Saturday, December 10, 2011


Recover quickly from your mistakes!

by SECRET OF SUCCESS on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 7:57am



There will be times when you make mistakes, sometimes big ones. There will be times when you overreact, offend someone, overlook the obvious, say something you shouldn’t have, and so forth. I’ve yet to meet a person who is exempt from these oh-so human facts of life. So, perhaps the most important question isn’t so much whether or not you will mess up, but rather how quickly you can recover when you do.




We can turn a relatively minor setback or mistake into a much bigger deal by overanalyzing our actions (or someone else’s), or being too hard on ourselves Or we say something wrong and can’t let go of it, or we become defensive of our actions and refuse to apologize.




When I’m able to see my mistakes, admit them, and move on – I recover quickly. The result seems to be that when someone I’m working with offers a suggestion, or some type of constructive criticism, rather than feeling defensive or struggling to point out how I’m right and they are wrong, I try to keep an open mind and remain receptive to growth.


In most cases, the person making the suggestion has at very least a grain of truth or some wisdom in their suggestion. The trick seems to be the willingness to forgive yourself – and others—for being human and for making mistakes.



Once you recognize the truth of the old adage, “To err is human, to forgive is divine,” you create the emotional climate to recover from practically any mistake and move on
Tranquil Patience
by The Price of Expectations on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 11:09am





A need to be in control could make you argumentative today. You may become impatient when relating to others if they do not act or think the way would like them to. Adopting an attitude of patience could help you relax and deal with difficult situations more calmly. You'll likely find that what seemed so urgent when you were feeling impatient is of little consequence and easily rectified when you approach the situation calmly and without the need for things to go your way. It might help to remember today that there are many different ways of approaching any situation to affect the outcome you desire.




Being patient with others and keeping your expectations realistic allows you to avoid becoming frustrated when people don’t act or respond the way you'd like them to. Practicing patience can help you steer clear of many quarrels and ensures that your interactions with others remain positive. You won't be tempted to judge people harshly when they make a single mistake if you are patient. Patience helps you to be tolerant and helpful, even when you disagree with others or their methods. Those you encounter will appreciate your patience and serenity, as well as your ability to endure challenging situations without losing your cool or giving up. Be patient today, and you can avoid disagreements by being more open to exploring different ways of thinking and being.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Which Wolf?




Which Wolf - A Story 




One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.



He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.




"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.






"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."




The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"




The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Home Remedies for STRESS
by Home Remedies Tips and More on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 9:15am





Stress and depression can disturb the life as well as health of an individual. Being optimistic and taking help of others and planning can help ward off stress and depression.


The storms and stresses of life will either drive us forward or back, depending on how we direct our course. It is easy to blame others when the real problems usually lie within us. Our own personal response means far more than all the influences that surround us. Many of our failures are due to childish reactions that we have carried over into adult life. This is a common cause of mental and physical illness.



Most of our mental illnesses arise because the individual cannot cope with the stress and strain of life. It is the parent’s responsibility to help each child to grow up into full maturity and peace of mind.



Main causes for stress are:

Financial situation can cause stress at any time of the year. Overspending during the holidays on gifts, travel, food and entertainment can increase stress.



Relationships can cause tension, conflict or stress at any time. Family misunderstandings and conflict can increase the stress. A conflict mainly arises with so increased needs and interests to accommodate.




Loss of sleep often results in fatigue and quickly impairs a person’s normal judgment. The higher centers of the brain are the first to show the effects of overwork and anxiety. Such a person may become depressed, losing all interest in life and burdened with a sense of impending death.




Stress may he caused by a variety of factors. External factors include loud noises, blinding light, extreme heat or cold, X-rays and other forms of radiation, drugs, chemicals, bacterial and various toxic substance, pain, and inadequate nutrition

The factors from within the body include hate, envy, fear, or Jealousy.

Stress symptoms

Body, brain and nervous system react actively


The body and the mind react to any stress factor. A large number of physical changes take place when a person is under stress. The brain and nervous system become intensely active; the pupils of the eye dilate; digestion slows down; muscles become tense; the heart starts pumping blood harder and faster; blood pressure increases; breathing becomes faster; hormones such as adrenaline are released into the system along with glucose from the liver; and sweating starts. All these changes like place in split second under the direction of the nervous system. If the stress factors are removed immediately, no harm accrues and all the changes are reversible.

Poor sleep, frustration, increase in alcoholic intake etc


Stress in its earlier and reversible stage leads to poor sleep, bad temper, continual grumbling, domestic conflict, repealed minor sickness, accident proneness, a feeling of frustration, and increase in alcoholic intake.

Stress causes

External stress factors like loud noises, drugs, etc


Stress may he caused by a variety of factors both outside the body and within. External factors include loud noises, blinding light,extreme heat or cold, X-rays and other forms of radiation, drugs, chemicals, bacterial and various toxic substance, pain, and inadequate nutrition

 Internal stress factors like envy, jealousy, etc



The factors from within the body include hate, envy, fear, or Jealousy.

Home Remedies for Stress

Stress treatment using Holy Basil (tulsi)


The leaves of holy basil have been found beneficial in the treatment of stress. They are regarded as an anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves protect against stress significantly. It has been suggested that even healthy persons should chew twelve leaves of basil twice a day, morning and evening, for preventing stress

Stress treatment using Sage


The herb sage is considered valuable in stress. A tea prepared from the leaves of this plant should be given in the treatment of this condition. This tea is prepared by pouring a cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried sage leaves. The water should be covered and infused for several minutes. It should then be strained and sweetened, with honey, if desired. In the case of fresh leaves, a tablespoon of coarsely chopped sage leaves should be used and tea prepared in the same way

