Managing Yourself: Emotional Intelligence

Posted on June 22, 2015

Diagram of emotional intelligence

How well do you manage yourself at work?  How about communicating with co-workers? Are you aware of your emotions enough to understand them before you say what you think?   Take this information quiz and get a clearer idea of how well you use your emotional intelligence now when leading.  This article also gives suggestions/resources to support improving this valuable set of skills for business leaders.

Six Things Successful People Do Everyday

Posted on May 1, 2015

most-productive-peopleMy colleague and I presented on time management to a group of architects last week. Our take-away was before you can manage your time/projects, you must learn to manage yourself.  Enjoy this article on ways to focus each day to make it a successful day...notice number one is “Manage Your Mood.”

Mindfulness practice decreases stress

Posted on February 23, 2015

It can be as easy as doing a 5 minute counting meditation and focusing on your breath. New research from Carnegie Mellon University gives a biological explanation as to how mindfulness activities can decrease stress and increase health.

Want to Engage and Motivate Your Employees?

Posted on February 23, 2015

-why-engagement-happens-in-employeess-hearts-not-their-mindsHow to engage employees?  This article offers proven methods to answer this question…simply Love them.

Walking at lunchtime Can Improve Productivity

Posted on February 11, 2015

Walking has been described as a great way to increase creativity, clear the head, improve your sense of well-being.  Read how workers who participate in lunch time walks increase their productivity .  Makes sense, huh?

101 Ways To Enhance Your Life

Posted on January 22, 2015

101 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR LIFE

By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.

1. Get up 15 minutes earlier.
2. Prepare for the morning the night before.
3. Avoid tight fitting clothes..
4. Avoid relying on chemical aids of any kind.
5. Set appointments ahead.
6. Don’t rely on your memory…write it down.
7. Practice preventative health maintenance.
8. Make duplicate keys.
9. Say “No” more often.
10. Avoid negative people.
11. Use time wisely . Simplify meal times.
12. Always make copies of important papers.
13. Anticipate your needs.
14. Repair anything that doesn’t work properly.
15. Ask for help with the jobs you dislike.
16. Break large tasks into bite-size portions.
17. Look at problems as a challenge.
18. Look for the silver lining in every negative event.
19. Say something nice to someone.
20. Teach a kid to fly a kite. . Walk in the rain.
21. Schedule play time into every day.
22. Take a bubble bath.
23. Believe in yourself.
24. Stop saying negative things to yourself.
25. Visualize yourself winning.
26. Develop your sense of humor.
27. Have goals for yourself.
28. Dance a jig.
29. Say hello to a stranger.
30. Ask a friend for a hug.
31. Look up at the stars.
32. Practice breathing slowly.
33. Learn to whistle a tune.
34. Read a poem.
35. Listen to a symphony.
36. Watch a ballet.
37. Read a story curled up in bed.
38. Do a brand new thing.
39. Stop a bad habit by replacing it with a good one.
40. Buy yourself flowers.
41. Take time to smell the flowers.
42. Find support from others.
43. Ask someone to be your “Vent Partner.”
44. Do it today…avoid procrastinating.
45. Work at being cheerful and optimistic.
46. Put safety first.
47. Do everything in moderation.
48. Be aware of the decisions you make.
49. Pay attention to your appearance.
50. Strive for adequacy or excellence NOT perfection.
51. Stretch your limits a little each day.
52. Look at a work of art.
53. Hum a jingle.
54. Maintain your weight.
55. Plant a tree.
56. Feed the birds.
57. Practice grace under pressure.
58. Stand up and stretch.
59. Learn a new doodle.
60. Memorize a joke.
61. Be responsible for your feelings.
62. Learn to meet your own needs.
63. Become a better listener.
64. Know your limitations and let others know them too.
65. Tell someone to have a good day in foreign language.
66. Throw a paper airplane.
67. Exercise every day.
68. Learn the words to a new song.
69. Get to work early.
70. Clean out one closet.
71. Play patty cake with a toddler.
72. Go on a picnic.
73. Take a different route to work.
74. Leave work early (with permission).
75. Watch a funny movie and eat popcorn.
76. Write a note to a far away friend.
77. Go to a ball game and scream.
78. Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight.
79. Recognize the importance of unconditional love and practice it.
80. Remember that stress is an attitude that you can change.
81. Keep a gratitude journal.
82. Practice a monster smile.
83. Remember you always have options.
84. Develop a support network of people, places and things.
85. Quit trying to fix or change other people.
86. Get enough sleep.
87. Talk less and listen more.
88. Freely praise other people.
89. Meditate.
90. Watch a sun set.
91. Take one day at a time.
92. Keep in mind you have the rest of your life to live.
93. Volunteer.
94. Join a service club.
95. Learn what choices lead to what consequences.
96. Always have a plan “B”
97. Go for a walk.
98. Set priorities for your day’s activities.
99. Write down some attainable goals.
100. Engage in one new activity every day.
101. Live in the present moment and pay attention to it.

