All posts by Chantel JVR

Healing Tension: How To Achieve Harmony Between You And Your Spouse’s Family

I’m sure you love your partner dearly. What happens though when your partner’s family doesn’t feel so accommodating of you? Family can play an important role in any given individual’s life, even after marriage.

When relationships between spouses and family become strained, it can take a huge toll on everyone involved, especially on your relationship. It’s impossible to control the emotions of those around you, but there are a few ways to help you cope with family members who are less than fond of you.

The first step is to focus on your relationship. 

Arguably, the most important adult relationship you will ever have is that with your spouse. It is vital that you do your best to focus on making this your best and healthiest relationship possible. The most testing time is where your partner’s family is less than approving.shutterstock_184848233

This puts additional strain on your partner and you, creating an unhealthy, stressful situation. Working on communication skills is important, along with the ability to focus on resolving conflict early on, before it explodes. Continue reading

10 Signs You Are The Black Sheep Of Your Family

What does family mean to you? Is it love or togetherness? Family also represents unity and strength.  There are however some families who make the mean girl club seem like a church choir. The rules are simple – you MUST have similar outlooks, beliefs and goals, you need to fit in or you’re labelled strange or worse – THE BLACK SHEEP.

1. As a child, you may have been considered to be difficult, uncontrollable and hardheaded. Stubbornness ran rife. Authority was never a thing for you and you would never just do things because they were expected of you. Your view? “Just because they’re adults doesn’t mean they know best!”

2. Did you ever feel like you were born into the wrong family? Did things ever feel out of sync as a child? Even into your teens, there may have been a rift between you and the rest of your family. Subconsciously, you may even feel like your life experience is more of a karmic lesson. Dreaming of the day you could just up and leave, you wish to only see them when necessary as an adult.shutterstock_245121460

3. Able to conceive the ability to do completely unorthodox things in their eyes, you leave them wondering how. They often question where you get your ideas from as they could not possibly have come from them.

4. Ever been threatened or warned not to embarrass the family? You don’t care! You know who you are and will never be ashamed of the brilliance you possess. Continue reading

The Diary Of A Mentally & Emotionally Strong Woman

Only one thing stands between me and my success – my micro-movements. I take small steps, be it slowly, I never stop growing and self-improving.

In a modern world, society expects us to subscribe to a horde of mindless advertising standards. As a strong woman, you know who you are.  Not always set on self-love initially, learning along the way by observing and getting in touch with your self allows you to discover all sorts of superpowers you would never have guessed you could possess.

You simply need to trust your own judgement. As any relationship is built on trust, so does your own relationship within improve by working on it.shutterstock_405872191

You should never settle for second best. You may initially think this is all taboo, until it hits you hard.

Once you’ve grasped the magnitude of it’s meaning, you’ll get why settling for less has just wasted your time.

Try to aim higher, be it avoiding gossip, naysayers or drama queens. By implementing healthy boundaries, you’re already letting go of heaps of emotional baggage. Wow does it feel good!

By constantly working on forgiveness, I’ve found that it’s not a gift to the perpetrator. The key to freedom allows one to escape anger. Imagine walking around captive, bitter and twisted, where you could simply let go. Continue reading

Studies Show How Reading Fictional Books Can Boost Our Empathy

Interested in boosting your empathy levels? There may be a pretty simple, yet satisfying way to do so. Reading novels may just be the answer, according to a psychologist-novelist, the publisher behind Trends In Cognitive Science.

shutterstock_92229586Dr. Keith Oatley, the study author and professor emeritus of the University of Toronto – Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development strongly suggests that we deeply explore the characters on the page, forming ideas about others, their emotions, motives and beliefs, even off the page. This balance or “interaction” between literature and nature is relatively new according to Oatley.

“There’s a bit of a buzz about it now,” he said. “In part, because researchers are recognizing that there’s something important about imagination.”

Brain imaging studies have unearthed new information, enabling the academic climate open to new ideas, citing a study where people were asked to imagine phrases like “an orange dotted cat or a green house” while in a FMRI machine. Continue reading

9 Ways To Know That Your Mental Age Exceeds Your Physical Age

Some people just have that inherent wisdom that is seemingly beyond their age. Physical age is only a number, and while experience does make us who we are – some people are born with a heightened awareness.

1. You require less reassurance

The younger you are, the more approval you seek from your peers. Mature people however need not justify their decisions and actions. They need no validation and are secure in their way of life.

2. You have completely different taste in movies compared to your friendsshutterstock_300328370

Generally preferring movies based on older, much earlier times, you prefer the more in-depth type of film. You’re not one for the latest blockbuster – they bore you.

3. You let go of the small things

You have learnt throughout your life to let go of the simpler issues and focus on what’s really important. The trivial matters and arguments are time consuming, small setbacks are set aside. You truly appreciate the value of the moment, capturing fond memories and embracing the present.

4. You know forgiveness Continue reading

How Having Siblings Of The Opposite Gender Affect Your Intimate Relationships

Ahh memories! Arguing over who gets to drink from the favorite cup to who gets to sit in the front seat of the car.

Something you may be surprised about is that this bickering has somehow prepared you for future romantic relationships. How you may ask? Having a sibling of the opposite sex may have impacted the quality and longevity of your adult romantic relationships.


“You may need to thank your sibling for the romantic relationship you had with your teenage sweetheart.” – According to Susan E. Doughty and colleagues at the Pennsylvania State University, mixed gender siblings plays a major role in romance later on.

Interviewing middle class and working adolescents, the participants were asked about their sibling relationship intimacy.

This included and conflicts and issues to do with control. Two years on, those same participants were asked about the role that intimacy played in their romantic relationships. If you have any memories of a perfect summer romance during your adolescent years, you have your brother or sister to thanks! Continue reading