Love is Respect

Love is Respect

HOW TO SHOW YOUR PARTNER RESPECT

Love is Respect: The happiest and most stable relationships are those in which respect is present. As a marriage counselor, I have found this to be true time and time again. 

Respect is a word that most of us hear from the time we’re very young. We are taught to respect our elders, to respect people in positions of authority, to respect people that have taught us valuable lessons, to respect our mentors. Why isn’t our partner on this list? When we respect our partner we tell them and show them that they matter to us, that we see them, that we hear them, that we value them not only as our partner but as a human being.

Love is Respect: What Does It Mean to Respect Someone?

The word respect can feel very non-romantic, especially when it’s paired with authoritative relationship dynamics. Not only that, but it can mean something a little different to each person and depending on the situation that it’s present in. 

Respect is built over time; It develops and diminishes based on the interactions or experiences that you have with another person. What makes respect special is that if lost, it can be rebuilt and repaired. It’s ever-changing and growing with the relationship. 

I think if I were to ask you if respect matters in your relationship, most would say that it does. Over my years of working with couples, I have come to notice 2 trends that may arise in regards to respect and love:

  1. Couples will express to me how much they love their partner, but how they lack respect. 
  2. Other couples will talk about the immense respect they feel for their partner, but also share that they have lost the love they once felt. 

There seems to be a disconnect in these relationships between love and respect. If couples are able to bridge the gap between respect and love, respect can be a powerful tool to enhance love within a relationship. So how can we use respect to enhance love? How can we work to increase the respect we show to our partner?

How to Increase Respect in Your Relationship

It is not easy to identify a universal formula for respect that applies to all couples. Sometimes, the longing for respect can feel one-sided, or perhaps each partner may have a different and individualized answer of how respect in the relationship should look. 

While we are all entitled to our definition of respect, there are seven things that every couple can practice to build and encourage respect in their relationship. I’d like to share these seven things we can all do to start increasing the level of respect we show to our partner:

1. Ask for Your Partner’s Opinion

When you ask for your partner’s opinion on any given issue or event that you are dealing with, you are essentially showing your partner that you value their advice. By asking your partner for their opinion and opening up dialogue on something that you’re internally wrestling with, you are actively and intentionally asking for your partner’s help. 

This is not to say that you couldn’t figure it out on your own, but that you truly value what they have to say and what they offer the relationship – especially in times of need. 

2. Accept Your Partner’s Influence in Your Relationship

Accepting influence is about sharing power in the relationship. This can be for decisions and beliefs that impact your relationship as well as individual decisions and beliefs. When we accept influence we take our partner’s opinions and feelings into account. Accepting influence doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything your partner says or feels. By accepting influence we show that we believe our partner adds value to our life.

3. Seek to Understand Your Partner

As a marriage counselor, couples who struggle to show respect will enter our beginning sessions expressing that their partner “doesn’t understand me” or “doesn’t understand why/how this affects me” or even “doesn’t understand what I put up with.” It can be easy, especially in long-term relationships, to think that we know everything that’s going on with our partner but to never actually ASK the other person “how are feeling about this” or “what does this mean to you?” or “can you help me understand?”

As we seek to understand our partner better, there are 2 main things we can do. First, we can ask questions to better understand what it is that our partner is feeling or experiencing. 

Secondly, we can rephrase what we are understanding (“what I hear you saying is…”) rather than using the phrase, “I understand.” 

I often see couples skip the step of understanding their partner and jump to finding a solution or critiquing. I like to encourage my couples clients to take the time to slow a conversation down and work to understand what their partner thinks, feels, believes, values, etc.. In doing this, we show our partner that they’re important to us – We show them that they’re worth our time, and isn’t that the most powerful form of respect and love?

[Here's more on: Communication that Connects]

4. Express Gratitude Towards Your Partner

A powerful tool that is on the tip of your tongue is gratitude. By expressing gratitude you are acknowledging that the efforts your partner puts into the relationship has a positive impact on you and that you notice them. Expressing gratitude shows that you value their efforts. 

