Tag Archives: Health

Research on Well-being and Aging: Comparison between U.S. and Japan


We have only begun to look at the evidence, but it appears that different aspects of well-being matter for health in different ways depending on the cultural context where people reside

Source: blogs.plos.org

 

Well-being in the West is formulated more in terms of the individual and how he or she may feel about how they’re doing in life.

 

In the East, well-being is much more about the self embedded within social relationships; for example, how well you’re doing in meeting your obligations to others.

 

In the U.S., self-report tools ask people to report on their levels of positive and negative affect. Usually the two types of affect tend to be inversely correlated. Emotions are strongly related to people’s health in the U.S.: those with more positive and less negative affect report better health. This is true even when we look at more objective health criteria, like stress hormones, or other biological risk factors.

 

That is not true in Japan. Both affects tend to be more moderately reported. That is, there is no cultural prescription for feeling mostly positive emotion and not feeling much negative. In Japan there’s nothing wrong with feeling negative emotion; it’s not viewed as something amiss that possibly needs to be fixed in therapy

 

In the West, the core objective is to get people out of the experience of negative emotion – whether it’s anxiety or depression. The way that well-being tries to do that is to get patients to focus on their experiences of well-being by keeping daily diaries of positive experience.

 

In Japan therapy is designed to treat distressed or maladjusted people, but the focus is not on fixing emotions. In fact, they are viewed as beyond the person’s control. Emotions come and go and people do not control them. They may be positive or negative, and you can observe them, but it’s not worth your time to try to fix them. What you can fix is what you do. So the therapy tries to get people to shift into thinking not so much about how they feel, but what they are doing.

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7 psychological reasons for diet failure


healthHealth

Do you keep failing to lose weight? Your mindset might be preventing successful weight loss. Find out how to change this.

Source: low-carb-support.com

This apply to any kind of change, not only for loosing weight :

We all don’t like discomfort and change is about making you uncomfortable, so embrace it rather than trying to avoid the pain.

No pain no gain: yes if you want changes that last you will have to give up some things you really enjoy but the key is to replace habits that don’t serve your goals by new habits you equally enjoy

Focus on the process rather than on the end results, nothing is happening overnight.

Check if you are mentally and physically equipped to make the changes you need. It is better to postpone starting a change project if it is not the right timing rather than trying for a couple of days or week, failing and blaming yourself for lack of will power. It will sure make your self-esteem goes down

Have Your Made New Year Resolutions ?

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Giving is Growing !


‘We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.’ Sir Winston Churchill

Being altruistic benefits the person being helped but has also many benefits for the person who is giving.  According to Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation in the UK, evidence shows that helping others is beneficial for your own mental health and well-being.

It can:

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

• reduce stress
• improve emotional wellbeing
• benefit physical health
• bring a sense of belonging and reduce isolation
• help us live longer
• get rid of negative feelings

Good deeds don’t need to take a lot of time or even cost money. Small changes can make a big difference. The Foundation organize every year a “Mental Health Awareness Week”. This year it runs from May 21 – May 27, 2012 and its asking its Facebook fans to get involved by carrying out acts of kindness for strangers and posting on their —> Facebook Page 

For more information about how helping others can be beneficial for your mental health, read  Doing Good? report  (free download)

Incidentally, I am currently participating  with Karleen Harp and Patty Farmer as a team in a social event on Facebook called “Marvelous May” and organized by Keri Francek Jaehnig at Idea Girl Media. This is also a “giving event”.

The idea is to provide support to grow individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations by trading knowledge and time for a world of wisdom: Check our Facebook page   “The World Of Help” 

Our mission is to help the community members connecting the dots between specific problems they have and experts who have the answers. Our Facebook page and Twitter keep people updated with ideas and tips.

Our Vision : We empower people by giving them the platform to trade their ideas and time for feedbacks and word of mouth promotion of blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter , Linkedin and all social networks

Happy Giving !

Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Grief and Loss – AARP


All men die, but not all men really live~William Wallace

This is a very serious subject and  I would like you to think about it. Do you really live the life you want? Are your compromising your dreams to meet someone ‘else agenda. Do you think you had no choice so you live a life you do not enjoy fully?  Do you simply take time to explore your dreams before you are too old or too sick to make them true ?

