Orientation to the Course

 

The World of Mental Health and Self-growth

The world of psychology is changing. Young people are showing interest in understanding the mind. Companies are finally taking mental health of their employees seriously. Government is focussed on making changes in polices. Men also are becoming more involved in the mental wellness industry. So, the timing couldn’t have been better for you to take up this course. You are here now, congratulations!

I remember when I first got involved in self-development in my early twenties. I would notice that when I would attend seminars and read books, most of the people were middle-aged and older. A lot older than me. I once attended a class on addiction, and I realized I was the only lady there. Everyone else was either a single guy or an aged couple together. It was also the time where most programs and retreats were named “New Age.”

Now, mental health is becoming increasingly backed by neuroscience and research. And it’s growing in popularity more than ever. With the advancement of technology, it’s also becoming easier to access with people like you participating in courses like this for contributing to the society.

If you’re wondering if a course in mental health is for you, it probably is, especially if you’re here already. It’s not for everyone though (although I believe it should be.) If you are willing to improve yourself and your life in any way, you are qualified to help others do the same. The Emotional First Aid Certification can be for anyone and can be applied to all areas of your life.

By the way, I’m Sunita, I’m a psychotherapist and your instructor for this course. I’m a recovering procrastinator and perfectionist who’s also an avid researcher and lifelong learner. I’m here to share what I learn to help you become a world class Emotional First Aid Enabler!

Glad to e-meet you.

Rule of Thumb:

  1. It’s never too late for mental health
  2. There is no one way; There’s no magic pill
  3. Emotional language looks different for everyone
  4. Not all information about the mind out there on the internet is created in the same context as this course material (some of it can be incomplete, exaggerated, or false). Psychology and philosophy are still evolving subjects and are highly contextual. Feel free to do your extra reading to delve deep. The links are provided to encourage you.
  5. Mental Health takes time.
  6. It also takes some awareness, effort, and discomfort
  7. Becoming an Enabler doesn’t mean drastic changes or becoming a totally different person. You don’t have to “need” self- growth or be unhappy to enjoy the benefits of becoming an Emotional First Aid Enabler
  8. This course is pretty academic and rigorous in its approach- refrain from comparing it to other ‘3 days or 7 days’ personality training programs. Be prepared to be grilled.
  9. You don’t have to get it right the first time you learn a concept or practise the mindfulness exercises (in fact, it’s likely you won’t, and that’s okay)
  10. Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.

Orientation to the Course

Day 1

Day 2

Pre-requisites for the Course

Motivational speakers, youtubers, bloggers, artists, teachers, writers, yoga practioners and life-coaches, etc, who strive to serve humanity through their words, actions or work can be categorized as Enablers. Enablers are sensitive and highly empathic individuals who have an innate need to share, help, heal or teach others. These peaceful supporters of humanity believe in positive changes and hence strive to work on their own craft with the purpose of serving a larger good by creating communities focusing on human connections.

However, many Enablers get so focused on their goal that they overlook the value of self-care. Do you have the uncanny ability to love but rarely feeling valued? Do you ever feel as though you’re always there for other people’s needs despite your own loneliness? If that’s the case, today’s lecture is for you.

Rule of Thumb:

#Stay the course: The learning process has become more democratic than ever before, with the internet becoming a large classroom where students choose what they want to learn, where they want to learn it, and when they want to learn it. The emphasis has gradually shifted away from pedigree and toward more practical skills.

However, to begin with, any self-paced activity demands a great deal of self-discipline (if you have a gym subscription, then you know exactly what this means). Then there’s the drive to finish what you’ve started, which is frequently fueled by the progress you’ve made. Even if there is growth, it is usually insignificant enough to keep student’s attention and attendance. However, here’s the good news: did you know that enrolments in beauty, fashion, baking, and gym-trainer courses are booming at a 400% increase? What do you take away from this?

Students only finish these self-paced learning programmes when a mandated course completion certificate is required for work or when a certificate is required to submit in a college or office for a forthcoming promotion, evaluation, or grades to qualify. Both concerns have been resolved by the EFA Academy: a genuine credential and a job possibility. As a result, the EFA course is a hybrid of live tutoring and self-paced online learning. The ability to complete your programme at your own pace and engage in one-on-one live interaction with your instructor will ensure the desired results-so, stay the course!

#Classroom: The skills you learn can help you effectively relate to and live your life path, whatever it is. Learning the enablement skills does not create a new path for you; rather it shines the Light on your existing career or personal goals. Some days you take a class or two, find it catapults you to new perceptions. Sometimes you return on a weekend and decide to binge all 5 days of lecture over the weekend. We’d say go for it! However, ideally, we suggest you spare an hour every day to savour and digest the course.

#122 hour Core Curriculum: It is important to understand that along with the course materials, the mindfulness practises, thrive and drive exercises, your journal writing and practicals are part of your performance in summative and continuous cumulative assessment. It’s important that you commit to all the exercises, not just fast-forward the video lectures!

#Certification: Some students choose to complete the Certification Program, and earn the title of Certified Enabler. They are willing to do what it will take to get proficient, to move beyond the regular job, wanting to pursue a full-time career in serving humanity. If you are one such individual then you can participate in the EFA Academy’s campus interview program to join our platform where we promote your passion to reach out to the aspirants out there.

Day 3

Why EFA in 21st Century

Let’s be clear – improving mental health care is not only ‘broken-system’ issue, it is a critical socio-cultural issue. Our nation’s ability to address mental health in a holistic, comprehensive way may just determine how successful we ultimately are in our quest to becoming a super power. According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDS), there is one death by suicide in every 12.3 minutes.

A mental health crisis impacts the lives of minimum six people. The statistics are alarming. Here are a few more facts from the National Alliance on mental health (NAMI), largest and most influential advocacy group on behalf of patients and their families:

  • One out of every four adults (about 61.5 million) suffers from mental illness each year, and one out of every 17 adults (approximately 13.6 million) suffers from a significant mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder.
  • In a given year, almost 20% of youth aged 13 to 18 develop severe mental problems. The forecast for children aged 8 to 15 is 13%.
  • Seventy percent of adolescent delinquents have at least one mental health disorder, with at least 20% having a serious mental disease.

The entire health-care business must adopt a cohesive mental-health strategy, recognizing that the mind and body are inextricably linked. At EFA, we’ve started down the path of prioritizing mental health conversations.

I’m guessing your digital life is a lot like mine. We are always online in our virtual world. We are constantly connected to our digital devices day and night. For most of us, the fast pace of life has aggravated anxiety which includes systemic strain on work-life balance, and not to mention the stigmas associated with getting treatment.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the situation of mental health in our country. At EFA Academy, we want to reimagine mental health care for India. Integral improvements necessitate a high-quality network of affordable service providers, developing technology that makes connecting simple, convenient and affordable. We need evidence-based approaches with measurable outcomes.

Mental illness carries a universal stigma. Ones with mental illness do not have the same societal value as those without mental illness in any country, society, or culture.

Rule of Thumb:

The Facts on Discrimination, Prejudice, and Stigma– Stigma is frequently the result of a lack of understanding or fear. Misconception and fear is spread by inaccurate or misleading media portrayals of mental illness. While many individuals understand the physical or hereditary nature of mental illness and the necessity for treatment, many people still have a poor perception of individuals who suffer from mood and personality disorders.

Different types of stigma have been identified by researchers:

  • Public stigma refers to other people’s negative or discriminating views about mental illness.
  • Self-stigma refers to bad feelings about oneself, such as internalized shame that individuals suffering from mental illness have concerning their own situation.
  • Institutional stigma is more systematic, involving government and private-sector practises that limit opportunities for those with mental illnesses, whether knowingly or accidentally. For example, inadequate financial resources for mental illness researches or least priority to mental health services in comparison to other health care like cancer or diabetes.

Stigma impacts not only those who suffer from mental illness, but also those who support them, which often includes family members. In today’s lecture, you’ll understand why Emotional First Aid is important in the twenty-first century.

Day 4

Shift from what’s WRONG to what’s STRONG

Prior to WWII, psychology had three definite objectives:

  • Curing mental disease,
  • Improving the productivity and fulfilment of all people’s lives, and
  • Recognizing and fostering genius.

Two events, both economic, occurred shortly after the war that altered the face of psychology. Thousands of researchers discovered that they could earn a fortune treating mental disease once the Veterans Administration was established in 1946. The clinical psychologist profession was established at that time. Academies discovered that if their research was about pathology, they might secure money from the National Institute of Mental Health (which was based on the American Psychiatric Association’s disease model and is better to call it as the National Institute of Mental Illness instead of mental health).

This arrangement resulted in a slew of significant advantages. According to Dr. Martin Seligman, president of the American Psychological Association, “at least 14 formerly intractable illnesses have revealed their secrets to science and can now be either healed or significantly eased.”

