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25 Comebacks That Stop A Toxic Person (And Their Bad Attitude)

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Bad attitudes kill. Not literally, of course, but a toxic person’s perspective sucks the life out of everyone around them. They’re usually pessimistic, and highly critical, and demeaning to co-workers, schoolmates or family members. Their bad attitudes are contagious, so spreading discontentment and dissatisfaction. It can be challenging to understand fully how to deal with this kind of person. So, what are some comebacks to kindly squash a toxic person’s bad attitude?

Don’t just stand there, say something

Not only are toxic people annoying, but they can also be downright intimidating. Studies show that bad behavior has power; it influences people more than good behavior. Don’t let a toxic person’s intimidating attitudes leave you powerless. Speak up. Ask a question to help them see you’re not going along with their toxicity.

Ask:

  • “You sound upset. Are you okay?”
  • “It sounds like you’re having a bad day. Maybe you should take a break.”
  • “You seem so unhappy.”
  • “What are you grateful for today?”

Respectfully push back

Be kind-hearted, but don’t be a pushover. You can be kind and strong at the same time. Speak politely but honestly to the toxic person. Your lack of push back may encourage the person’s toxicity. You may be feeling intimidated or overly helpful to this person. Here are some positive comebacks you can use to push back on the toxic person.

  • Use “I” statements to demonstrate to them how you feel about what they’re saying.
  • “When you say_________I “I want you to understand this because you’re my friend.”
  • “Life is too short to complain about everything!”
  • “Sorry, I’m not going there.”

Keep it light

Don’t get drawn into their toxic behavior, but counteract it with humor. Keep it light for your peace of mind, so you’re not drawn into their web of complaining, anger, and bad attitudes. Don’t fall prey to their tactics. They’re looking for a victim, don’t let it be you! If they’re manipulating you or trying to draw you into their gossip. Give them a funny answer to let them know you’re not buying what they’re trying to sell you.

  • “Today is national don’t be manipulated day! Let’s celebrate!”
  • “Sorry, I’m all out of drama!”
  • “Let’s change the subject. I’m bored.”
  • “Did you know being happy will make you live longer?”
  • “I’m going to get you some happy pills.”

Don’t feel pressured

Don’t feel like you must agree with a toxic person. They often feel the need to control those around them. Plus, they hate being wrong. Don’t negotiate with them. Be your person with your own opinions and stand up to the toxic person’s control with statements like:

  • “I need to think about that; I’m not sure I agree with you.”
  • “I’m still thinking about that issue right now, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t pressure me.”
  • “I’m not committing to anything new right now, so please stop asking.”
  • “I don’t think I feel as strongly about it as you do, but that’s okay.”

Refuse to respond to their negativity

Toxic people like to get others to agree with them. Like the story of the spider and the fly, they want to draw you into their mean spirited gossip and backbiting. It’s easy to be drawn into this scheme. But rise above their toxic attitudes. When they spew their poisonous words, take a deep breath, and respond in a positive, firm way.

If they say, “Did you hear what ______did yesterday?”

You say, “I’ve always liked_______. She seems genuine.”

Turn the conversation to a positive one, if possible, with affirming statements about people or situations. The toxic person may be surprised or even angry that you don’t agree with them since they love being right. That’s okay, stay true to yourself, your faith, and your goals for growth. If they get nasty, look at your phone and say, “I need to get back to work” or walk away.

Gentle words

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (NIV, Proverbs 15:1)

Toxic people are needy. They are angry, stubborn, and need to feel important to be the “go-to” person at work or school. When they aren’t getting the attention which they crave, they spew toxic, bad attitudes everywhere. For that reason, answering them with a gentle answer gets to their heart’s needs. They may not respond well, they may be angry or laugh at you, but deep down inside, they are listening. They are hurting, and they probably need counseling.

Try using “I” words, be firm, but kind-hearted. Offer them help if they want it, but be sure they know you’re not going to participate in their toxicity. Many people see this as being a Pollyanna, but kindness never goes out of style. Whether the toxic person deserves compassion or not, they are a human being, so that’s a good reason to be kind to them.

  • “I’m praying for you to be happier in life.”
  • “I won’t participate in your backbiting, but I’m still your friend.”
  • “It’s not my style to be angry like you are.”
  • “Sorry, but I”m not going there.”
  • “I’m happy here at________, You’re missing out by being so angry all the time.”

Don’t overstep your boundaries. Never offer help to someone who doesn’t want your help. Be self-preserving enough to keep your distance from someone who is trying to hurt you.

comebacks

Tell the truth

It’s hard to believe, but toxic people don’t always know they’re poisonous. They’re blind to what they’re like. Their co-workers or schoolmates don’t tell them the truth about themselves, because they’re afraid they’ll get an angry outburst. If you are a friend or a caring enough person, you can tell them the truth. They may not like it; they may yell at you or gossip about you. That’s okay, their opinion of you isn’t your identity. Don’t allow them to dictate your decisions. You make your own decisions based on your convictions. Approach them privately, over coffee, or outside the workplace.

Say,

  • “Hey, may I speak with you for a moment privately? I value our friendship, so I wanted to tell you truthfully that you come across bitter and sort of toxic. I know this may be surprising to you, but I’m worried about you.”

Or say,

  • “I feel uncomfortable saying this, but you seem so unhappy all the time. You’re an angry person. Do you think you might need counseling to help you? I’d be happy to help you find one.”

Talk to them one time; don’t keep bringing it up. Never feel like you must change a toxic person. That won’t happen. You can’t change people, but you can be strong and courageous enough to tell them the truth. In time, they may respect you for it. Or they may never speak to you again. That’s okay. You were true to yourself, and that’s all you can do.

dealing with toxic personSee you later

Sometimes, when you’ve tried everything to live with the toxic person, the only thing you can do is to say goodbye to your friendship. It is sad to need to do this, but you need to take care of yourself. Stand your ground and say keep your goodbye short and sweet. If you’ve been truthful with them and told them in the past that they’re toxic attitudes affected you, then they won’t be surprised you’re ending the relationship. Simply tell more truth. Say something like, “I need to end our friendship. Your negativity isn’t healthy.” Or say, “Your toxic view of life is affecting me too much, I think it’s best if we part ways for now. I do want to be your friend, but I need a break.”

They may get angry or yell at you, but that’s okay. Walk away, and remember this is the best thing for you.

toxic personFinal Thoughts on Using These Comebacks To Kindly Let a Toxic Person Know You Don’t Like Negativity

Toxic people will always be around. Whether it’s at work, at school, or perhaps even in your family, you’re going to experience bad-mannered, cynical, and angry people. It takes courage and pure strength of character to have a good comeback with these people. Good chance you won’t change them. That’s not your job, but you can take control of your life and stand up to them. Your words matter, you’re accountable for how you live and what you say, but it’s not your fault that the toxic person is so negative.

Don’t let them blame you! Stand up for yourself when necessary. Speak up and push back kindly when you need to. Believe it or not, deep down inside, a toxic person may respect you for it. You never know when your strength and courage affects them. Stay true to yourself with a positive outlook on life, and pray for them to change their ways in due time.

The post 25 Comebacks That Stop A Toxic Person (And Their Bad Attitude) appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

Here’s What Happens When You Meditate 100 Days In a Row

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By now, it’s obvious to pretty much everyone who subscribes to the Power of Positivity knows. Meditation practice produces at least some benefits to the human body. If you meditate or know someone who does, you’ll almost certainly attest to this.

Due to the popularity of meditation in the United States and other Western countries, it’s a topic of interest to medical caregivers. Professional interested in learning more include psychologists, mental health professionals, and wellness practitioners. Most likely, all of the purported advantages of meditation are in medical and scientific literature.

This implication is a big deal, as some are more inclined to try something if there’s a bit of evidence behind it.

One such research topic is the effects of long-term meditation – and many of the results are utterly fascinating. Here, we’ll be discussing what happens when you meditate for 100 days in a row. (Note: some of the research studies cited are 3-month meditation retreats or just over 90 days.)

Before we get into the potential effects of meditating, let’s cover the basics.

The Basics: What is Meditation?

“Meditation is offering your genuine presence to yourself in every moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Master

Despite the widely-held image of a monk sitting in a temple chanting, or some person trancing out on a pillow, meditation is a rather loaded concept with multiple meanings. Most individuals in the West have practiced some form of mindfulness meditation, which typically involves the open monitoring of mental and physical events.

Also popular are the Eastern-derived meditation styles of Samatha and vipassana. Most 10-day retreats build upon the latter. However, the former is taught and learned as a means of “calm abiding” or maintaining mindful awareness amid daily life.

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh (and several other teachers and masters) do not limit meditation to a structured activity that occurs while sitting cross-legged on a cushion. While “sitting” (an informal Zen term for meditation) is considered a necessary aspect of a broader practice, true meditation requires us to be fully aware and attentive in the midst of any and activities, however mundane.

While simple, the act of remaining present is not at all natural. It’s tough going, and it is so because of our continuous mental activity. Just in case you haven’t noticed, our mind always seems to have something to say.

