Finding the silver lining
Friday, February 21, 2014
My wake up call this morning was my husband shaking me to ask me if I wanted to help him shovel. My first thought was, no I really do not want to help you shovel. But I knew the job would go so much faster if I did. So, I got out of bed...begrudgingly. We got quite a bit of snow and in order to make it out of our driveway we had to shovel the three foot pile of snow the snow plow so kindly left for us over the night. Not exactly the best way to start a morning, but at least it is Friday.
This winter has been a rough one. Between the snow and the constant sub-zero temperatures most people have had enough, which is not a good thing considering that we are about to head into Minnesota's snowiest month. But research has shown that negativity can impact our overall well being. In clinical research there is even a term for it. It is called the 'nocebo effect.' The short definition is a person's negative thoughts cause their health to decline. It is the opposite of the placebo effect where a person believes they are receiving medicine to improve their health and their health improves even though the medicine they were given was nothing more than a hard candy. It is the power of thought.
Now what does this have to do with shoveling snow and these hard winter months? Last night I looked out our kitchen window and into my neighbor's backyard. Our neighbor has the a huge river birch that has a huge canopy that covers her entire backyard. It has this perfect shape. It is my favorite tree. But last night it actually took my breath away. Before the snow started it rained. Because of the rain the snow stuck to every branch of the river birch. It was like someone had frosted the whole tree. It was stunning. I even made my husband go look at it. The snow made the tree almost glow. I wish I had taken a picture but I do not think that would have done it justice. Even this morning on our drive to work, the streets were lined with snow frosted trees. It really was beautiful. It made we want to go to the park and snowshoe.
That is when I realized the silver lining not only of last night but of the whole winter. Snow covered trees make for a a sight to be seen. Our sub-zero temperatures were an excuse for all of us to curl up on the couch together to stay warm. Since we couldn't go outside for fear of frostbite, numerous books were read, games were played and conversations were had. But best of all, every time it snows, there is a hot chocolate waiting for the brave ones who went out and shoveled.
As I was shoveling this morning I got crabby but then I looked at the beautiful tree and it brought a smile to my face. It is the silver lining that helps us to realize that there is a positive in all that is around us.
What was your silver lining? How did it change your perception? Leave a comment and let us know. Until then, stay warm and enjoy your hot chocolate.