Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Want Better Sleep?

Then maybe you need to get back to the basics. Remember when you were growing up your parents had a bedtime routine for you that was meant to be calming, and conducive to sleep? As a grown up, though, there's a lot you could be doing to de-rail your good night's rest.

An estimated 65 percent of Americans said they encounter sleep problems a few nights each week, according to a recent study by the National Sleep Foundation. Sleeping too little is linked with an increased risk for obesity and depression. But before you reach for a sleep aid from the nearest pharmacy, take a closer look at your nighttime routine. Some of your favorite evening rituals could be responsible for that tossing and turning. Time to get filled in, as well as turn the problem around from Marie Claire's Danielle Schloffel:

Going from Night Owl to Early Bird

Who says bedtime is just for kids? Take extra care to maintain your sleep schedule, especially on the weekends. The body responds to routine. If your bedtime is sporadic—11 p.m. some nights, 1 a.m. others—your mind won't be properly prepared to snooze on the weekdays. Another tip? If you like to stay up late and sleep in on the weekends- fine! Just do so on one night- Friday. Go to bed at a normal "weekday" time on Saturday, with maybe just a little additional time to sleep in Sunday (maybe half an hour), so that your body can adjust itself back to the weekday routine come Sunday night/Monday morning.

Bringing Books to Bed

Reading before bed is a habit for many. For some, it causes no problems in falling asleep. It could be that you hit the sack early enough to allow a certain number of chapters before it's time to sleep. That's good! No problem. But for others - a favorite literary masterpiece is keeping you up way too late. Problem is, your body has likely adapted to the routine of reading—it won't go to sleep until you've logged a couple chapters. If your favorite novel is interfering with your sleep, retreat to a comfy couch or window nook instead for your literary fix. Keep the bed for sleeping.

Facebooking into the Wee Hours

The brightness of your computer screen stimulates the brain. Plus, it's difficult for your mind to stop fretting about your digital to-do list, even after you've logged off. Avoid late-night surfing and shut down your computer. Give yourself time to wind down without any electronics - cell phones and iPods, included.

Skimping on a Good Bed

A good mattress will cost you anywhere from $500 to more than $3,000. Consider it money well spent. A decent mattress—do your homework!—will give you a more restful sleep. The same is true for quality bedding and pillows. Opt for a soft pillow if you're a back or stomach sleeper. Buy a firmer pillow if you sleep on your side.

Setting a Bright Alarm Clock

The looming glare of your alarm clock can be distracting when trying to sleep. The goal is to have as dark a room as possible. Block the bright numbers with a book or consider buying a small travel clock. Your cell phone alarm may also do the trick, and it provides a good time to re-charge it through the night.

Counting Sheep

When you just can't fall asleep, it's useless to stay in bed. If you've been trying to fall asleep for more than 30 minutes, the National Sleep Foundation suggests doing something mundane, like balancing a checkbook, reading or watching TV. An activity that demands marginal brainpower will lull your mind. Before you know it, you'll be crawling back into bed genuinely tired. Clean out something low-priority, like the sock drawer- that should be dull enough.

Exercising Late at Night

Daytime workouts will keep you invigorated for hours. That's why you don't want to exercise within three hours of hitting the sack. Intense physical activity raises your body temperature and pumps your energy level—both interrupt a calm transition into sleep.

Think today about how you can incorporate some of these ideas if you've been struggling with your sleep, and you'll be ready to try some over the weekend.

[From John Tesh]

Friday, January 15, 2010

Should I Get a Divorce?

No couple goes into marriage thinking they'll be the ones who won't make it. Certainly, at your wedding, you thought you were promising a love that would last a lifetime. Now, for reasons you may not fully understand, that dream seems shattered.

As you try to understand the pain and determine what to do, divorce may look like an appealing way out. "After all," you might reason, "life is full of second chances. Perhaps I simply married the wrong person, and Mr. or Ms. Right is still out there somewhere." You may think you were too young when you married, or that you never really loved your spouse. Or maybe you are just tired of the arguing, tired of the lack of communication, tired of the coldness in your relationship. Perhaps you simply want out – period. Or maybe you are hoping against hope that your marriage can be salvaged.

Before you bail out of your marriage, carefully consider what you'll be diving into. Most people are not prepared for the challenges of post-divorce life.

This article is designed to help you understand the effects of divorce before you make that choice, to give insight into what you – and your children – will face. By providing solid facts, we hope to help you make a more informed decision.

Be encouraged that no matter how hopeless it seems, there's a possibility your marriage can be saved. It's our sincere desire that your marriage will be transformed into the loving relationship you hoped it would be when you first said, "I do."

