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5 Habits to Optimize Your Brain

The brain is our most precious possession. Without it, we couldn’t think, feel, or act. The brain is what permits us to communicate, make decisions, and plan. It’s what makes us, well, us.

In short, the brain is irreplaceable.

But the harsh truth is that many of us don’t think much about our brain until something goes wrong. We can’t see it or feel it, and despite being the center of our sense perceptions, it is by itself imperceptible. It gets much less attention than, say, the heart (which is perceptible via feeling.) As a result of these qualities, we sort of take the brain for granted.

This indifferent attitude towards our gray matter at least partially explains the atrocious habits that entrap so many.

Despite the adverse effects of these habits on the brain, millions of people insist on binge-watching T.V. and movies, smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, eating poorly, being sedentary and lazy, and ignoring exercise and proper sleep hygiene.

Fortunately, the brain is an incredibly resilient organ. We can modify our bad habits or – even better – replace them with positive ones. This is the main topic of the article.

First, let us discuss the basics of neuroplasticity.

What is ‘Neuroplasticity?’

“Everything having to do with human training and education has to be re-examined in the light of neuroplasticity.”

~ Norman Doidge (Source)

Neuroplasticity is a combination of two words: neuro, “relating to nerves or the nervous system,” and plasticity, “the quality of being easily shaped or molded.” The term neuroplasticity, therefore, means the moldability or malleability of the nerves in the brain.

What changes in the brain?

As mentioned, it’s the nerve cells (neurons) of the brain which are capable of changing. The factors that stimulate such changes can be behavioral, biological, or environmental in nature. For example, the neuronal structure can alter due to trauma (environmental), disease (biological), or chronic stress (behavioral).

A critical part of neuroplasticity is a process called synaptic pruning. Synaptic pruning is the elimination of extra synapses – junctions between neurons – that occurs naturally when brain structure alters. This process occurs most rapidly between early childhood and adulthood and is crucial for more efficient brain function. For example, synaptic pruning enables to learning and retainment of new and complex information.

Habits to Avoid

The crux of this article – five habits that promote brain optimization – do little good if we retain bad habits. Briefly then, let’s discuss some of those behaviors that are counterproductive to brain health.

1 – Poor sleep hygiene.

Spending too much time on your smartphone, staying up too late, and drinking alcohol or caffeine, or having an erratic nighttime schedule will almost always lead to poor sleep. Proper sleep is crucial for the elimination of toxins, the consolidation of memories, and other essential neurological functions.

2 – Social isolation

Yes, introverts; this also includes you us. Too much isolation, especially to the point of loneliness, can be harmful to the brain.

Studies show that social connections are integral for a healthy and happy mind. So, if you start to feel cut off from the rest of society, pick up the phone or pay someone a visit. Spending too much time in the dark – another favorite activity of us introverts – may also contribute to depression.

3 – Bad diet

Regions of the brain correlated to learning, memory, and mental health, are smaller in people who eat disproportionally-high amounts of junk food. Overeating – even healthy foods – can negatively impact cognition and brain development. Foods such as burgers, chips, fries, and soda are all culprits. Foods conducive to the preservation and optimization of brain function include dark green/leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, and whole grains.

4 – Sedentariness/Laziness

An inactive lifestyle is linked to multiple health conditions, including dementia. While many of us exercise with the goal of physical gains, moving our bodies is also a powerful brain enhancer. At least 30 minutes, three times per week of moderate exercise is recommended.

5 – Loud music

Per WebMD, “With your earbuds at full volume, you can permanently damage your hearing in only 30 minutes.” Worse, hearing loss as we age is linked to the disintegration of brain tissue and even dementia. Experts recommend that we listen at no louder than “60% of your device’s maximum volume.”

5 Habits that Optimize The Brain

Now that the yucky stuff that hurts our brain is out of the way, let’s get to how we can optimize our grey matter! Here are 5 science-based habits that optimize the brain.

1 – Get quality sleep

Okay, so we’re going to tackle the most obvious stuff first (and second.)

First and foremost, make sure that you get both the quality and quantity of sleep you need. This often requires that we “repair” our nighttime habits. Per the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), here are a few healthy sleep practices:

– Avoid over-napping, especially in the afternoon.

– Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, or overeat at night.

– Ensure that your sleeping environment is comfortable. This includes both your room and bedding (mattress, pillows, etc.)

– Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, including on the weekends.

– Have a relaxing bedtime “ritual,” which involves any relaxing, regular activity before bed. (No smartphones.)

2 – Get regular exercise

“Okay, Captain Obvious.”

Okay, fair enough. But do you know why good advice is repeated to the point of monotony? Because people keep ignoring it.

Anyways, exercise improves blood and oxygen flow to the brain and wards of dangerous (even debilitating) brain disorders. Regular exercise is also linked to an increase in the volume of the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with learning, memory, and motor skills. Exercise also facilitates the release of body hormones, a process that is conducive to the growth of new neurons (yay, brainpower!)

habits to lower alzheimers risk
Learn what habits can help you lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

3 – Learn to Juggle

Okay, now we’re getting to the fun stuff! It turns out that taking on juggling can stimulate neurogenesis (neuronal growth) in certain parts of the brain, specifically, the areas implicated in motor and visual activity.

In a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Oxford used a specialized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study for changes in the brains of new jugglers. For the first time, the researchers were able to show changes in the brain’s white matter from a training intervention.

“We have demonstrated that there are changes in the white matter of the brain – the bundles of nerve fibers that connect different parts of the brain – as the result of learning an entirely new skill,” notes Dr. Heidi Johansen-Berg of the clinical neurology department at Oxford.

White matter differs from the more-well-known grey matter. The former is comprised of long nerve fiber clusters that conduct electrical signals across different brain regions. The latter is made up of the neuronal bodies responsible for the heavy computation and processing in the brain.

4 – Learn something new every day

You don’t have to juggle to build your brainpower. Any activity that requires processing will do the trick.

However, the most beneficial activities appear to be the ones that require a high level of concentration. Norman Doidge, in his book “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontier of Brain Science,” says, “Not all activities are equal … studying a musical instrument, playing board games, reading, and dancing” appear to benefit the brain most, especially when it comes to warding off dementia.

Learning a second language has also shown to be a brain booster. Per a study published in the journal NeuroImage, three months of intensive language learning increased the volumes of several brain regions, including the hippocampus.

brain
Learn about the new hologram device that can project images to your brain.

5 – Practice mindfulness

Quite simply: there may not be a better brain exercise than mindfulness meditation. Several thousands of studies have established that the ancient Buddhist practice – often converted into a secular form – improves just about every known cognitive function.

In a recent study published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco analyzed the effects of 20- to 30-minute meditation sessions on 59 participants. The research team found that the program drastically improved both attention span and sustained attention.

“Not only do you learn how to maintain focus on your breath,” says senior author Adam Gazzaley, a professor of neurology, physiology, and psychology at UCSF, “but you are also required to introspect on how well you’re able to do that. We believe that’s part of the active ingredient of this treatment.”

The post 5 Habits to Optimize Your Brain appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

Researchers Reveal How to Have Better Conversations with Your Partner

Learning to communicate with anyone on a personal level is a learning process for both parties. As we become more familiar with someone, we learn their triggers, how they best respond to constructive criticism and face problems. The same holds for ourselves as well. Finding that balance with being honest about our emotions but maintaining open and productive conversations about difficult subjects requires skills that we generally learn over time. Researchers reveal how to have better conversations with your partner that result in both better emotional expression and understanding of both parties.

Learning to express, not suppress emotions

In school, we learned to count to 10 to teach us to get control of our heated emotions. That was so that we didn’t unfairly attack someone. That is still a good tactic. However, it is crucial to recognize that it is to get control at the moment, not to bury how you feel. Suppressing emotions over long periods can result in overreactions, misinterpretations of others’ actions, and intensifying the first emotions, making them more prominent than they need be. Ultimately, suppression only leads to broader issues in the long run and can destroy a relationship.

It is essential to recognize and name how you feel to yourself first. Are you upset that your partner is on his phone at dinner time? Why? Does it feel disrespectful or trigger insecurity that they don’t want to connect with you? Or, do you want their undivided attention during this relatively short time?

Tips for Having Conversations with Your Partner

1 – Be in a proper mindset when you raise an issue

It is good to recognize how you feel and understand why you think what you are at the time. That doesn’t mean you need to yell at your partner to express it but communicate it to yourself internally. The acknowledgment alone will lessen the impact on your psyche, allowing you to calm down and bring it up in a positive manner.

As a part of raising the issue, experts recommend you start the sentence with what is bothering you first and end the sentence with a positive statement. For example, ” I feel upset that you are on your phone during our dinner because I was looking forward to us spending time together uninterrupted.” This practice allows your partner to quickly both know the problem and that you care about them and are not attacking them.

