Archive for September, 2012

Stop Smoking Successfully

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Stop Smoking Successfully
Author: husin abdullah

Smoking is a very difficult addiction to break. It has both a physical and chemical hold on you. Smokers do manage to quit each day and you can too by finding the techniques that will work for you. Use the options listed below to make a true effort to quit smoking.

First, set a target date to quit smoking.  Don’t pick a date that falls at a stressful time of the year for you, such as the holidays.  You will be more likely to be successful if you choose a time that is not already associated with stress for you.  Also, do not choose a date too far in advance or you may not stay focused on your goal, and will be less likely to actually quit.  It is best to choose a date about a month in advance.  It is also not a good idea to choose tomorrow as your quit date, as it doesn’t allow enough time to fully prepare yourself.

Prior to stopping smoking, start a journal to record your smoking habits.  In this journal write down how strong the urge was to have a cigarette and what you were doing at the time.  Most people know the common triggers such as after a meal, but don’t always associate smoking with other activities, such as while watching TV or talking on the phone.  This will enable you to recognize times in advance when you would normally smoke and you can have a plan in place to replace smoking with something else.  There are even mobile apps available to aid you in journaling your smoking habits.

It is important to change your routine so that you may avoid situations where you would normally smoke.  For example, many people tend to linger at the table after dinner and have a cigarette after their meal.  It is a good idea to get up from the table immediately upon finishing to remove yourself from a situation where you would normally smoke.  It doesn’t take long for this habit to replace sitting at the table and smoking after dinner. 

It is also a good idea to let others know of your planned date to quit smoking.  Not only does this hold you more accountable, but it may also give you some needed support as well.  When you’re having a difficult time with not smoking you can often call on others to give you a pep talk when needed, and they may be able to offer advice as well.  It will also let them know in advance that you may have some changes in mood and be more irritable early on in the quitting process. 

Most importantly, if you slip up do not let this cause you to give up.   Most people do slip up a couple of times before successfully quitting.  Think about what caused you to slip up and come up with a plan of how you may deal with it in the future.  Do not think of yourself as failing.  Instead, be proud that you have made the choice to quit and continue on towards your goal.

By following the above tips, you will be more prepared to stop smoking and will be more likely to achieve your goal successfully.  You are now one step closer to being smoke-free.

Five Options to Stop Smoking

There are many different stop smoking aids available these days. Some smokers have had a great deal of success quitting cold turkey, while others require the assistance of the quitting aids. You have medication, gum, patches and electronic cigarettes to choose from. Seek the advice of your doctor to get an idea of what will work best for your personal situation.

Make every attempt to distance yourself from other smokers. It can be difficult to quit if you are constantly around other smokers. Find new places to hang out during your lunch break at work instead of going out to the smoker’s area. Go to different restaurants where you are not comfortable standing outside smoking. Whatever you need to do to remove yourself from a smoking environment should be done.

You must remind yourself of why you want to quit smoking frequently. You would benefit by making little notes and placing them around your home, work place and car that reminds you of the reasoning behind your desire to quit. It could be because of your friends and family, because you are concerned with your health or because you cannot afford to continue paying for this expensive habit. Each time you feel the need to light up, think about the most important reason to quit and you should be able to resist the temptation.

You need to find something to replace the habit of smoking. You could try taking up a hobby, get active with exercise, or even start playing video games. As long as what you are doing is something less harmful to yourself, it is a safe replacement for your cigarettes. Many smokers have found it helpful to keep sugar-free lollipops handy so when they get the urge to smoke, they have something to put in their mouth and keep in their hands. It will be much easier for you to quit if you can replace your bad habit with one that is not going to kill you.

Turn to your friends and family for support and incentive. Tell them that you are trying to quit and why you are trying. They will then be able to keep reminding you of what you are attempting to do and why it is important to you. It will also keep other friends and family members from smoking when you are around helping you reduce the temptation that you will have. You may even want to tell the clerks at the store that you frequent that you no longer want them to sell you cigarettes. They will likely remind you of the fact that you are trying to quit the next time you enter the store requesting a pack of cigarettes.

It can be very difficult, but it is not impossible. Use the five options you have learned here to gain the confidence you need to quit smoking.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/quit-smoking-articles/stop-smoking-successfully-6004795.html

About the Author

Husin Abdullah has been writing a lot of articles about Health for much different purpose.

 

The Nine Basic Human Needs

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

June, 1997 – Basic Human Needs

Human Needs – The Nine Basic Human Needs and how they affect people in the workplace.

Tips – How to use this information for yourself and for understanding others

The Nine Basic Human Needs

The Nine Needs:

Security, Adventure, Freedom, Exchange, Power, Expansion, Acceptance, Community, Expression.

Each of us has three primary needs, meaning three needs that are more important than the other six needs, which we have to a lesser degree. When people do not get their needs met, they can become agitated, belligerent or driven to use the negative aspects of their needs.

Each of the needs is described below, with their positive aspects (how they work in positive ways) and their negative aspects (how people use more forceful or destructive ways to get their needs met).

Each person is responsible for seeing that they get their own needs met – this is an inside job, not something that is fulfilled by another person. People who share the same needs will feel a connection or common bond. 

Two people who do not share at least one common need will feel little connection with another person. Co-workers who do not share similar needs will have a hard time working together. Close friends, partners and mate relationships will usually share two or three needs in common.

Security

Security is the need to feel safe, to feel assured that they know what is going to happen, to know ahead of time what the plans are. What constitutes Security can be different for different people.

