As parents, we are often faced with a child who doesn’t want to go to school, or soccer practice, or some other activity they are enrolled in.
Usually, our knee-jerk reaction is to trumpet on at them about “comittment!”. Thinking we are doing a good job by teaching our children the value of comittment, of sticking it out, of seeing things through.
Or, an alternative motivation behind achieving compliance might be, as I heard one parent say, “Life sucks. Better they find out now.” Erm….
At any rate, this is can also be a source of conflict between parents, as they often hold differing views on the appropriate way to handle a kid who says, “I’m not going!”
The challenge as parents is to do whatever it takes to make our children feel safe, whilst slowly helping them to build confidence and security in the world.
Forcing children to do something results in:
- the child quits unless we hammer him/her into doing it
- the child performs well after lots of pressure, cajoling, bribery from us
- the child can lie about his feelings, because s/he is a people-pleaser.
What do all of these points above have in common?
NONE of the motivation, desire, commitment etc. is coming from the chidl. It is all coming from external influences – i.e. the parents.
So what are we teaching through this method?
We can try to force, trick, cajole or control our child’s choices. Or we can view it as a process and be there as a support and guide as he discovers natural consequences to his actions and then asks self if that’s who he is? how he wants to live his life? etc.
If we use these methods, we are teaching the child that:
1. He should do something, not because he wants to, or it’s in alignment with his goals and values as a human being, but because he’s weak enough to allow himself to be manipulated into performing the way SOMEONE ELSE wants him to behave. That’s a lesson that will serve him really well when the dominant presence in his life is not us, but his peer group. We’ll see really good results from that training when the person he most wants to please is not mum or dad, but his girlfriend, or the popular guys at school.
2. Better not try anything, because god help you if you decide you don’t like it anymore, or it’s too stressful, or just not what you expected. Because then your parents are going to force you to keep going, because you made a commitment. So, best to just not try anything new, or join anymore group activities, ’cause it’s not worth the aggravation.
Our agenda should not be to control the child and get him/her to do what I think is best. Our agenda should be to find out what HE wants and talk to him about how his actions determine who he is in this world. And does he want his world to become bigger or smaller?
Our agenda should be to discover the child's real concerns regarding the coaching and the dynamics of the other kids and how all that makes him feel. And then address those feelings. Our agenda should be to give him the FREEDOM and tools to achieve the freedom to be who HE wants to be in this life. Not who I want him to be.
Our agenda should be to let him make some mistakes in his life, so he can learn about who he is, what he wants, and natural consequences of his actions. Rather than forcing, cajoling, bribing him to immediately produce the desired result (i.e. go to this track meet) I see this incidence as more than just whether he’ll go to the meet or not, no, it is far more valuable as a teaching and learning tool for the child's development into a successful adult.
I am not looking to raise an obedient child who can be easily controlled by me and perform according to MY values, and what’s important to me.
I am looking to raise a strong, successful adult, who is cognizant of HIS values, what is important to him, and lives his life accordingly.
And what would be the natural conclusion of this method?
1. He will look to his OWN gut for wisdom about what he’s really feeling and what’s really important to him. Not to the dominant person in his life.
2. He will learn natural consequences for various actions NOW when the payback is not too damaging nor devastating. Why do you think most teenagers make such disastrous decisions and muck themselves up so badly? They haven’t had any practice! They’ve been controlled as children, rather than guided to find their own wisdom and allowed to make good and bad choices, so they experience the consequences and then revise future behaviour, based on lessons learned.
3. He will learn the importance of using tools like dialoguing openly with someone he respects, EFT, connecting with his gut, to solve his problems and dilemmas.
4. Hopefully, over time, he will reduce his people-pleasing tendencies as he comes to put his own feelings and body wisdom before others. This will make him much happier in his life and also render him less susceptible to negative, persuasive influences. This will increase his integrity and authenticity as a successful human being in this life.
Worrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.
Why is it so hard to stop worrying? Constant worrying takes a heavy toll. It keeps you up at night and makes you tense and edgy during the day. You hate feeling like a nervous wreck. So why is it so difficult to stop worrying?
