Sunday, October 25, 2009


I heard this comment on a TV show last week (Mercy, on NBC). It inspired me to revisit the subject of "drama" (Read my posting of 5/6/07, Mother's Day Drama). There is too much of it, real and imagined. Don't get me wrong. Stuff happens. Sometimes situations are emotionally charged. But too many people thrive on this. Often they pull other people in. So, there is 'mild' drama, as when you make plans with friends and something (drama?) comes up with them to require that you make last minute changes in the plan. Understandable, once in a while. But often is too much.

Drama has varying levels of severity. For example, there are those people who are always in conflict (arguing with the store cashier, cursing out their doctor's secretary, hassling the paper boy), and people ending up in the ER or involved with the police, or other "emergencies." Again, everyone has things that happen. But drama queens/kings (YES, there are drama kings too!) tend to have drama all the time, either their own or some to gossip about.

I don't mean to be judging. I am TOTALLY in favor of people living their lives in a way that works for them. But drama can be disruptive, stressful, and exhausting. So, first of all try not to involve others so much in your drama (unless they're into it too, but you better check). More importantly, take a look at your life. If you're having a lot of drama, consider kicking the habit. If you are not sure if you are a drama king or queen, ask your friends. They are dying to tell you.

If you want to make some changes, consider thinking more about options before you act. Some of the relationships that you have may need to change. Limit the drama that you allow people to bring to your door. It's easy to get sucked in. Learn to relax more. And finally, find other, healthier ways to add fun and excitement to your life.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


A lot of people I know, including people I've worked with have suffered through events and situations that were traumatizing for them. They've been knocked down by life. People have lost loved ones, or relationships; lost their jobs, their homes, their savings. A lot of loss. Some of us have suffered through severe illnesses (our own, a friend's, or a family members). We also sometimes get bad news, that throws us for a loop. Life can be really hard to manage sometimes. It can feel like too much. How do you deal with it?

You have got to get back up. Here's how: (with some help from the November issue of AARP Magazine)

1. Give yourself time to grieve. Don't rush through it. The pain is difficult, but necessary. Talk to people. Write in a journal. Engage the sadness, anger, betrayal that you may feel, but don't allow it to engulf you. Allow yourself some distractions.

2. Rely on others. Use a support system of friends, family, your church, support groups (including online) to help you through the hard times. Consider counseling. A burden is more manageable when others help carry it.

3. Learn to be optimistic. People who think positively, and are optimistic tend to recover faster from tragedy. [see my postings, When Life Gives You Lemons, 8/28/08; The Glass Is Not Empty, 3/11/08]

4. Develop your spirituality. People who are active in a religious faith, have an sense of a higher good, or are in touch with spiritual values are usually more resilient.

5. Exercise, eat healthy, and be good to yourself. Play more.

6. Give back. People who give back to their community (by volunteering, giving to charity, etc.) are typically happier, and live longer.

7. Pick your battles. Focus on the things that you can change, and don't spend time on the things that you can't control.

Resiliency is "the ability to rebound... from a crisis or trauma." Some people are born with more of a capacity for this. Others of us have to learn it. Children tend to be more naturally resilient. However, there may be events that are traumatic for them, which wouldn't necessarily be for adults. Like moving, seeing or being involved in an accident, hospital stays, loss of a pet. They may not know to ask for help, but you've got to help them adjust. Know that there is life after the pain. Negative events can often present an opportunity to grow, to become a better person.

For an inspiring case study of this subject read Resilience, by Alonzo Mourning.