How to invite forgiveness to bless your life…
Forgiveness is both a decision and a process. Choose one of the ways listed in this infographic to implement in your life for one week. Assess how it has blessed you and then try a new way until you feel the weight of hurt and bitterness lessen.
No matter how much you like the other person, at some point, conflict is likely to happen. While most conflicts are fairly small (like trying to decide where to go out for dinner), left untended a conflict can fester and grow. That’s why it’s so important to resolve conflicts in your relationships before they have a chance to take on a life of their own.
How do you go about doing that?
1. Start by listening. But don’t just listen to the spoken words, but the feelings behind them. It’s the emotions that drive the conversation after all! By listening actively, meaning pausing to ask questions, clarify, and to reiterate what you think the other person is saying, you tell the other person that what they have to say matters. But more importantly, you’re letting them know that they’re being heard.
2. Look for the resolution over being right. Giving up the notion that you have to ‘win’ is where you start seeing the solutions. Conflict is not a competition.
3. Stay in the moment. Instead of focusing on what happened that brought you into this conflict, pay attention to what’s going on right now. Now isn’t the time for blame. Rather look for solutions.
4. Decide what’s important right now. That is called ‘picking your battles’ and is important in determining whether a thing is worth fighting over. Ask yourself if this is just an issue over a minor annoyance that will be easily forgotten, or if you have something deeper going on that maybe needs to be addressed.
5. Know how and when to disengage. That means being able to do what it takes to walk away. It might be forgiveness is in order. It might be that you’re just going to need to agree to disagree. Worst case scenario? It might be time just to let the matter go entirely. Whatever the case, there’s nothing to be gained by staying in the conflict.
Resolving conflicts isn’t a hard skill to learn. By following these tips, you will discover how better to deal with conflict in every kind of relationship – whether business or personal. So take heart – a misunderstanding doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. Instead look at your conflict as a step toward better understanding that will, in turn, lead to better relationships in the long run.
Let Ron Huxley help you resolve conflict in your life by scheduling a session today or take a free course at FamilyHealer.tv
How Can a Healthy Imagination Help Our Relationships?
There’s no doubt about it; relationships are hard. It can seem nearly impossible when you are trying to make two lives work together. If you are struggling in your relationship, it may be worthwhile to examine your imagination. Believe it or not, a healthy imagination can truly help your relationship.
It has been said that “the world of reality has it limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
It has also been said that “imagination is more important that knowledge.” (Albert Einstein)
Imagination (Re) Ignites Passion
When you are with the same person for so long, it can often seem like the passion will fade, or maybe things will seem to get a bit boring. Well, imagination is one of the main ignitions of passion. If you improve your imagination, the passion in your relationship will improve as well.
For example, you could cook your significant other a fancy dinner and serve it to them on a picnic blanket on the floor. Then use your imagination to imagine you are in Paris! You might just be surprised by how much fun the two of you have with imaginative ideas like this.
Imagination bring hope back into hopeless situations. You don’t have to give up on your relationship situation. You can reignite the passion by igniting the imagination of how things could be…in the future.
Imagination Helps You Make Plans
One of the main indicators of caring about someone is making plans that involve them. Without a healthy imagination, it can be difficult to see past the dreariness of day-to-day life. If your relationship seems to be in a rut, then it’s time to tap into that imagination to create something fun for the two of you to do! Try to think of something you haven’t done before, and don’t be afraid to try something incredibly unique.
Start small and take small risks in your relationship. Step out of the comfort zone. The effort itself will prove your willingness to try to change even if things don’t do perfectly for you.
Imagination Can Help You Through the Rough Patches
All relationships have rough patches, where you may not be happy with your partner or feel that you aren’t going to make it as a couple. Sometimes, if the relationship is truly worth it, you need to persevere to get there, and imagination can help you through that. Imagination can help you envision a future together where things are better.
It can help you solve problems that are causing challenges in your relationship. It can even remind you of past times you have had together and how fun they were, even if things are currently difficult.
