Intelligent Women Only http://intelligentwomenonly.com Thu, 05 Sep 2013 17:11:34 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.2 Gender, Difference, and Leadership http://intelligentwomenonly.com/hbr-org-gender-difference-and-leadership http://intelligentwomenonly.com/hbr-org-gender-difference-and-leadership#comments Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:58:40 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4526 Gender Differences Are gender differences in communication, emotions, thinking, and behavior still annoying to you, intriguing to you, or of no interest or relevance? As some readers know, I’ve vacillated between gender differences as a valid ongoing topic or in contrast, as a “nothing new” topic or as a “no longer an …

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Gender and leadershipGender Differences

Are gender differences in communication, emotions, thinking, and behavior still annoying to you, intriguing to you, or of no interest or relevance? As some readers know, I’ve vacillated between gender differences as a valid ongoing topic or in contrast, as a “nothing new” topic or as a “no longer an issue” topic.  As some of you also know, I wrote two books about gender differences and similarities years ago, Genderflex™ (1994) and GenderSell ™(2004).

Recently I’ve read research studies about gender differences that report the same results as years ago. . For example, women prefer cars that are reliable and safe while men prefer cars that are fast, sporty, and prestigious. This isn’t a surprise to any of us.

Women as Leaders — An Identity Shift

However, I’m becoming interested again is the issue of women and men and leadership, which was less of a topic in gender difference at the time of my books. An article in HBR.org titled “Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers” comments, “Becoming a leader involves much more than being put in a leadership role, acquiring new skills, and adapting one’s style to the requirements of that role. It involves a fundamental identify shift.”

Men have always and often seen themselves as leaders. For many women, it’s a new and somewhat daunting pursuit. It violates longtime stereotypes, social norms, gender roles and expectations of women. It’s the old  deal. The more things change the more they stay the same; perhaps at a different level, a changed location, wearing a different outfit, but it’s not just bias that will keep women from ascending the leadership ladder. It’s women holding themselves back, fearing to lean in, doubting themselves, their negative self-talk, their anxiety about being seen as aggressive, tough, controlling, cold and overly ambitious.

What’s your take on women and leadership? Go to the original article and see some of the comments. Many women blame it all on bias.  Yes it’s there and will always be there about women, about men, about short people and tall people, and all the rest.

 

hbr.org://hbr.org/2013/09/women-rising-the unseen-barriers/ar/1

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Soundlessnes for Stress Reduction and Efficient Thinking http://intelligentwomenonly.com/quiet-soundlessnes-stress-reduction http://intelligentwomenonly.com/quiet-soundlessnes-stress-reduction#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 04:25:08 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4506 Noise Creates Stress A recent NY Times article, titled “I’m Thinking. Please. Be Quiet.”, quotes the opinion of Arthur Schopenhauer in 1850 Frankfurt, Germany. “Noise is the supreme archenemy of any serious thinker.” . . .  “A great mind can have great thoughts only if all its …

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Noise Creates Stress

A recent NY Times article, titled “I’m Thinking. Please. Be Quiet.”, quotes the opinion of Arthur Schopenhauer in 1850 Frankfurt, Germany. “Noise is the supreme archenemy of any serious thinker.” . . .  “A great mind can have great thoughts only if all its powers of concentration are brought to bear on one subject . . . ”

A hundred and thirteen years ago, Schopenhauer made a point for mono-tasking and we know recently from neuroscience research that multitasking isn’t all that it was cracked up to be.  Research at the University of Washington has demonstrated that we can do two or three tasks at the same time, but all suffer in terms of performance and efficiency. In other words, we don’t do the tasks as well and it takes us longer to do two or three together than if we were doing tasks one at a time.

The article also points out that even if you don’t hear the noise, or it doesn’t consciously annoy or offend you, it bothers your body and your brain. The noise creates stress. Even when people are sound asleep and don’t notice noise at the time or remember it later, noise in their environment causes blood pressure spikes, increased pulse rate, and the release of stress hormones during and even after the noise has ceased.

We don’t adjust to noise even if we think we do. “The stress of audible assault affects us psychologically even when we don’t consciously register noise”,  according to Dr. Wolfgang Babisch, a researcher. Loud sound is debilitating.

