- anger Tag Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:47:32 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Practicing Spiritual Courage to find the Answers Looking to retire? New job? Want to transition to something new?  First, startpractice contemplation by asking yourself some good questions:

•  Do you seek security through an attachment to your home?

•  Your ethnic group? Your denomination? Your job title?

•  Do you have a staunch attachment to some belief that prevents you from manifesting your courage?

Read more]]> (Sandra Ford Walston) Life Sat, 28 Jul 2012 22:12:41 +0000
How to Bypass the Road to Divorce

Are you and your partner worried about money in these uncertain times? During any economic crisis, couples have to face tough financial decisions. This can lead to an increase in stress and aggravate problems that already exist in your marriage.

As you look back to when you first met, what attracted you to your partner - fierce independence, strong character, a decisive nature? Now, these very same qualities may be getting in the way of getting along. If you want to come to terms with your negative feelings, notice what has changed in your marriage. And try to see your own part in what's going on. If there's a glimmer of hope and you want to stay together, accept the challenge of turning it around. Some of these ideas can help you get started:

1. Identify your emotions. As a first step, write down the feelings that now regularly surface. Record what's happening between you and your partner when you are sad, scared, overwhelmed, embarrassed or frustrated. Chances are you have emotions ranging from disappointment to anger, and these may be constantly changing. Don't worry - this is normal. Understanding what you feel, and why, can be the first step toward improving your situation.

2. Stop focusing on the past. Identify the hot button issues that are standing in your way and make efforts to resolve them. If you initiate changes, that can be an encouraging sign to your partner. And the sooner you let go of the past, the quicker you can move forward to improve the goodwill in your relationship. It may not be easy to forgive, but it is a gift you can give to your partner and yourself.

3. Limit your arguments. If the situation between the two of you is tense, small annoyances can seem worse than before. When you argue, allowing bad feelings to fester only makes it harder. Don't turn your quarrel into something more or attach your reactions to another issue. Agree that you will together explore the problems. And spend time learning about conflict resolution, direct communication and active listening skills. There's information available through relationship workshops, the Internet and the self help section in bookstores.

4. Begin a process of serious talking. Can't do it alone? If you really want to work out your differences, consider consulting with a marital therapist or joining a couples' support group. When you understand more about the other's needs and capabilities, you'll be clearer about compromises you have to make. Then it will be up to both of you to decide whether you're willing to do the hard work. That may include efforts to change your current expectations, redefine what marriage means to you and create new goals for the relationship.

5. Support each other. Instead of focusing on the negatives or going your separate ways, spend time discussing what you want from one other. Think about what would demonstrate true emotional commitment to you. Prove that you are on each other's side by deciding to change your attitude and behavior. Invest in your marriage's emotional bank account. Create excitement, pleasure and fun together - then take advantage of the dividends.

You and your partner are individuals who each have a mind of your own. What you want may have changed since you first tied the knot. And the present economic meltdown probably adds to the pressures in your relationship. But that doesn't mean you can't make shifts that will relieve some of the stress. And you don't have to accept the possibility of divorce. By taking the first steps, you can help strengthen your partner's trust in you - and the future of your marriage.

© Her Mentor Center, 2011

imagePhyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. and Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. are family relationship experts with a 4-step model for change. Whether you're coping with stress, acting out teenagers, aging parents, boomerang kids or difficult daughters-in-law, we have the solutions for you. Visit our website, to discover practical tips for dealing with parents growing older & children growing up and to learn about our ebook, "Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm." Log on to our blog, and sign up for our free newsletter, Stepping Stones, and complimentary ebook, "Courage and Lessons Learned."

Original author: Sandwiched Boomers

Read more]]> (SandwichedBoomers) Heart Tue, 15 Feb 2011 19:10:00 +0000
Three Powerful Brain Tips to Manage Negative Emotions

Conventional wisdom has suggested that it's better not to talk about negative emotions as a way of handling them. So, we turn to alternative strategies such as holding our negative emotions in (as suggested by Anger Management and Emotional Intelligence programs), suppressing them, managing them, or sharing them with others (gossip/triangulation) just to get them out.

imageHowever, recent discoveries at neuroscience research centers are revealing how to handle negative emotions in new and healthy ways. This updated wisdom takes us down another path. Rather than suppressing or ignoring emotions, which only damages our internal healthy functioning, we need to learn to express our emotions in constructive ways. Learning how to label emotions in healthy ways has a big impact on emotions - both for the speaker and the receiver.