The drawback was that psychology’s other two core missions—improving the lives of all people and cultivating genius—were all but forgotten.

With funding, not only did the subject matter change, but so did the currency of the theories that underpinned how we saw ourselves. Psychology became a “victimology” when it began to regard itself as merely a subdivision of the mainstream health professions.

The empirical focus of psychology therefore moved to assessing and treating individual diseases and disorders. The study of psychiatric problems and the harmful effects of environmental stressors such parental divorce, death, and physical and sexual abuse has exploded. Practitioners approached mental illness treatment from the disease-patient perspective of mending damage: damaged habits, drives, childhood, and brains.

EFA Academy’s mission is to remind you that our field (mental health) has been distorted.

Psychology encompasses not just the study of disease, weakness, and harm, but also the study of virtue and strength. Treatment entails not only correcting what is wrong, but also constructing what is correct. Psychology covers a wide range of topics, including employment, education, insight, love, growth, and recreation. And in its search for the best, EFAA does not rely on wishful thinking, self-deception, or hand waving; rather, it strives to adapt the best of the scientific methods of habit building to foster resilience in human behavior in all of its complexity.

Day 5

Learn about the Mental Health Professionals

Mental health, emotional well-being or self-growth is an essential part of a person’s success and happiness. Psychology is a vast subject. It consists of a multitude of topics and statistics. There’s a lot to it. Though some ideas appear common sense, some of it can be conflicting too.

Mental and emotional health consists of theories, techniques and ideas to improve your life as well as inspirational positivity that you can share with others. It can be broadly classified into two: 1) pre-set, i.e., to address health well in advance (Like yoga, healthy balance- diet, etc.) and 2) onset, i.e., to address when there’s awareness of the beginning of something unpleasant with your health.

The Emotional First Aid course belongs to the pre-set category(Meaning prevention) in the field of mental health and emotional well-being. The vision of the EFA Academy is to eradicate loneliness by connecting the enablers to those who have a lot to say but nobody who’ll listen.

Rules to Remember:

Now I’d like to ask you a question: Do you – or someone in your family – suffer from a mental illness? It’s something that affects a lot of people, and it’ll require all of us to break down the barriers and reconnect the mind and body for the sake of our country’s and the world’s health.

It can be difficult to take the first step toward seeking help. It is critical to choose the correct specialist to assist you in overcoming any emotional or mental difficulties. It will be beneficial to keep the following in mind:

  • Rapport
  • Training
  • Methods
  • Cost
  • Availability
  • Convenience

In today’s lecture you’ll learn about the different types of mental health professionals serving in the industry.

Day 6

Comparative Analysis of a Counsellor and an Enabler

The thin line between enabling and counselling:

Enablers strive to eradicate loneliness on one end of the mental health spectrum by addressing boredom. Counsellors (and other professionals like clinical psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist thereon) address issues like depression, anxiety and suicide on the other end of the spectrum .

On Day 5, you learnt about the various mental health professionals. At first, it might have seemed a bit confusing- all the specialised area of work or their approach to treatment. Like mentioned earlier, Enablement belongs to the pre-set category. To be more specific, pre-set category of Medical Humanities.

What is Medical Humanities?

Medical humanities are a group of academic fields that use speculative empirical approaches to focus on the ‘human’ rather than the ‘human conditions or ailments.’ This is in contrast to the clinical sciences’ analytical methodologies.

What place do humanities have in mental health? One might as well ask: What place does the mind have in the brain? What place does socio-cultural experience have in commerce? What is the utility of the empty space within the vessel?

The humanities are required in mental health, primarily because science alone cannot answer the question of what it means to be human. In truth, neither can the humanities. Science and the humanities are the yin and yang of our intellectual investigations of the human predicament; one requires (and encompasses) the other.

As a student of psychology and philosophy, the relevance of the socio-cultural perspective to clinical practise has always seemed too obvious to me. Yet, as your instructor, I realize, I am obligated to back up my obvious claim. Here, I would like to mention that Emotional First Aid is a shift from emphasis on psychological sciences to psychological humanities by attempting to build a general framework for subjective reality.

Rule of thumb:

A person’s mental health is about how one experiences his/her subjective reality. And because Emotional First Aid is a course focussed on prevention, we need to relay on variety of disciplines to achieve a deeper understanding of subjective experiences: Philosophy provides conceptual clarifications and guidelines for integrating research on subjective realm; history reconstructs the movement of subjectivism and its subdivisions; social theories debate the process of subjectification; indigenous, cultural studies show that subjectivism cannot be applied habitually without contexts; the arts substantiate the idea that subjective intuition is at the core of mental and emotional well-being; anatomy points to recent developments in genetics and neuroscience while information technology advances the consideration of significant changes in digital-subjectivity.

So, if you were to compare an enabler and a counsellor—since they both work in the same field—you would do so by presenting subjectivism as a central theme for mental and emotional well-being.

At EFA Academy, we believe that a heartfelt conversation is to a person, what sunlight is to a sunflower. With a humanities-based perspective, enablers can appreciate the rich backgrounds and histories held within each aspirant’s journey of life. Through conversations, the enablers relate to aspirants as unique and holistic beings. Unlike therapeutic or clinical approaches that meets a patient in context of a mental/emotional crisis, the enablers are trained to support a holistic and organic approach to enablement itself through informal yet socially appropriate conversations.

Now that you’re curious to learn about the implications of the humanitarian approach to mental health, let’s delve into today’s lectures to learn more about how enablers are different from counsellors.

Day 7

The Optimistic Triad

The world is divided into optimistic and pessimistic approaches to life. The other in-betweens, the realistic, the pragmatic or the opportunistic are all various shades of grey of optimism or pessimism.

Today, you’ll learn the relationship between optimism and your mental health.

What you concentrate on gets crystallize in your brain. The research is authentic, and it is backed up by solid science. ‘Experience-dependent neuroplasticity’ is the term for it. It has sparked a lot of interest in the scientific community, and the results are impressive. The ramifications of these studies for each one of us are enormous.

The discovery at the heart of the study is that it is the meaning linked to an event that changes the brain, not the experience itself. Consider this for a moment: you have great power over your brain through your self-talk. And it’s not being taught in our schools!

It was once considered that the brain remained mostly unchanged after childhood trauma and abuse, and that it could not be influenced or changed. We now know that this isn’t entirely true. We now have new scientific information.

Each of us has a brain that is built to be pliable and plastic, allowing us to influence it through proper breathing and self-talk. It is always reshaping itself to be the best version of itself that it can be for us. Everything we see, feel, experience, sense, and do is gradually but steadily changing the architecture of our brains, giving delicate instructions on how the brain might best serve us.

What is the mechanism behind it?

Hundreds of billions of neurons (brain cells) work together between the walls of our skulls to mold us into the people we are. Different neurons oversee different aspects of our experience- eating, feeling, sleeping, sensing danger, firing up, falling in love, spelling, daydreaming, laughing, remembering, learning, nurturing- whether it’s the way we feel or the way we think. You get the point. Being human is difficult, and our brain is at the center of it all — and we’re continually learning about the brain and its mysteries, and we are light years away!

Sparks are flying in your neural network even as you read this. About 100 billion neurons are activated based on your self-talk on your current experience. Within milliseconds, the neurons associated with your immediate experience — what you are feeling, thinking, seeing, sensing, doing, and experiencing – will fire, and new connections will begin to develop. The higher the level of brain activity, the better.

Everything you go through will change your brain’s physical structure in some way. The things you do, the people you spend time with, every feeling, idea, and automatic experience all have an impact on the wiring of your brain, determining who you are and who you can become.

If you allow your thoughts to linger on self-criticism, self-loathing, pain, anguish, stress, worry, fear, regret, and guilt, your brain will be shaped by these thoughts. You’ll be more prone to worry, despair, and anxiety, as well as more likely to focus on the bad aspects of a scenario, frame things negatively, and be thrown off track by what you could or should have done.

If you concentrate on positive sentiments and frame things in a favorable light, your brain will eventually take on a form that reflects this, hardwiring and strengthening connections related to resilience, optimism, thankfulness, and self-esteem.

The ability to rewire your brain is the topic of today’s lecture.

Rule of Thumb:

We are hardwired to detect danger and negative emotions. This is perfectly natural and healthy, and it’s how we’ve managed to survive for thousands of years. When it comes to seeing the negative, interpreting it, and holding on to it until we learn something from it, the brain is great. It’s known as the negative bias, and it’s extremely significant.

The problem is that, while it is natural for us to notice the negative, it is also natural for us to overlook the positive, called the generalization bias. It’s not uncommon for your mind to linger on that one dispute, that terrible phone call, or that one jerk who crossed your way during a day filled with otherwise fabulous and enriching events.

Imagine if it were the opposite way around, with the good staying put and the bad slipping into the ‘doesn’t matter’ category. This is based on the permanent, pervasive, and personalized self-talk styles you have.

