Coping With Change

bench-forest-trees-path-largeWe are averse to change. As thinking human beings, we strive to keep our worlds the same.

We live in bubbles as we take care of our families, our vehicles, and our homes. A small thing—an inconvenient illness, a flat tire, a burst pipe—can put us into a tailspin. So how can we handle change without turning a situation into a crisis?

We may not have control over things that happen, but we can control how we handle them. We can control our thinking.

pexels-photoThought Control

Sometimes, our minds run rampant and turn the smallest thing into a potential nightmare.  For example, we get a flat tire and realize we will be late for work. What if we get fired? What if we can’t make rent? Our thoughts take on a life of their own, but the reality is that we are just experiencing a temporary setback.

Our thoughts sometimes make our experiences appear more dramatic than they actually are.  So when we find ourselves in a downward spiral, we ought to question whether the thoughts we are thinking are true, or whether we are worrying about something that will probably never happen.

benchphotoLife Can Be Easy

Anything—and we mean anything– that erupts in life is temporary. Whatever we worry about today will surely morph into something else once again.

So it makes sense to put ourselves first, and when an inconvenient situation arises, raise our awareness and decide on an appropriate response. Do we allow that situation to affect our whole day and cause stress, or do we simply take care of it without adding negative emotions so we can feel good about the day?

Whatever we are going through, we ought to eat well, take rest, sleep enough, and sprinkle exercise and sunshine into our days. Plus, carving out some time to fill a soul need can add pleasure to even the most melancholy periods.

Ever Wonder Why You Encounter Negative Experiences?

If you are undergoing a negative experience, think of it merely as a life situation. Situations change. Sometimes, it is hard to see what good might come from a negative circumstance—an illness, a death, an injury—but there are things you can do to grow from each and every one, no matter what life dishes out.

Although your beliefs may lead you to a place where it is inconceivable to see the situation in a good light, you can shift your thinking. You can change your mind. Realize that whatever you are going through is temporary and that you can ease the emotional discomfort.

Understand the Purpose of the Circumstance

We encounter challenging situations because we are meant to grow. Without that situation, with everything going well, we would miss the opportunity to learn. Further, some situations force us into action, and without that experience, we would miss out on some of the good things life has to offer. When you are unhappy about a circumstance, ask yourself:  What am I learning about myself at a deep level? Your answer will lead you closer to understanding its purpose.

Assess Your Response

When you confront a negative situation, examine your response. Are you sad? Are you confused? Are you angry? Figure out what you are feeling, and then examine whether your response is desirable. For example, you become angry at your boss because he gave someone else the promotion you wanted, and while you might think your reaction is appropriate, the anger only hurts you, so change your thinking. If you consider that maybe the other guy deserved to be promoted too, and your boss had a tough time making that decision, you will achieve greater clarity. By examining circumstances, and understanding them better, you will be effectively turning down the emotional intensity.

Change Your Focus  

You need not focus on a troubling circumstance, even if it seems important. You can place your attention elsewhere. Our advice may appear rather flippant. After all, we don’t know what you are going through, but we do know that when we are experiencing challenges, we need a shift in perception. We go to the park, or watch an inspirational film, or visit a friend, and we are in a better place emotionally so we can handle the situation with clarity. On the other hand, if we dwell on the situation, it keeps us from enjoying the day, and nothing improves.

Experience the Joy

Finally, think about things that bring you joy and make sure to put more of these activities into your life. While this sounds rather difficult to accomplish when you are confronting a major life issue, making small moves away from negativity can go a long way to provide momentum to create a better life.

What do you tell yourself?

Loving yourself means being kind to yourself, and this includes thinking kind thoughts. Louise Hay is famous for telling people to look in the mirror and say “I love you. I really love you.” She says this all the time, but that is because it is one of the most powerful tools she can give to the world. Self-love includes kindness, and everyone knows that words can do harm.

