ATTITUDE RECONSTRUCTION: A BLUEPRINT FOR BUILDING A BETTER LIFE
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Posts Tagged ‘sadness’

Soothing Your Sadness

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Attitude Reconstruction is based on the fact that all of our problems, our bad habits and attitudes, stem back to unexpressed emotions – that is sadness, anger, and fear. To feel more of our other three emotions – joy, love, and peace — we need to acknowledge and express our sadness, anger, and fear naturally, physically, and constructively.

It’s important to realize that our emotions are just pure energy. Look at the word “emotion.” It’s made up of E + motion. Energy in motion. If we move the energy out of our bodies, it passes and calmness and clarity is restored.

Here’s how to deal with the emotion of sadness:

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Feeling heavy and deflated in our bodies and sinking easily into thinking, “I’m not okay” are hallmarks of unexpressed sadness. Sadness comes when experiencing hurts or losses, or because we are entertaining destructive thoughts about ourselves. Hurts and losses include death of a loved one, disparaging remarks, being fired, losing our home, feeling betrayed, or being misunderstood. When we don’t cry enough, our thoughts about ourselves turn negative and we tell ourselves that we are unworthy, need other people to approve of us, need to be and do better, or are small, hopeless, and helpless.

When young children cry, there are no words. They’re expressing their emotions cleanly. They sob. They bawl. And afterwards? They return to their present, happy, curious, loving selves. We need to follow their lead.

Deal with sadness by crying.

To dissolve sadness, you’ve got to cry cleanly. Through the crocodile tears, you must doggedly interrupt negative thoughts or state something like “It’s okay that I feel sad. It’s okay to cry. I’m fine.” Just sob, wail, and let it out. 

If you are crying about specific hurts or losses let the tears flow. However, if you’re just feeling down, it’s crucial to identify exactly what demeaning messages you’re telling yourself about yourself and find some opposing statements that are true to substitute. Repeat your phrases over and over, such as:

  • I am whole and complete.
  • I am alone, and I am connected.
  • Life is for learning. We all make mistakes.
  • I am responsible for what I think, feel, and do.
  • I can do this.

 

By befriending your sadness and tears to fully process hurts and losses, and reminding yourself what’s really true about you, you’ll come to know your real worth, gain more energy, and take more personal responsibility. You feel more joy. You’ll respect yourself more, and hear your intuition – inner knowing – more clearly. Then you can determine what’s needed to communicate in any situation, and speak up and take action on what’s best for you.

 

The Three Bridges

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Seeing and hearing are natural gifts for us. Look at the way animals use their senses to their advantage. They can sense safety, danger, play, and even food! We can use our senses to determine if someone is swept up in sadness, anger, or fear. And then we can confidently know how to best offer help.

IDENTIFY THE EMOTION

With just a little practice, you’ll be able to recognize the emotions underneath other people’s demeanor, words, and actions. Rather than reacting to what they say or do, you can extend a communication “bridge” to help shift their emotional state by offering what they truly long to hear but don’t know how to ask for.                      

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To figure out what emotion is probably going on, ask yourself “Where is their attention focused?”

IF THEY’RE FEELING SAD…

  1. People feeling sadness (but often not crying) are most likely thinking or speaking poorly of themselves. Maybe they are being passive or clingy. They need genuine appreciations. In your interactions with them, convey the idea, “I love you. You’re great.” Remind them of their strengths and contributions.

 

IF THEY’RE FEELING ANGRY…

  1. Folks striking out in anger and spewing “you”s all over the place with blame, negativity, and criticism really just feel isolated and are in desperate need of understanding. They won’t respond well to debates, lectures, or reprimands. The chances they’ll hear what you have to say are slim to none unless you can genuinely connect with them first. You need to sincerely hear them out without taking what they say personally. Focus on what’s going on with them behind their angry words and let the rest go flying by, that is, their “you”s and accusations. Silently repeat or say, “I want to hear what you have to say” and just listen.

 

IF THEY’RE FEELING FEAR…

  1. If someone is overwhelmed, anxious, or freaked out chances are she’s got some unexpressed fear stocked up. She needs honest reassurances. Comfort, soothe, and repeatedly remind her that everything is and will be all right. Other reassuring comments are “We’ll make our way through this together,” “I’m here” or “I’ll take care of it.” Or offer reassurances by reminding her of the objective reality: “Your boss really likes the work you do,” or “You’ve done this successfully before.

 

If you’re unable or unwilling to offer a communication bridge, it’s probably because your own unexpressed emotions are getting in the way. It’s okay. You’re human. To quickly reignite your compassion, take a brief time-out and handle your own emotions or remind yourself of the objective reality. Then you will be able to look within your heart, and if appropriate, extend a bridge.

You’ll deepen your personal relationships when you become adept at recognizing other people’s emotions. You can use this knowledge to communicate in the ways most helpful to them. What an amazing talent you’ll be cultivating. For example, if you know that your husband is quick to anger, you can consciously listen silently and understand his position, especially at times when he is upset or under stress. If a workmate often seems glum or down, you can choose to validate her gifts and skills a little more often.

Four Ways to Stop Obsessing with Attitude Reconstruction

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Do you obsess? One minute it’s the survivors in the Philippines. The next, it’s what you’ll wear tomorrow. How much you weigh. When you can bust out that pressing project with an impending deadline. Why your child’s grades are slipping. What your boyfriend is doing right now.

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Warning! Facebook Can Bring You Down

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Most of us these days are connected to online social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin and use them on a daily basis. But some recent research is suggesting it may not be good for our emotional health!

A new study out of the University of Michigan by social psychologist Ethan Kross and his team, found that college-aged Facebook users ended up feeling worse about themselves after two weeks and their mood throughout the day darkened depending on how much they browsed Facebook. (Study participants rated themselves five times a day for two weeks.)

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How to Process Past Trauma to Enjoy the Present

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During a chat with another marriage and family therapist last week, I was reminded how important it is to address the past emotionally in order to make changes today. For example, a new client came into my office recently. “I’m so angry at my ex-husband for having an affair,” she said. “That’s painful,” I replied. “When did that happen?” Much to my amazement, she said, “Fifteen years ago.”

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Free Communication Class

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Saturday October 19, 2019
Santa Barbara

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Jude Bijou, Author
Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist, educator, author, and speaker.  Meet Jude

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Attitude Reconstruction
2012 Benjamin Franklin Award
Winner in Self-Help
2012 ForeWord Reviews
Winner in Psychology
2012 ForeWord Reviews
Winner in Self-Help
2012 International Book Award
Winner in Health: Psychology/Mental Health
2012 Nautilus Silver Award
Winner in Personal Growth/Self Help/Psychology
2012 LA Festival of Books
Winner in How To

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