Nov 122014
 

Do you get upset if things turn out differently than you imagined? Do you hate change or balk at the mention of rescheduling? If so, you need help. Getting that control freak under control (pardon me) is the first step to living a healthier and happier life. You need to get some of the beliefs you have about control busted before you can start to heal. For example-

hitler2 300x225 Are you a control freak?

  1. Control does not equal happy

Happy is messy. Happy is care free. Control does not allow for that. When we need to control our environment and feel anxious when things are not in control that is not an environment for feeling good about yourself or your life.

  1. Control is not safety/security

Nope. It isn’t. It is an illusion. Control is a closer cousin to being obsessive compulsive. ‘If I do this then I will be safe’. Anything can happen and the slightest breeze can topple that belief in a second.

  1. If I control the relationship, it will be successful.

Nope. See #2.

  1. Control is the only way to achieve perfection.

Hahahahahahahaahahahahahahaaha. Seriously, no!

  1. Control is not a bad thing

Actually, it is. It is a belief that will make it impossible for you to surrender and relax. If you must maintain control of your life then you are constantly battling life! We can be responsible for our lives and do what needs to be done to create a semblance of security but in the end, we must relinquish this idea that ‘we got this’ because it is not real.

What do you do about it? How do you go from control freak to relaxed and happy?

Let it go!

Before you break out in song, think about all the things that you are holding onto tightly with both hands, white knuckling it all the way. Perhaps you are holding on to this fantasy that things will go exactly as planned. Perhaps you think your kids will be perfect in school and life. The moment you hold out the hope of perfection, life will remind you that perfection is silly.

You are perfectly flawed.

Some of our ‘flaws’ are what make us unique and awesome. Embrace those imperfections!

Expect things to go wrong

When things go awry, that is the fodder of a good story and an amazing memory. You hardly will ever recount a perfect experience. You are more likely to tell the whacky story or the time when things went completely wrong. When this happens, life is not routine and it becomes an adventure!

Write your plans in pencil

Always be willing to shift on a moment’s notice. Your flight is delayed? Let’s explore the airport! You get stuck in traffic? Let’s sing really loud! It starts raining when you planned a picnic? Living room picnic!!

Life will throw you curve-balls and you need to be able to learn which pitches to take. Sometimes, a walk is as good as a hit. In less metaphorical terms, sometimes life gives us what we need, not what we want. Trust.

Oct 192013
 

Getting approved to become an adoptive parent can be a long process, when you take into account waiting lists, home studies and all of the other things that you need to do before you are even considered. It’s no wonder that once you finally do make it over all the hurdles, you are so excited and just can’t wait to have your new baby placed with you. Therefore, it may come as a bit of a shock when you realize that you still have many months to go before you are matched with your little bundle of joy. Here is some good advice on how to cope with all that waiting.

 waiting for adoption1 Waiting For Adoption

Image source: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/unhappy-woman-on-couch.jpg

First, it is very important to continue to follow your normal routine. This will help you to cope with the anxiety of waiting, whereas if you start to live your life differently, this will add stress and make the time seem much longer. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep and exercise, and eat healthily. Keep in mind that when your baby does arrive, you are going to be very busy, so you need to be in good shape.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you may find that you can’t help being agitated. If this is the case, then there are a number of things that can help you to cope. First of all, consider keeping a journal or diary. Not only will this keep you occupied, it will allow you to express all of your emotions, rather than just bottling them up inside. Also, make sure that you talk to your partner and share your feelings openly. You will be able to give each other support, and helping someone else makes you focus less on your own problems. Finally, surround yourself with people who are happy to support you – friends and family who want you to be happy and are willing to listen.

Avoid going back to your adoption agency all the time or visiting their website to see if there has been any progress. This is going to increase your anxiety. It’s not a healthy thing to become obsessive – you may even start to wonder if there is something wrong with you because you are not being matched quickly. However, what you need to understand is that for a mother to consider adoption, she needs to think very hard about what type of family she wants for her child, and typically has some quite specific requirements. This doesn’t mean that you are not a good prospective parent – just that it often takes a long time to find a match.

 waiting for adoption2 300x200 Waiting For Adoption

 Image source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B3vSHtpteSY/UZb55uY8wLI/AAAAAAAABG0/FTytgL9y0kw/s1600/babyftft.jpg

Finally, try not to do things like throw baby showers or get the nursery ready before you know that you have a match. These activities are much more enjoyable once you know you have a placement, when you can relax and share your good news openly with everyone. Furthermore, if you do these things too early and your placement takes a long time, they only serve as reminders of how long you have been waiting.

Oct 052013
 

One of the greatest pleasures of summer is enjoying the great outdoors, and having an outdoor party is one of the best ways to do this. You might be thinking of a barbecue with a few friends on the back patio, or a big event for the entire neighborhood, but in all cases some careful upfront planning is needed to make your party a huge success.

 plan the perfect outdoor party1 300x200 Plan the Perfect Outdoor Party

Image source: http://d1n0t8embjb5t8.cloudfront.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Feature4-Party-Outdoor-Lighting-For-Wedding-Receptions-ImagefromBingdotcomimages.jpg

First of all, you need to think about how you can make your party a relaxed and comfortable event. To do this, take a lesson from indoors. Make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating where your guests can chill out, eat and talk, and make it inviting by adding things like throw cushions.

Also make sure that there is enough lighting for when it gets dark, but remember that there is no need for bright lights – as long as there is enough light for people to see, their eyes will adjust. Colored outdoor lights are perfect – not only do they provide the right level of illumination, the colors really help to set the mood as the evening sets in.

