SIGNS YOUR MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP IS IN TROUBLE

SIGNS YOUR MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP IS IN TROUBLE 8


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Smart Tip: Get help when things start going downhill. Nip things in the bud.
 
 

“Couples wait an average of six years of being unhappy with their relationship before getting help,” said John Gottman, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington and executive director of The Gottman Research Institute in Seattle. 1

 
Many couples never seek any help and either break up or head to a divorce attorney.
 
The divorce rate in the United States is the highest in the world. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Sixty-seven percent of all second marriages end in divorce and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.2
 
Fifty percent of all children are children of divorce. 40.8% of all children are born of never married parents. 3
 
Divorce is expensive.
 

“It’s a lot more expensive to maintain two separate households and you’re having to do it on the same amount of income,” said Jeff Landers, CDFA, President of Bedrock Divorce Advisors in New York.

 
The impact of divorce is huge in their own lives and that of their children.
 
When children have a hard time, boys and girls suffer equally. They differ in how they suffer. Boys are more externally symptomatic acting out their anger, frustration and hurt. Boys may get into trouble in school; fight more with peers and parents. Girls tend to internalize their distress. They may become depressed, develop headaches, stomach aches, and have changes in their eating and sleeping patterns. Aggressive anger or passive anger is often felt and acted out.
 

What should people experiencing relationship/marriage problems do?
 

Get help when things start going downhill. Nip things in the bud.
 
 

Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony. 4

 
 
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Signs Of Trouble:

 
1 You’re Thinking About Having An Affair – STOP!
 

Having an affair outside the marriage/relationship does not solve your unhappiness.
Fact is affairs create unintended problems, generating a life of their own with unintended consequences no one can anticipant. It is not worth it. Stop the mental projections, the wishing immediately when they come up. Change your focus back towards your partner and seek help if you cannot work things out.
 
Bear in mind that counselors varying greatly on what they actually are committed to helping you accomplish.
Some have the goal of saving the relationship/marriage and is the driving point of their work; others maintain a goal of separate partner (individual) bliss. Divorce/Separation for the later is often guaranteed. Know your counselor point of view and goals before engaging them. Ask for a disclosure. Ask an open ended question like: ‘What is your main goal when working with couples with problems?’
 
Try and figure out if the counselor/anger management expert:
 
A. Fight for relationship/marriage at all costs
B. Main concern of the work is individual happiness and wellbeing
 
Instead of talk therapy, check out Anger ManagementCouples Conflict Management.
Atlanta Anger Management Couples Conflict Management is not talk therapy counseling.
 
It is client education and training re-framing the relationship patterns, enhancing assertive communication and active listening. It is increasing awareness of anger and other negative emotions triggers and hot buttons to understand relationship dynamics and handle them in a more productive way. It is changing destructive behavior patterns into more positive relationship patterns that are sustainable. It is not a short term fix but a new way of being/living. It is maintaining an exciting new way of being. Commit to being a “Creative Partner Invested In Positive Change”6.
 
Affairs Continued…
 
Once emotional or sexual involvement goes outside a marriage, the issues needing to be addressed become background issues.
 
Problems magnify and get worse:
 
• Lies
• Not doing what you say – See: Be Impeccable
• Broken promises
• Deceit
• Guilt
• Building Walls of separation
• Avoidance
• Less time spend together
• Shame
• Increased suspicions
• Trust erodes
• Responsibility diminishes
• Character flaws are magnified
• Love is crushed and turns to contempt
• I do not care anymore = death of relationship
 
If you’re considering being unfaithful, it signals something is wrong with your relationship.
Ask yourself and be honest. “Can I resist temptation?”
 
If someone threw themselves on me … Can I resist without thought because I am totally committed to my partner. This is what is needed even if you are fighting right now.
 
Remember: Any indiscretion is always found out. The Truth always is found out. The News verifies this daily.
 
