Thursday, May 29, 2008

Four Steps to a New Perspective

Recently I had to take on a new responsibility that I was not too pleased with. Actually, I had a bad attitude about it. Once I realized that nothing was going to change unless I did, I decided to change my perspective. I thought about this quote:

You can either complain that rose bushes have thorns - or rejoice that thorn bushes have roses.

I decided that I would stop complaining and do something about it. This is what I did:

1. Stop indulging in frustration and complaining.

2. Accept what I cannot change.

3. Change what I can change--my attitude and perspective.
I began to look at the good things in this new situation. To my surprise, I was able to list some benefits.

4. Have a good attitude.
A good attitude kept me from focusing on what I didn't like or want. Instead I thought about how I could make the best of the situation and deal with it better. I found that I could still be happy even though things didn't go my way. And, I didn't have to give in to feelings of frustration and discontentment.

The power of perspective is amazing. It can completely change your attitude and mood. Awhile back I wrote an article about the importance of our perspective, and the freedom to choose what we think and focus on. I hope it reminds you to see the good in today.

Today is a New Day and it is good, Krystal

For more on perspective, check out this fun page:

Do You See The Clouds or Sunshine? It's Your Choice
Mirror Newspaper, Dec. 15, 2005, Vol. 2, Number 15
by Krystal Kuehn

“What a beautiful, sunny day,” I thought when I awoke this morning. “It’s going to be a good day!” I got out of bed with a new energy and a good attitude. Then I began to wonder, what is it about today that’s different from the past several days? Well, it was cloudy most every other morning until this morning. What a difference sunshine can make! Actually, as I pondered this, I came to realize that it is so much more than that. What it really comes down to is a choice. Notice that I had determined in my mind that it was going to be a good day. Every day and every hour, it is up to us to decide how we’re going to respond to situations, people, problems and plans.

External factors can have the power to influence us, lead us to feel pressured, or respond out of habit only in accordance to how much we allow them to. And that’s just it. How much will we allow them to? We have a free will. That leaves us with a responsibility to choose the good, true, just, and lovely if we want to enjoy our lives. Even the desire to break out of old, negative patterns requires us to make a choice. Ultimately, we are in control of our choices and attitudes.

Another key point that determined the good attitude I had for the day was the expression of my heartfelt gratitude as I enjoyed the beauty of the brightness from the sun. A heart of gratitude always improves our attitude. A grateful heart keeps our focus on the good in people, the possibilities, and the simple enjoyment and refreshing that can come from the things we so often take for granted.

Regardless of the weather or any other external factors, keeping our focus right will help us maintain a healthy attitude of hope and expectation of good things to come. The warmth of the sun, the brightness of its light, the shimmer of its beauty never changes. Clouds can block it but can’t take it away.

The next time the clouds threaten to take your sunshine away, remember that it is shining just as bright as ever. You don’t have to wait for the clouds to lift to experience its warmth or to appreciate its beauty. Let it remind you that God’s mercies are new every morning. He doesn’t change like the weather or people or situations do. He is always there to brighten up even your darkest day. His light will help you to see that there is hope no matter what the situation. The warmth of His love will wrap around you and keep you safe in His care. You can rejoice and be glad for this is the day the Lord has made and He wants you to enjoy it!

Copyright 2006 Kuehn

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Freedom Is Not Free

Memorial Day is a special day of reflection, a time of gratitude and honor for all the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives for this great nation, and for all our veterans and the U.S. Military. Thank you ! I am so thankful for this amazing country. As a first generation American, I have been brought up in a home of very patriotic parents. My parents always said that America is the greatest country in the world. They know first-hand how oppressive a government can be. Coming to America was a dream come true for them. I have learned from them just how priceless freedom is. So I am thankful and proud to be an American. I love the USA! Following I have posted one of my very favorite patriotic songs. The lyrics are below. You will also find a poem on Freedom. God bless you and....

God bless America, Krystal

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.
-William Havard

Remember 9/11

God Bless The U.S.A.
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,to be livin here today.
Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA.

by Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?

No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Addictions: How to Break Bad Habits

Alcohol, drugs, smoking, and food are what we think of when we hear the word addiction. But, they are not the only things we get addicted to. Oftentimes, other unhealthy habits lead to these more common addictions. That is what I have addressed below:

Alcohol and drug use can lead to problems with addiction if unhealthy or excessive drinking patterns develop. What might start out as social drinking or casual use can soon become a habit. For example, if you drink every time you get together with friends at the bowling alley, it will soon become a habit. That does not necessarily mean it will lead to drinking problems, but I want to address how patterns and habits can develop quickly and easily. This led me to think about how this applies to relationship problems as well as depression, anxiety, and other problems.

Relationship interactions often fall into repeated patterns of behavior. Sometimes it is easy to predict how someone is going to react in any given situation based on previous behavior. And there might not be a good reason to think it will be any different. The behavior has become a habit or dysfunctional pattern. For example, whenever Andy asks for feedback from Kim and she provides some constructive criticism, he gets defensive and accuses her of trying to put him down. Jen does not like to be ignored when she asks Dave to pick up his clothes off the floor, so she gets irritable and short-tempered. Dave asks her to stop nagging him. They end up bickering back and forth. The patterns continue. The tension grows. No one does anything any different so things do not get better until someone decides to do something to break the cycle.

