Overcoming Overthinking

James Woodworth
August 2015

There is a phenomena that is well known to psychologists – they call it self-focused rumination. The psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema (2003) calls this phenomena overthinking. Overthinking is simply thinking too much – or thinking too much, more specifically in a manner that is negative and ultimately unhelpful. The kind of self-absorbed thoughts that may preoccupy an overthinker would be thoughts like: ‘Why am I so clumsy?’ ‘Why can’t I lose these last few pounds of body fat?’ ‘Why is that person looking at me in a funny way?’
Overthinking also contains a great deal of ‘what-if’ thinking – such as ‘What if I’m late for the interview?’ ‘What if the train is full?’ ‘What if it rains tomorrow?’ Either way, overthinking tends to show an obsessive preoccupation with either the state of our minds (“Why I am so anxious all the time?”), the quality of our character (“I’m absolutely hopeless at things like this”) or what is happening in the world around us (“What did he mean by that?”).
Overthinking is, in many respects a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we are encouraged to develop self-awareness through reflecting inwardly on what we are thinking and feeling. We are encouraged to believe that the development of self-knowledge and increased personal insight will provide us with a solution to many of the problems we face. On the other hand, intense self-reflective thinking, when that thinking is focused on negative, pessimistic thoughts is not only unhelpful but can actually make matters worse – it can deepen feelings of anxiety, worry and despair. People who overthink invariably end up, as the psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky (2007) says with a view of themselves and the world around them that is not only negative and pessimistic but is distorted.
A person who is apt to brood, ruminate and dwell on negative thoughts – a person who is prone to obsessive, pessimistic thinking is unlikely to benefit from overthinking as the overthinking just serves to remind them of how stressed, anxious and unhappy they are. But all is not lost. According to Lyubomirsky, overthinking is really just a habit and like all habits it can be changed. People who are genuinely happy feel stress, worry and anxiety just like everybody else but they also have the ability to divert their attention away from negative, pessimistic thinking, they distract themselves from that which is unhelpful preferring instead to engage in that which makes them feel good.
Each and every one of us, each and every day will be confronted by stresses and strains, by nuisances and annoyances. Some will be minor like getting a parking ticket and some will be major like being made redundant. We will experience illness, trauma, rejection and failure. We also have to confront a great deal of emotional pain such as the death of a loved one. Many of these experiences will, of course be out of our control – we cannot protect ourselves from bereavement, for example, but we can learn to manage our thinking effectively in relation to the difficulties life presents us. Attaining and maintaining a high level of subjective well-being requires, therefore the ability to disengage from overthinking so we can engage instead in the skills of resilience, optimism and hope. Recognising and acknowledging painful and difficult emotions is certainly worthwhile but we don’t need to dwell, brood and ruminate upon them.
When we identify strongly with negative thoughts, when those negative thoughts preoccupy us on a regular basis then it becomes increasingly difficult for us detach ourselves from them. If, for example we are constantly stressed, anxious and worried then we will find it increasingly difficult to engage fully in experiences which would be good for us such as going to the cinema, planning a holiday, going for a walk in the park, reading a book, getting some exercise or having a coffee with a friend.
Constantly comparing ourselves to others is also unhelpful. An overthinker who is constantly ruminating on how unfit they are compared to others will give themselves a hard time every time they see a cyclist or runner in the park, for example.
Nelon-Hoeksema (2003) offers the following three stage process to overcome overthinking:
1. Cut loose: the first step to overcoming overthinking is to distract yourself from what you would normally find yourself ruminating on in a negative, unhelpful way. More often than not distraction works best, in other words, when we are engaged in those activities which bring us a lot of pleasure and satisfaction such as exercising, reading, listening to music, meeting up with a friend for lunch, and so on. Sometimes, something as simple as just going into the kitchen and putting the kettle on is all that is required to distract yourself. When you find yourself ruminating dramatically say ‘stop!’ or ‘No!’ to yourself (you can imagine yourself banging a big, red button when doing this if you like). The key here is to deliberately make yourself change the negative thought into something more useful.
2. Move to Higher Ground: one of the most useful strategies to use when engaging in change-work is too look at situations from a different perspective. A differing point of view can help you, quite literally to see the situation differently. Taking positive, constructive action is also required. Brooding and ruminating won’t change anything but setting goals and then determining the actions needed to achieve that goal will bring about powerful, life-affirming change. Don’t wait until you feel like changing, don’t wait until you feel motivated to change – act now! Commitment is critically important.
3. Avoid Future Traps: one of the most useful strategies to use in overcoming overthinking is to develop awareness of those situations which may trigger and trap you into overthinking. Consider, for example, someone who is trying to lose weight – one of the most useful strategies they can employ is to stop buying juke food and avoiding places where junk food is sold. Get to know what might cause you to think negatively and avoid those situations or modify your approach so you don’t fall into the trap of overthinking.
Reference
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2003). Women Who Think Too Much. New York: Henry Holt.
Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The How of Happiness: A Practical Guide to Getting the Life You Want. London: Piatkus.

