Erectile dysfunction is a condition which many men suffer from as they get older. It’s one of two conditions which the internet claims to be able to cure more than any other (the other being baldness) and it can cause men a great deal of anxiety. The condition can occur for all sorts of different reasons. Anxiety, stress, depression, blood flow issues and even some environmental stimuli can affect a man’s ability to get and then hold an erection. For many the case may simply be that the penis doesn’t get fully erect and for others it may be more severe. Regardless of the cause and the effect, there is a vast assortment of different treatments on the market today for erectile dysfunction: Pills – The most common erectile dysfunction pill is Viagra but there are a broad variety of different kinds on offer. They work by stimulating the blood flow to the penis through a reaction which relaxes the smooth muscles in the penis and allows more blood to enter it. Injections – These are generally only prescribed when oral medications (pills) fail to have the desired effect. The injections generally occur in the penis and this can put a lot of people off. Suppositories – This method is used by men who don’t like the thought of a needle in their penis but for whom pills have no effect. It involves inserting a tube into the urethra and using a drug called MUSE. This drug is absorbed directly into the penis but as it’s not put straight into the blood stream it’s not considered as effective as the injections are. Penis Pumps – Though they may seem quite amusing, the penis pump is actually an incredibly effective, non-invasive way to treat erectile dysfunction. Removing the air from the tube forces blood into the penis which helps to achieve erection.
Sex is something which is still a massive taboo in our culture. It’s much more spoken about now than it once was but the fact is that it still makes a lot of people very uncomfortable. The sad fact is that a lot of kids end up getting a good portion of their sexual education online and the internet isn’t a very good teaching source of anything alone. It’s a great resource but it has to be taken in moderation and with understanding. Accepting the things that you read online as undiluted fact without any additional research can lead you into problems. But when you’re young and you don’t know any better it’s much easier than having to talk to your Mum and Dad about such things. As with everything else, sex is something which we eventually get comfortable with. That comfort sometimes only reaches as far as the bedroom or close-knit groups but many will talk very openly about it. Being able to discuss matters like this openly and without judgement or fear is important for our evolution as a race. Sex is something which everyone does and the more it’s spoken about, the more normal it becomes. The more normal it becomes the easier it will be for people to talk about issues or concerns they may have. It can be hard to talk about these things with family members. Children don’t want to think of their parents as sexual entities and parents don’t want to accept that their babies might not be as naive as they once were. The fact is that knowledge is power and not knowing about STD’s or safe sex can lead to all sorts of terrible situations. An uncomfortable hour spent explaining things could save a lifetime of woe due to some ill-informed decisions made early in life. It’s always better to know.
There are all manner of sexual issues which can affect you at any age. Generally however, issues with erection and ejaculation tend to become more of a problem for men as they get older. For a long time it was thought that ladies were the gender who had the only issues with achieving orgasm but it's become plain that men often have that same problem. At this time there's very little which can be offered to men who struggle to orgasm, which can be intensely distressing for those men. Unlike ladies, men need to achieve orgasm to fulfil their role in procreation. No orgasm means no semen and no semen means no baby. In older men this may not be much of an issue but for the younger, looking to start families, this can be the source of extreme distress. There are a good deal of drugs out there which are dedicated to helping men deal with erectile dysfunction. This is much easier to achieve as it's a fairly simple set of reactions. More often than not, a man’s inability to have an orgasm actually stems from the inability to attain an erection and fixing the latter fixes the former. Cialis is a drug which has proven greatly effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and is available all over the world today. Researchers have recently been looking into new uses for the drug however. In several studies Cialis was shown to have the potential to actually encourage ejaculation in men. These studies were fairly small and weren't specific enough to actually prove or disprove any correlation themselves. What they have done is shown a possibility and potential which researchers can now work towards. Cialis helped some men achieve orgasm where they hadn't been able to in the past. The next step in these studies will be working out how and why this works and then looking to replicate these findings on a much larger and more effective scale.
What is facial contouring? Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder is an old saying, but technological advancements have been made in the field of medicine to such an extent that beauty no longer lies in the eyes of the beholder, but in the hands of the surgeon. Yes, you are hearing it right, if you want to look like a celebrity, a surgery can merely make you look like one. Isn't that exciting? That is all this article is about, it's about how you can achieve the look you desire through facial contouring.
Facial contouring is the type of surgery that changes the shape of parts of your face such as the nose, ears or chin into your desired form. This procedure either augments the areas by filling up with one's own tissue or by drastically reducing the prominent areas of your face including the bony and soft tissues surgically. Both ways, the procedure may sometimes make subtle changes while there are occasions when the results are very dramatic and very much noticeable.Facial contouring procedure types In order to achieve the look you desire through facial contouring, one must first need to know the various types of procedures that offer a facelift.
Chin augmentation - This is one of the face contouring procedures which rectifies a weak and receding chin. This surgery is done to improve the contrast of facial silhouette along with making your flat upper face look prominent.
Rhinoplasty - Also called the nose reshaping surgery, this is one of the most popular facial contouring procedures which can effectively reduce the size of your nose if you feel it is a bit oversized. Done not just to treat oversized noses, this procedure is also done to straighten a crooked looking nose, reduce the bulbous tip or otherwise remove that awkward bump on your nose.
Temple augmentation - This procedure is done to change the sterner look of Asians to a softer one by augmentation of the temples by various dermal fillers which are injected into the depression that has formed as a result of the ageing process.
Ear pinning surgery - For those of you who are worried about your ears sticking out of your heads, this simple out-patient procedure might be the answer. In this method, the ears are made to lie against the sides of your head, thereby diverting the attention of your protruding ears to your face.
Brow lift surgery - Yet another procedure done mainly as an age-lift surgery, this greatly enhances the sag that your age has created and helps to elevate them, thereby restoring back your youthful appearance. There have also been cases of eyelid lift surgeries done in a similar fashion.
Cheek bone augmentation - Also called as the reduction malarplasty or genioplasty procedure, this is one of the prominent facial contouring procedures that have been done to look more feminine. The masculine property offered by the prominent cheek bone is greatly reduced by this method, thus offering better balance to the facial features.
Mandible angle reduction - Face shapes greatly decide the looks of a person and facial contouring is all about altering the shape of the face too, especially from a round/angular face to an oval/heart shaped face. This is done effectively by reducing the angle of the mandible which can be achieved by using implants.
Combined surgeries - Now that we know some of the major face contouring procedures, most of them are done in combination, in order to achieve an overall effect on your face which is quite noticeable.
Definitive steps of the surgery Irrespective of the various types of face lift surgeries that have been mentioned above, there are few definitive procedures that are common for all of them which includes – Pre-operative evaluation, the actual surgery procedure along with a post-operative care.
The Pre-operative evaluation determines the expectations set forth by the patient along with examining the medical history which is vital for finding the viability of the procedure itself. Further the face is assessed by X-rays and CT scans in order to understand the personal cranial makeup of the person, which helps evaluate the type of procedure to be done for the patient.
The actual procedure varies with each type of face contouring and it needs the aid of specialized doctors and other technicians to bring out the best results.
The final post-operative care is all about taking perfect care of the patient who might have risk of bleeding, infection, scarring, contour irregularities etc. Also the patients are advised to take proper medication prescribed by the doctor with ample rest to get back to normalcy.
Hope this article helps you achieve the look you desire through facial contouring.Author Bio Nelson Homes is a blogger for Hall and Wrye - aesthetic surgery reno. He likes to blog for beauty and skin care related topics. In his free time likes to research various cosmetic surgery procedures.
Everyone wants to improve their lifestyle, whether it's eating a better diet or doing more exercise. But when it comes to your emotional wellbeing, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. The best way to make improvements is to make them little and often - small changes mount up to make a big impact over time. Here are some ways you can motivate and challenge yourself to build a better and more fulfilling life. Begin by remembering that nobody owes you anything - your life is not an entitlement. So one of the easiest ways to enjoy and be grateful for your life is to remember that you should focus on what you can give back in your life, rather than what you can take from it. Many people have impacted your life to make you who you are, so remember those people when you're making your choices. The same goes for constantly chasing balance - whether it's trying to balance an active lifestyle with a sedentary one or work with social, you should aim to do the things that make you happy. If that means doing more of what you're passionate about, so be it. Try not to be intimidated by people who can do many activities and tasks at once. These people aren't actually doing more than one thing at a time, they're simply switching their attention swiftly. Focus more on the quality of your attention rather than the time you're spending on something, so that the job gets done right rather than quickly. In addition to remembering this, also try to focus on being present at every opportunity in your life. It can be easy to get swept up in the excitement and blur of modern lifestyles, but it's really vital that you bear in mind that there is no meantime - just now. So make the best of hat you have, when you have it.
