Tag Archive | Thought

Stop thinking and stop analysing.

English: graphic convention of manga, sweating...

English: graphic convention of manga, sweating, used to represent feeling anxiety, confusion, embarrassed, and so on. 日本語: マンガの表現技法。汗。不安、困惑、戸惑いなどといった感情の表現。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stop thinking and stop analysing.

My husband will tell you, I over analyse everything – and think something to death.  I view it from this angle, and that angle, and then from another angle.  He hates it and he is right.  I need to learn to just accept things and not over think or over analyse.  It is dangerous to do this.

One of the best quotes I have ever read was:

“Do not over think things – you’ll create a problem where none existed…”

I have such a strong tendency to do this.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful email yesterday that told me God is on my side, that He will fight the battle and that I need to trust Him.  Today I get an email telling me I have to confront my fears or keep running, and I start to panic thinking God is telling me to get divorced.  God would not do this.  He is totally against divorce.  I know this because His Word has told me so.  Over and over and over again.  And so, in the face of my anxiety, I will trust Him.  I know that He gave my husband to me and I know that my anxiety is more over the fact that my mother left and I have been conditioned my whole life to be just like her.  And I know that I love this man – more than anything.  I feel so good being with him.  And I know that he is God’s gift to me.  I know why God has not healed my from this anxiety – it keeps me praying.

And then I think of my husband reading this blog and I feel so ashamed and so embarrassed, because the last thing on earth that I want to do is to hurt him – I love him and want to protect him at all costs.

I read a blog yesterday where the blogger also battles with anxiety and she says that we need to be careful not to define ourselves by our anxiety.  And that is exactly what I am doing.  I am allowing myself to be defined by these anxious feelings – instead of moving past that and accepting them as fleeting moments and feelings that come and go.

“Balance begins by knowing how you feel but not being so swayed that you are ruled by every passing incident of anger, worry or resentment.” –Deepak Chopra

Since childhood, I’ve struggled with frequent bouts of anxiety and panic.  Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if my predisposition to worry began in utero.  (As a foetus, I probably worried incessantly about whether or not I was developing properly.)  My anxiety has played such a dominant role in my life that, at times, it has become all-consuming.

But I work at it—each and every day.  Having spent the better part of my life navigating the rocky waters of my anxiety, I’ve learned a thing or two.  And although I know that there are some parts of my emotional makeup that I may not be able to change, I can—and do—view it in a more productive light.

Fact: I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

Fact: I am not my anxiety and panic attacks.

Though I spent many years believing my anxious thoughts made up the whole of me, I have come to realize the faulty logic behind that notion: Emotions, by nature, move with fluidity—dancing in and out of the mind, carefully orchestrated by the tide that is an ever-evolving state of consciousness.  So how can any single emotion define a person?

It cannot.

I now know and expect that throughout my life, I will experience emotional ebbs and flows; some emotions will feel good, some will feel crappy and some will just flat-out trounce me.  But they are fleeting; they are not here to stay.  Emotions stop in for a visit; hang around for a bit then move on their merry way, making room for the new ones to take their place.  Just because I feel anxious, scared, or depressed in any given moment doesn’t mean I’ll feel that way forever.  It doesn’t make me who I am.

While I do still grapple with my emotional health, I know that I am making strides towards finding a greater inner peace.  I used to define myself by my anxiety.  Not anymore.  Today I see my anxious ways as part of what makes me who I am today, but not who I am as a whole.  There are many characteristics that, today, I use to define myself—and anxious is not one of them: I am kind; I am loving; I am extroverted; I am sentimental; I am blond-haired and brown-eyed; I am (sometimes) funny; I am cautious.

I am not anxious.  I am simply someone who experiences anxious thoughts on occasion.

I am many things, but I am not my emotions.

http://im-still-learning.com/2013/07/15/i-am-not-my-emotions/

And that is where I need to be.  And in order to do that, I cannot analyse every fleeting emotion and thought and cling to it for dear life in case it may mean something dark and sinister that I am hoping to not to confront.

What I need to do is focus on enjoying my life.

And then, one of the most profound blogs I have read, is this:

The solution to a problem is not in its solving

I have been contemplating this notion for quite some time and just a moment ago, it occurred to me, that the way to transcend a problem is not actually done but the process of solving it.

I have found that the more interested I become in the specifics of a problem and the more energy and effort I put into solving it, the longer it takes to overcome.  Then, when I realize that the problem is no longer present, when it is no longer an issue, I discover that it came about not by the process of trying to solve it but by getting distracted out of the obsession of dealing with it and trying to find its solution.

This of course ties in directly with the concept that what you give energy to is what you give life to.  If you focus on a problem then you will have a problem to solve for as long as you remain focused in that direction, because that is the frequency you are operating on.

