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December 20, 2016

Tips to help you release worry and anxiety

How many times have you caught yourself in bed, staring at the ceiling, ruminating over the day’s events. Maybe you’re worrying about the next big meeting you have, asking that new person out or stressed that you won’t be able to retire until you’re 99 years old.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from anxiety in one way or another. The only difference is the severity of the anxiety and the related symptoms.

Here is some science backed ways for you to help alleviate your own anxiety issues. I have used some of these myself and with my clients. They really work, but only if you do the work and use them daily.

  1. Don’t fight your thoughts. You may catch yourself thinking some horrible things or wondering if you’re legitimately crazy. Remember, our brain is constantly at work and we can’t control the thoughts that pop into our head, but we can control how we respond to them. Don’t judge yourself, but just observe your thoughts as if you were at a movie. You could say, “oh, that is interesting, I’m thinking about slapping Sally.” We all have ‘crazy’ thoughts from time to time. Don’t judge yourself and just observe and then allow them to pass by like floating clouds.
  2. Breathe. Yes, just breathe. When you become anxious you begin to take very shallow breaths, causing your body to tense up. I want you to imagine you’re blowing bubbles when you feel anxiety coming on. Just take a nice deep breath in through the nose and exhale through the mouth, pretending that you have that little wand in your hand and you’re blowing bubbles. This is an effective technique to not only calm your nerves but your mind as well. I want you to focus on the sound of your breathing each time your mind wants to go back to whatever it was you were anxious about. Stay in the moment and be present!
  3. Look for the evidence. Those things that you’re anxious about or fearful of happening, most likely never will. I want you to look back at all those times you worked yourself into a tizzy over something you thought would happen. How many times did those things come true? Very seldom if at all, right? By “looking for the evidence” you will be able to remind yourself that this thing I’m worried about most likely won’t come true and I know this based upon past events.
  4. Schedule time to have a meltdown. Yep, you read that right. Set a specific time every day to allow yourself to obsess over everything you think will go wrong; after that you must go about your day. So, set aside 30 minutes to allow yourself to ruminate over those things you are anxious about and after that go about your day. If you find yourself beginning to go back to those things you are anxious over, remind yourself that you already did that for today and you’ll have your 30 minutes tomorrow to be able to think about it. Overtime you’ll find that you stop wanting to think about it at all.
  5. Pray. Take it to the Lord and cast all your cares on Him. The problem is most Christians ask God to take these things from them, but often take them back. You must pray, believe that God has taken these things from you and leave them at the foot of the cross.
  6. Valerian root. This little herb has been around for a long time and has been used to treat insomnia as well as anxiety. Valerian root has been shown to increase the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA helps regulate nerve cells and calms anxiety.
  7. Get up and get moving! Research has shown that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may also improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. A recent study showed that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.

What are some ways that you have been successful in dealing with anxiety? Share them with me in the comments section.

November 14, 2016

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October 26, 2016

How to begin training again after a layoff

If you haven’t trained since George Bush was in office, you will want to be smart about how you approach training this go around. If you rush into things, and go too hard, too soon, you may end up injured, burned out, and back on the couch feeling defeated.

Here are some simple, no nonsense ways in which I help my clients who haven’t moved in a long time to ease back into training. This ensures that they can allow their body to adapt to the new stress, wrap their mind around the new changes, don’t injure themselves, and ensure that this becomes a lifestyle change.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up for being inactive, eating junk, abusing yourself and your body, and focus on getting started.

Born Again Fitness

Focus on making one change at a time

Research shows that you will be more successful if you focus on making one change at a time vs trying to change a million things at once. Instead of trying to eliminate all foods you like from your diet, try adding one healthy food per week to your diet. Focus on eating more veggies, fruit, and lean protein choices. Once you have mastered this you can move on to the next thing. That could be meal prep, a consistent exercise routine, etc. This way you don’t stress yourself out, and quit, if you don’t live up to those lofty expectations you used to set for yourself.

Plan to fail

Look, it is going to happen. At some point, you will binge, stress eat, or miss a work out or two. Changing behavior and creating new habits will take time. You must be kind, and patient with yourself during this time. I tell my clients all the time that, “failure is nothing more than feedback.” There is no need to shame or judge yourself when you hit a bump in the road. You just need to look at what occurred before you fell off the wagon, and see what you can do differently the next time you are in a similar situation.

