10 All Natural Ways to Stop Feeling Depressed

Does this describe your life?

  • Life is a drag.

  • What’s the point of anything?

  • I’ll never be happy.

Do any of these gloomy thoughts sound familiar? It’s likely they do. The occasional case of the blues is perfectly normal, but that doesn’t make dealing with it any easier. If you allow them to, negative thoughts can fester and lead to serious depression. That’s why it’s important to take action early to bust yourself out of a slump. While these suggestions won’t eliminate your problems, they can help you break a negative thought pattern and stop feeling depressed. If you think you might have a serious mental health problem, don’t hesitate to see a medical professional.

1. Understand the emotional cycle – Life is an emotional roller coaster. Some days you feel like nothing can stop you. Other days you feel utterly hopeless. Most of the time you’re somewhere in between. Understanding the pattern of positive and negative emotions will help you put your feelings in perspective. Next time you feel down, just remember that it’s a natural emotion that will inevitably pass. Knowing that a feeling of depression is only temporary makes it less dreadful.

2. Spend time with positive people – Nothing affects the way you think and feel more than the people you interact with. Thoughts (both positive and negative) are contagious. If you are surrounded by negative people, it’s only natural that you’ll start to think and feel the same way. To improve your outlook on life, spend time with positive people. Search them out and try to understand the way they see the world. Chances are their happiness will rub off.

3. Reflect on past success – In the wake of a colossal failure, it’s easy to forget everything you’ve ever done right. Take a few minutes to remember your past accomplishments and build yourself up. What made you successful before? What are your strengths? Frequently, this exercise will build self confidence, help you figure out what went wrong, and generate ideas for success in the future.

4. Focus on gratitude – It’s human nature to measure ourselves against those ahead of us on the social ladder. Studies have shown that people care more about being richer than their friends than actually making more money. When you consider everything good in your life and compare it to the problems of less fortunate people, the issue that’s making you depressed won’t seem as serious.

5. Change of scenery – One of the best ways to change the way you feel is to change your environment. When you get in a slump, you start to associate your problems with everything around you. It can get to the point where your environment is a constant reminder of your problems. This can be a dangerous cycle. The solution is to change things. Change doesn’t have to be radical. Cleaning up, adding more lights, or including pleasant decorations can completely change the mood of a room.

6. Break your routine – Going through the same routine, day after day, can be monotonous and depressing. It often leads to getting caught in a rut. To get out of it you need to temporarily change your routine. If you can, take a day off from work. Do something you don’t normally have time for or something you’ve never tried. In the long run, taking a day off every now and then to get out of slump will make you happier and more productive.

7. Interact with animals and nature – It’s funny when you consider how humans put so much importance on their own tiny problems. Animals don’t think this way. A little bird doesn’t mope around because it isn’t an eagle or because another bird beat it to a tasty seed. Animals live in the present moment and they show love unconditionally. Observing and interacting with them will help you get over your problems.

8. Get moving – As Johnny Cash famously suggested, “Get a rhythm, when you get the blues.” Moving to a beat makes everyone feel better. The same is true for movement in general. Hitting the gym or going for a walk will help you shed the lethargy that comes with feeling depressed. The more enthusiastic your moments, the better you will start to feel.

9. Think about the big picture – As Carl Sagan made evident with the Pale Blue Dot, we’re insignificant creatures living in a vast universe on a tiny planet. In the long run, everything we do will probably be forgotten. Some might find this depressing, but it shouldn’t be. It means that all our problems are illusory. In a million years no one will remember what you did or didn’t do. What matters is the present moment and enjoying every second of life that we’re blessed with.

10. Do something to help yourself – Above all, the best way to stop feeling depressed is to take action. What is your biggest problem? How can you alleviate it? Once you decide to stop moping and start moving forward you won’t have time to feel depressed. Action will occupy your mind and give you something to look forward to. Once you get some results, you’ll build momentum and positive thinking will keep getting easier.

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These Are the Things That Define You – Part One – Journey of Self-discovery

The term “Journey of Self-discovery” refers to a series of events whereby a person attempts to determine how they feel about spiritual issues or priorities, rather than following the opinions of family, friends or peer pressure.

Self-discovery is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection,
The willingness to learn more about their fundamental
nature and purpose.

