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Become Aware of Stress in Your Life: Stress Management Basics

Do yourself a favor. Practice any or all of the following twenty six stress busters. They can mean the difference between good health and bad:

  1. Laugh. It's one of the healthiest antidotes to stress. When we laugh, even smile, blood flow to the brain is increased, endorphins (painkilling hormones, "happy molecules" that give us a sense of well-being) are released, and levels of stress hormones drop. "Laughter is free, legal, has no calories, no cholesterol, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, and is absolutely safe (unless you live in certain parts of New York)."

  2. Socialize. Don't be a loner. Isolation has been tied to failure to cope adequately with stress, heightened vulnerability to illness and even premature death. Start by finding groups with the same interests as yours. Since you're on the web reading this use the power of the search engines to find them. Of all the interests I express in my webspace, you will find just as many groups with the same interests and beyond - and they DO have meetings in the real world.

  3. Get Rid of Anger. That is to say, sublimate it with other activities such as exercise like hitting a punching bag. At the same time you get work out this stress you strengthen your cardiovascular system and stamina while getting rid of toxins through sweat (maybe even tears). Anger is the single most damaging, stress-related personality trait that precedes a heart attack; it is easily sublimated into physical activity.

  4. Be Decisive. Indecision prevents you from taking action causing a loss of a sense of control and thus intensifying stress. This means making informed decisions. Of course, snap decisions must always be made under high stress situations.

    Let's face it: You learn to avoid car accidents due to your snap decisions - or else. This comes from personal experience AND learning from others about their experiences. Training the body and mind to perform well under stressful conditions rather than react out of stress comes from experience.

    We, as humans, put ourselves under stressful conditions such as fire drills, atheletic events, written tests, etcetera, so we can perform better under pressure. Therefore, we should always test ourselves for every possible circumstance, for every conceivable event. (This is my personal lesson.)

  5. Be Assertive. Stand up for your decisions, express your feelings, disagree with others when you feel differently, give as well as accept compliments. Assertiveness is especially important concerning your passions, what ever they might be.

  6. Adapt Your Environment. Color, lighting and noise are all elements that engage and influence our senses. They can work against you, adding stress -- or for you, as environmental stress reducers. For those of you at work and/or school who find you cannot change these things - and you find that the stress from these places is negatively affecting your life, then you must consider a change in your life.

    I remember going through amazing stress when I took physics and biology, but they were my passion, so the stress did not matter so much. The stress is part of the self sacrifice when it comes to our passions. If you find no passion in an environment you cannot change, then you must change.

  7. Encourage Yourself. If you're inclined to blame yourself for your problems -- even when they're not your fault -- you may be guilty of negative self-talk, which is a great stress maker. You bring that negativity to reality when you constantly dwell and lament upon it.

    ("Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" [Mark 11:24, King James Bible])

    Those who accept mishaps as largely routine and normal occurrences in life and who talk to themselves in positive terms about these events have higher self-esteem and much lower stress levels.

  8. Choose Winners. Seek the company of those who are optimistic and have high self-esteem. They tend to have low stress levels and contribute to lower stress levels to those around them. Personally, I have found the social circles in esoteric science, internal martial arts, and holistic spiritualism to have the greatest optimism and the least amount of arrogance. Of course, these are my studies, my passions. You see articles about my passions all over my site. Winners are passionate because they have found their passion and encourage those with the same.

  9. Reward Yourself. Go to the movies, browse in a bookstore. Those who reward themselves by engaging in something pleasurable realize a boost in the disease-fighting quality of their immune systems for several days. By the same token, I am a deep advocate of self-sacrifice, discipline, and self control when it means accomplishing a goal.

    Use the reward system, that is, when you reward yourself - do it for a good reason. Set one objective at a time along the path towards your life-positive passion. Reward yourself each time you accomplish an objective. The prize you give to yourself will mean so much more.

  10. Establish Rituals. People who have high stress in their lives tend to live surrounded by mental and physical chaos. Establishing rituals can help prevent and reduce stress by saving time. It can be a comfort factor in times of stress when predictability and certainty reassure us that no matter how bad conditions get, some things remain constant.

