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Tash has a powerful and compelling story that needs to be told and the grit and conviction to share it with the world.– Myrrhanda Novak –
Can we Really Control our Emotions?
They seem to have a mind on their own as they rule our lives and dictate how we’ll act.
Easily enough, if we have a basic understanding of how our brains are wired, we can use this knowledge to ultimately re-wire our emotions to our advantage.
Let me introduce you to the power of Creative Visualization.
What is Creative Visualization
Creative Visualization is simply the process of imagining a desired end result. This may seem odd but our brains cannot distinguish the difference between real or imaginary. If something takes place in real life it affects our brains in a tested, measurable way. If we imagine something and run those same tests, our brains also show them being affected in the same, measurable way.
Take a look at the research discovered at Harvard Media School . A group of students were asked to practise piano the traditional way while another group was asked to practise only by thinking. The transcranial-magnetic-stimulation (TMS) testing resulted in both groups showing physical change in the brain structure.
Designed By God
Creative Visualization has been around forever, it’s how we were designed by God. In fact, Hebrews 11:3 says that all things that are seen come from things that are not seen. This is true in many areas but let’s examine a few.
This is an incredible discovery if you would take a sec to think about it. All things living, came from a seed and that seed was inside another seed, which was inside another seed and so on. It’s easy to see how a real, living, tangible object actually come from something that was once invisible.
How about the things man made. These dream creations existed only inside the invisible realm of the imagination until mankind formed them into something we can physically see.
This is wild.
Create your Emotions Intentionally
Our emotions and feelings can be created in the same way. If you want to feel differently in a situation, see yourself feeling differently in that situation. If you want to act differently under pressure, see yourself acting differently under that pressure.
Now you don’t imagine something once and the change is there, it take time, practise, effort an consistency. Just like practising a sport, a new instrument or learning any new skill.
Who Does This Stuff Anyways?
Did you know, Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 major golf championships said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head.” He goes on to share this inner picture and all the steps the ball will take in great detail.
Matthew Nagle, a man paralyzed in all four limbs uses mental practises to transform his entire way of life. He has learned how to use a mouse, control a robotic arm, open email and so much more…. all while having a silicone chip implanted inside his brain.
Natan Sharansky sought out to become the worlds best chess player while in solitary confinement, just by practising mental visualization. Lo and behold, in 1996, Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov.
Using Creative Visualization to Shape our Emotions
Habits are formed by repeating the same processes over and over again. If we act intentionally in a certain situation this act will become habitual, normal and natural. We can train our emotions in the same way.
- Imagine yourself remaining calm, cool and collected when an angry individual is speaking irrationally.
- See yourself letting an offensive remark roll off your back and not letting it bother you.
- If you are about to embark on a day that you know will invite stress and overwhelm, see yourself intentionally holding your emotions together.
My Could-Have-Been Stressful Outing
The day we were celebrating the life of my father (he didn’t want a funeral) I had some errands to run. Last minute forgotten items, in and out of stores, long line ups, many hours of driving around… all while lugging around my four children.
I knew going into the day that this was the perfect concoction for a stressful, emotionally overwhelming day. However, I pre-decided I was not going to let that happen. I pre-saw my children complaining, fighting and even possibly having a melt down. I saw the long lines before we even life the house. I proposed to be joyful and talkative to whoever was next to me in line, despite having a million errands and being in a hurry. (Isn’t that the worst?)
Wanna guess how my day went? Just as I planned. The children whined and complained as any children would under the circumstances, but I held my own. I kept my emotions in tact and didn’t allow myself to get overwhelmed under the circumstances. Actually, I’d even dare to say the day went well, even though I was forced to share my tears with gravity.
“She has Clearly Done this Before”
“She has clearly done this before,” were the words – I was told – a wife whispered to her husband a few moments after I took stage. When he told me this I laughed because it was actually the FIRST time I spoke on stage. But that’s not entirely true, I was truly comfortable up there because I have been there before. I’ve been on many stages before… in my mind.
I have known for most of my life (can’t believe I’m old enough to say that) that I was a speaker and teacher. And although I have led countless workshops and small groups I have never spoken professionally from the stage, until then.
All the thoughts I’ve had of me speaking wasn’t even intentional, it’s just the reality of who I’m called to be taking over my mind and that day, it showed.
