Tag Archives: Mental Health

GROWING OLD, I HOPE SO; ALTERNATIVE? UNCERTAIN?

George Carlin  remarked, “…. the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids?”  #EmotionalIntelligence involves making the best of what is.

Picture of elderly couple and their dog.

The main man in my life, David not Punky, and me. The Punk is a teen; the humans have moved from the new old to the old stage.

This post inspired by WordPress’ DAILY PROMPT Age-Old Questions “Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

I am pushing 80; it has taken years to get here.   And although  I would like the body, I had at 24, 34,  44 or even 64  I want that body only if I can  keep all I have experienced and learned from then to now. Will not happen.

Don’t think I am anti-young.  Never.  I love the young, the younger the better.  Love my grands, love the other kids in my life.  .I love flirting with the young men checking me out on-line at the food stores.  I like when I can make them laugh or blush with pleasure at the compliment I hurl at them. I am delighted some of the “kids” I knew during my sons growing up years, have friended me on Facebook.  Even more delighted when one of them likes something I say or actually comments on one of my posts.  The young give me hope, inspire, often make my day.

But, that said, I get the  fear attached to aging.  I understand the difficulties of those approaching whatever years means they have passed from youth to middle age or  middle age to the new old or that age to old age and finally to frail old age.

I know when I look around while out and about, that I am  old and moving toward frail old.  Not happy, however, denying reality is not the hall-mark of emotional intelligence.

Nor is aging what bothers me most.  What I hate most is becoming invisible.  We humans thrive on the recognition of our kind.  Explains why as we age and those who knew us when and knew us best fade from our lives, some of us become cat ladies or dog men.  Sad, but the way life is in our youth oriented culture.  I do see as the boomers continue to age, the veneration of youth is hitting a slightly better balance. Love that Jamie Lee Curtis is displaying all her wrinkles.   Still the balance continues to venerate the young.

Have you noticed how many ads on television have the pre-schoolers lecturer parents and grand parents?  Scarier are the one that show the kindergarten set driving their daddy’s car.

To be balanced  we need the new visions of the young, but experienced wisdom of the old.

An Emotional Fitness Tip

What to do?  This is what has worked for me and what is the heart of Emotional Fitness Training: Know your mission, follow your mission, and make certain it aligns with The Mission.  Then live so that when old or frail old comes you can be proud of the path you have taken.

For those who do not follow blogs, The Mission is practicing kindness and to all.  The sages have preached it for years and the researchers find those wise old ones knew what mattered most. Here is the EFTI poster coach setting forth the sages sense of mission.

 STAY STRONG

Be thankful for all the years you have lived, for now, and for however more years are granted you.  Now is not forever, and often all we have.

Practice kindness, work every way you can to abolish hate.  Help me do the same by  liking, sharing, or commenting.
Katherine

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Images by Emotional Fitness Training Inc.

 

Teaching hate? Much too easy.

What song keeps you going in times of trouble.? This Summer of Hate calls forth this one to me. Reminds me to teach love, not hate.  #emotionalintelligence tips

You've got to be taught to hate.

This post inspired by this Word Press Daily Prompt:Music Marker We all have songs that remind us of specific periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now, which song will remind you of the summer of 2014?   See the above.

Emotional intelligence tips

Hate is a sign of weak #emotionalintelligence whether done by a culture,  a religion,  parents, teachers, friends, or the media.  All who teach hate to children fail all. 
Emotional intelligence tip one:  Purge your heart of hatred. Not as hard as you think providing you accept that all people do the best they can given the lessons they have been  taught by life and parents and others.  Learn EFTI’s  emotional intelligence boosting Three Steps to Forgiveness Exercise.
Emotional intelligence tip two: Be alert to media messages promoting hate.  These can be as subtle as sports fans yelling “Kill the umpire” or as strong as calls for “Death to the infidel.”Emotional intelligence tip three: Use fact checking sites to root out the false lies of propaganda.Emotional intelligence tip four: Improve the your understanding of the other’s point of view by reading or listening to their spokes people. Only attending to what is said by only those who agree with you is not emotionally intelligent.Emotional intelligence tip five:  Speak out against hate, silence colludes.

STAY STRONG

Thank you for all you do, enjoy and be grateful for all you have been given, practice kindness, work every way you can to abolish hate.  Help me do the dame by  liking, sharing, or commenting.

Katherine

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Image by Emotional Fitness Training Inc.

When My Uncertainty Ends, I Can Shout: “Shut up.”

Uncertainty drives much behavior. Knowing the uncertainties in any situation increases your #emotionalintelligence and helps you act with greater wisdom.

Annoying people: those who talk and don't let me get a word in edgewise

 EMOTIONAL FITNESS THOUGHTS AND TIPS

Today’s Word Press Prompt provides a good opportunity to look at how uncertainty controls even mundane behaviors.  Here it is:

DAILY PROMPT    Middle Seat: It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

Developmental expert Jerome Kagan notes that conflicting beliefs are a major source of uncertainty and that plays out on the world stage in terms of who has the right belief about God, Gods, Goddesses, or none such. But such conflicts are ever present in our  everyday affairs; deciding what to do when competing with a “talker” is a good example. Here are  four of my conflicting beliefs when dealing with a talker:

  1. I am a kind and polite person.
  2. Interrupting is rude.
  3. I am a good listener
  4. I have an opinion I want to share.
  5. Others need to vent.
  6. I need to vent.
  7. Sharing is good.
  8. Doing my thing is good.

