Tag Archives: Health

How To Become a Feeling Detective – Free Emotional Fitness 101 Course

SESSION TWO: Feelings  can hide, strengthen quietly,  then jump out of hiding to become your boss. You need to know when a feeling first visits to stay its boss.

How feeling come and go.

First visit to the 101 course? Go here to start at the beginning.

WHY FEELING AWARENESS MATTERS  As has been  said, “Keep your friends close; your enemies closer.”  Knowledge is power.  The more you know about feelings, the more you control.  That knowledge starts with understanding The Life Cycle of a Feeling.

You will also be helped by this tact: Neurobiologists say the Life Cycle of a Feeling lasts less than a minute;

“Not true” you are probably saying to yourself, “I can be angry for hours or sad for days.”

Feels true, but feelings only seem to go on and on. Why? Because something keeps triggering the feeling  again  and again. Without a re-triggering event all feeling die quick deaths.

Think of the prick that comes when blood is drawn from your finger. Prick hurts, but the pain is gone in  a few seconds.

Emotional pricks should vanish as quickly.  Someone gives you the finger because you are driving slower than s/he likes? Do you  fall victim to road rage or  shrug your shoulders and be  happy the impatient driver is ahead of you?

Being able to shrug your shoulders  starts knowing as soon as possible when troublesome feelings first come calling, naming them accurately, so you can stop triggering them.

FEELING AWARENESS EXERCISE: Think about your day for a few minutes.  Make a  list of the feelings that have visited you since you first opened your eyes.  Jotting down the name of each feeling  best; writing focuses thoughts and improves recall. Moreover, it makes it easier to count the different feelings and basically what this exercise is looking for is the number of feelings, nothing more. However you decide to  go spend four or five minutes making a list.

How many feelings did you come up with?  Hopeful, at least  seven or eight of the mighty ten.  The mighty ten are the most common feelings across the world. Those ten? Better (as in “I feel better” or “I am feeling better now”), bad, good, guilty, sorry, sick, well, comfortable, great, happy.

Others think confusion, interest, sadness, anger,  shame, despair and fear should be on that list. One theorist says there are almost as many feelings as there are people.

However, here is a kicker: two groups of experts, Freudians and Behaviorists,  think all feelings boil down to pleasure or pain.  Those two groups disagree about almost everything else, but both insist pleasure are pain are at the bottom of all other feelings. More about that later.

For now, spend a  few moments adding any feelings to your list that the above has brought to mind.

What does it all mean? First, the more feelings, the more skilled you are at naming feelings and the stronger your feeling awareness. The fewer feelings the more you need to become more attuned to your feelings.

Some note only positive feelings and that  is a bit worrisome.  Even the Dalai Lama, despite being trained all his life in the art of serenity, knows anger, upset, and sadness .  The main concern here, is that you are stuffing feelings and in time they will not stay stuffed,  but join together and burst forth to make trouble.

Another worry is getting stuck most of the time in a negative feeling.  Getting stuck in one feeling means that feeling is bossing you.

What to do? Keep on taking this course and even if you found lots and lots of feelings, learn and practice the Sad to Mad to Glad  Feeling Awareness Exercise detailed below. Why? Star athletes know it is not enough to learn a skill, it must be continually practiced to stay effective.

Sad to mad to glad

Next up.  A bit about how to properly practice an Emotional Fitness exercise.   Then another exercise to improve your feeling awareness.

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.




One-Way Street  Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

I pick the future, it is always more full of hope, more in my power to control. At the same time, I would want to carry forward all the lessons of the past.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

How To Get More Emotionally Fit – A Free Online Course

SESSION ONE: Anger, shame, guilt, fear, desire, pain, sadness, jealousy, or lust bossing you?  Take this EFTI course and boss the feelings trying to boss you.

EQ instagrom intro to efti

Emotional Fitness tRAINING’s 101 Course

I am offering this course  on my blog and Emotional Fitness Facebook Page. The course puts you in charge of the feelings that boss you and create problems.  Being in  charge of your feelings keeps you on the path to the good life.


