In a tunnel? Walk toward the light, but hope and do your version of prayer that the light is not a locomotive heading your way. Hope: good. Reality best.

Things change love means seeing beyond the changes that you do not like.

Emotional Fitness Thoughts

Tunnel vision in a relationship refers to the tendency to focus on what is bad rather than the good or hoping and working to make the bad better.

First, there is the decay of lust love. That first spark from who know where that is designed to perpetuate the human race, but fades fast as intimacy grows.

Then there are family ties.  Nothing changes more than family relationships.  As lucky grandparents know, babies grow into  terrible twos, become nice to be with preteens, then in the USA at least,  become  terrible teens and beyond;  but if all are lucky  maturity and a better balanced relationship with parents comes sooner than later.

Finally, there are friendships the break or just fall away from lack of contact or nurturing.

Emotional Fitness Tips

Emotional Fitness tip one: Do not heed the  “Just be happy” gurus advice telling you “Dump those who pull you down.”   You might end up  lonely, very lonely. Better advice learn to nurture the good, particularly in relationships that matter.

Emotional Fitness tip two:  The longer the relationship has existed, the more it will change, but the more staying the course can be satisfying.   Those who weather hard times tend to be more satisfied as they move into old age than those who give up some where along the way.

Emotional Fitness tip three:  Children deserve parents who stay together.  The birth of a child is a crisis for most parents.  Sometimes the joy more than balances the difficulties, but not always.

Most studies show that happiness with a marriage declines rapidly after the marriage whether there are children or not; but, birth of the first child  adds to the inevitable decline.

Finally, studies also show very clearly  that children are hurt by divorce.

Emotional Fitness tip four: The five in one rule nurtures all relationships. What’s that? Five pleasant encounters for each negative.

Emotional Fitness tip five:  Abuse cannot be tolerated, but needs to be clearly defined and therapy sought. The clearest sign of abuse remains physical contact that leaves bruises or red marks.  That is the indicator for child abuse and assault charges,

Emotional abuse is much trickier. Moreover, the Happiness Gurus have made many feel hurt feelings mean you are being abused.  Not true.

Most professionals agree that occasional negative attitudes or actions are not considered emotional abuse. James Garbarino, a national expert on emotional abuse notes  emotional abuse is the persistent, chronic, and unrelenting pattern of verbal behavior that scares, and destroys  the well being of its victim.

We all say and do things on occasion that hurt those we love. In fact the closer the relationship, the more likely we will slip from being kind and gentle.  When balanced by the five in one rule it is not emotional abuse. One what to balance your bad outbursts is to know how to make amends. That means saying sincerely, “I am sorry.”

Emotional Fitness tip six: Therapy and counseling help, but  the counselor or therapist must be competent.  The best counselors  set SMART goals with their clients and use a feed back mechanism to measure the success of the counseling.


Life is full of struggles and relationships are full of down moments.  Daily practice of an emotional fitness programs strengthens you for making it through the bad times.   Such programs also improve your relationship with yourself and well as with others.  Here is an introduction to mine.

For all you do to share and care, thank you.  If you like what I say “clap your hands and show it” meaning share, like, or comment, you will help at least two people — me and you, but  hopefully you will also help some others. 


This post was inspired by this Word Press Daily Post PromptTunnel Vision - You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

Hopefully, good relationships that nurture me as I nurture. them.

Related links of interest


Today I offer you two free digital downloads. Both can be found by browsing the EFTIstore. The First:

apology (2)

And the second:

How to set SMART Goals


Nervous laughter?  Not about you. Nor  is my Snorting Laugh when the idiocy of life or some people gets to me.  Rarely is it meant personally.Kids laughing nervously

Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tip

Both my snorting laugh and nervous laugher  create the illusion someone is laughing at you. Way too personal and commits the twisted thinking flaw known as “The Curse of Personal Knowledge.”  That curse means you are not thinking, but using emotional reasoning, what you feel, not what is real.

Emotional fitness and emotional intelligence is all about not following your heart as so many of the happiness gurus preach.  Remember that “Love is blind” and that warning includes gut feelings and  intuition. The emotionally intelligent approach to passion feelings means partnering with your thinking cap before deciding what you need to do.

Emotional Fitness tip one: When a strong feeling tells you to act even in 911 situations thinking before acting remains wisest.  The feelings created by 911 situations urge you to either run, fight; 911 situations also cause you to freeze and faint.

