What Are The Glasses From Which You See Reality?

The glasses with which we see reality

Have you never considered Why do people react differently to the same situation?? Why do some of us face everyday problems with a more positive attitude and others seem like the world has fallen on them?

Let’s imagine two coworkers who have to do a last-minute project in a period of one week. One of them thinks incessantly: Wow, I only have 7 days to do it! “I’m not going to be able to finish it, with all the things I have to do!” The second, on the contrary, states: “Thank goodness I have a whole week ahead of me; so I’m going to plan the week to organize myself better.”

How will each one react? Are you going to experience the same emotion? The truth is that no. The emotional response of the first person to this rumination of thought will be an anxiety response, to the assumed idea that “he only has 7 days” and the fact of “everything that is coming to him.” On his part, the second will experience an emotion of calm, given the perception that he has “a whole week” and “has time to organize.”

How is it possible that in the same situation each person reacts in a different way? The answer lies in the glasses through which each person sees their reality..

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It all depends on perspective: the glasses with which we see reality

Although it may seem difficult to believe, the way we feel in certain situations does not depend on the nature of the event that occurs. When any event happens to us, the emotion we experience depends on the interpretation that each person makes of the situation. Depending on the interpretation we give it, this will trigger us to feel a certain way and, therefore, our behavior will tend towards one direction or another.

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Under this premise, we then come to the conclusion that a direct situation-emotion reaction does not occur in our brain, but rather something very powerful intervenes that makes us feel one way or another: thought.

Situation – Thought – Emotion – Behavior

If both of their situations are the same, why do they have different emotions? The fact is very clear: our thoughts determine our emotions. The important thing is not “what happens to us”, but what we think at every moment. Thought is prior to emotion and that thought is what makes us feel better or worse.

How then can we control our emotions? What can we do to change the way we feel? The answer lies in learning to change the way we interpret events, that is, modifying the internal discourse we have with ourselves.

Ask yourself the following questions: “Is what I am thinking really like that?”, “Would everyone understand it the same?”, “What would the person I admire the most think of that same situation?”, “And my best friend?”

What really marks a vital change in our life is when we go from reaction to action, when we really understand that what we feel depends, to a large extent, on what we think at each moment, and not on what happens to us. It is then when we assume that, thanks to our thinking, we can control and provoke our emotions. We can be happy or unhappy, putting our brain in our favor or, on the contrary, against us.

But now let’s go a little beyond what we feel and move on to the next level: our behavior. Which one will have better performance when working on the project? It is highly probable that the second.

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The response of the first is anxiety and, as we know, anxiety blocks us, and leads us to enter a vicious circle of negative thoughts that, sometimes, even prevent us from taking action. The emotion of calm that the second experiences, upon realizing that he has a whole week to work, is more adaptive, which will help you deal with the project more effectively.

Therefore, our thoughts will not only determine the way we feel, but also the way we behave in the situations of our lives.

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How to modify our perspective

An effective method to question our own thoughts is Socratic dialogue. Let’s continue with the previous example of the first guy: Wow, I only have a week to do it! “I’m not going to be able to finish it, with all the things I have to do!”

  • Scientific evidence (what evidence is there that I won’t be able to do it in a week?).
  • The probability that it is true (how likely is it to be true?).
  • Its utility (What’s the point of thinking about it? What emotions do they generate in me?)
  • Gravity (what’s the worst that could happen if I really don’t have time?).

Thus, We have to learn to identify our negative emotions when they actually appear, so that when we notice that alarm signal, we stop for a moment and look for the thought that has led us to feel that certain way and, then, look for a more adaptive thinking alternative. It is not an easy task, since we are deeply rooted in our belief system and it requires practice and effort to modify it.

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The lesson we must learn then is… let us not suffer uselessly! We have the ability to convert our unpleasant emotions (such as anger or sadness)… into more pleasant emotions (joy) and, as a consequence, have more adaptive behavior. The key is to change the glasses through which we see reality.