simplyenjoy


Life to the fullest.

wpid-20131030_214253.jpgI’m not sure what it really is I want to write tonight… so I’ll just start typing… it’s been a while…

I’ve been distanced from my blog for a few weeks, wrapped up with work issues and the busyness of life. I’ve had an unexpected lull in work, the reasons for which I’m not going to divulge in this blog entry, but those closest to me will recognize the trials I allude to.

Sometimes it is very difficult to be different – to take a stand for what is right and to go against the grain. It is very much what I have been up against this month and I’ve been asking God why when I know that my heart is in the right place. More than that, I’ve been praying for the strength and wisdom to walk the right way and seek God in this confusion and to be the best me I can be. Sometimes, and especially this month, my “me” just hasn’t felt good enough for the status quo.

However, the question of why it’s happening is naive and juvenile. I recognize this even as I ask it and I realize that I’m not the only one who has faced opposition when doing the right thing. I’m not the only one who has suffered or hurt for telling the truth.

It’s difficult to tell the truth when it’s not what people want to hear. It’s also difficult to hear the truth and take it in when a person tells you. Both take courage.

But even in this trial I have sensed God with me. I am so grateful for some great coworkers, friends and family who know my character and know who I really am. I’m not perfect and I make mistakes all the time, but I’m trying…

I guess, what I want this blog post to be about is that you never know what someone is going through in their life. You can’t assume you know why they are acting in a certain way unless you ask and unless you inquire. I’m taking my current circumstances as stepping stones to a deeper life with Jesus and a growing experience. I know He has me right where I’m supposed to be. I know He is at work in my heart and in this situation. His love is so wide and so high and so deep. I’m taking the blind trust-fall backwards into His arms. Only he knows the outcome.

      Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
      submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Walking by faith and not by sight is not always so simple

Beyond this trial, I see that my life is so full and my joy still over-flows because of God’s grace. I have so much to be grateful for and I want to be in a position where I can continue to serve others through my gifts of encouragement, writing and caring.

Trust fall… go…

It takes courage to listen… it takes courage to speak… sometimes, it feels like a mighty act of courage just to take one baby step forward.

If you need courage today, I hope this encouraged you and I pray you take refuge in God for greater peace. God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom  to know the difference. Amen.

 

John 10:9-11

9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.



12 Things

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6296/12-Things-Successful-People-Do-Differently.html



Simple List: Common Cognitive Distortions

In Practice

Putting social psychology to work for you
by Alice Boyes, Ph.D.
A giant list of ubiquitous cognitive distortions.
Published on January 17, 2013 by Alice Boyes, Ph.D. in In Practice
Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Distortions

Becoming mindful of these common cognitive distortions will help you understand yourself and other people better, and improve your decision making.

1. Personalizing.

Taking something personally that may not be personal. Seeing events as consequences of your actions when there are other possibilities. For example, believing someone’s brusque tone must be because they’re irritated with you. (Tips for not personalizing.)

2. Mind-readingGuessing what someone else is thinking, when they may not be thinking that.

3. Negative predictions.

Overestimating the likelihood that an action will have a negative outcome.

4. Underestimating coping ability.

Underestimating your ability cope with negative events.

5. Catastrophizing.

Thinking of unpleasant events as catastrophes.

6. Biased attention toward signs of social rejection, and lack of attention to signs of social acceptance.

For example, during social interactions, paying attention to someone yawning but not paying the same degree of attention to other cues that suggest they are interested in what you’re saying (such as them leaning in).

7. Negatively biased recall of social encounters.

Remembering negatives from a social situation and not remembering positives. For example, remembering losing your place for a few seconds while giving a talk but not remembering the huge clap you got at the end.

8. Thinking an absence of effusiveness means something is wrong.

Believing an absence of a smiley-face in an email means someone is mad at you. Or, interpreting “You did a good job” as negative if you were expecting “You did a great job.”

9. Unrelenting standards.

The belief that achieving unrelentingly high standards is necessary to avoid a catastrophe. For example, the belief that making any mistakes will lead to your colleagues thinking you’re useless.

10. Entitlement beliefs.

Believing the same rules that apply to others should not apply to you. For example, believing you shouldn’t need to do an internship even if that is the normal path to employment in your industry.

11. Justification and moral licensing.

For example, I’ve made progress toward my goal and therefore it’s ok if I act in a way that is inconsistent with it.

12. Belief in a just world.

For example, believing that poor people must deserve to be poor.

13. Seeing a situation only from your own perspective.

For example, failing to look at a topic of relationship tension from your partner’s perspective.

14. Belief that self-criticism is an effective way to motivate yourself toward better future behavior.

It’s not.

