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Shift Into Good News

If you could change a troubled relationship, would you? Of course you would.
And if the change gave you a positive memory just before that person died – so you remembered only the positive encounter, and not all the nasty comments that went before it – how grateful would you be?
Mighty grateful – it happened to me.
My son and I couldn’t talk to each other without anger. Our troubled relationship had its origins in what the actor Alec Baldwin once blabbed about: parental alienation. A common dustup in our house had my son denigrating me, in perfect imitation of his father
“Why isn’t my blue shirt washed? You knew I wanted to wear it today! What do you do all day?”
I wracked my brain in search of a way to connect positively with my son, and one day, I lucked into something.
I hung a dry erase board in my kitchen. On it, I began to write the good things that happened to me that day. Soon, other family members began to add their good news. It was our “good news board.”
My son was the last person to engage. The things he added made no sense to me. Who was Mark? Why were they now making up?
The details didn’t matter. What mattered was what happened next.
My son – who hadn’t touched me in years – wrapped me in his arms one afternoon, and said: “I’m sorry I was so rough on you for a while there, Mom. I guess I was going through something.”
This positive memory is the last one I have of my son. He died soon after.
Writing down good news changes everything. It changes our relationships and our lives – because it changes our brains.
A study conducted by Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated that by noting “what went well” each day for 21 days participants were able to substantially increase happiness and markedly lower depression. It has since been discovered that by noting 3 good things a day for 21 days, our brains re-wire themselves to automatically see positives.

---Excerpt from a column by Mary Anne Thomas.  CLICK HERE to read the full column.
Mary Anne writes a wonderful blog on applying neuroscience in our daily lives..
Neuroscience is the new field that studies the brain and shows that we can 
re-wire our brains to see our positives rather than our negatives. 
 Mary Anne writes about how to apply this new research
 to our own lives and problems.

Mary Anne Thomas  publishes articles in the Black Mountain News 
and in her own blog at 

She also offers e-courses in confidence building at