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10 Things Your Authentic Self Wants to Tell You: Forget Your Shoulds! Part 6 of 10 Series

progressisimpossiblewithoutchange

angry girl pointing her fingerangry guy pointing his finger“You SHOULD!”

How many times have we shaken our fingers at ourselves about something we should have done, should be doing, or should do soon?  We are often “shoulding” ourselves about something; and this is not surprising as most of us could not count how many times we have been told in our past about something we should do.  We have heard it from our parents, adults, teachers, authority figures, siblings, peers in the past and perhaps even now; and more often, from ourselves.  We are carrying on a tradition that others began inside of our minds and we should stop!  Okay, this is the one should you can listen to!

For example, how many us are able to accomplish our New year’s resolutions?  Most of us are not successful because we often try to change things that are so well-established not only as a habit and part of our life-style,  but in the neuro-pathways of our mind.

One exercise that I completed in my four years of training to be a psycho-therapist was extremely helpful in  helping me begin to make changes – albeit small changes at first – in my life and getting rid of my shoulds and turning them into accomplishments.

Many of us have a long list of shoulds:

I should go to the gym

I should go on a diet

I should be more patient

I should travel more

I should save my money for travel

I should save more!  Work more!  Work less!

…and the list goes on.

For some reason, the word “should” continues to resonate in our minds as a non-committal, sit-on-the-fence mentality that rarely ever brings about action, let alone change.   Hence, we continue to tell ourselves that we should do this or we should do that; and we almost never get around to it.

The exercise to change this kind of mentality is very simple – and yet it works.  It entails making a list of our shoulds.  Then, after reading it through, we need to decide whether we WILL or we WON’T take the action.  After we decide, we need to literally cross out the word “should” and write above it (or below it) the words “I will” or “I won’t”.  For example, if you have on your list, “I should eat less” cross out the should and write what you’ve decided to do:  I will eat less or I won’t eat less.

After you’ve finished “correcting” your list, then tuck it away somewhere and leave it for a month or two months – however long you can wait.  I did this for one month and when I returned to my list – I could barely remember what I had written on it – I had accomplished all but one of the things that I had previously, so many times said I should do.

For some reason, our brain is able to make connections to our commitment to take action and either consciously or subconsciously, we begin to make small – and sometimes big – changes in our lives.  What can an exercise like this one hurt?  Perhaps, if you return to your list and you still have things to change, you can redo the list and re-commit.  I know for me, this was the beginning of changing my entire language around accomplishing anything.

For example, another non-committal word is trying.  “Trying is lying” to ourselves.  As long as we are in the should stage or the trying stage, we do not accomplish the things we want.  Instead of saying, “I should work out three times per week,” say, “I will or I am working out three times per week.”  Instead of saying, “I’m trying to change” simply say, “I am changing ________ about my life” or “I will change _________ in my life.”  Period.  We wouldn’t want a non-committal reply from people we are relying on, so why do we accept it from ourselves?

Next Post:  10 Things Your Authentic Self Has to Tell You:  You Don’t Have to Like Your Family!  Part 7 of 10

Healing Depression – E.F.T. Technique – Part 3 of Top 5 Expert Series

depression image9372362-happy-young-woman-spreads-her-arms

E.F.T.  stands for Emotional Freedom Technique.  It is tapping on a series of pressure points (much like acupuncture) on our hand as well as our upper body (head, collarbone, under arm) while saying a series of statements that are true for us regarding our emotions or beliefs about certain things, people or situations in our lives.  For example, we would begin by speaking the truth about how we feel:  Whether that is scared, angry, resentful or sad about the current – or past – situation in our lives.

Once we have gone through a series of tapping in this form; we would follow it by a series of  tapping on these same pressure points while stating – or replacing the first – with what we want to see, feel or create in our lives.  I have used it (you can visit E.F.T. practitioners in your community) and the great thing about it is, that it is one of the easiest methods in which you can help yourself move through stuck emotions and finally be free to explore new creativity and healthier beliefs – and therefore healthier choices – for yourself.   Stefan Gonick is an expert on the topic and the practical application of E.F.T.  Please refer to this site below to see a video tutorial to learn how to practice E.F.T. on yourself!  http://www.eft-alive.com/how-to-do-EFT.html – Stefan Gonick

Although you may feel silly doing it the first or second time, believe me, you will get over this resistance once you see and feel how beneficial and easy it is. There are many reputable people who can teach you and demonstrate the technique on the internet.   One of the most reputable healers I know is Louise L. Hay who is the author of “You Can Heal Your Life” which I read ten years ago and changed my thinking and the way I approach everything I say, think and do regarding my life.