Examples of how Security manifests for different people:

  • Having lots of money in the bank
  • Having a planned savings/retirement program
  • Having a secure job
  • Having a house, home and family
  • Having a dependable car
  • Paying off the mortgage or having no debts
  • Having excellent personal and family health, or health insurance that covers any possibility
  • Having life insurance to protect their family
  • Having deep personal faith or personal conviction that they will be OK regardless of what happens in the world
  • Carrying a gun or having a way to protect themselves
  • Knowing their personal family history, or ethnic background
  • Living in a gated/guarded community
  • Living near friends and family.

Positive aspects: Whatever makes you feel safe, balanced, grounded, connected, safe, secure, trusting that things will be OK in your life.

Negative aspects: Overly cautious, fearful, paralyzed, indecisive, frozen in place, unable to function due to insecurity, retaliation against someone who they believe destroys their sense of Security.

How this need affects the workplace: People who have a need for Security will be more deeply affected by sudden changes, unforeseen events, real or perceived threats to their job, their livelihood, or their sense of self.  Their fear will keep them from functioning in times of crisis or potentially cause them to react strongly to someone that they feel is threatening their sense of security.  People who have a high need for security will be drawn more to working in government or public sector jobs than to entrepreneurial enterprises.

People who have a low Security need or have a need for Adventure may welcome change of any kind, while those with a high Security need may react very strongly at even minor changes. A manager who has a need for Adventure with a staff with high Security needs can create havoc and traumatic reactions very quickly.

Adventure

Adventure is the need for an adrenaline rush, to have new experiences, to travel, to have BIG experiences, to have drama in their life, to have a sense of anticipation about upcoming events.

Examples of how Adventure manifests for different people:

  • Planning new trips (even if they are never taken)
  • Re-organizing a department or company
  • Starting a new company or division
  • Creating new markets, new products or new industries
  • Changing partners or spouses
  • Changing jobs frequently
  • Moving frequently
  • Buying a new car every year
  • Being an entrepreneur or being self-employed
  • Changing work assignments or locations
  • Conquering something (climbing the highest mountain, winning the gold medal, setting new records)
  • Experimenting with new techniques or materials
  • Being first to do something or try something
  • Loving the challenge of solving problems
  • Racing sports of all types (the thrill of victory!)

Positive aspects: Sense of higher self-confidence, independence, risk-taking, optimism, excitement, enthusiasm for living.

Negative aspects: Reckless regard for life and limb, irresponsibility, cutting themselves off from people (hermit), judgmental of others who are less adventurous, creating crisis or drama inappropriately.

How this need affects the workplace: People with a need for Adventure will be leading the pack to find new things to do, new places to visit, new markets to open, new products to sell, new ways of doing things, new ways of organizing the company.

They make excellent sales people, who love the thrill of making a sale or opening doors to new clients/customers. They could be a customer service representative who gets a thrill every time the phone rings with a new problem, or they could be an entrepreneur who starts companies over and over.

If things get too boring, people with a need for Adventure will find a way to liven them up – either in a positive way by initiating something new or in negative ways by going off on their own, taking great risks or by criticizing others who can’t see that the new Adventure is wonderful!

As mentioned in Security, the conflict between people with a need for Adventure and those with a need for Security can create havoc. Some people have both Security and Adventure in their highest three needs; this creates a particularly challenging situation for them as they seem to be opposites. To handle both appropriately, a person might enjoy travel to new places (Adventure) yet will carefully plan out the trip (Security) – satisfying both needs in a positive way for themselves. Or, they might find themselves constantly torn by conflict between the two. If they realize they are responsible for resolving their own needs, the conflict can be managed in a positive way.

Freedom

Freedom is the need for independence and spontaneity. It is also the need to have choices and to feel in control of making those choices. In many people, Freedom might be combined with Adventure, since a person who has a need for Freedom might be willing to partake of more Adventures, than a person who has both Freedom and Security. Freedom does not care for plans or heavy structure. What constitutes Freedom for one person may be very different from another’s need perception of Freedom.

Examples of how Freedom manifests for different people:

  • Having choices and making their own choices
  • Feeling free to move around without restrictions
  • Feeling free to make decisions in their job
  • Making choices about relationships
  • Choosing where they live
  • Choosing what work assignments they will accept
  • Teaching others how to be self-sufficient
  • Refusing to obey rules that were created by someone else
  • Making or enforcing rules that allow Freedom and free choices for others
  • Advocating Freedom as a basic human right
  • Keeping their options open by not making decisions
  • Re-arranging their work space
  • Changing their appearance, hair style or way of dressing
  • Feeling free to be themselves, regardless of what they are doing or what situation they find themselves in
  • Feeling free to search or seek out answers rather than having answers imposed upon them
  • Having the freedom to work as they feel is best – either by what hours they work, what days they work, or by how they approach a job or a project
  • Refusing to “make a commitment” (an easily recognized example of the need for Freedom)

Positive aspects: Independence, self-confidence, high self-esteem, teaching others, clarity, a way out of martyrdom (feeling stuck, trapped or sorry for yourself)

Negative aspects: Relationship avoidance, fear of commitment, separation and distancing from others, inability to understand others and be understood, manipulative (imposing on people’s freedom).

How this need affects the workplace: People with a need for Freedom may resist any and all attempts to impose new rules on them. If they work in an “open” environment, they may excel at projects that require or reward independent thinking and spontaneity. They will make good teachers of people who are expected to exercise independent judgment.

Someone who manages a person with a need for Freedom will get along best with them when they recognize and respect that person’s to make choices for themselves. People with a need for Freedom must recognize that need in themselves and not take jobs that are very rule-oriented; rather they must look for situations where their need for Freedom can be exercised appropriately.