If you have ever struggled with an addiction, you know first hand how difficult it is to break the control it can have on every aspect of your life. And you would most likely want to be free of the addiction. Maybe you do not have problems with drinking, drugs, or smoking. It is highly probable that you know someone who does struggle with these problems. However, I would ask you:

How about negative thinking patterns, disrespect, impatience, angry outbursts, unkindness, criticism, gossip, taking offense, cussing, bitterness, negative self-labeling, pessimism, and the list goes on? Do these things get out of control? Do they become addictive and difficult to break free from? I believe they are, and as a result they contribute to all sorts of emotional, relational, and social problems.

I encourage you to think about any patterns or habits in your life that cause you personal or relational problems. They can be just as serious and destructive as the more commonly known addiction problems. Maybe you never saw it that way before.

For tools on how to replace old habits with new ones, check out activities on how to change the way you think at:

To improve you relationships and communication patterns, I highly recommend the Love and Relationships Workshop. In it you will find helpful activities and information to communicate love in a highly effective way that will significantly improve your relationships.

I love the The motto: Choose happiness now, practice happiness every day, make happiness a lifestyle.

If you want to break some bad habits, I encourage you to take do something about it now. You can make choices to change your lifestyle for the better today!

All the best, Krystal

Monday, May 12, 2008

Alcohol Screening Day & Alcohol Facts

Just want to invite everyone to come in tomorrow and get free alcohol screenings, resources, professional consultations, and information. If you have any concerns about family and friends, we can help answer your questions and provide information for you. Talk to a therapist about any of your concerns. They do not have to necessarily be alcohol-related. If you are going through family or relationship problems, depression, grief or loss, we are here for you.

Below is a copy of the New Day Counseling press release in case you missed it in your local paper. Hope to see you there tomorrow, Tuesday, May 13 between 11:00am and 6:00pm.



“My husband drinks a 6-pack of beer almost every day, is that too much?” “I heard that alcohol is much harder on woman than men, is this true?” “I take an over the counter pain medication for my bad back, does this mean I shouldn’t drink alcohol?” “My 75-year-old father has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure – can drinking make his hypertension worse?” “My husband and I are expecting a baby, and I enjoy an occasional glass of wine with dinner, will this affect my unborn child?”

For most adults, moderate alcohol use causes few, if any, problems. But for some, any alcohol use may lead to significant health problems. Trying to figure out the risks associated with alcohol use is not easy because alcohol affects your body differently at different times. To protect yourself, it is important to figure out where you should draw the line when consuming alcohol – where do you draw the line as you get older, if you are trying to get pregnant, if you have a family history of alcohol abuse, if you develop a medical condition, or if you take certain medications.

To help determine where you should draw the line, New Day Counseling partnered with National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) is offering a free, one-day outreach, education and screening event designed to educate the public about alcohol and allow individuals to seek help in a non-threatening, easily accessible manner on Tuesday, May 13. The free screenings will be held from 11:00am to 6:00pm at 2820 W Maple Rd, Suite 210, Troy, MI 48084.

As part of the program, attendees will have the opportunity to watch an educational presentation on alcohol problems, complete a written self-test, and to talk one-on-one with a health professional, all for FREE. Pamphlets, brochures and flyers will be available, as well as referral resources for support services to those who seek further assistance.
Krystal Kuehn, a licensed professional counselor, says, “Although most individuals who drink do so safely, many people are unaware of the negative effects alcohol can have on health. The goal of this screening day is to educate the public on the potential risks associated with drinking. Through education, awareness and understanding, individuals can make informed decisions about their drinking behaviors.”

Metro-Detroit residents can now learn the facts on Tuesday, May 13 at New Day Counseling.

Alcohol Facts
Some things you may not know:

*Heavy drinking raises the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, certain cancers, car crashes, unintentional injuries, violence, suicides, birth defects and overall mortality.

*More than 150 medications interact harmfully with alcohol. These interactions may
result in increased risk of illness, injury, and even death.

*Alcohol can alter blood sugar levels and exacerbate diabetes; impair reproductive
functions; and interfere with calcium metabolism and bone structure, increasing the risk
of osteoporosis.

*Researchers have identified no safe threshold for drinking during pregnancy.

For additional information about alcohol or the screening program, visit call New Day Counseling at 248-649-8050.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Be Blessed Today!

The Book of Psalms is one of my favorite books of love, faith, inspiration, and comfort. The Book of Psalms is a collection of songs and prayers. The Psalmists express the full range of human emotion from deep despair to exuberant praise and joy.

As I was reading the Psalms recently, I came across the word blessed. It is the very first word that begins the Book of Psalms, and it means one who is manifestly happy. I was thinking about manifested happiness and what it means. When someone is truly happy, it is evident in a smile, laughter, or simply ones eyes, posture, energy, demeanor. Did you ever notice how beautiful someone looks when he or she is truly happy, hopeful, and contented? Expensive clothing or jewelry cannot adorn a person the way true joy, peace and love can. True joy affects our entire being-body, soul, and spirit.

The Psalms always remind me that no matter what is going on in the world or what I am going through I am truly blessed. I can adorn myself with the garment of praise and gratitude every day. I can let peace rule in my heart. Love can be my motivation and priority. In doing so, I can not help but to be manifestly happy.

Be Blessed Today, Krystal

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. ~Og Mandino

For more great quotes on happiness, go to: