Praticing Kindness: Three Emotional Fitness Training Tips

Reminder of what matters

Kindness matters.  It is a well documented fact that being kind is important for maintaining emotional fitness, what others call mental health.  Moreover, kindness is karma, it comes back to bless you.

I remember riding the subway in New York when a slightly disheveled man who was actively hallucinating war scenes entered.  As he lurched around looking for a seat, many stepped away from him and a few left the care.    My pride in being a caring person glued me to my seat.  I did bury myself in one of the books that were my constant traveling companions.  He lurched my way and sat next to me.

A short while later he asked me if I was a psychiatrist, “Why do you think that? I asked.

“You aren’t afraid of me.”

That started a conversation that lasted until my stop came.  He was a veteran of “Nam” and on his way to his therapy group.   He didn’t make a lot of sense in his ramblings, but I listened–that is what therapists do.

When I got up to leave, I said, “This is my stop.”

He said, “Thank you for listening, it helps.”

He made my day.

Emotional Fitness Training Kindness tips

Tip One: Stay Safe. If I had seen the same man lurching toward me on a deserted street, I would have acted differently. Protesting injustice and hatred is an act of kindness. Doing so in some countries can get you imprisoned, stoned, or killed.

Tip Two: Practice Deliberate Kindness. A great deal is made of random acts of kindness meaning mainly kindness extended to strangers. Worthy. At the same time too many forget to be kindest to their near and dear ones. Deliberate Kindness includes all.

Here are five ways you can practice both deliberate and random acts of kindness:

  1. Handout compliments to strangers and those you know.
  2. Say Thank You to all who serve and remember garbage men often keep us healthier than MDs.
  3. Tip generously.
  4. Write or call someone you haven’t heard from in several months. .
  5. Praise workers to their bosses.

Tip Three: Make Kindness Its Own Reward.  When we are kind wanting to be reward by the other person is a bit like bribing someone to like you. Better just to take pleasure in being kind for its own sake and for the good it does you.

Thank you

Share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the writer, the people you share with, and you as being kind blesses you.

Katherine

Post Inspiration: This post has absolutely no relationship to this  WordPress Daily Prompt: Paper.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

How Emotionally Fit Are You- A Brief Test Plus Five Helpful Tips

Cartoon: Are You Normal

We all worry a bit about whether we are normal or not. Well, normal is defined many ways. It is the center of a mean.  It means not being diagnosed with a mental illness. It means a natural occurrence. Technically, it means being at right angles. Finally, it means meeting the accepted standard of a community.

I remember a story, I think it was by Ursula K. Le Guin,  in which being blind was thought normal; any  sighted person arriving on that particular planet immediately had their eyes put out,  Moreover, doing so was considered an act of kindness; it made the person normal. Sigh.

Then there was the Twilight Zone story of a girl considered beautify by our planet’s standards, but considered so ugly in another planet, she had to undergo plastic surgery to be considered normally beautiful there. Another sigh. 

I prefer to thing kind or cruel instead of normal or not. With that in mind, see how I would rate your Emotional Fitness. Rate yourself on the indicated scales. Note your score for each question and then add all the individual scores together for a final score.

An Emotional Fitness Test

Think about the past month when answering.

1.What is your general mood?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Fantastic

Very Good

Okay

Not Good

Suicidal

2. How much is stress a part of your life?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

No stress

Very little

Normal

Some

Too much

3. How do you feel about yourself?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Love self

Like self

Okay

Don’t like

Hate self

4. What are your feelings about most other people?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Love all

Like most

Half and half

Dislike most

Hate most

5. How much time do you spend with fear, worry, or anxiety?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

None

Very little

Some

Too much

Much too much

6. How much trouble do you get into because of anger?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

None

Little

Some

Lots

Arrested

7. How much do you get done despite negative feelings?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

High

achiever

Get all done

Most done

Lots undone

Little done

8. Do you feel you are in control of your life?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Yes

Mostly

More then not

Very little

Not at all

9. Do you take action and then wonder why you did not think first?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Never

Rarely

Now and then

Often

Too often

10. Do feelings seem to come out of the blue and surprise you with their intensity?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Never

Occasionally

Half and half

Lots

Often

11. When a strong feeling visits can you stay calm enough to act wisely?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Always

Usually

Mostly

Not

Arrested

12. In a dispute of any kind, do you listen closely enough to the other person’s point of view to find some common ground?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Always

Mostly

Often

Rarely

Never

13. Are you honest?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

To a fault

More than not

Mostly

Depends

Arrested

14. Are you a giver? 

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

To a fault

More than not

Mostly

Mostly take

Taker


15. Have you been easy on yourself or hard in answering these questions?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Hard

Mostly hard

Half and half

Mostly easy

Easy

16. How much would those who know you well agree will with your answers reflect you?

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

Score

Definitely

Mostly

Half and half

Somewhat

Little

Total score _________

How to score: Obviously, the higher your score the more you control negative feelings. However, while you scored 90,  you might be an Emotional Fitness Super Star or you might be lying to yourself.

