Author Archives: josh

5 Signs Of Real Friends

5 Signs Of Real Friends

When you go through a major loss, face disappointment, or just feel down your likely natural first reaction is to reach out to someone you love. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on, cheering up, or someone who is happy to just sit with you. Essentially, a real friend!
What makes someone a real friend, though? How is it that some friendships stand the test of time and distance and even when you haven’t seen each other for weeks (or months) you still feel as close as ever when you’re together?

The Japanese have a term for it, one that literally translates to family but refers to the bond of friendship – kenzoku. It indicates a deep connection, a kindred spirit, someone whom you share similar desires and commitments with. It’s difficult to form bonds like this, but we can be certain of what signs indicate real friends.

1. Through Thick And Thin
A real friend won’t abandon you in your time of need – they will stand beside you no matter how dark your path becomes. They can celebrate with you when you’re on the up and equally commiserate when life has gotten difficult.

Fairweather friends are a dime a dozen, but those true friendships will weather the storms of life and at the end, you’ll both still be standing (hopefully side by side). Real friends care about you and your wellbeing.

2. Full Acceptance
You might chew with your mouth open or have an endless list of annoying habits, but your true friends can live with it. Beyond that, they’re happy to accept you exactly as you are. They don’t need you to change to meet their expectations – they are happy to accept you as you are, flaws and all. They see beauty in imperfection and are happy to lay insecurities to rest. They will love you, in spite of your weaknesses.

Real friendships don’t come with conditions attached.

3. Willing To Help
You will never need to face the tough times alone when you have real friends. They will be there to have your back, even if it means dropping everything. When you hit a rough patch, they will be there in an instant to pick you up, dust you off, and help you to the finish line (even if it means carrying you). They understand that life can be mean and dirty and that you need support.

4. They Make Time
A real friend will make time to see you and they won’t cancel plans a million times in between times. We all have busy lives to lead and it can be difficult to clear time in your schedule, but a real friend will find a way to make a play date with you. They won’t just toss you aside when life is hectic, they will find a way to include you in life.

5. Total Comfort
Real friends feel at complete ease with each other. There’s no need to force the conversation and throw in a fake laugh, conversation flows (or it doesn’t and you’re both okay with hanging out in silence when that’s how you feel) and it’s effortless. Real friends don’t make you feel too uncomfortable to open up, they don’t judge your decisions, they simply offer support and let their walls down so you can, too. They can be honest with you without breaking your heart. You can share just about anything without fearing their reaction. Real friends want openness and honesty, not secret feelings and thoughts. You can be as silly or as serious as you want without even thinking twice.

All about Blood Pressure Medication

All about Blood Pressure Medication

Have you tried changing your lifestyle to help your blood pressure only to find it isn’t helping very much? Sometimes lifestyle changes alone aren’t as effective as when combined with blood pressure medication.

There are many different kinds of blood pressure medications out there today. Usually two different medications are used rather than one alone. Here are some of the main blood pressure medications:

Alpha-Blockers: This medicine reduces nerve impulses to your blood vessels allowing easier flowing of the blood making your blood pressure decrease.

Alpha-Beta-Blockers: These work just like the alpha-blockers but also slow your heart beat. This means less blood pumps through your vessels making your blood pressure decrease.

Nervous System Inhibitors: This medication relaxes your blood vessels by controlling the nerve impulses making your vessels wider and decreasing blood pressure.

Beta-Blockers: These reduce your nerve impulses to your heart and blood vessels, making your heart beat decrease while dropping your blood pressure.

Diuretics: These are also known as ‘water pills,’ a very common medication. These diuretics work in your kidney, flushing out all excess sodium along with water from your body.

Vasodilators: These open your blood vessels directly by relaxing the muscle in your vessel walls which then causes your blood pressure to decrease.

ACE Inhibitors: ACE stands for ‘Angiotensin converting enzyme.’ These inhibitors prevent a hormone called angiotensin II from forming, which will usually cause your blood vessels to narrow. They help the vessels relax which makes your blood pressure decrease.

