A 3-Step Process
Can you guess what the worst thing is to say to someone who's angry?
Unfortunately, that is everyone's first instinct and often is exactly what is said. The intention is good. You know that if the angry person can calm down, then it's possible to talk about the issue at hand and maybe resolve it. The problem is that when you say "calm down", it just makes them angrier.
Correcting Cognitive Distortions
If you have ever sought out counseling, or been around people in the mental health field, you've likely heard of Cognitive Therapy. If not, no worries. It's not necessary to know about it to grasp the subject of this blog entry. In general, cognitive therapy focuses on people's thoughts, and how thoughts and thought processes influence their emotions and sense of what's real. Actually, the whole subject of thoughts is quite popular today and there is a lot of self-help literature out there that talks about how our thoughts interact with what happens to us, how we perceive things, and how we feel. It's a big subject, but for today, I want to talk about something called "cognitive distortion." It's a simple idea, and understanding it can help you correct thought patterns and tendencies that don't service you well.
How to Deal with the Blahs
There is an ebb and flow to life. Everyday is not the same, and no one feels exactly the same all the time. On some days, you have a lot more energy and creativity, things seem to flow, and the general feeling is one of sailing through a green light. Then there are the red light days. We all hate those days. Energy is low, mood is blah, everything seems difficult to do, the level of frustration is high, and going back to bed and sleeping until the next day sounds like a good idea.
An Easy Trick to Avoid and Reduce Stress
When I leave for my office, it usually takes me about 20 minutes to drive there. If I have an appointment scheduled, I like to be on time, so I allow the 20 minutes. The real truth, however, is that 20 minutes is cutting it close and only works if there are no traffic glitches on my driving route. In fact, if there is heavy traffic, a lot of red lights, an active school zone, slow drivers, rain, or anything out of the ordinary, I will be late if I only allow myself 20 minutes.