I know that in our society, the woman who is left behind bears all the shame and humiliation. “Oh, you know. Henry left Lisa because she doesn’t know how to cook.” I also heard someone say something like this about me – “Lisa is not a pious woman. That is why Henry was weak. His wife wasn’t that Godly.” I don’t know where they get these stories, like as if they know so much about me, and they judge me just like that. “Lisa is fat. Lisa is lazy. Lisa is not a good mother. Lisa is not working. Lisa is working. Lisa is not talented. Lisa is NOT in EVERYTHING! No wonder Henry left Lisa for a younger woman, right? It’s because Lisa is a worthless being. Lisa is nothing.
Some sayings might be well-intended, but that doesn’t make them true, let alone easy to hear. Case in point: “You can’t find love until you learn to love yourself.” — Vicki Botnick, MA, MS, LMFT
For weeks after Henry left me, that was my mindset. I was broke, and a housewife since Henry didn’t like me working. And now, I was shocked when my daughter told me that the new woman is a lawyer. Henry hired her for one of his contracts for business, and boom! They made the relationship prosper. And here comes Lisa – fat, frumpy, moneyless, and ugly at forty-five years old. Who would want that?
How could Henry do this to me? How could he forget all our hardships and sacrifices together as a couple? I even helped him with his business when he started it. I was with him when he had nothing until he had a lot. And he told me that I had to take care of the girls while he took care of us. That was how we planned it. But this, now. He left me, and he hates me. Why is Henry doing this to me?
It is a blessing that I am a great mother. Yes, the gossipmongers said I was not a good mother – that’s because I am a GREAT mother! My daughters took time off from their work and traveled hours to be with me and plan everything out – on how I will rebuild myself again.
First, they brought me to a lawyer for advice. Next, they took me to a salon. The hairstylist cut my hair and colored it. They also gave me a mani-pedi. Then, we had lunch, and there, my children poured out their plan.
Social support allows us to feel cared for and lets us know there are people in our lives who can help us when we need it. — Genevieve Gellert, LSW
“Mom, Dad will not get away with this. I saw a note in the attic. It was a promise to pay note by you and Dad to Uncle Mervin. It was to capitalize on his business. It stated there mom that you two are business partners. You will get money from that, and we don’t care whatever loophole he has against you.”
My children facilitated the case while I took a step back and renewed my soul. I went to therapy and also joined a local yoga class. All of it, my girls foot in the bill. “Mom, we got you. We will never leave you alone, mom.” I’m not in for the money with Henry, although my daughters believed that I deserved half of everything he owns. I want to start over and move past the depressive state that I was in for I love myself now. I refuse to go down the drain.
Self-care helps trauma survivors discover how to calm themselves and find healthier relationships. — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT
When you believe in yourself, you will fight and move on from the heartaches of life. And that’s what I did. I thought that I had to live a life that I wanted and if that meant being away from Henry, then, so be it.
Update: I was awarded half of what he owned, royalties in the business, one of his cars, and the house!
It’s a thin line between having compassion for yourself and having it for others. Working on both pieces at the same time is helpful. — Vicki Botnick, MA, MS, LMFT
It wasn’t easy for me to move on from a 20-year marriage that was broken in a snap. My husband of two decades left me for a younger woman. There, I said it. I am not ashamed of it, though because it’s not me who cheated. It was him who broke his vows over and over and over again for all those years that we were together.
But I stayed. Even if he was silently disrespectful to me by cheating, I still chose to stay. You know when you live in the past, the family is everything. Your mother will tell you – “Katarina, you have to do everything to keep Ricardo in your arms. If he cheats, it is your fault. You have to bear all the consequences of the situation, Kata. This is the role of a woman in any marriage.” What a backward way to think, I know. Too bad for me, I believed my mother of that pitiful thinking until I realized that it was false.
I was on self-pity mode, and I am pretty sure now that I was in a state of depression back then when Ricardo left me. I cried day and night. My whole room was a mess, and I stink for not taking a bath three or four days at a time. I didn’t dare to get up and seize the day. My only daughter lived states away, and Ricardo was telling me I had to leave the house. They found a loop, and he is saying that I can’t have the house or any part of his business. I believed him. It was the “stupid” in me that failed to fight for my right.
Parents and loved ones can help the healing process by returning with new compassion to that moment: “I’m so sorry I was taken by surprise. I just want you to know that I love you and I understand that there’s something going on for you.” — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT
“Who does he think he is?” Rita, Ricardo’s sister, told me on a phone call days after he left me. “Kata, I will go there, and we will give this brother of mine the spanking he deserves. He will NOT leave you broke and penniless. After everything you sacrificed for him and Kasey? This is what he does to you? No!!! Our mother, God bless her soul, would roll over her grave if she witnessed Ricky acting like this and making you suffer. You know how much she loved you, right?” It was such a relief that my sister in law was supportive of me and is willing to assist me.
