Category Archives: Behaviour

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Feel More Confident In Your Skin

Feeling a bit down about how you look… experts tell us that boosting body confidence is 90% mental and has little to do with losing weight, getting a makeover or buying a store’s worth of clothes and jewelry. Here’s what they suggest…

Prepare... don’t decide on the day of a big event what clothes and accessories you’ll wear. Pulling things together at the last minute leaves you rushed and liable to forget something or encounter some other unexpected mishap. Just a bit of extra time in planning what you’ll wear, ensuring it’s clean and pressed and ready can make a huge difference in how you look, and feel.

Remember, others are insecure too. Almost always they are so busy worrying about how they look they don’t have time to think about you. They don’t see what you hate about your hair, your clothes, your mannerisms.

Fake it. Pretending isn’t just for kids, spend five minutes each morning before you leave and picture yourself looking good, imagine how those you encounter will also think you look good. Plant a message of confidence in your mind as you begin the day and in time you’ll come to believe it.

Put the phone away. Checking it every second makes you look bad… tells everyone you’re not available to pay attention to them, or anything new. What’s more, the blue light makes you face look sickly.

A lot of how you look comes from the clothes you wear. To get help with this we’ve taken the advice of wardrobe consultant Terri Ghio who runs The Style Institute, a coaching program for personal stylists. Too many of us dress like we did in high school or from a look we saw in a magazine or catalog that isn’t at all suited to us.

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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

Ever heard the excuse “I’m overweight because of my genetics”?

Are several members of your family overweight and you just figured, you were stuck that way too? Well, I have great news. Recent studies reveal that being overweight has NOTHING to do with genetics and EVERYTHING to do with your lifestyle.

BUT, if you make the wrong choices… well, you know how that ends.

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Feel More Confident In Your Skin Continued…

Here’s some help…

Pull out your favorite outfit, the one you wear a lot and has you feeling like you look great. Try it on and consider why it’s right… the color, cut, fabric. Use this outfit as a guide.

Shop for your body shape… your real shape. No matter how smart and elegant something is, no matter how good it looks on a mannequin, if it’s not made to suit your body shape, it won’t look good and you won’t feel good in it.

- Find the one thing you love about your body, and work to focus attention on that.
Whether it’s a haircut to frame your face, a style that hides a spare tire, look for what flatters and stick with those styles. Invest in the best quality basics you can afford.

- Stop staring in the mirror, it’s way too easy to get obsessed about looks. So check your teeth and hair, take a quick look at the full view of your outfit and then go about your day.

- Match every negative thought about your body with at least one positive one.

Exercise, even a half hour a day, will have you feeling better about your body, how it moves and how you feel. Over time, this will bring real, visible results too.

To your good health,

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Things To Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

If you dread the shorter days and longer evenings of winter, you might think you have seasonal affective disorder (or SAD for short), but a new study finds that this condition might not be as common as experts originally thought. We know SAD exists, that it is a fact of life for an estimated 14 million Americans as well as being documented by earlier work according to study lead author David Kerr who is an assistant professor in the School of Psychological Science at Oregon State University, but this latest research suggests that what we think of as the “winter blues” doesn’t impact people nearly as much as experts might have thought.

For the current research, appearing in the Journal of Affective Disorders, Kerr and the team looked at the results from surveys taken by over 500 people in Iowa and over 200 in Oregon. They answered questions about depression over the years and the team tried to see if changes in weather (amount of sunlight) might have on mood.

There was a very small effect that appeared during the winter, but it was more modest than you might expect if SAD was as common as people think. That’s a surprise, with a sample size this large, with such precise measures of weather, the team expected to see a larger effect.

SAD is a type of depression that comes on in the fall, as the days shorten, and lifts in the spring and summer months. Just like depression, not everyone with SAD experiences the same physical, emotional or cognitive symptoms to the same extent as another patient. Anyone can get SAD, but it’s more common for those who live in areas where winter days are extremely short or there are large changes in amounts of daylight in different seasons, women, anyone between the ages of 15 to 55 (risk decreases as you get older) and those who have a close family member (parent or full sibling) diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder.

To tell the difference between SAD and other forms of depression, your doctor will ask about the timing of the symptoms and if they recur at the same of year then get better for at least 2 years in a row. You’ll undergo a physical exam to be sure everything else is okay, and your doctor will ask about symptoms that come with SAD like carb craving, gaining weight and sleeping more than is normal for you.

