How Can I Help My Child Who Is Afflicted With ADHD?

Does your child always seem to be running around? Is he/she easily distracted by the least of sounds? Does he/she find it difficult to focus on anything?

Have you classified these symptoms as a result of your child merely being naughty or playful? Think again.

Kids are naughty, definitely. However, there are several ailments, which may come across as the child being naughty but are actually a form of disorder classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). One of these ailments is ADHD.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) refers to three major symptoms; inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These can be detected in the following behaviors:

Inattention

Does your child:

  • make careless mistakes in schoolwork?
  • find it difficult to sustain attention in tasks or play?
  • fail to finish chores, schoolwork etc.?
  • seem distractible even when you are talking to him/ her?
  • have difficulty organizing tasks?
  • avoid tasks that require sustained effort?
  • often lose things?
  • gets easily distracted by external stimuli?
  • Is your child often forgetful?
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

Does your child:

  • frequently fidget with hands, feet, or squirms in their seat?
  • often leave his/her seat during the class?
  • often run or climb when it is inappropriate?
  • talk excessively?
  • have a hard time waiting for the question to be completed before he/she blurts out an answer?
  • have difficulty waiting his/her turn?
  • often interrupt during conversations?
  • Is your child often ‘on the go’?

If your child seems to have at least six or more of the symptoms in any one (or both) areas, he/she might be suffering from attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder.

How to treat ADHD?

Treatment for ADHD helps manage symptoms. The treatment modalities consist of medication or therapy. Often, a combination of both is best.

Both the diagnosis and medication are best left to the psychiatrist. If you suspect, your child may have ADHD, it’s best to see a professional right away. The disorder can be easily diagnosed from ages 4 and up.

Additionally, think about therapy for your child. It can be highly valuable for both of you. The therapist will help you understand the disorder, train and educate you regarding your behavior with the child and work with your child on several aspects (i.e., behavior therapy, social skills training etc.).

Further, certain diets and supplements are also seen to help with the treatment. The treating team will guide you regarding the same.

ADHD can be a distressing condition, both for the child as well as the parents. However, with timely and effective treatment, it can be brought under control. Following these tips with your child will go a long way in changing his behavior in the long-term.

How can I help my child afflicted with ADHD?

Apart from consulting professionals and starting the treatment at the outset once the diagnosis has been made, you can also do some concrete things to help your child.

  • Nature and Exercise. Your child needs to spend time in nature. Playing outside for at least 30 minutes is essential. Other recommended activities are dance, gymnastics, skating, and martial arts. Encourage team sports.
  • Regular sleep. Ensure there are a regular sleep and wake times for your child. Turn off all electronics at least an hour prior to bed (i.e., phone, TV, computer, tablet). Also, limit physical activity a few hours before bedtime.
  • Nutrition. Schedule regular meals. Ensure your child has snacks every two to three hours. Include protein and carbohydrates in each meal. Check the levels of Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium. Boosting these would be of help. Add Omega-3 fatty acids to your child’s diet (i.e., tuna, fortified eggs, milk products, salmon, sardines).
  • Behavior Therapy. Set specific goals for your child. Make a daily timetable and stick to it. Provide rewards for a behavior well done and consequence for when the child fails to meet a pre-decided goal. Use the rewards and consequences consistently to ensure the long-term changes in behavior.
  • Consistency. Follow a routine. Set a time and place for everything. Establish a predictable routine for bed, meals, study, and play.
  • Organization. Encourage the child to put things in the same place every day. That will reduce the chances of losing things.
  • Manage distractions. Limit noise, turn off the TV, and clear the workspace for your child to do homework.
  • Limit choices. Don’t overwhelm or over-stimulate the child with too many options. Offer choice, but fewer.
  • Clarity and specificity. Be clear and specific in conversation with your child. Use brief directions to direct them.

 

References:

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Barkley, R. A. (Ed.). (2014). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. New York: Guilford Publications.

loss-of-interest-in-sex-in-relationship

When You Or Your Partner Loses Interest In Sex

Do you find yourself sleeping earlier than your partner to put off having sex with him/ her? Are situations where you fake a headache or fatigue when he/she brings up sex often? Do you use kids as a medium to tell him/her you can’t have sex tonight because your child is sick/ needs you? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, no matter what excuse you tell yourself, you are experiencing loss of interest in sex in a relationship. Yes, that’s right. I am not blaming or accusing you, just saying it for what it is.

