Monday, 23 October 2017

Introverts: 4 Ways to Be Yourself and Be a Charismatic Leader

Nina Zipkin Staff Writer. Covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.
Shy, retiring, socially inept -- these are some of the stereotypes that plague introverts.
If you are looking to promote someone in your office, don't let a reserved demeanor take someone out of the running. And if you are a card-carrying introvert who has a time limit for big parties or is drained by all-day conferences, you are still entirely capable of being a charismatic leader.
"Introverts need to do two things to become charismatic: make people feel liked and show them your power," says Carrie Keating, a professor of psychology at Colgate University. "Charisma is just that balance between inviting us in close and letting us feel your power by standing apart. Many introverts are halfway there."
Keating notes that a great way for introverts to get out of their own heads and work on being more expressive or comfortable in crowds is to look into acting classes or improv groups.
"You may be surprised by what you can do," she says. "Remember: the stereotype of the introvert is stuck in your mind, too. It's fun to wreck it!"
But she says not to discount the effectiveness of quiet confidence and the qualities that introverts bring to the table, such as empathy and independent thinking.
"Be straightforward about your introversion, you are an introvert for a reason," Keating says. "Diversity is good. Remember that. Many minds and diversity among them make for creativity."
Read on for lessons on how to hone the charisma you already possess and translate it into super-manager status.
1. Double down on your strengths as a listener and strategic thinker.
When introverted people are in the running for a promotion to management, how can they stand out from the crowd and show that they are the right person?
For one, introverts aren’t generally hampered by a need for self-promotion, so they can focus on helping their teams and reaching the goals of the company. Plus, that reserved demeanor can help you be cool in a crisis, which can help put the employees you are supervising at ease.
Lou Solomon, a leadership coach, and the CEO and founder of Interact, a firm dedicated to helping people communicate better, says that it isn't in an introvert's best interest to simply check off boxes of what they think a manager should be or what they think their boss wants. Instead, think about your personal leadership narrative.
"It’s so rare for someone to say, 'Here’s the ‘why’ behind what I do.' As reflective people, introverts are inclined to understand what they are bringing to the position," Solomon says.
Beth Buelow, author of The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms and professional coach known as the “Introvert Entrepreneur,” says that when aiming for promotions, it's important to clearly articulate and connect your skills to how they help you meet the demands of the job. Don’t shy away from doing this for fear that you will appear arrogant.
"Saying 'I’m a good listener' doesn’t really have much power." she explains. Instead say something like this: "'Since I tend to listen more than I talk, I’ve found that my colleagues have more space to express themselves and their ideas, as well as their concerns. As a result, our team has been able to finish projects ahead of schedule.'"
Introverts can also highlight how being inherently meditative can lead to thinking more deeply about a problem and offer solutions, says Lisa Petrilli, author of The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership and chief marketing officer for TheThread.Life, a spirituality-driven online business hub.
"[Introverts] thrive in the world of complex ideas," she says. "We are exceptional strategic thinkers and listeners and bring great insight to our work. All of these characteristics make us inspirational leaders -- and inspiration is at the core of charisma."
2. Plan your meetings around your ability to thrive in small groups.
A great way for an introverted manager to stay true to their nature and while building a rapport with their team is to embrace their tendency to socially thrive in lower-key group situations.
"Schedule regular meetings with employees one on one to get their input and discuss ideas and direction," Petrilli says. "As a manager, you’ll be put into networking positions more often: go with a mindset to help others, which will make you more successful and will decrease the stress of being outside your comfort zone."
Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, broke down the reasons for why introverts perform better in smaller groups in her 2012 TEDTalk:
"Extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they're in quieter, more low-key environments … a lot of the time. So the key to maximizing our talents is for us all to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us."
During her address, Cain also cited research by Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, who found that when comparing introverted and extroverted leaders, the introverts were more likely to encourage their employees to "run with their ideas, whereas an extrovert can, quite unwittingly, get so excited about things that they're putting their own stamp on things, and other people's ideas might not as easily then bubble up to the surface."
3. Take the time to recharge.
Introverts often have to recharge by spending time alone. So what strategies can introverted managers employ if they are overseeing a high-stress situation?
Solomon says that it is important to figure out what time of day is the most restorative for you. Whether it early morning, late in the day, or at 2:15 in the afternoon, make that time for yourself a part of your regular routine and incorporate it into your work schedule. And who knows? It could also help develop a culture where your fellow introverts and even the office extroverts feel comfortable to follow suit. You may want to think about setting up a quiet room in the office.
"Don’t respond to emails or voice messages during non-business hours. Take your vacation days, and put your phone on 'do not disturb' for an hour or two each day," Buelow says. "This might have a side effect of creating a culture that gives your colleagues permission to do the same. The goal is to create a more respectful, efficient and effective work environment, where everyone feels like their individual strengths and needs are considered."
If you're particularly slammed one week and your schedule gets a bit upended, don't panic. Petrilli recommends taking mini-breaks, such as a 10-minute walk around the block or simply shutting the door for a few minutes and listening to some music.
"You will be a better representative of your company, and yourself, if you do this," she says.
4. Drill down on your unique brand of charisma.
It's important to understand that introverts don't have to pretend to be or learn how to be extroverts in order to have charisma. Introverts have a talent to genuinely connect.
"People assign a certain amount of charisma to individuals who hold a space in which they can fully express [themselves]," Solomon says. "Introverts can grow that strength by developing the ability to draw people out and make genuine connections through the art of the open-ended question."
Petrilli noted that one of the biggest misconceptions about introverts is that they aren't as socially attuned as their more extroverted peers, but that isn't the case -- extroverts can be just as socially awkward as the introvert.
“The reality is that most introverts are actually quite charming, inspirational and charismatic and are perceived this way, because they have a foundation of authenticity that comes from being very thoughtful and purposeful in their leadership style,” she says.
Confidence in who you are is key, Buelow says. While introverts can tend to be guarded and form connections with others at a slower pace, that's OK. You don't need to wear your heart on your sleeve to be effective.
By simply being generous with your time and expertise while you get to know employees will help build more personal rapport down the line.
Ultimately, the best advice is to simply own your introversion.
"Don’t apologize for it or defend it,” Buelow says. "Name it and claim it! This gives others permission to do the same. People who are unapologetic about who they are are more interesting to be around."
Originally posted on

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Is It Normal Anxiety or Do I Have Postpartum Depression?

