7 signs of emotional healing

When we are healing from emotional trauma our behaviors begin to change. As we place a higher priority on our emotional health, we change the way we respond to the world around us.

You no longer argue

There may have been a time when having others acknowledge that we were right would have us arguing our point until we were ready to pull our hair out. We needed this validation to prove to us, more than anyone else, that our memories and knowledge of things weren’t skewed and that, frankly, we weren’t crazy.

As we heal from trauma we need less of this validation and realize that arguing is exhausting, time-consuming, and often unsatisfying. When this happens, we simply allow others to be wrong because we know that we’re right and that’s all that matters.

You no longer react to inconsequential things

Where once we thought that every little thing that wrong in our lives was somehow connected to everything else that has gone wrong in our lives, we grow to understand that sometimes stuff just happens. The Universe isn’t out to get us. We aren’t unlucky. We are human and little annoyances are a part of life.

We may have also had a tendency to react with anger or sadness to things that we read or saw on the internet. Perhaps we made comments and picked fights with people we didn’t even know. As we heal, we realize that nothing good comes from these interactions and simply scroll by the things that used to upset us.

You no longer seek outward validation

We no longer need compliments and praise to fuel our confidence. We may stop posting so many selfies online. We are learning our value and are no longer dependent on the acceptance of others to make us feel worthy.

You don’t wake up to worry

Remember those mornings when you opened your eyes and the first thought that crossed your mind was how everything could go wrong? We worried about everything and started our days rife with negativity. We even invented scenarios to worry about.

As we heal, we see things from a more positive perspective and sleep and wake with a calmer mind.

You care more about your health than your looks

Diet and exercise become lifestyle choices that we make for our health and longevity. Before we healed we may have hopped on fad diets or starved ourselves to look better. Now, we follow regiments that make us stronger and healthier.

You can recognize emotional triggers

When something doesn’t feel right, we can now get ahead of it and prevent panic and emotional outbursts. We know what sets us off and how to cope with or even prevent the situation from occurring.

We have learned to avoid the people and situations that make us feel bad and when we can’t avoid them, we know how to protect ourselves from them.

You trust the process more than the person

Our relationships improve because we have learned that we can’t make someone love us. We no longer spy on or give our partners the third degree. We did those things because we wanted to be sure that the person we wanted wasn’t going to hurt us. We have now realized that we are capable of choosing worthy partners and trust that we will be together only if we are compatible and capable of loving ourselves and each other. We trust the process of falling in love and having a relationship and if we fail, we know it wasn’t meant to be and move on.  

Remember that healing doesn’t mean an end to trauma. The circumstances that left us scarred happened and are part of our reality. Healing simply means that the trauma no longer controls our thinking and emotional well-being.

This article originally published at https://tomilynchromance.medium.com/7-signs-of-emotional-healing-3cfed2088bc3

Feel good hormone hacks

According to the World Health Organization, (WHO) depression and anxiety soared by an astronomical twenty-five percent in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health deterioration was most prevalent in the areas worst hit by the virus and spread related restrictions on movement and socialization within the population. I, personally, experienced the first panic attack of my life in the same year.

With the added stressors in the world today many people with no history of clinical depression are having to be more mindful of their mental health and for those suffering from occasional and mild cases of the blues a simple hormone hack may be just what they need to turn things around.

What are “feel good” hormones?

Simply put, hormones are the body’s messengers. When released into the bloodstream they act on organs and tissue to control how they work and also, how we feel. The four feel-good hormones are also neurotransmitters that carry messages across the space between nerve cells. These hormones are mood modifiers and when there are enough of them present in our bloodstream they produce feelings of well-being, calm, happiness, excitement, and even euphoria.

Dopamine

Dopamine evokes feelings of pleasure in our bodies because it is the hormone most associated with the reward and reinforcement system of the brain. Dopamine plays a role in other bodily functions as well including, learning, attention, mood, kidney function, pain processing, blood vessel function, sleep, and lactation.

We release dopamine when we anticipate a reward, like when we smell our favorite meal cooking and dopamine reinforces the feeling again once we eat causing us to want seconds.

One of the easiest ways to hack dopamine is by achieving goals. You can activate dopamine production every day by simply setting easily achievable goals and meeting them.

