Reblog: Recognizing Feelings

by Melody Beattie

Experiencing feelings can be a challenge if we’ve had no previous experience or permission to do that. Learning to identify what we’re feeling is a challenge we can meet, but we will not become experts overnight. Nor do we have to deal with our feelings perfectly.

Here are some ideas that might be helpful as you learn to recognize and deal with feelings.

Take out a sheet of paper. On the top of it write, “If it was okay to feel whatever I’m feeling, and I wouldn’t be judged as bad or wrong, what would I be feeling?” Then write whatever comes to mind.

You can also use the favorite standby of many people in discovering their feelings: writing or journaling. You can keep a diary, write letters you don’t intend to send, or just scribble thoughts onto a note pad.

Watch and listen to yourself as an objective third person might. Listen to your tone of voice and the words you use. What do you hear? Sadness, fear, anger, happiness?

What is your body telling you? Is it tense and rigid with anger? Running with fear? Heavy with sadness and grief? Dancing with joy?

Talking to people in recovery helps too. Going to meetings helps. Once we feel safe, many of us find that we open up naturally and with ease to our feelings.

We are on a continual treasure hunt in recovery. One of the treasures we’re seeking is the emotional part of ourselves. We don’t have to do it perfectly. We need only be honest, open, and willing to try. Our emotions are there waiting to share themselves with us.

Today, I will watch myself and listen to myself as I go through my day. I will not judge myself for what I’m feeling; I will accept myself.

From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series

Recovery Girls: Detaching with Love

Chenille shares here about her experiences of detaching with love. Sometimes in relationships we can become involved in unhealthy ways, where we are trying to control or change another person. The goal is for me to take care of my side of the street and love others as they are attending to their side. It can be hard to let go of someone else when they are engaged in destructive behaviors, but we are guided by scripture to guard our hearts and trust in God’s sovereignty as we practice healthier ways of relating.

Reblog: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

by Dr. Travis Bradberry

We all reach critical points in our lives where our mental strength is tested. It might be a toxic friend or colleague, a dead-end job, or a struggling relationship. Whatever the challenge, you have to see things through a new lens, and take decisive action if you want to move through it successfully.

It sounds easy, but it isn’t.

It’s fascinating how mentally strong people set themselves apart from the crowd. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to overcome.

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that mental strength comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, mental strength is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).

 

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

 

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how much you have and what you can do to improve it if you lack it. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book.

 

Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid) EQ tests aren’t free, so I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of high emotional intelligence. This data shows that what you don’t do is just as important as what you do when it comes to EQ.

 

The beauty of EQ is that it’s a flexible skill that you can easily improve with effort. Absolutely anyone can enhance their EQ by emulating the habits of emotionally intelligent people. If you’re up for it, start with these critical things that emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid. They consciously avoid these behaviors because they are tempting and easy to fall into if one isn’t careful.

 

1. They don’t stay in their comfort zone. Self-awareness is the foundation of EQ, and increasing your self-awareness isn’t comfortable. You can’t increase your EQ without pushing yourself to discover what you need to work on and what you should be doing differently. This is hard because when you take a really good look at yourself, you aren’t going to like everything you see. It’s more comfortable to keep the blinders on, but they make certain that you’ll never have a high EQ.

2. They don’t give in to fear.
They say that bravery is being scared to death to do something and doing it anyway. Many times, that’s true, even when it comes to your career. The fear doesn’t have to come from something as extreme as rushing into a burning building; it can be a fear of public speaking or going out on a limb to try for a promotion. If you use fear as an excuse not to do something, you’ve already lost. It’s not that emotionally intelligent people aren’t afraid—they simply pick themselves up and fight on regardless of the fear.

 

3. They don’t stop believing in themselves. Emotionally intelligent people persevere. They don’t give up in the face of failure, and they don’t give up because they’re tired or uncomfortable. They’re focused on their goals, not on momentary feelings, and that keeps them going even when things are hard. They don’t take failing to mean that they’re a failure. Likewise, they don’t let the opinions of others keep them from chasing their dreams. When someone says, “You’ll never be able to do that,” they regard it as one person’s opinion, which is all it is.

