Category: Self-improvement

The psychology of money

A few weeks ago, a client sat in my office and told me about her “A-ha” moment with money. “It’s taken me forty five years, but I finally think I’ve got some insight into why I’ve never been able to save or get out of debt,” Judy said.

I smiled, eager to learn more and pricked up my ears. Judy always has a wealth of stories, information and knowledge.
She told me about some reading she had been doing on budgeting and saving, citing the Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape as a game-changer. Once thing in particular that she spoke about enthusiastically was how saving should be automated. 

Hmmm. This made perfect sense. I made a mental note to do my own digging into the psychology of saving (and spending!)—an area I know little about.  

That night I did some Googling and came across Richard Thaler, the behavioural economist who won the Nobel Prize for economics last year for his work researching the emotions and behaviours that influence our spending patterns.  

What Thaler and others said intrigued me. For while no magic panacea exists for wealth creation, there are strategies to support more positive financial wealth.
Let’s look at them.

Saving and Spending
From the getgo, we are told we need to save money. But we’re also battling with basic human nature – spending it! Thaler and his peers have extensively researched this contradiction. In a 2009 interview with the Financial Times, Thaler said:

 “Conventional economics assumes that people are highly-rational – super-rational – and unemotional. They can calculate like a computer and have no self-control problems. They never over-eat, they never over-drink, they save for retirement, just the right amount – first by calculating how much they need to save, then by religiously putting money aside. Real people are not like that.”

I love that Thaler talks about “real people.” Real people are the ones I see in my clinical practice. And based on the real people I’ve encountered over the years, I can tell you that financial management, much like weight management, does not come easily for many. 

In a nutshell, Thaler argues that human beings are affected by
behavioural biases that then affect our financial choices and thoughts.

So what are these?

The Endowment Effect
The endowment effect looks at emotional attachment to objects.  What we own, we value more than what we don’t own. This helps explain why we often have unrealistic ideas about the value of our items we hope to sell.

Loss Aversion
People dislike forfeiting something once they have it. In other words, if you are given something but then have to give it back or have it taken away, the pain of the loss is felt more acutely than the original gain.    
A study done on capuchin monkeys by Venkat Lakshminaryanan and colleagues illustrates loss aversion. The researchers set up a trading scenario where monkeys could buy pieces of apple from different sellers. Seller #1 would present one apple piece and hand it over, while Seller #2 would present two but then take one away, presenting the monkey with only one piece. Even though both sellers gave the same outcome, the monkeys strongly preferred Seller 1. This led the researchers to argue that loss aversion and economic biases are innate in not only in human beings but also in our predecessors, monkeys!

Maybe loss aversion explains why even top high earners find themselves in tax predicaments, when they bank rather than automate the deduction of their tax from their annual partnership pay-outs. In so doing, they often spend money they believe to be theirs even knowing rationally it is not.

What does all of this mean about budgeting in everyday life and being financially savvy?

Automate, automate, automate….
Many behavioural economists and financial advisors argue that to save money, we need to remove discretion and automate our savings. In other words, to remove the temptation to spend it, put it away before you’ve even seen it. This counteracts loss aversion.

An increase in rounding-up banking services and automated savings apps supports this. Superannuation in Australia is a classic example of automated saving – it goes to our fund and is untouchable before we’ve even seen it.

Mindful spending

Mindfulness is not only a strategy for emotion management but also for financial management. When we take the time to spend and save mindfully, we increase the potential for living within our means and forgoing purchases that do little to enrich our lives.  

Know your financial position

The age-old mantra, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” rings true for me with money. In today’s busy world, sometimes it’s easier to bury your head in the sand rather than unearth a true picture of your current and forecasted financial position. In taking the time to look at your finances pragmatically, you are far better equipped to manage them and spend within your means.

Factor in treats

In his book, The Barefoot Investor talks about the importance of “blow” and “smile” buckets. In other words, he suggests that you factor in allowances in your budget for things that you enjoy – dinners with friends, new shoes or whatever puts pep in your step. Treats minimise a deprivation mentality and help us stay on course.

Accept that you’re playing the long game.
 
Economic transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term commitment. Once you understand this, you are more likely to meet your expectations.
 
Armed with this fresh awareness of money and human behaviour, I intend to make some changes in my own spending patterns this year–making sure I factor in plenty of treats! I wish you the prosperity and good fortune you might be seeking too.