Instead of “Happy to see you finally took the trash out” try, “I appreciate you taking the trash out.” It doesn’t have to be a grand expression, it can be as simple as, “I appreciate you…” When your partner feels appreciated, they feel seen. Is gratitude the fix all for marital strife? Absolutely not, but it does make a lasting impression and provides encouragement through the growth process. 

5. Show Your Partner Love that is Meaningful to Them

Be intentional about how you show your partner love. When your efforts match what your partner perceives as love it will be more meaningful to them. This often requires practice because how your partner accepts love may not be what comes most naturally to you. We naturally like to give love the same way that we like to receive love, but we all receive love differently. If you are unsure of how your partner feels most loved, ask them. 

Intentionally loving your partner shows them that they matter to you, that you’re willing to think about and act in ways that are most meaningful to them. It shows that you’re willing to put in extra effort that they find meaningful.

6. Use Care and Consideration When Providing Feedback

Every relationship requires feedback from time to time. A romantic partnership though requires a level of care and consideration when providing feedback. I like to remind couples that this is the most precious relationship that they have, and it should encourage vulnerability and openness. However, when feedback is expressed in a negative, angry, or disrespectful way – that vulnerable and open relationship reacts by throwing up walls and reflecting that negative, angry, and disrespectful behavior back. This cycle can be damaging to the relationship beyond repair if not kept in check.

By expressing feedback in a caring and considerate way you’re showing that you are aware of the impact you have on your partner and your relationship and that this impact matters to you. 

When you are kind and considerate in the way you provide feedback to your partner, you are showing that you believe you are equals. When we don’t use care and consideration we create an unhealthy power dynamic in which we send the message that we believe we’re superior to our partner. Whether or not you actually believe you are, that precedent can then greatly impact your connection down the road. 

7. Tell Your Partner That You Love Them and Why

Not only is it important to tell your partner how you feel about them and your relationship, but also it’s helpful to tell them why. I often hear couples say, “Well, it goes without saying.” More often than not, a partner’s response to that statement is something along the lines of, “I had no idea!” If you ever feel that something positive about your partner goes without saying, say it anyway – they would love to hear it (as I’m sure you would too!). 

As we do these seven things we will begin to not only show more respect but also have the ability to deepen the level of love we actually feel towards our partner. Respect is something we can always work towards deepening to enhance our relationship. As we show more respect we will have happier and more stable relationships.

Warmly, 

Hunter Tolman

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How to Not Lose Yourself in a Relationship

How to Not Lose Yourself in a Relationship

How to Not Lose Yourself in a Relationship

Independent vs. codependent

As a marriage counselor and relationship coach, I have couples seek help around codependency tendencies. Usually, either one or both partners in this situation are experiencing intense feelings of disruption and “loss of control” within the relationship because either one partner (or both) is not meeting the other’s expectations. These expectations aren’t necessarily wrong, but they are approached and managed in an unhealthy way. 

Falling in love, building a bond, and caring for your connection doesn’t mean that you have to give up who you are. Your way of being and relating to the world may shift because now you’re incorporating another person into your life – but it’s essential not to lose yourself in your relationship and allow your partner space to be themself.

What Healthy Independence Looks Like in a Relationship

If you are like many of my couples clients, you love your partner, and the relationship is generally good. The struggle you may be running into is that either you or your partner lean on the “independent side” while the other partner tends to be more “dependent” on the relationship. This dynamic in a relationship (if not appropriately addressed and understood) can cause tension and resentment among one or both partners. 

It’s common to both desire a healthy relationship while being concerned that being in a partnership would negatively affect your ability to live life the way you enjoy. While it may seem that to be in a relationship, you have to sacrifice your independence; it is actually that same independence that will allow the relationship to grow in healthy ways and thrive! What you bring to the table, and likely what your partner will fall in love with, is unique to who you are, and to give that up would be detrimental. 

Healthy independence in a committed relationship looks like individual hobbies, personal growth, and personal goals and dreams that you continue to pursue and support one another in. Healthy independence also looks like keeping a self-care routine focused on your individual health and happiness needs. 