Whether or not you realize it, imagination is essential to helping your relationship last. Imagination is an integral part of passion, making plans, and surviving the rough patches that will inevitably come along. So if you are in a relationship that is currently struggling, it’s time to work to improve your imagination today. Even if you aren’t currently in a relationship, a healthy imagination is a great method of preparing yourself for future relationships that may come your way.
Use Love Languages to be creative in your imagination
The 5 love languages was created by Gary Chapman and written about in a book by the same name. The languages include words of affirmation, quality of time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Speaking your partner or family members love languages makes them feel loved. We tend to speak our own love languages which may not match up with others missing the mark. Knowing others love language allows us to use imagination that has a more powerful influence for the future.
Caring is an important quality in one’s life. What would the world be like if we didn’t have caring people? Too much caring can create problems, however. Overcaring can cause fatigue, burnout, or secondary trauma, enabling addictive behaviors, preventing healthy child independence, rejection and estrangement from loved ones, and so much more. Finding a healthy balance is essential to living a healthier, happier life. The first step in this process is learning WHY you care so much so that you can find that balance.
Here are four ways to help you get clear on why you care so much that you can use:
Sounds too simple, right? The truth is that it is that simple…mostly! There are a lot of books and devotionals for people who care too much. Melodie Beattie is one of my favorite authors. She wrote the books Codepency No More, The Language of Letting Go, and Codepence Guilt to the 12 steps. Another classic is Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. I regularly recommend this book to families. Of course, there are other great reads, such as Women Who Do Too Much, Raising Empowered Children, Keeping Your Love On, Caregivers Survival Guide, The Heart of the Caregiver, and so many more.
In addition to books, there are YouTube videos and online courses that you can take to learn healthier caregiving lifestyles. Try one now at FamilyHealer.tv
You can use your computer, buy a specialized journal, or you can simply use a notebook you have created to journal. It’s up to you what type of system you use and whether it’s modern or analog.
The important part is that you try to use your journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and stream of consciousness about a problem you’re trying to solve or a feeling you’re trying to explore without judgment or censoring.
Write in your journal every day when you’re trying to understand why you care so much. You may end up discovering your life purpose or a new reason for getting up each day that you had not realized before.
Become a Patron Sponsor of FamilyHealer.tv and get free journals and many more tools for living a happier life at FamilyHealer.tv
Before you use your journal, it can help to clear your mind using meditation. Meditation practice is all about not thinking and not judging your thoughts or feelings even as they still happen during the meditation.
Each time you meditate, you can have a purpose of self-discovery or have a goal to clear your mind and relax. To practice this type of meditation, you’ll want to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. Then concentrate on your goals for the meditation, close your eyes, and start focusing on your breathing.
Think about the situation you’re trying to understand for a moment, then clear your mind. If any intrusive thoughts come in, brush them aside by refocusing on your breathing. You mustn’t allow any outside information or sensation to distract you during this time.
Try using an app, like Headspace, Calm, 10% Happier, Stop Breath Think, or Abide.
These days you’re so fortunate because you can get psychological therapy from the comfort of your home using your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies offer this service and varying price points, but you can expect to pay $60 or more per hour to get therapy. In addition, many insurance companies include several sessions as part of your benefits.
If you seek therapy, make sure you find someone experienced working with you on overcoming people-pleasing and putting yourself last in life. Remember, your wants and needs matter too. Most therapists can guide you through the self-discovery process to finally know what you want and feel good about it regardless of the reactions from other people.
Any or all three of these methods help you become crystal clear regarding your motivations to seek approval from others and even help you stop doing it. Remember, what you want from life is important too, and following someone else’s dreams will never get you what you want and need to feel successful and, more importantly, satisfied and content in your life.
Let Ron Huxley help you today by scheduling a therapy session online. Just click here to start!
Self-care is often overlooked and pushed aside for more important, more pressing commitments. The truth is that self-care should be a priority. Without it, we cannot function at our optimum and therefore different areas of our life may be detrimentally impacted. The modern lifestyle is a busy one, with individuals often rushing between commitments, however, there are still ways you can implement self-care in your life. Here are ten ways you can add self-care to your routine so that you can maintain your physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Identify what self-care is to you
We all have different needs and different ways of unwinding. Identify what self-care is the most effective for you. It may be taking a walk and getting outdoors, or curling up by the fire with a good book. It may be surrounding yourself with good friends, taking a bike ride or soaking in a long, hot bath. Whatever it is, learn to define self-care for you as an individual so that you can better take care of yourself.
