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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Generations express stress

Does Your Generation Have A Unique Stress Factor?

The American Psychological Association has completed an extensive study on “Stress in America.” The results might be surprising to many readers as it relates to the differences between the generations.

There are some differences between age brackets and their stress levels. On a 10 point scale here are how the age levels rank related to stress.

Levels of Stress within the Generations:
  • * 5.4 on a 10 point stress rating is reported by Millennials (age 18-33)
  • * 5.4 on a rating scale is reported by GenXers (age 34-47)
  • * 4.7 rating for Baby Boomers (age 48-66)
  • * 3.7 rate for Mature citizens (age 67 and higher)
What else do we know about the study related to age brackets?
  • * Millennials and GenExers report high stress with job stability, work issues and money.
  • * Matures and Boomers say their issues center around health.
  • * 52 percent of Millennials report that their daily stress keeps them awake at night.
  • * 48 percent of GenXers report that their stress levels keep them from sleeping.
  • * Compare those numbers to Mature citizens reporting only 25 percent of sleep disturbances and 37 percent for Baby Boomers. 

What else do we know?
  •  *Only 25 percent of this population say they are coping well.
    * Millennials and GenExers report they are dealing with stress by overeating, excessive drinking and smoking more than other populations.
    * This population tends to use shopping for coping and turn less to religion and stress management techniques.
    So we have learned so far that Americans are stressed, women are doing a poorer job of stress management and our younger population is highly stressed. Next week we will look at regional trends before we talk about stress tips for everyone.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Building relationships that last

Building Relationships 
That Last

Relationship experts generally agree on two things about lasting & enduring relationships: First, relationships are BUILT not FOUND. Secondly, that lasting relationships are sustained and kindled in many small ways throughout the years.

We see more and more divorces and separations today in America. What do couples who have sustained long relationships suggest are common keys in their lasting success?
  • · good communication based in good listening and reflecting skills
  • · shared interests and hobbies
  • · mutual respect for each other without needing to change the other person
  • · ability to give and take—learning the skills of compromise & negiotation
  • · equality in the relationship which encourages individuality
  • · playfulness and  humor
How do these partners create this type of enduring love?
  • accept differences in each other
  • maintain strength during adversity—work together when times are difficult
  • provide nurturing, kindness and gentleness
  • build togetherness
  • use positives- be a cheerleader for each other
What are some simple things you can do each day that will take less than 5 minutes to nurture your relationship?
  • Make time for touching, hugs, and kisses
  • Bring attention to “us” This means make the relationship the number one priority in your life
  • Give compliments to your partner. Try to say at least 5 positive things to your partner each  day
  • Express appreciation & gratitude to your partner
  • Have “meaningful” communication about things that matter. Talk about your dreams, your purpose, and things that are of value to both of you.
  • Say “I love you” and let your behaviors show it !

Boundaries... who needs them?

What are boundaries?
* Knowing where you start and another person begins.
* Establishing what you are responsible for and what is not yours to address.
* Discovering your autonomy and self esteem without being invaded.
* Finding a healthy way to be yourself without blending and becoming emeshed into another person and their issues.

Why do people have such a hard time establishing boundaries?
* Fear of rejection
* Fear of non-acceptance
* Fear of being alone
* Fear of conflict
* Fear of being abandoned
* Guilt, shame and messages of responsibility   

What are some beginning steps to establishing boundaries with another person?
* Know yourself. Ask yourself what is important and know what you value and view as essential.
   You can’t set a limit until you know yourself.
* Understand that you do have a “right”. It is okay to establish a boundary and let someone know
   when they are stepping over your comfort level.
* Saying “no” is acceptable. Boundaries include the freedom to say you are not willing or do not
    desire to do something. It is important to acknowledge your feelings and set long as it is
    not done aggressively or with malice.
* Discuss a boundary by being positive and empathetic. Assume that the other person isn’t trying to
   harm you and focus on a clear message of your limitations.
* Don’t over-explain. Be direct and short in your explanation. When you open yourself to long
   explanations you open yourself up to lengthy responses and opportunities for loopholes and
* Establish boundaries with grace. Boundaries should be discussed when calm, when you have had
   time to contemplate, and done without a motivation of punishment and retribution.
* Realize that you are caring for yourself. Establishing boundaries is a means of maintaining your
   safety and personal responsibility. Remember that being a doormat is not caring for yourself, and
   those types of relationships foster a long term relationship of resentment, anger, and pain.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Doodling: everyone does it, but do you know what it means?

We will look at these little pictures we draw and learn something about our inner psyche that comes out during our absent-minded drawings.

Here are some of the common meanings placement on the page
* Top: You are confident and looking in control
* Middle: You are an extrovert and like being the center of attention
* Right: You look forward and it also may mean you might be wanting to run from something
* Left: You may be one who looks at the past and dwells on it.

