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Having a hard time getting your teens to get out of bed in the morning for school? It’s not uncommon to hear the groans and moans as they slowly move around getting ready for school in the morning. According to Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom, teens may actually need an extra hour or two of sleep to help them perform better in school:

“I have been researching the impact of later high school start times for 20 years. Research findings show that teens’ inability to get out of bed before 8 a.m. is a matter of human biology, not a matter of attitude. At issue here are the sleep patterns of the teenage brain, which are different from those of younger children and adults. Due to the biology of human development, the sleep mechanism in teens does not allow the brain to naturally awaken before about 8 a.m. This often gets into conflict with school schedules in many communities.” – Dr. Kyla Walhstrom 

Listen to the rest of the podcast at: http://tinyurl.com/h5vq7w5

Matt talks with Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Her research work over the past 25 years has examined school and district leadership and the outcomes that result from educational policy initiatives. She has been researching later high school start times for the past 20 years, including her recently completed 3-year study for the CDC. The results of that research were used by the American Academy of Pediatrics to inform their national policy statement in 2014 about the need for later high school starting times. Dr. Wahlstrom shares the research.

Join The Matt Townsend Show, Weekdays 9am-12pm ET on BYU RADIO (Sirius XM Channel 143) or byuradio.org

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Dr. Lisa Miller is a Professor of Psychology and Education, Director of Clinical Psychology, and Director of the Spirituality & Mind Body Institute at Teachers College Columbia University. So much of our early education focuses on cognitive skills. We learn cursive and spelling, math and science. But teaching principles that the heart needs to understand is a different matter entirely and a delicate one. Dr. Miller discusses how spirituality helps people develop emotionally.

 

Humans tend to not excel and to improve something that they’re really not that “in” to!”

The same is true whether it is our hobby of golf or our “love” in the marriage. When it comes to being “In Love”, it’s just as important to focus on the “In” as it is the “love.”

I will be doing an entire Date Night devoted to this subject on February 13th ,2016.

Click on this link to learn more!

Most people believe that love is the key to marriage; they ask themselves “Am I being loved the way I want to be loved?” We think the operative word for being “In love” is the word love instead of the word “In”. The reality however is that love will come pretty natural to most if we just could somehow manage to stay “IN” our marriages better. Stay in the room, in the commitment, in service to one another. Here are four “In” to make sure you’re “into” if you want to remain “In Love”.

Tune “In” To Your Partner

  • You used to have to dial into the station on the radio you are listening to.
  • When we’re tuned in, there is less static, less interference. You are on the same page as your partner and it is so much easier to hear, understand and communicate with your partner.
  • Every interaction should be a new opportunity to know how to better tune-into your partner and their unique way of living and communicating.
  • Technology is a major distraction that ends up creating a lot of interference in today’s marriage. Turn off the tech after 8pm.
  • Solutions- Find ways to clarify more what your partner is saying instead of just assuming you know. Spend more time actually looking at your partner while they are talking so you have access to other pieces of important data.

Allow Your Partner “In”

  • A common complaint that I hear a lot of is that a spouse doesn’t let their spouse “in” to their heart.
  • Healthy marriages demand that we allow other people into our fears, beliefs and deepest concerns. Many times you can tell that something is wrong with your partner but when you ask, they say, “No, I’m fine.” In so doing, you never open the door to deeper understanding.
  • This ability to be vulnerable with your spouse seems risky to some and yet is essential to creating true “In-timacy” in a marriage.
  • Every person on earth needs someone close to them to be able to hear and understand what is really going on inside of themself.
  • Solutions- Find a way to make your partnership safe enough to share. Commit to being more vulnerable and risk a bit by accepting and validating without judgement what your partner shares with you.

Stay More “In-volved” In Each Other’s Life.

  • With our lives being torn in so many different directions, many couples fall out of love simply because they are no longer involved deeply with in their partner’s life. When first dating we spend hours listening to our partner’s share their stories about work, hobbies and goals and dreams. Eventually many couple’s begin to “run out of things to talk about” or feel like there is nothing really new to share.
  • This decreased involvement also takes place when we try to balance, work, kids and marriage. To find this balance sometimes we institute the “divide and conquer” approach with one person taking the kids to their lessons while the other cares for the yard. Or one will go to work, while the other manages the home. This dividing principle, although beneficial to efficiency of life, may be harmful to the ability to be more involved in your spouse’s lives.
  • A typical division of labor approach might be that the wife takes responsibility for the inside of the home and the husband owns the outside of the home. The problem with dividing up work loads like that is the fact that we usually don’t end up mowing the lawn at 9pm at night and yet we can end up doing laundry, dishes and putting the kids to bed up into the wee hours of the night.
  • Lose technology that distracts us.
  • Solutions- Stay involved in each other’s lives. Make time to share the details of each other’s days. Don’t allow a simple answer (“good”) be given from a simple question (“How was your day”.) Instead ask more detailed questions and expect more detailed answers. (Tell me about your day. Or what was the best part of your day?) Try as much as you can to not divide and conquer. Figure out ways of how to do errands together. Minimize some of your family activities so you’re not always driving carpools. Put a date night together for every week so you can go out and talk. Organize weekly, monthly and yearly rituals to do together to build a sense of unity.