Harvard professor reveals what happens when you meditate daily.

Meditate: Achieve balance in your mind

Have you ever wondered why that is? Well, if the Buddhists are right; it’s because this self-chatter isn’t really “you.” Nor is it a “self.” It’s a conditioned pattern – habit energy – of the mind.

Buddhists consider this constant noise to be a kind of “mental disorder.” The natural state of our mind is silent, bright, and luminous. Yet, it has been made opaque through conditioning (i.e., “being in the world.”)

It is vital to realize that this habit energy strengthens the longer that it goes on, continuing to cloud our once-pristine mind.

An example of the healing power of meditation

To illustrate, let’s analogize a smoker.

If someone picks up smoking, they’ll immediately do damage to what was before a smoke-free body. However, if the individual quits smoking after, say, one or two cigarettes, they can reverse the damage quite quickly. But if the person becomes addicted, and continues to smoke year after year and pack after pack, both the mental and physical qualities of that person are severely damaged.

The good news is that a person can stop at any time. A day or two after finishing, their body begins to restore itself.

In the same way, we can approach our conditioned mind and replace its harmful contents with their opposites. One way, the best way of doing this is through meditation.

We must meditate.

meditation
Here are fifteen more proven reasons to make meditation a habit.

What Happens When You Meditate for 100 Days

In this section, we’ll be citing from both scientific and other sources (e.g., testimonials). However, it is essential to understand that because everyone is different. Therefore, your results (and benefits) of meditation practice will likely vary from another’s.

So, what can 100 days of meditation do?

1 – Meditation Can Boost Focus

Perhaps the most commonly-cited benefit of meditation is that it improves focused attention. As Shinzen Young writes in his book The Science of Enlightenment, “…every legitimate form of meditation will elevate a person’s base level of concentration power.” Young goes on to define “base level of concentration” as “how concentrated you are in daily life when you’re not particularly trying to be concentrated.”

In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers tested if sustained attention (“concentration”) improved throughout a 3-month retreat. Per the study, “[Focused meditation] training produced improvement in visual discrimination … [and] improved vigilance during sustained visual attention.”

The type of meditation practiced in the study is called Shamatha, which also known as “calm abiding” or concentration meditation. It involves single-pointedly focusing on a stimulus (e.g., body sensations of the in and out-breath) over a duration of time.

Other studies have also shown improvements to concentration in even shorter timeframes.

2 – Meditation Can Buffer Stress

The amount of stress that we are subjected to nowadays is unprecedented. This more than perhaps reveals any other reason as to why people embrace meditation practice. Indeed, there is abundant evidence that meditation can ease the body and mind.

Per a study published in the journal Health Psychology, researchers made a potential breakthrough discovery. Using serum cortisol levels 57 individuals who partook in a 3-month Shamatha retreat, the study’s researchers discovered a possible correlation between self-reported mindfulness and cortisol production. Put another way, the simple act of paying attention in the present moment may suppress the release of damaging stress hormones.

Also, in a 2013 study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, researchers found that just four days of mindfulness meditation practice reduced the levels “stress hormone” cortisol by an average of 20 percent.

stop a noisy mind

3 – You May Reduce Anxiety When You Meditate

One of the most significant neuroscience discoveries over the last decade or so is that selective attention can “deselect” brain circuits responsible for emotional rumination. Lest we forget, emotional turbulence perhaps the number one reason why we find it so challenging to stay focused.

It’s unsurprising, then, that studies have found that meditation is capable of reducing – and even eliminating – anxiety. In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, individuals enrolled in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program reported “a significantly higher reduction in anxiety…,distress ratings…and a greater increase in positive self-statements.”

Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, conducted one of the more groundbreaking studies regarding the effect of meditation on anxiety. Using brain imagery, researchers found that participants who practiced both concentration meditation and compassion meditation (involving the generation of loving-friendliness) reduced activity in the amygdala.

Why?

The amygdala is the region of the human brain that most strongly correlates with the flight-or-flight response. “Overall, these results are consistent with the…hypothesis that meditation may result in enduring, beneficial changes in brain function, especially in the area of emotional processing,” said Gaëlle Debordes, one of the researchers involved in the study.

4 – Meditation Can Increase Compassion

A heart filled with compassion is an increasingly rare trait in today’s world. We’re far too concerned with “me and mine” to pay attention to the “greater good.”

If one needs evidence of this, consider any of the pressing issues facing humankind today. Global warming, political upheaval, violent conflict…all of these things exist because we consider ourselves separate from such goings-on “out there.”

Compassion contributes so much to not only the genuine problems facing humanity but to our mental health. Buddhists believe that our “higher mind” – the unconditioned one – is full of compassion and warmth. What’s astonishing is that this appears to be true.

In a study titled “Meditation Increases Compassionate Responses to Suffering,” researchers note that practicing both compassion meditation and mindfulness meditation “(enhances) compassionate responding…increasing the odds of acting to relieve another person’s pain by more than five times.” (Emphasis added).

compassion buddha5 – Meditation Improves Physical Health

Finally, meditation can drastically improve physical health.

“…research suggest that…meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia,” reports the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the National Institutes for Health (NIH).

Truthfully, this is probably only scratching the surface of what meditation can do for physical health, especially when one considers the issue from a holistic perspective. To reiterate, meditation reduces stress, increases attention span, and works to eliminate anxiety.

Now, how mental and emotional imbalances cause many illnesses and diseases? Imbalances that can be helped or prevented through meditation practice?

How many illnesses or diseases worsen from mental and emotional imbalances? Imbalances that meditation practice helps or prevents?

Let’s list ten just for starters: accelerated aging, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, depression and anxiety, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, heart disease, premature aging.

In summary, meditation practice is not only necessary for your mental health. To meditate is, indeed, also essential for your physical well-being!

The post Here’s What Happens When You Meditate 100 Days In a Row appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

Counselor Reveals Tips to Help You Stop Cursing

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Whether we intend for it to happen at the time or not, some of us use those rude four-letter words a little too often. Soon, it becomes a habit. However, this habit isn’t appropriate when you have young children or can’t manage to stop cursing- even at work.

Before you know it, it’s harder to quit than cigarettes. If you’re ready to put an end to your potty mouth, it will require a lot of effort on your part. However, there are ways to make it easier.

Here Are 13 Effective Tips to Help You Stop Cursing

1 – Pay Up! Use a Swear Jar

The swear jar is a classic method that you might remember hearing about. The premise is that you acquire a pot and place a quarter or a dollar in it every time you swear. The more you swear, the more you put into the jar. This one is effective since it hits you in the pocket. Every time you cuss, you are out the money.

The money mustn’t go right back into your wallet, or there’s no consequence. At the end of your adventure, you should take the money and do something for the people who inspired you not to swear anymore.

2 – Flick Ribber Band Against Your Wrist

Wear a rubber band around your wrist every single day. When you catch yourself cussing, you should pull the rubber band back and let it smack your skin. The pain is a mild reminder that should also act as a deterrent. Soon, you will associate cursing with the pain and stop yourself. This trick works best for people who don’t swear all of the time. The snaps can start to take a toll on your skin after a while.

3 – Use Innocuous Replacements for Curse Words

You don’t necessarily need to use swear words when you want to curse. There are many silly words that you can use to replace cussing. Some of the different words you can use instead of cursing include:

  • Holy Cow!
  • Judas Priest!
  • Leapin’ Lizards!
  • Phooey!
  • Drat!
  • Zoinks!

It might take you some time to train yourself to use these words instead of swearing words. However, with time and effort, you will start to use your preferred alternatives instead. The only problem with this method is that you can sound pretty ridiculous, shouting out these words in certain environments.

4 – Team Up with a Buddy

A 2019 NIH article suggests that you are more apt to make long-term changes if you challenge a buddy to try it, too.

That’s right. It will be easier to accomplish your goal if you drag someone into it with you. Get your significant other or someone at work to join in on your mission to stop cursing. You will be able to help hold each other accountable if you catch each other swearing. You will also be able to bounce ideas off of each other and talk about which things did and did not work for you. You may learn a new method that you haven’t thought of. Plus, misery loves company. If you can’t swear, why should your spouse get to?

cursing

5 – Expand Your Vocabulary

Many people believe that people who swear only swear since they don’t have the correct words to express themselves. Using curse words is vulgar and shows the person grasping from their most basic selves. Finding a more mature way to talk about a situation shows intelligence and maturity.

Start improving your vocabulary by getting a word-a-day calendar. Use each day’s word at least three times throughout the day. You can even incorporate the term from the day before to help you retain the information. You can also expand your vocabulary by reading more. When you read, you will come across words that you’ve never seen before, forcing you to look them up. Even if you don’t look them up, you start to learn them through context.

When you increase your vocabulary, you need to incorporate it into the moments when you usually swear. Instead of cussing about the person driving slowly in front of you, you can grimace about the dullard accelerating nonchalantly.

