How Much Can You Control?

>> Tuesday

WHAT WE control in our lives is often influenced by what we think we can control. For example, I know a woman who doesn't think she can control her anger. Her anger spontaneously erupts, according to her.

And this woman's anger is causing a lot of trouble in her marriage. It would make a huge difference in her life if she learned to restrain at least her expression of anger.


But she "can't."

What doesn't ring true about that is the several times I've seen her angry before a phone rang or someone came to her door and yet she answered pleasantly. She is obviously capable of controlling her expression of anger but because she says she can't, she doesn't try, and if she won't try, of course she can't!


There is an enormous range of activities over which we have control but think we don't. And because we think we don't, we don't.


Now some extremists have taken this sane and practical truth and gone overboard with it. You don't create reality. You can't control everything.


But many of your own feelings and behaviors are firmly under your influence — but only if you allow the possibility that they are.
It makes no sense to remain uncomfortably warm when you're sitting right next to a thermostat. Turn it down! I think the reason most people don't know how to change their feelings is because somewhere along the line they got the impression they couldn't change their feelings.

But you can, and by gum, you should!


Of course, if you are a Moodraiser reader, you know that already. But if you have friends who don't know they can change their feelings, it might improve your mood to send them this article.
What you can control is influenced by what you think you can control. Begin now changing the way you think. Recognize those areas where you do, in fact, have some influence. An effective way to change the way you think is with the Antivirus Program For Your Mind.

Unnecessarily limiting beliefs function like a virus on your computer, impairing its capabilities. But we now have a way to root out those beliefs and eliminate them, restoring your full potential. It takes some work, but it doesn't cost anything and it is more than worth the effort.

Read more...

Reduce Stress With a Guardian Angel

>> Monday

Dogs like Angel here have, thoughout history, risked their lives to save their owners. You can read more about Angel's story in the article linked to below.

But dogs can save us in a different way: By soothing us and relaxing us and lowering our blood pressure. This is not a trivial effect because it takes place daily, and it is the accumulated stress and accumulated relaxation that has the impact on your health in the long run.

Learn more about that here: Reduce Stress, Get a Dog

Read more...

What To Do When You Relapse

>> Friday

DID YOU MAKE any New Year's resolutions? If you feel like you've already failed with them, think again. Not only is discouragement bad for your health and bad for your ability to succeed, but at least some of your negative assumptions are very likely to be mistaken.

A therapist once told me he had a client — I'll call him Dirck — who's wife didn't feel loved. The therapist helped Dirck find out what his wife needed to feel loved. She craved physical demonstrations of affection: Hugs, touches, kisses, holding hands. These were things that meant the most to her.

Dirck had been telling her how much he loved her without doing much physical demonstration. So although she "knew" (intellectually) Dirck loved her, she didn't feel loved.

The therapist coached Dirck on how to demonstrate his love with physical affection. Dirck returned a week later to say, "It worked!" His wife felt loved! He was now living in a happy household.

Six months later, Dirck was back. His wife didn't feel loved any more. The therapy apparently hadn't succeeded like he thought.

But with some careful questions, the therapist found that Dirck had stopped doing what he was doing before and was merely professing his love with words again!

As stupid as that sounds, it is not uncommon. We've all made similar mistakes. You have a problem, you decide what to do about it, you do it and it works, and then you forget all about it and stop doing what was working, and the problem returns. You "relapse." Then you explain it to yourself. Dirck's explanation was: "The therapy didn't work."

If you have failed with your resolution, you have already explained it. Your mind will not allow you to go on without explaining the setback. "I guess I don't have any self-discipline," you might think. Or maybe, "I am weak and lazy."

In all likelihood, your explanation is wrong (read more about explaining setbacks here). The explanation for your relapse may be simply: It's hard to notice the absence of a negative condition (except immediately after it goes away).

When things go wrong, it is very noticeable. When things get better, it is less noticeable. You might notice at first, but even then you quickly get used to it. And you won't feel much motivation to continue solving a problem that doesn't exist any more. Your life may be better, but you will soon take your new condition for granted. So you stop doing the work, and for awhile everything is great. And then the problem slowly begins to appear again.

Been there? Yeah, me too. But all is not lost. Not by a long shot.

If you feel you have failed with your resolutions, try this new explanation (it is hard to notice the absence of a negative condition) and start doing again what worked before. That's what to do when you relapse.

Read more: From Hope To Change.

Read more...

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