How to Avoid the 3 Exercise Mistakes Beginners Make

Beginning an exercise routine is one of the smartest and most beneficial things you can do. You’ve only got one body and it has to last a lifetime.

There are lots of misconceptions about how to start. Expectations of how to progress are often out of alignment with reality. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. None of that helps. The hype coming from magazines, online articles, and even the buff guy in the gym locker room, can all mislead.

In this article, we are going to talk about 3 of the most common mistakes that people make. We want you to start off on the right foot and help you find your groove in the gym!

Too Much, Too Soon

It’s likely you will begin with an immense amount of enthusiasm and motivation. You’re ready to get your diet dialed in, throw some weight around and carve out the ideal physique. But this same passion can lead to burn-out before you even get started.

It’s important to realize that you’re making a significant change in your lifestyle. Not only will your body need time to adapt to these new demands, but so will your schedule and mental energy!

A gradual start will be more productive. Don’t completely disrupt your life from day one. Instead of demanding yourself to hit the gym 7 days a week and eat nothing but chicken and rice, start smaller.

Allow yourself a much-needed change period as you begin your fitness journey. Get into the habit of working out 2-3 times per week and being more conscientious of food choices. Get your feet wet first, instead of diving in headfirst. This will prevent you from a crash and burn a month or so later.

Have A Plan

When you join a gym, you can either go solo or use their staff to map out an exercise plan. Use the guided approach unless you have been around a bit and know what you need to do.

Knowing the various machines and exercise classes available gives you the chance to establish a routine that works for you. It also allows you to track your progress. Seeing how far you have come is incredibly motivating.

Giving In To Your Ego

Comparing ourselves to those around us is an unfortunate part of human nature. As you begin working out, it is easy to notice how much weight someone else is lifting, or how cool a particular exercise looks. Realize that every single person in the gym was in the exact same position you are right now at one stage.

Trying to manage too much weight or perform some crazy exercise before you are ready will leave you embarrassed or, even worse, injured.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of people in the gym are not judging you! Gyms need members. They are in the service industry, so should have a welcoming, respectful atmosphere. Most try to encourage and support people of all fitness levels.

Working out, much like any new challenge, has a necessary learning curve. Don’t let your ego put a damper on the enjoyment it can bring or the benefits that follow.

Revealed – How to Know What a Balanced Life is

The following story reveals what a balanced life is. It is a simple story that shows what the key aspects of life, and how we can balance our lives by being aware of priorities and perspective.

We can all learn from this simple story.

Photo by willsantt from Pexels

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house, fix the disposal or deal with things from your job.

Photo by Tembela Bohle from Pexels

Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’

The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

Stress and Anxiety Symptoms to Watch Out For

Stress and anxiety is something we all deal with daily. There are many symptoms of stress and anxiety to watch out for. They are not all bad. Think of these symptoms as early warning signs. If you are aware of them, you are better able to manage their causes. This will stop your stress levels from becoming debilitating.

Stress is a natural reaction in our bodies. It derives from the fight or flight reaction hard-wired into us as an essential part of our evolution.

There are many different levels of stress, some quite natural daily signs which tell us to be alert. If we ignore them, they may continue to escalate. And that is when problems arise.

Excessive stress causes all manner of health problems, and can even be a killer.

Keeping an eye on your stress levels is common sense, but unfortunately, common sense does not always prevail.

We have listed the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety. Take a few moments to reflect on whether you are experiencing any of these, and how severe the symptoms are. How long have you been aware of them?

If any of these are elevated or have been with you over a long period, it is time to think about doing something about it. Tackle the underlying cause it spirals out of control.

The solutions for this are many and varied and beyond the scope of this article. Our purpose here is to have you look at your stress and anxiety symptoms to see if they need addressing.

Common Stress and Anxiety Symptoms

Unexplained Aches And Pain About The Body

A little pain here and there is normal and is nothing to get worried about unless it occurs too often. The trend is a key indicator. Is it new or recurrent over a long period? Does it fluctuate with stressful situations?

Muscular pains usually occur around the back, neck, or shoulder areas. These might result from poor posture, especially when doing computer-based work. Other causes include poor sleep patterns. Medication to treat the pain many only yield temporary relief, and should not be a long term solution.

Frequent Colds And Infections

High stress levels have a negative effect on your immunity.

As your body perceives stress, your adrenal glands make and release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. Often called the “stress hormone,” cortisol causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. It’s your natural “flight or fight” response that has kept humans alive for thousands of years.

With elevated stress levels cortisol production increases. This in turn suppresses your immune system, making your body more open to infection. This can be especially troublesome during flu season. One precaution you can take is to increase your intake of anti-oxidant foods such as berries, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.

Poor Sleep Patterns

When overstressed your sleep patterns are amongst the first early warning signs. Insomnia and difficulty sleeping are common indicators. Cortisol recruits the neurochemicals adrenalin and noradrenalin, which enhance awareness, and energy levels. This is another aspect of the fight or flight reaction.

Having a decent dose of ‘get up and go’ attitude is useful in the mornings, but not at night when you should be unwinding. Any stimulants such as coffee will exacerbate this, so you should be careful about these later at night.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is another sign of stress and anxiety to watch for. This adds strain on your heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke.

It can also be a cause of heart and kidney disease and some forms of dementia.

Loss Of Sex Drive

Stress will reduce your levels of testosterone. This in turn impacts your sex drive, in both men and women. Remember how much more sex you had the last time you went on holiday? Cortisol and testosterone have are inversely correlated. As your cortisol levels go up, your testosterone (and sex drive) go down.

Frequent Outbursts Or Mood Swings

When you are highly stressed, there is a higher chance are that you will lash out at anyone who irritates you. If you find yourself subject to this type of outburst, or subject to wild mood swings, this indicates that something is out of balance.

This is not normal behavior, especially if you are generally level headed. It is another symptom of stress and anxiety. It may be best to reduce your work load and spend more time with family and loved ones to give you a chance to relax.

Depression Or Feelings Of Inadequacy

It can be difficult to maintain positive self-esteem when you have high levels of stress. Stress will affect your emotional well-being and can decimate relationships with loved ones or colleagues. You are likely to be irritable, pick fights, or feel pressure to perform.

If you are feeling inadequate and begin questioning yourself, you may want to consider your stress levels. One of the most telling symptoms of stress and anxiety is reduced self-worth. This can lead to depression, anxiety, or feelings of disappointment.


If you experience one or more of these symptoms of stress and anxiety, the first thing to do is to reflect on your life. Take a step back and consider the frequency and severity of these symptoms.

With what frequency are they recurring? Can you make an association with your workload or any personal issues you may be facing?

Perhaps it is time to make some changes in your life. Reduce the burden you carry. Maybe a short break will defuse it. You might only need a short vacation, weekend getaway, or a simple trek in the great outdoors. Or you might need a larger change.

Only you will be able to determine which solution will work best. The important thing is to keep a check on these symptoms of stress and anxiety. Remain vigilant and be conscious of the impact they are and can have, on your life.

Let us know what stress is doing to you, and how you are handling it. It’s a common problem, and the more we discuss it, the better able we are to deal with it.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have. I read all comments and answer all questions.

Kate Young – Well-Being Writer for

How to Deal With Life Problems

They say the makings of a great movie will make you laugh, cry and feel in love all at once. Psychologists call that blended emotional events. It occurs when you feel a plethora of emotions within a short amount of time.

While those emotions make for a cinematic masterpiece, dealing with fleeting emotions on a regular basis can be overwhelming. Especially when you don’t have positive ways to manage them. Learning how to deal with life problems is not that hard though.

Many individuals who face drug and alcohol addiction blame their state on not being able to cope with their problems. Instead of releasing their frustrations in positive ways, they felt engaging in those activities would help solve their issues. Unfortunately, millions of individuals lose their lives due to these unwise coping strategies.

Other negative coping strategies aren’t as evasive. Some may include passive-aggressiveness, laziness or avoidance. Individuals who don’t know how to express themselves may find it difficult making lasting relationships with others. This makes for a lonely existence that could result in anxiety and depression.

Repressing your emotions, whether good or bad, comes with inner challenges. Often times, this can impact your daily routine. Instead of allowing your emotions to overwhelm you it’s wise to develop positive coping strategies that’ll help you endure. This will help you avoid potentially dangerous activities that could put you or others in danger.

If you find yourself dealing with problems and you need constructive ways to manage them, consider these five tips that’ll help you effectively deal with your biggest challenges.

1. Talk to a Trusted Friend

Sometimes, the best therapy is releasing your emotions through communication. A good friend, with your best interests at heart, can be the rock you need during harsh times. Confide in someone you trust to alleviate stress and receive suggestions. Sometimes, others have experienced the same trials and can offer reliable information that can help you.

2. Get a Hobby

There’s nothing more satisfying than creating something new in the face of challenges. If you’re experiencing problems, it’s wise to spend your time doing something productive. This gives you a sense of purpose without dwelling on your issues. Such hobbies include art, sports or cooking. Sometimes the act of engaging in an activity is therapy in itself.

3. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes certain problems are so overwhelming, they need the guidance of a trained professional. Never be afraid to seek help for your toughest challenges. A trained counselor or therapist will never judge or reveal what you share with them. They’ll be able to offer constructive advice that you can implement into your daily life.

4. Meditate

Although it may seem counterproductive to do nothing in the face of distress, often times this gives you the clarity you need. Meditation encourages you to allow thoughts and emotions to come without judgment.

This gives you a clear mindset to effectively deal with challenges. After your mind is clear, you’re able to take control of your problem and develop a positive solution. Some also find journaling after meditation to be a great way to develop positive coping strategies and solutions.

5. Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise is scientifically proven to release problem solving endorphins. You’re releasing energy that would ordinarily be used worrying and converting it into something productive.

If you’re dealing with minor to major issues, consider increasing your exercise routine to provide your mind with some much-needed clarity.

We’ll all face mild to severe problems at one point or another. Instead of turning to destructive coping strategies, it’s wise to engage in something positive. This will help you effectively deal with your problems in a constructive manner.

How to Find Joy in Hard Times

There’s no question that we are living through some of the hardest of times. Is it possible to find joy in hard times? Yes it is, and we will.

As sure as the sun rises and sets each day, you will have periods in your life when things are just not going your way. In reality, life is basically a constant fluctuation of emotional highs and lows.

While most of our time is spent in the fairly even, mundane state of emotional normalcy, this is broken up by the peaks of the best of times and unfortunately, the valleys when nothing is going right.

While hardly anyone ever seeks information on how to deal with the best moments of their lives, handling the lows can be a difficult task. Today we live in very troubled times, a pandemic has taken over most of the world, and people are being affected in many profound and very real ways.

Everything that surrounds getting through this pandemic is based in suffering and pain, its just the nature of the beast. Death, isolation, fear, facing the unknown and grief and loss can strip of us our joy and may lead to depression.

While you cannot control what happens outside your door, you CAN control yourself. There are things you can do to maintain a positive and even joyful mindset.

In this discussion, we are going to talk about three tips for doing just that.

Surround Yourself With The Right People

It is often said that we are the sum total of the five people we surround ourselves with most often. If that is the case, making sure you get the right people around you, especially when going through a difficult period, is critical to hold on to your joy. Often times when life is really beating us up, we retreat into the solitude of our home, wanting to throw the covers of our heads and be left alone with our thoughts.

Make no mistake; sometimes periods of solitude are healthy and necessary. Right now, isolation is the norm as we fight a health crisis. However, when you find yourself in a really low spot, robbed of your joy, connecting with those who make you happy is mandatory.

Although it may seem obvious in concept, avoiding people who have the opposite effect can sometimes be the real battle. Negative individuals are especially important to keep out of your life when you are already struggling to find joy in your current situation.

You can stay connected during Shelter In Place orders, when you are isolating at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Technology has seen to that.

  • Face Time on iPhones and Video calls on Android
  • Skype
  • A simple phone call
  • Email
  • Text
  • Zoom and other video conferencing software can bring together friends and family while staying safe and following health official’s orders.
  • Good old-fashioned letter writing

Remember That Nothing Is Permanent


Nothing in life is permanent. Fortunately, nothing in life is permanent! Let’s state that again, this will pass.

During periods of extreme happiness and joy, thinking about the temporary nature of each season in life is not something we like to dwell on.

On the contrary, keeping this truth in mind during the low times can be very beneficial. Whatever you are going through, no matter how bad it may be, it WILL pass.

In fact, most of the difficult times you experience in life will end without any extra effort on your part. It is so easy to get into the mentality that we have to put forth an immense amount of effort to make something bad go away.

Even though this is sometimes the case, most of the time, TIME is the only remedy for tough situations. If you want to maximize your joy during difficult times, remember that your situation is not the way things are, only the way they are RIGHT NOW.

Base Your Happiness On Yourself

Since we have discussed how life is divided into highs and lows and the fact that nothing will lasts forever, this leads to another thing to keep in mind during the best AND the worst periods.

If you want to have joy on a consistent basis, your joy absolutely cannot be dictated by your circumstances.

If you let every good thing that happens to you leave you soaring on cloud nine and every negative situation send you crashing to earth, you will go through life in a state of emotional exhaustion! Stable, consistent, sustainable joy can only be created and found within yourself.

Life is far less about what happens to you than it is how you react to it. You are in charge of how you feel. Don’t fall into the routine of letting happiness get to your head and failure to your heart.

5 Good Habits For Health That You Need Right Now

If you’re going to be (and stay) healthy, you need to develop some good habits. And when it comes to your health, it’s best not to put it off till tomorrow. These are habits that you need right now.

Lifestyle issues are often the cause of many chronic diseases. We all know about the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet. Yet we tend to not exercise as much as we should. Too frequently we let convenience get in our way, becoming overweight and eating unhealthy foods that lead to things like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and strokes.

The problem with lifestyle issues is that they are difficult to turn around. You need to develop new habits, and this is better done slowly, one step at a time. If you try changing your lifestyle all at once, you’re going to find it very tough. When people try to do this – even with the very best of intentions – they find so hard that the result is frequently a return to their old ways.

If you set the bar too high, or the task you have set yourself can’t be managed, it’s more than likely that after a few weeks, or months, you become overwhelmed. You stop exercising and go back to eating processed foods and junk foods. Failures like this make it even harder next time you want to try to rid yourself of those negative health habits that have been dogging you for years.

This is why it is better to change your health habits one habit at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stop trying to be healthy altogether. 

Most weight loss programs work if they are done carefully and don’t deprive the individual too much. The same is true of exercise programs. If you choose an exercise that you really enjoy or increase your physical activity more gradually, you can usually stick to the program so that you don’t become discouraged and quit exercising altogether.

The trick to health living is to begin gradually. Don’t try any trendy diet or fitness fad. If you try these things with gusto, you are likely to become overwhelmed and respond negatively. When that happens you’ll start finding excuses to not stick with the programs. 

5 Good Habits for Health

There are a few simple things you can do to live a happier and healthier life. Think of these as tweaks to your current routine – rather than all-of-life changes. It will be easy to turn these little adjustments into lifetime habits for good health.

See how easy it is to start with just these 5 changes.

1. Eat at least one healthy meal a day

Even if you do eat processed foods most of the time, making a change to include just one healthy meal each day will pay big dividends. You body will flourish from the good nutrition and healthy proteins you are giving it.

So what do we mean by healthy meals? They should consist of mainly fruits and vegetables, supplemented with whole grain products, and lean meats.

It doesn’t matter how much you eat because, when the food is healthy for you, it won’t usually contain a lot of calories. This in turn means that it won’t cause weight gain – as happens with junk foods or highly processed foods. Even so, you should still try to watch your portion sizes.

2. Drink a glass of water before each meal

Water is perhaps the best liquid you can drink, and many recommend drinking up to 8 glasses a day. This not only helps your cells to regenerate, it also helps to stop you getting hungry.

This is like a little trick to play on your stomach. When you drink a glass of water before meals, (an 8-ounce glass is enough), you will feel fuller before eating. Your stomach feels full, so send out signals that says you don’t need to eat much more. The result? You won’t eat as much at the meal that follows a drink of water.

3. Be active during your lunch break

There are many reasons to use your lunch break positively. Even if you are only given a half-hour to eat, it usually doesn’t take that long to eat your meals. Try eating your meals and then take some time to exercise.

You don’t have to work out excessively but you should be able to take a brisk walk. Not only will this energize you but also it will help burn off the calories you just ate and will aid in the digestive process.

It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do as long as you choose something reasonable that will help you feel better after eating your lunch. Exercising during lunch also helps decrease the stress of your job and will make the rest of your day go easier.

4. Try a meal replacement bar

Many of us are in the habit of snacking through the day. It might be to keep your energy up and help you stay focussed on your job, or it might be for some other reason. If this is you, try this out. Keep some healthy protein bars handy, and use them to snack on instead of junk foods.

Most meal replacement bars contain a lot of good nutrition and fiber. They are also not as calorie-rich as you would think. They help stave off hunger pangs that are so typical of the midafternoon time.

Keep a stash of these protein bars in your desk at work or in your purse or brief case so you can grab one whenever you feel hungry. It will keep you from going to the vending machines and eating poor food choices. Try eating a meal replacement bar that is high in fiber and that has at least 10 to 15 grams of protein per bar.

5. Exercise regularly

All exercise is good for you. The trick is to turn it into a regular habit. Whatever you do – walking, running, swimming, work-out at the gym – make it a regular activity. This means scheduling. Buddying up with a partner is a great trick. It stops you putting it off of two or more of you are there.

If you have a gym membership, try going there at least 3-4 times per week. Choose an activity you enjoy and make the most of it for at least a half hour per session. This will help energize you, may build muscle mass, and will help you lose weight by burning off excess calories.

