Good Ways to Relieve Your Stress

doctor smiling holding a syringeWe are living in stressful times.

Our lives, as we knew it, changed in three short days.  Overnight we became confined to our homes, the stores are empty, and we are in fear of getting sick.

And now, it is back to work we go, for those of use who had the time off.   We have lost time and money, it has been a rough two months, and future doesn’t look much better.

If you are living with children, the current circumstances of our lives make it easy to take our anger and frustrations out on them.  If we were hot-tempered before this started, we will be even more hot-tempered now.

What is your make-up?  How do you handle stress?  This is a good time to examine how you react to stress, and what you can do to stay calm.

Signs of stress, and what to do about them.  stress monster

We are a social animal.  We love being around others.  We strive for hugs and being cared for.  We look for variety in our day to keep us afloat – mentally, physically, and economically.  We love our family, but we also carry boundaries that cannot be crossed.

Those boundaries are being crossed every day now, simply because our lifestyle changed overnight from one of severe busy to one of worry.

Rather than falling apart, turning to drugs and alcohol, or fighting with our spouse, there are better ways to cope with these stressful times.

But first, recognize the signs of stress.  Listen to your body, step back and watch yourself reacting to others.  What does this look like?

let the stress beginCommon signs of stress:

Headaches, chronic pain, vague pain, prone to illness, low energy, little sleep, stomach problems, depression.

Any or all of these make you irritable and edgy.  Add a houseful of kids that cannot contain their energy, and these feelings are just made worse.  Ready to scream yet?

There is more to the stress response than just pain, lack of sleep and depression – if that isn’t enough.  Do you show any of these symptoms?

Eight signs you are under stress:

  1. Easy to anger.  Irritable.  Quick to snap at others.
  2. Feelings of hopelessnss.  Your money is running low, fortunately your creditors are working with you.  You do not have enough food and supplies for any lengthy siege, and you are uncertain about your future.  Will you have a job when this is over?  The experts are predicting economical doom and gloom.  Fear of the unknown escalates, and we feel hopeless and helpless.
  3. Trouble making decisions.  Does your brain feel fuzzy, you are not thinking as clearly as you would like, and you find yourself making stupid mistakes?  Do not be too hard on yourself.  This is your brain responding to the stress.  The first part of our brain that shuts down in a stressful situation is our frontal cortex – decision central.  Of course, you cannot make good decisions, you are not physically capable of doing so.
  4. Unexpected crying.  Sadness, anger, perhaps some desperation in the mix.  Life may have been perfect for you, and suddenly it is not.  Or, Life was not perfect before, and this added stress is making things worse.  Either way, you are experiencing loss.  What do people do when they grieve?  They cry.
  5. Worry.  Worry is an act of futility.  We worry about the unknown.  Humans are great at looking at the worst case scenario.  Perhaps it is a means of survival, expecting the worst.  But worry is wasted energy.  Lack of control of a situation causes us to worry.  If things were running smoothy, we would not worry.the effects of stress
  6. Arguing.  Irritable, stressed, frustrated, a little depressed.   Closed in with too many people.  Your days have shut down, you have cabin fever.  Noise bothers you.  This is when we take our feelings out on others.  Fighting with your spouse, yelling at the kids, letting off steam – at the expense of others around you.
  7. Eating.  Some people eat too much, others eat too little.  Like sleep, eating is a response to stress.  When cortisol levels are high, we crave sugar to bring them down.  Have you noticed that when you are stressed you head for the kitchen?  Grab a handful of candy, anything sweet.  There is nothing wrong with your will power.  It is your body craving a sugar high to calm the cortisol coursing through your system.
  8. Sleeping.  Too much or too little. It has hard to sleep when your mind is racing, you are angry, sad, and worried – how will you make it through this?  These are real concerns, we all feel them, but not sleeping only causes you to make even worse decisions.  You are irritable because you are not getting enough sleep.  Your body feels off because you are fatigued.  You are either eating too much or too little – out of boredom, stress, or a combination of the two.  Chances are you are not getting the exercise you are used to.

All of these make us prime for abusing others – especially our children.  They are so vulnerable and easy to attack. Even if we generally are not angry and mean, it is difficult to maintain that demeanor when living the unknown.

Domestic violence is on the rise for these very reasons.  Try your best not to be a part of the problem.

How long before this ends?

And therein lies the problem.  We do not know.  We are creatures of habit.  We like to be in control of our lives, we like to know what comes next in our day.  And we must perceive there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The less we know what is happening and when, the more stressed we become.  It isn’t just the extent of the stressor, but your perception of where you are in it.

As time goes on, we have not only lost our sense of control, but we are in the middle of the tunnel, and we do not see the light at the end.

Well, then, what do we do with ourselves?

  • Identify your stressors.  Oh, boy, what a long list that is!  Once you know what stresses you, use the Covey Matrix to prioritize and eliminate problems.

the covey matrix

After listing your stressors, place them in the matrix.  This way you can see exactly where each stressor lies.  What is worth stressing over?  Once you have this visual, you can eliminate most of those things that are bothering you.

This is how it works:

Box I contains the urgent, most important, tasks you can take immediate action on and resolve.  Those pressing problems that have a solution.  Box II holds the things that matter the most to you, having longer term goals than Box I, and only time and patience will bring the solution.

Boxes III and IV contain items that not important – not worth giving your time to.  How many items from you list can you put in these boxes?  Box IV raises the question, “why are you even concerned about this?”  Along with the items in Box III, you will quickly realize these matters can be put on hold, and will probably fade away over time.

You can use this matrix for any type of decision or conundrum.  Try listing the things you are grateful for and see how they hold up.

  • Accept what you cannot change.  This eases the sense of lack of control.  When you take a solid look at your life, you will realize there are some things that just are.  No fault of anyone’s.  We cannot change the state of the world now, we cannot eliminate the virus, but it makes it easier if we can accept what we can.
  • “This too shall pass.”  Nothing is permanent.  Nothing stays the same.  You just have to be patient and wait it out.
  • Relax.  Worry, depression, stress.  How do you relax with all this going on?  Your shoulders are touching your ears, you are so tight in the neck.  If you have not explored relaxation techniques before now, this is a good time to do so.  Take time out of your day when the house is quiet, even if it means getting up a half hour earlier than everyone else, or staying up later at night.  Take some time to relax…
  • Stay healthy.  Physically and mentally. Sleep, exercise, eat healthy foods.  Walk around the block.  Take the kids with you.  Keep an upbeat attitude.  Do not let this get you down.
  • Change your thoughts. Instead of brooding on how horrible life is, take some time and look at the good things in your life.  Make a gratitude list.  Find five things to be grateful for every day.  When you start feeling down, stop yourself.  Think about something else.  Fill your days with busy-ness so you do not have to think, if that is what it takes.  Feel the worry coming on?  Worry is futile.
    Remember that.
  • Pet your pet.  If you do not have a pet, you might consider getting one.  A pet is a companion that does not talk back.  They love you no matter what.  Petting an animal lowers your blood pressure and makes you calmer.  Take the time to feel the sensations – how does the fur feel on your palm, does your animal look at you with love?  Absorb these feelings.
pet an animal for health
Pet your Pet
  • Be kind to you.  We’ve all heard it.  You must reach for your oxygen mask first.  Take care of yourself, stop the negative self-talk.  This has nothing to do with who you are.  Staying positive will help control your anger and you will be less likely to lash out at your child or your mate.

