Tag Archives: Mental Health


If the news of the day was still going out in smoke signals, truth and justice would still be in the hands of the powerful, but there is progress. Do you agree?
Truth and justice


Don’t give up the fight, but don’t slip over the line that divides seeking good for all from revenge. When one is hurt, our hearts and feelings command us to fight back or run away.  There is a middle ground: staying safe and working in every way in your power to right the wrong of oppression any way you can.

Parenting tip: Teach your children both manners and the basics of self-defense. Here is the best self-defense approach for doing both:  Peace DoJo International. And a quote:

 “A Peace Dojo engages in rigorous and deliberate training practices to develop the capacity for skillful, healing action and the courage of heart needed to face the fear and violence in oneself and in the world.”

If you live in the New York City area seek out Bill Leicht 212-228-0980 for information about programs near you. Most are reasonably priced and scholarships are available.


Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Thank you.


POST INSPIRATION not from this Daily Posts PromptCurrent events and the war between good and evil engendered there in. However,  I did make it fit a bit in the following:

Here is the prompt:   Your Life, the Book:From a famous writer or celebrity, to a WordPress.com blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?

My blogging is my auto biography and as for a celebrity to take it on as a biography? Well, Oprah was the first name that came to mind. I was on her show once as an expert in the audience and she brought me down.

View the video and watch her body language. She was not happy with me although I think my advice was good and we are more alligned then not. But she was worried about her image. Here right, and I do understand that. So she need not do a book, maybe just comment nicely on my obituary.  That would be my version of Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is a movement that started in South Africa.  Here is a quote about the problem of justice which is world wide.

Over-representation of minorities in the criminal justice system is a problem around the world. It raises questions about the fairness of the justice system itself and of how larger social justice problems influence the justice system.



How To Be A Victor, Not A Victim

Victims of things like earthquakes who pick up the shattered shards of their lives and go on are victors. Victors vacate the land of  Victimhood as soon as possible .









Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tip

Victim is most broadly defined as …”a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action,”   but the definition extends often to mean mostly when the suffering act is created by  another person.

Victimhood  most potent brew is mixed when the suffering comes because of the actions of more powerful others target members of a group suffering from the ills of poverty, racism, or religious persecution – witness  protests surrounding the police or solders whose efforts to serve and protect lead to the death of a civilian or many civilians.

When trying to thinking about victims, here another quote is worth thinking about; this one by   S. I. Hayakawa, “If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it.”

Hayakawa is talking about herd mentality which starts by hanging around with those who think like you do and that begins with your parents and their friends, those in your neighborhood, and when you move into your teens or early adulthood your peer group.

Teens are young adults are those most easily pulled into “wilding behavior.”  Wilding originally meant a cultivated plant that escaped its gardener’s control.  Fits well with the efforts of teens and young adults to escape the confines of family.

Emotional fitness tip one: Question the crowd, particularly your crowd, and your crowd’s interpretation of events.  Jerome Kagan, Harvard researcher of renown believes one of the things who we identify with is an important factor in how we act. Kids identify with their parents, but teens and young adults identify with their peers.

Emotional fitness tip two: Understand the perks of victimhood. Here’s a list of those perks. control. How can being victim make people feel like they’re in control?

  1. Victims  get attention.
  2. Victims escape responsibility as blaming someone is lots easier than taking  responsibility for your actions; if you are not responsible, you do not  have to change.
  3. Victims’ feelings get validated.
  4. Victims get permission to act out rage and anger.

Emotional fitness tip three; Understand the heavy price tag that goes with victimhood.  Here is a list what the researches say are the negative consequences of victimhood:

  1. Low self-esteem
  2. The constant burden of anger and resentment
  3. Social problems including distrust and stunted life skill development
  4. Feelings of powerlessness
  5. Vulnerability to predators

Emotional Fitness tip four: Act instead of reacting and that means thinking about what matters.  Humanities genetic inheritance as evidence throughout all the generations works to keep us safe. That means when we have suffered some pain, the pain gets strongly embedded in our brains and if threatened with a similar pain we flee or fight. In other words we act on instinct and without thought. Not useful. Even a few minutes thought before running or fighting can be  life saving.

Emotional Fitness tip five: Live in the now. Victims live in the past and many in their ancestor’s past. Doing so all too often carries fear, anger, and hate forward. Practicing the following Emotional Fitness Traning Exercises strengthens the ability to do so: Remembering What Matters and Practicing Forgiveness.


Parenting tip one:   Be alert to complaining – yours, your child’s, any and everyone else’s. Complaing promotes victimhood.

Parenting tip two:  Remember to value of rating.  When someone is hurt ask how hurt.

Parenting tip three; Boost self-soothing skills, you but particularly your childs. 

Parenting tip four: Give little attention to memories of past hurts. If the child brings such a hurt up, ask “What did that teach you?” or say, “That was then, this is now.”

Parenting tip five:  Teach you child right behavior early on. Four rules do it: Respect self, respect others, respect property, obey reasonable rules.  

Parenting tip six:  Promote thoughtful action to right wrongs. Rioting is not a thoughtful action. Peaceful protests are. Make sure your child knows the difference.


Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Thank you.


POST INSPIRATION Came partly from this WordPress Daily Prompt: Fearful Symmetry: Pick a letter, any letter. Now, write a story, poem, or post in which every line starts with that letter.

I managed some symmetry, but not much. Life goes on.



Missing Emotional Fitness Training Posts?

