The Key to Long-Term Weight Loss? It may have very little to do with what you eat and how you exercise.

The key to long-term weight loss? It may have very little to do with what you eat and how you exercise.

Weight Loss – With 70% of Americans overweight and/or obese, it’s an absolute epidemic that is costing us millions upon millions of dollars every year from the diseases related to this lifestyle choice.

And it is a choice. According to many studies, including one from the University of Florida, only about 6% of people who are overweight or obese have any genetic link at all.

So what is the real problem here?

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has helped thousands of people to lose weight and keep it off through his unique weight-loss program that focuses on something much more important in his view than all the emphasis put on exercise and diet.

Here, in David’s words, is the most important component of long term weight loss.

“I remember in 1990, 28 years ago, working with my first individual who desired to lose over 50 pounds… And who had been up to over 100 pounds overweight for most of her life.

She had hired the best personal trainers, she had hired the best nutritionists, and they had outlined incredibly effective exercise and dietary programs that she would follow for a short period of time. But could never stick with it.

So she came to me because she had seen me on the covers of fitness magazines, had read multiple articles I had written on how to stay in shape regardless of how busy your schedule was, and was perplexed as to why she couldn’t keep the weight off even once she lost it.
As we worked together, and I examined her food intake and exercise sessions every day, I came to an early conclusion in my career: the real issue with self sabotage, which is what people who lose weight and gain it back are doing, is not necessarily with what’s going on the physical world but rather what’s going on in the subconscious mind.

And what do I mean by that? The conscious mind is the mind that says I want to lose 50 pounds this year. Or 200 pounds. The conscious mind is the mind of intent that shows up at the gym religiously, or maybe never, in our attempt to get into shape.

The conscious mind is also the mind that looks for the quick fix products, some type of herbal pill that guarantees you’re going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. But the real key to uncovering the secret to long-term weight loss has to do with the other side of our mind, the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind can be our greatest ally or greatest foe. In the world of weight loss issues, it’s the subconscious mind that is the saboteur.

Let me explain. The subconscious mind  has one function in life and that is to keep us exactly where we are today. It does not differentiate between habits that are good or habits that are not good for us. All it wants us to do is stay where we are. It’s called “the known.” And the subconscious mind will fight like hell in order to keep us in the same pattern we are today whether it’s healthy or not healthy.

So to the person that’s overweight that cannot bypass a fast food joint on the way home from work, that’s not the conscious mind. Remember what the conscious mind said? “I really am going to lose the weight once for all this time. I am going to lose 50 pounds and keep it off.“

If it was the conscious mind the internal dialogue would look like this, “I know that I want to lose 50 pounds, but I’m going to consciously sabotage myself, pull into this fast food joint, eat a bunch of crap foods so I look like shit, and then I’ll drive out.“

So obviously in 99% of the cases of people who want to lose weight  it’s not the conscious mind making decisions but rather the subconscious mind.

It’s the subconscious mind, remember subconscious equals underneath consciousness, that is sending these little habitual messages… “You deserve to go to this fast food joint, you worked really hard, when you get home the kids are going to be a mess, and you can’t stand your husband or wife.“

So the subconscious mind keeps sending these little messages that we deserve this reward of food, or maybe later in the evening when you’re exhausted and you’re going to go to bed and you look back at the day realize that you have not eaten dinner, so you deserve something special right now.
Have you recognized any of these messages in your own mind?
The three greatest tools the subconscious mind uses to sabotage weight-loss programs is justification, rationalization and denial. We will justify until the cows come home as to why it’s OK to not eat clean today. We will rationalize that today, instead of going to the gym, we’re going to go home and relax but tomorrow will do twice as many minutes on the treadmill. Or we will use denial, and look around and say “you know I’m not really that overweight compared to everyone else in this room, I’m just gonna relax and learn to accept my body as it is today.“
Do you see how tenacious the subconscious mind is? Once it has accepted a pattern of thought and or behavior, especially when it comes to dealing with stress like boredom, resentment, shame, guilt, anger, rage… I think you get the picture, it will fight like hell to keep us in the same patterns whether they are healthy or unhealthy for us.
On the flipside, once you train the subconscious mind to start using healthy coping skills instead of eating food, instead of making excuses of why today you can’t exercise, and you keep at these new coping skills long enough, the subconscious mind can be radically turned around so that you will lose the weight and keep it off for the rest of your life.
I remember number of years ago working with one of my clients Tracy who wanted to lose 80 pounds, and she really needed to lose 80 pounds. Her health is suffering, her self-confidence and self-esteem was at the bottom of the barrel, she was always tired, and she knew something had to change.
Within eight weeks of tapping in to all of the self sabotaging words of her subconscious mind, and writing on them on paper, she was blown away at how many messages a day she was telling herself that was knocking her off track of her weight loss goals.

As I tell all my clients, it’s going to take willpower yes, determination yes, and a recording of every emotion that you’re feeling throughout the day that leads to self sabotaging behavior in order to turn the subconscious around.

Within 10 week she had lost 30 pounds, within a year she had lost 80 pounds, that was 10 years ago and she has never regained 1 ounce.

Did she have to sacrifice her comfort zone in order to achieve this goal? Hell yes. The only time she could get to the gym was 10 PM every evening, and once she did that without missing a day for about 90 days it had sunk into her subconscious mind that there were no other options… That from 10 PM until 11 PM every evening she was going to be in the gym.

I asked her to start packing food for her trips in the car, because she was in the car about eight hours a day going from one job to another, picking up kids from school, the normal things that many moms have to do. So instead of the knee-jerk subconscious reaction of pulling into a fast food joint when she had a healthy food in the car she had no excuses.

