Category Archives: Behaviour

What a dog can teach us about happiness

via @Artofimproving

Have you ever noticed the positive attitude dogs seem to have? They take every day as it comes and just ENJOY.

This video by Nat Johnson illustrates just that and suggests that we take the hint. Perhaps it is true that we, the ‘masters’ of the animal, can indeed learn something from them.

Read the article here.

Source:

JOHNSON, Nat. n.d. What a dog can teach us about the meaning of life. [Web:] Ideapod.com. [Date of Access:] 8 January 2016

6 Ways to Stop Mentally Beating Yourself Up

Via @PsychToday @selenidotorg by #SarahBest

“It’s time to give yourself a break. After all, you deserve one,” suggests the author. Aren’t we all guilty of this?

Isn’t it strange that, at a time that we seem to have so much compassion for others, we do not have the patience to be kinder to ourselves? Sometimes I wonder if our upbringing had something to do with this behavior. Perhaps we think that by humiliating ourselves, by always belittling and judging every action, we would seem less arrogant and people would not feel threatened by us. Ms Best is right, though, we should be stop being so hard on ourselves. It is only by being less harsh critics of ourselves that we will be able to find true compassion for others.

Do you think you will have difficulty to change your behavior? Here are some tips on how to stop all that negative self-talk:

[Excerpt only. Read full article here.]

1. Listen to your self-talk. When a friend tells you that you look ”good”, do you think, “I do feel great!”or do you wonder if she’s implying you are fat/wearing too much make-up. The first step to changing how you view yourself is to listen to how you talk to yourself.

2. Evaluate its credibility. Once you’ve tuned in to your self-talk, explore it. Healthy self-talk is based in reality, but unhealthy self-talk distorts it. Unhealthy self-talk triggers real emotions with unrealistic, or irrational, statements. [Read more about irrational thought patterns here.]

3. Examine the evidence. Challenge unhelpful messages.

4. Generate an alternative hypothesis, based on the evidence you do have.

5. Construct a statement to correct the error. Identify the thinking error.

6. Pretend you’re talking to a self-critical friend, and offer words of encouragement to yourself.

[Above six points are discussed in greater detail here.]

We always say that everyone deserves a loving relationship; true, but the most precious loving relationship is the one you have with yourself. By practicing the techniques above, you will find yourself becoming less and less critical of every little thing you do. You will not constantly question the truth of other people’s comments in an effort to further bring yourself down. Accepting compliments from others will become easier and giving yourself some credit will become a habit.

This is not pride, this is self-compassion. Go ahead, try it, you deserve it.

Please click here to read the original article on PsychologyToday.com.

Source:

6 Ways to Stop (Mentally) Beating Yourself Up | Psychology Today

What Happened When I Stopped #Complaining for Two Weeks #BetterLife #HolisticCounseling #SelfImprovement #PersonalGrowth #Behavior #Society

Via @HealthyLiving

Alexii Lardis, author for the Huffington Post, challenged herself and, for 15 days in August, she ”fasted from complaining” [1]. She stopped yelling at those irritating drivers that seem to have NO common sense, much less common decency, she stopped saying: ”I’m tired”, come 3 o’clock at the office, etc.

I was intrigued….it turned out that, after the fifteen days, she realized something extremely valuable about herself.

Here it is: ”The top five things that occurred when I stopped complaining, both the good and the bad…[excerpt only, read full article here.]

  1. I realized that I don’t sleep enough. The biggest complaint that I had to bite my tongue on? “I’m tired.”
  2. I argued less: I’m not exactly one to pick a fight, but I noticed how many stupid arguments I can have in a week….I’m pretty sure we’ve been told since kindergarten, “Think before you speak” but I noted how often I neglect this simplest piece of advice.
  3. Angst builds up. Here’s the deal: this experience was overall a positive experience for me. It truly made me reflect on my reactions to situations.
  4. Negativity is a state of mind: When you stop yourself from uttering negative speech, you begin to notice how negative your thought process tends to be.
  5.  

    I prayed more. If I was forced to turn the negative into the positive, I turned to God.

Her conclusion? “People have good days and people have bad days — but the truth is? It’s all about your outlook.” [1]

A valuable lesson this….and, to quote Epictetus: ”It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” [2]

[Please read the full article by ms Lardis here.]

Source:

  1. LARDIS, ALEXII.  2015/09/06  What Happened When I Stopped Complaining for Two Weeks on HuffPost  [Web:] HuffingtonPost.  [Date of Access:]  10 September 2015.
  2. GOODREADS.  n.d.  Quotes: Epictetus.  [Web:] Goodreads Quotes.  [Date of Access:  10 September 2015.

The Tiny Mental Shift That Makes EVERYTHING Easier

Via @MindBodyGreen.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Original article in MBG by Dr Patricia Thompson

When you are quite the procrastinator, like I am, you can make endless to-do-lists, you’re a master at goal-setting (in print, that is) and you never really get anything done. There is always some silly reason why: I can’t go to the gym; I can’t finish this assignment, because there is not enough time… On and on it goes…

Dr Thompson makes an interesting suggestion in her article for MindBodyGreen (read it here).  She writes: “Saying can’t takes away your power, and in some ways provides an excuse for not moving forward toward your goals or fulfilling your commitments.

