How to Practice Oneness Decision Making When a Problem Arises
When we begin to question how well we are doing, we are usually called to look for areas where we are struggling. We often see the common situations in which we struggle and wonder if our friends or family members have struggled in similar situations before. Although it may seem like someone else's fault; if this is happening a lot, in a variety of situations, with a variety of people, there is likely something we are or are doing, or not doing to influence a negative outcome. We look to several of the situations and try to find common mistakes we may be making in the way we are thinking, feeling, or behaving.
When these kinds of struggles come up, mindful decision making is best accomplished by doing the following:
- In a quiet space without interruptions with at least an hour set aside. We must consider our various difficult situations, how we got there and what potential mistakes we may be making that chronically lead us here.
- Try to be as centered as possible, after some exercise, prayer or meditation for example.
- Consider seeing yourself from several points of view, maybe your Higher Power, a good friend and a 'bad enemy', or even someone we have recently struggled with.
- Write down your conclusions. Try to consider at least three situations in your life that seem to include the various aspects of the difficulties you face. Then consider, "These are the decisions that led me to this situation, these are the decisions that have made things worse, these are the decisions that have kept things from getting even worse."
- Then ask yourself this question, "Is there some way I am misusing my strengths that is chronically getting me into trouble?"
- Sit down at least three separate times to be able to remember and fill in the details. Say them out loud as you write them.
- Go over this with someone whose opinion you trust and who will be willing to be honest with you. If possible, give them a heads-up a few days before so that they have time to think about it and prepare. If you can, try to do this again with at least three people from different parts of your life.
- Find a friend or a professional that you feel has had the most success dealing with the issues you face.
- Share with him or her who you are, the situations you’re facing, what your investigations have uncovered, what you have tried thus far and what you would like to consider at this time. Consider having a friend come with you at least once to fill in the spaces of information and review with you the results of the session.
- If there is trust, consider a wholistic approach while addressing the situation. Consider any option that has shown success in substantial numbers of others. Expect it to be at least slightly different from things you have tried in the past. If the suggestion is to take a medication, educate yourself to the timing, what you should expect, potential side effects, and who to call about side effects or unexpected results. Keep a chart to specifically monitor the results. As for the balance of the wholistic approach, diet, exercise, OTC recommendations, activities, therapy, support groups, and inclusion of family members, should be expected.
Mindful Decision Making: Choosing a Medication
Doctors don’t know everything. (Surprise!) This is really a team effort where you have the personal information, you have a sense of what will work for you, and you have the final say. Taking a medication would be included as part of your wholistic mindful practice. A wholistic medication is much like food in that it provides the body with what it needs, at this moment when it needs to work optimally. Often, the above investigations have uncovered that a specific circuit of our mind is not accurately proving the information your system requires for wholesome decision making and internal functioning. For example, in the symptom cluster 'major depression' the emotional circuits are not accurately tagging our perceptions with the feelings we have come to know and enjoy. Much like driving partially blind we are likely to make painful mistakes. These same circuits also control sleep, concentration, appetite, and pain suppression so these aspects of our perceptions and decision making may also be off kilter.
Medication basically works in two ways. It can help our brain cells (neurons) talk with each other optimally as they have in the past. This can happen as fast as the first few days. Second, if for any reason our neurons lack nerve growth factor, the medications over several weeks can help restore these factors. This allows the nerve to recover all of its functions including the circuits involved in accurate perceptions.
Communications between neurons may respond first. Then in the next week or two brain circuits may respond. Then communication with various body systems may come back on line. As months pass deeper healing may allow for further improvement as new, healthier habits are implemented through our ongoing mindfulness practice.
We can see both positive changes and side effects anywhere from the first hours to over the first few months with any medication.
Oneness Decision Making: As you begin to respond
We have all been taught to listen to our feelings and as long as conscious and unconscious mind are aligned this communication is very effective. Much like waves along the shore the unconscious mind directs our attention and asks a question that conscious mind then considers. Unconscious mind may bring up something from our past that it feels we are now ready to consider. It can also gives us cues to what is going on around us that provide us more information than we are presently aware of, like a child running towards the road while driving.
However, what happens when the brains circuitry is off is much like our little beech being hit with a tsunami...over and over again. There is little rhyme or reason for the information that hits conscious mind and since conscious mind can only think about one thing at a time it is instantly overwhelmed!
If we are depressed or anxious for a time we get use to trying to process more than one thing at a time. So even if our circuits are working our mental habits need help. While depressed or anxious we also tend to forget that we are wired to make use of every thought and feeling we have. While depressed we may have learned to feel 'beat up' by our past, frightened by our future and disempowered in our ability to make any decision in the present.
As you can see, medications cane helpful but we still need to carefully retrain our thoughts, feelings and actions. This is where therapists help to help you fully realize your potential The Oneness Approach encourages multiple approaches to optimizing your life and can be an additional support for you and your team. (Please see Major Depressive Disorder Treatment: What are your options)