    Good rituals are exercise: Going to church, Meditating, Catching up on your favourite literature, Cleaning up around the house, Doing the laundry, Taking a bath, Taking your vitamins, Saying your prayers - all the way down to the basics. (Who cares where I heard it; it's a good catch phrase!)

  11. Nurture Your Spirituality. Religious or spiritual beliefs give us a context larger than ourselves, which can provide us with perspective when we are deeply stressed.

    Spirituality does not need take place in a formal place of worship; it may mean no more than communing with nature or taking quiet, reflective time out of your day to contemplate something more than life's mundane stresses.

    Look at the sky, the bright blue sky, the night sky, whatever it may be, and remember, there is the wrong and the evil on this planet that cuts you deeply, but there is the rest of the universe - which is good and almighty.

    You are human living in a world with other living creatures. Even if you are atheist you must believe that you are far more than a collection of flesh, bone, and electromagnetic waves.

    Even if you believe that humanity is nothing more than a special variation of nature, you have to ask yourself, "what made humanity so special?" If nothing more than a random occurence of events, then why are you pondering upon these ideas of spirituality? Why would you ponder spiritual implications of any kind unless it's truly important to your life?

    Spiritual Perspectives for Handling Stress

    On the side of religion, I cannot speak for everyone who believes they have different ideas about God. I CAN speak for everyone when I say that most of us share the same beliefs in that "All Power is of God:"

    Power and might are in your hand, and noone can withstand you [2 Chronicles 20:6]

    Whatever you as in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it [Christianity, John 14:13-14]

    He is God, there is no God but He. He is the King, the All-holy, the All-peaceable, the All-faithful, the All-preserver, the All-mighty, the All-compeller, the All-sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate; He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the All-mighty, the All-wise. [Islam. Qur'an 59:22-24]

    Mind's arising dependent On a sense and an object Are said to be man; Tra means protection. Protection by means of all the vajras, Of the pledges and vows explained, Free from the ways of the world, Is called "the practice of mantra." [Buddhism, Guhyasamaja Tantra 18:69c-71b]

  12. Take Note. Writing down your feelings in a diary may help relieve emotional stress. This is especially helpful for those who have trouble talking about problems. In a study conducted by psychologist James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D., of Southern Methodist University, participants wrote for 20 minutes a day over four consecutive days about issue or emotions that were causing them stress. Those who stuck to the exercise showed improved mental health and were better able to cope with stress. (So, you can imagine what this article is doing for me! )

  13. Play Around - Be Creative. The next time you're feeling anxious or stressed, take a break and do something childish: Find crayons or house paint or even cement and draw a picture. Rent a favorite childhood movie. Borrow some fun comic books or find a few old favorite toys.

    If you get those spam emails from Nigeria like I do, replace the names with political officials in your country, insert some naughty language, and hit 'reply.'

    Do madlibs on whatever newspapers and magazines you find. On a side note, "Cards Against Humanity" is a variation upon madlibs from decades ago. Although they are a temporary comic stress relief, the only difference is the "white cards" remove any type of "creativity" on your part - unless they're blank.

    People get bored quickly from this game and keep getting "expansion" decks because this game removes their creativity from the equation. Do your own madlibs instead by replacing nouns, adverbs, adjectives, etc. wherever "necessary."

    If you have a kid or a pet (just as good as a kid!) play hide and seek and chasing games with them. All these child-like behaviors help you remember who you were before all that stress happened; it also helps to identify all that neurotic behavior that may be trapped in your psyche that makes you so hyper from stress.

  14. Slow Down. Try moving, talking and behaving in a relaxed, slower manner and see if it doesn't let some of your stress ebb away.

    For instance, take a scenic route to your usual destination; pause at the table (with a prayer for thankfulness/protection) before you eat; take an after-work shower; let the phone ring a few times before answering.

    Each of those pauses give you a chance to deliberate your actions and the actions of those around you. You will discover that YOU are setting the pace for your own life rather than someone else.