There are solutions to your problems. Call Richard Taylor 678.576.1913
 
2 You Fight About The Same Thing Over and Over and Over
 
You should know with a 50% chance of marriage lasting that Marriage and Conflict happening is not if but when. Arguing from time to time is perfectly normal and is expected. That is not a problem. The problem is outlined with further points below.
Accept The Unsolvable
 
According to relationship scientist John Gottman, 69% of relationship conflicts are persistent problems, meaning they revolve around issues that tend to resurface no matter how long you’ve been together. If you find a problem seems to call up painful emotions, you’re looking at one that’s persistent.1
 
To stop this trouble from ruining your relationship, you’ll need to address the bigger issues underlying your difficulty. Take turns discussing with your partner what this loaded issue really means to you. When your partner is talking, your job is to listen, be nonjudgmental and to find something in her/his perspective that makes sense to you. When it’s your turn to talk, she/he should be doing the same thing. By treading more gently into touchy areas, you should at least be able to agree to disagree or make some small concessions for one another. Accept that some things are not solvable. It is best to not talk about it. Couples who have been together a long time have embraced this concept and saved their marriage by doing so.
 
Couples who focus on the negatives in their relationship surely self destruct.1
 
It is best to practice LIVING IN THE MOMENT and not bringing up the past. Live right now. Also do not project these beliefs into the future. Say: “ That was then, this is now.” All I can experience is right now. Work on catching negative thoughts and choose to ‘change the channel” with positive thoughts. Like “What is it I like most about my partner?” Focus with intention for 10-30 seconds on the good to help imprint it on the brain to rewire it.
 
3 Spending Less Time Together
 
 

“The number one cause for the breakdown in marriages today is couples aren’t spending enough time together.” 7 – Michele Weiner Davis

 
 
Everything is more important than setting aside sacred time for one another. Whether it’s work, kids, meetings, clubs, church, temple, friends, working out, hobbies, golf, sports, TV, social media, relatives, and so on, everything seems to take precedence over the relationship. When this happens, couples stop being friends and their emotional connection suffers. They begin leading separate lives. The often become housemates.
 
Marriage will remain in danger unless you change this. Make it your joint mission to re-establish couple time together and family time together. Perhaps real meals rather than fast food eating. Outdoor activities help relieve stress and help bonding. Put away your cell phones, texting, listening to “your” music. Embrace being present to those around you. Get out of yourself and into your relationships. You can choose to change. But no one can make you. Each person has to decide to let others in.
 
4 Talking About Superficial Topics
 

Communication is one of the keys to lasting relationships.
 
Partners often have different needs when it comes to talking. Often guys like to talk “about” things, while women like to often talk about their emotions and the meaning of things, events, family, deeper conversations that force us to think, feel, emote and define our beliefs. This is often harder work than the surface talk.
 
The “talker” in the marriage/relationship often feels let down, hurt, frustrated and alone because their partner does not participate willingly in the dialogue.
 
The “talker” sometimes talks about their needs and what needs fixing in the relationship which results in the partner shutting down and wants to disengage in the conversation. These produce avoidance, putting up walls and further shuts down communication. The result is negative feelings that might include frustration, isolation, uncooperativeness, unhappiness, loneliness, not being connected and depression.
Having these talks of the heart is needed to promote intimacy, acceptance, reliance, love, safety and security. Maybe even the feeling of feeling cherished. Being reluctant to engage in these conversations put your relationship at risk.
 
Unmet needs and boundary violations are the two main reasons anger is often felt and expressed.
 
So conversations discussing important matters about finances, your own feelings, loved ones, future plans and goals, what is working and not working, behavior change requests, etc are vastly important. Couples usually are able to move into these conversations in their 30’s and on. Not having them can make the relationship seem superficial, light and not very serious. Many, many people remain adolescent in their self development no matter what age they are. They are just not willing to do any self growth work.
 
5 Escalating Fights
 

Often we find our vocabulary limited and we rely on the same expression over and over and our conversations repeat themselves. He/she says the same thing, she/he responds always in the same way. We are on a gerbil round treadmill repeating the same relationship dynamics. We hear ourselves say…”Oh no, here we go again!”
 
This often leads to anger, contempt and withdrawal. Avoidance is a key destructive interaction in relationships.
 
