Tag Archives: self-awareness

The Person In Personality

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Personality Chart

Personality Chart

Ask anyone if they know a personality analyst and they most likely would tell you they don’t – but the truth is we all are. We don’t carry the official title with it, and we don’t really consider ourselves analysts or assessors, but we are just that whenever we deal with people.

It starts out strong when we first meet people. It is human nature to want to try and determine how to behave in certain environments around certain people and the way we do that is by assessing their personalities and making decisions on how we think they are and what we think they will find acceptable.

It is human to seek approval and to want to be liked and accepted. So we mentally assess the situation and that involves the people in it. Our interior assessment tools are constantly at work, drawing conclusions and making judgments about the people we encounter.

The encounters don’t even have to be face to face meetings. I know I have drawn conclusions about whether or not I like someone from seeing something they have written. Sometimes there isn’t even a photograph connected to a person’s writings, and I still determine whether or not I like that person.

Seal of Approval

Seal of Approval

Without putting it into words, I have drawn up a sense of that person and what I feel they are like – in other words, how I believe their personality is, and from that, I have decided whether it is thumbs up or thumbs down.

If it all sounds quite subjective, you are partially right. That is because it most certainly is subjective, but not partially so, entirely so. We base our way of dealing with people and of acting around them, on the conclusions we draw from our assessment of their personality, most of which goes on without us even being aware that it is happening.

But, there are more objective ways to analyze personality. There are people who have studied personality for years and have come up with measures that group different types of personalities in ways to categorize them.

Mostly, these tools are used in the business world where employers try to assure they are getting as accurate a read on a potential employee prior to hiring them and investing in them. But with the changing degrees of loyalty that both employees and employers demonstrate recently, the analysis doesn’t seem to matter as much as it once did.

Myer Brigg Type Personality Chart

Myer Brigg Type Personality Chart

Most of us have heard about Type A and Type B personalities and to a large degree, truth can be seen in the predominant behaviors we exhibit as to which of these two categories we fall into. But since mood tends to impact personality quite often, the degree of how deep into the category one lies, can fluctuate.

I know I am more of an outgoing type of person than introverted, however, there are many times when I don’t feel like putting myself out there. If you ever read horoscope type definitions of people who are born under certain signs of the zodiac, it is sort of the same thing. There are descriptors of the types of behaviors and personalities that you ‘should’ have if you are born under a particular sign, but the closer you get to the sign before or the next sign, the more likely you are to have milder degrees of these ‘traits.’

Yet despite the vagueness, there are people who have very strong, consistent personality traits that are solid as can be. For these individuals, there is no problem determining their personality types.

There are some free online personality tests that you may find an interesting way to get started. All it takes is a few minutes of your time and a bit of inner reflection to consider the responses prior to making your selection. I recommend the Big 5 personality test. You can include a second person to compare your traits with in this test – always something fun.

All in all, I believe anything that helps us get more in touch with who we are and furthers our self-awareness and self-knowledge is a good thing. If understanding more about personality gets us to do that, then it already has served a great purpose.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Halloween is Calling

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Halloween

Given the current economic state of most of the people I know and the fragile condition our nearing-shut-down-for-good government, I would have supposed that Halloween spending would show significant declines, but that is not the case. As 2012 revealed, our American culture seems to be quite attached to the macabre.

Wake Forest University English Professor Eric Wilson says it is more than just an interest in the macabre, however. He writes in his book Everybody Loves a Good Train Wreck, that the tougher the times, the more our desire to escape and seek to become somebody else. Halloween presents one of the most socially acceptable times to do just that.

When we put on a costume, a part of us at least, becomes somebody else. And we are more than willing to spend time and even money that is not so easy to come by on that opportunity.

According to phys.org, last year’s National Retail Federation Survey showed 170 million Americans planned to spend a whopping $8 billion dollars on their Halloween celebration. It will be interesting to see if we surpass that this year.

As someone who has spend many years in the mental health field, I am not focusing on the economic and marketing aspects of these findings, but more on the need that so many of us have to escape from our lives.

Halloween Costume

Halloween Costume

What is it, that we are failing to do for ourselves, in our own skin, that makes us look so longingly toward being someone else, even if it is only for one night out of the year? Are that many of us truly that unsatisfied with our own lives? These thoughts frighten me much more than Freddie Kruger or Mike Myers.

I wonder how many of us actually find the time to do at least one thing that we love to do every day. Before I began writing on more of a full-time basis, I was one of those people who would go through every day doing basically what needed to get done with little or no time for to do what I enjoyed doing or what nurtured myself.

