1. Gratitude as a Coping Mechanism

    April 14, 2014

    Gratitude as a Coping Mechanism

    Gratitude is a powerful feeling. It makes us appreciate all the good we have in our lives and enjoy it for what it is, instead of craving for the next big thing. Which in turn will leave us constantly unsatisfied with our lives, because there will always be something more to crave for. Gratitude is a characteristic of people experiencing higher levels of well-being with known reports of 67% of grateful people experiencing gratitude “all the time” and up to 60% reporting that expressing gratitude “made them feel very happy” (Gallup: “Survey results on gratitude, adults and teenagers“). But can gratitude also function as a coping mechanism? Can it helps us deal with life’s biggest adversities and still flourish?

    Researchers Wood, Joseph and Linley set out to answer just that.

    Gratitude is correlated to happiness  and well-being

    Research done so far has shown that dispositional Gratitude has the highest correlations with life satisfaction and well-being. And consequently negative correlations with depression and envy. Which makes sense, if grateful people are focused on their achievements and value them, their sense of self-efficacy is higher and they will not envy what others have achieved that much.

    Others studies have shown that inducing gratitude during weeks in people has proven to have improvements on happiness, depression and even physical health (for a revision of studies check Wood, Joseph and Linley’s 2007 article).

    What seems to be in place here, is that not only gratitude is an important mechanism in well-being and optimism but it can also serve as a coping mechanism during stressful situations. Being grateful might actually help you deal in a more constructive way with stress and life’s adversities, making you flourish as a person.

    Gratitude is a Positive Emotion

    According to Fredrickson’s (1998, 2001) broaden-and-built model of positive emotions, positive emotions can serve as resources for building up resilience in people, as those positive emotions are stored to be used in stressful or threatening situations. But also, positive emotions are key aspects in pushing us towards an action. And given that, positive emotions helps push forward instead of holding us back.

    Gratitude seems to correlate to a higher social approach strategy, as studies have shown that grateful people are also likely to express extroversion, agreeableness, forgiveness and empathy. Which are important characteristics to consider in social interaction because they make others want to approach us.

    Grateful people see the world as a hospitable place, deemphasizing (not ignoring) the negative side of life which in turn may help them deal actively with problems they may encounter.

    But the question is: Do grateful people have more psychological resources?

    According to Wood, Joseph and Linley’s (2007) findings coping mechanisms mediate the relationship between stress and gratitude. But it also showed important differences between grateful people:

    1)      Grateful people tend to seek out emotional and instrumental social support as a coping mechanism, make use of positive reinterpretation and growth and planning

    2)      Grateful people used more positive coping mechanisms, like approaching problems instead of avoiding them

    Inversely, gratitude was negatively correlated with behavioral disengagement, self-blame, substance abuse and denial. Which can all be seen as negative coping mechanisms as they are meant to avoid problems and not fix them.

    This means that grateful people tend to use more positive strategies to deal with stress and their issues by reaching out to friends and family for support, which in turn helps decrease their levels of stress and depression and function as an active way to solve problems instead of avoiding them.

    Can being grateful be a good thing for you? It sure can. Not only because it increases your levels of well-being and life satisfaction but it can also help you cope with stress. Now the question remains: how can you be more grateful?

     


  2. Millennial Generation Wants Make the World a Better Place

    April 2, 2014

    Millennial Generation Wants Make the World a Better Place

    by Sue Chehrenegar

     

    According to a recent poll, one with some very interesting results, a large group of young men and women could be viewed as members of a party on a quest. The poll’s results, which were posted on the website for the Barna Group, indicated that up to 87% of the young people that had been surveyed wanted to have a meaningful life. In other words, each of them hoped to discover how to give true meaning to their lives.

    Most people would agree that a meaningful life is one that manages to better the world in some way. Yet that does not really explain what approach ought to be pursued by someone who wants to give-back to others, in order to improve the world in some fashion. What aspects of a lifestyle allow it to qualify as one that others would view as noteworthy and meaningful?

    Would a readiness to become a continuous source of commentary on how to behave demonstrate the type of qualities that one could expect to find in a noteworthy individual? Well, more than 50 years ago, children were encouraged to believe that such was the case. Those children had heard their parents say a phrase such as this: Do as I say, not as I do.

    Now, however, people have learned to be wary of those individuals who behave in ways that contrast sharply with the recommendations made in their comments. In other words, it is best to avoid those who have chosen to utter words that differ markedly from their deeds. The utterance (or the writing and publishing) of such words does not really add great meaning to any life.