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland and is commonly called the love hormone. Its primary function is to facilitate childbirth. Oxytocin stimulates uterine muscles to cause contractions and increases prostaglandins to make contractions come faster. Once the child is born oxytocin helps to move milk during lactation and facilitates the bonding of parent to child.

We secrete oxytocin when our partner sexually gratifies us and through the simple process of being touched by someone we love.

We can hack oxytocin by petting a dog, holding hands with our partners, or hugging our children.

Serotonin

Serotonin is a natural mood booster. It can stave off depression and cause feelings of euphoria. Serotonin is produced in the brain stem and moves to other parts of the brain to affect memory, sleep, body temperature, sexuality, breathing, fear and stress responses, and digestion.

We can hack serotonin by simply getting outside into the sunlight for an hour or two per day. Serotonin production also increases when we maintain healthy gut bacteria so taking soluble fiber, probiotics, and eating a healthy diet can boost serotonin. Exercise also boosts serotonin which is the hormone responsible for what is known as a runner’s high.

Endorphins

Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers but they also promote a feeling of well-being and relieve stress.  Endorphins can be hacked in many ways including exercise, sex, meditation, and exposure to sunshine but one of the easiest endorphin hacks is to do something that scares us like watching a horror movie with the lights off. Endorphins are also released when we eat spicy food so replacing the popcorn with chips and salsa on a scary movie night will also give an endorphin boost.

This article originally published at https://tomilynchromance.medium.com/feel-good-hormone-hacks-be3ebf784fb

Want better orgasms?

Work on your pelvic floor

The pelvic floor is comprised of a group of muscles located between the tail bone and pelvic bone.  These muscles support the bowel, bladder, uterus, and vagina. Muscular bands called sphincters encircle the urethra,  vagina, and anus as they pass through the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles work in conjunction with deep back muscles and the diaphragm to support the spine. They also control the pressure inside the abdomen to assist us when lifting or straining. They assist in both bladder and bowel control and have a large role to play in sexual function and satisfaction.

Some people are born with pelvic floor issues but, for most, the issues arise after certain life changes including:

  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pelvic injuries from falls
  • Aging and menopause

The pelvic floor and orgasms

During the pre-orgasm stage of sexual activity the pelvic floor muscles contract. When these muscles relax, orgasm occurs. Having a strong pelvic floor increases blood flow to the penis and vagina prolonging the duration and sensation during orgasm.

Toning the pelvic floor also tightens the vagina providing increased stimulation for both partners.

For men, a healthy pelvic floor leads to stronger erections and improved erectile function.

How to test your pelvic floor health

For women, press your finger against the wall of the vagina and tense the muscles in the buttocks and upper thighs. If your pelvic floor is healthy, you’ll feel the vaginal wall push back against your finger.

For men, mimic the actions you would take to stop urination mid-stream. If the pelvic floor muscles are healthy, the tip of the pens will rise toward the abdomen during this exercise.

Symptoms of a weak pelvic floor include:

  • Leaking urine while straining, laughing, or coughing
  • Abdominal pain or pressure
  • Lower back pain
  • Frequent constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • A decline in sexual stimulation

How to strengthen the pelvic floor

Like all muscles, the pelvic floor muscles are strengthened through exercises that contract and relax them repetitively. Pelvic floor exercises including Kegels, certain yoga poses, and some breathing exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor.

The key is to squeeze and release the muscles located between the buttocks and penis for a man and the buttocks and inside the walls of the vagina for women.

The best news is that having frequent orgasms also strengthens the pelvic floor!

Conclusion

Healthy sexual activity reduces stress and cortisol levels and is a key part of establishing intimacy and bonding with our romantic partners. Having a strong pelvic floor can make sex more enjoyable for both partners.

In addition to the sexual benefits of having a strong pelvic floor, you may also see improved balance, core stabilization,  better spinal support, and pain management in the back, legs, and ankles.

This article originally posted: https://medium.com/@tomilynchromance/want-better-orgasms-b881a31c6a2f

Stop playing games to win a man

There’s a lot of talk on the internet concerning whether or not women should chase men. Most sources tell you that chasing a man makes you look desperate and can bruise your ego if the chase doesn’t end in capturing his affection. Some sources add that chasing is biologically programmed in men and that they like hunting down and winning their prized partner and when the woman becomes the pursuer, her value drops and she is no longer worth winning to him.

