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Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and 2nd leading cause of death for teenagers, and rates have slowly been increasing over time. This post isn’t meant to put fear in you, but to inform you that suicide is real and is not going away anytime soon. As much as we would like it to.

Suicide is defined as intentionally taking one’s life, a disease to the brain, a solution to pain and suffering, and the list can go on for the reasoning behind this tragedy. But that’s not the point of this post.

As suicide occurs at least 123 times per day, there are many signs that lead up to that distressing moment when the pain and suffering can no longer be endured. You may have lost someone to suicide or know someone who has experienced loss. However, the main goal of this epidemic hasn’t changed: what can be done to help prevent others from reaching this point?

Many of us know that suicide may occur from ongoing depression, traumatic events, withdrawal from friends and even admitting to consider suicide to a friend or stranger.

But what about the signs that are not often spoken of? Well, that changes today. Let’s find out together.

Here are the 5 Unexpected Signs of Suicide.

1. Sleep

Many of us experience sleep difficulties from time to time, but the sleep I’m talking about is slightly different. There is a known relationship between suicidal thoughts and sleep problems (e.g., insomnia). The mind is running at 100 mph during the day and all throughout the night about lack of purpose, plans to kill oneself and so on.

This busy mind can definitely keep anyone up at night struggling with thoughts of ending one’s life. You literally lose sleep over it and it can progressively become worse if this kind of insomnia isn’t examined by a professional. If you notice a friend is excessively tired from sleeping too much or lacking of sleep, maybe check-in with them. That might be something they really need.

2. Business

Many of us know that before we pass, we need to get our business in order. This means to write a will, reexamine life insurance panels or prepare family that you will soon be passing, usually because of age or some sort of sickness.

The same business aspects are similar regarding those who’d like to end their life sooner than what natural causes can do. This can include someone selling or giving away the majority of their possessions, contacting and visiting friends and family out of the blue, cleaning up ones room and even purchasing a firearm or dangerous substance. If you notice any of these red flags, connect with them and see what’s going on.

3. Substance

Alcohol, drugs or any other substance are taken for many reasons: recreation, prescription, peer pressure, etc. But those suffering from what therapists call suicidal ideation may increase the usage of these substances. This is a tricky sign to understand as it is almost taboo to question “why” someone is taking their drug of choice.

We may assume they have the best intentions with their decision, so we don’t ask any further. But, if you feel a friend is overindulging with a substance of some kind, it never hurts to tell them what your “noticing” and to ask “how are things”.

4. Appearance

Appearance can be defined as what others can see: hygiene, dress attire and personality expression. They may be less concerned about their personal appearance during this time as their presentation and and health may decline.

Ever heard the saying, “the calm before the storm”? This holds some truth regarding suicide as they may have a sudden calming mood after experiencing depression or moodiness of some kind. This could be considered a sign that the person has already made a decision or feels he or she has no choice. Yes, even if someone appears to be in a good mood, it’s still justified to ask how their day’s been. You never know.

5. Crisis

How many times do we see on social media or heard that someone has lost a pet, a friend, a job, a home…literally any loss that was a significant impact? I would say daily if not all the time. This is why it’s so important to check-in with friends and family, and not when it’s only deemed necessary. I mean often. This may be a great reminder that they are still a part of something, and still having meaning for an existence. Their journey isn’t over.

We all have our own life crises, whether it’s losing a friend or losing a fortune, it can put us in shock. And this shock can be difficult to experience alone, yet some may feel they don’t want to burden others with this shock-wave of news. If you notice someone pulling away, pull them in. If you notice yourself pulling away, reach out if you can.

The stigma of silence can be broken from both ends. The time is now.

If you feel you cannot take the pain or suffering any longer, your journey isn’t over yet because you have something amazing to give to this world. Recovery and connection can begin right now. Even if your only connection is this post. You are not alone.

Yes, of course I’m gonna add a resource section, and yes, I’m gonna ask you to call and text these wonderful people who want to chat with you, right now. Literally, right now.

Your life is worth the call.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hour service): Call 1-800-273-8255

Don’t want to talk? Let’s text then! -> Get free help now: Text CONNECT to 741741 in the United States.

Learn. Live. Thrive.

The post 5 Unexpected Signs of Suicide appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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When we think of successful marriages, we often wonder about the ingredients that help couples achieve such feats. The givens in these relationships are seemingly obvious: trust, loyalty, respect, interest and anything else that positively contributes.

But what about features that aren’t mentioned as much?

Three powerful pieces can potentially increase the relational satisfaction in your marriage – and they work for anyone thinking about marriage later.

Think about your childhood dreams for a moment. What did you want to do when you got older? Did you want to be an astronaut, a doctor or something else? More importantly, who told you that you couldn’t do it?

You see, these dreams seem to stick around longer than we think — well into our adulthood — and when you involve another person in your life, that could potentially shake things up.

1. Support Their Vision

This brings me to my first point: do whatever you can to show your spouse you support their dreams. Too often I’ve seen couples sacrifice their vision so their partner could thrive with their dreams first, which is quite noble.

But, when was the last time you approached your spouse with their dream in mind, too? If your answer is not often enough, then I’d wonder what would happen if you were to begin to ask.

Every relationship will have its sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean sacrifices must be permanent. Communicating is important in understanding each other’s dreams and visions. What a wonderful feeling is it to know your spouse fully supports your life vision.

