21. December 2009 08:18
The human mind is an amazing thing, and the words we use in our day to day lives can be powerful tools for how we affect it. By changing the words you use, you can change your perception of yourself, those around you, and even how you look at situations, say psychologists. You be the judge. Does your mother (or someone else) call too often to check on you? Do you call it nagging? Here are just a few examples of how you can shift your perceptions:
• Nagging or Connecting? So your mother calls too much. Instead of calling it nagging, call it connecting…she wants to connect with you. You call her first, make her feel good, and control the conversation.
• Pushy or Direct? You think a co-worker is pushy. Change the word to direct and you can react to the person in a straightforward manner.
• Impulsive or Spontaneous? Are you irritated by your mate’s impulsive behavior? Choose to admire his or her spontaneity.
• Moping or Coping? Moping is a way of coping when someone needs help rebuilding confidence after a difficult time. Give a helping hand.
9. December 2009 12:06
Would you like to live a happier, more fulfilled life? I don't know a single person who would answer "No." I recently came across an article that had some simple ideas about how we can all achieve greater happiness in our lives... just by following a ver simple formula.
In a recent study by Professor Ed Diener, psychologist at the University of Illinois, people rated how happy they were based on a number of questions. Diener compared the answers across the spectrum of age, sex, marital status, income, and health. Strong evidence showed that happiness leads to better health and a longer life – no surprise there.
But what did come as a surprise is that levels of happiness changed based on age and social involvement. Here are a few of the specific factors researchers found that made people feel happier:
• Family and Friends. The better and more fulfilling the relationships with family and friends, the happier people felt. Having friendships was shown to have a protective element against illness. Researchers found that friendship actually had a bigger effect on the average person’s happiness than a person’s income.
• Marriage. Being married also seemed important. Marriage added an average seven years to a man’s life, and four years for women.
• Meaning in Life. People who felt there was a larger purpose to their life - religion, philosophy, or spirituality were happier.
• Goals. Happier people had pleasing long-term goals they worked toward and enjoyed achieving.
In several supporting studies, Dr. Martin Seligman, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, found that practicing simple exercises can increase a person’s level of happiness and decrease depression. Dr. Seligman has designed “Happiness Building Exercises” to increase people’s happiness and well-being. You can find out more information about these exercises at www.reflectivehappiness.com
2. December 2009 11:50
Most of the team members here on the Marc Austin Highfill Team are parents. We all love our families, but its not always easy to know if we're doing a good job. Helping kids grow up successfully is every parent’s goal, especially with such a bright and amazing future ahead of them. Here are 7 valuable tips we found to help parents prepare their children to reach their fullest potential and enjoy that future:
- Let your child work things out without your help. At an early age, let your child find solutions to challenges he or she may face.
- Support your child’s interests and passions. Praise your child for who he/she is becoming…not what you want them to be.
- Teach your child how to manage money. Teach them about saving (start with piggy banks and savings accounts), allowances, and earning money from doing household jobs.
- Let your child learn how to deal with disappointment. Playing sports and board games teach kids how to handle disappointment.
- Teach your child how to negotiate conflicts. Teach your kids how to negotiate using words and how to resolve conflicts.
- Encourage your child’s dreams. Be supportive of your child’s dreams, but help them set achievable goals along the way.
- Support their independence. Increase your child’s responsibility a little bit each year. It’ll build a strong foundation for their lifetime.
4. November 2009 06:26
With Halloween now behind us and the holiday season suddenly looming closer, another name for this season comes to mind: the STRESSFUL Season. Even if the holidays don't phase you, everyone sometimes finds themselves wound up tight and ready to snap in work or life once in a while. A little stress in life is OK, but if you’re finding yourself on overload, you can try these simple rules:
- Learn to say “no.” Are you a people pleaser? How many times have you volunteered to do something you didn’t have time to do, brought something to party you didn’t have time to make, or took on more responsibility than you could handle? Just say no.
- Stop multi-tasking. Do you feel a constant need to achieve? Doing more than one thing at a time raises your stress level.
- Let go of worry. Are you a perfectionist? Do you find you criticize yourself when you’re not perfect? Change your negative thoughts to positive beliefs about yourself.
- Schedule time for yourself. Do you deny yourself time off? Allow yourself to be a kid again —give yourself special “you time.” Get outdoors, paint, get a massage…relax and enjoy yourself.
Next time you're feeling a little stressed out, take a deep breath and try to implement at least one of these tips. Your state of mind will thank you for it!
21. October 2009 09:43
Diabetes can be a debilitating disease. Today, there are over 20 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Between 90-95% of those diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. Many of these cases are preventable. Type 2 diabetes is the result from insulin resistance (the body fails to use insulin properly).
Scientists at the American Institute for Cancer Research found that limiting saturated fat (which increases insulin resistance) in your diet significantly reduces your risk of diabetes. Most high saturated fats are found in meat, whole fat dairy like cheese, whole milk, ice cream, and butter. Researchers recommend you limit your saturated fat to less than 20 grams per day for an adult male; less for females and children.
There also are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. The ADA recommends eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, daily exercise (walking, biking, swimming), and keeping trim.
12. October 2009 02:23
Do you remember your mom telling you the simple way to avoid a cold or the flu was to go outside and get some fresh air? She thought it was breathing dirty air that caused the infection. Well, as it turns out, she was correct in her wisdom – but for a different reason.
We now know that viruses cause colds and the flu, however, researchers at Harvard University discovered that a lack of daily sun…especially in winter…prevents our bodies from making the one thing it needs to fend off colds and the flu: Vitamin D. Vitamin D is deficient in most non-tropical areas, and during the winter it gets worse due to an even lower exposure rate.
So how do you avoid colds and the flu? Spend some time in the sun. If you can’t expose yourself to regular sun, then take cod liver oil (extremely high in Vitamin D) especially during the winter. The best cod liver oil comes from the cold waters of Norway. It’s natural, pure, and free of mercury.