Hope or Prepare

Prepare For The Worst or Hope For The Best?

Is it better to approach life with great hope or a sense of doom?

A glass-half-full attitude is generally beneficial to your mental, physical, and emotional health, but stark realism is sometimes a smart tactic.

While every situation is unique, research offers some tips on when to brace for impact and when to stay upbeat. —Jill Coody Smits

Education

After taking the Academic Tests, you wonder for weeks whether your score will be embarrassing or brag-worthy.

Expect the worst. Lowering expectations while awaiting test results can reduce disappointment at the big reveal, according to a University of Florida study–meaning you’re less likely to get upset (regardless of your score) than if you’d been counting on a 99th-percentile mark. Preparing for bad news helps in many moment-of-truth situations, such as hearing health outcomes, researcher Kate Sweeny adds.

Family

You learn that your daughter’s fellow eighth-graders were caught drinking wine coolers and wonder if she’ll follow suit.

Expect the best. If you envision your teen swilling beer, you may create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Mothers who pass along low expectations raise kids who embody the party animal persona, Iowa State research shows. But children whose moms believe they’ll be temperate teens shun alcohol. Parents can relay their expectations explicitly or via behavior-shapers like setting a strict curfew.

Romance

A week after your honeymoon, your first big fight leaves you questioning whether you’ll make it to your Golden Anniversary.

Expect the best. Long-term love thrives on rose-colored glasses. Optimistic partners engage in “approach” strategies to problem-solving, employing cooperation and refraining from attacks, research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows. Less optimistic couples often engage in “avoidant” strategies (think: cold shoulder) that further strain the relationship.

Career

You’ve nabbed the degree; now you’re applying for your first job.

Expect the best–realistically. Confident college grads are more successful job-seekers than pessimistic ones, unless they venture into fantasy, research notes. Whereas positive expectations (“I’m a strong candidate”) reflect past successes and acknowledge the value of hard work, fantasies (“I’ll be flooded with job offers!”) disregard attainability. Thinking you’re a workforce wunderkind can lead to laziness, NYU researcher Gabriele Oettingen explains.

Sports

You’re dying to beat your boss at the office tennis tournament next month.

Expect the worst, then the best. While training, imagine your boss is Boris Becker and focus on your weak service return. Self-doubt motivates you to practice harder and results in a stronger performance, according to a Michigan State study. But on match day, envision repeatedly crushing his serve. Confidence just prior to and during competition strongly correlates with winning.

Health

Your doctor suggests a flu shot, but you hate needles.

Expect the worst. Hypochondria, a little unease goes a long way in preventive health behaviors. Worrying about breast cancer is a strong predictor of getting screened, and people get flu shots simply because they anticipate regretting not getting the vaccine, studies show. Overall, of course, optimism begets health, but if a kick in the butt leads to a shot in the arm, so be it.

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Books

Reading for Wellbeing: How Books Can Benefit Our Mental Health

Books have the power to change lives.

Reading allows us to experience what it would be like to be living someone else life. It makes us more empathetic and understanding. It teaches us lessons about the world we live in by immersing us in worlds we don’t.

Reading allows us the opportunity to recognise ourselves in others. Our experiences, worries, dreams and flaws. It can make us feel heard, or help us solve problems within our own lives using the example of others.

Not only can we learn how to be the kind of human we want to be from books, but they can also help us to relax and switch off from our realities. Inhabiting the pages of a book for as little as half an hour a day allows us to switch off from the constant buzz of our thoughts. Reading can allow our stresses and worries to pass us by in much the same way that mindful meditation can.

With more and more people turning to the practise of ‘bibliotherapy’ as a way to care for their mental wellbeing, it is perhaps true now more than ever that ‘reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’. Organisations such as ReLit are researching the benefits of reading on stress and anxiety, whilst in Shropshire the world’s first Poetry Pharmacy has opened to provide literary antedotes to emotional ailments. (If you can’t make it to Shropshire don’t worry! The Poetry Pharmacy Anthology is the perfect home remedy instead). It is a testemant to the written word that we are continuing to look to literature for guidance even in an age ruled by smart phones and the internet.

