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25 Creative And Surprising Things To Do .

5 Creative And Surprising Things To Do When You Feel Lonely by Charley Mendoza Did you know that in Korea, people are recording themselves while having dinner? And people are actually paying to watch these videos! Is this another sign of loneliness creeping up on all of us?14 According to a study of more than 170,000 people published at the Psychology Bulletin in 2013, the average adult’s network of friends and colleagues have shrunk over the past 3 decades. It’s no wonder many people feel lonelier than ever.14     Feeling lonely, however, is not a direct cause of being alone. It’s possible to feel lonely in a crowd.8 Loneliness, in fact, is more dangerous than isolation because it increases a person’s mortality rate, according to John Cacioppo, co-author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Needs for Social Connection. If it’s so dangerous, how do we fight loneliness then? Wondering What to Do When You Feel Lonely?  Here Are 25 Tried and Tested Tips   1. Just Show Up  Familiarity breeds attraction. A study published at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that same-sex strangers felt increasing affinity towards each other, after each conversation they had. The same goes for online chat conversations.  Don’t be hesitant to talk to people, even if you feel awkward or don’t like them at first. If you’re genuinely interested or curious about others, they’re more likely to reciprocate those feelings. 2. Go On A Solo Date You know the problem with group and couples dates? The annoying “So what do we do?” and “Where do we eat?” questions. When you go on a date with yourself, you’re sure to go somewhere you actually like and you don’t have to wait around for others to decide. 3. Know The Difference Between Loneliness and Isolation

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RUNNING FROM CHANGE

RUNNING FROM CHANGE   “I am not defined by my past instead I am fueled by it.”

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THE SIX CHOICES I MADE TO RECLAIM MY LIFE

THE SIX CHOICES I MADE TO RECLAIM MY LIFE   If we want to be truly happy, we have to take our life into our own hands and shape it into a life that is fulfilling.  We have to create a new life model, one where our choices are based on what is right for us, instead of what others think we should do, or what is viewed in our society as normal or acceptable. I feel lucky that I had this powerful awareness so soon in my life. I was a single woman living in a 3 bedroom house filled with stuff. I walked into my house one day and stopped and looked around me.  It was like a light came on and I was able to suddenly see my surroundings differently. I wondered how did I end up surrounding myself with so much stuff?  This was the shining moment that led me to reclaim my life.

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OVERCOMING FEAR AND NERVOUSNESS

OVERCOMING FEAR AND NERVOUSNESS   We all know of certain situations in life that make us nervous. No matter how we prepare for them we always find ourselves becoming anxious and stressed out. These situations could be anything from going to the doctor’s office to having a meeting with your boss at work. In this article I want to discuss something known as a ‘comfort challenge’ and how this amazing strategy can help you overcome your worst fears and insecurities. Here’s a fact that I’ve come to realize in my own life: If you want to become comfortable in situations that usually make you nervous, then you need to deal with some serious discomfort for a while.

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HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF WHEN FEELING DISCONNECTED

HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DISCONNECTED   “It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundation of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole.” – Rupi Kaur Whenever life would get overwhelming growing up, I would retreat from my problems by pretending they weren’t happening. Instead of facing the problem head on, I would distract myself with too much TV, too much busy work, too much of everything. I didn’t know how to deal with my feelings, so it felt much easier to disconnect from them.

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HOW TO HEAL ANXIETY

HOW TO HEAL ANXIETY   Anxiety is a condition, just like any other, that can wreak havoc on your life and leave you stressed, lonely, unemployed, and just generally all-around miserable.  This is where I found myself when I was struggling with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).  However, again much like any other condition, it is something that can be treated successfully, and you can reach the opposite extreme where you have tons of wonderful friends, fulfilling employment, romantic success, and a general feeling of happiness and well-being. So, how do you heal anxiety?  Unfortunately, for many the solution is to visit the doctor and see which type of medication he prescribes.  This is one possible step that you can take, but like any other condition, using a more comprehensive approach enhances the level of success you experience.  If clichés make more sense to you, “you get out of it what you put into it.”  Besides taking a few steps, there is an additional point to keep in mind:  what works for one person may not work for another; it is up to you to build your own plan based on what experience teaches you.   HOW TO CURE ANXIETY: 8 METHODS I HAVE LEARNED

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FROM ADDICT TO ENTREPRENEUR AND LOVING SON

FROM ADDICT TO ENTREPRENEUR AND LOVING SON   “It’s a very, very tough thing – very easy to become addicted and very, very hard to become a recovering addict.”   FIRE WATER As alcoholics, we are pretty well versed in our knowledge of alcohol. But have you heard of this one? Aguardiente.  For those who

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MY ROAD TO DETOXIFICATION1

MY ROAD TO DETOXIFICATION   A while ago an ex-colleague of mine posted on a social networking website a very sensitive piece of information that usually people prefer to keep private. This was a sad event in his life (a divorce) and all said and done; took courage to put it out there for everyone to see. It kind of felt like a soul-baring act to me and one that must have taken immense guts. That got me thinking. The past few years of my life have been tumultuous to say the least. I have no doubt that there is much more to go, but given that I have finished almost half of my life; I sure hope the worst is over. I’ve been through a failed marriage, an alcohol addiction that brought me to the brink of ruin, a nicotine addiction that threatened my health visibly and to top that off, a stagnant (then it was pretty stagnant) career that had me frustrated all the more. I have no claims on being some strong Guru with answers for my peers, nor do I lay claim to any deeply philosophical wisdom that I have gained through my experiences (such as they are). However, through a very misspent youth and a reckless adulthood; I have struck upon some actions that have helped me keep my sanity. This act which I mentioned above has spurred me to write this passage. Call it a confession, call it a white-paper on detoxification, call it what you want. If in some small way, I can help someone overcome addiction and cope with the withdrawal symptoms (yes, they are real); I shall go away a happy man. Let me tackle each addiction separately. NICOTINE Let me begin with how I got into the habit of smoking in the first place. I am sure we have all been there. Rebellious teens, sudden freedom in college; you know the drill. And when your parents say that something is off-limits, boy does it suddenly become cool! My peer group back in those days too left a lot to be desired (much like me). Bunch of odd misfits with tonnes of issues that actually needed counselling and guidance. And an expression of our rebellion seemed like that flaming stick in our hands. At first, it was just curiosity coupled with the “coolness” that smoking was associated with. Pretty soon we graduated to a cigarette everyday (albeit we did not inhale). Then we moved on to properly inhaling the cigarette smoke. I remember the sickness and nausea that was initially caused. But sheer determination to make fools of ourselves forced us to continue through this phase to get finally get hooked. I graduated quickly from one cigarette a day to 5 and then 10. And then it kept constant. Never decreased. From the fag (pun intended) end of 1999 to 2010 (when I quit), I smoked a minimum of 10 cigarettes a day. Towards the end, I was smoking 15 a day on days that I did not drink. When I sat down to drink in the evenings after work, I was going through 15 a day before starting to drink and a pack-o-ten with alcohol. From Charminar to Gold

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HOW I BEAT MY SUGAR ADDICTION,

HOW I BEAT MY SUGAR ADDICTION   “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates A SUGAR ADDICT FROM THE BEGINNING Sugar withdrawals can be hell, I know.  I’ve fought that battle many times before.  I think I was probably born with a candy bar in my hand.  As far back as I can remember, I have always favored munching on something sweet over “real food”. At that time, sugar was a normal part of being a kid and it was everywhere. I don’t remember anyone seriously setting limits on our sugar intake. In fact, inhaling the white powdery stuff was practically required anywhere we went….holidays, birthdays, movies, school events, church events, rewards for being good, etc.   I remember one Halloween as a teenager, my cousin and I found an up-scale housing development to trick-or-treat in (may as well have been a gold mine in our eyes).  We carried pillow cases that year, seriously. At Christmas

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AN EASY STEP TOWARD RADICAL TRANSFORMATION.

AN EASY STEP TOWARD RADICAL TRANSFORMATION   A few years ago, I was a highly paid professional who was, from all external appearances, successful. I’d gone to great schools, gotten a job in a good law firm, and a house in the right suburb. On the outside, I was smiling. But on the inside, I was stressed and miserable. There was just too much to do. It was endless. Nonstop. And I couldn’t cope. I couldn’t see how the path I was on could lead to anything more than more stress, and more misery. And that’s when I discovered a tool that revolutionized my life. This tool helped me to slow down, but get more done. It helped me make some big changes in my life. That’s actually not quite accurate. When I started using this tool, the changes started happening by themselves. There was no conscious effort to change on my part. And yet, over the next few years, I left my law career for another,

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7 HIGHLY EFFECTIVE EARLY MORNING ROUTINES

7 HIGHLY EFFECTIVE EARLY MORNING ROUTINES TO PRIME YOUR DAY . It’s amazing how energetic, motivated and driven some people are all the time. This is especially true in the case of successful entrepreneurs. A few months after getting bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, I came across one of Tony Robbins’ many interviews on national television. In that interview, he pulled back the curtain on his morning priming routine that involved a bit of pranayama, cryotherapy, visualization, and gratitude. I was shocked. Not because of Tony’s routine, but because I’d actually read about the effectiveness of each of these practices before. And many highly productive people I knew practiced these routines. Turned out morning routines were one of the best ways to set the pace for the entire day. So I set out on the task to cultivate some of these routines into habits. It wasn’t easy. As Hal Elrod explains in his book Miracle Morning, the first 10 ‘unbearable’ days are the most difficult. And for someone like me who hates to get up early, it was a drastic change.

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THE HABIT CHANGING FORMULA – MBTA,

THE HABIT CHANGING FORMULA – MBTA   Many of us are aware of habits we need to change or establish in order to live the life we want. But how exactly do we change our habits? Unfortunately, forming a habit doesn’t come out of reading as many blog posts as possible about the topic. One aspect I was struggling with was to regain my physical health, which I believed would then support my quest to recover from major depression. I recognized that exercise is one key to my physical and mental health. Yet, knowing is one thing, doing is another.

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WHY DEPRESSION HAS BEEN A GIFT IN DISGUISE.

WHY DEPRESSION HAS BEEN A GIFT IN DISGUISE.   “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin About eight months ago, I resigned from my job as a high school college and career advisor. I didn’t hate it. In fact, I derived the ultimate feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment from knowing that the work I did directly impacted the lives of the students I served.

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HOW TO LIFT YOURSELF OUT OF A DEPRESSION

HOW TO LIFT YOURSELF OUT OF A DEPRESSION   There was a time in college when I was going through a very bad patch – my personal life was going down the drain, I was unable to

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HOW BACKPACKING THE GRAND CANYON CHANGED MY LIFE

HOW BACKPACKING THE GRAND CANYON CHANGED MY LIFE   “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller I remember saying, “Let’s challenge ourselves and do something different. I want to have an experience that humbles me.” Have you ever heard of the overview effect? It’s when an astronaut sees Earth for the first time from orbit and has a cognitive shift in awareness. “Intellectually, I knew what to expect. I have probably looked at as many pictures from space as anybody…so I knew exactly what I was going to see…. But there is no way you can be prepared for the emotional impact… It brought tears to my eyes.” (Astronaut Don L. Lind, STS-51-B Mission Specialist) “It was like drinking from a fire hose of information… I had heard of the Overview Effect but, having done many extreme things in my life… skydiving, mountain climbing, visiting the Titanic and Antarctica, I didn’t think it would greatly affect me… That is until… I got into space! My life has changed because of my space experience.” (Richard Garriott, Space Tourist) Science has shown us that our environment shapes our behaviors and who we are as people. The experience of seeing Earth from orbit is an experience that literally changes a person’s life by shifting their perspective. I wasn’t about to schedule a trip to space but I had a desire to feel that sense of awe and connectedness. I wanted an experience that would shift my perspective. I believe it’s important to push yourself to explore new experiences, especially ones that might humble you and give you wisdom. ACTUALLY DOING IT We had some days off scheduled already for early September and decided that we wanted to go backpacking. Like so many people, we always talked about it but never did it. Not this time. We committed and were actually doing it. Wildland Trekking rates their trips by difficulty and solitude. We wanted to challenge ourselves and have more solitude. We decided to do a trip called The Hermit Loop. Difficulty was a 4 out of 5. And solitude was a 3 out of 5. It was locked in and we were pumped! We had to buy gear and actually train for this trip. We would load up our backpacks with books, about 30-40 pounds, strap on our new boots, to break them in, and do stairs in our building. It was 12 flights and we would usually do 6-8 sets (up and down is one). That was brutal but we were up for the challenge. Or we would go for hikes around the city and through the parks but it was awkward to have boots and backpacks on. Anyone thinking about going hiking, this training is essential. HAVE YOU MET THE GRAND CANYON? At the time, I had never visited the Grand Canyon. Neither had my wife. Finally, the day came when we got there and walked up to the edge and looked out across the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Day 1: The group prepares to descend to the floor of the Grand Canyon. From left: Luann Force, Adam Force What an incredible view and feeling. No picture can do it justice. Actually, it’s so big that humanity has not even explored the whole thing yet. Caption: Day 1, a view of where we are going.  Pictures do it no justice! It was time to get serious. Day three was an eight-mile hike and

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THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: INSIGHTS FROM VIKTOR FRANKL

THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: INSIGHTS FROM VIKTOR FRANKL   Viktor Frankl’s short book, Man’s Search for Meaning, has been described as ‘among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud.’ He begins with an account of his experiences in Auschwitz and other concentration camps and then develops the insights from these experiences into a remarkable synthesis. The book has been the inspiration for many other works, including Stephen Covey’s famous ‘Seven Habits.’ Frankl’s work has a great deal to say about many aspects of life. His insights on the role of the subconscious are particularly interesting.

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THE EVOLUTION OF AN INDIVIDUAL

THE EVOLUTION OF AN INDIVIDUAL.   The evolution of people is fascinating.  I don’t mean people as a species over millions of years.  No, I mean individual people over decades or just a few years.  I mean me. I left school as an almost sixteen-year-old to take a building apprenticeship that I kind of got by accident, and I only wanted as a way to get me away from the boredom of school.  I did not like school one little bit, I had no intention of learning anything, and to my teachers I was just a pest, so it was certainly a good move for me at the time to get out of there.

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A FORGOTTEN KEY TO PERSONAL GROWTH

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10 GREAT QUOTES ABOUT CHANGE AND GROWTH

10 GREAT QUOTES ABOUT CHANGE AND GROWTH   Often, quotes can be a source of inspiration – or illumination! I’ve chosen ten that I enjoyed below, and I’ve added a few words about each. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, too. #1: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr This has been one of my favorite quotes since childhood. It’s known as “The Serenity Prayer” and reminds me that, while I can’t control everything, I can and should have an influence on some things. #2: “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” – Ellen Glasgow

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The Two Most Important Words For Changing YourLife

THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT WORDS FOR CHANGING YOUR LIFE   If you had to pick just two words, two little words, that would empower you to change your life, what would they be? Mine would be “I can”. You’ve probably heard various personal development experts, life coaches, or self-appointed gurus tell you not to say “I can’t”. But why exactly are those two little words “I can” so important? What do they add up to and how do they work? I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY LIFE The first word is “I”. For me, this emphasizes 

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MY JOURNEY BACK TO CREATIVITY

MY JOURNEY BACK TO CREATIVITY   “When my daughter was seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college – my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, ‘You mean they forget?’” – Howard Ikemoto (artist and art professor) I’ve always been creative, for pretty much as long as I can remember. My childhood was filled with arts, crafts and music, and every day was an exciting adventure of creation. Somewhere along the way though I lost touch with my creative self. It happened slowly but surely, until one day I found myself at 21 years of age staring blankly at a computer screen filled with spread sheets wondering what on earth I was doing. I had just finished a business degree at uni and started my first full-time job. I’d landed a graduate position at a big insurance company straight out of my degree. It was something I had strived towards and worked incredibly hard for. But there I sat wondering how I got there.

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WHY A STRONG FOUNDATION IS THE KEY TO CHANGE

WHY A STRONG FOUNDATION IS THE KEY TO CHANGE In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey gives some brilliant insights into living a truly effective life. The key is, before anything else, you must have a good foundation. This foundation is a ‘private victory,’ a self-mastery which comes before the success we aspire to achieve in our interdependent social environments – our work, our business, our family. This foundation is twofold, consisting of ‘habits’

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HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND   “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw Some people would rather hack off a limb than change their mind. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but it doesn’t change the fact that changing your mind is one of the hardest things you can ever do. Once you have a specific idea in your head – whether it’s an idea about who someone is, the way something should work, the way something happened or the way something should happen – it becomes sticky.  Your brain becomes attached to it and expects it to be there, just like you with that limb of yours. With a stubborn streak a mile-wide, I know this all too well. But sticking stubbornly

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HEALING EMOTIONAL WOUNDS

HEALING EMOTIONAL WOUNDS   Are you wounded? Have you ever tried to put some water on a fresh wound? If you have, you must have felt some pain. Water, which can never harm you if you were not injured, has just made you feel some pain when it touched your wound, simply because when we develop a wound we tend to become over sensitive to factors that didn’t

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MISTAKES WERE MADE

MISTAKES WERE MADE. “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde

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3 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT TRYING TOPLEASE OTHERS

3 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT TRYING TO PLEASE OTHER PEOPLE “In trying to please all, he had pleased none.” ― Aesop, Aesop’s Fables ‘Traditional’ probably isn’t a word that anyone would use to describe me. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the course of my life, it is that breaking away from the perceived ‘norm’ can be difficult. But I’ve also learned that living life a certain way just to please people is nothing short of a death sentence. Thankfully, I learned that lesson relatively early-on in life. As a younger man, I did everything I could to live like everyone else thought I should. This gained me a small bit of approval from my elders and peers (which I craved for the temporary feelings of happiness and inclusion it provided), but it ultimately filled me with emptiness on the inside. The fact of the matter was that I wasn’t being true to myself—and as a result, I ended up bitter, resentful, and angry toward everything that my ‘normal’ life had become. Eventually, I hit emotional rock-bottom. I found myself so disappointed and disheartened at my existence that I could barely summon the energy to get out of bed in the morning. In my mind, I was quickly running out of reasons to continue living. Any shred of happiness that I had once possessed was gone. This confused me, because I was making decent money, and had what most people would consider a ‘good’ life. But it all felt forced, empty, and meaningless.

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IN 4 MONTHS I ERASED 33 YEARS OFFEAR AND ANXIETY

IN 4 MONTHS I ERASED 33 YEARS OF FEAR AND ANXIETY   “The decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone I went all of my life wondering if I would have what it takes to be a father. My childhood was spent without one. One after another, self-proclaimed fathers had left my life and just as quickly as they entered. The thought of being a father sent shivers down my spine and crippled my thoughts with fear. I often wondered if my thoughts stemmed from my never knowing my biological father. My life was filled with questions about him, questions that would never be answered. Where did he go? Why did he leave? Who was he? His absence led me to question my own life. Could I be better than him?

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FROZEN IN FEAR.

FROZEN IN FEAR   “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield I sit on the edge of the sturdy rubber boat, staring at the rare spectacular blue emanating from beneath the water. I wonder about hidden depths of ice below, and my heart begins thumping beneath layers of protective clothing. Sea ice crackles as our driver and naturalist Christian stands at the back of the boat, one hand around a long steering handle, navigating us away from the safety of the expedition ship. I glance around at icebergs everywhere and notice the emphasis of white under vibrant sunshine, cloudless skies and zero wind. This does not look to me as terrain to touch. I feel as if I have been transported either to another planet or another time period. None of us nine passengers say anything. We glide with grace, crunching through sections of ice toward a tall, wide, snow-covered mountain. Cracks, ridges, and one long slope of thick white smoothness covers dark rocks below.  A few whispered “wows” mine included, are all emphasized like I’ve never heard before. It’s like being in the presence of a spectacular cathedral. So sacred, I’m frozen by it. Beauty and wonder exist here, yet a sense of harshness and danger is present too. It is sensory overload – the serene, devoid of smell, emptiness and unknown. I am drugged by it. I glance up at the inchworm type straight lines of five or six specks climbing up the mountain ahead, spread out in various sections. They look like dot to dots along the quiet white ice. They are skiers, my husband included, roped together making their first ascent to the summit with the reward of skiing down. One of five trekkers and ninety-seven skiers, I am the only one who is afraid to venture out and explore Antarctica on a roped line. I am questioning if I belong here. If I should’ve come after all. I’m not a skier or mountaineer. I do not light up at freezing temperatures, fresh tracks, and powder. I am here because my husband Gordon asked me to accompany and support him in his dream of skiing Antarctica. He wants me to experience this place very few people get to see, with him.  But I’m feeling vulnerably alone. Separate from and different than all these bundled up extreme adventurers. None of them seem to own an ounce of trepidation. Heading now for the landing area, my stomach feels queasy. I am worried that a snow bridged crevasse – something I never knew existed before – will somehow swallow me up if I participate in the trekking excursion with my group. I feel a lump in my throat, but voice my feelings to our guide anyway. “Uh…Sarah, I…I am not going to go after all. I can’t do it yet. This just feels…I…I…I am just overwhelmed at all of this.”

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HOW TO FIND THE STRENGTH TO KEEP GOING

HOW TO FIND THE STRENGTH TO KEEP GOING WHEN YOUR LIFE FALLS APART   “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me . . . You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” —Walt Disney My low point came after my divorce. I felt like the world was ending, and I couldn’t get my engine started. And sometimes I didn’t even try. I had failed, and I couldn’t change a thing (or so I thought). I kept thinking, “Is it really over?” I was sinking, and my air was running out. The worst part of all was facing my kids and my former wife. You could see a numbness in their eyes. And

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WHY FAILURE IS A PART OF SUCCESS

WHY FAILURE IS A PART OF SUCCESS   As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I kept a journal faithfully throughout my school years and entered every story writing

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HOW HELPING OTHERS HELPED ME0 CONQUER MY ANXIETY

HOW HELPING OTHERS HELPED ME CONQUER MY ANXIETY   Seven years ago I was sat in a pub beer garden. Sitting opposite me was my girlfriend. Tears were streaming down her face.

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DON’T WORRY, I’M SCARED TOO

DON’T WORRY, I’M SCARED TOO   “Nothing gives a fearful man more courage than another’s fear.” – Umberto Eco

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THE SYMBOLISM OF A PANIC ATTACK1

THE SYMBOLISM OF A PANIC ATTACK   So far, I’ve had at least three major turning points in my life, all of which applied to my career and personal happiness and none of which left me peace of mind, but rather occasional and overwhelming fear and the determination to fight and succeed. Of course, what turning points don’t cause this reaction? THE FIRST It was when I was a junior in high school. The year was 2008 and Wall-E was in theaters, Lady Gaga was just getting popular, and President Obama was elected President. However, none of that compared with what I was going through: taking the ACTs.

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HOW ART CAN HEAL ANXIETY1

HOW ART CAN HEAL ANXIETY   “The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is the silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss When will this stop? Perched on the edge of the couch in my dark apartment, I draw deep breaths and pinch my eyes shut, my head in my hands. My throat constricts and terrified, half-formed thoughts chase each other around my mind like a swarm of wasps. This will stop, this will stop I repeat over and over, forcing myself to believe that it’s true, that there’s no real danger. I wait for my throat to relax and this attack to be over. Welcome to my early twenties. Several times a month I’d call my husband to bring me home from my college classes because my mind wouldn’t stop racing and I was sure I would have a grade A panic attack in front of everyone. I’d come home and sweat, panic, feel sick, dart from room to room trying to settle on something to do, and eat pounds of chocolate to cope with constant fear of…something. I could never put my finger on it. Whether the constant

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ISN’T THAT SOMETHING?

ISN’T THAT SOMETHING?   I was in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous tonight; a woman spoke up. Her name will remain anonymous, but she shared something very deep. Sometimes at meetings related to recovery you hear someone really going through the thick of their addiction – someone trying their best to quit. This woman shared about how she wanted to kill herself, how her life was over, how she is not meant for this life. She shared that someone was online bullying her via Facebook. The room became silent as the mood generally shifts when someone shares something as heart wrenching as that. You could hear the depression, the anguish, the suffering, and the hopelessness. In other words, it sounded like periods of sobbing filled with other sequential periods of silence. Being in recovery myself, and really loving it, I put my hand out to this woman. “Hey, I want you to take my number down, call me if you every need anything, whatever it is.” We ended up talking for a little bit, I tried to assure her I knew how she felt; the pain of addiction is one unlike others. I asked her if she needed a ride, she told me she was going to walk back to her store. I told her to get in

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HOW I QUIT BEING A SLAVE TO ALCOHOL1

HOW I QUIT BEING A SLAVE TO ALCOHOL   “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom. I had managed to stand up and step out of the tent, but I could barely put one foot in front of the other. My entire body hurt–my back was paralyzing me.