2 – Actively listen to your partner

It is so easy to space out during specific conversations, especially if your mind is on subjects you’d prefer to discuss. What you may fail to recognize, is that if your partner feels listened to throughout their conversation, they won’t feel the need to repeat things, use phrases to get your attention or other tactics to draw you into the conversation. They are also more likely to freely shift the conversation towards you once they finish, allowing you to share what is on your mind.

What are the ways to actively listen?

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Position body in front and leaning in toward the person
  • Ask questions about the topic
  • Repeat ideas back to confirm understanding
  • Don’t fiddle with things
  • Focus on what they are saying verbally and physically.
  • Don’t focus on what you are thinking to reply. This is their point, not yours. Let them speak.

3 – Seek greater understanding

It is only natural that you want to feel heard and understood. Frequently, we only focus on ourselves and fail to recognize the emotions of the other party. Learning to steer a conversation toward how your partner is feeling and being open-minded may aid you in knowing how to express yourself in a manner that your partner will understand and your partner will be more willing to hear you after having expressed themselves.

4 – Own your feelings and mistakes

When discussing your feelings, remember they are your feelings. Express them in terms of “I” rather than “You.” Stating a problem by saying, ” You did x,y,z …” is like pointing a finger in their face and blaming. While they may be responsible for their actions, you are responsible for your emotions and reactions. Express yourself, stating “I feel…”

It is also essential to recognize that while you can say how you felt, that doesn’t mean you are in the right. Learning to apologize for misunderstandings and poorly expressed feelings is how you take responsibility for yourself and demonstrate respect for your partner.

5 – Never forget to bring in closeness and trust

You easily might get distracted by events of a day and not communicate the simple things to your partner. Yet, it is the little things that build closeness and trust. Some of these things are:

  • Share something that happened in your day
  • Show appreciation for something your partner did
  • Ask for their advice or opinion
  • Make physical contact during conversations

6 – Don’t always be so serious

Humor is a great way to break the tension. While there is a time and a place for certain jokes, keeping certain things light or bringing up a shared story can release stress and make an awkward conversation easier to discuss.

7 – Be clear about the purpose of the conversation

It is vital that a discussion, especially of a serious note, is focused. Make sure that you know what your purpose is for raising certain subjects and what the goal is for your partner. It is easy for a conversation to go in circles, and nothing becomes resolved when neither party is clear what is being discussed or what resolution is desired. You each may have separate goals, and it is crucial to address each one individually.

Integration of emotional regulation for better conversations

A study was performed in Israel by Bat-Hen Shahar and associates at the Ben-Gurion University. They took 140 participants, ages 22 or less, who had been in a romantic relationship for six months to three years. Their goal was to test out a theory of the Integration of Emotional Regulation.

IER is based on the idea that if you recognize what your emotions are and attach them to your sense of self, you can improve your ability to cope with challenging situations. It is believed that an emotionally balanced person can sit with both their negative and positive emotions, express them appropriately, and develop a more profound sense of self-acceptance, development, and personal intimacy.

In the study, they divided up the couples. One of the partners received emotional direction, and the other had no instructions at all. The partner given directions used one of three emotional methods in which to respond during the conversation. All of the subjects were hooked up to skin conductance monitors to read the stress levels.

The three different emotional directions were:

  1. For the participant to be fully aware of their emotions and how they correlated with their goals during the 10-minute conversation. This represented the IER method.
  2. Attempt to remove your emotions and be as rational and objective as possible
  3. Act as stoic as possible, so your partner is unable to read your emotions

The researchers verified that participants in the IER method demonstrated less stress, which declined as they continued conversing. The other groups felt they got far less out of the conversation, and the stress levels were higher.

conversation with your partner
Here are ten signs you can trust your partner.

Final Thoughts on Having Meaningful Conversations With Your Partner

Communication is difficult in any relationship, whether it is parent/child or spouses/partners. It is a science that is relatively new, and scientists are still discovering different methods which are quite contrary to how many of us have been taught.

It is more common now to express your feelings. However, previous generations viewed emotions as a weakness. Moreover, they learned to bury them and get on with the day. Often, this led to explosive arguments and major misunderstandings and, eventually, failed relationships.

Researchers now better understand different methods to have a better conversation with your partner. This time, the teachings are based on knowing and acknowledging your emotions. Thus, you can become better attuned to who you are and what you need. This goes for both parties. There is also a heavier emphasis on listening to each others’ needs, goals, and feelings without needing to be defensive. We have come a long way from our grandparents or great-grandparent’s day of remaining stoic or burying emotions. It is an excellent step toward furthering ourselves and our relationships.

The post Researchers Reveal How to Have Better Conversations with Your Partner appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

6 Ways To Enhance Your Capabilities

Your skills need to be enhanced regularly. If you’re chasing success, you need to be continually learning and growing. But if you feel like you’re already at the top of your game, what else can you do with your unique capabilities?

The truth is that no one ever really needs to stop learning. You can always improve your skills, pick up on new information, and maintain positive progress.

Here Are 6 Ways To Enhance Your Capabilities

1. Find Your Skills

You can enhance your capabilities if you’re not 100% sure what they are. Reflect on your life and consider the things you’ve done. Figure out what you’re good at and what needs work:

· First, Seek Your Skills

What are the things you know how to do? There may be some skills you don’t even know you have, like technical skills, administrative skills, or other small things you’ve picked up over the years.

· Next, Find Your Strengths

What are you good at? What are your talents? These are the areas you’ll want to work on the most, so you can be even better at them and stand out from the crowd.

· Finally, Find Your Weaknesses

Determine where your strong points don’t lie. You then have two options: you can work on your weaknesses, or you can enhance other areas to support these weaknesses. Both options are respectable ones!

2. Don’t Stay Idle

When you remain idle, you’re allowing your skills to stagnate. It’s okay to take a short rest when needed, but letting your capabilities remain unused for days or weeks on end is a surefire way to get rusty and even eventually lose much of those skills. Here’s how to avoid staying idle:

· Join Short Classes or Courses

Even if you’re good at something, there’s always more to learn. Take a course, training event, or class that can further broaden your horizons and helps you to improve on your skills.

· Take Part In Relevant Activities

Join activities that will involve the use of your abilities. For example, if you’re a woodworker, build things as gifts or ask charities if there’s anything they need to be upgraded or fixed. If you’re a performer, apply to play at events or go to an open-mic. The possibilities are endless.

· Practice

It sounds boring, but if you can’t do anything big or fancy involving your skills, practice them by yourself at home. Play an instrument? Get an hour of practice daily. Like to write? Write a story or poem just for your own eyes. Again, there are many possibilities.

3. Continue To Learn

You may think your skills are the best that they can be, but they aren’t. Are you really at your best if you’re not continually continuing to improve? If you stop working on improvement, then your journey ends there, and you’ll never see what you get to become.

There’s never any reason to stop learning. If you truly want to hone your capabilities, you’ll have to put effort into continuing to increase your knowledge. You can do this by:

· Being Mentored

Seek out someone who is truly an expert in your field and ask to be mentored by them. You’ll get to watch how they work, learn from their methods, and get insider secrets on success in the craft.

· Keep Yourself Relevant

What you considered impressive five years ago may not be impressive now. So if you graduated 20 years ago, the standards would likely have risen since then. Do what you can to keep yourself and your skills relevant.

· Make Use Of Free Resources

A lack of funds doesn’t have to stop you from learning. There are plenty of free courses available online, and video tutorials are all over YouTube. They’re not the same as paid, taught classes, but many come pretty close!

· Read

Non-fiction books have a lot of valuable knowledge in them. Look for ones authored by experts in the field, or people you look up to. You might pick up some crucial or important knowledge from there!

· Ask For Evaluation

Ask your peers or higher-ups to help evaluate you. They can give you an objective evaluation of your skills and abilities. Try to involve those beyond just your close family or friends, who may be biased.

· Don’t Be Content

Always want more. Always look for ways to grow. Finally, always seek out improvement and knowledge. Know that you are capable of more.

4. Don’t Give So Much Credit To Talent

Many people are talented, but the talent is not an automatic determiner for success. Sure, talent provides a lot of help in your journey to improve yourself and strengthen your abilities, but it is not a guarantee for success, and not having skill isn’t a guarantee for failure.

In fact, if you’re talented at something, you should work even harder at it so that you can be better than others who share your ability, and if you’re not gifted at something, you can always work hard to learn to be better at it. Even talent must be supplemented with skill. Without skill, talent means nothing.

5. Make Goals

Goal-oriented individuals often have more positive thinking than those without goals. Essentially, people with goals in mind have an easier time achieving what they want to, allowing them to be happier. They also feel like they make progress more quickly because they can watch their goals being checked off. Here’s how to make reasonable goals:

· Step 1: Determine Your Biggest Life Goal

What is it that you truly want out of life? It doesn’t have to be specific: “I want to be happy,” “I want to be the best,” or “I want to help others.”

· Step 2: Break Things Down

Find the goals you have in life and the areas you want to improve, then break them down into smaller goals. For example: Want to advance in your career? Make small goals to apply for a new job weekly, or to read a new career-related book weekly.