So, how can you shift your mindset to sidestep this problem? Replace can’twith won’t.” [1]

Now your ”reasons” for not reaching your goal will sound different:  I won’t go to the gym; I won’t finish this assignment. 

That little word ”won’t” changes things….it gives back your power. Perhaps you won’t, but that doesn’t mean you can’t…”won’t” creates the possibility of a different choice, one with a different outcome.

Dr Thompson continues to advise on how we can implement this in our lives:

  1. Reflect on the truth – what is the real reason you are not reaching your goal. What is keeping you from moving forward?
  2. Make a commitment to yourself – having decided that your goal is indeed important to you, you need to make a deal with yourself and write it down! Put it somewhere where you can always see it. This will keep you motivated.
  3. Tell others about your goal – this will help to keeping you motivated, because people tend to ask about your progress and you would not want to lose face by telling them you’ve given up again.
  4. Repeat the process if necessary – sometimes, despite your efforts, you may lose your ”happy thoughts” and be unable to finish what you started. This can be the result of unforeseen circumstances or you could lose your passion for the project. Whatever it may be, remind yourself constantly of the ”can’t”/”won’t” mind-shift, and take the necessary steps to accomplish your goal.

[Please read the full article here.]

Source:

[1] The Tiny Mental Shift That Makes EVERYTHING Easier – mindbodygreen.com by Dr Patricia Thompson

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10 Habits To Make You A Calmer Person

If you’re like me, always running from point A to B, constantly rushing things, categorizing and re-ordering my thoughts and, of course, those endless lists….tasks to be ticked off, done and re-done and the checking up on people….mind-blowing. I simply flop into bed each night, exhausted but unable to fall asleep, for fear that I’ve missed something urgent during the day and those thoughts…sometimes I’m sure my husband can HEAR me think.

There were times in my life that I wish I could just switch off, like a robot, and reboot myself into a calmer frame of mind. I’ve tried yoga, and yes, it did indeed work a little, but I think my instructor heaves a sigh of relief when I say my goodbyes. I can be exhausting!

So when I read these tips by Jacqueline Stone, author for MindBodyGreen.com, I thought….yes, this is just the thing.

Jacqueline says: ‘’Truly calm people are a rare and exotic species that you can learn a lot from. Learn their common behaviours and attitudes, and you too can become an expert in responding to everyday stress and frustrations.” [MindBodyGreen]

Have a read, you may also benefit from these:

[Do read the full article here.]

  • Take a walk…walk the dog, walk to the store, walk for fun.
  • Don’t rush things; give yourself plenty of time when you have an appointment. Do not wait until the last minute to finish a task….not rushing will probably mean you do a better job too.
  • Prioritize self-care; think good nutrition, exercise, sleep….do not be tempted to let anything get in the way of taking care of your health.
  • Use routines; plan ahead, meals, what to wear, daily programmes….this is not only meant to provide security for children, it can also give adults a sense of calm purpose to know where they are going and what they are going to do.
  • Practice being in the moment; enjoy the now….try meditation, gardening, anything to take your mind of daily stressors and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy…..life must not simply pass by, be in the moment and love your life.
  • Use your phone judiciously; do not let your phone rule your life. Most of us use our phones these days as an extension of our body, always brandishing it like a weapon, forever being interrupted by calls. Make a point to answer only when you HAVE to and do turn that phone off from time to time. If your boss calls you at midnight, well, you are NOT on the job and I’m sure that file can be collected in the morning.
  • Self-regulate and exercise healthy boundaries; learn to say no. Stop worrying that people will think you’re lazy or that people would like you less if you refuse to be available 24/7. If people don’t have respect for your boundaries, they are, in fact, not really friends. Make time for yourself and for the people close to you….be with the people that add value to your life.
  • Always understand that life is not perfect, that things can (and probably will) go wrong sometimes. You can plan all you want, but be prepared that things will not always work out the way you want to. If it doesn’t, it is not the end of the world, adapt your plan, go with the flow.
  • Connect with world in a meaningful, authentic way; spend some time with a precious family member, call a parent, spend some time in charity work. Do something every day that has nothing to do with making money or increasing your social standing, do something that has value, that can bring purpose and meaning to your life.
  • Embrace your small place in the world; accept and embrace your responsibilities at work or within your family and remain aware that there is more outside of your little circle of peace. Be happy, content and thankful that you have your place in the universe, but do not take yourself too seriously. While you remain aware of others and their needs, do not carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Do what you can for others, but keep in mind that you alone cannot change the world.

I am sure that, by practicing these behaviourisms, we A-types will be able to bring about a sense of calm in our lives. It is only when we are kind to ourselves, that we will be able to reach out and help others with true compassion.

Now, where’s my diary, time to make a list of things to calm me down!

Source:

10 Everyday Habits To Make You A Calmer Person – mindbodygreen.com