Vibrant Replay; How to Make Life Easier- Instantly!
In this Vibrant Rerun, I share 3 tips to help you see events as neutral and therefore much less likely to impact your life in negative ways.
Here is a summary of the 3 tips:
1. Put on your Detective's hat:
In previous podcasts I’ve mentioned that my youngest son is a transboy. There are many people out there who want to label this realization as good or bad. When my son told me about it, I felt fear in the pit of my stomach. For many, this fear would naturally lead to a label of bad, which could have brought me to tears, caused me to rant and rave at my son and to feel embarrassed about sharing this with other people.
Rather than allow this to happen, I put on my detective's hat, took a deep breath and asked myself what the fear was about. I realized instantly that I feared for the life of struggle my child could be choosing. This raised a feeling of compassion and with it a strong surge of unconditional love. I realized my son was very brave to tell me and that he didn't take this announcement (and the decision to transition) lightly. He'd already given it a lot of thought and decided his life would be filled with struggle either way. By embracing his desire to realign his body he could at least find happiness in his own skin rather than constantly struggling to be someone he was not.
Curiosity is a wonderful way to neutralize strong emotions and to see things from a more objective stand point. So get curious rather than defensive and see where it takes you.
2. Shift your perspective:
This tip is similar to the first in that it really is about seeing things in a different way. In this case however, I'm talking about flipping a situation on its head so you can find the good in it. Let me use the wisdom of a coin to help illustrate.
We all know that a coin has two sides and even though the tail side might be facing up, the head side is still always there. What this means, is in any situation involving opposites the reverse chance must always be present as well. So, when you flip the coin and heads comes up…you know that tails is right there on the other side.
This means when a situation feels bad…good is also present. The flipside is also true…when a situation feels good…bad is also nearby.
Use this knowledge to seek out what the good is (we don't have to seek out the bad – it tends to show itself quite easily). Here are some other words to show you what I mean.
On the flip side of negative is positive; awful is awesome; impossible is possible; undesirable is desirable; obstacle is opportunity
It is our beliefs about something that limits our ability to see both sides at once.
I urge you to start prying open your mind (if you tend to see things in black and white – which most of us have been trained to do) and actually take out a coin (or even just a piece of paper and write the opposites on either side)..then challenge yourself to debate both perspectives.
The more you do this, the easier it will be for you to remain objective, to destroy limiting beliefs and to open your mind to a variety of new information.
3. Train your brain to NET the positives:
Dr. Rick Hanson, a psychiatrist, wrote a book called Hardwiring Happiness and in it, he talks about the fact that our brains are actually wired to remember the bad and let go of the good. He likens it to teflon and velcro and says our brain is like velcro for negative experiences and like teflon for the positive. It seems this was necessary back in the beginning when our survival depended on us learning from the bad, and while we have evolved as humans our brains haven't really changed that much since then.
I was really excited to read this, because prior to picking up his book I had noticed that people seemed to dwell on bad things that happened and just let the good moments sail on by. As a result, I created a system I call NET which is an acronym to help people recognize the numerous little pleasurable moments that they experience in a day and NET them so that the positive feelings they create stick around longer.
The more you focus on those pleasurable moments, the easier it will be for you to be at your best in life…. which includes being able to reserve judgment and view events as neutral.
The more you do this, the more you will attract these kinds of experiences to you and the easier it will be to hold onto them. This might not seem like a big deal, but in reality it can be the difference between neutralizing a bad day and believing that your life sucks.