I was having a particularly difficult week with my husband (okay, it was more like a difficult month!). The snoring seemed louder, the jokes not so funny, the once-endearing idiosyncrasies not so. Even his sitting on the couch doing his New York Times crossword puzzle was bugging me (the garbage needed to be taken out right this moment, so how could he sit around?).
It’s the nature of the mind to notice what’s wrong, what’s missing, what could go wrong. It constantly compares, judges, and instigates drama – as if our lives depended on it. Indeed, in the jungle during our evolution, our lives did depend on it. Our brains evolved to create a vigilant default mode network to ensure the survival of the species. The overly trusting did not survive to pass on their genes!
Fast forward to today, the negative bias of the mind threatens the survival of your marriage. Or positive working relationships in the workplace.
This week’s practice is to notice the good. Yes, it’s possible to retrain the mind to notice what is positive in a person you’re working with, even a difficult person. It’s possible to retrain the mind to notice the opportunity in a change. It’s possible to retrain the mind to notice what’s going right even in the midst of ambiguity. You have the power my friends!
This week, the challenge is to take a deep breath, set aside the voice of “Vigilant Vicky or Victor” in your head, and notice one good thing in each interaction with another person. You might even choose to let them know what you noticed and appreciated. For example, I might say to my husband “It’s great to see you relish your crossword puzzle”. When you change your mind, you change your experience of others.
To discover how mindfulness can help you be a maestro of management dynamics, try the mindfulness practice of “Working With Difficult People” here.
Wishing you a mindful week!
P.S. One-Minute Mindfulness are short reads that give you a practice a week so you can experience being mindful in the activities you’re already doing. If you’d like to create mindfulness habits with team members and friends, share this link for them to sign up.
P.P.S. I would love for you to share your experience or questions from this practice in the comments below.