Do you find yourself avoiding social situations because of the way they make you feel? If so, you may be suffering from a mental health condition known as a social anxiety disorder. People who suffer from social anxiety disorder feel extremely fearful in social situations, especially new social situations. Their wellness is compromised because of the amount of stress that ordinary daily situations can cause them. If you are suffering from this type of anxiety disorder, you may feel embarrassed or awkward in social situations. You may be filled with the fear that you will do something wrong in a social situation or that something bad may happen to you. Sufferers fear that a situation is going to spiral out of their control, and they often spend a lot of time analysing things to an extreme degree in order to try to control their surroundings. You may find yourself restricting your activities to things where you are in control and sticking rigidly to those that make you feel safe and don’t impact on your perceived wellbeing. If you do find yourself avoiding situations where you will be on unfamiliar territory or meeting new people, it may be your first sign that you are suffering from a social anxiety disorder. It is important to seek help at this stage, because it can start to affect important areas of your life, such as your ability to form relationships or even your ability to hold down a job. Going to the doctor can be nerve-wracking (especially if you are suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder) but it is important to work up the courage to seek help. This may be in the form of hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy or psychological help. Therapy generally focuses on re-training the brain to alter the destructive thought process that lead to social anxiety disorders.
It is very difficult to carry out any research using illegal drugs, which is why it is only just coming to light that a compound found in the illegal drug magic mushrooms may be the answer to curing depression. People who live with this emotional difficulty will welcome the revelation, but there is still a lot of red tape stalling research trials, due to the illegal nature of the substance. Depression affects the wellness and wellbeing of millions of people in the UK, but they could benefit from the chemical psilocybin, which is the ingredient in magic mushrooms that causes the psychedelic effect. It is thought that this could be used to turn down regions of the brain that are associated with depression, such as the anterior cingulate cortex. In people with depression, these areas seem overstimulated, and are held responsible for many of the symptoms found in severe depression, such as dwelling on feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness or inadequacy. A research team was headed by David Nutt, a former UK government drugs adviser and took place with the help of a team from Imperial College London. The team from the college believes strongly that psilocybin may be the vital breakthrough that they have been looking for to help tackle serious depression, as sometimes this strength of depression cannot be treated in the usual way, such as with antidepressants and talking therapy. Volunteers were used for the preliminary research, and the results showed that there may also be benefits beyond improving the wellness of those with severe depression. Increased emotional wellbeing was demonstrated in the volunteers, with effects lasting for up to two weeks after they took the drug. This exciting preliminary lays the ground work for further research, and the team has secured a half million pound grant to proceed, but first they must tackle the fact that research on the illegal drug is strictly controlled.
Roughly 10% of people will experience some form of mental health problem at any time. For a small minority of people, mental health problems can have such an impact on wellness that life becomes overwhelming. When this happens to you, you can have difficulty making decisions about your treatment and find yourself in situations that put your wellbeing at risk, as well as those around you. Roughly six in every 1,000 with mental health problems will need to be admitted to hospital, but not all of these will be admitted using one of the sections of the Mental Health Act. Using a section, or sectioning, is only ever used as a last resort. In order to ensure safety and effective treatment, the Act makes it clear only the minimum amount of restriction can be used and it doesn’t mean the person cannot take decisions about other areas of their life, as this is covered by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The most recent amendments to the Mental Health Act were made in 2007, but the act was originally passed in 1959. According to the latest amendments, doctors are still needed for some decisions, but the scope has been widened for other mental health professionals to be in charge of a person’s care or to take decisions about the use of a section. This means that clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers and nurses have a role in sectioning. There are various sections, and the one used will determine the amount of time you can be held in hospital and what can be done without your consent. Section two, for example, is used for assessing you and can only detain you for 28 days, whilst some sections only allow you to be held for 72 hours, often in an emergency situation, and others can last for up to a year. There is a right of appeal for most sections, in which you can ask for a hearing by the hospital managers and also the Mental Health Review Tribunal. The 2007 amendments also established Independent mental health advocates. These are professionals who work with you to ensure that your voice is being heard, the minimum of restrictions are being imposed and the maximum amount of choice is being made available you.
Research has shown that one in twenty teenagers is affected by depression, which involves symptoms such as irritability, tearfulness, moodiness and overwhelming negative feelings. Someone who is depressed may also lose interest in the basic aspects of their life, such as friendship groups, hygiene and their appearance - they may seem tired all the time or have a poor appetite, which can lead to weight loss. In children, it's also important to watch out for feelings of isolation, fear of talking to friends or family members about how they feel, and situations in which the child may act out as a way of expressing their emotions rather than verbalising them. There are various events which can trigger depression, such as the death of a family member or a friend, drug abuse or money problems. Depression can develop into the individual becoming a suicide risk, as they feel as though they have no way out of their emotional hole. In children under the age of 14, suicide is rare as they lack the understanding and ability to act on their thoughts. However, in older children, the number of suicide cases is rising. Young women are more likely to resort to self harm and attempted suicide, rather than suicide itself. If you think your child or a friend may be at risk of suicidal attempts, there are ways you can help them. Often, speaking to someone outside of your family or friends can help, so perhaps guide them in the direction of a trusted teacher, their doctor or a counselor who can offer impartial advice. Helplines such as Childline are also useful as the individual can talk openly about their fears and feelings without the worry of being judged. If the person is suffering with severe depression, there are medication options which can help alleviate the symptoms, so they should speak to their GP if this is the case who can then prescribe the correct dose.
Stress can take its toll on your emotional wellbeing, not to mention your health, but your cognitive wellness will thank you for it. This is according to a new study, published in the online journal eLife, which says that stress, apparently, boosts your brain power. It’s a well established fact that chronic stress increases your risk of a heart attack and compromises your immune system, but scientists have discovered that, when short-lived, stress primes your brain for improved performance, boosting your memory. This is based on studies in rats, in which the researchers found that brief, yet still significant, stressful events caused the rats’ brain stem cells to turn into new nerve cells. When these matured two weeks later, the rats’ mental performance had improved. According to Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, ‘You always think about stress as a really bad thing, but it's not. Some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioural and cognitive performance. I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert.’ Yet previous research has shown that chronic stress can elevate your levels of stress hormones which, in turn, suppresses this new neuron production and impairs your memory. Aside from this, it’s known that elevated levels of these hormones increase your risk of obesity, heart disease and depression. However, Dr Kaufer said that less is known about the effects of acute stress, and studies have been conflicting. She noted that her study shows that if these hormone levels are raised briefly, they boost memory, but the nerve cells need time to develop first. Dr Kaufer explained, ‘In terms of survival, the nerve cell proliferation doesn't help you immediately after the stress, because it takes time for the cells to become mature, functioning neurons, but in the natural environment, where acute stress happens on a regular basis, it will keep the animal more alert, more attuned to the environment and to what actually is a threat or not a threat.’ She added, ‘I think the ultimate message is an optimistic one: Stress can be something that makes you better, but it is a question of how much, how long and how you interpret or perceive it.’
Those who practice complementary forms of wellness will be interested to learn about the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is believed to be of great benefit and to bring you wellbeing. Sometimes shortened to EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique works by connecting the body, mind and spirit, and looks at healing the whole body with all of these things in mind. By becoming aware of our inner world rather than the external world in which we inhabit, we are better able to address emotional and physical challenges that occur within our own bodies. This does not exclude the use of traditional medicine and therapy, but instead gives us another weapon to use to help us strive towards complete wellness. Derived from acupuncture, the Emotional Freedom Technique is a noninvasive procedure, based on the flow of energy through the body. It is practised in order to heal both emotional and physical problems. It was first discovered in the mid 90s, and is a sort of type of psychological acupressure, using the traditional energy medians that are employed in acupuncture, but without any need for invasive needles. Instead, simply tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy into specific places on the head and chest, whilst you think about the particular problem in question (be that a traumatic event, a pain, and addiction or whatever) and say positive affirmations out loud. It is believed that energy flows through these points, and that EFT acts as circuit breaker. Negative emotions block the pathways with energy blocks, and this can lead to phobias, stress and physical ailments. The gentle tapping process relives the pressure and removes the energy block.
