Monday, 20 February 2017

How To Heal From An Abusive Relationship

recently received this email from a prospective client:
I was verbally abused in my marriage and want to do better this time around. I've done some healing and am now ready to find Mr. Right. I'm only interested in dating men who are serious and commitment-minded—not players or those who are just looking for a fling. How do I quickly screen the wrong men without being too judgmental and possibly overlooking the right ones? And how do I stop obsessing about whether he's the "one" on every date?
As I wrote my response to this woman, I realized how common her plight is. With that in mind, I wanted to share my advice for how to stop attracting partners who don't treat you well and, instead, to attract the ones who will cherish you with every fiber of their being. Here's what I said to Janet.
I'm sorry to hear about the verbal abuse you suffered during your marriage. It can be challenging to rebuild your self-worth and learn to trust men again. I'm glad to learn that you've done some healing and that you're open and ready to find your right-fit partner.
The problem is, if you're obsessed with finding the "one," you will bring a sense of anxiety and suspicion with you on every date. You'll have a wall up, as you evaluate each man and see if he's worthy of being Mr. Right. That could turn off the very man you're seeking.
After spending years with a man who treated you poorly, it's natural to distrust any man you meet. You're waiting for each guy to prove that he's another emotionally abusive man. I cannot overestimate the importance of this:
You attract what you believe. If you believe you'll meet emotionally abusive men, you will be a magnet for abusers.
The first step is to date yourself. In this step, you can work through past dating patterns and uncover your blind spots and limiting beliefs. Once you name those beliefs, you can work through them with powerful exercises like the one below. In this step, you also reclaim the parts of yourself that may have been lost in your marriage. You'll learn how to express yourself with men—powerfully, with ease and grace. You become the woman of value who can set clear boundaries and walk away from the wrong men with your head held high.
Once you heal from your past, you can date with an open heart. You'll let your guard down as you realize every man is not a clone of your ex-husband. As my client's new boyfriend once said to her, "I'm not the man who hurt you."

How to heal from Mr. Wrong:

1. Begin your healing process by letting go of negative beliefs about men and relationships.

Each time you have a negative thought about men, ask yourself, "Where does this belief come from? Where did it start? Why is this familiar to me?" For example, "I believe that men cheat." This came from my experience with my father cheating on my mother, my husband cheating on me, and my last boyfriend doing the same thing."

2. Ask yourself if your belief is really true.

Do you know without a doubt that this is true? Is it possible that it's not true of all men? Perhaps this has been true of only a few men. Once you realize that you've been blaming all men for the actions of a few, you can now say to yourself, "No, I don't know this to be 100 percent true of all men. In fact, I know several women who are happily married to wonderful men who have never cheated."

3. Create your new story—a new belief about men.

Turn that negative statement into a positive one. Example: "All men don't cheat. Only unfaithful men cheat. The man I'm looking for has good character and won't cheat. I'll look for signs of a man who tells the truth, whose actions and words align. I'll stop assuming that every man is a potential cheater and look for the good instead."

4. Repeat your new story as your mantra every day for a week.

Example: "There are good men." Or "I will attract a man who doesn't cheat."
You will begin to attract positive energy all around you. You'll soon see men through a more positive lens. And before you know it, you'll find a fabulous, faithful man.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

11 Reasons To Skip Your Workout And Have Sex Instead

"Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy." When Anais Nin wrote this in her book Delta of Venus, she might not have been thinking beyond the obvious benefits of love making. But can sex can transform our lives in way more ways than one? Will it affect our mental and physical health long-term? Could it even be used to treat some of our most bothersome ailments?
We asked some of our favorite health experts Dr. Jeffrey EglerDr. Amy Shah, and Dr. William Cole to share some of their knowledge, and what we discovered is that yes, there are way more reasons to have sex than we originally thought. Terrible news, right? In addition to the obvious upside, regular sexual activity can also:

1. Help you stay healthy all winter long

According to Dr. Egler, a family practice physician and Los Angeles medical director of Parsley Health, sex can stimulate the immune system. And various research studies back this up, showing that regular sex can help prevent the common cold and increase immunity.

2. Soothe your headaches

Sex releases oxytocin, which is a hormone in the brain that can act as an effective pain reliever. Plus, many headaches are caused by stress and tension–which can easily melt away with a little distraction.

3. Help you get a great night's sleep

If you are sleep-deprived, some time between the sheets may be just what you need. A study on British women showed that one in six say they sleep longer and deeper after sex.

4. Strengthen all types of muscles

Sex can also strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which may not sound like a big deal, but these muscles are important for preventing future incontinence and leakage. (Plus, they have been linked to better sex.)

