Best 5 Ways to Treat Your Child’s Depression

Best 5 Ways to Treat Your Child’s Depression

Dealing with depression in adolescence already can be quite the process, but it can become a seemingly impossible endeavor when dealing with younger people who are still growing and prone to radical mood swings and bouts of anxiety, anger and confusion. Growing up is a difficult thing to do, but you can make it easier for your teens by being there to help when their burdens become too great to bear.

An attentive parent should be able to tell when their teen is depressed. Increased or decreased eating, sadness, lack of motivation, tiredness, crying and other highly visible symptoms usually persist. Identifying depression is one thing though; dealing with it is something else altogether. In my opinion, here are the 5 things you should do if you think your teen is depressed.

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What You Should Know About Youth Homelessness

What You Should Know About Youth Homelessness

Youth homelessness is not a small problem. In fact, as the population of the United States booms, more single parents than ever are trying to raise children and even homes with two parents still aren’t perfect – nothing is perfect. Although experts widely disagree over exactly how many of our children under 18 are living on the street, that’s only because it’s just so hard to identify and keep an accurate count of the amount.

Many older children who feel they can manage on their own will lie about their homelessness to avoid authorities getting involved with their struggle. It is a source of great embarrassment to most children, high school aged and younger, who feel like the situation they’re in is their fault and that they must be very different from their peers, who aren’t homeless.

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Top 10 Youth’s Troubles in Modern Society

Growing up has never been easier, but it seems to become more difficult over time as young people find new ways to harass, bully and hurt one another. I couldn’t tell you how many schools have banned cell phones on the premises because students would use a network of text messages to summon friends for a fight in seconds, but that’s a very real problem today which nobody would have imagined even ten years ago. These are the top 10 troubles our modern youths have when growing up, at least in my eyes.

10. School Violence

This one only gets such a low spot because it is a relatively new problem, but the effect of violence in schools should not be underestimated. For many young people, it’s already hard enough just concentrating on the different classes, problems, equations, proofs, diagrams and everything else they need to know, without fear of getting gunned down.

9. Materialism

This one has always been a problem for young people, who seem to want the newest item or latest release of something just because their friends have it. In truth, this is also a problem for many adults in modern society, but children suffer the worst for it because few of them actually have the funds available to go buy something when they want. This leads to stealing, bullying, teasing and being robbed, bullied or teased, making it a major issue for today’s young people.

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How to Help Your Kids Develop Talents

How to Help Your Kids Develop Talents

Everyone is good at something, it seems. Even if your child isn’t a star quarterback, the brightest kid in his class or the fastest girl running track, they are bound to be good at some other things they might really enjoy. As a parent, it is your job to help your children find their talents and then develop those talents.

Learning how to throw and catch a ball is about a lot more than just developing hand eye coordination (though that’s certainly a fine benefit). It is about helping your child to find that feeling that they are good at something; that there is something they can do and do well. Building confidence like this is only good for a young person’s self-image, which is constantly changing based on the feedback they’re getting from the world around them.

In my opinion, these few tips could really help you to find what activities your child shines at, as well as help them to discover those things in life which really give them joy.

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How to Prevent Violence at Schools

How to Prevent Violence at Schools

Schools are supposed to be safe places for students and teachers, where the young can learn something about the world from the old who have studied and lived in it since before they were born. It pains me that violence in schools, which was once caused only by the most extremely disturbed in the past, has now become painfully commonplace. As our students evolve, we too need to evolve in terms of how we deal with them and stop them from becoming a danger to themselves or those around them.

Be Seen, Be Heard

As far as most teachers are concerned, what happens in an educator’s classroom is more or less the responsibility of that educator. While many teachers get involved with students during normal class hours, not so many are willing to extend that support outside of the classroom. Just by maintaining a presence, you can help deter violence, bullying and other events; be seen in hallways, cafeterias and other parts of your school where there is typically a lot of traffic between classes. If you see something wrong then speak up! You are more often than not going to be the only adult available, so you must step up.

Listen

Just like you should be seen and heard by students in and out of class, I think it is important for teachers everywhere to pay more attention during idle moments in class. Prior to the awful event at Columbine (as well as several other schools, actually), other students knew that something was being planned. It may not come up during conversations in class, but if it does, then you’ll be in a better position to stop violence before it starts with the knowledge you pick up just from listening to your students’ conversations.

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Cool Hobby to Follow: Longboarding

Cool Hobby to Follow LongboardingHobbies are what make your life more interesting and when you choose one as hyper cool as longboarding you surely will be a great hit among your friends. I was hooked to longboarding when I went to an awesome longboard racing competition with my cousin.

He’s a great longboard fan and had just started out learning it. We’d a great time at the competition and seeing those long boarders do those stunts was simply amazing and I fell in love instantly with longboard.

I pestered my cousin into teaching me longboarding and after a week or two of daily practice I’m reasonably good at it now. The day I longboarded without a single fall, I was so happy that I told my class about it.  A few folks decided to try it out. They got themselves these longboards, and told their friends about this awesome hobby.

The sliding, skating and racing that you do with a longboard gives an exhilarating feeling, which you’re sure to love when you get adept at surfing in it. Though initially you may feel it difficult to get the balance, once you learn it, it is easy to cruise on land and go racing downhill at super speeds. And when you get friends who also longboard, it gets even more fun filled and exciting. You’ll find it easy chill out with your friends and it is also one of the best stress relievers I know of. You feel free and liberated when you race with the longboard, especially on a windy day.

