Take Your Own Advice

May 25th, 2015   •   2 comments   

When I say something in a counseling session, I sometimes think, “Damn. That’s good Kathy. You should do that yourself.” Seriously, I do think like this.

(Disclosure: While others have told me they imagine I spend my spare time doing yoga on the grass at sunrise, I am a little less Zen-like. I cuss like a sailor – no military insult intended on this Memorial Day post, and I enjoy Miller 64 beer because I am too practical to waste the additional 32 calories on a full Miller Lite.)

It is much easier is to recognize problems in someone else’s life than in our own. It’s not arrogance. It’s perspective. It’s human.

Yet, when we don’t accept this about ourselves and think we have a monopoly on answers, then we can be arrogant, judgmental, and basically a pain-in-the-ass person to deal with. Yes, I’ve been that too.

We have emotional reactions. It distorts our ability to problem-solve in our own lives. For emotional maturity, it’s critical to get out of our own head, get out of our own way, and don’t think too much.

In this recent article, The Voice of Reason, it describes how using 3rd person language is a powerful version of self-talk. Rather than, “I’m ok. I can handle it,” phrases, I would say, “Kathy, you’re ok. You can handle it.” The 3rd person language creates a distance in the brain from our emotions; it’s another method of self-talk.

Whether we use breathing techniques, exercise, writing, self-talk, or other mindfulness techniques, the point is to get our own attention so we can calm ourselves down. Once we do that, we can think more clearly and improve our own problem-solving skills.