Sexual appetite or libido is variable. There are times when it is shadowed by other important events in life, while at other times; it takes on an overriding importance. Hence, losing interest in sex might just be a temporary phase rather than a permanent problem. However, regardless, if your partner is up for sex when you aren’t, it could spell trouble in paradise. For information about how and what might be causing these problems, take a look at https://www.mylittlepleasure.co.uk

 

What happens with your partner when you lose interest in sex?

Your partner wonders if…

  • he/she did something to bring this on
  • you are experiencing a sexual dysfunction
  • there is something wrong with his/her sexual performance

 

What leads to a loss of desire for sex?

Let’s get this thing out of the way first. Lack of sexual desire with your partner does not always indicate a sexual dysfunction. Men and women differ in how they respond to cues. Men are more easily aroused by visual stimulus while women require emotional or environmental stimulation.

There could be a myriad number of reasons for loss of interest in sex. Here are just a few of them-

  • Stress – With the stressful lives we lead, it is not uncommon to lose interest in sex. When we are worried or tired, it’s difficult to find interest in sex.
  • Physical illness – Running a temperature or battling a common cold also puts one off the mood for sex. Being in pain or feeling tired reduces the enthusiasm for sex. Thyroid problems are one of the most common physical illnesses known to dull sexual desire.
  • Depression – Libido or sex drive plummets with depression as a result of an imbalance in brain neurochemistry. Not only that, certain antidepressant drugs also reduce sexual drive.
  • Relationship issues – Lack of communication and individual differences might lead to a reduction in interest for sex, especially if pornography and watching XXX sites such as TubeV is involved.
  • Having an infant – Reduces sexual drive in women. This results from a lack of energy and time as well as hormonal changes and breastfeeding related body changes.
  • Pain during intercourse – This is another reason for shying away from sex.
  • Performance anxiety – Often makes men nervous and unwilling to have sex for fear of being unable to perform.
  • Drinking alcohol – heavily also reduces sex drive.
  • Hormonal imbalances – Can lead to a reduced libido.
  • Low-life satisfaction – The boredom of real life sometimes puts people off from sex.

 

Interest in sex in relationship

How to renew interest in sex as a partner?

The first step requires you to figure out the reason behind the loss of desire.

Determine if it’s physical or an emotional issue.

Further, see if your partner is undergoing depression, on any new medications, or drinking too much. Is there any physical reason for the same? Is he/she disturbed about other aspects of the relationship?

 

The second step involves:

  1. Talk to him/ her. Stay away from the bed while approaching the topic as it might make your partner uncomfortable and pressured. Ask a few basic questions to make your partner at ease. It’s important he/she doesn’t feel targeted or overwhelmed.
  1. Dig out the concerns. Ask him/her if there are any stressors that might be preventing him/her from experiencing pleasure in bed. Is there a problem with the emotional connection between you two? Are there any stressful issues?
  1. Give your all. Are you focusing more on your needs than your partners’? Does your partner feel heard? Is the way you are having sex enjoyable for your partner? Encourage your partner to tell you what feels good to him/her. Does he/she want to try out something and is embarrassed to say it out loud? Is a particular sexual act making him/ her uncomfortable? Be open and accepting of his/ her reactions and feedback. It might also be a good idea to do some research together into what you both like, this could rekindle some passion in your sex dynamic, websites like Porn7.xxx have some great material for you and your partner to dig into.
  1. Relaxation is the key. Sometimes sex is painful for a partner or they are too tensed to enjoy it. In such situations, it’s important to help them calm down. Prepare a warm bath for him/ her. Use lubricants or try different positions to reduce the pain. Use candles and fragrances to make your partner use all of his/her senses.
  1. Give a compliment. For a partner who might be sensitive about his/her body, a compliment will go a long way. Tell him/ her how desirable you find him/ her. Praising him/her even outside the bedroom is helpful.
  2. Help your partner. If your partner seems under pressure or is doing too much, extend a helping hand. Wash those dishes, be patient enough to listen and support, walk the dog etc.

 

How to renew interest in sex as a couple?

 

  1. Connect on an emotional level. Sit down with each other, hold hands, and talk your heart out. Touch each other often.
  2. Let romance lead the way. Call each other from work, go for a weekend vacation, surprise each other with gifts, and compliment more often. Go for date nights!
  3. Foreplay. Women need this more than men. Touch her sensually, look at her, and admire her. She will be in the mood for more once you have started it on the right note.
  4. Follow your orgasmic journey. It takes more for women to orgasm than men do. Explore each other’s orgasmic potentials.
  5. Make it fun. After a while of routine, boredom sets in. Be more playful and adventurous. Try different positions, places, and set the mood going.
  6. Role-play it out. Change the routine sex into something playful.