2. Small Things Add Up

Next, I want you to imagine Valentine’s Day. Picture the moment you receive flowers, chocolates, a handwritten card, or any desire on that day, and think how wonderful that feeling is.

Let’s call these feelings gratitude and love, and imagine you felt this every single week and not just on that one special day.

That would be amazing, but expensive, right? Well, it depends. There are other investments that are pretty much free, too. This brings me to my second point: do small positive things for your spouse often.

How hard is it to lift a 300-pound boulder once a year to prove your love when you could carry one-pound pebbles everyday as a gift — puts less stress on your back if you ask me.

The point is to celebrate togetherness daily as if Valentine’s Day were to happen multiple times a week. No, I am not endorsing that you spend thousands of dollars in purchasing love. What I am highlighting is the value of performing small positive tasks daily, like:

Doing the dishes. Walking the dogs. Picking up the mail. Cooking dinner. Opening the car door. Giving a compliment. Get creative and you’d be surprised what this could do to your relationship over time.

3. Why Stop Now?

Lastly, and this is more focused on married couples: never stop dating.

It’s interesting how motivation and milestones work in relationships. For example, a young man meets a girl, develops a friendship with her, takes her out on dates, they become best friends, go to college together, and then one day he pops the question for marriage.

She says yes, engagement time passes, you both say “I do” at the alter and voilà, mission accomplished. Another woman has a good man, and they lived happily ever after. Well, sort of.

Motivation could generally slow down once accomplishments have occurred, especially in the realm of marriage. You and your spouse have mastered what it takes to survive as a couple, but what about thriving in a marriage — that’s what shouldn’t slow down.

This is what I mean to never stop dating. Just because you’ve got the person of your dreams doesn’t mean the dream is over yet. It’s just the beginning. Just like a flower needs enough water, sun and care to sprout, now it’s up to the gardener for the upkeep.

So, what were to happen if you were to continue dating your spouse? Perhaps they will be reminded of the person they met in the first place.

Learn. Live. Thrive.

The post 3 Components Couples and Marriages May Overlook appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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Before we begin, we’d like to thank FeedSpot for selecting Kern Wellness Counseling as one of the top 60 Mental Health Blogs and Websites to Follow in 2018. We appreciate their hard work in spreading the news about mental health wellness for readers such as yourself. Thank you for your support, too! You can review their wonderful list of blogs here.

When we think of drug abuse, addiction or the phrase substance use disorder, much of the time it’s easy to point the finger at the one who is considered the addict. This person may be viewed as the only problem of the household. What’s interesting is that there are other roles involved besides the identified substance user.

Think of family as a large teeter-totter: if one person gets off, the other person falls to the ground. So, if one person were to struggle with substances as a new role in the home, more than likely the rest of the family will fall into newer roles as well.

Below are are the 6 common roles in families when it comes to substance abuse. This will be considered a generic post as I did not dive into any particular substance.

The Addicted

Those struggling with substance abuse didn’t necessarily start there. Whether it was alcohol, opioids or something else, these substances may have been used as a primary way of coping to begin with.

Eventually, the coping grew into something you had to have that very hour, and then hours turn into days, and days into months and so on. Those in this role tend to isolate themselves as they become “the problem” at home that everyone points their finger at. From the user’s perspective, the easiest thing to do at that moment is to rely on the substance that was there for them in the first place.

The Hero

The family hero is the overachiever and go-getter of many things. They do their very best to bring the family together by means of establishing hope and normalcy with the idea it would distract everyone from what’s really going on.

The issue here is the hero may eventually become burned out, tired and may feel like a let down if they don’t do everything right, all the time. This puts deep pressure on them which could be bothersome in the long run.

The Enabler

Similar to the hero, the enabler’s focus is on the family’s image. Their goal is to defend individuals in the family struggling with substances. In other words, denial and making excuses go hand in hand to achieve this role in order to maintain that the family has it all together.

Most often, the person who is perceived as the caretaker of the family may take on this role. Overtime, the enabler seems to convince their self that there isn’t any situation going on whatsoever. This could affect the family later on if relapse occurs because the enabler may fall right back into their role of saving.

The Lost Child

Just as the middle child might feel lost between the youngest and oldest, the lost child may claim the same feeling. This role involves feeling invisible and separate from the rest of the family.

When substances are present, the lost child isolates themselves because they don’t get much attention nor do they look for it. Overtime, this could affect how they develop peer relationships with others outside of the home.

The Scapegoat

Just like the addicted role, the scapegoat role involves being blamed for the problems of the family at large. The scapegoat may also try to draw attention by acting out rebelliously in front of others as well.

Similar to the enabler, the scapegoat diverts attention away from what is really going on. This may be because they are feeling shame, guilt, loss or empty inside at this time (often times in relation to the individual using substances). Overtime, this could affect their willingness to express themselves toward other family members.

The Mascot

Picture the class clown, this is essentially the role of the mascot. Humor is an indicator of taking on this interesting role. This role may be taken on by the youngest child (not always) as they may feel the most vulnerable during this chaotic process.

When using comic relief as a deflection technique, the mascot can subdue feelings of pain, fear and stress. Much of this is internalized overtime and could have negative consequences if not released in a healthy manner.

Do you think you can identify with any of these roles? If by chance you relate to any, it’s not necessarily the end of the world, you’re just better informed now. Just remember, this can be overcome. You can do it.

For more information, or if you’d like to take action about what you may be experiencing, click here.