For those who are new to longboarding it may sound crazy and seeing the long boarders racing downhill or bombing the hills can give a shock to your system. But it is not that dangerous, once you do it on your own and for daredevils like me, it’s just plain and undiluted fun to let free and race wherever you want to go.

About longboard

The longboard is actually similar to skateboarding, but with a longer board of about 35inches to 60 inches long. There is a baseplate mounted on to the board and wheels fixed by hanger attachments under the board. The width ranges from 180mm to 215 mm and decides the stability of the board and how easily you can do the turns with the board. The wheels are 60 mm to 90 mm and the hardness measurement is done using durometer scale.

Wonderful hobby

While playing a match of tennis or any other game may sound appealing, you may ask why go for longboarding. The answer is simple. For the thrill of it, and nothing else! Once you get the hang of riding with the board you’ll start craving to be on it always. Instead of wasting away your time with video games or surfing on the net, going for an exhilarating ride sounds more thrilling and fun. You can go to many places, take part in competitions too once you master the skill and have a great time all-around with your friends, which is what I’m doing now. I’m even promoting longboarding and recommending my friends to visit Longboardnations.com

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How to Motivate Your Kid

How to Motivate Your KidKids nowadays are so much hooked to video games and TV that it is hard to turn them towards productive and beneficial ways of spending their time. Moreover I find that their entire behavior suffers as a result. More and more violence committed by kids is being mentioned in the media highlighting the importance of guiding them towards the right path and motivating them.

Why it is difficult

Most often parents think that the kids don’t care about anything unless we force the issue. What they don’t know is that such pressure tactics will backfire. It is not possible to make your kid care just because you say so. This can prevent them from getting motivated too. This ends up more like a control for power, and the kid may get the impression that you care more about his grades than about him.

Cornering is counterproductive

If you try to stress more about your kid’s performance and corner him, it can result in him acting against your wishes, just to prove you’re wrong. You need to know what his responsibilities are and more importantly what yours is. If for instance, your kid doesn’t do his school work, you should explain to him how the world functions in reality.

You should let him understand that if you as a parent do not do your office work, you won’t be paid. Teach him the consequences of his bad choices and not just make him feel that you care more the school work being completed. To show the consequences is your job as a parent. The main thing to note here is that motivation cannot be done to get a person to care. You can however influence and inspire him to do the things that are good for his future.

Here are some tips to motivate your kid:

  • You shouldn’t let your anxiety to motivate them be visible.
  • The best way to motivate is to stop trying it. You can instead inspire them by some other means that’ll reach them more than your direct approach.
  • Allow your kid to make his own decisions and if he fails, let him face the results. If he fails in his choice, make him accept accountability. For instance, if he doesn’t complete his work, take away the video game and give it only when he completes it. This works more effectively than all your motivational talk. Sport might be a good activity to forge motivational habits; you can try out set up a home gym, like this one.
  • You need to know what type of actions motivates your kid, what his desires, ambitions and goals in life are. Observe him objectively and make sure you listen to what he says. Respecting his answers even if you don’t agree with them will have a great impact on him than just ordering him about.
  • You need to decide on how you want to motivate your kid. Rather than doing the right thing, you should try to choose doing the right things like influencing your kids, so they get self-motivated rather than pushing them to get motivated.
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Importance of Physical Activity in Early Childhood

Importance of Physical Activity in Early Childhood

With how often the media blares it at us every day, the majority of us know how important physical activity is for adults. People working desk jobs need to get up and move around more often, or risk serious health implications from blood clots, for example. But did you know that physical activity is just as important in early childhood as it is in adulthood? In fact, I’d wager that getting kids active is even more important than getting adults to do the same. There are several reasons for this, and I’ll be happy to share them with you, right here and right now.

In especially young children, like those who are just learning to walk, imposing physical activity can let parents know about any impairments or problems their young baby might have. There are developmental stages that every child goes through, and I’ll get into that more a little later, but if you’ve got a three year old who’s still crawling and won’t stand up, you might have a serious problem. Now is probably a good time to mention that while I do work with children in schools, I’m certainly not a medical doctor. If you think your child may have a problem, then you should seek professional help.

Besides being an accurate gauge as to a very young child’s development, physical activity is also an important part of maintaining health at every stage of childhood, early on and later too. Simple things like walking is a good thing for health, especially when you consider how much time kids spend sitting down. They’re stuck behind desks for about a third of the day, then they come home and they’ve homework to do, which is more sitting around. Health professionals in the media regularly warn adults against a sedentary lifestyle like this, but our children are facing it every day!

Physical activity isn’t just for boys either. Parents should promote a sport for girls in the same way they would promote the same sport for boys. It’s important for both genders to get active, to get up, and to get moving around. Now, I don’t think any young children are at a very high risk for developing blood clots due to sitting around too much, but you never know. A child could have a genetic disposition to do just that, and as a parent, you would have no idea until it was already too late. It’s not a pleasant thought, but there’s nothing pleasant about the cumulative consequences of inactivity.

Further, physical activity makes an excellent method for relieving aggression in people of all ages. It’s not just for helping adults cope with stress, you know – children can have a fair amount of stress in their lives too, and exercise is just as good for helping them deal with theirs as well. Because it can help to prevent aggression in kids as well as it does in adults, some sort of physical activity should be a daily thing for children. As mentioned before, a simple walk can accomplish this, but I know how boring those can be, as well as how quickly children find something else to do when they get bored.

