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Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How “Mindful” Are you?


mindfulness

Have you noticed the pitfalls of our continuous attention divide? Like that ride to any destination during which you fail to notice how many trees line up on the side? You can ask your friend how they’re doing without actually hearing the distress they hide; and you can read these words oblivious to where inherent messages between the lines reside.

Perhaps to be completely observant of everything all the time is against our human nature. We come equipped with an auto-pilot, luckily, to preserve our mental energy from further labor. Over-reliance on this internal automated-like machine, though, could put us at great danger.

Imagine the overflow of information into your brain each day and how thoughts eventually get jammed in your mind. Are you aware of how such clutter affects all ensuing emotions and how consequently your inner state gets defined?

When was the last time you sat there doing absolutely nothing and just remained still? When did you last attempt to just be all alone with yourself not to watch a movie, or finish a chore, or to get immersed in thought, but to act as an observer, as if from a distance, to the way you’re breathing, to your thoughts that are fleeting, or to the sensations you are feeling?

Perhaps you never attempted doing that before, but being mindful of what’s going on in the moment, and when practiced continuously, has psychological and physiological benefits that you’ll reap enormously.

“A cameraman captures what the regular eye cannot perceive. Why don’t you borrow that irregular lens, once in a while? Put a filter; Zoom in the focus; and examine without judgment what is it that you feel and believe.” ~3Ds

As you become mindful about the moment, remember this: A thought is just a thought. It doesn’t have to be real, nor does it have to define you. Any negative feeling you’re experiencing will ultimately on its own subdue. Other feelings will over-ride it sometimes out of the blue.

Just observe and dismiss any logical interpretation. It is the meaning we give to that we perceive that may spiral negative emotional activation. Just notice; Then let go of it without further contemplation…

During mindful moments, you’re no longer all of you. You become an observer totally accepting and aware of whatever you’re going through.

How about we ask for an upgrade to VIP seats now? We’ll watch the other “you” performing and then bow in awe.

Oh, and is skipping popcorn, this time, something you’d allow? 🙂

Your Personal Coach

Dania

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Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How Optimistic Are you?


optimism

What do you see if you were given the transparent water glass test (with half of it water)? Would you see the glass as half full, or half empty? Half filled with water and half filled with air? Would you suggest that the glass is twice as big as it should be? Or is it that you express being grateful you have a glass to start with and dismiss appraise? Are you at all a realist who describes it both ways?

To many psychologists, you’re said to be more of an optimist, or a pessimist depending on your answer for such a pop quiz. I wonder what your first spontaneous response is. Perhaps, at different moments, your mood will color what you say, but in general, we can train ourselves to have a default mode in responding to circumstances in certain ways. To be an optimist, you need to practice it, so they say.

At times, it requires tremendous effort to remain optimistic when tough times extend, don’t you think? Even the toughest people have their weak moments during which positivity wouldn’t easily blend with the negativity to dilute it, or even make it shrink. Unless you’re well trained, “tolerance” levels exert their toll and play a negative role on your soul.

At other times, when one forces optimism in all situations despite all signs, this can lead to faulty expectations and eventual aggravation. Surely optimistic people lead a happier healthier life with more solid resilience foundation; yet, to take it too far, and deny that “#%*^” is happening now, or can happen in the future is a misleading temptation.

I am not a pessimist, and contrary to what many think, neither am I a 100% optimist. I am a realist with a holistic view on matters who assesses both sides, but who eventually focuses on the upside. I can’t easily claim horrific matters don’t exist, but I focus on better outcomes as my guide. Realistic optimism remains my preferred ride…

“It is no use to deny it when things go all too crappy. Sit with it and understand it. Process it and embrace it. Get real; then do all you can to make yourself happy.” ~ 3Ds

Rather than sinking in the pile of “#%*^”, you need to seek a better view. Re-arrange the pile and stand on it to get yourself mounted. Realistic expectations and thoughtful consideration are needed to be more grounded. It is the only means to make disappointments less compounded.