The Power of Beliefs

The Power of Beliefs

None of us are the finished article

James Woodworth

I watched a thrilling adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens on TV recently. I was fascinated by the fact that the original book was left unfinished following the death of the author and it made me think about all the other unfinished works of art that I have seen over the years that I have admired including, amongst others the sculptures of the Dying Slaves by Michelangelo which are amongst my favorite works of art. I think the reason why unfinished works of art are so appealing is because we find ourselves completing the artwork in our imagination. This intensifies our engagement with the art work making the experience so much more meaningful for us. The unfinished work of art is also a powerful metaphor for the process of personal growth, personal development and learning. None of us are ‘the finished article’. Learning, growing, developing, self-actualisation, the achievement of one’s potential – these are all part a very long, purposeful, wonderful journey through life, a journey we should all remember to cherish and enjoy.

@JamesWoodworth7

What neuroscience tells us about savouring and positive emotion

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201507/the-neuroscience-savoring-positive-emotions

Are you surviving or thriving?

 

Are you surviving or thriving?

James Woodworth July, 2015

Resilience is often referred to as the ability to bounce back from adversity. But the question is – how high are you going to bounce following a major set-back? When we talk about bouncing back we are referring, generally speaking to bouncing back to the way we were before the set-back.  Most people, following a major set-back will undoubtedly suffer in one way or another and the quality of their life may very well diminish as they come to terms with what has happened to them.  Some will succumb to the pressure and may never again enjoy the quality of life they enjoyed previously.  Some will survive but won’t succumb – these people will, in other words, bounce-back.  They will bounce-back, more specifically to where they were before the set-back.

There are also people, however who don’t just bounce-back and survive – they bounce-back and thrive!  These people bounce up and settle at a point representing a level of well-being appreciably higher than the one they experienced previously.  These people aren’t just surviving they’re thriving!

So what are the defining characteristics and qualities of those who thrive following a major set-back and to what extent can we all learn to thrive?

The positive psychologist Sonja Lyubormirsky (2007) with reference to the work of O’Leary and Ickovics (1995) discusses the personal characteristics and qualities of those who thrive following trauma.  These people experience what psychologists call post-traumatic growth.

 

The characteristics and qualities of those who experience post-traumatic growth, according to Lyubormirsky include:

  • Renewed belief in their ability to endure and prevail.
  • Improved relationships – in particular, discovering who one’s true friends are and whom one can really count on; some relationships pass the test, while others fail.
  • Feeling more comfortable with intimacy and a greater sense of compassion for others who suffer.
  • Developing a deeper, more sophisticated and more satisfying philosophy of life.

The ability to recover and bounce back to normality is of course an achievement and it ought to be recognised and celebrated – to thrive however, is even better.

It needs to be acknowledged, however that thriving after a traumatic experience is not easy – those who thrive following a trauma will, in fact put in a great deal of effort and hard-work to improve the quality of their life.  They may not find thriving easy but they will persist and work at it until their goal is achieved.  They want to live a healthy, successful, fulfilling life.   They may not find all the answers they are looking for as they seek a life that has value, meaning and purpose but the journey alone, no matter where it takes them will leave them feeling a great deal better following the trauma.