· Step 3: Write Your Short-Term Goals Down

It’s challenging to ignore goals that are in writing. Hold yourself accountable and write deadlines (of a reasonable variety) next to each target.

· Step 4: Make Your Goals Lead Up

All your small goals should be leading up to your big goals. This way, you’re taking small steps forward that show clear progress towards the significant achievements you’re seeking.

· Step 5: Adjust Your Goals As Needed

As time goes on, you may find that your original goals aren’t quite right. It’s okay to make small alterations as you better understand your capabilities and processes.

You should also make sure that you’re setting goals in the most positive and helpful ways. Here are some tips:

· Make Your Goals Measurable

If your goals aren’t easy to measure, you may have difficulty figuring out what your progress is along with them.

· Prioritize

Not all of your goals are equal. Some need to be prioritized over others. Make sure you have your priorities straight, and you’re going for the right benchmarks first.

· Make Your Goals Specific

Non-specific goals are challenging to follow. Make sure they’re clear, concise, and easy to follow. For example, “Read more” is not specific enough. “Read a new book twice a month” works better.

· Track Progress

Make sure you keep an eye on your progress. A journal can help keep yourself in check. Chronicle your progress and use the information to improve, adjust your action plans, and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

· Continue To Set New Goals

When you succeed in finishing your previous goals and accomplishing them, set new goals. This is how you will continue to learn and grow as time goes on.

· Be Realistic

Don’t set goals that are too difficult to achieve. Yes, you must always challenge yourself and make sure your goals aren’t easy for you to reach. But if you set unrealistic goals, you’ll wind up being demotivated when you burn out trying to reach them.

6. Engage With Others

Engaging with others is one of the best ways to hone your skills. After all, theoretical knowledge can only get you so far if you don’t put it into practice. Other people can challenge you and show you ways of thinking and problems with your style you may have never noticed before.

There are plenty of ways you can learn to engage with others. Here are a few ideas that you can incorporate:

· Leadership

If you’re at a good enough level of skill and capability, you can engage in opportunities to lead others. Take on higher roles with proper levels of responsibility. If there are no apparent opportunities for you, create new programs, set up new events, and take any chances you can to lead.

· Mentoring

When you mentor other people, you’re refreshing your knowledge and learning more things. In fact, multiple studies over the years have found that teaching others has positive impacts on your knowledge. It’s a fantastic way to continue learning.

Besides, sometimes, feeling like others are looking to you or using you as an example can help motivate you to be better.

· Competition

There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. If your peers are at a similar skill level to you, why not compete with them? This is especially useful if you’re all working in a similar environment.

This doesn’t mean you need to stage a competition against them actively. Instead, be inspired by them. If someone you know achieves success, use them as inspiration. Bolster each other, discuss strategies, and help each other.

Of course, you shouldn’t compare yourself to your peers. They’re different people with different capabilities and journeys. You shouldn’t look down on peers who you succeed over, either. Once again, it’s the inspiration and motivation you’re looking for!

enhance your capabilitiesFinal Thoughts on Enhancing Your Unique Capabilities

There are plenty of ways to improve your capabilities. When you don’t work on them, you wind up getting rusty, losing them, or falling behind on the times. It would be a pity to forget what you’ve worked hard for just because you don’t improve on them!

Continuing to enhance yourself throughout your life can help keep your mind sharp, and it will allow your skills to stay robust and relevant throughout your life. With hard work, an eager mind, a thirst for knowledge, and a good bit of positive thinking, you can easily enhance your capabilities.

The post 6 Ways To Enhance Your Capabilities appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

10 Ways Your Goals Can Prevent You From Achieving Success

You’ve probably been told a hundred times that making goals is crucial to success. But did you know that goals can also stop you from reaching success at all? In fact, if you’re facing a setback, you just can’t make heads or tails of, it’s likely that your lack of planning to blame.

Yes, it’s a bit of a confusing predicament. The problem with goal-setting is that if you don’t do it right, you’re forever doing much more harm than good to yourself and your progress. Instead of broadening your world and paving your path to your dream life, you may be building more stumbling blocks instead.

When you set goals in the right way, you don’t have much to worry about. But the art of doing so accurately is so complex that some experts even believe that it’s best not to set goals at all! With so much contradictory information, it’s understandable that you’d have difficulty figuring out what’s real.

So, what can we make of this? Is there a point to goal-setting? Should you abandon the practice altogether? Are your goals stopping you from getting where you want to be?

10 Ways Your Goals Can Prevent You From Achieving Success

1. Lack Of Measurable Qualities

All goals need to have measurable indicators. If they don’t, you can’t keep track of them. Your point of view is highly subjective when you’re trying to see how much you’ve advanced in something. If you don’t have a clear and positive way of defining each outcome’s measurements, you will lose your drive to continue.

Here are some examples of measurable versus unmeasurable goals:

  • Unmeasurable: I’m going to exercise more often!
    • Measurable: I will get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
  • Unmeasurable: By this time next year, I’ll be good at badminton.
    • Measurable: I will dedicate myself to practicing badminton thrice weekly, so I’ll be improved by this time next year.
  • Unmeasurable: I will lose 50 lbs.
    • Measurable: I will lose 2lbs every week.
  • Unmeasurable: I want to improve my grades.
    • Measurable: I want to get a minimum of a B+ on all my exams.
  • Unmeasurable: I’m going to get back in touch with old friends.
    • Measurable: I’m going to contact an old friend tomorrow night and reconnect.

2. There Is No Schedule

So, you’ve got great goals. Now, when are you going to work on them? If you don’t know the answer, then the chances are that your lack of goal-scheduling is sabotaging your chances of success. Here are some tips for effective scheduling:

  • Schedule all your goals way before you want them achieved
  • Create recurring routine schedules for working towards your goals
  • Pencil in time to work on your goals and do not cancel unless there is an emergency
  • Make use of a planner or electronic calendar
  • Limit your time spent on non-crucial things and events

Schedules can also work, in a way, like deadlines. Treat them strictly, as though they are serious rules (because they are) and get into the swing of finishing things by self-imposed deadlines. You can also ask someone you trust to make sure you’re following through.

3. A Fixed Mindset

Many people view their objective as a fixed, immovable, be-all-and-end-all dream. But goals are malleable, and they aren’t meant to stay static.

Think about it. You’re learning and growing every single day. The chances are that you’re far from the person you were just a few months ago. That’s why fixed goals don’t work. You’re going to change as you grow, and eventually, some of your objectives just might not work for you anymore.

You should not go around changing your goals at every mild inconvenience, of course. But you should learn that there is just as much strength and wisdom in knowing when to walk away as there is in sticking with something through thick and thin. Learn the difference!

4. Too Many At The Same Time

It’s best for you to focus on one big goal at a time. When you have a lot of different areas pulling at your focus, you have to multitask and divide your concentration. That can work for small or minor tasks, but for huge goals, it’s typically not feasible.

There is only so much energy that your body and mind can devote to self-improvement. If your entire life becomes focused on how you need to be better in literally every aspect of it, you’ll wind up feeling discouraged and inadequate.

5. Bad Strategies

Good goals can be ruined by bad strategies. And when those bad strategies cause you to lose your progress and slip up, your positive thinking and motivation will go tumbling out the window with it.

For example, if you plan to read more books involves getting an extra job so you can afford more books, as opposed to checking out your local library, you’re going about goal-setting and planning very incorrectly. You’ll just wind up getting even further away from your desired outcome.

6. Too Big of Goals

It’s admirable to have big goals, but that makes them seem and feel very lofty and far away, which makes it difficult to work towards. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream big! Instead, take your large goals and break them down into smaller chunks.

Cutting down big tasks into small ones has been found to have a positive effect on productivity for years by countless different areas of research. Complex goals that feel overwhelming can hugely benefit from a better method of reducing them down to smaller ones.

When you are confronted with small steps, you can feel more confident working towards them, as they feel more “real” and current. The satisfaction of checking off multiple small goals can also help keep you motivated, as opposed to the years of delayed payoff for one single big goal.

7. Unrealistic Goals and Expectations

There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking, but there’s such a thing as unintelligent optimism – or unrealistic optimism. If your goals are too lofty and unrealistic, you’re simply not going to achieve them. And when you realize you’re not getting closer to your dreams, you’ll be upset and give up on your goals altogether.

Remember, goals should be challenging, not impossible. They should push you to do your very best without expecting you to do the impossible. If you’ve set a too-high or too-low goal, you can always change it and adjust as you discover what really works for you; as we’ve already discussed, goals are malleable, not fixed! That is the key to success.

success stems from goalsetting8. Lack Of Planning

Anyone can write down their goals and dream or muse about them. But knowing your goals isn’t enough. You need to plan them out. To come up with a positive plan for success, you can:

  • Make a list of your goals in order of priority, for both long-term and short-term goals
  • Impose an individual deadline for each
  • Determine how can achieve success and write that down in your plan
  • Commit to your plan!

