5 Hard Truths for Every Black Woman Creative ~ Dee Rene

Being a creative is equal parts struggle and triumph. With a dash of doubt mixed between layers of relentless pursuit of your dreams. But although this is an incredible journey, it’s not one that you should enter into without understanding the realities to come.
It’s not all struggle and it’s for sure not all glamour. Go into this life prepared by embracing a few hard to swallow truths. 

There’s no such thing as an overnight success

Viola Davis and Regina King accepted their awards and it seemed to most of America that maybe they appeared out of no where. What most don’t realize is that “out of nowhere” was years and years of taking roles that no one else wanted, roles that no one else noticed, and working relentlessly to improve. Those “big breaks” are culminations of smaller breaks that opened up through persistence and many big loses too. As a creative, it will seem that you “should” be to the epitome of your success by now. Don’t get lost in the “shoulds” of life and beat yourself down for not reaching the bar yet. The secret to overnight success is tot keep going every day, every night. Get feedback. Improve. Adjust. But never stop. Just keep going. 

You don’t need to get a “real job” but struggle doesn’t have to be part of your story 

Broke is not a good color on you. There’s nothing noble about being a creative who can’t feed themselves. Most people avoid a “real job” not in their creative field because it might drain their soul or take hours away from their creative project. However, you don’t need to be a martyr to your art in order to prove how dedicated you really are to the project. Instead you need to turn off the tunnel vision and broaden the scope of your talent. A true creative can make a Monet out of a mud hill. Use your resources to make money, still using some of your talent, so that you can fuel and fund your main project. If you’re an artist who wants to sell paintings that’s great, but if that’s not paying the bills right now what else can you do? Can you design tattoos? Logos? Don’t take your eyes off your final goal but take a moment to look around and decide where there’s money you may be missing.

Plot twist: Your friends are often not your biggest supporters 

When I first started writing, I expected my friends to share my writing world-wide and to stand at the gates of my blog with pom-poms. Much to my surprise that wasn’t the case with some of my closest friends. As a creative, your work becomes part of your heart and it can hurt when friends don’t go hard for you. Friends support you as a person but some of your closest friends may not give two clicks about your work in the way that you THINK they should. Some of your friends may support the work quietly with congratulations and a thoughtful text. Other’s may not. Don’t hang your head and wonder if you work is all that great if your friends don’t turn into fans. Understand that close friends may not be your biggest fan and that is not indicative of your worth as a creative or even of your friendship. Friends play different roles and supporting you as a whole person may not always mean pouring 100% support in every area of your life. The same way that you have friends who are great supporting relationship issues but horrible at providing career advice. Be grateful for whatever way they do support and don’t get so focused on who isn’t supporting that you forget to be grateful for those that do. 

It starts and ends with you 

There’s no Superman to come rescue you Louise Lane. Along this path there will be mentors, peers, fans and supporters to help connect you to the right people to get to your big break. However, the thing that will get you to success – the work – starts and ends with you. People who succeed weren’t just born talented. Talent doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t willing to do the work. If you aren’t willing to write, work with an editor and accept feedback, how will you sell a book? If you aren’t willing to research other artist and learn technique, how will you create the best art possible? Masters are students first. 

The success of your creative venture rests in your willingness to work, edit, start again, and try. No one can do it for you. It starts and ends with you. 

Living your truth will change your life 

There are a million ways to be a singer other than being Beyonce. Find an outlet for your creative roles. You were born a creative for a reason and no matter what anyone says, if it makes your heart smile, then you keep creating. Too many artists are locked up in cubicle prisons doodling masterpieces on meeting notes. They gave up long ago because they never made it to a gallery. Don’t be that person. Even if you’re an artist for 3 hours a day in your living room or selling small paintings on Instagram, do not let the creative part of you die. Do not choke the life out of your creative spirit because someone or something told you that it was a silly dream. Living your truth – that you are a creative – will change your life. Set your soul free and feed it the art, music, writing and whatever else it needs to thrive. 

A creative is a life calling. Your moment will come if you keep going, keep improving, and don’t let the doubts take you over. Remember there’s no overnight success, you don’t have to go broke and it all starts and ends with the work you put into this life. This is your calling. Your moment will come. Rejoice with the people that support you and forget the rest. It’s time to let this change your life and live completely in your truth. 