5. Kick sugar your sugar addiction

Suffer from 9 p.m. candy cravings? It could be because you're stressed and having a hard time winding down from your hectic day. The good news is that sex is relaxing and it increases feel-good hormones in your brain and body, which can help fight off those sugar cravings.

6. Keep you healthy for life 

One of our other fabulous integrative medicine experts, Dr. Amy Shah, says that regular sexual activity can help prevent disease and keep us healthy as we age. According to Dr. Shah, regular ejaculations (21 or more ejaculations a month), has been linked to a decreased risk for prostate cancer.

7. Transform your mood 

Immediately following orgasm, the body releases oxytocin (also known as the "love hormone" or "cuddle hormone"), which–according to Dr. Egler—evokes feelings of elation, attachment, and wellness.

8. Burn some extra calories

Don't feel like going to the gym? Feel free to stay in bed. Some research suggests that sexual activity can qualify as a moderate workout. Plus, I think we can all agree that it beats 45 minutes on the treadmill.

9. Affect your heart—in more ways than one

Sex is deeply linked to our hearts and emotions, opening us up to love and intimacy with another person. And according to Dr. Shah, people who have sex regularly are also less likely to get heart disease, keeping us healthy in more ways than one.

10. Support healthy cortisol balance

Our functional medicine expert, Dr. William Cole, says the chemicals in our brain released during sex work to reduce cortisol—our major stress hormone—which plays a major role in adrenal fatigue

11. Balance your immune response

According to Dr. Cole, having sex (and falling in love) is one of the best ways to increase inflammation-fighting, immune-balancing T-cells.
There you have it, getting busy can do way more than just cultivate romance and make us feel connected to our partner—it can provide real, measurable benefits to our health and well-being. And so—knowing all these great benefits—the next time you get intimate, do so in honor of your health.
The article is by Gretchen Lidicker culled from Mindbodygreen.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

47 Things That Define True Love

Along with the new wrinkle on my forehead and the increasing severity of hangovers, getting older has also brought me something a lot more welcome — it's brought me a little bit of wisdom. With each passing year, we understand more about ourselves and our relationships. My significant other and I have been together for over five years, and I've had some of the best experiences of my life with him. We've also had some pretty difficult ones. While I'm not sure there's one true secret to making things work, I do know that it's possible if you're both really in it together.
We've changed over the years and so has the nature of our love. We've experienced the excitement of falling hard for each other, we've challenged our resilience with a move across the country with each other (and a very grumpy cat), and we've started over in a new city with no money and few friends. We've celebrated births of family members together and mourned the loss of them, too. We've experienced the novelty of the honeymoon phase wearing off and a deeper, more peaceful kind of love settling in. Falling in love is easy; staying in love is something you have to work at daily. Over the years I've seen little signs (often at the time not realizing what they were) that helped me decipher what true love really is and what that means. Here's what I've learned.
  1. Love is seeing a person every day and still missing them when you're apart.
  2. Love is listening.
  3. Love is using the bathroom with the door open because they were in the middle of the story and you really had to go.
  4. Love is smiling at them while they're sleeping.
  5. Love is picking up their favorite treat on the way home so they will be surprised when they get there.
  6. Love is respect, but not submission.
  7. Love is challenging each other to be the best people you both can be.
  8. Love is asking for forgiveness.
  9. Love is forgiving.
  10. Love is letting them be their own person and always being your true self with them, too.
  11. Love is committing to them and meaning it.
  12. Love is addressing problems and challenges, not avoiding them.
  13. Love is holding their hand when they are sad or scared — or just because.
  14. Love is the absence of judgments.
  15. Love is compromise.
  16. Love is cleaning up the cat, dog, or baby poop, even if it's not your turn to.
  17. Love is arguing, but not attacking.
  18. Love is honest, even when it hurts.
  19. Love is letting them know you'll always be there for them.
  20. Love is finding a balance.
  21. Love is recognizing the value of the other person and telling them.
  22. Love is selfless.
  23. Love is saying "I love you" any chance you get.
  24. Love is support and encouragement.
  25. Love is patience when things don't go as planned.
  26. Love is eating at your favorite restaurant and talking about your days.
  27. Love is laughing at inside jokes no one else will ever understand.
  28. Love is something that makes you both happy.
  29. Love is losing sleep because they haven't come home yet.
  30. Love is sometimes admitting you're wrong.
  31. Love is supporting their passion, even if you don't share that passion.
  32. Love is never, ever watching a new episode of your favourite show without them.
  33. Love is corny as hell.
  34. Love is chemistry.
  35. Love is loving their friends and family (or at least trying to).
  36. Love is letting them pick the next trip you take.
  37. Love is being partners.
  38. Love is sharing the covers.
  39. Love is imperfect.
  40. Love is letting the small things go.
  41. Love is skipping the party and going to bed together early.
  42. Love is a kiss on the forehead.
  43. Love is laughing at stupid things together.
  44. Love is not just talk, but action.
  45. Love is boring.
  46. Love is exciting.
  47. Love is home. (The article is written by Hilary White culled from

