The Power of Switching One Word – Another version

 In Better Life, Focusing on the positive

In past tips, I’ve written about the power of changing our focus by simply switching the word “have” to “get.” I’ve found it can help me connect with gratitude and notice how lucky I am.

Another version of this play on words that I’ve found extremely helpful these days is to shift my thinking from the list of things I “can’t” do right now, to paying attention to the many things I still “can” do.

It may be thoughts like,

  • I can’t go to my favorite sporting event, musical performance, fair, or whatever gatherings you enjoy.
  • I can’t see my friends, family, or colleagues in person, much less give them a hug (if you’re a hugger?).
  • I can’t go to my workplace (because I have to work from home), or I can’t work from home (because I have to be at my workplace), or I can’t find a job.

I totally get it! Our lives have been turned upside down and we don’t know when they’ll get back to some form of normal. But letting ourselves dwell on all the activities and experiences we’re missing doesn’t change anything. It only makes us miserable. I’m not saying we shouldn’t feel sad, frustrated, or even angry. The key is to not dwell on these thoughts and get stuck in a downward spiral.

Instead, pull out a piece of paper or open a new list on your phone and start writing about things you still can do that bring you joy, peace, and happiness.

  • I can still enjoy time in my garden weeding or harvesting veggies.
  • I can still read a good book and even learn something new.
  • I can still do crafts or cook healthy meals since it’s harder to go out to eat.
  • I can still tackle home projects like finishing the ceiling in my porch after 20 years (see photo).
  • I can still practice yoga in the park, go for walks, ride my bike, paddle my kayak, etc.
  • I can still have fun, laugh, be silly, and enjoy my life.

No doubt, there will be more hard times ahead. But when we build our positivity, it increases our resilience, our patience, and makes everything a little easier.

Recent Posts