Emotional Mastery to help us move forward


Upgrading how you feel
to help you change what you DO

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Intentionality Series

UPDATE: This article was written to support the mood challenges of most readers here.  The blog of one reader reminded me to be SURE to say that some of you are dealing with issues that are more complex, and that other articles I’ve written might be more helpful to you.  Click to the PTSD/TBI LinkList for links to a selection of those.

Riding herd on runaway emotions

I recently found an emotional resiliency blog post by PsychCentral blogger Athena Staik, Ph.D. that fits right in with my focus on change-management in 2017.

She begins with four important points to keep in mind:

  1. Emotion mastery is a built-in capacity, often ignored yet always available.
  2. It is a learned ability to respond in a conscious manner that short-circuits our body’s survival-system to keep it from controlling us and our lives with ineffective automatic reactions and unconscious defensive strategies.
  3. It involves developing an awareness of and connection to our thoughts, emotions and body sensations — so that we are able to, step by step, cultivate a practice, or lifestyle habit of making conscious, informed decisions that will keep us on course toward achieving our goals
  4. In the process of cultivating emotion mastery, we will build the confidence and resilience we need to handle upcoming challenges more effectively.

Emotional Mastery

She continues by using the acronym M-A-S-T-E-R-Y to outline a system she recommends to help us tame our emotional reactivity.

The article seems to have been written from a neuro-typical point of view, so I don’t agree completely with every single thing she has to say about them.

I do agree with her on their importance, however – and I’m sharing in the hopes that her “MASTERY” mnemonic will help us all keep them in mind.

Mnemonic devices are techniques a person can use to help them improve their ability to remember something — a memory technique to help your brain better encode and recall important information.

You can jump over to Staik’s article to see what she has to offer in response to each letter.  My own thoughts will be found in the posts I’ve linked within or below each of her mnemonic assists.

 So lets take a look at them!

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Moving Toward Emotional M-A-S-T-E-R-Y

M —> Live MINDFULLY to cultivate a practice of balance and wholeness in all aspects of your life.

Another related neurodiversity post:
Moving from Black or White to Balance

A —> AVOID sugary foods, drinks (alcohol).  She presents Sugar AS a “proven addictive mind-altering drug that elevates anxiety, depression, mood swings.”

I don’t think the issue is quite as black and white as all that across all functional spectrums, nor am I signing on to her assertion of proof.

Science can only report on what it is willing to study and Journal publish –
and even that “proves” nothing!

I do agree that most of us consume far too much sugar, however, and that an excess results in inflammation of both brain and body — which is now thought to be a major contributor to MANY major diseases besides heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Another related neurodiversity post:
Sugar Cravings in Alphabet City

S —> Get regular and adequate amounts of SLEEP to enjoy feeling refreshed each morning
-ahem- or whenever that happens to be with YOUR chronorhythms.

Sleep HAS been proven to play a critical role in both physical and mental well being. Sleep deficiency is not only associated with physical disease, but also with a range of emotional disturbances from subtle to dramatic.

A great many important functions take place while our brains sleep — such as the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels, as well as the brain’s housekeeping chores, when memories are consolidated and debris is swept away with the help of glial cells.

Other related neurodiversity posts:
You Don’t Want to Pay the Interest Charges on Sleep Debt
Sleeping with the Enemy: Mom’s N-24

T —> TREAT your body with loving care — as a 24/7 partner, dedicated to helping you realize your dreams and happiness.

She asserts that “Connecting to your body is like have your own personal consultant, a guide you consult with for more insight” – but those of us with Sensory Sensitivity Differences and Sensory Integration issues will have to go about things in a VERY different manner.

Other related neurodiversity posts:
Extreme Self-Care Coaching Lab: Mind, Body, Heart & Spirit
Getting to Good Enough: Discovering YOUR Perfect Balance

E —> EAT nutritious foods that support you to remain in optimal states of mind-body functioning when facing emotional triggers.

The link between nutrition and emotional health has now been conclusively demonstrated. Recent findings show that insufficient nutrition causes biochemical conditions in the brain and body that may be at the root of many emotional and physical challenges, and most certainly will exacerbate others.

Other related neurodiversity posts:
But I Don’t WANT to Give Up TASTE!
Executive Functioning Disorders: NOT just Kid Stuff

R —> Get REGULAR exercise to oxygenate your brain and body, also releasing healthful, happiness-producing hormones.

She’s absolutely correct when she writes that our bodies are designed to move — and that neurons appear to fuel themselves in an increased manner during exercise.  That, in turn, activates rapid-fire neurotransmitters that coordinate all systems of your body, not just those involved in muscle contractions, vision, and balance, and those which increase stamina, flexibility and strength.