Pregnancy is filled with many emotions and sensations.  Not only are our bodies changing, there are wishes, hopes, plans and expectations that bombard us both from the inside and outside.
Typically during pregnancy, appetite increases, there’s an eager anticipation of the new life to come, and sleep is good(except for the usual physical adjustments).  Normal doubts and worries can be sprinkled throughout the pregnancy experience, but they shouldn’t dominate our days or nights.
When you ask yourself, “Do I emotionally feel like ‘me’ most of the day?,” “Am I able to sleep at night?,” “Am I generally looking forward to the baby coming?,” and “Am I feeling hungry?,” the answer should be “Yes.”
If not, seek out a specialized health care practitioner who can help determine what’s happening.  Depression and anxiety affect just as many pregnant women as new mothers, and can happen to the strongest, most intelligent and loving moms.
Every trimester you should either be given a formal screening or simply asked a few key questions to determine how you’re doing emotionally.  Receiving the right help during pregnancy will not only be best for you and your entire family, it will help you minimize the risk of postpartum depression.
Another resource is the free app PPD Gone!  Download it for reading and listening material about prevention and treatment of depression during pregnancy and new motherhood.
Most new moms experience the normal “Baby Blues” – a few days to two weeks of mild ups and downs, weepiness, and stress.  But, what if the normal blues don’t disappear after two weeks following delivery, or what if the feelings become more intense? Learn more about how to prevent the baby blues here.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common of the six perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) and affects about 1 in 7 new mothers.  The primary cause of PPD is the enormous shifting of reproductive hormones following the delivery.  In addition, sleep deprivation, inadequate nutrition, isolation, poor partner support, health issues of mom or baby, a high needs infant, or other major stressors can cause or make PPD worse.
Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression
The good news is, PPD is nothing to be afraid of – it’s 100% treatable! It doesn’t necessarily go away by itself, so the faster you get help, generally the faster it disappears.
Some common symptoms of PPD are:
Low self-esteem
Difficulty sleeping at night (even when the baby is sleeping)
Big appetite changes (usually a decrease)
Frequent crying
Lack of emotion
Hopelessness (feeling of nothing to look forward to)
If you feel you might be suffering from PPD or postpartum anxiety, find a psychotherapist who specializes in treating PPD.  Don’t settle for a therapist just because she’s covered by your insurance.  You deserve the best help and your family needs you to be well as soon as possible.
Here are a few questions to ask when interviewing the potential therapist:
 How may days/weeks have you received specific training in the perinatal mood and anxiety disorders? (The therapist might mention the Postpartum Support International training or the Postpartum Action Institute training, for example).
What are some books or other resources you recommend for women suffering?
What are the names of the organizations you belong to that are specifically focused on maternal mental health (such as Marce Society, Postpartum Support International, NASPOG)?
What type(s) of therapy do you use to treat mothers with PPD? (Short-term therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Interpersonal therapy (IPT), or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are appropriate, rather than long-term therapy like psychoanalysis).
Dads and adoptive parents can also experience depression after the baby joins the family.  Research tells us that fathers become depressed at the rate at least 10 percent and they often appear withdrawn, angry, or sullen.  When the mom has PPD, his risk for developing depression jumps up between 24 and 50 percent.  As Chapter 16 of Postpartum Depression for Dummies discusses, fathers can easily become depressed if they aren’t receiving good support when their wives start recovering from PPD.
The Dr. Shosh Wellness Plan
Every new mom and mom-to-be should have a strategy in place in order to stay healthy and help prevent postpartum problems.  The Dr. Shosh Wellness Plan contains seven essential pieces.
The last two steps are specifically for women who are suffering from PPD:
Throw out the myths and fantasies of motherhood.  (My needs shouldn’t matter anymore, taking care of a baby is easy for good moms, I should be able to do this all myself, etc.)If you have a partner, discuss your wishes and expectations together.  Never assume, for instance, how the other one feels (about what the baby should eat, where it will sleep, who is on duty at nighttime, and so on.)Protect your brain chemistry (including excellent proteins, complex carbs, Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA or Postnatal Omega-e fish oil supplements, vitamin D3, and folate in your daily diet.)Get a few hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep.  (Even a breastfeeding mother can do this with the right plan.)Exercise a few minutes per day for endorphins and oxygenating the brain.  Don’t attempt anything strenuous until you’re sleeping well, or it can backfire.Line up emotional support with friends, family members, and support groups.Schedule physical support on a regular basis – someone to clean your home, watch your child(ren) so you can nurture yourself.Arrange professional support by finding a counselor who specializes in PPD.If you are suffering from PPD, or believe you are at risk, consult with a health care practitioner (specialist) about treatment options.
The smartest and strongest step a suffering mommy can take for her family is to find help as soon as possible, just as she would for any other potentially serious condition.  With proper help, you should expect a complete recovery and be able to enjoy your happy life!
Nordic Naturals is a corporate sponsor and the “Official Prenatal DHA” of the American Pregnancy Association.
*The article was written by Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Founder of Postpartum Assistance for Mothers and former president of Postpartum Support International.
Originally posted on

Saturday, 14 October 2017

How To Develop Industrious Traits

While it is generally accepted that work must occur in order for an individual to receive the income necessary to support himself in life, few people would argue the point that work is not always easy or enjoyable.  In fact, many individuals would readily admit that their jobs are difficult, challenging and demanding on a regular basis.  However, if you ask these same individuals whether they are happy with their jobs, many will state that they are–largely because the challenges they have to work through are actually fun to overcome.
As a general rule, people are usually happier when they have something to do.  One can make an experiment of this and simply sit staring at the clock for five minutes, or spend five minutes cleaning.  The five minutes spent in action will often pass more quickly and produce a sense of satisfaction.  An individual who is not industrious is often bored and unhappy in general, and may even complain that their life is pointless and empty.  The industrious man may be tired or even exhausted each day after work, but he is usually quite happy.
Developing Industrious Traits
Even when one has experienced the boost in morale that occurs when they are industrious, it can sometimes be difficult to get oneself motivated along this direction.  After all, it can seem quite pleasant just to sit around and “relax” sometimes.  However, one will usually find that getting up and getting to work is always better–and may even help one to feel more energized and more relaxed than simply lying around.  Another point is that as soon as one has developed some basic industrious traits, they may find it easier to maintain them.
In order to develop industrious traits, one should begin by surrounding himself with industrious people.  Idle individuals are not only depressing to hang around, they can actually be dangerous.  People tend to enjoy those activities that feel like group activities, and it is for this reason that surrounding oneself with industrious individuals can help one develop their own industriousness.
An individual can further develop industrious traits by looking around them to see what work needs to be done.  When one takes a moment to really look around them and see what is there, they can find an unlimited number of things that can and should be done for self and for others.  Participating in resolving these things can help one to feel useful and helpful.
Another way to develop industrious traits is for the individual to find activities they enjoy, and participate in them.  Many people enjoy the fruits of their labor even more when the activity itself is also enjoyable.
Hard work can be quite rewarding in and of itself, but it is also important for the individual to reward himself.  This may mean that after a long week of work they enjoy dinner or a movie with friends, or perhaps a friendly game of basketball.  Receiving rewards for one’s industriousness can help one to better develop these traits.
Finally, an individual can develop industrious traits simply by getting busy.  Many individuals spend a considerable amount of time sitting around, thinking, wondering and worrying.  However, if one simply gets busy, they will find that there aren’t quite as many or as complex problems as they may have previously imagined there were.  Furthermore, they can experience great satisfaction and relief when they tackle and resolve the problems they do have.

Friday, 13 October 2017

52 Easy Yet Highly Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself

If you can't seem to find yourself motivated because of several reasons, take a deep breath and try to motivate yourself with these simple yet effective tips:

1.Close your eyes, and visualize yourself reaching your goals.

2.Try something new today.

3.Take a walk in a park, and let nature reset your mind.

4.Make a to-do list. You'll feel encouraged as you cross off items.

5.Get more sleep. Sleep deprivation could be making you less motivated.

6.Drink coffee for a quick jolt.

7.Start exercising, and you'll feel like yourself

8.Take a small step. You don't have to immediately immerse yourself in the project and see it until completion right away. Just make baby steps, and take it one day at a time.

9.Wake yourself up from your slump with a cold shower.

10.Have a reward system, so you'll have something to look forward to.

11.When doing a task you don't want to do, play energizing music to help you get through it.

12.Get the hard stuff done first thing in the morning. Once you're done with the most challenging projects, you'll be able to tackle the others with ease.

13.Prepare early so you're not in a rush. When you're late all the time or feel rushed, this may stress you out and kill your motivation.

14.Push yourself. Realize that getting things done means giving yourself a little push sometimes.

15.Grow your willpower. Read The Willpower Instinct for how to do this.

16.Make motivating yourself into a habit. Read The Power of Habit to help you learn how to form habits.

17.Set a deadline for a task to spur you to get it done before the time is up.

18.Focus. Doing too many things at once can overwhelm you, so drop the multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.

19.Get a friend to join you to make whatever you're doing more enjoyable.

20.Clean up your home or your workspace, and you'll feel like you can get more done in a decluttered environment.

21. Let go of your fears, and you may feel brave enough to take on challenging tasks.

22.Eat right. Treating your body well will put you in a better place mentally.

23.Take a break to get some rest and recharge your mind.

24.Do something you enjoy when you first get up. Whether it be drinking hot chocolate while reading a chapter of a book you're currently glued to or taking a hot shower, start your day off on a positive note.

25. Share your goals with others. Being public about your goals will give you a sense of accountability, which may make you more inclined to get going.