How these conflicts  plays out in my feelings and behavior: For a while I take pride in being kind, listening, letting another vent, letting another share my time and space.

Then if the other person goes on and on, my need to share my thoughts, to be heard or to do my thing grows as does my frustration. Eventually those needs can overrule the belief interrupting is rude.  Then I try to interrupt politely.

If that works, good.  If not my frustration and anger grows and I begin to feel entitled to get rude. In time if the other person persists in filibustering, I feel entitled to say  loudly and angrily “Shut up.”

As I noted in my previous post,  Uncertainty PainsThe first step in not letting doubt and uncertainty rule your behavior is to accept that it does.  The second step is to tease out as I did above what uncertainties are at play. Hopefully, knowing that lets you act wisely.

Another strategy I use is what I call the Rule of Three. I count how many times I am tempted to interrupt; then when the count hits three, I interrupt as politely as I can. Doesn’t always work, so  dip into other EFTI  posts for more tips.

 STAY STRONG

Thank you for all you do, enjoy and be grateful for all you have been given, practice kindness, like, share or comment.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

UNCERTAINTY PAINS

The more we know about what drives us,  the stronger our #emotionalintelligence. Uncertainty drives much behavior.

Uncertainty rules

Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tips

Guru and retired Harvard Researcher Jerome Kagan centered much of his research on how uncertainty twists our thinking, lets emotions rule, and is a major source of anger, fear, depression or despair.

He points out that much of an ‘infant’s time is spent taking in information from the surrounding environment. This leads to beliefs that “What is ought to be.”  Once such a belief forms it is held to with great subborness.

Understanding this idea about how our brains get programmed, makes it much easier to understand why abused children seem to invite abuse by being  or in time more easily become victims of domestic abuse as adults. How ?  One of my many foster children, explained it to my husband and I when we first struggled with learning to care for previously abused children.

Here is what he said, “You treat us better than our parents, that hurts, be more like them, smack us around once in a while.”

His hurt was the uncertainty created about whether his and the other foster children were loved by their parents.  Of course, most were. However, because that love came with abuse, the children believed “Abuse was part of love.”

Our refusal to smack our foster children around challenged those this idea about the meaning of love creating doubt and uncertainty  about whether their parents loved them.  Much of our foster children’s behavior was their efforts to  get us to behave more like their parents. The more we could be made punishing and seen as mean, the less our foster children were forced to doubt their parents love.

Kagan makes the point such uncertainty leads to what he calls “The Need to Resolve” uncertainty.  He believes that after survival needs this need is as strong and sometimes stronger than sexual desire.

Kagan also points out that there are four ways humans tend to resolve uncertainty. They are:

  1. Ignoring any source creating doubt.  Think of people not watching news or not learning the ins and outs of the internet.
  2.  Angry blaming of anyone or anything creating doubt.  Think of throwing a smart phone across the room because it makes you feel dumb. Think of prejudices particularly against religions do not believe as you do.
  3. Blaming yourself and thinking you are incompetent or stupid.  Think of the throwing the Smart phone across the room and then getting depressed for being so dumb.  Then think of feeling dumb because a seven year old can operate your new Smart phone and you cannot. Religions foster uncertainty by the belief bad things happen as punishments of individual or group sins.
  4. Despair and giving up on large and small tasks.  Think of going back to a land line because you don’t think you can learn to use a Smart Phone.  Think of deciding peace on earth is not possible.

What to do? The first step in not letting doubt and uncertainty rule your behavior is to accept that it does.  So the next time you feel angry, stupid, incompetent, or like giving up, ask how the feeling relates to uncertainty.  That’s the beginning. More next post.

 STAY STRONG

Nothing makes us doubt all we know ,more than pain. The more intense the pain, the greater the uncertainty. Don’t agree?

Think of  the almost constant cry from those suffering,  “What did I do to deserve this?”

If we can figure out something we did, we feel more in control of our lives and are less plagued by doubt. Reality Check: Bad things happen sometimes because you did the wrong thing, but much of the time because you are not the controller of all that happens.

Think for a few minutes about the downside of controlling everything? Not good, better to stay closely focuses on what is actually yours to control. Much less than you think.

Thank you for all you do, enjoy and be grateful for all you have been given, practice kindness, like, share or comment.

Katherine

WORD PRESS DAILY PROMPT

This post relates to this DAILY PROMPT : When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

My reply: Real life is very scary these days. Turn on the news or surf the social media and you will find yourself turning away.  I do. Three things bother me the most:

  1. The pictures of the innocents dying as war makes it way across our world.
  2. The pictures of abused animals.
  3. The one sided thinking and blaming rants of all fanatics.

I don’t look at the pictures, but I do try to persuade those who see only one side of any dispute to spend a moment or two pondering “What if” the other side has more truth than you side.

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 IMAGE BY mchumor.com