Exchange

Exchange is the need to trade information and knowledge with others, not just to mingle or socialize, but to deliver and receive something of value. That something of value may be information, conversation, communication, energy, friendship, services, money, gifts, love, justice, shared experiences. People with a need for exchange are concerned about the flow of energy in all types of relationships. They like to see things “moving” in some way that expresses balanced equality, integrity and an equal exchange.

Examples of how Exchange manifests for different people:

  • Participating with others in discussions of all types
  • Staying in touch with friends, family and business associates (phone calls, letters, e-mail, in-person visits, gifts, etc.)
  • Feeling a sense of camaraderie with co-workers
  • Working with others who have a common goal
  • Participating in groups (teams, committees, clubs, boards, etc.) where they feel they are valued and receive value from others
  • Seeing that justice is done
  • Feeling a sense of fairness and balance in interactions with others
  • Working in a way that creates equality for all participants
  • Feeling a sense of integrity and trust with others
  • Sharing information with others and receiving information in return
  • Working with contracts and agreements
  • Studying (and working with) situations and people related to ethics, integrity and justice
  • Building and maintaining an active network of contacts
  • Making introductions to others through their network.
  • Sharing a deep relationship with another person, where they feel able to communicate and interact freely and easily.

Positive aspects: Positive role model for relationships; maintaining an equal balanced flow of <whatever> in a relationship; keeping things moving (knowledge, information, communication, energy); promoting equality in all interactions; working with money, contracts, justice, ethics, integrity, wholeness, balance.

Negative aspects: Keeping secrets, withholding communications, engaging in inappropriate communications (gossip, lying, and criticism), cynicism, general negativity, stinginess, not participating with others in an equal or balanced way, unethical behaviour or treatment of others.

How this need affects the workplace: People who have a need for Exchange work well with others with common goals. If a person who has a need for Exchange meets someone that does not interact well with them, they will “write off” the person and the relationship, finding no common ground for interaction. If this other person is a boss, client or co-worker it will be very hard for them to continue any further interaction with the person.

A person with a need for Exchange needs to feel they are getting something of value from someone else and that they are giving something of value. They will be very distressed by unethical or discriminatory behaviour or learning that information has been withheld from them.

Power

People with a need for Power need to be in a position of authority and responsibility. They need to explore Power, leadership and accomplishment. People with a need for Power tend to be good organizers and accept responsibility, setting an example of leadership.

Examples of how Power manifests for different people:

  • Managing a company, a division or a department
  • Becoming a leader in a civic organization or professional group
  • Organizing events, trips, projects
  • Achieving success
  • Helping others feel empowered
  • Being a well-known speaker
  • Becoming an authority on some topic
  • Writing a book that expresses leadership
  • Being responsible for people, things, projects, events, situations
  • Being a leader and recognized as a leader
  • Teaching others about leadership and responsibility
  • Taking command of an army or a military unit
  • Taking over a country
  • Rescuing a company in trouble
  • Taking charge during an emergency or crisis

Positive aspects: Self-empowerment, leadership, accomplishment, success, organization of others and things, responsibility.

Negative aspects: Viciousness, abuse of power, dictatorship, inappropriate control and manipulation, anger, violence against others or things.

How this need affects the workplace: People with a need for Power will gravitate to situations that allow them to exercise their leadership skills and responsibility. This may be on a grand scale or on a smaller level. When they cannot exercise their need for Power, they may become manipulative through coercive power, threats or over-control. A person with a need for Power may exercise it in the workplace; find outlets in a community setting or in teaching others about the use of appropriate Power.

People with a need for Power may be noticed when they enter a room because they carry a strong sense of leadership and are used to be in command. These are good folks to put in charge when something needs accomplishing. They will be happiest when they feel powerful. They will be unhappiest when someone or something prevents them from exercising Power in some way, or if they feel a sense of personal failure.

Expansion

Expansion is the need to build something, to add onto, to create an empire, to expand horizons, to go where no one has gone before.

Examples of how Expansion manifests for different people:

  • Building a company
  • Building a personal or political empire
  • Creating a personal fortune
  • Expanding a collection of any kind
  • Saving rare art, rare books or historic buildings from destruction
  • Protecting the environment because it benefits humanity
  • Building new buildings, cities, communities, roads
  • Expanding a market niche
  • Creating new knowledge
  • Discovering new ways of doing things
  • Expanding the boundaries of science, art, medicine, music or nature
  • Expanding the knowledge of physical and spiritual laws
  • Understanding how the Universe works and explaining it to others
  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Becoming an astronaut, oceanographer, medical researcher or scientist focused on exploring new worlds
  • Exploring uninhabited lands or regions
  • Becoming a minister, preaching about people’s connection with a larger spiritual reality
  • Creating new breeds of animals or plants

Positive aspects: Growth and expansion; recognizing the value of others; recognizing the value of art, science, nature, physical and spiritual laws; working with cosmology; recognizing a connection with great spiritual teachers (Christ, Buddha, the Higher Self); working with the study of intuition and psychic interests; understanding how the Universe works and how they fit into it; understanding themselves and others.

Negative aspects: Indiscriminate growth (cancer, huge weight gains, hoarding things, large collections of odd things), confusion, loss, abandonment, betrayal, loss, suicide, atheism, evil, sin, spiritual separation.

How this need affects the workplace: People with a need for Expansion will constantly be trying to expand their knowledge and the boundaries of that knowledge. This is good if they are in positions where that energy can be focused on assisting a company grow, creating new knowledge or creating new products. It can be bad if their only outlet for expansion is to take from others. When their need for expansion is thwarted, they may turn that need into inappropriate and harmful ways.

