August 25th, 2011 // 10:25 pm @ marla
Berit Waschatz Aug 25, 2011, 3:06 GMT Berlin -
“At an early age children feel empathy. When a child hurts itself and starts crying, another will often begin to cry as well. But depending on the environment in which they grow up, some children have little chance of living out these feelings,” says Anja von Kanitz, a communications trainer and consultant. “When they grow up they tend not to have the ability to express their feelings, to recognize their own feelings or to respond to the feelings of others.”
“But you can also train your emotional intelligence“, says Professor Gerhard Blickle of the University of Bonn in Germany. “The starting point is that people need to know how high their level of emotional intelligence is. Anyone aiming to establish their emotional intelligence is confronted with questions in a self-testing procedure. They are required to imagine whether they are usually conscious of how they feel and whether they react to their own feelings at all. Also significant is whether they can control themselves when angry or quickly say things that they later regret.”
“The self-testing process also looks into whether the person concerned recognizes the feelings of others or is completely helpless in the face of them. If the end result is that the person concerned is unable to feel very much, then his emotional intelligence is seen as in need of training,” Von Kanitz says. The training is exactly the same as in sport. When you start jogging, you don’t run very far at first. That does not mean that you can’t do it any more, she says. Improving emotional intelligence means listening to yourself, Von Kanitz believes. If you do something, you should ask yourself what your reactions to it are.
Training your internal observation is one of the foundations. Those aiming to raise their emotional intelligence also have to train their bodies, as bodily perceptions are important. You should constantly be asking yourself how much energy you have, whether you are enjoying physical exertion or the opposite. Knowing your own feelings helps at work as well. “People with a high level of emotional intelligence are professionally more successful, especially if they have the will to succeed,” Blickle says. Managers especially need to train their emotional intelligence. “If you want to lead a team, that is a complex assignment, because you have to win over the people under you,” Von Kanitz says. To be able to master a management position, you have to have feelings for other people. Good managers cannot simply plough their own furrow, but need to convince their staff to cooperate. If you do not have the antennae for this, for how to talk to other people, it becomes difficult. This then jeopardizes your own career.
But ordinary employees also work better if they pay proper heed to their own feelings. Those who listen to their own warning signs are less often subject to office harassment or burnout, according to communication trainer Ingryt Paterok.
July 27th, 2011 // 11:06 pm @ marla
Incoming Medical Students Clear Empathy Hurdle
From Medscape Medical News
An innovative medical school program is basing admissions as much on the individual’s emotional intelligence as his or her ability to memorize organic chemistry formulas and score high on the MCAT. “We intend to change the DNA of healthcare, one future physician leader at a time,” said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, dean of the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine in Tampa, where the SELECT (Scholarly Excellence. Leadership Experiences. Collaborative Training) program is based. Dr. Klasko, a passionate advocate of patient-centered doctoring, observed that medical care has shifted from the model of the kindly Dr. Welby to the narcissistic, brusk, but brilliant Dr. House. “How did we physicians go from saints to sinners so quickly in the public’s eye?” he asked. “Solving that question has driven my research for the last 10 years.” The SELECT program is meant to produce physicians who will be as bright as Dr. House but as compassionate as Dr. Welby. “We want to make sure that we have a futuristic curriculum that emphasizes leadership education, values and ethics, and health systems and policy, so our students can become leaders as opposed to followers of health care reform,” Dr. Klasko said.
The idea attracted medical student Yasir Abunamous, who was impressed with the program’s “emphasis on leadership in concert with emotional intelligence,” a concept he has found lacking at other medical schools. “Also, there is a very intense focus on values-based, patient-centered care,” he added. “This is something the program is all about, and it’s on the cutting edge of medical care.” Alicia Monroe, MD, vice dean for educational affairs at USF, said Mr. Yasir and his classmates seem to be a perfect match for the program’s intent. “I just spent the first day with the students, and while it’s too soon to tell much, I heard a level of self-awareness, self-reflection, and candor that far exceeded what I expect of first-year medical students.” “They were able to go deeper faster, and to broader content areas than we typically ask medical students to even think about,” she observed. “Early indicators are that they are a subset of our universe of students who want to go to medical school because they are going to do more than be an excellent physician. They want to make the world better in ways that transcend their own personal benefit.”
