It’s always the same story; despite a sea of positive things we focus on that tiny little negative, that no matter how small is able to obscure all the light in our lives. Why does that happen? Apparently, that happens for several different reasons:
- We tend to focus on the negative experiences because they pose a chance of danger. So our brain becomes alert and the positive experiences are more difficult to recall.
- Negative experiences involve more thinking and this is why people like me tend to ruminate more about the experience.
- Negative experience take time to wear off and be, for the time being, forgotten.
True, this could help us deal with negative future events better. Being a pessimist, I always tend to visualise the worst possible scenario of any situation so, when it does happen, I’d feel like I’m prepared and can handle it. It’s a way of controlling what I cannot control, though I know that when something bad will truly happen there will be nothing I could have done/do to prepare myself.
So do we do this on purpose then? Are we mentally torturing ourselves to be ready for possible future negative events?
Why not. Today while I was coming home from work and tiring my mind with all the stress and ‘what-ifs’, the unspoken words and the discussions made, that maybe it is not an act of mental self harm, but of rescue. I cannot live with my job being such an important and huge aspect of my life. I cannot spend my days thinking of what will happen tomorrow at work or the day after. It cannot dominate my being ‘happy’.
And as I thought this, I found negativity seeping into everything. Where I live. My absent social life. The weather? And those things were never an issue when I liked the atmosphere at work. I didn’t mind where I live and the zero multicultural environment. My social life is near zero because my friends are scattered around the world and I’m a selective person. Why hang around people you don’t feel connect with when you can Skype with a glass of wine with someone you can relate to? And the weather … Yes, I’m a sunflower, slumping when there is no sun but the sun will eventually peak through the clouds.
I was happy before things at work changed because I love my job and the place where I’m working was treating me well.Now that the situation has changed, is my brain trying to prepare me? Responding to’danger’ to my being happy?
What should I do?
Focus on myself. Not my job. Where I live. Not what society thinks a social life should be or the weather.
Just me and what makes me happy.