For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—they hold about worrying.
On the negative side, you may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that it’s going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that you’re going to lose all control over your worrying—that it will take over and never stop.
On the positive side, you may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions.
Negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, add to your anxiety and keep worry going. But positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. In order to stop worry and anxiety for good, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.
Why you keep worryingYou have mixed feelings about your worries. On one hand, your worries are bothering you—you can't sleep, and you can't get these pessimistic thoughts out of your head. But there is a way that these worries make sense to you. For example, you think:
You have a hard time giving up on your worries because, in a sense, your worries have been working for you.
Worry and anxiety self-help tip #1: Create a worry periodIt’s tough to be productive in your daily life when anxiety and worry are dominating your thoughts. But what can you do? If you’re like many chronic worriers, your anxious thoughts feel uncontrollable. You’ve tried lots of things, from distracting yourself, reasoning with your worries, and trying to think positive, but nothing seems to work.
Why trying to stop anxious thoughts doesn’t workTelling yourself to stop worrying doesn’t work—at least not for long. You can distract yourself or suppress anxious thoughts for a moment, but you can’t banish them for good. In fact, trying to do so often makes them stronger and more persistent.
You can test this out for yourself. Close your eyes and picture a pink elephant. Once you can see the pink elephant in your mind, stop thinking about it. Whatever you do, for the next five minutes, don’t think about pink elephants!
How did you do? Did thoughts of pink elephants keep popping in your brain?
“Thought stopping” backfires because it forces you to pay extra attention to the very thought you want to avoid. You always have to be watching for it, and this very emphasis makes it seem even more important.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to control your worry. You just need to try a different approach. This is where the strategy of postponing worrying comes in. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of an anxious thought, give yourself permission to have it, but put off thinking any more about it until later.
Learning to postpone worrying:
Postponing worrying is effective because it breaks the habit of dwelling on worries in the present moment. Yet there’s no struggle to suppress the thought or judge it. You simply save it for later. As you develop the ability to postpone your anxious thoughts, you’ll start to realize that you have more control over your worrying than you think.
Worry and anxiety self-help tip #2: Ask yourself if the problem is solvableResearch shows that while you’re worrying, you temporarily feel less anxious. Running over the problem in your head distracts you from your emotions and makes you feel like you’re getting something accomplished. But worrying and problem solving are two very different things.
Problem solving involves evaluating a situation, coming up with concrete steps for dealing with it, and then putting the plan into action. Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No matter how much time you spend dwelling on worst-case scenarios, you’re no more prepared to deal with them should they actually happen.
Distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worriesIf a worry pops into your head, start by asking yourself whether the problem is something you can actually solve. The following questions can help:
Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away. For example, if you’re worried about your bills, you could call your creditors to see about flexible payment options. Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. “What if I get cancer someday?” or “What if my kid gets into an accident?”
If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After you’ve evaluated your options, make a plan of action. Once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, you’ll feel much less worried.
Dealing with unsolvable worriesBut what if the worry isn’t something you can solve? If you’re a chronic worrier, the vast majority of your anxious thoughts probably fall in this camp. In such cases, it’s important to tune into your emotions.
As previously mentioned, worrying helps you avoid unpleasant emotions. Worrying keeps you in your head, thinking about how to solve problems rather than allowing yourself to feel the underlying emotions. But you can’t worry your emotions away. While you’re worrying, your feelings are temporarily suppressed, but as soon as you stop, the tension and anxiety bounces back. And then, you start worrying about your feelings, “What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t feel this way!”
The only way out of this vicious cycle is by learning to embrace your feelings. This may seem scary at first because of negative beliefs you have about emotions. For example, you may believe that you should always be rational and in control, that your feelings should always make sense, or that you shouldn’t feel certain emotions, such as fear or anger.
The truth is that emotions—like life—are messy. They don’t always make sense and they’re not always pleasant. But as long as you can accept your feelings as part of being human, you’ll be able to experience them without becoming overwhelmed and learn how to use them to your advantage. The following tips will help you find a better balance between your intellect and your emotions.
