Emotional Management

Managing the Dreaded "What If?"

Anxiety often starts with the words "What if.....?" Sometimes this can lead to a plan for dealing with possible situations that may occur in the future.  But since many fearful fantasies start with "what if?", a few basic tools can be very useful to keep in mind.

Better Is Better Than Best

I've previously discussed the concept that "progress works backwards", meaning that growth toward a desired goal generally happens in incrementally improving stages. I find a lot of hope in the idea that what initially seems like "failure" is more productively viewed as useful feedback on the path to ultimate success. A related philosophy is the idea that "better is often better than best". This may initially seem to be a confusing and contradictory statement, but the idea is actually both simple and comforting.

Absence of the Negative vs. Presence of the Positive

What prevents us from being happy?  Often our search for happiness seems elusive because of some negative influence that is getting in the way.  But is that all there is to it?

You're Not Upset

This essay is partly a companion piece to one of my previous posts titled “You’re Not Fine”.  Both caution against using words or concepts that seem to carry specific meanings but which actually lack the ability to foster productive communication.  And when it comes to emotionally charged discussions the words we use can make the difference between a productive or detrimental outcome.    From this perspective, using the word “upset” seldom helps any situation.

Fueled By or Ruled By?

Do you know the difference between something that inspires you and something that controls you? Can you tell the difference between motivation and compulsion? It's not always easy to tell the difference.

Indentifying Multiple Emotions

One essential component of emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize multiple feelings taking place inside of yourself at the same time. While most people can identify a single emotion as it occurs, it can be more difficult to identify multiple feelings that are occurring simultaneously with each other.

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You're Not Fine

 

Sometimes when I ask clients how they're feeling I'll get this answer: "Fine". I usually try to point out that this doesn't tell me much.

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Heal Your Wounds, Honor Your Scars

"Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."     (The Princess Bride)

To be human is to hurt: pain is the price paid for the privilege of being alive. While wounds of the flesh can cause great injury, wounds of the heart and soul pierce deeper and linger longer.

Anything Past '4' Is YOU!

I once heard someone say "anything past '4' is about YOU". This post is going to explain what this statement means since I think it's a useful way to assess whether your emotional reaction to a situation is appropriate or more than is truly necessary and therefore not helpful to anyone (especially to you).

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Forging Iron In The Furnace of Crisis

When a person experiences a life crisis, much of what was once familiar is no longer recognizable.What used to be stable is rocked to the core and the old familiar ways of living no longer seem to work.

I'm speaking not about the direst tragedies of life, such as the sudden death of a loved one, a brutal assault or similarly terrifying event.  These are "Big-T" traumas that threaten to a person's very ability to function and generally result in some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.  This is an entirely different category of pain deserving specialized treatment, and not the source of any 'life lesson'.  

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