unstuckSo many of us are stuck in our ways.  We get stuck with habits that don’t serve us.  We get stuck in the rut of routines. We get stuck in emotions that high-jack our lives.

Negativity and fear tend to hold us back – keep us stuck.

But it doesn’t have to work that way…really!

I found it helpful to know that it’s a tendency in human nature to focus on the negative. It turns out that we are wired to pay more attention to negative events or experiences as a way to stay alert to potential threat. So, even if there were 20 wonderful things going on, most of us would hone in on the one negative.  It’s primal…do you feel better yet?

Likewise, our reptilian brain alerts us for fear.  There is a hardwired stimulus – response thing going on in our brains.  We hear a loud noise and we jump. We see a snake and we freeze. It’s primal.

The problem is that many of us get stuck in these primal responses.  We become paralyzed by the fear and locked in on the negative.  We perpetuate these natural responses by living them over and over.  We give the negative center stage and fear a longer life span than it was intended.

 So how do we get unstuck?

You’ve got to accentuate the positive – eliminate the negative – latch on to the affirmative! 

Long before this 1940’s tune hit the airwaves, this was true!  Oh…you don’t know this song?  Here ya go…

They make it sounds so easy, don’t they?

Of course, many us us experience difficulties in life and some of us endure horrific experiences.  But, we are not chained to these events.  We don’t have to live them on and on.  Even if the negative is our default primal focus, it isn’t necessary for us to keep our attention there. We can choose to move on to the things in life that are good, enjoyable, and worthy of our attention.

Awareness of the good things in our life really does balance our natural negative focus.  With deliberate effort, we can switch our focus to the good things. It can make a difference in our day and make long term effects on our health and well being. Awareness and deliberate effort are essential in fostering happiness and well being.

But what about fear? 

We know all too well that there are plenty of things to be afraid of in this world.  There’s terrorists, poverty, cancer…all sorts of doom and gloom. But it’s important to know that fear, once triggered, runs it’s course. Once the stimulus has passed, we are supposed to let the fear pass too.

The way I see it is that fear becomes a steady state of being because we sustain it beyond what happened in the past or we spin off to what might happen in our future.

If the actual stimulus of the fear is not happening in the moment, but the fear still consumes us, we have been emotionally hijacked.  It’s up to us to bring awareness to our residual fear.  It’s up to us to use deliberate effort to bring gloom down to the minimum.

Easier said than done for certain, but quite possible. It takes practice.

So today’s question is, how do YOU get unstuck?  No, really!  

What are ways that you get beyond the negative?  How do you deal with fear?

Share with us here…Tell us how YOU spread joy up to the maximum!  You just might give someone new hope.



4 Responses to “you’ve got to accentuate the positive”

  1. Glo Webel says:

    When I realize I’m caught in the fear rut I try to practice some of the 12 step slogans…”Keep my mind where my body is”…and assess my situation asking? “Is there an immediate crisis that requires attention?” If not take a few deep breaths and keep putting one foot in front of the other til the next moment and then focus on making a gratitude list till my heart calms and my mind feels at peace. Then pray for guidance to do the next right action.
    These steps helped me considerably when my retina was detaching at midnight on a Saturday and I was alone and debated calling neighbors to help or if I could wait til morning. Got guided to call my eye doctor and was reassured I’d see him the next day…And when the fear of blindness rumbled through my head again I kept making my gratitude list like counting sheep and feel asleep til morning when I could set to taking positive steps of arranging a ride to the doctor and getting doggy care…And still praying for guidance to do next right action. It got me through…And humor helps during my eye surgery apparently as I was going under anesthesia and was “out” I was singing to the surgery crew…”I’m alive awake alert enthusiastic…” A song from my then Kindergarten class. To which the surgery staff was still laughing about at my follow-up visit the next morning when they told me how I entertained them…
    Much love and prayers of thanks to you Bridgett for all you are and the light you shine.

    • Bridgett says:

      Wow Glo…you certainly have a lot going on! Humor is also high on my list for helping me through. I kept the oncology nurses rollin in the aisles while going through chemo. Humor is a powerful way to get unstuck…to get out of ourselves.

      Thanks so much for sharing! Keep shining YOUR light!

  2. Cindy says:

    Our dharma teacher tells us that true emotion lasts about 90 seconds, after that we are holding on to it through out attachment, and our ego creates the longer suffering…she also reminds us to embrace our emotion, acknowledge, feel it, and then breathe through it, using the energy of mindfulness to support. Of course it’s helpful if one has a meditation practice to support the awareness of one’s inner life! Staying in the here and now, not racing off into fear of the future. And of course eating comfort foods, enjoying time with girlfriends, making sure I get good rest, and physical exercise especially when life seems to be slipping out of control, all are strategies I use, but my favorite of all, being cared for by friends and family, knowing I am surrounded by love and am not alone! Thanks for your thoughts and insights, dear Bridgett!

    • Bridgett says:

      Thanks so much Cindy.
      I’m with you on that. Mindfulness, caring for ourselves, and surrounding ourselves with loved ones. Oh yes…and ice cream.
      Hugs, Bridgett

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