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7 KEYS TO REDUCING STRESS IN YOUR LIFE

7 KEYS TO REDUCING STRESS IN YOUR LIFE   Deadlines. Speaking in public. Buying Christmas presents. Peak hour traffic. An unsatisfying job. Financial problems. Relationship woes. These are just a few examples of things that cause stress in our lives. Before I go any further, it should be pointed out that stress can be a positive. Often, as in the example of a student sitting an exam, it will increase our performance. Also stressful events – a wedding, a new baby, or

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EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION ON THE MIND AND BODY

EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION ON THE MIND AND BODY   Disruption to sleep can be caused by a number of different factors, but whatever the reason, the effects of sleep deprivation are always negative. Relationships, work and overall wellbeing all take a downturn when sleep is in short supply. Logical decisions become difficult and tempers become short and a person, different to who you actually are, soon emerges. A number of reasons behind disrupted sleep are within your control to change, which may involve adjustments to lifestyle and at the extreme medical procedures may be required.

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HOW I PUT CHRONIC WORRY BEHIND ME

HOW I PUT CHRONIC WORRY BEHIND ME “Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”  – Dan Zadra I’m a worrywart, or should I say a recovering worrywart. The thing that started me on my path to recovery is the very thing that I tended to worry about the most – my health. The slightest illness would send me to the internet to look up possible causes. A pain in my lower back could easily become kidney failure. A simple headache was obviously a brain aneurysm. Possible solutions where never my concern when it came to my worries. I was much too busy thinking about the problem to try to come up with a reasonable solution.

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HOW I TAMED MY WILD HORSE OF A MIND

HOW I TAMED MY WILD HORSE OF A MIND   “The ego is kind of a big, unwieldy thing.  It’s not so easily tamed or subdued.” – Alan Ball COMPLETELY UNTAMED I don’t remember when I first began feeling anxious.  Perhaps it was in high school, when I feared that I would not get into college, find a job, and live the life I wanted.  The fear of failure was there even before that.  It is quite possible that I have experienced anxiety and panic attacks through most of my life. There was always this tremendous fear of the things that lie ahead, and a positive outcome would not relieve it.  I feared getting into college, until I did so, effortlessly.  But the 6 years I spent working on my bachelor’s were spent worrying about whether I would find a job after graduation.

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MY ROAD TO DETOXIFICATION.

MY ROAD TO DETOXIFICATION   A while ago an ex-colleague of mine posted on a social networking website a very sensitive piece of information that usually people prefer to keep private. This was a sad event in his life (a divorce) and all said and done; took courage to put it out there for everyone to see. It kind of felt like a soul-baring act to me and one that must have taken immense guts. That got me thinking. The past few years of my life have been tumultuous to say the least. I have no doubt that there is much more to go, but given that I have finished almost half of my life; I sure hope the worst is over. I’ve been through a failed marriage, an alcohol addiction that brought me to the brink of ruin, a nicotine addiction that threatened my health visibly and to top that off, a stagnant (then it was pretty stagnant) career that had me frustrated all the more. I have no claims on being some strong Guru with answers for my peers, nor do I lay claim to any deeply philosophical wisdom that I have gained through my experiences (such as they are). However, through a very misspent youth and a reckless adulthood; I have struck upon some actions that have helped me keep my sanity. This act which I mentioned above has spurred me to write this passage. Call it a confession, call it a white-paper on detoxification, call it what you want. If in some small way, I can help someone overcome addiction and cope with the withdrawal symptoms (yes, they are real); I shall go away a happy man. Let me tackle each addiction separately. NICOTINE Let me begin with how I got into the habit of smoking in the first place. I am sure we have all been there. Rebellious teens, sudden freedom in college; you know the drill. And when your parents say that something is off-limits, boy does it suddenly become cool! My peer group back in those days too left a lot to be desired (much like me). Bunch of odd misfits with tonnes of issues

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HOW I BEAT MY SUGAR ADDICTION.

HOW I BEAT MY SUGAR ADDICTION   “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates A SUGAR ADDICT FROM THE BEGINNING Sugar withdrawals can be hell, I know.  I’ve fought that battle many times before.  I think I was probably born with a candy bar in my hand.  As far back as I can remember, I have always favored munching on something sweet over “real food”. At that time, sugar was a normal part of being a kid and it was everywhere. I don’t remember anyone seriously setting limits on our sugar intake. In fact, inhaling the white powdery stuff was practically required anywhere we went….holidays, birthdays, movies, school events, church events, rewards for being good, etc.   I remember one Halloween as a teenager, my cousin and I found an up-scale housing development to trick-or-treat in (may as well have been a gold mine in our eyes).  We carried pillow cases that year, seriously.

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Meditation and Lucid Dreaming

Meditation and Lucid Dreaming Lucid dreaming and meditation are both terms we hear about often- they have a lot of hype (and for good reason). However, they are seldom connected in the modern world of thinking. It’s quite odd, though, when you consider how strikingly similar they are and their innate ability to bring about the out-of-this-world magic of reaching incredibly high states of consciousness. The purpose of this article is to bring together the powerful forces of both lucid dreaming and meditation, and uncover the possibilities that occur when these phenomena co-exist. How are they similar? A hardy correlation:

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Cultivating an “I Can” Attitude

Cultivating an “I Can” Attitude

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How to Put the Brakes on a Negative Spiral

How to Put the Brakes on a Negative Spiral Hard times, they

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Why Do We Get Stressed Out Before Vacation?

Why Do We Get Stressed Out Before Vacation? Vacation is all

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A WEEKEND WITHOUT ALCOHOL

A WEEKEND WITHOUT ALCOHOL   Last weekend I decided to throw away the wine and lock up the beer fridge. Actually it wasn’t that dramatic, but I did decide to have a weekend free from alcohol. I normally drink in moderation and don’t consider alcohol to be a problem in my life (although it was a few years ago). That said, lately I have been drinking more frequently than usual so I wanted to put the brakes on this habit and consider some potential benefits of abstaining from alcohol. The following is an account of my weekend, followed by my thoughts about the experience.

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HOW TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF.

HOW TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF   “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness” – Seneca A couple of days ago someone said to me: “Be kind to yourself!” Ever since hearing these words they have been stuck in my head. I have always understood the importance of kindness, but I have always focused on kindness to others. I had never thought about kindness towards myself. It really got me thinking. I started with how it feels to have someone be kind to you. I know that feeling. It’s warm and cozy and bonding. But I am not the one to evoke that type of feeling in myself. I thought about how it feels to be kind – the type of emotions that surge within you when you are considering another person; care and gentleness. I do not often feel these types of emotions when dealing with myself. This leads me to question whether I am ever pointedly kind to myself and how my life would be different if I specifically paid myself some kind attention.

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10 STRESS REACTIONS THAT ONLY MAKE THINGS WORSE

10 COMMON STRESS REACTIONS THAT ONLY MAKE THINGS WORSE   “The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.” ― Ellen Glasgow How’s your tolerance for stress? I’m guessing it’s pretty good. Stress is such a part of life these days that we have become experts at putting up with it. I used to be a champion at taking stress in my stride…but now I know how dangerous that can be. MY DANGEROUS FLIRTATION WITH STRESS I had a big job at the big end of town. Good money and good Friday nights were sufficient compensation, I thought, for the crazy hours I endured. Running a professional program for budding chartered accountants shouldn’t have been such a high-pressured gig. But being responsible for about 1,000 of them at a time, and with a punishing schedule, it was crippling. But I soldiered on. I was proud of the braveface and determination I wore as armor. Aside from brief bouts of snappiness or tears, I kept afirm lid on my emotions. Being so wired, big Friday nights were justified ways of letting off steam. There was no room for regret either. I just propped myself up martyr style —feeling self-righteous for my herculean efforts in a high-pressure, under-resourced workplace. I think you’d probably say my way of “coping”was understandable. In fact, you might say I did OK. But think again. HOW “COPING OK” ONLY DEEPENS THE RUT I had staked a lot on this job. I saw it as an excellent next step and resisted facing the reality that it was not what I’d hoped. I wasn’t ready to accept a new uncertainty, and to change my plans. Without awareness, I chose to hang on to a situation that turned out to be bad for me, and I was making it worse. I was getting by on sheer determination and intermittent partying, sustaining myself in a rut…as the pressure continued to build. I was like the proverbial frog in hot water, unwittingly edging toward the boiling point. Something had to give and it did —my health. An auto-immune disease I’d kept in check for years reappeared. Who could be surprised given that my sleep, nutrition, leisure and social connections had all suffered? I remember dashing between my desk and the printer actually wincing from pain. It was like my body was screaming at me to wake up to myself. It was only the shock resignation of a close work friend that finally snapped me to my senses. I quit and did some contract work while I pondered my future. I restored a healthy lifestyle and recovered. In as much as it was a confronting and painful time of uncertainty, it also set me up for a better, healthier future.

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7 FOODS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPIER

7 FOODS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPIER   Our mood can affect everything in our daily life. When we’re in a bad mood or depressed, we don’t feel like ourselves and we have a hard time concentrating or just making it through the day. When we’re happy, we feel on top of the world and ready to take on anything. The food we eat can have a great impact on our mood, and if you want to look and feel

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THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO STRESS RELIEF0

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO STRESS RELIEF   Stress is bad, right? Or is it good? Well, if you talk to the experts, they’ll say both are true. You need some stress to just get out of bed in the morning. And when you drive to work in your car, you need stress to stay alert and respond to what is in front of you. So stress has its place.  But what if a high level of stress goes on and on? The doctors tell us that ongoing stress becomes Chronic Stress. Chronic Stress is bad news. It shuts down your immune system so you are susceptible to illness, and it robs you of a good night’s sleep. Fortunately there is a solution. The key is to learn how to inhibit the Stress Response and enter into the Rest Response. If you want to change your stressful-ways, you need to develop and use new stress relief skills. Learn the techniques to direct your mind and body away from stress and into a restful state. Notice I said, “Learn.” That is because stress is automatic; it comes with the human operating system. However, rest and relaxation need to be learned and practiced — they do not come naturally.

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HOW TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF .

HOW TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF   “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness” – Seneca A couple of days ago someone said to me: “Be kind to yourself!” Ever since hearing these words they have been stuck in my head. I have always understood the importance of kindness, but I have always focused on kindness to others. I had never thought about kindness towards myself. It really got me thinking. I started with how it feels to have someone be kind to you. I know that feeling. It’s warm and cozy and bonding. But I am not the one to evoke that type of feeling in myself. I thought about how it feels to be kind – the type of emotions that surge within you when you are considering another person; care and gentleness. I do not often feel these types of emotions when dealing with myself. This leads me to question whether I am ever pointedly kind to myself and how my life would be different if I specifically paid myself some kind attention.

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Meditation and Lucid Dreaming.

Meditation and Lucid Dreaming Lucid dreaming and meditation are both terms we hear about often- they have a lot of hype (and for good reason). However, they are seldom connected in the modern world of thinking. It’s quite odd, though, when you consider how strikingly similar they are and their innate ability to bring about the out-of-this-world magic of reaching incredibly high states of consciousness. The purpose of this article is to bring together the powerful forces of both lucid dreaming and meditation, and uncover the possibilities that occur when these phenomena co-exist. How are they similar? A hardy correlation:

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Cultivating an “I Can” Attitude.

June 26, 2015 Cultivating an “I Can” Attitude

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Can a Nap Help You Solve a Problem?.

Can a Nap Help You Solve a Problem?

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How to Put the Brakes on a Negative Spiral.

How to Put the Brakes on a Negative Spiral Hard times, they happen to the all of us. Even the most optimistic person can hit a speed bump and everything gets thrown off course. It’s scary how fast momentum picks up on this downward spiral.

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Is Meditation Good for Kids? .

Is Meditation Good for Kids?

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Are You Sleeping With Anxiety? .

Are You Sleeping With Anxiety?

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30 Affirmations to Help You Banish Stress.

30 Affirmations to Help You Banish Stress Stress (I’m talking about emotional stress here) comes from unmanaged negative thoughts. These thoughts immediately trigger the stress response, and if you habitually think negative thoughts you’re creating a situation where you’re chronically stressed. But by teaching yourself to STOP the bullet train of negative thoughts and instead to choose empowering, optimistic and happy thoughts, you can release most of the stress in your everyday life. This does not mean that you will be in denial of your problems, it just means that you will not become obsessed with them (the kinds of thoughts that haunt you in the wee hours of the night) and you will not waste any mental or emotional energy on trying to solve problems in ways that don’t work because if the ways you’re using right now worked, you would not have these problems. Positive thinking has been proven to broaden your thinking and actions (Dr Barbara Fredrickson’s “Broaden and Build” theory), opening you up to innovative solutions to your problems. Bonus: positive thinking also leads to a wonderful phenomenon whereby you don’t see situations as problems, but you accept them “as is,” learn from them, and move on. Problems don’t become debilitating, but rather interesting. When you accept a situation as it is, you release judgment of it. It is neither “good” nor “bad” – it just “is” and you alone decide how to perceive it and how to respond to it. Repeating affirmations while you’re listening to Omharmonics is a great way to imprint positive ideas into your mind, and make it easier to develop positive, encouraging and solution-oriented thought habits. I recommend that you choose just one, definitely no more than two, of these affirmations to memorize and repeat while you’re listening to your favorite Omharmonics track. You want them to “roll off the tongue” easily (even if you say them silently, you want it to be easy so you’re not wondering if you’re saying it right). Repetition is key, so for best results use these two affirmations daily for at least 2 months before moving on to other affirmations. Listen to your intuition – you will know when it’s time to move on. Saying more affirmations at the same time can work, but to keep things simple and prevent any stress (did I forget one?), stick to the one or two that resonate with you the most. If you do want to say more affirmations without having to memorize them, then simply read these affirmations aloud, while listening to Omharmonics. Again, commit to a minimum of 2 months.

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When the Stress Hormone Cortisol is Good

When the Stress Hormone Cortisol is Good Cortisol has been a headliner in the news because it’s a stress hormone that can cause significant damage in the body. But… it has also gotten a bad rap, because while it can be responsible for weight gain, it is also an essential hormone without which you cannot have good health. It’s not that cortisol exists that’s bad, it’s that unrelieved stress will cause its levels to remain elevated at potentially dangerous levels. Cortisol is an essential part of your sleep-wake cycle. The adrenal cortex begins secreting cortisol

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Relatives Stressing You Out?.

Relatives Stressing You Out? Family gatherings, or even dealing with your immediate family, can be stressful. Sometimes you may feel that you’re in the Spanish Inquisition, being grilled by people on something you don’t want to talk about… or you dread having to cope with being a peacemaker when feuds are brewing or exploding.

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Our Favorite Self-Motivating Routines .

Our Favorite Self-Motivating Routines You’ve been there, no doubt… dreaming about something and yet strangely unmotivated to DO anything about it. It comes down to fear – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not being good enough, etc. But you don’t have to let fear stop you. You can actually acknowledge your fears, thank them, and use ways to get around them. Here are a few ways to help yourself get up and down to the business of making your dreams come true.

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How a Simple Routine Leads to Success

How a Simple Routine Leads to Success You may be wondering if there’s one thing – one simple

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The Hydration/Productivity Connection .

The Hydration/Productivity Connection Did you know there’s a hugely important connection between hydration and productivity? Once you know how necessary water is to mental clarity and the energy you need to stay on task, you’ll never hold off on taking a drink of water again! Normally, the body will lose 2-3 quarts or liters of water every day through evaporation, breathing, urine and sweat, and through the digestive system.

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The Secret to Calming Down FAST.

The Secret to Calming Down FAST   Have you ever been so completely overwhelmed that you became paralyzed by it – unable to take action, while freaking out and having an anxiety or panic attack at the same time? I recently had that happen. Things piled up and piled up just before I went on vacation (as they always seem to!), a couple of crises erupted, and with every new thing on my to-do list I got a little more freaked out. How was I going to manage? Would I even be able to enjoy my time off or would my mind still be on work?

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Meditation – Your Secret to Success!

Meditation – Your Secret to Success!   Fortune 500 top executives share something in common – something that goes beyond talent, money, connections, skills or luck they need to succeed. They meditate. It might seem counterintuitive, to “sit and do nothing” for 20 minutes a day (or longer), especially when you’re a busy executive running an international organization. But meditation has been proven to help clarify thoughts, improve cognitive functioning, increase creativity, regulate moods, along with many more benefits. Meditation may well be the determining factor in success!

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Procrastinating? You’re Just Scared!

Procrastinating? You’re Just Scared! Procrastination is the worst dream destroyer and it makes life a heck of a lot harder than it has to be. How many wonderful things do you put off “until the time is right”? How much unfinished business is hanging over your head, nagging at you day and night? If you want to get something done, you have to take action. So if you find yourself procrastinating on something – whether it’s paying bills, making a call to someone who can help you, going for a run, saying you’re sorry, or cleaning out the garage, ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”

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Journal Your Way to Greater Achievements.

Journal Your Way to Greater Achievements “Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” – Will Self You don’t need a paper notebook in this age of technology but you definitely need something on which to record

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4 Go-To Anxiety Hacks

4 Go-To Anxiety Hacks

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5 Tips for Coping With Parenting Stress

5 Tips for Coping With Parenting Stress As if life isn’t stressful enough, we bring children into our lives and

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Enjoy Some Stress-Busting Aromatherapy!

Enjoy Some Stress-Busting Aromatherapy! Essential oils deliver the beneficial healing properties of plants in a concentrated form that can be used in several ways. They go way beyond smelling nice! Essential oils have been used for centuries to heal – some have antibacterial properties, some relieve pain, and some heal the mind (because healing is largely a mental exercise).

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8 Tips to Banish Procrastination Forever

8 Tips to Banish Procrastination Forever The deadline is looming… the bills are due… your mother hasn’t heard from you in weeks… but instead of doing what you need to do, you find 101 excuses to do super ultra important things like checking email, doing “research” on the Internet, reading about how to banish procrastination, and checking social media… and yeah, maybe a quick nap will make it easier to get stuff done. You know… when you’re fresh.

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6 Jump-Starts to Creativity and Problem-Solving

6 Jump-Starts to Creativity and Problem-Solving Whenever you’re stuck in a creative rut or can’t seem to think your way out of a cardboard box, you might need some help getting your mind fired up. Here are some proven ways to help get the creative juices flowing again so you can problem solve, get things done and have fun along the way.

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A Proven 90-Second Stress-Buster

A Proven 90-Second Stress-Buster When is the last time you felt like you just couldn’t cope with ANOTHER thing going wrong? Or you found yourself wishing, “Could something please work out for me today? Anything?” Life can be overwhelming and frustrating, and you may feel like there’s no way to get it under control.

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Do All Divorced People Suffer From Depression?

Do All Divorced People Suffer From Depression? Although divorce is considered the second most stressful life event after the death of a spouse or child, and it CAN increase the risk of depression,  it’s not a given that you have to spiral into depression during or after your split. Some research points to pre-existing depressive tendencies as being more responsible for post-divorce depression, than the divorce itself. The stress brought on by divorce can, if you’re not careful, trigger anxiety and depression and lead to a host of physical, emotional and mental problems.

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Soothing Sounds – Which are the Best?

Soothing Sounds – Which are the Best? The world can be an incredibly noisy place; to top it off, our own heads generate a ton of inner noise. Sometimes, you just need to turn that noise off. When it comes to meditation or soothing/relaxing soundtracks,

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4 Ways to Banish Stress in Less than 60 Seconds!

4 Ways to Banish Stress in Less than 60 Seconds! Here’s a compilation of several quick 60-second stress relieving methods you can use anywhere, anytime. Or, use them all together for a quick “stress break”! STREEETCH….! Restoring calm can be as simple as strrreeeeetttccchhhhiiinnnnggggggg the stress out… These 3 easy yoga moves take only 5 seconds (or a little more IF you have the time) and can be done anywhere.

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5 Blissful Essential Oils for Stress Relief.

5 Blissful Essential Oils for Stress Relief Essential oils are a gift from the plant kingdom, they transport us on an olfactory journey filled with wonderful fragrances. Recognized throughout history and used for over 5,000 years for their unique aromatic properties and healing powers, essential oils continue to be widely used for stress relief. The Ancient Egyptians were the first practitioners of aromatherapy, soaking leaves, twigs, flowers, bark and berries of plants in oil, then filtering the remainder with linen. Many of us have become concerned with the side effects of prescription medications. With the knowledge that they undermine the body’s ability to heal itself, concerned individuals are looking for ways to be responsible for their own health. Along with the growing number of unhappy, depressed people, we are constantly barraged by stressful situations, limited time and physical imbalances.

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3 Tips for Helping Loved Ones De-stress

3 Tips for Helping Loved Ones De-stress

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Do Pet Owners Live Happier and Longer?

Do Pet Owners Live Happier and Longer? The American Heart Association (AHA) has studied pet ownership and physical and mental health, and specifically, the relationship between dogs and heart disease.

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Routines Are Habits With a Purpose

Routines Are Habits With a Purpose. Mostly. Routines are meant to make life easier. Mostly, they do. But what about some routines that destroy your productivity, stress you out, make you irritable and potentially ruin your day? And more importantly, can you a) recognize these routines and b) change them? You might think you’re perfectly aware of all of your routines, but like any other habit, they can be hard to spot. So how does your morning typically go? Hit the snooze button 2-3 times… stumble out of bed, turn on the coffee maker, hit the shower, go through at least 2 changes of clothes (okay, I do, anyway) before settling on the right one, slam a quick breakfast (if you’re lucky)… if you have kids, there’s the added fun of “Did you remember your homework? Do you have your gym clothes? Remember I can’t pick you up today so don’t forget to get on the bus! Do you have lunch money?” and other morning delights – usually accompanied by stress on both the parents’ and the kids’ ends. Rush out the door, pray you haven’t forgotten anything, battle traffic and get to work juuuuuuust in time, okay 5 minutes late, frazzled and already on edge, and then instead of tackling your inbox because your mind is scattered

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10 Best Productivity Boosting Snacks.

10 Best Productivity Boosting Snacks Did you know that food is actually the most powerful drug? It’s true – everything you eat affects your body in some way. Some foods are better for your brain function than others by increasing your energy and stimulating brain function. Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science, says, “Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain. Diet, exercise and 

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3 Stress-Reducing Household Routines

3 Stress-Reducing Household Routines

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Is Stress Killing Your Love Life?

Is Stress Killing Your Love Life?   People talk about finances, sexual incompatibility, family drama, unrealistic expectations and lack of communication as the major relationship killers. But if it’s that cut and dried, we wouldn’t be left asking all these questions – 

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HOME IS WHERE YOU CAN TELL YOUR STORIES

HOME IS WHERE YOU CAN TELL YOUR STORIES   “To travel is to take a journey into yourself” – Danny Kaye

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WHOSE STORY ARE YOU LIVING?/

WHOSE STORY ARE YOU LIVING?  

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The Sneaky Difference B/w Productivity and Bus-Nes

The Sneaky Difference Between Productivity and Busy-Ness I recently met a friend for coffee. I greeted her with, “How are you?” to which she replied, “Busy.” Isn’t that the truth? I’m sure you can relate. It just doesn’t seem to stop, does it? But when we got to chatting, I realized that she wasn’t being productive. She was right. She was just “busy.”

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How Many People Are Truly Happy?

How Many People Are Truly Happy? Have you noticed a weird trend? When the economy is in the toilet, people are grumpy and depressed. And yet, when the economy

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My Secrets to Motivating Myself to Be More Product

My Secrets to Motivating Myself to Be More Productive Wouldn’t it be awesome to get more done without suffering from the added stress that comes with fitting it all in? I am by no means the most productive person at all times, but I have picked up on a few little tricks that help me increase my productivity while also lowering my stress level. I hope you can use a few of these to do the same in your life! 1. Meditate. As counterproductive as it may sound, sitting and doing nothing for 30 minutes can actually have a significant impact on your productivity. Let me explain: Meditation clears your head. If you can’t think straight, how are you going to get anything done? When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, taking a few minutes to relax your body and your mind will help you relieve some of the stress you’re under and allow you to see more clearly. Meditation improves your problem-solving skills. You are capable of solving any problem that is plopped onto your plate. But sometimes when we try to come up with the solution we constrain it by letting ourselves think “this is the only thing that could possibly work.” Meditation gives your brain a chance look at a bigger picture and think outside the box.