Even if I managed to make it to the gym or walk for my health, it was crammed into my day in such a way that it became another thing I needed to make sure I did, rather than something I enjoyed or took the time to fully experience and take in.

Carved Pumpkin

Carved Pumpkin

And I wonder, how many of us are caught in that trap without carving out a 20-minute segment of time to just melt into ourselves. Speaking of carving, I bet we all have our pumpkins carved for this Thursday!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Why Spirituality

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spirituality
I think it was Soren Kierkegaard who said “…the majority of men live without being thoroughly conscious that they are spiritual beings…”

There are times when I think about that and even if I did not consider myself a spiritual person, I think the fear of living and dying without finding out if that were true or not would lead me to spend a lot of time investigating it further.

One of the things that always left me feeling off balance, even when I was a little girl, was my fear of missing something. Whenever my parents had company over and I had to go to sleep – I couldn’t because I was so afraid I would miss out on something important. Those always were the nights I stayed up the latest.

So what if Kierkegaard was right and I could be one of those people who might miss out on ever knowing my spiritual being? Imagine how awful it would be to miss out on something as major as becoming aware of who we really are.

spirituality1

The way I see it, I’m the one person – the only person that I can ever fully know on this entire earth. I have been put here to live my life and I owe it to myself and to my creator to do the best with what I’ve been given, for as long as I’m here. I can not do any of that if I don’t know myself and discover who I am.

It is like being given a gift for Christmas by someone who loves me, but never opening it and trying to enjoy it as much as I can, even though I have no real idea of what is inside.

So, when it comes to there being any type of ‘argument’ or ‘case’ for developing our spiritual beings, I believe Kierkegaard hit the nail right on the head. The best reason to be 100 per cent certain about whether we agree or disagree with the concept of our own spirituality; lies in the very possibility of it existing. If there is no such thing, we haven’t really lost anything in our inner quest to find it. Maybe we devoted a bit of our time on what has ended up as a wild goose chase; but we’re not any worse off for the journey.

spirituality2

On the other hand,if we take the time to search for our inner spirituality and we are successful, then the payoff is a tremendous one – for not only have we prevented ourselves from missing out on something very important, but we’ve discovered another level of our being that we would never have found, had we not gone searching for it.

In other words, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

And speaking from my own personal experience…it is an amazing journey, filled with excitement, enrichment and wonder.

Join me!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Miraculous, Marvelous Mindfulness

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Emotion Chart

So, let’s talk a bit more about emotions.

It is not a huge leap from understand and accepting physical development taking time to that of our emotional development and growth needing time to develop into maturity as well.

That is why as children, we cannot cope with many events in our lives in a balanced way.

This begs the question “How DO we handle feelings that we are not yet developmentally able to balance properly?”

Submerged

Submerged

It doesn’t seem unrealistic that we submerge them, right? I mean, we are facing emotions that have come up and as children, we don’t possess the ability to experience them in a healthy way. But we also know from our own experiences later in life, that feelings don’t disappear or evaporate. (Refer to my previous post and analogy to an extremely obese person wearing Spandex.) They have to come out sometime and somewhere – usually catching us completely off-guard and unaware.

Experts on the topic of mindfulness say we need to be able to experience our feelings, not submerge them, in order to bring ourselves into proper balance. And although our emotional system was not developed enough to do so when we were younger; we CAN learn how to as adults.

Enter (you guessed it) MINDFULNESS – the process of getting in touch with and facing our feelings in the moment, experiencing them, and getting on with life without dwelling or analyzing or over thinking them (all which in turn, cause us to relive them and get stuck in them) hindering and sometimes entirely stalling our ability to progress through our lives.

Mindfulness

At this point, there should no longer be any doubt as to how big of a deal mindfulness really is to personal growth.

But, did you know how important of a role it plays in our relationships and interactions with other people throughout our lives.

That will be the focus of the next installment on miraculous mindfulness.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

The Key To The Connection Kingdom

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Effective Communication

Communication - Blue-Glass

Communication – Blue-Glass

Are you skilled at?:
• Nonverbal
Communication
• Attentive listening
• Managing stress in the moment
• Recognizing and understanding your emotions and the emotions of people you communicate with

If you can honestly say that you are skilled at these four areas, then I can say with greatest confidence, that you are an effective communicator.

