Mental Health

3 Steps You Must Take To Insure Your Marriage Is Alive And Healthy

I have learned that when couples get engaged, they spend most of their time and energy planning the wedding.  Frequently, forgetting to nurture their relationship now.   The focus tends to be in the future since it is exciting to look forward to marriage and dream of how wonderful life will be, but it is also important to be realistic and talk about some of your expectations.

Many married couples do not understand why the marriage did not turn out the way they expected.  Taking the time to look at your present relationship and your expectations for the future will insure that your marriage is based on solid principles.

Here are 3 steps you must take to keep your marriage alive and healthy:

1. Put your relationship first.  Right now you can say that you are putting your relationship first, however, life will hit you – children, career, sports, hobbies, friends, church activities will take your time and attention.  Couples need to consistently refocus and come back to each other and make time for the relationship.

2.  Commit to grow together.  To build a strong relationship it’s important that couples are committed to grow and change together.  When a couple is not truly committed, it is easier to give up when problems arise.  A commitment to growth goes beyond of “sticking together,” it’s a commitment to adapt to each other’s changing needs.

3. Work at staying close.  The key to a successful marriage is entering the marriage with the attitude that it takes work to stay close.  Many different activities will pull you away and it is important that when you find yourself overcommitted to pace yourself and say no when you need to.  When trying to make a decision, […]

Positive Self-Talk – 5 Strategies To Monitor Your Self-Talk

Thinking in a positive way and stopping the negative thinking pattern is a good strategy you can use to handle the stress you might be experiencing in just about any circumstance. A positive mood can increase your ability to process new information and it helps improve your self-esteem.

Can you teach yourself to think positively? ABSOLUTELY! You can use cognitive restructuring, a process of replacing the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that maintain an individual’s problems. The self-talk, or positive self-statements are soundless, mental speech you can use when you are thinking about something, planning, or trying to solve a problem. The self-talk can do a lot to give you the confidence that frees you to use your talents to the fullest.

Here are 5 strategies to help you keep your self-talk in check:

Fine-tune your self-talk.  During the day ask yourself, “What am I saying to myself right now?”  Then write the thoughts and analyze the statements and the feelings behind them.
Use uncomfortable emotions and moods such as stress, depression, and anxiety as a cue to listen to your self-talk.  Identify the feeling, then ask yourself, “What was I saying to myself right before I started feeling this way?”
Compare your self-talk predictions (what you thought was going to happen) with what actually happened. If the reality is different, pinpoint where your self-talk needs adjustment.
Get help from a friend, partner, or therapist. Find someone who can help you identify ways your self-talk is distorted and help you improve your self-talk.
Find the statements that help you cope more effectively with stressful situations.

 

Replace Negative Self-Statements with Positive Ones

Negative Self-Statement

“I’ll never get this work done by tomorrow.”

Positive Self-Statement

“This is going to be tough but it is still possible to do it.”

“If I work […]

Você Está Cansado De Discutir? Aqui Estão Dez Dicas Para Resolução De Conflitos

Todos os casais têm diferenças e desacordos, o conflito faz parte de nossas vidas. No entanto, muitos casais têm dificuldades de ouvir e entender um ao outro, levando a muitos argumentos, brigas e até separação. Muitos estudos mostram a quantidade de discordâncias não estão relacionados à felicidade conjugal, tanto quanto como eles são manipulados. A verdade é que os casais felizes não evitam desentendimentos, eles resolvê-los, permanecendo respeitoso do outro, reforçando assim a sua relação.

Muitos conflitos entre os parceiros tornam-se “quente”, com alto níveis de raiva e frustração. E ao em vez de se falarem assertivamente, os casais começam a  acusar, criticar, ou gritar um com outro. Ao invés de ouvir ativamente, eles interrompem, menosprezam e ignoram um ao outro. Quando estamos em um estado “escalado”, acabamos geralmente dizendo ou fazendo coisas que depois nos arrependemos.  Além disso, é quase impossível ter uma conversa produtiva levando a uma resolução quando os parceiros estão irritados e frustrados. Em casos como este, um plano de “time-out” ou “intervalo” pode ser benéfico. Um time-out pode dar a os casais a oportunidade de arrefecer, reconhecer seus sentimentos e necessidades, e começar a pensar produtivamente novamente sobre como abordar os problemas que enfrentam. Uma vez que você teve a oportunidade de acalmar, você pode usar esses dez passos que são simples e eficaz para resolver conflitos. Estas medidas irão ajudar você a evitar os padrões destrutivos do passado.

Define um tempo e lugar para a discussão. Depois de ter solicitado um pedido de tempo para si mesmo, comunique ao seu parceiro o quão importante este assunto é para ambos e defina um tempo e lugar para ter a discussão.
Define o problema, seja específico. Analise a questão atual e permaneça no tópico, não vá ao passado.
Liste as maneiras que você contribui […]

Are You Tired of Fighting? Here Are Ten Tips for Conflict Resolution

All couples have differences and disagreements; conflict is part of life.  However, many couples have difficulties listening and understanding each other, leading to many arguments, fights and even separation. Many studies show the amounts of disagreements are not related to marital happiness as much as how they are handled. The truth is that happy couples do not avoid disagreements; they resolve them while remaining respectful of each other, thereby strengthening their relationship.

