Choosing Your Mindset
So what we're talking about is choosing your mindset and the word mindfulness is everywhere. Now a mindfulness is just choosing your mindset. Well if the definition of stress is a lack of choice, the definition of stress resistance is choosing your mindset, choosing what you want to think in the presence of what is there. It's taking back your choice. So this family member may irritate the living, you know what out of you Because they do, they know a weak spot for you and they pick at it, that's what family members do and they're darn good at it and they probably practice it so well. It's like somebody else has practiced Mozart for 20 years. They can play it without thinking. They probably don't even know they're doing this. They start right into picking on. The very thing they know is going to get a rise out of you because that gives them their jollies and in fact getting a rise out of you, turns on their frontal lobe there's a reward to it. So they're really gonna do it. So if you ha...
ve the ability to choose how you're gonna react or respond would be the better word there. You just took back some mindfulness and some choice. Now one of the things that I really find funny when I work with a group that's intimate, whether it's a work group or family members, if one person decides to start playing with this and change the game, it throws everybody off. It's like, wait a minute, you're supposed to go act hurt now and then you're supposed to lash out at me about this and then we're going to start in the part about the last time we were together. And if you change the game, everybody's sort of out of sorts, so you just have to be prepared for that. You just have to know that if you're going to change the game, you're gonna have to deal with the fact that you just changed the dance card. And people may have a different reaction and stay and do whatever you can do to stay in your mindful place, repeat your theme to yourself, remember your mission for doing this, remember your bigger person, you want to connect to this person so that you are choosing the mindset that helps you do that. The best. This is where the big work is, and it is not not not overnight to hear me this, this is life work. This is not overnight work, but it pays off so well. And when you don't feel it emotionally, get yourself physically there first, do whatever you need to do to get calm physically so that you have more access to that emotional choice. Anything coming in, would you have a question here, actually, again from angst puppy, you're saying they're really loving your thoughts on family here and resonating with it, but however they're finding your suggestions are based on the assumption that the family they're dealing with irrational. Do you have you got any suggestions for dealing with irrational people? Yes. No, I sure can identify with, don't we all think we're rational? Does the irrational person think they're irrational? No. So we've all been we are all irrational. Let me just talk to that for just a moment. Rational assumes that we're using this frontal lobe to pick with common sense and wisdom. A choice of how we're thinking and behaving well, our frontal lobe is off a heck of a lot of time. Only A gross estimate is that we're aware of 20 of what we're doing, 80 is just instinct. It's the rest of the equation. So we're not even aware of when we're doing this stuff and we don't even know how it lands because that part isn't on either. But one we're dealing with people who are totally irrational. The only choice left then is to make yourself as rational and mindful as possible. And boundaries you just have to accept that this person is totally irrational. Their judgment of you may be irrational. It may feel unfair. It may attack every part of you that you need. It may you may not feel related, you may not feel like it's fair, you may feel out of control, you may feel like your uncertainty and status. All those things from the scarf model come into play. You need to accept that at that point and say, okay, this is what happens when I'm here and ramp up your own self care. I've got to go to this family function. Uncle Harry is toxic. Sorry if your name is Harry, Uncle Harry is toxic and irrational and recognize part of what you're doing is your own fault right now. You've got to give up the expectation that you're going to make him different, that you're going to make him rational and just put on your shield of armor and be the person you want to be at that moment. You're the person who is resilient in the face of irrational and that may be all it is and then go out and have fun with some people. You really like put something back in the well after that there's actually a lot of people saying they just completely avoid their families. They just sort of cut them out of their lives because they say that's just easier. Yeah, I mean that's isn't that an avoidance in a way as well? You're not really you're not dealing with the things that are stressing you, you're just avoiding the whole thing, pretending it's not there. I don't know. What are your thoughts? They're they're mixed on that avoidance sometimes is the right choice. Because we were born into a family does not mean those are the people with whom we resonate. We may be very different. Even if we're not the milkman's child, we've just been very different than that family. And just because their family, we have a societal expectation that we have to stay connected to family. We don't, it's not a law anywhere. I will say that the majority of people do find if they can find some connection in that it's another version of community and holding. But a lot of people choose their family. I'm from a tiny family. They're not many of us. So for a number of holidays, when my child was young, a group of us who had small families living in this small town got together, we decided we were a family. We just renamed it. We