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Valley News Dispatch

How self-governing actions, moods, emotions can help

| Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 9:00 p.m.
Vince Mercuri
Vince Mercuri

The opioid epidemic escalating, school threats, shootings and mass murder by vehicles are all becoming common occurrences in our world. The question: what is the cause of such turmoil? The answers to these tragic trends are complex and have evolved over time. A progression of violence and a grotesque disregard for human life is a theme that echoes throughout society.

What has become increasingly clear is that many of these suffering individuals are lost and do not feel a healthy connection to the people and society surrounding them.

Copelessness becomes evident when destructive behaviors are used as a normal response to life stress. The lack of appropriate coping skills coupled with our society's need of excess and immediate gratification is a recipe for disaster.

What is lacking for many today is the self-discipline of wellness. Intentional striving to better oneself so that we are fit to live in today's environment. A program of wellness needs to encompass the foundational aspects of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. Healing body, mind and spirit as the traditional slogan goes.

In his book, “A Life Beyond Amazing,” Dr. David Jeremiah identifies six areas of our lives that if governed correctly will help to achieve a life that will bring lasting rewards, increase self-respect and help achieve personal goals.

This self-governing extends beyond our behaviors and actions, it also involves our emotions and thought life.

The self-discipline process involves the following areas:

• Master your moods: capture the thought before it captures you; think about what you are thinking about; manage your emotions and thought life; be careful of what you choose in reading, television, radio, video games, news, etc.

• Tame your tongue: watch your words because they can build up or tear down; encouragement is oxygen to the soul; if you can control the tongue you can discipline any part of your being.

• Regulate your reactions: don't react, pause, think, don't let your feelings control you, be slow to get angry; It will look different in the morning. Gather information, reflect, then respond in a well thought out, calm and measured tone.

• Control your calendar: set healthy, firm boundaries about your schedule. Do not overcommit or extend yourself/family beyond what is reasonable.

• Manage your money: establish a budget, live within your means, know the difference between need and want. Watch credit, establish a savings account, do not let the monster of more dominate your spending habits.

• Bridle your body: taking care of yourself should be a priority, know your stress triggers; get rest, sleep, eat right, read, walk, exercise, quiet time, etc. If you take care of your body it will take care of you.

The copelessness that permeates our society is a reflection of the undisciplined, self-centered, reactive lifestyles that many lead today.

Self-discipline is about governing ourselves so that we can give to others in a manner that brings self-respect, fulfillment and a sense of enjoyment that fills the need in our hearts and helps to create a strong, healthy and balanced culture.

Vince Mercuri, executive director of the Open Door Alcohol/Drug Treatment Center and Crisis Intervention Program in Indiana, Pa., is a member of the Valley News Dispatch Editorial Board.

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