Friday, December 30, 2016

The Truth About Mental Health and Why It Matters

The article, "On Balance 2016 was a Pretty Garbage Year for Mental Health", by Lindsay Holmes of the "Huffington Post" linked below pretty well sums up the past year in relation to the status of mental health in our culture and it's portrayal in the media.

There is an incredible amount of ignorance about mental health. We saw this ignorance on display as part of the recent election and other political and social theater this past year.

Be Smart and Get Help

If you or someone you care about needs help, I encourage you to get it. There is no shame in going to the doctor to get treated for pneumonia. Seeking help for an emotional or mental issue is no different. It's smart to get help.
It's also smart for us all to recognize that using pejorative labels such as "crazy", "nut-case", and similar terms is factually inaccurate and mentality debilitating for the person throwing those terms about. 

Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Care

One other smart thing to do: give yourself the gift of emotional self-care for stress. Stress - acute and chronic - makes any emotional, mental, or physical issue feel more intense. Indeed, for many people, problem thoughts, feelings, and emotional acting out occur only during periods of high stress.
Be smart. Read posts on this site and apply a few of the Stress-Mastery methods shared in those posts; attend a yoga or Tai Chi class; take a daily walk to reconnect with Mother Nature; use tapping methods such as EFT (see to help regain mental and emotional balance; find a meditation teacher or research and use one of the easily done DIY meditation methods.
Be smart. It makes sense to de-stress.

Love and blessings,
Steve Carter
Stress Solutions, LLC

P.S. To ensure you never miss a post, join our Stress Mastery community by simply entering your email address in the "Follow by Email" box on the right. No spam; no sharing.

Linked "Huffington Post" article: Lindsay Holmes, "On Balance, 2016 Was A Pretty Garbage Year For Mental Health"

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Simple Way to a Calm Mind

There are countless ways to calm the mind. One challenge with many methods relates to the need to remove yourself mentally and physically from your day-to-day activities and sit quietly as you focus on a sound, an object, or your thoughts. 

What if there is an alternative to sitting for extended periods of time? Can you easily incorporate a simple mindful meditation practice into daily activities that take just one or two minutes and still provide hours of benefits? The good news is you can do that easily.

The Simple Steps

Begin by choosing an activity you normally do with little conscious attention. Activities such as brushing your teeth, shaving, walking, or eating all are perfect candidates. 

Before beginning your activity, stop for a moment and take two comfortable breaths. Feel the air enter the nostrils and attend to any physical sensations in your body. Notice if you're breathing into your upper chest, the middle chest, or deep from the diaphragm.  Change nothing; simply notice.

Turn your attention toward the activity. If, for example, you're brushing your teeth, slow down and pick up the toothbrush. Feel the sensations in your hand as you pick it up. Look at the toothbrush; really look at it and notice any writing, the color, the bristles, and it's overall shape. Just notice the individual parts of the toothbrush and then open your focus and notice the whole toothbrush as you're holding it.

Turn your awareness to the tube of toothpaste. Look at the tube with fresh eyes. Notice any writing, colors, the size, and how it feels in your hand. Notice it's weight and shape. Slowly unscrew the cap and squeeze toothpaste onto the toothbrush. Do this slowly and watch without judgment. 

As you slowly bring the toothbrush to your mouth, notice the physical sensations as you open your mouth. Where do you begin brushing? Notice without judgment. 

Give your attention to the physical sensations of brushing. Notice any sensations in your face, neck, chest, back, hands, arms, and shoulders. Simply notice.

When you are done, watch the water rinse off the toothbrush, replace the toothbrush to it's normal resting place, and replace the cap onto the toothpaste.

Stand up straight, take two more comfortable breaths, and scan your body. Notice your sense of calmness, presence, and peace. Take a final comfortable breath and go about your day.

Two Minutes of Mindful Attention Can Bring Hours of Benefits

The one to two minutes you dedicated to mindfully attending to brushing your teeth will result in biochemical, mental, and emotional benefits that can last for hours. 

You can throughout your day repeat this same mind-calming process with other activities that are normally on autopilot.

Congratulations! You are now a mindfulness meditation practitioner. 

With love and blessings,

Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC

P.S. To ensure you never miss a post, join our Stress Mastery community by simply entering your email address in the "Follow by Email" box on the right. No spam; no sharing.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Change the World for Good - One Question at a Time

We are always asking questions. Sometimes the questions are conscious, but usually they aren’t.

The key question that is always in play with the subconscious mind is, “What does this mean for me?”. 

