The conversations you have with yourself form your perceptions and can help control your stress. In fact, we can make a good case that your self-talk creates your reality and your level of stress. Stress is related to perceiving the world as manageable or unmanageable, and this is directly related to your mindset.
Mindsets are perceptions, attitudes, dispositions, intentions, and inclinations that emanate from our experiences and filter our thoughts that form the lenses through which we see the world and our lives.
Perceptions are as important as reality. In fact, perceptions can be your reality. To reduce and control your stress it is critical to understand that so often it is not the event but the perception of the … >>>
We know that when we suffer from continual stress, choices seem limited. As a result, our effectiveness decreases. Behavioral scientists have a name for this psychological reaction: learned helplessness.
Scientists have studied this phenomenon in laboratory rodents. The nervous system of mice bears striking similarities to that of humans. Here is how one experiment works. If you provide mice with an escape route, they typically learn very quickly how to avoid a mild electrical shock that occurs a few seconds after they hear a tone. But if the escape route is blocked whenever the tone is sounded, and new shocks occur, the mice will eventually stop trying to run away. Later, even after the escape route is available, the animals … >>>
No matter what the situation, you always have a choice and can choose your thoughts. These choices are a significant factor in determining your life. The sooner you become aware of this, the less stress you’ll experience.
Realize that regardless of a situation that cannot be changed, regardless of a stimulation that prompts emotions to erupt, and regardless of an urge or impulse, you always have the power and freedom to choose your thoughts and how to respond. The ability is referred to as choice-response thinking
Learning choice-response thinking—that you need not be a victim—may be one of the most valuable thinking patterns you can develop.
The Power of Choice
Choice empowers. Choice, control, and responsibility are so woven together … >>>
Here is an important concept for all to remember regarding strong relationships: Not losing is more important than winning.
People’s desires will not always be fulfilled. However, as long as others are aware that they have a choice as to their responses, they are not put in a position where they feel that they lose. It’s that feeling of losing that prompts negative feelings. This is why “not losing” is a key to strong relationships.
No one likes feeling cornered, literally or figuratively. The belief of not having a choice encourages resistance because it prompts a feeling of being trapped. When a person feels there are no options, the result is not only resistance but also resentment. By contrast, offering … >>>
Visualization is a key to success. Did you know that your brain is so powerful that even your imagination can propel you to your goals? The fact is that the images you visualize in your mind impact your reality. Knowing this, what images are you focusing on? Are they positive, and propelling you to success? Or are they negative, and holding you back from accomplishing everything you want in life?
French psychiatrist and philosopher Pierre Janet pioneered guided imagery, AKA “visualization,” in the 1890s. It developed from the discovery that a person’s imagination can affect his or her inner state of being. Certain images stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to experience feelings of calm and well-being.
People do better when they feel good—not when they feel bad. This is a simple fact of life.
When your guide your thoughts and others’ thoughts to focus on the positive and constructive, then the self is nourished and enriched. That’s when people feel good.
Andrew Carnegie, the first great industrialist in America, understood this concept well. At one point he had 43 millionaires working for him. A reporter asked him how he managed to hire all of those millionaires. He responded that none of them was a millionaire when he hired them. The reporter inquired, “Then what did you do to pay them enough money so that they became millionaires?” Carnegie responded that you develop people the same way … >>>
Disagreement between people causes stress; there’s no doubt about it. Whether the disagreement is large or small, it can quickly ruin a relationship.
Sometimes, even for small matters, the disagreement escalates to the point of verbal fighting. Once that occurs, the stress levels of both parties will be high, and agreement will be elusive. Fortunately, you always have a choice in how you handle a situation.
Chances are you can tell when a disagreement is escalating. This is when you must take control and direct the conversation. Rather than letting a disagreement get out of hand, you can reduce stress by doing the following.
Say to the other person, “I don’t want to win. I just want to understand what … >>>
The dictionary defines appreciation as the recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things. When was the last time you felt truly appreciated at work or at home? When was the last time you genuinely showed your appreciation for others? Is showing appreciation really that important?
One of the founding fathers of modern psychology, Dr. William James, spent his professional life studying human behavior. He wanted to know what made people tick, and he wanted to know what brought out their best. He wrote a number of books on these subjects.
Near the end of his life, he was in hospital and received a plant from a friend. Dr. James wrote a note of thanks for … >>>
Many people often make the mistake of thinking that because downtime is fun and relaxing that it’s frivolous or unproductive and not important.
Social scientists have found that recreational activity is as important as sleep is to our physical and mental health. Downtime isn’t a diversion; it is a vital aspect for a person’s well-being and for effective learning.