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

This Is The Single Most Important Factor In Raising Healthy, Happy Children

It can feel sometimes like the world has gone mad. Public discourse is filled with anger and confusion; people sit together in crowded spaces staring at their own flickering screens, isolated by the technology intended to connect them. And throughout the world, parents look for answers: How do I raise healthy, happy children in this complex world? How can I guide their behavior without punishing or spoiling them? Is it possible to build strong relationships in a fractured world?
The answer is yes—but it takes thoughtfulness and commitment. And the foundation is both simpler and more complicated than you might think. When parents are asked what they believe is most essential to raising capable, healthy children, most of them offer the obvious answer: love. But as it turns out, some of the things parents do in the name of loving their children are not helpful or effective. Children need more than love alone.
Responding consistently and lovingly to a child's needs turns out to be the single most important thing parents (and other caregivers) can do for a child.

Imagine an infant lying contentedly in her crib. She may be watching her hands or gazing with fascination at her own feet when she suddenly becomes aware of a need. She may be hungry, or wet, or lonely, or tired. Whatever the cause, she cries to let her caregivers know that she needs them. And those caregivers usually rush to pick her up and soothe her. Especially when parents are new to the job, it may take several bumbling efforts before the cause of the baby's distress is discovered and resolved. Eventually, however, the baby goes back to resting contentedly and her parents breathe a sigh of relief—until next time.
How many times in a day do you think this little scenario unfolds? Dozens, even hundreds of times—and each time, a baby learns more about trust and about the family she is now part of. If this cycle continues consistently throughout her childhood, she will develop what researchers refer to as "secure attachment," what Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs called a "sense of belonging and significance" more than 100 years ago, and what in Positive Discipline is simply called "connection." This sense of being wanted and cared for unconditionally sets the stage for everything children will learn in life.
Responding consistently and lovingly to a child's needs turns out to be the single most important thing parents (and other caregivers) can do for a child. Every piece of important early learning happens when a child and the important adults in her life interact face to face: how to manage strong emotions, how to learn language, how to read signals and cues from other human beings. Children who are lucky enough to have a secure attachment tend to learn more quickly, to be more cooperative, and to develop the social and emotional skills they will need to thrive. Children who do not have a strong connection may never develop to their full potential.
How, then, can you build a strong and lasting connection with your child? It's not complicated, but it does require time, patience, and commitment. Here are six things you can do to create a sense of belonging and worth for your child:

1. Spend time together.

So simple—but so critically important. Life for most parents these days is overscheduled and hectic. There are bills to pay and many tasks competing for limited time. But for a young child, there simply is no substitute for unhurried, face-to-face time with caring adults. Do your best to create time for laughter, looking into your child's face, and marveling at her growth. Take a deep breath, and slow down. These moments will never come again, and they are a precious investment in your child's well-being.

2. Touch gently and often.

One of the simplest ways to nurture connection is with loving touch. Offer (and accept) hugs and kisses. Use bath time, diapering, and other routine tasks to massage your child's skin, to stroke him gently, and to send the message of love and caring. When your child is upset, touch may speak more clearly than words; a hand on his shoulder or ruffling his hair says, "I'm here and I care about you" without the necessity of words. Wordless snuggles can speak volumes about the depth of your connection to your child.

3. Listen with your full attention.

When your child wants to tell you something, do your best to tune in. Put down the knife you're using to chop vegetables; turn off your smartphone. Get down on your child's level, make eye contact, and smile. You might be amazed at what happens. At the end of the day, you can ask your child to share with you his happiest moment of the day and his saddest moment of the day; then you can share yours with him.

4. Play together.

Most parents are good at taking children places where they can play; they're less good at playing themselves. Children are whole-body learners. They experience their world through their senses, and getting messy together may be one of the best experiences you can share. Let your child take the lead; follow her cues about how to play. Even video games can build connection if you let your child be the teacher, but cardboard boxes, mud, paint, and blocks may be even better.

5. Be curious.

What does it feel like to be your child? When she looks at you, what does she see? Do you know what she loves to do, what she's curious about, and how she feels about her own experiences? If you're not sure, consider it an invitation to go exploring.

