Mind Over Matter, DailyOM
We can improve our physical well-being by first starting to notice our thoughts and our reactions to them.
The power of the mind is a curious thing because it is so powerful yet so difficult to control sometimes. We find ourselves thinking a certain way, knowing that this thought may be creating trouble for us yet we find it difficult to stop. For example, many people have the experience of getting sick at the same time every year or every time they go on a plane. They may even be aware that their beliefs impact their experiences, so continue to think they will get sick and then they do.
Sometimes we need to get sick in order to process something or move something through our bodies. But often we get sick or feel exhausted because we don’t make the effort to galvanize the power of our minds in the service of our physical health, which is one of its most important functions. We really can use it to communicate with our bodies, yet we often regard the two as separate entities that have little to do with one another.
Knowing this, we have the power to create physical health and mental health, simply by paying attention to the tapes running in our minds. Once we hear ourselves, we have the option to let that tape keep running or to make a new recording. We harness the power of the mind in our defense when we choose supportive, healing words that foster good health and high spirits. All we need to do is remember to tend the field of our mind with the attentive and loving hand of a master gardener tending her flower beds, culling out the weeds so that the blossoms may come to fruition.

 

The word gullible has a negative connotation and often implies that a person is simple-minded and will believe anything. You might find the words Trusting, amiable, exploitable, Or go here for a list of more choices that may feel kinder to you.https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/gullible

So many choices for kinder words for yourself and others.

Being Kinder in What You Say, One Word at a Time

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~Oscar Wilde

I believe in kindness.

I am not, by nature, a kind person.

But I’m trying to be.

My tongue is sharp. I’m far too often the first to come back with a sharp retort.

Sarcasm and I were old companions, until about four years ago, when I had what I thought was just a casual conversation with a friend. But the next time I saw her, there was a distance between us.

I finally had a chance to speak with her alone, and asked what was the matter.

“You always have get a shot in.”

Oh.

I couldn’t even remember what we’d been talking about. Nothing important, really.

I did know I hadn’t meant to be cruel. That whatever it was I’d said, I’d only meant it as teasing, or a friendly poke. A chance to be clever, witty.

But I’ve learned that it’s better to be kind than clever.

That too often what I think is wit is closer to hurtful.

I may think we’re playing, trading silly jests, but I don’t know how the other person is feeling that day. Something that may normally ride lightly on them may strike an unknown injury, remind them of another hurt.

A game that I played for my own amusement isn’t worth the risks.

I don’t really want to be the person who always gets a shot in. The person my friends are hesitant to chat with, because they don’t know if they’re going to be next to be teased.

So I’m willing to work at nurturing kindness in my speech, and in my actions. I haven’t changed my entire life yet, but drop-by-drop, word-by-word, lots of little things add up.

Here are some of my “daily drops,” should you wish to incorporate them into your life, as well:

  • Think before you speak. I’m not always good at this. But I’m getting better. Taking a sip of water, of a bite of my sandwich creates space to think about my reply, and often reshape it, soften it, or discard it all together.
  • If you realize you’ve already said something harsh, or something that through your own history could be interpreted as harsh, apologize immediately. I do this because I’d rather not risk being misunderstood.
  • Take care of yourself. Show yourself kindness. Make sure your own needs are met as well. I’ve found that it’s far too easy to slip into my old habits if I’m tired or hungry or stressed out and overwhelmed.
  • Check to see if you’re off center in another area of your life. I may not consciously mean to be cruel, but I’ve noticed that I’m more tempted to be sharp tongued if I’m upset about something else, even if it’s completely unrelated to the person I’m speaking with now.
  • Invite kindness into other areas of your life. One of my favorite questions now is “What’s the kind choice?” Most of the time the answer isn’t what I expect.
  • Practice gratitude. I may not always feel like writing down three things to be grateful for, but even one object of happiness can bring me back to center, remind me that there’s really nothing to be so sharp about.
  • Remember to be kind to people you may not actually like. It’s easy to make kindness to my friends a priority. But strangers or people who actively rub me the wrong way deserve gentleness as well.
  • Reflect at the end of the day. I do this not to punish myself, but to look back when I’m not in the moment, see how I did, and if situations come up again, are there other choices I could make.
  • Practice. None of this is easy. None of it comes naturally. But like anything else, consistent, mindful practice makes it easier, day-by-day.

There have been unexpected benefits to this practice of kindness. I can feel myself softening, becoming a gentler person. My sharp edges seem to be smoothing away.

Not all the way down. But enough that kindness doesn’t feel like a foreign language to my tongue. Someday, I might even think of it as second nature.

And when kindness comes naturally, we’re being kind to ourselves and others.

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