Gratitude Lifts The Weight of Anxiety

Covid-19 has changed our world beyond recognition. We are all anxious about our own health, that of our loved ones, our family and friends as well as the uncertainty of what the future holds. This weight of anxiety can bear on us as a crushing burden. Social distancing and self isolation reinforce the anxious feelings of being cut off from the world. It doesn’t have to be that way. If we focus on what we have and the things we should be grateful for, our anxiety becomes controllable.

At SuccessToro we have long been fans of Barry Joe McDonagh’s Panic Away programs. The following is an article we think very relevant today. We hope you find it useful, and helpful in negotiating your way through this pandemic.

Related Posts to Read:

Gratitude Lifts The Weight of Anxiety

Let me tell you why the art of gratitude is such a great tool for ending anxious thoughts.

A lot of people write telling me how their anxiety makes them feel very cut off or removed from the world around them. This sensation can be distressing as people fear that they will never be able to feel normal again.

This feeling is common and in my experience is mainly fueled by a cycle of anxious thinking.

A person with a panic disorder or a generalized anxiety disorder will spend much of their day mentally “checking in”.

Checking in is a term I use to refer to how people with anxiety constantly monitor their mind and body.

“Am I feeling ok?” “How are my thoughts ?”

“Am I feeling secure or on edge right now?”

The reason regular checking in happens is because anxiety has such a powerful effect on the mind and body.

People tell me that they can deal with the anxious bodily sensations but it is the anxious mind that causes them most distress. That is what I want to address today.

Anxiety can often feel like a thick fog has surrounded your mind. Nothing really seems enjoyable as you are always looking out at the world through this haze of anxious thoughts and feelings. This fog steals the joy out of life and can make you feel removed or cut off from the world.

The anxious thoughts act as a barrier to experiencing the world and this sensation of separation then leads to feeling even more upset as you fear losing touch with yourself.

So how do you get this anxious fog to lift from your mind?

When someone is very caught up in anxious thoughts they are top heavy so to speak. The constant mental activity they are engaged in has caused an imbalance where all of their focus is on their mental anxieties.

A powerful way to move out of this anxious mental fog is to switch your focus from your head to your heart.

By simply making a deliberate shift of attention to your heart you will find the anxious thoughts dissipate more easily and the mental fog starts to gradually clear.

You can make this switch by practicing the art of gratitude.

I am sure you have heard of people speaking about the art of gratitude and the benefits it can bring to you.

Did you know that it has now been scientifically proven that regular practice of gratitude can dramatically change your bodies chemistry giving way to a more peaceful body and mind.

The Heart Math Institute has 15 years of scientific research proving that a simple tool like the art of gratitude can dramatically reduce stress and improve performance for individuals and organizations.

Many Fortune 500 companies are now starting to use this technique to reduce work related stress.

I am going to outline the technique briefly in a very straight forward exercise so you can start practicing right now.

When you practice this exercise you will feel a lightness and greater sense of perspective on any matter that has been troubling you. This activation of your heart emotion will lift the sensation that anxious thoughts create.

This is a very simple exercise but it is really powerful. Print it off and try it someplace where you can be alone.

Are you ready?

-Begin by closing your eyes and moving your attention to your heart area.

-Imagine a feeling of warmth emanating from the center of your chest.

If appropriate place your right hand there. If you are around people or driving etc. simply imagine your right hand resting on your heart area.

Imagine this area glowing warmly for one to two minutes.

-Now, begin to focus on something in your life that you feel a genuine sense of appreciation for.

This can be one or more things that you really appreciate having in your life (e.g., family, health, friends, work, your home, a beautiful day etc).

It is important to focus on things that spark a real sense of gratitude and appreciation. If you really appreciate the thing you are thinking about, you will immediately feel a response from that area by way of a light warm sensation in your chest or an involuntary smile (remember those).

It does not really matter what you think about as long as it evokes this feeling of warm appreciation from your heart area.

Don’t struggle with this exercise. Everyone has something they can be grateful for. (Remember, the cemetery is full of people who would love to have your problems!)

Do not worry if you are thinking of your partner/family and you do not feel this. Some days it will be people close to you that will spark the heart feeling, other days it may be gratitude for very simple things like the fresh air you breath. It depends on the mood you are in, -remember it is the feeling you after.

The feeling we are looking to achieve is unmistakable, it is a positive change in your emotional state.

I say it is best to do this exercise alone because you will need to stay with this feeling for as long as you can.

Then, when you feel you have taken it as far as you can, open your eyes.

There is no time frame on this exercise, it can be a few minutes to half an hour. Again it is about establishing a heart/mind connection and getting your awareness out of the anxious thoughts and more into your body.

After a few attempts you can incorporate this into your daily routine.

Do it in the car. Do it sitting at your desk. Do it before you sleep at night.

You have to practice it frequently. Just like a muscle your heart will get more accustomed to this state and you will be able to switch into that feeling in seconds.

With practice you can also use this exercise in the middle of any stressful situation. You will be surprised at the positive outcome in terms of your own stress levels and the change in others around you.

This simple exercise can completely transform the outcome of interacting with other people, be it work or personal relationships.

This is especially true where there is conflict or misunderstanding between you and other people. Try it out, see what happens!

Be creative with it and make it your own daily ritual for yourself.

I am sure you agree that it is a worthwhile exercise to incorporate into your daily life. It is my experience that most people do not have the patience or time to make major lifestyle changes. By using this one simple exercise you can make a dramatic improvement to the quality of your life.

The simplest things in life are free and this is one of those gems.

Don’t pass it up

Kind Regards, Barry Joe McDonagh

Learn more about Panic Away here:

All material provided in these emails are for informational or educational purposes only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

All You Need to Know About Protection From the Corona Virus

As of March 11th, 2020, the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has been recognized as a worldwide pandemic. We have known about the virus ever since it hit China last month, but now that it is at your door you need to protect yourself. Identifying symptoms, too, is important so that you can get help and avoid infecting others.

Don’t Panic

It is important to stay calm and focused on reality. While this situation and the word pandemic are very scary, panic only minimizes our ability to think rationally. One of the greatest ways to curtail panic is with knowledge and awareness.


Protection from the Corona Virus begins with preparation. First, let’s talk about what you need in order to prepare.

  • The main thing you might face is prolonged periods of quarantine. This has happened in China and Italy both, so it may happen to you. In the case of quarantine, you will have to stay inside your home.

  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are some key things you can do to prepare (just in case):

  • “Create an emergency contact list.” This should include emergency contacts for neighbors, friends, family, your health care team, employers, schools and your local health department.

  • “Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan.” Find out exactly what your plan covers as to sick leave, work from home possibilities and how your employer plans to deal with this outbreak.

  • Most important, stay informed, look to credible sources for information about COVID-19 and reject gossip and hype, which only propagate panic and anxiety.


Let’s talk about what you can do to prevent getting the virus in the first place.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), clean your hands often for at least 20 seconds each wash. Definitely wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.

If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water are better than hand sanitizer if they are available, so please don’t stock pile hand sanitizer.

Clean your home well and regularly.

The CDC precautions continue, saying whenever possible avoid touching surfaces in public areas that are touched by many, such as doorknobs, handrails, and elevator buttons. Handshakes need to be postponed for now. You can use your sleeve or a tissue when you touch these. Wash your hands right after contact.

Stay away from anyone you know who has a cold or flu symptoms. The World Health Organization recommends at least a 3-foot distance away from someone who is coughing or sneezing.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), you should follow safe respiratory hygiene. When sneezing or coughing, make sure to cover nose and mouth with either a bent elbow or tissue. Throw away all tissues right after use. This is because droplets spread virus by way of spores.

Both the WHO and the CDC advise that if you are sick, stay home. Even when you don’t know if it is Corona or just a cold, it is better to stay home until you feel well again.

According to a medical professional who spoke with CNN on March 10, 2020, a 6-foot distance between people is a safe bet.

Dr. William Schaffner, an internist and infectious disease specialist from Vanderbilt University told CNN on March 9, that the elderly and those with existing compromised health are best served by staying away from crowds, so for now postpone going to concerts, philharmonic and other places where large crowds gather in small spaces.

As of March 11, 2020, the authorities recommend not gathering in large crowds of 500 or more for everyone, hence the cancellation of sporting events around the US, including March Madness, the closing of Disneyland and the cancellation of various conventions. Respiratory infection spreads faster in poor ventilated areas and closed in settings.

Who Is At Highest Risk?

Older adults (Over 60) and those who have existing medical conditions including, lung disease, heart disease and diabetes will suffer the most and have the highest mortality rate if infected, according to the CDC.

The director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier says, the highest risk of COVID-19 is for those over age 80 who have other medical conditions.

If you or someone you know fits into a high risk category, stock up on groceries and any required medications, leave space between you and others, avoid crowds and travel, clean your hands and your house often, and stay home as much as possible.


