This plague is a common conversation in my practice and boils down to one thing: perspective. If you work with me, you have heard me say, “Perspective is your choice”. This is a guidepost for me. Perspective is how we choose to perceive situations, and this is something that we do indeed have control over.
While there is more to this than seeing the glass as half full, it is similar. It is about seeing the diamond in the rough; it is about seeing the good in the muck; it is about seeing the hurdles for what they are… little universal tests that we can learn, pivot and grow from.
When I am frustrated with something, I often ask myself if it will have an impact on my life one year from today; how much influence does this situation have over my life in the long term? I then ask myself, “What is really going on?” So often we think we are upset about something, but in reality, it’s not truly the thing we are upset about. There is so often a deeper meaning. This is when you can pull out the oh-so powerful technique of saying what you’re thinking out loud, and then asking yourself, “Is this true?”.
Another technique I use to shift my perspective is intentional laughter. Smiling and laughing change the chemistry in our brain, and while this may sound a little too simplistic, it actually takes a whole lot of determination to choose laughter in a frustrating or prickly moment. It takes gumption to dig deep and know that everything will indeed work out and be okay. It takes being committed to happiness to turn things around.
At the end of the day, if you are averaging two steps forward, and one step back, I think it sounds like in the end, you are actually ahead. See the steps back for what they are… opportunities to exercise your resilience muscle and keep on going!