5 Tips for Recovering from Emotional Pain

Story at-a-glance

Emotional pain can make it impossible to enjoy life and can manifest as physical disease and pain

Letting go of rejection, avoiding rumination and learning from your failures can all help to heal your emotional pain

Keeping guilt from festering and using self-affirmations to boost your self-esteem are other keys to greater emotional well-being Continue reading

An Ancient Mineral – Shilajit Benefits Range from Increasing Memory to Longevity

Did you know…that an ancient mineral substance preserved in the Himalayan mountain regions of Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan offers amazing health benefits for longevity, sensual prowess, memory, and well-being?

Shilajit is a mineral substance that is quite literally “the carbon footprint” of our earth’s ancient ecosystem. Continue reading

Easy Deep Breathing Techniques to Lower Your Stress Level in 10 Seconds a Day

Did You Know…you can overcome your body’s built-in stress response by using easy deep breathing techniques, an exercise that also produces a wealth of health benefits throughout your entire body?

A previous article on deep breathing, showed it was the single most powerful daily practice for advancing your health and well-being…which is breathing.

But the health benefits of deep breathing techniques are so important that a single article couldn’t possibly do it justice. Continue reading

A Specific Yoga Can Help Treat Neck Pain

It’s been widely accepted that yoga can help with lower back pain. But, a new study from Immanuel Hospital in Berlin has indicated that yoga can also help reduce chronic neck pain as well.

There are several different causes of chronic neck pain, including many different structural dysfunctions in the neck, and the results Continue reading

Enhance Spiritual, Mental and Physical Well-Being with a Pineal Gland Detox

A tiny gland in the center of the brain named the pineal may seem insignificant, but researchers have found it to be vital for physical, mental and, many believe, spiritual health. Through poor diet, exposure to toxins, stress and modern lifestyle choices, the pineal gland becomes hardened, calcified and shuts down. To awaken this gland from its slumber, detoxification is necessary using diet and herbs, Continue reading

How to Improve Your Exercise Endurance

Exercise is a very popular topic in medical circles. It’s indisputable that exercise contributes to all sorts of important health benefits. Exercise gets your heart working more efficiently, pumps extra blood to your organs and tissues, improves balance and mobility, strengthens your immune system so that it can better fight disease, and triggers protective effects Continue reading

Training Character Strengths Makes you Happy

Anyone who trains character strengths increases their sense of well being, a large-scale study conducted by a team of psychologists from the University of Zurich has concluded. It proved for the first time that this kind of training works. The largest impact was evident in training the strengths “curiosity”, “gratitude”, “optimism”, “humor” and “enthusiasm”. Continue reading

New Cancer Therapy Is Music to Your Ears

Cancer therapy is a gold mine these days of health breakthroughs (it really is), as we learn more and more how to challenge the disease and improve quality of life. A new study has unearthed evidence that may be music to the ears of a cancer patient. Continue reading

Meditation Increases Well-Being in Boys

Mindfulness meditation — learning to become more aware of ongoing experiences — increases well-being in teenage boys, researchers in Britain say.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England also describe mindfulness as a way of paying attention.

The study, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, finds 14- and 15-year-old boys trained in mindfulness had increased well-being — a combination of functioning well and feeling good — proportional to the time spent practicing the technique. Adolescents with higher levels of anxiety benefited the most.

“More and more we are realizing the importance of supporting the overall mental health of children,” Felicia Huppert said in a statement. “Importantly, many of the students genuinely enjoyed the exercises and said they intended to continue them — a good sign that many children would be receptive to this type of intervention.”

Huppert and colleagues analyzed 155 boys before and after four weekly 40-minute classes in mindfulness and 8 minutes a day listening to concentration/stress-reducing exercises. Students who attended religious studies were the controls.

Communicating With Your Teenager

Improving the channel of communication between yourself and your teenager is essential to a respectable and loving parent-child relationship. Just as a radio channel signal must to be clear in order for listeners to hear and understand the voices communication between a parent and their teenager must be clear. There are some essential communication tools that can improve the quality of Communication With Teenagers;

1. Listen

2. Set boundaries that reflect your values and provide appropriate punishment

3. Ask and value their opinions

4. Give them privacy

5. Develop an interest in their life

6. Let them know you believe in their potential as a human being and that they are of precious value to you and to the world

Listen

Listening is different to hearing. Often people are having a conversation that consists of them sharing their opinion and then while the other person speaks they are thinking about what they are going to respond without listening. Listening is not a natural quality a lot of people posses rather it is cultivated and developed through constant effort. Listening means that when someone else is talking you are listening to their words, focused on their countenance and sensitive to their emotions. When a person truly listens to another they pick up signals the other person is sending out such as body language. Body language is a huge tool to help one understand the feelings of another. By focusing on another person that person will feel important and therefore are more likely to respect your opinion.

