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Top 10 Tools

Many of the Recovery tools are common-sense phrases that we have heard throughout our lives. These tools can help anyone cope with everyday happenings, reduce stress and anger, and lead a more peaceful life.

Be Group Minded

We are all part of many groups:  a family, a group of friends, a classroom of students, a team at work, or a member of a club. If you act in the best interests of the group instead of your own self-interest, harmony is maintained by fostering a spirit of partnership.

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Humor is our friend, temper is our enemy

If you can see the humor in a stressful situation, it changes your outlook and response to it.  We all face many minor irritations every day—if you allow these to annoy you, you will get worked up and be miserable.  If you refuse to let them affect you by laughing things off and developing your sense of humor, you will control your temper and relax.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

If you take yourself too seriously you are self-focused, give great importance to your own thoughts and feelings, and it’s hard to see things objectively. This can come across as arrogance, which tends to alienate others and prevents you from hearing differing opinions.  So, laugh at yourself once in a while, and listen to other people.

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Try, fail, try, fail, try—succeed!

You also know this as “try, try again...” Just as with learning a sport, a musical instrument, or a new game, when practicing good mental health habits, it is important to keep trying.

Knowledge teaches you what to do, but practice tells you how to do it.

For example, when first learning to drive, you have to consciously think about looking in the mirror, putting your foot on the brake or gas pedal, using your turn signal and steering within the lane.  After a lot of practice, though, your feet and hands and eyes can do many of these things automatically, and driving becomes easier.  This is called gaining “muscle memory”—doing something enough times that it is ingrained in your being.  Someone who is learning to hold down their temper or reduce anxiety needs a lot of practice for this to become automatic.  Therefore, it is important to keep practicing until you succeed.

When feeling overwhelmed, do things in part acts, or “one step at a time.”

Most jobs, activities and tasks are complex.  But, if broken down into smaller steps, things become manageable.  If you are dreading doing a big project at work or around the house, break it up into a series of smaller tasks and congratulate yourself each time you complete one of these “part acts.”

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People do things that annoy us, not to annoy us.

Many of us get annoyed at other people for silly, little things.  And what’s worse, they seem oblivious—they don’t know they are bothering someone else. But usually it’s not personal—whatever they are doing that you find irritating is often not directed at you, it’s just something they are doing.  It’s easier to let go of the frustration once you realize that it is the action that is bothersome, not the individual. Then you can forgive them or even laugh at the situation.

We can’t change an event, but we can change our reaction to it.

This is all about us—how we react to any given situation.  If something is disturbing, upsetting or alarming, we choose if we get angry, take it in stride, or eventually laugh at it. The important thing is to recognize that we control our reaction to whatever situation we encounter. If you can’t change your friend, your family, or your co-worker, you will have to change your attitude toward them or the situation.

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Decide, plan, and act

To accomplish anything you have to decide what to do, plan how to do it, and then do it.

Endorse for each effort, not just the outcome

Every effort deserves praise, endorse even if you didn’t succeed.

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