A number of questions emerge when we think about post-traumatic growth.  For example, is the ability to thrive following a trauma an innate quality that some people naturally have or is it a quality we can we all learn to develop? The simply answer to these two particular questions is, I believe, yes – thriving is an innate quality we all possess, just think for example how naturally resilient and determined an infant is.  During the first few years of life they will learn, through dogged determination to master two incredibly skills – walking and talking but they don’t leave it at that – they keep going, constantly learning and developing.  Later in life a person may lose, for one reason or another their motivation to thrive but it can be revived and renewed and the relatively new science of positive psychology is showing us how.  Positive psychology emphasises that to develop the resilience needed to fully thrive in life a high level of emotional insight and self-awareness is needed.  People who see trauma as something to be ashamed of as opposed to trauma being an opportunity to learn, grow and develop are more than likely to feel frustration, anger, shame and guilt.  Being resilient is also consistent with having a high degree of emotional intelligence which as the term suggests means being intelligent with how one deals with ones emotions.  Emotional intelligence provides the individual with the self-knowledge and self-awareness needed to manage of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours in such a way as to enable them to make fundamental and lasting change including the ability to thrive following trauma.

References:

Carver, C.S. (1998).Resilience and thriving: Issues, models and linkage. Journal of Social Issues, 54, 2, 245 – 266.

Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The How of Happiness: A Practical Guide to Getting the Life you Want. London: Piatkus.

O’Leary, V.E. & Ickovics, J.R. (1995). Resilience and thriving in response to challenge: An opportunity for a paradigm shift in women’s health. Research on Gender, Behaviour and Policy, 1, 121 – 142.

 

 

The Social and Emotional Impact of ‘Everywhere’ Technology

During the past 15 years or so, the Internet has transitioned from a standard of being connected (and interacting) strictly though desktop computers in homes, offices and computer labs, to one that an ever increasing number of people take the Internet with them everywhere they go. Whether via laptops, Read More »

EQ emotional intelligence and Christmas Inside and outside the office

As we have discussed in previous blogs, emotional intelligence is a set of disciplines, a set of protocols, a set of principles and strategies. Read More »

Stress in a Mans World

On Tuesday the 26th November ‘The Times’ newspaper ran a piece in its supplement Times2. The focus of the articles was centred on both Stress and its effects in the modern professional sports scene. Read More »

New Approach Leads SIMmersion to International Serious Games Competition Finals

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SIMmersion’s Powerful New Simulation Effectively Trains Employee Coaching

Businesses using SIMmersion’s Coaching for Improved Performance training system, including one of the world's best-known retailers, find it to be highly effective. Read More »

SIMmersion Joins Effort to Save Veterans with Groundbreaking Suicide Prevention Simulation

Twenty veterans in the US take their lives every day, a trend that the Veterans Crisis Line and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are fighting to reverse. SIMmersion’s state-of-the-art Suicide Prevention Training system allows responders on these crisis hotlines to get the realistic practice they need to save lives. Read More »

New Technology Empowers Doctors to Combat Prescription Drug Addiction

With millions of Americans abusing prescription drugs and rates of fatal overdose soaring, many doctors struggle with how to provide their patients needed medicine without feeding the addiction epidemic. SIMmersion’s Prescription Drug and Pain Management Training Simulation, created in partnership with researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin—Madison, trains doctors in patient-centered techniques to address the prescription drug crisis without compromising care. Read More »

New Approach Leads SIMmersion to International Serious Games Competition Finals

While serious games often use computer-generated graphics to create 3-D environments, SIMmersion’s entirely new approach to serious games uses video scenes of people. This novel approach has placed the company’s HIITS game in the finals of the International Serious Games Showcase & Challenge Competition. Read More »

SIMmersion’s Powerful New Simulation Effectively Trains Employee Coaching

Businesses using SIMmersion’s Coaching for Improved Performance training system, including one of the world’s best-known retailers, find it to be highly effective. Supervisors express their excitement about using the simulation to develop their skills. Read More »

Stop Press

Lambda Mi Education & Development has, for very many years, been at the forefront and the strongest advocate in the UK of personal development, and in the provision of appropriate education and training with particular emphasis on vital ‘soft skills’ focussed on EQ emotional intelligence. Read More »

Feeling Down

I was feeling very down today.   Oh I know, it’s all just stuff but sometimes, it’s difficult to cope with everyday situations even when they are small and insignificant.  But these small and insignificant things can ultimately build up and clog the pathways of our life force, our energies, and create feelings of negativity.  Anyway, I was feeling at the time that I had fallen off the top of a big hill and rolled down in to a dark valley. Read More »

Feedback

How do you feel when someone says “Can I give you some feedback on that?”