This law shall we say, is a completely practical and functional formula that works without fail, all the time and under all circumstances and conditions.  It works not by denial of a problem but from the complete removal of all attention to it.

One great example of understanding this concept was displayed in the wise words of Mother Theresa who once proclaimed something along the lines of;

“If I am asked to join an anti-war protest then I will not come but invite me to a rally for peace and I’ll be there”

http://takecareofthemostimportant.com/2013/07/10/from-problem-to-no-problem/

So, now, I need to give life to my thoughts on my marriage, on me, on my husband.  Easy decision to make – not so easy to implement.  But I have to.

I am also not going to continue with this blog.  I feel too much guilt keeping things from my husband that I know would hurt and devastate him – I need to get a handle on my thoughts, focus on what is good, and share and be open with my husband on what I can without hurting him or my marriage.  I have another blog that I will share things on, and I will focus on the good – ignore and rest.  And not allow myself to be defined by my anxiety – which this blog is encouraging me to do.

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Emotion 1

Wonder (emotion)

Wonder (emotion) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Further to my post regarding doing the exercises in Angela de Souza’s book, Emotional Gravity, here is my first:

Get perspective and take control

  1. Emotions:  Write down the emotions that you struggle with – FEAR
  2. Response:  Write down your response to the emotion.  It could be an action, reaction or paralysis.  Fear leads to panic – I become paralysed or I want to run away.  Or I almost want to start hyperventilating – I have to remind myself to breath and to keep calm.  My mind starts to race and I lose control of the thoughts that come into my mind.
  3. Action:  Write down the action that results.  It may be a facial expression, a verbal response or a physical action.  Fear – paralysis

Emotional control

Write down the changes you intend to make for each emotion you listed using the following keys:

  1. Emotions are based on what you think and not reality.  Write down what you think at times regarding that emotion and write down the truth.
  2. Write a plan to bring balance to that emotion bearing in mind the keys – distraction, focused thought, will power, prayer, and express yourself.

Emotion 1:        Fear

Thought:           I fear that this is not my life that my husband is not for me, that my daughter is not for me – and that I am going to lose it all or lose myself.

Truth:                I am exactly where God wants me to be.  My prayer throughout my tumultuous childhood is that God would not allow me to have a marriage like my parents, and He has answered that prayer. 

Luke 11:11-13

New International Version (NIV)

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead?  12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Plan:                Distraction: To rather fill myself with God’s truth – I am exactly where I need to be.  Distract myself by quoting scripture, and to breathe slowly.

Focused thought:  To advise myself as if I was giving advice to a friend, “If you love             him, stay with him.  There is no option to leave, and this is where God wants you to be.  So, listen to the Word of God, listen to your heart and enjoy your marriage.  You are not your mother.  You are you.  And God created you to live this amazing life with your husband because of who God is.”

So when I am feeling fear, I need to recite the word of God to remind me that this is where I am meant to be in life.

2 Timothy 1:7

King James Version (KJV)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

So, God did not intend for me to live with this fear.

Also, to remind myself how good things were and how I never had doubt before I became a mom, which says that all this anxiety and fear is more a situational thing – to remind myself of all the blessing and goodness of the past nine years of marriage and to celebrate making it through the last four years.

Will power:  Listen to the radio, focus on breathing, keeping calm, purposely think the opposite of what is causing the fear, quote scripture, doubt my fear (thank you Joyce Meyer)

Prayer:  To always pray about my feelings and to realise that God is bigger than my fears, my thoughts and my anxieties and through His grace, so am I.

Express yourself:  Which is why I blog…

Thank you, Joyce Meyer

English: Author: myroslava (Myroslava Luzina, ...

English: Author: myroslava (Myroslava Luzina, Kyiv, Ukraine). Source: own camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I could not have said it better.

Your Words and Your Life

by Joyce Meyer

I am sure you have heard someone say, “You are going to eat those words.”  It may sound like a mere phrase to us, but in reality we do eat our words. What we say not only affects others, but it also affects us.

Words are wonderful when used in a proper way.  They can encourage, edify and give confidence to the hearer.  A right word spoken at the right time can actually be life-changing.  (See Proverbs 15:23.)

We can literally increase our own joy by speaking right words.  We can also upset ourselves by talking unnecessarily about our problems or things that have hurt us in relationships.

Not too long ago I had a disappointing situation take place with someone I considered to be a close friend.  I noticed that each time I talked about it, I would have a difficult time getting it off of my mind for the remainder of the day.  I finally realized that if I wanted to get over it, I was going to have to stop mentally and verbally going over it again and again.  People kept asking me about the situation out of genuine concern, but I ultimately realized that I had to answer, “It is better for me if I just don’t talk about it.”

What Happens When We Speak?

The words that come out of our mouth go into our own ears as well as other people’s, and then they drop down into our soul where they give us either joy or sadness, peace or upset, depending on the types of words we have spoken.