90 days later? Fast food experiences were thing of her past.

Tracy is one of thousands of people that we have helped turn their life around in regards to losing weight and keeping it off, once they access the negative, and eventually the positive side of the subconscious mind. You can do the same thing. You need to make a decision today. The odds are you’ll never do it on your own, so get ready to invest more time, effort and money into your weight loss, to increase your self-esteem and confidence and decrease some of the major diseases known to man that are going to catch up with you down the road.“
David Essel is verified by psychology today as one of the top counselors and life coaches in the USA, and is also a verified relationship expert via week, David accepts new clients from around the world where he works with them one on one via phone and/or Skype. Go to the website below, under the contact us button, send us an email noting where you read this article and David’s office will set you up with a free 15 minute phone counseling session at

David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life… But This Book Will, career advice, motivational speaker

Healing Stories: Gratitude Rocks…But are we doing it all wrong?

Gratitude Rocks…But are we doing it all wrong?

For years some of the most amazing experts in the world of personal growth have proven that having an attitude filled with gratitude can help us move through this thing called life.

Gratitude has been found to increase immune system functioning, as well as releasing chemicals in the brain that can make us feel happy, calm, and focused.

But have we been doing this incredible exercise called gratitude all wrong?

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping people to achieve every imaginable goal in life, including having a great attitude.

He believes that gratitude is a critically important part of everyone’s daily routine if they want to have a more positive, serene approach to life.

But, and here is the caveat, David believes that we’re doing it all wrong. Here are his thoughts on where we’ve gone wrong with gratitude and how to right this ship today.“I love gratitude. Every morning when I get up I sit in my chair, light my candle, I have pictures of Christ and Buddha and an amazing array of saints around me as I profess my gratitude for everything I have in life.

As I walk my dog every morning more gratitude spills forth because I know the power of gratitude.

However, we’ve been taught how to do gratitude by most of the experts today in a very incorrect way. And I, better than anyone else, should know this because I was one of those experts who for years used to teach people the incorrect way to be grateful in life .

Almost every book that you see today will have thoughts of gratitude in which these experts are telling us to project our gratefulness for things that we don’t even have yet.

Book after book, seminar after seminar being led by very well-meaning people who tell us to “have gratitude for the million dollar home… Even though you don’t have it. Have gratitude for that size six body, even though you’re a size 18… Have gratitude for that incredible lover that you’re bringing into your life, even though you’re single.”

Does anyone other than me see the insanity in these teachings? These very teachings that I used to bring around the world from 1980 to 1996 as an inspirational international public speaker?

Yes I was one of those people and I’m calling myself out once again.

It doesn’t make sense does it? To have gratitude for things you don’t have? Isn’t that like lying to ourselves?

Of course it’s lying to ourselves! Because we are lying to ourselves!

If we know anything now about the power of the subconscious mind we know that it takes these statements of gratitude and rolls over laughing time after time.

Everyone who’s reading this article, that thinks it’s healthy to be thankful for things you don’t have, I want to ask you to take another look at the reality behind a healthy approach to gratitude.

I’m not saying don’t be grateful. I’m also not saying don’t have statements of gratitude or stop journaling your gratefulness every morning or every evening as you go to bed. Hell I still do it but I do it in a different way.

I do it in a way that I’m not lying to myself  rather I’m doing it in a way to stay in the present moment, being grateful for what I have.

I believe we should be grateful but we should be grateful in the present moment for what we have. So my stance on gratitude has changed dramatically over the last 22 years.

Now I have my clients, who desire to utilize gratitude, to be grateful for the effort they’re putting into their weight-loss program. I have my clients create a list of gratitude for their effort to stay sober. I have other clients create a list of gratitude for the attempt they’re making to save their marriage or relationship.

Do you see the huge difference here? We were taught earlier to have gratitude statements that were actual lies. Now I’m saying be grateful for the truth in your life, not some type of fantastical thinking that isn’t even here yet. And may never be.

I want people to use gratitude and live in the now. In the present moment. This is where our strength is. This is where our power is. If you use statements of gratitude for things you don’t have you’re living in the future and because of the false sense of security these statements of gratitude give us we may not even put full effort out to accomplish those goals. Does that make sense?

But instead, if you follow this new form of gratitude that we outline in great detail in our brand new book “focus!“, you will  find  a lifting of your spirits.  Yes there will still be a release of endorphins in the brain when you have  statements of gratitude for what you’re doing differently today then what you’ve done in the past.

The statements of gratitude that I’m encouraging you to follow are ones of reality, based in the present moment, and based on truth not on fantastical thinking.

I also deeply believe that the statements of gratitude need to be put in writing. Then you have the conscious mind writing out the gratefulness that you have for the changes you’re making to get sober, lose weight, cut your expenses, forgive someone from the past… And you have the subconscious mind seeing your efforts to change put on paper in the physical world.
So how about you? What do you want to start being grateful for that you have in your life right now? Can you be grateful for the income that you have even if it’s not perfect? That would be a great start.

Can you be grateful for having two arms and two legs, if you do, as you move towards losing the weight that you want to lose?

Can you be grateful for being single and take this period of time when you’re not in a relationship to look at the past errors that you made, not just your former partners, so you can correct them to be ready for the next deep love affair?

I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that this new form of gratitude I’m teaching you today is going to sweep the world as we throw out the old wishful thinking statements regarding gratitude and bring in the new reality of gratitude statements that are going to be far more effective in helping you to stay on path to make the changes you need to make, to live the life you’re destined to live.

Join me won’t you? Drop the old ridiculous statements around gratitude for things you don’t have, and instead, join me in the present moment as we shift, change and create the New World we’ve always wanted.“

David Essel‘s work has been endorsed by people like the late Wayne Dyer and celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy amongst millions of more people from around the world.

