Dementia Caregiver Thoughts: Part 1

Uncategorized Apr 07, 2019

Hi there Careblazer,

I want to share with you a concept I’ve been teaching inside my Care group with my private care group members. Because they are seeing such great results I want to share some of that with you here as well. This will be the first of a 3 part series on your thoughts and your feelings as a dementia Careblazer and how you can start to feel better. So the next 2 blogs will be follow-ups on this and helping you take the concept further and apply it to your life.

If you would prefer to watch my video, click here

Okay, now let’s get started.

I’m going to share something with you that may take you by surprise and i really hope you will keep reading and try to apply it to your life because I think it can be life changing.

Here is goes: Situations do NOT create your feelings. They don’t. What creates your feelings are the thoughts you are having about those situations.

So nothing your LO says or nothing your LO does is actually causing your sadness, anxiety, frustration, anger and so on. What’s causing your sadness, anxiety,  frustration are your thoughts you are having when situations with your LO occur. Let me explain because I’m sure for many of you you may be thinking this doesn’t make sense.

I’ll start out by sharing some basic examples that are not related to caregiving just to be sure you get the idea and then then we’ll get into the caregiving piece, which is where many of you will have a lot of reaction about. Here we go.

     Not everyone who has lost a spouse is depressed.

     Not everyone who is watching a scary movie gets scared.

     Not everyone who watches a sunrise feels happy.

What determines how you feel are the thoughts you had about the situation in the first place.

So let’s take the example of the spouse who has passed.

     One person’s spouse had died they think, This is awful, my life will never be whole again, and they are sad

     Another person’s spouse died and they think, I can’t believe they didn’t let me know about any of the banking and financial details, he’s left me in a complete mess to figure out on my own, and that person feels angry.

     Another person’s spouse died and they think, I'm so happy he’s not suffering any more. He was ready to go, and that person feels peace.

Right? Same situation, different feelings.

Or what about the sunrise example.

     Someone might think, What an amazing world that we live in that this thing can light up our days, and they feel grateful or amazed

     Another person might think, All I wanted to do was sleep in today and the sun was shining through my bedroom window and woke me up. They are upset.

Right silly example, but you get the point. The same situation is happening, but they are feeling different ways because of what they are thinking.

The challenge is that we are not often paying attention to our thoughts. We pay attention to our moods, our emotions. Because that is what we notice, we make the conclusion that situations caused our moods or people caused our moods But it’s simply not true. No situation, no person can make us feel anything. It’s the thoughts you are having about the situation that create your feelings.  

SO... if situations don’t create your mood, your thoughts create your mood, this is great news. This means we can actually control how we feel much of the time. Not that you always want to be happy, sometimes we want to be sad and that’s okay. BUT if you are like many of the Careblazers I know that feel overwhelmed, constantly stressed, and hasn’t felt joy or peace or happiness in a really long time, it’s time to take a look at what’s been going on between those ears of yours to start making a difference.

So here is what I want you to do. I want you to pay attention to your thoughts more closely. In order to feel better, you have to change your thoughts. To change your thoughts, you have to first be aware of what you are thinking.

What I want you to do is grab a notebook and between now and next week when I do the follow-up blog, I want you to start to notice your thoughts. Here’s how to do it. Whenever you notice a big shift in your mood. When you notice all of a sudden you are happy or all of a sudden you are feeling upset. Stop and ask yourself, what just went through my mind right now? Write those down and start to take note. You will start to see how the your thoughts are what’s impacting your mood. And you have to ask yourself whether you want to feel that way and if not, how are you willing to change your thoughts to something that will serve you?

Now its a simple concept but difficult to apply. It’s okay if you are having a hard time wrapping your head around it but give it a try. Because you can’t change other people and we can’t control some situations, and especially because you are caring for someone with dementia, it’s important to help your mind work for you and not against you. Some of you may be wanting to resist this idea and continue to put the blame on your LO or on others. This does not serve you or benefit your life in anyway. If you are honestly ready to start feeling better then this is worth a try.

Give it a try and I’ll be back next week with the 2nd lesson about how this model actually impacts your LOWD and how your thoughts can actually contribute to your LO having increased difficult behaviors or your LOWD being more agreeable and calm.

If you’d like to be notified when my care group has openings for new members, you can be sure to sign up for the next free care class which I always do before I accept new members to make sure you are a good fit. 

In the meantime, Let me know what you think of this concept below and I’d love to know if you have ever heard this concept before? Is this common sense to you or is this an entirely new way of thinking for you?


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