Effective communication can deepen connections to others, on a personal and business level which in turn can improve teamwork, decision-making and problem-solving; which are all extremely important in successful and meaningful relationships.

In order for us to feel connected to others, we have to feel that they do more than just exchange information with us. We have to feel that the messages we send and receive are understood and connect to the recipient.

I love how it feels when I know for certain that someone I speak to, “gets me!” And I imagine I am not alone in that. We all love feeling understood. Effective communicators “get” the people they communicate with and make sure they know they are heard and understood.

People are much more likely to work together in cooperation with people who they feel they trust and who understand them. So whether it is in a business environment or in a personal relationship, more effective communication leads to a win-win scenario for all; improving relationships at home or at work and by deepening social connections to others.

Effective communication makes it possible to communicate difficult or negative messages without destroying trust or creating conflict.

Although it is a learned skill, it is more effective at the times that it occurs spontaneously. Having said that, it takes a lot of effort and practice to be able to become spontaneous with effective communication. But the good news, is that it IS a skill and it can be learned and practiced.

Communications

Communications

Where to start
Skill # 1: Listening – This type of listening is not only about hearing the message effectively. It involves understanding the feeling of what is being communicated as well. When someone learns to listen effectively, they:
• Build Stronger and Deeper connections – by making the speaker feel as if they are heard and understood.
• Enhance and Encourage Creativity and Communication – by creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable expressing ideas and opinions more readily.
• Decrease or Avoid Conflicts and Misunderstandings – by helping to clarify information.
• Increase the chance for Problem-Solving and True Understanding – by making people feel they have been truly heard. They are then likely to be able to calm down if emotions are running high and relieve negative feelings.

Communication With Others

Communication With Others

Doing What Comes Naturally

Listening effectively comes naturally when your intentions are genuinely to understand, care and connect with others. There are, however, some tips to practice that can help your interactions with others become even more satisfying and rewarding.

• Keep the speaker as your focus – pay attention to nonverbal cues such as body language and other gestures. Repeating their words over and over in your head will reinforce their message and help you stay focused if you find your mind wandering with some people.
• It is NOT all about you – Try not to be in a position where you are waiting for your turn to talk. That is not listening. It is impossible to concentrate on what the other person is saying if you are working out what you’re planning on saying next. Your facial expressions will give it away and the results will not promote connections.
• Demonstrate your interest – Actively let the person talking to you know that you’re with them. Use small verbal comments like “uh huh” and non-verbal cues like smiling, nodding and open and inviting posture.
• Make it a non-judgmental zone – Set aside blame and judgment so you can fully understand them. Agreement is not a requirement, butt respecting and understanding is in order to make an effective connection.

Very little speaks louder than the connection others make with us when we feel we are being heard and understood. Practice this skill and enjoy your new key to the kingdom.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

The Birth of Quick Stress Relief

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Habit

Habit

As with any habit, it is always easier to go back to the ‘comfort’ of what we know than to retrain ourselves and practice a new or different response and behavior. Having said that, it will feel much easier to tense up and give into pressure in the beginning because it is familiar.

In order for us to become successful at quick stress relief, we will have to keep practicing it until it becomes second nature. This most definitely does not happen the first time we try it. We need to make a commitment to stick with the new behaviors, developing a variety of sensory tools that we know we can count on. With that in hand, we will then become ready and armed, ready to handle even the toughest of situations.

Here are a few suggestions that can make developing the quick stress relief habit easier.

• Talk it up.
We all can relate to the topic of stress since we all experience it in some way. So talking about it will make for great conversation, but more importantly, it will also help integrate it as a new part of your life.
• Try, try again. The more willing you are to keep trying new ways to bring as much sensory input into your life as possible, the better. Try practicing at various times of the day when you know for sure you feel ‘minor’ levels of stress such as standing in line at the supermarket or the commute home from work. Make it audio one day by listening to your favorite music, try a special scented air freshener the next, or sucking on your favorite candy the following day. By mixing it up, you’ll find yourself building your arsenal in practically no time.
• Bite-Size Challenges. Start small with a lower-level source of stress to test your new skills on; maybe something like balancing a checkbook or getting the kids off to school.
• Laugh with it. Turn finding your favorite sensory input into a game. It isn’t something to push or shove, rather something that just fits easily when it’s right. Enjoy the self-discovery process.
• Conquer and Divide. Work on one stressor for a few weeks and then move on to a second one. Target one stressor with quick stress relief every time it occurs, religiously. Once that one is managed, move onto the next and so on.