Research has shown positive effects of exercise in the treatment of ADD/EFD, depression, anxiety, and that it enhances general feelings of emotional well-being.

Related neurodiversity post:
The Wisdom of Compensating for Deficits
You don’t HAVE to lose it as you age

Y —> Take the reins of YOUR LIFE to become authentically YOU, in conscious roles of observer, creator and choice-maker.

Related neurodiversity posts:
Priorities-101: Yes means No
Executive Functioning, Focus and Attentional Bias

Moving on to Moving ON

Staik closes beautifully, in a manner with which I can agree whole-heartedly, when she writes:

Instead of giving in to despair, why not learn how to access the inner equipment you have to build your own sense of competency, and a growing sense of confidence that, yes, you can feel good about yourself and your life, regardless the circumstances around you — providing you do so in healthy and lasting ways, as opposed to quick-fix ones.

CHANGE how you do things

Don’t allow 2017 become yet another year when you meant-to-hoped-to-tried-to but didn’t.  Enroll some help with the most difficult resolution of all: following-through toward achieving your goals.

Related Post: Why Accountability Leads to Follow-through

Need follow-through insurance this year?
No TIME to jump through even content posted here for free?

Then do yourself a favor and make SURE you check the posts about a Group Coaching opportunity, describing how to get some low-cost expert help. New groups form as soon as enough people are interested.

I can help you sort through the blog-available success modules to design an action plan guaranteed to be more effective than how most of you are currently doing things.

Group Coaching is a much more economical alternative to hiring my personal coaching services (and the FIRST time I announce a new class or group is always your least expensive option).

The content will be structured around the 12-week TeleClass on Modular Success Systems and, as always, class size will be limited to allow for personal attention. So make sure you sign up before the next group fills.

If you already know that this is something you are going to want to be part of, CLICK HERE to enroll, or leave me a comment below and I’ll save you a seat (fill in your name and email on the comment form or I won’t be able to contact you).

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

Shared on the Senior Salon


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There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right here and right now

For more links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

Other supports for this article – on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
A Few LinkLists by Category 

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with Executive Functioning struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

54 Responses to Emotional Mastery to help us move forward

  1. A great post Madelyn. I find all these tools helpful. Sugar is definitely an issue for me with fibromyalgia and auto immune disease. I avoid it. Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated by making a giant pavlova. I enjoyed it but I am back to normal eating today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Darn! Just lost a long comment and must head to bed (after 5AM here), so no time to redo it.

      But I want to take the time to say thanks for ringing in and Happy Birthday!!! Pavlova – haven’t had one in years and love the idea that it was your birthday cake. Hope you savored every single bite.

      I probably won’t be available again until late afternoon/eve Friday – personal problem that MUST be handled. So I’ll say good night after I hit send. I’ll be back with more when I am able.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hope all goes well…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you. Prayers appreciated if you are a praying woman.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • I am and I will send them out right now. X

            Like

            • Thank you.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that sugar is a mind-altering drug. It opens up more sugar receptors in the brain, and the more sugar we eat, the more receptors are created and the more we crave it. It should be listed as a Class A drug!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The sugar lobby is still quite powerful, so I doubt we’ll see that listing in our lifetimes, but more and more studies are coming out attesting to the harm that sugar does to the brain. If we could just get rid of high fructose corn syrup I’m sure that would help.

      You’re right about the increased craving for sugar the more we eat, Stevie. Our genetic ancestors were primed to crave sweet tastes to make sure they gorged on high calorie fruits when they were ripe and plentiful, to increase fat stores to survive the coming winter. And NOW? Rising obesity, now that we no longer must live off those fat stores during the cold months, but continue to add to them. And the diabetes incidence has risen correspondingly.

      Fortunately, when we don’t eat a lot of sugar the cravings subside – I believe for that same “winter” reason.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, when we don’t eat a lot of sugar, the sugar receptors in the brain die off. Such an easy cure in theory!

        Like

  3. Pingback: Naps help Memory | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  4. Liz says:

    I love this because it gives you guidelines to follow. We all need coaches, support, insight, encouragement; yet few are lucky to receive help. Your encouragement and openness are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Liz. I started this blog to offer my expertise to those who cannot afford professional help of any other sort. It has been rewarding – tho’ MUCH more time and work than I would have imagined! So comments like yours make it all worth it to me. Truly.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Liz says:

        It has been very helpful to me; much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Liz. I truly appreciate the feedback – it helps me to know what people want to read about, so I know what to write about. 25 years of experience yields an overwhelming amount of content. Since I find all of it fascinating, without comments like yours I’d never know what readers want. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Madelyn and continue doing what u do for the children who really need help. It makes a great difference in their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tmezpoetry says:

    Reading through the comments and just had to say that when Adhd doesn’t even exist then all is left to a moral dilemma/problem. Of course, not being diagnosed is the same thing as Adhd not existing.