The Library as Retreat from Stress

I know that for me, noise interferes with thinking. That’s why I do my best thinking and writing at the local user-friendly quiet library. Even though I live in a very quiet rural environment, the bark of the sea lions, the ferry’s fog horn, the phone, the beeping and bopping of other electronic devices don’t seem to create stress, but do engender distraction.

How about you? Maybe noise tolerance is different for us all.

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Daydreaming for Stress Reduction and Perspective Change http://intelligentwomenonly.com/daydreaming-stress-reduction-perspective-change http://intelligentwomenonly.com/daydreaming-stress-reduction-perspective-change#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:46:25 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4329 Information Overload More people I talk to are recognizing the consequences of trying to manage information overload. How much can you read and remember for any useful purpose? How long can you hang on to a research report before you use it?  How quickly will it be updated or downgraded due …

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Just Stare, Relax, Un Stress

Information Overload

More people I talk to are recognizing the consequences of trying to manage information overload. How much can you read and remember for any useful purpose? How long can you hang on to a research report before you use it?  How quickly will it be updated or downgraded due to new research? Whether it’s work related data, how to learn information, marketing our product or services online, parenting skills research, balancing life advice, technology changes, most of us can not possibly be caught up even on everyday e-mails? And we experience high levels of stress at our inability to know everything we think we should know.

More people I talk to are also recognizing the advantages of taking a break from information overload competition (even if you’re competing with yourself). Whether you take one day a week or ten minutes an hour or a full week or 20 minutes a day of detachment from electronics, other people, tasks, mundane and complex, you’ll feel and see the benefits of slowing down and losing the race.

“Besieged at every turn by distractions, we spend a lot of time struggling to pay attention, concentrate, and focus on the task in front of us. What we don’t do, according to University of Southern California professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, is fully appreciate the value of the more diffuse mental activity that characterizes our inner lives: daydreaming, remembering, reflecting.”

A quote from Annie Murphy Paul, an expert on learning.

Along with meditation, the idea of daydreaming, remembering, and reflecting, seems like a flash to the past as well as a view of the future — but not a mental activity that people (me included) do regularly in these times and in these moments. When I think about it, I miss those very quiet, intuitive, reflective, unplanned times, (even though I meditate) which add so much to our lives including brilliant ideas and somewhat mundane memories. It can happen showering, staring out the window, waking up, dreaming, mowing the lawn, doing brain training, washing dishes, kayaking, walking, if  can find and allow the time and space for it to happen.

I’m amazed how breaking away for even a short breather looking up into the sky, or across the field, or even at some family photos or a photograph of waves and water can put life in perspective for a while. Plus the stress decreases — for a while — and when I go back to overload I can more easily sort, discard, dump, discern what data, advice, information, research report I need and want and what I don’t.

What works for you?

 

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Stress Reduction Via Meditation http://intelligentwomenonly.com/httpwww-stress-comindex-phpoptioncom_contenttaskviewid4092itemid0 http://intelligentwomenonly.com/httpwww-stress-comindex-phpoptioncom_contenttaskviewid4092itemid0#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 10:24:07 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4454 A Peak of Stress When I was at the peak of stressful times and stressed out self, I knew about meditation, believed in it and taught therapy clients how to meditate for stress reduction. My thoughts were, “I’m too hyped, too stressed, too stuck with situations over which I have no control, that meditation won’t …

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Ah-h-h Relief from Stress

A Peak of Stress

When I was at the peak of stressful times and stressed out self, I knew about meditation, believed in it and taught therapy clients how to meditate for stress reduction. My thoughts were, “I’m too hyped, too stressed, too stuck with situations over which I have no control, that meditation won’t work for me.”

Years later, when I was in a simpler and generally easier life, I decided to add meditation to my list of ways to take good care of myself. Now it’s part of everyday’s routine. Wish I had started decades ago, even if it took a few years longer then to get into the meditation habit. See other intelligentwomenonly.com posts about meditation, stress, and brain fitness.

