Monthly Archives: April 2015

Mindful Thinking Will Improve Your Life – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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You have the capacity to choose what you think about. If you choose to think about past hurts, you will continue to feel bad. While it’s true you can’t change the effect past influences had on you once, you can change the effect they have on you now. —Gary McKay, Ph.D.

It seems easy to forget that we’re in control of what we think about. It’s B-8cTe9W8AAod7Ctempting to believe that the negative upset in our thoughts is someone else’s fault. Yet, that’s not the truth.

Albert Einstein concluded that one of the major discoveries to impact mankind in the 20th century was the finding that we have the ability to decide what we think about. If we choose to think about past disappointments and heartache, we remain looking backwards and remain in pain. Nothing in the past is going to change or be different. But today can be.

Your thoughts, at this moment, are either helping you or hurting you. What you choose to focus on is either helping you become successful and happier or preventing your success and happiness. Your past serves as an education. From it you have learned what does not work, what does, and what to do differently. But dwelling on mistakes, regrets, what if’s, and if only’s does not provide you with a successful and happy mind-set today. In fact, it will keep success and happiness from arriving.

Positive thinking guru Norman Vincent Peale wrote: Change your thoughts and you change your world. 

IMG_3063How do you change your thoughts? Become aware of what you are thinking about, and what you are saying to yourself. Stay aware of your attitude, your mind-set. How do you become aware? Mindfulness. Every free moment ask yourself What am I thinking? Soon, you will easily know your thoughts. Are they negative? Are they filled with yesterday’s hurt? Are they self-degrading? Delete from your mind any thoughts that are focused on the past and focused on complaints.

Today, choose to focus on thoughts that don’t represent the past. You have a future to live. You don’t have a past to live. Value the lessons learned in your past, while maintaining focus on your life right now. Stay optimistic. Be aware and mindful of your thoughts—they are powerful elements that dictate your life!

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

The Most Respected Quality – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Looking for love before developing a strong sense of self is like trying to find the mate of a shoe you’ve never seen. —Martha Beck

IMG_2973I sometimes long for childhood scenes where taking a stand for ice cream over cupcakes seemed easier than taking a stand for myself with other people as a grown-up. Let’s face it, when you express to someone your true thoughts and opinions, it’s a risk. What if you offend someone? What if they change their opinion of you? What if they get mad? What if you blow it? That’s a gamble. But to speak or act in contradiction to who you are is worse than the experience of disapproval from someone, isn’t it?

For some people, what determines their sense of self is having the approval of images (21)someone else. What determines their self-worth and happiness is how other people feel about them. Many individuals change their personality and opinions, at any given moment, to be accepted. It’s not a surprise that relationships are often rocky and shallow when people hide their true identity. So, make it a priority to know yourself so that you have a self others can honestly know.

In The Plateauing Trap, Judith M. Bardwick writes: Real confidence comes from knowing and accepting yourself—your strengths and your limitations—in contrast to depending on affirmation from others. 

Remember, every single person has strengths and weakness, attributes and handicaps, not just you and me, everyone. The more you embrace yourself—the good parts and the not so good parts—the more you radiate confidence because you know who you are and who you are not, and that is the most attractive trait anyone can possess. When you are genuine in who you are and not acting like a fraud of someone else, that’s appealing to others. People respect that quality, a lot.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Every Year a Wiser You – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Bu6nh22IIAEeGyKEach of us grow up wanting what we were taught to want. Adults teach children the very same priorities and opinions that they as parents hold. My mother loved the color pink, so she taught me to love the color pink also, and therefore I wanted pink stuff as a kid. My father loved to read, so he taught me to love books. I still have the first book I fell in love with as a kid—Half a Team by Maxine Drury.

Well respected Psychologist Erich Fromm said: Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want.

When reaching adulthood, many people never stop and look at what they were IMG_1622taught to believe growing up so they could then decide if it’s true for their individual and unique self. Do I actually love the color pink? No. But, if I did not stop and examine my own preferences and opinions as an adult, I’d be in pink today. Do I love to read? Yes, so that lesson learned early in my life is true for me today as an adult.