 

 

References:

Ling, J., & Kasket, E. (2016). Let’s talk about sex: a critical narrative analysis of heterosexual couples’ accounts of low sexual desire. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1-19.

Wincze, J. P., & Weisberg, R. B. (2015). Sexual dysfunction: A guide for assessment and treatment. New York: Guilford Publications.

How Do I Deal With Stress?

Do you feel constantly under pressure? Are your work deadlines taking a toll on you? Do you find yourself being anxious and on edge in your relationship? Do you experience headaches often? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are undergoing stress.

Stress has taken over our lives. The alarming rates of competition, job insecurity, and conflicts at a personal level all give rise to stress. It’s everywhere; in colleges where students are resorting to using a custom research paper writing service in order to keep on top of their stress, in our jobs with so many deadlines hanging over our heads, even in our personal lives. We feel stressed when we have to handle more than we are used to. It is the reaction of our body and mind to the demands placed on us. Stress makes our heart and breathing rates faster. To a certain extent, stress is normal and useful and helps us to react quickly or work hard to meet a deadline.

However, if the stress is prolonged or occurs often, it results in negative effects like upset stomach, back pain, headache and disturbed sleep. It also has an adverse effect on our mood and may hamper our relationships and career. This is when we need to take a step to manage the stress. Some try to manage this by using cannabis to help them chill out. In fact, dispensary supplies now supply more than just rolling papers and roach, with technology deeply enrooted in the industry too.

The first step – find what is causing your stress

The most important thing you should do when combating stress involves finding the source of stress in your life. This can be done by keeping a stress journal.

Keeping a stress journal entails recording information about the daily stressors you are experiencing in order to analyze and manage them. Here are a few things you would want to record:

  • The stressful event you have experience
  • Your feelings after the even
  • How did you handle the event?

After you have recorded in your journal for a number of days, it’s time to analyze it. For the analysis, look at the different stressful events you have experienced. Highlight those that occur frequently as well as those which are the most unpleasant. Then, appraise how you have felt after these events as well as how you handled them. Your analysis will reveal several problems regarding your handling of these events that need to be fixed. It will be helpful to list these areas separately to work on them later.

Then shift your focus to the stressful events you experienced and list ways in which they can be changed or if your reaction to them can be changed. Finally, analyze the feelings these events arose in you and how did that affect your overall functioning.

Once you have fully identified the common sources of stress in your life and analyzed your pattern of handling them, you can discontinue managing your journal and move onto the next step.

The second step – avoid situations that cause stress

Avoiding all situations that are causing you stress might not be possible, but avoiding some will be. For example, avoid people who stress you out. Limit the time you spend with them. Of course, this can’t be done if it’s a spouse or a family member.

Having too many deadlines and taking on too many roles is a cause of stress. Learn to be assertive and say no. Know your limits and say ‘no’ to taking on more than you can handle.

Take control of your environment. Avoid the traffic-filled route or hire someone to clean the house for you if you find it stressful.

The third step – change the stressful situation

If there is no way to avoid a stressful situation, try to change them and decrease the amount of stress that way. For example, play your favorite music while doing an unpleasant chore like cleaning to make it seem better.

Manage your time better. Poor time management leads to a lot of stress. Planning ahead ensures you are on time on your deadlines and you lose a reason to be stressed.

Express your feelings. Talk it out instead of keeping it inside. If you want some me-time, tell your spouse you want to be by yourself for __ number of minutes and will get back right after that. If something is bothering you, be upfront about it without being rude and express how you feel about it. For example, if your spouse is not throwing out the garbage, a duty he initially assumed, calmly approach him and say ‘I feel stressed when the garbage is still there and I feel like I have one more task to attend to before sleeping.’

Balance it out. Asking someone to change their behavior also involves doing something for them in exchange. Or when you are taking on their duties, you might want to give them one of yours. For example, in the above situation, you can add, ‘When we divided the duties earlier, we had decided you will do it. Do you want to continue doing it or exchange it for another?’

The fourth step – change your reactions

You may not be able to control stressful situations and events, but you can control the way you are reacting to them. Try looking at stressful situations from a positive perspective. For example, if an added responsibility at work stresses you out, think of how it will add to your learning and you can add an extra set of skill experience to your resume.