- Establish a routine
Once you understand what self-care works for you, add it to your routine. Commit to engaging the activity regularly until it becomes a habit, something that is simply a normal part of your life.
- Get regular, good quality sleep
Establish a sleep routine so that you are getting enough high-quality sleep. Sleep is a critical part of maintaining good health and should not be underestimated. By implementing a sleep routine, you can ensure that you are getting enough rest and are therefore optimally prepared to perform at your best.
- Eat a balanced diet
Diet is an important part of self-care and has a significant impact on your health. Make sure to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding soft drink and processed foods.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise if great for physical, mental and emotional health and should be a part of any self-care routine.
- Learn to say no
The ability to establish boundaries can be important to self-care. Rather than simply saying yes to everything until things become unbearable or seemingly impossible, learn to say no when you are busy or feeling under pressure.
- Get organised
A little organisation can go a long way in regard to your self-care. Implementing strategies to be more organised can really help reduce your stress and improve your mental health.
- De-clutter your environment
Get rid of the rubbish and excess goods in your house; a cleaner, less cluttered space is great for your mental health as it will help to reduce stress levels.
- Schedule time to yourself
It can often feel like we are being pulled in a million different directions. Make sure to schedule time for your self-care and donít allow this to be interrupted.
- Take a break
If things are getting too much, take a break. It might be taking a few days off work, getting a away for the weekend or taking a longer vacation; regardless of the length, sometime simply stepping out of the environment can be great for perspective and self-care.
Schedule training on self for your organization today by contacting Ron Huxley, LMFT at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel anxious from time to time, that’s completely normal. When anxiety becomes overwhelming, you may be tempted to seek some peace using prescription medication, alcohol, or drugs. These methods, though, inherently bring problems of their own.
The good news is you can get through anxious moments on your own without mind-altering drugs. Your worries can be transformed into peace with simple, natural strategies. One of these techniques is using prayer and meditation.
What are Prayer and Meditation?
Prayer is “a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.” It is the heart of practices in all major religions. When we struggle, we call out to God for strength, direction, peace, and healing.
Mediation is a form of prayer. It is a practice of training the mind by focusing on an object, thought, or activity, enabling the busy mind to be still and the stressed body to find rest.
Inherent in both prayer and mediation is the act of letting go of control or accepting that control is an illusion. The practitioners of Alcoholics Anonymous called this “acceptance” that they are powerless over their addiction and in need of a higher power.
Prayer and meditation differ because prayer is a form of communication, asking for help. Meditation concentrates on quietness and focus, without any criticism or judgment of others or self.
Research supports the idea that prayer and reduces the effects of anxiety and depression. In a 2009 report, researchers reviewed 26 studies that identified the active involvement of medical patients in private or personal prayer. The focus was not on the effect of being prayed for or on the usefulness of attending religious meetings.
The authors of the research review stated: “There is no evidence that praying is likely to be beneficial in the absence of any kind of faith and some evidence that certain types of prayer based on desperate pleas for help in the absence of faith are associated with poorer wellbeing and function.”
While both prayer and meditation can calm anxiety, it appears that prayer is more beneficial when connected to faith.
Meditation has been widely researched and it has been demonstrated to reduce anxiety, chronic pain, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It is considered to be a mind-body intervention that “eliminates the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress.”
In addition, the emotional benefits of meditation can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience and tolerance
There are various forms of meditation that involve guided meditation, mindfulness-based stress meditation, walking meditation, visualizations, and more. Technology is a big aid with various apps and online programs that can assist in meditative practices.
How to Get Started
You can start on your path to an anxiety-free life right away, and it all begins with a deep breath. Pull the air deep down into your diaphragm, and let it out slowly. Do this several times, and you’ll start to feel calmer.
Are you breathing effectively? When you take in air, if only the top part of your lungs expands, your chest rises and falls. When you live the right way – the calming way – your belly rises and falls, not your upper chest, because your entire lungs are filled with fresh air.
