It isn’t necessarily easy to find the good in anything that’s going on in our world right now. News feeds are filled with loss and unrest because of the coronavirus, racial injustices, lost lives, and the political circus from all sides that naturally follows. And that’s just for starters. The easy answer that most people give — including Susan and me — is to take a deep breath and do your best to focus on the here and now pleasantness around us all.
But how, Mike and Susan?! Is this possible? Yes, it absolutely is. And maybe a little easier at this time as we focus on the freedoms we have in this country and the ones we continue to work toward.
Easier Said than Done
While it may seem easier said than done, there are still pleasant things all around us — and it’s high time that we take notice. At our practice, we help couples and individuals find practical ways to focus on the here and now. This methodology goes beyond being grateful for what we still have. It asks us to get off autopilot and truly notice the pleasantness of our environment in greater detail. Below is an easy-to-use guide to get you going in the right direction.
Let your childlike curiosity take over
To better focus on the here and now pleasantness around us, the first step is to sit in a place where you are not going to be distracted or interrupted. Go ahead and try it now as you read. When you’re settled, follow this short script:
Look around the room or space that you are in —
It doesn’t matter if you are inside or outside.
With a sense of childlike curiosity, look around and find one item that is pleasant or pleasing —
This could be an object, a sound, a smell, a color, a texture of something close by that you can touch. Examine the entire space to find that item, even if you have to look up at the ceiling or down at the floor. Don’t let anything go unnoticed.
Once you find it, spend time thinking about what you like about it —
Ask yourself, “What is it exactly that I like about this?” Is it the shape, size, or color of it? Does it remind you of a pleasant or happy memory? Let yourself go down memory lane for a few minutes.
It is very common for the practice of here and now pleasantness to elicit positive and enjoyable memories —
For example, you might find a curved shape that reminds you of a wave of water curling in the ocean. You may also find that a color or object reminds you of a favorite season of the year. Whatever the memory is, savor it for as long as you want.
Once you’ve experienced that pleasant object, go find another —
That’s right, have at it. And again, pay attention to why you like it so much. Sometimes, you may notice a favorite color or sound that makes you feel good.
Stop and thank God for the great blessings in your life! —
The most important part! All good things come from the Father above. Meditate on the source of the pleasant things in your life.
Reflect on what happened during the exercise
This is the part of this blog post where we’d love to get feedback from you. Share with us in a comment or separate email (you can find that information below) how focusing on here and now pleasantness made you feel. Did you notice that it helped to shift your mind away from all the negativity that’s been dragging you down? This is a great time to write those feelings down and commit them to memory. Doing so helps you easily draw from it again later.
What does this do for ME!
- It doesn’t take up any space in your purse or wallet.
- You can practice it anywhere you happen to be.
- You can help the ones you care about to do the same thing.
What we are saying is that by focusing on the here and now pleasantness around us, you will notice things you may not have seen before. Even if you drive the same route to work each day, work in the same space day after day, or live in the same room, you can look for something new and re-experience something pleasant over and over again.
Do this often enough, and you will rewire your brain.
All that’s left is to simply enjoy the view!
Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is and always has been devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have a safe and connected marriage. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here.
What do you think? Do you have a safe and connected marriage? How easy or difficult would it be for you and your spouse to sit down together without being distracted or interrupted? How many pleasant items can you find in your space? And once you’ve found them, how would you share those pleasing experiences with each other? Send us a quick email and let us know how you did it so that others can learn as well! mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com