Category Archives: Wellness

How to Be Emotionally Independent

Being emotionally independent and resilient is an integral part of being happy. When we depend on others for our sense of self, we never truly know who we are. Fortunately, by accepting ourselves, modifying our thinking, and taking active strides to be true to who we are and who we feel, we can find that inner sense of peace and independence we’ve been looking for. And it all starts with Step 1 below.

Step 1. Accepting Yourself

Reframe the past.

Let’s take parents: most of them aren’t that great. Are they not that great because they don’t love us or we don’t deserve affection? No. Though as children, that’s hard to see. They’re not that great because they have no idea what they’re doing – they’re trying, but they’re only human. Instead of blaming them (or an ex, for example) for your pain, reframe it. See that they don’t deserve anger, hate, or resentment. At worst they deserve pity; at best, compassion.
Whether you’re 7 or 70, you’ve probably had relationships that have left you a little worse for the wear. We, humans, have a tendency to take every failure/argument/disappointment/rejection personally and tally it up in our own mental notebooks, coming up with a number to equate to just how valuable we are. First things first, that’s gotta stop. The past is in the past and it’s going to stay there. It has little significance.

Forgive and forget.

This is an integral step in the accepting yourself and reframing the past idea. When you don’t hold grudges and stop taking things personally, you’re left with an organic, untainted version of you – an emotionally independent and resilient you. And you’ll be happier, too!
The next time you catch yourself being upset with someone, realize that it has nothing to do with you. It’s them making their own decisions, and you have no control over that, which is fine. This is one trivial moment in the scheme of your life that in short order will be completely forgotten about.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that some people should be let off the hook. Forgive them, forget the behavior, but modify your expectations. Was your friend an hour late to your lunch date? Noted. Next time (if there is a next time), you’ll know how to handle it.

Spend time with yourself.

When’s the last time you had some free time to kill and didn’t whip out your phone or otherwise distract yourself? In today’s day and age, we’re constantly bombarded with stimuli, which ultimately removes us from introspection and getting to know our own minds. Starting now, take 20 minutes or so a day for some “me-time.” Who’s better company than you, anyway?
In this time, watch your mind wander. Where does it go to? How does it think? Take note of just how fascinating this thing inside your head really is. What can you learn about yourself?

Know who you are.

Kind of like asking an ant to look in a mirror and say, “I’m an ant,” isn’t it? Well, in addition to the steps above and below, there are a few sticking points that apply to everyone:
  • You are just as worthy as everyone else you know. There are not “better” humans; we all have good and bad qualities.

  • You have talents and interests. What are they?

  • You have thoughts and opinions. You have things you like and dislike. What are those?

  • You have values. You have beliefs. What things/concepts/ideas do you hold as true?

Step 2. Changing Your Thinking

Test yourself.

There are a handful of ways one can be emotionally dependent. The most common way is in a romantic relationship. We learn to depend on our significant other for affection, sex, approval, you name it. When it doesn’t come, we feel we’ve done something wrong or we’re somehow less valuable. How are you emotionally dependent? Romantically? With friends? Coworkers or your boss? With every person you meet? Think about a few of the following things to pinpoint what areas you need to work on:

  • Do you get jealous easily? Do you compare yourself to others so much that it can ruin your day?

  • Do people often fail to meet your expectations? Who does this most often?

  • When you’re alone, do you seek out others just to feel okay? Does a void spring up when you’re not with others?

  • Does your partner or the idea of a partner mean happiness to you?

Take responsibility.

When we blame others, they’re at fault. Therefore, they become the only ones who can fix the problem. Terrible. In order to take control of your thinking and emotions, you’ve got to take responsibility.

This forces you to become reliant on yourself for a solution. Instead of wallowing in misery, you think about what options you have at your disposal to improve the situation. This gets rid of those negative emotions that well up, too, forcing you to be more logical and feel more in control.

The next time you get offended, stop.

Just for a moment. Why get all worked up? This is just a person who is passing judgment and criticism. It is not the end of the world, nor is it even particularly remarkable, likely. Everyone does it. Why give them the satisfaction of caring? It’s just not worth it.

Remind yourself that you don’t have to react the way you feel inclined to. It may seem as if the natural, human way to respond is by being upset, but that’s hardly your only option. You could be angry, you could be sad – or you could note it and move on. After all, there’s no benefit to being angry or sad, is there? What’ll it get you?

Realize that happiness is only inside you.

Quite literally. Serotonin and dopamine are what you really enjoy. If you wanted to condition yourself to feel ecstatic at the sight of brown carpet, you could. Brains are funny little creatures like that. In other words, you decide what makes you happy and it has nothing to do with the outside world. It comes from within – you can’t find it out there.

In case it wasn’t clear, this is very, very, very good news. You have control over all your feelings! You are at the whim of no one! Every emotion you want to feel, you can. Every emotion you don’t want to feel, you don’t have to. Happiness is just a decision away.

Do your best not to overcompensate.

There is a fine line between being emotionally independent, and well, a jerk. Some people get so caught up in “being true to them” that they step all over others in an effort to assert themselves. Keep in mind that this is not an excuse to be a bully and to always get your way. You can be kind and considerate while still being true to you.

Most people who stomp all over others are trying to thwart their inner feelings inadequacy or unimportance. They don’t feel of any value on the inside, so they force their “value” on others in an effort to convince themselves. This isn’t being emotionally independent – it’s straight up being rude.

Step 3. Living Independently

Decide for yourself.

