If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one.
Neuroscience has a saying, "What fires together wires together." Those of us with SPD can be filled with negative, "I can't do it," "I'm stupid," "I'll never succeed," thoughts. But these thoughts perpetuate in our brain negative feedback loops and, focusing more on what we don’t have than on what we do have we feel too discouraged to take action.
If we can learn to feel grateful for what we do have, rather than dwelling on what we don’t have and take on an attitude of gratitude, we will feel encouraged to take action to change our life. Once we do, we will break this negative feedback pattern and our life will take on different meaning and perspective.
How can we do this? Do what Oprah and Lady Gaga do: keep a gratitude journal. Every night, make it a habit to write at least 5 things you are grateful for. And it doesn’t have to be something life changing. Simple joys will do, like seeing a rainbow or snowfall, watching an inspiring movie or having the will power to pass up that chocolate candy bar and so forth. Over time this will rewire your brain into a more "I can do it and I'm going to take the action to do so" mode.
Here are some ideas of what you can be grateful for when nothing extraordinary has happened in your life that day.
- I am grateful for my kids, mate, or a loved one;
- I am thankful for my dog’s unconditional love;
- I am grateful that I live in a democratic society;
- I am thankful for all my good friends;
- I am grateful to have a considerate quiet co-worker;
- I am thankful I didn’t get the flu that’s going around;
- I am grateful for eating healthy today.
Sharon Heller, PhD, is a psychologist and consultant in sensory processing disorder. She’s the author of Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight,What to do if you are sensory defensive in an overstimulating world and Uptight & Off Center, How sensoryprocessing disorder throws adults off balance & how to create stability. Her website is www.sharonheller.net and email firstname.lastname@example.org.