Tips for Helping Children with ADHD

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Living with Children with ADHD

From: National Institute of Mental Health

adhd childTips to Help Kids Stay Organized and Follow Directions

Schedule. Keep the same routine every day, from wake-up time to bedtime. Include time for homework, outdoor play, and indoor activities. Keep the schedule on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board in the kitchen. Write changes on the schedule as far in advance as possible.

Organize everyday items. Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. This includes clothing, backpacks, and toys.

Use homework and notebook organizers. Use organizers for school material and supplies. Stress to your child the importance of writing down assignments and bringing home the necessary books.

Be clear and consistent. Children with ADHD need consistent rules they can understand and follow.

Give praise or rewards when rules are followed. Children with ADHD often receive and expect criticism. Look for good behavior, and praise it.

Some children with ADHD continue to have it as adults. And many adults who have the disorder don’t know it. They may feel that it is impossible to get organized, stick to a job, or remember and keep appointments. Daily tasks such as getting up in the morning, preparing to leave the house for work, arriving at work on time, and being productive on the job can be especially challenging for adults with ADHD.

These adults may have a history of failure at school, problems at work, or difficult or failed relationships. Many have had multiple traffic accidents. Like teens, adults with ADHD may seem restless and may try to do several things at once, most of them unsuccessfully. They also tend to prefer “quick fixes,” rather than taking the steps needed to achieve greater rewards.

 For more information or help for your child or yourself, please contact CornerStone at 614-459-3003.

What is Anger? How is it Expressed?

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The Nature of Anger

angerAnger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,” according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person (Such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.

Expressing Anger

The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.

On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us.

People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming.

Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.

Anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your anger, stop thinking about it, and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior. The danger in this type of response is that if it isn’t allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inward—on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression.

Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven’t learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren’t likely to have many successful relationships.

Finally, you can calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.

As Dr. Spielberger notes, “when none of these three techniques work, that’s when someone—or something—is going to get hurt.”

Post adapted from “What is Anger?” by the American Psychological Association

If you would like help learning to manage your anger, whether expressed or suppressed in their various forms, please contact CornerStone at 614-459-3003.

Anxiety and Depression, My Strange Friends

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Anxiety and depression can be difficult to live with and be viewed as only a detriment to life.  Yet, here is the story of one person who has reframed their thoughts to remove the shame while avoiding minimizing the pain.

Anxiety and Depression, My Strange Friends

By Scott Sauls

I am one of those ministers who has endured a handful of seasons of anxiety and depression. Most of the time, thankfully, the affliction has been more low-grade than intense. On one occasion, though, it pretty much flattened me physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. I call this particular season my “living nightmare.”

That season, as well as others, occurred while serving in ministry.

How bad was the living nightmare? I could not fall asleep for two weeks straight. Even sleeping pills couldn’t calm the adrenaline and knock me out, which only made things worse. At night I was terrified of the quiet, knowing I was likely to lose another all-night battle with insomnia. I was terrified of the sunrise, an unwelcome reminder that another day of impossible struggle was ahead of me. I lost nearly 35 pounds in two months. I couldn’t concentrate in conversations. I found no comfort in God’s promises from Scripture. I was unable to pray anything but “Help” and “Please end this.”

I believe—no, I am certain—that anxiety and depression hits ministers disproportionately. And a minister who suffers with this affliction, especially in isolation, is a person at risk. When I was in seminary, two pastors committed suicide because they couldn’t imagine going on another day having to face their anxiety and depression. Both suffered with the affliction in silence. One wrote in his suicide note that if a minister tells anyone about his depression, he will lose his ministry, because nobody wants to be pastored by a damaged person.

Or do they?

Theology of Weakness

For those of us in ministry who have suffered (or are suffering) from this affliction, I think we need to do everything we can to discover and embrace an applied theology of weakness. Even the apostle Paul said that in weakness we discover the glory, power, and grace of God. This is how God works. He is upside-down to our sensibilities. Better said, we are upside-down to his.

