Tag Archives: Health

Three Ways to Shrug Off Nastiness

Three Ways to End Hurtful Discussions

Another’s stupidity or angry ranting always pushes you to raise your voice and fight back; but fighting angry yelling by yelling back never works. Never.

The louder one yells, the less one is heard, the more anger grows.

Image by http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net/

Emotional fitness thoughts and tips

We are told to “Let it all out.”  Not good unless done the way Aristotle suggests in his famous quote: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

What to do?  The following three  tips are based on both the wisdom of the aging and the most current research about how to follow Aristotle’s advice:

Emotional Fitness Tip One:  The angrier you or another are, the more important to respond softly and with compassion. Anger always covers hurt or fear.  Always. Responding to the hurt or fear diminishes anger and makes finding a solutions more likely.  When that seems impossible, take a time out.

If a time out  is not possible, such as, when  a boss is ranting at you; listen without responding except to say “Yes” when you can agree.

Emotional Fitness Tip Two: Strong self-soothing skills make soft and compassionate responses more possible. Try this one:

Soft face poster

Such exercises only work if practiced diligently and at first when not angry.  EFTI’s self-soothing exercises are designed to be practiced quickly so they can be put into play over and over again each day.  Go here to learn four of the easiest. 

Emotional Fitness Tip Three: Stay safe.  Know how to defend yourself if physical attack seems likely. If I could wave a magic want over our educational system, it would be to include Peace Dojos teaching conflict resolution and self-defense as required courses beginning in kindergarten.  Many colleges require passing a  swimming tests in order to graduate.  I would like all high school graduates and GED holders to be required to have a certificate of accomplishment from a Peace Dojo before moving on to college.


Remember what matters: view anger as a signal  something is wrong.   Start with yourself.

As  most of what makes us angry starts in our feelings about ourselves, ask “What is hurting me.”

Are you jealous? Jealousy is a major source of world violence and that includes jealousy of those who seem smarter, happier, or in almost anyway better than we feel we are.

Then there is fear we might become like someone not valued by others: think of anorexia, homophobia not to mention not wanting to be over 30.

Being a sinner or seen as a sinner is part of this type of fear. This fear or worry is  part of religious divides. But is also part of each person’s personal idea about what is moral behavior.

For the religious fear of sinning can lead to fanaticism, but also to failed efforts to stay good. Wonder why sometimes the most religious fall from grace? Think of priests, ministers, or rabbis who commit adultery or worse abuse children.  Knowing their darker sides, they tried to stay strong thought faith, but failed.

Also,  remember we all want to be in control.  We believe our fate is in our hands, particularly in Western culture that constantly tells us “Just do it,” or “Follow your dream.”  Fact: We do not control all.  When our control is threatened, our anger grows.

The failure of control is  part of our  righteous indignation when we see an obvious injustice.

Another  question to ask yourself when angry, particularly about what you see as an injustice against another is to ask youself  who you “identify with.” Who grabs your heartthe  most.

These are the questions one must also think about when anger is growing in another.  Some when seeing an underlying cause of another’s anger are tempted to speak about that. Don’t. Instead, wait until the person’s ranting and anger seems to be cooling down a bit. Then ask, “What can I do to help?”

I hope all the above helps you deal better with anger. If so, think of sharing it with someone who can make good  use of it and who will not feel you are attacking them.

As always for all you do, thank you.



Get a free digital download of Soft Face and Strong Body. Then post it where you will see it and it will remind you to practice this amazing self-soothing exercise.


Word Press Daily post prompt

This  DAILY POST Prompt  inspired this blog post: Discussion Enders; We’ve all had exchanges where we came up with the perfect reply — ten minutes too late. Write down one of those, but this time, make sure to sign off with your grand slam (unused) zinger.

My response?  Zingers only fuel anger and there is too much anger and too mucn taking even petty revenge by zinging someone.




Come the weekend, and many will be lifting their glasses high, getting high. Fact: I love vodka straight  on the rocks; I suspect a Russian gene crept into my DNA.

Lattee addiction. Having confessed my love of vodka on the rocks, don’t think I am an alcoholic. Nor am I addicted to latte’s.  I confess to being a social media addict, nothing more.  We all have addictions, some more harmful than others. This post is about addictions that harm your body – mainly drinking and drugging.

