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5 Things Much More Important than Being Right

I really don’t like to be wrong. How about you?

Are you someone who wants — even needs — to be right most of the time? All of the time? Do you like to have the last word in a disagreement? Do you get frustrated when others don’t agree with your opinions? I do, much more often than I’d like. And it never feels good.

Being right is so overrated, especially when it comes at the expense of basic human kindnesses. Inherent in the need to be right is the desire — consciously or not — to put ourselves above others, to make them wrong in order to appease our own insecurities and our ego’s need to be perfect.

Where’s the fun in that? Where’s the love in that? There are so many healthier choices we can make than needing to be right. Let’s start making them!

When we find our minds locked into the need to be right — whether in an argument, a discussion or a casual conversation — let’s call on our hearts to integrate the following five virtues.

1. Openness

We can’t always agree with each other, nor should we always try to. That doesn’t mean everyone who disagrees with us is wrong, or that we’re always right. There’s so much to learn from the ideas and opinions of others when we stay open to listening to them. When we give up the need to be right, we communicate and listen on a deeper level, with more understanding and acceptance, and with less judgment and resistance. This is how dialogues move forward and connections deepen. Also, our openness almost always encourages openness in those with whom we communicate.

2. Detachment

It really is possible to be passionate about what we’re trying to express without being attached to how it’s received. When we are attached to what we’re saying, and to the need to be right about it, we often end up forcing our ideas on others, or distorting our beliefs simply to gain the approval of others. Detachment gives us the freedom to communicate without the pressure of needing to be seen as right. Through detachment, we can find peace with however our comments are received and with whatever direction a conversation takes. Who’s right and who’s wrong becomes irrelevant.

3. Humility

The need to be right is rooted deeply in the ego, and one thing our egos are not is humble. Let’s take a breath and swallow our pride when someone says something we believe to be wrong. We don’t have to prove them so. Even more, we need to be willing to be wrong ourselves. It’s not about compromising our truths, but about being humble within the expression of them. It doesn’t matter whether we’re right or wrong. What’s important is how we handle ourselves in either case.

4. Forgiveness

Though the need to be right enters all areas of our lives, it’s especially damaging during conflicts with those we love. When we believe we’ve been wronged, we often want to prove to the one who’s hurt or betrayed us just how wrong they are. We want to hurt them back. Instead, the focus needs to be on forgiveness. It’s important to share our feelings and express how we feel hurt, but not without a commitment to forgiving the action and the person, no matter how wrong we believe them to be. When the desire to forgive takes precedent, the need to be right dissipates, opening the door for a more conscious and healthy connection.

5. Kindness

Dr. Wayne Dyer famously wrote, “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” We all struggle with the insecurities of our egos, with the insecurity of being wrong. And a threatened ego will almost always lash out. When we make an effort to prove someone wrong by establishing ourselves as right, we’re being unkind in the process, whether we intend to be or not. Only the ego cares about the distinctions between right and wrong. The heart simply loves and accepts whomever is on the other side of the conversation. Let’s operate from our hearts, with kindness.

The next time we feel ourselves pressing to make our point and needing to be right, let’s take a moment to remember that being right is not the goal. It’s unimportant. Let’s try to integrate some of the above qualities into our way of speaking, knowing that by doing so we invite a more conscious and loving exchange with whomever is on the other side of our dialogue.

What other qualities do you bring into your disagreements to keep them from being about who’s right and who’s wrong? I’d love to know.

 
by Scott Stabile      Oct 03, 2014
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8 Keys to Handling Adult Bullies

How to handle adult bullies

“Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda

Most of us encounter adult bullies at certain points in our lives. An adult bully can be an intimidating boss or colleague, a controlling romantic partner, an unruly neighbor, a high pressure sales/business representative, a condescending family member, a shaming social acquaintance, or other types of abusive relationships.

There are five major types of bullying:

Physical Bullying – The use of physical intimidation, threat, harassment and/or harm.

Tangible/Material Bullying – Using one’s formal power (i.e. title or position) or material leverage (i.e. financial, informational, or legal) as forms of intimidation, threat, harassment, and/or harm.

Verbal Bullying – Threats. Shaming. Hostile Teasing. Insults. Constant negative judgment and criticism. Racist, sexist, homophobic language.

Covert or Passive-Aggressive Bullying – Negative Gossip. Negative joking at someone’s expense. Sarcasm. Condescending eye contact, facial expression or gestures. Mimic to ridicule. Deliberately causing embarrassment. Social exclusion. Deliberately sabotaging someone’s well-being, happiness, and success.

Cyber Bullying – Examples of verbal and passive-aggressive behaviors mentioned above can be conveyed on-line, via social media, texting, video, email, on-line discussion, and other digital formats. Identity theft is also a form of cyber bullying.