Take out your binoculars. The situations cause us stress because we are looking at merely the present scenario. However, if we zoom out and see the whole picture, it might not seem as bad. Think of how much this event is important? Will it matter in a month or a year? Is it worth wasting your time over? For example, this might be applicable when a colleague has pointed out your mistake in a monthly review meeting. You feel bad about it and get stressed that it will affect your reputation at work. Thinking about how many people will remember it till the next meeting or how important that colleague’s view is for you should help reduce the stress.

Set lower expectations. When we expect a lot from both ourselves and others, we set ourselves up for failure. Stop demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards.

The fifth step – accept what cannot be changed

Some situations and people are beyond our control. Focusing on these uncontrollable events will only lead to more stress. You need to shift your focus to things you can control instead. For example, if a family member’s behavior often causes you to be angry and your umpteen efforts at changing him/her have proved futile, it would be best to change the way you react to him/her. Don’t give him/her the power to decide your emotions.

Look at difficult situations in a new light. View them as ways to grow and learn.

Humans are fallible and prone to mistakes. Forgive and let go of resentment.

The sixth step – find ways to de-stress

Find strategies that work for you when you are stressed. Some of these may be:

  • Playing with a pet
  • Writing about things that are bothering you
  • Talking to a friend
  • Indulging in a hobby
  • Going for a walk
  • Taking a long, leisurely bath
  • Watching a comic video
  • Practicing relaxation techniques or yoga

Set aside time for yourself during the day. Indulge in things you enjoy doing.

The seventh step – practice healthy lifestyle choices

Eat a nutritious, balanced diet. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Reduce caffeine, oil, and sugar from your diet. Get enough restful sleep. Drink sufficient water daily to keep yourself hydrated.

This will help you feel better physically and emotionally. Take care of yourself; it’s the number one thing stress hates.

References:

Elkin, A. (2013). Stress management for dummies. John Wiley & Sons.

Romas, J. A., & Sharma, M. (2013). Practical Stress Management: A Comprehensive Workbook. Pearson Higher Ed.

Tol, W. A., Barbui, C., & van Ommeren, M. (2013). Management of acute stress, PTSD, and bereavement: WHO recommendations. JAMA, 310(5), 477-478.

6 Reasons Why Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Life Is Helpful

Do you experience stress on a daily basis? Do you often forget important tasks or where you kept things? Are you experiencing stress in your relationships? Do you experience difficulties in regulating your emotions? Are you having trouble losing weight despite having tried all diet and exercise versions? Are you striving to know the real you?

 

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, this article is for you.

 

In the rush of things today, we often find ourselves multi-tasking. You may be talking to your kids while reading the newspaper, folding your laundry with an eye on the television, or calculating the monthly expenses while talking to your mother on the phone. Amidst all this rush to get everything completed on time, you may be losing out on your connection with the present.

Are you actually aware of what you are doing and how you are feeling? Or do you just go through each day without an awareness of what is happening? Did you notice that little puppy wagging its tail at you during your morning walk or the fact that you woke up feeling a bit lightheaded? Or did you rush out of bed owing to the alarm’s buzzer and then went off on your daily routine without a pause to think or feel?

If this is how each of your days looks like, it’s time to turn to mindfulness.

 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of consciously focusing your attention on the present and accepting it without being judgmental. Mindfulness nudges you to let go of the past and the future and be aware of only the present moment.

Often enough, we find ourselves lamenting on the past and wishing things could have been different or dreaming about the future. But in doing so, we let go of the present as the moments tick by without our being aware of them. Mindfulness helps us by slowing down the pace of our thoughts, letting us focus on each thought, in turn; giving us a clear head and helping us relax.

That is all good, you say, but why should I practice mindfulness? What does it have in store for me?

Well, here are 6 basic reasons why integrating mindfulness into your life is helpful.

1. Reduces stress

Know that thing which makes your heart rate rise, makes you sweat profusely, and unable to focus on anything with that unsettling feeling inside of you? Yes, that’s right.

The everyday stress and worry that hounds you all day can be gone with a poof with mindfulness.

Have I got your attention now?

Researchers now prove that mindfulness is associated with decreased level of the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, mindfulness has been seen to increase positive affect and decrease negative affect, as well as anxiety. The research findings suggest that mindfulness brings about a shift in people’s ability to use emotion regulation strategies resulting in their experiencing emotions selectively and processing them differently. Another manner in which mindfulness reduces stress is by helping people with accepting their experiences, including negative emotions, rather than reacting to them in unhealthy ways like avoidance or aversion.

