Is Technology Holding You Back from Enjoying Life?

Do you find yourself always reaching for that phone, tablet, computer? Constantly checking what others are doing on Facebook, maybe even feelings of envy arise, as you scroll through someone’s photos showing them to be gloriously happy and you sit and think to yourself, how have you got this lonely and removed from life?

For a start, please don’t think or believe that peoples portrayal of their lives is accurate. We see the happy and highlighted moments of people’s lives – not the realities of the mundaneness of the day or the arguments we get into. 

It’s an illusion. People can create a false picture of themselves to be happy all the time, because, who wants to air their dirty laundry via the internet. What’s important to remember is, happiness is always going to be a temporary state. If we were happy all the time, we wouldn’t be able to learn gratitude. Life is peaks and flows and sometimes we are angry and disappointed and low and depressed, and that’s okay. All feelings are valid and it’s what we ALL go through on a daily basis, whether people choose to admit it or not.

Modern society seems to crave closeness and connection, but also wants the protective barrier of the   computer screen. We are a nation that seems closer than ever, but also worlds apart. I can have some deep and interesting conversations via Facebook and that leaves me temporarily satisfied, but then I sit down in front of the TV alone. We have lost the art of real conversation. Connectedness.

We tend to neglect meeting each other face to face these days. Most of our communication is actually subtle body language, so no wonder we feel separated and alone, because we are. If you think about it, in text, we can edit ourselves. In reality we have to show ourself in all its raw messiness and that creates anxiety for some. It’s created a nation of people far too aware of ‘image’ and less aware of real experiences and real connection.

Are you the one always making plans but people either cancel or you do. And you still spend all night on Facebook chatting to each other? We have become self conscious and worried. Someone has to break the cycle. We are losing ourselves and each other. It’s like we crave authentic exchanges, but don’t know how to have authentic exchanges any more.

Put that phone down, go and sit in a cafe and have a latte. Take a book if you feel anxious. You might be surprised that others may want to interact. Find local groups to join, exercise classes etc. It may feel strange at first, but you will find others are also there alone and chat will naturally come. Don’t edit yourself. Don’t plan what you should say. Just be in the moment and you will find being entirely present in that moment will make you feel more alive than any Facebook chat could.

Dan Millman – Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Where are you? Here
What time is it? Now
What are you? This momen

Are You Struggling with Love Addiction?

Do you find yourself drifting in and out of relationships. Excited in the first few months but, eventually, it wanes and even boredom sets in. You end up seeking the next person to bring that excitement back. You like the ‘in’ love feeling, almost crave it. A repetitive pattern is never by fluke. It’s trying to tell you something.

This is just one form of love addiction. A lot of us tend to find we repeat relationship patterns. We start afresh with someone new, but it ends up feeling frighteningly familiar to the last relationship. It’s true we can carry baggage from one relationship to the next, but what if it’s deeper than that? What if it’s a deeply held belief you have about yourself?

You may find yourself getting bored easily, maybe running away from something. Maybe closeness or intimacy scares you. You try to end the relationship before getting too attached, saving yourself from the heartache in the long run. Or maybe you’re trying to fill an emptiness you feel inside. And if you don’t manage to fill that void, you’re no longer believing that the person you’re dating is  ‘the one’ and you try to move on quickly.

If you feel incomplete in some way, the only person that can complete you….is you. It’s an outdated notion to expect to find your ‘other half’- the soul mate, the ‘one’. What if you already ARE a complete and whole person. Relationships need to be an ‘addition’ to your life, rather than something that provides a band aid of some sort. How you feel about yourself will always be reflected in the kind of relationships you choose to find yourself in.

A re-learning has to occur. Love is not just a feeling, it’s an ability. Anyone can say ‘I love you’. But to be able to show it is another matter. To learn to love yourself as well as another, you have to go back to basics and ask yourself what do you want in a partner and why? If it’s to feel important or to be needed, where does that come from? By analyzing, you will be able to break the negative patterns and live more authentically and in the now.

Come to talk to one of our expert therapists today to talk more about your romantic relationships and set goals in counseling.

What’s your relationship with food?

Do you find yourself skipping meals? Are you an emotional eater? These are interesting questions to ask yourself. Food isn’t like Alcohol or Drugs whereby we can choose to have them in our lives or not. Food is something that everyone has to have a relationship with. It’s determining what that relationship is.

Some people use food as a way to figuratively stuff down emotions. It feels much better to eat those feelings because expressing them may not feel safe to you. You may feel once you open that metaphorical can of worms, there is no going back and you even worry it would all get so overwhelming to the point you wouldn’t be able to function or work. And lets face it, everyone needs to pay those bills. It feels much better to repress and carry on. You get stuck in this ‘keep going’ mode.

What people don’t see is that repressing an emotion, just makes the emotions build up and that’s where it becomes unbearable and feels out of control. That’s how you sink lower in despair. Simply learning to feel your feelings more, instead of trying to get away from them, will help you move ‘through’ that emotion and it will have less control and power over you. Once the emotion is felt, you can move on quickly. It can kind of dissipate. The more you hold onto something, the more problematic it can get.