If the only emotion concepts you recognize are “I feel good” and “I feel bad” you’re not going to be very emotionally healthy. But, if you’re able to distinguish the more specific “I feel alone” from merely “I feel bad” you’re able to deal with the problem.

Examining your life under a microscope can be uncomfortable and gruesome.

You will be grateful for starting the process of self discovery, because rewards unfold when you know more about yourself. Understand how you make improvements to your behavior, thoughts and emotions. Uncovering answers will help peel off layer-by-layer the negative thoughts that have imprinted in your mind. These negative thoughts and beliefs are your obstacles to inner growth.

You’ve probably never thought about learning words as a path to greater emotional health.

Words Seed Your Concepts
Concepts Drive Your Predictions
Predictions Regulate Your Body
Your Body Determines How You Feel.

The greater your vocabulary
the more precisely your brain can calibrate your body’s needs.

People who exhibit higher emotional expression

  • Go to the doctor less frequently
  • Use medication less frequently
  • Spend fewer days hospitalized for illness

[Tweet “The greater your vocabulary, the more precisely your brain can calibrate your body’s needs”]

This insight is directly connected to your relationship with others. Most importantly it’s also connected to our relationship with the Universe (God). What we believe about the Universe (God) and it’s expectations for us is vital to what we believe about ourselves.

Self discovery is not an a one day or a one week affair.

It can take a lifetime of building a relationship with yourself. Note that your inner self is not going to stay constant either. You are evolving all the time. Based on your self discovery at any point in time, you make conscious decisions for changes. Additionally, as you mature, you gain insights that make up the new you.

Self-discovery is about being mindful of who you really are, instead of what culture says you should be.

It is important to ask yourself what you want out of life and work towards it. Aligning with your soul’s’ purpose brings about fulfilment. Without a purpose and direction, you are going to feel like a ship which is going nowhere. I can assure you that if you don’t go through this process of evaluation on what your purpose is, you are going to experience regret while on your deathbed.

You need to confront your emotional issues and weaknesses
because they reveal the separation from the real you.

The real you is authentic, loving and nurturing. The process of self discovery is not just about unearthing nasty stuff about yourself. It is about honoring your strengths and abilities. As you become more aware of what you are good at, you lessen the list on weaknesses.

Learn to forgive yourself.

Negative beliefs tend to invade every aspect of your life. If you have feelings of low self worth, then you are likely to carry them in the relationships you have at home, in the office, with your friends, relatives and loved ones.

You, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. When your outer self is aligned with your inner being, you will feel happy and free!

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Everything in Your Life, Is Your Life!

I’m sick, very sick. Sick enough that after twenty years my team of doctors still have little idea what’s wrong with me. I am unable to work and unable to properly function at home. This is a challenging scenario for me. But, there are benefits here. There’s purpose in experiencing life in these ways. I am convinced of this because of a learned awareness of spirituality.

I grew up seeing spirits, astral traveling, feeling other people’s emotions, and hearing their thoughts. These experiences were so normal for me that I had to be taught how to “properly” interact with others. I learned that very few people could do the things I could, and that there were things I shouldn’t say to others. I had to curb my comments, very often just sharing knowing smiles.

These days it seems fewer people take responsibility for their life.
It seems less and less people master their emotions.

They don’t run their lives, they allow life to run them. Their problems are blamed on everyone and everything. Most never take responsibility for their own life. More importantly, they never take responsibility for how they feel.

Does life happen to you, or does life happen for you?

Think very carefully before you answer. The answer you give will shape your life.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I believe that life is hard. That we all are going to go through things that are hard and challenging. But, what if every painful experience in your life was actually sent to benefit you?

  • To make you stronger.
  • To make you wiser.
  • To make you better.

What if the challenge you are facing was sent to make you grow? What if the difficult person was actually sent to teach you things?

Things like:

  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • A reminder of how not to treat people

What if the loss you experienced was sent to make you appreciate the way we feel.

Everything in your life is your life!

Every human being decides how they are going to live their life.

It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.

We all decide what meaning we give to each and every moment in our lives. We do not decide what shows, but we do decide how we show it. We do not decide the circumstances that arrive each day, but, we absolutely decide how we are going to react to each circumstance.

There is no such thing as actual reality, there’s only our perception of reality.

Think about any event in your own life.

Your version of it, is only your opinion of it and will be completely different to many other people.

