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Energy & Emotions IV: What’s the Up Side?

I think it is safe to say that when we wake up each the morning, we have some sense of how the next twenty-four hours will transpire.   Most days are pretty routine.   We are startled awake by the sound of the alarm buzzing in our ear, a radio announcer discussing the traffic or in my case a whining dog.   Whether we are ready to or not, it’s time to get up and start the day.    Morning  routines can become somewhat robotic in nature: go to the bathroom, shower, dress, eat breakfast and head out the door to work.  Obviously,  the order in which these tasks are done varies among persons and may include other items such as working out, packing a lunch or walking the dog.    We depend on these routines to jump-start our day and energize us for the hours ahead.   No matter how mundane the routine may be, we can depend on it.

Unfortunately, there are also those days that don’t go quite so smoothly, we over sleep,  the car won’t start or we can’t find our glasses.  Everyone has had those days, they tend to make one feel somewhat “off'” all day.   Routines can provide us with so much comfort, that any diversion from  routine can lead to a host of emotions.  Emotions such as anger, frustration and embarrassment could surface.   I feel my shoulder muscles toughen from the anxiety of just writing about this.   It is not uncommon for us to want to relay to others how catastrophic our day was – perhaps just to let it out of our system or maybe for a little sympathy.

But when it’s all said and done, what can we learn from the glitches that throw a wrench into our routine , what’s the up side  I know, what you want to say, I can hear what  you are thinking – it was a terrible day – how can there possibly be an upside?  The upside is that you still got to work on time despite over sleeping,  you finally got around to getting the car fixed, ( something you’ve been putting off for a while) and you learned that the first place that you should always look for your glasses is on top of your head.   In situations like these we can get over the effects of a bad day pretty quickly  if we can reframe our thoughts in order to  figure out what we learned and challenge ourselves to find  the “up side’  of the situation.     The examples above are issues which although annoying are relatively minor.  When a  major crisis occurs it can impact your life forever making it very difficult to find anything good to hold onto, however, it can be done. 

When we are faced with upheavals in life, our emotions become askew.  Here are a few general tips for handling challenging situations:

  • We always have a choice about how we view and/or respond to a situationOur view of a situation at the time it occurs may change as we develop more insight about what occurred.
    •  focus on the things that you have control of  and let go of the what you can’t control.
    • strive for a positive outcome.
    • Allow yourself to feel – let your emotions out.
    • A good cry can work wonders
    • Take care of yourself emotionally and physically.
  • Don’t let a bad situation lower your self-esteem. 
    • Use affirmations such: ” I am a good person”
    • Separate you are as a person, from the situation 
  • Use creative problem solving skills
    • channel your knowledge, skills ands abilities to defuse the situation.  
  • Rely on your friends, family or other support systems.
    • someone to hold your hand, give you or hug or just listen can help immensely.

And most importantly, ask yourself: “WHAT’S THE UP SIDE?”

English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

English: Managing emotions – Identifying feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it.  Norman Vincent Peale

In times like these it is good to remember that there have always been times like these. Paul Harvey

It’s not the situation, but whether we react (negative) or respond (positive) to the situation that’s important. Zig Ziglar 



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Energy & Emotions –Part III: Choosing Your Emotions

In Part I of Energy and Emotion , I discussed  ways to delegate our personal energy in order to make the best of each day.   Part II  focuses on  the allocation of energy in  relationships and provides  suggestions for self-care.  The impetus behind the articles were twofold:  first of all , to  discuss  the importance of  being mindful of how much personal energy we have within ourselves on a given day and  secondly,  our ability to decide how we want to use that energy.   In Part III – I would like to focus on some of the emotions that have a tendency to zap our energy and may contribute to a plethora of physical symptoms.  I like to call them wasted emotions because in general they are not readily solvable and they can use up a lot of our emotional energy.

The focus of this entry  is on one emotion: worryWorry by itself can lead to a host of other emotional situations such as: anxiety, stress, guillt, tension, panic, and fear which, in turn can further cause a number of physical symptoms.  Dwight Eisenhower said: “Worry’ is a word that I don’t allow myself to use”.    Wikipedia’s  definition of worry is :  Give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles,  a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.

So, what’s wrong with worrying?  Sometimes nothing, as in a situation of immediate danger.  In these cases, our fight or flight  response sends us into action to handle the situation.  There are situations when it is considered natural to worry or be anxious such as a job interview, taking a test or entering a new situation.  “A little anxiety is helpful. It can help you get ready for an upcoming situation.”    Unfortunately worrying, in general is counterproductive and can use of tremendous amounts of our energy.  So why is worry counterproductive?    William Ralph Inge  says “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.”    To understand this better,  try visualizing yourself in a situation which causes you to worry.   What thoughts are going through your head?  Perhaps, you are praying for a situation to go your way,  maybe you are wondering if something negative or bad will occur in the near future or you may be concerned about how you will feel or how others treat you or will respond in a given situation.  The possibilities for worry are endless.  The answers are few to none.

Worry involves fear or curiosity about the unknown.  Unfortunately the anxiety, depression,  fears etc.  we feel when we worry may end up as being for no reason.   In otherwords, most worry does not solve anything because we don’t have the answers that we need to quell our concerns. Another consequence of excessive worry is the development of a wide variety of physical conditions, some of which can be serious.  Every body system can be compromised by our emotional state. Aa list of these  conditions can be found at http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/how-worrying-affects-your-body . So what can we do to diffuse excessive worry. Here are some suggestions:

Postpone worry to prevent dwelling on it all day

  • List any worries that arise during the day and avoid thinking about them.
  • Plan a ” worry period” at the end of each day (avoid bedtime). during the worry period
  • Analyze your worry list
  • cross off the items that no longer worry you.
  • evaluate the items that are still a problem
  • Decide if the remaining problems have solutions which you have control over.
  • If yes, start problem solving to find a solution
  • If no, recognize that there’s no current solution and then let it go.

Accept uncertainty , there may be nothing you can do to immediate relinquish your worries

Let your emotions out

  • Talk about it to someone
  • Cry aloud
  • Journal or write about your worries

Find ways to Relax

  • Meditate or use guided imagery
  • Think positive
  • Use Affirmations
  • Do something you love to do

So, next time you start to worry,  ask yourself this question:  Is this something I want to use up my energy supply for?

A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”  John Lubbock     </blockquote


more quotes about worry http://wp.me/P2Cf41-17

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3 Myths About Vulnaribiltiy


Stop Worrying About What Others Think


How to Stop Negative Thinking


Energy and Emotion 2

Part 2 – Emotions
In addition to monitoring your physical environment, it is important to take care of yourself emotionally. Excess worry, stress and anger can sap a lot of one’s energy causing an increase in pain, sleepless, depression and other physical reactions. Here are some tips on how to monitor your emotion health. 

  • Evaluate your relationships
    • Spend time with people who are positive and supportive. Avoid relationships that cause you distress.
      • Negative encounters can sap what little energy one has by increasing stress, anger, sadness and a host of other emotions.
      • Positive encounters can invoke enriching and happy emotions.
  • Plan some relaxation and reflection time into each day. 
    • Take a nap
    • Meditate
    • Listen to music
    • Read a book
    • Any other quiet activity
    • Journal
  • Don’t spend time mulling over things you have no control over.
  • Look for something positive in each situation.
  • Laugh every day.

“Our health is our most precious asset we have at any given moment. Invest wisely!”
Leslie Sansone


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