With that in mind, I’d recommend you look at sports like baseball, basketball or football, anything that will get your young ones up and active. Of course, it would help a lot if you found an activity they really enjoyed. That would make it a lot less like work and a lot more like the fun afterschool activity that it ought to be. If the activity you incorporate is one your child or children enjoy, then it will be much easier for you to make it a habitual thing for them, something they do so regularly they don’t even think about it, just like making the bed or brushing their teeth.

Since I’ve brought up school, let me take the opportunity to explain how physical activity has a positive effect on academic performance as well. I don’t need to be a Doctor to speak on this point with some authority, either; even a gym teacher could tell you that increasing blood flow and respiration leads to more oxygen in the blood, and in turn, more oxygen in the brain. This heightens concentration, reduces anxiety, and generally leads to a student being more attentive and getting more out of the time they spend studying or listening to lectures.

When I think of that, it really is a shame that so many schools are cutting physical fitness programs from their schedules. Kids need physical activity, just as much as their parents do. I truly believe that if we would go back to the way we used to do things, where children got a good hour of hard play and fun in every school day, then we would see a general rise in grades and aptitudes across the board. While I’m not in a position to make any sweeping changes to the educational system like that, I can still do a lot to help the kids at the school where I work, and that just has to be enough for me.

You don’t have to take my word for it on this, either. There are numerous resources available which will support the claims I’ve made here, and to be honest, some of them probably have better information than I provided here too. Regardless of where you’re getting the information though, one thing is for sure – children of all ages can benefit greatly from having physical activity injected into their lives. Not that you would inject it like you would a vaccine or a flu shot, but I think you take my meaning here.

Do you or your child (or children) have a favorite activity you’d like to share? For parents who spend a majority of their time working and taking care of their kids, it can be hard to come up with the free time to try and figure out a good activity plan. Please, share your thoughts below.

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A Letter from My Student

A Letter from My Student

As a teacher, I’m fortunate to have many moments in my life where I feel like I’m really making a difference in the minds of the students under my tutelage. Sometimes I can see it in their eyes, the way they light up when they finally understand a difficult concept, or learn to do something they really didn’t think they’d ever be able to do. Other times, these moments come years later, long after a particular student has moved on into adulthood and joined the working world. For example, I was lucky enough to have one of my former students write me a letter, pretty recently at that.

In this letter, my former student, who I’ll call Maxine for convenience and to maintain anonymity, told me much about how her life has been after graduating from school and entering the workforce. She’s come a long way from the child she was when I knew her, and this hand-written note she sent along to me proves it. Imagine that, being excited to get a note! Back in the day, I’d have scolded her for passing notes in class, but this was a pleasant and welcome occurrence, let me tell you.

I can’t reproduce the whole letter here, and I wouldn’t even if I could. It was a kind of intimate thing, as letters to former teachers sometimes are. In short though, she wrote to thank me for teaching a way to live a fulfilling life. She told me that she’s now working as a nail technician, at some stylist or another. The name of the place escapes me. However, the feeling of satisfaction I get from knowing that I helped someone to “make it”, so to speak, I don’t think I’ll ever lost track of that. I know I’m not the only reason she’s found success in her life, but being thanked for the part I played still feels nice.

She has a house, a husband, kids and even a dog – really the kind of All-American family you read about in books and see on television shows. As happy as it makes me, I’m even happier for her, knowing that she managed to secure a career she can rely on for years to come. The knowledge that she’s achieved some level of financial security really warms my heart. It’s a little sad too, since I know many of my former students who didn’t have it as good as she does so soon after school.

She earns a decent amount for a living as a nail technician. Perhaps it isn’t the type of job I would have chosen for her, but then it’s her life and not mine. As a teacher, it’s important to remain subjective about my students. I can show them the way, instruct them in this and that, and give them the tools to make good decisions… but I can’t make those decisions for them. Not that hers was a bad decision, not at all. She’s comfortable and happy with her life. What more could anyone ask for, really?

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Health and Soul Benefits of Hand Crafting Hobby

Health and Soul Benefits of Hand Crafting Hobby

There’s a very good feeling which accompanies creating something from nothing. Whether you’re gluing together Popsicle sticks to make picture frames, or tilling earth to grow healthy fruits and vegetables in a home garden, there are myriad health and soul benefits to hand crafting hobbies. Aside from those good feelings you gain for yourself by getting your body and mind working in tandem, you can give good feelings to those around you by giving away your works, thereby getting more good feelings back from those same people. You’ve probably heard of downward spirals – this is more like an upward one.

Some crafts take more skill and patience than others. Some require special knowledge, which means there’s usually an amount of research necessary before you can even begin. Still others demand hands-on experience, and plenty of it, before you’ll be able to produce anything worthwhile. Regardless of the particular crafting experience you choose to pursue, the point is to get working with your hands and creating things. You can accomplish this in a number of ways, so don’t get hung up on the how. Try out the following examples and see if any of them really click for you:

Crafting with Clay

This one is so simple pretty much anyone can do it. You don’t need a lot of experience to pound a lump of clay into a vague bowl shape, either. You can make almost anything with clay too, because the material is quite a versatile one. You don’t need a potter’s wheel or any other complicated (or expensive) equipment, either; not that I would recommend purchasing a bunch of gear right at the start anyhow. Save any major purchases until after you’re sure you like working with clay.