Here’s an example of how you might plan for a goal to achieve a goal of losing 2 lbs per week for a total loss of 50 lbs:

  • I will sign up for a gym membership next Monday.
  • I will go to the gym before work four days a week.
  • I’ll go for a hike in a nearby park every Sunday.
  • I will look up healthy recipes online this weekend.
  • I will use those recipes to make a healthy shopping list.
  • I’ll go shopping for the ingredients for healthy meals every Saturday.

9. Neglecting Preparation For Tough Times

Goals seem fun and fine when everything goes well. But this is life. Progress isn’t going to be linear. You will encounter setbacks and hard times, and if you aren’t prepared for them, it will completely mess up your goal-setting and lead to discouragement.

Research indicates that mental preparation can have significant effects on positive thinking, often improving performance by an impressive amount. All it really takes for your goals not to sabotage you is for you to factor in potential mishaps and bad times, too.

10. An Obsession With The End Result

Yes, we all know that we want to reach our goals. But when you become obsessed with the potential end result, you focus so much on the future that you forget to live in the present.

A lot of the process of working towards goals lies in focusing on what you can do now. Ask yourself:

  • Is what I’m doing currently in line with my success?
  • What can I do now that will help me later on?
  • Am I keeping my future in mind right now?
  • But more importantly, you should also ask yourself:
  • Does everything I do have to be in line with my goals?
  • Why am I not allowing myself to live in the present moment?
  • Can I accept that life is unpredictable, and the best strategy is to take things one step at a time?
  • In dreaming about my future, am I neglecting life now?

Not everything you do must be a definite step towards your goals. It’s okay to accept that you don’t know everything and that the universe may throw curveballs at you. Being able to live in the present can stop you from being derailed when things don’t go exactly to plan!

setting SMART goals
Read more about setting goals with the SMART method.

Final Thoughts On Some Ways Your Goals Can Prevent You From Achieving Success

So, what’s the take away from all of this? Should you never set goals again? No! Goals are still important, and they’re a great way to keep yourself motivated, on task, and heading in the right direction. Knowing where you’re going is often very helpful for those seeking to better themselves and their lives.

But how can you know for sure that you’re setting goals in the right way? What if your goals are dragging you down? Well, all you have to do is be aware of the factors we’ve talked about here while accepting that goals are not fixed, permanent objects. You can make changes and switch things around as needed.

If something about your goals isn’t working, then stop, figure out what the problem is, and change them for the better. Your goals were never meant to be rules. They were always meant to be guidelines. Think of them that way, and you’ll have no problem climbing the ladders to success!

The post 10 Ways Your Goals Can Prevent You From Achieving Success appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

12 Benefits of Argan Oil For Your Hair, Skin, and Nails

It sounds exotic. Moroccan argan oil. Sounds pretty snazzy, right?

Well, it does come from Morocco, and the process by which we obtain it is pretty labor-intensive. Don’t let that scare you off, though. Argan has been used for centuries to maintain the health and vibrancy of skin, hair, and nails. It contains many beneficial properties that can help to treat frustrating conditions like dry skin, frizzy hair, and stretch marks.

The fruit of the argan tree contains a nut. The nut is opened by hand so that workers can get at the small kernels inside. There are only two or three kernels in each nut, so you can imagine how many seeds it takes to create just a few ounces of oil. It winds up taking about 15-20 hours only to produce one liter of oil.

Though it’s an oil, it’s lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly into your skin, where it can set to work taking care of you! It’s so versatile that it can replace several products in your beauty and skincare routine. Here’s how!

Argan Oil For Your Hair

Use #1 – Hair Conditioner

An oil as versatile as argan deserves a place in your shower, especially if you have long hair. The beneficial nutrients, essential fatty acids, sterols, and vitamin E can nourish, moisturize, and protect your locks from damage, leaving it soft, shiny, and healthy.

Use it as you usually would a conditioner in the shower or use it as a leave-in conditioner, too. If your roots are naturally oily, apply only to the ends.

For an in-depth treatment, apply, working down to the roots, comb long hair through to distribute the oil evenly, and wrap hair in plastic wrap or a shower cap overnight to keep the heat in. Wash it out in the morning. This treatment used weekly is excellent for strengthening brittle hair.

Use #2 – Anti-Frizz

If you suffer from frizzy hair, you’ve probably tried all sorts of over the counter remedies. Argan can tame the frizz while conditioning your hair and lending healthy shine at the same time.

Put a few drops of oil in your palm, rub your hands together, and smooth it onto your hair. Use it after blow-drying to hair that’s easier to manage. For a boost, add a few drops of essential oils.

Argan Oil For Your Skin

Use #3 – Skin Moisturizer

Even though it’s an oil, argan is light and will absorb into the skin quickly without leaving an oily residue behind. That makes it a terrific moisturizer for your skin. Most of the oil’s fat content contains generous amounts of oleic and linoleic acids, which are important nutrients for maintaining healthy skin. It also contains a high amount of antioxidant vitamin E. This versatile oil improves the moisture content of the skin when used topically or taken orally. When used regularly, it can hydrate and soften the skin

To use, apply a drop or two to your face and neck after cleansing using gentle circular motions.

Use #4 – Acne Treatment

Some oils are known to make acne worse, clogging pores and inducing inflammation. Argan is not one. Intensely rich in antioxidants, it has anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to help soothe and heal the damaged skin cells. Most cases of breakouts, especially in adults, aren’t because of oily skin. They happen because the skin is dry, damaged, and inflamed. Once again, you can thank the linoleic acid for reducing inflammation. The hydration benefits contribute to promoting a healthy skin barrier, which is vital in helping to prevent breakouts. “One of the major fatty acids in argan oil – linoleic acid – can help reduce inflammation, soothe skin, and improve moisture,” explains Susie Wang, skincare chemist, and co-founder of 100 Percent Pure.

It does this while at the same time reducing the amount of sebum the skin produces in people with oily-tending skin. Increased sebum production is often at the center of many breakouts and can lead to clogged pores.

To use, apply directly to affected problematic areas. It can be beneficial for many causes of acne, though it probably won’t help in the case of hormonal acne. Adding tea tree oil can give the benefit of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

Use #5 – Reduce Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are what happens when the collagen and elastin in your skin are stretched to the max, tearing the fibers. Often the result of pregnancy, they can be frustrating to deal with and play havoc with your confidence.

You can help to reduce the occurrence of stretch marks by using argan throughout your pregnancy, during the periods of rapid growth. Both vitamins A and E and the sterols in argan work to reduce inflammation and hydrate the skin, improving the elasticity.

Warm a few drops of pure oil in your hands and gently rub the areas of concern in a circular motion. This region could include your stomach, hips, breasts, thighs, or any other problem areas. If you already see stretch marks, mix the oil with brown sugar and massage in before your next bath. After drying, apply the oil directly onto the skin.

Use #6 – Soothe Dry Skin

Dry skin can be a real downer. Itchy, bare, scaly spots that are red and uncomfortable are challenging to heal, especially when you’re dealing with conditions like eczema or psoriasis. This oil can deeply quench the inner skin’s layers and work to repair the damaged barrier while easing the irritation that usually accompanies these conditions. The fatty acids and vitamin E can support the skin’s recovery and provide essential nutrients that can prevent any further drying or irritation.

Work a small amount directly into the irritated skin.

Use #7 – Anti-Aging

There are numerous components of argan that have made it a popular anti-aging treatment that can help to prevent and even diminish fine lines and wrinkles. It can restore elasticity and leave skin feeling plumper and softer. The omega fatty acids help to strengthen the skin’s tissue, which can help with wrinkle prevention.

Taking the oil internally could help to slow the aging process by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress on the cells.

Massage a few drops onto your face and neck as a moisturizer before going to sleep at night. Even better? Mix a few drops with ceramides. “Argan oil’s fatty acids work even better on skin when they’re combined with ceramides,” says Joshua Ross, celebrity aesthetician with SkinLab, “which also helps protect the lipid barrier of the skin.”

Use #8 – Irritation From Shaving

Razor burn and shaving bumps can happen because your razor is too dull, or your skin wasn’t well-moisturized when you shaved, or maybe you’re just unfortunate enough to have really sensitive skin. Either way, the polyphenols and sterols in argan can help to soothe and heal your irritated skin.

It’s great to use anywhere you shave. Warm a few drops in your hands and lightly blend onto your freshly-shaved areas.

Use #9 – Moisturize Your Lips

Let’s face it. Your lips are skin, too, and they can get just as dry, cracked, and chapped as the rest of you. Sometimes they need a little TLC, as well, especially during the dry, cold, windy winter. Argan can help to relieve the dryness and keep them conditioned.

Apply the oil directly to your lips to keep them hydrated, soft, and supple. Wipe away any excess.

Use #10 – Moisturizing Exfoliant

You know the quenching benefits of this oil, and how it can ease irritation and redness. Work it into your exfoliation routine by creating a scrub for your lips and skin.

