LifeHelper Articles

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep Better

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep BetterThe fancy digital, pedometer-bracelet thingy around my wrist tells me I slept six hours and 25 minutes with four interruptions. As I struggle to awake, my body can tell you, that isn’t nearly enough.

An estimated 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many nights, I am among them.

Aside from the health risks associated with inadequate sleep, such as depression, memory and attention issues, mood disorders, and the higher risk of physical illness, researchers at the University of Oxford now believe a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may also contribute to brain shrinkage. That thought alone might keep you up at night.

Reflect & Reframe

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Reflect and ReframeWe all know people who are well-educated but somehow aren’t very smart. We also know people without much formal education who are quite wise. So, it’s obvious that it’s not just what we learn in school that makes us smart. It’s more about how we use our mind and live our life.

To live life with a high degree of competence, it’s essential to frequently reflect and reframe.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder: Do You Have an Abnormal Sleep Pattern?

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Circadian Rhythm Sleep DisorderI was always bad at sleeping. My mom still talks of nightmarish times trying to get me to sleep as a baby and toddler. As a child, I kept a flashlight and a book on my nightstand so I could stay up after lights-out to read. As I grew, this trend continued.

I’m never tired at a “normal” bedtime. In fact, late nights are when I do some of my best writing. I am, however, exhausted in the morning.

I spent years trying to fit the mold, and always just figured I was a night owl until I finally heard about circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Being Able to Hear Yourself Think

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

head_workingHow many thoughts do we have in a day? There seem to be several conflicting numbers in the current literature, ranging from 12,000 to 80,000 per day.

With this high volume of mental activity, not all of our thoughts can be true, useful, or noteworthy. We often act like our thoughts are gospel truth and allow them to dictate our moods and reactions. We are human, and that’s what we do, until we have a method, rationale, or motivation to do otherwise.

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?Researchers believe that society is more willing to report, talk about and act on allegations of the abuse of vulnerable adults. Over the last two years, the number of reports of abuse has risen by almost two percent, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds, England.

Although it is impossible to determine whether this marks a real increase in adult abuse, or simply an increase in reporting, there are reasons to suggest that the latter may be more likely.

The Psychology of Journaling

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The Psychology of JournalingI would hazard a guess that the majority of writers keep a journal and that they have kept a journal from the moment they could write. If writing is in your soul, there is a fundamental need: to express, to expose, to exorcise — freely and often, across all forms.

Throughout my writing life — which started when I got my first pencil and learned (painfully) how to trace; and has since religiously continued — I have kept a journal, putting pen to paper as often or as rarely as circumstances, events, situations and emotions dictated.

Ways to Combat Insomnia

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Ways to Combat InsomniaIf you find yourself tossing and turning for hours, unable to go to sleep or stay asleep, you could be suffering from insomnia. Nearly 40 percent of Americans report some symptoms of insomnia in a given year. It can take a toll on one’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.

Chronic lack of sleep not only causes stress and depression, but has been linked to a cluster of disorders such as diabetes, memory loss, obesity, elevated blood pressure, an increase in bad cholesterol, and accumulation of dangerous abdominal fat hugging one’s internal organs.

Relearning How to Relate to People After a Major Trauma

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

IsolationWhen I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, it was almost impossible for me to talk to people, let alone relate to them.

If it wasn’t the constant anxiety and paranoia keeping me from engaging, it was the burden of having an 800 lb. gorilla that nobody understood hanging over my head.

How could I possibly get on anyone else’s level when there was this immense self-stigmatizing diagnosis of being crazy sitting on my shoulders?

How to Be More Assertive at Work

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At WorkWe’ve all had days or weeks or months at our jobs where we feel like we’re being taken advantage of. You know the feeling: if it doesn’t come in getting passed over for an opportunity, it comes at the hands of either your boss or coworkers not giving you the respect you think you deserve.

You’ve also come up with reasons why these things happen. Sometimes it’s because Jerry from the art department is a brownnoser. Sometimes it’s because of your bad luck and the notion that you just can’t catch a break. Overall, though, you just wish you could be more assertive.

When Depression Lies & You Feel Like a Failure

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

When Depression Lies & You Feel Like a Failure

Anybody who’s grappled with depression knows this: depression lies (or hashtag #depressionlies if you prefer). It tells us the sweet, seductive story that our life is bleak, without hope and therefore, without meaning.

But perhaps nobody knows this more than people who head up a company and are responsible for the livelihoods (and in some cases, the very lives) of their staff and employees. They feel the burden of responsibility even more if they have investors, advisers and bankers.

We know it because of highly-publicized suicides like Aaron Swartz and Jody Sherman — people who had bright futures, but couldn’t see them through the cloudy haze of the lies depression tells.

Is Taking Adderall to Boost College Brain Performance Cheating?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Is Taking Adderall to Boost College Brain Performance Cheating?A new study that will be presented tomorrow finds that 33 percent of students surveyed for a study at an Ivy League college said they did not think taking an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, like Adderall or Ritalin, is a form of cheating. Another 25 percent weren’t sure if it was cheating or not, and 41 percent thought it was.

It’s almost as if these college kids need to crack open a dictionary once in a while. Cheating is “to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.”

If you’re not taking an ADHD drug for ADHD but rather for its brain-boosting effects, guess what? — that’s cheating.

4 Proven Ways to Overcome Adversity

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

4 Proven Ways to Overcome Adversity   Does it seem like every challenge that you experience becomes a big headache in your life?

No matter what adverse events you are currently experiencing, there is a purpose behind each one. For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine that losing a child or finding out that you have cancer is a blessing. I know from personal experience.

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