How we perceive life depends heavily our perspective.
Perceptive is everything.
How can some people go through major trauma and come out on top, while others crumble at the slightest issue in their lives? Why do some people grieve by celebrating the lives of their loves ones who have died whilst others spend years focusing on their own loss? Why is it that people earning less than $5 a day in Vietnam live with a sense of contentment and generosity that you rarely see in Western cultures where we have social welfare payments and a high level of disposable income?
It’s all about perspective.
Everybody has bad days and goes through extremely difficult things. But how we perceive these situations makes a world of difference. We all look at life through a set of filters; our beliefs, our history, our cultural values, our families, our expectations etc. Because of this, we choose what we look for in situations and perceive things according to these filters, as opposed to perceiving them as they actually are. In psychology, this is referred to as selective perception.
The ability to look at a situation from a different view point is such an important skill that takes practice and conscious effort.
Here is a few suggestions for having a healthy perspective;
- Be mindful of your attitude towards a situation.What are your thoughts about the situations?
- Shift your focus. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, try to find the positives and place your energy into thinking about them.
- Honestly ask yourself what you can do about the situation and make the practical changes necessary to improve it if you can.
- Look outside yourself. What can you do for others? Can you make a friend who is moving house a meal? Can you call a friend who lost a loved one a few months ago just to see how they are? Can you write a letter and send it in the post (who doesn’t love receiving actual mail?)? When you start to think about the needs of others, often you will notice a big difference in your own life.
- Think about how you will feel about the problem in the future. Imagine yourself 6 months from now, 1 year, 5 years. etc.
For more information, here is a fantastic article written for the Huffington Post by Dr. Terri Kennedy about The Power of Perspective.
Perspective changes everything, so choose your perspective wisely.
Because when we change our perspectives, we can change our worlds.