Monday, July 2, 2012

A Matter of Perspective

“Whatever you focus upon, increases.”  I came across this quote while reading The Noticer, by Andy Andrews.  I had received the book as a gift from a good friend who said it was a great read.  Taking her advice, I began reading and soon realized for myself how remarkable it was. 
I was especially encouraged by this quote because it relates so well to my life.  For the past nine years or so I have struggled with anxiety.  I believe the reason I find it affecting me so badly is because I never learned how to deal with stress growing up.  I was blessed to have had a very happy, very easy childhood, but it came at the expense that I was not prepared for the pressures and responsibilities of adulthood.  Now, when things get stressful, which is often as a military wife, it tends to weigh me down and get me frazzled because I don’t know how to deal with the issues productively.  Over time, I lose focus of the positive and begin to place emphasis on how difficult things are.  Much to my dismay, I admit that despite the many blessings in my life, I often find myself complaining. 

Fortunately, I have a choice to change my mind and direct it toward what is good.  I have found through this quote that something positive can be found for nearly any difficult situation.  When I have had enough of my kids and they are frustrating me beyond my limits, I can choose to think about how grateful I am that they are healthy and happy. When I am angry about my husband’s demanding schedule and how the kids and I haven’t seen him much lately, I can remember that there are many people out there whose husbands are deployed and won’t be coming home for a long time.  When he is deployed and I am lonely and physically and emotionally tired, I can try to stay focused on perseverance and how our family will become so much stronger because of it.  When I get sad thinking about how much I miss my grandma and grandpa, I can reflect on the good times I had with them and how lucky I was to have had them in my life for so long.  When I am just having a bad day, I can take a step outside and rejoice in the trees and the flowers and the simple beauty of the life around me.

The things we continually think about are reflected in our everyday lives.  What the mind thinks about, the heart follows. By staying focused on the positives, those things and the feelings which accompany them will increase and we will become more productive at handling stress and anxiety.  And, the more we can direct ourselves to a positive state of mind, the less we will find ourselves complaining.  We have the ability to create happier, more fulfilling lives by simply choosing to find the positives and focus on those things.  Remember, “Whatever you focus upon, increases.”  Write it down, tape it on a wall or mirror, and read it often.  See for yourself how your mind can help you create an entirely new perspective on your circumstances.

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