The next time your friends are sitting around the table badmouthing the latest movie or complaining about pseudo-liberals or even gossiping about a friend, instead of letting them shape your opinions, decide for yourself. How do you feel? Why should their opinions have any weight on yours?

Try this in tiny ways, too. The next time you want to check out a cafe or a movie or a shop, etc., and you’ve heard pretty mediocre things, go anyway! Other people sometimes just don’t know what they’re talking about.

When you have decided for yourself, work up to speaking out about it. It’s possible other people feel similarly but are too shy to say anything! You may also bring up a good point that no one else considered.

Say “no.

The next time you have an opportunity to do something that you just don’t feel like doing, say no. Not only do you not want to partake in this activity, but it’s totally fine if you don’t live up to others’ expectations because it doesn’t bother you. Listen to your gut – it’s often right.

There’s a fine line here, however. Should you skip your best friend’s wedding because you don’t feel like it? Probably not. Should you avoid the mandatory work meeting because you’re feeling lazy? Nope. In other words, know how to pick your battles.

Learn to fix your own problems.

Nowadays, we live in cultures of millions. We have so many resources at our disposal that we don’t have to do a thing ourselves. We get our cars fixed, our plumbing fixed, our computers fixed, our health fixed – the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, that takes away from our resourcefulness and our sense of responsibility. In order to not depend on others, we’ve got to fix our own problems.

So the next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, take it on your own shoulders to do something about it. Spend the night doing something you really enjoy, treat yourself to retail therapy, or, heck, just relax. When you’re successful, this can show you that you have the power to make everything better, not other people.

Expect little from others.

There’s a line from a James Bond theme that says, “Arm yourself because no one else will save you.” It’s a little cynical, but the idea is true: we’re all humans and at the end of the day, we have to be selfish and put ourselves first to be happy. Everyone else does it, so you can, too – without feeling any guilt.

Keeping this in mind can help you from getting your hopes up and then being let down. When you have few expectations of people, it’s easier for others to meet them. And it’ll be easier to notice who still struggles meeting your lack of expectation and who consistently rises to the top.

Hang out with different groups of people.

When our entire lives revolve around a small group of people, it’s hard not to think that their opinions couldn’t move mountains. To widen your world and take the importance off their opinions, hang out with more people! Having a wide social network is good in fair and foul weather, too.

All humans have to attach themselves to things. It can stink because it means our emotions are at the whim of other people and other things. The key here is to not over-attach yourself. It’s a fine line that only you can find. The best way to do this is to spread yourself between different people and divvy up your time accordingly.

Do your own thing.

This is what it comes down to. You are your own person and therefore you’re going to do your own thing, whatever that means. When you find who you are and stick to it, no one can stop that inner sense of happiness that’ll prevail as a result.

People who genuinely stick to who they are are a rare breed. It shouldn’t cause judgment – it should inspire. People will see that you are your own fountain of happiness and wish they were the same! While some won’t be able to handle it, they’re not the ones you want to be around anyway!.

 

 

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Source: The above story is based on materials originally published on wikihow.com. The original article was written by several unspecified authors.
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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This Is Why You Feel So Sad on Sunday (and How to Fix It)

Every Sunday around 4 p.m., much of the developed world gives a collective groan. The weekend is fast receding, Monday is fast approaching, and the blues (a legit thing—ask the experts) set in. But you can outsmart them—and keep your mood in weekend mode till the clock strikes midnight—with a few easy strategies. Monday can wait.

Even after the best of weekends (or especially after the best of weekends), there’s a cloud that descends. Chances are, you’ve felt it. In a 2013 poll from the career site Monster.com, 81 percent of American respondents said they get Sunday-night blues—and 59 percent said they experience them “really bad.” As laid-back “weekend you” begins to morph into uptight “weekday you,” anxiety over anticipating an over­flowing in-box, the drudgery of packing school lunches, and the tyranny of a mile-long to-do list sets in.

“Sunday nights aren’t considered the end of a great weekend but the beginning of something neither the child nor the adult is looking forward to,” says Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and the founder of the National Institute for Play, in Carmel Valley, California. But what is the cause of this dread? And what can we do to change it? If you’re prone to Sunday-night blues, try one (or, uh, all) of the following tips. And welcome to a future with no more sad Sundays.

Do Sunday on Saturday

Typically we schedule fun stuff on Saturday, obligations on Sunday. This only reinforces the blues. Instead, take care of buzz-killing chores, errands, and commitments on Saturday, when you’re naturally in a better mood. This could also change your experience of tougher tasks. For example, visiting your great-aunt in the retirement home when you’re already feeling down may remind you of the shortness of life; seeing her with a fresh Saturday-morning mind-set might move you to reminisce about summers at the cabin (happier for her, too). This weekend switcheroo leaves you open for “moments of unencumbered joy” on Sunday, when your psyche is in need of them most, says Cassie Mogilner, Ph.D., a happiness researcher and an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Homework is yet another Sunday downer. Nagging kids to hit the books creates an angst-filled evening. “Children may feel more positive on Monday morning if Sunday night is free of last-minute preparations for tomorrow’s school day,” says Erika A. Patall, Ph.D., an assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Slot time for homework on Saturday, with a little extra on Sunday morning. (Hash it out with your children beforehand so you can work around soccer games and birthday parties.) This can be a hard sell for teenagers, but if you have little ones, instilling this habit now can really pay off in a multitude of ways. “In general, students learn more if they distribute their studying over time, rather than trying to cram the learning into one long session,” says Patall.

