What do you choose, “Love or Fear”?

Love has inspired more songs, poems and stories than any other feeling, yet it is one of the most complex emotions to understand. In fact, it’s so complex that at least once in our lives we all have asked to ourselves this question: What is Love?

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From a pure biological point of view, we could say that love is a survival mechanism of the species, in which dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin and many other hormones and neurotransmitters, play a role in bonding.

From a psychological point of view, it is the balance between intimacy, passion and compromise – according to the Triangular Theory of Love by Sternberg.

Our brain reacts according to its past experiences, the environmental circumstances of the moment, and its own chemistry, leading to an infinity of ways to love, however… what happens when fear takes place in our lives when we try to love and to be loved by someone?

First of all, it is necessary to clarify that no feeling is a bad feeling; fear is not a negative thing, it actually is a defense mechanism that helps us to prevent accidents, such as being burnt by a candle for example. Fear is necessary; therefore what we need to do is to control it.

The limbic system is the one in charge of regulating emotions, avoidance of pain and in general, all functions of conservation of the individual and species. It’s the one in charge of fear and love, altogether.

Being afraid is natural, fearing a little bit is ok; the problem lays when fear is constant in a relationship, altering not just our environment, but also our health since it is a direct impact to our limbic system and it affects not just our emotions or our relationship, it affects our bodies too. Fearing your husband may be having an affair because he came half an hour late, fearing your wife will ask for divorce because you don’t feel attractive enough, fearing your boyfriend may leave you after you decide to take that job is nothing but a lack of trust and it blocks you from your natural state of feeling love.

NEAT.jpg  People tend to have a utopian point of view when it comes to love thanks to the media constantly sending wrong ideas of what love truly is to our brain. These wrong ideas lead to insecurities and false idealizations that make us fear, while in reality there is nothing to be afraid of. Maybe your husband came late because there was a lot of traffic, maybe your wife likes your belly, and maybe your boyfriend will find a way to stay in touch with you no matter the distance. In the end, not every time we fear something means that there is a problem, and if there is a problem there probably is a solution; also, if there is no solution to the problem, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, it could be the beginning of a brand new adventure.

Relationships are always going to have ups and downs since no relationship is perfect and this is something we must understand. Perfection is not a synonym of happiness as well as imperfection is not a synonym of sadness.

Fear stops you from loving entirely, from enjoying your food, your favorite TV show; in fact, it stops you from enjoying life itself. Human beings are rational. To overcome your fears in the relationship it’s necessary to talk. If you feel there is a problem, if you feel insecure or if you just feel something isn’t right, talk about it with your partner in a calm manner when the two of you can talk about the issue alone.

Always keep in mind that you and your partner are an entire person each, and that you deserve to be entirely loved, that includes your flaws also; try to understand his/her concerns and insecurities, since your partner must have them too.

Don’t let fear take over your relationship or your life, be assertive and find ways to clarify things and keep alive the flame of love. Overcoming fears and problems could make your bond stronger and deeper, making you experience love in a healthier way.h_1478853182_5895853_d41d8cd98f.png

Effective Goal Setting

Setting goals for your life is something that is so important. It can be very difficult to decide in which direction you want to take things, but it is very important that you set goals in order to achieve some sort of direction. Goals help keep your life structured and constantly moving forward. But how do you effectively set your goals?

Challenge yourself.

Goals should challenge you to make changes and better your life. Goals can be small or big, but they should present a hurtle that your need to jump over. Your goals should require you to expand your mind and push yourself to work hard to make your life the happiest it can be.

Make goals attainable.

It is important that your goals are not only challenging but realistic. Your goals should be something that you can achieve in a reasonable amount of time that you set. For example, setting a goal to complete a 4 year university program in 2 years or owning a house withing a year when you do not have a stable full time job really isn’t realistic. Instead, setting the goal to graduate within the time your supposed to or perhaps finding a job that gives the right amount of pay and hours to get ready to buy that house.

Find ways to stay motivated.

Staying motivated is one of the biggest challenges of attaining goals. Achieving what you want out of life is hard work, and at times it can see impossible. You need to find ways to keep yourself on your path towards your goals and there are lots of ways that you can do that. Finding a way to treat yourself is so important to help keep you motivated. Maybe you just need a quiet night in with a good book, or a night out with your friends. Whatever is a good way for you to wind down and give yourself a break from the hard work.

Keep your goals fluid and accept change. 

Lives change regularly, and sometimes our goals need to change right along with them. Lots of things can happen unexpectedly and you need to prepare yourself for that chance that you might need to change your direction. The best way you can do that is to continue to be open to new experiences and embrace all that life has to offer you. It is not considered a failure to change your goals, but rather a successful way to reevaluate your life.

You can do anything that you set your mind to, but you need to set goals to get there. Being effective at goal setting will help you get things done and keep you going in the right direction. Set your goals and start working towards a happier and healthier life today.

How Will A Sexually Transmitted Disease Effect You?

images-4Sexual relationships are tricky, no matter what your situation. It can be a delicate balancing act of physical attraction and emotional interest in your partner. But what if your partner has a sexually transmitted disease? Would you still sleep with them? Would you be concerned about becoming infected yourself? How does it change the dynamic of your sexual relationship with this person? Having an active sex life while having a sexually transmitted disease can be a hot button issue between sexual partners, but how should it be handled?