Worry and anxiety self-help tip #3: Accept uncertaintyThe inability to tolerate uncertainty plays a huge role in anxiety and worry. Chronic worriers can’t stand doubt or unpredictability. They need to know with 100 percent certainty what’s going to happen. Worrying is seen as a way to predict what the future has in store—a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesn’t work.
Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable. You may feel safer when you’re worrying, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. So if you want to stop worrying, start by tackling your need for certainty and immediate answers.
Challenging intolerance of uncertainty: The key to anxiety reliefAsk yourself the following questions and write down your responses. See if you can come to an understanding of the disadvantages and problems of being intolerant of uncertainty.
Worry and anxiety self-help tip #4: Challenge anxious thoughtsIf you suffer from chronic anxiety and worries, chances are you look at the world in ways that make it seem more dangerous than it really is. For example, you may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out badly, jump immediately to worst-case scenarios, or treat every negative thought as if it were fact. You may also discredit your own ability to handle life’s problems, assuming you’ll fall apart at the first sign of trouble. These irrational, pessimistic attitudes are known as cognitive distortions.
Although cognitive distortions aren’t based on reality, they’re not easy to give up. Often, they’re part of a lifelong pattern of thinking that’s become so automatic you’re not even completely aware of it. In order to break these bad thinking habits and stop the worry and anxiety they bring, you must retrain your brain.
Start by identifying the frightening thought, being as detailed as possible about what scares or worries you. Then, instead of viewing your thoughts as facts, treat them as hypotheses you’re testing out. As you examine and challenge your worries and fears, you’ll develop a more balanced perspective.
Stop worry by questioning the worried thought:
Cognitive Distortions that Add to Anxiety, Worry, and StressAll-or-nothing thinking - Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground. “If I fall short of perfection, I’m a total failure.”
Overgeneralization - Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever. “I didn’t get hired for the job. I’ll never get any job.”
The mental filter - Focusing on the negatives while filtering out all the positives. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.
Diminishing the positive - Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count. “I did well on the presentation, but that was just dumb luck.”
Jumping to conclusions - Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader, “I can tell she secretly hates me.” Or a fortune teller, “I just know something terrible is going to happen.”
Catastrophizing - Expecting the worst-case scenario to happen. “The pilot said we’re in for some turbulence. The plane’s going to crash!”
Emotional reasoning - Believing that the way you feel reflects reality. “I feel frightened right now. That must mean I’m in real physical danger.”
'Shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’ - Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do and beating yourself up if you break any of the rules
Labeling - Labeling yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings. “I’m a failure; an idiot; a loser.”
Personalization - Assuming responsibility for things that are outside your control. “It’s my fault my son got in an accident. I should have warned him to drive carefully in the rain.”
Worry and anxiety self-help tip # 5: Be aware of how others affect youHow you feel is affected by the company you keep, whether you’re aware of it or not. Studies show that emotions are contagious. We quickly “catch” moods from other people—even from strangers who never speak a word (e.g. the terrified woman sitting by you on the plane; the fuming man in the checkout line). The people you spend a lot of time with have an even greater impact on your mental state.
Worry and anxiety self-help tip #6: Practice mindfulnessWorrying is usually focused on the future—on what might happen and what you’ll do about it. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present. In contrast to the previous techniques of challenging your anxious thoughts or postponing them to a worry period, this strategy is based on observing and then letting them go. Together, they can help you identify where your thinking is causing problems, while helping you get in touch with your emotions.
Using mindfulness meditation to stay focused on the present is a simple concept, but it takes practice to reap the benefits. At first, you’ll probably find that your mind keeps wandering back to your worries. Try not to get frustrated. Each time you draw your focus back to the present, you’re reinforcing a new mental habit that will help you break free of the negative worry cycle.
Stage 1: Withdrawal (Days 0 – 15)
Withdrawal usually lasts from 1 to 2 weeks, but it can last upwards of 4 weeks—and, in some extreme cases, longer. Also known as the “sleep, eat, and drink” stage, your body and brain are in healing overdrive. There’s a lot of damage meth caused that needs to be repaired before you can move forward.