Become a Forward Thinker

Another reason you feel off on Sunday, of course, is that your head is swirling with tasks for the upcoming week. Spare yourself this stress by ending your workweek with a plan. “Before you leave the office on Friday, prep your desk so you can jump in Monday without missing a beat,” says Peggy Duncan, an Atlanta-based professional organizer. Create a Monday-specific to-do list, line up necessary files, and tag e-mails that require attention. If you have to check your work calendar over the weekend, do it Sunday morning to avoid having the prospect weigh on you all day, then dive into a distraction (exercise, playtime with the kids) to keep yourself from becoming consumed with work thoughts. If it is within your control, don’t schedule Monday-morning meetings. “They just add to the sense of dread,” Duncan explains.

Getting your act together at the end of the week can be a boon to all aspects of your life, from planning meals and organizing carpools to managing long-term school projects. Anticipating challenges preweekend will prevent late-night dashes to the market and Staples, and the headaches that go with them.

Be a Social Animal

Slipping into hermit mode is all too easy come Sunday, especially in the short days before daylight saving time kicks in. But there is plenty of research that shows that people who are less social tend to be less happy. And a Sunday already potentially mired in the blahs is when you’ll need contact with others the most. Can you stay in your pj’s and communicate on Facebook? “Perhaps,” says Mogilner. “But connecting over a computer isn’t as effective as connecting with living, breathing humans.”

Any regular Sunday social ritual—church for some, yoga or softball for others—can lift spirits. In fact, a 2010 study published in American Sociological Review found that people who routinely attend religious services were more satisfied with their lives than were those who didn’t. The reason, researchers determined, isn’t just related to faith; it’s also about having friends in the congregation who give people a sense of belonging and, in turn, higher levels of well-being.

You may get similar benefits without joining a formal group. Institute a standing date with pals to skip the exhausting back-and-forth of making plans, suggests Gretchen Rubin, the author of Better Than Before ($19, amazon.com), a book about mastering good habits. “Being accountable makes it much more likely that you won’t back out at the last minute,” she adds. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. (Who wants to wash a fondue pot on Sunday night?) And it doesn’t have to involve many people. Something low-maintenance—like a scheduled phone call with your sister, margaritas with the neighbors, or even Yahtzee night with the kids—can make all the difference.

Volunteering is one more way to connect, but it has an unexpected perk, too. Giving away your time makes you feel as if you have more time, reports a 2012 study published in Psychological Science. Hence, it extends your weekend. “You get a sense that you’re doing a lot with your time,” says Mogilner, who worked on the study. “That inspires you to do more later on that day,” which leads to more satisfaction. It’s a tactic to fend off that “Where did the weekend go?” spiral.

Make Over Sunday Night

Why is it that 7 p.m. on a Sunday feels like 11 p.m., but on every other day of the week 7 p.m. is just the start of the evening? Maybe because our idea of “doing nothing”—say, binge-watching Game of Thrones—is not necessarily the best medicine for relieving the Sunday blues.

Active leisure—a book club, practicing yoga, or even going to the movies—will make you happier than choosing something that is passive. “If you’re engaged in an activity that keeps you moving, you’re absorbed in the moment and your mind has much less room to allow workweek worries to sneak in and take hold,” says Mogilner. So while we’re forever grateful to HBO for transforming Sunday nights, you may want to DVR your favorite episodes and watch them on a night less fraught with anxiety—say, hump day.

Source:
The above story is based on materials found on realsimple.com. The original article was written by Yolanda Wikiel. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

12 Actionable Tips To De-Stress And Feel Happier Right Now

If you clicked on this article you probably feel stressed right now. There are many things that make us feel anxious – an awkward conversation with the boss, family issues or a fight with your partner.The good news is that you can instantly fight back the “S Word” with these simple tips to destress. Take a deep breath. Ready? Now relax!

1. Go for a walk

Yes, it’s as simple as that. Ten minutes outside will help you clear your mind and boost endorphins – a powerful antidote to stress hormones. Have a stroll in a park, go out to the garden and plan an escape into the wood on the weekends. Nature is one of the most powerful (and free!) stress-relievers out there as a recent study proved. If you cannot step outside right now, find a window with a view on something leafy and green and take your “zen” moment. Solely visual encounters with nature, as well, have actionable positive influences on your psychological and physiological states.

2. Buy a plant

Did you know that a small pot on your desk can actually help you to calm down? A research conducted by Washington State University proved that being around plants drastically reduces anxiety and drops blood pressure. For an easier breathe, get a snake plant for your office. It absorbs carbon dioxide during the day and releases oxygen during the night (while most plants do it vice versa), so that your morning begins with clean-air boost to kick-start your productivity. Or a spider plant – still one of the most effective air-purifying plants according the NASA study in late 80s. It consumes and transforms harmful pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and more, thus making us healthier and more content.

3. Do a quick breathing exercise

One of the oldest techniques discovered nearly 3000 years from Ayurveda practices is gaining control of your “pranayama” – the life force or simply, your breath. Deep breathing stimulates parasympathetic reactions in our body, which helps us to relieve the tension and calm down. Shallow quick breathing does not allow our body to get enough oxygen and is considered as a “fight or flight” reaction by our brains, thus provoking stress. According to Herbert Benson, a researcher from Harvard, short periods of meditation, using breathing as a focus, can significantly alter the body’s stress response and even change the expression of some genes. Here are a few simple techniques to try:

Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”: deeply inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four. All through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Keep the focus on the same thought while doing the exercise.
Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”: start with a long, slow inhale, followed by a rapid, powerful exhale coming from the lower belly. Once you feel more comfortable with the contraction, speed up the pace to one inhale-exhale (all through the nose) every two seconds, for a total of 10 breaths.

