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How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance

How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance

Today we’re talking about How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance. You are well aware of the power of your emotions. You probably also understand how sometimes they can seem out of control and unmanageable. If you’d like to achieve emotional balance, greater control over your emotions, and better health, the following information will prove invaluable.

 

There are certain skills for managing emotions.

 

These include:

 

Definition:

Defining the emotion in your own terms and from your own understanding.

 

Distance:

It is important to gain some distance from your emotions. This will help you gain a clearer understanding of your feelings and how they are impacting you. When you are in the middle of the situation dealing with the emotions in the here and now everything will seem muddled and you will struggle to see what is happening as well as the bigger picture.

 

Release:

By understanding and recognizing the emotion as well as achieving distance you will be able to begin releasing the negativity surrounding it.

 

Focus:

Through focusing on the emotions and the attendant triggers, feelings, and behaviors you can gain clarity and create change.

 

Regrouping:

By following through the previous skills you will be able to regroup your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Creating a new set of behaviors when dealing with difficult situations will help you to cope in the future.

 

Maintenance:

Like all habits practice makes perfect and you will need to constantly remind yourself of the positive changes you have made with regard to your emotions and their impact on your life. What will you do to remind yourself how to remain positive, calm, and balanced?

 

Writing can help you to achieve emotional balance as it will take you through all the skills above.

 

How does it work?

 

If you are suffering from emotion, such as sorrow then everything you think, feel, and do will be tainted by it. It will have a negative effect on you and your actions. No one wants to live in sorrow for long.

 

By taking a piece of paper and a pen you can write yourself into a more emotionally balanced state.

 

Start by writing a really happy memory of a time when you were not experiencing any sorrow or any other negative emotions. Make your writing really descriptive so that you can see the scene clearly, make it colorful, add sounds, smells, and things you can touch as well as taste. Write down how you felt and why you felt so positive and happy.

Try and include the following:

 

When?

Where?

What?

Who?

How?

Why?

 

This positive memory will become an anchor. You can display it somewhere prominent or keep it safely hidden for use when needed. It is designed for use when you are feeling anxious, stressed, sorrowful, angry, or any other negative emotion. If you have a bad day you can refer to it and be reminded of a happier positive time.

 

Next, follow each step from defining the negative emotion you are feeling to maintenance. Again include the when, where, what, who, how, and why as this will really help you understand the emotion as well as any triggers and resulting behaviors.

 

By writing your thoughts and feelings at each stage, as well as identifying the triggers, you can not only understand the emotion better but yourself and your reaction to it. By having this written insight into yourself you are learning how to take control of your emotions and achieve balance. You will be able to refer to it to remind yourself how to cope with difficult situations or simply how much you’ve achieved and grown.

And you thought journaling was just about writing! I hope you’re learning a thing or two. Writing about your thoughts can be complicated, but if you have a plan, it can be very rewarding.

 

Next up, we’re discussing Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression. You’ll want to catch this one as we are almost done with the Journaling Series. 

 

An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write

An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write

Today we’re going to discuss journaling. So to get clear, this is An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write. Is this you? If it is, then stay tuned because this is going to be several discussions around journaling and why you want to start.

Journaling is a powerful self-help tool that is gaining popularity. You can purchase a variety of journals online from stores such as Amazon as well as in bookshops. Coaches and therapists also use journaling to help clients. It is also incredibly easy to journal on your own in just a plain notebook. However, all journaling has one thing in common and that is writing.

 

So how can you journal if you hate writing? Ha…now that’s a good one!

 

Draw Pictures

From simple to elaborate, any kind of picture that expresses your emotions and situation will help. After you’ve drawn the picture you can label and annotate it. If you leave a blank page opposite your drawing then you can come back and review it at a later date and jot down any additional thoughts, emotions, and responses. Quite often this simple method will actually get you writing quickly. Try it, I bet you’ll be writing in no time.

 

Here’s a trick: why not try using different types of pens or pencils to make your journaling more interesting and exciting? Try different colors to make things interesting.

 

Diagrams

If you are journaling about a problem, then you might consider using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree. Diagrams are powerful because they are visual and help you to see patterns and connections more easily. If you are trying to make a decision, then you can illustrate the different outcomes and results to help you formulate the best decision. Adding in color not only makes them more attractive but can highlight connections.

 

Use Prompts

Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the blank page syndrome and inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you. It’s important that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. The journal and act of journaling have to relate to your needs at that moment in time and this will vary day-to-day.

 

You could consider purchasing a journal designed for the specific use you need. There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness, and other journals available. Many of these will include prompts and recording methods that don’t require lots of writing.