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Things To Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder Continued…

There are many effective treatments for this mood disorder including cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure to light (using a light box for 30 minutes, usually in the morning) and antidepressants to improve the balance of chemicals in the brain that impact mood. All work well in easing even the toughest symptoms, but only you and your doctor can decide what’s right for you.

Cognitive behavioral therapy stands out as an effective treatment because it’s been shown to keep SAD from coming back the next year. Light therapy also works well for those with SAD, and some patients even report feeling better within a week after starting. If you have felt no improvement by 3-4 weeks, chances are, light therapy isn’t right for you.

Research findings or not, if you, or someone in your life, is coping with seasonal affective disorder, don’t wait – talk with your doctor and find out just what’s happening. It’s the only way to truly feel better.

To your good health,

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Stress Management To Prevent Chronic Pain

If you’re dealing with chronic pain, your search for relief probably seems endless, perhaps hopeless. You doctor will tell you that being anxious or stressed can make pain worse, and set in motion a vicious cycle as the pain causes more anxiety and stress. It seems that avoiding the affects of stress might play an important part in managing pain according to work that appears in the journal Brain. This finding is particularly important for those with a smaller than typical hippocampus as these people seem to be more vulnerable to the effects of stress than the rest of us.

The research by Dr. Pierre Rainville, Ph.D. of the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM) and his team included 16 subjects who had chronic back pain and a control group of 16 healthy participants. The team was looking for relationships between 1) cortisol levels, 2) assessment of clinical pain reported by subjects before their brain scan, 3) hippocampus volumes measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 4) brain activations using functional MRI that followed thermal pain stimulation. The subjects with chronic pain generally had higher cortisol levels than healthy people.

Cortisol is a hormone that’s made by the adrenal glands (sometimes known as the stress hormone) and the study shows that having a small hippocampus volume is linked to higher cortisol levels. This makes you more vulnerable to pain and having that pain become chronic.

Looking more closely at the data, the team saw that those with a smaller hippocampus had higher cortisol levels and stronger reactions to acute pain in a part of the brain involved with anticipatory anxiety that relates to pain. The response of the brain to the pain during the scan reflected, in part, the intensity of the patient’s current pain levels. This supports the idea that those with a smaller hippocampus end up with a stronger response to stress, and this in turn increases their pain and the risk of having that pain become chronic.

The research sheds more light onto the neurobiological mechanisms involved in stress and pain. No matter the reason, pain is often associated with high levels of stress, and there is value to be found in managing stress to help in treatments for those who are dealing with pain that lasts. Add stress management to your medical treatment plan by talking with a counselor, using relaxation techniques or practicing meditation.

Stress management won’t take away the pain, but it will help you get it under your control, help muscles release, while both breathing and heart rate slow down. When you relax, the mind slows and focuses on other things… becoming distracted from pain sensations so that they drop into the background.

Here are some simple stress management techniques to try…

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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

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Stress Management To Prevent Chronic Pain Continued…

- Breathe deeply, inhale and hold the breath for a few seconds, and then exhale.
Do this at least three times in a row while you close your eyes and focus only on the sound of your breath.

- Distract yourself by bringing to mind an image that is peaceful and relaxing.
Imagine doing something you enjoy that’s calming, like taking a bath, walking along the beach, resting in a hammock or just relaxing in a peaceful garden… visualize this place as vividly as possible with all sights, sounds, smells you can and take yourself there any time you need to escape.

- Sing or listen to music you find pleasant. Singing helps release tension.

- Walk away as taking a little break from a tense environment can be all you need to ease the tension building in you. Grab a water, or get some fresh air. Count to ten before you go back inside.

If these aren’t enough, you might want to look into more regular stress management techniques like practicing yoga, getting a massage, daily mediation or just schedule some down time for yourself, doing something you enjoy.

To your good health,

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Get Things Done With These 5 Tips

In today’s busy, over-scheduled world, any strategies for getting more done, at home or one the job are valuable. We’ve all tried working harder, drinking more coffee, staying up later to finish up that “To Do” list… and still been behind, struggling to catch up. The good news is that everyone, no matter how many demands they have, can experience that incredible feeling of a productive day… here are five sure-fire strategies to help you do just that.

