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We Do Care what Others Think— Although We Hate To Admit It

Here is something Ancsestery.com does not tell you—

You are the descendants of the most worried, hyper alert, defensive people that ever evolved. How do I know??  Because you  reading this. 10 thousand years ago if you weren’t, your chance of survival was almost zero. Back then the average life span was maybe 25 years.  Our lives were in constant danger so all that mattered was making sure you lived to see another sunrise.  Aside from all of the physical dangers of animal predators, you had to be very careful of other humans. If you came into contact with a stranger, back then they didn’t show up to say, “Hey what’s up homie wanna go clubbin?  NO– They showed up to club you and take your food. For women if your partner was pissed at you that could mean he would leave and you and your offspring would die. So you would go into overdrive to please him.

If the tribe decided they were sick and tired of looking at your hair standing straight up every morning, you could be lunch by noon. So caring about what others thought was an imperative to our survival. To force that instinct into the background is not as healthy as to admit that the need is there and to then over ride it with daily reminders that you won’t die if other people think you dress funny.

You have to accept these instincts before you can over come them.

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Time To Be Honest With Yourself

American spend almost $700 million a year in self-help books, The good people in the world are all trying to improve in some way. Be better wives, husbands, employees, bosses, parents or have healthier bodies. Because the goal—we always chase is to become a happier person —based on the belief that when I am better— I will feel better.

However, no one up until recently could ever tell you why you weren’t already a good parent, a great wife, or husband or employee. If you want to be these things why couldn’t you figure out how to do it on your own? You have a good heart right? Why on earth would you have to read a book to tell you how to be better to people you already love?  The reason is because our behavior is largely veiled to us. On average we only see ourselves accurately about 40% of the time. And it is only that high when we are around close friends or family, it goes down to  the teens when we are around strangers or acquaintances.  We don’t really see ourselves as others do. If you think that study is wrong I dare you to find video of you that you didn’t know was being taken and tell me how shocking it is to “really” see how you are.

We all know and readily admit that we are not perfect but then we choke when others point out our faults. We go down swinging- defending, protecting and explaining away our actions.  Then we dive into more self-help trying to get a glimpse of what others see and fix what is broken. If you want to feel better simply accept that sometimes others get hurt or put off by you. That kind of humility will go a very long way with friends and family not to mention give you the much needed understanding into your actions. When you “see it” you can “change it”

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What Is Your Purpose?

The importance of having a purpose in life can’t be overstated, and for good reason. Like I said in chapter seven scientific studies have proven time and time again that the happiest people in the world are those who feel they have a purpose. We need to matter.

That purpose can involve the world, your town, your family, or any organization where you feel needed or counted on. When that wanes, even in the course of a day, it can leave you experiencing low-grade misery. To the degree that you feel you make a difference, you will feel good. Purpose is why humans are drawn to join clubs, groups, fraternities, sororities, and other organizations.

In the course of your day, the short-term purposes may be obvious; your lifelong purpose, however, can be more obscure. Yet when you know what yours is, it will be the reason you spring out of bed in the morning.

Many people have no idea what their purpose is, and tons of seminars are given every year to help them find it. Not knowing one’s purpose can trigger a midlife crisis and can be the reason for taking trips to go find oneself. We all seem to have this innate need to know that there is a reason—and a damn good one—for being on this earth. Often this issue raises its head only long after college, as in college goals have more to do with career choice and making money; much less consideration is given to the importance of making a difference.

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Appreciation Exercise From “Wired To Worry”

Appreciation Exercise From “Wired To Worry”

Using a natural form of neurostimulation read the list below and see how upset you would be if the things listed below happened. Read the list below and pause at each one to imagine experiencing each event, with all the details and emotions you would feel. Imagine how crummy it would be to have to deal with them and how they would affect your day (Take time for this; it’s important.)