Normal Symptoms:

The CDC lists the following symptoms to look for, which are much like a cold:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you have the normal symptoms, call your health care provider for an evaluation.

Emergency warning signs:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish face or lips

If you experience the emergency warning signs, seek medical assistance immediately.


Obviously, if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 you should see your doctor or seek emergency services immediately to get tested and do not come into contact with others to prevent spread.

This photograph of CDC’s Dr. Terrence Tumpey, Microbiologist for the National Center for Infectious Diseases, shows him examining specimens of the 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus—a virus that was reconstructed in hopes of combating a future influenza pandemic. Dr. Tumpey recreated the 1918 influenza virus to identify the characteristics that made the 1918 influenza virus so harmful. This effort enables researchers to develop new vaccines and treatments for future pandemic influenza viruses. The 1918 flu epidemic was caused by an influenza A virus (H1N1), killing more than 500,000 people in the United States, and up to 50 million worldwide. Many people died within the first few days after infection, and others died of complications later. Nearly half of those who died were young, healthy adults. Influenza A (H1N1) viruses still circulate today after being introduced again into the human population in the 1970s. Date: 2005 Content credits: / xxxxx Photo credit: James Gathany Image storage: xxxxxxxxxxxxx Support File: CD_122_DH/ 012 CDC – Office of Communication – Media Release – 1918 Influenza Virus CDC – Information about Influenza Pandemics

More Information and Resources

  • General hygiene and cleanliness along with correspondence with your health care provider will go a long way.
  • Wash your hands for twenty seconds often, especially after touching things many others have touched.
  • Clean your house regularly, especially high use surfaces.

For more information on protection from COVID-19, consult the CDC at

World Health Organization –

The Causes of Panic Attack

The short and obvious answer: a panic attack is caused by high anxiety. But, what exactly is anxiety? Understanding how anxiety crops up will help you defeat panic attacks.

One of the biggest myths surrounding anxiety is that it is harmful and can lead to a number of various life-threatening conditions.

Definition of Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as a state of apprehension or fear resulting from the anticipation of a real or imagined threat, event, or situation. It is one of the most common human emotions experienced by people at some point in their lives.

However, most people who have never experienced a panic attack, or extreme anxiety, fail to realize the terrifying nature of the experience. Extreme dizziness, blurred vision, tingling and feelings of breathlessness—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

When these sensations occur and people do not understand why, they feel they have contracted an illness, or a serious mental condition. The threat of losing complete control seems very real and naturally very terrifying.

Fight/Flight Response: One of the root causes of panic attacks?

I am sure most of you have heard of the fight/flight response as an explanation for one of the root causes of panic attacks. Have you made the connection between this response and the unusual sensations you experience during and after a panic attack episode?

Anxiety is a response to a danger or threat. It is so named because all of its effects are aimed toward either fighting or fleeing from the danger. Thus, the sole purpose of anxiety is to protect the individual from harm. This may seem ironic given that you no doubt feel your anxiety is actually causing you great harm…perhaps the most significant of all the causes of panic attacks.

However, the anxiety that the fight/flight response created was vital in the daily survival of our ancient ancestors—when faced with some danger, an automatic response would take over that propelled them to take immediate action such as attack or run. Even in today’s hectic world, this is still a necessary mechanism. It comes in useful when you must respond to a real threat within a split second.

Anxiety is a built-in mechanism to protect us from danger. Interestingly, it is a mechanism that protects but does not harm—an important point that will be elaborated upon later.

The Physical Manifestations of a Panic Attack: Other pieces of the puzzle to understand the causes of panic attacks. Nervousness and Chemical Effects…

When confronted with danger, the brain sends signals to a section of the nervous system. It is this system that is responsible for gearing the body up for action and also calms the body down and restores equilibrium. To carry out these two vital functions, the autonomic nervous system has two subsections, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

Although I don’t want to become too “scientific,” having a basic understanding of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system will help you understand the causes of panic attacks.

The sympathetic nervous system is the one we tend to know all too much about because it primes our body for action, readies us for the “fight or flight” response, while the parasympathetic nervous system is the one we love dearly as it serves as our restoring system, which returns the body to its normal state.

When either of these systems is activated, they stimulate the whole body, which has an “all or nothing” effect. This explains why when a panic attack occurs; the individual often feels a number of different sensations throughout the body.

The sympathetic system is responsible for releasing the adrenaline from the adrenal glands on the kidneys. These are small glands located just above the kidneys. Less known, however, is that the adrenal glands also release adrenaline, which functions as the body’s chemical messengers to keep the activity going. When a panic attack begins, it does not switch off as easily as it is turned on. There is always a period of what would seem increased or continued anxiety, as these messengers travel throughout the body. Think of them as one of the physiological causes of panic attacks, if you will.

After a period of time, the parasympathetic nervous system gets called into action. Its role is to return the body to normal functioning once the perceived danger is gone. The parasympathetic system is the system we all know and love, because it returns us to a calm relaxed state.

When we engage in a coping strategy that we have learned, for example, a relaxation technique, we are in fact willing the parasympathetic nervous system into action. A good thing to remember is that this system will be brought into action at some stage whether we will it or not. The body cannot continue in an ever-increasing spiral of anxiety. It reaches a point where it simply must kick in, relaxing the body. This is one of the many built-in protection systems our bodies have for survival.

You can do your best with worrying thoughts, keeping the sympathetic nervous system going, but eventually it stops. In time, it becomes a little smarter than us, and realizes that there really is no danger. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent—modern science is always discovering amazing patterns of intelligence that run throughout the cells of our body. Our body seems to have infinite ways of dealing with the most complicated array of functions we take for granted. Rest assured that your body’s primary goal is to keep you alive and well.

Not so convinced?

Try holding your breath for as long as you can. No matter how strong your mental will is, it can never override the will of the body. This is good news—no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you are gong to die from a panic attack, you won’t. Your body will override that fear and search for a state of balance. There has never been a reported incident of someone dying from a panic attack.

Remember this next time you have a panic attack; he causes of panic attacks cannot do you any physical harm. Your mind may make the sensations continue longer than the body intended, but eventually everything will return to a state of balance. In fact, balance (homeostasis) is what our body continually strives for.

The interference for your body is nothing more than the sensations of doing rigorous exercise. Our body is not alarmed by these symptoms. Why should it be? It knows its own capability. It’s our thinking minds that panic, which overreact and scream in sheer terror! We tend to fear the worst and exaggerate our own sensations. A quickened heart beat becomes a heart attack. An overactive mind seems like a close shave with schizophrenia. Is it our fault? Not really—we are simply diagnosing from poor information.

Cardiovascular Effects Activity in the sympathetic nervous system increases our heartbeat rate, speeds up the blood flow throughout the body, ensures all areas are well supplied with oxygen and that waste products are removed. This happens in order to prime the body for action.

A fascinating feature of the “fight or flight” mechanism is that blood (which is channelled from areas where it is currently not needed by a tightening of the blood vessels) is brought to areas where it is urgently needed.

For example, should there be a physical attack, blood drains from the skin, fingers, and toes so that less blood is lost, and is moved to “active areas” such as the thighs and biceps to help the body prepare for action.

This is why many feel numbness and tingling during a panic attack-often misinterpreted as some serious health risk-such as the precursor to a heart attack. Interestingly, most people who suffer from anxiety often feel they have heart problems. If you are really worried that such is the case with your situation, visit your doctor and have it checked out. At least then you can put your mind at rest.

Respiratory Effects

One of the scariest effects of a panic attack is the fear of suffocating or smothering. It is very common during a panic attack to feel tightness in the chest and throat. I’m sure everyone can relate to some fear of losing control of your breathing. From personal experience, anxiety grows from the fear that your breathing itself would cease and you would be unable to recover. Can a panic attack stop our breathing? No.

A panic attack is associated with an increase in the speed and depth of breathing. This has obvious importance for the defense of the body since the tissues need to get more oxygen to prepare for action. The feelings produced by this increase in breathing, however, can include breathlessness, hyperventilation, sensations of choking or smothering, and even pains or tightness in the chest. The real problem is that these sensations are alien to us, and they feel unnatural.

Having experienced extreme panic attacks myself, I remember that on many occasions, I would have this feeling that I couldn’t trust my body to do the breathing for me, so I would have to manually take over and tell myself when to breathe in and when to breathe out. Of course, this didn’t suit my body’s requirement of oxygen and so the sensations would intensify—along with the anxiety. It was only when I employed the technique I will describe for you later, did I let the body continue doing what it does best—running the whole show.

Importantly, a side-effect of increased breathing, (especially if no actual activity occurs) is that the blood supply to the head is actually decreased. While such a decrease is only a small amount and is not at all dangerous, it produces a variety of unpleasant but harmless symptoms that include dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, sense of unreality, and hot flushes.