Think about your most recent vacation or extended weekend where you didn’t work and actually relaxed. While you probably didn’t want your break to end, when you went back to work, how was your mindset? How was your attitude? What was your productivity like?
If you’re like most people, you likely found that even a short break gave you renewed focus, … >>>
For many people, happiness seems like something elusive and unattainable. But if you look around at your family, friends, and co-workers, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t pretend to know what’s right for others. They also don’t try to control anyone but themselves.
You will further see that the people who are most miserable are those who are always trying to control others. Even if they have considerable power, the constant resistance in some form by the people they are trying to control promotes stress, hinders optimum relationships, and greatly diminishes the happiness of everyone involved.
If you try to control others, you will be met with constant challenges. If you try to control … >>>
It’s true that life can be challenging at times. But no matter what you’re going through, it is possible to project positive expectations. And when you do, you’ll become more effective in everything you do.
Realize that becoming more effective is a way of traveling rather than a destination. In other words, it’s a state of mind, not a single event. That’s where projecting positive expectations comes into play.
The only advantage of being a pessimist is that all your surprises are pleasant. But that’s pretty small stuff compared to the big payoff that comes from projecting positive expectations.
The fact is that much of our happiness or unhappiness results from not by what happens, but how we LOOK at … >>>
How do you visualize yourself and your situation? The fact is that the pictures you reflect on in your mind are often what your reality becomes. Are you filling your mind with positive pictures or negative ones?
Too many people focus their mental energy on the challenges they are encountering or the pain they want to avoid. They visualize their setbacks repeatedly. While you certainly can’t ignore your daily struggles, you also don’t have to let them dominate your thoughts. Give yourself a break. Take some time to focus on what’s good in your life and to paint positive mental images of what you want, rather than what you don’t.
The choice is yours. You can visualize success, or you … >>>
Many people, both young and old, struggle with perfectionism. Notice I said “struggle with,” not “strive for.” That’s because a desire to be perfect is not always healthy and certainly not something people should strive for.
Pursuing perfection typically focuses at looking for what’s WRONG. This can quickly put anyone in a negative state of mind.
Additionally, the desire for perfectionism often results in negative physical symptoms. For example, nail biting may arise from perfectionism. The driving force behind nail biting may not be a nervous habit but instead anxiety in the form of perfectionism. Mounting evidence shows that people who bite their nails, pick their skin, or pull their hair are often perfectionists. Their action is an attempt help … >>>
We all want successful relationships in our life. Whether that relationship is with a significant other, a child, a co-worker, or a friend. Successful relationships help make life more enjoyable. The key is how to keep those relationships from becoming stressors in your life.
To help you navigate the many relationships you have, here are some tips for cultivating successful relationships.
Logic prompts people to think, but emotion prompts them to act. Communicate on both levels.
When someone upsets you, rather than talk about the person, focus on the behavior or comment that prompts upsetting or negative feelings.
Share your feelings about the effects of what someone does or says. It’s healthy and aids relationships to say, “That comment really
Chances are that at one point you’ve attempted to change another person. We’ve all done it. Unfortunately, most people try to prompt change in others the wrong way.
Dr. William Glasser, the originator of “Reality Therapy” and “Choice Theory,” believed that attempts to change others by using “external control psychology” (including the common approaches of imposing punishments or rewarding to control) are eventually doomed to fail. He referred to such “external approaches” as the “seven deadly habits.” He listed them as: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding to control.
To prove his point, just respond to the following:
Fear is often negative self-talk about a perceived situation. You’ve probably heard that FEAR is actually an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. However, even knowing this, there are times when it is most difficult to think that a situation is not real. So rather than attempting to eradicate your fear, warm up to it.
Too many people have the mindset of “If I’m afraid, I can’t do something.” But the truth is that you can do it even if you are afraid; it’s just less comfortable than doing something you are not afraid to do. But if you do it a couple of times, you won’t be afraid to do it anymore, and it will become more and more … >>>
Collaboration is the key to lifelong success. In fact, if we want our children to succeed in school and later in life, we need to shift our mindset in how we educate them.
Knowing this, here’s an important message for both parents and teachers: Just taking in information is not learning. Retention requires review, reflection, and (with a skill) practice. Force-feeding students more and more information at younger and younger ages is not the answer. Rather, we need to focus on understanding, mastery, and most important, collaboration.
Why is Collaboration so Important for Learning?
Outside of schooling, the importance of teamwork is absolute because people work collaboratively.
It is ironic that in schools the emphasis is on performance of the … >>>
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