Rip in Your Pants

Lost Wallet

Lost Keys

Spilled Coffee in Car

Cell Phone Missing

Big Stain on Couch

Dent on Car

Earrings are Missing

Car Won’t Start

Virus That Wipes Computer Out

Now take ten to fifteen seconds with each one to imagine each problem disappearing, allowing yourself to feel relieved. Let it really sink in how really wonderful it is that these situations are not something you have to deal with today.

Every day, their absence and the absence of other things like them are a GOOD experience, a blessing that you need to soak in. Try to even name the good feelings you experience (e.g., wonderful, safe, secure, appreciative, happy). Allowing these feelings of appreciation and gladness to soak in will begin to reset your brain’s spotlight so it gets in the habit of looking for the good things all around you rather than letting them simply go unnoticed.

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Stop the Hurry and You Will Stop the Worry

Taking the time to absorb all the good around you sounds like a cliché. However, it is really a natural form of neurostimulation. Neurostimulation happens when a doctor inserts an electrode into a certain area in your brain causing neurons to fire; depending on where it is inserted this can cause a reaction or feeling. But we can do this naturally due to the fact that your brain never knows if something is real or just a memory. Which is why you get all angry when remembering something said to you ages ago. When you trigger your own neurons by taking a moment to focus on only what is happening in the here and now it will cause you to physically slow down, and in a good way. You will be less hurried and calmer. You need be aware whenever you begin to start rushing around in a hurried fashion. When that happens, you are not appreciating the positive and have gone on autopilot. Remember, physically moving too quickly, hurrying about the office or kitchen, or driving too fast means you are not present, and are rushing toward some future event.

After a few weeks of practicing mindfulness/meditation, you will notice that when you are done, you feel calmer and have greater awareness. As you continue practicing, you will end the session having a more peaceful state of mind. You will find your thoughts no longer racing along but rather absorbed in the present, freeing you to pay attention to what you are doing. At first, it will fascinate you that your thoughts are not sweeping you away. Instead, your mind will seem completely interested in what you are doing in the moment. Regardless of what that is, you will find a contentment in just being with it. There is no rat race except the one in our minds, you set the pace.

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One of the Cornerstones of Happiness? The Little Things

Continuing with yesterday’ blog about how much we take for granted I wanted to mention a few of the 100’s of things we look past every day. If you  take time each day to Look for items in your immediate surroundings that are relaxing, comforting, inspiring, informative, or helpful, your brain in only a few days will do this naturally. This focus will keep it rooted in the positives around you not the negatives. Look at your outdoor surroundings and the beautiful trees or warm faces that you see. If outdoors is not an option, see if you can see or feel something beautiful, like a picture on the wall, a comfortable chair, or even the sturdy floor. Think of something or someone you are glad to have apart of your life in your present or past. Think of how easy it is to find decent, clean clothes.  What would it be like if you had to walk a mile right now in order to get water from a well. Ponder for just a moment the images you see on TV of homeless, sick, hungry, and hopeless people. Focusing for the first time with real attention on any of these things I just mentioned will change your mood in just moments.

BUY NEW BOOK Wired To Worry on Amazon

Too Busy to read download my new book from audible.com

#beliefs #stopstressing #behappy #happiness #happiness #anger #moodiness #amygdala #dopamine #serotonin #oxytocin #feelbetter #stopworrying #eckhartTolle #present #rejection #amygdala #emotions #perspectives #temper #sad

Are We Getting Spoiled?

So often at the onset of our day we start off getting annoyed if any of our modern convinces don’t function the way WE THINK THEY SHOULD. Not to mention our tendency to quickly dismiss these advancements. We complain when it takes an extra twenty seconds to send an e-mail. Twenty seconds to send our thoughts, which may or may not be of any importance to anyone but us, to the other side of the world! When I was growing up, it blew my mind to hear another voice on the other end of my new walkie-talkies that I got for Christmas. What about Facebook’s occasional changes? OMG, everyone starts flipping out as if it will stop the world as we know it, and the “I am leaving Facebook forever” chant begins. This program allows us to find in mere minutes a second grade crush! And for free! Our storming off is pretty much irrelevant to Facebook, yet our overinflated perception of our own influence is staggering!

