When we moved from a house to an apartment last May, we knew that we might be able to hear other neighbors. We didn’t know that the neighbor that lives above us would be holding sparring tournaments and dance parties every other night. While not unmanageable, it has been a little annoying.
Last night, when my husband was walking the dog across the street, he looked up and could see our neighbor. There wasn’t a sparring tournament or a dance party. Instead, there was a guy playing his guitar and dancing.
How can you be mad at that? Now, when I hear him, I feel like I am a little piece of the art and creative energy going on above me. Now I smile when I hear what used to make me scowl. And nothing changed except for my outlook.
With a more positive outlook
- You feel happier so you …
- experience less stress and you …
- infuse your cells with good vibes and …
- your heart isn’t as heavy and then …
- you look better, feel better, and treat everyone around you better
And just like that, you change your insides to a happier, healthier version of you.
It is so easy to get complacent and forget that everything we do and feel is a result of what we think. So if I think that my upstairs neighbor is a thoughtless jerk, I feel angry and annoyed. But, if I think that my neighbor is using music as a way to unwind, rehearsing for his next gig, or making art, I feel happy that we live nearby and want to leave a tin of Christmas cookies outside of his front door.
What I think in this situation is not a perfect version of the truth, but so what? In this case, and in most cases, what you think about what you cannot control is all about you and very little about the thing you are thinking about.
Realizing that you actually have a choice here is powerful. It’s life-changing.
In The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul, Danielle LaPorte writes, “The capacity to witness something that your mind or outside sources might label as negative, and to remain in a positive feeling state while doing so, is what self- determination—and transcendence—is about. Think about people who are peaceful even in chaos, or generous when they’re broke, or loving in the face of oppression. Think of Nelson Mandela experiencing inner freedom while in prison.
Being able to experience peace, even appreciation, when you’re in a tough situation is a result of being in touch with your Soul. The feeling of peacefulness is the indicator of Who You Really Are. Conversely, feeling like a bag of aggravated worry balls is an indicator that you’re out of touch with your greatness.
Peace or worry. Gratitude or anger. It’s your choice.”
I knew that how I reacted to big situations was my choice, but I forgot that what I think about the little, naggy, insignificant things is my choice too. I found beauty and gratitude in a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, but thought the worst about my creative neighbor. What? That doesn’t make any sense, yet we do it everyday. We rise to the occasion for the big stuff and then get completely upside down about the little stuff.
You might think it’s more important to react positively to the big stuff, but way more little stuff happens in the course of a lifetime and negativity can add up and change your insides.
Either way, you are changing your insides. The question is, how do you want them to change? Peace or worry. Gratitude or anger. It’s your choice.
What is one circumstance going on in your life right now where you could change your insides with your outlook?