BE A LITTLE MORE OPTIMISTIC: 6 THINGS OPTIMISTS DO DIFFERENTLY
If the grass looks greener on the other side…
And START watering the grass you’re standing on!
Truly, the most powerful weapon against daily stress is our ability to choose one thought, or response, over another. I was reminded of this today when a course student named Sarah sent me the following in an email (I’m sharing this with permission):
MARRIAGE IS HARD WORK!!!
Dr. D.K. Olukoya
Many years ago I interpreted the saying “Marriage is not for small boys” to mean small boys in terms of age, until I visited a female mentor that has been in marriage for 47 years.
I asked her, “So what is the secret of your over 47 successful years in marriage?”
Beaming with smiles, she retorted, “My son, the expectations you bring into marriage will spell either its doom or success. I married my husband without expectations of enjoying his money or him buying cars for me but, with time, my patience, hard work and God-fearing attitude yielded results of getting cars, houses, taking care of our children and all that.
DATING MYTHBUSTERS: YOU’LL FIND LOVE IF YOU STOP LOOKING
Is it true?
If you have been single for a while you are bound to get advice from family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances alike. There is nothing like a single person to bring out the relationship expert in us all. The trouble is, there is a lot of bad advice out there. This advice is often built around myths that have come to be culturally accepted and more widespread than personal data collected on a popular social media app.
One of the more common dating myths is that you will find someone when you stop looking for a relationship. This could not be farther from the truth. Here is why:
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DO THESE 10 HARD THINGS FOR YOURSELF
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
This morning a close neighborhood friend, Alison, passed away far too early. While Angel and I have spent most of the day grieving, I’ve also spent this past hour thinking about the fact that our lives are often much shorter than we expect, and that we need to do some pretty darn hard things to maximize our very limited time. Alison strongly believed in doing the hard yet necessary things in life—we talked about this topic on several occasions, and she never backed down from a challenge. So today, I want to reflect on this with you.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you absolutely need to do hard things to be happy in the long run. Because the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life. They make the difference between existing and living, between knowing the path and walking it, between a lifetime of empty promises and one filled with more possibility and progress.
You know this is true, so…
7 STEPS TO HEAL A BROKEN HEART
“Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” is not just a hit song from the 1960s, it is a fact. Anyone who has gone through a break up knows that a broken heart can be difficult to mend. This universal emotional response to the sudden, unexpected or unwanted loss of love is often characterized by an intense longing, hurt and/or desire for an ex or unrequited love. And it can hurt like hell. For some, it feels like their whole world is caving in on them. And in many cases, because the pain is so great and the path to mending it seems so daunting, people avoid healing their broken heart. This avoidance can lead to many unwanted side effects including but not limited to greater internal conflict, complicated emotional responses, withdrawal and difficulty in future relationships.
So, how do you heal a broken heart? Here are a few tips I have picked up in my training, clinical experiences and late night calls with girlfriends and family members.
Take Your Time
10 REASONS YOU MAY BE STUCK IN AN UNHAPPY RELATIONSHIP
Stephen J Betchen
A fear of change often prevents people from ending a destructive relationship.
Goethe wrote: “Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.” A client—who was in a miserable and unworkable relationship—decided to stay and suffer rather than make a change. His reasoning was, “I’d rather live with the devil I know than the devil I don’t know.” In response I asked him: “How do you know you will end up with another devil?” He said, “Why take a chance.” This individual’s stance is all too common. Most people seek psychotherapy to ease their pain but are reluctant to exert the effort required to do so. These individuals weigh the of price of change unfavorably against the gain it may bring. Because clinicians cannot offer any guarantee of success people are reluctant to risk their status no matter how dysfunctional. To shed some light on this issue, I offer 10 reasons people often remain stuck in an unhappy or destructive relationship:
1. To avoid anxiety. When we make a change, we usually experience at least a modicum of anxiety about our future. Self-doubt may flood us: Am I making a big mistake? Will I miss my old life? While there is rarely a guarantee that all will end well, our dynamic will most likely remain the same or worsen if we do nothing.
SEEING BEYOND DEPRESSION
There’s new evidence that depression is not just a disorder of the mind—and blood tests for signs of inflammation promise treatment options precisely tailored to each patient’s needs.
I was a young doctor in 1990 when I met a patient with rheumatoid arthritis. Mrs. P told me quietly but in no uncertain terms that she ticked all the boxes for a diagnosis of co-occurring depression
. When I reported this to the senior physician in charge of her case, he said: “Well, you would too, wouldn’t you?” and changed the subject. He meant that her mood was obviously a reasonable reflection on her current state of disability and a future of inexorably deteriorating health
and mobility. Mrs. P was “understandably” depressed because she was thinking about, and ruminating on, what it meant to have an inflammatory disorder. And so there was nothing we physicians could do about it. It was a matter of the mind, not of the body—the province of psychiatry
Mrs. P’s symptoms, which were intimately interconnected in her lived experience of arthritis, were split apart by doctors into mental and physical symptoms. Having diagnostically divided Mrs. P in two, we proceeded to treat her physical disease—her swollen joints—in completely different and disconnected way from her mental illness—her depression and fatigue. We used the medical language of immune cells to treat her inflammation, and a different team of doctors, in a different hospital, used the language of serotonin and psychotherapy to treat her depression.
THESE 4 BEHAVIORS RUIN MARRIAGES IN LESS THAN 6 YEARS (AND WHAT TO DO INSTEAD)
There are four toxic behaviors that harm all relationships. They are toxic because they take away the emotional safety required for emotional connection and conflict resolution.
Dr. Gottman calls these four behaviors the Four Horsemen. Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the New Testament, they symbolize the end of time for a relationship.
When these four behaviors become a habitual way of communicating problems, they end a relationship within 6 years, according to Dr. Gottman’s research.
12 SIGNS IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO LET GO
The renowned psychologist Carl Rogers noted that people are often unhappy because of a lack of congruence in their lives, which is another way of saying momentary complexity blinds us to the simple solutions of life. For Rogers, simply sitting with a patient and having them talk through their problems, without the therapist leading them or making judgments or giving advice, was the best way for them to let go of their problems. Rogers determined that when you give a person a safe and supportive space to think through things, they tend to do so more effectively.
Right now, I want to give you a safe and supportive space to think, so you can let go of any extra baggage that’s been weighing you down. Try this: pause for a second to notice what’s going on in your body. Are your jaw muscles clenched? Are your shoulders or neck tightened? Do you notice a part of your body holding on to tension—perhaps tension fueled by something you’re subconsciously worried about?
Most of us are holding tension in our bodies and stress in our minds, whether we realize it or not.