His work as a counselor and life coach is verified by psychology today and he is also verified as one of the top relationship experts in the world by

David accepts new clients every week from around the world where he works with them to help them achieve any and all goals they desire via Skype and or phone.At the website below, send us an email via the contact us button, mention where you read this article and we will set you up with a free 15 minute phone counseling session with David at

David Essel, marriage, relationship, abusive relationship, happy marriage, healthy relationships, how to save a relationship, David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life…

Healing Stories: Online Dating? Never make these mistakes!

Online Dating? Never make these mistakes!

So, you’re ready for love. Or at least you think you are… So you jump online and join one of the many dating sites to find the love of your life.

Or you’re really hip, and you join a dating app like Tinder or Bumble or something very similar in search of your prince or princess.

But wait a minute! Are you really ready to do this online dating thing?

For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping thousands of people from around the world to get ready for love. To find that lasting love relationship that’s going to rock their world.

But he has several warnings for people who are looking to fall in love online.

Below are David’s four key dating mistakes that people make when they join an online relationship site.

Number one. “Are you really sure you’re ready for love? Are you still hurting from a past relationship? Are you still jaded against men or women because of the way you were treated in the past? Have you been out of a relationship less than three months?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, if you haven’t cleared up the past emotional baggage…Do not even think about joining an online site!

Too many people are looking for love, maybe not in the wrong places, but in the wrong mindset. And until you’re able to shift your beliefs and truly are able to let go of the past damage that has happened to you, or the past damage that you’ve inflicted on others, stay off of any dating site or app until you’ve cleared up the past.

A number of years ago a woman came to me who was fresh out of a relationship, jaded as hell against men, and wanted me to help her write a smashing profile for an online dating site. Within three weeks she saw the truth. She wasn’t ready at all. Thank God she took the time to continue to do the work to release her resentments against men, and when she was clear of the past, I helped her get online and find an amazing love relationship. The same can happen to you.

Number two. So you clear up your past. You get online. You meet a few people that you like. You get into a texting relationship. Too much texting will absolutely shoot down any serious potential relationship.

Several of my female clients that are looking to get into new relationships get very frustrated with men who only want to text back-and-forth and won’t even text talk on the phone. You can sound like a rockstar via texting but once you get on the phone and someone hears the tone of your voice, even if you speak in complete sentences, it’s a different world. Many women get frustrated with men who only want to text. It’s almost like they’re hiding something and the same thing goes for women.

It’s time to grow up, get mature, and get out of the fantasy land that texting creates if you’re ready to create a deep and loving relationship.

Number three. You have too many potential people you’re trying to get to know and you get confused, or call someone the wrong name, or get overwhelmed with the volume of people you’re interacting with and start slipping and forgetting to reply to them in a professional fashion.

We recommend that you narrow it down to only one or two people at a time that you’re trying to get to know to avoid making the mistakes of letting people slip through the cracks who could be great matches for you.

And remember this. Your reputation, in the world of dating, can get highly damaged if you’re one of those people that has two, four, or 10 individuals that you’re trying to get to know who become frustrated with your lack of attention. Slowdown.

Number four. If you have a sincere interest in someone, meet them as soon as possible in person. Once again, the world of texting becomes a fantasy land where we project who we want people to think we are and vice versa. If someone lives within a 2 hour drive from you meet them within seven days if it’s hot and heavy. I recommend to my clients to meet right away.

Listen it’s worth a 2 hour drive for lunch to see if who the person is presenting themself as, is the real deal. You can tell a lot within a short lunch. If you have chemistry, if they are courteous to the servers, and many other things will be exposed that can easily be hidden via texting and or phone calls.

You’ve got to put in the physical effort before it’s too late to see if they’re a great match. Thousands of people create this fantasy relationship in their head by staying on the phone and or texting then when they actually meet someone in person they see that they’re not a match at all.

The above tips are a starting point to find a great relationship. Read them again. Take them seriously. I have helped thousands of people avoid the trap of fantasy love and I want you to do the same thing.”

If you need help in the search for the love of your life visit David’s website and take a look at his many courses regarding relationships, codependency and love to give yourself the best shot at creating that divine union to carry with you for the rest of your life. Information at

Healing Stories: Procrastination – The Number One Killer of Dreams

Healing Stories: Procrastination – The Number One Killer of Dreams

Many times when people are going after a major goal in life, like losing weight, making more money, saving a relationship, getting closer to God, breaking an addiction or negative attitude, we will come up with all kinds of excuses of why we haven’t accomplished his goal yet.

People will say “I don’t have the time… It’s my genetics… It’s the economy… It’s my partner… God is not listening to me…”

But, there is a similarity amongst all of the excuses and for the most part, that similarity is called procrastination. It is the number one killer of all dreams.

Number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping people for over 28 years shatter procrastination, and those who do go on to achieve huge results in life.

“I know procrastination like the back of my hand. It’s the thing that has kept me back in life even though I’m a counselor, life coach and number one best-selling author, it still is the one thing that can rear its ugly head and hold me back from going after my next goal. In the beginning, it was the number one thing that kept me from getting sober, asking for help with my finances as well as relationships.

Because of my own struggles with procrastination, I draw thousands of people to my work because they sense I may know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with procrastination.

But most people won’t admit they’re procrastinators. They will blame everything on everyone else around them for the reasons they’re not living the life of their dreams, instead of looking in the mirror and saying “it’s you that’s the problem!”

