Feel Better with Silver Lining Thinking - # 5
Would you like to learn a simple skill to feel better when something bad happens? If so, please read about silver lining thinking. It is a strategy I came up with to help clients deal with negative events in a more constructive way.
It does us no good to dwell on a negative event, and at the same time it is not helpful to bury our feelings. So what can we do? Use this simple strategy. 1. Write or think how you honestly feel. 2. Write or think what you're thankful for in this unwanted situation. The following examples should help you to grasp how "Silver Lining Thinking" works
Jeff goes to his car after work and finds he has a flat tire. 1. He thinks to himself, "I feel mad and really frustrated that I have a flat tire." 2. He then adds, "And I'm grateful I have a spare tire and know how to change it."
Lily's daughter refuses to go to bed and starts screaming. 1. Mom thinks, "I really don't need this and I'm sick and tired of her temper tantrums." 2. She also thinks, "I'm thankful that Lily is overall a good kid, and I know she will settle down after she cries a little while in her bedroom."
Amy has to hit her brakes hard to avoid running into a careless driver that pulls into her lane. 1. She thinks, "I feel scared and angry that I was almost hit by that driver." 2. "I'm grateful that our cars didn't collide, and I'm going to give that person some space so I can cool down."
Bob's wife gets angry because he forgot to put the trash out before he left for work. Instead of arguing with her, he goes to his office and writes, 1. "I'm angry because she's yelling at me for making a simple mistake." 2. "I'm grateful that we seldom get angry at one another, and it's okay that she feels angry that the smelly trash will be in the garage for another week."
Give "Silver Lining Thinking" a try. It will teach you patience and calm your tendency to overreact to little things.
Go to Downloads on this website and print the Silver Lining Worksheet to help you practice gratitude in difficult situations.