Life is always uncertain. We never know for sure what is going to happen. Even though we think that we know what is going to happen in the future, the reality is that we really don’t.
1 year ago if someone would have told you that this year the entire world would be locked down, people would stay at home and the economy would crash because of a virus you’d probably thought that it’s just a crazy person trying to fool you.
I remember seeing the news in January 2020 when Wuhan City was locked down and nobody was allowed to leave the city. I was shocked to see that and had no idea that this would be the reality for many other cities around the globe just a few months later.
We can plan ahead and we will still never know what is going to happen in the future.
Sometimes we can’t change the circumstances around us, as in the case of a pandemic, but we can always change the attitude we have towards any situation that is presented to us in life.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Change means being alive
- Become aware of your thoughts
- Take action
- Be mindful of the content you are consuming
CHANGE MEANS BEING ALIVE
A profound lesson I learned during my silent meditation retreats was that life means change. The only time when you don’t experience any change in your life anymore is the time when you are dead. Before that, there will be always changes in your life.
Just like the weather and the seasons are constantly changing so is everything else around us and ourselves included in constant transformation.
Some things are awesome and other things aren’t. That’s just how life is. You’ll never reach a point in your life where everything is awesome all of the time. Negative things are supposed to happen as we live on this planet in duality.
My life coach says that life is always 50/50 no matter who you are.
While some people pursue money in the hope that once they have all the money they want they will feel happier the truth is that money can’t buy happiness.
Even the richest people in the world experience pain. We are emotional beings and experiencing negativity in our lives is part of being a human on planet earth.
Acknowledge that there is always constant change and embrace the change because change means that you are alive.
BECOME AWARE OF YOUR THOUGHTS
It’s not what is happening around us that determines whether we are happy or not, but the perception we have towards the things that are happening.
This doesn’t mean that we should be fine with everything that’s going on around us. It rather means that whenever you feel unhappy it’s a good idea to check your thoughts and to see how these are connected to your feelings.
Is what you are thinking based on facts and is it true? Or are you just adding more suffering to your pain with your thoughts?
It’s good to experience also negative emotions. The ability to experience various types of emotions is what makes us human. However, while pain is sometimes inevitable for example when you lose your job, added suffering by thinking unhelpful thoughts in this situation is optional.
Instead of thinking “This shouldn’t have been happening”. You can focus on the opportunity that occurred from this situation. And see what you can do with your newly gained free time.
Become aware of your thoughts and feelings and know that you are the creator of your own happiness.
Focus on what you personally can do in a situation that you don’t like.
Eckhart Tolle teaches the principle of either accepting or changing what you don’t like.
This means that instead of complaining about a certain situation that you don’t like you can see whether you can leave the situation, change it, or accept it.
Otherwise, you will only fight the reality that will cause more suffering in your life.
In case of a job loss, you could use the situation to learn how to build your own business.
Control what you can. You can’t control the situation you are in but you can control your own thoughts, feelings, and actions to get the results that you want in your life.
BE MINDFUL OF THE CONTENT YOU ARE CONSUMING
Our brain doesn’t like uncertainty. It wants to know what is going on, control the situation, and predict the future to keep us alive.
The part of our brain that is responsible for our survival hasn’t evolved much since the stone age. As it is helpful to have a brain that keeps us away from dangerous situations and makes us flee whenever we are threatened, this very same part of the brain is oftentimes also responsible for unnecessary suffering.
It can’t really distinguish whether we are in a real threat or not. So every time you are listening to the news that is mainly negative the fight-flight-freeze response of your brain will get activated as if you would be physically attacked by a tiger.
It is ready either to fight the saber tooth tiger, to flee, or to freeze.
Ask yourself: Am I really threatened right now in my current situation? Or are these just my thoughts that are freaking me out right now?
When your fight-flight-freeze response gets activated while you are watching the news it certainly doesn’t make any sense. You are not physically attacked and at the same time, your body is reacting with stress as if you would be attacked.
It’s important to know what’s going on in the world, however, it’s also important to find the balance between the negativity you are feeding your mind with and the safe present moment that you are in right now. Make sure to balance the negativity out with positive news as well so your brain has the possibility to see the whole picture. Listen to an uplifting podcast, read an inspiring book, or just be present and count your blessings after consuming negative news.
Consume less fear-mongering media and whenever you do so, balance it out with positive news.
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