Emotional fitness is about managing feelings. We can own our feelings or our feelings can own us.  Anger is a feeling that tries to own us: “I was angry; I couldn’t help myself.”  Sadness is another feeling that can own us. “I couldn’t do my work, I was so sad, I just sat there and cried.”  When we own our feelings, we are in control.

We are in charge of some feelings, not in charge of others. Sometimes we soar; sometimes we can’t get off the ground.  Everyone’s ability to manage one or another negative feeling can be improved.  Taking control of your feelings requires mastery of six skills

  1.  Feeling awareness: knowing when a feeling starts and how accurately name various feelings.
  2. Feeling measurement: knowing how to measure the growth of negative feelings so you can take action before the feeling controls you.
  3.  Self-soothing: calming the body so feelings do not take over.
  4.  Focusing the mind on what matters: knowing what is important—having a life affirming mission, setting positive goals
  5.  Feeling management: strategizing or thinking about how to act on what is important.
  6.  Acceptance and letting go: dealing with what cannot be changed.

EFTI  programs are based on the fitness model.  Even if born with a great athletic talent, you need practice and training to become a star.  So it is with emotional fitness;  emotional fitness levels and needs vary as widely as physical fitness levels and needs.  To star at managing feelings, you need training and practice.

 WHAt You need to know about the course

The course is based on courses I taught as a professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work, on my experiences as the director of New York City crisis teams before, during and after 9/11, on my years as a foster parent caring for teens in trouble with the law, and on the growing interest in Emotional Intelligence.

My unique experience as a foster parent, lead me to want to turn clinical knowledge into  practical tips and exercises. There are six skills, and twelve daily exercises to review or  learn, and then strengthen.

The course is also designed to take at several levels. You can just scan the posts and take what you want or need when you can.

You can obtain a certificate of accomplishment  for adding to your resume by taking the course as you would a college course. Doing so involves taking  several mastery based tests as you work through the course. The mastery approach involves a self-graded testing system. When you take the test, if you fail, you simply review the material and take the test again. Few fail as the course is specifically designed to answer the questions. When you complete the course this way, you need to pay a small fee for the processing of your tests and issuing the certificate.

If you need  a certificate of completion for anger management, please contact us at emotfit@live.com for more information.  Taking the course may be enough, but more might be needed if you are court referred mandated to take anger management.

Finally, those  with credentials as a therapist or coach can use the course as the springboard for licensing as an Emotional Fitness Trainer.  If that is your interest contact me at emotfit@live.com.

To start you off, here are seven feelings facts you need to know and think about.

Seven Feeling factsOne of the questions on a test would be to state Feeling Fact Number Seven as that is the essentially Emotional Fitness Training’s Game Plan.

If you are a parent, taking this course, buffers you against the slings and arrows involved in raising children. Most importantly, however, the more emotionally fit you are, the more emotionally fit your children will be.

I hope you will share this information. As always, thank you for your support.




IN TRANSIT: Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

Life is always in transit and most of the magic comes from you and your willingness to connect kindly to others.  Emotion Fitness Training makes that more possible.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

How To Settle For Good Enough – Five Tips

Today’s WordPress Challenge was to write for ten minutes and then stop and publish. You could edit, but  I have chosen not to edit. Why? Read on.

3 =2 =7 Dunce

That’s me, I cannot do math. But this post is about  disgryphia, a writting disoprder I also have. And how I still managed to publish two in print books and 20 ebooks. Dysgraphia taught my a number of things.  Those things? Living with imperfection is one.  When you can’t do something the way you want, you either keep trying or stop.  Many with learning disabilities and dysgprahia to one of two thinggs:

  1. Descide what they want to do cannot by done perfection and so stop. Ofen decdiding they are stupid.
  2. keep trying and failing and feeling bad.
  3. Keep trying and have a bit of success, but still feel stupid.

