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This Is What Happens To Your Brain After A Breakup

“Turning on the reward neurons releases repeated floods of the neurotransmitter dopamine. And the dopamine activates circuits inside the brain that create a craving…In the case of romance, the thing you need more of is your beloved.” – Diane Kelly

We’re going to assume, at least for the sake of this article, that someone you once loved someone did not end up becoming “the one.”

Many people reading this article will concede that a such an unfortunate occasion has happened at least once.

The underlying concept you’ll see throughout the article is this: the brain’s complex – and often, unknowable – intricately woven circuitry produces complex feelings that arise from any and all situations; whether positive or negative.

Of course, this includes any relationship that has gone awry.

The motivation behind this article is to explain what happens to the brain following a painful breakup. The benefit of such knowledge is noteworthy in the sense that we will gain a more comprehensive understanding of the neurocircuitry that accompanies a hard felt separation.

It is our hope, then, that this knowledge will enable you to understand why such emotions occur – and what you can do as a rational being to make the best out of a tough situation.

HUMANS ARE HARDWIRED FOR LOVE

Anyone remember the 1980’s commercial “This is your brain on drugs?” This commercial was a well-intended (though rudimentary) depiction of what occurs in the human brain during drug use. Whether or not one is a fan of this ad, it is challenging to object its effectiveness. Following extensive research, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America reproduced a more intensive version of the commercial following a sizeable decrease in drug abuse cases.

As it turns out, the human brain reacts similarly to love. According to Psychology Today, “love has probably started more schoolyard fights, adult feuds, and outright wars than every other catalyst combined – money, alcohol, drugs, politics, sports, etc.”

Simply put, the numerous effects of love on the brain are strikingly similar to those produced by drugs. Similar to how drugs can induce a stagnant effect on the human brain, love (especially deep love) can result in the same – if not exacerbated – neurological effects.

A neuroscientist at the Einstein College of Medicine explains love’s effect on the brain as follows: “Other kinds of social rejection are much more cognitive…(Romantic rejection) is a life changing thing, and involves systems that are not at the same level as feeling hungry or thirsty.”

In other words, when someone we love rejects us, it is as harmful, if not more so, to the brain than social needs (friendships) and primal needs (sustenance).

Wow…can’t say we saw that coming. Wonder what Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil would say on the matter. Anyway, digression aside let’s get down to it.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BRAIN AFTER A BREAKUP

When we separate or reject somebody who we love, the physical effects – shallow breathing, nausea, chest constriction, etc. – are all very real phenomena.

Studies demonstrate that individuals in the midst of a breakup show disproportionate activity in the brain regions that determine the body’s response to physical pain and distress. This is potentially dangerous; and again, the more intimate the relationship, the likelier that adverse and extreme harmful physical side effects arise.

Unfortunately, this counterproductive cognitive response negatively affects other physical channels; including higher blood pressure, weakening of the immune system, and complications of the digestive system. These physical symptoms may persist for days, weeks, or months following a separation; with the duration of such effects highly dependent upon the individual.

Perhaps the most tragic response to heartbreak is a condition known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (aka, “Broken Heart Syndrome) which produces stress hormones in extreme excess, which can, sadly, result in a heart attack, stroke, or even death.

(Sigh…)

WHAT THIS MEANS (AND DOESN’T)

From birth to death (and perhaps beyond), human beings desire to be loved. Regardless of the rapid advancements in neuroscience, we cannot – nor should we presume to – understand the complex mechanisms of love on our brain, body, and soul.

Experience (and science) tells us that love and human existence are inseparable. On the positive side, this inseparability enables us to love and cherish those we hold dear despite any and all circumstances. On the not so positive side, such findings elaborate upon – for better or worse – our dependence on others for connection, friendship, love, and nourishment.

For those currently going through the heartbreak that many of us have endured, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Human beings, by evolutionary design, are resilient creatures. Our brains have the superlative capability of learning, adapting, and rewiring to any past, present or future situation.

REFERENCES:
PARKER, D. (N.D.). QUOTES ABOUT ADAPTATION (102 QUOTES). RETRIEVED MARCH 24, 2017, FROM HTTP://WWW.GOODREADS.COM/QUOTES/TAG/ADAPTATION
KELLY, D. (2015, JULY 20). HERE’S WHAT BREAKING UP DOES TO YOUR BRAIN. RETRIEVED MARCH 24, 2017, FROM HTTP://GIZMODO.COM/HERES-WHAT-BREAKING-UP-DOES-TO-YOUR-BRAIN-1717776450
WEISS, R., LCSW, CSAT-S. (2015, JANUARY 28). THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON LOVE. RETRIEVED MARCH 24, 2017, FROM HTTPS://WWW.PSYCHOLOGYTODAY.COM/BLOG/LOVE-AND-SEX-IN-THE-DIGITAL-AGE/201501/IS-YOUR-BRAIN-LOVE


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Why Trying a Team Sport Will Make You Healthier and Happier

Three women tell us how joining a team keeps them motivated, wards off boredom and even comes with serious health benefits.

