Equal?

IMG_4140Are some people simply more unlucky than others? Are their burdens of negative things more heavy than those who fly light as a feather? Or are we all equally likely to be blessed/cursed? Do some people simply handle adversity better than others and therefore seem never to have anything bad happen to them? While, do others fall apart and constantly tell the whole world about any and all negative things that may have befallen them?

I have bipolar disorder, so it is more difficult at times to regulate my emotions, specifically the DEPTH of my emotions. But, if you’ve been reading my blog, quite a few negative things have happened to me. That is the truth. I have coped with them as well as I could have done. Still coping. Still trying. Still standing.

Just some thought.

TRANSFORM YOUR WORDS IN 4 STEPS 

Good, good, good! Toning down the intensity of negative emotions, going from describing your emotional state as severely depressed to, let’s say, feeling bad, this will make you feel better. And feeling better means better at coping with the negative emotions. Feeling better means not having to deal with the catastrophic effects of your highly negative emotions, not on you, not on your body or your mind! All good. 

https://www.tonyrobbins.com/mind-meaning/transform-your-words-in-4-steps/?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Editorial&utm_content=Transform%20Your%20WordsPosted by Tony Robbins. 
A 10-DAY CHALLENGE THAT WILL BREAK DESTRUCTIVE, HABITUAL VOCABULARY
“Without language, we find ourselves living in a state of emotional chaos. Our brain has given us the potential to communicate in extraordinary ways and the way we choose to do so can improve the neural functioning of the brain. In fact, a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress. If we do not continually exercise the brain’s language centers, we cripple our neurological ability to deal with the problems we encounter with each other.”

– Dr. Andrew Newberg, Words Can Change Your Brain

In a previous blog post, Change your words, change your life, we talked about how our habitual emotional vocabulary shapes and controls much of our emotional experiences in life – how the labels we put upon our experience become our experience.
Today, let’s take a look at how you can transform the quality of your entire life simply by becoming conscious of what habitual vocabulary you use for negative emotions, and shifting them with words that break your patterns and provide you with new and better emotional choices.
Your assignment is very simple: Below you’ll see my 10-day challenge. I call it “Watch Your TV,” watch your “Transformational Vocabulary.” The labels you attach to your experience can transform the way you feel. Again, it’s not hard to realize that if you habitually take any intense emotion and say it’s “depressing,” it’s going to feel very different than if you say you’re feeling a little “down.” Being enraged by somebody’s reaction is very different than being a bit frustrated by their response. Saying to yourself they utterly rejected you, is quite different than they didn’t agree with your suggestion.

The real secret to transforming your life is to wake up and become conscious of the patterns that are currently unconscious and shaping the way you feel.
Ultimately the way we feel determines the quality of your life. You could have whatever you think life’s dream is—building a billion dollar enterprise or a family that totally loves and adores you—but if every single day you live with the emotions of feeling frustrated and angry, then the quality of your life is called frustration and anger—it has nothing to do with the economic opportunities you have, much less the love you are surrounded by.
The quality of our lives is the quality of our emotions.
The power of Transformational Vocabulary is its simplicity. It provides you with an immediate tool to increase the quality of your life. So here are the four steps to your 10-day challenge:

STEP 1: CHECK YOURSELF
Become conscious of the habitual words you use to describe your unhappy or distressing feelings. Begin to notice the labels you are putting on things.
If you say something like, “I’m so worried about this,” stop yourself and acknowledge that “worry” might be too strong a word. Maybe what you really are is “a little bit concerned.” Monitor your language and make sure your language isn’t exaggerating the intensity of emotions. Or better yet, consciously pick a word that would lower the negative intensity (instead of saying that you are “furious” with someone, describe yourself as being a little “irritated” or “disappointed with their reaction”).
If somebody asks you, “How’s it going?” instead of saying, “Okay,” what would be a word that might put a smile on your face to even say, that would break your own pattern? Like, “You wouldn’t even believe how I’m feeling!” with a smile, to be playful with yourself. Or a simple response like “I’m committed” or “I’m lucky” or “I’m grateful.” And then take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. We often lose sight of what’s beautiful in our life because of a few things that are out of line with our expectations.
My wife Sage is truly a master of this. Her favorite language pattern is when most people would say “S**t” she says, “Sugar doodle,” or when something really brutal happens, she’ll often say “Ooooh Boy.” Her response seems so ridiculous. It’s not that she doesn’t know how difficult things are, but her state of joy is infectious – her language patterns don’t just break her patterns, but mine and everyone’s around her as well. She truly expresses more joy and happiness than anyone I know.
STEP 2: IDENTIFY 3 NEGATIVE WORDS
Write down three words you currently use on a regular basis that intensify your negative feelings or emotions. Maybe you use words like “I’m frustrated,” “I’m depressed,” or “I’m humiliated.” Come up with alternative words that will lower the intensity of those negative emotions. Maybe instead of “depressed” you say you are “a little bit down.”
What would happen if instead of saying you feel “humiliated” you say you are “uncomfortable” with how the situation was dealt with? You can soften emotional intensity even further by using modifiers like “I’m just a bit peeved,” or, “I’m feeling a tad out of sorts.”
STEP 3: FIND 3 POSITIVE WORDS
Write down three words that you use to describe your experience that is somewhat positive. When someone says, “how’s it going?” come up with three alternative words that will amplify and intensify the positive feelings and inspire you. Instead of talking about how things are “all right,” replace those words with “incredible,” “outrageous,” and “spectacular.” What’s a positive word that if you really thought about your whole life, you could say and own congruently?
STEP 4: PICK TWO “ACCOUNTABILITY” BUDDIES
Get leverage so you follow through. Pick two key people in your life – a close friend and ideally someone you respect that you would not want to disappoint. Pull them aside and explain to them your commitment to replace two or three key words in your vocabulary.
Most importantly, give them permission if they hear you using the old word to ask you if that’s really the word you want to use to explain how you feel. For example: Let them know if you start to say, “John f’n pisses me off,” that you want them to intervene and ask you, “Do you mean John’s behavior frustrates you a bit J?”
I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you are committed, a simple reminder will get you to catch yourself and lower the intensity immediately. It will help you recognize that you have control of your own space in this moment and by simply selecting a different word, you can change the meaning completely. If you do this well, you’ll find yourself smiling while you do it, like an inside joke. But it’s impact is no laughing matter.
Or if you use a phrase like “I’m depressed,” you may want them to ask you, “Hey are you depressed about this, or are you feeling a little bit down?” Are you frustrated or fascinated by how people often respond to things? Making a commitment to make these changes to a dear friend or an important and respected colleague will give you the additional support and incentive to actually follow through and break your own patterns.
By carefully and consciously selecting the words you are attaching to your experiences and doing it for a ten-day period, you’ll find an immediate change in how you feel and this becomes positively addictive. I can tell you for those who have lived this ten-day plan, the experience can be life-changing.
Again, I know it sounds overly simplistic, but if you test it out and are diligent with it for 10 days, you’ll experience a transformation in your emotional patterns – and the emotional patterns we live are what control the quality of our life. You’ll even feel the difference in your body – a lot less pain and a lot more pleasure. Don’t you deserve to have a better quality of life? Plus when you’re in a great state, how do you treat others? The better your state, the more powerful the impact on everyone around you – your businesses, your friends, and your family.
© 2017 Robbins Research International, Inc. All rights reserved.

5 Steps to Increase Motivation

First time I’ve heard the term “Adrendlin dump,” but in pretty sure that’s how I’ve lived all my life. Basically what this article is saying is yo utilize mindfulness and avoid procrastination and doing things at the last minute due to the stress induced adrenaline dump. I am going to try this. Do things on a steady incremental fashion and be grateful for all I have. Great article and very helpful advice!