[Here’s more on: How to Develop Your Self-Identity and Experience Personal Growth in a Committed Relationship]

Communicating Your Needs

Relationships may require compromise, and talking through what’s important to both of you is the first step to getting on the same page. This conversation may feel uncomfortable at first, so consider these helpful talking points when addressing the topic of independence in your relationship to get you started:

  • Communicate with your partner about why certain aspects of independence are important to you 
  • Talk to them about the ways you both can still identify as individuals while also creating a relationship together
  • Set healthy boundaries within yourself and between others

Sometimes, what we need to hear is what our partner loves about us specifically. Reminding your partner of the unique characteristics, hobbies, and personality traits you love about them can encourage personal growth and a greater understanding of where you are coming from. 

When you communicate your needs, boundaries, and concerns, you give your partner space to feel comfortable doing the same. Once you’ve communicated your needs, encourage your partner to do the same. This may require time and an on-going conversation, but with practice, you’ll both feel a little more comfortable having this conversation each time. 

Letting Go of Control

Suppose you find yourself struggling with codependent behaviors in your relationship. In that case, it’s important to remember that you are not inherently bad and that you have the power to choose to do things differently moving forward. At the root of codependency, attempts to change or control your partner usually stem from care for both yourself and your relationship. However, in an effort to control the other person, you yourself often wind up feeling let down, exhausted, and desperate for a true connection with your partner. 

If you are struggling with codependency, you’re not alone. It’s actually quite common. The first step in repairing and creating greater trust in your relationship is introspection. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What events or people have caused me to feel out of control in the past? What emotions did this cause me to feel?
  • How am I benefitting from attempting to control my partner?
  • What am I afraid will happen if I give up my control attempts?
  • In what ways does my effort to have control actually end up controlling me (emotionally, mentally, physically)?

You may not be able to control your partner, but what you are always in control of are yourself and your decisions. Exploring these questions’ answers with a mental health professional’s help is an excellent start to getting the relationship you desire. 

Let's Talk. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.

 

Common Codependent Signs

As you are getting to know someone, it’s important to keep in mind that we are all human. We all have bad days, feel difficult emotions, and handle these emotions in various ways (that we may not be proud of every single time). However, witnessing these isolated events looks very different than viewing repeated patterns of behaviors. 

Everyone is unique; therefore, codependent behaviors show up in many different ways, but here are a few common signs that someone may be struggling with codependency: 

  • Blaming their current circumstances, emotions, or mood entirely on others or completely on themselves
  • Taking on the feelings of others as their own and allowing it to affect them deeply 
  • Spending time searching for unwarranted answers to other people’s problems or having a “fix it” mentality out of fear that others will leave them
  • Attempting to control situations or others through helplessness, guilt, coercion, advice-giving, manipulation, domination, or threats
  • Looking to their relationships to provide all of the “good feelings” they experience

Building Trust in Your Relationship

Just as your partner can’t change you, you can’t change your partner. If your partner exhibits codependent behaviors, it’s crucial that you have a solid concept of your boundaries and what is/isn’t your job. While neither partner is responsible for the other person, BOTH partners are responsible for seeking solutions that make their relationship a healthy and safe one. If you notice within your relationship that your partner exhibits codependent behaviors, here are some tips to help support them on their journey:

  • Model what healthy boundaries with others and yourself look like.
  • Do not attempt to “fix” your partner, but rather focus on how the relationship can be improved with the addition of boundaries. Have conversations about what you each desire out of the relationship-it’s likely that you both want to have a healthy relationship, but you may have differing definitions of how to get there.
  • Encourage your partner to process the previous events and people in their lives who made them feel out of control with a professional.

By starting the conversation and keeping it open, your relationship can grow through this challenge and come out stronger on the other side. Many relationships that struggle with codependency and work through the challenge, developing healthier communication, boundaries, and understanding, actually experience happier, healthier relationships (professional, friendships, family) and are more likely to feel satisfied and successful in life. 

