Marriage as Described in Genesis 2:24

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It is amazing what complex content you can find about marriage in just one Bible verse.

Take a look at this description on marriage from Genesis 2:24 by Mike Legemah:

Genesis Marriage

If you would like help preparing for marriage, enriching your marriage, and help with a struggling marriage, please call CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with a coach or counselor.

Funday Friday: Thanksgiving Humor

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We hope that this Funday Friday image adds some more joy to your Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving humor

Image by Mike Licht

Have a Grateful Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect upon the things for which we are grateful.  This simple act that is celebrated nationally once a year has roots in history but also in mental health.

Take a look at these two articles about the healthy practice of being grateful:

The Choice to be Grateful

4 Simple Exercises To Become More Grateful

Silent Suffering: Video About Suicide

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Take a look at this recent video Silent Suffering featured by the Columbus Dispatch on the topic of depression and suicide.


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, and/or is wrestling with thoughts of suicide, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

If you or a loved one is actively thinking about acting on thoughts of suicide, please immediately contact one of the support networks on CornerStone Family Services’ Support Page.

Miserable Happiness Seekers

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miserable happy people

The pursuit of happiness is one of the most dangerous value systems a person can hold.

There is nothing wrong with being happy, in and of itself, of course. But when our own personal happiness becomes the controlling value in our lives it becomes deadly. Placing personal happiness above all else ultimately destroys others and destroys the one trying to attain it.

Dr. Henry Cloud puts it well when he explains why people who make happiness their greatest value are the most miserable:

The reason is that happiness is a result. It is sometimes the result of having good things happen. But usually it is the result of our being in a good place inside ourselves and our having done the character work we need to do so that we are content and joyful in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. Happiness is a fruit of a lot of hard work in relationships, career, spiritual growth, or a host of other arenas in life…

 

If happiness is our guide and it goes away momentarily, we will assume that something is wrong. The truth (and this is why happiness is such a horrible value) that when we are not happy, something good may be happening. You may have been brought to that moment of crisis because of a need for growth, and that crisis may be the solution to much of what is wrong with your life. If you could grasp whatever it is that this situation is asking you to learn, it could change your entire life…

 

Many things are better to worry about than happiness. And these things are the things that ultimately will produce happiness (Boundaries in Marriage, pp 110-111).

Let us stop making the fruit of happiness our ultimate value. Let us grow in maturity beyond that of the little child who only focuses on the moment – as though happiness now is all that matters – knowing that such a life is self-centered and ultimately self-destructive (let alone destructive to others).  Let us do the sometimes hard heart work now (even if it doesn’t feel good in the short term) that will ultimately bear the lasting fruit of happiness.

Make your personal happiness your greatest value and lasting happiness will surely elude you. Focus on the internal heart root issues within yourself and the fruit of happiness will find you.

Funday Friday: A Punny Animal Conversation

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Here’s a punny conversation for your Funday Friday.

animal punny humor conversation

If you would like to learn how to add some more joy into your daily life, please contact Cornerstone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with one of our coaches or counselors.

Want to Be More Committed? Improve Your Fitness

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Want to Be More Committed? Improve Your Fitness

Getting in Physical Shape Will Increase Your Discipline in Everything

By Brent Flory

I was reading an article last year about Shabazz Muhammad, an NBA player for the Minnesota Timberwolves, when a comment he made leapt off the page at me.

“I think my commitment changed with my body,” Shabazz said in the article, explaining why he was enjoying greater success in his second year in the league in comparison to his first.

Silhouette of the jumping man from a rockWhen you are referring to sports, of course it makes sense that taking greater care of your physical conditioning will lead to improved performance on the court or field. But how many entrepreneurs and professionals ignore their health, and wonder why they lack discipline in other areas? How often do you see a physician or nurse counsel a patient to quit smoking, then run outside on their break to puff on their own cigarette?

Are you struggling to find the discipline you need to take an evening class to pursue that masters degree? Want to commit to spending more time with your family, but keep coming up with reasons you justify why you cannot? Have you been thinking of volunteering in your community, but just can’t get yourself to follow through on making it happen?

