Category Archives: Happiness

Are Little White Lies Okay?

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Like most other kids, you and I were taught in childhood not to lie. The lesson usually came early in life when by the age of six we knew the difference between right and wrong; and what was true and what wasn’t. The first time we made up a story to avoid wrath, we may have discovered that the penalty for our inventive tale was worse than if we had truthfully admitted our error.

IMG_0862Dishonesty, basically, is avoiding truth. It’s not surprising that people whose lives have been influenced by a damaging past really struggle with honesty—they’re afraid to be honest. It isn’t a type of dishonesty that is pathological and conniving. Rather its motive comes from a sincere desire to avoid conflict, disapproval, disappointment, and rejection; and to make others happy. They might see their dishonesty as being harmless or as merely “little white lies.”

Truth though, is a necessary choice in life, if we want self-respect, self-esteem and a reputation for possessing integrity. When asked, for example, if we like someone’s haircut, outfit, spinach casserole recipe, car color, or wallpaper, there’s always something truthful that can be said, instead of a little white lie. “Oh, that looks good on you,” “I can totally see you in that color,” and so on. We can be truthful without being mean spirited and without hurting someone’s feelings.

Psychologist, Dr. Chris Thurman writes: There is another important reason why IMG_1595we must seek the truth and live by it. There is a direct, inescapable connection between our self-esteem and whether or not we are dedicated to truth. If dedication to truth characterizes our way of living, we develop stable positive feelings of worth. The moment we wrap our lives around lies, genuine feelings of self-worth are virtually impossible. We’ve all had moments in our lives when we suddenly saw that something we believed to be true was false. Instantly, the truth cuts like a knife.  http://www.drchristhurman.com/

A pattern of telling little white lies can easily get out of control with a drive to appear adequate and flawless. We may find ourselves deceiving others about our opinions, actions and accomplishments. In a need to be loved and accepted, we justify fibbing.

IMG_2761 (1)Yet, isn’t it true that if someone is dishonest with us, we get all bent out of shape? In a warped way of thinking, we can be merciless to other individuals that we’ve caught lying. We park in the denial of our own dishonesty and feel betrayed, used, made a fool of, or taken advantage of by others we catch being dishonest with us: How could they do that to me! We, however, tend to not see our own dishonesty when we do that to them.

Think about it.

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
IMG_2731Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ways to Handle Problem Relationships

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IMG_2070What do you believe is the purpose of a love relationship? To complete you? To make you whole and happy? Hollywood movies and romantic novels often portray the unrealistic idea of romantic love. A person can add to your happiness, but can never make you complete or happy—you’re the only one who can do that. Healthy, loving relationships result when you seek them to add to the happiness in life you’re already experiencing. The regard you receive from someone else can’t replace the regard you need to give yourself.

Commitment in love isn’t a feeling or a grin-and-bear-it obligation. It’s an act of IMG_1996your will. Commitment means riding out tough times of disagreement and struggle and discussing the middle ground of compromise. The success of any relationship depends on the ability to focus on the strengths of the other person—his or her positive traits, not on the flaws. Reflect on the reasons you like and respect the person. Dwell on his or her positive qualities and assets; and in grace tolerate those quirks that get you batty. After all, your own quirks need to be tolerated by others, too.

IMG_0363When a relationship is in trouble, it’s usually because there’s a tendency to blame the other person and to focus on his or her faults and wrong-doings. This not only doesn’t work—it makes things worse. The more effective choice is to focus on yourself—your own thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions in the relationship. Today, focus on what you need to be giving to the other person and what needs correcting in yourself; not on what you’re not getting from the other person and what he or she needs to correct. Take responsibility for your part in the relationship. Focus on self-responsibility and solutions, not blame and resentment.

Think about it.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do you hang out with someone who degrades you?

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If you had a friend who, on a daily basis, called you degrading names and criticized your actions, would you continue to hang around with that person?

IMG_2337It seems odd to me that we tend to become upset, angry, and hurt when someone else mistreats us, but we think nothing of it when we mistreat ourselves. We would rarely seek the company of people who are critical and unkind towards us, but we can criticize ourselves with unkind words, and somehow that’s okay.

Self-depreciation is not a new problem in human existence. It’s not even a new issue in human history. Sir Thomas Browne, was a mid-16th century genius is the areas of science and medicine. He wrote, But how shall we expect charity towards others, when we are uncharitable to ourselves? Charity begins at home, is the voice of the world; yet every man is his own greatest enemy, and, as it were, his own executioner. 