A Joint Venture 1000 Miles Apart
SELECT was jointly created by USF College of Medicine, where students will spend their first 2 years, and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where they will complete their clinical training within a healthcare network that shares this philosophy. “USF and Lehigh Valley Health Network share the same mission, which is consistency around excellence, education, research, and patient care. In Lehigh we found a clinical partner who is as passionate about change and redesigning medical education as we are, so we created a formal campus there as well,” said Dr. Monroe. She added that LVHN has a long history of collaboration with the medical schools in the area, but “they wanted a bigger take in the game. They wanted consistent contact with a cohort of students. We both wanted more, and we just worked around the geographic boundaries,” she said. The program intends to grow annually and ultimately will enroll 56 students per class. SELECT Students Will “Dive Deeper” The program seeks applicants with “the intellectual perspective, empathy, creativity, and passion to change patient care, the health of communities and the medical profession,” according to its Web site. The founding principle of SELECT is the concept that students with high emotional intelligence are more likely to develop the skills needed to transform healthcare and improve the health of communities. In essence, students with high emotional IQs will become more engaged and compassionate physicians who will work effectively with teams and can lead change in healthcare organizations.
The 4-year curricula will incorporate “new ways to teach the science and technical competence that are essential for the practice of medicine while putting patients and their needs and expectations at the center,” Dr. Monroe said. Because the SELECT program exists within the larger medical school, students will spend at least 80% of their time satisfying the traditional curricula, along with other classmates, and the remainder of their time immersed in SELECT activities. “In essence, the SELECT students will take a deeper dive,” she explained. This will include readings and exercises related to leadership skills and emotional intelligence. Students will be required to set goals. They will be part of peer and faculty “coaching” groups intended “to help them cultivate this skill set of emotional competence,” according to the vice dean. “And this will be manifested in benchmark activities.” A summer internship between years 1 and 2 will allow students to interact with a leader of their choosing, possibly a physician entrepreneur, the state’s surgeon general, or a health network medical officer. Students can also “minor” in business and entrepreneurship, health disparities, engineering, international medicine, law, medical humanities, public health, or even medical writing or music, Dr. Klasko added. Unorthodox Selection Process
The students had all been accepted to USF College of Medicine and had expressed an interest in being part of the new program. That’s when the unorthodox 90-minute “behavioral event interview” took place, one that is often applied in the business world but rarely in academic medicine. Specifically, students were asked to recall milestone events in their lives to reveal how they responded to and what they learned from each situation. “This is a way to get underneath people’s plug-and-play responses,” said Suzanne Rotondo, executive director of the Teleos Leadership Institute, who trained faculty to conduct the screening. “You get to such depth, such detail, that people can’t fake it. For emerging leaders, this is a way to get under the surface and see how someone’s mind and heart work.” The Teleos Leadership Institute’s mission is “to prepare people to lead, follow and join together with others to achieve collective goals that allow each of us to leave the world a better place because of our unique contributions,” according to its Web site. Teleos staff trained the SELECT faculty to look for “a grounded explanation in students’ lived experiences,” Dr. Monroe said. “To see, through this, how the students articulated the way in which they reason, problem-solve and use self-awareness to interact effectively with others, to communicate empathy and to manage relationships. The interviewer looked for evidence that the student had the capacity to be the kind of physician who would be a good fit for this program.”
Yasir Abunamous, a psychology major at USF, was a good match, it seems. Yasir has worked in Washington, DC, for the group Muslims Without Borders, supervising volunteer operations in Haiti and making several relief trips himself — most recently as part of a team distributing hygiene kits to earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince. Asked why he might have been selected, he told Medscape Medical News, “I have asked myself the same question. I think it’s because of the extent of my involvement on campus, my leadership experience. I think I communicated fairly well in the interview. I reflected on my experiences and the internalizing lessons I gained.” He predicted that the exposure to essential concepts of SELECT will enable students to “focus on giving quality patient care,” but the value of the program will not stop there.
“Once we become more aware of how we interact on an individual level, we will be prepared to collectively lead efforts for systemic changes in healthcare delivery. This is the big picture and it is still abstract, but I hope this program sets us up to do just that,” Mr. Abunamous stated.
