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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.

Monday, April 3, 2017

What do Julia Roberts, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg 
and Tiger Woods all have in common? 

They are well-known introverts.

There are introverts and there are extroverts, but it seems that introverts have gotten a bad rap throughout the years.
Research indicates that there are some valuable assets that introverts possess and tonight, we will take a look at the power of introversion.
First of all, what is the difference between extroverts and introverts?
* Generally, it is explained that extroverts get their energy from relationships and that they invest energy in others and receive that energy from others
* Extroverts are the ones who love to mingle, chit-chat, and love to socialize. These activities charge their inner batteries.
* Introverts typically are seen as those who gain their energy and power from looking within and gathering energy.
* Introverts love solitary activities such as reading, writing or daydreaming
Is shyness the same as introversion?
* Shyness refers to a type of social anxiety or discomfort you feel internally around people
* Introversion relates to a type of recharging of your own personal power.
Now we know the differences, but tell us more about the power of introverts.
* Introverts are introspective and generally have a good understanding of their actions and its consequences
* Introverts can be self-nurturing because they know how to go inside themselves and charge their own batteries
* Introverts can typically work for long periods of time with sustained performance and have good focusing abilities
* Introverts can have deep conversations and enjoy in-depth discussions that are meaningful and fulfilling (vs. small talk)
* Introverts have an amazing ability to concentrate, be creative, see things outside the box, observe things that others miss and have rich imaginations.

What's Eating You?

Here's what we know about being overweight:
* Brain center that controls emotions and stress also governs our appetite
* Early life experiences set the stage for later overeating
* Those who easily experience negative feelings are likely to be overweight
* Impulsive people on the high end of the spectrum tend to be 24 pounds heavier than those who are low on impulsivity
* Those who are not agreeable tend to gain more weight
* Those who have poor emotional relationships with their mothers at a young age are two times more prone to being obese at age 15.
Are there some personality types that are more prone to being overweight?
Night owls: Tend to be sleep deprived and that drives down the hormones that monitor fullness. It fuels our appetite and changes our ability to process sugar. Night owls tend to miss breakfast and sets up night time eating
Stress lovers: These people thrive on deadlines and pressure. It gives them a rise in their adrenaline and cortisol and it feels like a high. This pressure cooker tends to stimulate the brain and boosts carbohydrate cravings and tends to churn excess insulin that accumulates fat, especially belly fat
The co-dependent: This person puts everyone ahead of themselves and their own needs. They feel emotional depleted and tend to use food as a means of nurturing. Food works because it is close, it's available, and it's comforting.  
The Perfectionist: Those who need to have everything in the right place tend to use food to relieve the pressure. They set themselves up for failure with unrealistic expectations and impossible weight goals.
If we find ourselves in any of the 4 above scenerios, are there any suggestions?
Night owl fixers: Try to regulate your sleep pattern to a normal time. Stay away from stimulants, bright lights at night, and keep electronics at a minimum in the evening hours. A calming effect will lower your need for food comfort
Stress Junkies fixer: Exercise and do things to pamper yourself that are not food related. You'll find that once you lower your stress level, your food cravings will moderate
Co-dependent fixers: Set reasonable limits on your time, your energy and your desire to say "yes." You will discover when you take care of yourself and find a balance in your life, you will tend to decrease your desire for food
The perfectionist fixer: Set realistic goals and strive for progress vs. perfection. Remember that have a few flaws makes you human and more accessible and real. When you are a little easier on yourself you'll find the pounds tend to melt away.

The pursuit of happiness

Who are the happiest people in the world?

•    The happiest people live in Iceland, #2 New
      Zealand, #3 Denmark.
•    U.S. ranks 23rd
•    Americans have lots of “toys” and things, but
      they don’t know how to enjoy what they have
      and keep looking for more
•    Happiness has a lot to do with taking a risk,
      searching and achieving
•    People who make more money in the U.S.
      tend to be happier and have great well-being
      despite past statistics that have told us
•    People are happier when they can purchase
      non-necessities and Americans spend more on cars,,
     eating out and sports.