[Want more on “How to Have Difficult Conversations” – Check out this blog here: How to Have Difficult Conversations]

How to Not Lose Yourself in a Relationship

“You complete me” is considered among the most romantic phrases that can be exchanged, but it’s also confused many people regarding what a good, healthy partnership looks like. Each person brings unique, vital elements of themselves as individuals, and to give up oneself would be a detriment to the relationship! At the same time, it’s normal to worry about what it will look like to take another person’s preferences, characteristics, and habits into account, especially when they will likely clash with your own. Here are some helpful questions to ask both yourself and your partner when you find yourselves in this very situation:

  • What areas of my life am I willing to compromise on vs. areas I am not willing to compromise? Why are these areas important to me?
  • What are some ways I can continue to show up for myself and my partner?
  • Is showing up for myself hurting my relationship or my partner? If not, how can I release any feelings of guilt I may have for honoring my own needs?  

At the end of the day, each partner’s independence allows for the relationship to grow in healthy ways and thrive!

Wishing you the best,

Parsa Shariati, MMFT

For Journaling Prompts & Conversation Starters, Download this PDF Here:

Journaling Prompts & Convo Starters_ How to Not Lose Yourself in a Relationship

online marriage counseling Tennessee, relationship coach Tennessee, online couples therapy, online premarital counselor

Whether working together in couples therapy, dating coaching, life coaching, or therapy, Parsa Shariati, MMFT is here to walk alongside you on your journey towards a thriving life and relationship.

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Pregnancy During a Pandemic

We couldn’t have anticipated what 2020 would bring, for many of us it’s been a time of massive change, forcing us to practice flexibility, coping, and adaptability (that’s a lot of new skills!). In my work with clients who are expecting, this has been especially challenging. Whether this is your first or fifth pregnancy, it’s everyone's’ first pregnancy during a pandemic. As an expecting mother myself, I can understand the unique stressors the current circumstances present to pregnant women. 

In supporting clients (and going through this myself), I wanted to share two areas of focus that can help you have a positive pregnancy experience amidst a global pandemic: How to Renegotiate Your Expectations and Skills You Can Apply to Better Navigate the Challenging Emotional Terrain that is Pregnancy during a pandemic.

Renegotiating Your Expectations

If you’re like me, you may have pictured being pregnant as a time to be shared with family and friends and a time to celebrate, maybe you pictured, traveling somewhere special with your partner during your last months as a family of two (or three, or four, or five…)! Then Covid happened and what you pictured needed to shift. The unfortunate truth is, the plan you may have hoped for likely won’t be as conducive to the new reality. Changing expectations can be challenging, but the good news is we know what can help with this!

1)    Grieving the ambiguous loss: You may be grieving (feeling anger, shock, sadness, etc) the pregnancy you’d imagined.

Although this doesn't feel pleasant, it’s okay to allow these feelings of loss to exist. If you feel a sense of sadness when planning your virtual baby shower (or perhaps are for-going a baby shower altogether), allow yourself space and time to experience your emotional reality.

This may involve talking with someone you trust about what you’re feeling, journaling, or just finding time to check in with yourself.

2)    Develop a new, more present-focused vision: Reflect on what are more reasonable expectations, for right now. What can you focus on today or even this week that feels grounded in your reality?

For example, your baby shower may not be how you’d originally envisioned, but what are other (more realistic options) for how you can create an experience you will cherish?

3)    Adjust unhelpful thoughts: It’s easy to get stuck in the negative (in fact, humans are prone to do this). If you find yourself dwelling on potential catastrophic outcomes, remember all outcomes exist on a spectrum.

What are more positive possible outcomes? Shift your focus- this doesn’t mean avoid your feelings and worries, it’s an exercise in looking at what else exists within your emotional experience that could be more helpful).

4)   Find Gratitude and Reframe: What about this experience is working for you? For example, maybe you and your partner are both working from home, allowing you to fully experience this pregnancy together (which you wouldn’t have been able to do previously).

Perhaps, it has allowed you to involve out-of-state family members in more meaningful and creative ways. Whatever the case may be, find what is true for you and focus energy toward this reframe.

Let's Talk. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.

Skills to Navigate Challenging Emotions

You’re likely experiencing a mixed bag of emotions (perhaps, exacerbated by the expected hormonal shifts). You may notice feeling happy and grateful, while also feeling sadness or anxiety, then maybe guilt (because you should be happy all the time right now, right?). Wrong! You can feel what you feel.

