Posts Tagged ‘DontWorryBeHappy’


Huffington Post Article: 7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them

By: Brittany Wong for Huffington Post

Arguing with a significant other is never pretty. You may feel like each petty, overblown disagreement is breaking new ground, but the truth is, countless other couples have been there before.

Below, experts share seven of the most common arguments couples have and how to solve them before the words “split up” start getting thrown around.

  1. The need for attention Everyone wants to feel wanted and desired, but letting your S.O. know that you aren’t feeling those things can be difficult. Whatever you do, don’t keep those feelings bottled up; they could come back to hurt your relationship in serious ways, said Tammy Nelson, author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity.

“The thing is, we each need our partner to show us attention and when we feel we aren’t getting enough, we can start arguments, act out, and create more problems,” Nelson said. “Most arguments that appear on the surface to be about things like flirting and jealousy are many times about the need for more attention.”

If broaching the subject proves difficult, Nelson recommended a simple exercise: “Try telling your partner three things you appreciate about them every day. And have them tell you the same,” she explained. “The focus on what your partner likes about you and what you like about them brings the attention to the relationship in a positive way, instead of increasing the conflict.”

  1. The in-laws Meddling in-laws have been a problem for couples since the dawn of time. And now that everyone is hyper-connected thanks to social media, your in-laws can take their micromanaging of your marriage to a whole new level.

What’s the fix? Both spouses need to be proactive in addressing the problem, said M. Gary Neuman, author of Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship.

“The role of mediator ultimately rests with the spouse with the over-involved parent,” he said. “If something needs to be said to parents about changing their behavior, it should come from [their own kid].” (Let’s face it: There’s a greater likelihood your parents will listen up and be less resentful if you’re the one delivering the message.)

If you’re the son- or daughter-law in this equation, try to set realistic expectations for in-law relations. “You may not grow to love them like your own parents, but you do have to endeavor to like them,” Neuman said.

  1. Cellphone use If your spouse has become a tech-crazed monster who hides behind his iPhone at dinner, it might be time to establish some hard-and-fast cell phones rules, said Laura Wasser, a famed Los Angeles-based divorce attorney who has run into this issue in her own relationships. (“My ex actually referred to my cell as my ‘boyfriend.'” she admitted. “He once stormed out of a restaurant because I was texting with a client during our meal.”)

“The fact is, consideration of the person you’ve chosen to spend you some down time with has to be shown,” she said. “Think how you’d feel if you were the one sitting across the dinner table while your date was texting, reading and smirking at the phone?”

She added: “If it’s possible, leave the phone at home, in the car or turn it off during meals or movies or important conversations. If not, limit your use and apologize in advance for what might be an interruption.”

  1. Sex There’s a quote by “The Soup” host Joel McHale we love. He says that the best part about being married is “you get to have sex with your best friend.” The worst part? “When you get denied sex by your best friend.”

It’s true — nothing is more frustrating in a relationship than being on different pages when it comes to sex. To work through your issues, Nelson suggested a little game she calls, “What I make up about this.”

“When you begin to talk about your sex problems, start your discussion with the phrase ‘What I make up about this is…’ and then tell your partner how you feel about the problem,” she explained. “For instance, if the problem is not having enough sex, start off by saying, ‘The story I make up about our sex life is that we only have sex twice a week and I feel that you aren’t really into me anymore.’ When your partner’s turn comes up, you might be surprised to hear how differently he or she is interpreting things.”

Nelson said this kind of open, non-judgmental dialogue ensures that each person has a chance to air their grievances. “The focus is on understanding each person’s perspective and how to compromise, and not who’s wrong,” she said.

  1. Time spent with the kids From soccer meets five cities over to pressing diorama projects for science class, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with your kids’ to-do list. And that much more difficult if your spouse isn’t shouldering some of the responsibility.

If you’re starting to feel like a de facto single parent, it’s time you speak up, said relationship expert Marina Sbrochi, the author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life.