Stress treatment using Nutrients


Certain nutrients have proved beneficial in relieving stress. These are vitamins A and B; and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium which reduce the feeling of irritability and anxiety. Vitamin A is found in green and yellow vegetables. Some of the valuable sources of vitamin B are cashew nuts, green leafy vegetables, yeast, sprouts, and bananas. An element of vitamin B complex, pantothenic acid, is especially important in preventing stress. It has a deep effect on adrenal glands and the immune system; an adequate amount of this vitamin, along with vitamin A, can help prevent many of the changes caused by stress. Potassium deficiencies are associated with breathlessness, fatigue, insomnia, and low blood sugar. Potassium is essential for healthy heart muscles. Nuts and whole grains are good sources of this mineral. Calcium is a natural sedative. Deficiencies can cause fatigue, nervousness and tension. Dairy products, eggs, almonds, and soya beans are rich sources of this mineral. Magnesium is known as nature's tranquilliser and is associated with the prevention of heart attacks. It is found in many fruits, vegetables, seeds, dates, and prunes

Stress treatment using Other Foods


There are many foods which help in meeting the demands of stress and should be taken regularly by the patients. These include yoghurt, blackstrap molasses, seeds, and sprouts. Yoghurt is rich in vitamins A, D, and the B complex group. It relieves migraine, insomnia, and cramps associated with menstruation. Blackstrap molasses, a by-product of the sugar-refining process, is rich in iron and B vitamins. It guards against anaemia and is good for heart disease. Seeds such as alfalfa, sunflower, pumpkins, and sprout are rich in calcium and quite effective as deterrents of listlessness and anxiety.




If a loved one has recently died or you aren't near loved ones,   
realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK now and then to take time just to cry or express your feelings. You don't have to force yourself to be happy.

If you feel alone, seek out family members and friends, or   
community, religious or social services. They can offer support and companionship.

Getting involved and helping others can lift your spirits and   
broaden your social circle.

Find new ways to celebrate together from afar, such as sharing   
pictures, e-mails or videotapes.

Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if 
they don't live up to your expectations. Set aside grievances until    
a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if 
others get upset or distressed.

Before you go shopping, decide how much money you can     
afford to spend on gifts and other items. Then be sure to stick to 
your budget. If you don't, you could feel anxious and tense for 
months afterward as you struggle to pay the bills.

Prepare a plan for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other 
activities. That'll help prevent to create any confusion

Take sufficient sleep for 8-10 hours.


Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh     
you enough to handle everything you need to do. Go away to a 
silent place, even if it's the bathroom, for a few moments of   solitude.

Take a walk at night.


Listen to light music. This is very useful home remedy for stress.


Drink a hot cup of milk mixed with honey and cinnamon or  
nutmeg. It will help calm you down.

Avoid foods or drinks with alcohol, caffeine, chocolate or sugar.


Eat regularly, and eat whole foods such as vegetables and grains,   
avoiding processed foods.

Drink beverages with hops, such as non-alcoholic beer, for       
relaxation.


Chew twelve leaves of basil twice a day, morning and evening, for preventing stress. This is also very useful home remedy for 
stress.

Prepare a tea by pouring a cup of boiling water over one     teaspoon of dried sage leaves. The water should be covered and    
infused for several minutes. It should then be strained and  
sweetened, with honey, if desired.

Vitamins A and B; and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which reduce the feeling of irritability and anxiety, are also very helpful in reducing the stress.

Foods, which are helpful in reducing the stress, include yoghurt,    
blackstrap molasses, seeds, and sprouts.


Regular physical exercise plays an important role in the fight   
against stress.

Keeping anger within you adds to feelings of stress; blowing up i
n a rage is almost as bad.


Take a hot bath. It is a very good stress reliever.

      Diet for Stress


Lifestyle change, optimum diet, regular exercise and rest


In dealing with stress, the lifestyle of the patient needs a complete overhaul. He should be placed on an optimum diet, and be encouraged to take regular exercise and adequate rest. If this is done, many diseases caused by stress can be eliminated. Diet plays an important role in the prevention and healing of stress induced diseases.


Food to be avoided during stress


Certain foods associated with stress and anxiety should be scrupulously avoided. These foods are caffeine in coffee and many soft drinks, salt, sugar, cigarettes, and alcohol.


Other stress treatment

Do Regular physical exercise and eliminate unnecessary stress


Regular physical exercise plays an important role in the fight against stress. It not only keeps the body physically and mentally fit, but also provides recreation and mental relaxation, Recreation and rest are also important. The patient should set a definite time for recreational activities, and should take a holiday at regular intervals. Above all, he should simplify his style of living to eliminate unnecessary stress.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Rainbow Story

The Rainbow Story
Author Unknown

Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel: all claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.

Green said: "Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, leaves, trees--without me, all animals would die. Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."

Blue interrupted: "You only think about the Earth, but consider the sky and sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing."

Yellow chuckled. "You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth to the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Ever time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me, there would be no fun."

Orange started next to blow her temper. "I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangos, and pawpaws. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you."

Red could stand it no longer. He shouted out: "I am the ruler of all of you. I am blood! Life's blood. I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire to the blood! I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poppy and the poinsettia. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon!"

Purple rose up to his full height. He was very tall and spoke with great pomp: "I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am a sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me. They obey."

Finally, Indigo spoke, much more quietly than all the others but with just as much determination: "think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me, you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."

And so all the colors went on boasting and quarreling, each convinced of their own superiority. Soon, their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening! Thunder rolled and boomed! Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamor, Rain began to speak: "You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me."

Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands. The rain continued: "From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of colors as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow."

And so, whenever a good rain washes the world and a rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to Live a Less Stressful Life: 10 Simple Tips

How to Live a Less Stressful Life: 10 Simple Tips
by STRESS MANAGEMENT on Sunday, September 4, 2011 at 10:59am

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."

-Jim Goodwin


"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."

-Lily Tomlin



Stress sucks. It sucks joy and the life out of you.



So today I'll share 10 of my favourite tips that I use to minimize stress and live a more relaxed but at the same time productive life. I hope you find something helpful here, even if it's just a few reminders of things you had forgotten about.



1. Accept the situation.
Stress is often to a large part resistance to what already is. You may be in a stressful situation and think to yourself that this situation shouldn't be, that you shouldn't be here. But the situation has already arisen, is here, and so are you.


So to decrease the stress and resistance you accept the situation. With your resistance gone or lowered you can now direct your mental energy and focus to finding a solution in a level-headed manner instead of trying to do it while panicked or confused.