Welcome to life as a creative.

http://www.forharriet.com/2015/11/5-hard-truths-for-every-black-woman.html#axzz3s9FbJLy6

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Depression Slideshow: Tips for Exercise, Diet and Stress Reduction ~ WebMD

Young thoughtful woman, indoors

Tips for Recovering From Depression

If you’ve had depression, you know how hopeless you can feel. It’s important to get professional treatment. But there are things you can do to ease symptoms of depression. Exercise, changing your diet, and even playing with a pet can improve your mood. Click to the next slide to see how you can start regaining control of your life.

 
 

Woman sitting with dog on jetty, rear view

Let Your Pet Nuzzle Blues Away

Sometimes your pet really can be your best friend — and that’s good therapy. When you play with your pet, you take your mind off your problems. Also, when you take care of your pet you’re fulfilling a commitment to something outside yourself. Caring for others can be very therapeutic.

 
 

Young woman at table with plate of food, smiling

Eat Smart to Lift Mind and Body

There’s a connection between mind and body. Although there is no specific diet that works for depression, a healthy diet can be part of an overall treatment plan. Build your diet around plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help boost your physical and emotional health.

 
 
 

Salmon fillet with spinach and lemon wedge

Choose Foods to Boost Your Mood

Some studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 — especially for people for may not get enough of these nutrients — may ease the mood changes that are part of depression. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids. So do flaxseed, nuts, soybeans, and dark green vegetables. Seafood and low-fat dairy products are sources of B12. Vegetarians who eat no meat or fish can get B12 in fortified cereals, dairy products, and  supplements.

 
 

Fresh popcorn in carton

Try Low-Fat Carbs for a Pick-Me-Up

Serotonin is a brain chemical that enhances your sense of well-being. Carbohydrates raise the level of serotonin in your brain. Low-fat carbs such as popcorn, a baked potato, graham crackers, or pasta are options. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grain options also provide fiber.

 
 

Businessman crushing coffee cup

Drink Less Caffeine to Improve Mood

Do you really need that third cup of coffee? Anxiety can accompany depression. And too much caffeine can make you nervous, jittery, or anxious. While possible links between caffeine and depression haven’t been definitively established, cutting back on caffeinated drinks may help lower your risk of depression and improve sleep. 

 
 
 

Man with headache

Treat Your Aches and Pains

Feelings of depression can be related to pain. Work with your health care team to treat your depression and your pain.

 
 

couple on a treadmill in a gym

Exercise to Change the Way You Feel

For some people, exercise works almost as well as antidepressants. And you don’t have to run a marathon. Just take a walk with a friend. As time goes on, increase activity until you exercise on most days. You’ll feel better physically, sleep better at night, and improve your mood.

 
 

Two men on outdoor basketball court

Choose an Exercise You Enjoy

If you don’t like to run, you won’t last long training for a marathon. But you will stay with a moderate exercise you enjoy. For instance, try walking, golfing without a cart, riding a bike, working in your garden, playing tennis, or swimming. The important thing is to pick something you like. Then you’ll look forward to it and feel better when you do it.

 
 
 

Group of women with instructor in exercise class

Exercise With Others for Support

Staying connected with other people helps overcome the lethargy, exhaustion, and loneliness of depression. Join an exercise group or exercise with a friend. You’ll stay connected. And you’ll have support to help you stay on track!

 
 

Woman opening curtains, looking out window

Be Sure You Get Enough Sunlight

Do you feel more depressed during darker, cold months? You may have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. SAD is most common in the winter, when there’s less sunlight. SAD can be treated with light therapy or exposure to artificial sunlight, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.

 
 

Woman photographing forest on digital camera

Explore Your Creativity

Painting, photography, music, knitting, or writing in a journal: These are all ways people explore their feelings and express what’s on their mind. Being creative can help you feel better. The goal isn’t to create a masterpiece. Do something that gives you pleasure. It may help you better understand who you are and how you feel.

