Relationship Rules: for both friendships and romance

friends

A couple of recent posts from Psychology Today’s Facebook feed inspired this advice. (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/healthy-connections/201006/7-signs-youre-in-toxic-friendship and http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201311/the-best-kept-secret-highly-successful-couples)

Whether your relationships is platonic or romantic, keep these rules in mind:
1. Be a giver, but don’t get taken advantage of. The best relationships consist of two givers. But if you find yourself in a relationship with a taker or a matcher (someone who is always keeping a ledger), stop giving before they wear you out. Look for relationships with other givers.
2. Support your friends’ success and expect them to support yours. If someone leaves you feeling bad or worthless, don’t be in a relationship with them.
3. Use social media that makes you feel good, not bad. That may sound obvious, but many people leave facebook comparing their real selves to others’ public selves. Delete or hide friends that make you feel small or that focus on negative things. Make your facebook a happy place.
4. Be trustworthy. Expect trust from your closest confidantes.
5. Be a friend who inspires the best in others. Hang around friends who bring out the best in you. If you are trying to quit smoking, it may not be helpful to have lunch with your smoking friends.
6. Support your friends’ family. Expect them to support yours. It’s not enough for your husband to say “I love you but your family drives me nuts.” He needs to show respect to your family as well.
7. Start a positive trend. You have the power to make someone else smile. Do it. They might just pass the smile along.

“the Spirit of Procrastination”

FFC image for the Spirit of Procrastination

I sometimes find myself rushing to do things at the last minute.  I know that these things must be done by a certain time and I always find myself waiting until the last minute to get it done.  This is what your call I call “the spirit of procrastination!”  This is a horrible attribute to have attached to you.  Although it may seem like you have it under control; sooner or later, procrastination will betray you and end up being you worst enemy.

Here are some tips from psychology today to help deal with procrastination:

  1. Leverage the tasks you want to do by withholding them until your more odious tasks are completed first. That way, desirable tasks become a motivating reward.
  2. Make lists on paper of all the tasks you need to accomplish and the dates by which they need to be done. This will help us parse our time so that we aren’t forced to choose between completing one task or another. We need to order our tasks into groups so that tasks upon which other tasks depend are listed—and therefore done—first. Then we need to place the most burdensome tasks first. Whether it’s answering an email, calling someone, reading a report, or writing a paper, our goal should always be to dispense with our most difficult tasks first.
  3. Eliminate distractions. Distractions used to be far less of a problem—but now are ubiquitous. Especially when we want to be distracted (as when facing an odious task), we will be. So shut off the push notification on your smartphone, switch your email “send/receive” to manual, keep your web browser closed (some software programs will even prevent you from using it at intervals you set if you find you can’t resist it), and forward all calls to voice mail. Batch those distractions only once you’ve accomplished a predetermined number of tasks.
  4. Ensure you have adequate energy. Get enough sleep (few of us do). If you’re depressed, get help.
  5. Understand all the reasons you don’t want to complete a task. You very well may not know them. Perhaps you’re actually afraid to talk to a particular person. Maybe you think that what you have to say about the topic on which you need to write is banal. The reasons we do things—and don’t do things—may seem obvious to our conscious minds, but our conscious minds are champion storytellers.  They come up with reasonable explanations that are far from proven and then accept them completely even though they’re often dead wrong. Keep asking yourself: Why don’t you want to make that condolence call? Why don’t you want to write that book report? Why don’t you want to go to that meeting? Whatever the true reasons, when you apprehend them, they’ll lose some of their power to induce procrastination.
  6. Remind yourself why a task is important. Follow through in your mind to the worst consequences possible of not completing it.
  7. —leverage anxiety. Too much anxiety is paralyzing. But a little anxiety is motivating (nothing like the fear of failing a test to motivate you to study for it). Learn to gauge your anxiety level. If it’s too high, and you’re procrastinating because you’re simply overwhelmed by it, get professional help to manage it.
  8. Make a plan first thing in the morning (or even last thing at night). Decide what tasks you’re going to accomplish and actively anticipate doing so as you approach the time you’ve planned to begin tackling them. Like a professional skier mentally rehearsing each and every twist and turn of a ski run, you’re more likely to succeed if you succeed first in your mind.
  9. Plan rewards for yourself. Looking forward to a reward for completing a task eventually creates a craving that can be highly motivating—even if the rewards are small (ten minutes of reading for pleasure, for example). If you jump to the reward before you’ve earned it, stop yourself, and return to the task at hand.

Try to implement some of these tips if not all to help you reduce and or eliminate “the spirit of procrastination.”

 

 

Stop and Smell the Roses

Stop and Smell the RosesStop and think about it for a moment that is if you are not too busy. The world has become a demanding place. Perhaps it always was and those demands have just changed over the years. Now days, long work hours with even longer commute times, financial demands, technology changes, instant news, cell phones, emails, social media, fast food, fast this and fast that…how does everyone keep up? A lot of us in this busy day and age do not take time to do that. I know I’m always thinking what I am going to do next, with the exception of school, which seems like it goes on for ages. When I am having fun, it seems like the time is over before it even starts. I hate that; it is so irritating. Sometimes, I wish it was the other way around. Time is a precious thing; it should not be wasted. In the Bible, it says you should live each day like it’s your last. As human beings, it is just about impossible not to look ahead, but we should stop, take a moment, and realize what we are doing and where we are at and take the time to enjoy life. Life is too short, so why make it seem shorter than it already is? We never take the time to look at the beauty of nature. By focusing on things that appear to be important at the moment, we often overlook or are totally oblivious to the many opportunities we have daily to enjoy and even savor the little things that can bring us great joy. Knowing the little things that make us happy or bring us pleasure, and then going out of our way to experience them, taking time to smell the roses, it can help boost one’s overall level of happiness.

Mental Health Improvement Tip – May 5th – Mental Health Month May 2014

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May 5th Tip

Switch up your daily routine. Take a different way to work or try a new food. Trying new things can open your mind to making bigger lifestyle changes.

May is Mental Health Month!  This month, during the month of May, our focus will be “Mind Your Health.”  We’ll be featuring information about how to mind your mental health and why it’s important. Help us by posting your own tips, plans and goals for your mental health.  In the long run, lottery winners are no happier than anyone else.  Money does not buy happiness.  Remember who and what is important in your life, and make time to be grateful for it.  Strong ties to family and friends increases levels of happiness.  Keep connected to the people who matter to you through social media, phone calls and face to face time.  If you think you may need help improving your mental health and personal relationships visit our staff pages here to find a counselor and read their biography.  After you find a counselor that looks like a good fit, schedule an appointment online here.  If you are unsure which counselor to choose schedule a 15 minute consultation to get to know our counselors a little better.

 

Mental Health Improvement Tip – May 4th – Mental Health Month May 2014

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May 4th Tip

Take care of your spirit through religion, meditation, or connecting to what you find meaningful. Spirituality offers improved disposition and lowers anxiety.

May is Mental Health Month!  This month, during the month of May, our focus will be “Mind Your Health.”  We’ll be featuring information about how to mind your mental health and why it’s important. Help us by posting your own tips, plans and goals for your mental health.  In the long run, lottery winners are no happier than anyone else.  Money does not buy happiness.  Remember who and what is important in your life, and make time to be grateful for it.  Strong ties to family and friends increases levels of happiness.  Keep connected to the people who matter to you through social media, phone calls and face to face time.  If you think you may need help improving your mental health and personal relationships visit our staff pages here to find a counselor and read their biography.  After you find a counselor that looks like a good fit, schedule an appointment online here.  If you are unsure which counselor to choose schedule a 15 minute consultation to get to know our counselors a little better.

Mental Health Improvement Tip – May 3rd – Mental Health Month May 2014

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May 3rd Tip

Sign up for that class you’ve always wanted to take.  Maybe it’s painting, maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s guitar lessons. This is a good way to make friends with common interests as well as learn something new.

May is Mental Health Month!  This month, during the month of May, our focus will be “Mind Your Health.”  We’ll be featuring information about how to mind your mental health and why it’s important. Help us by posting your own tips, plans and goals for your mental health.  In the long run, lottery winners are no happier than anyone else.  Money does not buy happiness.  Remember who and what is important in your life, and make time to be grateful for it.  Strong ties to family and friends increases levels of happiness.  Keep connected to the people who matter to you through social media, phone calls and face to face time.  If you think you may need help improving your mental health and personal relationships visit our staff pages here to find a counselor and read their biography.  After you find a counselor that looks like a good fit, schedule an appointment online here.  If you are unsure which counselor to choose schedule a 15 minute consultation to get to know our counselors a little better.