Remember, your strength and resiliency through this difficult process is something to be proud of. Seriously.

Learn. Live. Thrive.

The post Family Roles in Drug Addiction appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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Believe it or not, but it’s quite normal to question if you’re in a mentally healthy relationship, we all do it. Yeah, it’s easy to feel guilty when we question things like this in our lives, but it may benefit both you and your significant other in the long run. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re questioning everything about your relationship. In reality, questions help us dive deeper into the meaning of our connections.

Disclaimer. This is not to say you and your partner have hit all these areas and are the perfect couple, because these perfect couples typically don’t exist, seriously. Even couples we label as #RelationshipGoals may not meet all of these points, and that’s okay. It’s just our job to do our best as we expect our other half to do their best too when it comes to healthy connections. Chances are, this article could also be used as a guide to strive for if anything. Maybe there’s other signs that are important to you that could be added as well. You have that power! Anyways…

Here are 8 signs you’re in a mentally healthy relationship.

1. Open Communication

Just like a referee throws a flag on a play because of what he or she saw on the field, it’s up to you and your partner to say what you see too. Unfortunately, we aren’t great mind readers or fortune tellers so we need to resort using our words and be as honest as possible, even if it might sting a bit.

It’s important that you feel safe to express your feelings and opinions during open dialogue. Yes, it’s completely fine to disagree, we all do it because it’s natural. Just know that it’s important that you are honest with yourself and with your other half.

2. Intimacy

Without open communication as a prime foundation, it can be really difficult uncovering what intimacy may mean to you and your partner. Usually, we just assume that whatever we like, they will like too right? It’s not always that case. Intimacy is about investigating what they like, dislike and everything in-between. This may make you both closer.

Good questions to ask yourself are: have you voiced what areas you’d like to be closer with? Has your person done the same and express their wants? Lacking this is not the end of the world, but giving it a shot could potentially increase closeness starting now.

3. Physical Affection

How do you show physical affection? Who initiates it? Has this ever been spoken about or do you just jump right in? Any boundaries? Physical affection usually involves non-verbal communication and lets you know how close this person is to you, physically.

Remember, without open communication, showing intimacy through physical affection could mean something completely different to your partner. Talk about it first, see how things go, and your non-verbal communication styles will get better overtime.

4. Fairness and Negotiaion

Have you ever had to compromise with your partner or come to some sort of agreement? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve had plenty of these types of conversations that requires a bit of sacrifice from both ends. Working to enhance understanding that both of you will change over time is a great sign of flexibility regarding both fairness and negotiation.

Disagreements aren’t a bad thing, at all. They come with relationships because you are two separate people learning about commonalities. You and your significant other may have grown up in different cultures, so disagreements will happen. Embrace to agree to disagree, but the point is to find balance from both ends, understand and support one another.

5. Shared Responsibility

Do you ever feel like you do more, or perhaps do less than your other half? Things like chores, buying food or even deciding where to vacation, responsibility falls on both parties. Responsibility also goes further than deciding surface level things as well.

A powerful way to understand where you are in this shared responsibility stuff is to ask yourself if you give as much as you receive. Does your significant other take or give more? Does it even matter to you? Do you know if this matters to them? Doesn’t hurt to ask, trust me.

6. Respect

Respect can be described as appreciation, honor, recognition, consideration and other words that make us feel valued. Do you feel valued in your relationship or do you value your significant other? Respect can also mean paying close attention to your person in a way that makes them feel admired as well.

Don’t let this small definition represent what respect means to you. You have the power to define what respect means to you. Maybe it involves some of what was said and maybe there’s more too it. Find out and share with your partner asap!

7. Trust and Support

Just like respect, trust is defined in the mouth of it’s speaker. Trust can be best described as something that has many levels, but the point is to know where you and your other half are at with trust in the relationship right now. Trust in a relationship can also be defined as having special confidence in someone.

Support is a powerful component of trust as well. Putting your support in someone shows how much you believe in them. A great way of knowing you’re in a healthy relationship is to ask yourself how much does your partner support you and your dreams? You can ask yourself this question too!

8. Honesty and Responsibility

Taking responsibility means to minimize excuses and maximize taking ownership when you make a mistake. Sure, it’s hard at times to share something because you may be afraid of their reaction, but communicating with honesty is a better tactic than outright lying to benefit yourself.

When you say you’re gonna do something, try your best to keep your word. Be accountable and hold your other half accountable as well. You both can really balance one another like this.

Takeaways

You might have been surprised by some of these signs of a mentally healthy relationship. Whatever the case may be, just know that if you or your person are struggling in some of these areas, it’s definitely not the end of the world.

Actually, it’s great if you realize that each area is not up to par because now you’ve found something to work on, together. Of course, there is so much more to be added to this post about more signs for a mentally healthy relationship, but that just couldn’t fit. That’s when your imagination and creativity come in! You decide what fits.

Continue to find out what you like and dislike, communicate what you need from your person right now and remember to do the same for them. Good luck, you got this!

The post 8 Signs You’re in a Mentally Healthy Relationship appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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Kern Wellness Counseling Blog by Kernwellnesscounseling - 1y ago

Ahh jealousy, something that seems to grasp everyone at different levels in different moments. Whether you’re the one dealing with personal jealously or experiencing it from your friends, family or significant other, jealousy has been misunderstood for such a while so I think it’s time to address it.