2. Take everything less seriously.
Taking things or yourself overly serious adds a lot of unnecessary negativity and stress to your life. A minor situation may be blown up to a major one in your mind. If you just learn to lighten up a bit, life becomes more fun and you realize that you get great results even if you aren't super-serious about everything.



3. Decrease or put a stop to negative relationships.
If someone is always making you more stressed or creates a lot of negativity in your life you may want to consider decreasing the amount of time you spend with that person. Some people almost seem to like to dwell in negativity. That is their choice. It's your choice if you want to participate.


Or you can choose to hang out more with relaxed and non-stressed people. Both in real life and by watching/listening to CDs and DVDs. Two guys that tend to calm me down when I listen/watch them are Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer.



4. Just move slower.
You emotions work backwards too. If you slow down how you walk or how you move your body you can often start to feel less stressed.

This allows you to think more clearly too. A stressed mind tends to run in circles a lot of the time. And slowing down to decrease stress goes for other forms of movement too, like riding your bicycle or driving the car.



5. Exercise.
A simple and time-tested way to decrease inner tension. Regular exercise can do wonders for both your mind and body. This is one of the solutions that work most consistently for me.



6. Find five things you can be grateful for right now.
Being grateful and appreciating your life and surroundings is one of the most effective ways to turn a negative emotional state to a more positive one. So find a few things you are grateful for right now.


Perhaps it's the sunny weather, that you feel healthy and energetic today, that you have just eaten a delicious after-noon snack, that the guy/gal that just walked by had a great looking jacket on and that tonight there is a new episode of your favourite TV-show to enjoy.



7. Look for solutions.


When faced with a challenge that can cause stress, try to direct your focus to solutions rather than to dwelling on the problem for too long. Dwelling only causes more stress and makes your mind less open to finding a solution.



8. Be early.
Just be 10 or 5 minutes early for meetings etc. This very simple tip can cut down on stress quite a bit.



9. Do just one thing at a time.
Single tasking and focusing on doing just one thing at a time not only decreases stress but from my experience gets things done a whole lot quicker than if you multitask.



10. Talk to people around you about it.
Perhaps they can offer you advice that has worked for them or just an ear and some support. Just telling someone about something, just getting it out can often help to relieve some of the stress.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Elephant Mind Set

ELEPHANT MIND SET



By Wild Life World

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How a Bully Is Made


How a Bully Is Made
By Victoria Costello


The short- and long-term harm done to bullying victims has received much attention lately. The complex web of factors which go into creating bullies are less often discussed.

Every bully does not have the same psychological profile. But understanding the possible factors behind the behavior can help usturn the tide against a deeply entrenched problem.

When my oldest son Alex was 14, he turned into a bully. It started at home, when he would act mean toward his younger brother: teasing him relentlessly, pushing, hitting and scheming to get him in trouble. Later, I found out that he’d hooked up with some other boys in the neighborhood and they, as a gang, had been bullying younger kids.

Here’s how I heard Alex describe one such time. The confession came at a wilderness therapy program we’d sent him to. I was present for a parent meeting at the end of the program.

“I stole about seven bikes and gave ‘em to my guys to buy our pot. Oh, and one time I threw a little kid off his bike and took it from him. Then we all laughed at him crying on the ground.”

I remember being horrified. How had my sweet, once-shy and introspective first-born child become this monster?

For my son, the answer would turn out to be complicated, but not unusual. Much later, while working as a psychology writer and researcher, I discovered the many possible factors that can contribute to aggressive or violent behavior in children and teenagers.

At one time, psychologists attributed children’s aggression to their high levels of frustration. Although feeling blocked from having or doing what one wants can lead to aggressive behavior, further study has shown frustration to be farther down the list of causes.

When assessing this large body of research for the book I coauthored with Jack C. Westman M.D., The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Child & Adolescent Psychology, I found the following five factors to be considered most predictive of producing bullying behavior.

1. Physical Punishment

Parents’ use of harsh physical punishment is positively correlated with children’s aggressive behavior. In one 1990 study, peers and teachers rated spanked children twice as aggressive compared with other children. At the same time, not all spanked children are overly aggressive.

University of Tulane researchers studied the effect of spanking using a mixed population of 2,500 children between the ages of 3 and 5. The group included 45 percent who, according to their mothers, had not been spanked, 28 percent who were spanked “once or twice,” and 26 percent who were spanked more than twice. The odds of a child being more aggressive at age 5 rose by 50 percent if he had been spanked twice in the month before being observed by researchers. This 2010 study stood out from others done previously in that investigators accounted for variables, including the mother’s acts of neglect, use of alcohol or drugs, and violence or aggression between the parents.

2. Watching Aggressive Behavior in Adults

Some of the aggressive children in this study were not physically punished. Parents who simply modeled aggressive behavior in front of their children also produced more aggressive children. Such parents tended to use more forceful rather than cooperative means to settle conflicts. They yelled rather than spoke calmly or discussed an issue. They grabbed the TV remote out of someone’s hands, rather than asked or negotiated a peaceful solution to competing needs or desires.

If there is a lot of unresolved conflict in the home, parents can model aggressive behaviors which the child can internalize. Beyond the child’s immediate home and school environment, studies show that poverty and high levels of neighborhood crime create a culture of violence with many negative effects on children. But other factors cut across class and geography.

3. Violent Television

A typical children’s cartoon shows on average one violent act every three minutes. Many young children and teenagers spend more hours watching TV than they do at school. What’s the effect of all this mayhem on growing children? There are many correlational and some experimental studies linking children’s viewing of violent TV programs with spikes in aggressive behavior.

In the laboratory of social learning theorist Albert Bandura, children were given specially created TV programs to watch. In these shows, an adult acted violently, kicking and hitting a plastic doll named Bobo. Two groups of children were given the same doll to play with; one group watched the violent program, the other didn’t. Those who watched were more likely to imitate the on-screen character and act violently toward Bobo than the others.

