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There's an emotional cost, as well, a kind of hardening of your psychological arteries. As we saw when the locus of control is out of whack, negative internal dialogue will cause you to overlook vital information that could otherwise be so incredibly powerful. You don't even recognize positive alternatives anymore, because, once again, your data-processing center has closed. Think of it this way: When you've lost your keys and then you find them, do you keep looking for your keys? If you've been searching for an answer and you believe you have it, do you continue investigating? No. You call off the search. Now suppose your conversation with yourself runs like this: I am a knucklehead, I have always been a knucklehead, I will always be a knucklehead and no one will respect me. Once you begin believing yourself, why would you continue to process data? You might have ten experiences in the next week that run counter to your being a knucklehead, but your data processing window is shut, so you don't see the contrary information. You don't hear it. If your internal dialogue is that you are a knucklehead, and you believe that you are truthful with yourself, then you absolutely will miss evidence to the contrary. You will miss it, even if it's served up to you on a silver platter. And you certainly won't go seeking out such evidence. You might be in a job that is highly technical and structural and makes a lot of people happy, but causes you pain in some way. Perhaps you have strong artistic gifts, but that job has you just connecting dots in a totally nonartistic fashion. It's easy to imagine the internal dialogue that would cause you to start ignoring the pain. You might blame your unhappiness on other things: your spouse, the part of the country you live in, your lacking an education or the right kind of education. For all the things there are to blame, it doesn't occur to you that your frustration comes from your not being true to yourself. You have already closed the door on that, so you say, "I am doing the right thing." Your internal dialogue kicks into overdrive, rationalizing and justifying the unfulfilling choice, protecting you from the alternatives.

This little handful of inspirations is just the beginning. Dip into the world of essential oils and crystals and prepare to be bedazzled! I always choose pure organic essential oils especially if ingesting them, and I am extremely careful with quantities and varieties, patch-testing if I'm planning to use them directly on my skin or in hand-crafted beauty products. It is advised that pregnant women or those with any health concerns at all seek advice before choosing and using essential oils at home. Let's expand our awareness about nature's gifts, and enjoying a host of healing, soothing and sparkle-nourishing benefits in daily life. When you have positive expectations, then you have the power to use your emotional intelligence for the better. Your positive expectations can help you regulate your emotions with a clear end goal in mind. They can keep you focused on your internal motivation, help you understand the feelings and actions of the people around you, and encourage you to use your social skills in an affirmative way. At the core of your success lies your positive expectation. A short time ago, we walked through an example of being passed up for a job promotion. With what you have now learned about the power of emotional intelligence and the capabilities that come with positive expectations, do you think our hypothetical scenario could have ended a little differently? At the center of desiring a job promotion is the positive expectation that you deserve such an outcome and that you will achieve your goal because you display the best possible traits for the job. When you believe you are worthy, you become worthy. When you believe you can achieve any goal you set your mind to, it becomes an authentic part of who you are on the inside. From letting your creativity flow to focusing on a tough task, the expectation that you will accomplish your goal will keep you on the path to success. Another psychological factor driving us to distraction is negativity bias, "a phenomenon in which negative events are more salient and demand attention more powerfully than neutral or positive events." As the author of one study concluded, "It appears to be a basic, pervasive fact of psychology that bad is stronger than good." Such pessimism begins very early in life. Babies begin to show signs of negativity bias starting at just seven months of age, suggesting this tendency is inborn. As further evidence, researchers believe we tend to have an easier time recalling bad memories than good ones. Studies have found people are more likely to recall unhappy moments in their childhood, even if they would describe their upbringing as generally happy. Negativity bias almost certainly gave us an evolutionary edge.

