Say what you see. It's the simplest thought experiment I know, and demonstrates an essential insight to help you change your mind and raise your personal bar to happiness. Have you ever felt 'stuck' in a situation, lifestyle or relationship? Perhaps the situation doesn't need to change. Perhaps you do?

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How you can change your mind in 10 easy steps

When I was teaching counselling at an adult education college, there was an experiment I used to do with students which involved placing an apple in the middle of the table and then asking students to write down what they saw together with the thoughts and associations triggered by the apple.

It was the kind of 'stream of consciousness' exercise Freud would have been proud of.

The results were predictable. One saw a rosy red apple, another noticed a bruise and some thought it looked a bit overripe. The associations ranged from teachers, school and homework to granny's apple pie and the Garden of Eden.

What's the point?

They were all looking at the same apple. The apple, you could say, was neutral. But what they did, was lay all 'their stuff' on the apple.

Of course the exercise was not about the apple at all.

Surprisingly, you can change your mind by just changing chairs.

Working now is a psychotherapist and coach, I sometimes help my clients to come and sit in my chair for a while. I then ask them to say what they notice about the room we are sitting in. Some think the room seems brighter or larger. Some notice a picture or a plant they hadn't noticed before.

They all think the room looks 'different.'

But the room, has not changed. They have simply changed their position within the room and are now seeing it from a different perspective.

It's all about perception and the stories we tell ourselves.

There are many ways to look at things. Often, we cannot change the world around us or even our personal circumstances, but simply need to change the way we look at things.

Top tip

Try this powerful perception-shifting exercise to 'see with new eyes'

  1. Bring to mind the person or situation causing you to feel stuck.
  2. Now float outside the situation in your mind, as though you are viewing it on a screen.
  3. What do you notice now about the situation and the people involved?
  4. From this new position, what can you see about your choices?
  5. Mentally rehearse how you would like to see this situation resolved.
  6. Now freeze frame that picture.
  7. Put a frame around it
  8. Hang it somewhere in your mind if you want to, or shrink it down and throw it away, or file it knowing you can come back to it if you wish to.
  9. Notice how do you feel about the situation now?
  10. Repeat as and whenever you feel it would be useful to 'reframe' your view.


One of my favourite pieces of wisdom is attributed to the French novelist, Marcel Proust

'The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.'

So what words did you see?

I saw HAPPINESS IS NOW HERE and hope you chose to as well.

Frances A Masters

Psychotherapist, Coach, Writer. Live your best life.

Do you want to be happier and more resilient? Some people seem to just 'bounce back' no matter what life throws at them. We can't choose many of life's events but we certainly do have a choice about how we respond. My passion for mental health began 25 years ago when I suffered postnatal depression and realised the help I needed simply wasn't there. The pills didn't work. In fact they made things worse. What I really needed was to understand how anxiety, depression and emotional ill health can develop. I needed to learn good 'mind management' skills which would act like a 'psychological inoculation' against future problems. When I recovered, I made a decision to find out how and why I had become so depressed and made a personal pledge to do something to provide the kind of help for others which I had needed. I wanted to prevent people suffering unnecessarily. So I embarked on a personal and professional journey and, along the way, developed a brand new approach to health and well-being. My journey began with four years of traditional counselling training, followed by a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy. I studied cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), hypnotherapy, coaching and cognitive neuroscience. I built up 30,000 hours professional experience which I brought together into the new happiness and resilience programme l named 'Fusion.' I also wrote a book about how to resolve post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), founded a therapeutic coaching charity and trained volunteers to work in this new way. This training programme would later become the nationally accredited Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Diploma and Distance Learning Skills Certificate. Now... The journey continues. Now I want to reveal all my professional secrets about good mind management to as many people as possible through social media and by training Fusion Breakthrough trainers from all over the world. One of them could be you... Something new.. Something different.. Something which lasts.. What if you could experience one day which could actually change your life for good; giving you your own eureka moment; not only helping you create a vision of the life you want to live, but actually give you the real skills to get there and stay there? Fusion is a tried and tested system which combines the best of psychotherapy and coaching into a powerful new formula for lasting change. My aim is to help and empower as many people as possible to feel their best, be their best and live their best lives. Perhaps I could help you too....