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Power of a thought

eeyore_snow“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
― A.A. Milne

We’ve all had those times when we feel at our limit. We’re not able to keep up, and the smallest things trigger feelings of frustration or anxiety. At times like these, it can be difficult to find the lighter side of life; and even with the knowledge that all things must come to an end, no solace or comfort is felt. Sometimes, it feels that there really is no rest for the weary.

Emotions can come with a certain inertia. They may not be physical objects, but there is a certain weight to them.

When we’re angry, it’s easier, preferable even, to stay angry. The same can be said for sadness, irritation, or frustration. It’s easier to stay that way, or even spiral deeper in that emotion. It’s terribly hard to break out of, all things remaining the same. Luckily, things don’t have to stay the same. Particularly when it seems like nothing is happening in our external environment that is changing our emotional inertia, we can create the change internally. We act upon our inertia ourselves with a greater force to break ourselves out of the emotion that’s already in motion.

The hardest part of breaking out of a funk comes at the point where we recognize we want to make a choice around how we’re feeling and that we want a change. This initial turning point is the hardest part as it’s the initial push that goes against all the inertia that had already built up. The cognitive override over what otherwise feels natural is part of what defines us as humans. And that cognitive override begins with a single shift in thought.

There is power in a thought. Power in sharing. Power in choosing how to perceive and interpret the things that happen around us. The person who cuts us off may be rushing to the hospital to see a loved one. A short-tempered cashier may be struggling through a break up. And for ourselves, in our own lives, experiences, and struggles – there is the notion of gratitude. Of looking for a different perspective – a more positive one. For oftentimes, there is a lot to be thankful for. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. That spark of gratitude or positive reflection can often be enough to start pushing back on the frustration, anxiety, or anger to turn it around.

It’s still not easy, but it may be just enough.

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