“If I try to fail and succeed, which have I done?” - anonymous
I use the above quote with my college students when I'm lecturing on the topic of being successful, challenging them to look at life from a different perspective. In challenging our perspectives, and even our definitions, I am not merely playing semantics as I firmly believe that words actually do hold meaning. If you aren’t sure about the validity of that statement, think of the last time someone’s words either caused you joy or caused you pain. Words do have the power to affect our emotions, therefore, by challenging ourselves to look at our own definitions from a new perspective can change how we feel.
How I define being successful, or how successful is defined for me, influences how I feel about myself. Many of us have culturally learned that success is defined by tangible goods and/or wealth. We hear expressions such as “If I…Write comment (1 Comment)
Pain, whether it be physical or emotional, is unavoidable. As I write this, about seven years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, an overall body pain due to overstimulated nerves. It took a while to find that diagnosis and a couple of years more to find the right combination of medications. I've reflected much on pain and how best to live with chronic pain, gaining insights into chronic pain management, yet the learning continues.
We try our best to avoid pain, almost at all costs. Personally and as a society, we make every effort imaginable to avoid, end, or numb, all pain. Yet, the more we try, I feel the more we end up still in pain and not feeling at peace or happy. According to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, "In 2012, health care providers…Write comment (0 Comments)
It's usually not the big things that affect us as much as the accumulation of these daily small annoyances. We find ourselves lashing out in anger or snapping at others for what they may feel is a small matter, but you are really lashing out not over that issue specifically, rather you are reacting to an accumulation of small issues.
When my clients complain about issues in their life, regardless of my opinion, I try to refrain from labeling it “the small stuff”. If something is bothering someone I don't want to say “small stuff” as that negates what they're feeling. Although, I hope to get them to a point when someday in the future they can recognize the current issue was something small and can be now laughed at.
To get to that point of laughing at ourselves over the small stuff one of the questions that I'll ask my clients is, “in the scope of everything going on in your life and in the world right now, where does this fit?”…Write comment (0 Comments)
“I am capable of thinking ... yet I am not my thoughts; I am the thinker of my thoughts; therefore I can change what I feel and still be me”. -Terence Gorski
Each of us are responsible for our thoughts. Just as we create our thoughts, so also do we create our emotions and behaviors. Stress and anxiety are effected by our thoughts and behaviors. Our everyday stress can be eliminated once we believe that we can control our thoughts, therefore controlling our stress response.
When asking the question, "Who am I?", we discover that a part of the answer lies within our thoughts, emotions, and actions. I often write and speak on this topic since the cause of anxiety and stress originates within ourselves, namely, within our thoughts.
We tend to feel stress and anxiety over situations in which we believe we possess a lack of control. The opposite being true; if I believe that I have control over a…Write comment (2 Comments)
Have you ever felt anxious about future plans or situations? I have, and I’m fairly sure most of you have, too. The anxiety we feel is caused because of the unknown. Future plans are full of unknown variables, and each of those variables will increase my anxiety if I focus on them. Focusing my energy on something I don’t know or can’t control is anxiety producing.
The solution seems obvious; either try to control what is out of your control, or stop focusing on what you can’t control. As easy as the solution seems, the practice of the solution is not so easy. It’s possible to reduce our anxiety about future plans to lead a fulfilling life, but it takes persistence and a willingness to make some changes in your thoughts.
The first change we need to make to have a better future is our perception. Why perception? Because our perception is our reality. For example, if I perceive my relationship as broken, regardless of…Write comment (0 Comments)