Pay attention and notice if you are having the same fights.
 
If these arguments are growing in intensity you must act and do something about them. Seek outside professional help very soon, not six years from now! Sometimes these escalating fights manifest into either verbal abuse or physical abuse.
 
Rule #1 In Anger Management: Do Not Touch Your Partner When Angry. You Will Get Arrested.
 
Both verbal abuse or physical abuse are destructive to lasting relationships so act and get help.
 
Aggressive Communication Style often has components of:
 
Inattention

• Interrupting

• Control

• Manipulation

• Intimidation

• Hostility
 
These ongoing ever repeating fights or arguments definitely showcase that deeper underlying issues are not being addressed. Most often communication skills are lacking that healthy couples have. These communication skills can be learned so that unresolved issues can be worked through. We offer help in communication skills. Inquire.
 
6 Having Little Or No Sex
 
Usually one partner has a lower sex drive than the other partner. In other words one partner wants sex more often than the other. The problem arises when the partner with the lower sex drive refuses their spouse’s feelings and rejects most, if not all, sexual advances.
 
Often this results in hurt feelings, frustration, rejection, feeling unwanted, feeling deflated, emotionally disconnected, angry and desperate.
 
If this goes on too long be wary of one partner disconnecting and becoming removed. Intimacy ends. This can often lead to infidelity. Even if only emotional infidelity.
 
Divorce also happens.
 
Once you experience these feelings, many things can happen. You stop enjoying each other’s company, spending time together, connecting emotionally, and being friends. If you don’t do something about it the death of the relationship often results. Or you become housemates for the duration with little empathy or love for the other. You move into existence mode. This is unnatural and not healthy, especially when children are involved.
 
I have helped many couples that are sleeping in separate bedrooms, in essence co-existing.
 
If this is a religious decision of sexual abstinence that is a choice and is healthy and a positive thing, but most people are not in that situation. It is isolation, alienation that causes it.
 
If a spouse is not getting enough sex, or would like more frequency while the other not, you both need to examine the reasons it’s happening. If might be necessary get professional help in Sex Therapy. Do whatever it takes to re-create passion and intimacy in your marriage. Action is called for.
 

7 Focusing more on kids than each other
 
Fact: Empty Nesters are still divorcing in droves. Once the children leave home, the relationship often feels overwhelmingly void.9
Today’s American culture (and many others) has become very Child Centric; meaning making our children our number one priority placing them in the center of our lives.
 
Everything is about our children.
 
Often when we live this way, our marriages suffer. It is hard to follow the sage wisdom: God First, Spouses Second, Children Third, Parents Fourth. 10
 
Be careful to not feel more connected to your children than your partner. Doing so often disconnects us from our spouses, resulting in us becoming strangers. This empties the marriage of intimacy.
 
Making the marriage the most important thing in your lives is the best thing you can do for your children. Your children benefit enormously when you have loving close relationship, as it models what a good marriage is, giving them the image framework to repeat it in their own adult lives.
It also helps marital longevity more likely.
 
TIP: Analyze your family life. Are you on auto pilot? Are you placing your relationship to God 1st, Spouse 2nd, Children 3rd, Parents 4th? If not, try to change as this will put your marriage on a better path towards lasting fulfillment.

“Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.” – Heraclitus 3

 

QUESTIONS:

 
Do you see yourself in any of the above?
 
Do you see partner in any of the above?
 
Do you admit you might need to tweak some things?
 
Great. Awareness is the first key to change and make things better.
 
Do not be static, stuck and remain in your relationship patterns.
 
Do something.
 
Take a positive step and invest in your relationship/marriage, It is worth the cost of money, time, effort and growth.

Change is the only constant. All is flux, nothing is stationary. Everything flows and nothing stays. 3 – Heraclitus

Be exceptional and do not wait years, 2013 is the year. Heed these warnings if you are living them.
 
Make the call to Richard Taylor of Atlanta Anger Management at 678.576.1913
 
When you do, your marriage/relationship will be a healthier, happier place to be and you will live longer due to less stress. Really.
 