Here are my four top key tips in order to shatter procrastination forever:

Number one. Admit it! Look in the mirror and admit the fact that you’ve procrastinated in putting 100% effort into your goals. If you can’t do step one just bypass the rest of this article because there’s nothing that’s going to help you until you admit that you are the problem.

Number two. With the help of a professional counselor, therapist, life coach or minister… Get to the bottom of why you procrastinate.

This is crucial. Do not pass this step or once again you’re going to fall back into the trap of procrastination

You see, you can’t just use extreme willpower to shatter procrastination. You have to get to the core of why we procrastinate, understand it logically, and then will power will definitely be needed.

As an example, are you following in the footsteps of your mom or dad who were great procrastinators? Or, are you rebellion against mom and dad because they were always on time, did what they said, and you’re sort of that rebel in the family that wants to do things your own way?

Or are you following the footsteps of an older brother or sister? A best friend in high school or college? You see, most of the people who procrastinate greatly have been taught to do this. Someone they know has done it regularly, and they’re just falling into the trap of following a role model, who may have had great intentions, but procrastinated just the same.

Number three. White down the day that you will begin to shatter your procrastination, and make sure it’s not more than 30 days from today.

This is crucial! If you don’t pick a day that you’re going to quit smoking, hire a financial planner, hire a personal trainer or whatever the goal is… You will continue to put it off and off and off.

I did this for years upon years upon years. Then one day I woke up in the morning, called a treatment center and booked my 30 day stay. I did the intake forms over the phone. I made a down payment so that I couldn’t back out. I had been talking about getting sober for years but until I took this action step and invested money, nothing was changing. From that day forward? It was the greatest move I ever made. Shattering my own procrastination.

Number four. Create a reward for once you accomplish your goal. Now hold on a second! This doesn’t mean that if you lose 50 pounds you’re going to allow yourself to go to an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet!

Or if you save a certain amount of money, that you’re going to go on vacation. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

Your reward might be going to a weekend motivational workshop, taking a local class on photography, hiring a personal trainer because you’ve been in the gym on your own for 90 days and lost 25 pounds. Do you see where I’m going?

Procrastination kills more dreams than a lack of money and even a lack of talent. If you’re serious look in the mirror, follow the above steps and shatter procrastination forever. I know you can do it. Hell if I can, after struggling in the world of addiction for over 25 years, I know you can too. I’m on your side.”

If you need help shattering your levels of procrastination, David Essel has been helping thousands of people since 1990 to figure out a way to be successful once and forever. Email him directly at

Healing Stories: Huge Goals and They’re Not Coming True? What do we do now?

Huge goals? And they’re not coming true? What do we do now?

Setting huge goals can be exciting and fun at the same time. To fantasize about having $1 million in the bank, or losing 150 pounds, or finding the love of your life is absolutely one of the reasons we are here on earth. To experience our full potential.

But what happens if you have huge goals and you’re not seeing any progress?

For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping people to create incredibly persistent and determined mindsets in order to make their biggest goals their reality.

Here are tips from David in order to help you to stay on path, even if your goals don’t seem to be coming to fruition.

“It can be so frustrating, disheartening, to finally get excited about accomplishing a huge goal with weight loss, or love, or money, or maybe starting your own business and not seeing any fruits for your labor for the first two months, six months or even 25 years.

What? Even 25 years? If you have a big goal and you haven’t seen the results you want for 25 years should you even keep moving forward? And the answer is, if the goal is important to you never, ever, ever give up.

I often share with my clients the story of Colonel Sanders, from Kentucky fried chicken, who made his first financial breakthrough at the age of 68!

He had started with the idea of his famous chicken recipe when he was young man and never gave up. In his 80s he became a billionaire.

In my own life, I started writing books almost 22 years ago. Every one of the books that I wrote I wanted to become a number one bestseller. But for 21 years, I never hit the bestsellers list, until my ninth book was released and we went to number one!

But because I was doing what I love I never even once thought about stopping. I continued to write even though my books never gained the huge momentum that I’d hoped they would. And eventually the payoff was huge.

So let’s take a look at some super simple tips to follow when you have a huge goal but your not seeing a positive end result… Yet.

Number one. Write out all the reasons why you want your goal to come to fruition. How will it change your life? How will you feel when you accomplish this goal? Get it down in specifics.

Number two. Surround yourself with people smarter, better, and more successful than you. Just having their energy around you as you chat on a weekly basis will help you stay on the path to achieving your biggest goals.

Number three. Get an accountability partner… Today! Hire a coach, counselor, financial advisor, personal trainer, nutritionist or whatever you need to help you stay on the path and go through the tough times until your goal is actually met .

Number four. Set up daily, not weekly, not monthly, but daily action steps that you need to follow in regards to your goal. Put it in writing. It must be specificly measurable and timelined. You need to know what you’re going to be doing, from when to when 5 to 6 days a week, if it’s a big goal. If you put in less time than this? Drop the goal. It’s not worth it. Because you’re not serious.

If you follow the above steps, I’m not guaranteeing that your goal will become a reality in the next six months or six years, but I will guarantee, by following these tips you’ll have what it takes to hang in there as long as it takes in order to see your goal come into your life. It’s exciting. You’re worth it. But only if you work your butt off.”

David has helped people with huge goals in life from becoming a millionaire, to losing 130 pounds and keeping it off for 17 years, and he has helped other clients as well to find a deep rewarding path to God, and free themselves from addictions of over 30 years.

If you need help, David accepts new clients every week from around the world and now is the time to reach out to him at

Healing Stories: What is the Largest Addiction in the World? This might surprise you.

What is the Largest Addiction in the World? This might surprise you.

With the recent surge of opiate related deaths addiction is in the headlines once again.