For sometime I’ve heard the phrase “You’re making me jealous!” or “Why did you look at her like that?” or even “What do they have that I don’t?” The list can go on and on, but let’s face it, jealousy has become a silent culture because most of us don’t want to come off jealous and many of us don’t want to hear that we’re the ones causing the jealousy to happen. It’s a lose lose.

So now what? Where does this leave me as a reader? How can I work with my jealousy or handle my friend’s or boyfriend’s or (insert name here) envious thoughts? The answer: why just accept jealousy when you can use three tips on how to battle against it, in a healthy way.

3 Ways To Battle Jealousy

(7 minute read)

1. It’s not you, it’s me.

Have you ever heard “It’s not you, it’s me.” In other words, the person is trying to avoid conflict and get out of a bad breakup by telling the other person that they aren’t the issue. Well, surprisingly, this works well with jealousy. This movie quote has much truth because it enhances the one thing most of us refuse to pay attention to: ourselves. Whenever jealousy happens, it usually doesn’t involve the person we like/love, it mainly involves what we think about ourselves.

The Scenario:

Let’s say you and your girlfriend head to the movies to catch the latest blockbuster. You walk in and are both greeted by a theater associate who then checks your tickets and tells you where your movie room is. As you both enter the lobby your stomach tells you that you’ve gotta use the restroom so you tell your girlfriend to check out the snack bar as you handle your business.

As soon as you dry your hands off, you step into the lobby and notice your girlfriend laughing hard with the snack bar associate. You become flustered, warm in the face and your heart begins to palpitate because your mind is telling you that she likes this random person’s jokes rather than your own. You self consciously stomp over only to passive aggressively tell your girlfriend to hurry up with her snack order. She gets annoyed because all she sees is a pushy boyfriend and thinks something may have happened in the restroom. The boyfriend sees that she enjoys her time without him whenever he leaves to the restroom. They never speak about it and neither of them laugh during the comedy film. Any of this relate? Ring a bell?

Takeaways:

Clearly this scenario can be applicable to many situations, but one important takeaway is that jealousy usually comes from within. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when others are purposely trying to push your jealousy buttons, but that’s not the topic of discussion here. If you ever catch your mind creating bad scenarios based on what you see from afar without knowing the full truth, chances are you might be dealing with some jealousy. Let me be clear, it’s a normal phenomenon to experience this. Completely and utterly normal.

Right now is a good time to ask yourself if it’s really you struggling with this problem and not other people causing it. There is nothing wrong with saying that you struggle with jealousy. It’s pretty admirable when you take responsibility for it. Your body may be telling you all sorts of things because of what your eyes saw, but if you’re in a healthy relationship,  just remind yourself that your partner is not purposely doing this to you. We will talk about how to address these feelings later.

2. Ask yourself this one question.

Just as you monitored yourself or shared this article with someone you know who is struggling with jealousy, there is something you can ask yourself in order to understand this jealously stuff a little better. Before I get to it, go ahead and ask yourself where your jealousy could come from? Usually, we may tell ourselves that we’re jealous out of love. It’s not that bad of an argument, but there is a slight flaw in this design.

Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to feel love, but there is another contender alongside this love stuff when mixing jealousy: it’s fear. Fear and jealousy go together quite nicely and yet they give us some of the most terrible thoughts and feelings don’t they? Jealous as we may get, sometimes we say we’re angry, mad or some other word that gives off a fiery tone of love. But when it comes down to it, fear and worry may be the main ingredient to these jealous thoughts.

Now is the time to ask yourself the golden question: “What am I afraid of or worried about when I get jealous?” Believe it or not, jealousy has to do with fear because some of us are afraid of losing our friends or significant other. Some of us question if we are good enough for our partner, while others question if our significant other is cheating on us. Many of us quite frankly just don’t want to be alone. As previously mentioned, our mind creates scenarios that wrap our heart with fear of loss.

Something you can do right now is ask yourself the golden question. Once you answer it, then you’re ready to move on to the final step in battling jealousy.

3. Be Honest, Be Bold and Be Brave.

Congratulations, you’ve taken on a heavy load by monitoring your thoughts of jealousy and asked yourself one of the deepest questions of where it may come from. Step three always seems like the hardest part because it involves the person you care about. You guessed it, it’s time to communicate with this person that you’re angry, jealous, envious, annoyed and other things because of fear or worry, or perhaps something not mentioned.

Perhaps you’re thinking you’ve had this conversation once before with them and you’re tired of bringing it up. You may also be thinking that they won’t listen because they won’t understand. Maybe you’re thinking of not telling them because you’re embarrassed. Now all of these could very well be true, but to make the process a little easier, I thought it would be helpful to give you a short formula to help you succeed with this. Below I’ve created a short script in explaining your jealousy to whoever needs to hear it. Fill free to customize it.

Here it goes:

“Hey (insert name), there’s something that’s been on my mind and I wanted to share it with you. Lately, I’ve been feeling (insert feeling, Ex. jealous, angry, etc.) whenever I see (insert scenario), and to be quite honest I struggle with this because I worry about (insert worry or fear, Ex. losing you, that I’m not good enough, etc.).”

Now I’m going to pause right here because I need to say something that is crucial to this process. Make sure not to get too caught up in your emotions when you are explaining this to your partner. No, I am not saying that emotions aren’t important, I am saying that too much emotion might block your mind from saying what you are really trying to say. The more calm you explain your thoughts and emotions, the more likely they will respond calmly in return. Heightened emotions may get a heightened response, and at that level it’s very hard to hear anything at all.

Continued:

“I want to be honest with you, I really struggle with this and would like to (insert plan, Ex. work on this, go to therapy, communicate more, etc.) to better myself and better our relationship.”

The last part is definitely optional but it gives your significant other an idea of what you’d like to do from here on out.

Like I said, part three can be hard, but hopefully this template will help make it more doable. Being honest, bold and brave about jealousy is difficult, but once it’s over with it will get easier. Practice communication even if it’s uncomfortable. If it’s very uncomfortable then take baby steps until you become a pro!

Give it a shot! Learn, live and thrive.

The post 3 Ways To Battle Jealousy appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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3 Ways to Slow Down Arguments

“I hate it when you talk to me like that!” “Stop bringing up the past!” “You never listen to me!” “Just forget it!”

Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve all heard these statements so you’re not alone. These are typical words to use during arguments.

Arguments like these are high paced conversations that have gone just a little out of hand, and it’s normal. Ultimately, you mean well when you talk to your significant other because all you want them to do is understand you, or agree with you in some cases.

But sometimes the argument goes so far off into another subject that the original point of the argument was forgotten. Believe it or not, this happens often with most couples because a fiery passion consumes us during these more intense conversations. Our emotions get the best of us, we want them to read out minds and we end up get super frustrated. So, how can we slow down these arguments so they don’t get out of hand? Find out below.

Here are the 3 ways to slow down arguments:

(6 minute read)

1. Stop Reloading

Just like a gun needs more ammunition to reload for it’s next fire, our brains are ready to fire back at the other person during an argument. We are emotional creatures, ready at all times to react, but in reality it’s better to respond. Here’s an example:

You’ve just finished telling your side of the argument and now it’s their turn to talk. As they are talking, you can’t help but feel defensive, alone, annoyed, angry, criticized or some other deep feeling. What they’re saying isn’t making sense to you because of two possible reasons: you’re either stuck in your head trying to come up with some sort of rebuttal or there’s so much emotion flowing that it’s very hard to hear them at all. Now we don’t even know what they’re saying!

Many of us do this, and it’s simply not listening because we’re internally reacting, which is normal actually. But, what we are doing is the complete opposite of listening regardless. Let’s be honest, all we want is to be understood and heard right? Why don’t we give the same respect toward the other person as they are speaking? I’m sure they just want to be heard too. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. Perhaps you’re the one always listening and they’re reacting. Either way, this is a powerful skill to practice. Simply repeat what they said so they know you’re listening and not reloading. This is good practice for friends and family too!

A mentor once told me: “Less thinking, more being.” In other words, get out of your mind and into the conversation. Or teach someone this!

2. Honor Those Feelings

How many times have we said or heard “You never listen to me!” or something remotely similar? Plenty, I’m sure. But there’s a secret in telling your significant other things like this in a way that’s easier for them to swallow and makes you look less like a bully during an argument.

It’s called your feelings. Seriously, I’m not kidding.

Your feelings are so important when you want your other half to know something about yourself in any moment. Usually, we tell this special person “You are the reason…!” or “You are a terrible…!” or even “You never treat me…!” When we hear the word you, for some reason our defense is put up because something is being directed to us. But what were to happen if you were to share your feelings without using the word “you” in the beginning of the sentence? Here’s an example:

Rather than telling this person “You never listen to me and you always ignore me and I hate it when you roll your eyes,” you could change it up and tell them “I feel like I’m not being heard when you roll your eyes. I also feel disrespected.” See how powerful the difference is? Sure, it may sound odd because many of us aren’t used to talking like that, but it’s worth the practice. This technique is surely a great way to slow down those arguments. Remember, to the listener, hearing the word “you” isn’t all that refreshing. But once you provide your feelings, how can anyone be mad at you for that? Give it a shot!

3. Focus on the Right

Has anyone ever given you a positive compliment during an argument? As often as we hear about what others are doing wrong in a fight, there is so much power in focusing on what they’ve done right.

Research done by marriage and couples experts suggest that for every 1 negative comment we say during an argument, we should give 4 positive comments to balance it out. Sounds crazy right? But imagine the implications if your intimate other was on your back for not putting away the dishes and then follows up with how great you are at scrubbing them, how wonderful you are at keeping the rest of the kitchen clean, how fun it is to cook with you and how much of a great help you are at grocery shopping. Don’t you feel better already? I sure do!

Look, this is going to take some getting used to, and it’s important to let your other half know that you may wanna try some of these new skills you’ve just learned. They may be interested in learning some of them too. You don’t need to try this stuff alone.

If all else fails, just remember to kill em’ with kindness even if you don’t feel up to it. It may be worth it.

Ready For Your Next Argument?

No one is ever really ready to argue, let alone want to argue in the first place. It doesn’t necessarily feel good in the moment, but making up afterwards rewires your brain enough to tell you that it’s worth it. You brain is literally learning your other half is worth the fight.

So if you find yourself stuck in attack or defense mode during an argument, remember these three simple steps and watch those late night fights slow down. Stop reloading and listen, honor their feelings as they may honor yours, and focus on what they are doing right. Remember, you are on their team as they are on yours.

Arguments are meant to understand one another, not push us so far apart that we can no longer stand to be in the same room. Though that may happen. We argue because we want our other half to know how we feel and what we want, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This slowing down takes practice, and it will get easier once you apply these simple steps over and over…and over. It’s a team effort.

Now, slow down and be intentional while arguing and you’ll get your point across.

The post 3 Ways to Slow Down Arguments appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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The Secret Sauce in Living Longer

Ready to drop those dumbbells and celery sticks? Well don’t give up on those just yet, but you may be surprised what exactly can help you live longer, and you can start today. As it’s still beneficial to have a well balanced diet with regular exercise, there’s still something missing from this standard formula of living life to its fullest. Ready to see what’s in the secret sauce in living longer?

Believe it or not but the secret has actually been around both you and I for thousands of years. It turns out that many people who live over the age of 100, also known as centenarians, have followed this simple yet powerful formula to help extend their life. Some of the most successful people you know or have heard of are probably following this method as well. According to the latest research, the secret in the sauce of achieving longevity are obtaining relationships and social integration.

Here’s To Living Longer

(5 minute read)

Come again? Yeah, that’s right, your relationships are key in what research calls longevity (living a very very long time). And you do this by allowing yourself to build relationships on a daily basis. You can actually tackle this relationship building stuff head on right now and increase your likelihood in living for quite a long time. For the purposes of this read, relationships can be defined as being involved with others in community. Simple as that, well kind of.

Humans Were Made For This

We as humans were truly made to connect with others. Think about that for a moment. They say nine out of ten businesses fail because teamwork preparation was lacking. Thriving businesses communicate well and have close teammates that can rely on one another to remain stable and achieve success over time. Just as you needed an instructor to be present in order to get your driver’s license, living a longer life requires people to be present, even if those people are actually strangers. Yes, meeting and greeting strangers can have the ability of extending ones life.

Have you ever needed a tutor to help you with an exam? Someone to deliver your food to you because you were too sick to drive? Maybe you needed help with your current life circumstances and called up a therapist. Whatever the case may be, relationships surround us and have the potential to help us achieve longevity. And guess what, these relationships make us live much longer than we think they do.

Now you may be thinking, “I’ve got all the people I want in my life, so does that mean I got this longevity thing down?” Not quite. Having those close relationships are crucial, but what’s incredible are the differences between those with close relationships and those with close relationships and social integration.

Now, I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of research mumbo jumbo regarding social integration. But I will say that having a daily connection with people outside your normal circle has much more longevity benefits than having close friends alone. In fact, when it comes to living the longest possible life, having both close relationships and being involved with others outside of that are two of the highest factors according to this awesome TED talk.

Social Integration

Social integration involves making eye contact with others, giving hi-fives to new people, talking to cashiers at the register in stores and granting strangers a “good day.” Sure, it may not be in your daily routine to migrate outside your inner safe space, but it sure does have life long benefits in the long haul. And who knows, you might meet someone that really does belong in your inner circle, but you’ll never know until you take that first step.

As mentioned earlier, close relationships and social integration topped other contenders on the list of achieving longevity. Here are a few of those examples:

  • Quitting smoking and alcohol
  • Receiving a flu shot annually
  • Exercising weekly
  • Having clean air to live in

That’s right, being connected with others both inside and outside your comfort zone increases your chances of obtaining longevity better than living in a place with terrible air. I am in no way advocating to abstain from flu shots or suggesting you give up on exercise.

I am suggesting to continue these healthy habits and connect with others along the way. So, do you see the benefits of adding social integration to your longevity repertoire?

What You Can Do Now

Why not increase your chances by connecting with others right now? You may meet some pretty amazing people who may stick around for awhile. This meeting new people stuff can be achieved more simply than you think too.

  • Have a sit down with someone at Starbucks, even if it’s for two minutes. Or just tell someone hello if you want. It’s better than nothing at all.
  • Put your phone down for a moment and make eye contact with the people around you. That might be your only chance for eye contact in person that day.
  • Tell someone to have a good day even if you don’t know them. A simple comment as such can really change their day and yours as well.

You might learn something new about yourself and promote powerful changes in your body with these new actions I’ve suggested. Again, humans were truly made to connect with other humans. Want to increase the likelihood of stretching your life to its limits? Get up, slowly leave that comfort zone and connect with other people.

Even if this means making simple eye contact with others with a smile, that’s a great start! Get creative, shake hands and build your circle of trust. It all begins with you.

The post The Secret Sauce in Living Longer appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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Kern Wellness Counseling Blog by Kernwellnesscounseling - 1y ago
The 5 Steps to Change

Have you ever felt stuck before and wanted to change things up a bit? Perhaps your stuck at a job and feel you have no way out. Maybe you’re stuck in a relationship that you think isn’t good for you. Or maybe you’re stuck in life and feel you have no purpose at the moment. The 5 steps to change may be your solution in understanding how to get unstuck.

Whatever the case may be, you may have been thinking about a solution but feel too stuck to put it in action. If that’s you, please continue.

The five steps to change your situation is not a quick fix or simple process, but the good news is that you can start this process today in order to make tomorrow easier. This particular process actually came from the realm of drug dependency and abuse. It’s called the five stages of change. Wherever you are in your situation may describe what stage you are in.

Here’s the good news. Once you recognize what stage you’re in, you can then figure out how close you are from getting unstuck. See which stage resonates with you and how close you are in getting where you want be.

(4 minute read)

1. Precontemplation

If you’re in this stage, you’re A-OK with how you’re situation is and have no plans on changing. To figure out if you are in this stage, ask your self the following questions. Am I okay with my situation right now? Do I even think I’m in a situation right now?

If your answer is yes for the first question and no for the second, you may okay with where you are in your non-predicament. And guess what? That is completely fine!

2. Contemplation

If you’re in this stage, then you’ve considered the possibility of making a change in your life. Still, you’re unsure if you’d want to make any changes, but the situation is starting to get in your way and bother you.

This part of change is full of hesitation, doubt and fear because you may be feeling uncomfortable at the moment. It’s completely normal to have these feelings because you’re thinking about trying out something new.

3. Preparation

This is when things start to get interesting. If you’re in the preparation stage, you may start to remember and explore all the times you were about to change beforehand, but didn’t. This is the make you or break you stage because you are actually making small changes in order to prepare for the big one.

With each little change you make overtime, you have the potential of growing more confidence and making more significant changes.

4. Action

You’ve now reached the most powerful stage. This is when you begin to take much larger steps toward that goal of yours. Also, the feeling of being unsure may come back during this stage because you are doing something completely out of the ordinary.

This step also makes you realize how much control you have in your life. I’ll repeat, you do have control of your life by the decisions you make. Yes, there are many things out of your control that can slow you down, but remember that you have the power to overcome these obstacles.

5. Maintenance

Just like a muscle that’s been worked out at the gym, it needs to be worked out consistently for maximum results. The same goes for making changes in your life. Once you feel you’ve made a complete shift, maintain it to the best of your ability.

During this stage, you may experience temptation to pursue what you recently left. You’ve decided to leave a piece of you behind and move forward with something new. As scary as that may sound, it will prepare you for a new adventure. In other words, it will take some getting used to when living this new lifestyle. Consider this aftermath the new normal.

Congratulations!

You’ve just conquered the necessary steps to make change happen! You can now apply these steps to almost any situation you may be dealing with currently.

Regardless of what stage you are in, remember that it’s a process and cannot be done quickly. Work hard, take care of yourself and just remember the end goal.

Relapse

Lastly, it’s important to note that it’s possible to fall back to old habits after you’ve recently changed. Whether that’s going back to an abusive relationship, back to a drug you can’t stand or maybe going back to that job you hate. Whatever the case may be, just remember this one thing. Because it’s possible to fall back, it’s also possible to move right back forward.

When things get hard, it’s very easy for anyone to go back to older habits because they’ve dealt with it before, it’s easy. But if you recognize that you’re slipping up and go back to the old you, remember that you have the ability to maintain that change.

Again, remember that slipping and falling back to old habits doesn’t define who you are, and it happens to most of us. Just get up, dust yourself off and move forward as best as you can. You have the strength. Now that’s a great definition of successful change!

It’s your time to learn, live and thrive.

The post The 5 Steps to Change appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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The most Powerful Law Of Life

Just as we have a law of gravity that can’t tell the difference between a good and bad person, the law of attraction treats us just the same because it’s one of the most powerful laws of life. And just how we manage gravity with the power of flight, we can manage attraction with the power of the mind.

Ever heard of the phrase be careful what you wish for because you just might get it? That is honestly the true essence of this special law, because all begins with a single thought.

Think about it, what was the first thought you had this morning? Was it how thankful you were for another day of life? Was it dissatisfaction because it’s a weekday and you’re dreading work at your awful job? Or is it something you’re thinking about right now that might be bothering you? Three simple thoughts with three mind blowing differences.

The person who woke up with gratitude will more likely attract other positive aspects throughout their day. The person who woke up in a sour mood will more likely attract other sour aspects throughout their day. Whatever you’re thinking right now may attract other things related to it, believe me.

This is one of the most powerful laws of life. The law of attraction.

The Most Powerful Law of Life

(6 Minute Read)

It begins with a thought, which then alters your feelings and eventually it changes how you behave. Not too bad right? I kid you not, it’s as simple as that.

When I first heard about this, I thought to myself, “Pshhhh, I control my day, not this attraction stuff,” and technically I was right. The point is that you are in control of your day, no one else. And whatever you speak into your day you will get out of your day. Make sense? What you invite in your day will join you and stick around for awhile. Like asking a friend to hang out with you.

For example…

“But what about this job I work at, I absolutely hate it. Now what? How can this attraction talk help with that?” My answer: you will absolutely hate it still. Just as much as you cannot stand hanging out with a certain in-law during the holidays, you should expect to have a rough time. But what if we were to tweak the language a bit? Rather than criticizing that relationship, you could approach them with compliments? Rather than hating work, find what it is about your job that gives you peace, recognition or anything that excites you. If you look for peace, you’ll eventually find it.

Keep in mind, if you cannot find any peace, happiness or good feelings about your current job after changing your mindset, or anything else in your life that may apply, it may just be time to move on and move forward. Start speaking that into your existence, do the work and see what unfolds. The law of attraction is a step-by-step process that eventually becomes habit. Sure it seems hard, annoying or even slow at first glance, but that’s because it’s something new added to your busy schedule. So, to save you some time I summed it all up in a few simple steps that you can practice with right now.

1. Think it

Tired of frustration or pain at work because of your boss, or anything else you’re tired of in life? Maybe its your finances, your relationships or something else. Start by thinking of all the good your boss, or anything else that applies, has brought to the job or your life. Do this throughout your day and watch as your frustrations become smaller and smaller, while what you are searching for becomes bigger and bigger. Do this new kind of thinking with anything and it will eventually pull you and other positive things together. Shift your thinking into something new.

