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Positive Phil Podcast
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Positive Phil is a motivational keynote speaker and marketing consultant focusing on revenue generation and investor awareness for public companies. We provide practical advice, resources and the motivation to help realize full potential. www.positivephil.com

What to Do When You Lose $9 Million in a Day

I lost $9 million while I was on the set of the pilot of “Billions” season one, long before it became the huge hit it would be.

It was fascinating watching the shoot. I asked the director a ton of questions, the actors, the writers, etc.

I love to learn. And I love to see creativity in process.

I loved watching the actors shake to get ready for a scene. I loved how the director shot the same shot 10 times just to get the angle correct, while one car pulled out of a parking lot, inches from another expensive car pulling in (a metaphor for the risks the characters take).

I loved seeing the pleasure on the faces of my friends, the writers, as their vision was coming to life.

In the middle of the shoot, I got a call. Emergency Board meeting! I owned $9 million of the company.

I got excited! Maybe we were sold. Maybe my life was going to change.

It did, but in the opposite way.

Without going into the details: Bad stuff happened with one of the top shareholders of the company. The bank was calling in it’s loan. Everything was over.

That day, the bank kicked everyone out, locked the doors, and sold off every part of this billion-dollar revenue company to other customers of the bank.

Everyone won except us. Except me. I lost big.

I had seven hours left to go before the shoot was over and we were in the middle of nowhere.

Plus, I was terrified. Am I going to go broke? I’m going to go broke! My heart was beating so fast. I felt like I was going to throw up and cry.

But I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t follow my own advice.

I wanted to watch creativity in action. I wanted to watch the shoot. And I didn’t want to let something horrible pull me down.

You can always make money back. You can NEVER make one minute of time back.

You bounce back by eating well, sleeping well, exercising.

This was a big lesson: Don’t be around the wrong people. You bounce back by ONLY being around the right people. Toxic people ALWAYS bring me down.

You bounce back by having 10 ideas a day, exercising the creativity muscle until you glow with creativity every moment of the day.

You bounce back by NO time traveling. Don’t travel to the past where your regrets live. Don’t’ travel to the future where your fears live.

Lessons learned only live in the present. Satisfaction with life only lives right now, not in the future or past.

This is the only way I’ve ever been able to bounce back from a clusterf***.

I was scared. I was even terrified. A mountainside had fallen on me.

I had to almost hypnotize myself. I had to say, “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for.” To prove to myself that my own writing wasn’t just self-help BS like everything else. Blech!

A year later, I told one of the writers what happened. He said, “What? We couldn’t even tell. You were asking questions all day.”

I don’t write because I’m an expert. I write because I need to always remember my own advice.

My writing is the last branch on the tree for me… before I fall.

I don’t want to fall. I don’t want to fail.

I remember that day for the fun I had. And I remember that day because I passed my own test.

I focused on what was in front of me. Damian Lewis playing a billionaire. My friends creating. Directors shooting. Actors acting. I learned so much and I was happy.

I followed my advice. I reinvented myself. I chose myself. Again. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I do.

The more I practice choosing myself, the easier it will hopefully be each time.

The books I write are love notes to my future self. They are bedtime stories for an older me.

Write the book that is a love note to your future self.


James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Image courtesy of rawpixel.

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When the Remembering Knocks Me Down

“Wow,” he said before pausing and staring at me for a moment. “You have quite the story.”

“Yeah,” I smiled realizing what I’d just shared, “it’s been a wild ride.”

Sometimes I forget.

Sometimes I forget exactly how much I’ve walked through in just the last several years since my loss. I forget because I keep facing forward. I keep asking myself what needs to happen next in order for me to live my life as deeply aligned and fully expressed as possible. I keep leaning into the work and healing that’s right in front of me.

Sometimes though, I remember.

And inside of that remembering I’m knocked flat on my ass all over again. Because I’m reminded that some things about me no longer work like they used to. Because sometimes the simplest aspects of day-to-day life still spin me into anxiety and panic. Because I’m still afraid of experiences that are meant to be good and beautiful and all things lovely.

Healing from trauma is so far from a linear path that it’s downright maddening at times.

You think you’re good. You think you’ve healed and moved on. You think that maybe, just maybe, you can be a person in the world again the way you were before. But something reminds you that you can’t, at least not yet, and with that reminder comes the remembering of why.

For me, this is just part of the process of healing.
The forgetting. The remembering. The flattening.
Over and over again as many times as it takes. @StephenieZ (Click to Tweet!)

It’s just what happens as you find your footing in the aftermath of what’s hard and what hurts. From the things that broke you clean in two, leaving bumps and bruises on that deep soul level… in places you don’t always know exist until you brush against them at just the right angle.

The key is to keep moving.

Feel your feelings, let yourself be frustrated even, but don’t stop moving. This kind of healing isn’t linear, which makes it easy to question whether or not you’re making any progress at all… but you are, as long as you keep feeling, keep moving, keep navigating your way through.

Each and every time.

You’ve got this.


Stephenie Zamora is an author and life coach, business and marketing strategist, and founder of CallOfTheVoid.tv., where she merges the worlds of personal development, energy healing, intuitive coaching, writing, and mixed media art to help individuals rise up and come back from the darkest, hardest chapters of life. She guides her clients through the challenging process of re-orienting to their lives, relationships, and work in a way that’s fully aligned with who they’ve become in the aftermath of loss, trauma, depression, and big life changes. After struggling with PTSD, grief, and anxiety from a sudden and traumatic loss, she navigated her own difficult healing journey, and has set out to help others find the purpose of their own path using The Hero’s Journey as a framework. She is also the founder of Stephenie Zamora Media, the author of Awesome Life Tips®, creator of Journey Mapping Sessions™, and is currently working on a second book, Unravel. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Elite Daily, Positively Positive, and many other publications over the years. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or at www.CallOfTheVoid.tv.


Image courtesy of Joe Gardner.

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Forced to Press Pause in the City That Never Sleeps

We went to New York for some festive shopping…and took a trip down memory lane. We lived in New York for a few years and with as many years away, the City was still as familiar as ever.

NYC is my favourite city in the world actually. It has an energy like nowhere else somehow. But New York has personal significance for me too. Some of my most life-changing decisions have been made there.

I decided to look away from my 15-year tour of duty in PR on the Brooklyn Bridge. Both our children celebrated their first birthdays in New York too. I have many memories of those days my arms felt locked onto a stroller as we went ‘everywhere’ and ‘did everything’ on our NY bucket list. And some that weren’t. I can still recite the displays at Intrepid!

Now the son who so enjoyed that annual pass to Intrepid is taller than me, and my ‘baby’ … right on target, is very pre-teen.

Question: Are you the same person, from one year, or decade, to the next?

I walked around this city I feel so bonded with, seeing visions of my past self as I turned corners everywhere. And had big feelings as I struggled to find my own answer to this question.

Until something happened and I was forced to press pause. 

The boys had been to see an American Football game. Not exciting to us girls, we had opted instead for Fifth Avenue girls’ time.

The heavens opened that day as I think they only do in New York. Picture this. Open stadium. Drenched to their bones. For hours. And hours. And then some. The plastic ponchos they resorted to, not up to the job. Cue the flu that would take us down, one-by-one during our long-awaited trip back to NYC.

Awful timing obviously. But here’s why, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, that same trip was restorative.

The enforced pressing of ‘pause’ that came with the flu was thoroughly therapeutic. I dosed up and carried on doing most of the things we were there for…until there was no choice but to give in to a few hours in bed. On pause. And so this special week went along with the pendulum swinging from doing, to on pause/reflecting, then pressing play again.

It was disorienting. Confusing even. I kept glimpsing the Past Me, with such power it felt more like being transported back into those memories. Times that felt disjointed from Me Now and I struggled to reconcile how everything was so different. But I was the same. Wasn’t I?

I sat in bed too many times thinking around this and it turned into a very circular dialogue between me, myself and I. On-pause. Until the clever flu meds worked their magic for the next outing and the ‘doing’ distracted nicely.

But those enforced pauses were oddly therapeutic too. I wouldn’t have put those breaks in of my own accord, but it turns out I needed to protect pockets of time to think hard about how Past Me related to Me Now, and step back so I could see how the past had influenced what happened next. And process how I felt about that, now I was looking back.

If you look nostalgia up in the New Oxford Dictionary it tells you it is ‘sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past’.  I certainly feel like I experienced that.

But there’s more to nostalgia than its definition.

Nostalgia performs a powerful function.

Experts say we use nostalgia a bit like a homeostatic device. A bit like the heating mechanism that keeps our homes at our preferred temperature setting, nostalgia helps restore balance to our self-continuity when it’s threatened.

Because feeling a discontinuity of self is psychologically uncomfortable, and in the way of thriving at the best of times. And at times of career or life transitions, such as moving country, changing jobs or the identity-shift that comes with being a new parent, will trigger ineffective coping.

This risk of poor coping explains why the perception of yourself stretching back to your past and extending into the imagined future is so important. It’s why we reminisce and why it’s important to look back as well as forwards.

Especially at this time of year, when the tendency is to be immersed in the now and extend it to look forwards – setting intentions designed to drive us forward in our career or life.

Here’s the health warning. When we get overly immersed in extending our present, we resist change despite setting intentions. Because we are compelled to protect a stable sense of self. That keeps us as we are right now. There’s even evidence that we will actively mute good feelings if low self-esteem means that brings better continuity. Think about what that means at times your sense of who you are has been rocked to the core by a job loss or relationship break-up.

To truly thrive, we need to balance our unconscious need for self-continuity with some very intentional flexibility. Only then are we flexible enough to make the changes in life that will see us flourish. So, don’t set your aspirations in stone without pressing pause long enough to look back at where you’ve been. Then use the wisdom that perspective brings to extend your present.

Photo credit: Max Hansion

In New York that week, I learned the power of pressing pause long enough to look back. So far back it felt like having glimpses of a different me, not just a different time. I even remember imagining my as-yet-unknown Career two.

The irony wasn’t lost on me that an article I wrote recently about how to tell people you’ve been fired was published while we were in Central Park, among memories of pushing my one-year-old on the swings, preoccupied as I struggled to recalibrate from the redundancy that meant I could be over there for a month. I remember feeling conflicted about that opportunity as I grieved for a Lost Me and grappled with what I wanted to happen next.

I made promises to myself that I would start a different chapter…something that mattered to me…after my Family Chapter… And this was how I saw the link between that past self with what unfolded after that. So clear in hindsight, that I had already found meaning. Slowly I noticed. Then did something meaningful with that. Until years of studying and retraining later, Career two has become the coaching I live and breathe today.

Back from Central Park, on pause again, I reflected how far I’ve come from that place – being so unsure of what next, but so certain I needed ‘it’.

I was shocked to realise I felt grateful for those hard experiences. And felt nourished remembering my New York past, despite the unfulfilling fog I know I walked around in at times. And especially for how it all combined into a meaning-making system I didn’t recognise at the time, but that shaped my What Next.

So, put yourself on pause.

Recruit those memory systems and make them work for you too.

Unpacking the insights between your Past and your Now will help shape What Next, and drive the behaviours you need to get there.

Do you think you’re the same person, from one year, or decade, to the next? Are obvious changes within, aligned or misaligned with what you do in your everyday? Please share in the comments.


Helen Hanison is an executive coach. She helps professionals at a career crossroads to make a plan aligning work that they love with the life they want to lead. Then act on it. If you feel ready to talk first steps, email her here. She can also be found online at on her blog and on Facebook. If you would value some guidance with this process of using nostalgia to help work out What Next, I have put together a (free) PDF with the 5 important questions you need to make meaning from your memories and provoke thought about that. Just click here for the PDF and it will be sent. 

Image courtesy of Joe Yates.

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There Is a God

Over a hundred years ago in the town of Berditchev, there lived the saintly Rabbi Levi Yitzchak. One day he ordered the town crier to come to him.

“What is your wish?” he asked the rabbi.

“Go to every storekeeper and shopkeeper in the market place,” Levi Yitzchak commanded. “Tell them to close their business and assemble in the town square, for I have an announcement to make.”

“But, Master,” exclaimed the town crier, “today is market day and this is the busiest hour. Could you not postpone your announcement?”

“No,’” he replied. “Go and tell them that Levi Yitzchak has an important proclamation. It cannot wait a day or even an hour. They must halt their trading, close their shops, and come to the town square at once.”

The town crier reluctantly left to do the rabbi’s bidding. He stopped at every store and every shop and told the people that the holy rabbi had ordered them to come to the town square for an announcement of great significance. Grumbling at the ill-timed disruption, but with their curiosity piqued, the people obeyed the command, shut their stores and  gathered in the town square.

Once all had assembled, the rabbi stepped up onto a box, signaled for silence, and began to speak: “I have asked you to come here on this busy day at this busy hour because I have news of great consequence for all of you, news which cannot be delayed even another moment. And it is this: I declare to you: ‘There is a God in the world!”

There is a God in the world! A colleague of mine has sermonized that “given the fractured world we inhabit and the frenetic lives we lead, we often need reminding. But there is a God in the world, revealed in our yearning to do what is right and good; in gratitude for all that is beautiful in our lives beyond our ability to control or create, and in our courage to persevere through life’s inescapable sorrows.”

God given strength resides in each of us…and in those around us. Fred Rogers, remembered in the wonderful film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” told a favorite story from the Special Olympics:

“For the 100 yard dash. nine contestants.assembled at the starting line and at the sound of the gun took off. But not long afterward, one boy stumbled and fell…hurt his knee and began to cry. The other eight children heard him…slowed down and kissed the boy, and said.’This’ll make it better.” The boy got up, and he and the rest of the runners linked their hands together, and walked to the finish line.”

The world is full of people ready to say, “I will hold your hand if you let me.” The nineteenth-century holy man understood: “Human beings are God’s language,” he taught.

But what of those moments, a rabbi taught, when our own strength fails, and darkness conceals those hands reaching out to help us? Then, especially, we must remember Levi Yitzchak’s pronouncement: “There is a God in the world.”

THERE IS A GOD IN THE WORLD, AND NO ONE IS ALONE.


Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe, a cancer survivor, is a motivational/inspirational speaker on the theme NEVER GIVE UP! He authored “Why Me? Why Anyone?” which chronicles his rescue from leukemia and his spiritual triumph over despair. Known as “The Running Rabbi” for competing in the NY Marathon, he received the “Award of Courage” from President Ronald Reagan in a White House ceremony. Rabbi Jaffe was one of the clergy who visited the American hostages in Iran to offer them comfort and hope and was asked by the President to greet them at the White House upon their return. He received an honorary Doctorate from his seminary for “his work with the sick, and his noble influence upon all people. You can follow him on Facebook.


Image courtesy of J’Waye Covington.

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Why You Should Take the Leap and Go Back to School

Few major life decisions impact us as much as the choice to pursue furthering our education. Education opens new doors of opportunity and allows us to feel a sense of personal accomplishment. However, given the ever-rising cost of higher education, many of us question if the risk is worth the potential rewards.

The beautiful thing about education is nobody can take what you’ve learned away from you. While we all continue learning in many ways throughout our lives, the fact remains that once you have attained knowledge, it becomes yours for a lifetime. If you’ve been contemplating going back to school and furthering your education or even changing your entire career path, reflect deeply to ascertain if your desire to learn meshes with your true passions.

Listen to Your Heart

Think back to what you used to love as a child. Maybe you couldn’t get enough of playing school and teaching your stuffed animals and dolls. Perhaps you’ve always felt a natural affinity with animals, or you created sandcastles that made you the envy of other children on the beach.

Our childhood passions often segue into career ambitions. Some mystics think we develop our path in life even before birth, as we grow and explore our talents over several lifetimes. Those who follow monotheistic theologies believe God directs our actions and sends us signs to guide us to the correct career path.