Deeper look into common doodles:
* Birds: Indicate freedom and desire or the yearning to travel.
* Cats: Indicate envy or jealousy
* Dogs: Loyalty and companionship
* Clouds: Good blessings may be revealed and dark clouds indicates depression or deception
* Eyes: Intuitive, able to see things in a different light
* Flowers: Happiness, relationship harmony
* Chains: You feel restricted
* Numbers: Events to come
* Squares: Security and possibility of financial decisions in your future
* Rectangles: You are ambitious and successful
* Triangles: You are bright minded and resolve questions quickly
* Swirls: You have intuitive abilities
* Dots: Financial security
* Arrows: Anger or resentment

So the next time you doodle, perhaps it will be a clue to what is really going on in your hidden psyche.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Why Do They Say That on Facebook?

- Have you seen people post rude and sometimes shocking comments on social media?
There are many reasons for this new powerful secret weapon, so let's look at some tips for managing your posts.
First of all, here are some of the reasons why some people say things online that they'd never say face to face:
* Research shows that anonymity is powerful. People feel like they can hide behind a screen name and be safe to say anything
* People know they can be less than anonymous on places like Facebook, but they feel protected by arbitrary rules they think protect them (like privacy walls, close friends, limited profile view, etc)
* Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania believe that Facebook lowers our self-control because we believe we are just talking to our "friends"
* People are less inhibited because they don't see the reaction of people face to face.
How does something like Facebook make people feel invincible?
* People develop a false self or image of themselves on Facebook - and are encouraged by "likes". These likes make them feel empowered and boosts their self esteem
* With an inflated ego, people tend to have lower self control and believe they have the right to say whatever they want; it is an entitlement (especially if it is rewarded with more likes)
* If you want to protect that view of yourself, you lash out at others who don't hold you in the regard you hold yourself.
* Some people say they feel so invincible that they even write provocative things to get more readers and discussion on their site.
What are some tips for people who are posting on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks?
* Remember that nothing is private: You may think there are protections, but there are ways to get to many items without much trouble
* Think before you write. Always allow yourself time to read and re-read things you write. Ask yourself… would I say this to my friend in person?
* Don't write or post everything. Remember, your posts might be seen by your present employer, your potential employer, your school, your family and your partner
* Contemplate getting "likes" in person. There is nothing better and more rewarding than REAL contact with a person. It takes a million likes to equal a couple of real hugs.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Who Wants Your Advice????
What do we know about advice in general?
• Giving advice when not solicited can be tricky and a hot spot.
• Being the receiver of advice that is unsolicited can make us defensive and it feels invasive and
• Offering advice without solicitation can feel like wasted energy and feel like the receiver is
  ungrateful for your caring and suggestions.

So what do we know about advice as it relates to gender?
• It is more important that the person asking for advice is receptive than the person giving the advice.
• Men have difficulty when they ask from advice from their spouse and they get little back because
  men typically look to their wives for a source of encouragement, while women rely on friends and
  other loved ones.
• When wives offer guidance (vs just listening) men tend to feel nagged or reprimanded.
• When wives ask for advice they tend to get fix-it suggestions and less compassion and empathy.

What if you don't want advice, how should we respond?
• Respond with thank you. Acknowledge the act, but respond by saying,"I'm not looking for advice at
  this time."
• Explain what might be helpful to you at this time. Do you need a hug? Some chicken soup?

What are some tips to giving advice?

• Wanted: Make sure your spouse really wants advice and help. Start a conversation with something
   like "Would you like some ideas on that?"
• Listen: Good advice can come from listening and not speaking. Sometimes someone just wants you
  to be there, be supportive, hold you, or be reassuring vs. solution.
• Examples: Sometimes telling a story of when you had a similar situation helps the receiver see
  things in a different light. Stories tend to take away the criticism and the feel of being threatened.
• Tone: Remember that advice is always heard much better when it comes from someone who is
   calm, looking into your eyes, and their tone is low and from a loving perspective. The way in which    
   you offer advice can be more important than your words.

Making Love Work

Unfortunately, many relationships fall apart and 50% of marriages end in divorce. Let's look at the REAL subtle things that can help a relationship endure… and it just might surprise you!

What are some proven techniques for enhancing our relationships from a recent study.  Tell us the results.
·      University of Rochester study showed that people who regularly show acts of kindness have
     happier marriages
·      Selfish acts aren’t just nice, they are necessary in enduring relationships
·      Being compassion enhances your partner’s closeness to you and enhances your well-being and  
·      Men say they put women’s needs before their own in the study ahead of women by 15 %
·      Men say they modify their schedules for women than vice versa in the survey.

Those are some interesting statistics… what else did the report show?
·      Men are more comfortable showing love through acts vs. words
·      Showing small gestures of love can go further in a relationship than words
·      When you do acts of kindness it is important that you are not focused on the payback aspect of the 
What are some simple ways to show you love your partner
·      Put their needs in front of your own which is compassionate enduring love
·      Show appreciation and reach out to do a chore for the other person
·      Celebrate their victories and notice their achievements
·      Do something special, even when you are not getting along, and perhaps changing the focus will
    help ease the tension.