2. Boosts memory

Do you often forget where you kept your car keys or why did you open the refrigerator? Or forgot about important deadlines or missed scheduled meetings? This is another problem mindfulness can help you with. We have endless deadlines these days and even with multiple to-do lists, it is difficult to keep track of everything, including your kids’ parent-teacher meetings.

Research has found that those who underwent an eight-week mindfulness training had a stable working memory unlike those who did not undergo the training. The memory capacity was also seen to increase with the practice of mindfulness.

3. Improves relationships

If you’re looking to work on your relationship with your spouse, family, or friends, mindfulness is the answer for you. Mindfulness equips you with the ability to respond well to relationship stress, enhances your skills in communicating your emotions and protects you against the emotionally stressful effects of relationship conflicts. Research findings support that mindfulness is seen to predict relationship satisfaction.

 

Mindfulness

4. Helps you regulate your emotions

Many clients these days come to me with complaints of being hypersensitive. They say they get emotional easily; even cry, and they would like to be stronger and not get upset so easily. Mindfulness acts as a wonderful antidote to this. It begins by helping you recognize your patterns, like when you ponder on why your ex cheated on you two years ago, or when you find yourself thinking about how you are not climbing the career ladder as fast as your contemporaries. Mindfulness helps you recognize this repetition in your thoughts.

Then it helps you label this thought or emotion. You begin to recognize that you are having the thought about not climbing the career ladder as fast as your contemporaries. This helps you recognize your thoughts and feelings for what they actually are.

The third step then involves accepting these thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness helps you accept them without being judgmental while at the same time not resigning yourself to negative thoughts and emotions. You pay attention to them and experience them without responding to them. The last step involves acting not out of emotion or an impulsive thought but on your values, the place of long-term conviction that you hold. This is important because your emotions are ever-changing while your values are stable.

5. Helps you achieve your weight-loss goals

Have you changed your diet, started an exercise regime and still aren’t losing any weight? Mindfulness might help. A survey by American Psychological Association involving 1328 licensed psychologists revealed that they find mindfulness training to be a good approach to losing weight. They reported emotional factors are important not only in causing weight problems but they also pose as a major barrier in overcoming them. Mindfulness training helps in training people to allow negative thoughts and emotions to come and go without dwelling on them. It focuses on enjoying the present moment. Doing so helps with weight reduction when teamed up with proper diet and exercise regime.

6. Helps you know the true you

Mindfulness helps you go beyond those black or rose tinted glasses and see the real you. It helps you analyze yourself objectively. It helps you conquer blind spots which amplifies or diminishes your own flaws in your eyes. Mindfulness lets you observe without being judgmental and increases your capacity to attend to stimuli. It lets you get to really know yourself without feeling any negative emotions towards yourself.

 

How do I start practicing mindfulness?

 

Well, it’s not that hard. For starters, try to stay present and to pay attention to your physical senses and your surroundings. Here’s a basic mindfulness meditation procedure to give you a little push.

  1. Sit in an upright posture in a relatively quiet space.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Focus on your natural breathing or a word (for example, ‘Om’).
  4. Repeat it silently.
  5. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment.
  6. Return your focus to your breath or the word.

Why don’t you begin practicing mindfulness and let me know the benefits that you experienced?

5 Tips to Increase Self-Esteem

Are you very critical of yourself? Do you often tend to focus on your negatives rather than your accomplishments? Are you often comparing yourself with others? Do you engage in negative self-talk? If you said yes to one or more statements above, you may have a low self-esteem.

 

Self-esteem refers to thoughts, feelings, and beliefs we have about ourselves. However, it is not something we are born with, so it is amenable to change. When we think negatively about ourselves, it lowers our self-esteem. How we feel and think about ourselves extends to how we look and behave. Having a high self-esteem helps us overcome difficulties and obstacles with ease while having a low self-esteem makes us focus on our weaknesses and mistakes setting us up for failure. Sometimes it can help your self-esteem to just treat yourself to something that would improve your appearance. A friend recently had their teeth whitened at tooth whitening manchester and being able to focus on that improvement really helped her snowball some positivity into her life.

Nothing is more important than how you think and feel about yourself. Having a self-esteem ensures you are more stable, faces difficulties with courage, have a healthy social life and are happier in general.

