Tag Archives: emotional health

THREE TIPS FOR USING A DAILY EMOTIONAL FITNESS IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Being emotionally fit is not about being happy, it is about living life as it comes at you, getting through the bad  putting up with the boring,  and  enjoying the good.

quotes abut happiness

Pursuing happiness is human, but as the poet Priscilla Leonard noted                    “Happiness is like a crystal, Fair and exquisite and clear, Broken in a million pieces, Shattered, scattered far and near.”  

When we stumble on a bit of happiness, we need to embrace it, hold it in our hearts, put it in our good memory file, and then when it passes, live well with what is left until we stumble on another of those perfect crystal moment.

Happiness cannot be forced, cannot be chased; it comes and it goes, with a will of its own.   Pursuing it is human, but finding it is as rare as finding a flower in a snow bank.  That can happen, but rarely.  Emotional Fitness Training programs make no” happy forever” promises, but  offers some tips to put you on the contentment trail.

Tip one:  Daily practice of an emotional fitness program.  Of course, EFTI wishes that program would be ours, but that is not as important finding some things you can do every day to strengthen your ability to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.”  No easy task and expecting a too much of life and yourself, but minimally, you can learn to keep negative feelings from bossing you.

Tip two: Set  SMART Goals meaning specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and timely.  

As the motivational guru Tony Robbins notes, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

SMART goals light up the road to your dreams.

Tip three: Realize with more is needed.  Too often we go it alone. Personal happiness remains your responsibility, but that does not mean you should not use all the help you can get along the way.

Emotional fitness is not therapy, however, if you practice it or any other research based self-help program and it is not helping you, you need more than self-help. First try support from those who care for you, then try support groups, or life coaching; if those fail think about therapy or even medication.

Therapy has a bad rap, and medication a worse rap. But both can be life saving and on a smaller level contentment creating.

Our bodies are chemical laboratories churning out hormones that make us feel good or bad. Are you a woman? If so, you probably know a bit about hormonal swings.  Are you a man who needs a six-pack of beer to cheer you up after a hard day at work?  Welcome to world or brain chemistry.

So if you think all this EFT stuff is a load of bog manure, but are never happy, let alone content, more is needed.  Most likely you are suffering from a clinical depression.  Want a quick test used by many therapists to see how depressed a person is.  Try the Beck Depression Inventory.  The US Navy promotes it. It is  a self scoring research based scale consisting of  21 one questions.  Try it, the results might surprize you.

A WORD ABOUT STIGMA:  The USA is particularly caught up in the “Just Do It” mentality.  Unrealistic and keeps many from getting on the path to contentment.  Creates stigma against getting help when help is needed.

Oprah says, if she made it too success, anyone can.  Twisted thinking.  Not to take anything away from Oprah but she had luck, which includes talent and people in your life who have faith in you; she was also born at the right time for a black woman to have opportunity. Think if she had been born a slave or even during the Jim Crow era.

Moreover, Oprah supports Dr. Phil and therapy.

The trick is finding a good therapist.  Those that set SMART goals and have you filling out satisfaction inventories at every session are the best. The  Center for Clinicial Excellence is a go to place to find such a therapist in your area.  

Life can be good much of the time and therapy can make the difference is always being unhappy and being content most of the time.

 PARENTING TIPS

Once upon a time there was a mental health label called Reactive Depression.  That meant when life got too hard, depression visited; if life eased up, depression departed.

I don’t know what thinking took that label off the mental disorder menu, but  I miss it. Life is constant  a seesaw between good, okay, not okay, and bad times.

Children  are on that seesaw more than parents think and suffer from mild attacks of depression in the form of unbearable hurt at least three of four times a day.

Any melt down is symptomatic of the unbearable.  It may come out as anger or a tantrum, but the basis is always unbearable hurt.  The most common hurt for the very young are the fangs of  frustration not being able to do what you want.

The good news, learning to live through frustration is a major life lesson for children and one parents can promote. Here are some tips.