4. Problems with Processing Emotions

In the 1990s, researchers started to investigate whether any cognitive deficiencies might contribute to a child’s level of aggressive behavior. This work revealed that aggressive boys often respond aggressively because they are not as skilled as their peers in reading other people. They fail to accurately interpret other people’s intentions and when they’re unsure of why someone does something or looks at them a certain way, they tend to respond aggressively.

Another study investigated whether anything could be done to help young people like this overcome their deficiency and be less aggressive as a result. In one correctional facility, incarcerated adolescents were taught how to pay attention to non-hostile cues in a social setting. When they accurately perceived hostility coming their way, they were shown how to use alternative responses. Supervisors at the juvenile correction facility who were questioned after this training program reported less aggression and less impulsivity in those adolescents who had taken the training.

This emotional processing deficit seemed to be a factor present in my own 14-year-old son at the time his behaviors turned aggressive. Here was how he described his state of mind and emotions at wilderness therapy camp:

I’m trying to get in touch with my feelings. I’m having a hard time cause I haven’t had feelings in a long time for some reason. My counselors say it’s the drugs but I don’t know. It seems to me I didn’t have any feelings before I started using either.

As it turned out, Alex’s psychological problems were far deeper than his outward behaviors appeared to reveal.

5. Part of a More Serious Psychiatric Disease Course

A meta-study of 11 longitudinal family studies reveals that conduct disorder puts a boy at a higher risk for becoming an antisocial young man or a psychotic adolescent (J. Welham et al. 2009). I was struck by the number of studies in this review showing that boys who went on to develop schizophrenia had conduct problems when they were young. The word “externalizing” (what many view as “acting out”) is often used to describe their early problem behaviors.

This was the course my son Alex’s adolescent psychological problems eventually took. He was diagnosed and treated for the onset of schizophrenia at age 17, a story I tell in my forthcoming book A Lethal Inheritance.

I certainly want to underscore that not all bullies — nor boys and girls with conduct disorder as children and teenagers — develop antisocial disorder or schizophrenia as young adults. But sufficient numbers of them do to merit a closer look at the deeper psychological currents driving these young people. The general public also needs to develop a more complex understanding of the phenomena of bullying if we are going to stop and treat these young people before they and the children who become the targets of their aggression suffer further.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

10 Quick Strategies To Help Manage Your Anger..

10 Quick Strategies To Help Manage Your Anger..

by Anger Management Activities on Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 7:34p


Anger is a very natural emotion. However, learning to deal with your anger in a positive manner is important, both for your well-being and that of others who are near and dear to you. When you cannot control your temper, you and everyone around you suffer the consequences.

If you struggle with anger management, the good news is: it doesn't have to be this way! You don't have to fall victim to an uncontrollable temper. There are anger management techniques that will help you change the way you express this emotion.

These strategies can help you manage your anger in positive ways:

1. Give yourself a time out. Counting to ten before you speak or act gives you a chance to think first. Take a deep breath or two while you count to ten; this action helps relax your tense muscles and sends a burst of oxygen to your brain for clarity of thought.

Removing yourself altogether from the situation gives you more time to calm down and further reduces the risk of an angry outburst. You can return once you're able to discuss the issue peacefully.

2. Take some personal space. When the very presence of a specific person makes your blood boil, stay away from them until your frustration dies down. Use the opportunity away from them to work through your feelings and seek a positive solution to your challenge with them.

3. After you're calm, express yourself. It's healthy to express your feelings, even feelings of anger, as long as you do it in a peaceful, positive, and non-confrontational way.
Discussing your feelings with the person who upsets you often helps both of you understand each other better so you can work out your issues.
Stewing about what is bothering you can make the whole situation worse.

4. Exercise. Strenuous physical activity is an incredible way to release your anger, especially if you feel you're at the breaking point. Exercising also releases endorphins, the "feel good" hormones, which will help you feel more at peace.
Lifting weights, running, and playing sports are great ways to blow off some steam.

5. Think it through before you tackle the issue. When you're angry, you're more likely to say something hurtful that you don't really mean.
Write down what you want to say so you can work through the issue at hand; when your temper is flaring, it's easy to get sidetracked.

6. Find a win-win solution. Instead of focusing on what someone did to make you angry, work with him or her to resolve the issue. Finding a solution that you both agree on will allow you to feel satisfied.

7. Use personal statements when discussing the issue. Avoid criticizing or placing blame.
Use statements like, "It makes me feel angry and upset when you don't help me with the housework," instead of "You never help me," which could make that person angry or resentful in return.

8. Avoid holding a grudge. Maintaining resentment toward someone only hurts you. Let it go, put it in the past, and move forward with your life.
It's unreasonable to expect everyone to act the way you want them to. Rather than letting someone continue to irritate you with their mannerisms, find a way to accept or look past them.

9. Use humor. Lighten up the situation by saying or doing something genuinely funny. Once you both have a good laugh, it's easier to find a resolution together.
When being humorous, avoid sarcasm as it can hurt and make things worse.

10. Practice relaxation techniques. Skills like deep breathing and picturing a relaxing scene can help defuse your temper when you feel it start to boil.
Listening to music and practicing Yoga are also great stress relievers.

If you feel that your anger is still out of control after using these strategies, you may benefit from some extra help, such as:Reading further books on anger management.
Seeing a licensed therapist or counselor.
Attending anger management classes or support groups where others discuss ways to cope with their anger.

No matter how severe your anger may be, these tips and techniques can help you control your temper, rather than letting it control you. Free yourself from anger and find greater joy in your life today!







Friday, August 19, 2011

Prevention Program for Postpartum Anxiety Disorders


By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor

Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 19, 2011

A new report describes a program that helps to reduce anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders that may accompany childbirth.

Parents know that the birth of a baby can elicit many emotions, from joy and excitement to fear and uncertainty.

Birthing can also spawn mood disorders ranging from post-partum depression to difficulties with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

“Postpartum depression has received much attention, but anxiety-related issues, especially obsessive compulsive symptoms, can also be devastating to mothers and their families,” says psychologist Kiara Timpano, principal investigator of the study.

