Creating A Healthier Life: Build Self-Discipline To Conquer Bad Habits And Addictions

This is a guest post from Jackie Cortez from The Prevention Coalition.

Breaking bad habits can pave the way to a much healthier life, but finding the self-discipline to make it happen can be a challenge. There are plenty of choices we make that we know are not good for our overall health, and sometimes those choices progress to the point of becoming an addiction. Making sacrifices and lasting changes can be incredibly challenging, but they are well worth the effort when it comes to improving your health.

Breaking bad habits and addictions often leads to better health.
Image courtesy Pixabay

Bad habits and addictions come in many shapes and forms when it comes to health and they all can take a toll on our mental health and physical fitness. Drug and alcohol addictions are quite common in today's society. However, people can also develop addictions related to things like food, exercise, and nicotine. It is also common to replace one addiction with another; for example, replacing a drug addiction with a nicotine addiction. Recognizing and conquering these types of bad habits or addictions can lead to substantial improvements in your health.

Here are some tips on how to do it: Continue reading

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How And When To Go No-Contact With A Narcissistic Parent

One of the best things I've ever done for my own self-confidence and for my relationship with my parents was to go “no-contact” with my narcissistic mother for over a year. Narcissistic parents create a family dynamic which is all about putting their own needs ahead of everyone else. This becomes a real problem when we become adults because we can end up trapped by the unconscious belief that our parent's needs and desires must always come before our own.

Going "No Contact" With A Narcissistic Parent Can Give You Space To Heal.

Because the emotional dynamics of the parent/child relationship is so strong, this will keep us perpetually stuck as an emotional child emotionally even though we are physically adults. Since our unconscious mind projects our experience of our parents onto everyone else and onto the world at large, the limiting impact of being trapped in the role of a child who must always please their parents restricts our whole lives.

Going “no-contact” with a narcissistic parent is one way to grow up emotionally by breaking this unhealthy parental relationship dynamic.

In my case, things came to a head the day I finally stood up to my critical mother. We had been away for an extended-family weekend in the country to celebrate my mother's older sister's 90th birthday, during which I found the way my mother was treating my father extremely triggering. Everything he said or did, she would criticize. It was the very behavior I had found so damaging growing up around, and even in her 80's she was still doing it.

By the end of the weekend I had a migraine headache and knew it was time to finally express my anger in the form of some healthy boundary setting. It went about as well as you would expect at the time, which is to say not very well at all. However it was the start of my liberation from the perpetual need to keep my narcissistic mother happy.

After returning from the weekend, I exchanged a series of phone calls and letters with my mother where I told her exactly how I felt each time she said or did things that I found triggering. This was the first time in my life that I'd really told her how her behavior was impacting me, and it was very frightening. My nervous system went crazy. It didn't go down well with her, and she basically threw a tantrum to try and shut me down again. However, it was important for me to express how I felt and at least give her the opportunity to hear what I had to say.

The outcome of that was that we agreed that we should have no further contact for the time being. It was the most frightening and yet liberating thing that I have ever done. I went through tremendous feelings of fear, guilt and shame for exercising my own will instead of just continuing to cave in to hers. I suspect part of her motivation for suggesting that we have no contact was to punish me for asserting myself; but it actually worked in my favor because having no contact also meant I didn't have to continue to be triggered by her behavior

It was never my intention to cut contact with my father, but the practical implications of them living together and his passivity in not making the effort to contact me individually meant that I had very little contact with him during this time too. While my mother's critical behavior had always been overtly damaging to me, the damage from my father's passive behavior was due to neglect and the failure to stand up to my mother when she was behaving destructively. Having time out from both of them gave me an opportunity to continue my emotional healing using various forms of therapy without having to deal with being triggered by them every time we had contact.

I ultimately reconnected with my parents when I heard that my father had been diagnosed with cancer. At the time I didn't know how much longer he would live, and the only way I could see to be able to support him and spend time with him was to reconnect with them both; albeit on different terms than we had been before.

Although it was tremendously challenging at the time, the eventual outcome from breaking contact with my parents was very positive. I'm no longer so afraid of my mother, and it feels like she now treats me with greater respect. When I call to say “hello” for instance, she sounds grateful for the call; where previously she would sound resentful for all the time that I hadn't called.

