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How many hours per day does your daughter spend on Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat?

A new study by BioMed Central has revealed that the use of social media impacts the well-being of girls much more than boys, with the well-being of those aged ten and over deteriorating in particular.

The study uses data gathered from youth questionnaires carried out over ten to fifteen years in the UK. Social media interaction is determined by two main questions: “Do you belong to a social website such as Bebo, Facebook or MySpace?” and “How many hours do you spend chatting or interacting with friends through a social website like that on a normal school day?” Well-being, on the other hand, is measured in relation to happiness concerning six domains of life: friends, family, appearance, school, school work and life as a whole.

We’ve summarised the confronting results for you below:

  • Black African/Caribbean adolescents have better well-being at age 10 compared to White British adolescents
  • Both Asian males and females show a greater increase in happiness with age when compared to their White British counterparts
  • Overall, social media interaction increases with age and decreases happiness with age for both males and females
  • For females in particular, well-being deteriorates with greater use of social media at age 10 and this trend is sustained throughout their teenage years

 

The study discusses possible reasons to explain the findings above:

Asian and Black African/Caribbean adolescents chat less on social media compared to their White British counterparts.

Adolescents from households with lower education or income levels tend to interact more on social media.

Males prefer to game instead of interacting on social media.

These results are striking, especially in their similarity to the social media environment in Australia.

Reasons for this link between social media and wellbeing is also examined: the paper claims that use of social media naturally produces ‘risk factors’ such as social isolation, low self-esteem, increased obesity and decreased physical exercise.

Perhaps the greatest consequence can be summarised using the slang term FOMO: fear of missing out.

The paper states, “While social media allows for interaction between people, it is still a sedentary activity that can be done in a solitary environment. Conversely, social media are often used in group settings. Whether done in isolation or with friends, there may be risks to using social media, which could lead to poorer physical and mental health in adulthood.”

So next time you see your daughter mindlessly scrolling through her phone, take a second look at her and wonder, “Are you feeling okay? Are you happy? Do I need to take that phone away from you?”

Even low-grade parental blame and resentment perpetuate a cycle of emotional pain and suffering that can negatively affect your adult relationships, finances, and overall wellbeing; ultimately preventing the love, abundance and happiness you desire and deserve.

 

If you have no comparison, you might not notice the amount of energy it takes to hold onto an emotional wound or even a small grudge, but holding onto anger, resentment or any form of hostility requires a tremendous amount of life force energy and this energy is non-refundable. Decades of anger and resentment can cut years off your life, and you wouldn’t even know it. Think of it like throwing hundred dollar bills into the toilet each day, except life force energy is infinitely more valuable than all the money in the world.

The Cycle of Suffering

Without healing our childhood wounds and subsequently forgiving our parents, we stay emotionally stuck at the age of our earliest wounds, and because this causes us to repeat the cycle of suffering, we keep experiencing an adult version of our childhood wounds. For instance, let’s say you haven’t forgiven your mom for missing your tenth birthday or healed the resulting feelings of abandonment; whenever this issue is triggered by a current day experience (ex: someone forgets to call you), the original emotional wound is activated and you drop into an unconscious reaction. For all intents and purposes, you become your wounded ten-year-old self, and because you feel the same pain you felt then, you react by lashing out or shutting down.

Because an emotional reaction is an automatic response to an unhealed wound, there is little or no control over emotions or behavior, and this dynamic can result in a series of current day relationship issues. Year after year, the cumulative effect of emotional reactions can destroy the quality of our most important relationships.

Law of Attraction

According to the Law of Attraction, we unconsciously attract people who trigger our emotional wounds, and this is why a person with abandonment issues attracts potential partners who have commitment fears; not as punishment or karma but rather because our higher selves want us to heal and will use every opportunity to bring our wounds to the forefront. Unfortunately, this means that unhealed emotional wounds can prevent you from meeting your ideal partner or soul mate, and even if you do find each other, the turbulent nature of emotional wounds is known to sabotage even the most ideal partnership.