15. Recognizing feelings as causes of behavior, but not equally attending to how behavior influences thoughts and feelings.

For example, you think “When I have more energy, I’ll exercise” but not “Exercising will give me more energy.”

16. All or nothing thinking.

e.g., “If I don’t always get As, I’m a complete failure.”

17. Shoulds and musts.

For example, “I should always give 100%.” Sometimes there are no important benefits of doing a task beyond a basic acceptable level.

18. Using feelings as the basis of a judgment, when the objective evidence does not support your feelings.

e.g., “I don’t feel clean, even though I’ve washed my hands three times. Therefore I should wash my again.” (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder example).

19. Basing future decisions on “sunk costs.”

e.g., investing more money in a business that is losing money because you’ve invested so much already.

http://www.30traveler.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/sunset-punakaiki.jpg

20. Delusions.

Holding a fixed, false belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For example, believing global warming doesn’t exist. Or, believing you’re overweight when you’re 85lbs.

21. Assuming your current feelings will stay the same in the future.

For example, “I feel unable to cope today, and therefore I will feel unable to cope tomorrow.”

22. Cognitive labeling.

For example, mentally labeling your sister’s boyfriend as a “loser” and not being open to subsequent evidence suggesting he isn’t a loser.

23. The Halo Effect.

For example, perceiving high calories foods as lower in calories if they’re accompanied by a salad.

24. Minimizing.

e.g., “Yes I won an important award but that still doesn’t really mean I’m accomplished in my field.”

25. Magnifying (Cognitively Exaggerating).

For example, blowing your own mistakes and flaws out of proportion and perceiving them as more significant than they are.

Making a mountain out of a molehill, but not quite to the same extent as catastrophizing.

26. Cognitive conformity.

Seeing things the way people around you view them. Research has shown that this often happens at an unconscious level. See the Asch experiment. (video)

27. Overgeneralizing

Generalizing a belief that may have validity in some situations (such as “If you want something done well, you should do it yourself.”) to every situation. This is a type of lack of psychological flexibility.

28. Blaming others.

29. Falling victim to the “Foot in the Door” technique.

When someone makes a small request to get a “Yes” answer, then follows up with a bigger request, people are more likely to agree to the big request than if only that request had been made.

30. Falling victim to the “Door in the Face” technique.

When someone makes an outlandish request first, then makes a smaller request, the initial outlandish request makes the smaller request seem more reasonable.

31. Focusing on the amount saved rather than the amount spent.

e.g, Focusing on the amount of a discount rather than on whether you’d buy the item that day at the sale price if it wasn’t listed as on sale.

32. Overvaluing things because they’re yours.

e.g., perceiving your baby as more attractive or smart than they really are because they’re yours.

Or, overestimating the value of your home when you put it on the market for sale because you overestimate the added value of renovations you’ve made.

33. Failure to consider alternative explanations.

Coming up with one explanation for why something has happened/happens and failing to consider alternative, more likely explanations.

34. The Self-Serving Bias The self-serving bias is people’s tendency to attribute positive events to their own character but attribute negative events to external factors. (Tips for overcoming the self-serving bias.)

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Distortions

35. Attributing strangers’ behavior to their character and not considering situational/contextual factors. 36. Failure to consider opportunity cost.

For example, spending an hour doing a low ROI task and thinking “it’s only an hour” and not considering the lost potential of spending that hour doing a high ROI task.

37. Assumed similarity.

The tendency to assume other people hold similar attitudes to your own.

38. In-group bias.

The tendency to trust and value people who are like you, or who are in your circle, more than people from different backgrounds.

39. “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Getting external feedback can help you become aware of things you didn’t even know that you didn’t know!

40. The tendency to underestimate how long tasks will take.

41. The belief that worry and overthinking will lead to problem solving insights.

In fact, overthinking tends to impair problem solving ability and leads to avoidance coping.

42. Biased implicit attitudes. Psychologists use a test called the implicit association test to measure attitudes that people subconsciously hold. Results show people subconsciously associate fat with lazy etc.

It’s useful to be mindful that you may subsciously hold biased attitudes, then you can consciously correct for them.

43. The Peak-End Rule.

The tendency to most strongly remember (1) how you felt at the end of an experience, and (2) how you felt at the moment of peak emotional intensity during the experience. Biasedmemories can lead to biased future decision making.

44. The tendency to prefer familiar things.

Familiarity breeds liking, which is part of why people are brand loyal and may pay inflated prices for familiar brands vs. switching.

45. The belief you can multi-task.When you’re multi-tasking you’re actually task (and attention) shifting. Trying to focus on more than one goal at a time is self-sabotage.