    Of course, there are those people who want to control you. As long as you are a responsible, productive person, you will be recognized as a person in charge of his or her own life.

  15. Get a Pet. Domesticated animals play a vital role in stress relief. Yes, this goes back to point 13, but a Johns Hopkins Medical Center Study found that fifty out of fifty-three people with pets were alive a year after their first heart attacks, while only seventeen of thirty-nine of those without lived a year.

    Raising pets is like raising children. When they watch you, listen to you, take after you - When you give each other happiness you recognize that they give as much as a human child like nurturing our spirituality. You realize that a piece of you went into that living creature. They know their names because they associate the pleasure of hearing their names with the pleasure of being with you. (Your pet probably also has a name for you.)

    A loving pet is a reflection of his/her master: They know our feelings. They watch over us when we feel down or sickly. They love to be loved.

    Loving Pets help us realize that each mind that we come to know is really a piece of us; they are another aspect of us - like a part of our social circle - because we feel a piece of us went into that person. They remind us that we have souls by giving of part of own.

  16. Take (Learning) Vacations. It's an ideal time to gain perspective on your day-to-day life and to put aside the stress load for a few days. It's important to get a total change of scenery, a new environment that allows you to "grow" as a person.

    People who remain in the same environment on their vacations are not recharging nearly as well as they would if they were in a more exotic place which tests and enhances their skills.

    Imagine going to work and hearing the same radio station play the same music, day after day. Going home to the same music every day is no different.

    YOU ARE a form of LIVING musical instrument. As a living musical instrument, do you want to play the same type of music all the time?

    You have a mind that gets agitated from boredom because of tedious, rote stimuli. Since YOU are a spiritual being who craves variety, find an idyllic place with good, new learning experiences which enhance who you are. When you return the music added to your repetoire can be added to your CV, your life skills, your resumé, and maybe even get you the raise / promotion you've been craving.

  17. Take Up a (Passionate) Hobby. If you pursue a hobby you genuinely like, you're apt to get so absorbed in it that you don't notice time passing. You'll forget stress and reach a level of total relaxation. If your work and your hobby are directly related, then so much the better.

    "Finding Your Passion" is usually better than finding a "purpose" to your life. Why? A "purpose" implies a singular function with no specific goal - like a soldier who simply carries out orders - while a "passion" can be a plurality of functions which lead to a specific goal - like a president with a "vision" for a country.

    Some people have seemingly insane hobbies. Others have exotic, yet productive hobbies, but they found their passion because it makes them feel good or even euphoric. People with passion usually have an intense sensory "vision" of what they want to accomplish in life.

  18. Delegate. Those who don't learn to delegate their work become overloaded with unfinished tasks, making them stressed, less productive and isolated by their excessive expectations. I speak of basic tasks such as cleaning, cooking, paying the bills. If you're on your own, simplify. Be Spartan. That's what cleaners, restaurants, and online bill paying is for.

  19. Be In Control of Your Finances. A survey of 11,000 adults in Prevention magazine showed the number-one source of stress is worry over personal finances. Research also shows that people trying to maintain lifestyles they can't afford are more likely to have health problems. If you are too busy having fun to maintain a portfolio of your personal finances, then you are obviously not stressed enough to read this article, (BUT YOU'RE GONNA FEEL IT LATER).

  20. Don't Procrastinate - Stay Productive. Procrastination does more than lessen your productivity; it compounds stress by causing the stressful by-products of guilt, anger and low self-esteem. The worse stress gets, the greater the tendency to procrastinate becomes.

    Personally, I can lay claim to procrastination due to two reasons: Stress and a product of stress, depression. I never said I was perfect when I started this site, but I know that I would prefer to read a paper on stress by someone who dug himself out of that "hole" rather than an "expert" who has never experienced it. This is my testament to action rather than procrastination.

  21. Live by Lists. This goes hand in hand with establishing rituals. Having a daily written list of what you expect to do will help you become more realistic about your schedule and remind you of tasks you do not want to forget.

