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Wednesday 21 November 2012

The feeling you get when you wake up without the horror of heartache;of having had coonversations with friends that leave you feeling stimulated rather than more obssesed than ever;of having achieved something else with your time. Being happy in you own skin and doing yourself justice so that you can thrive. The rest follows. You have so many tools at your disposal, from your brain to your spirit to your freedom to your emotional intuition to your willpower, and now's the time to put them to work for you. You can do more, you can be more. And once you are done with you, you'll be more confident, successful, irresistable, and more beautiful.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

The only thing keeping me sane is work. I'm not complaining,that's how my life is supposed to be cause I'm young and still building my future. Work was probably not my no1 priority for the past two years. I've been too busy trying to 'build' a relationship and it consumed me, I let it. Never made enough time to achieve my goals and dreams. not knowing that what I built in 2 years 2 months will crash in just 1 weekend of unnecessary pain and frustration. One Friday incident I never thought warranted a breakup ended the relationship and resulted in a weekend of avoidance and me making a fool of myself making calls that were never returned. And to top it all off, I sent smses I regret sending as if I was wasted. The following day entailed me writing the whole night like I had done the previous week and thought about where I wan't to take my life, my career. Statistics prove that the most successful women are single, I'm going to be one of them and I'm not terrified. I am looking forward to it. They say everything happens for a reason but you have to learn the lesson before you know the reason. I have learned the lesson: never commit in your 20s when,there is still so much to do,don't ever let any guy steal your self worth and self esteem and never try to turn a man into what you want him to be, let him be who he wants to be. No matter the pain, a woman must be strong and see being single as an opportunity to put her life in perspective. And if he doesn't give a damn how you feel, he is not worth your tears.

Thursday 20 September 2012

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be.
That’s when you have to tell yourself that things will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself. The turning point was when I realized I can do it myself. You have to believe in you because sometimes there's no other person that does believe in your success but you.

Thursday 06 September 2012

Relationships are give and take. You would be stupid to get out of one having learned nothing. I've just come out of one and I have learned a lot of things that I'm gonna use for the rest of my life. You know its true, there's a reason why people come into your life, there's always a reason, you just have to find it. Its hard to get over people never being part of your life ever again but no pain lasts forever. All pain is there to teach us a lesson.

Monday 25 June 2012

Its whats inside that matters

It’s what’s inside that matters 
Something’s going on inside of me; 
It’s like the opposite of what’s happening outside: 
Outside I’m dying a little everyday 
Inside I’m coming to life, changing, getting stronger 
Joy keeps bubbling up 
I keep getting more hopeful; 
Even though I know my body’s going to die 
I keep loving people more 
It’s the strangest thing: I’m dying on the outside but inside I’m coming to life 
Trouble and hardship can win the outer game pretty easily 
But there is a you in you that no one can touch 
That’s the one you must pay attention to, 
For that’s the game you can win 
Be grateful for the outer you 
Make peace with it 
Rejoice in its strengths 
Accept its limitations 
Let it work hard 
Be happy when it gets promoted, 
But remember, it’s wasting away 
The inner you on the other hand, is capable of a glory you can’t even imagine 
Make your biggest investment in the thing that will last 
I have mastered the inner game 

Friday 18 May 2012

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

Carrie’s story

Carrie has always been a worrier, but it never interfered with her life before. Lately, however, she’s been feeling keyed up all the time. She’s paralyzed by an omnipresent sense of dread, and worries constantly about the future. Her worries make it difficult to concentrate at work, and when she gets home she can’t relax.
Carrie is also having sleep difficulties, tossing and turning for hours before she falls asleep. She also gets frequent stomach cramps and diarrhea, and has a chronic stiff neck from muscle tension. Carrie feels like she’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension.
Unlike a phobia, where your fear is connected to a specific thing or situation, the anxiety of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is diffuse—a general feeling of dread or unease that colors your whole life. This anxiety is less intense than a panic attack, but much longer lasting, making normal life difficult and relaxation impossible.
If you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) you may worry about the same things that other people do: health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. But you take these worries to a new level.
A co-worker’s careless comment about the economy becomes a vision of an imminent pink slip; a phone call to a friend that isn’t immediately returned becomes anxiety that the relationship is in trouble. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. You go about your activities filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke them.
Whether you realize that your anxiety is more intense than the situation calls for or believe that your worrying protects you in some way, the end result is the same. You can’t turn off your anxious thoughts. They keep running through your head, on endless repeat.

