Tag: stress

Engaging in Negative Thinking?

Engaging in Negative Thinking?

Are you ever in the midst of an argument and wonder why you are even arguing? Is the argument even logical?

While there are some disagreements that deserve healthy debates, there are many others we encounter that are truly unacceptable. These arguments end in one, or both parties, being demoralized, hurt, or lied to. Some even end in physical violence.

How does Negative Thinking Affect Arguments?

Negative People are all around us, in fact, there are days even the most positive people become negative.



Positive Person: Hi, Those boxes really look heavy and it’s icy out. Do you need some help carrying them?

Negative Person: What?? I’m fine!!

Positive Person: Ok, just checking. I didn’t want you to fall.

Negative Person: Do I look weak or something? I’m a lot stronger than you. I think I’ll be just fine. Mind your own business.

If the above scenario plays out between members of an unhealthy marriage something this simple can end in a drawn out, very verbal, and possible physical fight.

Negative thinking causes a person to feel attacked right away. The positive person sees nothing wrong with what they are asking and in no way thinks the other person is weak. They truly want to help because they know they personally would have wanted help if they were in that same situation. This is very important to understand, “they personally would have wanted help if they were in that same situation”.

This negative thinking can come from many places. Low self esteem, a recent loss in the family, a recent accident, etc. In that moment, if a person feels bad about themselves they easily misconstrue what others are saying to them.

Why are you truly arguing about? Is it reasonable?

Make sure you are not the negative person. If you feel frustration from someone asking a question step back and think. Is there a positive side to what they are asking? What are you feeling? Where are those feelings coming from?

If you regularly find yourself in these types of arguments understand that your reaction may be the cause. You are not a bad person, we all do it from time to time. Get help for what is causing you to feel so negative. Negative thinking is very unhealthy, both physically and mentality. It gets in the way of your life!

Are you encountering a negative thinking person? If so, understand where the feelings may be coming from and back off from the conversation. Don’t pursue it. You may have felt hurt by the response, but don’t fight back. Understand where the response came from and do not take it personally. Comments in these arguments are not often meant. It’s not easy to let it go, but it’s a lot easier than escalating the fight until it’s even more out of control.

You will find the world around you becomes more positive as you heal from the negative thoughts.


How Do You remove negative thoughts from your mind?

Stop Unhealthy Arguments. Pick your battles.


5 Ways to Relieve Panic

5 Ways to Relieve Panic

Do you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding, do you have problems falling asleep? Does your brain feel jumbled and your stomach nauseous?

Have you ever tried to pin down what is causing the panic and can’t figure out what’s causing it? You are not alone!

Here are 5 ways to help rid yourself of Panic:

1 – Allow People to Help You. Let others into your life. Working on tasks together can lessen stress, allow the job to be done quicker, and even create a atmosphere of fun instead of stress! For all you party givers… spread the tasks. Ask your friends to help bring food, provide entertainment, even hire a house cleaner.

Don’t take all the stress on yourself.

2- Hug! Hug your friend, an acquaintance, your family member, your dog, or even a teddy bear! Hugs are awesome stress relievers!

An article in Psychological Science (referenced below), states “Our findings show that even touching an inanimate object — such as a teddy bear — can soothe existential fears,” notes Koole. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance.”

Oxytocin is released during hugs. Oxytocin provides an anti-anxiety effect. It can help provide feelings of relaxation and trust. See the below referenced article from Medical News Today.

3- Listen to Uplifting Music. Find a place of your own, take deep breaths, and immerse yourself into the music.

4- Think positively. Your prospective on the world around you really matters. Two difference people can see the exact same situation in completely different manners. Remember this, and think to yourself, how can I see this situation in a Positive light? It can definitely take some practice.

Before you go to bed write down at least 5 positive things that happened during the day. At first you may be pressed to list basic needs such as I had a filling lunch today, my bed is warm. Continue to practice and you will see your list grow. Was the sun out, did you give someone a hug , did you read an inspiring story? You will find you have more positivity around you than you originally thought.