Most people will score somewhere in the middle. The lower your score the more you might need therapy. 

Remember EFT’s tests are designed to start you thinking and are not research validated.

Tips To Improve Your Emotional Fitness

Whatever this test made you think about, you will strengthen your emotional fitness – the ability to manage stress and negative feelings – by following these tips.

Tip one: Recognize and rate your flawed behavior.  Rating things is an important Emotional Fitness Skill. Why? In order to rate you must stop and think. Stopping to think helps you decide the best why to act. For example: Letting go of your anger with nasty words is not the same as beating some one up, but still hurtful. Better and more emotionally fit to learn to say what you mean, but not say it mean.

Tip two: Once a day, make a conscious effort to forgive those who have hurt you and then to forgive yourself. Here is a post about forgiveness and letting go. 

Tip three: Strengthen your self-soothing skills. My easy Emotional Fitness Exercises will help you do that. For a quick introduction go here Emotional Fitness Exercises. 

Tip four: Set both a mission for your life, and SMART Goals for living the best everyday life possible.  Practicing Kindness is the healthiest mission. Get my e-Book Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals . It costs less than a movie and lasts a lifetime.

Tip five: As always Be Grateful, Practice Kindness, and Remember What Matters.

Thank you

Share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the writer, the people you share with, and you as being kind blesses you.

Katherine

Post Inspiration: This post can be made to relate to this  WordPress Daily Prompt: Taper. How? Taper the impact of negative emotions by strengthening your self-soothing skills.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

12 Exercises To Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence

Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence e-Book cover

TWELVE EASY EXERCISES

A Tiny e-Book To Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence

Katherine Gordy Levine, M.S.S.

©Copyright 2017 Emotional Fitness Training® Inc.

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.

Aristotle

This Tiny e-Book introduces an easily practiced exercise program to strengthen your Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI is the ability to manage feelings so you act wisely; when you regret how you act, you have not acted wisely. Physical fitness programs strengthen physical health: this program strengthens your EI.

The exercises, once learned are easy and may seem simple. Do not be fooled; the program has been designed to be practiced easily, but is based on solid scientific research.

PROPER PRACTICE REQUIRED

Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.

Martha Graham

Some studies have shown that it takes repeating an action at least 30 times before it becomes programmed into the brain. That is the bad news. The good news? Emotional Fitness Training’s (EFT) exercises take minutes or less to practice. More good news? Many of the exercises can be practiced multiple times throughout the day.

However, it does no good to practice mistakes. Skilled music teachers know that the way to learn any piece of music is to play it so slowly mistaken notes are impossible. Only when the order of the notes has been learned can the tempo be increased.

Correct practice means doing EFT’s exercises with full awareness. For example, there is beauty all around us, but mostly we either see it momentarily or not at all. Being with beauty means taking the time to give full awareness to the beauty. It is being with, not just glancing at.

To have full awareness during each exercise, you need to learn how to take a Calming Breath. You do so by breathing in slowly to a count of four, holding your breath for another count of four, and then breathing out slowly as you gently smile and say “Ahhhh” or “Thank You.” The words can be said silently if circumstances suggest silence is important.

Warning: When learning Calming Breath or any self-soothing exercise, to so when already somewhat relaxed and calm. Otherwise stress interferes. When you feel you have mastered it, try using it to calm you against small moments of stress. Gradually as it strengthens bring it out against more stressful moments.

Having mastered Calming Breath, use it to become fully aware of the exercises in one of two ways. The first? Do the exercise as you take a Calming Breath. This works for short and quick practice.

For longer exercises, take a Calming Breath start the exercise, breathe normal and keep practicing the exercise. When you are ready to move on, take a final Calming Breath.

Use the quotes to practice full awareness. Each quote is a mini Emotional Fitness Exercise. Read the quote, and think about it while you take a Calming Breath.