Why this topic?  While I like my vodka,  I do not like the hard sell of drinking that is part of today’s culture.  Drinking moderately is probably safe, but not in moderation and harm accrues.  But alcohol is profitable and the sales pitches constant.

You can label me a cranky old lady on that one, I won’t mind  as long as you think a bit about the contents of this poster and this blog post.


And yes I have a gun; I am a better shot than hubby. and that is why he keeps the gun locked up and hides the key from me.  Wise man.

Emotional Fitness Thoughts

I have been drunk once in my life and once was enough; I got sick as a dog.  One way to sort those with an addiction to drink from those without one is what happens if too much drink goes down their throats.  Getting sick does not stop those whose drinking is a problem.

I am also lucky in that I have a built-in stop drinking signal. My upper lip gets numb when I have had enough. The one time I got sick from drinking was when I did not heed the numbness.

Four things fuel my rants about drinking and drugging addictions.

First? Coming  from a long line of drunks AA groupies, call the genetic basis for becoming an alcoholic.  Do my family tree and for generations some have always had the kind of problems with self-control that meant addiction of one sort or another.

My mother’s father reportedly drank 30 coke a day.  His wife was a teetotaler and that often goes along with one or another chemical abuse.  My hunch was when cocaine was no longer found in Cokes, he switched to drink, but minimally,  if my mother’s account was accurate, he was   a caffeine addict.

At least one relative literally drank herself to death. A number of others were what many call functional drunks.  These drink or drug way too much, but keep up a front. Some of these only get drunk periodically come the weekends or “festive” occasions. Sad to witness.

Second? Being a therapist meant  I often was called upon to quell the damage addictions wrought, but also realizing how difficult it was to bring about change.

Third?  Becoming a foster mother. Most of the kids placed with us were in teens in trouble with the law; many were addicts of one sort or another. As a foster parent,  I attended Alanon and found it both helpful and not helpful.

Fourth?  When we stopped being foster parents and I returned to work full-time as a mental health professional, the Harm Reduction movement had just begun. As part of that movement, I stumbled onto Motivational Interviewing. Than encounter inspired my Safe Drinking Rules Poster.


Emotional Tip One: Know the risk factors.  Three factors put someone at risk of becoming an addict.  The first? Genes. The second? Cultural attitudes toward drinking, but particularly towards drunkenness. The delight Western youth seem to take toward getting bombed puts most young in Western culture at risk.  Finally? Daily use.  One of the reasons the Safe Drinking Rules say to limit your drinking to four days a week is to prevent building up tolerance and in time drinking more and more.

Emotional Tip Two: Worried? Spend a month abiding by the safe drinking rules.  The rules can be adapted for drugging, for gambling, for all addictions including addictions to risk taking or anger.  The more you slip, the more you need to worry that your addiction is getting out of control.

Emotional Tip Three: If you or someone you care about is showing signs of addiction try a Twelve Step program. These  are worth exploring as you can usually find a meeting near you or on-line and cost you nothing but a pit of time. Most  suggest attending six meetings and  to spend your time listening  and learning.  That is also a useful phase for introducing yourself  at a meeting.  Finally, keep an open mind, as one Twelve Step Motto suggests “Take what you need, leave the rest.”

Emotional Fitness Tip Four:  Consider therapy. With addictions seek a counselor who uses a Harm Reduction or Motivational Interviewing approach. That is what I wold do.  I would also look for someone who set SMART Goals early in the therapy process and asked for feedback from you at each session.


Practicing a daily emotional fitness exercise program strengthens  your ability to  dealing with addcitions.  EFTI combines elements of  Twelve Step Programs, Motivational Interviewing, common sense as well as  research based cognitive behavioral practices known to improve emotional intelligence. I think mine are Gold Medal Winners.  Why?  Four reasons:

  1. Each is easy to learn and easier to practice.
  2. You can practice each one multiple times every day. The more you practice the easier each becomes a healthy habit.
  3. You can layer them, meaning you can practice two or even three at the same time.
  4. When learned and strengthened, each exercise soothes all emotions trying  to try boss you.

For all you do to share and care, thank you.  If you like what I say “clap your hands and show it” by liking, commenting, or sharing.


This post was inspired by this Word Press Daily Prompt – Pick Your Potion:Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

My response? Detailed above.

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But not at your boss. Post with laughs about people living in a world of their own.  Particularly bad to do at a job.   First a cartoon by jokideo.com

Slower drivers are idiots and faster driver asr naniacs.