    Use what ever you use now for a regular list like a calendar or your daily diary. By listing a task, you also relieve stress by removing the thought from your mind, which helps to lessen mental overload, a common occurrence in stressed people.

  22. Eat Right. What you eat can promote or relieve stress and help or hinder the body in how it handles the physical stress response. Stay healthy and stress-resistant by taking time out for meals, eating at regular times, and avoiding processed foods - mainly the ones full of bizarre chemicals and genetically modified organisms. Simple, whole foods are ideal. Organic is best.

    If you are stressed out and need a break from anxiety, try foods low in fat and protein and high in complex carbohydrates for a calming effect. Personally, I like those peach and apricot bars - they are loaded with carbs, nutrition, and comfort food flavour.

    On a side note, people who are stressed/depressed usually turn to sweets because sweet flavors have a calming effect on the heart. Over indulging in sugary snacks can have the opposite effect by creating an environment for unhealthy bacteria and toxin accumulation. Please remember: Everything in Moderation.

    If you're looking to concentrate your energy to help get you through a stressful day, look for food that enhances alertness. Fresh fruit will always do this. For lack of fresh fruit, try American Ginseng or Royal Jelly to boost your energy; they warm the body and replace amino acids that are lost during times of stress.

    There are many options offered by whole food and holistic nutrition stores for quick, long-lasting energy. Please educate yourself about the Nutrition Spectrum.

  23. Exercise. To work away your tension and fortify yourself against the negative physical effects of stress, try these tips: Squeeze something (such as a squishy ball); Do an aerobic activity; Take a walk; Swim.

    For me, emotional / mental stress overrides physical pain. I find that I can run faster, farther, pump more iron, do more reps because emotional pain feels worse than physical pain. The fire of my spirit keeps me going.

    This is the number one reason I advocate martial arts training for most people: It allows you to sublimate all of that stress and focus it into concentrated activity of a fighting form.

    Since most people are emotionally stressed there is less physical pain and more mental rage to sublimate into your martial art. Most people could be kung fu/karate champions given the chance. Of course, sublimating mental anguish applies mostly to the hard styles.

  24. Relax. Breathe deeply. Visualize something pleasurable like a fishtank. Meditate. Concentrate on present, tangible situations. Inhale aromatic oils. Listen to soothing music. Try brainwave entrainment.

  25. Find (True) Love / Support System. Actually, this goes back to finding a (passionate) hobby. It doesn't matter where you find love, even in . As long as you find a person who cares about you and supports who you are and you can do the same for that other person, then you have created that positive atmosphere to relieve at least half the stress in your life.

    I, for one, realize that love can be fleeting; this usually happens when physical attraction over rides spiritual attraction and/or when we simply get desperate for companionship.

    Fleeting love or jumping from one companion to another / one night stands can actually cause more stress than cure it. When it comes to true love, let's face it: We want more than pleasure. We want a support system.

    You never know, maybe you can form a support system with someone in or near ; it's just a matter of looking.

Just to give you an idea of how stress is controlling our lives, here are some facts for you to mull over. Don't let them get you down - That's an Order:

TO HELL WITH THIS I WANT TO STAY STRESSED:-( "These are NOT recommendations"

    How to be Stressed
  • NEVER EXERCISE: Exercise wastes a lot of the time that could be spent worrying. And of course EAT ANYTHING YOU WANT.

  • GAIN WEIGHT: Work hard at staying at least 25 pounds over your recommended weight.

  • LOSE WEIGHT: Work hard at staying at least 25-50 pounds under your recommended weight - revel in your anorexia.

  • TAKE PLENTY OF STIMULANTS: The old standards of caffeine, nicotine, sugar, and cola will continue to do the job just fine.

  • AVOID "ALTERNATIVE" HEALING MODALITIES: Ignore the evidence suggesting that brainwave entrainment, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and/or mental imaging help to reduce stress. Stick with drugs and surgery.

  • GET RID OF YOUR SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM: If a few people persist in trying to be your friend, avoid them.

