Perspective: The way you look at things.
In honor of Dr. Wayne Dyer, I chose to share with you my favorite quote from his work: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. To expand on this thought, here is a quick lesson in Psychology on perspective. “Cognitive” means thoughts and thus “cognitive perspective” is thoughts about what you perceive. Your perception comes from the information you gather through your sensory. As your brain filters this information, we naturally look to make sense of the situation through our thinking. When we make sense of our world, we often do so by relating our minds back to past experiences to better understand our current situation. Sometimes this is great! Other times, not so great.
How can we shift into a healthier perspective that aligns with our hearts desires which allows us to be the person we want to be?
- Right now can you: Sense what emotions you may be feeling? If so, name them out loud or write them down. What emotions would you like to be feeling? Name them or write them down.
- Right now can you: Can you step back and observe the thoughts flowing through your mind? SLOW down your thoughts and simply become aware of them. Are there any you would like to change or redirect? If so, write the thought you would like to change down. Next, write in present tense the thoughts you are now choosing to have from a healthier part of yourself, with the wisdom from within you. As you may or may not know, ALL ANSWERS ARE WITHIN YOU. Take the time to SLOW DOWN and listen.
- Right now can you: Become aware of where your attention is? Maybe your attention is fully focused on reading these words….or maybe your attention is being pulled to the chicken baking in the oven or the weird noise coming from outside your window. Can you focus fully on the present moment? Right now, can you focus that attention inward? Can you slow your breathing down, inhaling for 5 counts and exhaling for 5 counts?
This is the power of shifting your mind and body into a healthier, balanced and connected space. To continue to build a healthier perspective for yourself, follow these guidelines from the book, In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick (2008).
- Look for the good things, the highlights, in each day and each situation.
- Look for the opportunities in each situation, every day.
- Embrace the positive in positive situations.
- Find the positives in negative situations.
- Focus on why you can do what you want to do (for example, attain your goals, accomplish your mission, or live more positively).
- See the possibilities within the obstacles and see what lies beyond the obstacles.
- Focus on why you can rise to the challenge or get through the setback and then focus on how you will move forward in a positive direction.
- Recognize that everyone faces adversity at some time in his or her life. Challenge yourself to find a positive path through the adversity.
- Recognize that it is OK not to be perfect, because no one is perfect.
- Focus on putting yourself up instead of putting yourself down.
- When you start to get down on yourself, hit the emergency brake and shift your focus to something more positive.
- Remember that there is no advantage in putting yourself down and many advantages to lifting yourself up.
- Continue to appreciate the good thing that you have, the good things that you have done, and the good things still to come.
- Continue to find and appreciate the good things in others – past, present, and future.