Most people are aware that social support is crucial to life and that having people in your life who care can make a world of difference.
Researchers have shown that one key indicator of people in relationships that are fulfilling is vulnerability. One particular study done by the University of Houston showed that relationships in which individuals expressed their care for each other created a greater sense of relationship satisfaction.
Bottom line: Relationships are built on mutual appreciation, and there is no better way to show that appreciation than to tell someone how much you care (Lackovic-Grgin and Dekovic 1996).
Challenge today: share with others how important they are to you.
5 Elements of Listening Deeply
Actively Listen – don’t worry about your reply
Observe – what’s happening
Consider – needs and feelings
Respond – when appropriate with words and actions
Slow Down – you don’t have to solve the problem, most people just want you to listen and say it is going to be okay
Today I was reminded that there are times when we have to call our own BS. I have had countless conversations with clients about using the BS detector to help keep them honest. I am not talking about yelling BS out loud, although that could be necessary at times. We all have moments where we have thought “that thought didn’t just happen”, “don’t feel that way” or “just ignore that feeling”. The reality is, when we ‘ignore’ feelings and thoughts they don’t just magically go away; they hide out and then they come back…kind of like the monster under your bed as a kid. You could tell yourself the monster wasn’t there over and over again, but until you checked or screamed for a parent to come check, you were consumed with the monster.
So sometimes you have to say “bull s*#@” —this IS what I am feeling or this IS what I am thinking, so what do I need to do about it??? Soaking it up, really paying attention to it and then taking care of it is the only way to change that particular response. For example, if you think “I am fat today” and you know that this could very easily become an unhealthy line of thinking, then just ignoring that thought will only invite more thoughts. Instead you can provide evidence for or against the thought (how is this true, or how is this not true), provide an alternative or balanced (rational) thought (just because I didn’t work out today doesn’t make me fat) and utilize a coping skill (bubble bath, journal, listen to music, or go for a run). This gives yourself the opportunity to gain some control over the thought and ultimately gives you the reality check that we all need from time to time.
What BS do you need to start calling on yourself? I always loved that card game….
As we approach the holiday season it is easy to fall prey to the “oh come on, it’s Christmastime,” “One cookie never killed anyone,” “Don’t you want to try my homemade banana bread?” It is incredibly hard when family and friends take your positive food choice as a personal rejection. When the polite “No thank you,” does not seem to quiet the groaning, how do you maintain appropriate compassion while maintaining a healthy boundary that you’ve set for yourself?
Oftentimes, that banana bread was not JUST a baked good, but an expression of love and so a person may feel hurt when you decide to make a choice not to indulge. Rejection never feels good. It hurts. Just think about it.
Affirming their feelings and acknowledge that your choice may in fact “hurt” their feelings, apologizing for any hurt feelings and continuing to politely decline is the best tactic. It may sound a little cheeseball but a little word love goes a long way with people! It is okay if someone feels whatever they are feeling (it is a feeling), that doesn’t mean that you have to cave in to their demand because their thoughts and feelings are different from yours.
So a conversation could go a little something like this:
Mom: Sweetie, aren’t you going to have some of my banana bread? It was always your favorite.
You: No thank you mom.
Mom: (Sad look on her face) Oh, okay. Are you sure? It is Christmas. A little indulgence never hurt anyone.
You: Mom, I can tell that you are disappointed. I am so sorry to disappoint you, I love you very much and I am happy to spend this time of year with you. I enjoy so many things about this season.
I admit I am really bad at creating random dialogue….I will stick to my day job and not pursue a career as a screenwriter. Stick to what you feel is best, even when it may seem like the unpopular choice!
It is not always necessary to skip a WOD when you are feeling under the weather, but knowing when to rest and when to WOD can be a bit tricky. Here is something to consider when you are wanting to get in a WOD. What are your symptoms?
Give it a try (above your neck):
Scratchy throat only
Get some rest (below your neck):
Sore muscles (fatigue)
A couple of other things you might want to consider would be your level of hydration and nutrition. If you haven’t been properly nourished for several days, jumping straight into working out may cause more stress on your body than doing you any actual good. Really we get back to this idea of “listening to your body”. There might be times when you give it a try (decide to WOD) and then realize that working out is a bad idea. For exammple, I had a stomach bug over the weekend and thought I would give working out a go this morning. Not too long after getting started I was feeling incredibly fatigued and decided it was best to throw in the towel. There are not black and white rules for all of this…clearly Michael Jordan proved in 1997 that you can do great things athletically even when you have the flu, BUT we will consider this an exception to the rule!