If you think anxiety is all in your mind, you’re wrong. While it may start there, the physical symptoms of anxiety can run rampant through your body. Anxiety is a psychological condition that can produce very real, physical symptoms, such as:
Whether you've experienced divorce yourself or have watched a loved one deal with it, you'll know that divorce is an emotional time which can be difficult to cope with. More often than not, it hits children the hardest, as they're watching the two people they love the most become angry and upset. Emotions run high during this time, with grief, sadness and the upheaval of your family life, so it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to making it easier on the younger members of the family. Here are some ways in which you can help to reduce the stress and help them, and yourself, through the emotional rollercoaster. Firstly, it's important not to play the blame game - no one person is to blame more than the other. If you're going through a divorce, the blame is irrelevant, so placing it on one person will simply add to the anger and stress. It's easy to lose perspective during this time, as your emotions are heightened and you're trying to navigate this new stage of your life - but bear in mind that your children are also struggling with this. When it comes to the custody battle, your children's welfare is paramount - so, when you're trying to work around schedules, remember that this comes first. Ask yourself whether or not you're getting angry at your ex over the situation itself, or are you angry that the arrangement isn't best for your child? The latter should always be your first port of call. As before, try not to put your ex down in front of your children, as this only adds to their discomfort and leads to them feeling unable to discuss their emotions in front of either parent. It may sound obvious, but co-parenting is very different when you both live in different households. Suddenly, you're battling with your ex over what your child is eating or watching when they're in their care. Unless it puts them in danger, you need to accept that you can't control how they decide to raise them when they have care of them. Lastly, remember to keep an open mind when it comes to new relationships. Most divorced parents will embark on a new relationship at some point, which can be difficult for children to deal with. Be respectful to your ex by letting them know if you're re-entering the dating game, as chances are they will want to meet this new person in their child's life, and vice versa.
If you have a mental health problem, your child’s wellbeing could be at risk. This is according to a recent report from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, which found that children whose parents or carers have affected mental wellness are poorly provided for and sometimes left at risk of harm. Because of their findings, the two bodies have called on the government to make it mandatory for data on such children to be collected. So what did the research involve? Looking at cases that occurred between 2007 and 2011, the researchers analysed serious cases in which a child was seriously harmed or even died. Although some situations were caused by other negative factors, such as drug abuse, alcohol problems and domestic violence, mental health difficulties in the child’s family was one of the most common factors for these negative wellness outcomes. By way of example, the researchers noted one case in which two children were taken into care after their mother was hospitalised for mental health problems. Even though a report had already noted that the mother’s anxiety and depression had become worse after her partner left, the children, at eight and 10 years old, were only taken into care when their mother went into hospital. The report was also aware that the mother had had not showered for six months, rarely left the house and spent most days asleep, and still no one intervened until the children were at a dangerously serious risk. According to the joint report from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, entitled What about the Children?, it is estimated that there are 9 million adults who suffer with mental health problems, 30% of whom have children. However, in spite of this, there is no national obligation for you, or anyone, to let the relevant authorities know or collect information on how the parent and children are coping. Hence, the two bodies have put it to the government to make such measures mandatory. If you are suffering from a mental health problem, it is important to make use of the help and resources available to you, whether you have children or not. Consult a doctor for more information.
When Rebecca Ley’s family and wellness team held a "best interests" meeting for her Dad at his nursing home, it marked a milepost in his deterioration. This was the third session of this kind that has been held for him over the past few years, set up to consider specific issues for those whose mental health has suffered to the point where they are not capable of making decisions for themselves. According to Rebecca, when the first meeting was held several years ago, it was clear that something was wrong with her father but he had not been properly diagnosed. ‘Despite his erratic behaviour, he was still technically deemed capable, and it was only after we pushed the authorities for help that the meeting was arranged,’ she said. ‘It was attended by a social worker we had never met before, the community psychiatric nurse (CPN) who had "been keeping an eye" on Dad, despite the ambiguity about his condition, and several family members.’ These meetings involve answering several questions about taking care of your loved ones wellbeing; Should the person move home? Should a certain medical intervention take place? Should funding be allocated? Rebecca explained that her Dad wasn’t part of the meeting. ‘I remember that was one of the oddest things about it,’ she noted. ‘Since then, I have become inured to talking about Dad when he is not there, but that was the first time. Discussing him in an airless room in a council building, water cooler burbling in the background and minutes recorded, our concerns were made official.’ Rebecca stated that the meetings have become more and more straightforward over time, as her father’s condition has got noticeably worse and his needs have become more apparent. Rebecca said that she didn’t even need to come down for the last meeting, as her mother was capable of representing the family. She explained, ‘The further he has sailed into his condition, the fewer questions there are over how to manage it. Still there was a lengthy form that needed to be filled in to ascertain that he is in the best place for his needs and eligible for the funding he receives – boxes that must be ticked, in an attempt to ratify the unfathomable melting of a mind.’
One of the great challenges in overcoming mental-health problems is admitting to having them in the first place. Social-anxiety is a type of psychological dysfunction that can have symptoms that are not necessarily as dramatic as other mental-health conditions, but nonetheless can be highly debilitating for those who experience them. Once you’ve admitted to suffering from it - you’re likely to have taken a big step towards managing its symptoms, but it can often be problematic in identifying the symptoms in the first place. Essentially, social-anxiety is a disorder that can make you feel uncomfortable, ill at ease or awkward in many social situations - be it with people you know well or have encountered for the first time. It can create a barrier that stops people from living their lives, and interacting with people in the manner they’d like to, and can be a cause of great concern for the millions of people who suffer from it. As with other types of anxiety it can manifest itself in a range of symptoms and sensations, which can include: tightening in your chest, going red, sweating, jumbling words and finding it difficult to speak, shaking and muscular spasms, negative thoughts, lack of confidence and shortness of breath. If you feel you suffer from it, you can overcome its worst effects, by identifying its symptoms - so you can begin to understand them, and try and device methods of dealing with them. Strategies used to lessen the effects of social-anxiety include: considering the nature of your lifestyle and gauging its impact on your self-esteem. For instance, if you are overweight, you may be able to project a more confident self-image, if you lose weight, and if you feel intimidated by a person within a social situation, you could try a projection technique in which you construct an absurd mental picture of them - such as sticking a big nose on them and imagining they speak with a comical voice. Most of all, it’s important to remember that millions of people suffer from various forms of social-anxiety, and that you are absolutely not alone.
How enthusiastically do you embrace social situations? Do you make every effort to be a part of social events at work, or the schools your children go to or gatherings organised by people who you don’t really know that well? If the answer is no - don’t worry! Whilst it’s possible you may be suffering from a form of social anxiety, it’s a very common condition and millions of people cope with it on a day-to-day basis. Whilst its causes largely remain a mystery, it can have a debilitating effect on people who’d like to do certain things, but don’t quite have the right confidence or self-belief to do so. Whilst it’s not exactly a life-threatening condition, it can have an impact upon your quality of life, and lead to more serious types of anxiety such as agoraphobia and claustrophobia. Fortunately there are several steps you can take to overcome it, that don’t necessitate the use of medical-treatment or therapy. Crucially, it’s important to be aware of what is happening to you as you experience bouts of social-anxiety and then reflect upon them. One form of social anxiety is feeling shy, embarrassed or out of place – and this can sometimes lead to a red complexion. If this happens to you, you should try and realise that no-one especially cares, and that you are probably not going as red as you think. Similarly, if you feel that you’re the odd one out at a party - you’re not the only one. Everyone feels hesitant at first in these sort of intense social-situations, so just try and gravitate towards people you feel comfortable with and allow the anxiety to evaporate. If you have a fear for public speaking or leading presentations - don’t worry - most people dislike it, or at the very least tolerate it. Even in this kind of situation when you feel exposed, you can develop strategies to feel more comfortable, such as standing in a particular manner or having notes and paper-work to hold – which will reduce the visible signs of anxiety and make you appear confident.
Quoted by Medical News Today: ""Nature teaches beasts to know their friends," wrote Shakespeare. In humans, nature may be less than half of the story, a team led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers has found.
In the first study of its kind, the team found that genetic similarities may help to explain why human birds of a feather flock together, but the full story of why people become friends "is contingent upon the social environment in which individuals interact with one another," the researchers write.
People are more likely to befriend genetically similar people when their environment is stratified, when disparate groups are discouraged from interacting, the study found. When environments were more egalitarian, friends were less likely to share certain genes.