    The deeds that do add meaning to a life are those that could be termed pure or goodly. A pure deed is one that has been done with the idea of providing the recipient with an added benefit. It has not been seen as a means for gaining greater recognition, or for collecting some quick cash.

    A goodly deed is one that would be viewed as virtuous. It might be an act of kindness. It could be a true demonstration of courage. It could be the type of behavior that encourages others to act in the correct manner. That was what Gandhi would do, when he would fast until a situation had improved to his satisfaction.

    Gandhi’s conduct, although unusual was certainly commendable. Young people who display commendable conduct have reason to feel that they have provided their lives with an added bit of meaning. They have behaved in a way that has highlighted their desired to make the world a better place.

    Of course, it is not always easy to follow a path such as the one taken by Gandhi. Indeed, those who try to go down such a path must expect to encounter some roadblocks. Those are the tests that help to make a life all the more meaningful.

    A meaningless life could be compared to a barren field. It might look perfectly smooth, but it cannot be used to produce any crops. It cannot be a place where trees bear fruit or where a sown field can yield a harvest. It has not been dug into or plowed; it has not been tested.

    When a young person on a quest for greater meaning faces a test, that same person shapes his or her spirit in the same way that a bit of barren ground could be dug-into and shaped. That testing allows the tested person to have a stronger spirit. That stronger spirit exists inside of an individual who has the ability to succeed, after choosing to launch a quest for a meaningful life.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/71264537@N03/6443166521


  3. Positive Psychology: The AIM Concept

    March 30, 2014

    Positive Psychology: The AIM Concept

    Many people have tried mainstream methods, such as psychotropic medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy, to fight mental health conditions.  Some individuals who have suffered from depression, anxiety and other disorders have found that these conventional means of dealing do not always have satisfactory results.  Finding the right psychotropic medication can be a trial-and-error process; although some people are able to find relief with their first prescription, many others need to try multiple medications (often with negative side effects) before they find a medication or combination of medications that help them.  In terms of therapy, some people struggle to become comfortable discussing personal issues with someone, especially a stranger.  Other people may not be able to form a positive connection with a therapist, leading them to stop therapy and forgo searching for someone new (for fear the same thing will happen again).  For this and other reasons, people often turn to alternative means to find reprieve from their mental health ailments.

     

    One way in which you can utilize positive psychology is to AIM for a more positive life.  AIM is an acronym for Attending, Interpreting and Memorizing.  Let’s talk about each of these in a bit more detail.

     

    Attending is something many of us fail to do, especially when it comes to the positive doings in our lives.  However, we are quick to beat ourselves up and put ourselves down when things go wrong; this is counterproductive to positive psychology.  In part, we are not to blame – we are bombarded with negative messages nearly every minute of every day – from co-workers, family members, the news and social media, to name just a few.  It’s no wonder we become programmed to only think about negativity.  But in order to find true happiness, we must break that cycle.  So the next time something good happens to you, revel in it, for at least a few minutes.  Awaken each day with a positive attitude by saying “Today is going to be a good day”.  The more you focus on the positive aspects of your life, the more it will become a lifelong (and excellent) habit to have.

     

    Interpreting the events in your life can have a huge impact on your attitude and outlook.  Take the following example – you are standing in a crowded room and someone bumps into you, causing you to spill the contents of your drink on your new shirt.  You can interpret this several different ways; negatively, in which you believe the person bumped into you on purpose, positively, in which the person bumped into you by accident due to the crowded room, or neutrally, as in things happen and it’s not a big deal.  If you think about it negatively, you are more likely to become angry and agitated, leading you to feel upset and probably have a bad time.  If you think about things in a positive or neutral way, you are more likely to feel fine about what just happened, realizing it was out of your control.  This leads to more optimistic feelings about the situation.  Try your best to interpret the actions in your life in a positive (or at the very least, neutral) light.

     

    Memorizing the positive events in your life gives you something to fall back to in times of need.  Some people have an amazing ability to create vivid mental pictures in their mind of positive times; others may need to make a conscience effort to remember the events.  Take photographs of special times in your life that you can go back to when you are feeling down.  If you enjoy reading about special events, try keeping a journal of important times in your life.  Read the journal on a regular basis to keep a positive influence in your life; you can also consult the journal when times get tough.

