2023 and the Changes You Have Chosen to Make.

Welcome back.

I hope you had a great Holiday season and Happy New Year.

Now that it is 2023, let’s get you back on track to use your emotions as tools to make some progress on the list you made in November, added to in December and will now use as a guide to changing your life in January.

At the end of last year you wrote 3 changes you want to make and 2-3 action steps per change to help you accomplish those changes.

As I to make the process of change slow and easy, I suggest you take 3 months for each change.

Or, to put it another way…one month per action step.

As you work on each action step, one of three “results” will occur.

1. You are feeling enthusiastic.

The message of enthusiasm is that you are enjoying what you are doing. Consequently,use the energy of the emotion of enthusiasm as motivation to keep going.

2. You are getting frustrated.

The message of frustration is that what you are doing isn’t working.

Using the Emotions as Tools Model, you need to validate (accept as a source of information) you emotion and assess its message as applied to your situation.

Are  you frustrated because you aren’t making as much progress as you think you should be making?  If so, give your self some slack and additional timer for each action step.  Okay, take another two weeks.

Maybe you frustrated because your action step is inadequate or poorly matched to the change you want to make.

In either case,  if you are still having challenges, perhaps you will need to make some adjustments to the action step.  If so, make some changes.

Or, perhaps, your frustration is informing you that the change you have designated as important to you is not as important as you originally thought.

This brings us to #3 which is the feeling of boredom.

3.You are getting bored.

Okay, the message of boredom is that the environment is no longer holding your atttention. The Emotions as Tools Model informs you that you need to understand the message of the emotion and choose an adaptive response.go for it.

If your boredom is informing you that you have completed the action step early and need to move on to the next step, well, go for it.

If, however, your boredom is informing you that the change you originally wanted to make is no longer relevant to your life, then you need to step back, reassess your life, and choose a new course.

The Emotions as Tools Model informs you that you strategically apply your emotions when you validate the emotion you are experiencing as a source of information (the message of the emotion), assess the importance and appropriateness of the message (how well does it apply to your situation), and choose an adaptive response.

To the extent that you have done this with the emotions you are experiencing, the changes you want to make in 2023 and the action steps you have devised, you will be in a position to move forward on your action steps or step back and reevaluate both the changes and the action steps, and utilize the energy of your emotions to  propel you forward to accomplishing what you want in 2023.

This is using your emotions as strategic tools.

You can do it.

Just a reminder to revisit your list and write your action steps.

This post is a follow-up to my 11/9/2022 post in which I suggested that New Year’s resolutions didn’t work and that there was a more effective way to facilitate changing your life in 2023.

That being said, I am assuming that you are still serious about improving your life in the coming year.

So, let’s continue.

At the beginning of November, I suggested you think about 2-3 changes in some arena of your life that you believe would make your life better in 2023.

And, then, I suggested you write these changes down on paper.

If you haven’t made this list yet, no worries, take a moment sometime after you have read this post and make your list.

……….

Now that you have made your list, I am suggesting you take a few minutes during the next 10 days (12/7 to 12/17) to add 2-3 action steps that you can take that will move you forward in accomplishing the specific change you have indicated you will make in 2023.

These action steps should be doable by you.

Notice that I did not say that would insure that change.  If your action steps allow you to complete the change you’ve noted, great. Just moving you closer to that change is good  enough.  You can make some corrections later if you need to.

Hence, I said “move you forward” for three reasons.

  1. I am trying here to put you on a path that you can stay on.
  2. I know that making any progress will elicit the emotions of happiness, satisfaction, self-worth and others and
  3. The energy of these emotions will serve as a motivator to keep working on the change which is now more available to you.

This is using your emotions as strategic tools.

Once you have added 2-3 action steps to the 2-3 changes you will make in 2023, put the list away and jump into the Holiday season.

You will revisit this list in January when you can focus your attention on your action steps and move into 2023.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.

If you can squeeze it in between too much food and too much TV, take a moment to think about everything you have in your life that has made your life better and which, were “it” not in your life would negatively impact the quality of the life you have.

Whatever comes to  mind for you, take a quick moment and allow yourself to be grateful for all you have in your life that makes your life what it is.

Express the gratitude as in “I am grateful for X, Y and Z.

Once you’ve done this, feel free to resume overindulging.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Happy 2022 to you and yours. And, if it feels right to you, help me reach more people in 2022.

This is my 200th blog post!

Thank you for supporting this blog by reading my posts and benefitting from the information.