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/03/01/5-steps-to-increase-motivation/

5 Steps to Increase Motivation 
By Laura C Meyer 

I hear it all the time: “I’m not motivated.” For many of my clients, they are referring to not having the motivation to perform basic life responsibilities such as paying bills, cleaning the house, making calls, and taking care of their health.

When do they get motivated? When they are in the danger zone. A late fee motivates them to pay bills. When friends come over, or when the house is so disgusting they can’t take it, is when they get motivated to clean. They get motivated to make a call just minutes before a negative consequence, and motivated to take care of their health in times of sickness.
What is really happening is that procrastination has trained the brain to dump adrenaline right before the event, and we get energy to take action. Adrenaline does give us energy, so we wait for the adrenaline dump to get motivated.
Things eventually get done; however, it comes with a huge physical cost, and low-level living that can lead to depression, anxiety, and lack of enjoyment. The undercurrent of daily living is a negative environment. Motivation to get things done comes from the danger zone of fear, worry, and anxiety. This can make life feel dull and hard, keeping the stress cycle of procrastination going and flooding your body with harmful stress hormones.
The good news is that you can change the undercurrent. Here are five steps to increase positive motivation for a healthier, happier life:
1. Educate yourself.
Know that the same human brain that dumps adrenaline has the same to potential to dump happy hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine.
Serotonin gets released when you feel significant and important and have a sense of internal satisfaction. Endorphins (endogenous morphine) are the body’s natural opiates designed to relieve stress and enhance pleasure. They get released with certain foods, social connections, and light to moderate exercise. Dopamine motivates us to take action toward goals and desires, and gives us pleasure when achieving them. But you have to actually taking some action to release dopamine, even in small increments.

 2. Stop the adrenaline dump.
Pay at least one bill every week. This is not about the timely manner in which you pay bills; it’s getting your brain away from the danger zone to stop the adrenaline dump. Clean 10 minutes each day and maybe an hour on the weekend instead of the adrenaline-rushed four-hour “motivated” cleanup. Your brain will have no reason to dump adrenaline at the last minute if you do small increments and you get the benefit of helping your brain release dopamine more often.
3. Become aware of perceptions.
Simply observe thoughts while doing your small increments. Do you perceive the event as dreadful, painful, and boring? If so, you perceive the event as an emotional danger zone, and of course you procrastinate. Your brain also has potential to change thoughts toward perceived mundane activities which make up about 80 percent of daily life — such as eating, showering, cleaning, driving, and walking.
4. Be truthful.
Draw into the truth of the actual experience, not your creative stories about how dreadful it is. When you wash the dishes, feel the warm water. See the suds. Smell the dish soap. Pick up a cup and plate. Lift the cup into the drain board. Clean the cup. Is this really so dreadful?
When you pay bills, go to the bank website. Look at your balance. Open an envelope. See the amount owed. Pick up the checkbook. Reach for a pen. Write letters and numbers. Affix a stamp to the envelope. Walk to the mailbox. Or, lift your fingers a few times to pay online.
5. Tap into gratitude to finalize new perceptions, and know that there is more truth.
You are glad to have children who track mud in the house. You are glad to have a house to clean, to pay for, and for a cell phone bill that keeps you closer to friends and family. You are grateful to have a house that friends want to come to, and glad you have friends. You are glad to have the food that you are cleaning off dishes.
You are glad that you have a body that hugs and kisses, and is able to speak, see, and hear words of gratitude. You are grateful to have all these things, and you are motivated to take care of and appreciate them.

How Anger Affects the Brain and Body

Very informative. May be very helpful in dealing with anger. 

http://www.nicabm.com/how-anger-affects-the-brain-and-body-infographic/
How Anger Affects the Brain and Body 

BY RUTH BUCZYNSKI, PHD 
Anger can be one of the most challenging emotions that we work with.

Clients are sometimes afraid of their anger. Or, maybe they consider it inappropriate to even feel this way at all.

Not only that, when anger is misdirected, it often leads to poor choices, damaged relationships, and even violence.