Acceptance

Acceptance is the need to accept yourself and be accepted by others.  This includes a feeling of belonging.  People with a need for Acceptance are usually very easy-going and pleasant to have in a group.

Examples of how Acceptance manifests for different people:

  • Participating with situations that are open and accepting of everyone
  • Feeling a sense of acceptance by co-workers
  • Being accepted by neighbours
  • Being accepted as a valuable member of a family group
  • Being accepted into a club or group
  • Working with people who need extra attention and acceptance
  • Feeling loved
  • Accepting whatever comes up in life
  • Doing things that make others feel good
  • Being nice regardless of the situation or the person
  • Being tolerant of self and others

Positive aspects: Understanding and participating in love and loving situations, romance, bondedness, sense of family or tribe, self-esteem, self-forgiveness, forgiveness of others, altruistic, humanitarian.

Negative aspects: Rejection, jealousy, prejudice, guilt, shame, hate, xenophobia (group prejudice, fear of different classes of people)

How this need affects the workplace: People who have a need for Acceptance are a valuable addition to any group. They will often be a stabilizing presence and help others tolerate each other a little better. They may “go along” to whatever proposals are made to avoid any conflict in a group. It is very hard for them to express any different opinion because of their fear of being rejected.

A person with a need for Acceptance needs to feel they are accepted, as well as accepting others. They can be seen as a “doormat” with no opinion of their own or their time may be abused since they will rarely criticize others or say “no.” Because of this, they may be rejected by others, which cause them more severe pain because of their high need for Acceptance.

Community

People with a need for Community, like having people around. They are highly social and will express their enjoyment of gatherings. These are the best folks to put in charge of parties and company gatherings. They will seek out people and are able to maintain large numbers of relationships. The need for Community is different from the need for Exchange in that the need for Community does not require the exchange of anything.

Examples of how Community manifests for different people:

  • Throwing parties for the slightest of reasons
  • Being the centre of the office network
  • Participating in classes, groups, clubs
  • Going to a shopping mall or concert just to be around large groups of people
  • Being the cook for large family gatherings
  • Hosting family gatherings, groups of friends
  • Opening their home to people with common interests that may be in town for some reason
  • Running for public office
  • Gathering signatures for a petition or ballot initiative
  • Being part of a campaign to save the rain forests or a wild life area
  • Creating a learning centre for people interested in political, social, environmental or spiritual goals

Positive aspects: Need to be around other people; highly social; need to be tribal; ability to have and relate to children, grandchildren, distant relatives; need for family; need for bonding at a wider level; political and ecological participation; responsibility as a citizen; sense of one’s own importance and dignity in relation to the rest of humanity.

Negative aspects: Indiscriminate contact, neediness, clinging, dependence, irresponsibility, criminal behaviour, short-term thinking.

How this need affects the workplace: People with a need for Community will be with people every chance they can get. They may be the centre of the gathering or on the sidelines. They may be the ones bringing forth proposals that point out a company’s responsibilities to the environment or the community.

These are not people to be sent to work in an isolated laboratory, work the midnight shift or sent on a mission where they will not be able to socialize with others. Because socializing is such an innate talent with them, others may feel jealous and not understand the high need to be with other people. Others who are less social may be compared inappropriately and told, “If they can do it, so can you.” That’s not necessarily so. Not everyone has an inherent need (or even tolerance) for very high social contact. The less-social folks may want tag along occasionally, letting those with Community gather the crowds.

Expression

Expression is the need to be artistic, to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. It is the need to express oneself through words, speech, actions, dress, art and self-creations of all types.

Examples of how Expression manifests for different people:

  • Expressing through the Internet (creating web sites, writing newsletters, creating graphic art, stating opinions)
  • Writing books, poems, articles
  • Reading poetry at coffee houses
  • Writing opinion articles for newspapers and magazines
  • Public speaking about topics that are near and dear to the speaker
  • Creating art in all forms (painting, jewelry, crafts, interior design, graphic design, furniture design, architecture)
  • Teaching creative thinking classes or workshops
  • Designing company logos or ad campaigns
  • Coaching children in creative arts
  • Dancing or teaching dance in all forms
  • Acting in movies, plays or local theatres

Positive aspects: Demonstrating individual creativity, showing balance, getting in touch with creativity, promoting understanding (by revealing self) through art, words, behaviour; being a living expression of “who I am.”

Negative aspects: Invasion of other’s space (too much self-expression), self-centred, temperamental, blind to other’s value, lying, creating or expressing a false image.

How this need affects the workplace: People with a need for Expression will be happiest when they are free to express their inherent creativity. Examples might be through writing or designing a company newsletter; creating a company logo; developing company brochures; designing a new work space arrangement; creating designs for new products , services or related materials; designing or maintaining a company’s Internet web site; giving speeches on behalf of the company’s values, goals and mission (if they reflect the person’s values and beliefs).

In many companies, expression of individuality is rigidly controlled and monitored. This may lead to destruction of an individual’s ability to function fully and productively in that environment.

For a person with a need for Expression, such an environment will either drive them toward negative expressions or they will go where their creativity is valued. People, who cannot be creative or expressive through their work, may find outlets in community activities that are sufficient to satisfy their need for Expression.

How to use this information for yourself and for understanding others

  1. Read over the descriptions of all the nine needs.
  2. Determine which of the needs are highest to lowest for you (rank them 1 – 9, with 1 being highest), if you can.
  3. Or, group your needs into top tier (3 highest), middle tier (3 middle) and lowest tier (3 lowest).
  4. For each need of your top tier, think about how your life has been driven to satisfy those needs in positive ways.
  5. And/or, how you’ve acted from the negative aspect of those needs.
  6. Ask yourself the following questions: What is happening in your life today that satisfies your highest needs?
  7. Are there strong needs that are not being satisfied for you?
  8. What changes can you make so that your highest needs are satisfied?
  9. Have your needs changed much since childhood? Is this because you have found ways to satisfy them easily, or have they been constant sources of frustration?

