7 Doors Only Higher Education Can Open to You

The epoch of electronics has gradually changed the society, people’s views, priorities, and lifestyles. Today many young people find it difficult to decide whether to pursue a higher education or develop in the field they are passionate about.

Many people who choose higher education give preference to a part-time or distance learning. The technologies give modern generation a chance to study independently, but full-time learning is more effective and beneficial. Here are seven doors the higher education can open to you and realize that the game is worth the candle.

1. The ability to work under the direction

Young people want to be ambitious, self-sufficient, independent and successful, but many of them do not have the remotest idea that the path to success is challenging and thorny. Sometimes it is necessary to swallow the pride, learn new lessons and work under the direction of more professional and experienced people.

Higher education gives students an opportunity to communicate closely with professors, absorb their pieces of advice, life experiences, and wise thoughts.

2. The ability to communicate with people
The process of getting a higher education requires active communication and cooperation with other people. Full-time students have to create presentations, take an active part in discussions, and communicate with classmates and teachers on a regular basis.

Even part-time and distance-learning students have to remain in contact with faculty members. Whether they like it or not, students learn to connect with people, reach mutual understanding and make compromises if necessary.

3. Public speaking
If your mind is full of insecurities and you are afraid of speaking in front of a large audience, consider getting a higher education. Teachers will not conduct therapy sessions or provide insight into the root of your problems because they do not have time and energy to be every student’s training wheels.

During the education process, you will have many opportunities to express yourself and master the art of public speaking. The more you try, the more chances to become a confident, successful and experienced public speaker you have.

4. Teamwork
A higher education makes students cooperate and leave the comfort zone, if necessary. Good communication skills are crucially important, but if you want to become a highly successful person, you should also learn to work in a team.

As soon as you cross the threshold of a higher education institution, you automatically become a member of a big team. Teachers encourage the students to work either in a team or independently and help them realize that overall team’s success depends on the industriousness, liability and productivity of every member of the team.

5. The ability to seek and find
Although modern libraries provide students with the educational material, a student must analyze and process huge amounts of information to find what they need. Moreover, libraries are not the only source of information.

Modern students can quickly create a unique topic or do a research thanks to the Internet. These educational activities have a positive impact on human development and significantly improve analytical skills. The ability to seek and find will certainly come in handy and enhance the quality of your life.

6. Independence
Everyone wants to be financially and emotionally independent. Unfortunately, not everyone can reach these goals, especially those who do not have a diploma.

Higher education opens many doors and helps people earn good bucks by providing services and selling their knowledge. Highly educated people find it easier to achieve emotional independence because they have at least basic knowledge of psychology, know how to cope with stress, addictions, bad habits and understand how to turn issues into solutions.

7. Self-control
If you do not know how to develop your self-control and become more self-disciplined, you should enter a college. You will adhere to certain rules, standards and deadlines.

The desire to graduate with honors will help you develop better control over your fears, emotions and wave goodbye to your insecurities. When you become a student, you will understand that laziness is your first enemy to fight.

Sure, I am not telling that people who have no diploma are not intelligent or successful. They are. But higher education is a confident step to a better future.

7 Helpful Tips on How to Become More Independent

All people try to reach independence throughout their life, however, not everyone can fulfill this great desire successfully. Independence is the first step we should take on our way to freedom, self-development and happiness. That’s why it is extremely important for us to do our best in order to enhance our independence. I should say it’s not difficult but it is really worth trying. Certainly, you won’t feel happy and satisfied when you always have to rely on others and depend on them. It would be much better if you could control your life without anyone’s help and interference. Make sure you use at least some of the tips below and you’ll be able to become an independent personality.

1. Surround Yourself with Positivity
I’m strongly convinced that communication with negative people may influence my mood and finally spoil the whole day. Even if you are a positive personality, someone’s pessimistic words and attitude to life will make you lose your joy and inspiration. Whenever you come to some place and meet with people you expect to feel only cheerful and pleasant emotions. So, I would recommend you to avoid those personalities who bring you sadness and frustration. Instead surround yourself with positivity, communicating with those who make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Such people will support you in your attempts to be more independent.

2. Ignore Others’ Opinions
Every time you need to make some serious decision, keep to your own opinion and don’t mind what others say. You should understand clearly what you really like in your life and get pleasure from everything you do. Think of all your achievements, surely, you can be proud of yourself as you’ve done a lot. No matter whether others approve your methods or not, your success is evident. To become an independent individual you shouldn’t follow the ideals and thoughts of the masses but to preserve your own vision of this world.

