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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Constructive? Worrying! Part one


A lot of the worrying that people do is not constructive; it is destructive.  Here are some tips to help you worry better.  One problem many people have is that they don’t schedule their worrying.  There are two ways to do that.  One is set aside a time period during the day when you basically are going to do all your worrying.  Let’s say twenty minutes every evening before bed or when you first get home from work before you start to do anything.  Keep a small notebook or notepad (even a used envelope) and when your worries pop up during the day write them down so you can remember them to worry about them later.  Remember no worrying any other time just when it is scheduled.  Keeping a worry list makes sure that you don’t forget about something very important.

Another thing you can do is have a time table for when you are going to worry about what.  This is useful in school, it is useful in business, and useful in running a house.  Many things have deadlines by which time they have to be done.   I often put off off worrying about some things until sometime in the future because there usually are other things that are more important to be done now.  This is true for me about taxes.  Since I won’t have all the information that I need until the year is over and necessary tax papers are sent out in January, I gear up for taxes after the Christmas rush is over.  Yes, I am careful to put necessary receipts and other papers in a safe place where I can find them when I need them later.  But for me, the time when I am working on my Christmas card list or getting the Christmas tree up is not tax time.  I also wait and schedule my tax appointment in the new year early enough so I can get one not too early and not too late.  Either way it would put extra pressure on me.  An early appointment means I have to get my tax stuff together sooner than I would like and later would mean I would be doing stuff at the last minute.


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Assertiveness versus Aggressiveness

How can you get a point across and not attack the person to whom you are directing the statement?  If you believe that a person has a right to their own opinion (at least in most cases especially the ones that don’t involve life or death issues), you can accept what they say and their right to say it and then give your point of view on the subject.  For example, I might say, ” I can see how you might feel that what I did was unfair but I felt….”  Most arguments are an attempt to “win” over another person to your point of view or your way of doing things.    You usually can’t change another person’s mind by threatening them.  If it is a “winner – loser” type of argument and only one person holds the power to decide the outcome, the other person may concede but they often won’t be convinced.  It can lead to passive aggression.  See previous post, “Got Ya.”  For example, when I am discussing differences of opinion with another person, I only hope that they will listen to me and I will listen to them with an open mind and each of us will learn something new whether it changes either of our minds or not.

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Me? Forgive You?

Miracle of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a process undertaken by the person who has been “wronged.”  It may stop or stall anywhere along the way.  In most cases, the person being forgiven has little or no say about it.  The person who has the power to forgive is the victim and the person who benefits from the act of forgiving is  also really the victim.  Forgiveness releases energy for the victim which was being consumed by the anger, often even the hate, felt toward the perpetrator.  Grief is also often part of the sequence of events involved in forgiving someone; because something or someone is usually lost.  Grieving takes time and is said to have five stages which are not necessarily gone through sequentially and any stage may be gone through more than once. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  Some people say that they can forgive, but they can’t forget what was lost.  Holding on to and reliving the memory in a sense is giving the perpetrator another chance to hurt you.  True healing is not accomplished in most cases unless forgiveness is given.  This is one of the hardest things to do.; but it signals the end of the healing process.

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The Power of Hypnosis

Hypnosis teaches that the mind can do things while in a hypnotic trance that we think it “can’t” do when not in a trance.  Time can be expanded or condensed.  Things that normally take one amount of  time can be experienced  as slowed down like they are in slow motion or as speeded up.  Material (which ordinarily would take hours to relive in real time) can be  completely remembered in a short amount of time during hypnosis.  Hypnosis enhances memory and aids recall.  It is used when a person can not remember something they experienced or if they can remember it, they can’t do so in great detail.  It enhances a remembered experience so that it feels like it is happening right in the moment.   Sensory experiences also can be intensified when doing this.  I was hypnotized by a trained, experienced hypnotist.  While under hypnosis, I remembered a party I had attended a couple of days earlier in great, vivid detail.  I could “see” the food that was served and how it was presented and also I could “see” and remember all  the people that were there.  I also could have answered detailed questions about it which I could not have done had I not been hypnotized.

The person being hypnotized can perceive things and do things that they could not do in a waking state.  An exception to this is when a hypnotized person is given a post hypnotic suggestion.  This  occurs when a person is told they will have a certain experience or do something after they come out of trance. They are also told when they will do this after the trance is over.  For example the hypnotist might say a certain word after the trance. The person then does what has been suggested and is usually surprised by his or her behavior; because this is usually done with the suggestion that the person will have amnesia for the command. These things include anesthesia, altered perceptions, and increased or a new ability to do something like public speaking. Redness and blisters can appear if a hypnotized person is told to touch something he thinks is hot but it is only a hypnotic suggestion and the thing is not actually hot. Wouldn’t it be amazing if people could learn how to do these things without being in a trance to do them.

English: VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 16, 2007) -...



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Do It Yourself

Ideas about how the world works and how you can successfully function in it come about through your experiences with the world and what you have learned about it from others.  Although it can be painful and scarey to do this, thinking for yourself is the method of choice in determining what works for you.  Young people are susceptible to cults because they are seeking answers to life’s questions and cults provide them.  It seems in life that it is easier to accept someone else’s point of view especially when they seem to be very convincing because they are so sure that their answers to life’s questions are the right ones.

Life is a process and the answers that one has at one point in life might not work at another point in life.  This leads to a person having anxiety because they were initially sure that they had the right answers about life and then they find that they don’t work as well at another point in life for understanding life and making decisions about it .  Good decisions are often a do it yourself project and people benefit from being taught how to make them instead of always having it done for them.   Children should become more and more independent as they grow up unless they have a mental handicap and even then the goal of helping these special children is still that of helping them to be as independent as they are capable of being in life..


Got Ya!