But anger can actually be an asset to our clients . . . as long as it’s channeled properly.

So how can we help clients express their anger more effectively?

Here’s a tool you can use to help clients understand the impact of anger on the brain and body. 

It begins by helping them understand how anger is triggered, and what happens in the body and brain at the first spark of anger.

So we thought it would be helpful for you to have a way to illustrate this for your clients. (And please feel free to make a copy of this to share with them.)

(When you make copies to share, please be sure to include the copyright information. We put a lot of work into creating these resources for you. Thanks!)

Must start blogging

I’ve been gone a long while. Must start blogging again. Anxiety, adverse events in my family’s life, these have prevented me from writing my 2-3 posts daily. Well, I’m back. Will be on task. And I must start reading and commenting on all  the wonderful blogs of which I am a member. I simply must. This is my passion, I will not let it go. And lovely readers and friends, who have stuck by me through this difficult period, I thank you profusely. 

This One Skill Can Immediately Transform How You Feel

This is a wonderfully instructive and simple article to end your suffering, your bad moods, catastrophizing, ruminating on negative things and move your thoughts to more positive things, events in your life. 

After what happened to my precious son, as you can imagine, I have been in a very dark place myself. All manner of anxiety, fears, dark thoughts, questioning everything. I’ve been stuck in hell. Awful vivid pictures in my head, fear, anger, regret swirling in my brain. Ascawful a thing as happened when my son got mugged by about 10 people and had to use his bare hands to fight for his life, as unimaginably horrifying and disgusting a thing that was, the fact is that he is healthy, whole, and still my beautiful, adorable, loving and adored  son. What could have happened, can’t go there. But what is, is good. He is carrying on with his legal career. His girlfriend is visiting him. Today’s their 3rd anniversary! He just got roses for her 😄

So these are the things I have to redirect my thoughts to when I mired down in the horrifies of the situation. 

So glad I found this article. I’ll read it over and over again till my brain stops paying attention to the myriad negative things associated with this awful, awful incident. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-forward/201703/one-skill-can-immediately-transform-how-you-feel?utm_source=FacebookPost&utm_medium=FBPost&utm_campaign=FBPost

Psychology TodayJennice Vilhauer Ph.D. Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D.
Living Forward

This One Skill Can Immediately Transform How You Feel

Why learning how to shift your attention can change your life.

Posted Mar 29, 2017

Our emotions are often less complex than we think imagine. Most people think that the things that have hurt you are what cause you to experience emotional pain, and that in order to heal and experience real happiness you must resolve those old wounds. The reality, however, is somewhat different.
You can only feel emotions, including the painful ones, in the present moment. And what you feel in the present moment is determined by what you give your attention to. Nothing can hurt you unless you give it your attention. Most people can make themselves cry in just a few minutes by simply pulling up a vivid memory of something that was, at that time, painful. So why would you give your attention to things that cause pain? Some negative events can hold your attention if you perceive them to be a threat, but most people who ruminate on a negative past are simply unaware that they are doing it or that there is any choice in the matter. Things you are unaware of are outside your control. Learning how to become aware of what you are paying attention to, and more important, how to shift your attention to something that makes you feel better, is one of the most powerful tools there is for improving emotional well-being.  
As far back as the 1890s, William James wrote extensively about the relationship between selective attention and experience, making the profound observation that “my experience is what I agree to attend to.”[1] Modern cognitive psychologists have demonstrated through research that we are active participants in our process of perception,[2] confirming that what we think and feel is determined by what we pay attention to. Not only do we have the ability to shift our attention away from painful things and give our attention to more pleasant thoughts or memories — but as we do this, it inhibits our ability to think about the unpleasant painful things. This happens because attention works on an activation/inhibition model:[3] When you give attention to negative things, it literally inhibits your ability to see positive things; that’s why psychologists often say that people with depression see a more depressed world. The more you start to give your attention to things that feel good, over time, the more you will start to see a more positive world, and find yourself noticing fewer of the negatives in life.
Once you are aware you can do it, shifting your attention is something over which you can exert complete control. You can choose what you want to pay attention to, and as a result, how you want to feel. The results are almost immediate. Try this with a friend: The next time you are talking with someone who is telling you about something negative happening to them, ask them to tell you about some positive experience instead. Then, notice the change in their facial expressions. When people start to talk about positive events that feel good, they start to smile; it is an almost involuntary reaction.
Does that sound too easy? Here is a tip that will make it even easier. There are only two things in life that you can pay attention to that cause you to experience emotion: Things you want and things you don’t want. Every single thing that you can think of that causes any type of significant emotion can be sorted into one of those two categories. Breakups, job loss, betrayal, death of a loved one — all things you don’t want. Pets, best friends, birthday parties, getting a raise — all things you do want. 
You will always know when you are giving your attention to things that you don’t want in life; your emotions will tell you. Paying attention to things you don’t want generates negative emotions, while paying attention to things you do want generates positive ones. When you realize that you are experiencing a negative emotion, recognize in that moment that you are giving your attention to something unwanted and consciously choose to shift your attention to something you want instead. You will start to feel better almost immediately.

