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Acceptance Reduces Conflict

Acceptance Reduces Conflict | focuswithmarlene.com

Acceptance is a concept – a state of mind – a way of looking at life and problems. It is a way of thinking that can be applied to any circumstance. It is a pivotal point that takes us from what we can’t do to possibilities, options and choices.

Problems have a magnetic way of holding us in place. Like an insect caught on fly paper, we get stuck in the mess of it all and can’t see a way out.

Acceptance takes us out of the victim role and puts us in the administrator role.

It keeps us from playing the blame game where everything – from circumstances to people, parents, siblings, religion, God, whatever – are blamed for our inability to do anything.

Acceptance puts us in control of our responses regardless of what life throws at us.

Stress Reducer: Acceptance

Stress Reducer: Acceptance | Focuswithmarlene.com

Acceptance is a necessary step in helping us recover from losses.

When we accept our circumstances, their formidable impact on our life is reduced while helping us find ways to reconcile and heal.

In many ways, we are addressing stressful events every day. We acknowledge, accept, look for options and work to find solutions instead of allowing them to create ongoing turmoil. Because acceptance is such an important concept, I want to expand on how it can help us lower stress levels in our daily lives.

We are currently living in uncommon stressful times: the pandemic, inability to go back to work; wondering whether our kids can go back to school, whether we will have enough money to pay our bills or if life will ever return to normal. Add to that the emotional stress that is generated as we try to communicate and work together to solve the escalating problems we face.

Challenge and Replace Irrational Thinking

Challenge and Replace Irrational Thinking | focuswithmarlene.com

The purpose was to discover patterns of thinking and behavior that add unnecessary stress to your life.

Were you surprised by how your thoughts could increase or decrease the stress you had?

As we learned from Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, we make assumptions about the world and ourselves that become unquestionable core beliefs and unbreakable rules by which everything and everyone is evaluated.

Irrational thinking influences how we think and act, how we treat others, our relationships, our attitudes, expectations, and assumptions.

Constant Emotional Turmoil

Constant Emotional Turmoil | focuswithmarlene.com

It seems that life keeps handing us one stressful thing after another. We barely resolve one problem when ten others pop up, demanding immediate attention. Stress now becomes a constant battle, a way of life that keeps our thoughts and emotions in turmoil.

According to Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, renowned scientists and psychologists, it isn’t situations by themselves that determine how we feel, but rather the interpretations and perceptions we make.

While it is important to pay attention to our emotional responses, we also need to pay attention to what we are saying to ourselves about these incidences. We can blow events out of proportion by how we think. These become thought distortions or irrational thinking that increases our stress levels.

Personalized Stress: The Stress we Create

Personalized Stress: The Stress we Create | FocusWithMarlene.com

We will experience stress every day. That is normal and natural. For example:

You’ve been asked to work overtime – again. The bus was late, you arrive home to kids fighting and an irritated spouse, the kitchen is a mess and you just want to throw up your hands and scream.

That is a pretty normal reaction to a string of events that were frustrating and exasperating. Who wouldn’t want to throw up their hands and scream?

However, when we remain in that agitated state, the original stress is compounded. We need our jobs, we want to have good times with our families, and we know we can adapt, but how do we keep the accumulation of expectations and demands from overwhelming us?

We Were Made for Stress

We Were Made for Stress | focuswithmarlene.com

During this pandemic, I have had conversations with many people. Everyone is feeling stressed due to prolonged isolation and restrictions.

But for some, that stress is far worse than for others. What makes the difference?

In my book, Make Stress Work for You: 12 Steps to Understanding Stress and Turning it into a Positive Force, I talk about the difference between good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress). As you read and listen to the audio of each of the steps, you will learn how you can take charge of the stress in your life.

While stress is universal and everyone experiences it, it is also very personal. What stresses one person may be an exhilarating experience to another. Consider sky diving or swimming. In the Study Guide and Personal Application that accompanies this book, the questions presented can help you understand the sources of your personal stress.

We can’t live without stress nor do we want to. It is an essential part of living. But we can make it work for us and not against us.

12 Steps to Aging Confidently

12 Steps to Aging Confidently | Focuswithmarlene.com

1. Develop a new focus – a new mindset.

Focus on what you can do; don’t dwell on what you can’t do. As we age, there will be things we no longer can do and things we struggle to do. For example, arthritis can make it difficult to pick up objects or hold onto them, and we begin to worry about our abilities declining.

Worry can become a habit that eliminates possibilities. Do what you can and do it with confidence.

2. Acknowledge and accept.

It is hard to accept that we are aging. But each day is an opportunity to begin again.

  • What interests, passions, or things have you wanted to do but never had time for?

10 Takeaways for Continued Success as You Heal from a Major Loss

10 Takeaways for Continued Success as You Heal from a Major Loss | Focuswithmarlene.com

Healing from a major loss is not easy and isn’t accomplished in a few months or even a year. It is a process that involves coming to terms with something you had not expected or wanted.

Taking charge of rebuilding your life will empower you to step out in confidence.

You have completed and applied the suggestions given in the last six month’s posts on recovery and rebuilding. Losses can be tricky and difficult to process, and you can become discouraged. But when you recognize your progress, you will have confidence to keep marching forward.

Yes, You Can

Yes, You Can | focuswithmarlene.com

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”

— Erma Bombeck

You have been on a life-altering journey, a journey you had neither anticipated nor wanted.

There have been many unexpected surprises that demanded change, adjustment, a new assessment, and adaptation of plans. Your life has been forever altered.

Taking back the reins of your life requires purpose, choice, and determination.

Brainstorming: How I Worked Through a Problem

Brainstorming: How I Worked Through a Problem | focuswithmarlene.com

Last week we addressed conflicts and problems that exist between more than one person, and how you can properly identify the problem, given two different perspectives.

This week I share a major problem I faced and how I was able to resolve it.

After the death of my husband, I was faced with a huge financial decline along with a house we had just built, a small mortgage and lack of immediate resources.

My basic problem: What do I do now? What are my options?