On the surface, an adult bully may come across as aggressive, demanding, and domineering. However, with an astute approach and assertive communication, you can turn aggression into respect. Here are eight keys to successfully handle adult bullies, with excerpts from my book: “How to Successfully Handle Aggressive, Intimidating, and Controlling People.” Not all of the tips below may apply to your particular situation. Simply use what works, and leave the rest.

1.  Keep Safe

The most important priority in the face of an adult bully is to protect yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable with a situation, leave. Seek help and support if necessary. Contact law enforcement, emergency hotline, crisis hotline, social agencies, or legal representatives if you have to. Should you decide to deal with the aggressor, consider the following skills and strategies.

2.  Keep Your Distance and Keep Your Options Open

Not all adult bullies are worth tasseling with. Your time is valuable, and your happiness and well-being are important. Unless there’s something critical at stake, don’t expend yourself by trying to grapple with a person who’s negatively entrenched. Whether you’re dealing with a road rage driver, a pushy salesperson, a hostile neighbor, an obnoxious relation, or a domineering supervisor, keep a healthy distance, and avoid engagement unless you absolutely have to.

There are times when you may feel like you’re “stuck” with a very difficult person, and there’s “no way out.” In these situations, think outside the box. Consult with trusted friends and advisors about different courses of action, with your personal well-being as the number one priority. We’re never stuck unless we have blinders on. Keep your options open.

3.  Keep Your Cool and Avoid Being Reactive

“Bullies win when you’re upset.”
– NCAB

A common characteristic of bullies is that they project their aggression to push your buttons and keep you off balance. By doing so, they create an advantage from which they can exploit your weaknesses.

If you are required to deal with an adult bully, one of the most important rules of thumb is to keep your cool. The less reactive you are to provocations, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation. Some bullying scenarios may require a strong and assertive response, while others may be handled simply with you being unimpressed. Either way, keep your cool when you approach the situation. Maintain superior composure.

4.  Know Your Fundamental Human Rights

A crucial idea to keep in mind when you’re dealing with an adult bully is to know your rights, and recognize when they’re being violated.

adultbullies

As long as you do not harm others, you have the right to stand-up for yourself and defend your rights. On the other hand, if you bring harm to others, you may forfeit these rights.  The following are some of our fundamental human rights:

  • You have the right to be treated with respect.
  • You have the right to express your feelings, opinions and wants.
  • You have the right to set your own priorities.
  • You have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty.
  • You have the right to get what you pay for.
  • You have the right to have opinions different than others.
  • You have the right to take care of and protect yourself from being threatened physically, mentally or emotionally.
  • You have the right to create your own happy and healthy life.

The Fundamental Human Rights are grounded in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, laws in many democratic nations protecting against abuse, exploitation, and fraud, and, if you’re in the United States, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

These Fundamental Human Rights represent your boundaries.

Of course, our society is full of people who do not respect these rights. Bullies, in particular, want to deprive you of your rights so they can control and take advantage of you. But you have the power and moral authority to declare that it is you, not the bully, who’s in charge of your life. Focus on these rights, and allow them to keep your cause just and strong.

5.  Utilize Assertive and Effective Communication

As mentioned above, avoid interacting with aggressors unless you absolutely have to. When you are required to deal with one, strengthen your position by utilizing assertive communication skills. For more on this topic, see my Psychology Today article: “How to Negotiate With Difficult and Aggressive People“

6.   Talk About Your Experience

Some victims of adult bullying remain quiet about their experience, and hide their suffering within. Reasons for keeping silent may include, and are not limited to fear, shame, embarrassment, denial, a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, as well as gender, cultural, social, and/or institutional conditioning.

However, being a quiet victim is not only mentally and emotionally unhealthy, it can encourage the bully to repeat and intensify their aggressive behavior. No matter how difficult the circumstance, seek out trustworthy individuals to confide in, whether they be friends, family, workplace confidants, counselors, or operators on a crisis hotline. Sharing your experience is not only cathartic; the support you receive may often strengthen your ability to handle the challenge.

7. In Serious Situations, Proactively Deal with the Problem Early On and Formalize Your Communication.

With adult bullies whom you need to interact with on a regular basis, it’s important to put a stop to any serious, potentially damaging patterns early on. Let yourself, not the bully, be the one who sets the tone of the relationship.

Whenever possible, formalize your daily communication with the bully by either putting things in writing, or having a third party present as witness. Keep a paper trail of facts, issues, agreements, disagreements, and timelines. Build a strong case of factual evidence against the aggressor. In addition, identify whether there may be other victims of the bully, and consider a joint, formalized response. Leverage strength in numbers.

8.  Set Consequences to Compel Respect

When an adult bully insists on violating your boundaries, and won’t take “no” for an answer, deploy consequences.

The ability to identify and assert consequence(s) is one of the most important skills you can use to “stand down” a difficult person. When effectively articulated, strong and reasonable consequence(s) gives pause to the adult bully, and compels him or her to shift from violation to respect. In my book  “How to Successfully Handle Aggressive, Intimidating, and Controlling People”, consequence is presented as seven different types of power you can utilize to affect strong and positive change.

In conclusion, to know how to handle adult bullies is to truly master the art of communication. As you utilize these skills, you may experience less grief, greater confidence, better relationships, and higher communication prowess. You are on your way to leadership success!

Nov 06, 2016        Preston Ni M.S.B.A.

References
Albert, D.J.; Walsh, M.L.; Jonik, R.H. Aggression in Humans: What is Its Biological Foundation?. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 17. (1993)
Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology. (2002)
Berkowitz, L. Aggression: Its Causes, Consequences, and Control. McGraw-Hill. (1993)
Bloom, Sandra L. M.D. When Victims Turn Into Bullies. The Psychotherapy Review. (2000)
Carr-Ruffino, Norma. The Promotable Woman. Career Pr Inc; 4th ed. (2004)
How to Deal with Bullies. The National Center Against Bullying. www.ncab.org.au/kids/whattodo/
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). United Nations General Assembly. (1948)

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Study Finds Alcohol Makes You Aggressive; Pot, Pretty Much the Opposite

Pot heads are mellow, drunks can be mean. That’s the common wisdom, and now, thanks to a group of researchers from the Netherlands, it has some scientific validation. In a just-published study in the journal Psychopharmacology, they found that—doh!—people on  booze act out, while people on pot peacefully space out.

“The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression,” the researchers concluded.

The study itself sounds like fun. In a random, controlled trial, the researchers recruited 21 heavy pot smokers (at least three times a week), 20 heavy drinkers (at least three drinks a day for men, two for women), and a control group of 20 who used neither substance heavily.

alcohol_agression

They then had the drinkers drink until they were too drunk to legally drive (0.08% blood alcohol level) and the tokers vape up 300 micrograms of THC per kilogram of body weight, enough to get them nicely baked. The control group, being the control group, missed out on the intoxicants.

Then all three groups completed a number of tests designed to get people wound up. In one, subjects played a computer game in which the object was to win money by pressing buttons, but players’ efforts were undermined by an “adversary” that took money from them. The adversary was actually part of the computer program. In a second test, known as a “single category implicit association test,” subjects were shown images of violent and aggressive behavior and asked to match positive and negative words to the photos.

The researchers measured aggression by asking the subjects to rate how aggressive they felt on a 100-point scale, and weighed that against a baseline score established by asking them the same question before they had gotten wasted. And they ran the tests one more time a week later, with the same subjects, but without getting them high or drunk.

“Alcohol intoxication increased subjective aggression in the alcohol group,” the researchers found, but pot smokers became less aggressive when baked.

It wasn’t just subjective. While alcohol drinkers rated themselves as more aggressive when drunk, they were also found to be objectively more aggressive, as measured by their willingness to undermine their opponents in the computer game.

We already know that marijuana is a less harmful drug than alcohol, being both far less toxic and less addictive than booze. And now we get some scientific backing for something else that was already patently obvious.

By Phillip Smith       AlterNet       July 23, 2016       Hold the presses
Philip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.
source: www.alternet.org 

 

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Harm Caused By Drugs Table

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How to Reverse the Negative Effects of Marijuana Consumption

Every substance we put into our bodies has an impact on our mind and body functions. Marijuana is the most used illegal substance in the world. Millions of North Americans smoke marijuana occasionally (occasional users) while others use it on a regular basis (chronic users). As mentioned before, marijuana has a series of short and long term effects in several dimensions of the human body, and it’s not as light as presented, especially if there is an addiction or history of extended use, since often an addiction has tragic effects on the addict and their relatives. In this article we will address how to minimize the negative effects of marijuana. If you enjoy smoking or taking this drug, this could be a perfect way to minimize the possible guilt of using the substance and minimizing the negative side effects.

Minimizing and Reversing the Negative Effects of Chronic Marijuana Consumption

• Most people who use smoke their marijuana. Try using a vaporizer to minimize the side effects of the smoke in lungs. Marijuana could be a risk factor in pulmonary diseases like bronchitis or emphysema.
• Give yourself a break! The best way to minimize the effects of marijuana is by taking progressively fewer doses and progressively sensitizing the brain to low quantities. Sensitize is a reverse toleration. Toleration is a common phenomenon in substance abuse and is described as the need for higher substance concentrations to get the same effect . This occurs at a molecular level, where there the neurons get used to a particular quantity of the metabolites involved. If you take a periodic breaks from smoking, from 1 day to 1+ years, you’ll find the effects are stronger, because the brain starts to rebuild and to rest from the intense neurochemical firing, particularly in the brain reward center. If you don’t wish to stop smoking at all, take a few breaks every now and then to rest your brain and lungs, and clean your liver and blood from the chemicals involved. If you cannot stop, it may be a warning sign that you are addicted to cannabis.
• Move your body. Exercise. Smoking harms the body in 1000 different ways and scientists are still learning the effects of smoking in each of our cells. Exercise improves circulation, oxygen absorption, and appropriate wasting of toxins. Exercise is a preventive measure for lung cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It improves cognitive function as well, use exercise to improve your cardiovascular, mood and energy levels.
• Cognitive training. There is a debate if the popular brain gym training pages that circulates through internet are beneficial or not. Some propose that these type of games won’t transfer to real world situations. However, some studies suggest a positive effect in everyday functional outcomes. Games like chess, memory match, scrabble, puzzles, or hand coordination games like jenga, may be beneficial and help the brain to function even better.
• Yoga and anxiety. Some people use marijuana to relieve stress and to avoid anxiety. If you are less anxious, you will probably decrease the desire to smoke. Yoga and meditation have been shown to decrease social anxiety in several populations and improve quality of life. The focused attention on breath and sensations have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
• Detox. The by-products in marijuana are stored in fatty acids and secreted by sweat, feces, and urine. Some of the metabolites can store in your body for months, depending in the doses taken and body fat. Try fasting or detoxification with raw food and juice smoothies.

cannabis-infographic
By Andres Carvajal         Edited by Stephanie Dawson        Aug 19, 2013
 
Sources
  • Chiesa, A., & Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15, 593–600
  • Mendonca GV, Pereira FD, Fernhall B. Effects of cigarette smoking on cardiac autonomic function during dynamic exercise. J Sports Sci. 2011 Jun;29(9):879-86
  • MARIJUANA & THE BRAIN, PART II: THE TOLERANCE FACTOR By Jon Gettman, July 1995 High Times


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Bullying Has Lingering Effects on Children’s Mental Health

By Cari Nierenberg, Contributing writer      February 17, 2014

Being bullied at school leaves a lasting mark on young victims’ bodies and minds years after the bullying ends, a new study shows.

Researchers found that bullying had its greatest influence on the health of kids who were repeatedly targeted, and it was linked with poorer mental and physical health, increased symptoms of depression and lower self-esteem.

The study also revealed that victims of recent bullying fared worse than students who had been picked on by their peers further in the past.

“The effects of bullying can snowball over time,” said study researcher Laura Bogart, a social psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Children who experience continued bullying, such as in more than one grade, had more severe effects, she said.

“The results are a strong argument for an immediate, early intervention of bullying,” Bogart said.

The findings were published online today (Feb. 17) and will appear in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Early intervention

In the study, the researchers surveyed nearly 4,300 students attending public schools in Los Angeles, Houston and Birmingham, Ala. They collected data from students when they were in fifth, seventh and 10th grades, and also from their parents.

To determine whether students were frequently or repeatedly bullied in elementary, middle and high school, they were asked how often another kid had kicked or pushed them in a mean way during the last year. Children also completed questionnaires describing their physical and mental well-being.

By 10th grade, about 30 percent of the students in the study had been bullied.

At all three grade levels, students who had never been bullied reported being the most psychologically healthy.

But even the kids who had been bullied in the distant past had lasting psychological wounds, although not to the same extent as those being bullied currently or who were repeatedly bullied. For those children, mental health scores declined over time, suggesting they didn’t feel as good about themselves and experienced more negative emotions.

The study did not look at bullying’s full range of physical effects, but the questionnaire asked children about basic physical activity, such as whether being bullied caused them to have trouble walking around the block, doing their chores or playing sports.

It did not consider physical complaints and injuries, such as stomachaches, pain, cuts and broken bones, Bogart told Live Science.

She also said the study only measured in-person bullying and didn’t include cyberbullying.

“Cyberbullying would be a good future direction for this research,” Bogart said.

Warning signs

The findings show that bullying’s emotional scars may remain long after the teasing and taunting stop. So what can a parent do to help their child?

“The first step for parents is to strengthen communication with your child, so that bullying comes up in conversation, especially at younger ages,” Bogart said. It can come up as part of a broader discussion about respecting other people and accepting differences among them, she suggested.

Bogart also recommended that parents notice and recognize the signs of bullying, which may not be obvious physical clues like a black eye, but could take the form of unexplained scratches or bruises.

Parents can also tune in to subtle changes in a child’s behavior, such as not wanting to go to school or seeming more anxious, sad or depressed.

Bogart also suggested that parents should be even more vigilant to these warning signs if their child falls into one of the high-risk groups more likely to be bullied. These include kids who are obese or have disabilities, as well as young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Although not all children are victims of bullying, many kids are affected by it and see it happening at school, and are aware that it’s going on, Bogart said.

She advised parents to help teach kids that it’s OK to speak up if they witness someone being bullied.