All Posts tagged healthy living

An Attitude of Gratitude

gratitude note padThere was a time in our country when the leaves changed colors and the air turned chilly we knew November was upon us.  Thanksgiving was the celebrated event and we tried to build gratitude and appreciation into our lives. Well, this week is Thanksgiving, but, the focus really has been turned towards “Black Friday” and revving up our retail energy for the Christmas season. Sadly, we have really just skipped through this holiday and treated it as a smorgasbord of over consuming food, 24 hour football viewing, and frenzied shopping! Yes, I too am guilty of all of the above. What has happened to appreciating this once great holiday of truly giving thanks Where has our “Attitude of Gratitude” gone?

From a psychological viewpoint, gratitude serves to really bring people closer to a like minded and more socially interconnected state of togetherness. Naturally, we feel more socially connected and supported which in turn the relationship becomes stronger and develops. Also, I suggest that we consider gratitude not as a tool, or strategy to be used for ulterior motives, but, it is a more profound appreciation for what we do have.

From a young age, I was taught to live in Thanksgiving daily and to show appreciation for what others did for me. If you think about it, gratitude is the act of being thankful, it causes the human soul to become humble. It’s because we acknowledge these acts of kindness,  times of selfless service, or caring from someone else who lifts our heavy heart and strengthens us.

Gratitude is not a public display, but rather in a quiet way, the expression and feelings that create in us a type of purification and mental healing from our life’s troubles and concerns. Some say the gratitude is the mother of virtue. Wasn’t it Shakespeare that said, “Who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.”

I’m of the opinion, that the commemoration of Thanksgiving should last all year. As we approach Thanksgiving week 2015, maybe we should do a little homework (I know the kids are out of school) on this idea by really reflecting on what we should be thankful for in our lives.

 

 

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Sex Works for Both

sexualissuesSex in marriage who wants it more? This is always a point of conflict in every couples counseling sessions that I hold. It is always fascinating for me to discover that the person with the least desire for sex controls the frequency of intimacy in the relationship. Think about your own relationship, which one of you is more sexual, do you see the correlation?

Sex is critical to closeness, emotional stability, and physical satisfaction. If you think that you cannot find some common ground or are you unwilling to compromise, the prospects aren’t good. Both men and women, who continually feel unsatisfied in the bedroom, eventually seek out others who will fulfill their needs. Sadly, this is reflective in the divorce ever increasing divorce rate.

I really believe we need to be realistic with our expectations for sex. If you are the one who is highly sexual, that’s fine and good, if not, ok too. However, sex is a gift and you have to do it for each other!

There is a great TEDx talk inside here 

 

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“I’m sorry, did you want a conspiracy?”

EvilThe “Blood Moon” is rising, as is our collective anxiety, and so is Donald Trump who has started an unexplainable movement across America, much to the dismay of Megyn Kelly and the rest of the liberal media. Oil prices are crashing, (at least it means lower gas prices at the pump for us), robots may well be taking over our jobs, driving our cars, flying our planes. Let us not forget the in upcoming election shenanigans that will take center stage in 2016 and all the allegations that will be revealed against whomever is left standing. WAIT, STOP! This all points to the conspiracy theorists running wild with their outlandish propositions and fear mongering ploys.

Yes, there have been times when I was younger that I too succumbed to their enticings, like the supposed end of the world in the year 2000. Wow, was I really sucked into that one believing that the world would just shut down. Of course it didn’t. However, I have learned quite a bit about conspiracy theorist since that time. Also, we need to recognize how they can get into your head (if you let them). Interestingly, fifty percent (50%) of Americans believe in at least one (1) conspiracy theory, just saying.

Unless you operate in the world of psychology, you would not really be familiar with the term cognitive dissonance. It really fits in well as we discuss the psychological impact that conspiracy theories can have on our thought process. Let me break it down, you see cognitive dissonance is the scientific word that describes the internal discomfort that we experience when we are faced with two (2) or possibly more conflicting ideas, values, or beliefs. Does that make sense?

Ok, so let’s apply this to conspiracy theories. We so desperately want to hold on to all our beliefs, even the attitudes that have shaped us throughout our lives. We want to avoid any and all pain and discomfort that any new idea, belief, or new evidence might yield like the ebola virus. So what do we do?  Too often, we buy the misinformation, believe the lies, and passively look pass the fraud. Why? It takes effort to question, research and really look, examine and dissect the evidence. It’s just easier to buy into it…

I’m not really buying what he’s selling, well then click HERE

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Who’s Better Than Me?

bookclub_narcissist1-tmagArticleWhat do  Kim Kardashian, Madonna, Oprah, Matthew McConaughey, and Kanye West all have in common? Well, besides all being celebrities, wealthy, influential, and pleasant on the eyes, what else? Yes, the world revolves around them…warmer. Ok, they all suffer from, or, rather enjoy the effects of narcissistic personality disorder. Surprised?  Yes, you have watched them on the red carpet, their movies, TV shows, videos, listened to their music, and peaked at their selfies, right? They are captivating and we pay a lot of attention to them which serves to fuel their narcissistic behavior.

We often excuse their behavior as just them being celebrities. Maybe we even secretly want to be them (you know who you are). Of course, we would never be in a relationship with someone that is so self serving that our needs don’t matter to them? Certainly not even consider having a marriage and children with a person with this kind of personality, no not me! Um, well, what happens if I did/do, I mean have? Now what do I do?