3. Develop Your Self-Confidence
Undoubtedly, self-confidence contributes greatly to our success and it determines our relations with people who surround us. Being non-confident, you will face numerous problems while making efforts to achieve your goal. Simply relax and go to your dream with a bit of self-confidence. You’ll be amazed at the final outcome. This way you’ll demonstrate others that you are certain in what you say and do. Though it doesn’t mean you have to behave arrogantly. These are rather different things. Self-confidence is only the way to show people that you are content and happy.

4. Make Your Own Decisions
Making decisions is not an easy job to do. Sometimes it can take you a lot of time to make the final choice without any hesitations. In such situations most of us usually turn to our close people for advice. But still the last word must be yours because you have your own point of view, interests and characteristics that will influence your decision. First of all, you should trust yourself and then you can let someone else come into your life.

5. Be Self-Motivated
The next thing I would advise you to do is to find out your talents and passion so that you can definitely see your dream. Then you should spare no efforts to improve your skills and abilities. Focus on those aspects that are the most significant for you and don’t get distracted by any trifles that can ruin all your plans. If you are devoted to something you can be sure you will reach the best results ever. Self-motivation is an indispensable part of your success as it will give you inspiration even when the things are going tough.

6. Stick to Your Own Standards
Surely, it’s great if you have a person who can be a model for you. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t try to repeat the achievements of other people. You’ve got a great number of characteristics that make you unique and it is necessary to stick to them when you work for your dream. As a rule, we constantly compare ourselves to someone else and tend to think that they are much better than we are. This is one of the biggest mistakes you need to avoid if you want to become more independent.

7. Be Financially Responsible
There are certain periods in our life when we financially depend on our parents. For most of us, it’s the perfect time because we can get money whenever we need it and moreover we don’t have to do anything for that. Due to this we should appreciate every minute of our childhood and be grateful to our parents for everything they do for us. Sooner or later we become adult and we begin to earn money ourselves. In my opinion, children must learn to value money from an early age and later they’ll be able to boost their independence and freedom. At the very moment you start being financially responsible you will get a wonderful feeling of self-satisfaction. Don’t forget that we have to pay for everything in our life.

Once you have decided to become more independent you should change your attitude to life and to yourself either. Always believe in yourself and don’t let little things restrict your freedom and desires. Are you an independent personality? What techniques helped you to boost your independence?

7 Powerful Ways to Overcome Envy

Like Harold Coffin said, “Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” It usually comes from people’s lack of belief in their own abilities and accomplishments. This feeling is peculiar to everyone. Some people struggle with it, while others suffer from envy and can do nothing about it. If you find yourself starting to feel envious over what others do or have, here are 7 ways to overcome envy.

1. Find positivity within yourself
It’s terrible to be envious of people, because you can lose control of your inner self. You should be happy for the person you are envying. It is possible to change your thoughts. If you replace them with positive ones, you will have an opportunity to rid yourself of envy. Let people enjoy their advantages, otherwise envy will destroy good and healthy relations within the circle of your friends.

2. Think of your own success
Don’t compare your achievements to other people’s goals since it makes you miserable and envious. All-sufficient people usually focus on what they have. Comparison develops critical thinking, but steals joy and buoyancy. That’s why, mind your own blessings, if you want to obtain peace of mind and become more successful.

3. Life is not fair
Life is a wonderful thing, but unfortunately it’s not fair at all. You should accept it, because it’s hard to disprove this truth. Try to do your best to reach your goals and make your dreams come true. Don’t worry about things you can’t change, accept them and you will definitely feel yourself happier.

4. People may have worked hard to be successful
We usually focus attention on what do others have, but we don’t realize how hard they may have worked for what they have. Some of them had to go through fire and water to become rich and successful. Others can be still head over ears in debt and continue taking chances to make a go of it. Don’t hanker after one’s prosperity and realize that everyone gets what they deserve. This exhausting feeling usually makes people’s mind weaker.

5. Don’t let it spoil your inner self
If you are not careful, envy can eat you up. This terrible feeling can easily destroy you. Sure, it takes practice and time to overcome envy, but it will make your life much happier. Motivate yourself to achieve all your goals and stop thinking of someone’s success.

6. Your time will come
Don’t become disillusioned with your dreams. Every person usually faces ups and downs. Good fortune is not a constant thing. Let other people celebrate a bit of good fortune. Keep in mind that your time will come and then others will be bursting with envy.