“Many women experiencing these difficulties are not getting the services they need because they don’t even know that what they are experiencing has a label and can be helped.”

In response to this need, Timpano and her collaborators from the University of Miami (UM) developed a program to prevent of postpartum obsessive compulsive symptoms.

The findings are reported online by the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

While it is natural for new mothers to have some thoughts of concern about their babies, some mothers experience a more severe form of anxiety known as postpartum OCD.

The condition includes disturbing thoughts about bad things happening to the baby.

In order to control these unpleasant thoughts, the mothers develop rituals or other behaviors in response, like checking the baby excessively or washing a baby bottle many more times than is necessary.

“The problem with OCD is that it is like a radio that’s turned up too high,” Timpano says.

“Part of our work is trying to figure out how it got turned up so high and how we can help individuals turn it back down. For example, while it’s okay to wash the baby bottle once, it is problematic if a mother ends up washing it for hours at a time.”

Timpano and her research collaborators decided to develop and test the effectiveness of an intervention that would not only treat mothers once their difficulties emerged, but could also prevent symptoms from developing.

Accordingly, the team designed a prevention program based on cognitive behavioral therapy principle – a treatment technique that has been found to be highly effective for anxiety disorders.

The program was incorporated it into a traditional childbirth educational class.

“We wanted to provide mothers with the necessary tools, which would hopefully keep them from going on to develop substantial symptoms that would interfere in their lives,” Timpano says.

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the program among a group of 71 expecting mothers at risk for developing postpartum obsessive compulsive symptoms. Half of the group was in a class that included the prevention program, the other half was in a regular childbirth education class (control group).

The mothers were followed for six months after the birth of their babies. Key aspects of the behavioral intervention included education on the warning signs of anxiety and OCD, as well as specific techniques for how to deal with the symptoms.

Investigators determined the prevention program was successful in reducing both the incidence of obsessive compulsive symptoms and the intensity of distress.

Compared to the control group, the mothers in the prevention program experienced less anxiety after the babies were born and they maintained this effect for at least six months postpartum. The team also found that the intervention reduced those thinking styles that put a mom at risk to begin with.

In the future, researchers would like to develop a program that would include screening for postpartum anxiety on the same scale and frequency as what is currently performed for postpartum depression, said Timpano.

Source: University of Miami

Research on Mice Suggests Vitamin C May Slow Alzheimer’s

Research on Mice Suggests Vitamin C May Slow Alzheimer’s

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 19, 2011


Swedish researchers have discovered treatment with vitamin C can dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.

The research findings are now being presented in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Researchers at Lund University treated brain tissue from mice suffering from Alzheimer’s with vitamin C. The vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid dissolved the toxic protein aggregates that define Alzheimer’s disease.

The brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease contain lumps of so-called amyloid plaques which consist of misfolded protein aggregates. They cause nerve cell death in the brain and the first nerves to be attacked are the ones in the brain’s memory center.

“Our results show a previously unknown model for how vitamin C affects the amyloid plaques,” says lead researcher Katrin Mani.

“Another interesting finding is that the useful vitamin C does not need to come from fresh fruit.

“In our experiments, we show that the vitamin C can also be absorbed in larger quantities in the form of dehydroascorbic acid from juice that has been kept overnight in a refrigerator, for example.”

The protective antioxidant effects of vitamin C for a variety of illness ranging from the common cold to heart attacks and dementia has been debated by researchers for decades.

“The notion that vitamin C can have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease is controversial, but our results open up new opportunities for research into Alzheimer’s and the possibilities offered by vitamin C,” says Katrin Mani.

There is at present no treatment that cures Alzheimer’s disease, but the research is aimed at treatments and methods to delay and alleviate the progression of the disease by addressing the symptoms.

Source: Lund University

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lack of Sleep Getting you Down? Research Provides Tips for Better Sleep

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/positive-psychology/2011/08/lack-of-sleep-getting-you-down-research-provides-tips-for-better-sleep/

Lack of Sleep Getting you Down? Research Provides Tips for Better SleepBy Joe Wilner

If you’re like most people sleep is crucial for your well-being. Research studies increasingly reveal that people do not function optimally when they are sleep deprived.

Sleep gives us energy, a positive attitude, and better ability to cope with daily stress. We need adequate sleep for physical restoration, growth, adaptability, and memory.

In general, Americans, particularly adolescents and aging adults, don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can decrease our cognitive ability to focus, problems solve, and maintain attention, and it can cause irritability, and emotional irregularity. All of which can interfere with positive well-being.

So, what can be done to help us sleep better and be more rested?

Often, sleep disturbances are related to excessive worrying and general arousal during bed time, this could be from our drinking and eating habits, or a general inability to relax and wind down.


Fortunately, researches in Canada studied three interventions with the goal of helping students reduce pre-sleep arousal and improve overall quality of sleep. The interventions were three exercises involving constructive worrying, imagery distraction, and cultivating gratitude.

The students were simply sent these exercises by email and required no formal training. The results revealed that these three interventions were successful.

Students who received a constructive worry, imagery distraction, or a gratitude intervention had less cognitive and somatic pre-sleep arousal and worry, increased total sleep time, and improved sleep quality compared to baseline.

Here are the three interventions in more detail so you can apply them in your own life.

Constructive Worry – This involves setting aside 15 minutes earlier in the day to write out worries and concerns that are likely to interfere with sleep. Solutions to these problems are considered and the hope is that there will no longer be a tendency to focus on these problems for the time being.

Imagery Distraction – For about 15 minutes each night after all bedtime routines have been completed, with eyes closed imagine an interesting, pleasant, and engaging situation. Imagine something that comforts you and gives you positive feelings, though make sure it isn’t anything too arousing or exciting that could actually keep you stimulated and awake.

Gratitude Intervention – Our mood has an impact on sleep. Schedule a daily 15-minute session in the early evening when you can write about a positive event that has occurred lately or that you anticipate in the near future.

Hopefully these interventions can help you get a good night sleep, and give you something to fall back on when you are experiencing a sleepless night.

Are any of these interventions most appealing to you? Any that you have tried before?