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Routines That Shout, “I Love Myself!”

Routines That Shout, “I Love Myself!” Routines can make life a lot easier – you just do things without questioning them. But how many of your routines are really for YOU? How many are an expression of self-love, self-appreciation and self-respect? Here are six routines

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3 Small Morning Routines With EPIC Results.

3 Small Morning Routines With EPIC Results While rolling over in the morning and hitting the snooze button feels good…  Establishing a great positive morning routine is crucial for living life in a vibrant and EPIC way. Having a good morning routine is not something that just happens, it’s a choice and it takes time to establish the habit. This important routine can be a key part in transforming your day and change who you are. Starting the right way, day after day creates actual biological changes in the body, and adds up to incredible long term happiness and success. First consider how “positive” and “negative” morning habits can affect you… (And these are just a few of the benefits…) A Negative Morning Routine (multiple snooze button hits, immediately getting sucked into social media, not eating a healthy breakfast, worrying, etc.): Bad mood all day Heightened stress Health is adversely affected

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Can Meditation Boost Productivity?

Can Meditation Boost Productivity? How can “sitting and doing nothing” make you more productive? We’re so conditioned these days to “achieve” – meaning, do more stuff both on our goals and for others. It’s easy to become overwhelmed but taking the time to jump off the treadmill every day, even if just for a few minutes, will do wonders for you. Not sure meditation is for you? Think calming your mind is too hard, or you don’t have time to sit in a quiet zen like state? With

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End the Day LIKE THIS.

  End the Day LIKE THIS “In your own life, take particular care with endings, for they will forever tinge your feelings of the memory and your willingness to re-enter it.” Martin Seligman- Positive Psychologist How you end your day can influence how you sleep, your day the next day, and as you lay in bed reflecting on

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Our Favorite Stress-Relieving Routines

Our Favorite Stress-Relieving Routines Today I went running. About once a year I make the decision to start running again, trying to recall the fleet-footed exuberance of my youth. Usually I end up discovering stiff and achy parts, joints that don’t feel well lubricated anymore and a desire to give up and start walking after only 2 or 3 minutes. However, today was different. Managing an excessive workload, in conjunction with moving across the country in a couple weeks had me feeling stressed and scattered. Knowing that exercise is beneficial but lacking time to do a 2-3 hour workout, I threw on barely worn running shoes and went jogging.

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50 Affirmations to Reduce Stress

50 Affirmations to Reduce Stress Need a bit of help managing stress? Use positive affirmations for self esteem whenever you feel you’re stuck in negative thinking. You can retrain yourself to think positively, to imagine what might go right, to see the best in a situation and to learn from adversity. This takes a bit of self-work and time, but with persistence, you can avoid becoming overly stressed in the first place! Daily affirmations are useful tools designed for lowering anxiety, reducing stress, overcoming negative self talk, and awakening us to positive change. Often when overwhelmed with anxiety and fear, quieting the mind may feel like an impossible feat. Embrace the practice of deep breathing is an excellent way to manage stress and relax the body prior to using affirmations. Here’s how: Inhale, with nice and long, deep breaths through the nose. Feel your lungs fill, all the way to the diaphragm. Make your breathing very deep (but never force anything). On the exhale, with mouth remaining closed; slowly push out air using the abdomen until you feel your lungs are basically empty. It’s the exhale that elicits incredibly deep relaxation in the body! Visualize stress and anxiety leaving the body with each exhale. Feel the mind and muscles relaxing. Repeat several times until you feel yourself become calmer and your thoughts stop racing (they continue, but they’re not frantic) Now, it’s time to add some affirmations! Choose affirmations that resonate with you, meaning they feel good to you when you say them. Be sure to use your own words. Don’t feel that you have to use words that you normally don’t use. These affirmations are suggestions and you can customize them to suit your unique needs. First and foremost, make sure that they feel good. The idea is to create positive feelings in you, so that when you say these affirmations next time, you’re automatically creating a neural connection not only with the words you say but with the emotions those words bring up. Tip: when you’re in a relaxed state, use only one, two or three of these affirmations at a time. It’ll be easier to remember them, and you’ll get into a really nice soothing rhythm as you say them. Feel free to say them while you’re listening to your favorite Omharmonics track! Be sure that you give your brain the time it needs to create these new neural connections. It will be anywhere between 21 and 90 days, depending on your level of internal resistance to a statement (if there’s one that feels like you’re lying to yourself, it will take extra time to overcome the ingrained conditioned beliefs you already hold. Keep at it!

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Can You See the Good in a Bad Situation?.

Can You See the Good in a Bad Situation? We often talk about situations being “good” or “bad.” We describe what happened in terms of a positive or negative outcome. But have you thought about the fact that when you notice bad situations more so than good ones, you actually create patterns of negative outcomes? “Bad” situations lead to pain, frustration, anger and fear. These negative thoughts and emotions result in an extremely

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Are You the Only One Who Feels Lost andPurposeles

Are You the Only One Who Feels Lost and Purposeless? “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon So many of us spend our lives trying to find our true purpose, feeling as if something is missing, seeking a deeper connection. Not sure why we are here. Walking through life with a sense that something is missing, in an existential angst. Feeling like you are on the outside looking in, never

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How To Do Things You Don’t Want To Do.

How To Do Things You Don’t Want To Do Why is it so hard to follow through with things you said you will do but don’t want to do? Whether it’s a promise you made to yourself or a commitment to help out a friend or taking on extra responsibilities at work, it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew and to stay motivated until the goal is accomplished. You have so much confidence in yourself to do the right thing, but then when it comes time to stick to it and follow through, you have an excuse and a rationalization for everything. You totally convince yourself that you will do something, and do it well, and then when you don’t want to, you also convince yourself that you don’t HAVE to do it. Oftentimes, you are even able to convince others of your irrational reasoning. But you know the truth about yourself. You know what you’re supposed to do. You know how it SHOULD be done. You committed to something and now you’re feeling remorse at having said yes. It’s easier not to. It’s that simple. Not doing, feels better (at least temporarily). So how do you make yourself do something when it is the last thing you want to be doing?

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Your Daily Routine To Boost Your Happiness

New Ideas to Include In Your Daily Routine To Boost Your Happiness OK I’ll spare you the “wake up earlier, eat a healthy breakfast and manage your time” stuff that you’ll hear in every blog that we all know we “should” do everyday. Instead, here are some ideas that you might not think to include in your routine everyday that might make your day and someone else’s day just a little better! Compliment Someone You might be surprised how good it makes you feel to make someone’s day! Don’t hold back, tell someone you like their shoes, or that they did a good job on something at work, congratulate someone for something, anything (just be genuine about your compliment)! Make someone feel good, and the good feeling will be mutual. Replace one bad decision

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20Really Good Ways to Lower Stress in Your Life

20 Really Good Ways to Lower the Stress in Your Life Can you live without stress? In a word, NO. Some stress is good. It’s necessary to give us the motivation to change. If you weren’t stressed about your financial situation, would you do anything about it? If you weren’t stressed about losing your partner, would you work on the relationship? It’s too easy to sink into ruts of complacency. If we don’t stress, we slack off… and stress helps by motivating you to try a little harder to keep things moving in the right direction. But what about excess stress… chronic stress… can you control the amount of the stress you create in your life? Heck, yeah! Are you in charge of how you handle your stress? ABSOLUTELY!!! First and foremost, just breathe. Let’s start now. Take a deep breath all the way in. BIG inhale. Let it all the way out. If you can learn to control your breathing, you can control your heart rate, and this is the first step to controlling your stress levels. Sit back, relax your shoulders and your jaw and let your breath flow in your nose and roll out your mouth. See? Easy. Now, we’re ready to release stress. We start with breathing is because it sets the flow of your whole body. This rhythmic action delivers life-sustaining oxygen to the heart, lungs and brain so that you are able to deal with any and all situations that life throws at you. As long as you keep breathing, you can navigate all the physical and emotional trials of life. When you

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Just How Out of Control is Your Stress?

Just How Out of Control is Your Stress? Ask Your Body! You are extraordinary. Your body is so incredibly resilient, and your mind so powerful, that you are able to adapt to practically anything. That’s the amazing thing about being human, isn’t it – our remarkable adaptability! While adaptabilty is an awesome attribute, it’s also a bit of a problem when it comes to stress. It’s just too easy to adapt to stress! It’s too easy to ignore it, until it’s too late! You’re stressed, I’m stressed, everybody’s stressed, and that’s just the way life is. Right? Stress is so commonplace that

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You Probably Didn’t Know Stress Can Be Your FRIENd

You Probably Didn’t Know… Stress Can Be Your FRIEND! Stress can be your friend. Wha- seriously?! Stress is “bad,” right? Well… yes and no. Stress is usually associated with negative thoughts, feelings and situations. Simply hearing, reading or writing the word stress has the potential for inducing unwelcome physical reactions. An Internet search provides literally millions of stress related links, (Google displayed 57,800,000 results). Topics include stress reduction, stress management, negative effects of stress and many more. Easily found are supplements, medications, clinics, seminars, stress reduction techniques and countless other treatments, all designed for life in a stressful society. Stress can take a heavy toll, debilitating the mind and body, causing anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. Just deciding which stress management method to use can be stressful! However, these resources are aimed at something many of us suffer from – chronic stress.

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8 Things to Not Take For Granted

8 Things to Not Take For Granted During Today’s Daily Routine It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day stresses of life, especially during the holidays. There is always so much to do and never enough time to do it all, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t please everybody. You can please

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How to Make Life Easy with the Right Routines!

How to Make Life Easy with the Right Routines! Almost any parent can tell you the benefits of creating a routine for a child. Routines help newborns and toddlers establish good sleeping and eating habits. As children grow older, routines launch a lifetime of good hygiene, positive behavior and successful patterns that will take them through those teenage years and into adulthood. As adults, routines help you

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Top Secret Productivity Hack:Do the Hard Stuff NOw

Top Secret Productivity Hack: Do the Hard Stuff NOW Go to a Pilates class or a gym to lift weights and what does your instructor tell you to do? Warm up and then hit the most difficult or heavy-lifting first. Get the hard stuff out of the way and the rest of the workout will be a joy and a breeze.

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WHY I CHANGED MY NAME by.

WHY I CHANGED MY NAME   “Bob Marley isn’t my name. I don’t even know my name yet.”― Bob Marley I can’t remember the first time I asked my parents why they named me Adam.  It’s been so long I can’t remember if their response (“Because we wanted you to have a biblical name”) is a direct quote or the gist of a much

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LOSING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE

LOSING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE (EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU’RE NOT)   I was in love once. Deep, crazy, inconceivable love. We were so much alike and completely hooked on each other from the moment we met. I was amazed I was able to find someone so perfect, thinking “this is the kind of guy you marry.” I wasn’t ever going to let him get away. Our love was exactly how the movies play it out to be: wrapped up in each other like we might drift away, making friends sick with our infatuation, completely consumed and trying to inhale each

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50 THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR

50 THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR   One of the most popular online videos last week was a very funny interview Conan O’Brien did the comedian Louis CK. Louis makes the observation that although we have so many amazing things these days (eg high speed internet access on airplanes), people still don’t seem to be happy. If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you watch Everything’s Amazing, Nobody’s Happy (sorry, YouTube won’t let me embed the video into this post). This video reminded me that it is very easy to take many wonderful things in our lives for granted. If we can only learn to look at life a little differently, it is possible to find an abundance of things to be thankful for. 50 THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR 1. Twitter (thank you to everyone on Twitter who helped me compile this list) 2. TED 3. Sisters (@SteveErrey) 4. Brothers Photo by Daniel E. Bruce 5. Coffee 6. Snow covered mountains 7. A warm bed to sleep in (@bluestatus) 8. Fresh fruit

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HOW GRATITUDE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

HOW GRATITUDE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE   “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

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4 PRACTICES TO CREATE LASTING CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE

4 PRACTICES TO CREATE LASTING CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE   When I began the process of examining my life, I didn’t have the intention to achieve life-mastery – I just wanted to be happy. I wanted to make the necessary changes in my life so I could live more simply, have less responsibility and stress, and ultimately have more time and freedom. I thought I would be able to change my life quickly and easily.  I read books and enrolled in classes and workshops, obtaining a wealth of valuable information from these activities.  But I soon realized that I was unable to retain most of the information I received. I was learning helpful tools and beneficial strategies for change – yet I kept returning back to my old way of being.

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REVIEW AND COMPETITION: MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIB

REVIEW AND COMPETITION: MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE   “Make the Impossible Possible”. Ok, I admit that when I first saw this book’s title nothing about it made it stand out from the plethora of personal development books available in a typical bookshop. Make no mistake, though, this is a very special book about a man who has lived, and continues to live, an extraordinary life. Over the past 30 years, Bill Strickland has helped change the lives of thousands of people through the creation of Manchester Bidwell, a jobs training centre and community arts program located in Pittsburgh. The centre works with corporations, community leaders, and schools to help give disadvantaged kids and adults the opportunities and tools they need to envision and build a better future:

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TAKING A HUGE CHANCE TO MAKE A BIG CHANGE IN YOUR

TAKING A HUGE CHANCE TO MAKE A BIG CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE   “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates Until a few years ago, I had what most people would call a good life. I had a steady and stable job that paid the bills even if it wasn’t that interesting, I had a good family that I was close to and friends that I could rely on. I had a place to live and food to eat and money in the bank for trips and treats, and there was nothing much wrong in my life.

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HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE   We are often told that change is uncomfortable and difficult, that it inevitably involves pain, and that to change your life is to struggle and fight against the status quo. But there is another way. Change can be gentle, spontaneous and natural – effortless, even. With the right approach, big changes can occur without the upheavals we might normally associate with such shifts. YOU CREATE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE OF LIFE It seems to be a rule of nature that similar things conglomerate. People from a similar social or cultural background are drawn together by a shared worldview; the rich and famous socialize within their own circle; similar scientific ideas which seem to arise at around the same time. The familiar saying, ‘birds of a feather flock together’ arises from this observation. In the same way, our thoughts tend to attract the conditions we experience. In his now famous book, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Joseph Murray writes, “Everything that has happened to you happened because of thoughts impressed on your subconscious mind through belief… The habitual thinking of your subconscious mind establishes deep grooves… If your thoughts are harmonious, peaceful and constructive, your subconscious mind will respond by creating harmony, peace

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HOW I STOPPED BINGE EATING USING THESE 3 THINGS/

HOW I STOPPED BINGE EATING USING THESE 3 THINGS   Christmas is always the worst time of year for me. 2011 was a particularly bad one. Shivering in the cold of my childhood bedroom, I sat – hands clasped around knees – thinking about how best to kill myself. Hopelessness only scratches the surface of the description – that same feeling I’d had on-and-off for ten years. I was 23. Half my life had been spent in darkness. I went over the mathematics: I was finally ready to admit I needed help. So as I sat there, in that disgusting bedroom, I vowed to put an end to my suffering. I told myself “I’m going to give this one final push. I’ll put all of my energy into stopping this continual depression, and these cycles of binge eating and starving myself. If it still doesn’t work, I’ll just kill myself.” It really was that simple. It might have been “simple”, but it seemed impossible. Here are 3 essential things I used on my journey from rock bottom, to happiness, health, and well-being. REATTACH YOUR HEAD TO YOUR BODY Up until I was 23, I didn’t even know I had a body. I will never forget this: one day, I was walking up a hill to work, and suddenly I just felt terrible. Then I was frustrated that I had been feeling OK, and suddenly everything had become unbearable. I had just learnt about mindfulness, so I did a quick scan down my body (mentally feeling each body

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ISN’T THAT SOMETHING? .

ISN’T THAT SOMETHING?   I was in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous tonight; a woman spoke up. Her name will remain anonymous, but she shared something very deep. Sometimes at meetings related to recovery you hear someone really going through the thick of their addiction – someone trying their best to quit. This woman shared about how she wanted to kill herself, how her life was over, how she is not meant for this life. She shared that someone was online bullying her via Facebook. The room became silent as the mood generally shifts when someone shares something as heart wrenching as that. You could hear the depression, the anguish, the suffering, and the hopelessness. In other words, it sounded like periods of sobbing filled with other sequential periods of silence. Being in recovery myself, and really loving it, I put my hand out to this woman. “Hey, I want you to take my number down, call me if you every need anything, whatever it is.” We ended up talking for a little bit, I tried to assure her I knew how she felt; the pain of addiction is one unlike others. I asked her if she needed a ride, she told me she was going to walk back to her store. I told her to get in my car and I would give her a ride there. Her store was right around the corner – an art studio.

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HOW I REDISCOVERED MYSELF BY WORKING FOR MYSELF.

HOW I REDISCOVERED MYSELF BY WORKING FOR MYSELF   “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi Almost two years ago I lost

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WHY I CHANGED MY NAME.

WHY I CHANGED MY NAME   “Bob Marley isn’t my name. I don’t even know my name yet.”― Bob Marley I can’t remember the first time I asked my parents why they named me Adam.  It’s been so long I can’t remember if their response (“Because we wanted you to have a biblical name”) is a direct quote or the gist of a much longer explanation.  Regardless, as far back as my memory goes, I’ve wanted to change it. Adam in Hebrew means “man”. “Humankind”.  Some translations say “red”.  Some say “red dirt”.

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GRATITUDE AGAIN??? .

GRATITUDE AGAIN???   Before I got sober, I was a pretty negative person. In my world, the glass wasn’t half-empty, it was all the way empty. My favorite mantra was, “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” Finally, a series of events happened that led me to my drinking bottom, and I got sober in March of 2001. For the first year-and-a-half of sobriety, I was so deluged with grief over an unrequited love and with anger over my upbringing, that it took 4 or 5 meetings a day to keep sober. Even then I struggled. It seemed impossible to crawl out of the vortex that was my reality. I kept getting sucked back in, so the 30-adult-years that I had been a drinking, angry, and bitter extended into sobriety for a few years.

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WHY GRATITUDE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE...

WHY GRATITUDE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE (& 7 WAYS TO INCREASE IT STARTING TODAY)   I took a moment. I could feel my chest. My heart was racing. What’s wrong with me? It didn’t make sense. I was 27 years old, healthy, had a good job, loving parents, great friends, involved in the community, and the list keeps going. Yet, as I lay on my bed at 2am, overwhelmed by my life, I knew something was wrong. It was as if, the world had been handed to me, and I had no soul. From a logical standpoint my life was great, but my heart showed otherwise. Why can’t I appreciate? Why do I feel this? Why do I hate my life? IS EVERYTHING POINTLESS?

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HOW WRITING HELPED ME OVERCOME STRESS AND BECOME H

HOW WRITING HELPED ME OVERCOME STRESS AND BECOME HAPPIER   Two years ago, I had a nervous breakdown. Let me tell you how that happened. I had just moved to New York. I’ve always been dreaming about making that big step. You know those people from small towns who make plans about moving to New York City and becoming successful? Yup, that was me. I came from a small place where everyone knew everyone. The bonds were strong and friendships lasted forever. Suddenly, I launched myself in a completely different environment. If I had to think of a single word to describe it, this would be the one: 

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HOW I LOST AND FOUND MYSELF IN A 216 MILE RELAY RA

HOW I LOST AND FOUND MYSELF IN A 216 MILE RELAY RACE   “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson When I signed up for the Cascade Lakes Relay (a 216.6 mile race through central Oregon’s high desert) I was thrilled at the opportunity to experience the outdoors through an activity that I love. On the road I took in the picturesque landscapes, the expanse of trees, the crisp air, and the comfort of knowing that the noise and distractions of Portland were miles away.

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HOW DISCONNECTING FROM TECHNOLOGY .MADE ME HAPPIER

HOW DISCONNECTING FROM TECHNOLOGY MADE ME HAPPIER   The waiter caught me at a bad time. “Quires más guapa?” (Want anything more, beautiful?) I looked

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ECKHART TOLLE’S GUIDE TO WRITING.

ECKHART TOLLE’S GUIDE TO WRITING   “All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.” – Eckhart Tolle Recently I was listening to an episode of the Oprah / Eckhart Tolle podcasts. Tolle described how he writes, and I was struck by the simplicity and peacefulness of the process. If you ever experience writer’s block, or if the words you do write feel forced, this guide may prove to be the solution for your troubles. The following is a summary of how Eckhart Tolle writes: Stillness Awareness of thoughts as they arise Write, or if the thought is not relevant or useful, wait in stillness for the next one I think this writing process can be condensed even further into the following two words: 

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Our Favorite Stress-Relieving Routines.

Our Favorite Stress-Relieving Routines Today I went running. About once a year I make the decision to start running again, trying to recall the fleet-footed exuberance of my youth. Usually I end up discovering stiff and achy parts, joints that don’t feel well lubricated anymore and a desire to give up and start walking after only 2 or 3 minutes. However, today was different. Managing an excessive workload, in conjunction with moving across the country in a couple weeks had me feeling stressed and scattered. Knowing that exercise is beneficial but lacking time to do a 2-3 hour workout, I threw on barely worn running shoes and went jogging.

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How to Make Life Easy with the Right Routines!.

How to Make Life Easy with the Right Routines! Almost any parent can tell you the benefits of creating a routine for a child. Routines help newborns and toddlers establish good sleeping and eating habits. As children grow older, routines launch a lifetime of good hygiene, positive behavior and successful patterns that will take them through those teenage years and into adulthood. As adults, routines help you

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Top Secret Productivity Hack:Dothe Hard Stuff NOW

Top Secret Productivity Hack: Do the Hard Stuff NOW Go to a Pilates class or a gym to lift weights

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Start Your Day LIKE THIS

Start Your Day LIKE THIS A great friend of mine has one of the best morning routines I have ever heard of. She is a personal trainer, and often has to get up wayyyyyy before daybreak to drive to her clients’ homes for a 5AM or 6AM training. Now, she’s just like the rest of us – the thought of a warm, cozy bed is much more appealing than the thought of getting dressed, going out into the cold dark of pre-dawn morning, starting up a car and waiting for the heat to kick in…

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13 Ways to Stay Productive During the Holidays.

13 Ways to Stay Productive During the Holidays Is there another time of year when you have to juggle work, family AND a million holiday chores? Thankfully, no… but you don’t have to get all stressed out to the point where your productivity drops (and the boss notices), or you don’t get your cherished holiday tasks done on time and with minimal hassle. It’s one thing to say “keep your work at work” – it’s another to say, “keep the holidays out of work.” So much to do, and only so much thinking time per day… the holidays are bound to creep into your “work brain!” Half of you is thinking about the project you’re on, and the other is thinking about presents, parties, family visits and entertaining/caring for kids who are on Christmas break. Here are some tips for staying focused and productive at work through the holiday season:

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The Simple Magic of Making Lists

The Simple Magic of Making Lists It happens all the time, but especially during the holidays. There are seemingly a thousand things to do, in addition to continuing to live your ‘regular’ life – oh, and actually stay productive during the holidays. It’s enough to drive you crazy. You still have to work, keep house, grocery shop, maintain the car, take care of children or other family, and on top of what fills the ‘regular’ days, now you have decorating, baking, shopping, and entertaining to add to your lot. How

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How to Laugh Your Way Out of Stress

 How to Laugh Your Way Out of Stress Walk into many office environments and discover a world where a wall of seriousness slams

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HOW CYCLING SAVED MY LIFE.

HOW CYCLING SAVED MY LIFE   Do you have a dirty secret life as well? Do you do things alone that fill you with shame and self-loathing? Do you have activities and addictions that you want to keep from your loved ones and that if your best friend admitted to them, you would advise that they sought out help? I used to have a self-destructive habit. I was always looking for an excuse to pop out of the house for a bit to run an errand, do a bit of shopping or fill the car with petrol. I would often end up being out a bit longer than expected and return home lying about being stuck in traffic or having to go to two shops to find the thing I wanted or running into a friend and having been stopped chatting. All lies. My dirty secret was that I was addicted to junk food. Specifically candy bars and crisps. Every time I went out I stopped by at the supermarket or petrol station, bought an armful of candy and crisps and sat in the car alone gorging myself in desolate car parks and lay-bys. The problem was that I was trying to fill a huge void in my life with some semblance of artificial happiness. I got a massive sugar and comfort rush

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THE BEAUTY OF BREATHING .

