Good News Is Good For Your Mood

>> Friday

Over at YouMe Works (my website), I have a page entitled simply, Good News. As I come across good news, I put a link to it on there to an article, and I make sure none of the links go dead. I have this page because I often come across news nobody seems to be talking about but it's good enough and important enough that everyone should be exuberantly shouting it from the rooftops.

For example, one of the links goes to an article on food production and how it has improved faster than population growth and how food is more abundant and less expensive worldwide than ever before. Another link goes to an article about the drop in greenhouse pollution in the two most populated countries in the world China and India.

The list goes on and on. These are stories you don't hear about on mainstream news very often. Most of their news stories are about negative things. News stations have to do this to stay in business (read more about that here) but that doesn't mean you can't avail yourself of good news when you need it.

Try this experiment. Notice what your mood is right now. On a scale of one to ten, what would you say your mood would rate right now?

Then go check out the good news page. Just browse it, follow your interests, not necessarily reading any entire articles, but just spending a few minutes looking things over and following a link here and there that interests you. Then check your mood again.

If you found yourself in a better mood, spread the love. Send a link to the good news page to your friends and family. Just because the media and our own brains have a negative bias doesn't mean we are helpless to do anything about it.

The world is full of great happenings and wonderful breakthroughs. It's good for your mood to notice that once in awhile.

Read more...

That's Good! and Other Reframes

>> Saturday

IN ONE OF W. Clement Stone's books, he wrote that whenever someone came to him with a problem, he would always say, "That's good!" This puzzled people sometimes. They might be talking about a serious problem, and Stone would answer back with enthusiasm.

Years ago when I first read this, I thought it was stupid, pie-in-the-sky bullpucky. But I've thought a lot about it over the years and I've tried it, and I've decided that maybe there are some things that sound stupid but are really smart.

When anything happens, usually some aspects of it are an advantage and some aspects of it are a disadvantage. For example, when you buy a new car, you will have to take it in to get repaired less often than your old car. That's one advantage. Maybe it gets better gas mileage. There's another advantage. But it is more likely to get stolen. That's a disadvantage. And your insurance payments are higher. You get the idea.

When you first hear about a problem, your first reaction is probably to see only the disadvantages. This puts you in a bad mood — a state of mind that's not only unpleasant as an experience, but also makes you less effective at dealing with the problem. So this normal, automatic, negative reaction to problems would be a good thing to change. I suggest trying Stone's method. It will take some practice, but it can eventually become a habit.

When a problem lands in your lap, say, "That's good!" (Note: Don't necessarily say it out loud. It will make some people mad.) And then immediately start doing two things: 1) look for the advantages that might be wrapped up in this "problem" (which may be difficult at first), and 2) look to see how you can turn it to your advantage, and take steps to make it so.

This approach will make you more effective. You can plainly see why. There's no time wasted on bemoaning what already exists, and action is taken immediately to turn it to your advantage. No energy is wasted getting into a worse mood. Your attitude toward it is open. There's nothing fixed or permanent about your viewpoint.

When you change the way you think about something, it changes the way you feel about it. And when you change the way you feel about it, your actions change too — in this case, for the better. Try it.

If you have trouble at first learning to do this, that's good!

If you practice this way of reacting to problems enough, you can some day be as good at it as Richard Bandler, one of the co-founders of NLP.

When a student of Bandler's (who was teaching a class on hypnosis) complained that his house was being bugged (monitored with a recording device), Bandler's reply was, "What a chance to talk to these people."

Bandler had ingrained the reframing attitude so thoroughly in his thoughts that he reeled off idea after idea. Why not play hypnotic tapes over and over in your house for the listeners? Why not practice all of your deep trance inductions and put the people bugging you into trance and give them hypnotic suggestions?

Bandler didn't look for what was wrong with being bugged. Anybody could do that. Everybody would automatically do that. He looked for a way to take advantage of it.

You can learn to have the same mental habit. Find the advantage and think of the "adversity" in terms of the advantage.

Has something ever happened to you that you thought at first was a bad thing, but then later you were really glad it happened? Keep that memory in your mind whenever something bad happens. You don't know what the future holds. This might be good. You might as well assume it will be, and start making it so.

Read more...

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