    This is what happened to me and my children until my forties and my son was in his junior year…already diminished and labeled by teachers as the bad seed although he was the classic case of adhd- yet not one educator, ever offered me a glimpse into adhd or suggested that he should be tested, because had I known about adhd I would have had him tested in a heartbeat.

    It was just a fluke that I was tested for it when I only thought I had anxiety. Some educators and an imperfect, educational system has as many problems with denials as the parents themselves. It makes me so sad there were ways to help my child a long time ago and get him the right support he needed which could have prevented him from internalizing all the symptoms of adhd as moral, character defects.

    Yes, Adhd is real. The best thing we can do is continue advocating on behalf of all those who suffer.
    ~~~~~~~~~
    mgh added white space for readability for those who struggle with longer strings of text – and a bit of formatting for emphasis; words unchanged

    Liked by 1 person

    • GOD BLESS YOU for this comment, Tammy!!!!!

      It is simply a myth that ADD is overdiagnosed (although it is often MISdiagnosed). More often it is completely missed, since most doctors have NO idea what actually constitutes a valid ADD dx, nor do they consider all the implications when they attempt to treat it – even many who claim it as one of their specialties!

      One of my students, an educator, informed me that in her school they were not *permitted* to mention the possibility of ADD when suspected. Sheesh! Not all parents are open to the idea, in any case. SO sad.

      And I’m right with you on the ongoing harm that all this unsupported nonsense about ADD inflicts. When I work with ADDers who were NOT diagnosed in childhood, self-esteem remediation is the biggest challenge we must deal with before they are even willing to TRY some of the other things I suggest.

      Valiantly swimming upstream, hearing “you’re not really trying” as they continue to struggle, they frequently STOP trying, since it doesn’t seem there is any way to win. Most are convinced that they are indeed bad, lazy, crazy or stupid, just because it has been beaten into their consciousness repeatedly.

      btw – I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 38, and the average age of dx in woman is STILL 38 – for a ton of reasons I don’t have time to go into in this comment. As I know YOU know, you can make a real mess of a life in 38 years of trying everything the wrong way for YOUR brain. And that takes quite a few years to “fix” once you understand how to swim with the current in your particular river.

      Thanks for taking the time to ring in with your experience. I hope it encourages a few people reading to fight their fear, do a cost/benefit analysis, and go get it checked out.

      For anyone else reading:
      check out THIS POST for some help finding an ADD-aware doctor (or figuring out whether yours really understands what s/he’s supposedly treating.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • tmezpoetry says:

        Always my friend, your advocacy and continual efforts make a difference in peoples lives, so thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And thanks for the unintended reminder that I haven’t been over to check out what YOU have been up to recently (sorry, life has been suddenly challenging in a few urgent ways).

          I’ll pay a visit ASAP (accent on the “P”) 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • tmezpoetry says:

            lol I haven’t done anything new on my blog, just reposted an article.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well that makes me feel a tad less like a bad friend. 🙂

              I’ll check out your repost. If you do what I do, it was probably one missed by many folks that you believe deserves another chance in the blogging spotlight. I’m probably one of those many who missed it initially.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve done so much work with ADD/ADHD children, in addition to teaching Educational Psychology, in addition to having a husband who has ADHD in spades, that I can fully appreciate the wealth of resources your blog offers. Thank you for being there! I’ll be a frequent visitor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aren’t you WONDERFUL! Thank you.

      I’m not a kosher kid myself – but after living (and dating) in NYC for 20 years, I know the cuisine pretty well for a WASP raised on Velveeta Cheese – so I’ll be over.

      So sorry about the “H” part – you must be a saint – lol. You work with kids all day, then come home to play with the biggest one. Oh well – what does not destroy you keeps you younger.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I don’t work with kids any more, I am partially retired, but I still teach college, i.e. teach other people how to work with these kids. As to home, Concerta is my best friend. I do my bit, and I rely on Concerta to do the rest! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Smart woman! I have rarely worked with kids myself – but I do work with Moms (and a few Dads) to give them info and assists to help them work with their own EFD kids more effectively (and sometimes some of their “kids” are eligible to vote – lol).

