Your Attention is a Resource
Happy Memorial Day!
This is a holiday of reflection and gratitude (in addition to pancake breakfasts, grilling out, and parades!). I want to encourage you to try to carry that spirit of gratitude into the rest of your week. In our Mighty Minds program, we talk with kids about the way in which attention is a resource– you get to choose where you spend your attention, and wherever you spend your attention is what you are “buying” more of! We can change how we feel by noticing and intentionally directing where we are focusing our attention.
This week, test it out!
- When you notice yourself stuck or spinning on thoughts or topics that make you feel stressed or upset, make a concerted effort to shift gears and think about something different. (With kids, we talk about the way in which you can change the channel on your mind much like you can change the channel on a TV… although let’s face it, changing the channel on your mind can be MUCH more difficult!). If you notice that your mind keeps going back to the thing that is making you feel badly, that’s OK– just keep on gently trying to redirect it.
- Make a point of taking time each day to spend your attention and energy thinking about things that make you feel good, or things in your life that are going well. You can do this both reactively (e.g., if you find yourself annoyed with your child or your partner, try to make a mental list of the things that you love about them!) or proactively (e.g., beginning your day by thinking about one or more things you are grateful for; ending your day with identifying the highlights of the day or having a family conversation about these moments over dinner).
Today, I am grateful for coffee, good friends who bring us dinner, the sound of a snoring baby, the book that I just got off the waitlist for at the library, and the long weekend! Sending all of you lots of warm wishes as we launch into the final week of May.
A few related reads:
- Ten Ways to Be a Happier Mother (Psychology Today). Please note: these also apply to dads!
- How Can We Design More Joy Into Our Surroundings (TED Talk)
- Once More, with Feeling: How Gratitude Keeps on Giving (Thrive Global)
- How To Make Family Meals More Mindful (Forbes)