The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cognitive Shift

Life sucks. At least, it can if we allow it to. A strange sentiment, I'm sure, but please allow me to explain.

We face situations and people every single day that can give us cause to be unhappy and upset. We stress out over our lack of control, and can spiral down further, sometimes into deep depression. 

What can we do to be happy, you ask? It's really as simple as that; be happy. 

You see, life will always throw negatives our way. Focusing on them and giving them more importance than they're due will only harm yourself. Difficult as it may seem at first, choosing to see the positive in life will go a long way in helping you have a happy life. I certainly don't mean to preach, or imply that I'm perfect at this. Far from it! I've faced many situations in life, and continue to do so, where I've felt it would be easier to give up and let 'life happen'. Recently though, I refused to allow myself to think like this; to allow situations that could do so to put me in a 'down' state, and I'm so much happier for it. I'm not just happier with myself, but with the people around me! 

Sure, many people look at me and may wonder; what could be so difficult about my life? It's obviously easier for me to be happy because I've never had to deal with anything close to what they have. Remember, we all have our battles to fight, and just because some of us choose to smile does not mean that life is easy. Take a look around you; everyone you meet has their fair share of crap to deal with, but most of them do just fine. 

Training yourself to react to situations and triggers in healthy ways is not an easy task. Often, to be able to do so successfully may require the help of a professional, and there is nothing to be ashamed about if this is what you decide to do. Therapy has a sort of stigma attached to it that desperately needs to change. Honestly speaking, I'd recommend that everyone try therapy at least once in their life, and this isn't just the Psychology student in me speaking! Of course, that is not to say that this is impossible to accomplish by oneself. Many of us are locked into these patterns of thoughts and behaviours that have been a part of us for many years. Sometimes, we may fail to recognise them and how detrimental they can be. Having an outsider's perspective can definitely be helpful in such a situation. 

Almost everyone has people in their lives whose sole purpose seems to be lashing out at others and making them miserable. Almost everyone, at some point or the other, is capable of being such a person to others too! Remember, most of the time, these people are just reacting to their triggers, and lashing out is their preferred defense mechanism. Teaching yourself not to let such individuals get to you may not help them much at all; but I promise you, you'll be at peace.

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