Saturday, 17 September 2016

Best Ways to Reduce Anxiety in Your Relationships

In today’s world there are so many things that could cause you to be anxious and anxiety can put pressure on your relationships. Too much anxiety could also take a toll on your mental and physical health and impact the network systems that you  belong to.

 While feelings of fear and uncertainties could lead to anxious thoughts, you can take steps to reduce anxiety. Here are nine steps you can take gain control of you worry and relieve your anxiety in your relationships.
Don't allow anxiety to destroy your relationship.
  1. Challenge self-defeating, anxious thoughts. The things you say to yourself could lead to feelings of anxiety. So you might need to monitor your thoughts, and replace negative  thoughts with more rational and self-enhancing ones. For example, what thoughts do think about your spouse after an argument? Are you afraid to say you are sorry?
  2. Manage your time better. You could find that you get anxious because you feel unable to cope. Things could get overwhelming because of poor time management. Plan out the things you need to do each day and start with the most important task. Try and stick to your schedule as far as possible and ask family members for help.
  3. Connect with others. We all need a sense of connection and belonging which comes through our relationships. When you foster positive friendships, you receive the support you need to help to reduce your anxiety. Enjoying conversations and enjoyable activities together with family and good friends could make a difference.
  4. Explore hobbies and stimulating purposeful activities. Take time away from work and the pressures of other commitments to do something you love. For example, activities like gardening and playing an instrument, could relax you. Find ways to share your hobbies and interests with your spouse or close friends.
  5. Practice deep breathing exercises. When you find that you are getting anxious, for example, when you are preparing for a meeting with your supervisor, deep breathing exercises can be helpful. One such exercise is taking a deep breath through your nose and making sure that your diaphragm inflates as you count 10. Then slowly breathe out to the same count. Repeat the exercise several times during the day. This relaxes and eases the tension in your body.
  6. Become physically active. Exercise could relieve your anxiety. For example, exercising for at least 30 minutes, 3 – 5 times per week, could improve your mood. Invite a friend to go walking with you, then, not just you benefit, but you can build relationships in the process. 
  7. Start a gratitude journal. Thinking on the unpleasant things in life leads fear and anxiety. In contrast, taking times to reflect on the positive aspects of your life and giving thanks for them can reduce your anxiety. Give thanks for the nurturing relationships that you share with others. For other relationships that are not positive, be thankful for them too, as there could be something useful that you are learning through these relationships. So you replace anxiety about your relationships with a sense of peace and calm with an attitude of gratitude.
  8. Listen to inspirational music and talks. These can be sources of encouragement in anxious times. Nourish your mind on uplifting thoughts, that will reflect in your feelings and behavior. You could also find music relaxing (listen to music on the video clip).
  9. Pay attention to your spirituality. Take time reflect on your life, pray for guidance, and find peace. When you experience challenges and feelings of anxiety in your relatiomships, find a quiet place to be still and ask God for the guidance and help you need.
Image courtesy of svlimkin/Morguefile

Friday, 16 September 2016

How to Help Your Depressed Spouse

Maybe you recognize that things have changed in your relationship and you wonder why and what to do. For example, your spouse may have lost interest in daily activities, lacks of energy, and expresses hopelessness. 

Depression that is not diagnosed and treated in a spouse could take a toll on your marriage relationship and family life. As your depressed spouse withdraws from the relationship through lack of interest in intimacy you could be placed in a care-giving role. 


Your depressed spouse needs help,
Your depressed spouse needs help. Here are seven steps you can take to give the support and help your spouse requires.
Get Professional Help
The National Institute of Mental Health advises that the most important way to help a friend or relative that is depressed is to encourage the person to get the necessary diagnosis and treatment. This is the first and most critical step in your spouse’s journey to recovery. But in all of this you need to show compassion, love, and concern for your spouse.
Learn About Depression
To help your depressed spouse, you need to have a basic understanding about depression. While you must never try to assume the role of your spouse’s therapist you will need to have some knowledge of the signs, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of depression. This knowledge will give you a deeper appreciation of the disease and allow you to give your spouse the kind of support that is needed.
Communicate with Spouse
Good communication is essential in marriages to share the feelings and the deepest needs of spouses. This is especially important when a spouse is suffering from depression. However, at this time it might be difficult to communicate with your spouse, and especially to talk about depression.
Despite the challenges, you will need to seek to engage your spouse in conversation. This might mean more active listening on your part; listen not just to what your spouse says, but to the feelings behind the words and his or her body language. As the communication pattern in the relationship improves, it is likely that talking with your spouse about depression will get easier.
It is important that you continue to give your spouse emotional support and understanding during the treatment process. This support should include encouraging your spouse stay in treatment or to seek additional help. Such support will also mean that while you help your spouse to take a realistic look at things, you validate his feelings and instill hope for the future.
Take Care of Yourself
In the midst of supporting your spouse, your self-care is extremely important. You need to take care of your personal well-being which includes proper diet, exercise, rest and having time for yourself. Make every effort to keep your own goals in sight.
Seek the support of a trusted friend or relative or join a support group where you can share your feelings. In all of this, you will need to set boundaries in order to promote your own self-growth and be in a better position to support your spouse.
Recognize Suicide Risk
It is very important that you respond proactively to any comments your spouse makes about suicide. Depression distorts a person thinking so never ignore any suicide ideation. Additionally, you need to know the warning signs which usually include the person’s preoccupation with death. Talk to your spouse about them and immediately seek professional help.

