News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™


Experience More Joy, Love, and Peace in 2013!

Attitiude Reconstruction  

November 2013
Ways to Increase Joy
Create More Happiness at Work
Joy Amidst Difficult Relatives
Jude Bijou
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About Jude Bijou MFT


The daughter of pioneering behavioral child psychologist Sidney W. Bijou, Jude Bijou earned a BA from Reed College and an MA in psychology from Carleton University. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Santa Barbara CA, a teacher of communication through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education, and a longtime student of Indian Vedic philosophy. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction™ evolved from years of working with clients to help them lead more happy, fulfilled lives. Her first book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life, has won numerous awards and is receiving rave reviews. Her new ebook is 33 Bad Attitudes and What You Can Do With Them.
Love letter about Attitude Reconstruction..............

This is an everyday book. I was amazed at the revelations revealed with just a quick browse through. Practical and informative.

                     Wendy G.


Love letter about beating the heck out of old phone books with a flexible hose.................


Arm is sore.  

Heart is better!

Thank you.



Greetings Friends


Even though we know that joy, love, and peace are in good taste 365 days a year, this season is an extra opportunity to experience these inborn emotions. With that in mind, I am dedicating the next three newsletters to these topics.

Besides being sparked by beauty, good news, creative expression, and accomplishments, unbridled joy bursts forth when we relentlessly think well of ourselves.

Have you seen pure joy lately? Here in the first minutes of this 60 Minutes clip is a prime example of unbridled joy: a 15-year-old researcher, Jack Andraka, has just learned he's won first prize with his work with pancreatic cancer.


Ways to Increase Joy

What are the attitudes of people who possess unadulterated joy? First, they have brimming self-esteem. (Think of a baby.) Second, they are self-reliant. Third, they appreciate and respect themselves, and lastly they are proactive and take personal responsibility. They are curious and marvel at the wonders of the planet and of being alive.

People who feel a lot of sadness (the opposite of joy) are easy to recognize. In general, they move more slowly than the rest of us, getting things done in their own time. They have a tendency to be passive, and lack motivation. Wanting to be taken care of by others, sad folks usually are dependent on others for approval. Feeling fundamentally unworthy, unlovable, and small, they suffer from low self-esteem. They are easy to spot, because you'll usually find them quietly hanging around in the background.

If you are tired of these sadness attitudes and want to feel more joy, a few simple things will create change. First and foremost, increase the amount of stimulation you expose yourself to. That might sound easier said than done, as there's so much inertia pulling you horizontal.

Here are five easy tips that will get you moving, decrease the amount of sadness you feel, and increase joy:

1. Mobilize more.

Even though it can feel monumental at first, seek new experiences. Select positive and interactive entertainment and activities to contradict the inertia. Reach out to others, and do things you enjoy together. Push yourself to get regular aerobic exercise (or any exercise for that matter). Take a class. Go on a trip. Garden. Visit a friend. Volunteer. Just start by taking little steps each day.

2. Interrupt that constant mental chatter that tells you how terrible, small, unworthy, inadequate or unlovable you are, and remind yourself what you know when you're centered and clear.

Many times a day repeat whichever of the following phrases most contradicts your old thinking or make one up along these lines: "I'm whole and complete. My job is to take care of myself. Life is for learning. We all make mistakes. I am responsible for what I feel, think, say, and do. I love myself. I love me. I can do it."

3. Allow yourself to cry when you feel sad, but while doing so, refrain from trashing or feeling sorry for yourself.

If you already allow yourself to cry, that's great. If you don't, give yourself permission to. Crying is good. It's natural. It's healthy, especially as a reaction to hurts and losses. So ignore external pressures that tell you to hold it in, and go ahead and cry. However, while you do, it's imperative you don't indulge your "poor me... I'm no good" thinking. Just allow yourself to cry while telling yourself, "I feel sad. It's okay. I just need to cry."

4. Speak up more often about what is true for you.

Instead of focusing on what you think others want, need, or believe, ask yourself: "What's true for me?" After you listen within and discover what's true for you, speak it out and translate it into action. It can feel foreign at first to consult yourself for guidance (much less speak up), but as you do, you'll find that you feel more energetic, powerful, and confident.

