*June is PTSD Awareness month*
Robert just returned from Afghanistan where he witnessed an improvised explosive device (IED) destroy a Humvee in his convoy, killing his best friend. Now that he’s back home, he’s no longer the easy-going guy he once was. He has angry outbursts at the slightest provocation and uses illegal drugs to repress his wartime memories.
When Liz was seven years old, her stepfather sexually abused her. Now in her thirties, she wants to put the past behind her but can’t. She’s unable to establish intimate relationships and has frequent nightmares about her abuse.
It may not appear that Robert’s wartime experience has much in common with Liz’s sexual abuse, but it does. As a result of the trauma they’ve each experienced, they both now suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that affects individuals who’ve experienced firsthand (or witnessed) intensely traumatic...
Whether there are children involved or not, ending a marriage or partnership challenges us in ways that not much else does. The term “emotional fitness” seems a contradiction in terms. And yet, there are things we can do, practices we can bring into our lives that will help us navigate the big waves and the roiling waters.
Take the Thriving quiz to see how well you part ways.
Emotional Intelligence Daily Success Rituals
Self-Awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence
Emotional Self-Awareness is the capacity to tune into your own feelings, sense inner signals, and recognize how your feelings affect you and your performance. It is an important skill for leadership at any level, as well as many aspects of life.
The purpose of developing Emotional Self-Awareness is that it allows us to understand how our bodily sensations and our emotions impact ourselves, others, and our environment. Each moment is an opportunity to be self-aware. Thus, the more we practice it, the more proficient we become and the greater our capacity to recognize the space between stimuli and our response to that stimuli, ensuring a more conscious and skillful approach.
Without Emotional Self-Awareness, it is difficult to become proficient in and consistently use the other Emotional and Social Intelligence Competencies.
Sam doesn't realize it, but a victim is lurking inside him. Though he wears a sunny disposition outside, inside, the perky 52-year-old father is resigned to three ideas:
1. "It's too late in my life to go back to college like I always wanted to. I'd look ridiculous, and who has the time for that?"
2. "My ex-wife is to blame for my financial problems and my children's disrespectful behavior."
3. "No matter what I do—no matter how hard I work or how much inner work I do on myself—things are not ever going to change for me."
Quite a life sentence he's given himself: hopelessness and weakness, twin offspring of the same poisonous origin known as "Trigger Thoughts" and "Victimhood."
When we operate from a victim mentality, we give the power to create our own life to someone else, and then we moan about how controlling the other is. To avoid taking responsibility, we create (and protect at all costs!) the dangerous illusion that we are always right. We blame others for our...
By Guest Blogger,
Philosophy as well as Psychology are replete with insights into authentic (or true) self and false self. A vast quantum of research is already available in psychology around true (or authentic) and false self since Donald Winnicott introduced the concepts in 1960. What we need in day to day living is a practical awareness of how a false sense of self arises as we interact with people with whom we find it difficult to be positive and our best self. It helps us be our authentic self.
A little deep observation makes it clear that negativity in relationships gives rise to a false sense of self. It distances one from one’s authentic self and reduces the spontaneity and the joy of being which characterize the authentic self and is the basis of great and lasting relationships. So the costs of getting caught in negativity in relationships are pretty dear but a little deep awareness can save us from the real losses and rather bring us immeasurable...
Say the word "bully," and most people imagine a childhood playground and stolen lunch money. As traumatic as childhood bullying can be, workplace bullying can have an even more significant impact on the psychological and physical health of the victim. It also adversely affects other employees, the organization as a whole, and that all-important bottom line.
The Impact and Cost of Bullying
Lower Productivity -
How it costs the victim. When bullied at work, it's difficult to stay on-task and do one's best work. Bullied individuals likely feel distracted, disheartened, and disempowered. The stress of the situation also may be having physical effects, such as difficulty sleeping, fatigue, digestive problems, headaches, or muscle pain.
For many of us, our work performance closely connects to our self-esteem. We want recognition of our work. If instead, we are ridiculed or bullied, our self-esteem and confidence decline.
Company Costs -
When employees are not working to their full...
Every time Grace, a loving single parent, took time for herself, she returned
home with an awful sinking feeling. She didn’t understand why. “I had so much fun, and I'm proud of myself for making time for myself,” Grace thought to herself. Rather than expand from the joyous experience, or receive the delight and enthusiasm of her self-care, she contracted.
Grace’s contraction comes from the experience of shame, a poison that keeps us from experiencing our own joy and disconnects us from the aliveness within and around us. Whereas guilt is associated with a particular memory or situation and having done something wrong, the feeling of shame is about being wrong at our core. It is a debilitating feeling we have about ourselves that comes from a core belief that we are fundamentally flawed.
Sources of Shame
The poison that is the root of shame is absorbed in early childhood. As a
result of not being seen and loved for who we are, we develop the belief that we are...
Harnessing Subconscious Behavior to Move Into Conscious Leadership
With our constant stream of text messages, emails, meetings, conference calls, and so on, it is a minor miracle that any of us can accomplish anything. With our smartphones surgically implanted into our hands, our time is sliced so thinly that we never have room for error, focused time to develop big-picture perspectives or the time needed for an action plan, let alone the time to execute it.
“Ineffective daily routines, superficial behaviors, poorly prioritized or unfocused tasks leech leadership’ capacities—making unproductive busyness perhaps the most critical behavioral problem” in our lifestyles today.
For so many of us—whether CEOs for major corporations, small business owners or solo-entrepreneurs—there is a fundamental disconnection between knowing what needs to be done and actively taking responsibility for it. Calling this disconnection the “knowing-doing...
Exploring the Strengths of Seeking Help
Long before there were hypnotherapists, there were family members. Aunt Helen listened or gave us advice, or sometimes Granny Annie just told us to toughen up and move on. If our family couldn’t help, there were friends or a clergy member. However, most of us were likely warned not to broadcast our troubles, and this led to people feeling they had to suffer through their problems silently.
Times change, and so has society’s acceptance of seeking help. The old stigma of being seen as weak or incapable is primarily gone, helped by many well-known writers, actors and politicians being open about their struggles with, and treatments for, everything from depression to chronic shoplifting. Going to a hypnotherapist is now seen as a positive step in most people’s lives.
Hypnotherapy is a unique collaboration and what makes it valuable sets it apart from family associations, friendships, working partnerships, and even love...
How do people turn what we say they want into what they actually get?
Many articles, books and workshops advise us to conduct one's self “as if.” Behave as if you already have your dream job. Act as if you’re successful — function from confidence.
If we support the theory behind our actions, it means that we behave in alignment with the intentions we desire, and we’re more likely to achieve it.
Problems will arise when we don’t genuinely want the life we think we want. For example, we may say that we want to find a loving partner, be at our ideal weight, or start our own business but if we honestly don’t want the added responsibilities of behaving “as if,” your effort will be an empty exercise.
So what’s the solution?
Here are some ways I suggest you begin.
First, I recommend you begin slowly. When we decide to make a significant change in our lives, we often try to do too many things at once and find ourselves...