conquering fear

A third-wave of cognitive-behavioral therapy … holds that simply observing your critical thoughts without judging them is a more effective way to tame them than pressuring yourself to change or denying their validity. …

“Part of what mindfulness does is get to you to recognize that these critical thoughts are really stories you have created about yourself. They are not necessarily true, but they can have self-fulfilling consequences, … If you can get some distance from them, you can see that there are choices about how to respond.” …

Neuro-imaging studies have shown that when people consider problems mindfully, they use additional brain circuits beyond those that simply involve problem-solving. …

“What happens in mindfulness over the long haul is that you finally accept that you’ve seen this soap opera before and you can turn off the TV.”

Conquering Fear: Wall Street Journal

monsters in your mind

Psychiatrist Dr Daniel Amen has spent a lifetime studying how thoughts influence our appearance, energy and diet success.

His studies have revealed that by ­flipping negative thoughts to positive, we can ­transform our lives for the better.

… the ANT (Automatic Negative Thought), which he describes as “the ­little voices that pop into your head and tell you you’re not good enough, not thin enough, a rubbish daughter, mother, worker.” A few ANTS, he says, can be managed. But he warns to watch out for ANT ­infestations — when thousands of ­negative thoughts start to take over.

The answer, he says, lies in simple ANT-eater techniques that stop the bugs in their tracks, ensuring they never return. “Your brain is a powerful organ,” he says. “If you see yourself as fat, old, wrinkled or forgetful, you boost production of the stress hormone which affects your health, your weight and your mind.

“Negative thoughts can make negative things happen. In the never-ending ­battles, redemption lies in building your own arsenal of ANT-eater solutions. Develop an ANT-eater in your brain that can eat up all the negative thoughts that come into your head.”

Louis Atkinson, DailyMail.co.uk

today you … tomorrow me

So [summary] a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow…

But we aren’t done yet. I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am starving at this point and what do I find inside? My fucking $20 bill! [That he had tried to give them earlier, and had slipped to the wife.] I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy rolls his window down. He sees the $20 in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won’t take it. All I can think to say is “Por Favor, Por Favor, Por Favor” with my hands out. Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:

“Today you…. tomorrow me.”