After 45 years as a GP, Dr Robert Favaloro ponders what it takes to build a wonderful life. How happiness can be grown and tended like a good crop. It's all about following The Rules of Life.
It's so easy to find ourselves criticising someone else. We can even find ourselves criticising ourselves. The words we use can be so negative, exacerbating negative feelings - a great energy drainer.
Often my patients used words like - "I'm an idiot" to describe themselves. .. I would ask them if they used such language often or even if they thought such language often. They regularly did.
This negative language leaves no room for escape. However we can learn to be kinder to ourselves. Instead of saying, "I'm a fool," we could say, "I made an error today but I'll learn from it".
This 'self -talk' has to be disciplined. We can be kind to ourselves with our words. The more we focus on the positives, the easier it is to see these positives. We will feel better and relate to others more easily.
We aren't programmed to judge each other. We're programmed to accept each other the way we are. (Marriages can thrive when the couple accept each other as they are).
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We all thrive on feeling that we aren't being judged. We enjoy being with people who don't judge. We don't have to waste energy being in a defensive state.
So many young people present to their GP in an anxious or depressed state. In the safe atmosphere of a consultation they can feel free to let the tears flow. Their frustrations frequently centre on feeling judged by important older people.
Good self-esteem is so important to get us safely through our teens. This so often starts with feeling trusted.
It's often said that if a child has one person who unconditionally loves them, then by their mid-20s they will have settled well into life. They won't need the less desirable behaviours of youth any more.
Taking time to practise positive self-talk is a life skill well worth developing.
Rule of Life 9 in two weeks.
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