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Change Your Perspective

I wanted to touch on something I've been working with personally for a while now: perspective and empathy. Especially now during social distancing, we can all begin to take more notice of what our minds are thinking and how we deal with those thoughts.

It's really easy to get caught up in the immediacy of a situation or issue. This can cause us to become defensive, angry, sad, and a whole host of other things which we are all too familiar feeling. These feelings tend to come up subconsciously and might even catch us off guard. This makes the situation feel quite negative in most cases.

But what if you could begin to practice conscious thinking and processing. Can you catch yourself before responding to a stimulus? I am no professional, so I can only say what has worked for me. But, during a conversation with a loved one or a friend, or while reading an article or scrolling through Instagram, can you try to catch your thoughts as soon as they occur and try to dissect them a bit? This doesn't need to apply only to typically negative thoughts. You can always practice mindfulness.

As an example, let's say you've just done something really nice for a loved one. You spent all week trying to plan this thing, and you'e very excited to finally reveal it. Upon finally giving this thing to them, they do not react nearly as graciously as you might have expected. Initially you might feel aggravated, betrayed, angry, etc. But if you can realize that your thoughts are your own and no one else's, maybe you can decide that although you might feel these things, that doesn't mean you need to let them own you. Try to return to your excitement and feelings of love and adoration for the item or for the person before you did the reveal. Remember why you did it and why you were excited. There is no reason that you can't or shouldn't let the person know that their response hurt you, but also know that although you were prepared for the reveal, they were not. If you are anything like me, you like to plan, and you like to build things up in your mind for a long time. But when things come down to the wire, everything happens how it's going to happen, no matter how it makes you feel.

Use this to your own strength! Can you learn how to role with the punches? Let things in, but do not dwell. Try to understand, but do not harbor. When you can begin to use your own power of mindfulness to turn an unwanted situation into something uplifting and beneficial to everyone, you will quickly become a much more lighthearted individual :)

This takes practice just like anything else. You have to train your mind. It won't always work how you wish it to, but if you think about it at all then that's one step closer to allowing it to work next time!

Be compassionate to yourself. Be compassionate towards others. And if either of these do not come immediately, then try flipping your perspective.




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