6. Teach, don't punish.

Spoiling a child isn't helpful. But neither is being harsh or punitive. The Latin root of the word discipline means "to teach," and children thrive when the adults in their lives focus on teaching skills and character qualities. When it's necessary to correct your child's behavior (and it will be), set reasonable limits and then follow through with both kindness and firmness. Yelling and punishment don't teach anything useful.
When you have a strong connection with your child, both of you can turn mistakes into opportunities to learn. You can laugh together and enjoy the hard work of parenting—well, most of the time. After all, you and your child are human, and life together will never be perfect. Remember, connection always comes before correction. Family life can be complicated and frustrating, but focusing on connection builds a foundation you and your child can count on.
This article is by Cheryle Erwin culled from Mindbodygreen.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Would You Have Affair With Your Best Friend's Girlfriend or Boyfriend

I first asked this question to many men and women and received several replies. This prompted to write this article. Before I allow you to read the replies, read this short story of what the topic is all about. After you have read the story, I will also like to read your own comment. How you will react if you found yourself in this unfortunate situation. If you are a woman, put your name where you have Jude and your best friend, maybe Susanna where you have Sampson. She would be your bridesmaid instead of bestman. Happy reading.
As soon as Jude set a date for his marriage a few years back, the first person he ran to was Sampson, his childhood friend. “We’d known each other for years and there was a no other option for the bestman for me,” he explained to me. “Weeks later, we arranged to meet at our regular club where I introduced Marilyn, my finance to my best friend. As soon as Sampson clamped eyes on her he seemed less keen on our union.”
“Are you sure she’s right for you?” he asked dubiously as soon as she was out of ear-shot.
“What do you ask?” Jude responded.
“She’s a bit flirty. It’s likely she could be a cheater.”
“I was thrown by this sudden mild hostility toward Marilyn,” Jude continued. “Sampson is ordinarily outgoing and friendly. Admitted Marilyn was a bit wild, but that’s what I love about her. I quickly forgot this incident as we planned our forthcoming wedding. The morning of our big day, Sampson took me to his house for a quick drink to steady my nerves. He was in high spirit and I couldn’t have been happier to have my best mate at my side as I married my dream woman. The wedding went without a hitch and a couple of months later; friends threw us a congratulatory party. It was a fairly small one and I watched with pride as Sampson danced with my new wife.”
Marilyn put her arms round his neck and began gyrating slowly against his thighs. She was wearing a blue skirt and a high-ruffle-collared blouse. She had penchant for glittering earrings and stylish clothes. Snaking his arm around her waist, waves of heat shot through him, throbbed in all the right places. He swallowed hard, savoring and fighting the sensation all at once without success. Sampson then leaned closer and whispered in her ear.
“I think you need me. I think I am the man you deserve, a man who can love you with all his heart. A man who is capable of devotion and fidelity, a man you can’t trust, unlike Jude,” Sampson said seductively.
Marilyn closed her eyes as if his touch and words combination were more than she could bear. “You deserve a woman capable of giving back those same things to you.”
“I hear reformed bad women make great wives.”
She threw her head back and laughed. “It’s is like sinners who get religion and become religious fanatic,” she replied.
Jude felt a bit uneasy, but glad both of them were finally getting on. Anyone seeing them would never have guessed he’d had his doubts about Marilyn. Jude was engaged to someone he thought was the love of his life. She was everything he wanted in a woman, in a wife, in a mother for my children.
They settled into married life and were anxious to start a family. After months of disappointments, Marilyn got pregnant and eventually gave birth to their daughter. Only, rather than embracing motherhood, Marilyn was already struggling to cope. The maid was left to do most of the caring and as soon as she could get back to work, Marilyn blossomed again. Always impeccably dressed to work, she had excuses for her coming home late –if it wasn’t an office party, it was shopping for foodstuff. It broke Jude’s heart arriving home most evenings to find the maid struggling with juggling household chores and caring for their daughter.
Whenever he complained, she always flared up, accusing him of trying to control her, but he just wanted them to spend some time together as a family. They’d only been married for over two years and already things seemed rocky. The more he protested her late nights, the more daring she got. In the end he confided in Sampson, he’d known exactly what to do. The more he arranged for them to meet up, the more elusive he became. When he eventually cornered him, he showed no sympathy for what he was passing through. “I told you she was flirtatious,” he reminded me. “I’ve never trusted her.”
Their daughter was six months old when she went to a close friend’s birthday party. She had earlier warned that it was an all-night party, and he shouldn’t wait up for her. She stumbled in the early hours stark drunk. As she slept her mobile lit up with a message from Smith. Opening it, he felt sick. It was clear that Marilyn and this guy had had sex earlier that day and he wanted a repeat performance. As he went through more texts, it was obvious this had been going on for some time. He felt his whole world come crashing down. Who the hell was this Smith?
As he glanced at the number, he recognized it instantly. It was Sampson’s number none other than the best man at their wedding. The friend he trusted most in the world. The bosom friend who had warned me off Marilyn because he thought she was too flirty.
But how could he? Jude wondered. Had Sampson wanted Marilyn for himself all along? Hurt turned to anger as he furiously shook her awake. “You’re sleeping with Sampson?” he yelled but she wouldn’t confess.
It was then he understood why some men engage in wife battery. He got dressed, threatening to go after Sampson and she chased after me, shouting “What did you expect. You’re are not as caring as he is.”
He turned and grabbed her by the throat. “Now tell me what you two have been up to?” he asked her. She then confessed to having sex with Sampson that evening at the back of his car.
He had to let go for her throat before he choked her to death. His wife and his best friend at it at the back of a car. Unbelievable! If you were in this situation, what will you do/