I fall into the third category.  I kept trying. There are lessons in why I kept trying.

One: was I had other talentes.  I loved reading and did not have dsylexia.  In the long run if you want to writed being a good reader helps. I also am very bright. Not bragging and I didn’t think so until well into my 50’s but I do think better than the average bear.

Two: My father loved wrting - he was a news reproter and published his own small weekly newspaper.  Parents model what matters.

Eary arly on I wanted to be an newspaper reporter. It was important to my dad and thereor important to me. And very soon I started loving to write also.

Three; IHad teacers who honored my strengths.  They saw  that I was bright inspite of my defiecientces.  They encouraged my brain more than perfection. Ture, my poor spelling lead to slightly lower grades, but my strengths carried me on.

Four: Along wtih caring teachers, I gree wup with lots less pressoure about school an d higher education than the kids to day. I loved learning and still do. Not that school was all fun.  I failed lots  – I also have dyscalculai and cannot do may/  I  basically passed my math courses on the kindness of teachers wjp would give me the lowest possible passing grade, but pass me.   I would not make it trhough todya’s testing.

Fvie:  Word processing came along and that mean I could corredt enough errors to get published. what I wronte that I had enough success to keep trying.

Six: Then I became a foster parent and in time my husband and I  cared for over 300 kids, 4 to 6 at a time,  all needing a home for a hort period of time.  Some a few days, others everal months.

Our kids were mostly teens and all in trouble with the law. Caring for so many troubled teens  became asomething unique to write about and eventually sell. My book Wehen Good Kids Do Bad Things  writing almost 40 years agot things is now available as an ebook and that has lead to getting other books published.

Seven:  I learned when good enough was good enough, perfection was  not needed.

EightLO leaned to live with failure, somthing kids donn’t get practice doing today.

Nine: Out of those lessons I developed my Emotional Fitness Programs and because life made me practece what I preach, I learned to focus on what matters, soothe myself when things got bad, live in the good as much as I possible.

Good life lessons that I am still trying to pass on.

Ten I learend when trying wa s not enough and that I could not do all I hoped or wanted to do. .


Tip one:  Perfection is rarely needed.  Even nerosurgerons only need to be neer perfect and I guess accountants would not keep their jobs if they could not do math. But do take the time to think about what needs to be near perfect, what is good enough, what should be done no matter how badly, and what can be left undone.

Tip two:Do as much of what you love as often as you can whether it breings success or just fthe joy of doing.

Tip three: Develop manners and a good work ethic. Most of us will not be stars and many of us will have to work at jobs we do not like inorder to pay the rest. Life. Manners and a good work ethic are job finders and keepers.

Tip four: Have a mission that matters and learn to set SMART goals and I have writtne a book about that.  SMART goals help you know when to stop. 

Tip five: Practice kindness and be grateful for all you have. 


Not mentioned inthe things I learned was that two things are needed to be a success in addition to some talent and hard work.  Those two things: luck and resources.

I had the luck to have a good brain, some talents and some of the essential resources.  The most essential resources are people who care and who have faith in you as you are.  My parents gave me that support; my teachers and eventually my editors gave me the dind of support needed to become a moderately successful writher.

I have not had the financial resources needed to hire help that would make my blog and ebook writing more successful.  Which is why it matters athat I love sharing knowledge and writing my blog.

There is a form of luck we ofther overlook.  My paretns also taught me that what really matters is whether you are kind and working to make the world better. You do have to have your personal phsycialc surviala needs to have the time and energy to practice kindness.  But the world is full of people who are barely surving, living in war zones and still manage daily acts o f kindness.  The more we have the more we are  obligated to help those who have less. when we have the emotinal strength or physical strength to help others we are among the luckiest.

If you like this post share it with another.  That is practicing deliberate kindness which is another easy Emotional Fitness Exercise and the sublect of today’s Free Poster Coach.