THE BEAUTY OF BREATHING   Breathing is the one thing we all do the moment we emerge into the world and it’ll be the last thing we all do right before we leave. Breathing as we all know is a constant necessity for continued physical existence. We must all breathe a number of times a minute and when you take a moment to consider the beauty of breathing a number of important facts become readily apparent and can act as a grounding force to bring you back from being caught up in day-to-day trivialities.

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Busted – 15 Myths About Meditation

Busted – 15 Myths About Meditation Meditation is surrounded by myths. Here are a few common myths, and the reality. Myth #1: Meditation is a religious practice. Although meditation is part of nearly all religious practices, it also transcends religion. Meditation benefits everyone, whether they are religious, spiritual, agnostic or atheist. It’s about going within, not about worshiping anything. Myth #2: You have to sit in the lotus position to meditate. Not true! And, impossible for many people with physical limitations. It’s only important that you are comfortable, and steady – think “mountain.” You can sit however you like – in a chair or couch, on a meditation cushion – just remember to keep your spine erect and avoid slouching. You can sit cross-legged, or not! Sit however you like! You can also do moving meditations like Tai Chi, Yoga, Qi Gong or walking – no need to sit at all! Myth #3: Meditation is for older people  Soooo not true! My kids started meditating when they were 4 years old as part of their Tae Kwon Do classes. Meditation at this age is very brief, of course, but the duration can grow with age and practice. Meditation is great for school kids to help them develop self-discipline, emotional self-control, 

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Suffering With Anxiety? You’re Not Alone!

Suffering With Anxiety? You’re Not Alone! Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the USA. As such, it carries an unfortunate social stigma. Rule #1: DO NOT feel bad about your anxiety. There is nothing wrong with you! It’s a condition, and if you take care of it, it’s manageable. And you’re not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults in the USA (18% of the population) are affected. ONLY ONE-THIRD receive treatment – partly, this is due to the social stigma associated with anxiety and depression, which are often closely linked. A study commissioned by the ADAA (published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60(7), July 1999), the social cost of anxiety is extremely high: $42 billion is spent each year treating anxiety – one third of the country’s $148 billion health care cost. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, and nearly half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.   Types of Anxiety Disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): 6.8 million adults in the USA (1% of the population); the ratio of women to men is 2:1 Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): 15 million adults in the USA (6.8% of the

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How Can So Many People Suffer from Depression?

How Can So Many People Suffer from Depression? The recent tragic death of Robin Williams brought depression into the public eye. According to the World Health Organization (these bullet points taken directly from the WHO site): Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. There are effective treatments for depression. 350 million people is a huge segment of the population – and the number is probably quite a bit larger, because there is still a stigma attached to depression and many people go undiagnosed. The social burden of depression (lost productivity, rising divorce rates, etc.) is on the rise globally, and it’s a very serious problem. What is Depression?

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Evening Rituals That Set the Tone

Evening Rituals That Set the Tone for a Happy Tomorrow Have you ever gone to bed worrying? Or angry? Or upset? And the next morning, your thought immediately turn to that problem and your day is quickly off to an unhappy start? First thing in the morning, your thoughts turn negative: “I have to deal with my boss today, I wonder if my money will make it through the week, I hate my job, my kids are driving me nuts, I wish my husband would stop watching so much TV, I need coffee, ugh I’m so tired I just want to spend the day in bed…” The thoughts you think at night set the tone for the next day. Your mind works on these thoughts all night, like a dog worrying a bone… But you don’t have to wake up stressed out. As you go to bed every night, you can set the tone for the next day. Here’s how: 1. STOP listening to yourself Did you know that

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The 9 Biggest Productivity Killers You Have t Man

The 9 Biggest Productivity Killers You Have to Manage Lack of employee productivity is an employer’s biggest problem. But surprisingly, even self-employed entrepreneurs can sink into the trap of low productivity, just because they haven’t developed the discipline and habits to avoid or minimize distractions. Here are the world’s biggest productivity killers and what you can do about them right now: 1. Cell phones and texting (personal calls)  Shockingly (or not?) one fourth of employees confess to spending at least one hour per day on personal calls and texts and non-work related Internet use. If you’re an employee, and you’re bored, it’s tempting to take care of personal business on the clock. But what if you turned your energies toward being proactive and ultimately making life easier on yourself by taking time to organize your workspace, get ahead on work and even take on project that you’re not required to do? Your boss will notice! Turn the ringtone off when you’re working unless you have kids who need to reach you at work. Make it a point to tell friends and family that you’re super busy at work and you would appreciate connecting with them in the evenings.You can always check voice mail at lunch. 2. Noisy and/or overly social coworkers…

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Ways to Overcome Money Stress.

Ways to Overcome Money Stress Financial stress tops many lists about what stresses people out the most. If you’ve ever been under intense financial stress, you know just how nerve-wracking this is. Before we address how to overcome stress about money, let’s look at the root causes, starting from worst stress to the mildest form of stress. Many factors contribute to stress: poor economic times, pay that doesn’t keep up with rising prices, and poor spending habits including living outside your means. First-level stress (maximum stress): not making it – feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. This is when your living expenses exceed your income, and you can’t keep your head above water. People get into massive debt in this way and that will cause even more stress down the road if the income situation doesn’t improve. People in this situation do not have any money to fall back on in case of emergency. Second level stress:barely making it – feelings of frustration and persistent worry. If you’re just barely making ends meet, you may not think about your finances every minute of the day as you would if you’re not making it – but you stress out big time whenever there’s an unexpected expense such as car repairs or vet bills. You probably don’t have any savings to speak of (they’re routinely depleted for emergencies) and you can’t seem to get ahead.

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9 Superb Ways to Do More Without Trying

9 Superb Ways to Do More Without Trying We all want to do more without trying – or at least without working any harder than we already are. And, it’s possible, if you organize, streamline and maximize your time and energy. Here are some great productivity tips for working smarter and not harder. 1. Know your energy flow. Humans alternate between between spending and renewing energy. If you work all day nonstop without physical or mental breaks, you will experience the law of diminishing returns – your later work won’t be as good and you’ll be increasingly more tired and mentally wiped out. Here’s how to maximize your energy:

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16 Simple Work Routines for Ridiculously High Prod

16 Simple Work Routines for Ridiculously High Productivity Do you want explosive productivity? Do you want to get more done in less time? Great! Here are some no-nonsense work routines that will make your workday run smoothly and efficiently. 1. Use your peak energy time for the most demanding mental tasks. 2. Clean up! Messy workspaces create a stressful environment. Take a few minutes every day to clean your workspace and prep for the next day. 3. Say no to anything that will pull you away from your primary objective. If that means finding a way to tell your boss you can’t take on any more work, then do it. Your boss will appreciate your dedication to quality! 4. Don’t wait for perfect conditions to get started Start now, and CREATE conditions. If you’re taking action, you feel good and you create a positive feedback loop that motivates you to even more action.

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10 Effects of Stress on Your Body

10 Effects of Stress on Your Body A little stress is good – it motivates you to action, keeps you engaged with life…  good stress is the kind that comes from realizing you’re in a situation you don’t like, and you’re receiving a dose of motivation to change the situation. You can take physical action to relieve this kind of stress: talk to your partner and resolve a conflict; call your credit card company and make a payment plan to settle your debt; apologize to someone; leave an unsatisfying job; fix the broken faucet; exercise more so you lose the extra weight… and so on. Bad stress is emotional stress. It’s the stress that lingers because of unresolved issues: things left unsaid between you and your spouse; guilt over something you did or said a long time ago or something you’re doing to yourself or someone now (such as choosing not to exercise, or having an affair, etc.); constant worry about your financial decisions and guilt over your lack of self-restraint when it comes to spending; fear of change; fear of the future; resentment, hurt or angerover something a former friend did to you… and more. You cannot “run off” or physically release this kind of stress (more on that later) and this “bad stress” can build up and wreak havoc on your body. Here are 10 ways that stress negatively affects your body:

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Weekend Routines – Are You Kidding?

Weekend Routines – Are You Kidding?

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Good Habits, Good Routines, Good Results

Good Habits, Good Routines, Good Results Good habits and good routines lead to good results. Easier said than done, right? Well, the truth is, most of your life is habit. You have habits of self-care. You have habits in how you get ready for work. You have work habits, interpersonal habits, exercise-or-lack-thereof habits, eating habits, nighttime routines, etc. etc. But most importantly, you have thought habits. Pause for a moment and ask yourself, “Are my thoughts taking me toward my dreams?” Hmmm… I’m willing to bet that most of the time, your thoughts are about problems you’re having, with the occasional foray into imagination land where your dreams live. If you plan on ever achieving any of your dreams or big goals, you have to create some good habits and routines that will actually automate

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A Practical Guide to Joy.

A Practical Guide to Joy Happiness is fleeting, and joy is everlasting. That’s the difference, in case you were wondering  Happiness is what we feel when something goes well in our lives. Joy is the inner peace and bliss that is unshakable by circumstance of experience. Joy comes from knowing that you are a spiritual being that happens to be in a really complex physical experience… come what may. Anxiety, fear, depression, stress and a feeling of hopelessness or helplessness can destroy your sense of joy. In a society that insists we need “more,” we end up overwhelmed, overworked and maxed out in debt. We WANT to take care of ourselves, but… we WANT to have happy relationships, but… we WANT to have some private “me” time but… there always seems to be “but” getting in the way. Here’s a practical guide to increasing – or rather, returning to – the joy that is your true nature. These tips are easy and you can do them no matter how challenging your situation. And yes, your happiness will increase too! To effectively face the challenges of life, you need a toolbox,

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Handy Tips from Omharmonics on Making Meditation a

Handy Tips from Omharmonics on Making Meditation a Good Habit We all know that meditation is good for us. But life gets in the way of making it a daily habit, doesn’t it? We start off with good intentions and meditate faithfully for 15-30 minutes a day, and then one day, something intrudes and we are distracted – and it’s hard to find the time the next day. There are definitely a few challenges involved in creating a habit of meditation. Here are some handy tips that will make meditation a good habit, every day. First, though, it’s important to know that meditation is not about shutting down and tuning out the world. It’s not about withdrawing and hiding. It’s about mindfulness, or present-focus – in other words, paying attention to the moment and what is going on now, and teaching yourself to tune out the distractions (both environmental and mental) that prevent you from fully experiencing the moment. This knowledge will help you fit meditation into your daily routine, because meditation is an essential part of your daily routine, not something “extra” or separate. How to fit meditation into your everyday routine:

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How To Generate More Alpha Waves Anytime

How To Generate More Alpha Waves Anytime Alpha brain waves are the result of measurement of brain activity as measured by an EEG. The waves cycle at 8-14 cycles per second, and their nature is smooth and high. Why are brain waves measured? They correspond to different states of consciousness or brain activity. There is no one brain wave state that is ideal – it depends on the circumstances and what you’re doing! If your brain were a car, you would start in first gear, or the delta brain wave state. Delta is very slow (0-4 cycles per second). You

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THE DIET THAT CHANGED MY LIFE.

THE DIET THAT CHANGED MY LIFE   I was always an obese kid. One that would eat and drink the same things as my friends, but gain 10 lbs while they somehow stayed young and slim. Things were this way for many years, then one day I’d finally had enough – I was going to start eating healthy and lose weight. I thought I’d do this with the typical diet and exercise that everybody was preaching, but no matter how much I ran or how little I ate – the scale would never budge. Okay, I shouldn’t say never, because there were some times where it’d go down a little bit… But like every other crash diet, it’d find its way back within a matter of weeks. This cycle continued until my early 20’s and right when I was about to give up, I came across a new diet. One that didn’t force me to starve myself or run a marathon to lose a few pounds, and 4 years later… I can say this diet has honestly changed my life. HOW THIS DIET CHANGED MY LIFE I’ll get into the details throughout this article, but I like to start with the good stuff first. The first thing I really noticed was how much fat I was losing. Within 4 weeks I could see a noticeable difference in my body, and it wasn’t just in my face, arms, or legs – I was starting to lose belly fat as well. That was huge for me as no matter what I did, this was an area that would never budge – even when I was crash dieting. And on top of that, I was actually working out less. I knew this diet was going to cause some energy issues in the first few weeks, so instead of doing my daily jog or gym workout – I was just walking for an hour a day. In other words, things were going great…but I was still skeptical. I’d had a lot of quick success with every other diet I’d tried, but as I mentioned earlier, the weight always found its way back…so I was just waiting for this diet to do the same. So I waited, and waited, and waited… Until finally after 12 months, 50 lbs, and a complete body transformation later – I realized there was something different about this diet. And not just because I was losing weight and could keep it off, but also because I felt amazing. Every other diet I’d tried had my feeling groggy and hangry after the first couple of weeks, but not this one…this one actually had me feeling energetic, both physically and mentally. I noticed an immediate boost in my productivity, and after a few weeks of starting this diet – I was actually able to stop taking adderall… AND boost my output while doing so. In other words, yes – I’m saying a diet helped me overcome my ADHD…something I battled for many years. And after I started to notice these initial results, the benefits just kept piling in. I was losing weight, I felt great, I was getting more done… All things that led to me overcoming the depression and anxiety of being an entrepreneur, and that’s really the main reason why I can say this diet has changed my life for the better.  WHY IT WORKED BETTER THAN OTHER DIETS I’m sure you’re somewhat skeptical already, don’t worry…I was too. I didn’t know how a simple change of diet could lead to amazing results like this, so that’s when I decided I was going to dig in deeper. Not because I needed to improve it for my own life, but I knew if I was going to start explaining this to family and friends, then I’d need some science to back it up. So I started out by reading everything I could and documenting my own results, then months later…I had the key benefits of this diet boiled down to 3 main reasons. 1. I WAS ALWAYS FULL I’ll explain more on this in a second, but the main focus of this diet is to put your body in fat burning mode. This mode helps hunger in a few different ways, but to keep things simple right now – fat is a longer source of energy and that helps you stay full for a longer period of time. This a much better option than the alternative, glycogen burning mode (carbs), because that burns like jet fuel and makes us constantly wanting more energy. If you want to get technical, a primary reason for this is because it helps regulate 

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7 BENEFITS OF LOSING WEIGHT.

7 BENEFITS OF LOSING WEIGHT   Are you overweight? If your life never quite satisfies you – if you don’t feel you’re as confident, productive, motivated or enthused as you could be, try kick-starting the changes you want to make by beginning with your body. Seven years ago, I was shy, chubby, lacking in confidence, and struggling to think beyond my immediate future: going to Cambridge University. I’d been fatter than my classmates since the age of nine or ten. Finally losing that extra thirty or so pounds I’d been carrying around has had a tremendous impact on my life over the past seven years.

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HOW I DID SOMETHING I SUCKED AT SURVIVED

HOW I DID SOMETHING I SUCKED AT AND SURVIVED   The cold office wall held me upright as my breakfast teased the back of my throat. All I could do was focus on my breathing. My boss had booked me to coach a workshop for corporate professionals. She believed I could do it, yet my self-belief had quickly dissolved two minutes after she told me the news. As I waited outside the conference room, my fears jockeyed for front row seats in my mind as I scrambled to assemble coherent thoughts. Fast forward three hours and guess what? I lived! It was no Academy Award-winning performance, but everyone was happy.

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IN 4 MONTHS I ERASED 33 YEARSOF FEAR AND ANXIETY

IN 4 MONTHS I ERASED 33 YEARS OF FEAR AND ANXIETY   “The decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone I went all of my life wondering if I would have what it takes to be a father. My childhood was spent without one. One after another, self-proclaimed fathers had left my life and just as quickly as they entered. The thought of being a father sent shivers down my spine and crippled my thoughts with fear. I often wondered if my thoughts stemmed from my never knowing my biological father. My life was filled with questions about him, questions that would never be answered. Where did he go? Why did he leave? Who was he? His absence led me to question my own life. Could I be better than him?

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How To Generate More Alpha Waves Anytime,

How To Generate More Alpha Waves Anytime Alpha brain waves are the result of measurement of brain activity as measured by an EEG. The waves cycle at 8-14 cycles per second, and their nature is smooth and high. Why are brain waves measured? They correspond to different states of consciousness or brain activity. There is no one brain wave state that is ideal – it depends on the circumstances and what you’re doing! If your brain were a car, you would start in first gear, or the delta brain wave state. Delta is very slow (0-4 cycles per second). You

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Do You HAVE TO Meditate to Reduce Stress?

Do You HAVE TO Meditate to Reduce Stress? Everybody has stress in their life. Excess stress must be managed for peace of mind and wellbeing. You know this… but are you able to follow through? If you’re feeling like you’re being crushed or overwhelmed by stress, you have to stay on top of it or suffer the long-term consequences. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, humans are incredibly adaptable creatures. We are able to adapt to ever-increasing levels of stress, without ever relieving it. Yay for adaptability, but in the case of stress, it’s not so good. Unreleased stress leads to physical, mental and emotional problems. Tension

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6 Short Steps to Master Your Productivity

6 Short Steps to Master Your Productivity Everybody wants to do more, faster, more efficiently, with better results. Right? There are zillions of productivity tools out there, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s your mind – or more specifically, your ability to manage your mind… so you can focus, tune out distractions, recall important information, persevere when the going gets boring or difficult or you lose confidence in yourself… and ultimately achieve any goal.

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How to Squeeze The Most Out of Life,

How to Squeeze The Most Out of Life Everybody wants to get the most out of life. When work and responsibilities seem to get in the way – leaving you exhausted and unable to do anything interesting or fun – then resentment and frustration can build up. No fun… but it doesn’t have to be this way. 1. Know what’s important to you and what you want to experience and accomplish. There’s no right or wrong answer but if you’re going to get the most out of YOUR life, be clear on what that means to you. 2. Break rules and march to your own drummer. Progress does not happen unless somebody breaks rules. I’m not talking about rules regarding safety and nice behavior but the archaic and often ridiculous rules that are no longer applicable to modern life. If there’s a social convention that doesn’t resonate with you, don’t follow it. 3. Slow down! Unplug! BE. Here. Now.

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by Start with the name of Allah

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Handy Craft

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How to Squeeze The Most Out of Life.

How to Squeeze The Most Out of Life Everybody wants to get the most out of life. When work and responsibilities seem to get in the way – leaving you exhausted and unable to do anything interesting or fun – then resentment and frustration can build up. No fun… but it doesn’t have to be this way. 1. Know what’s important to you and what you want to experience and accomplish. There’s no right or wrong answer but if you’re going to get the most out of YOUR life, be clear on what that means to you. 2. Break rules and march to your own drummer. Progress does not happen unless somebody breaks rules. I’m not talking about rules regarding safety and nice behavior but the archaic and often ridiculous rules that are no longer applicable to modern life. If there’s a social convention that doesn’t resonate with you, don’t follow it. 3. Slow down! Unplug! BE. Here. Now.

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Where to Find Peace and Quiet.

Where to Find Peace and Quiet Where can you escape to, when the noise outside you and the noise in your head is becoming too much?

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Beginner’s Guide to Stress Management

Beginner’s Guide to Stress Management Stress is a part of life, and while some stress is good (it mobilizes you into action), some stress is bad and must be managed. Different Types of Stress Good stress: “functional stress” including instincts, deadlines: this kind of stress keeps you safe, and gives you the energy, 

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Is Low Self-Esteem Affecting Your Productivity?

Is Low Self-Esteem Affecting Your Productivity?   We often think of low self-esteem as having a detrimental effect on our goals, but it’s often thought of in terms of not starting something, or quitting before you achieve success. We don’t often talk about the day-to-day actions that are affected by low self-esteem like your everyday job performance. Let’s talk about productivity. Whether you are an army of one and working on a personal project, a worker in a large company, or an entrepreneur with a small staff, the only way to achieve anything is to take action toward a goal. That action has to have both quantity and quality. But if you have low self-esteem, you can unwittingly sabotage your efforts. Here’s how: You may notice some people who seem to be very knowledgeable and skilled in their field, yet their performance and output consistently falls short of their potential and abilities. Their performance doesn’t seem to fit with their potential. Why? Because they don’t believe in themselves and allow themselves to do less than they are capable of. Or in some cases, they believe in their abilities but don’t feel worthy of success – so why bother even trying? Self-esteem can be defined as “The

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What to Do With a Mind That Won’t Shut Up.

What to Do With a Mind That Won’t Shut Up Many people desire to achieve a completely silent mind during meditation. It’s something that takes practice, but with the help ofOmharmonics and this simple exercise, you can do it too. Note: as you learn to silence the mind, it might seem weird at first to be without that inner noise. Scary,

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Is All Stress Bad For You?

Is All Stress Bad For You? You have probably read so much about the importance of getting rid of stress – it’s something we “manage” or “relieve.” But not all stress is bad. Stress motivates you (deadlines have an amazing way of mobilizing people into action). Stress also helps you be alert and keeps you energized. Exercise puts stress on your body, and that’s a good stress. Stress can help you do things you thought you could never do like achieve great goals. Seriously! If you weren’t at least a little stressed out about your current situation, would you do anything to change it? Of course not, and then you’d never progress! The right kind of stress is good. We get a surge of adrenaline, we spring into action, get the job done… and then we relax. This is called “functional stress” – the mechanism by which we get the surge of energy, focus and strength that is required

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How Napping at Work Boosts Productivit

How Napping at Work Boosts Productivit Is it okay to take naps at work? We’ve all had those days when, we’re on the clock and we’re exhausted, and we desperately want a quick power nap. But do we dare? In many companies, napping is still frowned upon but a few progressive companies (such as Google) encourage napping as a way to boost productivity. Since most people work a little more than 9 hours a day, it’s natural to become sleepy during the day. Your circadian rhythms ensure that you have two periods of extreme sleepiness during a 24-hour period: once in the middle of the night, around midnight; and the other, 12 hours later – right around lunchtime. So do the Mediterranean nations, where a siesta is a treasured part of the culture, have it right? You bet they do! Trying to keep productivity high when you’re sleep-deprived is a losing proposition. Sleepiness only results in

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How to Personalize Your Meditation Routine

How to Personalize Your Meditation Routine Meditation itself is simple, yet people tend to overcomplicate it with too many expectations and the belief that certain rituals are necessary, and many choose meditation styles that are just plain wrong for them. There are so many meditation practices, and so many reasons to pick up meditation – health, stress reduction, self-improvement, a desire to experience altered states of consciousness, relaxation, spirituality, inner peace, intelligence, focus, creativity… so it’s impossible to say that there is one right way to meditate. Often, people will try a form of meditation that doesn’t suit their needs or their personality type, and join the ranks of meditation drop-outs. “It just didn’t work for me.” “I can’t meditate.” For example, if chanting just isn’t your thing… you won’t last long in a class that has everyone chanting mantras! Therefore the very first step to choosing a meditation style and actually sticking with it, is knowing why you want to meditate. To personalize your practice means to cherry-pick from the myriad of meditation styles and practices, and create one that works for

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You Won’t Believe This Simple Productivity Trick!

You Won’t Believe This Simple Productivity Trick! Of all the productivity boosters out there… if you had to choose one, what would it be? First, read through this list of things you could be doing or not doing to increase productivity. 1. Work with your peak energy times. Many people are super-productive in the morning, so make sure you do the most important and urgent things then, instead of during the afternoon slump. Of course if you’re a night owl, honor that and work when you’re at your mental peak. 2. Do it now. There will never be “the perfect time.” Don’t wait to start a project until after vacation, or after you get the kids off to college, or after you deal with your sister’s wedding. Start NOW. Something will always be getting in the way. Immediate action creates a positive feedback loop that will motivate you to keep going. 3. Turn off the TV. All you’re doing, unless you’re watching educational shows, is watching OTHER people become

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Sleep or Meditation: Which Do You Need Most?

Sleep or Meditation: Which Do You Need Most? Meditation and sleep both serve some similar functions. When you’re exhausted from what life is throwing at you, though, and intuitively you know that the only thing that will help is some deep rest, should you sleep, or meditate? Or both? Which one gives you the deepest rest? Surprisingly, meditation can be more restful than sleep. Here’s why:

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What a Stress-Free Day Really Looks Like

What a Stress-Free Day Really Looks Like Ahhhh, to be totally stress free… what do you think about when you think about being stress free? A relaxing day on the beach, with no worries? A backpacking trip where your only worry is where to pitch your tent for the night? A soothing bubble bath with the door locked and a glass of wine? Stress and anxiety can seem like they rule our lives, and the reality is, SOME stress is good and so you shouldn’t think about being stress-free all the time. You do want to minimize or even eliminate excess stress, though – and just that alone will make you feel stress-free, energetic and happy. Here’s how: when you’re operating under constant stress (career, kids, relationships, money, etc.) you

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Take a Life Lesson from Your Pet

Take a Life Lesson from Your Pet We humans tend to think we’re unique and apart from the animals. We may be taught to avoid being like animals, but in reality they have a wisdom all their own and we can learn so much from our pets on how to live a happy life.

