SELF-HELP

  • MUNCH MY BUTT. DEALING WITH ANGER AND YUCKO PERSONALITIES.

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: self-help

    Mother F’er. We’ve all got hot buttons, we’ve all encountered people who push them, and we all do some pushing ourselves at times. This post is designed to help you learn how to manage your fine self when you get angry and encounter a situation with someone whose personality + behavior you want to body slam.
     
    #1 – It’s important to ask yourself why you’re having the visceral reaction you are; as in, “Why is it that when I encounter X, my stomach starts punching itself and my brain starts pile driving my temples?” Is it because some jabron cut you off while driving? Is it because someone stole your phone, or your boss is acting like a butt hole, or a friend machete stabbed you in the back, or maybe an ex really burned ya? There are different reasons for why you’d get riled up and it’s worth your while to explore what they are. When you become all hot and bothered (not the wokka wokka sexy kind) it’s supremely important to stop and reflect on what is making you mad, before you react, in order to get a handle on your emotions. This is because your glorious emotions are automatically triggered when you sense someone is being shitty to you, so you’ve got to stop, reflect inward and gain some perspective if you’re going to cope well.
     
    I’m generally not an angry person. I do get mad about stuff sometimes, but overall, I’m not an aggrolite. So, when I encounter something or someone that makes me feel angry, it throws me off. Like knocks me on my ass thrown off. In order to regain my footing and ground myself, I’ve learned that I must do the bunny hop from the part of my brain that turns into emotional lava when I’m pissed, to the wonderfully cool and soothing thinking part that helps me be rational. By doing so, I am able to get into a space where I can explore what the heck my anger is about. Hanging in this space for awhile increases my understanding of my anger, and helps me figure out healthy ways to problem solve so I can cool my jets and handle the situation with poise.
     
    I know that sometimes we need to act on impulse, fight or flight style, and tear ass out of a situation for safety, but these instances are rare. When someone pushes one of your hot buttons and takes you from 0 to 525,600 in an instant, your life is usually not in danger. Your integrity, pride, ego, etc., might be threatened, but your life is not. In these moments where you’re triggered to react, but your life is not in danger, getting in the habit of inserting thought before you do anything is something that I promise will serve you well.
     
    #2 – Vent to people you trust AND THEN… ask for their opinion. When you are seeing red, you-are-seeing-red. Meaning, you could be blind to the other colors/factors involved a situation. Maybe it’s a cut and dry, black and white situation, but usually there are other pigments involved. Asking people you trust for input after you’ve vented about it is an important thing. But it’s also a hard thing because when you open yourself up, you might not get the feedback you want. You may be looking for, “Yo, you are 100% right and homegirl (or homeboy) is assed up for acting like this.” Instead, you might get, “Well, I see both sides of it.” Getting feedback will help give you a more comprehensive view if you allow yourself to be open to receiving it. It doesn’t mean you have to take what another person says as gospel. Just acknowledge, “Ok, I trust X to be honest with me because they love me, so their opinion has merit.” If it’s someone you trust, you know they are being honest. And if you don’t get the reinforcement you hoped for, just remind yourself that sometimes what you want to hear and what you need to hear aren’t always the same thing. Lower your defenses when you reach out to people you love, because if they truly love you, they have your best interest in mind.
     
    #3 – After you give yourself enough time to reflect, cool down, and get other perspectives, go back to your emotions. Are you still feeling angry? If so, that’s important to recognize. You have a right to your anger. Your anger is likely being triggered as a defense and it wants to come to your rescue. If someone hurts or insults you on a grand level, having a reaction of anger is normal and healthy. It’s your minds way of defending you against an attack. And anger can be a sign of self-esteem. As in, you don’t feel like you deserve the treatment displayed by X, who pushed your hot button, got you mad, and offended you. So, go back to your emotion, honor your emotion, and then make a plan.
     
