Are you ADDICTED to your phone?


Are you a habitual smartphone user?  Many of us find it almost impossible to be isolated from our phones. Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself, “Am I addicted to my phone?”

What is the criteria for phone addiction?

  • Do you check your email more than is necessary. Be honest with yourself, are you checking a need or a want?
  • Are you annoying people with always being on your smartphone? Have people made comments about your usage?
  • Does the thought of not checking your smartphone create anxiety? Once again, be honest with yourself. Try to put your phone away for an hour and see what happens.

What creates our habitual need to always be checking our phone?

  • Researchers suggest that we feel important when we get a text, email or other notifications. It builds our self esteem
  • Researchers also suggest that our connection triggers something in our brain when we get email or a text and many times those things have a positive impact and make us feel wanted or needed
  • Many people feel alone, isolated and checking emails, Facebook, twitter, makes them feel connected with the world and others.
  • Checking has also become a fashionable way to isolate, avoid interacting and avoiding things we don’t want to do… it has become an insulator
  • The brain connects with the positive feeling and then a pattern arises and we want to feel that positive rush again, and so we check habitually

What are some tips for those of us who just discovered we may be habitually in love with our smartphone?

  • Acknowledge: The first step is always awareness so you can address the issue. Denial only further charges the habitual behaviors.
  • Make free-zone times: Set times when you agree to not look at your smartphone. Perhaps that time will be during dinners or meal times with others, or perhaps after a certain time of the night.
  • Establish free-zone places: Maybe that location will be the bedroom, the kitchen or perhaps on a vacation
  • Evaluate: Be honest and determine what “purpose” the smartphone has for you and take small steps to minimize the behaviors and interact more face to face vs. through the phone

Asking For What I Need

It’s not easy to ask for what you need. Some people are very good at making requests and some people’s “asking” tends to sound more like a demand than a request. Here are some important keys to remember when you ask for what you’d like.
Look at what are some of the common things that keep us from asking for what we want.
  • Fear: Many people don’t ask for what they need or what because it makes them feel vulnerable, exposed, and risk being rejected. Many people say they feel insecure, inadequate and feel a loss of control when they make a request.
  • Old patterns: Many people feel uncomfortable asking for their needs because they have been told it is not okay to ask, or perhaps they were told that they were undeserving, or for many they believe there will be negative effects of asking for needs. Some people feel they can’t ask for their needs because it is demanding something that they don’t deserve.
  • Unclear desires: Many people have difficulty asking for what they need because they are unclear on the specifics of what they really want. When you make vague requests people are uncertain what you really want or need.
  • Destructive thoughts: Many people don’t ask for their needs because they create destructive thought patterns in their heads that limit their ability to ask. Some it is self-centered to ask for your needs, or that people should know what you want without asking. Others assume that someone would say “no” so why even ask, while others don’t want to feel needy or appear weak.
Some people may confuse demands with requests. The difference between demands and requests:
  • Request: There is an understanding that with a request a person has a right to choose to say “Yes” or “No”.
  • With a request there is the understanding that there is no fear, shame or guilt involved no matter what the answer
  • Demand: A demand implies there is a threat or that something negative will happen in some form of retribution.
  • In fact the key word is FREE… a request is where someone feels free to ask no matter what the answer vs. demand that holds no freedom on ransom.
So what are the elements of an effective request?
  • Know what you want before you ask.
  • Make sure your want is consistent with what you really say. For instance. If you want someone to help you with a task be certain you know what you want from them and what you need
  • Be specific. If you want help with a task, be sure you are specific about the specifics about the task. Break it down and tell them exactly what you’d like and when you would like help.
  • Remember if it is a request, the person may say no and it is important that you have a back up plan or strategy.
  • You have a right to make a request. Remember that if you receive a NO… the message is about the sender and not about you.

What do Julia Roberts, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg  and Tiger Woods all have in common? 

They are well-known introverts.

There are introverts and there are extroverts, but it seems that introverts have gotten a bad rap throughout the years.

