Reprogram Your Nervous System

  1. Focus on a safe, comforting image or memory of attachment. It could be your partner, child, or interaction with God. 
  2. Close your eyes, focus on this image or memory, and breathe slowly and deeply.
  3. Let your breath be long, holding it for a second or two at the top of the inhale and bottom of the exhale. 
  4. Allow whatever emotion to come up without judgment or interpretation. 
  5. Open your eyes and do a “body scan” from the top of your head to your feet. Notice what is going on in your body. Place a hand in that area, adjust your position and repeat the steps above. 
  6. Do this as many times as you need or want to…the more you practice this, the stronger your nervous system becomes. I call this NeuroResilience. 

Schedule an appointment today with Ron Huxley and learn this an other important life skills today!

Forgiveness: Another Way to Eliminate Negativity

When people treat you wrong, it is very easy to hold a grudge. You may not understand how it could be possible to forgive someone for a slight, especially if the action was especially hurtful. Maybe you think forgiveness is about the other person and somehow,they benefit from you forgiving them. Forgiveness is not about the other person; it is about you. 

Forgiving another person does not always mean they stay in your life. Sometimes you do not even let them know you are forgiving them. You do not even need to trust them again. Just forgive them to eliminate the negativity in your life. 

 

Even horrific crimes can be forgiven. For safety reasons, you may want to use an indirect way of forgiving them instead of contacting them directly. Write a letter as if you plan on sending it to the other person. Talk about how what they did made you feel, and about how it made you think about yourself. Write about how you are no longer going to allow them space in your head and how you forgive them for what they did to you. 

 

When you finish writing, seal up the letter in an envelope and put their name on the front. Then either throw it away (shred it first!) or burn the letter. It does not have to actually be read by the person you are forgiving, this exercise is to help you get past the negativity and the chains that are holding you back as a person. 

 

If you find you can’t forgive on your own, you may want to talk with a professional. Therapy can really help you get past this hurdle. Especially if the person committed a serious crime. If you have been abused, particularly over a long period of time, you may need therapy to help you get past what was done to you. There is nothing wrong with seeking help. 

 

Once you have forgiven the other person, you will feel like a weight has been lifted, or chains have been removed. Grudges are not healthy for you and they do not affect the other person. When you bottle up negative feelings, you can increase your risks of developing heart disease, and other health conditions. You tend to age faster as well. Not forgiving others can dim your overall outlook on life, so why put yourself through all of that? 

 

Remember that forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about eliminating the negativity in your own life. So free yourself today by forgiving others for the wrongs they have done to you.

5 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health

Scientists tell us there are certain things we can do to improve our mental wellbeing. These techniques will help you feel more positive about yourself.

They teach you how to ride the lows and wait out the lows. Once you know that, nothing can stop you from getting what you want out of life.

Today, we’re going to share with you five ways to boost your mental health. Keep reading for more.

1. Connect With Others

Good relationships don’t need years to build. They can form in a matter of months, or weeks even. Plus, they don’t have to be an all-in, best-friends-for-life type of relationship.

Just talking to a neighbor or members of your church can have a great impact on your mental health. You learn to listen, empathize, and build a strong sense of self-worth and value.

Have you and a friend not seen each other in a while? Then, reach out and try to arrange a coffee date so you can get together and catch up.

How about your children or other family members? Why not try to set an hour during the day where you talk or play games?

We all know how social media has become an important part of our lives. And it’s made it easier to stay in touch with important people in our lives, especially if they live far away.

It’s good to text and chat on a regular basis. Just make sure technology isn’t replacing your face-to-face communications with people.

2. Learn New Skills

Learning a new skill or hobby can have a significant boost on your mental health. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and improve your self-esteem.

It’s nice to have a sense of purpose, other than your work. It gives you something to look forward to each day.

The problem, however, is many people complain they don’t have enough hours in the day. Luckily, though, technology has made learning more accessible.