In our last post, we suggested that you may have beliefs that come from the outside and are really not part of who you are. If you have a belief that contains a negation, then reframe it in a positive way. What is the opposite of that negative thought? For example, you may think “I will never be able to afford the home I want.” Change the thought to: “I can afford the home of my dreams.” Such affirmations are effective in altering our views.

When you think more positive thoughts, it does not result in instant manifestations, but it will point you in the right direction. With the new thought, you may come up with a way to save for the home that you now believe will come into your experience. Similarly, when you think “I am ugly,” you set yourself up for negative experiences. You believe that other people will think your appearance is unsightly, and you act as if you are unworthy. However, think the opposite thought: “I am beautiful.” Your day will go a whole lot better.

We suggest you notice all the negative things that generally go through your mind and write its direct opposite. Begin to use these affirmations daily. These are actually good to use prior to meditation. Meditate after reading a list of these positive thoughts, ask the universe to make these a reality, and brilliance will flood into your experience.

What we tell ourselves is tied to what we believe, but we can change what we believe by what we tell ourselves.

Not Enough Time? Maybe You Just Think You Are Too Busy!

Often, stress arises when we feel we do not have enough time to do everything we’d like. The problem is not that things do not get done. The problem is attached to the things we tell ourselves.   Such thoughts are often not very pleasant. These negative thoughts are what creates the stress, not the unfinished task.

The out of control feeling  we have when we walk through the house and realize that not everything is perfectly in place, or the disappointment we experience when we look at our lists of things undone, is tied to perception. We attach meaning to things that are neutral. So someone else might look at the stain on the rug and think “so what,” but every time you walk by, you remember that your neighbor’s kid dropped the grape popsicle and you should have bought the stain resistant carpeting and you wonder about the warranty and whether using shampoo will void it.

That’s one example of a re-run, a thought we have many times per day. Most of our thoughts are re-runs. How often do you have these types of negative thoughts? First, realize that your thinking is creating the stress and chill. Relax because now is all you have, but you needn’t give up on getting things accomplished. Oh no. Not at all! If you are procrastinating and that is causing anxiety, begin by analyzing the tasks.

There may be reasons that lurk behind the procrastination, or maybe it is mere overestimation. You may think about a project and believe that it will take too long to accomplish now, so you wait for a time when you have a gap in your schedule. Of course, such a time never arrives, so you continue to put it off.  What is the answer? You must make time to do it. Realize that we tend to overestimate how long a given task will take.

Get started. Plan to go at it for an hour and revisit the task during another scheduled time next week. If the task includes multiple components, make a list of possible steps. For example, Step 1. Call the carpet manufacturer and find out about the warranty. Step 2.  Research ways to get grape popsicle out of the rug  and so on. The next time you walk by the spot, you will know that you are taking care of business and the mind clutter is gone. Once you get started, you gain momentum and may go beyond the planned hour, or you may realize that the task was not as time-consuming as you thought. And when you accomplish one thing, it is easier to finish other things. What’s next on the list? Yes, that is what you will be thinking as opposed to feeling overwhelmed.

We like Nike’s advice: just do it. When you just start your tasks rather than either over thinking or ignoring them you get the satisfaction of achievement without the mind clutter and without the angst.

Motivation is all about going within

Connecting with your inner self gives you all the guidance you need to find the motivation to take care of your body. The motivation in part comes from experiential knowledge because feelings are attached to our experiences. When you experience something and feel good about it, that will encourage you to repeat the experience. As an example, the more you exercise, the more you are motivated to exercise.

Motivation is not an outside job. There is nothing you can buy. There are not enough motivational CDs on the planet that will get you to that place. You have to do it for yourself.

Get to know yourself. Know how you are thinking and how you are feeling. Your thoughts affect your emotions. Your emotions affect your thoughts. If you are thinking that you will never lose weight, you won’t. What you tell yourself is attached to how motivated you become.

Get familiar with your thoughts and your feelings and you will know yourself better. In our book Change Your Mind: Lose Weight, we help you to connect with your inner self. Taking that inner journey will help you to create the motivation you need to change your life.