Two people could attend the same event, see the same things, speak to the same people, and leave with absolutely opposite thoughts about that event. How could this be it was the same event? That is because it’s an interpretation. The meaning both people gave the event is different. That meaning is based on the life of conditioning and personal experiences. A life of absorbing other’s opinions and therefore making our own.

The point is:

  • We decide that meaning.
  • We decide our perspective.
  • We decide our reality.
  • We decide OUR TRUTH!

The experiences I’ve had, force the point for me. I don’t ‘believe’ there’s more out there. I KNOW! I’ve had contact with various attuned and enlightened people who guided me through things.

They explained the subtle realms:

  • How energy in life flows
  • Why we are here on earth
  • The various and multiple layers of existence
  • The true nature of the soul and how we are connected
  • That there is no one formal religion that is right for everyone.

I’ve seen and experienced things that many people so readily disregard. People say ‘spirits aren’t real’ because they can’t know anything else. But, I know they are there, not just because I’ve seen them. I know they are there because the universe gave me teachers. Mentors that have been there with me. Coaching me through life’s interactions.

The universe guided me by:

  • Explaining that I should try things and see what happens
  • In learning to protect myself
  • To help them when they needed it
  • Most importantly, teaching me how to identify who they are and what they want.

There’s a great degree of science behind spirituality. Much more than you could think possible. That science, the understanding of connections and interactions between things, being able to control and shape them means I don’t have a choice. I don’t ‘believe’ anymore, I know!

Bob Marley said…

“Some people dance in the rain,
others just get wet.”

This is true for everything in life. Some people hate life. Some people just get by. But, some people live life to the fullest. Those people appreciate the little things, which in turn, make a huge difference in their lives. Don’t worry about what other people do!

What do you do?

  • Do you appreciate all the good in your life?
  • Do you look for the good every day?
  • Do you wake up expecting great things?
  • Do you believe every tough moment in your life is it to make you stronger and in some way improve your life?

Every meaning, you give to everything in your life, makes your life!

I know that my sickness is a part of my spiritual journey. It serves a purpose by improving me and those who interact with me. Every life and death, no matter how beautiful or tragic is a wonderful experience for the soul.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself or try to blame others for your misfortune. This is your doing and it’s an amazing thing that you’ve chosen for yourself.

There is no fault!

You need this experience in your life to evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You’ve got people around you who also chose to be there and experience a different reality to the situation with you. They’re also benefiting from you, learning and evolving as a result of your situation.

Choose empowering meanings, because the better your meanings, the better your life. The stronger your meanings, the stronger your life.

Between stimulus and response,
there is a space where we choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
It’s our decisions, not our conditions,
that control life and fulfill destiny.

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What Can I Do To Change My Life?  EP:000

What Can I Do To Change My Life?  

This question is simple, the answer is quite complexed. Especially, to those in the chronic illness community.

Let’s establish a foundation to the development of a healthy mindset. Living with the many ways chronic illness changes your life, places stress on your life, making you feel damaged, weakened, and even broken. As people go through life they develop active or passive attitudes depending on comfort and/or feeling in control of that situation. Often, chronic illness forces us into a self-protective, subconscious reaction by taking control of our emotional and physical surroundings.

To achieve this, we develop a Fixed Mindset.

FIXED MINDSET

A Fixed Mindset is when you need to look smart and in control while internally feeling weak and out of control. In order to achieve this, you develop a Fixed Mindset and you:

  • Avoid Challenges
  • Give Up Easily
  • See Effort As Fruitless Or Worse
  • Ignore Useful Negative Feedback
  • Feel Threatened By The Success Of Others

This Fixed Mindset obviously leads to stagnation and the feeling of being physically and emotionally stuck.

You want to change your life and so you have to do the opposite. Our starting point is Changing YOUR Mindset.

The key to any successful life change is a Positive Growth Mindset.

POSITIVE MINDSET

The very first and most important step is, change your thought patterns. If you are thinking negatively about life and all the things around, then you should change your thoughts.

To really change your life, you need a Positive Growth Mindset.

GROWTH MINDSET

Having a Growth Mindset you can change anything in your life. The view you adopt in your life changes the way you lead your life.

Having a growth mindset means:

  • Seeing Effort As Path To Mastery
  • Learning From Criticism
  • Finding Lessons Of Inspiration In The Success Of Others
  • Embracing Challenges
  • Persisting In The Face Of Setbacks

The result is a better sense of free will. You create a life that YOU desire.