Anne Lamott recently said it’s okay to realize that you are crazy and damaged because all of the best people are. Suffering has a way of shaping us as people and as ministers. It has a way of equipping us to lead in ways that are helpful and not harmful. A healer who himself has not been wounded is limited in his ability to heal.

The crazy, damaged people in Scripture seem to be the ones through whom God did the greatest things. Hannah experienced bitterness of soul over infertility and a broken domestic situation. Elijah felt so beaten down by ministry that he asked God to take his life. David repeatedly asked his own soul why it was so downcast. Even Jesus, the perfectly divine human, expressed that his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow, even to the point of death. Each of these biblical saints, in his or her own way, was empowered by God to change the world—not in spite of the affliction but because of and through it.

Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” experienced depression for many years of his ministry. William Cowper, the great hymn writer, had debilitating, paralyzing anxiety for most of his adult life. C. S. Lewis lost his wife to a violent form of cancer. Joni Eareckson Tada became paralyzed from the neck down when she was a teenager. All of these and others have been God’s chosen instruments for bringing truth, grace, and hope into the world. The best counselors have themselves been in counseling. It’s how God works.

No Shame

So if anxiety and/or depression is your affliction, I am sharing this part of my story to remind you that there’s no shame in suffering from this or any other affliction. In fact, our afflictions may be the key to our fruitfulness as ministers. “Damaged” does not mean “ineffective.” It does not mean “done.”

Anxiety and depression can also, ironically, be a conduit of hope—an opportunity for the foolishness of God to be displayed in our lives. Recently a member in our church (where I’ve been senior pastor for two years) told me he thinks I am a great preacher . . . and he is entirely unimpressed. He told me that the moment he decided to trust me—the moment he decided I was his pastor—was when I shared openly with the church that I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression and have seen counselors for many years.

As ministers, we may discover in the end that our afflictions had greater effect in people’s lives than our preaching or our vision.

Anxiety and depression are also invitations into Sabbath rest. When you are laid flat and there’s nothing you can do except beg for help, Jesus tends to meet you in that place. There he reminds us Matthew 11 is for ministers too. He invites weary and heavy laden ministers to come to him and find rest, to learn from him, to experience his humility and gentleness of heart . . . that we, too, might find rest for our souls. For an anxious, depressed person, there is nothing quite like an easy yoke and a light burden under which to process our pain.

Not Awesome

Many times I’ve encountered this affliction through or because of something related to ministry. Usually anxiety and depression have come on me because I’ve lost my way temporarily—leaving the easy yoke of Jesus and looking to ministry for self-validation, to make a name for myself, to gain applause and acclaim and respect from the crowds. This is a dead-end street, but in moments and seasons of weakness my heart has gone there.

Anxiety and depression have been God’s way of reminding me that I don’t have to be awesome. He has not called me to be awesome, or impressive, or a celebrity pastor, or anything of the sort. He has first and foremost called me to be loved, and to receive that love. He has called me to remember that because of Jesus, I already have a name, and I will be remembered even after I am long gone, because he is my God and I am his. He is my Father and I am his son.

Søren Kierkegaard said the thorn in his foot enabled him to spring higher than anyone with sound feet. The apostle Paul said something similar about the thorn in his flesh. The thorn kept him from becoming cocky. It kept him humble. It kept him fit for God and fit for the people whom God had called him to love and serve. There is glory in weakness. There is a power made perfect in that place.

Though I wouldn’t wish anxiety or depression on anyone, I am strangely thankful for the unique way this affliction has led me, time and again, back into the rest of God.

“All the fitness he requireth is to feel your need of him. . . .”

