Tag Archives: emotions

6 Spiritual Practices To Balance Your Emotions

Via @MindBodyGreen

By #Jennie Lee

6 Spiritual Practices To Balance Your Emotions

(Excerpt) ‘’Up and down … up and down. Isn’t this how we feel most of the time? We fluctuate between feeling good and bad, happy and sad. We like this and dislike that. We try to attract joy and we attempt to avoid suffering. We act and react, over and over again …

These opposite states of experience are described in yoga philosophy as obstacles along our path to freedom….

Raga and dvesa are among the five kleshas or blocks that Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras identifies as states of being that contribute to our spiritual ignorance (avidya). Until we can bring these emotional fluctuations under conscious control, we are at the mercy of our preconditioned patterns.

According to the Yoga Sutras, the purpose of yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind to perceive our true nature. We will never be able to dwell within our changeless essence if we are always tossed around by that which changes, otherwise known as the ego self.

We must practice even-mindedness to overcome our tendencies to move toward raga or dvesa.’’

Click here to read about the six spiritual practices to help balance your emotions and leave you more even-keeled.

6 Spiritual Practices To Balance Your Emotions

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The 7 Laws of Impatience

@PsychToday

When does #Impatience cost us dearly? When does it serve us well?

Published on November 19, 2014 by #JimStone, Ph.D. in Clear, Organized and Motivated

 

RossHelen/Shuttershock

Sound familiar?

Have you ever wanted to give up on a paper you were writing? Or give up on school altogether? Have you ever had an interesting project turn frustrating when unexpected complications arose? Have you ever had to sit through school plays and movies you had lost interest in after the first scene? Have you ever had to wait too long to get through line, wait too long for the computer to load, or wait too long for Christmas to roll around?

Who hasn’t, right? We’ve all been impatient at times.

And we’ve all made rash decisions when our impatience got the better of us. We’ve left lines that were barely moving only to get into an even slower line. We’ve taken the pizza out of the oven two minutes early because we just couldn’t wait. Or we’ve blown up a perfectly good relationship because we weren’t sure where it was going, and we couldn’t stand the uncertainty.

We’ve also been overly patient at times, and have stuck with projects, jobs, or relationships long after it made sense to do so.

Which has cost you more in your life? Patience? Or Impatience? Different people will have different answers. Ideally, we’d get it right every time. We’d let our impatience get the better of us when changing course made the most sense, and we’d stay the course when that made most sense. Unfortunately, no one gets it right every time.

But here’s the thing. If we understand impatience better it will give us more power to get it right more of the time. And so I present to you these 7 laws of impatience.

Law One: Impatience is not a lack of patience.

The word ‘impatience’ is ‘im’ + ‘patience’, which, on the face of it, means “a lack of patience”. Just going by their names, patience seem like a substantial thing, or a specific mental process. And, by contrast, impatience is nothing but a lack of patience.

But this gets things backwards. Impatience, it turns out, is a very particular mental/physical process that gets triggered under specific circumstances, and motivates specific kinds of action.1 ‘Patience’ is the shadow term, signifying a lack of impatience. The patient person simply wasn’t triggered to impatience when others normally would be, or she found a way to overcome the impatience that did arise.

Somewhere along the way, we named these states backwards. Impatience should be seen as primary, and patience should be thought of as im-impatience.

Law Two: Impatience is triggered when we have a goal, and we realize it’s going to cost us more than we thought to reach the goal.

If you sit in your room with a blank mind, you will not be impatient. You’re just there. Now, if you decide that you want to go out and do something fun, you have adopted a goal. You are not yet impatient, but you might be setting yourself up for it. Suppose you call a friend to see if she is available to do something, and she is unavailable. Now you might start to grow a little impatient. And the longer it takes to find someone to go out with, the more impatient you will become.

When a child is waiting for Christmas, she might not be impatient at first, but when she begins to realize that she can’t stop thinking about Christmas, she grows impatient. Waiting for Christmas is costing her more than she thought it would in terms of her ability to pay attention to other things in the meantime.

You start writing a book, and you think it will take about 6 months. You’re on schedule, but you get an idea for an even better book. You realize that continuing to write the first book is costing you the opportunity to work on the second book. And you grow impatient.

You’re driving home and think it will take just 20 minutes to get there. But the two cars ahead of you are going ten miles per hour below the speed limit, and they’re driving side by side in the only two lanes on the road. You realize it’s going to take more time than you thought to get home, and you grow impatient.

In general, impatience happens when we have a goal, and we realize it’s going to cost us more than we thought to reach that goal.