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WHEN LIFE CHANGES, SUCCESS PUT ON DIFFERENT CLOTH

WHEN LIFE CHANGES, SUCCESS PUTS ON DIFFERENT CLOTHES   “I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.” When we were kids, life was so fun and fresh. Maybe it’s because we dived straight into adventure. Because we didn’t think of success or failure in the way we think now. I’ve always been passionate about creativity. When I was a kid I would draw all over the wardrobe doors, they were pure white just like a blank canvas. Back then we lived in a very small apartment with only one bedroom, and the only wardrobe in our home. Yet my mother didn’t stop me from drawing. She would even encourage me with kind words and compliments, and from time to time she would wash clean the wardrobe doors.

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4 SURPRISING LIFE LESSONS I LEARNEDFROM BELLY DAN

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HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME?..

HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME? How could this happen to me? How could I develop an autoimmune disease at the age of 36? This was not supposed to happen. Not to someone in their 30s, not to someone who had dedicated their life to health, wellness and fitness. Not to a microbiologist turned personal trainer and yoga teacher. Nope. That’s not how things worked. I had practically guaranteed good health and quality of life well into my 90s. Although the first 3 decades of my life hadn’t necessarily been easy, I had faced, and triumphantly overcome, varying challenges including caring for a terminally ill mother, a mentally ill sibling, and owning my own business in the mix. I was capable, resourceful, intelligent and had a proven track record I could deal with some of life’s ugliest moments. But… I did have this one requirement underlying it all… One necessary ‘condition’ that allowed me to be the ruler of my world: my health. My personal credo was: I can deal with anything life throws at me So long as I have my health… One must have health if they want to be in control of their life, right?

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THE YEAR I HIT ROCK BOTTOM

THE YEAR I HIT ROCK BOTTOM   “When in doubt, choose change.” – Lily Leung It was the year everything changed. I gained over 30 pounds of fat. Crashed my first car. Got kicked out of college. Growing up, I was always athletic. Losing weight was never a problem. That changed my first year of college. You’ve heard of the freshmen 15? Many college freshmen gain 15 pounds with less exercise, more junk food, more stress. I doubled that. I put on over 30 pounds and it was NOT muscle.

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BECOMING WHAT I MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

BECOMING WHAT I MIGHT HAVE BEEN   As I passed my 50th birthday, I wondered if I would ever be able to complete some of the dreams I had carried with me for decades. So many things had happened to me. I had been sent to juvenile hall at fourteen, got myself kicked out of school by fifteen, and married by sixteen. We had our firstborn son when I was seventeen, and my husband abandoned my son and me by my eighteenth birthday. Thing went downhill from there. I experienced abuse and trauma. After a gang-rape by six young men I turned to drugs to try to cope with the emotional pain. By the time I hit my twenties, I was seriously mentally ill. Soon I would lose a brother and three years later, a father, to suicide. I went through another abusive marriage and divorce.

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7 WAYS TO START TO VALUE YOURSELF by Zaid_bil

7 WAYS TO START TO VALUE YOURSELF   “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha One of the biggest myths we feed into is that setting ourselves as a number one priority is selfish and unkind. Truth is, it is the most loving thing we can do for ourselves and for others. Our loved ones gain when we are in a good space and when we have all our energy at any given moment. People benefit when we are whole and life opens when we are thriving. Yet, we’re so conditioned to believe that things will fall apart and it is not ethical to put the person who lives inside your heart, body, and mind first. I remember before I met my husband, I started to pull back from some toxic relationships in my life. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of; let myself be taken for granted. They demanded so much but gave so little. My time, my finances, my heartfelt, “I will stretch until I break, as long as you don’t have discomfort.”

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SHOW OFF YOUR CURLS by Zaid_bil

SHOW OFF YOUR CURLS   “To be yourself in a world that is constantly try to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

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BATTLING FEAR AT 14,500 FEET.

BATTLING FEAR AT 14,500 FEET   “C’mon Dad, it will be fun!”

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HOW I OVERCAME MY FEAR OF BEING CRITICIZED

HOW I OVERCAME MY FEAR OF BEING CRITICIZED   “If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin, and say, ‘When you’re ready’.” – David Mitchell, Black Swan Green Writers are not the most social human beings. We spend most of our time writing or contemplating. We put our entire soul into a single novel or short story, and then we are faced with the greatest fear of all: criticism. Have you ever been so worried about being judged, that you preferred

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HOW I DID SOMETHING I SUCKED AT ANDSURVIVED

HOW I DID SOMETHING I SUCKED AT AND SURVIVED   The cold office wall held me upright as my breakfast teased the back of my throat. All I could do was focus on my breathing. My boss had booked me to coach a workshop for corporate professionals. She believed I could do it, yet my self-belief had quickly dissolved two minutes after she told me the news. As I waited outside the conference room, my fears jockeyed for front row seats in my mind as I scrambled to assemble coherent thoughts. Fast forward three hours and guess what? I lived! It was no Academy Award-winning performance, but everyone was happy.

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WHY FEAR WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU

WHY FEAR WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU (UNLESS YOU DO THIS ONE THING)   “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” – Joseph Campbell Can you jump up and follow your bliss after reading this quote? I used to feel even more fearful after reading quotes like this. Why weren’t the quotes catapulting me to a blissful life, happily ever after? What was blocking me?

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WHAT CHANGED WHEN I STOPPED CONSUMING

WHAT CHANGED WHEN I STOPPED CONSUMING AND STARTED CREATING   “Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.” – Barbara Januszkiewicz I grew up like every other teenager of the 80’s and 90’s – watching MTV. I was obsessed with Madonna, moshed my teen spirit with Nirvana, then entered the dark side of pop with Nine Inch Nails. I loved all of it; the music, the visuals, the performance. I decided that I too was going to become a rock star and perform on MTV. So I set off to work to make that dream come true.

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HOW TO UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVE GENIUS

HOW TO UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVE GENIUS   James M. Higgins, author of 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business,defines creativity as the process of generating something new that has value. Creative ideas run the gamut from new associations of existing ideas, elements, or concepts, to radical breakthroughs which extend the boundaries of human knowledge and create paradigm shifts. That is, you don’t necessarily have to make a quantum leap to be creative; you can begin by finding ways to improve an existing product, or by modifying a process to make it more efficient. Creativity can mean identifying an untapped market for an existing product, finding a new solution to a problem, finding creative ways to resolve a labor dispute, and so on. In addition, creativity is not the sole domain of the arts—whether it’s painting, theatre, music, architecture, dancing, literature, and so on—but is important in any field, from medicine to business, and from engineering to economics.

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OUTER ORDER INNER CALM.

OUTER ORDER INNER CALM: HOW DECLUTTERING MY SURROUNDINGS HELPED ME REDUCE ANXIETY   I’ve always been a very anxious person–easily overwhelmed and stressed; consumed by worry; overly sensitive; and prone to outbursts and panic attacks. And I’ve always been extremely sloppy and disorganized–constantly losing and misplacing things; a bedroom floor made out of shoes and laundry; a car full of trash and forgotten items; and forever procrastinating. The two qualities perpetuated one another for years. Every once in a while I’d actually be motivated by my anxiety over school, work, or my toxic social circle that I’d find myself upheaving my pigsty of a bedroom

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10 PRACTICES FOR LEARNING WHILE DOING

10 PRACTICES FOR LEARNING WHILE DOING   A while ago, I came across an insight by blogger Angie Mizzell that has stayed with me: “They never really tell you how unsettling it feels,” she wrote,  “to be a parent, while simultaneously trying to figure out how to be a parent.” So well put. It struck me that these words hold true for almost everything important we do. We are husbands and wives while we learn how to be husbands and wives. We care for aging parents while learning how to care for aging parents. We learn how to deal with fear while afraid. We learn how to lead while leading. We learn to do our jobs while doing them. We have to fix the plane while flying it. As Charlie Gilkey has written at his blog, we have to fix the plane while flying it. THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN LEARN Yet most of us forget, again and again, that learning-while-doing is what we’re all up to. We walk through life feeling like we are supposed to know, projecting that other people know, and feeling stressed out when we don’t know.

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HOW I DID SOMETHING I SUCKEDAT AND SURVIVED

HOW I DID SOMETHING I SUCKED AT AND SURVIVED   The cold office wall held me upright as my breakfast teased the back of my throat. All I could do was focus on my breathing. My boss had booked me to coach a workshop for corporate professionals. She believed I could do it, yet my self-belief had quickly dissolved two minutes after she told me the news. As I waited outside the conference room, my fears jockeyed for front row seats in my mind as I scrambled to assemble coherent thoughts. Fast forward three hours and guess what? I lived! It was no Academy Award-winning performance, but everyone was happy. I didn’t embarrass myself, freeze like a deer in headlights, or burst into flames.

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6 IDEAS THAT ARE CHANGING TH WAY I EXPERIENCE FEAr

6 IDEAS THAT ARE CHANGING THE WAY I EXPERIENCE FEAR   I sat in my car next to the tennis courts watching other people arrive. My hands shook and my stomach churned. I told myself I would get out of my car and walk onto the courts the second the clock on the dashboard switched to 8:30. I had just joined a meetup group and was at the park that morning to play tennis for the first time in years with people I had never met. And I was terrified.

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CHANGING DIRECTION LATER IN LIFE

CHANGING DIRECTION LATER IN LIFE  

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CHANGE IS A MENTAL GAME by Zaid_bil

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CHANGE IS A MENTAL GAME.

CHANGE IS A MENTAL GAME  

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PERMISSION GRANTED..

PERMISSION GRANTED   “The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want.” – Byron Katie  When I was a kid, I always felt compelled to play by the rules. I walked throughout the elementary school hallways  when I wanted to run, waited for my parents to sort out my Halloween candy into rations before diving head deep into my pillowcase full of tootsie rolls, and even tried my best to control my self-expression (talking) throughout a decade and a half of schooling. Whenever I deviated from the particular socially accepted etiquette, I felt uncertain and uncomfortable. As I got older, I noticed that many of the kids around me were breaking all sorts of rules. In the midst of the most awkward years of my life, middle school, bullying started to show its face. Cliques began

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ON SELFIES, AND SELF-LOVE.

ON SELFIES, AND SELF-LOVE   “To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.” – Sandra Bierig

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Take a Life Lesson from Your Pets

Take a Life Lesson from Your Pet We humans tend to think we’re unique and apart from the animals. We may be taught to avoid being like animals, but in reality they have a wisdom all their own and we can learn so much from our pets on how to live a happy life.

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How Do You Stay Awake During Meditation?

How Do You Stay Awake During Meditation? Whether you’re new to meditation or have been doing it for a long time, you’ve probably had at least a few episodes where you dozed off and before you knew it, an hour long nap had taken the place of your meditation. You’re not alone! This can be frustrating if you’re trying to use meditation as a way to master yourself. It might make you feel angry that you lost control of your mental and physical state by allowing

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My Secret to Mindfulness

My Secret to Mindfulness Mindfulness is present-awareness. In our busy

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How Routines Make Goals Achievable

How Routines Make Goals Achievable Can one simple idea give you consistent progress on any goal? Every week? Without massive willpower? Even when your motivation is waning and you just don’t feel like you have the energy? Or if you start doubting yourself? Yes! First, it’s helpful to understand why we have trouble achieving goals. The problem is that we set a goal, and we set a deadline. On the surface, that sounds great: “I want to lose 20 pounds by spring.” “I want to increase my monthly income by 15% by Christmas.” But then… then what? This is where the breakdown starts. Having no earthly idea how we’re going to manage this grand accomplishment, we break it down a bit and set 

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Rules for Productivity and Happiness

Rules for Productivity and Happiness When’s the last time you heard the words “productivity” and “happiness” in the same sentence? Not recently, I’m sure! But if you do it right, productivity can make you happy. And, happiness can make you more productive! They are not mutually exclusive, as you’re about to see. Happiness leads to success, not the other way around. Can you have fun while you’re achieving, or are you so serious about it that you lose the joy of the moment?

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6 Manly Things to Meditate On

6 Manly Things to Meditate On Hopefully you’re not under the impression that meditation is just for monks and yogis. But if you are, you’ll be pleased to know that meditation is actually a very manly thing to do. Even if self-help seems lame to you and you have zero interest in anything touchy-feely… know this: elite athletes in all sports meditate; top executives and all great achievers meditate; and the tradition of the warrior/meditator is strong in many countries. Why? Meditation increases your personal power. Personal power is not power over others. It’s self-mastery – Ninja-like self-mastery of thoughts, body and emotions. When you master yourself, you rise to your peak performance in anything you set your mind to. Mastering your emotions does not mean suppressing them, but rather learning to manage them and move past fear, doubt or to quell anxiety. Building personal power involves learning to silence your mental chatter

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20 Habits of Happy, Stress-Free People

20 Habits of Happy, Stress-Free People To be clear, “stress-free” is an impossibility – and besides, some stress is good (as a motivator). But living free of EXCESS stress is necessary for your health and wellbeing. Here are 20 habits of happy people. These are habits that help them avoid excess stress in the first place, and if they do become stressed, to quickly release the excess. First, here’s something to think about: happy people have a LOW stress threshold. This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you are constantly raising your ability to cope with stress, you can cope with ever-increasing stress. Why do you want to cope with MORE? Instead, try getting rid of the stresses. Don’t adjust to a higher stress level. Get rid of the causes of stress, and keep your threshold low so you notice and deal with stress instead of letting it pile up. Here’s how happy people lower their threshold by significantly reducing excess stress: 1. They forgive. Holding a grudge requires tremendous mental and emotional effort. Every time you think about the offense, you become stressed. When you forgive, you release the emotional burden.

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What No One Tells You About Meditation

What No One Tells You About Meditation When you start meditating, it’s not always easy to tell if you’re making progress. Even the word “progress” is hard to apply to meditation because your mastery of it, and the benefits you receive, are not linear. To help you understand what

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Why Do You Want to Meditate?

Why Do You Want to Meditate? If you’re thinking about starting a meditation practice, but you’re wondering if you can fit it into your schedule or what you’ll get out of it, here’s a quick primer on the awesomeness of sitting and doing nothing. Why is there such a need for meditation today? The ancient tradition of meditation was originally used to attain enlightenment. Today, it’s still a spiritual practice, but it has more practical applications as well:

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12 Tricks to Greater Productivity and Less Stress

12 Tricks to Greater Productivity and Less Stress We would all love to do more, but with less work and less stress. Here are 12 tricks that will increase your productivity and at the same time, lower your stress. 1. Meditate. Yes… sitting and doing absolutely nothing for 30 minutes every day will dramatically increase your productivity. Here’s why: Meditation clears your mind. If you’re stumped because you can’t remember something – meditate. If you can’t “think straight” because you’re stressed or overwhelmed – meditate. Remove some of the stress you’re under, and your thinking will improve. Meditation improves your problem-solving and creativity skills. Your brain is a magnificent organ capable of incredible

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A Practical Guide to a Still Mind

A Practical Guide to a Still Mind   Achieving a still mind is traditionally the biggest challenge with meditation. “My mind just won’t stop talking!” As a result, you might not think that you’re doing it right or that meditation is working. The most persistent element of mental chatter is the “what if” scenario. And boy, it’s excruciatingly frustrating. With every passing moment, the mind becomes more anxious. The wheels spin faster and faster, and the more you try to quiet the chatter, the more it intensifies. Why Won’t the Inner Chatter Stop, and What Causes It? Your mind will not want to be still if you have too much on your mind.

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I Wish I Had Known This Secret to Inner Peace

I Wish I Had Known This Secret to Inner Peace   Inner peace can be so elusive. I still don’t haveall the answers, but… I’ve found one secret that helped so much. It’s a secret I wish I had known about much sooner in life, but oh well. The best lessons are sometimes the ones that are hardest earned. The biggest secret to inner peace is… gratitude. Ask yourself right now, what you take for granted in your life. Depending on where you live and your circumstances, the answers will be different. Look around. What’s so familiar, so commonplace, that you hardly think about it? Then think about what it would be like not to have these

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25 Epic Guides to Inner Peace.

25 Epic Guides to Inner Peace Ahhh, the elusive inner peace… in today’s crazy busy world, how do you achieve bliss? How can you unplug and be happy amid the chaos? Here is your Epic Guide to Inner Peace: 1. Unplug! If you’re attached to the umbilical cord of your smartphone, you are at anybody’s beck and call, you are overwhelmed with information (some important, some not at all) and you are constantly interrupted. You deserve some time to devote exclusively to yourself, to your relationships, to your work and to your passions and goals. 2. Listen to music that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Whatever your genre, music is soul food! 3. Run it off. Exercise, especially outdoors, is a way to promote peace of mind. Not only will you get the endorphins flowing but when you’re focused on a sport, you can’t be immersed in your worries. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. Just do it. 4. Breathe! Anytime you bring your attention to your breath, your mind can’t think about all of your worries. Try this: count each breath and try to get to 10 without allowing your mind to wander, even for a second. This is much more difficult than you might imagine! 5. Clean your space. Declutter, organize and get rid of anything you don’t use, need or that you don’t love. Clutter only reminds you of things left undone and it creates more work for you. Commit to a 15-minute daily cleanup and you’ll never have to sacrifice a weekend day to clean your home.

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Which Stress Reliever is Best?

Which Stress Reliever is Best? There are many ways to relieve stress. Some are more effective than others – but, they are not all equally effective for everyone. Here is a comparison of stress relievers. Some take more time and effort than others but the payoff is arguably greater. Try them all! Top 5 Stress Relievers 1. Meditation: Your brain and body relax deeply during meditation. It can be a deeper relaxation than sleep because instead of letting your mind process your worries (as happens during sleep) you direct your mind’s focus. Mindfulness ( focus on the present moment, effectively relieves stress. Meditation actually changes the physical structure of the brain, activating the areas of the brain associated with happiness, and reducing activity in the amygdala (the brain’s stress center). A consistent meditation practice will raise your stress threshold by teaching you to direct your mind to more pleasing thoughts, so that what upsets you today will not even register on your stress radar in the future. 2. Exercise: Stress is the brain’s response to danger. Your urge is either to run away, fight, or freeze. Exercise helps you burn off the intense physical energy that builds up quickly during a stress response, allowing your body to restore homeostasis. Exercise works for relieving stress from actual danger as well as emotional danger. The caveat is that you can’t always go for a run if you’re upset emotionally. If you can, great; if not, meditation helps you develop the mental mastery necessary to avoid ruminating and worrying.

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Signs You May Be More Stressed Than You Think

Signs You May Be More Stressed Than You Think Modern life is incredibly complex and we are constantly faced with making decisions and dealing with deadlines, demands, too many activities and pressures. Many of us are constantly under stress and we’ve gotten so used to that “on the edge” feeling to the point where we don’t even realize it’s become chronic. Stress is not inherently bad. In small doses, stress is important. It’s a normal physical response to danger and it doesn’t matter whether that danger is emotional or physical. If your brain perceives a threat, the body instantly prepares itself to fight, flight or freeze. This physical response gives you the strength, speed, stamina and sharp thinking to save yourself. When you’ve done what you need to do (run or fight or hide), the stress hormones are flushed from the system and your body returns to a state of homeostasis. And then, all is well. Except, modern life is mostly about emotional stress. And that stress can creep up on you. Humans are incredibly adaptable, and once we get used to a certain level of stress, we can add to it. If you were to go outside on a winter’s day you would immediately notice the temperature change, but then you become used to it and stop being so aware of it. It’s the same with stress.

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Why You Need to Disconnect for Inner Peace

Why You Need to Disconnect for Inner Peace Technology and being connected is wonderful. At the touch of a finger you can access practically any bit of information you need… but you can also become a slave to your smartphone, and this is extremely unhealthy. The way we use phones has changed, and not necessarily for the better. This is not an anti-smartphone article by any means – however, it does point out the downsides to being constantly connected.

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Understand and Apply the Law of Attraction Today

Understand and Apply the Law of Attraction Today The Law of Attraction is simply this: We attract whatever we think about, good or bad. As hard as it may be to believe, you attract good or bad experiences by your dominant thoughts. For example, if you talk all the time about not getting sick, you actually invite sickness. If you talk all the time about not having financial problems, you invite financial problems. This is because your mind – and the creative force of the universe – does not understand the words “no” and “don’t.”

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A Personal Development Skills Plan to Improve Your

A Personal Development Skills Plan to Improve Your Life Do you know where your life is headed? Do you have a picture of your ideal life in your mind – this year, five and ten years from now? If you don’t know where your life is headed, or you only have a vague idea, you will benefit from creating a plan. This will give you the self-mastery skills to create the life you desire. This is the essence of learning personal development skills. Let’s call this a Personal Best Plan. Your Personal Best Plan A personal development plan gives structure to your dream, organizes your ideas and visions into an action plan that includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development so that you acquire the mindset and traits necessary for success. A plan helps you prioritize what you need to work on, and how your self-work will translate into success. Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” The creating of a “Personal Best Plan” is necessary because without at least some rudimentary compass, your energies will be too scattered and unfocused. One day you’ll be working on becoming more confident, only to drop that and work on being happier. Yes, you can work on different aspects of yourself at the same time, but if you understand which ones give you the most value – the best results – then you’ll want to focus on those. Time is a precious commodity! If you really want to live out your dreams, you have to make the best of your time her. No matter where you are with regard to your dreams, you can start right now by answering the following questions:

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The Fantastic, Imaginative World of Theta Brainwav

The Fantastic, Imaginative World of Theta Brainwaves Have you ever driven down a familiar stretch of road, lost in thought, and you suddenly “snap to” and realize that you can’t recall the act of driving for the past several minutes? You were negotiating the road, you were somewhat aware of traffic, you were steering and braking and maybe even shifting if you have a manual transmission… yet your mind was someplace else. Kind of disconcerting, isn’t it, to realize that you were completely on autopilot while your thoughts

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Manifesting Love: the Game of Attracting Your Soul

Manifesting Love: the Game of Attracting Your Soulmate Manifesting love – good, healthy, lasting love – is something we all want to learn to do. There is a process to this, and it begins with a decision to open your heart and welcome love into your life. Just by making this declaration, “I am open and I welcome love” sets the stage for manifesting that awesome relationship you’re seeking. If you have the patience and dedication to do your inner work, you will become a magnet for love. But don’t rush through the process. Don’t skip a step because you don’t feel like doing the work or you think it doesn’t apply to you. If you resist a step, it means you really, really need that one! Just like a bodybuilder who only works the muscles that are fun and easy to challenge… you won’t get good results by only working on that which is fun and easy. Rumi, the Sufi poet, once said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” These barriers will cause resistance when you come up against them, but if you persevere and knock ‘em down, love will flood you! You probably have this question burning a hole in your mind right now: “Are there soulmates and how can I be sure I attract him or her?”

