Healthy Lifestyle

Moving Through Difficult Emotions

Blog Moving through difficult emotionsGrowing up, we often get the message that it’s not okay to experience “negative” emotions. Sometimes the message is harsh and clear through words like “don’t cry like a baby” or “grow up”. But sometimes it is more subtle. Even well meaning parents say things like “don’t cry honey, you’re okay”. While other times they simply distract children from their difficult emotions.

All these methods, whether well intentioned or not, can lead to us avoiding negative emotions. But these emotions don’t simply go away when we ignore them. It is important to learn how to embrace and work through difficult emotions in a healthy way.

Let’s look at what that means so that we can live an authentic full life.

 

Importance of Embracing Difficult Emotions

According to researcher and author Brene Brown, “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

In other words, if we want to feel love, joy, peace, and fulfillment, we must also have the capacity to feel loneliness, sadness, anxiety, and emptiness. We literally cannot fully feel the “positive” emotions without also making room for the “difficult” ones.

 

Messages Our Emotions Give Us

All our emotions are valuable and provide insightful information if we learn to listen to them. If we pay attention to how we feel when we are with different people in our lives, we can learn a lot about those relationships.

For example, if we feel great love towards someone, we can recognize that the relationship is important to us. But difficult emotions can indicate that as well. Let’s imagine that you are hurt because a friend didn’t follow through on a promise.

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A Delicate Dance

blog a delicate dance alcohol hormonesHave you been curling up by the fire with a glass of wine in the evening? Do you enjoy a cocktail with your friends on occasion? 

Many of us have come to rely on a drink to help us wind down or have fun with friends. And while there is nothing wrong with an occasional drink, it is important to understand the effects it has on the body, especially in regards to our hormones.

 

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers within the body that are secreted by glands in the endocrine system. These messengers tell the tissue and organs in the body what to do. The proper balance of hormones is crucial for both physical and mental health. 

When something happens to make one hormone increase the other hormones are affected. It's like a delicate dance with some hormones following another's lead.

 

What Impact Does Moderate Alcohol Consumption Have on Hormones?

Alcohol is thought to have a complicated relationship with the balance of hormones within the body. Let’s take a look at some of the ways moderate alcohol impacts this system.

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A Key to Establishing Healthy Relationships

blog boundariesAre you exhausted because you constantly give to others and rarely expect anything from them in return? Does it feel like there are never enough hours in the day because your schedule is so full? Is it difficult for you to say no to others or ask what you need from them? If so, you may be lacking boundaries.

Without boundaries we will struggle to live an authentic life that reflects our true priorities. Boundaries free us up to live a life of purpose. But what exactly are boundaries and how do you establish them? 



What are Boundaries?

Simply put your boundaries are your standards of what is acceptable and what is not in your relationships. Healthy boundaries help you determine how you should be treated, as well as what is your responsibility and what is not in the relationship. 

Boundaries often give the impression of keeping yourself separate, however that is not truly the intent. As writer Jennifer Chesak says, “boundaries are actually connecting points since they provide healthy rules for navigating relationships, intimate or professional.”

Healthy boundaries are neither too loose or too rigid, but are empathetic and flexible. When healthy boundaries are in place, it frees you up to love both the other and yourself at the same time. 

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Are You Too Easy To Get Along With

blog are you too easy to get along withDo you have a really hard time saying “no” to people? Are you quick to agree with others even if you have a different opinion? Is your schedule filled with other people’s priorities rather than your own? If so, you may be a people pleaser!

According to therapist Erika Myers, when kindness to others involves “editing or altering words and behaviors for the sake of another person’s feelings or reactions” it has crossed over into people pleasing behavior.

While at first glance people pleasing may seem benign, it can actually be quite destructive. Let’s evaluate the pitfalls of this practice, so we can live our most authentic life.

 

What is People Pleasing? 

People pleasing can take on many forms, but a key element is putting other people’s needs, desires, and opinions above our own. It may look like always saying “yes” to others, being quick to agree with others, habitually volunteering to take on work, excessive apologizing, or having trouble asking for help.

People pleasers don’t just do these things from time to time, it is a way of life for them. Many times it may feel like a compulsion as if they have no choice. Often this is rooted in a desire for love and acceptance. And while it may make other people happy for a time, it is no way to build authentic relationships.

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A Friendship You May Be Neglecting

blog self talk self friendshipMany of us put a lot of effort in being kind to those around us. We aim to be gentle to our family, respectful to our coworkers, thoughtful of our neighbors - we are even nice to strangers we see on the street. But often times we are not so thoughtful with how we treat ourselves.⁠

⁠Take a minute now to think about the way you act toward yourself - specifically with how you speak to yourself! How do you talk with yourself when you are alone with your thoughts? Do you give yourself grace when things don’t go as planned? Or do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake?

Your words to yourself may be influenced by many things, but if you are intentional you can begin to change your negative self talk and become as good a friend to yourself as you are to others!



Where Negative Self-Talk Comes From

Our negative self talk can stem from many things. We unconsciously take on other people’s voices - a bully on the playground, a harsh coach, or a critical parent. This inner negative voice is often referred to as our inner critic.

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It's That Time of Year Again

blog that time of yearAre you planning to make some new year’s resolutions? Are you looking for tips on how to make lasting change? Or are you someone who has deemed resolutions ineffective and doesn’t even try?

Regardless of which camp you are in today’s blog post is for you. Whether it’s a resolution or simply a small adjustment, behavior change can be REALLY HARD. So today I want to introduce a concept to you that might make shifting things a bit easier.

After exploring this concept, the last part of the blog will be for those interested in making more traditional resolutions stick.

 

Who Do You Want to Be?

Most of the time when people start to think about making a change they focus on outward behavior. But I want you to take some time to think about something deeper - your IDENTITY. 

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