7. Think about other things
If you can do nothing about your obsessive feeling of envy, then turn attention to something else. Occupy yourself with various activities to free the mind of redundant thoughts. Why not plunge yourself into a favorite hobby? This can help you overcome envy and spend time doing things you like.

We all choose our own path to move on in this life. You need to overcome the feeling of envy, because you just waste your energy and your precious time. I hope these tips will help you to fight envy. Do you know any other ways to overcome envy?

11 Simple Ways to Become Your Own Best Friend

Our life without friends would be meaningless, that’s why we all need to surround ourselves with those who can support us whenever we have problems and share their happiness with us. But it’s not so easy to find a true friend who will possess all the characteristics you are looking for. Therefore, you should try to be the best friend to yourself and you will live in peace and harmony with other people. First of all, you should learn to understand and respect yourself if you want everyone to appreciate your personality. Here are a few simple ways that will help you to become your own best friend.

1. Relish Your Solitude
Sometimes it is necessary for us to stay alone in order to muse about life and refresh our mind. When you spend time alone, you can be yourself and nobody will judge you. There are lots of ways to enjoy your solitude without getting bored. For instance, you can watch your favorite movie, turn on the radio and dance. Shopping is the most pleasurable pastime for all girls. By spending time alone you’ll be able to reveal something new in your character.

2. Enhance Your Self-Confidence
It should be mentioned that your happiness and relations with others are highly dependent on the level of your self-confidence. Good mood is one of those things that characterize confident people. Make it a rule to start your day only with positive emotions and success will be guaranteed to you. All you need is to look into the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you are very beautiful. If you are satisfied with your appearance and like your outfit, you will definitely feel more confident and everybody will notice that.

3. Avoid Negativity
People who tend to think negatively are more subjected to depression and they often fail in everything they do. Are you a pessimistic person? Then you have to change your outlook by all means. If you are constantly discontent, people will avoid communication with you and that may be the main reason why you don’t have friends. So, you’d better stop grumbling and enjoy every moment of your life and bring joy to others.

4. Praise Yourself for Small Achievements
Most of us have different goals and we take pains to reach them. Don’t forget to reward yourself even when you achieve small results. I know that the majority of women work hard to improve their shape and look amazing. In case you are one of them, I advise you to pamper yourself every time you lose weight and get closer to your dream. As a reward you can buy some new clothes or accessory.

5. Take Your Own Advice
We used to give pieces of advice to our friends when they are in trouble and we can easily find a solution to every problem. But when it comes to our life, it seems that we are helpless and unable to cope with difficulties. Try to listen to your heart and mind instead of asking everyone for advice. Before taking certain decisions, think what you would recommend your friend to do in this situation. It may be really useful to you.

6. Stand Your Ground
In order to express your individuality you ought to have your own opinion and always stick to it. Don’t wait until someone supports and defends you. Be courageous enough to stand your ground and your friends will respect you. Otherwise, they will consider you to be an indecisive person.

7. Follow Your Instincts
It is natural that all human beings have gut instincts that can be extremely valuable for them. Unfortunately, we rarely use our instincts and often choose to listen to recommendations of those who surround us. Actually, nobody knows what is good and what is bad for you. Thus, you should follow your instincts and you will manage to protect yourself from misfortune.

8. Be Your Own Leader
Having made up your mind to go out and spend a wonderful time, you don’t need to have a company of friends with you. Nowadays there is a wide range of choices that will provide an unforgettable amusement to you. Just follow your instincts and point yourself into the right direction. Be careful if you decide to take pleasure from the night life.

9. Go to Your Favorite Place
As a rule, when we are sad and frustrated, we prefer to talk to our friends and family who can improve our mood and help to solve the problem. At the same time, most of us realize the necessity of being alone at such moments. Despite the fact that your friends are eager to help you, it would be reasonable to spend some time alone to cool your emotions and shed the light on the things. Think of your favorite place that makes you happy and go there for a while. For every person it can be different place. For example, you may admire picturesque landscapes of the local park, visit an art gallery or simply sit in the café and have a cup of tea.

10. Visit Spa
You’ve been working hard for the whole week and you are completely exhausted now. So, it’s high time to leave your troubles behind and indulge yourself. Visiting spa is a perfect chance for you to be alone, relieve stress and care for your body. Look for the spa that will offer various services at a reasonable price.

