How to say you are upset in a smarter way?

How to say you are upset in a smarter way?

In my last blog post, I wrote about the need to express when we disagree or are upset about someone or a situation. This is so we don’t build up and explode like the volcano. When we express our problem, we also do not want to appear as bullies. Neither do we want to beat around the bush and be wishy washy.

In fact, I can think of my ex-colleague who would use more positive statements or encouragers before he finally spoke about his problem or disagreement. I don’t know if you feel the same, as I would be puzzled with where the conversation was going and when I finally realized he was trying to communicate his problem, I went “duh…” and I could visualize my eyes rolling. Why couldn’t he just go straight to the point?

So, how can we say we are upset in a smarter way?

I felt disrespected…

There was once I felt defeated by my client, a 10 year old child who turned up for the session and refused to enter the room. Even as the teacher tried to coax her, and I stood by the door asking her to get her foot in, she simply refused. Instead, she stood outside the door with her arms crossed and eyes rolling every now and then.


Yes, she pretty much looked like this.

I went back home, feeling pretty bumped.

And I was determined to tell her I deserve the respect.

As expected, in the next session, the child did not want to enter the room again. So, I took my chance to express my problem. And then I looked at her, waited while matching her posture (arms crossed) and saw her facial expressions soften, and so did I.

She then told me about her problem and together, we spent a few minutes to brainstorm our agreed solution.

3 steps to say you are upset in a smarter way

So, if you know that you are upset with someone or situation, you own a problem. Remember, the other person may or may not have this problem at all. And, you will not know until you express it.

And, this is my 3 steps to say I am upset in a smarter way.

Step #1 – Express your problem using “I” message

Many of you may have heard about “I” message. But what many may not notice is how the message should be drafted. Often, we may use words that the other person can perceive the meaning differently or disagree with. Hence, it is important we use language that illustrates the actual concrete facts of the behavior.

Using my earlier example, I could respond with:

“When you stood by the door so angrily and refused to enter the room, I feel disrespected.”

If I had done so, my client could disagree and said that she was not angry. My I-message would then go down the drain!

A better way to respond would be:

“When you stood by the door with your arms folded and did not enter the room, I feel disrespected.”

As you can see, my client would not be able to argue with the fact that:

  • She did have her arms folded
  • She did not enter the room
  • And she also cannot argue with my feelings!

Step #2 – Reflective Listen

Once you have expressed your i-message, you reflectively listen to the other person’s response until you get a signal from them that they feel “understood”. You may need to restate your i-message. Remember, you may alter your i-message but do not change the meaning of your i-message.

Step #3 – All good, or Problem-Solve.

If the other person didn’t realize you had a problem, and they agree to change, then you are all good!

But, very often, the other person may have a conflict of needs i.e. the person also has a problem! For instance, when I delivered my i-message to my client, she responded that she wanted to know when she could be done with the coaching sessions. In her mind, she already accomplished what she wanted. Now that I also know her problem, we then discussed how we can achieve both our needs.

And in some other times, the other person may have a conflict of values i.e. the person does not really care about your problem!

Depending on whether it is a conflict of needs or value, we would tackle the problem solving differently. I’ll share more in future posts!

A few tips…

By the way, a few tips to bear in mind even when you are expressing you are upset…

  1. Always know the outcome you want to achieve before you communicate. If you are experiencing multiple feelings, ask yourself first, what exactly are you upset about? It is important to regulate your emotions before you deliver your message.
  2. Rapport is still key. Remember, even when we disagree, we still want to establish rapport with the person, hence the reflective listening is essential. Match the person’s gestures, posture, voice speed or tone, etc.
  3. Always check your i-message that it is non-arguable!

“Communication is only effective when we communicate in a way that is meaningful to the recipient, not ourselves.”

What do you do when you disagree?

What do you do when you disagree?

What do you do when you disagree with a person or situation? Were there times you did not voice your view and let it affect you for days? Or, did you fight your way to win without considering the other’s needs?