In three days, you will enter a new year– 2022.

My hope for you is that you will have new opportunities to grow, return to a more “normal” life, enjoy gatherings with friends and family, and watch Covid become just like the flu.

As readers of this Blog, I hope that you continue to become more adept at improving your life and your relationships by mastering your emotions as tools.

And, as readers of this blog, I am requesting that you help me help others.

  • I do not monetize my blog in any way.
  • It is informational only.
  • In 2022, I would greatly appreciate if you would send a link to my blog to anyone who you believe would benefit from the information I provide.

Thanks, all the best, and Happy 2022.

Ed Daube, Ph.D.

The Emotions Doctor

Happy Holidays in 2021.

Last year, your Holiday Season may have been negatively impacted by Covid.

This year with vaccines, the Covid landscape has changed.

We’ve all seen on the news, or experienced, families anticipating upcoming visits with relatives or being surprised by unexpected visits by parents in the service or missed relatives.

With this in mind, I am repeating my post from last year with some updates because I believe it is as relevant , or more relevant, in 2021 than it was in 2020.

I hope it helps and whatever Holiday you celebrate this year (Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanza), I hope it brings you and yours happiness and joy.

All the best,

Ed

Some basic concepts:

The emotion of Anticipation

Anticipation is the flip side of the emotion of anxiety.

Anxiety is a future based emotion the message of which is that there may be a threat in the future that may “kill” me.  When we get anxious, we often act as if the possible threat is an actual threat and react by being unable to take any effective action.  This is anxiety as distress.  Anxiety as eustress takes the energy of the emotion and uses it to prepare for the possibility that the threat may occur.

The emotion of anticipation is also a future based emotion.  For anticipation, however, the message is that there is a possible event in the future that I want to experience.

Anticipation both sets up an expectation regarding and prepares you for something good.

The emotion of surprise.

Surprise, as an emotion, grabs your attention and focuses it on an event. The message of Surprise is that an unexpected event has occurred and you need to assess it to see if it is beneficial or detrimental.

The issue of perceptual sets: What you “see” is what you get but is not always what exits.

Did it ever occur to you that you might not see your surroundings as they actually are?

Huh, you say, what does that mean?

Well, the psychological fact is that, while you may see something, like a fast food restaurant, you may not notice it because it has little value to you unless you are hungry.

The concept of perceptual set says that your emotions and your expectations will impact how you interpret what you see.  In other words, you will “see” what you expect to see.

We see what we look for…..

A rather interesting experience was conducted several years ago in which groups of subjects were asked to watch a video of two teams playing basketball. One group was asked to count the number of times the red team dribbled the ball and the other group was asked to do the same thing with the blue team.

Each group did as they were instructed to do.

However, in the middle of the video, an actor dressed as a gorilla was shown dancing on the screen.

Each group was asked if they noticed the gorilla and a significant number of subjects indicated that no gorilla appeared on screen.

The subjects were so focussed on counting, they failed to notice the gorilla.

In previous posts, I’ve written about driving down a  street and not really seeing any of the fast food restaurants and driving down the same street when hungry and “seeing” all of the restaurants.

How does all this fit together and what does it have to do with the Holiday Season?.

Typically, the Holiday Season is upbeat and a time when we engage with others in a feel good way.  Yes, I know that there is downside to the Holidays as well including the stress we may experience having too much to do and too little time to do it, thinking about past Holidays and so forth.

Surprise

But, this Holiday Season, try setting yourself up to look for, and find, things that surprise you. This is strategically deploying the emotion of surprise so that it works for you.

You want to be surprised!

When surprised, you will be motivated to engage with the object/issue of your surprise.

You will see things about others and yourself you haven’t noticed before.

Here is what you are going for…

A gift to others...

The “gift” you give others will involve seeing them in a new light and, perhaps, improving your relationship with them.

Look for something new in a friend that you can compliment them about or something interesting that you haven’t really paid attention to before that you can engage with them about.

Look for something new in your kids or your spouse that is surprising to you because you haven’t really paid attention to it before.

A “gift” to yourself...

Look for something new about yourself that’s either always been there or that is something you’d like to do, build upon, or engage in as in “Wow, I never realized that about me!”

Anticipation

I don’t know about you but I suspect that you, like me, remember Christmas morning waking up experiencing the emotion of Anticipation of what might be under the tree when I went downstairs. I was all excited.  I didn’t know what I would find but I was anticipating that it would be good.

