Mind, Mood, and Attitude Show Notes

It’s easy to have a great attitude when life is great. What about when everything is going wrong? How do you keep a great attitude then?

On this week’s episode of The Whole House Podcast, Diane Tarantini and I share some of our Job syndrome stories as well as what God taught us through them.

  • Whether it is physical, financial or emotional circumstances, we can learn to ask God to change us in the midst of the crisis.
  • Often, just doing the next thing in the midst of the circumstances teaches steadfastness.
  • When physical sickness or an injury limits what we can do physically, we have to watch our emotional response.
  • When our negative emotions are in overdrive, we can quickly form toxic responses.
  • It takes 21 days for certain protein changes to happen in the brain, – for the new memory to become self sustaining and for the old memory to be broken down.

It takes three cycles of 21 (63) days to completely form a new thought pattern.

  • By day 7, the protein connection holding the memory in place is a bump shape, day 14, a lollipop, by 21 it is a mushroom. YOU must repeat the 21 day cycle three times for a thought to become automated.

Awareness is the process of bringing thoughts into captivity.

Episode 59

Our signals come from two sources:

  1. External- 5 senses.

  2. Non conscious- metacognitive (your memories).

You have to develop disciplined thought lives, and part of that is increasing awareness of what you are allowing in your mind. Be aware of the signals coming in and understanding the internal environment of your mind.

When you think, you also feel. When you think a thought, you also bring up an attached emotion.  Emotions and feelings are different.

Attitude is a state of mind – a thought plus its attached emotion. Attitudes influence what you say and do.

If the attitude activated is negative, then the emotional response will be a negative or stressful feeling.

If the attitude is positive, the feeling will be positive. Your attitude will be revealed no matter how much you try to hide it. So, you say, “I’m in a bad mood.”

Research has shown that mental practice -imagination, visualization, deep thought and reflection produces the same physical changes in the brain as would physically carrying out the same imagined process.

 

Brain scans show that the parts of the brain activated by action are the same parts activated by simply thinking about an action. This shed new depths and understanding for the scripture – Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”- Hebrews 11:1

 

As young women, we often live our lives as if our energy is finite. We  live as if we have unlimited energy and we hit our thirties, forties and fifties and realize we begin to have major health issues. If you are young, you can learn the lesson now- 

You can’t do everything, but you can do one or two things well.

It’s best to practice making choices now before stress and physical symptoms crop up. If you choose to do what is essential now, your body will thank you later. So will your family. If what is essential to you is God, husband and children, then the things outside of this scope are not essential. If you have the mindset that you can do it all, you will eventually face the consequences. If you use the measuring stick of what is truly essential for you today, the consequences will be positive tomorrow. 

As a young stay-at-home Mom, I used to volunteer for things thinking – this will only take an hour. In truth, with the driving, planning, preparing and getting out the door, the hour turned into four or five. When I returned home, I was tired and cranky. I had used all my reserves for someone else. What was essential? What was my priority? My family. My little children who had no idea why I was not happy or why church stuff made me unhappy.

It was a disservice to God, first of all for me to say yes when my insides were saying no (quietly) and I reasoned it away. It was, and still can be a disservice to my family because my witness to them became – God, church, and all of that just makes people cranky. My attitude was not one of gratitude.

My kiddos are grown now. This doesn’t mean I suddenly have unlimited energy and time. I still must choose what is essential. I also have the added limitation of several immune system disorders. With that in mind, I must choose ONLY what is essential for me, not what others say is essential. I have tried that route. It only ends up affecting my body and no one else’s.

Once my energy envelope is empty, my mind, mood and attitude suffer and I have no one to blame except myself.

The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the non-essentials, and then removes the obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. — Greg Mckeown

Many of the aspects of our mood and attitude we have control over. We can say “no” when we mean it. We can strip our calendars of things that we know are not our “best yes”.

We don’t have to do everything. We should never take on responsibility in order not to hurt someone’s feelings. They can take care of their own feelings. If whatever it is isn’t your primary responsibility is, let it go.

 

 Here are some of the resources mentioned on the show:

Dr. Caroline Leaf

Urban Woman Syndrome

You can listen to the podcast here:

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Happiness is a Choice

This week I have had some events that triggered past events and could send me spiraling. You know the drill.

You hear a song that your grandmother loved and it sends you back to when you were little. She’s been gone ____ years.

You smell something that sends you to another time in your life, baking in your Mom’s kitchen.

You go to the hospital where your aunt was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer two years ago to visit another loved one.

Fill in the blank.

