Oftentimes people have very high expectations when they travel. People seek to travel in order to escape from their routine and find a sense of adventure and freedom in another unfamiliar territory. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you endeavor on a new travel experience but all you can think about is how you’re hungry and tired you are or how much you miss the comfort of your own home?
Our brain is wired to scan for the bad and problematic areas in life. It originates from the primitive brain that is alert in case of a dangerous situation. This is why our thoughts naturally note what is bothering us. It takes more of an active effort to be grateful for what we do have. This is why happiness and meaning are more dependent on your mindset than your feelings or situations. Even in the toughest circumstances, we can look to find glimpses of hope.
Training your mind to proactively think good thoughts takes practice and is much easier said than done but just like every muscle, it needs training. Start by jotting down every day a few things that made you appreciative and find the meaning through the smaller things. In our world, we are constantly looking for more gratification and grander experiences to get our adrenaline and dopamine pumping. This will only leave us hungry for more and unfulfilled. Zoning in on the small kind gestures you experienced throughout the day will lead you to perhaps a longer but more fulfilling path towards meaning.
I would battle with stress and anxiety for years as things wouldn’t go my way but then I understood that being able to take a step back and breathe opens up the mind to think about so many more options and opportunities that could be experienced. Finding meaning is much more of an inner journey than an outward pursuit of fleeting happiness.