 

4. They don’t beg for attention. People who are always begging for attention are needy. They rely on that attention from other people to form their self-identity. Emotionally intelligent people couldn’t care less about attention. They do what they want to do and what needs to be done, regardless of whether anyone is stroking their ego.

5. They don’t act like jerks.
People who act like jerks are unhappy and insecure. They act like jerks because they don’t have the emotional strength to be nice when they don’t feel like it. Emotionally intelligent people place high value on their relationships, which means they treat everyone with respect, regardless of the kind of mood they’re in.

6. They don’t hold grudges.
The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. Researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs.

7. They don’t hang around negative people.
Negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to negative people because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear to someone and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. Emotionally intelligent people avoid getting drawn in by setting limits and distancing themselves from negative people when necessary. Think of it this way: If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with negative people.

 

8. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. Here’s the worst thing about feeling sorry for yourself, other than it being annoying, of course: it shifts your locus of control outside yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself is, in essence, declaring that you’re a helpless victim of circumstance. Emotionally intelligent people never feel sorry for themselves because that would mean giving up their power.

 

9. They don’t feel entitled. Emotionally intelligent people believe that the world is a meritocracy and that the only things that they deserve are those that they earn. People who lack EQ often feel entitled. They think that the world owes them something. Again, it’s about locus of control. Emotionally intelligent people know that they alone are responsible for their successes or failures.

 

10. They don’t close their minds. When people close their minds to new information or opinions, it’s typically because they find them threatening. They think that admitting that someone else is right means that they’re wrong, and that’s very uncomfortable for people lacking EQ. Emotionally intelligent people aren’t threatened by new things; they’re open to new information and new ideas, even if it means admitting that they are wrong.

 

11. They don’t let anyone limit their joy. When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself with others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something they’ve done, they don’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself with others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.

12. They don’t get eaten up by jealousy and envy.
Emotionally intelligent people understand that the happiness and success of others doesn’t take away from their own, so jealousy and envy aren’t an issue for them. They see success as being in unlimited supply, so they can celebrate others’ successes.

 

13. They don’t live in the past. Failure can erode your self-confidence and make it hard to believe you’ll achieve a better outcome in the future. Most of the time, failure results from taking risks and trying to achieve things that aren’t easy. Emotionally intelligent people know that success lies in their ability to rise in the face of failure, and they can’t do this if they’re living in the past. Anything worth achieving is going to require your taking some risks, and you can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed. When you live in the past, that is exactly what happens—your past becomes your present and prevents you from moving forward.

Bringing It All Together

Improving your emotional intelligence is the single most important thing you can do to improve your life. The good news is that you can make it happen with a little determination, effort, and a good model to follow.

 

find the original post here.

Reblog: 10 of the Greatest Leadership Questions Ever Asked

by Ron Edmondson

Have you ever heard the phrase, “There are no bad questions”?

In leadership, this might be true.

I have learned in my years of leadership – I only know what I know. And, many times I don’t know much. There are often things among the people I am trying to lead which I need to know – and, for whatever reason – I won’t know unless I ask. Which means I must continually ask lots of questions.

One of the best skills a leader can develop is the art of asking the right questions – and, even better – at the right times.

Here are 10 of the greatest leadership questions ever asked:

  1. How can I help you?
  2. What is the biggest challenge you have to being successful here?
  3. Do you understand what I’ve asked you to do?
  4. What am I missing or what would you do differently if you were me?
  5. What do you see I can’t see?
  6. How can I improve as your leader?
  7. If we had authority to do anything – and money was no barrier – what would you like to see us do as a team/organization?
  8. Where do you see yourself someday and how can I assist you in getting there?
  9. What are you currently learning which can help all of us?
  10. How are you doing in your personal life and is there any way I can help you?