How I Keep My Cool When Walking Into Conflict
This is probably one of the most beneficial tools I have learned in my marriage. I knew that I wanted to control my anger during a disagreement. I wanted to speak respectfully, be in control of the tone in my voice and not allow my emotions to jerk me around.
One way I have been able to accomplish this is by being intentional when I walk into an upsetting situation. I would tell myself before hand that no matter where the conversation goes, I will hold my own. I will not let my emotions run wild, I will keep a tight leash on my tongue and tone and I made a point to speak intentionally and respectfully.
Now don’t get me wrong. It took time and much practise before I was successful at dong this. I failed many times but I kept at it and would try again next time. It’s funny how opportunities to practise always came around. I still have a ways to go, by no means do I want to sit here pretending to be perfect, but I have made such tremendous progress you’d think I’m a different gal altogether.
Will You Be Intentional?
If you are ready to learn more then join my free 5 part mini course.
You will learn….
- How to be victorious despite any situation you are facing.
- An easier way for you to manage negative emotions.
- How to get a grip on stress and overwhelm.
- How to skillfully adapt, manage and influence the emotions of others.
- How to communicate effectively and efficiently.
- The ONE SIMPLE HABIT you need to instantly increase your health, happiness and overall personal achievement.
Freedom from Stress, Anger and Overwhelm.
Due to the results of a recent survey I want to take a moment and comment on the top areas plaguing families and entrepreneurs.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could snap your fingers and have your biggest issues disappear? If only it were this easy. The good news is, with the right knowledge, effort and consistency you can experience freedom.
Here are some quick-wins for you as you journey on this path towards emotional and relational health.
If you’re stressed due to too much responsibility then simply determine which areas you can pull back on. Learn to say “no” (you can’t do it all) and clear your life from unnecessary responsibility. Feel this is impossible? More often than not, you put this pressure on yourself by demanding you keep up with it all. Learn to let things go and to be okay with it. If it’s truly important you can pick it up later.
Another way to rid stress from your life is to not allow yourself to “go there.” Make the decision to not allow yourself get stressed. When you feel those emotions creeping up, push against them and intentionally stay level-headed. This take time and practise but the more you are intentional about doing this the easier it becomes. Eventually this becomes natural and it’ll cause you to enjoy life a lot more.
Stress doesn’t solve your issues, it just makes you feel unpleasant as you stare at them. If you can keep your mind clear, calm and “hold it together” you will find it much easier to take care of whatever is in front of you while maintaining your sanity (and joy) along the way.
Overwhelm (a close cousin to stress)
Overwhelm takes over when there is too much going on and you feel you cannot keep up the current pace. Whether you struggle to cope with daily responsibilities, or are simply just trying to take on the world (because you’re an ambitions high-achiever) the solution is the same, you need to increase your emotional strength.
Think of training your emotions like weight training. The stronger your muscles are the more weight you can lift before reaching the point of fatigue. The stronger you are emotionally the more responsibility and troublesome situations you can carry without falling apart and loosing your joy.
There is a wise saying that goes something like this… joy is your strength. If you can keep your joy, even in the midst of difficulties, that’s a true sign of emotional maturity and strength.
Many times frustration settles when you face persistent issues and don’t know how to overcome. No matter what you are facing, others have been in your shoes and have overcome. Put your learning ears on, find the answers, stop making excuses and do what they did so you can have the same positive results.
Everyone wants what someone else has but they aren’t willing to do what they did to get it. Don’t be like this. Find the answers, do the work, reap the results.
I previously did a series on Relationship Rules which laid out helpful guidelines on how to properly communicate during difficulty. When we are faced with anger (whether it’s our own or someone else’s) we blur the lines of what is acceptable and what’s not. We first need to understand where healthy communication lines start and where unhealthy communication lines ends. Then, just like in sports, we need to play within the boundary lines.
Once you’re aware where these lines fall you’ll need to learn how to tactfully manage difficult people – including yourself. Tame your emotions, hold yourself back, rise to the occasion and become stronger and better.
In an effort to take the path of least resistance you may have let things go undone or unsaid. In the long run this bites you in the butt leaving you with more pain than you anticipated and no idea how to bring about change. With an understanding of healthy communication lines you’ll have the confidence and boldness to approach issues without destroying the relationship or threatening your personal peace and joy.
Approaching difficult situations swiftly is the fastest way to get on the other side of them and get on with enjoying life. You will have the best results if you can remain kind and gentle in your approach while speaking softly and in a non-threatening way. During conflict state only the facts and do not jump to conclusions, make character accusations or speculations.