     

    By AIMing for a more positive life, you allow yourself to be more focused and optimistic, which can help you to overcome anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.  For some people, the power of positivity can be enough to overcome the oppression of mental illness.  For others, positive psychology can (and should) be used in conjunction with medication and/or therapy.  Only you know the best course of action for yourself, but a little (or a lot) of positivity never hurt anyone.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55236839@N00/3098125602

     


  4. Balance Your Life with Ayurveda And The Doshas

    March 24, 2014

    Ayurveda

    by Jacqueline De Burca

     

    A Guide To The Tridosha Concept

    For over 5000 years, the Ayurvedic system has offered a body of wisdom to help people to achieve balance and vitality, whilst realising their full potential. Practitioners of the ancient holistic system of Ayurvedic medicine view each human as an individual and diagnosis is carried out using all of the five senses. Ayurveda considers that the physical and mental aspects, as well as the personality combine to make a unit, of which all aspects can influence the others. Treatment can include the use of herbs, yoga, nutrition, panchakarma cleansing, Vedic astrology and acupressure massage.

     

    Native to the subcontinent of India, this traditional medicine system’s name Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit word ?yurveda, which means life-knowledge. There are texts on Ayurveda which date back to as early as the 3rd or 4th century B.C. However today in India the word is used to cover a range of traditional medicine, which means that there are numerous branches of Ayurveda now. Historically the system has enumerated the bodily substances into a framework of the five great elements (earth, water, fire, air and aether) which also interact with the seven tissues (blood, plasma, flesh, bone, marrow, adipose and reproductive).

     

    In Hinduism it is believed that humans and all of creation are made up of these five elements, which dissolve back into nature upon death, balancing nature’s cycle. However whilst living humans are affected by the five elements and Ayurveda aims to balance the three elemental substances, known as doshas. Known as the tridosha concept, tt is believed that each human being is a unique combination of the doshas, which defines their character and temperament. Every human has a natural systems state, which is a natural combination of the doshas. In Ayurveda is it believed that humans can achieve balance by seeking more of the element/s that they lack, which can be done through care of their habits, environment and behaviour.

     

    The three doshas are:

    Vata      – air and space = wind

    Pitta      – fire and water = bile

    Kapha    – water and earth = phlegm

     

    These fundamental energies affect both our inner and outer environment, plus they govern structure, movement and transformation. Upon diagnosis an Ayurvedic practitioner provides guidelines to be applied on a daily and seasonal basis. These include specific seasonal and daily routines, proper use of our senses, diet and behaviour. Ayurveda teaches that health is a result of a finely tuned integration between our spirit, body, mind and environment.

     

    Vata

    If Vata is the predominant dosha a person tends to be light, thin, energetic and enthusiastic. Vata types can be visionaries, with wonderful imaginations but they can also get spaced out. On the positive side Vata has an abundance of creative energy, but needs to watch out for feeling uptight and anxious. Although Vata may have artistic talent, the mind can sometimes be restless. This can lead to over analysis and theorising. They can also have a tendency for over-indulgence in some of life’s pleasures.

     

    Vata is required to mobilise the functioning of the nervous system, so this is why when there is too much Vata – an imbalance of Vata, that the person may tire easily due to over thinking, anxiety and worry. It also affects flatulence, windy humour, rheumatism and gout.

     

    To Balance Vata

    • Create a routine
    • Listen to relaxing music
    • Meditate if possible twice every day to calm your mind
    • Your environment should have more earth tones and mild pastel shades
    • Before going to bed, try to minimise watching TV, eating or heavy reading
    • Oil your skin

     

    To Avoid Excess Vata

    • Avoid exposure to the cold
    • Don’t eat too much dry, leftover or frozen food, or food that is bitter or astringent
    • Avoid too much exercise
    • Avoid suppressing your natural urges
    • Don’t travel too much

     

     

    Pitta

    Those who have more of the Pitta dosha are often confident leaders. Their physique tends to be moderately strong, and they seem to walk with a sense of purpose. When they speak the voice is often strong, or even loud, and their speech is convincing. They are enthusiastic for knowledge, have a leaning towards being very focused and can have a razor sharp mind. Even when relatively balanced they can seem argumentative, but it is mixed with a sense of humour. However an excess of Pitta can make them irritable, fiery and snappy. Those with Pitta as the prevalent dosha can be organised perfectionists.

     

    The energy principle of Pitta is to use the bile to direct digestion and metabolism. As heat is its main quality, those with Pitta can suffer from overheating, skin irritations, ulcers and heartburn.