  1.     Control what you can control: Try to focus on what is within your control (we know, worrying about the other “stuff” doesn’t work as well). I know, easier said than done.

    Try setting daily intentions that allow you to feel safe, secure, and connected to your growing little one. For some this may mean taking ownership over their prenatal health routine (cooking and workouts), for others this might mean cleaning their home.

  2.     Seek support: This is an opportunity to find healthy ways to lean on your social support network. Attempting to overcome these challenges in isolation, can make the experience feel even more daunting! Identify loved ones you can reach out to.

    You might also consider trying to connect with an Online Mothers Group. Talking with others who have a similar shared experience can be a powerful emotional outlet. Of course, you could also consider seeking the support of a counselor too!

  3.     Focus on developing your coping skills (specifically related to stress management): Take inventory of your current toolbox: what currently helps you to manage stress effectively and are there other ways we can expand your skillset?

    Perhaps this includes deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to music, cooking, or going on walks. There are a plethora of stress management tools at your fingertips. Your challenge is to figure out what works best for you!

  4.     Focus on your values: Sometimes, shifting focus and concentrating on coming back into contact with what feels truly meaningful and important to us can help us to better manage discomfort.

    For example, becoming focused on details that are less important in the grand scheme of things (and, maybe not even in our control anyway), can create emotional discomfort. Instead, try to zoom out and look at what feels most important. For example, perhaps you’re noticing an increase in stress when researching the gazillion car seat options available to you (between the aesthetics of it, installing it, weight limitations, cost, safety ratings, convertibility as your little one ages, it’s overwhelming).

    Zoom out and look at the big picture – your primary concern may be safety. Re-focus your efforts to emphasize the priorities vs. getting stuck in the details.

  5.     Hold space: What are your feelings telling you? Feelings are data points. They are giving us clues to better help us understand our internal experience.

    What are your clues telling you?

    Make room for your feelings to exist and approach them with compassion. Attempt to use these data points to inform your next steps.

    For example, if you notice sadness creeping in, explore and inspect this feeling. Once you identify where it’s coming from and why it’s showing up, you can focus on what’s within your control to foster relief.

A Final Note

For those of you struggling with pregnancy brain fog (like me), here’s the cliff notes version of how to manage the unique stressors accompanying your pandemic pregnancy:

  1.     Adjust your expectations and stay grounded in your reality, not just the hard moments, but also the good moments.

    This time has brought great change, some of which is undoubtedly good. Try to honor this by reframing, addressing unhelpful thoughts, and allowing room for your grief experience.

  2.     Productively Navigate Your Feelings by acknowledging them, seeking support, and further developing your personal coping skills/tools.

I know this is a challenging time, pregnancy is hard no matter which way you slice it. However, it is also magical, exciting, and a time of tremendous change and growth.

I’m hopeful these tips may assist you in having a beautiful, and dare I say, fun pregnancy experience! You got this mamma!

Xoxo,
Rachel

 

Rachel-Harder-M.A. marriage counselor couples therapist denver broomfield colorado online marriage counseling

Rachel Hill, M.A., LPC, LMFT helps you find passion and joy in yourself and your relationships. She supports you in creating meaning and happiness, and not only facing your challenges — but triumphantly overcoming them.

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Feeling Good About Yourself and Your Body

Feeling Good About Yourself and Your Body

Feeling Good About Yourself and Your Body

Some Things Your Body Wants You to Know

Have you ever had a really good, confident day? Maybe you were really feelin’ yourself, your outfit, your hair. Perhaps, on that day, you smiled and made eye contact with everyone you passed. You weren’t concerned about what others might think of you because, well, you felt good about yourself. 

On the other hand, have you ever experienced a day when you felt like you just couldn’t stand being in your body? Maybe it was just one thing that started a negativity snowball, like a blemish on your face or a few extra pounds. But that snowball quickly turned into an avalanche of feelings. And, where you might have once felt confident, say, wearing less makeup or running errands right after a sweaty workout, today you can’t even bring yourself to leave the house. It’s an awful, shameful, stuck feeling.

