Beyond Blue

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I was reading “The No-Cry Discipline Solution” last night (because I’d like to discipline without the tears and tantrums!), as recommended by my psychiatrist, and found author Elizabeth Pantley’s points for building a strong parental foundation to be ones that I can incorporate into my mental health program. Here they are:

1. The big picture is more important than any one action.

To even attempt perfection would be ludicrous and stressful, yet … most of us criticize ourselves unnecessarily over every negative situation.

2. Relax more and stress less.

View the little things for what they are–little things–and don’t let them get in the way of taking pleasure out of every single day.

3. Play more.

You don’t always have to have one eye on the clock when you’re immersed in playtime….Let the answering machine pick up a few more messages. Ignore the ding of incoming e-mail messages on your computer.

4. Give yourself more credit for what you do right and don’t examine so intently the things you do wrong.

Do your best, learn from your mistakes, and appreciate that you are doing a grand and important job. Give yourself a pat on the back, and give credit where credit is due. You are doing a better job than you think.

5. Let your heart win out over the voices of insistent, insensitive, and unwanted advice [THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE!].

Be open to new ideas, but sift them through your moral strainer before you apply them to your [life]. Once you make thoughtful decisions, move forward with confidence.

6. Be willing to break the rules.

Throw caution to the wind and follow your heart more often. Loosen up a bit and know that you don’t have to be the serious, dull, authoritative boss every single moment of every single day.

7. Discipline doesn’t have to be unpleasant to be effective.

Don’t be too quick to jump into unforgiving or harsh discipline. Try the gentle methods first.

8. Know that it’s not that important.

What’s not that important? Well…nearly everything. The majority of the annoyances we suffer … are due to minor issues.

9. Give the small stuff small attention and the big stuff big attention.

I remember a professor in college telling the class of the very first day, “If you put the same amount of attention into sharpening your pencil as into writing your thesis, you will only succeed in making yourself a nervous wreck.”

10. Relax, because when you’re prepared for the worst, it almost never happens.

Worry itself is useless. Studies even tell us that most of the things we worry about never happen. It is better to be prepared and knowledgeable and then, to state it very simply, don’t think about it so much. Banish needless worry–it’s a waste of a good imagination.

11. When the worst does happen, you’ll get through it and you’ll move on.

Bad things do happen. Some things we have no control over, and some are a result of decisions made. But either way, when bad things happen, we cannot manipulate time and make them not happen. What we can do, however, is adjust how we think and what we do and move past even the most difficult situations. In all but the most extreme cases, we, as human beings are resilient and adaptable.

12. Live in the present.

The more you can embrace living in the moment as part of who you are, the more fulfilling your everyday life will be.

To read more Beyond Blue, go to, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.

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