A Happy You is A Happy Life

The importance of empathy

How stress affects your brain

5 Steps to Happiness

You Are Unstoppable

I wanted to share this with you because the speeches in it got me thinking for the better. It was exactly what I was needing. This goes so much deeper than equestrianism. Even if you're not into horses, just listen.. & Yes, I made this video, but I do not own the clips or audio.

Posted by Kaitlyn Brooke on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Very Happy Brain

Live Interview

IQ vs. EQ with Daniel Goleman

The Happy Secret to Better Work

Posts in category Uncategorized

Lighten Up Light Up Your Voice 4th Annual Women’s Conference & Retreat

Grief Has No Gender


Men and women grieve differently, not because of gender, but because of the masculine/feminine parts of the brain and societal conditioning/stigmas. In all actuality, EVERYONE grieves differently. One’s grief is as unique as the relationship with the loved one.

The masculine part of the brain tends to process grief with action, doing, fixing, like going out and building the temple. Little to no conversation is necessary sometimes.

The feminine part of the brain tends to process grief with nurturing, comforting, connecting, like sitting inside the temple and ‘kumbayah’ing’ with others over a meal, talking, crying, expressing emotion.

Neither one is better than the other and the action makes for good mourning.  All men and women have both masculine and feminine parts in their brain. Therefore, a man may feel absolutely comfortable sitting in the knitting circle and expressing emotions just as much as a woman may feel more solace going out to the shed and building a new swing set.  Society has prevented individuals from grieving and mourning effectively by conditions, stigmas, and conformity. Our society is ill equipped to assist in the healing process due to rules and roles of what the griever should or shouldn’t do or how to express oneself as well as what the gender should or shouldn’t be allowed to express.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. A griever cannot THINK (brain) grief away. A griever must FEEL (heart) their grief and express it outward by mourning. There is a huge gap between the brain and the heart. Due to an ill-equipped society that tends to focus on THINKING for solutions, a griever is hindered, shunned, even shamed on FEELING towards healing.

Regardless of the gender role, rules and regulations society has placed expectations on others, all individuals have emotions. Through the healthy healing process of both grieving and mourning, a griever can eventually let go of the pain while keeping precious memories.

Love and JOY,

Emotional Wellness & Balance Center

Amygdala Hijack vs. Grief Burst

brain-heart-charactersCGCC Emotional Wellness and Balance Center

You and I have five realms of health: Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, and Social.  When your emotional realm is hijacked the other four realms are affected, compromised, and even shut down depending on our existing supply of coping skills, belief systems and how we were taught to react. So that means when your emotional health is attacked, your mental health, physical health, spiritual health as well as your social health are all compromised.

The amygdala is an area in your brain that processes your emotions and your ‘fight or flight’ mechanisms. It is a great little part of the brain to have. It alerts you when danger arises and keeps you safe. It also can allow you to feel the miraculous love and joys in life.  Did you know that your amygdala has a default programming?  It all began when you were a little wee one.  Watching your parents, grandparents, leaders and coaches created your default programming of your morals, beliefs and values. Since then your amygdala has been conditioned and groomed how to cope (react or respond) according to how you saw others cope.

Grief comes from the heart.  It is a form of love.  Grief cannot be reasoned or thought out.  Grief must be felt.

You must work on creating harmony between your brain and your heart.

Question, as you are reading this, are you aware (key word, aware) of how you react or respond, hence how you cope with life’s adversities? How’s your default coping mechanisms working for you?  There’s no right or wrong emotional defaults; However, there are healthy and unhealthy defaults.

AH and GB Definitions:

First let me explain what an amygdala hijack is. When the amygdala is hijacked, it hijacks ALL of the oxygen from other parts of the brain and shuts down the cerebral cortex frontal lobe that contains your rational thinking and problem solving.  You can become irrational, impulsive, dangerous at times, mean, and angry.

Now let me explain what a grief burst is. When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, your heart is broken and shattered because you are missing that loved one because you LOVED that person. All of your emotions are all over the place intertwined with one another.  You can burst into uncontrollable tears, sobbing, even collapse to the ground.