“To Stay or Not To Stay?” that becomes the difficult question especially if you think that you are suffocating in this type of a relationship. What about the children? Do you think that maybe your husband or boyfriend has it? Interestingly, studies indicate that 8% of males are narcissistic. Maybe  you suspect your wife, or, girlfriend might be a narcissist?  Well, just 5% of females demonstrate this personality disorder, thankfully! So really the question becomes multiple questions. Can and how do I heal from a separation or divorce from a narcissist? How do I comfort and heal my children? But first, you must define what a narcissist is…

To learn if you are living with one click HERE   

 

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Behind Closed Doors

1440478758015I guess that I’m a different type of therapist for my clients. It seems that many prefer to concentrate exclusively on the psychological elements of why their client’s are unable to experience intimacy with their partner(s). Of course, a psychological component is a part of it, however, what I have discovered is that many practitioners tend to dismiss or overlook the physiological elements that are typically at the heart of intimacy issues for both genders. Maybe its my pharmacological training, or, my capacity to just really listen to my clients narrative that clues me in to the real source of frustration and dissatisfaction with their relationship that reveals the physiological obstacles.

You see, when Viagra hit the market “men rejoiced and women ran”. Nursing homes became “Club Med” and many reported that their relationships were reinvigorated, more meaningful, playful, and many couples reported feeling more connected. Frequently, the conversation turned to the inevitable question, “What about a Viagra for women?” At the time their was only the hope that one day there would be a pill that could deliver the same enjoyment for women that men would be taking advantage of for decades. Well, now it appears the wait is over for females everywhere!

Enter a new wonder pill called Addyi (pronounced ‘add-ee’) that interestingly acts on the woman’s brain. Naturally, men and women operate differently, right? Of course, there is concern among the medical community that because this does not increase blood flow to the genitals (keeping this PG) as Viagra does, they are unsure of the physiological and psychological ramifications of this medication. As with any new medication, you have to make an informed decision by deciding if the perceived benefits to your relationship, self esteem etc..outweigh the potential unknown risks to your health?   Is it effective? Will women lose their self-control in their relationship(s)?

Do you want to know more? Read HERE

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My Kid, I’m So Done!

Angry boy blowing steamNot only are kids tech savvy these days, but, they are also becoming more irritable, defiant, and exhausted! How often have you found yourself either battling with them over the amount of screen time and then using the screen time as a tool to punish or reward them? How much stress and divisiveness has this caused in your relationship and household?

More and more behavioral problems like depression, ADD/ADHD, and bipolar disorder are the prevailing mental illness labels that are diagnosed because of the electronic overload. Many parents just find it so much less confrontational to let their child play video games to calm them down or pacify the present situation. Most parents come in and feel their at their breaking point and need medication for the behavioral problems that have spun wildly out of control.

There is hope, yet, in a different way that will take some determination and willpower to follow through. If you think about it, when we arrive at a point that our physical health needs to be “reset,” the experts recommend that we “cleanse” with a fast. This actually shocks the body, can rejuvenate, detox, and reset our metabolism which are all positive effects. Well, it’s time to take the same concept and apply it to children who are wearing down because of the screen time overload. Now is the time  for an “electronic fast.” You can do this! You know it has to be done and for your own sanity. So, take take control and act!

If you think it’s time for a “reset” then read HERE

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Divorce & Dating: Don’t Forget The Kids

Parents fighting_1_0Parents need to remember that children need to feel safe and secure within their family environment. Of course, this can dramatically change when marriages end in divorce. What follows are typically, but, not always the case,  mom, dad, or both begins to put the pieces of their life back together and starts to date. Now, a new challenge arises, what is really going to be best for the children? Parents tend to cycle in and out of these romantic relationships, sometimes they even get lucky and move in temporarily and the relationship flourishes into something wonderful and more permanent. However, many romantic encounters reach a point where it just doesn’t work and the relationship ends. I find that all too often the break up takes place, ties are cut, but the relationship for the children does not end so easily. Undoubtedly, this is complicated as each relationship is so unique in what it adds and takes away. Have you been there? What are you telling your children?

If you think that you can make a better transition than what your doing now, read ON

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Are you a soda drinker like ME?

You know soda’s not exactly good for you—
Screenshot 2016-02-03 at 3.11.32 PM

But at the same time, it can be hard to resist. Its sweet taste, pleasant fizz, and energizing jolt often seems like just what you need to wash down your dinner, get you through an afternoon slump, or quench your thirst at the movies. We’ve all done it.  Some are addicted.

But the more soda you consume (regular or diet), the more hazardous your habit can become. And whether you’re a six-pack-a-day drinker or an occasional soft-drink sipper, cutting back can likely have benefits for your weight and your overall health. Here’s why you should be drinking less, plus tips on how to make the transition easier.

Why you should quit (keep reading HERE)

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These are the reasons that dogs are man’s best friend…

9 Ways Your Dog Knows you Better Than Anyone Else

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 3.25.28 PMWhen I was in high school, I experienced my first real heartbreak. I was in the lowest of moods and moped around the house like a modern-day Eeyore. Everyone left me alone to “grieve” in peace — everyone, that is, except for my dog.

Sapp followed me around like a shadow as I sulked and quietly hid in my room to cry. He even resorted to sleeping on my pillow — right next to my face — that night. The next morning I was in better spirits (and so was he).

My story isn’t uncommon. Pups really are a man’s best friend — and there’s research that backs this up. One study found that dogs can not only read our emotions, but they act accordingly based on how we’re feeling. How’s that for intuitive?

Below are nine other ways our furry friends understand and adapt to our complex personalities, effectively making us happier and healthier humans.

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