Bronnie Ware worked for many years in palliative care. Her  patients were those who had gone home to die. On their dying bed, when questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, five common themes surfaced.  I am going to list those top 5 regrets and put some personal comments for you to think about it

 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. It’s important to try to honor at least some of your dreams along the way. It’s too late once you lose your health. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

For years I have kept a journal where I write my dreams, small or big, without checking if they are feasible or not. This exercise helps you being conscious of what you passionately want, I check it regularly and add new ones but I am always amaze to see I have achieved some of my dreams almost effortlessly as they were in my mind when choices had to be made.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.  We sacrifice our Youth, Health, Time and Love for money and other materialistic things yet those most precious things cannot be bought with money. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do.

 3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Being able to recognize and express your negative emotions such as anger, resentment,  frustration and communicate  your worries and doubts safely with friends or family members is certainly helping reducing stress. Chronic (long-term) stress caused by stressful situations or events that last over a long period of time can trigger health problems. If you already have a health problem, stress can make it worse.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Being part of a community, helping others having a cause you stand for all this make your life richer, giving has healing power when it is done unconditionally.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Guilt is often the emotion that prevent you from being truly happy. Be incredibly selfish, have your own needs met first because you cannot really help others if you feel miserable, you cannot truly love if you do not love yourself.

To read more about this article Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Grief and Loss – AARP 

Hope that sharing this article with you will help you to never have regrets 

Motivation: Why People Don’t Do What You Tell Them To Do ?


Today is going to be a very short blog as part of the January’s Motivation theme:

Do you know where you motivation comes from ? 

Think about how you feel when you speak to someone about a problem and the person gives advises. Do you really want to follow them ? Well most of the time the  answer is NO ! Right ?

Why is it that our first spontaneous answer is NO to advises even if the solutions offered really work ? My theory based on my observations, is that knowledge is not the issue , the issue is TO DO the things we need to do and you cannot move someone else into action.

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”

Wild Horses

So that means you can give the opportunity to someone to do something by telling some tips,  but you cannot force them to do it if they do not want to  !

Want examples ?

What about quitting smoking ? You know that it gives cancer and you can die from heart attacks. Is that stopping smokers to smoke? NO ! Why ? because for most people those reasons are not intrinsically motivating and there is no instant rewards to stop smoking, only hypothetical long-term promises that we are not going to die but  we will all die sometimes anyway!

Let me confess,  I smoked for years but quit cold turkey when I was pregnant and never smoked again, I cannot even stand the smell of smoke around me. When I started working, smoking was a great way to socialize at work at the smoking corner so that was one reason that drop when I had my son because I quit working in the corporate world at the same time. Something also might have happened during my pregnancy that made me quit for the benefit of my baby.

Hope this short example is giving you the opportunity to think about what really motivates you when you set a goal to change your life forever.

Hint: What do you SEE, FEEL, SMELL, HEAR when you think about reaching your goal ?  Visualization is a powerful tool used by athletes and successful people.

Do you want to share what works for you and get a chance to inspire others ?

Getting A Balanced Life in Only Two Steps


Sand Clock...

Many of you made your New Year Resolutions with enthusiasm, thinking this New Year will be different, that you will quit bad habits, lose weight, exercise, attend a language class or whatever, But did you really think deeply if this is what YOU want ? Do you want to please others ? Do you spend time on somebody else’s agenda ? Do you have the motivation, discipline time and other resources to achieve your goals ? I guess you may have chosen your usual new year resolutions without thinking as a whole person, with finite resources such as time, money and specific support.

In 2012, do you want to simplify your life and implement processes or habits that last more than a couple of weeks after New Year? Here are two simple steps you can take that will give you guidance and makes you spending your efforts on activities that really matters to you.:

Step One: Identify Your Priorities:

Identify your current level of satisfaction for each area in the wheel and connect the dots. Then think about things you really want to improve and develop. Please note that a balanced life does not require that you dedicate equal amounts of time to each little piece of your life. Balance is about taking care of all of you and all of what is important to you. That means that you must make time to invest in your self-care, define what matters to you, and allow yourself to be busy with those activities. Once you selected the categories you want to develop, Think about what a 7 a (Satisfied/Fulfilled) would look like for each one you selected ex. Fitness: enjoy going to the pool once a week and indoor biking 1 hour. Be specific, realistic, make sure you have time and energy or other resources like money or partner. Avoid the “should” or the “have to”. Then select only 3 goals to focus on with actions to reach a 7 in your top priorities (you can have multiple goals in one area).