Parenting tip one: Set as few rules as possible, but hold your child to obeying those rules consistently and firmly.  The four most important rules for adults and children:  Safety for all, respect for all living things, respect for property, and respect for reasonable laws.

Parenting tip two: Remember age and stage when teaching rules.  Safety is always the first rule a child needs to learn and that is probably the most consistently taught across all cultures. Think how almost every toddler learns to hold a grown ups hand when crossing the street.  By the time the teens come, talk of reasonable laws is mandatory.

Parenting tip three: The stronger your child’s self-soothing skills the less frustration eats at their being.  

Parenting tip four: Do not assume a child playing happily is a happy child.  The younger the child, the more nature has programmed his or her brain to live in the moment. Makes the unbearable bearable.  Living in the now is a useful skill that does get lost as the child grows but learning the right self-soothing skills helps.

Parenting tip five:  Teens are particularly good at hiding or not knowing they are depressed; as  one of my foster children once said to me, ” you mean most people don’t plan how to kill themselves daily.”

Teens who seem to have it all and seem to be happy are at risk.  the stigma issue keeps many from admitting depression or the need for help.   Common “normal seeming” symptoms – sleeping too much, isolating from friends, loss of interest in what once made them happy, drug or alcohol  use, and risk taking behaviors.

Parenting tip six: Build Added Care Teams for you and for your children.  Start by developing your own Added Care Team. Get a piece of paper and list the names of all the people, you feel help you get through life’s harder times. Next to each person’s name list one or two things that person  does that are  particularly helpful.  Some are good offering every day help: picking up a child at school; taking a child into their home if you are late; giving you a ride somewhere, lending a few bucks if you run short.  These are people you do the same kind of favors for.

Other people might be good at giving moral support if someone in the family just needs to vent or wants quiet support at a school meeting.  Some are good at mediating conflicts–these might be good to take to service provider meetings.

Some have very specific skills.  Doctors,  lawyers and other paid people serves as added care team members.

When you have your Added Care Team in place, pick out some who will be there for your child and encourage those relationships.

 BLOG bUSINESS NOTE

The new year cometh and the time when I review what has been working and what I need to change.  EFTI is not growing financially and my income is dwindling. Enough is a feast,  so I am not complaining about money.

However, I do want EFTI to survive when I can no longer pilot it. eBooks and books will probable live the longest of all my products, so this year I will blog less and write or perfect more books.

What that means is I will re-blog more and will start Monday with polishing and re-blogging my most recent posts about reducing Holiday distress, but now about reducing stress in general.  Know some have missed many of them.

Not sure if I will do so every day for twelve days or once a week for twelve weeks Most like it will be somewhere between those two.  I am thinking one main post followed by a poster coach or cartoon related to the main post. I do love blogging and do not want to deprived myself of that pleasure.

I am  not going to keep blogging on Parents Are People Too other than re-blogs or quick posts using Pinterest or other sources  I will continue to include parenting tips on my EFTI blog posts.

Know getting less will please some, and most will not mind.

BE KIND TO ME

Please rate this material. Doing so helps my social media ratings, but also lets me know what interests you most. Comments do the same.

This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars –Not good enough to rate; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. A poster coach is like a face-to-face coach; all serve as practice reminders, some teach you the exercises needed to stay strong.

To use one, after down loading it from the store, print it up preferably in cardstock and color, then post it where you will see it as you go about your day.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

DAILY PROMPT   Tight Corner:  Have you ever managed to paint yourself into the proverbial corner because of your words? What did you do while waiting for them “to dry”?

How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post:   Life has many tight corners and looking for happiness is one.    Our task is to wait out the bad times, make the most of the between times, and be grateful for the happy times. Stay strong.

THREE TIPS FOR HOLDING ON TO THE GOOD – DAY TWELVE DE-STRESSING THE HOLIDAZE

Good memories help you hold on to all that is good, but bad memories can crowd them out.  This EFT exercise strengthens the good ones.

Good memories

Because our brains are survival based, bad memories are more firmly embedded than good ones.  What makes it worse is the bad ones often come on like 911 calls.  What to do?