A second related question always in play when considering two or more options is, “What’s in it for me?”. 

When it comes to choosing among options, your brain is always tuned to WII-FM.

The Problem With These Two Questions

These two questions are primary drivers of emotions and frequently of behavior. The problem is we’re seldom aware that these two questions are the sole directors of our conscious thoughts, our emotions, and frequently our behavior.

Positive Questions Create Positive Outcomes

I suggest trying this experiment: set an alarm on your smartphone, schedule a short break on your calendar, or otherwise create notifications every two hours or so throughout your day. Each time the alarm is activated, use it as a reminder to ask yourself a positive question designed to change your mood, your thoughts, and your actions.

Examples of positive questions are:

  • "What am I grateful for in this moment?"
  • "Is there someone around me who needs cheering up? What honest complement or words of encouragement can I share with that person?"
  • "Have I told someone I care about today how much I appreciate them? I’ll call them now to tell them."
  • "Am I doing my best work on this project? How can I add value to this project, an upcoming meeting, or otherwise improve the experience and outcome for everyone?"
  • "Have I smiled enough today?"
  • "Have I taken one or two minutes to stretch, breathe deeply, take a short walk, or otherwise do something physical to lower my stress?"
  • "Have I acknowledged at least one thing I’ve done well today and told myself, ‘Well done!’?"

You Can Change the World One Question at a Time

Consciously choosing to ask positive questions changes your thoughts, your feelings, and frequently your behaviors. Equally important, positive questions create a field of positive energy for everyone around you. 

Each positive question you ask results in our world being a happier and more productive place.

Why not have a go at being a world changer today?



P.S. In January, you can join us for the no cost, "Question Your Way to Abundance" webinar. 

Visit, sign up for the Stress Mastery newsletter, and you'll be notified later in December about the free January event.

Friday, October 28, 2016

6 Easy Ways to Energize Your Day!

Here are 6 easy ways to cleanse and clear your old energy sludge and open your system valves to a torrent of feel wonderful fresh energy flow.

Yawn, Sigh, and Stretch

Sit up or stand up straight, stretch your arms out or up, breathe in deeply, and yawn. Yawn even if you don’t feel as though you need to yawn. Allow yourself to yawn two or three more times. Each yawn will feel better than the one before!

When you yawn, sigh, and stretch loads of good things happen in your body. You relax your jaw and throat, you signal the body that you’re safe and calm, and you clear out sludge from the prefrontal cortex (the area of your brain primarily responsible for conscious thinking) and prepare it to return to work in a relaxed, invigorated state.

Close Your Eyes and Breathe Deeply for at Least One Minute

When you close your eyes, your brainwave patterns automatically shift toward producing more alpha waves, the brain waves that create a sense of calm and relaxation. Add in slower, deeper breathing, and you have a recipe for renewable energy that tastes great and feels wonderful.

Stand Up and Take a Walk

Your prefrontal cortex tends to tire after about 30-minutes or so of focused attention. Creativity decreases and a you can feel tired and spent. Think of the last time you spent an hour or more working feverishly on your computer with no break.

Standing up and walking around for a minute or two every 30-minutes or so will help ensure you stay fresh and relaxed throughout your day. If you have been standing for extended periods, sit down and allow yourself to simply “Be” as you relax body / mind / and spirit.

Tidy Up Your Space

The Chinese practice of Feng Shui offers many benefits for those who choose to use it. It’s an effective way to create a harmonies, nourishing living or work space.

Don’t want to study Feng Shui? No problem. It’s easy to apply Feng Shui’s most important principle: Open space.

When you clear off desk and table surfaces, remove unnecessary items in your space (to include your computer desktop), and generally tidy up, you’re opening your space to encourage flowing energy.

It feels good to tidy up.

Call a Loved One or an Old Friend Just to Say “Hi”

I’ll bet there is a loved one or an old friend you’ve been meaning to call for months. Call that person now or schedule a call on your calendar for sometime today or tomorrow. There is a loving positive energy that starts to flow as soon as we hear the familiar voice of someone special. Imagine how surprised that special someone will be when they hear your voice and how good you’ll feel for making that call.

Fire Up a YouTube Music Video That Makes You Want to Dance

There are thousands upon thousands of music videos on YouTube. Some of my favorite artists are the Temptations, Chuck Berry, and the Rolling Stones. Your favorites are likely different. Regardless of who your favorite artists may be, I’ll bet you dance in your chair - or maybe even standing up - as soon as the music starts.

