Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Resources!

According to research, people who have a daily practice of feeling appreciation and gratitude, sleep better than others, have lower blood pressure, are more likely to accomplish goals, and are more likely to practice self-care - including exercising - on a regular basis. Maybe you know all this because, like many of us, you have experienced it personally? However, did you know that the practice of feeling gratitude also improves longevity, by up to 9 years?! In other words, if you  ensure that you FEEL appreciation every single day, you are likely to live up to 9 years longer than you otherwise would!
Some facilitators are just brimming over with information like this, resources and articles that offer lots of delicious data we can add to our library of supportive and validating knowledge. One of these people is Linda Graham, whose articles you can peruse at http://lindagraham-mft.com/resources/published-articles/
Lots of very interesting stuff, on everything from self-care to the neuroscience of resilience. Check it out!

Monday, May 23, 2011

'I Need To Blog!'

If we don’t teach our children to be alone, they will always be lonely.” This was one of those statements that, when Sociologist Sherry Turkle uttered it, I thought I could have said that! Turkle’s symposium talk offered more of the same …. glimpses of the obvious, but nevertheless insights and observations of great significance that most of us, unfortunately, seem to be ignoring or just not ‘getting’.
In this particular statement, Turkle was referring to a conclusion from her research on technology and relationships - research which has given her data showing our increased dependency on social media, and its adverse affect on our relationship skills. And she is not just talking about youngsters, but parents – all of us - too.
We parents and adults are examples to our children not only in our demonstration of how to use for instance texting, but in our relationship with our children when we text while they are talking to us, use the cell phone while we are eating together, text during a family movie, or while we’re assisting with homework, etc. etc. etc. Long story short, the phone and social media are losing their previously proportionate place in our lives, as we now increasingly have the need to ‘connect’ every few minutes. The technological advances that have given us so much freedom and other value are now also beginning to ‘take over’ in unhealthy ways. Turkle is not against technology or social media per se, she just advocates putting it in proper perspective. I second that, adding that this might mean just being more mindful about how we use it...............
How do we know when it’s NOT mindful, when it’s unhealthy? In the interest of ‘keeping it brief’ I again refer to Ms Turkle, who clarified by concluding that we – and our children – used to have thoughts such as, ‘I feel …..(fill in the space) so I want to make a call.” Now however, we are more likely to be driven by the (often unconscious) thought; “I want to feel ……, I need to text.” (Not quite as healthy, I think.)
On hearing her conclusion, I had the thought, “I feel she’s right – I need to Blog.” 
Trying to be mindful however, I got my priorities in order, completed my move to the UK(!), and now I'm blogging again :-)
Thanks for your patience!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

10 - yes 10 - Habits of REALLY Emotionally Intelligent People

I can't believe how much more it takes to whittle down to blog-size the many speakers' wonderful work - as promised - than I thought! (What with everything else going on….) So here, in the meantime and by popular demand (truly:-), is my list of 10 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People (yes, I claim 10 – not 7!)

Emotionally intelligent people
1.    Label feelings rather than people, making a distinction between what they think and what they feel.
2.    Own (take responsibility for) their own feelings and emotional reality. (Check in your body; where & what are your feelings?) Do not stuff or negate their emotions.
3.    Acknowledge when their negative emotions aren’t serving them & others and self-regulate to problem-solve whatever is causing the emotion, (use tension release processes and your breathing).
4.    Look for learning and growth in their negative emotions.
5.    Self-regulate to change unhelpful emotions into energized states (i.e. anger can become passion or drive to take action).
6.    Are respectful towards and validate other people’s feelings, regardless of what they think of them AND regardless of their age.
7.    Place their own agenda aside in order to step into someone else’s shoes, applying the resulting empathy, by communicating it or otherwise supporting the other person.
8.    Do not play the blame game (or send someone on a guilt-trip!)
9.    Limit judgment and criticism (aim for eliminating both) of others, and honor everyone’s unique path and emotional reality.
10.    Do not try to control or change others. (It ain’t possible.)