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Health, Learning and development, Psychology, Wellness

The Monster

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We all have a monster inside of us. But what kind of monster is it. Is it the side we are not so proud of? Is it a side that we don´t control like anxiety or maybe anger?

Where is your monster hiding? Do you want it to fuck of?

Your dark side does not understand good intentions, compromise, or doing what it is supposed to do. It stays oppressed, but growing, looking for a way to come out. What many people don’t realize is that exploring you dark side will allow you to regain control of yourself, to understand and know yourself.

Girl Wading into Waves

What does your dark side feed on?

The dark side of your mind feeds on misery and self-destruction, on everything that you deny yourself, on all those desires that do not manage to take shape.

Your unsatisfied needs produce negative emotions that feed it. If you do not manage to give those needs an outlet, those negative emotions will keep helping the worst in you grow and they will make you believe that that is the true version of yourself or maybe even the only one.

There are many things that you know you must not do because they are bad for you, and still you do them. You know that you must not smoke, that you must not give in to fatty foods, that you must not yell at your partner or your children, that you must not feed useless arguments that lead nowhere…but you do it anyway.

Good intentions are not enough for your dark side, either. Either you take action and stop feeding it or it will take over the best of you.

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What does your dark side need?

In order to stop feeding your dark side, you must know what it is that you like most. This feeds on negative psychological attachments, those feelings that make you cling with all your might to a prior state that causes you anguish.

These negative attachments stop you from feeling safe, well adjusted, and strong. They are expressed through rejection, humiliation, betrayal, and feelings of uselessness and failure.

All of that negativity feeds the darkest part of your psyche, which grows with your negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, with the influence of toxic people that you had and still have in your life.

Each time that something negative happens in your life or each time that you remember something that you do not like, your darkest side comes out to shine, which hangs onto that negativity as if it had all rights to it, as if there were no longer an escape, and so, you attract even more misery, self-destruction, and negativity with which to feed it.

How do you confront your dark side?

The solution to facing the dark side of your mind is consciously training it. There are things that cannot be eliminated, but those that you can, should be confronted and you should become familiar with them. The greatest challenge is delving into your mind and illuminating all that is hidden within it.

The dark side hides much more than unfulfilled desires, frustrated aspirations, or broken dreams, but only you yourself can dive into it and explore.

Each time that negativity comes up in your life, each time that you feel like something sinister tries to take over you, this is when you must try to discover why, without feeling shame.

Tree Growing from Ruin

You have to accept that there is a dark side of your mind that is there, and that it is not going to fade away just because you want to repress it. Repression will only make it stronger, and with more strength, it will explode as soon as it has a chance.

Be brave. Be honest with yourself and try to release that negativity.

Explore Your Dark Side to Regain Control of Yourself

I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
I wanted the fame but not the cover of Newsweek
Oh well, guess beggars can’t be choosey
Wanted to receive attention for my music
Wanted to be left alone in public, excuse me
For wantin’ my cake, and eat it too, and wantin’ it both ways
Fame made me a balloon ‘cause my ego inflated
When I blew, see, but it was confusing
‘Cause all I wanted to do’s be the Bruce Lee of loose leaf
Abused ink, used it as a tool when I blew steam
Ooh! Hit the lottery, ooh-wee!
But with what I gave up to get it was bittersweet
It was like winnin’ a used mink
Ironic ‘cause I think I’m gettin’ so huge I need a shrink
I’m beginnin’ to lose sleep: one sheep, two sheep
Going coo-coo and kooky as Kool Keith
But I’m actually weirder than you think, ‘cause I’m
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re tryin’ to save me, stop holdin’ your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
Well, that’s nothin’ (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Well, that’s nothin’ (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Now, I ain’t much of a poet
But I know somebody once told me to seize the moment
And don’t squander it
‘Cause you never know when it all could be over tomorrow
So I keep conjurin’
Sometimes I wonder where these thoughts spawn from
Yeah, ponderin’ will do you wonders
No wonder you’re losing your mind, the way it wanders
Yodel-odel-ay-hee-hoo!
I think it went wanderin’ off down yonder
And stumbled onto Jeff VanVonderen
‘Cause I need an interventionist
To intervene between me and this monster
And save me from myself and all this conflict
‘Cause the very thing that I love’s killing me
And I can’t conquer it
My OCD is conkin’ me in the head, keep knockin’
Nobody’s home, I’m sleepwalkin’
I’m just relayin’ what the voice in my head’s sayin’
Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just friends with the
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re tryin’ to save me, stop holdin’ your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
Well, that’s nothin’ (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Well, that’s nothin’ (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Call me crazy, but I have this vision
One day that I’ll walk amongst you a regular civilian
But until then, drums get killed and
I’m comin’ straight at MC’s, blood gets spilled and
I’ll take it back to the days that I’d get on a Dre track
Give every kid who got played that pumped-up feelin’
And shit to say back to the kids who played him
I ain’t here to save the fuckin’ children
But if one kid out of a hundred million
Who are going through a struggle feels it
And relates, that’s great, it’s payback, Russell Wilson
Falling way back in the draft
Turn nothin’ into somethin’, still can
Make that, straw into gold chump, I will spin
Rumpelstiltskin in a haystack
Maybe I need a straight jacket, face facts
I am nuts for real, but I’m okay with that
It’s nothin’, I’m still friends with the
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re tryin’ to save me, stop holdin’ your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re tryin’ to save me, stop holdin’ your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
Well, that’s nothin’ (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Well, that’s nothin’ (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Sangskrivere: Aaron Kleinstub / Jonathan Bellion / Robyn Fenty / Bleta Rexha / Marshall Mathers / Bryan Fryzel / Maki Athanasiou
The Monster sangtekster © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Reach Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management US, LLC
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Love, Health And Wisdom
Brian