11. Listen to Your Playlist
Undoubtedly, your friends have numerous preferences in music and when you meet with them, you’ll have to listen to those genres of music which are not to your taste. Surely, it will not please you, especially if you are upset. I’m convinced that you have a special playlist of your favorite tunes that can cheer you up at the moments of sadness. Listening to this collection is an effective way to become the best friend to yourself.

If you want to have plenty of good friends around you, you should start being your own friend first. This way, you’ll be able to discover your inner world and understand who you are. Besides, you will have an opportunity to find out who your true friends are. Do you know any other ways that can help you love and appreciate yourself?

10 Reasons to Say No to Botox

It seems that everyone is getting Botox these days, but did you know that Botox is just a toxic byproduct of bacteria? In fact, the name Botox derives from the phrase Botulinum toxin, the same toxin responsible for some cases of food poisoning. This is just one reason to consider saying no to Botox. Here are ten more.

1. It Doesn’t Work
Botox has some great medical applications that make it a valuable treatment for serious ailments, such as migraines. What it isn’t so great at, however, is making you look younger. It can smooth out wrinkles and relax facial muscles, but even the experts who administer Botox injections admit that it can do little to make a person look younger. The “filled” look was fashionable for a while, which is why people really got Botox, but even that has gone by the wayside now.

2. It’s Expensive
Botox can cost thousands of dollars, and considering it doesn’t do that much in the long run, you have to wonder why people spend so much on it. There are actually much better ways to reduce the signs of aging, like exercise and improving diet, so save your money for those things instead.

3. Dangerous Side Effects
Though serious side effects with Botox aren’t common, they aren’t nonexistent. Complications from Botox can include infection, paralysis, allergic reactions, and even death. Less serious complications include pain, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Remember that Botox is a neurotoxin.

4. Addiction
Many people who have started with “just a little” Botox report that they found their need escalated over time. It isn’t addictive in the sense that alcohol can be addictive, but many people do find that quitting Botox is difficult. The more of it they have, the more “flaws” they want to fix with it. One of the problems that people run into is that relaxing muscles to reduce wrinkles in one area of the face can lead to more wrinkles in another area. Thus, using Botox will likely reveal a further need for Botox.

5. No Antidote
If a Botox injection ends up not producing the results you want, there is little you can do but wait. There is no way to reverse the effects of Botox, so the effects have to wear off on their own. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before Botox fully wears off.

6. Self Esteem
Many people see Botox as a reflection of low confidence. They even associate Botox with shallowness and an overemphasis on appearance. Having Botox may send a message to others that you aren’t confident in your abilities, which can be a major problem in business relationships.

Even more important than how others see you, however, is how you see yourself. Getting Botox often leads to excessive time spent looking in the mirror. Do you really want to spend so much time nitpicking over every detail of your appearance? Will Botox improve your self esteem?

7. The Plastic Look
Too much Botox can lead to a mannequin-like appearance. You may say that you’ll just get a few spots done and so this doesn’t apply to you, but read tip #4 before you make that claim. The fact is, Botox will affect your muscles and make it more difficult to express emotion, which may make you appear artificial and even aloof.

8. Immunity
It turns out that the body can become accustomed to the effects of Botox over time. This means that each treatment wears off faster than the last, which means that you have to have Botox more often to achieve the same effects. Having Botox more often increases your risk for all of the complications that come with the injections and means more money out of your pocket.

9. The Rogue Eyebrow
Sometimes Botox can lead to a look of permanent surprise. This happens when one eyebrow is affected more than the other by the Botox or when the effects of the injection are not evenly spaced across the entire brow. Either way, you look like your are surprised all of the time. Not cool!

10. Heavy Brow
Some people report that injections of Botox into their forehead leave their brow feeling heavy. This occurs because the muscle in the forehead has been weakened to reduce wrinkles and thus has to work harder to keep the brow lifted. The muscle will fatigue easier and your brow will feel heavier.

Botox has its uses, even in cosmetics, but do you really want to put a neurotoxin into your body just to erase a few fine lines and wrinkles? Given that the effects are marginal at best, why not look to other methods of reducing the signs of aging? Aging gracefully is becoming ever more popular as people reject the obsession with appearance that has made Botox into a billion dollar industry.

10 Quick Ways to Remove Makeup Stains

You could say makeup is the stuff of life. It makes us feel happy. It lets us change our image with a few brushstrokes. It perks us up when we’re feeling tired and gives us a confidence boost when we’re not feeling attractive. No wonder the global cosmetic industry is forecast to hit $265 billion by 2017!

But do you know when makeup isn’t so great? When it gets on your clothes. Or, on your boyfriend’s clothes. That lipstick that made you feel like a million bucks doesn’t seem so hot when smeared all over your brand-new sweater. Do you know what to do when makeup shows up where it doesn’t belong? Here are 10 quick ways to remove makeup stains.

1. Lipstick
Lipstick wound up on your boyfriend’s collar again? Or maybe you decided to change shirts after you put your lipstick on? Not to worry; most lipstick stains can be banished. If you catch it right when it happens, try a baby wipe. Dab, don’t rub. If you don’t have a baby wipe, dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol or ammonia, and dab the stain (be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area garment). If the stain is still visible, try a liquid dish detergent. They’re designed to break down oils, so they often do a great job with oil-based stains. That’s why they’re used to clean animals rescued from oil spills. Once you’ve removed most of the stain, spritz on a stain remover and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, wash it according to the instructions on the tag.

2. Non-oil-based makeup (powder blush, foundation, or eye shadow)
Makeup stains that aren’t oil-based can often be removed with just laundry detergent. Dab on some liquid detergent, let it sit for a few minutes, and gently rub with a toothbrush. After that, spritz with stain remover. Let the garment sit for 10 minutes; then wash as usual.

3. Liquid or cream foundation
Like lipstick, liquid foundation is usually oil-based. That means the same products you use on lipstick should work on liquid foundation, too: baby wipes, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, and stain remover. The sooner you treat the stain, the better chance you have of getting it all out. And never dry a garment with a makeup stain! If you can still see the stain after you wash the item, go back and start the process over again.

4. Powder foundation
It’s tempting to just brush powder off of your clothing, but you could make things worse by grinding it in. Instead, get rid of excess powder by blowing on it. Once you’ve done that, treat any remaining stain with a combination of water and white vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes; then wash as usual.

5. Mascara
If you have a mascara stain on your clothing, get out the eye makeup remover. It sounds obvious, but a lot of people never think to try it on their clothes. If any stain remains, try one of the methods described above for oil-based stains: rubbing alcohol, ammonia, dish detergent, or a commercial stain remover.

6. Eye shadow/liner
First, blow off any excess powder; don’t rub, or you’ll set in the stain. After you’ve removed any loose makeup, try using a toothbrush to gently rub in a mixture of water and white vinegar. Then spray with stain remover and wash as usual.

7. Self-tanner
If your skin looks great, but your clothes are spotting orange streaks, treat the stain as soon as possible. That means drop what you’re doing and go to work saving your favorite shirt. Try dish detergent first; squirt some on and let it sit. If you can still see the stain, try applying some hydrogen peroxide with a toothbrush. After that, add stain remover and wash as usual. Just remember to inspect the garment before you put it in the dryer; drying a stain can make it next to impossible to remove. If you can still see the stain, go back to the beginning (dish detergent) and run through all of the steps again.

8. Nail polish
Nail polish stains are tough. The first step is to find out whether you can use nail polish remover. If the garment is made of acetate, triacetate, or modacrylic, the answer is “no”. An acetate-based polish remover will dissolve the fabric along with the polish, so you’ll need to take it to a dry cleaner. For other washable fabrics, lay a clean towel under the stained area and, with a clean cloth soaked in polish remover, dab the stain. The stain will transfer to the cloth, so be sure to keep switching to a clean spot as you work. If you can still see the stain, try the same technique with rubbing alcohol.

9. Hair color
Hair color is one of the hardest things to remove. Speed is key. First, soak the stain in a mixture of water and vinegar for about 15 minutes. Then, apply a stain remover, and wash the garment as usual. If the stain is still there after washing, don’t dry it. Add a teaspoon of ammonia to one cup of water, dampen a clean cloth, and dab the stain. Any remaining stain should transfer to the cloth. Rinse thoroughly, and then wash as usual.

10. Hair spray
If you accidentally spritz your shirt, soak the area in warm water with a little vinegar. Then treat with stain remover, and wash as usual.
Makeup is a lot of fun, but mishaps are inevitable. If you have the right items on hand (hint: go buy them now so you’ll have them if you need them) and try these techniques, you should be able to banish almost any makeup stain.

New Study Links Exercise To Better Self-Control

Research appearing recently in the peer-reviewed journal Behavior Modification shows people engaged in a tailored physical activity intervention demonstrate improved self-control.