Research indicates that there are some valuable assets that introverts possess and tonight, we will take a look at the power of introversion.
First of all, what is the difference between extroverts and introverts?
* Generally, it is explained that extroverts get their energy from relationships and that they invest energy in others and receive that energy from others
* Extroverts are the ones who love to mingle, chit-chat, and love to socialize. These activities charge their inner batteries.
* Introverts typically are seen as those who gain their energy and power from looking within and gathering energy.
* Introverts love solitary activities such as reading, writing or daydreaming
Is shyness the same as introversion?
* Shyness refers to a type of social anxiety or discomfort you feel internally around people
* Introversion relates to a type of recharging of your own personal power.
Now we know the differences, but tell us more about the power of introverts.
* Introverts are introspective and generally have a good understanding of their actions and its consequences
* Introverts can be self-nurturing because they know how to go inside themselves and charge their own batteries
* Introverts can typically work for long periods of time with sustained performance and have good focusing abilities
* Introverts can have deep conversations and enjoy in-depth discussions that are meaningful and fulfilling (vs. small talk)
* Introverts have an amazing ability to concentrate, be creative, see things outside the box, observe things that others miss and have rich imaginations.

Do You Doodle? If so, what does your little drawings actually mean?

We will look at these little pictures we draw and learn something about our inner psyche that comes out during our absent-minded drawings.

Here are some of the common meanings placement on the page
* Top: You are confident and looking in control
* Middle: You are an extrovert and like being the center of attention
* Right: You look forward and it also may mean you might be wanting to run from something
* Left: You may be one who looks at the past and dwells on it.

Deeper look into common doodles:
* Birds: Indicate freedom and desire or the yearning to travel.
* Cats: Indicate envy or jealousy
* Dogs: Loyalty and companionship
* Clouds: Good blessings may be revealed and dark clouds indicates depression or deception
* Eyes: Intuitive, able to see things in a different light
* Flowers: Happiness, relationship harmony
* Chains: You feel restricted
* Numbers: Events to come
* Squares: Security and possibility of financial decisions in your future
* Rectangles: You are ambitious and successful
* Triangles: You are bright minded and resolve questions quickly
* Swirls: You have intuitive abilities
* Dots: Financial security
* Arrows: Anger or resentment

So the next time you doodle, perhaps it will be a clue to what is really going on in your hidden psyche.

Tips for GREAL Night’s Sleep !

  • Stick to a sleep schedule.Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As creatures of habit, people have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won’t fully make up for a lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder to wake up early on Monday morning.        
  • Exercise is great, but not too late in the day.Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but not later than 2—3 hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine.Coffee, colas, certain teas, and chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and its effects can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers to sleep only very lightly. In addition, smokers often wake up too early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.Having a “nightcap” or alcoholic beverage before sleep may help you relax, but heavy use robs you of deep sleep and REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. Heavy alcohol ingestion also may contribute to impairment in breathing at night. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause frequent awakenings to urinate.
  • If possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep.Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to see whether any drugs you’re taking might be contributing to your insomnia and ask whether they can be taken at other times during the day or early in the evening.
  • Don’t take naps after 3 p.m.Naps can help make up for lost sleep, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  • Relax before bed.Don’t overschedule your day so that no time is left for unwinding. A relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.
  • Take a hot bath before bed.The drop in body temperature after getting out of the bath may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help you relax and slow down so you’re more ready to sleep.
  • Have a good sleeping environment.Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or warm temperatures. You sleep better if the temperature in the room is kept on the cool side. A TV, cell phone, or computer in the bedroom can be a distraction and deprive you of needed sleep. Having a comfortable mattress and pillow can help promote a good night’s sleep. Individuals who have insomnia often watch the clock. Turn the clock’s face out of view so you don’t worry about the time while trying to fall asleep.
  • Have the right sunlight exposure.Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day. If possible, wake up with the sun or use very bright lights in the morning. Sleep experts recommend that, if you have problems falling asleep, you should get an hour of exposure to morning sunlight and turn down the lights before bedtime.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake.If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes or if you are starting to feel anxious or worried, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • See a health professional if you continue to have trouble sleeping.If you consistently find it difficult to fall or stay asleep and/or feel tired or not well rested during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, you may have a sleep disorder. Your family healthcare provider or a sleep specialist should be able to help you, and it is important to rule out other health or emotional problems that may be disturbing your sleep.

 NIH MedlinePlusSummer 2012 Issue: Volume 7 Number 2 Page 20

Just For Fun–A Valentine’s Day Quiz (yes, you can use Google to search)

How many Valentine’s cards are exchanged in the US each year?

  • 10 million
  • 100 million
  • 1 billion

Who purchases more valentines—men or women?

