Word of the Day

How Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity

 

The Israelites complained throughout their Journey from Egypt on their way to the Promised Land.

In fact the complaining stopped them to ever put their feet in the Land flowing with Milk and Honey. Its amazing how complaining rewires our brains.

I came through this material as I was studying the complain filled trip of Gods people.

Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many other things that are enjoyable—such as smoking or eating a pound of bacon for breakfast—complaining isn’t good for you.

Your brain loves efficiency and doesn’t like to work any harder than it has to. When you repeat a behavior, such as complaining, your neurons branch out to each other to ease the flow of information. This makes it much easier to repeat that behavior in the future—so easy, in fact, that you might not even realize you’re doing it.

You can’t blame your brain. Who’d want to build a temporary bridge every time you need to cross a river? It makes a lot more sense to construct a permanent bridge. So, your neurons grow closer together, and the connections between them become more permanent. Scientists like to describe this process as, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”

Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.

And here’s the kicker: complaining damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s.

Complaining Is Also Bad for Your Health

While it’s not an exaggeration to say that complaining leads to brain damage, it doesn’t stop there. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood, and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar so that you’ll be prepared to either escape or defend yourself.

All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.

It’s Not Just You…

Since human beings are inherently social, our brains naturally and unconsciously mimic the moods of those around us, particularly people we spend a great deal of time with. This process is called neuronal mirroring, and it’s the basis for our ability to feel empathy. The flip side, however, is that it makes complaining a lot like smoking—you don’t have to do it yourself to suffer the ill effects. You need to be cautious about spending time with people who complain about everything. Complainers want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. Think of it this way: If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers.

The Solution to Complaining

There are two things you can do when you feel the need to complain. One is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. That is, when you feel like complaining, shift your attention to something that you’re grateful for. Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood and energy and substantially less anxiety due to lower cortisol levels. Any time you experience negative or pessimistic thoughts, use this as a cue to shift gears and to think about something positive. In time, a positive attitude will become a way of life.

The second thing you can do—and only when you have something that is truly worth complaining about—is to engage in solution-oriented complaining. Think of it as complaining with a purpose. Solution-oriented complaining should do the following:

Have a clear purpose. Before complaining, know what outcome you’re looking for. If you can’t identify a purpose, there’s a good chance you just want to complain for its own sake, and that’s the kind of complaining you should nip in the bud.

Start with something positive. It may seem counter intuitive to start a complaint with a compliment, but starting with a positive helps keep the other person from getting defensive. For example, before launching into a complaint about poor customer service, you could say something like, “I’ve been a customer for a very long time and have always been thrilled with your service…”

Be specific. When you’re complaining it’s not a good time to dredge up every minor annoyance from the past 20 years. Just address the current situation and be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “Your employee was rude to me,” describe specifically what the employee did that seemed rude.

End on a positive. If you end your complaint with, “I’m never shopping here again,” the person who’s listening has no motivation to act on your complaint. In that case, you’re just venting, or complaining with no purpose other than to complain. Instead, restate your purpose, as well as your hope that the desired result can be achieved, for example, “I’d like to work this out so that we can keep our business relationship intact.”
Bringing It All Together

Just like smoking, drinking too much, and lying on the couch watching TV all day, complaining is bad for you. by Travis Bradberry, Ph.D.



Word of the Day

The influence of Godly Mothers.

The influence of Godly Mothers.

-What you do as Parent has the power to affect your offspring for generations -either Positive or Negative

-Your Faith will affect your Children
-How you treat others will affect your Children
-How you help others will affect your Children
-Your Integrity will affect your Children
-How you speak and honor others will affect your Children



WORD OF THE DAY

A delay is not a denial from God

Habakkuk 2:3  For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it[a] will certainly come and will not delay.

The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses a long process to develop character, especially in leaders. He took eighty years to prepare Moses, including forty in the wilderness. For 14,600 days Moses kept waiting and wondering, “Is it time yet?” But God kept saying, “Not yet.”

Contrary to popular book titles, there are no Easy Steps to Maturity or Secrets of Instant Sainthood. When God wants to make a giant oak, he takes a hundred years, but when he want to make a mushroom, he does it overnight. Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process. James advised, “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed.” (James 1:4, Msg)

Don’t get discouraged. When Habakkuk became depressed because he didn’t think God was acting quickly enough, God had this to say: “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3, LB)

Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. Be Patient , God isn’t finished with you, so keep moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!
 


Word of the Day

Bringing Out the Best in People

When conversing with people, we have an opportunity to bring out the best in them. To do so, we must act toward them as if we expect the best.    

The Pygmalion Effect    

When we act toward people as if we expect outstanding behavior from them, we are applying a principle known as the Pygmalion Effect. Widely validated by social science research, this principle says that as we communicate our expectations of people with various cues, they tend to respond to our cues by adjusting their behavior to match  them.    