Blame Perpetuates Pain

Blaming your parents not only keeps the wound alive, it also tells your subconscious mind that your parents currently have power over you or your life, and, therefore, blame programs you for disempowerment. Like a virus, this dynamic can spread to every facet of your life. Additionally, whenever we blame another, we become entangled with their energy and stay entangled until we let go, and, consequently, we cannot grow beyond the parent we blame.

Of course, it’s no big surprise that forgivingness is the key to emotional freedom, but, in most cases, forgiveness is easier said than done. But why?

“Year after year, the cumulative effect of emotional reactions can destroy the quality of our most important relationships.”

Why is forgiveness so difficult?

First, you must realize that blame, anger, and various related emotions are defensive guards that protect you from future harm. Since true forgiveness requires you to release this defense, the very act of forgiveness creates emotional risk. Therefore, to forgive your parents, you must trust they won’t hurt you again, but, the hard truth is, you can never be certain – there is no way to control or predict another person’s behavior, and sometimes loving people do hurtful things.

If you are still vulnerable to being hurt, forgiveness could destroy the only defense you have, and, if this is the case, your protective ego will not allow you to forgive. Therefore, before you can forgive, you must eliminate the risk of emotional harm, and this inevitably means self-responsibility.

Responsibility before Forgiveness

There’s no way around it, as long as you blame or shift responsibility in any regard, you give others the power to hurt you, and as long as you give others the power to hurt you, you’re going to be hurt. Therefore, the only way to prevent emotional harm is by releasing blame and taking full responsibility for every emotion you experience, but there is no point assuming responsibility if you don’t also uncover the dynamics behind your childhood issues. Therefore, to make yourself immune to emotional harm, you must pinpoint the hidden cause of your childhood wounds, and once you do, I will show you how to heal it now.

“…before you can forgive, you must eliminate the risk of emotional harm…”

Understanding the True Nature of Emotional Wounds

We often confuse an emotional wound with the event or experience that caused the wound, but the actual wound is not the situation or circumstance. An emotional wound is the disempowering belief we adopted in response to the experience. Without needing to analyze the details, the core emotional wound is virtually always unworthiness, and, in fact, unworthiness (or conditional worthiness) is the core wound of every other emotional wound.

All children have emotional needs that must be met to feel worthy of love and life; these needs include approval, acceptance, appreciation, understanding, validation, respect, etcetera. Although children require all emotional needs to be fulfilled, one emotional need almost always stands out from the rest, and because this is usually the need least met, it is the emotional need most associated with worth, and, as a result, it becomes the child’s Primary Emotional Need (PEN).

Children naturally adopt beliefs that explain why one or both parents fail to provide this emotional need, so when a child doesn’t receive approval, for example, the child naturally believes she is unworthy of approval, or more likely, she believes she must meet certain conditions to prove she is worthy. Hypersensitive to this need being met, she automatically interprets approval as proof of worthiness and judgment as proof of unworthiness, and this is why judgment can cause intense emotional pain even in adulthood.

Here’s the thing, like every human being, you were born unconditionally worthy, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to prove, improve, or disprove worth. Therefore the emotional pain associated with believing you are unworthy is due to the fact it is completely untrue! Emotional pain is a warning system that alerts you to false beliefs.

Why do we need to be warned of false beliefs?

All disempowering beliefs, such as unworthiness, powerlessness, and victimhood, put us into survival mode, and over time can cause chronic and acute issues with serious repercussions, and, therefore, we need a warning system that alerts us to debilitating beliefs. This warning system is emotion, and, in fact, the purpose of emotional pain is to alert you to the fact you believe a falsehood. Just like physical pain alerts you the second you prick your finger with a knife, so you won’t cut your whole finger off, emotional pain alerts you to harmful beliefs so you can release them.

Without knowing that emotional pain is a sign of a false belief, most of us wrongly interpret this pain; so whenever we feel the emotional pain associated with unworthiness, the pain makes us believe the belief is true, thereby strengthening the belief and deepening the wound, and this perpetuates a cycle of emotional pain.

Furthermore, this internal warning system will stop at nothing to make you aware of a false belief, and, in fact, with increasing amplification, you will attract continuous opportunities that trigger emotional pain until you finally pay attention and release the false belief that is responsible for the pain. All emotional healing is releasing disempowering beliefs.
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Entangled in the conscious or unconscious belief that worth depends on getting our parents to meet our emotional needs, we grow into adults, still expecting one or both parents to give us what we need to feel worthy. But, this just sets us up for more pain because it never works.