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Yoga for Depression: the Way to Happiness

Yoga for Depression: the Way to Happiness Most people don’t associate yoga with happiness, but did you know that you can use yoga as an antidote to depression? Each year, more than 25 million Americans are treated for depression. The cost of antidepressants tops $50 billion a year – a staggering amount! But, antidepressants come with a laundry list of adverse side effects that can be just as depressing as the symptoms they’re meant to treat! It’s known that exercise helps with depression, but the ancient practice of yoga, with its beautiful asanas (poses) and mental discipline, can help alleviate depression. In some cases, practitioners will be able to stop taking antidepressants

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How to Practice Mindful Meditation

How to Practice Mindful Meditation Mindfulness meditation has so many great benefits and learning how to practice mindful meditation is not as hard as you might imagine. It’s important to know how your mind works because the whole purpose of mindfulness is to control the mind. Most of the time, we are unknowingly distracted and directed by our minds instead of being in charge. It works like this: your mind generates a random thought, and what do you do? Do you acknowledge it and move on,

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Manifesting Made Fun and Easy With Two Words

Manifesting Made Fun and Easy With Two Words The dictionary definition of manifesting is “to show or demonstrate plainly; reveal.” What does that mean in terms of manifesting something you want? Basically, it’s the art of bringing an idea to life. Your idea could be a thing (new car, etc.); a relationship; the perfect job; an invention; a business. Whatever you dream up is just crying out to be brought to life, and that’s what manifesting is all about: to show or reveal what you have in your mind, in the physical world. It’s easy to imagine, but it’s another thing entirely to bring that gorgeous idea to life. Your beliefs have a lot to do with why you’re not able to manifest what you want. Beliefs about yourself, your abilities, your potential and your worthiness of having what you want can get in the way. Here’s a fun way to bypass your beliefs about what you can and cannot have or achieve. There are only two rules:

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Yoga for Kids: Fun, Healthy, Easy, Stimulating… an

Yoga for Kids: Fun, Healthy, Easy, Stimulating… and More Fun! Today’s kids live in a stressful, hurry-up world. They are busier, under more pressure and less physically active than ever. A bustling pace of life can have detrimental effects on their joy and self-esteem. Yoga is a great way to bring some balance into a child’s life, give them a physical outlet for their boundless energy, and stimulate their creativity too! Yoga will help children with: building self-esteem focus and concentration body awareness stress management self-control ability to self-soothe relaxation physical fitness

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Bring Peace Into Your Life With a Daily Yoga Medit

Bring Peace Into Your Life With a Daily Yoga Meditation Did you know that meditation is an integral part of yoga, and that the original purpose of yoga was to prepare the body for meditation? The word yoga means “union with the Divine” in Sanskrit. In the West, we typically associate yoga with exercise, but practitioners actually get much more out of it than just a great muscle-toning and stretching workout. Yoga practitioners gain control of their life force energy (called Kundalini) and master the mind and body.

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Secret Tips to Manifesting Change and Whatever You

Secret Tips to Manifesting Change and Whatever You Desire You are, at every moment, manifesting change. The only question is, is this change positive (what you want) or negative (more of what you want to get away from)? You manifest change through your beliefs, which drive your thoughts andemotions. Thoughts and emotions cause you to take certain actions (or keep you from taking action). That’s how you get your results. The following positive affirmation process will help rewire your brain to think in terms of what can go right instead of what can go wrong, so that you can manifest what you want. It’s not a complicated process. Rather, it focuses on creating empowering thought habits so that you become internally-driven to create the circumstances you desire. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Here’s how:

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Your Secret Superpower: Yoga for Athletes

  Your Secret Superpower: Yoga for Athletes Yoga is for athletes. In any sport. In fact, some pro football teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants, incorporate yoga into their training regimens. Yoga used to have a New Age, “girly” sort of reputation among elite athletes, especially those involved in team sports. However, yoga is such an incredible whole-body workout that athletes from all sports have embraced it for its dramatic positive effects in training the mind and the

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The Way to Happiness, Vitality, Inner Peace and Cl

The Way to Happiness, Vitality, Inner Peace and Clarity Meditation has so many benefits but it can be a bit daunting to get started. Images of saffron-robed monks on mountaintops, sitting immobile for hours on end… chanting mantras… who has time for that? The truth is, meditation is easy and fun, and yes, it’s challenging but in a good way. Just follow these simple tips and you’ll avoid the frustration that’s commonly associated with meditation. Beginners often have difficulty settling into the routine and silencing their mental chatter. Sitting still is not something encouraged in our hurry-up-and-do-something society. A common question is, “Am I doing it right and how do I know I’m doing it right?” Without a bit of guidance it’s easy to start believing that you can’t meditate and that it doesn’t work for you. Meditation is an investment in yourself. You achieve self-mastery, self-awareness, clarity and inspiration, reduce your stress levels and achieve an incredibly deep level of relaxation starting almost immediately!

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A Daily Dose of Wisdom: 31 Personal Development Qu

A Daily Dose of Wisdom: 31 Personal Development Quotes Personal development quotes can help you understand aspects of yourself you might have otherwise neglected. Suggestion: every day, choose one quote to meditate on. Pop in your favorite Omharmonics track, contemplate one quote per day and really get into the deeper meaning of it. Challenge yourself by seeing the quote from the author’s perspective, especially if you don’t understand or agree with the quote. Every quote has the potential to spark awareness and understanding. Personal Development Quotes A quote for every day of the month: 1. “The word ‘listen’ has the same letters as the word ‘silent’” – Alfred Brendel. Meditation: Think of an insight, hunch or gut feeling you’ve had recently. How did you respond? Did you act on it? What was the result? 2. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius. Meditation: think about your own beliefs – are they fact, or opinion? 3. “When you want something,all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”- Paulo Coelho, 

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The Untold Secret to Manifesting Your Destiny

The Untold Secret to Manifesting Your Destiny Some people think of their destiny as a predetermined place or state that they are drawn to or guided toward, as if they had no choice. Others think of destiny as a choice made entirely by free will. The dictionary defines destiny as: “the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future.” But “necessarily” is entirely dependent on the individual. It all comes down to the choices you make, since every choice has a consequence. The sum total of your choices ends up as your destiny. Destiny is cause and effect. Destiny isn’t just an outcome – it refers to your life’s purpose, or how to best use your talents in a way that creates fulfillment and satisfaction in your life, while at the same time bettering the world. And yet, how many of us drift through life with no real purpose and no drive? Just doing what’s expected of us, showing up but not really taking part… Manifesting your destiny means you call the shots and making choices aligned with what you want. Through those choices, your destiny will change. First, you must know what you want. Choosing a destiny isn’t always easy. Too many choices, too little time… what if you make the wrong choice, yadda yadda… Your first task in meditation is to create an articulated vision of what you really want. Once you’ve done that, do you believe it’s possible… for YOU?

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The Hidden Secret to Using the Law of Attraction f

The Hidden Secret to Using the Law of Attraction for Money What’s your money vibe? If you don’t know… look at your bank statement! You may be trapped in thinking that only hard work, the “right” job and luck are the ways to improve your financial situation, but that’s not the case at all. The only way to improve your financial situation permanently is to improve your money vibe. That means, thinking and feeling positively about money, and being end-goal focused instead of means-goals focused. Money is the means goal, so ironically to attract more of it, let go of wanting and needing it and focus on what you want to do with it. Here are some ways to use the Law of Attraction to improve your financial situation:

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Two Radically Different Approaches to Manifesting

Two Radically Different Approaches to Manifesting Sometimes, manifesting is almost effortless and sometimes it’s maddeningly frustrating. To become better at manifesting what you desire, here are two very different approaches that both work. Choose the one that resonates with you and give it a wholehearted effort. Start with something small that you are reasonably sure you can manifest with just a little extra effort and make sure you stick with your technique for a minimum of one month (you need to give yourself time to start seeing results). Before we get to the two methods, “manifesting” is simply the act of bringing something into your life that wasn’t there before. It’s not magic. It’s cause and effect, but within the law of cause and effect there are two approaches. There are two ways you can approach manifesting: the direct way, and the indirect way. The direct way is all about planning and execution; the indirect way is all about feeling, allowing and inspired action. The Direct Way of Manifesting Identify the objective Identify the ways to achieve the objective including pros, cons, variables, resources, skills, knowledge, etc.

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Meditation and Lucid Dreaming by Zaid_bil

Meditation and Lucid Dreaming Lucid dreaming and meditation are both terms we hear about often- they have a lot of hype (and for good reason). However, they are seldom connected in the modern world of thinking. It’s quite odd, though, when you consider how strikingly similar they are and their innate ability to bring about the out-of-this-world magic of reaching incredibly high states of consciousness. The purpose of this article is to bring together the powerful forces of both lucid dreaming and meditation, and uncover the possibilities that occur when these phenomena co-exist. How are they similar? A hardy correlation:

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A Few Minutes of Mindfulness Makes All the Differe

A Few Minutes of Mindfulness Makes All the Difference Do you have five minutes in your day for a bit of mindfulness? And what is mindfulness, anyway? Mindfulness makes you fully present and aware – it’s the perfect escape from your daily stresses, a “reboot” when you’re stuck on a problem, or a chance to calm down in an emotionally charged situation. You can practice mindfulness anytime, even as briefly as a minute or two. For an extra challenge, put on your favoriteOmharmonics track, and try to remain HERE and NOW for the entire meditation. It seems simple, but its simplicity is deceptive.

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Improve Your Physical Attraction Through Meditatio

Improve Your Physical Attraction Through Meditation What is attraction – and how can meditation make you more attractive? That’s probably a question you hadn’t asked, but keep an open mind and you’ll see that with a daily meditation practice you can become more attractive and attract the right partner. First, a few rules: Meditation is not a magic seduction pill or anything of the sort. What it does give you is the foundation for personal magnetism that will make you physically and psychologically attractive. Meditation will work wonders IF you commit to a consistent practice. Luckily, that’s easy, withOmharmonics! All you have to do is choose one of the soundtracks, get comfortable and let the soundtrack take you into a meditative state.

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A Few Minutes of MindfulnessMakes All the Differe

A Few Minutes of Mindfulness Makes All the Difference Do you have five minutes in your day for a bit of mindfulness? And what is mindfulness, anyway? Mindfulness makes you fully present and aware – it’s the perfect escape from your daily stresses, a “reboot” when you’re stuck on a problem, or a chance to calm down in an emotionally charged situation. You can practice mindfulness anytime, even as briefly as a minute or two. For an extra challenge, put on your favoriteOmharmonics track, and try to remain HERE and NOW for the entire meditation. It seems simple, but its simplicity is deceptive.

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Want to Salute the Sun From Your Living Room?

Want to Salute the Sun From Your Living Room? If you don’t have the option of going to a local yoga studio – or you just don’t want to – there are plenty of wonderful online yoga classes that can help you practice in the privacy of your own home, on your own schedule. Benefits of a Home Practice You can do a home practice if you’re pregnant, to supplement gym workouts, recovery from injury and training for any athletic competition (a strong core is essential for all sports, and few activities strengthen the core more effectively than yoga). In fact, there are specific classes designed for just about any need: beginners through advanced, pregnant women, healing, senior citizens (including chair yoga), even children’s classes. Many yoga classes also include seated or prone meditation, for an extra bonus! Many online yoga classes are filmed outdoors in beautiful settings, which can be inspiring – much more so than a sweaty, smelly gym.

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Want Something? Try this Manifesting Meditation!

Want Something? Try this Manifesting Meditation! Manifesting is so much fun, when you get the hang of it! Start small and as your abilities and confidence grow, go bigger until you’re manifesting anything you want. Yes, anything. “Manifesting” isn’t magic. It simply means bringing something into your reality that was not there previously. Before you start, do you believe you can manifest anything? If you don’t believe it, look around you. Everything in your life experience was manifested by you. Every single choice you have made up until now had consequences that added up and worked together to create your life experience. So, you already know how to manifest. The trick is to manifest consciously, to bring what you desire into your life. 1. Play.

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Seven Secrets for Guys About What Attracts Women

Seven Secrets for Guys About What Attracts Women If you’re looking to attract the woman of your dreams the answer isn’t slick pickup lines, a huge stock portfolio, a hot car or even great looks. The secret is within you: becoming the guy who naturally attracts women with confidence and charisma. Use a daily Omharmonics meditation practice to build self-awareness, confidence, mental mastery and your ability to consciously create your ideal life. “Sitting and doing nothing” can set the wheels in motion to make yourself irresistible to women.

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How to Zen Meditate: Breathe, and Count to Ten

How to Zen Meditate: Breathe, and Count to Ten What is zen meditation? Zen meditation is the study of the self. It’s a very simple practice – you do not need a visit to the mountaintop guru. However, as simple as it is, it needs to be done consistently if you want to reap the benefits. It involves breath-awareness and a simple counting practice to get control of the mind. Most of us tend to

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Manifesting Money – For Real, No Empty Promises

Manifesting Money – For Real, No Empty Promises Manifesting money is probably the number one request people have when they want to learn to manifest. When you’re broke and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it ‘til your next paycheck… when your credit card balances keep going up and you can’t pay them off… when things are looking like they’re going from bad to worse, it’s natural to want to manifest some money FAST so you can relax and enjoy life again. If you’ve tried to use the Law of Attraction before to manifest money and you’ve had little or no luck… if you’ve tried creative visualization, affirmations and being happy and still nothing, you’re probably wondering if it’s all a bunch of nonsense. Visualization, affirmations and happiness work excellently if you use them the right way. Here are some ways to ensure success with these manifesting techniques:

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5 Morning Habits That Are Makin You Gain Weight

  5 Morning Habits That Are Making You Gain Weight Get your a.m. routine in check and finally start losing weight. UNSPLASH We’ve all been there—you commit to shedding a few pounds, but they seem just as committed to sticking to you. You’ve done away with the obvious culprits—out-of-control portion sizes, fast food, happy hour—so what’s the prob? "The biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to lose weight is getting their day off on the wrong foot," says Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., president of the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss. Those first waking moments lay the foundation for the choices you will make the rest of the day—and every day after—so it’s vital to establish good habits that you can fall back on when you’re still foggy-headed and bleary-eyed. Here, we've got the common mistakes that can ruin more than just your morning, and how to adjust them. 1. You Oversleep

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5 Breakfast Rules to Follow if You’re Trying to Lo

5 Breakfast Rules to Follow if You’re Trying to Lose WeightIs your a.m. meal helping—or hurting—your weight-loss efforts?  5 Best Types Of Breakfasts For Weight Loss SHUTTERSTOCK This article was written by Maggie Finn Ryan and provided by our partners at Prevention. We're all familiar with that kind of morning. You know, the one where you wake up late, peel out the door in a hurry, and grab a muffin at the nearest coffee shop. While there's nothing wrong with indulging in a good pastry every once in a while, making it a habit is not so great.  Done right—as in, when you make healthy choices—breakfast can actually be a key component in weight loss. According to research by the Obesity Society, people who consume more calories at breakfast and fewer calories at dinner lose more weight, reduce waist circumference, and feel fuller longer. "Your body is like a very needy car—it requires fuel first thing in the morning, and again every four to six hours after," says Jessica Crandall, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She stresses the importance of loading up on protein and fiber in the a.m. so that you don't crash later.  "A carb-heavy breakfast makes your blood sugar go up and back down, which causes you to feel hungry about two hours later," says Crandall.  Below, experts share the key weight loss-promoting nutrients you really need at breakfast, and easy ways to get them. Read on for the skinny on how to optimize your breakfast for weight loss. (Lose up to 15 pounds WITHOUT dieting with Eat Clean to Get Lean, our 21-day clean-eating meal plan.) RELATED: 4 CLEANEST BREAKFASTS YOU CAN ORDER ON THE GO  5 Best Types Of Breakfasts For Weight Loss SHUTTERSTOCK GO FOR: PROTEIN Eggs are a morning staple for a reason. According to a study published in the American Journal of Nutrition, eating a breakfast high in protein was linked to increased fullness, reduced nighttime snacking on junk foods, and reduced cravings overall. "If we fall short on protein at breakfast, that decreases our muscle mass and metabolism," says

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This 20-Year-Old Mother Just Died After Being Diag

  This 20-Year-Old Mother Just Died After Being Diagnosed With The Flu We asked a doc whether you should be worried. GETTY IMAGES No doubt you’ve heard at some point that the flu can be deadly. But you’ve probably written that off as something that’s more of a concern for babies and the elderly. Still, the flu can kill anyone—and a family in Arizona is, unfortunately, very aware of that fact. Alani “Joie” Murrieta, a 20-year-old mother of two, died from complications of the flu in late November, according to a GoFundMe page that her aunt, Stephanie Gonzalez, set up to cover her funeral expenses. “Our family is devastated that she is gone,” Gonzalez wrote. “We are trying to keep strong and make the necessary arrangements but need help with funds as her passing was completely unexpected You may unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy | About Us RELATED: MY SISTER WOULD STILL BE ALIVE IF SHE HADN'T IGNORED HER CANCER SYMPTOMS Stephanie told BuzzFeed News that Joie seemed fine on Thanksgiving, but many of their family members got sick after the holiday. Joie went home sick from her warehouse job the next Sunday and went on Tamiflu, a drug designed to treat viral flu symptoms, the next day. But on early Tuesday morning, she felt worse and began coughing up blood. Her family took her to the hospital, and an X-ray showed that she had a serious case of pneumonia. Joie was given IV antibiotics, but her health kept deteriorating. While hospital staff moved Joie to the intensive care unit, her heart stopped. Despite being resuscitated once, she died at 3:25 p.m. that day. "I still don’t understand how this happened to her so fast—she went from feeling a little sick on Sunday to going to urgent care on Monday and then being gone by Tuesday afternoon," Stephanie told BuzzFeed News.

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EVERYDAY MAKEUP TUTORIALS

EVERYDAY MAKEUP TUTORIALS Every fashionable girl wants to look nice and impressive every day. To rich this goal, she ahs the makeup for help. Everyday makeup should hide the flaws of the skin emphasize the lines of the face and to make the eyes more impressive. The main rule is not to exaggerate. The best foundation for everyday makeup is a healthy skin. source

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Hormonal Birth Control Will Give Breast Cancer?

  Should You Be Really Worried That Hormonal Birth Control Will Give You Breast Cancer? A new study links the Pill and hormonal IUDs to cancer. But we asked a doc to weigh in. GETTY IMAGES If you want to avoid an unintended pregnancy, taking birth control is usually a no-brainer. But what if that same birth control upped your risk of breast cancer? According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, women who take hormonal birth control pills or use hormonal IUDs for years experience a small yet significant increase in their risk of breast cancer compared to those who don’t.   The study followed 1.8 million Danish women for more than 10 years and found that, for every 100,000 women, hormonal birth control caused an extra 13 cases of breast cancer a year. Specifically, there were 55 breast cancer cases each year among the 100,000 women who didn’t use hormonal birth control, and 68 cases of breast cancer among those who did. RELATED: 7 TOTALLY NOT-DUMB VAGINA QUESTIONS YOU’VE BEEN TOO EMBARRASSED TO ASK The study didn’t find any big distinctions between the hormonal method women used—those who used combined oral contraceptives (which use estrogen and progestin) and those who used progestin-only methods each had a higher risk. Ditto for whether women used a hormonal IUD or took a pill. A woman’s risk went up the longer she used hormonal birth control, the study found. So, obviously, hormones are to blame for the increased risk, but the exact mechanisms aren't yet known.   Learn how to do a breast self-exam:

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7 Sneaky Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

  7 Sneaky Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Too High Your symptoms might be a sign of health troubles to come. GETTY IMAGES Here’s a scary stat: More than 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes—a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too high—but more than 8 million of them don’t even know it, according to datafrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s bad news. When left unchecked, the condition can lead to serious complications like heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision loss. One of the reasons why so many people end up going untreated is because the symptoms caused by high blood sugar are sneaky. They tend to develop gradually, so you might not realize that you’re sick, says Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of The End of Diabetes. And even when you notice something is off, the signs can be vague, so you might not make the connection to diabetes. That’s why it’s important to know what to watch for. Here are 7 unexpected signs that your blood sugar levels might be too high. How many do you have? GETTY IMAGES DIABETES SIGN: YOU’RE PEEING NONSTOP. Increased urination is telltale sign that your blood sugar could be out of control. When you have too much glucose—or sugar—in your bloodstream, your kidneys try to flush out the extra through your urine, explains Dr. Fuhrman. As a result, you end up having to pee more often than usual, including in the middle of the night. Since you’re losing so much fluid, you’ll probably feel extra thirsty and your mouth will be dry, too, he says.(For more health news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our Daily Dose newsletter.) RELATED: EAT LESS OF THIS SO YOU WON'T HAVE TO WAKE UP AT NIGHT TO PEE GETTY IMAGES DIABETES SIGN: YOU’RE CRAZY THIRSTY. Peeing more often means that your body is getting rid of more water than usual, which puts you at risk for dehydration, says Dr. Furhman. That can leave you feeling thirsty and cotton-mouthed, even if it seems like you’re drinking the same amount of water as always. Plus, since you’re drinking more, that will also make you pee more, too. RELATED: 4 SIGNS YOU'RE DANGEROUSLY DEHYDRATED DURING YOUR WORKOUT   ADVERTISEMENT Just so you know: While Women's Health editors independently select all products we feature, product links may be from affiliate partners. That means if you buy something, Women's Health gets a portion of the proceeds.   MORE CONTENT 5 Top Antivirus Products. #1 Will Shock You.My Antivirus Review Which star is your perfect match?WomensForum 7 Totally Not-Dumb Vagina Questions You’ve Been Too Embarrassed to Ask

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The Diet, Will It Really Improve Your Health?

What Is The Candida Diet, And Will It Really Improve Your Health? Its creators say it can cure IBS, yeast infections, and more. GETTY IMAGES These days it feels like there are a thousand elimination diets out there that will cure every ailment from migraines to acne. Now, the Candida Diet is taking on yeast. Candida is a type of yeast that lives in your mouth and gut  or on your skin. This yeast is a normal part of your body’s environment (particularly in the gut), but when levels get too high, candida can wreak havoc throughout your body, explains Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the Touro School of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. Candida overgrowth has been linked to oral thrush (marked by white lesions in the mouth), sinus infections, fatigue, skin infections, UTIs, yeast infections, and digestive issues such as Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis.   Candida overgrowth occurs when there's an imbalance between the types of bacteria in your gut. And, while anything from your birth control to stress can throw off your body's delicate balance of intestinal bacteria, most often, issues are due to the use of antibiotics. After all, antibiotics are all about killing bacteria, and even if some forms of bacteria are bad, others are good—and responsible for regulating candida levels. RELATED: ​6 SIGNS YOU SHOULD SEE A POOP DOCTOR ASAP The question is, can altering your diet help keep candida in check? And is it even necessary? What's On the Menu?   The Candida Diet, developed by Lisa Richards, a health researcher and self-proclaimed candida sufferer, and Eric Wood, a naturopathic doctor (neither responded to requests for comment), stresses that treating candida overgrowth requires three elements: probiotics, antifungals, and, of course, diet. Probiotics are used reintroduce the "good" bacteria into your system and rebalance your gut, while antifungals kill excessive fungal growth. The diet itself starts with a “cleanse” that lasts for a few days to a week in order to prepare your body for the new style of eating. During that time, you can eat non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, healthy oils, herbs, and spices, and organic eggs. Then, you start eating according to the diet's rules. In general, the diet encourages you to avoid high-sugar fruits, refined grains, meats such as pork and lunch meat, fish such as tuna and swordfish, some dairy products, moldy nuts and seeds, condiments with added sugars, refined and processed vegetable oils, sugars and sugar substitutes, caffeinated or sugary drinks, and alcohol. Instead, you should focus on eating non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, non-glutinous grains, healthy fats, and lean protein. (Learn how bone broth can help you lose weight with Women's Health's Bone Broth Diet

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Woman's Disturbing Skin-Cancer Selfie Went Viral

  RELATED: THE SHOCKING REASON WHY MANY WOMEN ARE WAITING MONTHS FOR LIFE-SAVING DERMATOLOGY APPOINTMENTS "Don't let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up," she added. "That's my biggest fear now that I have a two year old boy of my own."   RELATED: THIS WOMAN IS SHARING PHOTOS OF HER SKIN CANCER SCARS TO STOP OTHERS FROM TANNING   Dzierzek went on to explain that, in high school, she used tanning beds frequently—sometimes as much as four times per week. By the time she hit her late twenties, she'd had basal cell carcinoma—growths or lesions that look like open sores—five times and squamous cell carcinoma—raised, wart-like growths—once. Nearly every time she visited her dermatologist, which was once or twice a year, she had a cancerous growth removed, she wrote. While she'd been lucky enough to avoid potentially deadly melanoma, Dzierzek said, the damage she did incur still

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Want Something?Try this Manifesting Meditation!

Want Something? Try this Manifesting Meditation! Manifesting is so much fun, when you get the hang of it! Start small and as your abilities and confidence grow, go bigger until you’re manifesting anything you want. Yes, anything. “Manifesting” isn’t magic. It simply means bringing something into your reality that was not there previously. Before you start, do you believe you can manifest anything? If you don’t believe it, look around you. Everything in your life experience was manifested by you. Every single choice you have made up until now had consequences that added up and worked together to create your life experience. So, you already know how to manifest. The trick is to manifest consciously, to bring what you desire into your life. 1. Play.