Sewing

Besides giving you something to do with your hands, sewing represents a craft that you could even turn into a profitable trade. While most people will stick with stitching up holes in socks or other clothes, you can sew all kinds of things from scratch, using just your two hands. In fact, one of my students prefers sewing crafting with the help of serger machines, which are just like standard sewing machines except that they implement several spools of thread at once for some interesting design opportunities.

Painting

While not everyone has a knack for creating works of art, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try it sometime in your life. Painting is a great way to express yourself as an individual, and if you’re any good at it, to convey a message or idea you possess. Every famous artist throughout history had a first painting – they all have to start somewhere. With that in mind, pick up a brush and color a canvas!

Speaking of sewing, I recently bought myself a good sewing machine too, so I could try it for myself. My mother used to sew up our clothes all the time when I was growing up, but I’ve never really given the act a good try. I’ll be sure to let you know if I have any success with that.

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Natural Ways to Control Your Temper

Natural Ways to Control Your Temper

In today’s fast-paced world where even little mistakes and misunderstandings can have humongous consequences for the people involved, it only makes sense that people are quicker to anger than ever. Anger is a perfectly natural response to offensive things. If someone drops something heavy on your foot, or skips ahead of you in a line, or talks on their phone in a movie theater while the reel is rolling, it’s understandable how some people could get upset. Letting anger be your standard response in situations like these doesn’t normally help to resolve them though – it usually makes them worse.

We’re social creatures, you know. I’d say that’s why it’s possible to talk through so many problems, without resorting to screams, threats, offensive language or outright violence. However, there’s just no talking to some people. And even if you might talk out a bad situation, maybe you’re not really good with words. There are other natural ways to control your temper though, so that’s no reason to just default to a destructive mood when things don’t go the way you’d like them to go. Here are a few ways you might get over anger and regain control of yourself in a bad situation before it becomes worse.

Getting Fresh Air

When talking about anger management, I hear this phrase a lot. It seems like a nice way of saying “Get away from whatever is making you so mad”. But, there’s wisdom in this advice, however the wording goes. If something or someone is making you mad and it’s possible for you to put some distance between yourself and that object or person, then it would be good for you to do so, at least until you cool down. You can always come back and reassess things later, once you’re working with a level head.

Breathing Exercises

Anger is a perfectly normal response to some situations, but that doesn’t mean it’s a logical one. When you get so upset that you’re ready to snap, you would be surprised how little your front brain is working; anger is really associated with the cerebellum, or the rear brain. The animal brain, some people call that. When you feel a rage coming on, breathe deeply to flush your brain with extra oxygen and try to settle yourself down. You’ve probably heard this one before too, but that’s because it works.

Go Fishing

This method is a personal favorite of mine. However, it’s typically not something you can just do as an immediate response to people making you mad. I prefer to go fishing once a week or so, because it helps me to get away from all the different sources of dissatisfaction in my life, at least for a little while. I also use a decent fish finder to catch more fish, because sitting out on the water for hours with nothing to show for the time spent there can be just as frustrating as dealing with some of the people who really know how to push my buttons.

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How Mental Toughness Helps Live a More Fulfilling Life

How Mental Toughness Helps Live a More Fulfilling Life

Life is tough, so tough that you need to learn how to prepare yourself. I lived a rough life growing up. I had family issues, I was picked on, and some days, I would go hungry. When I did have food or money for lunch time at school, bullies would pushed me and punch me just so they get it. I would feel so hungry during the afternoon and had to wait until I got home to eat my next meal. One day, I had enough.

I learned from my uncle that the best way to get back at bullies is to fight back. As a former boxer, I learned some fighting tricks that seem to work efficiently. The next day, the bullies were back for the daily toll. I wasn’t going to have it. One guy tried to kick me, he missed, and I punched him square in the jaw.

He was sobbing with blood coming out the corner of his mouth. The girl and the two boys took the bleeding bully off to the nurse’s office. Let’s just say my parents weren’t please in front of my principal, but before they drove me home, I got my sweet tooth fixed at our favorite candy store.

Now, as an individual who works in violence prevention, I am one that does not like having to see people fight. In my case, I needed to defend myself. I wasn’t going to take what they were doing to me lightly. Should I have reported them? Maybe, but who is to say that wouldn’t have gotten back at me as some sick way of comeuppance? I promote mental toughness to get through life’s ebbs.

Mental toughness isn’t simply getting through physical pain. Having high self-esteem and confidence is necessary to get life’s dreams accomplished. It’s not just athletes or those serving in the military. It is those who gets through the ups and downs and dusts himself or herself off for a new day. One of the ways I have built mental toughness is through tough martial art training.

Increase self-esteem and confidence through fighting techniques. I have taught my children how to defend themselves against bullies being physical and even predators who try to harm our kids.

I got myself my own pair of boxing gloves, too. It took a while for me to figure out which ones were right for me.  If you aren’t sure what kind to buy, you could check here. I train with these 5-6 times a week with my coach. It allows me to blow off some steam after a hard day. My husband, kids, and I all go running together, jump rope,  and do push-ups, sit-ups, and much more. My husband and I taught them real mental toughness. Anyone can harness this; anyone can achieve this goal if they try.