You can explain how a situation is affecting you but think creatively about how the other person can benefit. This will be key in gaining their sincere heartfelt agreement.
Insecurity and Self-Doubt
I know as well as anyone how debilitating insecurity can be. There are tools you can use to overcome and a beautiful life does lie on the other side. To get there you must know how to silence tormenting thoughts, how to choose the behaviours that will result in a beautiful future and how to hear the voice of God, leading you towards the “right” path.
What are you doing that you know you should stop? What do you watch that you know is garbage? Who are your toxic friends you need to separate yourself from? What do you think about or do that you know you should stop? This little “knowing” inside is God leading you towards a brighter future. Learning to hear this voice and listen will bring about huge rewards.
Tormenting thoughts grow the more you feed them. Rebelling against them, which will make you temporarily uncomfortable, will bring about lasting freedom. I want to show you how to do this.
The decisions you make today have an impact on the quality of your future. What you watch, listen to, read, think and talk about shapes your mind, attitude, perspective and emotions. Everything you do is either bringing you closer to your ideal life or farther from it. When you become intentional and make decisions that make a difference, you will see big pay offs.
A Beautiful Life
I’m in the process of creating a course on becoming emotionally and relationally stable. I strongly believe that these two areas are the foundation to a beautiful life.
Thank about it. If you ask anyone what the most important things are in life they will relate back to their emotional health (happiness, peace, fulfillment, contentment, satisfaction) and relationships (marriage, parenting, friends).
What good would it do you to have all the physical pleasures of this world but be a frustrated, emotional wreck, dissatisfied with life while your relationships are falling apart? Sadly this is the case for many. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against financial prosperity, or building an exciting business, just not at the expense of your emotional and relational health.
If you would like more information on my FREE Mini course called Becoming Emotionally and Relationally Stable, you can follow this link and sign up here.
What Goes on Under Your Roof?
Demands. Ultimatums. Insisting. Dictating. Are these a norm in your relationship?
If so one of you is attempting to control the other? Do you think this is acceptable? God himself grants mankind the freedom to have their own will and to make their own choices. Should we be above him and attempt to take this will away from someone?
Don’t hear me the wrong way. I’m not saying decisions should be made without consultation and discussion. It just means you recognize each other as an individual and grant them the freedom to have their own desires and opinions, even if they differ from yours.
Sadly, in relationships many force the other to comply with what they want. Force? Really? That’s extreme don’t you think? Sure, no one’s arm is being twisted but a great deal of effort, energy and coercion is taking place to ensure that someone in particular gets their way. Ahem, that is the definition of force BTW.
What’s Getting Dished Out?
What happens if things don’t go as this forceful individual wants? Does the condescending tone get whipped out? How about belittling remarks or an irritated disposition? If this person doesn’t get their way do they make the other suffer?
In relationships opinions should be heard, considered and understood and if at all possible negotiations should be made. But what happens when nothing more needs to be said and all is talked through? Both individuals need to be released to make their own decisions. No one should be verbally or emotionally beat up whether their decision is good, bad, foolish or otherwise.
- If there is a disagreement over the decision. They are still free to choose.
- If you are upset about their choice. They are still free to choose.
- If their decision is foolish or unfair. They are still free to choose.
Let’s get real, some decisions bring a natural consequences but everyone must be free to make mistakes. If it harms the marriage or violates values then boundaries will likely need to be laid. This doesn’t take away the fact that they still should be free to choose.
Bondage Doesn’t Breed Connection
This is an area many need to understand. Individuals think they are serving the relationship well by preventing behaviour that is uncomfortable or has consequences. Actually, they are harming the relationship because love cannot flourish when someone is kept in bondage.
“A man convinced against their will is of the same opinion still” Zig Ziglar.
To get lasting results and truly get on the same page, both must make that move out of choice, not force. If dictation stops, demands come to an end and harsh attitudes are laid to rest then choices can be made without the fear of being mistreated. This attitude towards one another will cause an openness to sprout as you come together out of a desire to do so, not out of force.
I hear ya’ll thinking…. If freedom is granted, HOW should one respond during disagreements?
Clear the Clutter
Besides granting freedom to make choices you must also know how to act (and how not to act) when disagreements arise, which they inevitably will.
Many people clutter their day-to-day dealings with disrespectful comments. Whether it’s annoyance behind their statements, a tone that delivers disapproval, or an overall harshness in their demeanour. Speaking this way is not fitting for leaders, lovers or anyone who desires to be an individual with integrity. Many may not realize how disrespectful they sound across until it’s pointed out. Even then this new reality may get rejected because they do not want to admit this is how they are. Being mindful of how you come across is the first step towards change in this area.
Let’s take a closer look at disrespect.
- Acting like someone is worthless
- Feeling like someone is beneath considering
- To pay no attention to
- To overlook
- To have inconsiderate behaviour
- Impolite remarks
- To be brash, bold and harsh in tone
The Flip Side
Let’s examine the other side of this scenario…. Respect is an attitude that has an overall demeanour that is KIND. Oh boy, here we go again… not another post on respect. Don’t worry I have a different take, let me bring it home.
You may have heard the phrase I respectfully disagree but what does that look like in real life? Simply put, it’s remaining kind in your words, tone and body language. If you need to confront an issue remain respectful by keeping kindness close.
Being kind means you are….
- Well meaning
What are You Radiating?
As you deliver kindness you are showing respect and for goodness sake, add a smile to it. A smile says, “I like you and I am happy with you.” But even if you are not happy with or even like them a smile says, “I choose to treat your with respect and show you kindness.” A person of integrity will do this for no other reason then it’s the right thing to do. Consider this weight training as you gain inner-strength along the way. A smile is the fastest and easiest way to show kindness to those around you. Even in the midst of troubling situations be mindful of the shape your face is making, much of your communication radiates from it.
When we are unhappy with someone are we able to be kind or is disrespect the only option? Are we impolite, brash and inconsiderate or warm, thoughtful and hospitable? I understand how difficult this seems to tackle but let me explain the benefits and why I believe everyone should put in the effort.
Get In the Gym
First and foremost, you should want to treat people with respect because it challenges you as an individual. As your character grows reputation develops your self-worth will increase and you’ll be proud of who you are becoming.
It’s easy to be kind when others are kind to you but it shows true inner-strength to be kind to those who are not.
Developing inner-strength is similar to gaining muscle. When you pick up a weight you choose a mass that is uncomfortable and exert your muscles until they are fatigued. Some call this working out until failure. You may start at 50 lbs but after so many reps you won’t even be able to lift 5lbs. This rips the fibres in your muscles until they no longer functional but as they rebuild they become stronger.
In Weakness Strength Develops
Relationships are like heavy weights, they apply pressure and make you uncomfortable under it. When you respond positively with a warm, sympathetic heart you get stronger because you’ve endured. If you are rude, brash and impolite during the pressure then you need to try again and keep at it. Do whatever you can to remain kind, start where you are at.
By the way, it you haven’t heard the term yet this kind of training is called Emotional Intelligence. Gaining strength in this area is imperative to your overall success. You can read more about it here.
Detour – Too cool not to point out
2 Corinthians 12:10 says “when I am weak, then I am strong.”
How does this verse even begin to make sense? If you understand the process of bringing your muscles to a place of weakness before they build up strong, you will understand inner growth happens when you feel weak but endure anyways.
During relationship difficulty you need to hold onto kindness when it’s hard. Hold on when you feel like you’ve failed, because you will experience failure.
I know this doesn’t sound very encouraging but look at it this way. Any great skill has failure along the way to mastery. No one learns to ride a bike without falling. No child walks without a few tumbles. No mucisian gets great without hitting the wrong notes and no one always hits it perfect in every sport.
Failure is inevitable so don’t let it derail you. Handle it well and keep going. This is where persistence pays off and the great get separated from the mediocre. Just think, in your apparent failure you are growing.
Consistency breeds results. Consistency causes growth. Consistency demands practice.
How to Change Your Spouse
The next benefit to having a kind disposition is that it softens a hard heart.
If a women remains kind in her behaviour and words this quiet dignity will make a man see where he has been wrong and she win him over. You may not agree with this statement but I didn’t come up with this concept God did, so take it up with him.
1 Peter 3:1 A man can be won not by words but by a pure, respectful demeanour.
A man can also win the heart of a hard, calloused women if he would respect her by displaying kindness. He can do this by showing thoughtfulness, affection, hospitality and having an overall warm, good-nature.
