I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about how if we can change our focus then our whole outlook or ‘story’ of what just happened or is about to happen changes… and one of my teachers recently said: if we choose a particular focus we can create a whole new habit, an interesting thought….it really does seem like optimism & a positive outlook can be taught / learnt! It seems as though the brain is wired to find evidence for whatever we are focussed on so if we are convinced that person is annoying…then we will only notice his / her annoying behaviours whereas if we choose to focus on that person’s strengths we will notice them more and more.
This got me thinking of the mindfulness skill to broaden your focus from a narrow beam of spotlight to taking in the whole of life’s stage and in how many ways we can expand or change our awareness and choose to react differently. How many ways can you think of to change your focus or broaden your focus?? It is always hard to remember to do when you are tired or stressed but like any skill we just need to keep practising and reminding ourselves to do it! Here are a few I can think of for ourselves & for our kids:
1. Focus on what we think we or our children are doing well….and we’re more likely to see more of that rather than what we/they are not doing well
2. Focus on what went well during the day, rather than what didn’t.
3. Focus on what we have rather than don’t have
4. Focus on what we love or respect about that person rather than what irritates us
5. Focus on the longer term picture- will I remember this moment in 1 year / 5 years?
6. Focus on what we can do rather than what we can’t do
7. Focus on where in our body is feeling comfortable and OK rather than where we feel pain
8. Focus on what is underlying the behaviour rather than the behaviour
9. Focus on what the underlying emotion is rather than the anger we see on the surface
Can you think of any more you can use?
It can even be taken literally – Focus on the view rather than on our feet! Or Zoom in & focus on your toes rather than your spiralling thoughts… Mmm it’s got me thinking, better stop focussing on the screen and instead focus on the view outside 🙂