Here are some of the ways you can use those high-tech gadgets you have to good use:

• Sign up for an online course, like learning a new language or a practical skill like programming

• Look for free video tutorials online to help you out with a DIY project

• If you enjoy cooking, find healthy recipes and learn how to make them

• Try a new hobby that challenges and entertains you, like painting, writing, or gardening

• Learn to play a new sport or physical activity

3. Pay More Attention

We’re all guilty of not paying attention to people and things going on around us. We’re always busy with work or scrolling through our social media feed.

Learning to focus all your senses on the present moment can improve your mental well-being. It also boosts your mood and lowers stress levels. Experts call this type of focus ‘mindfulness’.

When you practice mindfulness, you enjoy the little things in life. Things like watching a bird soar overhead or taking in the nuances of nature are just two small examples.

When you’re in tune with the small details, you feel more relaxed and at peace. Plus, you start to get a better understanding of what makes you happy or anxious, which is a healthy way to approach life’s challenges.

4. Get Physically Active

When you do any type of physical activity, you boost your physical fitness, as well as your mental wellness. It could be a short 15-minute walk, an hour of cycling each week, or 30 minutes at the gym. You pick the activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good.

Then, once you start noticing the difference, you start to feel good about your looks. That’s when your confidence will soar through the roof.

In addition, your brain signals the nervous central system to release ‘feel-good’ hormones known as endorphins. These wonder chemicals trigger a positive response, which boosts your mood. They also reduce feelings of pain and anxiety.

Check out the following tips on how to get moving to boost your mental health:

• Look online for free activities catered to your fitness level

• Find local centers where you can dance, swim, or cycle

• Try running with a ‘couch to 5K’ app or podcast

• If you have a chronic health condition or a disability, there are many exercise’s and physical activities that can be customized to meet your needs

5. Give to Others

According to research, acts of kindness and giving are great ways to improve your mental well-being. The reason is that when we help others, our brains trigger the release of another ‘feel-good’ hormone called oxytocin.

This chemical promotes feelings of empathy and trust. It also makes us calmer, happier, and more inspired to do more.

Giving to others could be volunteering at a local shelter or helping out someone on a personal level. The point is to offer your time and energy doing something for other people. In return, you’ll feel good about yourself, knowing that you’re valued and appreciated

Imagination Improves Relationships

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.

Helping children to be more resilient

Resiliency is the ability to adjust to life’s difficulties and overcome challenging and stressful situations. On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, how resilient are you? How resilient is your child?

Resilient parents don’t automatically have resilient children. This can be frustrating for parents who want their kids to get motivated about school, say no to bad choices, or accept rejection and failures. If your child scores low on the resiliency scale, you can build new skills to help them grow emotionally and mentally.

Resilience has several attributes that parents would love to see in their children:

  • Emotional awareness and regulation
  • Inner drive or motivation
  • Future focus and readiness for change
  • Strong social connections/relationships
  • Physical health, sleep, and diet

Creating this in your child will be a process that occurs over time. The hope is that children will show these characteristics by the time they turn 18 and leave the home but even if it takes longer it is a goal parents will want to continue nurturing in them.

Don’t compare your child to others. Focus on the qualities of your child only! Comparisons places to much pressure on you and your child and will sabotage your efforts to develop this mental strength.

Parents have to model resiliency. You can’t preach resiliency if you don’t practice resiliency. Children will always do what you do over what you say. Put words and actions together to encourage resiliency.

Peers have a strong pull on children actions contrary to what your teenager tries to tell you. Be aware of who they are interacting with and work to know your children’s friends and their family, if possible. You don’t have to ban a friend you feel is the best influence on your child but you can talk with your them your concerns and offer suggestions on how to set boundaries and stand up for themselves and what they believe in.

Start with emotions. The more you validate and empathize with your child the stronger their conscience development. A strong moral compass will help your child overcome tough circumstances and follow the right path. This way you don’t have to be hovering over their shoulder every minute. If your child handles a situation poorly or makes a wrong decision, be empathic but encourage them to try again. Isn’t this how we all learn? Focusing on your child’s emotional awareness will produce more resilient people. about changes in behavior and encourage your child’s friends to be at your home and offer your supervision over them. Children with high emotional awareness will be more resilient people.