5- Practice One Mindfulness. It’s easy, can be done most anywhere, and can take just a few minutes if you are short on time.

What ways do you relieve panic in your life?


Koole, S.L., Sin, M.T.A., & Schneider, I.K. (2013). Embodied Terror Management. Psychological Science, A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

(2015). Oxytocin. What Is It? What Does It Do? Medical News Today.


10 Ways to Minimize Road Rage

10 Ways to Minimize Road Rage

Have you ever been involved in ROAD RAGE??

Road Rage Can Be Prevented

The NHTSA references a study showing 94% of car crashes are assigned to the driver. 41% of those due to recognition errors (inattention, distractions…), 33% to decision errors (driving too fast, illegal maneuvers…), and 11% to performance errors (over compensation…).

Engaging in road rage can kill you or your loved ones.

Winter roads, the stress of traveling to multiple holiday events, running late to work, road construction, children screaming, mental illness, a bad day at work all can equal Road Rage.

It’s easy for anyone to become stressed while driving. Even the calmer people of society can become aggravated while driving at some point.

Road rage is never acceptable, although way too common!



1-Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your designation. That extra 15 minutes can greatly decrease your stress level.

2-Breathe. Don’t hold your breathe when driving becomes stressful. It sounds crazy, but when we are fearful we tend to hold our breath and tense our bodies. Not a good idea when driving! Deep breathes help you relax and are very easy to do while driving. Breathing also helps you focus on something positive.

3-Don’t fight with your spouse or children while driving. If an issue arises pull over and finish the discussion off the road!

4-Obvoiusly do not use your cell phone or eat while driving. You may think you are paying attention to the road, but your reaction time is lessened due to these extra activities. You are much more likely to be in an accident or cause road rage from the drivers around you.

5-Do not drive when you are tired. If you even start to become tired pull over and get out of your car. Take a quick walk, go into a near by store. Revive yourself. It only takes a few minutes but can save a life.

6-Do not engage with aggressive drivers. It’s not worth it! Even if they pulled in front of you or gave you a gesture, just ignore them. Keep a good distance in between you and them and do not antagonize the situation. Their negativity is not to be taken against you personally they are the ones out of control. If you antagonize someone already out of control you will never fix the situation. You will make it worse.

7-Remember people make mistakes. Just because someone tried to switch lanes and was too close to you, it doesn’t mean they did it on purpose. They may have just made a mistake. Forgive them and let it go. You make mistakes also.

8- Listen to the Radio. Focus on the music or words coming over the radio. Try listening to a book or podcast, this can help long drives seem more productive. Remember to also keep an eye on the road!

9-Never be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. Being impaired decreases your attention to the road and the drivers around you. Have a friend drive you home, take a taxi, get a hotel.

10-Never be an aggressive driver. Cutting people off and slamming on your breaks will never get your point across and those actions may just cost a life.


How do you keep your cool while driving?

Peace be with you on the road!


Study Reference: US Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Facts, Crash Stats. Feb 2015

Increase Your Willpower! #willpower

Increase Your Willpower! #willpower

Do you lack willpower? Ever wonder why some people seem to have so much more willpower than others?

Let’s start with the continued debate:

-Can willpower be depleted as it’s used, like a muscle? Can glucose intake increase willpower as it begins to deplete?

-Or is willpower self generated, hinging on your beliefs?

The concept that willpower can be depleted greatly concerned me and drew my attention to the subject.

If willpower can be depleted what happens to the poverty stricken person that has to use willpower throughout each day just to fight through hunger, to push on until a safe place is found for the night? How will this person continue the fight with such a high level of daily willpower depletion? Some individuals do however fight through this, How?

Are there other factors in willpower? You finally have enough willpower to push yourself outside to exercise. You return home to indulge in your favorite cheesecake? Why?? Was your willpower depleted during your push to exercise or did you simply feel you worked off enough calories to “deserve” the cheesecake. Many of us realize the workout did not truly offset the cheesecake input, but we still do it. Then we often feel horrible about it afterwards. Where was our self control??