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Seven Secrets forGuys About What Attracts Women

Seven Secrets for Guys About What Attracts Women If you’re looking to attract the woman of your dreams the answer isn’t slick pickup lines, a huge stock portfolio, a hot car or even great looks. The secret is within you: becoming the guy who naturally attracts women with confidence and charisma. Use a daily Omharmonics meditation practice to build self-awareness, confidence, mental mastery and your ability to consciously create your ideal life. “Sitting and doing nothing” can set the wheels in motion to make yourself irresistible to women. Work on your self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence during meditation.

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How to Zen Meditate: Breathe, and C... by Zaid_bil

How to Zen Meditate: Breathe, and Count to Ten     What is zen meditation? Zen meditation is the study of the self. It’s a very simple practice – you do not need a visit to the mountaintop guru. However, as simple as it is, it needs to be done consistently if you want to reap the benefits. It involves breath-awareness and a simple counting practice to get control of the mind. Most of us tend to view our mind and our body as separate entities; and we scarcely give any attention at all to the breath. In zen meditation, they come together as one – as different aspects of the same. This process of self-discovery is fascinating!

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Manifesting Money – For Real, No Em... by Zaid_bil

Manifesting Money – For Real, No Empty Promises Manifesting money is probably the number one request people have when they want to learn to manifest. When you’re broke and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it ‘til your next paycheck… when your credit card balances keep going up and you can’t pay them off… when things are looking like they’re going from bad to worse, it’s natural to want to manifest some money FAST so you can relax and enjoy life again. If you’ve tried to use the Law of Attraction before to manifest money and you’ve had little or no luck… if you’ve tried creative visualization, affirmations and being happy and still nothing, you’re probably wondering if it’s all a bunch of nonsense. Visualization, affirmations and happiness work excellently if you use them the right way. Here are some ways to ensure success with these manifesting techniques:

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Do You Have Food Poisoning Or Something Else? Here

  Do You Have Food Poisoning Or Something Else? Here's How To Tell         GETTY IMAGES You’re sitting in a meeting when all of a sudden that unmistakeable feeling hits you right in your gut. Droplets of sweat chase each other down your hairline, challenging the pace of your foot tapping against the floor. Time check: Has it really only been three minutes? Screw it (and screw that sushi dinner from last night!) You need to get out of here and into to a restroom, stat. Know the feeling all too well? Same here, and it's normal to get food poisoning from time to time. But food poisoning isn't chronic, and is usually time limited, so if you're coming down with what feels like food poisoning a little too frequently, it's important to consult with a doctor about your symptoms. While the infection could be of food-borne circumstances (think: undercooked meat), it could also be a parasite or from a variety of different agents, says Jeffrey Crespin, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at New York University. While symptoms of an intestinal infection, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever, are often similar regardless of whether they came from food-borne illness or not, certain symptomatic clues can help your doctor figure out which infection you have and how to treat it and prevent it from occurring again. RELATED: ​6 SIGNS YOU SHOULD SEE A POOP DOCTOR ASAP Here, the three most frequent types of intestinal infections, how to tell when if it's really just food poisoning, and what you need to know to make the stomach pains stop: GETTY IMAGES 1 VIRAL INFECTIONS Norovirus, a type of virus that affects the lining of the small intestines, preventing its ability to absorb fluids and nutrients, is the most common type of food poisoning, says Morris Naus, M.D., a South Florida-based gastroenterologist. Infected food workers touching ready-to-eat foods (like fruits and vegetables) with their bare hands are frequently the source of the outbreaks, but you can pick up the norovirus from person to person without the involvement of food ingestion. Norovirus is highly contagious, especially during the winter months, and is responsible for 19 to 21 million illnesses per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It takes about 12 to 48 hours for symptoms to develop, and they will typically last for one to three days. A distinguishing symptom of viral gastroenteritis is very watery diarrhea, but the most important symptom to look out for is dehydration, explains Naus. "If you're unable to maintain your fluids, and if you're lightheaded or dizzy, that’s when you need to see your doctor, or go to a hospital, to get some intravenous fluids." (Kick-start your new, healthy routine with Women's Health's 12-Week Total-Body Transformation!) Prevent it: Wash your hands! Make sure to keep soap in your bathrooms and by the kitchen sink, and that anyone who is preparing and serving food is keeping up their hand hygiene throughout the meal-prep process. Throwing a small hand sanitizer in your purse couldn't hurt, either. Treat it: More often than not, viruses require rest and can be managed at home, while bacteria and parasites are treated with antibiotics. When taken unnecessarily, not only do antibiotics have side effects (that you just don't want to deal with on top of a virus!), but they cost extra money and can make you more likely to get a resistant infection in the future. If you do see your doctor and think you might have norovirus, ask themto specifically test for the virus. It is not usually run on routine stool tests, Crespin adds. Find out what you MUST do the next time you go to the doctor: What You MUST Do The Next Time You Go To The Doctor

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Apparently Mercury Is Going Into 'Retroshade' Tomo

  Apparently Mercury Is Going Into 'Retroshade' Tomorrow GETTY IMAGES If you have spent the past few weeks living in a communication hellscape—firing off endless unanswered emails into the void, waiting on checks that seem to have been in the mail for years, fighting for approval on that long-dangling pitch—congratulations, you are not alone. Mercury has been retrograde since Dec. 3, wreaking havoc upon our relationships and seeding chaos in our daily lives. Fortunately, Mercury retrograde ends on Dec. 22. Unfortunately,we can expect to live with its consequences until mid-January, thanks to a sneaky planetary imp known as Mercury "retroshade," according to AstroStyle.   Mercury retrograde—or the periodic celestial happening in which the messenger planet appears to scuttle backward across the sky—is the astrological equivalent of an extended, ill-timed nap. Because it rules every conceivable form of communication, whether written or sonic or contractual or electronic, Mercury throws all areas of our lives into a tailspin when it retrogrades. It often seems nothing is clear or straightforward or easy, and that no single effort can proceed without maddening delays. You might have felt, as our contributing astrologist predicted, the overwhelming urge to speak your mind this month—despite the consequences. RELATED: YOUR DECEMBER HOROSCOPE: IT'S TIME TO MAKE SOME BIG MOVES If you thought you'd be in the clear once it finally resumes forward motion, as it will tomorrow, you would be wrong. Retrogrades come bookended by buffer periods that cast two-week shadows both before and after the retrograde. This is the retroshade, a stretch in which retrograde's hectic effects are blunted but still palpable.

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What Is The Candida Diet, And Will It Really Impro

  What Is The Candida Diet, And Will It Really Improve Your Health? GETTY IMAGES These days it feels like there are a thousand elimination diets out there that will cure every ailment from migraines to acne. Now, the Candida Diet is taking on yeast. Candida is a type of yeast that lives in your mouth and gut  or on your skin. This yeast is a normal part of your body’s environment (particularly in the gut), but when levels get too high, candida can wreak havoc throughout your body, explains Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the Touro School of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. Candida overgrowth has been linked to oral thrush (marked by white lesions in the mouth), sinus infections, fatigue, skin infections, UTIs, yeast infections, and digestive issues such as Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis. Candida overgrowth occurs when there's an imbalance between the types of bacteria in your gut. And, while anything from your birth control to stress can throw off your body's delicate balance of intestinal bacteria, most often, issues are due to the use of antibiotics. After all, antibiotics are all about killing bacteria, and even if some forms of bacteria are bad, others are good—and responsible for regulating candida levels. RELATED: ​6 SIGNS YOU SHOULD SEE A POOP DOCTOR ASAP The question is, can altering your diet help keep candida in check? And is it even necessary? What's On the Menu?   The Candida Diet, developed by Lisa Richards, a health researcher and self-proclaimed candida sufferer, and Eric Wood, a naturopathic doctor (neither responded to requests for comment), stresses that treating candida overgrowth requires three elements: probiotics, antifungals, and, of course, diet. Probiotics are used reintroduce the "good" bacteria into your system and rebalance your gut, while antifungals kill excessive fungal growth.

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5 Recipes to Try This Holiday Season

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9 Soups To Make If You're Trying To Lose Weight

  9 Soups To Make If You're Trying To Lose Weight         GETTY IMAGES When it comes to weight loss, soup is your one-pot secret weapon—especially if you’ve just about had it with the whole salad scene. After all, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that, on average, people who get their soup on have lower body weights and smaller waistlines than those who don’t partake in fall’s comfiest food. Why? Well, first of all, soup that’s loaded with hearty veggies will give you the high-fiber punch needed to boost satiety and curb cravings. Secondly, low-calorie bases such as water, veggie broth, and chicken stock make soups one of the least calorically dense meals you can eat, explains registered dietitian Kristen F. Gradney, R.D.N., director of nutrition and metabolic services at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While there are plenty of weight-loss soups available as canned options, mixing up your own ensures you’re getting as much of the good stuff (think: veggies, lean meats, and nutritionally-dense grains) as possible while cutting down on sodium, chemicals and any less-than-healthy ingredients. Plus, soups are one of the easiest meals to prepare; just combine all your veggies and proteins in one large pot, then freeze the leftovers. Reheat any time you need a quick, healthy meal. To get you started, we turned to two top R.D.s to cull the healthiest, heartiest weight-loss soup recipes from around the web. Whip up one—or all—choice soups for a tasty meal that will help you reach your health and fitness goals. (Get more great weight-loss-friendly soup recipes from WH's Big Book of Soups and Smoothies.) GETTY IMAGES 1. SPICY BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH ANCHO CHILE PEPITAS This high-fiber, high-protein soup boasts a rich, spicy flavor, thanks to the beans and smoky ancho chiles. According to Gradney, the combo of spice, protein, and fiber will keep you full and satisfied for hours. Top the soup with pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) for an extra dose of fiber and a gratifying crunch that’s perfect this time of year. To get the full recipe, go to marisamoore.com. 2. RED CURRY QUINOA SOUP No bland, watery soup here. This bold vegetarian option gets serious heat from red curry paste, and is packed with sweet potato, veggies, and quinoa, a nutritionally-dense grain that acts as a great source of plant-based protein. Bonus: A cup of this soup contains just 164 calories. Get ready for seconds. To get the full recipe, go to sarahaasrdn.com. RELATED: 'THE ONE CHANGE I MADE TO BUST THROUGH MY PLATEAU AND LOSE 94 POUNDS'   GETTY IMAGES 3. CHICKEN, LEEK AND SORGHUM SOUP The star of this recipe is the ancient grain sorghum. Not only is sorghum chock-full of weight-loss friendly fiber and protein, but its firm texture makes it a great addition to soups. “It takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked in, and never gets soggy,” says registered dietitian Mandy Enright, R.D.N., creator of the blog Nutrition Nuptials. To get the full recipe, go to simplysorghum.com. Add more whole grains to your breakfast with these simple recipes:

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7 Reasons Why You Might Be Getting Your Period Mor

7 Reasons Why You Might Be Getting Your Period More Than Once A Month 7   GETTY IMAGES It’s bad enough dealing with your period once a month—the cramps, the mood swings, the potentially ruined underwear… But twice? As it turns out, a more frequent period isn’t all that abnormal. “The average cycle should occur every 21 to 35 days and last anywhere from two to seven days,” explains Lakeisha Richardson, an M.D. and ob-gyn based in Greenville, Mississippi. If you’re on the shorter end of that spectrum, that math could easily translate into getting your period twice in one month. And about 40 to 60 percent of women will have some irregular periods throughout their life, she says. “Since most women know their cycles, they will also usually recognize if something is off,” adds Alyssa Dweck, an ob-gyn and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V. In most cases, the reason will be benign, so there’s no need to worry, says Richardson. And while dealing with a period that goes away and comes back is frustrating on it’s own, it can also make you fear something’s not right with your lady parts. “Irregular bleeding can have different implications depending on age, medical history, and family history,” says Dweck, “so it’s important to seek ob-gyn guidance if you have persistent, recurrent, or worrisome bleeding habits.” Your doctor can help identify the cause and treatment, typically with just a pelvic exam, vaginal and cervical cultures, and a pelvic ultrasound, says Richardson. So before you freak out about the unfairness of double the periodtime, consider what might be going on: GETTY IMAGES

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5 Ways Chiropractors Relieve Their Own Back PainYo

5 Ways Chiropractors Relieve Their Own Back PainYou'll want to try these five strategies   Chiropractors relieve back pain GETTY IMAGES Baby got back (pain)? Join the club. At some point in their lives, as many as 80 percent of people will experience back pain, according to Aixa Goodrich D.C., a chiropractor at South Florida Chiropractic Center. She notes that back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work in the U.S. About 31 million Americans experience lower-back pain at any given time, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Any given year, 30 percent of people struggle with neck pain, per research from Johns Hopkins. Sufferers dish up a ton of money a year ($50 billion) trying to relieve back pain and fix the creaks, cracks, and cramps. In fact, more dollars are spent treating neck and back pain than almost any other medical condition, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. That’s because people aren’t making back care part of their everyday wellness routine, says Goodrich. “To only focus on your back health when [you] are in pain is like only exercising when you gain 10 pounds or only eating healthy when your cholesterol is high, and then going back to your old habits shortly thereafter,” Goodrich says. Chiropractors, though, take a long-term approach to relieving back pain—and it's one that works. So we reached out to the pros to find out how they keep their own back pain from being such a, well, pain. Follow their lead to relieve back pain for good:  Anti-inflammatory diet GETTY IMAGES 1 FOLLOWING AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET Some inflammation is natural, but because we eat such a pro-inflammatory diet most people are, well, too inflamed, explain Elizabeth and Erin Anderson, D.C., of Twin Life Chiropractic. Excess inflammation, among other things, can cause excess pressure and pain in the joints of the back. That’s why these two chiros eat an anti-inflammatory diet full of turmeric, ginger, and boswellia, and encourage their patients to drink turmeric ginger tea. Meanwhile, Karen Erickson, D.C., of Erickson Healing Arts, focuses on a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats to keep inflammation in check. She also keeps meat intake to a minimum, and opts for grass-fed beef whenever possible. While there is not a single "anti-inflammatory diet," trans fats, processed foods, and sugar have all been linked to excess inflammation. “Our dietary choices can lead us into inflammatory cycle, so cutting out inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammation all over,” Erin Anderson says. And it looks like about half of us need to heed that warning, big time: A study published in British Medical Journal found that over 50 percent of Americans subsist on a diet of ultra-processed foods. Yikes. Interested in giving an anti-inflammatory diet a whirl, but don’t don’t where to start? Try incorporating these anti-infammatory foods into your daily eats. RELATED: 'I DRANK LEMON WATER EVERY DAY FOR 2 WEEKS—HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED'  Quit smoking GETTY IMAGES 2

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'My Facial Numbness Turned Out To Be A Brain Tumor

  'My Facial Numbness Turned Out To Be A Brain Tumor' Shawna Young was pregnant when doctors diagnosed her with a golf ball-sized mass. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SHAWNA YOUNG During the fifth month of my pregnancy, I woke up one day to find that the left side of my face was numb. I had a prenatal visit scheduled that day, and when I told my doctor about it she said it was probably Bell's Palsy. I searched the internet for Bell's Palsy, and found out it was when the muscles in your face start to sag. I thought, Oh my god, I'm going to wake up any day now and the left side of my face is going to fall and start drooping. But it never did.   At the time, in 2005, I was in my junior year of college, studying elementary education at the University of Indianapolis. I had just moved into my first off-campus apartment. I had a 3-year-old daughter, and was expecting my second child with my then fiancé (now husband). I was doing a little bit of student teaching and preparing for a new baby. And up until that doctor's visit, it had been a relatively stress-free time in my life. THE DIAGNOSIS Around two and a half months later, I passed out and was rushed to the emergency room. They did a CAT scan to see if there was fluid on my spine, and when there wasn't, they suggested I follow up with a neurologist and have an MRI done just to be on the safe side.   I wasn't sure what it could be—I had been told my previous symptoms were due to Bell's Palsy, which is only supposed to affect the face, so passing out didn't really fit. So I followed up with the neurologist and had that precautionary MRI. A few days later, she called asking me if I could come into her office to discuss the results. I told her that I had class and tried to get her to tell me over the phone, but she insisted. At that point, I didn't think it could be anything that serious. At our appointment, she told me I had a meningioma—a tumor that emerges from the membranes around the brain and spinal cord—on the left side of my brain. It was the size of a golf ball. She said that these types of tumors are generally non-cancerous, but she wouldn't know for sure until they opened my brain up and removed it. A million conflicting, overwhelming emotions hit me at once. I was scared for my baby, for myself, for my family. But I knew I had to be strong for them. I also felt intense anger, frustration, and disappointment in the fact that I had been incorrectly diagnosed. I could have, no, should have, been receiving treatment for this golf-ball-sized tumor two and a half months ago. What now? RELATED: MARIA MENOUNOS SHARES NEVER-BEFORE-REVEALED DETAILS ABOUT LIFE AFTER HER BRAIN-TUMOR DIAGNOSIS REMOVING THE TUMOR Due to the size of the tumor, surgery was the only option. The plan was to have my baby first, and schedule the surgery after I was recovered. When you're pregnant, you have to be especially careful to avoid complications. At this point, I had about a month left to go in my pregnancy. Before the tumor, I was going to do a vaginal birth—but the ob-gyn recommended a Cesarean section so that there was no chance of dislodging the tumor in some way while pushing in the delivery room. Aside from having a 

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Here's What It Means If Your Poop Floats

Here's What It Means If Your Poop Floats What you're eating might be to blame... GETTY Your poop can tell you a lot about your health. Red in the bowl—which can signal anything from hemorrhoids to colon cancer—is a known red flag. But what if the color is just fine, but it doesn't exactly sink to the bottom of the bowl like normal poop does? It's not exactly common, but we've all probably experienced the floating turd. So what exactly does it mean if your stool is not sinking? Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women's Health's All in 18 DVD!  “A floating stool is simply less dense than a sinking stool,” says gastroenterologist Neil Stollman, M.D. Doctors used to think this resulted from excess fat in the feces, but one study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests it’s actually extra air. Dr. Stollman says it could probably be either, though air is more likely.   Extra air in the stool could come from unabsorbed carbohydrates, like lactose or fiber, which ferment in the colon and release gas, says Dr. Stollman. This may be more likely to happen if you’re lactose intolerant or have just consumed a lot of dairy or fiber all at once. Sugary alcoholic drinks and artificial sweeteners can also make your poop gassier, says gastroenterologist Kenneth Brown, M.D. RELATED: WHY DRINKING BOOZE GIVES YOU DIARRHEA And if your poop contains more air or gas than normal, it will make it lighter—thus more likely to float on top of the water than sink to the bottom of it, like denser turds do. Still, it's possible that extra fat in your feces can cause it to float, too. In this case, eating more fatty food than normal is likely the culprit, says Dr. Stollman. When your intestines can't absorb all that fat, it's excreted through your poop. In rarer cases, fatty, floating stools—officially known as steatorrhea—can

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8 Natural Laxatives That Actually Work To Relieve

  8 Natural Laxatives That Actually Work To Relieve Constipation Skip the drugstore and head to the grocery store instead.   GETTY IMAGES Women are talking more about their bodies than ever, but one common issue is still pretty taboo: constipation. Well, we're here to change that! After all, 16 percent of women regularly suffer from difficult bowel movements, while even more of us deal with it every once in a while, according to research. Fun fact: Constipation is more common in women than in men, possibly due to hormones. Yep, there's no end to the list of things that can throw your bathroom habits out of whack. Think: your monthly cycle, dietary changes, stress, sleep problems, even travel. Seriously, what's that last one about??? If you’re feeling blocked up, don’t wait more than two or three days before dealing with it, says Lisa Ganjhu, D.O., a gastroenterologist and clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. “Your body is going to tell you it’s uncomfortable, so pay attention to it,” she says. And, good news: It can be pretty easy to get your bowels moving without any medication. “Natural laxatives are definitely gentler than some of the prescription laxatives, and even a little gentler than what you can get over the counter," she says. Bonus: You probably have some of them already hanging out in your fridge or pantry. Laxative foods to the rescue! Here, we share eight natural laxatives that can get your bathroom habits moving again. Better yet, integrate them into your regular diet to keep things, well, regular: GETTY IMAGES 1 WATER Just like staying hydrated is good for the rest of your body, it’s helpful for your digestive system, too. “Water basically lubricates everything and softens the stool,” says Ganjhu. “The whole point of the stool getting to the colon is for it to try to absorb all of the extra water [along the way] in order to solidify.” The longer stool stays in the colon, though, the longer the water has to get sucked back out of it, eventually becoming rock hard—ouch. “Getting fluid back into your body helps to soften the stool and stimulates the colon to empty out,” she says. This easy water bottle hack will help you stay properly hydrated every single day: Hack Your Health: Hydration Goals

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7 Ways To Make Sure The Winter Blues Don't Totally

7 Ways To Make Sure The Winter Blues Don't Totally Take Over Your Life It's time to get your brain out of that post-holiday funk. GETTY IMAGES After the holidays, your mood can really take a hit. The days are dark and cold, holiday lights have been taken down, and your presents have been opened. The New Year’s parties are over, and there aren’t many really awesome holidays to look forward to for awhile. (We're coming for you, Memorial Day.) Welcome to the winter blues. Marked by fatigue and down-in-the-dumps moods, they affect up to 20 percent of the population, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Meanwhile about 4 to 6 percent of people suffer from full-blown seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which includes clinical depression, anxiety, over- or under-eating, oversleeping or insomnia, and avoidance of social situations. "Our biological systems shift throughout the seasons, so our moods inevitably shift as well," explains psychologist Ellie Cobb, Ph.D. In the winter, the body's levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, as well as the energizing hormone norepinephrine, are actually depleted. That's because the production of these chemicals is partially triggered by light-sensing photoreceptors in the eyes, and, in the winter, light is at a premium, she explains. Meanwhile, it's important to realize that you get most of your mood-boosting vitamin D through a chemical reaction in the skin that occurs when it's struck by ultraviolet rays, per the National Institutes of Health. However, in the winter, sunlight hits the earth at such a wide angle that the needed rays can't make it through the ozone layer to reach you, per research from the Boston University Medical Center. Put together, all of that can make winter depression feel like a biological imperative. But, once you understand the biological changes that trigger the winter blues, you can override them. Here, 10 biohacks to help you beat winter depression and finish the season strong: GETTY IMAGES 1 STAY SOCIAL While socially isolating yourself during the winter is a tell-tale sign of depression, research consistently shows that social interaction is key to human health. According to a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, social interaction affects the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, a feedback loop between the brain and endocrine system, to reduce levels of stress hormones while increasing levels of feel-good ones. Among the best for your mood and energy levels are oxytocin (the same neurotransmitter that you release during an orgasm) and serotonin, Cobb explains.

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The Surprising Reason You're Getting Side Pains On

  The Surprising Reason You're Getting Side Pains Once A Month It might be mittelshmerz. GETTY IMAGES Mittelschmerz is a weird word for a not-so-weird phenomenon. In fact, it's so common that about one in five women experience it on a monthly basis, says Nicole Scott, M.D., an ob-gyn at IU Health. So what is it? Technically the word is German for "middle pain," and it describes a sharp ovulation pain on one side of your lower abdomen that occurs once a month around the time your ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube, according to the Mayo Clinic. That's right, some women can feel when they release an egg. "It is a real phenomenon and in my experience it's fairly common," Scott says. "But not all women experience it, and some women may experience it to different degrees than others."   (Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women's Health's All in 18 DVD!)  All About Eggs Eggs can be tricky things. As a woman, you were born with about two million eggs (technically, they are immature eggs called "follicles") and that is all you will ever have. Unlike men, who continuously create sperm throughout their lives, eggs are a limited supply. While it varies from woman to woman, 95 percent of women will have less than 12 percent of their eggs left by age 30, according to a study published in PLoS ONE. By age 40, that number is down to 3 percent. This means you lose about 8,000 eggs per month(!!!) and once they're gone, usually between ages 40 to 50, they're gone, and you're infertile. RELATED: HOW YOUR EGGS—AND HIS SPERM—CHANGE IN YOUR 20S, 30S, AND 40S During your fertile years, each month one egg ripens in one of your ovaries and roughly two weeks before your period starts, the ovary sends a signal to your brain that it's time to pop the egg out, Scott explains.

