Nestor Martinez

A thinker, born in 85, fascinated with positive psychology, philosophy, books, comics, anime, majoring in psychology. I mostly post psychology topics, positive psychology and anything interesting.

Challenging and revising your shoulds

Right now, review your list of should and mark the ones your critic has used for attacks. You are now in a position to evaluate these rule to determine if they are healthy and useful. For each should your critic uses, do the following three things:

  1. Examine your language. Is the should built on absolutes and overgeneralization such as all, always, never, totally, perfect and etc. Use “I’d prefer” or “I’d rather” or “I want to” instead of “I should”. The specific situation where you are applying the should may turn out to be an exception to the rule. Acknowledge that possibility by using language that is flexible.
  2. Forget concepts of right and wrong. Instead, determine the consequences of applying the rule to the specific situation. What are the short- and long-term effects on you and the people involved? Does the rule make sense, given who will be hurt and who will be helped?
  3. Ask yourself if the rule fits the person you really are. Does it take into account your temperament, limitations, enduring traits, ways of protecting yourself, fears, problems and things you are not likely to change? Does it allow your important needs and dreams and the pleasures that sustain you? Does the rule really make sense, given you are and will likely remain?


McKay, M., & Fanning, P. (19881987). The Shoulds. Self-esteem (160-161). New York: St. Martin’s.

Changing your thoughts

Here are three crucial steps when you get upset.

  1. Zero in on those automatic negative thinking thoughts and write them down. Don’t let them buzz around in your head; snare them on paper!
  2. Read over the list of ten cognitive distortions. Learn precisely how are you twisting things and blowing them out of proportion.
    (Cognitive Distortions link)
  3. Substitute a more objective thought that puts the lie to the one which made you look down on yourself. As you do this, you’ll begin to feel better. You’ll be boosting your self-esteem, and your sense of worthlessness (and, of course, your depression) will disappear,


Burns, D. D. (1999). Feeling good, the new mood therapy. New York: Harper Paperbacks.



Bandura (1997,p.vii) defined self efficacy as “peoples’ belief in their capabilities to produce desired effects by their own actions.” Comparably, Maddux (2009a, p.336) has describe self-efficacy as “what I believe I can do with my skills under certain conditions.” Based on an examination of what needs to be done in order to reach a desired goal (these are called outcome expectancies), the person supposedly then analyzes his or her capability to complete the necessary actions (these are called efficacy expectancies.

Bandura (1977,1989a, 1989b, 1997) proposed that the developmental antecedents of self-efficacy include:

  1. Previous successes in similar situations (calling on the wellspring of positive thoughts about how one has done in earlier circumstances)
  2. Modeling on others in the same situations (watching other people who have succeeded in a given arena and copying their actions)
  3. Imagining oneself behaving effectively (visualizing acting effectively to secure a wanted goal)
  4. Undergoing verbal persuasion by powerful, trustworthy, expert, and attractive other people (being influenced by a helper’s words to behave in a given manner)
  5. Arousal and emotion (when physiologically aroused and experiencing negative emotions, our self-efficacy may be undermined, whereas such arousal paired with positive emotions heightens the sense of self-efficacy)


Snyder, C. R., Lopez, S. J., & Pedrotti, J. T. (2011). Positive psychology, the scientific and practical  explorations of human strengths.(pp 168-169) Sage Publications, Inc.

Specific Method for Boosting Self-Esteem

Talk Back to That Internal Critic!  A sense of worthlessness is made by your internal self-critical conversation.  It is self-degrading statements such as “I’m no damn good,” “I’m shit,” “I’m stupid,” and so on, that create and feed your feelings of despair and poor self-esteem. In order to overcome this bad mental habit, here are three steps necessary:

  1. Train yourself to recognize and write down the self critical thoughts as they go through your mind:
  2. Learn why these thoughts are distorted; and
  3. Practice talking back to them so as to develop a more realistic self-evaluation system.



Burns, D. D. (1999). Feeling good, the new mood therapy. (pp. 62). New York: Harper Paperbacks.

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.It will make or break a company, a church, a home.The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.And so it is with you - we are in charge of our Attitudes

Charles Swindoll

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.