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Health Benefits of Hiking

Health Benefits of Hiking

Hiking is a wonderful way to get some exercise and get outdoors. Unlike walking or running on a treadmill, hiking keeps exercise fun and exciting. There are countless benefits to making hiking part of your regular life. Here are just a few of them:

  • Improved Cardiovascular Function: if you suffer from a heart condition, high cholesterol, high blood pressure any of a number of other cardiovascular conditions, hiking is a great way to get yourself back in shape. That’s because hiking can be as leisurely or as intensive as you want it to be. If you are in poor health, you can start out with some light, easy hiking and gradually work your way up to more challenging (and exciting terrain). Soon enough, you’ll be fit and healthy once again!
  • Improved Respiratory Function: hiking regularly in beautiful natural settings will work miracles on your lungs. Make up for years of living in a polluted city by getting yourself outside and breathing the natural air in deeply as you hike. Hiking will also improve your lung muscles so that you can take larger breaths and absorb oxygen more efficiently.
  • Decrease Stress: most of us have a lot of stress to deal with in our day to day lives. Taking the time to get out for a hike 3-4 times per week can help lower that stress and give us new perspective on our old problems. The hike will help inspire creativity and may even inspire you to think up new solutions to solve your problems!
  • Weight Loss: if you have been trying to get in shape without success, hiking might be right up your alley. Hiking burns a whopping 370 calories per hour! So you will be shedding those extra pounds in no time!
  • Sleep Better: this may seem like it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with hiking but, in fact, it does. When you exercise regularly (as you do with hiking), it helps you get to sleep faster and get more quality out of the time you spend sleeping. This is partly because of the decreased stressed and partly because of the fact that exercise is physically exhausting so that by the time you are ready to go to sleep, you are physically tired as well as mentally tired.
  • Live Longer: getting just 7 hours of exercise per week can lower your risk of dying prematurely (such as from a preventable health condition) by as much as 40%! That’s just with 7 hours! You can hike one hour per day or a couple hours a few time a week. No matter how busy your schedule is, it’s worth making room for some exercise in order to make sure you get as many years on this earth as you want!

In order to get the maximum benefits from hiking, it’s important to use the right equipment. Patrol boots that are considered as the men’s version of fashionable boots can make all the difference between an enjoyable hike and blister-inducing trudge through the forest.

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Practical Steps Into Changing Your Life

Practical Steps Into Changing Your Life

If you are stuck in a rut or not really sure where this dissatisfied feeling is coming from, there are practical steps you can take to change your life for the better—and quickly too. I was inspired to take these steps to change my life when I had a near death experience. After narrowly avoiding an accident on my scooter, my entire perception of life changed (not to mention, I started wearing fond motorcycle boots for added safety from that point forward)!

Here are some of the other things I started doing afterward that you can do, too:

  1. Reassess: take some time to reflect on your life. Where are you right now? Where did you expect to be at this point in life? What are your goals for moving forward? Write down your specific goals in life so that you can keep them with you. Make sure that you do not only include professional goals. Write down your personal goals such as more exercise or more quality time with family.
  1. Plan for Happiness: knowing what your goals are, start figuring out how to make them a reality. If you want to spend more time with your family, take a hard look at your schedule and figure out how you can make more room for them. If you want to get a promotion at work, figure out exactly what qualifications you need for the new position and specific ways you can go above and beyond to show that you are prepared and qualified to take on the additional responsibility.
  1. Measure up Your Obstacles: writing down a plan is easy but actually getting it done can be much harder. So write down a list of the specific things which are preventing you from achieving your goals right now. Be specific. And then brainstorm some ideas for how you can overcome these obstacles.
  1. Stay on Track: writing down your goals and making solid plans to achieve them is very motivating at first but you might start to lose stamina as you try to put your plans in action. Making real change in your life takes work but it is more than worth that effort. To avoid getting overwhelmed make a small commitment to yourself: do at least one thing each day to bring you closer to your goals. That’s all. If you can go to sleep at night knowing that you are at least one step closer, you can go to sleep knowing you are successful.
  1. Re-reassess: about once a month (you can pick a set day that works for you), take the time to reflect on your life again. Where are you right now? How much progress have you made toward your goals in life? What are the steps you are going to take in the month coming up? Taking the time regularly to allow yourself a moment of reflection will help keep you motivated by allowing yourself to see how much progress you have made. It will also help you make sure you are still on the right track to changing your life.
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Jump in the Water and Feel Great

Jump in the Water and Feel Great

Swimming is a great activity no matter what time of year it is! It can get you in shape and relieve stress at the same time! But those aren’t the only benefits of swimming. There are countless reasons you should start swimming regularly!

Swimming is great for all ages and all fitness levels. Being in the water lowers the impact on your muscles and bones so that you can get more exercise without feeling the same amount of strain you would if you were outside the water. Plus, while swimming, you can go at your own pace. If you feel absolutely exhausted, you can stop and float in the water, letting every muscle totally relax. This is different from any other sport. If you tried relaxing every muscle while running, for example, you’d fall right over!

Another benefit of swimming is the full body workout. Your arms, legs and core muscles all work together when you swim meaning every muscle group is getting a workout! This will make sure your body gets evenly toned rather than having extremely buff legs but still having flabby arms.

Because swimming provides a full body workout, it strengthens all your muscles. This keeps you in total health and improves your posture! The strong, flexible muscles you build while swimming will help give you the back and neck support you need to have good posture effortlessly. This will keep you from developing a hunched over posture as you get older.

