Ruminating on things we love to put us in a better frame of mind makes sense to me (as in the song My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music). After all, it's our thinking that sets the stage for our feelings. As Michael Neill (Life Coach & writer) says, "We feel our thoughts."
Though I'm not that moved by warm woolen mittens, I've got stuff on my list that works pretty well for me. The only thing is, I find it's not enough to think these things - I must be willing. I must have decided that feeling good is a better idea than feeling horrible. I must have determined that I wish to influence the way I feel, that I can influence the way I feel, and that I am going to influence the way I feel. All this focus and determination sets the table for a meal of something more palatable than misery.
The reason we're not always singing the My Favorite Things song to help one another (why it sort of teeters on the line between cloying and uplifting), is we know that one doesn't mention brown paper packages tied up with string to another who's looking upon their grimness as a part of them - like an internal organ. The image of raindrops on roses is not going to reach a person conjoined with depression. But it's not because it can't work or doesn't work, it's because there is something else to be addressed as well.
We must see the unhappiness as separate from us. We have to de-identify with the emotional reaction and identify with ourselves as One Who Beholds. Reacting is very different than Seeing. From willingness to only behold for a moment, we can think about snowflakes and ponies, without rolling our eyes, and reinvest in the delight of life rather than all the dramas. And in doing so, we remember who we actually are - not the sum of our reactions but, at core, an expression of life not unlike the raindrop or that snowflake.
That's why thinking things we love can work to cheer us - because when we think things we love, we stop seeing ourselves as a reaction we're having and remember ourselves as the inherent lover and appreciator we are.
From the Inside