The Journey: Changing your perception

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By SAMANTHA BRAZIE, Special to The Paper

Happy February Paper readers! Last month I took an unexpected break as I lost complete track of my regularly scheduled programming while I was spending time with my family around the holidays. So as a result, I have had plenty of time to think about what to chat about this month. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage ‘perception is reality.’ Well, I’m here to tell you why this is one of the truest sayings there is … and also how to use it to your advantage. 

Perception is what we believe to be accurate. Reality is as something exists. So by saying perception is reality, it means that we define our own reality through our beliefs. Humor me for a second with the following examples: 

Have you ever woken up feeling awful? How has that changed your day compared to one where you get right out of bed ready for what comes?

Have you ever physically hurt yourself so it was hard to do something that once came easy to you? How did that change what once seemed so normal?

Have you ever gotten some wonderful news by yourself? What about receiving great news when you are with friends? How did that change how you celebrated?

These are just a few examples of how our minds and bodies change the reality of the world around us depending on what we are feeling. That hill can seem like a mountain with a broken ankle … same hill, different circumstances. The final exam can seem a lot less stressful if you know there is a curve … same exam, circumstances. See what I mean?

When it comes to the amount of stress and anxiety we allow ourselves to entertain each day, it is helpful for me to remember that most of what I am feeling is my perception of the situation. I personally struggle a lot with people being able to read my feelings and emotions on my face and through my body language. It is a real effort for me to overcome that but I find that if something is bothering me and I can take a few moments to focus on something more positive (my family, friends, upcoming vacation, etc.) I can completely change the way I interact with everyone around me. 

So friends, my challenge to you this month is that when you’re feeling bad or less-than yourself, focus on something positive for a few minutes. Something that truly makes you happy. I’d love to hear how it changes your reality.  

Change your perception. Change your moment. Change your story. Change your life. 

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

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