As a study published in the Review of General Psychology notes, "If satisfaction and pleasure were permanent, there might be little incentive to continue seeking further benefits or advances." In other words, feeling contented wasn't good for the species. Our ancestors worked harder and strove further because they evolved to be perpetually perturbed, and so we remain today. Think of a deer in the headlights and you'll be able to recognize the freeze response to fear. The animal stays quite still and quiet, assessing the danger to see if fleeing is necessary or whether it can go back to eating grass. Similar to passive resistance, your partner may act as if they're listening. But in reality, they're hoping it will all go away so the status quo remains. (Sounds like something an underfunctioner might do...) Or they can say to themselves (probably not to you), "She gets like this sometimes. Tomorrow things will be the way they've always been." So they stay quiet. How does it differ from passive resistance? You're ignored more than resisted. When you try to bring it up again, it's as if you've never said anything before. No response, so nothing happens. But remember that doing absolutely nothing is a message in and of itself. Then there's a fold response whereby the fear is so devastating to someone that they lose some of their capacity to function. They feel emotionally overwhelmed by what you're saying and need a lot of reassurance from you that everything is okay. They may even shame themselves for what has been your journey. They might say, "I should've known how unhappy you've been." Or, "Did I make you feel this way?" This can be difficult because you don't want to revert to hiding who you are. So, what do you do if you receive one of these more difficult reactions? You hang on tight to your own boundaries. No matter what the reaction, it's vital to keep your boundaries very clear.

Those are the classic traits of internal dialogue. What are the costs that it exacts? What is the price you pay when your internal dialogue is endlessly negative? Because internal dialogue is relentless and ever present, it can, in the aggregate, be a major life force. It can wreak a destruction that is cumulative, subtle, and slow. Imagine everyone going around with no shirts on their backs during the summer, not realizing that the sun is actually burning them. If you stuck an iron to their backs, they would yelp and scream and run. The sun and the iron are the same in terms of injury, but the sun is subtler. You don't even notice it. Similarly, if you were to step up to someone, look her in the eyes, and say, "You are a stupid, worthless bitch," she would recoil in horror and pain. Yet that is exactly the kind of thing that people say to themselves all day, every day, by way of their internal dialogue. Daily exposure to negative internal dialogue, like prolonged exposure to the sun, can be killing you, without your even knowing it. Ultimately, what you create for yourself is a toxic internal environment, one that grows by such indiscernible steps that it just kind of "sneaks up on you." It takes years off your life and makes you so much more susceptible to disease. How? Your immune cells are closely related to your nerve cells and there is instant communication between the two types of cell. For every thought you have, you have an instantaneous change in your physical body. If you are thinking negative and self-defeating thoughts about yourself, you will have a corresponding negative and defeating physiology. It might take the form of increased endocrine activity, chronic adrenaline arousal, elevated blood pressure, or even a heart attack. In sum, internal dialogue is powerful medicine. You need to listen to your body because it damn sure listens to you.

