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I love to read, write, play pool & help others. I love being with my 3 blessings! I have a gorgeous daughter, Meggan~23 and 2 handsome sons. Brian~20 and Joshua~16. I wouldn't be anything without my babies. They're my greatest accomplishment! 
I pray my words, pictures, and what I post about give you encouragement and help inspire you to love deeper and believe there is a life out there for you. You need to have faith and believe in YOU. 
I married a Soldier so I was a Military Wife for 17 yrs. and now we're divorced. I am part German, Irish, English, and Ukraine. Trying to focus on my writing. I'm working on my Memoir and Suspense Romance Novels. I want my story of abuse and my addictions  to help other woman and teens. I went through a lot of trauma growing up and still found joy and I know you can too!

Friday, August 22, 2014

How Procrastination Hurts Your Confidence

Could your Candy Crush addiction hurt your confidence? They may not seem related but putting off a dreaded task or pushing away emotions can make procrastination a problem. Perhaps you avoid that project until the last minute, or feel lazy instead of motivated at the thought of another monotonous task and reach for the remote. Avoiding the work breeds more self-loathing thoughts and makes room for negative self-talk to arise, which makes your confidence plummet. 
Dopamine is a very powerful neurotransmitter, it makes you motivated and crave pleasure, which is a key part of procrastination. If a task has a higher, historical likelihood (or perceived future likelihood) of producing dopamine, our brain becomes addicted to reproducing these activities, and avoiding the others. Turning on a show that makes you laugh, instead of talking to a frustrating spouse, can create a habit of avoiding the conversation, and harboring those emotions until they are too big to keep in.
Learn 4 ways to stop the habit of procrastination and start feeling proud of yourself. Putting off tasks and avoiding emotions leads to low self-confidence.
You don’t always need a prescription for change. In fact, most doctors would tell you to try to change your behaviors before popping a pill to help with procrastination. Your brain chemistry can change when you engage in new habits, new thinking styles, which means you will feel happier, proud, and more motivated.
4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Feel Proud
  1. Focus on what is working. We often focus on what sucks, what we need to improve on, or what isn’t working. Change it up. If you notice that you are complaining (in your mind or out loud) start to notice what is going well. This can be challenging but try it. Say you’re feeling down because your job isn’t making you happy. Focus on what is going well: the sweet co-workers or your short commute. When you practice reminding yourself about the good things it enhances your capacity to feel good too.
  2. Create a reward system. Setting small goals, breaking up tasks and rewarding effort can help rewire the brain.  A 5-10 minute Facebook feed session after an hour of doing that dreaded task, can stimulate the reward center in your brain. Reward yourself with a positive complement or a bite of a sweet treat, even with a task that you are supposed to do, but just don’t feel like doing. This triggers your brain to begin to like the new task, and conditions your thoughts patterns to become more positive.
  3. Get more positive feedback. Allow yourself to experience frequent positive feedback as you work towards goals. If someone gives you a compliment, sit with that feeling for a minute before moving on to the negative voice in your mind. If you meet a goal or get a good review, sit with the feeling of pride for a little while; go back to it if the dark cloud of doom and gloom surfaces. Just go back to the feeling. People who provide positive reinforcement can help you to push through the blocks that keep you stuck in your behaviors. A trainer, nutritionist, Alcoholic’s Anonymous sponsor, therapist or anyone can help push you along the way.
  4. Embrace a new goal and take small steps towards it every day. That may be saving money or stopping the cigarettes. Putting a dollar away every day and watching the jar grow, creates incentive. Each step, even the smallest one, such as putting out the cigarette halfway through, is awesome and your brain remembers. Remind yourself of how well you are doing even if your not all the way there.

You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Google+ ,Facebook, and Twitter.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself overall; how much esteem, positive regard or self-love you have. Self-esteem develops from experiences and situations that have shaped how you view yourself today.
Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities and can vary from situation to situation. I may have healthy self-esteem, but low confidence about situations involving math (this is true).
When you love yourself, your self-esteem improves, which makes you more confident. When you are confident in areas of your life, you begin to increase your overall sense of esteem. You can work on both at the same time.

What Does Low Self-Esteem Look Like?

A friend told me she has low self-esteem; she constantly feels “I’m not good enough.” This concept has developed over her entire life. She has been in a series of unhealthy relationships, is frequently belittled by her boss, and constantly tells herself “I suck, I’m not worth it.” Recognizing she has this negative script, she is now better able to change it.
On the positive side, she is confident about being an amazing chef, a caring friend, and having the ability to be super-organized. She knows and believes this about herself and feels confident in these areas. By focusing on the things she is confident in and working on changing her negative self-talk, she is improving both her self-esteem and self-confidence.