Law Three: Impatience motivates us reduce the costs of reaching our goal, or to switch goals.

When we realize it’s going to cost us more than we thought to get to our goal, our mental gears start spinning. We start looking for ways to avoid the additional costs (in time, pain, distraction, credibility or opportunity).

When stuck in traffic, we start looking for strategic lane changing opportunities or alternate routes, or we start signalling to other drivers that we are growing impatient, so they might get out of our way.

When writing one book while dreaming of writing another book, we might try to speed up the process of writing the first book, or set the first book aside to work on the more interesting book.

The child waiting for Christmas might start bargaining with her parents, asking them to let her open one of her presents early. Maybe that will calm her mind for a while.

Law Four: Impatience and indignation are a potent combination.

Recently I was waiting in line at a grocery store, and my line wasn’t moving while the other line was moving right along. I was impatient. But I wasn’t just impatient; I was also a little indignant. The clerk in my line wasn’t checking, but was talking with her manager, and they weren’t communicating anything to us.

So, instead of switching lines, or waiting, I made a minor show of leaving my unpurchased goods at the counter and hurried off to another store. And there was an immature part of my mind whispering: “This will show them.”

In the end it took longer to get my lunch than it would have in the first store, and I was late picking my daughter up from school.

We’re in special danger of making an irrational choice when we run into unexpected costs, and we think the extra costs are someone else’s fault. If, for example, the clerk had told us that the cash register was broken, I still would have become a little impatient, but I would have simply switched lines and got out of there just a little behind schedule.

It was the combination of impatience and indignation that made me act like a fool.

Law Five: Impatience is more likely when we have more options.

When we’re part way done with one project, and get an idea for a better project, we can grow impatient. And, in general, the more options we have, the more prone we will be to impatience.

Any project will have it’s dips. There will be points where we feel on top of things and are optimistic, and other moments where we’re not sure the project will work at all. If we have no other project to work on, we can be fairly patient and just solve the problems as they come.

If, on the other hand, we have a dozen other projects we could be working on, we’re much more likely to abandon the current project when it gets hard. If we do this every time a project gets hard, we might find ourselves with a dozen half-finished projects lying around with nothing useful to show for all our effort.

That’s why Cortez burned his ships when he arrived in the new world. He wanted to take the “return to Europe” option away, so that, when things got difficult, his soldiers would not grow impatient, but would simply solve the problems and continue on the mission.

Cortez had a terrible goal. But he understood the value of limiting options in pursuit of that goal.

Options are good, but having too many options can be bad. Alvin Tofler called it “Overchoice” in his 1970 social critique “Futureshock”. Barry Schwartz calls it the “Paradox of Choice”.

Having too many options can make it more difficult to choose in the first place.2 And it can lead to more regret and a greater tendency to reverse course after the choice has been made.3

Law Six: Impatience can be bad.

Impatience can cost us.

If the child has no bargaining leverage, she’s going to have to just stew in her juices waiting for Christmas.

An impatient lane change can cause an accident.

Blurting out your feelings before you’ve thought things through can bring a premature end to a good relationship.

And switching away from projects every time they get difficult can leave you with a dozen half-finished projects.

 Law Seven: Impatience can be good.

But impatience can serve us well at times. Impatience is in our emotional-behavioral repertoire for a reason. When hunter-gatherers spent two days pursuing game and found nothing, it was good to grow impatient. It was good to consider the possibility that another food-acquisition strategy (gathering) might be better at that point.

Sometimes we are working on a project that’s going nowhere. Perhaps the market has moved on from what we’re building, and we need to accept that fact and start working on a different project.

Sometimes we are behind a slow car and there’s smooth sailing in the other lane.

Sometimes we’re in a dead-end relationship and need to get out so both parties can be happier.

Knowledge gives you power.

Here’s the exciting thing. When we understand how impatience works, we can channel our impatient energy when it’s time to speed things up or change course. And we can be more patient when it makes sense to stay the course.

The 7 laws of impatience empower us to ask the right questions when we find ourselves growing impatient:

  • What is my goal?
  • What did I think it was going to cost to reach this goal?
  • What are the additional costs I’m now aware of?
  • Am I blaming others for these extra costs?
  • Is it truly their fault?
  • Is it worth taking on even more costs just to teach them a lesson?
  • Do I have too many options?
  • Should I find a way to limit my exposure to new options?
  • Are there ways to reduce the costs of reaching this goal?
  • Is it time to abandon this goal?

Knowledge is power. And knowing how impatience works gives us the power to better strike the balance, so we can stay the course when it makes sense, and change course when that makes sense.