Mix a few drops with brown or white sugar until it forms a paste, then use to exfoliate chapped and dry skin or lips gently. Rub in a circular motion for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. Pat dry.

argan oil for healthy skin
Doctors reveal 10 essential vitamins that give you glowing skin.

Argan Oil For Your Nails

Use #11 – Repair Weak and Brittle Nails

When your nails are always cracking and brittle, you’re almost embarrassed to show them in public. They’ll certainly never hold a manicure. But if your hands are always submerged in water as is the case with health care workers, or exposed to cleaning products, detergents, and other chemicals, weak, brittle nails become the norm.

Argan can strengthen and repair brittle or weak nails, locking in much-needed moisture.

Soak your fingertips in a small bowl with 50/50 Argan and lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes.

Use #12 – Cuticle Treatment

Who enjoys painful hangnails? No one? Oh. Right.

When your hands are dry, and your nails are dull and cracked, chances are your cuticles aren’t happy, either. They could do with the deep moisturizing treatment that argan can give them.

Dot a tiny drop onto each nail and rub it into the nail bed and cuticle. If you’re preparing for a mani/pedi, wash your hands thoroughly before applying polish.

fingernail healthFinal Thoughts on Adding Argan Oil to Your Beauty Regiment

The rich antioxidants, essential nutrients, and anti-inflammatory properties of this oil contribute to its nickname, “Liquid Gold.” It’s generally considered to be safe for use by everyone, which makes it a great addition to your beauty counter.

It’s easy to incorporate into your routine, and its versatility gives you a great variety of benefits for healthy. long hair, skin, and nails.

Make sure you look for a high-quality oil that is 100% pure, organic, cold-pressed, unfiltered, and non-deodorized. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but the gold is worth it. A small bottle will go a long way.

The post 12 Benefits of Argan Oil For Your Hair, Skin, and Nails appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Business

Shelley LoRusso – The Mother Who is Determined to Cure Cancer

Shelley LoRusso is the President and Founder of the Olivia Hope Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping out children suffering from cancer and supporting their families. But that isn’t what really defines her; Shelley is a mother who witnessed her 11 year old daughter, Olivia, suffer and eventually pass away from cancer. The Olivia Hope Foundation was founded to honor Olivia’s dying wish of creating a better world for children just like her. Shelley’s eternal love for her daughter is the reason she decided to do everything in her power to bring Olivia’s dying wish to life. Which is why the foundation today has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Where does Shelley come from?

Shelley LoRusso lives in Long Island, New York with her loving husband Rob. Her oldest daughter, Gianna, is 17 years old. Her younger twin daughters, Sabrina and Olivia, would’ve turned 14 together but unfortunately, Olivia died at the young age of 12 from Acute Myeloid Leukemia in April 2017.

Before Olivia was diagnosed with AML, Shelley worked as an aesthetician for a reconstructive surgeon. However, when she heard about Olivia’s diagnosis, she quit her job to be with her daughter. Together, they both spent 15 months battling this disease, going from doctor to doctor and treatment to treatment, but nothing seemed to be working in their favour until eventually, Olivia passed away.

In 2018, Shelley and her family, founded the Olivia Hope Foundation in honor of her daughter. After that, she dedicated her days working on the foundation to help children battling cancer, trying to make their lives better and taking care of her family.

What has The Olivia Hope Foundation accomplished thus far?

Although the foundation was birthed to help out children afflicted with cancer, it has fanned out into other key areas as well; research for better treatments, support for children currently in treatment, support for the siblings of children with cancer and advocacy for change across the major institutions that influence the way things work in this world. In her opinion, the success of the foundation doesn’t just depend on one aspect of funding raised, but by the lives it touches and changes for the better.

During her hardship, she realized that research for childhood cancer is severely underfunded and falls far behind the progress made within other cancers. The sad truth is, while cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children, only 4 drugs have been approved specifically for use in childhood cancers since 1970. Each day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer. This leaves children to either die or suffer long term effects of grueling treatments. So the foundation provides funding to high priority research projects, including the Target Pediatric AML work out of Seattle Children’s Hospital and the PedAL initiative. Since 2018, they have granted $200,000 to research projects.

Her and her family have first hand experience at how devastating it can be for the families of cancer patients as well, emotionally, physically and financially. This unfortunate experience is what led them to develop two affiliated programs to support the families; The Warrior Support program and Liv’s Sibs.

The Warrior Support program helps children who are currently receiving cancer treatments, including providing financial assistance to families struggling to pay bills, helping children travel to treatment facilities, and maintaining relationships with patients to provide them with a bit of joy during difficult times. In 2019 they granted over $40,000 to children and families. This funding supported 20 families across 9 states and 4 countries. Aside from the obvious benefit of financial support during tough times, the Warrior Support program also gives families the ability to spend their time and effort where it matters most, on their child’s treatment journey.

Liv’s Sibs is a program that was initiated by Olivia’s siblings Gianna and Sabrina as they both knew what it felt like to have a sister who is in constant pain. Siblings of childhood cancer patients are called the “forgotten children,” often feeling left alone while the family focuses on the sick child. Gianna and Sabrina set out to recognize the siblings through this program by providing one-on-one support and advice. Sometimes the girls Facetime with the siblings of the patient. They hope to make the siblings feel special by getting to know them and their hobbies, and sending care packages of the things they love. While a small gesture, this puts a smile on the face of children who feel like they don’t have a place to turn. The main focus of the program is to provide comfort to the siblings as they need someone to look out for them too in their time of need.

Additionally, they visit Washington, D.C. several times throughout the year to meet with members of Congress. Through this, they aim to educate Congressmen and women and their staffers on the important legislative issues that can make a difference in funding and treatments made available to children with cancer.

Childhood cancer has many layers, and while their efforts are quite the undertaking, she truly believes that they have been able to make an impact towards better outcomes.

Why did she start the foundation and how does she aim to make the world better with it?

According to Shelley, the idea for Olivia Hope Foundation actually came from Olivia herself. One night while in the hospital as they were getting ready to go to bed, Olivia said to her, “Mom, if I got cancer and I was able to help other kids fighting like me, it will have all been worth it.” Olivia envisioned the day when she was cancer free and able to help other kids. So Shelley and her family dedicated themselves to delivering on Olivia’s wish, and she remains their guiding light as they navigate through the ugly world of childhood cancer. The foundation is extremely important to Shelley because it gives her hope. While her daughter was not able to be saved, she hopes that one day other children and their families won’t have to go through what she went through.

They, together as a family, are taking several steps to ensure Olivia Hope Foundation is impactful and makes the world a better place. First and foremost, they want to improve the survival rates for children with cancer. This will be done through better, more targeted treatments brought on by research. They want to try and give all kids a chance to live out a happy and healthy life, like the one they deserve. Next, they hope to give young people a voice and make them a part of this change. They see a huge opportunity to activate young people across the world to spread awareness, raise money and advocate for childhood cancer. With this, their foundation will launch a youth advocacy program in 2020 that provides the tools and information to empower more young people to get involved.

Any advice to other parents going through something similar?

“I have good days and bad days, and I know this will never change. Nothing will erase the pain and suffering Olivia went through and nothing will bring her back. I try to honor Olivia every single day. Helping other families and children through devastating times acts as a band aid for my broken heart. My advice to other parents experiencing something similar would be to lean on people when you need help. This can include allowing yourself to express your emotions to your family members or trusting in your hospital support team. I do believe that people are intrinsically good and that there are people who are there to catch you when you feel like falling.”

What are her hopes for the future of the Olivia Hope Foundation?

She hopes that her and her family’s tireless efforts continue to bear fruit and that the foundation continues to grow and have positive impacts on the lives of the children and their families involved. They are a grassroots organization but they are always focused on their main goal which is to help, as much as they can, to find a cure for this horrible disease that affects not only the patients but their families as well for a long and painful time. Her ultimate dream is to cure cancer, which seems overwhelming and farfetched, but it is a step in the right direction. She knows that she can’t bring Olivia back but she hopes to carry on her daughter’s name and legacy through this foundation.

Does Shelley have any “words of wisdom” that she lives by?

“I constantly remind myself to take one step at a time. I constantly remind myself to “Liv” for HOPEc (Liv is a play on Olivia’s name). I know Olivia would want me to continue on with her wishes. I know I have to live for her and my family. Olivia wanted desperately to survive. She wasn’t given that choice. At the end of her precious 12 years of life she was out of treatment options. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. Taking one step at a time allows me to continue on my path forward, towards a better life for our children.”

The post Shelley LoRusso – The Mother Who is Determined to Cure Cancer appeared first on Born Realist.


Source – bornrealist.com

Business

Shelly LoRusso – The Mother Who is Determined to Cure Cancer

Shelley LoRusso is the President and Founder of The Olivia Hope Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping out children suffering from cancer and supporting their families. But that isn’t what really defines her; Shelly is a mother who witnessed her 11 year old daughter, Oilivia, suffer and eventually pass away from cancer. The Olivia Hope Foundation was founded to honor Olivia’s dying wish of creating a better world for children just like her. Shelley’s eternal love for her daughter is the reason she decided to do everything in her power to bring Olivia’s dying wish to life. Which is why the foundation today has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Where does Shelley come from?