This type of proactive avoidance isn’t unhealthy: Joseph Ledoux, an NYU neuroscientist and expert on Emotional Intelligence, refers to it as a positive coping strategy that can give you greater control over your life.[4] Attentional control training has been shown effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety.[5] One way to shift your attention to the positive that we know works very well is to practice gratitude: Things that you are thankful for are all wanted things. 
One of the most self-sabotaging things that people can give their attention to is an unwanted future. Nothing in the future has actually happened, yet many people spend a good deal of their time experiencing negative emotions like anxiety, fear, and self-doubt, because they are giving their attention to things they don’t want to occur. Doing this not only robs them of their present-moment happiness, but also prevents them from thinking about the positive experiences they could be creating in their future instead.

Our attention is the gateway to what we experience in life. Learning to notice what you are paying attention to, and how to redirect your attention to things you want, can change not only your current experience, but also the life you create for yourself going forward.
Jennice Vilhauer is director of the Outpatient Psychotherapy Treatment Program at Emory Healthcare and the author of Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life.
References
1. James, W. The Priniciples of Psychology, Volume 1. Holt and Company: New York. 1890.
2. Kanwisher, N. and P. Downing, Separating the wheat from the chaff. Science, 1998. 282(5386): p. 57-8.
3. Pribram, K.H. and D. McGuinness, Arousal, activation, and effort in the control of attention. Psychol Rev, 1975. 82(2): p. 116-49.
4. Ledoux, J. For the Anxious Avoidance Can Have an Upside. New York Times. April 7, 2013.
5. Browning, M. et al. Using Attentional Bias Modification Training as a Cognitive Vaccine Against Depression. Biological Psychiatry, 2012. 72(1): p. 572-579.
About the Author
Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D.

Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D., is the Director of Emory University’s Adult Outpatient Psychotherapy Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in the School of Medicine.

 

 

 
  

Horrible!

A most horrible and horrendous experience, one of the worst I’ve ever had in my life and that is saying something. My son went to a convenience/gas store around 3:30 am to get chips. He got jumped by 10-15 African American “boys”. Didn’t know who they were, he had to defend himself against their assault. Luckily he has taken some Kung fu and is, mashallah, a strapping young man, so he defended himself successfully, jumped in his car and came home. No one did a thing to help him or called the police while this shocking assault was taking place. My husband said a pack of hyenas met a lion last night and it truly is the case. He could have been severely injured or worse. A senseless occurrence, he was minding his own business, just trying to buy chips. They jumped him. Apparently this is a thing in Louisville, it’s called “Wilding” and it happens at the very gas station where he went. We didn’t know. The press used to cover these incidences but stopped a while ago. These misguided, dangerous, awful people, I wish them NOTHING good. I am angry, I am worried to the hilt, I am disappointed that this could happen, my son, my precious son.