There is no physical fixed reality, no single perception of the world, just numerous ways of interpreting world views… – Deepak Chopra
Ever watched a scary movie? If so, can you remember some of those scary scenes that just freaked you out? How did the producer of that movie get you to do that! Well, the producers utilize certain camera angles directing your focus upon what the producer wants you to focus upon. Then will bring in some suspense music that further drums up certain emotions in you. If the producer is successful, you will feel that emotion quite intensely!
Well, what does movie producers have to do with life? Everything!!! You see, our eyes are a camera that visually soaks up whatever your mind (producer) tells it to. Whatever you focus upon is what you pay attention to and dominates what you may be experiencing, while everything else going on is drowned out. A key phrase to remember is, “whatever you focus upon is what is most real to you.”
There are two components at play here: Whatever you FOCUS your attention on and how you INTERPRET what is going on determines how you feel and your response. For example, a young man came into my office for help with depression. He reported that pretty much everywhere he goes it doesn’t seem like he or anyone else is having a good time.
Each time he would enter a party; he focused his eyes upon those sitting in the corners and having no fun. Then he soon began to feel like he wasn’t having any fun either. When he began thinking back, he realized that there was a great deal of other people at the party but, wasn’t sure what they were doing because he didn’t focus upon them. A clear error in observation leading to wrong conclusions we all make!
He went to another party and decided to explore what those other people may be doing; kind of his own experiment. He soon found out that he began having more fun and was meeting more people.
What was the difference? Instead of staying stuck in his focus and perspective, he chose to refocus and shift his perspective! Thus, enabling him to successfully have another experience and solve the problem.
Try this right now. Find an object in the room you are sitting in. Focus on that object. You will notice that object as being clear, in color, and bright and vivid. Now, SHIFT YOUR FOCUS to the right where you can still notice the object but, this time the object is in your peripheral vision. You will find that what you are focusing on now is clear, in color, bright, and vivid, and everything else around it is blurred! Any object in the blur you can make clear by shifting your focus to it. But, when you do that, you will blur out the rest.
Life’s problems will always seek to control your FOCUS and PERSPECTIVE. Getting you to focus on things you can’t control and giving you the perspective of being helpless. However, all you have to do, is SHIFT YOUR FOCUS AND SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE! This way you begin to see things more clearly and from a new angle, giving you better odds of solving your problem and facing whatever challenge has presented itself. A simple thing to do but never easy!
First, become aware of what you are focusing on and what you think is going on (perspective).
Then, shift your focus to all elements of the situation and come up with alternative explanations of what is going on (shifting perspective).
From there, make a decision, and take action!
Go out today and give it a try.
ABOUT CHRIS SWENSON, LMFT
Chris Swenson is a licensed Couple and Family Therapist currently helping people overcome challenges at his private practice counseling office in Sterling, CO (Rhino Wellness Center). To contact Chris, you can call 970-522-0796 or schedule an appointment online at www.rhinowellnesscenter.com