          As I’m sure you know, working with neurodiversity is frequently counter-intuitive, relative to what seems to work for the neurotypical community. Things start to get easier with a bit of understanding of the underlying, brain-based reasons and a few suggestions of what to try instead.
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • Very much so. Working with parents is even more challenging than working with kids, at least I found it to be. In my school, we conducted monthly MANDATORY parenting classes, followed by individual meetings with parents. That, in turn, was followed by a nice stiff drink when I came home.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m with you on that drink!

              The thing that was most challenging to me about working with kids, is that our work was frequently undone by their parents (with only the best intentions, in most cases).

              That left the kids struggling in the middle in an awkward position, essentially powerless — a type of triangulation that was not of their making.

              Since I didn’t work in a school, I had no way to insist on MANDATORY parenting classes, so I decided to focus on the parents as a way of helping the kids. After all, they spend more time with their parents than I could ever spend with them, and consistent positive reinforcement is essential, IMHO, as they remediate life skills or acquire new ones.

              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • It was a private school, founded and run by my husband and myself, so I could make mandatory whatever I felt was needed. The two main challenges in working with parents were 1) Denial; and 2) Parents who had the same conditions. We had kids with various SED, not only ADD, and genetics play about a 60% role.

              Liked by 1 person

            • How wonderful that you were able to found a school! My admiration to you.

              I was always curious about the denial. You mean you’d rather believe s/he’s a bad kid or you’re an ineffective parent that look at what else might be going on?

              #2 is the part where you head straight for that stiff drink the minute you get home. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh no, denial means, “He is not a bad kid, he’s just had bad teachers all along! We brought him to you because we heard that your teachers are good, so take him and fix him for us! ” Meanwhile, mom is holding a baby who’s been trying to reach a pen on my desk, and finally succeeds, and when I make a grab across the desk, she doesn’t even realize what’s going on and keeps berating those bad teachers. Yeah, that drink really helped!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh my – there are certainly benefits to working virtually I never considered. That projection/blaming kind of denial makes me crazy(er) – and might have turned me to drink BEFORE I got home. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Ah, no bartender makes as good a drink as my husband! As to working virtually, certainly, you don’t run a danger of an irate parent tossing a large office phone at your head, then calling back in 30 minutes – not with an apology, but an explanation: forgot to take my Litium pill.

              Liked by 1 person

            • NO! I would have been clueless how to respond to that one – biting my tongue to keep from impulsively taking her to task. Sounds like the parent is the one that needs the help.

              No wonder your husband is a good bar keep – if this is what you dealt with, he surely had a lot of practice.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • It was a HIM, not a HER. The funny part is that this parent was at that time not only a teacher but a department head at another school, and when he was fired (understandably), yet another school promptly hired him. Go figure!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Especially sad since there are wonderful educators who are looking for work.

              In my opinion, most school admins who don’t have at least a year of classroom experience don’t understand the challenges well enough to know what’s needed.

              THEN there’s their need for excellent communication skills. If this guy didn’t realize that groveling in apology was appropriate, I think we can assume he doesn’t have them.

              There may well have been a reason behind his actions, but they were STILL way out of bounds and inexcusable (and skipping a single day of lithium doesn’t usually precipitate an onset of mania – nor does it protect from temper-fueled behaviors when you down it regularly)

              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Well – who can tell that he only skipped Lithium that one day, even if that was true? The kids turned out fine, after all, and that’s the important thing.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Amazing, actually.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you; I am rather proud of “my kids”!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Well of course! I’m proud of *most* of mine too – even though they came to me as adults. (I wish a few would come back for a refresher, however) 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • True; with adults you never know what they retain and how they interpret information. You are doing an essential job, though, by going to the root – the home environment.

              Liked by 1 person

            • We can make the most difference when we catch it early. Adult remediation is tough. So many layers to have to work through.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Believe me, I know! But they come to you on their own volition, and that’s already a step in the right direction.

              Liked by 1 person

            • That true. Funny thing is, they come to me to learn what I know, yet some of them are dismayed when I don’t do things the way in which they are familiar (even tho’ it didn’t work, obviously!)
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Again, been there, done that… Dynamic stereotypes are very hard to break, especially when the incentives are intangible. We are asking them to jump off a cliff without a candy waiting on the bottom.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Good metaphor! (there’s a whole bag of treats there, they just can’t see it)
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Exactly

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland.

    Like

    • NOW that I have done so on your site, sweet Kate, I can approve your wonderful reblog and say thank you HERE! T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U!!!
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awww you are very welcome xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tink woofs his thanks too! xx, mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Awww thanks Tink!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I love you because you are always so good to my Mom. (she loves you for that too, btw)
              Woof! Tink

              Liked by 1 person

            • You are both very lovely, thanks Tink & Mom! :0) ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            • You are most welcome! xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

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