Do you ever get the feeling like you’re constantly putting out fires? Like life is one massive struggle to stay afloat?
Do you come home from work feeling tired and stressed and without the energy to do anything other than collapse in front of the TV?
Do you always feel like you’re just not quite as happy as you think you could be/should be?
That’s life my friend. Or at least it’s life as many of us have come to know it. In fact though, there’s no reason that this should necessarily be the case.
The problem is that we’re always chasing after the gold at the end of the rainbow and in doing so, we never stop to smell the roses.
Sorry to mix metaphors there but I feel it paints a fairly accurate picture of the situation. We’re never happy because we’re always striving for what’s next. We’re always stressed about what’s coming up and we never appreciate what we have until we lose it.
We think that the only way to change this is to change our lives. To work harder and longer.
But it’s not. The way we change this is from the inside out. We need to change the way we think about our situation and we need to change the way we approach life’s problems and the way we enjoy the moment.
And that means taking control of our minds. Once you can do that, you can take back control and you can feel confident, relaxed and happy in the exact same circumstances. Once you can do that, you can start creating the space to actually plot a course and to start changing life for the better. You can stop treading water and start swimming.
All very abstract, yes. So far it sounds like a platitude from a bumper sticker.
But stick with me, because this is where the science comes in. And it might just change the way you think about your life, your brain and the interplay between the two.
It’s Your Perception That Matters
Think about it this way: it’s not the situation that matters, it’s your perception of the situation that matters.
And I mean this in the most literal and realistic of senses.
Think about it this way: you can be surrounded by fire and be completely calm and happy, or you can be relaxing at home and be completely stressed.
In the first case scenario, you’re surrounded by fire but you believe that you’re invincible. As far as you’re concerned, nothing can hurt you and you have nothing to fear. As a result, you remain calm and your heart rate doesn’t even rise (well, other than from the effects of the heat!).
In the second scenario, you’re sitting at home, comfortable and with a warm cup of tea. You’re surrounded by family who love you and you have the TV on showing your favourite TV program. But all you can think about is the work you have to do tomorrow, your money problems and the fact that you’re not as well off as successful as you’d like to be.
As a result, your body and brain interpret the signals as you being in danger. Your brain produces more norepinephrine, more cortisol, more dopamine and more adrenaline. As a result, the person who is surrounded by flames but deluded is actually happier and calmer than the person who is sat at home but stressing out.
Now of course I’m not saying that you should be like the deluded guy surrounded by fire... That’s dangerous!
But you also really shouldn’t be like the stressed guy who should be relaxed. And here’s the thing: lots of us are!
THIS is why it’s so important to start taking control of your mind. Because it’s what will impact on your happiness, your calm, your focus and on all the other things that contribute to you being happy and successful.
Changing your environment and circumstances is often incredibly difficult – nigh impossible even – but you can change your mind today. And that can bring incredible benefits.