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Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life
coach. He serves on the faculty of the International University of
Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams)
the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and
Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton
2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Habits of Happy People

Posted on December 28, 2014

These habits are founded in age old wisdom and present day research.  Are you nurturing at least 5 close friendships?  Are you aware of a life long dream? Do you know that struggle is the evidence of progress?  Perhaps some of these practices can guide you in the New Year…

Happy people

7 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Change Your Life

Posted on December 28, 2014

WisdomOwl572x429-425x319

 

What can we learn from the artists, inventors and geniuses of the past and present? Find a ritual that feeds your soul…Create and make your ideas real…Don’t look back…Create some more…read on

Write! Research Shows You Will Be Happier and More Successful

Posted on November 16, 2014
Write to deal with anxiety
Write to deal with anxiety

Situations in our work lives, can evoke strong emotions: a tense meeting, challenging changes in the organization, a co-worker gets let go…or you are told your position is cut. How to manage and respond with your best self? I often encourage clients to use this simple and incredibly effective writing tool to get clear on what they want, what they believe and what they think.

Take Ten Minutes Out

Posted on July 18, 2014

take time out_article

TAKE TEN MINUTES OUT

By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.

Stress plays a major role in our lives. We can become addicted to
it. We can become ill with it. Using it, we can achieve more. We
can “break down” from it. We can adapt to it. Some of us are so
adapted to it, we don’t know how to function without it.

Over the past 20 years, the U.S. Surgeons General have reported that
85 percent of our illnesses are related to stress. Stress can kill
us. Dr. Herbert Benson coined “the relaxation response” to describe
the opposite response to stress. But these days, who has the time to
learn the relaxation response? We’re so busy running on
stress-created biochemicals; we rarely incorporate relaxation into our
lifestyles. Failure to balance the stress response with the
relaxation response, however, puts us at high risk for some type of
physical, mental, emotional or relational breakdown.

Here are a few quick, five- or ten-minute activities, which you can
rapidly incorporate into your high-speed, highly-stressed daily life.
They just might help you create a stress-relaxation balance in your
life.

Go on ten-minute mini-vacations in your mind. At the workplace or
at home, close your eyes, take 5 deep, sighing breaths, and in your
imagination, create a sensory-rich picture of your favorite vacation
spot. Picture yourself there. Smell the scents in the air. Feel the
breeze on your skin. Listen to the sounds of the birds, insects,
water or wind. Listen to the silence. Experience the warmth or
coolness of the air around you. See the colors, light and shadows of
the scene. And taste your favorite food while in this vacation spot.
Picture yourself lying down and enjoying the surrounding environment.
And relax. Soften all bodily tension. And breathe as if you were
falling asleep. This ten-minute vacation can profoundly generate the
relaxation response.

Go to the restroom or home bathroom. Splash water on your face.
Take time to massage your facial muscles with warm water. Let your
jaw drop slightly and massage your cheeks. When your hands are very
warm, rub the back of your neck. Focus your attention on softening
all your face and neck muscles. Allow your eyes to rest in the warmth
of your hands covering them.

When you return from work, or before bed at night, take a very warm
bath or shower. Light candles and incense. Softly play your favorite
music. Imagine that the stress in your body is being dissolved and
washed away by the water. Focus your attention on dropping
responsibilities and stressors of the day. Imagine them dropping off
you like scales, as you gently rub your body…perhaps with scented
soap or lotion. Put your mind in neutral. Let your entire body go
limp, and imagine it becoming a part of the water itself. Focus on
your long, slow, deep breathing.

Learn how to meditate. Meditation and grateful prayer are very
helpful in de-stressing you. Once you have learned, you can pray or
meditate almost anywhere and any time. Repeat a favorite word or
phrase, e.g. “I am completely safe.” “I am loved.” “I am at peace.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Read inspirational, positive
affirmations. There are books available, collections of brief stories
or single phrases. Carry around a small book to read for ten minutes
at a time, and invite your mind to re-focus on what you read.

Go for a walk. Yes, I know exercise is that grim “E-word.” But
moving your body when it has been still for a long time, relaxes all
those stiff muscles used in holding you upright against the pull of
gravity. So move around, walk, do isometrics or take ten minutes to
jog in place. You will find such activity very relaxing.

Drink a glass of water or juice. Eat a healthy snack. Eat it
alone, in a quiet place. Keep the sips of water in your mouth for
full minute before swallowing. Chew your mouthful at least 150 times
before swallowing. Pay attention to how it smells, tastes and feels.
Imagine it as restoring you with vitamins, minerals, and energy lost
to the stress you’ve been experiencing. Become totally absorbed in
the process of chewing and swallowing…and do it very slowly.

None of the above activities require more than ten minutes. Why not
incorporate each of them into your daily life? When they become
habits, you will begin to balance the stress-response with the
relaxation-response. It may just resolve 85 percent of the problems
you have now. A balanced life is a healthy one. Enjoy!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life
coach. He serves on the faculty of the International University of
Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams)
the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and
Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton
2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.