Playing sports isn’t a new trend when it comes to fun ways to get fit, but talk to anyone who participates in activities from baseball to water polo and she’ll likely sing its praises. You’re sure to hear about the merits of group activity: the camaraderie, increased motivation to get out there and work out, and the unique way that having people to train with lessens boredom on the field (trail, ice, swimming pool). But what you might not know is that there are plenty of health benefits you’ll reap just from getting your sweat on with your teammates. See how these three women rock their group workouts.

House-League Soccer

Maria Topalovic found her soccer groove at age nine, and she hasn’t stopped playing since. “I always wanted to play because my dad loved soccer,” says the Hamilton-based team-sport aficionado. Although she enjoyed a variety of athletic pursuits while growing up—including dance, figure skating and gymnastics—soccer was the one that stuck. “It was the only sport or activity I never wanted to quit and never wanted to miss.”
Now 32, Maria has been playing with a house-league team, the BilaBallerz, for about a decade. Astonishingly, she’s competed with some of her teammates since childhood, on one team or another. “It’s great to share the passion for soccer with some of the same women each season and to be able to support each other in our own fitness goals.”

Why soccer?

“I love the game! I love the cardio, too—after a game, I’m exhausted. I feel like the past hour and a half has been worth the activity, and I know I’ve had a good workout. I love the challenge of the game because anything can happen: You can meet a more difficult opponent, set up a beautiful pass, get an amazing goal, save tough shots, have the stress and excitement of shoot-outs and, most of all, have fun with a bunch of friends.”

Dragon-Boat Racing

The way Faye Visser saw it, “I could sit at home and feel sorry for myself or I could get out and remember there is life after breast cancer.” It was 2005. Faye had been diagnosed in February, had surgery in March and, by July, she’d joined Women Alike Abreast a River, a New Glasgow, N.S., dragon-boat racing team comprising cancer survivors and women in cancer treatment.

The team was “like a lifeline for me,” says Faye, whose strength and confidence grew during weekly practices and seasonal competitions. “As a person who was scared of the water, to be paddling a boat with 20 other ladies was quite an accomplishment.”
The team-training approach makes it possible to get through intense workouts you might give up on, says Faye. “Our coach trains us like we would never do ourselves. We are pushed to paddle until it hurts, but we laugh and think, We’re building muscles and having fun at the same time. And when we
come off the water, it’s a great high.”

Why dragon-boat racing?

“Dragon boating is all about exercising both the body and mind. Out on the water, all your worries disappear—[you have to] stay focused on what you’re doing. It empowers us to be the best we can.”

Road Cycling

Jennifer Northrup never pictured herself cycling 100 kilometres in a day. But thanks to her cycling team, the Vancouverite is training to do just that, with a handful of “century rides” planned for this summer. “This year, I’m on a team for the Ride to Conquer Cancer [a two-day 250-kilometre road-cycling challenge] and I plan on doing the Rapha 100 [a 100-kilometre road- cycling event] with the ladies of Tight Bike Cycle Club,” she says.

Never an avid cyclist, Jennifer discovered the sport last year when her fitness club launched a women’s road-cycling team. Road cycling has a steep learning curve, with its specialized gear, road etiquette and safety rules, not to mention the physical challenges, but for Jennifer, being part of a team was key to hurdling the beginner hump. “I was hooked after our first ride,” she says. “There was something about being among this group of women. Some have been riding for years, but most were just as intimidated and new to the sport as I was. The ladies who led the rides were always supportive and encouraging as we learned how to clip into the bike pedals, how to shift gears and the dos and don’ts of sharing the road with cars. I don’t think I would have stayed on a bike if I didn’t have this group expecting me every week.”
For Jennifer, team training and racing go hand in hand. “I don’t think I’ve signed up for one race that didn’t involve a friend or a group I would be participating with. It’s social, fun and a time to connect with others. Team accountability and camaraderie are huge motivating factors for me.”

Why long-distance cycling?

“I love a new challenge and working toward a big ride or event. Having a goal in mind keeps training fun and motivating. I work for the BC Cancer Foundation, so the Ride to Conquer Cancer is near and dear to my heart on both a personal and a professional level.”

Group Benefits

There really is strength in numbers. Here’s why working out with a team is more effective than exercising solo and how to get the benefits (even if you’re not a joiner!).

The Perks

Group-fitness participants exercise more frequently, are more likely to stick with their workout plans and enjoy a greater surge in feel-good endorphins than those who work out by themselves. And that endorphin rush is key: It improves pain tolerance and encourages a sense of social bonding, which boosts your cooperativeness and generosity.

Choosing A Sport

There are two things to keep in mind here: your interests and maximizing convenience. You want a location that’s easy to get to from your home or workplace. Registered classes may have a slight edge in terms of social benefits (you’ll see the same workout buddies each week), but drop-ins are great if you’ve got a hectic schedule or want to sample different workouts until you find the one that best fits you.