Note: This post is in no way intended to replace the advice of a qualified financial advisor. Readers are encouraged to fully research their own financial decision making. Special thanks to my client Judy  who has graciously allowed me to share her story with you.

  

New Year Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions- Should we Bother?

Like many of you, I make New Year’s resolutions with zest and enthusiasm. For example, I will vow to use my gym membership more regularly, to lose weight, and to get more balance in my life… tick. tick tick…
And I every year I start off well but then, like most, I tend to resort back to my usual behaviour quickly.
This is typical. The University of Scranton research suggests that only about 8 % of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
So should we bother even making these resolutions at all?  Yes!
New Year’s resolutions are a sign of hope. They signify that we believe that we cannot only change but also be masters of our own fate to some degree.

LOCUS OF CONTROL
When you face a challenging situation, do you feel that you have control over the outcome? Or do you believe that you are at the mercy of outside forces of which you have no control? If you believe that you have some control over what happens, then you have an internal locus of control and you take responsibility for your actions. If you believe that you have no control over what happens, you have an external locus of control and you feel more or less powerless to affect your circumstances.
As you have guessed, people with an internal locus of control tend to be happier, more confident and even healthier.
Which are you?

LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
If you have an external locus of control, you likely feel learned helplessness, a term coined by Martin Seligman, an American Psychologist and educator.  Learned helplessness essentially means that you’ve learned that for the most part what you do doesn’t get you the outcome you wished for and so you give up taking action to change things.  It leads to and underlies depression.

CHANGING MINDSET
You don’t have to live with learned helplessness.  Even someone in the worst imaginable circumstances, can find ways to change their outcome. Victor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and survivor of the Nazi concentration camp, is the supreme example. He explains:
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

MAKE THAT NEW YEARS RESOLUTION
When you make a New Year’s resolutions, even if you don’t stick to it, you are exhibiting optimism, the mindset that you can take action to change things for the better — whether it’s your football or soccer team winning, your article getting published, your business growing, making new friends, earning more money, or your new year’s resolutions succeeding. You are showing an internal locus of control.

So go ahead and make your resolutions!  Keep your hope and optimism alive. You may fail many times before you succeed. Thomas Edison experienced a 1000 unsuccessful attempts before he developed the light bulb.

RememberAnchor, as Henry Ford’s once quipped, “Whether you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are right!”

Happy New Year!

What is your life script?

Ever feel your history keeps repeating itself….

Let’s look at your life script.

typewriter

FYI: Life script is a term coined by psychologist Eric Bernes, founder of transactional analysis, and famous for the concepts “I’m ok, you’re ok,” and games people play. Heard of him?

We see things in our lives through a certain lens. This lens acts as filter, filtering in certain people and experiences and filtering out others! The lens is our LIFE SCRIPT.

Sometimes we get stuck in a “nothing will ever change for me so why bother,” script. This happens when we feel that what we do makes no difference in getting us what we want.

To demonstrate, imagine a 5 gallon clear glass jar full of 500 houseflies free to fly around. Now put a piece of clear plastic wrap over the mouth of the jar and shake it up. No worries, there are approximately 48 hours of air in the jar for the flies. The flies will begin buzzing around the jar, banging into the sides, the bottom and the top. They can see the outside world but they can’t get to it. When researchers removed the plastic wrap less than 48 hours later, 99 percent of them stayed in the jar! Why? They have learned that no matter what they did, they could not get out so they stopped trying.

THIS HAPPENS TO US. Based on our life experiences, what people have told us and what we have told ourselves, we make decisions about what we can and cannot do. If those decisions are of no hope and futility, this becomes our life script.

WISE WORDS: As Henry Ford once put it, if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are right!

Repetition Compulsion

It’s hard to break out of this cycle. Instead, we often make the same mistakes repeatedly. Neglected children often neglect others. People seek out difficult relationships over and over again. Freud spoke about this as the repetition compulsion. It is the tendency to do things over and over again in an attempt to get it right.

The End Is Written

Our scripts have a beginning, middle and end. If you are now living a life whereby you believe you are doomed never to get married, f0r instance, either because there is a shortage of the opposite sex around, or because you believe you are unlovable, then the end is written!