Music is a great way to energize yourself and create a special “super feel good” experience. Take a music break two or three times a day and notice how much better you feel and how much more you get done.

There you have it! Six great ways to energize your day:

  • Yawn, Sigh, and Stretch;
  • Close Your Eyes and Breathe Deeply;
  • Stand Up and Take a Walk;
  • Tidy Up Your Space;
  • Call a Loved One or an Old Friend Just to Say "Hi"; and,
  • Fire Up a YouTube Video That Makes You Want to Dance.

What other ways have you discovered to energize your day and feel great? Share your high energy "secret sauce" in the comments section below.

Blessings and light,

Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC |

P.S. Never miss a Stress Mastery blog post! Place your email address in the "Follow by Email" box on the right to have each post delivered to your In-box.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Break the Chains of Impulsive Behavior

Whether we’re thinking about having a second helping of dessert, buying a new expensive iPhone 7 when the existing phone works just fine, or choosing between an expensive destination wedding and a more modest ceremony close to home, too often we choose short-term immediate gratification at the expense of longer term bigger benefits.

Is there something we can do to help us break the chains of short-term impulsive thinking and behavior?

Yes, there is.

The Brain Science

Traditionally, self-control models look at brain processes in the prefrontal cortex associated with impulse control and emotions when attempting to explain why we so often make decisions favoring immediate short-term gain rather than opting for greater longer term benefits.

In a recent *study conducted by the University of Zurich and the University of Dusseldorf, researchers discovered another brain region called the temporo-parietal junction plays an important role in self-control by directing attention to the needs of a “Future Self”.

This discovery helps explain why a process I often use with clients called “Future Pacing” can be so effective in helping stop problem thinking and behaviors such as, low confidence, compulsive overeating, or other disempowering patterns.

Creating a “New You” With Future Pacing

Here’s how to put Future Pacing to work in your life:

  • Find a quiet, private, and comfortable place where you won’t be bothered for at least five minutes. Close your eyes and - as best you can - enter a calm and relaxed state.
  • Bring to mind a visualization of how you want to handle a situation that, in the past, you handled poorly.
  • Create a mind-movie of you handling that same situation in a way that aligns with your chosen new reality. Play that movie on the big screen in your Theatre of Mind. Allow the pictures to be big, bright, and bold. Give your mind-movie a title in alignment with your chosen new reality such as, “Confident Speaker”, “Healthy Eater”, or “Loving Partner”.
  • Add sound as appropriate. Hear others complimenting you on your chosen behavior. Hear yourself affirm how good you feel as you act in alignment with your new chosen reality.
  • Allow yourself to see, hear, and feel this chosen new, ongoing reality from a third person point of view (you’re watching yourself as if you are in a movie audience), a second person point of view (you’re in the movie, but looking at yourself through the eyes of another character in the movie), and a first person point of view (you’re looking through your own eyes). Really make the visualizations, big, bold, and empowering.
  • Allow your “Success Mind-Movie” to play for several minutes and then return to your normal activities.

Repeat this Future Pacing process three or four times a day for at least three weeks and then periodically ongoing until this new behavior becomes your default habitual way of behaving.

When faced with a situation that in the past may have resulted in short-term impulsive behavior, a quick visit in mind to a short section of your Future Pacing mind-movie will be all you need to direct attention and behavior to your new reality. You are "Re-minding" a chosen, empowering way of being.

Remember, you’re creating a script and then rehearsing the staring role as a happier, healthier new you. In just a few short weeks - or even in a few short days - your mind-movie can become your new way of living.

If you would like to learn more about our Future Pacing process and other ways of moving from Stress to Success, visit us at

Blessings, light, and love,

Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC |

P.S. Make sure you receive your copy of each new "Stress Mastery" post in your email in-box. Put in your email address in the "Follow by Email" box on the right.

Important note: This post and all other posts on this blog are for informational purposes only. Please consult an appropriate licensed health care provider for any medical, emotional, or psychological issues of concern.
*Journal Reference:
A. Soutschek, C. C. Ruff, T. Strombach, T. Kalenscher, P. N. Tobler.Brain stimulation reveals crucial role of overcoming self-centeredness in self-control. Science Advances, 2016; 2 (10): e1600992 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600992

Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Break Through Your Wall of Worry (6 Steps to Freedom)

We have all been there.

A major disappointment, an unexpected illness, a rejection by a friend, your boss, or a close family member. It can feel like we're  up against an emotional wall of worry.

