We have all been there, in a line at the grocery store or sandwich shop with a tasty bag of chips in our hand. Maybe sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, barbecue, or even just a classic kettle-cooked! Imagine your taste buds starting to tingle as you anticipate being able to open up that bag and take the first, crunchy bite…
As you finally leave the store and crack the bag open, the first thing you notice is how few chips are actually in the bag! Things like “What a ripoff!” or “How unfair!” might come out of your mouth before you even start to eat the chips. Perhaps you even show the others you are with the travesty! This simple focus on what is missing negatively affects your experience of eating the chips and could even take all of the joy out of being able to crunch down on a delicious snack.
Shift Your Focus to Gratitude
But what if you chose to focus on the chips instead? How might that change your mood and ability to enjoy your anticipated snack? Instead of focusing on what is missing (the air), focus on the gratitude for the chips, their flavor, that one extra-seasoned one at the bottom of the bag, can help to shift your mindset to one of gratitude!
This shift, or reframe, can be applied to so many different situations in life as well! Bigger situations than just a bag of chips can make us easily look at the scarcity of the situation instead of the things that we can be grateful for.
What are some situations that might fit into this in your life? A missed metro train, getting caught in the rain, not getting the job you were interviewing for — all of these experiences offer a choice to focus on either the air in the bag or the chips themselves. Make an effort sometime this week to choose a grateful mindset in a situation you might normally focus on the scarcity in!
About Jack Fox:
Jack graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Psychology. He recently finished his graduate work at Regent University with an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Throughout his studies, Jack has seen and worked with many clients. His clients have been adolescents and adults, struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment issues. He has even worked with people with a desire to get to know themselves just a little bit better! The more Jack has worked with people, the more a simple truth has come to light: You are not alone! To learn more about Jack, visit HERE.