If you are having a really large party – for example, a get-together for 100 or more people at the local park – then you also need to get the logistics right and plan for contingencies. For example, what would happen if it rained? People can’t just run back into your house – and if they head off to their own houses then the party is over. Instead, think about party tent rental. This will provide cover for your guests if there is a downpour, and also gives them somewhere cool to go if the sun gets too bright. You also need to think about providing restroom facilities – and easy access to these if you have anyone coming who is disabled.

Large family-oriented events are a great opportunity for parents to get to know each other better, but this can be difficult with the kids in tow. At the same time, you want the children to enjoy the party as much as the adults do. So, think about setting up a supervised area where children can play together, and even considering hiring a children’s entertainer such as a clown or magician. The kids will really enjoy themselves, and the adults will get a little me time as well.

 plan the perfect outdoor party2 300x200 Plan the Perfect Outdoor Party

Image source: http://www.simplebites.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/IMG_2105.jpg

Catering is also a consideration. If you are having a potluck, then try to get everyone to agree in advance exactly what they are going to bring. This way, you won’t end up with 50 bowls of macaroni salad and nothing else. At the same time, think about people who have special dietary needs. For example, up to 13% of people say they have food allergies, with peanuts, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish being among the worst offenders. Also make sure that you cater for people who are vegetarian or vegan – you want them to enjoy the party just as much as everyone else.

Aug 232012
 

Real Relationship Advice

phoenix 300x300 Get Help With PTSD

When we are acknowledging trauma, it is imperative that we talk it out. The majority of Support Groups are centered on a form of trauma (for example; grief, witnessing addiction, rape). The reason for these groups is simple: sharing your experience, releasing that shame, is vital to true healing. However it is not the magic bullet. Sure, you will feel better but true healing will only take place when you deal with the experience as an adult and bring in forgiveness. I know, that is a very tall order but now you see why a professional will assist you in getting to the place where you can forgive.

There are specific forms of therapy that work best with PTSD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used frequently in working with PTSD. With the use of behavioral techniques, such as exposure, the therapist systematically introduce the client to lesser forms of the trauma/stressor until the client becomes comfortable with the stimulus. The problem with this is that not all trauma is that clear cut so as to work with exposure. This works well with PTSD which has created phobias.

We strongly recommend Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is not just a fad to quit smoking or cluck like a chicken. Hypnotherapy is a technique whereas the professional therapist practices deep therapy with a client while the client is in trance. The trance state helps the client relax and brings down the normal barriers. Hypnotherapy cuts through the façade and gets to the core of the issue quicker and more efficiently while still feeling safe. It is widely used for combat vets and we have seen it used very effectively with abuse, rape and other traumatic life events.

We cannot provide some band aid relaxation techniques for PTSD. You must get treatment from a trained professional. And even though we believe in the value of bringing spirituality into therapy, we strongly believe that praying is not enough. You must seek a therapist with PTSD experience.

Please write us if you have any further questions regarding PTSD or are interested in a referral to a local professional.

If you are in Southern Florida, please contact Phoenix Center for Healing. They do amazing work and have experience with veterans and all other types of PTSD.

Jun 142012
 

Real Relationship Advice

MH900444553 300x300 When is enough, enough?

We can discuss relaxation or relieving anxiety week after week without needing to repeat ourselves. However, none of this information will make a difference if you continue to overwhelm yourself. Society has put greater pressure on us to be multitaskers. We value individuals who are able to juggle more than a couple things at a time. We revere them. However, is a world full of multitaskers a good thing? How does that affect your ability to relax?

There was a study conducted a few years ago at Western Washington University. The study was very simple. Random students were asked whether they saw anything unusual when they walked across the University quad. Only 25% of those walking through the quad while speaking on their cell phone noticed a clown riding around the campus. In other words, the ones who were multi-tasking were not paying attention. We often wonder if the surge of ADD is not a question of over-whelming and over-stimulating the system rather than a true inability to pay attention.

The only way to create a life of manageable stress is to start out with a life that is not unmanageable. We take on projects with an eye on the outcome without thinking about the time consumption. We keep heaping more on our ‘to do’ pile without regard to how another impending deadline will affect us. The truth is that we are creating our own misery. We are choosing to be overwhelmed. We are choosing to be drowning in deadlines and be mediocre to disappointing in performance.

Moms tend to be a culprit of this behavior. It is expected of us to do a million things and still volunteer our time in our child’s classroom. We are expected to care for our children, husband’s and home and have a life of our own where we join book clubs or workout or have a girl’s nights and do carpools, Dr.’s appointments, play-dates, Mommy and Me, lactation seminars, healthy snacks for soccer, reading time in our child’s class and bake gluten free cupcakes for our daughter’s American Girl Club. A Mom’s life is no longer that of a caretaker but more of a personal assistant/chauffer/chef who keeps everyone’s schedules, maintains the dietary management of all family members, drives more miles than your average cab driver and still open’s herself to more responsibility.

It is no wonder that Moms are taking anxiety medication to get through the day. It is no wonder that women are drinking more today than ever before. It is no wonder that more Moms are seeking out help with stress than ever before. However, no matter how many yoga classes you take, it will not manage your stress if you need to rush out of a downward dog position to go make crafts for your 10 blog post of the week. Too much is just that.

It takes a good woman to handle everything that life throws at you. It takes a great woman to say, ‘no, I do not have the time for that.’ Make yourself the priority of your schedule and your stress will become manageable before you need to bake another batch of nut-free carob chip cookies.