“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
~ William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Despite a strong lure to stamp life events with clear-cut labels like “good” or “bad”, all happenings are really neutral. It’s our unique interpretations that determine the meaning we attribute to them. In other words, we don’t experience events directly; we experience them through our individual filters.

Filters that have evolved from experiences in our past and our social and cultural conditioning.

Recognising this puts the power back into your hands (or, rather, your mind). You can start to observe automatic thoughts as they arise and curiously ponder where they’re coming from. Then, instead of simply succumbing to them, you can contemplate alternatives.

By taking the time to reflect from different perspectives, occurrences that may have previously propelled you into meltdown mode can be interpreted as opportunities. Even the most unpalatable events hold a hidden benefit – or many – if you delve deep enough. And often, the most challenging phases of our lives turn out to be a blessing in the course of time.

So, next time something you’d normally label “bad” occurs, forget dwelling on the drawbacks – or even making things worse by catastrophising what is – and instead focus on reframing its meaning. Take the time to look a little closer and discover the multitude of benefits hangin’ surreptitiously beneath the surface…

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