Month: April 2015

How do I Snap myself out of this BAD mood? – Affirmations

How do I Snap myself out of this BAD mood? – Affirmations

This is a question everyone asks at times. It should be easy, right!! Unfortunately that is not always so.

Affirmations are groups of meaningful words, used for self improvement, that feed into your subconscious.

Years ago I used to use the affirmation “I’m not as bad as I think I am” because other affirmations just did not feel up to par for me. As dull as this sounds it actually started working. At first it would only help for an hour or so, but anything helps when you are down. I would say it over and over again whenever I felt depressed. Now I never use this phrase because I feel better than that! I am a true believer in affirmations!!

No worries, at first affirmations may only work for a few minutes, but over time they will work longer. They are simple to do and can change your life.

You can make up your own affirmation or find one on line. There are even books written containing 100’s of short phases you can use.

You can use them to lift up your mood, bring peace into your lift, turn failures in your life into achievements, or even to rid yourself of fears. There are so many uses for affirmations!

SAY them to yourself or out loud, WRITE them down, SING them, you may want to do this one in your car! Use ones that flow for you and are easy to remember.

They can be as simple as:

I Love My Life

I am Peaceful

I am Safe

I am Loved

I Think of Happy Thoughts

I Love my Job

I Feel Appreciated

Change is Good

I Love Who I am Right Now

You may not believe these words when you start, but that’s OK. After you SAY, WRITE, and or SING them regularly you will start to feel the healing.  Be easy on yourself, it takes time.

Being negative is contagious! It will spread to the people around you. Someone has to make the decision to stop this cycle so why not let it be you.

What is Social Intelligence and How Can it Help Me?

What is Social Intelligence and How Can it Help Me?

SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE (also called interpersonal intelligence) is the psychology of how individuals interact with other people. New research has been found to show this interaction between people is rooted in a person’s biology, which I always find so very interesting!

A high level of social intelligence can greatly reduce the psychological stress in a person’s home, work, and social environments.

A Little Bit of History:

The concept of social intelligence has been around for many many years. Back in 1920, Psychologist E. L. Thorndike began publishing data concerning social intelligence. Thorndike suggested that intelligence be separated into three separate categories: mechanical intelligence, social intelligence, and abstract intelligence. Thorndike defined social intelligence as “the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls – to act wisely in human relations” (E. Thorndike, 1920, p. 228).

Another Take on the Categories of Social Intelligence:

Note: There are several different categorical breakdowns. It’s an ongoing debate.

Goleman, Ph.D, an internationally known psychologist and graduate from Harvard University, and known leading expert in the science of social intelligence, described a high road and a low road in the brains circuitry (Goleman, 2006), and has broken social intelligence into two main categories.

The low road operates outside a person’s awareness at a particularly fast pace. It uses emotions on which to base much of its outcomes. Goleman identified this road as “wet”, dripping with emotion. On the other hand, the high road operates at a slower, more methodical pace. It utilizes a lot more control than the low road. The high road was identified as “dry”, coolly rational.

These two roads are hard at work in every situation that occurs. At times, individuals do not take enough time to listen to the high road and will allow the low road to direct his/her actions. This is really important stuff to remember! Wait to hear what that high road has to say before you take your anger out on that customer service person or your family!

Goleman (2006) proposed two basic categories of social intelligence.

The first category is SOCIAL AWARENESS. This is what is sensed about others in regard to their feelings and emotions (primal emotions). It includes people listening intently to each other. To be socially aware one must have empathy with others and also have social cognition (understanding of how the social surroundings play into the current situation). Social awareness is being aware of other people’s feelings and thinking about the possible meanings of what is being seen. Empathy is extremely important in order to connect with others.

Goleman’s second category is SOCIAL FACILITY. Social facility is what a person does with the social awareness. It is the understanding of how to interact at a nonverbal level, logically deciding the outcome of social situations, and caring about how others will feel due to an individual’s actions. It also deals with self-presentation or being able to present one’s self in the most effective manner.

Becoming in touch with these aspects can really help take some stress out of your life!

As I mentioned above there are several other takes on how social intelligence is broken down.  I’ll add more information on that in the future.

Goleman, D. (2006). Social intelligence. The revolutionary new science of human relationships. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.

Thorndike, E. L. (1920). Intelligence and its uses, Harpers magazine. 140, 227-235.

Need some Calmness in your Life? Just Breathe…

Need some Calmness in your Life? Just Breathe…

Breathing Exercises

Are you feeling stressed, tired, having a hard time sleeping, is your mind running in circles? Try adding some breathing exercises to your daily routine.

Here’s a very basic technique I regularly use.

Take a slow deep controlled breathe. Let the air fill your diaphragm and count to 3 or 4. Hold it and count to 3 or 4, then slowly release. Do this at least 3 times. Concentrate on the sound of your breath. Do not allow yourself to become dizzy, this should be relaxing 🙂

When you exhale you can also try keeping your mouth shut and exhaling through the back of your throat.

Another option is to picture something calming as you are taking these breaths, such as the blue sky, yellow aspen leaves, or red tulips. You can also picture the negativity leaving your body.

There are many different breathing techniques out there and many can take less than just 10 minutes a day. Find one that best works for you. Breathing exercises can increase your energy, help you feel calmer, and help you relieve yourself of stress.

Try one out today!

One Mindfulness

One Mindfulness

The great thing about One Mindfulness is that you can do this any where at any time. This technique is used quite often within Behavior Therapy.

The basic concept of One Mindfulness is to be 100% in the here and now. It helps you train your mind to focus completely on one item or task, which in turns helps you move your focus away from any negative thoughts you may be having. It also helps you become less distracted.

First choose an item or task. Use as many of your senses as possible with each try.

I’ll use an orange for this example. Ask yourself what color is the orange, take in the color and how beautiful it is. Do this slowly.

Then ask yourself what does the orange feel like? You can feel the small bumps of the orange rind and the circular feel of the fruit. How heavy is it? What else can you feel about it?

Then start to peel the orange. How does the skin of the orange feel? What does it smell like? Take in the sweet smell. Again take this process slowly and try to be fully focused on the orange.

Then take a bite of the orange. Think about the taste.

Continue this process and work to be one mindful of the orange.

You can do this with anything, a river, the sky, flowers, a soft blanket, running, even a writing pencil will work. Just keep your focus on the object and think of every sense you can use to explore it.

No worries, it can take a lot of practice to be completely present in this technique. It’s very easy for your mind to stray. But keep practicing and you’ll get better and better at it. It can become quite calming and help bring more awareness of your surroundings. You come across beautiful things every day. Enjoy them!

I really love this technique!