I was working on my goal setting when I started to reflect on my relationships and communications with my husband and kids. And, I identified the gaps where I felt I could do better in my role as a wife and mother. Definitely, communications is one of them.

Whether it is self-defense, hide/escape, or I lose, you win method, it causes us to keep our thoughts and feelings inside us…making us feel helpless and trapped. Or it could be the other extreme where you get into a war to get what you needed.

I’m definitely guilty of one of these at times. 😬

Is it good to always keep quiet…or give in?

I used to have this tendency to keep quiet…to think my needs are not important, or achieve peace is more important.

And the result?

I become a volcano that does not let out steam and one day decide to erupt!

No, not good to be a bully either!

We may disagree and want to have our needs met, but so do the other person!

And the resulting outcome on the relationship with other person turns a little more sour. So, unless this is what you want, I wouldn’t recommend this aggresive approach either.

What about you?

How do you go about when you disagree with your loved ones? Or manager, co-worker or staff at work? Or friends in a dinner party? Perhaps even with the server at the restaurant?

Achieve a Win-Win situation when I disagree

Yes, this will be one of my goals in 2021 with regards to my communications with my husband and kids. I have all the tool kit on how exactly to do this, and what I need is to practice them. I’ll share more in coming weeks of how you can use this simple communication technique when you disagree. With practice, you will be able to influence and achieve a win-win easily….

🤍❤️🤍❤️ with love & empowerment, elynn

Do you dare to dream your life?

Do you dare to dream your life?

Before you set your goals, do you dare to dream your life?

Do you set your goals that then bring you a step, small or big, closer to your dream of what you want your life will be?

As I begin on my 2020 reflections and 2021 goal setting, it daunts upon me that I have been pretty sloppy when I go about setting my goals. In the past, I usually do this exercise during our two weeks long December holidays (which isn’t going to happen this year!). And, I often had a hard time coming up with goals! They would end up to be a goal to address a problem I may have, or a goal to “challenge me” and this goal could be something that sounds cool or trendy.

There is nothing wrong with that, except that I have not asked myself what is important about that goal to me. And often, it is actually not that important to me, which is why I often do not achieve them by the end of the year! Does this happen to you too?

So, this year I want to do it differently. And first, I begin to dream.

As I begin this exercise, I started to visualize myself in all the different roles I play. I started to dream a little about what each role looks like if I were doing it at my best. And, I really loved this exercise! I felt like I have given myself the permission to dream and to dare to dream what I want, and not what our society or people around us expect us to do.

Road Block

If you have not already tried this, I highly encourage you to do so! It may not be easy especially if you have this block in your mind stopping you to see far. Stopping you to feel free. Stopping you to hear what you would love to hear.

And this is normal.

This also came up when I was working with my client on the next steps in her life as a whole. When she metaphorically told me how she is unable to imagine how her “dream house” looks like, let alone seeing the path to building it, it is like these invisible boundaries preventing her to even dare to dream.  At the end of our session, I was absolutely over the moon to see that she has finally empowered herself to want to take a step forward, to start dreaming how that house will be like.

And for a few days, this kept coming back to my mind. Don’t we often allow our own self-limiting beliefs or thoughts to stop us?  Definitely me. It can due to many reasons. Many legitimate and rightful reasons.

But, ask yourself – how does this self-limiting belief serve you? Absolutely not well. 

We know deeply that all creations and innovations begin with a silly idea, a silly thought.  And the idea manifests as we dream about it, as we believe it and then take starting actions to make it come true. 


So, ask yourself this. How many times have you stop yourself from dreaming of a new idea, a new possibility, a new future?  And is it because:

You allowed your past experiences tell you this is not going to work?
You let someone’s words tell you this is not going to work?
Or, you doubted your own capabilities and what you capable to become?
You let the big, courageous dream overwhelm you and made you not take the first step of your comfort zone?

And for those of you who are parents, ask yourself:
How many times have you told your child not to imagine or dream because:

The idea or dream is not “realistic”?
The idea does not suit them or align to this society’s norms?  You think they are not going to make it and you fear failure for them? You think that’s silly and a “waste of time”?