With your teenager they might use phrases such as, “you just don’t understand” or “fine, whatever.” These phrases are closed and basically say “you don’t care about my opinion so I’m not going to listen to you.” If you teenager is constantly repeating “you just don’t understand” then ask her to explain what is so important to her and listen. Now just because you listen and focus all you attentions on your teenager doesn’t mean that you need to agree with then. But it will provide them with an opportunity to evaluate their own feelings and values. Teenagers don’t think that their parents were ever teenagers. Sometimes sharing appropriate stories of being a teenager and making decisions can make you more tangible and real to you teenager.

Boundaries

Purely being your teenager’s best friend will do them no favors. Teenagers Need Structure. Without rules and consequences they will never be prepared for the wide world which awaits them. With this said there must be a balance. Too many rules and not enough freedom will only cause your teenager to rebel. Decide what is must important to you, what do you value must about life. Avoid giving them set rules and provide them with principles. A principle is an accepted code of conduct that may apply in many facets of life. Here are some examples:

Don’t yell – Be respectful

Don’t make a mess – Take care of your possessions

You must clean your room – cleanliness of next to Godliness

Use your manners – Acknowledge your blessings through an attitude of gratitude

The only way that your teenagers will integrate these principles into their life is if they see them exemplified through your actions.

When deciding an appropriate consequence to bad behavior involves your teenager. Have family discussions and ask them what they think would be an appropriate consequence. This way when they are disobedient they can not moan about the consequence because they helped create it. Also involving your teenager in the discipline process is a manifestation that you care about what they think and that elevates them with a sense of maturity.

Ask

Teenagers are developing their ideas and opinions about the world in which they live and although those with evolve throughout their life they thrive on sharing their present thoughts. Ask you teenager what they think about smoking, teenage pregnancy, sex, underage drinking, higher education, work ethics etc… By asking then the questions they will be thinking about those topics and will be more likely to make logical and smart choices.

Privacy

Everyone enjoys some privacy especially teenagers who’s body is changing with soaring hormones. The emotional rollercoaster that accompanies the teen years often calls for some well need privacy.

Be interested

If your teenager knows you are interested in their life and their hobbies they will feel more comfortable in sharing things with you.

Importance

If you can try to always discipline with love your teenagers will soon learn that you do all you do because you love them. Tell them that they have great potential because of who they are rather than because they were captain of the football team or received an “A” in an exam. This doesn’t that these things are not accomplishments but make sure you are praising your teenagers for the choices they make and person they are becoming.

By: R. Kapoor

Well-Being: Hawaii Tops Utah for Nation’s Best

Compared with 2008, 27 states improved, 18 deteriorated, and 5 unchanged

by Elizabeth Mendes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hawaii’s residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2009, pulling ahead of 2008 leader Utah, and coming in with a new high state Well-Being Index score of 70.2. Utah and Montana are also among the top well-being states in the country, sharing the same score of 68.3. Kentucky (62.3) and West Virginia (60.5) have the two lowest well-being scores, as they did in 2008.

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Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index 2009 state-level data encompass more than 350,000 interviews conducted among national adults aged 18 older across all 50 states. Gallup and Healthways started tracking state-level well-being in 2008. The Well-Being Index score for the nation and for each state is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities.

The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where a score of 100 would represent ideal well-being. Well-Being Index scores among states vary by a narrow range of 9.7 points. The 2009 Well-Being Index score for the country is 65.9, unchanged from 2008.

Nine of the top 10 well-being states — Hawaii, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and Alaska — are in the Midwest and the West. Seven of the 11 lowest well-being states are in the South. The general geography of well-being in 2009 remained similar to 2008.

In addition to having the highest overall Well-Being Index score, Hawaii was best in the nation on three of the six well-being sub-indexes, Life Evaluation, Emotional Health, and Physical Health. At the opposite end of the spectrum is West Virginia, which performed the worst on the same three sub-indexes. Utah does the best on the Work Environment Index, with a score more than 10 points higher than that of the worst state on this measure, Delaware. As in 2008, Mississippi is at the bottom on the Basic Access Index, and Kentucky scores the worst on the Healthy Behavior Index.

