It never ceases to amaze me how often I hear people talking about what they want, or wish they had, and just plain focused on what they are missing rather than what they actually have.
As the human race becomes faster paced, more stressed and anxious and depressed there seems that there simply has to be some correlation between the two.
We know that what you focus on is what you get….so if for example you are going to buy a new red 4WD, it suddenly seems that everyone you come across is driving that same type of car….this is because when we focus on something specific we tend to filter out the things that are not related to that and we no longer see them and just keep focusing on what we were holding in our mind.
So, basically what that means is that if we are focused on the negative things in the world around us, we will subconsciously filter out all the positives and other possibilities. If we are focusing on what we don’t have, or the things that stop us from feeling content then we will get more of the discontent.
This is what I like to refer to as the ‘Disease of Discontent’ or DD for short.
Are you focusing on the patients that ‘complain’ about their pain, or who constantly press their buzzers for you, or the management who just don’t ‘get it’?
If so, then ask yourself what else you are filtering out by doing this and only focusing on the negative parts of your job?
What about that lovely old man who smiled so nicely at you and thanked you for getting him that bikkie with his cup of tea, or that lonely lady who thanked you for sitting with her for a few extra minutes or that family who so graciously thanked you for looking after their precious family member until they passed away….
If you focus on having ‘not enough’ of things….ie not enough money, time and/or energy then you will get exactly that! And this will have a flow-on effect to your mood, your personality and behavior will ultimately start to lead to poor physical and emotional health.
So how can we counter the disease of discontent?
Can we ever truly be happy?
It’s important to recognise that we have control over certain things in our life….such as our thoughts, our actions, and who we spend our time with and the decisions we make.
So, if we were to make conscious decisions about what we say, what we choose to do with our time and who we choose to spend our precious time with and it was with the people that matter, the people that are positive and empowering and not the ‘energy drainers’, that would be a good start wouldn’t it ?!
Of course things will happen in life, however it’s up to you how much you let it affect you, and how you choose to respond (rather than react to it)…. you can interpret it as simply a concern, not something that needs to have control over you and your life.
Take a step back, look around you and you will see that there are actually things to be grateful for in your life, things to be pleased about.
To stop the disease of discontent within you take ACTION.
It All Begins With Gratitude
Most of us think of gratitude as saying thank you when you are given a gift or someone helps you out. Gratitude is a positive emotion, which is really important because it serves a purpose
Gratitude is an emotion similar to the appreciation that most people are familiar with.
If you google gratitude there are millions of options on your search results. A simple definition comes from the Harvard Medical School, which says gratitude is:
Another great way to understand gratitude and make it more meaningful is to go to www.dictionary.com and look at the synonyms for gratitude.
Here are a few to help you get started.
Pick a word that resonates with you.
The Gratitude Diary
Please do not underestimate the power of writing stuff down, of getting it out of your brain and onto paper. Yes, the good old paper and pen.
Start a gratitude diary and every day reflect on what specifically in your life you are grateful for.
When you focus your energy on this task alone, you will notice that you can rid yourself of that insidious disease of discontent….
What we focus on is what we get
You Are In Control
When you are in control of your thoughts, how you choose to respond to certain things that happen and you are focused on what you have to be pleased and grateful about, the disease of discontent has no energy and power to grow within you!
Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and, therefore, your interpretation of reality.
Just ask two different people who see the same accident and see how you hear two different reports!
I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, negative- self-thoughts, and just a general waste of energy.
You can let your thoughts run amok, but, why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts;
3 Steps To Start Kicking DD To The Curb
Step One – Stop And Take A Deep Breath
Take several deep breathes, literally tell yourself to STOP what you are doing, take a breath and collect yourself in the here and now.
Clear your thoughts.
Step Two – Focus On The Here And Now
Yes, I am sure you have heard this before, however, it is more important than you think.
I remember when I would be driving home after a really busy shift, it would be late, as we never got away on time.
I would be driving down Ocean Drive, constantly going over the shift…had I missed anything, did I document my work, did I hand over all the relevant information, did I give the keys to the supervisor???
I am sure you can relate.
The past is the past, and you have no power change what has happened or to project into the future for that matter.
There is absolutely NO way you can predict, although you may disagree…but this is one sure way to lose control of your thoughts.
Focus on the here and now.
Step 3 – What Are You Really Thinking About?
Now that you have taken your breathes and cleared your head of the clutter, and brought yourself to the here and now, observe your thoughts without any judgement, without the itty bitty shitty committees critique of you and your behaviour…aka…that little voice in your head which talks to you non-stop.
Why are you having these thoughts?
What made you feel like you lost control of your brain?
Tip: Please DO NOT bash yourself around the head, there is no right or wrong, it is what it is.
As with your career, stick to the facts.
If you’re having a problem with someone, leave the blame game out of this. Do not bother guessing what you ‘think’ the other person is thinking.
What events have got you to this point?
If you are having trouble, write it all down and then read them back to yourself.
Get a blank notebook and start writing, without judgement, get it out of your head.
No order….just whatever comes to your head.
DO NOT try to choose your thoughts, but control them as they come.
Stick to the facts, and lose the perception, projection and reflection.
Every day reflect on just one thing that you are grateful for and you will notice the difference very quickly.
The disease of discontent is rampant, the longer you work in nursing, the more you will know what I mean.
You can’t control what other people do, you CAN control YOU and your thoughts…starting right now.
Have a fabulous week and be great!