    After you’ve had a chance to do #1 and #2 above (not a potty joke), you can come back to the situation and formulate a plan of action while in a collected state of mind. Believe it or not, it is possible to be angry and also collected at the same time- I’ve been there and totally done it! And when you’re able to hold anger in one hand and composure in the other, you can choose to respond to the situation in a healthy way. You can send that text, write that email, make that phone call, or have that face-to-face, in a zen state. Ok, maybe not totally zen, but you get what I mean, in a state where you’re thinking clear and have a handle on your emotions, versus, a state of being a spazzy mess with delusional thoughts and King Kong emotions. Which sounds better to you?
     
    #4 – Don’t hold a grudge, it’s poison and will hurt you. I mean, the literal interpretation of “holding a grudge” makes me visualize a person holding a stinky load of wet summer garbage and excrement in their hands. YOU DON’T NEED THAT. I’m not saying you have to forgive someone for hurting you if you don’t want to, just that it would benefit you to let some anger go. Holding on to it doesn’t hurt the other person(s), it hurts you because it prevents you from letting happiness into your life. It’s all about YOU here people (it really is!) and holding a grudge leaves less room for awesomeness in your life because anger takes up space. So flush that doo doo brown all the way down and stop giving the person (or people) that hurt you the ability to continue hurting you.
     
    Absolving yourself of anger doesn’t mean don’t ever get angry and defend yourself, or that you have to tolerate bullshit treatment, it just means take your power back so you can make more room for happiness and posi vibes. Flush the grudge and then tuck the anger to bed and let it sleep so you can focus on things that nourish your happiness, spirit, and wellbeing. Life is tricky sometimes and your anger will probably wake up again at some point to protect you, but knowing when to kiss it goodnight is a skill worth developing. I’m not encouraging you to go out and get aggro to get practice, just that, when you get mad, practice what I’ve suggested and see if it helps. If you can’t seem to let go of anger, or it’s constantly waking up, something inside you could be unresolved. I recommend more inward reflection and calling in the pros to assist if you can’t figure it out on your own. There could be some serious layers to it and that’s why people like me are around- to help you make sense of it. Reach out of you need to and search psychologytoday.com to find a therapist in your area.
     
    That’s what I got!! Thank you for reading along and feel free to send me a shEmail or hEmail anytime!
     

  • ZOMBIE NO MORE. WHAT YOU WANT VERSUS WHAT YOU NEED: CREATE BALANCE AND BE AMAZING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: self-help

    This topic has been on my mind a lot lately and something I often address in therapy because, well, it’s a damn good subject matter. Creating the balance I refer to in the title is part of becoming empowered and awesome and yadda, yadda, happy, great, amazing, rad, fabulous and so on. 2015 has begun, and if you need some extra help getting those sweet ass-butt cheeks in gear so you can actually achieve the goals you have set for yourself (resolution or not), I really think this topic is going to help you. So… let’s discuss.

     

    Often times we confuse what we need and what we want as being the same thing. Yes, we need necessities like food, shelter and water, but when I refer to “need” in this sense, I’m talking about the things in our modern world that assault our consciousness and trick us into believing we need something that more accurately reflects something we want. As the lines between ||need||and||want|| become blurred, we can lose focus of what is important in our life. We get further and further away from ourselves and can become disconnected from our own conscious state. The more disconnected we get, the more we start to act like zombies. Seriously, damn zombies. Continuing to act strictly on wants and desires will eventually decrease your awareness of some really important things. Like the things that keep you healthy and functioning optimally, and the things you know you should be doing because they benefit you in the long run. When you lose//forfeit your awareness, you forget about what you truly need. This is scary for a lot of reasons, mostly because when desires overrun needs, we can lose control over our life.

     

    Here are a few examples:

     

    Technology

    I love my phone and my computer, but do you ever stop to think, “Fuck, when did I get so dependent on these physical items?”

     

    Alcohol

    Who has control over your drinking, you or the beer company?

     

    Your weight

    How did you gain so many lbs? It wasn’t by eating consciously.