This is not okay in the 21st century.

Our worse enemy is the unnoticed, subconscious inner critical voice that resides in each of us that’s ever diligent to create insecurities within us from our mistakes, condemnation for our flaws. and unworthiness from our limitations.

Whether its origin is the outcome of original sin, a fallen world, or the devil’s IMG_2344lies, it’s that inner critical voice that will not allow our success, security, or happiness until we become mindful of its presence and stop its destruction of the self-confidence and self-love we all were born with. Our fight and our opponent is the echo of self-degrading comments that sneak into our minds, under the radar, and then undermines any thoughts and feelings and actions for the good in life. It arrests any belief in our dreams, and any love or kindness towards ourselves, and therefore; towards other people.

Stay aware of what you’re thinking about and what you’re saying to yourself. Your life depends on it.

Think about it.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are your thoughts helping or hurting you today?

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IMG_1996When a relationship is in trouble there’s a tendency to want to blame someone and to focus on the faults and wrong-doings of the other person. This not only doesn’t work, it’s destructive. The correct choice is to focus on yourself—your thoughts, feelings, attitude, and actions—not the thoughts, feelings, attitude and actions of your partner. Focus on what you need to be giving (as difficult as that might be), not on what you’re not getting. Take responsibility for your part in the relationship that has contributed to its unhappiness.

In Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People, Elizabeth Brown writes: Do you really want to bring about positive change in your relationship? If so, you must be willing to change first. Unless you change first, it is unlikely your relationship will do anything but sink deeper into distress. 

And Robin Norwood tells us: At the bottom of all our efforts to change someone IMG_1782else, is a basically self-centered motive, a belief that through his changing we will become happy. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, but to place the source of that happiness outside ourselves, in someone else’s hands, means we are denying our abilities to change our own lives for the better and refusing to take responsibility for doing so. 

When you change how you treat yourself, you change your life. Your happiness and enthusiasm comes from within you. Your happiness isn’t dependent on something or someone else. Your happiness depends on you. How you feel is up to you.

No one is happy by accident. It requires self-awareness of where your thinking may be inaccurate. If you’re unhappy, you need to explore what it is that you’re doing to cause that unhappiness. If you’re unhappy, that’s your deal—your responsibility. It isn’t up to anyone to make you happy.

Relationships are to add to your happiness, add to your life. Relationships are IMG_1312not a substitute for your own life. Another human being cannot make you whole and complete. You’re the only one who can do that. The daily conversation that you have the most is the one you have with yourself. You talk to yourself more than everybody in your life combined. If that conversation is degrading, unloving, and critical, is it any wonder that your self-esteem may be zero?

Are your thoughts helping you or hurting you today?

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

Will you hurry the hell up?

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Impatient people are trying to have a life that can never be. They struggle to accept a world that is not perfect. Everyone has a different speed of performing patiencetasks. There will always be situations where delays exist in waiting rooms or waiting in line. Postponements and cancellations are part of life. So is road construction, dead batteries, noise, indigestion, rules, pet hair, potholes, and static cling. But a disturbance in the plans of an impatient individual often produces anger and intolerance. Psychologist and author, Joseph Bailey, says “When you get impatient, you become irritated and judgmental, and that creates distance between you and the other person.”

If you are burdened with impatience, you embark on a never-ending voyage of negativity and unhappiness. When your day is interrupted with delays and inconveniences you may act on faulty thinking and just give-up in a heap of frustration. You might conclude that if there’s going to be obstacles than just forget it—if there’s hassles, then you don’t need the aggravation. You may give up on your job, your education, your relationships, your family. That’s one way that impatience impacts thinking—you give up, quit.

Another outcome from impatience is reactive behavior. You might impulsively do something or say something without thinking—you wig out. When someone isn’t following your game plan, you’re off on a tirade. You explode with criticisms, you make degrading comments—you hurt other people.

As it was last year, last month, and last Friday, the same is true today: you’ll encounter many situations where your way, choice, expectation, or preference doesn’t occur. Around each bend there are cliffs of failure, walls of disappointment, and highways of the unexpected. Each day presents you with numerous moments that require patience—restraint of anger and frustration.