For years, because of organizations like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), alcoholism has been outed from the acceptable social addiction that it still is to something that law enforcement has taken very seriously.

But what do you think the largest form of addiction is today?

For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, Counselor and Life Coach David Essel has been a pioneer in the world of addiction recovery.

His work, which has broken new ground in addiction recovery, began because of his own addiction to multiple substances and behaviors that lead him on a search to be free for himself and then lead the way for millions of others.

“When I look back at my life, my addictions to alcohol and cocaine, which I carried for more than 25 years, have become the bedrock of my work in the world of addiction recovery.

And in 1996, when we released our holistic addiction recovery program, we shattered the old method of addiction recovery buy using brain chemistry supplementation and so much more that even today seems ground breaking, which is extremely unfortunate.

But the number one addiction in the world has nothing to do with substances. It has everything to do with relationships.

In 2002, when my work in the field of codependency hit an all-time high, I declared then as I do now that “codependency in relationships is the largest addiction in the world.”

Codependency has been around since the beginning of time, but even today, very few of us realize how insidious it is and how it destroys self confidence and self-esteem as well as our health, careers and of course relationships with lovers, children, friends, family members, coworkers, bosses and more.

Every week we take on new clients in my work as a counselor and life coach, and 50% of the new clients we take on are related to codependency and relationships.

Now, I will admit, 80% of those individuals have no idea when we start working together that their main issue is codependency. Some of them will come to me for financial help. Others will come to lose weight. Others will start working with me because they’re unhappy in their current careers but are not sure what to do next.

But eventually, 50% of my clients, will come to the realization that the reason they began their work with me one on one was because of their struggle with codependency.

I myself, in 1997, was declared by my counselor at that time as “the most codependent man she had ever met in her life.” And I had no idea what she mean  even though I was doing my counseling and life coaching work back then.

Isn’t that amazing? A counselor and life coach that wasn’t even aware of their own depth of codependency and relationships?

So what is codependency? Here are just a few of the traits: fear of rocking the boat, fear of being rejected, abandoned, ridiculed, laughed at by others, craving to be liked, loved, accepted by others. These traits I’m sharing with you right now are only the beginning of the definition of codependency.

Some codependents like myself, believe we are incredibly independent in life, yet we don’t tell others how we honestly feel. Maybe there is someone at work making inappropriate jokes and instead of walking away, or telling the person to not share those type of jokes while you’re in their presence we put up with it. That’s codependency.

Enabling a husband, wife, lover or child to continue their addiction to any substance whatsoever while they’re in our presence is a form of codependency. It’s called enabling.

To vote Republican because your family has always been Republican or to vote Democrat because your partner is a Democrat and  not because you believe in the principles of either party, it’s called codependency.

To go out on Friday night with your friends and have one too many drinks because you don’t want to be left out of the crowd is called codependency.

To go to a restaurant and order dessert when you’re trying to lose weight because everyone else at the table is ordering dessert is called codependency. Now, to make matters even a little bit more complicated, everyone wants to be accepted . Everyone wants to be loved. No one truly wants to be rejected or ridiculed.

But the codependent puts these belief systems on steroids.

One gentleman I worked with came in every week complaining about how much money his wife spent and how she was putting them in financial peril but he didn’t have the strength to stand up to her and to set a boundary with a consequence.

On the flipside one of my female clients came in complaining about how her husband was drinking way too much. Spending way too much money on alcohol. And when I recommended that she draw up a contract with him stating that if he came home one more weekend drunk that he would have to move out for 90 straight days and get sober.  She looked at me wide-eyed and finally agreed.

She had just become an independent person. And what happened next? He signed the agreement and two weeks later he was moving out of their house for 90 days. She was clearly an independent person.

The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what codependency is. It has become one of my greatest goals in life , to help millions of people on a daily basis to shatter their codependent ways.

The downside? You’ll have upset in your relationships. Family members may reject you. Your relationship may crumble in front of you. Your children may decide not to talk to you for weeks, months or years.

But on the flipside, you will be setting an amazing example of what it looks like to be an independent, strong and grounded human being. And that, my friends, we need more of in this world than you could ever imagine.”

David’s most popular course that he takes people through one on one from anywhere in the world today, via phone or Skype, is called “Codependency Kills.” In order to join the course, and work through it at your own pace, visit his website HERE

Healing Stories: How to be Alone and Happy Over the Holidays

How to be Alone and Happy Over the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner. The time of year when everyone is sharing joy, holiday stories, eggnog, fruitcake and more. And they’re doing it together. Except for you. And 20 million other people at the same time.

Depression increases dramatically over the holidays. But is it necessary?

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been giving hope to people around the world who are in a current state of struggle. Depression. Anxiety. And being alone during the holidays for many is a fate worse than death.

But David has news for you. If you follow these tips, not only can you learn how to survive the holidays, but you just might be able to beat the depression, and enjoy yourself at the same time.

“Many people spend time alone on the holidays because they want to. They’re sick and tired of the chaos and drama from their family. Or their in-laws. Or maybe they’ve been single for such a long period of time that they’ve just become used to being on their own during the season of joy.

And then there’s you. And maybe another 19,900,000 people who feel quite the opposite. Many people feel like they’re losers. They’re unwanted. They are unlovable. And they’re not quite sure what to do.

The following four tips can actually help you learn how to make the most out of this season while you’re on your own.

Number One. Write down the emotions that you’re feeling. Are you lonely? Sad? Angry? Maybe depressed? Anxious? Next to each of these emotions write why you are feeling that way. The number one way to heal from these so-called “negative emotions”, they’re not really negative at all they’re simply emotions, is to try to figure out why we’re feeling that way. That could be the start of healing right then and there.