Your body speaks to you through your headaches, your painful back, your depression and anxieties, even your constant colds. It informs you and confirms what you are saying to yourself. And when you think about it, you see that these messages are your authentic self, crying out, "Help me out of here." If you are constantly tired, achy, sick, or in any way physically uncomfortable, you need to take a really hard look at what you are saying to yourself, day in and day out. I personally apply a few drops of lavender oil to my wrists when feeling nervous or stressed, add a few drops onto my pillowslip or bath at night to ensure a more restful sleep, or into my washing for a beautiful fragrant result. I spray diluted lavender oil onto my curtains in summertime to keep mosquitoes at bay, and use it to soothe and heal insect bites and burns too. As well as diffusing refreshing citrus oils such as lemon, lime, lemongrass and grapefruit for daily upliftment at home, I add them to my homemade cleaning products, room and body sprays. A big inhale of lemon oil can re-energise and refresh me from one moment to the next. I simply add a drop or two of lemon oil into the palms of my hands, rub them together, then breathe the scent deeply in, placing my hands lightly in front of my closed eyes. You might like to visit Raspberry-Studded Lemon, Lime and Coconut Biscuits and be inspired to create delicious sweet biscuits infused with organic lemon oil! Sandalwood is a particularly earthy and soulful essential oil. I love to rub a few drops of sandalwood oil into the soles of my feet at night, grounding and settling myself before bed. Sandalwood's anti-inflammatory, anti-viral properties also make it a great selection to boost immunity and fend off illness. The essential oil of cloves is an excellent choice for diluting and gargling to stop sore throats in their tracks, for application to pulse points in a carrier oil when travelling on aeroplanes or around people who are unwell, and for applying to the crown of the head and the soles of the feet in the presence of fever or malaise. Peppermint oil is energising and helps to clear our minds as well as our sinuses. When I have a cold or flu I add a few drops of peppermint oil to a tissue and inhale it deeply, or sprinkle it onto my pillowslip for easier breathing at night. I also add a drop of food-grade peppermint oil to my water glass or drink bottle for refreshment and to aid digestion, and clearing my sinuses all at once. A little peppermint oil in a carrier oil can be massaged into the temples when experiencing a headache. How we manage emotions can determine whether we reach our lofty goals. Constructive emotional states and positive expectations can create a self-reinforcing cycle. Conversely, negative emotions and low expectations can drag us down.

Setting worthy goals, creating a game plan, eliciting support from friends and family, and cultivating emotional intelligence is a template for success. It is just as important to concentrate on your aims and ambitions until you accomplish them. Expectation therapy postulates that when you set positive expectations for yourself, you are tapping deep reservoirs of emotional intelligence. When we harness the power of emotions, instead of letting them swamp and overwhelm us, they become allies. When we manage our emotions, anything is possible. Whatever your goal---seeing a challenging project through to completion, getting the raise you've been fighting for, or building a business---expecting success and attaining your goals work hand in hand. We have discussed the powers of emotions and the ways in which our behaviors can directly affect our successes and failures. We have explored the components that constitute emotional intelligence, as well as the factors that support or hinder our EQ. Most important, we have learned that positive thinking brings about positive changes. Unfortunately, the same evolutionary traits that helped our kin survive by driving them to constantly do more can conspire against us today. Four psychological factors make satisfaction temporary. Let's begin with the first factor: boredom. The lengths people will go to avoid boredom is shocking, sometimes literally. A 2014 study published in Science asked participants to sit in a room and think for fifteen minutes. The room was empty except for a device that allowed the participants to mildly but painfully electrocute themselves. "Why would anyone want to do that?" you might ask. When asked beforehand, every participant in the study said they would pay to avoid being shocked. However, when left alone in the room with the machine and nothing else to do, 67 percent of men and 25 percent of women shocked themselves, and many did so multiple times. The study's authors conclude their paper by saying, "People prefer doing to thinking, even if what they are doing is so unpleasant that they would normally pay to avoid it. The untutored mind does not like to be alone with itself." It's no surprise, therefore, that most of the top twenty-five websites in America sell escape from our daily drudgery, whether through shopping, celebrity gossip, or bite-sized doses of social interaction.

What's a healthy boundary? If you share a healthy boundary with someone, you know that how you feel when you're with them comes from your own inner life, your own thoughts and feelings. The other person hasn't caused them. It's the conceptual line between where you end and someone else begins. You believe, You didn't make me feel sad. I simply feel sad. But a boundary can also be defined in a very pragmatic way. You set a boundary when you establish guidelines for what is a permissible or safe way for others to act toward you, and what you'll likely do or feel if that line is crossed. "I'm going to close the door if you continue making so much noise in the kitchen" is a simple example. You can state your own personal boundaries, which provides structure for your own behavior. "I'll leave the room if I get too mad. But this conversation is important and I'll be back when I can cool down." When boundaries are clear, they give information to others about who you are and what you care about. And vice versa. Just as important, they provide you with a sense of self. You assert what's important to you. You explain your values. You know what's motivating your decisions and guiding your emotional reactions. Healthy boundaries aren't ultimatums, although you can be accused of that when they are unwelcome. They are information. That distinction is important to remember.