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Now, step back from the situation if possible, become the observer of your own life… remove the emotional attachment and begin to dispute the negative thinking. Examine the ‘facts’ of the situation like a good lawyer. A friend of mine calls this, viewing your life from the balcony. Ask yourself questions like these:

  • What set it off?
  • What negative thoughts and beliefs got triggered?
  • How do those thoughts and beliefs compare to reality?
  • What can I control?
  • What is my priority?

Now ask yourself some more positive questions. What can you find that is ‘good’ about the situation…even if you know you may not ‘feel’ the good until later.

  • What’s right about my current circumstances?
  • What makes me lucky to be here?
  • What aspect of my current circumstance might I view as a gift to be treasured?
  • Where is the opportunity?
  • How does it benefit me or others?
  • Is there a lesson here?
  • What can I learn about myself from the situation?

Barbara Fredrickson, a professor of Psychology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been studying positive emotions for over two decades now. In her recent book, “Positivity” she says:

“We have the power to turn positivity on and off for ourselves.”

She suggests we can turn our thoughts toward the positive by asking ourselves questions like the ones shown above.

Usually, when I am able to successfully FLIP something, I feel an immediate sense of relief. To continue with Step 4 click here