Developing the right perspective

What does “the right perspective” mean?

The majority of us could probably think of several times when we got upset or worried about something that, with hindsight, wasn’t really that bad. It might even seem completely trivial now. Having the right perspective means that we can see what’s important to us in life and stop less important things from bothering us so much.

But that’s still kind of vague – how can we go about changing how we see the world and things that happen in our lives? Is it even possible to do so?

Can I change my perspective?

Yes – there are small things that you can do that can really improve how much your outlook on things.

However, if you are struggling with your mental health more and it is affecting your life negatively, you should consider talking to a doctor or therapist about it. Although the advice given in this resource may be useful in improving wellbeing for some people, they are not a replacement for thorough support for a mental health problem.

Be realistic, is it really going to happen?

We can often get carried away in our thoughts and it’s important to take a step back and look at the reality of a situation.

Try to stop thinking in catastrophic terms. Instead of thinking, ‘This is terrible’, think ‘this is not ideal, but it will pass and I will be okay’.

If you’re worried about the future, think about your past experience. Many things that we spend time worrying about never actually happen. Ask yourself ‘How many of the things I have previously feared would happen in my life did actually happen?’ It may help you to realise that your current worry is not actually that realistic.

So many of our worries and troubles are simply not going to happen and actively questioning the likelihood of something negative happening can help you to think more positively. Over time, you might find that you’re worried about small things less and less because you know that so many of your worries are unrealistic.

Talk about your worry

Talking about our thoughts can sometimes have a huge positive impact on us. Just venting for a few minutes can make a big difference and after a short while, you may start to wonder what you were so worried or upset about in the first place.

Again, the more we talk about our worries, the more we realise that many of them are trivial.

Think of the bigger picture

Think about what actually matters you to. Perhaps even write it down to set it in your mind. Now think about how insignificant this one worry is in comparison. Maybe try thinking ‘How will I feel about this in a week, in a month, or in a year?’ Chances are, you won’t expect to still be negatively affected after a brief amount of time. Or, think ‘Is this one thing going to interfere with what is important to me?’

Know that you will cope

Unfortunately, there will always be things that life throws our way that is simply unpleasant (to say the least) to experience – things like bereavement, divorce, chronic illness, job loss, debt.

It’s true that bad things will happen to you at some point in life, but you will be able to deal with them and continue. Knowing you can cope with whatever life throws your way should mean that you start to worry less about the smaller things.

Go for a long walk

If you’re able to, go out for a long walk which can help you to find perspective in your life. Doing similar things day-in-day-out can take its toll and sometimes we simply just need a change of scenery and a break to recuperate in order to realise that we needn’t stress about smaller things.

Take action

If you’re stressing about something small that you can take action on – take action. Tackling the source of our worries head-on is the best way to deal with them. Accept the things you cannot change, and take action on the ones that you can.