 
 
 

Man sitting in woods listening to music

Make Time for Mindful Relaxation

Stress and anxiety can increase your depression symptoms and make it harder to recover. Learning to mentally relax can help restore a sense of calm and control. You might consider a yoga or meditation class. Or you could simply listen to soothing music while you take a long, hot bath.

 
 

Group of people lifting wall of unfinished house

Become Actively Involved

Being involved with others can help you regain a sense of purpose. And it doesn’t take much to get started. Try volunteering with a charity. Or join a discussion group at the library or at church. Meeting new people and doing new things will help you feel good about yourself.

 
 

smiling family having a meal at a picnic table

Keep Friends and Family in Your Life

The people who love you want to support you. If you shut them out, they can’t. If you let them in, you’ll feel a lot better. Call a friend and go for a walk. Have a cup of coffee with your partner. You may find it helps to talk about your depression. It feels good to have someone listen.

 
 
 

Young woman sleeping, close-up

Get the Healthy Sleep You Need

Depression interferes with healthy sleep. Some people with depression sleep too much. Others can’t fall asleep easily. As you recover from depression, relearn good sleep habits. Start by going to bed and getting up the same time each day. Use relaxation techniques to help you fall asleep. Healthy sleep makes you feel better physically and mentally.

 
 

Man sitting at bar looking at glass of liquor

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs can slow or prevent recovery from depression. They can also make your depression worse and interfere with the medicines you take for depression. If you have a problem with substance abuse, ask for help now. You’ll have a far better chance of recovering from depression.

 
 

Female Doctor Talking to Patient

Continue Your Treatment

The steps outlined in these slides may help you feel positive about your life. But alone, they’re not enough. They won’t replace medical treatment or talk therapy. Depression is a serious illness, and it carries a risk of suicide. If you are thinking about suicide, seek help immediately. And never stop or change treatment without discussing it carefully with your doctor.

 

http://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-diet-stress-exercise?ecd=wnl_men_100215&ctr=wnl-men-100215_nsl-ld-stry_img&mb=RbO7%2fvTOx1EjKOU4pPXoLChonS%2fH3cwyP02j5xZ6yv4%3d&print=true

17 Adorable Photos of Dads Doing Just About Anything for Their Daughters ~ Christen Grumstrup

1. This dancing duo 

 

2. So he was little red riding hood 

 

 

3. Twins! 

 

 

4. This trooper: 

 

 

5. This dad who got real creative 

 

He would most likely do anything for her

6. Tea Time, anyone? 

 

 

7. Or this dad who decided to brave a One Direction concert. 

 

Earplugs and all. 

8. Just playing princesses…of course. 

 

 

9. You can paint my nails while I play video games. 

 

 

10. This team… 

 

 

11. that can get through anything 

 

 

12. These two cuties getting their breakfast on. 

 

 

13. This dad who is just going with the flow. 

 

 

14. This guy taking one for the team 

 

 

15. More tea, anyone? 

 

 

16. Besties 

30 questions to ask your kid instead of how was your day ~ Sara Goldstein

When I picked my son up from his first day of 4th grade, my usual (enthusiastically delivered) question of “how was your day?” was met with his usual (indifferently delivered) “fine.”

Come on! It’s the first day, for crying out loud! Give me something to work with, would you, kid?

The second day, my same question was answered, “well, no one was a jerk.”

That’s good…I guess.

I suppose the problem is my own. That question actually sucks. Far from a conversation starter, it’s uninspired, overwhelmingly open ended, and frankly, completely boring. So as an alternative, I’ve compiled a list of questions that my kid will answer with more than a single word or grunt. In fact, he debated his response to question 8 for at least half an hour over the weekend. The jury’s out until he can organize a foot race.

