The End of Summer – shifting perspective
Labor Day is coming fast and summer is winding down. This time of year can make me feel melancholy. I love summer with it’s long days, warm weather, and green scenery. I hate being cold (and I get cold easily) so I don’t look forward to winter. The changing of the seasons is a great opportunity for me to practice using tools I’ve learned from Positive Psychology. What do I choose to focus on? I can make myself sad by thinking about missing the warm, long days of summer, going for walks, kayaking, riding my bike, etc. Or I can choose to focus on all the wonderful things I still have in my life and remind my self that summer is sweeter because it doesn’t last forever. Shifting my perspective takes effort and intention because our brains naturally prefer to dwell on what we are losing and what we don’t like, instead of all the good all around us. Some days its harder than others.
Change is everywhere, whether its the changing of the seasons or major changes in our lives. It seems that most changes have some good and some bad parts. We can make ourselves miserable by letting our brains instinctively focus on the bad, or we can take control and purposely remind ourselves of the good. Make a list. Re-read it whenever you get stuck thinking about what you don’t like about the change. Surround yourself with reminders of the good in your life and the good that may come from the change.
I’m looking forward to cross-country skiing (I stay warm), and snuggly fleece sheets – – and savoring these last few weeks of summer-like weather.
Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is a professional speaker and consultant for The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations fulfill their true potential using strategies from the science of Positive Psychology.