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I choose something new for my future,' explained Dr Gentempo. Where affirmations have gone amuck is where people are walking around saying, I'm happy. I choose happiness means okay, I might not be happy right this second, but I choose it, and I'm going to start moving toward it. Switching our affirmations slightly, saying them first thing in the morning and in a clear, powerful, intentional voice, makes a strong statement to yourself. You're bridging the distance between your inner self and your experience in the outer world. Are you respectfully allowing her opinions to be heard, or are you pooh-poohing everything she says? Your teenager is developing individual tastes regarding music, clothing, hair, appetite and friends. Are you pleasing yourself in all these categories, or have you opted for conformity, afraid to rock the boat? Your teenager works her heart out for anything she believes in. Are you honoring your priorities, or have you compromised your issues and fallen into stagnancy? Your teenager believes that fulfillment is her due. Are you still optimistic about your journey, or have you decided that life is what it is and you can't change it? Your teenager can't imagine a future without new explorations and adventures. Are you anticipating growth and looking forward to more challenges, or are you bemoaning the loss of dreams that fell apart? Your teenager irritates you when she is optimistic about her future and you are pessimistic about yours. That's because we acclimate to our conditions. We often forget about adaptation--the process of getting used to a situation. No matter how wonderful something is, the novelty eventually wears off, and we stop paying much attention to it. And once we stop paying attention to it, it doesn't bring us the same level of joy, or misery, that it did when we were focused on it. This explains the results of a 1978 study led by psychologist Philip Brickman, in which he and his team surveyed lottery winners a year after their windfall.

Lottery winners, it turns out, are less happy in the long term than you'd think. They're about as happy as non-lottery winners, and actually have an even harder time enjoying the small pleasures in life than people who haven't won anything. Lottery winners adapted to their environment, and their wealth had a much smaller than anticipated effect on their overall life satisfaction. Key tip for your dating search When we make a decision, we tend to focus on the immediate joy or misery it will bring. If you want to kick it up a notch, do what's called mirror work. It's a tool many of our experts have their patients use. You stand in the mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and say, I love you. Sometimes it's hard to see what stares back at us. We harbor so many negative self-images, self-talk, and low self-esteem what we can't look at ourselves in the mirror. And if that's something that's tough for you, first, know that you're not alone, and second, recognize it's a powerful knowledge. It shows that you're internally out of balance. You can correct this through continued mirror work and/or under the watchful guidance of a trusted therapist. In the beginning, it can feel painful to speak in a caring, loving, kind way to ourselves. The culture we live in has repeatedly focused us on our flaws, telling us to fix our looks, bodies, and wealth. If you become more optimistic, you won't be irritated by her attitude, you'll be inspired by her attitude. In addition to all these challenges, your teenager is noticing the opposite sex. She is coping with new sensations in her body and new emotions in her heart. These highs and lows often precipitate fears that her body controls her instead of the other way around. A child's urge to experiment in new areas of interest is no different from the urge to experiment in other stages of life.

Parents only think it is different if they cling to the status quo and refuse to accept that growth is ever-constant. As the teenager discovers her sexuality, suddenly the mother is reminded of her lost appeal. In order to justify her loss, she begins to punish her daughter for her gain. She does this by discouraging her child from enjoying this new phase of growth. When you belittle your child's birth into adulthood, she has to take measures to prove to you that she is an adult whether you like it or not. But remember: We are bad fortune-tellers! We often can't account for how those feelings will change over time. Money matters, but only up to a certain extent. You're not wrong for considering that element of your future relationship, but don't prioritize wealth above all else. It's no secret that looks make a difference in many realms of life. Attractive people tend to earn higher salaries and beat their less attractive opponents in political races. In multiple studies investigating attractiveness, researchers noted that good-looking people are perceived as more persuasive, trustworthy, outgoing, socially competent and powerful, sexually responsive, healthy, intelligent, and likable. And when it comes to dating, there's a historical and evolutionary reason for prizing good looks. Early on, life was a constant struggle for survival. Physically attractive traits--like clear skin or thick hair--indicated health and vitality. Yes, we can adopt healthier, more self-nurturing practices so we can take even better care of our minds, bodies, hearts, and souls, but fundamentally there's nothing wrong with you. Your perception of yourself and how you feel about you needs some adjusting, that's all. When you do this, then some of the self-care activities you need to resolve your trauma will naturally fall into place because you want to do them. You want to take better care of yourself. Often, it starts by making small adjustments, then some more, and then some more, and before you realize it, you're like the caterpillar who's turned into the butterfly--you've transformed your life in dramatic ways.

This will take some deep digging and a willingness to shed what no longer works. But over time, it will change your life. Danielle used to love journaling but had stopped after her husband died. For her birthday, a friend gifted her a journal. One night, Danielle curled up in her favorite chair and started writing in it. She asserts her independence by proving her adulthood in areas of her life where you are most resistant. Often, that direction is self-destructive. The solution is easy as soon as you understand the reason for her behavior. This isn't the time to tell her she can't be trusted to act like an adult; This isn't the time to criticize her every decision in taste; This isn't the time to wonder what she is doing in her leisure hours; This isn't the time to challenge her every belief; This isn't the time to criticize her friends; Your child's only basis for defiance is her belief that you need to be defied. If you welcome her into adulthood with respect and admiration, what would she have to rebel against? That was important for mate selection because it meant that not only would this person pass on these desirable quality traits to your kids, they'd also be more likely to stay alive long enough to help raise them. No wonder our brains trained us to go for the hotties. In today's world, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine and industrialized food production, we're not plagued by the same issues. Our offspring have a very good chance at surviving, so it no longer makes sense to prioritize reproductive fitness--the ability to pass on genes to future generations--when choosing a partner. Your kid will be fine even if his dad had acne in his teens.

What's more, focusing on attractiveness to the exclusion of other traits ignores the fact that lust inevitably fades over time (and remember, we're going for long-term success here). In his article The Science of Happily Ever After, psychologist Ty Tashiro analyzed a fourteen-year longitudinal study of satisfaction in marriages over time. He found that over the course of seven years, lust (sexual desire) for a partner declined twice as fast as liking (friendship characterized by loyalty and kindness). Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher helps explain why that happens. Lust is incredibly intense in the beginning and then fades. The entry was short, but there was something about holding the pen and the journal in her hands that made her feel peaceful and content. It was brief, but it felt right to her. From then on, she began journaling every night before she went to sleep. At first, she only wrote about what she did daily, then that gave way to writing about her feelings in the moment and during the day. Slowly, her entries shifted to other feelings and thoughts surrounding her husband's death and what life now looked like for her. Some nights, tears came--a lot of them--but she kept writing through them. Weeks, then months, went by, and while she wouldn't say she was healed or recovered, she was feeling better. She started reading poetry too, and found the words spoke to her on a deep soul level. Soon poems mixed into her journal entries. It grew into a ritual that she looked forward to at the end of each day. Nothing is wrong simply because your teenager submerges herself into new and compelling intensities. Let her test the waters without intimidation. Let her adolescence be the catalyst it is meant to be. When you insist that something is wrong with a direction she has taken, check out your own direction first. What has she learned about priorities from your priorities?