There are a lot of theories on how one changes something about their life. This post and video discusses a few principles that need to be understood and applied to change effectively. Changing a habit or life style is hard. If change were easy we all would be who and what we exactly want to be.
However, if we understand the principles of effective change, we can change anything about ourselves that we want to. So, what does it take?
We need self-efficacy if we want to change something about ourselves. Self-efficacy is believing that we are capable of change. In my private practice, I find that lacking self-efficacy is probably one of the primary stumbling blocks to change. You can put a lot of effort into change and apply a lot of good techniques to make that change possible, but if you do not believe that you capable of changing or accomplishing what you want to change or accomplish, you eventually will fail.
Once you believe you are capable of making a change, you have to be ready to change. Readiness to change means you ready to take action. But action is not the first stage of change. There is a great book on change called Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. It is important to understand what stage you at when beginning to change something about your life. (There sill be an entire video and post on the Stages of Change in the near future.) For purposes of this blog, I will only list them with a brief description of each.
Questions to Consider:
1. Do you believe you are capable to change what it is that you want to change?
2. What stage of change are you in?
3. Are you willing to do what every it takes and put in maximum effort to make the change?
Share with someone the answers to above questions and start the change!
Stress is a part of everybody’s life. The question is, how well do we cope with it? There are a lot of strategies to cope with stress. This video covers some tools to not only cope with stress but to prevent being stressed in some circumstances.
You may have heard of the acronym H.A.L.T. before. If you have, please comment on how following the strategy has helped or how not following it has increased your stress. Halt stands for the following:
H = Hungry: When we are hungry and not eating healthy, we are more prone to the effects of stress. It is not uncommon to be more “cranky” when we are hungry. Help yourself deal with or prevent stress by eating regularly and eating healthy.
A = Angry or any intense painful emotion such as depression, anxiety, worry, fear etc.: When our emotions are intensified, we usually end up reacting to situations and not responding. It is important to learn effective emotion regulation skills when dealing with stress.
L = Lonely: Having a lack of connection or positive support in our life can make coping with stressful situation much more difficult. We may have a lot of people around us, but if we do not feel a connection with them and supported by them, life challenges can be much harder to bare. Work on strengthening the important relationships in your life.
T = Tired: Lack of sleep and or lack of quality of sleep can deeply effect how we handle the stress in our life. Sleep problems effect more people than we realize and it really can create more stress in our lives. Be willing to change your sleep patterns if you are not getting the sleep you need.
Questions to Consider:
1. How has being imbalanced in any of these made it more difficult to cope with the stress in your life?
2. Which one(s) could you be more balanced in?
Choose the one you struggle with the most and set a goal to do better in that area.