 
To Cope with Anxiety, Remember A-W-A-R-E

The key to switching out of an anxiety state is to accept it fully. Remaining in the present and accepting your anxiety cause it to disappear.
A: Accept the anxiety. Welcome it. Don’t fight it. Replace your rejection, anger, and hatred of it with acceptance. By resisting, you’re prolonging the unpleasantness of it. Instead, flow with it. Don’t make it responsible for how you think, feel, and act.
W: Watch your anxiety. Look at it without judgment – not good, not bad. Rate it on a 0-to-10 scale and watch it go up and down. Be detached. Remember, you’re not your anxiety. The more you can separate yourself from the experience, the more you can just watch it.
A: Act with the anxiety. Act as if you aren’t anxious. Function with it. Slow down if you have to, but keep going. Breathe slowly and normally. If you run from the situation your anxiety will go down, but your fear will go up. If you stay, both your anxiety and your fear will go down.
R: Repeat the steps. Continue to accept your anxiety, watch it, and act with it until it goes down to a comfortable level. And it will. Just keep repeating these three steps: accept, watch, and act with it.
E: Expect the best. What you fear the most rarely happens. Recognize that a certain amount of anxiety is normal. By expecting future anxiety you’re putting yourself in a good position to accept it when it comes again.
Adapted from: Anxiety Disorders and Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective, by Aaron Beck and Gary Emery