Keep In-Touch With Each Other

  • Most of us connect the feelings of being “In Love” with those chemicals that were flowing deep inside our bodies when we first touched or kissed our spouses.
  • We actually fell in love by keeping in the process of touch.
  • Research shows that touching can heal and help people to feel less threatened or afraid. It can also calm a baby, relax a heart rate of a hospital patient and help someone to know they’re loved.
  • Chemistry and touch go hand in hand (pun intended) so one of the fastest ways to ensure that a couple can rekindle and spark the feelings of “being in love” is by re-engaging the chemistry of touch.
  • Solutions- Set up rituals to hug and kiss when arriving and leaving home. Hold hands when you can, kiss more than you normally do. Think back together and make a list of everything and every type of touch that mattered to you back when you were dating. Try to recapture some of old “touching” moments by introducing them to your life today. Find ways to increase the touch outside of the bedroom, might make it safer to manage the touch inside the bedroom.

More than 20% of the population experience regular anxiety and “pressure” trying to deal with day-to-day pressures of life. The feelings are not just in the “head” of people with anxiety but also in the entire body as well. Anxiety creates an automatic response in the body that elevates heart rates, flushes the body and produces more stress hormones in the person. Their anxiety is not just something you can talk them out of but instead they need to find a way to manage the emotions from the inside out. Here are 5 highly researched ways to help to get the anxiety better under control.

 

Talk It Out

  • One of the fastest ways to get your anxiety out of you is to simply share it with another person.
  • That is one of the reasons that therapy is an essential addition to pharmaceuticals in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
  • Everybody should have one person that they can share their entire heart and mind with. Despite conventional wisdom, that doesn’t always have to be your spouse, but it should be someone that is consistently there for you.
  • Activity- Find the person that can you can share your deepest feelings and concerns with. Someone who will listen and not try to fix what you’re feeling.
  • Perhaps that is a therapist or maybe even just a best friend, but in the end you are looking to find a person who will simply be a great listening ear.

 

Write It Out

  • Another way to help coach the anxiety out of yourself is by writing the anxiety out of you.
  • One way to get the energy and thoughts that keep you stuck and swimming in overwhelm and pressure is to get the thoughts out.
  • Activity- Take a blank piece of paper and just start writing down all of the thoughts that are swirling through your mind..
  • Once you’ve completed a line, write over the top of your last line.

 

Think It Out

  • Much of our pressures day in and day out will come from our repetitive thoughts that don’t serve us or that aren’t even accurate, but they feel incredibly real.
  • Our negative thoughts create negative feelings and those feelings over time are what constitute our pressurized world.
  • One of the fastest ways to change the thought is to redirect it from a negative thought to a positive thought.
  • Activity- Evaluate your negative thoughts by intentionally gaining an abundance of positive thoughts to counter your negative thoughts. Begin to make a list of all of the good things that are happening to you in your life every day. Identify three things a day that are positively impacting you and make sure to write them down.

 

Chunk It Out

  • Sometimes the reason anxiety is so consistently upon us might be because of our brains ability to blow certain situations out of proportion. Anxiety makes us feel like some things are way too big to handle.
  • One way to change the scope of the things that stress you out is by re-framing the problem in a more achievable way.
  • Activity- Break your anxieties down into bite sized chunk like the following examples. Instead of your child stressing about getting perfect grades, help them to refocus their attention on simply getting one assignment done at a time.
  • Instead of feeling overwhelmed that you have to do everything that needs to get done all at once, chunk your stresses down into bit sized pieced that seem more manageable.

 

Turn It Out

  • Usually when you’re overwhelmed and overextended our tendency is to withdraw into our own little shell and maybe hide from everyone else.
  • Instead of letting our anxiety get the best of us, we need to use our nervous energy to get out of ourselves and redirect the energy toward the service of others.
  • There are an amazing amount of “happy neurotransmitters” that we can feel when we are serving or caring for others.
  • Activity- Find a way to turn your anxious tendencies into the service or well being of others. By redirecting your focus outside of yourself to the service of others you may begin to find other benefits and chemicals to combat your anxiety.

 

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Relationships are difficult with so many changing dynamics, differing personalities and problematic histories. Without Respect, Appreciation, Encouragement and Dedication, all relationships will suffer. Despite all of the confusion, there are four questions that can tell you how you’re doing at feeding your relationship’s most basic needs. By asking yourself these four questions you can begin to identify where your love might be fading. You’ll also be able to identify what you can do today, to make changes. So lets see where we could do better to feed the marriage.

Do You Truly Respect And Show Respect To Your Spouse?
• Do you respect your partner’s needs and wants as no more or less important than your needs and wants?
• Do you respect your partner as having the same or equal rights as you do.
• Do you respect their preferences as just as important as your preferences?
• Do you respect your partner as your equal to you with neither of you having authority over the other?

Do You Appreciate What Your Partner Contributes To The Relationship?
• Do you appreciate what your partner is doing in the relationship?
• Does you feel like your partner is pulling their full share of the load?
• Do you feel that they love you and care for you your way?
• Do you feel that you are both working hard to care for the relationship and care of the family?

Are You An Encouraging Partner?
• Are you supportive of your partner’s dreams, activities and goals?
• Are you their biggest fan or cheerleader?
• Do you feel like you are best friends?
• Are you able to share your biggest concerns with your partner? Can they share their concerns with you?

Are You Truly Dedicated To Your Partner?
• Do you place your partner as your top priority?
• Are you connecting with your partner physically and emotionally in meaningful ways?
• Do you put your partner’s needs and wants before any other person’s needs and wants?
• Is your partner there for you in moments of distress?

To learn more about Matt’s revolutionary coaching program, Click here!

Relationship Insights From Pixar’s Inside-Out

Power of Recognizing Emotions of Others

  • Inside-Out taught us that emotions are our friends not our enemies, that emotions are our guides, to understand the other, but they are not the other person.
  • Emotions all serve a purpose and they exist to protect us, prepare and to help us enjoy, learn, and take advantage of life.
  • Pixar’s 5 emotions are- Joy, Fear, Sad, Disgust, Anger (There are more than 5 basic emotions).
  • They’ve been with us since the beginning. They all serve a purpose and every emotion has something unique to offer that needs to be understood by those around them.
  • Our partner’s emotions don’t just do battle with us, but they also do battle with with each other.
  • By learning to recognize the emotions (are they mad, glad, sad, scared, embarrassed or spent) we have already begun to understand our relationships better.
  • By recognizing the emotion we see we can inquire about the emotion and that will lead us deeper into their core identity issues.

Everyone’s Emotional Make Up Is Different

  • Don’t just assume that women are more emotional and men are more uncaring.  Instead try to figure out what the emotional make up is of the person you’re relating to.
  • Remain curious, but not convinced. The minute we’re convinced because of our emotions, we stop trying to understand the other person.
  • Because emotions are powerful, many times we think we’re actually right, simply because we’re having an emotion.
  • Emotions will always fight for themselves unless we get out of our emotions and try to understand what’s really going on with the other.
  • In the movie we saw that
    • Joy was sure she was always right, despite what others wanted.
    • Fear acted out even when he didn’t need to.
    • Sadness was always blue, even when times were good.
    • Anger would always run the board aggressively, with two hands on the throttle.
    • Disgust always had a judgment or evaluation about everything.
  • Have discussions with your partner about their emotional make up and try to discuss your own use of anger, disgust, fear, sadness and joy in the marriage.

Changes In Life Foster Emotional Growth

  • The character in the Pixar movie was a young girl named Riley and it was really hard for her to move to a new city.  The move threw in her emotions in to chaos.
  • In our relationships, changes can also take a toll on each of us. They have to be processed over time, not just overnight.
  • We can be there for friends and family as they need to process the many changes in their life.
  • We need to allow these others to share and process their emotions with us and look for the deeper and hidden impact on their identity.
  • Changes are always going to help our emotions to grow deeper and our insights to be broadened if we allow it.

 You Can Only Know Joy If You Know Sadness

  • All emotions inform our spirit.
  • The risks of life, enable the benefits of joy.
  • We must know the sad to know the joy. We must know the hard to recognize the easy. We must sense the embarrassment to appreciate the confidence.
  • There is power in the paradox of our relationships which is why they are so important to us. No where in our existence can we experience more intensely the power of something than we do in our relationships.
  • That is why we are in families and couples: so that we can experience the pain safely with someone who will shelter us and watch over us when we are going through our darkness.

Rule- Allow people to go to their darker emotions instead of always having a need to pull them out of it. If it goes too long or too deep you can get help, but instead of trying to change their feelings, just understand them. Let them explore them with you. Then they’ll be able to let go of them so much quicker.

I had a fascinating interview with Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter yesterday on my Sirius/XM Radio show.  Dr. Kanter is a renowned professor with the Harvard School of Business, holding the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship.  She is a recognized expert in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change.  She is the Director and Chair of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative.  Dr. Kanter recently appeared on the Daily Show with John Stewart where she discussed America’s infrastructure.  You can learn more about Dr. Kanter by clicking here.

Dr. Kanter’s fantastic new book, Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead is available at Amazon.com and other major booksellers.  You can get her book at Amazon by clicking here.

We had a great interview about the changes that need to occur in our leadership and how we can move forward in creating better stability.  This is some great audio, you don’t want to miss it.  Click above to give it a listen!

You can listen to my show live each day from 7 am to 10 am Mountain Time on Sirius/XM Channel 143, or live stream at BYURadio.org.  You can also listen to previous shows by clicking here.

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