Sure, there is some truth to the concept that men like to pursue women, but most men also enjoy it when a woman reaches out to let him know that she’s thinking of him. In the vastly confusing world of dating, it seems that women are being told to turn “the chase” into a well-orchestrated cat and mouse game. They’re told to count his calls and only answer after he’s called two or three times. They’re told to wait before answering texts and to never text first.  If this seems a bit manipulative and deceitful, it’s because it is.

Be authentic

The first step to building a relationship is to be clear on your feelings and expectations. The other person deserves to know how you feel about them and what you’re looking for. If you’re truthful from the start and he stops reaching out or responding, you have your answer. He isn’t looking for the same things from you, at least, for right now.

If you want to send a text or make a call, do it. You don’t have to wait for him to make the first move. If he responds great. If not, pull back. He may be busy or he may not be interested.

Think of a text conversation as if it were happening face to face. If you speak to someone and they don’t reply, you don’t just keep talking so don’t keep texting. If he answers, great. If not, consider yourself ghosted and move on.

Avoid gameplay

Life would be so much easier if there was a magic formula for meeting someone and making them fall in love with you. Sadly, there isn’t and as more women start following the advice they see on social media, more men become aware of the signs of gameplay. Just as we figured out fuck boy language, men are figuring out the ways that women manipulate.

What you want is commitment and that comes from honest connection. If you’re using subversive tactics to win a man, when do you stop and become your true self? Gameplay is exhausting because the cycle never ends. Once you have his attention, you modify the game to keep his attention. Before you know it, you’re playing games to keep him faithful because you can’t be certain what his true intentions are. You never allowed him an opportunity to show you.

Listen

If you listen with the intent to understand, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where your relationship is going. Too often we take what men say and try to interpret it like it’s a foreign language. If he tells us that he isn’t interested in a committed relationship we tell ourselves that he’s been hurt and we need to prove that we’re different and worthy of his commitment when the correct thing to do is to take his words at face value.

Express your truth

If the man you’re interested in doesn’t share your values or feelings, tell him. Let him know that you’re not on the same page. Chances are he won’t change his mind for you and that’s okay. That’s when you value yourself enough to move on.

Be empowered

There’s an amazing sense of confidence that comes from living your authentic truth. Having solid boundaries and upholding your values is an empowering stance that high-value men find very attractive. Choosing to not play games may limit the number of players on your field but the quality of those players will increase exponentially.

The best way to attract an honest, confident, strong man will always be to be an honest, confident, strong woman

Original Post: https://tomilynchromance.medium.com/stop-playing-games-to-win-a-man-1f9df726557b

The lost art of phone sex

This article isn’t about those naughty nine-hundred numbers for ninety-nine cents per minute.  This is about flirty to filthy phone banter with a partner or, perspective partner.  It’s about those conversations that happen when two people are separated for a time and simply want to turn each other on. 

What happened to phone sex?

I call it a lost art because the internet came along and, for many couples, this form of bonding became obsolete. Why call when you can Snap or FaceTime, right? While pictures and video calls can be hot, they leave nothing to the imagination and that’s what phone sex was all about; fantasy and imagination.  We’ve become a society driven by immediate gratification and the desire to see more.

What’s so great about phone sex?

There’s something to be said about hearing the longing in your lovers’ voice and knowing that when they close their eyes, they see themselves doing unspeakable things to you.  For those who are a bit modest about showing their bodies online, telling instead puts them in a more comfortable space allowing them to express their desires more openly.

I would be remiss not to mention the permanence and potential risk of exposure that comes from sending nudes, explicit video content, or even racy text messages.  Phone sex generally ends when the call is ended leaving far less risk that anyone other than your partner will know about your interlude.

When you’re getting comfortable with your partner and need to spice things up, phone sex can be a welcome novelty. Whether you’re in a long distance relationship or simply separated for a day or two, phone sex can keep the intimacy continuous despite being apart.

How to keep it from being awkward

Talking dirty is a definite step outside of many peoples’ comfort zones but expressing your fantasies in a way that excites your partner can be easy.

If you’re certain that your partner will be a willing participant, just go for it but if there’s any doubt, discuss it and get their consent.

You may want to start by sending teaser texts during the day. Something like, “I’ve been thinking about you naked,” or “I can’t wait to tell you about the sexy dream I had about you.”