4. Chew a gum

Feeling overwhelmed with ongoing tasks? Chew a gum to stay focused and reduce your anxiety. According to Andrew Scholey from Swinburne University in Melbourne, using a chewing gum while balancing numerous tasks improves overall attentiveness and effectiveness. During the research gum-chewers performed 67% better on multi-tasks and showed a reduction in anxiety by 17% during mild stress and 10% in moderate stress situations compared to non-chewers.

5. Squeeze out a smile

Even a phony fake smile will reduce your stress levels according to the “facial feedback” theory of emotion. Our brains constantly analyze changes in our body from posture and muscle pressure to facial expression, thus judging how you actually feel right now. In simple words if you act like a happy person, you’ll start feeling like one! Is there nothing to cheer you up right now? Place a pencil vertically between your teeth to mimic a genuine smile. As another research proved, participants who were holding a pencil vertically in their mouth felt less stressed when solving a mental challenge and reported to endure less pain while going through the pain induction.

6. Eat a banana, potato or an avocado

BananasAll of them contain a lot of potassium – a property known to reduce blood pressure jumping sky high as you feel stressed. The also help your body to gain the necessary energy for recovery and even protect you from negative stress-related consequences like strokes and heart attacks.

7. Listen to some music

Music is known to have a lot of healing powers. It can reduce both the distress of chronic and postoperative pains; relieve depression and increase self-esteem in elderly people; reduce burnouts and improve the mood among pressured nursing students. It even makes patients less anxious and stressed before surgery. Classical music has a particularly soothing effect – it calms down the heart rate, cuts back the amount of stress hormones and reduces blood pressure. However, it could be any of your favorite songs to flood your brain with “the happiness hormone” – dopamine.

8. Do progressive muscle relaxation exercises

Researches have found that a series of simple progressive muscle relaxation exercises once a week significantly reduces blood pulse, pressure and overall anxiety even for people suffering clinical depression or other psychological disorders. Sit down, close your eyes and tighten your foot muscles (starting from toes) as much as you can. Than relax. Gradually make you way up tightening and relaxing each muscle until you’ve reached your forehead. The exercises works miracles when done with a soothing tune in your headphones.

9. Treat yourself with something sweet

8AAE528F08-1024x682Eat a candy or a piece of cookie (one piece!) as it is the fastest aid to reduce both psychological and physical stress. Sugar can decrease the production of glucocorticoid – a stress-related hormone linked to decreased immune response and obesity. And yes, that must be something really syrupy, not a low-calorie sugar-substantive variety.

10. Create Cushions in Your Calendar

Tight schedules and constant multi-tasking are one of the most common contributors to stress nowadays. When you have a lot of things to cross of your to-do list, you find yourself in a constant hurry, juggling a bunch of things at a time and not being properly focused on any of them. By creating cushions in your calendar you avoid stressful situations in the first place. Always leave enough time from you to reach from point A to point B despite any possible obstacles you may face. If you have an important meeting scheduled for 10 am, go out of home 30 min earlier than your usual time, so you could spend your commuting time calmly revising your notes, instead of rushing and stressing out due to heavy traffic.

11. Use the Naam yoga hand trick

Once you feel anxiety rising up, say during difficult negotiations, press a point between your second and third knuckles, just at the spot where your finger and hand meet. It will instantly make you feel calmer! Also, try moving your thumb down the middle finger toward your palm till you feel a soft, slightly indented spot. It should be on the inside of your finger of your palm. Applying medium pressure here will loosen the area around the heart and make your anxiety go away notes Sharon Melnick, author of the “Success Under Stress” program.

12. Stop Should-ing Yourself

After all, we are our own worst enemies in terms of stress. How many times have you told yourself that you should go to that date (but you knew it’s going to be pathetic!), you should meet you old friend (though you had hardly anything in common as you grew up) or that you should go through with the wedding as all the invitation have been sent and tons of money spent? Those “should”s crush your soul and make you feel anxious about making life decisions. As Lissa Rankin, M.D states: “If you ignore the soul’s guidance, the soul may guide you through painful interventions, like loss or illness.” Stay true to yourself and listen to your heart more often! It does no harm to you.

Found here http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/12-actionable-tips-stress-and-feel-happier-right-now.html

The Healing Power of Your Hands

Did you know that your hands hold an innate healing power that have been used for centuries?

Mudras are positions of the hands that are said to influence the energy of your physical, emotional and spiritual body.

Mudras have been used in the East for thousands of years and were practiced by many spiritual leaders including Buddha. Today, Mudras are still used in Yoga and meditation.

Sometimes we may subconsciously place our hands into Mudra positions without even knowing it and other times we can use them to help channel and stimulate healing.

There are hundreds of Mudras but here are some of the most common:

Gyan Mudra (Mudra of Knowledge)

The tip of the index finger touches the tip of the thumb while the other fingers remain straight.
The tip of the index finger touches the tip of the thumb while the other fingers remain straight.

Benefits: Enhances knowledge, stimulates the pituitary and endocrine glands, increases memory, helps meditation, prevents insomnia, can boost mood and bring clarity.