Below is an actual interview with Nick Ortner – (The Tapping Solution) with Louise herself.  He offers this information below after spending an afternoon interviewing and using E.F.T. with Louise L. Hay:

“Louise has recently been using Tapping
in her own life, with amazing results.  I had
the opportunity to tap with Louise privately,
but in this video she was brave enough to tap
on camera so that we could share it with you!

I’ve got to tell you… what Louise shares
in this video is real, vulnerable, and
extremely moving…”

Watch it here:

http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=20835330&msgid=345958&act=KCWQ&c=758700&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thetappingsolution.com%2F2013VideoSeries

 Next Post:   Healing Depression Without Drugs

Healing Depression – Part 2 of Top 5 Expert Series

Depression picturehappiness on coast

Previously, I discussed how essentially depression is a response to either repressed anger or sadness –  of course there are exceptions such as physical and chemical imbalances, although these too are often brought about by traumatic incidents in our lives.  Similarly, Deepak Chopra believes depression is often caused by external stimuli and most importantly, our response – our habitual thinking – in regard to that outside stimuli.

I have read and condensed his article entitled, “How to Heal from Depression” as it is seven pages long and I added below what I thought were the most important points.  However, I highly recommend that you read his entire article as it consists of many different components of depression with strategies to lift ourselves out of it.

What does Deepak Chopra say about depression, what it is and how to deal with it?

According to Deepak Chopra:

“…depression has three components:

  • 1. An early outside cause.
  • 2. A response to that cause.
  • 3. A longstanding habit.

1. Outside causes: During the current recession, 60 percent of people who lost their job say it made them anxious or depressed. The number is much higher among workers who have been laid off for more than a year. Outside events can make you depressed. We all know that. If you subject yourself to enough stress over a long period of time, depression is much more likely—this includes a boring job, a sour relationship, long stretches of loneliness and social isolation and chronic disease.

2. The depressed response: An outside event cannot make you depressed unless you respond in a certain way. People who are depressed learned long ago to have the following responses when something goes wrong:

It’s my fault                                                           I’m not good enough.

Nothing will work out.                                         I knew things would go wrong.

I can’t do anything about it.                                 It was just a matter of time.

When a child has this response because something goes wrong, it can make sense. Small children have little control over their lives; they are weak and vulnerable. An unloving parent can create any of these responses, and so can a disastrous family event like a death.  But if you have these responses when you are grown up, the past is undermining the present.

3. The habit of being depressed: Once you start having a depressed response, it reinforces the next response. Did your first boyfriend dump you? Then it’s natural to fear that the second one might, also. For some people this fear is minor, but for others it looms large. They keep having depressed responses, and after a while these turn into a habit.  Once it turns into a habit, depressed people no longer need an outside trigger. They are depressed about being depressed. A gray film coats everything; optimism is impossible. This defeated state tells us that the brain has formed fixed pathways.”

Below, Deepak Chopra delineates a list of ways in which we can begin to empower ourselves regarding depression – what things to do and what not to do:  

Inner work:

  • Meditate
  • Examine and change your negative beliefs
  • Reject self-defeating responses to life’s challenges
  • Learn new responses that are life-enhancing
  • Adopt a higher vision of life and live by it
  • Recognize self-judgment and reject it
  • Stop believing that fear is right just because it’s powerful
  • Don’t mistake moods for reality.

Outer Work:

  • Change stressful conditions
  • Find fulfilling work
  • Don’t associate with people who increase your depression
  • Find people who are close to who you want to be
  • Learn to give of yourself, be generous of spirit
  • Adopt good sleep habits and exercise lightly once a day
  • Focus on relationships instead of distractions and endless consumerism
  • Learn to re-parent yourself by finding people who know how to love, who are accepting and nonjudgmental.”

Read more of Deepak’s article:

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Heal-from-Depression/2#ixzz2Hh5iNMlm

Next Post: Healing Depression Without Drugs