Shift your focus from solely weight loss

Losing weight is an amazing thing, but it isn’t the only thing; keep that in mind. Far too many of us just focus on what the scale says to our own detriment. You may not have lost those 10 pounds you set out to lose in the first 4 weeks, but you can walk further, not get winded going up a flight of stairs, are stronger in the gym, feeling better, sleeping better, and the list goes on. The only problem is many of us focus on the weight we haven’t lost and miss sight of all the other things you have accomplished. Just be sure to not lose sight of the bigger picture. Health and wellness isn’t just about a number on the scale.

Break past your fear of the gym

I know many of you have a fear of the gym. You don’t want to stand out, look stupid because you don’t know what to do, and fear being judged. Look, I get all of that, I do, but you must most past that. You can’t allow the thoughts of what another person might think to get in the way of you achieving your goals. You need to take back that power and stop giving it to other people. If you’re unsure of what to do you can hire ME! or a trainer in your area to show you what to do. At some point, you are going to have to financially invest in yourself if you want to learn how to take care of your temple.

Take baby steps

If you haven’t trained in the last 6 months or longer, ease back into it. Don’t set these unrealistic expectations of working out 5 days a week, only to fall short. As you know, this will cause you to feel defeated, shamed, and cause you to quit. Instead, set a realistic goal of 1 training session per week. If you get in more than that, it is to be considered a bonus. Then the following week you can set a goal of 2x per week, and so on. Set yourself up for success and not failure.

Track your progress

To know if you’re making progress or not, you need to track it. I suggest you take measurements in bust, waist, thighs, arms, etc. Then in another 4 weeks you can measure again and you’ll see a reduction in inches, this will reflect fat loss. You can also take some selfies as well. As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words. It will be nice to do a side by side after 4 weeks and show how much your hard work is paying off.

Find an activity that you enjoy

Don’t follow the latest fitness fad in hopes of losing weight, especially if you hate it. You need to seek out those activities that you enjoy and can see yourself doing long term. If you hate running, don’t do it! You don’t have to kill yourself to get in shape. You just need to move your body daily, be consistent, and you’ll be successful.

Focus on creating new habits

We can’t eliminate old habits, but we can create new ones. I want you to put your energy into creating new habits vs. trying to eliminate the old ones. This could be you getting up 10 minutes earlier and doing a Bible devotion, stretching, meditation, etc. It could be taking the stairs at work over the elevator, drinking a protein shake for breakfast vs eating a doughnut. If you can begin to do this daily and remain consistent, eventually this new behavior will overrule the old, and you’ll have created a new habit.

Be patient with yourself

This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. You didn’t put the weight on in 4 weeks and you certainly won’t lose it in that short amount of time. You will be successful if you set realistic goals, seek out activities that you enjoy, get adequate rest, eat enough protein, try to eliminate unnecessary stress from your life, and are consistent. Keep in mind that the lessons you need to learn about yourself can only be found on this journey. Don’t be in a hurry to rush the process.

October 21, 2016

I want to work with you: how my coaching program works

I’ve gotten some questions on what I do exactly and how my coaching program works.
 Am I a fitness coach? life coach? psychologist (No, but working towards my LCSW)? wizard?
 
The answer is: Yes.
 
When I first started out in the fitness industry over 10 years ago I was a personal trainer, majoring in Kinesiology.
 
Throughout the years I noticed something with virtually all of my clients. They were coming to me saying that the wanted to lose weight, but were really seeking something else. For many it was to be free from the bondage of food, to get over a bitter divorce, work through abuse issues from childhood, address low self-esteem, etc.
 
What I quickly realized was I could write the BEST fitness program, but the results would be short lived. I found out by doing my own inner work, that we must address what is driving the behavior or one will only experience short term success. It’s like slapping a band aid on a gaping wound and expecting everything to be okay.
 
It won’t.
 
Fast forward to today, and my coaching program has radically changed. I’m now pursuing my Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) along with my CADC (drug and alcohol counselor).
 
My coaching program addresses the mind, body, and spirit. You see, it is easy to lose the weight, but it is very hard to keep it off.
 
Most people set out with the good, but often misguided intentions at the onset. You need to be thinking about how you’re going to keep the weight off once you lose it.
 
This is going to involve a change in mindset, behavior (habits), addressing some ‘stinking thinking’ (negative self-talk) identifying triggers, and changing your relationship with food.
 
I use the tools that helped me to come down from nearly 3 bills, change my thinking, create new habits, improve my self-esteem, set and achieve goals, and free me from the bondage of food with my clients.
 