“Sit down with your spouse and go over your schedule and figure out how to divide and conquer,” she said. “Even scheduling 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with your child per day can make a difference. Let dad take over bedtime and read stories. Get the kids to help with breakfast. Carve out time to have family meals together. Schedule time with your family just as you would schedule anything else in your life that is important. “

  1. Money “Marriage is about love, divorce is about money,” the old saying goes. The road to divorce, however, often begins with knock-down-drag-out fights over financial issues. (A recent Money Magazine survey showed that married couples fight over money more than anything else.)

So what should you do get a handle on money-related fights before they sabotage your marriage? Have a heart-to-heart about how each of you approach money, said financial advisor Gabrielle Clemens.

“Money is emotional and fighting can start because individuals in a relationship have different views about money,” she said. “You and your partner need to have a basic discussion about how each of your families handled money while you were growing up, covering everything from how money was spent and which parent made the financial decisions, to questions about whether they were forced to scrimp and save to have the things they needed or wanted.”

Knowing how your spouse relates to money emotionally should help you understand their perspective when fights arise, Clemens said.

  1. “Nothing” at all You know how it begins: Your spouse shouts or passively aggressively mutters, “Why are there so many dirty dishes in the sink? Can’t anyone do the dishes around but me?” Before you know it, the two of you are locked in a screaming match and neither of you willing to cave in and end it.

It’s a fight over “nothing” — where “nothing” is a stand-in for so much more, said Sbrochi.

“It’s likely masking a larger issue,” she said. “When he says, ‘why can’t anyone do the dishes,’ your mind goes back to all the times you’ve felt like nothing but a maid to your family. What’s a few dishes compared to everything you do? You’re pissed off over principles.”

The next time a seemingly insignificant issue triggers an overblown fight, Sbrochi said to pause and consider what really set you off.

“Take note of the times when nothing ends up turning into a big fight and write down what you are really feeling,” she said. “Maybe you’d like more help at home and you feel overwhelmed. Instead of suffering in silence then blowing up over something small, open up and ask for help. A great relationship is a true give and take and it begins with good communication.”


In Huffington Post’s article “7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them” Ms. Wong lists some areas that can cause tension at home and a few ways to resolve those problems before it becomes larger than it needs to be. The advice is well worth trying with your significant other if you feel you are in a constant battle over trivial issues.
 
If those concerns are not trivial and you need real help dealing with a difficult situation at home that you feel is beyond your control, please contact our office for assistant.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

 

Huffington Post Article: 9 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Feel Happier Today

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

9 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Feel Happier Today

By: Catherine Pearson for Huffington Post

Happiness, the thinking often goes, is one of those things you either have or don’t have based on some unknown combination of life circumstances and natural disposition. You have a good day at work; someone does something that cracks you up and, voila. Bliss! Rough day at work, someone was a jerk and suddenly you’re miserable.

But positive psychologists have long believed that happiness is actually a quality that can be cultivated — a habit, or series of habits that can be practiced.

"There are lots of ways you can make yourself happier for the moment," said Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.,
a professor of psychology at the University of California Riverside. "[But] if you really want to 
change your happiness, it's a life-long practice."

Here are a few recommendations for small changes you can make to quickly (and easily!) change your mood:

1. Smile.

There’s a reason why people always talk about faking it ’til you make it: “When we smile, the muscles in our face send signals to our brain that help create — biologically — a better mood than when we frown,” said positive psychologist Barbara Holstein, EdD, who has a private practice in Long Branch, N.J. It might sound silly, but Holstein encourages people to sit for a minute and just grin. Or better yet, smile at someone. This helps establish immediate connection — another key to feeling upbeat.

2. Schedule something fun.

“Everyone needs something to look forward to,” Holstein said, and while dreaming about a fantasy trip, or a job you’d love to have 5 or 10 years down the road can provide a boost (as can having fun right-this-minute), there’s value in putting something tangible on your calendar within the coming weeks or months. The anticipation of having a nice experience coming up not-too-far-down-the road — like dinner at a new restaurant or a day trip to the country — breeds joy.

