Updated: Oct 19, 2018
by Nina Sabin - Healthy Tip
Did you know having the right perspective is good for your mind, body, and spirit? So often we can see things differently than others in the same situation. For example, recently my husband and I left our home of over sixteen years. Not only did we leave our home, we left friends, and our employment. It wasn’t our choice to leave, which could have led our perspective to be bitter and have hurt feelings. Blaming people and circumstances for our quick move back to the US. However, instead we decided to have the perspective of trusting God and looking forward to our new adventure. Knowing that God has a plan for our lives and we are now living a ‘new norm.’
We aren’t doing a traditional lifestyle of working a nine to five job for a company or having a set home. Instead, we are enjoying life by traveling doing work-stays, spending time with our daughters, and living a simpler life; or in other words, a stress free life or as our website says we are focusing on the freedoms of life.
It is not always easy to keep our perspective positive – seeing the best in the situation instead of the worst. Human nature tends to immediately have the more negative perspective, but it takes work to have a more positive perspective. So the question is what can we do to improve our perspective.
According to health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, there are 3 different types of willpower that we use to exert our self-control: 1) I Will Power – this is what we do to push ourselves to accomplish our daily activities such as getting out of bed in the morning, going to the gym, and getting to work. 2) I Won’t Power – this is what we use to resist indulging ourselves with another portion of food, eating foods we don’t need, or having another glass of wine. 3) I Want Power -this is what you use to find joy in your work, find time for your children, and make time for the things you enjoy. The first two drain often times drain our energy and will power. However, the third motivates us and actually gives us more energy. The more excited about something, the more we want to explore that opportunity.
McGonigal suggest two simple ways to change your perspective – ‘Have to’ vs.’ Get to’ and ‘I Can’t’ vs. ‘I Don’t’.
When we tell ourselves we ‘have to’ do something. It has a negative connotation and our brain and body immediately reacts by resisting the situation and we feel drained at just the thought of doing something. However, if we change our perspective to ‘get to’. We immediately feel excited and can’t wait for whatever the opportunity or situation is – going to work, going to the gym, seeing a doctor, visiting a sick friend, etc.
Also, when we tell ourselves ‘I can’t’ do something – such as eating ice cream while watching tv. Our bodies want to do the opposite because we are told what we can’t do. However, if we say to ourselves ‘I don’t’ eat ice cream while watching tv so I can help keep my weight down and take care of my body. Our mind and bodies understand and we are more likely to have will power and control our actions.
Just changing our perspective and thought pattern helps make our life healthier. When we make healthier choices, we feel better about ourselves and our circumstances. So the next time you want to say ‘I have to’ quickly change it to ‘I want to’.
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