Read More ...

Who Gets Divorced?

How Would Divorce Affect Me?

How Could Divorce Affect My Kids?

Is There Hope for My Marriage?

How Should a Christian View Marriage and Divorce?

Dealing With the Bigger Problems in Marriage

Dr. Bill Maier on Divorce

Next Steps / Related Information

[by Amy Desai, J.D.]

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

5 Things NOT to Worry About in Therapy

Psychotherapy is full of both extraordinary potential benefits and some possible pitfalls. But there are some things in psychotherapy that you just shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about. They may seem important or worth worrying about, but it’s just a waste of your time, energy and focus. Here’s a few of them.

1. My therapist is judging me.

A lot of patients spend a lot of time worrying about what their therapist must think of them. That’s because you spend a lot of time sharing deep, emotional and personal stuff in therapy. Some of it may be embarrassing, or some of it may simply be out of the mainstream. Some of it may be things that happened to you as a child, that you had no control of. No matter what it is, you shouldn’t worry that your therapist is judging you. Believe it or not, most psychotherapists have seen and heard a lot of things in their careers. No matter what your story may be, it’s likely they’ve heard or seen worse.

One of the responsibilities and skills of a good therapist is to remain nonjudgmental, no matter their own personal reactions or feelings. Therapists who act or talk in a judgmental manner should be avoided.

2. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say or talk about.

You’re not alone. Virtually anyone who’s tried therapy has experienced a session where they feel hard pressed to come up with a topic to discuss. Some people — and some therapists — try and fill the void with small talk, or socializing. While this is fine if it happens on occasion, it should never be the focus of an entire session (or any significant portion of a session).

Silence is okay. Silence may be awkward at first, but it’s okay. While not every session should be full of many minutes of passing silence, it’s okay to sit quietly while you try and compose your thoughts. It’s also okay to not know what to talk about every session. That’s a normal and natural part of most psychotherapy. A good therapist will help you through this part, and in any case, it’s not something that should cause you much concern.

3. I’m not interesting enough — my therapist must be bored!

You don’t enter psychotherapy to entertain your therapist. While some people may believe they should have "interesting" things to talk about every session, that’s just not a realistic expectation — nor one that your therapist holds. You are there to get help for a specific mental health or relationship problem. Sometimes the conversations you’ll need to engage in to resolve that problem may not be very interesting. But they are all important, and you should recognize that "entertainment value" is not usually high on the list of the reasons psychotherapists enter the profession.

4. Should I know how this works? Should I feel the changes as they take place?

Psychotherapy is not like medications. You take an aspirin for a headache and the headache goes away. You go to a session of psychotherapy and you don’t immediately feel your pain relieved, your depression disappear, or your anxiety take a hike. Psychotherapy takes longer, and sometimes it’s hard to be patient, week after week of sessions.

You won’t know exactly how therapy works or when the changes will take place, as they will take place gradually, often in subtle ways. You may not feel them the same way you feel relief from a headache. You shouldn’t worry too much about this, as the process simply takes time and patience.

5. My therapist watches the clock.

Your therapist wears many hats, and one of those is as a small business person. Their commodity is time, and you’re paying for a portion of that commodity. Your therapist may indeed check the clock once in awhile because it’s in their best interests to do so and end your session on time. But surprisingly, it’s also in your best interests, too. By keeping your sessions on schedule, your therapist is also demonstrating and keeping good boundaries. The ability to keep good therapeutic boundaries is one of the indicators of a good therapist — someone who’s more likely able to help you.

So don’t be too concerned or worried if you catch your therapist glancing at the clock. It may be a little distracting, but it doesn’t mean your therapist cares any less about you. They’re just keeping the relationship professional and focused.

[By John M Grohol, PsyD]

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

To be in better health, consider the following"

  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
  3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy/
  5. Make time to pray.
  6. Play more games.
  7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
  8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  9. Sleep for 7 hours.
  10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


  1. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  2. Don't have negative thoughts nor worry about things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  3. Don't over do. Set and keep healthy boundaries.
  4. Don't take yourself too seriously. No one else does.
  5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
  6. Dream more while you are awake.
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. Own your emotions.
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  13. Smile and laugh more.
  14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


  1. Call your family often.
  2. Each day give something good to others.
  3. Forgive everyone for everything.
  4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  5. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  6. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  7. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  3. GOD heals everything.
  4. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  5. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  6. The best is yet to come.
  7. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
  8. Be happy.

Friday, January 01, 2010