1. Make things automatic; work to build routines (habits) so you don’t have to make decisions, you simply do. By making certain things automatic, you’ll actually get more done because you’ll be expending less mental energy. Making decisions all day long is exhausting, which is why making routine things automatic is so effective. As it happens we only have one reservoir of discipline and willpower, and it gets depleted by any action of conscious self-regulation during our day. So if you resist the chocolate cake at lunchtime, you end up later on with less mental energy to tackle a challenging problem.

2. Get enough sleep. Not being well rested deprives you of energy you need to function at peak efficiency. At the end of a two week period, those who slept six hours a night each night were found to be as impaired as those who’d been up for 24-hours in a row. You are likely sleep deprived even now, and should make a regular effort to get from 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night.

3. Use checklists on a regular basis. Sure you might start out doing this, but the habit falters after a time. Don’t let it go. Making your own checklist for what should be done is a key strategy to improving how much you get done, and how effective you are. Research in a hospital ICU has proven the point. Be sure to keep your own checklists as specific as possible, listing only tasks that can be done right away and finished soon. Be sure to include a realistic time estimate for getting the activity done and integrate your checklist into your calendar or schedule so you have enough time to finish everything.

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4. Beat procrastination with dashes and precommitment devices. A dash is a short burst of action where you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item, but for just a short time period. Precommitment devices are things like paying a family member or friend $100 that they must return if you get the action you’ve been putting off completed, they keep it if you fail. Now that’s a motivator to be sure.

5. Mood has an impact too. Feelings of happiness increase your productivity and help you be more successful. Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic coworkers by 56%. It appears our brains are hardwired to do their best when they are positive, rather than in either the neutral or negative state. Overconfidence also has been known to increase productivity.

Give these five tips a try on the job or at home to help you be more productive, successful and satisfied. Let us know how it goes.

To your good health,

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The News About The Gut Brain Connection

It’s a fascinating concept… the trillions of tiny microorganisms in our own digestive tract may be sending signals to the brain that influence how we think and behave. Interesting too that close to 70% of our immune cells also reside in our digestive tract and are constantly circulating through the body. Science has moved = from studying pathogenic bacteria (the kind that make us sick) to working to understand more about the beneficial organisms that are naturally part of our body.

The gut/brain connection is a compelling new area of study where experts have come to recognize that the brain and digestive system do indeed talk to each other. Can you manipulate how you feel by managing the bacteria of your digestive tract? The answer is still elusive, but research is working hard to get there.

Landmark studies from Japan over ten years ago had scientists asking a new question about the role bacteria might play in helping animals have the proper stress response. About five years ago researchers showed that if you were stressed early on in life, you have a lower diversity of gut bacteria when you grow to adulthood, accompanied by behavior changes.

What science has come to understand is that the individual microbiome has an impact on almost every body system. How this communication happens is what remains to be uncovered. There may be multiple mechanisms that the body can use for the digestive system to communicate with the brain. Bacteria can signal through the vagus nerve, a connector of the enteric nervous system to the central nervous system. Metabolites (small molecules released by bacteria) can be circulated so they interact with the central nervous system.

Continues below…


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The News About The Gut Brain Connection Continued…

Another area that is truly exciting is the research into autism. Parents of these children have been vocal in their belief that there is a very clear connection between the gut and the brain. Researchers including Sarkis Mazmanian, a professor of microbiology at Caltech in California recently published a study that supports autistic parents, finding that the microbiome of autistic kids is different than the best matched, normally developing control subjects. This work has always been clouded by the fact that autistic kids with GI issues were on restricted (or special) diets. No one knew if it was the autism causes the changes in the microbiome or the diet being followed.

Can such a condition be treated? The team used an organism found in the human digestive system, not something sold as a probiotic, and gave it to the autistic mice. Both the behavior and GI deficits were restored with this approach. Be aware that this has only been found in mice models, so we need to be careful of leaping too far ahead of the science.

What you need to understand is that while the area gets lots of attention, the research that gives us what we know comes from animal or preclinical studies. There’s not a lot of human data out there. Most bacteria won’t have a positive or negative effect on the function of your brain. There may be some brining positive effects, but not many. Researchers will need to proceed with caution.