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Health, Learning and development, Meditation, Mindset, Psychology, Wellness

Brain Benefits From Meditation

50 years of scientific research has unearthed a whole bunch of evidence of all the different life changing meditation benefits. Below I give you 15 ways meditating regularly has been shown to significantly improve your brain function and mood. But before reading them, follow the link and listen to some wise words about what happens in your brain during and after meditation. See you soon.

 https://www.gaia.com/video/your-brain-meditation-joe-dispenza?fullplayer=preview

1. You get fluent at making good decisions.

If you’re stressed out often, you’ve probably had those moments in your life where you made bad decisions as a result. Whether it’s details you missed for an important project or a big mistake you made that negatively affected other people, you know what it’s like when you’re not at your best.

What’s being impaired in moments like this is a skill called executive function.[1] Simply put, executive function is the part of your brain that helps you get results for goals you are trying to achieve. It’s what helps you do things like manage your time, pay attention, plan, organize and remember details.

Studies have shown compelling evidence that it helps people who have impaired executive functioning skills from conditions such as Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).[2] A study run by Dr. Lidia Zylowska showed 78% of adult participants with ADHD experienced a reduction of overall ADHD symptoms when they regularly used meditation practices.[3]

2. You become an expert at handling stress.

Moments of stress triggers your amygdala, also known as your “lizard brain”. It’s the primal part of your brain which is associated with fear and emotion and its primary function is to help you survive.

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High levels of stress can make you enter into lizard brain mode where it is dominated by the amygdala. It can be described when one “flips his lid” and is controlled by overwhelming emotion such as fear or anger. Think about it as times you’ve been in a heated argument or deathly afraid of something that might hurt you.

When you are in this mode, other important parts of your brain like the pre-frontal cortex, which is the part of your brain that is capable of higher level thinking such as decision-making, self-awareness, empathy and morality, are turned off

Because the amygdala isn’t as great at logical thinking for the less straightforward situations of daily life, meditation can help decrease your stress levels by first getting you out of your lizard brain and back to being in the present moment, which then empowers you to respond to stress in a much better way.

For example, you might be in lizard brain mode thinking all the time about how to survive by making more money, but through meditation, you connect with what’s most important despite all the stress. You realize before it’s too late that you’ve been ignoring the more important things like connecting with your kids and maintaining intimacy with your spouse.

MRI scans have shown that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the amygdala appears to shrink. And as the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex becomes thicker.[4]

Basically, science has shown that meditation can help you become better at handling your stress by activating the part of your brain that makes better decisions.

3. You naturally remember useful information.

Imagine a time where you told yourself a list of items you wanted to buy at the grocery store without physically writing it down. By the time you get to the store, you’ve forgotten what some of those items were.

This is when your working memory capacity has fallen short. You use your working memory when you need to place a sticky note in your mind so that you can use it in the near future. The problem is sometimes those sticky notes fall off by the time you need it.

If your working memory is the information that goes on these mental sticky notes, then your working memory capacity is how long you can have these sticky notes stay on before it falls off. The longer time you have to hold information, the more time you have for reasoning and comprehension to occur.

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Meditation has been shown to improve your working memory capacity.

One study had about 200 teenagers assigned to either a mindfulness meditation practice, yoga, or were wait-listed as a control group.[5] Results showed that the teenagers participating in the meditation group had significantly better working memory capacity than those participating in the other groups.

4. You become an amazing smooth talker.

If you’ve ever had a time when you were talking with someone and you had trouble finding the right words to express what you were trying to say, you’ve had a moment where your verbal fluency wasn’t at it’s best.