It is important in these times that we take control of our stress and the feelings that go with it.  If you can realize most of your feelings are physical reactions to stress, then you can better control the anxiety and panic that will grab you when you least expect it.

Stay safe.  Stay calm. Stay healthy.

change the world with kindness

Wishing you the best.

c.w Pickett

How you do handle your stress?  Let us know in a comment below.

 

A Pandemic of Fear:  Common Sense about COVID

covid emojii

Does anyone else find this lock-down worrisome?

We are ruled by fear.

Sitting in our homes, waiting to get sick.  Surely the virus will wipe us all out.  Watching the economy spin quickly out of control as the virus spreads just as quickly, doubling and tripling in rates by the day, continuing its spread until it wears itself out.  

The object of this post is not another worn-down talk about COVID, but to put it in perspective.  We are riddled with misinformation, and no on knows what to think, but the truth of the matter is we are panicking over something that could have been prevented. 

Imagine:  You are a patient in a hospital.  There are many sick people with the flu and other infectious diseases, and various healthcare workers frequently traisp into your room, checking on you.  Each time someone enters, they push the button for the antibacterial cream, rub their hands a few times, and then do their thing.  As they walk out of the room, they squirt a little more solution on their hands, and off to the next patient they go.

healthcare acquired infections

A nosocomial infection is an infection acquired from a stay in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient surgical clinics, renal dialysis centers, and other healthcare facilities.  Hospital-aquired infections (HAI) are contacted by every third patient admitted to the hospital.  The CDC reports  that in 2015, out of 687,000 cases, 72,000 died from HAI, but the Patient Care Link puts these numbers at 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths per year.

Healthcare-acquired infections have been a problem for some time – a problem we continue to ignore, and people continue to become infected and die at amazing rates from a stay in the hospital.

Three common strains are escheria coli (e.coli), clostriduim difficile (c. dif), and MRSA, or methicillin resistent staphylococcus aureus. 

    • E. coli lives in the healthy environment in the intestines and is necessary in
      e coli
      e. coli

      digestion of food.  When out of the body, it is found in uncooked meat and unwashed vegetables, making it a common cause of food poisoning.  This bacteria also causes urinary tract infections, and any site with a catheter is a breeding ground for the bacteria. Hand sanitizers do not prevent the spread of e.coli.

  • c. difficile
    c. difficile
    • Clostridium difficile is a bacteria that resides in the large intestine.  It causes severe diarrhea that can lead to dehydration.  This is especially prevalent in nursing homes and hospitals and also is spread through contact with feces and improper hand washing.  Hand sanitizers also do not work with this bacteria.
    • Methycillin Resistent Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that infects wounds, is resistent to most antibiotics, and certain strains can kill you quickly.  Not much destroys this germ.

      mrsa
      mrsa

  • WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH COVID?

    The numbers from COVID are alarming and rise every day, and if I post them here, they will be outdated by tomorrow.  But there is this to say about age-related deaths. 

    Examining 72,000 deaths in China by early March, only 1.2% of the deaths were from children ages 1 to 19, and 0.9% were under 10 years.  Only one adolescent died, but infants and children with asthma and a weakened autoimmune system were at higher risk of serious illness from the virus.  The majority of deaths (<80%) were in people over 65.

    As of March, of the COVID cases in the United States, the majority of people admitted to hospitals were from long-term-care facilities.  Like China, 80% of the deaths are those over 65, are admitted more frequently, and utilize the ICU more often. 

    Now it has come to light that the epicenters for the virus in the U.S. are nursing homes.

    nursing homes are ground zero for pandemic
    click on image to read article

    Healthcare facilities, by their nature, are germ-fests on a healthy day.  We trust emergency rooms to be equipped to handle germs of every kind, but as we see by COVID-19, they are not.  

    The virus began in this country in January and February 2020, two full months before the alarm was sounded.  People were sick and went to the emergency rooms or doctor’s offices to be treated.  Not knowing what they were dealing with, the healthcare professionals used their normal handwashing and infection control measures, which were not adequate  even before the COVID outbreak.

    Soap and water will wash the virus away – antibacterial hand-cleaning solutions will not. 

    Using their normal hand-cleaning techniques, healthcare workers unknowingly spread the disease, and multitudes of people were walking around with a virus that quickly escalated to epidemic proportions.  People became sick right and left, and by the time the government sounded the alarm, it was too late.

    Antibacterial solutions also will not eliminate any of the three causes of HAI mentioned above.  Soap and water is the most effective means to wash away any of these germs found in hospitals. 

    The most common cause of transfer of e.coli and c.difficile is from feces to mouth. 

    In all cases, the best thing all of us can do to prevent the spread of disease is by proper handwashing when using the restroom.  Healthcare workers should wash hands before and after treating each patient.  This is not rocket science, but many studies have shown that workers do not wash their hands often enough, even with infection control training and warning signs above the wash station.

    Did you know, more people die per year from HAI than they do in jumbo-jet crashes?  The airlines have figured out how to stop their planes from falling from the sky, but people die at enormous rates from infections acquired in healthcare facilities, which are allowed to continue with unsanitary practices.

    What is the solution?
    1.  Enforce infection control procedures in health care facilities where transfer of fluids, bacteria and viruses are common.  Or we could..
    2. Continue on as before.  The spread of COVID will eventually decrease, but people will continue to die from hospital-aquired infections.

    More people died in the Civil War from infection than they did from bullets.  Since then, penicillin was discovered and infection control measures were instituted to stop the spread of disease.  But in past years, we have become lax.  

    The best option?  Stop the fear factor of becoming deathly ill.  If we all used common sense in keeping our families safe and healthy, we would not need the government to tell us to stay home.  Employers and schools can revisit their sick-leave policies and keep people at home when they are sick.

    The world is changing, but we cannot prevent every death or disease.  We never could.  This sudden take-over of our lives over a virus is rather disturbing.  

    Could this spread of COVID have been prevented?  It certainly would have been better contained if healthcare facilities were more careful about preventing the spread of infections.

    There are things we can do

    Demand your local healthcare facilities look at their quality policies in regards to infection control.  The problem with HAI has been swept under the carpet for too long, and perhaps if better measures were in place before, there would not have been an epidemic of COVID.

    And most importantly –

    Stay home when you are sick!
    and
    Wash your hands frequently!

    We can learn from this.  We can be more cautious in our daily lives to prevent  infections from spreading.  A hard lesson to learn, but mistakes are a good teaching tool.

    Well, you now have a new perspective on this crisis we are in.  There is no need to be ruled by fear.  Be smart and safe.  Stay home and let the disease run it’s course.  And save every penny, because the onslaught from this will not be pretty.

Take the Quantum Leap into Abudance. An excerpt.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

take the quantum leap into abundance. a guide to the good life.
An excerpt

Contemplate the workings of the world,
listen to the words of the wise,
and take all that is good as your own.
With this as your base, open your own door to truth.
Do not overlook the truth that is right before you.
Study how water flows in a valley stream,
smoothly and freely between the rocks.
Also, learn from holy books and wise people.
Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees –
should be your teacher.
~The Art of Peace~

WE EQUATE ABUNDANCE AS LIVING WITH RICHES.