To your good health,

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Food Addiction, Impulsive Personality Linked

Research has brought us some rather intriguing findings on addictive eating behaviors and obesity. New work in the area suggests that the same kinds of impulses that lead some people to abuse of alcohol (and other drugs including nicotine) may also play an important part to unhealthy relationships with food. The work from the University of Georgia, appearing in the journal Appetite, shows that those with impulsive personalities were more likely to say they had higher levels of addiction to food, a compulsive pattern of eating that’s a lot like drug addiction.

Modern neuroscience has brought us a good deal of information about how drugs and alcohol corrupt parts of the brain that have evolved to release dopamine, giving the user a feeling of happiness or satisfaction. Certain foods also hijack these same brain circuits and put some on the path to compulsive eating habits, habits that bear a very close resemblance to drug addiction.

Food addiction is a new phenomenon and something that’s certainly generated its fair share of interest and comment. The food industry has given us many eating options – foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, not to mention flavorful additives. Highly palatable foods trigger feel good chemicals in the brain and appear to produce the same kind of cravings as illicit drugs do.

With the numbers of obese now topping one third of U.S. adults, with the costs associated with obesity at a whopping $147 billion (in 2008 US dollars), we need to find ways to turn the tide. These people pay, on average, $1,429 more in medical expenses than those who are at a normal weight. These are some seriously high dollar amounts to add to the many other disadvantages that being obese brings.

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The researchers, including James MacKillop associate professor of psychology in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and doctoral students Cara Murphy and Monika Stojek, hope that their findings will help doctors and other healthcare pros plan treatments and interventions for those who are obese and who have also developed an addiction to food. Such changes will help to pave the way for adopting a healthier lifestyle, one that reduces the risks of many dangerous, life altering disease that come along with all that weight.

The study employed two different, well-regarded tests, the Yale Food Addiction Scale and the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale to measure the levels of impulsivity and food addiction among the 233 subjects. The team then compared their results with the subjects’ body mass index, the measure that determines if you are at normal, overweight or obese status.

Impulsive behavior was not linked with obesity, but impulsive behaviors do have the potential to lead to food addictions. So just because you’re impulsive, you may not become obese, but some impulsive behaviors are linked to developing an addiction to food.

The research findings are the first in the area of addictive eating and how this might contribute to obesity. The team now intends to expand their study by analyzing the activity of the brain of different people as they make choices about food. Those who have an addiction to food may show a tolerance to food, eating more and more, getting less and less satisfaction from it.

To your good health,

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The Cancer Risks Of Long Term Sitting

Here’s something that will get you up, on your feet and out of that chair. Every two hours a person spends sitting ups the risk for some very dangerous types of cancer by as much as 10% when compared to those people who sit very little according to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The cancers affected by sitting include those of the colon, endometrial and lung.

Sitting for long time periods has been linked to other health issues to be sure… obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes. Even an earlier death.

The most recent work in this area was a meta-analysis using 43 studies that included almost 4 million subjects and involved 70,000 cases of cancer. All the research used had periodically asked participants on how much time they spent sitting watching TV at home, at their desk at work as well as total time spent seated. The team saw that each 2 hour increase in time spent sitting was linked to an increased risk of cancer – 10% higher risk for endometrial (uterine) cancer, 8% higher risk for colon cancer and a 6% higher risk for cancer of the lung.

If there is any good news to come from the analysis, it’s that cancers of the breast, rectum, ovary, prostate, stomach, esophagus, testicle, kidney and non-Hodgkin lymphoma were not tied to sitting.

Surprisingly, the findings on sitting and cancer risk held true even for those who exercise regularly. Regular workouts, it turns out, do not help you if you sit too long in a chair. It seems clear there’s something bad about sitting that’s not related to lack of exercise. One of the reasons may be because long term sitting causes blood sugar and levels of insulin to spike. That spike is related to both diabetes and colon cancer. Experts know that endometrial cancer is related to estrogen, a hormone that rises in response to obesity in women who have gone through menopause.

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The Cancer Risks Of Long Term Sitting Continued…

There may be something else going on as well. If you keep body weight constant, there’s still a link between cancer and spending time in a chair. One reason may be that the lack of movement triggers an inflammatory response that includes a rise in biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). In trials, 14 days of bed rest in young subjects upped C-reactive protein and pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 in the participants. Animal studies have demonstrated the same thing.

