Sincere Compliments Outweigh the Superficial

Date: November 17th, 2017

Filed under: Relationships

A great perk to being in a relationship is the validation that comes from receiving genuine compliments from you partner. But not all compliments are created equal. The way they are delivered and received have a weight on the relationship. In fact, there are many types of compliments and it is important to recognize the good, the bad, and how they may be affecting you and your partner. In a recent article published by Bustle, our founder of Eugene Therapy, Marc Zola, LMFT, LPC talked about the power of compliments. You can see the entirety of the article here. In the mean time, here are a few types of compliments to look out for.

1. Vague Compliments

"You are smart" has less impact than saying "Your immense trivia knowledge amazes me." What is it that you appreciate about your partner? Be specific. "When we think of compliments, we think of giving them in a nonspecific way, but specific compliments are more effective because they tell a story and give very specific feedback of what is working in the relationship," says Marc Zola, LMFT, LPC. "​Non-specific compliments can, over time, actually become sources of resentment and misdirection."

2. Superficial Compliments

What matters more to you - your partner's appearance or your partner's uniquely lovely characteristics? Let your compliments reflect that. If your partner is looking especially good today, say it! Just remember to verbalize your admiration for their other qualities too.

3. Excessive Compliments

Yes, really. Do not give yourself a compliment quota to reach every day, it simply won't work. When someone feels like the praise they received was forced, it will only raise questions and reduce trust. The best compliments are specific, timely, genuine words of appreciation.

How to Manage Depression as the Weather Changes

Date: October 27th, 2017

Filed under: Depression

Written by Taylor Gjesdal

1. Meet your basic needs:

Making sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy and nourishing foods as well as exercising are especially important for both physical and emotional health. These are important, because even the slightest change in weather can have a huge impact on your body and how you feel day to day. By meeting your basic needs your body will be healthier and stronger which then greatly impacts your mental health as well.

2. Stay connected:

It is quite common for people to begin staying inside more, which can then increase feelings of isolation. It is important to stay connected with friends and/or family and create time for those that are meaningful to you. Whether it be five minutes on the phone with someone or a weekend visit from an old friend, social interaction can greatly decrease feelings of loneliness.

3. Be kind to yourself:

Be understanding and patient with yourself as you navigate the many emotions you may feel during this time. Rather than feeling frustrated and being hard on yourself, do something for yourself that is gentle and kind, like watching your favorite movie or listening to your favorite song.

4. Talk about it:

Many people associate feelings of relief and understanding when talking to someone about the depression they experience. Sometimes just having someone to listen to your experiences can help people navigate the negative emotions that they are feeling.

5. Plan ahead:

If you know that your feelings of depression get worse as the weather changes, take some small steps in planning ahead so that you will be able to take care of yourself when you need it most. Whether it be making and then freezing some healthy meals for yourself to eat later on, or buying a sun lamp to use when the days become darker; these little changes can make a big difference in how you feel later down the road.

6. Make little changes:

Sometimes even the littlest things make the biggest differences. Some find it helpful to add more bright colors to their home, whereas others find it helpful to use aromatherapy. By making whatever little change works for you, you will be making a larger change to how you feel.

Money Matters and How to Approach Them

Date: October 6th, 2017

Filed under: Relationships

Money matters are one of the biggest reasons for marital conflict, and it’s not a matter of whether or not you have it. Finding yourself unable to talk about money but still experiencing conflict over it is not an ideal situation. We have compiled a few steps to begin comfortably talking about finances with you partner. For further information, check out this link.

1. Don’t Worry - Talk

A lack of communication will only contribute to a higher amount of stress and uncertainty. If finances are a sensitive subject, there are gentle ways of approaching the conversation that won't be pointing fingers. However, one of the largest conflicts about money management come from simply having different approaches to budgeting. Reaching an agreement of what will satisfy both of your needs and goals will help immensely.