     

    I’m not berating anyone. Lord knows I’m huskier than I’d like to be, that I’m sometimes tethered to Apple products, and that I know what it’s like to feel addicted to a drink (not the sauce, but my on again/off again affair with damn dirty stinking Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi).

     

    I know it feels good to lose control, to be impulsive, to not give a damn about what you’re eating, drinking, saying and doing all the time. We have a lot of obligations to fulfill in order to live the lives we lead. We have jobs we sometimes hate, school, debt, fucked up family/friend/relationship drama and lots of other things, so sometimes losing control, or not giving a shit can feel supremely magnificent. Keyword being: SOMETIMES. It’s not bad to get what you want: to eat cake for breakfast, to take a personal day from work in order to hang out and get nice with your mate, to spend $$$ on yourself because you work hard and don’t need to justify it. All these things are A-OK when they are balanced by you also fulfilling your true needs.

     

    It’s not just about food, sex and money (even though those are really great things). Emotional needs and wants are important too. If there is a topic you don’t want to broach with your partner, but know you need to, you might want to avoid it, but ultimately it needs to be addressed. For example, you’ve been dating your mate for 4 years, you’re totally in love and really want to get married, but that partner of yours just ain’t feeling it. You can avoid dealing with this sometimes (so it doesn’t consume all your thoughts and mental energy) but, if it’s important to you it needs to get discussed, and the sooner the better. Avoidance tends to breed resentment and you don’t want that. A surefire way to prevent this is to pay attention to your needs and vest energy into getting them met in healthy ways. In this case, a need of yours might be to discuss your future, for purposes of determining where you stand with your partner. This is out of your need for safety and security. This is all 100% valid and 100% normal.

     

    Quit Being a Zomb-oner and Start Being Awesome

     

    To get reconnected to oneself, my advice is to simply begin asking, “Do I really need this, or is it something I want?” An important thing to remember is:

     

    ***B A L A N C E  I S   K E Y***

     

    I’m not a party pooper, and life is no fun without being able to do what you want, but it’s also no fun when all you do is hedonistically feed your desires and act on impulse. That’s two-dimensional living that will leave you empty and unfulfilled, and you deserve better than that – you’re better than that. You’ll have more power, control, command, meaning, validation, fulfillment and happiness in your life IF you can create balance between what you want, and what you need. So, raise your consciousness and open that third eye. If you can’t find your third eye, poke around your face until you feel it. OK, so don’t really poke yourself, but do ask and re-ask and re-re-ask, “Do I need this, or do I want this?” “Is this serving me well?” “Is this truly fulfilling?” “Am I acting on impulse?” “Is this fucking critical to my existence, or do I simply want it?”

     

    You are capable of amazing things. You have free will and can make choices that serve your life in healthy ways and promote your wellbeing/awesomeness. Balance. Is. Key!

     

    Thank you for reading this! As always, I hope this sparked some inspirational activity in your beautiful brain. Please send me a shemail or hemail and tell me what ya think! Peace in your crease- by which I mean your magnificent brain creases!

  • RELIEF CHASERS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: self-help

    Why do we like the things we like? Why do we dig the music, art, movies and company we keep? It’s because of how these stimuli make us feel. All of these “things” are extensions of who we are. They help us express, emote and experience feeling. Everything we do is motivated by emotion. Whether you realize it or not, human beings desperately seek emotion. We thirst, hunger, long, yearn, all-that-kind-of-stuff for it. Emotions compel us. We are forever chasing emotion, and even if you think you are evading it, you are still running directly towards it.

     

    “Tiff, are you high? You sound like a baked spaceball from planet Weirdy. What are you talking about here?”

     

    Here is what I mean: Emotion motivates essentially all of life. The reasons underlying why we do just about anything is to feel. And what we want to feel is good. We want to feel good things like love, joy, happiness, connection, belongingness, acceptance, validation, support, significance, meaning, competency, purpose and…relief. This blog will discuss how all of us humanoids are relief chasers, and why it’s so important for you to acknowledge how your relief-seeking behavior plays out.