Avoid breathing from your upper chest only, and you’ll already be on the road to feeling calmer and less anxious. It’s a simple thing to do and a great way to get started. The more you do it, the more it’ll become automatic. Soon, you’ll feel calmer without even thinking about your breathing anymore.
Here are some other tips to help you feel calm while praying or meditating:
1. Use your breathing like a mantra. Inhale while you give yourself positive thoughts and feelings. Exhale anything negative you’re thinking or feeling. Breathing is the rhythm of life. Use it to your advantage. Use affirmative words or phrases, quoting scriptures or songs.
2. Pray or meditate at the same time each day. Spend a few minutes – it doesn’t have to be a long time – in quiet reflection. Say good things to yourself. You can focus on your health, finances, family, or anything you want to make stronger. Avoid negative thinking during this time.
3. Laugh. Try saying “ho, ho, ho, he, he, he, ha, ha, ha” and other silly phrases. When you do, you’ll start to smile, then grin, and then laugh for real! And when you’re laughing, you can’t frown or feel anxious! Laughter reduces the stress chemicals in your brain and increases the amount of oxygen flowing through your brain and body.
4. Find community. Join a church, take up yoga, or find a support group for anxiety. Many others share your struggle, and you can feel better about yourself and more in-tune with others when you share your feelings.
5. Savor positive experiences. You wouldn’t gobble up an expensive piece of chocolate you bought. You would savor it slowly, trying to get as much flavor and joy from it as possible before it is gone. When we do this with our positive experiences, no matter how small, our nervous system registers it and remembers it allowing greater capacity for calmness.
When you start your journey toward personal peace through prayer or meditation, don’t expect to conquer your anxiety in a day. It took time to get where you are, and it’ll take time to get back to where you want to be.
Every journey begins with that first step, and once you make it, you’ll be well on your way. Breathe. Laugh. Meditate or pray. Find time to think about and interact with others rather than concentrate on your worries. Rewire your nervous system through consistent practices of wellbeing.
Have you ever thought about working with a coach before? If you are serious about achieving your biggest goals, you should seriously consider it. Working with a coach is a great way to boost your results in almost any area of life. Having someone to teach you the ropes, or build more accountability into your life, is a beautiful way to ensure you achieve more. If you wonder if working with a coach could help you, please consider these nine benefits.
- Helps You Define Your Goals
Many of us have goals, but often they are loosely (or not at all) defined. A coach can help take the hopes and dreams out of your head to create concrete goals. Instead of just wanting something, you start taking tangible steps towards it.
- Adds More Accountability to Your Life
It’s funny, but we have a much easier time letting ourselves down than we do letting others down. Having a coach means one more person in your life you don’t want to let down. You will feel more accountable and be more likely to achieve your goals when you know someone will ask you about your progress.
- Encourages You to Define Your Values
Do you know what you stand for? Maybe a better question is, do you know your core values? Regardless of the question, if you struggle with the answer, a coach can help you. A coach can’t tell you your values, but they can ask you questions that will help you define them yourself.
- Helps You See Yourself More Clearly
A good coach will help you become more self-aware. This self-awareness will allow you to be more honest with yourself. You will know what you are good at and what you aren’t so good at doing. Self-awareness will enable you to double down on your strengths while figuring out how to deal with your weaknesses.
- Assists Skill Building and Development
The most obvious benefit of a coach is their ability to help us build specific skills. For example, if you are interested in becoming a better business person, it makes sense to work with a business coach who has been there and done that. You get to learn from both their experiences and their mistakes.
- Offers a Safe Space to Talk About Sensitive Issues
Whether you find the current world too sensitive or not, it’s a fact that we need to watch the things we say. Having a coach gives you a safe space to talk about more sensitive issues. This doesn’t mean you have a place to barf out all your emotions, but you can at least vent a bit more freely.
- Encourages You To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
The comfort zone got its name from being comfortable. Once you are in it, you don’t want to get out. A good coach will coax and challenge you to step out of it. Stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while will make it easier to create positive change in your life.