26. Fake it till you make it. Act like you're motivated, and it'll become a reality in time.

27. Focus on the positive instead of the negative, and you'll feel more inclined to start new projects and take risks.

28. Bring light into your room. Open up your curtains. Let fresh air into your room by opening up windows if it's not too cold and if it's not polluted outside.

29. Find out what it'll take to get there. When you set a goal for yourself, begin by doing some research, and you'll be done with the first step.

30. Encourage others, and you'll automatically start seeing encouragement from them in return. It's a cycle of positivity!

31. Don't compare yourself with others or you'll get discouraged. Compete against yourself.

32.Have realistic expectations. Know yourself and how far you can go.

33.Stay excited. Experiment and keep coming up with new tweaks so you won't get board.

34. If you fail, pick yourself up and keep going. Don't let it derail you or cause you to lose confidence, which ends up affecting your motivation.

35. Keep track with a journal. If you track your progress, you'll be able to see it, which will help motivate you to continue or try even harder.

36. Read biographies of the people you look up to for inspiration.

37. Listen to motivation stories from audiobooks, Ted Talks, documentaries, and more.

38. Place motivational quotes around your home and workspace. They can come in such forms as a sticky note on your memo board, a note taped to your mirror, or an inspiring quote on a coffee mug.

39. Volunteer. It'll help ground you and make you realize that you're fortunate, so you should take the opportunity to make the most out of your life.

40. Read The Last Lecture. It's a book written by a professor who managed to squeeze the most out of his final days after a terminal cancer diagnosis.

41. Dress to impress yourself. You'll feel like you can get more things done when you're putting your best foot forward.

42. Write down a few things you're grateful for. If you have a more positive mind-set, you'll find yourself more motivated and looking forward to what's in store for you.

43. Reflect on the times when you worked hard and succeeded at your task.

44. Remind yourself that it's better to try and fail or succeed than living with regrets.

45. Give yourself a pep talk, and tell yourself that you are awesome.

46. Drop the projects that you might not be totally committed to and focus on the ones you're really passionate about.

47. Tell yourself that nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

48. Know that only you have the power to create your dreams and generate motivation.

49. Write down where you see yourself in five years, and stick that note in a visible place.

50. Turn it into a challenge with a time limit. You can create your own or join an existing one. There are plenty of challenges that already exist out there, such as the NaNoWriMo, which challenges participants to complete a novel in a month.

51. Set your alarm clock to remind you when it's time to start on your task.

52. Find something you truly enjoy, and do it. Pick up a hobby or start a collection, and it'll make you excited about life.

By Emily co
Originally posted on

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Fake Heart Attacks and Real Hope: My Journey with Anxiety

If we ourselves haven’t experienced a mental illness, most of us know someone who has. One in four adults—about 61.5 million Americans—wrestle with mental illness each year, and 13.6 million live with a serious, ongoing illness such as bipolar disorder or major depression.

October 6 to 12 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, so we’re posting stories and tools over the next few days to foster conversation and break down misconceptions about mental illness. As you read, may you be encouraged in your own life and better equipped to help others in the journey.


I thought I was going to die that night. My body was trembling all over, my chest was tight, and my head swam. I sat on the edge of my tiny dorm room bed, staring blankly into space thinking, I’m going to die in my sleep.

So I prepared accordingly. I texted “Love you!” to my mom. I said good night to my roommates and left my door slightly ajar. I asked God to forgive me for all my sins. I turned my iPod on repeat and listened to John Michael Talbot singing Jesus’ words over and over: “I am the Resurrection, I am eternal life.” Eventually, I fell asleep.

When I woke up the next morning and found that I was still alive, I went to my college’s health clinic. The nurse who examined me looked at me with a mixture of puzzlement and concern. “There’s nothing wrong with you,” she said. “But what you described sounds a lot like an anxiety attack.”

That moment at the health clinic was the beginning of my journey to identify and deal with the anxiety that had been happening for a few months without me understanding it.

A Different Kind of Fear
Anxiety is different than fear, in intensity and in manifestation. When we’re afraid of something, it’s usually because we have enough data to suggest our fears could become reality—for instance, freaking out about failing a test because we don’t have enough time to study properly.
An anxious mind, however, is like an oversensitive car alarm, shrieking a warning where no danger exists. It only takes one muscle twitch to convince me I might have a life-threatening medical condition. My anxiety is disproportionate to the situation. Anxiety also creates actual physical symptoms, like wobbling legs, a feeling of breathlessness, and the sudden conviction that you’re about to die. And while the emotional and physical experiences can be triggered by things that make everyone fearful, like exams or job interviews, they can also come on suddenly from, say, pounding music, too little sleep, or seemingly nothing at all.

Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health issues among adults, but they can make a person feel like he or she is the only one suffering from them. Those of us who suffer from anxiety often get trapped in our own head, focusing on our body and emotions rather than the world around us. And since the struggle is largely internal, it often goes unseen; others think we’re fine when in fact we’re panicking. It can be a very lonely feeling.

Where Is God?
Before I understood my anxiety, I felt trapped in a spiral, unsure if there was a way to escape the worry. I was quick to believe the lies sloshing around in my brain—that I would never be able to stop being afraid, or worse, that fear was the most rational response to life. It felt—and still feels, sometimes—like a fight I could never win, a hole I was perpetually trying to climb out of but inevitably sliding back down into, all the way to the bottom.
And where was God? For a while, I thought that anxiety was a consequence of a poor relationship with God. Maybe if I trusted God just a little more, I would think, or learn to be a little more confident in his good plans for me, my arms and legs would stop shaking so much.

But as I started to recognize that my anxiety was a disorder, not an attitude, I realized that I couldn’t change it with sheer willpower. I found help through therapy and developing coping techniques—and I also started coming to terms with the fact that anxiety might be a constant struggle. Understanding this helped me see that God wasn’t condemning me for my anxiety. Rather, he wanted to see me freed from fear and restored to wholeness.

Hope for Healing

If you also suffer from anxiety, I want you to know that relief is out there. Although my anxiety has by no means disappeared, I’ve come a long way from the night I was expecting to die. I can recognize the mental patterns and symptoms of anxiety and be proactive to keep from being consumed by fear. Two action steps are particularly important in finding hope and relief:
Let those around you know you’re struggling. Hiding away won’t help you, and the support of family and friends is essential in the journey.
Be sure to seek the help of a therapist. Techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy can give you tools to change harmful thought patterns and reduce your anxiety.

Above all else, God has given us the ultimate weapon against fear—the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. He stepped into a world that seems to invite more fear, not less, in order to deliver us from the powers of darkness. And when it feels like those powers of darkness are inside our own minds, the resurrection gives us the only true comfort. Our broken thoughts, like our broken world, are being renewed by Jesus. May God give us the grace to cling to this hope, despite our shaky arms.

You might also want to read Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission. (Read an excerpt here.)

Kathryn Brill
Kathryn Brill graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University in May, where she studied English an

Originally posted on 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Seven Tell-Tale Signs of Depression in a Friend or Loved One

The Story:
A young couple I have treated for some time came into my office recently. Lisa was angry with Justin because he had been (in her opinion) distant and unloving towards her in recent weeks. No matter how hard she tried to please him, nothing seemed to work, and she began to wonder whether he had lost interest in her. After I asked Justin certain key questions, it became clear that he had gradually become depressed and, in doing so, had lost interest in pretty much everything that had previously given him pleasure – including Lisa. Once Justin’s depression was adequately treated, he became the warm, loving and attentive man with whom Lisa had fallen in love and chosen to spend her life with.

There are some important lessons to this story.
First, depression is not always obvious. It can masquerade as something else (in this case, lack of interest in your partner).
Second, it is valuable for friends or loved ones to learn the tell-tale signs of depression so that they can offer help as early in the process as possible because depression is a painful condition, both for the person suffering from it and his or her loved ones.
So, here are seven tell-tale signs of depression that will help you determine if your friend or loved-one is developing depression:

1. Loss of interest in things that were previously pleasurable. Sometimes this loss of pleasure – also known as anhedonia – may not be complete. So your loved one may gravitate only to those things that are easily enjoyed and require the least amount of effort, such as playing video-games, sitting in front of the TV or surfing the Web. This readily leads to thoughts or comments such as “You have plenty of time and interest for surfing the Web, but not when it comes to spending quality time with me.” Engaging with another person and meeting that person’s needs require more effort than surfing the Web and therefore may be an early sign of depression.