An Alternative Approach

If you don’t want to, or can’t, join a team, classes are a great alternative. Pam Cox, manager of health and fitness programs at the University of Calgary’s Active Living facility, says an instructor-led group setting is appropriate for all fitness levels. And even experienced athletes will appreciate the cross training. An avid runner, for example, may be at a loss coordinating a weight-training routine.

MAR 15, 2017     BY: YUKI HAYASHI


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Fun Fact Friday

  • If someone truly loves you, they tend to hug you for at least 5 seconds or more.

  • Changing how you walk affects your mood.

  • Studies show that the walking through a doorway causes memory lapses, which is why we walk into another room, only to forget why we did.

  • Emotions are contagious. Unpleasant or negative emotions are more contagious than neutral or positive emotions.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity on Earth after oil.
  • 1% of people are addicted to exercise.

  • Long distance relationships are as satisfying as normal relationships in terms of communication, intimacy, and commitment, studies show.

  • It takes your brain approximately 90 seconds to decide whether or not you like someone.

  • Laughter helps increase memory and learning. Incorporating humor into education leads to higher test scores.

 

Happy Friday!
 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact


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Overcoming Codependency: Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships

“A codependent person
is one who has let another person’s behavior
affect him or her
and who is obsessed with
controlling that person’s behavior.”
~Melody Beattie

From a young age, I felt insecure in my own skin. I was a highly sensitive child and, subsequently, struggled with low self-worth for most of my life.

Although I had many friends and a good family, I consistently looked for approval outside of myself. I grew up believing that the opinions of others were the only accurate representations of my core worth.

As a teenager, I witnessed the crumbling and eventual demise of my parents’ marriage. During these years, I felt a lot like an island.

I was often plagued with a dark, mysterious unhappiness. The standard teenage growing pains conglomerated with the trauma of losing my familial identity. In a desperate attempt to counter these negative feelings, I sought the approval of others; when it was not provided, I felt like a failure.

I was caught up in vicious cycle of seeking outside confirmation that I was good enough.

At school, I adopted the role of boy-crazy-funny-girl. I wanted to be adored and nurtured and cherished.

I kept a list of all the cute boys at my school and spent hours daydreaming about a blissful, fairy tale love.

I consistently focused on seeking happiness outside of myself. This habitual practice, over time, led to an inability to be content unless something or someone was providing validation. Most of the time, I felt like I was not good enough.

This falsely instilled belief led me into a decade-long struggle with codependency.

The first codependent relationship I was involved in began when I was nineteen. He was ten years older than I was, and, unbeknownst to me at the time, a cocaine addict.

Our routine was unhealthy and unproductive. We would spend our weekends drinking and gambling at a local pool hall. More often than not, I spent my entire weekly paycheck by the end of Saturday night.

He belittled me, called me names, and consistently criticized my appearance and weight. He compared me to his previous girlfriends. I began to see myself as an incomplete person, one who was in need of major repairs and upgrades. I was so emotionally fragile that the wind could’ve knocked me over.

In a frantic effort to self-preserve, I adopted several fear-based behaviors. I became obsessed with him. I was controlling and jealous. I needed to know everything about his past. I wanted desperately for him to accept me.

Over the ten months we spent together, I neglected my body and mind. My weight dropped a staggering thirty pounds. I was completely disconnected from my family and friends. I developed severe anxiety and suffered crippling panic attacks. I knew something had to change, so I gathered the courage and left him behind.

I thought that I was rid of this unhealthy and unsatisfying lifestyle, but the bad habits carried into my next two relationships.

I spent four years with a person that I loved very much; however, his alcohol dependency brought all of my insecurities and controlling behavior back into play.

We spent four years flip-flopping between wonderful loving moments and horrific physical fights that left us both numb and depressed.

When this relationship ended, I sought comfort in yet another unavailable partner, one that could not provide me with the stability that I so badly needed.

Such is the nature of the codependent person. We seek out what is familiar to us, but not necessarily what is good for us.

After logging close to a decade-worth of codependent hours, I finally faced myself. I knew that if I didn’t make significant changes, I would be forever trapped in a life that was unconducive to my spiritual and emotional growth.

In a scene eerily similar to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love bathroom breakdown, I faced the music. I got myself a small apartment and started my recovery.

The first few days spent alone were absolutely torturous. I cried and cried. I had trouble doing basic tasks, like walking my dog or getting groceries. I had completely turned inward, nurturing my turmoil like an old friend. Anxiety-ridden and lonely, I did the only thing I could think of: I asked for help.

The first step I took was ordering Melody Beattie’s book Codependent No More. This is probably the most significant self-improvement book I have ever read. I felt a weight being lifted as I read, page by page.