You may find that some needs seem to be of equal importance or that you can’t decide between the 3rd and 4th highest. That’s OK. If the needs are very strong, consider them to be in your “top tier.” Sometimes, unmet needs exert extra force so we pay attention to them for a while.

Once you are fairly sure about where your needs rank, think about the people you are closest to and what their needs might be (spouse, partner, co-workers, close friends, children, etc.)

Talking to others about what your needs are, how they affect your life and how they affect your interaction is a valuable exercise to gain understanding. For working teams, learning what is important to each member of the team helps reduce friction and improves communication.

Knowing the needs of others helps us understand that they may be acting from their own highest needs, not just doing something to frustrate us!

SourcesNine needs material adapted from various workshops by Jose & Lena Stevens, Pivotal Resources and JP Van Hulle, Michael Education Foundation.

A LESSON IN TIME

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

A LESSON IN TIME When a bird is alive, it eats ants. When the bird is dead, ants eat the bird! So time & circumstances can change at any time. Don’t devalue or hurt anyone in life. You may be powerful today, but remember… … Time is more powerful than you.

One tree makes a million match sticks, but when the time comes, only one match stick is needed to burn a million trees. So be good to others, because you never know what tomorrow may bring. Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich!

A new DEFINITION of happiness

Posted: September 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

A New Definition of Happiness

A New Definition of Happiness
Author:
Alec Borenstein

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Happiness.  It’s a word we hear about all the time.  It’s something that we work for, that we work to achieve.  Yet day by day we seem no closer to attaining it.  Happiness eludes us.

Yes, we’ve had moments when we felt happy.  Perhaps it was a wedding.  Or a birth of a child.  Or it was that other night, when we were hanging out with friends, or spending time with family.  In those moments, we felt happy, truly, deeply happy.  Transcendent almost.

And then it fades.  Darkness ensues.  The happiness is gone.  In its place will often be a vacuum. 

We ask, ‘What’s the point?’  If we have the inalienable right to pursue happiness, then what is the point if we don’t feel like we can ever reach it, or achieve it?  That which we want more than anything, to be happy, seems to be something that we can’t have.

Maybe if we had more money!  That’s really all we need!  Or maybe it’s that brand spankin’ new 3D-LED HD TV.  A new car?  Yes, that’s it!

No, no it’s not money or things we want, but we want a relationship.  A man or woman who will complete us – that will make us happy!  If we’re in a relationship – if only we weren’t in the relationship! 

But then we get those things and after a brief honeymoon we’re back where we started. 

Empty.  Sad.  So we try to think of other things.  And the cycle continues.

It seems we can’t be happy.  So what do we do? 

We employ distraction.  We watch TV (obsessively) to distract ourselves from our lives so we don’t have to think about how miserable we are or how miserable the world is.  We drink.  We smoke.  We eat.  We check our phones every thirty seconds. 

We take subconscious shortcuts to happiness.  Yet we never seem to be any happier, if anything, the shortcuts seem to be part of the problem.  Then we become addicted to the distractions and we are even more unhappy.  Turn on the 11:00 news – you know what I mean.  The world sucks, so how can we be happy anyway?

A NEW DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS

After spending the last paragraphs utterly depressed it’s time to step away from the ledge.  Because we can be happy.  But in order to be happy we have to unlearn everything we’ve ever thought about or even lived about happiness.

First – what happiness ISN’T.

Happiness is not an endpoint. 

If our goal is to achieve happiness then we will never be happy.

Yes, read that again. 

Happiness is not the goal.  The pursuit of happiness is an illusion.  If we pursue happiness we will never reach it.

Until now we’ve thought about happiness as the destination.  It’s not.

‘Wait, what are you talking about?’ 

We have been told from everyone – parents, teachers, politicians, tv personalities, that the goal of our lives is to achieve happiness.  It’s in the Declaration of Independence!  Can Thomas Jefferson be wrong?

Yes, it’s everywhere.  We are told time and time again that we must pursue happiness.  We are told the goal of our lives is to be happy.

Yet how many of us are happy?  Not many.  Because we cannot pursue happiness.  Let me rephrase, we can pursue happiness if we wish, but we’ll never get there.  Our efforts will be futile.  We know this because we have lived this.  We are living this.

It’s time for us to develop a new concept of happiness.  It’s time for us to redefine happiness because our current definition is just not working.  No – it’s worse than that.  Our current definition, of happiness as our goal/destination is simply wrong.

So what is happiness? 

Happiness is a result.  

Happiness is what results when we are on the path we instinctually know that we should be on.  Happiness is what results when we are growing, when we are expanding, when we are developing.

Happiness is not something we can do, or achieve.  It’s a result.  It’s a byproduct.  When we are growing, when we are expanding, the result will be happiness.

We will never achieve happiness if our goal is happiness. 

Our goal must be one of expansion, growth, development.  While we are working toward that goal, we will be happy. 

Happiness is not about smiling.  It isn’t about the expression of joy on the face.  We might be toiling harder than we have ever toiled before.  The expressions on our faces might be one of pain, contempt.  But inside we will be singing because we are working on ourselves and developing and growing.  The result is happiness. 

