Category Archives for Healthy relationships

Anxiety & Medical Marijuana

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran

As human beings, it is natural to feel anxious when leaving our comfort zones. Pushing through our anxiety though, is what helps us to grow as individuals. Finding effective tools to manage anxiety, including preventative measures, is key to reaching our full potentials. When worry seems to take over day to day living, this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Read more about anxiety disorders here. While prescriptions medications are often used to treat anxiety disorders, they do not come without side effects. Holistic therapy and other natural treatment options are a safe alternative to prescription medications. anxiety

Health secretary Rachel Levine approved Turetts and anxiety as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana as of July 20th. Included anxiety conditions are generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), separation anxiety, social anxiety, agoraphobia, and other phobias.

Medical marijuana is not recommended to treat children, adolescents, or pregnant women with anxiety disorders due to brain and fetus development. Long-term overuse of medical marijuana can cause issues with cognition and memory loss, and the risk of psychological dependency. For best results, it is recommended to incorporate traditional or alternative therapies, and lifestyle changes during medical marijuana treatment. anxiety

Research has shown positive results with medical marijuana being used to decrease and manage anxiety, since the body’s endocannabinoid system appears to play an important role in response to stress and anxiety.

A study conducted by Washington State University showed a decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression with the use of medical marijuana. Both men and women reported a decrease in all three symptoms. Women reported higher reduction in anxiety.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, “appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses an increase anxiety at higher doses.” Individual responses differ and there are a variety of factors to take into consideration when treating anxiety with medical marijuana. THC in combination with CBD oil can enhance benefits and reduce unwanted effects, including psychoactive affects of THC. The best approach is to start at a low dose, and monitor your bodies response. anxiety

Talking with your physician and a trained therapist can provide the needed support when deciding the right treatment for you. Makin Wellness is happy in supporting you through a natural, holistic approach to wellness, including cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, aromatherapy, and other natural treatment options. Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Communication & Positive Mindset

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

A positive mindset is beneficial for daily living, both at home and in the workplace. Positive mindset is more likely to bring positive outcomes, improve mental health, and overall wellness.

Communicating with a positive mindset fosters healthier relationships, builds stronger bonds, and provides greater success in the workplace and beyond. Good communication skills may come more natural to some, yet is more challenging for others. With a little time and practice, positive communication skills can be learned!positive mindset

How can positive communication be built?

Disconnection between intent of the speaker and reception of the listener may cause miscommunication and misunderstanding, leaving both parties feeling frustrated and unheard. How can we bridge the gap? Consider these simple tips for positive communication:

  • Listen & Give Mindful Responses – Listening carefully with an open mind will help you understand more clearly what the other person is trying to convey, allowing you to give a more mindful response. Asking well thought out questions shows concern for the other person, while avoiding misunderstandings.
  • Be Mindful of Your Body Language – Nonverbal cues are often noticed before any words are said. Being mindful of posture and facial expressions will help convey your message in the way you desire.
  • Offer Positive, Alternative Solutions – Use positive language, offering helpful solutions. Instead of saying, “This can’t get done without ABC..” say something like “If we can get ABC done, then….”
  • Provide Active/Constructive Responses – Instead of saying “That sounds complicated, are you sure that’s going to work?”…..say something like, “That’s interesting. How do you perceive the outcome of that situation?” – Showing interest in the other persons point of view, without being too forceful, helps both parties think more clearly and arrive at various alternative solutions.

Communication is an art that may take time and practice. It is well worth the effort though, enabling stronger bonds to be built. Good communication creates a more peaceful environment both at home and in the workplace. By communicating with a positive mindset, tasks can get done more efficiently, reducing miscommunications and misunderstandings.

positive mindset
If you would like support in being a more positive, mindful communicator, call now to receive a free 15 minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Daily Affirmations for Stress Management

“Being in a positive state of mind is more important than you might think, as the mind cannot be creative in a negative state. New ideas, thoughts and inspiration will only take place when the mind is positive.” – Joe Hinchliffe

Positive words of affirmation are often used in relationships. Friendships, intimate relationships, and parent-child relationships all need positive words of affirmation. Daily affirmations like, “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” “I believe in you,” and “I’m so thankful to have you” are all positive ways to strengthen relationships. Why is it easier to say those words to others, yet more of a challenge to affirm ourselves? daily affirmations

Often times, it is thought of as conceited when saying something positive about oneself. So, to avoid appearing like a braggart, one may use daily affirmations to promote positive thought processes. Simply stating things like “I am grateful for this day,” or “I am starting this day with an open mind, and looking for the good,” are examples of daily affirmations that can be used to crowd out negative thinking and promote positive mindset.

