Archives for Self-control

Borderline Personality Disorder

Making Decisions in Wise Mind: The If. . .Then Question

Making decisions in emotion mind often has very difficult consequences. Being in emotion mind means more than experiencing strong emotions, it means your emotions are controlling your thinking and actions. Demanding in anger a divorce (that you don't really want), quitting a job you need when upset and you don't have another one, and walking out on your best friend who you still care about are all examples of acting on your emotions in ways that hurt you.

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Coping Skills

6 Triggers for Emotional Eating

Eating when you aren't physically hungry can be so frustrating as well as damaging to your health. Afterward, you're miserably full and bloated and upset that you overate or binged yet again despite your determination to not do so.

Overcoming emotional eating is very difficult and can be a constant challenge. Food is everywhere and tempts with immediate pleasure and relief. You can't practice abstinence from food.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Make a Difference: Accept Your Emotional Sensitivity

 

Emotionally sensitive people are among the most compassionate and passionate people in the world. Often creative, you have talents as artists, writers, and musicians. You add to the caring and beauty of the world. Many times you also struggle with self-hatred, depression, anxiety, and horrible feelings of alienation. Those struggles are likely not due to your being emotionally sensitive. Much of your suffering may come from self-doubt and from an agonizing experience of being broken. That likely comes from what you are told and experience as a child.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Willfulness

One day in second grade I raised my hand to read aloud certain paragraphs of a story. I loved to read. I skimmed ahead and found a dramatic section that would allow for varying voice tones. The teacher selected a different section for me to read. I protested that I wanted to read the section I had chosen. She skipped me and I didn't get to read at all. I was being willful.

We may think of willful behavior as typical of children. Picture the child in the store who is having a temper tantrum, refusing to leave without a wanted toy. That is willfulness.  Another example would be when a young child is chosen by a team he didn't want to play on. Going home or sitting by the sidelines refusing to play was most likely not effective behavior. It probably didn't solve the problem and in addition he didn't get to play a game he enjoyed. Even the child who doesn't want the bubbles he blew to float away is showing willfulness. While we tend to think of children exhibiting such behaviors, adults can be just as willful.

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Coping Skills

Finding the Middle Path



Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. includes dialectical thinking as part of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. One component of dialectical thinking is to find the middle path. When you think or feel in extremes, that usually leads to misery.

In The Mindful Child, Susan Greenland tells a fable about an old man who lived with his son on a farm near a tiny village.  One day the farmer's horse ran away.  The neighbors told him how sorry they were to hear about his misfortune. The farmer said, "We'll see."

The next day the farmer's horse came home, accompanied by two strong, wild horses. The neighbors said, "How wonderful!"  The farmer again said, "We'll see."

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Coping Skills

Effective Conversations About Difficult Issues


When emotions are high and there are different viewpoints among participants, having an effective conversation can be challenging. In addition, emotions usually run highest when the outcome of the conversation means the most. People get tense and hyper-alert, bracing themselves for the worst. For example, consider your reaction when someone says "We need to talk. "  Most people prepare for a difficult interaction by putting up barriers to defend themselves, not by relaxing and focusing on being more open with information. They're on guard before the deep conversation even starts. Their posture makes it difficult to freely share ideas.

Many emotionally sensitive people avoid conversations that are likely to result in conflict. They fire people, break up with girlfriends, and cancel plans with friends by texting, sending emails, or leaving voice mails. Sometimes decisions are unilaterally made on incomplete information because difficult conversations were avoided.

For the emotionally sensitive, tense conversations can be so painful that they avoid any deep conversations and avoid expressing their own opinions.

In Critical Conversation Skills,  the authors give guidelines for having difficult conversations in an effective way.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Learning to Trust Yourself Through Mindfulness

Emotionally sensitive people sometimes have difficulty trusting themselves. There's often good reason for this; when someone has intense emotions, she can't be sure how she will react in different situations with various people.

Most emotionally sensitive people have experiences in which they've reacted emotionally in ways they wish they hadn't. Maybe they feel embarrassed or ashamed of the way they've behaved in the past and fear repeating that experience. Often they can't be sure of how they'll react if they become jealous or angry or envious of someone else or if they feel intimidated or judged.

Even when there isn't an emotional threat of any kind, just not knowing how you might react around other people can be scary. Sometimes being skillful and then sometimes being unskillful can be confusing.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

25 Suggestions for Living a Contented Life by Managing Emotions, Part 1

Emotionally sensitive people react to events quickly and with intense emotions, and then have difficulty getting their emotional reactions to subside. Finding ways to manage emotions effectively can decrease the pain they experience.

Below are some suggestions for coping with intense emotions.

1. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps reduce anxiety and stress for everyone. Consider a way to practice mindfulness everyday that is easy to remember. Maybe mindfully brush your teeth or mindfully drink your coffee. Consider using a bracelet or a sticky note to remind yourself.

2: Play. If possible, find a way to laugh today. Be silly. Giggle. Dance, watch a comedy, run in the park, buy a balloon, dabble with paints, gather friends for games or play games designed for one player. Just for a few minutes. Enjoy a simple pleasure and focus completely on the activity - not on your concerns.

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Coping Skills

Three Suggestions for Effective Problem-Solving

Emotionally sensitive people are often creative and able to think outside the box. When it comes to solving problems though, their emotions can get in the way of using their strengths.

Problems can be upsetting, and emotionally sensitive people tend to get easily discouraged, so they avoid problems or spend so little thinking about solutions that they have little hope the solutions are out there.

Others have the idea that problems are easier to solve than they are and so they blame themselves when they aren't able to come up with solutions quickly and easily. They may see the difficulty they are experiencing as a reflection of their being broken or inadequate in some way, such as being too inconsistent or not smart enough or too lazy.

Usually, the character flaw the emotionally sensitive are certain they have comes from people telling them that negative events happened in their life because they are a certain way. When you're told that at a young age it often becomes true at such a deep level you don't question it.  Others don't face problems because they don't want the tension or fear that comes with problems.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

What’s Your Problem-Solving Style?

Many of us might wish there weren't so many problems in life. "If only"  keeps us stuck, just like, "Why me?"  We'd rather have a life that flows effortlessly. Given that life is full of problems, maybe the best option is to get really good at solving them.

Sometimes problems come because we make bad decisions. Some come because of our relationships with others and some come through the thoughtlessness of others. Some of our problems come from our own feelings and ways of looking at life.

Effective problem-solving improve your sense of well-being, your mood, your hope and self-confidence.  Learning how to solve problems can improve your overall health. Moreover, problem-solving skills can be taught. People aren't born knowing how to solve problems.

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