Whatever your belief system, recurring thoughts of, “I wonder what it would be like to…” offer hints as to the best course of action to take. As you reflect, ask yourself how long and how often thoughts of changing career directions or learning new skills to elevate a current career to the next level cross your mind. If you’ve toyed with the idea of going back to law school since your undergrad days, why not give the LSAT a try before turning 40?

Do pay close attention to your underlying motivations. Avoid going back to school for the sole purpose of making more money. We all have taken work we don’t necessarily love to put food on the table. But while it seems logical to invest in education to advance your earning potential, chaining yourself to student loan debt to earn a CPA credential will lead to dissatisfaction with life if you spend your workdays dreaming of what it would be like to teach kindergarten.

Be Aware of Signs

Some people believe the universe sends us signs to set us on the right path. Others think we subconsciously create signals for ourselves that represent our hidden drives and desires. Regardless of whether either or both theories are correct, noticing signs indicates it’s time to make a change.

Maybe ads for a particular university always catch your eye. What about the ad grabs your attention? Your subconscious takes note of that which resonates with your deepest desires.

Our emotions exist to protect us from danger, so pay attention to feelings of burnout. Ask yourself how you feel when you awaken on a typical workday. If you hit the snooze button repeatedly to put off heading to work until the last minute, this indicates you’re not living your passion.

Likewise, take heed of the people you most admire. Do they work in your field, or in a different industry altogether? If everyone you look up to works in the medical field, perhaps you’d thrive as a nurse or a physician.

Consider how you spend your time when you’re off the clock. Going back to school does require making some sacrifices, including cutting back on other hobbies to create more time for hitting the books. But if you already spend countless hours online researching new recipes and methods of food preparation, you’ll find culinary school assignments challenging and rewarding.

Sometimes, the universe sends us irrefutable signs it’s time to make a career change. With ever-evolving technology, some jobs get eliminated through automation, while others become obsolete. If you find yourself in such a position, consider it a gentle kick in the pants to pursue another professional path.

Take a Leap of Faith

No reward comes without some degree of risk. Everyone doubts their major life decisions, but this feeling of discomfort doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve made a mistake. Feelings of insecurity indicate we’ve stepped outside our comfort zone.

If you currently have a job that pays the bills, and co-workers and managers you enjoy working with, the prospect of losing what you already have may cause hesitation. But ask yourself this question: What do you want to look back upon when lying on your deathbed? A comfortable, easy life? Or a life filled with the pursuit of what truly brings you joy?

As humans, we have short lives, and spending a third or more of our brief sojourn on Earth laboring in the wrong industry leaves us feeling unfulfilled. The finite nature of human existence compels us to fill our short days on this planet with meaning and purpose.

We all serve as the captains of our ships of existence. Even when life’s waters grow choppy, honoring our authentic selves helps make for smoother sailing. If you cannot remember the last day when the thought of going back to school didn’t arise in your consciousness, the time has come to take a leap of faith and pursue your educational and career passions.


Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She enjoys yoga day, red wine, and drinking all of the tea she can find. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Scott Webb.

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10 Things That Happen When Your Body Is Lacking Water

Unfortunately, a shocking 25% of kids and teenagers are lacking water throughout the day.

Most kids obtain their water through sources such as fruit juices, sugary beverages, and other subpar options. A recent study showed, however, that this just doesn’t cut it; children and teens need at least two to three quarts of water per day. So, unless they eat a ton of fruits and vegetables, they probably need to drink a lot more water.

The problem becomes even more widespread when you consider adults – one study found that half of American adults don’t drink the recommended amount of water per day. When your body is lacking water, this can cause a range of problems including digestive issues, urinary tract infections, fatigue, anxiety, and brain fog.

Unsurprisingly, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated according to a report by CBS.

Did you know that water makes up 60% of our bodies, 75% of our muscles, and 85% of our brains? With that said, most people don’t take hydration seriously enough. It doesn’t help that most of us drink energy drinks, coffee, and soda instead of drinking what our bodies actually need.

If you think you might not drink enough water on a daily basis, these signs will let you know for sure. Being on the lookout for these symptoms can help you take steps to make sure you stay hydrated and healthy.

Here are 10 signs Your Body Is Lacking Water

  1. Your skin, mouth, and eyes feel dry.

If you want to know whether you’re lacking water or not, look to your skin for the biggest clues. Being chronically dehydrated means you won’t sweat out as many toxins when you exercise, and this can lead to clogged pores and acne. You might also have dry, cracked skin.

If you don’t produce many tears, you might suffer from dehydration as well. However, this could point to a different eye problem, so you should talk to your doctor if you experience this issue. Obviously, it goes without saying that if you have a dry mouth and lips, you probably don’t drink enough water either.

  1. You don’t pee very often, and when you do, your urine is dark yellow or brown.

If you don’t pee much throughout the day and notice that when you do use the bathroom, you have dark urine, you definitely need to drink more water. Water helps to eliminate toxins and keep the renal system functioning correctly. If you don’t drink enough water, all the toxins will just accumulate in your body, and you’ll feel the effects in the form of exhaustion, brain fog, and other complications.

Also, pay attention to the color of your urine. If you have dark yellow or brown urine, you need to drink more water throughout the day. You may not want to consume a lot of water close to bedtime, however, because you’ll probably have to keep waking up to use the bathroom. Yellow or brown urine signifies that your body is holding onto water in order to carry out vital functions.

Try bringing a refillable water bottle with you to work or school so that you can get your recommended water intake.

  1. You have frequent back and joint pain.

Your body’s cartilage contains nearly 80% water, so replenishing fluids after you sweat will keep your bones and joints lubricated and healthy. Water helps to protect your joints and bones during strenuous activities or unexpected events, such as when you exercise or if you happen to trip or fall. Back pain could mean your kidneys aren’t working properly; if your body is lacking water, some studies show that this could lead to permanent kidney damage.

Dehydration causes a buildup of muscle proteins called myoglobin in the kidneys, which can cause kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

If your body is seriously lacking water, you might experience back and joint pain often.

  1. You experience frequent fatigue and mood swings.

Water carries oxygen into the body, so the more water you drink, the more vibrant and rejuvenated you will feel. However, if your body is lacking water, it turns to your blood to obtain oxygen, which can leave you feeling depleted and fatigued. Because your body lacks oxygen, all your systems will slow down to compensate. 

Inevitably, you will feel moodier and more exhausted, which will make it hard to carry out necessary tasks during the day. In fact, studies have shown that decreasing water intake in people who normally drink a lot of water leads to feelings of discontentment and anxiety. However, increasing water intake for those who usually drink very little leads to less fatigue and confusion.

  1. You feel hungry, even after you eat.

Most people associate a growling in their stomach with hunger, but thirst cues originate in the same part of the brain. If your body is lacking water, it may trick you into thinking you’re hungry when you really just need a glass of water (or two!) Next time you feel hungry, try drinking water instead of eating. If you just ate something, you’re probably just dehydrated.

However, if the pain persists, you probably need to put some food in your belly as well.

  1. You suffer from high blood pressure.

When you don’t drink enough water, your blood becomes thicker, resulting in slower blood flow and a buildup of sodium in the blood. Dehydration combined with a high-sodium diet and sedentary lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause some of the other health problems we mentioned in the article.

  1. You have high cholesterol.

Water retention is another thing that happens when your body is lacking water. Essentially, it holds onto any water it can find in order to keep you alive. In this study, 15 people were told to fast in two different conditions: once without replacing fluids, and another with supplementation of salt and water.

Researchers found that when the participants fasted without fluid replacement, they had much higher total serum cholesterol levels than when they supplemented with salt and water. While most people don’t fast, most people do suffer from dehydration, and therefore, are prone to high cholesterol.

  1. You have digestion problems.

Water helps move waste through your body, so if you lack water, you may suffer from digestive issues. Water gets toxins out of the body, but if you don’t drink enough of it, your waste will move much slower, which can result in constipation and stomach pain.

When your body is dehydrated, the large intestine holds onto excess water from the foods you eat. As we said before, the body does this as a survival mechanism; it senses that you don’t have enough water in your system, so it retains water from any source it can find. Because your waste will move slower due to the lack of water, you may notice digestive issues and an overall feeling of fatigue.

  1. You get rashes on your skin often.

Water helps the skin remain hydrated and moist; without enough water, your skin might appear dry, cracked, or red. When your body is lacking water, this makes for the perfect environment for toxins to build up on the skin. Acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin disorders can result from dehydration.

itchy skin

  1. You get bad headaches and brain fog frequently.

When you are dehydrated, your brain tissue loses water, which causes the brain to pull away from the skullThis sends alerts to the pain receptors surrounding the brain, which can cause anything from a mild headache to a migraine. When your body is lacking water, your blood flow slows down, which means less oxygen in your brain.

In turn, your body senses the lack of oxygen and dilates the blood vessels in the brain, which can lead to inflammation. The result is a pounding midday headache while you’re at work or school. If you experience headaches often, you might try drinking more water.

Final thoughts

We hope this article shed some light on the complications that can occur as a result of not drinking enough water. Throughout our days, many of us don’t prioritize water, but we cannot survive without this precious resource. It literally pours life into our bodies, so make sure you bring a water bottle with you so you can feel rejuvenated and hydrated during your day.

If you have kids in school, make sure they know the importance of drinking water so that they don’t feel tempted to buy a soft drink or other sugary beverage at school.

In reality, we don’t need to drink anything other than water and maybe the occasional cup of tea. By teaching kids the right things to put in their bodies, they will feel less inclined to buy drinks that damage their health.

Send them to school with a water bottle to ensure they get enough water throughout the day. A glass or stainless-steel bottle is best, since harmful chemicals from plastic bottles can leech into the water.

To your continued hydration!

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10 Ways to Relieve Eye Pain Naturally

Eye pain can be a debilitating and frustrating experience that can hinder your day-to-day activities. Let’s face it, we use our eyes to do just about everything. When our eyes hurt, it can drastically alter our mood and day. How to reduce eye pain becomes the focal point of our existence until the pain is resolved.

Because of the delicate nature of the eye and its vital importance, some are hesitant to use anything harsh or chemically laden to reduce eye pain. The good news is there are no less than ten fact-based natural ways you can relieve eye pain naturally. You may already have some of the items from this list on hand.

Let’s take a look at ten natural ways you can reduce pain in your eyes regardless of whether the pain is the result of pink eye, corneal abrasions, sinusitis, a sty, eye strain, dry eyes, or other common causes.

Ways to Reduce Eye Pain

 

1. Eye Exercises

Pained eyes caused by eye strain is fairly common. With the amount of time we spend staring at computer and cellphone screens, unless you are diligent about taking preventative measures, at some point most of us will deal with the eye pain that comes from eye strain. Eye exercises, sometimes called yogic eye exercises or eye yoga, offer a simple workout that will reduce eye pain.

A 2016 study showed(1) that participants who practiced eye exercises for just two days a week for eight weeks show significant improvement with a decrease in eye fatigue. Some of the stretches prescribe in eye yoga routines can bring immediate relief.

2. Warm or Cold Compresses

Using a warm or cold compress for eye pain can bring near instant relief. Both improve the blood circulation of the eye and can relieve eye strain by encouraging the eye to relax. If the pain in your eyes is due to eye strain or the pain leaves a hot sensation, using a cold compress may bring the most relief.

If the pain in your eyes is due to an infection or sty, you may want to use a warm compress. This will not only soothe but help draw out the sty by loosening what’s blocking the oil gland. You can soak a washcloth in warm or cold water and apply to your eyes for five minutes two to three times a day.

3. Breast Milk

If you’re a breastfeeding mom then you may have heard that breast milk can be used to treat pink eye. While there is some evidence to support this claim, the larger evidence points to this liquid gold being an effective treatment for dry eye syndrome. A 2016 study showed(2) that human breast milk prevented and reduced the damage caused by dry eye syndrome in mice.

There are no studies that support the claim that breast milk can cure any strain of bacteria or virus responsible for pink eye; however, a 2012 study by Baynham and colleagues acknowledged that human breast milk inhibited the growth of certain strains of bacteria.

4. Honey

Honey has been used for quite some time around the world for its healing abilities. It is the only edible substance that does not go bad or spoil. This is due in part to its rich antimicrobial properties. Jars of honey found sealed in ancient Egyptian tombs are still safe to eat today.

Honey has been proven to reduce inflammation and bacteria that can cause eye infections. It can also help reduce eye pain due to dry eyes. When using honey for pain in your eyes, do not use raw honey. You will want to dilute your honey until it has a runny, watery consistency. Use sterilized water to dilute it.

5. Cold Pressed Castor Oil

The antioxidants and fatty acids, ricinoleic acid particularly, in castor oil help to reduce irritation and swelling in the eyes. The rich thickness of this oil may leave you in doubt of its effectiveness at relieving pain in eyes, but anti-inflammatory components of castor oil can soothe dry irritated eyes(3) as well as bring relief for pained eyes associated with allergies.

Make sure that the castor oil you use for your eyes is pure, and preferably organic. You can apply one to two drops to the affected eye twice a day.

6. Water: Stay Hydrated

Dehydration could very well be at the root of the pain that develops in your eyes. When you don’t consume enough water all of your organs suffer, including your eyes. Some of the first symptoms of a body not properly hydrated will be dry eyes and mouth. Dehydration can cause your tear glands to not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moisturized, resulting in eye strain and irritation.

The suggested eight glasses of water a day may not be adequate for you, depending upon your weight and lifestyle. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men should drink about 3.7 liters of water a day. This amounts to 15.5 cups. Women are recommended to drink 2.7 liters, or 11.5 cups per day.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is another natural remedy commonly used in food that can bring relief to those suffering from pain in their eyes. Curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that makes it an inflammatory fighting powerhouse. Turmeric is also antimicrobial and capable of fighting eye infections.

A root that is ground into a fine golden powder, turmeric must be diluted with water before applying it to the eyes. Distilled or sterilized water will do. Just add a half a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of water and apply twice daily by dropper or as an eyewash.

8. Green Tea Bags

Using a warm or cold green tea bag as a compress can give you a double benefit: the healing properties of green tea, and the soothing effects of a warm or cold compress. The potent polyphenol antioxidants in green tea are responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. It can also help relieve eye pressure caused by glaucoma.

green tea to reduce eye pain

Green tea also contains caffeine, which can constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation and pain in eyes. To use green tea for pain in your eyes, dip your tea bags in warm or cold water and drain the excess fluid. Place the tea bags over your eyes and allow to sit for five to ten minutes. To reduce eye pain, you can repeat this process two to three times a day.

9. Aloe Vera Gel

It may not surprise you that Aloe Vera is not only beneficial for burns on the skin but can also help with painful eyes. This ancient and widely used succulent is famous for its beauty enhancing properties and ability to sooth almost instantly. The moisturizing and antimicrobial properties of Aloe Vera make it great for soothing irritated and inflamed eyes.

A 2012 study(4) showed that Aloe Vera was effective at treating inflammation and ailments associated with the external portion of the eye. When using Aloe Vera for painful eyes, use fresh whole leaf aloe and dilute it with a few drops of distilled water until it’s a runny consistency before applying to the eye.

10. Neti Pot and Essential Oils

Painful eyes are not always caused by strain or infection. Sometimes it can be caused by the excessive pressure of sinusitis. Clogged or inflamed sinus passages can result in a very distinct kind of eye strain that feels like an enormous pressure behind the eyes. Few over-the-counter pain medications can relieve this.

A neti pot is a nasal irrigation tool that helps clear blocked sinus passages and relieve sinus pressure. The neti pot uses sterile room temperature water and can be soothing to inflamed sinuses. Add essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, or tea tree to your neti pot solution to add antimicrobial benefits.

Final Thoughts

First, determine what is causing your eyes to hurt so that you can be better equipped to address it. Even if you’re unable to determine the root of your pain issue, most of the methods on this list will be beneficial.

You don’t have to suffer from eye pain or worry that there aren’t any viable natural methods to reduce it. The methods listed above are fact-based ways you can resolve your problem without resorting to conventional methods.

