Category Archives: Therapist Articles

Body Image Lies

In this world, there is always a shadow side to every glimpse of light. Nothing can ever be completely exposed or even true. Knowing what is true is very powerful because the truth is powerful. Along with this is also knowing what is not true. Knowing what the lie is and exposing it can always mean a sense of more power in life.

For instance, let?s apply this to women?s body image. Can you imagine already how healing it is to just go through and list what things are simply not true? Take a look at how our society exposes women. Through media publications and transmissions, we are set up to believe lies when it comes to what a woman should look like. We are blasted with images on a daily basis, of women who are touched up and altered so as not to expose the truth of what they really look like. We get to see airbrushed versions of who a person is. The images have the cellulite, stretch marks, wrinkles, bags, puffiness, and added pounds subtracted from the equation. I once saw an expose on how some photographers can actually make their models appear 10 pounds lighter. Let?s not even get into the new apps we hear about that can be used on a cell phone to create a slimmer image of us when we capture ourselves in a selfie.

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Online Cheating

Do I really want to talk about this one? Sometimes God nudges me in directions that I really don?t want to go but it is necessary. This morning it happens to be online cheating. It comes up so much more often than most of us realize. Our techie age has created wonderful ways to meet people we otherwise would not meet, but unfortunately, it is becoming the number one mode of marital/relationship infidelity. It is also becoming one of the foremost reasons for divorce in our country and others. After all, our country includes Canada, Mexico, and also the United States. Infidelity extends to the Philippines and other areas of the world. With the world at our fingertips, the possibilities are multiplied.

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Are Your Relationships Suffering Because of Your Phone?

No doubt our current technology is an amazing thing! Way back in what now seems like the stone age, we never imagined the freedom in technology we have these days. We see people while we talk on the phone or online. We transmit messages instantly and send at the touch of a button. Wow, who knew? May I add that energy makes this possible, but this blog post is not about energy, atoms, or even our personal chi. Although, I could go off on that tangent!

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Ever Wonder What Your “Self” Is?

I recall a pivotal moment when I heard the expression, ?Out of all the things you miss in life, do you miss your mind the most?? I?m not sure who first said that, but I would certainly give credit if I could. I only know it was years ago now and I had to stop and think about it. Do I miss my mind, and what does that really mean? If my mind is missing, does that mean I am out of my mind? So many questions, so little time, right?

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Life Can Turn On a Dime

For something to ?turn on a dime? actually refers to a vehicle or something turning quickly without expectation and with precision. When we apply this to life, it has come to refer to a sudden shift in direction without notice or warning.

I think it was at least a decade ago, or more, I received a late call from a woman I had never spoken to before. She must have seen my advertising for my counseling/coaching office and desperately needed to talk. I sat on the floor on the phone next to my bed just listening as she sobbed and explained how her husband had come to her all of a sudden and told her he had been seeing someone else. He not only wanted a divorce but he gave her papers that explained he had wanted her to move out of the house they had lived together in for almost 25 years. She was in her late 50?s and could not imagine what she would do with her life now.

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How To Trust In An Un-Trusting World

Trust is a very valuable thing. In the human world, we EARN the trust of others. In the realm of God, we can trust everything because God is faithful and never deviates from the true nature of who He is. What do we do in a world where it is so hard to trust? Can we ever truly trust anything outside of ourselves when humans are not perfect and can so easily make mistakes?

Trusting depends on where our trust is directed. Have you ever given thought to trusting yourself? Can you depend on yourself and do you believe in yourself too? When the chips are down and the world is hard to understand can you rely on yourself in any circumstance to bring things through, regardless of what that might look like?

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Moments of Decision’s Past

Some moments in time are like dividing lines between seasons of learning, maturing, and growing. Think of those moments where your decisions might have been a bit more wise, clear, and spiritually discerning. Mind you, we don?t live in the past, but we should reflect on it in order to learn. Over the last few weeks I have been in a mode where even in my dreams my past decisions have been looming up in front of me. It?s amazing how the thoughts of possible upcoming trials can spin us into moments of evaluation.

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17 Things Couples Tend to Over Share on Social Media

 

New relationships can be both fun and exciting, prompting a lot of couples to want to share their excitement with the world, specifically, via social media. Social media affords many individuals and couples the opportunity to share their happiness, sometimes unhappiness with not only family and close friends but everyone in the stratosphere. Most of us have been there, unable to contain our happiness about our new love and budding relationship, however, some things should not be shared with everyone. Advancements in technology and social media has really changed the way most people socialize, engage the world, and view relationships. Years ago, when you started a new relationship you would share the news with your best friend, opting to reveal your status to your family until it became “serious”. However, with the changes in the usage, users, and options to share, we have not only increased our usage, but what we reveal and how we reveal it on social media. Social media is not limited to couples, but single adults and children. We share both insignificant and significant, from what we ate on a given day to sickness, additions to family, and breakups.

It may come as a surprise, but nearly one-third of all adults and teenagers post their relationship statuses to social media outlets, such as Facebook. Unfortunately, with the sharing of personal, intimate details of our lives also comes with scrutiny and judgement. Seeing someone’s life and relationship updates can be a welcome distraction from our own less interesting or challenging lives. Would it shock you to know that more than half of social media users lie about or exaggerate their statuses online? Often, users will report their relationships or partners in a fantastical way with everything “being great”, having the “perfect partner” or the “perfect relationship”, when their partner or the relationship is far from perfect. Keep in mind no one and no relationship is perfect, every relationship has its ups and downs, every person has both good and bad traits. Consider this, most people watching our lives play out online we barely know, do not remember, or have never met. However, that does not seem to stop our social media or “Facebook” friends from weighing in on the changes and or updates we report. Every time an update or status is reported we have potentially invited another person into our lives and relationships.

