Self-Help

Is the glass half empty?

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Is Your Glass Half Empty?

English: CBT framework

Be honest with yourself…are you one of those “glass half empty” types? Well if you are, you certainly aren’t alone. Many people tend to think in negative ways rather than to have positive thoughts.

What is even worse, our brains feed on repeated negative thoughts and can start locking in negative “neuron firing patterns.” In other words, our minds become more proficient at negative thinking habits.

So what, if anything, can be done about this? Well below are some excellent suggestions for you to consider. You can always go to the website direct for detailed information.

> Know Your Current Thinking Pattern:

In order to begin the change from negative to positive thinking habits, you need to learn how you currently process information. Here is a link which should help you identify the type or kind of negative thinker you are. Read and take notes as this is a crucial step in the change process. The link is: “chakrahealing.com.”   

> Isolate And Change Negative Thoughts:

The process by which you can begin to change negative thoughts into positive ones is called “cognitive-behavioral therapy,” or (CBT). The simple explanation of how this works is this. You stop whenever you have a negative thought, examine it for accuracy, and if it is baseless, you will learn to replace it with a positive thought. Again here is a link which gives much more information on (CBT): “socialanxietydisorder.about.com/od/treatment”

> Learning To Cope With Criticism:

A large part of the CBT process involves learning to deal with the judgment and criticism of those around you. Some suggest this is effectively done in therapy sessions. However, it is possible for some to learn how to restructure their thinking with self-study. You will need to build up your personal assertiveness skills. Once again, here is a website which can help with this: “socialanxietydisorder.about.com.” Look for “Assertive Communication” under the “Coping” section.

> Practicing “Mindfulness:”

Mindfulness is a technique which is born from meditation exercises. Here you learn to separate yourself from your thoughts and emotions, and make them “outside observers.” You will then learn to see thoughts as “objects” floating by you one after the other. You can stop the show by choosing to examine one, or let it pass you by. As the article says, the object of mindfulness is to gain control of emotional situations while allowing the thinking part of the brain to take control. Mastery of this practice is a step-by-step process and will take time.

> Thought Diaries:

Thought diaries are helpful in training you to identify negative thinking styles and how thoughts, not situations, can unwanted negative emotional reactions. Most behavioral modification programs will involve a diary or journal of recorded situational experiences and the thoughts which you had to them each day.

> How To Set Up A Thought Diary:

Here is an example of how to plan and maintain a thought diary. All you have to do is to record the negative thought you had each day, and the emotional and physical reactions you had to it. As an example: The thought may have been ”anxiety.” The emotional response was “fear or discomfort.” And the physical response was “racing heartbeat, sweating, etc.” It is also very helpful to record where you were when you had these things happen. Again this is a day-by-day exercise and can take time to see results, but stick with it no matter what!

REFERENCE: “socialanxietydisorder.about.com,” by Arlin Cuncic, January 31, 2012.  

How to get things done: Four inspirational tips for motivation

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Getting It Done: Even when you don’t feel like it

09 Tuesday Jul 2013

If you’re like me, you experience days when knowing that you have to get things done doesn’t matter at all…you just don’t feel like it! Even with a “to-do list” a mile long and despite the second cup of coffee, there are those times when I can’t crank my engine.

Andmot if you’re more like me, you probably don’t have too many clients who are okay about you running a bit low on motivation, however. They don’t really care if I feel like finishing their projects or not. They just want them done in the agreed upon time frame and that is that!

I don’t want to just sit here and stare at my computer screen, but for some reason, it seems as if that’s about all I’m getting done. It’s not that I don’t have any motivation I tell myself, but if I’m going to be honest with myself and with you, that is exactly what it is.

So, what’s a girl to do?

The most I can offer up is a short list of some of the things I have found that help me kick-start myself. They may just help you, too.

1. Whistle a happy tune.

No, I’m not suggesting that you dance around the house at 6:00 a.m., but if you wake up and start complaining about how much you don’t want to have to do the things you have to do, you won’t stand a fighting chance. You’ve got to help give yourself the drive to get things done and negative thoughts and feelings do just the opposite.

By presenting your brain with some positive imagery as soon as you get up, you’re fueling your motivational tank. Imagery is unbelievably powerful. Try it. Before you get out of bed, visualize the way you want your day to go. You can imagine yourself checking item by item off your daily “to-do list.” Make your mental pictures as specific as you can and then start your day just the way you imagine.

Research show that mentally imagining that you succeed at something, actually make it more likely that you accomplish what you want. The reason for this is that our mirror-neurons response when thinking about doing something, as well as when we watch somebody else or do it ourselves. For example, watching somebody play the piano, will activate motor areas of the brain in the person who plays, and the one just watch. That is maybe why watching people do good deeds, and looking at violent movies, might be bad for us, because watching actually activates the areas of the brain necessary for callousness, altruism or hurting someone. This is especially so if like the person we watch. Mirror-neurons have been called he basis of civilization,

It can also help to think of yourself accomplishing what you want in the “third perspective (trying to look at the success the way other people would ) would.because this makes us feel life has meaning, and this feeling can in turn affect your motivation.

2. Rub elbows with positive people.

There’s an old expression my father used to say about sleeping with dogs and waking up with fleas. (I’m a die-hard dog lover, so please, don’t think I’m being literal here.)But there is a lot to be said about surrounding yourself with the type of people who have what you want. By watching how motivated people stay motivated, you will increase your chances of staying motivated too. We are creatures of habit and attitudes are contagious. So, the more often we see positive behavior around us, the more likely we are to pick it up.

3. Get into motion.

Another way to say this is “DO IT NOW!” In this case, “it” means something….anything. One of the best antidotes to inactivity is action. So, when you get an idea about what you’d like to do, start working on achieving it.

Inspiration can flow once you start working on a project and you may find momentum you didn’t know you possessed just because you set yourself in motion. Sometimes this occurs from the smallest of actions, so don’t worry about how much you do, just get moving.

4. Eliminate your options.

People almost always choose the path of least resistance and look for things that are most comfortable and easy. Getting things accomplished is no exception. When we convince ourselves that we are in a “do or die” position, most of us try harder to “do”.

This is not about perfection or about having things turn out exactly the way we want. It is about persevering. Having a Plan B in place is motialways smart and can only help make sure we stay in motion.

Everybody’s motivation is different. Not only do different people have different things that motivate them and different levels of motivation, but there are differences in our motivations from time to time. It is not a steadfast thing. So what gets us going one time may not work the next.
In order for goals to be accomplished, we have to work toward them, and the ‘fuel’ that makes that happen is our motivation. We need to know what it is that makes our motivation strong enough to see it through to the finish line and we need to know where to recharge and get that extra motivation when we need it.

If these tips help give you that little extra push that you need, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know which work the best and how you found the experience. I’m hoping to hear all about your fully crossed off list of things to do soon.

About the guest blogger:

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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Sources:

about-mirror-neurons

better at sports by just watching

watching somebody play the piano can make you better

Mirror-neurons: the people we surround ourselves with have an impact on our life