THE TWELVE DAILY EXERCISES

If you are driven by fear, anger or pride nature will force you to compete. If you are guided by courage, awareness, tranquility and peace nature will serve you.

Amit Ray,

Exercise One: Practice Gratitude

If the only prayer you say in your entire life is ”thank you” it is enough.

Meister Eckhart

Remember all you have to be grateful for—life, love, a beautiful world. List in your head at least three specific things you that you are grateful for—a family, friends, a pet, a pleasant home, children, good health are a few of the things often included on a gratitude list.

Some people use this exercise as a prayer and thank the God of their faith. Some simply thank the universe.

Every time someone does something for you, say “Thank you” out loud. When something good happens, say “Thank You.”

Finally, work toward be grateful even for the bad. How? Either look and be grateful for any lessons learned or honor your ability to endure.

Exercise Two: Remember The Mission

If there is any responsibility in the cycle of life it must be that one generation owes to the next that strength by which it can come to face ultimate concerns in its own way.

Erik Erikson

We are all charged with moving the world forward. That is The Mission. Some say buying the newest car, the latest fashions, the most up to date gadgets; others say how you look; still others think it is how smart you are or what school you went to, how much money you have, have many jewels you wear, or how fancy a car you drive and are life missions. Wrong.

Research shows these are less important than being kind and caring, forgiving others for their flaws, forgiving yourself for not being perfect, and working with others to make the world a better place.

Exercise Three: Exercise Three: Be With Beauty

If of thy mortal good thou art bereft
And of thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

Sadd

Look at something of beauty. Listen to beautiful music. Watch a bird soar. Look at a beautiful picture. Using Calming Breath bring the beauty into your being.

If you cannot actually do any of these things at the moment, remember the last time you did.

Exercise Four: Move Your Body

There can be no question, my dear Watson, of the value of exercise before breakfast.

Arthur Conan Doyle

This exercise asks you to spend at least twenty minutes a day doing something that raises both a sweat and your heart beat. A fast walk, dancing, lifting weights, running, swimming, bike riding, jumping rope are among the choices you can make.

This is the only exercise that asks for a slightly longer investment of time as that it is one of the most important things you can do to improve not only your physical health, but your emotional health as well.

Exercise Five: Practice kindness

Being considerate of others will take you and your children further in life than any college or professional degree.

Marion Wright Edelman

Giving and getting kindness is essential to your health. Moreover it is one way to act on The Mission.

Exercise Six: Honor The Past

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.

Thick Naht Hanh,

Reflect for a minute on all those people who were, in one way or another, a source of nourishment to you. Remember a specific person. The person does not have to have been always good to you, but this exercise works best if you can remember someone who was more nourishing than not. The exercise also works best if you remember a specific act.

We too quickly recall past hurts. Recalling the good we have been given is healthier. Do so now. Recall the act, the person. Enjoy and be nourished again.

Exercise Seven: Try The New

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Dr. Seuss

Trying one new thing every day keeps you learning. Keep it simple: a short poem, a new word, a song, a new recipe, a new way home from work. Learning keeps your brain growing.

Exercise Eight: Laugh, Play, Create

Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.

Joss Whedon

Watch a favorite sit-com, join a laughing yoga club, surf the web for some jokes. Play with a child, a dog, a cat, or complete a puzzle. Join a team. Write some jokes or a poem, knit a few rows, carve some wood, bake a cake.

Exercise Nine: Indulge In A Healthy Pleasure

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

 Elizabeth Taylor

Do one thing each day just for you and that you consider a luxury or an indulgence. Give yourself a hand or foot massage, have an ice cream cone, soak in a warm bath, have one glass of wine. The important thing is to do something to affirm the fact you need to take care of you.

Exercise Ten: Review Your Things Done List

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

During the rush and turmoil of the day, knowing all we have to get done, we fail to see all we have done. Yet every day we accomplish a great deal. When you feel too stressed by your To Do List, take a minute to create a Done That List. Note in your head or out loud the things you have already done during the day. Take a minute or two at night to do the same.

Exercise Eleven: Let Go Of A Negative.

Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.

 Steve Maraboli

Past hurts wound only if you keep the hurt alive. Practicing forgiveness daily helps you let go. Here’s how: Review the day. Maybe some hurt or anger lingers on from when someone said something unkind. Did someone treat you unfairly? Take without giving in return? Break a promise? Betray a hope? Embarrass you in public? Say or do something cruel? Or perhaps the negative you need to let go of is some wrong you did. Maybe you treated another unfairly. Maybe you were angry or thoughtless and now regret your actions.

