Finding the Perfect Mate

Are you on a quest for the perfect mate and just haven’t found him/her yet? The dating world is tricky and there are many dynamics that go into a new relationship.  Check out the following article posted by Jen Kim on Psychology Today:

Soul Mate

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/valley-girl-brain/201401/why-didnt-he-call

Why Didn’t He Call gives us an inside look into the do’s and don’ts of dating.  A first date is both anxiety-provoking and exciting.  With the mix of emotions it can be hard to remember to be yourself! After all, you are about to spend some one on one time with a stranger!  Jessica Kay, a matchmaker with 18 years experience, gives tips and ideas on how to approach dating.

Kay talks about putting too much pressure on both yourself, your partner and the date.  She explains that this trait is commonly found in females.  If you portray that pressure to your date, it may scare them off.  She recommends going into the date with the intention to make a new friend, not find the person you will marry.  This can bring a more relaxed environment to the date and help you connect.

On the flip side, Kay talks about the problems males bring into the dating world; focus on physical attraction and not on personality fit.  She encourages her male clients to focus on parts of the woman’s personality they are attracted to and capitalize on those.  Kay breaks down biological differences stating that females are wired to find their life partner where as men are visual and physically driven.  These biological components can hinder success in the dating world.

Kay’s most encouraging piece of advice is to go into your first date looking to make a new friend.  If you reflect back on the “Smell the Roses” entry where you were encouraged to immerse yourself in the here and now, you will see that Kay encourges the same mindset with dating.  Have fun, be silly and be present!

Hopefully these tips can put your mind at ease when you go out on your next date!

The Basics of Stress

What is stress and what do you do about it? Simply put, stress  is your body’s response to an unusual demand made upon it.  Stress is unique to each individual.  What is stressful to you may not be stressful to your neighbor.  Not all stress is bad, but when it hinders you, it can have harmful effects on your well being.

 

Stress(1) Identify Stress: Symptoms

Emotional:

  • Irritability
  • Increased anxiety
  • Unstable emotions
  • Decreased energy and motivation
  • Fatigue
  • Blaming
  • Poor self image

Physical

  • Poor sleep
  • Tense muscles
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Digestive issues
  • Headache or body ache
  • Change in eating habits (too much or not enough)
  • High blood pressure
  • Restless
  • Lowered immune system

Behavioral

  • Forgetful/difficulty concentrating
  • Addictive behaviors: food, substance, gambling, shopping
  • Isolation

(2) Stress Reducers

  • Sleep! Be sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Plan solitary time for yourself each day, even if it is just ten minutes.  Spend some time alone in a peaceful setting.
  • Learn to say no! If you have too much on your plate,  you need to find a better balance.
  • A healthy diet is essential! Sugar, sodium, fats and caffeine weaken your resistance to stress.
  • Talk with someone about your stressors.
  • Add some structure where it is needed; do you need to make a budget to overcome financial stress? Or hang a calendar in your home to manage busy schedules?
  • Try to plan ahead.  Predictability can help you manage stressors better.
  • Keep lists.  It is okay to write things down!
  • Exercise often.  Yoga, cardio or weight lifting can all help to reduce stress.
  • Set priorities and be realistic with them.  Tackle one at a time.
  • Learn to achieve calmness and quiet on a regular basis.

If you identify with the stress symptoms listed above, try some of the suggested techniques.  Always remember, you can talk with a therapist about your stressors and learn healthy ways to cope!

New Year, New Goals!

Commitment

It’s that time of year again!  The beginning of a new year with fresh new year’s resolutions and a commitment to change.  Do you typically set new goals for yourself and the beginning of the year? How successful are you in reaching those goals?  Let’s explore the concept of commitment as it pertains to meeting your goals.  In order to reach your goals, you must first make the commitment to pursue them. This concept can be difficult.  How do you stay committed to something that may turn out to be challenging?

According to Martin Bolt, commitment means consciously and deliberately getting beyond the urge to do only what is immediately satisfying.  Things that satisfy us immediately we are quick to go after and attain.  For example, when you are thirsty you can go to the sink and pour a glass of water.  But what if you were told that you had no access to clean, fresh water and in order to obtain it you had to go out and find your own water source and then put that water through the process of purification?  That sounds a bit more difficult.  We are most likely to chose the first option because it is quickest and easiest.  We tend to get deterred when more steps (often difficult and time consuming) are involved.  So how do you stay committed?  Let’s take a look at a few suggestions:

Look for meaning in the commitments that you make, you are more likely to stay engaged if you feel there is long-term importance.  For example, college students can struggle with engagement in school until they determine what their major and field of interest will be.  At this point they become more engaged in their academics as they can see the long-term pay off.

Choose your commitments, do not let others choose them for you.  You will lose motivation to pursue your goals if you feel like you are striving to meet them for some one else instead of yourself.

Prioritize your commitments.  You may have a number of commitments on your plate and you do not want to overwhelm yourself, this will lead you to throw in the towel quicker.  Order your commitments according to importance and necessity, then begin to tackle them.

Tell others! Once you make it known to others what you are working towards, you are more likely to stick with it! You now have others watching you!

Review your thinking.  How are you thinking about your commitments? Are you putting a negative, draining spin on the things you have to get done.  Thinking negatively my stunt you from following through.  Try to reframe those thoughts into more encouraging ones.  As you think positively and encouraging you will see that your behaviors reflect the same.  As you check goals off of your list you will feel your motivation increase.

Maintain hope.  You are more likely to keep going when you believe your goal is attainable.  Hope enables you to keep moving towards your goals, even in those moments that are trying.  Hope and commitment are interrelated, they foster one another.

Try and remember these helpful ideas as you pursue your goals this year.  With commitment you can reach them. Good luck!