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Staying Mentally Healthy

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Staying Healthy Mentally

We can increase our level of mental health by learning to reduce

the level of confict and stress in our lives.

We cannot completely rid ourselves of conflict and stress, but we can

reduce them by changing our thoughts and beliefs about conflict.

Why Does Conflict Happen?

One might say that conflict happens because two people disagree. But the real reason is more basic than that.

Why do people disagree? Because they have a different perspective on how or why something should be done. Why does this have to cause conflict?

Because the bottom line is:

We Want People To Do Things Our Way

Why?

1. It's more convenient for us.

2. That's the way we've always done it.

3. It violates our sense of right and wrong.

Convenience

Let's think logically for a minute. Why should we expect that the rest of the world should always do things in a way that is convenient for us? This is a little self-centered. If you want things your way, and others want things their way, then there is always going to be somebody who is inconvenienced. What's wrong with that?

I don't like it. OK, so you don't like it. So what? Just because you don't like it, does that mean it's wrong? To get upset because you've been inconvenienced is illogical, because the only reason to get upset is because you think you deserve to not be inconvenienced. That makes you more important than others.

The only reason to be upset because we are inconvenienced is because we feel we have a right to have everything go our way. No one has that right. Inconvenience happens to everyone, no one has the right to have everything their way.

It takes some practice to start thinking of inconvenient things or events as non-negatives. We must consciously correct our thinking to get rid of the erroneous beliefs or unrealistic expectations which cause us to view events as inconvenient.

Habit

Just because you have always done something a certain way, does that mean other people don't have a right to do it differently? You may feel that the reason you have always done it that way is because it is the best way.

But each person has the right to decide for themselves what is "best." We don't have the right to expect other people to think our way is best. Everyone is entitled to their own ideas and habits.

Belief System

You may have been taught by your parents, teachers, or religion that certain things are right or wrong.

In real life, every individual decides for themselves what they are going to accept as right or wrong. One person's belief system may allow for behavior that another person's belief system deems as wrong or inappropriate.

Although you have the right to decide for yourself what you believe is right or wrong, you do not have the right to impose that belief system on others. You don't have a right to expect that others agree with your belief system.

The only actions which are ALWAYS wrong, no matter what your belief system, are:

1. It's wrong to physically hurt someone

2. Or their property.

Everything else is a matter of opinion.

You may say, "Right and Wrong is not a matter of opinion." Yes, it is. Different societies, cultures, and sub-cultures make different decisions about what is right and wrong for their group.

It is possible to respect a person without agreeing with their belief system. When we disagree with someone, we often begin to have feelings of discomfort toward them. We do not feel at ease around them. Why?

We feel they are wrong. To de-escalate conflict, we must realize that there is no right or wrong where personal choices are concerned. But if you still can't rid yourself of the idea that the person has made a wrong choice or beliefs, realize this: It's OK to be wrong.

It's OK to be wrong. We want other people to make the same choices as us because we believe our choices are right, but the bottom line is,

It's ok to be wrong. Don't persecute people for making wrong choices, and don't make them feel bad for not choosing the same way as you. This is all about RESPECT. Respect other people's right to make wrong choices if they want to.

And....it is not your personal responsibility to point out their mistakes to them. You don't have to try to explain to people why you think they are wrong, you don't have to try and change them. Just be responsible for your own beliefs and choices.

When I disagree with someone, I don't say, "I think what you believe is wrong" or "I think what you did was wrong" because that is basically attacking the other person. I try to say, "I believe differently than you do in that area" and I always try to end the discussion with "but I think we can believe differently and still respect each other." The other person may not feel the same way, but at least you have done your part to

Live and Let Live (Principle #1 of conflict de-escalation)

You are letting the other person know that you are not judging them or their choices, you have just made a different choice.

The bottom line is, we don't have the right to expect things to always be convenient for us, and we don't have the right to expect that others should always do things our way or agree with us. We do have the responsibility to respect others, no matter what their choices, and to be responsible for our own beliefs and choices without judging others.

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