There is not one unique world and one unique reality. The only reality we know is the one that our brains perceive, and since it is the mind that creates our personal world, why not create a story that helps us to progress rather than make us suffer?
The mind controls everything, and as many Psychologists and experts have said, it is not what happens to us that shapes us, it is how we perceive what happens to us and what we do about it. Therefore, we can influence our own reality by interpreting events in a way that serves us.
The mind is powerful
The problem is that our brain is designed to survive, not to be fulfilled or happy, and it’s default mode can lead us to live our life as a problem to be solved. The brain will do more of what it usually does, as neuronal connexions are reinforced every time we think the same thoughts. It is like the brain becomes addicted to thinking as it usually does. If someone has negative beliefs about themselves or the world, he or she will use those to interpret any event in a negative way.
The power of the mind has no limits and many mental health issues originate because the mind is used to interpret events in a more negative way than reality is, which triggers many unpleasant and sometimes drowning emotions that lead to mental health problems. Anxiety or depression are examples of this.
Whatever we think, we are going to feel
Thoughts and emotions are connected, and whatever we think, we are going to feel. If we are used to thinking that every problem is unbearable, that things will go wrong, that people are against us, that life is against us, that we can’t do anything right, that is how we will feel. If instead we see the world from a more realistic perspective and see problems as part of life, we believe we are capable of overcoming difficulties, and we trust the process, the emotions that will come up will be completely different. By having different patterns of thought, the mind creates totally different realities.
An unhelpful pattern of thoughts can lead to health problems
A wrong interpretation of reality can not only lead to sadness, guilt, frustration, anger or hopelessness, it is scientifically proven that higher levels of stress and anxiety have a negative impact on the immune system. It can also influence our sleep or levels of energy and many other aspects of our health and wellbeing.
It is not about positive thinking and trying to lie to our brains thinking that everything is perfect and that we are very happy. It is about seeing life as it really is, not worse or better than it is. We know that we don’t do everything wrong, we sometimes make mistakes, but sometimes are successful. Not all drivers are inept, there will be some that are good drivers. Your partner is not always complaining about everything, although your brain can have that thought, you can stop and realize that the reality is less dramatic.
Who knows what is good and what is bad?
Everything that happens to us has its pros and cons. My headache is painful for me, but it is ideal for someone that sells painkillers. So, who knows what is good and what is bad?
Reality is neither good nor bad, it is our brain that attaches meanings to things. It is up to our brains then to decide what to focus on.
To sum up, the mind has the power to create our reality and world, and this can be a world full of suffering or a world full of wellbeing, where we know we are able to handle difficulties and grow in the process.
- 8 strategies to overcome the negativity bias
- Problem-solving methodology: the solution focus approach
- How to stop ruminating thoughts: tools used by therapists
- Why the brain is not designed to make us happy?
- CBT techniques: tools for cognitive behavioural therapy
- Five different breathing techniques to alleviate anxiety