And so, Rita came and slapped her brother. He was so afraid of her that Ricardo asked for forgiveness and called up an attorney to draft what he was going to “share” to me. Of course, the attorney came in haste since Ricky had the money to pay for it. All the while, Rita was there watching and waiting. Rita made Ricardo award one million dollars to me and his condo. I know he had a couple more properties, but I didn’t care about it. Rita has helped me a lot with this, and from there, I can go on with my life even if it is a life without Ricardo in it.
I still love him after everything. And while I bask on the money he gave me, I live frugally. I bought a small building with five rooms for rent, and that’s how I make my monthly living. I also pursued my love for baking, which was my therapy during those downtimes. I posted the goods online through social media apps and sold them in the mall too.
The most essential tool for any kind of personal change is awareness. With awareness, we can begin to learn how to make the best choices for ourselves. — Genevieve Gellert, LSW
What I went through wasn’t easy at all. For more than fifteen years, I let myself go and believed that life revolved around my husband and my kids. He took advantage of me and my gullibility. I thought, love was like that – he can trample on me anytime he wanted. In my mind, that was normal. When I became free, I realized that for a long time, I forgot to love myself. That’s the reason why I allowed him to use and abuse me.
At some point during our marriage, I know for a fact that he loved me. I held on to that thought, which was the doorway to his lousy treatment towards me. If I could go back and rewind time, I would change the way I saw myself so that he would have treated me the way that I deserved – a woman who is loved, cared for, and respected. But if you have low self-esteem, you will be blind, and try your best to reason out for the people that mean so much to me.
If you are wondering what I meant by reason out, I can give you an example.
He used to stay out late at night because of poker. He would join poker tournaments during the weekends, but at night, during weekdays, he would play cash games. This is his “work.” It is his “profession.” He was a professional gambler, but I didn’t say it that way to our children, my family, and friends. What I would “reason out” to them was “He is such a great card player that the Poker Club hired him to their in-house player. This is a real job, and that is his profession.” That was one of my reasons.
Empowerment requires us to seek, cultivate, maintain, and support our inner power, as well as that of others. — Genevieve Gellert, LSW
At times, he would not participate in family gatherings. What do I say to relatives who are looking for him? My reasons: “Oh, he is not here because he has a business deal going on right now. He is sad that he can’t go to your party, auntie, but we have a family of five to feed wherein he is the sole provider. I don’t do anything to earn money, auntie. It is just him. I don’t help out, and so, he has to work even on weekends.”
One interesting way to gauge if you’re compassionate to others is to ask if you feel like others are judging you. Although it sounds conflicting, a worry that you are being judged is often an indication you have been taught to judge others. — Vicki Botnick, MA, MS, LMFT
But now, I am not doing it anymore. I am not allowing myself to reason out for him or anyone else ever. People who lack self-esteem would do that, and I am trying to change it. I am worthy of respect and love, which is why I will not anymore subject myself of his lies and his crap.
When you realize your worth, you will not let other people put you down. You will not let other people mistreat you. The reason for that is self-love. You will prioritize your feelings and thoughts more if you put yourself first before others.
I am not saying that you have to be selfish. What I am trying to express here is that low self-esteem will make you a target, and you must not let that happen. If you let yourself go, people will see that you’re a pushover and they will take you for granted.
Far from being selfish in a negative way, self-care helps trauma survivors let go of behaviors that don’t serve them well, and take part in healing both internal relationships with themselves and externally with others. — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT
You are worth something. Don’t let others fool you into thinking that you are nothing. Remember, self-love. You are worthy of respect and everything else good in life.
Feel like you’re dragging an anchor along with you? I’ve heard a theory that feeling like this might mean you are sabotaging yourself and your own chances of success and growth. — Stuart B. Fensterheim, LCSW
How can you improve yourself? I have asked myself that question so many times, and while I know the answer to this hard inquiry, I still can’t make that move towards self-improvement. Why? I was lazy. And I also used to make up excuses so that I don’t have to move.
Are you like me? Do you also feel lazy when it’s time to make a move of self-improvement? Are you also making up excuses as to why you cannot go the extra mile? If you are like me, then, STOP. Stop your laziness and stop your excuses. Now is the time to get up, man up, move for the better, and improve yourself and your life.
How can I do that when my husband left me? Is it possible to be motivated now that my mother just died? I am sick (a bit), and I cannot move much (or so you thought) – how can I make it since I might die (which is not true)?
Again, excuses and laziness. So what if your husband left you? Fifty percent of people in the United States are divorced. This is a fact of life. Not everyone has their happily ever after. A lot of people have broken marriages, but some choose to move on and get past it. It’s because they love themselves more than they loathe themselves. They want to improve on their life, and one way to do that is accepting that your spouse will no longer be in your life romantically.
It is a matter of acknowledging the truths in your life and making the most out of the given situation. So what if your husband has another woman and he left you? Is it the end of the world? Did God come out of heaven and splashed waves of thunder towards you? While there is still time, you make do of what you have and what is left for you.