Here’s a quote from an article titled 5 Reasons to Meditate. A quote that I particularly like and find fitting for meditation as a way to decrease negative self-talk,  stress, stressful self and stressful times.

We have such a tendency to lay a lot of labels, opinions, and judgments on top of what’s happening. Steadfastness—loyalty to yourself—means that you let those judgments go. So, in a way, part of the steadfastness is that when you notice your mind is going a million miles an hour and you’re thinking about all kinds of things, there is this uncontrived moment that just happens without any effort: you stay with your experience. In meditation, you develop this nurturing quality of loyalty and steadfastness and perseverance toward yourself. And as we learn to do this in meditation, we become more able to persevere through all kinds of situations outside of our meditation, or what we call postmeditation.

 

 

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Negative Self-Talk and Pessimistic Thinking: Let ‘em Go http://intelligentwomenonly.com/negative-self-talk-pessimistic-thinking-let-em-go http://intelligentwomenonly.com/negative-self-talk-pessimistic-thinking-let-em-go#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 10:30:36 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4362 Letting Go of Negative Self-talk and Pessimistic Thinking is Wise Action How can you kill two habits with one stone? Or diminish both NST and pessimistic thinking with the same techniques? Not easily, but more efficient than breaking each habit — one at a time. Martin Seligman Ph.D. wrote a superb book called Learned Optimism

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Letting Go of Negative Self-talk and Pessimistic Thinking is Wise Action

How can you kill two habits with one stone? Or diminish both NST and pessimistic thinking with the same techniques? Not easily, but more efficient than breaking each habit — one at a time.

Martin Seligman Ph.D. wrote a superb book called Learned Optimism which differentiated optimists and pessimists. Optimists don’t think positively, but rather think realistically. “I made an error in judgment and I learned from it.” Pessimists think negatively about just about everything that is, was, and will be. “Nothing good can come from this relationship. It won’t work out.” Not surprisingly, optimists are happier, healthier, and live longer than pessimists.

Negative self-talk refers specifically to self-criticism. Even optimistic women can have the negative self-talk habit — learned at an early age from family and friends. (Check earlier post)

Cognitive restructuring, changing, altering our inner thoughts, is a technique that works to help break both habits; negative self-talk and pessimistic thinking. Step #1 is turn your attention inside and determine if you experience either of these thinking habits. If not, skip the rest of this post. If you know you do it, or discover inner neg. self-talk or pessimistic thinking, check out specific techniques below. More to come.

• Coping Statements — Negative thinking of either type creates stress. Stress is damaging to the body and the brain. Erase the bad-habit-thinking and replace it, robot-like, with calming, realistic thoughts. “I can handle this situation. One step at a time.”  Or  “I will be fine and I can be happy.” Or, “Things will get better.”

• Imagery — Imagine that the negative thinking evaporates into a cloud and floats away: that it’s drowned out by your favorite music playing loudly in your head or on a CD, or is piled up and carted away by a garbage truck in your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Opting Out and/or Opting In? http://intelligentwomenonly.com/women-who-opted-out-now-wanting-in http://intelligentwomenonly.com/women-who-opted-out-now-wanting-in#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 18:40:27 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4419 Opting out? Staying home with the kids? Choosing to get back in the work chaos? Are you a women who at mid-career, in your thirties or early forties decided to opt-out and stay home with the kids? Or did you stay home all along and now are wondering if you should/could/ go back to work …

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Opting out or opting in?

Stress of Choices

Opting out? Staying home with the kids? Choosing to get back in the work chaos?

Are you a women who at mid-career, in your thirties or early forties decided to opt-out and stay home with the kids? Or did you stay home all along and now are wondering if you should/could/ go back to work even if times have changed and you haven’t worked outside-of-the-home for ten, twelve, or fifteen years?

The stay-at-home mother and the working-out-of-the home mother conflict has been going on for ages, but now there’s a new twist. The article, “Ready to Rejoin the Rat Race?” in the NYTimes magazine section, August 11, 2013 caught my eye.

Here’s a quote from the article about how values and culture have changed over the ten to fifteen years.