Writing out goals and then stating “I am….” followed with the things you would like to see happening in your life, can help bring them to fruition. For example, stating “I am going to study for my test and prepare in a timely manner,” can be used to promote efficiency and productivity.

New academic research shows positive affirmations lower stress levels in high-stress situations – with higher success rates in those who use positive affirmations versus those who don’t. Our thoughts create feelings, feelings create behaviors, and behaviors create thoughts. Positive thinking promotes more positive behaviors and outcomes.

Daily affirmations can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by rewiring negative thought patterns and replacing “I can’t” with “I can” – turning fears and doubts into confidence and certainty. Affirming what you want, instead of what you don’t want allows you to focus your energy on those things and move in the direction you would like your life to go. In turn, flooding your mind with positive thoughts and affirmations, leaves less room for negative thought patterns. daily affirmations

Makin Wellness offers holistic therapies to promote positive mindset. If you would like support with daily affirmations, contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Though Field Therapy for Creativity and Mental Alertness

Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a natural technique formulated by Robert Callahan. The therapy consists of tapping on certain pressure points (also known as meridian points) of the body, while affirmations are made. It is drug-free and has shown to have rapid results. thought field therapy

Gary Craig, a student of Robert Callahan’s, tweaked the technique and formed his own called “Emotional Freedom Technique” (EFT).

These techniques both help with phobias, anxieties, depression, addictions, and other mental related issues. In line with the principles at Makin Wellness, the basis of TFT and EFT is that our beliefs have a powerful impact on our behaviors. Thought field therapy (TFT) helps facilitate the belief that by accepting our current circumstances and being present in the moment, we are better equipped to focus on letting go of the old and building the new. Anyone can practice TFT in their own home or with a trained professional. Guidelines for practicing at home can be found in Roger Callahan’s book entitled, Tapping the Healer Within: Using Thought-Field Therapy. The best part is, this therapy can be done at no cost to you. thought field therapy

A positive outlook on life has shown to have many benefits. Being optimistic strengthens relationships, improves coping ability and protects your health. Research has shown people with an optimistic, positive outlook have lower levels of inflammation and heart disease risk. Thus, a positive outlook can have a profound effect on health.

Ultimately, we are individually responsible for maintaining healthy lifestyle practices. Quality sleep, regular daily exercise, and healthy eating habits are in our control. Meaningful connections and sense of purpose is also an essential part of wellness. Healthy lifestyle habits positively affect our mood and quality of life.

Though Field Therapy promotes positive thought patterns, increasing feelings of happiness, and overall wellness. Happy people are better able to solve problems, are more creative, and tend to have increased mental alertness. Optimists have even shown to live longer than pessimists! 

Negative thought patterns sap energy levels, and lower the brains ability to function properly. Recent research in neuroscience has shown that repetitive, focused mental activity can affect changes in brain structure, wiring, and capabilities. Therefore, with time and practice, you can train your mind and brain to think more positively. Positive mindset, better quality of life, and improved overall wellness could be right at your fingertips!

If you would like support with thought field therapy to promote positive mindset, call now to schedule a free consultation with a trained professional! thought field therapy

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Spring Cleaning: Emotional and Mental Detox

Winter months have passed, with new life sprouting and feelings of renewed energy in this spring season. It’s the time for clearing out clutter and spring cleaning. Perhaps you’re planning on cleaning windows, clearing away cobwebs, or getting out in your garden. The feeling of a fresh clean home, with sunshine pouring through the windows may come to mind.  No doubt, a feeling of satisfaction follows after completing these chores…..even feeling therapeutic!

What about decluttering the mind?