“There’s a particular type of task called ‘delay discounting’ that presents individuals with a series of choices between ‘smaller/sooner’ and ‘larger/later’ rewards,” said Michael Sofis, a doctoral student in applied behavioral science at the University of Kansas, who headed the study. “It’s something we all experience in our lives. Do you want a little money now — or wait and get a lot of money later? The degree to which one chooses that smaller/sooner reward is called impulsivity, and that has been linked to obesity problems, gambling and most forms of substance abuse.”

According to Sofis, a change in one’s ability to value future events might keep maladaptive behavior in check and increase the likelihood of making healthy choices. He designed a pilot study, and a subsequent larger study, to see if exercise could trigger changes in delay discounting.

“There’s a lot of neuroscientific evidence that suggests mood-altering effects of physical activity could change how you make decisions,” said Sofis. “There are a variety of proposed biological and neurological mechanisms and different effects for people with different genetic profiles linked to mental health issues. Studies say if I have a genetic profile linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety, I’m more likely to get benefits from physical activity.”

Sofis and KU co-authors Ale Carrillo and David Jarmolowicz recruited participants and instructed them to walk, jog or run laps on a track at “individualized high and low effort levels” and recorded participants’ own perceived effort.

“We wanted to create an individualized, but still standardized approach,” Sofis said. “We had people rate their perceived effort on a scale of six to 20. Six would be just sitting on a couch — and 20 would be maximal exertion. We’d start them at levels of eight and 10, respectively. The idea is that we’d slowly shape them up to higher effort levels. For each person, the amount that they’re exerting is going to relate to amount they’re going to enjoy it.”

Participants’ perceived exertion was established before the study to establish a baseline measure, treatment was tracked for seven to eight weeks, and participants were also asked to self-report maintenance of increased exercise for an additional month. Delay discounting was tested before, during and after treatment, and during maintenance using a standardized 27-item delay discounting task called the Monetary Choice Questionnaire.

The researchers found statistically significant improvements in delay discounting were evident not only during the treatment phase of increased exertion but also that improvements were maintained a month afterward for the group.

“Our study is the first, to our knowledge, that shows maintained changes in delay discounting at follow-up,” Sofis said. “In our study, 13 of 16 participants kept their improved self-control.”

Sofis said the research helps strengthen emerging evidence that delay discounting can be altered. Due to links between discounting and many clinical issues, Sofis suggested that researchers and clinicians alike should attend to discounting as a treatment target.

“This is becoming important as a clinical treatment target,” he said. “If you could measure one outcome and potentially see a change, you should be able to see myriad other changes at once.”

For people showing problems with impulsivity or self-control, Sofis said the takeaway message is simple: Exercise could help.

“I had people of all different ages, BMIs, incomes and mental-health levels, and these studies suggested that nearly every single person at least improved their delayed discounting to some degree,” he said. “If anyone just exercises, it’s likely you will show some improvements. More evidence is needed to draw definitive conclusions, but it’s very encouraging to see people improving. Just show up and give it a go — it seems like people do improve. The encouraging part is we had individuals that were walking the whole time, people in their 50s or 60s, and people in their 20s who were very fit and running, it didn’t seem to matter. Nearly everyone did improve.”

Currently, Sofis is developing a smartphone application, dubbed “Your620,” allowing people to record exercise and delay-discounting changes, and hopes to hear from people interested in the app. He plans to earn his doctoral degree in May from KU, then look for postdoctoral research opportunities where he can perform further research on delay discounting.

The importance of self-care for the caregiver

While caring for a friend or family member who needs long-term help can be rewarding, it can also be overwhelming. However, it’s important to know you are not alone. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, nearly 44 million people in the U.S. provide care for a friend or family member who is chronically ill, disabled or elderly.
It’s also important to remember that caring for a loved one can take a lot of time and energy, which means it’s critical that you take good care of yourself. Many caregivers are so busy doing what has to be done for their loved one that they often put their own needs last on the list of priorities and don’t make time for themselves. Taking care of yourself is crucial in order to maintain balance and stay healthy, which will help you provide the care your loved one needs. If you or someone you know is currently providing care for a friend of family member, here are a few practical tips to keep in mind:

Build a support team­ –You can’t do it alone, so take some time to build your support team. This should include your loved one’s doctor, family members, friends, church or community organizations, and anyone else you can turn to in a time of stress. Don’t be afraid to meet with your family to ask them to share in the day-to-day responsibilities and/or the cost of care.

Connect with other caregivers – Check out online caregiving forums, websites and support groups to find others who truly understand the ups and downs of caregiving and can offer encouragement.