When you know the negative you want to let go of take a moment to look for the lesson in the pain. As previously noted, pain teaches important lessons. Pain reminds us to keep our hands out of the fire. Pain reminds us to enjoy the good when it comes. Pain reminds us to be careful about expecting more than we or life can deliver.

As the poet Alice Walker noted, it is best, ”to live frugally on surprise.”

Life has many peaks and valleys, expecting otherwise is foolish. If you expect to be happy all the time, you will be disappointed. if you don’t expect to be happy, when you are, it will be a bonus.

So pain hurts, but it also brings its gifts. Honor those gifts, let go of the rest. Take a deep breath. Smile. Breathe in and out. The past is over. See the person who hurt you asking forgiveness or see yourself being forgiven.

We all fail to do or be our best. We all make mistakes. We all need forgiveness for one thing or another.

Exercise Twelve: Hold Onto The Positive

Sit quietly doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

Zen Saying

End every day by spending a minute honoring your strength, your ability to endure and to stay on the side of good, to keep caring and striving to do what is right. Then remember all you have and be grateful. Fall asleep holding good thoughts in your heart and head.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don’t know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn’t even be worth reading.

Yevgeny Zamyatin

Hopefully, you have learned and now practice all twelve of the exercises as suggested and find calmness easier to obtain. Sounds good, but few learn and practice all the exercises when first hearing or reading about them. So do not beat up on yourself if you have only added on or two to what you already do. Life beats up on us enough. That is not to say that the program works best just using one or two of the exercises. Not true. The more exercises you learn and practice the stronger you will grow emotionally.

WHEN MORE IS NEEDED

More may be needed than can be found in a self-help book. The more could be: reading one of EFT’s lengthier books, subscribing to and reading the EFT Blog, joining a support group, hiring a coach, or getting some therapy.

Reject the thought of therapy? Most do. However, there are times therapy is needed.

Emotional Fitness Training programs have to do with strengthening. Therapy has to do with healing. A broken bone cannot be strengthened until it has been healed.

Some emotional problems do not need healing. Some do. Someone who is thinking of killing themselves, someone who engages in harmful behavior and cannot stop, someone who abuses others, or who cannot get up out of bed, or is angry or unhappy all of the time needs a mental health evaluation. If that is you, talk to your physician about where you can go for help. Life can be better. You deserve happiness.

I leave you with one more quote.

Human beings are the only creatures who are allowed to fail. If an ant fails, it’s dead. But we’re allowed to learn from our mistakes and from our failures. And that’s how I learn, by falling flat on my face and picking myself up and starting all over again.

Madeleine L’Engle

Meanwhile, thank you, stay strong, remember what matters, be grateful and practice kindness.

Katherine Gordy Levine

P.S. Liking, commenting, or sharing is practicing kindness.

My books

End of e-Book

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it valuable. If so consider sending me a few words that I can use to promote Emotional Fitness Training, this, and other of my books.  Also feel free to share. I hope to publish more of what I call Tiny e-Books as to give away  and practice kindness, but also promote EFT’s other books. I like to do good but also need to make a bit more money to keep EFT afloat.

Suggestions for improvement always welcome and do let me know if you spot some terrible grammar or spelling errors.

Katherine

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, but listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

12 Exercises To Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence

Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence e-Book cover

TWELVE EASY EXERCISES

A Tiny e-Book To Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence

Katherine Gordy Levine, M.S.S.

©Copyright 2017 Emotional Fitness Training® Inc.

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.

Aristotle

This Tiny e-Book introduces an easily practiced exercise program to strengthen your Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI is the ability to manage feelings so you act wisely; when you regret how you act, you have not acted wisely. Physical fitness programs strengthen physical health: this program strengthens your EI.

The exercises, once learned are easy and may seem simple. Do not be fooled; the program has been designed to be practiced easily, but is based on solid scientific research.

PROPER PRACTICE REQUIRED

Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.

Martha Graham

Some studies have shown that it takes repeating an action at least 30 times before it becomes programmed into the brain. That is the bad news. The good news? Emotional Fitness Training’s (EFT) exercises take minutes or less to practice. More good news? Many of the exercises can be practiced multiple times throughout the day.

However, it does no good to practice mistakes. Skilled music teachers know that the way to learn any piece of music is to play it so slowly mistaken notes are impossible. Only when the order of the notes has been learned can the tempo be increased.

