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Feeling Just a Little Better

A simple practice for positive thinking.

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Child looking out dark window

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Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.—Oscar Wilde, Irish author

Some emotions are fleeting: here for five minutes and then gone. I spill coffee on my shirt, I feel stupid, I change shirts. Then I forget about it. But some emotions are so deep-seated that they become a semi-permanent backdrop to life. A few lucky souls are permanently lighthearted, but many of us suffer with depression and anxiety. Therapy and medication may help, but not as much as you might think. The good thing about these darker emotions is that they need not be defeated once and for all. We only need to fight them on this day, to find the resolve necessary to keep going.

This evening, you might be struggling with dark thoughts. Maybe you feel like you have wasted your life, or like no one cares about you. Maybe tomorrow looks bleak as well. For starters, detach from the flow of negative thoughts; stop adding one negative thought onto the previous. Then think of one small, positive thing. Take anything, past or present, that means something to you—your grandmother’s smile, your favorite sweatshirt, a place you went on vacation—and just stick with that thought for a while. Make it as vivid as possible. If it should fade or turn into wistfulness or longing, switch to another good thought. Keep doing that until you feel better. It doesn’t have to be all the way better just a little better.


Excerpted from A Mindful Evening by David Dillard-Wright, PhD, Copyright © 2017 Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.


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