- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Overcome Any Problem
The Power of Positive Beliefs
The Eby Way Approach
I’m a retired social worker. I worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse counseling for more than 40 years. I believe there is a generic process of positive change, which can help us overcome any problem. All you need to do is practice the following formula: RFxE+T+A+B=MH. Although these symbols might appear strange, hopefully my mathematics will be made clear in this article
First, I need to ask what problem do you want to focus on? Maybe it’s financial, motivational, a relationship issue, some addiction, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, low self-esteem, or some other life challenges. Pick one problem in an open and honest fashion, and try to apply my formula to it.
I make no grandiose claims that my process is a cure-all solution. But, over the years, I have become convinced that we can maximize our innate potential to have a better quality of life no matter what challenges face us. My process won’t solve everything, but I think it has some ideas that are worth your sincere consideration.
The letters “RF” in my system refer to becoming more aware of your red flags or triggers. This is where some detective work is necessary. Some people in the helping professions call this process a biopsychosocial assessment. All I’m asking you to do is try your best to figure out what causes the problem to occur. Yes, you might need to dig a little here or even get some professional help.
Triggers can be people, places, and things in our environment. Triggers can also include internal factors like cravings, negative thoughts, negative feelings, and making poor choices. The more you become aware of your red flags, the more power you will have to try new and different approaches.
The next step is to understand that red flags stir up and multiply our emotions, the letter “E” in my formula. Stressful emotions can shut us down. Painful emotions can override our rational mind and cognitive abilities. These emotions can be so intense and overwhelming that we become willing to do anything to feel better despite destructive consequences like isolating, addictive behaviors, or embracing the “I-give-up” attitude.
Learning how to identify, release, and replace negative emotions with positive ones is at the heart of “The Eby Way.” This is a skill and it does take practice.
After one learns to keep negative and stressful emotions like anger, sadness, worry, fear, and guilt in more balance, than you are ready to use the power of positive thinking to maximize your potential. This is the letter “T” in my system, which stands for thoughts.
Much has been written over the years about how to use affirmations and denials to control all that is negative and self-destructive. I won’t repeat this material known by some as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I do have my own spin on it. I would encourage you to find a thought that helps manage stressful emotions better. For example, one mantra that I use in my own life goes as follows: “I refuse to poison myself with negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.”
Next, the letter “A” in my formula refers to taking positive action. After you vent your feelings and use positive thoughts to manage them, you still need a plan to find a resolution to the problem. So, what is your plan to handle finances, to manage addictions, to stabilize mental health symptoms, to find healthier relationships, to get more motivated?
This is where one can benefit from coping skills that empower like tai chi, yoga, exercise, brain storming, the relaxation response, Emotional Freedom Technique, goal setting, and even life coaching. It also helps to take appropriate medications, eat healthier, join support groups, and get some professional guidance from a mentor or therapist if necessary. I even developed my own form of psychological first aid that I call “Stop and Think.” More information on this is available in my other articles.
Last but not least, the letter “B” stands for positive beliefs. Begin by asking yourself what negative beliefs have you accepted that prevent you from making a plan or taking positive action? Now, how can you change your belief system to support choosing the positive? Yes, I know this is easier said than done.
Of course I’m talking about embracing a life-affirming value system that will give one more hope and faith. It could include going to church. Or, one could simply use prayer and meditation to establish an internal sense of spirituality. For me, I think it’s all about believing in the importance of structuring one’s life to achieve more balance between mind, body, and heart---or spirit. Some people call this positive mental attitude or conviction the spirit of aloha.
In summary: red flags (RF), will multiply your emotions (E), which can be controlled by positive thoughts (T), positive action (A), and positive beliefs (B). The goal is hopefully to improve one’s mental health (MH), finding the emotional recovery necessary to “be all you can be.”
Finally, there is an old wise but true saying: “the proof is always in the pudding.” Please try out my approach. If you need some help, feel free to reach out for help. If you don’t like the “pudding”, than you can change the pudding, or throw it out, and find something better to your liking. Meanwhile, I hope the steps that I have outlined will have some kind of positive affect in your life. What do you think?