These findings add to the mounting evidence that sitting for long periods… at your desk, in the car, on your own couch (or recliner) just isn’t a good thing for your body. You need to try to work light bouts of physical activity into your routine. Take regular breaks at work, forgo email and get up and walk over to talk face to face with a colleague and avoid eating lunch at your desk. At home try to cut down on the TV watching and screen time, getting up and moving with some light activity every so often is also a smart strategy to keep yourself healthy and perhaps cancer free.

To your good health,

To Lose Weight: Enjoy Your Food, Don’t Feel Guilty

If you’re trying to lose weight, and you slip and take a generous serving of chocolate cake, don’t despair. In fact, you’re better off enjoying every bite. This may seem like unexpected advice, but psychologists have found that those who see the cake as something to celebrate and enjoy it are more likely to stay thin than those who are guilt ridden after the treat. The findings appear in the journal Appetite, and the research was conducted at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

In the U.S. we eat over 11 pounds of chocolate (24 pounds for Europeans) per year and most of that chocolate eating happens in the winter months, interestingly between 8:00 pm and midnight. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does not cause acne or contribute to tooth decay, and is not definitively linked to obesity rates – in the U.S., where the body mass index is highest, you can see the consumption of chocolate is under half that of Switzerland’s. The value of the chocolate industry is estimated at $83 billion a year.

The research team wanted to see if guilt from eating chocolate cake acted either positively or negatively on the desire to improve weight control. The work involved recruiting about 300 volunteers (aged 18 to 86 years old) and asking them about their eating habits and if they were trying to lose weight. Participants were also asked if eating the chocolate cake made them feel guilty or happy.

The experts found that 27% associated eating cake with guilt, 73% with celebration.

When the team looked at participants’ weight 18 months later, they saw that those who had guilt about chocolate cake had gained a lot more weight than those who saw the cake as a celebration and enjoyed the indulgence. These people were more successful in their weight loss efforts according to the study. Guilt appears to have made the subjects feel like they lost control of their eating and thus it was more likely they’d abandon the weight loss effort for good and return to unhealthy ways.

It seems that the way we perceive treats is just as critical as the number of calories when it comes to expanding a waistline.

It’s true that chocolate is one of the most craved foods of all. It’s loved for the rich taste, the delicious smell and the creamy texture that just melts in your mouth. It’s an indulgence that’s hard to resist. Of course we also know our tasty favorite is high in bad fat and sugar. As you might expect, snacking on chocolate has been shown to be a recognized risk factor for obesity.

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To Lose Weight: Enjoy Your Food, Don’t Feel Guilty Continued…

It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that enjoyment of food (including
chocolate) is essential to our overall well-being. The idea of enjoyment over
guilt needs to get far more attention than it has to this point. Women tend to
deal with guilt after they indulge more than men, but it’s very easy to underestimate
the impact of food on how you behave, how you feel about yourself and your efforts.

The feelings of guilt after indulging are very much like that bulimics feel after binging. It can be a deeply ingrained response that you need to work hard to change.

To your good health,

Struggle To Memorize, Focus, Finish A Job: What To Do

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a well-recognized condition that presents many challenges to the children and adults who live with it. You might struggle to follow directions, remember information, concentrate, organize tasks or finish a job within the time given. When not managed, ADHD symptoms can cause problems in virtually every area of life from work or school to relationships with family and partners.

Talking impulsively is one symptom of adult ADHD, one that can cause you lots of embarrassment if you don’t learn how to curb your urge to speak out. It’s hard for those with ADHD to pick up on social cues that the rest of us catch and respond to. Those who have ADHD always need to make an extra effort to observe what’s going on around them as well as paying attention to what’s in your head before speaking. Easier said than done to be sure.

Here’s a suggestion to that might prove helpful, it’s called the “traffic light” approach. When you arrive at a meeting, party or other gathering, do a quick check of your state of mind to find out if you’re relaxed or overcharged. If you’re calm and relaxed that’s your “green light” to go ahead an engage others. If you’re feeling at all wound up, gauge the intensity of this feeling between “yellow light” meaning a bit wound up, go forward but be cautious to “red light” which means you are over stimulated and should stop, take a breather, and then go forward once you’re calmer.

Some other helpful tips to manage conversation if you have ADHD…

-
Don’t jump right into an ongoing conversation. Instead, rehearse in your head
what you want to say. Jot it down if you can. The key is to evaluate the discussion,
and your contribution, before you rush in and make it.