​Verbal fluency as defined by verbal skill expert, Min Liu, is the “ability to find the right words at the right time or in the right situation.”[6]

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When sixty-three University of North Carolina, Charlotte students with no meditation experience volunteered for an experiment that studied the effects of meditation on their verbal fluency, results showed that there was a significant improvement in verbal fluency in those who engaged in mindfulness meditation versus those who did not.[7]And to add to these impressive results, the group who meditated only did it for 20 minutes a day over four day period.

5. You develop laser-like focus.

With all the information at our fingertips in this digital age, it’s easy to get distracted. We are exposed to an average of 10,000 marketing advertisements a day and it’s hard to discern what the important things we should focus on are. The artificial A.D.D. culture we’ve created has made us have significantly shorter attention spans due to information overload.

Taking as little as 20 minutes a day for five days to engage in meditate has improved one’s attention, which shows the power of simply making a subtle shift and spending a tiny fraction of your day simply being present.[8]

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6. You superpower your brain.

All the signature folds you see on the outer surface on the brain that look like windy roads have been formed to help increase the speed of brain cell communication. The formation of these folds is known as gyrification. Since your brain doesn’t have any space inside your skull to get bigger, it undergoes gyrification to increase the capacity of your brain function.

Long-term meditators have been shown to have a larger amount of gyrifcation compared to those who don’t practice meditation.[9] More interestingly, a direct correlation was found between the amount of gyrification and the number of meditation years, which is proof of the capability of our brain to continue growing even as adults.

This means the more you meditate, the faster and more efficient your brain becomes at processing information, which can be especially useful in moments where you need to think fast.

7. You are better at problem solving.

When your brain is solving a challenging problem, it requires the skill to focus attention on what’s most important amongst a large amount of information.

A simple example of your brain at work engaging in such conflict resolution is when you’re at a loud party talking to a friend. If your brain didn’t detect and resolve all the conflicting stimulation around you by helping you ignore all the noise around you and focus on your friend, you’d probably have a sensory overload.

The same principal applies when you run into larger conflict resolution challenges. You need to be able to determine what’s most important and focus your attention on it.

Multiple studies have shown that participants in groups who partook in meditation practices had performed higher on evaluations that tested conflict resolution skills compared to groups that didn’t.[10]

This goes to show why those who meditate generally have a lower stress level. Their brains are more adept at conflict resolution.

8. Your creativity starts to flourish.

The Harvard Business Review has conducted experiments that have shown that 10-12 minutes of mindful meditation practices were enough to boost creativity.[11] The majority of participants who were part of the meditation arm of the study reported that it helped them “clear their minds, focus more on the task at hand, and come up with original solutions.”

Mindfulness meditation gets ideas flowing directly to your neocortex, which is where all of your creative thinking takes place. It’s no surprise why some of the most leading companies have introduced meditation in the workplace as a result:[12]

“The Walt Disney Company was an early adopter of meditation in the workplace, as they noticed a dramatic increase in creativity after employees meditated on creative solutions. General Mills is another company which reports improved innovation as a result of sitting in stillness and has meditation rooms available to their staff. Google has an in house mindfulness program called ‘Search inside Yourself’ and has built a labyrinth for mindful walking meditations.”

9. You kill your anxiety and experience more peace.

About 6.8 million Americans suffer from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and even if you’re not one of them, chances are you at least worry about something on most days.

When worrying becomes a normal part of your daily life, it can take its toll on you and you find yourself losing sleep, being tense and have a racing mind that won’t sit still.

Meditation has been long established as an antidote for anxiety. Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist recruited fifteen healthy volunteers with normal levels of everyday anxiety to test out this theory.[13] The participants had no previous meditation experience. After engaging in four 20-minute mindfulness meditation classes, it was reported that anxiety was noticeably reduced in every session that they meditated.

The brain imaging scans taken of these individual revealed that meditation was providing anxiety relief by activating the anterior cingulate cortex which is one part of the brain that helps with the control of worry. Scans also revealed decreases in the grey matter of the amygdala which is the part of the brain that plays an important role in anxiety and stress.

10. Your brain stays young forever.

Most of the neurons in your brain are contained within a portion known as grey matter. It’s within the grey matter where essential things such as memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control take place.

After you reach 30-years-old, your brain begins to slowly shrink.[14] But evidence shows that those who keep their brain in shape by engaging in regular meditation practices can prevent the shrinking altogether.

One study from UCLA showed that in long-term meditators, age-related grey matter loss was less pronounced compared to those who didn’t meditate.[15] Brain scans of the participants who had been meditating for an average of 20 years even showed more grey matter volume throughout their brain than expected.

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11. You become great at adapting to changes.

Cognitive flexibility is the vital function that’s been described as the ability to adapt behaviors in response to changes occurred in the environment.

Imagine if you started to live in a new country, your level of cognitive flexibility will determine how fast you can adjust to all the changes to your environment such as having the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car, learning the local language and figuring out the nuances of the new culture.

