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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
We all know that it is possible to keep passion, romance, excitement and sexual intensity alive through the years, but we also know that many relationships settle into a kind of friendly (or not so friendly) roommate situation. Every relationship has it's ups and downs, but there are tools that can keep passion perking right along. Here are 10 of them:
1. Be kind. I'm writing this on a cruise ship and it's fascinating to watch people grouch at their spouses, then turn around and share a friendly smile with a stranger. We tend to take family and best friends for granted. A smile, a wink, just a moment of kindness goes a long way.
2. Be attentive. Paying attention to the details of life is important. Pick up your own trash, and pick up for each other. Put things away, help each other with the small projects around the house. These things are the currency of love.
3. Be gracious. Small surprises can create huge rewards in a relationship. I think of it as the "Martha Stewart Effect". Taking a moment to put on a clean shirt before dinner, or using the good china, or cutting a flower from the garden and putting it on the table, are examples. All these things add color, spice, and graciousness to our lives.
4. Be patient. We all have bad days. It happens. When it happens to your spouse, be smart! Take the kids to the park for an hour, order Chinese take-out for dinner. Give him/her a break! This is the reality of life. Allow for it.
5. Be honest. Tell the truth about your feelings, and do it promptly and in a respectful, effective way. Share your disappointments and fears, but also share dreams, hopes, and gratitudes. Keeping secrets kills passion.
6. Be funny! Life seems to have supply its own stress and worry, but we have to provide the humor on our own. Share a joke, take time to tickle each other or rent a funny movie, and do it often. The couple that laughs together, often does other fun stuff together, too!
7. Be flexible. Over a lifetime, people change. Hopefully, your relationship will change and grow and mature with as you change. One of you will change careers, the other will change religions. One will have an illness, the other will make a mistake. Relationships either bend and flex with the winds of life, or they break.
8. Be generous. I've saved the best for last. After a survey of dozens of couples, the big 3 items that showed up over and over began with "give little gifts". Surprise each other with flowers, candy, a card, or other gift. Do it often. Do it for no particular reason. Do it because you love each other and thought it would be nice to show it with a gift.
9. Be available. The second of the "big 3" was "take time for each other". Schedule time to walk and talk, go for drives in the country, go to dinner and see a movie together. Dozens of couples ranked time together as the most critical component in keeping romance and passion alive.
10. Be physical. This is about sensuality perhaps more than sexuality. Couples talked about the importance of scents, of candles and flowers and walks on the beach. They talked about making love, but mostly they talked about back rubs and holding hands, and creating memories. They talked about getting dressed up and going out, and they talked about skinny-dipping. They talked about being playful and finding their own way. You can do this!
Someone has said, "Life is what happens while you were making other plans." Romance is about real life, not about dreams and fantasies of the perfect partner, someday on a Pacific island. Romance and passion are about taking time to enjoy the company of the person you love. Have fun. Do it today!
© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved. This article may be copied and used in your own newsletter or on your website as long as you include the following information: "Written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: http://www.philiphumbert.com
Negotiate a Change with Your Current Employer. Progressive employers recognize the value of good employees, and many are willing to find ways to help current employees deal with short-term or permanent changes caused by family situations. The changes can include flextime, job-sharing, telecommuting, or part-time employment. Your first step is to research your employer's policies and methods of handling previous requests. Then go to your boss armed with information and a plan that shows how you will be an even more valuable and productive employee if you can modify your current work situation.
Find a New Career. Some careers are simply more stressful and time-consuming than others. If you need more time for yourself or your family, now may be the time to explore careers that are less stressful and more flexible.
Find a New Job. Rather than a career change, perhaps you simply need to take a less stressful job within your chosen career. This change may involve working with your current employer to identify a new position, it may involve a full job-search, or it may involve temping or becoming a consultant or starting a freelancing or other home-based business.
Slow Down. Life is simply too short, so don't let things pass you in a blur. Take steps to stop and enjoy the things and people around you. Schedule more time between meetings; don't make plans for every evening or weekend, and find some ways to distance yourself from the things that are causing you the most stress.
Learn to Better Manage Your Time. Avoid Procrastination. For many people, most of the stress they feel comes from simply being disorganized -- and procrastinating. Learn to set more realistic goals and deadlines -- and then stick to them. You'll find that not only are you less stressed, but your work will be better.
Share the Load. Even though we may sometimes feel we're the only ones capable of doing something, it's usually not the case. Get your partner or other family members to help you with all your personal/family responsibilities. Taking care of the household, children, or parents should not be the responsibility of just one person.
Let Things Go. (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.) It's simpler said than done, but learn to let things go once in a while. So what if the dishes don't washed everyday or that the house doesn't get vacuumed every week. Learn to recognize the things that don't really have much impact in your life and allow yourself to let them go -- and then not beat yourself up for doing so.
Explore Your Options. Get Help. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your family responsibilities, please get help if you can afford it. Find a sitter for your children, explore options for aging parents, and seek counseling for yourself. In many cases, you have options, but you need to take the time to find them.
Take Charge. Set Priorities. Sometimes it's easier for us to allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed rather than taking charge and developing a prioritized list of things that need to get done. You need to buck the trend. Develop a list. Set priorities. And then enjoy the satisfaction of crossing things off your list.
Simplify. It seems human nature for just about everyone to take on too many tasks and responsibilities, to try to do too much, and to own too much. Find a way to simplify your life. Change your lifestyle. Learn to say no to requests for help. Get rid of the clutter and baggage in your house -- and your life.
In the end, the key word is balance. You need to find the right balance that works for you. Celebrate your successes and don't dwell on your failures. Life is a process, and so is striving for balance in your life.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Beyond Dieting: Alternative Approaches to Weight Loss.
How acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, prayer, and other mind-body practices may
help you lose weight. (Not that you need to...)
By Shahreen Abedin
WebMD FeatureReviewed by Laura J. Martin, MDTo lose weight, some people look beyond diet and
exercise. Would methods like hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation, prayer, and traditional Eastern methods
help budge the pounds?
Perhaps. But if you want to ditch diet and exercise altogether, think again.
“The bottom line is to be more active and consume less calories,” says Elisabetta Politi, MPH, RD, LDN, CDE, nutrition director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C. “There is no magic bullet for solving your weight loss problem."
So the basics will always be eating right and exercising.
But there is a "third part, the mind-body aspect, you need to make sure you're not missing out on," says Wendy Kohatsu, MD, an integrative medicine specialist and assistant clinical professor of family and clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
Most complementary approaches don't have much research showing how well they work for weight loss. Some are tricky to test by Western standards, and not enough studies have been done to determine effectiveness.
Here's what you need to know before you consider trying these methods.