Stage 2: The Honeymoon (Days 16 – 45)
The crash has lifted, your body has made those immediately needed repairs, and you are feeling physically and emotionally much stronger. You might even feel great, better than you’ve felt in years. And it’s only the beginning of the third week! Unfortunately, this upswing can lead to overconfidence and you might find yourself minimizing your past meth problem.
A lot of people will relapse here because of this overconfidence. But not you. You are prepared. You understand this Honeymoon won’t last. Still, there’s much to enjoy while it does.
And much to do in the meantime, while you’re feeling stronger.
Stage 3: The Wall (6 Weeks – 4 Months)
You hit it hard. All the positive, forward momentum from the Honeymoon crashes around you.
A seemingly insurmountable Wall of depression, boredom, and despair—it begins about 45 days into sobriety and it continues through month 4 or thereabouts. Rarely, however, does the Wall last longer than 3 months. So, keep in mind, it’s going to get better.
The Wall is often where people will relapse. You so want the feelings of boredom and loneliness to pass, crystal meth seems like the solution again. Though the danger of picking up is highest here, you can get past it.
Let’s look at what to expect and what you can do to get through this stage of your recovery. The Wall is not impossible to overcome, just tricky.
Stage 4: Adjustment (Months 4 – 6)
You’ve gotten over the Wall safely and it is now mostly behind you. The next stage is called “Adjustment” because that’s what characterizes this time period—adjusting, physically, socially, and emotionally, to life without crystal. You get relief from the overwhelming cravings and begin to find life interesting again.
Stage 5: Ongoing Recovery (Months 6 – 12)
Toward the end of the first year clean, crystal meth addiction can seem distant and almost tangential to your life. Or, it can be something you continue to think about, fleetingly, almost every day. Like all things on this timeline, it depends.
This part of the quitting journey is called “Ongoing Recovery” (also known as the “Resolution” stage) because, despite how foreign your crystal dependence may seem, it’s important to remember that meth addiction is a “chronic disease” and you are never cured.
Recovery is always ongoing.
No wonder we're anxious these days. Stories of disasters, terrorism, and psychopaths flood the nightly news. Add these to normal life issues, illness, financial stress, and family troubles, and the triggers for anxiety and panic attacks abound.
Anxiety is a continuous stream of negative thoughts that circulate in your mind. Because it's not focused on solving problems, worry drains and wastes your energy and scatters your thinking. However, if you can channel that mental energy to do something productive, solve a problem or make a decision, you'll feel less anxious. Mental health professionals can assist you during strenuous times.
Letting go and not trying to control everything at once can make many situations easier to manage. Rather than fight what's going on, or try to run from problems, make a decision, and learn from it. You'll actually gain more real control by letting go of obsessive worry and focusing on what you can do.
Letting go in this way is an internal, private process. You don't need to let anyone else know you're doing it. Use the suggestions below to take charge of your negative thoughts (one thing that is within your control) and turn them around. You'll be happier when you let go of the things you can't control, such as other people, life's events, loss and disappointment.
To stop negative thinking, do a reality check. Are you frightening yourself with imagined worse-case scenarios? Instead of worrying about the past or the future, focus on what's true now. Stick to the facts, and tell the truth to yourself, the whole truth, not just the negative parts.
To face reality, and overcoming anxiety, you must allow yourself to feel your feelings. Denying the truth is a way to avoid your feelings; however, when you accept the truth and your feelings about it, you will feel less anxious.
Common types of anxiety
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The most common form of anxiety. It includes excessive worrying about daily life including health, money and family.
Social Anxiety Disorder: A constant fear of being criticized and judged by others.
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD): Being exposed to a traumatic life experience, such as a death in the family, sexual or physical assault, or witnessing a crime.
Panic Attacks: Strong emotional and physical reactions that occur even though there is no apparent threat.
Panic Disorder: Feeling like you are losing control for no apparent reason and a feeling of not being able to escape or get help.
