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Anxiety

Affirmations for Difficult Times


Stress is an inevitable part of life. We all feel overwhelmed, confused, and anxious at times. And there are many effective and healthy ways to cope with stress, including releasing physical tension (such as through exercise or a hot bath) and reducing obsessive worries and negative thoughts.

Using affirmations is one way to change our thoughts and feelings. They can help us focus on how we want to feel and on our ability to...


dysfunctional family

Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families, Unworthiness, and Shame


Children who grow up in dysfunctional, chaotic, or addicted families often feel inadequate, defective or broken; and these feelings don’t magically disappear when they grow up and leave home. Feelings of inadequacy stick with us – plaguing many Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACAs) or Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families with a lack of self-worth.
Why do some Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families feel unworthy and not good enough?
Children in dysfunctional families often experience some...


Boundaries

No Matter What Anyone Says, Setting Boundaries Isn’t Mean


One of the big reasons we avoid setting boundaries is that we mistakenly think they’re mean, harsh, and controlling. Often, we have these beliefs because others have reacted poorly to our boundaries in the past. Perhaps someone has even told you that your boundaries are mean or wrong. Or you may have experienced conflicts or rejection as a result of trying to set boundaries.

If this has been your experience, let me assure...


codependency

It’s Time to Stop Giving Unsolicited Advice


Are you guilty of giving unsolicited advice? Advice is usually intended to be helpful. And many of us (myself included) offer guidance and suggestions, even tell others what they should do, without being asked.  Regardless of our intentions, giving advice that isn’t wanted, can be annoying, intrusive, and even manipulative.

In this article, we’ll explore why we give unsolicited advice, how to tell when we’ve crossed the line from helping...


dysfunctional family

Guest Post: Building Self-Esteem After a Difficult Childhood

Building Self-Esteem After a Difficult Childhood



Many people find it difficult to feel good about themselves.

Without a foundation of healthy self-esteem, we lack confidence in various situations. For instance, when we feel like we don’t deserve to ask for what we need at work or at home, we make decisions based more on what other people want rather than what’s best for us.

The impact of building your self-esteem...


Perfectionist

How I Transformed my Self-Criticism into Self-Love

I’m an idiot.

What’s wrong with me?

I can’t believe I did that – again!

I look so fat in these jeans.

Why am I so careless?

I’m never going to figure this out.

My inner-dialogue used to sound a lot like this. And I know, I’m not alone. It seems like most of us struggle with an inordinate amount of self-criticism.

If you’re highly self-critical or have a harsh inner-critic, you think poorly of...


codependency

Enabling: Why We Do It and How to Stop

What is enabling?
Enabling is doing something for someone that they can reasonably do for themselves.

Originally, enabling referred specifically to doing something for an alcoholic or addict (such as loaning him money, excusing his aggression, or driving him to work because he got a DUI) to help him avoid the consequences of his addiction. But enabling can happen in any relationship where one person is making unsafe...


Adult Children of Alcoholics

When Kids Have to Act Like Adults


Some children don’t get much of a childhood. When children have to act like adults – taking responsibility for their siblings, parents, and running a household– there are lasting effects.
What is a parentified child?
A parentified child is one that has taken on some or all of their parent’s responsibilities. Out of necessity, the child becomes the parent and the parent acts more like a child.

Parentified children take responsibility for...


codependency

The Need to Please: The Psychology of People-Pleasing



When was the last time you told someone “No, I can’t help you with that” or “I have a different opinion”? It can feel risky – emotionally vulnerable – to set limits or assert our needs or opinions (especially if we know they are different than other people’s).

Of course, it’s normal to want to be liked and accepted,...