After a long winter cooped up inside, spending some time outdoors can clear the mind, and renew the spirit. This may be difficult for some who have suffered seasonal depression, making transitioning to a new season a challenge as well. Mental and emotional detox, also called emotional pruning, may be necessary to allow for healing of the mind and body. emotional detox

Sun exposure in small doses promotes healing, helping the body make vitamin D, which is vital for functioning of blood cells, bones, and the immune system. Lack of sun and low levels of vitamin D pose risks of serious health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

The sun also promotes a good nights rest, which is essential to mental and emotional well-being. Taking a short walk outside in the sun while breathing in fresh air, has an array of benefits. Scientists believe the sun’s rays may even shrink fat cells!

Spending time to self-evaluate and realign priorities is the perfect way to start fresh this season. Self-care and positive thinking supports overall wellness. Letting go of negative thought patterns and behaviors, and replacing them with more positive ones allows for personal growth and healing. Reflecting on where you are and where you would like to see yourself is also a positive step to move in the direction you would like to go. emotional detox

Emotional detoxing, sometimes referred to as emotional pruning, is much like pruning a tree or shrub. Pruning away negative patterns reduces risk of developing further physical and emotional complications, creating room for positive growth and healing. When pruning a shrub, or taking away the dead part, the plant can grow and thrive at its best.

Emotional wounds take time to resolve, and at times, enlisting in the help of a therapist is a necessary step toward healing. Being mindful, and embracing the present, is a helpful approach to letting go of past hurts – leaving more room for improvement. Other wellness activities like journaling or deep breathing can reset the mind, helping reduce stress.

Tips for Emotional Detox

  • Let go of negativity – Reliving past traumas or continually thinking over negative scenarios can be harmful to the mind and body, preventing positive growth. Talk to someone you trust and practice letting go of past hurts, by focusing on positive solutions.
  • Embrace positive relationships – Spend time with those who make you feel loved and encouraged. Negativity can bring your energy down, making it difficult to move in a positive direction.
  • Effectively manage time – Effective time management is essential to stress reduction, so that you may live a higher quality of life, and maintain more positive relationships. Carve out time to sit and have a healthy meal, grab coffee with a friend, or take a moment in your day to do something you enjoy. We make the most of our time when we’re not overly stressed.
  • Practice positive self-talk – Be mindful of how you are speaking to yourself. The way we speak to ourselves affects interactions with those around us. Carefully consider the messages you are saying to yourself – this will reflect in your relationships with others.
  • Create a wellness routine – Choose activities you enjoy doing to positively impact your mental health and wellness. Cooking a nice meal, spending time in nature, or getting together with a friend are all positive ways to support wellness, helping to reduce and weed out negativity.

Makin Wellness is happy in supporting you on your wellness journey. Please contact us if you would like support in setting wellness goals with a holistic approach in promoting harmony between the mind and body. Mindful eating habits, spending time in nature, and aromatherapy are a few of the ways we help our clients support their overall wellness. Spring into wellness by calling now free 15-minute consultation and begin your wellness journey today!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart anxiety stress therapy makin wellness

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN

Social Anxiety: Causes, Affects, & Tools to Cope

We all deal with degrees of social discomfort at times. Fear of judgment and feelings of self consciousness are felt by many in social situations. Giving a presentation or meeting new people may cause us to have sweaty palms and the common “butterflies in the stomach”.

Social anxiety disorder however, presents a stress that is more than shyness, possibly causing one to avoid social contact entirely. It can be experienced in various ways, such a as fear of being judged, feeling embarrassed or humiliated, or fear of offending someone.  Symptoms include stomach trouble, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, and dizziness to name a few.

What are the Causes? 

Genetics are likely part of it. For example, if a close family member has social anxiety or social phobia, you are more likely to experience it as well.

An over active amygdala may also play a part, as this is the part of the brain controlling fear response.  History of bullying, teasing, or abuse can be linked to social anxiety.

What Affect does it have on Your Life? 

Avoiding social situations affects personal relationships, preventing one from fully living and enjoying their life. It may lead to depression, low self-esteem, negative thought patterns, and poor social skills.

What are some Tools to Cope?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide positive changes to thought processes and patterns of behavior. A trained professional can help one work through social anxiety in practical ways. Support with building self-esteem and positive self image are some of the benefits of therapy.

Aromatherapy is another tool to reduce social anxiety. Essential oils can be used to provide feelings of confidence and promote a calming effect. Vanilla, lavender, and orange have shown to soothe nervousness and stress. Using pure, therapeutic grade oils will provide the best results.

Exercise and diet are also essential to promoting harmony between the mind and body, helping reduce anxiety by boosting endorphins and releasing toxins.

