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Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

RESOLVING CONFLICTS IN RELATIONSHIPS

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 8, 2010

Ground Rules:

Can you agree to the following?

___ Some conflict is normal and to be expected.
___ Each partner is entitled to their own unique perspective.
___ Each partner can only control their 50% of the interactions.
___ Its acceptable to attack the problem, but not the person.

How To INTERRUPT the Old Patterns by using “R-C-L” :

RESPECT

Try to demonstrate respect at all times, and at 2 levels:
Non-verbally: by maintaining eye contact, turning off any distractions, and trying to appear interested.
Verbally: waiting your turn to talk.

LISTEN

If in doubt on what to do or say, resort to LISTENING. You can always respond later.
Listening does not mean you agree, but rather that you are at least trying to receive the message.
Attempt to understand the message by listening on 2 levels: with your head, and with your heart.

CHOOSE (how you respond)

Don’t just react! You can take some time to think and reflect before giving any response.
If conflict is escalating into the danger zone, call a time-out and get apart for a few minutes.
It is better to delay than to destroy.
Stay focused on the (one) topic.
Make your point and stop! Going on and on reduces the chances of being heard.
Details will only pollute your point.
Using unfair tactics may feel effective in the moment, but work against any real problem solving.
Use “I” messages instead of “You” messages: i.e., “I felt____, when you ____.”
This identifies your feelings and concerns, yet acknowledges you take responsibility for your own feelings. Saying, “You made me feel ___,” says the other person is responsible for making you feel so-and-so. This is never true, since we are responsible for how we choose to interpret a comment. It is a common cognitive mistake. This response will always put the other person on the defensive.

RESOLUTION may only come with time, not during one particular battle.

Remember: “If I do what I always did, I’ll get what I always got.”

Stephen L. Knubley, Principal
Knubley Counseling, LLC

Copyright © 2000-2009 Knubley Counseling, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Rev 9-9-09

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Success Summit Sunday Morning Speaker

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 7, 2010

At the last day of the Dress for Success, Success Summit. Sunday’s Inspirational key note speaker Rae Lewis -Thornton focused on progress. Thrornton explained, “My Life is not my own.” She described about how she overcame obstacles of all kinds. Thornton She talked about how she was sexually, emotionally, and psychically abused from age 5 to 17. Thornton shared that therapy is necessary to deal with and heal from sexual abuse.

She explained, “That we all have a history and it’s standing on something I have history with God.” She told us how faith and character helped overcome. Thornton said her grandmother was instrumental in encouraging her faith.

Thronton stated, ” What ever your struggle know that you will be fighting against that Demon all of your life.” She explained about the consequences of living with AIDS. She shared candidly about how the disease caused people to suffered with diarrhea. Despite dealing with direatha Thorton lead an active life. She talked about how the first few times she had diarrhea she was able to wash up and not be embarrassed, just in convenient.

Thornton shared about how diarrhea hit when she was in a restaurant having dinner. She went to the bathroom and set in her mess in the stall. Trying to figure out what to do. She said the lesson from this was, ” Sometimes you have to sit still in your mess, figure out your next move…this situation I’m in … i have to sit still an think about my next move. She then preceded to be humble and wash up in the toilet. She washed and flushed.

Thornton explained the importance of respecting public space. She went on to tell how she washed out her panties and wrapped them up in toilet paper and put them in her pocket . Even though she was going to discard them. She said she didn’t discard them at the restaurant because, she had to realize how her actions affected others.
This made me think about how personally pride has caused me to rush and my mess has affected others as a result.

Thornton explained God always has a plan. his time it not ours, his ways are not ours! She encouraged” be willing to tell your story, your life is not your own. She did not share the story at first, but once she started sharing it she realized she was helping others. She said an actress heard her story and developed into a project about women and AIDS. Thornton explained she praised God because the actress was able to reach a group, she couldn’t.
Thornton explained to Ebony, “I want people to say, ‘She took the adversities in her life and she used them for the goodness of God.'”

For more information about living with AIDS check out Thorton’s blog.

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HABITS OF MIND

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 4, 2010

The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. — Wendell Berry
What good practices can we call upon when answers to problems are not readily apparent? The following 16 skills are efficient, effective, intelligent, and successful. Costa and Kallick* call them “Habits of Mind”:

1. PERSISTING
Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. — Marabel Morgan
Stick with the task until it is completed. Get comfortable with ambiguity. Sleep on it. Don’t be in a hurry.