-
When you talk, speak “low and slow”. There should be no need to rush the words
out, or speak loudly. The proper tone and volume level are important to keeping
the conversation moving naturally rather than interrupting it.

-
Think of conversation as a way of trading information. You talk then the other
people talks in turn… each person asking or answering questions. Common interests
are a good place to start.

-
Respect another person’s personal space and keep yourself from moving in too
close. That’s a huge turnoff for many people; they feel invaded and intimidated
by someone standing in what they feel is “their” space.

-
Role playing helps you get used to coming in, watching and listening to what’s
happening before jumping in. A spouse, counselor or good friend can help you
practice these techniques until you feel comfortable with them on your own.

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How a tasty little dish eaten late at night actually boosted the most powerful fat loss hormone in our bodies while you sleep…

Click through here now to discover how to burn more fat quicker today…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*


Struggle To Memorize, Focus, Finish A Job: What To Do Continued…

-
Rehearse the kinds of social situations you find yourself in. Say out loud the
behavior best suited to the situation. Once you get good at this, you won’t need
to say the reminders out loud, you’ll know them.

-
Mindfulness meditation provides an amazing number of benefits for anyone, but
most especially for adults dealing with ADHD. The idea is to sit quietly and
clear your mind so you can focus on your slow, steady breathing. This takes some
practice, but once you get the hang of it, it is a wonderful way to help you
engage, be present, to learn to watch and not be as distracted.

Lastly, if you are being treated for your ADHD, keep up with the therapy or medication (sometimes both) as these can help you manage your feelings of impulsiveness as well as the other disruptive ADHD symptoms. Therapy can be especially helpful for forming new habits and developing solid social skills.

To your good health,

Are You Dependent Of Your Smartphone?

Amazing numbers… the average smartphone user checks their phone 35 times each day, for almost 30 second at a time… pretty incredible for a device we didn’t have even twenty years ago. Smartphones have rapidly become an essential most of us find it hard to do without. But why is that? And should we be worried that we’re all so suddenly, so completely hooked on this technology? The expert answer is that you should only be concerned if the use of your smartphone is disrupting work or home life.

Trouble is, these disruptions don’t have to be big. Ignoring a friend over lunch while you post to Facebook. Checking email regularly, or scrolling through Twitter or Tumblr instead of having real, in person contact and conversation with others or just some downtime, with your own thoughts may be a serious problem. Some experts are sounding the alarm, holding off calling our preoccupation with smartphones an “addiction”, suggesting it may be considered more of a “dysfunction” instead.

A 2011 study that appeared in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing found that people aren’t so much addicted to smartphones as they are hooked on the checking habits that come with the phone. So because you can check in to Facebook, update Twitter and the like, you do. In fact, there are some triggers in the environment (being bored, listening to a lecture) that actually encourage the checking habits.

This isn’t anything like the way the laptop changed our world. Smartphones are small and easily carried, simple to use with plenty of free (or low cost) apps, and are always connected. You keep your smartphone near you and the device gives an almost continuous stream of content and alerts as well as quick, easy access to any number of compelling sources of information. It’s designed to foster constant interruptions and distractions from other things. What all this is doing to our attention span is anyone’s guess.

Smartphones do make it hard to maintain attention, to contemplate or reflect or even be alone with our own thoughts according to author Nicholas Carr, who does not have a smartphone. His research demonstrated that people have a deep, primitive need to know everything that’s going on around us. Early on in our evolution this was a reliable defense, but in modern times it may be working against us.

Continues below…


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Are You Dependent Of Your Smartphone? Continued…

If you’re concerned about your own, or someone else’s, use of smartphones, here are some ways to manage things.

-
Be aware of the situations and emotions that make you reach for the phone. Bored?
Lonely? Anxious? Try to find other coping mechanisms instead.

-
Don’t always answer the alert sound, in fact, put all the sounds on silent so
you won’t even hear them or be tempted. You might also try to limit your checking
in to once every 15-minutes.

-
Use the connectivity features only when absolutely necessary (phone number/address)
and stop with the internet browser and social media checks on the phone.

-
Don’t use your device while driving, in a meeting or at after a time of day you
set, such as after 9:00 at night.

Research with participants at The Boston Group found that taking predictable time off from the smartphone brought increased efficiency and collaboration, helped feelings of job satisfaction and gave a sense of better work/life balance. It might well be the same for you.

To your good health,