To begin, we must focus on the positive and be intentional about detecting positive events. This may be more difficult than it appears, especially if you have a brain that is well-trained in spotting the negative, as many beautiful human brains are. Allow your mind to focus on the positive once it has shown on your radar long enough to get your brain’s neurons to fire. Feel it, not just notice it. Keep it in your hand for at least 20 seconds. After this period, the experience will be hardwired into your brain, firing neurons, and strengthening the connections that will shape your experience.

If positive experience isn’t right in front of you, do everything you can to make it happen. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Try revisiting a memory, listening to a song, making a phone call, planning a catch-up, or playing or doing something nurturing. When you’ve done so, hold on to the feeling. It may want to fade away, but don’t allow it to do so immediately.

Practicing the optimistic triad and appreciating the good takes time to become automatic. Take note of how quickly you notice the negative and let go of the positive. Be deliberate in leveling things out and do so gradually; this will modify your brain on its own.

Is this to say that negative emotions are forbidden?

Negative emotions should never be avoided. We don’t have to pretend the negative doesn’t exist just because we want to focus on the positive. Negative emotions are vital as well, and they have a right to exist. They remind us to withdraw when we need time to heal, they warn us about potentially harmful persons or situations, and they serve as a warning sign. Negative emotions should be respected just as much as happy emotions. But, if they are permitted to take over, there will be a price to pay.

The neurons that activate at the same time will wire together, causing long-term alterations in the brain. Staying in negative emotions for longer than necessary might be harmful. It’s the equivalent of repeatedly rubbing a scar that serves no use other than to keep a wound open. Every time you go over it, it becomes a bit heavier, a little stronger, and a little more difficult for you to exist without it.

It’s perfectly acceptable to feel unpleasant, to stay with it, and to seek out the insight it provides. Wisdom will always be present in some form.

Spend some time reflecting on your resiliency, courage, strength, and inner wisdom. Take time to recall memories or individuals who love and appreciate you if you are feeling lonely. It may be a simple ‘hello there’ text, an invitation, music, a photo, or a memory. Take time to draw on experiences that nourish you if you’re feeling depleted. Allow the feelings to linger for long enough, and let it teach you something new, but don’t keep looking back when there are other things around you that can help you move forward.

Finally…By focusing your attention on a specific direction, you may modify your brain and mold it to be more compassionate, resilient, kinder, more empowered, and fulfilled by staying with your experience.

Our self-talk controls our brain, whether we see the world through an optimistic or pessimistic lens, whether we are hopeful or hopeless, whether we are open to love or quick to shut it down. Your brain will be shaped by what you pay attention to, and your experiences, relationships, and life will be shaped by what you pay attention to.

Day 8

The Sunita Mani Enabler Criteria Model

The concept of a mental model was originally suggested by psychologist Kenneth Craik in 1943, who proposed that people carry in their minds a small-scale model of how the world operates.

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. It is a set of beliefs that shape how a person forms expectations for the future and understands the way the world works. The phrase “mental model” is an overarching term for any sort of worldview or concept that you carry around in your mind. Mental models help you understand life. For example, demand and supply is a mental model that helps you understand how the economy works.

Mental models can shape how an individual thinks about or understands how something or someone does, can, or should function in the world.

Rules to Remember:

Have you ever wondered why you generally struggle, at least in a few areas of your life when you have to decide for yourself, be it a small or life-changing decision?

You seem to have good wisdom when it comes to advising someone, but the same wisdom goes missing when it comes to helping yourself. Why do you think that happens?

You make several decisions every day. Some involve deep thought, while others are almost automatic. Your decisions are linked to your goals, be it exercising every day to stay healthy or staying up all night to finish your favorite Netflix series or taking your first puff to look cool in front of your friends. If you know the consequences of each of your options, the solution is easy. Decide where you want to be and choose the path that takes you there. Remember we’re all limited by our own experiences, biases, and areas of expertise.

A mental model is a way of looking into a problem. Each mental model offers a different bodywork that you can use to look at life. If you develop a larger toolbox of mental models, you’ll improve your ability to solve problems because you’ll have more experience, knowledge, and clarity.

In today’s lecture, you will learn all about mental models and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.

Day 9

Initiation into Enablement

Information processing theory states cognitive psychology (Cognitive psychology involves the study of all of the things that go on inside your brain, including perception, thinking, memory, attention, language, problem-solving, and learning) sees the individual as a processor of information, in much the same way that a computer takes in information and follows a program to produce an output.

Our brain fundamentally uses two ways of processing information. Serial processing allows only one object at a time to be processed, whereas parallel processing assumes that various objects are processed simultaneously.

At the root of all our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are the communication between neurons within our brains. Brainwaves are produced by synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other. Our brainwaves change according to what we’re doing and feeling. When slower brainwaves are dominant we can feel tired, slow, sluggish, or dreamy. The higher frequencies are dominant when we feel wired, or hyper-alert.

Rules to Remember:

Have you heard of brain waves and how they affect our mental status? Is it possible to change the brain waves for our advantage?

Was there an incident when you told yourself, I am in a serial processing mode or parallel processing mode? Do you have an idea which mode to use when? And how to switch from one to another?

Brain waves are patterns of electrical activity occurring in the brain. They are crucial to all aspects of brain functioning, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Brain waves influence how we process information from the external environment.

In today’s lecture, you will learn about initiation into Enablement and brain waves & mental states. How each element is interconnected hence the result. What to do/change if you’re seeking positive results.

Further reading

Activity: Tree Trunk Meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

https://brainworksneurotherapy.com/about/faq/what-are-brainwaves/

Day 10

Fundamentals of the Emotional First Aid Kit

Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and well-being. Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself. So, when you conceptualize self-love, you can try to imagine what you would do for yourself, how you’d talk to yourself, and how you’d feel about yourself that reflects love and concern. Self-love is a form of building a friendship with your mind and maintaining that healthy friendship through all thick and thin of life.

We all know how to treat physical injuries like cuts and scrapes when we sustain them but we ignore psychological wounds such as rejection, guilt, failure, loneliness, and other everyday hurts we go through day in and day out. Psychological wounds can impact our lives in unexpected and negative ways. Negative psychological experiences impact our productivity, motivation, creativity, and overall functioning in our personal, and professional lives.

How much self-love have you reserved for yourself? When was the last time you were reminded by someone to be compassionate towards yourself?

Are you someone who had a healthy childhood and was taught how to look after if you were physically injured? What about emotional injuries?

How did your parents help you? Did they provide comfort? Did they talk about the experience with you? Did they validate your feelings and help you to express them effectively? Or did they minimise the experience and leave you to figure things out on your own?

Research shows that children who understand and express emotions more easily have better empathetic and social skills, which can help to build relationships. They even do better academically and going forward will establish strong personal and professional connections. On the contrary, If children aren’t able to understand and express emotions, it can affect a lot of different areas of their lives. They are likely to have lower-quality relationships and it can even contribute to disorders such as depression.

Rules to Remember:

As humans, we suffer both emotional and physical injuries. Unlike physical injuries, we are often taught to suppress emotional injuries. But emotional pain from experiences of failure, rejection, or loneliness doesn’t always heal on its own. It’s important to practice emotional hygiene with scientifically supported tools for treating emotional wounds, healing them, and strengthening our emotional resilience. One of the tools to practice emotional hygiene is through an Emotional First Aid kit.

In today’s lecture, you will learn what self-love is and what its relationship is with the mind along with an introduction to the Emotional First Aid kit.

Further Reading

Activity: Tree trunk meditation.

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. How to practice emotional first aid, Guy Winch https://youtu.be/F2hc2FLOdhI
  2. Book – Emotional First Aid, healing rejection, guilt, failure, and other everyday hurts by Guy Winch.
  3. 7 ways to practice emotional first aid, https://ideas.ted.com/7-ways-to-practice-emotional-first-aid/
  4. Emotional First Aid, https://psychcentral.com/blog/emotional-first-aid#1
  5. Why Is Mental Health Important? https://www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-mental-health-for-wellbeing-5207938
  6. Why self-love is important and how to cultivate it, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321309

Day 11

EFA Kit Demo

An emotional first aid kit is simply a list of emotional wellness tools that can provide an immediate and positive effect on the way we think and feel. Having an emotional first aid kit readily available can help people in addressing basic psychological needs and reduces psychological distress by providing a caring comforting presence, and education on common stress reactions. It empowers the individual by supporting strengths and encouraging existing coping skills. It also provides connections to natural support networks. An emotional first aid kit is especially important to be able to work through emotional walls and times when negative symptoms are intense.

We know how useful it can be to have a first aid kit to hand. A kit naturally can’t solve everything, but what counts is that it is immediately present and at once highly effective. It contains what’s most urgently needed to contain a situation—until calm returns or more substantial help can be called for. This is a counterpart to that medical first aid kit, an emotional kit that provides a set of useful salves to some of life’s most challenging psychological situations.

