Therapy That Works...

The New Trend of "Comfort Sex" - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Have you ever just had one of those days? Maybe your presentation at work didn’t go according to plan or your mother-in-law got on your case about how unclean your house is. Whatever the case may be, you need something to pick you up.

Many people are now engaging in what is informally called “Comfort Sex” where they are intimate with their spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend to get a much needed shot of endorphins and dopamine to help take the edge off the day.

I recommend it to my patients because its benefits are numerous:

1.) You can enhance your relationship with the other person just by having sex regularly

2.) This is a much healthier and natural way to make yourself feel better without drinking or eating anything

3.) Sex can be a great work out, and has been shown to burn somewhere around 500 calories per hour

So if you’re having a particularly tough day, consider calling up your partner and trying comfort sex instead of going out to the bar or indulging in “retail therapy.”

Sources:

"Comfort Sex: Is It A Bad Thing?" by Jill Di Donato, HuffingtonPost.com

"I Love Female Orgasms" by Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller, Illustrated by Shirley Chiang

How To Stay On Track With Your Diet Over The Holidays - By Chris Gearing

Monday, December 19, 2011

If you’re looking for help to stay on track with healthy foods this holiday season, here is one quick tip that should help:

Researchers found that filling the fridge with healthy foods kept people eating at home and sticking to their diets.

Apparently, whenever there was an opportunity to go out and eat at a restaurant, dieters would remember all that food at home and feel guilty about not sticking to their weight loss goals. It’s one more subtle barrier to help keep you on track.

Source:

MensHealth.com

Domestic Violence In Relationships - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why are relationship violence rates so high?

These numbers speak to a deepening problem in American couples. Too many modern couples replace words and negotiation with intimidation and bullying. Relationship violence can easily get out of control. We are more exhausted, less affluent and less conscientious about doing the right thing even when no one is watching. We live in a society now that rewards the intimidation of others. Bullis believe that if they don’t get their way, that they can threaten or intimidate others to control the outcome. Such behaviors in general society have transferred to our marriages. These violent habits now thrive in intimate relationships where there is no witness and very sadly, no accountability.

How does this kind of relationship violence get started?

Malignant Trend: We already knew that about 70% to 80% of distressed couples could resort to occasional pushing and shoving when there is chronic tension. But this survey speaks to a more malignant trend in relationships. Relationship violence usually starts suddenly with a slap or a shove. There is shock at the beginning as the intensity and the frequency progressively increase.

Violence Becomes the Norm: The woman is intensely harmed—hit hard, kicked, violently attacked, choked, beaten, shot or slammed against a hard surface by her partner. Her denial kicks in and she pretends that this is either her fault or a normal part of life.

Witnesses to Violence in Family of Origin: Many women of the current generations have witnessed domestic violence in their parents’ relationships. When they grow up with violence, they are twice as likely to accept or normalize violence in their own relationships.

Overwhelming Trauma: The emotional damage is exponentially worse when you are traumatized at the hands of your partner. The person who is supposed to protect and honor you is now torturing you with bullying and intimidation. Twenty nine million women say that they have suffered this type of severe and frightening physical violence from their boyfriend, spouse or intimate partner.

Why do men move to violence against their wives?

There are two broad categories of men who become violent in relationships:

Men Who Control at All Costs:

  • Controlling and contemptuous personalities.
  • Regards the wife as a possession, not a person.
  • Anger issues
  • An inability to take responsibility for his behavior.

Emotional Dependence on the Wife/Girlfriend:

  • When she elects to reject him or disagree, he is devastated.
  • He becomes psychologically disorganized and seeks to isolate her and reestablish control.
  • If he cannot resume control and/or connection, his obsession will lead him to a total self-destruction that can include dangerous behaviors.

What are the warning signs of potential violence?

Physical Violence: Once he crosses the line, you have changed the relationship forever.

Symbolic Violence: This behavior includes the destruction of objects dear to the partner. The intention is to intimidate the other person. Wedding pictures, personal items like perfume or lingerie or even violence against a beloved pet are all efforts to symbolically intimate.

Fast Paced Relationships: When the pace is accelerated at the beginning, this is a control strategy.

Persistence: Anyone who will not hear “no” as an answer is trying to control you. Too often, when men say “no” that is the end of the conversation. When the woman says “no” in a potentially violent relationship, this marks the beginning of the negotiation.

What can women do to protect themselves?

Unavailability at All Costs: If you fear your partner, you must surrender your daily life to separating from him. Remember that you cannot reason with him, convince him or soothe him since he is intent upon reclaiming you as a possession. He only wants to regain control.

Worst Safety Threat is Your Own Denial: Women underestimate threat and do not recognize the warning signs such as a history of possessiveness, intimidation and sexual jealousy. These are the psychological "signposts" warning you of potential danger. Pay attention.

Intuition is Best Defense: Respect your own intuition and don't talk yourself down. Stop debating and prosecuting your own observations. Thirty one thousand women die each year in America and the majority die at the hands of an intimate partner.