I wouldn't say that my parents are totally different from our time apart, but what has changed is that I'm not so triggered by their behavior any more. When I say “Yes” to something my mother suggests, I know (and I suspect she also knows) that I'm now in a position to say “No” if the plan doesn't also suit me. I've gone from an adult/child relationship to an adult/adult relationship and for the most part broken the old emotional umbilical cord between us.

If you're considering going no-contact with your parents, here are a few tips: Continue reading

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Why She’d Rather Be Friends Than Date

This is a guest post by Monica Viera from The Female Insider.

There are lots of reasons why women keep men as friends versus dating them.

But what defines dating?

Is it having a sexual relationship with someone?

Because there are some instances in a woman’s mind where she feels she is actually dating someone (albeit very slowly), while the man is convinced he has no chance with her just because she’s taking so long to have sex with him.

If she’s expressed that she truly does want to be friends versus embarking on a romantic relationship with you, you have two choices.

Continue reading

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Learn Advanced Secrets To Dating Beautiful Women

One of the defining moments of my life was realising that I needed help when it came to attracting and relating to women. Back when I worked as a computer engineer, I was a smart guy with a high income; but I just didn’t know how to relate to hot girls. I knew that there were these guys called “pickup artists” who could do it, but for me it was just impossible.

I had had a few girlfriends and while they were lovely people, they just didn’t feel right for me. Rather than having the freedom to choose the women I dated, it seemed like I had to settle for whatever came my way. I felt like something was wrong with me or was missing. Perhaps you can relate.

Ironically my stubborn pride was getting in the way. I thought I should be able to sort this out myself. "I shouldn’t have to get help just to be able to meet, talk to and date women", I thought to myself. I mean how hard could it be, right?

Well for me, it was very hard.

All that started to change the day I decided to seek help in learning the secrets of how to attract women. The “secret men’s business” if you will. In an ideal world this is the sort of thing my father would have taught me; but I didn’t grow up in an ideal world. My passive father was absolutely clueless when it came to women, which is why he ended up marrying my controlling mother.

I was determined not to make the same mistake but didn’t yet know how.

Continue reading

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Overcoming Anxiety, Stress & Burnout with Emotional Intelligence

One of my most helpful mentors when it comes to learning to manage anxiety is a guy named Nicholas de Castella. I did his brilliant breakthrough workshop Passionately Alive, and I always remember a private session with Nicholas where towards the end he said to me:

"The reason you're anxious is because you don't know who you are"

Nicholas is an extremely compassionate and genuine guy who gave up his previous career as an architect to teach emotional intelligence to other people for a living. Since then he has helped thousands of people go from feeling stuck, blocked and frustrated to creating a wonderful life, relationship, and career of their dreams.

If you happen to be feeling anxious, burnt out or overwhelmed and would like to ignite some energy and move forward in your life, then Nicholas has an exciting opportunity for you.

Nicholas is holding a complimentary emotional intelligence webinar called:

IGNITE: Energy for Life! Continue reading

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How To Help Your Adult Child With A Mental Illness

I often meet parents whose adult children who are suffering from a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or anorexia, or who are suicidal. When I hear these parents talk about how they're dealing with this situation, they often appear very stoic. They say things like “I need to be strong in order to support my son”, or remark that “I've told them that they are very strong”.

At the same time, I often notice my own feelings of emotional disconnection around these same parents during our interactions. They often talk a lot about themselves in great analytical detail but without much real emotional engagement, and rarely ask me about my own life or how I feel.

Empathy is the key to helping your adult child with a mental illness

I sense that they're avoiding something in our conversations: a sense of emotional connection.

Unfortunately these behaviors are exactly the opposite of what a person with a mental illness needs in order to feel the sense of emotional safety, love and support that could potentially heal their brain and help them through a time of deep crisis.

While all parents instinctively love their adult children, mentally ill people need to be surrounded by love and support that they can actually feel.

This means being empathic rather than being stoic.