If you’ve ever struggled with any type of food dependency, or any addiction really, you will understand what it is I’m saying.
 
You may use the food to avoid, numb yourself from feeling unpleasant emotions, eat because you’re bored, stressed, happy, etc.
 
You are in bondage to food, and it is my belief that all addictions are a spiritual issue.
 
This is why I believe that we must address all aspects of the person (mind/body/spirit), and not just via an exercise and meal plan. Although, I do recognize that for some people that is all they need, but for the clients I work with, it goes beyond that.
 
Maybe you feel hopeless.
 
You’ve tried to lose the weight and have been unsuccessful. You think that you’re a failure and will always be this way. Maybe this has now affected your home life, personal relationships, and work. You have difficulties with your mate, you no longer feel attractive.
 
It is possible that you can’t seem to find a significant other because you don’t feel worthy. You find yourself not being able to keep up with your kids or grand-kids. Perhaps your self-esteem is in the toilet, you’re depressed, and feel tremendous anxiety.
 
The good news is you always have HOPE through Jesus Christ.
 
No one is too far gone to be saved. If I was able to change, I know you can.
 
It isn’t going to be easy.
 
It will be very emotional.
 
It will be uncomfortable.
 
But all of the above beats remaining in your current state for another minute.
 
If you’re willing to look at those things that are continuing to hold you back you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to step out of denial and look at your situation honestly, you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to shed that victim mentality, you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to finally take action, you can be free.
 
If you’re ready for long lasting change, I want to be your coach. I will help guide you along this difficult journey. You won’t be alone and I’ll help provide you with the tools that you need to be successful.
 
Feel free to reach out to me today for a consultation. You can be local to me or anywhere in the world. I have clients all over the U.S. and the U.K.
 
October 21, 2016

You must address your ‘stinking thinking’ if you want to be free

If you’re reading this know it isn’t by accident. Far too many of you are walking around with a ‘poverty mindset’ and then wonder why you lack those things you desire.

Whatever you think about MOST will manifest itself in your life. Do any of these sound familiar?

-I’ll never be able to afford it.
-I don’t believe I can do it.
-I’ll never lose this weight!
-they just have it easier than I do.
-I’ll always be alone.
-This is my lot in life.
-I’ll never do ___________.
-I’m just unlucky.
-I’ll never become ___________ so I will settle for where I am.
-I failed before so why try again?

All of these are self-fulfilling prophecies, and the more you repeat them to yourself the more you will struggle to do anything. You must stop telling yourself these lies!

There is abundance EVERYWHERE and you don’t have to struggle for the rest of your life. You can either CHOOSE to believe that you will always struggle or you can CHOOSE to believe that you will OVERCOME.

Let go of those negative, unproductive, patterns of thinking and being. They aren’t helping you and are only keeping you stuck.

Begin today to visualize the life you want. Follow that up with affirmations that reflect the life you want, and then take ACTION.

Yes, it will be hard to do at first. You will want to reject what you’re doing, but in time you will start to accept this new information.

Remember that in order to RECEIVE you must first BELIEVE.

Do you need to take out some mental ‘trash’ in your mind? Address your stinking thinking? Tell me about it in the comments section.

October 11, 2016

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October 1, 2016

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July 28, 2016

10 Successful Habits For Long Term Weight Loss

Here are some things that many people have done to not only lose weight, but keep it off long term. I have found not only with myself, but with the clients I coach, that your weight loss plan is as unique as you are. I do feel that some of these habits should be in everyone’s plan as I have seen them work for almost all of my clients.

Keep in mind that for anything to work you must be consistent and take action every single day.

I have compiled data from all of my clients over the years and put it into a blog post for you: 10 Successful Habits For Long Term Weight Loss.

1.They Eat Breakfast

Not only does eating a healthy breakfast fuel your body for the day, it can help to ward off those evening binges when you get home. Most people who skip breakfast usually end up eating more later in the day because of it. They are ravenous by the time they get home and find themselves eating everything in sight.

2. Eat According To Your Goals

In order to decrease body fat you must be in a caloric deficit. Many people set out with good intentions on their fitness journey but neglect this point. You must eat according to your goals. You can eat as ‘clean’ as you want, but if you’re still consuming too much food, you will gain weight. You can use an online calorie calculator to determine how much you should be eating for your specific fitness goal. Keep in mind those numbers aren’t set in stone and you may need to make some adjustments to them.