2. Sleep difficulties. This may take the form of trouble falling asleep, or waking up during the night or the early hours of the morning. You may find your loved one in another room, trying to while away the time. This may disrupt your own sleep and may feel like abandonment, leading you to say things like, “Not only isn’t he/she available for me during the day, but even at night.” Again, it’s important not to take the symptom personally, but recognize it as what it is.

3. Eating changes – too little or too much – with corresponding weight changes in the expected direction. A husband (for example) can readily become angry with his wife and blame her for eating too much and gaining weight, misinterpreting the symptom as a sign that she no longer cares as much about their intimate life and is therefore “letting herself go.”

4. Anger and irritability. A depressed person struggles to get through the day. Ordinary obstacles and challenges become more difficult and can lead to frustration and the feelings that go along with that. This is another tell-tale sign of depression that is easy to take personally.
5. Expressing negative thoughts. You might feel enthusiastic about something and your friend or loved one might come back with a “downer” of a response, such as “I don’t think that will amount to anything,” or “What does it matter? It makes no difference.” Such negative thoughts are a cardinal symptom of depression, yet sometimes they feel almost calculated to throw a dampener on things. The depressed person is not trying to make life difficult for others even though that is often the effect of depressive thoughts and utterances.

6. Suicidal ideas. These may take a passive form such as, “I don’t care if I live or die” or a more active form, such as “Sometimes I feel like driving the car off the road.” Always take such statements very seriously. There is a common myth that if a person is really suicidal, they don’t tell others about it; they do it. By this ererroneous logic, if the person is telling you about it, you might mistakenly conclude that they won’t actually do it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are such statements key elements of depression (which warrants treatment in its own right), but they suggest that such treatment is urgent.

7. Loss of confidence in oneself and optimism about the future is sign of a depression. Depressed people feel poorly about themselves and their future. If your friend or loved one is usually more self confident and optimistic and this then changes, suspect depression.
If you detect one or more of these signs in a friend or loved one, you may want to look up a more comprehensive list of symptoms for major depression in the standard manual for psychiatric conditions, the DSM-IV.
Once you suspect depression, do encourage your friend or loved one to seek consultation and treatment with a qualified person, not only for his or her sake, but for yours. Sometimes it can also be helpful and comforting for you to offer to accompany the person to the consultation.
Wishing you Light and Transcendence,

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Top 10 Criteria of Depressed People

Depressed people are very much common in our society. All of us became depressed at least once in the life time. Depressed people got some typical criteria in which they are easily different than normal people. Here is Top 10 criteria of depressed people...
1.Always Angry
Depressed people always become angry with others. They can't tolerate  others. They think that everyone trying to do any harm to them. So they just can't behave normal with others.
2. Feel guilty
Depressed people always think negative about themselves. They think that they are the most waste product in the world . They think they are good for nothing.
3. Ready to take any kind of self destruction method
As they think negative about about themselves. They are ready to take any kind of self destruction method. Because they think they deserve to be punished.
4. Feel absolutely hopeless
They lost there hope in life. They just can't think of positive of anything.
5. Always think negative
As I say they think everything that happening around them are against them. So they can't survive.
6. Want to cry, but can't
They want to shout, want to cry but they can't. Because they lose their energy. Lose their ability to shake things off. They just remain calm in outside as if nothing is happened. But deep inside they are totally break down.
7. Can not think about future
Depressed people can not think of future. Because they think there is no future. They just can't take it anymore.
8. Can not sleep
As they think too much. Their brain is so hyperactive that they can't sleep for days.
9. Don't have taste for food
Eventually they develop anorexia, loss of appetite. So there health become worse then ever. They become sick and that scenario also trigger their depressed state.
10. Hate the world and want to die
Depressed people hate all things around them. They think they do not deserve to be in the world and they want to die. So many of them commit suicide.
Although not all depressed people have got these criteria. Most of them have.
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I’m sorry for all the times my depression and anxiety made me a bit of a rubbish friend

Since I’ve started being honest about my mental health, I’ve noticed that my relationships have changed – mostly for the better.

There’s more trust there. We’re able to talk about bigger things. Now that I’ve opened up, the people around me have started to open up, too.

5 things I wish I'd known about getting older
And it’s made me think about how much time I’ve spent being not-the-best friend when I wasn’t open about what I was dealing with (meaning depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive thoughts).

I want to say sorry.

I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t message you back because I overthought a response, then decided that ignoring you entirely would make you hate me less than taking a few hours to send a text.

I’m sorry I declined your calls, scared to reveal that yes, you had woken me up, because I’m still in bed at 3pm on a Sunday.

I’m sorry I backed out of plans at the last minute because after getting ready much too early, my anxiety jumped in to remind me of all the dangers outside my house.

I’m sorry for lying, for covering things up, for pretending I had food poisoning or other commitments.

Some other stuff I don’t feel proud of:

All the times I pushed you away because I didn’t want you to notice that I wasn’t being myself. The times I got angry for no reason, was irritable, and decided the easiest option was to cut you out of my life instead of letting you in.

The moments I wasn’t 100% invested in our conversations, when my attention wandered as you told me what’s been going on – because I was too busy thinking about what a rubbish person I was and obsessing over mess-ups.

The times I let myself drift because I didn’t feel like I could keep up with the rest of you, going out, going for runs in the morning, working on stuff together.

I felt embarrassed.

Ashamed that the simplest things suddenly felt impossible, that my brain wasn’t a safe place for me to be anymore, that I was scared of turned on light switches, open doors, footsteps behind me.

I’m sorry for doubting that you’d understand. I’m sorry that my brain told me I couldn’t trust you or rely on you, that telling you would what was happening would be a mistake.

That’s the thing about depression – it becomes your biggest secret and your closest friend, and pushes everyone else away in the process.

Depression hides the person people know and love. It makes you irritable, withdrawn, suddenly uninterested in all the things you used to get excited about.

It tells you that you don’t deserve friends and loved ones, and makes you believe that if you were to tell anyone your thoughts, they’d recoil in horror.

That’s why actually opening up and being honest – which is a big part of being a good friend, if you didn’t know – feels so f***ing scary.

You’re scared that they’ll reject you. That they’ll say something pushes you over the edge.

Trusting someone with your biggest, heaviest secret gives them power: to hurt you or help you get better.

To avoid that, I pushed people away.

I became a good actress. I said I was fine, that something had come up when you asked to spend time together, I made sure to stick to ‘safe’ topics when we talked so I wouldn’t let things slip.

I wasn’t a good friend because I wasn’t being myself. I wasn’t letting people in.

And I’m sorry about that, because it wrecked a lot of friendships, made me miss out on years of great talks with my mum, who I kept at a distance so she wouldn’t figure out what was going on in my head, and held me back from making connections with new people.

I’m working on that now.

I’m learning that the people I care about care about me, too. They won’t hate me just because I’m sad, or judge me for being scared – they just care that I’m okay.

I’m working on trusting people. I’m working on listening to the people I love instead of the negative voice in my head that tells me everyone hates me and I’m generally sh*t.

It’s okay to need a little help from the people in my life to get through a time that’s not all that great.

The people I want in my life aren’t the ones who’d ditch me when things get tough. They’re the ones that are there to listen when I need it, who know, now, that they can open up to me too, and they’re the ones that help me to stay sane every day – more than they know.

So now I’m done with the sorries – although I’m sure there are more to come with further unanswered texts and ditched plans – I want to say thank you.

Thank you to the people who’ve stuck with me when I haven’t been the best friend in return. Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring.

Women are getting designer vagina surgery to look better in leggings

When your brain turns on you, you need good friends more than ever. And I’m so glad I’ve got you.

