If you’re human, you’ve had phases in your life when things are in flux. Maybe you’re even in one of the following flux states right now:
Feeling that the career ladder you’re on is very wobbly beneath your feet.
Believing Cupid rhymes with stupid for good reason.
Sensing you should rename your Amex Green Card your Red Card.
Taking baby steps into a whole new life by creating a whole new life.
Questioning where you’re gonna be resting your weary head in the future
Going through first-degree or second-degree college degree brain burn.
Enduring an upgrade you hope won’t lead to a breakdown.
Yes, there are many varieties of flux. Yet it only takes two words to describe all of ’em: Flux sucks!
Thankfully, it also only takes two lenses to see your way clearly through flux:
Basically, if you’re enduring an anxious trip into The Land of Change and Uncertainty, a bifocal lens will ensure you better enjoy your travels.
Unfortunately, people sometimes can get stuck viewing flux with only one lens, which creates problems.
If you only view flux with short-term vision, you’ll be focusing too much on present fears, obstacles, failure and disappointment. As a result, you’ll choose habits and thoughts from a low-level place of negativity.
If you only view flux with your long-term vision, you risk becoming overwhelmed by the gaping distance between what you have now and what you desire in the future. As a result, you can get confused by which steps to take because there appear to be far too many.
When you choose to view flux with a bifocal lens, you will reap the benefits of seeing both the first few steps in front of you and the top of your goal illuminated in the distance.
This bifocal view will allow you to better aim your daily steps in the right direction. Plus, when you’re bifocally blessed, you will have the happy choice to swap to a different lens when one is needed more than the other.
Let’s say you’re in career flux and feeling anxious and fearful about what you see with your short-term lens (aka an unstable career). You can instantly calm yourself by switching to your long-term lens and refocusing on a happy future visualization in which you imagine the happy career you desire and deserve.
I’m a big believer in the power of visualizations. And so are neuroscientists.
Numerous studies have proven how merely imagining positive circumstances sends blood flowing from negative brain regions to positive ones.
In fact, when you visualize doing an action, you stimulate the same brain regions as you do when performing that action.
Because visualization is so powerful, many professional athletes have trained for events by visualizing successful results, thereby increasing their likelihood of attaining them.
If you’re in the midst of flux, and feeling stressed because you’re hyper-focused on short-term problems, you can benefit from this proven science of happy future visualizations. Simply take five to 15 minutes to refocus your attentions on attaining your long-term goal.
We become resentful when circumstances aren’t unfolding as we want, leading us to doubt whether we will ever get what we want. Unfortunately, if you spend too much time thinking negative thoughts, you simply refuel your hopelessness by sending a surge of blood flowing into brain regions associated with depression and anger.
If you want to feel happier immediately, you can create a brain environment that supports clarity and solutions by spending time doing happy future visualizations, which sends blood flow to the positivity regions of your brain.
The more you do happy future visualizations, the stronger your patience muscles will become. Basically, fear and emotional pain have a harder time existing when your long-term lens is focused on a confident belief in happiness and success.
If you feel overwhelmed by the long road you know you must take to get to your long-term goal, it’s time to tap into your bifocal lens and refocus on your short-term vision.
As the Buddhists say, “The 1,000-mile journey begins with one step.”Keeping with this theme, the Japanese have a wonderful word, kaizen, which means “small habits over time which add up to large results over time.”
If you were training for a marathon, you might wake each day and run for small bits of increasing time (10 minutes, then 12, then 15, etc). Eventually, you’ll find you can run for marathon levels of time.
Each day you can awake and focus on small, easy goals you can accomplish in the short term—goals that, over time, will lead you to your long-term goal.
If you’re in career flux, you can write three emails to past business colleagues and take one hour to scan job websites. At the end of the day, you should write down your daily progress in an appreciation journal.
If forward progress feels slower than you want, remind yourself that you can’t rush the time and process of a flux. Everything has its needed time and process.
Pregnancy takes nine months. Wanting to give birth faster will not necessarily yield better, happier results. Ditto for love flux or education flux or home flux. Those also have their specific times and processes.
Need further support to think happier?
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
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