Minimally you have to think where to run if that is when your feelings urge running;  when fighting is urged, you need to  think if you can win.

Emotional Fitness tip two: If the problem is not so hot laughter, either yours or someone elses, thinking is definitely the first strategy. Four things worth thinking about when you are not sure about the meaning of laugher:

  1. Am I taking some thing personally that isn’t personal? This is particularly important for parents, teachers, and bosses to think about. Nervous laugher is only made worse when not understood.
  2. If it might apply to me personally, is it worth fussing about?  The most extreme examples who want to kill  political cartoonists making fun of their religion.   Slightly less extremes are oversensitive feelings related to other people’s stupid, thoughtless, or prejudiced comments.
  3. Related to the above, but a bit different, you need to think if the other person thinks you are laughing at them.  My snorting laughter needs explaining if there is any chance the person thinks I am laughing at them.  Those who know me well understand my snorts. Those who don’t might need me to add to my snort. “Always gets me how some things are so predictably stupid.” or “Sorry, I laughed, it wasn’t at you, it was because life and others are sometimes so ridiculous it is laugh or cry.”
  4. If you feel action is required, then you absolutely must thinking about how to act wisely.  That is the subject of my soon to released eBook – Think Your Way to the Good Life.  Watch for its release so you can get a free sample.


No matter how busy you are, you need time outs to refresh and renew and a quick laugh often fills the bill.   A rule do not indulge aloud in hurtful laughs.  I laugh lots in my head, not always nice, but no real harm done as such laughs destroy my need to act.  Another rule: When such laughs  heat you up, do not indulge.

Even better is trying create laughs. Here’s today’s Free Poster Coach. Become a comedian:

How to become a comedian

As always, thank you for all you do to make the world around you more peaceful. Think of sharing this post as a way to practice kindness. All acts of kindness move the world a bit closer  toward peace.


How does this post fit in with Today’s Daily Prompt Uncanned Laughter: A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

The above answers this but with a more serious discussion.


EFTI FREE POSTERS  Browse the EFTI store for free digital downloads of the posters shown. You will also see  nearly a hundred more designed to inspire, coach and teach you how to strengthen your #emotionalintelligence. Here is the link to the free poster attached to this blog.


Strengthen your health and well-being by stretching and wondering. Here’s how:

Think of all around you, above, you within you - know awe.

Here’s how to Be With Beauty:

Be with beauty emotionalfitness exercise.


No matter how busy you are, you need time outs to refresh and renew. The two exercises are quick ways to refuel. However, you and those you love need more than quick breaks throughout you day.

When God commanded the Jews to observe the Shabbat, the purpose was to force quiet time on this tribe of his children. You do not have to be Jewish or even believe in God to benefit from a day away from work and particularly electronic devices and stores.

Can’t bear the thought of a full day?  Start with a few hours, build toward a full day.  You will benefit.

As always, thank you for all you do to make the world around you more peaceful. Think of sharing this post as another way to work toward peace.


How does this post fit in with Today’s Word Press’s DAILY PROMPT:  Secret Admirers?  You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?

Only indirectly.  What it sparked in me was a reminder to build your #emotionalintelligence  by admiring beauty and nature and not so secretly.


EFTI FREE POSTERS  Browse the EFTI store for free digital downloads of the posters shown. You will also see  nearly a hundred more designed to inspire, coach and teach you how to strengthen your #emotionalintelligence. 


I name and talk to inanimate articles.  I talk to God.  I write nonsense.  I don’t always make sense when I talk.  I have planned  how to kill myself.

Normal is mostly a setting on a washring machine or dryer.

Normal is mostly a setting on a washing machine or dryer.

I have other not normal ways.  Depending on how I talk to a shrink,  any number of DSM labels could be pasted on my forehead.  In case you wonder about those initials, they stand for the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  .  The bible used by shrinks and other mental health professionals to decide normalcy.

I am a mental health professional and I use the DSM.  You have to if you want insurance companies to pay you. A great many people do not like the DSM.  I find it handy, but usually misused.  The manual has been updated numerous times and has just undergone another revision.


Here’s an example of over diagnosing.  I recently had a change in some of the medications that keep my heart beating regularly. Particularly, if  my husband or pictures of Johnnie Depp get the old ticker pumping too fast.  Aging sucks.