3. Express gratitude.

Numerous studies have shown that gratitude is intimately connected with happiness, and there are lots of ways to find time for a few, focused moments of reflection daily. Give it some thought in the car, Lyubomirsky said, or on the subway on your way to work. To take it to the next level, write gratitude letters to a specific person (which you don’t even have to send), or try a gratitude journal — just don’t feel pressure to write in it every day. In her research, Lyubomirsky has found that writing just once a week may provide the most pronounced results, in part because it keeps it from feeling like a chore.

4. Be kind to someone.

Do something small and simple, like letting someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery store, Lyubomirsky suggested, or call your 85-year-old great aunt who loves to hear from you, Holstein said. Acts of kindness increase well-being because they’re concrete. Another idea? Focus on one person — a boyfriend or girlfriend, a parent — and for one week really think about what you could do to make them happier. Then do it.

5. Walk. Better yet, walk outside.

“When you exercise, chemicals are released in the brain that cause happiness,” explained Nancy Mramor, Ph.D., a psychologist with a private practice in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Fifteen to 20 minutes of walking and the chemicals start kicking in, and the more you do it, the stronger that reaction in the brain becomes.” For a double-whammy, take your walk in nature (or at least, in relatively fresh air and sunlight if you’re a city person). Studies show that putting one foot in front of the other outdoors … even for just a few minutes … can help boost mood.

6. Eat something healthy.

“Hangry” people are not happy people, and sometimes the simplest mood-upping-fix is a quick nosh on something relatively healthy, Mramor said. “Dark chocolate, in moderation, is a good thing,” she added. “Eat a balanced snack with proteins, carbs and fats, which balances blood sugar and improves mood.” Maybe grab an apple with some cheddar cheese or peanut butter, spread an avocado on toast or dip into a greek yogurt with whatever fruit topping suits your fancy.

7. Pretend you’re relocating.

In her research, Lyubomirsky has asked men and women to imagine that this month is the last month they’re going to live in their hometown.”People really change,” she said. “They change what activities they do — they savor their friends and their neighbors.” What might you embrace, or what nearby adventures might you finally prioritize if you were moving soon?

8. ‘Flow.’

“‘Flow’ refers to activities that you get involved in, where you forget time and place,” Mramor said. “That can happen with writing, with music, with cooking. There have even been books written about how knitting causes happiness because it causes ‘flow.'” As long as you’re not throwing yourself into your chosen activity to distract yourself from other problems in your life, tapping into that feeling can produce big happiness gains. So get dancing, painting … fill-in-the-blank.

9. Call a (not-just-on-Facebook) friend.

A main contributor to happiness is social contact. For the biggest emotional payoff, think beyond Facebook or Twitter acquaintances and get in touch with someone you’re genuinely close to. “It can be e-mail — it doesn’t have to be face-to-face — but it has to be with someone you know in order for that to really work,” Mramor said. Here’s an idea: combine two happiness hacks and call a friend while you take a walk outside? Or go meet a friend for an hour or two at the end of the day, even if you’re tired or feel like you have too much else to do. It’s truly good for your health.


In Huffington Post‘s article “9 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Feel Happier Today” lists some fun things you can do to boost your happiness levels. It’s really essential for your health, being happy is a lifestyle that can alter the way you feel inside and out. If you are feeling unhappy, go for a walk or call a friend and experience the change of mood that can occur almost instantly.
 
During a divorce or separation, you could be feeling especially low and want that lift. If you are in need of assistant beyond smiling or expressing your gratitude, call our office for a complimentary consultation and we can be your support and help you regain your ability to experience happiness again.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

Huffington Post Article: 11 Habits Of People Who Never Worry

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

11 Habits Of People Who Never Worry

By: Amanda L. Chan for Huffington Post

Worry is, sadly, an inevitability of life. Bad things are bound to happen, and the natural human reaction is to think about the negative consequences that could potentially arise.

However, worry is rarely productive — “it’s something we do over and over again, without much resolution, and it’s typically of the worst-case scenario of the future,” explains Jason Moser, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University, who has conducted studies on worry.