     

    To Balance Pitta

    • Spend time in cooling environments
    • Do gentle exercise that doesn’t overheat you
    • Try to learn to go with the flow
    • Eat cooling foods, cucumbers are excellent as are many vegetables and fruit
    • Avoid oily foods
    • Take deep breaths frequently, or do breathing exercies
    • Do yoga asanas which are gentle

     

    To Avoid Excess Pitta

    • Don’t overexposure yourself to heat
    • Avoid too much intellectual thinking
    • Avoid alcohol
    • Be careful of too much anger, fear or hate
    • Do not exercise in the middle of the day
    • Avoid antibiotics and ideally all drugs

     

     

    Kapha

    Kapha tends to have a broader frame and long limbs. They are compassionate and caring, often speaking in a slow, rhythmic manner. They are stable, patient people who don’t tend towards anger too easily – however if they are driven far enough then they don’t calm down very easily. Essentially full of love, loyal and kind-hearted, the Kapha is the dosha which is prone to gain weight easily. They take longer to learn but when they do the memory is strong. Also it may take then a while to reach a conclusion, but they make excellent logical analysts.

     

    If there is an excess of Kapha then the person may feel lethargic and over-indulgent. As phlegm is the controlling body fluid, Kapha types are prone to excess weight, congestion and a sluggish digestion.

     

    To Balance Kapha

    • Walk for around 15 minutes after eating to aid digestion
    • Be attentive to your food while eating, in other words be mindful
    • Trigger your natural energy by going to a yoga class
    • Breath deeply or do breathing exercises
    • Do an invigorating daily self massage

     

    To Avoid Excess Kapha

    • Avoid eating too much meat, dairy, fried food, salt and sweets
    • Don’t use sedatives or tranquilizers
    • Avoid exposure to the cold
    • Avoid doing little or nothing
    • Don’t drink too much water
    • Be careful about focusing too much on possessiveness, greed and doubts

     

    To get the best out of Ayurveda, you should go to a qualified practitioner and then follow through on the recommendations based on your current balance of doshas. However, if you are curious, you can first try some quick online quizzes to find your balance:

    http://doshaquiz.chopra.com/

    http://www.pukkaherbs.com/Ayurveda/dosha-quiz

     

    Author Bio: Jacqueline is trained in auricular acupuncture, hypnotherapy and Vortex Healing. She firmly believes in the healing power of nature, as well as its inspirational effects on us. She also loves ancient wisdom and is fascinated by how certain places can have a special effect on us.

     

    Image Credit: marketing-deluxe.at


  5. Laughter as the Best Health Therapy

    February 16, 2014

    Laughter as the Best Health Therapy

    by Melisa Marzett

    Laughing is a perfect way to reduce or even relieve stress in our lives. It can help you to cope with a stressful lifestyle. It releases anxiety and changes your mood, but if you think that it change stressors, you’ll be disappointed. It’s not so. It changes only how we relate to that stressors. The idea of this theory is quite easy –we laugh more, so we stress less.

    Laughter binds people together and increases intimacy between them and simply makes happier. Specialists points out, that laughing makes also good physical changes in our body. It makes your immune system stronger, it diminishes your pain and protect you from negative emotions, stresses and depression.

    Today the life rhythm tends us to stop laughing, we stop doing anything emotional. Our laughter can be described as a natural and essential way of taking care of ourselves. The nature itself gave us the laughter so we can heal our minds and bodies. Some people just haven’t realized its importance in their lives.

    Nowadays people are mostly media-educated and they know a lot of information about depression. But mainly we use drugs, medicines, of even highly recommended shock treatment. But if you want some natural solution, if you don’t want to medicate your body with antidepressants this technique is for you.

    Laughing releases your anger. If you keep it inside, you become sick and nervous. Laughter will not change your problems, it can only change you so you can cope with them. It dissolves harmful emotions because you simply can’t feel anxious, sad or angry when you laugh. It helps you to relax, because it increases your energy and reduces stress. It allows you to see situations in a positive way, making a psychological distance between you and world’s negative.

    You must understand that it’s ok to feel as good as you can. It’s your life so why must you worry about the others’ opinion. Take it easy. You should cultivate the ability to take the life in a spirit of play. Just imagine that all that gloomy,serious and heavy things are dragging you down at the very bottom of the depression. Do you really want it?

    If somebody seeks out the humor in everyday life, he’ll find that. And also the other important fact that we are searching namely for positive people. Nobody will like uninspiring or moody person. And if you’re alone, it’s harder to cope, there’s nobody who can support you. But first you must change yourself. Try to encourage yourself by watching funny movies and TV programs. If you simply don’t find that funny and you can’t laugh, just fake it! Make sounds of laughter and move your body as you laugh. There’s no doubt that your mood will change.