Other Physical Effects of Panic Attacks:

Now that we’ve discussed some of the primary physiological causes of panic attacks, there are a number of other effects that are produced by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, none of which are in any way harmful.

For example, the pupils widen to let in more light, which may result in blurred vision, or “seeing” stars, etc. There is a decrease in salivation, resulting in dry mouth. There is decreased activity in the digestive system, which often produces nausea, a heavy feeling in the stomach, and even constipation. Finally, many of the muscle groups tense up in preparation for “fight or flight” and this results in subjective feelings of tension, sometimes extending to actual aches and pains, as well as trembling and shaking.

Overall, the fight/flight response results in a general activation of the whole bodily metabolism. Thus, one often feels hot and flushed and, because this process takes a lot of energy, the person generally feels tired and drained.

Mental Manifestations: Are the causes of panic attacks all in my head? Is a question many people wonder to themselves?

The goal of the fight/flight response is making the individual aware of the potential danger that may be present. Therefore, when activated, the mental priority is placed upon searching the surroundings for potential threats. In this state one is highly-strung, so to speak. It is very difficult to concentrate on any one activity, as the mind has been trained to seek all potential threats and not to give up until the threat has been identified. As soon as the panic hits, many people look for the quick and easiest exit from their current surroundings, such as by simply leaving the bank queue and walking outside. Sometimes the anxiety can heighten, if we perceive that leaving will cause some sort of social embarrassment.

If you have a panic attack while at the workplace but feel you must press on with whatever task it is you are doing, it is quite understandable that you would find it very hard to concentrate. It is quite common to become agitated and generally restless in such a situation. Many individuals I have worked with who have suffered from panic attacks over the years indicated that artificial light—such as that which comes from computer monitors and televisions screens—can can be one of the causes of panic attacks by triggering them or worsen a panic attack, particularly if the person is feeling tired or run down.

This is worth bearing in mind if you work for long periods of time on a computer. Regular break reminders should be set up on your computer to remind you to get up from the desk and get some fresh air when possible.

In other situations, when during a panic attack an outside threat cannot normally be found, the mind turns inwards and begins to contemplate the possible illness the body or mind could be suffering from. This ranges from thinking it might have been something you ate at lunch, to the possibility of an oncoming cardiac arrest.

The burning question is: Why is the fight/flight response activated during a panic attack even when there is apparently nothing to be frightened of?

Upon closer examination of the causes of panic attacks, it would appear that what we are afraid of are the sensations themselves—we are afraid of the body losing control. These unexpected physical symptoms create the fear or panic that something is terribly wrong. Why do you experience the physical symptoms of the fight/flight response if you are not frightened to begin with? There are many ways these symptoms can manifest themselves, not just through fear.

For example, it may be that you have become generally stressed for some reason in your life, and this stress results in an increase in the production of adrenaline and other chemicals, which from time to time, would produce symptoms….and which you perceive as the causes of panic attacks.

This increased adrenaline can be maintained chemically in the body, even after the stress has long gone. Another possibility is diet, which directly affects our level of stress. Excess caffeine, alcohol, or sugar is known for causing stress in the body, and is believed to be one of the contributing factors of the causes of panic attacks (Chapter 5 gives a full discussion on diet and its importance).

Unresolved emotions are often pointed to as possible trigger of panic attacks, but it is important to point out that eliminating panic attacks from your life does not necessarily mean analyzing your psyche and digging into your subconscious. The “One Move” technique will teach you to deal with the present moment and defuse the attack along with removing the underlying anxiety that sparks the initial anxiety.

Learn more at http:///

Barry McDonagh is an international panic disorder coach. His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here:

This article is copywritten material

How to be Positive and Happy

If you want to know more about how to be positive and happy all the time – read on. Consider first what happy, successful people think about every day? It’s simple. They think positively about what they want and how they can get it. Positivity can change your life.

When you spend your time thinking and talking about what you want from life and how you can achieve it, you will feel happier and more in control. When you think about happy things, your brain releases endorphins, which give you a feeling of well-being. It doesn’t take long to develop a positive attitude.

The Importance of Optimism

Psychological tests have shown that happy people have a specific quality that enables them to live a better life. That quality, of course, is optimism. If you’re groaning at the thought of such positivity, because you worry that you can’t become an optimist, then stop right now. According to WebMD, optimism can be learned. It’s all about cause and effect. If you change your way of thinking and align it with optimists, you will start to feel happier and see results.

The Positive and Happy Find The Good In The World

There are two distinct ways that optimists deal with the world, which sets them apart from the rest:

  • First, they remain focused on what they want, looking for ways to achieve it. They set clear goals and remain confident they will achieve them.
  • Second, in every difficult situation an optimist will look for the good. When something goes wrong, they determine what lesson or knowledge can be drawn from the situation.

If you look for the good in someone or something then you will always find it, and in the looking, you will find yourself more cheerful.

Unfu*k Yourself – by Gary John Bishop

This is a refreshing, BS-free, self-empowerment guide that offers an honest, no-nonsense, tough-love approach to help you move past self-imposed limitations.

This book will help to show you how to be positive and happy.

The Power Of Positive Thinking 

Optimists seek the lesson in every obstacle. They don’t get upset and look at where they can lay blame. They control their emotions and look at things logically.

Positive thinking has several benefits to your life:

  • Motivation: Willpower and motivation come from a strong mind. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions. When you replace pessimism with optimism, you reshape your outlook.
  • Strong Relationships: Happiness attracts happiness, thus happy people attract people who are happy. If you surround yourself with negativity, you will only attract negativity. Positivity breeds trust, which builds strong relationships. Without trust, relationships cannot survive. We are hardwired to seek trust.
  • Confidence: Negativity spreads and can impact other attributes, such as self-esteem and confidence. The key to leading a happy life is loving yourself. Optimists laugh louder, love harder, and walk taller. They glow.
  • Strong Mind & Body: Negative thoughts are draining and can have a severe impact on your mental health. They can leave you struggling to get up in the morning and inhibit your ability to sleep. Fatigue leads to weakness, sadness, and a lack of motivation. Therefore, negativity takes a toll on your whole body.

Choose Happiness

You can make the choice today to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Look at your blessings rather than noting every shortcoming. Look at the best in everyone around you, because in truth, the majority of people are honest and good. Look for the good in their actions and in their words, and resolve to be of good cheer.

It’s easy to be upbeat when everything in your life is going well. However, it’s even more important to do so when everything is going against you or is falling apart. You can still draw from your inner strength and look on the bright side of life, it will pay off in spades.

We hope that this article has helped to show you how to be positive and happy. The rewards are a richer, fuller and more successful life.

What are Smart Drugs, and why all the fuss?

It seems everyone is talking about nootropics, or smart drugs these days. This is because we are all happy to get a leg up on the opposition, and claims of better brain power are enticing. The use of nootropics supplements is one of the hottest trends of the moment. So just what are these so-called smart drugs?

The terms refer to supplements which are brain enhancements. They are many of these readily available online in both powder and pill form. Some are chemically-made, but many are made using natural substances.

These natural or herbal nootropics include any kind of plant derived or plant-based compounds that have been shown to enhance cognitive ability and health. In fact, there are a whole host of different herbs and natural substances that have been shown to impact on your brain’s function, and some have been in use for thousands of years.

It is no wonder that with the addition of modern medical research these herbal nootropics are just as effective as their synthetic cousins. To increase effectiveness, many different compounds are combined. Thee are known as nootropics stacks.

The advantage of modern medical research is the ability to better track how these substances work, where and why. The result of this research based knowledge has allowed many companies to build more effective combinations, which offer increased potency and effectiveness. As a result, the number of available products has grown exponentially over the past decade.

The range of nootropic substances includes stimulants, but the better ones have much more complex formulations. We are all familiar with commonly used stimulants – coffee is perhaps the most common (how many of us say we can’t start our day without a morning coffee fix). Tea has similar, but less dramatic stimulatory effect. Nicotine is also widely recognised, but not recommended due to its less desirable side effects,

Most newer nootropic stacks combine more exotic-sounding things like Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine (found in tea), Huperzine A., Cat’s Claw, Creatine, Gingko Biloba, Panax Ginseng and the like. All of these are said to have the ability to increase your brainpower in different ways – better memory, learning, faster processing, reduced stress and slowing of the ageing process.


There are a lot of products out there, and selecting the right one can be confusing. To help you out, we h ave listed what we believe to be the top general nootropics formulations on the market right now.

Mind Lab Pro®

Universal nootropic

Opti-Nutra is arguably the world’s leading producer – high quality products that have been thoroughly researched.

Their MindLabPro is a universal nootropic stack, great for memory, focus, overall productivity & long-term brain support.


NooCube is a synergistic blend of nootropics which helps support and enhance your focus, mental speed and memory.

So you can expect to safely and effectively improve your cognitive functioning with this powerful blend of vitamins, amino acids, and other essential building blocks for a healthy, well-functioning brain.