     

    ++ POINT #1 ++

    We want to feel positive emotions and when we’re not feeling them we seek relief.

     

    Relief can look like a lot of different things, such as getting plastered every night to numb or forget one’s feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, sadness, loneliness, misery, despair, guilt, remorse, defeat, dejection, depression, frustration, aggravation, rage, suffering and pain // OR // getting mega-aggro, calling your partner an “ass-butt” or “flaming diarrhea fire cunt,” // OR // causing physical harm to a living thing, including one’s self // OR // gorging on food, shopping, drugs, or sex. In all of the examples above, the person behaving in these hypothetical ways is seeking relief from the emotional difficulty, torment or pain they are experiencing.

     

    Coping with these types of painfully colossal emotions is difficult. When you strip it down to its simplest, most basic and fundamental form, your process of coping = fighting emotion with emotion.

     

    “I experience hopelessness [emotion] and I want to experience relief [also an emotion].”

     

    So, you’re trying to fight the dank stuff that really hurts you – in the depths of your heart and soul, with relief. But dealing with it in the ways I mentioned up ‘ehr is like fighting a wild fire with a squirt gun. It will not work. In fact, it perpetuates toxic coping styles and drills the severity of your problems further. If your goal is to be better, healthier, happier and more fulfilled in life, you need to adopt alternate strategies for experiencing relief. This is reality.

     

     

    ++ POINT #2 ++

    You can trade in your squirt gun for an ocean.

     

    Relief can also look like: crying, talking to a friend, family member or mental health professional, writing, drawing, sculpting, cooking, walking, meditating, praying, exercising, lifting weights, doing yoga, working in your yard, engaging in your favorite hobby, volunteering, watching a movie and, of course, listening to music. Listening to Jeff Buckley, or any other musician you feel a connection to, can help you cope because the pain you’re dealing with can feel as though it is being mirrored back. Hence: validation (ok, so I love Jeff Buckley and wanted to give him a shout). When you are able to get the relief you seek in ways like these, you are fighting that raging fire of pain with an ocean of water. This will work.

     

    “This is lots to digest. Can you put it in a hairless little nutshell for me @tifftutts?”

     

    Human behavior is motivated by emotion. We seek to experience positive emotion.

    When we’re not experiencing positive emotion, we are trying our hardest to do so. That “trying” part is where life gets tricky (or, supremely fucked up). If you want to be healthy, happy and live fulfilled, you must spend time reflecting on whether the relief you get supports or stymies your wellbeing. Be accountable for yourself and take responsibility for the behavior you display. We’re all in the process of growing and evolving and owning your shit is not a bad thing. It signifies strength and wisdom, so please don’t be defensive about it.

     

    A big part of my work in psychotherapy is to help people understand how their emotions and behaviors are connected. Yes, experience is subjective. What I feel when I hear Miles Davis, or see Holy Motors, might be entirely different than what you feel, but experience is much less subjective when it comes to the fundamentals of emotion. When you or I, or the Queen of Sheba, or Joseph Gordon Levitt, or Ruth Buzzi feel dank, chances are we will try to feel less dank by seeking relief. I believe that individuals, whether they are coping maladaptively (the bummer ways I mentioned) or adaptively (the healthy, posi-ways I mentioned), have a unified purpose, which is to feel good. This is why people deserve empathy. Folks who struggle a bit more with coping in “good” ways are suffering too. But empathy can take you only so far, and eventually people have to make themselves accountable. No matter your past, you are capable of getting your emotional needs met in healthy ways (including feeling relief). Developing a greater connection between yourself and your behavior requires that you cultivate a deepened understanding of yourself. So start asking and answering the question: “Am I getting my needs met in a healthy way?” If not, make a change. We all have free will, choice, and amazing capabilities. We can exercise them to become the awesome people we were destined to be.

     

    For your health! Thank you for reading my blog!!