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Have you ever met a joyful person who was chronically worried? Giving in to fear is a joy-killer.  When you live in fear you will know the pain of constant, chronic, low-grade anxiety. But when you overcome fear, you will know delight.

According to current research, most worriers tend to have high-capacity imaginations.  They usually carry above-average IQ’s. They are often people with much creative potential. But their imaginations run toward the negative. They tend to catastrophize:

  • What if bad things happen?3Luke122526-225x300.jpg
  • What if I get in an accident and wreck the car?
  • What if I lose my wallet?

All these things are contingent, set in the future, and may never happen at all! In fact, most of them won’t. But living with a fear-filled perspective robs you of life now!

A healthy sense of perspective allows us to assign these events a realistic assessment that helps us get on with life. But when you live in fear, the power of the “what if” becomes overwhelming, and you will go through life without joy. Joy and fear are fundamentally incompatible.

Exerpts from: If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat – John Ortberg

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!

Do you carry your cell phone everywhere you go?  Are you constantly checking to see if you have new messages, texts, emails, or other forms of data? Do you put your cell phone on the table when you eat? Do you lay it beside the bed at nights? Our cell phones are helpful devices to serve a purpose in our lives, but it has become a potential addiction for many. You can notice people walking with their cell phones, while oblivious to others around them. It may prevent you from developing person to person relationships that require time to develop. Cell phones typically foster communication with sound bite messages rather than conversation. Facebook, Instagram, texts, and Twitter are frequent avenues for exchanging information or photos. Some are personal while others are impersonal and viewed by many. Messenger is a source for communication in a personal way between two individuals.

Teens and preteens are frequently distracted while in classes. Inattention creates poor learning skills resulting in poor grades much like ADHD. ADHD is a neurological and behavioral problem interfering with learning. Cell phones have become a distraction causing a reaction and irritability when information is not processed quickly or instantaneously as expected.  Please read to learn more about Smartphone addiction or over use.  There will be additional blogs on our website (www.ccchope.com) and Facebook page about the Smartphone which will include: 1. What is the smartphone addiction,  2. Effects of smartphone addiction, 3. Signs and symptoms of smartphone addiction,   4. Withdrawal symptoms from smartphone addiction, and 5. Tips for helping children and teens.

Think Positive! Wow, that’s a lot of pressure. When you are going through a struggle, it’s not easy to will yourself to think positive. While, “It’s ok, just think positive”, seems like good advice, positive thinking alone does nothing but get in the way of reaching your goal.

Take action. For progress of any kind you need to focus most ofgoal.jpg
your energy on positive action.

Define your objective or goal. It is important to know exactly what result you want to achieve.

Make a list. There are steps that you need to take to get there.

Track your progress. Every improvement you experience stimulates and rewards your brain, making you feel good about the accomplishment. When you feel good about something you’ve done, you get more motivated to keep doing it. However, accountability is a key ingredient to reaching your goals.

You know where you want to go; you know how to get there; you are motivated because of your positive actions. Positive thinking can get you started. But even successful people have negative thoughts. Just positive thinking by itself can be a stumbling block to solving a problem or reaching a goal. Take positive action instead.

Disagreement and arguments are common in most all relationships—between coworkers, spouses, siblings.  In the heat of the moment, angry words can destroy a relationship that took many years to build.  By following a few short tips, individuals can use the opportunity to strengthen a relationship rather than destroy it.

Disagreement Do List

  1. Agree upon a time to discuss the issue
  2. Be aware of your body language (appear nonthreatening and relaxed)
  3. Avoid interruptions (phone calls, texts…)
  4. Control your tone of voice and volume
  5. Listen, Listen, Listen
  6. Think before you speak
  7. Make good eye contact
  8. Ask clarifying questions
  9. Be non-judgmental
  10. Be empathetic

 

boxing-gloves10 Rules of Fair Fighting

  1. No name calling
  2. No interrupting
  3. No blaming or accusations
  4. No cursing
  5. No yelling
  6. No sarcasm
  7. No defensiveness
  8. No generalizations (you always…)
  9. No physical/emotional intimidating
  10. No walking out without naming a follow up time.

 

Diane Reed, MA, LPCC

The best way to make your relationship better is to work at fixing what’s wrong, right? Nope. The most effective way to boost fun and passion is to add positive elements to your marriage. That positive energy makes you feel good and motivates you to keep going in that direction. 

Happy Couple.jpg

  • Say thank you for even the small things like folding the towels.
  • Stay Connected. Talk about the details of your day.
  • Mention the qualities that you appreciate… hair, laugh, kindness.
  • Recall past times together and describe your hopes for the future.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t feel —or talk about —anything negative, but pretend you are weighing your interactions on a scale.

If you want a happier relationship, the positive side needs to far outweigh the bad. The more you honor the love and joy in your bond, the sooner you’ll transform your marriage into one that is truly great.

Here are some warning signs of suicide

  • Talking about suicide. Preoccupation with death.
  • Looking for ways to die (internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.)
  • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
  • Anger, restlessness, agitation, irritability, or other dramatic changes in mood.
  • Recklessness or high risk-taking behavior.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about – Withdrawing from family, friends and activities.
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about.
  • Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order. Giving away prized possessions.

If You See the Warning Signs of Suicide…

Begin a dialogue by asking questions. Suicidal thoughts are common with depressive illnesses and your willingness to talk about it in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can be the help a person needs to seek professional help. Questions okay to ask:

  • “Do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?”
  • “Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life?”
  • “Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?”
  • “Have you thought about what method you would use?”