Life After Crushed Expectations

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LIFE AFTER CRUSHED EXPECTATIONS

By Jackie Knapp

Since writing about what happens when your 20s weren’t what you expected, I’ve heard from many readers whose lives haven’t turned out as they imagined. People of all ages echoed the idea that we don’t know how to suffer well, that we have illusions about the way life is supposed to go. Many talked of being unsure how to move forward, how to absorb these losses in a way that honors God.

In that article I talked about the need to grieve our shattered dreams but didn’t have space to talk about what that looks like. The idea of grieving our dreams may sound a bit too touchy-feely, invoking images of a weeping therapy circle. We aren’t comfortable with grief, and unless an event falls in the category of “Really Big Tragedy,” we often view grief as un-American, and more concerning, un-Christian. It’s easy to label people who talk openly about their sadness as joyless whiners or frail weaklings. Although it is a delicate dance between godly grief and self-pity, the Bible teaches that grief is part of the human experience (Eccl. 3:42 Cor. 6:10).

So how do we learn to grieve our shattered dreams with hope?

1. Understand our typical responses to loss. Listen for whether any of the following reactions to painful situations sounds familiar. One option is denial, coating any negative situation with a layers of unrealistic optimism or pouring energy into solving other’s problems, avoiding our own issues. The art of distraction is another popular choice, as we maintain a dizzying schedule that ensures we are always in motion, never alone with our thoughts. From hard-core addictions to seemingly innocent pleasures, we love anything that helps us escape from pain. We also love solutions, research, and detailed plans to fix anything but use this feverish work to ignore the effect of difficult events. Some of us love the pool of pain and choose to dive in and swim around until we get pickled in self-pity.

When we honestly acknowledge our knee-jerk reactions, it becomes apparent we need a better way to deal with crushed expectations.

2. Get comfortable with grief. The word grief may seem too intense for what we are experiencing, and I’m not suggesting our summer wardrobe should be black and sackcloth. No doubt there are varying degrees of grief in proportion to each loss. Grieving doesn’t mean we should begin construction on a wailing wall in the backyard if we don’t get the job offer we wanted. But when we face the death of a dream, we should expect a time of grief to follow the loss. Depending on the level of tragedy, this grief may affect the rest of our life.

We also need to get comfortable with the fact that we all grieve differently. What is right for you is not necessarily right for me, and we need to be careful to not require we all do it the same.

3. Adjust our expectations. In the last article, we discussed how many of us had expectations for our 20s that were not rooted in reality, that we believed we were immune from living in a sin-and-death cursed world while we were young. When we understand the effect of the fall, our expectations for life change (John 16:33). It doesn’t mean that we should seek out hardship or expect all of our dreams to fail, but that we shouldn’t be surprised when struggles comes, when relationships and jobs are hard.

We must be careful we don’t air-condition our souls, becoming intolerant to any degree of pain. And we must never forget this earth isn’t our real home (2 Cor. 5:1-9).

4. Acknowledge what is real. If we want to grieve well, then we have to be honest with ourselves and God. Prayer during these times can be the last thing we feel like doing; we are often unsure how to engage with God when hurting. One refreshing thing about Scripture is that we meet people in the middle of questions and pain, giving us words when we have none. These are not people reciting perfect testimonies after they see purpose in their suffering but honest strugglers like us (Psalm 42, 62, Lam. 32 Cor. 12:1-10).

It is mind-blowing to realize that Jesus understands what we are experiencing in this life. When we admit we need help, he meets us in our desperation and gives us all the grace we need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

5. Learn to see hope. When we face the reality of the broken world, it becomes clear that we need help outside ourselves, something more sure to hope in besides our ability to make life go according to our plans. We have to fight every day to see hope in the person of Christ, that he is the solution to our most important problems.

This hope doesn’t eliminate the hard things in life, but it drastically changes our perspective when we believe the promises of God, that one day all that is wrong will be made right, that we will get to dwell with God where there is no more pain or death (1 Peter 1:3-91 Thess. 4:13Rev. 21:1-4).