- Offers a Different Viewpoint
When you have a coach, you have someone else to bounce ideas off. It is so easy to get caught up in your tunnel vision that you might not even consider differing opinions. A coach forces you to consider different viewpoints and opinions. It will help you become a more well-rounded individual.
- Helps You Make Tough Decisions
Sometimes it feels like life is nothing but a series of difficult decisions. While this isn’t always true, it has a basis in reality. How much would you like to have someone else talk to about these decisions? A good coach provides that kind of assistance.
Coaching Action Steps:
- Take some time to think about different areas of your life that could use a boost. Write these down in a list.
- Carefully consider the list from the last step to figure out if a coach, mentor, or teacher could help you in any of these areas.
- Choose the area of your life that could most use a coach, and start researching coaching options. If you find a fit right for you, take a chance and reach out.
Let Ron Huxley coach you on parenting, anxiety, and trauma-informed care. With 30 years of experience, Ron can guide you to a more stable, productive life…Click here now to schedule an appointment.
Why Self-Confidence Matters
It often seems that confidence is elusive, like a smoky mirage. Sometimes, it feels magical and wonderful; other times it can be frustrating.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret: you can build up your self-confidence without having to resort to any crystal. ‘How?’ you ask.
Start by recognizing that confidence is a skill you can learn. You set a goal and take small steps each day to work towards it.
Keep reading to find out more about self-confidence and why it matters.
What Is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence isn’t tangible. You can’t touch it and say, “This is confidence.”
It’s something we get a feeling for when we, or others, have it.
Likewise, we can recognize when someone lacks it. Even when they try to attempt to compensate for it, we sense it and feel bad for them.
The good news is that self-confidence is a soft skill, which means you can learn it and apply it to your daily life. It’s not fixed, like your height for example. It’s mainly based on your mindset and the actions you do to follow through.
You can boost your confidence and self-esteem by trusting your abilities. Seeing yourself succeed in your mind is the first step in making better decisions. Then, when your decisions make your life better, your confidence gets a nice little boost. And round and round it goes.
Bear in mind that confidence is infectious. Even though we can’t see it, we still sense other people’s confidence levels in the way they behave and speak.
When someone is confident, they exude excitement and energy. You’re motivated to work hard and feel that same energy.
The downside is it goes both ways. When one person lacks confidence, it can deflate everyone around them. They just get the sense that there’s no point in trying.
Why Does Self-Confidence Matter?
There are different reasons why being confident can improve your life. Below, you’ll find a few examples of how it can make you a happier, more fulfilled individual.
Allows You to Take Positive Risks
We all need the confidence to bring balance and a sense of direction in our lives. Making a conscious decision to develop your confidence will allow you to take positive risks. It gets you out of your comfort zone and puts you on the path to success.
The trick is understanding your own strength. You have to believe that you can master whatever skill you’re striving towards. Yes, it’ll be weird and difficult in the beginning. Yes, you’ll make mistakes along the way. So what?
That’s what life is about. This is what boosts your self-esteem and makes you better at everything you do.
Empowers You to Embrace Your Failures
We all make mistakes. We all fail and meet obstacles in our lives.
The key is to understand that failures are a necessary part of progress. Read that again and really take it in.
Often, we feel that when we fail, it’s the end of the journey. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
To fully embrace your failures, you have to think of them as detours. When you’re forced to change lanes or take a detour that doesn’t mean the entire journey is over. It just means you’re taking a different path, but you’ll get there eventually.
Now, why do some people succeed after failing and others don’t? Those who manage to learn from their mistakes. They go over what went wrong and find a way to fix it.
In other words, they use their failures to their advantage. They use them to prop them up and give them the push they need to keep going on their path.
Let’s take a second to think about Thomas Edison and Michael Jordan. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of these two names? Success? Fame? Glory? All of the above?
How about failure? You’re probably saying to yourself, ‘These are two of the most prominent members of society. They haven’t failed.’
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but they have—many times, in fact. Yet, they’re smart enough to use their failures as stepping stones to aim higher and work harder. Imagine our much our lives would have been impacted if these two men had given up every time they failed!