Subconscious Mind

The power to sabotage ourselves lies in the subconscious rather than conscious level. You may think you’d like to have a million dollars, meet the person of your dreams, or become successful in the business world. But if unconsciously you have accepted a script of poverty, rejection or failure that is all you will experience. You will destroy, unconsciously, anything that will take you away from that pattern or belief.

Conversely, if you believe that you are a pleasure to be with and deserve all that you ask for, you will act accordingly AND allow into your script winners and success.

Choose a Different Script

The good news is that because we chose our original script we can choose to change our old script and create a new, healthy, winning script to live by. Here is a man who did.

Alfred Nobel invented the modern form of dynamite long before he created the Nobel Prize award. His brother had died and due to a mix up by reporters, the area newspaper published his obituary. He was described as the man who invented dynamite so powerful that it could instantly reduce high buildings to debris. Nobel did not want to be remembered for such a destructive invention. So Alfred the philanthropist revised his life script. His will directed his fortunes to be used to establish a foundation that awarded a yearly Nobel Prize in the areas Physics, Chemistry, Physiology and Medicine, Literature, and Peace.

Alfred Nobel serendipitously read his obituary while still alive allowing him to see if he was happy in the direction that his life is going. What would happen if you did? Would you be happy with what you read or would you want a different life script?

TWO TIPS FOR CHANGING YOUR LIFE SCRIPT

  1. Take responsibility and change your behavior.

You can break these negative cycles. How? By changing the way you react. For instance, let’s say you fell into the trap of creating resolutions that can be reached only if others change first. For example, “I wouldn’t scream and yell at my son if he did his homework or took out the garbage,” or “I would be nice to my wife if she were more loving towards me,” or “I would have time to exercise if my boss wasn’t so demanding and I didn’t have to stay at work so late.” In this situation, you have a mindset that relinquishes personal control and responsibility, rendering change problematic.

Now switch this by changing how you react. If your son failed to do his homework, instead of flying off the handle, you counted to five and kept calm. With equanimity, you asked him why he didn’t do his homework. He said he didn’t understand it. You helped him out and he finished it and aced it. By taking responsibility for your emotions, you changed your script.

WISE WORDS: George Bernard Shaw has beautifully captured the power we have to shape our attitudes and behaviors. Said Shaw, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”

  1. BE UNCOMFORTABLE!

More than 2000 years ago Socrates discovered the laws of effect. When we repeat the cause we get the same effect! If you are not happy, don’t keep doing same thing. Rather, change the cause to get the effect you want even if this means feeling uncomfortable!

Change represents venturing into unchartered waters. We are all fearful of leaving our “comfort zone,” even when this so-called comfort zone is anything but comforting. Although we consciously wish to change, our self-defeating actions reflect the anxiety of giving up the known for the unknown. Some people would rather remain in a job or a relationship that brings little joy or satisfaction than risk of moving into a situation that they fear may lead to more stress rather than exciting opportunities. They are imprisoned by self-doubt and fear that lessens the possibility of creating new, invigorating scripts for their lives.

And now you have to ask yourself, “Can I really change my life script? Am I really author of my life or I am determined by my destiny and harsh environment?” If you think you have no control, then this is your script. Change it! Every seer from Jesus Christ to Buddha believed that we make our own reality. You too can make yours!

By Lynne Woolfson copyright@2015

CHILDHOOD FEARS

Fears are natural and actually keep us safe. They can stop us from acting too dangerously or recklessly. However, fears can at times be debilitating and that’s when they become problematic.

As a child, were you afraid of the shadows in the closet? Or scared of lightning and thunder? Did you think that there were creatures under your bed?

In childhood fears are completely normal. They arise at certain times in development and tend to diffuse in intensity as the child ages. The three-year old who is afraid of the dark and must sleep with a light on may enjoy a slumber party in the dark at age 10. The four year old who thinks clowns are scary may love magicians as a teenager. The child who hates injections may become a nurse or a doctor as an adult.

Here are typical fears by age:

  • Babies are afraid of loud noises, large objects and experience stranger anxiety, clinging to parents when faced with a new person. At around 10 to 18 months, toddlers experience separation anxiety and become distressed when the parent leaves.
  • Kids ages 3 through 6 fear imaginary things like monsters, ghosts, and supernatural beings, as well as the dark, noises, sleeping alone, thunder, floods and anything else scary that could harm them.
  • Kids ages 7 through 16 often have more realistic fears like getting injured, getting sick, losing a loved one, failing a test, dying from an accident, or natural events like floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.