He cheated on you? Make yourself beautiful. Buy that dress that you always wanted to wear. Change your hairstyle. Try out different colors for your clothes. Do something different with your life, with yourself, and that is how you can start to rise, move on, and improve.
Having compassion for others is good practice for being kinder to ourselves. — Vicki Botnick, MA, MS, LMFT
So, you are sick. Go to your doctor and get the real deal on your sickness. Is it fatal? If it is far from that, then, ask how you can get treatment. When you are physically healthy, you can do a lot of good things for yourself and your life. You can join sports activities, or enjoy art and other creative movements. Some people start painting, and even ballet in their forties. You know, in life, as long as you are breathing, it is never too late to achieve anything. All you have to do is love yourself, and live your life, one day at a time.
Now, if your loved one just died, you are allowed to grieve. But remember this, will your loved one like it that you are suffering so much because of him or her? The person will turn on his grave if you are not living the life that you are supposed to live because of grief. Why don’t you start praying for clarity, calm, and tranquillity? It is not easy to live without your loved one, but if you want to improve, you will have to push yourself out of that melancholic mood.
Life is both complicated and simple at the same time. That’s a fact since people make it that way. But you can always choose to make it better – take a deep breath, and soldier on. Kick lazy and excuses to the curb.
When we feel good, it creates a ripple effect because of the way our bodies coregulate. — Andrea L. Bell, LCSW, SEP
When you are suffering from anxiety or depression, exercise occasionally seems to be the last activity that you’d like to do. But when you’re driven, exercise makes such a tremendous difference.
Exercise assists in preventing and enhancing several health conditions, which include diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis. Studies on anxiety, depression, and exercise reveal that the physical and psychological advantages of exercise could also help lower anxiety and improve mood.
The connection between anxiety, depression, and exercise isn’t exactly clear, but workouts and other types of physical activity can absolutely alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms and make you feel good about yourself. Exercise may also prevent anxiety and depression from reappearing once you feel better.
How Exercise Helps
It develops your self-confidence. Achieving your exercise challenges or goals, even the minor ones, can improve your self-esteem. Working out can also improve your looks and your overall image.
Exercise releases happy hormones or endorphins, which are brain chemicals and other natural chemicals in the brain that can boost your mental and physical well-being.
It takes your mind off of your anxieties so that you can get rid of the cycle of negativity that contributes to anxiety and depression.
Engaging in physical activity can offer opportunities to socialize and interact with other people. Simply exchanging a few words or friendly greetings around the neighborhood can definitely help lighten your mood.
Exercising increases positivity and helps you control your anxiety and depression in a healthy way. Drugs or alcohol may briefly take away your worries or fears, but when the effects subside, your symptoms will worsen.
Jogging, playing volleyball or basketball, weight lifting, and other physical activities that can release your sweat, activate your muscles and get your body moving can help, but so does hobbies like gardening, cleaning the house, and doing the laundry. Any activity that gets your butt off your seat and moving can improve your mood and your overall physical and mental state.
It’s not necessary to perform all your exercises and other hobbies at the same time. Widen your perspective of exercise and identify means to add minor amounts of physical activity spread throughout the day. For instance, use the stairs at work rather than riding the elevator. Don’t park across your workplace – park a few blocks away so you can walk several meters every day. Or perhaps you could bike your way to work or to the supermarket.
At least thirty minutes or more of physical activity daily for about four to five days a week can considerably alleviate anxiety or depression symptoms. However, minor activities, say, ten to fifteen minutes frequent times a day also can make a difference. On the other hand, it takes lesser time to exercise and improve when you do more strenuous activities like bicycling or running.
The mental health benefits of physical activity and exercise may continue to be there only if you do them continuously, which is another great reason to concentrate on finding activities that you love to do.
How To Get Started
Getting started and sticking to an exercise regimen regularly can be daunting. But these tips can definitely help:
Create sensible goals. Your task does not need to be walking for hours daily for a week. Be realistic about what you are capable of doing and start slowly. Customize your plan to your capabilities and your needs instead of setting idealistic protocols that you probably won’t be able to do.
Do not consider exercise as an option. Think about your exercise regimen schedule the way you think about your medications or your therapy sessions – as instruments that help you improve and be better.
Find activities that you love to do. Identify what forms of physical activities you love to do and are capable of doing. For instance, would you enjoy doing the laundry in the morning, after you do your 30-minute run, or skip that today so you have time and energy to play ballgame with your kids after school?
Consider your limitations. Find out what’s keeping you from exercising or being physically active. If you are not comfortable, you might wish to exercise inside your home. If you are able to perform optimally with a partner, invite your spouse or a friend who’s as interested as you to be healthy mentally and physically. If you’re not up for buying workout gear initially, do something that’s affordable or free, like walking or jogging.
