Here’s a little experiment in the power of positive focusing: The next time someone makes a “stupid” comment, an antagonizing remark, or does anything that irritates you in the slightest way, don’t respond to it and don’t tell anyone about the experience for 48 hours.
If you’re still bothered by the experience after the 48 hour waiting period, then you can go ahead and respond to that person or tell a friend, or whatever.
But the point is to wait, first.
During this 48 hour interim, you can journal about the problem, pray about it, meditate, or even talk to yourself, but you’re not allowed to even hint at it to another soul.
Your ability to complain represents only a tiny fraction of your personal power
While venting can be a helpful way of releasing our frustrations, it can also cause us to become dependent on others to help us process our emotions.
Using a 48 hour waiting period as an occasional (not necessarily permanent) practice, gives you the chance to see what your emotional experiences are like when you don’t immediately release them in reactive ways.
I discovered this practice by mistake. I have a close friend who is absolutely amazing at providing positive perspectives on life’s problems. Whenever I faced a difficulty of any kind, I called him and he cleared my issue right up with some awesome analogy or empowering spiritual insight. One week, however, he couldn’t be there for me when I really needed his help. I was forced by circumstance to sit alone in the quiet and find some other means of calming my spirit. It was a tortuous process for two days, but I soon stumbled upon a very interesting space inside of my mind that I never knew existed. There was a voice that was clearly my own, but which seemed to possess a confidence and authority different from what I was previously accustomed to experiencing. It showed me a way out of my anxieties and pointed me down a path of peace that I’ve been walking on ever since.
I can’t promise you the same kind of experience, but there’s something to be said about learning to listen for the voice within.
Running to others for sympathy and support, at the first sign of trouble, can be addicting in a way that distracts us from the growth that occurs when we give our own inner light the time it needs to shine its wisdom our way.
Creatively express, but DO NOT suppress, your emotions
As someone who has benefitted from therapy in the past and who currently has a life coach, I do not advocate the practice of suppressing one’s feelings of sadness or frustration. You should always talk to someone right away if the alternative is doing something unhealthy or harmful to yourself.
Try to be honest with yourself.
Are you talking about the problem right away because you truly must do that or because you’re afraid to be alone with yourself?
How much will you really suffer by putting a 48 hour “no complaining” restraint on yourself?
Are you willing to temporarily forgo the comfort of being comforted for the sake of creating new patterns?
We all need to develop the ability to tap into our own vast inner resources for problem-solving and cognitive reframing.
Cultivating that skill requires a willingness to experiment.
The 48 hour technique has worked wonders for me and, every once in a while, I use it to challenge myself to grow further.
Now, I recommend it to you.
Will you experiment?
If so, please share your feedback in the comments section below.
Either way, that’s today’s two cents