Although we can find abundance wherever we are, we presume abundance and wealth go hand in hand. In our minds, to have wealth is to have abundance. It takes strength of character to live in utter poverty and believe you have all the abundance in the world.

Money is necessary to meet the cycle of needs. Physical needs require money, as does safety. Love is giving, and the more you give, the more you show your love. We cannot help it, our self-esteem is based on the finer things in life; the better our living quarters, the better our mental outlook.

Obtaining wealth has the same mindset as any other success. You must desire, believe, and expect it before you receive it. You must act in a certain way. Most importantly, you must cancel the idea that the love of money is the root of evil. Money is money, a means to an end. Money is not evil, only the people who spend it in evil ways.

Banish the thought that having riches is wrong. When in tune with the Universe, you express the desires of the Universe. When the Universe is in control, abundance will freely flow.

If a room full of gold bars is your goal, then this is your Supreme Power beaconing you. Follow your heart. You will be amazed.

Taking the Quantum Leap is not jumping into another physical realm, a different reality. Rather you are leaping into another consciousness; another plane of existence.

Quantum People live a fulfilling life, but they are not in another physical realm, obviously. The ones who shine the strongest in our memory have strong moral character and cause great things to happen. They are the ones who set humanity apart from the rest.

True, some nasty characters spring up throughout history, but who are the heroes? Who are the ones revered the most? The longest remembered? Who gives the world the greatest legacies? The Quantum People! Those who transcend so-called human limitations and follow their heart.

True abundance comes from doing what you love. Surround yourself with beauty, with people who love you, follow your heart, and do what makes you happy.

With the body, mind, and soul in a row – when these three are aligned, then life is in perfect harmony. Success follows harmony. Success comes from knowing what you want and having a blueprint as a guide to meet your desire.

Following your heart means following the voice in your head – the one telling you to go forth and multiply. Ideas. Opportunities. Multiply your ideas by believing with absolute faith you will accomplish your goals.

The thought is formed when you see it in your mind’s eye. Apply action and the goal will become real.

Seeing and believing do more than help you realize your goals, they also keep you in touch with the Ruler of the Universe. Uncanny events happen once you are connected. Have a worry, let it go, and the answer will appear. This is not nonsense. This is what happens when you take the leap into your true existence.

What you search for is right here, inside of you. You know what you want, your desires and dreams. These are not fantasies found in storybooks, but the Universe coming through, expressing your worth to the world.

If you follow those urgings instead of directing them, you will become spontaneous in your living and therefore more open to opportunities. Your inner voice is telling you to do this thing for a chance at an opportunity.

“Try this idea, see how it works,” the voice says.

How many times a day do you argue with that voice; reason it out, tamp it down, tell it to go away, the thing cannot be done. Squashing ideas and opportunities for abundance.

One word of caution: Be careful what you wish for. Be careful that when you throw out the old, you do not throw out your treasured blanket. Not everything in your life must go, does it? Keep the possessions and people who enhance your life. As you view your life in gratitude, you will find parts you do not want to change. Loved ones, possessions, even habits, and that is okay.

You may bring about drastic changes in your life; find another job; get married; get divorced; move halfway around the world. Or there may be no visible change to your physical existence. The change, whatever your outer world, will come from within.

One day you will notice life is running smoother, amazing things happen without explanation; you are happier. This is when you will know you have taken the great leap into your quantum life, and have found abundance.

COME, TAKE THE QUANTUM LEAP INTO ABUNDANCE.
WATCH YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE
   click the image to order

Guilty Before Proven Innocent

More than one-third of America’s citizens are under some kind of correctional control – jail, prison, probation, or parole.

This book is about the state of the American Family in 2019.

Why is it called the Iron Curtain?  When Russia was called the Soviet Union and under Communist rule, communism was called the “iron curtain.”

In America we claim freedom, but too many of our citizens are trapped behind the iron bars of justice.

You’ve probably heard it on the news, or seen it on the internet:  2.3 Americans are in prison and 11 to 12 million churn through jails every year.  Nearly two thirds of those in jail are technically innocent.  They have been charged, but not proven, of a crime.

Since most people in jail live in poverty anyway, they cannot afford to pay the bondsman, and so they sit.  More and more women are being arrested and incarcerated – for low level crimes.  Mothers are losing their children, not for abuse, but because their sentence term is long enough for the courts take the children away.

The majority of people in the system are parents.  Mothers and fathers with young children lose their jobs because of a three-day stay in jail.  The consequences of a conviction, whether felony or misdemeanor, is lost chances.

Lost chances at renting a decent place to live and having a well-paying job.  Policies of landowners and employers are geared toward not hiring, or renting to, those with a criminal record.

The three largest groups of the homeless:

1. Those incarcerated more than once
2. Those incarcerated who are recently released
3. People of color

Once the legal system has you, say goodbye not only to your freedom, but to your life – which will not be the same once your legal problems are over.  They will follow you the rest of your life, and if you happen to be involved in a crime down the road, you will be one of the first to be suspected.

Suicide does not know income boundaries, those with the highest income and the lowest income commit suicide – but there is an inordinate amount of suicides among the mentally ill in prisons and jails.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in correctional facilities. An estimated half of all inmate-suicides are committed by those with a mental illness.

Vera Institute of Justice

There is no psychiatric facility in the United States that holds more people with mental illness than jails!  The conditions of jail just make things worse:

WHY JAIL IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTHbuy now
    1. The lights are on 24/7. Day in, day out, there is halogen and/or fluorescent lighting in the day room, the sleeping rooms, and the exercise yard. This is light-torture. The body needs dark to process melatonin for sleep. The mind and body need a restful nights’ sleep to function properly.
    2. The food is meant to tempt empty bellies, and not intended to be wildly nutritious or balanced. A poor diet contributes to mental-health problems as much as lack of sleep.
    3. Hygiene. Shared toilet facilities, improper sanitation, less-than-clean conditions, all of these contribute to the rampant spread of disease.
    4. Lack of sunshine or exercise. You can be sure the jailers do not pass out vitamin D pills! Without sunshine, depression sets in. Jails do not promote much activity, and we know what lack of activity does to our bodies.

It is true, people are in jail to be punished, but why does punishment take away basic human needs? If proper food, exercise, sunshine and adequate hygiene were provided, jail would not be such a hell-hole.

Did you know the states that rank the lowest in healthcare rank the highest in  both suicide deaths and incarceration?

These states are clustered in the mountain states, including Alaska.  The states with the heaviest gun control laws have the lowest rates of suicide.  Barriers, such as gun locks, take away the impulsiveness of the moment, and gives the person a chance to think twice.

 

 

America incarcerates more of our citizens than any other country in the world, but 25 U.S. states incarcerate more of their citizens than America.

Unknown numbers are in the correctional system who are innocent of the crime.  As high as 230,000 people, or one-tenth of the prison population, may be innocent.  Not innocent waiting for trial, but innocent. As in "I didn't do it."

How can so many people be so wrongly accused?  The end of the book has a shining example of how this happens.

I hope you like history, because Part 4 takes you back 120 years to when Wyoming was starting out as a state.  From 1869 to 1920, Wyoming was the only political entity in the world that gave women the right to vote.  It turns out the Equality State, as it was named because of women voting and owning property, is not as equal as we may think.

A man wrongly convicted

Tricked into the deputy’s lair with a false promise of a job, a drunken confession was rung out of Tom Horn, and he never saw the light of day again.  For twenty-two months he sat in the Laramie County jail, first waiting his trial and then waiting his conviction.

Tom Horn making a horsehair lariat.

Through twists and turns, and smoke and mirrors, the prosecuting attorney wove a convincing story of Tom’s guilt, but the sad part, none of it was true.  He clouded the waters by bringing witnesses that convoluted any evidence brought up by the the defense.  By the end of the trial, after threats from the public if they let Tom Horn go, the jury found him guilty, thinking that he could appeal their decision to the supreme court and the governor.

Justice did not work so well for Tom Horn.  He testified in court that he trusted cattle more than courts.  Perhaps we should be as suspicious.

The story is complete with a woman that came forth with knowledge of the real killer, but yellow jounalism tagged her as a prostitute, the prosecutor threw her in jail for perjury, and the governor said she was making up “theories.”

If you think the justice system is just, then this book is for you.  If you are in the system, then you know what I’m talking about.  My book is meant to open eyes to see the profound impact mass incarceration is having on America’s families.  If you support the death penalty, maybe the truth about Tom Horn will change your mind.

No wonder our society has so many problems, when you consider incarceration and poverty have risen together, in tandem, over the last thirty years.

And this, my friends, is what this book is about.  The only one like it.

Buy it today.  Hot off the Press.Read it, enjoy it, pass it on.  Please give my book a boost and place your review on Amazon, or leave your comments below.

Signs of Dangerous Men and How to Avoid Them

April is Sexual Assault and Awareness Month sexual assault awareness month

In the spirit of spreading the word, this blog talks about the signs of dangerous men and why we should avoid them.  We let them into our lives, and they turn out to be predators. You will find them at home, at work, at school and college, the military, and in the streets, but the ones we have to watch out for the most are in our home. 

How do you know what a person is capable of before it is too late?

sexual assault and awareness month

As in most interviews with sexual assault victims, the dialogue, the violation of privacy, and the demeanor of the victim are excruciating.  For anyone who has a cavalier attitude about predation, he need only to watch its influence on the victims in order to change his attitude.  They cannot scrub the stain out of their skin.  Over and over again, the assault flickers like a sad-porn film on a screen inside their heads, sometimes for months, sometimes years.  

James Lee Burke, Robicheaux

It does not matter whether you were raped once as an adult, or assaulted many times as a child, you just cannot seem to wash that stain away, no matter how many showers you take.

You will be going along, having a good day, when suddenly from out of nowhere, comes the feeling of your stomach hitting the floor.  “Where did that come from?” you wonder. Sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t.

Forgetting the past is not possible for someone who has been sexually assaulted.  Slap me, beat me, call me names; I can get over those.  Sexually abuse me, you take a part of me away – and leave an emptiness that can never be filled.

For both men and women who are raped, men are the most frequent perpetrators.  You rarely hear of a woman raping a man.  You sometimes hear of women molesting children – mostly teenaged boys, but a woman rapist is rare.  And because of that, I will be using “he” throughout this blog to refer to the predator.

DO THESE THINGS AND YOU WILL STAY SAFE

(Taken from a Woman’s Self-Defense Manual from 1990)

    • Don’t go out without clothes:  That encourages some men
    • Don’t go out with clothes:  Any clothes encourage some men
    • Don’t go out alone at night:  That encourages men
    • Don’t go out alone at any time:  Any situation encourages some men
    • Don’t go out with a female friend:  Some men are encouraged by numbers
    • Don’t go out with a male friend:  Some male friends are capable of rape
    • Don’t stay at home:  Intruders and relatives can both rape
    • Avoid childhood:  Some rapists are “turned on” by little girls
    • Avoid old age:  Some rapists “prefer” aged women
    • Don’t have a father, grandfather, uncle or brother:  These are the relatives who often rape young women
    • Don’t have neighbors:  These often rape women
    • Don’t marry:  Rape is legal within marriage (today this is illegal in all 50 states)
TO BE QUITE SURE – DON’T EXIST!

While this was written as tongue-in-cheek, there is a ring of truth to it.  But myths, sarcasm, and downplaying the situation does not keep us safe.  Sadly, many people still believe the victim is responsible for the attack, just because of the above.  “She must have asked for it.”

Then there is the doubt as to whether the act really happened unless there is gross physical evidence.  Even that can be explained away.  Too often it becomes a “he said/she said” scenario and no one knows who to believe. These guys are slick and have their demeanor and their stories straightened out and rehearsed.

Things to consider when going about your day
        1.  Hairstyle.  Hair in a ponytail is easiest to grab onto.
        2.  Clothing.  They like skimpy clothing only because it is easier to rip off.
        3.  Distractions.  You are immersed in your cell phone, you have earbuds and are listening to music.  You are unaware of who is approaching you.
        4. Locations.  Grocery store parking lots, office parking lots/garages, public restrooms.
        5.  Easy to grab.  Stay away from parked vans or vehicles that have a lone male driver.

This is all well and good when you are out and about.  But we keep on the lookout for suspicious strangers when the threat is much closer to home.  Too many times in our home. 

the threat in our homes

child victims often know the perpetrator

80% of perpetrators are a parent
6% are other relatives
5% are “other” (from siblings to strangers)
4% are unmarried partners of a parent

every 8 minutes

The younger the child at the time of the abuse, the more likely s/he is to have problems later in life.  Victim behaviors begin at the time of the trauma, and if the trauma is not processed, these behaviors become a part of the personality.  Shame and fear rule the child’s world.  And these feelings continue through their life with symptoms of depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and PTSD.  

predator behavior is a way of thinking

Unfortunately, the behavior of a sexual predator is wrapped up in his thinking, and this is what makes him a danger to others.  

Whether a family member, a co-worker, a boss or someone in a superior position, there is a particular thinking pattern that causes this behavior.

Stanton Samenow, Ph.D. outlines this thinking process for us.  Because of their charming personalities, it is difficult to pick up on them, but these tips might help:

four common traits of a sexual predator

Power and control.  His goal is to dominate.  He is the one in charge and perhaps a little pushy about it.  He seldom takes no for an answer and has a tendency to get upset if you challenge him or his ideas.

Unique.  He is irresistible.  He makes his presences known.  Again, he will not take no for an answer and is pushy about making up his own rules.  He expects you to follow along.  After all, he is your savior, is he not?

Deceptive.  Get over it.  Everything he tells you is a lie.  Don’t believe me?  Just give it time.  True colors eventually come out.   He is intelligent, talented and charismatic, and uses these traits to manipulate people, including you.  Charisma – the ability to capture a room full of people with his charm. 

Consequences.  He doesn’t care about the consequences.  Sexual predation is a game to him.  He knows the difference between right and wrong, so this is not a morality issue.  It is about power and control.  As long as he gets away with what he does, who is in control?  And when he does get caught he turns into a victim.  “She enticed me, I just couldn’t help myself.”

ever 92 seconds sexual assault

protecting yourself and your family

How do you stay safe from someone like this? 

They are likable, charming, the laugh of the party.  You are lucky to have someone like this in your life, aren’t you? Well, you might not feel so lucky after they get their hooks into you.