Rules to Remember:

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the direct result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental health conditions cannot be overcome through willpower and are not related to a person’s character or intelligence.

Surveys show a major increase in the number of U.S. adults who report symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia during the pandemic, compared with surveys before the pandemic. Some people have increased their use of alcohol or drugs, thinking that can help them cope with their fears about the pandemic. In reality, using these substances can worsen anxiety and depression.

In today’s lecture, you will learn what the Emotional First Aid kit contains and how to use it.

Day 12

The Process and Stages of Decision Making

Making decisions is often hard, and making good decisions quickly is even harder. According to research, many people struggle when it comes to making big life-alternating decisions, such as which college to go to or what career path to pursue. Furthermore, some people also struggle with other types of decisions, from somewhat important decisions, such as which laptop to buy, to relatively trivial decisions, such as what to eat for lunch. In addition, some people do manage to make decisions but struggle when it comes to making decisions that are good for them, or when it comes to making good decisions on time. This can be either an issue for them in general, or something that they struggle with when it comes to a specific area of life, such as their finances, their hobbies, or their relationships.

Are you one of those people who struggle with making decisions? If so, most likely your head is speaking a different language than your heart. But, who are you going to listen to?

Maybe today your head and tomorrow your heart? Usually, that equates to no progress made and only confusion added. Which of these do you recognize? I can’t make a decision because:

  1. I am worried about what other people will say about it.
  2. I always want to have the best.
  3. If I get it wrong, I am a failure.
  4. This might impact me forever.
  5. I don’t know what’s best for me.
  6. I don’t want to have the responsibility.

Rules to Remember:

We make thousands of decisions every day. Many are easy, but others are complex, stressful, or both. Because there are so many decisions and because they are literal forks in the road with dramatic impact on results, costs, time, feelings, and relationships, how you make decisions is extremely important. This is why decision-making is a top priority in everybody’s life and your ability in making a good decision will lead you to have a happy life on the contrary inability will lead you to have a very different life.

In today’s lecture, you will learn why how you make decisions are more important than what you decide, the scientifically proven decision-making process, and knowing your superpower.

Further reading: 

Activity: Tree Trunk Meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

Day 13

Three Brains and Four Circuitries

The brain is the complex and mysterious core of who we are, it determines our personalities and preferences why we prefer chocolate over vanilla or music concerts over football and how we think, act, move and remember. There is no question we have made some major advancements, particularly in the last 40 years. But when it comes to understanding how the brain processes information and produces outcomes, there is much still to learn and many exciting discoveries to come.

To understand what it is to be human you are your brain. Your brain is the very essence of your personality, individuality, and abilities. Unraveling how the brain works will help us understand the basis of human behavior and actions. While each brain is unique, all healthy human brains share similar basic structures and functions.

Rules to Remember: 

The brain works like a big computer. It processes information that it receives from the senses and body and sends messages back to the body. But the brain can do much more than a machine can. Humans think and experience emotions with their brains, and it is the root of human intelligence.

In today’s class, let’s learn some classic myths about the brain and different circuitries in the brain and how each circuitry is responsible for triggering the positive or negative outcomes in the behavior.

Day 14

Power of the Unconscious Mind 

How many of us made New Year’s resolutions this year, but have already broken them? Maybe we told ourselves we’ll exercise more, or spend more time with our children, or not get so angry all the time. But we’re no closer to these goals than we were before. It turns out that part of the problem is the way we make these resolutions: They rely on our conscious decision-making processes. We just set a good intention to do things differently, and we leave it at that. But experience should tell us that good intentions are often not enough.

According to Freud, thoughts and emotions outside of our awareness continue to exert an influence on our behaviors, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences. The unconscious can include repressed feelings, habits, hidden memories, desires, thoughts, and reactions.

Rules to Remember:

As individuals, we rely on our unconscious mind in ways we often do not realize. While our unconscious mind is often responsible for negative behaviors or defeating self-talk, it can be of great benefit in helping us grow and improve as individuals. The key, though, is utilizing the unconscious mind in the correct way.

In order to be effective, the unconscious mind needs very clear direction, it only does what we reinforce within it, so if negative elements are not addressed with haste, they can become habitual and problematic. The unconscious mind cannot tell good from bad; it is the responsibility of our conscious mind to make those determinations and focus on what needs to be repeated in the future. In today’s class, you’re going to learn all about it.

Day 15

Breakdown and Breakthrough Mindset

Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, feel, and behave in any given situation. It means that what you believe about yourself impacts your success or failure.

According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, your beliefs play a pivotal role in what you want and whether you achieve it. Dweck has found that it is your mindset that plays a significant role in determining achievement and success. Mindsets can influence how people behave in a wide range of situations in life. For example, as people encounter different situations, their mind triggers a specific mindset that then directly impacts their behaviour in that situation.

Our planet is covered with smart, well-intentioned people who never seem to reach their goals. They work hard. They have lofty aspirations. They chug along faithfully. But they eventually give up and settle for less than they’d hoped for.

Conventional wisdom tells us that we can convince people to be more flexible and less risk-averse. Just tell them to “get on with it” and “stop complaining,” right? But nothing is ever that simple, especially when we are trying to understand how change impacts our brains.

Why facts don’t change our minds, and beliefs are so hard to change?

There is so much written by psychologists, mental health experts, and self-help gurus about the relationship between positive thinking and living a good life that the subject is almost cliché. But one wonders if this message has any impact at all. Recent reports show that depression and suicide rates have steadily risen over the past few decades. Yet research continues to demonstrate that positive thinking is beneficial in numerous ways.

Rules to Remember:

There are many reasons why it can be hard to stick to good habits or develop new skills. But more often than not, the biggest challenge is sitting between your two ears. Your mind is a powerful thing. The stories you tell yourself and the things you believe about yourself can either prevent change from happening or allow new skills to blossom.

Mindset is the connection between what you believe and what you do about the things you want to change about or struggle with like, it’s too hard for me to lose weight, I am not good with people, I am not a creative person, I am a serial procrastinator and so on and so forth. So how do you change it? This is what exactly you’re going to study in today’s class and how simple techniques can empower you to change from what is wrong to what is strong to do the shift.

Further Reading

Activity: Still water meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. https://mindbodypaddle.com/9868/how-to-turn-your-breakdown-into-a-breakthrough/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQMbvJNRpLE
  3. http://v2a.com/breakdown-or-breakthrough/
  4. Book: Master Your Mind: Counterintuitive Strategies to Refocus and Re-Energize Your Runaway Brain by Roger Seip · Robb Zbierski.
  5. Book: The Innovative Mindset: 5 Behaviours for Accelerating Breakthroughs by John Sweeney.

Day 16

Four habits to Break to achieve Emotional Fitness

Emotional fitness is the idea that the mind needs regular training exercises, just like our body does, in order to stay mentally and emotionally strong and healthy. Having good emotional fitness means that we can better cope with handling our emotions and our reactions to everyday situations.

Just like you can take steps to improve your physical well-being, there are steps to boost and strengthen your emotional well-being as well. Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean instant or permanent happiness. It does mean that you are able to control and understand your emotions and have the resilience to deal with the negative ones.

Rules to Remember: 

Emotional fitness for some is being free of emotions, for others, it is about living them fully. How about you? If you’re not sure or if you’re contemplating then today’s class will help you understand how to thrive during life’s most challenging lessons by tuning into your emotions, accepting them, and understanding them. It emphasizes the capacity to work well with Aspirants, rebound from challenges, and make effective decisions.

Emotional fitness habit 

1: your quitter’s attitude (problem areas, when do you not stand up for yourself – give life one more day, let me give one more day, I will take care of myself until everything takes care of itself,

2: Catch yourself “For the sake of” parents I quit this job, for the sake of………., if you’re not alright how can you help someone else or justify the relationship?

3: Shift from show off to showcase:

SLOW DOWN BREATHING………………..

4: Stop giving unsolicited advice

Further reading

Activity: Still Water Meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-improving-your-mental-fitness-can-help-boost-your-productivity-and-success/
  2. https://hesonline.com/2019/10/07/elements-emotional-fitness/
  3. Wendy Suzuki: The brain-changing benefits of exercise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHY0FxzoKZE
  4. Book: The Fitness Mindset: Eat for energy, Train for tension, Manage your mindset, Reap the results by Brian Keane
  5. Book: Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts by Guy Winch

Day 17

The Enablers Manifesto

If your life were a river, what shape would it take?

Where are the bends and turns, when your situation changes? Was the transition smooth or sudden?

Are there obstacles or life-altering moments falling into your river?

