Posts Tagged ‘Self-help’

“The Art and Science of Keeping Your Cool” Lecture Notes

The Art and Science of Keeping Your Cool


Notes, Ideas and Food For Thought


What sorts of things might cause you to “stress out?” 

Deadlines?  Rude people?  Money worries?  Too much to do?  Making a mistake?  Running late?  GPS malfunctioning?

And, what sorts of “stimuli” might cause you to “lose your cool?” 

Feeling disrespected, ignored, insulted, misunderstood?  Being told “what to do?”  A driver cuts you off?   Unfairness?


“Stressing Out” – suffering from high levels of worry, tension or anxiety.

“Losing Your Cool” – ranting, raving, yelling, raging, throwing a tantrum, snapping, having a meltdown.

“Keeping Your Cool” – staying calm, making rational choices, responding instead of reacting.


REACT                                                    RESPOND

Unaware of behavior and impact        Choose behavior and impact

Emotionally volatile, irrational            Emotionally adult, rational

Out of control                                          In control

“I’m a victim of circumstance!”             “This is a challenge that I will meet!”


Stress is the body’s response to a threat (real or imagined).  It is a biochemical reaction within the body.

Stressors are things (people, events, places) that an individual perceives or interprets as a threat.  Stressors differ from person to person.  For example, the same event or stimulus that causes a stress response in one person, might create a positive or exciting response in another.

The “Stress Response” and INVOLUNTARY RESPONSES are triggered by structures in the limbic system.

We react inappropriately.  We “flinch.”  We might rage or “snap” if the trigger hits an extra-sensitive point.


When our brain interprets a signal that comes through our senses as threatening, a series of reactions (the stress response) are set off, and the body prepares itself for danger.  Flight, fight, freeze or flee.  Humans share this with other animals.

It’s programmed into our genes.  The stress response prepared early humans for actual physical dangers.


“TRIGGERS” — events, circumstances, communications, interactions, words, etc.;  that cause a reaction —

sometimes, a disproportionally dramatic one.  Can be positive or negative, mild or intense.


• We can possibly eliminate, or reduce, the cause or source of stress.

(Reduce choices.  Clear clutter.  Be better organized.  Change your environment.  Modify behavior.  Be prepared!)

• Or, we can change our interpretation of, and reaction to, the stress-triggering event or source.

Cognitive appraisal – we define, we frame, we interpret.  Crisis, threat, challenge, or nothing much?

Cognitive distortions – “awfulizing,” “catastrophising,” distorted threat perceptions — “mountains out of molehills.”


Learn to challenge or dispute the accuracy of your own thoughts and assumptions.



Brains work differently when we feel “threatened” by a problem … or “challenged” to find a solution!

Guess which one is more efficient and resourceful?


©2016 Jerry Posner  •  •  • Blog:


A Program Suggestion for Your Business or Organization…

The Art and Science of Keeping Your Cool

Available as a lecture or workshop.

In all aspects of customer service (as well as every other relationships), the ability to keep a positive mood is vitally important!  Understanding the science behind stress, anger and rage reactions can help us in a multitude of ways – in business and otherwise.

This lecture or workshop will help you understand “stress triggers” and “anger triggers” in your customers, staff … and yourself!  And, you’ll learn to use some rational, practical tools, techniques and strategies for successfully managing them.

Since “one size does not fit all” – you’ll be offered an “all-you-can-eat buffet” of relevant information, life-changing practices and really good ideas!  Even just one good idea APPLIED, can make for a meaningful improvement in work life and personal life.

Some topics include:

  • Good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress) – what are the causes?
  • Managing your own stress responses.
  • React or respond?  Challenges or threats?
  • Basic neuroscience you need to know.
  • How long does it take to make and break habits?
  • Cognitive appraisal and cognitive distortions.
  • Fixed and growth mindsets.
  • Can multitasking cause stress?
  • What to do when your customer is angry.
  • Service recovery the right ways.

Your instructor:  Jerry Posner is an accomplished training specialist, conference speaker, author and ukulele player!  For more than 25 years, he’s presented engaging and entertaining workshops and programs for a wide variety of clients, locally and nationally.  He is considered an expert in the fields of self-improvement, customer service, leadership, communication skills, and as he says, “ways to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes at work … and in life!”

Jerry is also a popular lecturer at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, having presented over 1,800 inspirational, motivational lectures for their guests since 1993.  His books, “Attention Late Bloomers: You’re Right On Time!” and “Eternal Cosmic Wisdom at Bargain Basement Prices” are available on

Raised in Northern New Jersey, he attended Emerson College in Boston, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in mass communications. Jerry lives in Sheffield, with his wife Lynne and their canine companions, Maxwell and Grace.


Ways to Make 2015, Your Best Year! — Lecture Notes

Ways to Make 2015, Your Best Year! – Lecture Notes

We start with who we are, where we are, what we have to work with … NOW!

Attitude, perspective, point-of-view might be just as important as the “things
that happen.”

What might be some elements of ‘your best year?’

What is important, meaningful to you now?

What would you like to change … improve … accomplish?

How would you like to feel?

What ignites your passion?

What triggers your happiness and joy?

Focus on the things that you CAN control or manage.                                                                                Choices, attitudes, actions, behaviors, etc.

Seek the appropriate balance between PLEASURE and PURPOSE.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to
choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Dr. Viktor Frankl


Emotions are contagious!

You can catch them, and others can catch them from you!
So, it pays to manage emotions, to know what you’re feeling and your emotional targets.