46. Failure to recognize the cognitive benefits of restorative activitIes and activities that increase positive emotions.

For example, seeing humor or breaks as a waste of time.

47. Positively biased predictions.

For example, expecting that if you sign up to a one year gym membership you will go, if this hasn’t been the case in the past.

48. Cheating on your goals based on positive behaviors you plan to do later.

For example, overeating today if you expect you’ll be starting a diet next week. Often the planned positive behaviors don’t happen.

49. Repeating the same behavior and expecting different results (or thinking that doubling-down on a failed strategy will start to produce positive results). 

For example, expecting that if you nag more, your partner will change.

50. “I can’t change my behavior.” (or “I can’t change my thinking style.”)

Instead of telling yourself “I can’t,” try asking yourself how you could shift your behavior (or thinking style) by 5%.

How to Become Mindful of Your Cognitive Distortions?

Try printing this article and highlighting the cognitive distortions you think apply to you. I suggest you then pick one cognitive distortion at a time and keep a running list for a week of how that cognitive distortion manifests in your life.

Dr Alice Boyes

Subscribe to Dr Alice Boyes’s articles



TGIF (The Goal is FOrWARD.)

This is one of the most empowering and up-lifting tunes! Perfect Friday song.

Ain’t no other direction to go except forward.

Get rid of emotional hindrances…

self-pity

shame

depression

being thin-skinned

easily offended

unforgiving.

We may feel these things from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we have to believe these things.

Today I simply choose peace.

I choose life!

I choose to move forward.

What can you leave behind today?

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends,

let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit,

perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

2 Corinthians 7:1

 



Healing and connection.

As I love myself,

forgive myself

and allow myself to surrender healing to God,

I unconsciously grant other people

permission to do the same.

A person can never heal

all by themselves.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

Secluded.

Alone.

Crouching in the shadows.

No man is an island.

When we tell our story, we share our story.

And it can resonate – or not.

Our job is not to heal.

Our job is to share

and

surrender

to love.

(Courtesy of Google images.)

 

A wicked messenger
falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy
brings healing.
Proverbs 13:17



Just for today…

Just for today, I will choose to let go of the negative people, events and circumstances in my life that I cannot control or change.

Just for today, I will thank God for my blessings and continue to ask him to light my way according to His will.

Just for today, I will breathe in and be grateful for the life that I have been given.

Just for today, I will greet all with a smile and do my best with the talents I’ve been given.

Just for today, I will nourish myself with exercise and wholesome food, thanking God for the vessel He has given me.

Just for today, I will listen without judgement and answer with kindness to those who would seek counsel.

Just for today, I will accept who I am, where I am and that the God of the universe loves me unconditionally.

(All images courtesy of Google images.)

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations

of life that no man can sincerely try

to help another without helping himself.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson –

 



Refresh & Renew: Simple tips for Burn Out.

In behavioral health speak, we call the tips used to deal with tough life circumstances or fleeting emotional spikes in mood “coping skills.”

What are some coping skills you use to deal with difficult moments? What do you do to refresh the hum-drum, routine buzz of life?

Do you find yourself getting jaded, bored or burnt out in your daily activities?

These feelings can lead to complacency, which can lead to apathy and poor health.

Some typical coping skills written into behavioral support plans of clients are:

1. Find a place for quiet time. Take a few minutes away from social activity.

2. Count to ten or recite an encouraging affirmation out-loud, “This, too, shall pass.”

3. Take a deep breath.

4. Take a break and go for a walk.

Without ways to continually refresh our minds and cleanse our perspectives, we’re in danger of walking around everyday carrying yesterday’s garbage. A few of my new coworkers tease me because I entered into my new job with one of the most envied schedules – Fridays and Saturdays off. I remind them I have another part-time job I work Tuesdays and Fridays, so I don’t really consider them my “days off.”

“I remember when I used to do that,” said my previously retired coworker who now works part-time. “Now I’m just jaded.”

He said this with a laugh and I know he’s only halfway serious, but still, becoming jaded is so easy. Yes, I may be young, but no matter your age, if you don’t have a good process of coping with stress, then apathy and burn-out seem an all too daunting potentiality. I have felt jaded more than once.

“You’ve got to keep it moving,” I tell him with a laugh. “In with the good and out with the bad… every day!”

I say this in all seriousness, but I know I often so quickly forget to let go at the end of the day.

I think of a river compared to a pond. A river is constantly flowing and self-cleansing. A pond sits stagnant and quickly gathers a layer of muck.

So I take to metaphors and visualizations (coping skills!) to deal with the onslaught of stress from the outside world.

The latest one is my duck metaphor. You’re a duck and the stresses of life are the water around you, let them roll off your intelligently-designed water-resistant feathers.