POSITIVE GROWTH MINDSET

Keep a Positive Growth Mindset.

Dive deep into it and urge yourself to ask even more questions.

  • Every person is unique,
  • Every person is connected with everyone
  • Each person needs to develop his/her personal reality.

That should be based on what is real, valid, no matter the time, place, circumstances. Then, you can develop methods, explanations, perception suitable to your uniqueness, and compatible with the rest of the universe.

If you really want to change your life, watch for my next post “The 2 Minute Rule”

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5 Steps to Unplug Your Mind

Mindfulness teaches us that the same idea can apply to our minds as well. If we’re in some kind of emotional funk, or if the solution to a problem eludes us, we can learn how to unplug our mind—even for just a minute—and watch how many issues have disappeared when we plug back in…

5 Steps to Unplug Your Mind

  1. Stop. The first step to unplugging your mind is to stop everything you’re doing. This begins by stopping your body, and giving yourself permission to do nothing for at least a minute or so. You might try saying to yourself, “Just for this one minute, I don’t have to accomplish or change anything.”
  2. Let the mind wind down. Now imagine that each of your five senses is like a door that lets information into your mind. Close each of these doors and offer yourself the gift of quiet. Your mind takes in so many sights, sounds, etc., all day long. For just a minute or so, let it rest. Close your eyes, turn off anything you were listening to, stop distracting yourself in any way. Then, see if you can quiet your thoughts by telling your mind, “You can rest now. Nowhere to go, and nothing to do.”
  3. Come home. Now that you’ve stopped and quieted your senses, come home to yourself in the present moment. Pay attention to your breathing and the sensations in your body without trying to do or change anything. Say to yourself, “The present moment is my true home, and I have arrived.”
  4. Practice self-compassion. See if you can direct love and compassion toward yourself in this moment. Having let go of all busyness, try saying to yourself, “May you be well. May you be safe. May you be loved.”
  5. This is it. Finally, you recognize that everything you need to be happy is already present in this moment. You are alive, and the gift of life in infinitely precious. You can feel that your mind is completely at rest. Now you can return to whatever you were doing, and see how different it feels after having unplugged for just a little while.

Read The Full Story Here:
A Meditation to Recharge Your Mind – Mindful

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Important Things in Life

I’m sure you have experienced a wake up call at some point in your life. Events such as a divorce, a new baby, a firing, a terrorist attack, or a near-death experience tend to hit us like a ton of bricks and are not easily forgotten.

Personally, what I find interesting is that implicit in the idea of a wake up call is that we have, in some sense, been asleep. What is it that we have been asleep to? When I think of wake up calls, the word that comes to mind is “priorities”. Wake up calls tend to make us stop, pull back from the runway of life, and consider exactly what it is that is important to us. Very often we realize that we have had our priorities upside down. Perhaps we have spent too much time at the office, too little time with our kids, or have neglected our health. So to answer my earlier question, it seems to me that many of us travel through life asleep to what really is important.If you are in a slumber, the following are some ideas to help you wake up and remember the important things in your life:

Connect to Your Own Mortality

Some may find it depressing to think about death, but it can actually be a great technique to improve your life. Try, for example, to imagine laying on your deathbed. What could potentially give you cause for regret? Would it be all the money you didn’t make? Or would it be the friendships you didn’t nurture, the time you didn’t spend with your family, and the places you didn’t see?

Now, consider if the way you now live your life will give you cause for any regrets when you do actually come to lay upon your deathbed.

Steve Jobs was a famous advocate of connecting to your own mortality. In his Commencement Speech at Stanford University, he said: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Write a Personal Mission Statement

I admit to being one of those people who normally skips the exercises in self-help books. I did, however, decide to follow Stephen R. Covey’s advice in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and write a personal mission statement. In short, a personal mission statement is an individual statement of who you are, what you are about and what you value. The process of writing such a statement helps to clarify your inner-most thoughts and feelings, and once finished is something you can turn to for guidance.If you are interested in writing your own personal mission statement, I recommend Dr. Covey’s Mission Statement Builder.

Have a Meaningful Conversation with an Older Person

As you grow older, you naturally acquire experience and knowledge of what is important in life. For example, is there anything you could tell the “you” from 10 years ago that would make life easier? I’m sure there is. A great way then to acquire the wisdom that comes with age is to seek out an older person, such as a grandparent, and have a meaningful conversation with them. Ask them about their life, what they have learned, and what they would do differently. You may just find they experienced many of the thoughts and feelings you are currently when they were younger.

