Oh these uncertain times…it’s very easy to feel depressed, stressed, and anxious. I want to share with you one thing that might help you, as it helped me. I understood it a few months after the car accident and it greatly empowered me in the years ahead. At first, it might seem too simple to take it seriously, but it is one of the most powerful self-management aspects. It makes a tremendous impact on us and on our lives.
What makes a huge impact on how we feel and how we experience life is what we focus on. For example, here are two sets of facts from my life. How different would I feel and experience my life if I chose to focus on either of them? I could focus on the fact that:
- I don’t have legs and cannot walk, my left arm is paralyzed and I can’t do things as I could before; it’s been 20 years when there is not even one second that I would not feel severe pain in my body; I live across the globe from my family and I cannot see them or spend time with them; I am alone in this country; I can’t walk, can’t run, and can’t do many things I wish I could do. Furthermore, in these uncertain times many bad things can happen and what if.. what if… what if… and I cannot do anything about it.
2. I can move at all; I can think clearly and express myself even though other people cannot do that with the injury that I had; I still have my right hand which I use to do whatever needs to be done and I find ways to be self-sufficient; I get to live in a beautiful land of sunshine that gave me the opportunity to live a full value life despite my physical limitations; my family is far away but I stay in touch with them via the internet; I am surrounded by wonderful people and therefore, I am not alone and I am not lonely; I have so many blessings and I choose to focus on what I have and what I can do; and in these uncertain times, instead of fear I focus on my faith – the Lord has shown His providence and provision over many years and, will He leave me trouble now? No, of course not. So I put my trust in Him who is faithful and with whom all things are possible.
The facts I wrote in #1 and #2 are all true realistic facts as we speak. Which ones should I focus on?
What if I would dwell on facts #1 daily, constantly focusing on things I don’t have and cannot do? My life would be total misery, anxiety, and depression, wouldn’t it?
Even though all of these facts are true, I choose to focus on different facts of my life, the ones I wrote in #2. As a result, I have no misery or depression, but gratitude, joy, hope, peace.
It’s as simple as that, but what a tremendous difference it makes when you intentionally choose to focus on what’s good. And, what I will focus on is a choice. We can live on auto-pilot, so to speak, but we can choose a conscious living, being aware of our thoughts and feelings, and we can intentionally choose how we want to think and feel.
Begin paying attention daily on where your mind goes. Notice what you pay attention to and what you focus on: problem or solution; fear or what gives you confidence and certainty; what you are annoyed about or what you appreciate and feel grateful for; what you don’t have or what you do have; what you can’t do or what you can do; obstacles or your aspiration; how difficult it is or the reason why it’s important for you to achieve your goal; reasons why it cannot be done or possible opportunities? Train yourself to focus on things that uplift you and empower you. It’s just a matter of your habitual thinking. It can be changed if you don’t like it.
It’s not easy to do. But, once you train yourself (yes, you can control your mind and thoughts) you will see how dramatically it will change the way you experience life and how much easier it will be to deal with difficulties.
When you see that you focus on negative sides of life, change it. Begin intentionally stopping yourself from thoughts of what’s not good in your life and direct your thoughts unto things that are good. It might not be easy at first, but with practice, it will get easier and easier. I had to do it myself at some point. Once you begin changing your thought pattern, you will see an amazing shift in your life – you will feel better and you will see more good things around you and your life experience will change. Trust me.
Be safe and healthy, all is going to be well, Inga