The Zone - Volume 95
The big news of the week has been the weather and how it may be impacting various parts of the country. Our perception of the weather is in part dependent on our expectations. Talking with a neighbor this morning, who is having family visit for the first time in years, he reported that the family was disappointed because the weather was not as nice as what they expected. He pointed out to them that they had just missed a major blizzard in their hometown and that they were enjoying the sunshine.
Our perception is also based on where we place our focus. Yesterday, while planning to walk the beach, we heard reports of riptides and to be cautious. When we arrived at the beach, we encountered nature’s beauty and power. The force of the waves and the sound of the waves crashing was moving. While being cautious, our focus was on appreciating the beauty and awe and not on the dullness of the riptides and dangers.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, perception can be defined as “a way of regarding, understanding and interpreting something, a mental impression.” In times of change and transition, our perception of our world and the ingredients of it creates our reality. How we perceive our world and where we place our focus and attention, tends to grow in worth and energy.
Carrying the theme of weather, and our perception of it further, we can see how it can directly impact how we care for ourselves. For example, too often perceived “bad” weather stops us from being physically active; however, rarely is the weather “good.” If this were true, one would expect that individuals that lived in areas of “good” weather would have greater success in meeting the recommended daily activity guidelines for good health. Unfortunately, this does not hold up to be true from the country’s health data. To retain and build our resilient lifestyle it is not the weather that stops us but rather our perception of it.
Throughout this volume we have used the example of weather as the perceived obstacle that gets in our way of accomplishing our physical activity goal. Anything can be perceived as a possible obstacle; perceptions of how we view things can change. Reflecting on the words of William Arthur Ward, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails”. The question is, “Which of our sails need adjusting?”
It’s our perception of the event, not necessarily the event, that creates our reality.
Were we place our focus, is what tends to grow.
Our perceptions can be adjusted just like the sails on a ship.
Ask generative questions. Questions that are positive and focus on what gives life to human systems.
Reflect on the perceived obstacles to achieving good health.
Start each day with a fresh perspective.
Things to Limit
Accepting unsubstantiated excuses.
Spending too much time on social media.
“Complaining about the weather” as your introductory remarks each day.
Quote of the Week
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”
How we choose to view the world, in a sense, defines who we are. Do we look for possibilities and opportunities or do we stay with a problem-oriented mindset that may cause us to experience life as dull and unfulfilling.
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The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.
We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.
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