Believe it or not, today is the first of November. Fall has flown by quickly and there is definitely a chill in the air. (Not to mention the house. The upstairs furnace is on the blink).
As we embark on the journey of 30 Days of Thanks, I want to take a moment and state for you – and myself – why I’m doing this. Sometimes when life is hard, we get into a rut of taking everything seriously, and of not seeing the good things that happen. That’s the kind of year I’ve had and there’s been plenty to be negative about. Despite being a pretty positive person normally, this year it’s been tough to see the good in things. I’m reading a book right now on neuropsychology which talks about how our brains have an innate bias towards the negative – and by seeing the positive in life, you can create new neural pathways that reinforce those positive experiences and open you up to being more receptive to new ones.
It makes sense from an evolutionary point of view – after all, if you’re walking through the woods and fail to see the berries in the bushes, you can come back and eat them tomorrow. If you fail to see the tiger, it’s a different thing altogether. As a result, our brains have been biologically programmed to look for the negative or the threat to our well-being and focus on that. While it makes sense, it’s not necessarily that helpful in modern society.
As a result of this reading, my goal for November is to dismiss the negative (to the extent that I realistically can; someone clearly needs to get this furnace fixed) and focus on the positive. My own little experiment in brain health, if you will.
So here we go.
Today, I am thankful for central heat and the comfort that we live in on a daily basis. Our brains are wired such that we don’t pay attention to these types of things – they simply don’t rise to our attention as long as all is well. I’m lucky to have this reminder of the comfort that we live in, and I’m also grateful for both the nice furnace guy that’s on his way and for the fact that I can afford to pay to fix it.
So, there we go. Day 1 under our belts. I wonder what I’ll find to be grateful about tomorrow?
Happy All Saints’ Day too, by the way. Another reason to count our blessings, I think.