Finally, I was able to understand all of the behaviors, feelings, and emotions I had struggled with for so long. I was a textbook case, my highlighter affirmed as I completed the “codependency checklist.” Perhaps some of these questions will speak to you, as well.

  • Do you feel responsible for other people—their feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being, and destiny?
  • Do you feel compelled to help people solve their problems or by trying to take care of their feelings?
  • Do you find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others than about injustices done to you?
  • Do you feel safest and most comfortable when you are giving to others?
  • Do you feel insecure and guilty when someone gives to you?
  • Do you feel empty, bored, and worthless if you don’t have someone else to take care of, a problem to solve, or a crisis to deal with?
  • Are you often unable to stop talking, thinking, and worrying about other people and their problems?
  • Do you lose interest in your own life when you are in love?
  • Do you stay in relationships that don’t work and tolerate abuse in order to keep people loving you?
  • Do you leave bad relationships only to form new ones that don’t work, either?

(You can read more about the habits and patterns of codependent people here.)

After acknowledging my codependency, I connected with an online support group for family members of addicts/alcoholics. This gave me a platform to share my story, without judgment, and little by little, I healed my aching heart.

The most significant things I learned on this journey are:

1. Without change, nothing changes.

This is such a simple yet profound truth. It’s reminiscent of Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The cycle of codependency can only be overcome by establishing and nurturing a super-loving relationship with yourself. Otherwise, you will continually find yourself in unhealthy, codependent relationships.

2. We can’t control others, and it is not our job to do so.

Over the years, I was constantly trying to control and micromanage other people’s behavior, in an effort to escape my own negative feelings.

I chose partners with alcohol and drug dependencies. Often, I chose angry and avoidant men. By focusing on what was wrong with them, I could ignore what was empty and unfulfilled in me.

I thought, naively, that this would give me a feeling of stability. In fact, it did the opposite. Surrendering the need to control other people provides us the necessary space to connect with ourselves.

3. Love and obsessions are not the same.

I falsely believed for many years that love and obsession were one and the same. I gave so much of myself to my partners, naively thinking that this was the road to happiness.

I’ve learned that real love requires both partners to have unique, individual identities outside of the romantic relationship. Time alone, time with friends, and time to work on personal projects allows you to really connect when you are together, without feeling suffocated. We build trust when we afford ourselves, and our partners, some breathing room.

For many years I neglected my own needs. I now prioritize personal time to do individual activities: reading, writing, walking, reflecting. I started to heal once I learned to incorporate self-love rituals into my life. One of my favorite things to do is spend the evening in a warm bubble bath, light some candles and listen to Alan Watts lectures.

4. Life is not an emergency.

This is a biggie! I consistently lived in a high-stress vortex—terrified of people, abandonment, and life itself.

I worried so much about all of the things that were outside of my control—often, other people. I realize now that life is meant to be enjoyed and savored. Good and bad things will happen, but with a centered and balanced heart, we can get over any obstacles.

The key to balance, for me, is to live fully in every moment, accepting life for what it is. Even when I’m feeling down, I know that the Universe has my back and everything in life is unfolding as it should.

If you don’t hold this belief, it might help to remember that you have your own back, and you can handle whatever is coming. When you trust in yourself, and focus on yourself instead of others, it’s much easier to enjoy life and stop living in fear.

By Ariane Michaud
 


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How to Let Go of a Failed Relationship

It takes great effort to let go of failed relationships and learn to heal yourself instead of letting those complicated feelings linger. To learn how to adjust your mindset, cut ties with your ex, and start enjoying your life again, follow these steps and let the healing begin.

Part 1 Letting Go

Give yourself time. It’s okay to mourn the end of the relationship. Whether you were together for a few months or you lived together for years and shared pets, you have the right to your complicated emotions. Allow yourself to cry, reflect on the experience, and accept that it’s really over.Use this time to reflect. Write down your feelings in a journal and really get in touch with why you’re feeling that way.

Giving yourself time may help you get over the relationship faster. Some people like to set an “end mourning date.” Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be over the relationship at that point–but it does mean that you’ll start making a conscious effort to move on.

Let your emotions loose. If you feel like crying in bed all day, go for it. If you want to cry or vent to a friend about all of your frustrations, do that too. Just remember to only do this for as long as you need to, don’t rush out into a new relationship in a week just because your ex is or to make them jealous.
Remind yourself why the relationship is over. It’s natural for you to long for your ex and to wish he/she was still by your side–after all, you’re used to having them around, even if it wasn’t comforting all of the time. But you have to stay strong and remind yourself why the relationship is over. Though it may hurt, try thinking of a moment when you were deeply unhappy in the relationship. Write it on an index card or save it on your phone and and carry it around with you. Look at it whenever you’re regretting your decision or wondering why you and your ex aren’t together anymore.