There are a myriad number of causes of low self-esteem. It could be due to difficult experiences in childhood, negative life events, past relationships, stress, negative thinking patterns, discrimination, loneliness, trauma or abuse.

However, no matter what the cause, its impact is the same. Low self-esteem leads to negative thinking which might, over time, even lead to mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Low self-esteem limits your career and social development.

Changing the way you think about yourself changes the way you feel about yourself. Having a high self-esteem literally changes your life for the better.

So how do we go about increasing our self-esteem? Here are 5 easy tips:

1. Positive Self-talk

How you think about yourself marks the cornerstone of your self-esteem. If you constantly tell yourself you’re no good, you might start to believe it. If you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, it is time to change that. Self-talk is your inner voice, your thoughts that you don’t say out loud. Negative self-talk makes you feel bad about yourself. It could be something like ‘I look fat in those jeans’, or ‘everyone thinks I am dumb’, or ‘everything is going wrong with my life, nothing is going to change’. These statements act to bring you down. Over time, you start to believe them as if they were true. This results in negative thinking which opens the door for further problems including mental disorders.

Ok, But How Do I Counter Negative Self-talk With Positive One?

In order to bring about a change in your self-talk, the first step is to notice what you have been saying to yourself so far. Hear what your inner voice is saying. If needed, even write it down. Once you have started listening to your inner voice carefully, assess it.

  • Are you engaging in more positive or negative self-talk?
  • Are you keeping things in perspective?
  • Is there an actual evidence for what you’re thinking?
  • Can you try to look at it differently?
  • If a friend was in a similar situation, what would you say to him or her?
  • Can you change the situation somehow to feel better about it?

Once you have monitored and assessed your self-talk, you need to change it. Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. Omit ‘should’, ‘must’ and ‘ought’ from your self-talk. These words put unnecessary pressure on you to perform. Do a quick reality check when you encounter a negative thought. Assess the truth in the statement.

  • Do you have evidence for the thought?
  • What about the evidence against the thought?
  • Are you jumping to conclusions, negative ones at that?

Try to look at alternative explanations for the situation.

  • Can you try to look at the situation from a different perspective?
  • How would an optimist look at this situation?

Put the situation into perspective. Look at the bright side.

  • What best can come out of the situation?
  • Will this matter in a years’ time? Five years’? Ten years’?

Jump into action mode. Make goals to counter the thinking.

  • How do I solve this problem?
  • Have I learned something from the situation?
  • Will this learning help me in the future

increase self-esteem

2. Assertiveness Training

Oftentimes, it is others who bog us down. They say nasty, cruel things making us feel bad about ourselves. We believe their words which start resonating within and become our inner voice. This needs to change.

Being assertive means you value yourself and set clear boundaries. Here’s how to go about being assertive-

  • Use ‘I’ statements. Say statements that start with ‘I’ such as ‘I think…’ or ‘I feel…’. Statements starting with ‘you’ are often misinterpreted leading to an argument or fight. Avoid saying statements that start with ‘you always…’ or ‘you never…’.
  • Let go of guilt. Are you that person who wants to do everything for everyone and always wants to be there for everyone? Yes, this tip is especially for you. You can’t. You can’t do everything, you can’t be everywhere and you can’t please everyone. So stop feeling guilty when you can’t attend your child’s recital, can’t bake a cake for your husband’s birthday or couldn’t meet a friend who was in the city for only a day. You don’t have to do it all to be a better person. You already are one.
  • Express your feelings. Be honest and tell others how you feel or what you want. Be clear, specific, honest and respectful. Focus on the real issue and say it out loud. For example, you might be cribbing about the towel on the floor but the real issue might be that you want your spouse to spend time with you. Say it loud clearly.
  • Learn to say no. You aren’t being selfish when you’re saying no; you’re simply setting healthy limits. Identify your boundaries, be it physical, emotional or mental. Know how far you can go and tolerate. Stick to these boundaries and don’t let anyone transcend your limits.
  • Agree to disagree. Having a different point of view doesn’t mean you are right and the other person is wrong. Talk it out. Respect the other person’s point of view. You might not agree with them but it doesn’t mean you are right in what you think. Be tolerant of other viewpoints.

 

3. Stop comparing yourself to others

A great deal of low self-esteem comes from the fact that we compare ourselves with others who are better off than us. We don’t have that limo, that bungalow, that job or that petite figure. Social media sites heighten this social comparison where we nag our spouse about the fact that our colleague went on a vacation to a country miles away while we haven’t gone on one for so long.

