My morning’s dog walk could have been cold wet, dark and miserable. It was 7am, still very dark, raining, with quite a cold breeze.
Yet, it was really quite ok. As I made way around one of my usual routes I found myself thinking about how much our perception can change our feelings about an event or experience. If I had been feeling grumpy and determined to experience my walk this morning as cold, wet, dark and miserable then that is undoubtedly what it would have been. Instead, it was enjoyable walking the streets in the half-light as the sun was coming up. I enjoyed seeing who was also out and about. The rain felt refreshing. The air crisp and wintry.
Unfortunately some experiences we are faced with my be too difficult or traumatic for us to shift our perception of them. The recent floods in many parts of the UK, brought on by similar rain to that I enjoyed this morning, will be an example of this. Some people’s lives will have been dramatically impacted by what has happened.
Therapy for difficult memories
Sometimes experiences in the present can be too evocative of painful experience in the past. We may be unable to move past the significance of certain events without professional help of therapy. For example, significant anniversaries may be triggering past losses, day to day events may trigger anxieties about past traumas. If you have had an experience where shifting how you perceive it might be useful, therapy can often be very helpful in that process.
But this morning was happily one of those days when what could have been cold wet and miserable was refreshing energising and connecting.