When we experience these emotional wounds our initial reaction may lead us to feel anxiety, sadness, or other painful feelings. Negative self-talk that includes abundant self-criticism flows like water over Niagara Falls. 

We ask ourselves questions such as: 

"What's wrong with me?" "What did I do to deserve this?" and - the most common question - "Why did this happen?"

Judy's Story

I received a frantic call from Judy, a longtime client. Earlier that day Judy had an appoint with her primary care physician. As her doctor solemnly looked at the results of the echocardiogram, he shook his head and said, 

"You need to get in to see your cardiologist immediately!".

Her doctor continued talking to Judy, but she didn't hear anything he said. She was awash in fear and anxiety. 

Judy had been dealing with heart issues for two years. Just a few weeks earlier her cardiologist complimented Judy on her medical progress. 

"There is no need", he said, "to see me again for four months."

As Judy left her primary care physician's office, her mind raced with questions such as, 

"What happened? Why did my cardiologist say I was doing so well and now this doctor tells me I'm not?"

Negative "Why" Questions Lead to Strong Disempowering Answers

When we are dealing with highly charged negative situations, our "Why" questions invariably take us down the rabbit hole of debilitating thoughts and emotions. 

Why? Because those negative "Why" questions are built on the presupposition that the premise of the questions are true or have an answers we can uncover. 

"If I can learn why something happened", the mind tells us, "then I can 'fix' it."

The Subconscious Mind - Our Faithful Servant

The problem with this line of thinking is that our subconscious minds are faithful servants that do exactly what we ask them to do. When you pose a question such as, "What's wrong with me?", your subconscious mind searches your memories, your beliefs, and what you've heard others say.  It then offers up to your conscious mind all of the memories, beliefs, and conclusions from your mental hard drive relating to the question, "What's wrong with me".

There's only one problem: since your faithful servant - your subconscious mind - was operating within the framework of the, "What's wrong with me" question, it ignores any information, memories, and beliefs that are contrary to the presupposition of the question. 

In other words, to use the computer programming analogy, "Garbage in, garbage out".

The Worst Question to Ask

Of all the disempowering questions we can ask ourselves, the worst one is: "Why did this happen?" A close second is, "What did I do wrong?"

6 Steps to Freedom - Break Through Your Wall of Worry

So, what is a stressed out, anxiety ridden, worried person to do?

  • First, when you have even the slightest glimmer of clarity that your reactions aren't productive, take three long deep breaths and then yawn, stretch, and take three more deep breaths. This will slow down your racing negative thoughts and provide a slight bit of emotional distance.
  • Secondly, ask yourself this question: "Just for now, can I let go of trying to figure it all out?" Allow your mind to go quiet. If the mind chatter continues, repeat the question.
  • Third, tell yourself, "What happened, happened". Then ask yourself, "What can I learn from this experience?" If the first answer is, "nothing", keep quiet and let your subconscious continue to search. 
  • Fourth, wait silently for your subconscious to serve up the answers. Write them down or vividly remember what comes to awareness.
  • Fifth, continue with an empowering line of questions such as, "How can I use this experience and my insights to change the meaning of what happened?" or, "How can I apply these new insights to enhance my life - even if just a little bit - ongoing."
  • Sixth, sit silently in mindful awareness as your new insights are incorporated into mind, body, and spirit.

Better Questions, Better Answers for Judy

We applied this 6-step approach to help Judy find the best way forward for her. She went from being stuck in the questions, 

"Why did this happen?" and, "What went wrong" (both are "trying to figure it out" questions), 

to asking more empowering questions such as:

"What can I do now to help ensure I handle the situation calmly?" and, "How can I assure I'm asserting myself and I'm truly heard when talking with doctors?"

The facts of Judy's situation haven't changed, but her thinking has. That alone will make a huge difference in the decisions she'll make about her health. She is taking responsibility for her own wellbeing in a way she hadn't done before.

Next Step to Help You Ask Better Questions

For more suggestions about how to change your thinking to change your life, drop me an email at to be placed on the notification list for our upcoming "Questions for a Better Life" program.

Blessings, light, and love,

Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC |

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Inflamed Mind - Why This BBC Report Matters

One of the mysteries of the mind and brain is why we can be functioning perfectly one day and then - sometimes overnight - fall into a bottomless sense of depression and even serious psychosis. 

A recent BBC report focuses on a new line of scientific investigation into the roles inflammation and autoimmune disorders can play in our mental wellbeing. The new approaches that come from these discoveries may mean better treatment outcomes and happier lives.