Wednesday 02 May 2012

Just Quoting

"The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness."
Abraham Maslow

Neuroplasticity: Changing our Belief about Change


People don't resist change. They resist being changed! --Peter Senge

--by Joanna Holsten, Original Story, Apr 23, 2012


A dangerous belief in our culture is that we can't change. We’ve all heard the disempowered statements: “He’s just grumpy. He can’t change that.” or “I will always be anxious. It's the way I was born.” While we most certainly have genetic predispositions, the brains of individuals’ young and old can change in amazing ways.
Neuroplasticity is a fancy way of saying that our brains can change. We are not victims of our neurons or genes. We are empowered creators of our mental states. The erroneous belief that we are "set in stone" can stop people from trying to change and take away their responsibility. In the same way that germ theory altered the way we look at sanitation and hygiene, I think that spreading the knowledge about our brain’s ability to change can alter the way our culture approaches emotions, attitudes, and values.
Our brains can change.  
Our brains are made up of billions of neurons. Neurons connect to one another, forming pathways that relay information. We learn things by forming neural connections in response to associations in our everyday experiences. In learning to drive a car, we experience the connection between red traffic lights and pressing the brake. We form a neural pathway for this association. Each time we brake at a red light, we reinforce and strengthen the neural pathway. As the saying goes, "Neurons that fire together, wire together." The more we practice something, the more we strengthen the pathway, and the easier the skill becomes. Our behavioral response can become almost automatic.
Our brain can also prune old neural pathways to quiet or unlearn associations. For example, after you move to a different home, you learn the directions to your new place and stop practicing your old path. But in those first few weeks after a move, have you ever found yourself engrossed in another thought and accidentally pulling into the driveway of your old home because your automatic pathway took over? Luckily, by refraining from the old directions and practicing the new way home, you strengthen a new neural pathway and the old neural pathway weakens. It's a good thing our brains can change, or we would still be pulling up to our childhood home.
Similar to physical skills like driving, the brain also forms neural pathways in learning and practicing emotional skills. Your emotional responses to experiences in your world are the result of well-worn neural pathways that developed over your lifetime. While our genes influence our temperament, research has demonstrated that our environment and our own mind can physically alter our brains and thus our emotional responses. This means that emotions that we want more of in our life and our world, like happiness, patience, tolerance, compassion, and kindness, can be practiced and learned as skills. Other emotions, like anxiety, stress, fear, or anger, can be dampened.
Keeping in the car motif, let’s talk about an emotional association: traffic and anger. When we get stuck in traffic, an automatic response can be anger or frustration. But, by feeling angry every time we are in traffic, we are strengthening that neural pathway and cementing that emotional response. When there is nothing we can do in that moment but accept the traffic, wouldn’t it be great to feel positive emotions instead? We can just observe the negative emotion that we are feeling and try practicing a different emotional response. We can start linking traffic with stillness and peace. This would be difficult at first because we want to let the well-developed neural pathway leading to anger fire, but by inhibiting that pathway, we help unwire those connections and strengthen a different response. As we practice responding with peace, we strengthen a new neural pathway and it becomes easier to choose.
Using neuroimaging, researchers have demonstrated significant success in reducing anxiety, depression, phobia, and stress with cognitive-behavioral therapy or interpersonal psychotherapy. By learning different strategies to recognize negative thoughts and emotions and practice alternative responses over time, neural pathways in the brain are physically altered. Science has only recently recognized the value of investing in research on behaviors that promote well-being, including compassion and happiness. By comparing the brains of experts and novices in compassion meditation, neuroscientists illustrated changes in the brain region responsible for empathy during and after meditation. Researchers are just beginning to examine the effect of training novices in skills to increase compassion. While interventions have demonstrated positive impacts on emotional states and prosocial behaviors, we look to future studies to determine alterations in the structure and function of the brain in novices who undergo contemplative and emotional training. 
Let's learn and practice compassion, kindness, and happiness.
Knowing that our brains can change, we then ask, what do we want in our brains? And as a result, what do we want in our world? Most people of good will yearn for happiness, compassion, and love. Let’s start practicing.
Gratitude reflections, compassion priming, and meditation interventions are some strategies found to enhance well-being and increase prosocial behavior. Several studies have shown the positive impact of gratitude journals, which involve self-guided listing of what you are thankful for. Individuals who kept a daily gratitude journal reported higher levels of positive emotions, including feeling attentive, determined, energetic, enthusiastic, excited, interested, joyful, and strong, compared to individuals who kept a journal on daily hassles or ways in which one was better off than others (downward social comparison). In addition, individuals who maintained daily gratitude journals were more likely to offer emotional support to others and help someone with a problem7. Contemplative interventions, born from the collaboration of meditation traditions and emotion science, have centered on developing mindfulness to enhance compassion and happiness in the lives of individuals. One recent study provided an 8-week training program in secular meditation to female schoolteachers and measured their responses to stress, conflict, and compassion. The intervention significantly reduced rumination, depression, and anxiety while increasing mindfulness, empathy, compassion, and stabilizing hostility and contempt compared to a control group6.
In my experience, learning about the concept of neuroplasticity and finding the skills to change my emotional responses has immensely improved my life. Before grasping this, I thought my mind was a black box. I didn't understand why I felt certain things beyond the immediate external circumstances. I had no idea how to change things. I scoffed at seeing a therapist because I couldn't imagine what they would help me with. I had no idea what I would even say to a therapist. Luckily, the good ones can help you understand your mind and the process of change. You don't even have to know where to start; the decision to change is enough. The practice of meditation gave me the set of skills to guide my own transformation. It has been the most life altering skill that I have gained. I shifted from thinking that my emotion and thoughts owned me to feeling like I could play a role in changing my state. This is challenging work and takes patient practice, but as I am experiencing the fruits of these skills, peaceful relationships, a joyful outlook on life, and a safe harbor within myself during difficult times, I am determined to work even harder.
Neuroscience, positive psychology, and contemplative traditions have given us a roadmap. We know our brains can change based on our environment and our behaviors. What if we started building and reinforcing the neural pathways of love, cooperation, forgiveness, and kindness so that these things became our automatic response? What if we adopted and shared this belief that we can change and took responsibility for our outlook on life? What if we taught children in schools about their ability to reflect on and guide their emotions? What if we started priming those around us in our families and community with our own grateful reflections and kind actions? What if our compassionate actions in schools, families, and communities started shifting our culture? I find these possibilities exhilarating and hopeful. By learning and practicing these positive emotional responses, I think our world can discover a new way home and pull into the driveway of compassion.
 

Tuesday 24 April 2012

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Thursday 19 April 2012

17 year old girl gang raped

My heart goes out to the mentally ill 17 year old girl who was gang raped by seven men in Soweto.Its been reported that this girl has been sexually molested since the age of 12. Its quite frightening how people take advantage of those without a "voice". I hope that justice prevails and that these men be punished.May God be with the family.

Save your child…before its too late!

 It’s pretty common for parents to just leave it to the teachers to fully care for their kids in the school environment…but is this the right thing to do? I would disagree!

Help the teacher to help your child 

One of the reasons mental illness is left untreated is that parents do not play their roles to make sure their kids are well looked after at school. For most parents, simply enrolling their kids in a school is enough; they never really get to be fully involved after that. This is not to say the parents should take all the blame for such negligence. In today’s busy life it’s easy for parents to get caught up in their own lives and neglect their children’s well-being only to notice when it’s a little too late. It’s not wise to assume that your child’s teacher is well-equipped with psychological knowledge. Don’t just assume that the teacher knows what ADHD is, reality is…they might not know. The easiest thing to do would be to explain your child’s needs. And if your child has a psychological disorder, let the teachers know. Teachers should also be informed what to do or who to call in case of your child’s emergency. This applies for any other condition both psychological and physical.The last thing you want is your child dying in the hands of teachers who had no clue what the problem was.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

When we are sick or injured we head straight to the doctor. We should do the same with our mental health and treat it with the same level of care and concern we do a physical problem.