Angiotensin Antagonists: These block your blood vessels from angiotensin II. When blocked these vessels can widen letting your blood pressure decrease.

Calcium Channel Blockers: These keep any calcium from entering your heart’s muscle cells and your blood vessels causing your blood pressure to decrease.

An alternate to taking any medication if possible is watching a few lifestyle habits. For instance a healthy diet can help control your blood pressure. Substitute salt for other seasonings and add lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Get at least thirty minutes of physical activity or exercise a day. That doesn’t mean you have to exercise thirty minutes all at once. Ten minutes here and there is just as effective.

Try to keep your stress level at a minimum. High stress can increase your blood pressure so find something that relaxes you and helps you de-stress. Do this whenever you find yourself stressed out beyond your means.

Try to cut back on tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Quitting altogether is more beneficial but isn’t always easy. Remember there are many resources and products available to help you quit either of these habits.

Sometimes these lifestyle changes will not work alone. Your doctor might prescribe you a blood pressure medication if not two. Just talk with your doctor to find out what would be better for you and your blood pressure. Ask any and all questions and if you are taking other medications tell your doctor. Certain medications including oral contraceptives and cold medicines can increase your blood pressure.

How you can help your children develop a healthy personality

How you can help your children develop a healthy personality

Using such a strategy over the years you have your child in your home will reward you and your child. You’ll find that a balanced and moderate approach, using and teaching critical thinking skills, encouraging an even temperament, positive outlook, honesty, authenticity and responsibility are all essential elements of a healthy personality.

So, how might you describe a healthy personality? There are certain inherent characteristics of personality that we are all born with, such as being outgoing, shy, or aggressive by nature. This is what makes us individual and unique. As parents, we have a great deal of influence in developing those natural proclivities, for good or ill. If a child’s naturally outgoing personality is squelched by an overprotective parent, this alone will modify the formation of that child’s personality as he grows up. Pushing a shy or quiet child into the limelight has an impact as well. As for the aggressive child, it depends, as this can be a two-sided coin. Is the child overly aggressive in ways that are harmful to others, or is this aggressive nature more indicative of a proactive, go-getter attitude?

You’ve got to be consistent in your own efforts to deal fairly and honestly with your kids ñ it’s an everyday effort. They will copy your example!

When we first meet a person, much of that first impression is conveyed by their personality. Unconsciously, you ‘size up’ a person, based on a number of factors and characteristics. For example, when you go to a restaurant, your waiter or waitress might approach you with a smile, a friendly voice and a helpful attitude. These are all indications of one facet of a healthy personality, which relates to temperament. On the other hand, you may assess the person’s demeanor to lack authenticity, so you decide this person is phony. Another person might come across as angry or bitter. Maybe they’re just having a bad day, but nonetheless that’s the impression you gain. It’s difficult to make a fair assessment of anyone based on a single encounter, but we all do it anyway.

The point is that, given the individual nature of every child, it behooves parents to help guide their children towards the development of a healthy personality, steering the child who’s always wanting to fight towards a more balanced outlook. Cultivating a healthy personality is not an easy task, but one of the most rewarding jobs of a parent. We all want our kids to grow up to be stable, responsible, happy adults.

If you’re the snappish type who often takes it out on your kids, you’re going to have lapses. When you do, apologize to your kid, letting them know you recognize your own fault. You might say, ìHey Jane, I know I’ve got a problem with my temper sometimes and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you. I’m trying hard to work on this and I promise to improve this behavior. Guess it’s got to be in little baby steps, one at a time. I’m sorry, Sweetie.î Just leave it at that and keep working on the problem.
Believe me, your child will respond favorably and will learn a lesson that helps her along the way to a healthy personality of her own. She learns that everyone has personality flaws, but also that acknowledging them in a purposeful effort towards change is possible. Receiving an apology teaches her that appropriate humility is an asset. Your promise to work on this problem shows that people can change their behavior. So, this one example scenario creates a positive outlook and reasonable approach. Your child also picks up on your honesty and taking responsibility for your own actions. You’ve done quite a bit in this single incident to help develop a healthy personality, simply by example.

