Here is a point that I have made over and over again. What is right is always available to focus on. Why do more people not do that? Because what is wrong is also available to focus on. I do not have to tell you which one is presented to us more often. That is why both an optimist and a pessimist are equally right when it comes to life. The glass is both half-full as well as half-empty. If this is true, than what does it matter? It matters due to the distinct difference in emotional state that each perception has. Why is emotional state so important? In life, it is the determining factor! It is not money that decides the quality of life. If that were the case, no wealthy people would ever suffer any forms of anxiety or depression. We know that is the case. On the flip side, no poor people would ever be happy. We also know this is not the case.
If it is not finances that determine the quality of life, it must be health right? Having good health plays a big role in our emotional well-being and that is why it is so important to take control of our health and to do what we can to increase the quality of our health. That being said, it is not the determining factor in our emotional well-being. If that were the case, no sick people would ever be happy and no healthy people would ever be sad. In fact, our emotional state can play an important role in our physical healing. When we are in a good emotional place, our immune system is stronger and we are more likely to take actions that will lead to healthier outcomes. Negative emotions, on the other hand, will lower our immune response and can often generate physical ailments in the body. Have you ever worried yourself to a sick stomach? Ever gotten so angry that your blood pressure went through the roof? Imagine what would happen if we continued these emotional states chronically?
We have all heard the saying, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how you react to it.” The secret to our emotional state is focus and meaning. What we choose to focus on, and what we decide it means. Let us take the most difficult situation any of us can face; losing someone we love. We are going to experience the most terrible emotional pain. That is what happens. With great love we suffer great loss. What will we do with that pain? What will we decide that pain means? Does it mean that God does not love us and our life will be filled with pain? If that is what we decide, then yes. If we decide that it is a reminder of how much we can love and how important it is to cherish and create memories with those we love, than yes, that is what it will mean.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not trying to minimize the pain of losing someone you love. Whenever you remember them, there will be feelings of loss and sorrow. It is what we do with those feelings that matter. It can serve as a great reminder to communicate with those who are close to the end or facing some serious medical challenges. It can also be a great reminder to create memories with those who are still with us, as life can change in a second.
Tough times and tough situations are never fun. Just remember, in every life there is plenty of good to focus on. This does not mean being ignorant to that which is less than ideal, but to perhaps reframe it so we can put it to use for us instead of allowing it to use us.