Stop doing that! Stop comparing yourself to others. Compete against yourself. You don’t know that person, their life or what is it really like to be them. And even if you do, you are not that person. You have a different life and different set of priorities. Compete with yourself on how you can better your grades, lose weight, get that salary package or simply eat healthy. Take a step ahead from where you were earlier; engage in a healthy competition with yourself instead.

4. Set realistic expectations

If you plan to lose 11 pounds in a week, you are setting yourself up for failure. Having unrealistic expectations makes you feel worse about yourself. Set realistic goals that are achievable. Setting expectations from others also sets us up for failure. Wishing your spouse won’t criticize you might not work until you tell him or her so and make sure he or she works on it. Check your expectations if they keep disappointing you. There’s a chance you have set them too high.

5. Take a 2-minute break

Break from what, you ask? Break from putting yourself down. Take a 2-minute break to highlight your accomplishments and to appreciate yourself. Every day, set aside 2 minutes to ask yourself what 3 things you appreciate about yourself. It could be something you mean to your family, friends or colleagues or it could be a skill you are good at. These don’t have to be big things. Small but meaningful things work the best. Write down these three things every day in a journal. An added benefit of this exercise is that you can go back and look through it when you are feeling low. This little break will help you put everything in perspective and rev your mood.

These tips work great when you actually get down to practicing them in your real life. However, let me warn you, since it’s become a habit for you to put yourself down, this will take some time and lots of practice. Don’t give up though. There’s sunshine at the end of the night. Keep trying and you will get there.

On the last note, I personally think you are awesome!

5 Lessons On Long Distance Love And Relationships

It’s so easy for us to stay connected with people, whether it’s someone we met on vacation or a friend who’s moved away to another part of the country; it’s no wonder there’s an increase in long distance relationships. When I talk about a long distance relationship I’m referring to any romantic relationship where there is a great deal of geographical distance between you and your significant other.

Here are my 5 tips for those of you who are in a long distance relationship now or pondering whether or not to keep one going.

Lesson 1: See It as an Opportunity

How your mindset is as you enter into a long distance relationship will play into how you either keep the relationship strong or drive it apart. If you see the chance as an opportunity to keep in touch with someone who means a lot to you, then you’ll do what you can to keep the relationship blooming. Use the opportunity as a way to learn more about each other and build a solid foundation for the rest of your relationship. Dr’s Julie and John Gottman from the Gottman Institute talk about building a Sound Relationship House in your relationship. And the platform for success is having a solid foundation – this means having a solid marital friendship, the common courtesy, and affection that is the basis for all subsequent interaction.

Lesson 2: Set Some Ground Rules to Manage Expectations

Usually, when conflicts happen it was because of either: a miscommunication on an issue, or the assumption that your partner was doing something and you thought otherwise. Taking some time and communicating face to face (if possible – can also be done through Skype) about how you both see and envision the relationship will avoid some heart and headache later on. Asking assertively questions like: Are you two exclusive? Is it alright for the other person to go on dates? What is your commitment level? It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.

Lesson 3: Don’t Over-Talk, But Connect Meaningfully

Usually, when there’s a great amount of distance between you and your partner, someone in the relationship wants to talk more frequently. Have you ever done the 5 Love Languages quiz? As you complete it you’ll discover that you may, or may not communicate love differently. Do you prefer to express your words? Does spending quality time mean more to you? Once you know your needs more clearly you’ll be able to make your communication time more meaningful because you can express what you need and try to address what your partner needs more clearly.


Lesson 4: Flirt!

Flirt with each other! When there’s distance between you no doubt the sexual tension arises, but that doesn’t mean your sexual relationship has to completely die. Although you’re not able to touch each other physically, have some fun playing with each other by either some dirty talk or by the occasional provocative picture (be aware of where those photos go!). Not only is sex a biological need, it is an emotional one as well. Keep the flames hot and burning!


Lesson 5: Have A Goal

Ask yourselves some of these questions: “What do we want to achieve at the end of the day?” , “How long are we going to be apart?”, “What about the future?” These are the questions you two need to ask yourselves. I’ve often seen long distance relationships go on for longer than they were meant to, where one partner was comfortable with the lack of “real” relationship, but the other wanted something more meaningful. The truth is, no couple can be in a long distance relationship forever. Eventually, you may want to settle down.

