Today I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned and found out I have a few cavities. After my hygienist cleaned my teeth and my dentist examined my x-rays they walked me up to the front desk to schedule my next cleaning and make an appointment to get fillings. I was bummed. I drove home in the pouring rain (thank Florida weather for the dramatic effect) feeling deflated and annoyed with myself for not flossing and cursing all those late night Oreo binges. I felt a defeatist attitude creep over me.
When I got home I stood in front of my sliding glass doors and watched the rain fall for a bit. After a couple of minutes of moping, I thought to myself, “How can I make this a moment of gratitude?” I wanted to find the silver lining in this rain cloud. So I ran through a mental list of things I could be grateful for in this situation
- I still have all of my teeth (save my wisdom teeth, hallelujah) and they are otherwise healthy and generally straight and white.
- I am not experiencing any pain or discomfort
- I have access a great dentist with a warm bedside manner
- I have dental insurance provided and paid for by my employer
- Financially, I am in a good place. When the office staff went over my expected co-pay for the fillings I was not worried about the out-of-pocket costs, I knew I could easily cover them.
After taking a moment to show thanks I was able to put my situation into perspective. I was able to get out of my head and lead a conversation with myself from a space of gratitude rather than from a space of worry or angst. After this little mental meeting, I walked away feeling lighter and less irritated. (And with a new blog post to boot)
I think about all the times I let even the smallest of inconveniences, like getting cut off in traffic or a long line at the grocery store, derail the rest of my day and how I can easily prevent that negative tailspin by taking the opportunity to thank my lucky stars that I have good brakes and build a little more patience.
I encourage you to try this little trick when you’re faced with life’s trials, big and small. When you lose a loved one, or your coworker pisses you off, or your partner eats your leftovers. Pause, take a breath, and take note of all the things you have to be grateful for, not in life but in this particular situation. Find the good in the bad.
“You will find what you’re looking for, so look for something wonderful.” – Bryant McGill