You may think the following information does not apply to an abusive situation, but it does. Your attitude decides everything in your life. How you will live, how happy you will be is decided by you, not circumstances, but you! Have you made choices to have relationships with abusive people, people with narcissistic tenancies? Or do you live life according to your standards and your choices. Do you control your life?
I never liked driving over reflectors that divide the highways and tried to steer clear of them. I hit them every time. I was focused on what I wanted to avoid. When I concentrated on the empty areas (which, by the way is not easy) I had better results.
How can we translate this concept into everyday living? We hear terrible things on the news that create fear, depression and hate. We see despair all around us. If these things bother us, we can either do something about them or we can avoid them. We can't control all external happenings or all abusive people, but we can always turn the information off physically and mentally. We can choose to drop narcissistic abuse from our lives or go along trying to change the unchangeable. We also have a choice about how we control our reactions. The more we learn about emotionally abusive people, the easier it is to stop reacting to them. Whatever we react to controls us. Whatever we spend our energy on gets bigger.
If we dwell on a particular fear, or action of another person, it will become a reality. Focus on something positive. Focus on hope. I can help you deal with narcissism by showing you what is going on and helping you learn how to deal with it. The stronger you get, the easier it will be to ignore the person. The more you stop caring about them, the stronger you get. The more power you get. Knowledge is power.
The optimist says. . .
"Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive. If life is to be sustained, hope must remain, even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired." -- Erik H. Erikson
The cynic says. . .
"One day as I sat musing sad and lonely and without a friend, a voice came to me from out of the gloom saying, 'Cheer up. Things could get worse.' So I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse." -- Anonymous
These are our options. Positive thoughts, concentrating on what we hope for, give us positive results such as more control over our lives, better health and happier relationships. Negative thoughts give us stress, relationships suffer and we feel sick and unhappy. The brain takes its queue from our thoughts and believes we must want them to happen because we spend so much time and energy thinking about them. Our brain doesn't recognize this is something to avoid.
Example: You're afraid of failing in your marriage. You say to yourself, "I'm going to do something wrong that I put so much time and energy toward. I know it. I'm afraid this will happen." This is on your mind day and night. Your brain hears, "This will happen." Because you are so tense, you make mistakes. Your partner tells you how stupid you are. You say, "I knew this would happen." Your brain thought you wanted to fail. Then you wonder why all the bad things happen to you. This is called "self fulfilling prophecy." When you focus on something good, your brain works the same way and good happens. This may take learning about why you are in this negative situation in the first place. This is in a healthy relationship.
An abusive relationship is when you are doing the best you can and not getting the results you desire. Then your brain tells you that you are going to fail and you do, but you were starting with a failed relationship in the first place. You just didn't know it.
HOW DO I DO THAT?
Act as though your thoughts are positive. Speak encouraging words to yourself. Make plans that show optimism. Don't dwell on negative reactions. This drains your energy. Counter every negative statement from an abuser with a positive statement in your mind. Remind yourself that this person wants only to control you and you are not going to let him.
"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream." -- Martin Luther King
I want you to try an experiment. This takes 2 people. Hold your hand out straight to your side or in front of you. You are going to resist any pressure from the other person when he pushes your hand down. That doesn't mean grit your teeth, brace your feet and fight it. It means a normal resistance to the pressure applied to the top of your hand. Now think, "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO as the person tries to push your hand down. You will see that it goes down easily. You had little energy to resist it. Now think YES, YES, YES, YES, YES. Notice that you now have more energy to resist the pressure.
When you want more energy, think "yes." Think hope and faith and positive outcomes. Think about all the things and people for whom you are grateful. Recognize negative thoughts and immediately reform them into positive views. Soon it will be a habit. When someone tells you something negative about you, consider who said it. Consider what their agenda is. Consider if it might possibly be true. Don't automatically assume they are right. Look at it objectively. Ask a trusted friend for their opinion. If the person was wrong, ignore it. Don't dwell on it. If this is a common happening, remove this person from your life if possible. If not, remember who you are is not who this person says you are.
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." -- John Quincy Adams
Concentrate on what you really want, create a plan and work the plan to make it happen and you will get the result you desire. Take a look at Goal Setting Basics. for a general picture of how to set a goal. Dealing with abuse is more involved than just creating a goal. I can help you figure out what goal you really want and how to get it.
© Copyright Echod Enterprise 2008
IT'S YOUR LIFE! APPRECIATE IT! ENJOY IT!
