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”
When that really crummy day happens and you find you let yourself become anxious, the neurochemicals that work best to calm it down are endorphins and oxytocin. Anxiety makes it really hard to experience serotonin and dopamine. Studies have shown that oxytocin and endorphins are best for triggering relaxation and calm. Is it any wonder we are wired to get the fastest dose of oxytocin from our partner? I guess evolution understood marriage could be tough at times.
To get a big dose of endorphins or oxytocin, have a great night of sex, cuddle with someone you love, sit with an infant, or spend time nurturing your children. Even being with your pet or volunteering at an animal shelter can do wonders. The most consistent way is get to the gym for some aerobic exercise (at least thirty minutes, if you are healthy enough); It is safer and works more efficiently than any drug we have on the market. Do an intense or endurance sport such as skiing, jet skiing, running, snowboarding, or biking. Research has even found that sunbathing can release endorphins; that is why a day at the beach can rejuvenate almost anyone and why tanning can be addicting. The majority of the people I meet at my gym who are over forty claim that the main reason they exercise is for the emotional benefits—even more than for physical conditioning. Exercise done right can get you out of a state of anxiety and keep you out for forty-eight to seventy-two hours. Guaranteed. No drug can promise that.
Find your story, and you will find your purpose. You have lived a life like no other. Whether boring, exciting, trivial, or grand, your experiences give rise to the same emotions and questions we all strive to answer. Your message is not in the events but in how you respond to them.
The popularity in becoming a life coach is due in part to millions of people trying to find their purpose. It’s coaches finding their purpose, in helping you find yours.
Judy Cater has made her purpose in life (aside from making people laugh) to help people find their purpose by finding their message. For each of us our purpose is often hiding within our life’s message. Discovering all the things you have learned that others need to know is a very exciting journey. Her Book, “The Message of You” will walk you through each step. It is one of the best books on finding your purpose because your purpose is not “out there” it’s inside you waiting to be discovered. This is the gold, the stuff we are supposed to pass down to the next generation to help them advance faster and avoid the pitfalls. Every single one of us has a message, one that is meant for a select group of people who, believe it or not, are desperate to hear it. Start to think about what yours is, and you will find more purpose than you ever dreamed of.
Losing a sense of your life’s purpose and desperately trying to find one can place you in a revolving paradoxical mind-set…one minute believing you could accomplish anything, given the chance, and the next minute feeling that you have very little to offer the world. It is within this dichotomy that a miserable life evolves. I don’t personally know anyone who does not succumb to this at one time or another swinging between these two paradigms sometimes in the course of a day. You may be unaware of this trigger and attribute your low-grade mood to being tired, bad weather, problems, or stress at home and work. By learning to stay aware of what is going on in your head, with mindfulness you will be able to ascertain what erroneous thoughts are floating around and address them quickly. Then you can find or create a purpose in the moment and be rewarded with a nice shot of self-esteem and well-being, thanks to serotonin. In fact, the sense of accomplishment is so tied to a good mood that often if you are in a bad mood, just deciding to accomplish some kind of task can snap you out of it. For various reasons, we can all find ourselves sinking during the day. A common mistake we all make is to personalize these blah moods, as in, “Uh oh, something must be wrong, something I don’t know about yet.” I used to take a nap when these moods hit, and that often helped, but now I know I can impact it directly. It’s never personal; it’s simply chemical.
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
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.
You are hearing it everywhere. Every magazine, newspaper and even news channels are boasting about the amazing benefits of meditation or a mindfulness practice. Are they lying to us or just jumping onto the latest fad or craze? Neither, in fact one could say they are late to the party. The science community is finally embracing these practices due to the large amount of data proving their benefits, some have even referring to it as a technology of sorts because its effects are measurable; but the best part for you and I is you don’t have to believe in it to see results. It just works. The studies are repeatedly showing the same benefits:
• Increase focus and concentration
• Reduce emotional reactivity
• Reduce stress
• Improve memory
• Enhance empathy
• Increase cognitive flexibility
• Lower sensitivity to pain
I don’t know about you, but I would do almost anything to get all of these benefits at once! This is a vast subject that could fill 10 giant books but suffice it to say that you learn it simply by doing it. There is no other practice out there that can give you this kind of mental and emotional enhancement, producing the fastest changes in your brain and your life. A simple mindfulness practice every morning, if only for one to five minutes, is all it takes to start. Before you tell me you can’t do that because your mind wanders, know that such an argument is like saying you can’t go to a gym because you are out of shape. You do this to gain control over the wandering! Now don’t get all wigged out about this. If you are someone who has been avoiding this kind of practice, but are still unhappy. Maybe it’s time to give it a try. I promise there is no sitting cross-legged, no “ohm-ing,” and no trying to stop your mind from thinking! Thinking is what your mind does. The act of mindfulness or meditation is simply maintaining a pure awareness that allows you to become extremely aware of each thought going through your mind, allowing you to know what is traveling through your mind in nanoseconds. This awareness is what will allow you to finally control your moods.So just do start it already!