Speed is Your Best Protection: If you are threatened, respond quickly. Do not hesitate and remain frozen. Experts estimate that you have approximately five seconds to make a difference in your own self defense. A failure to act may cost you your life.

The Risk of Suicide At The Holidays - By Chris Gearing

Friday, November 25, 2011

Interested or Deceptively Flirting? - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Know if the Flirting is Genuine

With Valentine’s Day, many couples celebrated the holiday with flirting and flowers. But how do you know if the flirting indicates real interest or is just manipulation?

A lot of people have had terrible experiences in dating. How do you know if someone is just trying to manipulate you or is really interested?

Deliberate deception is rampant in the dating world and you can conclude that at least one third of the people you meet are not being fully honest. They are either deliberately concealing something like having another partner or they falsify and mislead you in the conversation. Either way, you have to be pretty cynical when you’re meeting someone new.

Here are a few signs to help you know if someone you’re flirting with or dating is deceiving you:

Focus on Words and Face: Facial expressions are a dead giveaway but liars are renowned for ignoring their expressions. Most liars focus on their words first and their facial expressions second. Watch their face and see if their expression fits with what they’re saying.

Smiling is the most common facial expression used to conceal deceit because it requires the least effort and doesn’t distract the liar. Watch to see if the smile fits the topic, if he smiles too soon, too late or if he holds the smile for too long.

Ignores His Voice: Pauses that are too long and frequent speech errors are clues to lying. Liars are often unprepared to lie and their hesitation and stuttering attempts to falsify information are big clues. Also, their voice pitch may rise as they lie.

Notice Breathing, Sweating and Swallowing: Changes in breathing or sweating (especially on the hands and upper lip), increased swallowing, and a very dry mouth are signs of strong emotions that can indicate lying.

Tricky Tilt: Liars tend to lean to the side while standing or sitting and often have both of their arms or legs closed. Eyes can stare too long and then shift rapidly and downward.

Too Many or Too Few Details: When someone is lying to you, they either provide too many or too few details. Either excess or a lack of information is intended to deceive you.

Technology Fuels Lies: Liars love to use their cell, texting or email to lie. Directly confronting you face to face is more complicated since they have to control both their words and actions to successfully deceive. In one study, 72% of lies were delivered digitally while only 27% were delivered in face-to-face encounters.

Too Many Questions and Reassurances: Liars often ask for questions to be repeated to buy more time. They use phrases like, “you can trust me,” or “to be perfectly honest.” Remember that all of these behaviors are at your expense.

Which gender is more likely to lie?

Men and women lie at the same rates but about different things. Women are more likely to lie to make you feel good in the moment while men rearrange the truth to make themselves look better.

Now in flirting, women in particular are much more likely to be mislead. Women are much more likely to actively flirt with a new available guy even though they have absolutely no interest in him. They often pretend to show interest that is not genuine just to procure his admiration and attention.

Women are shopping for available males and they are basically trying to put the male at ease to evaluate his worth as a potential partner. Even though they may not find him particularly attractive, they may want to assess his other qualities like a sense of humor or intelligence.

Can’t a man also be quite misleading with the ladies?

Men Orient to Beauty: Absolutely, but men are more cut and dry about flirtation than women are. The bottom line is that they put a much higher premium on physical attractiveness than women do in the initial phases of courting. If he is not attracted to the woman, he will usually be less friendly at first.

Women are in Charge of Flirting: However, most men will begin to flirt if they are picking up the right non-verbal cues from the woman. Guys like to think that they are choosing whom to flirt with but nothing could be further from the truth. Women are almost always the instigators of courtship and flirtation on the dating field. Ninety percent of the time, the woman is the one to send a variety of subtle eye, body and facial signals to the targeted man. He is merely responding to the multiple non-verbal signals she has been blasting across the room.

Finally, why is it so hard for many of us to pick up on liars in the dating scene?

Many of us have difficulty believing that someone would deliberately set out to manipulate us so we try to fill in the blanks and ignore critical information to make sense of the lie—we basically work to believe him. It’s also hard for honest people to believe that some people really get off on misleading others. They actually take delight in selling you on their deception. Once you know they are deceitful, though, run and run fast!

Survival Of The Kindest - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

With Valentine’s just around the corner, millions of Americans are planning a special treat for our sweetheart. But new research from the University of California at Berkeley suggests that giving to others throughout the year may actually be the secret of good health and can even extend your life.

So exactly how can giving to others actually be a benefit to ourselves?

Scientists have long thought that the survival of the fittest was the gold standard on longevity and on success—the “dog eat dog” mentality where the best competitors survive against all odds. But we are finding that human beings are actually hard wired for giving to others—what psychologists call selflessness. Now we know that caring for others is biologically based too. Sympathy, socializing in groups, caring for our offspring and elderly parents, helping someone across the street, and donating money to charities are all a part of our basic and better nature.