In fact, things like honey, turmeric, and breast milk have been used for hundreds of years to promote eye health. It is only now that we have scientific evidence to support these practices. Use one of the ten methods mentioned above today to help with your pain or combine a few methods listed here for additional relief.

The post 10 Ways to Relieve Eye Pain Naturally appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

12 Secrets To Finding Your Real True Love

If you’re single, you may be wondering, “Where is my soulmate?” Date after date, it gets harder to believe that you’ll find the person that you’ve been longing to meet all your life. Though you may feel that true love isn’t in the cards for you, you’d be wrong.

Tips for Finding Your True Love

We all want that happy ending where everything falls into place and the story ends with wedding bells. Though your story may be a little different than your favorite RomCom, your prince or princess is out there. Keep reading to discover 12 secrets to finding your true love.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Fall in Love

While many of our society’s most popular love stories make it seem like one’s true love will just show up out of no where, the truth is that we have to be open to the idea of falling in love if we ever hope to meet our soulmates.

The truth is that while many people do desire to fall in love, they haven’t mentally or emotionally prepared themselves for that process. These people have been hurt in their past romantic relationships and have subconsciously closed themselves off as a way to protect themselves from more heartbreak.

Though no one ever wants to get hurt, risking yourself is all part of the process of falling in love. If you really want to fall in love, you have to take the risk that you might get hurt again. Though it won’t be easy, it will be be worth it.

2. Don’t Lose Faith That You’ll Find Your Soulmate

The thing about love is that it will happen when you least expect it to. You can spend your life planning for the right moment, but when it comes to finding true love, you just have to let it happen to you.

Though there are no guarantees when it comes to finding your soulmate, you shouldn’t ever lose faith in the possibility that you will fall in love. Regardless of how many poor experiences you’ve had trying to find The One, you must keep the faith that you’ll meet the right person eventually.

Whenever you get the urge to embrace pessimism and the idea that you’ll never find someone, don’t.

The words that you speak over your life eventually become a reality. For this reason, you must continue to believe that you are going to find the right person and that you will meet them when the timing is right.

3. Focus on Finding Yourself

In the search to find true love, you must first find yourself.

If you haven’t yet fallen in love with the person that you are becoming, you will never be able to truly love another person. Spend this time getting to know who you are and learning how to be your most confident self.

Whenever it is that you do meet your soulmate, you’ll be able to share this happiness that you’ve already found in yourself with another person.

4. Walk Through Life with Confidence

Confidence is undeniably sexy. This quality is incredibly attractive and is a sign that you truly love yourself.

Wherever you are in your personal journey, it’s essential for you to become truly confident in who you are as a person. While this confidence is important when trying to attract your true love, the first person you must be confident for is yourself.

While we all have flaws, this shouldn’t stop you from being confident that you are incredible, unique, and a person that deserves to be loved unconditionally.

5. Identify What You are Searching for in a Soulmate

Though your soulmate can be anybody, it is important that you have an idea of the type of person that you are hoping to meet.

Start this process by making a list of qualities that you hope to find in your ideal partner. This will help you identify if a potential partner has most of these qualities, making it easier to decide whether or not to pursue a relationship with that particular person.

6. Get Out and Be Active

While you don’t have to go on dates every night in hopes to find the love of your life, you certainly won’t find your future partner by sitting at home 24/7.

Now is the time to start trying new things. Have you always wanted to start a certain hobby? Is there a particular culture you’ve always wanted to learn more about? If your answer is yes, it’s up to you to get out and make these things happen.

While you’re out enjoying your life and learning more about things that you’re interested in, you’ll definitely meet people that have the same interests as you. Whether you fall in love with these people or not, you’ll be sure to learn more about yourself in the process.

7. Claim What Has Already Happened

Though we all live in the present, part of creating a mindset of abundance requires us to think about the future as if it has already happened.

Instead of saying how much you “want” to find your perfect partner, it’s time for you to start thinking that you “already have” your soulmate.

This simple shift can change everything in your life. Instead of filling your spirit with a sense of desperation, you’ve already claimed that these things are going to happen in your life.

Affirmations like “I’ve found the love of my life” will confirm what you already believe deeply in your soul.

8. Trust Your Inner Voice

As you meet new people, go on dates, and enjoy living life, you may find yourself wondering, “Is this my soulmate?”

While we can’t answer that question for you, your inner voice can.

You have to listen to your intuition to know whether or not someone is right for you. As you consider whether or not you’ve found The One, remember to be true to yourself.

With your soulmate, you’ll hear a voice deep within that tells you, “This is the one.”.

9. Keep Chemistry in Mind

Many people hoping to find their soulmate often wonder how important chemistry is in a relationship.

You won’t have great chemistry with everyone and everyone that you do have chemistry with won’t be your soulmate.

true love

That being said, be sure to pay attention to how well you both get along with each other. Do you genuinely like spending time with one another? Is it easy to talk to them about anything?

This type of chemistry is important and should be a factor in choosing your soulmate.

10. Always Choose to Be Authentic

Sometimes, we worry that someone will like us more if we hide certain things about ourselves or try to change our personalities in a certain way.

If you are tempted to pretend to be something you’re not as you try to find your soulmate, you’ll end up attracting someone that isn’t right for you.

You have to be your real self if you hope for someone to really love you for you.

If you’ve had negative experiences in the past after you revealed your true self, leave those interactions in the past. Those people weren’t right for you and that is why they are no longer part of your life.

11. Keep an Open Mind

Though you should have certain qualities in mind for the type of partner you’re looking for, you should always keep an open mind no matter what.

For some people, their soulmate is the last person that they would’ve expected. By allowing yourself to approach the idea of finding love anywhere, you’ll be prepared to welcome love with open arms when it does happen.

As you look for the right partner, try to search for people based on their intrinsic values and characteristics rather than physical attributes. While outward appearances do play a role in attraction, the most important qualities are what’s on the inside.

12. Keep Improving Yourself

Life is all about self-improvement. We should never stop trying to grow into the best versions of ourselves, even after we meet the love of our lives.

This self-improvement can take on many forms–whether you consider learning a new skill, taking a few online courses, or going to therapy, it is important to invest in things that will result in positive growth.

Consider looking through your past relationships to identify any negative patterns. Taking the time to work through these issues will help you to prepare yourself to enter into a new relationship when the time is right.

Final Thoughts on True Love

There is no secret recipe to finding your soulmate. If you’re searching for a quick-fix for falling in love, the first thing you must do is start falling in love with yourself.

Don’t give up on finding the love of your life. As you continue to live your best life and prepare for the day you meet your soulmate, be sure to keep these 12 tips in mind. The love of your life is out there, just keep believing.

The post 12 Secrets To Finding Your Real True Love appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

Dietitians Explain 5 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight

For many, losing weight is one of many goals. But it’s definitely something easier said than done. People try all sorts of tips and tricks and give a wide variety of fad diets a go, but it’s still a tricky task. In fact, many people who do lose weight end up regaining it all within a few years.

So what’s the secret to weight loss? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to losing weight. But there are some things you can keep in mind that will help you make smarter weight loss decisions. Here’s how dietitians explain some things you need to know about losing weight.

 

Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight

1.    It’s A Long-Term Commitment

Losing weight is a serious commitment and takes lots of positive thinking, discipline, and dedication. Once you start changing your lifestyle to adopt healthier habits, you’ll have to keep these habits up for the foreseeable future.

According to Lauren Slayton, a dietician, book author, MS, and RD, there isn’t truly a “maintenance” phase of weight loss. Yes, there is a point where you reach your goal weight and stop repeatedly trying to lose more, but this doesn’t mean going back to old eating habits; that will only cause you to bounce back and gain fat again.

Essentially, you will have to maintain your healthy habits to some degree after hitting your goal weight. There’s no true “finish line,” so to speak. It’s important that your new habits, eating plans, and exercise routines line up with your lifestyle. Don’t pick something impossible to keep up or something that clashes too much with what you already have going on.

The good news is that things do get a little easier after a certain point. Your cravings for unhealthy food will lessen significantly. You’ll see tons of positive benefits, including:

  • Better skin
  • Sharper focus and concentration
  • Increased levels of energy
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and other similar conditions
  • Increased life span

The truth of the matter is that any “quick fix” diet claiming to help you slim down within mere weeks isn’t worth it. Any positive effects you do get from these types of arrangements will very quickly become undone when you go back to your old diet. Losing weight is a slow process, but it is worth it in the long run; so, hold on to that.

2.    Detoxing Is Unnecessary

The word “detox” has been touted as some kind of weight loss miracle for years. Many sing praises about it. The truth is that it doesn’t quite work that way, and there is virtually no scientific truth behind these claims; that’s something you need to know about losing weight.

These “cleanses” are supposed to remove toxins from your body. But all they do is put your body into starvation mode. It’s likely that a detox will help you lose weight quickly, but those few pounds you lose are going to build back up as soon as you stop the “detox” cleanse.

And, of course, continuing the cleanse for long periods is not a good idea. It will result in heavy levels of fatigue and malnutrition and will be the equivalent of you starving yourself – something you should never do if you are in the process of losing weight. (If you find yourself doing so compulsively, speak to a doctor immediately.)

The Truth about Detoxing

If you go on one of these cleanses as a way of detoxing your system, this is not the right method for weight loss. Your body naturally detoxifies itself on its own and doesn’t need any help in this manner. Your kidney and livers naturally remove toxins from your body on a regular basis, keeping you “cleansed” in a natural manner. Attempting to make this happen yourself through a strict diet or supplements does more harm than good.

As a matter of fact, most detox diets can be extremely dangerous, especially for those with pre-existing medical issues. They can lead to excessively low blood glucose levels, and there is no scientific evidence that they do anything for your cholesterol levels or blood pressure.

The kind of “detox” you should do isn’t a detox at all – it’s just healthy eating. Removing junk foods and empty calories will work wonders for your system. Limit highly processed foods and increase your intake of whole food, and you will see much more long-term results – and feel healthier for it.

3.    What You Drink Matters

Believe it or not, a lot of times, the biggest hindrance to losing weight can be what you are drinking. Many people forget to consider that their beverages might be too high in calories. Soda, alcoholic beverages, and juices can be so packed with calories they offset any deficit you’ve been trying to work up.

The best drink you can possibly go for is plain water, but if you’re craving something a little more flavorful, low-fat or fat-free varieties of milk, or perhaps some seltzer, are great options. These are all low in calories and mostly good for you! You can even add some fruit to your water for an infused drink. That said, water is perhaps the most necessary of these drinks for weight loss.

  • Drinking a glass before a meal can help to get you full faster, thus helping you restrict your portions.
  • Just 16 oz. of “sky juice” half an hour before lunch or dinner is a great way to help yourself feel satisfied, even with less calorie intake.
  • Studies say this practice is great for losing weight!
  • Water is also calorie-free; best of all, it can actually increase the rate at which you burn calories.
  • Just 10 minutes after a glass of water, the amount of energy you expend jumps up to 30% for a whole hour!
  • This means drinking water before a workout or before walking around and being on your feet can have a positive effect on calories burned.

But how much water is enough water? Around 2 liters daily should suffice, or roughly 8 glasses. As a rule of thumb, though, just drink whenever you feel thirsty; don’t deprive yourself of water! Try not to let an hour go by without a drink, even if it’s just a sip.

4.    Making Small Changes Is Okay

Some people are able to go all-in to a brand new diet with no holds barred and stick to it, no problem. But this is far from a reality for most people. If you’re having trouble keeping consistent with your diet, try going slowly.

You’d be surprised how small changes can make all the difference in the world. Maybe replace your cookies with fruit, or reduce the sugar you take in your drinks, or perhaps reduce your serving portions by 10% at a time until you’re able to cut them in half!

Reducing calorie intake by just 500 per day amounts to one pound of weight loss every week – and you don’t even need to go that quickly! Combined with exercise, a little difference can go a long way. Don’t look down on the little things. Just take it slowly and work to do better the next day, and the next day, and the next, until you’re where you want to be.

Remember, losing weight is not a race. Take it at your own pace and relax. Don’t hesitate to push yourself when you can, but don’t overwork yourself. Doing too much and making yourself miserable is more likely to backfire than work out.

5.    Don’t Focus On Perfection or Comparison

Anyone whose goal in weight loss is to be perfect or look like someone else is doomed to never accomplish that feat. Starting with this toxic mentality in mind will only result in disappointment.

The problem with comparing yourself to others and wanting to be like them is that your body is entirely different from theirs. Your body stores fat different and burns it off differently too.  Unfortunately, you are not going to look like the celebrity, influencer, or friend you have in mind, no matter how much positive thinking you put into it.

Instead of focusing on looking like others, place effort into being the best version of yourself. Customize your diet plans to what best suits you. Find your basal metabolic rate and work from there. Be realistic about your goals and manage your expectations.

Even more dangerous than comparison is the drive for perfection. You need to be ready to try different kinds of diet adjustments until you find something that works for you. There isn’t any one specific type of diet that can work for everyone, so be prepared to try some different types before you find the perfect one. Others may crowd your head with information, but understand that only you truly know what is best for your body.

Above all else, you need patience.

weight loss

  • It can take a while to get used to a new diet, as you will be consuming fewer calories than you used to, and you may be exercising a little more so you’ll feel more tired.
  • You may also find yourself feeling more than a little obsessed about food.
  • As long as you aren’t starving yourself, you’re okay.

In addition, it may take a while for you to start seeing any changes on the scale. You may also, eventually, hit a weight loss plateau after a while. You may even see the number on the scale go upwards if you’re working out, and muscles mass is replacing fat mass.

Basically, don’t be too hard on yourself. Expect to take small, slow steps and make good changes slowly. If you have bad days, don’t take it as a permanent step back! Celebrate even the smallest improvements and don’t aim for perfection – aim to never give up!

Final Thoughts On Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight

Weight loss is never an easy journey. But with all the misinformation on the best weight loss methods floating around the Internet, it’s important to know what’s real and what isn’t. Going about things the wrong way, or starting with the wrong idea in mind, is a surefire way to fail.

By taking to heart these 5 things dietitians say you need to know about losing weight, your progress will be rooted in science, and you’ll have a much better chance at succeeding. Remember to always speak to your doctor before trying any diets or weight loss plans!

The post Dietitians Explain 5 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

5 Bras Women Should Never Wear

Many women can attest that buying the right bras aren’t easy. While you’d love to just pick a pretty, lacey number or a practical, well-built model right off the shelf and purchase it, so much more goes into choosing a bra that really, truly works.

Unfortunately, modern fashion trends tend to ignore what the right kind of bra is. This means many women get swept up in fads that are surprisingly bad for them – especially when these trendy brands don’t talk about how much worse they are than “boring” ones!

At the same time, there is very little information on how to buy the “correct” bra for one’s body. This means many who think they’re buying good, practical bras or supportive fashionable ones are doing themselves more harm than good.

The right bra is crucial to the health of your breasts, and even the health of the rest of your body. Most varieties are safe to wear, but there are some that have little to no redeeming qualities. Here are some bras women should never wear!

Here Are 5 Bras Women Should Never Wear

1.    Sticky “Invisible” Bras

The fad of sticky bras took Instagram by storm when they were first released. The idea is that they are backless and strapless so they go with any and all clothes. They are also designed for those with smaller breasts, in order to push them together to create more pronounced cleavage.

While they seem cool, not only do they rarely ever work how they’re supposed to, but they’re also bad for your chest. These bras aren’t magically sticking without any help. They’re using a kind of glue to accomplish this – and your skin isn’t meant to handle being stuck to objects with glue of any kind!

These bras, which use a string or clasp to pull the breasts together, are very tight on the skin in ways you may not notice. This type of tightness can lead to bad circulation, and can even cause increased sweating, which will offset the effects of the glue.