6. Include people in the process. We were not designed to live in isolation. We need people to walk with us through shattered dreams. I’m not suggesting we rent loudspeakers and broadcast our problems, but that at least a few trusted friends should know the messy details of our lives. During one of my hardest seasons, a friend asked me, “What could God be doing in this?” And then he helped me brainstorm possibilities when I stared at him blankly. It was such a simple question, but it reminded me again that one of God’s greatest gifts is people to weep when we weep, to encourage us when we feel like quitting, to help us see hope when we only see despair (Romans 12:151 Thess. 5:14Heb. 10:24).

I pray that what I’ve written doesn’t feel like a to-do list, as if six steps and a thousand words will efficiently clean up the mess of shattered dreams. Rather, I pray that God may use these reflections as a beginning, a reminder of hope, and a glimmer that there is life after crushed expectations.

Healthy Boundaries Can Hurt

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Boundaries Quote

For more on healthy boundaries, read Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend; and/or contact CornerStone Family services at 614-459-3003

What is Panic Disorder?

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Panic Disorder

By Mental Health America

Panic disorder is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress. These sensations often mimic symptoms of a heart attack or other life-threatening medical conditions. As a result, the diagnosis of panic disorder is frequently not made until extensive and costly medical procedures fail to provide a correct diagnosis or relief.

Many people with panic disorder develop intense anxiety between episodes, worrying when and where the next one will strike. Fortunately, effective treatments have been developed to help people with panic disorder.

Causes

Heredity, other biological factors, stressful life events, and thinking in a way that exaggerates relatively normal bodily reactions are all believed to play a role in the onset of panic disorder. Some research suggests panic attacks occur when a “suffocation alarm mechanism” in the brain is activated, falsely reporting that death is imminent. The exact cause or causes of panic disorder are unknown and are the subject of intense scientific investigation.

Treatments

Treatment for panic disorder includes medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, a type of psychotherapy, teaches people how to view panic attacks differently and demonstrates ways to reduce anxiety. Appropriate treatment by an experienced professional can reduce or prevent panic attacks in 70 to 90% of people with panic disorder. Most patients show significant progress after a few weeks of therapy. Relapses may occur, but they can often be effectively treated just like the initial episode.

Co-occurring Disorders

  • Depression: About half of panic disorder patients will have an episode of clinical depression sometime during their lives. Major depression is marked by persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness, a sense of hopelessness and other symptoms. What is more, approximately 20% of people with panic disorder attempt suicide.
  • Substance Abuse: About 30% of people with panic disorder use alcohol and 17% abuse drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, in unsuccessful attempts to alleviate the distress caused by their condition. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of other disorders, such as substance abuse or depression, are important to successfully treat panic disorder.
  • Simple Phobias and Agoraphobia: People with panic disorder often develop irrational fears of specific events or situations that they associate with the possibility of having a panic attack. Fear of heights and fear of crossing bridges are examples of simple phobias. As the frequency of panic attacks increases, the person often begins to avoid situations in which they fear another attack can occur or places where help would not be immediately available. This avoidance may eventually develop into agoraphobia, an inability to go beyond known and safe surroundings because of intense fear and anxiety. Generally, these fears can be resolved through repeated exposure to the dreaded situations, while practicing specific techniques to become less sensitive to them.
  • Social Phobia: Social phobia is a persistent dread of situations in which the person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others, and fears acting in a way that will be embarrassing or humiliating. Social phobia can be treated effectively with therapy or medications, or both.
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): In OCD, a person becomes trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors that are senseless and distressing but extremely difficult to overcome. Such rituals as counting, prolonged handwashing, and repeatedly checking for danger may occupy much of the person’s time and interfere with other activities. Like panic disorder, OCD can be treated effectively with medication and/or psychotherapy.