2. Feel and Believe it

It’s one thing to trick your brain into thinking something completely new. Like how much you appreciate the job you absolutely hate. You aren’t lying to yourself, you choose to find the good in it. But it’s even more powerful if you actually feel joy, peace or any other uplifting emotion that is caused from that single change of thought. Imagine if you enhanced all your negative thoughts throughout your day, what could happen? If you aren’t sure, maybe it’s time to give it a shot, but make it a habit too. Once you feel it, believe that it’s happening and watch the change begin.

3. Play it Out

The thinking process is very private because only you know what’s going on in your head. The feeling and believing it process is shedding some light on those private thoughts so that you become more aware. But once you physically act out this thought process, you’ve just introduced the world to a newer side of you. This may unbalance how others and the world react around you. This shift may mold your day in the way you want it. Positive vibes attract other positive vibes. Now watch as the tables turn.

Your action is so crucial in this three step process because without it, you’ve only done half the work. Imagine you went into that terrible job, or relationship, or anything, saying how much you appreciate your boss giving you a job in the first place, or anything remotely uplifting. Does your boss, spouse or friend deserve that comment, only you know that. But that isn’t up to him or her, you have the power and you are in control.

Remember, if you search for peace, happiness or anything remotely positive, you’ll eventually find it because of this law. If you search for resentment or even criticism or others, you’ll find that. If you search for negative things in your partner, you’ll find that too. Stick with uplifting thoughts, feel the new emotions and you’ll find your way.

So now what? I’ve learned the steps, so how long will it take to become a success at this? Well that’s up to you to decide. Not to mention it becomes easier once it’s a habit. Do you wish to only be successful in one area, or in all areas? Your thoughts, feelings and actions will show the universe strong evidence that you’re serious about attracting better things to your life. But if this formula is not practiced, you should expect mediocre results. It all starts with you.

Just like a muscle needs a little more stress to build and grow, your thoughts need to shift in a way that adds good stress to your brain. Eventually it will be as if you aren’t negative enough anymore because you’re so positive.

Remember, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.

Good luck!

The post The Most Powerful Law of Life appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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Kern Wellness Counseling Blog by Kernwellnesscounseling - 1y ago

How To Tell Someone No

Think about a time where you found yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, not very fun right? A good friend of yours asks you for a favor that may seem simple to them, but it’s something you don’t really want to do. Everyday we are given the opportunity to say no, but to our surprise we become a yes person.

We say yes to in order to maintain the relationship with that person. We are also fearful that saying no will create some uncomfortable and awkward conflict. Additionally, we want to be known as someone everybody can count on at anytime, right? Let’s try something new. Here’s how to tell someone no.

Below I’ve listed a series of tips that were influenced by these wonderful people which may help you on your journey of saying no to things you simply just don’t want to do.

(4 minute read)

1. Acknowledge

Even though we already may feel bad for telling someone no, it’s important to at least pay close attention to what the person is asking in the first place. If we approach their request with open dialogue, it may let this person know that you are actually listening to them and not simply blowing them off.

Sometimes, it’s good to even repeat back what they’ve said so they can hear exactly what they are asking you. This process can let this person know that you are paying close attention to what they are wanting and it gives the impression that you care.

2. Explain

If you’ve ever been told no before, sometimes this pops in our mind: “Well why not?,” and sometimes this is also said out loud. If we were to give a short explanation of why we are refusing their request, they may see that you have a legitimate reason as to why you can’t say yes. On a side note, even if you didn’t have a legitimate reason to say no, you still have the choice to say anything you want as a response.

During this step you may feel that explaining your reasoning is not their business or that it doesn’t matter. Just remember, you are in control, if you would like to explain or not it’s your choice, but for future reference, it may put your friend at ease for the time being if you explain why.

3. Say No

Do just as the step states, and say no. After completing both of the first few steps, it’s important that you actually do say no. No does not mean saying words like maybe, perhaps, possibly, or any other words that seem wishy-washy, that doesn’t count. You want to be clear and concise. Remember, you’ve just prepared your friend with the first two steps, so saying no shouldn’t be a shocker to them.

Keep the following in mind while saying no: stand your ground, have good eye contact, don’t back up, face this person head on, be confident, and please make sure your voice is firm enough for the listener to understand you. I’ve always enjoyed the K.I.S.S. method too, Keep It Simple Silly.

4. Resist the “S” Word

How often do we say we’re sorry for saying no, because I can definitely raise my hand first. Saying sorry may sound like we are guilty of something we didn’t even do. Others may feel as if you now owe them something because you were apologizing, and for what? We may have become desensitized to this word because of how often we use it, and for reasons we’re not even sure why. Don’t get me wrong, apologizing is fine when you have your reasons, just try not to OVER apologize.

So Now What?

With all of this new information, how in the heck are you supposed to put it into action? Just follow the KISS method and you’ll be fine. Practice with a friend, family member or significant other who may also struggle with saying no. Then after some time, give it a try in the real world, if it works that’s great! If it doesn’t, maybe next time, but eventually it’l stick.

You will never know unless you give it a shot, because if you don’t, you may find yourself continuing saying yes to things that are daunting. Unless you enjoy saying yes, then you just read this post for curiosity and that’s okay too! The point is to not give up so easily, and with practice comes improvement of this skill, because saying no is a great skill to have.

You got this!

The post How To Tell Someone No appeared first on Kern Wellness Counseling.

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