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Daily Strategies for Inner Strength
By Betty Hughes, Ph.D., LMHC
2012

To be strong enough  .  .  .  . Finish the phrase:
            a.         To get through a “dark night of the soul” experience.
            b.         To grieve the loss of a loved one.
            c.         To rise up from a failure experience, once again.
            d.         To overcome a major illness.
            e.         To support a loved one through a crisis.
            f.          (Add your own.)

To be strong enough to get through the hard times requires inner strength, the ability to pull from your inner resources when life presents a challenge.  The more we practice inner guidance on a daily basis, the more we will be able to meet those greater challenges when they occur. 

The purpose of this article is to inspire readers to increase their inner strength and vitality before a crisis occurs, because when life gets tough, it is often difficult to even decide what to do.  Making important decisions can be hard at any time, but it is even harder during the rough spots.  Practicing a regular daily discipline program now helps to build inner strength.  In that way we can more easily manage our lives when negative things do happen.

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”  “One day at a time.”  There is so much wisdom in these quotes.  They suggest that people start each day anew, regardless of whether the day before was successful or not.  Small steps taken on a daily basis begin to feel easy and almost automatic.  Over time, large changes can be made with what appears to be less effort.

If you decide on a daily discipline, following are suggested techniques to try.  Once you have decided which techniques work for you, then decide the order of importance.  Remember that the first thing that you do each day may be the only thing on some days; therefore, it is important to have a priority strategy.

TECHNIQUES:

1. Morning pages. 
First thing each morning write three pages as fast as possible.  This should be stream of consciousness, with no editing.  It is a way to dump out whatever got built up over the prior 24 hours.  The writing can include both positive and negative ideas.  For more information, read The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.

2. Gratitude list.
 Itemize your blessings and/or the positive aspects of your life.  Include such areas as your body, mind, emotions, and spirit; other focus areas might include relationships, work, travel and so on.

3. Prayer list. 
This list could include family, friends, co-workers, and so on.  You might have a single prayer that requests blessings and/or healing for each one, or you might prefer a separate prayer for each.

4. Prayers for reading. 
Collect published prayers that you would like to read each day.  An internet search can provide many websites that contain prayers.  The following websites provide many examples.
http://www.helpguide.org/life/spirituality_prayers.htm
http://www.worldprayers.org/

5. Meditation. 
There are many ways to meditate, and there are many publications written about this subject.  It is important to find ones that work for you.  As a beginning meditation, simply try deep breathing for five minutes or more; as your mind begins to wander, simply bring your focus back to deep breathing.  It is a great way to quiet your mind so you can begin your day with a relaxed and focused mind.  For more information, go to the following website:
http://www.freemeditations.com/meditation-benefits.html
http://relaxationresponse.org/steps/

6. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  
This is also called the tapping solution.  Once you have learned this technique, it can be used for many different problems, including such things as stress and how to stop thoughts that keep looping in your mind.  You can learn the technique from a licensed professional and/or you can find more information on line, such as the following websites:
http://www.thetappingsolution.com/
http://binged.it/JhLPfh

7. Analyze your day. 
In the morning, send love and blessings to all your scheduled events.  At the end of the day, reflect on the positive aspects of all things that occurred during the day.  Before sleep, suggest to yourself that sleep and dreaming will resolve any remaining conflicts and bring healing and relaxation.

8. Inspiration:
Inspirational materials can lift your energies and stimulate your creative processes to think positive and rise above temporary problems.  Following are some links to websites that may be helpful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsgs7vtqKGA
http://www.suzannemckenna.com/free-resources/inspirational-writings/

9. Affirmations:
Affirmations are short positive statements that you can say over and over again to help focus your attention on what you want rather than what you do not want.  Louise Hay is perhaps the master of this technique.  Visit her website at:
http://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/

In conclusion, inner strength can be built from daily exercises just as physical exercises can build muscular strength.  Challenges are a regular and normal part of life.  The question is not whether you will be challenged, but rather how will you handle challenges when they occur.  The more you respect your own inner resources, the stronger you will become. 


 

 


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