As we live our lives, manage our relationships, work at work or play our chosen professional sport, we are constantly being watched, listened to; we ‘are’ being observed by others.  Read More »

Believe in Possibilities

Lambda Mi Education and Development has been trading and in existence since 1990.  Its speciality has always been in the research, authoring, development and delivery of effective and efficient learning and experiential programmes.

Since 1997/98 Lambda Mi has been active within the personal development field researching and conducting Workshops, Seminars and providing accredited Distance Learning through an accreditation Awarding Body (ASET) in such subjects as EQ Emotional Intelligence, Meditation, Change Management, Leadership, Co-action Coaching, etc. Read More »

The Stresses of Losing a Job is Making Us Really Ill

Here at Lambda Mi Education and Development, we have been expressing our concerns and opinions regarding the rising stress levels in individuals for a long time.  We have been very concerned about rising stresses in society and now extend this in to ill-prepared people who are entering periods of uncertainty, especially regarding their employment status. Read More »

Emotional Intelligence and Stress in the Workplace

I have to confess to enjoying reading different papers from around the world.  Some papers, like the Lancet (in the UK), feature interesting reports in areas that I am interested in.  The other day, I was reading the Harvard Business Review that described many important issues about stress, workplace stress, work behaviour, emotional intelligence and a range of other important organisational factors. Read More »

EQ emotional Intelligence and Stress Management

One of the newer breakthroughs in Stress Management deals with and highlights emotional awareness and emotional wisdom.  It really is key to understanding stress management and how you can employ EQ awareness and wisdom to take advantage and bring about proactive and beneficial stress relief results.
But what is our Emotional intellect? Read More »

Can Emotional Intelligence Impact on Your Health?

Over a number of years, we here at Lambda Mi and with those associated with us, have come to believe that our physical, our mental health and our general wellbeing, are all improved dramatically through the adaptation and adoption of good EQ emotional intelligence practices.
As I now look back over the various EQ Workshop event reports, and from our own EQ Consulting sessions, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to share some of the results. Read More »

Here I am … now

Well, … as I sit here, breathing, thinking
I can appreciate and accept my situation
My life has been written on the fabric of time and within the folds of time Read More »

How can we let go of our fears

Consider this ~ if we are not fully ourselves, mindful, truly in the present moment, we stand to miss everything that is important.

I’ve done a lot of stripping away of layers lately.  It’s been very liberating.  I’ve been peeling away layers of the ego ~ all the accumulated stuff we all gather every day ~ to find who I really am, my authentic self, the ‘real’ self at my core. Read More »

10 Things Great Managers Do

By Steve Tobak

There’s all sorts of rhetoric about what good bosses should and shouldn’t do these days. I guess that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, most of it’s pretty basic, generic fluff that sort of blends together after a while. Read More »

Can You Remember?

It’s surprising isn’t it what you hear and what you see when you’re out and about in the public’s presence, out and about in the big bad world.  I find it such a fascinating pastime, people watching.  The trick is to be focused, to have your eyes, ears, even your very being so open to everything around you, to tune in to the ‘collective harmonies’ (and dis-harmonies) as well as all the individual psyches.  Well, this is a short but true story and one that happened to and for me only the other day. Read More »

Twelve Truths for Being Human

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or you may hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.
  2. You will learn lessons. Because you are now enrolled in full-time education in an informal school Read More »

People Movement is like Electrical Current

Have you ever thought and made the link of the signs; of short-cuts across grass verges, of the obvious natural pathways, etc.  There is a physics definition that says; Read More »

Emotional Intelligence Traits

The Fourteen Emotional Intelligence Traits

The detailed research of Psychologists, Medical Doctors and our own research, has found around fourteen key emotional intelligence traits.  These areas have all been observed, tested and discussed during and within our personal and business experience. Read More »

12 Critical Things You Should Not Tolerate

There is so much in life that we just tolerate. Some of it we just have to deal with (taxes, bad weather, traffic). But there is a good portion of “stuff” that we just seem to tolerate even when we don’t have to. We step gingerly around things, overlook irritations in our lives and relationships, and mindlessly accept all the energy drains that are active in these days of stresses and strains. Perhaps we have become so immune, so numbed to these tolerations that we just don’t recognise the negative impact they have on us. Read More »

Discussion Posts

The below are a series of posts from the LinkedIn website that are from a discussion group involving EQ emotional intelligence.