Meditate

Usually the problem is not that we don’t know what is important in life, but that it is forgotten as we get caught up in the everyday tasks that form life. One of the best methods I have found to overcome this problem is meditation. Meditation is a great way to relax both your mind and body. Such a state is ideal for gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you value.

Volunteer

It is easy in life to become consumed with your own sense of self importance. A very effective way to step back and see life in a greater context is to volunteer. For example, helping those with less than yourself will help you realize just how fortunate you really are. So often we act in such a way that we don’t already have the important things in life, when actually they are right under our nose

My Personal Mission Statement

Just as each person is unique, so will be their personal mission statement. That said, I believe we can find inspiration in the statements of others. The following is my personal mission statement.

  • I will be loving and proactive in building and maintaining my relationships with family and friends, so that I may be considered a successful husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend.
  • I will always act with integrity and never compromise with honesty, so that it may be said that I am a person who stands for what is just and right.
  • I will approach life with a curious nature, so that I am someone who continually strives to better understand both my inner and outer worlds.
  • I will look after my health by regularly exercising, eating well, and limiting the intake of anything that may be harmful to my body.
  • I will treat money as my servant, not as my master. I will seek financial independence over time. My wants will be subject to my needs and means. I will spend less than I earn and regularly save and invest part of my income.
  • I will try to help others live a better life by writing articles for my blog that are both inspiring and motivating.
  • When times are tough, I will remember there are still countless reasons I have to be thankful. As such, I will give something back to the community, via donation and volunteering, so that those less fortunate receive a helping hand.

Even just now, after having rewritten my personal mission statement above, I feel a sense of clarity and direction about my life.

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The 3 Levels of Critical Thinking

While I was still a boy, I came to the conclusion that there were three grades of thinking; and since I was later to claim thinking as my hobby, I came to an even stranger conclusion — namely, that I myself could not think at all. –William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies

Sometime back a  reader pointed me to this fascinating essay by William Golding about the nature of critical thinking. Golding explains his intellectual development (including a personal encounter with Albert Einstein) and classifies critical thinking skill in three grades.

Grade-Three Critical Thinking

Grade-Three thought is often full of unconscious prejudice, ignorance and hypocrisy. It will lecture on disinterested purity while its neck is being remorselessly twisted towards a skirt. Technically, it is about as proficient as most businessmen’s golf, as honest as most politicians’ intentions, or –to come near my preoccupation — as coherent as most books that get written. It is what I came to call grade-three thinking, though more properly, it is feeling, and not thought.

Grade-Two Critical Thinking

Grade-two thinking is the detection of contradictions. Grade-two thinkers do not stampede easily, though often they fall into the other fault and lag behind. Grade-two thinking is a withdrawal, with eyes and ears open. It became my hobby and brought satisfaction and loneliness in either hand. For grade-two thinking destroys without having the power to create. It set me watching the crowds cheering His Majesty and King and asking myself what all the fuss was about, without giving me anything positive to put in the place of that heady patriotism…Grade-two thinking, though it filled life with fun and excitement, did not make for content.

Grade-One Critical Thinking

I found that grade two was the power to point out contradictions. It took the swimmer some distance from the shore and left him there, out of his depth. I decided that Pontius Pilate was a typical grade-two thinker. “What is truth?” he said, a very common grade-two thought, “but one that is used always as the end of an argument instead of the beginning”. There is still a higher grade of thought which says, “What is truth?” and sets out to find it.

This essay illustrates the most important reason to read — to clarify your own thoughts.

We’ve all observed the three grades of thinking before, but Golding defines them perfectly. Having your thoughts confirmed by a renowned thinker builds confidence and strengthens the belief that nothing is truly original.

It also gives us perspective. I used to believe that the present was a terrible time to be born for creative thinkers. The more I read, the more I understand that grade-three thinkers always have and always will hold the majority. While this isn’t the cheeriest realization, it lead me to stop making excuses and start utilizing modern advantages like the internet.

Golding’s development is remarkably similar to my personal experience; starting at blind acceptance, moving to contradiction and cynicism, and finally reaching creative thought. I’m inclined to believe the development of all thoughtful people follows this pattern and I’d be curious to hear about other experiences.

For anyone interested I recommend reading the full essay. The quotes I’ve chosen fail to do justice to Golding’s elegant, humorous, and insightful writing.

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Think Values Not Goals

What is the most important thing about you? What is the most important thing about your life, your relationships, and the next thing you do?

If you can answer these questions with conviction, purpose, and passion, and if your behavior is consistent with your answers, then your life, no doubt, feels completely genuine. You are one of the fortunate few who continually grow, learn, produce, create, and care. You never question your own value or anyone else’s. You routinely regulate negative emotions by investing interest and creating value in the world around you.

Those less fortunate have to think long and hard to answer the most crucial questions of their lives and often become appalled at how little their behavior reflects what they deeply believe to be important. The negative emotions that we blame on stress, bad days, excess weight, society, coworkers, neighbors, and family come largely from ignoring or violating what is most important to us.

For instance, when the most important thing about driving is to get to a destination as quickly as possible, people tend to drive aggressively. They devalue their own emotional well being, not to mention their safety and that of every person – every child – in every car they pass. They ignore both the general warning of their emotional discomfort – to value more – and the specific message – develop solutions to any problems that being late might cause. If they blame their discomfort on other drivers, the design of the highway, the boss, getting up late, or their “own stupidity,” their discomfort gets worse. Their emotions can no longer guide their behavior to conform to what is most important to them. Instead, they seem to be vehicles of punishment, unfairly controlled by situations or other people. The result is a sense of powerlessness that impairs thinking, performance, interest, and concentration. They will work less efficiently, become exhausted more easily, and be less than sweet to their kids when they get home.

Small and Important

When it comes to staying true to the most important things to and about you, it’s the small emotions that matter.  The great passions of life, which seem to have the most significance, never spring from flat emotional landscapes. They rise and fall like waves on a continuous stream of small, unconscious emotions.

The primary function of the stream of emotions is the same in humans as in all mammals, to motivate and energize behavior on the most fundamental level of “approach, avoid, attack.” By habit and default, this unconscious stream of small, everyday emotions greatly influences what you will see, think, feel, and do next. If it flows from what is most important to and about you, your life will get better. If not, it will get worse.

The unconscious motivation of behavior is usually different from goals and intentions. For instance, Rick had a “communication problem” with his teenage daughter. He described a terrible altercation that began with his “harsh but right” reproach: “This is the third time I’ve asked you to clean your room!” His goal in this interaction, of course, was to get her to clean her room. His intention was to let her know that he was upset because she hadn’t. But the motivation that energized his behavior was attack, i.e., make her feel bad for not cleaning her room. Her emotional response, of course, was defensive. After some mutual name-calling (hers under her breath), she cleaned her room, in submission and humiliation, which she numbed with resentment. In fact, this is why she “forgot” to clean it in the first place.

Rick had begun to misinterpret the normal distractedness of a young teenager as a personal affront to him. Feeling disrespected, he attacked. After only a couple repetitions of this dance, his daughter associated cleaning her room with submission and humiliation. It turns out that the human brain will do almost anything to avoid thinking about submissive and humiliating behavior. Rick’s daughter naturally sought more interesting things to occupy her mind, which made her more likely to “forget” to clean her room. The more often she forgot, the more he attacked, and the more he fooled himself with the “rightness” of his goals and intentions.

Motivations are basic, simple, and straightforward. Goals and intentions are always complicated and often self-deceptive. In any given interaction, people respond emotionally to basic approach, avoid, attack motivations, not to goals and intentions.

Rick’s problem with his daughter was about importance, not “communication.” The most important thing, he later decided, was to teach her cooperation and respect. Attack motivations can evoke submission and fear, along with the resentment that goes with them, but never cooperation and respect.

Rick thought that his new “insight” of what was most important would change everything between him and his daughter. As it turned out, he did behave differently toward her, when he was conscious enough to remember his “insight,” usually after an episode of frustrated attacks. Conscious insight rarely influences, much less changes, the unconscious stream of small, everyday emotions. Whatever change you make is likely to last only as long as your attention lasts. Once routine sets in, the flow of the stream of returns to automatic pilot.

Most of what we do bypasses conscious thought and feelings. Only waves of larger emotions, like fear, anger, joy, or sadness bulge into awareness. Otherwise, the stream of unconscious small emotions makes a powerful force of habit that easily overrides the best of goals and intentions.

