Recently I facilitated a group discussion on the topic of life’s challenges and how we choose the way in which we encounter said obstacles. I made it clear then, and I wish to state loudly in this platform, that life comes complete with some doozies, curve-balls and turns in our paths that we can never anticipate. Not ever. And these are hard things we go through. Each and every one of us. No one is exempt from these experiences. To think otherwise would be naive. Yet even in the midst of the tough times I sometimes find myself questioning the fairness of it all, the rightness versus the wrongness of my situation, as if such variances existed. (They don’t.)
Gratefully, I don’t stay down long, and I would venture to suggest that neither must you.
Last week I happened upon Dr. Amy Johnson, a social psychologist, master certified coach, author and public speaker, and I am extremely grateful to have found such a trove of information and insights.
Dr. Johnson has a philosophy that I am now officially adopting into my vernacular because it explains my own cyclical relationship to difficulty over my lifetime. I’ve always wondered how and/or why it is that I “bounce back” so quickly when something knocks me down and I tended to write it off as “the way I’m wired.”
Here’s what I love: I was right! I AM wired to bounce back AND SO ARE YOU!
Dr. Johnson suggests that our factory default setting is wellness. You didn’t know you had a default setting, did you? Yup. Just like your mobile phone can be reset if something goes awry, so can you with a little bit of effort on your part.
We (the proverbial we) have a tendency to overthink our circumstances or weigh ourselves down with negative thinking or burden ourselves with frenetic self-talk that serves only one purpose: more stress and more negative thinking, which lead to heavier and heavier hearts, which heaviness repels joy.
I am one of the happiest people I know.
I am not always happy.
When I am unhappy or feeling burdened with what might seem the impossible, I do a factory reset and remember to express gratitude for the highs as well as for the lows, and that gratitude provides an undercurrent of peace that runs throughout my life.
- You are well. Your default nature is peace of mind and clarity. Always. Even when you don’t feel it.
- When you don’t feel peace of mind and clarity, it’s only because your own personal thinking (inner dialogue, habitual mental chit chat) is in the way.
- When your thinking settles down, as it always does, you’ll be bounced back to your peace and clarity.
Understanding that we possess this default setting doesn’t preclude us from life’s adversities, but embracing this outlook allows us to get back to our place of emotional wellness that much faster.
Beware your thoughts getting in your own way; they’ll work really hard to be heard, but remember our thinking creates our feelings. Take control of your thoughts and what you believe and you will bounce back to wellness and a state of peace faster than the rug can get pulled out from under you!
Kristen Daukas says
I get this as I’m the same way. Negativity and pessimism EXHAUST me. I can’t be around it too long and I certainly can’t take me being that way. If something happens, I’ll let myself have some time but it’s short-lived, for sure.
Speaking of.. when are we on to meet up??? xoxo
Jamie Lord says
Great article Arminda. Keep them coming. Positively! Jamie