Thursday, 2 February 2017

What are some telltale signs your relationship is codependent?

1. You're using the relationship to fill a void.

Similar to a drug addiction, love addiction uses love to release dopamine for pleasure and endorphins to numb pain. While those can be benefits in a healthy, balanced relationship, the need for something outside of yourself to feel OK and cope with life is a sign that it has crossed the threshold to problematic.

2. You're sacrificing parts of yourself to please your partner.

A healthy relationship should enhance the person you are and not take away from it. If you find yourself giving up parts of your identity, you are doing little service to yourself and your relationship. Oftentimes, individuals in codependent relationships will expect reciprocity in this sacrifice, not get it, and end up feeling hurt, abandoned, and resentful.

3. You lack boundaries.

If you start with a set of guidelines that set a standard for a healthy amount of time spent with the other person and engaging in other activities and soon find yourself breaking those guidelines and commitments, you might be laying the foundation for a codependent relationship. It is all about maintaining balance in your life.

4. You find it difficult or intimidating to speak your mind.

If you find it uncomfortable to say what's on your mind because you are fearful of being judged or perhaps are worried what you say will not be what the other person wants to hear, you are actually depriving yourself of the opportunity to have an open, honest relationship. An unwillingness to be honest can backfire and can in turn make you question the other person's level of honesty and openness.

5. You're obsessing in an attempt to control the relationship and the outcome.

A healthy relationship means a working relationship between two partners. Part of that includes being able to accept the fact that you may not know exactly how everything is going to turn out and navigating (and enjoying) that mysterious journey together.

6. You experience intense fear of losing the relationship.

If you have something good, it makes sense that you want to keep it in your life. But sometimes, there is a need to take a step back from the relationship and remind yourself that you are going to be OK no matter what, whether this person is in your life or not. The flight attendant trains us to put our own oxygen mask on before we help others with theirs. It is important to recognize that the other person is not your oxygen mask or your oxygen.
Recognizing the warning signs of a codependent relationship early on is half the battle. At the end of the day, the best relationships allow you to feel comfortable, secure, and free. When you and your partner each allow the other to shine brightly in your individuality and mutual respect for one another, you'll find your relationship will enrich and support the person you are rather than take away from it. And that is what love is truly all about.
This article is by Aimee Noel culled from Mindbodygreen.

6 Signs Your Relationship Is Codependent

Ah, love. It can enrich our lives, provide meaning and support, and reduce stress. Healthy, intimate relationships can even help you live longer. But the pursuit of love and actually maintaining a relationship can sometimes be a source of significant pain in our lives. In other words: Love ain't always all it's cracked up to be.
Developing your own identity and solid sense of self can sound like a tall order. However, it is also the foundation we need if we are to develop a healthy relationship with another person. It would be ideal to have that in place first, but often people jump into relationships while they are still settling into their relationship with themselves. Thus, as you navigate relationships it's important to keep yourself in check and recognize some of the characteristics of a healthy relationship as well as the telltale signs your relationship is codependent.

Characteristics of a healthy relationship:

The main building block of any healthy relationship is respect—respect for yourself and respect for the other. This includes:

1. Accountability

Admit mistakes and accept responsibility.

2. Trust

Be a person of your word and try to give others the benefit of the doubt.

3. Honesty

Communicate openly and truthfully.

4. Cooperation

Ask; don't expect. Make decisions together, and find a mutually agreeable compromise when necessary.

5. Safety

Respect each other's physical space, and allow for absolutely no intimidation or manipulation.

6. Support

Be understanding and encouraging, valuing each other's opinions and choices.
The article is by Aimee Noel culled from Mindbodygreen.