    If you think that that’s stupid, mat be you can try Laughter Yoga. It includes four things: clapping in rhythm, breathing, stretching and laughter exercises. In this case laughter comes from your body, not mind. When you take part in such a workshop you get the release of endorphins and then you feel yourself much better.  This technique also keeps you fit. You get exercise, which tones your muscles and improves your breath.

    In the end, we’d like to offer you several tips according to this theme:

    1. Try to laugh for 5-10 minutes every morning.

    2. Seek out the humor in serious situations, even if it’s hard.

    3. Smile more, watch comedies, read funny stories.

    4. Surround yourself with flowers or with other things that can make you smile.

    5. Don’t stay home on weekends. Go to the cinema, meet your friends, sing, dance and enjoy your life!

    Author Bio: Melisa Marzett is a talented essay writer who is striving to know everything. Being an active blogger, Melisa is mainly interested in psychology, entertainment and healthy lifestyle. Melisa is always glad to connect on Google+.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boudewijnberends/6307186578/


  6. Benefits of Positive Attitude for Addiction Recovery

    February 8, 2014

    Benefits of Positive Attitude for Addiction Recovery

    by Emily Syane

    Recovering from any type of addiction, whether it’s drugs or alcohol, is a long process. An addict cannot simply change overnight, as the nature of addiction is that this is an impulse they cannot control. There have been many types of addiction treatments and therapies over the years and many are still in use today. However, all these treatments, therapies, and retreats would simply be useless if the addict himself simply is not interested in changing. A positive attitude is one of the most powerful weapons people looking to stop their addiction can have. A positive outlook allows them to carry on and stick to their treatments. While some people may think that this is all psychological mumbo-jumbo, a positive attitude towards one’s self, the treatment, and in general, the world, can make a big impact on treating addiction. Let’s take a look at the different ways such an outlook can benefit recovering addicts.

    Reduce Depression

    It’s common sense that if you have a positive attitude, you won’t be depressed, but for addicts, this can practically guarantee their recovery. People treating addicts have coined a term for people who are overly negative – “Stinking Thinking.” This can cause real, clinical depression, but is also very dangerous for people who are trying to get rid of an addiction. This happens when people are overly negative and become pessimistic about their future. This increases their chances of relapsing and even make people around them suffer. Even if they stop taking drugs or alcohol, they recovering addict might not be happy in sobriety and be driven to go back to old habits. And, when people are depressed, even the smallest things can set them off and send them back to the bottle.

    Boost Immune System

    Believe it or not, a positive attitude can actually boost the immune system. A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine showed that people who meditated and experienced happiness had a higher level of antibodies in their blood. This meant that people who had a positive attitude could potentially fight off infection better than those who do not.

    Positive Attitude

     

    Reduce Cardiovascular Disease

    Having a positive attitude can also have benefits to heart health. Various studies have shown that a positive attitude can generally benefit the body because this can lower the level of stress hormones and inflammations, which are good signs for better cardiovascular health.

     

    Increase Self Efficacy

    Self-efficacy, according to psychologists, is an individual’s belief that they have the ability to achieve their goal. Self-efficacy and positive thinking go hand-in-hand and help an individual achieve their goals. This means that people can reach their goals by simply thinking they can do it. Many people can help improve their self efficacy by accomplishing small goals, seeing other people achieve these goals, and even through therapy.

     

    Other Benefits…

    There are many other benefits people (in general) can get from simply having a more positive outlook on life. People who have a positive outlook are able to better handle stress and adversities in their lives. They can problem-solve and tend not to let the bad things that happen in their lives to bring them down. They have more energy to do more things in their lives. A positive attitude can help people live longer, as they experience little stress and as mention earlier, have a better immune system. In general, people who have a positive attitude are happier and make those around them happier as well.

    Recovering from an addiction is not an easy road. It is often painful and a lot of hard work. However, many people all over the world recover from their addiction, and in many of those cases, a positive attitude was not only necessary, but pivotal. Having a positive attitude is one of the best ways to recover from an addiction. It has many benefits, but in general, it can help prevent relapses and make recovering live happier lives in sobriety.

     

    Author Bio: Emily Syane is a health blogger and customer service representative for LA based body Detoxification Company. She loves to write a blog about life, career, and anything about new research. You can read her informative blogs on www.helpmepassadrugtest.com

    Image Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/jackheart/5188367113

     

     


  7. Suffering: a Necessary Pathway to Personal Growth?

    February 4, 2014

    Suffering and personal growth

    by Daniela Aneis

    When confronted with painful situations in our lives, we often ask ourselves why. “Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? What have I done to deserve such suffering? What is the point of all this?” But have you ever stopped and wondered you might be asking the wrong questions?