“There’s always an element of uncertainty, always an element of catastrophe,” he tells HuffPost. Unlike fear, which has a more pin-pointable source (like a spider on the wall), people worry over “an amorphous, future uncertain threat — something bad that might happen.”

While the research isn’t clear on the extent to which people are predisposed to worry, it is clear that there are some personality types that are more linked to worrying than others. Neuroticism seems to be tied to worrying, for instance, as is general intolerance of uncertainty, Moser says. And while everyone worries from time to time, it is possible to worry so much that it starts to have a noticeable impact on your daily life.

But even if you are a worrier, you’re not doomed — there are a number of effective strategies that worriers can use to stop the cycle. Moser and Christine Purdon, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, professor and executive director of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the University of Waterloo, shared some of the most effective habits and strategies for squelching worry, as well as some common traits shared by people who aren’t bogged down by it:

They focus on the present.

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between worriers and non-worriers is the ability to stay in the present, and not get bogged down by things that have yet to happen. Purdon calls it a “worry chain” — the idea that one worry will spur a “what if,” which spurs another worry and another “what if,” and so on. Non-worriers are able to look at a problem and recognize what solution needs to be implemented, “but a worrier isn’t able to get that kind of distance,” she explains. “The mind goes a lot faster.”

For instance, say your son comes home with a bad grade. If you’re a worrier, you might then worry that this will cause your son to fail the class, which will then impair him from getting into college. However, if you’re a non-worrier, you’ll realize that the immediate issue at hand is just that your son needs to study harder in this particular class — and that’s that. “I’m able to say, ‘He usually does really well, he’s smart, he’s dedicated, he’ll be fine; this is a blip, not a pattern,'” Purdon says. Whereas when worriers become anxious, their “intentional focus narrows to threat cues. They can get themselves very anxious very quickly.”

They practice mindfulness.

Because staying in the present is so fundamental to squashing worry, practicing mindfulness can help you to steer focus away from a hypothetical issue that could develop down the road. “It keeps you in the here and now and it helps you be more aware of your thoughts,” Purdon says.

And therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy, can also help worriers stop the negative cycle, since they focus “on the idea of not wrestling and disconfirming the worries, but getting people to focus on their life and values and focus on the present moment so they can make decisions,” Moser adds.

Their brains actually function differently in a worry-inducing event.

Moser recently had a study come out in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, showing that the brains of worriers and non-worriers actually work differently in a stressful event. For the study, Moser and his colleagues had 71 female study participants answer surveys that indicated whether they were generally positive thinkers or negative thinkers/worriers. Then, the participants looked at negative images — such as a woman having a knife held to her throat by a masked man — as their brain activity was monitored and recorded.

Moser found that the brains of the positive thinkers were less active than those of the negative thinkers/worriers. In fact, “the worriers actually showed a paradoxical backfiring effect in their brains when asked to decrease their negative emotions,” he explained in a statement. “This suggests they have a really hard time putting a positive spin on difficult situations and actually make their negative emotions worse even when they are asked to think positively.”

They’re more willing to take chances.

While worriers have a hard time making decisions — they take a long time because they can become crippled by all the potential negative outcomes — non-worriers are more willing to test out solutions to a problem even if a bad outcome is possible, Moser says. In that same vein, non-worriers are also more flexible in the way they think about things, so they don’t get stuck in a negative thinking rut.

They have a sense of perspective.

Non-worriers are able to distance themselves from a situation in order to gain perspective. However, worriers can increase their perspective, Moser explains. One method for doing this is thinking of all the worst possible scenarios, and then evaluating how likely each of them is to really happen. For example: If a worrier is concerned about losing her job, she may jump to the worst-case scenario, which is that she will end up living under a bridge, homeless and alone. But Moser says that talking a worrier through a scenario like this helps her understand how unlikely that outcome is to happen.