These discussions highlight a full range of people, cultures, business and career activities.  There are of course many, many other posts that highlight the importance and vitality of EQ emotional intelligence.

Read More »

Working with an EQ Mentor ~ Part One

Lambda Mi provides educational resources and solutions for both individuals and for organisations/companies.

EQ emotional intelligence is a ‘key’ element in any relationship situation be it private, personal or work based. For every member of staff, all Team Leaders, Managers, Directors, from top to bottom and bottom to top, emotional intelligence is crucial if success is to be achieved and optimum performance attained. Read More »

Emotional Intelligence in Anger Management

Anger is a strong emotion and one that has so many contributors.

Anger can be raised from both relevant and non-relevant elements, and by this I mean, anger can be Read More »

The How and What We Think

As I’m writing this I’m sitting looking out over a Golf Course and the weather is … well, it’s stunning. Blue, blue skies, scudding white clouds, verdant green fairways on a Golf Course with yellow flowering gorse and bushes where their new leaf budding branches are wafting on a stiff breeze. In the distance I can see the sea and she too is a deep blue with white horses galloping towards what I know is the golden sandy beach.

So why am I saying these things? To create in your minds eye what I am seeing, to try to impart some of what I’m feeling, my positiveness, right now, Read More »

Emotional Intelligence ~ Management Competencies

The world is facing (still) the ramifications of the financial crisis that swept around the globe in 2008/2009. Personal lives, professional lives even leisure lives have all been affected. So in these times of austerity and despondency is it so surprising to learn that Managers and managements are even more important that they were pre-crisis. Managers now have a unique opportunity to enliven lives which are depressed and under strain.

Our working lives take up about a third of our time with another third taken Read More »

An A to Z of mostly virulent, harmful, and pernicious emotions

A … is for Anger:

We all know what anger is don’t we, what it can do, how it can destroy? But what makes us angry? What fears do we have, can we have? What grief situations have we faced and experienced and what can we expect? What insecurities and situations have hurt us in the past?

You, me, everyone, MUST try to understand, to analyse our ‘own’ anger causes and effects and to find ways, means, processes around by, and which you/we can overcome it/them. Anger probably (will) make you enemies, but enemies don’t necessarily make you angry. Your thoughts however can and do, your emotions can make you angry when that emotion becomes the emotion of ‘anger’. You, I, we, can control anger and when we do everything will be then ‘cool’ and rational. Read More »

Tools for Communication

Communication in the workplace is always a constant challenge. The pressures to perform amid the chaos of constant change often create an environment that makes a “meeting of the minds” seem like an oxymoron.

Fortunately, research on human emotions and the intricacies of the human brain, has helped to clarify the key communication tools. Paying attention to the emotional subtext will help build a deeper person-to-person form of communication. If you learn to listen from your mission (of communication), you will leap ahead in problem solving. Finally, make sure you know “whose ‘backside’ ‘should/would’ be on the line” when choices, chances or changes are made to ensure that communication is effective and practiced as a two way process and not an assertion of power. Read More »

Line management behaviour and stress at work

What is stress?

Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed upon them.

There is a clear distinction between pressure, which can be a motivating factor, and stress, which can occur when this pressure becomes excessive. Read More »

A Chat on a Bench

It’s amazing what you can learn from simple chance meetings isn’t it?

The day was like any other day really, but the weather had changed surprisingly from the grey and drizzle of the morning to a very mild almost warm feeling in the afternoon with blue skies and bright sunshine. Although it’s mid February now there are signs of Spring starting to show. Snow Drops gaily litter the undergrowth of the bushes with their nodding delicate white heads, Daffodils, their green stems growing and reaching for the sky, Catkins, some lime green and fresh whilst others look like small balls of shiny silk, both vibrant in the sunshine. And then there are the birds; wonderful, wonderful birds all so busy now filling the still bare branches with movement and such sweet birdsong. It’s enough, literally, to make ones heart soar. Read More »

Enjoyment can be any bit of silliness

Below are some things to make you smile which were sent to me by a dear friend.I hope she recognises her suggestions and doesn’t mind them being shared for and with others. The first section she told me, she used to have printed in the front of her‘Home /School’ information pack that she gave to parents of children due to commence school when they were only four. Read More »

Positive Ways to Live

The alphabet is a good way to itemise and list aspects of our lives and how we live them (or perhaps how we may be able to live them). Let’s try here to create a list that may be good for remembering in times of inner reflection.

