happiness

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

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Do you find yourself walking around angry all the time? Do you have an inner voice that always reminds you of all your partner’s wrongdoings and mistakes? Have you become the expert in your relationship in pointing out everything that your spouse is doing wrong in your relationship? If this sounds like you, it will greatly benefit you to take the advice about forgiveness you are about to read to heart.

When you choose not to forgive, it takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. It keeps you stuck in the deepest of relationship ruts. No matter how justified you are about being upset with something your partner has done, you are the one miserable by holding onto it. When you wake up each morning thinking about what s wrong, you will walk around with low-level depression. You cannot feel joy because you are too busy being angry or disappointed.

I have worked with many couples who say they want their relationship to heal. And yet, when they are given the tools to implement this healing, they just can’t move forward. Instead of finding effective ways to get beyond the blame game, these couples continue down the road of misery. They feel their partners “must pay” for their mistakes. How very sad. Even sadder are their children immersed in this tense household with parents who care more about being “right” than happy. What lessons are they learning about love?

If any of this sounds familiar, you need to realize that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Forgiveness isn’t a feeling; it’s a decision. Every day, you decide to view your partner with loving-kindness. To make peace. To make up. To make love. I can promise you that the benefits go far beyond anything you could ever imagine. Your decision to forgive will create a ripple effect of positive changes in your relationship and your life.

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Why We Hurt In Intimate Relationships

Why We Hurt In Intimate Relationships

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When our partners hurt us in our intimate relationships, it can cut deeper than any pain imaginable. Our partners know our buttons, our weaknesses, and our pain. When they wound us, it is often because they have touched on a childhood issue. We have conflicts in our relationship when our partners hurt us. Conflict or hurt is only growth trying to happen. When we feel hurt or angry, we must recommit to our own journey of self-love and healing. In doing so, we recommit to our partner by saying, “I will stick with this uncomfortable feeling and work it out with you.” We don’t want to shove that hurt feeling down inside and let resentment build. Our next step is sharing that hurt with our partners in a constructive way. I teach my clients to use Imago Dialogue to share their feelings of hurt and disappointment. Imago Dialogue enables each partner to have a turn in talking while the other person listens, repeats, validates, and acknowledges. This is a very powerful tool in getting to the root cause of your hurt or pain.

Effective communication is crucial to a healthy relationship. Having good communication skills may not solve or resolve every problem or issue, but no problem or issue will be resolved with them!   Some days we may communicate better than other days, but we can never choose not to communicate or shut down in our intimate relationships.

We often aren’t even aware of how little we listen to our partners. They speak, and in our minds, we think, “I have heard this a million times before.”

Maybe you have heard it, but never have you really listened, repeated your partner’s feelings, validated those feeling, and then finally empathized with your partner for having these feelings in the first place. When you take the time to accurately understand what your partner says, what they mean, you will deepen your love connection and avoid unnecessary hurt and pain.

Let’s go over these steps of Conscious communication with your partner to resolve your hurt and angry feelings.

The first step is MIRRORING.

Mirroring is the process of completely listening to your partner and accurately reflecting the entire “content” of their message. Most times, repeating back the exact words that your partner is saying is most effective.

Some specific phrases for mirroring include

Let me see if I got you…

I heard you say…

Did I get that …

After repeating back your partner’s feelings, you always ask, “Is there anything else?” This enables your partner to continue to share on a deeper level. Often your partner will really get to the bottom of their hurt and angry feeling by digging deep here.

The second step is VALIDATION.

Validation is communicating to your partner that the information you are receiving and mirroring “makes sense.” It is very important that you always remember these feelings are not your own. They are your partner’s hurt and angry feelings, and you need to agree and validate them no matter how crazy they may seem.

This is crucial. Don’t let your ego get in the way here. It isn’t about winning an argument. It is about uncovering your partner’s childhood wounds.

Some typical statements of validation can include

“You make sense to me…”.

“I can understand that you feel this way given that….” 

“I can see how you would see it that way because sometimes I do….”

The final step is EMPATHY.

Empathy is recognizing the feelings that your partner is sharing.

It is the process of reflecting, imagining, and participating in how your partner is feeling. Empathy allows both partners to overcome their own individual feelings, even for just a moment, and experience a genuine meeting of the minds. This experience has tremendous healing power.

Some typical phrases for empathic communication include

“I can imagine that when that happens, you may feel…”

“I can see that you are feeling…”

at the deepest level, “I am experiencing your (feelings)….”

A relationship is like a spiral repeating the stages of love and the experience of repair and connection through conscious communication. You enter the relationship through a doorway of love, hit the hurts and power struggles, repair and work on your connection again. Your hurts and pain become lessened each time you can successfully complete the conscious communication process through the proper safe dialogue.

This is because you can truly understand what is going on for your partner and are willing to take that journey to help heal them.

How To Boost Your Happiness Hormones to Live Longer

How To Boost Your Happiness Hormones to Live Longer

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The happiness hormones serotonin and oxytocin don’t only help fight depression. They also cut heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s risk by strengthening arteries, so nutrient-rich blood quickly reaches your organs.

Send some love.

Taking one minute to let someone know that you’re thinking about them can bring about an increase in your oxytocin production 

Take a scented soak.

Relaxing in a warm bath scented with rose, vanilla, jasmine, or lavender can keep your blood levels of serotonin and oxytocin elevated by soothing your brain’s anxiety center. And when your brain is relaxed, it needs less serotonin and oxytocin to function, so more of those hormones are available to cells in the rest of your body.

Take 5-HTP.