Another form of relationship with food, that I feel is slightly misunderstood, are the people that won’t allow themselves to be nourished by food. They may feel they need to withhold food until a task is done, like it’s a reward, rather than something that’s essential to life. It often gets misconstrued for someone who is uncomfortable with their body, but, a lot of the time, withholding food is usually a way to feel in control, when everything in life seems out of control. Food issues are, for the most part, not about food. It’s about the underlying issue you are trying to get away from, escape from. In either instance, if you learn to create more control in other areas of your life, you will feel less of a need to control your food intake. And even better you can learn to actually enjoy food. 

Communication & Connection 101 for Couples

Most couples seeking counseling state that they are having “communication problems.” Communication is a crucial component of any relationship, and there are many ways for it to go off track. Every culture, family, and individual has their own style and rules for communication. The more intimate our relationship with another person is, the more important good communication becomes.

“But we talk all the time!”

Talking frequently and communicating well are two different things. You and your partner may talk often about day-to-day issues or events. You may even talk about things that you disagree about. You also may have developed ways to talk at each other without really listening. Tuning out or just giving the impression that you are listening, when you are actually daydreaming about something else. Talking is not the same as good communication. Communication goes beyond words and encompasses actions, nonverbal expression, and connection.

What is the relationship between communication and connection?

Communication is happening all the time, whether it is conscious or not. You are communicating when you speak, and you are also communicating when you are silent. Banging the cabinets as you unload the dishwasher that your spouse forgot to unload again is communication (I’m frustrated with you). Turning on the TV or checking Facebook when your partner is talking is communication (I don’t want to talk or you are not important). Putting down your phone, making eye contact, and smiling is communication (I’m here, I’m listening). Actions and nonverbal signs are just important as words.

It is possible to communicate well but have poor connection with your partner. While communication can be involuntary, connection takes conscious thought and intention. Connection is emotional alignment with your partner. Connection is not just communicating well, but actually wanting to understand and feel close to your partner. Remember how it felt when you were first falling love? Everything the other person said was interesting. It didn’t matter if you were using good communication techniques. Connection was more important. If you can reestablish your connection, your communication will improve.

Techniques to Improve Connection and Communication

-     Timing. We are not always in the right mood or the right place to communicate well and connect. When one of you is stressed out, overwhelmed, or emotionally exhausted, you are more likely to misread each other, send negative nonverbal signals, and slip into old bad habits. When an important conversation needs to take place, make sure both of you are feeling calm and focused.

-     Attention. Make a commitment to give more attention to your partner and your relationship. This means giving your full attention, free from any distractions, if only for a few minutes each day. It also means paying attention to the things that the other person is doing well and saying thank you. Appreciation and attention are powerful ways to build connection.

-     Touch. It is difficult to be angry at someone when you are in close physical contact. Loving touch improves our connection with our partners and leads to better communication. In practice, this may mean holding hands, or simply sitting so that your legs are touching while having a conversation. When things start to get tense, you will likely pull away from each other. This brings your attention to the fact that things are getting tense, and a conscious decision can be made about how to proceed.

 Looking for more help improving your connection or communication with your partner? Contact the therapists at Sun Point Wellness.

Mental Health Concerns for Millennials

Millennials are a stressed generation. They are working more hours, making less than older generations and have mountains of student loan debt. Stress not only hurts their emotional and mental wellbeing, but it is also damaging their sex lives.

Mental Health

Millennials are reported to have higher rates of anxiety and depression than any generation before them. This can be attributed to a growing conversation around mental health which has prompted them to come forward with their struggles. Regardless, living with a mental health condition can present challenges when it comes to intimacy and sex. Depression and anxiety can leave us with a lack of interest in sex and intimacy, and having a low libido is often a side-effect of antidepressants. Managing mental health is vital to one’s health. If you are feeling depressed or anxiety, seek help from your doctor and mental health professionals.

Chronic Stress

Working 45+ hours a week, having a side business, and maintaining a social life can leave anyone feeling drained. Many 20 and 30 somethings are working hard to build their business while sacrificing their love life. Nothing is sexier than someone with ambition, but that bubble bursts when a significant other forgets about their partner. Work-life balance is an important thing and something everyone benefits from. On average, employees who take time off and have boundaries around not answering phone calls and email off work hours tend to be happier. And when you are happier and less stressed, it allows you to connect with your partner.

Hormone Imbalance

Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone can all impact our sex lives. Having happy and balanced hormones is essential for keeping our sex drive up. When we have an increase of stress in our lives, our cortisol levels rise and directly affect our hormones in a negative way, impacting our sex drive. Managing stress will help to keep your hormones balanced. Meditation, exercise and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with limited processed foods will help maintain your hormones. With the demands of work, time for family and friends, it’s no wonder millennials are having less sex on average. These overworked, underpaid 20 and 30 somethings are feeling the reality of a changing world. At the same time, it is important for millennials to remember sex and intimacy are an important part, of well...being human.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and keeping your mental and physical health in check will help to make your sex life more enjoyable!