“When we understand the power of words and realize that we can choose what we think and speak, our lives can be transformed.”

God desires that our spirit be light and free so it can function properly, not heavy and oppressed.  We can learn to choose our thoughts, to resist wrong ones and think on good, healthy, and right ones.  I have often said, “Where the mind goes, the man follows.”  And it could also be said that where the mind goes, the mouth follows!

When we understand the power of words and realize that we can choose what we think and speak, our lives can be transformed.

Plan to Say Something Positive

God has given His children a new nature, and we are taught to daily renew our mind and attitude.  Having a positive outlook on life and speaking positive words based on God’s Word is one of the most wholesome things we can do.

When you get up in the morning, if there is something you need to attend to that day that you’re not looking forward to, you can say, “I dread this day,” or you can say, “God will give me strength today to do whatever I need to do and to do it with joy.”  Which of these two statements do you think would better prepare you for the day?

As we have seen, we eat our words, and we can rightfully say that they are food for our souls.  Anyone who wants to be healthy is careful to choose quality food that will provide good nutrition.  If we want to be healthy in our soul and spirit, we should also choose to take in words that will build us up and increase our peace and joy.

Draw Attention to the Positive

I believe there are many good things happening in the world and probably there is more good than bad.  But the evil is magnified in a way that often seems overwhelming.  Turn on any news station or buy any newspaper or news magazine and you will find it filled with reports of murder, theft, wars, famine and all kinds of horribly tragic events.

We want to be well informed of what is going on, but to talk about world problems excessively or with no purpose merely creates a gloomy atmosphere that nobody will enjoy.

I recently walked into a room and heard a group of people talking about several businesses that had recently filed bankruptcy.  Then they mentioned two others that they had heard were going to file bankruptcy.  I felt a gloom hanging in the atmosphere so I said, “Well, God is not bankrupt and He is on our side.”  Everyone agreed with me and immediately, the atmosphere changed.

I am not suggesting at all that we deny reality, but we can choose what we talk about.  Instead of feeding ourselves a steady diet of “bad news,” we should choose to read, watch and talk about good things.

What Are You Talking About?

We talk a lot and quite often pay no attention to what we are saying, let alone think seriously about the impact of our words.

If we are honest with ourselves, we may find that some of our bad moods are directly linked to our conversation.  Even some of our problems can be linked to bad choices we make about what we say.

I want to encourage you to take some time and think about the types of things you usually talk about.  What kind of conversation do you enjoy and participate in?

How to Get More Joy Out of Life

Your words may not be the cause all of your problems, but they can cause a lot of them and they should be given a good deal of consideration when we are looking for answers to the problems we encounter in life.

We all have challenges in life, but we can make them better or worse by the way we talk about them.  I don’t believe we can change all of our circumstances into pleasant ones by making positive confessions, but I do believe many of them will change according to God’s will.  I simply want to teach you to be in agreement with God and learn to say what He says.

One thing is for sure, speaking negatively could hurt you and speaking positively never will, so why not go with the positive and see what kind of results you get?

Once again, thank you Joyce Meyer…

 

Actively thinking positive

Cover for A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essay...

Cover for A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The thing about thinking positive is that it has to be an active choice.  You can’t just passively sit by, try to not allow negative thoughts and feelings to invade your space.  You need to counteract each negative thought and feeling with actively thinking something positive.  While you may stop eating junk food, you have to actually physically get off your butt and start exercising in order to get fit.  One is passive – you’re just stopping doing something.  But how long with that last if you don’t proactively fill that void with something else?  If you want to quit smoking, you actually can’t just stop.  You need to fill that void that quitting makes with something else.  Many people, for example, start exercising when they quit smoking.  And are then quite successful in never smoking again.

There is a passage of scripture that speaks about casting out a demon and if you don’t fill that void with something else, seven times more demons will come back.

Hang on, going to Google it quickly.

Matthew 12

43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.  44 “Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.  45 “Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.  That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

And so it is with negative thinking.  You need to get rid of negative thinking and negative emotions, but you also need to fill that void with something positive – if you’re not going to fill the void that getting rid of negative thinking and emotions create, you will just find yourself with even more negativity that in time will be more difficult to get rid of.  Seven times more difficult if this passage of scripture is anything to go by.  So start proactively getting your mind and your emotions fit.  But actively and proactively thinking and feeling positive thoughts and emotions.

What works for me – and you will have to find what will work for you – is I have positive conversations with myself.  I am always talking to myself, so I might as well make it work for me.