Number Two. Create a new ritual this year around the holidays for yourself. What would make you feel special? Happy? For most of us, this means getting out of our own isolation. Isolation by itself can create, for many people who are not naturally introverts, a feeling of hopelessness.

So let’s shatter isolation. If you haven’t put up decorations for your holiday of choice, get the hell out of the house, to your local drugstore at the very least, and load up on lights, bulbs, candles and more. Sometimes just changing the visual cues in your home can immediately release feel good emotions in the brain. Why not give it a shot?

Number Three. Let’s go back to when I mentioned in number two. Isolation. Isolation kills the spirit. So this year is going to be different. You’re going to go out and volunteer. At the rescue mission. At Goodwill. At Habitat for Humanity. At senior centers where you can talk to the director and see if you can go in and just sit and talk to the seniors. But don’t help them, ask them questions. Don’t give them advice, ask them questions.

You see, people feel so much better when they’re talking about themselves. And you, while in the past you stayed isolated, depressed, maybe you ate your way through the holidays, or drank your way through the holidays, or smoked your way through the holidays… This year is different. You’re going to get out of your negative self centered nature and be of service to the world. Now that is a great way to deal with the holiday blues.

Number Four. Forgive yourself in writing for not doing the above three steps before this year. Take out your pen and paper, get out of victimhood, and forgive yourself for being a sad sack. And I’m not saying that in a negative way. I’m just saying hey let’s be realistic. If every year up until now you’ve been the victim, everyone else has a great family, everyone else has great in-laws, everyone else has a great partner and you’ve been alone forever. We have to get out of our own way and shatter the victimhood in order to heal.

I know the above steps can help you immensely. But I can’t do it for you. Let’s make together a new resolution before the new year. Let’s create a different approach to the holidays which then will carry a positive mindset into 2018.”

If you need additional help in making this holiday season more enjoyable, contact David at this website

Healing Stories: Dealing With Loss – The First Holiday Without Mom, Dad or a Lover

The First Holiday Without Mom, Dad or a Lover: Four steps to take to ease into this transition in life.

Right now, millions of people who have recently lost their mom, dad, a partner or a family member, are heading into their first holiday season without their loved ones.

While many people struggle during the holidays with depression and or anxiety, this group can be especially hit hard because there is no pattern set in how to deal with the loss.

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel, has helped take people through the grieving process to prepare themselves for life without a loved one. And during the holiday season there are certain steps that we can take in order to learn how to deal with such a tragic loss at this time of year.

Here are David’s top four tips on how to prepare yourself for the holiday season without your loved ones.

Number one. “If you haven’t gone through the grieving process with a grief support group, a counselor, minister or coach it’s never too late to start it. This in my opinion is the number one key to be prepared for learning how to deal with the loss of a loved one during the holidays.

You can Google in your area a professional to work with, or a support group to join, and don’t think it’s too late. Even two or three meetings, or two or three counseling sessions can help to alleviate a portion of the pain and discomfort that will be felt during your first holiday season without someone who had been a very important part of your life for probably years.

Number two. Remove the desire for isolation. If you’re heading into the season without your mom, dad, lover or family member who used to bring you great joy during the holiday season, this can be incredibly difficult and one of the ways many people deal with it is to increase their isolation.

They feel in many ways that it’s too difficult to bring their sadness or depression out to other family members or friends, so they would rather stay indoors, behind closed doors than to reach out for the support that may be around them right now.

I recommend to my clients to at least be active one day a week during the holiday season. They don’t have to attend every function during the holidays but I think it’s crucially important that they remove themselves from their homes and experience at the very least the joy that others are feeling during this time of year. This one step can help ease them into a holiday season without someone very important to them.

Number three. I encourage all of my clients to write letters to their loved one that is no longer with them, sharing with them their sadness, how much they miss them, and also recalling stories of joy that they experienced together during the holiday season.

This Yin/Yang approach allows you to deal with the reality of sadness and at the same time allows you to live through your memories the beautiful times that you shared together during this time of year.

Number four. Upon my recommendation, several of my clients actually set up small shrines, or alters if you will, with pictures of their loved ones and maybe their favorite holiday photo. This is a way we can keep our mom, dad, lover or family member close to our heart during the holiday season.

Again, I will recommend, that you reach out to a professional and sit down and open your heart and soul to one who will know how to walk you through the grieving process, as well as the recovery process during the holidays.

A client that I’m currently working with right now that lost her son at a very young age several years ago had swept her emotions underneath a rug for the last several holiday seasons. But this year will be very different.

As we worked through her grieving process for the first time since her son left us, she is now pulling out pictures, ornaments and more that he used to love as a young boy so she can remember him with joy. That doesn’t mean that the sadness is gone, because she feels that too during our sessions, but for the first time she’s balancing out the sadness with positive memories and it’s making a huge difference in her life.

And with the right help you can follow in her footsteps and do the same very thing.”

If you need help through the grieving process, or with your depression during the holiday season, feel free to reach out to David directly at

Healing Stories: Family – 4 Keys to Use in Order to Deal with Difficult Family Members During the Holidays

4 keys to use in order to deal with difficult family members during the holidays 

 The holidays are supposed to be times of peace, joy and good tidings. But for millions of families around the world, it will be anything but a peaceful, relaxing occasion.

From bickering relatives, to alcoholic moms and or dads, to siblings that have never let go of years of resentments… The holidays can be quite challenging – far from “The Hallmark card” description of bliss and inner peace.

So what are the patterns that you noticed in your past holidays that don’t seem to work for you? Most of us, if we look deeply enough, will see a repetition over the years of the same issues, the same challenges, the same problems… But we keep going back for more.