2. Be Honest

Once an agreement has been made, do your best to adhere to it. More importantly than perfectly sticking to the agreement is this: Be honest if you slipped up! Even if you and your partner have separate bank accounts, it's important to be transparent. If you feel uncomfortable with a part of the financial agreement previously reached, that indicates it's time to talk about it again - not a time to secretly go against the plan.

3. Trust Each Other

As with most aspects of a relationship, trust goes a long way. If you've both followed the previous steps, building trust should come naturally. For many, money isn't the reason for a failing marriage, but a lack of trust surrounding that money is. Be honest and be trusting.

4. Be Timely

Sometimes bad financial news is unavoidable but avoid dropping "money bombs," advises Marc Zola, founder of Eugene Therapy and Oregon Counseling. He suggests creating predetermined times to discuss finances with your partner. This is beneficial because it limits the amount of time finances are discussed, and it avoids dropping heavy information at inopportune times.

Channeling Motivation

Date: September 7th, 2017

Filed under: Tips

Whether your goal today is to complete a small task like doing your laundry or something larger, such as taking a step towards a new career plan, every goal matters and takes motivation. Motivation levels change from day to day, but there are a few steps you can consciously take to keep them high. Here are a few strategies to keep you committed to your plan, and get you one more check mark on your To Do List – which is a great feeling in our opinion!

Don't Hit Snooze

If your plans require you to wake up early, get more rest by skipping snooze. When your alarm goes off, your sleep cycle is interrupted and it will take at least an hour to get back into the rejuvenating state of sleep known as REM. So the extra sleep you think you’re giving yourself in the morning will not really be contributing to your body’s rest.

Boost Your Self Control

The action of publicly committing to your goal can go a long way according to Elliot Berkman, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon. It’s not unusual to go easy on ourselves when it comes to completing a daunting task, but our social need to be successful plays a powerful role in keeping us on track. This may take shape in many ways, from telling your peers your plans to finding someone to join you. Accomplishments are more fun when you have someone to celebrate with anyway, right?

Ask, “Why is this goal valuable to me?”

Procrastination is rooted in the feeling that the task at hand is less valuable than other tasks you can distract yourself with. Maybe writing that term paper feels like a waste of time when you could be catching up on your favorite TV show, but reframing the importance of the first task can make it seem more worth it. When you determine why the task is important to you – completing the paper leads to passing the class and getting your degree – you can increase your motivation to complete it.

Be Proud of What You Do Get Done

Okay, so today may have been a low-motivation day. Don’t let that detour you from the goals at hand. Some days are less productive than others but recognizing the progress that you did make is important, even if that progress feels minimal in the grand scheme of things.

How to Balance Achievement with Self-Compassion

Date: May 18th, 2017

Filed under: Tips

We all have things we want to accomplish, but sometimes our goals can seem overwhelming, and can even lead to self-destructive thoughts if we fail to achieve them. Follow these steps to help you progress toward your goals without being too hard on yourself.

Prioritize

Focus on the things that are most important to you. Trying to achieve too much is more likely to lead to exhaustion than improvement, so put your best efforts into whatever area of your life you really want to make a positive difference in.

Set Manageable Goals

Most major achievements take more than step to accomplish, so break your overall focus down into small steps that build on each other. Having a list of steps can help you focus on small successes, and see that even if you flub up at some point, you don’t have to give up or start all over again—just try that step again, or move on.

Practice Forgiveness

Even the most self-disciplined people experience failure sometimes. If this happens to you, try engaging in positive self-talk instead of beating yourself up. Look at the good things you’ve accomplished in life, and use those to prove to yourself that you can do this. Tell yourself you’re forgiven for this slip-up, and you get another chance to try again.

Celebrate Success

It’s important to forgive yourself for setbacks, but it’s just as important to celebrate your successes. Every time you move closer to achieving your goal, even if it seems minor, pause to congratulate yourself, or share your success with someone supportive. Celebrating success helps you to recognize it and motivates you to keep going.

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