“A bullet can’t roll off your feathers,” my husband tells me.

“Why thank you for blowing holes in that theory!” I think. (Pun intended.)

I know he says it in love, however dark his humor is.

Because you know what? Life will bring troubles. And we’re not immune to them all. Fancy shmancy therapy talk doesn’t fix everything. That is why we call them “coping skills” and not “fixing skills.” That’s where radical acceptance and commitment come in. When we lean into our pain and embrace the reality that we will have troubles, that in itself takes away the power of the pain over us.

The Bible teaches us not to conform to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

We don’t have to choose lethargy, apathy and complacency when such refreshing alternatives are offered to us because of the love of God.

Text graphic from Ministries of Truth for Women



True thankfulness.

“True thankfulness is no other than the exercise

of love to God on occasion of his goodness to us.”

– Jonathan Edwards –

Sometimes what stands in the way

of a good day and a great day

or a bad mood and a better mood

is just a simple

prayer of thankfulness.

Just saying thank you and cultivating a sense of gratitude for your blessings increases your positive feelings and positively changes your brain and body.

Make a list.

Keep a journal.

Take mental notes!

We may face problems, obstacles and challenges in life, but there is always something GOOD to be THANKFUL for!

Happy Friday 🙂



Products of environment.

It is a great deal

better to live a holy life

than to talk about it.

Lighthouses do not ring bells

and fire cannons to call attention

to their shining –

they just shine.

– Dwight L. Moody –

Pigeon Point lighthouse

Photo by Ian Chamberlain via Environmentalgraffiti.com

Our first teachers in life are the adults around us. We learn by example. We watch how they behave, how they treat us and how they treat each other.

Still, as adults, we’re strongly influenced by the people around us.

We are a product of our environments.

Unless you are a robot or totally emotionally impenetrable, the fact is, we are influenced by the people around us. Just try to sit at a table with a group of people, place a basket full of hot rolls and butter in the center of the group and see what happens.

When we strive for positive change, taking an inventory of our environment, our relationships and our daily interactions with others is key.

This week, in an effort to gain greater self-discipline, I began a kickboxing class at a local martial arts school. I’ve been to two classes so far and am feeling muscles that have been long inactive.

To say I was intimidated to begin this class is an understatement. I walked in to find this powerhouse of a woman (maybe about 5’2″ and 125 pounds soaking wet) throwing fast jabs and hook punches at our teacher’s gloves. She sidestepped around him swiftly, releasing a powerful cry with each punch. This was not soothing restorative yoga practice. This was tough, gritty, dig-deep exertion.

Some beliefs from the school’s “Student Creed” that mirror the principles of behavioral science:

1. I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth or my physical health.

2. I will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.

3. I will use what I learn in class constructively and defensively to help myself and others, and never to be abusive or offensive.

4. We are a Black Belt School: We are motivated. We are dedicated. We are on a quest to be our best. Asa!

This student creed, along with a list of other Black Belt principles; Modesty, Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit, are repeated out loud after and during every class, reinforcing the mission of the school.

“How do we lead?” the teacher asks.

“By example!” the students cry back in unison.

1 Corinthians 33-34

“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. 

Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning;

for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.”

 



An “Inner Peace” Award.

The SimplyEnjoy blog was acknowledged with this lovely WordPress award through Ajaytao 2010, who shares inspiring messages, quotes and photos daily, reminding us to appreciate the beauty and diversity in life. Thank you so much, again, for this lovely nod my way, Ajaytao 2010!

I’m going to pass this award on, as is the custom when it is received by one blogger from another.

So if you enjoy seeing the content of my page, I encourage you to check out the following three blogs that I am going to nominate. They have all frequented my page in the last month and I am so enjoying their fresh, truthful and important content.

1. God, Bipolar, Hope Sande writes about the diagnosis of bipolar disorder with lovely honesty and is writing from a Christian perspective of healing and sharing.

2. http://bryanasands.wordpress.com/ Everyone Loves Sex: So Why Wait? A blog devoted to the subject of sexuality and faithfulness. A great blossoming blog and worth a read, especially if you have children or are struggling in this area of your life.

3. The Journey  “WE ARE ALL ON A JOURNEY BUT WE DON’T ALL HAVE TO JOURNEY ALONE. THIS IS THE REAL. AUTHENTIC. TRANSPARENT. JOURNEY OF A WIFE AND MOTHER LEARNING TO LET GO AND LET GOD LEAD THE WAY.”

I hope you all take a peak at these really great blogs and have a beautiful day!

“The man who radiates good cheer,

who makes life happier wherever he meets it,

is always a man of vision and faith.”

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox –




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