Last week, in Part 2, I suggested an exercise that encouraged you to deliberately look for positive facts and then turn those factual events into experiences – making it a point to savour and enjoy every aspect of each one of them.
Today I thought I’d share with you one of my own experiences but, before I do, let me tell you what the longer term consequences are.
The experience I’ll describe in a moment has huge benefits which go beyond the actual immediate enjoyment.
• it strengthened my immune system,
• it boosted my inner resources. This will enable me to react with less stress to challenging experiences,
• it lifted my mood. This shifted me away from my habitual negativity towards a more positive outlook,
• it increased my sense of optimism, resilience and resourcefulness beyond the immediate event.
And, as if that weren’t enough, the experience highlighted within me feelings of kindness, inner peace, contentment, gratitude and a sense of wellbeing.
This means that, because my heart feels full, I have more to give to others.
This was my experience.
I recently took off a day and, together with my dear friend Ange, went to Kew Gardens.
This were the facts:
- The day was balmy, alternating between bright and sunny.
- We eat our packed lunch sitting on a bench facing the scenery.
- We shared food – I brought cherries and she brought baby tomatoes.
- We talked. I told her what I’m learning about reprogramming the brain and sharing the experience with others.
- She told me that, coincidentally, she had been learning a similar technique that she’d applied to her frustrating relationship with her manager with impressive results.
- I asked her to write a blog to share that experience with you.
- We went walking.
Next, we deliberately made these facts into experiences.
- I made it a point to enjoy the feel of the balmy day on my skin. I felt warmed and comforted as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Warmth and sunshine do that to me.
- I noticed how much I loved being in nature and was glad Ange had thought to suggest it.
- I had prepared a packed lunch I knew I would particularly enjoy, and made it a point to savour the crusty roll, the filling and the cherries.
- I appreciated the baby tomatoes Ange shared with me; I noticed they enhanced my sandwich making me enjoy it even more.
- I was glad Ange liked and enjoyed the cherries I shared with her.
- While we talked, we made it a point to pause and deliberately take in the gorgeous beauty and smells of our surroundings. We took our time to do this.
- The walk took us through the most gorgeous scenery and we paused to take photographs, taking our time to admire the colour, shape and smell of the flowers, plants, bushes and trees.
- I took pictures.
- At the end of our time together we hugged each other – a truly affectionate hug which I knew releases oxytocin and strengthens our bond.
- I told her how much I’d loved spending time with her.
Next day, I made it a point to look at the pictures I’d taken including one of the two of us. This brought back the feelings of pleasure and enjoyment and the love we shared, and sent them to her.
Those feelings of love and pleasure came up again while I was writing this blog thus reinforcing them.
In my last blog, Part 2, I made the following important point. Here it is again:
Make each of these experiences last 5, 10 or, if you can, 20 seconds. Don’t let your attention wander.
You may have noticed that we deliberately made each experience last longer than 20 seconds and, not only that, we reinforced each of them by making comments about them to each other, both at the time and on the following day, thereby reinforcing the experience.
This brings me to another point – the importance of recalling the experience afterwards, preferably several times later on the same day or the next – again just 5, 10 or even 20 seconds – by which time you’ll be ready for a new set of positive facts leading to another enjoyable experience.
Here’s an analogy which, I’m sure, you will recognise and, hopefully, go “Oops!”.
It’s not exactly an analogy, more of a comparison.
When I have a toothache, before even going to the dentist, I can’t seem to stop myself from poking that tooth with my tongue even though it hurts more when I do!
What I’m suggesting you do instead is to ‘poke at’ your pleasurable experience as often as you can.
The effort it takes to focus on positive facts, deliberately making them into an experience which lasts between 5 and 10 seconds is surely worth it when you consider the massive difference you will experience in the short, medium and long term – physically, mentally and emotionally.
With love and gratitude,
P.S. If you believe I can support you, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or text me on my mobile – 07903 795027 for a free, no obligation Obstacle Smashing Exploratory Session.
You will walk away with at least 3 options to get you started on a happier path – whether or not you choose to work with me.