What can you do as parent to help allay your child’s fears?

  • Don’t tell your child that he is crazy .   To your child, the fears are real. Talk about the fear with your child and let him know that you are there to protect him from any harm. Use fluffy dolls and tell your child that these dolls will protect him. Dream catchers are good to use for when your child has bad dreams. Telling stories about how you used certain dolls or toys to overcome your fears when you were a child help too.
  • At the same time, don’t cater to fears. If your child is afraid of dogs, for example, don’t avoid going to a friend’s house who has a dog. If your child becomes afraid, keep her close to you to provide support so she feels protected. Teach her coping strategies. Using you as a safe home base, see if she will allow the dog closer and even pet it. Point out how gentle the dog is with other children. Teach her positive self-talk. For instance, “I can pet Max. I can do it. I am safe. He won’t hurt me. I will be okay.” Teach him how to use his imagination to allay his fears. For instance, if he becomes terrified of the friend’s dog, encourage him to put the fear inside a balloon and burst it, or put it on a cloud and watch it float away.
  • Some children seem relatively fearless while more sensitive children will be more fearful and need more parent support.
  • If you are a parent of an empath, your child will be highly sensitive, and might fear clowns, get startled easily, have separation anxiety, get distressed by changes in the weather, especially storms, in fact your precious one will have many fears, as she is easily picking up the energy around her and you will have to be especially caring and nurturing with her.

 

If you have a child who has fears. “Taking a C.A.B. to Happy land : Help your child to relax and discard their negative thoughts” is a great resource for you.

You can find it on amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014QDXRWE

Or on my website www.lynnewoolfson.com.au

copyright 2015@lynne woolfson

What Is an Empath?

Are you:
• Emotionally sensitive
• Moody (four seasons in a day)
• Intuitive
• Prone to feeling tired or drained

Do you have:
• Loose personal boundaries and allow others to drain you
• Heightened senses (sound, touch, light, scent, taste, movement)
• GI issues, food intolerances or allergies

If so, you are likely an empath.


What is an Empath?

There are an increasing number of people who are identifying with the term “empath”. It is an umbrella term used to describe extremely sensitive and intuitive people. An empath has their pulse on how other people feel and can perceive different dimensions of the world .In other words, the empath has the ability to understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions, as if they were his own.
Being an Empath Can Have Its Downside
Being in touch with the other’s feelings means you are a good listener, kind, intuitive and compassionate. But easily picking up another’s energy has its downside. You get easily distressed if the other feels sad, annoyed, angry or frustrated and you too begin to have similar feelings. You are also a target for drainers – people with negative energy who can suction up your good, healing energy.
Some of the Empath’s Characteristics
• Acute senses: smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing
• Acute awareness of other’s feelings and able to feel deeply for those in pain or suffering
• Easily hurt
• Avoids conflict preferring to keep things harmonious
• Easily startled
• Easily moved to tears
• Sensitive to changes in weather
• Perceptive to other peoples moods
• Dislikes being in crowded situations
• Engenders trust in people who easily open up to them
• Attracts animals and children
• Perceives with the heart
• Nurturing and caring
• Resonates strongly with music, harmony and creativity

 

In my book, THE LIFE OF AN EMPATH: Towards hope http://www.lynnewoolfson.com.au/shop/empaths/ I will teach you all the ways to allow your extraordinary specialness to work for you, not against you.

copyright 2015@ Lynne Woolfson

Gratitude

Gratitude. It’s a small word but oh, so powerful. People who are grateful notice what’s good in their lives and are thankful for it.

Some people are naturally optimistic and positive. Others are more negative. The good news is that gratitude is not a genetic predetermined trait, it can be learned!
Research shows that people who count their blessings on a regular basis became happier as a result and experience more feelings of joy. Counting our blessings regularly can not only improve our moods but also our health and longevity.

To be human means we will experience challenges, but grateful people focus on what’s working and what they have been blessed with. They will be happier, have more friends, be healthier and be fun to be around. People will gravitate towards grateful people because they will be attracted to their bright energy. Grateful people have an aura of positivity. People are drawn to them like bees to honey.

Martin Seligman (the father of positive psychology) noticed that when someone is unable to appreciate good events, and overemphasises bad or unfortunate experiences, it greatly affects their ability to flourish, be calm and be happy.
Dr. Emmons, author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier has proved that those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He explains that , to say we feel grateful is not to say everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of the good that is already present in one’s life.