6 – Limit Exposure to Movies and Music with Mature Language

Today, both movies and songs contain a lot of cursing. It’s not even that noticeable until you make an effort to stop yourself. You don’t realize how much you hear this stuff throughout the day. The constant bombardment of cursing can put it in your head subconsciously. Don’t let that happen to you. Minimize your exposure to mature material by making wise choices about the movies you watch and music you listen to. You can always look for edited versions of your favorite albums.

horror movies
What you see on tv makes an impact on your mind.

7 – Learn Triggers and Avoid Them

Everyone has specific triggers that will cause them to engage in a particular behavior. In your case, you might swear. You may get triggered by traffic, rude people, or homework/work. When in these situations, you’ll almost always find yourself cursing. You can’t get rid of all of these things, but you can recognize that they are things that trigger you to swear. This awareness will help put you on alert at these times. Since you are thinking about it, you can put in the effort to catch yourself and stop it before it happens. You can also minimize how often you put yourself in your trigger situations.

8 – Change Your Mentality About Swearing

Many people who swear always don’t think that it’s a bad thing. First, you need to recognize that cursing is a negative thing. When you swear, you aren’t showing yourself at your most intellectual. You also aren’t showing a great sense of self-control. You may swear in front of somebody you shouldn’t. You could end up offending someone. This behavior could be especially bad if you are at work. You may even swear in front of a child and make them think it’s okay for them to swear, too.

9 – Understand Mistakes Happen

Releasing any bad habit takes weeks of commitment to change, according to research. Undoubtedly, not cursing is an arduous task. You probably won’t be perfect, especially when you first try to stop. You must be able to forgive yourself when you make a mistake. You need to control yourself better in the future. Notice the circumstances when you slip up to avoid those same circumstances. The goal here isn’t to be perfect. I doubt there are very many people in this world who can go for the rest of their lives without cursing once. The goal here is to do the best you can and put in a significant amount of effort.

10 – Try a Little Positive Reinforcement

So you gave up, robbed your swear jar, and went back to your former habits? Give yourself the gift of positive reinforcement.

Instead of punishing yourself by paying to a swear jar or snapping a rubber band against your wrist, you should reward yourself when you do well. Use positive reinforcement by giving yourself a treat if you don’t swear once throughout the day. The gift can be something like an extra-long shower, an hour of television before bed, or a glass of wine with dinner. Only accept your reward if you succeed. You have to make a promise to yourself not to cheat and stick to that promise.

comebacks
Learn ten comebacks for coping with the bad behavior of others.

11 – Understand You and Your Family Will Still Encounter Cursing

No matter how successful you are at not swearing yourself, the rest of the world may not put as much effort into it. You need to know, going into this transformation, that you and your family will still hear the obscene language. With this understood, you need to plan on how to handle the situation with your children. You need to teach your children what to do and why cursing is terrible. It’s better to talk to them about it than trying to protect them from it forever since that is impossible.

12 – Pretend Your Grandparent or Priest is Sitting Next to You

No decent person could possibly swear in front of their grandparents or their priest, would they? Tell yourself that these people are with you at all times, listening to your every word. This mentality will help deter you. If it helps you to visualize, you can put a picture of your grandma in your desk at work or in your wallet.

13 – Practice Self Control in Other Areas Too

If you learn self-control in one area, your improved self-control will apply to other areas as well. Work on becoming more disciplined in general by eating well and going to the gym. Granted, this might make you want to swear even more for at least a moment, but you will develop the mindset you need to create new routines. You can also improve self-regulation by making your bed every morning, following your nighttime beauty regiment, and keeping your house spotless.

stop cursingFinal Thoughts: Stop Cursing by Trying These Tips

Make yourself look intelligent and mature by eliminating swear words from your vocabulary. You can do this by using positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. You can also try changing your overall mentality about cussing and recognizing your triggers. Even after all of the effort, you will put into it. Sometimes you might make a mistake and drop a four-letter word. Just use them wisely.

The post Counselor Reveals Tips to Help You Stop Cursing appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

6 Habits That Damage Your Brain (and How to Fix It)

Are you participating in poor habits that damage your brain? You might be, yet you might not realize it.

The brain is our most precious organ. Intimately connected with the mind, the human brain is what makes us, well, human. Far as we know, no species that possesses even a fraction of the computing power of us humans.

Our brain is what has allowed up to traverse space, build incredible things, and develop life-saving medicines.

The brain is also responsible for initiating violence, starting wars, harming health – mental and physical, and creating states of abject misery.

How about that for “Good news, bad news?”

Let there be no doubt that our habits contribute immensely to the state of our wellbeing – or lack thereof. Our brain stores and acts on our practices, and our habits determine our happiness.

Fortunately, we can rid ourselves of bad habits. It’s not easy, but it’s most certainly worthwhile.

Perhaps the most vitally essential habits to eliminate are those that cause us to suffer. As our brain is the primary source of our psychological states, it makes sense to start there.

The focus of this article, therefore, is twofold: (1) to discover those habits that damage the brain and (2) take action to dissolve them.

6 Habits that Damage the Brain

  1. Lack of exercise

Being physically inactive is a seriously bad habit that damages the brain. Besides being a primary catalyst for multiple diseases – including cancer, dementia, depression, heart disease, and obesity – physical inactivity contributes to cognitive decline.

In a study published by the Journal of Comparative Neurology, researchers discovered that sedentary rats demonstrated excessive excitation in the brain region called the ‘RVLM.” Among other functions, the RVLM controls the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. This disruption may lead to the deterioration of the neurons in the area of the brain.

In other words, a lifestyle of physical inactivity can alter the structure and function of an otherwise healthy brain.

How to fix it:

Per an article published by Harvard University’s Medical School, “Exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means.” Regular exercise reduces inflammation and insulin resistance and stimulates chemicals that promote the growth of new brain cells.

Indirectly, regular exercise stabilizes mood and improves sleep quality. It also reduces anxiety and stress, which are commonly associated with cognitive impairment.

How much exercise should you get? The Mayo Clinic suggests at least 75 minutes of “vigorous” aerobic activity or 150 minutes of “moderate” aerobic activity per week.

damage your brain
These five habits can optimize your brain.
  1. Multitasking

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve listened to it 1,000 times: multitasking is either ineffective, a myth, or (most likely) both. If you’re a multitasker, you may think that this is all hogwash and that you can multitask.

So do the 1.56 million people who cause car accidents each year because they were paying more attention to their phone than to the road. Statistics show that 26 percent of U. S’s 6 million car accidents each year are caused by people who use their cell phones while driving.

This advice isn’t to incite a guilt trip, but to make people aware of the genuine (and often life-changing) repercussions of calling or texting while driving.

Multitasking is better thought of as divided attention, which is recognized by scientists as a type of brain function. Divided attention is the act of splitting your attention between two tasks; that is, you’re dividing cognitive resources to engage in separate tasks.

This process isn’t multitasking: it’s rapidly alternating your attention between tasks.

Mover, multiple studies have shown that multitasking increases the brain’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. “High levels of cortisol…wear down the brain’s ability to function properly,” per a study by Dartmouth University, as reported in an article, “[cortisol] can disrupt synapse regulation…kill brain cells…and reduce the size of the brain.”

How to fix it:

Fortunately, there’s a straightforward solution to the multitasking problem: single-tasking! Single-tasking, as the name implies, is focusing all of your formidable cognitive power towards just one task at the exclusion of everything else.

Now only is single-tasking more effective, it’s also less stressful. While our brain may release cortisol – especially during times of intensive thought – it’s likely far less than if we were juggling two things at once!

cortisol

  1. Information overload

Newsflash (not really!): Too much screen time isn’t good for you.

But it’s not just the physical screen. It’s also all of the information – text messages, notifications, emails, status updates – that are bad for us. Too much sensory input can lead to excess stress and decision overload.

Glenn Wilson, a professor of psychology at Gresham College (U.K.), found that attempting to concentrate on a task while having an unread email open in your inbox can reduce I.Q. by 10 points. In other words, information overload is not only stressful, but it makes us dumber.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that we are unaware of the harm that our digital addiction is causing, especially to our kids. A study published in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Sciences concludes:

“…there is a relationship between cell phone addiction and adolescent’s mental or physical health. We cannot neglect the [relationship] and its adverse effects on adolescents.”

How to fix it:

Cliché time! It’s all about moderation.

Curbing technology use requires some discipline and, if necessary, the adjustment of priorities. It’s almost certain that our smartphone addiction is shortening our attention spans, worsening our memory, and making us more irritable.

If nothing else, resolve to put your phone down when at the dinner table or with the family.

information pollution

  1. Sitting for too long

Per a health science article published by the Washington Post, the average American adult spends about 6 ½ hours sitting per day – a one-hour increase since 2007. For kids aged 12 to 19, this number increases to eight hours.

While this sounds like a lot (it is), these numbers are probably on the low-end. Between commuting, work, and lounging around the T.V., some sources state that we spend up to 10 hours sitting.

This is terrible news.

Per a study published in the journal PLOS, a sedentary lifestyle “is a more significant predictor of [abnormal] brain structure… [then] physical activity.” The authors note that “physical activity, even at higher levels, is not sufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods of time.”