Too many times, we will not look at our role in the dysfunction of family holidays. We want to blame everyone else. But, the only common denominator in all of our dysfunctional holiday events is our return to these events expecting that this year something different will happen. It never does, and it never will, until we do something that will change our approach to the holidays ourselves.

Perhaps you might be imagining right now, running through your brain thoughts like “but I can’t do anything about Uncle Bill’s drinking… It’s out of my control that mom enables my dad to be angry and like Scrooge during the holidays. None of these things are in my control at all. So what’s my role?”

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has helped hundreds of individuals to learn how to deal in a different way with family members that may not represent what the holidays are all about.

Below are four essential keys to help you deal with difficult family members during the holiday season.

Number one. The first problem with many holidays, when we return home, wherever home might be, is that we have unrealistic expectations of how this year might be different than the past. We have to stay in reality. No matter how all optimistic you might be – if family members have not done the work to heal their past you’re probably going to walk into the same environment this year as you have in the past.

So if you catch yourself asking “why did so-and-so have to get so drunk again” or “why did Uncle Sam or Aunt Pat had to continue bickering over dinner” or “I can’t believe mom cooked a main dish I love and forgot about my food allergy” then take notice and ask yourself was this a first time occurrence or was this a problem that you ran into before? Most likely it will be the latter

So why doesn’t it ever change or how come you thought this year would be the year that nobody gets into a shouting match at the dinner table or that you hoped at least you can make it to dessert without quarreling?

It might be that perhaps your expectations are unrealistic. You might be hoping for a “Hallmark card” family gathering, when in actuality, you have a comic book history of holiday experiences.

So before you go home for the holidays let’s get real. Have you struggled in the past with mom and dad? Sisters or brothers? Aunts and Uncles? Grandmothers and Grandfathers? In-laws? And if so don’t expect things to be different. Accept the reality that you’re from a dysfunctional family and if you choose to go home that most of the past will be repeated again.

Number two. Don’t stay in the house with everyone else! One of the biggest challenges we face is that we don’t want to offend people so we stay in the insanity where everyone else is staying. Get a hotel room! I don’t care if you have to stretch your budget. It will be one of the smartest things you’ll ever do. Then you can leave when you want to leave, arrive when you want to arrive, and skip all the chaos and drama that has happened in the past. You have an escape route. This is one of the smartest moves you could probably make this holiday season.

And what if people push back? What if your family members get upset because of the fact you’re setting boundaries by having a hotel room? The independent person, which is you, explains in advance what your plans are this year. You don’t surprise them by walking in and telling them that you have a hotel room. You let them know in advance. The best way to do this? Via a family e-mail. Include everyone. And tell them why, instead of staying in your home this year, you’re going to stay in a hotel. Can you be honest? Can you risk rejection? You see, this is the beginning of becoming an independent versus codependent person. The codependent person is more concerned about what everyone else thinks than taking care of themselves. The independent person understands they’re going to get pushback. There will be people who will be totally unhappy with this decision, but they do it anyway. They know sanity is much more important than anything else in this world. And they also know, that this year, they’re going to have the best holiday possible by removing the triggers from past holiday experiences that create so much drama and chaos.

This takes confidence. This takes self-esteem. And I promise you it will be more worth it then you could ever imagine. Even if people push back, and give you a hard time in the beginning.

Number three. So many arguments escalate because we have a desire to be right and we can’t let someone else be right we have to set people straight. Whether you’re talking about politics, religion, or why the economy is so good or so bad… If someone at your event has a different opinion allow them to have a different opinion. There’s no need to go to battle as you have in the past over conversations that in reality mean nothing. Bite your tongue!

David was confronted by someone who upon returning home every year would listen to her mom consistently berate her father who she divorced 10 years ago. It’s an unending series of dramatic conversations, insane conversations that she used to engage in for a number of years.

And she always loses. No matter how many times she tries to stick up for her dad her mom comes up with another experience proving that her father is deadweight unreliable and unkind. So this year it’s going to be different. She’s already made up her mind. After Essel asked her to do a series of writing exercises of what she needs to do differently this year to make the holidays more pleasant she decided that she’s going to just shut up whenever her mother brings up how terrible her father is as a former husband and even current dad.

She realizes that unless her mom decides to get help and counseling to let go of her intense resentments, the conversation is always going to go down the same path. And why do we follow that path? Why do we engage with someone who we know has a totally different opinion than ours? Well, read above. We want to be right. We want to set the record straight. In this case, she’s been trying to defend her dad for 10 years and the end result has always been intense arguments. Nothing but chaos and drama.

David also recommended that she email her mom ahead of time and tell her that this year she doesn’t have any desire to get into arguments or discussions about dad. She asked her mom to agree with her and to leave her father out of conversations while she’s at her mother’s house for the holidays. She never received a reply from her mom which tells us a lot about her mom still being in that angry, angry state.

If this is similar to how it goes in your family, then don’t expect your mom to change. Accept her as she is. She’s angry, bitter, and will not see any side other than her own until she gets help. And if she never gets help? Her opinion about this woman’s father will never change. Stop smashing your head into the wall and learn to let it go!

Number four. Forgive yourself and forgive others now. This is one of the most challenging things that people face. Forgiveness is powerful. It’s free spirit. It releases anxiety, resentment, anger, guilt, and shame. Forgiveness, as an action step, is an essential key to being able to live a healthy, productive and passionate life.

Before going home for the holidays you’ve really got to do some work to let go of the past. That means you! Not your parents, not your brothers or sisters, not your relatives, but you. If you do the work now to begin to forgive people from the past, you’ll go home with an open heart and you’ll be less argumentative in the process.