This is the emotion I want you to experience but I want you to expect that you will be pleasantly surprised by what you observe in and  learn about those who are close to you and yourself.

Again, I want to wish you and yours..

A Very Merry Christmas.

A Happy Chanukah

A Memorable Kwanza

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Updated Website Gives You Easier Access to ALL of My Informative Posts

As I am writing this, there are over 150 posts dealing with emotions on my blog.

But,to be honest, it hasn’t been easy to access all of this information.

So, I decided to do something about that.

In this post, I am announcing that I have updated my website to make it easier for you to directly access the specific information about emotions that you want.

How you choose to access my site is now completely up to you.

I have made two main changes.

I. CURRENT POSTS

The first is the inclusion of a Blog tab which takes you to the CURRENT posts.

II. ALL PAST POSTS

The second is the inclusion of the Index to All Posts tab.  This is for PAST posts and gives you a drop-down menu which lists the five topic categories into which my posts can be divided.

The categories are:

  • Anger,
  • Mastering Emotions as Tools,
  • Other Emotions,
  • Relationships and Emotions,
  • Words and Emotions and
  • Uncategorized. (These are posts that do not address a topic specifically related to any content category.  This post is an example.)

When you click on the category you want, you gain access to any post in that category. You may have  to scroll down a bit as there are lots of posts in each category. Clicking on the title you want takes you directly to the post.

Enjoy.

Oh, and I should add that I have included a Contact Me tab if you have a question or want to suggest a topic you would like me to cover.

Please note:

  • I do not collect, sell, or monetize email addresses.
  • You will never receive an “offer” from me in your email.

In two weeks, I will begin a 4-part series of posts entitled:

Understanding Others and Ourselves to Build (or improve) our relationships. 

All the best,

Ed

Ed Daube, Ph.D., The Emotions Doctor

Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanza.

As I am publishing this post, many are you are almost to the end of celebrating Chanukah.  I hope yours was a joyous celebration.

Christmas is next week.

I would like to wish you and yours a safe, happy, and very Merry Christmas.

And Kwanza is also next week.

Google says the appropriate greeting for Kwanza is Habari Gani.

If this is wrong, I apologize.

Whichever Holiday you celebrate, we live in stressful times so make your Holiday a joyous one.

And, while you still need to be cautious about covid, you can still celebrate and enjoy the moment.

Happy 2020

Today is New Year’s Day.

Happy New Year!

My hope for you is that 2020 will be a productive year of learning, growing and succeeding (whatever those words mean to you).

As we enter a new year, let me thank you again for being a loyal member of this site.  If there is a topic related to mastering emotions as tools, mastering relationships, or any other topic you would like addressed, let me know in a comment or in an email (TheEmotionsDoctor (at) gmail.com)

If I can address the topic in a useful way, I will attempt to do so.

Regular posts will resume every two weeks beginning on January 15.

 

To My Members: A New Milestone! There are over 1000 of you. How can I help you going forward?

Today, we reached a new milestone at TheEmotionsDoctor.com!

We exceeded 1000 registered members of this blog.

This is a milestone I never in my dreams believed I would achieve!

Thank you.

While the official WordPress label for all of you when you register is “user”, I prefer to think of all of you as members and my blog as a “membership site”.

Let me explain.

I do not monetize, or charge for, access to The Emotions Doctor blog because I believe that the information I provide should be available to anyone who wants to  use it and grow with it. And, no one likes Ads!

My books, of course, are available on Amazon.

That being said, I write for you, my readers.

And, I would like to provide content that you can use.

So, that being said…….

  • You took the time to register for my blog
  • I assume that you have found the material I write useful
  • Now,  please help me help you by letting me know what you would like me to write about.
  • And, let me know what, if anything, I can do to make this site more useful for you.
    • Is the index tab helpful?
    • Are the posts too long, not long enough?
    • Are the topics covered sufficiently informative for you?

As a registered “member”, you are the only one who can leave a comment on my blog.

And, this is one way to contact me.

However, a better way is to send me an email with the word “member” in the subject line.

  • In the email, let me know what you would like me to address in a post.
  • The only caveat is that I do not do therapy through my blog. So while I will attempt to answer any question I can as specifically as I can, the answer will be educational and not therapeutic.  No need to worry, I’ve answered many questions on Quora.com and I am quite good at giving useful information.
  • My email address is TheEmotionsDoctor (at) gmail.com

Thanks, again, for helping me reach this milestone.

AND, I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.

Ed Daube, Ph.D.   The Emotions Doctor.