How to fix it:

Obviously, there are times that we need to sit, like when we’re at work, driving, and so forth. But unless your job requires you to remain seated at all times, there are times where you can get up, stretch, and move around a bit.

To say nothing of the amount of time we spend staring at the T.V. set or computer screen. The advice here is simple: don’t spend too much time in front of a screen and get out more.

  1. Listening to music at a high level

Here’s another potentially brain-damaging habit that many of us engage in.

We all love listening to tunes. If we’re at the gym and hitting the weights hard, our playlist can keep us goin’. When we’re in the car and need a pick-me-up, that volume knob often finds itself cranked all the way right.

But just because loud music is fun and energetic doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.

According to research cited by the U.K government, listening to loud music with headphones (defined as above 110 decibels) has the same effect on the brain’s nerves as multiple sclerosis. Nerve fibers can be stripped of the protective coating (myelin) and disrupt the brain’s signaling mechanisms.

How to fix it:

Fortunately, myelin in the brain is capable of regrowth. As such, hearing loss may recover in many instances if the underlying issue is rectified.

As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to listen to your music at no more than 60 percent of your device’s maximum volume. Anything above that level increases the risk of brain damage and resultant hearing loss.

  1. Poor sleep

Most of us are well aware that poor sleeping habits are bad for us. Sleep deprivation, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls “a public health epidemic,” contributes to illness and disease.

Neurologically, some of the effects of poor sleep are rather obvious. Reactions time drops, we’re more error-prone and feel more depressed and anxious than usual. Insufficient sleep can also cause headaches, hormonal imbalances, and impaired memory.

Long-term, some research shows that lack of sleep causes the brain to shrink.

How to fix it:

Sleep is critical for brain health. We must make it a priority to establish healthy pre-bedtime and bedtime sleeping habits.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol at night
  • Limit smartphone use
  • Take the television out of your bedroom
  • Keep your bedroom dimly lit
  • Don’t fill up too much at dinnertime
damage your brain
Lack of sleep can damage your brain. Here’s how to fall asleep in 15 minutes or less.

Final Thoughts on Overcoming the Habits That Damage Your Brain

We must each take accountability for our actions. That statement is particularly true when it comes to taking measures to stop participating in unhealthy habits that damage your brain. Promise yourself you will shed those poor habits and embrace the new ones that will help you enjoy a longer, happier life.

The post 6 Habits That Damage Your Brain (and How to Fix It) appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

Psychologists Reveal a Glimpse Into the Minds of Teenage Girls

Raising teenage girls is difficult these days. However, do you ever dream about being a teen once again? Everyone has times when they wish they could return to their youth, especially to have that carefree lifestyle. Since all parents were once a teen, it would stand to reason that you would understand what goes through the mind of an adolescent.

However, raising angst-filled teens gets more complicated with each generation. What worked a couple of decades ago cannot even reach a teen in today’s world. If you are blessed to live in a house with a teenager trying to find themselves, you know this parental dilemma all too well.

Teen boys and girls may be the same age, but their struggles can be vastly different. Understanding the psychology of teenage girls is one of your best tools to guide your daughter into adulthood lovingly.

When Did She Stop Playing with Dolls?

It feels like it was only yesterday when you were standing in line trying to find that sold-out baby or get the toy that she wanted for her birthday. Where did the time go? You turned around, and your baby girl has turned into a teen, and she also has developed ideas, opinions, and beliefs that may or may not agree with yours.

She once thought boys were yucky, and now she has become fond of the opposite sex. Her new interest is only one of the things changing in her mind. Her hormones are causing all sorts of feelings, and emotions are causing her to act in ways that even she doesn’t understand.

One minute she may have a smile on her face and be on top of the world; consequently, a few minutes later, she may want to rip your eyes out. You need to go with the flow and realize her hormones are driving her.

Even the best parents experience mixed emotions when they see that their little girls are growing up. Your relationship with your teenage daughter is about to face its most significant challenges for you both.

teenage girlsDid Someone Say Puberty?

Biologists tell us that almost all members of the animal kingdom go through puberty, the transition from juvenile to adulthood. During this time, brain chemicals alert the pituitary gland and the reproductive system to produce growth hormones and sexual maturity. For humans, the process usually starts from age 12 and can last until age 18.

The age range for human puberty is not concrete because many teenage girls start at an earlier age. “Late bloomers” might start a year or so later than their peers and will not reach maturity until 19 or 20. Don’t be surprised if your teen son isn’t up to speed with your teen daughter, because girls generally mature faster than boys.

Some teenage girls are starting as young as ten years of age. While it seems that puberty is starting earlier these days, many blame the processed foods and growth hormones used in cooking. Also, some cultures naturally begin earlier than others.

Your blossoming teenagers are a surge of hormones that demand all aspects of their lives, including physical, mental, and sexual changes. These hormones affect their emotions, and you will usually see typical teen mood swings. It is all part of them, adjusting to a new body and unfamiliar feelings.

Who Is Aunt Flo? And Why is She Visiting?

While both genders experience maturing primary and secondary features, your teenage daughter will also begin her monthly menstruation cycles. As you have candid discussions about puberty with your girl, you will need to include conversations about her imminent menstrual flows. If your teen knows what to expect, then her first period won’t be such a shock.

Although it is a delicate subject, she depends on your assurance that these changes are perfectly normal. Talk to your teen about proper feminine hygiene and the best products for her needs. Consider helping your daughter make her first appointment for a gynecological checkup.

Some girls will hide their first period from their parents as they are so embarrassed. Thankfully, they have no choice at some point but to reach out for help. Teenage girls feel all sorts of emotions that include fear, anger, rage, sadness, and they don’t know how to process all the mood fluctuations that a menstruation cycle brings.

As a parent, you must be able to ride the ebbs and flows of hormones with them. Try not to take things too awfully personally as they can’t control their emotions too well right now.

teenage girls
Explaining the importance of the menstrual cycle (other than reproduction).

What About the Birds and Bees?

All these hormonal surges teenage girls experience cause them to see boys in a whole new way. Your daughter may be frightened of the unfamiliar rush of sexual urges brought on by puberty, and she may act out. Teen girls often feel awkward around boys at this age. While she may act like she knows it all and doesn’t need your input, she inwardly craves your guidance.

Discussing sexuality with teenagers is an ongoing series of talks that often lasts into adulthood. If your teen daughter doesn’t get the right information about sex and its responsibilities, she will hear it from other kids. This secondhand advice may be far from the facts and morals that you would share.

Depending on how you were raised, having an open dialogue about sex can be difficult. Be as forthright, candid, and honest as you can with her questions. Discuss the importance of healthy relationships, birth control, and how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Additionally, teenage pregnancy is something that is not uncommon. You want to make sure your daughter is mature enough to make emotional decisions that could impact her for the rest of her days. Since 1,680 girls get pregnant in this country every day, it’s time to be frank about the risks.

When Will the Mood Rollercoaster Stop?

Teenage girls and boys are renowned for their violent mood swings that drive parents crazy. Does it seem like the little darling who loved to spend time with you now seems to resent your very presence?

Teenage girls and their rollercoaster of hormones can sting and hurts your feelings but try to remember that it’s a typical teen thing to push their parents away as they strut their independence.

Along with your teenage daughter’s raging hormones comes the monthly cycles that may make her even more miserable. During her period, she may be moody and hate the world. If PMS is dominant in the women of your family, your daughter may need some medical attention to make her feel better physically and emotionally.

foods for better mood
Try offering these 10 foods that could help stabilize her moods.

Understanding PMS and Teenage Girls

Teenage girls and women alike suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome. It’s estimated to affect three out of four teenagers who suffer from this prevalent ailment. Along with their monthly cycles, they may experience:

•Depression
•Anxiety
•Violent Mood Swings
•Cramps
•Bloating
•Tender Breasts
•Headaches

The chances are that your daughter is just as bewildered and frustrated as you are about her off-the-chart moods. While this is normal, seek medical attention if these moods change into dangerous aggression or depression. Again, try to keep an open line of communication combined with a non-judgmental approach.

She may need medications to combat the horrific symptoms of this condition. Her doctor can help you decide if the humoral rushes she is feeling are from her cycle or caused by an underlying condition that needs to be addressed.

Why Can’t I Be as Pretty as My Friends?

One of the strongest disparages against women today is society’s perverted interpretation of beauty. Although boys often compare themselves to their male peers, teenage girls are more likely to suffer from poor body image. The American media whispers to them that they are “not pretty enough” or “worthy enough” unless they measure up to unrealistic images.

Flip through any magazine or scroll through your social media, and you will notice the underweight, computer-enhanced models that lure your teen girl into thinking that’s what she should look like and should be wearing. Of course, if she keeps buying the “trendy” products and services, they will be just as beautiful and successful.

No wonder so many female teens battle low self-esteem, depression, and possible suicidal ideation. Teen girls are more apt to fight anxiety and are more likely to be bullied at school. Because of poor body image, some female teens secretly cut themselves or turn to dangerous behaviors to self-medicate their pain away.