Worse still, those with sensitive skin will soon notice that the mix of glue and sweat they experience while wearing these bras gives them negative reactions. You may develop rashes or become itchy and have irritated skin. And this doesn’t even touch on the sad lack of support you get from just sticking a piece of fabric over your chest!

So what alternatives are there? Here are some options:

a)    A Push-Up Bra

Many women with smaller cup sizes use these bras for the enhancing effect. But you can achieve something similar with push-up bras! The thick padding within effectively raises the breasts to make them look larger.

Plus, most push-up bras have plenty of underwire, meaning they offer great levels of support and firmness. Many make the mistake of thinking underwire is bad for you, but they’re actually pretty positive and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they harm you.

b)    A Strapless Bra

Sticky bras are great for doing away with annoying bra straps, but strapless bras achieve the same look. Although they’re not the best option for everyone – especially those with bigger breasts – they provide a good amount of support through close stitching, underwire, and a firm band. They also stay hidden in most tops.

c)    The Halter or Racerback Bra

Another reason you might want to use a sticky bra is because you don’t want your bra straps to show under a halter top blouse. But racerback bras solve this issue! Their straps come together in the back, remaining hidden in these circumstances.

Racerback bras also provide a lot of support as they’re better at holding breasts in place. This is even true for larger chested ladies!

d)    A Convertible Bra

If versatility is why you want a sticky bra, the convertible kind is a great choice. You can move the straps around to match your top or even remove them altogether, depending on your preferences.

e)    Go Braless!

In some situations – like if you’re wearing something backless – the best option if you don’t want a bra to be seen is not to wear one at all! Sure, you don’t get any support, but you won’t suffer skin irritation, either.

2.    Bras That Fit Badly

A whopping 80% of women are wearing a type of bra women should never wear – ill-fitting ones. A too tight bra can result in countless different kinds of health problems, including:

  • Pain in the neck
  • Pain in shoulders
  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin irritation
  • Stretched breast tissue
  • Distorted breast tissue
  • Compressed breast tissue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Poor circulation
  • Breast cancer (yes, really)

The best way to avoid ill-fitting bras is to try on bras the right way. Here are some things to look out for when you’re trying them, and some things to keep an eye out for when wearing bras you own.

  • Raise your arms. Your bra should not shift too much or restrict your movement.
  • You should not have “double breasts,” where your breasts bulge out over the top of the bra.
  • Your straps should not slide down.
  • You should not feel as though your shoulders are being yanked forward.
  • Your breasts should look and feel supported and not droop downwards.
  • The band at the back of your bra should never ride up.
  • Your bust should stay in place and stay centered and even on your chest.
  • The middle of your bra should touch your breastbone.
  • Look out for reddish marks forming around your shoulder with bras you own.
  • Does it feel uncomfortable at all? Any time a bra feels uncomfortable, don’t rely on positive thinking to ignore it – switch to a better-fitting one.

If you wear tighter bras for better support and are just now discovering how dangerous that can be, here are some options for you:

a)    A Sports Bra

Sometimes, people buy bras that are too tight to keep their breasts in place better. After all, heavy movement around the bust can be uncomfortable and even painful. But not only is using a tight bra ineffective for the most part, it’s also bad for health.

Sports bras are designed to be able to hold everything in place and provide support, even during intense physical activity. Ensure you have the right size when buying them, as the band size can differ from typical bras.

b)    A Full-Support Bra

Sure, they’re not the most attractive-looking, but for everyday wear, full-support bras are great options. They’re great for those with bigger breasts, who may have trouble finding bras that fit well and resort to ill-fitting sizes. They’re practical and utilitarian, providing positive effects on breast health.

c)    The Minimizer Bra

These bras are designed to appear slimming. Someone who wears tighter bras may be trying to pull in their bust for a frame they deem more “desirable.”

Of course, the fact is that all bust sizes are beautiful. But if this is your goal, try for a minimizer bra instead. They’re extremely supportive and help press your breasts back to reduce their size for a slimmer silhouette.

3.    Plastic Bras

Plastic bras, ranging from clear transparent ones to those colored and tinted and covered with patches and designs, are all the rage right now. But wearing them directly against your skin will have the same effect as wearing any other kind of plastic underwear – and it’s not fun.

These bras are extremely uncomfortable to begin with, so investing in one usually spells awkward days ahead. But even if you’re going for fashion over comfort, these bras aren’t very breathable. This means they can cause allergies and rashes, and their lack of air circulation equals more sweat to cause these skin reactions.

On top of that, plastic bras are noisy and chafing. Every move is marked by a squeak. So if you’re buying them to feel sexy, that won’t last for long! Here are some more positive alternatives to plastic bras.

a)    A Strapless Bra

If you’re using a plastic bra to avoid obvious straps, let’s just say that no amount of transparency truly makes a bra strap invisible. It’s still going to stand out, and people are still going to see it.

A strapless bra provides support thanks to a strong band and some good underwire, and the cups come padded for a more attractive silhouette. The closeness of the cups of a strapless bra also means they’re great for support for small and medium breasts.

b)    A Bullet Bra

Yes, we’re being serious here. Bullet bras are definitely old-fashioned, but if you want an avant-garde, interesting look that resembles the fashion statement of a clear bra, these are pretty cool options!

Believe it or not, bullet bras offer tons of support. They have a lot of breast coverage, making it perfect for all breast sizes, and they create an interesting silhouette.

c)    A Lacey See-Through Bra

If the reason you wear plastic bras is for their sex appeal, there are plenty of see-through bra options fashioned from lace and softer fabrics that have the same effect, without all the downsides.

4.    Bustiers and Others With No Support

Bustiers and other non-padded, not-quite-a-bra options are pretty popular. They’re pretty, easy to put on, and are super comfortable, so it’s no surprise that they took off.

But unless you have a very small chest, wearing bustiers all the time can lead to pain in your shoulders and neck. This is because you will lack the support you need to keep your bust’s weight held properly.

Is there really a good replacement for a bustier? Not really, as these items are almost like crop tops or even sleepwear. But there are some good alternatives you can consider for more positive bodily health. Here they are.

a)    A Front Closure Bra

If you like bustiers because they’re easy to wear, a front closure bra can provide the same. You can snap the bra on easily from the front instead of awkwardly reaching behind you to get the job done.

b)    A Convertible Bra

A bustier doesn’t look out of place with most types of clothing, so it’s very versatile. Well, so is a convertible bra. These bras allow you to remove straps or swap them around in different configurations to go with any outfit.

c)    A Sports Bra

These aren’t really what you think of when you consider a bustier-look-alike. But if you wear bustiers so they look cute when peeking out beneath low-cut clothing or ones with lots of cutouts, you can try a patterned sports bra. There are tons of options in different colors and prints so you can really show off your style!

d)    Any Fancier, More Intricate Bra

Again, if you like bustiers for their prettiness, detailed bras can do the trick. Opt for ones with lace, those with fancy designs, or even ones typically used for sexy lingerie. They’ll all look just as cute!

5.    Purely Synthetic Bras

A bra made only out of synthetic material is a big no-no. This is because a wide variety of chemicals are used when they are manufactured, and a few of these chemicals are bad ones. This means a bunch of toxins still remain in the material of these types of bras.

It’s okay for bras to have some synthetic material, of course. Pure cotton can feel stiff, so it’s rare to find pure cotton bras, and when you do find them, there’s a good chance they won’t be super comfortable. As such, opt for bras made from a mix of cotton and safely-made synthetic fabric. Spandex is a great option, and it’s stretchy for added comfort.

stop wearing bras

Final Thoughts On Some Bras Women Should Never Wear

The process of finding a good bra that truly fits well and provides support, comfort, and attractiveness is definitely difficult. Proper fittings are often necessary in order to get the right cup and band size, and doing this the wrong way can lead to many health problems.

So yes, buying the right bra can be tricky. But maintain positive thinking! Just steer clear of these 5 bras women should never wear, and you’re already on the proper track to getting the right one!

The post 5 Bras Women Should Never Wear appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

Science Explains What Foods to Eat, According to Your Blood Type

Do you know your blood type? Although blood looks the same on the surface, there are eight different kinds of blood compositions according to the ABO system. They may seem arbitrary, but for blood transfusions and pregnancies, these blood types matter. But did you know that some believe you should eat different foods based on what kind of blood type you have? When you think about it, it does make sense. If your blood is built a certain way, wouldn’t there be specific types of habits that are most beneficial to it? Here’s how science explains what foods to eat, according to your blood type.

Science Explains What Foods To Eat According To Your Blood Type

1.    What Is The Blood Type Diet and How Does It Work?

The blood type diet was developed by Peter J. D’Adamo, a medical doctor and naturopath, back in the year 1996. The theory goes that the types of foods you choose to eat will react in a specific way with the type of blood in your body.

Lectins, which come from protein sources in food, can bind with blood antigens, thus leading to agglutination. In layman’s terms, this is the clumping of blood cells. By staying away from agglutination, the human body becomes healthier and stronger. It can supposedly provide benefits such as increased energy, stronger immunity, better positive thinking, and improved fitness.

Research has suggested that blood type diets can actually show positive results for more than just its specific blood type group. These diets all contain universally acknowledged healthy habits. As the diet is also somewhat calorie restrictive, you can even expect to lose weight on it.

2.    O Blood Type Diet

The O blood type – the universal donor type – makes up 46% of the population. It has both anti-A and anti-B antibodies but without any A or B antigens. Supposedly, those who are of this blood group have the ability to very easily digest animal fats and animal proteins thanks to higher stomach acid levels.

The type of diet specific to those with O-positive and O-negative blood might be likened to a paleo diet or a low-carb diet as it should focus on consuming a good amount of protein. So what are the foods to eat, according to your blood type? Here’s a list of options.

a)    Meats

Lean meat, poultry, and fish are all great options for those with O type blood. Examples include cold-water fish, beef, venison, lamb, veal, mutton, mackerel, cod, and herring. Lean meats and seafood are truly the best bet if you aim to lose weight with this diet.

b)    Fruits and Vegetables

Those with type O blood can enjoy most, if not nearly all, fruits and vegetables. However, keep an eye on our list of foods to avoid, which specifies some veggies that should be left out of your diet.

c)    Nuts and beans

Nuts are great sources of positive fat and usually have lots of protein. Beans are also good for those with type O blood and are packed with fiber. Again, you’ll have to cross-reference our “not to eat” list to determine which ones work best for you!

d)    Dairy

Dairy is a little tricky in a blood type O diet, as most kinds shouldn’t be eaten. However, you can enjoy cheeses, butter, and soy milk at your leisure.

e)    Grains

For the most part, those with blood type O should eat very few grains. However, there are some tolerable options. Grains such as buckwheat, rye, barley, kasha, amaranth, and millet are safe for consumption.

f)     Drinks

People often overlook beverages when planning a diet. Of course, water is always your best option, but club soda, seltzer water, wine, and tea are okay, too.

g)    Sweets

Chocolate and cocoa are acceptable type O blood treats.

h)    Add-ins

Seasonings such as iodized salt, curry, and parsley are all safe for use with this diet. Kelp-based seasoning options are also available, and honey is a good additive to most foods and drinks.

Of course, there are also some foods you should avoid if you are a type O. Carbs especially should be avoided, as they may easily be stored as fats within your body and are not as easily processed. Here are foods not to eat if you’re blood type O.

  • Wheat and other grains
  • Most beans and lentils
  • Legumes
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Brazil nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Dairy and eggs (except as listed above)
  • Pork, bacon, and ham
  • Goose meat
  • Conch
  • Catfish
  • Caviar
  • Smoked salmon
  • Barracuda
  • Caviar
  • Pickled herring
  • Octopus
  • Poppy seeds
  • Brassica vegetables
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Leek
  • Corn
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

This diet is also recommended to be taken alongside aerobic exercise.

3.    A Blood Type Diet

The A blood type contains A antigens and anti-B antibodies. Those with this blood type typically have lower stomach acid levels, meaning they are unable to properly process and digest animal fats and animal proteins. Their immune systems are also a little more sensitive.

This is why the A blood type diet involves a vegetarian diet, with extra focus on organic, fresh foods with minimal additional condiments. Whether A positive or A negative, here are the types of food you can go for.

a)    Fruits and Vegetables

Those with type A blood can enjoy most, if not nearly all, fruits and vegetables. However, keep an eye on our list of foods to avoid, which specifies some that should be left out of your diet.

b)    Grain and Bread Products

Most grains can be consumed if you have type A blood, but your best options are amaranth and buckwheat. Other options include rice cakes, a variety of flours (rice, soya, oat, rye), a variety of wheat (Ezekiel, soya flour, essene, sprouted), artichoke pasta, and soba noodles.

c)    Nuts and beans

Nuts are great sources of positive fat and usually have lots of protein. Beans are also good for those with type A blood and are packed with fiber. Again, you’ll have to cross-reference our “not to eat” list to determine which ones work best for you!

d)    Dairy

This is not the best option for those with this blood type, but some varieties of dairy do yield positive benefits. Kefir, most cheeses, yogurt, and goat milk are okay to consume.

e)    Animal Protein

Yes, most animal proteins are bad for those with type A blood. But those who do not wish to go vegetarian can opt for things such as chicken and turkey.

f)     Drinks

People often overlook beverages when planning a diet. Of course, water is always your best option, but you have additional possibilities. Green tea, coffee, and red wine all work, as well as herbal beverages such as those made from ginger, aloe, slippery elm, hawthorn, and more.

g)    Add-ins

Soy sauce, ginger, garlic, amari, and miso are all great flavoring agents for those with A type blood. Blackstrap molasses work too for adding sweetness.

Of course, there are also some foods you should avoid if you are a type A. Here is a list of them.

  • Most animal proteins and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Brazil nuts
  • Grape nuts
  • Oils (corn, peanut, cottonseed, sesame, safflower)
  • Beans (garbanzo, lima, copper, red, kidney, tamarind, red)
  • Granola
  • Seven grain
  • Wheat germ
  • Cream of wheat
  • Farina
  • Wheat bran
  • Shredded wheat
  • Durum wheat
  • Familia
  • Wheat bran
  • High-protein whole wheat breads
  • Multi-grain breads
  • English muffins
  • Wheat bran muffins
  • Pumpernickel
  • Matzos
  • Pasta
  • Whole wheat flour
  • White flour
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Peppers and capers
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Citrus fruits
  • Melons
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Mango
  • Coconut
  • Bananas
  • Rhubarb
  • Vinegar
  • Gelatin
  • Most common hot dog condiments
  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Seltzer water
  • Black tea

4.    B Blood Type Diet

The B blood type contains B antigens and anti-A antibodies. People with this blood type have it the easiest and can eat a lot of different food types. Essentially, they’re omnivores and have more freedom than other blood types. Here’s a good list of options for what to eat.

a)    Meats

Meat such as rabbit meat, lamb, venison, and mutton are all acceptable options. Fish is also a good choice if you opt for white fish like cod, sole, salmon, and halibut. Try to steer clear of poultry, however, and stick to lean cuts of meats.

b)    Dairy and Eggs

Low-fat dairy options are good for those with B type blood. Eggs are also an option.

c)    Fruits and Vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables are safe for consumption for this blood type. Green vegetables are some of the best kinds you can consume if you have type B blood. Eat raw veggies for best results.

d)    Grains and Cereals

These must be eaten in careful balance. Oat, spelt, and millet are great choices.

e)    Seeds and Nuts

These foods are wonderful sources of protein, and walnuts are your best option!

f)     Legumes

Also rich in protein, these are low in fat and contain tons of fiber and minerals. Peas, lentils, and all sorts of beans will do the trick.

g)    Drinks

People often overlook beverages when planning a diet. Stick to water for best results.

h)    Add-ins

For better flavor, experiment with cayenne pepper, curry, ginger, and horseradish.

Of course, there are also some foods you should avoid if you are a type B. Eating these foods can lead to weight gain and cause tiredness, excess blood glucose, and decreased positive thinking. Here is a list of them.