Tip one: create and keep a  memory book.   Life is often a struggle.  A Memory Book honors our struggles, reminds us we are strong and helps us hold onto the good.  A Memory Book is more than a photograph album. A Memory Book is a way of making sense of life and how it changes.

Some Memory Books are one page long, others hold only a few pages stapled together, others cover a life time and get housed in expensive leather covers.

Size is not as important as what the book holds. One page holding the right memories is often worth more than a hundred pages of pictures that carry little meaning. A picture is worth a 1000 words but pictures plus some words are priceless.

Tip two:  Create a good memory brain file.  This is done by creating some sanctuaries, first in your home, and then in your mind. 

safe place (2)

Tip three: Use the above tips to regularly  practice EFT’s Hold On to the Good Exercise.  Here are the steps to that exercise:

  1. Go to a physical sanctuary.  Some think of their bed as a sanctuary and do this exercise at night before falling asleep.
  2. Consciously relax by spending a minute tensing and then releasing all your body. Start at your head and work down section by section.
  3. Take a Calming Breath.
  4. Go to your Imaginary Sanctuary.  For some this is best done by picturing it in your mind; others do better describing themselves there.
  5. Review the day.  Say good-by to the bad things, embrace all that was good.
  6. Take a Calming Breath when you are ready to end the exercise.

PARENTING TIPs

Parenting tip one:  Parents start a child’s Memory Book, but as soon as  possible, the child should be part of creating hers or his Memory Books, These will often be a page or a smaller book.  When collected these pages and smaller books become larger Memory Books  or become part of a Family’s Memory Book.

Memory Books can be made for many things–baby’s first day home, first steps, special people, special days, ordinary days, marriages, graduations, vacations, all good things.

Parenting tip two:  Parents must keep  Memory Books safe. Some teens have thrown away a Memory Book and in time, deeply regretted doing so.

 Parenting tip three: Include bad times once they have passed for bad tiems teach lessons.  The lessons?  Bad times that have passed teach the idea that life is full of change, good times come and then go; the same with bad times.  Second lesson: how strong we are.   Review the Honor Your Strength Exercise.

BE KIND TO ME

Please rate this material. Doing so helps my social media ratings, but also lets me know what interests you most. Comments do the same.

This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars –Not good enough to rate; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. A poster coach is like a face-to-face coach; all serve as practice reminders, some teach you the exercises needed to stay strong.

To use one, after down loading it from the store, print it up preferably in cardstock and color, then post it where you will see it as you go about your day.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

DAILY PROMPT   Mystery Box:  You wake up one morning to find a beautifully wrapped package next to your bed. Attached to it is a note: “Open me, if you dare.” What’s inside the mystery box? Do you open it?

How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post:   Every day presents us with a Mystery Box and when we open it it will be life good and bad.  Our task is to learn from the bad and hold on to the good. Stay strong.

THREE PLUS TIPS FOR INDULGING YOURSELF- DAY ELEVEN

Hard fact of life: No one can indulge you but you.  When other people offer you their heart’s desires you are the one who must decide what to accept and enjoy.

blog post about healthy indulging

Tip one: Choose healthy.  Want chocolate? Try one cup of cocoa, let a square or two of a chocolate bar melt in you mouth; make it dark chocolate for that is healthiest.

Tip two:  Be fully aware while indulging.   All Emotional Fitness Training exercises need to be practiced with full awareness to be effective.  Full awareness means taking a Calming Breath before and after the exercise, and focusing on the exercise between the two Calming Breaths. How to take a Calming Breath:.

  1. Breathe in slowly to a count of five.
  2. Hold your breath for a count of five.
  3. Breathe out slowly to another count of five.
  4. As you breathe out, say a silent “Ahhhhhh” or “Thank you” and smile softly.

Tip three: Hold off indulging until the end of the day, but enjoy anticipating indulging. 

A poster coach full of healthy indulgence tips:

Indulges - healty

Parenting tips

Parenting tip one:   Teach awareness of small pleasures.  Start with EFT Be With Beauty Exercise. 

