We've had a tough year and a half. Things are turning around, but sometimes it seems not fast enough. We're tired. We're stressed. And I think it's safe to say that we have all, to one degree or another, suffered moments of depression. It's easy to look into the future and wonder if we'll ever be happy again.
I recently started reading Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns. His proposition is that how you talk to yourself determines how you feel. Tell yourself everything is gloom and doom and that's you how feel. Tell yourself things are looking up and that's how you feel.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're thinking. I've heard it before.
But the other day I realized there was more to it. You have to be able to imagine and feel pleasure in order for this to work. And that's when this 6-word phrase popped into my head:
The real trick with this is to reward yourself often. Don't focus too far on the future: reward yourself for small daily achievements and for incremental milestones on the way toward a bigger goal.
Now here's the kicker: You already use this phrase all the time. Whenever you're planning a quilt, when you're doing the tedious work of cutting or sewing lots of little pieces together, when you're quilting, or hand-stitching a binding, you're also, in the back of your mind, saying "This is going to be so beautiful when it's finished." And the vision of that beautiful, finished quilt carries you forward.
The key is to learn to use this phrase consciously in every aspect of your life. When you do, you'll find your mood lifts, you are better able to achieve your goals, and your relationships will improve. In a word, you'll be happier.
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