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Article Teaser: It's very easy to take our perception as reality. We see a wall six feet away, we say it's six feet away. We feel hot, we say it is hot. The problem is, perceptions are a matter of perspective and information. This is one of the most important stress management tools available in our toolkit. Let's look at a healthy habit we can build to help combat our internal perceptions with external information.

Keep reading below...

Stop Stressing - External Checks on Internal Perceptions

Copyright (c) 2010-2017

It's very easy to take our perception as reality. We see a wall six feet away, we say it's six feet away. We feel hot, we say it is hot. The problem is, perceptions are a matter of perspective and information. Suppose someone who's usually cheerful at work comes in and is much more curt than usual while greeting you. The instinctive response is to wonder if they're mad at you for some reason. But perhaps they simply have a headache, or a sore throat, or have been dealing with crises ever since waking up. Or maybe they were just distracted. Either way, having more information improves the authenticity of our perceptions.

This is one of the most important stress management tools available in our toolkit. We have a tendency to be our own worst critics, particularly when we make mistakes. We do something wrong, a minor problem arises and then everyone but us moves on. We dwell on it and beat ourselves up, and make more trouble for ourselves than is necessary - all while no one else likely remembers it.

Therefore, let's look at a healthy habit we can build to help combat our internal perceptions with external information.

Step One - Resolve the Problem

Taking care of whatever it was that triggered the event is always a good first step. If you forgot to file something, file it the moment you remember. If you inadvertently hurt someone, apologize for the slight, and so on.

Getting the immediate meat of the problem dealt with can help change the way we consider things. Yes, we made a mistake. However, we also corrected that mistake promptly and took the time to make things right. This is a powerful piece of ammunition in battling internal misperceptions, so make a habit of immediately solving what problems you can take care of.

Step Two - Think it Through

If your problems are still bothering you after you've taken care of any immediate matters, it's time to think them through critically. Ask yourself why you're worrying so much about them. Ask yourself if anyone else has been bothered by it as long as you have.

Part of this exercise includes a writing step. Take out two cards. On the first card, write down the three categories that are most bothering you. This could be anything, ranging from your productivity at work, your friendliness and so forth. Then rate these 1-5 on the first card, with 1 being negative, 3 being neutral and 5 being positive. This will give you an idea of how you feel about things in a relatively objective fashion.

Step Three - Gather Information

Remember when we asked you to find a support person in your family or friends to help you with things? Take them the second, blank, card and ask them to rate it without telling them your ratings. Once you have the information, compare the notes and see if there's a difference in the numbers. Usually, since we're our own harshest critics, we'll find that we've rated ourselves worse than our support person.

Step Four - Talk it Out

If there isn't much of a difference, it's time to talk. Ask them for advice, or information on what the problem might be. Sometimes an external word can offer you a perspective on solving your problem that makes things simpler.

However, in most cases you'll find that you've rated yourself much harder than your support partner. In this case, it is also time to talk. Before you tell them how you feel, ask them if they could tell you their reasons for their ratings about the matter. Listen carefully, and use their words to silence your inner critic. Let them know how you rated yourself and why. Then just have a frank talk about things and see what advice they have to offer, or whether just talking helps calm you down.

This is the part of the process that breaks the internal loop. You suddenly have new information that changes what you have to think about. As in the above example, just a little thought and a little external input makes you see things that were always there, but that may not have been as obvious before. This conversation session is where some of the best results can be had.

Step Five - Repeat and Adjust

Whenever you find yourself falling prey to that negative spiral of self-critique, ask your support partner for a comparison check. Use the card the first few times, and make sure to compare how often and how much your opinion and your supporter's differ. Later, you can do aside with this step and begin just having the conversations, once you feel more comfortable.

As you keep repeating this step, you can see the trends in your thinking and the trends in your partner's thinking. This will allow you to make decisions about things, and be able to honestly tell yourself that you're overreacting, and thinking about things in a way that no one else does. This will let you quiet those troublesome thoughts and bring your perceptions under control.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Larry Tobin is the co-creator of http://www.HabitChanger.com/, offering effective and empowering solutions for stopping stress. Try our 42-day program that will help you learn proactive habits to beat stress and keep you moving forward in the right direction.

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Internal ID: #7528
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Total Views: 2290

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