Lasting change usually requires emotional reconditioning, i.e., changing habits. For most of us, that is the only way to ensure that our streams of unconscious, everyday emotions flow from the most important things to and about us.

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Low Self Esteem Can Be Cured!

Low Self Esteem?

Here’s what to do:

  • Low self-esteem feeds on negative thoughts so Don’t indulge in self-criticism. Why are you waging war against yourself? Read self talk and silence your inner judge.
  • You can choose to please yourself  It is good to you care about other’s feelings but aren’t your needs just as important? Don’t neglect yourself!
  • Don’t try to be like someone else. This leads to lack of self-worth and confidence. You are unique and you cannot be someone else. Strive to improve but don’t criticise yourself for not being as successful, beautiful, slim or as popular as someone else.
  • Take life and yourself less seriously. Failure just means you are not successful YET. Everybody fails before succeeding, don’t look on it as failure but as a means to learning. Perhaps you just need a change of direction. Problems make you stronger if you strive to overcome them.
  • Self worth, confidence and assuredness increase when you Focus on your needs and desires. You deserve to live life as you want. Wanting self-esteem is not selfish as long as what you want doesn’t hurt others or prevent them from living life on their terms.
  • Focus on your successes. Lack of confidence feeds on your feelings of failure and inadequacy. Remember the truly successful things you have done in your life. Reward yourself when you do succeed.
  • Use positive affirmations and quotes. Read them when you are feeling negative and need inspiration.
  • Use visualisation to help you achieve your dreams and increase your self-esteem!
  • Focus on your strengths. Use them. You will succeed if you are true to yourself.
  • Work at achieving your goals. If you do this your confidence will increase and you will feel positive.
  • Your self-criticism will die to nothing as you will know even if you do not succeed you tried all you could. Do your best at everything you try.
  • Feed your brain. Read inspiring books – they will really help you. Not just any books though, read the best. 

The above suggestions are steps you can take on the road to building your confidence and successful in your daily life. If you start on this road you need to keep at it. Others will sometimes knock you down so you need to be strong and listen to your heart.

Believing in yourself is all about focusing on your strengths. You must be honest with yourself and be true to your feelings. Don’t pretend to be anything that you’re not and don’t listen to others who try to convince you that you are wrong. Trust your intuition and your feelings to make the right decisions and decide today which direction you want to go.

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The “Right” Path

Religion is one of the two taboo subjects that many of us have been told, often at a young age, not to discuss if we wish to avoid offending anyone (the other is politics), yet sooner or later it often comes up in discussions. Many people feel a need to belong to some form of religion. I am not going to say that it is right or wrong to be part of any religion — indeed, that varies among individuals. Some people seem to be quite happy in their religion, and receive a great deal of comfort from their beliefs. Others seem to have no need for religion at all. Still others join a religion because they perceive it will bring some sort of benefit to them, be it financial, physical, or spiritual.

The main reason that religion is a “hot potato” subject is because some people feel it is their right, or their duty, to impose their religious beliefs on others. They believe that their beliefs are the correct ones, and that those who don’t believe as they do are wrong, or even evil. It’s actually not too dissimilar from the way a member of one political party might see it as their right or duty to convince others that their party is right, and the other party is evil. Those who don’t share those views generally don’t appreciate being told they are wrong!

At the heart of it, most traditional religion is based in part on fear. On a spiritual level, the fear is that you will not measure up to the expectations of deity, or some “higher power”. On a more pragmatic level, the fear is often that if you can’t force others to adopt your beliefs, they might impose their beliefs on you. Wars have been fought because of the underlying fear that we have to kill them before they kill us. It’s only in relatively recent times that a majority of people have started to understand that it’s possible for people of varying beliefs to coexist peacefully, and unfortunately there are still many people that don’t seem to understand this.

People who’ve had near-death experiences (NDE’s) have stated that if they asked about religion during their NDE, they were told that the best religion is the one that brings you closest to God. Of course, a person that felt no need for religion probably wouldn’t ask that question in the first place. But there are no reports of anyone having a NDE and being told that they should belong to a specific religion or denomination!