Ideas for Improving Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

If you are having trouble finding areas you are confident in, try these tips.
  • Think of qualities others say you excel in. Even if you believe them slightly, this is a step in the right direction.
  • Stop the negative chatter. Shut it up! Start to think of contradictions to these statements.
  • Would you say it to a friend? If not, stop saying these statements to yourself.
  • Make a list of strengths. Think of what you would say about yourself if you were on a job interview.
The more we recognize our challenges with self-confidence and self-esteem, the more aware we become of improvements that can be made. This is when positive changes occur.

5 Ways to Escape Your Victim Mentality

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How would your life be different if…You stopped validating your victim mentality? Let today be the day…You shake off yourself defeating drama and embrace your innate ability to recover and achieve.”~ Steve Maraboli

What is a Victim Mentality?

A victim mentality is one in which someone blames others for what happens or has happened in their world. It can also be considered a person who thinks the future only holds bad things for them or they are “unlucky.” It’s buying into and believing that circumstances are beyond your control.
What is the victim mentality plus 5 ways to escape your victim mentalitySometimes, we all fall into this mindset, when things don’t go our way. After a distressing event, or due to childhood woes, you may come to believe that you are destined to struggle, have bad luck, or be held captive by your own limiting beliefs. For example, from the time John was a little boy, he learned that bad luck ran in his family. His father was always having difficulty with the supervisors at his job, never got promotions; nothing was ever fair in his eyes. When John became a young man, he too began to take on this persona. Bad grades were due to him not being smart enough or it was the teacher’s fault for not teaching properly. When money problems became an issue, it was that John was “unlucky” or that his parents should have taught him how to save money, not that he was frivolously spending. John was always the victim of circumstances, and told himself so. He gave up on changing his perception, and thus became his way of interacting with the world around him, leading to relationship problems and issues with co-workers.

Always the Victim

The victim mentality affects those around us, as well as our relationship with ourselves; it is not productive, nor positive. This way of thinking did not just happen overnight, rather it served a purpose for you at one time. There is real value in believing this is who you are, as it keeps you safe from expecting more from others or getting hurt (if you are already expecting it). People tend to help you more when you have learned to be helpless to some degree. With this mindset, you feel less control over yourself. It takes personal responsibility off of you. However, the reason it is ineffective is that over time, it keeps you from living a life worth living, or your best life. You are always the victim; you are less likely to take chances, change your circumstances, and continue living in patterns that are not conducive to building a happy life, a fulfilling life.

5 Ways to Change Your Victim Mentality

  1. Take Inventory. Are there situations and circumstances that you have been blaming others for? Ones that you can honestly say you had a part in? Even if you had the slightest part of this experience, taking note that you were part of it, can give you the freedom to learn from this and move forward. It may be difficult to do, but is very valuable in building a new lens on life.
  2. Acknowledge. Many of the reasons for playing the role of victim are due it being reinforced by others. Receiving pity from others may not seem like a positive experience, but in essence that’s what we are doing when we don’t take personal responsibility, we try and get others to feel pain for us or with us. Make a list of some of the areas in your life you would like to take more control over, and problem solve solutions.
  3. Forgive. Chances are you are holding on to negative feelings towards someone or something that put you in this role. Give yourself some validation. Yes, people did hurt you. Now, with this, also accept that this is not happening now. Rather, it happened in the past. When you can learn to forgive and try to move forward, the less of a burden this is for you. If needed, seek out support for this with the help of a therapist or coach.
  4. Create a new story. Focusing on the old story isn’t serving you. It may in the short term, but telling yourself a new story where you are actively problem solving and taking on more personal responsibility will help you to get past the victim shadow.
  5. Gratitude. Rather than focusing on what you don’t have or what happened that has kept you locked into this role, look at everything you do have. Take a moment to see what you have learned about yourself from these experiences. Ask yourself what beautiful outcomes have been created by past situations that may not have appeared to be in your best interest, but have created the you that you are today. Think of all that you have to be grateful for and often times your focus will be on the positive not the negative.
Although these thinking patterns are hard to break, just taking a small step towards a new path can really help to increase your mood and your positive energy. The victim mentality can be felt by others. Try to take control and gain power. You often attract the same situations and people in your life because it’s too hard to change within yourself. It doesn’t have to be this way. Just by reading this article and accepting that there areas in your life that need improvement is one step in the right direction.