 

The positive impact that reading can have on our mental health is something that I have long been interested in. I find reading to be a great way for me to relax and shut off from the diluge of static noise that fills my head throughout the day. Whilst reading is by no means a stand-alone solution to mental illness, for some it can provide respite and comfort when it is most needed.

This weekend the news of Caroline Flack’s tragic suicide broke across the UK. This raised questions about the impact the media can have on the lives of those in the spotlight, and the stigma that still exists when it comes to talking about our mental health. From the dark cloud that this news threw over the country, two bookshops and a group of readers shone through.

The Big Green Bookshop and Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford received hundreds of donations from readers after offering to send a copy of Matt Haig’s memoir Reasons to Stay Alive out to anyone who felt they needed it.

Hundreds of people came forward to explain what Haig’s book meant to them and in some cases how it had saved the lives of those suffering from mental illness.

This tiny kernal of light has come out of a tragic and heart-breaking suicide, but truly does attest to the power of books and the fact that you are never truly alone; there are always people out there who understand what you are going through and are willing to help.

In the wake of Caroline Flack’s death and the outpour of love from the bookish community from those suffering, I decided to share the books that I have found comfort in during my own mental health journey.

Some of these titles deal practically with mental health, some contained the representation that I felt I needed to see and others simply felt like a hug when I needed it most. During a time when more people than ever are struggling with their mental health, we must remember that there are always books. 

Reading for Wellbeing: How Books Can Benefit Our Mental Health

https://talkingtomyshelf.wordpress.com/2020/02/19/reading-for-wellbeing-how-books-can-benefit-our-mental-health/
— Read on talkingtomyshelf.wordpress.com/2020/02/19/reading-for-wellbeing-how-books-can-benefit-our-mental-health/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood Pressure Test

Blood Pressure Test

Take The Blood Pressure Test

⏱ 5 MINUTES

Known as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure has become a serious epidemic. Take this test to find whether you are at risk.

Read each question carefully and answer as truthfully as possible.

After finishing the Blood Pressure Test, you will receive a detailed, personalized interpretation of your score that includes diagrams and information on the test topic.

 

 

You can always monitor your Blood Pressure and make sure everything works amazingly.

 

Blood Pressure Test

How To Stop Negative Thinking And Start Feeling Better

Like just about everyone else, I own a smartphone. My phone, a iPhone 7 is pretty darned smart, and I’ve grown accustomed to it.

Every once in a while, though, it acts kind of stupid. It will shut down while I’m trying to look at something or write a note. Or its smart little screen will get stuck while I’m flipping through photos.

When this happens, I’ve got the solution. Like so many other pieces of technology I own, I just shut my phone off for a minute, let it rest, and turn it back on again. It emerges from its nap all refreshed and ready to do more smart things for me.

In some ways, our brains are like smartphones. The visible stuff like producing speech and guiding your fingers to the right phone keys is just part of what’s going on. You know how that feels – you’re typing up a letter at work, and your brain is feeding you anxious about your checking account or nagging you for eating too much at lunch. It never seems to stop.

My friends, clients and even people that I don’t know that well, told me that they’re always running, always working, always tired. I ask them what they’ve done for themselves lately, and the answer is always the same – and usually comes after a slightly embarrassed pause. “Nothing.”

At this point especially with my clients, I do a little experiment. I have them close their eyes, if they’re comfortable with that, and I lead them on a one-minute guided breathing exercise. No point to it, no destination, just one minute of slow breathing. I tell them that if those anxious thoughts try to crowd into their breathing space, just notice them and then let them go. Observe and describe. “Oh, there’s a thought about money. Goodbye, thought about money.” “Hey, I’m judging myself for not being able to do a freaking breathing exercise correctly. Hi, judgment, I’m noticing you. Goodbye, judgment.”

And so on.

