Think Hope – Feel Hope
I was thinking the other day that it’s so easy to start loosing hope in what you are doing when the challenges of day to day life take over".
It’s easy to get lost in the dross. Let’s face it, life can serve up ample portions of dross on a regular basis. At those times it’s easy to get distracted by managing all that stuff and forget the other things that are quietly going well and not demanding our attention.
Epictetus in the first century wrote, "What disturbs people’s minds is not events but their judgements on events". In CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) we pick up that idea and say that sometimes we wear our ‘glasses of doom’ these are kind of opposite to the ‘rose tinted spectacles’. The ‘glasses of doom’ affect what we see – looking through their lenses everything looks grey; all the traffic lights are on red; nothing good ever happens to me…. sound familiar? Anyone out there got a pair of these? Perhaps you’ve had them on so long you have forgotten you are wearing them!
CBT is not actually about being positive – it’s about balance. Let’s start to look at the good things that are going on in the background as well as attending to the difficulties that demand our attention. Let’s have a less negative judgement about our life events by having a more balanced view. It’s hard to peel of those ‘glasses of doom’ sometimes isn’t it? What good things might you see in your life if you could take them off?
In CBT there is the idea that if we can change our thoughts, we can change how we feel. This is daily work, sometimes even hourly work – challenging our thoughts, staying with the balance rather than resorting to either ‘rose tinted’ or ‘doom tinted’ spectacles. Let’s ditch those glasses!
Listening to other people who can do the same kind of thought balancing is helpful. Ever noticed how misery can rub off on you? Well Hope can do the same… ….