“….this is why judgment can cause intense emotional pain even in adulthood…”

Why don’t parents meet their children’s emotional needs?

First of all, even the most well-intentioned parents often fail to meet their children’s emotional needs, and, in most cases, emotional wounds have nothing to do with parental love. Oftentimes, childhood emotional wounds are by-products of parenting style or our parent’s unhealed wounds or family issues, such as financial challenges, divorce, or a family member’s addiction, disease, mental illness or chronic depression.

Although parental judgment, criticism, and comparison to siblings or other children are the most common causes of the worthiness wound, almost any dynamic can set the stage, for instance, when a parent is over-protective or over-controlling, a child may feel disrespected and develop the belief he is unworthy of respect, and he may conclude he is untrustworthy, or when a child is told to be seen but not heard, she may develop the belief she is not worthy to speak, or she may believe she is not important.

In most cases, a child’s emotional wounds deepen over time, and as the child matures into adulthood, the wound matures accordingly; manifesting as problematic relationships, financial concerns, career challenges, and health issues, while also making it difficult to pursue one’s dreams and desires.

Many adult children protect themselves from parental judgment and manipulation by closing their hearts and putting up energetic barriers, but despite the defensive quality of anger and blame, it doesn’t protect us from emotional pain because the shield actually keeps the pain inside while it also prevents healing. Regardless of age, every time your parents fail to meet your Primary Emotional Need, feelings of disappointment feed unworthiness and often lead to powerlessness.

The Unworthiness Wound Causes Powerlessness

Do you still need parental approval, acceptance, validation or permission to feel worthy? If so, do you conceal behaviors that don’t meet your parent’s expectations?

This dynamic is quite common in most adults but there is a huge cost involved because whenever you suppress authentic expression in exchange for approval or acceptance, for example, you inadvertently give away your power. In fact, it is impossible to expect your parents to meet your emotional needs and make you feel worthy without giving them your power.

Consequently, the relationship is based on dysfunctional dynamics where you remain a powerless child who is vulnerable to being hurt. Not only does this make you susceptible to parental judgment and criticism, it also makes you vulnerable to manipulation through guilt and obligation.

Although blame is a natural response to powerlessness, it actually tells your subconscious mind that the parent you are blaming has power over you, and, therefore, blame perpetuates more powerlessness. Indeed, you won’t be able to heal your emotional wounds or forgive your parents as long as you blame them for making you feel powerless and unworthy. This is why self-responsibility is the cure, and, in fact, self-responsibility is the only thing that can solve your issues.

Self-responsibility means that you must own your unconditional worth and you must take back your power by releasing the expectation that your parents meet any of your emotional needs, and this also includes releasing the need for apology, acknowledge, or retribution.

“This is why self-responsibility is the cure, and, in fact, self-responsibility is the only thing that can solve your issues.”

Give to yourself what you need from your parents!

As you take responsibility for your life and your choices, you must stop seeking parental permission and emotional support, and, in fact, you don’t even need your parents to believe in you or your dreams. The same reasons your parents didn’t meet your needs in childhood are the same reasons they still don’t.  So you can let them off the hook and release all expectations!

Finally, when you know your unconditional worth, and you own your intrinsic power, your parents can’t hurt you emotionally, and, consequently, forgiveness becomes possible.

As dysfunctional dynamics dissolve, it gives way to a new paradigm of relationship based on unconditional worth and self-empowerment. The foundation of this deeper connection is clear boundaries, and, in fact, boundaries can take you from a powerless child to an empowered adult in a heartbeat. Indeed, your personal power is only as strong as your boundaries.

Boundaries are Key!

As an adult-child, it is up to you to set boundaries with your parents. Initially, it might feel uncomfortable, but, over time, strong boundaries will strengthen the relationship and allow for a deeper connection. So, to create a positive adult relationship with your parents, what boundaries do you need as an empowered adult?

