How Not to Feel Threatened

The antidote for feeling threatened is to think of a threat as a challenge.

Not, this is the worst thing that could ever happen.

Instead, this is the biggest problem I have faced in a long time.

One way feeds the stress.

The other is a positive response.

We often anticipate threats to us that are not actually there and are never going to happen.

In fact, most of the things people worry about never occur and when they do, they are rarely exactly the way they were feared.

When you feel fear, feel the challenge to overcome it.

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Winning the Cellphone Battle

Picture this.

Before cellphones were developed, how likely would it have been to carry around an old Bell Telephone everywhere you went so you could plug it in for more access.

No one would do that but today because they are light and convenient, we are tethered to our digital devices.

Choose not to use your cellphone if you are in the company of others, taking in life as it happens in real time or able to postpone looking at it.

One of my college students said without her phone, she felt empty.

The phone is a tool, not a way of living.

Cellphones are not ruining lives, people are.

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When It’s Tough to Feel Happy

On the days when – for whatever reason – you’re not feeling happiness …

  1. Channel the happiest person in your life and think about how you enjoy being around them.  A friend who never judges and makes you feel good.  Who always has a word of encouragement for others.  Or a special someone who just by being in their presence makes you feel happy.
  1. Think about someone you know who is fighting an illness, a problem or a brave relationship or work battle and then remind yourself that as of this day, you are not.
  1. Name three people you are grateful for and yes, it can be the same three people every day or someone you just met.  The neighbor who helped you push your car out of the garage so you could jump it.
  1. Focus on three things you couldn’t bear to be without and remind yourself of your good fortune – you don’t have to live without them.
  1. Embrace the momentary unhappiness so you can compare it later with your good fortune.

Don’t always wait for happiness.

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Focusing on Good Experiences

“Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive”.

The author Rick Hanson said this and it rings true.

Bad experiences tend to stick around somehow hanging onto us.

Good one’s flow through us too quickly.

Humans have a negativity bias probably from our hunter/gatherer days where the species was constantly on the lookout for danger.  This bred fear into us where we learn to imagine things will be worse than we expect and discount our ability to deal with them.

By spending even a few minutes a day reviewing the good in our lives, we tend to become more positive.

Negativity is a learned response that we can overcome by reprogramming the brain when good things happen and passing the related good thoughts through our mind – even for a minute – over and over again.

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Saying Sorry

Why is apologizing so difficult?

None of us are perfect.

Saying sorry is not a repudiation of us as humans. It is a reaffirmation of our humanity when we’ve said something to hurt another.

  1. Never say “but” because whatever words follow may appear insincere. It is better to not apologize than to add the word “but”.
  1. Avoid “if I offended you, I’m sorry” because it reeks of insincerity. If we offended, we apologize. If we didn’t, we say nothing. If we don’t know for sure, find out.
  1. Don’t ask for forgiveness — Forgiveness is up to others to grant. Asking for forgiveness appears to be a quid pro quo. The offended party may need time to see that the offense is not repeated before feeling comfortable enough to forgive.
  1. An apology is a gift to ourselves — The burden of offending another is lifted when we admit our humanity and be the person we want to be.

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