It’s not easy to forgive. If forgiveness was that easy no one in this world would ever carry resentments forward. But being a counselor for over 26 yeas and as a coach, Essel has helped thousands of people to forgive individuals who have raped them, parents who have sexually molested them, lovers who have cheated on them or stole money from them.

Forgiveness is not simply turning the other cheek. It’s much deeper than that.

Probably the most powerful form of forgiveness that David Essel believes in is done in the form of written letters that will never be sent to any of our family members, relatives or friends over the holidays.

So get out your stationary! It begins with writing about your frustration, your anger, or maybe even your rage over the years at the way people treat others or us during this time of year. It’s something in counseling called “desensitization” or rather that we continue writing about something that’s bothering us until we become bored… Numb… We become desensitized to the issue. In that state we have released our rage and anger to the point that we can probably see people who have upset us without having a knee-jerk reaction.

After we write about these people, and these situations that really bother us and we reach that point of feeling a lack of emotion to those experiences, then and only then do we begin to write letters of forgiveness.

Now when we write letters of forgiveness, just like our letters of anger and frustration, they are never sent to anyone. The reason for these letters is to be able to remove the anger and in it’s place put forgiveness. In the forgiveness letters we write to the same people and  we specifically forgive them for the things they’ve done in the past that have upset us.

We forgive people first by going deeply into our anger, resentment, rage, sadness…And once all of those emotions are cleared out, then, and only then, do we even begin the process of forgiveness.”

A number of years ago David worked with a client who was so frustrated with his parents because every time he went home for the holidays they reached out to all of his former friends to let them know that their precious son will be home. So he comes in the door just wanting to spend a couple days with his family= and there’s a list of people that his mom shoves in his face year after year and tells him to call them because they want to see him.

Now, from the outsider’s point of view this is cute. Precious. Thoughtful. Sweet. His parents were doing the best they could but he wanted nothing of it. He wanted family time not to try to resurrect friendships from 30 years ago.

But because he never put his foot down and told his mom 20 years ago when this started that he wanted nothing to do with these people he would just take the list and go into his bedroom and throw it away. When his mom asked him about calling his friends he would make up some excuse of why he couldn’t do it this trip.

But after 20 years of this nagging by his mom he finally one day just lost it. He blew up. Screaming, yelling, and telling his parents he would never return home again for the holidays.

See this is what happens when you don’t take care of the issues on your own, by standing up and talking to people in a calm voice about what works, or what doesn’t work for you during the holiday season.

So I took him through the series of exercises I stated above. First he wrote about his frustration and anger at his mom and dad. After that had been released from his body he went into forgiveness.

And then he sent them a loving letter before he arrived telling them that he only had two days to spend with this precious family and he would not have any time for his friends so please don’t reach out to them.

Mom and Dad got the message clearly. And they never again tried to push him into seeing his past acquaintances. He had done it in an extremely forgiving way after he had exorcised all of his frustrations that had been building up over the years.

But it’s not simply turning the other cheek. It’s much deeper than that. Work with a counselor, therapist or a life coach to help you truly understand how to forgive your self and others now and this holiday season will be much different than the rest.

About the author:

David Essel, M. S., Is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach, and international speaker whose mission is to positively affect 2 million people or more every day, regardless of their current circumstances. David’s work is also highly endorsed by the late Wayne Dyer, chicken soup for the soul’s Mark Victor Hansen, as well as many other celebrities and radio and television networks from around the United States of America. Celebrity Jenny McCarthy says “David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement”.

Healing Stories: Counseling – Did 2017 Exhaust You? Let’s get healthy for 2018 now

Healing Stories: Counseling – Did 2017 Exhaust You? Let’s get healthy for 2018 now.

The year 2017 will go down as one of the most stressful ones that many of us will ever remember.

Ethnic cleansing near Bangladesh. Massacre in Las Vegas. Hurricane destroys Puerto Rico and Saint Maarten. Hurricanes that severely damaged Houston and Florida.

And by now many people are both emotionally and physically exhausted.

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel says there’s a lot we can do starting right now if we want to 2018 to be a powerful year for us all.

David’s 2 keys to letting go of the past and preparing for the future:

Number one. ” I think the most important place to begin,n as we round out 2017 and go into 2018, is to try our very best and feel the emotions surrounding all the tragedies in order to let them go. This might sound like a strange step number one but without feeling the depth of our sadness, grief, anger and maybe even rage… it will get stuck in our bodies somewhere.

Several of my clients in the last several months have come in complaining deeply about the atrocities in the world. They’re angry. But unfortunately, prior to doing work together, they vented the rage and anger on social media. At their family. Even their pets, without taking responsibility to process these emotions inside. The most effective way to begin to process emotions so that we can let them go is in the form of writing.

If we write about the sadness, rage, anger, that has occurred at any of the above mentioned tragedies, we begin to release its grip on us.

After this step, we can go into another form of therapy which is being of service in our community. It does very little to continue to complain about the unfairness in life, without actually trying to do something positive about it.

Number two. Look deeply at your self-care, or lack of it. It’s very normal with the way we are bombarded by the media, social media, radio, television, the internet like blogs etc. to forget about the need to take care of ourselves.

What are you doing for yourself physically? Mentally? Spiritually? Relationship wise? Are you involved in an exercise program? Yoga? Meditation? As I mentioned above service in your community?

Several of my clients in the last 60 days of our work together have noticed that they’re drinking much more on a regular basis. Others have noticed they’ve gained 25 pounds as they continue to shovel sugar down their throats as a way to mask the emotions that they’re feeling.

In other words, both of these are poor emotional coping skills. Self-care is the exact opposite.”

For more information of how David can help you one on one to deal with the tragedies of life, visit his website at