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Earlier this year, I walked away from the field of mental health. Not quite sure if this exit is a pause or a complete shift in a different direction. However, I have had my fair share of working with those who have lost their way in some way or another. Many have contemplated taking their own lives due to the deeply rooted feeling of having no true purpose in life and reason to live. There is a skill that I taught many of my clients and it is the power of thinking, allowed to occupy our minds. We can either fixate on the positive or negative. Whichever you choose, there are coinciding consequences. The fancy term is cognitive distortions that we each experience at one point or another that send us down the negative or positive thinking path. Cognitive restructuring is a great remedy to this. The takeaway concept is referred to as changing the channel. Simple right? Hardly! The thoughts we have formulate ideas and determine our view on everything. These are the limitless channels that are available. Some of those channels we should stay away from completely and others can be used to grow us.

Some of us have been brainwashed to always have a negative expectation or thought process. Why? Perhaps, past experiences have scarred us so deeply that we only accept the worst case scenario as only case scenario. Thus causing us to develop this knee-jerk defense mechanism that does not serve us well. The first step to reversing this is: 1.) confront and acknowledge your patterns of thinking and feelings 2.) Challenge them utilizing Socratic questioning and 3.) Review the facts and evidence and 4.) Make a final determination based on evidence. What is the point of this? The point is to lessen the likelihood of making choices while being emotionally charged. When deciding to follow your purpose, only a clear and calm mind is able to make sound decisions that will have an influence on others in the way God requires.

All of us have watched television, sometimes more than we should ( I’m guilty). When watching television, whether it is a movie or sitcom, it only has a limited time to catch our attention and sell us on whether it is worth our time to engage and watch until the end. My heart goes out to all the shows or movie that started slow and before you know, SWITCH! Just as these flat screens and bubble backs have that power, SO DO WE! What if we committed to doing this in our lives when challenges or trouble comes our way? Instead of tuning into that very person, thing or event that is causing you distress and worry, how about we mash on the button within us and cut the supply that we give to feed that. What we feed grows. Let us not give attention and care to things that make us upset, sad, jealous, fearful and doubtful. Let us allow a shift to bring the focus on things designed to empower, strengthen, enrich and promote joy and peace.

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