Makin Wellness is happy in providing support to anyone dealing with social anxiety or social phobia. Our trained professionals will provide holistic options and therapies to promote healing for the mind and body. Contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation!

 

Holistic Wellness

Wellness is defined as “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” The latter part of that statement is the key. Optimal wellness is not only the absence of disease, but a proactive approach that must be actively pursued, day-to-day. As life is ever-changing, adaptability is necessary to sustainable wellness. Healthy eating and exercise are often thought of as the foundations of wellness, yet there are other vital components when thinking holistically. wellness

Holistic wellness encompasses the whole person, recognizing that we are multifaceted as humans. A holistic approach gives consideration to lifestyle, diet, and the mind-body connection. It is an individualized, customizable, symptoms-based approach, which identifies the root cause through evidence-based techniques. Interventions such as diet and lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, aromatherapy, and supplement recommendations are some techniques used to promote optimal wellness.

“The mind and body are inextricably connected, with our thoughts and emotions exerting a powerful influence on our health.”

– Dr. Bradley Nelson

The National Wellness Institute identifies 6 dimensions of wellness: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Consider how these six dimensions intertwine and contribute to overall wellness.

Emotional wellness involves acceptance over denial of feelings, and optimism over pessimism.

Occupational wellness relates to making contributions using ones unique gifts, skills, and talents that is both rewarding and in line with personal values.

Physical wellness is a self-awareness of ones body, taking responsibility to care for oneself, recognizing the benefits exercise and healthy eating habits have on mind and body. wellness

Social wellness encourages personal contribution to the environment and community. It gives emphasis to actively enhancing personal relationships, through better communication, healthy living spaces, and consideration for the welfare of others to promote a state of harmony instead of conflict.

Intellectual wellness holds the notion that it is better to expand our minds through intellectual and creative pursuits instead of unproductive and self-satisfied.

Spiritual wellness gives recognition to the search for meaning and purpose as humans. This includes developing deep appreciation for the depth of life and nature. As your actions become more in line with your beliefs and values, that is when spiritual wellness occurs. wellness

These six dimensions provide a model of wellness, promoting a sustainable, adaptable approach to wellness. As we are mindful and self-aware of our minds and bodies, we become better advocates for our own wellness. Ultimately, we are responsible for our health and well-being.

Wellness is not an achieved state, rather, it is a journey of continual growth. Holistic wellness is not only what we are eating, but what we are thinking, doing, and saying. Life experiences provide opportunity to learn new things, expanding our minds, giving new perspective, and helping us see things outside of ourselves.

Spending time in nature and making meaningful connections with others helps us form a healthier worldview, giving us greater meaning and purpose. To be well is a daily effort. Self-care, healthy eating habits, exercise, and time with loved ones, are all essential to maintaining a state of wellness.

Makin Wellness is happy in providing an individualized and customizable approach to support optimal wellness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nutritional Counseling, aromatherapy, and stress management techniques are just a few of the ways we help our clients heal and become happy again. Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation and begin your wellness journey today! wellness

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.  wellness

wellness

Communication & Love

Love is communicated in various ways. Through the written and spoken word, gift giving, acts of kindness, and by spending quality time together.  Healthy communication helps us form loving, meaningful connections with others. These kinds of connections are of utmost importance in happiness and feelings of fulfillment. Love is a basic human need, so how can we communicate with love?

Unhealthy communication brings about misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Name calling, yelling, and hurtful speech are all forms of unhealthy communication. Instead of creating loving bonds, this kind of communication can leave feelings of hurt and resentment. Rather than creating a safe space for open and loving communication, it creates an environment of hostility, drawing a wedge between people. Continuous hurtful, and even harmful communication such as this can have lasting negative effects on the mind and body communication

In the emotional part of the brain, known as the limbic system, the amygdala is directly linked to the emotional response to stimuli.  Arousal, memory, fear, emotional response, and hormonal secretions, are all part of the function of the amygdala. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released in situations of elevated stress.

According to psychologytoday.com,  “The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease.” We therefore want to do our best to reduce excess stress!

We may confront multiple situations each day that  create feelings of anxiety and frustration, at home and at work. Communication can either make or break a relationship, creating discord or unity. In times of differing opinion, how can we respond versus react? How can we approach these instances in a way that promotes loving communication?