Dare to Dream

Dare to Dream

Dare to dream does not mean you have to do crazy things. It just means you empower yourself to listen to your inner self and allow yourself to explore possibilities before you decide your choices and path.

As you begin your 2021 goal setting, I hope you can also allow yourself to dream. Hope this video also inspires you to start dreaming.

And, have I mentioned it is free to dream, isn’t it?


Happiness at Work in Asia Survey

Happiness at Work in Asia Survey

What do you think is the average Happiness at work in Asia like? In a recent survey conducted across over 80 participants primarily based in Asia, with over 95% working in Asia and 75% in Singapore, the average Happiness at Work score is reported at 65%. Within this population, 19% have a happiness at work score of >80%, indicating they are flourishing at work. On the other hand, 18% have a score of less than 50%.

While happiness and satisfaction are clearly subjective concepts, it is worthwhile to understand and take a holistic view of how work impacts our overall life. Especially when work takes up a large part of our time. In Singapore where I am based in, the average Singaporean works an average of 43-44 hours according to the Ministry of Manpower statistics. This translates to over a third of our time awake (assuming a 6-7 hour sleep a day). In fact, I know of many working professionals who work closer to 50-60 hours a week. In my corporate life days, I was working an average of 60-70 hours a week!

When it comes to happiness at work, various studies have also suggested that people who are happy at work are up to 12% more productive than those who are unhappy at work.

So, if an individual’s happiness at work can positively affect both the individual and company’s performance, we would be interested to know how we can increase our happiness at work, wouldn’t we?

happiness at work

Top 3 Contributors to Happiness at Work

91% of participants felt they are given sufficient autonomy in going about doing their work

Close to 90% of participants agreed they are a good performer and utilize their strengths at work. 

Over 80% of participants reported they have good relationships with their co-workers and managers, and have built a good network of relationships within the organization.

Bottom 3 Contributors to Happiness at Work:

Only 37% of participants reported they have a mentor or coach who provides guidance in their career progression.

About 45% of participants agree they have a good idea of where they will be in 3-5 years. 

About 53% of participants are clear on the actions they need to take to reach the next promotion.

So, how can we increase our happiness at work?

1. Visualize where you want to be in 3-5 years

Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

This question is important for anyone. This is what brings meaning to our lives. Visualizing where you want to be, what kind of roles you want to hold, or what kind of work you want to be doing gives you motivation and satisfaction. This does not necessarily mean you always need to have big ambitious goals or be the next Steve Jobs. It just means that you are clear on where you want to head towards and you plan your track accordingly.

2. Getting your next promotion

Assuming you do want to get a promotion, when do you want to get it? And, how do you go about to get it?

First, I encourage you to do a self reflection of your competency and performance vis-à-vis your peers and benchmark against the requirements of the role you want to be promoted to. Then, it is really important that you speak to your manager AND a HR manager or another manager who has an influence in the promotion decision making process.

If you want to get more ideas on how to go about this, I have elaborated more in each of these 3 blog posts:

 3. Celebrate success with your team

It is also noted in the survey that 40% of participants did not agree they or their teams celebrate success, big or small. 

This is actually an area most of us can improved on easily (within our control!). For those of you who are managers, time to reflect on your own teams! Are you celebrating success frequently enough?  And even if you are not managers, you can still be pro-active in suggesting to your manager or team mates to celebrate!  The point here is not necessarily to have extravagent meals or parties.  In fact, based on my experience, many people are happy to be just “recognized” on success meaning just talking about it! And, then have a regular team meal or drinks to incorprate the many successes and learnings!

4. Increase the work where you experience flow

When we experience engagement, or “flow”, we become fully engaged and immersed in the activity. When we feel engaged, time just flies by and we forget about everything else. Floods of positive neurotransmitters and hormones boost your feelings of well-being and help us stay in the present and enjoy the activities that make us feel focused and involved. When we are able to experience this flow on a regular basis at work, we will feel far more satisfied. While some of us may not be fortunate enough to do a job we are 100% passionate about, it is possible still to engage in tasks or projects that we enjoy learning or mastering. Identify what those are and speak to your manager to see how you can incorporate them into your responsibilities.

5. A good coach or mentor

Last and not the least, you need to have a good coach or mentor! I cannot stress enough how important a good mentor or coach is and can make a huge difference to your life. When it comes to your career specifically, a good coach or mentor can guide you to plan your career path and possibilities, where you see yourself in the next couple of years, evaluate your strengths and development areas, strategize your conversations and next steps to get the next promotion, and more.

Take charge and increase your happiness at work today!

How to calm someone down

How to Calm Someone Down

In my last blog, I shared a few tips on my routine to stay calm and keep cool. Then, I thought – what about how to calm someone down?

How many times have you experienced a situation where the other person is seemingly out of control in their anger or anxiety? It could be your partner who came back from a rough day and venting out over something really trivial at home? Or, your child having a meltdown. It could even be your manager or co-worker.

“Don’t Tell Me to Calm Down!”

How many times have you tried telling the other person to “calm down”, or “just relax”, or “don’t get so upset” only to make the other person more angry or anxious? Or, have you also responded back in a somewhat similar manner “stop your nonsense” or “can’t you be more rationale?” which leads to a heated argument?

Well, why does this happen?

Remember how our brain processes emotions?

First, if you recall, I shared in my earlier blog on how our brains process emotions. When we are experiencing a high energy feeling such as anger or anxiety, our sympathetic nervous system is triggered and we are just not thinking straight! So, there is really no point in trying to talk sense to the other person at this point, is there?

Emotion dismissing, disapproving or coaching?

Second, we all want to be seen, heard and felt. Yes, including times when we express our feelings in a negative or out of proportion manner. So, when someone tells you to “calm down”, or “stop your nonsense”, we feel being ignored. In emotion coaching, this is what we called being “emotion dismissing” or “emotion disapproving”.

So, how can we calm someone down than?


Feel it like how you would feel it if you were the other person. Recognizing and accepting the person’s feelings does not mean that we agree with their behaviors. It simply means we are with them listening to them. By being empathic and understanding before we decide to give our advice is sometimes just what the person needs.


Now, it is time to express your empathy, advice / problem solve, and set limits on the behaviors (especially with kids). Remember, the other person is at the peak of their anger or anxiety, and we want to avoid emotion dismissing or emotion disapproving statements or questions. Instead, use more empathic statements.

how to calm someone down

Often, we may think that the best way is to respond in the most soothing and calm voice we can. Yet, we realize that our message does not seem to come across to the person!

Well, this is because it may seem to be belittling the person’s feelings. Remember the feeling of anger or anxiety is the same as the fight-flight-freeze response triggered by our amygdala. Can you imagine you see a snake and want to warn your friend of danger and your friend responded in a nonchalant way? This is exactly how someone feels when they are angry and the other person responded in a calm way!

Well, try this.

So, I learnt this trick from my coach and it seriously works especially with kids!!! In fact, I just applied this approach twice just this past week with two clients (kids) I was working with! I also recommend this approach for positive emotions. When we want to build rapport and influence the other person, we always want to match their energy level.

  • Start your response initially by matching their energy level – raise the volume of your voice or even use your gestures to meet their emotions. Say something like “Oh OK” or “I get it!” ***Note, this is not the same as yelling, conversely, you need to stay calm and simultaneously match their volume level to demonstrate that you are capable of feeling what they are feeling! ***
  • If possible, repeat back their words, to confirm that you’ve listened (and are hearing the words and the meaning behind them). ***I have notice that when the person hears their own words, they may sometimes realize they might have over-reacted! ***
  • And then tone down your intensity lower (to induce more calmness….), complete the rest of your response to help problem solve. Perhaps, say “Can I suggest….” or “Shall we discuss what can be done…”
  • At the end when it becomes a proper conversation, bring in your thoughts on the person’s behavior.

Prevent it if you can


As we know, it will be great if we can help others remain calm before their steam goes off. While we may not always be able to control other people’s emotions, there are opportunities where we can be their emotion coach! Especially when it comes to our loved ones. For instance, try observing their facial expressions, gestures or tonality. Understanding the person’s usual expressions when they are in a calm state allows you to notice changes when there is a change in the person’s emotional state. And, this can be helpful for you to interject it before it becomes uncontrollable….

So, the next time you meet someone who is angry or anxious, you will be confident in responding back, will you not?

~ With love & empowerment, elynn

How to stay calm and keep your cool

How to stay calm and keep your cool

As I shared in my previous blogs, we get amygdala hijacks from time to time and it is helpful to review the underlying trigger. And, if you are like me, such feelings of losing control and acting in that moment of fit often make us regret afterwards. So, how can we stay calm and keep cool?

Thankfully, there are ways to retrain our amygdala as a means to rewire the neural connections in our brain that the situation does not need to be seen as a danger.

So, this week, I am sharing my daily routine that has helped me to stay calm. And, they really work! I have seen a transformative change in how much calmer and at peace I am. As a result, I see myself making better choices and decisions, which lead to better outcomes and a better me.

And, I would love to learn how you cope too, so drop me an email or comment below with your ideas.

3 Strategies to Stay Calm and Keep Cool

Stay Calm . Keep Cool

#1 – 10 to 20 Minutes of Daily Quiet Moment (or Meditation)

For those of you who do not meditate, telling you to meditate would be an overwhelming and unachievable task. Let alone, stay calm and keep cool!

But, how often have you gone by the entire day without a minute of quiet time? You are either rushing from one meeting to the next, from work to family, or squeezing in time to order your grocery or run that errand? This is often the reality of our lives, isn’t it?

So, I am going to challenge you to set aside 10 to 20 minutes each day of what I call your quiet moment. And whatever time it works for you, or if you wish to split it to 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening. That’s perfectly fine!

During this time, all you need to do is the following 2 things (and if you can add on the meditation, it’s a bonus!):

Set your Intention

Reflect on your intentions and what you want to choose to show up to the external world? Do you want to exude yourself as calm and confident? Or perhaps kind and positive? Regardless what your intention is, this intention you set will last you through the day.

I personally set aside the first 15-20 minutes of the morning after I brushed my teeth to do my meditation followed by intention setting for the day. My objective is to have this time undisturbed by emails, messages, or my son asking for my attention. So, I actually intentionally wake up earlier than the family so I can have this personal time for myself. My intention typically comprises my mantra of loving and kindness, and additional ones like confidence or calmness depending on what my day looks like. Once I set my intentions for the day, I try my best to stick with them. And, what does that mean? Go to tip #2!


Reflect on the day (or the prior day) and ask yourself how the day has gone. What do you like and what do you dislike about your actions? What can you do more of what you like and change what you dislike? This is not about judging yourself and bashing yourself up for actions you wished you hadn’t taken. Rather, treat this as a learning experience to remain curious, explore and learn how you can be a better person. Today is a brand new day. A new opportunity. And, the day you can make a change.


And, for those of you who wish to try out meditation, I highly recommend the free app Insight Timer. It has tons of free guided meditations for beginners.

#2 – Practise pausing before acting

How often have you spoken or acted before you pause to think about the intention of your response? Ever since I started to practice taking that one pause, and remind myself of my intention for the day, I have often been able to surprise myself with my response. When an unpleasant or perhaps even annoying situation happens, I would ask myself how my intentions of loving and kindness would want me to respond? Trust me, when I have to answer this question, most often than not, I would have calm down and able to keep my cool.

The key is to practice this as much as you can in your daily communications, so much so that it re-wire your brain to accept this as the new habit. And when the stressful moment triggers, you will be able to control and naturally take the pause that you need.

#3 – Reframing my perspective

I am sure you have heard from others asking you to change your perspectives. Perhaps, you even tell others to do that. And, how often have you told yourselves to change your perspective?

Yes, perhaps it is time to retrain your brain to reframe your perspective of situations. I personally like to use the blame versus outcome frame, as described below, for any negative or unpleasant events. Keep practicing and practicing, to the point that when a situation arises, your brain would automatically pick the helpful frame to use!

