Positive Changes 4 Women, Inc

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Do you control your feelings, or do they control you? February 24, 2014



Everything can be taken away from a man but the last of human freedoms-the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one way…viktor Frankl.”

We all have had one of those days, where things don’t go right, the car broke down on the way to work, your boss gives you more assignments on an already busy schedule, or when your best friend stops talking to you. Then you start to feel stressed.

Feelings are neither right or wrong. They do not come out of nowhere as they are influenced by our own thoughts and perceptions of a situation. Holocaust Survivor Viktor Frankl said it best when he stated “in between stimulus and response there is a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and freedom.” When you are connected to your body, you are able to notice when you are breathong shallow or tensing your shoulders. When you notice these reactions, you have the power to decide how you will respond. However, most people run on autopiolt and allow their feelings to be in control.

All to often feelings go unchecked because we allow our thoughts to trap us into strong negative feelings. So for example, if we “feel angry,” therefore we must be angry. If we “feel” sad then we must be sad. But upon closer inspection, we realize that these feelings get their power and energy from what we are thinking. In the world of psychology we call these thoughts “Cognivite Distortions .”

Here are just a few of common cognitive distortions:

labeling : Labels can limit our options and may make us feel helpless, victimized and anxious. Some examples of labels are, “his a jerk,” “I’m stupid,” “i’m not good enough,” etc

Mind reading: This is especially common amongst teenage girls and women. Often times, girls and women will try to read the mind of others based on a simple look, action or lack of action. For example, a friend did not like a picture on Face Book, that must mean she hates me, or doesn’t like me.

All or nothing: This way of thinking is in “absolute,” terms and using words such as every, or never. Thus we often convince ourselves that if we can’t have it all, we can’t have anything. For example, if I can’t be first in my class, why bother studying at all, or if you don’t score perfectly in a competition, you see your-self as a failure. This type of thinking creates expectations neither we nor others can ever meet, and so we are inevitably and frequently disappointed.

Mental Filter: Only hearing what you want to hear which is usually based on our belief system. So if you believe that you are “stupid,” you will ignore all the positive stuff that a teacher is telling you and focus on what is wrong.

Here are some tipson when you feel like your feelings are taking control over your mind and body?

Breathe:  Not only has deep breathing proven to be relaxing, it has also been scientifically proven to the brain, heart, digestive and immune system.  So when you start to feel the heart beat fast, your shoulders tensing and butteflies in your stomach, just take ac ouple of deep breathes.

Learn to become aware of your feelings:  Notice when you are breathing fast, or clenching your jaw, or just wanting to throw up or break down and cry.

Become an investigator:  Ask your-self if these feelings are fact or fiction.  What cognitive distortions are using to validate these feelings? If something bad happens, what does that mean about me?

Move: The energy needs to go somewhere, so get up and move.  If you can remove your-self from the stressful situation.  If your sitting down, stand up and stretch. Go for a walk.

Focus on right now: When people are caught up on their feelings, they are usually focused on past or future events.  So take a deep breath, and take a look around you and name the things that you see in front of you.  This helps your brain to calm dwon and focus on the here and now.


Want to decrease parental conflict and nagging? Then read these tips from your parents point of view. December 13, 2012

Filed under: parenting — Positive Changes 4 Women, Inc @ 5:12 pm
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10: Stop leaving trails around the house like Hansel and Gretel: At this point your parents don’t care if they can’t find you because they are on the verge of shoving you in the oven and cooking you themselves. So you see that dirty plate still left from dinner time, or the wet towel on the floor of the bathroom, or the candy wrapper stuffed in the sofa, please just pick it up. I guarantee 100% that there will be less shouting and nagging.

9: Saying I love you other than when you want something: Parents love hearing the words “I love you,”  especially when it doesn’t involve that expensive cell phone or the sleep over, or the expensive designer outfit.

8: Manners, Manners, Manners:   You think we are embarrassing? Well take a look at how eat your food and greet our friends, now that is embarrassing. So next time, use your utensils, close your mouth, smile, make eye contact and for god sake say “hello, please thank you and goodbye.”

7: Stop talking smack about us to your friends: You don’t want us sharing your gory details to our friends then don’t share our gory details with yours. In the words of Taylor Swift, “your friends talk to my friends and my friends talk to me.” It would be really nice if you could brag about us in front of your friends. But it would be even better if you could do it while we are there to witness it. “Hooray my kids appreciate me.”

6.  Silent treatment, one word answers and isolation. Nothing pushes our buttons more then when you shut down and go into silent mode. We don’t know what to do. We feel frustrated because as parents we want to fix the situation.  Please help us understand.  I know we shout, but be patient we are learning.  Maybe send us a letter about you feel.

5: Give us some space: We don’t mean this to sound contradictory. Of course we want to be involved in your lives (we are after all we have been accused of being the helicopter-parent population). Of course we want to talk to you and hear about your day, we want to know your hopes your dreams, your fears….But not while I am on the  telephone or (conveniently) when it is time for you to go to bed. It is annoying irony when we are  all geared up to talk and ask how was your day and get and all we get is  “good,” and nothing more, but if we say go to bed,  well look out her,e come the verbal avalanche.

4: Stop interrupting.  We understand you all think you were born with the gift of clairvoyance because we raised you to believe in your own opinion, but the truth is you don’t know it all. So it would be nice if you could clamp down on that mouth when we are talking and let us finish our sentence before you interrupt us with a “I know, or eye rolling”

3. Turn the volume down: Want to know why us parents shout, just listen to the volume of the TV. All that noise makes our brain turn to jello and short circuit. We just can’t think!!!  We are getting older!!

2: Just do your chores without asking. Does their really need to be an explanation to this one? No, it is not child labor, it’s just helping out.

1. Praise us: It would be nice from time to time if you could praise us on a job well done. Just like you, we are going to make mistakes, but we are trying our best. SO giving us a compliment from time to time or sending us on a treasure hunt, motivates us to do better as parents. We aim to please.

While this is the top 10…I believe that this point deserves a place all by it-self.

1. Listen. If you don’t want us to constantly repeat or nag, then listen. Nothing is worse and more stressful for us as parents then to repeat ourselves a thousand times and then to watch you guys have the audacity to huff, roll your eyes, and act like we are being a pain. Do you think we enjoy repeating this stuff over and over again? I think not! So the next time your parents are talking to you, put down your cell phone, turn off the computer, turn the volume down on your ipod and LISTEN.