Depression and anxiety are things that a parent must be looking for to ensure that if their daughter needs help, they get the help they need.

parentingFinal Thoughts: Raising Teenage Girls Is Not for The Faint of Heart

Humans are genetically programmed to seek independence and fend for ourselves. What may seem like aggression and disregard is your teen daughter’s way of trying her adult wings. Having you as a constant in her life can make the transition a little easier for her and you.

However, you should know when it’s time to get help. Their minds are so confused and feeling all sorts of things they cannot comprehend. Thankfully, your pediatrician can help you get to the bottom of any issues, whether it’s hormone-related or not.

The post Psychologists Reveal a Glimpse Into the Minds of Teenage Girls appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

10 Yoga Poses to Mitigate Negative Energy

Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and let go of negative emotions. New research reveals that there are specific yoga poses that mitigate negative energy.

Yoga for stress may be recommended by physicians. There are so many beneficial exercises that you can do to reduce stress, along with taking time to relax.

Here are the ten yoga poses that help you release the pent-up negativity from your being.

10 Yoga Poses That Mitigate Negative Energy and Help You Refocus

Yoga is often suggested by mental health therapists to aid in letting go of negative energy. These five poses are recommended to get you started.

1. Baddha Kanasana (Bound Angle Pose).

The “bound angle pose” is also known as “butterfly pose,” “cobbler’s pose,” or “throne pose.” This yoga pose is recommended to reduce stress for the following reasons.

  • Can be used for meditation
  • Aids in releasing tension
  • Aids in reducing fatigue
  • Can help to release feelings of guilt or shame

There are other benefits to this pose, including relieving digestive discomfort and improving flexibility of the groin muscles and relief for menstrual pain.

2. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog).

One of the most popular poses is “Downward Facing Dog.” The “Upward Facing Dog” isn’t mentioned often, but it is one of the best yoga poses recommended for letting go of negative energy in the following ways:

  • Aids in reducing symptoms of depression
  • Aids in reducing fatigue
  • Reduces posture
  • Improves digestion

The Upward Facing Dog is also suitable for relieving symptoms of sciatic nerve pain, eases asthma symptoms, and stimulates the abdominal organs.

3. Salamba Sirsana (Supported Headstand).

Research in the practice of yoga by Harvard University shows that turning the head upside down can calm the mind. This is because the blood rushes to the brain. This yoga pose offers the following benefits.

  • Relieves depression
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves stimulation for the pituitary and pineal gland
  • Relieves the symptoms of menopause

Although this one of the yoga poses utilized for removing negative energy, it also increases focus. With the head below the heart, you produce endorphins. These chemicals make you feel fantastic.

4. Marjaryasana (Cat-to-Cow).

Breathing correctly and focusing on the breath is at the core of practicing yoga. The purpose is to slow the breathing down and bring the body to a resting state. The Cat-to-Cow pose is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Opens the chest to encourage deep breathing
  • Calms the mind
  • Relieves stress
  • Releases tension in the shoulders and neck

The history of the Marjaryasana is the cat, representing balance. They also represent patience and quiet for other cultures. It goes without saying that the way a cat stretches appears to be a great example of stretching out the back and breathing deeply.

yoga poses
Read about eight healthful reasons to try yoga.

5. Sukhasana (Easy Pose).

The “Easy Pose” is one that noted for bringing peace to the helm. A forward bend, when practiced correctly, can aid in bringing calm. Breath calmly, slow and easy without straining or difficulty. Allow the body to fall forward at the hip and lengthen the back of the leg and hip.

Practice forward bends can bring calm and a focus on breathing where it needs to be. This pose is highly recommended for:

  • Controlling and reducing stress
  • Decreasing anxiety
  • Reducing strain on the hamstrings

6. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).

The Standing Forward Bend is a pose that can bring calm, and it is also used in between yoga sequences to relax the body before more active yoga conditioning.

The goal of this yoga pose is to:

  • Increase exhalation
  • Stress reduction
  • Release tension in the shoulders and neck
  • Release the hamstrings from any tension

It should be reiterated that forward bends can bring calm to the mind when they are practice correctly. The blood rushes to the brain and brings calm to reduce stress and anxiety.

7. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend).

Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend is a yoga pose similar to Standing Forward Bend. The legs are wider apart as you line your feet outside of the hip itself. Placing hands on the floor, they should be no further than the distance of your shoulders.

A Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend offers the following benefits:

  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Freeing the belly
  • Aids in breathing in a relaxed fashion

New research has shed light on why the Wide-Legged Forward Bend is so beneficial for reducing stress. The new insight is into navel radiation. As infants, we breathe like this, almost like a starfish.

Breathing from the belly allows us to unlock our limbs, torso, and chest. We can open up and breathe better. This is what helps to reduce anxiety and stress. This makes it a breathing pattern that is vital for our good mental health.

Pushing the bones back that you sit on will help you open up the space that you need to breathe. Move them back, resting most of the weight on your heels. It will help you get the angle that you need to do the pose correctly.

This yoga pose is known for being one of the most balanced of all standing poses. It is beneficial to “recoup” the body in between more strenuous poses, but bringing balance and calm is a major benefit for all who practice yoga.

yoga poses8. Vrksa Asana (Tree Pose).

Tree pose is one of the most popular poses in yoga. It is fun to pose like a tree, but the pose itself has many benefits. It is also what a tree represents that makes it special.

Tree pose is known for its contribution to physical and mental stability. While many poses are known for their meditative qualities while seated, there are also meditative qualities in standing poses.

Standing on one foot can help bring calm and focus while in the pose. The focus always comes back to the breath. Standing on one leg can help you focus and regain balance in your posture.

Just like a tree can withstand the elements without breaking, so can the tree pose show help you stand strong physically and emotionally with whatever you are facing.

Tree pose helps to bring calm and focus to the center of your life. Because it encourages a meditative state, it should be used to bring calm to your mind when you feel out of balance.

Dr. Andrew Weil said about tree pose, “One of my favorite yoga poses, the Tree Pose is a great way to promote relaxation. I imagine myself as a tall, deeply rooted cottonwood while performing this pose.”

9. Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose).

Plank Pose is known for assisting in the release of endorphins. These are the “feel good” chemicals that get released during physical activity.

Plank Pose may also help to improve the following:

  • Improve your mood
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase feelings of happiness
  • Good stretching for the entire body

These are all tremendous benefits, including its ability to release tension in the body. Adding a plank pose is a good way to mitigate negative energy, and look forward to life.

yoga and core strength
Learn why it’s necessary to work on your core strength.

10. Vajra Asana (Thunderbolt Pose).

Thunderbolt Pose is amongst the best poses for yoga for reducing stress and negative energy. It has many benefits of regular practice, including:

  • Improved posture
  • Improved pelvic bones
  • Relieves digestion and gas
  • Great for long periods of meditation
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces anxiety

Many who meditate for great, long periods choose this ancient pose, thanks to the seated posture. However, it is also known for its other benefits. This pose is similar to the Hero’s Pose, but the feet are positioned differently.

The significance of this pose is that it means “strong,” “like a diamond.” The following benefits can be derived from this yoga pose, including:

  • The regular practice causes it to calm the mind
  • Induces a sense of stability
  • A great posture for breath work, which brings focus

positivity quoteFinal Thoughts on Using Yoga to Release Negativity and Focus on Positivity

“Yoga is the alchemy of our minds into purity.” ~T.K.V. Desikachar

The ability to sit in the pose for long periods of time is what makes it possible to bring about relaxation. As always, exercise caution when practicing certain poses, so that you don’t injure yourself further.

It is wise to use all of these best yoga poses for reducing stress and mitigating negative energy on a regular basis. The consistent practice of yoga is essential for the absolute best results.

Start by getting some yoga training with an experienced and reputable yoga teacher. This helps to ensure that you are learning the proper form. Additionally, you’ll get the best benefit for living a stress-free life.

The post 10 Yoga Poses to Mitigate Negative Energy appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

7 Ways To Stop Living In The Past

Do your friends and loved ones implore you to stop living in the past?

Are there things about your past that you can’t stop thinking about? Maybe it was something you said or did or an aspect of your upbringing. Or maybe it was something painful and awkward, or something that broke your heart. Perhaps it was something someone did to you, or how an unexpected event harmed you, or how your mistakes affected you.

But living in the past like that isn’t productive. The past is set in stone. There’s no method of time travel available for you to use – and, if there was one, trust us when you say you wouldn’t want to take it. You’d be a totally different person if you stop living in the past!

But what is next? How can you move on?

Here Are 7 Ways To Stop Living In The Past

1. Take Responsibility

Being stuck in the past can sometimes mean refusing to take responsibility for the things that have happened to you. You remember the mistakes you’ve made and the hurt those decisions have caused, and instead of admitting your part in the error, you replay them again and again in your head, blaming everything but yourself.

Try to locate the lesson you can learn from this, instead. What did you do that led to this? How can you prevent it from happening next time? How can you make the most of your situation now? Nine times out of 10, there’s a way you’re avoiding your role in the debacle!