Have you ever felt that there was something slightly wrong with something someone did for you?  It could be a form of passive aggression which is a way of indirectly expressing something or doing something the other person wouldn’t like without being held accountable.  They might even say about the behavior that they were only trying to help you.  Yet you sense that their motives are less than pure.  You wind up unhappy in the relationship and when you call them on it, they act misunderstood and sometimes even offended.

Once when I was in a relationship that was falling apart, my partner was still handling the bill payments for both of us and obligated me for a repair contract on an appliance that I was taking with me, but which I felt that I didn’t need and which would cost money that I couldn’t afford to spare when paying my bills on my own without my partner’s income  He didn’t ask me what I wanted in this situation and I found out about it indirectly when I was looking at some paperwork.  I confronted him about this. Of course, he felt that he was only doing me a favor.  What I found overall in the relationship was that his tendency to frequently resort to passive aggressive behavior was one of the reasons I left the relationship.  There are other forms of passive aggressive behavior and the one most given as an example is agreeing to do something and then messing it up,  My partner agreed to do the bill paying; but I was not happy with the way he was doing it.


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gunny sack

gunny sack (Photo credit: chuck_heston)

In case you don’t know what a gunnysack is, it is an old fashioned name for a rough woven burlap bag used to hold  things like large amounts of potatoes.  Gunnysacking is a term for what people do when they feel they have unthinkingly been hurt by someone and they collect these slights in their imaginary gunnysack until they are ready to dump them on the person who they think is responsible for the making these slights.

An important part of this activity is that the person who gets dumped on generally is not aware of what they have done so they can also be labeled as insensitive by the gunnysacker.  Also it is important to note that the person keeping track of these unacknowledged hurts does not initially speak up about them.  What is behind this is that he or she feels that the person involved knows that they are taking advantage of them and continues to accept their help selfishly instead of being considerate and letting them off the hook.

Having had a particular gunnysack dumped on me one time made a very strong impression on me.  As a result, I became very cautious about having someone do something for me no matter how nicely they offered.  I felt that I would rather do something by myself than have someone think that I took advantage of them and not find out until later.  In a sense, I, like the person who held these things  against me in the past, was not being  totally honest when I said I didn’t need help.

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Difficulties with Paying Attention

Excuse me, when I wrote about a three step process for learning to control feelings and impulsive behaviors in my earlier post, Supersonic Feelings, I did not discuss how difficult this was to do without the help of a therapist doing this work.  Also self-control which can be assumed to be very useful in doing this is not fully developed until early adulthood in most people and never developed or only partially developed in others, a number of which could be diagnosed as having AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)

Adolescents’ brains are not fully mature until late adolescence or young adulthood and as one result, they have difficulty delaying gratification and often impulsively seek immediate rewards rather than controlling themselves in favor of a long-term goal with future greater rewards and  thus avoiding some life changing consequences.  Possibly because of this, setting ages as young as 16, 18, and even 21 as the ages at which a teenager or young adult can handle certain responsibilities might not be a good idea.  Also if teens as young as this are making these sometimes life changing decisions, they should be better educated as to what these decisions entail and the long-term consequences.

Adults as well as children with AD/HD are often easily distracted and have problems focusing their attention on things or activities more than other people.  Disorganization and restlessness are two other common symptoms of this disorder.  Impulsivity can also be a problem for people like this. Medication and psychotherapy are recommended  forms of treatment.


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Everyone needs some continuity in their life.  Some become famous or well known in a certain area of work or study.  Their knowledge or work  lives on for them after they have gone.  For some, their sense of continuity involves their heritage, their ancestry.   For others it is  in the memories of their family and friends that they leave behind.  Others count lives touched by their charity as their memorial.  Possessions including property owned represents a memorial marking by their existence that this person lived and will be remembered as being associated with these things or this property.

Developing an idea, a work of art, any other form of memorial such as great relationships they have had with other people, sometimes feels like it is not enough.  For example, after someone has written the great novel that makes the best seller list, what next?  Some people keep going after things, accomplishments, or relationships.  For some people, the last thing they did is never enough.  It is important to note that people who find their feelings of accomplishment in the path to the goal versus in the achievement of the goal more often find satisfaction in life.

A good goal in life is often one that can not easily be reached, it is a goal that changes over time as the person whose goal it is learns that the more experience, the more learning one achieves, the more the goal changes and remains ever challenging.  We are here (some people say) to learn; but some people as they get older and see no future for themselves become less and less involved with new and challenging things.  They say, “What’s the use?”  There are those who wish their followers (this would be for a leader in some group) or their children would pick up the ball and follow through for them. There are also those who follow a spiritual path usually one that stresses spiritual growth and an afterlife in which the soul, spirit, or the person will be able to use this knowledge and the skills that have been learned.




goal (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

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Supersonic Feelings

Feelings (David Byrne album)

Feelings can appear with supersonic speed.  Why?  It originally happened probably because for safety reasons people had to react quickly, without hesitation,  in certain situations.  When someone is in immediate danger there literally may not be time to think it through before reacting without dying as a result.  Also feelings automatically in these cases arouse the person and release  energy so that the person can flee the danger or fight the enemy.  A person might say that because of this he or she can’t change his or her behavior; but it can be done.

It is easy  to say then  that a person couldn’t help his or herself from feeling and then reacting without thinking  in the above situations.   A person  can change the way he or she reacts by noticing when he or she does this.  At first the recognition is after the fact.   Saying to him or herself  “”There I did it again,” after an  incident of road rage is over, for example; is such a recognition.  The next step is for the person to catch his or her self in the act of reacting.  For example, ”There I go again flying off the handle and getting myself in trouble.”   Then a person reaches the last step where he or she is aware before they do something that they are getting into a situation where they have gotten upset and reacted impetuously in the past and stop themselves.

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