When it comes to stress relief, swimming is one of the best options out there. It is like meditation or yoga in the way it regulates your breathing and clears your mind. You are able to focus on the pure act of swimming rather than thinking about all the stressors in your life. This will help reduce stress and revitalize you so that you are ready to take on anything that life throws your way!

Aside from the meditative aspect of the act of swimming itself, the water is absolutely refreshing. Whether it’s the height of summer or the depths of winter, a dip in the pool will have you feeling refreshed and invigorated. The water and the whole swimming experience can be cleansing and purifying.

This makes it a great way to start your morning so that you approach your day with the calm, clear mind ready to tackle any problem. If you can’t wake up that early to swim in the morning, try getting away from work in the afternoon for a swim. It will give you a far greater boost than any cup of coffee ever did!

So now that you are motivated to jump in the water, you should probably start looking at different types of pools in case you don’t already have one of your own. If you live in a place that experiences harsh winters, make sure you look into how you can winterize your above ground pool.

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Relieve Stress by Hanging out in Nature

Relieve Stress by Hanging out in Nature

If you ever get the feeling that you are more relaxed or clear headed when you are out in nature, you are not just imagining it. Nature is a proven stress reliever! Fresh air, beautiful scenery, and escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life all combine to help you lower your stress and take a breather from life.

Some cities have even started realizing how important nature is for making people happy. Urban planners are now adding more and more green spaces like parks and botanical gardens. There are many reasons these green spaces help people lower stress and boost their mood.

First of all, being outdoors means getting exercise. Whether it’s just walking to the park or doing an activity in the park, the wide open spaces in nature mean you will be getting a little more exercise than usual and exercise boost the chemicals in your brain that improve your mood and lower your stress levels.

Being outdoors also means you are more likely to be social. Since it is pretty hard to bump into friends and neighbors while you are sitting on your couch at home, staying indoors can get somewhat depressing. While you are outside, on the other hand, it is almost inevitable that you will bump into somebody you know or maybe make a new friend altogether.

If you are an urbanite through and through and not really sure what you should be doing with yourself while you are outside, here are some ideas to get you inspired:

  • Move Your Routine Outdoors:if you normally work out at the gym, try moving your workout outdoors. If you need the machines, try altering your routine or trying something new like a morning or evening run in the park. If you normally eat lunch at your desk or in a nearby café, try packing your lunch and taking it to a nearby park instead. You could also order your favorite meal for takeout and enjoy it in the open air. If you’ve got a lot of paperwork to work through, do it on a park bench! There’s no excuse not to find something you can do just as easily outdoors as you can indoors!
  • Hold Meetings in the Park: rather than having office meetings in a stuffy conference room, propose that you have a “moving meeting” where you take a nice stroll through a park or have a picnic while you discuss business. The natural setting will not only help lower the stress and tension usually associated with meetings, it will also help inspire creative thinking, making your meeting even more productive!
  • Have a Barbecue: barbecues are a fund and delicious way to spend the day outdoors. Grab one of the many simple to use smokers for cooking while you relax or play sports in the fresh, open air. A smoker that requires wooden pellets to operate will make for even more delicious food! These are especially great in the summer time when you can invite all your family and friends.
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Why Girls Should Devote Themselves in Sports

Why Girls Should Devote Themselves in Sports

Playing sports and getting exercise is important everyone—young or old, girl or boy. Exercise and having fun outdoors while playing sports comes with a lot advantages. Unfortunately, young girls do not seem to play enough sports and are deprived of getting those benefits. So to motivate you to get the girls in your life into sports, here are some of the benefits of playing sports for girls.

  • Better Grades: if you thought sports was going to take away from important study time and cause girls to lose focus, think again. Playing sports has actually been shown to improve academic performance! That’s because exercise is not just good for the body. It’s good for the brain, too. IT boosts memory, concentration, and helps with learning process.
  • Build Life Skills: sports help girls develop the important skills they need in life. Those skills include working in a team and setting goals. Both of these skills will be essential as girls grow older and work to succeed in the future they have always dreamed of having. The reason sports help build these skills is because while playing, girls have to work as a team with the other players as well as their coaches and trainers. They work together to achieve a common goal: winning the game. The skills needed to accomplish this in sports can easily be carried over into to everyday life!
  • Stay Healthy: not only do sports keep you in shape and active, it can prevent all kinds of long term illnesses and motivate girls to lead a healthier lifestyle. Girls who play sports are less likely to start smoking and later on, lower their risk for various kinds of cancers and diseases that tend to affect people when they get older.
  • Boost Self Esteem: sports help girls boost confidence. It gives them something they can work on and get better at and also something they can show off to others. Team sports also help girls make new friends that they can grow close to and turn to for support. As mentioned earlier, sports also help keep girls in shape and healthy. In that way, playing sports helps girls feel better about themselves, more confident in their own appearance, and more secure in the bonds they form with others.
  • Lower Stress: You may think girls don’t have so much to be stressed about just yet but that’s not true. Growing up can be very stressful for a lot of reasons—from peer pressure to the pressure of keeping your grades up. The chemicals released in the brain while playing sports help to reduce stress and make girls feel happier. And since stressful things are easy to manage when you don’t feel overwhelmed by the stress, this change in mood can make all the difference in whether girls learn to handle stressful situations maturely or not.

Now that you know how important sports are to growing girls, it’s time you look into making sure that you have everything you need. Playing sports requires a lot of energy and nutrients to keep the body functioning well. Since getting all the nutrients you need can be difficult during the day, protein powders like Fitmiss and BSN which were designed especially for women can help ensure you get everything you need!