Asking these questions will help you to determine if your friend or family members is in immediate danger, and get help if needed. A suicidal person should see a doctor or mental health professional immediately. Calling 911 or going to a hospital emergency room are also good options to prevent a tragic suicide attempt or death. Calling the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK is also a resource for you or the person you care about for help. Remember, always take thoughts of or plans for suicide seriously.

Don’t try to minimize problems or shame a person into changing their mind. Your opinion of a person’s situation is irrelevant. Trying to convince a person suffering with a mental illness that it’s not that bad, or that they have everything to live for may only increase their feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Reassure them that help is available, that depression is treatable, and that suicidal feelings are temporary. Life can get better!

If you feel the person isn’t in immediate danger, acknowledge the pain as legitimate and offer to work together to get help. Make sure you follow through. This is one instance where you must be tenacious in your follow-up. Help find a doctor or a mental health professional, participate in making the first phone call, or go along to the first appointment. If you’re in a position to help, don’t assume that your persistence is unwanted or intrusive. Risking your feelings to help save a life is a risk worth taking.

Image result for suicide

If you have thoughts of suicide, these options are available to you:

  • Dial: 911 or Dial: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Check yourself into the emergency room.
  • Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
  • Stay away from things that might hurt you.
  • Most people can be treated with antidepressant medication and psychotherapy.
  • Look in your local Yellow Pages under Mental Health and/or Suicide Prevention; then call the mental health organizations or crisis phone lines that are listed. There may be clinics or counseling centers in your area operating on a sliding or no-fee scale.
  • Visit the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill website at http://www.nami.org for more information. http://www.save.org/

A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.           

Information gathered from:  http://www.save.org/

Life is a balancing act for all of us. We are constantly trying to move forward with our purpose, to achieve our goals, all the while trying to keep in balance the various elements of our lives. But if any aspect of our life draws a disproportionate amount of energy, we have to shortchange the other aspects. That throws us off—and we are unable to move forward on life’s tightrope until a balance can be reestablished. We have to deal with any areas that are taking too much energy and put them in perspective, align them, so that we have energy available for all areas.

thCheck on your whole self. The first step is to stop and assess how you are doing. Look at all the  various aspects of your life that you are constantly juggling, constantly trying to keep in balance—marriage and family, money, health, social circles, spiritual development, mental growth. Have you lost touch with good friends?Are you working too much and family life has suffered?

Assess your life as it is right now. With both your money and your health, aim for progress, not perfection. Don’t wait for big leaps. Small steps in the right direction can be a game changer. For example, if you are overwhelmed with debt, saving just $20 a week can add up over time – and best of all, it eventually becomes a habit. It is the same with your health. Maybe you can’t get to the gym, but you can make a habit of taking the stairs, stretching during a commercial or marching in place while you brush your teeth.

Renew your decisions on a daily, minute-to-minute basis. This is especially important after a slip. It allows you to ease into change, instead of expecting things to change overnight. Step back and put things in perspective. Set reasonable goals. If you can’t figure out how to get where you want to be, ask for help. Acknowledge that creating balance is essential to your health in all areas and worth the effort.

Make time for yourself everyday, in a quiet meditative state, to relax and “check yourself out.” The right balance today might not be the same as yesterday. Sometimes priorities change. None of us is going to be perfectly balanced all of the time. But if you don’t keep tabs on your progress, you might find one day that you have moved far away from your goals. The important thing in having a balanced life is the feeling of accomplishment and happiness you enjoy at the end of the day.

At different times of our life all of us will experience feelings of grief and loss. Whether that may be a death of a loved one, an accident, or loss of something vital in life we all will experience the pain that accompany’s the respective action.

There are some things to keep in mind when grieving. Some of these are:

  • Give yourself permission to feel bad. It is normal.
  • Maintain as normal a schedule as possible.
  • Alternate exercise with relaxing.
  • Reach out, spend time with others and be willing to share your feelings.
  • Do not make any big life changes.
  • Get plenty of rest

For family and friends:

  • Spend time with grieving person.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Reassure them that they are safe.
  • Don’t offer false comfort such as “you will feel better in time,” “at least their suffering is over.” Such statements may make you feel better but are not usually consoling.
  • Give them some private time

At Christian Counseling Center we have helped a number of people in all types of grieving situations. If you feel the need of comfort or healing call us at 270-442-5738.

Break_ball_and_chain_bigger.pngWritten by a friend of the center who has broken a strong habit in their life.

Whether it is biting your nails, smoking, overeating, alcohol abuse or drug addiction that you want to stop, you CAN break it.

Even if you have tried before, you CAN make it.

  • Make a decision. You have to WANT to break your habit.
  • Make a list. Write out all the reasons that YOU want to quit.
  • Make a plan. Talk to someone who has already had success.
  • Make a substitute. For instance, if you are trying to quit smoking substitute brushing your teeth when you have a need to smoke. Call a friend, read a verse in the bible.

Do it because you want to, not because someone else thinks you should.

And then do it again. Every time you want to pick up that cigarette, piece of pie or bottle of alcohol either refer to your list, call someone, or find a substitute.

It feels good to be in control instead of having that habit control you.

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  • Learning how not to do for others what they can learn to do for themselves is one of the golden rules of adult maturity. 2 years ago
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