How to Deal With and Overcome Low Self-Esteem

In trying to deal with low self-esteemfocus on the positive. When doing that, wefeel more positive, happier and self-assured, right? Our self-esteem is heightened when we are in a positive state of mind.
Let’s consider why it’s been difficult to overcome low self-esteem. The likelihood is that past events or a current trigger has left your self-esteem low, which contributes to your current state of mind, which for many of us can be negative.
The roots of your low self-esteem are not to be ignored, but for the purpose of moving into a happier mindset, let’s focus on the feelings you want to obtain today; happiness and higher self-esteem. By proactively shifting some of your negative behaviors and thoughts in the moment, you can increase your self-esteem tremendously and start to overcome low self-esteem.

Dealing with Low Self-Esteem

Don’t “Should” on Yourself

Powerful ways to deal with and overcome low self-esteem.The first step in dealing with low self-esteem is to recognize the negative statements you are telling yourself.
  • I should have…
  • If only I would have…
These “-ould statements” are unproductive. They build up and make it difficult to overcome your low self-esteem (we all tend to go to this place on occasion, myself included). My suggestion: don’t should on yourself! This is not the way to deal with low self-esteem. This gets you looped into the low self-esteem cycle of thinking. Instead, focus on what you can do and move forward into positive thoughts. When you catch yourself “shoulding,” rephrase it to:
  • “I am going to” or
  • “Next time I will.”
Give yourself a break and focus on what you can do next time, not what happened in the past.

Overcome Low Self-Esteem Using Self-Care

Put yourself first with self-care. It may not seem like it, but this is an important step in trying to overcome low self-esteem. Self-care is a gentle reminder that you deserve to feel good and produces positive feelings inward, which radiates outward. Going to the gym, eating a healthy meal, watching that show that makes you laugh are examples of self-care. For me, self-care is taking time away from technology, taking a bubble bat or watching “Modern Family” while enjoying some ice cream. These are ways I support my body and my mind in feeling my best and they allow me to shift my focus into a positive mindset.

Get Out of Your Head

I know this can be difficult, but often times you have to change your surroundings or your current situation to shift your negative self-talk into a more positive conversation. My suggestion: get out of your head. I often times have to leave my desk, go on a walk, listen to music, call a good friend, meditate, or read something, but I don’t let my mood take over, I distract with loving, proactive activities.
Find out what activities help to increase your self-esteem and share them in the comments below. By you sharing your tools for dealing with and overcoming low self-esteem, you are helping others to find new methods for increasing their self-esteem.
You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Google+and Twitter

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The 7 hardest addictions to quit - love is the worst!

Love addictions are the hardest to quit.
In reverse order of difficulty, here are the seven addictions people find hardest to quit:

7. Cocaine. Cocaine is an episodic-use drug. It is one moreover associated with certain lifestyles - at one time (if not now) people in the financial industry and entertainment fields - and more often younger people. Studying long-term users of cocaine, Ronald Siegel found most moderated, controlled, or quit their use over time. Patricia Erickson and Bruce Alexander surveyed the research and found that fewer than 10 percent of cocaine addicts continued their addictions for substantial periods. After cocaine use peaked in the 1980s, most middle-class users quit (although use in inner cities continued some time longer). Remarking on this phenomenon, David Musto concluded: "The question we must ask ourselves is not why people take drugs, but why do people stop." He surmised that people with fewer resources had less to counterbalance their addictions.

6. Alcohol. Alcohol is the addiction most written about, both in scientific literature and as recounted in personal memoirs. Alcoholics Anonymous members swear AA is the only way to recover; treatment experts claim alcoholism is inescapable without treatment. But epidemiological research does not find this is true. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2005 published the results of its National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. NESARC conducted 43,000 face-to-face interviews with a sample of Americans about their lifetime alcohol and drug use. Among these, 4,422 were classifiable at some point in their lives as alcohol dependent (or alcoholic). Somewhat more than a quarter had received any kind of treatment (including in an emergency room, attending AA, etc.). Among the large majority who went untreated, fewer than a quarter drank alcoholically at the time of the interview. Most (about two-thirds) of this group continued drinking non-alcoholically.

5. Valium. In general, drugs used for pacifying purposes (which are usually depressants), taken regularly over long periods of time, are hard to quit. This holds for sedatives, sleeping pills, barbiturates, and tranquilizers. Several best-sellers have been written about the difficulty in quitting Valium (benzodiazepine tranquilizers): Barbara Gordon's I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can and Betty Ford's The Times of My Life. A prominent New York City newscaster, Jim Jensen, recounted in Peoplehow he readily quit cocaine but couldn't get off Valium: "Valium withdrawal soon plunged him into a massive depression that left him unable to eat or sleep. It took two more months in two hospitals for him to regain his mental and physical health." Ah, but Americans love these drugs, need them to survive - although in good part they have been supplanted by antidepressants.

4. Heroin. Powerful analgesics, taken regularly, are difficult for many (but not most) people to quit. After all, most of us have had intravenous supplies of narcotics in the hospital, followed by prescriptions for powerful analgesics when we went home. What is remarkable is not so much that heroin can produce serious withdrawal for some, but how variable this syndrome is and how comparable it is to other depressant and painkiller drugs and analgesics (like Vicodin and OxyContin), which are the fastest growing drugs of abuse and today are taken by the majority of illicit narcotics users and overdose victims. So much has been written about heroin withdrawal, it is mainly worth noting that when people quit the drug with little difficulty (as the major league ballplayer Ron LeFlore did when he entered prison and took up baseball) it is simply considered impermissible to describe or portray this aspect of their stories.

3. Cigarettes. In ratings by cocaine and alcohol addicts, smoking is regularly cited as the more difficult drug to quit, generally on par with or more difficult than heroin. Nonetheless, more than 40 million living Americans have quit smoking. While impressive, this still only represents about half of all of those ever addicted to cigarettes - although a higher percentage of those in higher socioeconomic groups have quit. When I speak to recovering people at addiction conferences I ask, "What is the toughest drug to quit?" By acclimation, the audience shouts out, "cigarettes" or "smoking." I then ask, "How many people in this room have been addicted to cigarettes but are now off them?" Half to two-thirds - often hundreds of people - in the room raise their hands. "Wow," I enthuse. "And how many have used any kind of therapy - medical or a support group - to quit?" Never have more than a small handful done so.

2. Potato chips. I use potato chips, of course, to stand for all kinds of alluring but fattening foods. These comfort foods, which deprive more Americans of life years than any other substance, are inextricably integrated with our own lives, and with the lives of all Americans. Although overweight is disapproved and regularly lectured against, it still doesn't have the stigma of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, so that hidden (and not so hidden) food addictions are more readily tolerated. That gastric bypass surgery is growing so rapidly shows that this is the substance addiction people find hardest to quit, even those for whom it causes serious, life-threatening health conditions. In fact, we will never resolve our massive food addictions in the United States, but we hope to come up with medical cures to prevent their negative effects, as if we would succeed by simply deciding to let smokers continue to smoke noncancerous cigarettes.

1. Love. Ah, love is the hardest addiction to quit. It certainly causes more murders and suicides than any other addiction. And if you think people miss smoking, consider what people are like when they break up with long-time lovers or get divorced - even when they hate their spouses! (See the response to this post, "My divorce has left me . . .") On the other hand, we read frequently about people who totally sacrificed their lives to a lover who betrayed them or otherwise destroyed their psyches, yet who still didn't quit the relationship - what is the answer, after all, when an abuse victim is asked why they simply don't leave an abusive spouse? "Because I love him, and can't live without him." I regularly counsel spouses of substance abusers about this.
 Don't despair, however, no matter what your addiction is. The large majority of addicts give up every kind of addiction. So can you. That most people do it, one way or another, tells you that it lies within your power.
Stanton's new book, with Ilse Thompson, Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict and Reclaim Your Life with The PERFECT Program, is availablehere.
Symptoms of Addiction
  • The cardinal symptom of addiction is the inability to limit use of a substance or activity beyond need leading to clinically significant impairment.
  • There is a craving or compulsion to use the substance or activity.
  • Recurrent use of the drug or activity escalates to achieve the desired effect, indicating tolerance.
  • Attempts to stop usage produce symptoms of withdrawal—irritability, anxiety, shakes, nausea.
  • Recurrent use of the substance or activity impairs work, social, and family responsibilities, creates psychological impairments and interpersonal problems, has negative effects on health, mood, self-respect, exacerbated by the effects of the specific substance itself.
There are many symptoms created by the specific substance/activity that is used.
All addictions have the capacity to induce feelings of shame and guilt, a sense of hopelessness, and feelings of failure. In addition, anxiety and depression are common conditions among those with substance and behavioral addictions.