Now for a joke on the same topic of living in your own world that makes me laugh a bit every time I read it. Not about work, but maybe the people who got angry were  afraid they will not get to work on time.

Definitely about what matters, and that is not getting locked into thinking you know what others are thinking, and that what matters to you, matters to all.

Thank you High School Friend Jack Simcox for this one. And thank whoever posted it for Jack to find and share.  Here it is:

Grandma is eighty-eight years old and still drives her own car. She writes to her granddaughter who is away at college.
Dear Granddaughter,
The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper sticker .
I was feeling particularly “sassy” that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting.
So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.
Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed.
I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is.
I found that lots of people love Jesus!
While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, ‘For the love of God!’
‘Go! Go! Go!  Jesus Christ, GO!’
What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus!
Everyone started honking!
I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people.
I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!
There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach.
I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air.
I asked  your brother who was in the back seat what that meant.
He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something.
Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back.
Your brother  burst out laughing.
Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!!
A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me.
I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed.
So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection.
I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared.
So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away.
Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!!
Will write again soon,
                                                                                Love, Grandma

 EMOTional Fitness thoughts and tip

I know most of you laughed.  If you didn’t laugh, you are in the midst of a major life blow or too rigidly defending your beliefs (think about killing someone for a political cartoon or at a lessor level think about being annoyed by grammar or spelling errors).

Read on for here is a quick and hopefully funny test of your emotional intelligence or ability to handle negative emotions and stress,  what I call Emotional fitness.

If you did not find this a bit humorous that is another sign mad, bad, and sad feelings need taming.

This is not a research based test. No EFTI test is, and it is no different than 99.9% of the other tests oall the others socso take it with a grain of salt.

The purpose of all EFTI tests is to encourage thinking mostly about what matters, but also about you in order to strengthen what the experts call “self- awareness.”  Self-awareness is an important #emotionalintelligence tool, something the grandmother in the joke about lacked.

The other important thing about the above test is to use it to measure the seriousness of a life blow and your progress toward moving ahead. When we normally have a sense of humor and it flees that is a sign of a life blow. When laughter returns, you are on your way again but not back to life as it was. Life blows lead to a new normal, not the old one.

Not a life blow but a big downer for many of the young remains not having a jobs or having one they hate. This Cranky Old Grandmothers wishes instead of telling our youth to pursue the job of their dreams, which sets expectations way to high, we had said:

“Pursue your dreams, but remember work is what you get paid to do. Do it well, and you may earn enough to make your dreams come true.”

Other tips, when possible  laugh as often and as loudly as you can but heed these two warnings:

  1. Do not laugh at the boss even behind his or her back with a fellow employee who seems to feel as you do. The job you lose may be yours.
  2. Do not to indulge in cruel jokes. Many are funny, but encourage hatred or scorn of others. Bad.  What if your boss tells such jokes.  Smile to save your job, but intensify your effort to work somewhere else and when you are set in your new job, tell that boss and the one who bosses him or her why you left the job.

A tip for when you find it hard to laugh:

As I age and as my dream that Emotional Fitness might have some monetary success, laughing is harder. Moreover, remembering what matters and watching many in the world  retreating to hating of different, at times I feel guilty looking for something to laugh about.

However,  as they remind you on airplanes, you need to gather in oxygen for yourself, before reaching out to others.  Laughter in these dark times does not provide as much of a boost as it does when times are better; life, but even in high altitudes where there is less oxygen one  needs to keep breathing. So it is with seeking out laughter.

As a social media addict, it is easier to find and I easier to share. Go to my Laugh and Play Pinterest page and see if what I share there gives you a giggle or two.

When nothing else works, I visit a Laughing  Yoga clip on You Tube.  Here’s one.


Practicing a daily emotional fitness program strengthens you for making it through the bad times.   Moreover, such programs  improve your relationship with yourself and well as with others.

Why do  I think mine are Gold Medal Winners? Two reasons and not just because  they are easy to practice  once learned.

You can practice each one multiple times every day. The more you practice the easier each becomes a healthy habit.

When learned and strengthened, each exercise soothes when stress starts to try to take over your brain.

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 Prompt:  If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Lucky me, I am retireed, but find I work just as hard. Two things drive me. Trying to make the world around me better is always first. Then, I would like to make a bit of money with EFTI.  That’s a laugh or so it seems, nevertheless, I laugh on.

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