Signs & symptoms of anxiety
Follow these steps to help lessen your worry and anxiety:
Learn to recognize the signs of your own anxiety.
If you can't sleep, or you worry a lot or obsess about negative possibilities, or you're unusually irritable or needy, you are probably anxious, and you need to learn how manage your thoughts.
Give yourself a chance to express your fear.
When you're facing loss, problems, or unwanted changes you can't control, you will have some resistance and objections. Grant yourself time to complain and be unhappy about the situation.
Express as many of the negative feelings and thoughts as possible, either verbally or on paper. However, if your fear is overwhelming, and you are having debilitating anxiety attacks, then a therapist can help you with this part.
List and evaluate your fears.
Make a list of your fears and think about them constructively. Is there anything that you can do about your fears? Have you made all the choices you can? Are you thinking clearly about the problem? Are you angry at anyone specifically? Are you resisting unnecessarily? If you have a choice, do you still want to change things? If you don't have a choice, can you see some alternatives? Do your options look different to you now?
Discuss the problem with yourself as constructively as you would with another friend.
Brainstorm for ideas, realistic or even silly, about what you could do to make things better.
Review and decide.
Once you've expressed your anger and disappointment, evaluated your feelings, brainstormed ideas and checked the facts, you will feel much more in charge of yourself and your situation. Review what you've discovered and make some decisions.
Sell yourself on a positive outcome.
Think of all the possible positive outcomes of the changes you're making and what a valuable lesson you will learn.
If a woman has a negative self-image and generally feels poorly about herself, she may work tirelessly to find a cure by securing a perfect match. As a result, she may find herself perpetually caught in a cycle of working to attain male desire and feeling high once it is temporarily achieved. But of course, when the match turns out not to be a good one, the high is often followed by a crushing low. All of which can play out over a few hours or a much longer period of time. When self-esteem is lacking, it is tempting to outsource a sense of self through associating with an idealized match. Unfortunately, until self-love is present within, true love and care from outside evade.
If self-esteem lags, it is easier to focus attention on finding the perfect mate than it is to develop and achieve broader goals for the self. Attaching self-esteem to a romanticized other becomes a way to feel a sense of love that perhaps a woman cannot feel for herself, in her own head. Placing romantic partners on a pedestal is a way to make up for the self-worth deficit. If the man seems confident, sexy, high achieving, then suddenly the woman feels better about herself, almost as if she is him. Failing to harness her own self-esteem, she leans heavily on his.
As a general rule of thumb, the more obsessed and ruminative a person may be about obtaining a partner or finding new romantic attention, the more depleted and inadequate they may feel about themselves.
When self-love is lacking judgment becomes impaired; a woman is more desperate to couple up and is so lost in this pursuit that she has difficulty making an accurate assessment of who the person really is and if he can truly meet her needs. When partners are idealized, the illusion is destined to dissolve, leaving the woman depleted and with a greater sense of inadequacy.
Building self-love is a process. A helpful first step is to notice if you are putting all of your energy into making a relationship work or to finding the perfect match. Take a step back and consider if you are hoping someone else will provide you with something only you can develop. Ask yourself if you have a tendency to idealize your romantic partners and then are left deflated when you discover who they actually are. If you tend to camouflage what you consider unlovable about yourself through attaching to highly desirable, oh so important men, refocus, not on another potential mate, but on yourself.
Jill P. Weber, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and author of Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy—Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships. Follow Jill on Twitter @DrJillWebero edit.
When children lie or steal, it isn't because they are liars or thieves in the moral sense of the word. In fact, to most children, lying or stealing isn't a moral issue at all, it's a functional matter: they are doing it for a reason. For most children, lying or stealing are practical matters. Some basic rules apply.
1. Never accuse a child
2. Never question the child
Never question the child about the inappropriate behavior, whether you know the child is at fault or whether you aren't sure. Interestingly, children often lie about their behavior because they have learned that their parents can't handle an honest answer. So what's the safest route for the child to take? To lie. The practical value of this approach is far safer, from the child's perspective, than is being morally honest.