 

Create a Collage

Get some magazines or newspapers and cut out words, phrases, paragraphs, or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point. Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel. Again you can annotate it to make it truly personal. Leave a blank page so that you can revisit and review at a later time and add in additional journaling.

 

Speak It

While writing using a pen and paper is probably the most powerful method of journaling you can also use dictation software such as Dragon. You’ll need the software and a computer with a microphone to use this method. It may be easier to start your journaling journey by speaking to the computer and imagining you are talking to a friend or just yourself. The software will ‘write’ what you say and you can save the document so that you can review it later.

 

You may decide to keep your journal electronically in which case you can review it and add in later thoughts and feelings by typing or dictating through the speech recognition software. Or you may decide to print it out and keep it in a binder. If you do print it out, then you have the opportunity to embellish it or make additional notes on the hard copy. One way to do this is to use One Note for Microsoft Office. It’s convenient and you can keep your thoughts by writing day-by-day.

 

Be Flexible

Journaling does not have to be undertaken every day for a set period of time if that does not suit you. Many people journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best. However, it may be that once a week is enough.

 

Alternatively, you may decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. Other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.

 

The important points to remember are that the journal is a personal document designed to help you and that it is designed to be used and revised. It’s a living document and there is no right or wrong way to create or use it.

 

Stay tuned for the next article on journaling. You’re not going to want to miss it!

 

Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success

Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success

Today we’re discussing Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success. Setting goals is an important part of life. Without them, you won’t know how to recognize success or achievement. By knowing your goals, it tells you what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you. While not all goals are equal they do all deserve the best chance of achievement.

What’s in a Dream?

In life we all have dreams, ambitions we want to achieve. However, it is entirely in your power whether they remain dreams or whether you will actually set out to make them a reality. If you think of a dream, then it is more like a hope; a wish not yet fulfilled. Perhaps your ambition is to be promoted to director in your company. That’s great but just having that dream won’t actually help you achieve it.

Writing it Down

Writing your dream down can help increase the chance of it becoming a reality. The very act of committing it to paper makes it more real and concrete. You can see it. In black & white! However, there is more to making your dreams turn into reality than merely writing it down. You actually need to flesh it out. You need to give it substance and to create a goal. By turning your dream into a goal you are further committing to its ultimate achievement.

Your Focus

Your goal is the end-point. It is what you want to achieve and how you will know you have been successful. The key to success is to write down the steps you will take to get there. How you will turn that goal into a reality. What do you need to focus on to create it? It is important to know why that goal is one you want to achieve. So you need to write down what achieving it will look and feel like to you. How will your life change? By making your visualization of your success as descriptive as possible and by writing it in the present tense as if you are living it now, you create a connection with your subconscious mind.

Visualize It

Additionally, writing is a right-brained activity. It is part of your logical and analytical mind. However, the very act of writing keeps the right-brain occupied and allows the more creative left-brain to be accessed. This will let you begin to create and visualize the future you want. Setting that vision down on paper is a record that you can refer to again and again. It will remind you why you want to achieve the goal you have set and how you will know you have achieved it.

The Ultimate Goal

Adding the steps to achieving the goal provides you with a to-do list. You can tick off each step as you complete it and see your progress. This can be very motivating especially if you find yourself struggling. Acknowledging how much you’ve achieved can strengthen your resolve and provide motivation to continue.

Has The Goal Changed

Alternatively, by having a written record of your goal and the steps needed to achieve it you will be able to see if your mind has changed. Often you’ll find that your actual goal changes. Where you started as wanting to be promoted to Director you may find that you actually want to be promoted to Director of a different division or department or maybe even a totally different role!

It’s Not Written in Stone, Y’all!!

Goal setting is not something that is written in stone. Your written goal, visualization, and plan will not only be a record and guide but a working document that can be changed as your vision of your future changes. Having it written down enables you to track your progress and any changes. You can evaluate as you progress and by ticking your achievements off as you go you’ll be able to celebrate your progress along the way.

 

Did you write that all down? I hope so! The next article will be the cherry on the top of this whole journaling thing. So make sure you come back to read the next tips about journaling. You’ll be glad you did!

6 Tips for Getting a Grip on Self-Doubt

6 Tips for Getting a Grip on Self-Doubt

 

Did you know that a whopping 85 percent of people have low-esteem? This issue affects their personal and professional lives, including their careers, their health, and their salaries. In other words, self-doubt and low self-esteem can keep you from reaching your peak potential. Together let’s look at the 6 Tips for Getting a Grip on Self-Doubt. Then let’s kick its butt!

