This morning, I headed out to Little Kaiteriteri at sunrise to do some photography. Once there, feeling inspired by the beauty, I got the camera out, ready to capture the magnificence before me. However, as I got the camera out of the bag I realised I had left the SD card at home. I was absolutely gutted. As I stood there in this slice of paradise, I could feel my head starting to consume itself with regret, frustration and gloom.
In that moment, I stopped appreciating the solitude and the beauty of the sunrise. Instead, all I focussed on was the perceived waste of time and the fact I had arisen at 4.30am for “nothing”.
It was at that point I gave myself a mental uppercut and a stern talking to. “How can you say this is a waste of time? Whose opinion is that? Look at the opportunity laid before you?”
I stood there on the shore, listening to the gentle sound of the waves lapping and the seagulls squawking. The sun rising over the horizon slowly replaced the negative haze. In its place an acknowledgement of the possibilities. This location is fairly local. I can come back any time I want with the camera to get beautiful shots. For now I can use the iphone to capture footage and play with the angles. Alternatively I can just sit and luxuriate in the feeling of the sea breeze and the sound of the waves.
Why Does This Spiral Happen?
For me, negative thinking is habitual and it’s a result of the way I have historically dealt with stressful situations as a child. It’s born of that tendency I have of self-judgement and focussing on the worst case scenarios that could play out (not that they ever really do).
How Do I Make It Go Away?
As I demonstrated above, the best way for me to stop this negative thinking spiral in its tracks is to challenge those thoughts. Sometimes this is easier said than done. However I have to say, my challenging voice is becoming louder than my negative one over time.
Trusted friends are wonderful when you find yourself in a mental funk that you can’t get yourself out of. However, I try where possible to avoid asking friends to help get me out of my negativity. Sometimes though, it does ooze out, and for that I truly apologise. I am acutely aware it can be draining for others and besides, it is a discipline I need to nurture for myself.
The art of mindful living has been a key factor for me in transforming my negative thought cycles. The practice of slowing down and appreciating beauty really helps in terms of nurturing an attitude of gratitude.
Here’s a little snippet from paradise this morning to give you more of a full experience.
Anne McCormack is author of the book, Lovitude: Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind and the award-winning, Peacock Dreaming: The Wisdom Of Flowers.
Feature photos courtesy of Pixabay
Interested in more articles? Check these out:
Focus on the Moment, Not the Emotion
My Wish For You – Stepping Into Mindfulness
Making Me Happy! A Journey Into Mindfulness
What Makes You Fizz? Living Your Purpose