Get a checkup – You most likely are much more focused on your loved one’s health than your own. But stress takes a toll on your immune system, so don’t ignore your own health. Be sure to make and keep appointments for your annual checkups and screenings, and don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if you’re starting to feel under the weather.

Healthy eating – Even if you don’t feel hungry or think you don’t have time to eat, try not to skip meals. Healthy food can help give you the energy you need during busy days. Keep healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables available. Also, consider asking a friend or family member to help you prepare healthy meals when you don’t have a lot of spare time to cook.

Fit in a workout – Research has shown that one of the best ways to manage stress is through exercise. Take some time out of your day and go for a 10-minute walk to clear your mind, fight stress and maintain good cardiovascular health. You can also try some stretching exercises to release muscle tension.

Call it a night – It’s important for you to get enough sleep so that you can be alert and awake to keep up with caregiving duties. If your caregiving responsibilities tend to interrupt your sleep, try taking a 15-minute power nap during the day.

Take a breath – Consider meditating, listening to guided relaxation recordings, or putting on relaxing music when things get stressful or tense.

Take a time-out – Take a little time for you– treat yourself to a stress-reducing massage or dinner out with a friend or family member. It can help you recharge and relieve tension.

Get help when you need it – Figure out what you can reasonably do and what resources or help from others you may need. Luckily, there are many resources available to help caregivers. Consider reaching out to the following organizations for assistance:

If you are a Health Advocate member, call your Personal Health Advocate, who can help in a variety of ways. First, your Personal Health Advocate can find a local, in-network primary care physician or other medical provider for you so that you can stay on top of your screenings and checkups. If you have access to our EAP+Work/Life program, a specialist can also help you locate a counselor who can address concerns like stress and anxiety, as well as help you locate caregiving help, support groups and other resources in your area.
The National Family Caregivers Association is a nationwide service that helps older adults and their caregivers find local services for seniors. To get started, visit thefamilycaregiver.org.

The Meals on Wheels Association of America is the oldest and largest national organization composed of and representing local, community-based senior nutrition programs in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the U.S. Territories. There are Meals on Wheels chapters nationwide that can deliver meals to seniors who are confined to their homes. To find a chapter near you, visit mowaa.org.
Taking a little time for yourself can help you be a better caregiver.

8 Reasons Why Lying Is a Bad Idea

According to the Hebrew Bible, the ninth of God’s Ten Commandments instructs that no person shall bear false witness against their neighbor. In other words, you shouldn’t lie. All mainstream religions agree that lying is wrong. Sure, you don’t need to have faith in a higher power to understand that telling untruths is both foolish and immoral. There are many logical reasons to avoid telling lies. Here are a few of them:

1. Remembering your lies
How good do you think your memory is? If you tell somebody a lie, you have to be able to remember exactly what you told them. If ever you forget the lie you told, there is a chance that you’ll contradict yourself later on and subsequently get caught. You may even find you need to tell a second lie to avoid being found out for the first one. Telling numerous lies obviously means even more remembering. Before you know it, you may find yourself tangled in an intricate web of drama and deceit. Life is so much simpler when you endeavor to be straightforward and tell the truth.

2. Losing people’s trust
When you get caught lying, people tend to mistrust you from that point forward. If you lie habitually, people will become especially wary of you. There may come a point in time when nobody believes anything you have to say, even though you may actually be telling the truth. When someone mistrusts you, they are unlikely to want to be your friend or have a close relationship with you. Hence, the habitual liar is often a very lonely person.

3. A bad reputation
When people know you for a liar, your reputation is basically ruined. What’s more, it’s human nature to gossip, so news of your lies will quickly spread. Getting caught telling lies is embarrassing, and it makes you look like a light-headed person. You see when you tell a lie, you assume that you won’t be discovered. Hence, you presume that you’re smarter than the people around you. Only a liar underestimates other peoples’ intelligence. Do you really want others to think you’re a moron because of a lie you told?

4. It’s addictive
At first, lying can seem rewarding. When someone swallows a lie you’ve told and you get your own way, it can provide an addictive feeling of power. Because you got away with lying once, you may feel tempted to lie again to see what you can gain from it. Before you know it, you’ve told so many lies that it becomes difficult to remember exactly what you said, and that means extra stress. That’s when you start to realize that lying is the same as anything else addictive. There are negative consequences associated with it. Yet once you become hooked on lying, breaking the pattern can be difficult.