Step Two : Managing your Resource of Time

The process of using your time effectively becomes possible when you begin to view it as a commodity that you have the choice to spend—or invest. When you invest, you essentially allocate your resources to something you believe will give you a positive return.

Do you view your time with as much consideration as you view your money?

I would bet that you would not burn a dollar bill. Yet, you may be willing to burn through an hour of your time based on someone else’s demands. You need a system connecting your priorities and managing your calendar. There is an excellent method developed by Steven Covey in his book : “First Things First ” See bellow his tool to classify your weekly TO DO list before planning time in your calendar. The idea it to focus on the important things that contribute the most to reaching your goals (Quadrant II) implementing processes and habits to anticipate the urgent and Important (Quadrant I) such as having an automatic bill payment system online for example. You also need to reduce time spent on non important things or quit bad habits that are wasting your time.

If you decide to quit a bad habit, always compensate by an activity you really enjoy that gives you more rewards and fun than the bad behavior.

For example replacing what I call “Pavlovian Tweeting or Facebooking ” by meeting friends outside for hiking or walking. This woks for me, It is fun, good for my health and great to meet new people in my neighborhood.

IF you really want to get the LIFE you enjoy and deserve without the struggle, start working today on identifying your priorities and select your 3 most important goals, make an action plan for each and decide how much time to allocate for each activities on a weekly basis.

If you need some clarification how to use those tools or help you set your goals, please do not hesitate to contact me for a FREE, no obligation, REAL coaching Session:Click HERE


How To Move On After Moving In ?


English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

Any move to a new home, either next door, next state or across continents is a “moving” experience in more than one way.

No matter how often you changed residence before, moving brings a variety of emotions. I have been moving 12 times and still no matter what, I experience the same emotional pattern starting from excitement about discovering new places, new friends, new school and neighbors to discouragement when you start being frustrated that after about three months you still have cartons non-open, you start to lose confidence in your ability to start a new life, find a best friend, re-start a business and fit in your new community.

The good news is that in most families the new experience usually brings member closer as they cannot rely on external support yet. However when the trailing spouse realizes how hard it is to lose a career, a purpose and  trade a glamorous status for SAHMs or SAHDs things get more complicated. Children often mirror their parents’ emotional status so if the couple is happy, usually kids are fine too.

In his book “The First 90 Days”,  Michael Watkins explains that you basically have three months to take visible actions that have immediate results so people turn from skeptical observers to enthusiast supporters. This may work in corporations, but 90 days for expats or new comers are really nothing. You cannot re-build a life, a social network and a safety net in such short time. High achievers are more likely than others to suffer from too much pressure and stress they put on themselves to prove they are highly adaptable.

There is also an element of grief. No matter how eager you are to move, there will be places, things, and people you will miss.  Many family members experience emotional ups and downs.

Moving is a challenging and difficult experience for a family, especially for children. It is natural, therefore, for parents to be concerned about the effect of the move. When faced with a move, it is important to remember that reactions from children will vary depending on their personality and developmental age. The personality of the child is important because it influences the time a child may take to adjust to the move. Some children are naturally outgoing and will be able to make friends immediately while some other children may take months.

To summarize in a nutshell the concept of “moving on” after “moving in” follow these three steps:

1-Recognize you need time to adjust and that the speed of adaptation varies greatly depending on the age, the status and the personality of the family members

2-Acknowledge any loss you had by leaving your previous home but consciously decide to look to the positive aspects of your new situation and what you can gain by discovering your new place and avoid comparing “before ” and “after” the move.

3-Use the transition period to clarify your values, your vision and purpose in life. Think out of the box and have a personal project that brings you joy and happiness such as going back to school, volunteering, starting a business or improve your fitness level, Choose something specific that is aligned with your values,  who you truly are and what you really enjoy to do, do not chose a project because you have to. Find partners and friends to help find resources and keep your motivation high.

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