Example of the principle applied    

A stunning example of this principle at work shows up in the research of Rosenthal and Jacobson (1971) who randomly labeled two groups of elementary students as `potential achievers` and `non-achievers,` then shared that information with their teachers. As a consequence, the teachers acted toward the `achievers` differently, such as spending more time with them, being more encouraging and supportive with a `you can do it` attitude. From these students the teachers expected `dramatic intellectual growth.`    

 

And they got it. When Rosenthal and Jacobson returned a few months later and re-tested the children, they found that the students labeled as having potential improved their IQ scores significantly, whereas the `non-achievers` had not.    

Similar results have been demonstrated in the supervisor-employee relationship. In both civilian and military settings, when supervisors acted toward their subordinates in ways that suggested high expectations of productivity, the higher productivity resulted.    

A Related Principle of Dale Carnegie    

Long before this research was done, human relations guru Dale Carnegie wrote, `Become genuinely interested in other people.` When we are genuinely interested in others, really curious about them, they feel respected and valued. Implied in our interest is the suggestion that they have a lot to offer. As we show our interest, they tend to become more interesting, more creative, and more capable.    

Many of the cues we communicate to others are expressed during conversation but are non-verbal. For example, our facial expressions of interest and our level of enthusiasm as shown by body and voice. Still others are verbal, such as asking questions to draw out a person’s ideas and by offering praise and encouragement.    

Bi-Focal Vision    

Many high achieving people have reported that along the way of their lives, some person has seen potential in them even when it was not obvious to others. That is, a teacher or coach or mentor had a sense of their potential, even if that potential was not readily apparent. For example, a young student from a poor background and education may be seen by a teacher to have a certain giftedness when others have written them off. Thus encouraged and supported, the student begins to excel. (The famous case of deaf and blind Helen Keller  working with her teacher Annie Sullivan is such an example.)    

Bi-focal vision is a term that denotes our ability to see both the actual behavior and a person’s potential within. When we act toward persons as if they are more than theyappear to be on the surface, the potential within tends to emerge.    

Conversational Behavior Flows from Our Attitudes    

The simplest way to bring out the best in people is to hold an attitude of positive expectations. Instead of looking for what’s missing, or what’s wrong with a person, we can re-frame our expectations to look for what’s positive. The management phrase, `Catch employees doing something right` captures the sense of this attitude.    

Try Out The Principle    

If you make a conscious choice to expect the best from others, you will tend to get it, from friends, family members, colleagues, and service people. Your behavior toward them, genuinely expressed, will begin to create the self-fulfilling prophecy that people are often more than they seem.   
 


Word of the day

Four Principles of Biblical Stewardship

1. The principle of ownership. 

The psalmist begins the 24th psalm with,

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

In the beginning of Genesis, God creates everything and puts Adam in the Garden to work it and to take care of it. It is clear that man was created to work and that work is the stewardship of all of the creation that God has given him.

This is the fundamental principle of biblical stewardship. God owns everything, we are simply managers or administrators acting on his behalf.

Therefore, stewardship expresses our obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control, which is all encompassing. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service, recognizing that we do not have the right of control over our property or ourselves.    

Echoing Deuteronomy 8:17, we might say: “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But Deuteronomy 8:18 counsels us to think otherwise:

Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. 

2. The principle of responsibility. 

In explaining responsibility, Peel writes,

Although God gives us “all things richly to enjoy,” nothing is ours. Nothing really belongs to us. God owns everything; we’re responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. While we complain about our rights here on earth, the Bible constantly asks, What about your responsibilities? Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities.

We are called as God’s stewards to manage that which belongs to God. While God has graciously entrusted us with the care, development, and enjoyment of everything he owns as his stewards, we are responsible to manage his holdings well and according to his desires and purposes.

3. The principle of accountability.

A steward is one who manages the possessions of another. We are all stewards of the resources, abilities and opportunities that God has entrusted to our care, and one day each one of us will be called to give an account for how we have managed what the Master has given us.

This is the maxim taught by the Parable of the Talents. God has entrusted authority over the creation to us and we are not allowed to rule over it as we see fit. We are called to exercise our dominion under the watchful eye of the Creator managing his creation in accord with the principles he has established.

Like the servants in the Parable of the Talents, we will be called to give an account of how we have administered everything we have been given, including our time, money, abilities, information, wisdom, relationships, and authority.

We will all give account to the rightful owner as to how well we managed the things he has entrusted to us.

4. The principle of reward. 

In Colossians 3:23-24 Paul writes:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

The Bible shows us in the parables of the Kingdom that faithful stewards who do the master’s will with the master’s resources can expect to be rewarded incompletely in this life, but fully in the next.

We all should long to hear the master say what he exclaims in Matthew 25:21:

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!

As Christians in the 21st century, we need to embrace this larger biblical view of stewardship, which goes beyond church budgets or building projects, though important; it connects everything we do with what God is doing in the world.

We need to be faithful stewards of all God has given us within the opportunities presented through his providence to glorify him, serve the common good and further his Kingdom. 
 
 
 


Word of the day

How much?

 

Most western worlders don’t like to talk about their finances but it never ceases to amaze me how open Israelis are about them. It’s commonplace to ask someone how much they make or how much they paid for their house or car. People do it all the time, even total strangers! So I’m gonna jump on the band wagon and be bold because the subject has been on my heart lately.

