Why Being Happy is a Choice

Do you find yourself at the mercy of your emotions, a victim of reaction, behaving in ways that you’re not proud of and often regret? Are you one of the millions of people who avoid conflict and confrontation because you don’t know how to deal with other people’s emotions? Perhaps you avoid emotions entirely, not allowing yourself to feel deeply – out of fear or simply because you never learned how to experience, enjoy, and manage deep emotions such as love, joy, sadness, or happiness.

Perhaps you have become numb to emotions, not recognizing what or that you’re feeling something. Without the skills to handle them, you might “stuff” your emotions, exploding at some later time when you reach your breaking point.

Then there are those who were taught not to feel, who grew up learning that feelings were bad and you shouldn’t have them at all. And when you do feel something, you cannot let anyone know about it. Well, you’re not alone. Everyone has emotions and many people have no idea what to do with their emotions when they experience them. So, welcome to the Club.

Learning more about emotions, understanding what happens to you when you become emotional; learning to control yourself and your responses to emotions are your personal responsibility as an adult – regardless of what you may have learned or witnessed as a child – and they a big part of living a successful life.

Success cannot only be defined by what you do or what you have; it’s defined in your heart by how you feel about how you are living your life, the things you do, and the impact you make on others including how you make other people feel. Emotions are what make life grand. Emotions bring life to living.

What does it mean to be intelligent about your emotions?

It means being able to recognize and manage your emotions as well as control your behavior in response to emotion. It also means you are aware of the emotions of others and are able to manage relationships using empathy and competence. This is the practice of becoming emotionally confident and it takes time, vigilance, and practice in order to enjoy your emotions and respond to them appropriately as well as becoming more adept at handling the emotions of others and dealing with conflict.

Obviously, the better you are at knowing and managing yourself and your emotions, the better you become at dealing with other people’s emotions. The first step in learning about emotions is to become more conscious to what you are feeling in any given moment.

When your friend, employee, child or spouse doesn’t behave or perform in the way you had expected, it may seem natural to feel very angry, frustrated or resentful. But ultimately, will a strong flood of uncontrolled emotion get you the results you need? How do you find a better way?

A staff member doesn’t handle a problem with a customer well, and you, as the manager, are upset. You think to yourself, “Why on earth would he do such a thing? Doesn’t he know better? He should know that’s not how to deal with a customer!”

Your young child is playing upstairs. You decide to go and check on her and discover that she’s been drawing on the wall. “Look at my beautiful picture!” this small face smiles up to you. You, of course, are enraged and think before responding, “Haven’t I taught her not to draw on the wall? Doesn’t she know better?”

There are probably thousands of examples of these moments, moments when you think “What would make someone do that?” It is at this very moment when we reach a fork in the road and quite often, we get stuck. The stuck point is the assumption that the person knows better. This is the expectation. You have an expectation for how an employee should behave, how your children should behave, how things should function, even how you should be and what you should do. This the tyranny of the “shoulds”.

Expectations in and of themselves are not bad. We need to have some direction, some vision, and some idea of what we want. Of course, some expectations are unrealistic and this causes tremendous stress, anxiety, anger, struggle, and discontent. But other expectations are reasonable and realistic. Whatever the case, it’s not having the expectation that gets us in trouble; it’s when the expectation is not met that gives us difficulty.

When your expectations are not met, you can experience a psychological response including anger, resentment, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, etc. In fact, disappointment always points to an unmet expectation. This physiological response often causes people to choose the path at the fork that leads to what I call “The Ugly,” the inappropriate, unproductive, and unprofessional expression of emotion – loss of temper, yelling, conflict, bad feelings, name-calling, gossip, etc. In fact, this response leads to poor relationships, decreases morale, and can be deadly to a leader’s reputation as well as detrimental to the environment or culture of the workplace or your home. It leads to fear, causes shame, and requires effort to correct as well as time to heal. The opportunity for choosing a better response is at the stuck point, that moment when you feel the anger start or the frustration creep in. What are you assuming here? Take a step back and question your assumption. That is the beginning of running your mind. This is the beginning of making a choice to embrace peace and happiness.

The pursuit of happiness is not about embracing hedonism. It is about recognizing what matters to you. What matters to the others in your life. Then armed with this you pursue the outcomes in a way congruent with you and your values. Along the way, stop and smell the flowers. When you run into obstacles and road blocks embrace the leaning.

Be well

Dr Sundardas


How Women are being Systematically Poisoned.

At a clinical ecology seminar, Edward Winger, PhD presented two possible models whereby chemical exposure may lead to chronic disease;

1. Test-tube studies have been done with cells which contain genetic material of Epstein-Barr (infectious mononucleosis virus, in which the virus is in the latent or inactive  state. When certain chemicals were introduced into the test tube, viral proliferation took place and the virus was transformed to an active, infectious state. This may represent one of the common causes for persistent viral infections, such as chronic mononucleosis and   chronic hepatic infections, being recognised with   increasing frequency.