5. In terms of lifestyle choices, stay warm and dry especially on damp, rainy, and cold days.

Don't overeat - or at least try to minimize large heavy meals, especially in the evening. Avoid oily foods, such as nuts and fried foods, reduce dairy products, and strive to eliminate sweets.

Implementing some of these simple suggestions, just a tiny bit each day, and much to your amazement, you'll find yourself experiencing more joy.


Create More Happiness at Work

Recently I've been getting a lot of mileage out of the topic of how to be happier at work. I think it's interesting that the business world is really picking up on this and it indicates the growing importance of having a positive workplace environment, even if it's stressful job or with difficult people. Obviously, this warms my heart and I'm hoping it's a trend. Here is a link to my just published thoughts on the subject, in US News and World Report.



 Who's happier at work than this guy? 


Hey Jude

How can I make Thanksgiving more joyful when a relative makes annoying or inappropriate comments?


Around the holidays, I often hear clients voice versions of these common complaints: "My mother-in-law will try to take over the kitchen," or "My know-it-all sister always has a better way to do things," or "My relatives ask pointed questions about my job/relationship/finances." Sound familiar?


Here are seven ways to deal with people who are rude, critical, controlling, nosy, or insensitive at holiday gatherings.


1. Matador their comments.

A good way to stop a bull that's charging at you, regardless of the negative form it takes, is to just let it go by. Ignore the comments or as needed, fend them off with a simple statement such as, "Thanks, but I'm not looking for advice right now." If the person continues, lovingly say it again. And again, if necessary!


2. Practice acceptance.

Accept that people and things are the way they are. You can't change others, but you can change your own perceptions and expectations. If you're coming in to work every day and feeling your stomach clench up as soon as you hear the annoying person's voice across the room, you need to learn how to repeat this phrase over and over until it sinks in: "People and things are the way they are. I can't control them, but I can control my own attitude." This phrase, which you can customize by putting in the name of the jerky person, works like magic to immediately dispel frustration and remove your emotional involvement with him or her. You'll quickly feel more accepting, calm, and less irritated.


3. Firmly but lovingly speak up and stand your ground.

Sometimes, especially with particularly pushy people, it's necessary to tell them it's not helpful for you to receive unsolicited advice. Talk about yourself and the specific comment rather than finger-pointing or telling them what a drag they are. Lovingly say your "I" (what's true for you) about the specific event. If they persist, tell them that you're starting to feel angry or frustrated and you'd like them to stop, please. Repeat and repeat some more.


4. Realize that it's not about you.

When people feel compelled to tell you what you should do, it's good to remember that what they're saying and what's unconsciously motivating them has little to do with you. They may need to feel important. They may be looking for love or respect from you or others. The reality is that you are fine. They have unexpressed anger and are targeting it on you.  


5. Appreciate them when they're not annoying.

If you notice that a critical or pushy relative is being empathetic or listening with sensitivity, catch them being good. Keep your eye open for good work, smart ideas, or even the occasional good attitude, and be sure to praise them when they do something well. Praising what you do like may subtly sink in and help to change his or her behavior.


6. Focus on keeping the present joyful.

Keep bringing the focus back to the present when others attempt to divert attention to negative things and old unfinished business. Make a comment about how good the food is, the football game is, or how beautiful the house looks. Make a genuine comment about the true meaning of the holiday and how grateful you feel. "Isn't it great to be here all together.  I feel so fortunate. Isn't the turkey delicious."


7. Let out those pent-up emotions.

After a long day of fending off critical, over-controlling relatives who've tested the boundaries of your patience and politeness, you need to get all that anger and possibly sadness out of your system. Find a private place to pound your fists, stomp your feet, growl, and cry. You'll feel better instantly, and ready to face them all over again tomorrow for the holiday brunch!


Why it's good to be tall. 
We all want to feel more joy. It's much preferred to sadness. Select a truth about yourself, such as "I am whole and complete,"  to roll around in your brain until you really get it. Knowing who you truly are will provide an anchor to hold on to when you "forget."

Let me know what was helpful for you. I enjoy hearing your comments.


Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and an abundance of joy, love, peace, and more joy.