Blame versus Outcome Frame

Unfortunately, our default mind is a fault-finding mind. How often do you find yourself trying to find the “root cause” or “culprit”? When we do so, we are directly telling our brain to find the negative, which means we will also get a negative meaning back from our brain to respond negatively!

On the other hand, the outcome frame focuses on achieving the desired result. When you focus on this, your brain will be curious and find ways to solve the puzzle for you. And, when you are in a curious state, it is unlikely you will react in a fit of anger.


Remember, these strategies will work if you practice them consistently! If you can commit yourself to new and healthier habits for 21 days, I am certain you will notice the difference. You will do what’s good for you, won’t you?

With love & empowerment,


One simple fact about your brain and emotions

One simple fact about your Brain and Emotions

There is one simple fact we should all know about our brain and that is the way it processes our emotions.  Do you recall the last time you lost control of your emotions and did something in the heat of the moment that you later regretted? This is when “we have lost it” to your partner or child, work colleague, or perhaps the driver of another car. And, you realized later on it was completely uncalled for, wasn’t it?

The Amygdala Hijack

In psychology, this is what we called an “Amygdala Hijack”, which was first introduced by psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ“.


Before an Amygdala Hijack

When we see, hear, touch, or taste something, that sensory information first heads to our brain’s in the thalamus (relay station). The thalamus then relays that information to the pre-frontal cortex (thinking brain). From there, it is sent to the amygdala (emotional brain) which produces the appropriate emotional response.

During an Amygdala Hijack

However, when faced with a threatening situation, the thalamus sends sensory information to both the amygdala (emotional brain) and the pre-fronal cortex (thinking brain). If the amygdala senses danger, it makes a split-second decision to initiate the fight, flight or freeze response before your pre-frontal cortex has time to overrule it.

Fight-or-Flight or Freeze!

At a high biological level, our amygdala is like our super hero! It protects us from danger by reacting to threatening objects or events and send immediate rapid fire signals to our brain and body. Heart beats faster. Muscles tense. Blood pressure rises. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin flood our system. More sweating. And many, many more reactions. To do what? To prepare our body for that fight, flight or freeze!

Imagine if you are in the jungle and a snake suddenly drops down in front of you from the tree branch! Yes, it is our amygdala that helps us to decide in that split second whether to fight the snake, flee from the snake or freeze!

And as we know, many of the threats we face today are symbolic and not necessarily physically endangering. For instance, when we’re angry, sad, or stressed the amygdala thinks there’s real imminent danger. And when our amygdala is triggered and shuts down the neural pathway to our prefrontal cortex, our prefrontal cortex loses it usual capabilities of problem solving, logic and reasoning!


Last week, I shared the post about noticing what flipped your lid. Have you start noticing your recent emotional states and notice if there were triggering events that causes you to lose it? Have you been in that heated conflict with someone where you were not able to see broader or different perspectives? Worse still, did you even forget the positive things about that person?

Now that you know about this simple fact about your brain and emotions, what an Amygdala Hijack is and why your amygdala did what it did, do you notice things make more sense now?

If you have seen me 8-10 years ago, I was a very different person. Being in the highly fast paced stressful work environment and a new inexperienced mom, I have allowed myself to be affected by the environment. I snapped at people easily and react to situations instantaneously. I get triggered with the slightest unpleasant event. 

The Good News

Yes, the good news is that we can all re-train our amygdala. It takes time and is possible! I did! In next week’s blog, I will share simple changes you can make immediately in your life to retrain your amygdala. You don’t need to spend significant amount of time to achieve this!

With love & empowerment,


Do you know what flips your lid?

Do you know what flips your lid?

Do you have a calm mind or flipped lid?

Let me ask you – Do you know what flips your lid? To me, it is perfectly normal to feel and accept all our emotions. But, I know something is not right when I start noticing my lid is flipped more often than it should have. There is either stressors or even past baggage that I have not let go. And so, it is important to pay attention to this pattern and understand the triggers behind it.