If willpower is not depleted due to use, is it due to a lack of self worth? Do people believe willpower cannot be self generated? For example, I exercised, but I know I will not keep up with it, so who cares I’m eating my favorite cheesecake! I have no energy left to believe otherwise. What if this person trained themselves to believe willpower can be self generated? Would they have more power to overcome the cheesecake craving?


willpower 2

Both sides of the debate agree that achieving better self control can help you to achieve more success in life, more peace, and better health.

So, How can Willpower be Increased?

1- Incentives definitely play a role in many cases of willpower. You may not be able to will your empty glass to become full of water, but you may be able to push through a race if someone promised you money for simply finishing it.  Pick a small reward for yourself each time you show willpower.

2- Willpower is a positive attribute. Some people describe willpower/self-control as constricting. Allowing binge drinking may feel rewarding at the time, but keep in mind the following day will be restricted due to your physical and mental health, and could possibly keep you in bed all day! By having the willpower not to binge drink you kept yourself from constricting your health and well-being the entire next day.

3- Being told to do something can lower some individual’s willpower. This is one reason some people may be seen to have better willpower than others. Some of us like to follow rules and others of us feel trapped by rules. So think of having the willpower to do these positive things for yourself, not necessary for others.

4-Use One Mindfulness to focus your willpower on one task at a time. This focus can help distract you from the negative powers outside your current task.

5-Use meditation and breathing exercises to increase willpower.

6-Take small steps to increase your willpower. Use willpower to complete a task. Prove to yourself it was possible and feel the empowerment, then move to the next task.

7- Keep temptations far away. It’s easier to deny the temptation the further you are from it. So if you have a deep love for potato chips, keep them out of your house. Having to drive to the store can often times stray you from the temptation. Plus you will not have to watch others in your household eat them in front of you.

8- Practice resisting your negative temptations. Many theorize that you can build the portion of your brain that supplies willpower by resisting temptations. The more you resist, the stronger your willpower will become. Exercise your willpower.

9- I would say, at this point, don’t run to sugar to increase your willpower. We already have a society facing high levels of obesity and diabetes.

10- Don’t give up.  If you succumb to low willpower, pick yourself up and try it again.  You are worth it!

How have you increased your willpower?

Reference Professor Roy Baumeister for information with regard to willpower depletion.

Reference V, Job, Walton, G., Bernecker, K., and Dweck, C.S., “Beliefs about Willpower determine the impact of glucose on self-control”.

Relieve Stress             #stress

Relieve Stress #stress

Grab a paintbrush, some paints, and a canvas from your local art or hobby store and paint!

Painting is a great way to reduce stress.  Turn on your favorite music and start painting.  Use colors and patterns that reflect how you feel.  Your painting may be cheery and bright or more dark and reflective.

Painting is a great distraction to the current stress in your life.

You don’t have to be an artist!  Relax and let the ideas flow.

You can even re-use your canvas.  Next time you get the feeling to paint, paint right over your previous work … if you desire 😀

If you would like a little more direction look for a local “wine and paint” studio.  You can take several of your friends to the studio, have a glass of wine, and an instructor guides you along in your painting.  No experience needed!  Some pretty cool paintings come out of these “classes”.

Grab a Brush and get Started!




Why is self confidence so very important in order to lead a happy, healthy life but yet so hard for many people?

One of the main reasons people snap at others is due to low self confidence. If you do not like yourself you open the door to feeling picked on. Low self confidence creates an atmosphere of loneliness, self hatred, and even health issues. If you carry these feelings around with you it’s no wonder you are easily angered or stressed.

This low self confidence allows you to take people wrong and take their frustrations personally. This is no way to live. Think of the stress relief if you can rid yourself of these feelings.

Think of how you react to people with low self confidence. You may not trust them or feel comfortable around them. You may find yourself finding them easy to pick on or blame.

Think of how you react to people with a healthy level of self confidence! You trust what they say and they make you feel comfortable. You will find inspiration from them and gain positive thoughts.

So How Do You Gain Self Confidence??

Self confidence shows in how you act, how you speak, how you dress, your overall attitude, how well you take care of yourself, the amount of eye contact you have, and in the fact you can admit to making mistakes.

