Whenever my husband and I have to drive somewhere that is more than an hour, we listen to an audio book. One recent book we have been listening to is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
The book explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. One segment of the book caught my attention and has been on the forefront of my thoughts ever since. It was a piece about how when we relate a particular story, negative or positive, over and over again — the story begins to own us. This habit of relating a story, the same story, owns our attitude, our feelings, and ourselves.
For negative stories, it like a perpetual “pity party” that drags us down and has the potential to drag others down, too. I think most people get caught in this cycle. I know I have and when it happens it is because I feel people aren’t hearing me. They aren’t empathizing. To feel validated we tend to want more than recognition, we want others to literally walk in our shoes.
How is this healthy for our mind and our body? My answer is that it isn’t. Sure, if a friend asks you how you are doing and you need to vent – fine. However, I’d ask you (myself included) to try to flip any negative thoughts or feelings, because happy positive feelings is what we really want to reflect and own us.