Photo credit: Foxtongue

Work cited:

Digdon, N. & Koble, A. (2011). Effects of Constructive Worry, Imagery Distraction, and Gratitude Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Pilot Trial. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3 (2), 193–206.

Joe Wilner is a life coach, educator, and writer who helps inspire and empower people to find their purpose and meaning. He has a Masters Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Management and Leadership. He is a certified meditation instructor through the American Institute of Health Care Professionals (AIHC) and a certified life coach with Compass Global Group. He is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), and provides training and coaching to assist people in stress and anxiety reduction, and to help them enhance positive emotional experiences.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Too Much Web Surfing Impairs Focus

Too Much Web Surfing Impairs Focus

Posted on July 10th, 2011 by Dr. Pauline Wallin


Have you noticed lately, that it’s getting harder and harder to sit down and focus on reading a book for an hour, or even 15 minutes?

According to author Nicholas Carr, the Internet is to blame. In his book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, Carr outlines research showing the impact of web surfing and multitasking on brain functions. He concludes that we have become so accustomed to the constant stream of information from online activities that our brains are actually getting rewired for distractibility.

We are processing more information than ever before. With a click of a button we can get the latest news and weather, shop for just about anything, read movie reviews, and engage in dozens of other information-gathering tasks – all within a few minutes.

But rarely do we stop and reflect on what we read online. Eye-tracking studies have shown that the average time spent on a web page is less than five seconds – enough to read 18 words at most.

In between web surfing, we check email, answer text messages, update our Facebook page and respond to popup windows urging us to update our software. Our minds are constantly distracted. No wonder we have trouble focusing!

So what does all this mean for our brains? There is scientific evidence that the more you engage in a given behavioral pattern, the more the brain adapts to it. Thus, if you are used to switching from one task to another in rapid succession, your brain is going to make it easier and more efficient for you to do so – but at a price. That price is greater distractibility and less capacity for deep reflection and creativity.

Is this permanent? Fortunately, no. Your capacity for deep thinking is not lost; it’s just dormant. To get it back, it’s not necessary to unplug completely from the Internet. But you do need to plan ahead and exercise self-control.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS…

Take scheduled breaks from the Internet – Walk away from your computer and turn off data reception on your mobile device for at least 30 minutes. During your break do something that relaxes your mind, such as talking to a friend, exercising or listening to music – whatever helps you to decompress. There’s a whole world out there – and it’s in 3D!

Make time for nature. If you can’t get outside, water your plants or look through some photos of the outdoors. Studies have shown that doing so can improve your concentration and attentiveness afterward.

When doing work at your computer, close your email program and your browser. Removing distractions makes it easier to stick to your task.

Set a quota for online activities such as checking email or Facebook. For example, limit such things to once per hour, or as a reward for completing a work-related task.

If you have trouble sticking to your promises to yourself, unplug your modem or get a program that locks you out of the Internet for a designated period of time.



9 Reasons for Change

9 Reasons for Change
By Christy Matta, MA


Change is difficult. Even if you are engaging in behaviors that you know are harmful or have symptoms that are severe, the prospect of change can be unappealing. At these times, it can be helpful to think of reasons to make those difficult changes.


Reasons for change:
You are concerned about your life, your behavior or your mental health.
You are concerned about the consequences of not getting help.
You are concerned about your future.
You hold the belief that if you change, things will get better.
You have the opportunity to change.
You are being offered the resources to change or you can obtain the resources to change.
You want to change or you intend to change.
The positives of not making change are outweighed by your concern and the negative consequences of not making change.
You are ready to change.

When you are experiencing mental health problems you may feel helpless , which can lead to hostility or passivity in response to suggestions that you change. Motivation to change how you deal with your mental health problems is important to making difficult life changes. Often when people experience emotions like fear and shame, the tendency is to avoid problems. Thinking about your reasons to change can give you the incentive necessary to get started.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DANGEROUS DRUGS HAVE BEEN GLOBALLY DISCARDED BUT ARE AVAILABLE IN INDIA ....

DANGEROUS DRUGS HAVE BEEN GLOBALLY DISCARDED BUT ARE AVAILABLE IN INDIA ....


Make a checklist, check whether this medicine is in your home or whether it has been recommended by your doctor... please DO NOT use it...
Please Read Very Carefully - INFORM ALL YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY MEMBERS
India has become a dumping ground for banned drugs; also the business for production of banned drugs is booming. Plz make sure that u buy drugs only if prescribed by a doctor(Also, ask which company manufactures it, this would help to ensure that u get what is prescribed at the Drug Store) and that also from a reputed drug store. Not many people know about these banned drugs and consume them causing a lot of damage to themselves.
DANGEROUS DRUGS HAVE BEEN GLOBALLY DISCARDED BUT ARE AVAILABLE IN INDIA ....

PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE:
cold and cough. Reason for ban : stroke.
Brand name : Vicks Action-500
________________________________________________________________________
ANALGIN:
This is a pain-killer. Reason for ban: Bone marrow depression.
Brand name: ! Novalgin
___________________________________________________________
CISAPRIDE:
Acidity, constipation. Reason for ban : irregular heartbeat
Brand name : Ciza, Syspride
____________________________________________________________
DROPERIDOL:
Anti-depressant. Reason for ban : Irregular heartbeat.
Brand name : Droperol
______________________________________________________________
FURAZOLIDONE:
Antidiarrhoeal. Reason for ban : Cancer.
Brand name : Furoxone, Lomofen
_____________________________________________________________
NIMESULIDE:
Painkiller, fever. Reason for ban : Liver failure..
Brand name : Nise, Nimulid
________________________________________________________________________

NITROFURAZONE:
Antibacterial cream. Reason for ban : Cancer.
Brand name : Furacin
________________________________________________________________________

PHENOLPHTHALEIN:
Laxative... Reason for ban : Cancer.
Brand name : Agarol
________! ______________________ __________________________________________

OXYPHENBUTAZONE:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Reason for ban : Bone marrow depression.
Brand name : Sioril
_______________________________________________________________________
PIPERAZINE:
Anti-worms.... Reason for ban : Nerve damage.
Brand name : Piperazine
________________________________________________________________________
QUINIODOCHLOR:
Anti-diarrhoeal. Reason for ban : Damage to sight.
Brand name: Enteroquinol

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lessons Of Failure

Lessons Of Failure

by Pray for One and All on Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9:39am

Lord, are you trying to tell me something ?