When beginning a mindless activity, pause and notice what your body feels like. If it is brimming with intensity, notice that just by taking a moment to focus on it, your body and mind will slow back down. If you continue to pause intermittently to take note of your body’s energies, you might be amazed at how fast the energy returns to a state of tension even after just one minute. If you are angry, you may feel empowered by this kind of energy. You may feel it will help you to finish your task more efficiently. It doesn’t, however, because the energy is there without a focused mind to make the most of it. Being still and breathing deeply will cause a physiological alteration that can bring a calm to almost any moment.
RULE: Be mindful when you are doing something mindless.
It is simply a matter of what you really want in life, how happy you want to be, and the commitment you want to make. As with sticking with the gym or a diet, you have to give it time to transcend into a lifestyle. This rule does not bend: joy can be experienced only in the present, not in the future or past. So if joy is what you really want in life, why go looking in places where it will never be found. Joy is a bit different than happiness or calm it is almost divine but it evolves from moments of calm and happiness.
Before disappointment strikes, you must be vigilant in reminding yourself that setting your hopes on one particular event or occurrence is dangerous, unnecessary, and misleading. No event will make you happy forever! Everything is transient and passes. The most subtle ones are those we expect in the course of our day, such as getting to work on time, having no traffic, having the computer work, or having the bus be on time. All are setups for disappointment.
Now, of course, you don’t want to expect bad things to happen, but you can’t forget that life is unpredictable. If you have personal expectations, it will feel like a personal attack when things don’t go your way, and you will fly into anger. Let me make this simple—Don’t cling to outcomes. Before I leave the house, I remind myself that regardless of what my to-do list says, anything is possible today. Beginning your day with expectations is like shoving a ticking time bomb into your pocket. It is only a matter of time before it blows.
Do the following reactions sound familiar? “Nice blinker, idiot!” “This stupid computer!” “Crap, it’s only three o’clock.” “Why is everyone driving like an ass?” “OMG, the Internet is so slow today!”
These reactions are as helpful as throwing your shoe at the clouds because it is raining on your day off! You are personalizing all of these random events. Such reactions also cut you off from seeing just how amazing life is around you. Stay present to these ridiculous, hidden beliefs that will do their best to wreck your day before it starts. When you walk out the door, remind yourself that although you intend to do this or that, anything can happen. Doing this disarms your amygdala, which is always on the lookout for things not going according to your plan. So take your plan (expectation) off the table. Your amygdala is different from that of the next person; whatever you believe should or shouldn’t happen is what it will try to protect, so only you can take down the beliefs/expectations that trigger it to begin with.
Do people accuse you of being moody? Do you even really understand what a mood is? It is not that you are in B____CH mode necessarily. A mood can be good or bad or somewhere in between. It is your basic state of mind at the moment. What triggers them or creates has been more of a mystery for most people. It can originate from the emotions and feelings that stem from our thoughts and beliefs about the moment we are in or it can originate from week old crap. Stuff we can no longer do anything about like an argument with your kid or a comment from a friend, a mistake you made at work. Other triggers are over events that may or may not ever occur from our hypothetical future. My point is that typically it is often something NOT happening in the present moment. These emotions or feelings can show up in obvious or subtle ways. The subtle emotions are often the ones that sneak up on us and make us moody. Normally, we tend not to notice or recognize background feelings because they are triggered by memories or fears just floating around under the surface of our consciousness.
When you say, “I am not in a good mood,” you refer to the background feelings of sorrow, unhappiness, unease, fear, or frustration. These feelings can manipulate your behavior because you are so unaware of them, and they can be the most dangerous. When someone barks, “Leave me alone; I am in a bad mood!” The person may as well be saying, “Something is pissing me off, and I have no freaking idea what it is!” Although we will all try to inflate some issue so people don’t think we are nuts. Tomorrow we will dive more into the triggers so you can stop them.
We were taught in high school that if we drank alcohol, we would destroy brain cells that would never grow back. (Thank God that was wrong because it failed as a deterrent to our partying.) Now neuroscientists understand that every time we learn something new or even practice a skill repeatedly, the brain changes accordingly. Someone who has played piano or a stringed instrument will have a larger volume of area in brain dedicated to finger movement than the average person will have. This is neuroplasticity. On a grander scale, this process occurs in the brain of a blind person whose hearing develops way beyond what the normal range would be. The part of the brain that used to receive input from the eyes (called the occipital lobe)looks for another way to receive information, so it joins forces with the part of the brain used for hearing, increasing the amount of brainpower dedicated for hearing. Stroke victims can sometimes recover speech or movement because the undamaged portion of their brain begins learning the required action. However, the most magnificent illustration is that neurosurgeons have performed hundreds of hemispherectomies (removing half of a person’s brain) because of disorders that are uncontrollable in any other way. Unbelievably, the surgery has no apparent effect on personality or memory. Some of the patients are now in college doing very nicely; one such person became a champion bowler, and one is a chess champion of his state. I know what you are wondering now—and the answer is no, we can’t just have the sad part of the brain cut out. Thankfully, however, we won’t have to.
or the next month I am making this very generous offer to be a speaker at your club or organization at no cost to you!. That’s right FREE!.I will build the talk about my new book and the specifics of your group. You must book me this month for any future date at least 2 weeks out. Private message me for more info. Must be within 40 minute drive.