Get support from family, friends, and mental health professionals. Speak with your doctor or mental health provider for support and guidance. Talk about an exercise program and the ways that the routine can fit into your entire treatment plan.
Be prepared for challenges and setbacks. Be grateful each time you take the right direction, whether it’s small or really small. If you can’t exercise today, it does not mean that you can’t continue with your routine and just quit. Try again tomorrow or the next day. What matters is that you stick with the routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exercise is best for anxiety?
Some great aerobic exercises that help deal with anxiety include running, tennis, dancing, swimming, brisk walking, and biking.
Does exercise help with anxiety?
The relationship between anxiety, depression, and exercise is not completely clear. However, working out and other types of physical activity can absolutely reduce depressive or anxious symptoms and improve your well-being. Exercise can also prevent anxiety and depression from emerging again once your condition has improved.
How long until exercise helps anxiety?
Doing aerobic exercises for five to ten minutes can already help improve one’s mood and decrease symptoms of anxiety, but regular aerobic programs that last from 10 to 15 minutes generally enhance one’s overall mental well-being.
How does exercise reduce stress and anxiety?
Exercise enhances your general health and well-being, which adds more life and energy to your everyday activities. Additionally, exercise provides several stress-reducing benefits, like increasing your body’s endorphins.
When To See Your Doctor
Consult with your doctor first before starting an exercise regimen to ensure that it’s safe. Discuss with him about how much activity, which types of activity and what degree of activity is fine with you. Your mental health provider will take into consideration your preexisting health conditions and the medications that you are currently taking. He may also offer sound advice about how to get started and how to stay committed.
If you are regularly exercising but your anxiety or depression symptoms are continuously interfering with your everyday living, you should see your mental health provider and tell him about this. Physical activity and exercise are amazing ways to alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression, but they are not an alternative to medications or psychotherapy.
Forgiveness does not come easy to most people. For them, it takes less effort to hold on to anger and resentment than to let them go. After all, our pain represents the part of us that is indignant and seeks justice. It is the part of us that demands better treatment.
However, the more we hold onto these feelings, the harder it is to let go. Bitterness and hate are shackles that bind us to a past we can no longer change. Making a conscious effort to forgive frees us from pain. Then, we embark on a journey towards healing.
This is the premise of forgiveness therapy. It chooses radical forgiveness over letting time heal wounds. The wronged person chooses to forgive. They let go of the desire for revenge. Instead, they engage with the experience in a more productive way.
Forgiveness therapy is an evidence-based treatment for resolving anger and other painful feelings. A therapist uses several strategies to help clients come to terms with a traumatic or difficult experience. It takes 12 sessions on average to achieve therapeutic goals.
Forgiveness does not magically happen with a snap of a finger. It’s not a one-time thing. There is no linear path to acceptance. In the same way, we process grief in stages; there are stages of forgiveness. In some cases, forgiveness may seem downright impossible.
This is where your therapist comes in. They may suggest various interventions to help you through a painful experience and reframe how you think about a situation.
In the process, you might discover some things you haven’t realized yourself yet. You may realize the extent to which you have allowed that experience to control your life. As you slowly move through the stages of forgiveness, you might develop empathy for the offender. The final step is to hold on to that state until you find the strength to move on.
If you want to learn more about the healing powers of forgiveness, here are the frequently asked questions about forgiveness therapy.
What are the four stages of forgiveness?
The four stages of forgiveness are:
Feeling the pain of the situation or the wrongdoing.
Anger, wherein you start to feel hatred towards the person or for what happened to you.
Refusal to forgive the person. It happens because you will lose control of the situation and make the wrongdoer think that what they did to you was okay.
Forgiveness and healing where you find peace and relief from the pain and hurt brought about by the wrongdoing.
What are the 7 Steps to Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a process, and like any other process, there are steps that one has to go through to find the path to healing and, ultimately, forgiveness.
Acknowledge that you have been hurt by what happened.
Evaluate how the situation impacted your life.
Accept that you have no control over what happened anymore.
Ascertain if you are ready to forgive the person or not. The result of this step is crucial.
If you decide to forgive the wrongdoer, you need to take steps to repair the relationship.
Learn from what happened.
The last step is finally letting go and moving on, which is the complete state of forgiveness.
What does forgiveness do for the forgiven?
It helps them move on and forgive themselves as well. If they choose to learn from the mistake, it makes them better individuals too. Sometimes, it also repairs the relationship and makes it better than before.
How can I increase my forgiveness?
You have to address the internal pain you experienced first, so you can forgive yourself and have a deeper understanding of why forgiveness matters. Please acknowledge that we are built differently. You need to understand that people can hurt you unconsciously. Like you, they may also have internal sufferings that they go through as well. You have to be more empathic with the people around you and acknowledge that we have different burdens. Do not be hard on yourself and be more open to making mistakes and forgiving yourself in the process.
What is true forgiveness?