  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Pork
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Shellfish
  • Corn
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tomatoes
  • Pomegranate
  • Coconut
  • Avocados
  • Pumpkin
  • Buckwheat
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Pepper
  • American cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Ketchup
  • Distilled liquor

5.    AB Blood Type Diet

The AB blood type is the rarest of all and the newest addition to the ABO blood groups. People with these blood types may have both A and B antigens, but no anti-A or anti-B antibodies whatsoever, making them a universal recipient.

Those with AB blood types have lower stomach acid, much like those with A blood types. But they are able to eat more meats thanks to their blood B adaptations. This means they have more food options. However, it is recommended that those with this blood type eat in smaller portions so their digestion does not suffer. Here’s a good list of options for what to eat.

a)    Meats

Most meats are perfectly fine for those with AB type blood. Turkey, mutton, rabbit, lamb, and white fish are good options, but go for lean cuts.

b)    Dairy

You have many dairy options with AB blood. Cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, kefir, and goat milk are all fine and good, but try to go for low-fat options.

c)    Nuts

Nuts are great sources of positive fat and usually have lots of protein. You’ll have to cross-reference our “not to eat” list to determine which ones work best for you!

d)    Grains

A lot of grains and wheat products are good for AB blood types. Oatmeal, brans (rice and oat), spelt, rye, millet, rice, and rice flour – including things made from it – are safe bets.

e)    Fruits and Vegetables

Those with type AB blood can enjoy most, if not nearly all, fruits and vegetables – leafy greens especially! However, keep an eye on our list of foods to avoid, which specifies some that should be left out of your diet.

f)     Add-ins

If you need some spices and flavors, opt for curry, parsley, kelp, horseradish, garlic, or miso.

g)    Drinks

People often overlook beverages when planning a diet. Of course, water is always your best option, but you have additional possibilities. Green tea, beer, and wine work in moderation.

Of course, there are also some foods you should avoid if you are a type AB. Here is a list of them.

  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Most seafood
  • Shellfish
  • Cured meats
  • Smoked meats
  • Butter and buttermilk
  • Whole milk
  • Some cheeses (blue and American)
  • Ice cream and sherbet
  • Seed oils (sunflower, poppy, sesame, pumpkin)
  • Seeds (same as above)
  • Most beans
  • Guava
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Coconut
  • Avocado
  • Peppers
  • Artichoke
  • Radish
  • Corn
  • Buckwheat
  • Soba noodles
  • Wheat
  • Vinegar
  • Caffeine
  • Soda
  • Distilled liquor

blood type personality

Final Thoughts On What Foods To Eat According To Your Blood Type

If you’re looking to make a positive lifestyle change in a way that may be specifically beneficial to your unique body, the blood type diet is a good way to go. Knowing which types of foods work best for you and make you feel good is a great place to start on a journey to a happier, healthier life.

Talk to your doctor before switching your eating habits, of course. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, especially one that requires a certain diet, do not begin the blood type diet without a doctor’s agreement.

The post Science Explains What Foods to Eat, According to Your Blood Type appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

5 Signs You’re Getting Sick (Many People Ignore)

Are you one of those people who always tries to “tough it out” when you’re feeling sick? Do you “forget” symptoms of illness, thinking that they’re not a big deal or that they’ll go away? While your resilience is admirable, ignoring or trying to “beat” symptoms of sickness is a bad idea.

In this article, we’re going to discuss five of the top signs that you’re getting sick. We’ll also explain why it’s not a good idea to ignore illness. Finally, we’ll provide some pointers about what to do to help prevent getting sick!

Why you should call in sick

While you’re undoubtedly important, it’s not all about you when you’re sick. By ignoring signs of illness, you’re not doing yourself, your colleagues, or your community any favors by venturing out of your house.

The biggest issue it seems that people have when sick is missing work. Though you may feel guilty about calling in, there are plenty of good reasons to stay home. Most employers offer sick days to avoid unwell employees causing problems – such as these:

– Making your colleagues sick:

While soldiering on and getting into work may seem like the right thing to do, it isn’t. Anyone who comes into close contact with you – say, one meter (3 feet) – risks getting what you have. Numerous studies show that the risk of infection in the workplace is much higher than average. This fact is no doubt attributable to people who refuse to call in sick.

– Prolonged absence:

Heading out of the house is not conducive to recovery from illness. There’s a good reason why bed rest is “prescribed” by doctors to patients who are sick – it’s absolutely crucial. Staying home when your body is battling an illness drastically increases the chances of full recovery while decreasing the chances of spreading your sickness to others.

– Spread of illness:

While resistant bacterial strains are partially to blame for bad cold and flu seasons, people who expose the illness to others – willingly or unwillingly – are the main contributing factor to outbreak. When you’re sick and head outside anyway, you risk passing what you’ve got to everyone with whom you come into contact.

Be a responsible employee and person. Even if you don’t like your job, you are essentially wasting your employer’s time and money by sticking around when sick.

A year-long study of 29,000 adults estimates the cost of presenteeism – workers who attend work while sick – at around $150 billion. Additional studies confirm that presenteeism is costlier than illness-related absenteeism (staying home when sick) or disability costs!

Here are 5 signs you’re getting sick that many people ignore:

  1. You’ve got the chills – and they’re spreading.

No, it’s not just your imagination and chills are not a typical response of the body.  Body chills are usually indicative of a surfacing illness. Influenza (the flu), for example, features quick onset of chills along with fatigue. The common cold may also include chills paired with an irritated throat. (If you’re unsure as to whether you have one or the other, bear in mind that flu symptoms usually come on much faster.)

If you experience chills – especially if accompanied by other symptoms – make sure to drink plenty of water and get bed rest. Don’t further risk your health by heading outside or going into work!

  1. Your stomach won’t settle down – even after using the toilet.

Ugh. There’s not much worse than a stomach that refuses to calm down. The cause of common symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain is gastroenteritis – inflammation of the digestive tract. Another reason for tummy trouble is stomach flu which, in addition to the above symptoms, may include a low-grade fever and vomiting.

Stomach flu is highly contagious and potentially dangerous for some people. Do yourself and others a favor: drink plenty of fluids and stay home!

  1. You’re pouring sweat – and it’s not stopping.

If you’re profusely sweating, it’s safe to say that you aren’t in good shape to go anywhere. Chances are you’re experiencing additional symptoms besides sweating, like chills and fever. If so, you may be coming down with an infection.

If you continue to have bad sweats make sure to speak with a doctor. Additionally, if you’ve recently been prescribed medications by your physician, speak with them about it; excessive sweating may indicate a medication intolerance or side effect. Although rare, excessive sweating may signify severe medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, or lung disease.

  1. You’re not hungry – for no good reason.

If you’re a big eater (like this writer is), suddenly having your appetite snatched away is just, well, weird. It turns out that there may be medical reasons for this strange symptom, including gastroenteritis and bacterial infection. Loss of appetite may also indicate the presence of an anxiety disorder or depression. Another reason may be food intolerance, though this will likely be accompanied by other symptoms.

  1. You’re feeling mentally drained – and losing interest.

Loss of mental energy affects just about every aspect of life – just ask any person who suffers from depression or an anxiety disorder. Brain fog is an umbrella pseudo-medical term used to describe the presence of mental lethargy, difficulty paying attention, and a slowed response to stimuli. Brain fog can be caused by several medical conditions, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

If the mental doldrums don’t go away after a few days, consider scheduling a doctor’s appointment to rule out more serious conditions. If the brain fog is accompanied by other symptoms, make sure to let your doctor know.

Final Thoughts: How to Prevent Getting Sick

While no tip can entirely safeguard us from illness, there certainly are concrete steps you can take that will drastically reduce the risks. Here are ten quick tips for preventing illness:

  1. Eat dark green vegetables

Dark green, leafy veggies are packed with vitamins that support a healthy immune system. In a study of lab mice, the rodents who were fed cruciferous vegetables produced 70-80 percent more cell surface-level proteins necessary for effective immune function than rodents that did not consume the veggies.

  1. Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation decreases the body’s levels of infection-fighting antibodies. The body sheds more immune cells throughout extended periods of sleep deprivation, increasing the risk of infection. Adequate sleep during times of illness also speeds recovery.

  1. Lay off alcohol

Research demonstrates that regular alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of bacterial and viral infections. Drinking alcohol damages dendritic cells, a vital infection-fighting component of the immune system.

  1. Get vitamin Dimmune system

Vitamin D deficiencies are shown to contribute to a weakened immune system. Good food sources of vitamin D include beef liver, canned tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and salmon. You may choose to take “D” supplements; just ensure that the product contains D3 (cholecalciferol) as it can more effectively raise your blood levels of vitamin D than other types.

  1. Exercise

Regular exercise is good for just about everything regarding human health. Per a study published in Neurologic Clinicians, routine exercise boosts the production and circulation of white blood cells, reduces stress and stress-related hormones, lowers the risk of chronic disease, and helps to normalize the immune response.

  1. Practice meditation or yoga

The regulation of personal stress is an overlooked yet important part of lowering infection risk. Learning even the basics of meditation or yoga (or both!) also promotes mental health. The latter also includes physical elements.

  1. Get a flu shot

Everyone over the age of six months should get an annual flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If the outbreak of measles in the U.S. teaches us anything, it’s this: get vaccinated!

  1. Drink some green tea

Freshly-brewed green tea may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The antioxidants in green tea may also help ward off infection. Just ensure that the tea product is freshly brewed. Also, you may need to drink upwards of 3-5 cups of tea daily to realize its full benefits for health.

  1. Stay away from sick people

Unless you’re tending to a sick kid or working in a hospital, you shouldn’t be anywhere near a person you know to be sick. Most bacterial and viral infections are highly contagious, particularly when you’re within close proximity of the other person. Members of your household who are sick should remain in their bedroom whenever possible.

  1. Drink water

The human body is made up of between 60-65 percent water, making H2O by far the most abundant resource in the human body. Unsurprisingly, water is directly or indirectly responsible for just about every bodily function. Concerning illness, adequate water intake carries oxygen to the immune system and flushes toxins from the system. All things being equal, drinking plenty of water even when you’re healthy is probably the best thing you can do to prevent getting sick. If you do get sick, drinking water may help to speed recovery!

The post 5 Signs You’re Getting Sick (Many People Ignore) appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

10 Signs of A Verbally Abusive Relationship Most People Ignore

Verbal abuse is often overlooked. It may be considered “less serious” than physical abuse, but the truth is that it can be just as painful and damaging to one’s physical and mental health. It can ruin lives, and the worst part is many people don’t realize that until it’s too late. The trouble is that verbal abuse can be very subtle. It can build slowly and gradually, and if you miss the small red flags, you might find yourself in a highly toxic situation. Here are some signs of a verbally abusive relationship most people ignore.

10 Signs Of A Verbally Abusive Relationship Most People Ignore

1.    They Are Overly Possessive And Jealous

Yes, jealousy is a natural feeling in some situations. But someone who is overly controlling and gets irrationally angry when they see you speaking to others is a step away from being verbally abusive – if they aren’t already.

Many overly jealous individuals will constantly think you are cheating on them in romantic relationships. They deal with heavy levels of insecurity and, instead of working through that, take it out on you. They might see flirting when you’re just being friendly to someone, or suspect that you’re cheating for no reason. Some examples of things they will say are:

  • Hope you had fun flirting with that guy again.
  • I’m pretty sure you’re cheating on me.
  • I saw how you looked at that girl! I wasn’t born yesterday!

Jealousy is an irrational emotion, and it can lead to someone controlling you and cutting you off from your external support system (family, friends, and colleagues). They may always demand to know where you are and who you’re with, like an overprotective parent. So be careful with someone who turns into the green-eyed monster too often.

2.    They Blame You For Everything

Taking responsibility for your actions is crucial in a healthy, positive relationship. It makes sense that you will make mistakes and be at fault every now and then. So if you always seem to be the one who has to take the blame, you could be in a verbally abusive relationship.

Blame is an exceedingly common component to emotional and verbal abuse, says licensed professional counselor Rachel Ann Dine. It signifies an emotionally immature, insecure person who never wants to be in the wrong. And they don’t just blame you over mishaps and misunderstandings – they blame you for everything. For example:

  • I wouldn’t be shouting if you weren’t so stubborn and unreasonable!
  • Look what you made me do!
  • You’re the reason we’re always late.
  • I didn’t misunderstand you; you just have to be clearer.
  • You made me upset; that’s why I’m doing this!
  • You wouldn’t think it was bad if you just had more positive thinking.

You may find yourself always saying you’re sorry, wondering if you’re remembering things incorrectly (see our point on gaslighting further down), and questioning whether you even deserve to be upset.

3.    They Embarrass You In Public

We’re not referring to light, gentle teasing, and banter that’s all in good fun and makes you laugh. We’re talking about direct attempts to shame and humiliate you around others – a horribly disrespectful act.

Someone who talks smack about you to friends, family members, and anyone who will listen is being verbally abusive. If you’re there, you’ll be humiliated. If you’re not there, people get a bad impression of you and you can’t defend yourself.

This even goes for reasonable comments about something you’ve done. Someone who would rather bring it up in front of an audience and put you on the spot than discuss the problem behind closed doors is relying on your feelings of embarrassment to get their way. No one should attempt to air out your dirty laundry like that.

4.    They Say Demeaning, Derogatory Things

Someone who is verbally abusive may say cutting, scathing remarks that demean you horribly or put down an entire group of people based on your actions. It’s unhealthy and shows clear disrespect. Here are some examples of what they might say:

  • Wow, you sure don’t care about looking good, huh?
  • Of course, you’re crying. You women are so sensitive.
  • Yeah, I knew you’d do that; you Indians always do that.
  • Why can’t you be strong like other men?
  • I see you decided against the salad again. Geez, no wonder you hate your size.

Some verbal abusers will frame this as just sarcasm and say they have a dry or dark sense of humor. But the bottom line is that if it makes you uncomfortable, someone important in your life will not continue that behavior.

5.    They Belittle You And Discount Your Experiences

It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable you are about something. A verbal abuser will always find a way to put down your intelligence, belittle your knowledge or skill, and discount your experiences.

The same goes for disagreements. If you have a differing opinion, no matter how positive you are when you state it, a verbal abuser will never fire back with something fair. Instead, they will tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about and interrupt you, speaking over you so they “win.”

You will also be struck by this if you have a concern to bring up with them. Even if you tell them what you have been through or how you feel, they will find a way to tell you that you have it all wrong. They have no interest in listening to you – only in emerging the victor of a conversation contest you never agreed to compete in.

6.    You Find Yourself Thinking Twice Before You Speak

Words matter and no one can fault you for choosing to be careful with what you say so you don’t hurt someone else. But what happens when this is taken to an extreme? You might have to be extremely careful about phrasing, knowing from experience that even one wrong word could have you on the receiving end of anger and screaming.

No amount of positive thinking can calm the anxiety you might get from being around a verbal abuser. It can give you anxiety as you struggle to choose your words carefully so you don’t anger them and end up on the receiving end of their wrath. You’re walking on eggshells, always.

7.    They Call You Names

Although it is one of the easiest types of verbal abuse to recognize, some still make the mistake of ignoring name calling. Sure, direct insults are easy to spot. But when disguised as a joke and followed by, “Ah, lighten up, I’m just kidding!” it gets more difficult to see it clearly.

Name-calling can go a step further, too. Someone who knows you well may try to use your insecurities against you to break you down in an argument. Then, they’ll blow it off, call it a pet name or say they’re only teasing. Examples of name-calling include:

  • No wonder people say you’re stupid.
  • It’s okay, sweetie, you’re too dumb to understand this.
  • Why are you always such a jerk?

Sometimes, people say bad things by accident, or in the heat of the moment, says Licensed Clinical Social Worker and relationship counselor Raffi Bilek. It’s okay to slip up sometimes, as long as it is followed by an apology and a clear effort to be more careful next time. Repeated name-calling with no sign of change is never a good thing.

