This article was originally published on madebyhemp.com
2018 was the year we saw a strong surge of mental health awareness. The public’s focus on health broadened to also include taking care of one’s mental and emotional health. People have finally realized that one of the keys to maintaining a healthy body is to have a healthy mind.
This coming 2019, mental health awareness will continue to be one of the bigger focuses on overall well being. Learning a few habits that will promote and improve your mental health will be a great start to your new year.
The secret to a sound body is a sound mind. But it could also work both ways. The secret to a sound mind is a sound body. It might not work for everybody, but for a majority of able-bodied people, a great way to boost endorphins is to go out and move. Find an exercise that you love. You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. Some people prefer lifting weights, some like yoga, some even run marathons. Find that one exercise you want to stick with and run with it.
Being thankful for the things you have instead of focusing on the things you don’t is a good way of bringing positive energy into your life. It will, more importantly, make you realize you are lucky to have the things you do. Practicing the habit of being grateful will help you become a more positive person.
3. Be kind
Be the person you wish other people would be to you. Make someone’s day by smiling at them, or helping them carry a heavy load, or even just opening the door for someone who has their hands full. A bit of kindness paid forward will cultivate a world of kindness. It doesn’t take much to make others smile.
Get enough sleep. Sleep can do wonders for a tired mind and body. Don’t overdo it though. Get the right amount of sleep in order to feel rested and ready to tackle your day, every day. Put your screen away close to bedtime and concentrate on relaxing. Give your body and mind the time to recover and recuperate.
5. Hang out with friends
Socialize. Even the most introverted person has someone they prefer to hang around with. It does wonderful things to your soul to share your time with the people that matter.
Better yet, try Therapeutic Chocolate with Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Cannabinoids are non-psychoactive and can reduce anxiety. If you are looking to incorporate CBD into your diet, but is not very much of a fan of its earthy taste, chocolate is the way to go. Cannabinoids are found to keep the body in neutral state, and support the functions of the brain, as well as the central and peripheral nervous system. Get your chocolate fix for the day, and get CBD’s benefits while you’re at it.
When they said laughter is the best medicine, they were not kidding. Laughter helps ease stress and anxiety. Hang out with a funny friend, or watch a comedy show. Or maybe learn a few jokes and share them with your friends. Laughter is one of those things that multiply when shared.
8. Eat Well
A few desserts won’t hurt you any but for the most part, feed your body the things it should be fed. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. This will ensure your body will feel healthy and will give you less things to stress or worry about. Avoid things that will harm your body like smoking or excessive drinking.
9. Love Yourself
Tell yourself something nice every day. Most people are generous with giving away compliments to others but are stingy when it comes to themselves. Start your day by giving yourself a sincere compliment. It could be something simple like “oh my skin looks very nice today”. Or “I do make an amazing omelet.” And develop this into a daily habit. Because loving yourself will allow you to love others more freely.
Give your mind a chance to empty itself out of the negative energy that is pervasive in the world. Give your mind the space to breathe and relax. And as you relax your mind, you relax your body. Meditation is a great way to connect your mind and your body into one plane. It is a good way to relax and to relieve yourself of any stress that you may have. Meditation also complements therapy.
I've been very into Audible lately. One of the best things is listening to a memoir read by the author. Here are a few favorites.
1. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
2. On Writing by Stephen King
3. Becoming by Michelle Obama
4. Shrill by Lindy West
5. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
6. Everything by David Sedaris
7. Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler
8. A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
I may add some more as I read more.
This was originally published on Off The Main Page on August 16, 2017.
Did you know there are questions interviewers are not allowed to ask? Yep. If a question makes you uncomfortable, there is probably a reason for it. It is not always intentional. One in five hiring managers has asked a question only to find out later that it was a violation of labor laws.
In a CareerBuilder survey, hiring managers were given a list of questions that are illegal. Many of them didn’t know that the questions are illegal.
What types of questions are out of bounds? Companies are not allowed to ask about your age, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability, plans for children, debt, whether you are pregnant, whether you drink, or whether you smoke.