In Summation

Those using these supplements range from students looking to ace their exams, to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and motivated corporate types, to older folk who want to slow down the ageing process. The common attraction is the appeal of better functioning brain. You can think of it like giving your car a sevice, or doing exercise to get your body into better shape.

To support this increasing demand, there’s a large and growing supply of supplements. Som eof these are universal in effect, some target specific neural patheways.  As a result, the market for nootropics is growing rapidly. It is now thought to be approaching $2b in sales in the USA alone, and is forecast to reach $12b by 2024.

We all face competition every day, in all aspects of our lives. It’s no wonder successful people are looking to science and medical research to give them an advantage.

Everyone’s brain chemistry is different, so what works really well for one person may not be the same for another. Not everyone will experience the same effects with the same dosage, but the buzz that is building around these supplements says they’re worth a trial. With such a weight of support behind them, it seems this is not some “pie in the sky” idea.

So to sum up, nootropics aka smart drugs) do seem to work for a large number of people and we expect that they can give you a number of benefits.

Optimism Will Improve Your Life

It sounds like common sense, but a positive attitude helps you sail through life a little easier. In fact, people who strive to look for the “silver lining” usually rise above their challenges with triumph and victory. We’ll give you a few tips to help you maintain that positive outlook and improve your life.

Research has shown that individuals who maintain a positive attitude during intense surgeries and after, usually have a shorter recovery period.

People who work in high stress environments find their inner peace and balance by focusing on the positives of their job, whilst meditation and reflection focussed on finding gratitude in your hardest struggles will help you through even the most paralyzing challenges.

While it’s easy to say, “Focus on the positive, and you’ll be happier” putting it into practice can be quite difficult, but it’s worth the effort. It may even seem insurmountable when you face certain challenges. However, trying to find the positive, in whatever you’re going through, will save you a lot of stress, and your life will improve as a result. You may even find a useful solution to the problem you’re facing.

Since remaining optimistic during tough times is challenging, here are a few tips and tricks that’ll reshape the way you think. Let’s go over five valuable tips that’ll help you maintain a positive attitude.

1. Remove Yourself From Toxic People

If you’re trying to elevate your mentality and remain positive, you have to remove yourself from negative people. It’s almost like trying to grow an orchid in a dry environment. It simply won’t flourish. When people drain you of your energy, constantly criticize or put you down, it’s time to let them go. Walking away from unhealthy relationships is the first step towards loving yourself and maintaining your optimistic outlook.

2. Practice Speaking Kind Words

It’s easy to get in the habit of negative communication. Whether it’s complaining about your morning commute or not getting enough praise on your job, you can find yourself complaining about everything. This negative attitude can transcend into every aspect of your life. If you don’t improve on that, you’ll soon find yourself having a negative disposition. Practice speaking kind words about yourself and what’s around you. The old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it” will definitely come in handy.

3. Learn to Love Yourself

Having a negative outlook stems from not being fully confident in yourself. In order to find the positive in your life, start with what’s amazing about yourself. Practice daily affirmations so you can remind yourself how awesome you are. Get in the habit of regular self-care and stick to it. This will help you change your outlook towards whatever situation presents itself.

4. Make Progressive Changes

When you find it hard to stay positive in your current situation, think about making changes to get out of it. If you dislike your job, don’t just complain, start making the effort necessary towards finding a new one. Feeling unhealthy?, start changing your diet, lifestyle, start exercising and so on so you can live your best life. Sometimes a little effort is all you need to change your current perspective. This is in turn will improve your life.

5. Give to Others

They say there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. When you give of yourself to others, you’re no longer focusing on your own issues. You’re exposing yourself to those who are less fortunate and making their moment better. If you find yourself constantly in a negative space, volunteer at a homeless shelter. If it’s in your means, donate to a local animal charity. This will give you a broader perspective and help you develop an overall positive attitude.

Shifting your focus from negative to positive is not an overnight fix. If you want to improve your life, it takes a lot of self-improvement and effort to really see changes. Keep working towards changing your perspective and you’ll be on your way to living a happy life.

To help you stay more positive, we recommend you read Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman

10 Ways That Exercise Improves Self Confidence

One of the best ways to boost your self-confidence is by exercising regularly. This not only good for self assurance but has great health benefits.

All of us want to feel good about ourselves. When we are confident, we feel better emotionally and mentally and this reflects in a very positive way in our behaviors. This in turn improves our quality of life, everything from personal relationships to our professional endeavors.

Confidence is an essential part of success, and anything which can help boost our self-confidence, is good for us.

Related Posts:

So how can exercise improve self-confidence?

Here Are 10 Ways How Exercising Boosts Your Confidence

  1. Weight Control. Exercising along with healthy eating is the best way to control weight or lose weight. This is all about energy intake and energy burning. Obviously, if you burn more energy than you take in, then the more you will lose weight. Being overweight is a confidence destroyer. Therefore the better shape you are, the better you will feel.
  2. Improves mood. There’s nothing better emotionally than a good workout. Before you think that this requires a trip to the gym, think again. A good workout could be a brisk walk, or a jog. In fact, anything that makes your body work physically harder can be a workout. What this does is to stimulate brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which promote a general feeling of well-being. The results are a reduction in stress and anxiety.
  3. It’s good for the heart. Regular exercising lowers the risk of various heart-related conditions. Exercising has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce problems associated with diabetes and can even help in fighting heart disease. This is quite logical – if exercising reduces weight, then this means that the heart has to work less and in turn, the heart is much healthier. There is also less pressure on joints and other areas of the body.
  4. Keeps the body in shape. This is slightly different from weight control. Being in shape involves having a well-toned body and better posture – all aspects connected with self-confidence. When a person feels good about him or herself, it’s easier to make friends and more connections in life means more confidence.
  5. More energy. If we don’t have the energy to do things, then everything becomes a chore. That can lead to thoughts of feeling bad about oneself. Regular exercise helps the whole bodywork more effectively. The result is that chores become responsibilities and the more responsibility we are coping with, the better we feel.
  6. Better sleep. Regular exercise promotes good sleep. It is proven that sleep is necessary for general feelings of well-being. Sleep is also necessary for how we look. Just imagine preparing for an important meeting and looking in the mirror and seeing dark circles under bloodshot eyes – how confident will you feel? Therefore, exercising will improve sleep. One word of warning – just don’t exercise too near bedtime.
  7. Improves productivity. One of the best ways to clear the mind is to exercise regularly. Exercise gives you a chance to wipe the slate clean and start from new. In addition, if you push yourself exercising you can realize new potentials and this in turn boosts self-confidence. Very often, what you thought was a major problem before exercising disappears after.
  8. Give you something to look forward to. Once you have a reasonable schedule for exercising, you will start to look forward to it. This in itself is a confidence booster. Once you start seeing the benefits of exercising, you will have the desire to continue and in the end, you feel better and look better.
  9. Improves concentration. In general exercising helps us to develop the necessary skills to concentrate on the task in hand. This then trains us better when we have tasks or responsibilities to concentrate better, resulting in more praise and benefits.
  10. Feelings of control and achievement. In general, exercising has so many benefits to health and mind that we can’t help having a feeling of control and achievement. Working out takes work, dedication, commitment, and care for oneself, and all this facilitates enormous feelings of confidence.

Don’t Wait! Get Started Today!

 Try incorporating regular exercising into your routine and you will experience the many benefits to your self-confidence that regular exercising gives.

How to Overcome Anxiety

We All Get Anxious From Time to Time

There Are Many Natural Methods To Reduce Anxiety

Knowing how to overcome anxiety has become one of the biggest challenges in the world today. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in the world. Even the strongest of us has moments of anxiety, and many of us deal with it in some manner on a daily basis. There are a number of natural methods to reduce levels of anxiety.

However, for some it can be a debilitating disease.  Some of us are troubled by constant thoughts of anxiety, impacting on regular activities, making it difficult to find peace of mind and can incapacitate our ability to lead a normal, full life.

In this article we explore what it is caused by, and provide a number of non-medicated methods by which you can overcome anxiety. While medication is available to help, it should not be the first line of treatment you seek out, as they can come with lots of adverse effects and cause the user to build up a dependence.

At we believe a better option is to utilize more natural ways to calm the anxiety- those without lingering negative effects and which are likely to help you cope better in the long run.

So, what do we Mean by Anxiety?

In the pressure-cooker world we live in today – stress and pressure are constant in  our lives, in all manner of forms. It is normal to feel worried and have anxious feelings about all manner of situations. Normally, once the situation has resolved itself, these feelings go away.

When we talk about anxiety, we mean more than this. Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t go away – when they’re ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren’t easily controlled.

Natural Options for Overcoming Anxiety

The following are eight methods by which you can train your mind to deal better with anxiety. Some tips and guidance are provided, but it is not intended as an exhaustive analysis, rather a prompt for you to find a few things that you might do to improve your life.

We believe they apply equally well with episodic stress moments as well as more pervasive anxieties.  However, where symptoms of anxiety are more severe, psychological and/or medical advice should be sought.