For...

Failure does not mean I'm a failure;

It does mean I have not yet succeeded.





Failure does not mean I have accomplished nothing, It does mean I have learned something.





Failure does not mean I have been a fool;

It does mean I had enough faith to experiment.





Failure does not mean I have disgraced

It does mean I have dared to try.





Failure does not mean I don't have it

It does mean I have something to do in a different way.





Failure does not mean I am inferior,

It does mean I am not perfect.





Failure does not mean I have wasted my life;

It does mean that I have an excuse to start over.







Failure does not mean that I should give up;

It does mean that I should try harder.







Failure does not mean that I never make it;

It does mean that I need more practice.







Failure does not mean that you have abandoned me'



It does mean that you must have a better idea.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Managing the Painful Side Effects of Antidepressants

Managing the Painful Side Effects of Antidepressants
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

For better or worse, one of the primary treatments of clinical depression — antidepressants — come with a host of negative side effects. For some people, these side effects will be temporary and will go away on their own (or at least be reduced in intensity as your body acclimates to the medication). For others, the side effects may not go away and, in fact, may become intolerable.

Side effects are a normal part of taking virtually any prescription medication. Although the drugs are intended to treat the specific condition — in this case, depression — they also cause unwanted physical symptoms that are usually an annoyance.

You shouldn’t feel abnormal, awkward or self-conscious if you have any of these side effects. You should, however, talk to your doctor about them — especially if they make you feel worse or the side effects themselves are unbearable:
Decreased sex drive or no sex drive at all
Dry mouth — your mouth feels very dry and cannot produce the same amount of saliva as usual
Mild to moderate nausea
Insomnia — inability to get to sleep, or difficulty staying asleep
Increased anxiousness or restlessness
Daytime sleepiness or drowsiness
Weight gain
Constipation or diarrhea
Headaches
Increased sweating
Dizziness

Whatever you do, do not try and manage your medication — the dose, frequency or amount you take — on your own. You need to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Do not suddenly quit taking your medication, because it could cause intense withdrawal symptoms or even a return of your depression.

Keep in mind that some side effects can also be managed in conjunction with your doctor. There are remedies for dry mouth, for instance, and additional medications for other things (such as sexual dysfunction, a common side effect of many antidepressant medications).
Helping to Manage the Common Side Effects of Antidepressants

1. Decreased sex drive or no sex drive at all

Ask your doctor whether another medication is available that doesn’t have such strong sexual side effects, or if a lower dose may help with the problem. Talk to your doctor about other options, such as taking a medication for erectile dysfunction.

2. Dry mouth

Eat more water-laden snacks, like celery sticks, and consider chewing sugarless gum, or suck often on sugarless candy. The sugarless part is important, because otherwise the sugar of constant gum chewing or candy sucking can harm your teeth and cause future cavities. You can also consider increasing your daily water intake by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day and cutting back on some of the caffeine-laden drinks, such as coffee, tea and alcohol. As a last resort, you can also try a specially formulated rinse for your mouth that may help, such as Biotene or Orazyme.

For the bad breath that often accompanies dry mouth, consider munching on these herbs: parsley, aniseed, fennel, rosemary and cayenne pepper (individually, not all together!). See this article for more details.

7 Tips for Deciding How Best to Spend Your Time, Energy and Money

7 Tips for Deciding How Best to Spend Your Time, Energy and Money
By Gretchen Rubin

We all have to make decisions about how to spend our time, energy, and money. Because of my happiness project, I now explicitly ask myself, “Will this decision make me happier?”

I’m determined to get the most happiness bang for the buck.

Here are some questions I consider:

1. Is this decision likely to strengthen my relationships with other people?

Strong relationships with other people are a key — the key — to happiness, so decisions that help me build or strengthen ties are likely to boost my happiness. Yes, it’s a hassle and an expense to go to my college reunion, but it’s likely to have a big happiness pay-off.


2. Will this decision provide me with novelty and challenge?

Novelty and challenge make me happier—but they also make me feel insecure, intimidated, frustrated, and stupid. To get past that hurdle, I remind myself that in the end, I usually get a big shot of happiness. When I considered adding video to my blog, I reminded myself that the process of mastering the process would likely make me happier. And it has.

3. What is the opportunity cost of this decision? (“Opportunity cost” describes that fact that doing one thing means foregoing alternatives.)

Energy, time, and money are limited. Even if a decision would bring happiness, if it means that I have to give up the opportunity to do many other happiness-boosting activities, it may not be worth it. I could dedicate many hours to learning about classical music, and in the end, I might enjoy classical music more, but that activity would crowd out too many other things that I want to do more.

4. Does this decision help me obey my personal commandment to Be Gretchen?

I want to shape my life to reflect my temperament, interests, and values. I ask myself: Am I making this decision to “Be Gretchen,” or because I want to impress other people, pretend that I’m different from the person I actually am, or deny a truth about myself?

5. When I consider a particular course of action, do I feel energized or drained?

6. How happy are the people who have made that particular decision?

In Daniel Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness, he argues that the most effective way to judge whether a particular course of action will make you happy in the future is to ask people who are following that course of action right now if they’re happy, and assume that you’ll feel the same way. Going on a family trip to Disneyworld. Getting a hamster. Learning to use Instagram. Working as a paralegal. Volunteering. In evaluating the likely consequences of a decision, other people’s experiences of happiness — or lack thereof — can be very instructive for me.

7. I remind myself to “Choose the bigger life.”

People make different decisions about what the “bigger life” would be, but when I ask myself that question, it always helps me see the right answer, for myself.

This list might help answer questions such as:
Should I join Facebook?
Should I buy a tent?
Should I throw a Labor Day party?
Should I buy a new kitchen table?
Should I sign up for Spanish lessons?