Physical Symptoms: People with panic disorder may also have irritable bowel syndrome, characterized by intermittent bouts of gastrointestinal cramps and diarrhea or constipation, or a relatively minor heart problem called mitral valve prolapse, which can trigger panic attacks in some people. In fact, panic disorder often coexists with unexplained medical problems, such as chest pain not associated with a heart attack or chronic fatigue.

The content of this fact sheet was adapted from material published by the National Institute of Mental Health.

For more information or help with panic disorder or other struggles, please call CornerStone Family Services at 614.459.3003.

Signs of a Codependent Relationship

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codependentThe original concept of codependency developed to acknowledge the responses and behaviors people develop from living with an alcoholic or substance abuser.

However, over the years, application has expanded into a definition which describes a dysfunctional pattern of living and problem solving developed during childhood by family rules.

So how much is too much?

*Check your degree of codependency by placing a number from 1 – 4 in the space before each question with:
1 = Never; 2 = Occasionally; 3 = Frequently; 4 = Almost Always

____ I tend to assume responsibility for others’ feelings/behaviors

____ I have difficulty identifying feelings.

____ I have difficulty expressing my feelings.

____ I tend to fear or worry how others may respond to my feelings or behaviors.

____ I minimize problems and deny or alter truth about the feelings or behaviors of others.

____ I have difficulty forming or maintaining close relationships.

____ I am afraid of rejection.

____ I am a perfectionist and judge myself harshly.

____ I have difficulty making decisions.

____ I tend to be reactive to others instead of acting on my own.

____ I tend to put the wants and needs of other people first.

____ I tend to value the opinion of others more than my own.

____ My feelings of worth come from outside myself, through the opinions of other people or  from activities that seem to validate my worth.

____ I find it difficult to be vulnerable and to ask for help.

____ I deal with issues of control by attempting to always be in control or the opposite – by being careful never to be in a position of responsibility.

____ I am extremely loyal to others, even when that loyalty is unjustified.

____ I tend to view situations with “all or nothing” thinking.

____ I have a high tolerance for inconsistency and mixed messages.

____ I have emotional crises and chaos in my life.

____ I tend to find relationships in which I feel “needed” and attempt to keep it that way.

Scoring: Add the numbers to get a total score.  Use the following ranges to help interpret your level or codependency:

60-80 = Very High Degree
40-59 = High
30-39 = Medium
20-29= Low

If you would like to talk to someone about the signs of a codependent relationship, or for more information, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

This blog is adapted from a handout from WellSpring.

Staying Positively Mentally Healthy

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Think Positive

Stay Positive 

by Mental Health America

Consider what researchers found about the benefits of staying positive:

  • People who were pessimistic had a nearly 20 percent higher risk of dying over a 30-year period than those who were optimistic
  • People who kept track of their gratitude once a week were more upbeat and had fewer physical complaints than others
  • People who obsessively repeated negative thoughts and behaviors were able to change their unhealthy patterns—and their brain activity actually changed too.

WAYS TO STAY POSITIVE

Foster Optimism

Trying to be optimistic doesn’t mean ignoring the uglier sides of life. It just means focusing on the positive as much as possible-and it gets easier with practice.

If you want to pump up your optimism, you might:

  • Write about a positive future. The idea is to envision your goals and dreams come true. Tips include:
    • Write about your great future life. Writing helps you absorb ideas better than just thinking.
    • Set aside time so you can go into detail. Researcher Laura King, PhD, who proved this exercise a great mood booster, assigned 20 minutes on four consecutive days.
    • A variation on this exercise is to imagine positive outcomes in a particularly challenging situation.
  • Search for the silver lining. Looking for the positive in a negative situation may sound sappy, but it can actually show great strength. To find your silver lining, ask yourself:
  • How have I grown from this situation?
  • Are my relationships stronger now?
  • Have I developed new skills?
  • What am I proud of about the way I handled this situation?

Practice Gratitude

Noticing and appreciating the positives in our lives offers a great mood boost.