 

These personality traits appear to be more common among women. They develop in childhood and either exacerbate or diminish with time. If self-doubt plagues you, check out these tips to boost your confidence and trust yourself more:

 

Accept Yourself

 

Self-doubt is part of being human. Embrace it and turn it into a strength. When used correctly, this personality trait can help you make better decisions, instead of rushing things. Think of it as a tool that guides your actions and keeps you from making costly mistakes.

 

Just make sure you don’t overuse it though because self-doubt can also make you question your sanity and decision-making abilities.

Definition

noun: lack of confidence in the reliability of one’s own motives, personality, thought, etc.

 

Know You’re Not Alone

 

Even the most successful people have doubts. They often question their actions and wonder what the right thing to do is.

 

Focus on building your confidence and self-esteem. You might never get rid of doubts, but you can stop them from taking over your life.

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Get the Facts

 

Your doubts don’t necessarily reflect the truth. Most times, they mirror your fears and emotional struggles. Think about your achievements and how hard you worked to get where you are today. Be proud of yourself and admire your capabilities.

 

Whenever you’re in doubt, get the facts straight. Research the problem in question, weigh the pros and cons, and ask for a second opinion.

 

Acknowledge Your Strengths

 

Make a list of things you excel in. Write down your skills and accomplishments. Accept praise from others gracefully and acknowledge your talent.

 

Celebrate your strengths every single day. Make positive affirmations and remind yourself how much you’ve done so far. Stop thinking of what you could have done better.

 

Choose Your Friends Wisely

 

Negative people can drag you down and ruin your self-esteem. Nothing will ever be good enough for them. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive people who support you and listen to you instead of judging.

 

Define Your Values

 

Lastly, define your values and the values you live by daily. Once you establish those, you will have a more realistic perspective of the current situation. Focus on the things that drive your actions and are at the core of your beliefs.

 

Overcoming self-doubt is a lifelong process. Stop questioning your own decisions. Don’t waste time over-analyzing – trust your actions and put your plans in motion.

 

Join us next time when we start discussing journaling and the benefits of writing things down to help you discover things you might not even know about yourself.

 

It’s going to be EPIC!

 

 

The Benefits & Problems of Being a Good Listener

The Benefits & Problems of Being a Good Listener

The Benefits & Problems of Being a Good Listener

How many times have you listened to someone and found that you have come away knowing them better for it? When a person speaks, they reveal a lot about themselves. So if you want to know a person better and understand their motives, dreams, and desires, then it makes sense to listen more closely. The Benefits & Problems of Being a Good Listener is important.

While most of us can hear, not all people have the ability to listen as attentively as others. This is why listening is often listed as a desired skill set.

Be a Good Listener

When you start to listen to a person you gain more insights such as:

* Understanding what they expect of themselves and you
* Build better relationships with family, friends and your coworkers
* You will be able to resolve issues more quickly
* Have a better understanding of what people are trying to tell you
* Know how to respond properly
* You will become a trusted and respected person

Are YOU a Good Listener?

The moment you present yourself as someone who is not listening, your trust level drops substantially. There are actually physical and mental barriers that you need to overcome in order to become good at listening.

The most common ones include things like:

* Prejudice
* Language and accent barriers
* Noise levels
* Fear
* Anger
* Worry
* Poor attention span
* Hearing issues

Some of these barriers are going to prevent even the best listener to fully understand the issue. A great example of this is trying to listen to someone who is not speaking their native language. They may use the correct words, but the biggest handicap is their accent. No matter how hard they try to pronounce words correctly they are just not understood.

Understanding  & Trusting Others

So what can you do if you are having a hard time understanding someone? A good active listener will often try to do the following things to improve their comprehension of the situation.

* Move in a little closer
* Maintain eye contact
* Nod and smile to indicate that you are listening
* Ask appropriate questions
* Try to clarify the issue in your own words

By doing these things you are showing the person that you are doing your best to understand them. This can be very helpful and can put the person speaking at ease. Quite often they are feeling stressed out, nervous and anxious.

By helping them to put their feelings behind them, they can often explain the situation better.

As you can see it is not that difficult to improve your listening skills. Just be aware that there are problems that can prevent you from fully understanding people sometimes.

Share Your Heart & Practice Empathy

Share Your Heart & Practice Empathy

Share Your Heart & Practice Empathy

We trust people around us who are open and honest with us. We like and trust people who aren’t afraid to share what they feel and what they are passionate about.  Share Your Heart & Practice Empathy – yeah, how do you do that?