    Although the advent of Positive Psychology has swift the focus of Psychology from psychopathology to what it is that makes the human being extraordinary – by focusing on positive emotions, optimism, resilience, sense of humor and so on – Positive Psychology does not discard the incredible power of suffering and the experience of negative emotions. It’s not about avoiding pain and suffering, it’s about finding out what makes people thrive and achieve personal growth despite suffering like everyone else. Are these people special and extraordinary? Yes, but you can be as well.

    Yes, but why suffer at all?

    You will probably be asking this question by now. That’s got to do with today’s society paradigm. You should be happy all the time, you should be successful and enjoying life to the fullest, you should be surrounded by friends and family and never have any problems because everything is alright all the time! Doesn’t this strike you as a silly idea? Aren’t we allowed to have problems, to feel sad and depressed occasionally? It’s not a crime to experience negative emotions. It’s actually healthy as long as you process them and channel your negative emotions in a constructive way. And this will allow you to grow as a human being and enjoy life to the fullest.

    Does suffering have a point?

    Yes, it does. So, the real question you should be asking is: “Can I find meaning in my suffering?” Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who was himself a survivor of the Holocaust, defended in his Logotherapy theory that what we should be seeking for meaning in our lives, whether it is through what we do, who we love or the attitude we take over inevitable suffering.

    Do you know what happens when you ignore your feelings and emotions? You keep sweeping the “emotional dirt” under the rug, until when one day it blows into your face and you’re forced to deal with it. Do you know when this happens? Often when people get sick or seriously depressed or anxious to the point they can’t lead a normal life. Emotional baggage will drag you down.

    How to deal with suffering in a constructive way:

    1. Take responsibility. Most of happens in your life, doesn’t just happen to you. It is a product of the choices you’ve made in life. So ask yourself this, how much percentage of everything that happens to you is your responsibility? Got your number? Good, let’s work on that and ignore what’s not yours.
    2. Deal with emotions. All (!) emotions. Feel sad, cry, yell, feel angry at the world, feel hopeful or happy, but don’t stop feeling. There are no good or bad emotions, just necessary ones. If a loved one passes away, aren’t you going to feel sad for as long as you need to heal from your loss?
    3. Don’t let others bully your emotions. Don’t feel guilty about it. If everyone else around you has bought the slogan “happiness is the way”, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel differently about it. Take time to heal. And then go out there again and face the world.
    4. Take action. Have you processed your emotions? Do you know now why you felt them? Can you change anything about it? Now is the time to take action. Search for a new job, go out and meet new people, try a new activity or sport.
    5. Let go of what you can’t fix. Is it a solvable or unsolvable problem? If the answer is unsolvable, then it already has a solution to it. And if you can’t fix it, let it go. Move on to something you can actually control and manage.

    By now you should have your answer, but if you still need a straight one, here it goes: Yes, suffering is a necessary pathway to personal growth. But it is your choice how to deal with your suffering. So tell me, is the glass half full or half empty?

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jstar/3185994119


  8. Life After the Death of a Marriage

    November 3, 2013

    Life After the Death of a Marriage

    by Debbie Nguyen

     

    The divorce rate at present is at an all-time high with statistics closing in between 40 and 45 percent. While the end of a marriage can be devastating and cost couples an exorbitant amount of money and time to settle their differences in court, it isn’t the end of the world. Life does exist after a divorce, and you’ll find the following tips beneficial in picking up the pieces and moving forward.

    Take Time to Heal

    “Divorce is an emotional experience, to say the least, and getting the two parties to agree is already difficult, so private negotiations don’t always work out so well. Using a mediator or representing attorneys is the next step,” according to an Orlando Divorce Team. Don’t dwell on the unhappiness and search for the meaning or cause of the break up but treat it as a second chance towards a better place.

    Whether your divorce ended amicably or you’ve found it difficult to even think about your ex-spouse without horrid thoughts coming to mind, you need to take time to heal after a break-up. So many people make the mistake of going out and getting involved in a new relationship before a divorce has been finalized. This can be considered a rebound, and the mistakes that you made in the first relationship may come back to haunt you in the next. The best sort of therapy is to get a positive outlook on your new situation and find things that you enjoy doing the most and do them such as gardening, running, cooking and reading.