  • Men
  • Women

Who gets more Valentines in order of popularity?

  • Wives
  • Children
  • Mothers
  • Teachers

What percentage of people purchase Valentine’s gifts to their pets?

  • 20%
  • 3%
  • 50%

The “x” symbol is synonymous with a kiss.  The kiss originated with those who could not sign their names and then kissed it to show ?

  • their sincerity
  • their grief for not being able to write
  • their love for their mothers

The first candy box given for Valentine’s Day was invented by?

  • Fannie May
  • Samuel Hershey
  • Richard Cadbury

There is an old superstition that if see a goldfish on Valentine’s Day you will marry a?

  • Oceanographer
  • A fisherman
  • A millionaire


The Month of Love… but Do You Know the Keys to a Lasting Relationship?


It’s the month of love. Cupids and arrows fill the air, but we know that over 50% of all marriages fail, so tonight we’ll focus on ways to enhance relationships to increase the statistical likelihood of making your relationship fulfilling and enduring.

· 50 % of first marriages end in divorce

· 2/3 of all second marriages end in divorce

· 75% of all third marriages end in divorce


Why do so many marriages fail?

· Statistics shows that we enter relationships with poor skills for maintaining relationships

· People need to learn “how” to love each other

· Lasting marriages involve commitment, communication, and accommodation


What do studies show are the proven building blocks in a couple’s intimacy?

· Studies at Stanford University show that the simple act of spending quality time together and talking enhances intimacy

· Humor: research shows that partners who make each other laugh are happier, in fact, it also shows that women typically search out men who make them laugh

· Doing something new. A Florida State University study shows that people who do new things, and plan adventures together tend to heighten a couple’s intimacy and vulnerability with each other

· Multiple research studies show that practicing gratitude and kindness in relationships enhances intimacy and bonding. Kindness, accommodation and forgiveness are three keys to strong relationships for couples.

· Commitment. Purdue University studies show that those who believe that their partner’s commitment is unbreakable have stronger relationships and increased intimacy.

· Taking control. Partners who really work on enhancing their relationships on a continuous basis, and who indicate that working things vs evading problems have more enduring relationships and those in which they feel will end in continued success.

Don’t Give Up — Find What Works

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  Most of us remember learning this at some point in our childhood.  Whether taught in early grade school years or by our parents and caregivers, being nice is often one of the first values we learn.  What’s wrong with being nice?  Let’s first make a distinction between two terms – “nice” and “kind.”

Being “nice” comes from a desire to appear pleasing to others and is largely motivated by fear of being rejected, fear of conflict, or a belief that we are responsible for others’ feelings.  Being “kind” comes from strongly held values of love and compassion.  When we are kind to others, we recognize their rights, struggles, and their unique path in life.  So, in short, being nice comes from a place of insecurity.  Being kind comes from a place of securely held values.  The remedy for being too nice is NOT to become mean, aggressive, or hostile, but to learn your value, set healthy boundaries, and to be yourself.

How do I know if I’m Too Nice?

  • Do you feel anxious or worried that you may cause someone to be upset either in a social or family situation?
  • Do you feel like you must spend a lot of energy to appear “a certain way” or overly pleasant in social situations?
  • When someone gets upset, do you blame yourself or wonder what you did wrong?
  • Are you constantly expending energy on doing things for others to the point that your health suffers?
  • Do you apologize frequently?
  • Do you feel secretly resentful of others when you do too much for them?
  • Do you often experience guilt if others are unhappy?
  • Do you go along with what others want to do even if you’d rather do somethingdifferent?

If you said yes to some of the above questions, you may benefit from learning more about how this impacts your sense of well-being and happiness.

What happens when we are too nice?

  • We start to feel like a “doormat” – existing for the benefit of others.
  • We attract people who are willing to take advantage of us
  • We keep needing more and more outside approval and reassurance.
  • We give away our power.
  • We stifle our authentic self and hide our true feelings.
  • We fail to be honest with others.
  • We don’t feel truly happy.

Why are we too nice?

  • We lack a sense of self-worth, so we desperately seek it from others.
  • We also shield ourselves from criticism or rejection, as these are very painful when we do not feel that we are worthy.
  • It’s an ingrained part of our personality and identity.

Is this fixable?  YES!  It absolutely takes hard work but living authentically is incredibly rewarding.