Some people would debate that it’s human nature to be disappointed with an unwanted outcome. That it’s natural to experience frustration when met with defeat. That it’s to be expected to feel a let down when expectations fail to patience1materialize. Yet, the reaction or response to disappointment, frustration, and mistakes that befall human beings varies. Some people display unhealthy tantrum-like opposition in rebellion. Some people, smiling or not, patiently endure waiting with little or no outward demonstration of upset. One thing for sure: you can’t have patience and lack self-control. When you’re impatient, you’re not self-controlled—you’re not in command of yourself. Patience is tolerance that allows and respects others’ preferences or methods without necessarily agreeing. Since an impatient person isn’t a happy person, you’ll not likely experience happiness without a high level of patience—patience with yourself and others.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Need a brilliant idea? Hold a grudge.

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Hold a grudge. Now there’s a brilliant idea!

Yeah, cling to memories of betrayal and hurt. Ruminate over unfairness and CAPUPVE5CARS043CCAOF72XDCA75Z6V9CADGWZF6CAOBVH8ICANMHFYZCATKRO9PCA9XJ8MACAUZ5MIOCA45A0SUCA0R2TBZCAN0OEEQCAZF83JVCAI62Q52CAQ6I7R1CAP6RTDMCAF1ZI92injustice. Hold that bitterness close to your heart so that your entire attitude in life sucks and be sure everyone knows it. Feel entitled to take your anger out on other people—be mean, be blaming, be a bully. Yeah, hold a grudge and think that by doing so you’re somehow getting even. Don’t let the person off the hook–be sure to constantly remember the wrong-doing. Really mess up your head.

The only good holding a grudge has ever produced is the good hold it has on you going down. The wiser you are, the more you refuse to dwell in the toxicity IMG_0717of anger, bitterness, grudges, and resentment—the malignancy of emotions. Animosity eats away as you cling to injustices against you until you’re consumed with rogue anger and bitterness. Marriage to grudges and resentment has put many people in an early grave. The enormous energy connected to the emotion of hate changes the blood chemistry in a person to one that is favorable to disease. You lose power. You lose respect. You lose character. It’s not pretty. You won’t look cool. You won’t even recognize yourself.

Hate is a painful state of self-destruction because the mind is not intended to hate. It goes against the pure core of every human being. We were each born with an incredible expression of our inner purpose—to love ourselves and to love others.

If you’re holding a grudge, the release of that bitterness and resentment needs to be the priority for your own good health–physical and mental. Any period of time spent resenting man-439916_150someone else is time that you have chosen to feel miserable. The more occupied you are in disliking another person, the less occupied you are with pursuing your own happiness and success. You can’t resent or hate someone and feel any happiness or enthusiasm for life. Resentment, bitterness, anger, and grudges are all very expensive and costly to YOU, not to the person who caused it. These negative feelings don’t damage the other person, they damage you. So now you’ve doubled your pain.

The cure is forgiveness. Let it go. Move on. Get back to living. Regain your power and self-respect and loving nature. You can apply the healing balm of absolution and bask in the state of being emotionally malignant free. Only the foolish hang on to bitterness like a trophy. One can only hope that a day will arrive with the insight that the trophy is not an award, but actually a gravestone.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Who are you now?

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“You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully.”¹

sign2Are you defining your life today past on mistakes made a month ago, a year ago? If all the past errors in judgment were erased and all expectations from others were invalid, who would you be today, right now? Your future will be filled with negativity from the past only if you allow it to be poured into your current thoughts about yourself. Instead, take the wisdom—the positive—available from every mistake and from every heartbreak, and mold that into who you are at this moment forward.

“One of the best ways to educate our hearts is to look at our interaction with IMG_0108.JPG (2)other people, because our relationships with others are fundamentally a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.”²  It’s impossible to have a dysfunctional relationship with others unless you have a dysfunctional relationship with yourself. If you struggle with fears of disapproval, that fear will play out in all of your relationships with others—not just some relationships—all. Everything you do or say will be filtered through a fear of their rejection of you. That fear prompts you to be dishonest with others, to withhold your true opinions and needs, and to become whatever others want you to be. Look at how any unhealthy fears contribute to the status of your relationships, to the status of your life.

Stop at that crossroads. Today, make that powerful decision—who have you decided you really are? Share who you truly are with the people who matter and stay true to your real self.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

¹Anthony Robbins

²Dr. Stephen Covey

What is it about you that others can see?