    Friends and Family

    You’re sure to experience feelings of loneliness when you and your spouse break up. After doing so much together as a couple, you may find yourself dealing with awkward family gatherings and social parties on your own. When you’re done sitting at home and feeling sorry for yourself, you need to drag yourself out and socialize with the real world. Surrounding yourself with friends, family and neighbors can boost your spirits and keep you connected. The first couple of parties may be the most difficult, but you’ll soon become a seasoned veteran, and you’ll realize how much fun you’re having with a busy social life.

    Groups and Therapy

    You’re sure to find a host of social or support groups centered around divorce, and you can get involved with many of the organizations through church or city circles. You can also seek the help of a therapist if you’re unable to function properly. A knowledgeable and experienced therapist can make an excellent listener and give you the courage to move on and discover a whole new life beyond your marriage. You may even find yourself relocating to a different city or starting up your own business.

    Hobbies and Exercise

    Depression and lack of motivation typically follow a divorce, but you have to push these feelings aside. If you’ve always wanted to take up a hobby, travel the world or sign up for a 5k race, now is the time to do it, you have the capabilities and time to do so.  This is your best approach to avoid depression.

    Dating

    After you’ve had ample time to heal, you may be ready to dip your toes in the dating pool. Between online dating, speed dating, restaurant mixers and clubs, you’re sure to find an assortment of interesting and exciting people to date.

    The dissolution of a marriage doesn’t have to be the end of the world. The next chapter of your life can be filled with a host of opportunities from travel and fitness to living in a different city and starting your own business. Whether you choose to go it alone, explore the world with your best friends or you find a new partner to experience life with, you’ll find plenty of adventures to be had.

     

    Author Bio: Debbie Nguyen is a designer and blogger in Atlanta. In researching family issues, she came across Orlando Divorce Team Katz & Phillips, who have been successfully mediating between conflicting couples.

     Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntiep/3338042793/


  9. Breaking Mental Barriers With Positive Attitude: Boosting Creativity

    October 29, 2013

    Breaking Mental Barriers With Positive Attitude: Boosting Creativity

    by Edward Lakatis

    Human beings are naturally creative. If we didn’t have that creative spark within us, we would probably still be living in caves, crawling on the ground and fighting with wild animals for our food. New invention ideas have made it possible for human kind to lit up the first fire, build shelter, develop electricity and reach a more or less civilized state.

    Being creative is a human characteristic that we take for granted. In fact, almost every daily activity we do _whether professional or not_ demands our constantly coming up with innovative ideas: what we prepare for dinner, what we give us a birthday present, the slogan for a new product, and so on. In fact, in some professional niches such as in advertising or art, people are expected to be constantly creative.

    Inventors also belong to this group and they tend to feel disappointed  or useless when they fail to think about new invention ideas. Have they lost that special spark? Won’t they be able to surprise us with their innovations any longer? Not at all, many a time they find themselves deprived of new invention ideas because they are trapped in mental barriers that prevent them from connecting themselves with the more playful and open-minded aspect of their personality.

    That being said, it seems quite obvious then that the best way of being able once again to find inspiration and develop new invention ideas is by breaking those mental barriers. But, how do you do it? The answer is quite simple: with positive attitude.

    Why Is Having A Positive Attitude So Important in Breaking Mental Barriers?

    Mental barriers constrain us. They limit our ability to think out of the box. Therefore, we are trapped in a vicious circle that prevents us from generating new solutions and ideas.  And, as we don’t think out of the box, we end up finding the same solutions to the same problem over and over again.

    However, when we face this issue with a positive attitude we are able to look at the bright side of things. We get rid of that specific or obsessive thinking and our mind opens up and can come up with new invention ideas, a new menu for tonight’s supper or a nice message to add to a birthday card. Having a positive attitude makes mental barriers disappear or, at least, it helps us not to look at them as so heavy.

    As a result, mental barriers turn challenges we need to overcome and our positive attitude just gives us the impulse we need to do it.

    Blocked New Invention Ideas?: How to Break Ordinary Mental Barriers With Positive Attitude

    You are too practical

    Being practical is definitely an advantage when you need to put your new invention ideas into practice. However, when practicality appears during the creative process it prevents your own creativity to blossom. And you may discard a crazy idea that is totally doable just because your inner Mr Practical is raising his voice.

    When you leave practicality aside and look at things with a positive mind you start discovering all the different shades of grey that your idea has. A positive mind allows you to ask yourself “What if…?” and find new sources of inspiration.

