The kids were talking about the snow coming tomorrow morning. Their hopes are set on there being no school (or at least two hours late). The anticipation of a possible snow day is almost as exciting as Christmas morning.
This got me thinking a bit about the things we get excited and enthusiastic about, the things that keep us up at night (in a good way) in anticipation of the next morning. The things that make us feel like a kid again. Snow days, people and relationships, work, play, vacations, careers, hunting, fishing, movies, the list could be endless. Of course, not every day can be as great as Christmas morning but just visualizing a snow day or Christmas morning memories as a kid can certainly put a smile on our face and make us feel better. (Speaking of this I laugh every time I see the commercial of the kid unwrapping the Liberty Mutual Insurance box and is brother kicking his recently gifted bike in disgust)
Where am I going with this? Good question. Did you know that our brain can't distinguish the difference between you imagining things and them being real? Of course I am not a scientist...nor can I visualize myself being one, but there are some pretty good articles about visualization and reality. Below are a few short ones I found interesting.
Does your brain distinguish real from imaginary?
Your brain on imagination: It's a lot like reality, study shows
Visualize Your Way to Success (Really!)
I am sure there are many more great studies and books about visualization. The short of all of it is this; only you can control your thoughts. Positive thoughts make us happier. Imagining a positive outcome make us more likely to succeed. Visualizing stressful situations can help us overcome tough spots in real life. Seeing yourself as young and vibrant makes you feel more young and vibrant. When we have a health issue if we can picture ourselves overcoming it gives us better odds.
Of course, life isn't all skittles and rainbows. There will be difficult times and there will be adversity to overcome. There may be times when negative thoughts will dominate the day or week or month. Know that you're not alone and find someone to talk to. If you are that someone a friend is talking to...just listen and be a good friend by letting them know you care and help them find professional help if they need it.
Now close your eyes, relax your body, take the deepest breath you ever have...in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this three times...relaxing a little more each time. Give yourself some positive self talk and visualize some positive things. Open your eyes and smile....I hope you feel more relaxed and a bit happier. Maybe even like a kid on Christmas morning!
God Bless and have a Merry Christmas!