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When you don’t believe the truth about your importance and significance you may incorrectly think that the approval of others is necessary to feel okay about yourself. Refuse to believe the self-delusional notion that you can control another person’s thoughts and opinions toward you. The more important it is to you to gain the approval of others, the more tempted you are to pretend to be someone you’re not.
Everyone wants to be well thought of and like; but you do not have the ability to IMG_0497 - Copydetermine what others will think about you. You do have the ability to determine how you are going to think about yourself. The most important opinion of yourself is not the one decided by others. The most important opinion of yourself is the one you, and you alone determine. You can respect yourself only when you have a self to respect. This will be visible to those around you and evident in conversations. Focus on seeking your own approval about choices rather than needing the approval of others about the choice.
You show people who you are through your attitude. Your outlook and manners are always on display. If you think that you’re inadequate or inferior to others, IMG_0486 - Copythen you believe lies about yourself. Accepting and believing that you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect is a necessary step towards seeing yourself in the correct light. That dignity and respect needs to begin with you—you need to treat yourself with dignity and respect. Pay attention to how you treat yourself, and refuse to beat yourself up for mistakes or degrade yourself for falling short. Instead, encourage yourself and applaud your efforts.
You’re the primary force assembling your life today. Other people or situations do not determine your life. Your attitude of mind does. Your belief in yourself does. Your regard for yourself does. Realizing that enables you to become aware of thought patterns that set you up to be disappointed and feel defeated. Is there something about your attitude or your opinion of yourself that is sabotaging your life?
Think about it! In caring, Dr. Sandy
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net


 

A Star is born and guess who it is?

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You were born with an instinctive, endless amount of self-acceptance, and self-love. It’s innate. Think about it. You were created with ten fingers and toes, billions of brain cells, a specific DNA, a heart that would pump gallons of blood babyfor years, and an endless supply of self-acceptance, and self-love. When you came into this world, you possessed no fear of disapproval. As a baby in the hospital you didn’t compare yourself to the other babies next to you. You didn’t stay awake in your crib worrying that you might not measure up. You didn’t lie in the arms of adults wondering “Are you mad at me?” As you started to explore your world as a toddler, you existed in glory. You freely showed goofiness and laughable antics. You weren’t concerned if your actions would make you look stupid. You weren’t hung up on avoiding mistakes and appearingbaby1 better than others. You believed you were the Cat’s Pajama’s–fantastic, important, and special! You were open, free-spirited—full of enthusiasm. You didn’t fret over your appearance. You weren’t concern with what someone was thinking about your dance moves or your conversation with toys. You believed in who you were. Your self-love wasn’t shown in self-conceit—it was a sincere and humble certainty that didn’t need to knock others to feel good about yourself. You believed you were special and significant and that others were too. Your world was one of self-love and because you loved yourself, you treated others the same way—with love, value, and acceptance.
Then it started. It was unintentional, of course, yet it shook your world of self-love and slowly, little by little, that self-love dimmed as you believed what some well-meaning adults were saying about you when they were upset, angry, or frustrated.
Children don’t know what is right or wrong, good or bad until an adult tells them. The methods that some adults use to tell kids what’s wrong and bad often, unintentionally, crush a child’s self-love. To avoid raising self-centered, baby2narcissistic kids, well-meaning adults quickly criticize kids who think of themselves first and what they like, want, or need. These kids are told that to seek what pleases them is selfish. When kids express their self-worth by stating their wants, ideas, opinions, and thoughts, they are often scolded. These kids then, sadly, grow up listening and believing what they are told, and conclude that there must be something wrong with them for wanting what they want, liking what they like, and needing what they need. The free-spirited child who once beamed from self-love fades into self-doubt and fear.
What surfaces is a child (and later, an adult) who’s set on pleasing everyone else to avoid rejection, disapproval, and possible withholding of love. Some adults indirectly destroy children’s inborn self-love and teach them to love others instead; not to love others and themselves, but others instead of themselves. Children are taught to honor teachers, ministers, coaches, but not themselves. They’re instructed to respect the neighbors, but not themselves. They’re taught IMG_0684 - Copyto love their parents, siblings, Gramma and Grampa, but not themselves. To be kind to their pets, friends, babysitters, and cousins; but not themselves. They’re told to be gentle with toys, books, pillows, and clothes, but not themselves. They’re taught to remember their mittens, homework, and library books, but not themselves. These children learn that the correct thing to do is to forfeit themselves, give up their own needs, and ignore their own opinions for the approval of other people.
I want you to plow through all the Childhood Programming you received growing up, set it aside for just a minute, and remember who you really are. You’re special and significant, and deep inside yourself you know that’s true. No matter what someone says about you, there’s an inborn part of you that wantsstar to take a stand for what you say about you. You want your own approval. You want dignity and self-respect. You want to stop needing others approval and start wanting your own. Deep inside, you know you deserve more in life. Self-love is the source of all other love.                                                                                
A Star is born and it’s you. Think about it!  -In caring, Dr. Sandy
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

You won’t be happy until… until what?