I feel like the lion and fox in this Savage Chicken Cartoon:

lion and fox

At least I can still laugh.  When you can laugh about something, you need more help than I can give. The stress of trying to get my blog problems straightened out remains minor in terms of the things that really matter, but I am finding it harder and harder to laugh do here  some Emotional Fitness Tips for  me:

  1. Follow your own advice. OMM, Remember what matters. Try some Sloganeering. Do what self-soothes you best.
  2. Walk away.
  3. Laugh and play.
  4. Nap.
  5. Try again.
  6. Ask for help.
  7. Scream and shout
  8. Try chocolate.
  9. Try wine.
  10. Throw something.
  11. Repeat all of the above.
  12. Give up and stop blogging.

Am giving up for now and sending this out. The Happiness Engineers hard at work. If they make me happy, you will get another post.

Not even sure if I push send if this will reach you. All I can do is try. Do let me know if your get something that resembles an Emotional Fitness Post and not an error message or lots of white space and a few words.

Thank you.

Howling Despair – 6 Controlling Anger Tips

What is the end point of your anger? Mine is a state I call “Howling Despair.” Here is how the growth of my anger looks on my personal  Feeling Thermometer.

An Anger Feeling Thermomter

Get a download of several feeling thermometers at the EFTI Store.

Anger is a signal to right a wrong. How you handle anger depends on your emotional intelligence, what I mean by emotional fitness.  As a child, I was taught “If you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Wise some of the time, but not always.  Eventually, only being nice was part of the end point of my anger what eventually came to call “Howling Despair.”

Only one person can drive me to this state and he knows who he is. No, that’s not true. In fact, it is that he doesn’t know how he makes me so upset that upsets me.  We have been together for 45 years, and have had the same fight for 44 and a half of those years.

It is a typical Men are  from Mars and Women are from Venus fight.  My need is to have my thinking understood, I don’t care if it logical or makes sense. I just want it understood and not refuted. His need  is to refute my understanding. He has a very logical mind but one pointed toward winning, therefore, he is not above sarcasm, innuendo, subtle and not so subtle name-calling. And yes, I am guilty of the same.

Here’s another kicker. Every once in a while, he does understand, then he is graciously apologetic and the fight ends.  One of his tactics, however, is to make faux apologies. I know when he is doing this, and I don’t accept those graciously and  probably that is what I should do. When I don’t as he is quick to say,  the problem, is mine. Sigh.

Just typing and remembering some of our fights is triggering  feelings of despair. How has our marriage survived? Three ways:

First: Neither of us has resorted to physical violence to make our points. The worse he has done is pound on a desk; my worse was throwing a spoon which missed him. I claim I intended to miss; he claims the opposite.

Second: The good out weighs the bad. We fight, but we laugh more.

As John Gottman, noted researcher into relationships notes “Marriages survive if there are five good moments for every bad moment. “

Third: We work at helping each other become our personal bests. I would never have done all that I have accomplished without his support, pushing, and yes, teaching me to fight back.

Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tips

These kinds of fights  are called “Gotcha War” fights. The main premise is not the issue being discussed but who acts the craziest defending their point of view. As the link discusses, teens are great Gotcha warriors. In fact, it was when I was a foster parent caring for troubled teens that I learned how to survive such wars.

Gotcha War

Emotional fitness tip one: The main strategy to come through such battles unscathed is to responde mininally. You make EFTI’s strong body and calm face; self-sooth; listen lot; agree with a nod when you can add shake your head or raise your eyebrows when you cannot agree; even if forced to answer a question you do so calmly and as briefly as possible.

Emotional fitness tip two: Create a personal feeling thermometer. Anger is a sneaky feeling, good at hiding quietly to build strength and then hijack your brain and get you to do something you regret. By being  attuned to the presence and growth of anger you stay in control. That is best done by regularly taking your feeling temperature on a personal feeling thermometer

Emotional fitness tip three: Have an anger management plan. For me, staying unscathed means sometimes walking away, other times tuning out, and all of the time using all the self-soothing and Emotional Fitness Training Skills at my command.

Emotional fitness tip: Own your choices and think about what matters.   Staying to fight is one choice, walking away another choice. When I stay to make my point, a disagreement can become a deadly war. Better to let somethings go because peace matters more.

Emotional fitness tip five: Be patient with your self and others. All advice sounds easy, and most is not. Which is why I am confessing that it has only been in the past few years of my marriage that I have managed to stay  at a 7 or 8 instead of finding myself howling with despair.

Parenting tips

Parenting tip one: All of the above.

Parenting tip two: Understand the reasons why.  This is particularly true for parents of teens.  It is a way to handle their own feelings by making you the bad or crazy one.  I remember one of my foster children wanted to go to a party in his home town. His probation officer had said no.  He followed me around the house relentlessly, and finally wore me down to the point where I said, “Stop being so stupid.” I said angrily. His response was to run from the house, screaming, “I’m not staying where people call me names.”  He enjoyed the party, but was returned to a lock-up. I would have had him returned to our care, but the judge and his probation officer disagreed.

Many teens also pick fights to save face. A father told me of a time his daughter asked to have a beer keg at her sweet sixteen parent.  She threw a big hissy fit and walked out on the fight. He yelled at that point making her the victor. He later heard her telling one of her friends about his “temper tantrum” as the reason why she could not have beer at her party.

Parenting tip three:  Be prepared for your own tactics to be used against you. My smart sons learned rather quickly to use minimal response as a tool in their Gotcha Wars. I had to work hard not to escalate, and to see that as a long-range positive.


Life is rarely easy.  Others do the best they can; you do the best you can. As much as we try often the best any of us can do is often disappointing. Solutions:  Be gentle on all, yourself included, keep working at what helps, let go of what isn’t working, and as always remember what matters.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.


This post was inspired by Word Press’ DAILY PROMPT Mad as a Hatter: Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?