3. They Set Realistic Goals

My goal is to lose 50 pounds in a month! Those who set out with this type of thinking usually end up quitting. Why? because their goals are not realistic. You didn’t gain that much weight in a month, so don’t expect to lose it in a month. Use the S.M.A.R.T. method when goal setting. Make sure it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. An example would be: I want to lose 10 pounds by working out 5 days per week, and eating fast food only once per month as a treat. I will also focus on eating more fruits/veggies and lean protein sources. I will weigh myself once a week and measure myself every two weeks. I will accomplish this goal within 60 days of starting. This is very realistic and something most people could accomplish.

4. They Celebrate Small Wins

Weight loss isn’t a linear process, you will have ups and downs on this journey. The most important thing to remember is to celebrate every ‘small win’ that you have. If you went for a walk after dinner when you would normally sit down to watch T.V., that is a small win. If you had an apple vs. a hunk of cake for dessert, again, a small win. It’s recognizing these little victories that will help to keep you going over time. It’s easy to get discouraged and feel as if you’re not making any progress, but celebrating these small wins will remind you that you are in fact changing.

5. They Don’t Moralize Food

When we moralize food, or label it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ these will only keep us stuck on that guilt & shame cycle. When you eat food that you have labeled ‘good’ you feel great, right? but when you eat food that is ‘bad’ then you feel like crap about yourself afterwards. This only leads to further binge eating and feelings of self-loathing, shame, and guilt. Then before you know it you have given up on trying to get healthy altogether.

6. They Don’t Think in Black & White

You know what I’m talking about. It has to be this or that, there is never a middle. You either have to be perfect at your diet, exercise program, etc; or not at all. If you’re not perfect or you fail to live up to your unreasonable standards you will quit or not try at all.

Successful folks who have lost the weight realize that there is a middle ground. It is impossible to be perfect or to be on the top of your game at all times. In those moments where you slip up and make a mistake it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up or go eat a tub of ice cream. Just look at the situation, learn what you can from it, and move on.

7. They Do Those Things They Enjoy

You need to gravitate to those physical activities that you enjoy and can see yourself doing long term. I personally think that everyone should strength train, as the benefits to the individual are incredible. Think about what it is you like to do, and then find ways to do those things. If you like to bike, hike, run, swim, etc; those are the things you should be doing. This will help you to keep the weight off long term.

8. They Incorporate Physical Activity Into Their Daily Lives

All it takes is 60 minutes of physical activity every day. That isn’t that hard if you think about it. Taking a short walk here, doing a quick weight training circuit, bike ride, walk after dinner, etc; it all adds up. Be creative and find ways in which you can incorporate more physical activity into your day.

9. They Eat More Protein

Protein is the building block of muscle, and helps to repair and rebuild. It has also been shown to improve satiety, which means you feel fuller much longer. Try to find ways to add more protein to your daily diet. I like to use whey protein shakes before and after I train, cottage cheese with fruit for a snack, hard boiled eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, etc.

10. They Have A Solid Support Group

Most successful weight loss folks have a solid support system behind them. They have at least once person they can count on to help encourage them when they feel low. It is important to remember that your success is totally up to you, but it helps to have that added encouragement from your support system.

What are some things you have done that have aided you in keeping the weight off long term? Add your ideas to the comments section below.

July 10, 2016

Protein: One of the Body’s Key Building Blocks

By Dr. Donald Hayes

Protein is an important building block, comprising about 16 percent of our total body weight. Muscle, hair, skin and connective tissue consist primarily of protein, and protein plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in our bodies.

Enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and even our DNA are at least partially made up of protein.

Although our bodies are good at “recycling” protein, we constantly use it up, so we need to replenish it. Protein is composed of smaller units called amino acids. Our bodies can’t manufacture nine amino acids, so it’s important to include them in our diets. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs and dairy products contain all the amino acids. By combining vegetable-source proteins such as rice, beans, peas and others, a complete vegan/vegetarian option is available as well.

How Much Protein Do We Need?

Our protein requirements depend on our age, size and activity level. The typical American diet provides plenty of protein – more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in most instances. The RDA represents the minimum amount of protein needed to fulfill protein needs in 97.5 percent of the population. This value is equal to 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Accordingly, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should eat 74 grams, a 250-pound person should eat 92 grams, and so on.