Therefore, the key, the key for you to be thinking about right now is – are you on the right path?  Are you learning?  Are you growing?  Are you developing?  Because when you can honestly answer ‘Yes’ to those questions, then you will be on your journey, and the result will be happiness.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/motivational-articles/a-new-definition-of-happiness-5373161.html

About the Author

Coach Alec is a coach and motivational speaker for men and women in their 30s and 40s who feel stuck in their current jobs or who feel they lack direction.  Coach Alec has helped his clients figure out their next career steps and develop the courage to start walking.  Contact

How to be Happy and Stress-Free All The Time
Author: Kurt Arrow

Happiness is right here, right now. You are inherently unconditionally happy and stress-free. You don’t have to achieve it. It’s there all the time. It’s the TRUE YOU.

If you’re like most people, you’re always just beyond reach of true happiness. Always looking for answers. Always seeking ways of how to be happy. Then, when you think you found the answer, and you’re happy for a while, it fades away.

Happiness and stress are complete opposites. And just as if they were on a see-saw, they always maintain their position, completely opposite of each other. When one goes up, the other goes down.

The more stress you have, the more unhappy you are. When you’re extremely happy, you won’t have stress. The TRUE YOU, in a state of stress-free happiness, is found in the current moment – the here and now. It’s your see-saw raised all the way up and stress, on the opposite end, is all the way down.

When you experience something for the first time, you are in the here and now. After you’ve had a melt down and cry your eyes out, you automatically return to the TRUE YOU feeling happy and a great sense of relief. The same happens after a really difficult problem or illness is resolved. You return to the here and now, happy and stress-free.

How about that awesome feeling on the first day of your vacation (after the stress of traveling to the destination) when you let go of all your problems and stress melts away? The TRUE YOU emerges. Even doing drugs or alcohol, which allow you to live in the current moment, you’re happy and stress-free.

Have you ever gotten advice to keep busy so that you don’t think about your problems? If you took that advice, you became the TRUE YOU focusing on what you’re doing in the here and now. Did you ever notice how happy you are when engaged in your favorite activity? Again, you’re in the current moment and not thinking about the past or future. That’s an awesome feeling, right? Stress is always the complete opposite so when you’re in that happy state, there’s no stress. That’s what true happiness is. That’s what you already have, and can feel that way all of the time, if you remain in the here and now.

It’s a very simple concept, but for most of us, is hard to accept that it could be that easy to find true happiness. The reason it’s difficult to accept, is that we are filtering in our memories of what we’ve learned (from the past) about stress and happiness, and until now, have never heard of something like this. If you stay focused on this article, in the current moment, your life is about to change. Your mind has been conditioned to seek conditional happiness, through one or more of your senses. Conditional happiness fades away. The TRUE YOU has unconditional happiness that never fades away. You’ll see what I mean shortly.

If you want to test it out, to see if what I’m saying is true, think about one of the problems in your life that you consider a current issue. Take your time, I’ll wait. Okay, did your happiness decrease and your stress increase? Now, ask yourself is the problem something from the past or a fear/negative prediction of the future? Or is it right here in the current moment, like you’re trapped in a burning building?

You might think it’s a “current moment” problem, but if you analyze it, it usually isn’t. Let’s say you’re unhappy in a relationship. Aren’t you unhappy about past experiences with that person, or is the unhappiness based on your negative prediction of the future that things aren’t going to improve between you? Or perhaps you can’t make a decision about whether or not you want to end the relationship, due to fear (of the future) if you were to make the wrong decision or be left all alone?

Here’s another example: Your best friend thoughtlessly forgot your birthday and you feel sad. Your thoughts are memories of the past such as, “I did so much for his birthday and he doesn’t even give me a call!” or “What kind of a friend (memory of life experience) does that?” You may have thoughts of the future like, “Some birthday this is going to be. I wonder if anyone will care.”

I’m not suggesting that you analyze everything. I’m only trying to gain your trust that I’m telling you the truth. If you live in the here and now, you will quickly gain the ability to spot stress, even before it hits you. At this point, you may be wondering how to stop those spontaneous thoughts about the past or future. That will be addressed momentarily. I’m going to give you an easy 3 step system that keeps you focused in the here and now, as well as how to let go of those unwanted thoughts, in just a bit. If you understand why you’re not realizing the TRUE YOU, you’ll be able to make the changes that will reveal the truth.

There are four human emotions which are happy, mad, sad and fearful. Since “happy” is constant (the TRUE YOU) the other three are standing in your way of always being happy. Mad, sad and fearful are stress. All stress is outside of the here and now. I call this the FALSE YOU.

You may feel stress in the current moment, but it’s the result of thinking of the past or future. For example: You’re angry about what Joe said behind your back. The anger wouldn’t exist anymore (in the current moment) if you stopped thinking about the past and what was already said. Problems appear as if they are in the current moment, but they only exist when you’re thinking about the future. The only problems in the current moment are the ones you are solving right in that moment. You’ll be totally convinced that you need to keep it floating around in constant memory. The truth is, you will come up with solutions to problems a lot easier when your mind isn’t cluttered.

When you get those kind of thoughts that take you away from the present moment, you simply let them go. When you let them go, stress drops and when stress is at its lowest, happiness maintains its complete opposite, at its peak. At first, you might think that you won’t have your pleasant memories from the past, or you won’t be able to dream or have goals about the future, if you let go of thoughts. Or that you’ll become an empty shell, without feelings or emotions. That’s the FALSE YOU who thinks that. The truth is, your memory improves dramatically and your joy of living is multiplied a thousand times! You start enjoying even simple little things, without effort. Your mind clears so all your pleasant memories and dreams for the future are vivid and spectacular.

