Sometimes all you need is an actual new perspective to change your thinking.
I’ve had two weeks in which I just felt off. Every couple of hours, my mood would shift from outgoing to wanting to curl up in bed. From being active and having a sore face from laughing, to feeling drained and emotional. And frankly after two weeks my patience was wearing thin.
After all, I had no reason to feel like this. I was doing all these amazing things and was making the trip of my dreams for crying out loud.
Yup, I was quite critical of myself. And eventually I decided to write it all down.
Unsurprisingly this resulted in an angry and frustrated piece of writing. Now what was I supposed to do with this?
Changing your perspective
There was just one thing, I didn’t have a bed. I was on a train, a train ride of twenty-four hours to be precise. So instead of a bed, I had to make do with a sleeping chair.
That’s when I discovered that I could, more or less, fit myself in two chairs to lay down. And suddenly the world looked different. The simple fact of seeing the world from a different angle, acted as a lightbulb moment.
I could choose to change how I felt about those ten days. I got stuck focusing on the negative, in judging myself, but this only made me feel more unhappy.
I could also turn it around. Even though my brain was tired, I did some really cool things. In other words, I suddenly realized the power of distractions. And that I could choose to focus on the positives.
Maybe I’d even go as far to say that my brain injury helps. As it doesn’t take much to distract me.
Distractions and a brain injury
Staying focused has become a much harder task nowadays. The ability of my brain, to filter out the unimportant, has been damaged. Every sound, movement or even a stray thought can break my concentration.
Staying focused on whatever tasks you’re doing has become a lot harder. So much so, that I need a break after forty-five minutes. Because when you get distracted you A, have to realize that your distracted and B, try to get back into whatever you were doing. Which of course all requires precious energy.
Really frustrating if you have to work, study or accomplish another important task. But maybe very helpful when you’re not so happy with yourself.
As one thing was for sure, I got distracted a lot and in this case, that meant getting distracted from that critical voice in my head.
After waking up and realising that I still didn’t feel like myself, I started to criticise myself. But as soon as I got talking to people over breakfast or opened my social media, I got distracted.
A blessing in disguise
Of course, I would like to go along on a hike, or go out for tea, or take funny pictures. I’d simply forgot that I felt off and wasn’t too pleased with myself. I haven’t laughed that much in a long while as I did in those days. Sure, I would be really tired at the end of the day, but still.
I can choose to focus on the things that don’t go well. To keep holding on to those insecurities over my abilities. What did I do wrong? Why can’t I feel better?
Or I can choose to just accept the status quo. But to divert my attention to all the good things that happened. Maybe I can, and should, use the power of distractions more often.
Realising this felt like a burden had been lifted. I could tell myself a more positive story about those ten days. I had turned my disability in an advantage!
Because I get so easily distracted, I was able to do (and enjoy) really cool things! Suddenly I was feeling a lot more happier with myself.
I still don’t know why I felt the way I did. What caused it all. But I do know that I need to pay more attention to the story I tell myself. That I can choose to focus on the positives.
Have you found ways in which you could turn a disability into an adventage? What do you do when you’re feeling off?