Practice: Any time while sitting, standing or lying in bed.

Prithvi Mudra (Mudra of Earth)

The tip of the ring finger touches the thumb while the other fingers remain straight out.
The tip of the ring finger touches the thumb while the other fingers remain straight out.

Benefits: reduces physical and spiritual weaknesses, can increase the life force, can help clear skin, promotes body functionality.

Practice: Any time.

Varuna Mudra (Mudra of Water)

The tip of the pinky finger touches the thumb while the other fingers remain straight up.
The tip of the pinky finger touches the thumb while the other fingers remain straight up.

Benefits: helps to balance emotions and helps to retain water. Helps to relieve constipation and cramps. Can also help regulate menstrual cycles and hormonal conditions.

Practice: 15 minutes three times a day.

Vayu Mudra (Mudra of Air)

The thumb wraps over the index finger while the rest of the fingers remain straight.
The thumb wraps over the index finger while the rest of the fingers remain straight.

Benefits: helps to calm an anxious mind, soothe a strained voice and can help decrease stress. Can also help reduce impatience and indecisiveness.

Practice: 10 to 15 minutes, 3 times per day.

Shunya Mudra (Mudra of Emptiness)

The tip of the thumb presses the middle finger down while the rest of the fingers stand straight up.
The tip of the thumb presses the middle finger down while the rest of the fingers stand straight up.

Benefits: reduces dullness in the body and can also be highly effective for ear aches. Can help restore confidence and boost mental cognition.

Practice: 40-60 minutes daily or for an earache- 4 to 5 minutes.

Surya Mudra (Mudra of the Sun)

Bend the ring finger under the thumb while the rest of the fingers remain straight.
Bend the ring finger under the thumb while the rest of the fingers remain straight.

Benefits: helps stimulate the thyroid gland, helps to alleviate weight gain and reduces appetite, stimulates digestion, helps relieve anxiety and stress. Helps to guide you to your purpose.

Practice: 5 to 15 minutes, twice daily.

Prana Mudra (Mudra of Life)

The ring and pinky finger both bend to meet the thumb while the index and middle finger remain pointed straight up.
The ring and pinky finger both bend to meet the thumb while the index and middle finger remain pointed straight up.

Benefits: improves the life force, helps to strengthen the mind, body and spirit, helps promote taking action, improves immunity and motivation. Helps enhance vision and reduces fatigue.

Practice: Any time.

Apana Mudra (Mudra of Digestion)

The middle and ring finger are bent under the thumb while the pinky and index finger stand straight up.
The middle and ring finger are bent under the thumb while the pinky and index finger stand straight up.

Benefits: helps to regulate the excretory system, helps detoxify and stimulates bowel movements. Helpful at relieving constipation and piles.

Practice: 45 minutes daily

Apana Vayu Mudra (Mudra of the Heart)

The index finger bends to touch the base of the thumb while the middle and ring finger bend to touch the tip of the thumb. The pinky finger remains stretched out.
The index finger bends to touch the base of the thumb while the middle and ring finger bend to touch the tip of the thumb. The pinky finger remains stretched out.

Benefits: stimulates healing of the heart and helps physically protect the heart. Can also help reduce gas and heart burn.

Practice: 15 minutes, twice daily

Linga Mudra (Mudra of Heat)

Interlock the fingers of both hands but keep the thumb of the left hand pointing up. Take the right thumb and wrap it around the thumb so it touches the index finger of the right hand.
Interlock the fingers of both hands but keep the thumb of the left hand pointing up. Take the right thumb and wrap it around the thumb so it touches the index finger of the right hand.

Benefits: helps to stimulate heat in the body, helps reduce phlegm and congestion, good for strengthening the lungs, helps to invigorate and balance the body.

Practice: Any time but do not over practice.

The Most Proven Technique For Increasing Long Term Happiness

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep.Write down three things that went well today and why they went well.

You may use a journal or your computer to write about the events, but it is important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (“My husband picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today”), but they can be important (“My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”).

Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?

For example, if you wrote that your husband picked up ice cream, write “because my husband is really thoughtful sometimes” or “because I remembered to call him from work and remind him to stop by the grocery store.” Or if you wrote, “My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy,” you might pick as the cause “God was looking out for her” or “She did everything right during her pregnancy.”

Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week. It will get easier. The odds are that you will be less depressed, happier, and addicted to this exercise six months from now.

Found here http://time.com/3709747/increasing-long-term-happiness/

When Someone You Love Is Having a Tough Time, Remind Them of These 20 Things

If someone you love is having a tough time right now, there are some things that you can remind them of which will help them trough their difficulties. Whatever you say to someone who is struggling, the most important thing is to ensure your tone of voice and demeanor is appropriate. Remind your loved one of the following things in a warm, encouraging way, and not in a “pull your socks up” way. Your approach will make all the difference to the response you get.

1. It’s OK Not to Be OK

When people are struggling, they often make themselves feel worse by placing unrealistic expectations on themselves. They beat themselves up for having a problem and feeling unable to cope with it. Remind your loved one that they are no less of a person just because they are facing something challenging right now. You love them and will support them in good times and bad.

2. You’re Not Alone

Identifying with the person who is struggling can help them feel better. They realize, then, that they are not bearing the weight of the world alone. Remind them that others have had this problem, and that they already have found a way through it. Just knowing that they are not alone can help them feel less lonely and more hopeful. Encourage your loved one to join a support group or forum if appropriate.