All emotions are either love based or fear based
Love Based – Happy, Joy, Kindness, Gentle, Grateful,
Fear Based – Angry, Disgusted, Hate, Betrayal, Guilt, Regret

Most amygdala hijacks are triggered by data collected and stored in our brains that are attached to memories, habits, rituals and conditions related to a particular incident or circumstance in the past that can be associated with hurt and anger.

Most grief bursts are triggered the same – by data collected and stored in our brains that are linked to memories, habits, rituals and conditions related to a particular incident or circumstance in the past that can be associated with happiness and joy.

Are AH and GB love based or fear based?

  • AH is fear based, usually no love involved at all, pure anger, hatred, betrayal – all fear based.
  • GB may contain fearful emotions but the base is LOVE.  If you didn’t LOVE that person, you wouldn’t be grieving and experiencing grief bursts.

Are AH and GB learned behaviors?

  • AH responses that are learned behaviors may include flipping people off and other hand gestures, colorful not-so-nice language spewing from our mouths, tantrums, destruction of property, slamming doors, hateful and attacking words.  You get the picture.  These are learned behaviors. We saw influential people in our life act that way more than once and our brain believed that was the way to react.
  • Grief bursts are not necessarily learned behaviors like amygdala hijacks are.  Grief bursts are usually weeping, sobbing, (yes screaming but in a much different way), cocooning in a fetal position.  Due to our societal stigmas from many generations past, people who have grief bursts are very uncomfortable with them and think they are wrong because we were not exposed to this healthy way of processing emotions.  Grief will demand your attention with no forewarning or predictability and usually at the most inopportune time – grocery store, bank, the middle of an important meeting, school, etc.)

What are the results of AH and GB?

  1. AH tend to be unhealthy and destroy people.  (Training is available to help rewire the defaults to healthier defaults)
  2. GB tend to be seen as unhealthy but are truly one of the healthiest behaviors a person can  honor in order to heal. (Coaching is available to assist the healing process)
  1. AH creates more stress and toxicity
  2. GB releases stress and toxicity and encourages healing.

 Amazing how society is more accepting of angry outbursts that come from an AH but is very uncomfortable with GB that portray love.

How to Stop the Insanity!

In the middle of the hijack or grief burst may not be the best time to learn the fundamentals of a new way to cope emotionally.  However, after the hijack and/or grief burst has passed, taking time to reflect is a vital step in managing your emotions better.

  1. What can I do in the moment of an amygdala hijack or grief burst?
  2. What skills can I learn and practice to help future AH and GB?
  3. How can I cope better emotionally?

To learn the answers to these questions and more, contact CG Coaching & Consulting Emotional Wellness and Balance Center today.

cynthia@cynthiagossman.com or 757-635-5379 or visit www.cynthiagossman.com


How to Deal With Changing Seasons and Seasons of Change

footprintschangeisajourneyHappy March!
I remember when I was a little girl living in New England and while learning about the seasons (we had four separate unique seasons at that time) being taught that March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” because the weather in the beginning of March could be very harsh and cold yet by the end of March be much gentler and warmer.  Living in Virginia Beach, VA now, we jump from teen temperatures to 70’s pretty much throughout the entire winter. As a matter of fact, we have experienced a few 80 degree Christmas’s AND right now my daffodils have been in bloom all through the beginning of this year.
My message today is about change. Many don’t like change; they become ‘comfortably numb’ as long as life stays the same with no surprises. But as soon as the boat starts a rockin’, oh boy, the anxiety kicks in. Some, like change only if THEY choose it. We are creatures of habit.
It’s March, symbolically the end of Winter AND the beginning of Spring. End of hibernation and beginning of awakening. End of cocooning and beginning of flying. End of short days/long nights and beginning of longer days/shorter nights. End of dormancy and beginning of growth. Just like the seasons of the year, we all have seasons of our own. Seasons are change. Transformation. The beginning of something, yet the end of something else. When one learns to embrace (even grieve and mourn) what is no longer, engage in the beauty that is ‘here and now’, and connect with hope and love for what will soon be, one becomes more peaceful.
There are many quotes and even songs that support this philosophy. Some perspectives view change as a sacrifice; some as a blessing. Which do you see, a sacrifice or a blessing, or both? One thing is for sure, the only thing that stays the same is change. One of my favorite quotes is by Wayne Dyer: “When you change the WAY you look at things; The THINGS you look at change”. Read that slowly and purposefully. It makes much sense.
Many resist change and resistance causes stress.  How can we cope with change with little to no stress?
PAP! With Patience, Acceptance, and Perspective, we can reduce our stress. Helen Keller said it truthfully: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” What are we focusing on? What are our choices? Increasing our awareness in the ‘here and now’ (mindfulness) we discover our power of choice to welcome change, become comfortable with change, embrace change. We have a power to choose what we are focusing on, how we are looking at things and the things we look at. We CAN reduce our stress by practicing patience, acceptance and perspective.
Change does not have to be a symbol of negativity. It can be the very essence of growth.I wish you all joy and peace in your hearts and much love and happiness in your souls.