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Meditators performed significantly better than non-meditators as examined in a study which brought participants through exercises that tested cognitive flexibility.[16] The study indicated that mindfulness is closely linked to improvements to cognitive flexibility.

So if you’re ever having trouble adjusting to a new situation, maybe a little meditation will solve your problem.

12. You begin to win your battle with the blues.

A research review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) of Internal Medicine in January 2014 showed meditation was about as effective as an antidepressant.[17]

Another study on mindfulness meditation published by psychologists from the University of Exeter found it to be better than drugs or counseling for depression.[18]They found that after four months of meditating, about 75% of patients felt well enough to stop taking antidepressants.

Even if you aren’t suffering from clinical depression, meditation will uplift your mood if you’re feeling down.

13. You grow stronger and experience less pain.

Mindfulness meditation has been shown in clinical trials to reduce chronic pain by 57 percent and that seasoned meditators can reduce it by over 90 percent.[19] Brain scan studies show that meditation can physically alter the structure of the brain so that it no longer feels pain at the same level of intensity.

Hospital pain clinics now prescribe mindfulness meditation to help patients suffering from all kinds of diseases such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease.

Just like many other studies researching meditation benefits, you can see the results of meditation within a short time frame even if you’ve never done it before.

Wake Forest University conducted a study that took 15 healthy participants and performed brain scans while inducing pain. A certified instructor took them through mindfulness meditation over the next four days and by the fifth day, there was about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity ratings while they were meditating compared to when they weren’t.[20]

14. Your ability of self-control goes up another level.

If you’ve ever found yourself giving into the temptations of eating that tub of ice cream when you’re on diet or lighting up that cigarette when you’re trying to quit, meditation might be the exact thing you need to give you that extra push of self-control.

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In fact, meditation can even help people recover from various types of addictions. Meditation activates the anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex which are the parts of your brain related to self-control.

One study showed that smokers who were assigned to do 5 hours of meditation spread over two weeks showed a 60% reduction in smoking compared to the smokers who didn’t meditate.[21]

15. You gain an overall sense of happiness up another level.

If you’ve ever experienced the pleasurable experience of the “runners high,” then you know what it feels like to have a release of endorphins in your brain. While endorphins are neurotransmitters that your body uses as a natural painkiller, it’s also responsible for the overall sense of happiness you sometimes feel.

When a study compared 11 elite runners and 12 highly trained meditators, results showed that both groups had noticeably elevated levels of endorphins after running and meditation. More interestingly, the pleasurable effects of endorphin release were measured in these groups and the meditation group scored higher.[22]

The easiest way to start meditating

On top of all these amazing meditation benefits, meditation is easy to do and you can actually do it right now.

Here’s a very straightforward and simple step-by step instructions that you can immediately implement to start experiencing the benefits of meditation:

  1. Set aside 5-10 minutes
  2. Find a safe space with little distractions.
  3. Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor with your back straight.
  4. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth
  5. Close your eyes or focus your gaze on the object you’ve chosen.
  6. Breathe normally and gently bring your focus to the breath.
  7. If your mind wanders, gently steer it back to focus on the breath.
  8. When finished, just take a moment to let the effects of your meditation feeling sink in before going about your day.

If you want some more live guidance or would love to learn more about meditation, Headspace is an amazing app that I use regularly. They do an amazing job of explaining what meditation is and walk you through how to do it even if you’re totally new to the concept.

The road to your best self

The ultimate solution to being happier in life isn’t to try and make things easier, but to make yourself stronger. Meditation will develop the mental strength you need and lift your mood.

Imagine yourself starting your day feeling ready and prepared to take on what comes. Stress keeps knocking on your door but you let it right in and send it right back on its way out.

You’re able to stay focused on what matters to you most and you feel intimately connected with yourself again. You feel like you’re in your prime. You’re no longer a mindless zombie who’s going through life in a daze. You’re finally living instead of just existing.

So take a moment, practice being present and soak it all in. You’ve now just figured out how to keep your life beautiful.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

 

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The Divine Energy Within

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The Divine Self, or the Higher Self, as it is also known, is a belief held by Hindus and New Age thought alike. According to these beliefs, the Divine Self is the Self that exists at an even higher level than the soul; it is in every person ever born. It is the essence the Universe that dwells in your being, the source of all light and life within you, and your true motivation for living. The divine self is what powers you and makes you wonder. It is the soul light at your core that chose to be incarnate at this point in time. It’s ever-aware and has been thinking since you began existing in this lifetime, and since your birth in other lifetimes. The body and the physical realm, in which we dwell, are thought to be but a vehicle for the higher self.

