During periods of stress and adversity, such as the current COVID 19 health crisis, it is natural for our attention to be drawn to negative experiences. The current pandemic is likely to contribute to this negative focus of attention in health professionals. This in part is due to the bombardment of distressing information via the media and exposure to adversities in daily working lives, especially of our frontline workers, contributing to repeated activation of anxiety (fight/flight) which makes us vigilant to ‘threat’.
This negative bias brings about increased feelings of distress such as anxiety, helplessness, sadness and hopelessness. One way to break this bias and build positive emotions, a buffer for stress, is to increase your attention to positive experience.
Every day, try writing down at least two positive experiences, events, successes (however small), moments of joy or satisfaction, that have occurred throughout the day. Writing these experiences down will help to better solidify them in your experience and memory.