Keep in mind, a boundary of respect, for example, is vague and you probably need to define the parameters of respect, so clearly and specifically spell it out in terms of communication and interaction. In all likelihood, you will need to teach your parents how to treat you, speak to you, and behave in ways that reflect respect. It’s also a good idea to invite your mom and dad to establish their boundaries and do your very best to honor them, as well.

Boundaries are set through intention but established with attention!

Effective boundaries require integrity, and this means that you must back-up every boundary with proper and consistent attention. Therefore, don’t expect your parents to automatically know when they are encroaching on a boundary. When people are used to behaving in habitual ways, it takes time to recognize new boundaries and reorganize new behavior accordingly. This means that it’s your responsibility to protect your boundaries, and, therefore, confidentially give clear feedback; tell your mom or dad when they are crossing (or about to cross) a boundary.

However, if either parent doesn’t respect your boundaries, don’t be afraid to limit interactions accordingly, but let them know why, so they have the necessary information to change their behavior. Believe it or not, most parents will eventually learn to respect boundaries, but only if you consistently enforce them first.

Reaping the Rewards

No matter how it seems, childhood wounds always leverage hidden gifts, such as independence, wisdom, or compassion, and without emotional challenges, our best attributes might never be revealed. If you haven’t yet recognized the positive qualities that sprung from your childhood wounds, now would be a wonderful time to do so because the recognition itself can be extremely healing. Indeed, the point is to heal the wounds but keep the benefits!

Finally, always remember that forgiveness is never for the person being forgiven. Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

You are love, you are light, and all is well!

Graciously,
Nanice

P.S. You can watch the video version of this artlce here.

Nanice Bio:
As a Conscious Creation Coach since 1997, Nanice teaches mastery level manifestation. Using quantum principals, human dynamics, consciousness techniques, and real life experiences, her powerful coaching style is often referred to as the “Nanice Effect.”  Nanice is the author of several inspirational books including, “Is There a White Elephant in Your Way? – a comprehensive guidebook to awakening and self-empowerment.” Sign up for Nanice’s Free 7 Part Awakening Series at www.Nanice.com/Awaken. To find out more, please visit www.Nanice.com

Catherine Plano gives 7 steps to change the way you think. Following these will surely lead to a happier you!

 

A lot of people think that happiness is ‘elusive’ – a fleeting feeling that comes from what’s happening around us, in our lives. And that’s true. But like everything else we perceive and experience, happiness is processed in the brain. By learning to use your brain to re-boot happiness when you’re feeling ‘low’ you can make a big difference to your contentedness.

The important thing to remember is that the brain is like a muscle – it’s adaptive and responsive to training, like any other muscle in our body. Its chemical makeup is important to its optimal function too. By understanding these seven basic brain functions and how to activate and re-charge them, you can re-wire your brain for greater happiness and success!

 

1) Dose up the Dopamine  

Dopamine allows us to feel bliss, pleasure, euphoria and motivation.

Dopamine is a chemical (neurotransmitter) that is used by the nerves to send messages. Basically, when dopamine levels are depleted in our brain, our message can’t be transmitted properly. This, in turn, can have an impact on our behaviour, mood, cognition, attention, learning, movement and sleep. When we procrastinate, have feelings of self-doubt or we lack enthusiasm, these are strong clues from the brain that we are low on dopamine.

It’s super easy to increase dopamine levels: Aim for 8 hours sleep per day and regular exercise to keep dopamine balanced. Plus – the brain releases a little bit of dopamine when you achieve or succeed. One way to get a ‘hit’ of dopamine regularly is set yourself small, achievable goals. As you achieve them, you’ll feel good about making progress.

Of course, you should always celebrate all those ‘little’ wins. They’re helping you, step by step, to achieve the bigger goal. Any accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem, are definitely worth recognition.

 

2) Exercise for Endorphins

Endorphins are released into your bloodstream once you have exercised, leaving you feeling more energised and in a better mood for the rest of your day. Endorphins are the counter balance to stress, so the more endorphins you release, the less stress and anxiety you will experience.

Along with regular exercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release. Feeling low? Watch some comedy, or catch up with a friend who makes you laugh.There are some studies that attest that dark chocolate and spicy foods can help to release endorphins. Keep a stash of dark chocolate and treat yourself to a curry every now and then for a quick endorphin boost.