 
CONTACT
Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers
Atlanta Anger Management
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA
Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: http://www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com
Linked in:http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardtayloraam

A Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence
 
At Atlanta Anger Management, Atlanta, GA  Anger Management is offered:

_______________________________________________________

References:
1. The Gottman Research Institute
2. Leo Averbach, Author, Breakup: Enduring Divorce; BreakupAid
Follow Leo Averbach on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Breakupwriter
3. Heritage Foundation – America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty
4. Heraclitus – Ηράκλειτος (Herakleitos; Heraclitus) of Ephesus (c.535 BC – 475 BC) was a Greek philosopher
Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.
5. Ancient version of the Taijitu (太極圖), origins from Lai Zhi-De (來知德) alias Lai Qu-Tang (來瞿唐) 1525-1604). Black and white swirls around a transparent circle.
6. “Creative Partners Invested In Positive Change” © Richard Taylor 2009
7. Michele Weiner-Davis MSW http://www.divorcebusting.com/
8. Michele Weiner-Davis MSW http://www.divorcebusting.com/
9. Empty Nests and Empty Marriages
10. Happy Wives Club 

BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD – ANGER MANAGEMENT – ATLANTA

Be Impeccable With Your Word

Be Impeccable with Your Word is the first of The Four Agreements 2 developed by Don Miguel Ruiz.1

Expressing yourself impeccably is to express yourself in the direction of truth and love. This includes expressing love, respect, and acceptance for yourself.

It is to say what you mean. Do what you say. To live up to your core values and do not violate them.

We should consider our Word to be much more than the words and phrases that we speak. Our words came from our thoughts that come from our beliefs in how the world works, evolved from our socialization process and life experience. So our Word reflects our beliefs, attitude, our cognitive distortions, our emotions, become our words, and resulting physical actions in the things we do.

If we increase our awareness of ourselves, the first step towards growth we start to pay attention to what we believe, think and the words we speak.

Do we do what we say? No? Why?

In my own experience I have people every week who call and set up an appointment for help with anger. We agree on a time and they know the cost. I call them to remind them of the appointment time. They confirm the appointment and then do not call or show up for the appointment. It seems to be more prevalent then people actually appearing for their appointment. Why is this? Today a lot of people do not do what they say. A simple text or phone call cancelling the appointment would be the grown up responsible action to do. People who  break this agreement (Be Impeccable) , do not respect themselves nor other people. They are unreliable people and this manifests in all their relationships. No wonder anger and broken troubled relationships are increasing.

The word fickle 3 comes to my mind. Often people who need real help in Anger Management often are fickle. Old English version says they are deceitful. Not trustworthy.

fick·le  (fkl)

adj.

Characterized by erratic changeableness or instability, especially with regard to affections or attachments; capricious.


[Middle English fikel, from Old English ficol, deceitful.]


fickle·ness n.

fickly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


fickle [ˈfɪkəl]

adj

changeable in purpose, affections, etc.; capricious

[Old English ficol deceitful; related to fician to wheedle, befician to deceive]

fickleness  n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

ThesaurusLegend:  Synonyms Related Words Antonyms

Adj. 1. fickle – marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments; “fickle friends”; “a flirt’s volatile affections”volatile

inconstant – likely to change frequently often without apparent or cogent reason; variable; “inconstant affections”; “an inconstant lover”; “swear not by…the inconstant moon”- Shakespeare

2. fickle – liable to sudden unpredictable change; “erratic behavior”; “fickle weather”; “mercurial twists of temperament”; “a quicksilver character, cool and willful at one moment, utterly fragile the next”erraticmercurialquicksilver

changefulchangeable – such that alteration is possible; having a marked tendency to change; ” “changeable moods”

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

Self Awareness

Question to ask yourself:

  • Are you good to your Word?
  • Do you do what you say?
  • Do you live up to your core values?
  • Do you respect other people time and affections?
  • Are you reliable?
  • Are you trustworthy?
  • Do you have integrity?

