How To Make Stressful Moments Better

Be With Beauty is an Emotional Fitness Exercise when practiced properly improves most stressful moments.

Be with beauty emotionalfitness exercise.

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We all struggle. No matter how rich or powerful a person is  stress is part of  his or her life.  Emotional fitness exercises have proven helpful to all, but are not pie in the sky.  Those struggling with  poverty, wars, domestic violence physical or emotional abuse,  and major mental illnesses need more.

That said, two paths  lead to  good life: Remembering What Matters is the first and most important. Next comes learning to self-sooth and often that involves doing what Marsha Linehan calls “Improving the Moment.  Be With Beauty is one of  Emotional Fitness Exercises designed  to improve the moment.


Life is rarely easy.  Others do the best they can; you do the best you can. As much as we try often the best any of us can do is disappointing.  The solution? Be gentle on all, yourself included.Keep working to stay strong, I work hard to do the same  and I do not always succeed.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.



I use WordPress Daily prompts to get me thinking more about what matters. Here is the one that inspired this post: Roy G. Biv  Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.




How To Speak So the Deaf Can Hear #2

Playing off yesterday’s blog post but also responding to this Word Press prompt:Powerful Suggestion  about help advice.

Speaking so the hard of hearing can understand

Actually, I changed the prompt to suit my post. Figure as a contrary cranky old lady, and WordPress consumer changing their prompts  is my privilege. And if WordPress doesn’t like it tough steak.

The  prompt actually asked: “What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?”  Practicing kindness is the best advice for all. and it was my father’ motto and has served me well with a bit of moderation.  The moderation: Do not be kind to evil, and be able to defend yourself when attacked physically.


Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Thank you.



How to Speak So the Deaf Can Hear

A Cranky Old Deaf One’s blog post, inspired by this Word Press Daily Prompt Challenge If you could  be fluent in any language  which would it be?

Hearing aide joke Emotional Fitness Thoughts

I laughed, hope you did. Also hope you thought a bit more about what mattered.

The language I would like to acquire would be “Lip Reading.” Then I would know who were my real friends, who liked to make jokes about other people, and who just cared about themselves.

On the other hand, it might just better to be a bit deaf to what is said and so  judge others by actions and not words. The Word Nazi’s promote divisiveness as much as peace.

The language I would like others to learn is American Sign Language.  It is so easy to learn even babies can learn some basic signs before they can talk.

Reality check: As easy as it is for baby’s to learn, once they begin knowing how to talk, that becomes their preferred language. I taught my grands some basic signs, but they lost interest as soon as they could talk. What I am seeing is that the grand nearing kindergarten age is getting a bit re-invested in signing.

So this blog post’s Emotional Fitness Tip is really a wish. That all day care and elementary schools would include signing as part of their curriculum. It is as important a second language as any other and more universal. Moreover, it is best taught via songs and that boosts emotional intelligence and fitness as well.

Then it could become an elective in all upper grades.

Think about this: skilled signers have little difficulty finding jobs, either full time or part time.


Parenting tip one: Encourage all to teach signing to children and reinforce it. 

Parenting tip two:  Of course that means you must learn to sign.

Parenting tip three:  When you have learned some signs have Signing Time every day at a specified time.  Meal time is a good time. So is making it part of a night time ritual. 


Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Thank you.



Howling Despair – 6 Controlling Anger Tips

What is the end point of your anger? Mine is a state I call “Howling Despair.” Here is how the growth of my anger looks on my personal  Feeling Thermometer.

An Anger Feeling Thermomter

Get a download of several feeling thermometers at the EFTI Store.

Anger is a signal to right a wrong. How you handle anger depends on your emotional intelligence, what I mean by emotional fitness.  As a child, I was taught “If you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Wise some of the time, but not always.  Eventually, only being nice was part of the end point of my anger what eventually came to call “Howling Despair.”

Only one person can drive me to this state and he knows who he is. No, that’s not true. In fact, it is that he doesn’t know how he makes me so upset that upsets me.  We have been together for 45 years, and have had the same fight for 44 and a half of those years.

