Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #2

“Stress is something that is created in the mind, basically, it’s how we look at things.  So, our greatest defense against stress is the ability to change our minds; to change our thinking.”  -Goldie Hawn 

“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.”  -Joan Borysenko 

“Stress is not what happens to us.  It’s our response TO what happens.  And RESPONSE is something we can choose.”  -Maureen Killoran 

Statement #2, “Negative thoughts destroy only myself.”
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.

      Reducing negativity using the WFS New Life Program is a courageous, daily act of strength which brings about feelings of ease and comfort.  Instead of blaming or trying to escape life, the goal of Statement #2 is to reduce negativity.
      Before New Life, negativity was hard to understand.  Life felt so difficult; waiting for the next bad thing to happen, afraid to turn the corner, life just felt unfair and I blamed everyone and everything.  From our Program Booklet, “We are sometimes sullen, withdrawn, and unable to cope.  There were times we drank or used to overcome negative thoughts, which only intensified our fears and perpetuated negativity.”
      Sobriety is the beginning of reducing negativity while the daily practice of Statement #2 can insure recovery.  Results vary from person to person, but some of the consequences of a reduction in negativity can be: increased skills in decision making/problem solving, increased health from feelings of balance, confidence and assertion, intimacy and connection, and of course, a more positive outlook paired with awareness.  Instead of life feeling a failure, life feels fulfilling! 

·        What are some strategies that help or work for you in reducing negativity?

Hi 4C Women,
      I have been fighting negativity this past year and what I’ve realized is that I can handle it.  I can take a breath, feel the anxiety, the fear and seek support and make a healthier decision in spite of my fears.  Here’s the best part-I am no longer permanently crushed, destroyed by a negative thought, situation or person.  In the past, I would have stayed in negativity, inviting it to my blame party that lasted for weeks, sometimes months, oh heck, honestly for years!  When I think back on the me I use to be, I know for sure that is not the trip back I want to take nor do I expect to.  I have learned a lot through recovery and WFS to NOT invite negativity a permanent residence.  Having Statement 2 in my heart, saying it over and over, has been a gift.  Life situations happen and feeling negative, lost or fearful is a human response.  It is the coping tools we use that helps us to reduce negative feelings from causing harm to our sobriety.  The biggest life lesson I have learned is to differentiate between what I call useless worry which leads to overwhelming negative thoughts and serious situations that require our need to problem solve before negativity is the only thing we have on our plate.  It is all about reducing negativity, handling life's challenges in a healthy, positive, productive way before we experience its destruction. 

Think about the last negative situation you dealt with. 

« How did you cope?
« What was the outcome?
« What did you learn about yourself, your decision-making skills, your confidence in handling a major or even minor challenge? 

The chart below describes the impact of stress on our body, mind, emotions and behavior.  In WFS, we learn to identify our feelings so we can begin to understand and make positive change.  I believe the chart below will be another avenue to explore those feelings as we identify our stressors.  Hopefully that knowledge of these negative effects will be a helpful guide for change in your New Life.
(Thank you to Pinterest for the chart.) 
4C WFS member
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