You can rephrase these for your context and within the relationships you have with people with whom you serve. You can certainly add your own questions. But, if you are attempting to lead people, may I suggest you start asking questions.

Find the original post here.

SBC Sermon: Adjustments

scbible

This was a great sermon from the series, Adjustments, from the book of John. It was helpful to differentiate the common mistakes people make about the act of judgement. How do we handle these situations? The Bible uses the word judgement in many places, however you will see that the Greek words used have different meanings from our English word for judgement. Take a listen.

sermon (dated October 2, 2016)

Reblog: 9 More Ways to Love Yourself

by Sharon Martin, LCSW

Over and over again I see people struggling at work and in their relationships because they don’t feel worthy and lovable; they don’t love themselves. I’ve come to recognize that self-love isn’t selfish or strange or conceited. In my opinion, loving yourself is the cornerstone of good mental health. So, after writing 9 Simple Ways to Love Yourself, I decided it was worth giving you nine more ways to love yourself.

1. Honor your feelings. As a society, we are uncomfortable with feelings, especially the “unpleasant” ones. We prefer to numb out with alcohol, food, electronics, pornography, and busyness. We pretend we’re “fine” when we’re really very far from fine.

Feelings don’t just go away when you avoid them. They will show up at another time in another way. There really isn’t any way of avoiding them; you have to go through them. This is why honoring your feelings is a gift you give yourself. It’s a way of validating your experiences.

Feelings are also windows into what you really need. For example, you anger might be telling you that you’re overworked and tired. When you ignore your feelings, you can’t meet your own basic needs.

One of the exercises I commonly give to my therapy clients is to start regularly checking in with your feelings. Simply take a few minutes, be quiet, reflect, and pay attention to your feelings. When you’re not in the habit of doing this, it feels foreign, but the more you do it, the more natural it becomes. Eventually, it becomes automatic and you gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

2. Accept compliments from others.  Many people have a bad habit of dismissing compliments because they feel uncomfortable with the focus on themselves and doubt whether the compliment is true. If you feel uncomfortable, try the compliment on and consider whether the person offering it is being true and honest. People generally give compliments because they care about and respect you.

The compliment-giver is offering you kindness and positive energy that you deserve to benefit from. When you dismiss it, you’re also denying the compliment-giver the pleasure of giving you this gift.

3. Cut yourself some slack. Loving yourself means offering yourself grace when you mess up. It means not expecting perfection. It means resting when you need to rather than pushing through the pain. Notice when you’re judging yourself with hindsight and forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know.

4. Care for your body. Taking care of your body is one of the most basic ways to love yourself. Everything really is much harder when your health is suffering. I find that often people (including me) take their bodies for granted. You’re probably keenly aware of your physical ailments or limitations. Instead of focusing on them, try being grateful for what your body can do. You can either hate your body for having jiggley thighs or you can choose to appreciate your legs for supporting you and carrying you all day long. Caring for your body includes the obvious things like eating nutritiously, getting enough sleep and exercising, but it can also means soaking in a hot tub or asking your partner for a foot massage.

5. Allow yourself to dream. When you love yourself, you have hope for the future. You have dreams and goals and ideas; you allow yourself to imagine yourself doing and going great places. Try a new hobby or do something off your bucket list to show yourself that you matter.

6. Express your opinions. Your opinions and thoughts are just as important and valid as everyone else’s. You don’t have to defer to others as if they know more or are more important than you are. Thoughtfully expressing your opinions is a reflection of self-respect.  If this is hard for you, start small and with safer people until you build up your confidence.

7. Build relationships. Healthy relationships are good for everyone. Research shows that people with strong social support networks are healthier, happier, and live longer. If you’re an introvert, highly sensitive person, or have anxiety or another mental health problem, it can be hard to build connections with others. You don’t necessarily need a huge circle of friends, but you do need a handful of people that you enjoy and can count on. Not having a lot of friends is nothing to be embarrassed about. With deliberate effort, most people can build positive relationships. Look for opportunities in the places you visit regularly whether that’s church or a coffee shop or school or even online.