At some point, New York City’s Mayor David N. Dinkins, who served as the 106th Mayor of New York City from 1990 to 1993, when urged by Manhattan officials to buy some property thought to be an “extraordinary opportunity for the city,” said: “If they’re selling elephants two for a quarter, that’s a great bargain. But only if you have a quarter–and only if you need elephants.”

How many of us are guilty of spending unwisely – and not allowing the Lord to reign over our spending habits? While God doesn’t condemn the possession of goods and money, He does speak against hoarding, coveting, selfishness, stealing, dishonesty, and even mismanagement of finances.

I believe the Lord wants to pour out a financial blessing upon us today. But have we shown Him that we are trustworthy to use it in a manner pleasing to Him?

Let’s put our finances and spending before the Lord today and ask Him to be Lord over them all. God has great plans for us ahead if we will only lay ourselves down!
 


Word of the day

Invest in Eternity!

The great pyramids of Egypt have become objects of fascination for many involved in the New Age teching. Some think they were built by aliens from outer space. Others say they are containers of cosmic power. All of them are trying to find the great “secret” of the pyramids. What they are, really, are structures of death, exaggerated tombstones, coffins. The pyramids were made for death. They were built to house a dead body, along with the useless riches of it’s rotting corpse.

The pyramid holds an important lesson for our lives, however. All the works of our flesh and self-glorification end in waste, destruction, futility and death. Our accomplishments in the flesh might be grand, exalted, and elaborate — but they’re really just a monument to ourselves that have no life within them. If we want death, let’s look to the flesh and all the glories of man — look to the pyramids. But if we want life, we’ll only find it by abandoning the flesh, walking in purity and putting our faith in Yeshua (Jesus), the one who gives us abundant life!

Investments in eternity neither rust nor rot, so let’s become wise investors — investing in the Kingdom! There’s so much work to be done!


Word of the day

Stewardship

A Biblical definition of stewardship is
“having dominion over the works of God.” The definition of stewardship can be broken down into four components, the Four Ts of Stewardship: time, talent, temple, and treasure. God has given us our life and our time to manage as part of us being his steward. The definition of stewardship includes caring for all things that God has given us. This includes our bodies. The definition of stewardship also includes the making use of the talents and abilities that God had given us. As God’s chosen representatives, his stewards, God has also given us material things to faithfully administer for his glory. See below for Biblical commentary concerning the definition of the four T’s of stewardship.

The Four T’s of Stewardship:Time, Temple, Talent, and Treasure

  1. Time – Redeeming the Time That God Has Given You.

God has given us our life and our time to manage as part of us being his steward. As good stewards, he expects us to manage our time, our life, according to his will. We are to redeem the time that God has provided us. Ephesians 5:16 advises us to redeem our time for God’s glory.

  1. Temple – Care For Your Body, the Temple of the Holy Ghost.

The definition of stewardship includes caring for all things that God has given us. This includes our bodies. As Christians, our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost. If our bodies are to be temples of the Holy Ghost, then it goes without saying that we should not defile our bodies with sin. 1st Corinthians 6:19 advises us that our bodies are the not ours, but the temple of the Holy Ghost.

  1. Talents – Use Our Given Talents For Good Works.

The definition of stewardship also includes the making use of the talents and abilities that God had given us. God has given each us unique talents and he desires us to put our talents to good use. As Christians, we can even say that God has ordained us with our unique talents to do his good works. : Ephesians 2:10 advises us that we are ordained with unique talents and that we should walk in them.

  1. Treasure – Being Accountable For God’s Treasure.
A key definition of stewardship is being accountable for God’s treasures. The Bible tells us that all things are created by God and all things are God’s. As God’s chosen representatives, his stewards, God has given us material things to faithfully administer for his glory.
 


Word of the day

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?

“You have great faith! Your request is granted.” Mt 15:28 

Matthew records: “A Canaanite woman … came to him, crying out,
‘Lord … My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession’ …
He answered, ‘I was sent only to … Israel … It is not right to take
the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said,
‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’

Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request
is granted’” (vv. 22-28 NIV).

This Gentile woman was an outsider, yet she pushed through and
got what comfortable insiders often miss. Talk about hurdles! First,
Jesus refused to answer her. Next, He said, “What I have is only for
the Jews.” Finally, He said, “It wouldn’t be right to give the children’s
bread to dogs.” Most of us would have walked away offended. Not
her! She cried, “Have mercy on me.” She wasn’t asking for what she
deserved, she was crying out for what she needed! As a result,
Jesus removed every obstacle and answered her prayer. And if you
persist, He will do the same for you too.

In reality, this woman told Jesus, “Let the children have the bread,
all I need are the crumbs.” Church folks become so complacent that
they neglect the bread, waste the bread, complain about the bread,
and sometimes don’t even come to church to get the bread. But
desperate people pick up the crumbs and find life! They know that if
there’s power in the loaf, there’s power in the crumb. And when a
crumb is all you can get, a crumb is all you need. So what do you
need from God today?

How badly do you want it?




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