References:

1 Understanding Impatience, Jim Stone.

2 When Choice is Demotivating, Sheena S. Iyengar, Mark R. Lepper.

3 The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz.

Further Reading

For a slightly more in-depth treatment of impatience as an evolutionary adaptation, read Understanding Impatience.

About the Author:

Jim Stone, Ph.D. is a philosopher, avid student of

Motivational Psychology, and developer of personal productivity software and workshops

more…

Suicide Prevention Requires Access to Effective, Evidence Based Treatment, APA Member Tells Congress

#SuicidePrevention #MentalHealth #Emotions

Via @APA Suicide Prevention Requires Access to Effective, Evidence Based Treatment, APA Member Tells Congress.

Suicide Prevention Requires Access to Effective, Evidence Based Treatment, APA Member Tells Congress

WASHINGTON — Suicide is preventable, but not all Americans have access to effective treatment and crisis intervention, a member of the American Psychological Association told a congressional panel Thursday.

“Because the risk factors associated with suicide are multifaceted and vary across groups, suicide prevention demands comprehensive, evidence-based efforts across many settings,” Joel Dvoskin, PhD, told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “We need to ensure that our health care system reimburses not only for suicide assessment but also for depression and substance abuse screening and treatment. Providers across the health care delivery system need to be trained in assessing suicide risk, suicide management and treatment through using therapies especially devised for these problems.”

Dvoskin — an APA member who is a practicing clinical and forensic psychologist and faculty member of the University of Arizona School of Medicine — testified on behalf of APA. He noted that suicide consistently ranks among the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, and that the main cause of suicide is despair.

“Suicide is often an impulsive act, where an individual is desperate to relieve their suffering and knows no other way,” he said. “Suicide risk can be reduced through identifying and providing support to address the factors that drive a person to consider suicide.”

Suicide is also a problem across the lifespan, he noted.

“Among youth, suicide ranks high as a cause of death, and is often preceded by childhood trauma, bullying or other abuse,” he said, calling prevention of child maltreatment essential. “However, increasing age is also a risk factor, and the fastest growing rates of suicide are found among middle-aged and older adults.”

Dvoskin called on Congress to:

  • Increase access to screening for depression, suicide and other mental health concerns across the lifespan;
  • Ensure insurance coverage for prevention services;
  • Improve access by increasing the number of trained health care professionals, including psychologists and other mental health professionals;
  • Support reauthorization of essential behavioral health programs, such as the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act;
  • Support programs such as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network;
  • Increase dissemination of evidence-based treatments for all populates and ages.

“Over the many years I have worked in this field, I have seen tremendous progress in identifying approaches to reduce completed suicides, attempts, ideation and feelings,” said Dvoskin, who also serves as chairman of the Nevada Governor’s Advisory Panel on Behavioral Health and Wellness. “However, we do not implement these tools effectively and broadly enough. We must reduce the barriers to violence prevention and mental health treatment for all Americans and provide the community supports so that our citizens can build lives of meaning and purpose.”

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

Things I Wish I Could Say To My Younger Self

@shannonlkaiser #MentalHealth #SelfImage #Emotions

Via @MindBodyGreen 11 Things I Wish I Could Say To My Younger Self.

BShannon Kaiser                                                                                 View Original

11 Things I Wish I Could Say To My Younger Self

Fear and doubt are sneaky. They’re forms of energy constantly attempting to capture your attention. The thing is, what we focus on is what we grow. So if you want to change your environment, your Read

Being an adult can be difficult. With an endless stream of stress, difficult demands, unexpected surprises, disease, family issues and even death of loved ones, it’s no wonder many of us struggle to stay happy.

But no matter how hard your life feels right now, consider how far you’ve already come. When we’re young, we often feel invincible, as if we can conquer the world. Our idealistic approach to life gives us the badge of courage needed to ignore difficulties. But one life stress after another can pile on and tear down that courageous wall, leaving resentment, regret and fear.

Many of us try to be happy. But despite our best efforts, we keep falling victim to the endless harassment of our lives.

If you could go back in time to your younger self, you might have some friendly words to share. Words of compassion, hope and confident bliss.

In my life coaching sessions, I help people overcome self-sabotage and doubt. Most of it starts when we’re younger. So if we’re trying to reverse internal emotional frustration, we can start by revisiting our younger selves and share lessons we’ve learned. This is an empowering technique that helps you realize how well you are actually doing. What would you say to your younger self?