What’s the trigger?

Our emotions, positive or negative, are signals to prompt us towards positive action, take a stand or make changes. But, when you start noticing that certain emotions such as anger, anxiety, frustration seem to tick you off easily, it will be helpful to reflect on what the trigger is that has flipped your lid.  For instance, do you find that your angry reaction is way out of proportion to the current moment? And, what you’re really angry about is not what you’re getting angry about?

Knowing the beliefs beneath the emotion

To illustrate, I was working with a 10 year old client who was referred to me for her anger management and violence in school.  Interestingly, when I spoke with the parents, they have never witnessed her “anger” situation at home. I then found out the underlying trigger for her angry reactions is related to her strong belief for justice.  There is one time a mischievous boy was teasing her friend and she felt unjust for her friend that she ended up twisting his arm!

So, to the child, unjust is what flips her lid. It does not matter if the unjust matter is towards her or people around her.  When she sees, hear, feel injustice, she gets triggered and wants to stand up for it. And, there is nothing wrong with this!

Is the response in proportion to the event?

What is concerning is her response to the event and trigger. Clearly, the child did not understand how to cope with the emotions inside her. And, guess where she learns how to respond? Unfortunately, our children learns from our behaviors. In her world, she learns that when her father is angry, he would cane her and her siblings. She formed two beliefs from this repeated event. First, she is not to cry, as this would make her dad angry; and secondly, when her dad is angry, he would cane. 

So, what’s the repercussions? This 10 year old fights as hard as she can not to show any tears. And, when there is a trigger of injustice, her brain reminds her that the way to cope with her anger is through violence.  Can you see the pattern repeating?

Do you know all our experiences are coded?

Remember our brain codes all our experiences into memories and store them in our brain storage. So, when the next event occurring is similar to the prior coded one, it triggers the same emotions and suggested behaviors.  And, when we keep practicing the same behavior, our brain connections for these experiences get stronger! Whether you are ten years old or fifty years old, it works the same way.  In fact, we have many beliefs that were coded from our childhood experiences and stay with us (and become stronger) into adulthood.

Why is this important? 

Are there times at home, at work or at an event where you had a trigger and gets angry and your reaction to it becomes way out of proportion to the event? Yes, it could be times with your spouse, partner, child, parents, siblings, boss, colleagues and others.

Do you look into your underlying beliefs and understand what exactly has flipped that lid? Do you also know what’s making you respond in the way you did? Hence, it is important to be aware of this pattern and then be aware to identify it when it happens.  By being self-aware of your own emotions before your brain gets hijacked and react in a way you wish you did not is the first step to succeed in your own emotional self-regulation. 

Try these quick exercises to help you become aware of your recent emotional state and the underlying beliefs.

With love & empowerment,


Cope with the Stress of Working From Home

5 Tips to Cope with the Stress of Working From Home

During the covid-19 lockdown, many people experienced a sudden change in their daily routines. The lines between work and personal have become blurred and hours become irregular. Many couples had to learn to work with each other in the same space and parents learnt to work and oversee their children’s work at the same time.

Although the lock down is over, work from home has become the new norm.  How can we then be in control and cope with the heightened stress of working from home?

The truth is, if you could accept this, You are in charge of your mind, and therefore your results! This is one of the first things Lindley Craig, my NLP coach, and the President of the NLP Association (Singapore), has reminded us in the first week of our Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) training. Interestingly, a meditation teacher once told me something similar too – You have said YES to everything in your life.   The fact you have actively participated or simply accepted the choice means you have agreed to it. 

Applying this principle, how can we then be in charge of our lives and make the best decisions we can even during this unprecedented times we are in?

My Personal Tips – How to Cope with Working from Home?

How to cope with Working From Home

Tip # 1 – See the silver lining in the current situation

This is not about being positive all the time. It is realizing that your map is not your territory, and we can all benefit in expanding our own map! When we do so, our realities will broaden and will feel more empowered with more choices. For instance, does work from home now give you time to do other things you wanted to do and have not been able to do so with the fixed working hours constraint?