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You won’t be happy until… until what? Until you make a certain amount of money? Until you’re loved? Until you’re offered a different job? Until your parent’s are nice to you?

What if instead you said, “I’ll be happier if I …” and you took responsibility for your happiness? The first statement has you waiting for something to happen IMG_0953 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copyoutside yourself before you will be happy. The second statement requires you to do something to meet your need for happiness. Elizabeth Carter said, “Not to be happy is not to be grateful.” Making your happiness dependent on what other people do or don’t do will keep you from the very experience you seek—happiness! It’s like you expect someone to make up for what is missing and make you happy. To have your happiness dependent on yourself means you’re more likely to obtain it. Dr. John Grey says that when you’re attached to wanting more, then you create a mind-set that “has to have” something to be happy. When you blame others for a lack of happiness, you give up happiness. If you make people or situations not in your control responsible for how you’re going to feel, you’ll never be happy. As long as you believe incorrectly that someone else is responsible for how you feel, you’ll never have happiness. You believe the lie that you can’t have what you want because of so and so, or this or that. When you make someone or something the reason why you’re not successful, you stop your ability to have that success.

DO YOU HAVE GRATITUDE? LET’S FIND OUT…ASSESSMENT ON GRATITUDE 
Count the statements that describe you. Please be honest with yourself!
__Life doesn’t seem to get better as I get older.
__I’m lacking things I need to be happy.
__Most of the stuff I do is boring.
__This is a bad time in my life.
__I expect to be doing in a year exactly what I’m doing now.
__It’s more common for me to focus on what I lack than on what I have.
__I was a lot happier when I was younger.
__I feel old and drained.
__I don’t spend time each day listing mentally or otherwise my blessings.
__Compared to other people, I’m worse off than they.
__I tend to take people I care about for granted.
__In an average day I say “whatever” more than I say “thank you.”
__My moods would be better if my life was different.
__I haven’t obtained most of the important things I want and that bothers me.
__The financial resources of the average person seem to be getting worse.
__It’s difficult to appreciate good things in life when I have so many struggles.
__If I’m to be a worthwhile person I need to achieve a certain status.
__I don’t usually feel grateful about my average day.
__I can’t be happy if I miss out on many of the good things in life.
__If I don’t do as well as other people it means I’m inadequate.
__It’s impossible to gain another person’s respect without being talented.
__I’m not a joyful person.

If you have checked four or more statements as being true, then you could use more gratitude in your attitude.

You can now see why the opposite of self-pity, and its components of negativity and complaining, is gratitude. An ungrateful person is an unhealthy person. They can be found in a prolonged self-induced “poor me” depression hanging on to unfairness and tough breaks excusing any responsibility. Of course, the IMG_0946 - Copy - Copy - Copymore you focus on any state of mind, the more of it you create for yourself. Individuals who are ungrateful for what they possess create more ungratefulness, more unsuccessful results, and more negativity. The very
prize they seek—happiness, success, some good breaks—are kept from them because of an ungrateful attitude for what they possess now. An attitude of gratitude in life leads to a sense of contentment, and focusing on what is lacking in life leads to resentment, jealousy and unhappiness. It’s healthy and good to want success and happiness, and more of everything only if you’re sincerely grateful for what has been given to you already. If you’re not grateful for what you have now, you won’t be grateful for more.

Happiness comes from what you already have or what you have the power to make happen.

Wise people enjoy what they have—they enjoy their blessings. People who are IMG_0944 - Copy - Copy - Copynot thankful for what they possess, are not likely to be thankful for more. You’ll never be happy until you learn to enjoy what you already possess. Measure gratitude not by things, but by things for which you would not take money. Henry Ward Beecher said, “A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” The poorest person in the world is the one who is always wanting more.

Thank you for your time and replies. -In caring, Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net