What's New and Why Does it Matter?

Problem: For about a third or more people dealing with depression and many additional people dealing with psychotic conditions, talk therapy offers little or no help.

Emerging Science: There is growing evidence that for many people depression and even psychotic
conditions can result from a whole body reaction to inflammation and autoimmune disorders. 

To quote Prof. Pariante, one of the medical scientists associated with this BBC story, 

"It is groundbreaking because, for the first time, we are demonstrating that depression is not only a disorder of the mind, in fact it is not even only a disorder of the brain, it is a disorder of the whole body.

Promising Solutions: As with so many challenging conditions, for many people depression and perhaps other serious mental conditions may best be treated in a holistic way.

A Possible Way Forward

If, after reading the article and listening to the audio report (see below), you conclude it's possible you or someone you know may be helped by exploring the role inflammation and autoimmune activity may be playing in a mental condition, talk with your doctor. Since this may be new information for many medical professionals, you may need to point them toward the BBC reports.

I encourage you to first read the BBC article entitled, "Depression: a Revolution in Treatment?" at

After reading this article, I encourage you to visit the BBC page that includes the recorded radio exploration of these discoveries at

To your wellbeing,

Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC | |

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

How to Use a Simple Tapping Protocol for Emotional First Aid

The more we pay attention to negative events, the more our nervous systems experience a rising baseline of chronic stress that seems to be always present. Chronic stress can negatively affect our emotional and physical well-being in multiple ways.

At the time this post is being written, just a couple of days ago our Elliott City, Maryland community suffered a devastating flood in the old section of the City. At least two people are dead, people lost homes, and businesses suffered millions upon millions of dollars in losses. It's not clear how many months it will take to clean up the devastation and begin rebuilding.

When turning on our televisions or reading news, we see daily reports about terrorist killings. In major cities across the U.S., gang and drug violence are major contributors to the deaths of about 90 people every day. 

All of these events are contributing to a growing sense of high anxiety and stress for many. For many,
feelings of safety continue to erode with each passing day.

Emotional First Aid

There are countless ways of self managing stress: meditation, self-hypnosis, meridian tapping, exercise, Qigong, the Sedona Method, and many other approaches have all shown stress reducing effects in many people.

If you already have experience with a method you like, but haven't been using regularly, I suggest returning to that practice and use it daily. 

Trauma Tapping Technique

If you would like to try a simple, easily applied method for tension and stress release, I suggest using Trauma Tapping Technique, or TTT.

Two Swedish international aid workers, Gunilla Hamne and Ulf Sandstrom, developed this simple tapping protocol that has helped tens of thousands of people across India, Africa, Pakistan, Canada, the U.S., and other regions. 

The beauty of TTT is its simplicity and effectiveness for many people, including people who experienced horrific trauma in Rwanda, the Congo, Chad, Kosovo, and multiple other countries. This is a totally non-verbal technique. There is no need to talk about the experience or (for those of you who use EFT) to voice any affirmation.

TTT IS NOT a substitute for psychological therapy or medical treatment. It is a simple, easy to apply, emotional first aid technique that can calm mind and body in ways that dissolve stress and create a sense of emotional and physical well-being. It is a self-regulation technique that takes only a couple of minutes to use.

How to Do TTT

You'll find a short video below demonstrating TTT. I suggest watching it once and then watching it a second time and follow along through the tapping sequence.

Before starting, I suggest getting a sense of your beginning stress level on a "0" to "10" scale ("10" being the highest level of stress you can imagine with "0" being no stress).

After tapping through the TTT sequence (see the video demonstration for one complete sequence), do another stress level assessment. You'll likely notice a marked decrease. If any sense of stress remains, go through the sequence a second time.

To learn more about the Peaceful Heart Network led by Gunnilla and Ulf, visit You'll find instructional videos, information about their wonderful work, a 1-page guide for TTT, and much more on their website.

You can experience TTT for yourself by tapping along in this YouTube video:

For more information about Meridian Tapping and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for Stress Mastery, visit us at www.EFT-MD.Com


Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC | |

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Best Way to ID Negative Self-Talk and Change it Immediately

Do you talk to yourself? Of course you do. We all do. 

Is your running self-talk commentary empowering or disempowering? Does it support you or hold you back? There is an easy way to find out.

Why Self-Talk Matters

Why does this matter? It matters because your subconscious is both the source of - and audience for - self-talk whether positive or negative.

