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
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(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
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.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

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 EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and 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!"

55 Responses to Emotional Mastery to help us move forward

  1. Pingback: August 2017 Mental Health Awareness | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. 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

  3. 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.

      Liked by 1 person

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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