I’m getting better. And I’ll get better at being your friend along the way.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Top 10 Mental Health Organizations in US

Mental Health is a challenge in public health policymakers theory. Lots of people are suffering from mental diseases. So organizations on mental health are trying their best to take proper action against mental diseases.

Nevertheless, I’ll take that risk and offer 10 of the top mental health organizations based in the United States, in my humble opinion. In this post, I’ll cover the first 10 organizations

My informal criteria for including an organization on the list included: a) being well-established and credible; b) having goals of education and raising awareness; c) having a well-organized website with extensive resource links.

The organizations aren’t ranked, just listed in alphabetical order. Here we go.

1) Active Minds – Active Minds is a network of over 400 campus-based chapters which provide a forum for college students to get together and raise awareness about mental health issues and to promote help-seeking for mental health concerns. Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon, who lost her brother to suicide.

2) American Association of Suicidology and 3) American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – I considered whether to include only one or both of these organizations, but in the end I had to list them both. Both AAS and AFSP are dedicated to suicide prevention and collectively they provide an impressive array of helpful programs and resources, both for professionals and for those affected by suicide loss.

4) American Psychological Association – I need to disclose that I’m a member of APA, so this pick may be a little biased. There are a number of similar sites representing various mental health professions, but it’s hard to beat APA for its wide array of resources, including a large number of top scientific journals and books, a “Help Center” of consumer-friendly information to help cope with various life challenges, and an active program of mental health advocacy efforts.

5) Anxiety and Depression Association – ADAA is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and the cure of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and trauma-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They provide useful resources about treatment options, education about these conditions, and promotion of new scientific advances in treatment and prevention.

6) Brain and Behavior Research Foundation – BBRF bills itself as the world’s leading private funder of mental health research. It has awarded over $346 million through thousands of grants to support scientific research dedicated to alleviating suffering from mental health conditions. Its website also provides extensive information about mental illnesses and new research discoveries.

7) Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation – A program of Boston University, CPR promotes research, education and service to improve the lives of persons with psychiatric disabilities. A unique feature of this center is its long-standing promotion of a recovery-based approach to treatment. The center’s extensive publications and other resources are a real treasure trove of helpful information.

8) Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – DBSA provides a national network of in-person support groups as well as online support groups, educational resources and a mental health provider locator service related to the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood-related disorders.

9) The Flawless Foundation – A relative newcomer compared to most of the other organizations on this list, The Flawless Foundation, founded by advocate Janine Francolini, strives to reduce stigma and raise awareness about mental health through a variety of progressive programs and initiatives, including a very active social media advocacy presence.

10) International OCD Foundation – The IOCDF promotes education, research and advocacy in the treatment and prevention of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They offer both professional resources and support for individuals and families. Additional sites feature information on hoarding disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.

I really do believe the old adage that knowledge is power. These organizations offer a wealth of useful information to help educate, empower, and support those with mental health conditions and the people who care about them.

Take some time to access these great resources, and feel free to support one or more of these organizations if you want to get more involved. I’ve covered the remaining 10 organizations on my top 20 list in a separate post.

Here’s a question: What other mental health organizations have you found helpful? Please leave a comment. Also, please subscribe to my blog and feel free to follow me on Twitter, “like” my Facebook page, or connect on LinkedIn. Thanks!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

10 Things Determined People Will Never Do (Which Make Them Successful)

If you’ve got a major goal and you’re serious about achieving it, you’ll never get there without a serious dose of determination! Determination is to success as oxygen is to life. It is a pre-requisite. Anyone who has ever achieved anything significant has done so on the back of their determination. The good news is regardless of how much determination you have shown to date, you can improve your levels of determination.
It all begins by eliminating these 10 behaviours…
The 10 Things Determined People Don’t Do
1. The Determined don’t give up on their goal, regardless of how tough things get! They have powerful reasons that force them to keep going and their ability to continue to fight while others drop off is what earns them the title while others watch on with envy.
If you want to be more determined, decide first that you will not give up until you achieve your goal. Get clear on your reasons why you must achieve it and what the consequences of failure are. The greater the consequences you have, the greater your level of determination.
2. The Determined don’t let Failure stop them. They understand they may fail initially and frequently but they will succeed eventually. They are resilient and this why they often make the greatest of comebacks!
However, what many fail to realise is their resilience stems from their flexibility. Bashing your head against a brick wall hoping it will break is not Determination. It’s stupidity. Determined people will continue to try new things and keep changing their approach until they achieve their outcome. The Determined are like a palm tree. They will bend in the wind and will always come back. The stubborn (who think they are determined) are often the ones who will end up broken and battered.
3. The Determined don’t let the fear of failure stop them. Most people with a dream give up before they even start because of a fear of failure. The Determined are the opposite. For them not having a go and not giving their all is a burden that is too much to bear. Their fear of having to admit they did not give their all is what motivates them to get started and then keep moving forwards
If the fear of failure is stopping you, set an immediate, painful and preferably public consequence for not starting. When you have a consequence that is more painful than your fear of failure, you’ll tap into your natural determination.
4. The Determined don’t let what they don’t know stop them. They are willing to grow, ask lots of questions and fall on their face a few times until they achieve their outcome.
Understand that your current limitations in life are not permanent. Your present situation is based on your past. Start taking new actions today and you’ll create a new future. Determination is only fruitful if you’re willing to use it to grow.
5. The Determined don’t fear rejection. They are willing to ask lots of people lots of times until they get what they want.
The greatest entrepreneurs, executives and salespeople are the ones who don’t let rejection stop them. Their reasons why they had to succeed were greater than their fear. Billionaire James Dyson failed 5, 126 times over 15 years before he successfully invented his first Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner. Determination in Action! Walt Disney was turned down by 302 bankers before he got the funding he needed.
The list of successful people who had to use their determination to overcome rejection is endless. If you want to achieve something significant, you’re going to be rejected. The only way you’ll overcome it is if you’re determined!
6. The Determined are not impulsive. They are patient, willing to wait for their opportunity to pounce. In today’s society, we are all about wanting everything right now. We look for instant success, instant riches and instant gratification. The Determined are completely different. They are prepared to wait until their turn shows up.
Donald Trump, love him or hate him, is one of the most determined people you’ll meet. He watched the building at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan for decades before making his move. Now that’s patience!
Sometimes what you want may not be possible right now and there may be nothing you can do about it. That’s fine. The determined don’t give up. They understand they can outwait their competition and their adversity if needed.
7. The Determined don’t let limiting beliefs stop them from moving forward. They don’t self-sabotage. Their attitude is they will find a way through regardless of what happens and they certainly won’t be standing in their own way.
Don’t let what you can’t do or what you don’t think you’re capable stop you from achieving what you want. Les Brown says, “To achieve something you’ve never achieved before, you need to become someone you’ve never been before.” That’s the Mantra of The Determined.
8. Determined People don’t shy away from adversity. If anything, they embrace it. They actively seek it out because they understand that every adversity has an advantage and they want to harness it.
By being so willing to take on adversity to achieve their goal, the Determined immediately put themselves ahead of everyone else who is intimidated by adversity. Not giving up when adversity strikes is the first part of the equation. Being prepared in advance so it doesn’t throw you off your game is the second part.
9. The Determined don’t require the approval of others. They couldn’t care less what others think. They only care what they think of themselves. Their subsequent high levels of self esteem allow them to take on bigger and bigger challenges.
Ensure you listen to your instinct. If it says to go for something while others say don’t, don’t listen to them. As Will Smith says, don’t listen to the Little Man. Learn to trust your instincts. It’s what you must do if you want to become more determined and achieve your goals.
10. The Determined are not lazy. They understand you can’t achieve a 10 Million Dollar Dream with a 10$ an Hour work ethic.
If you want to achieve your dreams, you have to out-work, out-hustle and out-think the competition. It’s not just the extra hours but what you do with the extra time that matters. Ensure you are taking the right actions toward achieving your dreams – otherwise, the extra hours won’t matter. Hard work that’s dumb is demoralising. Work hard but be smart as well!
It can be a long ride to the top and you have to be willing to do what it takes for as long as it takes. That’s determination. That’s what it will take. Are you ready?
by Niro Thambipillai

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

25 Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress


Hi everyone! Recently, I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to, and I apologize for that. I’ve been stressed with school, work, and other life happenings. Because I’ve had a lot of stress in my life recently, I want to talk to you all today about some healthy ways to handle the stressors of everyday life.