There’s no right answer or wrong answer — only the right answer for me.

How about you?
Have you developed questions for yourself, or other strategies, to help make wise decisions?

I came across Adam Bryant’s New York Times interview of Kip Tindell, the chief executive of the Container Store. Very thought-provoking — and I’d love to talk a look at his “Philosphy Epistle” file.

Recovering from Mental Illness? Be Your Own Best Friend

By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

The bad/sad news: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults — approximately 57.7 million Americans — experience a mental health disorder in a given year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness.

The good news: Between 70 and 90 percent of the individuals who are treated for their illness have a reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life.

The key factor that determines who recovers and who doesn’t most often is the willingness and ability of the person to engage in his or her own healing. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or any of the other diagnoses for mental illness, your involvement and attitude make a difference.

“Fine,” you say. “But what exactly does that mean?”

One way to think about it is to be your own very best friend. I’m not talking about the kind of friend who eggs you on to self-destructive behavior. I’m not talking about someone who only tells you what you want to hear or pretends she doesn’t see you sabotaging your own healing. I’m talking about a friend who cares deeply about you, wants only the best for you, and who loves you enough to find a way to encourage you even when you are so discouraged you push her away.

You don’t have such a friend? Then make one up for now. Conjure up a perfect buddy and give it a name. For the sake of this story, I’m making it female but gender doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you look deep inside to find your most insightful, supportive, and nurturing traits and create an avatar who will help you heal.

“Come on,” you say. “If I could do that, I wouldn’t be ill.” True. But it’s also true that you probably wouldn’t be so ill if you could find a way to do it. These things do go around and around. I’m only suggesting that if you’ve had the energy to find this article and to read it this far, you might have enough will and energy to give at least some of the following ideas some attention — at least some of the time. Not doing it isn’t going to get you anywhere, so you might as well try.
Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Words from your avatar best friend:

1. “Get real.” If you won’t settle for anything less than a “cure” for a persistent and chronic mental illness, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. A good friend would help you accept a realistic idea of what “recovery” means. She might remind you that physical illnesses like hypertension, arthritis, and diabetes can’t be totally cured but people can live happily and productively once symptoms are brought under control. Similarly, even serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia can become part of the fabric of one’s daily life without overwhelming it. Just as there is currently no “cure” for hypertension, there is no “cure” for psychosis. But staying in treatment and being engaged in a healthy lifestyle can push both into the background.

2. “Take your medicine” – on time and in the correct dose. A true friend wouldn’t let you convince yourself that it’s okay to abruptly stop a medication because you are feeling better. You may be feeling better because you are taking the medication. A friend would remind you to tell your doctor if you are experiencing side effects, if you miss a dose, or if you think your medication isn’t working. Your doctor can only help you if you follow directions and provide good information about results. Most medications require a gradual step-down if you are to discontinue them safely, so talk to your doctor if you want to stop.

3. “See a therapist.” A friend would not support an idea that a pill alone will make the pain go away. Studies have found that a combination of medication and talk therapy is the most effective method for getting and staying better. A therapist can help you learn and practice new coping skills. Sessions can be devoted to helping you identify issues, people, and places that are challenging for you so that you can develop strategies for dealing with them. Perhaps most important, your therapist can encourage and support the efforts of your internal friend until you’ve developed a natural support system to take over.

4. “Get enough sleep.” A true friend would call it a night at 9:00 so you can be in bed by 10:00 or 11:00. Regardless of how much fun the two of you are having, your friend would understand that you need a minimum of 6 to 8 hours a night every night. She’d know bodies require rest to heal. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, she’d remind you to make sure you are doing the sensible things you need to do to wind down from the day. She’d tell you to shut down anything that is overstimulating at least an hour before bedtime. She’d get offline and tell you to do the same. She’d remind you to turn off the TV and not to answer your phone or make any calls unless there is a bona fide emergency. If you need further coaching, she’d tell you to take a warm bath if that is soothing, to get into pajamas and head for bed; to play some soft music and lower the lights. You want to establish a routine that says to your system, “The day is over. We’re going to sleep now.”

5. “Treat your body well.” Treats are only treats if they’re rare. A true friend wouldn’t bring you chocolate – except when it is extremely special and then in only small amounts. Instead, she’d insist that you get into the habit of eating three healthy meals a day plus 2 – 3 healthy snacks. Your body needs fuel to heal. Exercise? Of course. Your buddy would get you moving. Taking a walk together or hitting the gym for at least 30 minutes a day would help you both feel great. She’d encourage you to limit caffeine, alcohol, sugar and nicotine and to stay away from illegal drugs. Your body and mind have enough to do without struggling against effects of stimulants and depressants that you do have control over. Gently and consistently, your friend would stress that these are the habits of healthy living. To be healthy, you need to act that way – especially when you don’t feel like it. Doing the basics shouldn’t be a decision every day.

6. “Learn relaxation techniques.” A good friend would drag you to a workshop to learn meditation, the relaxation response, yoga or mindfulness. She might join you in prayer for health and guidance. Your friend would know that when you find your mind spinning, you need to have a natural and effective way to slow yourself down.

7. “Make more friends – or at least acquaintances.” People who are isolated have a much harder time managing their illness. Your friend would encourage you to join a church or club or support group – anything that meets weekly so that you have regular contact with people who share some of your interests or concerns. You need more than one friend, even if that friend is the best possible good buddy you can imagine. You need to find a group of people who look out for one another.

8. “Tell me about it.” A supportive friend would want to know what she might see if you start to lose control. Often it happens so gradually, it’s hard to recognize that the illness is taking over until it has already become serious. Remind your internal friend that you both do know your signals. Agree that when you first start to feel uneasy, you will call your therapist – even if you don’t think it’s that serious.

The imagination is a wonderful thing. Your partner in healing is only as far away as your mind. When you are discouraged or lonely or tempted just to pull the covers over your head and avoid dealing, your avatar self can be a very helpful and, yes, loving support. Your inner best friend forever is that part of you that is healthy and whole. The more you get in touch with her and listen to her, the stronger both of you will become.