We’ve all occasionally experienced feelings like self-consciousness or insecurity. These are natural. But when these feelings start to become a regular occurrence and take over your life, locking you into negative thought patterns and keeping you from truly living, they become a serious issue that leads to feeling chronically unhappy, likely depressed, and utterly unworthy of love

In my work as a body-positivity therapist, I help clients build self-esteem and a healthy body image. While we all have something we may not particularly like about ourselves, it’s important to get support when it begins to impact the way we show up in our relationships and how we interact with others, ourselves, and our bodies.

The expression “body image” refers to the relationship you have with your body, how it looks in your mind’s eye, and how it feels to you. Essentially, body image is the way you think and feel about your body and its appearance. 

Self-esteem, on the other hand, is your level of confidence in your own intrinsic value and worth as a person. It’s reflected in how you answer that big question: “Am I loveable?”

If having high self-esteem means you truly believe you have worth, character flaws and shortcomings included, then this applies to your body, too; High self-esteem empowers you to feel your body is also worthy of being loved, regardless of perceived physical flaws or how attractive you think you are. 

[Take the Self-Esteem Quiz Here]

The Relationship Between Your Body Image and Self-Esteem

Even now, as I write this, I can hear so many readers saying, “It’s because I don’t like my body that I don’t feel good about myself” or “If I could just lose __ pounds, then I would feel good about myself and finally be happy (or achieve my other goals).”

While body image and self-esteem do live together on a two-way street (if we think we’re unattractive, our self-esteem can certainly take a big hit), I’d say that our self-esteem primarily shapes the way we think about our bodies. We say, “I don’t look like that supermodel. See, I knew I wasn’t good enough. This must be why…and it’s something I can do something about.” Then, over time, seeing our bodies as not good enough reinforces how unworthy of love we feel we are. 

Doubt in your own self-worth shows up as a struggle to manage and improve your body. Think of it this way: negative body image is a symptom of low self-esteem.  

The chicken-and-egg of what comes first, body image or self-esteem, matters less than this:

If you're truly focused on changing the look of your body or just feeling better in it, it’s wise to start by working on improving your self-esteem.

What Shapes Your Body Image & Self-Esteem?

Our self-esteem is first shaped by what we learn being loveable requires of us, and how we’re told we stack up to that. These messages aren’t always explicit. Nevertheless, as children, we soak up these messages from everyone around us like little sponges.

Body image is also shaped by what those closest to us teach us… about beauty, the human body itself, sexuality, and gender. Of course media (pop culture and the fashion, beauty, food, and diet industries) also has its say in how a beautiful body “should” look. Heck, it even tells us how we should move our bodies, how we should use them, dress them, how much they should be seen and, yes, even heard, even how they should smell (think of feminine product marketing). This is true for both men and women. It’s overwhelming and it creates feelings of shame.

How Body Image And Self-esteem Affects Your Overall Health

How you feel about yourself affects how you treat yourself. And your body is no exception. 

Self-esteem and body image are so closely tied that what we’ve been taught about our loveability shows up in how we feel about, treat, and interact with our bodies. 

Remember that day we talked about earlier, the one when you’re feeling so bad about yourself you don’t want to leave the house? Well, when you don’t feel worthy of love, it’s a struggle to feel worthy of self-care, including getting out of bed, getting outside, and seeing people. Eating well, going to the doctor, getting fresh air or good sleep, can all suffer when we don’t feel important or loveable. Afterall, we invest in what’s important to us. 

When a lack of consistent, basic self-care (and other not-so-healthy ways of coping with feeling bad about ourselves) leads to inevitable health issues or weight gain, we tend to say, “See, I knew it. My body is my enemy. I generally suck. What’s the point? I’ll never be healthy, happy, beautiful or loved.” 

And, just like that, those ideas that your body is ugly or too fat, that you are intrinsically flawed, seem so true. And you’re stuck there, not sure how to get out, except of course by losing weight or changing how your body looks as best you can. It can feel overwhelming and impossible to escape. 

