Claim Your Own Mental Fitness

22 Be Assertive to Be Mentally Fit

22 Be Assertive to Be Mentally Fit

This picture shows that somebody wanted to create a unique statement at the beach. He or she thought about what to sculpt and carefully formed this octopus of damp sand. To make it more visible, the sculptor laid out seaweed to contrast with its arms. Now we can readily see this remarkable design. Social skills like assertiveness require this kind of focus, caring and creative problem-solving. You just can’t fill a bucket with sand and dump it out. Your Adult needs to set goals, study what they’ll require and then work with your Child and Parent parts to develop and […]

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21 Set Up by Your Indulgent Parent

21 Set Up by Your Indulgent Parent

A see-saw of self-indulgence  and self-punishment happens when you’re set up by your Indulgent Parent (IP). Your Critical Parent (CP) keeps you on a short leash so you can’t get into trouble, scolding your Child each time you fail to measure up to one of the six toxic beliefs your CP holds. Your Indulgent Parent soothes your child into a false sense of security as it supports the next six toxic beliefs. This whole process is explained in my book, Part I, Chapter 4. Let’s take the example of procrastination, the ninth toxic belief, that it’s more comfortable to avoid […]

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20 Over-Personalizing by HSPs and All Humans

20 Over-Personalizing by HSPs and All Humans

Julia Frisbie, Dixie & Rea Elaine Aron, who has defined the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) trait, has recently sent word to her wide group of subscribers that she’s crowd-funding a video which will help both HSPs and those who know them understand more clearly how this trait affects HSP’s functioning. You can see a preview video “sizzle” online at “Sensitive, the untold story.” One characteristic Aron notes is that HSPs tend to “take things way too personally.” After working with hundreds of HSP clients (and myself) I can certainly vouch for what she says. What I’m calling over-personalizing plagues most […]

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18 Study the Whole Picture of Mental Fitness

18 Study the Whole Picture of Mental Fitness

Way back in my first blog, I described how I bought a sparkly plastic “wand” to help convey to my clients, who were impatient to achieve mental comfort, that it would take time and effort. With the same heartfelt sympathy I must remind my readers that, like physical fitness, mental fitness requires effort in many areas and a life-long commitment. I urged you all to buy my cheap book because you’d need it to benefit fully from my posts. Or you could ask your local library to stock it and see if it might be useful. You could look at […]

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19 Over-Personalizing Ignites Fight-or-Flight

19 Over-Personalizing Ignites Fight-or-Flight

Do you often feel like the only place you can find peace is one like this? The key factor omitted is other humans and all their triggers for fight-or-flight. While it’s wonderful to retreat to such an inspiring spot, peace can be found even when you’re among other people. Your Adult can learn to recognize the main problem, which is another Child Brain Habit. Here’s an example. Janet (all story names are fictional) sought counseling, after she and her husband divorced, for help with her troubled three-year-old son Winston. He had come to her one morning and sadly commented, “I’m […]

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17 The FORMULA for Social Comfort

17 The FORMULA for Social Comfort

It’s exciting to have so many people take an interest in my blogs! One comment particularly tugged at my heartstrings. The writer told how disappointed she felt as she read my blogs about my struggle as an HSP. She’d hoped I would be more functional than that, I gathered.  First, let me say that her feelings are echoed by many people who deal with others whose brains are different from theirs. In my book, Part II, chapter 1, I begin my discussion of emotional problems with a chapter on these different people.  Its 25 references give the reader much more […]

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16 An HSP Looks at the Grief Process, Part 2

16 An HSP Looks at the Grief Process, Part 2

In Part 1 of this topic I described struggling with the painful side of having an HSP brain, as an example of how you can process grief over not having the brain you might wish you’d had. This loss is more profound because your life is continually impacted by any deficit you have. Therefore your grief process must be a living, working effort if you are to have the happiest life possible. What I’ve found is that this effort has forced me to keep practicing the mental fitness FORMULA. In the previous blog I called my panic attacks a “gift […]

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15 An HSP Looks at the Grief Process, Part 1

15 An HSP Looks at the Grief Process, Part 1

In blog 11, “Brain Differences and Fight-or-Flight,” I discussed how some people, whose wiring is significantly different from average, struggle harder to keep their Adult in charge. Now I’d like to describe how we who are troubled by our differences, and suffer all our lives because of them, must resolve our grief over them to stabilize our Adult long-term. We must fortify our Adult and Wise Parent to be even stronger than average to avoid damaging shame, anger, anxiety and depression. We need to find within and outside ourselves sheltering branches that comfort us as we try to cope. I’ll […]

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14 The Golden Rule & Belief #3

14 The Golden Rule & Belief #3

Feliciana Netamba cares for her two children at their home in the Cacilhas village near Huambo, Agola, where the MENTOR Initiative is working to help control Malaria. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Svc. See inm@greaternw.org for details. So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12 The Golden Rule, also called the ethic of reciprocity (see Wikipedia), has been embraced widely among religions and cultures throughout history. I think this came about as follows. At some point in evolution our uniquely human pre-frontal […]

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13 Expectations and Acceptance

13 Expectations and Acceptance

At this point in blogging about the grief process, I must once again urge you to read the more thorough discussion in Claim Your Own Mental Fitness. Chapter 4’s place in Part II is designed to help you pull together the concepts your Adult needs to lead you through grief with minimal fight-or-flight distress. By this time, if you’ve begun practicing the FORMULA described fully in Part I, you’ll be well-acquainted with how to manage the toxic beliefs that increase suffering when you have a loss. Without this grounding, much of what I say in this blog may sound offensively […]

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