Questions a kid will answer at the end of a long school day:

  1. What did you eat for lunch?
  2. Did you catch anyone picking their nose?
  3. What games did you play at recess?
  4. What was the funniest thing that happened today?
  5. Did anyone do anything super nice for you?
  6. What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
  7. Who made you smile today?
  8. Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
  9. What new fact did you learn today?
  10. Who brought the best food in their lunch today? What was it?
  11. What challenged you today?
  12. If school were a ride at the fair, which ride would it be? Why?
  13. What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
  14. If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?
  15. If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
  16. Did anyone push your buttons today?
  17. Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?
  18. What is your teacher’s most important rule?
  19. What is the most popular thing to do at recess?
  20. Does your teacher remind you of anyone else you know? How?
  21. Tell me something you learned about a friend today.
  22. If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who do you wish they would take? Why?
  23. What is one thing you did today that was helpful?
  24. When did you feel most proud of yourself today?
  25. What rule was the hardest to follow today?
  26. What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?
  27. Which person in your class is your exact opposite?
  28. Which area of your school is the most fun?
  29. Which playground skill do you plan to master this year?
  30. Does anyone in your class have a hard time following the rules?

 

https://medium.com/synapse/30-questions-to-ask-your-kid-instead-of-how-was-your-day-26be75072f13

I’m an Adult and I Have No Idea How to Make Friends by Kate

I have no friends.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. That’s actually a hugely hyperbolic statement. Who do I think I am? I do have friends. They are some of the greatest people to exist on this planet. I worship the ground they walk upon and the air that carries the vibrating energy of our group chat messages. My friends are the best.

It’s just that my friends don’t live in my city. They don’t live in my country. They don’t even live on the same continent as me.

So, disregarding the people I have only been able to virtually communicate with for the past year and a half, I have no friends.

And that’s a weird, uncomfortable feeling. For a lot of folks, you go through your first 21 years with a warm and fuzzy cushion of friends. You have your childhood friends and your high school friends and then maybe you have your college friends. You meet them in your neighborhood because your mothers arranged a playdate, or they sit next to you in first period band rehearsal, or you partner with them in some morning TA session and discover you both hate the same people. These are your friends, and they sort of just happen, and it takes very little effort on anyone’s part, because the paths of your lives magically create opportunities for friendships to ferment and brew.

And then you’re thrust into the rest of your life, the one that exists outside of academia and is for all intents and purposes “real,” and suddenly you don’t know how to make friends. You know how to make dates. Because really, you have the best friends in the world that any gal could possibly want. You’re not really looking to fill a gap in the friendship circle. You’re looking to fill other well-known gaps, right? You’ve got apps for hookups and sexy meetups and specific weird little kinks. It takes 17 muscles — which is nothing in the context of muscle movement — to tap twice on a screen, and those two taps are all it takes to gain yourself a sexual partner for the evening, or the rest of the year. But does that app find you a friend? No, not really, not unless it has benefits.

This is knowledge that has terrified me to my very bones. I know how to find a partner. It’s stupid easy to do, and it takes very little effort on my part besides downloading something on my phone or making a profile on my computer. But I have no idea how to make friends. None. I don’t even know how I made all my friends the first time. It’s not like I was following social cues or particular rituals. I didn’t find them on an app because they were 0.5 km away from my current location. I wasn’t thinking about the best way to have a meet-cute, or practicing my brooding looks so we’d lock eyes across a room and never let go. They just… happened. And now that I’m in a city with no friends and no leads and no classrooms full of shared experiences, I have no idea how to replicate those experiences.

“Okay, well, just go out. Meet people in pubs or something.”

But people who are drinking aren’t usually trying to make friends. Most of them would rather get laid. And if they’re there to ‘make friends,’ it’s kind of weird. Even in a country of friendly pubgoers, there’s a fine, fine line, and it’s usually been crossed by 10 PM. Plus, alcohol doesn’t make me feel more comfortable or friendly, it just makes me want to sing Bruce Springsteen and think about how much I miss all of my friends.

“Join a club.”

What kind of club? The magical more time club? Dude, I am working. I am working all the time. I am Bette times thirty thousand this month, I have time for nothing and I am fucking in an elevator or something, it’s hot in here. I am so busy that I can’t even remember what my outside interests are, or whether or not they would have an associated club.

“Do a sport.”

I cannot do a sport. I am bad at the sport.

“Just talk to people. It’ll naturally happen.”

I am impatient. And lonely. And sometimes I realize that saying thank you to the bus driver was the extent of my non-work social engagement for the day, and I feel really bad about it.