Taking 100 mg. of 5-HTP increased serotonin levels, improving mood, energy, immunity-and even fat-burning. Want to sleep more deeply? Taking 5-HTP 30 minutes before bedtime can help. Cutting calories a priority? Take 5-HTP 30 minutes before your biggest meal each day.

Consume protein at breakfast.

After a night of not eating, blood levels of amino acids- the building blocks of serotonin and oxytocin- are low. The fix: Eat a meal containing 2 oz. of amino acid-rich protein, such as eggs, meat, or cheese. It’ll rev the enzymes that keep serotonin and oxytocin levels up, cutting your risk of the blues and blood sugar woes 33%.

Eat berries and kale.

Eating two cups each of berries and leafy greens (like kale) weekly could up your serotonin levels. Both foods are rich in anthocyanins, nutrients that encourage your brain to produce and release this “happy” hormone.

Watch TV.

Getting caught up in a fun, romantic, or emotionally gripping program-enough to make you root for one of the characters- will send your oxytocin levels soaring. Your brain processes movies as if they’re happening, and the empathy you feel for a character stimulates oxytocin release.

Source: Woman’s World Specials: Reverse Aging

Make This New Year Different

Make This New Year Different

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Many people use the New Year to think about goals for the future. Losing weight, working out, giving up bad habits… All of these things are common goals but so often people making these goals meet with failure in short order. In fact, you’ve probably had a similar experience. Why is it so hard to set positive goals and make them happen? Why does it seem so difficult to make improvements to ourselves? And what can I do to make this year different?

The Experts Advice

Well, there are several theories on this. Dr. Wayne Dyer said the reason we fail with our resolutions is because, “any resolution that involves you making decisions about long-range upcoming behavior reinforces the self-defeating notion of living in the future rather than in the present moment.” He suggests that, instead of setting big goals for the new year, we should set small goals for each new day.

So instead of saying, “I’m going to lose 40 pounds this year” and then feeling like a failure when you have a hard time resisting that chocolate cake three months from now, wake up each morning and ask yourself, “What healthy choices will I make today?” Then you can easily follow through on your goals, one day at a time, just by living in the moment.

Dr. Mercola offers further suggestions. Instead of making resolutions that are easy to break, focus on making lifestyle changes. Instead of making the resolution to work out for 45 minutes every day, decide each day that you will get in as much movement as possible. That way you aren’t telling yourself at the end of the day, “Ugh! I still have to get on the treadmill.” Much more satisfying is to end your day by recalling that you took the stairs instead of the elevator, walked in the park on your lunch break instead of playing Candy Crush on your computer, and walked the dog instead of letting him into the back yard while you veg in front of the TV. All those little things add up! You can learn lots more tips and tricks for creating a healthy lifestyle by reading my ebook, “The Secrets of Weight Loss, Diet, and Staying Lean Forever“.

Dr. Josh Axe believes it’s important that we understand why we are setting certain goals. For instance, instead of deciding you need to lose weight because “I’m fat”, think a little deeper. Do you want to lose weight because you want more energy? Do you want your clothes to fit better? Do you want to feel younger as you continue to get older? Take a moment to really dig deep and figure out your “why”. Dr Axe suggests writing these things down and posting them someplace where you can see it every day so you always remember your true motivation.

Success Tips

To sum things up, there are ways that you can be successful in meeting your goals:

  1. Live in the moment. Set goals for each day instead of for the entire year.
  2. Make lifestyle changes towards a healthier life instead of setting difficult goals like losing a certain number of pounds within a certain time frame.
  3. Understand why you have the goals you have. Write down your why and read it every day.

Keep in mind, goals don’t just have to be about diet and fitness. Think about how you’d like to improve your relationships with friends, family and your significant other. If your marriage or relationship is struggling, I can help with my book, “How to Keep Your Man Interested“.

Live for the moment and enjoy every moment of the New Year! Together, we can make it your most successful year ever.

Choose Happiness in your Intimate Relationships

Choose Happiness in your Intimate Relationships

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Speed bumps are common in relationships. Fights happen and expectations can’t always be met but that shouldn’t deter a couple from giving a peaceful relationship. Yes, it takes work but the effort will always be worth it.

Here are some things to remember in order to have a sound relationship with one’s significant other:
Give the Other Person the Benefit of the Doubt. Sometimes it helps to think that your significant other hadn’t really meant to hurt you. Put yourself in their shoes and try to rationalize the situation from their point of view.

Don’t Play the Blame Game. Sometimes when we feel inadequate about ourselves, we blame the other person. Look inwards and determine the root of your negative emotion. Sometimes, the problem can be found within us. The solution will be obvious thereafter.

Don’t Act when you are Emotional. Strong emotions such as hurt, frustration, and anger can lead to irrational reactions and decisions. Acting on emotion can lead to regret in the end so try to calm down first before trying to do anything.
Choose Your Battles Wisely. Not everything should be turned into a fight. Confrontations are healthy in a relationship but fighting doesn’t solve anything all the time. Don’t let everything bother you.

Take care of Yourself. Some lose themselves in a relationship so much that they forget that they are an individual that needs constant nurturing. Channel some of that TLC towards yourself. Remember that you cannot love another person fully if you do not love yourself.

What if…

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What if the one area of your life that you struggle with the most – whether it’s your finances, your relationships, your health, or your career – could become joyful and infused with purpose?
What if you woke up every day feeling fully alive, vital, abundant and deeply connected with your higher self and with others around you . . . the pieces of your life authentically fitting together?
The truth is that all it takes is one simple shift to put your life into that higher flow-state, where struggle ends and deeper happiness begins.
What if you had everything you could possibly want, need or desire at the present time but just didn’t know how to feel true happiness.
What if just reading a book, or experiencing a coaching session or seminar could change your life…