Life is much more complicated than that simple glass of water test. And guess what? So are you if the contrary you try to attest. To fight gloom and doom with optimism will remain your contest.

Before I put my case to rest, I’d like you to fill that glass FULLY with water yourself and rise… Hold it high in the air, and throw a toast for all of us: Cheers for the best…

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – Would You Rather Suffer, Or Just Be Pained?


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My earlier writings were about enhancing well-being, about facing challenges, about thriving not just surviving. Today, I feel I am addressing mere basics of surviving the insecurities surrounding living in Beirut (the new hub of random theft of lives).

Two consecutive car explosions in less than a week’s time took place ending so many precious lives at a time when we were to celebrate the beginning of a new year. Some of my closest friends lost their child (Mohammad Al Shaar) leaving them devastated, pained, & badly shaken…

Any one of us could have suffered the same fate…. The life of any other one we love could have been stolen just the same. Most of us, back here, feel the danger. Most of us feel the potential loss. Our survival with those we love is threatened at every second of the day….

As I empathize with the family of those deceased at both times, and as I recall my own earlier losses, one major blessing comes to mind. We are lucky that the intensity of all negative emotions (e.g. sadness, pain, anger,….), with time, wanes. Feelings don’t stay the same…

It’s been said that “time heals”. What it actually heals is the adverse emotions we feel. Think back of a time you went through a lot of distress. It could be months back or years. Unless you still suffer a major trauma, normally, you’ll notice that it doesn’t hurt as much & perhaps those negative emotions have disappeared.

What comes to mind now, also, are the stages that the terminally ill go through when facing imminent death. These are summarized by the acronym “DABDA”: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, & Acceptance. It is this last stage that brings again peace. What we resist persists; what we embrace gradually dissolves.

So how is this relevant to those insecure feelings that hover all over our lives during current times? It’s true we’re threatened. It’s true we could be terrified, angry, sad, pained, or depressed, but we’ll only bend; never break…. Our feelings will eventually change when we distract… So,

“Change the equation:

Pain + accepting = pain;

Pain + resisting = Suffering.

Pain is inevitable; Suffering is optional.” ~ 3Ds

No matter what happens. No matter what we lose. No matter what we face. We can finally choose to resume somewhat normal living despite the pain by remaining engaged. The alternative is to torment ourselves by staying locked in the vicious cycle of negative feelings & resist the idea that things happened.

I’ve seen so many people use their distress to ignite their thriving despite all insecurities. I’ve, also, seen pained people endlessly suffering.

What will be your choice in whatever you face?

Which equation with whatever feeling you have will you choose?

Your Personal Coach

  Dania

Time For Your Mind Gym – What Scares You?


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There are things that we all detest having; go great lengths to avoid facing; do our best to escape their encounter at every chance. These could be good for us, or bad.

I’m interested today in those unshared distressing ones that scare you. They either haunt you & you can’t keep them out of your mind, or you do your best shove them away somewhere behind.

Are you anywhere on the two poles of this continuum? If you obsess about these, you’re probably drained. And if you’re disregarding these, you’re in another way pained.

In both cases, you’re mostly anxious & scared. There’s no way out but to face these instead of letting it drag. If you want to get it over with, this cannot be spared.

“What we avoid, escape, or deny does not make it invisible. Chasing it down will eventually be that awaited miracle.” ~ 3Ds

Get off that seesaw; disrupt its presence; get down to its essence; fight it with all weapons…. In brief, start a well-planned chaos…

You wouldn’t want to remain at the mercy of its omnipotence & you’re certainly liberated once you remove the power it threatens….

Ughgh .. that feeling of being controlled! Come’on, precious, let’s be bold!! Did I just hear a lion’s “roar”?

Shiver me timbers… You give me goose bumps 🙂

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your Mind Gym – What’s On The Other Side?


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We often wonder what’s on the other side; how it’s like to have what we don’t have now; what is it that closed doors hide…. ?

Curiosity stirs us, sometimes, to plan delving into new paths… At other times, we just wonder &, in the process, we wander… & those ideas remain untried…

But what if you did seek that path? & eventually found wonders…. Can you just imagine what you would have been missing out? Lost opportunities, new experiences, & a change to the better, beyond doubt….

