Mental Health Monday

Choosing to See Sun

It’s another overcast day. Shocking! The last few weeks…okay months here in Chicago have been remarkably cloudy and not your cotton balls in the sky kinda cloud. More like a layer of slimy riverbed has been chucked into the air. Some days you’re lucky if there’s a difference between night and day.

Okay, a little dramatic but it’s what months of mainly overcast days do to a person.

Even though it’s mainly overcast, you can tell where the sun is in the sky…most of the time. That’s where this article comes into play. On these really cloudy days when everything is grey and Whyucky, I choose to see the sun.

What good does looking up into the sky and choosing to see the darkness do? I’ll feel terrible all day. I’ll miss the sun. I’ll lack motivation. It increases my chances for feeling depressed and slipping into the grips of depression again. So why would I or anyone else do that?

Because that’s what we’re taught.

We are taught by actions and habits to focus on the massive blanket of badness, darkness, turmoil, instead of the pinpoint of happiness, light, and progress. It sure is important to acknowledge what’s happening. For instance, yes the coral reefs are dying incredibly fast but there are some that because of diligent research and work are beginning to regrow. That second part seems significant doesn’t it? If we acknowledge the bad (corals dying) and focus on the good (regrowth) we can more accurately target what we need to do (protect the growing coral by eliminating various aspects of pollution).

Let’s apply it to this cloudy day. Yes, it’s cloudy and dark but the sun is still there and it’s even poking through now and again. What does that mean? It means it’s not a dismal day. It means that I do get to see the sun. This in turn keeps me motivated to work on my indoors stuff. I’ll sit by a window and appreciate the bright light still coming from the sun and write, catch up on work around the house, and enjoy what a day with spotty sunshine means. I might even go for a run and enjoy the weather that way.

Hey, maybe the sun might even come out completely later today!

The point here is that you have to work at things that are important to you. Whether it’s the coral reefs or your mood, you have to put in a lot of work to keep it stable. It won’t just stay in a happy place if you’re doing things to kill it. Negative thinking, bad habits, and refusing to see the small bit of light amidst a dark sky ruin our moods, attitudes, and spirit not just today but tomorrow. And, like the coral reefs, one day of growth, positive thinking, won’t fix anything.

It takes work. It takes time. But we can heal our attitudes, our moods. Especially by doing small things like preventing negativity from seeping into our days just because it’s cloudy. We don’t need another reason to be angry, there are plenty. Shake it off, smile, and choose to see the sun.


3 thoughts on “Choosing to See Sun”

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