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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are You Addicted to Fear? Learn How Not To Be!

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s New Times Bestseller Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Three Rivers Press, 2011)
If you don't make it your business to overcome fear, you better believe it'll try to overcome you. Most people are subservient to this emotion though they may not know it. I define fear as the emotional response to danger, perceived or real. What underscores fear in all its permutations is the feeling that you won't be all right.
Emotional Action Step from "Emotional Freedom." Harness Your Biology to Quiet Fear.
To short-circuit fear and turn off your flight-or-flight response, you'll need to train your brain to send chemicals to counteract them. Otherwise, fear and its hormones will make you crazed. In contrast, with a calm biology it's easier to find courage by practicing the combined techniques below to quiet your system.
To achieve immediate and longer term results:
  • Eliminate caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants--these fuel the fight-or-flight response.
  • Avoid people who reinforce your fear--they are biological irritants; stick close to emotional nurturers.
  • Stay away from violent newscasts, traffic jams, arguments, or other stress inducers.
When you're in the grip of a fear-driven adrenaline rush, try these quick solutions.
  • Use this Progressive Relaxation Technique: In a comfortable position, sitting or lying down, take a few deep breaths while letting your body go as limp as possible. When you're ready, begin by tightening the muscles in your toes...hold to a count of ten... then relax. Enjoy the relief of tension melting. Do the same with flexing your foot muscles, and move slowly through your entire body: calves, legs, stomach, back, neck, jaw, face, contracting and releasing each area.
  • Immerse yourself in hot water to relax muscular tension as soon as possible.
These practical changes, which allow you to take control of your body, can be tremendously effective in restoring calm.  You don’t have to be passive while battered by fear. The victim mentality takes many forms. It requires courage to assume control, to say, “I’m going to be responsible for my biological self-care.” Educating your body how to respond makes you emotionally freer.

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About Judith Orloff
Judith Orloff MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and intuition expert, is author of the New York Times Bestseller Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Three Rivers Press, 2011) Her other bestsellers are Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition and energy medicine. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.
Please check out “Dr. Orloff’s Living Room Series” to find out more about the special method Dr. Orloff recommends to remember your dreams and other topics to build the power within. Stop by anytime.

Monday, October 15, 2012

14 Signs That Show if a Midlife Crisis is Destroying your Marriage

A midlife crisis can affect both men and women. And it's effects can be pretty devastating for their spouses because they end up bearing the brunt of it.

The unfortunate thing is that those going through a midlife crisis will vehemently deny that it's what's happening to them. Or, on the other hand, they will laugh you off for even suggesting it.

From experience, observation, and studying the subject, I've found at that they seem to all sing from the same song sheet. Someone suggested that it's like a midlife crisis alien virus takes over their system. Some of the likely symptoms are presented below:

Midlife Crisis Sign #1

First things first, what's in your mind? Are any of the following thoughts (or something close to) swirling around in your mind, or have you actually said them to your spouse?

I'm not in love with you anymore
I still love you (like a friend), but I'm not in love with you
I never knew anything besides life with you
We got married too young
If you hadn't been pregnant, we wouldn't have ever gotten married

Midlife Crisis Sign #2

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's go on to the next point. Think about your whole relationship from beginning to this (impending) end: it's been nothing but frustration hasn't it? You can't seem to have any fond memories of your spouse at this time. Even when they did something good, it was just to manipulate you or make you feel bad.
When you think back, all the problems that you're having now and ever had in your marriage has been because of your spouse. They always made you do what they wanted; you never got to do what you wanted.

Midlife Crisis Sign #3

You're ready for the next one. Be honest now. Do you really care about how they're feeling right now or what they want? You just want to separate yourself from all of this "madness". The crying, the nagging, and the constant questions from your spouse is getting you down. So you feel you need to withdraw emotionally, don't you?

Midlife Crisis Sign #4

You think that there are some things you always wanted but never got round to getting. You're not going to wait any more until you can afford something before you go out and get it. You deserve to get some nice things and you're to get them. NOW.

Midlife Crisis Sign #5

You begin to wonder what life would have been like with another person. You reckon that if you had been available, all those other men or women would have wanted you. So you're beginning to think about testing out your theory. And you know what, you guessed right. There are loads of people out there who want you. They laugh at your jokes and think you're interesting. They actually think that you're pretty great.

Midlife Crisis Sign #6

If you've already put your theory to test about members of the opposite sex finding you attractive, you may already have engaged or be engaging in an emotional or physical affair.
When you go out or come back at odd hours or receive telephone calls from "some person" you feel that urge for extra privacy so you take it in the bathroom. You don't know why your spouse has to ask you questions like "who was that?", "whose calling at this late hour", etc. When you think about it, what makes your spouse think that you need to answer questions like, "where have you been?" "Who were you with?" , etc.

Anyway, you hate their underhanded sneaking around trying to find about your business. Even if they do produce proof like an inappropriate email or text message on your phone, how dare they invade your privacy? Anyway, you're going to hold out admitting to the affair if you can get away with it.

Midlife Crisis Sign #7

You're not really sure if you want your spouse to go on with life without you. Why should they go on to have a happy and fulfilled life when you feel so frustrated with your life? So sometimes you're affectionate, not too often because you don't want to raise their hopes too high. One minute you say that you just can't live with them, the next, you're getting them to make love with you. Or, you move out, but come back to check your mail and see the children.

Midlife Crisis Sign #8

You really don't want to deal with anything right now, do you? Why does your spouse want to bring you down talking about "issues" or "responsibilities"? You just want to feel good. Why does everyone keep asking to try to be reasonable? Maybe the solution is to avoid all these discussions and people. Why should do anything that you don't feel like doing? If you've already formed a relationship with someone else, you're sure that they will help run away from all these disturbances. If not, maybe it's the new car, or going partying or clubbing. Alcohol and drugs also begin to draw your attention. Why not, you've been so responsible for so long and life is too short. If none of these work, you can simply ignore all of them.

Midlife Crisis Sign #9

You go to counselling with your spouse "just to make them feel better". Anyway, you're the real victim here. But you'll just go along so that they won't say that you're not trying. But at this stage, you don't feel like following up with anything the counsellor suggested and you feel that you're spouse is nagging when they ask you to make some effort in that direction.

Midlife Crisis Sign #10

You've known your spouse for so long that you know what makes them happy or upset. So from time to time you practice doing both. But in most cases, you want to prove how awful they're making life for you by getting them upset so that they can retaliate with something equally mean or hurtful. So you drop subtle hints about taking custody of the children; or you make derogatory remarks about their habits, appearance, family members, the list goes on. It's called pushing their buttons and your time with them gives you a lot of ammunition. Anyway, why not, they pushed you to it.

Midlife Crisis Sign #11

You play the blame game. You can't really think about any major faults of your own. So you think about and/or say things like:

We don't go out any more.
We don't have any fun together any more.
I'm not sure I can continue living with you
You never….
I'm not trying to blame you (but by implication you are)

Midlife Crisis Sign #12

Your spouse makes some effort to change. They've done some soul searching about how they could have done better and start putting some effort into it. But you think, "Too little, too late". As far as you're concerned, there's NOTHING they can do that will change things. All that pleading and begging is getting you down, you just want to move on.

Midlife Crisis Sign #13

Despite the fact that you're not happy about your marriage and you want a different life (preferably with someone else); you get really upset if they file for a divorce. Why should they be the one to take the initiative? If you see that they really want to go through with it, you're going to make things really difficult for them. Anyway, they're filing for divorce or suggesting a separation shows that they never really wanted it to work in the first place. As far as you're concerned, they've shown their true colours now and you're going to let everyone know it!

Midlife Crisis Sign #14

The divorce or separation finally comes through (I hope it doesn't after reading this). You're now free to do all the things you really want. What a relief, you can now live the life you've always wanted. You're free to date or carry on your affair (if you had already started it). Then you hear that your ex has started or may be starting a relationship with someone else. You're not sure if you really like it, but of course you won't admit it.

Six months to a year passes and you've had all the dates, enjoyed your affair to the hilt. You've tried all those things that you were always saying "no" to. But somehow you're still not completely fulfilled. Then you begin to wonder,
Did I make a mistake…?
Was life really that bad...?
Will they take me back...?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Seed of Divorce

We're sure you've heard stories about married couples who wake up one morning and suddenly decide they just don't want to be married any more. Or couples who claim they had absolutely no clue their partner was unhappy.
We say that's likely not true. Divorce is not an overnight decision. Much like those weeds that grew in your flower garden; while it seems they just appeared overnight, they didn't. Those weeds were germinating beneath the dirt long before you saw them. You only began to give attention to the weeds when they became too large to remain beneath the soil. And so it is with marriage; the issues were always beneath the surface but were never dealt with.
Your marriage is just like a flower garden. Only in this case, the seeds have the potential of growing into something much more destructive. That's why you and your spouse must tend the garden of your marriage on a daily basis in order to prevent divorce.
How do you tend your marriage garden? Good question. First, you must be willing to expose all issues; remember, we said the first step to transformation is transparency. In other words, you can't deal with an issue if you're not willing to expose it. Exposing the issue means being honest with your mate about how their behavior hurt or offended you. It also includes being honest with yourself about your role in your marital problems.
Next, you must always be willing to forgive. Unforgiveness breeds bitterness and the word of God tells us to rid ourselves of all bitterness, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior" Ephesians 4:31. Not only that, according to Christ we must forgive because He extended forgiveness to us. "You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others" Colossians 3:13.
But I can't forgive, you say. God says you must forgive, it's not an option. Well, what happens if I don't forgive them, you ask? In that case, God won't forgive you. "But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins", Matthew 6:15.
Understand, forgiveness is a choice and a process. It does not mean you forget, nor does it mean you condone the offender's behavior.
The first two steps of tending your marriage garden, exposing and forgiving, are equivalent to digging out the weeds in your garden. But now what do you do? You plant something else where that weed once was. But this time, plant a seed that will produce a harvest of blessings.
M J Collins and Wanda Collins,
Nehemiah Family Ministries

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