It’s important to realize most men and women are good natured who desire to do right and build a healthy relationship. Sometimes certain issues continue because they have been simply been permitted to do so. Perhaps it’s time to confront what’s been bugging you and pick it apart so it’s no longer a sore spot.
Here are three areas many couples trip on and if you can agree here then you are off to a great start.
1: Deal out tasks and duties and come to an agreement on who does what.
Be fair, reasonable and don’t expect perfection if they don’t consistently follow through. Extend grace as you would want it extended unto you.
2: Identify who is in charge of which areas and which decisions.
Make a quick list of all the important things that need to get decided. Negotiate who will make which choices based on who has the time to do so and knowledge or skill in each area. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses so this is very specific for each relationship. Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer. Talk things through until you both agree and are happy with the outcome.
I once heard of a couple who allows the women to make all the minor decisions while he makes all the major ones. Apparently in all the years of operating like this there have been no major decision to make. Ha!
If most things are working well then just bring up the areas you want to discuss. Where you would like to see change? Go from there and see if you can reach an agreement. No need to unroll everything if most areas are already running smooth.
3: Outline relationship values.
This is a biggie. It’s important to be on the same page with your values or this will cause a lot of tension. This is perhaps the most important area relationships need agreement in. Let’s examine values a closer so we can better understand our own.
- … are the standards that govern your behaviour.
- … govern the decency of your conduct.
- … determine your pride of dignity.
- … outline what’s important.
- … create the standards to calculate what is acceptable and what isn’t.
You don’t want to live in violation of your conscious but if you are extremely rigid and endlessly unyielding you will need to stretch and become flexible so you can live in harmony. Core values tend to stay in place throughout the different seasons of life and make you uncomfortable if step on. Here are a few.
- A simple lifestyle or a life of luxury?
- Is faith important or do you detest it?
- Perhaps one of you is hot and the other is cold when it comes to faith.
- Children or no children?
- Career orientated or family orientated?
- Time together or solitude?
Secondary values are ones that are open to change. It’s nice to live by them but not imperative.
Here are a few example.
- A wife should cook dinner.
- A husband should cut the grass.
- Date night is once a week.
- Protein is eaten at least during supper.
- I need to work out 3x a week.
The list could go on.
Shared values are far more important than shared interests. Amos 3:3 asks the question… Can two walk together if they don’t agree on the direction? Uncover the core and secondary values you hold and work towards heading in the same direction.
Which Hill Will You Die On?
When outlining values it’s important to know which are core and which are next in line to take priority. When faced with opposition ask yourself “is this a hill I want to die on?” The military have used this term to ask “will you hold this position at all costs?” In other words, is this a battle you will choose to fight?
No one can get their way in a relationship 100% of the time. This we know. Yet when we come to a fork in a road and a decision must be made you have to assess how strongly you feel about the issue at hand.
Relationship Rule 15 talks about being flexible. The more flexible you are the less pain you will experience when you are required to stretch. The more rigid you are the more you expect others to bend to your wants, needs and wishes. As pressure is applied on you to bend you fight, squabble and do everything in your power not to feel discomfort.
If you can relate then my advice to you is to let yourself get stretched. The more you practise being flexible the easier it becomes. In time pain and discomfort disappear and you will be left as a tolerable, cooperative, easy going individual.
If you come to a situation where you are both holding your position then you must be in agreement to bring in a third party to hear your case. Bring in an unbiased outsider who can speak wisdom over the situation and see things from a different perspective.
Your Relationship Song
Are there too many demands and ultimatums taking place in your relationship? Perhaps there is too much disrespect and not enough kindness? Has this way of living been permitted to continue? Would you like to put an end to it? It’s time to exercise, it’s time to stretch, it’s time to implementing change. It all starts with you.
Perhaps your relationship has a song that never ends? Maybe it goes on and on my friend? Maybe you started singing it not know what it was, but you keep singing it forever just because.…. This is the song that never ends, it goes on and on my friend…
If you discuss situations over and over and an agreement cannot get reached then grant one another the freedom to make a decision without the fear of getting verbally attacked. Identify your unwavering values but don’t hold fast on every issue or your spouse will feel they live in jail.
Alternatively be unwavering in kindness, hospitality and thoughtfulness. Hold fast to a warm heart and sympathetic disposition. This stand point will cause ugly attitudes to be drawn to you which will spur on change. Then you can come together willingly to examine situations and reach agreements.
You can do it, I know you will. I am cheering you on.
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