  • PERSONALISE ALL CRITICISM: Anyone who criticises any aspect of your work, family, dog, house, or car is mounting a personal attack. Don't take the time to understand. Just be offended.

  • THROW OUT YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR: Staying stressed is no laughing matter, and it shouldn't be treated as one.

  • MALES AND FEMALES ALIKE-BE MACHO: Never ask for any help with emotional problems, and if you want it done right, do it yourself!

  • BECOME A WORKAHOLIC: Put work before everything else, and be sure to take work home evenings and weekends. Keep reminding yourself that vacations are for sissies. It's what your employer wants, anyway. Right?

  • DISCARD GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS: Schedule more activities every day than you can possibly get done, then worry about it all whenever you get a chance.

  • PROCRASTINATE: Putting things off to the last second always produces a marvellous amount of stress.

  • WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROL: Worry about the stock market, earthquakes, flaming/exploding meteorites, climate change, alien/terrorist attacks, the approaching Ice Age. You know, all the big issues beyond the capacity of a single human being.

  • BECOME NOT ONLY A PERFECTIONIST BUT SET IMPOSSIBLY HIGH STANDARDS: and either beat yourself up, or feel guilty, depressed, discouraged, and or Inadequate when you don't meet them.

There are other areas I didn't cover like "trust the fear mongering politicians" and "Let Your Dentist put silver/mercury amalgam fillings in your mouth," but I think you get the big picture: Embrace Your Love, Not Your Poison.

Like love, poison can be physical or emotional. I discuss forms of "emotional poison" at the depression page. "Emotional poison" by any name is poison to the soul.

Handling Stress from a King's Eye View

Obtain Peace from a DoveThere once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them...

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace...

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all...

But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest- in perfect peace...

Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why? "Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace." I wish for you real peace...

POSITIVE THINKING: Our Mind is an Incredible Power!

WE have abilities and powers that we, apparently, are not even aware of. We were born with these powers but we have never learned how to master them. Instead we go through life trying different things and hoping for the best - but never really getting the most out of our own powers. (Please refer to collective DNA consciousness.)

Doctors and scientists now firmly believe that 75% of all sickness and disease starts in the mind. Researchers have also proven that stress, which starts in the mind, is the number one cause of all fatigue and illness.

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln

Researchers have also proven that people who have a healthy and positive attitude -- or incorporate positive thinking -- live better lives. Why? Because they know how to use the power of their minds. Unfortunately most people never get their minds working for them.

Instead, they get their mind to work against them -- creating things they don't want. Then they wonder why positive thinking doesn't work. The truth is they were never practicing positive thinking. Even men of "faith" read holy scripture like "As a Man thinketh in his Heart, so He Is" [Proverbs 27:19], then completely forget that that's how reality works. (Please refer to Constructs of Belief.)

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." Napoleon Hill

Why Think Positively?

All of our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our internal thoughts, both conscious and subconscious. We are in control, whether we know it or not. We can be positive or negative, enthusiastic or dull, active or passive.

The biggest difference between people is their attitudes. For some, learning is enjoyable and exciting. For others, learning is a drudgery. For many, learning is just okay, something required on the road to a job - But where is the Passion?

Our present attitudes are habits, built from the feedback of parents, friends, society and self, that form our self-image and our world-image. These attitudes are based on our belief systems which may or may not be based in reality (See "Constructs of Belief").

These attitudes are also maintained by the inner conversations we constantly have with ourselves, both consciously and subconsciously. There is nothing wrong with these types of conversations. You are responding to yourself in ways that you believe other people would respond - including yourself.

Remember, anyone within your social circle is an aspect of yourself because of your simular interests and experiences. If you want to take this analogy a step further, think of yourselves as individual aspects of the One Healing Mind, God.