When we’re stressed out, it’s very easy to form unhealthy habits to cope with it. These unhealthy habits could include smoking, “eating our feelings” as I like to call it, drinking, or forming irregular sleeping patterns. Instead of succumbing to unhealthy stress relief methods, I have compiled a list of different ways we can positively deal with stress.

Here’s the list!

Start waking up earlier. The earlier you start your day, the more likely you are to be productive.

Prepare for the morning the night before. If you get your clothes, purse/bag, meals, etc. prepared for the next day right before you go to bed, you’ll be much more relaxed in the morning when you’re getting ready for your day.

Wear more comfortable clothes. If your work clothes are uncomfortable, see if you can purchase more comfortable ones. You will be a lot more relaxed if you have clothes that fit well.

Avoid relying on substance aids. Substance aids can include tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, or drugs of any kind. Unless you are prescribed something, try to avoid taking it to cope with your stress.

Keep an agenda. Whether you use your phone or keep a physical planner is up to you. If you make sure to write down appointments, deadlines, and important dates, you will be much less stressed because you won’t ever forget anything.

Check your agenda often. It doesn’t do you any good if you don’t look at it!

Say “no” more often. I’m guilty of being the type of person who tries to take on everything at once. It’s important to know when to say “no!” We are all just human. As much as we’d like to be perfect and do everything, we have limited time and energy. It’s okay to say “no” to things we can’t handle when we’re already busy and stressed.

Evaluate your priorities. We must find balance in our lives and prioritize the things that are really important to us.

Fix or abandon toxic relationships. We can have toxic relationships with anyone in our lives. I’ve personally had toxic relationships with friends and significant others. I’ve become much happier now that I’ve cut those people out of my life. However, not all toxic relationships are easily avoidable. If you have a toxic relationship with a family member, for example, you might want to work as hard as you can to fix it instead of abandoning that person altogether. It’s important for you to try to remove the toxicity from your life, regardless of how you do it.

Manage your time well. Spend more time on the things that are top priorities in your life, and you will find greater success in the areas that are important to you.

Focus on what you can control. Some of life’s stressors are out of our control. Instead of lingering on things you can’t change, try to work on the things you can change. Chances are, you will relieve so much stress just by shifting your focus.

Find opportunities in life’s challenges. Life presents us with challenges in many forms, and many of them contribute to our stress. Try taking a different perspective on challenges in your life. Instead of viewing them as challenges, turn them into opportunities.

Read a book. Taking an hour or two to sit down and read a great book will help your mood more than you realize. It’ll let you escape from your stress for a while and delve into a different world.

Watch a funny movie or TV show. Let yourself laugh a little by watching your favorite comedy.

Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or a professional, talking about your feelings to another person often helps to alleviate stress.

Write in a journal. If you don’t feel like talking to someone about your feelings, you could also write them down in a journal to get the negativity out of your system.

Have a bubble bath. Get your bath bombs ready. Relax and enjoy a nice bubble bath.

Cook yourself a healthy meal. Instead of getting fast food or takeout, opt to cook yourself a healthy meal. You might find that the act of cooking itself is a great stress reliever. And you’ll feel fantastic after eating a healthy, home-cooked meal!

Make time to exercise. Set aside a certain amount of time every day or week to exercise. You’ll feel great, boost your self-esteem, and love yourself more!

Pursue a passion project. A passion project is simply a project you can work on consistently that you are passionate about. (Mine is this blog!) Think about something you’re truly passionate about. It could be writing, cooking, painting, building things, etc. Then, set aside time each day or week specifically for your passion project. Doing the things we are passionate about helps us to relieve stress and live more fulfilling lives.

Spend time with your friends, family, and loved ones. Often, spending time with the people we love makes us feel happier. Call up your best friend to hang out or organize a family get-together.

Be extra kind to the people around you. Putting smiles on other people’s faces will warm your heart and make you a happier person. You could volunteer for a cause you care about or even do something as simple as holding the door for someone. Kindness and happiness often go hand in hand. Be extra kind, and lots of good karma will come your way.

Take a break from social media.  Social media can be very overwhelming sometimes. You may find that taking a break from it helps to relieve your stress. Your break could be for a couple of hours, or it could be for a week. Whatever you feel comfortable with doing!

Let go of the past. We can’t change the past, even when we wish we could. If there’s something in the past that you’re unnecessarily holding on to, make an effort to let it go and move on with your life. There’s no sense in stressing out over things that have happened in the past. We should learn from our mistakes in the past, but only focus on the present and future.

Smile! If you smile more often, you’ll likely feel at least a little happier just from the act of smiling. Give it a try!

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Originally posted on

10 Reasons Being An Introvert Is Not An Excuse For

by heidi preive
Now more than ever before, the Internet is brimming with articles on Introversion. Some version of “How to care for your Introvert” shows up on my newsfeed more times I can count in a day. And that’s great. Discovering your personality type is fantastic and identifying as an introvert can be life-changing. However, not all of these articles are doling out entirely healthy advice.
Lately – particularly on tumblr – I’ve noticed a large influx of articles that imply that it is every introvert’s right to bail on plans, avoid important conversations and generally take no responsibility for the social contracts they engage in, because they’re introverts, therefor the regular rules do not apply.
This, quite frankly, is bullshit. And it’s insulting to introverts everywhere. Nothing about drawing energy from within implies that introverts are unable to uphold social contracts or general life duties. And the more we encourage each other to “Stay in! Bail on your friends and watch Netflix in a snuggie until you feel better,” The more we are simply giving introverts everywhere a bad name. Here are ten scenarios where being an introvert is not an excuse for your behaviour. If you’re doing any of the below you’re not exercising your right to introversion, you are just plain being an asshole.
1.Flaking on plans.
Needing alone time is never a valid excuse to flake on plans that affect someone else, especially if it is hours (or minutes) before said plans were set to take place. We all want to bail on plans from time to time, regardless of our personality types. But doing so is not your right to self-care as an introvert – it’s making the decision that your own time and enjoyment is more important than someone else’s.
2.Obviously avoiding someone you know when you see him or her in public because you’re not big on small talk.
We all sneak away unnoticed from time to time. But if you are blatantly acknowledged by the other person, it is rude to bail on the situation regardless of how introverted you are. Nobody likes small talk. It’s just a necessary evil that we all have to endure from time to time – being an introvert does not get you a ‘Get out of small talk free’ card.
3.Hating other people.
Running for extended periods of time wears me out but I still love running. In the same vein, introverts can be tired by extended social interaction but still love and appreciate the people they’re interacting with. Hating other people has nothing to do with being an introvert – it is solely a product of being a miserable human being with low self-esteem. You don’t get to blame that unfortunate state on your personality.
4.Being passive-aggressive.
Disliking confrontation does not give you the right to deal with real issues through passive-aggressive behavior – especially if you expect those issues to get resolved. Rejection is just as hard to deal with for extroverts as it is for introverts. If you want something, ask for it. If you don’t ask for it (or at least overtly discuss it and make your desires clear), you don’t have a right to expect it. Easy as that.
5.Taking no responsibility for your social life.
It is nobody’s job but your own to ensure that you have plans for Friday night. If everyone is hanging out without you, it may be because you never expressed interest in joining. Your social life is your responsibility – if you don’t like the activities that are (or aren’t) being planned it’s your job to either say so or suck it up.
6.Giving someone the silent treatment while you think things over.
Needing time to think things over before formulating a response is definitely an introvert trait. However, it’s not a trait that entitles you to leave someone entirely in the dark while you’re mulling something over. This is extremely stressful and unfair to the other party. If they’re investing in a relationship of any kind with you, they deserve to have at least some insight as to what’s going on. Something as simple as “I’m upset but I need to think things over and will get back to you tomorrow,” is infinitely more respectful than radio silence.
7.Avoiding an important conversation.
There are some conversations that we owe it to others to have – for example when we encounter a major issue with an important relationship. If we’re letting problems fester and grow because we are uncomfortable talking about them, we’re damaging our relationships – which affects other people in the long run. Not gleaning energy from a conversation is no excuse not to have it.
8.Refusing to match the energy of others.
Generally speaking, introverts aren’t as quick to pick up on the energy of other people as extroverts are – and that’s fine. But in some situations we all fake a little bit of energy, regardless of whether or not we’re feeling it. When your friend gets a promotion, blandly replying “Yeah, cool” to their excited squeals is a cruel thing to do – regardless of how zapped you are at the time.
9.Neglecting your relationships in general.
If you are constantly bailing on hangouts, not initiating contact with your friends or family members and failing to reach out to your loved ones in their times of need, you are not exercising your right to be an introvert – you are being an asshole. And you will, rightfully, end up friendless.
10.Painting extroverts as shallow village idiots who are allergic to knowledge.
Some introverts have rich, creative inner worlds that they invest their energy into exploring. And some introverts are just shallow assholes who happen to not talk much. It’s the exact same deal with extroverts. Basing someone’s intellectual capacity on how often he or she speaks is arbitrary and pretentious. There is nothing inherently nobler about being either an introvert or an extrovert. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses – and which you choose to capitalize on defines what type of person you are.
originally posted on