Consider some practical ways to diffuse a situation when emotions are running high:

  • Deep Breathing – When confronting a difficult circumstance, take a few minutes to breathe deep to reduce cortisol levels. Breathe slowly for six seconds through the nose, and another six seconds out through the mouth. Try this 6 times, while sitting down.
  •  Take a Walk – Walking can promote the release of endorphins, helping to clear the mind. Having a clear head before confronting a stressful situation will ease the tension a bit.
  • Listen – Allowing the other person to express feelings and concerns freely will avoid misunderstandings, helping the other person to feel heard. Listening without interrupting shows respect and concern.
  • Talk Over a Meal –  A nourishing meal can be comforting, allowing for a peaceful environment. Feeling “hangry” will only exasperate the situation.
  • Diffuse Essential Oils  Literally diffuse the situation.  The use of therapeutic grade essential oils, like Young Living essential oils, can promote a calming atmosphere. Lavender, vanilla, and orange has shown to lift the mood and soothe stress.

Healthy communication can bridge the gap between misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Taking time to listen and speak with love and intention will allow for mutual respect and feelings of care. Love covers a multitude of sins!

At times, a mediator is necessary when trying to come to a resolution. If you’d like support with healthy communication techniques, call now for a free consultation!

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intentional Self-Love

“For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” – Ephesians 5:28, 29

Mindful. Intentional. Self-love. Self-care. Why is there so much emphasis being placed on these notions? Is society lacking in these areas? Would you say we are nourishing and cherishing ourselves? Consider the rates of anxiety and depression, among countless other ailments. If we were to take an honest look at our diet and lifestyle, could we say we are adequately loving and caring for ourselves?

In previous posts, we touched on intentional living, intentional meal planning, and intentional love – all with the intent of finding ways to be more intentional in the new year. While this is the last post of the series on being intentional, it is by no means the least. Intentional self-love provides a foundation for being intentional in other areas of your life.

Self-love is a word we hear often. Like self-care, self-love is showing regard for one’s own well-being. To avoid misconceptions, let’s take a moment to give a bit of clarity to the term. Unlike being conceited, self-love does not show excessive regard for oneself, or disregard for the feelings of others. Taking time for self-care and self-love does not mean only caring for oneself. Instead, it is being mindful and intentional with the ways you are caring for yourself, and in turn having more to offer to others. self love

Consider the way a child is cared for. A loving parent will provide a balanced meal, promote good hygiene, and be sure their child gets adequate sleep. These habits instilled in childhood sets the precedent for how the child will care for themself in adulthood.

As adults though, everyday demands and daily stresses often crowd out time for self-care habits. Women in particular tend to neglect themselves as caretakers and primary caregivers in the household. How can we give our best to others if we ourselves are depleted? How can we be more intentional with self-love and self-care? self love

Nourishing our minds and bodies is more than just a healthy diet. It is what we’re watching, what we’re listening to, what we’re reading, and who we’re spending time with. The people we are spending time with will have the largest impact on our lives. Taking an honest look at our daily habits, and how we’re spending our time is the first step in creating healthier routines for self-love and self-care.

Personal growth does not happen by accident. It has to be intentional. Being the best version of ourselves takes work. Taking time to write your values, the things you enjoy, and what matters most to you will help you set daily intentions. As you are mindful and intentional in caring for your mind and body, you encourage self-love and self healing. This will have a ripple effect, giving you a means to pour into the lives of others and add value to their lives. self love

5 Tips to Encourage Self-Love: self love

  • Practice Self-Care – Be sure to exercise, eat nourishing foods, and get plenty of sleep. Take time to do things you enjoy doing. This will help to lift your mood, increase energy, and reduce stress.
  • Practice Gratitude – What we give attention to, we give energy to. Write things you are grateful for each morning to begin your day with a positive mindset.
  • Practice Tapping (EFT or TFT) – Tapping therapy is used to release negative energy that gets stored in the body. It is a powerful tool used to reduce phobias, anxiety, and fear, helping you reach your full potential.
  • Practice Being Mindful – Being present, and in the moment without judgement avoids overthinking and improves self-esteem.

We hope you have found this series of being intentional a useful guide in helping you be the best version of yourself! To receive further support, contact us today at Makin Wellness for a free 15 minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling. 

