Habits

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? Your Health May Depend on It

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  ~ Roald Dahl

Imagine a beautiful painting hanging on your bedroom wall. Every morning, just upon waking, you meditate on this inspiring work of art. You soon find that this daily practice energizes you and affects your entire mindset throughout the day, encouraging you to look for the beauty in life.

One morning, however, as you’re carrying out your morning ritual, you happen to notice a few of the artist’s mistakes.
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College

Stress Management Tips for Students

Students are one of the most common victims of stress. Factors such as financial expenses, overcommitment, family expectations, deadlines and workload all induce stress in students. While a mild amount of stress is very useful and acts as a motivation for students, too much stress can interfere with their daily lives.

When built over time, stress can give rise to a host of serious problems such as depression and anxiety. Managing stress in its early stages can help maximize the college/university experience and opportunities for students.

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General

7 Tips to Help Someone Else Change a Habit

In my book Better Than Before, I write about the many strategies that we can use to make or break our habits. There’s a big menu of choices, which is great, because it means that we all have a variety from which to pull. Some strategies work for some people, but not others. Some strategies are available to us at certain times, but not other times.

In the book, I focus mostly on what we can do, ourselves, to change our habits. But it’s very obvious that each of us can have a lot of influence on other people’s habits.  And often we really, really, really want to help someone else to change a key habit.
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Aging

Love is a Verb: Findings from the Longest Study on Happiness

For decades psychology as a science studied the flaws in human beings. Depression, anxiety and mental illness research and treatment protocols dominated the journals. Looking for causes and treatments, scientists sought to find ways to alleviate suffering for the populace. In spite of all the advances and success, one truth remained: Not being depressed isn’t the same as being happy.

Nonetheless, since 1938 researchers at Harvard have been collecting data about 724 men. The study followed two groups of men for 75 years. Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant began the study of 268 Harvard sophomores, while law school professor Sheldon Glueck studied 456 12- to 16-year-old boys who grew up in inner city Boston.

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Habits

Swimming Lessons

I have always loved water. The sound of it -- from the lapping of waves at the beach, to the pitter-patter of rain making different noises landing on different surfaces. Staying at my grandparents' rustic house when I was little, I could spend hours lying in bed just listening to the tinkling chime of raindrops against the tin rooftop.

Until recently, I made a habit of swimming regularly. I had forgotten how much I particularly love to be in water.

Some people get to think out the thoughts they have been meaning to sort out while on land. Some problems get solved under the water.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Natural Remedies for Rapid Relief of Anxiety

Excerpted and adapted from Anxiety: Top Tips For Rapid Relief Of Anxiety, Panic, Nervousness, and Worry by Lance Levan
Some forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) have proven to ease the stress of anxiety, based on research studies. Complementary medicine includes strategies that are not routinely used in Western medicine, although some doctors are favorable towards these methods.

Here are examples of several types of CAM that are used frequently to treat people with anxiety:

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General

7 Ways to Relieve Stress as a Manager

Everyone deals with stress, but managers tend to deal with an exceptional amount. Whether you’re managing employees, a property, a financial portfolio, or just your daily bills and chores, the process of management demands focus, accountability, and adaptation to factors beyond your control. All contribute to increased stress.

The dangers of excessive stress are well-documented, ranging from mental symptoms such as increased anxiety and depression to physical ones such as high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s impossible to eliminate stress entirely, but with the proper techniques and attention, you can manage your stress and prevent it from taking over your life. Try adopting these seven tactics to relieve and mitigate stress in your managerial role:

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Grief and Loss

The Top 7 Ways You Can Make Your Pain Work for You

Grief can be the garden of compassion. -- Rumi
Have you ever had lower back pain? I once wrenched my back and walked at snail’s pace for weeks, crippled by pain. Lower back pain troubled me for years, until I found an exercise that reliably switches off the pain.

Have you ever lost a loved one? The anguish can seem unbearable.

Abolishing pain might seem a good idea, but please pause to consider this story.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Is Your Microbiome Making You Crazy?

Anxiety, depression, brain fog, mood disorders, mood swings or just feeling out of sorts? It’s possible that the answers may lie in the health of the trillions of bacteria living in the intestine called the gut microbiome.

There is a profound connection between gut flora composition and mood. Depending on the different types and quantities that are prevalent, these bacteria can influence everything from the immune system, digestion, DNA expression, inflammation and brain function -- for better or worse. Bacteria are even known to play a role in serious conditions like autism and schizophrenia. Put simply, a balanced microbiome equals good health, but the opposite is true as well.

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