You're in control...

Choose Your Thoughts

to Reduce Stress

No matter what the situation, you always have a choice as to your perceptions. Choices are a significant factor in your perceptions and in determining your life. The sooner you become aware of this, the less stress you will experience.

Realize that regardless of a situation that cannot be changed, regardless of a stimulation that prompts emotions to erupt, or regardless of an urge or impulse, you always have the power and freedom to choose your thoughts and how to respond. This ability is referred to as choice-response thinking.

Learning choice-response thinkingthat you never need be a victim—may be one of the most valuable thinking patterns you can develop.

The Power of Choice

Choice empowers. Choice, control, and responsibility are so woven together that one significantly affects the others. Make a choice, and you enhance control. Fail to choose, and you diminish control. The more responsibility you choose, the more control that follows. Deny responsibility, and you relinquish control. 

We become more responsible by being aware of the choices we make. This realization plays an important role in how people direct their lives. As Harry Potter’s mentor, Albus Dumbledore, advised the youth, “It is not our abilities that say who we are. It is our choices.” It’s not only the circumstances in which we find ourselves—but also our choices that make us who we are. Because we always have the freedom to choose, we are therefore responsible for our own thinking and behaviors. So, when you choose your thoughts, you become conscious that no one else chooses your behaviors for you.

The critical difference between optimistic thinking and pessimistic thinking has to do with the perception of control which, in turn, depends upon the perception of choice. The optimist believes choices are available; the pessimist doesn’t.

Tip: Here are a few thinking starters that help in making good choices:

My choice is….

I made this choice because….

The results of my choice will be…

If you were to write these thoughts, carry them on a small card, and refer to them each day for twenty-one (21) days, they will enhance your life. It will become a natural way of thinking. And perhaps, most importantly, the starters become a procedure that reduces stress because you never need to feel like a victim. You will always be in control.

These weekly INSIGHTS, can be shared at INSIGHTS

For more information about living without stress, visit

If you are an educator, visit,

To handle every discipline problem without coercion, visit

To view Dr. Marshall’s award-winning line of products, visit

To have Dr. Marvin Marshall speak or conduct a teleconference event, visit

Reach Out to Me:


Dr. Marvin Marshall

PO Box 11
Los Alamitos, CA 90720