When stress and myriad life problems, coping requires us to change our perception of the subject. Nevertheless, our subconscious programming often works the other way around, instead of changing our perceptions, we cling into resistance thinking that how we see, hear, feel or remember is right.
Often even disguised as the only valid truth!
In reality, our perceptions and also our memories are inaccurate especially on things supercharged with emotions. That is why it is very important to find ways on how to develop stress resilience.
For in developing our “stress coping skills” we change the inaccurate and distorted perceptions caused by extreme emotions.
Attention is Relative to Perception – Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is adaption to a particular mindset that confirms our prejudices.
This happens when our minds are focused on any particular data that creates happy feelings. When we don’t perceive any issue objectively we may build strong inclination to dismiss any other idea that may actually provide solutions.
We shape our reality through the mindsets that we choose to activate. In many cases our mindsets are programmed to default. Meaning, it only draws basis from stored information. Our memories play a crucial role in determining our responses and active mindsets.
For example, a person suffering from low self-esteem will adapt mindsets that will cause sensitivity to being ignored. The person may constantly monitor signs how they are being rejected or ignored by others, thus believing it to be their reality.
Our negative mindsets are deceptive in nature.
They cause us to be biased about how the world works, which totally distorts our version of reality.
But instead of addressing the real issue and change the bad memories that serves as foundation for negative mindsets, we choose self-deception. For self-deception is very addictive because it numbs us from genuine reality.
So one way of checking your perception is to reevaluate evidence. Before clinging onto negative emotions, check whether your view of the situation is factual or simply a product of confirmation bias. Question and proble your thoughts and discover the memories that may be clouding your judgement. When you do, work on changing them.
Classifying People and Events into Categories
Often our bad experiences and people involved in the event may be imprinted in our minds deeply due to the intense emotions felt during the event. When it happens our minds automatically use the particular event to form basis of a response in the future.
For example, your current relationship is not in the best shape and a sexy woman wearing a sexy dress flirted with your partner. You may develop a stress response to every woman who wears a sexy dress in the future.
Often we tend to believe that if people are similar in one thing, they are similar in all ways. This type of response is very limiting and only cause you to feel stressed and may even result on missing positive opportunities.
And if you go back to the previous section about confirmation bias, such mindset makes you observe another person only in ways that supports your flawed judgment.
In other words, we tend to respond to subtle cues presented by our environment through experiences, from sounds, lights and smells without being totally aware what colors our thoughts to form a negative response.
If a bad memory or imprint is constantly used by the mind to the point of being disruptive, they must be broken down and changed.
New neural connections can be created for these types of memories to lose its significance. Learn more here.
Without the emotions supporting them, you can be free from confirmation bias and categorizing people and events in a bad way.
The Anchoring Effect
Our perceptions require a proof in order for the mind to understand what to do and trigger the brain and body to follow.
We are often anchored to an experience or event that holds the highest significance.
For example, a memory of your first true love. Just the fact that you label a particular relationship to be true love means it is highly significant. This becomes your anchor for expectations on future relationships.
However, as tricky as the mind works, this also becomes your anchor to everything you may interpret as “negative.”
Being anchored to a memory is not totally bad, for our minds need to function this way. Nonetheless, without mastering how our memories function we may be missing out on many things and expose ourselves to a lot of stress.
When you begin to notice that you are anchored to a highly significant memory, before reacting and blowing things out of proportion and distort your reality further, begin to question how valid your perception of the current event is.
If you think it is something that is simply withdrawn from your highly significant memories provoking negative mindsets, take note of it and begin your journey to destroying these types of subconscious blocks. You will find yourself much more aligned to genuine reality of how things are than simply reacting based from a past experience.
Are You Ready to “Un-distort” Your Reality?
The above are just some of the many ways stress distorts reality. When you are ready to turn things around, it means your mind has come to the point of greater understanding.
Investing on knowledge that can help you unleash your mind’s potential to be stress resilient to achieve psychological flexibility is your best investment in this lifetime.
Go ahead and keep on pushing for learning, your memories hold the key to all your limiting beliefs and life issues. Why and how to change bad memories?
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