8.    They Make You Feel Like You’re Going Crazy

Gaslighting is a terrible sign of a verbally abusive relationship most people ignore. It is a form of manipulation designed to make you doubt your memory and your side of the story. According to Licensed Clinical Social Worker Sharea Farmer, it can cause you to feel like you are losing your sense of reality. You’ll feel like you’re going insane.

Gaslighting is commonly used in arguments to twist situations in favor of the verbal abuser. They might try to change your memory of an event to suit their needs. It may also be a way for someone to trick you into thinking your reactions or emotions are unreasonable or unwarranted, claiming you are too sensitive.

A gaslighter may say you’re forgetful so it makes sense that you don’t remember how something happened. They may tell you a concern you have is just all in your head and not real. Ultimately, this only makes you feel like you’re at fault, and it can cause you to lose confidence in yourself.

9.    They Criticize Everything You Do

A little constructive criticism is good for you. But if you’re constantly being criticized even over the smallest, most trivial things, you may be a victim of verbal abuse. This is a calculated attack on your self-esteem and confidence. For example, they may say:

  • Why are you always so messy? This is exactly why no one likes you.
  • Stop being so depressed; it makes me miserable around you.
  • You keep screwing up everything!
  • There you go again, being so sensitive.
  • I can always rely on your forgetfulness to ruin our dates.

Someone verbally abusive might shame you for being too neat, too slow, too cheerful, or too ill. You might feel you can never do right by them.

10. They Threaten and Manipulate You

Manipulation is a painful game, and it’s a form of “minor” threat – if any threat can be considered minor. A manipulator will try to control you by threatening you with ideas, such as:

  • If you really loved me, you would do this for me.
  • Fine, go through with that, but then everyone will see what a selfish person you are.
  • You’d be nothing without me.
  • You’re lucky I even chose to date you in the first place.

But threats go beyond just this type of manipulation. Sometimes, threats escalate to dangerous levels, even if they’re said so gently that you can’t be sure if the intent is truly sinister. A verbal abuser might threaten you by saying things like:

  • Honestly, no one would blame me for however I reacted if you did that.
  • Better be careful with that – I might just take the kids and sell the house while you’re gone.
  • Go on, do that to me then. I hope you won’t miss that guitar you love so much.

Direct threats may also be used, such as:

  • Don’t make me hit you.
  • I’ll ruin your life if you do that.
  • If you leave me, I will kill myself.

This kind of verbal abuse hints that it will escalate into physical abuse, and it can be dangerous to stay in a situation where you are facing threats. Both manipulation and violent threats are designed to control you and force to do something indirectly. Recognize the signs and seek help if this is happening to you.

manipulation

Final Thoughts On Signs Of Verbally Abusive Relationships Most People Ignore

No one deserves to be in an abusive situation. It’s not something you can learn to live with, and it shouldn’t be. Remember, no amount of positive thinking can help you when someone is verbally abusive; this type of abuse is never your fault.

If you think you are being verbally abused, or someone in your life or home exhibits a number of these 10 signs of a verbally abusive relationship most people ignore, reach out for help. You can contact the National Domestic Violence hotline of the US at 1-800-799-7233.

The post 10 Signs of A Verbally Abusive Relationship Most People Ignore appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

7 Signs He Is Worth Marrying

Marriage is a serious commitment. In days when divorce rates are at an all-time high, choosing the right life partner to truly go the distance with is difficult. It can make the decision to marry seem that much more daunting and nerve-wracking. So how do you know your partner is worth marrying?

When you’re so close to a situation – or in this case, a relationship – it can be difficult to remain fully objective. You might not see certain warning signs or may not realize that you’re missing some essential components of a long-lasting marriage.

So what truly shows that your partner and your relationship have what it takes to fulfill the vows of “to death do us part”? The answers are actually quite simple, but they might just surprise you. Here are some signs he is worth marrying.

 

Here Are 7 Signs He Is Worth Marrying

1.    Communication Is Excellent

Communication is key in any relationship. Without effective, positive communication, you cannot safely build a relationship or a meaningful partnership that is capable of withstanding the test of time.

A marriage involves two different people, with different ways of seeing the world, different ways of thinking, and different ideas – and the only way to make that work is to really, truly talk. This means that when there is an issue, you and your partner will be happy to talk about it without pretense and with complete honesty.

Of course, communication isn’t just about solving problems. It’s also about closeness and intimacy. It means your partner tells you about their day and asks you about yours, and you both really listen as the other speaks. You can talk about anything, from silly and ridiculous conversations to deep, intellectual discussions.

This also means you are both comfortable going to each other when you have good and bad news, worries and concerns, or new goals and dreams. You’re happy to share everything with each other; if you need boundaries, you make them clear and both respect them. You’re open and honest about your needs and can communicate them with respect.

  • A man who is worth marrying will listen to your woes and worries.
  • He will value your opinions and your concerns, and truly try to understand what you say and see things from your perspective.
  • It goes without saying that you should be doing the same for him.

2.    He Is Emotionally and Mentally Mature

Emotional maturity is so important in marriages. It means someone can be honest with themselves, perform introspection, and be real about their feelings without fear of being perceived as weak.

  • A mature partner has his own life and doesn’t entirely revolve around you.
  • While you are always his number one priority, he has a job and career goals. He has his own set of interests and hobbies.
  • He has fulfilling platonic or familial relationships with others.
  • He’s always looking to improve himself and gain more knowledge as he goes.

This also means he isn’t caught up in toxic ideas of masculinity. He admits his errors and works on himself, and he understands the difference between being confident and being cocky. If he has some emotional baggage, he isn’t going to use it as an excuse to drag you down. What is more, he knows it’s something he can feel your support for, but must work on himself.

A man worth marrying doesn’t necessarily stop being fun, humorous, or have moments of childishness. But he does know how to strike a balance and when it’s time to be serious. He isn’t driven by impulse, instead being emotionally open and taking on roles of responsibility in a positive way.

3.    You Respect Each Other

Two people cannot truly ever be together if they do not respect each other. When you look to your man, you should be able to admire his values, his strength, and his soul, just as he admires and respects yours. You view each other in a beautiful, positive light.

If you find that your partner makes fun of you, belittles you, or speaks negatively about you to his friends, colleagues, or family, he’s not someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. Of course, the same goes for you. You should feel respect for your partner, not seek to bring him down or complain about him to others.

4.    He Is Good To Others

Someone who is only kind to you but treats everyone else like garbage is simply not marriage material. Why? Because this means he isn’t truly kind and respectful; he only pretends to be that way around you. Or maybe you inspire him to treat you well, which sounds romantic until you realize that at some point, the cracks are going to start to appear in the facade.

  • A good man treats everyone well.
  • He is kind to colleagues, friends, and family.
  • A good man is equally compassionate to his boss, waiters, cleaners, taxi drivers, and people he looks up to.
  • He doesn’t lose his cool on service workers who make mistakes.

A man who is worth marrying is the same person around you as he is when you’re not around. He doesn’t have to put on a nice act around you to get your approval. He doesn’t have to put on a “cool” act around friends to get their approval. He’s a good, kind person, through and through – no deception involved. And you are, too.

5.    His Goal In Arguments Is To Reach Understanding

Fights and arguments are a normal part of a relationship, and the odd quibble every now and then is not an indication of a bad relationship. But the way he chooses to handle those arguments says everything.

Many people can get very fiery during fights, and this is where things like pride and ego can get in the way. Someone who becomes blinded by these emotions is often unable to see reason or find a compromise; their focus is on being right or “winning” the argument.

When you and your man are able to put aside pettiness and face an argument respectfully, there’s a good chance he is worth marrying. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have opinions or that he shies away from conflict. It just means he understands how to disagree and solve problems in a healthy way.

Couples have to be able to solve problems together in order to withstand the test of time. Relationship issues are relatively minor compared to potential tragedies and hard times that may come along further down the marriage. Healthy, positive problem-solving must be a norm in order for a marriage to survive the worst of times.

It’s important for couples to understand that it shouldn’t be Person A versus Person B during arguments; it should be the couple versus the argument. The goal is always to understand each other’s point of view and find a solution that makes both of you happy or is the best for both of you. If you and your partner know this, you’re on the right track.

6.    You Can Always Rely On Him

In a marriage, you are each other’s sanctuary. In times of trouble, you know the other person has your back. The same goes for any serious relationship. Erica Curtis, a family and marriage therapist, states that a couple that knows how to cope with difficulties together and trust each other through good times and bad are ready for marriage.

  • Think of the worst things life can send your way.
  • Can you rely on your partner in these times?
  • Or have past experiences taught you that it’s best not to rely on him for more serious matters?
  • This differentiates the average relationship for a strong potential marriage.

According to research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, couples with long-lasting partnerships tend to have similar manners of fighting. This means they handle conflict in the same way, usually by remaining calm and communicating constructively.

So if you and your partner practice a proactive approach with positive thinking to problems, you are more likely to find your way through them together. This is why your partner has to be reliable enough to keep their cool in difficult situations, and you should be, too.

7.    You Love Each Other For Who You Are

marriage quote

This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook this seemingly simple rule. You have to love your partner for everything they are, and they have to do the same for you. If you seek to change parts of him and he seeks to change parts of you, it’s going to end in disaster.

Many people say that familiarity breeds contempt. That’s why one of the surest signs that you and your man are meant to be is that you love each other’s quirks. You never use these negative qualities against one another; if anything, those imperfections make you fall even more in love.

According to research, many people are first captivated by appearances, smooth charisma, and even money when first attracted to someone. But the thing that determines a relationship’s longevity is both liking and accepting all the idiosyncrasies each partner has to offer. So if you and your partner embrace the “weirdness” in each other, that’s a sure sign he is worth marrying!

Flaws and imperfections are part and parcel of being human. Of course, there is always room to improve. But talking about harmful behaviors, or the way your partner accidentally hurts you, is different from demanding that they change who they are. Most importantly, the keyword in self-improvement is “self.” You want to grow and become better for no one other than yourself.

If someone can look at your flaws, smile, and say “I love you all the same” – not condoning your flaws, and not condemning them either – and you can do the same for them wholeheartedly, he is worth marrying. Remember, to marry someone, you have to do more than love them … you have to like them, too.

Final Thoughts On Signs He Is Worth Marrying

A healthy relationship is one that can stand trials and tribulations and emerge stronger than ever. In order for that to translate into a long-lasting marriage, you need to be sure you are both ready for the commitment. And of course, this means you need to display these signs, too – not just the man you want to go the distance with.

But even if your partner doesn’t meet the 7 signs he is worth marrying, that doesn’t mean that all is lost. Sometimes, it just means your relationship needs to bloom and mature a little more before you decide to tie the knot. Sit down and talk about these issues with your partner so you’re on the same page. Work together towards being the spouses you both deserve.

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Psychologists Explain 10 Reasons to Never Suppress Your Feelings

For some reason in our society, showing how we feel is considered a weakness. Because of this, most people suppress how they feel daily, and this can lead to pretty nasty problems down the road. While society seems to glorify hiding your feelings, doing so will mean that you hold onto all the problems that weigh you down instead of releasing them and finding a solution.

You have to take time to feel the emotions instead of burying them, because they will come out at some point. It’s much better to let your feelings out than allow them to fester and intensify. When you express how you feel, you give yourself a chance to find a solution to the problem and the emotions. You face the emotion head on instead of running away from it.

Below, we’ll go over some reasons why you should express yourself instead of burying how you really feel.

Here are 10 reasons why you should never suppress your feelings:

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” – Sigmund Freud

  1. You might become more forgetful.

Stanford University study showed that when you suppress an emotion, your incidental memory becomes impaired as long as you keep that emotion buried. You often process memories at night while you dream, so you may find that you’re having fewer dreams if you stifle how you feel.

Dreams help you work things out in your daily life, so you might feel more scatterbrained and lost as you go about your day. Of course, most people don’t want to remember things that cause them pain, so they think suppressing that memory or emotion will help them overcome the incident. However, this might lead to more problems down the road since the emotions will inevitably come to the surface.

  1. You will feel mentally drained.

Because of the energy it takes to put on a smile while you feel like the world is collapsing around you, people might say that you seem more tired than usual. This is normal, because anyone who continuously tries to maintain composure while dealing with negative emotions will seem drained. The key is to not let your emotions get to you. Having a healthy outlet, such as music, drawing, writing, or exercising, will help you get your emotions out and maintain a balanced mindset.

  1. Your relationships will suffer.

Most people who allow negative emotions to weigh them down take out their problems on close family members. They don’t mean to cause a rift, but it inevitably happens when the emotions aren’t being dealt with. When you suppress your emotions, you might lash out more at your spouse or family. Little things that didn’t bother you before may start getting to you.

If the emotions you face have to do with a person close to you, getting angry or passive aggressive won’t solve the problem. You have to sit down with that person and iron out the issues so that you both can either have a healthy relationship or move on with your lives.

  1. Your sleep will become affected.

When you suppress your emotions, you might find yourself lying awake at night mulling over the problems you face. The longer you deny the problems and feelings you have in your daily life, the more you will deal with insomnia.

Studies show that insomnia can cause mood problems, especially if it occurs most nights of the week. Of course, low moods might cause the tossing and turning indicative of insomnia; either way, you should tackle the suppressed emotions so that you can sleep better at night.

  1. Your physical health may decline.

The same Stanford study that confirmed suppressed emotions cause memory problems also found that hidden negative emotions can lead to cardiovascular problems.

Your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration increase when your cortisol levels go up, and when you suppress emotions, your body absorbs that stress. So, to make sure you keep your emotions from harming your physical health, you should exercise at least 30 minutes per day and maintain a healthy diet.

  1. You might gain weight by suppressing your feelings.

Many people who let negative emotions get to them find an outlet in comfort foods. While they might taste great and provide temporary relief, unfortunately, they can also cause a myriad of health issues. Eating to suppress emotions can cause problems such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and more.

Not to mention, drowning your emotions in food will only create an unhealthy cycle of feeling bad, bingeing to deal with the feelings, and gaining weight. If you find yourself using food to cope with feelings, talk to a therapist or another licensed professional who can help you.

  1. Your digestion might suffer.

From upset stomach and ulcers to acid reflux and constipation, you may suffer from many different digestive issues when you suppress your feelings. Stress from holding onto negative emotions sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, which can wreak havoc on the internal systems.

You might find that you feel bloated or gassy as well, because stress can alter the bacteria in your gut.

  1. Your brain won’t work correctly.

The part of your brain near your forehead, the temporal lobe, helps you cope with negative emotions and throw them away if they aren’t useful for your survival. Unfortunately, when you suppress your feelings, this part of the brain becomes impacted.

Of course, life comes with a lot of problems which can exacerbate negative thinking. In order to combat this, you have to learn to not take anything personally. In other words, go with the flow and don’t try to force things. Don’t let people’s words and actions affect you too much either, because most of the time, they’re acting out of fear and pain. By learning coping skills that help you deal with all the negative situations in life, you will find that you don’t suppress your feelings nearly as much because you don’t let your emotions get to you in the first place.

Keep this quote from Don Miguel Ruiz in mind: “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”

  1. Negative emotions can warn you of impending danger.

negative emotions

When you suppress your feelings, your body won’t be as alert to threats. For instance, if you have buried your emotions in regard to an unhealthy relationship, you will treat the relationship as normal when in reality, it is toxic for your mental health. In other words, you become used to the chaos and find comfort in it, but you can’t see the damage it’s doing to your mind and body.

Instead of hiding your emotions, examine them to see if you can uncover any clues about your personal life. By addressing these negative feelings instead of suppressing your emotions, you will finally be able to move forward instead of allowing the situations causing your pain to cloud your judgement.