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How Pets Can Reduce Daily Stress and Improve Your Mood

How Pets Can Reduce Daily Stress and Improve Your Mood

Pets are a great addition to any family to make it feel more complete. Pets are not only fun and adorable, they can work wonders to reduce stress and improve your overall mood. Just by owning a cat or dog, you will soon find you have a better outlook on life and deal with stressful situations much better. That old saying that dog is man’s best friend couldn’t be truer (in fact, some research even suggests they might be better than your human best friend)!

Pets improve your mood in a number of ways. If you are a dog lover, you know it is just about impossible to stay angry or upset when you see the cute furry face of your dog (or any dog, really). This is no small achievement. Pets are scientifically proven to help reduce even the most severe cases of depression.

Another way pets can make your life better is by motivating you to get outside and exercise. No matter how many times your doctor tells you to get outside for a walk each day, you might find yourself struggling to get off the couch after a long day at work. But your pet’s excitement to get up and go outside will surely rub off on you. Plus, exercising is way more fun with a pet to join you! That increased amount of exercise will also help boost your mood even further, by the way!

Pets are also scientifically proven to be better than drugs! Blood pressure drugs, that is. Pets help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels and even helps stabilize, preventing spikes in pressure that often come with stress. This ability to control the spikes in blood pressure is what makes pets unique. The drugs out there for blood pressure can help lower it but they are not very effective at keeping it stable. If you get stressed out, the drugs will be powerless to stop a surge in your blood pressure. But pets will keep your blood pressure at a constant healthy level!

If you still aren’t convinced that pets are the perfect addition to your household, then consider how great they are at helping you meet new people and breaking the ice! Taking your pet out for a walk gets you outside where you can meet other people and having a pet makes it easier to approach others or have others approach you. Next time you are out at the park, let your pet lead the way and help you strike up a conversation with another fellow pet owner!

So take care of the furry members of your family by making sure they are well-groomed. Taking them to a professional groomer might seem like too much money to spend on someone who licks his own butt so you may want to learn the art of dog grooming yourself. And if you find you have a natural talent for, consider that pet groomers can earn up to $39,000 a year! Now that kind of income is sure to bring some extra stress relief!

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Preventing Aggression in Children With the Help of Fitness

Preventing Aggression in Children With the Help of Fitness

Empathizing with young people is key to helping them. As a violence preventer I understand that children really need to let off steam is very important for navigating the spectrum of childhood aggression which sometimes quickly becomes crippling depression. I have only needed the most basic fitness equipment for some of the activities I have found to be beneficial but I have proved that fitness is equally important for children as well as adults.

Children being natural learners readily take to some of the instructions I can easily download in the Crossfit training guide. Taking their weekend training also qualifies/d me to help more children as possible prevent aggression. Research shows that exercise is vital for healthy children and they readily learn that they do not need to be violent to achieve the same calmness that drugs provide for many. How does fitness training help prevent aggression in children?

My regular students respond better and their exercise-toned bodies give better violence prevention results. Instead of taking it out their anger on another person, they are learning to use their fitness equipment as a means to many ends-  getting fit, staying active and avoiding a need to aggressively handle a bad situation. I have no doubt that catching them young is the way to go! They have no bottled emotions exploding to destructive heights as their regular fitness training tailored to the guidelines I have learnt in my CrossFit training guide and related materials consistently keeps them in needed equilibrium.

So, what fitness equipment do you need? Do you also need the Crossfit training guide to help your child avoid the pitfall of aggressive behavior? If these questions are running through your mind, then you are poised for achieving the aim which is preventing aggression in children.

Even if the questions are new to you, the assurance that taking a session of fitness training will vastly improve the options you have and help that little child stay fit body, mind and soul should be enough.

In schools, teachers have their hands full and need all the help they can get. Whether you are a parent or not, loving children and helping them start right should be our mutual goal. Picking up basic fitness equipment such as … and making the children participate in your learned CrossFit training guide induced exercises may just be the key to saving at least one kid in your community.

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Effects of Physical Activity on Academic Performance

Effects of Physical Activity on Academic Performance

Graduation rates in the United States are lower than they have ever been and more students from every grade level and group are all struggling to get a passing grade. This problem isn’t because today’s students are lazy, or lack motivation, or are underachievers. The real problem is the adults. Removing physical fitness programs and leaving students to sit for hours on end in school is having a seriously negative effect on student performance levels.

There are too many studies regarding the affects of physical activity on academic performance to list them all here, but the results keep coming back the same – not only does physical activity during the school day increase performance, but it also helps to cut down on child obesity rates and the problems which arise from obesity.

Though various schools, colleges and other educational institutions have research backing claims that physical activity enhances academic performance, even the CDC has something to say on the matter. According to the government agency, getting active leads to improvements in the class room, which include, “enhanced concentration and attention as well as classroom behavior.”

Sadly, while there is much evidence supporting the claim that physical activity is good for students of all ages, physical education programs continue to have funding reduced or removed altogether. This leads to students who are sedentary in school, except for those brief moments where they’re moving through halls between classes. That’s just not enough.

Even without taking the time to personally thumb through the various studies and their results, it’s plain to see how physical activity can be helpful. Increasing circulation by jumping, running, stretching, throwing and performing other physical tasks leads to increased oxygen levels in the brain. This invariably leads to ramped up production of the various neurotransmitters that carry signals and information throughout the brain.