There is a proven method that I call Thought Watching, which will reveal the TRUE YOU. This process is designed to keep you in the here and now and make you aware of how controlling your thoughts have been. It helps you to realize that you can take control of your thoughts to prevent self inflicted stress and suffering. You can’t control spontaneous thoughts that just pop into your mind, but you can control your reaction. You can’t control feelings and emotions that are instantly triggered, but you can control your reaction. You may not be pleased to learn that you’re the cause of your stress and negative states of mind, but you will get a great sense of empowerment when you realize how easy it is to stay happy and stress-free, and you’re in control.

When put into practice, you’ll have immediate results, that will give you the skill to let go of mad, sad and fearful permanently. You’ll still have these emotions but in an entirely different way. They won’t stand in the way of your happiness. They won’t cloud your thinking like they currently do. You’ll gain control so if you want to be sad for a while, you can, then you decide when you want it to end.

Thought Watching is three easy steps to help you identify the FALSE YOU, so you’ll be able to get rid of it forever. 1) Observe. 2) Acknowledge. 3) Let it go. Remember that the TRUE YOU is already there, so you won’t have to make any effort to find it.

Step 1 – OBSERVE: Live in the here and now. Watch everything you do, in the current moment. Observe how your thoughts trigger your emotions. Observe how thoughts of the past or of the future are what triggers mad, sad and fearful emotions. None of these emotions are found in the present moment. Observe every feeling that you get. Observe every thought that you get. Observe everything you taste, touch, smell, see and hear. Even if you get thoughts of the past or the future, just observe. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, No thoughts. Observe. Do not act or react. Just observe.

Step 2 – ACKNOWLEDGE: Acknowledge everything you observe. This will help you focus on living in the here and now. If you’re not thinking of something that already happened, or something that hasn’t happened yet, you will not be mad, sad or fearful. This is where the truth, unconditional eternal happiness and the TRUE YOU can be found. Everything outside of the present moment is falsehood and that is where you will find sorrow, despair, anger, pain, suffering, fear, lies, deception, hatred, stress and the FALSE YOU.

Here is an example of what a typical day (in your thoughts) might be like when you practice Observe, Acknowledge, Let it go:

Opening eyes. Struggling to wake up. Hearing radio. This body is sore. This back is killing me. Rubbing eyes. Feeling good, but a little tired. Remembering to observe, acknowledge and let go. Getting a happy feeling. Sitting up at the edge of the bed. Turning off the radio. This body is sore. Cleaning corner of eyes with fingernail. Standing up. This back really is painful. Recalling what day of the week this is. Thinking about confronting Stan about his comments. Getting angry. Started clinging to bad feeling, but remembered to let it go. I should have just said, Angry feeling. Walking to the bathroom. Thinking what I’m going to say without screaming at him or punching him. Anxious feeling . Closing bathroom door. Walking over to the toilet. Lifting the lid. Sitting on toilet seat. This back really hurts. Hearing a large truck go by. Feeling scum on teeth with tongue. Hearing noisy birds outside. Looking at radiator. And on and on all day. Do you see how everything that was observed is being acknowledged?

Note how every time you refer to your body or yourself, you never say “me,” “mine,” or “my.” You are not taking ownership of anything that’s experienced through any of your five senses, which includes thoughts. If you have physical pain and you refer to it as “painful feeling,” rather than “I’m in such pain,” then you don’t have mental pain along with the physical pain.

You are learning to see each thought for what it is, before your mind manipulates it. Typically, you might have a thought like, “That jerk really hurt my feelings. I would never treat him like that. Who does he think he is? That’s okay, I’ll get even.” What you’re going to do now, is observe and acknowledge “Thinking of jerk. Angry feeling .” That’s all. Nothing more. It was a thought that triggered several thoughts and a bad feeling. It’s not yours and it won’t upset you. You let it go.

You’ll be rewarded all day long, for your efforts. Every time you remember to observe, acknowledge and let it go, you’ll get a happy feeling. You’ll be living in the here and now which is pure happiness. There’s no time for worrying about your problems or the future, so your stress level will drop dramatically. You will feel lighter, like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders, and it will motivate you to continue living in the current moment.

Step 3 – LET IT GO: This is the most important of the three steps. Thoughts are like bubbles in boiling water. The bubbles suddenly appear (your thoughts suddenly appear) then, almost immediately, they disappear. Can you imagine the frustration you’d have if you tried to hold on to those bubbles? That would be stressful, right? That’s why thoughts are stressful when they’re not let go of. You can picture your thought being inside a bubble as you let it go and watch it rise into the sky, until it’s gone from sight.

Everything that you experience through your five senses becomes a single thought. Sometimes they come at you rapid fire, forming a group of thoughts. For purposes of letting go, think of groups as one thought. You observe it arise. You acknowledge what the thought is, or the feeling it triggers, and you let it go. If the thought is allowed to stay, new thoughts will stem from it, and you’ll open the opportunity to manipulate it. If you held on to a few bad thoughts in a row, you might consider it as being in a bad mood or having a bad day. The truth is, moods only exist when you don’t let go. When you let twenty-three bad thoughts go, they weren’t yours and your day isn’t ruined. You remain happy. With bad thoughts especially, you’ll be completely convinced that you need to keep thinking about it and not let it go. What you’re subconsciously doing, is looking for relief from feeling so bad. And rather than being responsible for your own feelings, you blame others, or say you have bad luck. You didn’t have a choice. It’s been conditioned into you, your entire life. Now you have a choice. Now you have relief! Now you can let it go.

