Ever notice when you focus on disturbances in your body, whatever the disturbance is seems to grow? For example, if you were to focus on the anger that seems to be constantly swirling around COVID, do you get angrier or happier when you continue to think about it? (My guess is ANGRIER!)
Our mind is powerful beyond our knowing, and when we focus on negatives the negatives GROW, just like when we focus on positives the positives grow.
So the question you need to ask yourself is, What needs to grow in your life?
It really is that simple. When you focus your attention on something, it grows.
Ok cool…so how will this help you?
Let’s apply it to the current situation we’re living in; with COVID there are a lot of things that we cannot control - and WE DON’T LIKE IT! But that doesn’t mean we have to allow that negativity to grow. We can be aware that we don’t like it or that we’re angry, but we don’t have to feed it.
When it comes to unpleasant emotions, people don’t really know what to do with them because, well, they’re unpleasant. Some people try and push them deep down and avoid them, while others keep their focus on the negative triggers for days on end. What we need to recognize is - ALL emotions (the good, the bad, and the ugly) have a purpose. These emotions are not happening to you, they are happening for you; for you to grow, for you to learn, for you to adapt, for you to improve.
How you respond to negative emotions dictates your entire mindset. If you think things are happening to you, then you lose your power. You give it up to some unknown being that now has you on an emotional roller coaster waiting to trigger you. But, when you respond with acceptance and curiosity, then YOU HAVE THE POWER! You get to choose how to respond. You get to choose how to make the ugly things less ugly.
FOR YOU, NOT TO YOU
Right about now you might be thinking, “That would be great, but how do I do that? How do I choose?”
Here’s the answer: our mind is a problem-solving machine, that is its primal purpose. If it's not given a problem, it will create one. Start by noticing your mindset. What problem is your mind trying to solve? How is it solving those problems? What thoughts are you feeding?
Most of the time we are either focusing on what we DON’T want or we are focusing on what we FEAR. Once you recognize what you tend to focus on, then you can start to notice the questions you’re asking yourself. Remember, our brain is a problem-solving machine, so if you ask it a question it will solve that problem. So be aware of HOW you ask the questions. Are you asking with a positive outcome in mind or a negative outcome in mind?
For example, do you ask, “Am I worthy of love?” or, “How do I know I’m worthy of love?” The first question implies you might not be worthy, whereas the second already assumes you are and wants clarification on how you know. See the difference?
Ask questions that force your mind to focus on a positive outcome in order to have a positive focus. When you accept that life isn’t happening to you but for you then every obstacle turns into an opportunity. That doesn’t mean you ignore the negative emotions, you just get curious about them and how they are there to help.
Here’s a tougher example: dealing with a loss. Some of the negative emotions might be sadness, anger, denial. So ask yourself, “What can I learn from this? How can I grow from this?”
When dealing with loss, a big component is honoring the person you lost. Some people feel the best way to honor those who have passed is to hold onto the love they had for them and feel the sadness and pain every time they think about them. But is that what you want for your loved ones when you’re gone? I sure don’t. I want my loved ones to learn from me and live happy lives. So ask yourself, “What did I love about that person? How can I put those traits into myself?” Honor them by learning from them and living for them.
That way, when you think about them you’ll miss them, but you’ll feel connected because they helped you become a stronger version of yourself. And therefore a part of them lives on within you. See, it's all about your mindset.
GROW FOR GOOD
The concept of changing your mindset can seem so intimidating and overwhelming that most people don’t even try, or aren’t even aware they can change their mindset. But the formula is simple: Notice what you focus on, ask empowering questions framed for positive solutions, honor your growth, and trust the solutions your brain comes up with.
Choose to be the champion of your own mind, not the victim. Choose to take control of your emotions by recognizing them and turning them into your power not your kryptonite.
You have the power, you always have...it all comes down to what you choose!