Many of us want to feel better on a day to day basis. We don't want to feel stressed or angry, uptight or depressed. We want more patience for our children. We wish for more motivation to get things done. We prefer to be less insecure or defensive and to have less worry and concern. We might also wish we were less controlling and not feel so much envy or jealousy. We want to be less irritated by the 'little' things. Instead, we want to feel healthier and happier, but we do not know how. We get so stuck! As a friend just said to me, "I want to grow out of ways of doing things that I know are not good for me!"
Some people try to change really big things in their lives in order to feel better. They may buy a bigger house or a new car, change jobs or ditch their spouse. It doesn't work. After a period of initial adjustment, they find themselves feeling lousy as before.
Here's some really good news: I believe absolutely everyone can wake up feeling truly better every day! We can accomplish this by incorporating new ways of thinking. Yes, it entails throwing out the old and bringing in the new. But, in small layered ways; not via wholesale big ways. Much like that New Year's Resolution to lose weight that most often fails by mid February, so too changes to our personal functioning tends to wane and falter even after a few weeks. But why?
First, large scale changes in life are hard to do! But it is in our nature to want that big change now because we tend to only see the successes of others and not what it took for them to get there. Second, we tend not to appreciate the importance of steadfastness and constancy. And then third, you need the awareness that helps fuel the change.
With a lot of hard work 'throwing out the old' and laying down the new in terms of how you see and relate and act in this world, you too can feel truly better each and every day. So keep reading:
First: A Story
My son scraped his arm the other day and was asking me when it would no longer hurt so much. I told him that in all likelihood it would take about a week to be pain free and scabbed over and about two weeks for the mark disappear completely. "Well why is that, Mom? How does that work?" he asked me. So I told him about the immune system cells inside his body that never stop working.
Every moment of every day his body will be sending cells to the sight of his scrape to take away the old damaged cells and deliver nutrients to help grow brand new cells until the scrape is totally healed. Slowly the nerve endings that send pain signals to his brain will be renewed and then the surface cells will be re-grown. The healing cells truly never stop working, doing the same thing day in and day out even in the thick of night while he sleeps. It is a biological process and virtually nothing can make it go faster. Even despite tremendous medical and pharmaceutical advances, for our body to heal a wound it takes time and the constancy of working cells. If the cells stopped working, healing too would stop.
Second: A Corollary
Almost daily I am astounded by the words people use around me:
• "Oh, I could never do that."
• "I don't think I will ever adjust."
• "I feel so overwhelmed."
• "I don't have the energy I used to have."
• "I get so angry!"
• "I just don't feel happy."
And remember, these statements are uttered by people that are largely living functional lives. For the most part they get up and going every day, but they feel like life is becoming just too much or too little of what they need and what they find satisfying.
Many of us truly do not see that we ourselves control this entire process through old ways of thinking and relating that are like well worn paths. We do not realize that we can indeed change this process. Some aspects of who we are as people are very hard wired(activity level for instance), but much of who we are in terms of how we feel daily is indeed something we can shift.
Again, I believe we all can feel better and can actually feel good every day! And not by all moving to the Bahamas for daily fun in the sun. We can feel better by building very positive inner mental lives that translate into very positive outwardly expressed lives. And, positive energy turns into physical energy that fuels ourselves, our loved ones, and tall those we touch day to day. To get to this place we need a model to follow and for that I always go back to the physical body when trying to find a way to grasp the concept.
When injured your body engages in a 'miracle of constancy.' It simply goes into a state of biological repair fueled by your sleep and nutritional habits. It does not give up. Your body keeps picking up old and laying down new cells. It does this over and over and over again until any injury is healed. Well, a life that has not been well lived, a life that is becoming difficult or mundane or overwhelming and unhappy, can be healed through this exact same process. You can work the 'miracle of constancy' in your own inner life.
Third: The Solution
The main principle of the 'miracle of constancy' for you and your life is positive beliefs healing a negative daily style. I am vastly hopeful that when you marvel at the ability of small unthinking cells to heal a major wound, that you can use your true thinking cells to heal any issues or problems in your daily function and relationships.
It is now simply up to you to work the miracle of constancy. This means making and maintaining small, not large, changes each and every day. Get rid of the old and lay down the new a little bit at a time. We maintain greater change when we make small changes, not when we go for large changes.
The human body has been working the miracle of constancy for thousands of years to heal and protect. Now you can use this knowledge as a corollary to believe that your inner changes will have the same result! How cool is that? So make a plan. Only you know which issues you are having. (Again it could be too much control or anger, too much sadness or poor motivation. It could be too much worry or concern and so forth.)
The Mantra. Small changes start with stopping old patterns. Little mantras such as 'Don't go there' for those of you prone to self-defeating or obsessive thoughts. 'Get off the stage'for those of you prone to being a touch too dramatic. 'This is not about me!' for those of you prone to anger. 'This is not a tiger in the jungle' for those of you prone to nerves.'Turn it off now!' for those of you prone to procrastination in favor of say Facebook or online porn.
Only you can find which mantra is going to be best for you. This mantra is a way to trigger awareness of an old way of doing something and to stop it dead in its tracks. Then...
Interact with People. Small changes in how you interact with people can make a true difference. Look a person in the eye. Put your phone down, stop typing at your laptop, put your fork down and look that person in the eye. Now hold it for a few beats to make a connection. Do this every day!
We tend to get so busy and overwhelmed and self-involved in our daily lives that we stop tending to how we interact with people. Forging a connection through mutual eye contact can help you the maintain course for positive change which is long and hard for many of us...we have a lot of ground to make up and having people help us along is vital. Then...
Banish Negative Statements. Small changes in your negative thinking styles can go a long way. Statements that hold 'always' and 'never' tend to be negative and closed. They do not allow for another possibility. Notice them and then banish them from your inner dialogue and outer speech. Statements that hold if-then type statements about other people keep you stuck from making the changes you need for yourself. (Example: "Well if only he would just pay more attention to me, I would stop feeling so insecure!') Again, notice them and banish them. Use a mental stop sign when you notice yourself using them. You truly do have control over your thoughts!
Constancy is key: Keep the faith that daily practice of applying small new layers will reap long-term healing and growth. Your immune system cells have known that your entire life. Now your 'thinking cells' do too!
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