What’s Love got to Do with It? Everything,

I came across this article that I found in the HUFFINGTON POST, that I figured that I would share with you. Dr. Cynthia Thaik, cardiologist and author of Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength & Spirit from the Body’s Core, feels Love as everything to do with the state of your health.

To have optimal cardiovascular health, your emotional and spiritual heart is just as important as your physical heart, and care must be given to all aspects of this vital organ.



Love is a strong emotion, representing human kindness, compassion, and deep affection. Love is unselfish and benevolent. Love is pure. Love is self-directed and directed toward others. Most importantly, love is a vital component for the health of your heart, body, mind and soul.

Ways That Love Benefits Your Health:

  • Love improves self-esteem, which leads to better self-care. Self-love is key because when you love yourself, you are much more likely to engage in activities that contribute to better nutrition and physical fitness, and less likely to make unhealthy lifestyle choices.
  • Love is a great antidote to stress. Love counteracts the fight-or-flight response that we so often find ourselves in. Even low levels of stress cause the body to release cortisol, which is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Love downregulates the production of cortisol. Love encourages your body to produce oxytocin, the “feel-good” or “love” hormone. Oxytocin can reduce cardiovascular stress and improve the immune system, which in turn decreases cell death and inflammation. Love also causes the production in your brain of norepinephrine and dopamine (both hormones associated with adrenaline), which leads to increased feelings of joy and pleasure. Love really is your best medicine.
  •  Love decreases anxiety and staves off depression, which subsequently reduces the signs and symptoms of heart disease. In his book Love and Survival: Eight Pathways to Intimacy and Health, Dean Ornish, M.D describes one study were married men who suffered from angina (chest pains) experienced far less angina if they felt loved by their wives, even despite high risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Sleeping next to someone you love makes you feel more relaxed, which helps you to sleep better. Numerous studies have linked the benefits to the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Adequate rest is vital to heart health and overall well-being, as much of the reparative work of the body is done during sleep.

Not just at Mother’s Day, but all year around, it is important to remind yourself that there is so much more to love than just romantic love. There is love of life, love of nature, love of animals, love of others, and love of self, and all of these acts of love provide amazing health benefits.

Ways to Incorporate Love Into Your Life

  1. Be more loving and giving. Bring happiness and joy into other people’s lives. Be generous with your time and money; be a person of increase. You can do this through volunteerism and altruism. I challenge everyone to do one random act of kindness today, even if it is as simple as smiling at someone.
  2. Hug often and hold hands. Physical contact in a loving and nurturing way has the ability to instantly improve your mood, lower stress levels and put you at ease. Try to hug at least one person you love every day.
  3. Be more playful in your loving relationship and make love often. Remind your partner about how much you care for them, and make time for them, no matter how busy you are.
  4. Love life — bring more joy into your life each day. Flirt with life… laugh, dance, sing. One way to manifest this is to allow yourself to really laugh without holding anything back and simply enjoy this pure laughter.
  5. Love yourself and be kind to yourself today. Treat yourself like you would another person who you are truly in love with. The more you love yourself, the better equipped you will be to love others. And the more love you give, the more you will receive.
  6. Love decreases inflammation, improves your immune system, and can be a potent pain reliever. A recent study from the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University College of Medicine showed that people who are lonely develop more reactivation of latent viruses than those that are well-connected. Possible mechanisms for these actions include increased release of cytokines, better relaxation and the release of endorphins

If you would like to improve your overall health, which simple action steps are you willing to incorporate into your daily routine ?

Let’s Discuss – I don’t need to get married, me and my baby-daddy are good!


In part 3 of our 10 most interesting marriage studies for 2012 deals with the subject of cohabitation. Contrary to what we hear in the states about cohabitation, the benefits of marriage diminish over time, while unmarried couples who live together over 6 years experience greater happiness and self-esteem.

The February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, “Found that differences between marriage and cohabitation tend to be small and dissipate after a honeymoon period. Also while married couples experienced health gains — likely linked to the formal benefits of marriage such as shared health care plans — cohabiting couples experienced greater gains in happiness and self-esteem,” said study author Kelly Musick, an associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, in a journal news release. “For some, cohabitation may come with fewer unwanted obligations than marriage and allow for more flexibility, autonomy and personal growth.”

So let’s discuss. I would love to get some answers to this response. Personally, PG and I lived in totally different states. She wanted to move in together, but I was hesitant to her dissatisfaction. Eventually, we did live together for a short period of time before we got married.

1. For those couples that lived together for a long period of time, do you feel your relationship is good the way it is? Why? How would marriage change it?

2. Did your relationship improve when you got married after living together, or did it get worst?

Coach Keith

Better Sex means adding on some logs.

We got to keep the fires burning

A flame so bright to show the way

We got to keep the fires burning

That leads us to a better day…Keep the Fire Burning (Incognito)

These lyrics are very appropriate when it comes to maintaining a sexual relationship in marriage. As I have written before, maintaining a sexual relationship takes a certain focus that challenges all married couples as some point or another. Add kids, work and life changes it’s no wonder why sex can take a back seat. If you are a STRIVER, you must make a conscious effort today to change. Here are some tips:

Talking is the best sex starter!