A negative thought flits into my head – I won’t eat, I’m sick, I’m going to die (believe it or not, I used to wake up with such fear and anxiety with these three thoughts running around in my head).  Instead of just trying to get that negative thought out of your head – try to focus on the opposite and positive.  Of course I’ll eat – I eat every day at every mealtime without any problems (see how I’m backing up this positive thought with everyday evidence that supports that), and I am not sick.  I don’t feel sick and there is nothing wrong with me.  In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I saw a doctor or actually needed to see a doctor.  And yes, I am going to die one day.  But today is not that day.  And even if it is today, I’m sure of my salvation so there is really nothing to worry about.  Then take a deep breath and force (or allow) yourself to feel relief and something positive.  Then distract yourself and go on with your day.

You need to be conscious every time a negative thought or feeling comes into your mind – so that you can actively and proactively react with something positive, based on truth and based on faith.

But it will take time.  I have been negative for the last 40 years, allowing myself to be lured into the fantasies of negative thinking – I loved the drama it created within me .  Sometimes my fantasies or thoughts would be so negative, I would find myself crying in the car on the way home.  For heaven’s sake, no wonder I battle with anxiety.  Because you see, those emotions I created with negative thinking and fantasizing have to go somewhere – they don’t just evaporate.  It is energy being created, and well, it is coming out now.  So, this not something that is going to change overnight.  But, I figure I have the next 40 years to try to get it right.

Rather than thinking or fantasizing about a car accident, and having my entire family killed, and be drawn into the allure of this fantasy, think about all of us having a picnic together and having fun and enjoying ourselves and each other.  The positive feelings associate with the picnic fantasy will go along well to emotional health and wellness and should the event arise – a picnic in the park – you will enjoy it so much more.

My epiphany

My epiphany

I am currently reading a book called Emotional Gravity by Angela de Souza.  It is an excellent book, and although I have only just started the book, I can sense that I am already benefiting from the book.  In it, she speaks about (well, what I have read thus far) how to train your mind, your emotions and your thoughts to be positive and not to focus on the negative.  She speaks about how you need to look at the reasons for why you feel the way you do – forgive who you need to forgive and move on.  And in moving on, you will sometimes have the old negative feelings and thoughts creeping through, you need to distract yourself and continually train your mind on what is positive and good.

She uses the example of a woman who grew up in a household where her father abused her mother, and totally belittled her.  Her father would have numerous “girlfriends” and as a result, this woman grew up very insecure concerning her relationships with men.  And even though she now has a husband who loves and adores her and is faithful to her, her insecurities rise up and mess in her marriage.  She is suspicious of her husband, and constantly fights with him about his “flirting” with other women.  She needs to realise where her insecurity comes from, and start training her mind to see her husband as he really is – someone who loves her and is faithful to her.  It is this training of the mind that is so difficult, because all the negative and old insecurities can come creeping though at any moment.  It is almost like being an alcoholic, in that you always have to be constantly aware of what can creep through to your conscious mind and you need to squash it out immediately.  If you’re not attending to the roses in your garden, weeds will creep through without you even seeing them.  You have to be vigilant.

I have been teased and ridiculed for being skinny my whole life and my parents would take me to a psychologist for being anorexic, and then moan at me the very next day for eating some cake because I’d get fat.  My issues now with weight loss and being scared to lose weight stems directly from my childhood.  However, I need to realise where my insecurity comes from, and then forgive my parents and all those who teased me and then comes the difficult part – train my thoughts, emotions and feelings to react positively.  So, when someone compliments me and tells me I have lost weight, instead of reacting with fear and anxiety, I react positively and graciously and simply say, “Thank you.”  That is what I need to train my mind, heart and thoughts to do.  If I’m going to constantly think I’m going to have a meltdown when someone tells me I’ve lost weight, well then, that is exactly what I can expect to happen.  However, if I train my mind and my emotions to be positive – even roll playing here could help – and to react graciously, then when someone tells me I have lost weight, I can actually take that as a compliment.  Make sense?

Well, and now we get to my epiphany…

I was wondering where all my anxiety and fear came from, especially concerning my marriage.  Well, the home environment that I grew up in was stressful and full of anxiety and if I had $ 1 for every time my parents threatened divorce or I heard that they’re only staying because of me (not my brothers, just me) I’d be a pretty wealth woman today.  That is a lot of pressure for a young child – especially a shy and insecure child as is – to handle.  So, all I knew growing up was this anxiety and stress (do not get me wrong, there were some good times, but they were totally overshadowed by this constant stress and anxiety).  And that is all I know now.  Now, I need to forgive my parents, and myself, and move forward.  And start training my mind to think positively and manage all those “weeds” in my rose garden – I am not my mother.  Nor is my husband my father.  And we live in a relatively peaceful home – this is not the home of my childhood.  And I need to keep training my mind; my thoughts and my emotions to think along those lines, until the anxiety of the past and the stress of my childhood no longer have any effect on me.

James 1:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Ecclesiastes 11:10

So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body…

English: model. Human head moves slowly when p...