2. MANAGING IMPULSIVITY
Emotional self-regulation is the ability to deny impulse in the service of a goal. — Daniel Goleman
Do not say or act on the first thing that comes to mind. Deliberate instead. Get a vision of a proper response or product before moving toward it. Develop the idea carefully.

3. LISTENING TO OTHERS WITH UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHY
Listening is the beginning of understanding; wisdom is the reward of a lifetime of listening. The discerning get guidance. — Proverbs
Spend an inordinate amount of time understanding the other person’s point of view. Paraphrase them; observe cues to their emotional state. Observe apart from your own self-interests. Do not rehearse what you want to say while listening to another person talk. This is not to say you must agree with what the other is saying.

4. THINKING FLEXIBLY
If you never change your mind, why have one? — Edward deBono
Flexible thinkers have the most control over their mental processes. They have open minds, think laterally, see alternatives, and have a sense of humor. They can shift perspectives after considering short and long-term consequences. They think both subjectively and objectively. They get outside of themselves. They take risks. They can see the whole and the parts. They use their intuition. They enjoy confidence. They tolerate confusion and ambiguity. They draw upon the past, present, and future. Use metaphors and analogies.

5. THINKING ABOUT OUR THINKING (Meta-cognition)
When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself. — Plato
Evaluate our thought processes. Plan a strategy, identify the steps, give ourselves feedback so we can take alternate routes. Judge our thoughts. Question our perceptions. Reflect, reflect, reflect. Make mental maps. Rehearse. Accept change. Take time to reflect on our experiences. Question our learning strategies. Revise our decision-making processes. Pay attention to our inner awareness. Have recovery strategies.

6. STRIVING FOR ACCURACY AND PRECISION
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake. — Confuscius
Take time to check over your work. Be a craftsman, an artisan, a professional; and trustworthy. Aim for the highest attainable standard. Be complete. Rework often. Do A+ work. Be conscientious and faithful. Keep your word.

7. QUESTIONING AND POSING PROBLEMS
Formulating the problem is often more essential than its solution. Use creative imagination to raise new questions. — Albert Einstein
Pose questions to fill the gaps between problems and solutions. Ask yourself: “What’s the evidence?  How do I know it is true? How reliable is the source data? Are their other points of view?  How are these related to each other? What would happen if…?

8. APPLYING PAST KNOWLEDGE TO NEW SITUATIONS
I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience. — Thomas Edison
To learn from experience is called wisdom. Abstract meaning from one experience and carry it forward to novel situations. Generalize your experiences.

9. THINKING AND COMMUNICATING WITH CLARITY AND PRECISION
After arriving at perfectly clear results, I find I can only translate my thoughts into an inaccurate language. — Francis Galton
A picture is worth a thousand words — at least. Profound and spontaneous insight is not our customary language. Critical thinking takes much work and refinement, especially if it is to communicate anything of value. Fuzzy language comes from fuzzy thinking. Imprecise language, either oral or written, is a form of laziness. Clear communication is specific and meaningful. However, there still are places for proverbs and riddles. Carefully choose your words, and use as few as possible.

10. GATHERING DATA THROUGH ALL SENSES
Observe perpetually. — Henry James
Tune into all of your senses for they provide you with a wealth of truth. Live in the present. Take control of your internal verbal dialogue if it is running without control. Develop your mental imaging. Massive amounts of information are assimilated as internal images and movies. We are creative beings. Be careful with your internal language of images. Viewing artwork and listening to classical music improves spatial reasoning. Role-play. Make models. Experiment with combinations. Pay attention to patterns, rhythms, and habits. Participate.

11. CREATING, IMAGINING, AND INNOVATING
We create the future and its pathways. Making them changes the maker and the destination. — John Schaar
Whether you believe we evolved from primordial soup or were created by the Divine, you have to admit we are very creative, ingenious, and prolific beings. Creative people must take risks to progress. Our motivations include challenges, necessities, and rewards. Be open to criticism. Be as a public speaker. Dance like no one is watching. Permit outside scrutiny, judgment, criticism. It is all good feedback. Strive for simplicity, harmony, beauty, craftsmanship, and perfection. Find your particular gift for your community. You are unique. You are you.

12. RESPOND WITH WONDERMENT AND AWE
There is the mysterious. — Job, Daniel, Matthew, Luke, Paul
Be passionate about what you do. Find what makes your tasks enjoyable. Never stop learning. Be charmed by the natural world. Let your mind and emotions wander. Drive into the country (nature). Dream; stimulate your vision(s). Pay attention to your “subconscious.” Ponder the inexplicable.