Good things are nice, but bad things can kill you, which is why we pay attention to and remember the bad stuff first. Useful, but what a bummer! Keep in mind that it took you some time to allow your own thinking to change. And you can be generous with your partner, friend, or family member and give them that same time. You can invite them to ask you questions. But the boundary should be clear: "If you cannot try to change with me right now, I understand. But I'm going to continue this journey." You can ask them if you can give some feedback on their reaction. You might say, "I'd like to talk about your anger with me." Or, "I'd like to talk about how I'm seeing the situation between us right now. You don't seem comfortable with what I've told you." You're encouraging a conversation that could be very helpful. What your partner or friend may not realize is that they're giving you information through their reactions. If they remain angry, that's information for you to process. If they say, "You know, at first I got angry because I was caught off guard. I'm sorry I got defensive. Can we try this conversation over?" then that's a helpful response. If they blame themselves, that's information. Or if they say, "You know, I realize it's not about me. I just got scared," that helps you both move forward. If they continue to deny what you've said, then that's information. But if they say, "At first, I didn't want to believe that you've been depressed. That scared me.

I don't know how to help you," then that's obvious progress. And they're also choosing increased vulnerability. Result? The stimulus you are making is the response you get. Your negative internal dialogue steers you away from the truth; it poisons your self-concept; the frustrated, unhappy person that you present to the world is the person that the world responds to; the world responds with more frustration and unhappiness for you. A negative internal dialogue becomes a vicious circle of self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm failing miserably. I can't do this. I don't know why I'm kidding myself. I just need to accept I'm not cut out for this. Seventeen people have stood up and walked out since I started. This is a disaster. Think about that. How would you like to head out the door every day to face the challenges of your life, only after someone had first divided your intellect in half? In other words, instead of having an excellent IQ of 110, you'd have to deal with your world with an IQ of 55, which is at the retardation level. That's the kind of impact that an interfering internal dialogue can have. Was it any wonder, then, that when Greg stood up to deliver a complex speech, and he was operating with a 55 IQ, he didn't do so well? Greg's problem wasn't that he didn't know how to speak or even that he didn't know how to give an effective public speech. Greg's problem was that he was trying to do two things at once: listen to himself rag on himself and at the same time deliver a demanding speech. Once the problem was properly diagnosed, and Greg learned to manage his internal dialogue in the same way I'm going to teach you to manage yours, his problem was over and done with.

Could he stop the internal dialogue? No, but he could challenge it and he could manage it. The ancient art of yoga is far more than physical stretches combined with mindful breathing. Yoga is an all-encompassing, compassionate and deeply spiritual way of life that touches and transforms all that we are and all that we do. Similarly, practising meditation is a time-honoured way to unite and harmonise our minds and bodies for sparkling health and happiness. The healing, restorative premises of both yoga and meditation are built upon our loving attention: attention to our bodies, our lives, and the world in which we live. When embraced in harmony, yoga and meditation can create a symphony of sparkle-nourishing benefits. Mindfulness meditation involves bringing our attention to the present moment and is grounded in awareness of our breath: our life force. Following our breath we bring our minds to a full sense of our aliveness in the present moment, a practice that over time can imbue us with a sense of perspective, gratitude and deep inner peace. Meditation is scientifically proven to calm our nervous systems, helping us become more resilient to stress and anxiety, and gracing us with an expanded state of awareness, greater patience and increased overall vitality. The power of meditation is no secret. Indeed, the most successful people the world over attribute their tremendous performance, formidable energy levels and vibrant mental and physical health to its magic. There are many wonderful ways in which we can explore meditation. We may like to begin our meditations by asking a question. We can then sit peacefully, simply with the intention of letting ideas and energy flow through us, providing us with deep insights, love and healing. Meditating upon a particular question is a simple, powerful way to connect more deeply with our intuition, and allow divine wisdom to arrive into our consciousness in perfect time. Meditating upon an affirmation or a mantra can also help us to strengthen and crystallise any thought we may wish to manifest. For example, if we are feeling stressed or strained, we may like to focus upon the word relax or calm. As we breathe in and out, we can hear the word of our choice repeated in our minds gently, over and over again. For some, certainly over the course of time, spoken or sung mantras have led to transcendental states: states in which departure from physical reality, time and space is felt and an entry into an expansive, boundless energetic realm is experienced.