A … (a) is for adventure: Adventure is the opposite of sitting and watching television.  Adventure is the experiences of new things, sights, sounds, feelings, people, environments.

Read More »

What is happening to your Happiness?

Psychologists say it is possible to measure your happiness.

You will find below five statements for you to consider; of facts, influences and events in your life which will and can affect your happiness or otherwise. Read More »

Kung Hei Fat Choy

The Chinese have one of the richest and most colourful traditions in the world and one of their most anticipated celebrations is the Chinese New Year. Read More »

Bad News affects most of us

One in five workers fears losing job, a very recent survey suggests

The survey suggests that job insecurity remains rife.  This in turn means that EQ emotional intelligence is even more important in these ‘dreadful’ austerity times.  Jobs (or the lack of or the danger of losing them) creates enormous stress and strife and we all owe it to ourselves to recognise, accept and understand how we are feeling, acting and reacting to others and what the personal and relationship ramifications can be. Read More »

Happiness and Living

Seven tips for making yourself happier IN THE NEXT HOUR

What Day is Today, does it Matter? : Seven tips for making yourself happier in the next hour.

You really can make yourself happier ~ and this doesn’t have to be a long-term goal or ambition.  You can (should, MUST) start right now.  In the next hour, check off as many of the following items as possible.  Each of these accomplishments will lift your emotions, your positive mood, as will the mere fact that you’ve tackled and achieved some concrete goals. Read More »

Thoughts and Actions

Even though these great teachers (listed below) have passed on into who knows where or what, their words still ring and thrive and inspire and are seemingly alive, organic and contemporary and in these words, their essence and wisdom. Read More »

Empathy, a wonderful aspect of EQ emotional intelligence

The other evening I was at home relaxing, watching television and an old episode of ‘Airport’ came on.  I always enjoyed the series.  It always reminds me of my times of travel and excitement and of seeing people bustling on the concourse and feeling my hopes rising and feeling as though my dreams are appearing through the mist of uncertainty and becoming more solid. Read More »

Our battles with dragons

Recently, a cancer victim friend of mine wrote to me of her thoughts and feelings expressed in a short piece of prose. Her piece was called ‘Fighting the Dragons’ and I reproduce it here for you … Read More »

A Simple Bus Journey

It was a bus journey, plain and simple.  I had returned to Manchester from Newcastle to visit with relatives in Oldham.  Catching the number 83 bus on Oldham Street near to Piccadilly Square was its usual array of watching and seeing strange characters (as in every city).   It was early afternoon and already the drunks lurched in to doorways to escape the chilling wind, each struggling to light up their roll-up cigarettes, young hoodies hanging around outside the game and slot machine parlours, their colourful language along with hawking and spitting incessantly totally devoid of any respect for the elderly women walking by, taxi cabs honking horns whilst careering around corners too quickly, people of all shapes and sizes milling, jostling, bumping, forcing their way through throngs of waiting people in bus queues, sheltering from the spattering of rain blown by the chilling wind. Read More »

Your Opportunity for Health and Success

This, longer than average, message could be very important to you.

I urge you to read it all.

“Divine intervention?” she asked Read More »

Line Management behaviour and stress at work

What is stress?

Stress is the adverse reaction that people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed upon them.  There is a clear distinction between pressure, which can be a motivating factor, and stress, which can occur when this pressure becomes excessive. Read More »

Emotional Intelligence and Christmas In and outside the office

As we have discussed in previous blogs, emotional intelligence is a set of disciplines, a set of protocols, and a set of principles.

Emotional intelligence can be listed having a number of different headings depending on who you speak to but, the basis for EQ comprise;

  • Self-awareness and management
  • Relationship-awareness and management
  • Communication
  • Social skills
  • Empathy and sympathy

To be aware of ourselves, how we feel in any given moment, how  Read More »

Work Related Stress

What is work-related stress?