In addition to your mind and self-identity paying attention, self-talk can lead to biochemical changes in your body that affect your immune system, emotions, and cellular functions. Every cell in your body is listening. Self-talk can propel you toward your goals or place impassable boulders in your road to success.

What Research Tells Us

When you enter the term, “self-talk”, in Google Scholar service, you’ll find about 39,000 citations for studies that have looked at the role of self-talk in physical health, personal performance, and emotional well-being. We see a strong correlation between consistent patterns of negative or positive self-talk and corresponding changes in physical and emotional well-being and personal performance.

The Best Way to ID Your Negative Self-Talk

Do you need to constantly monitor your thoughts every minute? Absolutely not. Life should flow freely and so too should your thinking. 

If, however, you want to get a picture of your positive and negative thought habits, there is an easy way to do that: simply set a timer on your smartphone or set reminders as popups or email notices using your online calendar (Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, etc.) to alert you every 30 or 45 minutes.

With each alert, jot down a very brief description of the thought that was in mind just prior to the alert. Keep a list (or even better a journal) over several days. Add a “+” indicator for positive thoughts; a “-” for negative thoughts; and, a “0” for neutral thoughts.

Stay with this process for about a week. At the end of the week, review your list and count the “+”, “-”, and “0” entries. A couple of seconds worth of math and you’ll have the percentage of thoughts that fit into each of the three categories. Typically, most people will have 70 - 80% of thoughts in negative territory. 

What to Do When You Notice Negative Self-Talk

Since you know self-talk can affect your health, happiness, and performance, you have a chance to choose a new habit: every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, scream (in your mind or - if your social situation allows - out loud) “STOP!”.

You’ll immediately notice a brief silence of mind. Fill that silence with a question that changes the direction of your thoughts.

For example, if you catch yourself thinking something like, 

“My boss is a jerk! She’s an idiot”, 

yell, “STOP!” and then say, for example,   

“OK, she’s obviously super stressed. What can I do that will help me understand what’s going on and maybe even help her as well?”.

Wait for ideas to come. They will. 

Choose the best way forward and proceed accordingly.

You’ll feel better immediately.

Over time, you will be less reactive and more proactive in your thinking. Your stress level will go down and your sense of emotional well-being will go up.

You benefit and so too will your family, friends, and co-workers.

How do you manage self-talk? Share your ideas in the comments below.


Steve Carter  

Stress Solutions, LLC | | |

P.S. If you would like to talk about your situation and what life enhancements you would like to experience, contact us through the "Contact Us" page at

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The 2 Key Questions to Discover the Hidden Good in Unwanted Surprises

One of the most beneficial actions you can take to set a positive intent for your day is voice an affirmation. 

First, you immediately begin to notice circumstances and experiences that align with your intention - circumstances and experiences you would have likely not noticed absent your affirmation. Secondly, it acts as a command to your subconscious to bring about the circumstances and experiences that meet your intention.

As an example of how this can work, I share my journal entry for today about choosing to discover the hidden good in unwanted surprises and the two key questions to discover the hidden good in those unwanted surprises. 


Today's Affirmation: I choose to discover the hidden good in unwanted surprises.

As good as it is to experience pleasant surprises, true changes in perspective, new ideas, and new insights about ourselves and life are the fruits of unwanted surprises. 

The Two Key Questions to Discover the Hidden Good in Unwanted Surprises

If we roll through our initial reactions and reach a state of acceptance of what is, we are then positioned to answer the two most important questions we can ask about unpleasant surprises:

  • What is the hidden benefit of this experience?
  • How can I use this experience in ways that improve my day, my life, and perhaps the world?

What Can I Do to Make This Choice a Reality?

We know from research that an affirmation is most effective when it's made before a charged event occurs. A properly formed affirmation sets in motion a positive mindset that acknowledges we have the right temperament, will, and ability to navigate any storm and turn it to our advantage.

The Secret is in the Questions

Questions focus attention and open the conscious and subconscious minds to new pathways, new perspectives, and new ways of seeing and being in the world. 

Today, I choose to look at unwanted surprises as a precious gift wrapped in coarse unattractive paper.

Today, I choose to look beyond the wrapping to discover the gift waiting patiently to serve.

Today, I choose to discover the hidden good in unwanted surprises.

Why not have a go at journaling your thoughts, insights, and actions that emerge from this or another affirmation? It's fun and it's a powerful path to self-discovery.


Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC | | | | 804-677-6772

P.S. To join our Healers Circle family and receive low volume, high-value messages on Stress Mastery and holistic methods, visit the Education Resource page on our site by clicking HERE.