How To Reduce Stress In Daily Life

The old saying that “Prevention is better than cure” certainly holds true for stress management. Regarded as a clinical problem, stress is experienced by almost every individual in varying forms and degrees every day.  This is primarily due to the hassles, demands and frustrations of daily life. Besides this, you would also be surprised to find out that much of your stress is also due to a disorganized, and cluttered lifestyle. In small doses, stress can definitely help motivate and stimulate you to get things done. But, if the level of pressure gets too high, it might affect your mental and physical functioning. Here are a few ways in which you can reduce and eliminate stress…

What is stress?

Stress is regarded as a normal physical response that is experienced when there is an imbalance between demands imposed on us and our ability to cope with them. Contrary to what most people believe, stress is not necessarily harmful. For many people, stress acts as a motivation to help them perform better.
However, when the level of stress surpasses our ability to cope with it, we often feel hassled and drained. Also, it is vital to understand that the same amount of stress may be different for different people. Tasks that are easy for you to handle might be quite stressful for a second individual. Hence, identifying our stress level is as important as recognizing the triggering factors.

Stress Response: The stress response is your body’s way of protecting you during conditions of emergency or extremely stressful situations. This theory dictates how an individual reacts to situations that are challenging – both physically and mentally. Whenever your body senses any kind of danger, it immediately triggers a rapid, automatic process called the “fight or flight” response or the stress response. This mechanism involves releasing hormones and glucose into your blood-stream to provide alertness and extra energy.

Major Causes of Stress or Stressors:
One of the biggest causes of present day stress is financial problems. Lack of money can lead to many unwanted situations like piling up of debts, credit card payments and other such conditions. In fact, financial stress tops the list of stressors as it takes a heavy toll on your mind and body.
Another major cause of stress is issues in the workplace like conflicts with colleagues, working for excessive hours or extra work pressure.
Sometimes, stress may also arise due to relationship hassles or conflicts with spouses, children and relatives.
Stress may also occur due to health concerns. Conditions like heart disease, hypertension or eye problems may become a major cause of life stress for many individuals.

Tips to Control Stress: In order to lead a healthy and stress-free life, it is vital to follow certain guidelines or steps. They will help you get a better control over life and alter the way you view stress or its trigger factors.

Regular Exercise: Not surprisingly, exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. A regular 20-30 minutes of physical activity every day is vital to decrease stress hormones like cortisol and increase your body’s feel good chemicals called endorphins. Besides this, certain forms of exercise like martial arts or boxing can act as an outlet for releasing all your vent-up emotions and frustrations.

Relaxation Techniques: This not only involves taking time to relax everyday but also employing certain basic relaxation techniques. This involves deep breathing techniques, meditation and practicing different yoga postures to relax your body muscles.

Balanced Diet: What you put inside your body also determines your ability to cope with stress or anxiety. A balanced diet comprising fresh fruits and vegetables is a must to reverse the negative impacts of stress and lead a healthy life.
Avoid Stressful Situations: As far as possible, ensure that you avoid unnecessary arguments, conflicts or any other stressful situation. Try to keep yourself calm in every way and avoid

indulging in unnecessary situations.
Sleep: Finally, a regular 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is also important to relax your mind and body. If you face any difficulty in sleep, you can also make use of relaxation techniques like listening to music or reading a book.

originally posted on

Monday, 2 October 2017

50 Inspiring Quotes to Help You Overcome the Fear of Failure

Based on hearing from readers of Pocket Changed, one of the biggest fears people have in their lives is failure.
Afraid they won't succeed if they try something new
Fear that they might never "make it" doing what they are passionate about
Fear that keeps them from following their heart
Life is too short to let fear make big decisions for you.
It is not easy to overcome the fear of failure, but once you build up the confidence to not let fear hold you back you'll acheive much more.
Today's post includes some of the best quotes to turn to when you are afraid to do something because you think you'll fail. I hope that at least in a small way this group of quotes inspires you to take more risks in your life and reach for your dreams.
"I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate." George Burns
"I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy." Tony Robbins
"You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." Wayne Gretzky
"Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable." Coco Chanel
"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure." George Edward Woodberry
"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." Johnny Cash
"Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success." Denis Waitley
"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" Vincent van Gogh
"I really don't think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don't mind the failure but I can't imagine that I'd forgive myself if I didn't try." Nikki Giovanni
"No man ever achieved worth-while success who did not, at one time or other, find himself with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure." Napoleon Hill
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." Theodore Roosevelt
"Do one thing every day that scares you." Eleanor Roosevelt
"There is no failure except in no longer trying." Elbert Hubbard
"Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes." James A. Froude
"A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it." Ambrose Bierce
"Don't be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed." Lily Tomlin
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." Michael Jordan
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Confucius
"Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not." Virgil Thomson
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." Steve Jobs
"Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it." Mia Hamm
"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." Andre Gide
"The only failure is not to try." George Clooney
"Fear is only as deep as the mind allows." Japanese Proverb
"If you're doing your best, you won't have any time to worry about failure." H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
"Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something." Morihei Ueshiba
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." Dale Carnegie
"Alfred Pennyworth: Took quite a fall, didn't we, Master Bruce? Thomas Wayne: And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up." Batman Begins
"Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise." Anonymous
"We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do." Samuel Smiles
"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." Bertrand Russell
"Failure is success if we learn from it." Malcolm Forbes
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Michael Jordan
"He knows the water best who has waded through it." Danish Proverb
"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic." Anonymous
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." Frank Herbert
"Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street." Zig Ziglar
"Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." Mike Ditka
"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." George Herman "Babe" Ruth
"The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." Buddha
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success." Dale Carnegie
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." Elbert Hubbard
"For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour." Mary Kay Ash
"Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure." Napoleon Hill
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." Bill Cosby
"One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again." Henry Ford
"No man is a failure who is enjoying life." William Feather
"Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." Robert H. Schuller
"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure." Abraham Lincoln
"Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out." Benjamin Franklin
Which of the above quotes resonated most with you? Or, let me know in the comments below if I missed your favorite quote about fear or failure
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originally posted on

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid

For all the time executives spend concerned about physical strength and health, when it comes down to it, mental strength can mean even more. Particularly for entrepreneurs, numerous articles talk about critical characteristics of mental strength—tenacity, “grit,” optimism, and an unfailing ability as Forbes contributor David Williams says, to “fail up.”However, we can also define mental strength by identifying the things mentally strong individuals don’t do. Over the weekend, I was impressed by this list compiled by Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker,  that she shared in LifeHack. It impressed me enough I’d also like to share her list here along with my thoughts on how each of these items is particularly applicable to entrepreneurs.