Definitions of Mindfulness

Definitions of Mindfulness

•       “It is flexible state of mind, an openness to novelty, a process of actively drawing novel distinctions, when we are mindful, we become sensitive to context and perspective. We are situated in the present, when we are mindless, we are trapped in rigid mind set, oblivious to routined governed. In contrast, when mindful, our behavior may be guided rather than governed  by rules and routines. Mindfulness is not focus on an object or idea. When Mindful, we are actively varying the stimulus field. It is not controlled processing, in that mindfulness requires or generates novelty. ” Langer, Ellen

•       “A process of bringing a certain of quality of attention to moment-to-moment experience” Kabat-Zinn, 1990

•       “Awareness of what happens in your mind and in the world around you” Sangharakshita, 200

•       “Mindfulness is the capacity to be fully aware of all that one experiences inside the self body, mind, heart, spirit-and to pay full attention to what is happening around us people, the natural world, our surroundings and events.”  Boyatzis and McKee, 2006

•       “Remembering to bring attention to present moment experience in an open and nonjudgmental manner.” Huxter, 2006

We are what we think
All that we are arises with our thoughts
With our thoughts, we make the world.

We are what we think

All that we are arises with our thoughts

With our thoughts, we make the world.



Ways that Mindfulness can be enhanced


       According to Jon Kabat-Zinn(1990) these are the basic attitudes necessary to practice mindfulness:

      Do not judge, Become aware of automatic judging thoughts that pass through your mind

      Be open to each moment, realizing that some of things can not be hurried

      See everything as if you are looking at it for the first time

      Learn to trust your intuitions

      Rather than striving for results, focus on accepting things as they are

      Develop an accepting attitude

      Let go. Turn your mind off and simply let go of thoughts.

       Other ways that mindfulness can be practice is by:

      Being mindful of eating, instead of eating fast try to savor the food and enjoy it.

      Being mindful during driving, be present and know where you are and where you going

      Do mindful breathing and sitting as meditation 

       Where you pick a special time and place to do the non-doing.

       Find an alert and comfortable body posture

       Bring your attention to your breathing, as you breathe in and breathe out

       If your mind wanders, ask yourself why is wandering off, then bring your attention back to the breathing

      Being mindful of your emotions, pay attention to what you feel and why you are feeling that way.


Benefits of Mindfulness

       Reduced rumination

       Stress reduction

       Better working memory

       Enhance focus

       Less emotional reactivity to bad events

       Better relationship satisfaction

       Better self-insight

       Improvement to well-being

       Better quality of life

       Improvement in sense of coherence

       Increased levels of empathy

       Better quality of sleep

       Positive changes in interpersonal skills

       Decrease of depressive behavior

       Increase of spiritual experience


Cordon, Shari L; Finney, Sara J,(Jan 2008)Measurement Invariance of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale Across Adult Attachment Style, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, Volume 40(4), 228-245, Retrieved from


Corey, G., & Corey, M. S. (2007). I never knew i had a choice, explorations in personal growth. (pp. 166-168). Cengage Learning.

Daphne M. Davis,  Jeffrey A. Hayes, (July 2012), What are the benefits of mindfulness?, Psychotherapy Volume 43(7), p46, Retrieved from

Denise, R. (Feb 2011) Minfulness and Flow in occupational engagement: Presence in doing, The Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 78(1), 50-60, Retrieved from

Dhiman, S.(Spring 2009) Mindfulness in Life and Leadership: An Exploratory Survey, Interbeing, Volume 3(1), 55-80, Retrieved from

Keune, Philipp M; Forintos, Dóra Perczel. (2010) Mindfulness Meditation: A Preliminary Study on Meditation Practice During Everyday Life Activities and its Association with Well-Being, Psychological Topics, Volume 19(2), 373-386, Retrieved from

Niemiec, Ryan M; Rashid, Tayyab; Spinella, Marcello. (July 2012) Strong Minfulness: Integrating Mindfulness and Character Strengths, The Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Volume 34(3), 240-253, Retrieved from

Snyder, C. R., Lopez, S. J., & Pedrotti, J. T. (2011). Positive psychology, the scientific and practical  explorations of human strengths.(pp 244-253) Sage Publications, Inc.