If you answered “No” to any of these above questions, embrace Self Awareness and embrace Be Impeccable to Your Word and change for the better. Work towards truth and love.

These traits seems to be lacking in many people today.

To Be Impeccable with Your Word isn’t as simple as it might seem. Exploring the meaning of this first agreement your understanding of it will expand. Your self-awareness ( a key to personal growth) begins with paying attention to each moment of the day as it unfolds. This is called Mindfulness. You notice your thoughts that used to go unnoticed. You notice your comments that seemed you represent as true but notice they are not based on facts or faith you just copied something your read, heard on TV or YouTube. You notice that some of what you say is really personal beliefs not rooted in truth or love. You become aware of your subtle thoughts, beliefs, words, actions, and expressions of the day. Compared with this agreement Be Impeccable with Your Word things become more challenging than one originally imagined.

To master being impeccable requires that you heighten your awareness not just:

  • The words you say
  • The emotions you express
  • Your attitude
  • Your actions
  • Why you express the power of your belief and where it came from

You will need to develop a discipline of mindfulness to be impeccable in these expressional modes throughout the day.

Looking at emotions that bring up “negative” feelings in us: 4
  • jealousy
  • envy
  • frustration
  • sadness
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • fear
  • sorrow
  • disrespected (dissed)
  • offended
  • disgust
  • hate
  • grief
  • shame
  • embarrassed
  • panic
  • nervousness
  • insulted
  • humiliated
  • isolated
  • defeated
  • hopeless
  • grouchiness
  • moodiness
  • feeling misunderstood
  • isolation
  • alone
  • abandoned
  • self rejection
  • mad
  • enraged

While the feelings are what we feel, often being filtered though our Cognitive Distortions that are not rooted in truth and love. They are what we fall into without discernment. We react to stimuli, to events, to people, to things, and quickly let these “negative” unpleasant feeling wash over us. Many embrace them for days, for weeks, for a life time. Feeling Depressed? You let a feeling or many take a home in you instead of flowing through you as you should.

A key to good Emotional Health is to let our feeling flow through us. They are just a feeling and we observe them, we stay with them, embrace them, even if unpleasant. But they have a time and we let them go and move unto the next feeling. If we focus our attention to a positive experience, a positive thought, and positive action then they will replace the negative.

INCREASE THE POSITIVES

Positive always win over negative. Light always dispels the darkness. Truth always triumphants over lies.  The Sun will shine another day.

  • You can create and change how you feel emotionally by generating emotions, and then you feel them.
  • You can create dynamics of respect in relationship by being silent and active listening attentively.
  • Refrain from emotional reactions can create a different experience for yourself and others.
  • Express caring, compassion, appreciation in the activity of your actions.
  • Create a new different self image by new and different positive thoughts. New research shows it rewires your brain. You must implant the positive with 10-30 seconds of intentional focus. This helps the brain “remember”.

Being Impeccable To Your Word can be expressed in many ways in each moment that forms your day. ½ a day at a time. Being Present in the Moment. Being Mindful. This moment is what we have right now. The past is gone. The future, we can only hope for. It may never come. Death cannot be negotiated with. Live in the Present Moment to relieve suffering.

Silence can be Impeccable

Silence is an expression. And sometimes silence and refrain says a lot more than words can. Your actions are a part of how you create. Silence with good feelings is a positive. Silence with contempt is negative and not being impeccable. Active Listening with compassion goes a long way toward relationship building. Learn to not argue or quarrel.

Saying Sorry

Saying you are sorry is Being Impeccable To Your Word. It moves toward truth, love and forgiveness.

Fear – Anxiety – Panic

 

Fear – Anxiety – Panic are “negative emotions” that do not enhance life, they take energy away from us. They dehabilitate us. They render us ineffective.

Examples:

  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Death
  • Fear of Rejection
  • Fear of Ridicule
  • Fear of Loneliness
  • Fear of Misery – Poverty
  • Fear of Disappointment  – Ourselves vs. Others
  • Fear of Pain
  • Fear of The Unknown
  • Fear of Losing Your Freedom
  • Fear of Dating
  • Fear of Public Speaking
  • Fear of Success

Fear, Anxiety, Panic hold you back and are not being Impeccable.