The truth is, events are triggering memories all the time. The trigger can be super simple like the smell of fresh coffee in the morning that reminds you of your of your college years, downing coffee to stay awake. Or a trigger just reinforces a habit, you set off to take your morning walk and your mindset changes halfway through because your body feels better. We often think that triggers are bad things. We don’t want to go back and relive the past event that was stressful. That’s sometime true. Other times, it’s a blessing in disguise. Sometimes a trigger allows us to take some time and re-examine the event with fresh eyes.

How does this work? We have the option of telling our story to a trusted friend. We have the option of examining what really happened with the knowledge that God is in control. This gives us fresh insight and a better mindset. We also understand that everyone has a story, a history colors perceptions. For example, if you have a negative mindset you may believe:

Nothing good ever happens to me.

Everything always goes wrong.

See, God doesn’t love me.

This event didn’t change my loved ones, they are still acting the same way.

Nothing ever works out.

I always get hurt in relationships, so why try?

Those mindsets affect our attitude. Our attitude affects how we live. We can live with a negative mindset and everything will line up with that mindset. I’m not saying we can control the world by thinking happy thoughts, but we can make our lives more fulfilling. We can be more content. Let’s say you are having a great morning and then you spill your coffee, what’s your reaction?

Man, I knew this day wasn’t going to work out. I always spill my coffee, here I go again.

Whoops, I spilled my coffee, it’s just a spill. It’s still going to be a great day.

Whenever possible, choose happy thoughts. Happiness is not perfect circumstances. It’s a mindset.

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Three things to remind yourself of to readjust your mindset.

  1. God works all things out for good. It may not look like it at the moment. It may seem as if everything is going down hill. Choosing the mindset that God cares deeply about us and will work things out helps us choose joy. When we remember that this world is temporary and this situation will pass and at some point, good will come of it, then we watch for good. Hunt for good things.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.– Romans 8:28

2. God is ultimately in control. This is a tough one for us to swallow. We suffer and wonder why. There is tragedy. Disaster. Part of what we forget is that we live in a fallen world, that is, after the original sin, the curse and death entered the world. I struggle with this one. It’s okay. You can too. Just remind yourself of number one. God is taking all the bad stuff and working it out for good.

“God’s providence is His constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people. Again, note the absolute terms: constant care, absolute rule, all creation. Nothing, not even the smallest virus, escapes His care and control.” – Billygraham.org

2. You can’t change people. If your happiness is dependent on other people, you will often be disappointed. Even when there is a event in your life that give you an epiphany or a fresh outlook, it doesn’t mean those around you have had the same. Enjoy the change in your attitude. Pray for your spouse, friends and family. Don’t try to talk them into change. It won’t work.

Yesterday, while sitting in a hospital waiting room, I witnessed a loved one come back from the brink of death. There are many other times in my life, that didn’t happen. At the same time, the television, blared the worst news all day long, I felt as if when I stepped outside and headed to a restaurant for dinner, that the sky would be falling, the parking garage blown up and multiple gun men coming at me. The opposite was true. Traffic was light. The staff at the restaurant pleasant. Thankfully, I didn’t let the negative news color my mindset. That hasn’t always been the case. Working toward a healthy mindset is full time job, but it’s worth it. How about you? Are you choosing your thoughts or letting them choose you?

 

Life is Good!

We’re never going to be free from trials or negative circumstances. In this world, you will have tribulation, Jesus reminds us, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Be of good cheer? Really? Life is good. There is always something good going on in life. We just have to look for it. When I was almost bedridden, I asked God to show me good. I needed to see good. The truth is, it was all around me, I just hadn’t noticed it as much before. It was in a rainy afternoon, perfect for reading a book to my kids in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace. It was in a pink sunset I watched from an Adirondack chair on my balcony. It is in the gray morning when birds begin with a song. It is in watching the face of a child when he tells you something important. A good life consists of little moments. It doesn’t consist of perfect circumstances. Each good thing that we store up in our memory give us a treasure. Jesus tell us not to store up treasures where moths can eat them. When we store up memories of beauty and life, a moth cannot get them, neither can circumstances.

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I remember a season when we just couldn’t keep up with our bills. Hubby was working out-of-town, so I got the mail. I hated hearing the mail truck. I didn’t expect good things to come. I knew bills were coming that often gave me a pit in my stomach. The stress made my autoimmune disorders flare up more, so I felt worse. It wasn’t until one day, the Holy Spirit whispered to me – you would be doing the exact thing you are doing today if you didn’t have that bill. I processed that for a while. I even went as far as thinking, if I died today, would that bill matter? I mean, would it affect whether I went to heaven or not. No. Did it change my chores, making dinner, spending time with my kids? Nope. I was still doing all of those things, so I decided to do them with joy. Worrying wasn’t adding anything to my life except a negative mindset and stress. I got some old barn wood and painted two signs. One said Choose and the other says Joy, I hung them over my kitchen sink so I can see them every time I wash dishes.