we had a chosen family and boy, I like my chosen family. I happened to like most my real family, you must know who you are. But yeah, sometimes choosing not to be there, but a lot of people really feel dissatisfied by that. It's still a stressor and they want to find a way to be there and be safe So time can go by where you find that. I also as a physician have had the privilege of being around death and dying a lot. And I will say there seems to be a human drive to want to have that connection and it's very sad to wait for that to occur on the death bed. So it'd be really nice if we could sometimes move out of avoidance and see if there's some ways to create that in life. But nobody said you had to, that's nobody said you had to do anything. That's a good point to. Yeah, absolutely. Um, it's a great question, Really great question because this stuff, you know, there's so many stress management things out there and their tips and we should and that's all good. But what I want everybody to realize this takes practice in real life with big stuff And we waste some of our effort and time on the bitty little stuff. So we don't have it left for the big stuff with the big stuffs around and we want our whole selves there to deal with it and give ourselves the grace sometimes that family experiences just hellacious and you have to go home and allow yourself the time to grieve that you don't have the family. That norman Rockwell told you you were going to have, we read books and stories that tell us that we're going to have these lovely thanksgiving meals if you're american and everybody is going to be grateful and happy and and we need to grieve the fact that we don't have that sometimes it's okay. Yeah. Anything coming up for you all around choosing all of this. Mm hmm. Mhm. This is a little off. But um, it's interesting because in the last year I've really been able to craft a life where I don't have a lot of the big stress things that you're talking about. But as I um, to continue to grow and then have a family, there are gonna be outside the parents of friends of my kids and such that I'm not going to be able to stay in my own little crafted bubble, I'm gonna have to have these bigger stresses that I'm not used to, so I'm really happy to be having these tools now to put into effect just every day in my smaller stressors, so that when the bigger, bigger stressors come in, I'm ready for them, nice, there's an exercise you can do, um, just because I'm hearing a lot about the relationship part of, in stress, there's an exercise you can do with the circles of your life and who's in your innermost circle, your innermost circles you period, there's some parts of you, you never share with anybody and you want to on that, you know, and you wanna, as we just did in the last exercises, you want to know who that is in that inner circle because that is your best asbestos bestest friend can be your worst enemy, but it's your bestest friend and then there's your most intimate relationships and if you kind of circle out to the people who are really acquaintances, business stuff, way on the outside, it kind of, it gives you some definition of how much intimacy to expect, how to set boundaries, how to put people in in spaces where you understand it, so you know how to deal with it. It's an interesting process to do avoiding. I want to come back to avoidance for a minute because I want to talk about a few coping skills that people pass around with stress and avoidance is one of them avoidance works when it is a conscious decision to set a boundary to not have a person, a place, an object, a job, the thing something in your life to say that I don't need this in my life and I don't have to have it and I am completely okay with not interacting with this person in my life. There's nothing I'm missing by doing that. I'm I'm good with that. That's when avoidance works in stress management, but stuffing stuff in stress management, stuffing it in avoidance by just, you know, okay, I'm not gonna deal with that, I'm not going to deal with that. It just sits on the back burner and simmers. You're better off just calling it out what it is and dealing with it. Now, sometimes you can put it may be on the someday, maybe a list of dealing with, you know, I'm gonna wait for a little more insight on how to deal with this one. It's but but name it, avoidance, avoidance is part of denial, and denial is not the path out of stress management, denial is our brains way of coping. And there's some things, some places where it really helps immediately. It's part of the post traumatic stress, whole scenario. Something horrible happens to us. We want to deny it because we can't deal with the emotions that would come from that we don't want to do that. Um and then it's healthy at that moment. But long term is a coping strategy. This just doesn't exist. That doesn't work because it still exists somewhere inside of you. Does that make sense? In uh when we actively have to say this doesn't matter. It already mattered. So I have a quote. Your mind is like water my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear kung fu panda. Well, we don't really think we know the movie was taking this from another site, but mind like, water is a lovely way to think of mindfulness because when you drop that piece of guilt or you drop that piece of angst or the resentment over someone else into the water, just one little drop, it's just absorbed by the whole thing. So this is part of making you whole, this mind like water, it's just softer and easier. It flows and flow is the point. And I've had clients who just, you know, do that's their little mantra. Mind like water before they walk into a meeting. They really don't want to go into mind like water, you can't disturb me there, you might make a ripple, but you can't really disturbed me. And it's telling ourselves that helps. It's like putting on a little suit of armor to go in.