We often tend to dwell on the small mistakes, mishaps and frustrations that naturally happen throughout the day and seem to “forget” all the positive moments that almost always outnumber the negative ones.

Such as – if ten people greet us with a kind word and a smile, we usually remember and focus on the one person that did not smile at us or say hello.

 At the end of the day the negative sticks with us while the positive floats into the background.  This often prevents us from experiencing the simple joys in the present moment.

What’s Going On Here? ……. Many thousands of years ago, when we were cave dwellers, life was mostly about the need to stay alive.  Our brains evolved to keep us safe, and are still wired to learn quickly from bad experiences.

Our brains don’t know the difference between a true physical threat that can determine our survival – such as a wild animal stalking us or a car sideswiping us – and the look of disapproval on our boss’s face that we interpret as threatening and dangerous.

This ancient survival mechanism often keeps us stressed and worried and may promote harsh self judgments and feelings of inadequacy that often impact our health and well-being.

But – with this little bit of understanding about our brains, we can learn to simply notice the negative stories our minds create about these perceived threats (like will my boss fire me?) and instead, remind ourselves to stop and savor the good things!

It’s amazingly powerful to spend a minute or two in the evening jotting down a list of things that went well that day. I met a deadline at work. I picked up the kids on time. I remembered my colleague’s birthday. I had a pleasant interaction with some interesting people, etc.

 Begin to turn your awareness toward the pleasant moments throughout the day. Really savor these moments and allow them to land and soak in for 10 to 12 seconds – the sweet thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that arise from completing a task, engaging in a chat with a friend, giving/receiving a hug, or enjoying a hot, steaming beverage on a cold day…noticing and embracing the good things hovering in the background of our daily lives!

 And, as always, remember – YOU hold the key!