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

4 Lessons – Book Review of. . . Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman



Why IQ isn’t everything and the role EQ plays in doing and being well in life.

Lesson One:
The Ventilation Fallacy
Lesson Two:
Don’t Ruminate When You Are Sad, Distract Yourself Instead
Lesson Three:
The Artful Critique
Lesson Four:
Emotional Contagion

For more information on emotional intelligence and to schedule your complimentary strategy session contact
Cynthia Gossman, Emotional Wellness & Balance Center
cynthia@cynthiagossman.com
www.cynthiagossman.com
757-635-5379

10 Ways to Overcome Setbacks, Hurts and Losses, Building Resilience



Often times when we experienced a series of setbacks, hurts, and losses it’s extremely  100_0773hard to be thankful.  Taking the focus OFF the pain, anger, and toxic thoughts and shifting it to gratitude, happiness, and joy.

BEING THANKFUL …  Here are a few tips to help you make the shift:

  1. Keep a JOY LOG – each day find three things you are happy about
  2. Find a good quality in someone you are having a difficult relationship with
  3. Laugh – go see a funny movie or read a funny tale
  4. Listen – hearing another person’s story often times puts our own story back into perspective
  5. Affirmations – your brain is going to believe what you think and what you say
  6. De-Clutter your living space
  7. Count your blessings – as small as they may be, the little ones gather together to create a big one
  8. Plug in – connect with positive people and surroundings
  9. Embrace your uniqueness as you are the most special you
  10. Believe this too shall pass

People need People – Giving back to others no matter how depleted you may feel can always lift your spirits.  This month make a point to engage in at least one of these recommended activities:

  • Visit a children’s hospital and read stories to the kids
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Visit a nursing home and play bingo with one of the residence
  • Donate items to a shelter
  • Bring a meal to a friend

My wish for you is much love and sunshine in your souls and peace and joy in your hearts.

Love and JOY,

Cynthia

Creative Journaling



One huge benefit of journaling is that you are getting emotions and thoughts out of your heart and head and onto paper which prevents clutter and toxicity growing inside.  WOlateaug2010journaling-2W!

There is something magical (I’m sure there is science and research to support the magic) but for now I am going to call it magical… when you write or draw your thoughts and feelings onto paper.  The picture or map you create is a different way to journal.  Instead of writing sentences in a linear fashion, try mixing it up a bit.  Use drawings and colored pencils or crayons. The purpose of journaling can be different for everyone.  Some are setting goals or dreams while others are tracking their habits, daily routines and choices.  Some are emotionally trying to process a traumatic event or circumstance and getting along with a loved one.  Some are simply frustrated and working on obtaining clarity.

Purpose of Journaling

  • Venting or Dumping emotions, hurts and frustrations
  • Logging or Tracking food choices, spending habits, business activities
  • Self Exploration and Shifting from positive to negative and becoming more aware of what really is important
  • Celebrating the blessings and being grateful of what life offers
  • Creating goals and dreams and what inspires and motivates.

Creative Journaling can begin with:

  • Create a Journal jar with various themes.  Pick one each day and journal about that subject.
  • Include photos in your journaling
  • Use lyrics to songs
  • Use bullet points instead of sentences
  • Journal using a ‘tree’ technique
  • Journal your dreams and include pictures
  • Journal defining moments
  • Journal your daily or weekly schedule or progress
  • Use quotes or poems
  • Write from the viewpoint of another – What would _____ say to me?
  • Write a letter to a loved one whom you miss

Here’s to Creative Journaling. I wish you all much peace and love in your hearts and sunshine and happiness in your souls. #ahappyyouahappylife

Love and JOY,

Cynthia

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

 

5 Metastasizing Emotional Cancers



I have had the privilege of sharing pertinent information on emotional wellness and balance for nearly 20 years.  One of my absolute favorite teachings comes from Stephen Covey.  He is highly recognized for his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Do you know about the 8th Habit?  More specifically the 5 Metastasizing Emotional Cancers and how as leaders (in our personal life as well as in business), we must create an awareness of these 5 emotional cancers and choose to disengage. The 5 are: Complaining, Comparing, Criticizing, Competing and Contending. Here is a video of Stephen Covey himself on this subject. Enjoy!

Onions, Emotions and WHY WE CRY



Crying is an effective way to help get rid of STRESS! EMO tears have different hormones, chemicals, and toxins than BASIL or REFLEX tears.

Crying is a good form of communication! Promote great social signals and induce connection, compassion, and empathy.

Crying benefits you and your emotional wellness and balance.

Don’t hold it in, let it flow.

Opportunity, Being Sexy, and Living Life



Opportunity looks a lot like work.

Being Sexy – Being Really Smart, Thoughtful, Generous!

Living Life – build your own thing, build a life don’t live one.

 

Has The Emotional Garbage in Your Life Hardened You?



header

Has the emotional garbage in your life hardened you? Are you aware?

‘Soft skills’ is not a representation of begin soft.  ‘Soft skills’ is a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership, etc. that characterize relationships with other people.

How’s that emotional garbage in your life working for you?

Many high-potential leaders are derailed because they lack emotional awareness, emotion management, and appropriate interpersonal social skills such as the ability to work in teams and a tolerance for change.

Do you know your EQ emotional intelligence quotient?  

Guessing is NOT an accurate or effective way of determining your level of EQ.  Many relationships will be taxed while not knowing the areas that could be improved.

four areas of EI

How is EQ measured?  

The EQ-i® is the first scientifically validated emotional intelligence tool in the world.” ~ It is a highly actionable tool for: personal, professional, leadership, team or organization development” – MHS Multi Health Systems Publisher

CG Coaching & Consulting Emotional Wellness and Balance Center is licensed and certified to administer the EQ-i2.0 and EQ360 assessment tools AND provide state of the art training and coaching to help you achieve your peak performance.

18 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence



3Are you emotionally intelligent? Here’s how to know for sure.

1People with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly-held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

2Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that we know 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

3When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding:

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

You can take a scientifically validated test, EQ-i2.0, through CG Coaching & Consulting in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that will measure how much emotional intelligence you have and what you can do to improve if you’re lacking. Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid EQ tests aren’t free.

Here is a list of behaviors that ‘are the hallmarks of a high EQ’ that Travis Bradberry originally published on LinkedIn Pulse. (add’l hyperlinks have been removed)

1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary.
All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36 percent of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.

2. You’re curious about people.
It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

3. You embrace change.
Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

4. You know your strengths and weaknesses.
Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and you know how to lean into them and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. You’re a good judge of character.
Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they’re going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You know what they’re all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden beneath the surface.

6. You are difficult to offend.
If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.

7. You know how to say no (to yourself and others).
Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and you avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

8. You let go of mistakes.
Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

9. You give and expect nothing in return.
When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.

10. You don’t hold grudges.
The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

11. You neutralize toxic people.
Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. High EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground. Even when things completely derail, emotionally intelligent people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

12. You don’t seek perfection.
Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

13. You appreciate what you have.
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

14. You disconnect.
Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to keep your stress under control and to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment.

15. You limit your caffeine intake.
Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

16. You get enough sleep.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams) so that you wake up alert and clearheaded. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

17. You stop negative self-talk in its tracks.
The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

18. You won’t let anyone limit your joy.
When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

Source: Success.com article 1, 2, 3

For more information on taking your own EQ-i2.0 assessment, please contact CG Coaching & Consulting Emotional Wellness and Balance Center.

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,

Cynthia

Joy Restoration Coaching Happiness

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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

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