Stress

Stress


The ultimate benefit is realizing that you have more control over day to day life than you think you do. By zeroing into our stress hotspots, we face them head on and can work specifically on tackling them.

Some Common Stress Hot-Spots and How to Tackle them.
AT HOME

• Sleep. This is much more common than you would think. Many of us get too stressed to sleep. Background sound (white noise) or scent diffusers may be just the ticket.
• For the Love of your Kids and your Mate. If you and your loved one have a difference of opinion that causes stress, try squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger while breathing deeply. When you deal with defiance or a battle of wills with your three-year old, get some hand lotion and breathe in the soothing smell while rubbing the lotion into your hands.
• Culinary Stress. How much does an onion weigh? How does it feel to stir milk into a saucepan? Even if all you’re doing is opening cans, take a moment and breathe in the smells of every ingredient you use.
• Clutter – Stress Connection. If you’re like me, clutter can be particularly upsetting. My new commitment to quick stress relief has me taking 10 minutes daily to tidy and organize. Another thought would be to paint a fresh coat of my favorite calming color at my workspace. Displaying images that make me feel happy is also a great idea. And making sure there is a lot of natural light whenever possible helps me distress too.
• Social Stress Prior to Hosting a Party. Lighting candles and playing lively music can help stimulate senses and heighten anticipation without anxiety. Also wearing clothes that are very comfortable and I know I look good in help me boost my confidence and feel relaxed instead of stiff and confined.

AT WORK

• Out of Office Efforts.
Conduct phone business outside the office whenever possible. Try inhaling something like ginger, peppermint or coffee beans to help energize. Burn off excess energy while standing or pacing back and forth.
• All “Meetinged” Out. Sip coffee. Wiggle your toes. Rub and massage your finger tips. Pay close attention and connection to your breathing; all during your next stressful meeting. Nobody has to be aware of what you’re doing but you.
• It may not Compute. Computer work may be one of the worst stressors for back and neck. Try standing up when working. Something like 10-minute intervals for knee-bends can be a great idea. Suck on a lemon drop or peppermint candy. Wrap your neck with a favorite, ultra soft, scarf.
• Love Yourself Lunches. Nobody said lunches had to be exclusively for food. Try taking a walk outside or chatting with someone you love. When you eat lunch, listen to your favorite, calming music at the same time.
• Your Safe Place. Some of us work lots of hours in once place. Keep family photos or images that make you happy displayed around you. Always have something to look at that makes you feel connected and content.

Friends

Who is in your Corner?:

All of us feel better, calmer and more balanced instantly when we talk to people who are good for our mental health that we can count on. Building and maintaining a network of special friends who are good listeners, is one of the most important tools to help us equip ourselves to manage stress. That along with learning how to implement quick stress relief techniques efficiently and regularly will keep us in excellent shape in our quest to distress our lives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Stress Relief In A Pinch

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Meditation

Meditation

I can spout page after page that would support the amazing benefits of meditation and yoga and countless other techniques that help prevent and manage stress. But the reality is that life happens and so does stress. AND stress happens during life.

So, if you I am in a hurry because I’m running a bit late for an important appointment and am smoothly traveling down the highway just about 10 minutes from my targeted point of arrival, about to make it just in time, and suddenly I see a huge bottleneck of red lights up ahead, I can’t really take a moment or two to meditate and start chanting my mantra or assuming my preferred stress-reducing yoga pose.

What I need is a method that can bring me some type of stress relief in an instant; things that will work for me while I’m in the midst of a real-life stress-producing situation. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. If we are to be able to improve our self-awareness (the ultimate goal,) and we know that stress blocks our ability to do that so we need to handle the stress in our lives as it arises (which it definitely does) then we need to be able to develop ‘in the moment’ stress reducing methods for ourselves that can help us undo the immediate damage that stress can do to cause us to waver off track. In other words, we need something that can help us handle the derailing impact that stress can have on us.

Simply put (and current research backs this up again and again), the quickest, most effective thing we can do to combat stress like this is to engage our senses immediately. This sounds vague, but only because each of us, needs to develop our own, individual stress-busting tool kit. While we all have the same senses to work with, each of us has specific and individual preferences. And each of us has to find what works best to help us combat stress in the moment for ourselves.

We need to discover what sensory experiences have the most calming effect on us and works best for us. Amazingly, there are certain materials we can touch, or specific scents we can smell that have the ability to instantly relax us and help us focus ourselves. The trick is to learn what they are and have them readily available for any time we are hit with a heavy dose of stress-producing life events.