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How I Healed My Boys High School Choir Bullying Trauma

I went to an all-boys high school where the first grade rugby team enjoyed the highest social status. Anyone who wasn't into aggressive body-contact sports got their head kicked in other ways, and boys on each level of the social hierarchy boosted their flagging self-esteem by bullying the boys on the level below. Any innate sensitivity in a boy was crushed both in the classroom and in the play/battle-ground.

Although I was highly intelligent and generally got good grades, this wasn't valued as highly as sporting prowess at my high school and being a thin, nerdy kid who was the youngest in my year, I didn't do so well at school socially.

I spent my lunch times singing in the school choir or hanging out in the computer room learning to use the new machines that the teachers didn't know what to do with. This was a couple of years before the computer revolution went mainstream and decades before Big Bang Theory made nerds hot prime-time-viewing commodities.

Childhood bullying can leave our adult selves feeling self-conscious and hyper-vigilant to criticism from others.

Since I was a late developer my voice didn't break until well after high school. It was embarrassing still being in the alto section of the all-boy choir as I headed into Year 11 so I quit and joined the lighting crew in the hall instead where I could feel good about solving technical problems backstage and wouldn't have to perform in front of people and end up feeling so self-conscious.

Fast-forward 30 years to 2017 and I'm studying music full-time at a local tertiary college. My dream is to use a combination of music and comedy to teach the principles of trauma awareness and emotional intelligence to the masses. I think that would be great fun for me because along the way I'll get to overcome my remaining insecurities in terms of freedom of self-expression, and it would also give an extra dimension of meaning and purpose to what I'm doing. Continue reading

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3 Steps to Manage Anger and Other Emotions More Effectively

This is a guest post from Anger Management Coach Igomene Joseph.

Anger is one emotion that we have all felt at some point in our lives. However, the way we express and manage it can vary from person to person. For many around the world, anger is just a common emotion. Most have not felt it to an overwhelming amount in their lives.

For me, the story is different. Anger was a fierce emotion and it would consume me. I eventually realized that anger was not just an emotion in my case but a problem that needed to be resolved.

Why I Needed the Control?

Using FPS Can Help You Take Your Anger Less Seriously

When you let an emotion overwhelm or consume you, it can become a weakness. Emotions should be expressed but they say excess of everything is bad. Too many emotions make us vulnerable to the harsh world. But in case of anger, the situation is slightly different. Anger is not just something that affects you but the people around you.

Consider it as a metaphorical force of nature that leaves you wrecked as it leaves your body and then damages all other people in its way. It is ironic that subduing anger can also be a problem. In an attempt to save people, we often let the anger fester inside ourselves. And that is so much worse. The anger that festers rots us from the inside and erupts ferociously at some point. That explosion can cause lots of destruction in one’s life. Continue reading

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Benefits Of The FPS Technique For Anger Management

This is a guest post from Anger Management Coach Igomene Joseph.

Anger as an emotion is neutral, it is neither bad nor good. It is a normal reaction of man to situations and circumstances of life and it may either be productive or counterproductive. It is productive when you use it to make some self-assertion and demonstrate how passionate you are about something. However, it becomes counterproductive when it regularly spirals out of control or flares up too often. Chronic fits of anger emotion may have negative impacts on one’s health, relationships and state of mind.

FPS is a Method of Communicating Feelings that helps Manage Anger Effectively

However, the fact is managing and transforming anger emotion into positive vibes is one of the easiest and most natural things you can ever do, but that is only if you apply a practical, workable technique to deal with it and that is where our heuristically developed technique, FPS (Feelings + Problem = Solutions), comes in handy.

FPS is not one of those scratch-at-the-surface, superficial and hence, ineffective techniques of managing anger, rather it is a down-to-the-root approach of managing and transforming the negative emotion of anger into a constructive emotion that could enhance your health, self-esteem, communication skills and emotional mastery. Continue reading

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How To Choose An Effective Therapist

Many of my coaching clients often complain to me about their previous experience with psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and therapists who just "don't get it". I'm often impressed that they even persisted to find me after having such unpleasant experiences.

So I created this series of videos to explain How To Choose A Therapist: Continue reading

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