Moser suggests another simple strategy to gain perspective: Using your own name instead of “I” when referring to your emotions. For instance, saying “I’m going to fail” is harsh and doesn’t allow any distance between you and the thing you’re worried about. But “if you talk about yourself in the third person, you can take better perspective,” Moser says.

They get to the root of their worry.

The problem with worrying is that it can spin out of control until the thing you’re worried about is 10 steps removed from your immediate issue. That’s why it’s so important to figure out what the real problem is in order to stop the worry cycle.

“When I work with worriers, I try to work on them with problem identification, and to help them be comfortable doing that,” Purdon says. “Yes, there are some problems that could lead to something else, but [let’s] not worry about that right now because it’s not happening right now.”

It’s important to move from problem-generation, which is what worriers are prone to do, to problem-solving. “Worriers think what they’re doing is constructive — that by anticipating [the future problems], it’s helpful in some way,” Purdon says. “It’s reasonable, to some extent, to do that, but they can’t stop themselves once they get started.”

They don’t stop worrying — they just designate time for it.

“One of the reasons why people engage their worry is they think, ‘This is an issue I must sort out now, I have to anticipate and plan against these outcomes.’ It grabs attention off what they need to be attending to, whether it be job, spouse, kids, whatever,” Purdon explains. So, she recommends using a strategy called the “worry chair.” It works like this — reserve a 15-minute time during the day where you can just think and ponder over your worries on your own. Don’t worry outside those 15 minutes, and make sure that you’re spending your worry session in the same spot (hence the term “worry chair”!) each day.

“What that means is when you’re worried during the day, you can say, ‘I’ll think about that later. I can switch my attention off that and go on to other things,'” Purdon says. “And what they find is, ‘I’m not even worried about that anymore.’ But giving them permission to worry about it, but later, allows them to switch the attention away from the thought.”

They have confidence they can handle whatever comes at them.

“People with high worry not only generate ideas about what could go wrong, they also lack confidence in their ability to cope with what could go wrong,” Purdon explains, adding that this is ironic considering worriers actually perform quite well in a crisis since they’ve spent so much time thinking about the worst-case scenarios and have normal coping abilities. Non-worriers, on the other hand, possess the confidence that if something were to happen, they’ll just … handle it.

They have the ability to see positive outcomes in seemingly bleak situations.

Take the graphic image Moser used in his Journal of Abnormal Psychology study, described earlier. If you were to look at an image of a woman being held at knifepoint by a masked man, what do you think the next immediate outcome would be? A worrier would likely only think of the worst-case scenario, while a non-worrier would have the capacity to think, “That woman is in distress, but maybe she breaks away from her assailant and runs to safety,” Moser explains. Non-worriers are able to see that there could be a positive outcome to a negative event.

They ask themselves the right questions.

Worriers who are trying to tamp down on their worrying tendencies could find it useful to ask themselves a series of questions when they’re going down a negative path. “Ask, ‘Is it my problem?” And secondly, ‘Do I have any control over it?'” Purdon says. “Thirdly, the next question people can ask themselves is, ‘Have I already done everything about it that I can? And is it imminent?’ If it’s not imminent, then there’s no reason to worry about it now.”

They know how to perceive their negative emotions.
“The most severe chronic worriers [are] less accepting of their emotions, which means they’re intolerant of uncertainty and also find negative emotions in particular to not be very acceptable,” Moser explains. Meanwhile, people who have a healthier psychological outlook tend to look at negative emotions as a sign that whatever is causing those emotions — whether it be relationships, or work, or bills — needs attention. They use emotions to make informed decisions.


Huffington Post’s article “11 Habits Of People Who Never Worry” list some key points to stay positive and focused on the present. Negative emotions can change the way you think about a situation and could easily let fear dictate how you handle your circumstances and make it very difficult to make decisions based on fact. Looking on the bright side of things will motivate you into seeing the positives in seemingly negative conditions.
 
If you are in a place in your life that keeps you in a constant state of worry and would like help to rectify your state of affairs, please contact our office. We are available to help provide guidance and support in all aspects of family law.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.