To increase your gratefulness, you can:

  • Write a gratitude letter. Researcher Martin Seligman, PhD, asked subjects to write a letter thanking someone who had been particularly kind to them and then deliver it in person. The letter-writers enjoyed impressive positive effects even a month later.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Write down anything large or small that makes you smile, including terrific achievements, touching moments and great relationships.
  • Remind yourself to savor. Yes, stop and smell the roses-and look at them and touch them. Do whatever you can to really soak in the lovelier aspects of your life.
  • Share your good news. Studies of people’s reactions to positive developments suggest that those who tell a friend about a happy event enjoy it even more.

Avoid Negative Thinking

If you want to feel positive, it pays to decrease the downers in your life. With practice, you can resist worrisome thoughts and perhaps even transform your internal critic into more of a cheering squad.

  • Avoid dwelling on downers. Focusing on negatives isn’t just unpleasant, it also can make you less effective in tackling tasks you face. In a study of test-takers, those who fixated on worrisome thoughts performed worse than those who were distracted from their worries. To stifle your obsessing:
    • Ask yourself if the issue is really worth your energy. Will this issue matter in a year, for example?
    • Tell yourself you’ll worry about it at a specific time later. Chances are you’ll feel better by the appointed time.
    • Instead of just spinning your worry wheels, try a concrete problem-solving exercise.
    • Distract yourself: Go to a movie, pump up some music, find something fun to do.
  • Change unhealthy self-talk. You may have been running negative messages in your head for a long time. But research shows that you can learn to shift your thoughts and that, over time, you can literally change your brain. Consider trying some techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which works in part by looking at how changing your thoughts can change your life. Some tips include:
  • Ask yourself if your negative thought is really true. Are you really a terrible mother if you didn’t make it to the class play? You’re probably involved in innumerable other ways.
  • Remember any achievements that disprove your insecurity. If you think you’ll flop at the office party, remember other social occasions when you were outgoing and confident.
  • Imagine what you’d tell a friend if he was worrying in ways that you are. You’d likely convince him to wait a bit before assuming the worst.
  • Beware of all-or-nothing thinking. Disappointing your girlfriend once doesn’t mean you’re doomed to disappoint her all the time.
  • Consider alternative explanations. If your boss hasn’t responded to your proposal it could be because he’s busy and not because he doesn’t like it.

For more information or help, please contact CornerStone at 614-459-3003.

10 Ways to Help with the Addiction of a Loved One

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addictionThe pain of addiction not only affects the addicted used, but also their family: shame, guilt, fear, worry, anger, confusion, financial costs, life adjustments, and more.

Love, concern, and a willingness to help aimed at changing the behaviors often get twisted into enabling behaviors that only feed the addiction. Here are ten ways you can help your loved ones and help yourself:

  1. Educate yourself on alcoholism and addictions.  By understanding addiction you can begin to respond to it more effectively. Find out more via counseling, AA/NA, or Al-Anon.
  2. Let the user experience their own consequences for their actions. Do not rescue/fix their problems for them, it only inhibits their ability to change. Consequences are helpful in deciding future choices.
  3. Watch out of financially supporting the person with the addiction.  By doing this you could be supporting the addiction in some way and this will provide fewer reasons for them to change their lifestyle choices.
  4. Abandon the tendency to “figure out” why your loved one drinks/uses.  This is a waste of time and energy and can lead to blame focused on someone/something else.
  5. Set boundaries.  Let your “no” be “no” and your “yes” be “yes”. Do not make idle threats – they are meaningless and confusing.
  6. Give up trying to extract promises from the person with the addiction.  A person with an addiction cannot keep promises about their behavior.
  7. Do not preach or lecture.  A sick person is not motivated by guilt and/or intimidation.
  8. Stay calm and firm in dealing with your loved ones.  The emotional pendulum often swings from anger to threats to remorse and is a painful roller coaster to all involved.
  9. Learn how not to accommodate the addiction.  Addiction often infiltrates the family subtly, but it is progressive and you can unknowingly accommodate its presence.
  10. Focus on your life and responsibilities.  Do not neglect other family members or your own needs (hobbies, health, job, etc).