Make a commitment to bettering your physical health, and your commitment level in everything else will grow too. To phrase it differently, if you won’t care for your body, you likely won’t care enough to better yourself in other areas.

“If you really want to do something, you will find a way, and if you don’t, you will find an excuse.” —Jim Rohn

No one wants to be the person making excuses, we want to be difference makers. Don’t allow a case of the “I’m too’s” to stop you.

  • “I’m too busy.”
  • “I’m too tired.”
  • “I’m too (insert preferred excuse).”

Here are a few simple ways I’ve personally found helpful that can aid you in making a change in caring for your body that will flow into other areas of your life.

Where to Start in Taking Care of Your Body

1. Slow down and reflect.

You don’t need a ton of time, but take a few minutes today and sincerely ask yourself, “How am I doing in taking care of my body?” Think back over the last couple of weeks on the pattern of how often you have been working out, and what your dietary pattern has been.

Take the time to write it out, the reality of where we are hits harder when it’s in front of us in black and white.

2. Ignore shame messages.

When you are reminded of something you should be doing, it is easy to begin beating yourself up, which is not the least bit helpful. Shame seeks to identify you by your failures, self-awareness acknowledges where you are so you can make healthy changes. Choose to be self-aware.

3. Get a team of supporters.

No one makes meaningful, difficult changes that last without support. You need to enlist the support of others in getting fit.

  • Consult a physician first to give you medical guidance as you work to improve your physical health.
  • Ask at least two friends to give you accountability and encouragement.

4. Go after small progress, not perfection.

Taking great strides often begins with small steps. Fad diets and overly ambitious workout programs will make you sick and sore and kill your motivation. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will a healthier you, and that’s okay.

I really see a big difference in my commitment levels across the board when I am working out regularly. It has worked for me, and it can work for you too. That first step of exercise today can be the first step toward the success you’ve dreamed of achieving. Get moving and go for it.

How to Reduce Your Stress Level in Just Two Minutes

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How to Reduce Your Stress Level in Just Two Minutes

A Better Day Can Be Within Your Grasp Quickly

By Brent Flory

Having a horrible day at the office? Feel like you are literally on your last nerve? A two-minute break can make a massive difference in how the rest of your day goes.

I know how it is. When I used to work as a retail pharmacist, far too often I got overwhelmed by stress. I would feel my anxiety build and try to go on autopilot by shutting down emotionally and doing whatever I had to do to get through the day.

If the autopilot strategy sounds familiar, you know that there are a variety of problems with that stress relief technique.

  • It makes you unpleasant to be around for both your co-workers and your customers.
  • Not being fully engaged increases the risk of making a mistake.
  • It just doesn’t work.

Stuffing your emotions down isn’t the answer. Neither is throwing your stapler at your boss. When you become highly stressed, your emotions begin to get the best of you and take away from your ability to think clearly. As a professional who is paid to use your mind, this is a problem.

You can learn to process your emotions well, even in a very difficult situations. It just takes some practice.

One technique that can help you turn around a rough day is what we will call a breathe break. It’s like a coffee break, but shorter, and minus the coffee. If you can look past those shortcomings, it could prove to be immensely helpful to you.

How to Take a Two-Minute Breathe Break

1. For thirty seconds, focus all your attention on your breathing.

That’s right, focus upon your breathing. Breathe in slowly for a four count, pause for a second, then exhale slowly for a six to seven count. If counting makes you feel more stressed, focus upon your breathing alone. Continue for thirty seconds.

2. Check in with yourself about what’s happening with your body.

Stress affects us in a variety of ways, and one of the easiest to pinpoint is how it affects you physically. Take note of your body. Are your shoulders tensed up? Is your stomach churning? Are your fists clenched? Spend thirty seconds continuing to slowly deep breathe, and identifying how the stress is affecting your body.

3. Try to discern what emotion you are experiencing, and rate it on a scale of 1–10.

Are you feeling anxious? Angry? Depressed? How intense is the emotion?

Being able to describe your emotions and their magnitude can help you calm down further. If you know what emotion you are dealing with, you can take steps to work with it as needed. Knowledge regarding emotions is power. Try to identify your emotions and rate their intensity for thirty seconds while deep breathing.