True forgiveness is not condoning or making up excuses for what was done to you, but it is choosing your peace over the grudge you have against the person who wronged you. It is a conscious choice of letting go of the hurt, the resentment, and seeking revenge against the wrongdoer. The person may not deserve it, but true forgiveness is choosing yourself and giving yourself the freedom to let go.
What did Jesus say about forgiveness?
There were a lot of verses in the Bible wherein forgiveness was mentioned. One of these is Matthew 18:21-22, wherein he told Peter that he should forgive his brother or sister seven times but seventy times seven times.
Why do I struggle with forgiveness?
You may find it hard to forgive because people usually associate forgiving with condoning the wrongful act that was committed. Many think that ignoring the person is equivalent to patronizing and minimizing the mistake and that doing so may send the wrong message of inviting them back into their lives. On the other hand, others think that forgiving is unfair because it just helps clear the person’s conscience.
What is the healing power of forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the key to helping us move forward and let go of the hurt and pain encountered in the past. It helps us to be more optimistic in the future and eases the burden we carry in our hearts. It lets us be more open to people and form better relationships with them.
How does forgiveness heal?
Forgiveness heals not only the hearts or the minds, but it also heals the bodies. Research shows that choosing to forgive and let go lowers blood pressure and stress hormones. It also strengthens the immune system and reduces gastrointestinal problems or other body pains.
Why can’t I forgive and move on?
Sometimes this is due to the intensity of the wrongdoing done. You may find it hard to forgive when you feel that forgiving makes you lose power and control over what happened. At the same time, you may think that forgiving will make you vulnerable. You may also be looking at forgiveness as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of strength.
How do you release anger and forgiveness?
Releasing anger and forgiveness starts with you. You have to start by consciously forgiving yourself first. Recognize that your feelings are valid and that it is okay to feel sad or angry because you were hurt. Once you have successfully processed your emotions, start acknowledging that everyone is flawed and are working to be better people like you.
Learn how to balance your thoughts because this may cloud your perspective to be more positive and forgiving. Please acknowledge that you have no control over what happened in the past, and you can no longer change it, so live in the present and focus on the good things that are happening to you right now.
How do you forgive someone who has hurt you emotionally?
Realize that in some instances, forgiveness cannot happen overnight. You do not have to force it or rush into forgiving that person. Let the emotions come in, and feel them as much as you need to. They will tone down on their own, and once this happens, you have to understand why you felt this way and stop blaming yourself. Let go of the anger, the resentment, the feeling of annoyance, and expectations from that person. Acknowledge what you have learned from that experience and focus on the learning than the wrongdoing.
How do you move on when someone doesn’t forgive you?
Every person goes through the forgiveness stages differently. Some people forgive faster and better than others, and some have a hard time doing it. First, you have to ask what you can do to repair the relationship. If it seems like they do not want to accept your apology, you have to take the consequence of your wrongdoing and be hopeful that they may need more time to process their emotions before completely forgiving you. If the unforgiveness is affecting your day-to-day life, it is best to attend a counseling session.
Is it okay to never forgive someone?
It is entirely okay to not force or rush yourself into forgiving someone. Although others may push you to forgive a person, listening to what you feel like you need to do is essential. If you think that forgiving is against your will, it will be best to set it aside until you are ready.
How do I let go of vengeance?
List down the people you have hatred towards, and list down the traits that made you hate them. This way, you will know how you can address these bottled up emotions, and you can let the anger out by talking to a trusted person about this list. They may also help you be grounded and realize that this anger you are currently feeling does not define you, and you are not that kind of person. If you still feel vengeful towards someone, it will also help you think of the consequences that the act may bring.
Contrary to popular belief, forgiveness benefits the forgiver more than the forgiven. When we are unwilling to forgive, we harm ourselves more. Studies show that holding onto a grudge has negative impacts on our mental and physical well-being.
Staying stuck in a cycle of hate and revenge can make a person more vulnerable to developing conditions and self-destructive behaviors. Prolonged stress can also result in physical symptoms such as high blood pressure and fatigue. It can make you physically sick.
When we forgive, we acknowledge and let go of repressed feelings. True forgiveness releases the burden of negative emotions.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean repairing a damaged relationship. You can forgive and not want someone in your life. Forgiveness and reconciliation are not mutually exclusive.
Forgiveness is not limited to other peoples. More often than not, you have to forgive yourself. We tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard. When we fall short, we punish ourselves. If we can forgive others, make sure to be equally kind to ourselves.
Often, people who forgive are more likely to be happier in general and more resilient to everyday setbacks. They demonstrate higher levels of empathy, resolve conflicts without turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, and may even be more resistant to illness. They can lead more productive lives.
The weight off our shoulders that comes with forgiveness can be incredibly liberating. Forgiveness leaves you free to make more meaningful and stronger connections. Forgiving life for what it’s given you can help you better appreciate life’s pleasures more fully and experience happiness on a deeper level.