One of Edison’s quotes about refining the light bulb is, “I haven’t failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Enables You To Trust Yourself
Many times, we can be our own worst enemies. We critique every move, every word, and every thought over and over again.
In moderation, it can be a great incentive to do better. Although, this only works if we treat ourselves with the same kindness and empathy, we show others. Sadly, it doesn’t happen very often.
The best way to break out of that negative self-talk is to have faith in yourself. Have faith in your decisions. Even if you made mistakes in the past, that doesn’t necessitate future failures.
Own up to your bad decision, embrace it, and move on. That’s now part of your DNA; it’s helping shape a stronger, more resilient person.
Imagine it being part of your arsenal or a superpower. Now, you’ve turned your mistake into something that can make you more resilient and less anxious.
A Final Note
Self-confidence is an integral part of who you are. Understanding why it matters can mean the difference being happy and being miserable.
Having that self-assurance can help boost your relationships and career. You’ll also be able to inspire others to become happier, more fulfilled individuals.
“Long ago I wished to leave
‘The house where I was born;’
Long ago I used to grieve,
My home seemed so forlorn.
In other years, its silent rooms
Were filled with haunting fears;
Now, their very memory comes
O’ercharged with tender tears…”A Poem by charlotte bronte
Regret is looking back at our past with distress and sorrowful longing. We grieve over past actions done to us or that we did to others. We WISH it didn’t happen or that we could do it over again. Of course, we can’t, but regret keeps us stuck in the past filled with pain.
Letting go is the process of getting unstuck and moving on in life. How we metabolize pain, in this process, is different for every person and every situation. However, you can give various forms of releasing regret a try and learn about yourself in the process.
Practice Daily Gratitude
Practicing daily gratitude is a great way to remind yourself of all that you have consistently. Family, friends, a home, food to eat, maybe even a cute puppy to come home to. Whatever your gratitude is toward, reminding yourself of it is a great way to reflect on the good in your life and make the regrets seem less important in the grand scheme of life.
A practical application of gratitude is to use a scientifically studied exercise called 5-3-1. Every morning spend 5 minutes quieting your mind and getting grounded, write 3 things you are grateful for and do one act of kindness for someone else.
Trust the Journey
Reminding yourself that even the adverse events in life are part of a more significant journey allows you to see the larger picture. Yes, you regret this one mistake. But, did that one mistake lead you down a different path that had good outcomes? Everything happens for a reason. Trust that in time you will find out why that mistake or loss occurred.
Having an optimistic viewpoint, however ridiculous it might seem at the moment, is helpful to unlock your thoughts and allow hope to enter them.
Learn to Release Emotions
Emotions in the grand scheme of life (once again; are you seeing the bigger picture yet?) are fleeting. Learning to release your feelings when they are not serving you will aid you now and in the future. Stop beating yourself up for something that happened in the past and learn to move on with a clear mind and focus.
Give voice to your feelings with a good friend or therapist. Learn to journal daily. Stop being afraid of your own feelings states and allow your nervous system to regulate.
Accept the Lesson Learned
Situations or actions we regret typically offer us a lesson—if we are open to learning it. Accept that you learned a lesson and move on with it. Living through a challenging event means nothing if you don’t continue living and implement what you learned into your future life.
Nelson Mandala is famous for saying: “I never fail. I either win, or I learn.” Keeping this perspective will guard the tender-hearted.
“What If-ing” the past Doesn’t Change the Future.
You are living in the land of “what ifs” is tempting. However, “what ifs” literally mean nothing in the practice of daily life. You can spend hours or even days guessing at a different outcome, but it doesn’t matter. Those what-ifs will never directly impact your future other than to steal from it.
Living in the past traumatizes your present all over again. A vicious cycle continues to whirl, adding shame and fear to your life. Staying focused on the now allows you to live healthy again.
Try this simple present-focused tool called “seeing red.” When you start to slip down the slope or regret, look for something red and focus on its shade, texture, smell, etc. Look for another red object and do the same. Repeat this until you feel more settled in the now.
If you would like Ron Huxley to help you overcome regret and move past old pain and trauma, contact him today or schedule a session by clicking here.