I was delighted when a client told me he was feeling pretty good because he had found a great mood changer. I asked what his tonic was, and he said, “Positive what-ifs.” When he caught himself saying, as was his norm–“What if I lose my job?” “What if I get sick?” “What if I fail?”–he swapped those questions for “What if I keep my job?” “What if I stay healthy?” “What if I succeed?” He is now a believer in Dr. Greenberg’s philosophy.
If you like his idea, here are a few tips to help you tweak the formula for your own use:
- Say your “positive what-ifs” at a snail’s pace, allowing them to sink in slowly and deeply.
- Because this practice is not magic, the boost you would like usually requires relaxed repetition. Knowing this will save you from discouragement and giving up.
- If you are immersed in sadness or depression, trying to be positive can backfire on you. You may have to first calm your feelings through meditation, a good walk, or a talk with a friend before your positive what-ifs can take root, and actually change your mood from low-spirited to upbeat.