The world is full of crazy people and to find someone that is kind and helpful feels like a godsend.  You are having problems, and finally, here is someone who cares enough to listen and understand.

It doesn’t matter how educated you are, or what kind of job you have, women fall all the time for the charmer.  Didn’t you have a Prince Charming when you were growing up?  We are conditioned to fall for the nice guy.

Sad but true, it is these nice guys you have to be wary of.  Especially if he is there to pick you up, to make you feel worthwhile.  They like people who are down in the dumps.  Too absorbed with your own problems and the relief that someone is listening to you, you don’t see the underbelly of the snake.

snake

The world is not safe, which means you have to have your trust-radar on at all times.  The one thing that will keep you safe is your instinct.  Your gut feeling.  If you feel there is something wrong with this person, go with your gut.

It is better to be judicious when first meeting someone than to let a predator into your life.  

This means you have to be careful who you pick as a mate.  If you bring your boyfriend home and you do not know him very well, you could be placing your family at great risk.

Be careful who you bring into your house.  You ask them in for a friendly drink and they never leave.  Our homes are the only safe haven we have.  Protect it.

When someone who knows you well tells you this guy is a jerk, listen to them.  Your mom is not being mean or controlling.  She is concerned.  Trust her.  She’s lived longer than you.  She knows what she’s talking about.  

Your friends know you and love you.  They can see what he’s doing to you.  Listen to them.

Too many daughters have brought abusive men into families – the families try their best to accept him, but in the end, the daughters bring trouble.

And so the cycle continues.

 

no more rape culture

prevention and awareness
      1. The best way to prevent this from happening to you, obviously, is to keep these kinds of people out of your life!  But as we have determined, the most dangerous men are the ones we are most attracted to.  Charismatic and helpful – at first.
      2. A self-defense class will teach you awareness, but any physical techniques you learn can easily be used against you.  He is strong and overpowering – and smart. 
      3. Never underestimate your attacker.  You do not know what they know. 
      4. Teach your children assertiveness skills.  Learn assertiveness skills yourself so the next time someone tries to flummox you, you are ready for them.
      5. Listen to your child.  Children are open-minded and honest when evaluating people.  If they don’t like the guy, trust their judgment.  If they are being molested, they will be too scared to come out and tell you.  Chances are they have been threatened with harm if they “tell mommy.”
      6. Listen to your instincts.  If you cannot recognize bad people, then this is something you need to work on.  You can usually tell if you like someone or not within the first 30 seconds of meeting them, but we ignore those signs.  
      7. Beware of the nice guy.  There are truly nice guys in this world, but they are honest and straightforward.  The “nice guy” who rapes you or your daughter turns out to be not so nice after all.
      8. Be careful who you bring into your home.  Once you have invited someone in, you are willing to share a part of your life.  Be sure you invite only people you trust.
In a nutshell

Sexual predators look for your weaknesses and move in when your guard is lowest.  They sense your distress and feed on it.  Once they come into your life, they are hard to get out.

It is not healthy to limit your activities because you are afraid.  It is better to learn people skills and how to deal with and/or avoid people that take up your space.

Be wary of Mr. Nice Guy, the stranger who comes into your life and seems like a godsend.  Maybe he is, but probably he is not.

 

walking between the raindrops, a treatise on trauma
     Why Do Women Stay?

Click here to read more.

Stay Safe.

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Joy Organics CBD Oil: Put some JOY into your life.

cbd oil

Whew! There are a ton of CBD websites, all advertizing basically the same thing, all claiming to have the best CBD oil products!

There isn’t much varience in CBD oil, or is there?

How do you know you are getting the real deal? How do you know the company isn’t bottling snake oil and passing it on as CBD oil?

Here is how to be sure you are getting a quality product.

I have done the legwork of analyzing products for you, and here is a company I’ve found…

Joy Organics is a fast-paced, up and coming company that is making their way with selling CBD products. They have quickly expanded their stores from one humble abode in Fort Collins. In just a short time, they have opened two more!

If this doesn’t say something for the company’s success, there’s more.

  • The products are 100% organically grown.
  • The hemp seed is a strain bred specifically for the finest CBD oil.
  • The farms follow rigid growing standards.
  • The products undergo a intensive testing process.

You can read an extensive product review here, if you want to know more about how Joy Organics process their products.

And if you aren’t tired of reading why CBD products are so good for you, you can read this blog.

Read on to learn about the great products by Joy Organics.

 

Tinctures are best taken under the tongue and let the oil sit in your mouth as long as you can.

Tinctures are many people’s favorite. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes after administration to feel the effects. Tinctures allow you to regulate your own dosing and to use it throughout the day. A good time to take it is in the middle of the day when you feel the slump. You will notice a fast improvement in your mood and alertness – better than a stout cup of coffee, in my opinion!

If you have dry skin and irritating wrinkles, put a drop of the oil on your palm and gently rub it onto your face. One drop is all you need, and your skin will notice a difference right away.


CBD oil Softgels might more your speed if you do not like the tincture, or prefer a consistent dose. The Softgel releases the CBD more slowly into your body than the tincture, but the lasting effect may be longer. This is not a product I have tried yet, but if you have, leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Along with Softgels with CBD oil only, you can also purchase CBD Softgels with curcumin for pain relief, OR –

For a good night’s sleep, try the CBD gelcaps with melatonin.

Gelcaps are a great way to be sure you get a consistent dose, and with the added melatonin, you can be sure you will have sweet dreams.

 

joy organics skin care

Try out Joy Organic’s skincare products!

CBD face and eye serum, CBD face mask, CBD day and night cream. They have it all for beautiful skin!

Joy Organics CBD oil salve

Let us not forget the CBD salve!

If you have muscle pain from arthritis or injury, this salve will definitely take it away. “A little dab will do ya!” Take a dropper full of tincture along with using the salve, and in a short time, you will be going about your day pain-free. Sometimes my muscle pain flairs to where it is so annoying I can no longer ignore it. When nothing else seems to work, amazingly, this CBD salve does! I highly recommend it.

 

pets
Remember your pets!

Our pets absorb our stressful lives. They carry our burdens and we aren’t even aware of it. Animals show signs of stress like humans; dry skin and hair, lack of energy, foggy mind, anxiety. CBD dog treats, and CBD oil tincture for pets will give your pet a new lease on life.

So there you have it. My opinion on the best CBD products on the market.

Do not waste your money on scams and products that fall short.

Buy CBD products you know are 100% TCH free, organically grown in the USA, and produced and sold by a USA company.

Your body will thank you.

 

10 Ways to Rid Yourself of Anxiety and Panic

man worrying

Your day is not going well.  You did not sleep very well last night, if at all.  You are tired and edgy.  Irritable.

If you are prone to anxiety, have you noticed it is worse on days when you do not sleep well, are under an inordinate amount of stress, or just plain worn out?

Generally, anxiety occurs as a result of lack of sleep or too much stress.  Do you have difficulty sleeping when you are tired?  

What do you do, tell your boss you need a nap?  Lock your door and tell your kids to let you sleep?  If you are like most people, neither one of these are options.

You control your stress as much as you can, but there are some days…

You are not alone.  Consider this:

what percentage of the population has anxiety

You do not have to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to experience anxiety.  Disorders happen over time, so to prevent this, learn to control your anxiety before it becomes a set-in-stone way of thinking.

anxiety can be controlled

In this blog, you will learn 10 ways, plus a few more, to rid yourself of anxiety and panic. 