Monday 19 March 2012

Cellphone use during pregnancy linked to ADHD

Another caution has been added to the list of concerns around cellphone radiation, following a recent study that shows it may be linked to hyperactivity in children.
Yale School of Medicine researchers last week released a study that extrapolates the use of cellphones during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, which in turn may lead to behavioural disorders resembling attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The results of Yale's empirical procedure, involving the use of pregnant mice exposed to radiation, were published in the 15 March edition of Scientific Reports, a nature publication. The report describes how the team of researchers exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a cellphone, muted and silenced, positioned above their cage. The phone was placed on an active phone call for the duration of the trial. Another cage of mice, a “control group” was kept under the same conditions, but with a deactivated cellphone.
The team then measured electrical brain activity of adult mice that had been exposed to radiation as foetuses and conducted behavioural and psychological tests. They found the group of mice that had had prenatal exposure to radiation were more hyperactive and had reduced memory capacity.
The report attributes this to an effect during pregnancy on the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain. “The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is responsible for executive functions by screening distractions and maintaining attention in goal-oriented behaviours. Impairment of the PFC leads to dysregulated behaviour/emotion such as ADHD.”
Mice and men
While their research established a link between prenatal cellphone radiation and ADHD-like symptoms in laboratory mice, the authors say further experiments need to be conducted to determine a parallel human result.
“We present the first experimental evidence of neuropathology due to in-utero cellulartelephone radiation. Further experiments are needed in humans or non-human primates to determine the risk of exposure during pregnancy.”
The report, however, reiterates that, while “the direct effects of radio frequency radiation exposure on neurodevelopment remain unknown” and results are difficult to translate precisely into human vulnerability, it is worth heeding the findings.
“The significant trend between the groups treated for 0, 9, 15, and 24 hours/day demonstrates that the effects are directly proportional to usage time, and suggests that safety limits, particularly for pregnant women, can be established.”
Authors of the report, including Dr Hugh S Taylor, Tamir Aldad, Geliang Gan and Xiao-Bing Gao, remark in their opening statement that the association is significant, “given the increasing number of cellular phone users worldwide, reaching approximately four billion as of December 2008.”
Article courtesy of It Web, by Bonnie Tubbs. www.itweb.co.za

9 year old Autistic Social Entrepreneur

--by Huffington Post, Original Story, Mar 15, 2012

Kent Melville's father was skeptical when his son first said that he wanted to use the profits from his successful summer lemonade stand to start his own soda company. Aaron Melville, who teaches business classes at a local college, did not believe his 9-year-old autistic son was ready to run his own business.
Kent was determined to do something to help others with autism, however, which inspired his father to reconsider. Aaron described on a Facebook page for the organization, why he decided to help his son start Kent's Soda after initially encouraging him to wait until he was older.
Kent pondered that for a minute. He then looked at me and said "Dad, I have everything I need right now, but there are lots of other kids with autism that can't do the things they want or need. I want to be able to help them get some of the things they want with the money we earn. Can't we start now? I don't want to wait." I had never been prouder. With a tear of gratitude in my eye, I agreed.
Though he has enlisted the help of his parents, students at a local community college, and members of the faculty, The Caledonian Record describes how the young entrepreneur is taking charge of his business.
Kent has chosen the flavors himself, and they currently include root beer, orange, lemonade, raspberry limeade, grape, strawberry and cream soda. Kent plans to add an additional flavor each year. The first one will be root beer mixed with orange.


He has come up with a marketing plans that will include a giant root beer volcano, and rejects others ideas when he doesn't agree with them.
One proposal suggested targeting a market of soda pop buyers in an age group from 13 to 24. Kent's response was, "What? Are you stupid? That would mean I couldn't drink my own soda."
Gimundo reports that Kent's sodas were featured at the 2011 Johnsbury World Maple Festival earlier this year. They are also sold at a local farm, a nearby restaurant, and the old-fashioned way -- from a stand set up near Kent's house.
Kent's Soda may outgrow the stand quickly, however. According to The Caledonian Record Kent and his family have high hopes for the small company.
A bottler was signed up and the first 24 cases of Kent's soda was turned out by the Walpole, N.H., company, which says he can keep up with 25,000 bottles at a time, but may have to rework things if sales really take off.