Make a “To-Feel List” — List of feelings or emotional states you want more often. Review regularly.
For example: happy, joyful, proud, enthusiastic, confident, grateful,
compassionate, smart, lucky, appreciative, creative, energetic, professional,
calm, hopeful, positive, serene, helpful, loved, valued.

Three other very helpful lists:
• To-Do List (of course!) – Today’s Mission
• Gratitude Journal
• Inspiration List

Choose a few key words/short phrases – THEMES – to influence attitude, mood, behavior, choices.
Some examples: Listen. Love more. Compassion. Kindness. Calm. Gratitude.
Grace. Faith. Flow. Patience. Acceptance. Balance. Forgiveness. Resilience. Rational.
Honesty. Mindfulness. Ambition. Courage. Laugh more. Eat healthy. Optimism. Serenity. Exercise. Meditate. Peace. Walk, don’t jump, to conclusions. Confidence.  Joy.  Service.

To achieve specific goals: Break them down into small, workable steps.

“What will I do TODAY?”
“PRACTICE MAKES HABITS” – to create a new habit, link it to an existing one.

These “R’s” could help!
Recognize (what you need to do, think, feel. Having a practical plan is smart)
Remember (write down the goal and your action plan. Read it daily)
Reinforce (with action … practice … repetition … reward yourself)
Review (observe results and feedback … modify your plan as needed or desired)
Repeat (the stuff that works best for you)

“Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Don’t allow stress to get the best of you!

Don’t allow stress to get the best of you! Gain perspective by looking at “the big picture.” Count your blessings .. at least 20 of them (and write them down)! Know that you will get through it. Talk it out with trusted friends and loved ones. View the condition(s) as temporary. Breathe!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy?

Don’t worry, be happy!

Easier said than done? Maybe.

Habits of happiness are not difficult to acquire. Practice is essential. So, practice noticing the things in life that make you feel happy, grateful, appreciative, nurtured, glad, joyous, groovy and wonderful. Make a list. Refer to it and add to it daily.

Ways To Create Miracles In Your Life – Revised

Ways To Create Miracles In Your Life

By Jerry D. Posner

Here’s a three-step process with a fine track record!

This is the revised version.

Step One:  Pick a miracle — a positive outcome in some area of you life that is important to you.  It could be about business, relationships, finance, family, personal growth, creativity.  I’d suggest a small or medium sized miracle – those are much easier to create!  Write it down.

Step Two:  Make sure you really want it.

Ask yourself “Brain – Heart – Courage” questions, such as:

• What are my thoughts about this miracle?  Are they positive?  Conflicted?

• Can I imagine it, and imagine the impact to my life?

• How much do I want it?

• Does the thought of it make my heart sing?

• Do I have the courage to act?  To risk disappointment?

• Do I have the courage to ask for it?  To accept it?

If you’re happy with your answers, then proceed to …

Step Three:  Eight suggestions or reminders to be practiced, in some appropriate combination, DAILY!

•  Visualize the outcome … and the path to it.  Visualize the steps you need to take.  Break it up into small, smart actions.  Also visualize yourself removing obstacles and solving problems that could come up.

•  Desire it.  Maintain enthusiasm, excitement and emotional focus.

•  Anticipate it.  Expect it.  Believe in it.  Some miracles require faith, hope, and patience.

•  Ask for assistance, and accept the help when it is offered.  Networking, emotional support, cheerleaders, prayer, Google, mentors …

•  Put your miracle on your “to-do” list.  Remind yourself daily.

•  Choose optimism and remember your motivations — your reasons for wanting to create this miracle.

•  Give yourself permission to have it.  You just might be the one blocking it!  Need more deserve-ability?  Simply take a file card, write or print PERMISSION SLIP on it.  Meditate on the card for a minute or two every day.  By the way, you do not have to be a “perfect person” in order to create a miracle.  There’s not one person who has ever received or created a miracle who is a “perfect person.”

•  Make a plan, adjust as necessary. Be aware of feedback that comes from others, and from your own observations.  Evaluate feedback WITHOUT becoming defensive!  Enjoy the process!




“There are many millions of people who would say that most everything about your life, right now, is a miracle.

Are you one of them?”

2011 – Your Best Year Ever? A suggestion.

To increase the likelihood of 2011 being your best year ever, here’s a suggestion:  Make two lists:  1.  “What I really, really want in my life.”  2.  “What I really, really don’t want in my life.”  (Materially, financially, spiritually, emotionally, work related, relationship and family related, etc.)  Read daily.  Edit as necessary, and remember to ask yourself, “why?”  Then, do the necessary work – inner and outer.

Resolutions and “Focus Phrases” For a Stellar Year – 2011!

21 for 2011

By Jerry Posner

Resolutions and “Focus Phrases” For a Stellar Year!


1.      Anticipate life’s tests and the best ways to pass them.

2.      Compassion is always an option.

3.      Confidence just might stack the odds in my favor.

4.      Express curiosity instead of becoming defensive.

5.      Return all phone calls.  Yes, all of them.

6.      Make my mom proud.

7.      Say, “you’re welcome” instead of “no problem.”

8.      Am I worrying for nothing … again?

9.      Moment-to-moment appreciation and gratitude.

10.    Two great answers:  It depends.  You never know.

11.     Another great answer:  I don’t know, but I will find out.

12.    Think twice before broadcasting sarcasm.

13.    Every eye-roll and frown sends a message.

14.    Every smile sends a message, too.

15.    Look for the miracles in everyday life.

16.    Avoid superstitions … unless they work, of course!

17.    Synchronize communication codes.

18.    Ask myself, “what do I keep, what do I throw away?”

19.    Notice and thank the angels amongst us.

20.   Know what I want most, and act accordingly.

21.   Wisdom works better when applied daily.