If you’re finding that the goal of coming together just isn’t working out, and you’ve tried all you can do, ask yourself some tough questions. “Can I make this relationship work the way things are going?”, “What does my ideal life look like?” If you’re married, you might need to contact a Chicago Divorce Lawyer to help sort your divorce out, but make sure you’re certain it’s the right thing to do.

If you can make a plan with each other, give it a try. Consider doing a timeline, making goals with end dates will help ensure everyone follows through on what they said they were going to do… which is coming together.

 

Long distance relationships aren’t easy. They take a lot of trust and communication. But, sometimes long distance love is worth it.

 

My Thoughts On Reporter Kissed by Stranger On Camera at Squamish Music Festival

This past weekend was the Squamish Music Festival, where over 200,000 people join to celebrate summer, enjoy good music, and have fun with friends.

A female reporter from CBC News was doing a live report when a man came up behind her and kissed her on the cheek. Since then, she has filed a complaint with the RCMP sharing she was “rattled” by the unexpected behavior and felt like the man was interfering with her ability to do her job.

I have tried to put myself in the reporter’s shoes and think about both sides. I thought about the message that she sends with her actions. If she had left the incident alone and let the kiss slide, what message does it send compared to filing a complaint to speak her discontent?

My Thoughts About the Incident

Overall, I look at it from the perspective of women’s rights. Although there may not have been any “sexual intent” behind the kiss, if you let it slide, what message does it send? Does it let society know that it’s okay to touch women without their permission? By not expressing her discontent, I feel it sends the message “yes”.

What do you think? Do you think it’s part of the “risk” of doing her job?

Leave your comments below!

Reference:

http://globalnews.ca/news/2155284/complaint-filed-with-rcmp-after-cbc-reporter-kissed-by-stranger-on-camera-at-squamish-festival/

tim-ferris-anxiety

Thoughts from Tim Ferris: “How to Cure Anxiety, One Workaholic’s Story, Six Techniques That Work”

I came across Tim Ferris @tferriss a few years ago when I read “The Four Hour Work Week”. For any of you who haven’t read it, I’d highly suggest it. By far one of the most inspiring books out there to help you automate your life and live the “new rich” way @4hwwapp.

I follow Ferris on various social media outlets, and paid particular attention to his blog post this morning, “How to Cure Anxiety — One Workaholic’s Story, Six Techniques That Work”.

Rather than trying to paraphrase his whole article, I’ll let you read through it here: http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/02/19/anxiety-attacks-2/

 

My Short Review of Ferris’s Article

My thoughts as a Registered Clinical Counsellor are that a lot of his suggestions sound appropriate. Evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) suggest that this type of therapy gives you a new way of understanding and thinking about your problem. It also provides you with the skills to deal with the issues that you are struggling with right now. Additionally, it’s also nice to practice more mindfulness, to help you “get out of your head” and enjoy more of the here and now.

While reading through Ferris’ list, my favorite is his first suggestion is this:

Enjoy Guilt-Free Play with Friends.

When was the last time you got out there and played with your friends? As Ferris contends, exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety, and of course, it doesn’t always have to be the formal “gym” exercise. Why not throw a frisbee around? Yesterday I went to the beach with friends and we threw around the waboba ball – what a great way to be present, enjoy time with friends, and be outdoors.

Overall, it’s important to find and learn techniques that work for you. Stick with them! It takes patience, practice, and positive attitudes.

Are You A Perfectionist? You Might Be Interfering With Your Success!

perfectionism counselling mississauga

Are you the type of person who needs to do everything in a particular way? Or perhaps things need to be “just so”. It can be tough to let it go and let things just be but maybe it’s time to give it a try! New research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology shares that perfectionism may lead to stress, burnout, and potential health problems. The researchers took a look at the results of 43 studies, over the past 20 years, and found that concerns about perfectionism can sabotage success at work, school, or on the playing field.

Fighting Perfectionism

When we think about it, those with perfectionism tendencies have a hard time accepting flaws. They can be hard on themselves, as well as others, because everything needs to be perfect. If you’re never pleased with your work, then things will never be good enough for you. It will be very difficult to stop working because you’ll always wish to make things better.

To work on reducing perfectionist tendencies, try setting realistic goals. Also, accept failures or less than perfect standards as learning opportunities that help you improve for the future. Most importantly, forgive yourself when you fail, and reframe failure as a growth opportunity, rather than defeat.