8. Invest in self-improvement. I see the desire to improve yourself as an indication that you value yourself. We all have things we’d like to improve, but not everyone will invest the time and money in themselves to actually do the work. Self-improvement comes in many forms – going to therapy, reading a self-help book, listening to podcasts, reading this blog, attending a support group. When you love yourself, you’ll want to improve not because you’re “broken” or want to please someone else, but because you care about yourself. I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from psychologist Carl Rogers: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” The desire for self-improvement doesn’t come from self-loathing, it comes from self-acceptance.

9. Don’t accept all negative criticism as Gospel. Do yourself a favor and look at criticism with a curious mind.  Explore the validity of the criticism logically, rather than immediately jumping to defensiveness or self-criticism. Loving yourself means that you can accept and take responsibility for your mistakes or faults, but you don’t take responsibility for everything that goes wrong; you thoughtfully consider whether the criticism is true.

I hope you will add these nine ways to practice self-compassion to your arsenal of self-love. Which one will you try to use today?

Check out Sharon’s blog for the original post.

Reblog: 37 Techniques to Calm an Anxious Child

From: Stress Better & Renee Jain, MAPP

Write it out

  1. Write it out and then throw it out—In a study published in Psychological Science, people were asked to write what they liked or disliked about their bodies. One group of people kept the paper and checked it for errors, whereas the other group of people physically discarded the paper their thoughts were written on. The physical act of discarding the paper helped them discard the thoughts mentally, too. Next time your child is anxious, have her write her thoughts on a paper and then physically throw the paper out. Chances are, her perspective will begin to change as soon as the paper hits the trash can.
  2. Journal about worries—Researchers at Harvard found that writing about a stressful event for 15 minutes, for four consecutive days, can lessen the anxiety a person feels about that event. Although the person may initially feel more anxiety about the stressor, eventually the effects of writing about anxious events relieved anxious symptoms for up to six months after the exercise. Make journaling about anxious thoughts a habit with your child.
  3. Create “worry time”—In the movie Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara often says, “I can’t think about that now. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” A similar concept works for anxious children. Set aside a designated “worry time” for 10-15 minutes on a daily basis. Choose the same time each day and the same spot and allow your child to write down his worries without worrying about what actually constitutes a worry. When the time is up, have him drop the worries in a box, say goodbye to them, and move on to a new activity. When your child begins to feel anxious, remind him that it isn’t “worry time” yet, but reassure him that there will be time to review his anxiety later.
  4. Write a letter to yourself—Dr. Kristen Neff, a professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and a pioneer in the field of self-compassion, created an exercise where people were asked to write a letter as though they were not experiencing stress or anxiety but rather their best friends were experiencing it. From this perspective, they were able to examine themselves and their situation objectively and apply a level of compassion to themselves that they often reserve for other people. Next time your child feels anxious, have them write a letter that begins “Dear Me” and then ask them to continue writing in the voice of their best friend (real or imaginary).

Have a debate (with yourself)

  1. Talk to your worry—Personification of a worry allows children to feel as though they have control over it. By giving anxiety a face and a name, the logical brain takes over and begins to place limitations on the stressor. For young children, you can create a worry doll or character for them that represents worry. Next time a worried thought arises, have your child try to teach the doll why they shouldn’t worry. As an example, check out Widdle the Worrier.
  2. Recognize that thoughts are notoriously inaccurate—Psychologist Aaron Beck developed a theory in behavioral therapy known as “cognitive distortions.” Simply put, these are messages our minds tell us that are simply untrue. When we help our children recognize these distortions, we can begin to help them break them down and replace them with truths. Read through and use this list as a reference with your child. Depending on their age, change the language for greater accessibility.
  • Jumping to conclusions: judging a situation based on assumptions as opposed to definitive facts
  • Mental filtering: paying attention to the negative details in a situation while ignoring the positive
  • Magnifying: magnifying negative aspects in a situation
  • Minimizing: minimizing positive aspects in a situation
  • Personalizing: assuming the blame for problems even when you are not primarily responsible
  • Externalizing: pushing the blame for problems onto others even when you are primarily responsible
  • Overgeneralizing: concluding that one bad incident will lead to a repeated pattern of defeat
  • Emotional reasoning: assuming your negative emotions translate into reality, or confusing feelings with facts

