Tag Archives: Mental Health

HOW EMOTIONALLY FIT ARE YOU – A BRIEF TEST

This is not a research validated test, but a way to get you thinking about how well you handle negative feelings.  Thinking is a key emotional fitness skill.

The Emotional Fitness Game Plan involves being able to recognize when negative feelings are visiting you, measuring their strength so you can act quickly enough to keep the feeling from high jacking your brain and getting you to do things you regret.

What your scores mean.  Score a high of 40? Only happens if you are fudging or the Dali Lama.  Most people score somewhere between 20 and 30. Below 20, you might be currently dealing with a major trauma – addressed in question 7; or you might need more direct help, try the following.

  1. Boost your support team up with friends and family to  become each other’s cheer leaders.
  2. Subscribe to some daily support via the internet. Follow EFT’s blog for example.
  3. Find a  support group.  On line ones are available.
  4. Think about a life coach.
  5. Get some therapy
  6. Think medication as well as therapy.
  7. Making plans to kill or physically harm yourself or another? Call 911 now and ask  where to go for help.          

Too much stigma is attached to getting therapy.  It can be life saving. The problem is the right kind of therapy for the difficulties facing you.

That is too much to go into now, however, I do suggest looking for someone who sets SMART goals which uses a standardized feedback system to measure progress. Those who research such things say, you should see some movement toward your goal by the end of six sessions.  If not, they suggest seeking another therapist.

Use this test  to see if this  course makes a difference in your ability to handle negative feelings.  Take the test now, and jot down your score. Take it off and on as you take the course.  Generally, you start to gain better control after completing the first six sessions, but the best improvement should be seen after completing the self soothing skills section which comes after you learn to measure feelings.  Hopefully, your score will improve; if not, several things are possible:

  1. The course just isn’t working for you.
  2. You are not practicing the exercises enough.
  3. You need something more, get it, you deserve the good life.

I did not plan a post today.  Wednesday is catch up day and this morning I was trying to straighten out and improve the 101 Free Course.  The need for a quick measurement so you could see if the course was helping you, jumped out at me, hence this post.  So I am posting.

WHAT’S NEXT

Next session moves on to the Second skill – measuring feelings and will be devoted to teaching you how to create a personal feeling thermometer. Why do that, so you can spot when a bossy feeling is trying to take over and get you to do things you will regret.

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

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They can also be used to improve your critical thinking is the heart of emotional intelligence.

You can think about them as they are stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. Most can be related to Emotional Fitness. How? Well here is the prompt that connects to this post. I’ll answer it and tell you how I relate it to Emotional Fitness.

Imaginary Friend

Many of us had imaginary friends as young children. If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his/her/its life be like today? (Didn’t have one? write about a non-imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood.)

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post.  Only in the sense that I think our inner voices are left over friends and in many ways and can become  helpful friends.  I write hoping to become such a friend.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. You will find lots of other  offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.

Cartoon IMAGE BY ponderingprinciples  all others by EFTI.

FEELING AWARENESS MEANS BEING A FEELING DETECTIVE – SESSION TWO

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.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

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.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

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

GETTING MORE EMOTIONALLY FIT – SESSION ONE

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.

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL FITNESS?

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.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

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.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

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 Forgive Others and Yourself – Five tips

As a Jew this is the time of year to examine your behavior, seek forgiveness when you have failed go follow the right path, forgive others, and move forward.

Forgiveness quote

Emotional fitness thoughts

A guilty conscience is the first line of punishment. Forgiving others begins with realizing your need for forgiveness and examining your guilty conscience.  Why? Doing so connects you to what Judaism calls your  “Evil Inclinations.”

We all “Evil Inclinations”  These are the  selfish parts of each human that seeks personal needs without regard to others. Knowing our capacity for evil builds empathy, not just for yourself, but for those who do evil.

The second of the ten commandments prohibits  Idolatry.   The simplest way to think of the sin of Idolatry is to see it as “I Idolize I.”  I put my needs and wants above all others and do not care how others are hurt when I am seeking to meet my wants and desires.

Judaism’s  central premise of ethical  behavior is not to hurt others in ways you do not want to be hurt. The central mission of Judaism is the practice of Tikkun Olam, repairing the universe – trying to bring about a just and kind world.

Sins are not just personal faults or mis-doings according to Judaism.  On Yom Kippur all observant Jews will gather to confess not only their personal sins but all sins.  I have not murdered, but I will confess to murder; I will confess all sins whether I have personally sinned or not.

Why must I confess other people’s sins? Because when a member of the community sins, all in the community have failed, and therefore, all have sinned.

Emotional fitness tips

 Tip one: Make practicing forgiveness a daily exercise.  Here’s one of my Poster Coaches laying out an easy forgiveness exercise. It starts with forgiving yourself.

forgiveness exercise

 Tip two:  Find a community to support justice and mercy. We need justice in the world because evil takes over individuals and then evil individuals come together to overrule justice and kindness. We need a community because we need support in our efforts to practice justice and kindeness.

Tip three: Stay safe and keep other’s safe.  Forgiveness does not mean allowing yourself to be endangered or physically assaulted.

This is why I want  karate Peace Dojo’s to part of every educational facility. The world would be better if  all  students were taught what Peace Dojo’s teach.

Tip four: Grow both your self-awareness and your understanding of why others behave as they do. As one sage said, “To understand all is to forgive all.”

Tip five: Do not be swayed by evil beliefs dressed in fancy clothes. Here are five examples:

  1. Your parents, friends,  teachers, preachers, celebrities, journalists, politicians,  world leaders all speak the truth and nothing but the truth. Truth is in the eye of the beholder at least when spilled forth from a human mouth or pen or brain. You need to read oppositional points of view and even then your biases will often lead you to simple but not complete views of the truth.
  2. Things will make you happy: Despite all that the admen want you to believe, things cannot make you happy. Nor can winning the lottery, becoming a media star, being prettier, or having more money in the bank.
  3. You can have it all:  Just not possible. You can have lots, but no one has it all.
  4. You can just do it: Oprah says if she became a star anyone can. She lies. She demeans her talents and drive. She also sets a side luck meaning she had people who believed in her and she was in the right place at the right time. Imagine if she had been born before Lincoln freed the slaves.
  5. Follow your heart, your gut or your intuition.  Love is blind, murderers follow their guy, intuition only works some of the time. Marrying thought and heart, gut, intuition works best.

Stay STrong

At the moment of our death,  some say, our  lives flash before our eyes. Getting stuck in the viewing the evil we have done is my personal idea of hell.   We know deep in our hearts all we have done wrong.  Not just the stuff of our personal consciences which are dictated by our culture, our families, and our personal experiences, but the stuff  viewed by the eyes of the Creator, the Higher Power, or what most of us call our God.

One of the thoughts about Yom Kippur, is that is the day God judges humankind, but then leaves the throne of justice and sits on the throne of mercy.  From that throne forgiveness is given all who see they have sinned and seek to sin no more.

Knowing what matters and knowing that is being kind, makes forgiving all th more possible. My Mission and Goals E-book elaborates on that concept.

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.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION

Word Press’s Post of the Day:   Howl at the Moon – “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

Yes, I howl at the moon, but I try to remember what matters and to behave accordingly.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

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