Consider the good in life!

I made a decision sometime ago to stop following the news in detail, with its constant offerings of murder, despair, injustice and disaster I found myself really beginning to wonder what life was all about.

Now I keep tabs of what’s happening, with a fleeting glance at headlines, reading up on what’s relevant and possibly more importantly considering where I can make a difference. For instance, when yet another birthday loomed – 21 again – I let certain people know that they could donate to the World Wildlife Fund instead of spending £2 or £3 on a birthday card (or maybe even more if they really like me!).

Okay, it’s good to have a row of cards on my dusty old piano and I do recycle them afterwards, but I would prefer to take some control and actually HELP make a change rather than watch the TV headlines with a glum face.

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I know that people often get stuck because of fixed ideas and limiting beliefs: the way a person perceives the world is heavily influenced by their beliefs about the world, and these beliefs in turn are strengthened by these filtered perceptions. Vicious circle. Consider the media, stories need to be informative (translate to read: sensational) and readers absorb that viewpoint of the world, thus creating more demand for that viewpoint.

Studies show that our minds pay more attention to the emotional impact of something than the probability of it occurring – so our minds fixate on the emotional aspect and our cognition is skewed as a result and because our subconscious mind struggles to differentiate between what’s happening on the TV and what’s actually happening to us as an individual, we absorb this negative information and start going into a negative state.

Consider: Plane crashes played endlessly in ‘breaking news’. Flying phobics freak out, even though statistically a person is FIVE TIMES more likely to die falling out of bed than of dying in an aeroplane crash. It seems you are even safer if your pilot is called Chesley B Sullenberger III and that the landing strip is the Hudson River! A truly inspirational story……….however………….to flying phobics it’s just another good example of why flying is so awful!

The point I’m making is that events are neither good nor bad; it’s the personal meaning we attach to them which informs our perspective, and every cloud has a silver lining, if only we care to look.

So, take a moment to consider this:

  • What do you have in life that’s good?
  • What’s your favourite day of the week and why?
  • Who is your best friend and what’s the best times you’ve had together, possibly the funniest?
  • When was the last time you laughed so much you thought you’d split your sides?

In reading these questions, have you started to smile or has your mood lifted just a bit? (I recall when Dave, my husband, rubbed his eye after rubbing deep heat into a bad back – and he hadn’t washed his hands. I promise he didn’t do himself an injury, but my warped sense of humour really saw the funny side of it, as did his once he’d stopped crying).

We all have choices to some extent. It’s how we decide to walk through life and what we decide to notice as we do that tends to depict our moods.