The metaphor of a river as a way of depicting a personal journey or history is widely understood across cultures. In relation to the specific context and aims of the method allows an individual not only to portray the present juncture of his or her life, but also the historical twists and turns, and discontinuities of the path he or she has followed to reach this point. The rivers of life may also be extended beyond the present, in order to illustrate the participant’s expectations and aspirations for the future.

The individual rivers of life stories, as well as the ensuing discussions, allowed us to build a picture of the social, environmental, and ecological histories of the communities in which we were interested, and the places they inhabit.

Rules to Remember:

Your ability to look at your life experiences like a river of life experiences and your ability to look at other people also like a river of life experiences through the Manifesto, in today’s class you are going to learn how this is done through Manifesto.

Day 18

The Equation of Suffering

There’s an old expression in mindfulness circles: pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Life is inherently stressful and challenging, and we sensitive human beings are affected in many ways in body and mind by the daily slings and arrows of existence. Because there is pain in life, the way we relate to the pain is crucial.

Pain is inevitable, but when we resist pain in our lives we cause more pain because we experience the anguish and fear that comes when we deny and avoid what’s true. When we recognize our pain and allow it to be there, without resistance, we open to the possibility of responding to our pain in ways that ultimately bring healing.

Rules to Remember:

Most of the suffering of our pain comes from the story, expectations, and worries we have about how it is going to affect us in the future or what it was like the last time we had it. If we just accept the pain as part of where we are at this moment in time we can build a better future for ourselves.

Resisting something we don’t want seems to make sense, however the problem with this is that we tense up and don’t allow for things to flow.  When we accept the discomfort we have in that moment it opens us up to possibilities and creates a foundation for us to build the rest of our life from. Just by not resisting but accepting.

Day 19

The Emotional Intelligence Quotient

According to research, If you’re unable to manage your emotions, you are probably not managing your stress either. This can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress raises blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, contributes to infertility, and speeds up the aging process. These are the physical symptoms. Now let’s talk about psychological symptoms, uncontrolled emotions and stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand or manage your emotions, you’ll also struggle to form strong relationships. This in turn can leave you feeling lonely and isolated and further exacerbate any mental health problems.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, interpret, demonstrate, control, evaluate, and use emotions to communicate with and relate to others effectively and constructively. This ability to express and control emotions is essential, but so is the ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. Some experts suggest that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ for success in life.

Points to Remember:

Emotional intelligence is commonly defined by Self-management, You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances. Self-awareness, You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses and have self-confidence. Social awareness, You have empathy. You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization. And Relationship management, You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict. In today’s lecture, you will learn how emotional intelligence and learning life processes will help in the enablement session.

Further reading 

Activity: Still Water Meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. Reading: https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/emotional-intelligence-what-the-research-says
  2. Youtube video: Brené Brown’s Life Advice on Emotions Will Leave You Speechless, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aU6T-ed1eI
  3. Youtube video: Richard J. Davidson How mindfulness changes the emotional life of our brains, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CBfCW67xT8
  4. Book: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
  5. Book: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Day 20

Metacognition of Suffering is Emotional Intelligence

It is not necessarily sad that we suffer, that we experience pain, disease, or death, which are an inherent part of life. The real sadness is that we have lost consciousness of our true nature in which we can find enduring peace even amid pain, misfortune, or iniquity. This loss of Self-awareness is the real cause of emotional suffering, which in turn makes physical suffering harder to endure.

Points to Remember:

Only when we allow our suffering to liberate us can we become liberated from suffering. Suffering can be the breaking of the boundaries of the known and the familiar if we use it to recognize the limitations of our outer lives. If we are open to the truth of suffering, suffering can cleanse and transform the mind and heart. We are going to learn in today’s and upcoming classes how awakening to suffering can be learned and practiced in everyday life.

Further reading: 

Activity: Eagle-Eye Exercise – 1

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. Reading: An awakening, https://www.bps.org.uk/psychologist/awakening
  2. Reading: The Psychology of Awakening, https://tricycle.org/magazine/psychology-awakening/
  3. YouTube video: Depression and spiritual awakening – two sides of one door by Lisa Miller, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c5t6FkvUG0
  4. Book: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.
  5. Book:  The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Alan Singer

Day 21

Flowering of the Heart

Why do we travel to the east, to the west, or anywhere? Why do we busy ourselves with activity? If we check our minds, we discover that behind all our actions is our quest for happiness. Deep inside we are bubbling with dissatisfaction. No matter what reasons we give for our busyness, such as wanting to learn and experience new things, the primary reason is that we yearn for happiness and wish to avoid suffering.

Some of us have changed our lifestyles many times in the hope of attaining happiness. However, if we take an honest look back at those lifestyles, we see how the nature of each of them was suffering. Before we engaged in those lifestyles they looked very attractive. But after we immersed ourselves in them, anticipated delight soon gave way to discontent.

Points to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart.

Suffering can make us more resilient, and better able to endure hardships. Just as a muscle, to build up, must endure some pain, so our emotions must endure pain to strengthen. The character cannot be developed with ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Suffering leads to the flowering of the heart and this is what you’re going to learn in today’s class.

Further reading

Activity: Eagle-Eye Exercise – 2

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. Reading: What is Spiritual Psychology? https://www.universityofsantamonica.edu/what-is-spiritual-psychology/
  2. Reading: ECKHARTTOLLE_AWAKENING https://www.academia.edu/38509953/ECKHART_TOLLE_AWAKENING
  3. YouTube video: Stop Wanting, Start Accepting | The Philosophy of Marcus Aureliushttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDsdLKDHIWI&t=305s
  4. Book: AWAKENING THE KIND HEART How to Meditate on Compassion, by KATHLEEN MCDONALD.

Day 22

Rise in Joy

Suffering is inevitable. It is an essential component of the human condition, and the sources of suffering are many. Some have gone as far as to suggest that it is suffering, and not its opposites of joy and happiness, that is the more common experience.

Points to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart, and flowering of the heart leads to rise in joy.

Suffering, however, does more than teach, it also increases our capacity to enjoy life. For suffering exists at one end of a dipole, or set of opposites, and on the other end lie happiness and joy. As with all pairs of opposites for one to exist, so must the other for an individual to know joy, he or she must also know the pain of suffering and the greater our capacity for one of these types of experiences, the greater our capacity for the other.

Suffering can feel senseless, especially if you don’t know why it is happening to you. Yet you don’t need to suffer without cause. By choosing the right mindset, you can rise above your suffering and focus on the joy that’s possible and this is what your going to learn in today’s lecture.

Further reading 

Activity: Eagle-Eye Exercise – 3

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

Further reading:

  1. Reading: The Role of Suffering, https://wholebeinginstitute.com/role-of-suffering/
  2. Reading: FINDING HAPPINESS THROUGH SUFFERING, https://www.meaning.ca/article/finding-happiness-through-suffering/
  3. Reading: In Pursuit of Happiness: Why Pain Helps Us Feel Pleasure, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-other-side/201706/in-pursuit-happiness-why-pain-helps-us-feel-pleasure
  4. YouTube video: How to Be Happy Every Day: It Will Change the World | Jacqueline Way, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78nsxRxbf4w

Day 23

Rise in Calm

Life has its ups and downs. One day we feel on top of the world, full of joy and excitement from a recent vacation or promotion at work. That can all come crashing down with the sudden news of losing a loved one or the betrayal of a friend.

As much as we want to hold on tight to positive experiences, suffering is inevitable. While that thought can seem discouraging, it can empower people although we cannot avoid hardships, we can change how we respond to painful events in life. Doing so can help relieve the painful emotions that arise from suffering

Points to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart, flowering of the heart leads to rise in joy. Rise in joy leads to rise in calmness.

Understanding a few principles can set you on a path to coping better with suffering, alleviating pain, leading a more peaceful life, and rising in calmness. In today’s class you will learn how how rise in joy can lead to rise in calmness.

Further reading

Activity:  Eagle-Eye Exercise – 4

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. Reading: Suffering and response: Directions in empirical research, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953619300413
  2. Reading: Your Best Life: Mindfulness – The End of Suffering, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4294884/
  3. Reading: Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
  4. Youtube video: Chronic Stress, Anxiety? – You Are Your Best Doctor! | Dr. Bal Pawa, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq0DBeFdDlM
  5. Youtube video: The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong | Amy Morin, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFbv757kup4

Day 24

Rise in Listening

Whenever you listen to learn something, you are engaged in informational listening. This is true in many day-to-day situations, in education, and at work, when you listen to the news, watch a documentary, when a friend tells you a recipe, or when you are talked through a technical problem with a computer there are many other examples of informational listening too. But for our reference lets stick to human interactions here.

Passive listening is one-way communication where the receiver doesn’t provide feedback or ask questions and may or may not understand the sender’s message. Active listening includes responses that demonstrate that you understand what the other person is trying to tell you about his or her experience. This is a communication technique that’s very different from the passive or unfocused listening that we often adopt in everyday conversation.

