Confession: When I converted to Judaism one of the things I happily gave up was the stress of Christmas. Hanukkah is so much easier, you have eight days to get things right; moreover as a minor holiday it is not supposed to be such a big deal. But even Hanukkah has become bigger – competition rules, particularly on the Get Happy Trail.
Moreover, the sales people use the holidays to get you to buy, buy, buy and that adds to the stress if you buy into all the sales pitches. The holiday stress starts with Thanksgiving, For many, finding something to be grateful is not easy and then there is Black Friday. The stress builds and builds and builds.
What to do? Grinning and bearing might help, but can lead to grinding your teeth. Not good. Can lead to Clenched Jaw Disorder aka TMD which ranks up with root canal and child birth for pain.
Hopefully, knowing some easy Emotional Fitness Exercises might zap your stress. Toward that end here’s my holiday gift to my readers:
Twelve Days of Emotional Fitness Exercises. Starts Twelve days before Christmas, Sunday the 14th includes Hanukkah, Christmas and then leads up to Kwanza which starts this year on December 26th.
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL FITNESS?
Just as physical fitness programs improve physical health; Emotional Fitness Training programs improve emotional health. Emotional fitness is about managing feelings. We can own our feelings or our feelings can own us. Anger is a feeling that tries to own us: “I was angry; I couldn’t help myself.” Sadness is another feeling that can own us. “I couldn’t do my work; I was so sad, I just sat there and cried.”
When a feeling determines how we act, the feeling is in control. When we determine how to act on a feeling, we are in control, we are emotionally strong what some call being emotionally intelligent.
As Daniel Goleman, the expert on emotional intelligence, reported in 1998, at least two-thirds of the difference between those who are competent and those who are not is due to emotional intelligence. What Goleman calls emotional intelligence we call emotional fitness.
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL FITNESS TRAINING®. INC.
Established in 1995, Emotional Fitness Training®., Inc. (EFTI) is a for profit corporation. EFTI seeks to provide quality motivational, psycho-educational products for the specific purpose of improving emotional fitness skills. Our main products include in print books, eBooks, poster coaches and courses.
EMOTIONAL FITNESS TRAINING’S CORE BELIEFS Every EFT product is based on the following core beliefs:
- At one time or another we all deal with strong feelings for life can be cruel, relationships painful, happiness, and self-fulfillment hard to find.
- Luck plays a part in everything.
- We don’t always get what we want. We don’t always get what we feel we have earned.
- Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.
- Despite the difficulties, we can endure most of the bad, be content most of the time, and happy some of the time.
- “Happily ever after” is the stuff of fairy tales and a false sales pitch.
- The healthiest lives are based on service to others; you don’t know how valuable you are until you give yourself away. Others include every human being; we are one.
- Struggling with a strong painful feeling is not the same as being emotionally disturbed, but no one is emotionally fit who holds onto envy, hurt, hatred, or despair.
- People worry too much about being thought emotionally disturbed or crazy. Worrying about being kind and not cruel is healthier.
- When you are cruel to yourself or others, negative feelings are controlling you.
- When strong feelings control you, you trouble looms for you or others.
- When you control your feelings, your life is better, your relationships are better; when you control your feelings, you move the world toward peace.
Emotional Fitness Training is not therapy. Therapy deals healing; EFT deals with strengthening. Although not therapy, EFT Programs can be used as part of a therapeutic program. Moreover, because some people need more than an EFT Program, in order to stay strong, EFT Programs are designed to help participants decide if therapy is needed.
Parenting is hard work and does not come naturally. Moreover, most parent advisors preach and teach what worked for them. The founder of Parent Effectiveness Training had one step daughter; he was a therapist and thought if all parents were like therapists children would thrive. Mainly that meant not judging or teaching, but letting “natural consequences” work their way. Guess what? that worked but only for two groups of kids; teens, and those not dealing with abuse, two much stress, or a chemical imbalance of one sort or another.
Why was his program so popular? I suspect because it appealed to our hurt inner child and we all have a hurt inner child.
That child hugs childhood hurts too tightly to their heart and if housed in a parent’s body – vows never to be a hurtful parent. However, except for a lucky few, the hurting parent will emerge at one time or another. I remember the day I realized I sounded just like my mother when when she was at her worse. Not a good memory. But a lesson.
Always making your children happy, always praising, only letting natural consequences teach right from wrong is an impossible Trying to keep kids happy is an impossible goal and reaching for it creates guilt in parents.
WHAT TO DO?
Parenting tip one: Code reality as much as you can for your children. Early on point out make believe as make believe. No need to make a big deal, but just say “That’s a wish” or “Make believe” or “Just play” or “A fun story, but not real life.”
Parenting tip two: Always model the behavior you want your children to follow. Impossible to do all the time, but good enough is really good enough.
Parenting tip three: Remember age and stage. What works for a two year old does not work for a ten year old; what works for a ten year old does not work for a teen.
Parenting tip four: Two rules cover what matters: safety and kindness. If the world followed these rules there would be peace on earth.
Parenting tip five: Punishment is not a dirty word, it is a tool. All tools can be properly applied or misapplied. That said, punishment must be balanced with praise and rewards – five goodies for one baddie.
Paernting tip six: Learn to apologise when you blow it. Apologies are part of good manners and good manner teach respect for others. Amends are appropriate for big parental blunders
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Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Age and stage (childdevelopmentinfo.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- Daily Post (wordpress.com)
DAILY PROMPT Ready, Set, Done! As it’s been a while since our last free-write… set a timer for ten minutes. Write without pause (and no edits!) until you’re out of time. Then, publish what you have (it’s your call whether or not to give the post a once-over).s it’s been a while since our last free-write… set a timer for ten minutes. Write without pause (and no edits!) until you’re out of time. Then, publish what you have (it’s your call whether or not to give the post a once-over).
How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post: I always start with free writing, but rewriting is my name. Repeats are part of my game. Studies show information has to pass before you at least five times before registering and behaviors have to be repeated 30 times before they even begin to become a habit.
All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.
Apologies if you cannot find one. I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others. If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.