The average mixed American diet provides from one to two times the RDA for protein. You might think, based on this, that protein deficiency is unlikely in the U.S. However, the RDA for protein has been derived from research studies performed on healthy individuals. Growing children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, and anyone undergoing severe stress (trauma, hospitalization or surgery), disease or disability need more protein.

Protein Powders and Meal Replacement Shakes

As supplement companies improve the quality of their protein powders and more people seek convenience while trying to eat right, the thought of meal replacements making up a portion of the protein in your diet makes sense.

There are times when it’s a good idea to use a protein-powder supplement, such as first thing in the morning as part of a well-balanced diet instead of skipping breakfast or eating a high-calorie, high-fat fast food item. It’s also a good idea right after you finish a workout. The reason it’s ideal in these cases is because the protein in the shakes will be absorbed easily by your body, which is exactly what you want. Protein powders also can be beneficial for vegetarians who don’t eat any animal products. Sometimes it can be hard for vegetarians to consume enough dietary protein unless they are paying careful attention to their diet. By supplementing their diets with protein, they can make sure they don’t start losing muscle mass due to low protein intake.

What Protein Powder Should You Use?

When you walk into a health food store or a discount vitamin chain, are you overwhelmed by the rows of different protein powders? Picking the right protein powder can feel like a confusing game of science. Asking your doctor is always the best option when it comes to supplementing your diet, but allow me to clear up some of the confusion by explaining the good and bad of the various types of protein powders.The most popular types of protein used in protein powders are whey, rice, pea and soy. Protein powders can contain one of these or a mixture of two, such as rice and pea or soy and rice.

Whey: Whey protein is derived from milk and is the most commonly used protein supplement. It contains all nonessential and essential amino acids, as well as branch-chain amino acids (BCAA). Your muscles absorb whey easily and it is extremely safe to use. Whey protein might not be appropriate for those who have a milk allergy or who can’t tolerate lactose. There are two categories of whey protein powders: concentrate and isolate. The concentrate form is more widely used, easier to find and less expensive. It contains approximately 30 percent to 85 percent protein. Whey isolate is a higher-quality protein and is, therefore, more expensive. It contains more than 90 percent protein. Whey isolate is even more easily absorbed by the body and contains less fat and lactose.

Rice: Rice protein is derived by carefully isolating the protein from brown rice. It’s a complete protein containing all essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids. Rice protein is hypoallergenic, which makes it suitable for everyone.

Pea: Pea protein is a natural, vegetable-based protein powder derived from yellow peas, commonly known as “split peas.” Pea protein is a hypoallergenic protein that yields a high biological value (65.4 percent), which is an accurate indicator of the amount of protein absorbed. High-biological-value proteins are a better choice for increased nitrogen retention and enhanced immunity. With proper extraction and purification, pea protein can be concentrated from a normal level of 6 percent in fresh peas to 90-percent protein content. This process produces a protein powder that is highly soluble and easy to digest. Pea protein is ideal for vegans, offers an excellent nutritional profile, and is free of gluten, lactose, cholesterol and other anti-nutritional factors.

Soy: Soy protein is derived from soy flour. Similar to whey protein, soy protein comes in two types, the concentrate and the isolate, with the isolate being the more expensive form. Soy protein contains a natural chemical that mimics estrogen. Three cancer studies funded by the National Institutes of Health revealed estrogen-dependant tumor growth increased as the amount of soy isoflavones increased. A study published in 2000 by the American Association for Cancer Research compared soy to whey and concluded, “Whey appears to be at least twice as effective as soy in reducing both tumor incidence and multiplicity.” This news, coupled with concerns over soy protein negatively influencing thyroid function, has profound ramifications with respect to choosing a protein-powder supplement.

Animal or Vegetable Protein Foods

These are the two major protein sources. Animal-protein foods include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs. They are said to be of high biological value. Plant-protein sources, eaten together, enable a person to meet the standards of a high-biologic-protein diet.

If you choose to eat protein from dairy and/or meat, try to consume 12 ounces or less each week of fish, white-meat chicken or turkey. Eat beef as little as possible. If you desire dairy in your diet as a source of protein, use only fat-free dairy such as skim milk or nonfat yogurt, and limit it to 12 ounces per week.

Remember to always eat breakfast, even if you only have time to shake up a wholesome, low-fat, high-power protein and vegetable drink mix before racing off to work. Supplementing your diet with a high-quality protein powder made from whey-protein isolate or a combination of rice and pea protein can make a busy lifestyle a healthy one. When in doubt of the best protein-powder supplement to use, remember to always ask your doctor.