Rules to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart, flowering of the heart leads to rise in joy. Rise in joy leads to rise in calmness, rise in calmness leads to rise in listening.

Marshall Rosenberg, in his well-known book “Nonviolent Communication”, stated that to be a more effective listener you need to enhance active listening by introducing the importance of compassion, nonjudgment, and acknowledgment of the other. The premise was that by holding the other person in a way that they felt heard and understood, they would let their guard down and be more open to what was offered.

As a result, Active Listening has become mainstream and has paved the way for a more radical and powerful way of listening we call Deep Listening. In today’s class, you will learn why deep listening is important and how this is going to contribute to your enablement.

Further reading 

Activity: Eagle-Eye Exercise – 5

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

Reading: The Gift of Deep Listening, https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-heart-and-science-attachment/202101/the-gift-deep-listening#:~:text=’%E2%80%9D1%20According%20to%20Zen%20Master,her%20to%20empty%20his%20heart.

Reading: DEEP LISTENING: Experience true love through understanding, https://www.themindfulword.org/2012/deep-listening-suffering-acceptance/ 

Reading: Deep Listening, https://www.mindful.org/deep-listening/

Day 25

Rise in Inner Integrity

Inner integrity is the act of turning inwards and tuning into your innermost thoughts and emotions while being honest about what you’re seeing and feeling without judgment. Observing without judging as good or bad is crucial for this practice.

We’re all human and as such we come with imperfections, and that’s okay. However, our problems arise when we strive to hide what we are, not just from ourselves, but also from the outside world. Some people are prepared to go to extreme lengths so others don’t discover the truth about them, but in hiding the truth from others you also hide the truth from yourself.

Points to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart, flowering of the heart leads to rise in joy. Rise in joy leads to rise in calmness, rise in calmness leads to rise in listening. Rise in listening leads to rise in inner integrity.

Learning the practice of inner integrity, helps you begin the journey of seeing, acknowledging, facing, accepting, experiencing, and finally healing your most unpleasant thoughts and emotions that are keeping you stuck, so they dissipate and no longer cause an obstruction to your growth, transformation, and happiness. It’s only through facing the darkest parts of yourself that you gain inner and outer integrity. This is what you’re going to learn in today’s class.

Further reading 

Activity: Eagle-Eye Exercise – 6

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. Reading: Inner Integrity: What Is It And How Can It Supercharge Your Spiritual Growth?, https://community.thriveglobal.com/inner-integrity-what-is-it-and-how-can-it-supercharge-your-spiritual-growth/
  2. Book: Authentic: How to Be Yourself and Why It Matters – Stephen Joseph
  3. Book: Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment – Martin Seligman
  4. Book: The Gifts of Imperfection: 10th Anniversary Edition – Brené Brown
  5. YouTube video: Everything is Connected — Here’s How: | Tom Chi, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPh3c8Sa37M
  6. YouTube: Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) | Alison Ledgerwood, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XFLTDQ4JMk
  7. YouTube: Happy Brain: How to Overcome Our Neural Predispositions to Suffering | Amit Sood, MD, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZIGekgoaz4

Day 26

Awakening to the ‘What Is’

Being in integrity requires us to be acutely aware of and responsible for our needs. If we are not aware of our own needs, we can’t meet them, and our neediness will bleed into our actions. We are fragmented and not in alignment with what is our authentic voice and presence.

Integrity requires us to unconditionally love and respect ourselves. In this way, we become more autonomous, self-sufficient, and confident. We gain maturity. When we stop playing games with our internal self, we cease fragmenting. We are open, honest, vulnerable, available, humble, and reliable.

Points to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart, flowering of the heart leads to rise in joy. Rise in joy leads to rise in calmness, rise in calmness leads to rise in listening. Rise in listening leads to rise in inner integrity and rise in inner integrity leads to awakening to the what is.

When we are in integrity, we are naturally willing to support our personal and human evolution. We are motivated to become better versions of ourselves. We are drawn to learning and growth. We are curious about others’ points of view. We are open to diversity. A commitment to ongoing self-awareness with brutal self-honesty ensures that we take responsibility for our psychological blind spots. Here lies our primary potential for growth.

When we are in integrity, we can apologize with ease and commit to doing and being better. We are naturally kind and confident. We do the right thing not for approval, because it is expected, or a learned habit but because our direction comes from an inner state of authenticity. We are internally undivided. In today’s class we are going to learn how rise in inner integrity leads to awakening to the what is.

Further reading

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

Further reading: 

  1. Reading: The After-Effects of Awakening, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201802/the-after-effects-awakening
  2. Reading: Could Psychological Crisis be a Symptom or Catalyst for Awakening Experience? Donna Thomas, https://www.aleftrust.org/could-psychological-crisis-be-a-symptom-or-catalyst-for-awakening-experience/
  3. Youtube video: What Does It Feel Like to Awaken Spiritually? | Eckhart Tolle, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vZNI_uBYVk
  4. Youtube video: Neuroscientist REVEALS How To COMPLETELY HEAL Your Body & Mind, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX4DeCV31YY

Day 27

Awakening of the Presence

Suffering makes us question the notion of a higher level of consciousness because it forces us to search for answers. In an effort to find an escape for our torment, we open up to the idea that there must be more to life than what we have been conditioned to believe. This is why understanding suffering is key in freeing oneself from the trappings of the mind. Mental liberation lies in finding the source of your suffering, facing its truth and then letting it all go, in order to release yourself from its burden.

Points to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart, flowering of the heart leads to rise in joy. Rise in joy leads to rise in calmness, rise in calmness leads to rise in listening. Rise in listening leads to rise in inner integrity, rise in inner integrity leads to awakening to the what is and finally how awakening to the what is leads to awakening of the presence.

Despite the importance of consciousness, a large segment of the world’s population is not convinced that it is even a real thing. This is because of the lies perpetuated by society and your own ego. Its lies prohibit you from experiencing it by keeping your own truth hidden from you. If we do not turn inwards and train our mind, but instead expend all our energy on arranging and rearranging the external aspects of our existence, then our suffering will continue.

By awakening to your inner presence, you will unlock your power and potential so that you can choose a course of action in alignment with your goals and create more of what you really desire in your life. Many people show up and are present, but few actually have presence. Being present means simply being there, but having presence means to actually be seen and heard by those around you. In today’s class your going to learn how awakening to the what is going to lead to awakening of the presence.

Further reading 

Activity: Zentangle Exercise

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

  1. Book: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
  2. Book: The Energy Codes: The 7-Step System to Awaken Your Spirit, Heal Your Body, and Live Your Best Life by Dr. Sue Morter.
  3. Youtube : Eckhart Tolle – Is the Process of Awakening a Consequence of Suffering? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjytXnkWnTQ
  4. Reading: https://www.awakeningself.com/your-inner-witness-the-first-step-to-release-suffering/
  5. Reading: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241653920_Transformation_Through_Suffering_A_Study_of_Individuals_Who_Have_Experienced_Positive_Psychological_Transformation_Following_Periods_of_Intense_Turmoil

Day 28

Rise in Calm

Life has its ups and downs. One day we feel on top of the world, full of joy and excitement from a recent vacation or promotion at work. That can all come crashing down with the sudden news of losing a loved one or the betrayal of a friend.

As much as we want to hold on tight to positive experiences, suffering is inevitable. While that thought can seem discouraging, it can empower people although we cannot avoid hardships, we can change how we respond to painful events in life. Doing so can help relieve the painful emotions that arise from suffering

Points to Remember:

Awakening to suffering leads to flowering of the heart, flowering of the heart leads to rise in joy. Rise in joy leads to rise in calmness.

Understanding a few principles can set you on a path to coping better with suffering, alleviating pain, leading a more peaceful life, and rising in calmness. In today’s class you will learn how how rise in joy can lead to rise in calmness.

Day 29

The Generational Chart

Generational chart concept was developed by William Strauss and Neil Howe, By definition, a generation is a group of people who, based on their age, share not only a chronological location in history but also the experiences that accompany it. These common experiences, in turn, prompt the formation of shared beliefs and behaviors. Of course, the commonalities are far from the whole story. Even those of you who grew up in the same country also had unique teen experiences, based on your family’s socioeconomic background, your parents’ philosophies, and a host of other factors. But the prominent events you share particularly during formative teen years are what give your generation its defining characteristics.

Rules to Remember:

An individual’s age is one of the most common predictors of differences in attitudes and behaviors. On issues ranging from foreign affairs to social policy, age differences in attitudes can be some of the widest and most illuminating. Age denotes two important characteristics about an individual: their place in the life cycle whether a young adult, middle-aged parent, or retiree, and their membership in a cohort of individuals who were born at a similar time. The nature of age as a variable allows researchers to employ an approach known as cohort analysis to track a group of people over the course of their lives.