When you experience Fear, Anxiety or Panic notice it. Embrace it. If you can stay with the feeling like diving into a deep swimming pool, swim to the bottom and be with the feeling. If you can stay with it without addictions like alcohol, drugs or other crutches it will ease. Peace will come. You can let it go. You make a choice to let it go. It goes. Then decide for a positive thought, a positive action and stay with that. Let that hold. Embrace it for as long as you can. Rewire you brain for the positive. Fear Anxiety or Panic will lessen and go elsewhere. Embrace Love. Fear and Love cannot exist side by side in you.

To Be Impeccable with Your Word is an art requiring constant vigilance with active awareness. You begin today and master over a lifetime of work. Some never master it.

It is in the trying, in the consistent practice to master our emotional expression, master our beliefs, master our thoughts, master our words and master our actions that we change into a person with Integrity, Character, Virtue, Truth and Love.

We become Impeccable.

Why not start today?

Result: Your life will become a masterpiece of beauty, grace, happiness and love.

The Four Agreements – 15th Anniversary Illustrated Edition 5

“Everything we do is based on agreements we have made – agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible. One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that come from fear, deplete our energy, and diminish our self-worth.”

“In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible.”

In this powerful book that has remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for over eight years, don Miguel reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. When we are ready to change these agreements, there are four deceptively simple, yet powerful agreements that we can adopt as guiding principles. The Four Agreements® offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

The Four Agreements are:

Be Impeccable With Your Word
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best

CONTACT

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management 
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

Linked in:http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardtayloraam

A Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence

_______________________________________________________________
References:

1. Don Miguel Ruiz Website: http://www.miguelruiz.com/index.php

2. The Four Agreements Amazon

3. Fickle The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

4.  Emotions    http://atlantaangermanagement.com/anger.htm

5.  The Four Agreements – 15th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

BUILDING OPTIMISM

Learning to be Optimistic

REWIRE THE BRAIN WITH FOCUSED THOUGHT

ABCDE MODEL 

Learn to be optimistic using a technique based on Albert Ellis – Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy.

Professor Martin Seligman has elaborated on this in his book ‘Authentic Happiness’

This is a method for building optimism by recognizing and disputing pessimistic thoughts. The key to disputing your own pessimistic thoughts is to first recognize them and then to treat them as if they were uttered by an external person, a rival whose mission in life is to make you miserable.

  1. Become more aware of your conscious thought processes and begin to treat them as if they were being uttered by an external person whose goal in life is to make you unhappy.  (Distancing)
  2. Distract yourself from the thoughts – i.e. don’t allow yourself to think about them by directing your mind elsewhere. The rubber band technique is useful. Distraction is the best technique if you have to perform a task and it would be unhelpful to think about it.
  3. Dispute the beliefs. Disputation is the most important technique here and involves checking out the accuracy of the beliefs about ourselves that are encouraging us to feel pessimistic.  When we dispute we use the same techniques which we use to argue with other people.

Once you recognize that you have a pessimistic thought that seems unwarranted, counteract it by using the ABCDE model.

A stands for Activating Event
B for the Beliefs you automatically have when it occurs
C for Consequences of the belief
D for your Disputing your routine belief – using facts and logic, not wasteful thinking on affirmations.
E for the Energization that occurs when you dispute it successfully (this simply means to pay attention to how you feel (e.g. lighter, more energized, more optimistic) as a result of disputing your negative thoughts)

By effectively disputing the beliefs that follow an activating event or adversity, you can change your reaction from dejection and giving up to activity and embrace good cheer.

Exercise – During the next 5 activating events or adversity you face in your daily life, listen closely for your beliefs, observe the consequences, and dispute your beliefs vigorously. Record all this on a piece of paper.  Once you have done this on paper a few times you can then simply go through the process in your head.

Example:

Adversity:      

You gave a presentation and didn’t use your allocated time and stumbled in a few places.

