Breaking the habit of trying to be right all the time

White-Tail-Deer-fight_900Here are some extracts of Judith E. Glaser’s blog Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right,which was also featured at USA TODAY

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/02/break_your_addiction_to_being.html

In situations of high stress, fear or distrust, the hormone and neurotransmitter cortisol floods the brain. Executive functions that help us with advanced thought processes like strategy, trust building, and compassion shut down. And the amygdala, our instinctive brain, takes over. The body makes a chemical choice about how best to protect itself — in this case from the shame and loss of power associated with being wrong — and as a result is unable to regulate its emotions or handle the gaps between expectations and reality.

That’s partly due to another neurochemical process. When you argue and win, your brain floods with different hormones: adrenaline and dopamine, which makes you feel good, dominant, even invincible. It’s a the feeling any of us would want to replicate. So the next time we’re in a tense situation, we fight again. We get addicted to being right.

Luckily, there’s another hormone that can feel just as good as adrenaline: oxytocin. It’s activated by human connection and it opens up the networks in our executive brain, or prefrontal cortex, further increasing our ability to trust and open ourselves to sharing.

Our Brain is hooked on being right most of the time, trying constantly to defend what we believe we are or what we have: our possessions,our title, our career, our image,etc.

But if we are in auto pilot mode all of the time, how can we change that and break the habit of being right? First we need to be aware of that, we need to realize every time we are in a discussion, or just talking with someone, and we start to feel the emotion of anger in our bodies, that is the time to realize we are feeling it, because we have just hooked in defending our point of view.

After we realized that, then we need to ask ourselves this:

What if?

What if the other person is right?, What if I am not right? What would it happen if I would agree with the other person? What if I could listen with empathy?

By doing this, your break the pattern of defending yourself, and activate the Oxytocin in your body, opening your state of mind and your awareness, and experiencing bliss instead of anxiety. By doing that you are giving the first step in creating a new habit, and with every time you do it, the habit reaffirms, until you break the old habit, because an old habit that is not used, dissolves in our brain, giving space to the new habit, which instead of anxiety, gives us happiness.

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Do you really love your spouse?

Do you really love your spouse?

That is the title of a video I just got from You Tube, and I decided I would write a new post about it.
Then I realized that the video speaks from itself, and that it will speak to each one personally, and each one will get something out of that video, so I decided I wouldn’t interfiere with its message, and I would let it speak directly to you.

Play Video

I only have one question for you to thing about it, after you have finished it:

What did the video tell you?

God Bless You

Nature

Have you found yourself on a trail, a park or in your backyard watching nature?

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The first instinct of the mind is to interpret what it is seeing, colors, form, texture, and then look at your brain’s library and search for similar things you have seen in the past, then when it finds something that matches what your are seeing, then it categorizes it. Now your mind knows what it is, or at least knows in what category it fits.

After your mind categorizes what you are seeing, then it starts to add labels to what you are seeing, and it keeps doing that with everything you see from nature, it compares and labels everything you see. Most of the times the things you see enter in a category when you have seen better in the past, so what you are seeing is not as good as what you have seeing in the past. Your mind introduces you into an interesting conversation about what you are seeing. At that time you are just entertaining yourself with that conversation and you are skipping the experience of nature in front of you

This is what we call interpret Nature, and when your mind does it then you are not seeing anymore, you are only comparing this experience with your past experiences.

I you know this, you will have more chances to resist the temptation to categorize things and enjoy the experience in front of you.

When you don’t interpret things as goos or bad, or categorize things in your mind, you enter into the present moment, you become the presence that is experiencing something in that exact moment.

This is one of the most beautiful experiences you could have, and when you do that you start to notice without interpreting it, that nature becomes more alive than you ever thought before.

In the end nature is always alive, but we are always looking at it true the dark glasses of the mind.

Next time you have the chance to be in nature, be aware of this and experience nature in its perfection.

Hopefully someday you could do the same with every moment of you life, then you would be able to experience life as it really is.

God Bless You

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10 principles to a peaceful life

We are trying to control everything in life, but if we could learn we can let God do His job we would have a more relaxed and peaceful trip in this life, where joy would come easily, and we would enjoy every moment in our lives.

A simple way to understand this is comparing our trip in life with a trip on a plane.

1. Relax: This may sound so simple, but in this busy life we have created for ourselves, everything seems to be an struggle, we thing that we need to worry about everything in order to care about everything, but we could accomplish much more if we do everything in a relaxed mode, we could live healthier and do more, and yes give ourselves some time everyday just to relax. You wouldn’t have to go to the doctor as often, and eventually you would find more time for your self to relax.