3. Do not overreact
When a child lies or steals, do not hit the ceiling, come unglued, or become verbally explosive. The child got an immense amount of parental attention for behaving inappropriately. Behaviors that get attention are behaviors that are strengthened. Overreacting gives a massive amount of reinforcement to the behavior the parent wanted eliminated.
In contrast, here are five things you should do:
1. Respond proactively.
2. Make known your expectations.
3. Implement consequences.
4. Acknowledge appropriate behavior.
5. Model appropriate behavior.
1. Respond proactively
A proactive response is a controlled, mature, constructive, empathic, understanding, and directive response. No one has reason to get mad or to be defensive. The child learns of the parent's disappointment and that better behavior is expected in the future. The child also learns that more attention, hence, more value, was placed on honesty than on lying. The concern is with the child and not with what the child did.
2. Make your expectations known
Rather than arguing with the child about what's right and what's wrong, clearly state what you expect of the child. The child learns, in an atmosphere that is completely under the gentle, mature, control of an adult, what is expected of him. Appropriate adult behavior is modeled. The parent's point is driven home gently in a role-playing situation, which removes any doubt from the child's mind about what is expected of him. The child is involved as a member of the problem-solving team. And finally, everything is positive. The parent uses lots of praise statements. Rather than using the word lying, the parent uses the word honesty and focuses on the positive aspects of the lesson.
3. Implement Consequences
In instances where children continue behaving inappropriately, it may be necessary to implement consequences. When treating lying and stealing, focus on honesty. Consequences, when reasonable and well implemented, deliver the message better than tens of thousands of words. They put the responsibility for the child's behavior squarely where it ought to be: on the child.
4. Acknowledge appropriate behavior
Whenever the child responds appropriately, warmly acknowledge this. Don't assume that being "good" is its own reward. To the child, being good may not be a rewarding or reinforcing experience. Sometimes, for example, being good means facing the music, and that can even be unpleasant. So when a child behaves appropriately, that should be acknowledged in a very positive reinforcing way. Once the child realizes that favorable, controlled parental attention and positive consequences come with being honest/trustworthy, that's the behavior that will most likely be forthcoming.
5. Model appropriate behavior
Parents who fudge on their taxes, fib, tell half-truths and "white lies," are modeling the very behaviors they deplore in their children! These are behaviors that are learned.
6. Teach appropriate behavior
Use lying and stealing as opportunities to teach children what is meant by property rights, what is meant by "yours and mine," and why it is in one's best interest to be trustworthy. Rather than teaching a child to behave well only to escape the negative consequences for behaving badly, teach the child that there are positive consequences for behaving well.
“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” ~ Elbert Hubbar
Happiness is one aspiration all people share. No one wants to be sad and depressed. We’ve all seen people who are always happy – even amidst agonizing life trials. I’m not saying happy people don’t feel grief, sorrow or sadness; they just don’t let it overtake their life. The following are 21 things happy people make a habit of doing:
1. Appreciate Life
Be thankful that you woke up alive each morning. Develop a childlike sense of wonder towards life. Focus on the beauty of every living thing. Make the most of each day. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
2. Choose Friends Wisely
Surround yourself with happy, positive people who share your values and goals. Friends that have the same ethics as you will encourage you to achieve your dreams. They help you to feel good about yourself. They are there to lend a helping hand when needed.
3. Be Considerate
Accept others for who they are as well as where they are in life. Respect them for who they are. Touch them with a kind and generous spirit. Help when you are able, without trying to change the other person. Try to brighten the day of everyone you come into contact with.
4. Learn Continuously
Keep up to date with the latest news regarding your career and hobbies. Try new and daring things that has sparked your interest – such as dancing, skiing, surfing or sky-diving.
5. Creative Problem Solving
Don’t wallow in self-pity. As soon as you face a challenge get busy finding a solution. Don’t let the set backs affect your mood, instead see each new obstacle you face as an opportunity to make a positive change. Learn to trust your gut instincts – it’s almost always right.