  1. Negative feelings make you human.

We preach positive thinking a lot on this site, but it’s equally important to remember to nourish your darkness. We have been taught to be afraid of negative emotions and hide them as much as possible. The result? A largely fake society where people have become more like mannequins. No one feels like smiling and being happy all the time, so if you don’t feel like being positive, don’t be!

The dark side of you contains many answers about life, so don’t suppress it. Allow it to come to the surface every once in a while, and just sit with your feelings. Nothing good comes from trying to be someone you’re not or ignoring your negative feelings. Never feel guilty for feeling a certain way, because humans can feel a variety of emotions and aren’t meant to remain happy at all times.

Final thoughts

As you can see, when you suppress your emotions, you only prolong the pain and cause more damage in the long run. As much as society tries to tell you to shine your light on the world, you also need to spend time getting to know your darkness.

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, so oftentimes, we’re left to figure it out on our own. However, if you only remember one thing about life, keep it in your mind that you don’t have to put on a mask for others. You don’t have to smile when you feel like you’re dying inside. Smile when you feel like it, and be sad when you feel like it. Keep things simple, and you will finally feel free instead of guilt tripping yourself about being negative.

Of course, we want everyone to feel happy, but it’s unrealistic to expect this at all hours of the day and night!

Here’s to being authentic and showing how you feel, even if it’s not what society expects of us.

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What to Ask Yourself When You Feel Lost, Unsure, or Confused

“The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself.” ~Tony Robbins

I am naturally inclined to do—to go, to move, to take action. Slowing down takes a lot of patience for me. But I often find that moving too quickly actually causes me more confusion.

One day, my head felt overwhelmed with questions. What had started with a simple idea of little ole me living in a tiny house on wheels (one of those under 200 square feet homes built on a trailer) had turned into a big undertaking of building a tiny house community.

I had just driven across the country towing a twenty-nine-foot Airstream trailer. It was my first ever purchase on eBay. I had another tiny house in the process of being built and yet another I was about to pick up.

Things were moving. But I felt like inside I was battling with a doubt that wanted me to come to a screeching halt.

The predominant question that kept pounding in my mind was: Is this going to work?

Then I just gave in, sat down, and started to write.

I wrote down this question and all of the related and unrelated questions that were circulating in the cloud of doubt in my mind.

In that moment, I discovered a personal practice that I’ve used many times since when I feel lost, doubtful, or unsure of which way to go. It helps me take intentional action toward my goals, and it’s really quite simple:

I evaluate the questions I’m asking about my work and life and change them to questions that empower me instead of stressing me out.

We all want something in common, and that is clarityWe want to move forward with integrity and purpose.

No matter if your life feels like a roller coaster or it’s running as smoothly as ever, there is one thing that never changes: You will always ask yourself questions.

I personally believe that when you are stretching yourself to grow and pursue a dream, you will have more than one question floating around your mind. They may even bombard you most of the day.

Questions aren’t inherently bad; they can help us go deeper to understand what we need to do to move forward—if, that is, we ask ourselves the right questions.

A lot of times, we ask ourselves questions that undermine our confidence in our ability to do the things we know we need to do.

Some undermining questions include:

  • Is this going to work?
  • Why can’t I figure this out?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • Why does it seem easier for everyone else?
  • How do I get this person/these people to think/do xyz?

The problem with the above questions is that they place you in a victim or scarcity mindset instead of giving you a sense of control and empowering you to take responsibility.

You know a question is undermining if it meets the following criteria:

1. It makes you feel bad.

Although empowering questions can be challenging, they won’t make you feel like crap about yourself. An undermining question makes you find fault with yourself, others, or your situation. An empowering question prompts you to focus on patterns that are causing or contributing to your challenges, and it also helps you find a solution.

One way to convert an undermining question is to flip it to the opposite.

For example, change “What is wrong with me?” to “What is right with me?” or “What behavior can I improve?” This helps you focus on your strengths, what’s working, and how you can learn and grow.

2. You can answer it simply “yes” or “no.”

This might seem counterintuitive, because we ask ourselves questions to find clarity, and what can be clearer than “yes” or “no”? But the reason you are asking the question in the first place is because there’s more to it than that.

Often we just want a quick answer because it feels uncomfortable being in uncertainty. But there’s something more to explore, and there is greater power in a deeper answer.

Another way you can convert an undermining question to an empowering one is to change it to something that requires a thoughtful answer.

For example, like the undermining question I was asking myself about my tiny house community, change “Is this going to work?” to “How is this going to work?” By changing the question, you are presupposing that it will work—you simply need to figure out how.

3. It defers the power to someone else rather than yourself.

We all fall into potholes where we defer power, blame, and control to someone else, even those of us far down the path of personal development. When we ask questions to figure out what other people will think about us or how to get someone or a group of people to do something, we are placing our problem-solving energy outside of ourselves, where we have little leverage.

A way to convert this kind of undermining question to an empowering one is to change the focus to yourself.

For example, change “How do I get this group of people to do what I want them to do?” to “What actions do I need to take to achieve what I want to accomplish?” This allows you to lead by example, putting all of the power back in your court.

Changing your undermining questions to empowering ones can help create a lot more peace, expansion, and clarity. And when you answer those empowering questions for yourself, you may feel like you just unloaded a bag of bricks from your head.

Try this Exercise…

Here is a simple process for unloading, examining, and finding answers to your own questions:

Step 1: Unload

Grab your journal and write down every question you are asking yourself about your business, work, relationships, and life right now. Write until you cannot think of any more questions and you start repeating yourself.

Step 2: Examine

Look through your questions. Are any of them undermining? If so, convert them to empowering questions, using the tools above.

Step 3: Answer

For the questions you have remaining, take time to journal your own answer to each one. Don’t think, just write and see what comes out.

You can do this process as often as you like. I find when I do it, I feel clear for a substantial amount of time, and confident, because I know I have a process I can use whenever I feel lost.

About Danielle LaRock

Danielle LaRock’s mission is creating a space for changemakers to be themselves and take aligned action in their business, movement, or cause. As a seasoned facilitator and coach, she believes making a difference starts with who you are. She is also the founder of Tiny Haven, a tiny house community. Meet Danielle at www.daniellelarock.com and join her free changemaker community, Project Changemaker.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

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Overcoming Intergenerational Trauma: We Can Break the Cycle of Abuse

“Our ancestors knew that healing comes in cycles and circles. One generation carries the pain so that the next can live and heal. One cannot live without the other, each is the other’s hope, meaning and strength.” ~Gemma B. Benton

I thought I had no value, my opinion meaningless. My sense of self was decimated. Finally, I got angry and attacked.

“You can’t imagine the pain you’ve put me through!” I yelled. “You don’t even know who I am. You can’t see it. You’re refusing to take responsibility for the way you raised me! Not thinking is not an excuse! You don’t even care to try to understand what you’ve done to me!”

This was me to my retirement-age parents about a year ago. Those yelling sessions happened several times. They called the police on me once.

None of it did an ounce of good. They can’t see it.

The more I have experienced with depression, anxiety, and recovery, the more I am convinced that the events and circumstances of my past—and my parents’ past—have shaped me much more than my brain chemistry.

I’m pretty confident that the problems I’ve suffered from are derived from generations of unhealthy behavior. I believe the effects of intergenerational trauma shape us much more than we might realize.

I’m not a researcher, so I only have my own experiences to base this on; it very well could be different for someone else. But from what I’ve seen from my grandparents through my kids, this succession of trauma is difficult to break. It takes different forms, but it always rears its ugly head. In my grandparents, it was alcoholism; in my parents, physical abuse; me, emotional abuse.

I don’t consider any of us to be bad people, but we have each passed horrible things on to our children.

My mom’s dad was an alcoholic and very strict. Her mom didn’t actively do anything wrong, but she turned a blind eye to what her husband was doing. Mom won’t talk directly about it, but reading between the lines, I believe her brother abused her as well.

My dad’s dad was killed in a car accident when my dad was five. That left my dad as the man of the house, with no father figure. His mom never remarried and worked full time to support the family, meaning my dad was mostly on his own.

So then, this is how it all added up for me: Because of the abuse she suffered, my mom became a narcissist with no empathy. My dad became an absentee father who always blindly agreed with my mom. I was raised so that every good thing I did reflected well on my mother, and every mistake I made was my own fault.

It took me forty-four years to unravel all this. I’m still trying to figure out who I really am. I know I crave attention and approval from women. I’m insecure and selfish. At times, sometimes for long stretches, I distance myself from my wife and kids. But I’m working on it.

I’m also working on forgiving my parents. It’s not easy, but I know it’s necessary for me to keep progressing. They’re just flawed people, like me, after all. I’m mainly having trouble with my mom, a selfish, self-centered, and ignorant woman.

If I forgive my parents, it will be for my own peace of mind. I will know then that I did everything in my power to make peace with them. That doesn’t mean, though, I want to keep them or my extended family in my life.

Some people aren’t going to change, and we each have the right to decide whether we want that kind of person around us. I feel that most of my family is dysfunctional. It’s a really tough decision.

My mom’s favorite excuses for her behavior, which she refuses to acknowledge, are “That’s the way I was raised” and “I never thought about it.” Must’ve been glorious to live a life and raise a child without responsibility.

I know I need to do better. I need to take responsibility for creating change and break free from the intergenerational beliefs and behaviors I see as unhealthy. My family sees this as a rebuke.

To find my hope, meaning, and strength, I may have to leave my entire family behind. That’s a heavy decision, but it’s one I will probably need to make.

It will mean that I’ve learned the lessons of my parents and used them to bring power and strength to myself and my children. I can only hope that happiness and peace come along for the ride. That would be the greatest gift I could give to my kids.

I can’t sit around waiting for the negativity and condescension to go away, or for them to make an effort to understand my problems. In order for me to get better and start living my own life, I need to be the one making the rules. I need to be positive and I need to take care of myself.

In being raised as children and in raising our own children, we receive many messages. Some are helpful, some are hurtful. We need to be aware of those messages as adults, discarding the harmful ones and emphasizing the healthy ones. We need to be honest with ourselves and others, and willing to admit when we’re wrong. We need to constantly question everything.

Some of the messages I received growing up were “You’re not as good as you should be,” “Conformity is good, being different is bad,” and “You don’t matter enough,” sprinkled in with healthy doses of guilt.

My wife and I have tried to instill the opposite in our kids. Everyone matters. Your opinions and feelings are valid and important. Be yourself and follow your dreams.

None of this is easy. It takes awareness, courage, and the determination to live a better life.

Some will have bigger hills to climb. Some will look around and find the support they need has been around them all along. Others will be alone and will have to dig deep inside themselves to find the strength to live better.

No matter our situation, we all deserve the happiness that comes with living our best lives. And the secret isn’t money or success; it’s filling our lives with love. This requires us to heal any childhood wounds that prevent us from giving and receiving love.

Your present may be built on your past, but it doesn’t have to be controlled by it. In order to break the chains of intergenerational trauma, you will most certainly face some serious challenges. Here are some recommendations from my experiences that may help you.

Have courage.

If you look at your past with clear eyes, you’re likely to see a fair bit of unpleasantness. Pain, abuse, manipulation, deceit could all be there. And they could be coming from people you love.

Facing all of that will take courage and energy. It’s difficult and emotionally exhausting to look at your life objectively. You have to keep reminding yourself to see what’s really there rather than what you’ve always thought or what you want to see.

Going against the tide of several generations of family is a daunting prospect. You might alienate or offend people you love, but you are worthy of living your life your way.

Things don’t have to be the way they’ve always been. You don’t need to suffer just because your family chose to suffer in the past. But, understand this is difficult work.

Have confidence that doing this healthy work for yourself is worthwhile. Stay focused on self-care and keep your eyes on the bigger picture.

Have a support group.

A support group can be built of any mixture of people. Friends, relatives, co-workers, or even strangers. It can be formal or informal. The best support groups possess various experiences, perspectives, and personalities.

What you are doing is huge, and it’s going to be a significant help to have at least one or two people you can lean on while you do this. If you have more, great. But don’t try to do this alone; find yourself a support system before you start.

My support group is patched together from people who have read my articles and responded to them, people I know from online interest groups, and a few people from real life, too.

My group has layers, an inner circle I hear from often, a group that checks in every couple of weeks, and a group that is just more encouraging when they hear what I’m up to.

I’ve had the gift of actually growing my support group while I’m going through this. I’ve opened up to some people and found that we’ve been through similar circumstances. This can give you new ideas and solutions to your problems.

And don’t forget, a doctor, clergy member, or a therapist can be part of this group for you. You can also consider trying organized local support groups if that appeals to you.

The more love and support you can gather around yourself, the more strength and conviction you will find you have. This love and support feeds off itself. The more you give, the more you get back.

Have motivation.

Remember why you’re doing this. You’re setting out to build a better life for you and your children. The thought of overcoming this pain can be a liberating and positive force.

Being aware of what put us where we are today will not only give us the motivation but also the direction we need to create positive change for ourselves and our children.

Not all the changes we make will be successful, but if we keep going and correct our mistakes, we can still help ourselves and our kids learn healthier behaviors. We can stop perpetuating a lineage of abuse, domination, neglect, hurt, and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

There’s no finish line in overcoming intergenerational trauma. Keep being aware. Keep moving forward, and be the force that is constantly pushing toward healthy change in your family.

About Jason Large

Jason Large has been experiencing depression and anxiety for twenty-six years. He has recently made a link between his own troubles and his family’s history. He writes with the hope of helping others in similar circumstances. If you’d like, you can reach Jason on Facebook.

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Why Having Your Sh*t Together Is Overrated (and Misunderstood)

“It’s not about time, it’s about choices. How are you spending your choices?” ~Beverly Adamo

Hi, my name’s Tash. I’m twenty-six years old and soon I’ll be living in a van.

My sister is twenty-three. She owns her own flat, which she shares with her long-term boyfriend and their pet tortoise. She has a well-paid job that she enjoys, and she even has a company car. For some people, this might look like she’s really got her sh*t together—she’s ticking all the right boxes!

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she isn’t! I’m very happy for her and everything she has achieved, and she really is doing a great job. But personally, this isn’t my idea of having my sh*t together, and it certainly isn’t a life I see for myself.

Yet the other day she said to me, “If you don’t get a house soon you’ll probably never have one.” My reply? “That’s okay, I don’t want a house any way.”

You see the thing is, everyone has these preconceptions of what it means to “do well” and “get your life together.” Do you have a house? A good job? Are you earning a good salary? Do you have a partner to share it all with? Will you be getting married? Are you planning to have children?

These are all things we are led to believe we should be working toward, because achieving these things will make us happy and complete.

Well, I call BS!

I don’t own (or even rent) my own house. Okay, I am married, but that certainly doesn’t prove I’m adulting well. I’m giving up a great job in order to pursue my career as a freelance writer, so as of March I’ll officially be unemployed. Oh yeah, and in April my husband and I will be packing up our entire lives and living in a van.

But do you know what? I couldn’t be happier or more proud of our decisions.

What Brought All This On?

Let me rewind. A colleague of mine recently turned twenty-six as well. As I stopped by her desk one day she said, “I thought I’d have my life together by the age of twenty-six.”

This got me thinking, what was her definition of having her life together? I told her, “If by the age of twenty-six you wanted to be happy, in a job you enjoy, and looking forward to your future, then you’ve got your life together, right?”

We all want different things from this life, but there’s so much pressure to follow suit and do what has always been seen as the normal or correct way of doing things.

I was that way once. When I was at university, if you’d asked me where I wanted to be by this age I’d have probably seen myself in a fancy PR job, living in London, navigating busy city life, all with a smile on my face and a decent amount of money in my savings.

PAH!

Right now that sounds like my worst nightmare (and a far off dream as far as a good savings account is concerned!).

But What if That’s My Dream?

Please don’t for one second think I’m belittling or making fun of those who want to live the city life or settle down with a spouse and kids by a certain age. We are all different.