I am in a wonderful relationship. Being with that person is super awesome — there is no denying that we love doing things together and I never get sick of her, like, ever. But I’m an adult person, and sometimes an adult person wants to do a social activity with a friend. Or maybe that adult person wants a group of friends to just hang, or take a walk, or go to the pub and be silly. It feel so, so sad and kind of pathetic when I type it out, but it’s true. I don’t know how to make friends, and yet something inside of me desperately needs to make friends. It makes sense, but I still feel this weird little shame about it, like I’m not adulting right. Other adults must have lots of friends, right? And other adults must be able to just live independently and do cool stuff by themselves, right? I know it’s bullshit, but the crazy thing about life is that the bullshit sometimes feels exactly like the realest thing that’s ever been real, and it sticks to you quicker than mud.

So, I have a proposal: I’m going to try to make friends. I’m going to do it for me, and for the rest of us adults who are adulting in places without friends, in new jobs and new lives and totally befuddling social situations. But I’m going to do it with apps and technology, so that the process is replicable for the rest of you. I’ll record my experiences and rate my success at each stage. You’ll see me try four different methods, and you’ll figure out if that method might work for you, too. More than likely, this will be humiliating for me on multiple levels. It will no doubt get awkward. But this will be very entertaining for y’all, so I do what I must.

Here’s to meeting people, making friends, and successful adulting! And not spilling something on the other person when we interact. Prepare for spillage on this journey.

http://www.autostraddle.com/im-an-adult-and-i-have-no-idea-how-to-make-friends-302706/

Black is beautiful because we are forever by BuzzFeed Yellow

Because BuzzFeed Makes Everything Better. It is important to understand the significance and history of why black lives matter. Here, BuzzFeed staff discuss when they first learned to be proud of something that has historically and socially been demonized, their blackness. Enjoy!

The Hug That Ruined My Son’s Birthday Party ~ The Good Men Project

Photo: Kidstock/Getty Images

By Allison B. Carter

He looked crushed, his open arms falling limply by his side. My son simply refused to hug him.

“Go hug him,” intense words (not from me) followed.

But my child was adamant; he did not want to hug his relative.

I stood firmly rooted in place watching the interaction and feeling uncomfortable. Seeing my son required to hug his relative felt wrong.

Much has been said on this topic already, especially in regards to girls, so I know I am not alone. But as a mom to boys, there is a surprising reason why this bothers me.

The popular, worn argument is that if kids are forced to engage in physical contact they don’t want, even if it is friendly and familiar, they are vulnerable to unwanted physical contact in later years. Leading, perhaps, to their rape and molestation.

CNN reporter Katia Hetter wrote in her powerful article from 2012, “Forcing children to touch people when they don’t want to leaves them vulnerable to sexual abusers, most of whom are people known to the children they abuse, according to Ursula Wagner, a mental health clinician with the FamilyWorks program at Heartland Alliance in Chicago.”

Three years later, this issue is still very much on parents’ minds. Recently Everyday Feminism posted an article I have seen many times in my Facebook feed.  Writer James St. James lists seven reasons why children should never be forced to hug anyone. All of these are striving to keep children’s boundaries and their instinctive nature to protect themselves from sexual predators intact.

While the danger is higher for girls, boys are still sexually molested at a rate of 1 in 20. This scares me. This should scare all of us.

But there is a part to this that no one is talking about, one that tickles the back of my mind in the scary sleepless nights.

I don’t want my sons to learn that it is okay to force physical touch.

Let me put it this way: while I don’t my sons to be vulnerable to sexual molestation later in their lives, I don’t want them to sexually molest anyone either.

Clearly, I couldn’t imagine this actually happening. My sons are six and three. They are sweet, innocent, and honest. But I don’t think any mother anticipates a rape allegation made against her son.

During their formative years, my family and I need to model for my sons how to patiently wait for enthusiastic consent before forcing or coercing contact.

This is hard to digest. Sex and physical touch are tough topics to teach on a good day. There are things we don’t say piled on things we can’t say. There are expectations without any written rules.