Careful labeling of an emotion enables us to regulate the emotion. If the emotion is "rage" or "frustration"- labeling it causes the rage and frustration to settle down. Constructive labeling enables the speaker and listener to clarify the emotional distress. It prevents the speaker from bringing a higher emotional tone to the situation and brings a more logical frame of reference to the situation. This practice regulates the brain and provides a calming effect.

Learning how to label emotions and express our discomfort enables us to quell the fear and pain centers of the brain (amygdala) and activates our reasoning and forward-thinking centers in the brain (prefrontal cortex) where our strategic and social skills reside. Our pleasure centers are more closely linked to the prefrontal cortex, so we feel better when we come up with more effective strategies for handling our emotions and creating new strategies for the future.


We are at a critical inflection point in the world today. In this WE-centric universe we need to acknowledge our vital role and responsibilities to each other on our journey. Our new WE-centric world is built on candor and caring, which expand positive powers in the world. In a WE-centric world, leaders understand that human beings are designed to be social. We either pull people toward us, or we push them away.
Rejection = pushing people away and is experienced as pain by those rejected. Compassion and caring = pulling people toward us and is experienced as pleasure by those who are accepted. You can become a game-changer and shift your culture into a "WE-centric" culture by applying these neuro-tips at work.
NEURO-TIP #1: Our brains are designed to be social

Our need for belonging is as or more powerful than our need for safety. When we are rejected, we experience pain in the same centers in the brain and body as when we break a leg. Being emotionally orphaned is more painful than death. When others show us love, respect, and honor us, it triggers the same centers in the brain as when we eat chocolate, have sex, or are on drugs. Understanding this dynamic will change how you lead.

QUESTION: Knowing that our brains are designed to be social, what Leadershift could you make in your life starting tomorrow to create greater positive connectivity with others at work?

NEURO-TIP #2: Appreciation reshapes our neural networks to give us a broader perspective of the world

When we feel sad, depressed, alone, fearful and disconnected from others, our mind closes down. Messages from the amygdala say "protect" and our brains are hardwired and designed to protect us from harm. Through co-creating conversations that focus on how we can tackle our challenges and difficult situations together, we activate an appreciative mindset. Our neural chemistry changes; we 'turn off' the fear-based neuro-messages from the amygdala, and 'turn on' the brain connections that feed up into the prefrontal cortex - our 'executive brain.'  We see that our 'perspective has shifted' and it's because that part of our brain - our prefrontal cortex - is now engaged.

QUESTION: Knowing that appreciation is the food that enhances the health of our brains, minds and souls, what Co-creating Conversations could you initiate tomorrow and with whom - that could shift the feel of your workplace from judging to appreciating? 
NEURO-TIP #3: We avoid what is painful; we engage in what is pleasurable

From birth, we learn to avoid physical pain and move toward physical pleasure. We learn to protect ourselves from ego pain, building habits and patterns of behavior that protect us from feeling belittled, embarrassed, or devalued.

At work this tendency translates into avoiding a colleague who appears to compete with you when you speak up or avoiding a boss who sends you silent signals of disappointment. Pain can also come from what you anticipate-not from what is real. If you imagine that telling colleagues they are annoying you will lead to a fight or argument, just the thought of having that conversation will produce the social pain of being rejected or being in an uncomfortable conversation. We often avoid the conversation and hold the frustration inside. The feared implications of pain become so real for us that we turn to avoidance, since confronting a person with a difficult conversation may lead to yelling, rejection, or embarrassment.

QUESTION: Knowing that avoiding others to avoid perceived pain of a difficult conversation may only create greater pain down the road, what person and what conversation could you have starting tomorrow to build greater trust and candor with a colleague?

Judith E. Glaser is the author of two best selling business books: Creating WE: Change I-Thinking to We-Thinking & Build a Healthy Thriving Organization - winner of the Bronze Award in the Leadership Category of the 2008 Axiom Business Book Awards, and The DNA of Leadership; the DVD and Workshop titled The Leadership Secret of Gregory Goose; and editor and contributor of 42 Rule for Creating WE, an Amazon bestseller. Learn more about her online at:

Read more]]> (Creating We) Career Tue, 09 Mar 2010 14:02:00 +0000
Are We Really Connecting?

rituals and communicationOften actions with high emotion become patterns, which become rituals even without intention.

Annually, it's good to think about the rituals that you would like to hardwire into your organization, and work on rituals that build community and empathy.

Here are some ideas of how to think about rituals. I put this together with Barbara Biziou, one of the founding members of Creating WE Institute, who is a ritual guru.

Healthy Rituals

Healthy Rituals that build community bring individuals together, awaken the spirit of the team, and they enable individuals to build healthy thriving relationships. In this changing and uncertain time, our relationships are more important than ever before. They become our anchors in the sea of uncertainty, and help us quell the hardwired fear centers that live inside our brain. 