To prepare, you might read an erotic novel or watch a little porn to get the imagination flowing. Then, dress sexy and ready the area where you’ll be making the call. It’s easier to describe your outfit and the scene if it’s real. For example, “I’m wearing a red teddy,” or  “You lay me down on the satin sheets,”.

You don’t have to jump right in with the dirty talk. Sometimes, it’s better to ease into it. Discuss your day and tell your partner how many times you thought about them.  Then, when you’re both at ease, lay out your fantasy.

Keep in mind that in most cases you’ll be having a two way dialogue as your partner seeks the details that will make them the most excited.  If you are the more submissive partner, you might find that your lover takes control of the conversation leaving you to simply describe how they make you feel.

Remember that the more descriptive you are, the better. You’re relying on your words to paint a picture in your partners’ head.

Listen to your partners’ words and breathing. This is the best way to know if you’re hitting the right buttons and remember to respond. Your partner will be relying on your words, moans, and heavy breathing, too.

Don’t be afraid to pleasure yourself

That is, after all, the point. If you fake it, they’ll probably know.

Original post: https://tomilynchromance.medium.com/the-lost-art-of-phone-sex-118e051c0c3

The Power of a Kiss

There is no doubt that kissing is an expression of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s a peck on the cheek between friends or a passionate tongue twister that lasts several minutes..  It is the best way to connect with someone both mentally and emotionally on a deep level.

The Connection

Kissing demonstrates a willingness to bring someone into your personal space. It signifies acceptance of another and that in itself is a powerful message. Depending on the type of kiss, we can express a desire for physical intimacy or other emotions like joy, thankfulness, empathy, or sympathy. A mother’s kiss can soothe a crying child while an “aggressive kiss” born of sheer passion and animal lust can knock us off our feet and send us to the heights of ecstasy.

The Physical

Kissing activates the brain’s reward system. The act results in the release of the feel-good hormones oxytocin and the bonding hormone vasopressin. It also releases endogenous opioids and dopamine. These hormones reduce stress and facilitate healing. Kissing also activates adrenaline and noradrenaline which make you more alert and responsive.

Romantic Kissing

In a relationship, kissing builds bonds, creates and demonstrates trust, and increases intimacy. Kissing in the early stages of a relationship can help to determine compatibility.

If you’re just getting involved with someone and want to move the relationship along, kissing your partner frequently and consistently will keep the vasopressin flowing causing each of you to form a tighter bond.

If you’re already in a committed relationship ask yourself, “When was the last time I kissed my partner passionately without it  leading to sex?”

You might be surprised to learn that a passionate kiss goodbye in the morning can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your partner’s day. Who wouldn’t want to start their day filled with feel-good, stress-relieving hormones?

That passionate good morning kiss tells your partner that you are in love with them and will cause them to think of you more frequently when you’re apart. It can leave them feeling more confident and tremendously boost their self-esteem.

When Someone Doesn’t Like Kissing

Some people are turned off by the idea of kissing. Others may just not want to be kissed by you. If your partner is always cutting your kisses short, kissing you on the cheek, or avoiding lip contact all together, you need to find out why.

For some, kissing doesn’t have the kind of pair-bonding significance that it does for others and still, other people consider kissing gross or unsanitary. If you are a kisser and your partner isn’t, you may need to find other ways to physically bond like hand holding or hugging.

Some people consider kissing more intimate than sex and only kiss people whom they are certain will be around for the long haul. In this case, kissing or the lack of mouth-to-mouth contact will let you know where you stand in the relationship.

**This content originally posted at https://tomilynchromance.medium.com/the-power-of-a-kiss-a622a67b170d

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

But You Can Get Through It

Breakups happen. When we’re lucky we experience clean breaks where both partners agree that things aren’t working and part ways amicably. Unfortunately, clean breaks don’t happen as often as we’d like and someone is left devastated by the loss of what they thought was true love.

Being dumped is difficult. We experience a range of emotions from sadness to anger and perhaps a little desperation as we hope our partner will change their mind and come running back to us. Getting back on our feet takes time of course but following the advice of relationship experts might just speed up the process so that we can get on with our lives and be happy again.

