Depending upon how old you are, how fast-paced your life is, or even the number of events that have occurred, you may feel as if you have lived several lifetimes and several different lives. You look back at yourself through various stages and barely recognize the old you.
We tend to break up our timelines based on major changes or shifts in our lives. When we look back, we see the triggers that created tremendous change in our lives and in our selves. Those triggers may have been events that happened around us or to us, either as a result of a decision we made or a random coincidence that occurred.
The events at the time may have felt like the bowels of hell were a better alternative or like an entirely new world had embraced you and sprinkled you with fairy dust. Time takes on a life of its own in the aftermath of such events. It may fly by like a hawk chasing a mouse or perhaps move slowly, sludging through the thickest mud. No matter what it felt like, time was still moving forward. Life goes on, and so do you.
Life Goes On: Think Positive During Challenging Days
When we first think of the phrase, “Life goes on,” we might remember those words given upon the passing of a loved one. This is somehow meant to encourage us to keep living despite the pain of losing someone. It acts as a reminder that time doesn’t stand still for anyone and it will continue to pass despite you sometimes wishing time itself could just stop. You want life to stop to give you time to process what has just happened, how you feel, how it affects you, and how everything will be different from here on.
I once attended a seminar regarding the subconscious. As part of the seminar, one of us was chosen from the audience and asked to sit in a chair on the stage. We were to think of an event that happened within the last 6 months. Then, we were asked to close our eyes and imagine wherein our mind’s eye that event occurred. Next, we were to hold out our hand and put it either in front of us, to the left or right, above or below. The location depended upon our personal view of where time was stored in our minds.
Then we were to position the hand approximately the distance away from us that we felt the event occurred, as if a dot on a timeline. After that, we were to imagine an event from several years ago. Once again, we were to reach our hand out to that invisible timeline. Logic would dictate that the event from 6 months ago would be closer to us than our far past right? That was not always the case. If many events had occurred in the last 6 months, it may still be positioned far away from us. Conversely, if we still dwell on our past of several years ago, we may position it closer to ourselves.
Memories and Emotions
I found it very interesting and telling how our subconscious retains memories in relation to the emotional impact and relativity to our current lives. In other words, we essentially slow time down when we are deeply affected by something in our lives. Life around us has gone on, but we slowed our own timeline and stopped moving with it.
Of course, the reverse is also true. We can speed up our timeline by embracing events and changes in our lives, making even relatively recent events appear to have happened long ago.
Why is this important? It goes to show the importance of staying in life as much as possible. Time will drag if we stay in the past and we do not necessarily benefit from that. When we alter our perception of time, we also alter our perception of reality. If life stopped for you 10 years ago after the death of a loved one, then everything around you is still based on your knowledge, feelings, and beliefs from 10 years ago. Information, people, events, and the world have moved 10 years ahead of you.
People are meant to move forward with time – to grow, change, and experience life.
Embracing changes in life
Unfortunately, the brain is averse to change. Every time you feel uncomfortable about something new, that is your brain thinking it needs to protect you from something it does not know, which also means that once you do that “unknown” action repeatedly, your brain learns it is safe and will stop giving you that uncomfortable feeling. This is why you can even become comfortable with negative circumstances that might currently make you feel miserable.
How can we learn to embrace change so our life can go on in a happy, healthy way?
1. Recognize when your brain is telling you something that isn’t the truth.
For example, you’ve told yourself that you want to start working out. On the day you are about to start, suddenly your brain is flooding you with a bunch of excuses. “You don’t have enough time, too many things to get done, you’re too tired, etc.”
Realistically, you can do a simple 30-minute workout and it won’t impact your day that much. As a matter of fact, it has been proven that people are more productive and have more energy on days they exercise than on days they don’t.
2. Focus on the positive in your life.
Oftentimes, we train ourselves to focus on the negatives regarding a change rather than the positives. If you have decided to eat healthier, you can choose to focus on how much you miss the cheeseburgers and fries, or you can tell yourself how much more alert you feel after eating chicken with rice and vegetables. You can tell yourself how much better your body feels having beneficial nutrition in it rather than processed ingredients.
This can also be reinforced by giving yourself something positive afterward. Every time you eat a healthy meal, you can reward yourself with $5.00 toward the new wardrobe you are going to need.
3. Self-Talk or Affirmations.
Talk nicely to yourself. Tell yourself something positive, such as, “I am going to finish this report today and it will be the best report my boss sees this month.” It’s important that you don’t word it as, “I am not going to procrastinate doing this report.” What the brain will focus on is “I am” and “procrastinate,” whereas in the first example, it will remember “I am” and “finish.”
4. Discipline your mind.
Meditation, prayer, and visualization have proven to strengthen the mind. Forcing your mind to quiet down or focus on an image or desire creates a form of self-discipline which automatically teaches your brain to look for those triggers to achieve the level of happiness you felt when you thought of them.
5. Do something a little different every day.
We mostly operate on routine. We get up, stumble to the bathroom, brush our teeth, make coffee, and sit down first thing in the morning. Change it up. Maybe get up and jump in the shower first; or start the coffee pot and then go to the bathroom. Or, take a cold shower instead of a warm one. Drive a different route to work or say hi to someone in the elevator that you don’t know instead of looking at your phone. These are small changes that allowour brains to become accustomed to that uncomfortable feeling while breaking up our mindless routine.
6. Accept the change that occurred beyond your control.
A lot of people believe they need to control everything; when something happens beyond their control, they grow distraught. They believe there must have been something they could’ve done to prevent it. That is not always true.
You cannot and should not control everything. You can’t control your friends, children, or partner, for instance. Yes, you can make them feel bad or guilt them into doing what you feel is best for them. Yet, they may still go behind your back to do it anyway.
We try to teach our children to study and do their homework. They may choose to not do it and fail a class. There was nothing more you could do. It was their decision. People are responsible for their own decisions.
Another example is if you were in a car accident. You were driving the correct speed, looking at the road without any distractions but suddenly a car darted in front of your car and you hit it. You were doing everything you could do to be a safe driver, yet it happened anyhow.
Things happen in life and there is only so much control we have. The sooner you realistically accept that fact, the faster you can move on and accept changes that occur in your life.
Life goes on. Regardless of how you choose to live your life, you will be affected by people and events in your life, whether they are good or bad. The more we train our brains to not fear change, the better we go on with our own lives and experience them to the fullest.