In addition to how to say “no” to unwanted sexual contact, my sons must learn to wait for enthusiastic consent before they make advances on someone else. I am not teaching them this if I force them to hug someone against their will. It seems, rather, that I am teaching them that consent doesn’t matter if the physical activity is “the right thing to do.” Or, even worse, because it is “expected.”

It may seem like a far stretch from requiring my children to hug their aunts and uncles to raising sexually forceful men.

But young men are under scrutiny. They are being pushed to new standards of responsibility before they engage in sexual activities. Universities are rushing to redefine what rape means. Women who have spent years silenced are finding the burden of proof in the he-said/she-said game slightly lighter.

These newly defined standards are good and, as a woman who attended the University of Virginia and followed the recent rape story closely, I am fully supportive of this change. Yet I think of the impact this will have on my boys.

This American Life had a powerful episode wherein boys at a college fraternity were asking blunt and open questions about what “consent” really means. Posing situations to a trained female professional, the kids were asking for concrete answers as to how this new standard translated to real life situations. They didn’t receive any clarity, though, because what could happen is endless. A man can’t predict everything; he certainly can’t predict another person’s behavior.

My boys may be on a college campus someday, possibly even in a similar fraternity session, confused by the same questions. I actually feel compassion for them. The college boys recorded seemed like good men trying to get answers on a very confusing issue, trying to find a way to ensure they didn’t cross any lines.

“Consent is consent and it should be obvious,” we say. Or we say, “Your answer is to wait for enthusiastic consent.”

But those words seem hollow if we don’t ask these same boys for their consent, enthusiastic or not, during their youth. And yes, that can be as simple as waiting for their enthusiastic consent before they hug the people that love them.

To be clear, I want my boys to hug their relatives. But I want them to do it enthusiastically. I want them to hug because it is a natural extension of their love.

My hope is that this will teach them that waiting for consent is what people who love each other do.

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/the-hug-that-ruined-my-sons-birthday-party-125962401278.html

One Big Thing You Can Do to Help a Loved One with Depression ~ Korin Miller

One Big Thing You Can Do to Help a Loved One with Depression

If you know someone struggling with depression, some simple words can make a positive difference. (Photo: Stocksy/Ronnie Comeau)

Fans of Jared Padalecki were concerned when the Supernatural star sent out cryptic tweets late last week, canceling scheduled appearances.

“Dear and . I am in desperate and urgent need of my family. I am so sorry to tell you this but I must head home.

He followed that up with another message:

“I need all of the love I can get right now. Please please give me a few seconds of your time and write me.

Padalecki’s #AlwaysKeepFighting hashtag is a reference to a shirt he designed to benefit the nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), which supports people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. The 32-year-old actor recently told Variety that he struggles with depression, and said he began to feel better after taking a step back from his hectic work schedule. 

Actor Jared Padalecki recently revealed his experiences with depression. (Photo: Corbis/Joe Stevens)

“There’s no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you’re still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You’re here,” he said.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 3 to 5 percent of people suffer from depression at any given time, and the lifetime risk is 17 percent. The condition is often treated through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. But while we don’t know what type of treatment Padalecki has undergone, if any, outreach from fans seems to have helped on some level. He later issued the following tweet:

“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and soul, for your love and support. It’s going to good use. All of my love and

If Padalecki was impacted by positive affirmations, could they be helpful for other people suffering from depression? 

Absolutely, says clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, PhD, author of Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy

Positive affirmations can help people who are feeling depressed by getting them to change their focus, he tells Yahoo Health: “When someone is depressed, nearly all of their mental energy goes toward negative thoughts and feelings. Changing the focus of one’s thoughts can have a chain reaction from thoughts to feelings to actions.”

Positive feedback can move people with depression along in this chain and help rework the way they perceive the world and themselves, says licensed clinical psychologist Simon Rego, PsyD, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Changing a person’s thoughts can impact their feelings, he explains, so by hearing more balanced and self-affirming thoughts as well as thinking them, a person can often feel better as a result. 

How can you tell if someone is clinically depressed? Rego tells Yahoo Health that someone is typically depressed if he or she has symptoms for at least two weeks (including difficulty sleeping, appetite changes, low energy, and thoughts of life not being worth living) and these symptoms have an impact on the ability to function at home, at work, or socially.

