Posts Tagged ‘health / wellbeing’
Media is one of the major contributors to the damaged body images we have in our society. Once, it was only girls, but now we have more and more boys suffering from low body image.
Movies and magazines show celebrities who look tall and slim, with smooth skin at every pose. It is no wonder people spend money on products to try to “fix” themselves. What they do not know is that the photos they see are heavily photo-shopped and that the person they see in the magazine never looked like that.
It seems fitting that we should use the media to fix the damage done by the media. That way, our daughters and sons can see it. Yes, the photo-shopped images are beautiful, but they are not normal.
The tip for today is a very simple way to feel good, instantly – smiling.
The good thing about smiling is that it a two way street – smiling creates a happy feeling, and feeling happy makes you smile. It does not matter where you start – the feeling or the smile. When we experience joy, the muscles in our brain contract and start a positive loop of feeling even more joy. This is not a new science. As early as the 1870s, Charles Darwin first suggested that facial expressions did not just express emotions, but could actually induce them.
Smiling has been studied for years. In 1989, psychologist Robert Zajonc compared the mood of participants asked to make the long “eee” sound (which involves the same muscles as smiling) and those who were asked to make a long “ooo” sound (which involves the same muscles as frowning). Zajonc found that the people who made the “eee” sound felt much better.
This week, at the end of one of my presentations, someone asked me to share some tips for feeling good during the question and answer section.
The request made me think of a few of things:
1. Be happy in life is all about feeling good.
2. I am a “feel good” coach. This is what I do for living – I teach people how to feel good.
3. I have thousands of tips to share. This blog alone has more than 1,000 posts so far and many of the posts contain more than one feel good tip.
This made me think that maybe presenting a topic in the form of tips might be easier for people to read and implement. So here goes. I am starting the Feel Good Tips series. I hope you can make good use of it.
Recently, I travelled overseas to visit my family. While there, I spent a fair bit of time with my parents who are both getting on in age. My father is 80+ and my mother recently turned 73. Surprisingly, my dad is the healthier of the two. My mom on the other hand, has been not healthy for as long as I can remember her. First it was high blood pressure, then diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, osteoporosis and the list goes on.
Even though my visit was only for a short time, my mother and her health issues were a drama once again. Thankfully, she is not what you would call “sick”. As in, she does not have a fatal illness or anything like that. She just always seems to be in pain, or complaining about her physical condition. She visits her doctor regularly and often ends up telling them exactly what she wants them to prescribe for her. If you ask how she is, she will immediately start telling you. My sister, who is a social worker, says this is simply part of getting old. That may be, but my dad is older than her and he is not like that. I have met other people the same age, and even older, that were not like that either. I find it hard to accept that this is part of getting old.
In order to convince children that they are OK and good, a parent first needs to know that they are OK and good. Psychologist Thomas A. Harris. suggested four levels of emotional intelligence, that provide a framework for positive parenting. To read about the four levels, see “I’m OK, You’re OK Parenting: OK and EQ”. In an ideal world, parents would always be in an “I’m OK, You’re OK” state of mind. For this, for the parents must agree with the “I’m OK” part – they must first believe that they are OK. Once this is established, it is time to work on the “You’re OK” mindset.
Little boy and girl huggingLike a self-fulfilling prophecy, parents who see the good in themselves and their kids tend to raise kids who see the good in themselves as well. This is a great cycle. By taking care of ourselves, we ensure our children and their children know they are good and “OK”. This mindset can impact for many years even after we are gone.
In an ideal world, we would all like to be in an “I’m OK, You’re OK” state of mind all the time. People in this state are confident in themselves. They know they always do the best they can, and so does everyone else. Unfortunately, it is not always easy. Life has its own agenda and things do not always happen the way we want them to.
In parenting, circumstances make us shift from one emotional position to another. Our aim should always be to keep an “I’m OK – You’re OK” parenting style as much as possible. We may find ourselves straying to other styles, but the idea is to snap back as fast as possible.
In parent coaching we have many techniques for helping parents shift to an I’m OK, you’re OK mode. They all start by making sure parents think of themselves as “OK” first. When you are on a plane, the safety demonstration always tells you that when the oxygen mask is released, you should always put the mask on yourself first before helping your child. It works the same here. Before we can help our kids think they are OK, first we need to recognize that we are good and OK!
The happier people are, the more successful they are with their money, work and relationships, claims psychology professor Ed Diener, an author of a study conducted by the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. The study found that happy people are more likely to get married, to stay married and think positively about their marriage.
Diener compared people who were not happy to those who were happy and said that the happy people volunteered more, earned more and were highly rated by their supervisors. He also found that happy people, on average, are healthier, and live longer.
The surprising bit about this research was not that money, good work, long life and health brought happiness, but that it was exactly the opposite! Happiness brought money, good work, long life and health.
Welcome to the third installment of “Know Your Partner”. In this series war are talking about questions you and your partner should discuss before you move in together, get married or have kids. These questions will help you find your partner’s “musts”. To read more about “musts”, check out Know Your Partner: Musts. In the last post in the series, we listed questions about relationships, every day life, family background and friends. This post covers questions about appearance, work, money and health.
Last week, we talked about how every person has “musts”, things they absolutely cannot live without. It is important for each person in a couple to know their partner’s “musts” before they decide to move in together, to get married or to have kids. This week, I thought I would give you a list of questions to help you along your journey. This list includes questions about relationships, everyday life, family background and friends.
This list is very important to use in different relationship situations:
Before moving in with someone.
Before deciding to have kids.
On anniversaries – in order to update each other about the ways we have changed.
When experiencing relationship conflict.
Before making the decision to break up a partnership.
There are a few rules to remember when asking these questions. This will make the question and answer process more effective and successful:
Any relationship is a form of agreement between two or more people. The deeper the relationship, the more things you will need to agree on for your relationship to stay positive. Some relationships, like marriage and having children together, are more important than others. They have a huge impact on our lives and our futures. I call them love agreements.
Love agreements will change over time. Just how they change will depend on the circumstances. Each person changes within themselves and their agreements with each other change accordingly. For couples, it is very important for each side to make sure they are “sailing in the same direction”. While each of them may change in different ways, together, they want to be going the same way. If one wants to sail north and the other’s greatest desire is to sail south, then their relationship will suffer. One or both of them will have to compromise.
When we talk about relationships, the word compromise pops up as a desired outcome. I think compromise is important, but I also believe that some compromises cannot last for very long. They are often the source of conflict and can cause much heartache.