Think about this – problems aren’t problems until we make them a problem.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, you’ll soon realise I’m pretty psyched and excited about positive psychology.
I love studying happiness and examining how we can become fulfilled and happy beings. Through this field of study I’m learning how to coach myself and apply certain strategies to my own life so I can continue to move forward and progress as a human. The biggest theme, which keeps popping up in my personal study, is the idea that we are in control of our minds and we choose how we want to feel.
So if we choose how we want to feel, then why do so many of us feel bad? I personally never want to feel bad, but it happens, sometimes often, and unfortunately it can be a massive struggle to get out of. It could be as small a thing as feeling bad when we wake in the morning, and the mood carries on longer than desired (me this morning), to things much more difficult such as loss of a job or having a heated fight with a loved one.
What I have come to realise, in any problematic scenario, the reason we feel bad is because of the way we are thinking about it. The cure, therefore, to stopping ourselves feeling bad, resides in ourselves. We have the power to change how we feel and the tricky part is the effort, time and practice it takes.
Imagine this scenario:
You are driving in your car and another driver is not paying attention, totally cuts you off and almost hits your car. In the moment, you swerve to get out of the way and almost crash into a telegraph pole. No harm is done; it was just a close call.
Now, you can respond in various ways. One person might absolutely lose their shit, turn into a rage and start screaming obscenities from their car. Another person may be a little shocked, think that was lucky and that’s it! They then get back to their day feeling joyful.
This is the exact same situation for two different people, yet their thinking, then response determines whether or not it turns into a problem.
Now, I’m not saying changing our thinking is an easy thing. In fact, it’s an incredibly difficult and hard thing to do. It requires a lot of internal focus. You have to pay attention to the voice inside and listen to what it’s saying. And a lot of the time it can be saying horrible things, but when we change the thoughts – happiness, magic and true abundance can shine through.
It really is achievable to minimise and even eliminate the negative emotions and reactions that come as a response to a thought. So if we really want to try minimise the drama and/or problems in our lives, we need to change our thinking!
My first step of guidance – start to listen. If you’re not feeling great, ask yourself ‘why?’ and truly listen to what you think. Listen to what your mind says, write it down if it helps and unpack what’s actually going on in your head to cause so much upset, worry, distress or annoyance.
It is easy to become a robot body and run from pure emotion, unfortunately, in those situations, we are not being present. We are not consciously taking action and without paying attention to ourselves, we cannot be mindful. When we run on autopilot emotions, the only person we truly hurt is ourselves because we are not being in tune and understanding what the real issue is. At the heart of mindfulness is paying attention. So always, if in doubt of your mood or why a problem is seeming much bigger than it needs to, pay attention to your thoughts.
Second big piece of advice – try remove yourself from the situation and imagine it happening to someone else. Does it still seem such a big deal? Does it still require so much stress, anxiety, annoyance, frustration? If someone was telling you about this problem, what advice could you give them, the magic here is if the advice you come up with is productive and positive – you can use it. Apply it straight away. If we change the way we think, we can change how we see a perceived ‘problem’ – it may not be a problem anymore!
Have a go at thought play, listen to your mind and see if next time you can minimize the intensity of a problem just by thinking about the situation differently.
Bye for now.