Look through this list and pick an area or two you would like to start working on. What areas are you already making progress on??

1- Believe that you can be confident. Write daily affirmations. It takes time to get rid of bad habits, but trust me you can learn to be more CONFIDENT. Be patient with the process and take small steps. By moving forward, at any pace, you will start to see improvement.

2- Learn social intelligence. Social intelligence teaches you how to interact with others. Use eye contact, dress confidently, put your shoulders back and stand tall, learn to listen in conversations (you do not have to always be the one to talk).

3 -Watch for negative thoughts to enter you mind. Right away replace them with positive thoughts. This may be forced at first, but as you do this you will actually see your thought patterns change.

4-Write down your goals. Try vision boards. Pick a goal to start working on. Don’t feel you have to finish all your goals right away. Take each one, focus on it, and work to achieve it. Then choose the next goal.

5-Start healthy habits. Slowly start to replace some of the unhealthy foods you eat with healthy foods. Start exercising. This can be anything from walking, adding some jumping jacks into your daily routine to running or swimming. Your confidence will build as you take better care of yourself.

EVERYONE is DIFFERENT. Be proud of your differences. This makes you interesting. Hold your head a bit higher today and find the confidence that lies within you.


Where is your PEACEFUL place?

Where is your PEACEFUL place?

Everyone should have a peaceful place to visit!

Mine happens to be a bit of a hike up the hill in the picture above, but once I regain my breathe it’s one of the most peaceful places I have been.  I can see for miles.  It’s very quiet up there except for the light breeze and the birds chirping in the back ground… and the occasional chain saw down in the valley.  Hopefully the resident mountain lion keeps to himself.  I’m hoping he (or she) finds it just as peaceful and is sound asleep!

Peaceful places can be a special spot in a park.  Find a place with beautiful foliage, lake or river.  Listen to the sounds, watch the ducks, and take in the fresh air.

Peaceful places can also be inside your house.  You can create a reading nook or find a room all to yourself.  Turn the lights down, light some candles, and take some deep breathes.

Your peaceful place may be riding a bicycle down an open road or taking in the air on the back of a motorcycle.

Where is your peaceful place?

Stress From Being Underemployed??

Stress From Being Underemployed??

A recent 2015 Gallup survey still shows nearly 1 in 6 working citizens of the United States are underemployed.  The percentage is even higher when looking at people with full-time work but feel underpaid or feel their status is too low. You may currently be underemployed or fear it may happen to you. You are not alone.

Underemployment can be a huge stress which can affect your physical and mental health. It can cause you to feel angry, undervalued, less respected, tired, embarrassed, worried, and frustrated. These are all normal feelings.

There are several different types of underemployment. A person can be underemployed in the fact they have part-time hours but want full-time, due to their position in the company, income level, type of work, blue collar vs white collar.

Most of us fear what people around us think. People need support during these times from supervisors, friends, and family. Your job does not make you who you are. People like to be around friendly, happy, compassionate people. Most people are not too concerned about your status at work. Keep that in mind.

You are OK. Continue to strive for what you want to achieve. Being positive and persistent will pay off. Your mood is contagious. If you want to achieve better employment attitude is a huge piece of the path. It’s important to know many people are in your shoes so it’s nothing to be ashamed about.  Pick yourself back up, hold your head high, like yourself, and push forward.

During these stressful times find other areas of your life to feel good about:

-What hobbies to you have? Maybe it’s time to start one.

-Find the positive aspects of your current job. Maybe you are under paid and your status is lower than desired, but is your job fun? Do you like your co-workers?

-Play with your children. Spend extra quality time with them. Enjoy them!!

-Play with your pets. Get a pet.

-Exercise and learn to eat healthy.

-Go out with friends or family.

These things can keep you busy and direct your focus to positive areas. They will help you remember you are a great person and your job does not define you. In the meantime, this lowered stress, lessened anxiety, and higher self confidence can help you achieve better suited employment or maybe even learn to enjoy your current position.

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.