Thursday, 31 May 2018

Teens and Divorce: How to Help Them Make It Through

The teen years are difficult for anyone. They are full of change, both mentally and physically, and this is a lot to take on. Adding the stress and change of a divorce or separation makes this challenging time even harder to cope with. Teens will often feel like they have no foundation, even when they may be acting as though they are fine. If they are going to develop into healthy adults, they will need your support and love. Here are a few tips on how to help teens through this difficult time.

Take it slow

When your teen already feels like they are on unstable ground, it is best not to add many more changes to their life if you can help it. In a divorce, there is no way to avoid change, but mindfully making the changes can help give your teenager time to adjust. While it might be hard to avoid a few big changes like a new home or a new school, let your teen take their time to get used to it all. Talking to your child about the changes to come will also allow them to prepare mentally, which will help with getting used to the new way that things work.

Make sure that your teen will still have contact with their old friends. Making new friends is an added stress, and their old friends can offer emotional support as they try to work through this difficult process. Try to wait until the end of the school year before moving to a new school. Switching in the middle of the year is much harder and will cause extra stress as well as possibly failing grades. See if you can arrange for your teen to visit the school beforehand so that they don’t feel as lost on their first day.

If you are moving, allow them to decorate their own room. Try to make it a fun experience, and let them express themselves through the way they decorate it.
Expect resistance

Your divorce will be very hard on your teenager, and they will likely feel anger, betrayal, and resentment toward one or both of their parents. Even if they aren’t actually angry at you, they will probably take their negative feelings out on you anyway. Whether they are being rude, rebellious, or withdrawn, you need to be sensitive to their emotions. Try not to get too angry, but take disciplinary measures if what they did was over the line of acceptability. If they take their acting out to an unhealthy level, that is when you may need to intervene with professional help.

Consider taking them to a therapist or counselor if they start acting in a manner that causes you to be concerned about their well being. Don’t force it one them, as they probably won’t like the idea at first. Don’t lecture them about why they should see a professional, but rather explain why you are concerned for their well being. Make sure that they understand that you don’t think that they need to be “fixed”. Being forceful will only gain greater pushback from your teenager, while being sensitive and caring can open up communication and ease their pain. They are looking for solid ground; be that for them.

Don’t bend the rules

While it can be difficult to see your teen acting out or in a negative way towards you, loosening up on the rules is not a good way to earn back their affection. Instead, this will teach them that they receive rewards for acting rebellious. They need discipline and foundation in order to become healthy adults, and removing the rules removes both of those.

Give them the freedoms that you feel they are mature enough for, and reward good behavior with more freedom. If they have good grades and are respectful, let them stay out a bit later or spend extra time on the computer. Be reasonable with your teen, and remember that they are growing into young adults. As they grow older, they will crave more and more freedom.

Remember that you are the parent
Having gone through a divorce or separation, you will have your very own confused feelings to work through. While talking to them about your feelings can help strengthen your bond and show them that you respect and trust them, you must be careful about how much you share. Remember that you are their parent and must be strong for your kids. Also, don’t say negative things about their other parent in front of them. Save the more painful and negative topics to be talked over with adult friends and trusted family members, or even a professional such as a therapist. Some things would do nothing more than hurt your teen, and you need to pay careful attention what you tell them.

Helping a teen through this process can be very difficult, especially if they don’t feel like working with you. However, consistent support and love from you and others they know can help them through this challenging experience and onward into adulthood.


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Benefits of Positive Friends

Why You Need to Spend More Time With Positive, Upbeat People

Friends are good for you but positive, upbeat pals are the real gems in life. They're the ones that will rally behind you, offer a smile and a hug, and leave you feeling better about yourself. Ideally, we should spend more time with encouraging friends and less time working on things with our more negative friends.

This seems like a simple concept, expect that people aren't always totally positive or completely crabby, either.

Sometimes friends are downright rude or mean and other times they generous and supportive. Look at a friend's overall character when deciding if someone is a good influence in your life or not. Just reflecting back on how you feel when you're with them can give you the insight you need.

Here's why you need to positive people in your life.

Support When You Need It

With positive friends, you don't need to beg for help when you need it because chances are they will be there for you without asking. Positive individuals want others to be happy and will go out of their way to help you when you're feeling down or need some extra special attention.

By contrast, negative people celebrate the downfall of others, and as a result, you'll end up feeling worse about yourself or your situation. Friends who aren't positive will add to whatever amount of stress you are feeling.

Health Benefits of Being Positive

The more positive friends you have, the better able you will be at remaining upbeat yourself.

Studies have shown that optimistic people tend to deal with stress and illness better than those who aren't positive. Health benefits that are associated with positive thinking often include lower rates of depression, a greater ability to throw off colds, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Bringing Out the Best in You

Your positive friends will not only help you rebound from the negative hits you take in life, but they will also inspire you to be the best you can be. This means trying new things, achieving goals, and having the kind of life you dreamed of for yourself. Very often people have secret goals that they are ashamed of sharing with people for fear they'll be mocked.
For example, perhaps you always wanted to be a writer. Or you want to go back to school and get your degree. The negative people in your life will probably tell you all the reasons why you won't succeed. But who needs that? Chances are you have already gone over the reasons why you might fail and this is what has prevented you from trying. But with positive people in your life, you'll feel more comfortable sharing these types of goals because your friends will give you the emotional push you need to go after what you want in life.

Attracting More Positive Friends

You naturally attract the kinds of friends who are most like you. So if you're a downer, you'll probably find that negative people flock to you. The same is true for being positive. The more you are able to maintain a positive attitude, the more like-minded people you'll attract in return.

In addition, being positive means that you'll come to friendships with a healthier state of mind. Rather than coming off as desperate for friends, you'll be seen as someone who has a lot of things going on in their life. This naturally attracts people to you and many of them could become friends. Bottom line? You'll have more friends without even trying.


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

How to Get an Easy Divorce Emotionally – 3 Golden Pieces of Advice

Be no fooled – there is no such thing as a pain and anxiety-free and easy divorce. But, there are extremely difficult and ugly divorces, and there are those that are much easier on one or both sides. Ideally, the couple will agree on getting a divorce and on the terms of it prior to even filing for the legal dissolution of marriage. This article will show you a few things you can do to ensure that the divorce goes smoothly emotions-wise (as much as possible) and you get an ease divorce emotionally.