July 19th, 2011 // 2:24 pm @ marla
Keeping your temper in check can be challenging. Use simple anger management tips — from taking a timeout to using “I” statements — to stay in control.
Do you find yourself fuming when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure go through the roof when your child refuses to cooperate? Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion — but it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships. Ready to get your anger under control?
Start by considering these 10 anger management tips.
No. 1: Take a timeout. Counting to 10 isn’t just for kids. Before reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10. Slowing down can help defuse your temper. If necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your frustration subsides a bit.
No. 2: Once you’re calm, express your anger. As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
No. 3: Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.
No. 4: Think before you speak. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
No. 5: Identify possible solutions. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything, and might only make it worse.
No. 6: Stick with ‘I’ statements. To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never do any housework.”
No. 7: Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
No. 8: Use humor to release tension. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
No. 9: Practice relaxation skills. When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
No. 10: Know when to seek help. Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.
You might explore local anger management classes or anger management counseling. With professional help, you can:
* Learn what anger is
* Identify what triggers your anger
* Recognize signs that you’re becoming angry
* Learn to respond to frustration and anger in a controlled, healthy way
* Explore underlying feelings, such as sadness or depression
Anger management classes and counseling can be done individually, with your partner or other family members, or in a group. Request a referral from your doctor to a counselor specializing in anger management, or ask family members, friends or other contacts for recommendations. Your health insurer, employee assistance program (EAP), clergy, or state or local agencies also might offer recommendations.
June 22nd, 2011 // 12:26 pm @ marla
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just listen to some relaxing songs and be able to release all your daily stress? Well, it could be that easy! Statistics show that listening to relaxing songs can actually lower your stress levels, and as a result make you healthier.
1. Listen to relaxing music. When you hear soothing music, your body and mind will work together to unwind. Find a quiet spot, sit or lie down, close your eyes and let the relaxing songs do the rest.
2. Exercise. I know, I hate to exercise as much as the next guy, but it works wonders for your stress. Twenty to forty-five minutes of a good workout is best, but a brisk walk will do nicely too. Just get out and move!
3. Meditate. Clearing your mind and having the discipline of being still, puts your mind body and spirit in unison. You can easily learn to meditate with meditation CDs or local classes. When you practice meditation, you will automatically be releasing stress. Don’t worry if you hear lots of chatter in you head while you first begin to meditate; it’s your body’s way of releasing stress. A good relaxing song or soothing music in the background will make your meditation more effective.
Practice these simple steps and you will be on your way to becoming stress free!
May 4th, 2011 // 8:07 pm @ marla
Meditation is one of the best ways to change how your mind operates. When you are carrying too much emotional baggage, this keeps you out of your element. By simply putting yourself in a relaxing trance you are able to get rid of these negative vibes and begin to feel and live better. You can improve your mood and make your day better. But most people do not have any idea how to meditate.
The good news is there are meditation CDs that can help introduce meditation exercises. This will make way for a fast start up to the practice of relaxation. Although seasoned individuals can meditate easily, beginners can have a hard time reaching that level of relaxation that will be enough to alleviate negativity. Meditation for beginners CD can facilitate the learning process of this very helpful practice.
You can maximize your meditation if you can go deeper in your trance. This is where online meditation courses can help you. If you are not used to it all you can easily get distracted or have unfocused thoughts. This can affect the quality of your meditation. To have a better experience you might want to learn some techniques how to do it better. By taking the online courses, you will have everything you need to know to meditate, as well as being able to ask questions and refer to your handouts.
There are meditation CDs that are directed towards some very specific issues in your life. If you want to lose weight there are meditation materials that can help you go to that direction. If you want to have more self confidence or you want to win over insomnia there are also meditation CDs for that.
In the past when you want to try out meditation there are no accessible materials that can give a fast introduction to mediation for dummies. Today you can easily secure the best meditation CD to help you learn the basics and be on your way to practice effective meditation. This easy introduction to the world of mediation makes this a very attractive option for many to improve the quality of their lives and be free of its many inhibitions.
Or if you want a direct approach to learning meditation, try the online meditation classes and connect to your mind, body and spirit.
Explore the benefits of meditation and change your life forever!