Monday, April 14, 2014


The Theory of Contrast

The theory of contrast states that in order for one to fully appreciate an experience one has had to have had the experience of having a contrasting experience.
For example, in order for someone to fully appreciate what it is like to be loved by a person it is necessary to have had the experience of being hated by another. In order to fully appreciate having expendable money one has to have had the experience of not being able to purchase what one wanted.
We can all think of situations where without the contrast someone cannot possibly appreciate their present experience. Think of someone you knew who grew up in a family of means and with parents who bought them anything they ever wanted whenever they wanted it. Could they really comprehend the true value of working hard for something and then obtaining it? I think it is more difficult for them. What about someone who grew up with abusive parents. Could they not appreciate more fully the experience of being unconditionally loved by another human being? If one experiences chronic pain could they not fully appreciate moments of pain cessation more fully and completely?
As an advocate of the theory of contrast, I see every single human experience as beneficial. Every moment has something to teach us, even the painful ones. In fact, we only grow during the painful and uncomfortable experiences. We simply “coast” through the comfortable times preparing ourselves for the next uncomfortable experience.
Whenever things are going well do not be attached to this moment for it will indeed change and life will once again become painful and uncomfortable. Whenever things are very uncomfortable be careful not to become attached to it remaining so.
Every moment we experience has a lesson just waiting for us to learn. Our task is to be open to the lesson and to be mindfully aware of every second.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
EXCERPT from: "A Prescription For Contentment"
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014



Many people live with the illusion that they can change another person. This is one of the reasons why they have relationship difficulties. People can change, yes. People do not change because of anything we do or say or make demands about.
People change for only one reason: They want to. Yes, it can be a conversation that you have with them that causes them to make a change. Yes, it can be a new way of seeing things or a new understanding that causes them to make a change. Yes, it can be an experience that initiates change within them. However, you can’t make them change. Without their cooperation and intention to do so change is quite impossible.
Allowing people in your life to be who they are is an act of pure love. Trying to change someone is, in my opinion, abusive and completely disrespectful to them. You are basically informing them that they are almost perfect but they just need to change these particular things and they will have achieved perfection. It is unkind and destructive. It will not work. Any change that may occur with a person is a change they made themselves. Accept your loved ones for whom they are in this moment. That is pure love in action.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
EXCERPT: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Copyright by permission only

Monday, April 7, 2014



What exactly is a habit? It is a perpetual loop of either behaviors or thought patterns that are difficult to change or halt. They seem to come automatically. Yes, they are difficult to break.
Psychologists actually know how long it takes t
o break the “habit energy” of a particular habit. Generally, one can break a habit in 15-25 days. Yes, that is correct. This is often why rehabilitation programs tend to continue for 28 days. It is believed that the behavioral changes need to be shaped and continued just beyond the threshold of the habit energy cycle.
What is also quite fascinating is that the same 15-25 day interim is also required to initiate a new and beneficial habit pattern. So, one can actually collapse a negative habit while simultaneously developing a new and beneficial habit!

For example, one can collapse a pattern of unhealthy eating while simultaneously developing new habits of both eating healthy as well as going to the gym five days a week.
Or, we are capable of becoming aware of punitive and destructive thoughts while simultaneously learning to develop the habit of speaking to ourselves with kindness and support.
Too many people allow themselves to be tricked into thinking that they are powerless to change or to alter these habit patterns and feel that they cannot change. This is simply not true. These people use language such as “can’t”. This is the language of a person who believes that they cannot grow beyond a particular habit. It is clear to me that their intention is not to engage in the actual collapsing of the habit by the way they speak about it. I am not stating collapsing a habit is easy. I am stating, however, that it is possible. It takes a diligent effort, mindfulness and an intention of commitment to this goal.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD

EXCERPT: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Copyright by permission only

Friday, April 4, 2014