Belief:    

I’m really bad at public speaking.  I always make a mess of it.  I really ought not to do it again because I’ll just be as bad.  My boss must think I’m not up to the job.

Consequences: 

You turn down appointments to speak and therefore let your fear get the better of
you.  If you speak again you are very nervous and apprehensive and therefore much more likely to make mistakes.

Disputation:    

I haven’t had much experience of giving presentations.  That was only my third.
The head of department spoke for less time as well and no-one was bothering about it.  A number  of people asked me questions and were interested in what I was saying.  Kevin even said he liked my slides and he isn’t one to say positive things to people.  I might not have been that fluent but I was ok and if I can conquer my nerves I should be better next time.

There are 4 different ways to make your disputations convincing:

Evidence – shows that the negative beliefs are factually incorrect. Most negative beliefs are overreactions. So ask ‘what is the evidence for this belief?’  (This is not just about affirmations or repeating positive statements it is about employing logical arguments.)

Alternatives ask yourself if there are alternative ways to look at the problem which are less damaging to yourself. Focus in particular on causes which are changeable (e.i. you were tired), the specific (e.i. only this instance), and the non personal (other people’s contribution to the problem).

Implications – even if you still take a negative view of what you have done you can still decatastrophize. E.I. even if you did put your foot in it at the interview and didn’t get this job what are the implications for other jobs or the rest of your life? [You are not defined by failure, success is on the horizon.]

Usefulness – question the usefulness of your belief. It can be helpful here to realize that even negative situations can in the long run work out well. We can also realize that some of our beliefs about the world (e.i. that it should be fair) though laudable lead us to be unduly negative. [Think: “Everything turns out as it out to be for the better good.”]

 

Source: http://www.centreforconfidence.co.uk/pp/techniques.php?p=c2lkPTQmdGlkPTMmaWQ9NjY=

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Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management 
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

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A Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence

FOCUS – A KEY TO SELF CONTROL

FOCUS – Is one of the keys to self control and improved Social Intelligence.

Richard Taylor of Atlanta Anger Management uses the Anderson and Anderson Contrasting Wheels of Behavior to help clients move quickly into more positive constructive relationship patterns.

Today we look at FOCUS or Paying Attention with Awareness.

Is your mind wandering?

The Practice

Pay attention.

Why?

Moment to moment, the flows of thoughts and feelings, sensations and desires, and conscious and unconscious processes sculpt your nervous system like water gradually carving furrows and eventually gullies on a hillside. Your brain is continually changing its structure. The only question is: Is it for better or worse?

In particular, because of what’s called “experience-dependent neuroplasticity,” whatever you hold in attention has a special power to change your brain. Attention is like a combination spotlight and vacuum cleaner: it illuminates what it rests upon and then sucks it into your brain – and your self.

Therefore, controlling your attention – becoming more able to place it where you want it and keep it there, and more able to pull it away from what’s bothersome or pointless (such as looping again and again through anxious preoccupations, mental grumbling, or self-criticism) – is the foundation of changing your brain, and thus your life, for the better.

As the great psychologist, William James, wrote over a century ago: “The education of attention would be the education par excellence.”

But to gain better control of attention – to become more mindful and more able to concentrate – we need to overcome a few challenges. In order to survive, our ancestors evolved to be stimulation-hungry and easily distracted, continually scanning their interior and their environment for opportunities and threats, carrots and sticks. There is also a natural range of temperament, from focused and cautious “turtles” to distractible and adventuresome “jackrabbits.” Upsetting experiences – especially traumatic ones – train the brain to be vigilant, with attention skittering from one thing to another. And modern culture makes us accustomed to an intense incoming fire hose of stimuli, so anything less – like the sensations of simply breathing – can feel unrewarding, boring, or frustrating.

To overcome these challenges, it’s useful to cultivate some neural factors of attention – in effect, getting your brain on your side to help you get a better grip on this spotlight/vacuum cleaner.

How?

You can use one or more of the seven factors below at the start of any deliberate focusing of attention – from keeping your head in a dull business meeting to contemplative practices such as meditation or prayer – and then let them move to the background as you shift into whatever the activity is.

