“90 Seconds To A Life You Love,” by Joan Rosenberg is an extremely useful book. As usual I try to keep these limited to one idea, my favorite in the book, but I don’t do so well with that premise. This book was one of the best I read this year so I certainly can’t limit the ideas.
It gives the reader some tools to deal with emotions. She says that “The more you are able to face the pain you experience, the more capable you become.” So how do you do that? One thing that is key is the idea that emotions typically only last for 90 seconds. Can you make it for 90 seconds? A minute and a half. Sure you can. Then once you know you can make it, you get stronger or as Rosenberg says, “the more capable you become.”
Ride The Emotions
There are eight feelings according to Rosenberg. Let’s list them. Sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, and vulnerability.
She says, “Your sense of feeling capable in the world, then, is directly tied to your ability to experience and move through the right difficult feelings.” Remember, only 90 seconds. Then she goes on to say, “The most effective strategy, then, for experiencing and moving through difficult feelings is simply to “ride the waves” of emotion until they inevitably subside.”
According to this book you need to be careful what you are naming your emotion. She says that living in fear compromises your health and claims that if you say you are afraid of something in the future it isn’t fear. Fear is something you feel in the present when that bear steps out in front of you with her cubs in tow. If it is in the future, then the feeling is anxiety.
So anything that you say you are afraid of happening hasn’t happened so you are just anxious. No big deal. Much less of a big deal than fear.
Visualization And The Rest
She takes you through an interesting practice of visualization having you pay particular attention to your feelings when you are visualizing something. When you’re done you write the feelings down. Get the book and go through it.
In the second part of her book she spends a great deal of time on the importance of our thoughts and says, “Your thoughts and beliefs affect virtually every cell in your body.” So stay positive folks!
There is a section on cognitive distortion. You know them: All or nothing thinking, overgeneralizing, disqualifying the positive (that is a good one), magnification or minimization, personalization and should statements. I really like disqualifying the positive, because I know I do it all the time. It is rejecting the positive because it “doesn’t count.”
One of the big points she makes is about avoiding harsh self criticism and says this, “You are using your own mind to destroy your sense of self, your capacity to enjoy life in the present, and your hope, belief in, and pursuit of unlimited possibilities for the future.”