Yes, people can indeed wrong you, and sometimes, they are indisputably at fault. Yes, it’s also true that bad situations and emergencies can come out of nowhere, and there’s no way to prepare for or prevent them.

But in those situations, it is your responsibility, too, to get back up again. It is your responsibility to process and overcome those emotions, and take the steps necessary to get to that goal, even if it’s incredibly difficult. These adverse circumstances and people should not have power over you. Strengthen yourself and redirect your energy to being kind to yourself and others instead.

stop living in the past

2. Make New Memories In The Present

If all you have are bad memories from the past, that means it’s time to push them aside and focus on making new memories. How can you change the way you think, so you live in your everyday life, not in the life you used to know? Studies have even found that memories can prevent the creation of new ones!

While new memories won’t necessarily make you forget the past, they can override it, making you realize that there can be more to life than what has happened before. It makes you think of the fact that the power is in your hands to make new memories! Learning to live in the moment can be a big step in doing this. You can do so by:

  • Learning new hobbies or skills that can focus your efforts on new goals
  • Exercising to release positive hormones and keep your body healthy
  • Meditating to practice mindfulness and existing in your mind at the moment
  • Establishing routines, which will boost sleep effectiveness and positive thinking
  • Going out with friends to stay social and interactive
  • Making new friends to widen your social circle and learn new, current perspectives

3. Process Past Emotions

Emotional processing is a skill that we often take for granted. You may think you’re “over” something. Still, because of not processing your feelings correctly, you wind up accidentally bottling up old emotions, which will subconsciously affect your actions and how you think.

Unprocessed emotions can lead to a lot of baggage, including ones that cause fear and anxiety in you for reasons you can’t fathom. Here are some ways to process past emotions:

· Confront them

Admit the feelings to yourself, or even to someone else. Realize how certain events made you feel and why. Validate yourself, too; it’s okay that you felt this way.

· Write about them

Get a journal and fill it with thoughts about your emotions, expressing yourself freely with no limits and no filter. Journals provide positive effects on post-stress processing. You can also write a letter to yourself or to a person who wronged you, really letting it all out. But remember, don’t send the message!

· Pinpoint the way they affect you

How are these old emotions still influencing your everyday life and the world? Often, realizing how much the past is dragging you down can be the push you need to work in earnest to get out of that headspace.

· Talk about them

Speak to a friend, family member, colleague, or another person you can trust. You can even visit a therapist, counselor, or similar mental health professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Remember, you don’t need a mental disorder or condition to see an expert in the field.

stop living in the past quote

4. Forgive

For many people, forgiveness is a crucial part of their journey to moving on from the past. It’s a form of closure that clearly says, “The people who have wronged me no longer influence me.” Holding grudges, especially for relatively non-serious issues, can be harmful to you and those around you.

But do remember that forgiveness is never 100% necessary. If there are people you cannot bring to forgive due to the horrifying nature of their actions, it is okay not to. In that situation, instead of forgiveness, strive for peace. This event happened to you, but it no longer affects you, and that person becomes meaningless to you. Don’t forget. You also need to forgive yourself, not just other people. To do so both ways, you can:

Think of yourself as if you were a much-loved friend or family member. Would you be as harsh on them as you are on yourself?

Don’t keep score of your wrongs or the wrongs of those around you. To err is human. People will harm you again. You will make decisions you don’t stand by later. You will make mistakes. That’s just how it is!

Realize that you can control your reactions, even if you can’t control the initial action. If someone wrongs you, you get to choose how to respond. And if bad things happen, you get to decide how you’ll react. If you make mistakes, you get to choose how to bounce back.

how to forgive and stop living in the past

5. Consider The Company You Keep

Look around you. Who are the kinds of people you hang out with? Consider how many of them:

  • Are from pasts that haunt you to this day?
  • Tend to be cynical about everything?
  • Always, intentionally remind you of your part?
  • Cause you to feel worse after hanging out with them?
  • Are consistently blaming you or others for everything that happens to them?

If you have a lot of friends who match this description, then it may be time for you to find a better circle of friends.

Some friends may stay on the fence, and some you may need to cut off, and some you may be able to tolerate. Regardless, seek to broaden your social circle! Attend local meetings, go for classes, connect with people online, join clubs. The possibilities are endless! New friends can help you:

  • Find new perspectives and opinions
  • Choose to be surrounded by more people who use positive thinking
  • Find friend groups that lift each other up
  • Socialize, which has positive effects on your mental health and life expectancy

6. Start On Something New

A great way to shed your past is to concentrate thoroughly on something brand new. When you do this, you allow your brain to turn its focus to what’s in front of you. There are new things right now, and they’re more exciting and stimulating, and they represent a change for the better in its purest form. You can start on a new:

  • Hobby
  • Job
  • Home
  • Neighborhood
  • Fashion style
  • Hairstyle
  • Cooked meal
  • Dining location
  • Shopping location
  • Hobby
  • Skill
  • Daily routine
  • Daily habit

You should also work on planning new goals. Since that incident in your past, how have your goals changed? Are they now outdated? If so, what do you change them to? Then, once you’ve found your new purpose, break it up into smaller goals, and put your passion into bringing those goals to fruition!

Plus, doing new things can fill you with a sense of fulfillment that allows you to be happy living in the now. Once you feel that peace and joy, you won’t want to go back to the past anymore!

7. Focus On Things You Can Change

You’ve spent so much time mulling over something that you cannot change. The past is the past. It’s done and dusted. What you need now is a focus on the present, but that’s much easier said than done.

A lot of times, we linger on the past because we desire some form of control over it. But there’s no controlling it, so what can you do? Control real things in your present life that are changeable, of course! For example:

  • Seeking a better job
  • Moving to a better neighborhood or house
  • Create a positive habit to follow
  • Reorganize your home
  • Travel
  • Complete a task you’ve been putting off

For simpler things, you can even take control of seemingly arbitrary and shallow aspects of your life. They sound silly, but they really can work! For example:

  • Get a new haircut or change your hair color
  • Paint your nails
  • Dramatically redecorate an area of your house

Your past has made you who you are today. It’s brought you the ups and the downs. Changing it would change the fabric of your being, and you don’t want that!

can you ever forgive me
How to ask someone: Can you ever forgive me?

Final Thoughts On Some Ways To Stop Living In The Past

When you live in the past, you deprive yourself of your potential. You rob yourself of joy, of the life you deserve, and of the people who could be there for you. And let’s face it, no one wants to be stuck that way forever.

The past has already had such a profound and long-lasting impact on you, and that impact will likely never indeed fade away. But isn’t it time that it stopped dictating your every single action and your everyday life? Take back your power and control! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and look to the present!

The post 7 Ways To Stop Living In The Past appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

10 Ways To Fight Against Negative Thoughts

Day by day the world around us is becoming competitive and difficult to survive in.

It puts more pressure on us than we can handle and often at the end of a difficult day, we all fall pray to negative thoughts, feeling saddened and pessimistic.

It’s important to understand that we are all human and that feeling pessimistic is simply a natural reaction to the difficulties you are facing.

But, at the same time, negative thinking is bad for your physical and mental health.

So, we at Born Realist have made a list of a few things you can do daily to help you unwind and feel better about yourself, after all in the words of Oriah Mountain Dreamer,

“I have always thought of courage as the willingness to let the deepest longings of my soul grow, larger than any fear may arise”.

10. Find the Source:

Where do your negative thoughts spread from?

Is it from something that stems from inside of you (like an insecurity) or is someone from the outside causing you to feel bad about yourself?

Once you know what’s bringing all this negative mindset you can try to put yourself at ease by separating yourself from the problem.

If its an insecurity, you can begin trying to accept yourself as you are, if its a person, you can separate them from your life, if its all the pressure, you can plan a break for yourself, ignoring a problem can never solve an issue.

And we can always, at any point in our lives, we can decide to take control of our lives.

9. Exercise:

It may sound odd, but letting all the build-up anxiety out through something healthy is the best way to move forward and get rid of the negative thoughts your experiencing.

It gives you a healthy outlet to focus your energy, it keeps you moving forward and helps you regain the composure and clearance of mind you’ve lost.

If you have a nice running track near you, put on your headphones and go for a run, there isn’t anything like nature and the feel of exhilaration to help you get rid your mind lined up and ready for the day, and of course, it never hurts looking good at the end of it all.

8. Stop Procrastinating:

Take control of your life, and get things done.

You are your own hero, your own saviour and the best thing damn that has happened to this planet, realize your worth.

Are you failing a class? Study harder, bring out all your books and make it happen. You hate your boss? Work harder and if that doesn’t solve the problem quit your job and find a new one. Are you in an unhealthy relationship? Take a stand or walk out. If you don’t take control of your life someone else will and no one can help you the way you can.

7. Be Aware Of The Company You Keep:

image credits: Shutterstock

Are the people around you the cause of anxiety or depression? Or is the behavior they exhibit deterring your mental health?