When you first feel the anxiety coming on, recognize it, compartmentalize it with mindfulness, and then release your tension.  After practicing this daily as a routine, and more often when the need arises, you will begin to find your anxiety lessen. 

Many people swear by CBD oil for controlling their anxiety.  Taken on a daily basis, CBD oil seems to regulate mood swings.  You might want to give it a try.

Read on and learn how you can rid yourself of anxiety and panic.  But first, a word about mindfulness.

MINDFULNESS, PURE AND SIMPLE

Anxiety, panic, and worry stem from the same thinking process. The trouble usually starts with worry, and as feelings of the hopelessness of resolving the issue progress, so do the feelings of anxiety.

In serious situations, panic strikes!

People prone to anxiety can have these attacks multiple times a day. If you are someone whose day is riddled with uncontrollable stress and anxiety, I have an idea that might work for you.

No, please!  Not more about mindfulness!!

Yes, mindfulness. But what I have for you is a different approach than what you normally read about. I stumbled upon this after trying different ways to be mindful, and after a few days of doing so, I found my mind was more controlled and less anxious.

This got me to thinking about the hype we put on mindfulness. We tie it to meditation and some impossible goal that few of us can achieve. We associate a pure mind to Shaolin monks and esoterics that have complete control over their lives and meditate often. Our lives are too busy to take meditation seriously, and so we live with a cluttered stressed-out mind.

 

MINDFULNESS. WHAT IT IS.

Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment.

But many of us cannot do that.  Not to worry!  If you cannot eat mindfully, or live your life mindfully, that is okay.  The techniques I am about to suggest will not play on your guilt.  They do not entail a lot of work and only take a moment.

To ruminate means to chew over, like a cow chews its cud. This is actually where the word comes from. A cow has a second stomach, the rumen, which contains digested grass that the chow regurgitates and chews during the day.

Our thoughts are the same, are they not? Recycled fodder!

When we worry, we ruminate, tossing the same thoughts over and over again in our heads, trying to come up with a solution to this immense problem.

Anxiety is the same. Ruminating, over and over, what is going to happen next?

STOPPING WORRY

As quick as a flash, you can change your thoughts.

This is how it works:

Are you stuck in a thought rut, having deep, dark thoughts?

(Read the full article here)

  • Stop and look around.
  • Let your thoughts alone and be what they are.
  • Pick an object to study. 
  • Examine that object thoroughly. 
ANOTHER TECHNIQUE YOU CAN USE

Rub the palm of your hand across your clothing. The palm is the most sensitive part of your body and is in direct contact with your brain. The sensation of the texture of the fabric establishes a connection between brain and body, and will quickly reset the equilibrium.

These exercises only take a minute, but you can continue as long as you want. The more often you practice this kind of mindfulness, the more you will train your brain onto pleasant thoughts and away from the dark thoughts.

worry is a misuse of imagination

WHY DOES THIS WORK?

When we are anxious and afraid, the connection between body and brain becomes weak. All attention goes to the brain to deal with the fear and our body literally goes into automatic pilot.

By rubbing your palm on your jeans, or by concentrating on the details of an object, you are signaling to both brain and body that the two are connected. You are telling the systems to work together, that they are a collective well-oiled mechanism that functions as one.

You are telling your body and brain YOU are in control – not the panic, not the dark thoughts. 

Our brains naturally gravitate to pleasure, but when we are stressed, the brain jumps into its on-call-for-danger mode. Breaking out of the ruminating thoughts gives you a chance to see the world in a more positive light, and by doing so, the anxiety will begin to abate.

Our brains are easily trainable, happy to do whatever we tell it to.

10 Steps to relax tension

Tension is the thing that makes us anxious.  Our bodies become tight, our minds start to race and we are off to the races! (racing mind, racing heart rate).

The best way to break the anxiety/panic cycle is to learn to relax tension before the feelings and the natural progression of panic spins out of control.  Here are ten steps to take the next time you feel uptightness coming on.

1.  Notice your uptight body.  Are you drawn up tight like a rubber band?  Are your shoulders up to your ears?  Is your neck stiff and tense?  Do a body scan.  Where are you tight? Think the opposite. Down Easy. 

2.  Take a minute.  What do you do when you stand in line?  Do you fidget and get upset because people are not moving fast enough?  Perhaps you make comments and are rude to the teller because she took so long (no fault of hers, of course).  Take these small moments in time and concentrate on relaxing.  Be mindful of your surroundings, be mindful of what is happening inside of you.  Rather than fidget and squirm, take the moment to enjoy the calm.  The line will not go any faster whether you fuss or stay calm.

3.  Breathe.  This advice is about as worn out as is the advice of practicing mindfulness.  Worn out or not, the best advice when you are upset is to breath.  Slowly and deeply.  Concentrate on the breath in and out.  Counting gives your mind something to focus on. 

Breathing is fundamental to life.  Then why do you hold your breath when you are upset?  Concentrate on your breathing – a good thing to do when you are irritable about standing in line!

breathing to relax

These next five steps are good to be done together in order.  Relaxing with steps 1 to 3 is a good way to get ready for the next five steps.

4.  Pretend you are a leaf.  Sit quietly in a comfortable chair.  Rest your head against the back of the chair and stretch out your feet.  Raise your hands, and then drop them into your lap – let them lie there loosely, like a fallen leaf.

5.  Visualize.  See a peaceful and calm scene in your mind.  Smell the smells, hear the sounds.  Whether it be a mountain top, the ocean beach, or flower-filled meadow, be there and enjoy.

6.  Peace.  Feel the peace of the place, feel it permeate into your spirit.  Say to yourself, “this peaceful place is changing my tension to relaxation.”

7.  Drain.  Consciously and deliberately drain your mind and body of tension and negative thoughts.  See them leaving your body and let them go…

8.  Words.  Words have a healing effect.  Use affirmations that include the words peace, serenity, tranquility, harmony, quietness, restfulness, love, joy, happiness.

In addition to doing these eight steps when panic strikes, practice the next two steps daily.  Learn to stay in touch with your emotions so you can gain better control.

9.  Quiet.  Take at least a 10-minute break every day to be alone.  Read something uplifting, say a prayer, use the time to meditate.  We all need alone time, so give yourself permission to take 10 minutes out of your day to connect with who you are.

10.  Repeat.  Throughout the day, repeat your affirmations.  At least once a day, and other times when anxiety starts, find five things to be grateful for.  When you are upset by money, be grateful it is there for you. When you are upset at your job, be grateful you have a job.  When upset about someone you love, be glad they are in your life.

You get the idea.  There are many things throughout the day to be grateful for, whatever your circumstances.  Take the time to find them.

try cbd oil for your anxiety

Rather than hit the Xanax bottle, or the beer or whiskey bottle, to ease your jumbled nerves, try a tincture of CBD oil.

Scientists are not sure exactly why CBD oil works to calm anxiety, but it does.  Could it be that the neuroprotective factors of the cannabinoids are actually protecting and repairing your nerves?

It is not just the nervous system that is affected by anxiety.  And the nervous system does not always cause anxiety.  