The difference in performance levels may not be immediately apparent, but one thing is for sure. Kids need physical activity, and they need it every day, just like older people. School administrators need to stop putting physical education on the backburner and make it a part of the everyday experience. According to an essay produced by Columbia University, “There is currently no evidence indicating that this strategy is, in fact, effective in increasing standardized test scores.” This same essay goes on to further explain how increased physical activity has a neutral effect on academic performance at the worst.

I know that as parents, you want what’s best for your children. That’s why I think it would be a good idea to get them enrolled in some physical fitness experience outside of school. Self-defense classes are a great way to take care of this and many other issues all at once. The world can be a cruel place, so helping your students to build confidence and character is very important. I think that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a solid option for kids because it gets kids active, builds relationships and teaches useful life skills to young people. Check out BJJMonsters for more info on brazilian jiu jitsu.

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How Parents Fight For Medical Marijuana For Their Children

How Parents Fight For Medical Marijuana For Their Children

I work as a violence preventionist in a local school and a majority of my work involves helping students prevent violence among themselves at the school and towards others in the community. Some of the kids I help come from broken homes where there is child abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism on the part of the parents, and insecurities that most teens face. In this blog post I want to talk about how in my state of Colorado a few parents of the kids I work are fighting to get medical marijuana for their children.

One Parent’s Story

The other day I sat with a student and her father in their home and they showed me their indoor garden where they use the best LED lights for marijuana to grow the crops. The father mentioned that he benefits from medical marijuana for his arthritis while the student likes to use it to help him control his mood swings whenever he falls into a depression. The father I spoke with said that he has had tough battles with his son’s pediatrician and psychologist concerning the teen’s use of medical marijuana because they feel that the teen loses his cognitive skills. As of now the doctors have not prescribed the medical marijuana.

Children, Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana

Another parent of a kid I work with said that the kid suffers from epilepsy but once he takes medical marijuana, his seizures are less frequent. In Colorado you’ll find a kind of marijuana callred Charlotte’s Web and this marijuana is helpful in relieving epilepsy symptoms. This parent stated that his doctor is on the fence about the kid’s use of medical marijuana for this purpose. According to a recent article in Denver Post, while there have been similar results for other children with seizures, some doctors in Colorado are still not convinced that marijuana can relieve epilepsy symptoms.

Parents in Other States Are Lobbying For Marijuana Legalization

I live in Colorado and we now have legalization of marijuana which benefits many of the kids I help as a violence prevention specialist but for parents in other states, they’re fighting to have their states’ marijuana laws changed. For example, in Pennsylvania parents and veterans are currently battling lawmakers in that state to make marijuana distribution legal so that their children can get relief from different mental disorders and physical illnesses. In light of battles like these, more parents are relocating to Colorado out of a sense of concern for their children.

Conclusion

I recently talked with a student’s parent who was using advanced grow lights to plant the marijuana in the basement garden, and the parent explained that since this student used marijuana on a regular basis, he’s a lot more relaxed and is less prone to rage whenever he is depressed or frustrated with problems at school. This is one reason why more parents are seeking marijuana legalization for their children’s well being.

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Benefits of Being Educated

Benefits of Being EducatedI know it’s said all the time, but the benefits of a good education cannot be overstated. It goes beyond getting a great job (which that is certainly reason enough). Education is crucial to almost every aspect of having a fulfilling and enjoyable life. It’s a topic that I’m so passionate about that I have decided to dedicate a post about a few of the many rewards of a quality education.

A Better Social Life

I’m going to put it bluntly: an uneducated person sticks out in an educated society like a sore thumb. Education allows you to blend with your environment, to engage in a conversation no matter the topic. Are the friends you’re with discussing politics? If you’re educated on the subject you can join right in. Same goes for almost any topic you can think of. Simply put, the more you know, the better you’re going to do in almost any social circle.

 Education Benefits Your Culture, Society, and Nation

Ok, so even if you aren’t the most patriotic person in the world, you still have a lot to gain from seeing your nation and culture prosper. Going out and getting an education that will allow you to make innovations in technology, masterpieces of art and literature, or perhaps qualify you to educate others who will go out and do the same. Whatever your calling, a quality education will equip you to go out and make a difference in your community and in your nation as a whole.

Another benefit along these lines is that an education helps break stereotypes. Is your race, community or culture wrongly stereotyped for being uneducated? What better way to defeat this stereotype than to go out and prove everyone wrong.

Education Promotes a Violence-Free, Crime-Free Lifestyle

Without education, you have little opportunity, and little opportunity causes people to do desperate things. This is a vicious cycle that we have known about for a long time. In my work, I’ve seen it over and over; very rarely is it the grade A students who are getting into fights in the school halls or who are doing drugs. Of course there are exceptions, but as a general rule, education prevents this type of activity.

Career Possibilities

I saved this one for last because it is the most known benefit of higher education. Still, there are so many career benefits that are overlooked. The world as a whole is moving rapidly towards a technology dominated society and economy. In order to get a good job in this morphing world, education is a must. Some of the highest paid and highest potential jobs are IT related, including software engineers (which are responsible for designing, developing, and installing software solutions), project managers, (which see that IT projects are quickly and efficiently accomplished) and data center architects professionals (which are responsible for data center design, construction and consultation). Simply put, these and many other great jobs in the world today require at least a bachelor’s degree. If you want to enjoy a fulfilling, well-paying job, stick to the books.

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