Maybe a mindset has you trapped. Maybe you want to enjoy your life or just try something new. Maybe God has given you a God-sized dream and you don’t know if you should step out. What sorts of mindsets are holding you back?

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I will never be financially secure.
  • I can’t minister to other women because I am a mess.
  • If you really knew me, you wouldn’t like me.
  • I will always be out of shape.
  • No one wants to hang out with me.

The sad thing about being stuck in a mindset or stronghold is that we literally project those thought on other people. They can read us like a book. When we act as if we are unlovable, then people do not love us the way we need loved. When we don’t let people really know us because we are afraid, they back off from a relationship with us. When we don’t step out in our God-sized dream, then other people are left stuck because we didn’t fufill the call of God on our lives.

Truth:

  • You are loved. God chose you before the foundation of the world, He actually picked you out as His own to be adopted into His family. (Ephesians 1)
  • You have a purpose. God has given you an inheritance, a destiny, according to His divine will. You have a job to do on this earth.
  • You are loveable because God loves You. You are a new creature. Old things and habits have passed away. All things are new.
  • God will bring to pass in your life what needs to be done. In Him is every good thing. In Him all things consist. In Him consists your new beginning. Your health. Your ability to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

Whenever the lies begin to invade your mind, fight back. Be ready to take every thought captive. Yesterday, I shared some questions you could ask the thought.(Find that here.)

Do you have some strategies for keeping you mindset on track? Please share!

Heart Health is Mind Health

When I was very ill and barely able to get out of bed, I had to do things in small increments. I started with fifteen minutes of activity and learned how to listen to my body. At the same time, I had to renew my mind with the thought, I can do all things through Christ, I am self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. Whenever, I slipped back into a toxic stronghold, I began to think, I’m not going to make it. I can’t do it today. 

Proverbs 23: 7 says “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”  My health begins in my heart. It begins in inner being and what I think about myself. That becomes my mindset.

The interesting thing is my body actually responded to my mindset. I’m not saying I thought myself well, but it is a big part of my health, even today. Whenever I had the thoughts, I can’t make it. I can’t do this today, I need to go back to bed and I did, my body was more likely the next day to give out on me at the same time and I would go back to the same mindset. I can’t do it. I’m too sick.

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Years later when I was able to exercise regularly, I had the same thing happen in the opposite way. When I didn’t exercise at the same time every day, I would begin to feel anxious or jittery, as if my body cued up for a five mile walk and it wanted it.

Our mindset is so powerful. I often don’t realize it. That’s why the Bible says to take every thought captive. We can’t just accept automatic thoughts if we want to be well, physically, spiritually and emotionally. We need to take those thoughts captive and interrogate them. I imagine the thought sitting in metal chair with a bright light shining in its little face.

 

  • Where did you come from?
  • Who are you working for?
  • Are you fear based or faith based?
  • Are you logical?
  • Will you produce good fruit in my life?
  • Are you from an old trigger?
  • Are you based on the world or the word?

 

Maybe it sounds a bit silly, but would you rather be a prisoner of your old mindsets or walk in the abundant life God has given you?

What am I Going to Eat?

I’ve been stuck in panic mode today. What am I panicking about? Food. Yep. That’s right, food. Weird, huh? I’m going on vacation to visit some of my favorite people, but there is always a nagging thought in the back of my head- What am I going to eat? Okay, it’s a shouting thought.

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My word for the year is “study”. It has been on my heart to study the mind.  God wants me to get my health in line. It’s been a constant learning curve for me since I was diagnosed with CFS and hypothyroidism in 2005, and Celiac disease in 2011.

I’ve read tons of articles on CFS and immune system diseases in general.  There is all sorts of advice for eating right, exercising to your ability level, getting an adequate amount of sleep and drinking enough water. All of those things are good. I need to do all of those things and so do you.

Last week, I talked a little bit on the website about falling back into old mindsets.

Sometimes our battle is not with what is happening to us, but an old mindset that keeps us trapped. The mindset that keeps trying to re-insert itself into my life is- you won’t have food to eat or you will get cross contamination and be miserable. That’s just no way to live. Fear of this sort is about something that could happen, but my body reacts as if it already were true.

Mindsets become strongholds. Strongholds form new pathways within our brains. When the new pathway forms, it eventually becomes a tree. It can become a toxic tree or a healthy tree, depending on what kinds of thoughts built the stronghold.

I’m not staying in that old mindset. I’m moving on.

We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.- 2 Corinthians 10: 5, 6

Are there some mindsets keeping you trapped? Are they stopping you from enjoying your life?