Of course even if we recognise gratitude’s benefits, it’s difficult to feel grateful when we’re going through a difficult time. We’ve all heard people say, “I can’t help it,” “or “It’s not my fault I’m a negative person.” However, the good news is that although we do have genetic predispositions, we also, have the potential to change!

Neuroplasticity is a way of saying our brains can change. This means we are not simply victims of our neurons or genes. Our brains are made up of billions of neurons. Neurons attach to one another, forming pathways that send out information. We learn by forming neural connections in response to associations in our everyday experiences. The more we practice something, the more we strengthen the pathway, and the easier the skill becomes.

Once we consciously decide to be more positive, the brain circuits that processed our old pessimistic way of thinking will begin to fade, like the way a muscle weakens if you stop using it. And as we work on our new grateful attitude, new circuits will be created in the brain that ‘wire in’ our new way of thinking so the healthier positive attitude will becomes habitual.

Think yourself positive, practice more gratitude, reshape your brain and live a richer fuller life!

Less is More: Five Steps for Getting Rid of Your Clutter

While running a parenting workshop recently, I was really proud of the great topics I was discussing. From how to listen to your children to getting your kids to cooperate without threatening or bribing, I had managed to touch on the key concepts of discipline and self esteem. Then, somewhere in Session 2 I deviated, as I often do, with a story about clutter. I mentioned that if you can’t park your cars in the garage because you are hoarding boxes or furniture, then you need to get rid of what’s in the garage because if your car can’t fit in there, you don’t need it!
A few weeks later I saw one of the girls from the group. She hugged me and said she had just had a garage sale and finally could park her cars in the garage! She said that the de-cluttering was the most important thing she picked up from my session and would forever change her life!
Needless to say, this was a real eye opener for me! There I was thinking that I was offering parenting pearls of wisdom but, at the end of the day, this audience member was talking to me about the removal of clutter!

That’s when I realized that clutter is a big psychological issue for most of us. Why? Well, think about it: we collect physical baggage as well as emotional baggage. In many ways the world is our mirror. We smile at people and they smile back at us. Meanwhile, outside clutter and chaos often mirrors internal clutter and chaos. We clear out the external clutter and we create inner peace and serenity as a result.

So as a result of that audience member and her insistence that de-cluttering had forever changed her life, here are my Five Steps for Getting Rid of Your Clutter:

  1. Pay your bills in a timely manner. The Laws of Attraction state that “birds of a feather flock together”. In other words, one bill tends to lead to another. Debt incurs debt. To avoid this trend, pay your bills quickly and move on. Don’t let bills accumulate. Think abundantly. Pay your bills and don’t look back because, trust me, there will be more. What we focus our energy and attention on tends to bring more of that, so don’t have an unpaid bill or two weighing you down and draining your energy.  (Obviously, if you are having grave financial difficulties then this advice is not for you. Instead, you need to find a financial adviser and begin planning.)2. Avoid being overly sentimental. Oftentimes our closets, garages and other storage spaces are filled with clutter because of sentiment. Don’t hold on to something because your deceased loved one owned it and you feel bad about tossing it out after a loved one has passed over. Trust me, they are not concerned with physical possessions. They are more concerned with you living a rich and meaningful life with love in your heart, not clutter in your closets! They don’t want you to get bogged down by keeping their material things to the point where it causes you physical and mental anxiety. They know you loved them and that they’re in your heart. So keep one or two things that are sentimental and that you love, and get rid of what you don’t love – and certainly don’t need!3. Fix it or forget it! If an item is broken or ripped or torn and tattered, either fix it or let it go. Don’t keep broken things because, as we know from the Laws of Attraction, looking at a broken object drains your energy. It brings attention to deficit. Instead, surround yourself with things that work, even if they need a little help first! Change light bulbs, plug leaks, etc. Fix things in your home that need fixing – or get rid of it. In this way you make room for new energy, allowing you to change the stagnant flow of your home into a more open, clearer sanctuary in which you can think, flourish and thrive!