It’s important to understand that being social animals, we are extremely influenced by the people we usually interact with on a daily basis and often at times, their behavior affects us directly.

If the company you keep is causing you problems and is taking away your peace of mind, you should find other people to spend your time with. And despite this not being a simple task, it’s important to understand that no friendship that takes away your happiness and peace is worth it.

6. Keep Yourself Occupied:

A life without action is a difficult and sad one.

We by nature, are wired to keep ourselves busy and hard at work, its impossible to be happy without it. If you feeling sad or frustrated, maybe its time to find yourself a positive and healthy hobby, if you are a teenager find yourself a new sport, or a club, something that can help you and increase your social interaction.

If you are an adult, then start reading, learn a new skill, keep yourself occupied, it’ll drive away the negative thoughts.

5. Meet New People:

Extroverts often become depressed if they aren’t getting enough social exposure, if, for example, your workplace has people you don’t like maybe its time you join a sports club, or a book club if that’s your taste.

Meet more people, maybe you’ll find people with similar interests and start feeling better.

4. Get Some Time For Yourself:

If you are an introvert than too much social interaction is probably exhausting for you.

If that’s what’s causing an anxiety in you or making you depressed, make a special self-care routine for yourself on your day off.

Don’t invite anyone to your house and just make it your thing, read a book if that what you want, or give yourself a manicure, take a warm bath, giving yourself the care you deserve and get rid of the anxiety in your bones.

Conclusion:

It should be noted that anxiety and depression are serious issues and should be treated like them, if you feel that what you experiencing is getting too heavy to handle on your own, you should contact someone that can help you.

It’s important to know that life is precious, and you’ll never get another chance at it, so keep yourself happy and keep working hard at what you love. In the words of Oriah Mountain dreamer again,

“I want to know if you can see beauty even when its not pretty, everyday, and if you can source your own life from its presence”

The post 10 Ways To Fight Against Negative Thoughts appeared first on Born Realist.

Source – bornrealist.com

Lifestyle

Millions Of Children In Thailand Meditate For World Peace

If you’re a parent with multiple children, you might be laughing at the idea of children to be quiet and still for prolonged periods, let alone meditate. But one million children from across the country in Thailand are capable of doing it. So believe it or not, it’s possible!

Of course, we’re joking around a lot here. But, seriously, this is part of a rather inspiring movement and cause known as the V-STAR project. It sees kids from across the country joined in solidarity. They share in an effort to bring about world peace and raise awareness for the movement towards a more harmonious planet.

Curious about the V-STAR project, how it works, and what it does? Maybe you’re wondering how you can contribute, support, or if there’s any way to join in. Well, read on to find out more about how a million children in Thailand come together to meditate for world peace.

What Is The V-STAR Project?

The V-STAR project, or more adequately the “V-Star Change the World” project, involves a yearly effort of a million children from over 5,000 different schools across Thailand. These children all come together and meet at a temple to meditate side by side in total silence. The chosen children are known as V-Stars or Virtuous Stars.

What are they doing this for? Well, it’s for world peace. The chosen children are all ones selected by their schools, communities, or other similar institutions as examples to be followed, usually due to moral excellence. The V-STAR project brings all these exemplary children together, allowing them to connect, make friends, share stories, and inspire each other through support networks and tales of their good deeds.

V-Star participant tasks:

Each Virtuous Star must complete a series of jobs before they join in the mass meditation event. A list of ten tasks must be completed daily for three months before they can join the meditation. These habits are relatively simple, but significant in building good character, and include:

  • Making their beds in the morning
  • Saving pocket money
  • Helping out with housework

The project first started in 2008, as a part of Luang Phor Dhammachayo’s World Morality Revival. Children are representatives of the future, after all. In this time of uncertain future, the project began to promote the act of raising children with a strong sense of moral values that can pass on to everyone around them.

Every year, more and more students express interest in joining the event, which is now known as V-STAR Unity Day. Numerous activities are held, including:

  • Ethics quizzes, taken to assess youth moral standards
  • A 3D movie screening concerning heaven and hell
  • An exhibition on the life story of the Buddha (the largest of its kind in the world!)
  • Scholarship awards for outstanding students (sponsored by adult donors)

The Temple

The temple used in this annual event is the Wat Phra Dhammakaya. It sits on land that used to be a rice field, but all 77 acres of its area was donated to the public by Lady Prayad Pattayapongsavisuttatibodi on her birthday.

The temple began being used as a meditation center in 1970, on Magha Puja Day, when Master Nun Chand Khonnokyoong and Luang Por Dhammajayo, as well as their followers, came together to start work in building the structure that stands today.

They had a measly budget of 3,200 baht, which was worth about US$160 in the year 1970, but Master Nun encouraged her anxious followers with a quote that has become part of the legend. Master Nun asked them the cost of raising one truly virtuous, moral, and ethical person who was dedicated to Buddhism. The follower replied that it would cost 100 million baht.

So, Master Nun said that with her 11 followers in front of her, she had a budget of 1,000 million baht, and that was more than enough to build the center. And it certainly was! Today, the center is wildly popular, with more and more people flocking to it to learn about Buddhism and the Dhamma of Lord Buddha. Followers also donated money after their meditations led to their happiness!

By 1984, tens of thousands of people came to meditate at the temple, meaning the 77 acres initially donated was now too small to fit everyone! Additional plots of land had to be added, as well as more buildings. The process wasn’t too complicated, as Wat Phra Dhammakaya focused on saving construction costs, and that is evident in their stable and simple structures that you can see today.

Why Meditate, and Why This Project?

The V-STAR project seeks to help boost peaceful relationships between people through meditation, which is an admirable goal in itself. The goal is to allow everyone, regardless of factors such as sex, gender identity, political opinion, race, or sexual orientation, to come together as one.

Those behind the V-STAR project, and Minister of Education of Thailand Professor Dr. Suchart Thadathamrongvej, believe that those differences cause people to become isolated from one another, which is what the program is for. It promotes the idea that hard work and togetherness can make a massive impact on the world.

The project also believes that to change the world Additionally, people must first work on improving themselves. The fact that all these children come together to perform acts of kindness and good deeds show the “moral revival” program is working in the country. Furthermore, those behind it and those in power are hopeful that it marks a positive future for the world that all these children are growing up with ethical, moral values.

But Why Meditate?

Meditation focuses on keeping you aware and present in the current moment, allowing you to boost your awareness and giving you time to focus on what matters. It is also a prevalent practice in Buddhism.

There has been some controversy surrounding the event, however. Some Buddhists criticize it and claim that the V-STAR project is for show and not interested in genuine virtue or advancement. However, regardless, the project continues to move forward and believes that by shaping the children of tomorrow, they can bring about world peace.

Scientific Benefits of Learning to Meditate

Regardless of how effective you believe the project is, there are plenty of reasons for you, personally, to begin meditation from a scientific perspective. Here are some of its benefits:

· Compassion

Believe it or not, meditation can help boost compassion. When you meditate, you may become kinder towards both yourself and other people. This value indicates a truth to the V-STAR program – meditation can lead to more positive values, deeds, and behavior!

· Blood Pressure

Meditation successfully reduces blood pressure by around five points, leading to lowered strain on the heart.

· Memory

Studies indicate the meditation may be able to reduce the risks of memory loss related to age, such as degenerative disorders. For older individuals, meditation can improve cognitive function; on the whole, improving their focus, responses, and positive thinking.

· Sleep

When you meditate, you wind up being able to fall asleep more quickly, and you’ll be able to sleep for more extended periods, too.

· Positive Thinking

Numerous studies have indicated that meditation encourages a more positive outlook on the world and life, as well as better self-image and self-perception. It can even decrease symptoms of depression! It also provides benefits for anxiety and stress levels.

· Pain Management

Meditation has positive effects on pain management, decreasing overall pain sensitivity, and even reducing incidents of chronic pain flairs.

· Attention Span

If you have difficulty staying focused, meditation can help you concentrate, allowing you to carry out tasks in your everyday life better.

coloring and meditation
Learn how coloring books can help you meditate.

Building Moral Virtue In Your Children

The V-STAR project stems from Buddhism and is also currently only available in Thailand. So those are two reasons you and your children may be unable to participate in it. But you don’t need this project to encourage moral virtue in your kids! Here are some ideas for doing so:

· Be A Role Model

Teach your child the values you want to see in them by executing those values yourself. Many children learn by example and will model their behavior after yours. So when your child sees you begin to meditate, he or she will naturally become curious.

· Make Teaching Moments

When your child makes mistakes – as they definitely will! – turn them into teaching moments. Encourage positive reflection, showing them how to think about what they did, how to avoid doing it in the future, and how it affected themselves and those around them.

· Build Good Habits

Remember the ten daily tasks that Virtuous Stars have to do? Nothing’s preventing you from giving your child similar jobs! Give them a timetable of daily tasks to do that will help boost their hard work and moral values and reward them every week that they stick to them consistently!

· Use Your Religion In Teaching

Virtually all religions promote harmony and peace, so if you’re not Buddhist, you can easily use other forms of teaching. Plenty of other religions, including Christianity, also make use of different kinds of meditation!