 

Keep a Positive Outlook
Living in close to a person who is suffering from depression could color your own vision of the world. However, resist self-defeating thoughts and don’t allow the depression to wear you down. You will need to bring a sense of hope to the difficult situation. Draw the strength and hope you need from God, who is the source of all hope.
There are things you can do to assist your depressed spouse but it is also important that you take care of yourself. Your concern, encouragement and support can go a far way to help in your spouse’s recovery.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

6 Alternative Activities for Families who Watch Too Much TV

Take time to enjoy the outdoors together as a family.
Consider getting involved in activities that can enhance your marriage and family relationships through personal interactions. If your family watch too much television, here are six helpful and interesting alternative activities.  While there might be challenges as you seek to change, you can do it with determination, and your family could benegit immensely.
  1. Meal Time Focus
You could find that meal time can take on special importance for family time together. This could involve conversations, fellowship, building relationships, and sharing what is happening in family members’ lives. This important activity should be separated from the distractions of watching television.
  1. Read Together
Your family can spend time reading books, magazines, newspaper and other materials together. Take some time to visit your local library as a family and select books that you can read together. This could open a whole new world of knowledge and activities for growth within your family. The members of the family could be spending time together and learning at the same time.
  1. Outdoor Activities
Encourage your children to play more outside and become more active rather than sitting before the television for hours. Also, as a family you can go on hikes, go biking, or to the zoo together. The outdoor activity and interactions could be physically and emotionally beneficial to you. So take some time and enjoy the out-of-doors together!
  1. Volunteer in the Community
Family members can get involved in community activities. You and your children can get special opportunities to interact with and serve special groups in your communities. Volunteering encourage the development of specific characteristics such as compassion and tolerance in your children. They can also get meaningful opportunities through real life situations to develop important life-skills.
  1. Family Projects
Members of your family can work together on projects at home. These projects could help to build camaraderie as family members achieve the set goals. Allow family members to brainstorm and come up with suitable projects that they can work on together around the home. Such activities could include gardening, where families grow vegetables and could save money from doing so. Your children could learn skills such responsibility, decision-making, and problem solving through such family projects. 
  1. Family Nights
Why not use one night in each week for focused activities for your family? This will need the commitment of the members of your family to make it work. Decide on ground rules for your family nights, for example, you could decide that you will not deal with disciplinary matters.

 Family fun nights should be a time of spending meaningful time together. Here the focus is on building family harmony, and time of laughter and enjoyment in the family.
You could find that these alternative activities help to improve family relationships, keep your children busy, and facilitate the learning of new skills.

Image courtesy of Denna/ morguefile

Thursday, 23 June 2016

What is Your Style of Parenting?

Parents need to be aware of their child's need
There is no question that parents have a far-reaching effect on their children. Parent-child interactions and the atmosphere in the home are important factors in children's development. 

Diana Baumrind identified four patterns of parenting styles, that is, how parents interact with their children. These patterns are based on two aspects of parenting that result from:
  • the degree to which parents manage their children’s behavior (parental control), and
  • the degree to which parents are accepting and responsive to their children (parental warmth).
Four parenting styles develop when these two aspects of parenting (parental control and warmth) are combined in different ways. They are authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful parenting styles. 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Best Ways to Manage Sibling Rivalry

Teach your children empathy,
Conflicts develop in every type of relationship but what is important is that your children learn how to deal with them. Many factors could affect how children get along and some underlying feelings could lead to sibling conflicts. 

Feelings such as boredom and rejection, competition for parental attention, and the temperaments of your children could lead to sibling rivalry. Dealing with your children's underlying feelings and their individual needs could lessen conflicts. 

Here are five ways to manage sibling rivalry in your family.

Build Affirming Family Life

 Children thrive in a nurturing home environment. In such loving atmosphere children are affirmed in words and actions. For example, you could hold regular family meeting where each child gets the opportunity to express his or herself. As you listen to your children and treat them equally, they get a sense of belonging and learn to  live together

Saturday, 11 June 2016

How Fighting Before Your Children Hurt Them

Take steps to reduce the tension in your home.
It is very important that as a parent you make every effort to protect your children from parental fights and disagreements as this could have a negative impact on children. While there will be conflicts in relationships, try to use positive conflict resolution strategies in your interactions.