Shelley LoRusso lives in Long Island, New York with her loving husband Rob. Her oldest daughter, Gianna, is 17 years old. Her younger twin daughters, Sabrina and Olivia, would’ve turned 14 together but unfortunately, Olivia died at the young age of 12 from Acute Myeloid Leukemia in April 2017.

Before Olivia was diagnosed with AML, Shelley worked as an aesthetician for a reconstructive surgeon. However, when she heard about Olivia’s diagnosis, she quit her job to be with her daughter. Together, they both spent 15 months battling this disease, going from doctor to doctor and treatment to treatment, but nothing seemed to be working in their favour until eventually, Olivia passed away.

In 2018, Shelley and her family, founded The Olivia Hope Foundation in honor of her daughter. After that, she dedicated her days working on the foundation to help children battling cancer, trying to make their lives better and taking care of her family.

What has The Olivia Hope Foundation accomplished thus far?

Although the Foundation was birthed to help out children afflicted with cancer, it has fanned out into other key areas as well; research for better treatments, support for children currently in treatment, support for the siblings of children with cancer and advocacy for change across the major institutions that influence the way things work in this world. In her opinion, the success of the foundation doesn’t just depend on one aspect of funding raised, but by the lives it touches and changes for the better.

During her hardship, she realized that research for childhood cancer is severely underfunded and falls far behind the progress made within other cancers. The sad truth is, while cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children, only 4 drugs have been approved specifically for use in childhood cancers since 1970. Each day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer. This leaves children to either die or suffer long term effects of grueling treatments. So the foundation provides funding to high priority research projects, including the Target Pediatric AML work out of Seattle Children’s Hospital and the PedAL initiative. Since 2018, they have granted $200,000 to research projects.

Her and her family have first hand experience at how devastating it can be for the families of cancer patients as well, emotionally, physically and financially. This unfortunate experience is what led them to develop two affiliated programs to support the families; The Warrior Support Program and Liv’s sibs.

The Warrior Support program helps children who are currently receiving cancer treatments, including providing financial assistance to families struggling to pay bills, helping children travel to treatment facilities, and maintaining relationships with patients to provide them with a bit of joy during difficult times. In 2019 they granted over $40,000 to children and families. This funding supported 20 families across 9 states and 4 countries. Aside from the obvious benefit of financial support during tough times, the Warrior Support also gives families the ability to spend their time and effort where it matters most, on their child’s treatment journey.

Liv’s Sibs is a program that was initiated by Olivia’s siblings Gianna and Sabrina as they both knew what it felt like to have a sister who is in constant pain. Siblings of childhood cancer patients are called the “forgotten children,” often feeling left alone while the family focuses on the sick child. Gianna and Sabrina set out to recognize the siblings through this program by providing one-on-one support and advice. Sometimes the girls facetime with the siblings of the patient. They hope to make the siblings feel special by getting to know them and their hobbies, and sending care packages of the things they love. While a small gesture, this puts a smile on the face of children who feel like they don’t have a place to turn. The main focus of the program is to provide comfort to the siblings as they need someone to look out for them too in their time of need.

Additionally, they visit Washington, D.C. several times throughout the year to meet with members of Congress. Through this, they aim to educate Congres men and women and their staffers on the important legislative issues that can make a difference in funding and treatments made available to children with cancer.

Childhood cancer has many layers, and while their efforts are quite the undertaking, She truly believes that they have been able to make an impact towards better outcomes.

Why did she start the Foundation and how does she aim to make the world better with it?

According to Shelley, the idea for Olivia Hope Foundation actually came from Olivia herself. One night while in the hospital as they were getting ready to go to bed, Olivia said to her, “Mom, if I got cancer and I was able to help other kids fighting like me, it will have all been worth it.” Olivia envisioned the day when she was cancer free and able to help other kids. So Shelley and her family dedicated themselves to delivering on Olivia’s wish, and she remains their guiding light as they navigate through the ugly world of childhood cancer. The foundation is extremely important to Shelley because it gives her hope. While her daughter was not able to be saved, She hopes that one day other children and their families won’t have to go through what she went through.

They, together as a family, are taking several steps to ensure Olivia Hope Foundation is impactful and makes the world a better place. First and foremost, they want to improve the survival rates for children with cancer. This will be done through better, more targeted treatments brought on by research. They want to try and give all kids a chance to live out a happy and healthy life, like the one they deserve. Next, they hope to give young people a voice and make them a part of this change. They see a huge opportunity to activate young people across the world to spread awareness, raise money and advocate for childhood cancer. With this, their foundation will launch a youth advocacy program in 2020 that provides the tools and information to empower more young people to get involved.

Any Advice to other parents going through something similar?

“I have good days and bad days, and I know this will never change. Nothing will erase the pain and suffering Olivia went through and nothing will bring her back. I try to honor Olivia every single day. Helping other families and children through devastating times acts as a band aid for my broken heart. My advice to other parents experiencing something similar would be to lean on people when you need help. This can include allowing yourself to express your emotions to your family members or trusting in your hospital support team. I do believe that people are intrinsically good and that there are people who are there to catch you when you feel like falling.”

What are her hopes for the future of the Olivia Hope Foundation?

She hopes that her and her family’s tireless efforts continue to bear fruit and that the foundation continues to grow and have positive impacts on the lives of the children and their families involved. They are a grassroots organization but they are always focused on their main goal which is to help, as much as they can, to find a cure for this horrible disease that affects not only the patients but their families as well for a long and painful time. Her ultimate dream is to cure cancer, which seems overwhelming and farfetched, but it is a step in the right direction. She knows that she can’t bring Olivia back but she hopes to carry on her daughter’s name and legacy through this foundation.

Does Shelley have any “words of wisdom” that she lives by?

“I constantly remind myself to take one step at a time. I constantly remind myself to live for HOPE. I know Olivia would want me to continue on with her wishes. I know I have to Live for her and my family. Olivia wanted desperately to survive. She wasn’t given that choice. At the end of her precious 12 years of life she was out of treatment options. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. Taking one step at a time allows me to continue on my path forward, towards a better life for our children.”

The post Shelly LoRusso – The Mother Who is Determined to Cure Cancer appeared first on Born Realist.


Source – bornrealist.com

Lifestyle

10 Best Stones for Crystal Healing in 2020

Crystals have been used for hundreds of years, for their extensive healing properties and also for their behavior enhancing effects. An example of this can be seen in jade, a crystal that has been used by people around the world, particularly the Chinese to bring luck and good fortune to them.

These healing crystals come in all shapes and sizes and their effect on the user also varies depending on the type of crystal being used. Some crystals are used to bring good fortune and prosperity whereas other crystals are used to treat physical ailments. This article covers the top ten best crystals that have amazing healing properties.

10) Yellow tiger eyes:

  • Color: yellow
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Grants courage

This is a very powerful crystal that grants the user the courage and motivation to do anything. It is also a very protective stone as it’s strong aura defense the user from any foreign electromagnetic waves that may disturb the users natural chakra state.

Our tip for using yellow tiger eyes:

Keep at least one of these healing stones in your possession. Place it in the room you sleep or spend most of your time in, this will protect the entire room. You can even take this healing crystal with you if you want. You can get this on Crystalopedia shop.

9) Emerald:

  • Color: green
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Helps focus attention

Emerald is a very beautiful stone that is usually used in many jewelry pieces. This stunning crystal can do a lot more than just looking pretty. It is a crystal that promotes focus and attention, great for people that have problems concentrating on a particular subject.

Our tip for using emerald:

Keep this in your study room or your bag, and be sure to use it during your examinations for a more efficient and longer lasting memory retention time.

8) Rose quartz:

  • Color: pink
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Self-healing

This crystal is one of the best crystals used for self healing not only can this crystal heal physical ailments it can also heal emotional wounds. This crystal will help you achieve internal stability.

Our tip for using rose quartz:

Keep this close to your heart when using it. You can get these on etsy shop.

7) Amethyst:

  • Color: purple
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Promotes tranquility and peace

Amethyst is one of the most renowned and famous stones used by hundreds of thousands of members of the healing crystal community. It is a crystal that can help you achieve tranquility and peace in your life. It can relax your body and mind and can align your thoughts. It’s a great stone to use during your meditation session.

Our tip for using amethyst:

Use it by meditating with it with it, we have also found that taking a bath with amethyst really enhances it’s healing properties and their effects on the user.

6) Hematite:

  • Color: metallic black
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Grounding

Hematite is a great grounding stone. For those of you who don’t know, grounding is the process by which all the negative chakra in your body is removed into the ground. Most problems whether they are physical or behavioral in nature can be cured by the simple alignment of your chakra centers.