Sensing Inspiration
This process can and should involve all our senses, the more the merrier, actually; so inspiration is all around us. Experiment with a variety of sensations with the ultimate goal being that you always have something around you that you can easily do to combat your stress and be able to relax.

• Those you Know. What do other people you know do to blow off steam? Do you know anybody who feels more relaxed after a long walk? Do you have any friends who listen to music and find that helps them unwind? Maybe if you try some of the things you’ve seen other people do to relax, they might work for you too.
• Power of Observation. Popping gum, although some may find it annoying, can help release stress. Baseball players seem to find it helpful, just watch many of them when they’re getting ready for their turn to hit. I’ve seen some performers do some type of fanning motion with their hands to generate a burst of nervous energy and rid themselves of tension just before going on stage. Talk to people who know how to handle pressure and stay focused. You may hear something that can work well for you too.
• Reflection. Did you have a favorite stuffed doll or fabric that provided you with a relaxing sense of touch. Why not put a small swatch of something tactically comforting like velour where you can reach it easily when you have a stressful event to face. Different textures can help people feel much calmer. Try different things until you find what works best for you.

Unplugged

Unplugged

Unplug Yourself
• Some moments of silence – on the way to work in the morning or on your commute home in the afternoon, instead of radio or using your cell phone, try riding in silence.
• Self-Administered hand massage – if you’re on line at the store or in the waiting room at the doctor’s, try it. Can you say “S O O T H I N G?”
• Aromatic Tea – this one employs the sense of taste and smell and can work wonders before a meeting at work that can carry tension and stress with it.

Making a habit to incorporate an off-line time for yourself on a regular basis (no phone, computers, television) can provide a no-intrusion zone and ease stress and tension.

These are just some basics to helping develop some quick stress relief habits and employ ourselves and our senses in the process. It is always something we can have with us, anytime, anywhere, a preventative defense for whatever life throws at us that we can call on to help us regain our sense of balance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

The Yellow Brick Road to Emotional Awareness

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Self-Awareness

Self-Awareness

SAY HELLO TO STRESS
In order to become more emotionally aware we have to be able to effectively and rapidly reduce stress in the moment. Let me explain. Whether we like it or not, stress is here to stay. Not only is it here to stay, but it is absolutely necessary for things like creativity, learning and even survival.

It isn’t until stress becomes overwhelming that it becomes the harmful, negative force most of us believe it to be in our lives.

Stress Effects

Stress Effects

WHERE IT COMES FROM
Another misconception about stress is that most of us believe the worst kind of stress comes from traumatic events outside ourselves, such as car accidents, or when someone we care about gets sick. The fact is that everyday stress, known as chronic stress, is just as harmful. This is the type of stress that wears us down, most of the time when we are not even aware that it is happening and that there is a problem; making it infinitely more dangerous and damaging as far as I’m concerned.

So, many times, we create our own stress. It happens when we dwell and fret about things that we have little or no control over. It happens when we put ourselves down, or imagine the worst case. We give birth to stress when we take on too many responsibilities and don’t say “no” to things that push us too far and when we set unrealistic expectations and standards for ourselves and for others.

Reduce Stress

Reduce Stress



EMOTIONAL BALANCE and RELIEVING STRESS

If we are aiming for balance, and we are doing just that, we need to be able to first identify stress in the moment and be able to relieve it quickly, clearing us to focus on whatever life throws at us and to remain in control of ourselves through it.

We need to be able to quickly and effectively relieve stress in the moment in order to:
Think clearly and creatively
Communicate clearly
Accurately “read” other people
Here what someone is really saying
Trust others
Attend to your own needs

Managing stress appropriately helps us avoid becoming overwhelmed by strong emotions and life’s challenges.

• If you find yourself having a hard time calming yourself down when agitated
• If you find it difficult to let go of anger
• If you have a hard time turning to other people close to you to help you regain composure and feel better
• If you feel exhausted and drained when you return home
• If you are easily distracted or moody
• If you cannot identify or recognize what upsets other people you know
• If you don’t know how to pick yourself up when you feel like you’re running on empty

These are all signs that you are not managing your stress in healthy and effective ways.

If you are with me this far, stay tuned. The next post will be about recognizing stress so that we can lessen its impact on our lives and free us up to experience life more fully.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

A Second Time to Second That E-Motion

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Emotion Chart

Emotion Chart

The response to my highly E-Motional post from yesterday was quite overwhelming! Enough so, it motivated me to continue with a bit more on the topic. In other words, due to popular demand, I would like to introduce I SECOND THAT E-MOTION – Part 2.