3. Let Go of Blame

Sometimes when people are struggling, they either want to blame themselves or other people for their circumstances. It’s OK to initially express anger and frustration, but wallowing in feelings of unfairness or blame will make them feel worse and wastes their energy. Help your loved one to see that the way out their difficulties is in looking for solutions and not in assigning blame or hanging onto angry feelings.

4. Struggles Make You Stronger

Wisdom, strength and resilience can all be built from the foundations of tough times. Help your loved one to see how they’re growing as a person, even if they feel like they’re going through hell. It’s so important not to be glib or patronizing when you’re saying this ‒ actually tell your loved one the new strengths you see in them.

5. Take a Step Back

People going through tough times often lose perspective, because they feel so mired in the problem itself. Reminding someone to step back from the situation can help them to see things in a fresh light, and will help them find new solutions.

6. Nothing Lasts Forever

The terrible thing about really tough times is that they feel like they will go on forever. But, in reality, nothing lasts forever ‒ not even the most horrible emotions or the direst circumstances. Reminding your loved one of this can help them gain perspective and feel comforted at the same time.

7. Take Things Step By Step

Tough times can often bring complex and confusing feelings, and those who are struggling may feel paralyzed and unable to make decisions. Remind them that they don’t have to solve the whole problem at once. If they just do the next right thing, they will start to make progress.

8. Look For The Open Door

When life shuts one door, another one will always open. Losing something will always lead to new opportunities, but only if you are open to them. Remind your loved one to stay alert to fresh opportunities and solutions.

9. Just Do Your Best

People who are struggling can put so much pressure on themselves to get things right that they feel even more upset when they don’t meet their own unrealistic expectations. Remind them that as long as they just do their best, that’s all that matters. They are human, after all. Their best is good enough.

10. You’ve Come Through Tough Times Before

If someone you love is having a hard time, it may be difficult for them to see their strengths. Reminding them that they have already survived tough times before can show them that there is an end in sight, and that they have the strength to reach it.

11. You’re Brave

Most people who are struggling refuse to acknowledge how strong and brave they actually are. They may see themselves as weak and scared. Remind them that courage is not the absence of fear. It’s the willingness to go on even when you’re afraid.

12. There Is Something Good in Each Day

Going through difficulties can lead to a negative mindset. If someone is really going through a desperately hard time, and dealing with something like depression, being all happy-clappy with them won’t work. But do ask them about the good things in their life, what has gone well, and what they have achieved. It will help them to see a glimmer of hope, even in the darkness.

13. Look at What You’re Gaining

Even when someone has a difficult problem, there will always be an upside to it. Whether it’s finding out who their true friends are when they’re struggling, or having the opportunity to develop patience, strength and problem-solving abilities, there will always be a silver lining. Help your loved one to find it.

14. It’s Not Your Fault

Sometimes when people are struggling, they take their problems very personally, almost believing that their difficulties are sent in some way to punish them. If your loved one is doing this, reminding them that it’s not their fault can help them feel relieved.

15. Well Done

Validating someone for their efforts when they’re having a miserable time can make a big difference in their day. If someone is struggling, they may not acknowledge their own hard work. Giving them praise can help them feel rewarded and appreciated..

16. Focus on Now

Often people make their tough times even tougher by worrying about the future or fretting about the past. They may add to their misery by letting themselves think back to all the times life has treated them badly or that they’ve failed before; or they may fear that their current difficulty will lead to yet more problems. Remind them to focus on now, because that’s the only part of the story they can change at the moment.

17. Nothing Is Ever the End of the World

Very few problems, however big or small, can actually stop you from breathing. You can encourage your loved one by reminding them that everything is survivable and beatable. They will find a way of dealing with this issue, however tough, if only they keep trying.

18. Be Kind To Yourself

When someone is going through a hard time, they may feel so frustrated by their problems that they resort to beating themselves up or not allowing themselves a minute of reprieve from the issue. Remind your loved one that tough times are easier when we’re kind to ourselves. They are allowed “time off” from their problem to have a laugh, treat themselves, and be around good people. Relieving stress can actually help them to come back to the problem refreshed and recharged.

19. People Want to Help

If your loved one is suffering, they may believe that they have to go through it all by themselves. They may not want to burden others with their problems, and won’t want to ask for help. Remind them that most people are amenable to helping; in fact, helping feels good. The reason people have different strengths is precisely so that they can help each other. Encourage your loved one to seek extra help should they need it.

20. I’m There For You

The strength of these words can not be underestimated. Letting your loved one know that you’re there for them, and that you will listen to their feelings, dry their tears, or even just be around, can mean everything to someone going through hell. Just being a non-judgmental, caring presence in your loved one’s life can make a massive difference in how they feel and how they cope.
Found on http://raffaellagrassi.blogspot.com/

30 Simple Secrets to Get Happy Instantly

It is said that happiness is a state of mind. Why is it really necessary for us to stay happy most of the time?

Staying happy not only makes you feel better; it also helps you to find the good in people and in life. It generates an aura of positivity around you. Naturally, others are drawn to you and wish for your company. Also, when you are happy, your body produces endorphins and other chemicals that help your body repair and heal on its own. Isn’t that cool? And to be happy, you need not do grand stuff.

Life offers us small pleasures all the time. We just need to spot them.

Here are some simple ways to get happy instantly.

1. Smile.

It is the best and simplest way to get happy instantly. It does not cost you anything and helps relieve stress and anxiety. Whenever your mood hits a low, flaunt your killer smile!