Correct practice means doing EFT’s exercises with full awareness. For example, there is beauty all around us, but mostly we either see it momentarily or not at all. Being with beauty means taking the time to give full awareness to the beauty. It is being with, not just glancing at.

To have full awareness during each exercise, you need to learn how to take a Calming Breath. You do so by breathing in slowly to a count of four, holding your breath for another count of four, and then breathing out slowly as you gently smile and say “Ahhhh” or “Thank You.” The words can be said silently if circumstances suggest silence is important.

Warning: When learning Calming Breath or any self-soothing exercise, to so when already somewhat relaxed and calm. Otherwise stress interferes. When you feel you have mastered it, try using it to calm you against small moments of stress. Gradually as it strengthens bring it out against more stressful moments.

Having mastered Calming Breath, use it to become fully aware of the exercises in one of two ways. The first? Do the exercise as you take a Calming Breath. This works for short and quick practice.

For longer exercises, take a Calming Breath start the exercise, breathe normal and keep practicing the exercise. When you are ready to move on, take a final Calming Breath.

Use the quotes to practice full awareness. Each quote is a mini Emotional Fitness Exercise. Read the quote, and think about it while you take a Calming Breath.

THE TWELVE DAILY EXERCISES

If you are driven by fear, anger or pride nature will force you to compete. If you are guided by courage, awareness, tranquility and peace nature will serve you.

Amit Ray,

Exercise One: Practice Gratitude

If the only prayer you say in your entire life is ”thank you” it is enough.

Meister Eckhart

Remember all you have to be grateful for—life, love, a beautiful world. List in your head at least three specific things you that you are grateful for—a family, friends, a pet, a pleasant home, children, good health are a few of the things often included on a gratitude list.

Some people use this exercise as a prayer and thank the God of their faith. Some simply thank the universe.

Every time someone does something for you, say “Thank you” out loud. When something good happens, say “Thank You.”

Finally, work toward be grateful even for the bad. How? Either look and be grateful for any lessons learned or honor your ability to endure.

Exercise Two: Remember The Mission

If there is any responsibility in the cycle of life it must be that one generation owes to the next that strength by which it can come to face ultimate concerns in its own way.

Erik Erikson

We are all charged with moving the world forward. That is The Mission. Some say buying the newest car, the latest fashions, the most up to date gadgets; others say how you look; still others think it is how smart you are or what school you went to, how much money you have, have many jewels you wear, or how fancy a car you drive and are life missions. Wrong.

Research shows these are less important than being kind and caring, forgiving others for their flaws, forgiving yourself for not being perfect, and working with others to make the world a better place.

Exercise Three: Exercise Three: Be With Beauty

If of thy mortal good thou art bereft
And of thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

Sadd

Look at something of beauty. Listen to beautiful music. Watch a bird soar. Look at a beautiful picture. Using Calming Breath bring the beauty into your being.

If you cannot actually do any of these things at the moment, remember the last time you did.

Exercise Four: Move Your Body

There can be no question, my dear Watson, of the value of exercise before breakfast.

Arthur Conan Doyle

This exercise asks you to spend at least twenty minutes a day doing something that raises both a sweat and your heart beat. A fast walk, dancing, lifting weights, running, swimming, bike riding, jumping rope are among the choices you can make.

This is the only exercise that asks for a slightly longer investment of time as that it is one of the most important things you can do to improve not only your physical health, but your emotional health as well.

Exercise Five: Practice kindness

Being considerate of others will take you and your children further in life than any college or professional degree.

Marion Wright Edelman

Giving and getting kindness is essential to your health. Moreover it is one way to act on The Mission.

Exercise Six: Honor The Past

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.

Thick Naht Hanh,

Reflect for a minute on all those people who were, in one way or another, a source of nourishment to you. Remember a specific person. The person does not have to have been always good to you, but this exercise works best if you can remember someone who was more nourishing than not. The exercise also works best if you remember a specific act.

We too quickly recall past hurts. Recalling the good we have been given is healthier. Do so now. Recall the act, the person. Enjoy and be nourished again.

Exercise Seven: Try The New

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Dr. Seuss

Trying one new thing every day keeps you learning. Keep it simple: a short poem, a new word, a song, a new recipe, a new way home from work. Learning keeps your brain growing.

Exercise Eight: Laugh, Play, Create

Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.

Joss Whedon

Watch a favorite sit-com, join a laughing yoga club, surf the web for some jokes. Play with a child, a dog, a cat, or complete a puzzle. Join a team. Write some jokes or a poem, knit a few rows, carve some wood, bake a cake.