Age cohorts give researchers a tool to analyze changes in views over time they can provide a way to understand how different formative experiences interact with the life cycle and aging process to shape people’s view of the world. In today’s class, you will learn about what is a generational chart and how that is going to help in your enablement sessions.

Day 30

The Psycho-Social Development across Lifespan

Erik Erikson was a psychologist who developed one of the most popular and influential theories of development. While his theory was impacted by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s work, Erikson’s theory centered on psychosocial development rather than psychosexual development.

Erikson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order through eight stages of psychosocial development, from infancy to adulthood. During each stage, the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome on personality development. Erikson believed that our personality continues to take shape throughout our life span as we face challenges.

Rules to Remember:

Erikson proposed that we are motivated by a need to achieve competence in certain areas of our lives. According to psychosocial theory, we experience eight stages of development over our lifespan, from infancy through late adulthood. At each stage, there is a conflict, or task, that we need to resolve. Successful completion of each developmental task results in a sense of competence and a healthy personality. Failure to master these tasks leads to feelings of inadequacy. In today’s class, you will learn what is psychosocial development across the lifespan and what the importance of it in shaping human lifes.

Day 31

The Success Formula

Success in any field, in any area of your life, starts from the inside out. Whatever changes you want to see in your life be it in business, relationships, health, or job you must first begin with what you are saying to yourself. Your internal dialogue will always determine your external success. Thoughts such as, I am stuck in this bad situation, for example, will elicit not only feelings of helplessness but also an avoidance of taking any steps to make changes.

Rules to Remember:

Luckily you can govern what goes in inside your mind. Rest assured, we are not talking about superficial affirmations. Have you ever tried to convince yourself something like, I can do this or I believe in myself, only to have your inner critic tell you are never enough?

Having said that, controlling your internal environment allows you to transform your external world. And one way to do that is by applying the true Success formula which you’re going to learn in today’s class.

Further reading 

Activity: Zen tangle exercise

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

Day 32

The Hero’s Journey

The Monomyth is a term coined by Joseph Campbell. Commonly referred to as “The Hero’s Journey,” it examines the stages of the hero who goes on an adventure, faces a crisis and wins, then returns victorious.

The monomyth has continued importance as a tool for analysis, as well as a guide for creating narratives of all kinds. By charting a story along its stages, a user can ascertain what a story is lacking, as well as ensure all of the important elements are included. The framework is currently being used in research work, literary analysis, digital game design, advertising, and marketing as well as by movie/stage screenwriters and authors.

Rules to Remember:

Why is the hero’s journey important?

The hero’s journey demonstrates that change is possible for everyone. It shows us that ordinary people can overcome great adversity and defeat their enemies or fears. With some help, they can affect the world in some way. It’s also important as it explains how popular stories in history or some great revolutionary heroes in history followed the same journey to get where they got to get the change what we get to enjoy today, for example, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

The hero’s journey in real life is personal. It is about us and us alone. Our gift which is unique to you and me and which no one else on the planet possesses breaks through the soil like a fiddlehead sprout, which is ourselves-in-becoming. No wonder our knees knock as we launch on the journey. In today’s class, you will learn all about the hero’s journey and the different stages involved in it.

Day 33

The Four Enabler Archetype Exercises

Dr. Brené Brown is a professor and social scientist who introduced the concept of B.R.A.V.I.N.G an acronym for building trust. Trust is a big deal. When people gain our trust or break our trust, it matters. It’s also a big word, packing a lot of weight. What does it mean to trust someone? What does it mean to trust yourself? Dr. Brené Brown breaks down her world-renowned research into a jar of marbles… yes, a jar of marbles. Brené Brown’s B.R.A.V.I.N.G reveals the anatomy of trust and why it all starts with the small, everyday moments you might be missing.

Rules to Remember:

The B.R.A.V.I.N.G acronym helps to develop a deeper understanding of trust and helps us to not be shaming others. It allows us to focus on behavior so that we can address and identify behaviors at the moment rather than resorting to shame.

Unfortunately, we usually utilize the B.R.A.V.I.N.G acronym after a conflict or struggle. This can be a good thing because it allows us to learn from our struggles and biases. Whenever there’s a breach of trust and you work through the B.R.A.V.I.N.G acronym, it will give you wisdom for future relationships and you will always learn something about yourself.

The complexity of trust how it’s gained, how it’s lost, and why trusting ourselves is so important will be taught in today’s class step by step.

Further reading 

Activity: Zen tangle exercise

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

https://brenebrown.com/the-research/

Day 34

Thrive and Drive: 10,000 hours Principle

The 10,000-hour rule, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers,” contends that complicated abilities require a lot of repetition before they can be mastered. However, it’s crucial to take the exceptional circumstance and component into account. Being in the right place at the right time was advantageous for Bill Gates and other people. Success isn’t guaranteed by practice alone, but it does help people get ready for possibilities. Gladwell makes the point that mastery typically necessitates a large amount of practice time. Although the precise amount of time is not determined, it serves as an estimation for reaching expertise. For prodigies, it might be shorter, while for slower learners, it might be longer. The 10,000-hour rule ultimately emphasizes the value of persistent practice in becoming a true expert.

Rules to Remember:

Spending dedicated hours honing skills as an Enabler brings personal and professional benefits. Personally, it deepens understanding of others, increases empathy, and improves emotional well-being. Professionally, it establishes expertise in active listening, enhancing the ability to provide effective support. Strong listening skills lead to accurate assessment and diagnosis, improved Aspirant relationships, and more referrals. Ongoing skill development builds confidence, adaptability, and cultural sensitivity. The dedication to mastering listening skills solidifies expertise, benefiting both the Enablers and those they help.

Day 35

Thrive and Drive: 10,000 hours Principle

The 10,000-hour rule, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers,” contends that complicated abilities require a lot of repetition before they can be mastered. However, it’s crucial to take the exceptional circumstance and component into account. Being in the right place at the right time was advantageous for Bill Gates and other people. Success isn’t guaranteed by practice alone, but it does help people get ready for possibilities. Gladwell makes the point that mastery typically necessitates a large amount of practice time. Although the precise amount of time is not determined, it serves as an estimation for reaching expertise. For prodigies, it might be shorter, while for slower learners, it might be longer. The 10,000-hour rule ultimately emphasizes the value of persistent practice in becoming a true expert.

Rules to Remember:

Spending dedicated hours honing skills as an Enabler brings personal and professional benefits. Personally, it deepens understanding of others, increases empathy, and improves emotional well-being. Professionally, it establishes expertise in active listening, enhancing the ability to provide effective support. Strong listening skills lead to accurate assessment and diagnosis, improved Aspirant relationships, and more referrals. Ongoing skill development builds confidence, adaptability, and cultural sensitivity. The dedication to mastering listening skills solidifies expertise, benefiting both the Enablers and those they help.

Day 36

Enabler’s Benefit of Aspirant’s Trust

Anyone may become an Enabler, but why? What keeps Enablers enthusiastic about their jobs for years to come? Their singular, first-person accounts provide crucial insights based on their day-to-day experience in a variety of careers and focus areas, such as substance abuse counseling, children and families, career, college, and school counseling, grief, rehabilitation counseling, and general mental health.

Sunita’s candidness and inspiration are contagious, and the variety of her responses demonstrates the true breadth and complexity of the counseling profession. See if you can identify the few clear tendencies that appear in these statements amid the vast range of views – elements that encourage people to enter and stay in this sector and that reward them when they do.

Rules to Remember:

Knowing that you made a difference in the lives of another person is the most fulfilling aspect of being an Enabler. giving others hope when they feel hopeless. Motivating others to achieve their full potential so they can help others in return in the outside world.

Whatever your motivation for enrolling in this course and now that you are in the process of becoming one, this list will break down some wonderful reasons why a career as an Enabler is a fulfilling one.

Day 37

The Trust Equation

is crucial for aspirant Enablers to comprehend the trust equation, a framework that highlights the foundations of trust in therapeutic relationships. Aspirants may open up and strive towards their well-being when there is trust between the two people in a session. There are three essential components to the trust equation.

Credibility is the first consideration. Aspirants must regard Enablers as knowledgeable, capable, and reliable. It’s critical to show knowledge, stay current on research, and follow ethical standards.

Reliability is the second important factor. Trust is cultivated by being reliable, well-organized, and fulfilling obligations. Confidentiality must be upheld, and the session agenda must be carried out.

Last but not least is intimacy: establishing a secure, non-judgmental setting where clients feel heard and understood. Establishing intimacy is made easier by practicing empathy, active listening, and good communication.

When we combine credibility, reliability, and intimacy, and divide them by self-orientation, we obtain a comprehensive trust equation that encompasses all the essential elements for building trust in the Enabler Aspirant relationship.

