Pushing Through Adverse Situations

We’ve all had them  – situations that are stressful and/or seem insurmountable to the points we don’t know how to deal. This is a bit different than dealing with ‘bad days’ as I’ve addressed before. This is when one or several things happen that can derail not just a bad day, but a bad week. It seems then that more and more adverse situations keep occurring, ala Murphy’s Law (‘if anything bad can happen, it will) or ‘raining cats and dogs. It just seems that nothing goes right no matter the effort.

 

We have this mechanism in ourbrain, the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is responsible and controls our belief system (in addition to sleep and wakefulness). When we develop a belief about something, it gets stored in the RAS and we will continue to have that belief whether positive or negative; it filters information and rates them by order of importance, determining which information gets the attention – so if you’ve ever heard that what we focus on is what we get, this is the reason.

Another added factor is the feeling we get when we think that thought, which can then make a bad day feel bad or a good day feel good. It’s really the negative thoughts and feelings we need to work to overcome so that a negative event is ‘not so bad’ and one to deal with and put to rest. However, the RAS can bring old past negative memories up which then can make the situation at hand not feel like the end of the world.

The way to push through is to recalculate the RAS, meaning to think more on the positive; a quick way to do this is to remember positive memories, which takes the focus off of any negatives; or thinking about times when you did make it through a bad day as it challenges any negative thoughts to show they are not real – they are the interpretation of an event on our part. We can certainly change our outlook and retell the story of any of our memories – change the RAS and you will change your life. It’s not easy but the more you choose to do so, the easier it becomes.

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