Here are 11 things I wish I could tell my younger self:

1. There’s no need to worry because everything always works out in the end.

2. For real happiness, focus on how your life feels instead of how it looks.

3. What other people say and do has nothing to do with you. It is a reflection of them.

4. Falling down is a mandatory aspect of life. Getting back up is living.

5. The only person holding you back is yourself.

6. The fastest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.

7. There is no expiration date on real love. It never leaves the heart, it just changes form.

8. The thing you hate most about yourself is often what other people love you.

9. Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you made. If you want a new outcome, make a different choice.

10. The best advice is felt in your heart not directed from your head.

11. The sooner you can like yourself, the easier life will be.

If you want to make your own happiness list grab this FREE Love Your Life to The Fullest Guide.

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    How to help in an emotional crisis

    @APA #Suicide #Depression #Emotions #MentalHealth

    Via How to help in an emotional crisis.

    Mental health disorders are common in the United States, affecting tens of millions of Americans each year, according to theNational Institute of Mental Health. Yet only a fraction of those people receive treatment. Without treatment, mental health disorders can reach a crisis point.

    Some examples of mental health crises include depression, trauma, eating disorders, alcohol or substance abuse, self-injury and suicidal thoughts. If you suspect a friend or family member is experiencing an emotional crisis, your help can make a difference.

    Spotting the Signs

    One of the most common signs of emotional crisis is a clear and abrupt change in behavior. Some examples include:

    • Neglect of personal hygiene.
    • Dramatic change in sleep habits, such a sleeping more often or not sleeping well.
    • Weight gain or loss.
    • Decline in performance at work or school.
    • Pronounced changes in mood, such as irritability, anger, anxiety or sadness.
    • Withdrawal from routine activities and relationships.

    Sometimes, these changes happen suddenly and obviously. Events such as a natural disaster or the loss of a job can bring on a crisis in a short period of time. Often, though, behavior changes come about gradually. If something doesn’t seem right with your loved one, think back over the past few weeks or months to consider signs of change.

    Don’t wait to bring up your concerns. It’s always better to intervene early, before your loved one’s emotional distress becomes an emergency situation. If you have a feeling that something is wrong, you’re probably right.

    Lend an Ear

    If you suspect your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, reaching out is the first step to providing the help he or she needs to get better. Sit down to talk in a supportive, non-judgmental way. You might start the conversation with a casual invitation: “Let’s talk. You don’t seem like yourself lately. Is there something going on?”

    Stay calm, and do more listening than talking. Show your loved one that you can be trusted to lend an ear and give support without passing judgment. When discussing your concerns, stick to the facts and try not to blame or criticize.

    Seek Professional Help

    Reaching out can help your friend or family member begin to get a handle on an emotional crisis. But professional help is the best way to fully address a mental health problem and get that problem under control. You can explain that psychologists have specialized training that makes them experts in understanding and treating complex emotional and behavioral problems. That training is especially critical when an emotional disorder has reached crisis levels.

    Psychologists use scientifically tested techniques that go beyond talking and listening. They can teach their clients tools and skills for dealing with problems, managing stress and working toward goals.

    To help your loved one find a psychologist to speak with, you might encourage your loved one to speak to his or her primary care provider about available mental health resources in your community. If your workplace has an employee assistance program (EAP), that can be a useful resource and referral service. You can also find a psychologist in your area by using APA’sPsychologist Locator Service.

    Concerns About Suicide or Self-Harm or Threats to Harm Others

    No emotional crisis is more urgent than suicidal thoughts and behavior or threats to harm someone else. If you suspect a loved one is considering self-harm or suicide, don’t wait to intervene.

    It’s a difficult topic to bring up, but discussing suicide will not put the idea in someone’s head. In fact, it’s not abnormal for a person to have briefly thought about suicide. It becomes abnormal when someone starts to see suicide as the only solution to his or her problems.

    If you discover or suspect that your loved one is dwelling on thoughts of self-harm, or developing a plan, it’s an emergency. If possible, take him or her to the emergency room for urgent attention. Medical staff in the ER can help you deal with the crisis and keep your loved one safe.

    If you think someone is suicidal or will harm someone else, do not leave him or her alone. If he or she will not seek help or call 911. Eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for harm to self or others, including unsupervised access to medications.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also a valuable resource. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s mental state or personal safety, and unable to take him or her to the emergency room, you can talk to a skilled counselor by calling 1-800-273-TALK.

    If you’re concerned about a loved one, don’t put it off. You can make the difference in helping your friend or family member get back on track to good mental health.

    Thanks to Jacqueline Gray, PhD, and Lynn Bufka, PhD, for contributing to this article.