Time Flies – Accumulate Positives

It is so easy to get caught up in everyday life and the hustle and bustle of what needs to get done.  As someone who’s personal motto is to do more, be better, try harder I often have to use mindfulness to slow down and accumulate the positives in life.    Accumulating positives sounds like such a simple (*judgment*) skill to put into practice but if it were easy would Marsha have to teach it to us? The goal of the skill is to ensure that one is taking the time to do a positive action which will improve their mood at least once a day.  Who couldn’t do that? If I am being honest with myself there are many days that I forget to stop and celebrate the positives. It is amazing that by being consistent with this skill not only are we retraining our brains to look for things to celebrate but we are also improving our baseline mood.

Human brains often operate out of survival mode.  They are trained to look for negatives and danger in order to keep a person functioning and alive.  With doing this it is easy for anyone to get caught up and notice all the negative in one’s life and forget that there are many positive things happening to and around them.  Research shows that it requires about three positive things to outweigh one negative thing in our minds. With social media and comparisons it has been even easier to compare the negative we see to the highlight reel that others post online.  This makes the skill of accumulating positives that much more important!

August is the month of my 1 year anniversary of marriage.  This is the reason that I have chosen to practice this skill with even more intention this month.  It is easy for a year to go by so quickly and to look back and wonder how you got here and how time went by so fast.  But when I stop and reflect there has been so many positives to reflect on in that year. In the year we went to Iceland, moved to a new, safer apartment, both of us changed jobs, and we made many memories with each other and our families.  During those times it is easy to not realize the different positives that are happening or to stop and be in that present moment unmindful of worries or demands of life. Yet it is so important to take stock in the moments rather then only reflecting on them.

In the next year that approaches I am committing to celebrating the positives both big and small.  Accumulating positives whether with others or by ourselves never have to be momental gestures. Sometimes it is simply watching the sun rise with a fresh cup of coffee.  I am committing to slowing down and enjoying more of life by being mindful when positives arise and when I do them with intention. While I commit to this I also know that it is a growing practice that will never be perfect; when I do not do the skill effectively I will simply recenter and try again!


Kris is a therapist at DBT of South Jersey who has been practicing DBT for the past four and a half years. Kris primarily treats individuals with trauma, depression, and anxiety disorders.

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