    Stuck in Finding the “Right” Answer

    We are trained to find the correct answer and discard all other possible alternatives. Our new invention ideas need to be THE most creative, THE most original, THE most innovative or they are not worthy.

    When this happens, only a positive attitude invites us to appreciate what we have thought of, reframing the issue in multiple ways.

    My Creativity Is Lost

    As it has already been said, everybody can come up with new invention ideas. Creativity is in our DNA and, therefore, it cannot be lost. We may have some more or less creative moments in our life but we can’t stop being creative.

    This is probably the mental barrier that is most difficult to break and the one that demands a conscious positive attitude. When you have a positive mind you are able to discover different alternatives and are more receptive to suggestions that may lead you to a total innovative answer.

     

    Author Bio: Edward Lakatis run and writes for Idea Design Studio, an invention development and marketing company. He is passionate about all things related to invention, and helping other inventors realize their products potentials. More of Edward’s writing can be found on http://ideadesignstudio.com/

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orofacial/8219604435


  10. How To Become A Completely New You

    October 25, 2013

    How To Become A Completely New You

    Have you ever felt a bit like life is on top of you? Like you always wake up tired? Like you have no energy and look worse because you’ve let yourself go? Have you ever wondered what it would be like not to be stressed?

    If you want your life to change then simply the change has to start with you. As Jackie Chan says: ‘don’t let your circumstances change you, change your circumstances’. For this you need a fresh start and a new leaf. Let’s look at how to create a new you who will be more confident, more energetic, more disciplined and more efficient.

    Step One – Your Attitude

    Now you’ve probably tried to create a ‘new you’ in the past at some point. Perhaps you’ve attempted a new training program and failed to stick at it, or maybe you made a decision to look for a different job then gave up. What was the problem that prevented these things from working?

    Well most likely your failure will have come down to two things: your mental attitude towards the challenge, and your energy/lifestyle. These two are very closely linked and you can’t really fix one without fixing the other.

    To start with then, you need to start prioritizing yourself and you need to start putting your health and wellbeing above everything else. You can’t just ‘start’ a new training routine you see: if you didn’t have the time or energy before then you won’t suddenly have it now. Instead you need to find a way to make room for it in your life by removing something else, or just getting up a little earlier. Perhaps make a pact with yourself to stop staying late at work, or maybe quit those classes that you weren’t really enjoying anyway.

    Then you need to find more ways to give yourself more energy. Look to see if your sleeping environment could be improved, start eating more fruit and veg, and schedule yourself in some time to rest and relax.

    Step Two – Your Look

    To make these changes though, you are also going to need enthusiasm and that will essentially come from your self-esteem. This is why it’s important to change the way you look and to improve your appearance as part of your all-over transformation. Start by getting a haircut which always makes everyone feel better about themselves, but then look at the other things that are holding you back. Are you unhappy with your teeth? Then perhaps now is the time to get some cosmetic dentistry. And how about changing up your wardrobe and getting help from a friend? This might seem like expensive vanity, but it’s not: when you feel better about yourself you will hold your head up higher and you will have infinitely more enthusiasm and energy for improving yourself in every other way too. This is a great catalyst for a new you.

    Step Three – Workout

    Now you should have more time and energy and you should be more confident with your looks. You’ll be brimming with enthusiasm hopefully to capitalize on your improved looks and your higher energy, so now’s the time to add a new workout to your routine.

    Make a workout then that works with your lifestyle as it is and then make a commitment to stick to it. Don’t think about long term goals for how you want to look or how much weight you want to lose by a certain time frame – instead make your goal to do the workout X number of times every week. That’s a goal that is directly within your control and it will put your focus where it should be. Then one day you will catch yourself in the mirror and notice that you’ve transformed your body. And that you’re more energetic, and more confident, and smarter, and stronger…

    That said, a little inspiration doesn’t hurt and the best source of inspiration for this is old pictures: old pictures of yourself when you were in your prime.

    Step Four – The Rest

    Now you have built a better you, it’s time to start changing your circumstances. Identify sources of stress in your life such as money or relationships and think about ways to combat them: often it just means scaling things back – focusing more on a few important relationships, or spending less on a monthly basis so you can save more.

    Then make a plan for your career and the way you want your life to be in the future. You have the power now to see it through, so the sky is the limit!

     

    Author Bio: Nancy Baker, works at Dental 359, providers of dental implants. A tech enthusiast, she is always on the lookout for the latest gadgets to hit the marketplace.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicoravassard/8568683430