Learn to recognize negative thought patterns. Bitterness, guilt and regret can make for a debilitating emotional cocktail when you’re trying to get over a relationship. You can teach yourself to recognize bitter thought patterns, though, by writing them down and then later examining them to find your emotional triggers. If you can pinpoint the things that set you off running into an emotional swamp, you can learn to walk around it.Read back over your journal as if it belonged to someone else. What is it that seems to set this other person off? What advice would you offer them? What should they avoid?

Circle words or phrases that show up repeatedly. When you find yourself thinking of that word or phrase (maybe your ex’s name, maybe a particular place or concept) interrupt yourself. Have a mantra or or a song prepared to recite or listen to as a way of interrupting yourself and rewarding yourself for avoiding that negative thought.

Avoid self-destructive behaviors. Taking up smoking just because you’re feeling angry about a relationship won’t do anything to help you feel better about yourself. Indulging in self-loathing that takes the form of drinking or drugs will only draw out the grief process, because you’ll have to start from scratch.If it’s a distraction you’re looking for, why not make it a healthy alternative? Instead of smoking, try taking up bicycling, art projects, or picking up an old instrument you’d lost touch with.

Part 2 Cutting Ties with Your Ex

Stop communicating with your ex. Stop texting or calling. Don’t try to have an awkward mature lunch with your ex once a week when it’s over. Though you may be able to be friends with your ex one day, it needs to be after you’ve learned to be separate. The potential for damage at this point is great, and communicating with your ex will make it much harder for you to let go of the relationship.If you need to stop hanging out with your mutual friends for a while, do it. If you really want to see them, hang out with them by making special plans. You’re not being cowardly by doing this–you’re just protecting yourself. Likewise, find new social places to hang out–there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and parks to check out that don’t have any emotional baggage.

If you run into your ex, you don’t have to run in the other direction. Be mature and say hello, but you don’t need to stop to have a painful conversation.

Stay away from social media for a while. Though you may be tempted to log on to your Facebook to see if there are any pictures of your ex with a new cutie, this will only prolong your pain and may even make you feel a bit obsessive. Even if you’re determined not to contact your ex on social media, you won’t be able to stop wondering if he saw your latest photos or your latest post. Don’t get on social media again until the thought of seeing your ex’s photo doesn’t make you feel an intense spectrum of emotions.

Alternatively, try blocking or “unfriending” your ex. This can be a very tangible way of signaling that the relationship is over.

Get rid of things that remind you of your ex. Do a relationship spring cleaning. If you can’t bear to throw them out entirely, put them in a garbage bag at the back of your closet. Even if the stuffed animal your ex won for you during your first date at a carnival is your favorite item, throw it in a bag with everything else.If you have a few things that belong to your ex– sweatshirts, books, electronics–return them immediately. You can have a friend drop them off for you to minimize the pain.

Remodel, redecorate, make your place your own. Especially if you had been living together, get rid of old things even if they don’t remind you of your ex. Move your furniture around, and add some plants for decoration and peace. Do whatever you have to do to make your space feel new. It’s important and healthy to try not to keep too many things from your lives together.

Take a mini-vacation. While you can’t just pack up all of your things and move to Hawaii the second you break up with your ex–unless you’re lucky–visiting relatives or a location you’ve never been will help make your world a little larger for the time being. This offers necessary perspective and is a good start to enjoying yourself and starting to do things that you want to do.

Part 3 Enjoying Your Life Again

Spend more time with your friends. When you’re ready, it’ll be fun to catch up, laugh, and get back to having long and intense conversations with your friends. Use your new free time to reconnect with old friends, strike up new acquaintances, or to turn an acquaintance into a friend. Do the things you couldn’t do in your relationship. If your partner hated sushi, organize a group lunch at the best place for sushi in your town. If your ex couldn’t stand going to live metal shows, get some friends together and head for the mosh pit.

Spend time with your family. Especially if you’ve been preoccupied with your relationship, perhaps you haven’t been able to spend as much time around your family as you might like. They’ll be on your team and give you a chance to relax, reconnect, and even enjoy some home cooking for a change. Plus, spending time in your hometown might give you a chance to reconnect with childhood friends, old stomping grounds, and enjoy yourself.

Find joy in new activities. Instead of doing the same old things that you and your ex used to do, try pursuing a new interest, finding a new hobby, or by getting completely out of your comfort zone.
Explore your creative side. Try writing a song, composing a poem, painting or sketching. Express yourself in way you never had before but always hoped to try.

Try a new form of exercise. Take that yoga or Zumba class you’ve always been wanting to try. Not only will exercising make you feel less stressed out and more centered, but you may find a new passion.

Do something completely out of your comfort zone. Try a type of food you’ve never eaten before, go hiking even if you’re not outdoorsy, or even go sky diving if you’re feeling adventurous.

Pick up a new hobby, like knitting, coin collecting, bird watching, or anything else that makes you feel calm and dedicated.

Find peace on your own. Though staying busy with a flurry of friends and fun activities is a great way to take your mind on your ex, if you really want to let go of the failed relationship, then you have to be able to be comfortable with yourself. Eventually, you may even relish the opportunity for some solo time.Take walks a few times a week. Connect with nature by exploring local parks or lakes. This is not only great exercise, but the perfect opportunity to reflect.

Read. Get lost in a book and spend hours just reading with a cup of tea.

Write. Write in your journal, or try working on a short story. See what you can learn about yourself just by writing.

Part 4 Dating Again

Enjoy being single first. Don’t try to look around for the next rebound opportunity the second that you break up. Instead, take the time to enjoy being single and doing whatever you want whenever you want it. Many people in relationships would love to be single–at least for a little while–so you should look at it as an adventure instead of as a problem.If someone asks you out before you’re ready, don’t be afraid to tell them, “It’s too soon” especially if you think you might be interested. You’ll be doing both of you a favor by not rushing it. If there’s something there, it should still be there later when you are ready.

Have fun meeting people and flirting. Part of being single is the thrill of serendipity. Who knows who you might run into at the grocery store or the library. Talking to new people is an important step in moving forward.

When you’re ready, go on a date. Let your friend set you up with a mutual acquaintance or even set up an online dating profile. It’s important to take it slow and have fun meeting new people without setting any expectations.

Articulate your desires for new relationships and be honest. If anything, what do you wish you might have done differently at the beginning of your last relationship? Here’s your chance to start things off on the right foot.Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If any “deal breakers” pop up in the first few dates, don’t ignore them just because it feels good to be dating again.


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13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

Somebody once told me the definition of hell:

“On your last day on earth, 

the person you became will meet 

the person you could have become.”  

 -Anonymous

Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things — we need to give up on some of them.

There are certain things that are universal, which will make you successful if you give up on them, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.

You can give up on some of them today, while it might take a bit longer to give up on others.

1. Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn

If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First you have to take care of your health, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind:

1. Healthy Diet
2. Physical Activity

Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.

2. Give Up The Short-term Mindset

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

Successful people set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day.

These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you embody.

There is a difference between: “Working out to get a summer body” and “Working out because that’s who you are.”

3. Give Up On Playing Small

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

If you never try and take great opportunities, or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential.

And the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.

So voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to fail, and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed.

4. Give Up Your Excuses

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Successful people know that they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures.

Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting.
And when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.

Own your life; no one else will.

5. Give Up The Fixed Mindset

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

People with a fixed mindset think their intelligence or talents are simply fixed traits, and that talent alone creates success — without effort. They’re wrong.

Successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives.

Remember, who you are today, it’s not who you have to be tomorrow.

6. Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.”

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” — Émile Coué

Overnight success is a myth.

Successful people know that making small continual improvement every day will be compounded over time, and give them desirable results.

That is why you should plan for the future, but focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1% every day.

7. Give Up Your Perfectionism

“Shipping beats perfection.” — Khan Academy’s Development Mantra

Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much we try.

Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents us from taking an action and putting our creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if we wait for the things to be right.

So “ship,” and then improve (that 1%).

8. Give Up Multi-tasking

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Successful people know this. That’s why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what it is — a business idea, a conversation, or a workout.

Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable.

9. Give Up Your Need to Control Everything

“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.” — Epictetus, Stoic philosopher

Differentiating these two is important.

Detach from the things you cannot control, and focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude towards something.

Remember, nobody can be frustrated while saying “Bubbles” in an angry voice.

10. Give Up On Saying YES To Things That Don’t Support Your Goals

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” — James Allen

Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues.

In the short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.

11. Give Up The Toxic People

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
― Jim Rohn

People we spend the most time with, add up to who we become.

There are people who are less accomplished in their personal and professional life, and there are people who are more accomplished than us. If you spend time with those who are behind you, your average will go down, and with it, your success.

But if you spend time with people who are more accomplished than you, no matter how challenging that might be, you will become more successful.

Take a look at around you, and see if you need to make any changes.

12. Give Up Your Need To Be Liked

“The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important.” — Oliver Emberton

Think of yourself as a market niche.

There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individuals who don’t. And no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make the entire market like you.

This is entirely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself.

The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that the growing number of “haters” means that you are doing important things.

13. Give Up Your Dependency on Social Media & Television

“The trouble is, you think you have time” — Jack Kornfield

Impulsive web browsing and television watching are diseases of today’s society.

These two should never be an escape from your life or your goals.

Unless your goals depend on either, you should minimise (or even eliminate) your dependency on them, and direct that time towards things that can enrich your life.

source: medium.com


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Are You Ready For A Relationship?

10 Ways to Know You’re Ready for a Relationship

When speaking about relationships, we often discuss what would make someone a good man or what would make them a good woman in terms of being a partner. I think what often goes overlooked, is the introspective aspect of building a solid foundation with someone, and what it really means to be “ready” for a relationship.

It doesn’t matter if you find the man or woman of your dreams if you’re not ready to have them in your life. It also brings about the possibility of the harsh truth that they may not be interested in you in return, if you’re not in the right place emotionally.

So, what does this all look like?

You will be as good as you can, as often as you can.

I was going to say “you’re ready to do your best for someone, every day” but let’s be realistic — we are all human and we all have good days and bad days. We can only give so much and sometimes need to be supported ourselves.

What’s important here is that you’re ready to put solid, consistent effort into your partner, your relationship, and even developing yourself. If you’re not ready to do that, then it’s best to not commit to someone who would do it for you (yet).

You’ll put someone else’s interests ahead of your own.

There is compromise and sacrifice in every relationship. This could mean anything from watching a type of movie you don’t like, to moving to a new city or state for the one you love. The bottom line is, in a happy, healthy relationship — your partner’s happiness is just as important as your own.

Your willingness to put them first at times is a signal of your readiness to commit.

You understand the importance of communication.

Communication is the backbone of a relationship in terms of keeping both partners feeling heard and understood. Nobody can read your mind, nor should they expect you to try to read theirs. Being able to openly and honestly communicate with the person you’re committed to can make or break your relationship.

You’ve got some semblance of a path in life.

It’s difficult to plan a future with someone who has no future plans for themselves. Things change and life throws curveballs at us — nobody can be expected to have it all figured out, but giving it a try is a good start.

You can let the little things slide.

No matter how well two people get along, odds are you will not like every. single. little. thing. about the other person. There may be small quirks that you’ve got to accept (and maybe ignore). If you get annoyed by everything they do, it will cause unnecessary tension in the relationship.

You’re ready to accept someone as they are.

You can’t enter into a relationship with the hopes of molding someone into who you want them to be. It’s important to note that in a healthy relationship, both partners will motivate each other to become the best versions of themselves — this is not the same as trying to change someone’s nature.

Happiness comes from the ability to be honest, and the ability to be honest comes from being able to open up to someone without being judged.

You don’t look for someone to complete you.

You, right now, are a whole complete person. If you think you need to be in a relationship in order to be “complete,” you will always be looking for something you can never find. True fulfillment and satisfaction comes from within, and you cannot fully, effectively give yourself to someone until you’ve found it.

You don’t need someone to complete you, only someone to accept you completely.


You are happy being single.

If you’re not happy being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship. As said in the point above, true happiness comes from within. Single is simply a word to describe someone who is strong enough to live their life by themselves until the right person comes along to share it with.

If you’re constantly searching for a relationship out of loneliness, you will find yourself with the first person who comes along that is interested in you. We all need to have the dignity and self-respect to only commit ourselves to those who deserve it, and the only way to be able to wait for that is to be happy before they come along.

Your ex is no longer a factor.

We all have a past, and the new person in our life needs to be able to accept that. But, we also have to accept that about ourselves, and be able to leave it in the past. Obviously this is not cut and dry if there are children involved or other mutual commitments independent of the relationship.

I understand that in some rare occasions people stay friendly with their exes or maybe even spend time together, but in most situations, in order to truly move on we need to spend time completely cut off from them. No communication, no time together, nothing.

Until you are completely over your ex and can give your full time and attention to someone new, it is better not to commit.

You are ready to blend your life into someone else’s.

While a relationship cannot be your entire life, it does permeate its entirety. You become connected with their friends, families, hobbies, pets, living situations… and they become connected with yours.

Sure, some privacy is important, but your willingness to fully accept someone into your life and routines is what will let the other person know you truly care and are ready to make a commitment to them. They will become your teammate in taking on life together. You will be building bridges between your lives rather than walls.

More important than some sort of “checklist” though, is something nobody else can ever tell you — how you feel inside. I believe when we reach the right phase in life or come across the right person, we will know we are ready to leave the single life behind and build a life alongside them.

But, until that person comes along, it’s important to work on ourselves and define our own happiness which we can then share with them.

When you are ready, you will know.

By James Michael Sama     Jul 13, 2014
 
James Michael Sama is a writer, actor and public speaker who writes regularly on his website jamesmsama.com
 
Follow James Michael Sama on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JamesMSama
 
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Eight Signs You May Not Be Ready for a Relationship

I know what you’re thinking right now. “Of course, I’m ready for a relationship. It’s what I’ve been waiting so long for! I just need to know how I can get one started!”

Well, I’m certainly not arguing that you want a real relationship. I’m asking if you’re ready for a real relationship. That one’s tough to answer, because it entails really looking at yourself and your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in a real, open, and honest way. And that’s never easy.

One thing I can tell you is that I’ve been there. I’ve been in that spot where all I could think about was how I so wanted a real relationship, with all of the affection, understanding, support and love that comes with it. And that’s when I asked myself this very same question and I realized that I didn’t like the answer. I had some major changing to do. So how do you know if you’re ready for a relationship before you start one with either the wrong guy or Mr. Right at the wrong time?

If you’re showing any of these warning signs, it means you have some work to do on yourself before you can be in a healthy, happy relationship with someone else:

1. Your compass is not pointing north. Your great-guy compass is off. It’s consistently pointing you to the wrong type of guy. This typically happens because you’re subconsciously trying to sabotage the relationship from the beginning by choosing a guy who’s not actually relationship material.

Your friends and family have warned you that he’s a player, or a loser, or a (enter your favorite derogatory term for a bad boyfriend here) but you’ve written them off, believing that you’re going to be the one woman that can change him into the perfect partner. No, the truth is that inside you know you won’t change him, and that’s actually fine with you because you subconsciously fear a deep relationship.

2. You need a man to feel happy. You feel miserable unless you’re coupled up. If you get an invite to a party or event, and you don’t have a man to bring, then you’re likely to make up an excuse, send your regrets, pass up the night out and sit at home feeling sorry for yourself because you are “oh, so alone.”

Then, you spend the entire night Googling “best places to meet men” and reading articles about what men find attractive instead of doing something that would make you happy (like going to the party you were invited to.) The truth is that if you did meet a great guy while in this mindset, you’d hold on so tight so quickly that you’d most likely strangle the relationship anyway. Find what makes you happy before you’re in a relationship, then find someone to share that happiness with.

3. You believe you can save him. Many women have a savior complex and they find themselves a project guy. What this really means is that they’re looking for dysfunction so that they have the drama in their lives that they subconsciously crave. It may stem from a variety of sources but the end result is that you will wind up with exactly what you’re looking for, a real project. Which, when translated means someone with some serious personal problems of their own. These problems should be left to the trained professionals. Don’t try to be a therapist.

4. You’re looking for someone to save you. If your self-talk sounds something like “I’m such a mess” or “Why am I so insecure sometimes?” then you need to get that taken care of before you can be in a relationship. Otherwise, you’ll either attract a partner that has the savior complex (see above) or you’ll attract a partner with the same issues. And as much as misery loves company, misery plus misery doubles the misery. Don’t go there.

5. You’re looking for someone to complete you. Yes, it’s true. Back in the day, I loved the movie Jerry Maguire as much as all of the other teary-eyed girls in the theater, but the truth is, as much as “you complete me” sounds so romantic, it should actually be “you complement me.” If you’re not a whole person to begin with then the only thing you’ll be completing is your part in a completely dysfunctional relationship. And while that may still make for a good movie (think: As Good as it Gets), it’s no fun in real life.

6. You’re spending more time pursuing love than pursuing your interests.  I realize that in order to meet men you need to get out there and be sociable, whether “out there” means the local ski club or the local web scene and I’m all for that. In fact, I highly recommend it. But if you’re not actively pursuing your own interests at the same time, then there’s a problem. If you’re thinking to yourself right now, “The only thing I’m interested in is meeting a man,” then you’re in the deep.

As I’ve said before, the best way to meet the right Mr. Right is by doing things and going places that you’d do or go to anyway, even if there was no chance of meeting a man. So, if you find yourself on Saturday nights obsessing over and constantly tweaking every word on your online dating profile, then you’re wasting valuable time that you could be spending pursuing your own interests. If you don’t have any interests, then you aren’t very interesting and that means that you’re hoping a guy will add interest to your life. He won’t because he won’t stick around long enough to.

7. You haven’t unpacked your baggage. If you find yourself still dealing with the emotional scars left from the shrapnel of a previous breakup, particularly if you’re still feeling angry then you need to finish your emotional healing before starting a new relationship. Many women believe that a man, sometimes any man, will get their mind off of their ex and into a better place. The problem is that it never really works. What it will do is keep your mind off of the man that you’re now starting a relationship with, cause you to feel guilty, cause him (and maybe you, too) to feel resentful, and generally make a big mess for everyone. Leave the rebounding to the basketball players.

8. You’re bending and twisting yourself like a pretzel to fit what you think the person you’re attracted to might like. If you find yourself trying to be something other than what you naturally are, then it’s a major red flag. This was one of the biggest problems I had in my own dating career, as I pretended to be a skier or a big golf fan when in reality I hadn’t even had an interest in either until I was attracted to a guy who did.

If you find that you’re often trying to change something about yourself thinking it will make you more attractive to the guy you just met, then you are, like I was, lacking in self-esteem and confidence in yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself, this is very common but it means that you need to work on finding and loving the real you before trying to love someone else.

If any of the above sound like you, then you need to start looking inward and making some changes to your life in order to get yourself ready to be with someone else. The good news? Once you have these licked, you will be ready for a real relationship. And then you’ll be in good emotional shape to start attracting the kind of man that you want to be in a relationship with, and he’ll want to be in a relationship with you too.

Why? Because you’ll both be emotionally healthy. So, when Mr. Right does walk into your life, you’ll both be in the right state of mind, in the right place, at the right time. And it doesn’t get any more right than that.

By Guest Contributor Jane Garapick, YourTango