I try to go for a walk every day. I take the same path every time. I know there are so many other routes I could take but I like this route because I know it takes 33 minutes from when I leave my door to getting back to my door. A good half hour walk. Perfect.
But honestly, walking the same path can get kinda boring.
The dialogue in my head goes something like, “There’s the hill. There’s the bridge. There’s the baseball diamond. There’s that tree. There’s that sign.”
Yup, I know it quite well. It’s all very familiar. I’ve seen it many times. Nothing new.
But one morning, while walking the same familiar path, I said to myself, “I know what I have seen, but what haven’t I seen?”
Suddenly, it was like I was looking at the world through a filter. A “see-this-differently” filter. I was suddenly aware of all the things I haven’t been seeing.
“Woah. I didn’t know that there was a fire hydrant here that I walk right by every time! What are those mounds of dirt? Why didn’t I see those metal posts before? Look at the angle of that tree! When did they take that structure down? Was that fence always white? Huh, there’s still leaves on that plant.”
What a difference! It was like I was walking on a different path. How could I have missed so much? I walk this nearly everyday.
This got me thinking, what if I applied this to my life? What if instead of seeing all the things I’ve always seen, I look for things that I’ve been missing, overlooking. Could I apply the “see-this-differently” filter to my life, my interactions with others?
I thought I’d try it when I went to the store. Honestly, it was tiring, but I’m suspecting it’s because I wasn’t used to it. I suspect I’d have to get used to wearing the “see-this-differently” filter the way one gets used to wearing progressive eyeglasses. Keep wearing them.
With the filter, I see that the grocery store isn’t just a store with groceries. It’s a place of abundance, selection, options.
The cashier isn’t just some random person “ringing me up”. She is someone’s beloved daughter, helping me with exchanging my energy (money that I put energy into gathering) for goods I need to support me, my wants, my desires, my dreams.
The disgruntled customer isn’t set on ruining someone’s day. He is looking for help.
Looking through this filter didn’t just allow me to see things differently. Looking through the filter allowed me feel things differently. To have more appreciation, more compassion, more understanding, more forgiveness.
You, too, probably have an experience over and over again, or see the same thing over and over again, or are in the same house with the same people.
What would you see differently if you looked through a “see-this-differently” filter?
How would it change the way you feel internally?
How would it affect your response to the situation?
This is one small, but powerful way to decrease stress and increase happiness. Start The 42 Day Choice Challenge for more small, simple, on-the-go tips for shifting your perception for less stress and more happiness.
Here’s to conquering stress.
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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