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Everyone Is Obsessed With Drinking Lemon Water—But

  Everyone Is Obsessed With Drinking Lemon Water—But Is It Really Beneficial To Your Health? We asked nutritionists to weigh in.   Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Hilary Duff, Christie Brinkley, and Gisele Bundchen all reportedly love lemon water in its many forms—hot, cold, and lukewarm. Those celebrity endorsements are part of the reason why lemon water has scored a reputation as the overachieving beverage we should all start our morning with. Some say that drinking lemon water in the morning promotes digestion, balances the body's pH levels, and detoxifies from the inside out. Others claim it brightens the skin while bolstering the immune system. And many optimists believe lemon water spurs weight loss.Can such a cheap, simple, make-at-home drink live up to the hype? We asked registered dietitians to break down the real benefits of lemon water. Watch a hot doctor explain why that stubborn bruise won't heal: Ask a Hot Doctor: Why Won’t My Bruise Heal? Ask a Hot Doctor: Why Won’t My Bruise Heal?

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This Is How Gynecologists Soothe Their Own Period

  This Is How Gynecologists Soothe Their Own Period Cramps They're uterus experts, after all.   GETTY IMAGES If your cramps hit like clockwork every month, leaving you curled up on your couch in agony, you know this particular period symptom is a special brand of sucky.   But you're not alone in your misery: "Gynos get cramps too," says Jaime Goldstein, M.D., an ob-gyn at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. Yes, that female gynecologist of yours gets the same period cramps that make you curse your uterus every month. The thing is, gynos know more than the gynecological system and its monthly flow than the average person—including how to kick those period cramps. "We've just found what works for us to end the cramping, or at least make it more manageable," she says. After all, they can't suddenly cancel all of that day's Pap smears just because they have a case of killer cramps. For some gynos, that means taking a monthly, multi-pronged approach: "I usually combine three of four different strategies to manage my cramps," says Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at The University of Illinois College at Chicago. While a single strategy can certainly help, put several together and you've got a force to be reckoned with. So what are these strategies, you ask? Well, we asked the same thing. Here, top female gynos explain how they alleviate their own period cramps—and how you can, too. And, no, you definitely haven't tried all of their tricks before. So get ready cork your wine bottle, hit up the gym, and even have some between-the-sheets Os. GETTY IMAGES 1 THEY GET DOWN... "Sex helps with everything!" says Maureen Whelihan, M.D., an ob-gyn at the Elite GYN Care of the Palm Beaches. And she notes that applies to both couples and solo play. That’s because (fun fact) having an orgasm increases blood flow to the uterus, which can help with cramps. Plus, orgasms trigger a release of feel-good pleasure chemicals including oxytocin and dopamine. Just make sure that, if vaginal sex is your method of choice, you use a condom. "If your partner ejaculates on the cervix it will actually cause an increase in inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins in response, which can make cramping worse," she explains. RELATED: HERE'S WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS MASTURBATE ON YOUR PERIOD GETTY IMAGES 2 THEY PULL OUT THE HEAT

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Want Something? Try this Manifestin..

Want Something? Try this Manifesting Meditation! Manifesting is so much fun, when you get the hang of it! Start small and as your abilities and confidence grow, go bigger until you’re manifesting anything you want. Yes, anything. “Manifesting” isn’t magic. It simply means bringing something into your reality that was not there previously. Before you start, do you believe you can manifest anything? If you don’t believe it, look around you. Everything in your life experience was manifested by you. Every single choice you have made up until now had consequences that added up and worked together to create your life experience. So, you already know how to manifest. The trick is to manifest consciously, to bring what you desire into your life. 1. Play. Practice with something not normally seen in your environment, something you do not need, and something that will not affect your life other than making you smile. In his book

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How to Zen Meditate: Breathe, ... by user271073844

  How to Zen Meditate: Breathe, and Count to Ten What is zen meditation? Zen meditation is the study of the self. It’s a very simple practice – you do not need a visit to the mountaintop guru. However, as simple as it is, it needs to be done consistently if you want to reap the benefits. It involves breath-awareness and a simple counting practice to get control of the mind. Most of us tend to view our mind and our body as separate entities; and we scarcely give any attention at all to

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Manifesting Money – For Real, ... by user271073844

Manifesting Money – For Real, No Empty Promises Manifesting money is probably the number one request people have when they want to learn to manifest. When you’re broke and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it ‘til your next paycheck… when your credit card balances keep going up and you can’t pay them off… when things are looking like they’re going from bad to worse, it’s natural to want to manifest some money FAST so you can relax and enjoy life again. If you’ve tried to use the Law of Attraction before to manifest money and you’ve had little or no luck… if you’ve tried creative visualization, affirmations and being happy and still nothing, you’re probably wondering if it’s all a bunch of nonsense. Visualization, affirmations and happiness work excellently if you use them the right way. Here are some ways to ensure success with these manifesting techniques:

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Manifesting Money – For Real... by user271073844 1

Manifesting Money – For Real, No Empty Promises Manifesting money is probably the number one request people have when they want to learn to manifest. When you’re broke and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it ‘til your next paycheck… when your credit card balances keep going up and you can’t pay them off… when things are looking like they’re going from bad to worse, it’s natural to want to manifest some money FAST so you can relax and enjoy life again. If you’ve tried to use the Law of Attraction before to manifest money and you’ve had little or no luck… if you’ve tried creative visualization, affirmations and being happy and still nothing, you’re probably wondering if it’s all a bunch of nonsense. Visualization, affirmations and happiness work excellently if you use them the right way. Here are some ways to ensure success with these manifesting techniques:

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What’s Going on in There? How to Improve Your Self

March 7, 2014 What’s Going on in There? How to Improve Your Self-Awareness Are you stuck in a rut? Reliving the same problems day in and day out? Those problems all started in your mind… Are you aware of your unconscious mental habits and patterns? Most of us aren’t. We simply grow up believing that “this is the way things are and this is how I do things” but we rarely question those habits or patterns. We just repeat them, unthinkingly, no matter what the consequences are. Of course the stories you tell yourself throughout your life shape who you are. There’s no denying that. However, when you become aware of these unconscious patterns, you can make the conscious decision to change the patterns

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Meditation Basics: How to Meditate at Home

Meditation Basics: How to Meditate at Home Home meditation is a wonderful alternative for those who don’t enjoy group meditations or don’t  have a nearby meditation center. Understandably, the idea of meditating at home can be a little daunting. Distractions abound – the  phone always seems to ring at the worst possible time, and of course the dog needs to go out… but rest assured, with a few rules and tips, you can enjoy a blissful meditation practice. The first thing to understand is that meditation at home is no different than meditation anywhere else. Although you can set up a special place for your meditation, you’re still going to run into the same big challenge as if you were meditating with a guru – your mind.

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Soothe Your Soul With Loving Kindness Meditation

Soothe Your Soul With Loving Kindness Meditation Sending out loving kindness is one of the best feel-good meditation practices there is. It’s easy to do, and you will benefit significantly from this simple meditation. Some meditation practices are very inwardly-focused but in loving kindness meditation, your focusis on unity or a sense of connection with others. Most of the time we feel separate from others and that’s why we are hurt by people’s words and actions. It’s why we have judgmental thoughts towards each other. It’s why we believe we are “worse than” or “better than” others. It’s why we feel alone, sometimes even when we are in a crowd. Benefits of Loving Kindness Meditation Loving kindness meditation will uplift you out of the darkest slump because you are focused on what is good in a situation instead of what is troubling you. This is especially relevant if you are having any relationship problems, or if you can’t seem to think your way out of any challenging situation. It will make you feel more

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You Want It? Get It! How to Manifest Anything

You Want It? Get It! How to Manifest Anything Just how easy is it to get what you want out of life? Easier than you might think, and it involves a lot less hard work and sacrifice than you’ve been told. Ready to manifest deliciousness? First, recognize that if you’re having trouble manifesting what you want, it’s because you are misdirecting your focus. It’s NOT because you’re not working hard enough or exerting enough willpower, it’s that your mental/emotional/physical/spiritual energies are being directed at the wrong thing. Example: your greatest dream is to be an architect but all your life you’ve been telling yourself that you can’t be an architect because you suck at math. You don’t MEAN to make that a command. You don’t mean to set “I suck at math” as your intention (who would??) but by giving that thought more and more attention, you feed it and give it more energy. You start to believe it, and then subconsciously you reinforce that belief every time you make a math mistake. In other words, you are focused on what you don’t want and you reinforce the behavior that

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Patient Heal Thyself (Using Spiritual Healing)

Patient Heal Thyself (Using Spiritual Healing) Healing yourself and others in a non-invasive way using only intention and energy is becoming more and more widely accepted as an alternative or a complement to western medicine. It is an ancient and effective technique. Spiritual healing can be done by anyone with a bit of training. That’s right – anyone can perform spiritual healing! All conditions can be healed using spiritual healing. However, that does not mean that all people can be healed. The secret lies in the mindset of the person being healed. If their mind is open and receptive to a) being healed

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How To Tune Into The Spirit World

How To Tune Into The Spirit World We are all psychic. Whether you believe it or not – you were born with this deep-seated intuitiveness. Having said that, we can all learn to play the piano but we may not all reach Mozart’s level. However, it’s not about being a medium or psychic. Rather, it is about self-actualization and your own spiritual growth and advancement. Ask yourself: “What am I learning about myself?” The ability to talk with a spirit and/or be psychic is like a muscle. It absolutely gets stronger with time and practice. The challenge for most is not being psychic but rather believe that they are. Connecting with the spirit world is much like tuning into a radio frequency. When tuning into the spirit world you will be raising your vibrational frequency as spirits then lower theirs — so you both meet in the middle. Golden rules for tuning into the spirit world: This journey is unique and highly individual. Honor that. Say what you see. Too often students are afraid to say what they are seeing or recognize it as truth. In so doing

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Life Lessons From Star Wars: Why I Rejected Religi

Life Lessons From Star Wars: Why I Rejected Religion and Instead Raised My Son on Star Wars I raised my son without religion. It was by design. I was raised Hindu and my wife was raised Orthodox and Lutheran. But both of us slowly outgrew religion as we got older and instead adopted practices and beliefs consistent with our experiences in the real world. And so when Hayden was born we didn’t bother with religion at all. But we aren’t against it either. Because religion does have many beautiful aspects. And one of the biggest is that it teaches life lessons through stories. Problem is, it also conditions people to take those stories too literally. This leads to all sorts of dumb ideas that have held humanity backward. Crimes against apostasy, treating gay people like outcasts, violation of women’s rights and even the act of not being able to enjoy a simple ham sandwich. Religion Isn’t Hackable (Yet) I can’t take the best of Christianity and combine it with the best of Islam and Hinduism. And to do so would cause awkward glares. There is much beauty in the teachings of Christ, the Sufism of Islam, the Bhagavad Gita or the Buddhist teachings of the Dalai Lama. Yet humanity has widely decided that religion should be absolutist. In short, pick one and stick to it for the rest of your life. Or worse – pass it on to your children through early indoctrination so they have to stick to one true path for the rest of their lives. Then repeat for generations. I want to break this pattern. So to avoid this with my son I decided to not teach my son religion at all. Hayden understands Newton’s Laws, the rotation of the planet, and gravity and electricity. At 6 he talks about atoms, DNA replication, Elon Musk’s rockets and admires Edison and the Mars Rover. Yet he has no idea what God is. This is by design. Simply because we, as a human race, don’t know what God is. And I refuse to pick ONE definition. Although I believe in God, I don’t think it’s right to teach this idea to a child until he’s old enough to ask the right questions. It’s a fine line between education and indoctrination.  So I believe that the only way to teach religion is to teach ALL religions. And I will. But only when Hayden is older and can make his own conclusions. But this left a dilemma. How then do I teach Hayden morality and lessons in life? I found the answer through Star Wars. Life Lessons From Star Wars Recently Hayden and I sat through 12 hours and all 6 Star Wars movies. It’s amazing how the mind of a 6-year-old can get so engrossed in George Lucas’ fiction. But an unexpected benefit was the life lessons that I was able to share with Hayden via Star Wars. Here are the top 10 things that any parent can teach their child from Star Wars 1. Star Wars Teaches You To Trust Yourself Luke: All right, I’ll

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How to Turn Your Biggest Wounds Into Your Most Pre

How to Turn Your Biggest Wounds Into Your Most Precious Gifts At Awesomeness Fest, Luminita Saviuc talks about how she found healing from the wounds of horrific childhood abuse and trauma, and rather than

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7 Ways To Live Happier With Better Short-Term Goal

7 Ways To Live Happier With Better Short-Term Goals Do you want to be a happier on a daily basis? If so, then you need to focus on short-term goals rather than long-term goals. Short-term goals are goals that focus on the immediate future. They focus on today, this week, or this month. They have long been neglected as the unsexy stepchild of “real” goals, but they are, in fact, the guide to a better, happier life. Here are 7 ways to live happier with better short-term goals: 1. Use short-term goals to improve your quality of life  Why do you have goals at all? If you are like most people, you ultimately want to improve your quality of life. You hope that goals are the right tools for the job. This hope is justified – if you rely on short-term goals rather than long-term goals. Have you ever achieved a long-term goal and thought, “Is that all I get? What now? Has my life changed?” This disenchantment is the result of a mental bias that psychologists call focalism. We focus so heavily on our long-term goals that we think we will be perfectly happy when we achieve them – but we won’t. When we reach a long-term goal, all the other troubles in our lives remain. A promotion does little to solve our loneliness, and a new relationship is unable to fix our financial problems. These remaining problems reduce the happiness that we gain from the achievement and prevent the intended state of perfect bliss. Unfortunately, focalism often leads us to sacrifice short-term pleasures. We accept bad days, months, and years to chase what we hope can bring perfect happiness, but it is a mirage. When the expected payoff fails to come about, we become depressed. Short-term goals work better for our mental process. They help us to make the best of every day, and eventually, a long string of happy days will connect to a happy life. 2. Use short-term goals to define better long-term goals Do you sometimes feel pressured by large long-term goals? Fortunately, the right short-term goals help you set better, less intimidating long-term goals. When you want to become a millionaire in the next five years, today has to

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15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy [Meditati

15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy [Meditation]

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HEALTH.,

  HEALTH How You Can Heal And Revitalize Your Health Without Medication

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How To Reshape Your Body & Mind In Minutes A Day

How To Reshape Your Body & Mind In Minutes A Day Biohacking, Body & Brain – A summary of the best hacks I learned from A-Fest In this training, I share the radical tools and techniques that helped me become fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been in the last 15 years. I’ve laid them out for you to copy and apply in your life too. A little backstory. Over the last few years, I’ve been putting my body through all kinds of experiments to see how I could… lose weight rapidly; improve my fitness; expand my consciousness; dramatically slow down aging; adopt

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Teach Your Children The Language Of Happiness And

Teach Your Children The Language Of Happiness And Watch Them Thrive   How do you teach children to be happy? We all know that happiness is important — but do we know

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How To Have A Successful Career And Be An Amazing

The Best Piece Of Parenting Advice I Ever Received… “The biggest thing we are doing to our children right now is bashing their ego…” — Vishen Lakhiani In this 4-minute video, Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley, discusses a powerful omission in our parenting. He explains why we can never give too much love to a child or encourage too much self-love, and delves into the biggest piece of advice he received from parenting psychologist, Shelly Lefkoe:

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The Six Human Hungers (Infographic)

The Six Human Hungers (Infographic)

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3 Families Share The Remarkable Changes They Exper

3 Families Share The Remarkable Changes They Experienced While On Mindvalley’s WildFit Quest Vishen Lakhiani, along with several Mindvalley employees and their partners, took the 90-day Wildfit Quest. This was their experience. And it went so much beyond just losing fat and reshaping the body…. How to

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This Woman Gave Birth In the Hospital Hallway And

  This Woman Gave Birth In the Hospital Hallway And The Photos Are Unbelievable A birth photographer captured every moment. GETTY IMAGES

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Why You Should Never, Ever Rip Off Your Hangnail

  Why You Should Never, Ever Rip Off Your Hangnail Seriously, don't.     GETTY Hangnails can make any grown adult wince. They're pesky, and even though they’re so small, they can hurt like hell. "Most people don’t notice a hangnail until after it has fully developed and they feel roughness around the nail or pain from inflammation," says Benjamin J. Jacobs, M.D., hand surgeon at Rebound Orthopedics and Neurosurgery in Portland, Oregon. But they happen to everyone, and they can be particularly bad in winter months. But here’s how to prevent hangnails from happening and the best ways treat the ones that already exist. Related: The Best Way to Get Rid Of Ingrown Hairs MEN'S HEALTH

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Reiki Meditation: Shut Out The Chaos And Master In

Reiki Meditation: Shut Out The Chaos And Master Inner Peace With the stress of keeping up with our chaotic schedules, an influx of hundreds of overwhelming ideas, and a wall-sized to-do list bombarding our minds, our bodies hold the physical load of each one of these worries and troubles in a mental and physical gridlock. However, you can learn to release the body from this metaphysical bondage by feeling the clarity and healing of Reiki meditation. With a mere shallow dive into the waters of stress research, you will quickly find a mountain of validation that stress is one of the greatest obstacles to living a long and healthy life. Global health organizations, including the World Health Organization, have all brought awareness and warning to the dangers of stress on the body, mind, and (although less researched) the spirit. Claims of the perfect cure for stress have come in the form of pharmaceutical medications, exercise, eating right, and a thousand others. Today, we are going to explore a few techniques of an ultra-effective practice of stress relief, using Reiki meditation. What is Reiki Meditation? All forms of meditation have one of two focuses: either to clear your mind, or focus it on a certain subject. Reiki Meditation differs from the others by having that focus on the energy and power of Reiki. Reiki is the flowing and all-encompassing energy of the universe. Reiki energy flows through you all and through all things. Reiki therapy is the act of using intention and hands to move energy in the body and create healing. Reiki Meditation is the isolation of the intention part of the Reiki practice. In Reiki meditation, you concentrate and focus on the universal energy force of Reiki in yourself and all around you. Through this process, you are able to feel, connect with, and manipulate Reiki energy. This will create tranquility, healing, and vitality in your body, mind, and soul. Reiki Meditation techniques Reiki Zen Meditation Reiki Zen Meditation follows very similar meditation

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Pranic Healing: Comprehensive Healing For The Body

Pranic Healing: Comprehensive Healing For The Body And Mind Do you suffer from an ailment that no form of modern medicine has been able to alleviate? Even if you’ve tried every form of therapy out there, every drug on the market, and every available procedure, there’s still something left that you can try. And this powerful, non-invasive practice has left thousands in better health and vitality, all through the power of pranic healing.   Either yourself or a pranic healer can apply this subtle therapy. It’s easy to learn the essentials, and this practice of pranic healing can be of great benefit to both you and your loved ones. What Is Prana Energy? Prana is the Sanskrit word for life force, or vital principle. In traditional Chinese medicine, this is also known as chi. Prana energy

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Deepen Your Relationship With Easy Yoga For Two

Deepen Your Relationship With Easy Yoga For Two   Like the idea of yoga for two but aren’t ready for the gymnastic style of acro-yoga? You are in luck! There are plenty of yoga for two practices you can do and keep all four feet on the ground. Below you will find some super simple, yet, super powerful practices. 3 Powerful Yoga For Two Practices 1. Breathe as One Traditional and modern styles of yoga usually start with a breathing practice, sometimes sitting and sometimes moving. This is a great yoga for 

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7 Honest Lessons On Love & Lust In The Digital Age

7 Honest Lessons On Love & Lust In The Digital Age From Esther Perel, Dan Savage, And Marisa Peer Do we have to feel weird or uncomfortable when we talk about love and sex? They’re two of the most fundamental and shared human desires… And yet we don’t even talk to our partners about what we want from relationships. Somehow, the act that creates us has turned into this embarrassing taboo. Love has been so strictly defined that we fear to say what we really need (and can’t get) from our relationships. Have you ever held back your opinions about sex, love, or relationships just because you’re afraid of others judging you? I know I’ve avoided the topic because I was afraid to hear that I was “doing love wrong.” But love is changing in the Digital Age, and some of our old judgments may no longer apply. In this Q&A on love and lust from A-Fest Ibiza by Mindvalley, Founder Vishen Lakhiani and three of the world’s most unique and celebrated voices on modern relationships answer the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Who are these three experts? Esther Perel is a Psychotherapist, a New York Times bestselling author, and the speaker of two Ted Talks on modern love that have gone viral with over 20 million views. Dan Savage is an activist for the LGBTQ+ community and the author of the internationally syndicated column, Savage Love, known for his frank advice on sex and relationships. Before Marisa Peer was named Britain’s best therapist by Tatler magazine and became the Mindvalley Author of Uncompromised Life, she wrote for a sex advice column for 14 years. Their unique voices, backgrounds, and perspectives create one of the frankest, funniest, and most insightful discussions I’ve ever seen — on any subject.     Here are the 9 lessons I learned from this panel: 1. Honest Discussions About Sex Are Necessary The topics that are taboo are usually the ones we need to discuss the most. Growing up, we received a lot of negative messages about sex and were often actively discouraged from exploring how we felt about it. Many of us inherited our views about appropriate relationships from our parents or our culture — and in most cases, that meant monogamous, long-term, and with a partner from a similar background. It’s no wonder that talking honestly about what we want from our relationship seems like a daunting task. But imagine going to a restaurant where you couldn’t select what you want to eat. Your parents chose for you. And then imagine that you’d have to eat that same meal for the rest of your life. Wouldn’t you want to have a say? The

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What Is Graves' Disease—And Should You Be Worried

  What Is Graves' Disease—And Should You Be Worried About It? ILYA S. SAVENOK/GETTY Wendy Williams announced on her talk show Wednesday that she’s taking a three-week hiatus from the show. Wendy was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid, she explained, and she needs rest to feel better. “Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind the eyeballs,” she said, adding that her health condition has made her eyes twitch. Wendy says that she chalked up her symptoms to stress over her son Kevin applying to colleges, and her work, but apparently it was due to her health condition. She also fainted during a live broadcast of her show on Halloween, which she later said was due to her being "overheated" in her costume. So What Is Graves' Disease, Really? 

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'I Have A Severe Phobia—Here's What It's Like'

  'I Have A Severe Phobia—Here's What It's Like' PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF KRISSY BRADY As soon as we sat down to dinner, I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach. My friends and I were grabbing a bite before heading to a Stone Temple Pilots concert. I ordered a steak salad (with a side of beer to calm my nerves). The restaurant was loud, my friends were louder. The nausea grew, but I kept eating, kept talking, kept acting like I was fine. I wasn't fine. My stomach felt like it was in a vice. My throat went dry. I started to sweat and I struggled to catch my breath. I quickly headed to the bathroom, where I locked myself in a stall. Deep breaths, deep breaths. As soon as I could bear it, I rushed back to the table, where my friends were picking up the check. Finally, dinner was over. I'd made it. For those of us with deipnophobia—a fear of dining and dinner conversations—literally anything is more pleasant than a meal with friends. Watch a doctor explain whether your anxiety is serious: Ask a Hot Doc: Is My Anxiety Serious? Ask a Hot Doc: Is My Anxiety Serious? This is a modal window. This video is either unavailable or not supported in this browser Error Code: MEDIA_ERR_SRC_NOT_SUPPORTED Session ID: 2018-03-08:2b3cb36ec5b4dc6af6ea1e41 Player Element ID:video_player_4706771403001 My First Symptoms   Deipnophobia typically manifests in one of two ways: as a type of social anxiety or as a specific phobia, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “If the situation (in this case, dining with others) is feared because of negative evaluation by others, it would be considered a social anxiety disorder,” says Cecelia Mylett, Psy.D., clinical director of CAST Centers, a mental health and substance use disorder treatment center in West Hollywood. “Otherwise, deipnophobia would be considered a specific phobia—a significant fear of a certain object or situation.”

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Might Be Up To 10 Times Mor

  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Might Be Up To 10 Times More Common Than Experts Thought What?! GETTY IMAGES Cue the inevitable mom guilt: A scary new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that more children are affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), a group of conditions caused by drinking during pregnancy, than doctors previously thought. The cross-sectional study assessed 13,146 first-graders in four different regions in the U.S. between 2010 and 2016, and found that at least one in 20 American kids lands somewhere in the spectrum of fetal alcohol disorders. (Doctors previously believed only one in 100 kids was affected.)  While shocking, the researchers say that number may be conservative: It could be as high as one in 10 kids. RELATED: 9 REASONS WHY YOU'VE GOT PERIOD SYMPTOMS BUT NO PERIOD FASDs can cause a range of issues for children, including abnormal growth and facial features, small head size, poor coordination, learning disabilities, and problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite the fact that so many women are aware of the risks of drinking while pregnant, the CDC reports that about one in 10 pregnant women reports using alcohol during their pregnancy.