How many of us can remember our last toothache? Well it seems you just can’t focus on anything else. I remember being at my dentist having a bridge put in. In is not only a rather uncomfortable experience, but I think by the time we were done my wallet was hurting. What was odd, and what I took away from that experience was a very valuable lesson. In the middle of some drilling, grinding and I think maybe a pick axe was involved somewhere the dentist keen eye of observation picked up on the fact I was less than comfortable. He said “can I ask you one question?”. Personally I was hoping it was something about sedation dentistry or laughing gas, but he simply asked me, “How does your leg feel?”. I managed to change my expression from contorted pain to a slight ‘are you out of your mind’ type look. He went on to ask me specifics “it’s not numb is it?” “good elevation for you leg?” I started to worry if maybe he hit the laughing gas before we started. Every few moments this process was repeated. After the procedure he explained to me that it helps take the patients focus of the ‘discomfort’ they are feeling in their tooth and he tries to get them to really focus on other things. As the pain pills started to kick in I began to formulate some brilliant ideas. Some were interesting things you could do with rum, but I’ll save those for if you come visit me at the bar. No the whole concept of focus and the power it can have came into a crystal clear euphoria. How many of us have been in a disagreement with someone close to us? Ok, I think that pretty much covers everyone. Even if you think the world of the person you are in the disagreement with, all you can think about is what they have done to upset you. How about suddenly trying to recall the last thing they did that made you very happy. Would that change the course of the discussion? When we are in a disagreement with people it can be borderline impossible to remember all the fun we may have shared. Has this every happened to you, you have a disagreement with your husband or wife. Suddenly you notice every thing they do seems to annoy you to know end? It all has to do with the state we are in. When we are thinking or stewing on some difference of opinion, we seem to notice every little thing that bothers us about that person. So how to change this. I would start by thinking of the people you are most likely to get in a heated discussion with. Usually, ironically these tend to be those closest to us. Start by composing a list, either mental, or written. I suggest written because when you are in the middle of an argument it can be hard to get off that track. You might even just randomly mention to them how much you appreciate those things. Then when discord pops up, you have a list to refer to in order to change your state. Having that opposition helps you better maintain a rational mindset in the face of anger or sadness. In the next blog we will examine how to apply this technique to other areas of your life.