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Choose what you give attention to.

I've just returned from a great week away in Mallorca. Being a CBT therapist I am very aware that the conversations and language I choose to use in describing the trip, and the elements I focus on when discussing my holiday will make a huge difference in how I perceive it and how I feel about it. Yet let me be balanced first of all. Yes I did have a small list of things I hoped to do on my own if the time arose. Reading a book, filling in a goal planner for the upcoming months, doing some online yoga and going for a child free hike were top of the list. However I have two small children, so was aware that I needed to keep my expectations low. I didn't do any of them. At the end of the holiday there was a little frustration that I didn't get any time to myself as I had hoped, but I made a very conscious choice to focus on all the positive aspects of the holiday. The weather was stunning. I got to wear shorts and t-shirts daily. The sea was breathtakingly beautiful and I got to dip my feet in every day. The kids loved being on the beach. I sat outside and ate delicious food every evening. I slept really well. My children slept really well. I got to have some lovely conversations with my family. It's a big list. Of course there were things that I didn't get to do - but focusing on them and discussing them tends to make them even bigger. I operate according to the philosophy that what you give attention and energy to - grows. So I consciously asked myself the question on the flight home on Easter day - what do I want to remember about this trip? On return home lots of people have asked how the holiday was, and in shifting my attention to the good bits I am aware that I am creating a better holiday memory. I'm not suggesting we should be blindly optimistic or ignore our negative experiences all the time - just to be aware that your reality is strongly defined by where you place your focus. All my family went on the same holiday - it will be interesting to see what memories and experiences have defined their holiday.

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