5. Legal ramifications
While telling the odd white lie is unlikely to get you into trouble with the law, more serious lies could. Perhaps you think you’d never tell one of those more serious lies. However, when someone gets into the habit of lying, it usually starts with small lies and slowly escalates. The lies you tell today might not get you into trouble with the law, but what about the bigger lies you may tell in the future?

6. Shattered relationships
How do you feel when you find out that somebody else has been lying to you? Most people feel rather angry when they discover they’ve been lied to. When the person that lied is someone that supposedly loves you, the lies can even cause emotional pain. Many loving relationships between good friends, family members and lovers have been completely ruined because of a lie told by one person to another. Is telling a lie worth the distress that it could cause the people around you? Is it worth losing a relationship that is valuable to you? Do you want the people who care about you today to dislike you tomorrow? These are questions you should seriously consider before telling a lie to someone you love.

7. Self-esteem
Telling a lot of lies doesn’t just have an impact on the way other people see you. It also has a detrimental effect on the way you see yourself. It is difficult to like the person you are when you dislike what you do. The more lies you tell, the less respect you will have for yourself. When you don’t believe in yourself, it’s more difficult to reach personal goals and objectives. It also makes it hard for other people to believe in you.

8. Losing your identity
Telling lies is often a complicated business. People will expect you to reflect the picture you have painted of yourself with the lies you have told. Suppose, for example, that you’ve lied about being wealthy and successful. The people who believed that lie would probably expect you to behave with a little class and decorum. Hence, when you regularly lie about who you are, you may find that you have to play a different part depending on who you are with at the time. Do you really want to live a life that involves playing different characters instead of just being your natural self? If you are constantly acting because of lies you’ve told, it’s easy to lose track of who you were originally.

If telling lies has made your life difficult, perhaps it is time to start telling the truth. Once you start telling the truth, you will find your life starts to become less complicated. Instead of worrying about a certain person discovering the lie you told, you’ll be able to focus on getting on with your life. Do you think lying is bad?

10 Self-Support Tips For Caregivers of People With Bipolar

While living with bipolar disorder can be an enormous challenge, it also affects the primary support giver—be it a partner, family member or close friend. We look to Lesley Berk, Ph.D., Deakin University, to offer suggestions for caregivers to better cope:

#1 Get the facts

You need to know what you’re dealing with. Many caregivers need even basic information about what’s happening with their loved one. There are numerous resources, both in print and online to learn about bipolar. Dr. Berk’s website (bipolarcaregivers.org) offers information about the illness and self-care for caregivers.

#2 Make peace with the illness

Acknowledge your grief, anger, sadness, or guilt. Accept that your loved one’s bipolar will inevitably affect your family and plans for the future, and find new ways to enjoy your life.

#3 Take a break

An important strategy in self-support is incorporating “me time.” It’s important to step away from your caregiving role and recharge. This can be a hobby, taking a bubble bath, visiting friends or gardening. If needed, you can recruit other relatives, close friends or paid assistants to help with this respite.

#4 Address your stress

Organize, prioritize, delegate, and get rid of unrealistic expectations about what you can and should do. Encourage the person with bipolar to develop a diverse support network, including mental health professionals, other relatives, friends, and peers. Make sure you have a support system for yourself.

#5 Take care of your health

As best you can, get into the habit of exercising, eating well, and getting proper rest. Pay attention to signs of depression, such as withdrawal, low energy, trouble concentrating, excessive guilt, and irritability.

#6 Enrich your life outside the home

It’s essential to ensure the illness doesn’t monopolize your life. To this end, discover your own interests and activities outside the home, outside the caregiver role and away from the mental health community.

#7 Flock together

While it’s important for helpers to have time away from the illness, it’s equally important to also have a peer connection. By having a network of people to help you, it will help reduce the sense of isolation that can be common. A support group needn’t be face-to-face—try an online group, forum or blog to connect to.

#8 Make time for two

Relationships need to be nurtured with “bipolar-free” activities. Remember there is more to that souse, child, or parent than the happenstance of the disorder, and that your loved one is, after all, your loved one. Thinking about what you get, not just what you give can be helpful.

#9 Set limits

During a period of stability, make it clear that you will walk away from symptomatic behaviors such as shouting or constant criticism. You may also wish to establish responsibilities that must be performed except in cases of severe illness.

#10 Accentuate the positive

Looking for, recognizing, and focusing on what’s good—your loved one’s courage 
or creativity, for example, or your own empathy and kindness—can make it easier to cope with the situation and encourage a better outlook.