A crucial aspect of mental health involves being able to handle yourself through bad times. Given all the uncertainties of life, there will be moments where you feel that you’re at the lowest point of your life. The ability to remain strong will help you thrive even in the harshest environments. How does one build grit and resilience, though? Contrary to what most people believe, mental strength is a skill that you can hone through deliberate practice.
Grit and resilience are closely related, but they have slightly different definitions. Grit refers to your ability to maintain your interest to pursue a long-term goal, especially in the face of hardship. For example, a gritty salesperson will keep on following leads, and closing deals with passion even after a string of rejections. While being a difficult skill to hone, grit gives people the perseverance to chase after what they want in life.
Resilience refers more to how people respond after encountering an obstacle. Resilient people can bounce back better after a setback as they continue pursuing their goals. Resilience relies on an optimistic mindset and a perspective on obstacles as learning opportunities towards growth.
The Growth Mindset
One of the critical characteristics of people with grit and resilience is that they have a growth mindset. People with this mental disposition believe that skills can improve through effort. They think of obstacles as temporary hurdles that they can eventually overcome through their actions. They might even welcome adversity, given that they believe that challenges will only make them stronger and better.
This mindset is directly in contrast with the fixed mindset. People under this category think that skills are determined purely by genetics and external circumstances out of their control. Hence, they don’t see the value of putting effort towards skill-building.
Having the growth mindset correlates with having grit and resilience. It’s because people with this outlook have a stronger belief in their ability to control their situation. They tend to persist in finding ways to gain new skills. As they develop, they would then eventually surpass the obstacles blocking their path towards success.
People naturally have varying amounts of grit. However, it is still a skill that you can develop. You can start by assessing how resilient you are right now. How much do you persist in solving problems, even if there’s no assurance that you’ll succeed? Can you push through with what you need to do even if you have no motivation?
One way to practice grit is to become more decisive. Having to make a decision is usually a struggle for many people. While there’s no need to make rash judgments, develop the discipline of pushing through after you’ve made a decision.
It also helps to decouple your actions from your motivation. Many people schedule their lives based on when and how they feel motivated. While this is a great tip for optimizing performance, you won’t always have your motivation to back you up.
Practice doing activities based on discipline, such as by following strict schedules for working. You should get used to doing work even if you feel like doing something else. Fighting the temptation to slack off is a great way to develop grit.
It also helps to focus only on circumstances that you can control. People often spend too much time and energy on people and events that they can’t influence. This method will only drain your wellbeing and make you more inefficient. Instead of fussing over every little thing, you should direct your attention to what’s within your circle of control.
While gritty people might seem to have unbeatable mental strength, resilience is often more about avoiding unnecessary stress than forcing yourself to fight stress. Adequate stress management also bolsters your mental fortitude, allowing you to become more resilient.
Being optimistic about the situations in your life is a good start for managing stress. While hope and positive thinking won’t solve all your problems, they will help you latch on to your emotional strength even during the worst moments. Always believe in the reasonable outcomes that can appear, even if it seems that there’s no hope.
While grittiness allows you to push through distractions, being gritty doesn’t mean that you have to be productive every waking moment. Find time to balance your life through self-care and leisure activities. Willpower is a limited resource, even for people with high grit. A balanced lifestyle allows you to recharge so that you’re ready for anything.
A significant part of resilience involves having an attitude that embraces challenges. Rather than shying from adversity, resilient people actively seek to expand beyond their comfort zones. They avoid fruitless struggle, but they aren’t afraid to take on challenging tasks or try unfamiliar activities if it brings them closer to their goals.
Finally, you should never lose sight of your overall goals. What are you targeting in the long run? By focusing on your life objectives, you’re more apt to continue striving until you obtain success.
Grit and resilience are powerful traits that can make you mentally healthy. While people think of these two as personality traits, they are also skills that you can harness through practice and hard work. By adopting the appropriate mindsets and developing a healthy appetite for challenges, you can start fortifying your mental health with grit and resilience.
It is inevitable for a family to have quarrels and misunderstandings from time-to-time. In a way, resolving these problems is what makes a relationship stronger as time passes. While family quarrels are normal and harmless most of the time, it can escalate if not appropriately addressed.
If you think there is a strain in your family’s relationship, you can start improving this by slowing down. Start by observing your surroundings and being aware of what matters. After doing that, you will have a clearer mind on following these tips:
Listening Is Key
Communication is typically one of the biggest problems in most households. “Why won’t anyone listen to me?” While you are having these thoughts, other members of your family may think the same thing. Before asking this question, try assessing the situation. Maybe you’re being blinded by your feelings that in the end, you’re also doing the same thing — you’re also not listening. If you get into an argument, try to be calm and keep the conversation reasonable.
Listening is one of the most critical elements of fostering better communication. It means that you’re showing interest in what your family member has to say.
How can you become an active listener?