“In 2000, for example,with the economy strong and books like Surrendering Motherhood, a memoir about the “liberation” of giving up work to stay home, setting the tone for the aspirational mothering style of the day, almost 40 percent of respondents to the General Social Survey told researchers they believed a mother’s working was harmful to her children. . . . But by 2010, with recovery from the “mancession” slow and a record 40% of mothers functioning as family breadwinners, fully 75% of Americans agreed with the statement that ‘a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work’.”

The author concluded, after interviewing two dozen women that had chosen to re-enter the workplace after opting out to stay home with children, that:

• Returning to the workplace wasn’t a slam dunk by any means.

• The jobs that the women found were lower paying and less powerful than those they left a decade or so earlier.

• They had no regrets about taking the time out, nor about not returning to the go-go-go high powered jobs they had left.

I always worked with short times out, except for 1.5 years off after my third son. Even after that short time I found it slightly daunting to find a job and go back to a hectic schedule with deadlines and stress, although I was also excited about a new challenge.

I’ve asked my adult children what their recollection of childhood is. One commented that I was always “there” when he wanted/needed me to be there and I was always stressed! That night I dreamed that my entire extended family was having group therapy at the Hollywood bowl.

I wonder what women who didn’t opt out are thinking and feeling? Do they have regrets? What did you do or are you doing? Are you opting out? Does it work for you and your family? Are you more stressed at home than at work or is it the other way around — or equally stressful in different ways?

 

 

 

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Women and Stress — ARGH! http://intelligentwomenonly.com/women-stress http://intelligentwomenonly.com/women-stress#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:30:03 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4404 Do you think you experience more stress than the average women? Or are you more stressed than the average man? Do you cope with stress well or become emotional and can’t think straight?  The Stressed Sex, a new book by Daniel and Jason Freeman is interesting, focusing on mental health differences between the genders. Here …

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Women Experience More Stress than Men

Stress — Can't Think Straight

Do you think you experience more stress than the average women?

Or are you more stressed than the average man? Do you cope with stress well or become emotional and can’t think straight?  The Stressed Sex, a new book by Daniel and Jason Freeman is interesting, focusing on mental health differences between the genders. Here are some facts that they present:

• Women develop insomnia,depression and anxiety disorders twice as often as men.

• Men are more likely to develop alcohol and drug addictions.

• Women seek treatment more often than men; partly because men are more resistant to seeking help (asking for directions?) and because women are open to it.

• Women’s experience of stress seems to be related more to the environment (nurture) than the genes (nature).

• Women’s heightened stress results largely from the social roles demanded of them and high performance expected by women themselves.

• Negative self-talk, producing low self-esteem may result from the inability to meet women’s own and others’ expectations.

According to the two Freemans, “If we think of stress as a chisel hitting a rock, the blows women receive from the environment may sometimes be stronger (think childhood sexual abuse), more persistent (think social role burden), and differently angled (think relationships).

Here’s a link to another post about women and stress on intelligentwomenonly.com http://intelligentwomenonly.com/improving-your-resistance-stress

What’s Your Experience with Stress?

I agree. What do you think?  What’s your experience? Please leave your comment. I’m interested. I’m doing better with meditation. What about you?

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Neuroplasticity — Key to Breaking Negative Self-Talk Habit http://intelligentwomenonly.com/neuroplasticity-key-breaking-negative-self-talk-habit http://intelligentwomenonly.com/neuroplasticity-key-breaking-negative-self-talk-habit#comments Fri, 09 Aug 2013 15:05:58 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4379 Diminish Negative Self-Talk and Learn Realistic Thinking Here’s a link to a video that explains the concept of neuroplasticityl — and demonstrates how you can start to break the negative self-talk habit and begin to build the realistic self-talk habit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELpfYCZa87g For a quick review of negative self-talk habit, check out http://intelligentwomenonly.com/break-negative-self-talk-habit-for-beginners-re-starters

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Yes, realistic self-talk

Good brain work

Diminish Negative Self-Talk and Learn Realistic Thinking

Here’s a link to a video that explains the concept of neuroplasticityl — and demonstrates how you can start to break the negative self-talk habit and begin to build the realistic self-talk habit!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELpfYCZa87g