Young children will need to increase their emotional vocabulary. Label feelings, explore different feelings, validate positive and uncomfortable emotions. Make feelings ok and don’t push them down or brush them off but don’t over focus on them. A good healthy, emotional balance translates into greater resiliency.

Older children can have more complex conversations about feelings and social situations. Don’t shy away from cultural discussions and world situations. Use them to explore thoughts and ideas, helping the older child to see all sides of an issue. A more open-minded approach will rap children who have better judgment and compassion.

You can learn more about resiliency by consulting with Ron Huxley through a free online course at FamilyHealer.tv or schedule a session today.

7 Steps in Co-Parenting Negotiation

Co-parenting is a post-divorce parenting arrangement in which both parents agree to participate in their children’s upbringing. The keyword here is “agreement” about what is in the child’s best interest where there are significant hurts, personalities, and values between those parents. Raising children requires a lot, and I mean a lot, of interactions despite getting divorced. 

Because of this challenge, many parents end up parallel parenting vs. co-parenting. Co-parenting is short for cooperative parenting. Sadly, this is often not the case. Parallel parents are both working to raise their children, but they agree that they don’t agree on much. Each home will have its own set of routines, entertainment values, discipline practices, and cultural influences. This agreement to a no agreement lifestyle is a disagreeable way to parent, but parents and children often have no control over it.

Learning how to negotiate becomes an important skill when this is the case. Here are seven steps to better negotiation in co-parenting relationships: 

  1. Name the problem using an “I” statement as in “I feel…when you…and I would like to discuss how…” This format reduces defensiveness and retains a sense of power for the speaker. 
  2. Use reflective listening to convey what is understood. A divorce may involve the decision not to share the intimate connection, but it still requires understanding and validation to maintain mutual respect. Say: “So, what you are saying or asking for is…” 
  3. Brainstorm for solutions that will work for all parties. It may involve creative thinking about alternative solutions. There may be compromise from the original need. 
  4. Choose a solution to try, even if it is not your solution or your first choice.
  5. Review who does what by putting it into writing or communicating before, during, and after the solution. 
  6. Put the solution into action and try it out to see how it works. Stay objective and open-minded. If it doesn’t work, negotiate a new solution. 
  7. Re-evaluate what is working overall, and be honest about what didn’t work and what needs to be changed. Keep the perspective that the other person is not the problem. The problem is the problem. 

To complete these seven steps, parents will have to be self-aware and motivated to keep the children’s needs first. This is hard work and may involve humility that wasn’t present in the relationship before the divorce. Just because people were “terrible” partners in marriage doesn’t mean they cannot grow and be great co-parents after marriage. 

Let Ron Huxley help you negotiate through your difficult situations. Schedule a session today! 

4 Ways to Get Clear on Why You Care So Much 

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:

Reading

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

Journaling 

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

Meditation 

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.

Therapy 

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!

Are you in a mood?

How’s your mood? Is it cheerful, irritable, fearful, or optimistic? Does your mood change from day to day, or is it relatively constant? Do you find that your mood creates problems in your relationship at home, school, or work?

When someone asks you how your mood is doing, it’s usually not because your mood is cheery and light, right? Someone has noticed a change in your attitude or demeanor. Perhaps this has been going on for some time, or it changes from day to day. People often get offended by this question precisely because of their negative feelings. It can feel like criticism or a put-down like you are a problem to them. But asking about your mood may be an attempt for others to understand what is going on. They may want to help but don’t know how difficult it is to explain when you are unsure about what is happening!

No one wants to feel sad or grumpy. We want to be happier, optimistic, open to new experiences, and deeply connected to others. That is not always the reality. Some people may not shake their negative moods, no matter how hard they try. Is this your situation?

If you could flip a switch on your mood, you would, wouldn’t you? It is hard to have a greater thought than your most intense feeling.

Let Ron Huxley help you today!

What is a “mood”?