After a minute, I bring them back into the room. They’re often very reluctant to come back from that nice, centered, non-judgmental breathing space. I ask them when the last time they took even one minute to do nothing at all but breathe, and practice kindness to themselves. Again, the answer comes – never.

Next time you’re at work in a frenzied day, close your office door if you can, or just find a place to go (bathroom? Hopefully the boss won’t chase you there, although I had one in my past work life who would!) and take one minute for yourself. Breathe. Observe and describe your thoughts, and let them go. If it helps, visualize yourself next to a stream, and let your thoughts be washed by water. Now, you feel love and compassion for them, calm and relief.

If you still have a bit of anxiety, or negative thoughts that persist, release them it into the stream. Repeat.

If you’re lucky, this will become a habit. Everyone has one minute per day to spare. The more you visit your brain, the better you’ll get at quickly finding an uncrowded corner in which to relax.

One minute, one day. Try it.

Happy Family

Four Secrets For A Happy Family

Four Secrets For A Happy Family

I was fortunate to have a healthy and positive upbringing. By this I mean I was shown love, given support, and had my needs taken care of.

My family was by no means perfect. We had our ups and downs, though overall I have many more positive than negative memories.

From my immediate to extended family I was shown unconditional love and given support through my many mistakes.

We shared fun and enjoyable experiences together, such as family vacations and celebrations, and I had the freedom to develop into the person I wanted to be without judgment.

As I explore the potential of having my own family someday I am reminded of all the valuable lessons I learned, and how I can take these and be a positive role-model for the next generation to come.

Even if you didn’t have the sunniest childhood, there are many things that can be learned and applied to your current relationships to break any unhealthy cycles and make them more positive.

Below are four broad areas that can help make a happier family. These are a mixture of what I have learned from my family relationships in all forms and fashions, as well as from literature on the topic.

 

Clear family values and expectations

A family that knows where they’re going and has clear reasons for the decisions they are making will be happier and more capable of dealing with life transitions. I believe it’s important for the family to be viewed as a whole system with everyone on the same page.

This can come from having a family vision, mission, and values statement, which gives direction and guidance for small and large decisions in life. This requires that a family has open channels of communication and a more democratic style of decision making.

 

Family network and support system

Having supportive relationships is crucial to our happiness. There is great value in having extended family and friends as part of the bigger dynamic.

Whether it is in-laws, step family, or extended family, recognize that these can all be relationships full of support and encouragement.

If you don’t have immediate or extended family to grow a deep and meaningful relationship with, make your own support system through volunteer work, religious communities, or other clubs and organizations. Simply put, have a network that you and your family can connect with for fun and support.

 

Resiliency and hardiness

Being able to bounce back and cope with tough times is a major function of a healthy family, and an important factor for happiness and satisfaction.

A family should be a sturdy foundation that we can lean on during difficult times as we bounce back on our own.

Resiliency can be built from experiencing positive moments and emotions, such as finding joy in the small things, and being grateful for what you have. Even if nothing else is going well, learn to simply appreciate that you have family and friends who care for you.

 

Time for rest, relaxation, and fun

It’s important to set goals, take care of business, and get everything in order, but we must still make time for fun and relaxation. These moments of play, amusement, and tranquility are where families really bond.

Think of the family traditions and routines that have offered fun times to grow the relationship. This may be going to the movies, taking vacations, playing games, or even cooking and cleaning.

Each of these areas can help you grow and deepen you family bond and to begin experiencing more happiness. Remember that even a “happy” family has conflict, financial stress, and an untidy house at times, so don’t expect perfection.

Enjoy the process and journey of growing together, and begin cherishing that you are a part of developing future generations into thriving members of society.

 

 

 

Yoga Breathing Techniques for Weight Loss

5 Yoga Breathing Techniques for Weight Loss

5 Yoga Breathing Techniques for Weight Loss

 

https://bootcampmilitaryfitnessinstitute.com/2019/01/07/5-yoga-breathing-techniques-for-weight-loss/
— Read on bootcampmilitaryfitnessinstitute.com/2019/01/07/5-yoga-breathing-techniques-for-weight-loss/