Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

I'd like to share something that Kim Leatherdale, a therapist friend of mine :), shared with me.  Some great points for all of us in working on our relationships ....... Thank you Kim!  

Today is the traditional day to celebrate love and romance. But I wish to encourage you to expand today beyond romantic love and celebrate all the types of love you have in your life (or have had.)

  • the family members you feel close to
  • the family members you may have lost but still love
  • the friends who cared about you even when you were being a "jerk"
  • the dog you grew up with or who greets you when you come home
  • the cat that warmly purrs on your lap
  • of course, your partner
  • and the many other loves in your lifetime.
Take a few moments to remember, enjoy, cherish, and celebrate the greatness that is love in the world.
A few of my favorite things...
As a way to celebrate love, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite relationship hints I have posted on Twitter. Consider and enjoy.
  1. When you listen, stop talking in your head.
  2. If you focus on the negative, that is all you will see. If you focus on the positive, happier you will be.
  3. Motivation follows action. Wait on motivation and you'll make no changes.
  4. You bring about peace in your relationship by living peace yourself. Find your calm centered strength and caring.
  5. Stop trying to control everything. Period.
  6. Resolve each day to take a healthy stance in your relationship. No matter what your partner does- be healthy.
  7. When choosing between pointing out your partner's "flaws" & working on your own- get to work.
  8. Don't ask your partner to define you, save you, make you feel a certain way, or give you esteem. You create these things.
  9. Treat your partner at least as well as you treat strangers or friends. It's too easy to take your partner for granted.
  10. What seems simple to you may be very difficult for you partner to do.Recognize their work as much as you do your own.
  11. Rather than comparing & finding your relationship lacking, identify what you can improve and work on it.
  12. You cannot be in a healthy relationship unless you are healthy yourself. Become a healthy individual.
  13. Learn from your past instead of blaming it. The happy change their future through choice and action.
  14. When you are discussing, stick to one topic until you are both clear & satisfied. Don't throw in the kitchen sink. ;)
  15. Before you speak to your partner, take a breath and remember you love them. Take a loving breath.
  16. When communicating, your job is either to understand (listener) or be understood (speaker); you can't do both at once.
  17. If you never risk losing your relationship by standing up for yourself, you've lost it anyway.
  18. Stop trying to please everyone. By trying to *make* them happy, you take away their right to pursue happiness themselves.
  19. Don't assume you *know* what someone is thinking, ASK. You do the most damage reacting to your own imaginings.
  20. Ask not what your partner can do for you, but what you can do to help your partner provide more of what you want.
And one last one for today: "Don't take love for granted- not that your partner knows of your love, nor things are good. Love takes daily attention." That means you can't just be loving on Valentine's Day, but must be every day of the year.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

About Anxiety

When we try to understand anxiety, we need to look at fear first. Fear is a way we have of protecting ourselves; it’s an appropriate reaction to a real danger. If there is a dangerous situation, fear kicks in. Our adrenaline levels increase dramatically; we become hyper-vigilant, on guard, ready to act if necessary. On the other hand, anxiety is an over-reaction to something that we perceive as dangerous. Our bodies react in the same way though. Even though there is no real danger, when we feel those physical reactions -- heart racing, sweating, shortness of breath -- our body registers that there must be something dangerous out there. 

Some of the symptoms that we might experience with excessive anxiety are: panic and fear, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, heart palpitations, sweating, sleep problems. But it’s confusing, we feel very similar to the way we would feel when there is a real danger out there, but can’t figure out why we’re feeling this way. Then we start worrying even more and a vicious cycle begins.

When anxiety is taking over our lives, we feel overwhelmed, helpless, out of control. Worrying takes up more and more of our time and energy. We know that some of our thoughts and behaviors are unreasonable, but can't stop them. It’s hard to explain and often embarrassing to tell our family and friends about and often hard for them to understand. It can be a very lonely experience.

There are many ways to deal with anxiety. Certain activities, techniques and therapies can help. Some work for one person but not for another. There are many things that can give you relief though, so if you do have anxiety, don’t give up, don’t be discouraged ..... the solution for you may be right around the corner! In my next post, I’ll tell you about some of the solutions that I’ve found that have helped me and many others.