Being emotionally fit is not about being happy, it is about living life as it comes at you, getting through the bad putting up with the boring, and enjoying the good.
Pursuing happiness is human, but as the poet Priscilla Leonard noted “Happiness is like a crystal, Fair and exquisite and clear, Broken in a million pieces, Shattered, scattered far and near.”
When we stumble on a bit of happiness, we need to embrace it, hold it in our hearts, put it in our good memory file, and then when it passes, live well with what is left until we stumble on another of those perfect crystal moment.
Happiness cannot be forced, cannot be chased; it comes and it goes, with a will of its own. Pursuing it is human, but finding it is as rare as finding a flower in a snow bank. That can happen, but rarely. Emotional Fitness Training programs make no” happy forever” promises, but offers some tips to put you on the contentment trail.
Tip one: Daily practice of an emotional fitness program. Of course, EFTI wishes that program would be ours, but that is not as important finding some things you can do every day to strengthen your ability to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” No easy task and expecting a too much of life and yourself, but minimally, you can learn to keep negative feelings from bossing you.
Tip two: Set SMART Goals meaning specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and timely.
As the motivational guru Tony Robbins notes, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
SMART goals light up the road to your dreams.
Tip three: Realize with more is needed. Too often we go it alone. Personal happiness remains your responsibility, but that does not mean you should not use all the help you can get along the way.
Emotional fitness is not therapy, however, if you practice it or any other research based self-help program and it is not helping you, you need more than self-help. First try support from those who care for you, then try support groups, or life coaching; if those fail think about therapy or even medication.
Therapy has a bad rap, and medication a worse rap. But both can be life saving and on a smaller level contentment creating.
Our bodies are chemical laboratories churning out hormones that make us feel good or bad. Are you a woman? If so, you probably know a bit about hormonal swings. Are you a man who needs a six-pack of beer to cheer you up after a hard day at work? Welcome to world or brain chemistry.
So if you think all this EFT stuff is a load of bog manure, but are never happy, let alone content, more is needed. Most likely you are suffering from a clinical depression. Want a quick test used by many therapists to see how depressed a person is. Try the Beck Depression Inventory. The US Navy promotes it. It is a self scoring research based scale consisting of 21 one questions. Try it, the results might surprize you.
A WORD ABOUT STIGMA: The USA is particularly caught up in the “Just Do It” mentality. Unrealistic and keeps many from getting on the path to contentment. Creates stigma against getting help when help is needed.
Oprah says, if she made it too success, anyone can. Twisted thinking. Not to take anything away from Oprah but she had luck, which includes talent and people in your life who have faith in you; she was also born at the right time for a black woman to have opportunity. Think if she had been born a slave or even during the Jim Crow era.
Moreover, Oprah supports Dr. Phil and therapy.
The trick is finding a good therapist. Those that set SMART goals and have you filling out satisfaction inventories at every session are the best. The Center for Clinicial Excellence is a go to place to find such a therapist in your area.
Life can be good much of the time and therapy can make the difference is always being unhappy and being content most of the time.
Once upon a time there was a mental health label called Reactive Depression. That meant when life got too hard, depression visited; if life eased up, depression departed.
I don’t know what thinking took that label off the mental disorder menu, but I miss it. Life is constant a seesaw between good, okay, not okay, and bad times.
Children are on that seesaw more than parents think and suffer from mild attacks of depression in the form of unbearable hurt at least three of four times a day.
Any melt down is symptomatic of the unbearable. It may come out as anger or a tantrum, but the basis is always unbearable hurt. The most common hurt for the very young are the fangs of frustration not being able to do what you want.
The good news, learning to live through frustration is a major life lesson for children and one parents can promote. Here are some tips.
Parenting tip one: Set as few rules as possible, but hold your child to obeying those rules consistently and firmly. The four most important rules for adults and children: Safety for all, respect for all living things, respect for property, and respect for reasonable laws.
Parenting tip two: Remember age and stage when teaching rules. Safety is always the first rule a child needs to learn and that is probably the most consistently taught across all cultures. Think how almost every toddler learns to hold a grown ups hand when crossing the street. By the time the teens come, talk of reasonable laws is mandatory.
Parenting tip three: The stronger your child’s self-soothing skills the less frustration eats at their being.
Parenting tip four: Do not assume a child playing happily is a happy child. The younger the child, the more nature has programmed his or her brain to live in the moment. Makes the unbearable bearable. Living in the now is a useful skill that does get lost as the child grows but learning the right self-soothing skills helps.
Parenting tip five: Teens are particularly good at hiding or not knowing they are depressed; as one of my foster children once said to me, ” you mean most people don’t plan how to kill themselves daily.”
Teens who seem to have it all and seem to be happy are at risk. the stigma issue keeps many from admitting depression or the need for help. Common “normal seeming” symptoms – sleeping too much, isolating from friends, loss of interest in what once made them happy, drug or alcohol use, and risk taking behaviors.
Parenting tip six: Build Added Care Teams for you and for your children. Start by developing your own Added Care Team. Get a piece of paper and list the names of all the people, you feel help you get through life’s harder times. Next to each person’s name list one or two things that person does that are particularly helpful. Some are good offering every day help: picking up a child at school; taking a child into their home if you are late; giving you a ride somewhere, lending a few bucks if you run short. These are people you do the same kind of favors for.
Other people might be good at giving moral support if someone in the family just needs to vent or wants quiet support at a school meeting. Some are good at mediating conflicts–these might be good to take to service provider meetings.
Some have very specific skills. Doctors, lawyers and other paid people serves as added care team members.
When you have your Added Care Team in place, pick out some who will be there for your child and encourage those relationships.
BLOG bUSINESS NOTE
The new year cometh and the time when I review what has been working and what I need to change. EFTI is not growing financially and my income is dwindling. Enough is a feast, so I am not complaining about money.
However, I do want EFTI to survive when I can no longer pilot it. eBooks and books will probable live the longest of all my products, so this year I will blog less and write or perfect more books.
What that means is I will re-blog more and will start Monday with polishing and re-blogging my most recent posts about reducing Holiday distress, but now about reducing stress in general. Know some have missed many of them.
Not sure if I will do so every day for twelve days or once a week for twelve weeks Most like it will be somewhere between those two. I am thinking one main post followed by a poster coach or cartoon related to the main post. I do love blogging and do not want to deprived myself of that pleasure.
I am not going to keep blogging on Parents Are People Too other than re-blogs or quick posts using Pinterest or other sources I will continue to include parenting tips on my EFTI blog posts.
Know getting less will please some, and most will not mind.
BE KIND TO ME
Please rate this material. Doing so helps my social media ratings, but also lets me know what interests you most. Comments do the same.
This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars –Not good enough to rate; One star – Reinforced my knowledge – Two Stars; New information – Three stars; New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.
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
- The Value of Support Groups (mayoclinic.org)
- Finding a good therapist (webmd.com)
- When anti-depressants are indicated for children and teens (.nimh.nih.gov)
- The top 25 psych drug 2011 2011 (psychcentral.com)
- Daily Post (wordpress.com)
All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. A poster coach is like a face-to-face coach; all serve as practice reminders, some teach you the exercises needed to stay strong.
To use one, after down loading it from the store, print it up preferably in cardstock and color, then post it where you will see it as you go about your day.
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.
DAILY PROMPT Tight Corner: Have you ever managed to paint yourself into the proverbial corner because of your words? What did you do while waiting for them “to dry”?
How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post: Life has many tight corners and looking for happiness is one. Our task is to wait out the bad times, make the most of the between times, and be grateful for the happy times. Stay strong.