6. Do What They Love
Some statistics show that 80% of people dislike their jobs! No wonder there’s so many unhappy people running around. We spend a great deal of our life working. Choose a career that you enjoy – the extra money of a job you detest isn’t worth it. Make time to enjoy your hobbies and pursue special interests.
7. Enjoy Life
Take the time to see the beauty around you. There’s more to life than work. Take time to smell the roses, watch a sunset or sunrise with a loved one, take a walk along the seashore, hike in the woods etc. Learn to live in the present moment and cherish it. Don’t live in the past or the future.
Don’t take yourself – or life to seriously. You can find humor in just about any situation. Laugh at yourself – no one’s perfect. When appropriate laugh and make light of the circumstances. (Naturally there are times that you should be serious as it would be improper to laugh.)
Holding a grudge will hurt no one but you. Forgive others for your own peace of mind. When you make a mistake – own up to it – learn from it – and FORGIVE yourself.
Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings; All of them – even the things that seem trivial. Be grateful for your home, your work and most importantly your family and friends. Take the time to tell them that you are happy they are in your life.
11. Invest in Relationships
Always make sure your loved ones know you love them even in times of conflict. Nurture and grow your relationships with your family and friends by making the time to spend with them. Don’t break your promises to them. Be supportive.
12. Keep Their Word
Honesty is the best policy. Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones.
Meditation gives your very active brain a rest. When it’s rested you will have more energy and function at a higher level. Types of meditation include yoga, hypnosis, relaxation tapes, affirmations, visualization or just sitting in complete silence. Find something you enjoy and make the time to practice daily.
14. Mind Their Own Business
Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Don’t judge. Everyone has a right to live their own life the way they want to – including you.
See the glass as half full. Find the positive side of any given situation. It’s there – even though it may be hard to find. Know that everything happens for a reason, even though you may never know what the reason is. Steer clear of negative thoughts. If a negative thought creeps in – replace it with a positive thought.
16. Love Unconditionally
Accept others for who they are. You don’t put limitations on your love. Even though you may not always like the actions of your loved ones – you continue to love them.
Never give up. Face each new challenge with the attitude that it will bring you one step closer to your goal. You will never fail, as long as you never give up. Focus on what you want, learn the required skills, make a plan to succeed and take action. We are always happiest while pursuing something of value to us.
18. Be Proactive
Accept what can not be changed. Happy people don’t waste energy on circumstances beyond their control. Accept your limitations as a human being. Determine how you can take control by creating the outcome you desire – rather than waiting to respond.
19. Self Care
Take care of your mind, body and health. Get regular medical check ups. Eat healthy and work out. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Exercise your mind by continually energizing it with interesting and exciting challenges.
20. Self Confidence
Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. After all no one likes a phony. Determine who you are in the inside – your own personal likes and dislikes. Be confident in who you are. Do the best you can and don’t second guess yourself.
21. Take Responsibility
Happy people know and understand that they are 100% responsible for their life. They take responsibility for their moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. They are the first to admit when they’ve made a mistake.
Begin today by taking responsibility for your happiness. Work on developing these habits as you own. The more you incorporate the above habits into your daily lifestyle – the happier you will be.
Most of all: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF.
original post: Global One
Ever notice that the harder you try to stop thinking about something, the harder it is to forget? That cruel thing your teenage son said this morning, that worrisome test result the doctor mentioned, that donut in the office kitchen—banish the thought! Except that unfortunately, it seems that the more effort you put into avoiding that thought, the faster it pops right back up in your consciousness.You're not the only one who feels that way, says Harvard University psychologist Daniel Wegner, author of White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts: Suppression, Obsession, and the Psychology of Mental Control. His research has shown that trying very hard not to think about something almost guarantees that we will think about it.
It seems paradoxical, but in fact it makes sense. When you are actively avoiding a thought, one part of your brain is busily working to keep the upsetting thought at bay. It's searching out distractors—something else to focus on that will protect you from the idea you're trying to avoid.
At the same time, another part of the mental machinery has to keep checking to make sure that the job's being done properly. Inadvertently, this monitoring process calls attention to the unwanted thought, and makes you more vulnerable to the very ideas you're fleeing from.