In the same beliefs, the soul is closer to the personality, and is an intermediary between the person and her Divine Self until such time as she is able to directly experience and realize the Divine Self as who she is.

Vibrational Energy - Gerelateerde afbeelding #HealingMeditation #ChakraHealing #MeditationHealth My long term illness is finally going away, and I think I might have found the love of my life.

 

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR DIVINE SELF

If you’re interested in opening up to your Divine Self, the practice promises guidance, peace, harmony, and illuminating light through its higher knowledge. Believers also claim that you can more easily turn away from the distractions of the physical world, and restore yourself in the light, love, and power of this eternal Self, because it will reveal the illusions, desires, and attachments that keep you trapped in a lower vibration and on a lesser path, thus enabling you to find your higher path. You are also supposed to gain a greater ability to recognize limiting, disharmonious, and restricting energies and forms.

The Divine Self is always trying to reach you, to send you the power, illumination, love, and wisdom to draw higher forms, thoughts, feelings, and situations into your life. The Divine Self is wise; it knows all, and is always showing you an easier, better, more joyful way to live.

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Because of these things, it’s not a huge struggle through your willpower to contact your Divine Self. All you need do is set your intention and open to all the gifts of consciousness that await you as you connect with this Self.

1. SIT QUIETLY

Find a calm, quiet spot to spend some time in. Set your intention to make contact with your Divine Self, to open to It and to receive Its energy, love, inspiration, and all the transformation, awareness, and gifts of consciousness It is always offering you. Silence is a vital factor in this process, as the connection with the Divine Self goes beyond the mind, and you should rid yourself of as many distractions as possible. Because of this, though, you may not feel you have made contact, but don’t feel discouraged! Your intention to connect with your Divine Self and your receptivity to It are all that are needed to make this connection and to receive Its guidance, energy, and inspiration. It always responds to your call.

2. LET YOUR THOUGHTS GO

Release any thoughts swimming around in your mind, and imagine that you are infinite intelligence, unconditional love, and all knowing wisdom, looking out through your eyes. Sense the “I” within you that is always present, that which is pure awareness.

Bring your mind to a state of inner stillness, with nothing to do or think about, even if just for a moment. Let go of any thoughts about the outer world and go within, asking for your Divine Self to draw you into Itself. You can make the connection to your Divine Self even stronger by having the intention to release any thoughts or beliefs that may be an obstacle to contacting your Divine Self or to receiving its gifts.

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3. SPEAK TO THE DIVINE SELF

If you want to try, ask for guidance, an insight, or an answer as you enter into the silence. You can do this out loud or just in your mind. It is in moments of silence that the Divine Self can impart to you as much of its wisdom, power, and love that you can receive. Notice what new thoughts you have after these moments of silence, calling upon your Divine Self. Doing this brings more power, love, wisdom, guidance, abundance, and spiritual vision.

4. BE RECEPTIVE

Afterward, you may receive an inner message that may feel like you giving yourself a message, which is totally normal. Contact may come through a sense of energy, peace, an inner knowing, an answer, a deeper breath, or in many other ways. It is fine if you do not have any response you can feel or identify; know that contact has been made simply through your intention to make contact. With this, some insight, extra energy, or inspiration has been imparted to you that will unfold at the perfect time.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing this meditation; in fact it is very effective to have frequent ten or twenty second meditation periods during the day. Even pausing briefly during a busy day to get quiet and ask for energy or guidance is a wonderful way to deepen contact with your Divine Self.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Learning and development, Psychology

Expectations And Disappointments

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Below I have found some very good thoughts and writing from a wise person called  Corinda Lubin-Katz.

People always say “no expectations, no disappointments.”

True, but there’s more to it than that. Expectations embody all the vitalizing emotions and sentiments – hope, trust, excitement, anticipation. They also typically entail some acquiescence to vulnerability, a state of being that can definitely be unnerving and exposing. The thing is, it’s not vulnerability itself that hurts or is embarrassing, but rather it is its correlation with the fear that our vulnerability will be taken advantage of. It’s not exposed skin that causes pain; it’s the blade that makes contact.

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It would seem that the solution is simple enough: when there are blades around, wear armor; when there aren’t, shed your shields. But life is more complicated than war, and the concern at the root of the “no expectations, no disappointments” mantra is that we won’t always be able to determine when blades are present. The danger in trust and exposure is always there when there is uncertainty. Quite simply, to trust someone, to rely on someone, to believe in the depth of a promise, is a risk.

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The hardest part is that even the people with the best of intentions – the people who likely would throw themselves in front of the very blades we fear to protect us – can accidentally hurt us too. In fact, they can hurt us the worst, because it is with them that we have the most skin exposed, that we are at our most vulnerable, most inattentive to where we discarded our armor. Without our guard up, the blow we sustain in disappointment or betrayal or offense is infinitely worse; it catches us unaware and barrels into our chest, knocking the air out of our lungs, somehow simultaneously sending our heart plummeting to the base of our stomach and up into the midst of our throat so our breath entangles with the pulse suddenly in a place it doesn’t belong.