Positive Thinking vs. Mental Misery: Empower Yourself


Answer the following statements by choosing true or false. Each true answer is worth one point:

  1. I believe others cause my feelings.

  2. I'm always telling myself I "should" do this or that.

  3. I constantly criticize myself.

  4. I think I must do everything perfectly or not at all.

  5. I'm always apologizing for one thing or another.

  6. I feel like I'm carrying the world on my shoulders.

  7. I'm really hard on myself when I make mistakes.

  8. I bend over backwards to please others.

  9. I "scare" myself into action by imagining horrible things that will happen if I don't do something.

  10. I tend to look on the negative side of things. My glass of water is always half empty instead of half full.

  11. It's hard for me to forgive and forget. If someone hurts me, I tend to cling to that feeling.

  12. I often feel helpless. There are so many things in life I can't do.


Give yourself one point for each "true" answer on the test. # = ______

# Points Results

1-3: You generally feel good about yourself. Keep up your positive way of thinking.

4-6: The mental miseries may be gaining on you. Take time to renew your positive traits.

7+: Challenge yourself to change your way of thinking.


Read the following information to take a closer look at some of the attitudes behind each of 12 the misery makers. Turn around sour thinking! Seek out the resources and information suggested to enhance positive thinking and achieve greater self-understanding and awareness:

Misery Maker #1: Do you believe others cause your feelings? Do others "make" you feel guilty about things?

Turnaround Mentality: You create your own feelings and make your own decisions. People and events do not cause feelings, but they can trigger your mental habits. You may wish to empower yourself with more information about relationships and communication skills.

Misery Maker #2: Are you so conscientious in your self-improvement efforts that you never miss a chance to remind yourself what you should or should not do? "I should have studied more." "I shouldn't have eaten so much."

Turnaround Mentality: "Shoulds" don't get the job done. They're just a way of punishing yourself after the fact. It's in the past; the past is an illusion. Learn from your past inaction to correct and live in the present. Guilt and shame don't produce much action; mostly, they drain your energy and discourage you. More information about realistically achieving peak performance may help you.

Misery Maker #3: Are you a relentless critic, always finding fault with the way you look and feel or the way others act toward you? Do you nag yourself and others, especially those you care about?

Turnaround Mentality: Replace criticism with encouragement. Encourage yourself and your friends rather than criticizing them. Give a compliment or a pat on the back. Visualize the positive and achieve what you want... And if the person criticizing you is only being a jerk - just tell him that you and everyone else he criticizes took his advice, but it's not working. Read more about improving self-esteem.

Misery Maker #4: Do you believe that you must do everything perfectly or not at all? Do you sacrifice fun in your life to achieve every goal?

Turnaround Mentality: Perfection is a high goal to aim for; don't insist on starting there or even arriving there. Do your best and then accept it. In fact, perfection, in humans, is nothing more than a matter of perception. You just have to do a little better than the next person - then you can feel like you are perfect! This applies to any field where you have chosen your passion.

Perfection applies to every little thing like tying your shoe laces. Perfection depends on where you are in life. Perfection goes hand-in-hand with improving self esteem. When you see that you have done the best job possible just tell yourself, "perfect" with a smile; it's just like a reward. You can enhance your life performance and have fun, too. Seek out help to deal with your perfectionist tendencies.

Misery Maker #5: Do you assume you are to blame whenever someone is upset? Do you often ask yourself, "What did I do wrong?" If your roommate or significant other is in a bad mood, do you feel responsible for it?

Turnaround Mentality: The person who is upset "owns" the problem. Stop apologizing and accepting blame. Everyone has the right to have angry feelings, but you don't have to feel guilty.

Recognize that interpersonal conflicts can be healthy, leading to constructive change and deeper understanding. Strive for emotional wellness with yourself and your relationships.

Remember, relationships need preventive maintenance too. This means asking each other about feelings, before a blowout, like, "What makes you mad? What makes you sad? What makes you happy? etc..." These are legitamate questions - and you learn a lot about your mate.

Misery Maker #6: Do you "steal" responsibility from others? Do you feel responsible for the happiness of another person? Do you take on other people's responsibilities, then get angry when they don't appreciate all you've done for them?

Turnaround Mentality: Stealing responsibility from others only cheats them out of a growing experience.

Example 1: If someone has to learn how to balance a check book, just show them.

Example 2: A small child obviously needs to know how to learn lessons in school, so we teach him.