Our tip for using hematite:

Use it for grounding, you can do so by placing it in your right hand and focusing your energy towards the stone. It will automatically cleanse it and remove the toxic energy.

5) Citrine:

  • Color: yellow
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Enhances vision for the future

It is the stone of optimism, it can not only be used to treat physical ailments but it can also be used to enhance your vision for the future. With this stone you will be able to transform yourself into the person that you need to be in order to achieve your goals and dreams.

Our tip for using citrine:
Make an elixir out of it, spray it in the rooms where you spend most of your time. In this way the effects of the crystal will last in the entire room.

4) Green aventurine:

  • Color: green
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Promotes success and prosperity

This is a beautiful stone that has very special properties. It is known for the numerous benefits it offers in treating any sort of ailment but is renowned for it’s prosperity and success inducing effects.

Our tip for using green aventurine:
Keep a small stone in your pocket or wallet for continued effects.

3) Fluorite:

  • Color: numerous
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Helps in making tough decisions

It is a beautiful crystal that is available in a wide variety of colors. This stone is particularly useful for making tough decisions. Also, this stone has the ability to stabilize your internal chakra and remove the bad energy from your system.

Our tip for using fluorite:
Make it into a bracelet, so you can make better decisions throughout the day.

2) Lapis lazuli:

  • Color: blue
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Spiritual enlightenment

It is the stone of enlightenment, a crystal used by hundreds of people to attain spiritual enlightenment. It also has the ability to remove confusion and make sound decisions even in the most difficult of situations.

Our tip for using lapis lazuli:

Be sure to meditate with this stone for maximum effect.

1) Obsidian:

  • Color: black
  • Origin: USA, China, India, Brazil
  • Protects chakra

It is a very powerful protective stone. This crystal is very good at defending and maintaining your internal chakra state. This protective stone will also help you remove any bad chakra in your system.

Our tip for using obsidian:

Place it in your room for continuous protection.

References:
crystalopedia.com/crystals-for-weight-loss/

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Source – bornrealist.com

Lifestyle

How To Release Emotional Attachment to Expectation

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve hoped for something, only to have it fall through. It can be challenging to recover from such a painful blow, but it’s even more difficult if you feel a desperate emotional attachment to what you hoped would be. Your expectation–and confidence–feel crushed.

Sadly, it never pays to be too attached to something that hasn’t yet been guaranteed.

Here’s How To Release Emotional Attachments To Expectation

1. Accept That You Don’t Know Everything

A considerable part of non-attachment is being okay with not knowing. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know about everything in life. You have to accept that you don’t have all the answers and that you, therefore, can’t control anything in life.

When you get hung up on knowing everything, you obsess over the future and try to play complicated games of mental chess to figure out what is most likely to happen. To some degree, it’s good to plan for strong possibilities, but always attempting to protect yourself against every possible outcome isn’t going to work.

The world is not black and white. The most unexpected things can happen. Sometimes, your best bet is to get your positive thinking going, take a deep breath, and go through with your plans with cautious hopes and realistic optimism. Hoping for the best and having confidence that you can weather any misfortune goes a long way.

2. Stay Calm

Staying calm is a great way to remove emotional attachments. It shows that these events do not have control over you – you have control over you, and that’s that.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have emotional responses to certain situations. You’re allowed to have strong reactions to experiences and unexpected events, and it’s perfectly valid to feel that way. But you should also learn to remain calm in these situations, too, to avoid doing things you’ll regret. Here’s how to practice staying calm:

· Count

At the moment, count to ten in your mind and focus on those numbers going up. You can also count down if that helps you. Give yourself those ten seconds to think, let go of the initial rush of emotion, and release the attachment to them.

· Meditate

Daily meditation can have an overall positive effect on not just your patience and emotional control, but on your entire mental health and positive thinking. If you do this, you may be able to control your emotions and reactions in the moment better. Meditation apps are available to help in those situations.

· Breathe

Feel the feelings riling too high up? Release your attachment to them by breathing. Take a deep breath in for eight counts, hold for four counts, and exhale for seven counts, then repeat. You can also practice on your own to see which counts work best for you.

· Control

Again, you cannot control all events, but they don’t need to have control over you. Strengthening your grip over your mind and mental faculties can help provide you with better control over your emotions in the heat of the moment.

· Walk Away

If you’re having trouble controlling yourself, request five or ten minutes to calm yourself down in a separate room. Removing yourself from a situation indicates that you aren’t attached to it in a big way.

3. Don’t Consider Any One Thing The “True” One

When you’re excited about a new job, a new relationship, or a unique opportunity of any kind, try not to put so much stock on it that it becomes the “one.” Yes, it’s good to aim for what you want, but you risk idealizing it to the point where it feels like your only option.

When you elevate these kinds of dreams to such a high level, you wind up being completely crushed and demotivated when they fall through. These types of fantasies will ultimately only harm you in the long run. You need to maintain some degree of realism, even if your positive thinking is through the roof.

There is no such thing as a true “one” – there are only things that are right for you at certain times in your life. If you don’t get something that you want, it’s because it wasn’t what was meant to be for you at the time.

4. Take Control Of Change

If you feel like your life is spiraling out of control, it’s hard to detach yourself from the emotional aspects of it. You likely feel this way because you can’t control some of the situations that are happening in your life.

There’s no quick fix to feeling like you have no control because the fact is that you often don’t. But there is a way you can work on emotional detachment. If a change is happening around you, take control of things you can change. For example:

  • Change how you react to situations
  • Redecorate your home; you don’t have to spend money, just move furniture around and reorganize
  • Get a new haircut, try a new hair dye, or try a unique fashion style
  • Declutter your old things; throw out what you no longer need
  • Try a new skill or hobby
  • Go out to meet new friends
  • Watch a new show or play a new game
  • Cook a different style of food
  • Eat somewhere you’ve never eaten before

5. Do Not Berate The Part Of You That Is Attached

It’s easy to hate the parts of yourself that are emotionally attached, but you should be kind to those parts of you. Often, they’re much smaller parts than you think – they only feel big because you’ve devoted so much energy and time to them.

If it helps, you can try to think of these parts of you as separate entities. These parts are hurt and frightened. When you scold them or are harsh on them, what you’re doing is just scaring them more, pushing them even further into their terrified states.

You need to understand yourself and why you are emotionally attached. Then, gently teach those parts of you how to let go. Be firm but compassionate, and tend to those parts of your soul. You will find that a little love and care go a long way in helping the attached pieces.

6. Shift Your Perspective

When emotions run high, and attachment is strong, it’s challenging to focus on anything else. That’s why taking the time to shift your perspective actively can help you see the bigger picture instead of getting hung up on, the smaller details.

Sometimes, things make it feel like the world is ending, but that’s just because you’re seeing an up-close version of what is going on. Take a step back and zoom out. What’s happening around you? Is this worth losing your cool over?

Consider whether this issue will still be terrible a day, a week, a month, or a year from now. In most cases, the things that drive us insane don’t matter for more than a couple of days. Remember that the next time you feel like you may lose your temper! Some things just aren’t worth it, and if it doesn’t matter in the long run, why sweat it?

Plus, when you put it all into perspective, you’ll find a lot of things worth being happy about. Research indicates that even trying to happy can have positive effects on mental health!

7. Be Grateful

This kind of goes hand in hand with shifting your perspective, but on a much larger scale. Learn to be grateful for everything in life. When things go well, be thankful for all your success and good turns of events.

But what about when your expectations go wrong? You can still manage to be grateful. When things go sideways, be grateful that:

  • There are good things to learn from this situation
  • The situation is not as bad as it could be
  • You can learn from this and get better
  • You were able to find a silver lining

It’s a good idea to keep a gratitude journal where you list down at least three things per day that you feel grateful for. These things can be massive, such as earning a new promotion, resolving an argument, or winning a competition, but they can also be small. Here are some simple ideas of what to be thankful for:

  • Having a roof over your head
  • Access to food and water
  • Access to utilities like electricity, gas, and heating
  • The coffee you have in the morning
  • The clothes you have
  • The people in your life
  • A meal you enjoyed recently
  • Your good health
  • Your favorite songs, bands, or music
  • Your favorite movies or TV shows

This isn’t to become some consistently happy and excitable person – it’s to learn to appreciate the small things in life. Gratitude boosts positive thinking to the next level, completely changing the way you think and behave.

When you have a mindset of gratitude all the time, it is easier for you to release emotional attachments that come from expectations because you’re always thankful for the situations at hand.

8. Keep Your Options Open

Scarcity makes you attach a lot of hype and emotions to expectations. Just like how making a particular option, the “one” is harmful to your positive thinking, a lack of options and a reluctance to maintain many options can also be unfortunate for you.

When you’re anxious about losing things like time, chances, or money, you can slip into an anxiety-ridden state where the feeling of scarcity controls you. As such, you should never narrow yourself down to the point where you have barely any options.