As always, thank you for your support.




Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

Practice Deliberate Kindness ass an Emotional Fitness Exercise.

All EFTI Poster Coaches are offered as free digitial downloads at the EFTI Store.


This post was prompted by this Word Press DAILY PROMPT: Ready, Set, Done – Our weekly free-write is back: take ten minutes — no pauses! — to write about anything, unfiltered and unedited. You can then publish the post as-is, or edit a bit first — your call.

You have read the results.

 Image by blue pencililu.com 

How and When to Lie – Five Tips

Honesty is both the bedrock and the lava of all relationships. Honesty either burns you or keeps your relationship rock solid.  You need to know when to lie.

I lied so get over it.

Emotional Fitness Thoughts

Leadership gurus starting with  parents, teachers, preachers, bosses, coaches, and ending with politicians caught up in the happiness craze believe when the truth might hurt, lies are better. Not my idea of how to build trust and lay the foundation for a good relationship.

My father was born to praise.  His Golden Rule: “If you can’t say anything nice, shut your mouth.”  Not as great as you think.  Why?

I never was sure where I stood.  I knew in my heart, I was not always praiseworthy.   Confession: one of the reasons I fell for the man I married and stayed married to as he tells it like it is.  No doubt at all where you stand.

And, of course, there are times I would like him to shut his mouth.  But, I rely on the fact that he says what he means and means what he says and that is a better foundation than not knowing what someone who has your heart in their possession  really thinks.

Reality check: Honesty is not always the best policy and lies come in many sizes and shapes. Some lies promote caring relationships; others destroy the most caring relationship.

“Be kind lies” are those  little white lies that skirt the truth but make someone feel better without doing harm.

Lies of omission can be good or bad.  Good when the information will do no good; bad when the attempt is to deceive.

“Selling something” lies can be either good or bad. Helping sell someone on their worth is good. Hiding or lying or distorting benefits or dangers to sell a product is bad.

Then there are “necessary lies” that  keep people safe. Your child is kidnapped. Your are arranging to deliver the ransom with the kidnapper; you tell him the police are not involved when one is sitting next to you. Another necessary lie: your country is at war, you withhold information necessary to safe guard troops.

Good lies do no harm, bad lies harm. That is simplistic, but  remains the core of knowing when and how to lie.


Here are five  tips to help you be an effective liar.

Tip one: Tell as few lies as possible. As the bedrock of long term relationships, honesty matters.

Tip two: Be aware of when you are lying and why.

Tip three: If you are lying to cover up some wrong you did, stop misbehaving.  Confessing might be helpful, might not. If you confess make that matter by apologizing correctly.  Here is reminder of how to apologize properly.

How to apology

Tip four: Learn the art of saying what you mean, meaning what you say, but not saying it mean. How? Keep your tone of voice gentle, your face loving, your words, and end with a possitive.

Tip five: When you find another has lied to you, practice forgiveness, but trust less, at least for a while.

When I was a foster parent, I extended trust and believed what I was told until a had proof a child was lying. Then I would pick when to believe that child.  I made it a point to not believe one who had lied to me when I knew s/he was telling the truth. Enraging, but a lift of my eyebrows and a quiet reminder of the lie drove an important life lesson home.


The tips seem easy, but the fact is lying can become an easy out and a bad habit.  The “Be Kind” Lies can get you into lying more and more often.  What to do? You need not take truth serum, but you can stop the “Be Kind” lies first.

The harder ones to stop are those covering wrong doing for you need to stop doing wrong. Not always easy and if you find yourself continuing to having to lie about wrong doing, get some help.

FUEL MY HOPES:  Be kind to  me,  share, rate, like, or comment and get kindness badges for you, and  others.  Kindness is an Emotional Fitness Exercise.  Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BYPhotobucket.com



Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.


Word Press’s Post of the Day:  Truth Serum:  You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?

My answer: Probably the President and the question would what lies have you been telling us and why?