Tag Archives: self discipline

How to manage negative thoughts

negative thinking photoPhoto by martinak15


How to manage negative thoughts

We have somewhere between 40 000 and 60 000 thoughts every day so it pays to be selective about the thoughts you decide to focus on.  In general, I have found that most of my clients tend to worry more when they have spare time. Rumination is the tendency to over think things without finding a solution. It is wasted energy and only serves as mental torture.

The best way to deal with negative thoughts is to remind yourself that thoughts are NOT facts. They are merely a representation of reality and are formed according to your existing ‘filters’ and experiences. This means they can often be distorted and unhelpful – creating anxiety and distress unnecessarily. Have you ever worried about something only to find out that you had made assumptions and all your worry was for nothing? Remember that there is ALWAYS another way to look at an event. Watch what you tell yourself and how you interpret things.

Thoughts affect emotions which in turn affect how we behave. THINK – FEEL – BEHAVE. This is the bottom line of cognitive behavioural therapy. Watch your thinking, challenge your negative thinking and immediately improve your quality of life.

We can all ‘catastrophise’ initially and think the worst. For example, I have had days when I have eaten junk all day and then had the thought “I am never going to be healthy, I may as well just give up”. This thought led me to feeling pretty low and annoyed at myself. I could also choose to think “I may have been undisciplined today but tomorrow I can start again”. The same event and two different thoughts which will in turn lead to two different emotions….the first negative thought will lead to negative emotions whereas the second thought will lead me to feeling more hopeful and optimistic. Watch what you feed yourself – I call it my ‘mental diet’ and I constantly work at talking to myself in an empowering way.

Ask yourself what you might tell a friend to help you think up another way to look at something.

Remind yourself that “this too shall pass”. One good thing about life is that there will always be change and although change isn’t always welcome, at times it can really be a good thing.

Accept that negative and intrusive thoughts are part of life. They will keep coming but you can train yourself to let the thoughts pass without really giving them attention. Distract yourself if necessary…another thought will soon be coming along.

Learn to choose the thoughts that work for you and empower you. You can choose your thoughts and beliefs.

Don’t compare yourself to others as you never truly know what is going on, Instead focus on yourself, your strengths and your goals.

If you find it really hard not to worry, schedule yourself some ‘worry time’, say half an hour in the evening and then don’t allow yourself to worry until then. Make sure that when worry time comes around, you do your best to be resolution focused rather than allowing your scary thoughts to ‘bully’ and scare you. Fear paralyses us and often there is no need for the fear in the first place.

Think of these three options: Change, accept or let go.

Decide on a plan of action and do it. Try not to allow thought to just keep running through your mind over and over. The more you worry, the more you lose time to be content and at peace.

Keeping negative thinking in check takes practise and the job will never be perfect but I work at it every day and I have definitely improved my happiness levels and ability to cope over time…a work in progress and you can do it too.

Mandy X


Insufficient Self Discipline – What To Do About It

Self Discipline [Remixed]

Self Discipline [Remixed] (Photo credit: alphadesigner)

Insufficient Self Control/Self Discipline

Do you lack self discipline? Is there a pervasive difficulty in exercising sufficient self-control and frustration tolerance to achieve your personal goals, or to restrain the excessive expression of your emotions and impulses?  In its milder form,  people with insufficient self discipline present with an exaggerated emphasis on discomfort-avoidance:  avoiding pain, conflict, confrontation, responsibility, or overexertion—at the expense of personal fulfilment, commitment  or integrity.


How to Develop Will Power and Self Discipline

An effective method for developing and improving these abilities is to perform certain actions or activities, which you would rather avoid doing due to laziness, procrastination, weakness, shyness. By doing things that you usually do not like to do. or feel too lazy to do, you overcome your subconscious resistance, train your mind to obey you, strengthen your inner powers and gain inner strength. Muscles get stronger by resisting the power of the barbells. Inner strength is attained by overcoming inner resistance.

Remember, strengthening one of these abilities, automatically strengthens the other one.

Here are a few exercises: (a few suggestions  to give you an idea)

1) You are sitting in a bus or train and an old man or woman, or a pregnant lady walks in. Stand up and give up your seat, even if you prefer to stay seated. Act so, not just because it is polite, but because you are doing something that you are reluctant to do. This is an exercise in overcoming the resistance of your body, mind and feelings.

2) There are dishes in the sink that need washing, and you postpone washing them for later. Get up and wash them now. Do not let your laziness overcome you. When you know that in this way you are developing your will power, and if you are convinced of the importance of will power in your life, it will be easier for you to do whatever you have to do.

3) You come home tired from work and sit in front of the T.V., because you feel too lazy and too tired to take a shower first. Do not succumb to the desire to sit in front of the T.V, and go and take a shower.

4) You may know your body needs some physical exercise, but instead you keep on sitting doing nothing or watching a movie. Get up and walk, run or do some other physical exercise.