The next time, before your anxiety begins to rise off the charts, take a moment to figure out what is causing it.

    • Has it been a while since you have eaten?
    • Do you have a medical condition that could cause you to feel anxious and irritable? 
    • Are you taking medications that list anxiety as a side effect? 
    • Are you overstimulated and completely worn out?

The more you follow a routine, the easier it will be to calm you anxiety and panic attacks before they start. It is a matter of training your brain and body not to respond in such a manner. Your mind is programmed to be upset with certain triggers.  Now you have to de-program it.

When you feel the gathering storm of your anxiety, try this:

what to do when anxious feelings arise

 

GIVE MINDFULNESS A TRY!

Mindfulness does not examine thoughts or behaviors, it does not delve into the cause of your issues.  It does the opposite.

This moment of mindfulness gives your brain a vacation, a much-needed break from working out a problem that seemingly cannot be solved.

Admit it.  Worry does not solve anything!

The answers only come with a clear head.

By calming your brain, you automatically calm your body.

Try it. With practice, you will notice your anxiety is easier to control.

Mindfulness, pure and simple.

 

 

 

 

 

9 Ways to Prevent Violence in your Community

Protect our Children

There are many more than eight ways to prevent violence in your community.

In this blog, we talk about how we can prevent violence in the school, the home, and the community through intervention programs, what teachers and bystanders can do when a child is bullied, and how to protect you and your family from online stalkers.  Here’s some food for thought for preventing domestic violence – make a good decision when choosing a mate!  But I digress…

First, think about these questions.  

Why send a child to detention instead of counseling?

Why send a drug-addict to jail instead of life-skills training?

Why not give a hug instead of a spanking?

We are a society that punishes  

Because we believe in punishment and strict discipline, does that make our society a bullying society?  We threaten and cajole and punish in not-so-very-nice ways.  We control the under-ling and make fun of them.  We blame victims for being in their terrible situation, and at the same time, invalidate their cries for help. 

We give little latitude to the child who is defiant or having a meltdown.  These are impulses children must learn to control, we believe, and if they lose control, we punish them.

Viktor Frankl says:
abnormal behavior in an abnormal situation is normal.

We give children adult problems and expect them to respond in like an adult.  This is unfair to the child and does not help his situation at all.

This does not make much sense once you think about it, does it?

What makes even less sense is that people are in denial that they are part of the problem.   We decide gun control laws will control people’s impulsive behavior, but every school shooting was planned in advance.  School shooters are severely bullied, have tried every way to get their bully(ies) to leave them alone, and bringing a gun to school is the last resort.

This is why it is important for communities to implement programs to end the violence in homes and school.  Too many children are left in the cold, doors closed to them, unable to make their way.  And that is the purpose of this article, to bring awareness of solutions that will bring these children in from the cold.

The quickest way to heal a lonely heart is to give

HUGS NOT HITS

 

Huggy reminds us to give a child a hug
Huggy says, “Give hugs, not hits”.

The quickest way for a community to help heal these children is to implement programs that do so.

Nine Ways to Prevent Violence in Your Community

    1. Police officers connect with the community in a non-threatening, non-violent way
    2. Schools actively stop the bullying
    3. Teachers identify and understand children in trauma
    4. Parents proactively advocate for children
    5. Mental health counseling treats the trauma
    6. Healthcare providers consider how social and family environments impact overall health and behavior
    7. Social Services comfort and counsel the family without separating them
    8. Communities offer family-oriented activities
    9. Daycare centers that take children in the evenings and weekends, when many low-income families must work

Policemen seem to only see people in trouble – making trouble, to be more exact.  The old-town sheriff that knew everyone, and everyone knew him as a friend and a protector has taken the way of old-time America.  This system was never perfect, and some people took advantage of their power, but overall, there was the home-spun goodness of people trying to work things out in a logical way.

Trauma-sensitive schools are necessary in today’s world.  With so many children at a disadvantage because of their home lives and violent neighborhoods, many children are traumatized.  We try to put these rounded-headed children into square holes and wonder why they do not fit in.  To add to the mix, these same children are bullied in school, not just by their classmates, but sad to say, by their teachers, as well.  

Both policemen and teachers have the toughest jobs in the world.  They are left to manage unruly children.  They believe the only way to do so is to have a strict policy of behavior with no leniency.  Unfortunately, this very thinking is part of the problem.

The states that spend the most on mental health spend the least on prisons.
Incarceration and mental health are inversely related.
States with high incarceration rates spend the least on mental health.

Mental health.  Less than half the people in America that need mental health care have access to it.  There are not enough therapists to go around, and there are barriers in getting to counseling which keep people from seeking help. 

      • Taking time off work.
      • Having no transportation to the appointment. 
      • Finding a daycare for an hour or two.
      • School counselors are usually not trained in treating trauma.

Mental health agencies, the medical community, and social services play a vital role in the mental health of our nation.  In some communities, these three work together, but for the most part, they are separate entities dealing with the same individuals.

Collaboration between the three, with the client in the middle of the equation, allows professionals to understand their client’s unique position in life.  Assuming everyone who is depressed needs an antidepressant, ignoring the fact that their client lives in poverty, or deciding that families should be separated when there is a violent dispute, are not good ways to build strong families.

preschool

Daycare and preschools.  Now we come to the crux of the problem.  Daycare and early childhood intervention.  Some states are waking up to the music and understanding preschools and daycare are paramount for a family to succeed.

When a parent works evening or weekends, and there is no daycare, they rely on friends and relatives to watch their children.  The child often gets pushed aside, in the way, and questioned, “why are you here?”  Friends, boyfriends and relatives prove they can be quite abusive when left alone with their charges.

The highest rate of poverty is with single moms.  You may be in this position.  Where do your kids go when you have to work the graveyard shift?  Or do you tell your boss you do not have a babysitter, and then you lose your job because you cannot show up to work?

Providing daycare to all children who need it is the #1 intervention communities can implement to prevent violence.  The second is to ensure that all children receive adequate preschool education.  Children who do not attend preschool find themselves at a great disadvantage in the first year of school.  By grade three, if the child does not show an interest in school, the risk of dropping out and getting arrested increases exponentially.

Solutions for ending domestic violence and stalking

1. The higher the potential for violence and the risk of mental illness, the more aggressive the prosecution and intensive psychiatric treatment should be.
2. Place stalkers that re-offend their restraining orders on strict probational supervision, especially during the couple’s separation when the tempers are most heated.
3. Proactive police work identifies domestic violence and domination before the violence escalates.
4. Counseling and social services offer trauma therapy and family building skills.

Here again, mental health counseling and community programs help families stay together.  Seventy-five percent of stalking cases are male intimate stalkers.  This means husband or boyfriend gone crazy.  Women also stalk, but not in as great of numbers or with such intensity as men. 

I’m sure there are men who will disagree with this, but the data shows otherwise.

When talking about data, though, you have to understand that no matter how straightforward the numbers seem, they are skewed towards some bias.  In the case of men stalked by women, the numbers would probably be higher, but there are reasons for them not being as accurate as we would like.

  1. A man is more likely to be arrested than a woman.  Even if “she started it,” if physical evidence points toward the man, the police are more apt to believe the woman’s story.  
  2. Men are less likely to initiate a call to the police.  Their woman gets a little crazy but he thinks he can handle her – until things get out of control.
  3. She is a vicious little snake and cannot let go.  She reports her “ex” over little things and the next thing he knows, he ‘s facing a stalking charge.  How did that happen?