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Being disappointed by someone we expected more from is a sinking experience, undoubtedly. If excitement and expectation are a dancing flame, disappointment is the apathetic bully that snuffs it out. There’s no question that it’s a sentiment we all want to avoid. And if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” bullet, you know that whether on the receiving or dealing end, disappointment can be up there in the ranks of worst emotional injuries that can be inflicted. Though its magnitude varies from slight to extreme, it’s never fun.

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All that to say, I get it. I get the desire to avoid it entirely – all of it, throw the baby out with the bathwater on the off chance that this bath water will be poison. But I’ve never been able to go down that road entirely, nor do I want to. I think we ultimately end up sacrificing far more than expectations, and this sacrifice is twofold.

 Billedresultat for expectation and disappointment

I don’t advocate for reckless expectations – but to abandon them in their entirety is too far on the other end. We can use discernment, we can give chances where they seem deserved. It’s always still a risk, but the best scars are the ones that tell a story of injury sustained while loving the way you lived. I have physical scars from basketball – my first love. I will play again and always and until my legs stop functioning. I have physical scars from avocado-pitting stab wounds; I will still make guacamole and put sliced avocado on everything. I have a haphazard assortment of physical scars from living a life injected with motion and dancing and recklessness and adventures and failed efforts and everything that gives a person character. And of course, I have emotional scars from walking out on that daunting ledge, heart in hand, and finding that I’d completely misjudged someone. Those scars tell me I’m strong enough to not be scared to connect. I have emotional scars from hanging out on that same ledge, heart open in the breeze, with people who protect it constantly and still manage to scrape it up accidentally here and there – scars well-earned and well worth it.

Basically, if you never count on people, put your hopes into opportunity, believe in yourself and others, then what’s the point? Expectations and trust don’t have to be all or nothing. If you treat them as such and go the nothing route, you have to live your life at arm’s length, always a full stride away from everything that demands your complete presence to be experienced properly. If you never expect the sun to shine, it won’t rain any less. But if you expect it sometimes, you gift yourself the happiness of those light rays before they even arrive, and honestly life is truly far too fragile and short for us not to allow happiness to thrive in every opportunity.

Billedresultat for expectation and disappointment

So expectations have value, and on the other end, disappointment too is important. Like pain, it serves a purpose – it teaches and trains and exposes our own patterns of desire and disillusion to ourselves. There is always more to learn about yourself in order to live more honestly and openly, and disappointment is just one teacher of many. Shed that light over it; you can always cast things under your own light, see your trials through the lens of a perspective endowed with your own personally cultivated positivity. When disappointment strikes, breathe it in, and breathe it out through the filter of growth, which leaves behind nothing but insight. Insight hurts sometimes, but if you live trying to avoid pain, you will avoid a lot of what you love in the process.

Billedresultat for expectation and disappointment

Ultimately, expectations are a risk – but so is existence. It can be hollow and detached, or it can be messy and painful and surprising and enlightening and wonderful. Stumbling through all that is essential to growth and endows life with all the punch and poignancy in revelations earned, love lost, and bonds forged. Anything less would be a disappointment.

Billedresultat for expectation and disappointment

Why Expectations And Disappointment Are Actually Good For You

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Learning and development, Mindset, Psychology, Quotes for life

Life Lessons

1. Life isn’t short if you don’t live it that way.

Your life can be very long and adventurous if you choose so. Surround yourself with people, and even animals, that you can enjoy every moment with.

2. Adaptation will come with the changes you make.

“You’re resilient, dear, you’ll learn to accept change as you grow.” This quote always comes to mind when I come across a difficult situation.

“Small things and big things will seem like milestones.

3. Enjoy the world around you.

Mobility and independence in this great big world is something to be cherished and appreciated. Travel often and enjoy the little things when you do.

4. Your life is all yours.

“Stop worrying about what others think and live your damn life!” An analogy I came up with on my own, which they all agreed on, is that if you order tomatoes on a sandwich and someone tells you that they don’t like tomatoes, would you take them off?

5. Stay off your high horse.

Be humble. The residents always reminded me that you don’t know what others are going through and that nobody is more important than someone else.

“If you go around acting like a queen, those around you won’t bow down to you. Don’t expect much.”

6. Be mature but learn when to lighten up.

The happiest residents were those that found humor in the little things.

One lady that I always had a good laugh with was in a wheelchair, couldn’t move both of her legs and one of her arms. Her one good arm was so shaky that she had to have some assist her at meal times. She always cracked jokes and would talk to you about anything.