Love and JOY,


Joy Restoration Coaching Happiness

h2Ohhhhhhh 5 Ways to De-Stress

by Abigail Cuffey and Judy Kirkwood, reprinted from LHJ, August 2008

Drink it, soak in it, listen to its music… water can soothe in all its forms.  Ah, water … sometimes just the thought f it can sweep us along in a current of happy memories, leaving stress on a distant shore.  But that relaxed feeling is not just due to pleasant images of sunny childhood afternoons playing in sprinklers or of breezy family vacations at the beach.  Recent scientific studies show that the stress-alleviating, mood-improving, tension-reducing power of good old H2O also has to do with the way it affects body chemistry and neurology.  Whatever the method, water works wonders – so dive in and de-stress!

SWIM IN IT Sure, an intense session of lap swimming can give you a stress-busting “runner’s high” of endorphin release without overstressing your joints.  But even a leisurely paddle in the pool can boost your mood. Jack Raglin, PhD., a professor of kinesiology at Indiana University, found that light exercise (such as a leisurely swim), during which participants were not exercising hard enough to generate endorphins, still produced significant mood improvements.  “The swimmers I work with daily feel they can ‘face the day better’ after getting out of the pool,” says Bruce Becker, M.D., a professor at Washington State University College of Education who specializes in the effects of aquatic immersion and exercise on human physiology.  “That effect is seen with exercise in general, but it seems to be more true with exercise in water, although we’re not sure exactly why.”  Even splashing around with the kids should have a positive effect on the nervous system, Dr.  Becker speculates.  If you can’t make it to the swimming pool, other types of aquatic immersion, like a soak in a bath or a hot tub, offer more accessible stress relief.  Even a splash in the sink might help. (For more details on that, read on!)

SOAK IN IT You already knew a bath helps you unwind.  Now there’s proof:  Dr. Becker recently studied the effect immersion in varying temperatures of water – cool, neutral, and warm – has on healthy adults.   After about 24 minutes, the central nervous system patterns of the subjects in warm water were essentially identical to those of people who are relaxed and focused, says Dr. Becker, “Other studies have found that  it decreases depression and anxiety”, he adds.  The way it works is a matter of speculation.  It may be that buoyancy plays a role, or that warm water gives us the same sensation we experienced while floating in the womb.

Whatever the reason, a relaxing bath – even just a footbath – can also improve your sleep, which may in turn lead to more energy and less stress.  A 1999 study in the Journal Physiological Anthropology found that women who took either a 20-minute bath or soaked their legs (up to their knees) in hot water for 30 minutes were able to fall asleep more quickly and had better-quality sleep compared with those who did neither.  “I wish women would stop thinking of baths as a luxury and instead make them an essential part of their lifestyle to alleviate stress and reenergize,” says Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the Stress Institute, in Atlanta.  Unable to squeeze in a good soak?  Hall suggests simply running warm water over your wrists for 30 seconds for instant relaxation at any point during the day.