And this is exactly the point I’m trying to make. My husband and I agree that we don’t want to be tied down to one place, certainly not for a long time any way! Together we’ll be traveling the UK and Europe in our campervan. Then, when we’re finished with that, we’ll probably downsize our lives even further by living out of a backpack and going further afield.

Because for us, having our sh*t together means exploring new cultures. Being able to pick up and move on when we want to. Evening walks along the beach. Backpacking around the world. Waking up every day feeling excited and happy. Living our best life and being the best versions of ourselves because of our choices.

But again, I’m aware of plenty of people who would never want or choose to live out of a backpack.

The point I’m trying to make here is that having your sh*t together doesn’t mean conforming to what others perceive as normal or aspirational.

It’s about chasing your own dreams and finding what makes you happy. It’s about creating a life that you can’t wait to wake up to every day.

It’s about wholeheartedly embracing this short life and what it is you really want, whether that’s getting married, having kids, throwing yourself into your career, or in our case, exploring the world in a camper van.

There’s no right or wrong. There’s only what feels right for you.

Hi, my name’s Tash, and though I’m choosing an unconventional path, I have my sh*t together! How about you?

About Natashia Larkin

Natashia is a freelance writer and digital nomad, having swapped her 9-5 for a life of travel. She and her husband are exploring the world one country at a time, in their self-built campervan, Stella. Join them on their pursuit for happiness and simplicity by following their blog here larkinaround.co.uk.

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How 5 Simple Habits Made Me Love My Life More

“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” ~John Irving

Your habits are directly related to the quality of your life. Good habits lead to joy and fulfillment in your life, while not-so-good habits leave you yearning for your life to be different.

I think I always knew that, I just wished I took it to heart sooner. Better late than never, right?

Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits, says that “Habits are the invisible architecture of our daily life. We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence, and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.”

I’ve spent far too much time in my life languishing in worries and regrets, wondering why life had to be so hard. I looked for outside sources to come in and save me. No rescuer ever came, at least not one that made a permanent difference.

I’d always wind up on the same boat: wondering why others seemed so content with the lives they were leading while I continued to have a burning desire for something different—something I really couldn’t even name, though I tried in vain to do so.

I set big goals and made big plans that I was certain would make all the difference for me. Usually, my big goals and big plans wouldn’t live beyond the next new moon. Even when they did, though, the things that I thought would make me happy didn’t. The things that I thought would bring me peace only annoyed me for their utter lack of peace-creating properties.

By profession, I’m a strategist. I look at all the many things that contribute to situations being a certain way and explore ways to move the situation toward where I want it to be. Turns out, sometimes you don’t have to overhaul anything; sometimes, small, simple tweaks can make a big difference.

As the saying goes, it takes large sails to move a large ship, but the captain need only make a small adjustment to the rudder to change the direction. The other part of the saying is there’s no point in adjusting the rudder if the ship is not moving; you won’t go anywhere.

Your daily habits are the small rudders hat can help you move your life in the direction you wish. Choosing good habits day after day is the movement required to experience the positive life changes you’re seeking.

I like to think of myself as an intelligent person, but what I neglected to see in my own life is that the smallest tweaks done day in and day out have the power to move the mountains I want moved. When my eyes opened to the power of small changes practiced daily, miracles began to unfold in my life.

Below are some of the simple daily habits I’ve worked to incorporate into my life that are making such a huge difference for me.

1. Meditation

Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone says meditate, but did you ever consider that maybe all those meditation-lovers are offering an you an insider’s tip (pun intended) that in fact is actually priceless?

I have an overactive mind, as many people do. It loves to tell me about all its worries and warn me of threats that in reality aren’t all that threatening—nothing more than a mouse posing as a monster most of the time.

My mind loves to relive situations and conversations over and over and over; it’s so tiring! I’ve found that the antidote to my endless chattering mind is daily meditation.

I don’t do anything complicated. I just sit in a relaxing position, tune into serene instrumental music on Spotify, and focus on my breath. Anytime I notice that my mind is wandering (as it always does), I return my focus to my breath. In times of silence answers seem to arrive to incredibly insightful questions I didn’t even know I should ask.

2. Kind, loving self-talk

In the past, my inner dialogue wasn’t all that friendly. In fact, I was my own worst enemy, a relentless bully whose malicious words would leave me disheartened and unable to face the world with any sense of self-worth or confidence.

I didn’t come by this demeaning self-talk accidentally. Its roots go back to my childhood.

I grew up in a Roman Catholic home with seven children (another sibling died before I was born) and two overworked, exhausted parents who were flat broke all the time.

My father struggled with alcohol addiction and mental illness. This, along with my mother’s enabling patterns plus her own low self-esteem and depression issues, defined how the house was run.

The focus of the entire household was on managing life around dad’s issues.

Growing up, it seemed to me that nothing I ever did was good enough for my dad, though I tried so very hard to please him. I craved his love and positive attention. He either ignored me or criticized me, and when he criticized me he often did so in the most brutal tone.

I took to adopting that brutal tone in my inner dialogue and kept up the cruel inner monologues for years and years. I rationalized that I was just keeping my standards high, because who wouldn’t want to have high standards, right? A father would only criticize his daughter to help her improve, right?

So I kept criticizing myself; it never occurred to me that dad lashed out at me because his whole life seemed like a mess, so by God, the one thing he would have control over was his children.

There I was as an adult, using unrelenting, vicious self-criticism as a way to be perfect so I could get the love and attention I sorely wanted from the people in my life. It was a strategy that was never going to work; it had to go.

After examining my bitter, demeaning inner voice, I realized that I would never treat another human being this way, so why was I permitting this type of untenable talk go on inside me? I deserve better—we all do!

Now when those critical thoughts come up I’m patient with myself without buying into the scolding voice that’s offering up the hypercritical self-assessments.

I look at the scared girl behind those ugly comments and extend my deepest love to her. You see, while I refuse to allow my inner critic to talk to me in vile ways anymore, I also recognize the only reason I ever talked to myself that way was out of a deep need for belonging and protection. There was a call for love behind those ugly words, and now I simply acknowledge that deep desire for self-love without chastising the hurting girl who was trying to get my attention in the only way she knew how.

3. Follow the five-second rule

I love Mel Robbins, and the day I learned about her five-second rule was a very important day in my life. (And I’m not talking whether it’s still safe to eat food that’s only had five seconds of contact on the floor—that’s a whole different discussion!)

In a nutshell, here is Mel Robbins’ five-second rule, in Mel’s words: The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must count five-four-three-two-one and physically move or your brain will stop you.”

So, you’re not a “morning person” but you have a goal of getting up earlier in the morning? Then the moment your alarm clock goes off, count five-four-three-two-one and jump out of bed. No more hitting the snooze alarm.

Yes, in the moment of those early morning hours, of course you’d rather stay in that warm comfy bed—who wouldn’t? But staying in bed doesn’t align with your bigger goals, and getting up does. If you move within five seconds, you’ll move toward your bigger goals. If you don’t move and allow your clever mind to talk you into staying in bed for “just a bit more,” you’re sunk.

If you want to change your life by getting up earlier so you can write that blog you want to write (a-hem, what I’m doing now) or do that exercise you know your body needs, then make those goals your priority over an extra thirty minutes of sleep and use the five-second rule to help you get your body out of bed.

Adopting the five-second rule is one of the best habits I’ve ever taken up. For the sake of full transparency, I admit I’m not always successful at sticking to the rule, but the more I try, the more I succeed.

“If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream.” ~John Maxwell

4. Feed my mind

I’ve always considered myself to be a learner, though in actuality I get lazy about learning. It’s hard to improve your life if you’re never giving your brain any new information. Feeding my mind on a regular basis has become a top priority for me.

My “feeding my mind” goal looks something like this: one retreat a year, one book a month (that I can either read or listen via audio), one podcast a week, and one smart article on something I want to learn about each and every day. I’ve found that starting the process builds momentum; I often crush my minimum goals!

Feeding my mind in healthy ways also means giving up some unhealthy habits. I’m extremely careful about how much news I watch nowadays. While I don’t want to keep my head in the sand, I find it’s important to limit the number of negative messages I allow into my mind, and news channels are notorious for going over the same disturbing stories again and again. I make time in my days for my extra reading and personal growth activities by getting up earlier and limiting my Netflix and HBO time.

I’ve also modified my budget so I can afford the audiobooks and retreats I want to buy. My clothing and dining out budget is about half of what it used to be, and it’s a trade-off I’m happy to make.

The habit of feeding my mind is opening up whole new worlds for me. I can’t tell you how often I’ve read about something and the perfect opportunity comes up for using what I’ve learned in both my professional and personal life. Louis Pasteur said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind,” and I couldn’t agree more!

5. Do something outside my comfort zone at least once a week

If I were a more ambitious soul, I might put a “once a day” rule on this habit, but for now once a week works nicely for me. The habit of doing the same things the same way every day is life draining, while the habit of stretching outside your comfort zone regularly is life expanding. I’d rather see my life expand rather than to contract and shrivel, thank you very much.

Today, I regularly practice being brave—allowing myself to be seen, allowing myself to be vulnerable and unskilled at new things. I don’t tiptoe outside my comfort zone anymore; I’m even willing to take huge leaps.

I quit a job that I’d been in for twenty-two years without having the next job lined up. I moved 2000 miles from family and friends to live in a beautiful part of the world where I’ve always dreamed of living.

I now work in freelance, consulting, and coaching roles, which means my income fluctuates a lot. I’m not always certain how much money I’ll earn each month; I could have never tolerated that degree of uncertainty before.

It’s surprising how much your life can transform in miraculous ways once you’re willing to not be perfect in your own little world but instead actively choose to be imperfect in a world that might judge you. When you take risks that might leave you flat on your back, they also might enable you to soar.

I’ve found that bravery is rewarded, maybe not always in the moment, but always in time. I encourage you to be brave; it’ll change your life!

About Janette Novak

Janette is the Founder of Believe And Create, BelieveAndCreate.com, a personal development initiative dedicated to helping people believe in themselves more fully and create lives that they love.  Janette also owns Illuminate Marketing Communications IlluminateMarCom, a digital marketing and copywriting agency headquartered in Flagstaff, AZ.

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25 Things Introverts Want You to Understand About Them

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.” ~Susan Cain

We live in a culture that celebrates extroversion and sees introversion as a weakness or something to overcome.

If you’re an introvert, you may have grown up believing there was something wrong with you. You may not even have realized there’s a word for your personality type, that 26 to 50 percent of the population falls under that umbrella, and that our brains are actually wired differently than extroverts’ brains.

According to Scott Barry Kaufman, the Scientific Director of the Imagination Institute (which sounds like the coolest place in the world to work), it all boils to down to the neurotransmitter dopamine.

When our brains release dopamine, we feel more motivated to strive for external goals and rewards, like a raise or an ever-widening social circle. Though we all have the same amount of dopamine in our brains, the reward center is more active in extroverts. That’s why an extrovert might feel energized and excited anticipating a social event, while introverts might feel over-stimulated.

We introverts rely on a different neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which makes us feel good whenever we turn inward—something we’re much better able to do in calm environments, with minimal external stimulation.

Yes, I said “we.” I’m a proud deep thinking, quiet-time needing preferrer of profound conversations over small talk. I’d rather dissect the meaning of life on a rooftop below a starry night, with one close friend by my side, than scream over loud music amid a rowdy crowd at a party or in a bar.

For years, I felt like a loser because I have fewer friendships than most and spend more time alone. But it’s not that I’m less likable than other people (or at least, I hope that’s not true). It’s just that I detest forced socialization, superficial relationships, and feeling the pressure to ‘perform’ for a group.

While I’m beyond relieved to finally recognize my personality type isn’t a character flaw, I appreciate when the people around me understand and value my nature as well. And I know I’m not alone.

I recently asked the introverts within Tiny Buddha Facebook community what they wish people understood about them, and their responses all sounded like pieces of my own internal monologue. Below, I’ve shared a small selection of the 1,000+ comments that came in.

If you’re an introvert, this list might put into words what you’ve thought many times—from all different angles, while enjoying various solo activities. If you’re an extrovert, this will hopefully give you a little more insight into how your introverted friends feel, what they want and need, and why they do the things they do.

25 Things Introverts Wish People Understood About Them

1. I’m never lonely. I love, love, love the time I spend alone (or just with my immediate family). It feeds my soul. ~Kim Kay

2. I would rather have a deep conversation with one or two people rather than small chit chat with twenty-five. I value quality over quantity. ~Lyle Hatch

3. I’m not grumpy or unsociable, I just don’t know how to do small talk. Also, I’m not boring or uninteresting; you just never initiate deep conversations with me. ~Natashia Lee

4. I do not enjoy forced conversation and situations. They only makes me want to retreat back to my own space. Just let me sit back to observe, and I will decide if I should join in. ~Michelle Bush West

5. I do not think I am better then you. ~Kimmie Nielsen

6. I mean what I say and only speak when I have to say something. ~Roland Laufer

7. Not wanting to hang out is not personal. I need way more down time and rest than other people may, and that doesn’t mean I’m lazy. ~Dani Hughes

8. We’re not all social butterflies; we’re more like social caterpillars. We take a while to open up. When we do, we can either be like a butterfly around you, but if things go south we’ll want to stay in the ‘wrapped up’ phase forever! ~Carole Ann Rickerd

9. Canceling plans with people less than twenty-four hours beforehand has nothing to do with them and everything to do with my self-care. ~Sahej Anand Kaur Khalsa

10. Just because I’m not all smiley and enthusiastic doesn’t mean I’m not happy. ~Brandon Logan

11. When you mention how quiet I am because I don’t talk much in large gatherings or make a big deal when I do speak, it just makes me feel self-conscious and retreat more into myself. ~Angela Eaves

12. I cannot be “on” when you want me to. There are times when I can join the conversation or party, and times when I simply cannot. ~Sabree Johnson

13. Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean I’m anti-social or stuck up. It just takes me longer to recover from events and big groups of people. ~Angela Stewart

14. I deeply care and empathize with so many people in my life, even those that I don’t know personally. I can’t ‘turn it off.’ Going home is my way of avoiding overworking my emotions. It’s so I can rest up and be a good friend, colleague, employee, and citizen tomorrow. ~Jayme Taylor

15. My silence in group conversations isn’t aloofness, indifference, or lack of personality. I’d just rather get to know you one-on-one before I start revealing my thoughts and opinions. ~Amanda Perrett

16. Just because I’m not loud and don’t share my feelings with everyone in sight, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have them. Quite the opposite. I feel things very deeply. ~Liz Szentendrei

17. I’m not a flamboyant personality, but I have as much substance as the next person. ~Terrie Lynch

18. Sometimes I just want to walk in silence, but I am neither sad nor lonely. ~Debra Temple

19. Just because we keep to ourselves, or we are not talkative, does not mean we do not have an opinion or are less intelligent than others. ~Tony Solis

20. Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I’m upset or mad, so there’s no need to keep asking me “Are you okay?” That gets very tiring. ~Linda Burton

21. I’m not talking because I don’t have anything worthwhile to say and I’m fine with the silence. ~Amber Lockey

22. Sometimes I may act extroverted, but it’s kind of a survival skill I’ve adopted in an extroverted-centered world. Still leaves me feeling mentally exhausted and drained. And feels unnatural. ~Dalas McCown

23. If you ask a question and we don’t respond right away we are thinking through every possible response, how you might react to each response, if it is actually the truth, and then we might get distracted and eventually ponder the meaning of life … even if you just asked how we are doing. ~Michelle Cobley

24. I don’t hate people. I just save my energy for genuine interactions. ~Sharon Stewart

25. I want to be invited! I may not always go or have the ability to stay long, but it doesn’t mean I want to be entirely left out. ~Diana Rouge

Extroverts, is any of this news to you? And introverts, is there anything you’d add to the list?

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. An avid film lover, she recently finished writing her first feature screenplay and is in pre-production now.

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