· Volunteer Together

Bring your child along and volunteer for charities, shelters, and other organizations. Explain to your child what the organization does, why they need your help, and what you’ll be doing for them.

· Expose Them To Different Environments

Let your child make friends with other kids from different backgrounds. Show your child that everyone experiences the world differently, and teach them to be respectful of that fact!

meditate for spiritualityFinal Thoughts On Meditation For World Peace

Getting a large group of children to sit still can be quite a challenge. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done! And, for a good cause, kids may genuinely want to be a part of the effort and will happily stay still for you. Plus, you don’t need to make your kids meditate or take part in programs to raise them to be a part of a better future!

The V-STAR program is truly inspirational. Plus, you can apply plenty of points from it to your own real life. Encourage your kids to do good deeds and teach them the moral values you want them to have. Make meditation a part of your daily routine. Seek to be compassionate to those around you. The possibilities are endless, and your small efforts can make a difference in the world!

The post Millions Of Children In Thailand Meditate For World Peace appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

10 Reasons Why Hard Work Won’t Always Bring Success

It’s a tale as old as time. You work hard and practically burn yourself into the ground, trying to achieve your goals. And yet, success continues to elude you, no matter what you do. Why does this happen?

Well, here are the facts: hard work is always a standard part of success, but success does not necessarily spring from any hard work. It’s not just about working hard. It’s also about working smart.

Here Are 10 Reasons Why Hard Work Won’t Always Bring Success

1. Burnout

Some people don’t believe in burnout, but anyone who’s overworked themselves knows just how brutal it can be. Burnout refers to a state where you’ve essentially worked yourself to the bone and now either:

  • Putt out work that barely meets quality requirements or expectations
  • Feel exhausted entirely to the point of missing deadlines repeatedly
  • Unable to function and perform work tasks at all

Why does burnout happen? Well, when you work too much, it cuts into your free time, forces you to cancel social engagements, and makes your concentration only revolve around that, every single day. This exhaustion saps the joy out of your world, leaving you with nothing but work – and, as they say, that does make Jack quite a dull boy.

There’s nothing wrong with working extra, and it is undoubtedly needed for success. But don’t mistake grinding yourself to the ground as a good option for success. It will more likely just create setbacks or even ruin your passion. Value quality – not quantity.

2. Lack of Support

We just talked about how working hard often means fewer social engagements – and that’s another danger of trying to chase success without balance. Humans need social interaction, and different studies have found that it has positive effects on:

  • Learning ability and productivity
  • Symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Memory and concentration
  • Overall physical health
  • Longevity

On top of that, success often isn’t just something that springs up from yourself alone. It can, of course, but the fact is that connections and strong relationships with others – both in your field and out of it – are equally important. Bonds can help elevate you to the next step in your career, and close, caring relationships with friends and family can give you strength, support, and outside perspectives.

3. Copying Others

Lots of people are hard workers, but few are successful. Why? Because the act of “working hard” often involves following the crowd and doing what almost everyone else is doing. And let’s face it – following the group practically never results in success.

On top of that, a lot of “hard work” is often mindless – it doesn’t require much change or innovation. You have to do the tasks again and again, and you’re working hard. But how is that sort of repetitive, unthinking work going to give you any success at all?

Of course, hard work is still essential, no matter what you’re doing. But make sure that your hard work isn’t blind. Your hard work should also be working towards reaching your goals. If your hard work isn’t getting you anywhere, take a step back, and ask yourself – what are you doing wrong? How can you make it better?

4. Mental Health Deterioration

People often forget that your mental health is almost always crucial to your success. Studies have found that positive mental health often correlates to better academic performance – and you can certainly bet that in the working world, that trend remains.

It’s a relatively simple concept. If you work hard, not smart, chances are you have to sacrifice your free time in other areas. This mindset means you’ll enjoy your life much less, making you potentially unhappy – and when you’re struggling mentally, it can be challenging to achieve success.

Do note that we aren’t saying mental illness dooms you. We’re saying that working too hard can contribute to mental health issues that can affect your ability to strive for success. So don’t forget about the importance of self-care, self-compassion, and looking after yourself.

5. Lack of Budgeting

When you’re so busy working, you may forget to make sure your numbers add up. Did you know that countless Americans don’t have an idea where most of their money goes? Consider:

  • How much money are you earning?
  • How much are you spending?
  • What amount do you need for bills?
  • How much do you spend on food?
  • How much do you put into savings?
  • Are you spending too much on non-essentials?
  • Is there anything you need to cut back on?
  • Is the amount of work you’re doing worth the money you’re earning?

Money saving tips for success

It’s a good idea to develop a budget based on the money that you earn. Figure out how much you need to spend on bills and essential expenses, then figure out where the rest can go. Can you afford to finance a hobby or a new class? Can you start saving up for something bigger?

Having trouble getting started? Download a budgeting app and log it religiously. Many will alert you when you’re nearing or reaching a specific limit.

6. Lack of Consistency

Motivation is excellent for success, but there’s something that’s even more important than motivation: consistency. Motivation ebbs and flows and is never constant, and it’s uncontrollable, but consistent commitment is forever and something you have power over.

If you work super hard a couple of times, it’s unlikely that success will come for you. You have to be remarkably consistent to get success to come knocking at your door. You can’t achieve your goals if you’re not consistent in your efforts. So don’t focus on big, grand shows of hard work – focus on consistency, even if it’s not as dramatic or significant.

7. Lack of Purpose and Vision

What do you believe in? What are you looking to achieve? And what are your goals? If you lack enthusiasm, vision, or purpose, it can be difficult to go above and beyond. After all, you won’t feel satisfied, even when you do take steps forward.

It’s a good idea to set correct goals that give you a delightful vision of the future, and a sense of purpose! Here’s how to come up with positive goals:

· Make Them Specific

Don’t allow for overly vague goals. General goals won’t give you a clear enough sense of direction, leaving you open to losing your drive and being too lenient or too harsh.

· Make Them Measurable

Goals cannot have indefinite requirements. They have to be measurable. For example, you may aim to read three books a month, or you may intend to have completed certain stages of tasks by strict deadlines. If you do neither, you have nothing concrete to work towards.

· Break Them Down

In your long-term goal are many short-term goals. Breaking down huge goals into smaller ones with shorter deadlines can help you figure out how to work towards them.

· Make Them Reasonable

While your goals should always challenge you and be challenging to achieve, they should still be attainable. If you set impossible goals, you will only discourage yourself.

But what if you already have goals set? What then? Well, ask yourself:

  • Do you genuinely believe in these goals?
  • Do these goals still give you a sense of purpose?
  • Why did you initially set these goals?

If these questions make you realize that your goals aren’t quite what you need any more, then it’s time for a giant overhaul!

8. Fear Holds You Back From Success

Fear is often your biggest enemy. If you are afraid, it can prevent you from succeeding. You may fear failure, difficult circumstances, rejection, or even success itself. You may not even realize that fear is controlling your life until it is too late.

It’s not reasonable to hate yourself for being afraid. Fear is something you must treat with kindness – though you must still be firm with it! It’s okay to be frightened, but what now must be done in overcoming that fear? Slowly, bit by bit, you can work on getting over the problem.

don't hold back from success

So step outside of your comfort zone regularly. Don’t let yourself be trapped into being stuck in your fear, but don’t overstep too far that you become too frightened to try again. Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional, either, such as a therapist or psychologist, for help in overcoming your fears.

9. Lack of Emergency Planning

Hard work can support you through regular times, but what about emergencies? Everything can be smooth sailing, only to be derailed by an unexpected and unfortunate event.

Learn to plan for possible emergencies. You can do this by:

  • Setting up an emergency fund with savings for a rainy day
  • Don’t be overly hung up on positive expectations; always know that things may not go to plan
  • Have people you can rely on – and who can rely on you – in case you or they require emergency assistance
  • Have a general backup plan for common emergency scenarios, such as medical problems or natural disasters

10. Negative Cycles Impede Success

A negative cycle can be tough to break, and hard-workers often don’t even realize they’re in one. Example of negative cycles are:

  • You are seen as the person who always works. Therefore, more work is expected of you.
  • You work at a toxic job. You make up excuses to stay. The workplace takes even more advantage of you.
  • Your goals are set too high. You feel guilty or ashamed because you can’t reach your goals. This guilt and shame add to your stress, making it even harder to achieve any goals.
  • You run out of money for the week. You spend cash dedicated to next week to buy what you want. That means you don’t have enough money for next week.

Money saving

To break a negative cycle, you must first be aware of it. Take note of specific patterns that you seem to be stuck in again and again and figure out what their root is.

Final Thoughts On Why Hard Work Won’t Always Bring Success

If you’ve been working as hard as you can but find yourself unable to reach success, take a step back, and analyze your methods. Is there something you’re doing wrong? Is there something you can improve on? How can you work smarter instead of harder? Be kind to yourself! Success will come if you know the right ingredients to it.

The post 10 Reasons Why Hard Work Won’t Always Bring Success appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com