What do we know about Americans and happiness in the last ten years.
•    15 percent were pessimists in 2004 and in 2013 only 4 percent.
•    79 percent said they were optimists in 2004 and 50 percent currently
•    35 percent of people save working towards a goal makes them happy, but 59 percent of
      Americans say achieving a goal makes them happier
•    41percent of people say they are as happy as expected and 28 percent say they are happier than
      expected and 27 percent say they are unhappy

What are some simple truths about the pursuit of happiness?

•    Remember: People who have good memories and reminisce are happiest. 
•    Couples: Married people tend to be happier than singles
•    Furry Friends: Happier people tend to have pets to provide comfort, companionship and love.
•    Exercise: Those who take a daily walk or jog, tend to be happier than those who are sedentary.
•    Spirituality: Studies show that those who have a spiritual connection are happier than those who
•    Kids: Adolescents' happiness rises when they have hobbies, are in team sports and have active
     lives with friends.

Are you inner voices constantly chattering?

Do you feel like your accomplishments are never quite “good enough?”  Do you put off projects or assignments because you fear they are not “perfect”?  Do you believe that you must give 110% to each and every project for fear that you will be seen as a failure?  If any of these hold true, you may be a person who is classified as a perfectionist.

Perfectionists create self-defeating thoughts and behaviors aimed at achieving unrealistic and excessively high goals.  Ultimately this pattern creates poor self-esteem and a feeling of failure because the individual believes they are incapable of achieving anything “worthy” or “enough.”

Perfectionism robs us of personal satisfaction and feeling positive about our accomplishments and our future success.  Many perfectionists feel intense anxiety about finishing projects due to the fear of people’s criticism, fear of their disapproval, and thoughts of disappointing people who we view as important. 

What can you do if you discover you are a perfectionist?
1.  Set realistic expectations in a reasonable time frame
2.  Set small goals to assure success
3.  Focus on the process not the end point (the journey not the destination!)
4.  Focus on successes and acknowledge the positive actions you take

5.    Confront the fear…but allow yourself to be human and make mistakes.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Unlock secrets about yourself

Can A Drawing Tell You Something About Your Personality?

Everyone loves tests and quizzes and many times, the responses do tell us a little about our personality. Remember, this is just a fun little test and it's results are not guaranteed, except to bring a smile to your face.

Here's what I'd like everyone to do: draw a cruise ship on a piece of paper.
Let's first look at the location on the paper.
1. If the ship is drawn near the top of the page, you are an Optimist. You say things like, "There is no sense in crying over spilt milk."
2. If the ship is drawn near the middle of the page, you are a Realist. You see things as they are without illusion or delusion
3. If the ship is drawn near the bottom of the page, you are a Naysayer. You tend to be a pessimist and see things in a negative viewpoint.
Now, let's look at the details you put in your drawing.
1. If your ship is drawn with few details you are a Risk taker. You can be carefree and freewheeling. Sometimes this gets you into trouble.
2. If you used many details in your drawing you are an Inspector. You prefer to look at ideas carefully and thoroughly before they gain your approval.
Thirdly, let's look at the direction your ship is facing.
1. If your ship is facing right, you are a Wordsmith. You enjoy transmitting your ideas through words verbally or in writing.
2. If your ship is head on, you are a Gatekeeper. You like standing guard and keeping an eye on people who are coming and going.
3. If the ship is facing left, you are a Worldly Person. Your interests are in buying and selling or science. You have very little interest in working with words.
If your ship has smoke stacks...
1. If you drew your ship without a smokestack you are a Hipster. You have a knack for knowing where the action is. You can be creative and innovative.
2. If your ship has a smokestack, you are an Artist. You excel or enjoy the fine arts.
And the size indicates how good of a listener you are !!!