1.    Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. You don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They have learned to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes, and they have an inherent understanding of the fact that frequently life is not fair. They are able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such as “Oh, well.” Or perhaps simply, “Next!”

2. Give Away Their Power. Mentally strong people avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. They understand they are in control of their actions and emotions. They know their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.

3.    Shy Away from Change. Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge. Their biggest “fear,” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant. An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.

4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. Mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, lost luggage, or especially about other people, as they recognize that all of these factors are generally beyond their control. In a bad situation, they recognize that the one thing they can always control is their own response and attitude, and they use these attributes well.

5. Worry About Pleasing Others. Know any people pleasers? Or, conversely, people who go out of their way to dis-please others as a way of reinforcing an image of strength? Neither position is a good one. A mentally strong person strives to be kind and fair and to please others where appropriate, but is unafraid to speak up. They are able to withstand the possibility that someone will get upset and will navigate the situation, wherever possible, with grace.

6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks. A mentally strong person is willing to take calculated risks. This is a different thing entirely than jumping headlong into foolish risks. But with mental strength, an individual can weigh the risks and benefits thoroughly, and will fully assess the potential downsides and even the worst-case scenarios before they take action.

7. Dwell on the Past. There is strength in acknowledging the past and especially in acknowledging the things learned from past experiences—but a mentally strong person is able to avoid miring their mental energy in past disappointments or in fantasies of the “glory days” gone by. They invest the majority of their energy in creating an optimal present and future.

8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over. We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. Research shows that the ability to be self-reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.

9. Resent Other People’s Success. It takes strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success. Mentally strong people have this ability. They don’t become jealous or resentful when others succeed (although they may take close notes on what the individual did well). They are willing to work hard for their own chances at success, without relying on shortcuts.

10. Give Up After Failure. Every failure is a chance to improve. Even the greatest entrepreneurs are willing to admit that their early efforts invariably brought many failures. Mentally strong people are willing to fail again and again, if necessary, as long as the learning experience from every “failure” can bring them closer to their ultimate goals.

11. Fear Alone Time. Mentally strong people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone. They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. Most importantly, they don’t depend on others to shore up their happiness and moods. They can be happy with others, and they can also be happy alone.

12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything. Particularly in the current economy, executives and employees at every level are gaining the realization that the world does not owe them a salary, a benefits package and a comfortable life, regardless of their preparation and schooling. Mentally strong people enter the world prepared to work and succeed on their merits, at every stage of the game.

13. Expect Immediate Results. Whether it’s a workout plan, a nutritional regimen, or starting a business, mentally strong people are “in it for the long haul”. They know better than to expect immediate results. They apply their energy and time in measured doses and they celebrate each milestone and increment of success on the way. They have “staying power.” And they understand that genuine changes take time. Do you have mental strength? Are there elements on this list you need more of? With thanks to Amy Morin, I would like to reinforce my own abilities further in each of these areas today. How about you?

Cheryl Snapp Conner is a frequent speaker and author on reputation and thought leadership. You can subscribe to her team’s bi-weekly newsletter, The Snappington Post

Originally posted on forbes magazine...

Monday, 18 September 2017

5 Ways to Get Rid of Your Biggest Fear: Just Do it!!!

Think back to last time you really wanted to do something but didn’t? What stopped you from doing it? Did something change your mind? Was there a voice inside your head? Whatever the reason might have been, let’s take the time to stop and question what might be going on with our fears and how we can get beyond these fears so we can start pursuing things we’ve always wanted.

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Fear is an interesting little thing as it can act in ways where we don’t even know it is present. For example, we might want to do something that first requires a few things to come into place. The scenario might be getting a new job. Next thing we know we start saying to ourselves; “Well where would I work? How would I get there? How do I quit my current job? What if I can’t get another job?” These are only a few of many stories that we may begin looking into when we have that initial thought of changing our job situation. Although we sometimes call this; facing the reality of the situation and doing what’s realistic, truth is, this sequence of thoughts and rationalizations all stems from fear.

Here are some key of points to help you overcome your fears.

1) Feel The Fear and Move Forward Anyway

How many times have you been about to do something and fear is creeping up on you as you get closer and closer to doing it? In these times, right before you are about to jump with both feet in you feel the fear at its highest and then seconds or minutes into it all, the fear dissipates into nothing. This is by far one of the most powerful ways to get beyond and rid your fears. Just Do It! (Nike paid me to say that.. j/k) By taking the leap and confronting your fears, you do the one thing that we allow fear to stop us from doing -doing what scares us. My feeling is, more often than not, just doing it will get rid of the fear from that moment forward when it comes to the challenge you face.

2) Let Go of The Past

When we face a situation that we may have experienced before, fear can arise if the previous outcome made some kinda of undesirable impact on us. Maybe in the past we weren’t quite prepared for the experience, we needed to gain a lesson from it, or it just happened to turn out how it did. This doesn’t mean we need to close up and never go after it again. Looking back to the past and fearing a repeat outcome puts the control into the hands of one instance that no longer even exists! You are a new person in each moment and are ready to make adjustments as you go. Sometimes all it takes is a few small tweaks and what may have once provided a challenge in the past is now easy to move through. Either way you learned something! Let go of the past and try again!

3) Stop Looking For Obstacles

‘It’s too hard! I’m too tired! I don’t have time?’ I know these ones fairly well myself. There have been some situations in my life where I would have loved to do certain things and delayed them for quite some time due to these 3 sayings. Of course, these are not the only 3 excuses we like to come up with to put something off, but these certainly are common. Obstacles are one of the easiest ways for our minds to bury a fear. Obstacles appear real, they are quantitative and qualitative, they are easy to describe to others and others often agree with them. Given all of these qualities, it’s easy to see why we look out for obstacles all the time, but it does not mean that we are not using obstacles to mask our fears. After all, an obstacle is truly only as big as we make it. You can see it as a road block or as a necessary challenge along the path to your goal. See the obstacle for what it is, don’t give it anymore power than it needs and take the steps to move forward. There is little need to make them so serious.

4) Avoid Judging Outcomes

Have you ever been unsure of why something happened when it happens? Only to find out a few days, weeks or months later that it ended up greatly assisting your situation? It was inall moments leading up to your realization that you may have judged the experience as being bad, negative or not ideal. Instead of seeing the outcome as a succes no matter what, we define and categorize how it should have happened. This way of looking at our goals or choices creates fear in having certain outcomes play out. Often times the reason things happen the way they do is beyond our understanding at a particular time. We might want to judge or feel upset about why things happened, but they are part of a bigger plan. To help address your fears in this situation, go beyond reason and beyond judgement. There isn’t always an obvious reason why now is the time or why something might or might not happen. Go with how you feel beyond the unnecessary chatter of the mind and know that no matter the outcome, you successfully created that experience for yourself. It is likely the experience will provide you with positive growth no matter the outcome. After all, the mind is the only one who creates fear or who sees an outcomes as a failure.

5) Too Little, Too Late

How many times have you put off doing something only to find out it was now too late to have a go at it? I know myself I have experienced this one a few times and while regret might like to sneak its way in, that isn’t much help either. This one can also play with us in a couple ways. Either fear puts off what we are wanting to do, or the fear of having too little time makes us immobile because in the end we are afraid of failure. Either way, to address this fear is to simply take action. The journey is what’s important in the end. Whether the end result happens in time or not, it doesn’t help to keep putting things off. Let’s learn from our choices of waiting too long and choose to get going on actions now that we would like to take. When we get moving on something and face it head on, you notice quickly that your fears diminish.

My final thoughts are this when it comes to fears: they are there because something created them. Most of the time it was because of an experience of the past, judgment of an outcome or because we are afraid to fail. A combination of these thoughts exists in almost all of us and do nothing but create suffering and immobilization in what we want to do in life. While it may not be easy, starting today, take the steps to begin implementing some of these tactics when it comes to your fears. You can never fail, you are never wrong and there’s no need to judge or be judged on an outcome. I repeat due to its importance, the journey through life is what is most important, not the outcome. This goes for everything you choose to be part of.