Scientists debate the extent to which genetics or environmental factors -- "nature" or "nurture" -- predict certain behaviors, said Jason Boardman, associate professor of sociology and faculty research associate with the Population Program in CU-Boulder's Institute of Behavioral Science. "For all the social demographic outcomes we care about, whether it's fertility, marriage, migration, health, it's never nature or nurture.
"It's always nature and nurture," he said. "And most of the time it has a lot more to do with nurture."
Boardman's team included Benjamin Domingue, research associate in the Population Program at IBS; and Jason Fletcher, associate professor of health policy at the Yale School of Public Health. Their research was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Early last year, PNAS published a study reporting evidence that certain shared genes might determine peoples' choice of friends. Time magazine dubbed this "friends with (genetic) benefits."
Boardman is a sociologist who spent five years studying genetics at CU-Boulder's Institute for Behavioral Genetics to bring insights of the social sciences to the natural sciences. He observed: "You can't understand the spread of health behaviors -- why people smoke, why they drink, why they may or may not be obese -- unless you understand their genetic liability and also place them in the right social context."
The research team used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Boardman's team focused on 1,503 pairs of friends in seventh through 12th grade in 41 schools. As with the earlier study, Boardman's group found that some pairs of friends shared certain genetic characteristics.
The team tested the evidence, arguing that if genes were the driving friendship factor, genetically based friendship should emerge most often and easily in schools with the least amount of social friction. "But we found the exact opposite," he said.
In the most socially equal environments, genetic homophily (or love of the same) was "pretty weak," meaning that friends were less likely to share genetic traits. He added, "It was in the most unequal social environments that we saw the highest level of genetic homophily."
In a socially stratified school, "Students from different populations within the school may be effectively 'off limits' for friendships," the team wrote.
While applauding the revolutionary advances in genetics in recent years, Boardman said "we have to have social scientists at the table, because we're the ones with the data, methods and theories to characterize the multidimensional and multilevel nature of the social environment."
Scientists cannot fully understand heritable changes in gene expression unless they understand "what kind of schools people go to, what neighborhoods they live in" and other social factors, Boardman said.
"To me, to say whether genes predict friendships without understanding the context within which these friendships may or may not occur just doesn't tell the whole story."
In today’s busy world, we’re beginning to lose touch with the important things in life and two wellness experts have argued that meditation can help us to reconnect. According to Erica Richardson, resident teacher at the Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Harrisburg, ‘Our external life is so very busy and our internal life is just as busy. We put so much time, so much effort into arranging our lives, arranging our world and arranging other people, trying to make it all go our way that we've neglected our mind. We've forgotten — or never knew — where real happiness comes from.’ Richardson explained, ‘The goal is to find happiness from a different source, instead of trying to manipulate our world to our definition of what we want, we are going to go inside our minds and cultivate inner peace. Meditation is being able to familiarise my mind with a positive state of being.’ She added that the more familiar you become with emotional wellbeing, the easier it is to remain in your calm state of mind, even when you’re not meditating. Dr Charles Palmer, neonatologist and chief of the division of newborn medicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Centre, noted, ‘It’s not just thoughts it’s the state behind thoughts. The quietness, or stillness, between thoughts is what you get to experience in meditation and that’s a new experience for some people.’ He continued, ‘People are not only interested in getting better from a disease, but they are interested in maximizing wellness and health. And that includes diet, exercise, correct nutrition, sleep, and various techniques from positive psychology and also meditation.’ Palmer is a long-time student of meditation who teaches a free monthly meditation class to 30 staff members at Hershey Medical Centre. He commented, ‘It’s like in an orchestra, a violinist needs a tune up before they start playing. When you’ve been practicing meditation at the beginning of the day, it’s like tuning up for the day.’ So how exactly does meditation tune your body for the day? ‘The mind-body connection is well-established now. What you think is as important to your body chemistry as what you eat. Because your thoughts will generate emotions and your emotions will generate chemistry,’ Palmer said. ‘When you practice breathing regularly like this it has an effect on the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve, when stimulated, actually lowers inflammation and inflammation is at the root of many of the diseases that we see today. I think [meditation] is a form of immune regulation.’
You wouldn’t normally write a love letter to a complete stranger, but when an anxious and depressed Hannah Brencher graduated from college and moved to New York City, that’s exactly what she did. She explained, ‘What I noticed was that my sadness and loneliness got backburnered. I found something that allowed me to take the focus off of myself.’ Hannah has left letters for strangers on trains, in libraries and cafes, and even hidden them around the United Nations building. The letter says, “You and I don't know one another… I wish you would know on a daily basis: that you are lovely. That you are worthy. That those hands of yours were made for mighty, mighty things…You are probably sitting here with this letter in your hands thinking, you cannot know that... you don't know me... But I know all the things I thought I never deserved.’ It continues, ‘I know how very hard it once was to love myself and value myself and even find myself worth the reflection in the mirror. And so I know I am not alone in needing a boost some days, in needing to know that I matter to someone somewhere. You matter to me. In a way I cannot explain, you matter to me. And you, you are a marvel... you and all the parts of you. Love, A girl just trying to find her way.’ Hannah’s More Love Letters campaign is part of a growing number of organisations shouting about the beneficial emotional wellness effects that random acts of kindness have for givers as well as receivers. It may sound a bit new-age, but this is backed up by scientific research. According to a new study published in the journal Emotion, if your wellbeing is affected by social anxiety, performing acts of kindness may help. Dr Lynn Alden, the study’s leader, comments, ‘I think it has be done in such a way that the individual has a sense of autonomy. They are performing the act because they want to and not because it's required by the group.’ However, David Goodfellow, one of the founding members of the Kindness Offensive, a group which has organised give-away events and encouraged kind acts since 2008, says, ‘It's practically impossible to do an act of kindness without feeling good about yourself. If you can make someone's day a little bit better it will actually make your day a little bit better.’
Emotional wellness may be simple to define but often harder to achieve. Experts say emotional wellness is about achieving and maintaining a positive emotional state where you can deal with all life throws at you and still feel good. It’s about being positive and optimistic, having a strong self-image and high self-esteem, and – this is crucial – having good relationships with all around you. Are you struggling to achieve emotional wellness? Here are 5 simple ways to harness positive energy and stay happy. Look at your body and your face and accept yourself for what you are, not what you would like to be. If you hate your nose but think your teeth look great, focus on your mouth and tell yourself that’s what other people will notice and like, too. It’s about banishing negativity and promoting positivity. The better you feel about yourself, the more positivity you will generate and receive in return. Give yourself a break. That means literally stepping back from the chaos of the day every single day and giving yourself time to rejuvenate your mind. Find your own space, whether it’s at home or at work, and spend at least 10 minutes there to clear your mind and banish negativity and stress. Open your mind and your heart to healthy relationships. You can get genuine emotional fulfillment from friendship. Many people have a problem with trust and great friendships need trust to work. Take your time and build relationships slowly and trust will come. And with a good friend comes a great sounding board to be used in times of need. Take back your power. When we feel powerless in a situation, it’s an indication of a lack of control and that contributes to feelings of hopelessness and being adrift. Understand that this is your life and only you have the right to dictate its direction. Be in control of your own destiny and your power will return naturally to you. Set boundaries. Don’t burden yourself with everyone else’s problems and needs because you will soon be swamped. Know your own limits and be prepared to say no. It’s amazing how much more you can achieve when you set boundaries.
If you have a sex addiction, admitting it can be difficult, and many feel like it’s a one-time thing. You might think you only have to say “I am a sex addict” once for the healing to begin, but unfortunately the road to mental wellness is not as simple or easy as that. When it comes to addiction, it’s a long process that involves many complementary steps, one of which is fitting into a therapy group. Group therapy can be a daunting part of the process for many reasons. If you walk into that room, sit in that chair, and face a circle of other people who are battling the same addiction, you can feel like “one of those people”. You never thought you’d be here, and so you go from group to group or leave after a few sessions. However, this is the time when you’re very much in the grip of your addiction, and the brain mechanisms defending the problem are still at work. You should feel free to try a number of different groups in order to find the right one that will help you towards a better overall wellbeing, but if you’ve tried seven or more groups and still not found one you like, it may be time to consider the possibility that the problem isn't with the group. There are many organisations that sponsor sex addiction treatment groups, each with a different tone, and so you should be able to find something to suit you. Based on Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous prescribes its members sexual sobriety. This means members are not permitted to have sex outside of marriage or sex with the self. However, as the group defines marriage as between one man and one woman, it can be problematic for many people. You may be more comfortable with Sex Addicts Anonymous, as the anonymity is an important factor of the group, with members being screened before they are given the meeting times and locations. Each member is allowed to define sobriety for themselves, and it's open to all. In Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, there is a focus on the non-physical side of sex, which can also produce addictive brain chemicals, like the physical side. Members of this group can be addicted to seeking new relationships and flirting, and so identify "bottom line" behaviours, which can include emotions and thoughts as well as physical actions. Finally, though the majority of Sexual Compulsive Anonymous is made up of homosexual and bisexual men, more heterosexuals and women are joining. Members of this group are encouraged in healthy sexual expression over repression. Some groups can also be tailored towards couples and spouses of sex addicts, so look online for one that suits you.