Rules to Remember:

Self-orientation is emphasized in the denominator of the trust equation to highlight how important it is for developing trust. Self-orientation lowers trust since Aspirants may think the Enabler is acting selfishly when it is high. Aspirant’s perception of the Enabler’s sincere concern for their well-being is increased when self-orientation is low, on the other hand, which increases trust.

Day 38

The Territory of the Trusted Enabler

Entry into the territory of the trusted Enabler is all about working on your work ethics and culture.

In a relationship between an Enabler and an Aspirant, trust develops when the Aspirant believes that their Enabler: Will be supportive, assisting them in finding solutions to their problems, will protect candidates from accusations, retaliation, and offensive remarks. will promote optimistic attitudes and high self-esteem.

The level of trust that arises and builds during each enablement session is essential for becoming a world class Enabler.

Rules to Remember:

This class, you will learn about the trusted Enabler territory. Where you will learn by

1. Trust

2. Building relationships

3. By giving effective enablement

It has 2 parts (depth of the Enabler aspirant relationship & scope of issues.) and 4 levels (Service base, need based, relationship based, trust based) to it.

Day 39

The Graph of the Trusted Enabler

The relationship between an Enabler and an Aspirant should evolve through the defined stages of service-based, need-based, relationship-based, and trust-based exchanges. This is something that our dean, Ms. Sunita K. Mani, emphasizes. At every stage of this journey, trust is crucial. It is essential to trust your instincts and pay close attention to your gut reaction from the first session on.

Rules to Remember:

According to Edward Bordin, a healthy enablement relationship must have three key components: an emotional connection based on mutual trust, care, and respect; agreement on the session’s objectives; and cooperation on the “work” or tasks included in the enablement sessions. In today’s lesson, you will discover how to establish credibility and steadily but gradually expand your graph as a reliable Enabler.

Day 40

The Nine types of Aspirants

As the front line of emotional care providers, our practice encompasses a rich tapestry of individuals seeking support, guidance, and healing. Our Aspirants come from various walks of life, bringing unique experiences, backgrounds, and challenges to the therapeutic space.

Each Aspirant has their own story, strengths, vulnerabilities, and aspirations. Our role as an Enabler is to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where Aspirants can openly express their thoughts and emotions. Through empathetic listening, evidence-based interventions, and collaborative goal-setting, we support our Aspirants in their journey towards self-awareness, resilience, and holistic well-being.

Rules to Remember:

Our work as mental health professionals are both challenging and rewarding, as we witness the transformation and growth of our Aspirants, empowering them to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

In today’s session, we provide an introduction to the diverse range of Aspirants we encounter during enablement sessions and how to pick up cues and work your way through their stories to help them holistically.

Day 41

The Enabler Physical Code of Conduct

Microhabits are the little, apparently trivial things we do every day. They are effective because of their propensity to compound over time and have a big long-term impact.

We achieve a compounding impact by implementing these microhabits into our regular routines. Over time, the accumulation of beneficial changes results in better mental health. But it’s vital to keep in mind that bad micro habits can also accumulate and cause problems.

The thrive and drive exercises, which aim to improve resilience and personal well-being, are also essential tools in your work toolbox. These exercises promote self-awareness, emotional control, and self-care when they are regularly practiced. Having these abilities can help you support others while maintaining your own mental health.

Rules to Remember:

The cumulative impact of microhabits and the consistent use of the thrive and drive exercises are beneficial to you individually and help you succeed as an Enabler. They provide you with the ability to be attentive, empathetic, and ‘in the moment’ with your Aspirants. They support you in developing resilience, avoiding burnout, and continuously enhancing your abilities and knowledge.

In today’s class, we will delve into the significance of the compounding effect of micro habits, along with consistent practice of the thrive and drive exercises that contribute to your success as a world class Enabler.

Day 42

The Enabler Psychological and Moral Code of Conduct

Maintaining a psychological code of conduct that directs your professional behavior and moral judgment is essential if you want to succeed as an Enabler. This code of conduct not only safeguards you and the Aspirants you assist in your enablement sessions but also preserves the credibility of the field.

Rules to Remember:

To further understand the significance of the psychological code of conduct, let’s look at some crucial points. In this session, Prof. Sunita discusses why consistency over intensity is important, the importance of embracing imperfections, developing a growth mindset, and knowing that the enabler journey is a lonely one.

You can encourage moral behavior, personal development, and improve the standard of care you offer as an Enabler by following these guidelines and incorporating them into your practice as an Enabler.

Further reading 

Activity: Uncase Meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

https://chopra.com/articles/5-ways-to-embrace-imperfection

https://chopra.com/articles/5-exercises-for-creating-abundance

Day 43

The Holistic Study of Mental health

Mental health refers to a state of emotional and psychological well-being that encompasses positive thoughts, emotions, and overall functioning. It emphasizes the ability to cope with life’s challenges and maintain a sense of balance. On the other hand, mental illness refers to a clinically diagnosable condition that significantly disrupts an individual’s thoughts, emotions, behavior, and functioning. It often requires professional intervention for diagnosis and treatment.

In the equilibrium of 24 hours, physical health involves activities like exercise, nutrition, and rest, which directly impact the body’s functioning. Mental health encompasses activities like mindfulness, stress management, and emotional well-being, ensuring cognitive and emotional balance. Both aspects are interconnected and essential for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Rules to Remember:

In this session, we explore the significance of positive relationships, balanced routines, healthy habits, recreation, positive thoughts, and Ayurvedic principles in cultivating positive mental health. Discover the impact of embracing authentic connections, a stable routine, and nourishing food. Engage in enjoyable activities for rejuvenation, cultivate positive thoughts, and curate a supportive inner circle. Embrace Ayurvedic wisdom and align your lifestyle with its principles to nurture mental well-being. By embarking on this personal journey, you can create a life of inner harmony and contentment.

Further reading 

Activity: Uncase Meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

https://chopra.com/articles/5-ways-to-embrace-imperfection

https://chopra.com/articles/5-exercises-for-creating-abundance

Day 44

Understanding the intersections of Mental States

In the lecture, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of mental health and its intricate relationship with brain functioning. Our aim is to provide Enablers with a deeper understanding of the subject and equip them with valuable insights to promote mental well-being effectively.

We begin by defining mental health as the successful functioning of the brain, which encompasses a range of thoughts, emotions, and experiences, both positive and negative. We challenge common misconceptions surrounding mental health and emphasize the importance of finding equilibrium and resilience in the face of life’s challenges, rather than suppressing emotions.

To understand mental disorders, we must delve into the functions of the brain. We examine how different parts of the brain work in synergy, forming networks and communicating through cells and neurochemicals. Dysfunction in specific brain regions or circuits can disrupt cognitive processes, emotions, behaviors, perceptions, and physical sensations, leading to the manifestation of mental disorders.

Rules to Remember:

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental disorders is vital for identifying when the brain is not functioning effectively. We differentiate between symptoms—experiences reported by individuals themselves—and signs—observations made by others. Understanding these disturbances and their impact on an aspirant’s life and overall functioning is crucial for providing appropriate support and interventions.

Throughout the lecture, we stress the importance of empathy, support, and understanding towards aspirants with mental health issues. By debunking misconceptions and addressing stigmatizing beliefs, we aim to create a more inclusive society that promotes recovery and well-being.

By the end of this lecture, Students will have gained a solid foundation in understanding mental disorders and brain functioning, enabling them to contribute positively to mental health initiatives and advocate for the well-being of individuals in their communities.

Further reading 

Activity: Uncase Meditation

Assignment: Intensive journal writing

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6660176/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6754072/

Day 45

Preliminary Overview of Mental Illnesses

In this lecture preview, we explore a simplified classification of mental illnesses based on brain function. Our goal is to provide a basic understanding for Enablers in various fields who want to engage in conversations about mental health. We emphasize that this classification is not comprehensive and encourage further exploration. We begin by introducing the DSM-5 and ICD as commonly used references in the field of mental health. We acknowledge the limited research and funding dedicated to mental health, highlighting the need for increased awareness and support.

Ultimately, this lecture preview aims to equip enablers with a basic understanding of mental illnesses, promote open conversations, and emphasize the complexity of mental health, highlighting the necessity of specialized expertise in diagnosis and treatment.

We present a simplified classification based on brain function, covering categories such as thinking and cognition, emotions, signaling, somatic symptoms, and behavior. This approach serves as a starting point for discussions and fosters curiosity for further exploration.

Rules to Remember:

As enablers and advocates, our role is to address stigma and promote positive mental health. We encourage open conversations about common challenges such as loneliness, guilt, and fear of failure or rejection. However, it’s important to note that we do not provide diagnosis or treatment.

We stress the importance of recognizing our boundaries as enablers and referring individuals to specialized professionals when necessary. Mental health and distress assessments are introduced as valuable tools for identifying intervention needs and guiding appropriate referrals.

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