Having an STD can drastically change your sex life. There is a large amount of shame that comes from having a sexually transmitted disease. Shame in the fact you have a disease and shame that you could pass it on to others and drastically change their lives. Society puts a label on those that have an STD, one that defines them as unclean, promiscuous, unprepared, and undesirable. The truth of the matter is that some people contract STDs from those that they love and trust. Yes, your chances for contracting an STD go up with the number of partners you have, but there are many people who have slept with very few people and contracted an STD from a long term partner. The tried and true “don’t judge a book by its cover”, applies here just as it does to other situations. It may be disheartening to many people that you have something you could pass on to them. The risk for transmission can be very high for diseases, even higher when you engage in unprotected sex. Unsuspecting partners are much less likely to protect themselves, than those who know they are sleeping with someone who has an STD. It is extremely difficult to tell someone that you are interested in that you have a disease of this nature, but there are responsibilities on both sides of the table.images-2 (1)

For the person that is living with the disease, responsibility is important. Owning up to the fact that you are infected is so important. You have a responsibility to inform your partners and make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect them as well as yourself from contracting further infections and diseases. You are not your disease. It is important to remember that you have value and can contribute more than just sexually. You will be rejected by some people, and others will have questions. It is important that you prepare yourself for these situations by owning your disease and having responsible practices when it comes to sex.

For the person that is considering sleeping with someone with a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to remember that it is completely your choice. It is your choice to engage or not engage in sexual activity with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease, but you need to know the facts. The best way to protect yourself is to be informed. Know what you are getting into 110%. The internet may be a good resource but a medical professional is the best. Talking to someone first hand will allow you to ask the important questions. And don’t be afraid to ask your potential partner the questions that you have.

images (1)So where can you get support and information about sexually transmitted diseases? One place to start is your GP, gynecologist, or medical doctor. They will be able to provide you with the information that you will need or at least point you in the right direction of that information. There are also resources in the community that can assist you with your sexual health. In Toronto, there is the Bay Centre for Birth Control. It is centered around women’s health and can help you with examinations, information, counselling, and referrals. (Links provided below)

Having a sexually transmitted disease does not have to stop your sex life. As long as you are responsible and respectful, there are many options for those wishing to have intercourse with someone who is/isn’t infected. There are many couples that have successful and fulfilling relationships when one or both partners is infected. It is important to remain hopeful and look towards total wellness; mind, body, and spirit.

Links:

http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/family-planning-fertility-care-sexual-health/bay-centre-for-birth-control460/

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=30865e67bbee0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextfmt=default

Female Orgasmic Disorder

shutterstock_75489988(1)  Reaching climax is something that many women struggle with occasionally. It is normal for a woman to only be able to reach orgasm through a certain type of stimulation as well. However, failure to reach climax on a regular and consistent basis can be a sign of Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD). This can be a sign of damage done to the body and nerves, but can also be symptomatic of trauma. FOD can be particularly distressing when engaging in sexual activity with your significant other. There are many causes for FOD, but the toll it takes both mentally and emotionally can be devastating to you and your partner. It can seriously affect your relationship and make sex feel like more of a chore than something to be enjoyed by both parties. So what causes FOD? Is there anything you and your partner can do to work past it? Is it completely curable? These are some of the questions that we are going to answer.

The causes of FOD are different in every woman diagnosed with it. FOD causes break down into two different categories, primary (never had an orgasm) and secondary (trauma). There is no one specific cause, but in most cases it is the result of some sort of trauma. The causes of FOD can be broken down into two different categories as well, shutterstock_79104379physiological and psychological. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Nerve damage in the spine and/or pelvic area
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Damage to the blood vessels in the pelvic area
  • Medication you may be taking
  • Depression and other mental health disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Past sexual abuse or violation
  • Guilt about sex or sexual experiences
  • Religious beliefs or values
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of becoming pregnant
  • Fear of losing control

Traumatic events (i.e. rape, molestation, Female Genital Mutilation, etc.) cause your brain to react to sexual activity in a negative way. Even years after trauma, it is very hard for some women to connect physically with another person, especially someone of the same gender as the person responsible for the trauma. This is completely normal, because regardless of the type of trauma, it is a life changing and personality altering event. It is not uncommon for others to downplay the significant effects that trauma can have on your life. It is very important to make your feelings and boundaries known to those around you, especially those you choose to be intimate with.

submission 8FOD does not have to be a death sentence for your sex life. With a combination of therapy, medical interventions for physical trauma, and building a strong sense of self, it is possible to recover. Is it 100% curable 100% of the time? No. There are many women who will struggle with FOD for their entire lives. But this is no reason to give up hope and seek help. With the correct interventions, you can have a healthy sex life and work towards knowing yourself in an intimate way.

Where is My Life Going?: Planning for the Future You

shutterstock_7704406 Finding direction in your life can be a large task for anyone to take on, especially if you are switching careers. There are many things that you can do to make your choice easier. Listed and explained below are a few strategies to try.

Make short-term goals and long-term goals. Making goals that you can achieve in a short amount of time will allow you to be more productive in the goals you set for yourself in the long run. Small successes can motivate you to continue to achieve your goals. It is also important to set short-term goals that are in line with your long-term goals. Your short-term goals may help you achieve your long term goals.shutterstock_101575579

Ask for advice from people you trust. If you want advice, ask people that you trust. Ask questions about what got them to where they are in life. Ask all of the questions that they are willing to answer. They may be able to give you advice that you might not have gotten otherwise.

Explore all of your options. If you are interested in more than one direction, make sure that you explore all of your options. Research, ask questions, and above all else, make sure you know what you are getting into.

Try as many new things as you can. Explore new things that you might not have considered before. Take advantage of every new opportunity that you can. The more that you try, the easier that it may be to narrow down your choices.

Redirecting your life is not an easy task. Choosing a new career path can drastically change the structure of your life. It is important to explore all options and make the transition to your new life as easy as possible. Do what you can to prepare for living the life that you want to live.