The U.S. Surgeon General's warning in 2023 cast a spotlight on a silent epidemic sweeping across America—an epidemic of loneliness—likening its health impact to smoking daily. This critical issue underscores a significant public health priority, resonating with the core of human bonds and relationships. This is a realm that I have studied and nurtured for over two decades.
And this issue is not limited to the United States, it is being felt around the globe. Both Japan and the U.K. have formally appointed national Ministers of Loneliness to help their government more fully address the problem.
Loneliness and isolation gnaw at nearly half of the individuals in the United States, bringing grave health consequences akin to those of chronic diseases. Loneliness has been linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, but also to a myriad of physical health issues. Not only can it increase one’s risk of severe illness, it can also decrease...
The signs and symptoms of physical abuse are obvious and concrete, but the signs of emotional abuse are insidious and hidden to the eye. For this reason, many people underestimate the devastating and lasting effects of emotional abuse. In this article, we will explore the signs of emotional abuse and manipulation, the impact they can have on individuals, and how to protect yourself from these toxic behaviors.
To effectively combat emotional abuse and manipulation, it is crucial to understand the dynamics at play. Emotional abuse is about power and control. Remember, in a healthy relationship, both people have the capacity to respect multiple subjectivities. That means that both people understand that each individual has their own set of feelings, perceptions, needs and desires that are worthy of respect and consideration, and that they are bound to differ. Both people work to respect the subjectivity of one another.
A certain level of anxiety is normal, but here's how to calm down when it gets overwhelming.
Anxiety is a normal part of life, as well as a highly normal part of dating.
It doesn't have to stress you out.
Why is writing an online dating profile so difficult and anxiety inducing?
This necessary first step in the dating dance often feels loaded because you are painting the first impression that any potential love interest will see.
You are essentially saying, “Hey, stranger, please judge me! (And, um, please judge that I’m good for you!)”
And knowing how to overcome anxiety in order to write an effective dating profile for apps like Tinder, Bumble or Hinge is, like it or not, something you need to do if you want to find true love....
Are you anxious in your approach to love?
About 25% of the population approaches bonding with what scientists refer to as an anxious attachment style.
In the article What Is Anxious Attachment Style & How Can It Affect A Relationship, I walked you through an understanding of how this particular attachment style lends itself to predictable obstacles. Understanding who you are and what you need in any relationship is enormously empowering.
Let’s take this a step further and examine what to do about it when you’re dating!
If you know you are anxiously attached (not sure, take my Love Thyself course and I’ll walk you through all of that and much more!), you have a relatively hard time trusting, feeling safe, secure and loved.
Nonetheless, your ability and need to have a secure relationship can and should be met.
To get there, here are your basic rules of the road:
Attachment Theory is the scientific map of how we bond with others to increase our chances of survival! As mammals, we quite literally depend on emotional bonds with others to survive. Scientific studies have continued to underscore that the warmth and quality of our connections is the number one factor predictive of quality of life, longevity, and is even a huge factor in financial stability.
Scientists divide the styles that people adopt to bond into roughly 4 categories. About 50% of the population had a development such that they bond in a “secure style.” The other 50% of the population develop attachment styles such as avoidant, anxious or disorganized.
An anxious attachment style describes a person who finds it very difficult to rest in feelings of safety and security. Wondering if this is you?
Your inner monologue is helpful not only in relationship to better understanding yourself; it can also reveal your state of being — I.e., the quality of your present experience — in your relationship.
This state of being can help you discern whether the kind of thoughts you're having may be signs you're involved in an unhealthy, perhaps even toxic, relationship.
Unhealthy relationships are characterized by insecurity, distrust, preoccupation and disconnection....
Be secure in your relationship.
When anxiety about your relationship attacks, there is a solution to curb those anxious feelings: positive affirmations.
While we don’t choose our feelings, we do choose our belief systems and our belief systems give rise to our feelings and reactions to situations....
The essential reasons to love yourself might include: a. It feels good and b. You’ll be the kind of person you’d want to be with (which means you’ll attract the kind of person you want to be with!).
The reasons for this may not seem obvious. This is because the definition of self love is a little more nuanced than you might think. Self love is not the same as self esteem or feeling proud of your accomplishments. Self love also does not end at self care practices like good hygiene, good boundaries, stress management and exercise.
As my wise 5-year old told me, “you don’t pick your feelings, but you pick your actions” (straight from the mouth of Spidey).
It’s true, we don’t pick our feelings. So it always surprises me when people express feelings of shame, blame...
One of the most powerful relationship skills you can have is knowing what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. Most people know what hasn’t worked for them, but have a hard time defining and feeling confident picking a healthy relationship. This is especially tricky because we know that healthy relationships are not “perfect” relationships!
Dr. Judith Wallerstein did some fantastic research about the commonalities of healthy relationships. She was the first researcher to ask what healthy relationships actually felt like to the people in them. Her primary finding was that a healthy relationship feels like a unique, co-created world that the two partners share. Every “world” is different, but this qualitative presence exists in all of the healthy relationships she studied.
How do you know if you’re in a relationship that has this quality, even when it’s hard? Or if you’re beginning a relationship that...
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