A good place to start is to take steps to minimize the number of fights between you and your spouse in the home to reduce the harmful effect on children. Here are some ways fighting in front of your children could negatively affect them.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Raising Children with High Self-Esteem


Make your children feel special.
Since self-esteem affects every area of a person's life, it is important to raise children with high self-esteem. Self-esteem is essentially how people evaluate themselves, and how they like the picture they see.

Children with high self-esteem will have a largely positive image of themselves. The core of their self-esteem results from their interactions in the family setting. Therefore their relationship with their parents is a vital source of their self-esteem. Here are five tips for raising children with high self-esteem.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

How to Cope With Empty Nest

See empty as season of  new possibilities.
Parents respond to the empty nest period in different ways. The grief that they feel after your children leave home is a reaction to their loss. Some parents find it difficult cope with the change of your children not being home. This sense of loneliness could lead to depression alcoholism and marital difficulties.

You could experience feelings of sadness and loneliness when your children leave home. While it natural to feel some sadness, if you experience a profound sense of loss over a long period you could be experiencing empty nest syndrome.

Monday, 23 May 2016

How to Rebuild Your Marriage

Infuse love into your  marriage.

Trust is a critical factor in any marriage. Various issues can impinge on the trust your marriage relationship including broken promise infidelity and alcoholism.

If you are experiencing difficulty in your marriage that involves trust issues, you can take steps to rescue your relationship. However, it will need patience and real commitment to ignite the spark of your love for each other again.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Tips to Rekindle the Romance in Your Marriage

You fell love and in a whirlwind of happiness, you said your “I dos.” But over time, with kids, career and other commitments, your marriage lost some of the sparkle it once had.
Cultivate and protect your special times together.
You can change this situation and put the spark of romance back into your marriage. Here are five suggestions to rekindle romance in your marriage relationship


Show Your Love Everyday

Find ways to express the love you feel for each other every day. Express your love verbally, don't assume that that your spouse knows your feelings. Let your mate know he or she is important and show your gratitude for the things your spouse does for you.

Monday, 9 May 2016

How to Create a Sense of Acceptance in Your Child

Build respect and acceptance in your family.
We all have the basic need to be an important part of a group. The family is a special type of group that shapes the lives of its members and especially the children. It is essential that children find a sense of acceptance and belonging in their families.

Parents need to create home environments where members of family feel accepted and loved. Here are six steps you can take to create a sense of belonging and acceptance in your family.


Foster Nurturing Relationships

Creating a nurturing environment in your home fosters healthy family relationships and promotes a sense of belonging and acceptance in your children.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Erikson's Psychosocial Stages of Child Development

Initiative vs guilt - children often seek to assert themselves.
Erik Erikson (1902 -1994) was born in Germany. He developed the stages of personality development which he called the psychosocial stages of development.

According to Erikson, people pass through eight sequential stages, through the process of socialization. Erikson emphasized the interaction of a child with his environment, so culture and the society are intertwined with the development of the child.

Friday, 6 May 2016

How to Earn Your Spouse's Trust

It takes time to build trust.
Trust is an essential ingredient in building healthy marriage and family relationships.  But it takes time and effort to earn a person’s trust. You also need to take care not to endanger the trust that you already share.

Here are six suggestions you need to consider as seek you to build trust in your marriage relationship.

Strive to Be Honest
Earning the trust of your spouse must begin with your own honesty and trustworthiness. Your behavior must line up with what you say. Your spouse wants to know that he or she can depend on you to speak the truth even in difficult situations.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

5 Important Family Rules

Establish clear rules in your family.
Your family is held together by rules, spoken and unspoken. So as a parent, you would want to establish appropriate boundaries with clear rules to teach acceptable behaviors in your family.

These family rules are based on your values, reflect what you want for your family, and help to prepare your children for responsible adult life.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

How Control Issues Can Affect Your Marriage

Control issues in marriages could take different forms, but whatever the type, it can frustrate couples' ability to build intimacy and achieve important goals in their relationships. It is one spouse's wanting this to his or her way all the time in the relationship.

Controlling spouses take charge, needing always to be right in their relationships. On the other hand, their compliant partners feel inadequate and avoid sharing their ideas, dreams, and aspirations.
Are you a controlling spouse?

In the long run, control issues hinder couples from developing intimacy in the marriage and could lead to the break-down in marital relationships. Here are five problems control issues could cause in marriages.

Friday, 29 April 2016

A Guide for Preparing for Marriage

There is a rise in the rates of separation and divorce in many countries and half of marriages end in divorce. Many people enter marriage without adequate preparation. While premarital preparation may not prevent problems in marriage, it gives couples tools to strengthen their relationships and prepare for future challenges in marriage.   

Learn more about your spouse before you marry.
Premarital preparation is an educational process that includes various subjects and themes to effectively prepare couples for marriage. According to Robyn Parker, in her article, A framework for future research in premarriage education, "In general, premarriage programs seek to engage couples in th process of reflection and skills training with the aim of promoting and supporting the development of strong, stable relationships."