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Intentional Love: Loving Less Out of Habit

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Cor. 16:18

This month we’re focusing on what it means to be intentional. Intentional living. Intentional meal planning, and most importantly, intentional love. As we contemplate goals for how we want our year to unfold, it helps to reflect on whether we’re living out of intention, or out of habit. While familiar habits are easier and feel more comfortable, it may not give us the results we desire. intentional love

Living with intention helps us make positive changes, so we can live happier lives with less anxiety. When making lifestyle changes, ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Am I living in line with my values?”
  • “Will this bring me closer to my goals?”
  • “Is this creating more or less demands on my time and energy?”

So what about “loving” with intention? How can we love less out of habit?

Intentional love takes a little introspection, or time to look inward. This helps to see personal contributions you’re making in your relationships. Being mindful also helps us be more present and aware of personal needs and the needs of others. Whether it’s an intimate relationship, friendship, or parental role, love requires emotional awareness. It’s like making a bank deposit. When we make positive emotional deposits through kind words and actions, we add value to the quality of our relationships. Communication plays a key role in this. Listening and freely expressing cares and concerns is essential in strengthening the bonds of love. How can we do this in today’s hurried world?intentional love

Making Meaningful Connections

With social media taking over today, we are lacking meaningful connections more than ever. Social media may provide some authentic friendships, yet cannot replace the benefit of real life interactions. Studies have shown face-to-face communication to be essential for human happiness, and social interaction as the key to longevity. As humans we are not meant to be isolated. Our well-being depends on social interaction.  intentional love

One benefit of face-to-face interaction is the release of neurotransmitters. Simply giving someone a hand shake can release oxytocin (the love hormone), increasing your level of trust, reducing cortisol levels, and in turn lowering stress. Facebook may connect us to some degree, but it cannot provide the benefits of real life face-to-face connections. Therefore, to foster loving relationships, we must make intentional interactions. Take time out to meet a friend for coffee, or plan a date night. In all relationships, making meaningful connections is paramount to sustaining love. intentio

Unfortunately, our attention toward one another is limited due to the constant interruptions from electronic distractions. The world has become too busy for its own good. We are left feeling detached and being taken further from the one thing that keeps us grounded, human connection. John Gottman and his wife Julie Gottman created the Gottman Institute to promote and support meaningful relationships between couples and families.

According to the Gottman Method, “the foundation for every good relationship is friendship.” It only makes sense then that we give our time and attention to our loved ones like we would when getting to know a friend. To know and understand one another, we must spend quality time together. We must intentionally pay attention.

Happy couples know each other well. They get to know one another by spending time together, so each person can hear and be heard. Self-love is an essential aspect to this. Only by fully knowing and accepting yourself can you fully and openly allow someone to see you, and you see them. The relationship you have with yourself will dictate your relationships with others. Taking time out for self-care to get to know yourself will help you to feel whole individually, and better able to give your best to others. We give our best when we feel our best!

Consider ways to make more meaningful connections, encouraging intentional love in your relationships.

Tips for Loving with Intention:

  • Be Mindful – To be mindful is to be fully present. Presence with a loved one is the best present you can give! Face-to-face interaction promotes the release of oxytocin (the love hormone), fostering more meaningful connections and reducing stress.

 

  • Prioritize Health – To give our best to others, we need to prioritize our own well-being, making health priority. Self-care will help you feel your best, so you’ll have enough energy to give to others.

 

  • Maintain Manners – Speaking with kindness goes a long way in maintaining loving relationships. Simply saying “please” and “thank you” shows concern and appreciation for your loved ones,

 

  • Set Boundaries – Time is precious. Make it a habit to set down your phone and turn off notifications during meal times, and carve out quality time to be with loved ones. Listening with your full attention will help your loved one to feel heard and more cared for, while helping to avoid misunderstandings.

 

  • Set Intentions – Write out the way you would like to see your relationships. Questions like, “If we could be our best, what would we be thinking?… Saying?…And doing?” These kinds of questions will allow you to live out your intentions more fully.

 

Here at Makin Wellness we offer a holistic approach with consideration to the whole person, encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Our services include professional counseling, life coaching, and nutritional counseling with the use of aromatherapy to promote harmony between mind and body. Contact us today if you are looking for support with being more intentional in your relationships!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling. 

 

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness