Monday, May 30, 2011

Balance and self-improvement

Why I Write (And How Writing About Writing Is Like Dancing About Mathematics) | Owning Pink
This is a very inspiring post.
On the one hand, it's a nice idea, to be totally transparent with your writing and not care what others think.

On the other hand, I'm too cautious of a person to do this, and I've seen and experienced too much to be totally comfortable with this idea.

I've been reading lots of self-help books lately. I always have, though. Continually looking for ways to improve myself and my life.

One of my other blogging friends showed me an article about "maximizers" versus "satisficers." Basically, maximizers shop around and review almost every possible option and make an informed choice. Satisficers go with what's "good enough." Satisficers are actually supposed to be more happy.

I would definitely say I have some "maximizer" tendencies. And I don't want to turn my back on that. I feel my drive for self-improvement can be a good thing. But I need to be careful and reign it in sometimes, to avoid "the grass is greener" syndrome.

One of the reasons I've been getting into paganism and Wicca recently is the emphasis on balance. I tend to be a person of extremes, or so I've been told. So balance can be a good thing for me, while keeping in mind the saying, "Everything in moderation, including moderation." Sometimes you need to go all out and totally let yourself loose, you know? At least I do. I generally err on the side of not crazy enough. I don't do crazy self-destructive things when I let go. I guess I need to trust in myself a little more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Attitude adjustment

Going from a macro to a micro level, let's talk about how I've been changing my attitude.

I've struggled a lot lately with negativity and pessimism. My friend Ericka and a book about the plasticity of the brain helped me start on the road to a more optimistic self.

The basic trick is when you start having negative thoughts, try to think of something pleasant instead. I don't even always fully realize the pleasant thought. Often it is the thought of thinking of something pleasant that helps.

As another friend of mine pointed out, this does two things. It stops me focusing on the negativity, and it starts me focusing on something more positive.

This has been pretty successful so far. Ironically, some of the stressors I've had most recently have died down a bit as I've done this. But I think even if they flared up again I'd be a little better prepared to deal with them.