It is a typical Men are  from Mars and Women are from Venus fight.  My need is to have my thinking understood, I don’t care if it logical or makes sense. I just want it understood and not refuted. His need  is to refute my understanding. He has a very logical mind but one pointed toward winning, therefore, he is not above sarcasm, innuendo, subtle and not so subtle name-calling. And yes, I am guilty of the same.

Here’s another kicker. Every once in a while, he does understand, then he is graciously apologetic and the fight ends.  One of his tactics, however, is to make faux apologies. I know when he is doing this, and I don’t accept those graciously and  probably that is what I should do. When I don’t as he is quick to say,  the problem, is mine. Sigh.

Just typing and remembering some of our fights is triggering  feelings of despair. How has our marriage survived? Three ways:

First: Neither of us has resorted to physical violence to make our points. The worse he has done is pound on a desk; my worse was throwing a spoon which missed him. I claim I intended to miss; he claims the opposite.

Second: The good out weighs the bad. We fight, but we laugh more.

As John Gottman, noted researcher into relationships notes “Marriages survive if there are five good moments for every bad moment. “

Third: We work at helping each other become our personal bests. I would never have done all that I have accomplished without his support, pushing, and yes, teaching me to fight back.

Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tips

These kinds of fights  are called “Gotcha War” fights. The main premise is not the issue being discussed but who acts the craziest defending their point of view. As the link discusses, teens are great Gotcha warriors. In fact, it was when I was a foster parent caring for troubled teens that I learned how to survive such wars.

Gotcha War

Emotional fitness tip one: The main strategy to come through such battles unscathed is to responde mininally. You make EFTI’s strong body and calm face; self-sooth; listen lot; agree with a nod when you can add shake your head or raise your eyebrows when you cannot agree; even if forced to answer a question you do so calmly and as briefly as possible.

Emotional fitness tip two: Create a personal feeling thermometer. Anger is a sneaky feeling, good at hiding quietly to build strength and then hijack your brain and get you to do something you regret. By being  attuned to the presence and growth of anger you stay in control. That is best done by regularly taking your feeling temperature on a personal feeling thermometer

Emotional fitness tip three: Have an anger management plan. For me, staying unscathed means sometimes walking away, other times tuning out, and all of the time using all the self-soothing and Emotional Fitness Training Skills at my command.

Emotional fitness tip: Own your choices and think about what matters.   Staying to fight is one choice, walking away another choice. When I stay to make my point, a disagreement can become a deadly war. Better to let somethings go because peace matters more.

Emotional fitness tip five: Be patient with your self and others. All advice sounds easy, and most is not. Which is why I am confessing that it has only been in the past few years of my marriage that I have managed to stay  at a 7 or 8 instead of finding myself howling with despair.

Parenting tips

Parenting tip one: All of the above.

Parenting tip two: Understand the reasons why.  This is particularly true for parents of teens.  It is a way to handle their own feelings by making you the bad or crazy one.  I remember one of my foster children wanted to go to a party in his home town. His probation officer had said no.  He followed me around the house relentlessly, and finally wore me down to the point where I said, “Stop being so stupid.” I said angrily. His response was to run from the house, screaming, “I’m not staying where people call me names.”  He enjoyed the party, but was returned to a lock-up. I would have had him returned to our care, but the judge and his probation officer disagreed.

Many teens also pick fights to save face. A father told me of a time his daughter asked to have a beer keg at her sweet sixteen parent.  She threw a big hissy fit and walked out on the fight. He yelled at that point making her the victor. He later heard her telling one of her friends about his “temper tantrum” as the reason why she could not have beer at her party.

Parenting tip three:  Be prepared for your own tactics to be used against you. My smart sons learned rather quickly to use minimal response as a tool in their Gotcha Wars. I had to work hard not to escalate, and to see that as a long-range positive.


Life is rarely easy.  Others do the best they can; you do the best you can. As much as we try often the best any of us can do is often disappointing. Solutions:  Be gentle on all, yourself included, keep working at what helps, let go of what isn’t working, and as always remember what matters.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.


This post was inspired by Word Press’ DAILY PROMPT Mad as a Hatter: Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?