2. Basic to the second model to chemical sensitivity is that rapidly dividing of cells of the body are more susceptible to the toxic effects of chemicals than cells that divide more slowly.  The most rapidly dividing systems of the body are the gastrointestinal and the blood-producing (hematopoietic) systems.Our interest concerns the latter and its production of immune bodies, primarily various  types of white blood cells.   The capacity of white blood cells to respond to foreign antigens is impressive with a potential for approximately 100,000 types of responses.  We may assume that this system carries a large part of the burden of protecting   the body from potentially toxic chemicals.  But suppose a certain cellular line assigned the task for protection against a specific chemical is caught in the rapid cellular division, like a soldier being caught out of foxhole during enemy fire.  If there was significant toxic exposure at this time, this cellular line would be destroyed, leaving the individual unprotected against this chemical and possibly others.

The next time you buy tampons, you may want to check the labels of the sanitary pads or tampons that you are going to  buy the next time, and see whether you spot any of the familiar signs stated in in this paragraph.. No wonder so many women in the world suffer from cervical cancer and womb tumors.  Have you heard that tampon makers include asbestos in tampons?

Why would they do this? Because asbestos makes you bleed more, if you bleed more, you’re going to need to use more. Why isn’t this against the law since asbestos is so dangerous? Because the powers that be, in all their wisdom(not), did not consider tampons as being ingested, and therefore wasn’t illegal or considered dangerous.

Tampons contain two things that are potentially harmful: Rayon (for absorbency), and dioxin (a chemical used in bleaching the products). The tampon industry is convinced that we, as women, need bleached white products in order to view the product as pure and clean. The problem here is that the dioxin produced in this bleaching process can lead to very harmful problems for a woman.

Dioxin is potentially carcinogenic (cancer-associated) and is toxic to the immune and reproductive systems. It has also been linked to endometriosis and lower sperm counts for men-for both, it breaks down the immune system.

In  September 1999,  the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that

there really is no set “acceptable” level of exposure to dioxin given that it is cumulative and slow to disintegrate. The real danger comes from repeated contact (Karen Houppert “Pulling the Plug on the Tampon  Industry”).

Wouldn’t you  say using about 4-5 tampons a day, five days a month, for 38

menstruating years is “repeated contact”, wouldn’t’ you? Rayon contributes to the danger of tampons and dioxin because it is a highly absorbent substance. Therefore, when fibers from the tampons are left  behind in the vagina (as it usually occurs), it creates a breeding ground for the dioxin. It also stays in a lot longer than it would with just cotton tampons. This is also the reason why TSS (toxic shock syndrome) occurs.

Using feminine hygiene products that aren’t bleached and that are all cotton. Other feminine hygiene products (pads/napkins) contain dioxin as  well, but they are not nearly as dangerous since they are not in direct  contact with the vagina. The pads/napkins need to stop being bleached,  but obviously tampons are the most dangerous.

So, what can you do if you can’t give up using tampons? Use tampons, > that are made from 100% cotton, and that are unbleached. Unfortunately,  there are very,  few companies that make these safe tampons. They are  usually only found in health food stores. Countries all over the world (Sweden, German, British Columbia, etc.) have demanded a switch to this safer tampon, while the U.S. has decided to keep us in the dark about it. In 1989, activists in England mounted a campaign against chlorine bleaching. Six weeks and 50,000 letters later, the makers of sanitary products switched to oxygen bleaching (one of the green methods available). (MS magazine, May/June 1995).

Breast implants are now in their fourth decade of use, no regulations for pre-market safety testing having been in place when they were first marketed. Studies which should have been done long ago are only now being done, well after most of the approximately two million women had their implants. Of 1135 published studies in the National Library of Medicine database under the search terms “silicone implants” and “adverse effects”, 387 or only 34% were published between 1966 and 1989, a 24-year interval. 748, or 66% were published in the past 8+ years (1990 to now).

Less well-documented evidence suggestive of a link comes from a growing number of published cases in which women with otherwise irreversible autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma had significant improvement following breast implant removal.

Finally, Canadian plastic surgeon Walter Peters summed up these lines of evidence in the Annals of Plastic Surgery. While admitting there is yet no proven cause-and-effect relationship between breast implants and autoimmune connective tissue disease, he said “there is growing concern that immunological sensitization could potentially develop in certain susceptible patients and that this could contribute to the development of autoimmune connective tissue disease.”

Given what they are being exposed to, women definitely have to be the “stronger” of the sexes.

Be well

Dr Sundardas