If you would like help with an addiction or support in coping with the pain of the addiction of a loved one, please contact CornerStone at 614-459-3003.

4 Ways to Deal with Stress

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Four Ways to Deal with Stress 

by the American Heart Association

Here are four simple techniques for managing stress:

  1. Positive Self-Talk
    Self-talk is one way to deal with stress. We all talk to ourselves; sometimes we talk out loud but usually we keep self-talk in our heads. Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “Things will work out”) or negative (“I’ll never get well” or “I’m so stupid”).
    Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk helps you calm down and control stress. With practice, you can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.For example:

    Negative Positive
    “I can’t do this.” “I’ll do the best I can.”
    “Everything is going wrong.” “I can handle things if I take one step at a time.”
    “I hate it when this happens.” “I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.”

    To help you feel better, practice positive self-talk every day — in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts.
    Having trouble getting started? Try positive statements such as these:

    • “I’ve got this.”
    • “I can get help if I need it.”
    • “We can work it out.”
    • “I won’t let this problem get me down.”
    • “Things could be worse.”
    • “I’m human, and we all make mistakes.”
    • “Some day I’ll laugh about this.”
    • “I can deal with this situation.”Remember: Positive self-talk helps you relieve stress and deal with the situations that cause you stress.
  2. Emergency Stress Stoppers
    There are many stressful situations — at work, at home, on the road and in public places. We may feel stress because of poor communication, too much work and everyday hassles like standing in line. Emergency stress stoppers help you deal with stress on the spot.Try these emergency stress stoppers. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations and sometimes it helps to combine them.

    • Count to 10 before you speak.
    • Take three to five deep breaths.
    • Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you’ll handle it later.
    • Go for a walk.
    • Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.
    • Set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late.
    • Break down big problems into smaller parts. For example, answer one letter or phone call per day, instead of dealing with everything at once.
    • Drive in the slow lane or avoid busy roads to help you stay calm while driving.
    • Smell a rose, hug a loved one or smile at your neighbor.
    • Consider…prayer to break the negative cycle.
  3. Finding Pleasure
    When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good. Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress.You don’t have to do a lot to find pleasure. Even if you’re ill or down, you can find pleasure in simple things such as going for a drive, chatting with a friend or reading a good book.

    Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 15 minutes.

    Such as:

    1. Start an art project (oil paint, sketch, create a scrap book or finger paint with grandchildren).
    2. Take up a hobby, new or old.
    3. Read a favorite book, short story, magazine or newspaper.
    4. Have coffee or a meal with friends.
    5. Play golf, tennis, ping-pong or bowl.
    6. Sew, knit or crochet.
    7. Listen to music during or after you practice relaxation.
    8. Take a nature walk — listen to the birds, identify trees and flowers.
    9. Make a list of everything you still want to do in life.
    10. Watch an old movie on TV or rent a video.
    11. Take a class at your local college.
    12. Play cards or board games with family and friends.
  4. Daily Relaxation
    Relaxation is more than sitting in your favorite chair watching TV. To relieve stress, relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body…Like most skills, relaxation takes practice. Many people join a class to learn and practice relaxation skills.Deep breathing is a form of relaxation you can learn and practice at home using the following steps. It’s a good skill to practice as you start or end your day. With daily practice, you will soon be able to use this skill whenever you feel stress.

    1. Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap or lie down. Close your eyes.
    2. Picture yourself in a peaceful place. Perhaps you’re lying on the beach, walking in the mountains or floating in the clouds. Hold this scene in your mind.
    3. Inhale and exhale. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply.
    4. Continue to breathe slowly for 10 minutes or more.
    5. Try to take at least five to 10 minutes every day for deep breathing or another form of relaxation.