We teach him how to think for himself. We teach him how to work for himself. We teach him that it's good to build on experience of his elders and have his own passions. That same child grows up to be independent realizing that he must take care of his own responsibilities.

Learning to deal with the consequences of one's behavior is part of being an adult. Seek greater self-responsibility and self-determination. Make some lists to clarify your own needs and wants. Remember, the world has many shoulders to carry it.

Misery Maker #7: Do you call yourself stupid if you make a mistake? Do you call yourself a failure if you slip off your diet or skip a test review session? If your mistakes are pointed out to you, do you feel as if you are under attack and become defensive?

Turnaround Mentality: You're only human, so treat yourself with kindness, not abuse. Allow yourself to make mistakes and then forgive yourself. Move ahead with a positive attitude; take time to laugh at yourself. Explore the healing power of laughter. Learn from your mistakes, then move onward.

Misery Maker #8: Are you a compulsive people pleaser? Maybe you need the frequent approval of others and forget to give yourself approval. Do you make sacrifices and then get mad at yourself?

Turnaround Mentality: Give yourself permission to decide you're doing the best you can. Don't wait to hear it from someone else. Tell yourself you're doing a good job, and ask for encouragement when you need it. Do something extra nice for a very important person -- you! Remember to balance your lifestyle: First comes you, then comes the rest of the world.

Misery Maker #9: Do you motivate yourself with fear? Fear and scare tactics may get your attention, but they won't last long as far as motivation is concerned. You may end up feeling anxious and unhappy.

Turnaround Mentality: Motivate yourself with choice, not fear. Visualize success and make decisions that fit with that image of success.

For instance, picture yourself succeeding at a task and think of the satisfaction and good feelings you'll have when you meet your goals. Learn more about effective self-assertion.

You can also imagine your path in reverse: First imagine yourself in the future having obtained your goal, then go backwards in time imaging how you accomplished your goal one objective at a time. Isn't time travel fun?

Misery Maker #10: Do you interpret events and comments in a negative light? If your friend says "Your hair is looking good today," do you ask yourself "What was what was wrong with it yesterday?"

Turnaround Mentality: You do have a choice, so choose a positive interpretation. Accept a compliment! Look at temporary setbacks as opportunities for growth. The positive appraisal will help you maintain your energy and give you an improved outlook.

Encourage positive self-talk from those inner voices (i.e intuition, higher self, super-conscious.) Remember, positive self-talk is not "duck speak" from George Orwell's "1984" where you just murmur nonsensical little ideas to yourself. You have to command yourself to think in a positive light. For example, "How good was that compliment? Thank you!"

Misery Maker #11: Do you hang on to painful memories? Do you dwell on bad feelings to justify your bad mood? If someone doesn't say they are sorry, do you stay mad at that person?

Turnaround Mentality: This is a sore point for lots of people. Painful memories can lead to unhealthy attitudes and unhealthy bodies in the present. For example, hanging onto a painful memory can lead to constipation (because we have trouble of mentally "letting go of crap," we also have trouble letting go, physically).

The only part of the past that affects you is your present interpretation of it. Only you are in charge of that.

Try to reinterpret past events in a positive way. Forgiving is helpful and, at times, is necessary to move forward. The past is an illusion. It cannot be changed. We can bend time. We can shift to another reality, but the past is water under the bridge. Just learn from your mistakes (especially the mistakes of others) and move forward with your life. Please forgive yourself, too. Learn how to forgive yourself.

Misery Maker #12: Do you coach yourself into believing you can't do certain things or deal with change? Do you frequently hear yourself saying or thinking "I can't?" If you say this often enough, you will soon believe it. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you will feel more powerless and out of control.

Turnaround Mentality: Believe in yourself and realize that you are a capable person. Give yourself positive, encouraging statements. Ask yourself positive, encouraging questions (in digestible steps) before going to bed.

For example, "how can I do well at that job interview, so I can land that job I want?" Your wonderful imagination takes care of the rest.

Work at feeling good about yourself and become more self-reliant. When you do this, your self confidence shines outwards to people around you.