How do we fix it?

  • Working hard in therapy to strengthen self-worth.
  • Healthy introspection and self-reflection.
  • Seeking to understand and resolve family of origin/growing up issues that contributed to you feeling overly responsible or not good enough.
  • Setting and enforcing healthy limits.
  • Learning and practicing the art of saying NO.
  • Learning to not take people’s feedback too personally.
  • Learning that not everyone will like you. And that is ok.

All these things take practice, persistence, and courage.  You will learn that people can tolerate the discomfort or disappointment of your new boundaries.  When your self-worth becomes strong and healthy, some people in your life may miss the old agreeable and “too nice” version of you and they may push back, but if a person absolutely will not respect what you need to be happy and healthy, you may need to set very firm limits or decide not to have that person in your life anymore.

You can become free and powerful beyond your imagination when you learn to be your authentic self.







Who Says I’m Not Funny



      “By the time a child reaches nursery school, he or she will laugh 300 times a day.  Adults laugh an average of 17 times a day.” (Discovery Health).

Do you laugh every day or have you discovered that as an adult you have neglected such activities because you are supposed to be producing, achieving, and focused on your goals?  Today Americans are finding that they are laughter deprived… are you one of the victims?

What are the benefits of laughter?

  • Reduces stress (laughter stimulates both sides of our brain and eases muscle tension)
  • Lowers our blood pressure
  • Elevates our mood (and gives our body a good workout)
  • Boosts our immune system (releases antibodies)
  • Improves our brain functioning
  • Helps us lose weight (laughter actually burns calories)
  • Helps us connect with others
  • Fosters relaxation

Why do we need humor & laughter?

  • Laughter replaces negative emotions with pleasurable feelings
  • Laughter changes our focus and our behavior. When we use humor in a conversation we tend to talk more, make more eye contact, and we touch more.
  • Laughter increases our energy level and makes us feel vital.
  • Laughter makes us feel good and heals our emotional pain.
  • Laughter helps us move from a place of negativity into a place of gratitude and a way to see the positive in our life.
  • Laughter and humor are some safe ways to introduce ourselves to others (connection)

How can you expand your sense of humor?

  • Look for everyday humor. Look for absurd, silly or funny things that happen around you and rejoice in their humor.
  • Watch children. Observe how they delight in the little things around them in everyday life.
  • Increase your exposure to humor. Watch comedies, read joke books, listen to funny stories of others, read the “joke a day” online.
  • Hang around with funny friends. Funny people are everywhere, you just have to look around and you will find humorous people surrounding you.
  • If you hear a joke you like write it down. Make sure you tell someone else the joke you learned and brighten their day.


6 Essential Requirements for a Healthy Relationship

Being in love isn’t the only thing that creates a happy and enduring relationship. Statistics show that almost one-half of all marriages end in divorce.  This staggering statistic illustrates that the art of finding and maintaining healthy relationships might be an elusive commodity.

What is the most commonly forgotten element of a healthy relationship?  Surpassingly, the answer is quite simple.  You must learn to love yourself before you can love someone else.  Anytime you are not connected with yourself, or find yourself “lost” in a relationship, you can be assured of unhappiness.

 Here are the 6 Key Elements of a Healthy Relationship

  1. A relationship encourages individuality. Healthy relationships encourage partners to have their own interests, friends, and can have time of separation without fear of abandonment.
  2. A healthy relationship invites growth. Healthy relationships are ever changing and bring new ideas, concepts, friendships, sharing new interests, and learning.  If the growth stops, the relationship will become stagnant, boring, and distant.
  3. A healthy relationship embraces good communication. It is a relationship in which it is safe to express feelings of all types, in an appropriate manner.  Healthy relationships allow space to discuss your fears, your hurt, your grief,anger, and disappointment in a non-threatening way.
  4. It is a relationship that builds self-esteem. Healthy relationships make us feel good about who we are as a person.  It is characterized by living with your best friend, your cheerleader, and the person who builds you up.
  5. It is a relationship that is built on a strong commitment to resolution. Healthy relationships, which are enduring,  are ones that find ways to negotiate, compromise, and handle conflicts and adversity.
  6. A relationship is built on the 5 to 1 principle: Research indicates that in a healthy and enduring relationship, the partners give five compliments, statements of appreciation and positive comments to every one negative statement. Try it and you will see amazing change!