Did you know that if you keep a kitten in a box where all the kitten ever sees are horizontal lines, and then you take the kitten out where there are horizontal and vertical lines, the kitten literally can’t perceive the vertical lines? It doesn’t know that they’re there.
The lines are there, but the kitten can’t perceive them. The kitten isn’t aware of reality.
There’s two lessons that come from this:
Number one, don’t keep a kitten in a box. That’s just not very nice.
And number two, what we perceive is not always reality.
Have you ever interpreted someone’s comment to mean something entirely different than they intended and then you felt upset?
Have you ever been in a situation where one thing took place, and you understood it to be something completely different and you felt anxious or overwhelmed?
Have you ever interpreted someone’s actions, behaviours, and choices to indicate one thing, even though they were actually indicating something else, but you felt hurt, betrayed, or judged?
These are called perceptions.
How you perceive something can be very different than reality. Because we are adults, we are responsible for calling out and removing our own perceptions. No one can do that for us.
You need to be aware of these perceptions of yours. You need to know that the way you see life isn’t necessarily the way life is.
This is so important when it comes to stress. Here’s why. This is the definition of stress:
“Stress is your negative emotional reaction to your perceptions of life’s events.”
This means that there’s a life event. Period.
Then you have a perception about it, which warps your sense of reality to some degree.
And then you have a negative emotional reaction.
But get this: you’re not having a negative emotional reaction to reality! No, you’re having a negative emotional reaction to your version of reality!
That’s what stress is! And in order to conquer it, you have to address these perceptions that you have of reality.
Perceptions are a bit like a filter on a camera lens. There’s reality all around you - all of life’s events, circumstances, situations, and people’s comments, behaviours, and actions just exist. But you run it all through a filter. Your filter.
If your filter is dark, then your reality is going to look dark. It isn’t actually. But to you, it sure seems like it.
This week, I’m encouraging you to take a good honest look at your perceptions of life’s events. What filters are you running your reality through?
What situation is troubling you most this week?
Are you perceiving it through a dark filter, making it seem worse than it is?
Once you see that it’s a dark filter, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to clear the filter?
Want some steps for clearing your filter? Get free coaching! Just click here and tell us!! We can't wait to help you conquer stress!
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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