There is something you may have heard about called our EQ. Our EQ is to our feeling and emotional aspect of ourselves as the IQ is to the intellectual, cognitive aspect of ourselves. It is gaining popularity as more and more people are beginning to realize how important it actually is for people to develop maturity in their emotional skills, which help us better understand, empathize and negotiate with other people. As our economy become more global, this is becoming more and more important because we need to carry this maturity with us as we cross continents and work and live more with diverse cultures and norms.

A person’s EQ determines how well you can understand other people, how to work cooperatively with them, and what motivates them.

Self-Awareness –
This is recognizing emotions in the moment, as they happen. It is the key to EQ. It takes practice and more practice because you need to tune into your true feelings, something many of us are very much out of touch with due to all the distractions our lives contain. The only way we can evaluate our feelings is by tuning into them first. Then after we evaluate them, we can set out to manage them. Self-awareness includes:

* Emotional awareness – Recognizing our own emotions and their effects.
* Self-confidence – Be sure about our self-worth and our capabilities.

Self-regulation. Very few of us have any say over when we experience emotions. We do, however, have a lot to say over the intensity of the emotion and its duration. There are a number of techniques we can learn to help anger, anxiety or depression. Utilizing various types of sensory techniques, meditating, praying, or even walking; all are methods for self-regulating. It involves:

• Self-control. Managing disruptive impulses.
• Trustworthiness. Maintaining high levels of honesty and integrity.
• Conscientiousness. Owning full responsibility for your actions.
• Adaptability. Being flexible and bendable, open to change and growth.
• Innovation. Accepting of new methods and ideas.

Motivation

Motivation

Motivation. Two things are necessary to succeed. Clear goals and a positive attitude. By being able to tune into negative thoughts right in the moment of their conception, reframing becomes more possible, improving chances to achieve goals. Components of motivation are:

• Achievement drive. The desire to keep improving or reach a level of excellence.
• Commitment. Staying in line with the goals that have been set forth.
• Initiative. Being ever-ready to act on all opportunities as they appear.
• Optimism. Seeing obstacles as stepping stones rather than setbacks.

Empathy.
Being able to tell how others are feeling based on relating and connecting to similar feelings in ourselves – brings us closer to others. The more empathetic one is, the more they are able to excel at:

• Service orientation. Anticipating, recognizing and meeting the needs of others.
• Developing others. Tuning into the needs of others to help them reach their fullest potential.
• Leveraging diversity. Finding common ground between varying cultures and individuals despite their differences.
• Political awareness. Being able to recognize levels of power and the relationships of people within a group.
. Understanding others. Discerning the feelings behind the needs and wants of others.

Social skills. Being able to relate to people from all walks of life on various levels becomes more and more valuable. There is value in being able to connect to others, it makes whatever encounters we have with them easier and more effective. These skills are invaluable:

• Influence. The ability to persuade others.
• Communication. Sending and receiving clear messages.
• Leadership. Inspiring and guiding groups and people.
• Change catalyst. Although it is something most people fear, being able to initiate and manage change is an invaluable skill.
• Conflict management. Understanding, negotiating and resolving disagreements.
• Building bonds. Nurturing relationships.
• Collaboration and cooperation. Working with others toward common goals.
• Team capabilities. Creating good feelings and systems within groups to reach goals.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Harvard graduates in business demonstrate how important developing our EQ is for success in life. The more we know and learn about Emotional Intelligence, the happier we can be and more balanced of a life we can live.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

What is Normal?

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Posted by Robert Mudge from RobertMudge.net225546_350664918371928_1197112180_n

The other day I started thinking about What Is Normal? Yeah, I know I’ve been on this earth long enough that I should have already thought about this, ha. I mainly thought of this because I tend to put a lot of pressure and stress on myself in thinking I should be doing this or that by this point in my life. But why do we do that? Why do we think we should fit a certain mold or follow a certain track? In my opinion it’s society and/or what we see in the media. I don’t know of any book or absolute rule in existence that tells us what weight we should be, who we should love, when we should marry, how much money we should make, when to have children…This list could go on and I’m sure you could think of some yourself.

Like the image above says, normal is purely subjective. I had a thought the other day that looked further into this concept:

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Alright I created a video to accompany this post and in spite of my fear of making and posting it, here it is: