Where I live, three hours north of Toronto, Ontario, we have lots of deer and a few wolves, coyotes, bear and moose.
Indeed, the other week, a black bear appeared on our deck. I came face to face with it through the glass of our front door.
Needless to say, I didn’t invite it in for cocktails.
Our brains are trained to watch for bears on the deck; to keep us safe from predators.
That’s why we often see the gray cloud and ignore the silver lining. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Indeed, the mind seems to take a comfortable pleasure in searching for the bear around every corner. Fear itches a familiar scratch.
The trouble is, it means we get into the habit of always looking for threats. We go to fear rather than joy because our brain believes we’re more likely to stay alive that way.
But 99.99% of the time, there isn’t a bear on the deck or a coyote on the driveway. We live in the modern world which is much safer than that of our ancestors. Most of the time things work out just fine.
Knowing that, it makes sense to change our old patterns and look for silver linings instead of gray clouds.
And the best way to do that is to start appreciating things. When you do that, you start noticing those glimmers of sunshine.
Every evening before I go to bed, I think of three things I can appreciate. They can be simple things, such as the sun shining or what I had for lunch.
The secret is to remember to do it. That’s why I set up some automated emails that will come to you each evening to remind you. I use them myself! To sign up, go to this page. (You can cancel them anytime you want by clicking a link in one of the emails).
We don’t need to let the bears of fear stop us from feeling better.