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What Kind of Paranoid Are You?

What Kind of Paranoid Are You?

Jack Canfield, in chapter 6 of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, admonishes us to become “inverse paranoids.” If you’ve ever known anyone with paranoid tendencies, you know that no matter what someone says or does, this person will be suspicious of their motives. Becoming an “inverse paranoid” means we begin to assume that the other person is out to bless us instead of out to get us!

Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Attitude is more important than facts.” We can control what we feel if we change our attitudes. True, there may be physical reasons why a person tends to be paranoid. Perhaps they would benefit from medication or a good herbal supplement. (Paranoia tends to go along with depression, and St. John’s Wort can really help a person get into a better all around mood.)

Having a clear feeling about others is essential for success in every aspect of life. Do I feel like my spouse secretly disdains me? Do I worry about how people in the store are evaluating my looks? Do I assume this prospective client already doesn’t like me? All of these thoughts can be reversed if I only make the effort. I can choose to believe that my spouse loves me, at least until he tells me otherwise. I can choose to believe the people in the store think I look fine, or more likely aren’t even paying any attention to me. And I can assume this prospective client has a good feeling about me.

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So, how do I go about renewing my assumptions? How can I convince myself that others like me and want to do me right in business and social matters?

1. I can build self esteem. Experts might not always agree on the best way to do this, but gaining competency at some skill usually helps. I can take an inventory of everything that’s admirable about me. Why wouldn’t people like me and want the best for me?

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2. I can start now to eliminate worry from my self-talk and habits. I can pay attention to little negative attitudes and get rid of them.

3. I can ask a trusted friend to tell me my blind spots. If we sense that people are responding negatively to us, maybe we have some quirky habits that irritate others. A good friend might be willing to fill me in on these if I can accept a little constructive criticism. And then, I can act with resolve to change these unknown, irritating habits.

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Often, however, changing my assumptions about others is a simple choice. I can choose to turn my paranoid around into a hopeful expectation of respect and courtesy.

References:

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Canfield, Jack. The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

Peale, Norman Vincent. The Power of Positive Thinking

Barbara Wood is a writer and educator living with her family in the Missouri Ozarks.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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