Power of Relationship Rituals

Our research shows that if you are having an unhealthy relationship with someone in your team, the impact on you and others will be unhealthy - and the negative influence may go on for weeks, or months and spread to others on the team. When something is wrong in a relationship, the other person may tend to 'blow you off.' However, if you do have a healthy relationship with people, they will take the time to work through the difficult conversations with you. Relationship Building Rituals are the keystones to building successful business relationships at work. Connection breeds loyalty, trust and compassion.

If we do not feel connected to others, we won't feel connected to the job; we lose motivation and become apathetic. We check out, we give up and give in, and we lose our voice, or we get angry or resistant to change.

Pay Attention to the Meta Messages 

pay attention the the meta messagesWhy and how do rituals impact the brain? Rituals communicate inclusion, acceptance, and send messages to the brain, saying: "you are part of the team." These 'relational messages' are non-verbal and could account for as much as 90% of the impact you have on others.

Notice the impact: our pupils will dilate when we are interested in something. Looking at someone directly can show him or her that we care. We tend to put higher trust in and believe more in these signals than the words spoken. For example, saying, "you did a good job" while scowling and rolling your eyes sends a mixed message causing a breakdown in communication, which leads us to distrust others.

Rituals You Can Experiment With: A Venting Ritual

When we interact with others, conflicts may arise - that's normal. Each of us has our own ideas for what we want to make happen, and when others disagree, we can get mad, emotional, angry, upset and sometimes avoid others when we can't find a way to work through the conflict.

There is an Ancient Ritual, which was called Stenia. The younger women got a chance to complain, and moan about what was bothering her, releasing anger and resentment they would have held onto. The 21st century version of this is called It's Okay to Vent Once a Day. Venting can be positive if it is done correctly. It releases stuck energy from the body and quiets the mind. Venting is the process of giving each other permission for venting time with others, rather than letting it go on forever. We can choose to vent for 7 seconds, 7 minutes, even 7 hours.

Releasing Emotions

venting by releasing angerWe all have interactions with life that create emotional responses that often don't end at the time that the interaction ends. It's like striking a guitar cord. After your hand leaves the strings, the cord you've played continues to reverberate. Sour notes create music we don't like to hear, and we complain.

Here are the steps:

   1. Establish a timeframe for venting.
   2. Pick a partner that you totally trust to keep the information confidential.
   3. Choose the role you want your partner to play in order to help you "work through it."
   4. Decide if the role should be to:

Listen.Listen for something specific.  Listen with the intention of helping creating a  new strategy for reentering the relationship or situation with a fresh point of view: to re-contract, or reconnect. Listen so you can give the person coaching-a new perspective on the situation. Listen to help you interrupt a negative cycle you may be having and transform it into a positive  cycle.

   5. Take turns so each of you have a chance to be a coach and coachee.
   6. Ask your colleague to try different roles to see which one helps you the most.

Healthy Rituals

Healthy Rituals allow individuals, teams and organizations to practice what we call "self-regulation," which doesn't mean suppression - it means 'self-expression' and that is healthy. Suppression is a form of holding in emotions - such as frustration, anger, disappointment. When we suppress, we cause a cascade of stress hormones to 'own us' - hence the term Amygdala Hijacking (Amygdala is our 'flight, fight, freeze and fear' mechanism in our older Reptilian Brain).

Creating Healthy Check Ins

Check in with people to create positive rituals that meet the needs of team members.

   1.  Ask for input from the members of the organization so people feel included in the rituals.
   2.  Be creative.
   3.  Listen non-judgmentally.
   4.  Be consistent, be mindful and be open to change.
   5.  Rituals can open the door to new behavior and pave the way for new business results.

Neuro-tips: Rituals enable us to meet the needs of connectivity, our most profound and powerful need.

Neuro-tip #1: When needs are unmet in a relationship, we become more emotional and frustrated. We become dissatisfied with the person, which over time will increase and can turn into dislike. (Shifting from friend to foe).

Neuro-tip #2: Positive mood states in one person encourage positive mood states in others. Oxytocin, a bonding hormone in men and women, is released during human contact, connecting and bonding, which reduces aggressions and increases cooperation.

Neuro-tip #3: Empathy for others is expanded through community rituals. Empathy is more than a feeling; it leads us to actions. By experiencing positive community rituals, we trigger our 'mirror-neuron' systems, which are located in the parietal lobes and prefrontal cortex. Positive Rituals expand our ability to empathize with others.

Original author: Creating We

Read more]]> (Creating We) Career Thu, 24 Dec 2009 22:02:00 +0000