13. TAKING RESPONSIBLE RISKS
There is always the calculated risk. — Brooks Atkinson
Regularly, go beyond established limits. Go beyond comfort and competence. Go where the outcome is unknown. Be okay with the unknown, setbacks, and challenges. See risk as both venture and adventure. Be a doer and an observer. You can risk having failures. Living is not about money. Do not miss trying opportunities. It is okay to be wrong and to make mistakes. It is okay to change your mind. Do not avoid the ambiguous. Do not wait for certainties. All innovation is uncertain.

14. FINDING HUMOR
Where do bees wait? At the buzz stop. — Susie
Laughter is the best medicine (Reader’s Digest). Joy lowers pulse rate, secretes endorphins (feel-good chemicals), and increases oxygen in the blood. It reduces anxiety. It reduces a negative response to stress. It lifts our spirit and mood. It reduces depression. It helps relationships by de-emphasizing our own ego. It takes the sting out of events.
It normalizes us.

15. THINKING INTERDEPENDENTLY (Caring for one-another)
If you do not care for one-another, or share your strengths with one-another, you will not make it. — Willie Unsoeld (Mountain Climber)
We are social. We seek support and validation. If we want to hurt someone, we avoid them. Be cooperative. Be a team player. Care for the needs of your loved ones, friends, and associates. Develop your social skills. You are not alone. Be cooperative. Walk in agreement with others.

16. LEARNING CONTINUOUSLY
Insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results. — Albert Einstein
Even if it works, there is probably a better way. Search for it. Stop feeling certain and defensive. Have humility. You probably don’t have all the answers. You really won’t know for sure until the end, and then you’ll discover that that is really the beginning.

___

Stephen L. Knubley, Principal
Knubley Counseling, LLC

_____________
Quoted/Excerpted from:
*Describing 16 Habits of Mind. Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D. & Bena Kallick, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2000-2009 Knubley Counseling, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Rev 9-9-09

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How to become happier

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 17, 2010

Elizabeth Reinsch, PhD, LCSW/ACSW
Human Development Specialist

University of Missouri Extension, St. Louis County

How happy are you? Why are you happy? To find out your level of happiness today, you can take a variety of surveys or questionnaires. You can find a very good online quiz on the Web at www.authentichappiness.com. This site was created by Martin Seligman, PhD, author of the book Authentic Happiness (2004), which identifies three components of happiness: meaning, pleasure, and engagement.

Seligman is known for his work on positive psychology and recent work on “happiness.” In recent years this topic has created a buzz of excitement with a vast amount of research being done. Classes, courses and even college degrees are now available.

In her 2008 book, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, dispels three myths of happiness. She uses a pie chart to show what determines happiness: 10 percent of happiness is determined by circumstances, 50 percent is determined by our set point, and 40 percent of happiness is determined by intentional activity.

Three myths are related to happiness, according to Lyubomirsky. First, you cannot find happiness. The reason is that it does not exist “out there,” but rather resides within us. Second, thinking “I would be happy IF_____,” or “I will be happy WHEN _____,” or waiting for our circumstances to change has little bearing on the outcome. Third, the notion we are born happy or unhappy—and believe there is little we can do about it—is false. Much research shows persuasively we can overcome our genetic programming.

Lyubomirsky has proven that the following 12 activities, used individually or in combination, do increase one’s happiness over time.

1. Express gratitude to others. Find three things a day to be grateful about.

2. Work on being optimistic by looking at the bright side. Find the silver lining in a cloud.

3. Stop focusing on comparisons with others. Be yourself.

4. Practice acts of kindness. Do a good deed daily.

5. Nurture social relationships. Make time for your family and friends.

6. Learn strategies for coping. Dispute your negative beliefs in writing and consider more optimistic explanations for the problem.

7. Learn to forgive. Write a letter of forgiveness, which you can choose to mail.

8. Increase “flow experiences” by making time to enjoy what you are doing.

9. Savor life’s joys, past, present and future.

10. Commit to your goals by writing them down and developing a plan to implement them.

11. Maintain a spiritual or religious connection. Be open to your higher source.

12. Take care of your body. Eat well, exercise and relax.

Sources: Lyubomirsky, Sonja. (2008). The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want. New York: The Penguin Press.

Seligman, Martin. (2004).
Authentic Happiness. New York: Free Press.

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