Anyway, the new medication threw me temporarily into the dark pit of depression. Really dark, like don’t get out of bed, hate anyone who talks to you, cannot stand to be touched, think death might be preferrable kind of depression.

I reported this to my doctor asking for a change of medication. She asked me to take a five sentence test; she and the test then said “Major Depressive Disorder. See a shrink.”

I knew that was exactly what the test would say, but I also knew with all my heart, it was the medication.  She did admit that could be and we agreed, I would not see the shrink and give my body a bit of time to adjust.  It did and two days later I was my usually functional happy at times, not happy other times.

I made my doctor re-move the  Major Depression Disorder label from my medical chart.”  She did so reluctantly. I did it to make the point a more  appropriate label might have been: mood disorder due to a general medical condition, or  substance-induced mood disorder.

Depending on how I talk to a shrink I can garner a great number of DSM labels. The only ones that seem correct to me are ADHD now just called ADD; Dsygraphia and Dyscalulia – two learning disabilities;  Generalized Anxiety Disorder as I am a worrier.  A few other lurk around the corner I could easily become addicted to some things, I am sometimes obsessed with getting things perfect, I do get the moody blues occasionally, and so on.

Many shrinks and other critics of the newest DSM cite examples of new additions like “mild anxiety depression,” “psychosis risk syndrome,” and “temper dysregulation disorder,to make the point that previously “healthy” people  out to be  mentally ill.

“It’s leaking into normality. It is shrinking the pool of what is normal to a puddle,” said Til Wykes of the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London.

So what? After all every one of us is a combination of normal and not so normal traists and ways. What to do? Read on.

Emotional fitness tip

The DSM IV used what is called the Global Assessment of Function to decide if a person had a mental disorder. That has now been taken over by what are called specifiers for the various disorders.  The intent is to become more precise and accurate in describing an individuals disorder.  A good thing, but also complicating.

My KISS side thinks to let go fo the GAF completely is a mistake.  A quick severity needssurvey  helps  both clinicians and clients in thinking about when a mental disorder might be controlling the person.

I never made a diagnosis without including the client in reaching it. The GAF was the first thing I turned to.   Here is the GAF:

Worried about being normal, first check out your how you do what needs t be done

Worried about being normal? First check out how you do what needs to be done.

And of course, this can cover up or hide  a great many serious mental disorders. Robin Williams functioned well if viewed from the outside. Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and any host of suicides shocked the world as Robin has.

A smart therapist friend noted that Robin William’s suicide has created more attention than any death since the assassination of John Kennedy.  I suspect that is because all of us have hidden or not so hidden sorrows that make us wonder if suicide is not an option.

As Neil Diamond notes in Song Sung Blue, “Song sung blue, every body sings one; song sung blue every garden grows one.”

His  song suggests that singing a song can cure the blues.  Not the major depression type.  When a song  doesn’t work, professional help is needed.

The Tip: If you are not functioning well for any reason, find a competent mental health professional. Not always easy, but here’s a test to start you thinking about who to see when interviewing candidates.

Rate yourself on the GAF, and after describing your symptoms state your GAF score.  If the professional is interested, respectful, and willing to hear you on that one, he or she might be competent.

There is a hooker.  Some things can quickly throw you off balance and cast you so far down into the pit of blackness, you murder yourself in an effort to escape. That is probably what happened to Robin Williams.  I suspect that  something  most of us could have bounced back from grabbed him  and that combined with the years of battling within while meant too much despair.

Maybe in time, my chosen profession will have all the answers, for now we often grope in the dark and help some fail others. Please remember that expecting too much of life or of anyone trying to help you live a good life increases the odds unhappiness will have a stronger hold on you.  Reality check your expectations and toughen your protective shield. My Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises help, but like Singing, you need more help if a major mental disorder is part of you life.  Sing when you can, practice all my exercises, but also get professional help.


We all have our struggles. If they do not include dealing with suicidal depression understanding the blackness others live with becomes a barrier.

What to do when you don’t understand another’s  pain or find yourself irked by another’s complaints? Practice kindness. You will help yourself as well as the other person. If you like this post share it with another.  That is practicing deliberate kindness and deliberate kindness strengthens more than the also helpful random acts. .

As always, thank you for your support.


This post fits in with Today’s Word Press’s DAILY PROMPT:  The Name’s The Thing – Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.



When to call 911