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Each state’s sub-index score reflects the average of the positive percentages found for each of items detailed in the chart above. For example, Mississippi’s Basic Access Index score of 77.3 means that, on average, more than three-quarters of its residents do have access across each of the basic necessities asked about in the sub-index, but that still leaves a large number who are in need, representing millions of people.

Change in Well-Being From 2008 to 2009

Generally speaking, well-being has been fairly stable over time; most states exhibited little change from 2008 to 2009. Only four states — South Dakota, Mississippi, Hawaii, and Iowa — saw an increase of two or more points in their Well-Being Index score from 2008 to 2009. Wyoming saw the largest decrease at 1.3 points. Overall, 18 states moved in a negative direction, 27 in a positive direction, and 5 remained unchanged.

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Some of the six sub-indexes scores are more likely to move because of several factors including the number of questions included in the sub-index and the content of the questions. For example, the Life Evaluation Index, which is calculated using two questions asking respondents to rate their lives now and in the future, score changes a good deal throughout the course of the year. Across states, 2008 to 2009 change in Life Evaluation Index scores ranged from 11.0 in Maine to -1.7 in Wyoming. After Maine, two of the biggest gains in Life Evaluation scores from 2008 to 2009, 10.7 and 10.5 points, were in North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively, also the two states with the highest percentage of residents who were satisfied with their standard of living in 2009. Although Wyoming was the only state in which the Life Evaluation Index score decreased last year in comparison to 2008, the downtick is not statistically significant.

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Basic Access Index scores, on the other hand, are less likely to change over time. This sub-index is made up of 13 individual questions, many of which are items that require community, business, or governmental intervention to change such as if the city where the respondent lives in is getting better or worse as a place to live and if it is easy to get affordable fruits and vegetables where the respondent lives. The year-over-year range of change on this measure is from 0.8 points to -2.1 points and most of the change is not statistically significant, meaning that access to the basic necessities a person needs to have high well-being is essentially stagnant across the United States. However, cities and communities potentially have the opportunity to move the needle on the Basic Access metric by taking significant steps to improve the health and well-being of their residents.

While certain metrics are in the control of the individual and others fall upon businesses and the government to change, what is clear is that a much bigger society-wide effort is needed for more Americans to move their Well-Being Index score closer to the optimal level of 100 points.

No Pain, No Gain Applies to Happiness too

SAN FRANCISCO – ‘No pain, no gain’ adage applies to happiness too, according to new research.

People who work hard at improving a skill or ability, such as mastering a math problem or learning to drive, may experience stress in the moment, but experience greater happiness on a daily basis and longer term, a study suggests.

“No pain, no gain is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something,” said Ryan Howell, professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.

“People often give up their goals because they are stressful, but we found that there is benefit at the end of the day from learning to do something well. And what’s striking is that you don’t have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being.”

Contrary to previous research, the study found that people who engage in behaviors that increase competency, for example at work, school or the gym, experience decreased happiness in the moment, lower levels of enjoyment and higher levels of momentary stress.

Despite the negative effects felt on an hourly basis, participants reported that these same activities made them feel happy and satisfied when they looked back on their day as a whole. This surprising finding suggests that in the process of becoming proficient at something, individuals may need to endure temporary stress to reap the happiness benefits associated with increased competency.

The study examined whether people who spend time on activities that fulfill certain psychological needs, believed to be necessary for growth and well-being, experience greater happiness.

In addition to the need to be competent, the study focused on the need to feel connected to others and to be autonomous or self-directed, and it examined how fulfilling these three needs affect a person’s happiness moment by moment within a day.

For two days, participants reported how they spent each hour, the enjoyment and stress experienced in that hour, and whether the activity met their need for competency, connectedness to others or autonomy. A second group of participants completed a similar survey, but reported on the day as a whole.

 While behaviors that increase competency were associated with decreased happiness in the moment, people who spent time on activities that met the need for autonomy or feeling connected to others experienced increased happiness on both an hourly and daily basis. The greatest increase in momentary happiness was experienced by participants who engaged in something that met their need for autonomy — any behavior that a person feels they have chosen, rather than ought to do, and that helps them further their interests and goals.

The authors suggest that shifting the balance of needs met in a day could help people find ways to cope with short term stress in the workplace. “Our results suggest that you can decrease the momentary stress associated with improving your skill or ability by ensuring you are also meeting the need for autonomy and connectedness, for example performing the activity alongside other people or making sure it is something you have chosen to do and is true to who you are,” Howell said.

The study was published online in the Journal of Happiness Studies.