Monday, November 19, 2007

Attitude Checkpoints!

The other day while standing at my kitchen sink I caught myself grumbling under my breath, again, about something my husband did - or did not do. I can’t even remember now what the imagined offense was - but it brings up the point that our internal dialogue plays a huge role in our daily attitude.

Psychologist, Dr. David Stoop, in his book “Self Talk: Key to Personal Growth” (Fleming H. Revell Co. ISBN 0-8007-5074-8) states, “We have been taught to believe that our feelings and emotions are caused by the events in our lives”. He challenges that theory by going on to say that in reality, “thoughts create our emotions”. He maximizes the impact of that premise by sharing that we speak out loud at a rate of about 150 – 200 words per minute, and that some research suggests that we talk privately to ourselves in our thoughts at the rate of about 1300 words per minute.

Dr Stoop goes on, “Many of our thoughts take the form of mental images or concepts, we can think of something in a fleeting moment that would take us many minutes of verbal speech to describe. Even one word in our thoughts can be so saturated with meaning that hundreds of verbal words would be required to explain that one-word thought.”

According to Dr. Stoop, the whole point is that we gain control in our lives by gaining control of our thoughts. Too simple to work? After 20 years of experimenting with this theory, this writer thinks not.

The next time that you find your own internal dialogue turning sour…take control of how you are looking at the problem (or the person!) and choose a different viewpoint. It really can be that simple. My husband is the beneficiary of numerous internal dialogue changes per day! (Smile!)

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