You can also draw upon one or more during the activity if your attention is flagging. They are listed in an order that makes sense to me, but you can vary the sequence. (There’s more information about attention, mindfulness, concentration, and contemplative absorption inBuddha’s Brain.)

7 Things To Help Keep Focus:

1.  Set the intention to sustain your attention, to be mindful. You can do this both top-down, by giving yourself a gentle instruction to be attentive, and bottom-up, by opening to the sense in your body of what mindfulness feels like.

2.  Relax. Use Conscious Breathing. For example, take several exhalations that are twice as long as your inhalations. This stimulates the calming, centering parasympathetic nervous system and settles down the fight-or-flight stress-response sympathetic nervous system that jiggles the spotlight of attention this way and that, looking for carrots and sticks.

3.  Without straining at it, think of things that help you feel cared about – that you matter to someone, that you belong in a relationship or group, that you are seen and appreciated, or even cherished and loved. It’s OK if the relationship isn’t perfect, or that you bring to mind people from the past, or pets, or spiritual beings. You could also get a sense of your own goodwill for others, your own compassion, kindness, and love. Warming up the heart in this way helps you feel protected, and it brings a rewarding juiciness to the moment – which support #4 and #5 below.

4.  Think of things that help you feel safer, and thus more able to rest attention on your activities, rather than vigilantly scanning. Notice that you are likely in a relatively safe setting, with resources inside you to cope with whatever life brings. Let go of any unreasonable anxiety, any unnecessary guarding or bracing.

5.  Gently encourage some positive feelings, even mild or subtle ones. For example, think of something you feel glad about or grateful for; go-to’s for me include my kids, Yosemite, and just being alive. Open as you can to an underlying sense of well-being that may nonetheless contain some struggles or pain. The sense of pleasure or reward in positive emotions increases the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which closes a kind of gate in the neural substrates of working memory, thus keeping out any “barbarians,” any invasive distractions.

6.  Get a sense of the body as a whole, its many sensations appearing together each moment in the boundless space of awareness. This sense of things as a unified gestalt, perceived within a large and panoramic perspective, activates networks on the sides of the brain (especially the right – for right-handed people) that support sustained mindfulness. And it de-activates the networks along the midline of the brain that we use when we’re lost in thought.

7.  For 10-20-30 seconds in a row, stay with whatever positive experiences you’re having or lessons you’re learning. Since “neurons that fire together, wire together,” this savoring and registering helps weave the fruits of your attentive efforts into the fabric of your brain and your self. [You change.]

by

Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
25 Mitchell Blvd.
San Rafael, California 94903

Used With Permission

My latest book is adapted from this newsletter and is titled Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. In the book, I present 52 of my favorite practices – simple actions inside your mind – to light up the neural networks of deep well-being and resilience.

Just One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time

by Rick Hanson by New Harbinger Publications
Paperback

List Price: $15.95
Our Price: $9.62

Buy Now

RICHARD TAYLOR’S FAVORITE BOOKS, DVDS ON: REWIRE YOUR BRAIN, MEDITATION, MINDFULNESS, PATHS TO SELF IMPROVEMENT, BRAIN SCIENCE, BRAIN NEUROPLASICITY

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE & ANGER MANAGEMENT go hand in hand.
First Step: Self Awareness
Second Step: Self Control
Third Step: Social Intelligence & Awareness
Fourth Step: Relationship Management

FOCUS – Using Mindful Attention To What We Are Doing is key to rewire the brain
to become more (slower) responsive then caveman fight, flight, freeze instant reactivity.

My Suggestion:

1. Stop Multi-Tasking when you can.

2. Turn off TV and Radio when you can. Embrace silence.

3. Silence allows us to hear our inner brain (ego) chatter.

4. Catch Negative thoughts. Change them to Positive thoughts. Click -> Change the channel! Called: 3 C’s -> Catch It. Check It. Change It.

5. Linger 10-20-30 seconds on these positive thoughts or experiences to rewire the brain.

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Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management 
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

Linked in:http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardtayloraam

A Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence