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4 posts from February 2013

February 26, 2013

Dealing with Relationship Stress: Break it Down

IStock_00disgustmallRecently I’ve been working on the first five of ten questions from the TED MED Greatest Challenges project. My questions happen to be on Coping with the Impact of Stress. Because so many of us grapple with stress, I thought it would be a valuable topic for a post. Be sure to check out the TED MED site for more information from experts on a wide variety of interesting topics. My topic will be up sometime next week (http://www.tedmed.com/greatchallenges/challenge/302?ref=the-team). 

Most of us feel stress from time to time and many people feel chronic stress much of the time. As many of us are well aware, stress can greatly impact your body, mind and overall life. And stress from a relationship, can really throw your life into a tailspin. Relationship stress can be long-term and chronic or can be a sudden jolt that rocks your world. The chronic form often is the result of long-term poor treatment, high conflict, addiction or distancing and lack of warmth or affection. Sudden jolt stress often is the result of an affair, a sudden change such as loss of a job, a health crisis, etc. Regardless of what the source of your relationship stress is, the strategies for managing it are the same.

Below are several tips on how to handle high levels of stress resulting from your relationship:
1.    Pause and take a step back. The first thing you want to do is to simply pause and don’t do anything. Put some space between you and the problem, your feelings and your reactions to the problem. Slow yourself down and breathe. Take a few slow, deep breaths and calm your heart rate down before making any decisions or reacting in any way.
2.    Don’t go into all-or-nothing/black-or-white thinking. Keep your thoughts on the present and avoid thinking about how this incident or this relationship is going to play out or impact you in the future. The truth is you don’t know. Simply stay focused on today, this issue and this moment in time.  If it is a chronic issue, stay focused on the issue that is creating the stress/problem and don’t expand it beyond the relationship or issue.

Continue reading "Dealing with Relationship Stress: Break it Down" »

February 14, 2013

Valentines Day: A Day to Remember ALL Our Loved Ones

IStock_0feetheartll So often Valentine’s Day gets hyped up as a day for lovers only.  It’s often seen as a day of romance, passion and sparks.  Although romance can be one part of this day, it is certainly not the only part. 

Valentine’s Day is a day to remember our loved ones—not just our romantic partners--all our loved ones.  It’s a day to remind ourselves that we are part of a greater system than just ourselves.  The everyday demands of life too often take us away from remembering what truly matters—love and relationships.  Valentine’s Day is a reminder for us to stop and pay attention to those we care about.

Throughout the day today, stop and remember those people who have touched and continue to touch your life in a significant way.  Think of small ways you can let them know how much they mean to you: 
•    Send an e-mail to your mentor.
•    Call an old friend.
•    Hug your children and tell them how much you love them and what a gift they are in your life.
•    Thank your partner for being there for you through thick and thin.
•    Call a sibling and let them know you care. 

The options are endless.  If someone has touched your life, reach back and touch theirs. 

Continue reading "Valentines Day: A Day to Remember ALL Our Loved Ones" »

February 12, 2013

Tips to Get Closer to The Ones You Love

IStock_0complimentSmallThe day-to-day stresses of living can often get in the way of staying close with the people who matter. Balancing the needs of paying the bills, managing the home, doing a good job at work, running errands and on and on, can each be a difficult feat in itself—add relationships to the equation and it can seem impossible. Staying close with friends, children, spouses, lovers and/or family members, though, is vital for our happiness.

Many studies have shown that strong connections and satisfying relationships help reduce stress, improve health and, in some circumstances, actually extend a person’s life.  Nurturing our relationships is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Unfortunately, nurturing is one of the last things we think of when there are deadlines to meet, mortgages due and responsibilities that need our attention. Fortunately, on the other hand,, change happens in the minutiae…meaning it only takes tiny steps to create large shifts.  Below are ten easy steps to take to bring the important people in your life closer. Each step takes only a moment to do, yet leaves a lasting impact.

Ten little steps to bring loved ones closer…here’s to the minutiae of change:
1.    Send a text to a friend or loved one saying you’re glad they’re in your life.
2.    Leave a note in a child’s day planner, lunch box or on their pillow saying they ROCK!
3.    Put a sticky note on your spouse’s bathroom mirror with a loving message (i.e. Still feeling lucky to have you after all these years ).

Continue reading "Tips to Get Closer to The Ones You Love" »

February 06, 2013

Find The Courage... and Believe in Yourself

IStock_00strong womanToo many people don’t believe. We don’t believe we’re smart enough, attractive enough, strong enough, fun enough or…simply…enough. We doubt our strength, we doubt our abilities and we doubt ourselves. When others make fun of us, treat us poorly or take advantage, we assume it’s because somewhere inside we’re defective and so we don’t challenge the integrity and character of the other person.

It’s time to start challenging.

Too many of us have no idea what we’re truly capable of. Too many of us sell ourselves short. Teenagers allow bullies to decide their fate, women allow men to determine their worth and employees allow bosses to take advantage. As long as this continues, bullies will continue to bully, men will decide which women are worthy and bosses will continue to take advantage. This doesn’t happen because they’re stronger, brighter or more worthy. It happens because too many of us think we are not.  This lack of faith in one’s self is killing far too many men, women and children. It’s harming our communities and it’s sucking the life out of too many amazing human beings.

It’s time to find the courage

Continue reading "Find The Courage... and Believe in Yourself" »

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