The Key to Controlling Negative Emotions and Being Happy.
I recently noticed a pattern in my life. I would wake up feeling great, complete my morning routine and then head out into the day ready to face whatever challenges awaited. Usually within an hour or two, that optimism would be crushed and replaced with anger, jealousy, envy or a host of other negative emotions. So, I began to ask myself why? Why was I so quick to lose the optimism that I had at the start of each day?
I found an answer that has changed my life and allowed me to live my days more happily, stress-free and confidently.
The answer is perspective.
“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”
– Shannon L. Alder.
Shifting my perspective changed everything. Allow me to explain.
I have simplified the possible ways to live each day into two different perspectives. The first is a shortsighted perspective and the second is the long-term perspective.
I like to think of the shortsighted perspective as the “hour-to-hour” perspective. In this perspective, everything is supposed to be great right now in the current moment. With this perspective, every little thing becomes infinitely important because it is either making or breaking that hour you are in. Something that should not be a big deal becomes a big deal when seen through a shortsighted perspective.
As an example, imagine yourself standing on a street in a big city. Now see a giant skyscraper in front of you. The building is huge. It takes up a large part of your vision as it shoots up into the sky directly in front of you. Now imagine that you can fly straight up into the sky. As you fly, you look down at the building and realize how small it is in comparison to the city as a whole. If you were to keep going up, you would see how small the city was compared to the country it was in, then how small the country is compared to the entire world and finally how small the world is compared to the universe as a whole. Floating above the world, you can’t even see the building that was so big before.
This is the power of perspective. The building did not change size; your perspective simply changed. Your problems may not be as big as you originally thought they were; it may simply be that you are not looking at them through the right perspective.
So, how can we switch to looking at life through a long-term perspective?
Here are a few tips:
1. Keep the Destination in Mind. — Always remind yourself about where you are trying to go. It could be that you are working on creating a happy relationship, trying to get a promotion, starting your own business or whatever else it is you want to accomplish. Keep that destination in your mind and do not ever let it go. You are focused on creating something great in your life and the things that happen to you cannot break that focus. With the destination in mind, you will be able to see things more clearly for what they really are and will not be as easily pushed around with each little blow that may come your way. You know what you are fighting for and all of the day’s little problems are silly in comparison to the greatness you are becoming.
I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.
– Les Brown
2. Affirmations — Pick some positive affirmations to say to yourself at least once a day. I like to repeat mine both morning and night, but if you only have time for one then I would suggest that you do it in the morning as you are getting ready for the day. Get in front of a mirror, look yourself directly in the eyes, smile and say out-loud to yourself how great you are. It could feel uncomfortable at first, but with time your brain will program itself to believe what you are saying. Mine are as simple as this, “I, Chris Hardman, am happy and confident.” Your brain will begin to look at life through a different perspective. Little things don’t ruin the day of somebody that is happy and confident.
“Success, meaningful success, begins when we take ownership and actively take responsibility for our part in the shortcomings of our life.”
– Eric Thomas
3. Be kind. Be grateful. Smile. — Be grateful for what you have and how far you have come. You are amazing. Be grateful for all that the future holds for you. Be kind to those around you. It is easier to keep a long-term perspective when you allow yourself to help others and see the world through their eyes. Smile every chance you get. Smiling sends a message to the brain to stay happy. Smiling might be hard in times of stress, anger and doubt, but smile anyways because you’re worth it.
By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved — and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses — you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgement and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.
– Jack Canfield
There is no need for us to let life tear us down at every little inconvenience or annoyance. We can all be happy. Decide what it is that you are going to wake up for each morning and keep all your focus making it happen. Nothing can stop you. Nothing can get you down, because you have the potential to do anything you set your mind to. Remember to look at things on a grander scale and you will see that, overall, life has a lot to be grateful for and you will smile.