You never really know the person you fall in love with, we all have dark sides we keep hidden.  It isn’t until things start going sour – the love, the money, the stress -and then the dark side comes out.

We all have demons and baggage we carry into a relationship, but to be healthy, one must bring those demons out of their baggage compartment into the open and process the memories.

Mate selection.  Picking the right mate seems like a no-brainer, but judging from the failed and violent relationships I see, people are not careful about who they pick for a lifetime of love.  It is too easy to get married, too easy to become pregnant, too easy to find yourself in BIG trouble. 

Choosing the right mate is the biggest and most important decision you can make in your life.  Ask yourself, “Is this someone I want to be the father/mother of my children?”  If you hesitate, you have your answer.  Please, do not put your future children into an abusive relationship.  You have this choice.  Make a good one.

Stop the bullying in schools!*

INTERVENTIONS BY BYSTANDERS

Bystander strategies that make things better:

      • spend time with me
      • talk to me
      • help me get away
      • call me
      • give me advice
      • help me tell
      • distract me
      • listen to me
      • tell an adult

57% of incidences stop when a peer intervenes
on behalf of the student being bullied

Peer actions were more helpful than educator or self-help actions

Trying to change the behavior of the bully makes things worse
(fighting, getting back at them, telling them to stop)

 

INTERVENTIONS BY TEACHERS

Most helpful things teachers can do

      • Listen to the student
      • Check in with them afterward to see if bullying has stopped
      • Give the student advice on how to handle the situation

Most harmful things teachers can do

    • Tell the student to solve the problem themselves
    • Tell the student if he/ she acted differently they wouldn’t be having problems
    • Ignore what is going on
    • Tell the student to stop tattling
    • Tell the student not to let the bully bother him/her

Actions that have the most negative impact

    • Telling the bully to stop
    • Telling the bully how I feel
    • Walking away
    • Pretending the bully does not exist

friends

COMMUNITY

A caring, sharing community.
“For if you are free to fail, you are free to try.”

Community Aid

      • A strong social-welfare net
      • Health programs that people can afford
      • Community-based education
      • Creative activities for children and youth
      • Mentorship

Community Pride

      • Encouragement and strong social ties
      • Feeling of connectedness
      • Caring people
      • Tolerance to those different from oneself
      • Education
      • Conflicts resolved in such a way that no one loses face
      • Counseling for traumatized kids at young ages

So there you have it.  Many more than eight ways we can prevent violence in our communities.  We can be smarter about who we pick as a mate, we can get involved in our schools and advocate for stricter bullying policies.  We can show the leaders in our communities the benefits of instituting kid- and parent-friendly programs into the community that helps build strong families.

If people are well fed, contented in their life, and at peace with their friends and family, there is no need for violence prevention.  This, in itself, is the recipe for a healthy society.

 

It is time to stop the talk and put words into action. There are many ways we can slow this cycle of violence our world has fallen into. A grassroots effort begins by making a conscious effort to practice kindness and compassion.

 

kids holding hands

 

 

*References for this article:
Broderick, P.C., Blewitt, P. (2010). The life span. Human development for helping professionals. Pearson. USA.

Davis, S., & Nixon, C. (2010). The youth voice research project: Victimization and strategies.
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Child Abuse and the Deep Blue Sea

“I told you to shut up!” shouts the mom in the store. The next thing I hear is a reverberating SLAP as she hit her 3-year-old daughter’s face.

The slap did not slow the child down a bit. She was just as unruly throughout the rest of the store as she was before. Obviously the slap did not mean anything to either the mom or the daughter. It was just a way of expressing anger – not even intended to discipline. Continue reading Child Abuse and the Deep Blue Sea

Bullying and Depression in Children

According to ABC News, 160,000 children a day stay home from school because they are afraid of their bully. Both boys and girls are equally distressed when bullied.

Now is a good time to look at the connection between bullies and suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in ages 5 to 25. The leading cause is depression.

Why are our children so depressed?

It is safe to say things have not gotten better over the years for our children, including their ability to cope.

Consider the point of the view of the child who is so terribly bullied by his classmates that he feels the only answer to his problems is to shoot them away.

Why do some children take their own lives, and some take the lives of others? A person in distress turns one of two ways – either inward on themselves, or outward on others. What causes such grief for someone to destroy themselves or others?

What happens to the mind/body/soul when a child is bullied:

The longer the duration of the bullying, the more intense the distress for the bullied. It is difficult enough for an adult with the maturity to rationalize and problem solve to not go down the thinking path that naturally comes with being bullied.

Children do not have the maturity to make rational decisions. Even adults become so pent up and angry that they are no longer thinking rationally. The longer the bullying, the more difficult it is to tolerate emotionally.

In the beginning of the bullying, it seems like a joke. “They are bothering me again.” We tend to laugh this off. Why admit someone is making us uncomfortable? But after a while, when the taunts do not stop, distress rises.

Warning Signs for Parents:

Your child will make excuses not to go to school, his grades will drop, as well as his interest in life, and he will be preoccupied and slow to bring himself around when spoken to.

For many children, these are signs of boredom or problems at home. But when your naturally happy-go-lucky child is bullied at school, the symptoms slowly intensify.

Behaviors change; he is irritable and short-tempered. Some become withdrawn, others are unruly and are often sent to detention. There are problems between the bullied and the bully, and these two frequently appear in the principal’s office for discipline. If the bully is true to form, he blames his victim, the principal believes him, and your child, the bullied, gets reprimanded and punished for not getting along.

This scenario is repeated over and over. Your child is devastated. His friends are no longer friendly to him; he may be lucky to have someone to sympathize, but your child is alone in his distress. The teachers tell him he lies. He soon learns not to talk about his bully problems because people intimidate him and will not listen. They hear the words, but they churn them into what they want to believe, which is not at all what your child is trying to say.

He will give you hints about his problems. He may sound like he’s blaming others as the reason for why he is not getting along. He will tell you how the teachers and principal are unfair. He will tell you incredible truths, if you will listen.

Most of us gloss over these signs and participate in the denial. Parents advise their child to try to get along, and generally do not take the time to listen to his problem. They minimize what he is telling them, and assume it is something he can work out with a little bit of forethought. Teachers tell him they do not see the bullying, so therefore it does not exist. Of course, teachers do not see anything. Every good bully knows to pull the pranks when the teacher is not looking.

What is a child to do?

Where does your distraught child turn? Who will help him? He is stuck in a vacuum where no one listens, and they do not believe him if they do listen. People will justify the bully’s actions, rationalizing the things they do. They tell your child to stop being so sensitive and grow a thick skin.

“Life is tough, kid, you have to learn to live with it.”

Your child should not have to live with a bully; to be so intimidated that they are afraid to be anywhere near the bully and his friends. No child should have to take a different route from home or school just so they will not be harassed by people bigger and tougher. No child should have to miss a single day of school because the adults in his life cannot help him solve his problem.

What does bullying do to your child’s mind, to his thinking? If we can understand what goes on his brain, we can stop the trauma. Having experienced many of these feelings myself, I can tell you with certainty, your child is in gut-wrenching emotional pain.