4. Accept what you are feeling, and then focus on your breathing.

Emotions become problematic most quickly when we try to fight or ignore them. You need to find the cause of your stress, acknowledge it, and decide whether it is something you need to address or let go for now.

Either way, give yourself the last thirty seconds to just focus your attention upon your breathing.

At the end of the two minutes, you will likely feel more calm than before you began the exercise. If you are still feeling swamped with stress, take another two-minute break.

The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it virtually anywhere without taking much away from your day. Instead, using this practice to calm down and recenter yourself upon the task at hand can make a massive difference on your stress levels, and your productivity.

You may think that you don’t have time even for a two minute break because you have to solve a huge problem for your project to be completed. However, research has also shown that we not only think more clearly but also more creatively when we aren’t stressed out.

Less stress? More productive? Greater creativity? Who couldn’t use more of those in their life? Do yourself a favour and take a breathe break. The more you practice, the better it will assist you in taking back your day.

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For more help, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with one of our coaches or counselors.

Graph of a Successful Relationship

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successful relationship chart

This graph from Love and Respect Now illustrates one of the reasons we struggle in relationships.  We tend to operate under the illusion that a good relationship is one that is always improving without any twists and turns.

The reality is that a true relationship involves two people learning to get along with two different backgrounds, ways of thinking, beliefs, preferences, etc, etc, etc.  A relationship without conflict is not a true relationship.

When two people engage in the humble practice of seeking first to understand the other and fight together rather than against one another, a healthy relationship is developed.

If you would like help on the twisty journey of relationships, please give CornerStone Family Services a call at 614-459-3003 to talk with one of our counselors or coaches.

The Choice to be Grateful

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The Choice to be Grateful

By Thelma Duffey (Counseling Today, November 2015; p 5)

elephant seal bellowing close up male juvenile , piedras blancasGratitude is an amazing feeling. Although it is not always easy for us to connect to this feeling, particularly during disappointing or frustrating times, I have found its positive impact to be very real.

I was on a flight the other day that was delayed because of mechanical difficulties. The airline did its best to accommodate its passengers, but the delay made for an especially long day. When I arrived at the hotel, someone asked me if my flight had been a good one. Almost instinctively, I responded with “terrific” and a smile. Moments later, I asked myself, “Was it terrific?” But I quickly concluded that any flight that gets me to me destination safely is pretty good indeed, and I was grateful.

Admittedly, this was an easy exercise in gratitude. There are any number of circumstances far more difficult to reconcile than a layover at the airport. Some of these situations even cause us grief, and I can’t say that I’m very good at feeling anything but grief during those times. In other circumstances though, even disappointments can be blessings in disguise. And when we are able to see that, we often find a reason to be thankful. So, at the end of the day, when there is a choice to be grateful, I want to choose it. The alternative is simply too costly.

Recent findings from brain research are illuminating. Research is now telling us that the brain “hurts” when we or our loved ones experience pain. In addition, the imagination is very real to our brains. Therefore, if we are caught up in stress or worry, our brains feel it too. Even more interesting, we are learning that emotional pain and physical pain have the same effect on the brain. In the words of an educational cartoon I just read, “A broken bone and a broken heart both cause the same smart.” And that makes sense! How many of us who have suffered such hurts wouldn’t recognize this to be true?

There is good news though. We are beginning to learn the circumstances under which our brains thrive and our injuries heal. Interestingly, it is when we connect with our sense of gratitude and compassion. Even more interesting? It is during these times when we most experience happiness. In other words, a grateful brain is a happy brain.

November is a month that encourages messages of thanksgiving and gratitude for many of us. It also serves as a point of reference to reflect on our blessings. As I reflect today, I am truly grateful for so much. I am grateful for my colleagues, near and far, and for the work we do for our profession and communities. I feel tremendous gratitude for our clients, who trust us to be partners in their journeys, and for our students, from whom we learn so much…Challenges arise in an imperfect world, and we do our best to meet them as fairly and thoughtfully as we can. For these, too, I am grateful.