Currently viewing the tag: "feelings"

2011 Lima, Peru

“All people with responsibility for others experience anxiety,” he said. “In lower doses, anxiety can propel you to be vigilant. Vigilance is one of the major ways to prevent accidents and errors. So it is not surprising and actually might be a good thing that people just embarking on a professional career remain somewhat anxious but are able to convert that anxiety into vigilance.”

Previous studies by Dr. Frankel and other researchers have shown that the Four Habits Model has a positive long-term effect on both clinician and patient satisfaction. The model is used extensively in the United States and other countries to train physicians. The Four Habits are:

  1. Invest in the beginning.
  2. Elicit the patient’s perspective.
  3. Demonstrate empathy.
  4. Invest in the end.
    Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a physician using the four habits.

Journaling Prompt: How can you use the four habits in your relationships?

Art Prompt: Positive anxiety

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the four habits and how they can be adapted to their job and relationships.

Photo Credit: Rotaplast International on Flickr

he takes umbrage easily

umbrage noun

  1. offense; annoyance; displeasure:
  2. to feel umbrage at a social snub; to give umbrage to someone; totake umbrage at someone’s rudeness.
  3. the slightest indication or vaguest feeling of suspicion, doubt,hostility, or the like.
  4. leaves that afford shade, as the foliage of trees.
  5. shade or shadows, as cast by trees.
  6. a shadowy appearance or semblance of something.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: What annoys you? Why do you think it is so annoying?

Art Prompt: Umbrage

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: travis(ty) on Flickr


The road to human development is paved with renunciation. Throughout our life we grow by giving up. We give up some of our deepest attachments to others. We give up certain cherished parts of ourselves. We must confront, in the dreams we dream, as well as in our intimate relationships, all that we never will have and never will be. Passionate investment leaves us vulnerable to loss. And sometimes, no matter how clever we are, we must lose. –Necessary Losses by Judith Viorst

Fiction Writing Prompt: Work on your character sketch. What losses have contributed to your character’s personality? What has he or she chosen to give up?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a loss that had a deep impact on your life.

Art Prompt: We must lose

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how you’ve grown through giving something up.

Photo Credit: André Mielnik on Flickr

When people are said to “beat themselves up” with self-condemning or self-judging thoughts, it isn’t just a figure of speech – severe self-judgment seems to be very much comparable to cutting or hurting oneself physically. Emotional pain activates many of the same circuits in the brain as physical pain, releases almost all of the same stress hormones, and can often be just as damaging in many ways as physical pain.
Clearly something must be rewarding or reinforcing about pain or people wouldn’t repeatedly choose in some instances to self-administer something acutely painful, like a cut or an electric shock. Almost half the people in the study published in Science “liked” or responded to the electric shock enough – or at least got something out of it – that they tried shocking themselves again.
When each of us begins to truly see and understand the specific dynamics that can drive us to create unnecessary pain in our lives, in our relationships, and in ourselves – to use our pain, in effect, as a drug – we can overcome any unhealthy or destructive pattern, and connect more fully to the healthiest, most vital, and most loving parts of ourselves. –John Montgomery

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene of internal monologue for someone who is beathing him or herself up.

Journaling Prompt: Write affirmations that counter your most frequent painful thoughts.

Art Prompt: Reinforcement by pain

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the epidemic of self-infliction of pain and give them strategies for dealing with a loved one who is out of control.

Photo Credit: ♣♦♥♠ on Flickr

My theory, which my clinical findings support, is that we constantly mirror the world, conforming to its needs, trying to win its love and approval. And each time we mirror the world, it creates a little reciprocal hunger to be mirrored back. If that hunger isn’t filled, we develop what I refer to as “mirror neuron receptor deficit.” In today’s world, it’s easy to imagine that deficit growing into a deep ache. Many of the people I work with—from CEOs and managers to unhappy spouses to clinically depressed patients—feel that they give their best, only to be met day after day with apathy, hostility, or (possibly worst of all) no response at all. In my belief, this deficit explains why we feel so overwhelmed when someone acknowledges either our pain or our triumphs. –Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M.D.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of a character suffering from mirror neuron receptor deficit.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you felt acknowledged and your feelings validated.

Art Prompt: The world as a mirror

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Share techniques for validation with your audience.

Photo Credit: Sara Lando on Flickr

anger management

It took all of his strength to stop himself from crossing the room and tearing Emory limb from limb. He could imagine himself flinging small pieces of the man into the fronds of the plants. He hoped a piece wouldn’t land in the punch bowl. That would be quite improper. –Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene driven by the protagonist’s anger.

Journaling Prompt: What triggers anger in you? Write about that trigger and how you cope with it.

Art Prompt: Anger management

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem and opportunity contained in the emotion of anger. Give them strategies for using anger to improve their lives.

Photo Credit: José María Pérez Nuñez on Flickr


This longing for a lost time was so intense I thought it might split me in two, like a tree hit by lightning. I was — as the expression goes — flooded by memories. It was a submersion in the past that threatened to overwhelm any “rational” experience of the present, water coming up around my branches, rising higher. I did not care much about work I had to do. I was consumed by memories of seemingly trivial things. –The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story driven by a character’s longing for a lost time.

Journaling Prompt: What part of your past do you long for? Write about those memories.

Art Prompt: Longing for a past time

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how they can use the natural longing for the past to enrich their lives rather than to escape from it.

Photo Credit: Fabio Gismondi on Flickr

November rain..

My homesickness wasn’t truly for home, I realized. It was for something more elusive. A silent, low-grade, unnamed yearning persisted inside me. It was always there, a reaching feeling that grew stronger when I was alone and listened for it. The rain understood what it was. –The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of someone who has a nameless yearning.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how the rain makes you feel.

Art Prompt: Yearning in the rain

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell about how your emotions are affected by the weather.

Photo Credit: Steve Clee on Flickr


“We’ve been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable — if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” says Sauder Professor Sandra Robinson, who co-authored the study. “But ostracism actually leads people to feel more helpless, like they’re not worthy of any attention at all.”…
… people who claimed to have experienced ostracism were significantly more likely to report a degraded sense of workplace belonging and commitment, a stronger intention to quit their job, and a larger proportion of health problems. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the POV of someone experiencing ostracism.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever felt ostracized? Write about how that felt. Does that stop you from sometimes ostracizing others?

Art Prompt: Ostracized

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the long-lasting and pervasive effects of ostracism.

Photo Credit: charamelody on Flickr

Angry  guy

Timely new research suggests physical abuse against wives and girlfriends may be triggered by a specific psychological state: The emotional stress that can result when males perceive themselves as less masculine than their peers and cultural role models.
A research team led by Dennis Reidy, a violence-prevention scholar at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, refers to this as “discrepancy stress,” and defines it as “a form of distress arising from perceived failure to conform to socially prescribed masculine gender role norms.” …

Men who felt stress over their perceived inadequate level of masculinity were more likely to have admitted abusing their partners, even after a variety of other factors were taken into consideration.
“Men who experience stress related to perceiving themselves as being less masculine than the typical man—or believing that they are perceived as such by others—may be more likely to interpret ambiguous interactions as challenges to their masculinity,” Reidy and his colleagues write. -Tom Jacobs

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of a man experiencing discrepancy stress and the actions it triggers.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel when you think that society is expecting something out of you that you can’t do?

Art Prompt: Discrepancy stress

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the stress created by expectations and how this affects men and their relationships.

Photo Credit: Ben Raynal on Flickr