Seek help when you need it by studying the needs of people who you want to serve. (Everyone serves someone in the Great River of Life. Start by serving your own needs.) Then study the accomplishments of others, so you know how to fulfill the needs of others.

All of these messages reinforce the fact that you are responsible for yourself. Your happiness (or your misery) depends upon what you tell yourself, how you treat yourself, and how you interpret your world. It's an inside job. So, take the challenge! And, take advantage of the following resources for your benefit.

Positive Thinking for Your Health - by Michael Nudel and Eva Nudel, Ph.D.

Positive Thinking, self-esteem study at McKinley InstitutePositive thinking is an effective way to achieve mastery of self healing. Maintenance of a positive energy level in a healer's own energy field reduces stress and emotional tension in the healer and in others. Positive emotions and feelings and a positive mental attitude can improve the quality of people's lives and heal their bodies of illnesses and stresses.

On the other hand, negative emotions and feelings bring poisoning toxins to the organism. Strong negative emotions such as anger, spite, envy, jealousy, and fear make the endocrine system accumulate poisons in the blood. Anxiety, depression, and doubt can also cause poisoning of the blood. Passive and lengthy negative emotions are even more dangerous for health than active, sudden and momentary negative emotions. Negative emotions shorten the span of life. (Psychoneuroimmunology: PNI)

Treatment of physical symptoms with positive thoughts and statements was popularized in France a century ago, and it still has the power to overcome unwanted states (stress, tension, and unhappiness). Thoughts and feelings make up reality and add color to it. So, unhappiness brings a gray world. To change a gray world and to overcome the feeling of unhappiness, anxiety, or tension, one needs to refocus the mind on positive, healing thoughts.

When people predict that something is going happen to them, it is more likely to happen because negative thoughts will be reflected in their unconscious. Moreover, there could be developed psychosomatic illnesses (it is reported about 70% of all illnesses are psychosomatic, or caused by mental stress).

Psychosomatic illnesses can worsen when given special attention. Instead of paying direct attention to pain or illness, every time a negative thought occurs, say something like, "It will be better than I think." When a wish of any desired condition is established in the mind, somehow the unconscious mind leads the wish to realization-not magically, but through mental programming.

Besides healing illnesses, positive attitudes help one to withstand troubles and problems, make correct decisions, and overcome obstacles. Do not focus on negative events; try to discover a positive perspective.

For example, individuals should understand that they need to read more or think more of others in order to find ways of perfect communication. Because the thoughts of individuals are either positive or negative, they are reflected in their social or asocial behaviors. People should observe and conceive the world around them, as well as their inner worlds, with positive perceptions.

Positive thinking 'offsets aging process'

By Leigh Dayton and Helen Tobler; March 06, 2004

MOOD and lifestyle dramatically affect the longevity, mental ability and health of people, an international expert claims.

"While genes obviously play a role in everything we do, there are many modifiable factors that we can control," Cambridge University neuropsychologist Felicia Huppert says.

For instance, in a recent analysis of data from a long-term study of almost 9000 Britons aged 18 years and over, Dr Huppert and colleague Joyce Whittington found that upbeat people were more likely to be alive seven years more than less positive people.

According to the Australian-born Dr Huppert - a visiting fellow at the University of Western Australia -- the finding fits neatly with research from Yale University in Connecticut about the impact of "ageist" stereotypes.

Yale researcher Becca Levy found that when negative subliminal messages such as "senile" and "dying" were flashed on a computer screen, older people showed signs of physical stress and performed poorly on mental tests.

Dr. Huppert adds that early results from another British study of 12,000 people aged 50 and up revealed it was incorrect to believe that all old people were less mentally agile than younger people.

Of secondary autonomic nervous functions such as neuroses and psychoses: "An autonomic function can be objectified through practice and, in the end, be made subject to conscious control," {Dr. Wilhelm Reich}.

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." {Albert Einstein}.

The only thing worse than evil is the ignorance of it. Real, life-positive change on this planet begins within you, with your healing.

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