She told me once,”You have to find humor here or else you’ll be so depressed that you’ll lose your noodle.” She stressed also to be mature when need be, otherwise, you’ll look like a fool.

7. Don’t take everything to heart.

Negative moments with some of the residents would hurt my feelings. I couldn’t take everything personally though. They didn’t like the circumstances they were in. You never know what someone is going through so if it looks like someone is having a bad day and they snap at you, walk away. It doesn’t make them a bad person, just means they’re having a rough time.

8. Never lose compassion.

“You’re a sweet girl. Don’t lose that. You’ll be sorry if you do.” It’s always important to sympathize with others and try to put yourselves in their shoes. Be positive and treat others with kindness. “Kill them with kindness. Just because they’re being nasty doesn’t mean that you have to be.”

 

RON LESLIE:

Steps to find fulfilling work:

  1. Take the initiative to investigate the places you think are of interest. Ask good questions.
  2. Go with the self-assurance of having written on an index card each of your past accomplishments(including where you simply helped other people do their thing) in three forms:
    1. A simple phrase; e.g., “top salesman in New York office for three years”
    2. A three-sentence statement of the problem, your solution, and the result
    3. A one-page explanation or anecdote to share if asked to give details
  3. Use those cards deftly to encourage people to talk to you — showing you listen on their level and understand whatever they tell you. Remember: The more they talk, the smarter they’ll think you are.

RALPH LINSALATA:

  • Tell your spouse and children that you love them every day, no matter how you feel.
  • Do not bring your problems home with you.
  • Realize the joy that comes from helping your spouse and children excel in their fields of interest and enjoy themselves.
  • Develop within your family a sense of obligation to help others.
  • Spending quality time with your family — not just time — is critical.
  • Choose a spouse who will understand and support you, and one for whom you will do the same. Life is much better if you can help each other grow and expand your knowledge, experiences, friends, and capabilities.

DONALD P. NIELSEN:

  • Not all decisions turn out well. Be prepared to deal with problems over which you have no control.
  • Almost everything will require more money and more time than you think.
  • Never settle for “good enough.” Always strive for excellence.
  • Set high expectations for yourself and those with whom you work.
  • Move quickly to deal with people issues.
  • Hiring smart, driven people is a ticket to your own success.

WARREN BATTS:

I was born in 1932 and grew up during the Depression. In the beginning, poverty was the level to which I aspired. When I reached it, my next goal was to get out of debt. That took several years. Then my goal was to become financially independent. After reaching independence, more money was not a great motivator for me. My interest became trying to make a difference — making the company I worked for successful, and working for my church and other volunteer organizations.

Billedresultat for life lessons from old people

ANONYMOUS:

Retire to something — not from something. Stay engaged. Be physically active and intellectually curious.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Learning and development, Psychology

Are You Being Manipulated?

Billedresultat for manipulation

How much are you really in control of your own life? Are you infact quite manipulated by people, the media, the government or your own beliefs that you have build up through your hole life?

We all want to get our needs met, but manipulators use underhanded methods. Manipulation is a way to covertly influence someone with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem benign or even friendly or flattering, as if the person has your highest concern in mind, but in reality it’s to achieve an ulterior motive. Other times, it’s veiled hostility, and when abusive methods are used, the objective is merely power. You may not realize that you’re being intimidated.

Manipulative Tactics

Favorite weapons of manipulators are: guilt, complaining, comparing, lying, denying (including excuses and rationalizations), feigning ignorance, or innocence (the “Who me!?” defense), blame, bribery, undermining, mind games, assumptions, “foot-in-the-door,” reversals, emotional blackmail, evasiveness, forgetting, fake concern, sympathy, apologies, flattery, and gifts and favors. Manipulators often use guilt by saying directly or through implication, “After all I’ve done or you,” or chronically behaving needy and helpless. They may compare you negatively to someone else or rally imaginary allies to their cause, saying that, “Everyone” or “Even so and so thinks xyz,” or “says xyz about you.”

Some manipulators deny promises, agreements, or conversations, or start an argument and blame you for something you didn’t do to get sympathy and power. This approach can be used to break a date, promise, or agreement. Parents routinely manipulate with bribery – everything from, “Finish your dinner to get dessert,” to “No video games until your homework is done.”

Manipulators often voice assumptions about your intentions or beliefs and then react to them as if they were true in order to justify their feelings or actions, all the while denying what you said in the conversation. They may act as if something has been agreed upon or decided when it hasn’t in order to ignore any input or objection you might have.

The “foot-in-the-door” technique is making a small request that you agree to, which is followed by the real request. It’s harder to say no, because you’ve already said yes. The reversal turns your words around to mean something you didn’t intend. When you object, manipulators turn the tables on you so that they’re the injured party. Now it’s about them and their complaints, and you’re on the defensive.