Have a loved one struggling with depression? In addition to encouraging them to seek treatment, Rego says there are several types of affirmations you can provide that can help: 

  1. Validating statements: Trying to let the person know how hard it must be for them, and that their problems are real. 
  2. Accepting statements: Letting the person know that you’re there for them no matter what.
  3. Encouraging statements: Gently pushing the person to keep trying, despite how they might feel. 

Kindness goes a long way, too, Michaelis says: “Just letting someone know that you care about them can have a major impact.”

https://www.yahoo.com/health/one-big-thing-you-can-do-to-help-a-loved-one-with-119370701352.html

5 Hawaiian Words To Redefine Health, Happiness And Power In Your Life

For many first-time visitors, Hawaii is a place where perfect weather and pristine beaches make for good vacationing and pretty postcards.

But Hawaii is much more than its idyllic setting. For native Hawaiians and those lucky enough to call the islands home, Hawaii is a way of life and a way of thinking. The native Hawaiian concepts of pono, aloha, aina, ohana and mana are crucial to understanding how Hawaii has consistently ranked as the least stressed and happiest state in America.

Apply these concepts to your own life and you may begin to understand what all the fuss is about.

1. Pono generally translates to righteousness. According to actor Jason Scott Lee, who grew up in Hawaii, living pono means living “with a conscious decision to do the right thing in terms of self, others, and the environment.” The idea that moral character leads to happiness has been around since Aristotle, but few places incorporate the idea into everyday life as much as Hawaii. The importance of pono, or doing what is morally right and selfless, is even found in the state’s motto: “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono,” or “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

hawaii helping

2. Aloha: When you look up “aloha” in the Hawaiian dictionary, every warm and fuzzy word in the English language pops up: love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity. Aloha is most often used as a greeting or parting phrase to create an atmosphere of friendliness and love, but the aloha spirit is a part of everything in Hawaii: people surf with aloha, cook with aloha, and even write work emails with aloha. It’s as if people in Hawaii are constantly surrounded by an affirmation or mantra to live life with love.

lei heart

3. Aina means land. Life in Hawaii is lived outdoors — malls, homes, offices, and even the airport are built with open-air walkways, large windows, or lanais (balconies or patios) so you’re never fully indoors. Native Hawaiians see their identities and wellbeing entwined with the land, and so respecting it and living in it are of the utmost importance. You don’t have to live in a tropical paradise to be connected to nature, however. A recent Canadian program initiated by the David Suzuki Foundation challenged participants to get out into nature for 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days. According to Dr. Elizabeth Nisbet who conducted the research, participants reported “significant increases in their sense of well-being, feeling more vitality and energy, while feelings of stress, negativity, and sleep disturbances were all reduced.” Simply having lunch outside or taking a stroll through a park can help reconnect you to the aina.

nature man laptop hawaii

4. Ohanaas the movie Lilo & Stitch taught us, means family. The word comes from oha, which is the highly revered taro plant, and it signifies that all ohana come from the same root. No matter how distantly ancient Hawaiians were related, they recognized that they all came from the same root and thus were all part of the same family. Ohana is more generally used to describe any group of people with a common bond; people in Hawaii have a community ohana, a friends ohana, even a work ohana. One of the clearest findings from happiness research is that humans are social creatures — we need to feel like we’re part of a group and that we have support and security. Imagine how differently you would feel if you approached your work colleagues like they were your family.

coworkers hugging

5. Mana translates to mean power, but the native Hawaiian concept of power doesn’t equate to material possessions or what floor your office is on. Mana is a life energy that flows through all things and is highly individual: you have a chance to gain or lose mana in everything you do. In Fundamentals of Hawaiian Mysticism, Charlotte Berney explains that, “Having meaningful work to do, enjoying harmonious relationships with those around you, and being of service in some way all help to gather mana.”

Perhaps one of the best examples of mana can be seen in the late Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s life and career. The beloved Inouye was often described as soft-spoken, modest, and a man of integrity, and his mana led him to be the second longest-serving senator in U.S. history. His last word was “aloha.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/hawaiian-health-and-happiness_n_3854391.html

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