If you don’t belong to any religion now, my advice to you would be to think long and hard, and do some research on the Internet, before you join. Very often, when people are trying to get you to join their religion, they will seem to love you to death and truly care about you, perhaps even more than anyone else in your life has ever cared for you. The problem is that such “love” is almost always both time-limited and conditional. Once you have joined their religion, they will move on to some other hot prospect that they are trying to get to join, and suddenly you’ll no longer feel like the center of their attention. But worse yet, their love may well be conditional on you believing the things they teach you (no matter how absurd, ridiculous, or even hateful), and behaving the way they want you to. If you should start to question any of their teachings, you become a “problem” to them, and you will find yourself talked to the way a disapproving parent might talk to a stepchild — or maybe even invited to leave.

If you are already involved in a religion, and you feel that you receive comfort and joy from it, and it encourages you to love others and help them when you can, then maybe the only real reason to consider leaving them is if they try to get you to do things that would hurt others. That could be anything from attempting to impose your beliefs on other people, to hating them because they are not part of your group, or don’t meet up with some standard of morality that your religion attempts to uphold. Those are the very things that have been responsible for starting bloody conflicts in past and recent times. Also, please be aware that some religions are all about power and money — specifically, how much of those they can take from their followers for the benefit of the leaders. If the leaders of the religion are constantly telling people to give money to their organization, while they are living the high life (with nice houses, fancy cars, luxurious vacations, and even air-conditioned doghouses for their pets), then they are using deception to steal from their followers. In a few high profile cases they have gotten in trouble and even spent time in prison for this, but that’s the exception rather than the rule — more often than not, the leaders get away with it and are never brought to justice.

However, even if that’s not the case, it might be a good idea to reflect upon why you belong to that religion from time to time. Think about what caused you to join in the first place. Were your parents members, and they forced you to attend, and it just became habit? Did you join because someone convinced you that you might go to some bad place when you die if you didn’t? Or did you perhaps join because you thought you had found a group of people that truly cared about you? Think about the reasons you joined, and then ask yourself, “If I had known then what I know now, would I still have joined?” And also, “Did I have any expectations of what would happen that have not yet been fulfilled?” In short, does your religion truly bring you closer to God, or your “higher power”, or the Universe, or whatever you consider to be the highest and most loving force in all of creation?

If not, perhaps it’s time to find a spiritual path that more completely resonates with you. People on the “wrong” path (which is to say, in the “wrong” religion) often feel quite unhappy and unfulfilled, and often live in fear that somehow they’ll be subjected to some form of eternal punishment (though they may be quite unwilling to admit such thoughts, even to themselves). They may not enjoy participating in their religion’s rituals, or attending the designated place of worship. They may find prayer or meditation boring, or even infuriating, because they don’t ever see any results (but the religion will say it’s their fault). While these things can happen even to people who haven’t strayed from their path, those who are on the “wrong” path often come to a point where they just can’t continue in their present religion. If they then find the right path for them, they often feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders, and that all the fear and dread that they experienced previously fades away.

For some people, the “right” path for this lifetime may be to not be part of any organized religion. That doesn’t mean that they cannot engage in some form of spiritual practice, such as meditation or prayer. It only means that they do not feel any need to attend, or receive any benefit from attending, formal meetings or going to a designated place of worship. Everyone is different, and what one person may see as an absolute requirement to be true to their beliefs, another person may see as irrelevant or even nonsense. If you try to convert such a person to your beliefs, you’ll just anger them and frustrate yourself — or worse yet, you’ll convince them to join and then regret doing so, because they will be constantly annoying you whenever the religion doesn’t meet their expectations (after all, you got them into this, so you should be the one to hear their complaints!). Even the religions that encourage proselytizing (that is, attempting to induce someone to convert to one’s faith, according to Merriam-Webster) usually recognize that there are people who just cannot be converted, even if they portray such people in an unfavorable light.

I personally think we’d all get along a lot better if we could all “live and let live” when it comes to our religious beliefs. That doesn’t mean we have to condone hate, or abuse, or attempts to control others, but when those things are not an issue, it’s probably best to let people find their own path. Of course, if someone starts asking questions about your faith or beliefs, then perhaps that means that they are destined to share your path for at least part of their journey through this lifetime, and in that case you can certainly answer their questions and share your beliefs. But if it makes you uncomfortable to talk about what you believe, that may be another indication that you’re not on the right path, or that you’re not being true to yourself and what you really believe. Taking time to reflect on what you believe and why you believe it encourages spiritual growth, and shouldn’t be avoided.

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