2. Enjoy the view: You may ask What view? That is because we thing there is nothing going on out there, because we are so immerse in our thoughts all the time that we don’t have a second to look outside, but let me tell you; there is always something going on outside, there is something amazing out there, you just need to open your eyes, and close your mind and just look, see all the textures, colors, then see the trees, flowers, clouds, blue skies, sunlight, rain, snow, you will be amazed how many things are out there that you didn’t notice before

3. For sure someone is there to help you: There is someone that is more than happy to help you. Kindness is a quality of humans, we all have kindness and compassion inside of us, though some may show it and others will never do, you can always find the right people to help you, and if you think you can’t find anyone to help you, then go outside, open you arms and say to the sky “I need help”, and you will have it.

The Pilot who always knows what He is doing, let Him do the job.

4. There is a pilot and crew just to take you safe to your destination: There is always, in every moment of your life the ultimate Pilot who always knows what he is doing, let Him do the job, when you are on an airplane you don’t go with the pilot and say ” I think you are going too far east” you trust the pilot all the time, because you know that he knows, if not then you wouldn’t had purchased a ticket,if you wouldn’t trust the pilot. Now imagine what God knows compared to the pilot; trust God.

5. Breathe: All right we are always breathing, but breathing consciously makes a big difference, not only will make you feel relaxed, but it will make you be aware of yourself.

6. If something goes wrong there are face masks and life vests to help you: Sometimes things can go wrong, sometimes the unexpected can happen, but be sure that God would never send you something you could’t deal with, he will always provide you with whatever you need at that moment.

7. You were meant to fly: Sounds like a cliché, but we all were meant to be something great, and most of the times greater than we think we are. You can achieve great things if you believe you can. Wayne Dyer says you could accomplish things beyond your wildest dreams.

8. This is the only trip you have in this moment and only you are the only one that can choose to enjoy it or not: Now is unique and is the only moment you have, not what you had or what you will have in the future,you just have this moment to work with, and you are the only one that could decide to enjoy it or to complain about it, that doesn’t mean you cannot change things, if you don’t like something, this is the moment to change it instead of complaining about it, it is your choice.

9. Bad weather may shake the plane but be sure the sun is always behind the clouds: If you can’t see the sun it doesn’t mean it isn’t out there, so even if you forget about God in your cloudy days, you could be sure He is always there, He will never leave you and will always think about you, even if you don’t.

10. There are many passengers but only one plane we are one with the plane at this moment: We are all connected, we are one in our deepest selfs, we are not separated from the others, not because we have different bodies it means we are separated from the others, the ego is the one that makes you think that, and that feeling of separation is the cause of the suffering in this world, so if you could comprehend the oneness of everything you would have a peaceful and happy trip. I Hope you have it.

God Bless You
James Fontaine

Learning to be Happy

Learning happiness in Harvard:

Happiness is the desire of any person,

But often do not know how to achieve it. Therefore, Harvard University designed a course helping to achieve that state, a class that has become one of the most popular of that prestigious seat of learning.

The class is dictated by Tal Ben-Shahar.

Tal Ben-Shahar is an author and lecturer at Harvard University. He currently teaches the largest course at Harvard on “Positive Psychology” and the third largest on “The Psychology of Leadership”–with a total of over 1,400 students.

The course is based on field surveys and studies on the characteristics and components to living happily.

Therein Ben-Shahar, also known as the guru of happiness, provides 13 tips to help achieve it. They are quite simple and easy tips to follow.

And here they are.

1. 30 minutes of exercise
All experts agree that physical activity is as good as an antidepressant to improve mood. Thirty minutes exercise are the best antidote to sadness and stress.

2. Breakfast is the key
Some people skip breakfast because they do not have time or do not want fat. Studies show that breakfast helps to have energy, thinking and successfully perform the activities.

3. Thank the good
Write down 10 things you have in your life that give you happiness. When we make a gratitude list, we force ourselves to focus on good things.

4. Be assertive
Ask for what you really want and say what you think. It has been shown to be assertive helps improve self-esteem.

5. Spend on experiences
Spend your money on experiences, not things. 75 percent of people feel happier when they invest their money on travel, courses and classes. In contrast, only 34 percent say they feel happier when they buy things, except if needed.

6. Do not delay
‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today’. Studies show that there is more anxiety and tension the more delayed.