2. Think about your loved one.

Nothing is more soothing than thinking about your beloved. It automatically puts a smile on your face and makes you happier within seconds.

3. Sing a song.

Although it may seem funny if you are in office, go out on the terrace and sing loudly.

4. Meditate.

Wherever you are, if you feel low, close your eyes. Start deeply breathing, i.e. inhaling and exhaling slowly; try calming down your mind. Think about good memories that you have experienced.

5. Walk barefoot on green grass.

This is a unique pleasure in and of itself. The tickling sensation of the soft grass beneath our feet diverts us from the daily monotony and freshens up our mind. If you happen to be near a garden when feeling low, do this. It will surely make you happy instantly.

6. Unplug.

Take a break from all sorts of social media. Sometimes, it’s really exhausting trying to pretend that you have a perfect life, especially in front of people who are just on your friend list and don’t even know the real, unique you. Being different or having flaws is perfectly normal. Accept your life the way it is and improve it; make each moment count!

7. Compliment others.

Have you always wanted to tell someone that they are very well dressed or cool or good looking? You should definitely pass on a genuine compliment. You’ll be instantly happy once you see the other person glow.

8. Declutter.

Sometimes your mood is instantly lifted the moment you rearrange your space, be it in the cupboard or shelves. It helps shed off monotonous surroundings.

9. Try something new.

Have you always wanted to learn some type of dance form or how to play an instrument, but didn’t get a chance to do so? Perhaps you want to learn a new form of art or another language. Spontaneously enroll yourself for such a course. See how instantly your mood is lifted.

10. Plan a small reunion with your pals.

It’s true that everybody has a busy schedule nowadays. Break free and plan a random reunion with your buddies. The joy we feel after meeting them is simply awesome!

11. Get nostalgic.

The joy of flipping through old pictures is just incomparable, be it your childhood pictures or your marriage or even your kid’s childhood snaps.

12. Watch funny stuff.

Timeless comedies like Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and Tom and Jerry will instantly restore your mood and make you feel delightful.

13. Do good deeds.

Do at least one good deed daily and see how blissful you feel. It could be any simple thing, such as helping an old person cross the street or helping some poor kids by buying their books, teaching someone or sponsoring their education or donating funds to the needy. I bet you will feel really happy after helping someone.

14. Know that it’s going to be OK.

Life isn’t meant too be taken very seriously. Enjoy it to the fullest. Explore new things in your lifetime—stuff you really love doing. Take chances; fall in love. Get to know your neighbors. Help society in whatever way possible. Make someone’s day. Challenge yourself and dare to try life instead of feeling helpless in any situation. You’ll be a happier person indeed.

15. Read interesting books.

Pick up any book you love. This world is full of interesting facts and mysteries. Read about them. You will know things many people don’t know. Having that extra edge over others will surely make you smile. I am talking about healthy competition here.

16. Change your route.

If you have been take the same road for multiple years to reach your office, home, or college, change the route. Change could uplift your mood and make you happier.

17. Inhale your favorite scent.

Inhaling your favorite scent calms down your mind, de-stresses you, and makes you happier.

18. Hold gratitude.

There are several good people in our life who have helped us through our ups and downs. Express your gratitude to them. Not only does it show that you are a good human; it also helps you acknowledge their efforts of helping you.

19. Watch the sunrise or sunset.

Depending what time of the day it is, spare some time to view nature’s beauty. This helps us realize how wonderful our earth is!

20. Live in the present.

Learn to enjoy every moment of life because today’s deeds will determine our future. Don’t get stressed by unpleasant situations. If they don’t matter few years from now, they really don’t matter at all!

21. Call an old friend.

The joy of calling up an old friend and reviving some of the memories is a good way of instantly lifting our mood and becoming happy.

22. Take charge of your life.

Tired or fed up with your current job or course? Change it! Do everything and anything your heart desires. Take small steps in the right direction instead of taking giant footsteps in the wrong direction. At the end of the day, your happiness matters the most!

23. Feel the fresh air.

Go for a walk outdoors and feel the fresh air. It will cheer you up instantly.

24. Maximum family time.

Spending maximum time with our family is one of the best ways to keep ourselves happy. Our family selflessly accepts us for who we are.
Show them that you care. Be grateful. Small, simple gestures keep us happy.

25. Play any sport.

Playing sports not only helps us maintain our fitness; it also helps us to remain cheerful. Playing relieves our stress.

26. Thought to remember.

“This moment is not permanent in life.” Read this line whenever you’re happy, angry, sad, upset, cheated or lonely. It will surely help relieve anxiety.

27. Hobbies.

Work on any of your favorite hobbies and see the difference in your mood! It could be hiking, reading, watching a movie, or absolutely anything that makes you smile!

28. Go for a holiday.

Plan something even if you are currently sitting in the office. It could be a short or a long vacation.

The prospect of chilling out with our beloved makes us smile instantly!

29. Express yourself.

We are humans and we really need to speak to someone about our problems or write them down in our personal diary.

Just express yourself and feel content.

30. Feel blessed.

No matter who you are, you are privileged in a variety of ways. Perhaps you were born to a well-to-do family or into a safe family environment. Maybe you have awesome parents who have been there for you your whole life, who have been supportive of your life decisions.

Maybe you have great friends who are always around, ready to help whenever needed. Maybe you’ve never gone to bed hungry due to financial problems.

Acknowledge the ways in which life has been generous to you. We cannot even imagine how difficult it must be to live the lives people lead in some parts of the world, under the threat of poverty, diseases, and terrorism.