Exercise Nine: Indulge In A Healthy Pleasure

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

 Elizabeth Taylor

Do one thing each day just for you and that you consider a luxury or an indulgence. Give yourself a hand or foot massage, have an ice cream cone, soak in a warm bath, have one glass of wine. The important thing is to do something to affirm the fact you need to take care of you.

Exercise Ten: Review Your Things Done List

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

During the rush and turmoil of the day, knowing all we have to get done, we fail to see all we have done. Yet every day we accomplish a great deal. When you feel too stressed by your To Do List, take a minute to create a Done That List. Note in your head or out loud the things you have already done during the day. Take a minute or two at night to do the same.

Exercise Eleven: Let Go Of A Negative.

Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.

 Steve Maraboli

Past hurts wound only if you keep the hurt alive. Practicing forgiveness daily helps you let go. Here’s how: Review the day. Maybe some hurt or anger lingers on from when someone said something unkind. Did someone treat you unfairly? Take without giving in return? Break a promise? Betray a hope? Embarrass you in public? Say or do something cruel? Or perhaps the negative you need to let go of is some wrong you did. Maybe you treated another unfairly. Maybe you were angry or thoughtless and now regret your actions.

When you know the negative you want to let go of take a moment to look for the lesson in the pain. As previously noted, pain teaches important lessons. Pain reminds us to keep our hands out of the fire. Pain reminds us to enjoy the good when it comes. Pain reminds us to be careful about expecting more than we or life can deliver.

As the poet Alice Walker noted, it is best, ”to live frugally on surprise.”

Life has many peaks and valleys, expecting otherwise is foolish. If you expect to be happy all the time, you will be disappointed. if you don’t expect to be happy, when you are, it will be a bonus.

So pain hurts, but it also brings its gifts. Honor those gifts, let go of the rest. Take a deep breath. Smile. Breathe in and out. The past is over. See the person who hurt you asking forgiveness or see yourself being forgiven.

We all fail to do or be our best. We all make mistakes. We all need forgiveness for one thing or another.

Exercise Twelve: Hold Onto The Positive

Sit quietly doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

Zen Saying

End every day by spending a minute honoring your strength, your ability to endure and to stay on the side of good, to keep caring and striving to do what is right. Then remember all you have and be grateful. Fall asleep holding good thoughts in your heart and head.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don’t know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn’t even be worth reading.

Yevgeny Zamyatin

Hopefully, you have learned and now practice all twelve of the exercises as suggested and find calmness easier to obtain. Sounds good, but few learn and practice all the exercises when first hearing or reading about them. So do not beat up on yourself if you have only added on or two to what you already do. Life beats up on us enough. That is not to say that the program works best just using one or two of the exercises. Not true. The more exercises you learn and practice the stronger you will grow emotionally.

WHEN MORE IS NEEDED

More may be needed than can be found in a self-help book. The more could be: reading one of EFT’s lengthier books, subscribing to and reading the EFT Blog, joining a support group, hiring a coach, or getting some therapy.

Reject the thought of therapy? Most do. However, there are times therapy is needed.

Emotional Fitness Training programs have to do with strengthening. Therapy has to do with healing. A broken bone cannot be strengthened until it has been healed.

Some emotional problems do not need healing. Some do. Someone who is thinking of killing themselves, someone who engages in harmful behavior and cannot stop, someone who abuses others, or who cannot get up out of bed, or is angry or unhappy all of the time needs a mental health evaluation. If that is you, talk to your physician about where you can go for help. Life can be better. You deserve happiness.

I leave you with one more quote.

Human beings are the only creatures who are allowed to fail. If an ant fails, it’s dead. But we’re allowed to learn from our mistakes and from our failures. And that’s how I learn, by falling flat on my face and picking myself up and starting all over again.

Madeleine L’Engle

Meanwhile, thank you, stay strong, remember what matters, be grateful and practice kindness.

Katherine Gordy Levine

P.S. Liking, commenting, or sharing is practicing kindness.

My books

End of e-Book

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it valuable. If so consider sending me a few words that I can use to promote Emotional Fitness Training, this, and other of my books.  Also feel free to share. I hope to publish more of what I call Tiny e-Books as to give away  and practice kindness, but also promote EFT’s other books. I like to do good but also need to make a bit more money to keep EFT afloat.

Suggestions for improvement always welcome and do let me know if you spot some terrible grammar or spelling errors.

Katherine

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, but listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.