A recent story covered in the Daily Mail and the Daily Express reported that chewing gum could be an excellent aid to memory. It’s a nice idea isn’t it? Many of us enjoy chewing gum on a regular basis and it would be great if doing it could actually help your cognitive abilities. The Daily Mail ran with a story that said “chomping on gum” is good for the memory and can boost your alertness by up to ten percent. However, the fact of the matter is that this claim is based on what is actually a very small study involving only 17 healthy young adults. A study with such a small sample size means that the results need to be considered carefully and with caution. Most people chew gum whilst they are doing something else – and as such this study doesn’t prove anything of the sort. The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences and a number of other academic research centres in Japan. It was an experimental study that looked at whether chewing has an effect on attention and the ability to think quickly. The researchers have said that other studies have found varying results when exploring the link between chewing and functions like attention and memory. The researchers looked at 19 healthy adults who are aged 20 to 34 years. Two of the volunteers were not included in the final analysis because they had moved during their scan. The volunteers were then made to perform a task of pressing a button depending on whether a pointer was facing left or right. They are were asked to do this both while chewing gum and not chewing gum, with researchers recording the speed and accuracy of the button presses.
In a new report, the FDA has discovered that there could be a link between smoking cessation medications, Chantix and Zyban, and changes in one’s mental health, such as depressive mood swings, hostility and suicidal tendencies. A new labelling is being drawn up for medications such as these, including generic versions of these treatments, in order to warn of the new potential side effects. Those taking these medications who feel a sudden or dramatic change in their mood, such as feeling the need to hurt themselves, should cease taking the drugs immediately and seek advice from their GP as soon as possible. It’s important for people trying to quit smoking to weigh up the risks from smoking with those from the side effects of the drugs – while smoking is, of course, bad for your health, there may be other ways in which to give up. Smoking is extremely bad for your body, causing a risk of lung cancer, disability and stroke to name just a few ailments. If you’re smoking, no matter how much, it’s crucial that you give up as soon as possible to reduce your risk of such harmful side effects. The study found that people taking Chantrix or Zyban could be at risk of depressive or suicidal tendencies even after stopping the medication. In many of these cases, it was noted that the nicotine withdrawal symptoms brought with them mental effects such as sleep disturbances, irritability and anxiety. Patients should be aware of these symptoms so that they are prepared for them when they give up cigarettes. You shouldn’t be put off from giving up smoking though – while it does require a lot of determination and willpower, it will decrease your risk of lung cancer and heart disease, among providing other positive effects on your body.
I think we can all agree that people need to laugh more. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can help you to lose 280 calories, as well as improving your emotional wellness with a release of endorphins. Laughter yoga has emerged relatively recently, launched in 1995 by Indian physician Dr Madan Kataria, but the wellbeing regime has now become a global phenomenon. There are thousands of laughter clubs in more than 72 countries, the latest of which being Qatar. It is in this country that Gabi Pezo, a certified laughter yoga teacher, has been engaged to give laughter yoga classes, combining unconditional laughter with yogic breathing. She explained, ‘Anyone can laugh for no reason, without relying on humour, jokes or comedy. In these classes laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter.’ She continued, ‘The concept of laughter yoga is based on the scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter.’ As a result, you will experience the same physiological and psychological benefits even if the laughter is simulated, no matter who you are. ‘For children, it’s a different type of class. But you can also do it with seniors or patients in a hospital. You can do it with everybody except with people that are really ill, pregnant women on their third trimester or people with heart problems,’ said Pezo. If the whole thing sounds a bit, well, laughable, you’re not alone. ‘Laughter yoga can make you feel embarrassed and awkward at first, so if you’re going to try it, I recommend leaving all those prejudices at the door and let go,’ Pezo advised. ‘The class comprises various exercises that will take you back to your days at the playground, allowing you to let your inner child out and forget about stress and daily worries. From inhaling air and exhaling a burst of laughter to tickling the person next to you in between laughs, you can expect the unexpected and have a lot of fun that will leave you with a smile on your face for the rest of the day.’
Quoted by BBC News: "Eric Morecambe called his guests "sunshine", Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth used to call anyone and everyone "chuck" - but bus drivers in Brighton are being asked to think twice before they refer to passengers as "babe", "love" or "darling".
According to the Brighton Argus, the Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company received one complaint about the comments being "sexist".
As a result, bosses have asked drivers to refrain from using such terms.
A spokesman, quoted in the Argus, acknowledged that such complaints were rare. But over the past decade there have been moves by a number of hospitals and councils to stop their employees using such familiar terms.
In 2006, managers at Newcastle City Council instructed staff to think carefully before using terms such as "pet" or "hinny" when referring to women, for fear that they may be interpreted as sexist.
But critics of the move argued that such terms were part of the region's linguistic heritage, and that people were simply employing traditional Geordie terms of endearments.
So when bus drivers, cabbies and shopkeepers use words like "luvvie", "darling" or "flower", they are being "affectionate, not patronising", says Tony Thorne, editor of the Dictionary of Contemporary Slang.
"It's only urban sophisticates - usually under the age of 40 - who choose to find them distasteful. It is the 'language hygienists' who choose to see them as discrimination," he says.
"It's folksy - part of a tradition in this country, a momentary affection between strangers. I know people who don't live in Britain any more and when they come back they say how much they like to hear terms of affection, such as the Essex 'babes'."
Thorne acknowledges, however, that a woman has a right to complain if she doesn't like such terms being directed at her.
How such words are interpreted is very much to do with the context in which they are being used. In the workplace, "love", "darling" or "hon" might be found offensive by some and they can be used with the express intention of belittling or harassing a colleague.
There are a wide variety of such terms used around the country, and they are usually emptied of their literal meaning, says Ian Brookes, Consultant Editor at Collins Language.
"So 'pet' and 'hen', for example, are generally regarded as pleasant things, and these words have been transferred to a person instead of an animal. 'Babe' falls into the same category as 'doll', 'hen', and 'pet' - babies are things you feel sympathy and affection for.
"People use these words as a reflex without thinking of the item to which the word originally refers," Brookes suggests. "However, the case of 'babe' is more convoluted - it refers to a small child, but also became used in the 1990s to refer to an attractive woman, and so can have overtones of sexism."
The problem with terms of address and endearment is that changes in language have not quite caught up with society, says Brookes. There has been a shift in the way people address each other in public places, such as hospitals, from using more deferential terms, such as "sir" and "madam" to more familiar terms that people have imported from their personal relationships. Some people see this importation of personal terms into neutral contexts as inappropriate.
"The appropriateness of the term of address is in the mind of the beholder," Brookes argues.
"In the English language, most of the terms we can use to address people veer towards either the deferential or the familiar."
People often use language without thinking about the literal meaning of what they are saying and without considering what the person on the receiving end is thinking.
"By asking bus drivers to think about words, as the council is doing, they hope that the drivers might come up with something that won't cause offence to anyone."
Quoted by BBC News: "January is a cornucopia of technological tipping and frantic futurology, but do you ever get a nagging fear that trends are passing you by?
What is Pinterest? And is it important what it is?
And will Summly have a big year in 2012? And does that matter?
There are plenty of people who would answer these questions with a stock "I don't care".
These people might refuse to even look at social media, and choose to eschew the smartphone and the tablet. But there are plenty of jobs where you might have to take notice.
There are areas of advertising, marketing, public relations, journalism, academia, design, and finance where workers might find themselves looking a bit silly if they reveal they have no idea of the technological lie of the land.
And the narrowly defined technology sector itself is ever-more important.