In addition to the limitless opportunities to share, some users utilize social media to keep tabs on or spy on current and former partners.  Keeping tabs on current as well as former partners can lead to breakdown of a current relationship or inability to move on from a previous relationship. Using social media to spy can lead to insecurities, self-doubt, or unwarranted suspicions. Rather than providing updates on our lives and partners we are encouraged to live life, not write about it, engage in it both selflessly and feverishly.

Although, you may want to cast yourself and your relationship in the best light possible, you may also be setting your partner and yourself up for unrealistic expectations. Relationships and people are not without fault or imperfections; therefore, they should not be depicted that way online or anywhere else. Relationships that are exaggerated online can lead persons viewing your posts to question their own relationship quality. Those that play out negatively online can lead to onlookers taking sides, speculating about the future of your relationship, reveling your relationship challenges, pitying your relationship, etc. Once you put something online you cannot take it back, it is out there, and it is out there to stay.

 

17 Things Couples Tend to Over Share on Social Media

  • Their relationship status
  • Overly mushy exchanges
  • Relationship challenges/fights
  • A cheating partner
  • Intimate or sexual details
  • Sexy/scandalous pictures of a partner
  • Criticisms of a partner or former partner
  • Comparisons between themselves and an ex-partners new partner
  • Mean spirited jokes
  • Breakups
  • Pregnancy announcements
  • Challenges with conception
  • Flaunting of personal items or gifts
  • Multiple pictures
  • Jealousy comments
  • Friends or families dislike for a partner
  • Vacation photos with your partner

Every relationship goes through a period of ups and downs. The good, the bad, and the ugly. However, the things that strengthen a relationship and enhances the bond between partners is their ability to communicate directly with each other, rather than communicating through social media, or sharing personal details about their relationship online. The urge to share can seem overwhelming, especially, in a budding relationship. However, to preserve intimacy and keep your relationship private you need to resist the urge and keep the details of your relationship between your partner and yourself.

As you spend more time with your partner and keep private things private the trust in the relationship builds, you become closer as a couple. Notably, when you overshare on social media you open yourself and your relationship up for criticism and negative feedback that can affect your thoughts and actions in your relationship. When partners overly share details of their relationship, those lending their advice can say things or make recommendations that are less than positive. This advice can lead to self-doubt, pressure to escalate the relationship, and cause tension in the relationship.

Stress and Your Health

We all know stress can make us irritable, forgetful, and moody but did you know just how much stress can affect our health? I started having chest tightness and a bit of difficulty in taking deep breath’s.  There was no pain, it just felt like I had an ace bandage around my body.  As this continued I began questioning if this could be a cardiac issue and considered making an appointment for a cardiac work-up.  I was working in an office I couldn’t stand, I had constant issues with my boss, and I often burst into tears at work due to the constant tension.  I quit my job giving a four-week notice and my chest tightness lessened by half almost immediately. When I walked out for the final time, my cardiac and respiratory problems were gone.  I never dreamed the stress of work could cause these issues.

 

Hypertension, diabetes, back pain, stomach pain, headaches.  Sound familiar?  These are just a few of the physical symptoms that stress can cause or aggrevate.  Muscular tension from clenching your jaw or tightening neck or back can limit blood circulation through area and increase amounts of lactic acid in muscles causing muscle pain.  Clenching your jaw and grinding teeth can cause tooth breakdown and an increase in tooth injuries. Grinding teeth can also cause headaches.   Headaches can indicate higher blood pressure or can be from tension in neck. Increased stress can increase stomach issues due to increased stomach acid.  Blood sugar levels are more difficult to regulate and stabilize due to stress and the poor eating habits that accompany it.

 

Business experts place the cost of uncorrected medical issues in the billions. The exact cost of increased health premiums, lost work time and decreased productivity and increased use of negative coping such as using or increasing alcohol is impossible to estimate.

 

Unfortunately, when seeing a physician for one or more of these physical complaints rarely do they discuss coping skills or suggest counseling for assistance.  Anxiety and depression are on the most common causes for people to see their primary doctor. Ask your physician if an increase in stress could cause your current issues.  Discuss your concerns about the causes of stress with him/her.  Discuss the possibility of seeking counseling to help you develop more appropriate coping skills and to begin to manage your stress in a more positive manner.

When interviewed, 70%-90% of those who had sought counselilng stated their symptoms and their quality of life had improved after seeking treatment.  Counseling may help you to manage your stress without use of increased medications.  Always seek your doctors advice before changing any medications. Ask your doctor if relieving stress could have an impact on your symptoms.

 

As consumers, we need to be aware of the interaction between our physical and mental health and ask our health care providers for referrals and assistance.   Consider counseling if your health has changed.

 

Kim offers a free 10-minute consultation on her Virtual Therapist Network site. Kim accepts most major major insurance companies and even offers a sliding scale for those in lower-income households.

Kim works in Bradley, Illinois and as an On-line Therapist (Video over the Internet) to help her clients verbalize their issues, learn to view things differently, and feel comfortable with their decisions. Just as there is not one correct answer in life, there are multiple ways to find a solution in counseling. Kim will work with you to find the most appropriate solution for you. Please contact Kim at her Associated Counseling office in Bradley Illinois or on-line at the Virtual Therapist Network.