Letting Go of Suffering- Week Fourteen: Making It Bigger


Dr. Ed Beckham, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City, once developed a series of tips to aid you in ruining your day.

      1. Plan twice as much as you can get accomplished.
      2. Don’t be flexible
        -demand others do everything your way
        -know it will be a catastrophe if you don’t get your way
        -view everyone who disagrees with you as an obstacle
      3. Worry about anything that can be worried about
        -think a lot about anything that is going wrong even if you can’t do anything about it
      4. Take things personally
        -think about how others aren’t treating you fairly
        -ruminate about how others don’t have the right to do what they do to you
        -brood about how you don’t deserve what is happening to you
      5. Don’t be humorous about anything
        -take everything very seriously
        -consider everything to be a life and death situation

(Source: Stimulate Your Stress, US Air Magazine, p. 10, July 1991.

Paradoxically, these same tips can be used to help you stop your suffering.

Your assignment this week is to make everything BIGGER:

        1. For 15 to 60 minutes a day
          -plan twice as much as you can get accomplished
          -don’t be flexible
          -worry about anything that can be worried about
          -take things personally
          -don’t be humorous about anything
        2. Pick a specific time period to complete the assignment, i.e. do not do “10 minutes here and 10 minutes there.” If possible, do the assignment the same time each day.
        3. Do NOT set yourself up
          -don’t do this assignment at work
          -do not do this assignment around people who are not supportive of you
          -let the people who will be around you when you are doing the assignment know what you are doing
        4. If you are tempted to suffer at any other time during the day, tell yourself that it is important for you to wait until the assigned time.
        5. Each day, after you complete your assignment, spend a few minutes journaling about your experience and about your day in general.

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


Day 6


Day 7


See you next Monday for the fifteenth lesson.

To find the lessons in this series that have already been published, click here.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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