DRINK IT Though you may not need to down a full eight glasses a day, too little water can have negative effects on your body and mood, resulting in more stress.  “Once you start to feel thirsty, you’re already somewhat dehydrated,” says Debra Boardley, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of public health at the University of Toledo College of Medicine.  “And we know from research that if you’re even mildly dehydrated, you’ll feel more tired and drained and less able to concentrate.”

A 2001 study found that mild water restriction (no fluids or food from midnight to 11 a.m.) had a negative effect on self-measured alertness.  Another found that after just 13 hours without water (think one long, busy day), subjects reported decreased concentration and alertness as well as more headaches.

Your weight and activity level, the air temperature and humidity all affect fluid needs and some people simply take longer to dehydrate than others.  Dr. Boardley says some general tips she’s heard include drinking a glass of water with each meal, as well as one glass in between meals and hydrating before and after exercise.

SPLASH IN IT Wish there was such a thing as antistress spray?  Get thee to a waterfall.  The air at the bottom of waterfalls contains a significantly higher amount of negative ions, electron-packed molecules that have been shown to have an antidepressant effect.  A 2006 study done at Wesleyan University found exposure to negative ions alleviated depression within 15 to 30 minutes.  The study’s lead author, Namni Goel, Ph.D., a psychiatry professor at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks on possibility is that negative air ions increase the amount and activity of serotonin (a chemical that regulates mood) in the brain.

No time to venture out into nature?  A higher than normal amount of these ions may also be found near park fountains or sprinklers.  So the next time you’re near splashing water, stop, relax and breathe in deeply.  Or try simply taking a shower.  Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that just a five-minute warm shower led to a significant anxiety reduction in study participants.

LISTEN TO IT Doesn’t it seem that you can literally feel your blood pressure plummet during a day at the beach?  It’s not just the soothing sensation of sinking tired toes into warm sand:  The sound of the surf may be part of what’s calming you down.  Researchers at the Huntsville (Alabama) Hospital tested the effect of ocean sounds on patients by playing these sounds for three consecutive nights.  Another group of patients received the same care but no ocean sounds.  the ocean group subsequently reported better quality of sleep, fewer awakenings and deeper sleep overall.

The steady rhythm of breaking waves or the even roar of running water may be why it’s so soothing.  Our brains respond positively to repetitive sound, according to David Swanson, Psy.D.. a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles.  For example, “If you’re at the beach, the waves come in sets and have a consistent rhythm, so it’s relaxing,” Dr. Swanson adds.  For instant indoor stress relief, try listening to a CD of natural water sounds or a tabletop fountain.

Goal Setting Vision Board Workshop a Success!

What a spectacular vision board workshop yesterday at Simply Fresh Cafe and Market (thank you Linda Wilson for your impeccable hospitality). We had 11 people who shared their dreams, visions, aspirations, fears, inspiration and camaraderie. Thank you to all who came out on a cold, wet day. Thank you to Nelson Cage for being our token man. Thank you all for your love and JOY you shared. with – Rene Matheny-Spires, Melva Padgett Pezzella, Diane Sessoms, Lesley Carmody, Meg Henderson Wade, Alissa Smith, Dana McManus, Stevie Puckett, and Marilyn Estrada.

Mark your calendars – the next vision board workshop will be held January 28th.

Interview on Hampton Roads Business Live

We Were Given Emotions to Live Life, Not Destroy It.HRBLinterviewpic


New Business and Growth in Hampton Roads

This Mix ‘n’ Mingle was spectacular.  Business development is stronger than ever in Hampton Roads.  In addition to my growth in business with adding Emotion Strategies training for professionals and corporate, I have joined forces with Maggie Lowery, co-creator of C & M Workshops and Retreats offering abundance and JOY to women.  We had a great group of professionals, too.