But imagine the job of a policeman. A detective in 2005 would, more than likely, not have heard of Facebook. A detective in 2012 would know that a murder victim's social media activity would have to be investigated as a matter of course.
If you're a school headteacher and you don't understand the implications of the rise of location-based websites and apps like Foursquare, you might one day regret it.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote more than a decade ago about the "tipping point", the moment when a particular phenomenon suddenly became "big".
There is a point when, arguably, you should know about something. There's a point when not knowing is a bit like a judge asking who Bruce Springsteen is. And the earlier you know, the better.
The nagging anxiety at the back of the mind that you are missing out might be called "trendfear".
In an interview about the internet with the Sunday Times in 1999, Douglas Adams memorably satirised a common attitude towards new technology and trends.
Everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal, suggested Adams. Anything created between birth and the age of 30 is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it.
But whatever is invented after you've turned 30 is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it -until it's been around for about 10 years, when it gradually turns out to be all right really.
Just the language of the predictions can leave many people stumped.
Food writer Marina O'Loughlin recently predicted: "Even more exciting is the rock'n'roll-isation of eating: follow food swarm artists such as London's @Tweat_up (tagline: 'So far no deaths or arrests')."
You might also have found yourself baffled by the rise of "dual screening" - watching television and posting instant reactions on Twitter.
At the other end of the technological spectrum is playwright Tom Stoppard, who recently revealed he had no computer or "twitter machine".
Much is made by the government about those people, often elderly or poor, who miss out on things because they have no internet access.
People who aren't successful playwrights will struggle to get a job without at least knowing how to use email, Google, Word, Excel or Powerpoint, says Dr John McGurk, learning adviser at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.
And there are plenty of jobs where more than this is required.
Universities are bringing in social networked learning, and some academics are struggling to cope, McGurk believes. "They're being encouraged to engage with students on social media. But some are terrified as they don't know where it will end."
Of course, those feeling anxious that they are missing new trends that could affect them professionally are also aware that trends can fail to live up to the hype.
If you only keep up with new gizmos and gadgets out of duty, you don't want to waste your time on the technological dead ends and the cultural cul-de-sacs.
With hindsight, did anybody really need to follow the rise of flashmobbing?
And there is just so much to follow. The explosion of websites, apps and social networking, all apparently feeding off each other in "real time", has made keeping up harder than ever.
It's unnerving because we are no longer all equal in the information stakes, says digital strategist Nic Newman. "In the era of mass media everyone found everything out at the same time.
"The difference now is that with all these different information channels some people know things almost as soon as they happen. But people outside those networks are not hearing it."
As one Twitter user puts it, "you feel almost behind when you read a story in the news rather than watching it unfold through digital media".
Once upon a time, a major innovation would be recorded in the Times. Now the word could come from anywhere.
In the 17th Century, the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz felt there were already too many books to keep track of. But today the scale of the overload is of a different magnitude.
The coming together of GPS and mobile phones has allowed a raft of location-based apps to take hold.
Discount websites like Groupon can now target people shopping in a certain shopping centre with specific offers. And the Waze app interrogates drivers' sat-navs to share traffic information and cut delays.
Many new websites and apps are there to tackle the fear of information overload. Zite an app for the iPhone, identifies what information a user is interested in, and teaches the device to download relevant articles.
What increases the elusiveness of the trends is that a lot of new sites have "stealth launches". Google+ took things a stage further by sending out invitations only to those its algorithms had calculated were people of influence. This created a sense of "social cachet for those invited, and a feeling of anxiety for those left out," Newman says.
"Sharing" rises and rises. Pinterest, already in the top 10 social networks in the US, is an online noticeboard (pinboard) featuring photographs of enticing desserts, hairstyles and random signs and sayings, among other curiosities.
Flipboard creates a magazine out of someone's social networking content, while Zeebox allows people to combine watching television and commenting on it with their online friends.
"Frictionless sharing takes things further still, letting friends on Facebook see everything you're reading on newspaper websites for example," Newman.
Evening Standard columnist Sam Leith, describes social networks as a "fantastic nourisher of trend envy".
O'Loughlin agrees. "I had a moment of crippling anxiety when Google+ arrived and all the people I'd carefully curated on Twitter buggered off. It's that moment - 'Oh my God, I'm not relevant any more'."
Dr Bernie Hogan, research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, says social media can reinforce the sense that one is missing out on the latest trends. "People are very selective of what they put online. But it's easy to forget about this selectivity and just think there's always a party somewhere and you're missing out on it."
It's hard to escape it all, says James Gleick, author of The Information: a History, a Theory, a Flood. Mankind is not passing through the information age, it's here to stay. "There's no cure for it. The sense of nagging anxiety about trends will always be there."
But if all else fails, why not switch off all your devices and open that book from 1850 you've always been meaning to start."
Many people are aware of the prevalence of heart disease and cancer, because they are two of the biggest killers in the developed world. People give less thought to Alzheimer’s, other than in an emotional sense when they think of older relatives, but recent statistics show that this disease is in fact the most expensive ailment in the United States. Figures show that as well as affecting the wellness and wellbeing of the patients themselves and their families, the disease also hits us hard in another sensitive area – our pockets. The figures that have just been released show that Alzheimer’s costs families between 157 and 215 billion dollars each year. You may ask yourself why the cost of this disease is so high, especially when compared to diseases such as cancer, which require huge volumes of medical assistance, treatment, and ongoing drugs. The truth is, that the main cost of Alzheimer’s does not come from drugs or from any other type of medical treatment, but purely from the day-to-day care that is required for patients who have the type of mental impairments that Alzheimer’s can cause. Around 4.1 million Americans are thought to have Alzheimer’s, although this number is thought to rise by around one million if you include those people who have a much milder form of impairment from the disease. The extreme cost of coping with patients who have dementia needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency as the prevalence of the disease is known to be on the rise as the population ages. Alzheimer’s can occur with age but can also be brought on as a result of a stroke or another disease. There are no known cures and no way of slowing the disease at all, so care is focused on looking after the daily needs of patients, who can live an average of eight years with the disease, but can lives as many as twenty.
There is one universal truth about engaging with your audience on social media: you have to use emotion. With businesses it can often be overlooked in a rush to push the sales message of the brand first. But in social communications emotion works and it needs to be a major part of what you’re saying. The emotions can be positive or negative emotions. Happy thoughts like fun, enthusiasm and intrigue can be very effective, but so can anything that makes you angry, frustrated or feeling challenged. The massive majority of people who use social media are not the ‘trolls’ that we are constantly reminded of on the news. Generally they are happy to offer help and advice – they just need to be asked in the right way. This is very evident in the small business social networking space. In this environment many social groups’ members jump in and help out to support other small business owners. It is the strength of these emotional bonds that will improve your standing within social networks and the business environment that you work within. Once you have made a social connection that is tied based on an emotion it will lead to a stronger connection that is sustainable in the long-term. Although it’s possible that weak ties can form in both communities and social networks, a strong tie is built up in business communities only through a powerful emotional connection. That means that often your most valued and strongest ties will have started from a weak tie, pulled together through a shared emotion or a set of values. This is where looking at the psychology of social networks can give the insight to the depth of what and why is really happening in social media.
If you have a gambling problem, not only does it take its toll on your mental wellness, but it affects the emotional and financial wellness of your family. Now, Singapore’s National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has launched a one-year pilot to provide legal and financial advice for gambling addicts’ family members, a group that’s often overlooked. However, if this group has been waiting a long time for help, then two proverbial buses have shown up at once! The National Addictions Management Service (Nams) at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) has also introduced a programme for the family members of problem gamblers. According to Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing, ‘Often, we may not be aware, or may forget, that it is usually the families who suffer the effects of an addict’s excessive habits.’ The Ministry commissioned a study to look into how gambling affects the wellbeing of family members, and found that, unsurprisingly, financial security and legal woes are some key concerns they face. For example, Mr Chan pointed out, families often owe money to banks or licensed money lenders, and ‘many of them find it difficult to understand the contractual terms related to their loans. They fear the loss of their homes, their cars and the possibility of facing bankruptcy.’ Therefore, the NCPG started a pilot in May offering free legal and financial advisory services to address the needs of affected family members. Family members can attend sessions conducted by social workers, who use toolkits to help them manage their problems. One of these toolkits is a financial one, which offers advice on prioritising spending, budgeting and keeping up with repayment. The Law Society’s Pro Bono Services Office developed the legal toolkit, which deals with bankruptcy, protection of assets, and dealing with divorce and family violence. The Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre, Hougang Sheng Hong Family Service Centre and Thye Hua Kwan Problem Gambling Recovery Centre all offer the programme, which 12 families have gone through so far. NCPG chairman Lim Hock San explained, ‘We recognise that the impact of problem gambling goes beyond the individual problem gambler.’
