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  • Christine Angelica

Dr. Amy Morin's Secrets To Becoming Mentally Strong

1. ⊗ Unhealthy beliefs about ourselves

These are magnified self-pity, says Morin, where you feel put upon. Behind these feelings is the belief that you're the only one who experiences crises and hard times. And it doesn't help that you, like most people, believe that "people don't change."  Now, if you believe that you're "the only one" who is put upon and you also believe that your perceived tormentors won't change their behavior, you've put yourself into a hopeless corner, haven't you? I work in the Change business and while I know that it is hard for people to change, I also see proof all the time that some people do.

1. Millions have lost weight and kept it off.

2. Countless people have quit smoking for good.

3. A lot of people have kicked the gossip habit and turned into leaders.

4. Meditation is growing in popularity and is helping to bring calm and more self-control to practitioners.

5. There are anti-recidivism programs where 80% of criminals stayed out of jail!

6. Loads of workaholics have changed careers, reordered their priorities, and are leading simpler more enjoyable lives.

7. There is a huge market for tiny homes now—something that was once only for the frugal or poor.

8. A great many hoarders have tossed their excess "stuff" and never brought them back into their homes.

DO THIS:    

1. Think about the above list for a minute and ask yourself whether you can admit that SOME people do change.      

2. Keep this idea in the forefront of your mind: When I'm ready to change, there are ways to do it and options out there. I just need to find them. With a mindful approach to working on this belief, these two steps are all you need right now.  It's smart to accept that most people don't change--you don't want to lose that awareness. But for yourself especially, you want to know that when you're ready and with help, you can change whatever you want to.

2. ⊗ Unhealthy beliefs about others

When we're thinking that others are "causing" us to feel bad or "triggering" us, we forget that we're in control of our emotions. We forget that other people behave the way they do, independent of us. With this unhealthy belief, we give away our power because if I am able to hurt you, I have power over you. While you may not yet have the emotional maturity to stop yourself from feeling bad or insecure because of what someone says or does, and yes, your little feelings will still be triggered, you should smarten up and realize that YOU have the ultimate control: you get to decide how you react. DO THIS: Use this 3-step plan to start developing a healthier view of others:

1.The next time you're lamenting how so-and-so made you feel bad, become aware of your physiological responses. How does your heart rate, your breathing, and the pitch of your voice change

2.Acknowledge the physiological response and where it presents itself in your body. At the same time, label the feeling for yourself. Admit that you're feeling whatever it is you are feeling: I am feeling defensive. Next, ask yourself how you're aligning with your values if you "let others" create these feelings and physiological responses.

3.Write down these observations to record some data for you to review later.

4.Once you've accumulated enough data (say after three or more times in the above loop), review the data and ask yourself how your life benefited from your responses. If you went off on someone, for example, how did THEY change? Besides the "high" that you might have gotten from going off on someone or leaving the situation feeling defeated, what tangible benefit did you receive?

With insights gained from these observations and self-assessments, the smarter wiser version of yourself might start looking for more effective ways to respond in the future. People are going to always test you. It's for you to decide if you're going to let them win.

3. ⊗ Unhealthy beliefs about the world When we think that the world owes us something, we're always wanting more and we're never satisfied with what we have.

DO THIS: Get into the gratitude habit. Gratitude is not all about wearing rose-colored glasses, mind you. You have to be honest in order for gratitude to really work. Plus, faking it is too much work for the too little reward it generates. Gratitude plus honesty is where mindset shifts happen and so I want you to accept that the world owes you nothing. I want you to accept that everything you have is a gift. Yes, even the weave you paid for with the money you earned. It's all a gift. Life itself is a gift.


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