Parenting tip two: Deny some pleasures. When a child has ice cream everyday, it is no longer a treat.

Parenting tip three:  Name indulgences. Start with “Here’s a special treat” and in time label such treats indulgences.

Parenting tip four:  Make “Time Alone  Together”  dates  with each child.   Even a teen will be happy to spend time with you if  make that a time both can indulge in a pleasure both enjoy

Parenting tip five: Have Family Indulgence Rituals. Walking to the ice cream store together, giving each other shoulder rubs,  ending family meetings with a sweet treat. Remember to label this “Indulgence time.”

Don’t have family meetings? Time to buy EFT’s How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting.  Costs less than a movie for one and benefits all in your family.

BE KIND TO ME

Please rate this material. Doing so helps my social media ratings, but also lets me know what interests you most. Comments do the same.

This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars –Not good enough to rate; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. A poster coach is like a face-to-face coach; all serve as practice reminders, some teach you the exercises needed to stay strong.

To use one, after down loading it from the store, print it up preferably in cardstock and color, then post it where you will see it as you go about your day.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

DAILY PROMPT   My Hero – Who’s your hero? Tell us a story about why that person plays such an important role in your life.

How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post:  My father was my hero growing up. He loved me with all his heart, he modeled kindness, the value of following your dreams, leaving revenge up to life, and the joy of small pleasures.

I need to add that my mother became a hero when I realized, how much she had overcome in her life and managed to keep on caring and loving.

THREE STEPS TO FORGIVING YOUSELF – DAY TEN

Forgiveness is a gift and one we find hardest to give to ourselves.  By not forgiving ourselves we keep  a burning ember our hearts.

Forgive yourself

The burning ember that gets stuck  in our hearts when we do not forgive ourselves has a name.  That name? Shame.  Shame is part of our genetic make up and  serves a useful purpose.  That purpose? To keep us from doing the unforgivable and it is the healthy part of shame.

Shame appears as a recognizable emotion around the age of three; the age when children can hurt younger children or pets.   Harvard researcher Jerome Kagan notes this is the genetic part of shame and designed to prevent older  siblings from committing the “Sin of Cain.”

Toxic shame is not healthy shame.   Family, religions, cultures attach shame to many behaviors that are far from unacceptable. A good example comes from the saying “Lusting in your heart”  which is too often  viewed as the same as acting on lust in unacceptable ways.

Sexual behaviors that are  normal are the primary example of culturally created shame.  Masturbation and homophobia being the best examples of sexual behaviors made toxic via religious or cultural beliefs.

Blaming others  trying to avoid feeling shamed is another form of toxic shame.   This is complicated but important to understand.  Shame hurts and hurt seeks release; seeking release from personal shame all too often comes from turning on others.  Instead of blaming yourself for your feelings of shame, you seek someone else to blame. The mental health professionals call this projection.

Kagan makes the point that when we feel uncertain about our goodness finding someone to blame often keeps us from looking at our own behavior. Once again think of  dress.  Most stones  about provocative dress are cast at women’s attire.  Instead of men dealing with their unacceptable desires, women are blamed and control of their dress sought.

Same thing happens in terms of homophobia, fear of one’s own sexuality,turns to hatred of gays.

This projection of shame on to others is less obvious when it comes to everyday criticism, but surfaces as  anger when being criticised.  If you know someone who explodes with anger when criticized, you know someone dealing with buried shame about imperfections.  If you find criticism hard to bear, you are also dealing with buried shame.  Buried shame is sinking its fangs into to you and making self-forgiveness difficult.

THe thREE steps to forgiving yourself

Step one: Rate what makes you feel shamed on the universal scale of unacceptable behavior.  What is unacceptable behavior?  Much disputed, but the  Golden Rule is universal.  It fails to bring peace on earth because of tribalism and who you think deserves to be treated as you want to be treated and who falls outside that circle of care.

Another universal guide for judging behaviors lies in the Laws of the Children of Noah.   Jews do not seek conversion, but do believe that to find favor in God’s heart,  non Jews must abide be the laws established after the flood.

