- Posted by Marcelle Crinean
- On 2nd April 2018
When it’s dark, look for the stars.
It’s rarely the events or circumstances in our lives that cause anxiety, stress, disappointment, depression, anger, happiness or joy. Rather, it’s how we think about the events and the circumstances in our lives that cause our feelings and consequent behaviour. In other words, our perception creates our reality.
Whatever your situation is right now, it could appear better or worse simply by changing your perception. Chances are that even if you believe your life couldn’t be any worse, someone would see your life and want to trade places with you. Likewise, there are probably people you would trade places with in a heartbeat – maybe you perceive they have a happier life, a busier life, have more money or more friends than you, etc. etc. … you get the picture! Different perceptions of the same circumstances cause very different emotions.
So here’s the good news … you can change your situation simply by reframing the way you think about it.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in your life, or what’s going badly – focus on what’s going well. Rather than focusing on what’s missing from your life, focus on what you have. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
This is easier said than done because our brains are wired to pay more attention to negative experiences than to positive ones. This is a survival mechanism from our hunter and gatherer days when we needed to be vigilant at all times, constantly scanning for threats.
Fortunately, we can overcome this natural disposition towards negativity by rewiring our brains to think more positively. Why is this important? Thinking positively produces patterns in the brain which gives us a constant flow of serotonin – a chemical in the brain responsible for maintaining mood balance and for contributing to our well-being and happiness.
The ‘glass half-full’ people that you know, who appear to bounce back easily from hardships, are faced with difficult and challenging circumstances just like everyone else. However, they focus on the positives in their lives rather than the negatives. It’s their perception of their circumstances that creates their reality and causes their happiness, not the circumstances themselves.