1. “What do I have the privilege of doing today?”
2. To each their own.
When people make choices we disagree with, we may feel angry or upset that they would do something that seems wrong to us. It can be tempting to spend our emotional energy trying to figure out the reasons for their behavior, but as long as their actions aren’t dangerous or causing harm in any way, it’s probably none of our business.
When I find myself trying to fit someone else’s choices into my framework for living, I take a breath and remind myself “to each their own,” which enables me to simply let go of any negative thoughts and move on with a smile. We’re all different, and that’s a wonderful thing – the world would be pretty boring otherwise!
3. I wonder what his/her story is?
This question works really well for situations like the one above, where you don’t understand a person’s choices or actions. Taking a moment to ask yourself “I wonder what his/her story is?” helps you to step back and realize that everyone has a story that you don’t know about. The trick is to leave it at wondering – don’t spend time actually trying to figure out what the story is. Remind yourself that you can’t possibly know, and then let it go.
This is also a great question for when you’re stuck behind that really slow driver. Maybe it’s someone with a new baby in the car, or a teenager behind the wheel for the first time. Or maybe it’s just someone having an off day, and I know we’ve all been there, right? Wonder what their story is, and then let it go. Hopefully, you’ll feel more patient and understanding.
Shifting out of negative thinking can be as easy as introducing a new thought. Write these phrases down on a note card or piece of paper and carry them with you. Whenever you need a nudge to move into a more positive mindset, choose one and try it out! If you have a phrase that works for you, I would love for you to share it below.