Cue the diet industry. When in this rock-bottom place, going on a diet for something close to a quick-fix can seem like the only way out of hating the way you feel in your skin. 

The beauty, fitness, and weight loss industries are intrinsically built on people feeling bad about themselves. They market to your insecurities and sell a branded image of perfection. And while there are many well-intentioned people in what we call the “wellness” industry, seeking perfection is always toxic for you. [Read more about shifting from a Dieter's mindset to a Body Positivity mindset here!]

Research shows us that dieting not only leads to overall weight gain and more health problems, it’s also linked to depression and anxiety. That’s right: dieting actually increases weight and lowers self-esteem in the long-term.

Unlike what these industries tell you, your imperfections are not shortcomings. What idealistic beauty standards define as imperfections are actually parts of what a human body is supposed to be.  Exactly as you are, exactly as your body looks today, you are loveable and desirable.

Let's Talk. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.

Finding Freedom in Your Body

So how do we break out of the low self-esteem and body image trap? First, start by building a strong foundation of self-esteem, on which a better relationship with your body can be built. 

Ask yourself:

  • What are the messages I got growing up about my loveableness? 
  • How do I know I am worthy of love and have value?
  • Do I believe lovability and worth are intrinsic or have to be earned? 

Now, set aside some time to write a list of all the qualities you love or like about yourself. Think of as many as you can and remember what others have shared or how they’ve complimented you. Ask those you trust for help adding to the list. Put this list where you can see it every day and add to it regularly.

The good news is while working on your self-esteem, you can also start building a new relationship with your body! These go hand-in-hand!

  • Notice the messages you get daily about beauty and your body. Being aware is the first step in challenging and changing your own perceptions of beauty…and your own body image. 
  • To build a new perception of beauty and a new body image, expose yourself to new, more balanced ideas of beautiful bodies. Follow body-positive social media accounts (I list a few of my favorite ones below). Simply look at more different types of bodies, notice how you feel, and notice what is interesting or unique about them.
  • Time to write another list! Think of and write down as many things as you can that you like or appreciate about your body. **Don’t limit yourself to appearances.** Your body is more than what it looks like. What is amazing about it? What does it do for you every day? How does it support you? How does it heal you? Where is it strong, flexible, or resilient? 
  • Try writing a letter to your body. What would you want to say to him or her? And how do you imagine your body would respond? What does your body really want you to know?

While these are helpful tools, I encourage you to reach out to a counselor or coach who can help you practice new ways of showing up for yourself every day, with both support and accountability. 

It can be an extremely rewarding journey, one that leads to true peace and ultimate freedom. You, and your body, deserve it. 

Kindly,
Kathleen

@thefuckitdiet
@thenutritiontea
@newmoonrd
@bodyposipanda
@thebirdspapaya
@rootedinflowing
@jennakutcher
@jameelajamilofficial
@bodyimagepositive *
@drdorie

#haes
#intuitiveeating
#bodypositivity

denver therapist online therapy Kathleen Stutts Therapist, Life Coach, Marriage Counselor, Dating Coach

Kathleen Stutts, M.Ed, LPC, helps you build your self-esteem and create strong, meaningful relationships in a non-judgmental, productive space where you will feel safe, comfort

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Stages of Anger

Stages of Anger

Stages of Anger

What You Should Know About Anger

What Are The Stages Of Anger? 

Psychologists do not agree about how many stages of anger there are. Some say 3, some 4, and others 5 to 6. This is because we all build anger in different ways. It is important not to generalize and to know how many stages of anger you experience personally.  

Here is an example: 

Let's imagine that we can measure your level of anger on a scale of 0% to 100%. And let's assume that you are the type of person who loses control of your behavior at 80% anger, goes from 0 to 50% anger really slowly and then past the 50% mark, you go to 80% in a few seconds. In this case, you may go through 4 or 5 stages before you reach 50% and then one stage from 50% to 80%. 

On the other hand, if you are the type of person who goes from 0 to 20% rapidly, you may have 1 stage at that level. If after 20% anger you go straight to 100%, you will technically have only 2 stages in total.  