  1. Putting your life into perspective;
  2. Build a stronger, more positive self-image;
  3. Facing your fears;
  4. Meditation;
  5. Healthy eating;
  6. Exercise;
  7. Rest.
  8. Try to get Sunlight Daily;

1.      Putting Your Life into Perspective

Look at your life in comparison with the rest of the world’s population. If you live in a developed country, chances are you amongst the most advantaged of the world’s 8 billion inhabitants. Research the lives of people in developing or under-developed countries. Spend some time reflecting on your possibilities compared to theirs.

Life should not be about keeping up with the Jones’, but should be about what we have. Look at the positive aspects of your life – often we discount these when we fall to the dark side. Make a list of all the positive things in your life. Write it on a happy postcard and mail it yourself. Give a copy to a friend and ask them to mail it to you in a month’s time. Put a copy on your wall where you can see it daily.

2.      Building a Stronger, More Positive Self-Image

Our brain is a wonderful piece of technology. Scientists are still trying to figure out how it works. What evident though is that it controls everything we do, and we can train it to provide better responses and stimuli.

If we have a strong, positive view of the world, we are less likely to be threatened and troubled by thoughts o f anxiety. There are a number of tricks that we can use to build a more positive self-image. Much has been written in this subject, so the first task is to research this a bit more. You will find plenty to work with.

Some life hacks include positive affirmations – daily repetition of positive statements about you and your life. These help to build your self-belief.

3.      Facing Your Fears

Anxiety can be caused by many different triggers. Facing you fears is one potential trigger solution. In general terms, we suggest looking at what specifics of anxiety you suffer from, and then analyzing the range of possible outcomes – obviously we want to avoid the worst possible outcome but the more likely outcomes might not be so bad. Consider these and be prepared to pay the price – it may well be worth it.

If you are prepared, the negative outcome is usually not as bad as you anticipated, and so you can reduce these fears.

Practice being brave – start with small things and build up. Eventually you will build up a stronger level of confidence.

4.      Meditation

Meditation is a practice which allows the brain to take a break. It is intended to quiet the incessant activity of mental thoughts and give us more control over our emotions.

It is a natural strategy to manage anxiety, since it can help us to take each moment at a time, and work around our (often) irrational fears.

The goal of meditation is not to block out negative emotions, but help us learn to not linger on them. Get started first thing tomorrow morning- just sit peacefully for 5 minutes at the beginning of your day, let thoughts enter your mind freely, but do not let them linger. The end goal is to have control over your thoughts and not letting them negatively ruin your day.

There are a number of meditation guides available, such as Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield.

If you prefer audiobooks – there are several to choose from, and Benjamin Bonetti has a whole series of half hour guides specific to particular types of anxiety – his “Monkey Meditation Series“.

Audiobooks offers a free book to sample this format if you are new to it, such as . This is a good place to start.

5.      Healthy Eating

A healthy body impacts on our mental health. The foods we eat are an integral part of this. Stay away from fatty foods, try to cut sugar from your diet and eat more fruit and vegetables. Eat less meat. There is no need for fancy diets, it is really as simple as that.

There are several foods which have been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. Three of the most commonly discussed are:

  • Dark chocolate;
  • Turmeric Curcumin; and
  • Omega-3 fats.

Dark chocolate has numerous benefits on health, and is not your typical sugar laden variety. Dark chocolate is particularly effective in reducing the impact that the stress hormone cortisol has on our body, including precipitating anxiety.

Its mode of action of unique, as it relays relaxation from the stomach to the brain. Just as you feel nervousness in your stomach, so a nerve named the vagus can be exploited for soothing anxiety too.

There is now an abundance of research suggesting that depression is an inflammatory disease that develops as a result of chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress. Turmeric is well known as an anti-inflammatory agent, and Curcumin’s antioxidant properties can help reduce oxidative stress, a primary cause of depressive disorders. You can read more about this here.

Omega-3 fatty acids are strong anti-oxidants, and may help to stem the cause of your anxiety. Typically, the two hormones that are elevated are cortisol and adrenalin, both of which respond negatively to the influence of oxidation.

Omega-3 fats combat excessive oxidation and are anti-inflammatory, helping boost production of serotonin and dopamine, and helping keep your anxiety response normal.

6.      Exercise

Exercise is one of the best medicines we have at our disposal, as there are few things that are comparable to the range of health benefits it offers. Exercise, similar to sleep, helps to naturally manage anxiety and depression, by increasing levels of feel good and stress busting chemicals known as endorphins.

Anxiety is partially worsened by high levels of adrenalin, and even though exercise does temporarily increase these levels, the endorphins temper its effects and leave your mood on a high for hours afterwards.

7.      Rest

Lack of sleep causes your brain to go haywire- playing all sorts of tricks on you and decreasing your emotional tolerance as a whole. You may find that following even just one night of sleep loss your performance will decrease, and you will be prone to anger and agitation. Strive for a minimum of seven hours nightly to keep your brain chemistry on point.

Small naps during the day can also be beneficial to keep the body rested and capable of facing the world’s challenges. We recommend 10 to 15 minute “power naps” if this is possible in your schedule.

8.      Try to Get Sunlight Daily

People in colder climates have been observed to develop a condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which comes on during the winter months when sun exposure is limited.

Symptoms of SAD include depression, irritability and increased anxiety, all of which resolve upon exposure to sunlight. If you do live in such a climate, and are unable to get exposure to the sun when winter comes, artificial light therapy also helps improve symptoms.

Failing this, Vitamin D tablets can help to maintain an appropriate balance.


The above commentary is presented as a layman’s view of the subject. It is not and should not be taken as, professional practitioner advice. Every individual has differing circumstances and we present the information in an attempt to help individuals to develop different strategies suitable to themselves.

A range of health professionals and services offer information, treatment and support for anxiety conditions, as well as a number of things you can do to help yourself. 

Effective treatment helps you learn how to control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you. The type of treatment will depend on the type of anxiety you’re experiencing.

The important thing is finding the right treatment and the right health professional for your needs.

Top 10 Things To Do On A Plane To Pass Time

In this post, we list 10 things to do on a plane to pass time when there’s no in-flight entertainment or WiFi to avoid getting bored. All it takes is a bit of early preparation which can make all the difference. If you’ve ever been on a long flight you know how boring it can get when there’s nothing to do. Of course, you can try and put yourself to sleep but that doesn’t always work.

So instead of rocking back and forth in your seat, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the flight to land, here are a few things you can do instead. Let’s get started, shall we?

Things to do on A Plane to Pass Time When You’re Bored

#1 Binge Watch Your Favorite Netflix Show

Set up all the TV shows you need before the flight and start playing with them throughout your journey. Whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan or Stranger things is more up your street there is bound to be something on Netflix that you like. Whatever you end up choosing it will be sure to pass the time and before you know you would have arrived at your destination.

Quick Tip: Make sure you download all the episodes you plan to watch in advance because remember, there may be no Wi-Fi.

#2 Play a game

Even if playing games isn’t your thing, you might as well give it ago. I mean especially if it’s a long flight, why not. Also, you may find you’re pretty good at candy crush (be careful though as it might get addicting). You could even bring a portable gaming console with you if you really want some good entertainment.

Quick Tip: If there’s no Wi-Fi make sure you download a few games on your smartphone to ready to play in advance for when that long-haul flight has taken off.

#3 Take photos

Flying on a plane is a great experience! Well, it can be, so take pictures. That way you’ll remember your experience even after the plane has landed. You could even take a few cheeky snaps from your window.

Quick Tip: Try not to do this when the plane is taking off as sometimes you’re told not to use electronics during this period.

#4 Listen to a Podcast

Download a few of your favorite podcasts and listen to them on your long-haul flight. Whatever you’re into I’m sure you will find something that can occupy your time well. Whether you’re into business podcasts or a bit of Ted Talks, you’ll be sure to find something that makes your flight an enjoyable one.

Quick tip: Again, download these in advance just in case there’s no Wi-Fi on the plan.

#5 Listen to an Audiobook

Not into reading physical books? No problem. With an audiobook, you can plug your headphones in and zone out. Listening to the words of the best authors while you stare out into the clouds.

Quick Tip: Download Audiobooks and get your first 2 Audiobooks for free, ready for your flight.

Things to do on a plane without electronics

#6 Write in a Journal

As we know, throughout our regular day to day lives, we can be bombarded with so much technology that we forget the simple joys of life. Sometimes it can be quite peaceful to just pull out a pen and paper, and begin writing. You may even find your thoughts flow better without anything to distract you. Whether you’re into journaling or not this can be something that really helps you pass the time when you’re bored on a plane.

#7 Talk to the person next to you

One thing you can do on a plane to pass the time is to talk to the person next to you. Yes, I know I know, some of us are not that comfortable striking a conversation with random people. But look, you’re sharing a flight with this person for the next few hours. Time may go by a lot quicker if you make an attempt to get to know them. Keep the conversation light, talk about where you’re traveling, what you’re expecting, and how bored you get on flights.

