We know that whatever we focus on becomes larger. If we focus on the negatives in life, that's all we'll notice. We'll see even more of them than ever—even though there are positives in our life as well. Research by psychologist Susan Nolem-Hoeksema suggests that mulling over negative thoughts for an extended period is a leading cause of anxiety and depression.
If you find yourself in a place where life's burdens and negatives are wearing you down, what can you do? It may help you to distract yourself for a while until you can get a grip and turn your attitude around to focus on the positives and life's blessings.
Choose wisely when you select a distraction, too. An absorbing hobby is a good distraction. A night out with close friends is, too. But binge-watching TV with all your favorite junk foods around you might simply trade one negative for another.
You may have your favorite distractions. A 1,000-piece puzzle. A funny movie. Dancing to your favorite CD. Cooking a new recipe. Some yoga stretches or an exercise tape. What works for you? Be open to trying new methods as well as employing your tried-and-true favorites. Showing love to someone who really needs it is guaranteed to make you feel good while you're distracted. We always feel good when we can help others, and it reminds us that we're not alone in having problems and in suffering.