As you can see, we are all different. So, you must focus on how many stages you go through personally before you lose control of your behavior. 

Why Am I Always So Angry? 

Imagine that you have a backpack on your shoulders and in it you put two things: One, all of the great things you have experienced in life, the love, the beautiful memories and the kind words from others. These things have no weight and no volume so you can fill up your backpack through time and it will never be heavy or full. And two, in that backpack you also carry all of the negative things that you lived during childhood as well as all the negative experiences from your adult life. And those things have weight and volume, so the more you have of  those things in your backpack, the heavier you feel. 

The problem with this backpack is that you carry it around with you at all times.  So, when you get angry in the present moment, even for something minor, that  anger will be stored in the same place as the old anger and you will have  difficulty in separating them. Because your backpack is heavy, you will want to  unload it whenever you have a chance. 

This is why it is important to sort through all of the old hurts and resolve them internally… so that you can travel lighter and not express anger in places where it does not belong. This is one of the things I help my clients do during Emotional Intelligence Coaching sessions.  

Let's Talk. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.

How Do I Know If My Anger Is A Problem? 

There are several things that may suggest that anger is a problem in your life: 

1. When it is too frequent
2. When it is too intense
3. When it lasts too long 
4. When it leads to aggression
5. When it destroys school, work or personal relationships 

If you recognize any of these issues, it may be a good idea to consult with an Emotional Intelligence specialist.  

Are There Skills That I Can Practice To Stop Being Angry? 

I do not think that you can stop being angry all together. Anger is an instinct and it is part of life. We can certainly reduce it by avoiding situations that make us constantly angry, resolving old anger that we may be hanging on to, and learning to manage anger early so that it does not grow. 

If you want to become skilled at managing anger, rather than blocking it, you need to:

  1. Recognize it
  2. Accept it


Recognizing helps you be a step closer to managing it. If you do not recognize it, you could find yourself acting it out without realizing what is going on. 

Some people are skilled at recognizing anger but they may not accept it. Not accepting it sometimes has to do with role modeling during childhood. For example, if you have had a parent that could not manage their anger you may not accept yours because you may have learned that anger is dangerous and scary.  

When you learn to recognize and accept your own anger, you are one step closer to managing it effectively. Anger then becomes a tool rather than a burden. 

Can I Repair Relationships That My Anger Damaged? 

I would like to tell you that you can, but in reality, that depends on the other person and on how the anger manifested in your relationships. There are outbursts of anger that hurt others deeply. These individuals may not be able or willing to let it go. And even if they do, they may not want to trust you again.  

On the other hand, there is hope. You cannot erase the past but you can often make it better. The first step in repairing relationships is to take responsibility and mean it. Ultimately, by taking responsibility for your actions the other person may realize that you cared, that may be healing for them and may encourage them to trust you again. What is important, though, is that you learn to manage your  anger so that you do not repeat the same mistakes of the past.  

If you find that your anger is causing a wedge between you and your most important relationships, it may be helpful to read: Anger in Relationships.

How Do I Forgive Myself For Being So Angry, Ruining Relationships, Or Cutting  Other People Out? 

If you cannot forgive yourself for hurting relationships, know that we all struggle with something within. Life is a learning process. While you work on your anger, someone else is working on their fear, jealousy, or sadness. No one I know has had a life without lessons. So if you accept yours, you will be more humble and willing to take responsibility. Learn about your anger and befriend it. Anger is a fantastic emotion, an instinct full of information. If you learn about your anger and acquire some tools to manage it, you can begin feeling less guilty, lighter, and more in control of your life. 

– Dr. Georgiana

Online marriage counselor online couples therapy Growing Self San Francisco Life Coaching Relationship Coaching
Dr. Georgiana is a multilingual Marriage and Family Therapist, Emotional Intelligence Coach, and Life Coach. Whether your preferred language is English, Spanish or French her strategic results-oriented approach to relationship coaching, dating coaching, life coaching, and therapy will move you forward.

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

Related Post

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No matter how long you’ve been together, premarital counseling strategies can help your relationship by proactively addressing things in a positive way… before they become problems. Learn how, on this episode of the podcast.

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