You might begin with making an assessment of your own personality. Are you generally happy and cheerful, or do you become easily annoyed, snapping at anyone who crosses your path at the wrong moment? Is your behavior generally reasonable, or do you frequently come off on people for minor transgressions? Every parent has their own quirks. Try to change some of your own negative behaviors before you start passing them on to your kids. As Rome wasn’t built in a day, so ingrained patterns of behavior don’t disappear overnight.

It’s important to note that kids do learn by example. If a boy’s father is too authoritarian, punishing him unjustly or with little cause, these actions will do little to shape a healthy personality in that boy. If a girl is a bit of a tomboy and Mom would rather she be the beauty pageant type, this attitude will doubtless breed feelings of inadequacy. In both cases, resentment and rebellion will follow, sooner or later. If Mom and Dad are always fighting, kids tend to feel guilty, assuming it’s their fault. Notice that resentment, rebellion and guilt are all detrimental to an ultimately healthy personality. Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of a healthy personality and see how you can best nurture a stable, responsible and happy adult.

Kids are smarter and more observant than many of us give them credit. By the time they’re grown, they’ll be ready for the real world, equipped with the armor of a healthy personality they will surely pass on to their own kids. Set the best example you can and you’ll succeed!

4 Self-Care Rituals You Can Work Into Your Busy Day

4 Self-Care Rituals You Can Work Into Your Busy Day

As women, we lead very busy lives. Juggling work and family leaves us with little time for ourselves. Traditionally we have been taught to put others before ourselves, particularly so because we are women. However, if we are to care for others it is absolutely imperative that we care for ourselves first.
We must maintain our own health and well-being if we are to care adequately for those around us, not to mention maintain responsible positions at work. Here are four simple, self-care rituals that you can work into your day, without having to take too much time away from your never-ending “To do” list.

Stretch In The Morning
A few minutes of gentle stretching when you get up in the morning can help increase your blood circulation, improve flexibility, and reduce pain in your muscles and joints. When done on a daily basis you may be astonished by the results.

Try stretching your muscles to incorporate their full range of motion: Shoulder shrugs, neck rolls, wrist and ankle circles and forward/back movements, and so on. After a few weeks of daily routine, you will notice you are much more limber and can get dressed, tie your laces, reach etc. with way more ease.

Meditate Morning And Night
Another easily incorporated daily ritual that can help improve your sense of well-being is meditation. Meditation is known to help improve mood, deepen sleep, and develop a sense of inner peace and calm. It can reduce stress levels, decrease cortisol, and contribute to an increase in immunity and to relaxation.
It can reduce high blood pressure and even aid concentration. With so many benefits for just a few minutes a day of your time, this is one self-care ritual you don’t want to miss out on. Try just 2 to 3 minutes per session at first and build up gradually over time.

Drink Eight Glasses Of Water Per Day
The jury is out on exactly how many glasses of water you should drink in a day, but if you aim for eight, you will avoid dehydration and keep your skin soft, smooth, and supple. Drinking this much water can help you stave off hunger pangs; in fact, feeling hungry is a sign that you are in fact, dehydrated.
Next time your tummy tells you to eat, drink a glass of water first, and see how you feel. Chances are you won’t need to reach for the cookie jar! Staying hydrated keeps your kidneys working optimally and aids in healthy digestion and excretion of wastes.

Even if you don’t feel like it, science has discovered that if you turn up the corners of your mouth, into a smile shape, you actually start to feel happier! Smiling releases neurotransmitters called endorphins. Endorphins make you feel happier. The brain doesn’t know how to differentiate between a fake smile and a real one; it reads the positioning of the facial muscles and acts accordingly. How cool is that? Practice smiling at others and notice the responses you get. A simple smile can help you feel better, and make others feel better too. Everybody wins!

Final Thoughts
Even though you are a busy woman with many responsibilities, you simply have to learn to put yourself at the very top of your list of priorities. After all, if you don’t look after yourself, how will you be able to do all that you do?

By easily incorporating these few self-care rituals into your daily routine, you will feel in tip-top shape and able to carry on caring, working and living your life to the full.