Many conflicts between partners become heated as levels of anger and frustration rise. And instead of them speaking assertively, couples begin to accuse, criticize, or yell. Rather than listening actively, they interrupt, belittle, and ignore. When we are in a state of escalation, we usually say or do things we later regret. Additionally, it is almost impossible to have a productive conversation leading to a mutually agreed upon resolution when partners are angry and frustrated. In instances such as this, a time-out plan can be beneficial. A time-out will give couples the opportunity to cool down, recognize their feelings and needs, and begin to think productively again about how to approach the issues they face.  Once you had the opportunity to calm down you can use these ten steps that are simple and effective to solve conflicts. These steps will help you avoid the destructive patterns of the past.

Set a time and place for discussion. Once you have requested a time-out for yourself, communicate to your partner how important this issue is for both of you and set a time and place to have the discussion.
Define the problem, be specific. Analyze the current issue and stay on topic.
List the ways you contribute to the problem. Think about how you might be affecting the […]

5 Tips for Long Distance Relationships

Are you stressed about your long-distance relationship? Are you ready to break-up? Long-distance relationships are becoming a fact of life. As we advance in technology in the new world of social media with facebook and myspace, relationships are also changing. You are in a business trip and you meet someone at the airport, or you are using an online dating program, you find a potential mate, and you decide to pursue a relationship with that person.  According to a recent research, long-distance relationships are more stable than we think.  It was found that long- distance relationships are characterized by commitment, which is influenced by satisfaction and happiness with the relationship (Pistole, Roberts & Mosko, 2010). However, after a while it can be tiring and overwhelming trying to be in a long-distance relationship, especially when you have family and friends telling you that long-distance relationships do not work. Couples end up focusing on the frustrations of the distance and forget the reasons why they got together in the first place. Before you “call it quits”, here are some tips to making your long-distance relationship work:

1.Describe to your partner what the relationship means to you. This is the first step in moving forward with your relationship. Defining the relationship will help you create boundaries that will be used when things get difficult. Ask yourself, “Should we be just friends? Can we have a solid relationship?”

2.Be truthful to yourself and your partner. Be honest about your needs and don’t be afraid of sharing your feelings. Communication is going to be to most important element in your long-distance relationship and it will help create the strong foundation necessary to make the relationship work.

3.Be patient. Sometimes the “waiting” can […]

7 Tips for Coping With Loneliness

The holiday season is here. You see people decorating their houses, wrapping gifts and placing them under the Christmas the tree and you feel the warmth and the joy of having your family and friends close to you. The magic of the holidays bring people together and we look forward to this celebration all year-long. However, for some of us, this season is a reminder of the mistakes we have made and the people we may have hurt along the way.  Maybe the loss of a loved one and the end of a long-term relationship can bring up sadness and anxiety during the holidays. It is very common for some people to feel extremely lonely during this season.

Loneliness has been described as an emotion that is characterized by a feeling of emptiness and solitude.  Some words people use to describe loneliness include: lost, afraid, numb, pain, nothingness, overwhelmed, and so on.

According to Carlson and Love (2010), recent studies have revealed that about 25 percent of the American population has not talked to anyone about anything important to them in six months. Also they found that another 19.6 percent of the people surveyed said that they only have one close friend  they can talk to. These numbers show that close to 50 percent of the population has one close friend or none at all. How did we get here?

Today we live in a fast-paced world; we work longer hours or we may even have two jobs. Also, we have distractions such as the Internet, social media, and cellphones. It’s becoming more and more difficult to develop and nurture relationships. This lifestyle eventually leads to isolation and after a while we start to struggle with loneliness.  […]

What is truly important to you?

When was the last time you evaluated your list of priorities?  We live a fast paced life that sometimes we even forget why we have made certain choices.  This a picture of my brother and me.  This picture was taken when we were really young, but when I look at this picture I am reminded of what is truly important to me and that is my FAMILY.  At the end of the day it does not matter how much money I have in the bank, or what kind of car I drive, and if I am famous or not.  What it;s truly important is that I have friends and family that will always be there for me.  Every time I think about this I get a sense belonging and all anxiety and stress of my day simply goes away.
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5 Tips For Coping With Anxiety

Do you know what anxiety feels like? Anxiety can manifests in many different forms and it varies from person to person. A friend described her anxiety as an inability to breathe and chest tightness. Others may have anxiety symptoms such as muscle achiness, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and accelerated heart rate.

We can experience anxiety almost everyday of our lives. We worry about a speech we have to give in front of an audience, we stress about our deadlines at work and school, and we get scared when we have to face a difficult situation.

Anxiety is our body’s automatic response to danger; it’s like an alarm that goes off every time we feel threatened. According to Shallcross (2009) anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the nation, affecting 40 million adults or 18 percent of the adult population. Some of the well-known anxiety disorders are panic disorder, social disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobia. When we experience anxiety on a daily basis, it can have a negative impact on our relationships and activities, ultimately causing even more anxiety.

Robert L. Leahy, author of Anxiety Free explains that our life-style today is very demanding, which is leading to the increase of anxiety in our society. We have to have the latest gadgets, we are driven by unrealistic ideas about our relationships and appearance and we demand more and more of ourselves. Also, the news from TV and newspapers are bombarding us with messages that say that we are in danger. However, it’s not about what the people or the news say that counts, but it’s about what we think that really counts. Change your perception and you will change the way that you feel.

Here are 5 tips on […]