It’s always a good idea to have a Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and so on. Having alternatives can prevent this overwhelming emotional attachment to your expectations. Here are some examples of how to avoid being cornered:

  • Apply for multiple jobs and envision having more than one good offer
  • Imagine three different dream houses
  • Organize three different paths to a particular goal; start by sticking to one, then if that fails, shift to another

emotional attachment to expectations causes worryFinal Thoughts on Releasing Emotional Attachments to Expectation

Expectations are everywhere in life, and they’re often unavoidable. It’s good to have some hopes for yourself. It keeps you motivated and working towards your goals. But having too strong an emotional attachment to those expectations can hurt you more than it helps. Learning to release those attachments will have a positive effect on you overall.

The post How To Release Emotional Attachment to Expectation appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

10 Ways To Get Negative Thoughts Out (And Let Positive Thoughts In)

Are your thoughts constantly negative? Do you notice that you feel more down than you usually do? Is it difficult for you to think of anything positive? These are all signs that you’ve let negativity take over your life.

But all is not lost. You can learn to expel negative thoughts and invite positive ones by changing certain habits and behaviors.

10 Ways To Get Negative Thoughts Out, And Let Positive Thoughts In

1. Look For Good Things

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Yes, it’s a bit of an old cliché, but that doesn’t make it less true. When negative thoughts come, look for something positive in it. You can do this by asking yourself questions such as:

  • What’s the positive side of this situation?
  • How would a trusted family member or best friend help me through this?
  • Is there anything I can learn from the situation?
  • What’s the silver lining here?

Once this is done, shift your thoughts even further and look for more positive things in your everyday life. For every negative thought, find one good thing to love about the world. It can be as small or as big as you want. Some examples include:

  • A happy news story
  • A type of food you like
  • Good people in your life
  • Cute or funny animals
  • An amusing Internet post
  • The happiness of your loved ones

2. Separate Yourself From Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts will never define you. No matter how strong or powerful they feel, their grip over you is temporary and has no bearing on your actual abilities.

Still, it’s easy to be taken aback by negative thoughts, especially when they feel like they’re coming right out of nowhere. You attach additional bad thoughts to them, and they grow and grow with only your mind as their foundation.

At the moment, those thoughts feel very much like a part of you. You can hardly separate yourself from them because of how overwhelming they are. But instead of letting them rule you, do the following.

  • Step 1: Acknowledge these thoughts. Recognize them for what they are, don’t just ignore them.
  • Step 2: Look at your thoughts as though it’s from an outsider’s perspective. Do not interact with them. As funny as it sounds, just say, “Oh look, bad thoughts.”
  • Step 3: Treat the thoughts as a guest. You have the right to request that they leave.

Conversely, if you want positive thoughts, you can also treat them like guests – just invite them in instead of kicking them out!

3. Determine The Root Cause and Replace It

What is the root cause of your negative thoughts? If you don’t know where they come from, you can’t curb them. You may end up continually exposing yourself to triggers for negative thoughts without preparing or bracing yourself in advance, even when it’s unnecessary for you to be putting yourself into those situations in the first place. Some common non-specific root causes of negative thoughts are:

· Fear

Anxiety can often fill your head with negativity, and you may even convince yourself that all your fears will come true.

· Habit

You may have fallen into a habit of negative thinking that has become the norm for you over the months and years, making it difficult to stop.

· Negative Company

If you’re around toxic people who don’t practice positive thinking, you’re going to wind up thinking as they do.

· Emotional Baggage

Residual issues from your past may be stopping you from engaging in better thought patterns.

Some common specific root causes of negative thoughts are:

  • Media, such as magazines, news, websites, podcasts, and more
  • Triggers for anxiety, depression, or trauma responses
  • Certain colleagues, friends, or family members

4. Focus On The Now

Thinking about the future is important for planning purposes, but overly focusing on what is to come will do you no good. After all, though you can prepare for it and make goals for it, you cannot definitively know what is going to happen in the future.

Similarly, thinking about the past is important for self-reflection, which has positive effects on one’s sense of self and mental state. But focusing too much on the past is pointless as you can’t change what’s happened before.

Instead, focus on the now. Live your life one day at a time, embrace everyday challenges, and consider the fact that what you do matters today more than what you’ve done in your past, and it is also what will shape your future.

5. Be Positive To Others

Sometimes, inviting in positive thoughts on your own can be tricky, especially when negativity has ruled your mind for so long. But you can coax them into your life by being good to the people around you and encouraging positive thoughts in them. It doesn’t take much to be positive to others. You can:

  • Take extra care to be polite to everyone you meet
  • Be a willing listener in a conversation
  • Interact with others in an enthusiastic manner

If you feel like it, you can also go out of your way (even just a little) to be extra compassionate or helpful. Making others happy will likely make you happy too:

  • Offer someone a kind smile or greeting
  • Compliment someone on their appearance, abilities, or qualities
  • Help someone out with a favor
  • Give someone some encouraging words
  • Offer a kind ear or shoulder to someone who needs to vent
  • Donate to charity, whether in the form of money or items
  • Volunteer your time and effort to a non-profit you believe in

6. Talk About It

Keeping your negative thoughts bottled up can cause you a lot of pain. You may think you’re doing well, but these thoughts will eventually spill over and become impossible to control. So learn to express those thoughts before they build up over you.

You can speak to a friend, family member, or other trusted person in your life about your troubles, or even seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. If talking is difficult at first, you can write in a journal or make art to express the negativity, but the goal is to be able to talk about these problems eventually.

Talking to another person is a great way to hear alternate perspectives. Even if you’re not looking for advice, you can still learn from the people you speak to. This allows you to receive positive thoughts from them.

7. Change Your Body Language

Body language plays a huge role in your positive thinking and overall outlook. In fact, some studies recommend the use of movement-based treatments for depressive disorders!

Body language is extremely powerful. It’s an excellent tool for communication and empathy, and it can even speak louder than your actual words can sometimes. This may be why it can even influence how you think.

Think about it. Smiling helps reduce stress in the body because of the muscles specifically engaged when you grin. So is it really so farfetched to imagine that your overall body language can send good or bad messages to your brain?

Essentially, you may be able to let go of negative thoughts while encouraging positive ones by changing your body language. Try:

  • Dropping your shoulders back
  • Calm the muscles of your face and open your expression
  • Don’t cross your legs and arms defensively
  • Keep your mouth visible when you speak

This prevents stress from being triggered in the body and encourages a more relaxed stance and thought process overall.

8. Practice Gratitude

One of the best ways to invite positivity while locking out negativity is by practicing gratitude. Sometimes, all the negative thoughts can make you forget about the positive things in life.

Studies have found that gratitude can actually increase happiness and positive thinking over time. A great way to practice gratitude is by keeping and maintaining a gratitude journal where you write things in it daily that you are grateful for.

Even on days when you’re at your worst, you can likely still find something to be grateful for. Ideas include:

  • Access to food and clean water
  • A roof over your head
  • Loved ones
  • Good health
  • Your job or education level
  • The ability to pay certain bills

9. Change How You Talk About Yourself

A lot of your negative thoughts may be caused by the fact that you continue to encourage them through negative self-talk. You may say things like:

  • “I don’t think I can do that.”
  • “Ugh, I’m such a (negative trait).”
  • “I’m always so bad at that.”

While they seem harmless and may even be played off as jokes, sometimes, these words eventually get to us. If you repeatedly insult someone, they will slowly learn to believe it – so why would it be any different for yourself?

Start using positive affirmations when you talk about yourself. Instead of putting yourself down, choose neutral statements, like:

  • “I don’t know how to do that.”
  • “That was a mistake on my part.”
  • “I’m not comfortable doing that task.”
  • “I’m still learning how that works.”

You can also try saying positive affirmations to yourself every day. Stand up in front of a mirror in your home and say these things to yourself. Here are some examples of affirmations.

  • “I am strong and capable.”
  • “I’ll attract positivity.”
  • “I do my best, and good things come to me.”

Be kind and gentle with yourself. Speak to yourself as you would a much-loved friend!

self confidence
Here’s how to boost your self-esteem with positivity.

10. Do A Workout

Working out seems like cliché advice for letting out negativity, but it’s said so often because it truly works. Exercising and sweating things out helps you to express negative thoughts easily while also producing feel-good hormones.

It doesn’t have to be a full-on difficult workout. Just a little physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes can have a great effect on your thoughts. Here are some examples of types of exercises that you can do:

  • Swim
  • Dance
  • Go for a walk or a jog
  • Lift weights
  • Do yoga
  • Garden or do chores
  • Ride a bicycle
positivity quotes
These positivity quotes will help lift your spirits

Final Thoughts on Ridding Your Mind of Negative Thoughts

No one wants to be plagued by negative thoughts constantly. By learning to alter certain bad habits, you’ll be able to replace the negativity with positivity. It can be a challenge at first, but with enough effort and hard work, you’ll be able to wave goodbye to days filled with bad headspaces.

The post 10 Ways To Get Negative Thoughts Out (And Let Positive Thoughts In) appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com