Donald L. Hayes, DC, graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 1977 and is the author of five health and wellness books including his latest, Weight Loss to Wellness. To learn more, visit www.greensfirst.com.

July 6, 2016

Are you being emotionally abused? Part II

This is the follow up to my last blog post on emotional abuse. In this post we will ask some questions so you can determine if you are in fact, being emotionally abused. Keep in mind, that men and women are just as likely to be abused, and be the abusers. This subject isn’t gender specific.

Let’s get started shall we:

  1. Do you feel like you have to walk on egg shells around your partner? Do you find yourself monitoring their mood, doing your best to avoid doing anything to make them angry?
  2. Does your partner insist on getting their own way? Do they want to make all the decisions when it comes to what movie to see, food to eat, finances, etc?
  3. Does your partner treat you as if you are inferior?
  4. Are you treated like a child in the relationship?
  5. Does your partner always blame you for everything?
  6. Are your accomplishments belittled, your hopes for your future?
  7. Does your partner often pout and punish you by withdrawing, withholding physical touch or even sex if you don’t do what they want?
  8. Does your partner threaten to leave you if you don’t do as they command?
  9. Does she blame you for her problems? you are at fault if she gets angry or yells, frequently has affairs, or can’t complete some long held goal?
  10. Are you told that you’re to blame for all the problems in the relationship?
  11. Is your partner unable to apologize or admit when they are wrong?
  12. Do you feel like you’re in a relationship with Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde? You don’t know who you’re going to get from one moment to the next?

If you are able to say “yes” to more than half of these I would say you are in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Here are some tips that may help you to address this in your own relationship
  1. You must step out of denial and admit that there is a problem. I know many of us find it incredibly hard to admit that this person we chose to love is hurting us in this manner. We also find ourselves in a place where we no longer trust our own judgement, and question our reality. It may benefit you to document every time your partner lashes out at you. By writing down that “Bill yelled at me today, and smashed the vase.” or “Katie threw a temper tantrum, and slept in the other room for 3 days because I wouldn’t cancel plans I’d already made.” This will help to keep you out of denial and show you just how bad it really is.
  2. We need to address why we chose this individual. Do they remind you of mom or dad when you really think about it? are you reenacting childhood trauma with this person? does the chaotic lifestyle seem eerily familiar? There is a reason we gravitate towards the partners we choose. You must look at the reasons why if you are to avoid making this mistake again in the future. If you were abused either sexually, physically, or emotionally growing up I would be surprised if you were not in an emotionally abusive relationship OR found yourself being the abuser. It is very common and there is no shame if you find yourself in either category. You just need to seek the appropriate help so you can stop the cycle.
  3. Look at why you choose to stay. Do you fear being alone? that this is as good as it gets? Again, if you found yourself as a childhood victim or any type of abuse you may find yourself in an emotionally abusive relationship. Your self-esteem, or lack thereof, will draw these abusive personality types to you, like a moth to a flame. I encourage you to look back over your past relationships, what commonalities are there? Did they basically have the same personality type, just a different body? This is a great place to begin to bring awareness to your own pattern, and how you choose partners.
  4. Address your concerns with your partner. You must speak from the heart and be honest about the way their behavior makes you feel. I would use ‘I statements’ so that the other person doesn’t feel attacked. For example, “I feel scared and hurt when you constantly threaten to leave.” This way the other person will be more receptive to what you have to say and will be aware of how you feel. This may be very uncomfortable for you to do but it must be done. If you feel you need more support then perhaps doing this in a counselors office, with a friend, or writing a letter might help.
  5. Be prepared for kickback. Your partner may or may not receive this information well. If they do, that is fantastic. If they don’t, be prepared. You must stand up for yourself and call out abuse when it occurs. Let your partner know that you will no longer accept the way you have been treated, and will gently remind them of when they are being abusive. If they are not willing to change their behavior then I encourage you to seek outside help for yourself.
  6. Stick to your guns. What I mean by this is don’t become a limp noodle, you need to set the boundaries, and enforce them. If you don’t the other person has little reason to change. God didn’t put you on this planet to be mistreated. If you have kids, then you definitely need to take this serious and do better for them.

Do what you need to do to take care of you. No matter how bad it gets, how hopeless you might feel, never forget that you have CHOICES. You are not stuck, you are not alone, and there are others out there just like you. Seek the help that you need.

 

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