    4. Easy does it. One of the worst ways to un-clutter is the “all or nothing” mentality, where you have to get rid of everything unsightly in one weekend and never again. Instead, de-clutter your house one drawer, one closet, one room, one garage at a time! Go through it organize it throw away what is no longer needed or donate it so someone will get use out of it! I say one drawer at a time because completion is a great feeling and brings great energy. Of course the converse  is true . One drawer at a time is doable! Get stuck in! As Lao tzu explains, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”

    5. Don’t throw it out, just rearrange it! Finally, there is something to be said for rearranging furniture or trying out pictures in different places. Besides from often finding some long forgotten lost item (or, in my case, a buried dog bone full of sand) under the couch cushions or throw pillows. Breathing new life into an old furniture arrangement or even room gives you a clearer perspective and allows you to see things from a new perspective. Of course, it also changes the energy of a room, thus releasing stuck, stagnant energy.

    At the end of the day, clutter is an emotional and physical blockage that prevents us from living our true, authentic lives. Beginning to gradually and systematically de-clutter your life will put you on the path to more, and more positive energy almost as soon as you fill that first trash bag! Good luck

Patience

Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”

~ Joyce Meyer ~

In the late 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel conducted a series of experiments with preschoolers at a Stanford University nursery school. These experiments are more popularly known as “The Marshmallow Test,” and it involved four and five year olds who were given a tricky choice.

These kids were given the opportunity to eat one marshmallow immediately. However, if they waited until the researchers came back into room (up to 20 minutes later), then they would get two marshmallows. The reactions and decisions of these kids varied:

  • Some kids just ate the marshmallows;
  • Others just looked around;
  • A few kids squirmed, at first, but eventually gave in and ate a marshmallow;
  • And, some kids decided to wait!

These kids received their well deserved double marshmallows’ when the researchers came back into the room. Then things grew more interesting. Thirty years later, Mischel and his team followed up with the Bing preschoolers and found that children who had waited for the second marshmallow generally fared better in life. For example, studies showed that a child’s ability to delay eating the first marshmallow was a predictor for higher SAT scores and also a lower Body Mass Index (BMI).  predicted higher SAT scores and a lower body mass index (BMI). The overall perception:

Those that could delay gratification did better in all areas than those that did not!.

Knowing that our ability to be patient as a child has an impact on our future success as an adult is important. Parents and Educators should embrace teaching children to be patient, so that they can grow into patient adults.

And the best way to teach anything is to walk the talk. Slow down. Smell the roses. Be not so quick to anger. Think before we react.

Frustration will ALWAYS happen. We can never predict that life will go exactly as we plan, it nearly never does. Learning patience helps with this, because calmness is a choice. Every day there are good reasons to get irritated, annoyed, or frustrated. Computers often go down. Mobile phones sometimes break. People get sick and some die. Traffic can be heavy—and always when we’re running late. Lines at the post office, supermarket, phone shops, and in doctors’ rooms are way too long, and slow. And regardless of what class you travel, planes sometimes get delayed. The point is: no one is immune to frustrating situations. They are a part of life.When we’re not in a line, we may lose something. I’m not just talking materially like when we lose our keys or wallet, but also a loved one, jobs, and even friends. Most things that we want or goals that we set for ourselves don’t just instantly materialise. People don’t always call us back quickly. How do we deal with all this? There is only one way—patience! Patience will help us be happier and it helps us to learn tolerance, as well.

Our goal: WE need to learn to transform out frustration with PATIENCE!

 

Deepak Chopra gives a brilliant acronym formula for what he does so that he does not REACT quickly. This is a formula you can use over and over again, as it will help you to override that instinctive reaction you may have that leads to losing your temper. It uses the acronym, stop, S.T.O.P.
S: Stands for STOP. Just stop, hold on, and wait a minute.

T: Stands for TAKE. Take three deep breaths and then SMILE.

O: Stands for OBSERVE. Take note of what is happening inside of you. It probably doesn’t feel very good, but you have to observe it to know that.

P: Stands for PROCEED with awareness and kindness.
Strategy to develop patience

Next time you are in a long line or experiencing a delay of any sort, or come across any other encounter that leaves you frustrated, take time to S.T.O.P. Use this time to take yourself out of the craziness of your busy life. Try:

  • Smiling at others
  • Thinking about how lucky you are to be alive.
  • Hum a tune.
  • Go with the flow.
  • Focus on your breathing
  • Use it as opportunity to take time out from your busy day

 

Afterward, commend yourself on taking steps toward putting patience into your life. Patience is not only a virtue, but it is something acquired through habit.