Be Vulnerable

In other words, we’re willing to be vulnerable around others who aren’t afraid to share their heart. Thus, it’s only logical that if you want to get closer to those around you, pull them in, and get them on your side so to speak, you should open your own heart and share what’s important to you.

Share YOUR Passion

It’s not always easy to make yourself vulnerable by sharing your passions and ideas, but it will pay off in the right context.

If you’re trying to get your team on board with a big idea that will improve the company, the work environment, or how your department works, don’t be afraid to let your passion and excitement show. It can be quite contagious and if nothing else, it communicates how important this is to you and that you’re doing it to better the work environment or job security for everyone on the team.

The Easy Button

This, like many other “people skills” will come easier to some than others. If you’re in the habit of keeping your feelings and important thoughts to yourself, it will take some conscious effort and practice to get in the habit of sharing your heart.

Start small and among people like close friends or family that you feel relatively safe in doing so.

As time goes by, keep practicing and widening the circle of people you share your heart with until it becomes part of who you are.

Skils – skills – skills

Another important skill that’s worth developing is empathy. Empathy is being able to recognize what the other person feels and what motivates them. Here’s why this is important. At our core, we’re motivated by what’s in it for us. When you’re able to empathize, you’re able to see what will motivate the other person and what they could get out of whatever it is you want to accomplish.

When you can communicate that well, it becomes easy to get people on your side and get them on board with what you want to do.

Are YOU Empathic?

Some people are naturally empathic, while others have to work at it a little harder. Try to put yourself into the other person’s shoes. Think about how things affect them from their point of view. The better you get at viewing things from their side, and figuring out what motivates and drives them, the easier it will become to use the right words, acts, and motivators to win them over.

Making Other People Happy

Making Other People Happy

When people themselves are happy, they experience positive feelings which they attribute as being something good. But when people make others happy, it elevates those positive feelings even further. Making other people happy should be a goal.

There is no doubt that people love to make others happy. In fact, if you are ever feeling down yourself, one way to bring yourself up is to find ways to make others happy. This will give you the boost you need.

Do YOU Even Try?

When you strive to make others happy, they notice.

They will get a boost in their mood which you will see that reaction in their face immediately. It may even be returned to you in kind, either immediately, or sometime in the future.

Here’s the Thing

The great part about making others happy is it is relatively easy to do. It can be as simple as paying someone a compliment.

Or it can be helping out a colleague whose workload is overextended. Sometimes, simply thanking someone can lift up their spirits no matter how small the task that you are thanking them for is.

Just SMILE

One really easy way to make people happy is to smile. Smiling is a warm and friendly act that most people will respond to positively by smiling back. A smile is a form of welcoming and shows that you are opening yourself up to those people. It gives people an invitation to approach you.

Another way to make someone happy is to simply listen to them. You would be amazed at how effective this is. People aren’t usually good listeners so if you stand out as someone who is, this too will get noticed by people and it will make them happy.

Just Try

If you want to go a step further in making others happy, try to learn more about the people that you want to make happy. Be interested in what they do. Then, if you see something related to their interests, either bring it to their attention or give them something related that shows you were paying attention.

It’s important to be genuine when making others happy and not use it as a form of manipulation. People will pick right up on that tactic and it is sure to backfire on you.

😛 – Does this make you smile?

Since it doesn’t really work anyway, why bother even trying it? People will appreciate you much more and will respond positively to your efforts to make them happy instead of trying to get something out of it for yourself.

They will also be more willing to make you happy when the effort is real. Just do it!

Forgiveness: Another Way to Eliminate Negativity

Forgiveness: Another Way to Eliminate Negativity

Forgiveness

When people treat you wrong, it is very easy to hold a grudge. You may not understand how it could be possible to forgive someone for a slight, especially if the action was especially hurtful. Maybe you think forgiveness is about the other person and somehow, they benefit from you forgiving them. Forgiveness is not about the other person; it is about you.

Do YOU Know How To Forgive?

Forgiving another person does not always mean they stay in your life. Sometimes you do not even let them know you are forgiving them. You do not even need to trust them again. Just forgive them to eliminate the negativity in your life.

A Method

Even horrific crimes can be forgiven. For safety reasons, you may want to use an indirect way of forgiving them instead of contacting them directly. Write a letter as if you plan on sending it to the other person. Talk about how what they did made you feel, and about how it made you think about yourself. Write about how you are no longer going to allow them space in your head and how you forgive them for what they did to you.

And Then

When you finish writing, seal up the letter in an envelope and put their name on the front. Then either throw it away (shred it first!) or burn the letter. It does not have to actually be read by the person you are forgiving, this exercise is to help you get past the negativity and the chains that are holding you back as a person.

