Different States of Mind

My daughters place a lot of pressure on themselves. They believe they need to adhere to a certain standard of judgment. In one way I’m happy they set a bar for themselves- yet I believe the expectations are often so high that when they don’t reach the goal, they let anger and rage get the best of them.

My oldest daughter had a bad gym class today. The state requires a standardized physical fitness test, which includes hitting certain numbers on a pass or fail basis. Effort isn’t taken into account, so she found out she failed. She admitted that push ups and sit ups are a challenge for her, but that she has done well in all other aspects of the class.

She let the rage fester until the final period of class, where she blew up at the teacher and walked out of the school. When I went to find her, she acted like my wife and I had no idea what happened. We spent a half hour talking about it, for she feared that we would lose respect with her based on how she handled the situation.

For the past hour or so, she’s been playing dancing and fitness games to change her state of mind. At first she wasn’t fully engaged in the game and became distracted by reactions from her sister. Once my wife joined in the game, my oldest daughter has lightened up and gotten involved in the competition.

I think there are times in life where we just need to relax and breathe. My girls don’t feel the need to be tied to technology every waking moment of the day. However one of the reasons why we got a gaming system is I believe video games today can be tension relief, as long as you get the right games. Most of what we have in our collection are fitness, sports, and old school efforts. I do believe in the power of endorphins to chemically make us feel better in the brain and the body.

I can understand that gym memberships at fitness centers go up in January. It’s the one area most people are unhappy with- their level of fitness within the body. You need to remember though it’s not enough to want to change the body- you also have to change the habit and the mindset that developed in the first place. Commit to doing a new habit every day for 21 days and it’s more likely to stay within your lifestyle longer than if you give up within the first week or two.

In general I don’t believe people want to live their lives in a state of permanent depression. We’ve worked hard to not have our children let their circumstances dictate their legacy. You have many choices and the ability to control your reaction to what happens to you and around you. I think my oldest daughter in her teens is learning day by day that how she treats people in the moment dictates her ability to have a productive, healthy and happy future.

Ask yourself important questions when you feel something building inside of you that’s negative. Would it better be to talk to someone? Is it worth getting into a full blown rage? Do I know all the circumstances behind what’s making me upset? Can I find an alternative activity to put me in a better frame of mind? You can’t stop certain feelings that come into your head- you only can choose what actions you take as a result, good or bad.

Have a wonderful day and be kind to everyone you encounter in your life.

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