How does one become happier? By showing gratitude. People report gratitude brings up to 25% greater happiness. This concept can transform one's lives. We may not be able to change what happens to us, but we can change how we think about it.
WHAT IS GRATITUDE? It is thankfulness, showing appreciation. It's a way of thinking, of recognizing something good happened to you. It's acknowledging another source has provided a gift, often at personal cost to the giver. It is appreciating a kindness, an accomplishment or a selfless motive on the part of the giver. It has nothing to do with life circumstances. It's saying someone has valued you enough to give you a gift or benefit. Gratitude means recognizing that there is goodness and kindness in the world.
WHY SHOW GRATITUDE? In his book, Thanks! How the new science of gratitude can make you happier Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D, performed studies to determine how gratitude affects our lives. Participants felt the benefits of gratitude for up to 6 months.
Work: Happier people were more productive, produced higher quality work and moved higher up the corporate ladder. They also had higher incomes ($25,000 a year more).
Relationships: An attitude of gratitude gave people a greater appreciation for others. They felt more loved and loving. Relationships became more positive, improving marriages and creating happier extended families. They developed a desire to give to others and to emotionally support them, creating a special bond.
Testing by HeartMath founder, Doc Childre and associate Rollin McCraty found something quite interesting in their heart-brain testing. The human heart gives off stronger electromagnetic waves than any other organ in the body. Feelings of compassion and appreciation make the heart and brain waves function more smoothly and regularly. This electromagnetic wave can influence another person's brain up to 5 feet away. If your attitude is positive, the other person's brain rhythms will match your heart rhythms. They will feel comfortable around you. If you are uncomfortable around someone and don't know why, it may be your brain picking up on his negative attitude.
Mental and Physical Health: A grateful attitude develops greater respect for yourself and others. Realizing you have enough value for someone to bestow gifts and good intentions on you encourages higher self-esteem.
When you practice gratitude, you have less depression. You take greater enjoyment in the small things in life, are quicker to remember positive things and less likely to recall negative. You have more enthusiasm and appreciation for what you have. Life holds greater meaning. You recognize that your very life is a gift. You become more optimistic about your life and the future, especially when coping with disaster. How you think about events in your life directs how you live your life. Your thoughts decide your future. You are quicker to look outside yourself at the goodness of others. It is impossible to hold negative, angry, victim-oriented thoughts when feeling gratitude. You have greater coping ability and more confidence than people who do not practice a grateful attitude. You become happier.
When you are grateful, you have quicker recovery from illness and feel less pain, including chronic pain. You get more hours of sleep and are more refreshed. You will have fewer addictions and phobias. Tests show a high impact in reducing stress, which provides longer, more productive, higher quality life, (up to 9 years more). You will have more energy, more self-control and be more cheerful.
HOW DO I SHOW GRATITUDE? Gratitude requires making an effort to decide to see the positive instead of the negative. It takes humility, admitting that you need and depend on others, that you are not entitled to whatever you want and don't deserve all you receive. It takes acknowledging that the gift was given out of love, kindness or compassion. Gratitude requires recognizing the success or gift and thanking the source.
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." - Cicero
WHAT ROADBLOCKS MUST I OVERCOME? Viewing a gift with guilt and resentment, a debt to be repaid can keep someone from an attitude of gratitude. Some people take their blessings for granted or believe the giver is an easy target. Sometimes they see the gift as a form of control. If there are strings attached, it is not a true gift. They may think the giver views them as weak or needy, that the giver is belittling them. They may believe they are unworthy of a gift. This can cause hatred and resentment toward the giver. Ingratitude leads to a confined, lonely life. Selfishness prevails. Another roadblock is focusing on the negative, lack or loss.
"Nothing more detestable does the earth produce than an ungrateful man."- Decimus Magnus Ausonius
Some people have trouble expressing their feelings or trusting others and their motives. An inappropriate gift can create embarrassment. Some people have difficulty setting aside their independence and acknowledging a need for others.
HOW DO I BECOME MORE GRATEFUL? Develop the discipline of a continuing grateful attitude about your life and everything in it. The more you remember your blessings, the harder it is to take life for granted. Because it's easy to forget your gifts and those who gave you those gifts, it's best to develop the habit of a set time of day to keep a journal of your blessings and think about them. A good time is at night before going to sleep. Don't keep repeating the same gifts. That doesn't help. Concentrate on the gift or success. Remember to thank the giver.
"Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude."- Confucius
"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."- Epictetus
IF YOU WANT A HAPPIER LIFE, CHOOSE TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE!
© Copyright Echod Enterprise 2008
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