Loosely translated these Noahide laws call for the following:  establishing a system of  law based on justice, belief in a higher power and not cursingthat power’s creation, not worshiping things, not engaging in exploitative sexual behaviors, not stealing or killing, and being compassionate to animals.

Essentially, unacceptable behavior is cruel behavior and that is not so hard to define when one things of all as family, and all deserving the treatment we wish for ourselves and our families.

Step two: Learn to think “good enough” instead of perfect.  Moreover, think “almost good enough” and “okay although not so good.”  Our society pushes perfection in its worship of celebrities and stars. Not healthy and unrealistic.  Moreover, few things need perfection and knowing when less than perfection is needed makes forgiveness of both self and others more easily practiced.

Step three: Practice the following Self-forgiveness exercise daily:

forgiveness exercise

PARENTING advice

A few things to think about when it comes to children and shame.  A child just becoming acquainted with shame measures behavior against what the more powerful people in his or her world do. When s/he does so s/he feels small, incompetent, and powerless;  hence, the stormy temper tantrums of the two or three-year old.

Shame is also fear of abandonment.  When shamed, you want to sink from sight out of fear that you will be seen as not worthy of being included in the circle of humanity.  Many religions shun and isolate those they see as being engaged in shameful behaviors so fear is real. As children need the protection of adults fear of being abandoned is powerful.

parenting tips

Parenting tip one:  Apologize and ask for forgiveness when you need your child’s forgiveness.  That is usually when stress has blown your cool, but also when you accidentally hurt your child.  Do so by stating what you did that was wrong and that you see it hurt your child, then asking to be forgiven, and promising to try to do better.

Parenting tip two: Start early to teach your child to apologize.  Link to discipline.  For example if using time out, the child cannot be released from time out until he or she can say “Sorry.  At first that “Sorry” will be rote, but as the child grows the meaning of “Sorry” can be expanded on until the child learns how to apologize sincerely for bad behavior.

If using behavior charts, link rewards and punishments to the unacceptably of behavior.  Thomas Phelan develped the  One, Two Three Magic approach, does that by saying some behaviors need immediate punishment, not the choice option of his one, two, three approach.

An example: an anger three-year old purposely hits someone or hurts an animal, immediately intervene, pick the child up, and put him or her in time out. For a teen an immediate response would be a loss of a cherished privilege.

Parenting tip three:  Watch for signs that the child feels bad or shamed.  Gently, acknowledge the bad feelings and use them as a teachable moment. Ask the child to  rate what they did on the good enough, okay, almost good enough, and bad  scale and help them decide how to apologize and make an amends.

Parenting tip four:  Teach to make amends. We can forgive ourselves more easily when others have forgiven us and a sincere amends does much to repair relationships broken by a bad act.

Parenting tip five: Teach understanding of others.  Forgiveness is easiest when we accept that every person does the best they can with what they have been given. Personal bests vary according to many things, including time, stress, past experiences, cultural expectations which  include the voices of authority from parents, teachers, religions, and a various gurus including media stars.

Also stress that forgiveness does not involve  staying around people who physically harm you. Bullies abound around kids,

Parenting tip six:  Build strength and confidence by seeing that your children learn self-defense skills.  Peace Dojos teach conflict resolution and karate – good for all the family to learn.

BE KIND TO ME

Please rate this material. Doing so helps my social media ratings, but also lets me know what interests you most. Comments do the same.

This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars –Not good enough to rate; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. A poster coach is like a face-to-face coach; all serve as practice reminders, some teach you the exercises needed to stay strong.

To use one, after down loading it from the store, print it up preferably in cardstock and color, then post it where you will see it as you go about your day.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

DAILY PROMPT   –  Secret Santa  You get to choose one gift — no price restrictions — for any person you want. The caveat? You have to give it anonymously. What gift would you give, and to whom?

A winning mega million lottery ticket to my husband.  

How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post:  He can and then would make amends for the things he carries around in his heart that are useless shame.

Moreover, think I would not need investors  to keep EFTI it going for at least a few more years.