Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

A Visit to the Park Improves Emotional Well-Being

Spring is in the air in most areas of the country, and we can’t help but be drawn outdoors to enjoy a break from the icy chill of Winter! We know from studies and experience that getting outside can be a refreshing break from “cabin fever” but now we know that it might be easier than you think to enjoy the benefits.

The University of Alabama Birmingham conducted a study at three urban parks in Alabama that regularly have visitors. The study participants reported that they felt better after spending as little as 20 minutes in the park – even if they weren’t being physically active. An excerpt from the University’s report says:

Principal investigator Hon K. Yuen, Ph.D., OTR/L, professor in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, said the original intent of the project was to validate previous research findings on the impact of park visit on emotional well-being, and evaluate the contribution of choosing to participate in physical activity in the...

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Traits of a Great Team Player

The official season opener of the 2019 baseball season is this week! To commemorate that occasion, I want to share some real wisdom from the legendary Babe Ruth, who slugged his way into history. He said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

Leadership is one of my passions. Helping executives, business owners, and managers develop the skills to lead effectively is very satisfying. But no organization can run smoothly if everybody is a boss – and, in reality, the majority of people function best in a supportive role. So, if you’re not the person in charge, focus on learning and demonstrating the traits of a great team player.

Great team players… 

Set ego aside

Maybe you’ve heard it before: Great things can be done when you don’t care who gets the credit. Focus on the...

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Is Your Stress Level Too High?

The demands of life can at times be overwhelming, making it nearly impossible to avoid stress. Although brief periods of high stress are a normal part of life, many people endure unhealthy levels of prolonged stress leaving them vulnerable to mood swings, physical symptoms like headaches and stomach discomfort as well as serious disease.

If you have experienced a prolonged period of high stress you may have become habituated to it and therefore consider it normal and even tolerable. In order to avoid becoming accustomed to high levels of stress I recommend that you monitor your stress level on a regular basis. This self-assessment can be done in three steps:

Step 1: Take an honest look at your behaviors.

Examples of behaviors influenced by stress:

Engaged in wasted motion and busywork
Irritability – critical of others
Not pleasant to be around
Agitated by little things
Impatience
Caffeine and/or alcohol consumption increased
Diminished work quality
Unable to make decisions

Step 2:...

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How to Respond to a Complainer

Ask some folks how they’re doing, and they’ll tell you they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. This can be a completely reasonable answer because we all have times when we feel the same way. However, some have a pattern of going on and on about their problems every time you see them.

We’ve all met people who complain constantly about physical problems or other things going wrong in their lives. They seem to believe they’re magnets for misfortune and nothing is ever positive. How should you handle it when someone has a habit of complaining to you?

First, practice compassion. As annoyed or impatient as you may feel, try to remember that the grumbling is an expression of pain. Even if the complaint seems unimportant to you, or even if it’s the complainer’s own fault, the pain is real to them. To set an appropriate boundary, kindly tell the person how much time you can spend with them and then do your best to compassionately...

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Trends Come and Go; But Some Things Never Change

Are you having trouble keeping up with what’s “in” and what’s “out” this year? Should you decorate minimalist or maximalist? Should you drive a gas or electric vehicle? Should you eat a vegan diet or an all-animal products diet? Should you… it’s hard to keep up with the changing trends!

If you don’t want to be anxious, insecure or confused about what you “should” be doing, begin with a solid foundation of things that never change. The day to day decisions about what to eat, what to wear, and how to spend your money will become so much easier when you remember these basic principles for life:

Character counts. The longer I live, the more I understand that qualities like honesty and integrity usually win over situational ethics and looking out for number one.  A “win” may not look the same for everybody, but even if you don’t land the account, get the job or receive the recognition,...

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Free Yourself from Anger

Did you know that, on average, a man will lose his temper six times a week, and a woman will lose her temper three times per week? That’s a lot of conflict! But within certain boundaries, it is not always a bad thing. While it is never good to resort to violence or deliberately hurtful words, expressing strong feelings can be a healthy outlet for emotions.

Even though many people seem to freely express their anger, others are so averse to conflict that they drive their anger underground, resulting in serious problems.

Unresolved anger can lead to serious physical, psychological, relational and emotional problems. In fact, unresolved anger is believed to be the number one contributing factor that propels couples towards divorce. Even small irritations, left unaddressed, can eventually turn into serious anger. Something as simple as one person not putting their dirty clothes in the hamper or someone habitually not checking the amount of gas in the tank can be blown into major...

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How Do You Say “I Love You”?

Walk into any variety store and it will be obvious that Valentine’s Day has become a commercial extravaganza. Red cards, boxes and candies are everywhere! Love is in the air, along with high expectations and, to be candid, a real possibility of disappointment if the message of love isn’t sent effectively.

Everyone has their own thoughts and feelings about Valentine’s Day. Some people are starry-eyed romantics, others are practical to the core and there are some people who would rather forget about it. But wherever you fall in that spectrum, you will probably want to express your love for someone at some time, even if it isn’t February 14th.

Psychologist and author Dr. Gary Chapman has published some of the most helpful information on the market today about what says “I love you” most effectively. His original book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts was a game-changer for many faltering relationships. He had discovered...

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Dealing with Disagreement

Do you ever wish we could all agree on everything? Wouldn’t that stop all the arguing and fighting? Maybe, but it would also stop a lot of progress and prevent important changes from being made. While disagreement can be uncomfortable, it can also be beneficial if it’s handled the right way. Here are some keys to making it work for everyone involved.

Clarify the Issue – I’ve seen couples, work teams, business partners and family members get embroiled in arguments that escalate into hostility, only to find out they’re not even fighting for the same reason. Begin your discussion by making sure you all have the opportunity to say what your concerns are and what you think the “win” will be once the conversation is over.

Respect – No conversation works well if one or more individuals speaks or behaves in a disrespectful manner. It’s critical to acknowledge that everyone has a legitimate right to their own opinion and that...

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Seasonal Affective Disorder: Tips for Those Who Suffer from SAD

Today’s post is written by our guest blogger, Kimberly Hayes, Chief Blogger for publichealthalert.info,

Live, Work & Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a psychological condition provoked by a seasonal change that results in depression. While people can experience SAD at any time of year, the majority of cases occur in the winter when daylight is scarce. An accepted theory behind the cause of SAD is that decreased sunlight exposure directly affects a person’s biological clock and disrupts their regulation of hormones, neurochemicals, sleep, and overall mood.

Symptoms of SAD are akin to those of major depression:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities once previously enjoyed
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Unhappiness
  • Changes in appetite and weight gain

 

If you are one of the millions of people who experience SAD in the winter, you don’t have to...

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The 5 P's of Transitional Leadership

Change and transition is difficult for many people. In fact, most of us have a love-hate relationship with change – maybe because we believe it will be painful, messy and disruptive despite knowing that if led and managed well it can result in significant improvement and growth.

Ask anyone in our city and they will tell you that everywhere they go they encounter a construction zone. Our freeway and roads have had major delays and new housing construction has created traffic jams of slow-moving cement trucks and heavy equipment. “Messy” and “disruptive” might not be strong enough terms! But the vision of smoother, wider roads and beautiful new neighborhoods helps us remain positive during the processes of change.

In business, as well as in life, it is impossible to experience growth without change, and if you don’t know how to effectively lead and manage change and transition you will encounter greater resistance and opposition no matter how...

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