 

3) Give someone a hug 

Oxytocin – the love hormone – creates intimacy, trust and builds strong, healthy relationships.

Often referred to as the cuddle hormone, oxytocin is essential for creating powerful bonds and improving social interactions. As the name suggests, one very simple way to keep oxytocin flowing is to give someone a hug, not a handshake. There is research now to explain that a hug for up to 20 seconds a day releases oxytocin, which is a natural antidepressant and antianxiety agent.

Oxytocin is the hormone that allows us to feel love and connection. In fact, when we experience an increase of oxytocin, it makes us more intuitive to others’ needs. Even when someone receives a gift, his or her oxytocin levels can rise. You can strengthen work and personal relationships through a simple gift or a massive hug.

4) Be appreciative

Serotonin flows when you feel satisfied, accomplished and important. However, a lack of serotonin can make you feel lonely, bleak and unhappy. Unhealthy attention-seeking behaviour can also be a cry for serotonin.

Our brain can’t tell the difference between what’s real and imagined, so it produces serotonin in both cases. This is why ‘gratitude’ practices are popular; they remind us that we are valued and have much to value in life. If you need a serotonin boost during a stressful day, take a few moments to reflect on past achievements and victories. Alternatively, engage in a random act of kindness, or write a text or email telling one of your friends or partner how much you appreciate and value them. You can also spend a minute or two ‘reliving’ a moment in your head that you cherish.

These are simple mood boosters, just because they increase serotonin. We also know that vitamin D (from the sun) helps to expand our brain’s serotonin production.

 

5) Change ‘fear’ into ‘flow’

The amygdala, is one of the ‘primal’ functions of our brain, designed to keep us safe. This ‘fright, freeze and flight centre’, manages connections and is directly involved with emotional wellbeing.

The amygdala processes positive and negative feedback depending on how we perceive an outcome. As a result, it makes us feel strong emotional responses that often lead to impulsive reactions.

When the amygdala signals go backwards, it generates a fear response – we get defensive and this can lead to lashing out, arguing. But – it’s here in the amygdala where we store our old ‘programmes’ too – those tired old tales of lack and unworthiness… And, just as we put those ‘old stories’ in there, we can re-programme – update them – with new ones. This takes time, but the brain is highly adaptive and with daily commitment to a practice of positive programming, it will become your default setting instead, and the negative responses will be fewer and weaker.

6) Hippocampus: The Seahorse

The hippocampus is viewed as an associative memory system supporting the formation, storage, and retrieval of memories. So, when you are feeling low, think happy memories – in your head go back to a pleasant, exciting, loving moment in time and re-live the movie in your head! Create a ‘happiness’ album with your smartphone -friends, family, beautiful places – whatever makes you smile, and when you’re feeling low look through the pictures. and look through pictures until your mood starts to shift.

 

7) Will Power at the Prefrontal Cortex

Your pre-fontal cortex is that part of the brain that is right behind your forehead; its function is decision-making and regulating our behaviour, self-control and willpower. Looking after this section of our brain involves exercising will power.

And, the more we exercise our self-control, the stronger and more stable it becomes. If you want to lose weight, begin saving money, start exercising – it’s all actioned here in this part of the brain. But remember, if you choose your new action, you need to do it repeatedly for 21 days. If you miss a day, then you need to start again. Record your progress; you’ll see a remarkable difference from start to finish. And don’t forget that the more successful you are, day, by day, your dopamine levels will kick in with pride as you accomplish what you set out to achieve. There’s a win/win here for happiness.

 

Happiness is not a ‘mystery’

In an effort to pursue the great mystery of ‘happiness’ we simply need to understand these tools. We’re all prone to moods – and there can be many reasons why some moods stay with us longer than others, but these tools can help us to work with our minds, instead of against them, when we are stressed, anxious, sad or angry.

The brain needs stimulation – tired old routines can deliver the same tired old results in our lives, so stay curious. When you experience something ‘new’, it actually stimulates and transforms your brain. Explore, experiment and try something new to maximise how you use your brainpower.

Catherine Plano is the author of ” Getting to the Heart of the Matter” – a warm, engaging practical book for connecting the power of the mind, with the power of the heart for personal transformation.