When you look in the mirror, do you love the body you see? Do you look at your curves, rolls, bulges, and wrinkles and find yourself attractive? What do you see when you look at yourself? If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight, tried and failed to love yourself the way you are, or are ready for a change, this article is for you. More than a decade ago as part of an intensive 9-day teaching retreat, I was given the assignment to put a paper bag over my head and stand naked in front of a mirror. This exercise came at the end of a very long day where my shell of self-critical hatred had cracked and I was feeling loved and supported. Yet I didn’t want to do the exercise. I knew I was supposed to have my day of transformation result in seeing myself with new eyes and loving the person in the mirror. Reluctantly, after the other 100 people had all gone to their rooms to do their own naked mirror time, I dragged myself into mine. I tried to be positive. Maybe this time would be different? But I knew what I would see. I would see every lump, bump, and imperfection. I would judge and criticize my physical form even as I tried to love myself. I would fail miserably to see past my own expectations and disappointment. And that’s exactly what happened. It was excruciating. My bubble of self-love deflated under my own criticism. Fast forward 10 years to a new scene. I’m snuggling with a new friend. We’d been talking candidly and personally. After a decade of self-improvement I was pretty self aware and casually mentioned to him that I was noticing a lot of tension in my hips and thighs. I told him I could consciously relax, but as soon as my mind went elsewhere, the tension came right back. Then he did an amazing thing. He did the thing that the naked exercise failed to do a decade before. He gave me the key to unlock my doorway to self-love. And he did it by asking questions, listening, and offering appreciation. He gave empathy to the tension in my hips. He treated it as though it belonged and had some useful function. He treated it as a part of me that had a right to be there rather than as a useless hindrance to be gotten rid of. Amazingly enough, something wonderful happened. I learned the tension was there to protect me like a turtle’s shell or armor. The tension was serving a very useful function and that’s why all my efforts to meditate, yoga, and affirm it away had failed. It was like a light bulb went on in my head and heart. That moment of support changed my life. My body started to become my friend and teacher rather than a thing to be overcome in my quest to get something better. Now I help people connect with the parts within them that they want to get rid of, improve, or deny. Do you have any parts like that? Fat, tension, anxiety, depression, anger, procrastination all come from parts that benefit from being listened to with empathy. I support people on their own inner journeys. As a parent coach I go a step beyond helping people connect with themselves to help parents connect with the gifts that lie within their children’s troubling behavior. When a parent understands what motivates their child and can offer compassion to that need, then the parent finds it much easier to be empathetic with the child while still setting good boundaries. Sound good? For now, I invite you to go on a guided visualization to connect with your own compassionate presence. Try it. I think you’ll like it. Kassandra Brown supports people in transforming their lives. She works over Skype and phone from her home in an ecovillage in rural Missouri.
People from all walks of life use life coaches to help them achieve their personal and financial goals. In fact, there is even a specialized type of coach that works almost exclusively with business CEOs and other high-level employees. However, it is not necessary to be in that position in order to use the services of a life coach. Instead, anyone who wants to get a better handle on the flow of their life would be wise to consider looking into their local life coaching options. What exactly is a Life Coach? Life coaches work one on one with their clients to help them set realistic personal and professional goals. In order to achieve these goals, the coach will help their client determine their personal strengths and weaknesses, and they will provide the necessary support to enable the individual to modify their behavior as needed. A life coach has similarities to a therapist and a consultant, but they do not focus on dealing with the person's previous emotional issues. Instead, they place a major emphasis on making positive life choices moving forward. Finding a Life Coach is Easy with an Online Directory There are several different resources for finding a life coach, but if you want to ensure that you see the maximum number of options, it is always best to use an online coaching directory. These directories can be sorted to provide you with listings from your local area, and this will make it easy to make the right selection. By going online and putting in your zip code, a directory of all coaches in that area will come up along with which areas they specialize in for coaching. For example, if you were to input 67002, the list for life coach Wichita, KS would come up with names, pictures, and any degrees the coach had, plus areas of their specialties. Additionally, these directory websites often include client reviews and profiles for each life coach, and this will help you find a coach you can feel comfortable with. Some online directories offer your initial consultation at no cost so you will be able to meet with the coach and familiarize yourself before getting too personal about your life. Can a Life Coach Help Me Become Motivated? Many people find it difficult to remain motivated, regardless of how much they want to hit certain goals. If you can relate to this problem, you might want to hire a life coach to help you stay motivated. After all, you will be expected to meet with your life coach on a regular basis, and they will provide you with an action plan that will require you to take action every day. If you fail to meet your daily goals, your life coach will discuss the issue with you in order to provide you with motivation. However, it is ultimately up to you to turn your life coaching experience into a success. If you fail to adhere to the goals that the two of you develop, you will end up wasting their time and your money. In other words, it is important to be serious about the process before you hire a coach. Regardless of your exact reason for wanting a life coach, it is always a good idea to work with someone who can help you become a better version of yourself. By taking the life coach's suggestions seriously, you can improve your weaknesses and achieve your personal and professional goals. Lisa Coleman shares an additional option of a way that a person can get help, for personal or professional reasons. Whether you need a life coach Wichita, KS or Dallas, TX, technology has made it easier than ever to find one, and with the assistance of online directory, Noomii (dot) com, you'll be able to find the right life or career coach in any location that you live.
Perhaps you are like me and check your email every thirty minutes or less? This internet addiction could well be defined as a mental disorder before long. Or are you subject to outbursts of temper? Or do you eat more than you should 12 times in a three month period? According to the latest edition of the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V, (just published at a bookshop near you!), the above scenarios could be signs of new mental disorders and treatment with psychiatric drugs will be the norm. The book I am referring to is the standard manual in the USA for psychiatrists and mental health specialists when diagnosing patients. Have they all gone mad, you may ask? A scary scenario There has been a storm of protests and fierce controversy as to how mental illness is diagnosed and treated and this had gained momentum with the latest edition of the DSM V. The sad fact is that there is more than enough evidence that the psychiatric profession is hand in glove with Big Pharma. The increase in both the enormous quantities of psychiatric drugs prescribed and the galloping inflation of labels associated with previously unheard of so called mental disorders is more than enough to raise red flags. We are now getting to the stage where any slight irregular or unconventional human behavior is going to have some disorder label slapped on the sufferer. The following are under scrutiny as being over diagnosed and hyped up to a disturbing level:-
An ADHD diagnosis can be an overwhelming blow to your emotional wellbeing. On the one hand, there are positive feelings that come out of finally explaining certain behaviours, and there’s comfort in knowing that many of your bad habits are just the result of a different neurological arrangement of brain tissue – it's just biology! Adjusting to your treatment plan, on the other hand, can be stressful. The key to maintaining emotional wellness after an ADHD diagnosis is to go slowly, and find what makes you feel comfortable as you adjust to your new definition of normal. Start by taking a few days to think over your diagnosis. Consider all of your questions for your doctor, write them down, and head back in to create a treatment plan. This tends to involve some or all of the following: a healthy diet, exercise, good sleep habits, meditation, coaching and medication. Ask your doctor to explain why he recommends certain factors, and be honest if you disagree. It’s fine to be interested in a second opinion or a doctor with more experience of Adult ADHD. Next, arm yourself with information. When you have ADHD, you have rights you should know about, like the fact that you are protected against job discrimination by federal law. There is a wealth of resources and helpful tips online, whether you prefer reading articles, watching videos, or interacting in a support group or an ADHD coach. Any resource can give you a broad selection of advice on treatment plans, changing bad habits, modifying negative behavioural issues, minimising the secondary ADHD symptoms in your life, and more. When it comes to sharing your diagnosis, it is a delicate situation and deserves special attention. In general, it’s a good idea to reveal your ADHD diagnosis to family members and close friends, as the changes you make to your habits and routines will impact their lives as well, so they deserve an opportunity to know what's going on. Plus, your loved ones will want to support you in any way they can, so sharing the information you have learned about ADHD with them can help them move past any outdated stereotypes they might have in their minds and give them the tools they'll need to cheer you on. You’re under no legal obligation to reveal your ADHD diagnosis at work, and it might be best to simply dive in to your treatment plan privately and let your job performance naturally improve and speak for itself.