It may seem corny, or uncomfortable, but talking about such things as:

What fantasies you want your mate to fulfill?

What are your areas of insecurity?

What turns you on before sex and makes you begin to desire your partner?

What type of actions (foreplay) would help you get into the mood for sex?

This is just a few questions that could help you discuss the topic of sex. It’s crucial that allow you partner to speak freely by reserving any judgement, or criticism.

Beware the Gremlins!

If you have seen the movie, Gremlins,  you know the furry creatures look cute on the inside, but in reality are very scary and ugly. In sex, those gremlins are the negative thoughts and beliefs we have about sex; guilt around sex, views about how sex should play out in the bedroom, and our image of our bodies. Acknowledge these issues with your spouse, and validate their feelings as well and vice-versa.

Check self-evaluation at the bedroom door!

If you have had any of these thoughts, it’s time to stop.

  • “She doesn’t think I am a good lover.”
  • “I hope she is enjoying this. I want him to love me.”
  • “He is not getting aroused. It must be me.”

These evaluation phrases can destroy any love-making possibilities. If things aren’t working,  take some time and talk about it, instead of reverting to criticism.

Eliminate Pressure.

We all should know that when it comes to sex, men are quick out the gate, and women like to cruise. In your sexual relationship, you have to be mindful of that fact and don’t create additional pressure to the situation. Building up performance expectations will cause the opposite effect.

Men, don’t get upset if she isn’t screaming in the pillow for more; ladies don’t pat your husband on the head and give him the phony  “It’s okay!” speech.

Go back to tip #1 and find out how you can get to pleasurable, sexual experience together.

Time for a dose of Insanity.

In order to increase your sexual pleasure, you may have to get off the couch and into the gym. Getting more rest, eating healthy, increased exercise, reducing stress can do more to improve your sexual relationship in marriage than just by having more sex. When you feel better about yourself, you will feel better about having sex.

Set up  a Sex Meeting in Outlook.

I have stressed this many times. You have to make sex in your relationship special, otherwise you cheapen the moment. Be proactive and schedule time to get away even if it’s overnight. You may think that it’s no fun because it’s not spontaneous. Honestly, spontaneity left the building when you had kids. If you make it a priority to have sex more often, the spontaneity will return and the desire will too.

Support Each Other

Remember, couples that are Strivers are team members. In order to have better sex, you must support, challenge and support each other in all situations.

Healthy Sex is about having Fun!

Sex can be fun if you allow it to. As we progress in our marriage and we are having sex, we think about:

  • Am I doing it right?
  • Is she screaming because she is enjoying it, or is it just to make me feel good?
  • I can’t wait until he’s finished so I can (fill in the blank).
  • Is that all he’s got?
  • Is she just going to lay there, while I do all the work?

Set aside time in sex to just have fun. Healthy sex requires you and your partner to communicate. Sex is healthy when you talk about it – your wants, desires, likes, dislikes, fears, etc…

Let’s think about this logically, how do ever know what we like or dislike. We study, experiment, taste, touch, feel.

Why don’t we do that with sex? It’s clear women are looking for it! 50 Shades of Grey anyone!



Who should Stay Home? The High Income Wife or the Do-Gooder Husband?

In this version of She Said vs. He Said there is a dilemma going on in 22% of the homes across the country according to a Pew Research Center study? When the wife makes clearly more money than her husband, who should stay home when their child is sick.  This decision is a challenge to make without knowing all the information about my story, so let me set it up for you.

I had a client that wanted me to serve as mediator over a particular issue. She has a high pressure, profile job as an office manager for a financial institution. He has a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management and is instrumental in running a small non-profit organization.

Early in the morning, they find out their daughter is running a high fever and there is no chance that she will be able to go to daycare. They discuss who will stay home with her for the day. Knowing that his job is more flexible, usually can stay home, but on this day he has to prepare for an upcoming event that is the next day and since he has been out of the office must go in. She has a very important meeting that involves some important changes that will affect the office, and with her affinity for keeping her boss on an even keel and bringing peace to these types of situations feels that she should go in.

Who should Stay Home? The wife who makes more money, or the bleeding heart husband who is lucky he has a wife that excels financially so he can do good?

I would love to hear who should stay home and your reason?

Relationship Gratitude – (Day 28) A check up a year, keeps the one you Love near!

Take stock in your health and your partner’s health.

If you, or your partner hasn’t had a check-up in a while, ask each other why?

If you hear any of these answers, it might be time to make an appointment.

  • I believe that if I ignore it, it will go away
  • I don’t want the doctor to tell me something I don’t want to hear
  • It’s just not the time to be sick, there’s no time on my schedule
  • I really can’t stand anything to do with going to the doctor and I associate doctors with weakness.

By getting a check up every year, you can detect illnesses sooner like cancer and diabetes.

Be thankful for the gift of good health and acknowledge the struggles of those who are not as healthy.