Shifting Your Mindset: How Focusing on the Good Can Transform Your Life as a Highly Sensitive Person
As a highly sensitive person, you may find yourself easily overwhelmed by the negativity and chaos in the world around you. You feel things more deeply than others and find it difficult to shake off negative emotions. Due to our heightened sensitivity to the world’s troubles, it's even more important for us as highly sensitive people to actively practice focusing on the good in our lives. And the good news is that we also have heightened sensitivity to the positive aspects of life, and can benefit even more than the average person from choosing to focus on the good in our lives.
It is vital to point out that focusing on the good doesn't mean ignoring the bad or pretending that everything is perfect. It simply means acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small they may seem. This practice can have a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being as HSPs.
Here are just a few reasons why it's so important for highly sensitive people to focus on the good:
1. It helps to combat negativity bias
As a highly sensitive person, you may be more susceptible to negativity bias, which is the tendency to focus on negative experiences and emotions more than positive ones. This negativity bias is evolutionarily hard wired into us to help keep us safe, but it doesn’t do a very good job of keeping us happy. By intentionally focusing on the good in your life, you can counteract this bias and train your brain to pay more attention to positive experiences.
2. It promotes gratitude and positivity
When you focus on the good in your life, you naturally become more grateful for what you have. Gratitude has been linked to a host of positive outcomes, including improved mental health, better sleep, and increased resilience in the face of adversity. You may feel practicing gratitude can seem a bit hokey, but gratitude is one of the most profoundly positive emotions you can experience, which can have a life-changing effect, especially when practiced on a regular basis.
3. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety
By focusing on the good in your life, you're actively shifting your attention away from sources of stress and anxiety. This can help to lower your overall stress levels and reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. This is key if we want to find our strength as highly sensitive people and feel good about our lives.
4. It can improve your relationships.
When you're focused on the good in your life, you're more likely to approach your relationships from a place of positivity and gratitude. This can lead to stronger, more meaningful connections with the people in your life, which can change our lives for the better in countless ways.
So how can you start focusing on the good in your life? Here are a few simple practices to try:
• Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down three (or more) things you're grateful for. They can be big or small, but try to be specific. When we are specific it is easier to actually feel the emotion of gratitude. For example, instead of being grateful for your dog, trying being grateful for the way your dog greets you at the door wagging her tail and running around the room with excitement. Can you see how one invokes much more emotion than the other?
• Take time to savor positive experiences. When something good happens, take a moment to fully appreciate it. Allow yourself to feel the joy and happiness that comes with that positive experience instead of moving along quickly to the next thing.
• Surround yourself with positive influences. Seek out people, media, and experiences that bring positivity into your life. (This also means to try to let go of or reduce the amount of the people, media and experiences that bring you down.) Playing uplifting music is one of my favorite ways to change my mindset!
• Move your body – movement has been shown over and over to increase our levels of wellbeing and happiness. By moving our bodies in ways we enjoy, we can much more easily shift a positive mindset.
Remember, focusing on the good in your life isn't about denying or ignoring the challenges you may face. It's about actively choosing to cultivate positivity and gratitude, even in the midst of difficulty. By doing so, you can improve your mental and emotional well-being and build a more fulfilling life as an HSP!
With love and sensitivity,