Self-soothe

  1. Give yourself a hug—Physical touch releases oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, and reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream. The next time your child feels anxious, have her stop and give herself a warm hug. She can hug herself discreetly by folding her arms and squeezing her body in a comforting way.
  2. Rub your ears—For thousands of years, Chinese acupuncturists have used needles to stimulate various points in a person’s ears to treat stress and anxiety. Similar benefits are available to your child simply by having him apply pressure to many of these same points. Have him begin by lightly tracing the outline of his outer ear several times. Then using gentle pressure, have him place his thumbs on the back of his ears and his forefingers on the front. Have him count to five and then move his finger and thumb downward to a point just below where they started. Have your child repeat the process until he has squeezed both earlobes for five seconds each.
  3. Hold your own hand—Remember the safety you felt when you held your parent’s hand as you crossed the street? As it turns out, hand-holding has both psychological and physiological benefits. In one study, researchers found that hand-holding during surgery helped patients control their physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. Have your child clasp her hands together, fingers intertwined, until the feelings of anxiety begin to fade.

Understand worry

  1. Understand the origin of worry—Anxiety and worry have biological purposes in the human body. Once upon a time, anxiety was what kept our hunter and gatherer relatives safely alert while they searched for food. Even today, worry and anxiety keep us from making mistakes that will compromise our safety. Help your child understand that worry and anxiety are common feelings and that he gets into trouble only when his brain sounds the alarm and he does not allow logical thoughts to calm him down.
  2. Learn about the physical symptoms of worry—We often think of anxiety as a mental state. What we don’t think about is how worry creates physical symptoms as well. Cortisol and adrenaline, two of the body’s main stress hormones, are produced at a rapid rate when we experience anxiety. These are the “fight or flight” hormones that prepare our bodies to either fight or run from something dangerous. Our heart rates increase, and our breathing gets fast and shallow; we sweat, and we may even experience nausea and diarrhea. However, once your child is familiar with the physical symptoms of anxiety, he can recognize them as anxiety and use any of the strategies in this article rather than worry that he is sick.

Use your body

  1. Stretch—A study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics showed that children who practice yoga not only experience the uplifting benefits of exercise but also maintain those benefits long after they are done with their practice. Even if you or your child is unfamiliar with yoga poses, the process of slow, methodical stretching can provide many of the same benefits.
  2. Push against a wall—For some children, trying to breathe deeply or relax through meditation only causes more anxiety. “Am I doing this right? Everyone thinks I’m crazy. I forgot to breathe that time.” The act of physically tensing the muscles will create a counterbalancing release when they are relaxed, resulting in the relaxation more passive methods may not provide. Have your child push against the wall with all of her might, taking great care to use the muscles in her arms, legs, back, and stomach to try to move the wall. Have her hold for a count of 10 and then breathe deeply for a count of 10, repeating three times.
  3. Practice chopping wood—In yoga, the Wood Chopper Pose releases tension and stress in the muscles by simulating the hard labor of chopping wood. Have your child stand tall with his legs wide and arms straight above as though he is holding an ax. Have him inhale and, with the full force of his body, swing the imaginary ax as though he is chopping wood and simultaneously exhale a “ha.” Repeat.
  4. Try progressive muscle relaxation—This relaxation exercise includes two simple steps: (1) Systematically tense specific muscle groups, such as your head, neck, and shoulders etc., and then (2) Release the tension and notice how you feel when you release each muscle group. Have your child practice by tensing the muscles in her face as tightly as she can and then releasing the tension. Here is a great script for kids (pdf).
  5. Use the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)EFT combines tapping acupressure points in the body with verbalizing positive affirmations. Using his fingertips, have your child gently but firmly tap the top of his head, his eyebrows, under his eyes, under his nose, his chin, his collarbone, and his wrists while saying positive things about his situation. The idea is that the body’s natural electromagnetic energy is activated and associated with positive affirmations, thereby reducing anxiety.
  6. Strike a power pose—Anxiety makes your child want to physically shrink. However,research has shown that holding a powerful pose for just two minutes can boost feelings of self-confidence and power. Have your child pose like her favorite superhero, with her hands on her hips, ready for battle, or strike a pose like a boss leaning over a table to drive a point home, hands planted on the table top.
  7. Sweat it out—Exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in our bodies. Exercisethat is more intense than your child’s normal physical activity level can actually reduce his body’s physical response to anxiety.
  8. Fall into Child’s Pose—Have your child assume the Child’s Pose, a pose in yoga that is done by kneeling on the floor and bringing the body to rest on the knees in the fetal position. The arms are either brought to the sides of the legs or stretched out over the head, palms on the floor.