5) Do you like your coffee with sugar? If you do, then for one whole week drink it without sugar. Do you drink three cups of coffee each day? If you do, then drink only two cups a day for one whole week. I must admit – I would find this one very tough as I like lots of sugar in my tea.

6) Sometimes, when you want to say something that is not important, decide not to say it.

7) Don’t read some unimportant gossip in the newspaper, even if you want to.

8) You have a desire to eat something not too healthy. For the sake of the exercise refuse the desire.

9) If you find yourself thinking unimportant, unnecessary, negative thoughts, try to develop a lack of interest in them, by thinking about their futility and uselessness.

10) Overcome your laziness. Convince yourself of the importance of what is to be done. Convince your mind that you gain inner strength when you act and do things, in spite of laziness, reluctance or senseless inner resistance.

Never say that you cannot follow the above exercises, because you certainly can. Be persistent no matter what. Motivate yourself by thinking about of the importance of performing the exercises, and the inner power and strength you will gain. Self discipline is possible.

Trying to attempt too many exercises when you are still a beginner, might end in disappointment. It is better to start with a few easy exercises at first, and then gradually increase their number and move to the more difficult exercises.

Most of these exercises can be practiced anywhere and at anytime, which means that you don’t have to devote special times for them. They will help you develop your willpower and self discipline, enabling you to use them whenever you need them.

If you practice weight lifting, running or aerobics, you strengthen your muscles, so that when you need to move or carry something heavy, for example, you have the strength for it. By studying French each day, you will be able to speak French when you travel to France. It is the same with will power and self-discipline; by strengthening them, they become available for your use whenever you need them.

Benefits of Possessing Will Power and Self Discipline

You need these skills to manage your thoughts, improve your concentration, and to become the boss of your mind. The stronger these skills are, the more inner strength you possess.

Being the master of your mind you enjoy inner peace and happiness. External events do not sway you, and circumstances have no power over your peace of mind. This might sound too unreal for you, but experience will prove to you that all the above is possible.

These skills are vital for achieving success. They give you more control over your life, help you change and improve habits, and are essential for self improvement, spiritual growth and meditation.

Practice the exercises presented here earnestly and persistently, and your life will start changing.

Self discipline is a state of mind. Ask yourself what the “pay off” is for not doing something that would benefit you. Why are you denying yourself good things in life? Where is the self sabotage coming from? If you must, FORCE yourself to do one small thing every day that you have been putting off. Just this small act will boost you psychologically allowing you to feel more positive about your abilities to achieve whatever it is that you want.

We all struggle with self discipline at times in our lives and it’s okay to relax at cut yourself some slack. It’s when the resistance and lack of self discipline begins to create negative feelings towards ourselves followed by anxiety and other negative emotions that we need to get ourselves up and doing things.

As the Nike motto goes: “JUST DO IT”

Mandy X


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Why Instant Gratification Can Be Good For You

If there is a future, we want it now

If there is a future, we want it now (Photo credit: LeannaKalinowski


Instant Gratification

Instant Gratification has a bad name. It is often associated with people who are impatient and who do not possess sufficient discipline. Those that can resist instant gratification for the sake of long term benefits and gains are looked upon as somehow being superior.

In the age of ‘mindfulness’ where we are taught to appreciate the present moment, instant gratification doesn’t seem so bad. Death will come to us all but this concept is pretty much considered taboo and isn’t regularly talked about. As a result, many people live in denial of their ultimate destiny. They squirrel away endless savings in favour of a frugal existence with the long term hope that they will be able to cash in on their self restraint and live off the proceeds forever. There is some sanity in this approach and I am not referring to balanced planning for the future. However, I know of many people who do not enjoy their lives now in lieu of some vague idea of future paradise.

Those that are against instant gratification almost see it as a sin. As if it is virtuous and pious to abstain from pleasure. Eh??

Do you do any of the following…?

1) Only wear perfume on special occasions

2) Eat the food on your plate that you dislike first, saving the best for last

3) Make yourself wait a week/month/year (?) before finally allowing yourself a much desired treat

4) Wear your favourite clothing/underwear only on special occasions

5) Abstain from general pleasure giving activities

6) Only use crystal glasses when entertaining

If you do any of the following – I want you to stop it now. Stop being a martyr. You deserve to spoil yourself, to live your life NOW. Dust off your favourite crockery and cutlery. Wear you best dress…stop waiting. Reject the commonly held idea that you are a good person by denying yourself. What a load of rubbish.

Obvious exceptions (just to restore some balance) would be:

  • weight loss…don’t eat that doughnut!
  • Saving money…know the difference between what you really want now and what you want most. This applies to concepts such as weight loss, saving money and long term goals such as studying for a degree. For everything else that does not have long term implications, stop waiting! 

Learn to savour life now. Don’t infinitely hold off a pleasure you could quite possibly grant yourself sooner. it’s really okay to use it now and really enjoy the moment.

Mandy X


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