Personal Challenge #3
Taking Ownership of my Faulty Beliefs
Now that I have a better idea of what is going on with me and my stress levels and I’m learning to manage better. I am more aware of my Thinking Body every day. I’m growing out of some self-destructive habits that have been embedded in my thought process for a long time. I’m getting more balance between what I’m doing and what I’m thinking.
Again, we want to review. Look at week 2 and its changes.
What self-talk messages have you been able to change?
What situations were you able to respond to differently
because you managed your self-talk?
Did you encounter situations that turned out differently
because you had Planned Ahead and made
time to get things done?
Were you able to use your plan for Preventive Maintenance
and deflect a stressful situation
because you were better prepared?
Identify some positive feelings and behaviors that tell you that
you are making progress toward permanent stress reduction.
Describe your changes in food shopping or diet planning that
came from your awareness of your eating habits?
How differently do you approach your world of sight and sound after meditating on those experiences?
It should be clear that you are making progress in identifying some of those “less than helpful” habits of behavior and thinking and how unexamined Beliefs can lead to increased stress and problems with anger, frustration, fear or even depression.
You now see that it is possible and rewarding to modify those Beliefs and change them from harmful to helpful. “Change my thinking,change my life” is more than a slogan.
Your faulty Beliefs, or what are referred to as thought distortions, have become ingrained in you and are more plentiful than you realized. Its time to break some harmful thinking habits for good!
Despite all efforts at multi-tasking, no one can think about two things at the same time. If feelings follow thinking then I need to make every effort to think with clarity and objectivity. [Segment 5 of PSR will deal entirely with issues of thinking clearly.]
It is also extremely difficult to think clearly when the ThinkingBody is agitated. It is impossible to be relaxed and agitated at the very same time. We will now look at using our power of visualization to create a relaxed thinking state within our ThinkingBody.
Before I practiced increased Awareness, my body often responded to my thought distortions, blindly leading me toward greater and greater stress. I talked myself into more and more agitation because I was convinced I had the right “ideas” and my agitated body/mind was telling me that I was doing what I should do in those situations. In any situation I could be sad, angry, worried, blaming others for my misfortunes, wishfully thinking I would make things right, etc., i.e.not thinking clearly.
Since engaging in Awareness, taking Ownership of my Emotional states and identifying my own Faulty Beliefs, realizing that my whole body engages in this process, I’m able to redirect my usual instantaneous reactions, relax my body and take control of my self-talk and my perceived reality.
It is important to have some handy phrases I can use to stop my self-talk from making my situations worse.
For example: I can tell myself; “I can handle this”.;“ I’ve been here before”; “this really isn’t the end of the world”; etc.
Likewise I need to practice visualizing negative situations, remembering and feeling what they were like before they happen to me again and purposely calming myself down, using deep breathing and muscle relaxation as we have learned.
These activities combine my new skills for Planning Ahead and Preventive Maintenance and help me take ownership of my beliefs and my perceptions.
Life-Work for Personal Challenge #3
- I will continue to challenge my habitual Beliefs because I want to continue to manage my choices and be awake to my options and consequences at all times.
- I will continue to improve my eating and sleeping habits so I may be alert and comfortable facing daily challenges.
- I will continue to monitor my self-talk messages, especially when faced with difficult situations.
- I will practice the new techniques for managing my Thinking Body reactions by spending a ten to twenty minutes each day Visualizing stressful situations and consciously counteracting my usual physical reactions with relaxed mental responses. I can now make myself be at ease in the face of stress.
Meditation Personal Challenge 3
Awakening the Sense of Smell
We often overlook the powerful reminders of simpler times that come with conscious use of our sense of smell. How amazing is to sit quietly and re-create the scents of home tilled gardens and flowers, the aromas of home cooked dinners, freshly baked rolls, spring rains, a lover’s unique perfumes, the open camp fires of summer nights, etc.
Personal Challenge 3 has been a necessary exercise;
“As an exercise of re-awakening my connectedness to my personal history and my perhaps forgotten ability to direct my awareness to things that are beneficial to me, for the next several days I will rejuvenate my sensitivity to smells of all kinds, pleasant and unpleasant. I want to remember comforting experiences and be able to use my sense information to connect to a larger world and not be lured into anger, poor judgements, petty resentments that disrupt my peaceful mindful state of mind.”
End Part III, Personal Challenge 3. PSR – Parts 4 and 5 will post on 6/26/15