It’s interesting to note that what ever thoughts you let go of, the complete opposite takes its place. If you let go of a bad thought, a good thought takes its place. If you let go of a sad thought, a happy thought takes its place. If you let go of anger, peacefulness takes its place. If you let go of jealousy, contentment takes its place. If you let go of fear, bravery takes its place. If you let go of disbelief, belief takes its place. There’s one exception to this phenomena, and that’s if you let go of a happy thought, nothing changes. You remain happy. That’s the TRUE YOU. Letting go of happy thoughts will help you understand and your doubt will be replaced with conviction.

It’s extremely important that you let go of happy thoughts and feelings. Let go of all thoughts. You may think that letting go of all thoughts will make you just an empty shell of a person. You may think that letting go of your feelings and emotions will make you just a zombie who doesn’t care about anything. That’s the FALSE YOU thinking these things. It’s simply not true. Your mind will be free and clear to have much more intense feelings.

Resist the temptation to hold on to happy thoughts. Let’s say you get a thought, “Vacation is only three weeks away,” and you try to hold on to it. New thoughts stem from that such as “That’s going to be so relaxing!” “Just beach and sun!” “No schedules.” “No pressure.” “That’s going to be great.” “I can’t wait.” You’re off in a daydream and it feels great. And then, CRASH! It ends and you’re back in stress city. You end up disappointed and sad. If you had let it go, you would have enjoyed the thought that “Vacation is only three weeks away!”
and that’s it. It ends and you’re not disappointed or sad. The FALSE YOU has been conditioned to seek pleasure of the senses. You never knew that you had happiness with you without trying. My words, here, won’t be enough to convince you of this. You will soon understand.

Observe, acknowledge, let it go. If you forget to do it or have any difficulty with any of these three steps, just loop right back to observe, acknowledge, let it go. Most people have fears, doubts and skepticism, but if you let them go, you’ll be left with The TRUE YOU who is unconditionally happy and stress-free.

Live in the here and now and let go of all thoughts. That’s the simple truth of how to be happy and stress-free.. It’s a beautiful thing.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/self-help-articles/how-to-be-happy-and-stress-free-all-the-time-5570426.html

About the Author

Kurt Arrow, Personal Achievement Consultant.  After a botched suicide attempt, I began a quest to find true happiness.  After hundreds of self improvement books and articles, positive thinking, healthy living, exercising to burn off stress, several religions and enlightenment, I found it.  Forty years of struggle.  Pain and suffering that included having my home, car and business repossessed, a nervous breakdown, being homeless and severe depression, to name a few.  Finally, on went the light bulb.  I had the answer the whole time and didn’t know it.  Live in the current moment.  After training my mind to let go of thoughts, it all became crystal clear.  Pure unconditional happiness was all that remained.  My compassion for other people, who were stuck in the cycle of suffering, grew.  I decided to create a self-help program that was simple to implement, was highly effective, and gave instant results.  The first 3 days of my 12 day program can be seen at my website, happiness-for-sale.com  so stop in for a visit today.

The Best Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Health

The Best Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep

by: Dr. Isaac Eliaz

What you eat can drastically affect how you sleep, so in order to get a good night’s rest, it is essential to choose foods that calm your mind and body rather than those that stimulate you. Certain types of foods will naturally promote rest and relaxation, particularly those that contain tryptophan – the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that slows nerve activity within your brain.

 

Tryptophan

Since tryptophan is a precursor of other neurotransmitters in your brain, including serotonin and melatonin, eating foods that are rich in tryptophan will help you feel relaxed and sleepy. Foods such as turkey, hummus, lentils, and kelp are naturally high in tryptophan and also contain nutrients that provide a host of other health benefits. In addition, bananas not only contain tryptophan, but also potassium and magnesium, which are natural muscle relaxants. Fresh and dried cherries are also one of the only natural food sources of melatonin. Read more of my healthy diet recommendations by visiting http://www.dreliaz.org/recommends-diet.

Carbohydrates

Foods that are rich in starchy, high-glycemic carbohydrates may also promote better sleep, as they help to stimulate the release of insulin and tryptophan and cause these sleep-inducing substances to enter the brain. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, carbohydrates that are on the high end of the glycemic index scale, meaning they increase the body’s sugar levels rapidly, encourage sleep when eaten at least four hours before bedtime. Foods such as Jasmine rice, potatoes, carrots, corn, puffed cereal, and honey are some of the healthiest choices of simple carbohydrates.

Calcium

Calcium helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. Certain combinations, such as whole-grain cereal with milk, a peanut butter sandwich, or crackers with cheese contain both carbohydrates and calcium that work together to relax the mind and body. Calcium itself is so beneficial in helping you sleep, as it is a natural muscle relaxant that can also help you manage stress levels.

Timing

Eating these various foods calms your nervous system and triggers a sleep-inducing hormonal response, helping you rest better at night. However, timing is everything, as eating a large meal too late or eating right before bed time can actually have the opposite effect and keep you up at night. It is best to eat these foods later in the day or at least one hour before bed time since it takes about one hour for tryptophan from food sources to reach the brain.

Above all else, it is important to avoid rich, heavy and high-fat foods within two hours of bed time, as they require a lot of work to digest, and may cause stomach trouble and heartburn. It is also wise to avoid drinking too many liquids, including water, juice, tea or other fluids, as this may result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night. Caffeinated drinks, such as soda, coffee or caffeinated teas not only act as diuretics, but will also keep you stimulated and make falling asleep that much more difficult. For more recommendations on relaxation-promoting diet and supplementation tips, visit http://www.dreliaz.org.

About The Author

Dr. Isaac Eliaz is a respected author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator, and clinical practitioner. He has been a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980s. Dr. Eliaz is a frequent guest lecturer on integrative medical approaches to health, immune enhancement, and cancer prevention and treatment.