Emotional wellness, and you’re overall wellbeing, depends, in part, on being grateful for what you have. Success does not equal happiness, but recognising the successes you have achieved, and the little blessings you have in your life every day, can help you to appreciate what you do have, and be happier for it. Surely, anyone should appreciate the little things in life that make it better, and make you happy, but how do you do it? How do you cultivate an attitude of gratitude? Start with an exercise in recognition and appreciation. Dedicate the next 21 days to focusing on the positive in your life, which will release dopamine in your body and help you to feel happy as a result. Every day, list one to three things you are grateful for, without repeating any in your three-week stint. Whether you just jot down a list or go into detail about why these things enrich your life, write them down in a notebook or even a blog and share your gratitude with the world. If you fancy something a bit more traditional, why not keep a good old-fashioned journal and, every day, write about a positive experience over the past 24 hours. That way, your brain will be able to relive the experience, and you have something to look back on when you’re feeling less-than-grateful for your situation. Meditating on what you have written, or even nothing at all, can help you to overcome the rush of the daily routine you have built, and allow your brain to focus. However, if you’d rather but your gratitude attitude into action, try getting in shape. Exercise teaches you to take care of your wellness, and that it matters for your wellness to watch your behaviour. You can also implement an AOK action plain; otherwise known as a daily random act of kindness. Try to do something nice for someone, with no other reason in mind than just to be nice, and you can spread the smiles to others, as well as your own face. Not only should you be grateful for the people in your life, but you also need to show them, to achieve happiness and a lifelong attitude of gratitude.
As you get older, it seems a simple fact of life that you will, one many occasions, be late for work because you just couldn’t find your car keys. However, if you’re sick of forgetting where you put them (or you want your boss to like you a little bit more!) you can boost your brain power with five simple foods. Firstly, ‘going green’ isn’t just a matter of environmental wellness, but it should also occur in your mug! A recent study gave participants a whey-based, green-tea-containing soft drink while performing a working memory task, and found that the subjects had a better activation in their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) compared to the control group. DLPFC is an area that plays a key role in working memory, and so the scientists concluded that green tea extract may enhance brain engagement during cognitive processes, and even prevent neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Another green food to improve your cognitive wellbeing is avocado. The fat content in this produce is composed of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which are known to decrease your risk of hypertension. Among the late to middle-aged population, hypertension has been associated with cognitive decline, but high monounsaturated fatty acid intake has been found to protect against this. Next, soy or soya has been shown to increase your plasma dopamine levels, which have several important implications in behaviour, cognition, and reward-driven learning. The same researchers also found that, due to their immuno-modulatory effect, soybeans can balance your stress hormones, and improve your brain circulation and energy metabolism. Also, sweet potatoes tend to only appear on the table on special occasions, but their abundance of carotenoids means they should have a lot more prevalence in your diet. Carotenoids, which give sweet potatoes their rich orange colour, are both anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, meaning that they may help improve cognitive functioning in the elderly. However, according to previous research, the low concentration of plasma in carotenoids is associated with cognitive decline or mild cognitive impairment, and so, as excessive sweet potato intake may produce the desired opposite effect, moderation is key. Finally, dark chocolate may have beneficial effects to the brain. A recent study has shown that the regular consumption of cocoa flavanols might be effective in improving cognitive function in elderly subjects with mild cognitive impairment, especially with regard to verbal fluency, executive function, and cognitive flexibility. However, though chocolate gives you a punch to your mental performance, unfortunately, this is not an excuse to keep eating it until you get diabetes and your leg falls off. Again, it’s a matter of everything in moderation.
According to Harriet Lerner, PhD, celebrated author of The Dance of Anger, ‘It takes two people to couple up and get married, but only one to make a relationship better.’ She believes that if you wait for your spouse to change first, your relationship wellness will only suffer, and your emotional wellbeing could also be at risk. In her new book, Marriage Rules, Harriet outlines 100 clear-cut, everyday ways to improve your marriage – starting with you and your own behaviour, and we picked out a few interesting examples. 1. Just bite the bullet – Let’s say your partner keeps going on about something going on at work, and you’re sick of it coming up all the time. Rather than waiting for the next time your partner brings it up, you need to initiate that very conversation. Letting your partner get it all out in on fell swoop will make them dwell on the issue less. You don’t need to cheer your partner up or offer solutions; you just have to listen. 2. Sum it up in three sentences or less – When there’s something you’d like to talk about, but your partner says “I’m not good at talking”, what they really mean is that there’s too much information to process, and your partner will shut down. To you, your partner not cooking dinner when they said they would may represent one of many incidences where they’ve let you down, but making it about that won’t solve anything. Say; “You said you’d cook dinner, and you didn’t” when describing the problem, and stop there. 3. Forget the word “foreplay” – It’s true that most couples need to talk more about sex, and no one is saying that foreplay is a bad thing, but clunky vocabulary like this isn’t helpful. Foreplay is not a sexy word and, moreover, it implies that whatever you do short of intercourse is just something you do to get ready. 4. Do what you do best – A lot of couples seek expert advice for ways to make their relationship better, but the truth is that you and your partner are a unique combination, and your relationship works differently to everyone else’s. Celebrate the wonderful thing that is your relationship, and name the little things that you’ve done to make your partner happier in the past. Maybe you have been known to clean your partner’s car for them, or bake them something as a surprise. Once you have your list, try doing them again and soon they will reciprocate.
With the recent same-sex marriage debates, the topic of what marriage really means has come up on numerous occasions. Crucially, the three main questions which have been asked include: what is marriage, why does it matter and what would be the consequences of redefining it to exclude sexual complementarity? In the eyes of religion, marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together in a union, to serve as husband and wife, and father and mother to any children they may have. The process itself is based on anthropological fact that women and men are complementary to each other - reproduction is proof enough of this. Marriage has been around for centuries, far longer than government, and creates the foundations for human civilisation. Marriage benefits society in a way that no other institution does, which is why it plays such a large role in government and civilisation. It's not only important to those who engage in the institution, but also the wellbeing of children - the government recognises that it protects children, through encouraging people to commit to each other and accept responsibility. The concept of promoting marriage is not exclusive to any type of relationship - it is redefining marriage which has caused complications for many. It's because redefining it places more of an importance on the needs of adults than children, which goes against centuries of protocol. As long as the child's needs remain paramount, the relevance of sexual orientation is moot. Marriage is a complex understanding, but redefining it rejects the anthropological 'ideal' that this union is exclusive to a man and a woman. However, society has moved on - we no longer conform to this notion, so why does marriage need to follow along in this manner as well? If we stick with the archaic principles that marriage is solely for heterosexual couples, we would surely need to stick with many other ideals as well. If society progresses, it needs to expand to encapsulate everything which society includes.
You may think that everyone likes to spoon, but half of British couples choose to turn their backs on their lovers when the lights go out. This is according to a new sleep survey from a national hotel chain, which asked customers what helps them get a good night's sleep. 46% of respondents admitted they turned away, and one quarter even said they can't bear for their partner to touch them. Relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet explained that sleeping habits can reveal stresses and strains in a relationship. ‘During sleep, you cannot fake your body language,’ she said. ‘This is the time when you are honest, vulnerable and your sleeping position can reveal a lot about your relationship.’ The survey revealed that over half of adults believe they could tell if their partner was cheating on them, just by their partner’s sleeping position. 18% of couples slept in the “cherish” position, or back to back but touching. Sweet said that this is a popular position in a new relationship and couples who sleep this way are comfortable, intimate and relaxed with each other. When couples are used to each other and accept each other’s sleeping habits, Sweet noted that they often move to the “liberty” position – back to back, and completely separate. 28% of couples sleep like this, and still feel connected but are independent enough to sleep separately. When it came to spooning, 13% of couples slept as male spoons with the female on the inside and Sweet said this is a traditional position, in which the male takes the lead and protects his lover. This tends to be the position adopted by couples during the first few years of their relationship, demonstrating both a strong sexuality and feeling of security in the relationship. 5% of couples spooned the other way around, showing a protective instinct in the female. Finally, sleeping face-to-face was the choice of 7% of couples, which Sweet commented represents an intimate need for one-to-one contact and conversation in bed. Those who did so with their legs intertwined, known as “The Lovers”, represented 4% of everyone surveyed, and shows that you cannot bear to be separated as each moment together counts.