It’s well recognised that stress at work is a massive problem.  Any stress can reduce employee well-being and it’s well recognised (and accepted) that excessive or sustained work pressure can lead to stress. Occupational stress poses a risk to most businesses and compensation payments for stress are increasing.  It’s important to meet this modern day challenge by dealing with excessive and long-term causes of stress.  Absence management surveys show that  Read More »

Working With & Managing Stress

Stress, as ‘everyone’ should realise, is a collective term, incorporating physical, psychological and physiological effects in response to an undesirable situation.

Mild stress can result from missing the bus to standing in a long line at the shop or even getting a parking ticket.  But stress can also be severe.

Did you know the most stressful human pastimes are (1) moving house, (2) retiring from work (3) changing / losing jobs, or (4) moving to a new country? Read More »

Any spare change Sir?

I had had a long day.  I was tired and just wanting the day to be over.

Getting up and setting off early I was intent on travelling from Oldham to Whitley Bay via Newcastle.  For those of you not knowing northern England, Oldham is about 10 miles north of Manchester in northwestern England and Whitley Bay is up high on the north east coast near to Newcastle Upon Tyne.  The journey was to consist of a bus, a train and a metro train and then the same in reverse.  Total travel time? Read More »

Meditation – As an exercise and food for thought.

World Mental Health Day ~ October 10th 2010, did anyone hear of this?

I didn’t think so. But it is a very important subject to be mindful about.

How sad though is it that when we talk of Mental Health we immediately think of mental illness, mental maladies, insanity, et al. In actual fact, mental health is just as important as our physical health but it has such bad press that virtually everyone steers clear of it. Read More »

How to shine.

This is an extract from what is mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, as part of his inauguration speech. It was actually written by Marianne Williamson.

We use it now as an illustration of emotional intelligence, not alluding any reference to God or religion, but from Read More »

The Waiting Room

I am here sitting in a Doctors Waiting Room, waiting my turn to go and knock quietly and politely on a plain, clean Doctors Surgery door then to be beckoned inside for my prearranged appointment. I don’t feel unwell, just here for a Consult and know that these places are not the healthiest of places, just like Hospitals, so the sooner I’m out the better.

It’s a typical scene being played out before me and Read More »

A Hot Day in Porto

It’s a hot day here in Porto and I am engaged in one of my favourite pastimes, people watching. Sitting, waiting, seeing, watching and breathing. A street corner café with the smell of fresh coffee wafting on a warm breeze under full leaved young Maple trees and softly billowing coloured canopies. A cooling drink in hand. The world is passing by with an accompaniment of sounds ~ a cacophony of noise, the drone and then staccato of drilling from the construction site nearby, traffic and horns blaring, trams screeching then grumbling on hot steel tracks and every so often Read More »

My Anniversary

It’s been a year now since my departure from Panama, the country I had relocated to nearly 4 years ago. I left under what I can only describe as horrendous emotionality, soul and spirit destroying emotionality. I won’t go in to detail but what I will say was that the prequel and the sequel to leaving was truly both life threatening and Read More »

Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Teaching

Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Teaching

The idea of Emotional Intelligence is a growing and developing one that is applicable across EVERY human activity and for all ages from the cradle to the grave.

For instance, EI is increasingly becoming very important within the Care and Medical Sectors to engage with both the patient/client and the Carer/Doctor/Practitioner.  Having due regard for and with someone else’s emotions is something we should all aspire to AND demand. Read More »

No One Wants Emotional Intelligence Training

Attention Managers, Coaches and Trainers:
No one wants emotional intelligence training!

No, you are not going to see a long line of people waiting to get in to attend a program that is advertised as Emotional Intelligence training or education program.

Nobody wants Emotional Intelligence training; they want solutions to “people problems.”

Whether you are a manager, a Director, a team leader, HR, a coach or a client, understanding the real issue brings great opportunity.

Let’s look at both the problem and the opportunity for everyone. Read More »

Transactional Conscious Streaming

What is transactional conscious streaming (TCS)?

It is the process whereby we can facilitate the flow and conversion of the ideas, emotions, feelings, impressions, imagination and those grey area contents of the mind, heart, spirit and soul that we all have and experience from time to time and then to channel it in to a form of communicating those personal issues with others. But this type of ‘streaming’ is not, and should not, be restricted to just conscious streaming; it also includes sub-conscious streaming and even un-conscious streaming.

Let’s for a moment discuss these different meanings and states of being.

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