This is perhaps one of the most helpful questions to ask yourself when you are feeling stressed out or stuck. Whether you’re upset about your boss, spouse, a problem at work, or world news, changing your perspective will empower you to find creative solutions and relief.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Author Wayne Dyer, affectionately called the Doctor of Motivation by many of his millions of fans, often said “When you change the way you look at things, the things that you look at change.” So, let’s consider the mechanics of how we can change the way we see things.
Our perceptions reach our brain through the nervous system. Neurologists, the scientists who study the nervous system, have discovered that stress, pressure, fatigue, poor diet, alcohol and drugs damage neural connections between the brain’s prefrontal cortex (the higher thinking CEO) and the rest of the brain.
With chronic exposure to these toxic influences, our higher more evolved rational thinking brain circuits get bypassed due to the impaired neural connections. Then to our detriment, the brain reverts to using its more primitive stimulus/response pathways. This is why we tend toward rigid thinking and reactive behavior, worry, anxiety, distracted attention, and low self-esteem. At these times, even the smallest of challenges can overwhelm us. So what can we do in our pressure filled world to see things differently, broaden our perspective and gain relief?
I know of no better way to change the way we see and respond to the world than to incorporate a regular meditation practice into our life. While there are many styles of meditation. I’ll discuss the one with which I am most familiar – Effortless Meditation or EM. During EM, we experience a deep state of rest that releases stress in our nervous system.
This is transformational because the nervous system is a conduit for all information coming to and from our brain. Stress, which has been called health enemy #1, is a major impediment to the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain. Therefore, when we reduce stress in our nervous system, we see and respond to things differently because our nervous system and brain are functioning as nature intended.
The evidence of this beneficial change is seen in responses from people who meditate. Frequently they report that they look forward to meditating when they return home from work. Before they learned to meditate, they felt that they took all the stress of the day home with them. Now, after work, they sit in meditation and release their perception altering stress before engaging in family life. They are calmer, relaxed, more patient, and revitalized from the deep rest in their meditation. Many say that their families encourage them to meditate.
The world is as we are. After meditation, without effort, we see things differently because we are different. The benefits we experience are rooted in the change in our brain and nervous system brought about by meditation practice.
Stress Reduction Resources, Director