Friday, April 1, 2016

Forecast is Cloudy With a Chance of Sunny

It’s Friday, April Fool’s Day, and, no foolin’, it’s raining like crazy outside my window. A weather front moved in from the southeast and brought some rain, hail, winds, and overall yucky weather. 
Is “yucky” a technical weather term?
On days like this, if I can’t take a nap, I want to go outside, point at the sky and say, “Now You stop that!…please.”
But, you know what, the forecast is for this weather to move away by tomorrow and the rest of the weekend should be nice
Recently, I’ve come to understand that thoughts and emotions are like the weather. They often zoom into our minds like dark clouds and can easily overwhelm us. But, they aren’t there forever. There will be a time when they’ll be gone and we’ll see life more positively.
The reality is that you can’t control what pops into your mind and heart, it just happens. And, it’s difficult to cognitively (thinking it through) force the thoughts from our minds. You remember the old trick of telling people not to think about a pink elephant? SEEEEE!!! What are you thinking about right now?
But, it’s also true that you can literally work the thoughts and feelings out of your mind.
Here’s the secret: Keep moving. Have a To-Do List, a project, a hobby, something you can get busy on. Keep your focus on the activity and you’ll find that it doesn’t take long for your mind to move away from what might be a negative, stressful thought and onto the activity.
Caregiving is a wonderful example. The worries, frustrations, and, sometimes, anger, that come with caregiving often bring a thundercloud of negative and stressful thoughts to mind. As much as you can, look at each individual activity as something you can focus on, a task you can complete, another check on your To-Do List. 
This is a great way to keep caregiving from making life—and you—crazy.
Looking out my window right now I’m seeing a shadow beside a tree. That means a ray of sunshine has to be around here somewhere to create it. 

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