Category Archives: Advice

Advice: Learn to Recognize FEAR

When an error light is on in your car, you have to identify what the problem is. When you figure out what is wrong, you are able to fix it. In your car, the cause of the problem is usually very clear. Your coolant level is low, so you need to add coolant to fix it. Your brake pads are worn, so you need to replace them. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, the opposite is usually true when it comes to problems with how you feel.

When you have a problem and feel bad, angry, depressed, or irritable, you have to identify why you feel that way. When you figure out what is wrong, you are able to deal with it. The majority of the time, however, it is not clear why you feel bad, so you don’t know how to deal with it. In fact, many times the reason for the way you feel may be disguised as something else. Therefore, identifying the root of the problem and dealing with your emotions is far from simple. Nine times out of ten, the root of a problem is much different than what it seems to be on the surface.

Fear is one of those feelings than can be very tricky to identify. Fear is often disguised as other things. Have you ever heard the phrase that all anger comes from fear? That’s because anger is a psychological defense for fear. Fear is also disguised as jealousy, hate and dislike to name a few. The following situations illustrate this point. Continue reading

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Advice: Stepping Back From The Edge of Insanity

Tossing and turning in bed at 3:00AM my thoughts race from one devastating tragedy to another. My father texting from the airplane moments before the crash. My baby being born without sound, no crying, no life. My spouse among the rubble of his office building demolished by a bomb. My sons both lifeless in a mass of crumpled steel after a car accident. My daughter disappearing under the wave, never to surface again. My arms failing to move, my legs stiff with pain, the cancer devouring my body.

 I am healthy. My family is safe and happy. But now, the horrific thoughts crowd my head, causing my heart to race and my lungs to gasp for air. Hot tears flow down my cheeks. I am crying about tragedies that have never occurred . . . but they could. I worry that they could.

 During the day I am fine, busy at work. My mind is occupied, focused on real-life tasks. I come home and find a moment of solitude, but then my idle mind starts to spin. The horrors return. I distract myself with the television and the horrors momentarily fade.

 Anticipating the terrifying thoughts at bedtime, I self-medicate with alcohol or sleeping pills to get me through the night. It never works. I am up again at 3:00 AM, imagining all of the things that I know could happen. I worry that they will.

 Sometimes I don’t know how I can go on. The risks are endless. The millions, no billions of ways that my life could end, that my loved ones could suffer and die. Nothing is safe. Nowhere is secure.

I shake my head back and forth. No, no, no! I feel as if I am just going to completely lose it. I am on the edge of insanity.

Your fears are real. Your anxieties are tangible. You are not alone. Any reasonable mind would agree that there are plenty of things to be anxious about in this world. In that way, we are all living on the edge of insanity. In fact, some of the most intelligent minds have fallen off of that edge. It’s very easy to succumb to our fears and “completely lose it.” You, however, will not do so . . . Continue reading

Advice: A Little Understanding Goes A Long Way

Many of our posts encourage kindness, goodness and self-control, even in negative situations. This is often hard to achieve; however, it is entirely possible due to the following psychological principle:

  1. Our thoughts affect our feelings
  2. We control our thoughts
  3. Therefore, we can control our feelings/reactions

In other words, we are responsible for our own actions. No one “makes” us react a certain way. We make a decision on our own and choose how to feel about and respond to every situation. We are in control.

It takes practice, but once you master this form of control we encourage you to incorporate understanding into your decision-making process. By understanding we mean, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and giving them the benefit of the doubt. In negative situations, try to first assume that someone’s intentions are honest. Presume innocence and maintain a favorable or at least neutral opinion in uncertain situations. Here are a few common, real-life examples to consider. Continue reading

Advice: How Do We Prevent Another School Shooting?

We wish we had the answer to this question.  We need the best and brightest minds to focus on preventing another school shooting. We need to fix it now . . . not tomorrow, not next school year, and certainly not after it happens again.

Every article out there suggests a different approach, such as securing schools like airports, giving teachers and staff defense weapons, strengthening gun laws, lessening violence in the media/video games, enforcing zero tolerance for threats, etc. The problem is that not one of these solutions is immediate. Tomorrow we will send our children off to school with the real risk of them being shot and killed. That is not a risk parents should be willing to take. We need to take immediate action. Continue reading

“Advice: Beware of Gossip”

“Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; the act is also known as dishing or tattling.” (Wikipedia)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gossip

Everyone likes to gossip. It is means of social bonding. It can bring people together and liven up any conversation. We have gossip magazines, gossip television shows, and even gossip on the national news. Evolutionary psychologist Frank T. McAndrew says that gossip is an evolved social skill dating back to the age of the caveman. Although it is prevalent and accepted in our society, it has evolved into something that we should all beware of.

In 2018, gossip has evolved from something private into something public. It’s not a hush, hush comment or a juicy secret between best friends. Today, gossip is attainable because of the way we communicate. Judy tells Joe “secret” information about Jessica via social media or email. That information meant for Joe’s ear’s only is then instantaneously attainable to millions of other people around the entire world. Judy’s post or email can be copied and forwarded to anyone else, most likely to Jessica. Even if Judy is trying to keep her comments about Jessica discreet, they will get out. Practically nothing goes without being videotaped or recorded. Privacy has all but vanished. Jessica will find out what Judy said, and nine times out of ten, it will be hurtful.

So, let’s face it . . .  in 2018 if you are going to gossip about someone, it is going to get back to that person. You might as well be saying it directly to their face.  Therefore, if what you say about someone is not something you would tell them directly, DON’T SAY IT. Continue reading

Advice: Don’t Be an Enabler

Don’t confuse enabling someone with loving/supporting someone.

Enabling is a very misunderstood, dangerous behavior that most often happens between two people who deeply care for each other, such as a husband/wife, mother/daughter, father/son, or two best friends. The enabler seldom realizes that they are indeed enabling their loved one to continue negative or self-destructive behavior. They think they are helping or supporting their loved one, when they are actually harming them. Enabling is commonly associated with feeding or supporting addiction, but it encompasses all kinds of negative behaviors.

Let’s use life-long friends Joe and Tom for an example. Joe is always getting in trouble. He cheats on his wife, breaks the law on occasion, pretends to be someone he is not, and seems to have no moral code. Despite this, all through his life, Tom has always stood up for Joe. When Joe behaves badly and gets in trouble, or someone points out his bad behavior, all he has to do is go to Tom, who will tell him everything is ok. Tom has a reasonable mind and knows right from wrong. He knows that the things Joe does are really bad, but he wants to make his friend feel better. He comforts Joe, minimizes the consequences of Joe’s negative actions, and even lies for Joe. Continue reading

Advice: Don’t Lie

This advice sounds like it comes from Captain Obvious. Of course, you shouldn’t lie. Everyone knows that lying is wrong. Lies are by definition told with an intent to deceive others. Even preschoolers know that it is not good to be a liar. Why then, are we offering such obvious advice? The answer to that question may surprise you . . .

Many of you do not know what it is like NOT to lie. A large percentage of you lie each and every day, sometimes without even thinking about it. All those lies, no matter how big or how small, have a negative effect on your subconscious mind. They create a kind of clutter or cognitive dissonance in your brain.

“In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance

is the mental discomfort experienced by a person

who simultaneously holds two or more

contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.” (Wikipedia)

We want you to rid yourself of all that clutter, so you can come to know what it feels like to be a truthful, authentic person. It is an extremely freeing way to live. A clear mind will change your life for the better in so many ways. You will do more good, and in turn, receive more good things in life. You will feel more relaxed, open, and unburdened. Adopting a life of truth will also help you reduce depression, anxiety and stress. Continue reading