#8 Look out the window

Simply looking out of the window on a plane can be breathtaking. I mean think about it, you’re literally flying through the clouds. Look at how things on the ground get smaller and smaller the higher you go. Think about where you are and try to guess which country you’re flying over without looking at a map. If you’re not sitting on a window seat you can always check a window near another part of the plane. Just be sure not to block anyone’s path while you’re there.

#9 Read a book

If you love reading books, your plane flight can be a very enjoyable one. Pick your favorite book in advance or a book you’ve been planning to read and get through as much as you can on the flight. You’ll find you can finish a lot more pages then you would have normally since you have the whole flight to focus. Especially on a long-haul flight, you may even find that you get through an entire book! Check out books Amazon for the latest best sellers.

#10 Make a list of things you want to do when you land

As it may come as no surprise to you, we love lists! So, what you can actually do on the flight is to plan your trip. List the top 10 things you want to do when you arrive. That way when you get there you will know exactly what you want to do, that way your holiday won’t be wasted procrastinating.

The 6 Best Ways To Deal With Stress

We all feel stress from time to time, so here are 6 of the best ways to deal with stress. Sometimes we don’t know what to do, but instead of letting things get the better of you, try some of the techniques in this article.

Here are the 6 best ways to deal with stress. Hopefully, after reading this post you will be better prepared to deal with stress and you won’t let it affect you as much. So, without further delay, let us begin!

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How To Deal With Stress

#1 Get Enough Rest

Ensure that you enough rest every day. You should sleep for 6 to 8 hours and if you’re not getting that then it will affect you. Make sure you get enough sleep and you will feel fresh and ready to take on the day.

#2 Exercise

Health doesn’t just give you physical health benefits. It also helps you deal with stress. Hard day at work? Lift something heavy, go to the gym and release all your energy. Trust me it works wonders, even if going to the gym is not your thing, going for a walk can count as exercise too. As long as you are doing something that is keeping you more active than usual.

#3 Control Your Breathing

You should be able to control your breathing. When you begin to feel like things are getting stressful, pause and take a minute to inhale and exhale.

After a few minutes of slow breathing, you will begin to feel your stress slowly fade away and your heart slowing down.

#4 Talk It Out With Someone

Simply discussing with somebody about how you feel can be useful. Talking can work by either diverting you from your unpleasant thoughts or it can help you know about the complexity of the problem you are worried about.

When you are in a state of stress you can easily think negative thoughts and that can build up. You may reach a point where you begin to think things which do even not exist.

#5 Don’t Over Think

This is one of the big mistakes that we normal people do. Overthinking can overcomplicate things and that, of course, will increase your stress, because you will be overwhelmed by the complexity that you have created in your mind. Keep things simple and stress-free.

#6 Learn To Say ‘No’

Some of us have a big problem with saying no. if we take on things we are unlikely to complete, we will be stressed about them. If someone asks you to do something and you know you can’t do it just say ‘no’.

You may think you’re doing them a favor but when they give you the task and you end up not doing it, you just cause stress for both you and them. It would have been much better to just say you can’t do it from the offset.

9 Green Tea Health Benefits You Didn’t Know

After water, green tea is actually the most popular beverage in the world. It has been consumed for thousands of years. Green tea has been praised for its health benefits for centuries all over the world, however, has only recently begun to gain popularity in countries such as the US and the UK. Green tea health benefits are extensive, ranging from weight loss benefits to medical benefits. If you aren’t including this delicious drink in your daily life then you are seriously missing out.

Consumption of tea originated in China over 4000 years ago. This makes green tea the oldest plant-based tea known to us. According to legend, the first cup of green tea was made in 2727 BC during the reign of emperor Shennong. Green tea was then introduced to Japan in the 9th century. Surprisingly, green tea and black tea originate from the same plant species – Camellia sinensis. What dictates whether the tea is green or black is how the leaves are processed and the variety of the tea plant. In other words, green tea is a type of tea that hasn’t undergone the same oxidation and withering that is used to make black and oolong tea.

Green Tea Health Benefits

Below I will be listing all the health benefits associated with green tea. However, it is important to note that not all the following Green tea health benefits are definitive as more evidence and research is needed till the benefits are considered proven facts.

1. Green tea will help improve your memory

According to research, green tea has been shown to increase connections between the frontal and parietal brain regions while working memory is processing. The study has come to the conclusion that green tea improved the participant’s performance on memory-related tasks. The research team also concludes that it is possible that green tea can be used to help with treatment of cognitive impairments such as dementia. The study was fairly small, therefore it would be helpful if more research was done, however, it is interesting nonetheless. And certainly, gives us reason to make this ancient drink a daily habit.

2. Green tea for weight loss

A number of different studies have shown that green tea can help with weight loss. Let’s look at how it works. Put simply, since green tea is less processed than regular tea, it will have a higher concentration of polyphenols (or catechins) than any other tea. These are known active ingredients which are linked to weight loss and increased metabolism. It is possible that the tea will increase body temperature which will burn more calories, and may also prevent the accumulation of fat. Also, there is caffeine in green tea, caffeine helps with both fat loss and weight loss. According to research, caffeine helps burn an extra 9 calories per 199 milligrams of caffeine consumed.

This may sound minimal, however, keep in mind that weight loss is dictated by the overall calories you consume throughout the day. A cup of green tea will only contain 2 calories, so if you’re drinking green tea as a substitute to a less healthy beverage then it will definitely help you lose weight.

3. Green tea may lower the risk of heart disease

A number of studies have looked at the link between green tea and heart disease. So what does the evidence tell us? A study of over 40,000 adults found that those who drank more than 5 cups of green tea a day were 26% less likely to die from a stroke or heart attack than those who didn’t drink green tea at all. Another observational study which looked at green tea drinkers and black tea drinkers found that those who drank more green tea had a lower risk of coronary artery disease.

Even though the what we know is limited, the research so far looks to be in favor of the fact that green tea may lower the risk of heart disease. There seemed to be no disadvantage of drinking a few cups of green tea a day, so there’s no harm in trying it out if it may be beneficial.

4. Drinking green is good for oral health

Yes, this popular drink is also good for your mouth. Green tea contains compounds that have been suggested to fight bacterial infection and control inflammation. So, therefore, since green tea controls bacteria and lowers acidity of dental plaque and saliva, it can be a good tool for preventing cavities. Green tea is also very helpful for your gum health. Its inflammation control seems to help reduce gum disease. A German survey conducted a survey which found that those who drank green tea had healthier gums than those who didn’t. A Japanese study of about a thousand men also found similar positive results.

5. Drinking green tea helps get rid of bad breath

According to research, green tea will also help get rid of bad breath, as bad breath is caused by bacteria in your mouth, the same compounds found in green tea that fight bacteria will also reduce bad breath. As you can agree, this is another one of the amazing green tea health benefits.

6. Green tea is anti-cancer

Cancer cells form when the cells in the body break out of the regular cycle of growth and death, hence leading them to grow uncontrollably. This, of course, leads to dangerous, life-threatening tumors in various parts of the body. The antioxidants found in green tea can prevent this in a few ways. Antioxidants, including EGCG, which is found in green tea, seems to kill cancer cells by triggering the activity of pro-death proteins, this essentially causes the cancer cells to ‘commit suicide’. The antioxidants found in green tea also prevent the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. It is important to keep in mind that only a small number of studies have been done, more research is needed.

7. Green Tea is good for your skin

Green tea has antioxidants and anti-aging benefits that may delay signs of aging, such as age spots, skin damage, wrinkles and sunspots. Human research and animal research has been done on this subject matter, and it has found positive results when green tea is applied topically.

8. Green Tea helps reduce depression

Green tea is a rich source of a number of beneficial antioxidants and amino acids. One of which is the amino acid Theanine. Theanine is found naturally in tea leaves, it offers the drinker anti-stress and relaxation, which is a great benefit to those who deal with depression. Another one of the amazing green tea health benefits.

9. Green Tea and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Studies carried out have shown promising results concerning restoring damaged brain cells and preventing brain cells from dying as a result of green tea. However, the research that was conducted used a far higher dose of active green tea chemicals than what would ever be found in the human body. With more research and understanding of how the mechanical process works, green tea could be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

How much green tea per day?

To maximize the benefits of green tea in a safe manner, it has been recommended that you drink about 2 to 3 cups per day. This will give you about 230 to 320 mg of polyphenols per day. However, green tea does contain caffeine and too much caffeine isn’t good for you, so if possible opt for caffeine-free products. If you want to optimize green tea benefits further then your best option is taking green tea supplements. This will allow you to maximize benefits without having to drink all those cups of tea.

That concludes our list. As I am sure you will agree, there are too many benefits that come from green tea to ignore. If you want an overall healthier life then you should seriously consider making this amazing drink a regular part of your life.