1. Talk about resolving problems as two cooperating adults

Marriages tend to fall apart gradually. It’s rarely (we can say it’s never) some sudden unexpected bomb, it’s more of an erosion. Every argument that didn’t end in a resolution of the problems or kind words of understanding and apology chipped a piece of the relationship. And it is normal for couples to fight. As the matter of fact, not fighting about anything ever is an indicator of a potential emotional detachment and a lack of intimacy. But, there are good and bad ways to quarrel.

Now that your marriage is close to being finished, there isn’t a need to resolve past issues anymore. Not those such as who will take out the trash and on which days at least. You also have no more right (or cause) to be jealous or angry about similar things. It just doesn’t matter anymore.

Yet, there are also issues you now need to tackle, ideally before you even seek out lawyers. You will have to get on the same page about a lot of pragmatic issues. The mortgage, the house, the expenses, the children, the time together, the future. So, now you need to learn how to talk to your soon-to-be-ex-husband or wife and how to resolve problems as two cooperating adults.

2. Grieve your failed marriage

You surely heard about the need to grieve your failed marriage a few times. But this is not just a phrase. You do need to go through all the same stages of mourning as you would if you lost someone close to you. As you did. You lost your future plans, your home is changing, you won’t be having your spouse there by your side in all life situations.

This may sound scary, but, it is all a matter of perspective. What you do need to do is spend some time deliberating about your emotions, and let yourself feel sad, scared, devastated, angry, or however you might be feeling. You will probably be bouncing between different emotions at different times, and this is all right.

The main thing is to understand where you are emotionally at any given moment and to adjust your actions to that. For example, don’t make any big decisions when in rage. Know that, this too shall pass. Getting a divorce is a trauma and a very stressful event. However, the moment you step into the process, your healing also begins. Which is why, if you want an easy divorce emotionally, you need to be aware of this and not push yourself into feeling great before you’re ready.

3. Change your perspective

Yes, divorce is tough, without a doubt, however well executed. It has a potential of destroying your life. It will most definitely change it to its core. You may be very sad for a very long time, you will be more prone to depression and anxiety, you will be stressed, scared, and uncertain of what the future brings.

However, there is also another perspective on things. One that can make this stressful event become a positive thing that had happened to you. This is the perspective of growing. Western culture promotes the belief that things have to be a certain way for us to feel good. More precisely, we feel strong aversion to change and have an inclination towards keeping the things as they are. And we sometimes prefer unhealthy relationships over being single, just for the sake of that false sense of security.

However, if you move your viewpoint just slightly, you will notice that the Universe is constantly changing. And it is unwise to expect our lives to stay the same all the time. You are about to experience a big change in your life. A small change in perspective can make a difference between a ruined life and a beautiful future.


Monday, 28 May 2018

Life Is Tough: Overcoming Hardship And Failure

At one point in your life, hardships and failure will knock at your door. When that happens, you have two options:

  1. Let them in and allow them to take over you; or
  2. Let them in, do something about them, and walk away eventually with your head up high.

The obvious choice would be choice B, but there are many people who are struggling with getting out of the Failures Department and let these road bumps win. In case you get stuck in the world called “tough life,” here are some tips to help you overcome it:

Remember: You are not alone

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison before he became a president of South Africa. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter manuscripts were sent to 12 different publishers before Bloomsbury decided to publish it. Bill Gates may be a college dropout, but worked his way to become one of the richest people in the world.

What does this mean? You are not the only one who experience failure. Even the richest, most successful people experienced rejection at some point in their lives. Somewhere out there, there is someone who is going through something, just like you and it’s okay. You are not alone in this journey.

Learn to accept failure

Failure will always be a part of human life. In fact, it is inevitable even in the tiniest things like not losing your targeted pounds or failing to beat the time in your last 21K run. Setbacks and failures may love to knock at your door, but keep in mind that these are not your final destination. Rather, these are just bumps that will help you become stronger and wiser as you go along the way.

It’s okay to cry or feel disappointed in case you experienced failures. Nobody is perfect and this is simply part of the process. Learn to embrace it because they will always be part of human life.

Let your frustration out

People cope differently. There are some who face the problem head on and come up with a solution to address it while there are others who prefer letting it pass before dealing with the issue at hand.

It doesn’t matter where you stand, but when it comes to overcoming hardship and failure, you need to have an outlet. This allows you to release all those frustrations out so you can better address your problem. It clears your head and helps you focus more, thereby allowing you to decide better.

Acknowledge your personal responsibility

Oftentimes, people look for a distraction or someone to blame when confronted by a difficult situation. In fact, you even refuse to confront yourself for what happened.

This is not the best way to go. Aside from accepting the fact that failure is and will always be part of the process, you also need to accept that you are responsible for what happened as well. In doing so, you will be able to learn from it, thereby minimizing the risk of failing.

Process your weakness, examine what went wrong, and come up with a solution to address the problem on why you failed. Do not dwell too much on the result, rather find out what went wrong and think of s solution for it.

For instance, learn to accept that the reason why you got into trouble that led to the destruction of property is because you drank too much. Acknowledge that and think of a solution to help you get out of it – such as hiring an attorney.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

No matter how independent you are, you can’t do it alone all the time. Perhaps, it could be one of the reasons why you failed because you refused to ask for help and acknowledge the tips and strategies given to you.

It’s okay to ask for help. Doing so is not a sign of a weakness, rather a showcase of strength because you are willing to accept the fact that you do not know everything. If you are going through something, say depression or anxiety, then seek help.

Don’t forget to surround yourself with positive people as well. You will need lots of them I your life to remind you that life is good despite the setbacks and bumps along the way.

Two words: Fail forward

Life is tough and will constantly throw stones at you, but at the end of the day, it’s the things you learned from those failures will help you become a stronger person. You learn from those experiences and use them as your guide to make necessary adjustments until you succeed.

That is failing forward. It’s more than just rising after your fall. It’s also about gaining something from that fall and using it to your advantage.

Always remember that you can never stop hardships from coming into your life. It will constantly knock you down and make you feel you are not worthy, but how you decide to handle it will define you as a person. Don’t let these setbacks win. You are stronger and more capable than them.


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Expectation, Disappointment, and Sadness

Disappointment can be profound.

In a previous blog I wrote about the concept of "sad love." But the emotion of sadness can be felt in many other situations as well, and it is particularly profound in the experience of disappointment.

First, let's consider sadness in general. When sadness is triggered, a heavy emptiness or longing is felt because your brain's appraisal system has determined that you have experienced a lasting loss. You may want to have someone or something that is unattainable or to bring back what was lost, even if what caused your sadness has to do with finally recognizing something that you had subsequently denied. Sadness is a painful emotion of disconnection from someone or something that you value or had wanted to value. It differs qualitatively and temporally from grief, which may have a greater impact on your perception of the world and is longer lasting.

Sadness helps you to remember, rather than forget, what it is or was that you desired. It promotes personal reflection following a loss that is important to you, and turns your attention inward in a way that can promote resignation and acceptance (Lazarus, 1991). 
Thus, the emotion of sadness attempts to assist you by giving you an opportunity to consider the impact of your loss and the necessity of revising your objectives and strategies for the future. One study found that sadness tends to decrease one's confidence in first impressions (Schwartz, 1990). Another found that the experience of sadness leads one to struggle with the painful, existential question of "Who am I?" (Henretty, Levitt, & Mathews, 2008). If sadness can help you to remember and accept reality, achieve insight that can realign your goals, alert you to be cautious before making decisions, and create an opportunity for you to observe yourself, then perhaps its adaptive purpose is evident: like all emotions, sadness, in spite of how it makes you feel, is simply trying to protect you.

Disappointment is a profound way in which sadness is experienced. People seem to do whatever they can to avoid recognizing that they are disappointed and will twist their thinking every which way to not recognize a true disappointment. You may be disappointed in a parent, your child, your spouse, a lover, an employer or job, an event, or in yourself. In any case, disappointment is the experience of sadness involving unfulfilled hopes or expectations. When you consider what might have been, in contrast to what exists in the present, you may experience disappointment.

In my psychotherapy practice I have found that people avoid disappointment far more than many other emotional experiences. Disappointment comes with finality--the recognition that you don't have, didn't get, or will never achieve whatever it is that you wanted. You might experience being angry with a parent, spouse, relative, employer, or friend, and that is far easier to feel than your disappointment in the relationship. Disappointment forces you to admit that you did not get what you wished to have, and it is actually easier for you to protest with anger than it is to encounter your sadness about the course of events. In an obstinate way, anger will allow you to continue idealizing what could have been while consciously denigrating it, and you will hang onto it only because it's what you needed at the time. Disappointment accepts reality.

There is one more aspect of the sadness triggered with disappointment that is worthy of mention. Usually it is assumed that people who value happiness are able to hold on to positive feelings and may be resilient, if not immune, to the negative effects of disappointing experiences. But this may not always be the case, according to the findings of a recent study. Under certain circumstances, valuing happiness may be self-defeating and result in disappointment, depending upon how people evaluate their progress toward that goal (Mauss, Tamir, Anderson, & Savino, 2011). The researchers found that valuing happiness can set people up for disappointment, especially if they compare themselves to an ideal. So perhaps the way in which to foster resilience is to construct realistic appraisals of what you need, avoid idealizing what could be, and come to terms with what you have.
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For more information regarding my books about emotions:

This blog is in no way intended as a substitute for medical or psychological counseling. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.


Henretty, J., Levitt, H. & Mathews, S. (2008). Clients' experiences of moments of sadness in psychotherapy: A grounded theory analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 18(3), 243-255.
Lazarus, R.S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. New York, NY, US: Oxford University

Mauss, I.B., Tamir, M., Anderson, C.L., & Savino, N.S. (2011) Can seeking happiness make people happy? Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness. Emotion, 11(4), 808-815.
Schwarz, N. (1990). Feelings as information: Informational and motivational functions of affective states. In E.T. Higgins & R.M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior: Vol. II (pp. 527-561). New York: Guilford Press.


Friday, 25 May 2018

Tips for Starting Over and Rebooting Your Life

New moon, new year...recipe essentials for creating a new life

Wishing you could start the new year all over again? You can at any time. Pick a day, any day, and declare it your personal new year's day to reboot your life. If you select today, you're not alone as the new moon marks the new year among many ancient cultures (take note, Chinese New Year is today). Still consider a birthday, anniversary, or any day to start anew and consider these tips for making new and improved resolutions that are guaranteed to succeed.

The single biggest factor that impacts the success of resolution-making is to realize what you focus on expands. Focus on avoiding something (e.g. drinking, overeating, procrastinating) and you just might ensure its continued success. As an example, 98% of people dealing with stress tend to wake up at night ruminating about the thing that bothers them. It might be a fight with a child, an argument with a coworker, burgeoning mortgage bills, illness, or something else. It makes sense to focus on the problem. Yet, like the old adage, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, the problem will get the energy, which only serves to reinforce the rumination. They key is to focus on the opposing force of the problem-the solution.

To illustrate, let's use the example of the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, sloth, greed, anger, gluttony, and lust). Numerous stories throughout time teach caution about succumbing to these behaviors. The message is reinforced to us at a young age by parents, teachers, books, and the media. For instance, recall Star Wars, episode 3, where Anakin Skywalker transforms into Darth Vader after allowing fear, envy, anger, and pride to mask his heart and intuition. In the episode, Yoda warns Anakin not to focus on the dark side of the force.

Like Darth Vader, human beings focus on the dark side of the force much of the time. I see it in myself, my friends, my family, and my clients. We fall of the bike of positive thinking and start ruminating on the negative and what we're trying to avoid. Don't believe me? Look at these top 13 New Year resolutions in the United States. The very first one is to lose weight with managing debt coming in second place. Both of these resolutions focus on the problem instead of the solution. Perhaps that's why more than 68% of people will give up on their resolutions within the first two weeks.

People would be more successful if they focused on the light side of the force. Instead of making a resolution to lose weight, try making an intention to take care of your body with nourishing food, love and care. That love and care might consist of vitamins, exercise, deep breathing, emollient lotions, uplifting fragrances, plenty of water, and listening. Let your body speak to you about what it feels. A tummy ache might be a red flag that something is bothering you. Maybe putting up better boundaries and treating yourself with respect is needed. You may not hear this critical wisdom if you're getting mad at your body for not fitting in your clothes.

Regarding managing your debt, can you tell this resolution focuses on lack? Treat your money with love, care and gratitude. Notice everything you have and how fortunate you are that you have the ability to pay for water, electricity, and things so often taken for granted. 
Debt begins to melt away (and never take hold in the first place) when we manage our money with gratitude. What happens is that people tend to focus on what they don't have or how little money they or their partner is making, which leads to a vicious cycle of spending to feel better and then regretting. Stop the cycle by appreciating the joy that $1 gives you. The thrill of that hot shower. The warmth of the extra blanket on your bed. The comfort of the fuzzy slippers or soft socks. That is where the magic lives and abundance multiplies.
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As for those seven deadly sins, try focusing on their complementary positives-the seven joys. Instead of avoiding greed, think of expanding how much you share. Instead of battling lust, try encouraging people's soulful dreams. Instead of resisting anger, give yourself nourishing love. Instead of avoiding becoming a sloth (couch-potato syndrome), allow yourself to dance more. Instead of inhibiting your inner glutton, try releasing your inner artist and seek quality over quantity. Instead of hiding from your proud ego, focus on fostering unconditional self-acceptance. Finally, instead of detaining your green-eyed monster of envy, try re-focusing on gratitude in the moment.

If you've gotten anything from this article, I hope it's that attitude is everything. Please don't beat yourself up. Take it one day at a time and keep readjusting your sights on the light. It will become natural over time.


Thursday, 24 May 2018

Fifteen Simple Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness

Depression can be debilitating and is very different from just feeling unhappy. Usually, there is a reason for unhappiness such as being rejected or not getting the job you wanted. 
Depression is a pervasive feeling. It’s almost as if you are in a black tunnel with no light. Hope disappears and the things you used to find enjoyable become a chore. Even winning the lottery would not snap someone out of depression and it is never a good idea to tell someone who is depressed to sort themselves out and pull themselves together.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

1. Practice Mindfulness

A depressed mind tends to mull over all that is wrong and worries unnecessarily about all the negative possibilities that may emerge in the future. This negative thought cycle reinforces misery and is not helpful in managing to overcome depression. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and is a skill that needs to be practiced. More often than not, our brains are full of thoughts and focusing on the present moment seems unnatural for our minds. Practice on engaging your senses in the moment. Focus on touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. Engaging the senses leaves less time for worry.

2. Listen to Upbeat Music

I have always thought of music as food for the soul. An upbeat tune can change an atmosphere instantly and create a more positive vibe. Listening to upbeat, happy music alters brain chemistry and can improve your mood.

3. Use Touch

Science shows that touch therapies can help some people overcome depression, lower the stress hormone cortisol and increase the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Therapies to consider include acupuncture, acupressure, massage, reiki and reflexology.

4. Include Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet

Research has shown that depressed people often lack a fatty acid known as EPA. Participants in a 2002 study featured in the Archives of General Psychiatry took just a gram of fish oil each day and noticed a 50-percent decrease in symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disorders, unexplained feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, and decreased sex drive. Omega-3 fatty acids can also lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Get omega-3s through walnuts, flaxseed and oily fish like salmon or tuna.

5. Stop the Negative Self Talk

Depressed people tend to see the world in a negative way. When things go wrong they blame themselves and when they go right, they put it down to luck. Depression reinforces self doubt and feelings of worthlessness. Monitor your inner negative talk and make allowances for this type of thinking by reminding yourself that your thinking is that of a depressed person, not a healthy functioning person. Don’t take your thoughts seriously when you are feeling low. Acknowledge the thoughts but this doesn’t mean you have to believe them. Keep perspective.

6. Bide Your Time

Accept that your mental state is not entirely balanced. During depression, we tend to see the negatives in everything and find it harder to be balanced about what is going on. Gently remind yourself that you are tuned into the ‘negativity channel’ and don’t listen to your thinking. It is definitely distorted when you are depressed. This idea alone can provide some comfort when the world appears bleak. It won’t last forever. Remind yourself that change is constant and that you won’t always feel this way. Be patient and do your best to look after yourself in the meantime. Eat well and get a decent amount of sleep. Say to yourself “This shall pass”.

7. Distract Yourself

If possible, do your best to distract yourself from over thinking. Your thoughts are your enemy when depression sets in. Play with a pet or go for a walk. Read a book if you are able to concentrate or finish a puzzle. Do anything that takes your mind off your fears and worries. Keeping busy is an effective way to overcome depression.

8. Use More Light

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is known for causing low mood over the winter months when there is less sunlight. Invest in a sunlamp – a 300 watt bulb within three feet for 20 minutes three times a day can help. SAD symptoms can include problems sleeping, anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, apathy and loss of libido and using light can help to overcome depression and these other symptoms.

9. Try Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy can be extremely useful in counteracting depression and is based on the principle that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain health problems, such as depression. The counselor helps you to understand your current thought patterns and identify any harmful or false ideas and thoughts that you have that can trigger depression or make it worse. The aim is to change your ways of thinking to avoid these ideas as well as help your thought patterns to be more realistic and helpful.

10. Write in a Journal

A journal can work in two ways. Use it to write down fears and worries. Sometimes, having an outlet in this way can be soothing and ease your mind. Another good way to use a journal (I prefer this way) is to write at least five things down every day that you are grateful for. This forces us to think more positively and can help to remind us that things are never that bad. In a gratitude journal, you can write about anything that happened in the day that made you feel appreciative. A stranger smiling at you, the sun shining..anything positive will do!

11. Connect with Friends

This can be one of the hardest things to do when feeling depressed but it is one of the most rewarding activities. Force yourself to go out. Isolating oneself from others may seem a good idea but put a limit on it and then get out there again. This can have a huge positive effect on your mood.

12. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep and mood are closely connected. Inadequate sleep can cause irritability and stress, while healthy sleep can enhance well-being. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood.Take steps to ensure adequate sleep will this will lead to improved mood and well-being. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort so aim for between 7.5 and 9 hours sleep per night.

13. Forgive Others

When we hold a grudge, we are the ones that feel the anger. The person whom we are angry with is probably merrily going about their business completely oblivious to your feelings. Don’t allow others to have this power over you. They have may have caused you grief in the past, try not to allow that grief to continue – it only affects you, not them. Find a way to forgive – they are not worthy of your time. Lighten the emotional load and you will improve your mood and help you to overcome depression.

14. Exercise

Regular exercise has benefits for helping to overcome depression. Exercise releases endorphins which improve natural immunity and improve mood. Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, protecting against heart disease, cancer and boosting self-esteem. Experts advise getting half an hour to an hour of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking at least three to four times per week.

15. Don’t give up

Depression can make you want to hide away from the world and disappear. It’s okay to take some time out but give yourself a time limit and then do something productive to improve your mood. Depression can be well managed (I know this from personal experience) and there can be a wonderful life beyond depression. Hang in there and keep the faith.

Although the above suggestions can be effective, depression that perseveres should be investigated further and seeing a Doctor to chat over any symptoms is a step in the right direction.


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Divorcing an Addict – A Complete Guide

Any divorce is difficult, and something we all wish to be able to avoid but divorcing an addict bears even more hardships. Being married to one does as well. Addiction is one of the primary destroyers of relationship and families, as well as individual lives. This article will go over all the basics of divorcing an addict that you need to be aware of before, during, or after the divorce itself.

The facts about being in a relationship with an addict

Before we focus on divorce, let’s discuss how the relationships with addicts look like. Because there’s no divorce without a dysfunctional relationship.

But first of all, a few facts about the addicts. Although it is usually very hard for the non-addicted spouse to believe in that, the addiction and the binges are not about them. It is a very private relationship between the addict and the substance.In a similar way, deception is also not something to be taken personally. Addiction has a way of making the addict believe they cannot live without the substance, and they will do anything to obtain it, or to keep using it. Not that you should condone lies, but you just need to understand why it happens and not get distracted by being hurt by lies.

Addiction goes far beyond the substance

When married to an addict, and once the addiction is shouted out loud, what becomes the main issue in the family is – treatment. But, as is commonly known, there is no treatment without an honest decision to do so. And also, this decision is not enough. What is also not enough is a detox. Many people mistakenly believe that once the drugs are out of the system, the addict is basically healed.

This cannot be further from the truth. Addiction goes far beyond the substance (although the substance isn’t a piece of cake either). It is a combination of different psychological mechanisms that made the person vulnerable, kept them addicted, and keep them from healing. This is why living with an addict often turns into an endless game of getting in and out of treatments.

Is divorce inevitable when married to an addict?

Addiction is, without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges for a marriage. The non-addicted spouse is affected by the addiction directly and indirectly. They have to watch someone they love going through a disastrous downward spiral. Often, they also have to look at how this affects their children.

On top of that, they will get lied to, possibly cheated on, shouted at, possibly physically hurt, and be treated with far less respect than they deserve to be treated with. Addiction will gradually eat away the trust and the closeness. and by being legally bound to the addict, the non-addicted spouse will also be legally bound to share the damage that the addict might cause.

All this has the power to strain the marriage and drain the non-addicted spouse’s energy and tolerance. And it may be the cause of a divorce. Not necessarily, though, as to whether the divorce will happen depends on a number of reasons, such as whether the addict is getting a treatment and how successfully, the quality and strength of the relationship prior to the addiction, etc.

Legal aspects of divorcing an addict

However, if you are contemplating on divorcing an addict, there a few specific additional tactics to use, apart from the general aspects of a divorce process that everyone goes through. First of all, addiction is usually considered grounds for a fault divorce. In cases when you feel that you should file for a fault divorce, you will need proof of habitual and long-term intoxication of your soon-to-be-ex.

If during the divorce proceedings where there are children involved in the custody battle addiction is reported, the judge will order an investigation of this complaint. If there is proof of such allegations, the custody of children will be given to the non-addicted parent. In cases when the addicted parent still visits children under the influence of the substance, a rehabilitation may be ordered by the court.

Things to consider before the divorce

All this may be traumatic for both partners and the children. Which is why there are a few things you should carefully consider before you do decide to file for the divorce. First of all, is your spouse beyond help? Did they try and fail rehabilitation? Are they endangering you or your children? Is your marriage broken beyond repair?


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

3 Things You Should Do To Overcome Sadness

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Khalil Gibran

I was talking to a dear friend of mine recently and he was asking me who is the person I admire the most and why. The interesting thing I realized while giving him the answer was that the person I deeply admire is somebody who experienced a great deal of pain during his lifetime and what made me admire him so much was his attitude and how he always come out as a better not a bitter person from all of these challenges.

How many of us are really capable of dealing gracefully with pain, stress, anxiety, and many other negative emotions? What I want you to achieve is grace under pressure and even though it may seem like an impossible task to do, it really isn’t. There are so many other tips to share on the subject but today I will share these three things, and if you do them, believe me, your life will get better and better and you will manage to deal with life’s challenges a lot more effective and in a more graceful manner.

Just know that “the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming. ~ Helen Keller

Whether it’s you who is in sadness or somebody you love and care about, acknowledging and acting upon these 3 things will help you feel a lot better.


1. Let go of the pain. This too shall pass.

Things, people, events, they just come and go, nothing really lasts forever and the same with your not so happy feelings. What I usually do when I feel like my world is coming to an end, and yes, that happens to me too, it to think of a time when I was down, a time when I felt really sad and blue, a time when I felt like the whole world would come to an end, and I had no way to escape, and I use that as proof that what my mind is telling me is not always true.

It is so important to work on making your mind work for you and not against you, because you see, in order for you:

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” ~ Buddha

2. Let go of resistance as best you can.

Even though it may seem that you talking about the things that are going wrong in your life will help solve the problem and make you feel better, the truth is that it will not, and just like Carl Jung said it, and I have experienced this myself so many times,

“What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.”

Do you understand why that is? Every time you insist on the pain, and every time you insist on talking about how much you are suffering, to yourself and to those people who are there to listen, you are in fact contributing to the growth of that pain, you are feeding it and you are building more and more pain on top of what already is!

Just imagine that I gave you a clean sheet of paper and I asked you to draw a very small dot on that paper, right in the center. Looking from the distance, does the dot seem significant to you? I wouldn’t think so. But what if I asked you to take a magnifying glass and move closer and closer to that dot? You will for sure feel like the dot is all there is, it will seem huge, right? The same with your pain. It’s not that big of a deal, even though right now, in this moment you might think otherwise, it really isn’t. This too shall pass.

Do you want to focus on the things that upset you and work on increasing the pain, or do you want to focus on those things that make you feel good about yourself and your life? It’s just a matter of choosing where to focus your attention, shifting your focus away from what you don’t want towards the things you do want, from unhappy to happy. It is a choice, and it’s always your choice. So chose to always focus on what you want, not what you don’t want and move in that direction.

3. Change your attitude.

If you ask me, a lot of our pain is caused because of our attitude, because of our perception on the good and the bad, because of our expectations on how things should be. When you expect something to happen and it doesn’t, how do you feel? You feel sad, depressed, you feel disappointed and you might even start telling yourself that you are a failure, that things will never go the way you want them to, that your end is near, and of course, you can add some other things to the list if you want, but that’s not really what we are after here, right? But then again, if you choose to argue over your pain, it will surely be yours.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
The moment you stop and look at things from a different perspective, the moment you chose to change your attitude toward life, life will start to change its attitude towards you, and from that moment things will never be the same again, because you see, just like Wayne Dyer said it,

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Everything changes the moment we decide to change and the whole world will start to revolve around us because you see, we do matter for the world, we matter a lot.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Effective Divorce Advice for Men with Children

Divorce, no matter how smooth or difficult the process might be, it is a major change for everyone involved, and as such, it is an unknown situation with unknown outcomes. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance. Here are some of the most important things you should know about how to make the divorce as unproblematic as possible.
Understand what it means for the children

It is easy to get tangled up in the bitterness about the approaching divorce. Nothing to be ashamed of if you find yourself focused on your own feelings and worries. You’re also going through a change that you weren’t prepared for, weren’t planning on some years ago when you said your “I do”.

Yet, your children are even less prepared for it. No matter how many signs there could have been along the way, almost all children still never expect their parents to split, even when they are already in their teens. This is why it will be your responsibility as their father to learn about what the divorce means for them, and to respect their pain.

You can begin by doing some research online about what the children of divorcing parents are going through. But, it might be an even better idea to talk to a psychologist about what your children will experience, how it will affect them, how they might react, and how to make the process as smooth as possible. In all cases, you need to talk to your children, learn how to get into their shoes and try to help them resolve their doubts and fears.

Practice restraint and kindness

Yes, there are not-so-ugly divorces. Some even speak of friendly and cheerful separations. Yet, for the majority of divorcing fathers, it is a period in which the ugliest and the nastiest come to the surface, both from you and your ex-wife. It can even start resembling a war, with the sides resorting to any means necessary.

Under those circumstances, one can easily get dragged into resentment, anger, hostility, and aggression. Yet, for men with children, letting your anger go loose is not a good idea, as you’re not hurting only your wife and yourself, but also very much your children. Therefore, find a way to get in touch with your best self, and practice kindness, gentleness, and tolerance. Only in such situation will you truly help your kids adapt to the change and maintain the relationship with both of their parents.

Know your rights and obligations

Getting a divorce often means that you will now not only have your separate household to care about but also that you will have to think about alimony and child support now. The rules regarding these aspects of a divorce can be quite intricate. Then there’s the specific agreement you might have made with your ex-wife. For it all to go painlessly, you should get informed about all your obligations and possible consequences of not obeying the court’s decision.

Furthermore, if you get joint custody, it also comes with a set of both rights and obligations. And it can be quite difficult to handle. This is why you should know all about the logistics of joint custody, your children’s wishes, and your responsibilities. And most importantly, even in the most civil post-divorce relationships, joint custody can cause friction. Be sure you’re on the same page with your ex on all major aspects of how it is going to work.

Be mindful about dating

Finally, now a single man again, you will probably start thinking about dating again soon, if you haven’t already. Yet, as a father, you need to consider how this will affect your children as well. You deserve to regain your personal life, that is certain, but be sure to talk to your children about it before you embark on that path. Because you never know where the next big romance can come out of, and your children need to be prepared for another change when and if it comes.

Divorce is different for everyone. But even when it is the beginning of a new refreshed life, for men with children it is never a clean cut. Regardless of your relationship with your ex-wife, the children will always be your children, and you need to find the right path for your family, one that works for all of you the best.


Saturday, 19 May 2018

10 Tools for Restarting Your Life

Start small and don’t put too much pressure on yourself

For many, finding their way through the next year will feel like starting over. Not a completely horrible prospect, but the workload can be daunting. Here are some tips to help you create some new beginnings and make your life a little more emotionally fit in the process.

  1. Starting over is not the same as recouping from a failure. It is a new beginning, and you have gained experience and knowledge to help you reach your goals. Reignite your passion by imagining what it will feel like when you achieve the desired result.
  2. Moving through life is like climbing stairs. You go up a step or two, and then you level off and you may go down a step, but you are still higher than you were. That’s the process of life (and therapy) nothing is ever a straight shot. Have some patience with yourself and with your newfound direction.
  3. You can create a whole new life if you want it. You just have to approach it in the right way. Sometimes little ideas can turn into big things. Visualize a positive outcome for your issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you.
  4. Endings are not necessarily bad things. Even if you lost your job, savings or home, what comes to you in the future may be better than what you had. Sometimes the phoenix has to burn, so it can rise again.
  5. Starting over may feel scary, but it can be a cause for celebration. Think of it as exciting, and many of your anxious feelings will begin to fade. The truth is that anxiety and excitement feel exactly the same to the body. It’s our minds that make it scary versus exhilarating.
  6. Remember that your future is not governed by your past. No matter what has happened in your life, you can find a way to make things a little better for yourself, and hopefully for those around you as well.
  7. Having to start over is different from choosing to start over. For many whose lives are still in chaos because of the trying times we are in, starting over is not a choice. It can be hard to accept support from others. If you find it difficult to take that in, just promise yourself that you will return the favor and do something to “pay it forward” as soon as possible.
  8. Healthy alternatives to negative lifestyle patterns abound. If you can’t stop a bad habit, start by cutting back. It’s okay to give yourself a little time to moderate or stop something that’s hurting you.
  9. Starting over is about creating and reaching new goals. We are happiest when we’re moving toward a goal. It’s not all about the end result, in fact when you do achieve a dream you must find a new one as soon as possible in order to stay emotionally fit. Think about it this way, you can either be green and growing or ripe and rotting. Which do you prefer?
  10. Starting over is about giving yourself a chance at real happiness. You will have to be brave and get good at learning new things, but how bad can that be? At the very worst, you will acquire the skills you need to start on the next project.

Finding ways to begin anew will give you energy. The excitement of moving toward what you want will also bring you happiness. Just start small and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you’ll get there sooner than you think.


Friday, 18 May 2018

Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance is a gift I want to offer you.

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
(Deuteronomy 30:19)

We are born into a world that is not of our making. We are given a place to grow up, parents, a family, a home, neighbors, teachers, friends—and an era in which we evolve. We don't get a choice in so much that really counts. Are you good looking, ugly or in the middle? Are you smart, challenged or just different? Are you tall, short—skinny, heavy—charismatic, marginalized—befriended or alone? Are your parents happy or even together? Do you have a brother or sister that you are close to - or are you bullied relentlessly? Are you born into a time of peace or a time of war, a time of impoverishment or a time of plenty, a time of faith or a time of cynicism? If you take a deep breath and look at the circumstances of your early life, you will have to see that the whole project is essentially unfair. Some people are born into riches of all kinds, while others are burdened from the very beginning.

Then you live your life. You make decisions, meet people, and navigate through school and more. We all try. It is absurd to call people lazy. But some certainly have a harder time than others. With luck, someone loved you. Someone believed in you and in turn, you began to believe in yourself. If you were a more sensitive soul, you may have been injured by the numerous selfish people that you met along the way; and they are everywhere (welcome to the human condition). Some of these wounds can last a lifetime, leaving you feeling stupid, unwanted, second best and so on. If you were what E. James Anthony called The Invulnerable Child, you were able to pull yourself up from nothing and make something of yourself: look at Presidents Clinton and Obama, two men who had weak paternal support and nonetheless, perservered. There are so many stories and your unique life is one of them.

Radical Acceptance is a gift—and I want to offer it to you. We must accept what happens to us. That doesn't mean that we like it or that it is fair. Life is not fair. If you are in the midst of a divorce, you gave up so much to make your marriage work. It didn't. If he left you, then you are probably holding a bag of resentment and hurt. If you left him, you've been grieving the loss of your marriage for some time. It is a big loss. We all want to rage at the world, or crawl into a depressed spot when we feel the injustice and randomness of our pain.
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Or perhaps you were traumatized by an accident, an illness, a corrupt business deal, a rapist, the death of a child, Mother Nature. All this happens in this world and it may happen to any of us. As we age we grow wiser as the invincibility of youth is supplanted by the vulnerability of maturity. Kids simply don't know how precious happiness really is. It is a golden moment to be celebrated and cherished. And when you have love, grab it. I often say to my patients, "Grab the good, because the bad will surely find you."

When injured by others or by circumstance, I encourage you to feel it all; the outrage, the hurt, the questioning of your Maker, the fear of what will be coming next—if anything. This is grief work and it is a necessary part of healing. It is the spiritual equivalent to the body slowly healing a bad wound. It starts off in pain, and then remains tender, and when protected and soothed, a wound eventually heals. And scars are a sign that the body did its job. Grief brings you through pain to disbelief, to anger, to "only ifs" to profound sadness, to loss - and then to acceptance. It gets triggered again and again, like tsunamis of anguish that take you over when you least expect it. But, over time grief does get worked through. The wound heals, even if imperfectly. We are left with acceptance - and I would like to argue - Radical Acceptance. It's a good thing.

There is something about the human condition in that we tend to hold onto bad memories more than good ones. We have sayings like, bad news travels ten time farther or faster than good news. It is probably evolutionary, because when survival was at stake, ancient homo sapiens had to remember where danger lurked. Their very survival depended on it. So, remembering the bad had value - but in the twenty first century, this quality provides us with too much pain and it is not worth it anymore. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a dramatic example of this biological safety mechanism gone terribly wrong.)

Radical Acceptance means that you understand that bad things do indeed happen to good people - and all the time. You can stay mired in your sense of injustice and self righteousness. You can develop an entire personality around your victimhood. But what purpose does it provide? An identity fueled by hurt and rage is a soul that is preoccupied by control and not love. You lose a second time because you become a victim of your own victimhood. And, in the worst case, you can become part of the problem. Very often, it was an injured soul or group that hurt you in the first place. A cycle of victims and oppressors does our species little good.

We must accept. Not in the classic Buddhist sense of non attachment. We should be attached. A wrong is a wrong; and it needs to be righted if possible. But we must start with the understanding that what happened to us is part of the quixotic human condition. From acceptance comes clarity - and from this place, you will be more able to make a difference. If you were married to a narcissistic man, for instance, mourn the loss that you may never have really been loved. Get over it, because you will have to coldly deal with his manipulations—and your outrage will only play into his charismatic hands. If your older sister was preferred by your father because she was beautiful and you were just smart, get over it. Let go. Radically accept your father's stupid (but human) mistake. It cost you. No question. You are angry and perhaps have a chip on your shoulder. Forgive and grieve the father that you wish you had. He was just coarsely human - like most of us. This kind of acceptance is the end stage of healthy grief - it will probably make you easier to live with - and give you much needed peace.

Radical Acceptance is an evolutionary good - if not a spiritual good as well. Most of us don't have to worry about wild beasts attacking us. We can learn from our misfortunes. We just don't want to be irreparately damaged by them. To accept means to see things clearly. It reinforces the notion not to give a second chance to someone who doesn't deserve it. You don't have to walk around feeling like a victim in order to protect yourself.

You see, acceptance doesn't mean passivity. It means freedom.

Let there be a blessing for us all to be free to see the world as it is, with its dangers—and its gifts. Grieving our losses is only a first step towards the wisdom of enjoying what is to be enjoyed. Most of us have blessings if only we permit ourselves to see them. Ironically, as we shed our expectations we become lighter and more open to every moment that we live.

Grab the good when it comes by. The bad will find you where you are.

It is the way of things.


Thursday, 17 May 2018

Emotional Divorce – What It Is and How It Occurs

Emotional divorce is a sort of a defense mechanism, or purely coping with a threat to one’s emotional well-being. It can happen before or after the legal divorce, and psychologically, it might be more important than the actual signing of the divorce papers. For the spouse who divorces themselves emotionally prior to the legal divorce, it is a sort of an introduction to the inevitable end of the marriage. And for the spouse who divorces themselves emotionally after the divorce itself, it is a sort of a closure.

Emotional divorce and falling apart of marriages

Marriages don’t just explode all the sudden. Although many divorces do seem as if an H-bomb was just dropped, their end was long approaching. And, even though the spouse who gets left behind often expresses their surprise, most often, it is not really a wonder, rather pain and fear.

Marriages fall apart for many reasons. Unfortunately, the majority of issues might have been resolved with one solution – better communication skills. Because rarely any issue is too big to handle if the two who once decided to spend their lives together just sit and respectfully and assertively talk about it, and search for solutions as a team.

Once the couple hits the roadblock and conflicts stop to get resolved, the end of the marriage becomes much more likely. But, even before that, with every hurtful remark that didn’t meet an apology, or every fight that didn’t end in reconciliation and adaptive addressing of the problem at hand, the marriage erodes.

Emotional divorce from the perspective of the walk-away spouse

For many reasons, in unhealthy or eroding marriages, there is a lot of emotional hurt. And couples deal with it in different ways. They almost always keep on trying for some time. But, without an out-and-out change of the basis of the marriage, it is usually inevitable that the spouses, or one of them, begins the emotional divorce to ease the pain and to help his or her wellbeing.

Emotional separation may occur for more than one reason. But, in essence, it is most commonly because the spouse crosses the line between tolerance for emotional stress and the need to feel well again. In other words, after a number of attempts, and a few different approaches, the walk-away spouse usually starts to regain their own individual boundaries, separated from those they shared with their spouse as a couple.

It is also usually that spouse who will initiate the divorce. They will start to be distant, sometimes even cold. They resent the other spouse’s continuous attempts to save the marriage, as they have given up on working on it. They just want the divorce to go smoothly, and after years of trying to fix the marriage, they just want their own happiness now.

Emotional divorce from the perspective of the left-behind spouse

Interestingly, although things would have been apparent to anyone from the outside of the marriage, the spouse who gets left behind is often in shock when the walk-away spouse requests a divorce. This is because they weren’t ready for the emotional divorce yet, they wanted to keep trying to mend the marriage.

The spouse who gets left behind usually still searches for ways to save the marriage, although at that point it becomes impossible. So, they become clingy, often beg for another chance, and their panicky behavior gradually becomes more and more intense. This sometimes reaches the point of rather odd behavior, such as stalking, threatening, harassing, etc.

The left-behind spouse usually goes through severe levels of anxiety over how their future alone will look like. Being single again might sound like a hell on Earth. This is why most of the left-behind spouses try to find a way to postpone the divorce, to stall because they are still hoping that the walk-away spouse will have a change of heart.

What it is that you can do if left behind

If you found yourself in the second position, there are a few things you can (and must) do. First of all, you have to accept the reality. Your spouse has decided, and they decided upon long and careful deliberation. What you need to do now is to accept their decision. It is no longer in your power to fix the marriage, but you can improve the relationship between the new roles of ex-spouses.

The second important thing to work on at this stage is regaining control over your emotions. You cannot push your spouse back to loving you and back to marriage. But you can control your own emotions and reactions, and regain balance for yourself. By accepting the reality, you will begin to heal.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

How Overcoming Adversity Can Shape You Into A Better Person

Although life isn’t easy, whether it’s been good or bad, everything is a part of the journey.
These are the experiences and lessons that we are to draw strength from and build upon to help us in our future. There isn’t a handbook warning us of the plight and pain we will face, but there is a solution.

The solution is this: work to overcome adversity instead of falling prey to them.
I know what you’re thinking: sounds easy, but how do you do it?

My Experience Overcoming Adversity

Three years ago, my life was wonderful. My children brought a light to my life that could never burn out and my marriage carried as much joy as one possibly could have. I had forgiven the people that caused the painful situations in my childhood and let it all go. I spent my time inspiring others to do the same so they could focus on what was important.

And then, things changed. I was diagnosed with multiple brain aneurysms and my life changed forever, for the better.

I’ve definitely had my share of experience overcoming adversity. When I encountered a new situation that seemed completely devastating, I began to reflect on the strength that was born inside of me out of the very pain I was experiencing.

There came a point when I accepted a fact of life: that just because you experience trauma, pain, and negative situations that leave a deep scar across your heart, doesn’t mean they should hold you back. After all, there will be more hurdles to jump. It’s how you decide to handle it that will make the difference in your future.

But how do you reframe the way you handle difficulties in life? There are steps you can take so that overcoming obstacles can be possible for you.

Tips On Overcoming Adversity

1. Have faith in yourself

Faith is required when overcoming adversity. Believe you can by telling yourself, “I am going to overcome this.” Your state of mind is more important than the situation, because that is where courage, strength, and miracles are born.

2. Know you have nothing to lose
Faith is powerful when you truly believe – so believe, as you have nothing to lose except worry, fear, and things you can’t control. You just need to get over this hurdle.

3. Remember: this isn’t the end
Understand that whatever you are faced with is a part of life’s experiences, and it won’t be the first nor last. Use it to cultivate a stronger version of you.

The Takeaway
I didn’t know about all of the challenges I had awaiting me, but I wasn’t afraid to face them or fight. Overcoming adversity can give you even more faith, strength, courage and a desire to make your life count. Let your obstacles give you yet another reason to appreciate your life, along with everything in it.