Are there things in your life at this moment that you have or do because that’s what you picked up from someone else, or that’s what you were taught to have or do? Each birthday that comes along is a good time to review your own opinions, preferences, and needs. Examine if those opinions still apply to your life. 

IMG_1165I think birthdays are special days that need reflection; to ponder on what you’ve learned the previous year and how that knowledge has aided to your wisdom. To have every birthday find you a better human being is to receive an awesome gift from life. So on your next birthday, take time to look backwards. Review your beliefs, preferences, and opinions. Make it a point to remember experiences that enhanced your love and compassion for people. Recall situations that resulted in making you stronger and more resilient. Review what every misfortune gave you in wisdom. If you do this with every passing birthday, you will age not only gracefully, but also with a wise and loving heart.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

The Key to Conversation – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication. –Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey tells a story of a father who came to him saying, “I can’t images (4)understand my kid. He just won’t listen to me.” Covey patiently tried to get the dad to see the inconsistency of his statement. You don’t understand people by getting them to listen to you. You understand them when you listen to them.

Ever jump to understand a person’s view that disagrees with yours?  The attempt to understand, or even listen, is not the first move of most people in conversation. People tend to jump to judge, to argue, to reject, to debate, but to understand? That’s in a minority of people.

images (66)But we can change that. and we need to. We can accept that listening to a differing view than ours is not going to cause the veins in our foreheads to explode. We can cool our jets of wanting to prove they’re wrong, and listen to others without creating a win-lose competition in conversation.

Listen up! If we want our point to be understood, it’s necessary to practice understanding the point of others. The basis of understanding and connecting with someone requires a lack of Drill-Sargent attitude and defensiveness. Sometimes we’re more interested in proving someone wrong than understanding a person’s opinions and beliefs. Instead of saying, “That’s not right,” it’s better to seek to understand and ask “Why do you think that?” This is the epitome of communicating with respect and unbiased mindfulness. Our relationships need this.

All advances to date in interests of humanity, medicine, and technology images (67)required open minds that sought to understand—that entertained differing views. But for some unfortunate people, most of their so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments to continue on believing as they already do. Their mind is closed. They have already judged their own opinion as being the only true and rational view and cling stubbornly to a mixture of unwarranted assumptions. This is fertile ground for intolerance to flourish.

Practice listening with the intention to understand, even if you disagree.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

You Will Make A Difference by Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Someone once said:
The highest reward in life is not what you get from it, but what you become by it.

You are capable of doing something that makes a huge difference in this worldf5813ce0-8791-4e6f-a526-32c953e7bba1-medium (1) every day, HUGE! Do you believe it? Your caring attitude, your kindness, your respect for yourself and life makes a difference not only in the lives of those who cross your path, but also makes a difference within you. No one can be exactly like you. No one will make a difference exactly like you will.

We have great challenges as adults in this world. Many people believe themselves too inadequate to make a difference; too flawed to contribute. Great things are rarely done by great intelligence or great ability, but by average folks with great hearts who care. I promise, you will make a difference in the lives of everyone you come into contact with every single day. It will be either a positive difference or a negative one. It will be one of encouragement or of dismissal; kindness or cruelty; respect or rejection. Which difference will you make?

American social critic and scholar of education, Edgar Z. Friedenberg, said:
What we must decide is how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are.

When we explore our personality and characteristics for positive features and urban-438393_640skills, it can be a bit awkward. We do the world a service; however, when we recognize how we are valuable in any scenario of need. What we can give is more important than why we can provide it.

Sharing specific talents with a community or volunteer organization goes a long way to better the world. Even if that’s not what you can commit to, it will make a difference and it’s takes no time from your schedule to smile and be pleasant to people you see each day.

Author of Think Great, Lailah Gifty Akita, wrote:
Encouragement is life. Many people would have given up in life without encouragement. May your words be gracious to those who hear it.

Words have no price tag. It doesn’t cost a penny to speak. But the impact of what you say holds life-altering power.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com