Here are some great announcements heard at this event. . . Early Jackson of New Direction Coaching Associates announced the 2014 publishing of his upcoming book, The Modern Day Princess.  Lisa Smith of Marketing, Mindset and Manifesting announced the debut of the book The Unsinkable Soul in which she is one of 20+ contributing writers sharing their stories of overcoming obstacles and high resilience in personal and business development.  Meg Henderson Wade, author of Confessions of a Southern Baby-Boomer; How I Survived Crack Cocaine Addiction, the Mafia & Other Totally True Tales. Bob Wager and Jo White owners of Bob’s Jobs Handyman Service shared their tremendous growth as well as a testimony for the services of Lisa Smith and her business coaching.  Among some of the other guests there was Brad Furman, w/Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Laurel Brooks, Owner/EFT Soul Path, Randy Thornton, Owner/Poco Productions, Cindy Huffman, Owner/Strategic Writing Solutions, Dainan Gibson w/Cox Media, Deana McClung w/World Financial Group, Stephanie Dudley w/Personal Touch Services, Ivory Morgan-Burton, Owner/Storybook Events, Sandra Purvis, Owner/Conquering Quickbooks, Paul Cappello, Owner/Cappello Business Advisory Services, and many more.

I thank all of you for attending.  You all are so talented and provide great business.  I wish you all much abundance and prosperity for 2014.  I look forward to seeing you around Hampton Roads.

Love and JOY,

$75 Billion Lost in US Due to Grief

The Wall Street Journal reported that the US lost $75 billion due to grief in the workplace as a result of accidents, loss of productivity, and absenteeism.  There are over 50 million people grieving at any given time.

“The cost of suffering from grief is staggering: Joy, health, vitality, relationships, creativity, productivity, clarity and prosperity all suffer.” ~ Aurora Winter, The Grief Academy

Wrong thinking about grief has led to unneeded suffering, myths and misconceptions.  Unresolved grief can manifest as fear, insecurity, overreacting to situations, a sinking feeling, and a preference for solitude.  Chronic stress from grief can prematurely age your cells by a decade.  It can even trigger death.

These statistics CAN be improved.

As a JOY Restoration coach, I see the struggles a griever goes through in addition to the grief from the death of their loved one.  Marriages are strained.  Parent/child relationships are hindered.   Family members become estranged.  In-Laws become Outlaws.  Work, employer/employee, and client relationships are challenged.  Anger, greed, lowered ability to understand and empathize others, fatigue, frustration all adds to the stress of it all.

Having a JOY Restoration coach provides an outlet and sounding board that validates emotions and offers an unbiased alternative perspective aiding in coping with and mending these relationships.  All in all, stress is reduced, heaviness is lifted, toxic thoughts are eliminated, and the sense of well being and joy is restored.

If you or someone you know is struggling…. you are not alone.  Reach out for help today.  You deserve peace and happiness.

“A HaPPy YOU is A HaPPy Life”

“A HaPPy Workplace is a Profitable Workplace”


Cynthia Gossman, the Emotion Strategist and JOY Restoration coach.

Mix n Mingle – Celebrate New Business and Growth in Hampton Roads

If you have new business…. business growth… special announcements… please inbox me.
I’d like to spotlight YOU and YOUR business at this event.

You all are invited. The more the merrier, bring a friend.

Come celebrate with Cynthia and learn more about what she is offering to the community and the workplace.

Thursday, December 5th, 5:30 – 8:30pm
UNO’s Chicago Grill
5700 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502


Join Our VIP Community


Great Books

"The Gift of Change - Spirtual Guidance for a Radically New Life"
by Marianne Williamson

"The Best Year Of Your Life - dream it.plan it.live it"
by Debbie Ford

"The Aladdin Factor"
by: Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

"What is Your WHAT?"
by: Steve Olsher

"The Slight Edge"
by: Jeff Olson

"Wherever You Go There You Are"
by: Jon Kabat-Zinn

"Play - How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul"
by: Stuart Brown, MD with Christopher Vaughan

"The Tools - Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity"
by: Phil Stutz and Barry Michels

"Unglued - Making Wise Choices In The Midst Of Raw Emotions"
by: Lysa Terkeurst

"Excuses Begone! - How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits"
by: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

"Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway"
by: Susan Jeffers, Ph.D

"MAKE MONEY Not Excuses - Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome Your Financial Fears Forever"
by: Jean Chatzky

"Who Moved My Cheese?"
by: Spencer Johnson, M.D.

"What's Worth Knowing"
by: Wendy Lustbader