7. Be polite and smile
Always greet and be kind to others. Just smile changes the mood. In addition, most people will value to be treated better.

8. Watch your posture
Walk straight with your shoulders back slightly and looked up at the front helps to maintain a good mood.

9. Music is essential
It is proven that listening to music awakens desire to sing and dance, which makes life merry.

10. Think about what you eat
What you eat has a major impact on your mood. For this reason, it is advisable to eat something light every three or four hours order to maintain stable glucose levels. Do not skip meals and avoid excess sugar and white flour. Eat everything and vary the
foods.

11. Accept failure
Accept failure as part of life, go ahead and learn from it.

12. Take care of your appearance
41 percent of people say they feel happier when they think they look good.

13. Surround yourself with your memories
Paste pleasant memories, phrases and pictures of their loved ones everywhere, in your fridge, on your computer, on your desktop … Surround yourself with things that remind you of good times.

Big think

God Bless You

Do I live in a friendly or a hostile Universe?

This is the second part of Einstein’s philosophical thoughts.

Einstein who is best remembered as a scientist, found wisdom in his search for true, He said this:

“The most important decision you’ll ever make is
whether you live in a friendly universe or a hostile universe”

This literally can change the way you perceive the world, the way you perceive reality, because if you choose to live in a hostile world, then you will find a hostile world everywhere you go.

You may think these are just feeling good words, which may sound nice, and eventually may work for some issues, but they can’t change the word as it is.

Well these words are more powerful than you may think, let’s have simple example of how we perceive the “world outside”.

Try to remember when you were going to buy a car, let’s say you decide to by an specific car from a brand, almost everyday when you are on the streets, you may start noticing the same model of car you want to buy, you start noticing there are different types of the same model you want to buy, and you start encountering more and more cars of that brand than ever before.

The cars did not show up magically that day, they already were there before, but you didn’t notice them, because you didn’t think about them, but in the moment you start to think about it, they seem to show up more and more.

There is no difference with what Einstein said, (after all he is considered the brightest mind of the last century) when you choose to live in a hostile word, you start to find bad news, the people you talk to seem to tell you bad news most of the times, you find the worst drivers on your way, and bad news become a part of your life. It doesn’t mean there are not good people or good news, but you chose to live in a hostile Universe, therefore you perceive a hostile Universe everywhere you go.

The opposite is true as well, when you choose to live in a friendly Universe, you start to see opportunities everywhere you start to see more and more good news, or maybe you stop watching the news, you find good people all the time, good things start to happen. It doesn’t mean that there are no more bad news, it is just that you decide not to focus on them and start focusing in good things instead.

Trungnpa Chogyam in his book The Sacred Path of the Warrior has a very important observation:”we can actually cure ourselves of depression if we recognize that the world we have is good”

If you decide to live in a friendly world and wake every morning saying to yourself

I live in a friendly world.

Then at some point, you may find yourself in a different word, because you discovered reality is nothing else than what we perceive trough our thoughts, through the memories we have accumulated from the past, and that it is different to everyone, because everyone has chosen, even without knowing to live in a friendly or a hostile world

It is your choice

God Bless you

Are you living in the present moment? If not, this video could help.

Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.

Ric learned a lot from being in the edge of death, and he shares his learning in a very simple way. Being close to death makes you put things in perspective, makes you realize you have been wasting precious time doing something that is not worth it, expending too much time being worry for things that have already happened or that may never happen.

Eric says this

“I collect bad wines”

He says if he has a good bottle of wine and he is with th right person, he will open it, because he may never have the time to open it.

He also says he doesn’t argue now to be right, he wants to be happy instead.

Don Juan the chaman in Carlos Castaneda’s book is always talking about your own death, it says that your death can teach you more than your own life, because knowing you are going to be death takes away the urgency to accumulate possessions. It also makes you braver and stronger, because you know that one day you are going to be gone.

He also says something that really caught my attention, he says that he wasn’t rally afraid of death, though he didn’t want to die, because he wanted to help more people, he wanted to see his sons grow up, he wasn’t afraid of dying.

It makes you wonder that being so close to death could make you see it as it really is, as something natural, as the next step towards our evolution, returning back to the Source, returning back to the state of peace and endless consciousness. Return to God, which I believe it couldn’t be sad at all.

But for now we only have this moment and nothing else, so we can keep busy living or keep busy dying.
It is your choice

God Bless You

http://on.ted.com/A7hv