Disconnect to reconnect

  1. Do a tech detox—Studies show that modern technology is adversely correlated to sleep and stress—especially in young adults. Challenge your child to spend a week without video game systems or smartphones, and encourage her to be more creative with her time.
  2. Walk in nature—A Stanford study showed that exposure to green spaces has a positive cognitive effect on school children. Going for a walk in nature allows your child to reconnect with tangible, physical objects; calms his mind; and helps his logical brain to take over for his anxious brain.

Befriend water

  1. Drink more water—Although dehydration rarely causes anxiety on its own, because our brains are 85% water, it can certainly make its symptoms worse. Make sure your child is getting adequate amounts of water in a day. The basic rule of thumb is to drink one-half to one ounce of water per pound of body weight. So if your child weighs 50 pounds, he should drink 25 to 50 ounces of water every day.
  2. Take a cold or hot bath—Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries in natural medicine to promote health and prevent disease. Just 10 minutes in a warm or cool bath can have profound effects on the levels of anxiety your child is experiencing.

Practice mindfulness

  1. Observe your “train of thoughts”—Have your child imagine her anxious thoughts are liketrains coming into a busy station. Sometimes they will slow down and pass by, and at other times they will stop at the station for a while. If the anxious thought stops at the station, have your child practice breathing slowly and deeply until the train pulls out of the station. As it fades, have your child “watch” as the train pulls away. This exercise teaches children that they don’t have to react to every thought that occurs to them. Some thoughts they can simply acknowledge and allow to leave without acting on them.
  2. Practice a five-by-five meditation—Have your child use each of his five senses to name five things he experiences with that sense. Again, this exercise roots your child in things that are actually happening rather than in things that mayhappen or could happen that are causing him to worry.
  3. Focus on your breath—The natural biological response to anxiety is to breathe shallowly and quickly. Focusing on breathing slowly and deeply will mitigate many of the body’s stress responses.
  4. Tune in with a body scan—Have your child close her eyes and check in with all of the parts of her body. Have her talk to each part and ask how it feels and if there is anything wrong. Then have her invite it to relax while she checks in with the other parts. This animation can be a fun way to practice a body scan meditation with your child.
  5. Practice cognitive defusion—The process of cognitive defusion separates the reaction your child is having from the event. It gives your child a chance to think about the stressor separately from his reaction to that stressor. Have your child talk about his feelings of anxiety as though his mind is a separate person. He might say something like “My mind does not want to go to the party, so it is making my stomach hurt.” By disconnecting the two, he can then talk to his mind as though it is a person and re-create his internal dialogue.

Listen

  1. Listen to music—It is challenging for your child to feel anxious when she is dancing to her favorite song. Crank up the tunes and sing along! Here is a loving-kindness meditation set to dance music you can listen to with your child.
  2. Listen to stories—Avid readers know how difficult it is to pry themselves away from a good book. Listening to audio books can help your child get lost in an imaginary world where anxiety and worry do not exist or are put into their proper perspective.
  3. Listen to guided meditations—Guided meditations are designed to be soothing to your child and help him relax by presenting images for his mind’s eye to focus on rather than focusing on the stressor.
  4. Listen to the uplifting words of another—Often, anxiety is rooted in a negative internal monologue. Have your child listen to your uplifting words or those of someone else to restructure that monologue into positive affirmations of herself.