A mood is an affective state that can last for days, months, or even a lifetime. In contrast to emotions or feelings, moods are not as intense, may reflect a general state of mind, or, if persistent, become descriptive of your personality. Moods aren’t usually swayed by external events, or not for very long. You might be intensely happy about a job promotion or getting an “A” on a test, but you quickly return to feeling angry or sad. What happened? There is no reason to feel this way. The reason is due to the nature of mood.

We describe the mood as an attitude, spirit, temper, tenor, disposition, tendency, or character. A parent might say that their teenager is “in a mood.” A spouse might tell a friend, “don’t bother him right now; he’s in one of his moods.” It can also be a way to describe a strong desire or craving, as in, “I am in the mood for ice cream” or, like the famous song states: “I am in the mood for love.”

Creative works of art can be said to have a mood. Masterful literature or film has light, cheery, or dark moods and is somber in tone. The story, song, or painting might be reflective, gloomy, romantic, mysterious, calm, hopeful, angry, fearful, tense, or lonely. These works of art resonate with our current mood. Comfort can be found in a book, movie, or lyric. Soundtracks give scenes in a film a mood that creates tension, fear, and drama.

We are so moody or easily swayed in our moods because human beings are hardwired social-emotional creatures. Moods can be contagious and quickly picked up by being around someone else who is in a different mood than us. A dark and depressing mood can promptly shift the atmosphere of the room. You weren’t depressed before you walked into the room, but now, one second later, you are. We think we are “bipolar,” but this is just being social-emotional creatures.

Test this out: the next time you have a sudden mood switch, look around you and notice who is in the room and how they are acting? You might spot the culprit giving off negative vibes that you are picking up.

Take a deep breath of relief and let your confusion and negative energy on. Breathe in and tell yourself: “the feeling is not about me,” and on the exhale, release it. Want this means about yourself is that you are empathic and sensitive, two wonderful human traits.

As a therapist with three decades of experience working with people with mood disorders and trauma, I have discovered some practical tools to help “flip the switch.” Schedule a session today!

This is the Year of Letting Go of Resentments

Resentments are defined as the “bitter indignation at being mistreated.” It is a hard feeling that creates discontent, hostility, bitterness, and an inability to trust others.

It is destructive to relationships because it is a hook to the traumatic events of the past. When we are tied to our histories, we cannot fully enjoy the present, and the future feels like a painful rerun. We make vows that we will never let anyone hurt us like we were hurt before. Unfortunately, these vows isolate and insulate us from loving relationships.

Resentment is connected to our ego. Our ego needs to be correct, and it needs to be good. When we experience trauma, it can strip away our dignity, causing us to get needs met in unhealthy ways or won’t allow anyone else to help meet those needs. We believe that “I can do it all by myself” but it feels safer when we are alone. Unfortunately, cutting others out of our lives is a very lonely life.

Resentment can also keep us stuck in a victim role. Victims need abusers to maintain this position. Therefore, our ego will fault others, reinforce the belief that people “can’t be trusted”, and only see the negative in the circumstances. We will gravitate to rescuers to make us feel good and validate our victim-mindedness.

WRITE BRAIN/RIGHT BRAIN:

Write about ways resentment keeps you stuck in the past. What are the struggles you have experienced that make trusting others difficult? Have you chosen to be right over having a relationship? Journal about ways to select connections first. Visualize what the world of your ego looks like, who lives there, and what beliefs you take as truth in your ego world.

How can you imagine a new, different world where you feel safe and secure? How would you do it this time if you could do a situation over? Have a chat with your “ego” and offer it comfort and seek what it needs to care for it healthily?

Explore your resiliency. You didn’t want to go through tough times, but you got through them. What strengths did you discover about yourself? How did this challenging experience change your priorities? Celebrate how you have grown instead of feeding the monster of resentment.

10 Ways To Implement Self-Care In Your Life

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.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Exercise regularly
    Exercise if great for physical, mental and emotional health and should be a part of any self-care routine.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 rehuxley@gmail.com