Do I hear you say: “What if I flounder? I can’t simply undo my mistakes with an eraser. Remaining in my place is much safer….”

“Two temptations can move you out of a status quo: Too much pain stirring you towards healing, or the lure of success made really appealing” ~3Ds

The middle ground, here, by no means is helpful. You need to tip the scale to the extreme of being really dreadful, or cheerful….

Then you can better envision what’s on the other side. And if a door along that path remains closed, you can build another. Mishaps will only make you discover that you are becoming tougher…

I see trees of green… Red roses too… I see them bloom… for me and you…

Many voices sing: “It’s a wonderful world!” Who are we to argue?

Mais oui… 🙂

Your Personal Coach

    Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What Are You Hiding?


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Yes, you’re hiding something! & you know what? That’s okay. We all have private things (thoughts, stories, ideas, …) that we wouldn’t want to share. They could be dream-like nice fantasies; & they could be distressing memories, facts, or wounds that ignite your negative emotions when unleashed.

You may not be interested in playing “hide & seek” with what you hide. In fact, you may not want to seek to find what you’re hiding ever… That’s why you hide it to start with. But you know what? Whatever it is that you’re hiding comes to seek you every so often…. it remains there….

You can shove things under your memory carpet as you please. You can lock the doors to their accompanying emotions & throw the keys. And you can attempt to bury in the hollow their negative effects all you want to, but whatever you do, they’ll always find you & tease ….

They manifest themselves in multiple ways you don’t approve of, & seep out without your permission in no transient craze. It all stays; resulting in emotional eating, sleeping problem, and/or a bad habit that stays for long days…..

I often thought: “There are two types of wounds: Open wounds & closed ones. In human psyche, no closed wound is ever sealed tight enough.” ~ 3Ds

Some grow like a cyst causing so much pain. You leave it on its own hoping it heals. You put a plaster on it. You cover it up. You hide it. And it works sometimes to drain it out when it’s ready & ripe.

Still other cysts, & despite all attempts, just won’t recover. No attempt to hide & repair succeeds; & it all leaves you impaired with the manifestations compounding until you get scared.

Yes, open it up & dig for the roots. Get everything out & then slowly heal. What gets you cured is a surgical intervention. It may be unpleasant for a while, but is worth your intention….

It’s true you’ll get scarred, but aren’t we all… by far?

Can I tempt you to seek what you hide now? Come out, come out wherever you aaaaare…

Would you give your secret to just a trusted few? They’ll help you do the self-soothing later…

On your “Team” always: Your Personal Coach

          Dania

How Are You Feeling?


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How are you feeling today? Compare it to yesterday. Better still, compare it to an hour earlier, 2 hours, 3 hours earlier…. Let’s be honest: did you notice how much your feelings generally change? And they sometimes oscillate like a roller coaster…. & then it’s like: “Oh, boy, what a ride!” 🙂

Are you fully aware of your feelings? They are so part of daily living that, sometimes, you don’t give them your full attention. Still, they do affect your reactions to your surrounding circumstances & to people around you. Feelings speak; yell, sometimes…. And “of all existing languages, that which speaks your emotions is most profound…”.

Allow me to remind you of this: one key to your own psychological health is to notice your feelings (especially the more negative ones), label what you’re experiencing, and properly deal with your emotions. This is the exact process used in any area of self-development.

Not noticing your feelings can get you confused; denying your feelings can lead to implosion; suppressing them may lead to ultimate explosion; shoving them under the carpet only makes them creep from way under disguised differently into harmful ways over and over again.

So what are you to do when you notice & identify those negative feelings? Stay with them for just a little while, understand why they emerged, & then change them. And the latter is simple. It’s all about how you interpret what happens to you. Think hard: what could be a more positive evaluation of the situation?

Voila…. Feeling better?? It’s all self-service….  Really…. 🙂 Let’s remain sane. Deal?

Your Personal Coach

          Dania

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