For a quick review of negative self-talk habit, check out http://intelligentwomenonly.com/break-negative-self-talk-habit-for-beginners-re-starters

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Negative Emotions, Created by Negative Thinking, Can be Beneficial? http://intelligentwomenonly.com/negative-emotions-created-negative-thinking-can-beneficial http://intelligentwomenonly.com/negative-emotions-created-negative-thinking-can-beneficial#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 10:30:24 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4340 Negative Self-Talk, Negative Thoughts, Negative Emotions Although intelligentwomenonly.com started out and continues to focus on women’s negative self-talk habit, a recent spate of studies/articles points out that, “Negative emotions are essential for mental health,” according to Tori Rodrigues’s article “Taking the Bad with the Good” from Scientific American Mind, May/June 2013. What are negative emotions? …

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Negative Emotion

Negative emotion

Negative Self-Talk, Negative Thoughts, Negative Emotions

Although intelligentwomenonly.com started out and continues to focus on women’s negative self-talk habit, a recent spate of studies/articles points out that, “Negative emotions are essential for mental health,” according to Tori Rodrigues’s article “Taking the Bad with the Good” from Scientific American Mind, May/June 2013.

What are negative emotions? Sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety etc. How are they connected to negative thoughts? What’s the difference between negative self-talk and negative thoughts?

• Negative self-talk, as most people use the phrase, defines self-criticizing thoughts such as “I look terrible in these pants”, “What is wrong with me? I’m an idiot sometimes.”

• Negative thoughts usually refer to pessimistic thinking in general. “The world is heading for disaster,” “My daughter made a huge mistake marrying that jerk,” “The economy stinks.I know I’m going to lose my job.”

Both negative self-talk and pessimistic thinking lead to negative emotions, which then often create stress, but there are benefits, according to Rodrugues.

Benefits of Negative Emotions

Here are the benefits of experiencing negative thinking of both kind,  which leads to negative emotions:

• Emotions of any kind help us evaluate our experiences.

• When negative thoughts accompany realistic thinking, a feeling of  improvement in well-being still happens.

• Bad feelings can be a clue to issues (health, work, relationships) that need attention.

• Attempting to suppress negative emotions can produce a rebound affect — you think/feel even more frequently, intensely and are more stressed.

I think the cost outweighs the benefits, and the route to letting go of both negative self-talk and pessimistic thinking is similar, although not exactly the same. More to come about how to diminish both.

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Avoiding the Seduction of a Habit — with A New Habit http://intelligentwomenonly.com/avoiding-seduction-habit-another-habit http://intelligentwomenonly.com/avoiding-seduction-habit-another-habit#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:20:55 +0000 drtingley http://intelligentwomenonly.com/?p=4314 A metaphor for breaking habits This quote comes from the Journal of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, Autumn 2005 and was introduced to the meditation group recently by one of the participants. “When Ulysses was finally returning to his home in Greece after the Trojan War victory, a place along the way …

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A Siren of TemptationA metaphor for breaking habits

This quote comes from the Journal of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, Autumn 2005 and was introduced to the meditation group recently by one of the participants.

“When Ulysses was finally returning to his home in Greece after the Trojan War victory, a place along the way was noted for its danger: sirens sang so sweetly, so enticingly that sailors were lured to find them, only to meet their death on dangerous shoals. So Ullysses had all his sailors cover their ears to protect them from these sounds, but he, himself, was curious and wanted this experience. Therefore, he asked to be firmly tied down while keeping his ears open to hear. It just about drove him crazy and he demanded to be release d to follow the siren songs. Since he’d given those guarding him the warning not to let him free regardless of his commands, he safely made it through.

Like Ulysses we need to find a firm post to be tied to so that we don’t follow the sirens, seducing us into our bad habits, whether they’re negative self-talk, food, alcohol, narcissism, non-assertiveness or any behavior that causes consequences that we don’t like or want.

The post you tie yourself to can be meditating, jogging, exercising, painting, breathing, laughing, listening to others who know better  — or other activities that will detach you from the tempting and damaging habitual behavior and engage you in a healthy, substitute behavior.

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