Fake concern is sometimes used to undermine your decisions and confidence in the form of warnings or worry about you.

Your opinion can be changed by the news you see on TV, in the newspaper, and on the internet. And on top of that, many of these stories are deliberately told in a particular way to influence what and how you think. Do you want to know how the media is able to achieve this level of control over your mind?

They say that if something isn’t news, it never happened. One example of this was in 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War. The two major ethnic groups in the area started to kill each other, and it escalated to the point of genocide. Seventy five percent of the Tutsi ethnic group were killed at the hands of the Hutu-led government.

During the first week of the genocide, no powerful group in Europe took action. No news appeared in the press, and therefore, nobody cared about the murders that were happening. In the second week, the media started to report on the events in the news. As a result, European countries started to send help to stop the massacre.

Even so, the lack of pictures of what was happening in Rwanda made it seem like the news wasn’t as urgent as it really was, so public interest in the matter was minimal. People’s emotions weren’t involved, so their attention came and went.

media puppets

What should we think about?

If we don’t have information on events that are happening, we’re not going to find out what really happened. The media tell us what to think about, although we’re obviously not always going to be thinking about all the news that we read.

Our interest level will make us dedicate more attention to some stories over others. One factor that influences how important we believe the news to be is fear. The stories that trigger fear in us will take up more of our attentionExamples include stories that allude to a threat, like a virus that’s spreading through the city or a series of robberies in the neighborhood.

Maybe the story told at the beginning of this post made you think about what happened in Rwanda, but because it’s old news and the repercussions are minimal today, most people won’t dedicate much attention to it if it doesn’t attract them in some way.

How should we think?

We think about the stories we’re interested in and care about based on the information that we previously had or that’s within our immediate reach. We evaluate the information we get from the media and contrast it with our prior opinions. Unless it’s very powerful or we already have certain doubts, it’s not going to change the way we thought about it before we heard that story.

If someone had already formed an idea about what happened in Rwanda, the information we presented at the beginning of this article wouldn’t change their opinion. But what if you weren’t familiar with the event or only had a vague idea about what happened? Then it’s more likely that the media will lead you to think about it in a certain way.

manipulative media

The role of heuristics

Heuristics are simple, easy rules that we use to interpret the world. For the purposes of this article, they serve to interpret the news. When the stories are relevant, the information is processed through a central path and contrasted with previously known information.

When it’s not relevant, the information is processed through a peripheral route. This is when heuristics come into play, as our opinion about the event will depend on the peripheral cues involved in the story.

When the source of the news is considered reliable, as in the case of the Rwandan genocide, we’ll be more likely to believe the information. If I am the source and the readers don’t trust me, they either won’t believe it, or they’ll have some reservations about it. 

In the news, terms such as war, genocide, and massacre are often used. These key words give rise to very negative emotions when you think about the story, giving you a bad image of the Hutu people. The negative feeling wouldn’t be as strong if the word “conflict” had been used instead of “war.”

When statistics are presented in the form of a percentage, the news seems more negative. If raw numbers had been provided without being presented as relative to the total, the impact would have been smaller. Reporting the catalyst of the events make people blame the Hutus. If the story had said that the people who had appointed the Hutus to the government were Europeans, maybe the Europeans would have been blamed more.

Every word counts in a news story, and the repercussions will vary depending on how much attention you give it and how much prior knowledge you had. The media’s power of persuasion can be very strong if you’re not aware of those mental processes. Also, being aware of them doesn’t stop the media from trying to control them from the outside, but it does make it possible for you to intervene.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Health, Learning and development, Psychology, Wellness

Benefits from the Ocean

There is a saying: “Only a fool, does not fear the ocean”. Well I would not say that I fear the ocean anymore, but I have deep respect for it. I live close to the ocean and I use it several times a week. I love doing different linds of exercises and running at the beach and I swim as often as I can.

Tine Simonsen Halds billede.

Once I really did fear the ocean. You know the deep blue sea, not knowing what is beneath you, and the fear of drowning.

The ocean has helped me to overcome this in a long process where I have forced myself to feel comfortable in the water, in swimming pools and in the ocean. I have learned breathing techniques and how to hold your breath and diving pushing your limits. It all is about learning to relax and convincing yourself that you can do it and it is all right.

It´s all about knowing and sensing,

relaxing and overcoming,

pushing and doing

Swiming and diving is just good for your mental and physical health. If you are not comfortable with it. Start the process. It is a fantastic journey inside of you.

Tine Simonsen Halds billede.

It is a process you alone can start, and you alone can work with and finish in the end.

Tine Simonsen Halds billede.

Tine Simonsen Halds billede.

Do it for yourself. It is a long journey that you will never regret.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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