Tip # 2 – Increase your choices

Now that you see more possibilities, come up with a list. What is important to you about working from home? For me, the values of working from home came up to quite a long list! It includes:

  • A quick workout (even if it is 15 minutes HIIT)
  • Having dinner with the boys
  • Fetching the boys from school and the meaningful conversation I can have with them during the car ride
  • The list goes on….

Tip #3 – Rank these choices

Rank each value against the other, until you get the top three values that are important to you about working from home. 

Tip #4 – Evaluate Your Choices

For each of the top 3 values, dive into “What does each value mean to you?” and “Why are they important to you?” This will help you gain clarity to what is really important to you.  Not what is important to every one else.

Tip #5 – Start Executing!

Nothing will change for you unless you make the change! Once you have your list, start putting them onto your calendar! I would block time out each day for my work out, or time needed for fetching the boys and dinner with family. These are important to me (hence in my top 3!) and I try my best as much as possible to keep to them.

Working from Home is challenging, and managing this new norm is POSSIBLE!

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others through their mindset to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Masters in Counselling.

What is Empowerment Coaching?

What is Empowerment Coaching?

I have received many questions recently about what I do. What is empowerment coaching is? Why do I call myself an empowerment coach? And, are people “broken” hence they see a coach? I thought it will be helpful to clarify them in this blog post.

So, what is empowerment coaching? To me, empowerment coaching is like the metaphor of a lighthouse and a sailboat. The lighthouse gives captain the freedom to think, feel and act what is best for the sailboat to reach its destination.

empowerment coaching
The coach is just like the lighthouse…

In empowerment coaching, the coach is like the lighthouse providing the light for the sailboat. The lighthouse gives the sailboat the freedom to find their path. It helps them to utilize their sails to handle the challenges and reach their destinations.

The Sailboat

Elements of our life
Elements of Life

Our Destination

Just like a boat can sail to certain destinations, people can steer to reach goals.  Without a destination, we may feel lost and lack of meaning in life.

Our Compass, Steering Wheel & Sail

Similar to the sailboat, we are all equipped with our compass, steering wheel and sail.

Our compass is like our emotions and feelings, acting as a tool to help us navigate and orientate our lives. Hence, it is important to pay attention to our compass as an invaluable guide.

The steering wheel is our personal values, providing us with the general direction in life and determine how we want to live our life.

Our sails refer to our strengths. We all have different and unique strengths. Importantly, we need to learn to adjust our sails to cope and promote well-being in our life.

Leak in our Sailboat

At times, our sailboat may have a leak, similar to how we may have limiting beliefs interfering with our preferred course in life. Or, we may suffer from rumination, worry, self-blame, or unrealistic standards. In other cases, we may engage in behaviors which do not serve us well. These are internal stressors we can learn to overcome to enhance our own well-being.

The Water, Weather & Other Boats

In addition, our sailboat has to manage the water, weather and other boats, similar to the environment, life events and relationships with others. These external events are outside our direct control, but we can control how we view and adapt to them.

You are the Master of your boat, you are the Captain

We are all the masters of our boat, just like how we are the souls to our life. And, we are empowered to choose how we think, feel and act in respect to each of these elements of our life.

We are the captain to our boat

Your Empowerment Coach is your Lighthouse

Coach is like the lighthouse
Coach is like the lighthouse

As an empowerment coach, I see myself as the lighthouse providing the empowerment to the captain by shining light on his or her boat. And, I empower the captain to clarify its current position and environment the boat is in and how each different element interacts with other elements.

Similar to the light house, the light I shine is a temporary aid. Hence, I teach the captain how to calibrate the strategies and re-steer its sailboat to reach the desired destination. Most importantly, each captain will learn the strategies to cope with future challenges in their journey.

How are you, as the Captain, steering your boat?

All sailboats need the lighthouse at some point of their journey. The sailboat does not need to be broken before the captain seeks for help. So, are you being a strategic captain and sailing your boat on the right path to your destination? And, do you have your coach or mentor to shine this light for you when you need it?

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others through their mindset to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Masters in Counselling.