Focus your attention on the conversation
Do not suddenly interrupt when the other person is talking
Clarify your understanding of what they said before making a statement
Make eye contact
Talk to your spouse and children regularly about what’s happening in their daily lives. You will be surprised how there are still many things that you previously didn’t know about them. It will not take much of your time in a day to hold conversations with your family. But that time you invest in having a conversation will have a positive effect on your relationship.
Another essential part of having a healthy family bond is feeling supported by your family. In order to build a strong sense of support, you must learn what the things significant to each family member are. It goes down in being able to share good and bad news to the family without fearing what they may think. You must be able to support each other through ups and downs.
Having a supportive family allows children to be more open and genuine with their parents. Creating a space where everyone can freely talk about their thoughts helps foster a supportive environment.
The simple habit of saying “thank you” may go a long way in improving your family’s relationship. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Unfortunately, if you’re very comfortable with each other, it can be easy to forget this and take each other for granted.
When showing appreciation, it’s not enough to keep it to yourself; you need to show them in words and actions. Make time to attend the activities that your family member takes part in. Be there to cheer them up and comfort them. Being with them physically and emotionally nourishes the bond, trust, and closeness of the family.
Schedule Family Time
As much as it allows, make way for quality time for the whole family. Ask for their schedules and schedule a date that doesn’t lapse. During this time, you can do fun activities together that everyone enjoys. By doing this regularly, it can become a tradition that everyone anticipates. Here are some fun activities that you can do with your family:
Play Games Together
Playing video games is fine, but also encourage them to have an interest in board games or educational games.
Work Out With Your Family
On your day-offs, you can hit two birds with one stone with this activity. You get to be active while spending time with your family.
Go On Vacation Together
Plan a vacation that will fit everyone’s schedule. It can be out of the country, out of town, or anywhere you will all enjoy.
Eat Meals Together
While it can be impossible to hold it regularly, dedicate time for family dinners. When you gather everyone around the dinner table, don’t allow the use of any gadgets. Dinner is a great time to catch up with each other as well as give guidance and motivation.
If dinner doesn’t work with everyone’s schedule, try eating breakfast together before heading to your plans. The key is to gather around and enjoy a meal together free from any disturbance.
Do Chores As A Family
Make chores a part of shared responsibility for the whole family. Assign a duty for each family member that will be their regular task. Reserve time on the weekend when everyone can execute their assigned chore simultaneously.
Doing chores together can promote cooperation and teamwork. For instance, when someone finishes their task early, they can offer help to other family members in completing their tasks. To make doing chores more enticing, give a reward to the family after accomplishing the work. It can be by going out together, watching movies, or a simple snack party.
Get Involved In Your Child’s Interests
Families who have strong bonds support their child’s interests and passions. It doesn’t matter how small your involvement is; the important thing is you support them in little ways.
You don’t need to lead them on what to do; merely showing that you care for their passion can go a long way. If you don’t know what to do, you can ask for your children’s opinion. Let them take the lead and do things on their own. Just be there to supervise them.
Give your utmost love and attention when you’re with your family. Spending more time with them is the first step in improving the family’s relationship. The more you take advantage of these tips for healthy family relationships, the stronger you become.
I finally agreed to watch To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before the other day. I know I am a little late to jump on this movie wagon; it’s just that I have never been a fan of romantic comedies. But my sisters and I have probably watched everything on Netflix throughout the quarantine, and that movie—and its sequel—are the only ones left for us to see.
To give the film a fair chance, I tried to absorb the plot entirely. I did not even pick up my phone the entire time. And the longer the minutes passed by, the more I realized my life was not too different from that of Lara Jean.
For the record, I did not spend my childhood days writing letters to my crushes. However, like Lara Jean, I never had a boyfriend during high school—or college, in my case. I had male friends, but no one looked at me romantically. While my classmates would always receive flowers or chocolates from their admirers, I would get nothing.
Nonetheless, I realized sooner than later that there’s no reason to feel inferior because of that. So, to all the women who have never been loved before, I say:
Give It Time
Some people think that love should come when they feel like being in a relationship. That typically happens when they see or are surrounded by sweet couples all the time. In hopes of speeding things up, they go on one blind date after another and join dating apps to meet new folks.
Although I have nothing against the latter, rushing to find love will do you no good. Doing that makes you susceptible to entertaining the wrong kind of men or women. When you commit to them, you may not notice the arrival of the right person in your life.
There Is Nothing Wrong With You
I must admit that I used to ask my friends why nobody has ever shown interest in dating me. Their answer has always varied between “Your achievements and looks can be intimidating” or “You need to dress up more.” However, I typically shrug in response.
It is not because I am insensitive or don’t want to have a boyfriend. In truth, I get what my friends are saying—most men are into docile and pretty women. But I don’t think that there is anything wrong with my self-confidence or clothing choice. If it intimidates them, then they may not be for me.
That should be the way you react to similar comments, too. When people tell you what you should change in your behavior to be more likable, pay them no mind. It is not a fault to want to be who you are; it will not deter your soulmate from coming near you. Considering it still has not happened, it may mean that you haven’t come across “the one” yet.
Work On Completing Yourself
A perk of being single—whether you like it or not—is that you can work on becoming a whole individual. You get to figure out what genuinely makes you happy and what you want in life. You don’t need to worry about anyone else; you can focus on yourself.
Once the right person comes, you can enter the relationship with a clear head. You may fall head over heels, but you are already whole before your coupling, so they cannot do anything that will shatter your soul.
A Word For The Wise Women Out There
You are free to open opportunities for finding love, but it is unnecessary to look for it like your life depends on it. Even if you have never been loved by a man before, your family and friends love you anyway. Just keep on fulfilling your goals and be the best person you can be.
Finding love has never been a cakewalk for me. For one, since I started writing freelance, I always worked from home. There was seldom a chance for me to meet other people. I even had to rely on the blind dates set up by my friends to see anyone.
Another problem that I have been told one too many times is that I give off an intimidating aura. I have never done that on purpose; I am never crass towards the people I come across with, either. What everyone around me says is that my high confidence level can make any potential suitor back off instantly.
Even though I try to seem less intimidating than usual, my efforts have become futile these days. It’s no thanks to the quarantine order that is still in motion in my state. If I used to be able to meet people over the weekend, now I can’t even see my parents who live two blocks away.
Out of curiosity and lack of love, therefore, I decided to try online dating. I thought, “Many people go on virtual dates because of the outbreak. Why can’t I do the same?” Among the guys I have swiped right for, one of them stood out.
His name is Levy. He is tall, smart, and handsome—everything I want to see in a man who I want to date. But is he the one?
I FaceTime with Levy almost every day ever since we started chatting. We try to get to know each other little by little. And each time we express our hopes of meeting in person real soon.
The latter is challenging to do right now because Levy lives in Belgium, where there is an ongoing travel ban due to the coronavirus outbreak. That means no one can go in or out of the country, so we have no choice but to wait until this regulation eases up.
Frankly speaking, I am not used to this setup. I have never dated online before; there have been a few awkward silent moments, too. Despite that, Levy wants our budding relationship to work as much as I do, so we are both getting out of our comfort zones to make it happen. I am grateful for him for that, no doubt.
The situation forces me to recall what my parents always say when you find “the one.”
Your Heart Beats Fast When You Hear Their Voice
I have never experienced it before, but my heart beats faster than usual whenever Levy talks to me. Even a little “Hi!” from him makes my heart flutter.
Your Day Feels Incomplete Without Seeing That Person
Levy and I have only been dating online for a couple of months, but I feel sad when I don’t get to see his face at the end of the day. Though I don’t intend to be clingy, I can’t help but feel that way.
You Can Envision Your Future Together
Yes! That is a big ‘yes’! I know a lot of people don’t seem to approve of it, thinking that it is nothing but an illusion. However, every time we see each other via FaceTime, it is effortless to imagine us together for a long time.
I am not turning my back on the fact that it’s too early to tell if Levy is “the one” for me. We more than like each other so far, and our values appear to align. Those are two critical factors in a lasting relationship, and I know that, but we are only planning when to meet at the time of writing this blog.
Hopefully, when that occurs, the initial spark that we have will transform into a full-on flame. That’s when I can say that love can genuinely be found online.
Being assertive is one way to build a healthy relationship. This can be any type of relationship – personal, work or business, or purely social. Assertiveness gives you the opportunity to deliver your message and opinion successfully. Essential features of assertiveness include being an honest and free expression of behavior, expressing feelings and demonstrating an attitude without violating other peoples’ rights while upholding one’s privacy and respecting their own opinions too. To stand up to your point of view is being confidently assertive. Being self- assured can increase confidence and respect from others. It leads other people to accept you for who you are and to see you as a good being.
A commonly held belief about lack of success is insufficient confidence to go after success. Another is a perception of low self-esteem holding one back. — Colleen Mullen, PsyD LMFT
Self-esteem is one factor that defines a person. Abraham Maslow indicated in his Human Needs Theory that this should be accomplished before reaching the last stage which is self-actualization. Failure to do so can lead to some psychological abnormalities that can also affect the person’s lives and those around them. Building self-esteem is a life-long process. It should start as early as childhood and extends although out of adulthood. If you are having some problems with your self-confidence, read more on how to develop your self-esteem.
New relationships can be exciting, and the feeling of being in-love is at times, overwhelming and uncontainable to the point of saturating the relationships and your partner with too much even though the relationship status is somewhat ambiguous or in the early stage. While there are much advice and tips on how to maintain relationships and how to handle problems along the way, it is also good to address the do’s and don’ts of new relationships.
The problem is that people rarely perceive themselves accurately. What actually blocks a person from achieving their goals is fear. — Colleen Mullen, PsyD LMFT