Professional Help

If you find you can’t forgive on your own, you may want to talk with a professional. Therapy can really help you get past this hurdle. Especially if the person committed a serious crime. If you have been abused, particularly over a long period of time, you may need therapy to help you get past what was done to you. There is nothing wrong with seeking help.

And After – Forgiveness

Once you have forgiven the other person, you will feel like a weight has been lifted, or chains have been removed. Grudges are not healthy for you and they do not affect the other person. When you bottle up negative feelings, you can increase your risks of developing heart disease, and other health conditions. You tend to age faster as well. Not forgiving others can dim your overall outlook on life, so why put yourself through all of that?

REMEMBER

Remember that forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about eliminating the negativity in your own life.

So free yourself today by forgiving others for the wrongs they have done to you.

Eliminate Negativity by Developing a Positive Attitude

Eliminate Negativity by Developing a Positive Attitude

Eliminate Negativity

The best way to eliminate negativity is to develop a positive attitude. Your thoughts and outlook on life have a profound effect on how you live your life. They are also contagious and affect those around you. You can’t have both positive and negative in the same space. So why not focus on turning the negativity into something more positive?

You will find you have more energy and enthusiasm when you have a more positive attitude. People will want to be around you more and will be more positive as well, leading to a cascade effect. Negativity tends to bring you down and steal away your energy. It can also cause health issues over time.

Some ways you can develop a more positive attitude are:

Read Books about Positive Thinking
There are many books out there that can teach you about how to develop a positive mindset and eliminate the negativity in your life. Reading is not only a great way to learn, but it helps your brain build more connections which keep it healthy for a longer time. You can even find many very good books on this subject in your local library and read them for free.

Affirmations
Affirmations are a way of reprogramming the negative thoughts you tell yourself – and in many cases, you may not even be aware that you have them. By doing affirmations, you can change these negative thoughts into positive ones. You can start thinking better of yourself.

Meditation
Meditation is a great way to help eliminate negativity and turn it into positive thinking. It also reduces stress. Because you get past the conscious level, you can really help reprogram your mindset with meditation. If you combine this with the affirmations, you can increase the results.
Spend time with positive people

How to Eliminate Negativity

Try to eliminate or limit contact with people who tend to have a negative mindset. Sometimes you can’t completely break off contact with them, especially if they are family or people you work with, but as much as possible try to spend time with positive people. Not only will you find it easier to be positive around them, but you may learn new ways to help yourself be more positive.

Just Do It

You can eliminate negativity if you set your mind to it and use tools and techniques to make it happen. You will not only feel better about yourself and have more energy and zest for life, but you will be physically healthier. Negative people drain their mental and physical well-being of their mindset. So, learn to have a positive attitude.

Be a Person of Your Word

Be a Person of Your Word

You will never be a people person if you aren’t truthful and deliver on what you say you will. People will start to avoid you when this happens. You need to make sure that if you promise something, you will do whatever it takes to make sure you get it done. Are you a “Be a Person of Your Word” kind of person?

Don’t Promise if You Can’t Deliver

Of course, don’t promise things if you feel you cannot get them done. You see this happen with companies all the time. They agree to anything customers ask for and then are unable to give them what they want. That is never a good situation to be in. People will react negatively when this happens. The company won’t get more business, and their reputation will be tarnished as a result.

Don’t let this happen on a personal level

Be confident in knowing what people are asking you to do. Don’t agree just because you don’t want them to become upset with you. They will be more upset if you aren’t able to produce what you told them.
If you agree to meet with someone, be sure to keep the appointment. There are certain circumstances where you have to cancel, once in a while. That’s okay, but don’t make a habit of this. Being a people person means being dependable.

What are YOUR Standards?

It’s also okay to expect the same standards as others. If you find someone who is not dependable, you may have to cut ties with them. This may seem counterintuitive to the whole idea of being a people person, but it’s not. You are expected to be reliable, and you should expect the same from everyone you deal with.

Of course, there are going to be occasions where people have to break appointments. This is normal and should be expected. Don’t be too hard on people when it happens. But, here too, they shouldn’t be repeat offenders. It’s important to be understanding, but there is a point where some people will take advantage of this.

Be a Person of YOUR Word

When you are known as a person of your word, others will have no problem recommending you. In fact, they will start referring to you even without you asking for it. This is one of the foundations of being a people person.

Being a people person is mostly about common sense. It’s about interacting with others and having some expectations for everyone you deal with. It’s about developing friendships as well as work relationships. As you increase the number of people, you will discover what works best for you and those people.

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