Category: Self-improvement

Is Positive Thinking Still Relevant?

Absolutely! Through our life we receive messages from everyone, family, work, the media and somewhere we decide what they said was true and build a life on that.

A lot of times when we fall short of those expectations, the narrative we give ourselves is we can’t, we are not good enough, it’s too much, there is something wrong with me or sometimes its yelled to us by parents, spouses, bosses.

So many thoughts and opinions that limit us.  

However, what if we changed the game and spoke differently to ourselves?

Our emotions and actions line up with what we think and that’s why positive thinking is so important.

You are molding your life into your own truth and away from limitations and negative experiences when you simply change the script.

Write it out loud, put those new statements on post its, I even tell clients to schedule it as reminders on their phone at random times. Surround yourself with a new story.

. . . An excerpt from an article with Upjourney that featured Clinical Social Worker Amanda Fludd and other game changing therapists in the field. To continuing reading the benefits of positive thinking just go here.

A History of Compassion Today

Is a mBlack Historyonth ever enough to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to our American experience? As we pause to reflect on those who have forged a way forward in liberty, justice and compassion, let us also examine how we can be informed and inspired today. Black history month signals an invitation to remember, act with purpose and re-engage with compassion.

Compassion is an emotion that comes from a place of concern for others. It’s a sense of shared suffering and with a deep desire to go out of our way to alleviate or reduce that suffering in others. As we interact with diverse communities, we have to be aware of the realities that these communities face. Many Black people feel that there are not tresilenceated fairly in our country, particularly by law enforcement, in hiring practices, immigration policies, higher education and mental health systems. Compassion is coming from a place that the injustice of one impacts all people. We can do our part to change larger injustices but cultivating compassion in our families, our workplace, our schools, our institutions, and simply within ourselves.

Compassion can help you feel happier as you work to do things that promote happiness in others. Contribute is a distress tolerance skill we often teach in therapy because doing for others when you are depressed has a favorable impact on you and the person you did something for. Compassion has been found in scientific studies to increase DHEA hormone which counteracts the aging process, by counteracting the stress inducing hormone cortisol. Overall, those who have a positive connection to others are healthier and found to be more resilient to illness. That makes compassion beneficial to your physical and mental wellbeing.

The key to developing compassion in your life is to make it a daily practice.

3 Compassion Practices

  1. Create a morning routine. Start your day bringing awareness to you. Notice your body in bed, take a few deep breaths, slip into your prayers or maybe a morning affirmation like this one: I am loving and compassionate to myself and others or today, I abandon old habits and take up new, more positive ones or “today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can,” the Dali Lama.
  2. Read carefully. Expand your library and invest in books that nurture your social conscience. Books that will facilitate conversations about relationships, the human struggle and empathy. Books like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Crossing the Wire; Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria; The Emperor Has No Clothes; and Wonder. It’ll give you a chance to consider things from a new perspective.
  3. Seek opportunities for awesomeness. What can you actually do to ease suffering? Volunteer at a local nursing home, put on a free workshop at a local library using your gifts or trade, pay for someone’s meal, donate to a charity, send flowers to a friend, bring your assistant coffee, pass along a book you’ve read, research other ways to lend a hand, invite someone to lunch and practice these tiny acts regularly, even daily.

 

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

Breaking Up With Bad Habits

A habit is what we do, like brushing our teeth in the morning. Some of us do it before we eat, others after. The bad habits are the ones that don’t do us much good and are hard as hell to give up. Do you have any habits you could do without? If you are nodding yes, those are the ones we are looking at today.

Lets name a few: Getting to work late, checking phone while crossing the street, talking during movies, twitter, hair pulling, worrying about what could go wrong, chasing small money, when your business has a bigger vision and ____(insert here)_____.

How it works is its usually a trigger, like its morning.

Then the routine: It’s morning so I must brush my teeth

Then the reward the reinforces the behavior (something that either feels good, or what you avoid): My breath is on point, less floss and less likely for the dentist to stick a giant needle in my gums to clean the build up at the base of my teeth…true story.  The science behind it is the reward sends that feel good rush of dopamine, which after a while makes you crave more or do more to get that satisfaction again. Its be basis for addictive behaviors.  Say What? Let’s try again:  I’m stressed, I eat chocolate, it feels good, I eat more chocolate and then the king size family bar is gone. Like the after effects of most habits, we then feel bad. However, unless the reward or reinforcer is strong, you won’t kick that habit.

donut man

But you know those bad habits. You recognize it and that’s a big step. Now the next time there is an urge, take a breath, say your new intention and hold it long enough for your brain to switch gears and respond to the trigger differently.  It may not work all the time but it’s worth a try.

Here is what to try to increase your willpower:

Increase mindfulness practice to increase your awareness and ability to respond and not react. (check out stop, breathe, think app or calm.com)

  1. Decide your intention. Write it out, set reminders to pop up on your phone, have picture visuals everywhere you go and get an accountability partner to increase your doing power.
  2. Try some compassion. It’ll be hard at times. Give yourself space to mess up, to fall off the wagon and roll down the hill. Remember the beauty is you can come back and start again.

compassion

All of the above takes a conscious effort to work. It took work and energy to get you to this point and it will take the same to get you out. Change is work. If want to do some more work sign up for the Break Your Bad Habits free worksheet here.

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R

#therapyisdope

 

Is Positive Thinking Still Relevant?

Absolutely! Through our life we receive messages from everyone, family, work, the media and somewhere we decide what they …

A History of Compassion Today

Is a month ever enough to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to our American experience? As we pause to reflect …

You are more than your present state

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel overwhelmed, our love is still there. Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, …