Changes what we do, how we perceive it
Reprogram yourself! With these tips you will change your perception - and your life
A little journey of thought ...
Imagine you are walking in the park on a beautiful autumn day. All around you, colorful leaves are falling from the trees, children are romping and the sun is shining. Another person is walking a few meters behind you, taking the same route, experiencing the same things. Nevertheless, you may remember this autumn walk in different ways. Why?
People can perceive the same situations very differently. This is because external stimuli run through a kind of filter system until they reach our perception:
Neurological Filtersensure that our brain is not overloaded - because we cannot perceive all the stimuli that we encounter every day. That is why we (unconsciously) generalize information, for example, or it is deleted by only hearing what we want to hear.
Your inner world creates your outer world. It is your inner beliefs, your thoughts, your feelings and your decisions that ultimately ensure the perception of your outer world.Laura Malina Seiler in "Nice that you exist", Rowohlt VerlagTweet
Cultural and social filtershave to do with our upbringing and the society in which we live. For example, while it is recognized in some parts of the world to perceive ghosts and ghosts, in our culture they are considered fiction.
Individual filters influence our perception based on personal experience. Similar to the cultural filter, certain information is privileged here, while others are neglected or not noticed at all.
Gain control of your perception
While the neurological filters run largely automatically and we can only influence our upbringing and the society in which we live to a limited extent, the individual filters have the potential to influence our perception.
Autumn walk: relaxation or stress?
Back to the idyllic autumn walk: While you are in a good mood, wearing a cozy winter jacket and devoting all your attention to the beautiful colorful trees, the other person may be in a relationship crisis, freezing because they forgot their scarf at home and only sees them everywhere happy couple walking around. The ball from a couple of children playing flies in your direction and hits you. While you laughingly brush the dust off your jacket, play the ball back and are happy that the children are having so much fun, the other person would probably have got angry, asked if the children were paying attention and left the ball in frustration .
attention, our Wellbeing and ours too Stress level contribute a large part to our perception. If we are stressed, we have fewer resources to think about and, for example, we get angry much faster than if we are balanced and relaxed.
You get what you expect
In addition to our current condition, our experiences from the past and the expectations associated with them also belong to the individual filter and influence our perception. The power of expectations is described by the well-known "placebo effect", which has already been proven in numerous studies: If one expects a certain effect, one sometimes perceives it without a cause. In fact, it can go so far that our brain distorts and rejects the perceived stimuli in such a way that they meet our expectations as much as possible. So while you assume that the children did not hit you with the ball on purpose, the other person may be in the victim position right now, expecting the whole world to be against them - including the children playing.
Gain control of your perception
So we only perceive a small part of reality and use it to construct our individual reality - there is plenty of room for interpretation. And we could make it as positive as possible, right?
Perception is a psychophysiological process. It does not arise in the sense organs, but in the brain.Friedbert Steigerwald in "Psychology, Sociology and Education" (1997)Tweet
Here are six tips that you can use to positively influence your perception:
Tip 1: "Three good things" review of the day
A tried and tested exercise from positive psychology that is supposed to strengthen the feeling of happiness and satisfaction: Take a few minutes every evening for at least a week and review the day. Write down three things that were positive or beautiful today and write down what you have contributed to them. As a result, you perceive the moments consciously and they are more likely to be remembered. Thinking about what you have contributed to positive situations strengthens self-efficacy and shows you which behaviors you can use to achieve positive feelings. This works particularly well with journaling, a method that can permanently change our mindset.
Tip 2: find causes
In specific situations that annoy you, ask yourself what the problem is. At the beginning it is unusual to take a step back and look at the situation from the outside. But with time and a little practice, it gets easier and you learn to understand your own emotions better. On our autumn walk, is the person really angry with the kids, or has they recently been disappointed by another person and now expecting the same from the rest of the world? Is it really that bad that the lady in front of us at the supermarket checkout needs a little longer to pack her purchases or are we just hungry and should perhaps allow ourselves a little snack? Those who know the causes of their emotions suddenly perceive situations differently and can take countermeasures in case of doubt.
Tip 3: don't take everything personally
If we are angry with others or feel offended by them, it can help to ask about the causes. Because how often do we relate the behavior or comments of others to ourselves or take things personally that have nothing to do with us at all? Perhaps the boss is stressed out and takes it out on you - that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your work, but is probably under pressure herself. If a friend doesn't answer us, it usually doesn't because she doesn't feel like seeing us, but because she is going through a very stressful time. We like to look for causes with us - but often they are not there. That doesn't mean that we can shift all responsibility from ourselves. But a reflected look helps to recognize where we are perhaps interpreting too much into it or where we are in the victim role - and sharpens our perception of what is really going on.
Tip 4: There is (almost) always a positive side
It might sound trite, but there are always two perspectives. If you're stuck in a traffic jam, you might have time for your favorite band's new album. When your relationship comes to an end, at best you will learn something from it and benefit from it in your next relationship. Everyone knows examples where he or she was able to draw something positive out of a stupid situation in the end. And since there is nothing that can be done about most of these situations, sometimes the best thing you can do is to hold on to these very positive aspects. A bit like it used to be in children's books, where you could choose between the "good" and the "bad" ending.
Tip 5: No toxic positivity
Seeing the positive side shouldn't mean slipping into toxic positivity. This describes the compulsive focus on positive emotions and the consistent rejection of unpleasant feelings. If we always try to take "emotional shortcuts" and suppress negative feelings, they will not be processed. Negative feelings are also justified; fear, for example, can warn us of impending dangers, and grief is necessary in order to deal with losses. So: Even if we try to think positively and see the good in things, everything can and does not always have to be good. All emotions are part of it.
Tip 6: no pressure
Please don't expect your perception to turn 180 degrees from now on. A positive attitude needs to be trained - and that takes time. Consciously noticing and celebrating small successes also helps, as does accepting that some days are simply not made for positive thinking - and that's okay too.
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