"The funny thing is that when you're trying not to think about things, you have to remember what it is you aren't thinking about," says Wegner. "That memory, that part of your mind that's trying to keep it fresh, in a way is going to then activate thought."
In a sense, vigilantly struggling not to think about something or someone forces part of your brain to be on guard for that thought. Holding it there, even subconsciously, keeps the thought alive, and sometimes it escapes out of the prison it's being kept in and erupts into your active thoughts. This is mostly likely to happen when you're under stress, mentally overwhelmed or just plain exhausted.
"People have the intuition that you shouldn't think about a secret in front of the people you're trying to keep it secret from, because you might blurt it out. But keeping it a secret keeps it on the front burner of your mind," says Wegner.
It's a lot like trying to fall asleep, or forcing yourself to relax. The harder you try to nod off, the more likely it is you'll stay wide awake. If you try too hard to relax, you may get more anxious and wound up. The same problem crops up with concentration—trying to focus on something just makes distractions like your sneezing officemate or that annoying fluorescent light—fixture hum even more frustrating. In these cases, struggling for control only makes it worse.
"There are a whole range of cases when we become desperate to control our minds," he says. "The more we try to control them, the more they do what they want."
The answer: don't try so hard to control your thoughts! Instead, see if you can't get your secret preoccupation out in the open. Find a confidante to whom you can confess the idea—or perhaps write about it. Probably, says Wegner, you'll get bored of it fairly quickly, and the pesky thought will die away of its own accord.
Or, instead of following the impulse to get rid of it, says Wegner, just go with it. If you have a song in your head, trying to get rid of it is a great way to make sure it comes back. In this paradoxical therapy, you do the opposite of the thing you want to do. And that, he says, is what ends up being the cure.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - More children are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) now than were a decade ago, according to new research from a large California health plan.
It's not clear what's behind that trend, researchers noted. Possible explanations include better awareness of the condition among parents and doctors or improved access to health care for kids with symptoms, according to Dr. Darios Getahun, the study's lead author.
Prior research has also shown an increasing trend in ADHD diagnoses, according to Getahun, from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group in Pasadena.
However, his team had strict criteria for determining which kids had ADHD, requiring a clinical diagnosis and prescriptions for ADHD medications. Past studies have relied on parent and teacher reports alone, Getahun noted.
In an analysis of Kaiser Permanente medical records, researchers found the proportion of five- to 11-year-olds diagnosed with ADHD increased from 2.5 percent in 2001 to 3.1 percent in 2010.
Consistent with past research, white children were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than black, Hispanic and Asian kids, and boys were more likely to have the condition than girls.
On average, children were diagnosed when they were between eight and a half and nine and a half years old. Hispanic youth tended to receive a diagnosis at a later age than other kids - which could put them at a disadvantage, Getahun noted.
"One thing which is very important in ADHD is parents' awareness... and timely diagnosis of the disease is very important so the treatment is effective," he told Reuters Health.
"If you diagnose the child early when the disease occurs, the child may function better in school and also socially," said Getahun.
One study published last year found Icelandic kids who got early ADHD treatment did better on standardized tests than those who didn't get medication until they were preteens (see Reuters Health story of June 25, 2012: http://reut.rs/KXoQfY).
Common medications used to treat ADHD include stimulants such as Vyvanse, Ritalin and Concerta.
Not all kids with ADHD need medication - some get better with behavioral therapy or extra help at school. ADHD drugs can come with side effects, including appetite loss, sleep problems and stomach aches.
Just under five percent of more than 840,000 kids were diagnosed with ADHD during the entire study period, the researchers wrote Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Parental reports suggest that closer to one in ten kids and teens has been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and rates vary by state - from 5.6 percent of kids in Nevada to 15.6 percent of North Carolina youth.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/PogxGc JAMA Pediatrics, online January 21, 2013.
Arthur H. Belmont, LMFT
has over 20 years of experience working with children, teens and adults who are struggling with relational, emotional or behavioral issues.