Feel blessed; stay blessed. 🙂

Found here http://raffaellagrassi.blogspot.com/

Advice for People in Their Twenties

I found this list on the Internet. And loved it. It is simple and driven by care of elders towards youngsters. Maybe worth to read and remember it. Please share with those in their 20s you love most.

1. Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.

2. Getting a degree matters, but getting the right degree matters even more.

3. Leave every job you have on good terms. Do not burn your bridges.

4. See the world while you still don’t have a ton of responsibilities.

5. Don’t live on the Internet. Go out and experience real life.

6. Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

7. Read. A lot.

8. Dress to impress.

9. Never pinch pennies on brakes or tires.

10. Never stop learning

11. Marry someone you consider your best friend.

12. All adventures in life start by just showing up.

13. Drama is never worth putting up with.

14. Value experiences over possessions.

15. Drive slow in bad weather.

16. Money comes and goes. Time just goes.

17. Don’t judge yourself on your intentions but your actions.

18. Always make new mistakes.

19. Don’t rely on other people to make you happy.

20. Bite less; chew more.

The Art of Deep Breathing: A Sanity-Saving Strategy

Have you ever had one of those days where you were so stressed that you felt like you could use some help to save your sanity? If so, you’ll be happy to discover a strategy you can use to reduce stress and improve your health at the same time. This strategy is easy and convenient, and it’s called deep breathing.
One response to stress is shallow breathing.  This type of breathing is not the best way to draw air into the body, since you are mostly filling the upper part of your lungs. On the other hand diaphragmatic or deep breathing fills the lungs with life-giving oxygen. This type of breathing fills the lungs to their capacity. Here is a deep breathing exercise. While lying on your back or sitting in a chair, place your hands on your abdomen near your naval. Take deep breaths, feeling the rise and fall of your abdominal area. Taking a few deep breaths will not only oxygenate your body but also will help improve circulation, decrease anxiety and increase alertness.
We automatically breathe without thinking about it too much, unless a medical condition affecting breathing is present.  The moment we bring breathing into awareness, we begin to control how we breathe. The beauty is that it doesn’t cost you anything to breathe. But when is it appropriate to do breathing exercises? And how often can they be done?
When To Do Deep Breathing Exercises
There are no hard and fast rules stipulating when to do breathing exercises. It really depends on what you’re wishing to achieve by doing them.
You can use breathing exercises at any time to:
• Achieve a state of calm
• Feel alive, invigorated, and ready for your day
• Reduce stress in tense situations
• Wind down at the end of the day
When you wake up in the morning, you may wish to do some quick deep breathing exercises to feel invigorated and ready to go. You can go outside, take a deep breath, and then breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
This breathing exercise can serve as a workout for your abdominal muscles and lungs. It can make you feel quite refreshed at the beginning of your day and provides a similar effect to taking a morning jog.
When you’re having a rough day at work or dealing with conflict, you can use a few calming breaths to help reduce stress. Sit back, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Hold it in and then let it out. Repeat the process until you feel relaxed.

Health Benefits of Breathing Exercises

If you just need a quick lift, then you’ll only need to spend a short time here and there doing some deep breathing exercises. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have a significant impact on your health and serenity, you can form a routine of several breathing exercises throughout your day.
 
Whatever the duration, breathing exercises may bring you many health benefits, including:
• Reduce your blood pressure
• Calm your nerves
• Tighten your core muscles
• Aid in better digestion
• Aid in the elimination of waste and toxins
• Bring you higher levels of energy
• Increase your awareness of the functions within your body
• Reduce stress
Your own results will depend upon the type and frequency of breathing exercises you use.

Anyone Can Benefit From Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can benefit virtually anyone. The only individuals who should take extreme caution are those with respiratory issues. Always check with your physician before attempting these exercises.
Nevertheless, sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the relaxing effects that deep breathing can provide. It’s an effective solution to reduce stress, bring you peace, and improve your life.
Found here

The Best Gift

When you ask yourself about what is the best you can do to help many others, when you ask yourself about what is the best you can do to help your loved ones, or your neighbor, or friend, what is the answer ? 
We generally have two answers to this question, whether we try to help the whole humanity or one single individual. These answers are not always completely revealed and clear to us. 
The first is that we must do something which makes other people, or friends or relatives, feel better. We definitely want them to feel better, because we interiorly know that to feel better is the way to start any kind of improvement. 
The second is generally confused within the first answer, and not very clear to be identified. But it is there. We must do something that makes US feel better. Just for the same reason. To get any improvement in any situation we must feel well. We must feel the feeling of wellness. What we want for others is what we first must have to be able to generate any kind of improvement.

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For this reason, it can sound strange and selfish, but is not: the best gift you can give to people, is your wellness, your being well, your feeling good. 
Just try to imagine. You wake up and feel good, look in the mirror and see a smiling face. Have a good breakfast. The walk to work will be easier and nice. You meet people and—since you feel good—you easily smile to them. Simply because you feel good. 
We often say a smile can change a life. IT CAN. Because it is an expansion of that wellness you have inside. It’s a share point of what you have done to be comfortable and happy with yourself. It comes from your positive transformation and it is the reflection of the wonderful human being which is inside you. 
You expand your wellbeing and others will feel the feeling, they will smile in turn and a wave of better feeling will be easily created. And like a wave it will go from people to people, and really will reach the whole humanity. Just starting from yourself.