Grieve and Process but don’t Dwell

It’s perfectly natural to mourn the death of a relationship. You’ve invested your time and emotions into developing an attachment to another person. You’ve bared your soul and shared your most intimate parts with them. The world sees you as a couple and now you have to face that world alone. Let the tears flow as you reminisce about the good times and process the fact that it’s over but once you’ve had that good cry find something productive to do. Get up, get out and have a day where you don’t mention your ex to anyone. The quicker you begin developing new routines, the easier things will get.

Don’t Look for Excuses to Reach Out to Your Ex

If they’ve left something behind, mail it to them. If they took something of yours, shoot them an email requesting that they ship it back or give it to a friend. There is no reason to initiate direct contact. If you have children together or mutual property to deal with, it’s best to wait until you’re emotionally calm and in a good frame of mind.

Take Better Care of Yourself

Get your hair done or have a spa day. Develop a workout routine and get active. Improve your diet and get more sleep. Even something as simple as changing your makeup or updating your wardrobe might add a boost of confidence and help you to get back on your feet.

Tell Your Friends and Family

It’s okay to rely on your support system. It’s even better If you have someone to call when the urge strikes you to reach out to your ex. Let them know that your relationship has ended and put your feelings on the table but also ask them to help you by telling you to look forward and not back when you need reminding.

Try Something New

Step away from your old routine and take on a new challenge. There’s nothing better for the healing process than coming out of your comfort zone and finding new things to get excited about.

Take a Step Away From Social Media

There’s no pill more bitter after a breakup than seeing happy couples on your timeline. Stepping away will also prevent you from becoming consumed with stalking your ex to see if they’ve moved on. When you’re ready to return, purge your pictures and quietly change your relationship status. For those who are deeply invested in social media, this step feels like closure.

Change Your Future Plan

You likely thought your relationship would last and changed your future plans to include your ex. It’s time to modify those plans and set goals for yourself, alone. You no longer have to compromise. The sky is the limit. Get excited about the next phase of your journey!

Start Dating

When you’re ready, consider what you want in your next relationship and begin dating again. Join an online dating site and take time to seek out the type of man or woman that you’re looking for. It may not be the best time to commit to something serious but seeing what’s out there can be just as fun and exciting.

Men Need Safety in a Relationship, Too

They may not talk about it. They might not even realize that it’s what they’re looking for but for a man to fall in love and stay in love, he needs to feel safe. So, what does safety look like for a man? He’s probably not expecting his female partner to defend him against muggers. What he needs is to feel safe emotionally.  He needs security.

A Person to be Vulnerable With

Phrases like, “crying like a baby” and “just man up” are common in our society because many men were taught that talking about feelings is a feminine trait. To the outside world, your man wants to appear confident, secure, and brave but, like all of us, he needs a place where he can talk through his doubts and fears. He needs someone in his life who will allow him to express his feelings without shaming him or viewing him as less of a man for doing so.

Men carry just as much emotional baggage as women and they want their partners to understand what they’ve been through. It’s a normal part of the bonding experience and helps to grow a relationship. Ridiculing a man, invalidating his feelings, or using things that he’s said when he was vulnerable as ammunition later may cause his love to die on the vine.

Acceptance

Men want someone who accepts them as they are, not someone who sees them as raw material that can be molded into something presentable. If a woman can’t accept a man’s flaws and also compliment his positive traits, his needs won’t be met and he’ll likely lose interest. No one feels safe when they’re consistently told that they aren’t good enough.

Trust

For a man to feel safe with you, he must first trust you. Like women, men feel insecure when their partner is evasive or aloof. If he feels that his partner thrives on attention from other men, he may just jump ship. Even the most secure man will become doubtful if he feels that his partner is too secretive or too eager to give their attention to other men.

Appreciation

Our society has created women who can masterfully balance masculine and feminine energy within themselves, We can be the hard-nosed boss during the day and the soft, loving mother at night but this is a bit more difficult for men.  Men tend to spend most of their time in their masculine energy.

Men are naturally inclined to protect and provide for their partners regardless of how independent and capable that partner may be. If a man feels “unnecessary”, he will not believe that he holds a place of value in the relationship and that may make him insecure. He wants a partner who is willing to accept his help and express gratitude for his effort. He wants to know that his relationship isn’t a competition. He wants a partnership and he wants his role in that partnership to be acknowledged.