The best news is that you actually increase your own lifespan when you reach out to others consistently. In landmark research psychologists now report that people who serve others--whether it’s through building a house or caring for an elderly parent--will not only increase their happiness quotient but may live longer and better than others.

How does helping someone else improve your physical health?

In the Company of Others: We are built to move in communities and Mother Nature punishes those who do not reach out. Socializing actually increases your immunity and protects you from illness. Sadly, isolated people have double the mortality rates. Giving to others keeps you socializing and alive.

Helper’s High: Research reports that volunteerism produces a helper’s high, similar to a runner’s high. The best part is that volunteers then have a longer lasting sense of calm and heighted emotional well being. Your mood literally improves as you serve the interests of others. A study of almost 3000 men found that those who volunteered for community organizations were two and a half time less likely to die. Volunteering is literally a way to ward off old age.

Giving to Others Literally Counteracts Stress. Giving to others can actually combat the effects of stress by preventing the nervous system from being overwhelmed when adversity arises. When we earn the gratitude of others, our brains are flooded with endorphins, those neurological hormones that make us feel so much better.

Reach Out to Others: Interestingly, even giving to others when your life isn’t going well may be a secret to getting through hard times. In one study, a sociologist studied the data from over 100 disasters. People who reached out to others survived the longest, made the best recoveries and enjoyed the best health.

Continued Giving: People who continue to give over time earn the best dividends. You may literally age slower—your skin will stay moist, your muscles may be more toned, you won’t lose so much hair—because you are less stressed. The bottom line is that positive emotions like compassion and empathy are incredibly powerful feelings and your body and mind love them. Better yet, they will keep you alive longer.

How To Become Emotionally Fit In The New Year - By Chris Gearing

Friday, December 31, 2010

Become Emotionally Fit In The New Year - By Chris Gearing

Friday, December 31, 2010

Many Americans are getting ready for the New Year. But while you’re assembling your list of resolutions, you may want to add another one – become emotionally fit. Psychologists agree that often the difference between success and failure comes down to emotional fitness.

What does "emotionally fit" really mean?

Emotionally fitness encompasses a set of beliefs, practices, and behaviors. Just like a well-toned athlete, emotionally fit people have specific thinking and emotional habits that help them to cope with a thousand different stresses which impact all of us on a daily basis. Emotionally fit people are highly resilient and have great tenacity in creating a vision of their goals and in implementing the steps to achieve those goals. They value other people, are good at maintaining their inner strength, and respond well to adversity.

Now, I know what you’re saying – “that’s great and all, but what does that affect me?”

Remaining emotionally fit and resilient in the face of adversity can make or break careers, marriages and even entire economies. We are simply happier when we are emotionally fit because we focus on the positives, the potential good in any situation, and we maintain hope for what’s to come next. Emotionally fit people are half as likely to die and half as likely to become disabled. They have better health habits, lower blood pressure, better health, and more friends because they are more empathic with others.

Sound pretty good?

Here’s how to get started on your path to emotional fitness:

Courage Under Fire: You must learn to remain calm under fire. Resilient people have an awesome ability to control their emotions even when things get stressful. If you overreact all the time, you'll wear yourself out and alienate those around you.

Impulse Control: People who speak or act before they think things through get themselves into trouble. Becoming emotionally fit demands that you limit your impulsive side. Making "snap judgments" or jumping to conclusions can lead to big mistakes.

Count Your Blessings: Focus on the positives and remember that positive emotions can literally undo negative emotions. I’m serious – neurologists have proven that positive thoughts can re-organize the connections in your brain to make you a happier and more productive person. Develop the ability to appreciate the little things -- the wonderful taste of your sandwich at lunch, a beautiful sunset, or the smile of your son or daughter.

Say "Thank You" Often: Expressing gratitude to others is a huge step in becoming emotionally fit. Too often we take for granted the enormous blessings that surround us. Tell a friend, colleague or boss that you appreciate them. An attitude of gratitude forces you to think more positively and find the happiness and blessings in your life.

Acts of Kindness: Volunteering and giving to others are huge boosts for emotionally fit people. Not only do you feel warm and fuzzy, but you become emotionally connected to other volunteers, you’ll appreciate your own circumstances even more, and your contribution will give you a sense of control and impact on your community and the world.

Make a Friend: I always tell my clients that friends are the cheapest medicine. People with many friends have the lowest mortality rates, lower rates of physical impairments, and are generally happier and more successful! Make sure you make a friend and see them often.

Screen Your Beliefs: Every behavior begins in the mind. We now know that our basic belief system creates everything else--our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Try to create a system of taking your thoughts and actions and dissecting where they originated and why.

Becoming fully emotionally fit requires a tremendous amount of self-reflection and understanding. For more strategies and tools, you should download my step-by-step video for reorganizing your thoughts and becoming emotionally fit from my website, GearingUp.com.

Emotional Fitness In The New Year - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How To Survive The Holidays With Your Family - By Chris Gearing

Friday, December 24, 2010

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