Help someone else

  1. Volunteer—Researchers have long shown that “helper’s high” happens when people volunteer to help others without any expectation of compensation. Whether your child is helping a younger sibling do math homework or helping your neighbor weed her flower bed, volunteering is an easy way to alleviate his feelings of stress or anxiety.
  2. Be a friend and give someone else advice—Sometimes the advice we give others is really meant for ourselves. Encourage your child to tell you how you should react to a situation similar to what your child might be experiencing anxiety over. If she is worried about giving a presentation in class, have her tell you how to get over your anxiety about a work presentation. The same techniques your child is teaching you will come into play when she is faced with a similar situation.
  3. Turn your focus outward—Anxiety would have your child believe that he is the only one who has ever experienced worry or stress in a certain situation. In reality, many of his peers are likely experiencing the same feelings of worry. Encourage your child to find someone who may look nervous and talk to her or him about how she or he is feeling. By discussing his anxiety with his peers, your child will discover that he is notthe only one to feel worry.

Embrace the worry

  1. Know that this too shall pass—One of the greatest lies the anxious brain tells your child is that she will feel anxious forever. Physiologically, it is impossible to maintain a high level of arousal for longer than several minutes. Invite your child to sit by you, and read a story or simply watch the world go by until the feelings of anxiety start to fade away. It sounds simple, but acknowledging that the “fight or flight” response won’t last forever gives it less power when your child begins to feel its effects.
  2. Worrying is part of our humanity—Anxiety, stress, and worry are all part of what makes us human. These biological and psychological responses are designed to keep us safe in situations we are not familiar with. Reassure your child that there is nothing wrong with feeling anxiety, that it simply alerts his body so that he can be on the lookout for danger.

Find the original post here.

 

TED Talk: Own Your Body’s Data

The new breed of high-tech self-monitors (measuring heartrate, sleep, steps per day) might seem targeted at competitive athletes. But Talithia Williams, a statistician, makes a compelling case that all of us should be measuring and recording simple data about our bodies every day — because our own data can reveal much more than even our doctors may know.

Reblog: The Provocative People of Proverbs

by Tim Challies

I feel sorry for those people who spend all day on social media snarking at others. Do they just sit there hour after hour, following people they despise, then throwing barbs their way? That must be an awful way to live. Some people seem to shrivel where there is peace and thrive where there is contention. The book of Proverbs warns us about people like that, people who love to incite conflict and hate to resolve it. Lou Priolo highlights a number of them in his excellent book Resolving Conflict. These are the provocative people of Proverbs.

The hot-tempered person. “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute” (15:18). The hot-tempered man is passionate about all kinds of things and allows that passion to well up into anger. He’s your classic hothead who so easily blows his top. His passion and anger incites him to stir up strife, to cause problems that could otherwise be avoided or resolved.

The perverse person. “A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends” (16:28). Just like a computer hacker writes a virus and releases it to spread across the internet, this perverse person creates strife—bitter disagreement—and seeds it into his relationships. He may do this through slander, through gossip, and through backbiting, always with the design of turning other people against his victim. His perversity is aimed at harming others.

The lover of transgression. “He who loves transgression loves strife; he who raises his door seeks destruction” (17:19). Instead of loving and pursuing all that is good and lovely in the world, this person loves sin, he loves strife, he loves what is evil and ugly. “Who else would love strife besides a person who also loves sin? He enjoys a good fight, whether he is in the ring himself or is coaching from the corner. By raising his door (opening his mouth in pride) he finds what he is looking for—someone getting annihilated.”

read the rest here.

TED Talk: How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting

By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping. At least, that’s how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children’s success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.