Driving home recently, I was on the phone with a friend who was super stressed out. In the middle of our conversation, I paused and asked her if she was outside. “I am,” she said.
“Can you see the clouds?” I said.
“Yes! They look like cotton candy!”
“They are so beautiful. I am loving this view!”
“Me too!”

For just a minute, we left her stress and ​noticed the good​ in the sky. We returned to discussing the stressful subject and ended up finding a way to laugh at the situation. One great way to reduce anxiety is to look for the light in the darkness.

A year ago my brother-in-law was in a scary situation. He was fighting pneumonia and on a ventilator. We were all very concerned for him, but in the middle of the hardest moments, I couldn’t help but notice the good:
-Seasoned nurses with a toolbox of knowledge for hard situations
-The love between family members providing comfort and support
-The way a time of need reconnects friends
-Emergency procedures that are in place because others have walked the road before
-Medicine that provides relief and healing
-Pull-out couches in the ICU
-Communication avenues at our fingertips for quick updates (texting, Facebook, group messages)
-People who pray even though they don’t know the sick person

Anxiety often makes us focus on the negative possible outcomes. Yet being intentional to look for the good can help shift us out of despair and fear, toward the positive.

Create a ‘Notice the Good’ list on your phone. The next time you feel anxious, practice looking for the good and add to the list!

~ Donna Durham, MMFT

Photo by Paul Csogi on Unsplash