It’s amazing, the world we live in. In some part of this world at this very moment, people have been fighting for decades over a senseless war in the Middle East, others are living it up in the world’s fastest-rising economies such as China and the Far East. So, why is it that world peace seems to be so elusive and a pipe dream? It all has something to do with this often used but misunderstood term called Perception.
In psychological terms, perception refers to mental operations that organize sensory impulses into meaningful patterns. Now, in lay terms, this basically means that we all have perceptive abilities, but we don’t look at things in the same way. A bulimic will look at him or herself and see a fat person who needs to lose more weight. These sensory impulses have a lot to do with the environment we live in and the information we choose give our focus to.
Our reality is formed by the perceptions we encounter on a daily basis. If you turned on the TV to the major news channels and saw rioting in the streets of Jakarta, bombs going off in Iraq and freak snowstorms in Britain, you’d be forgiven for thinking the world was coming to an end. However, if you decided to spend the afternoon watching uplifting shows on the OWN Network or shows about people who have overcome serious health, psychological and environmental obstacles to be the best they can be, you’d be left with a warm fuzzy feeling and the perception that anything is possible, and that the tools and resources available for you to change your life circumstances are limitless.
So, How Can I Change my Perceptions in Order To Change My Reality?
One of the simple ways in which you can change or alter your perceptions is to control the stimuli coming into your mind. This includes the kind of shows you watch on a daily basis, movies and news channels you choose to listen to. Be vigilant and develop a habit of concentrating on media outlets that seem to give an objective view of the reality on the ground. Avoid tabloid journalism, sensational news and movies containing unbridled violence. I call these energy leeches and are the fastest way to change your perceptions and send your mood into a downward spiral.
Next, surround yourself with good friends. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Spotting friends that want the best for you takes a sharpened instinct and a knack for observing human behavior. A friend who’s always too busy whenever you call them for a night out on town but is the first one who jumps at the prospect of a paid shopping trip is an energy leech. True friends will time and time again sacrifice for you and will offer emotional support when needed. Take an inventory of the people around you and surround yourself with supportive, focused and optimistic people. Your perceptions will slowly shift from a negative to positive outlook. The continued support you’ll get will act as a buffer and barrier from all the negativity around you, keeping you mentally healthy and resilient to tackle life’s issues as they come.
Lastly, meditation is a great tool that can help center and quiet your mind, and allows you to block out negative thoughts. Yoga and guided visualization are great at training your subconscious at identifying correct, helpful perceptions and storing them for future reference, allowing you to develop a habit of filtering information and impulses as they come into your mind, helping you think of only the best. This in turn will change the reality around you and give you hope and faith that the future will be just fine.
At the end of the day, perceptions are a choice, and can be controlled. Make a choice to focus on only the best, and ask for only the best to come into your mind and life as a whole.
James N is a trainer, writer, and contributor to DegreeJungle.com a resource for college students. He specializes in offering actionable tips to readers that may need it so they can make good life decisions. He lives in Ontario with his wife Hayley and three kids: Jamie, Chris and Annie.