Conflicting values and your quality of mind.

– Posted in: Psychology, Wellbeing

The better your quality of mind, the better your experience of life. When I first heard that statement it made sense to me. I make better decisions when I am not stressed so better thing happen to me when I have a ‘clear head’. Last week I noticed how a need we have from childhood can get in the way of happiness.

All of us have things we value. For some being punctual is very important; for others politeness or table manners may be of great consequence. However, some things will be more important to us than others. Each of us has a ‘hierarchy of values’. For instance, it is OK to be late if there is a family emergency. So our hierarchy of values will change depending on our circumstances. But what happens if we get into a situation when we have two ‘values’ that are in conflict with each other? The internal conflict can reduce our quality of mind. Understanding this can reduce the stress we often experience.

One of the first things we learn to crave is approval. As children we need to stay on the good side of our carers. We did not want their disapproval or we would not get food, attention, love, cuddles, etc. So a need for approval, fear of criticism, and rejection, can often get in the way of asking for something. As ‘Supercoach’ Michael Neil says: it is sometimes like we are asking “Would you please do as I’m requesting and approve of me, affirm me as a human being, ensure I have whatever I need to survive and let me know I’m worthy of you acceptance?” That would be difficult for a friend or family member, let alone a stranger.

I recently found that I have a perfect process for getting into a poor state of mind; a method at which I am very proficient! With an engineering background and a concern for the environment, I really do not like it when an air conditioning unit is running in a room with the window open. It just seems like electricity is being use to suck the heat out of a room just so it can be pumped into the air outside while the cool air in the room is escaping through the open window. A waste of power cooling down and warming out the outside of a room!

So I have a valid message about which I feel very strongly but my need for approval has prevented me from communicating it. I did not want to upset anyone, make them feel foolish or seem like an uptight ‘twat’. So I would just run through my thoughts getting more and more frustrated until I, with a practiced skill, would get myself into a really poor quality of mind.

Now the difficulty with relating to someone when in a poor quality of mind is that it is easier to notice things that ‘are annoying’ rather than things about them that ‘are uplifting’. So just by having a conflict between two of my values it is possible for me to blame someone else for a feeling that I created myself!
All a person has to do is to monitor their feelings. If there is an anxious feeling and there is nothing dangerous around; then your body is telling you that your thinking is not helping you. The key imperative to maintaining a ‘High Quality of Mind’ is to notice when your own values are in conflict and realise that it is just your own thinking. It is not real. Let those thoughts go and approach life with nothing in mind. If it is appropriate; deliver the communication if not let it go (or establish a way of explaining it later).

See below for dealing with upsets: Disappointment takes adequate preparation

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