How about an IPad or other tablet? I admit I have flipped out when it takes too long to get on YouTube. I’ve gotten indignant at how it is interrupting my workout on the stationary bike because I have no use for the twelve TV channels that the gym offers. It is all because I want what I want when I want it. And what I want is to be watching lectures from UCLA while I exercise!

Starting today, make sure a positive experience or modern marvel is never wasted again. Right now, look around and notice five things that are there for you in any way. These are your good facts. They may be from the past, present, or future. They could be people, surroundings, or technology, but either way these are things that can shift our perspective and thereby lift our mood.

The key is to find things to feel good about and never take another thing for granted.

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Who Controls You?

The newest part of our brain the prefrontal cortex, ideally should enable us to over ride our lizard brain and be calm and reasonable in the face of problems and disappointments. However, that takes maturity and our brains aren’t even fully developed until we are about twenty-seven years old. By that time we are pretty adept at allowing our rage and frustration to over take us. This prefrontal cortex is our awareness system; it is where we decide, plan, and make responsible choices. I referred to it earlier as our “head office” This is what gives us the capacity to think out into the future, back into the past and then evaluate both to make sense of the present.

Right now the one who is in charge of your behavior/feeling center is your back office, not your newer reasonable thinking front office as you might hope. Initially this older brain has most of the control in how you are influenced; it draws conclusions about people you don’t really know, deems others dumb or ignorant before you have even one conversation with them, and dislikes or champions people through beliefs you don’t even know you have. It will believe a total stranger and refute your friends based on a gut feeling instead of information, it will join a team of people you don’t know, and defend causes you know very little about. It is where your beliefs and opinions are protected to the death. In short this is your ego personified.

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Pillow Panic

Does this sound familiar?

Your head hits the pillow and you begin having a heated one-sided discussion with that coworker, child, or spouse, and although this is happening only in your head, you get as angry and upset as if it were happening in real life, with all the same harmful chemicals in play. (My personal favorite is rehashing a situation from childhood or with someone who isn’t even in my life anymore.) Talk about insane behavior! Over and over in your head, you will make your point, chasing some sort of elusive validation like a dog chasing his tail. Before you know it, you’re tossing and turning and can’t sleep.

For others, fears of your loved ones being in danger take over. If you are a parent you know this all too well and mothers are especially good at it. As we toss and turn witnessing this horror movie of our own making, we search for any reliable gut feeling or sense that we are correct in our fears. As if knowing something bad was coming would allow us to prevent it anyway.

Oh sure were their dangers at some point, yes but never affiliated with a particular night of tossing and turning. So after all the stress one day can hand you, you climb into bed exhausted and your brain hops back on the Worry-Go-Round.

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Why We Love to Bitch

Bosses often make the big mistake of allowing employees to feel that their jobs are not secure, assuming this insecurity will motivate them to work harder. When in fact, it makes them much less productive because they live in fear and crisis mode.

When uncertainty has you rattled, you may engage in any of the following behaviors to increase some brain chemicals, but the benefits are short-lived. If you complain to other coworkers about how bad your company or boss is, those who agree with you will make you feel safer and more connected because of serotonin and oxytocin. If you put the government or world leaders down, predicting doom and gloom, you make the world feel predictable, releasing some serotonin. Even making false predictions about the future will make you feel superior. If you like to get fired up and debate or argue about life events, you will release dopamine.

Misery doesn’t just love company; it needs it! It allows us to crawl on our knees, bleeding and bruised, side by side, and feel that it’s us against them…whoever “them” is at the time. Next time you are waiting in line in a public place, see how long it takes for someone to make eye contact with you and roll their eyes, as if to say, “Do you believe this?”Eventually someone else might either speak up with sarcasm or make some kind of disgruntled noise, and then for a moment or two you will all feel better.

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