Most interviewers won’t just bluntly ask you your age or religion (although it does happen). A lot of interviewers may get into illegal territory just by making small talk.
Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, says:
“Casual conversation is part of the interview process. When you’re chit-chatting, sometimes the conversation turns more personal.”
Sometimes it depends on how the question is framed. For example, a manager can ask if you have been convicted of a crime, but they can’t ask about your arrest record.
“You shouldn’t be asked about information that’s not directly relevant to whether you can perform a job.”
What do you do if you are asked one of these questions? Whether or not you answer it is up to you. You can also respond to their question with a question of your own. You can say something like, “I just want to clarify how that is relevant to the job.”
This was originally published on Off The Main Page on August 16, 2017.
There are some things that you just shouldn’t do after you’ve gotten into a heated argument. Here are 5 of them:
1. Don’t Sleep On It.
This old advice is true. Don’t go to bed angry. Going to sleep “reinforces” negative emotions.
Allen Towfigh, MD, a New York City-based board certified sleep medicine doctor and neurologist, says:
“We are learning that sleep seems to help us process and consolidate information we acquire while we are awake.”
2. Don’t Drive.
Driving angry can be very dangerous. You get a tunnel-vision, and you may not see anything coming from the side of the street.
3. Don’t Vent.
Getting your anger off your chest may sound good, but it will just make you angrier later. David Narang, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif. says:
“They feel validated in what they’re saying by venting, but they’re not less angry.”
4. Don’t Post On Facebook Or Email People.
This is a 2-in-1 tip. Don’t post about your anger on Facebook, and don’t email anyone. Once you put it online, you can never take it back.
5. Don’t Eat.
Don’t eat your feelings. Eating when you’re not hungry is not a good thing. Also, we don’t usually reach for broccoli when we are angry. We usually reach for something high in fat and/or sugar.
This was originally published on Off The Main Page on July 7, 2017.
Happy World Chocolate Day! Here are 10 great facts about chocolate to celebrate:
1. This is not the only chocolate celebration.
Today is not the only celebration of chocolate. We also have National Milk Chocolate Day on July 28, International Chocolate Day on September 13, and National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day on November 7.
2. White chocolate is not really chocolate.
I knew it! Technically, it doesn’t have any cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, so it’s not technically chocolate. It does have a bit of cocoa butter in it.
3. Marie Antoinette loved hot chocolate.
Marie Antoinette loved to drink hot chocolate at Versailles. She didn’t just love the taste, she also believed that the drink was an aphrodisiac.
4. Cacao was once used as currency.
The Aztecs loved the cacao bean so much that they used it as currency at the height of their civilization.
5. A pair of British confectioners invented solid chocolate.
In 1847, a pair of confectioners mixed cacao beans, butter, sugar, and chocolate liquor to make a solid “eating chocolate.”
6. Cocoa and cacao are the same thing.
They are both the same bean, so the words are interchangeable.
7. Making chocolate is hard work.
It takes over 400 cacao beans just to make one pound of the sweet stuff.
8. Chocolate has a very special melting point.
Chocolate melts at 93 degrees Fahrenheit, just below the human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts so easily on your tongue.
9. Cacao trees live to be over 200 years old.
Although, they only make cacao beans for 25 years of their lifespan.
10. Napoleon loved Chocolate.
He insisted that wine and chocolate be made available for himself and his officers during intense military campaigns.
This was originally published on Off The Main Page on June 26, 2017.
For my fellow nerds, here are five different possibilities of orders to watch the Star Wars movies in:
1. Episode Order – I, II, III, IV, V, VI
According to George Lucas, this is the correct way to watch them. However, is it really the best way? If you watch the prequels first, then the whole Darth Vader is Luke’s father thing is old news. All of the good stuff becomes anticlimactic.
2. Rogue One Order – R1, IV, V, I, II, III, VI, VII
Rogue One is a standalone movie; however, its story line is closely tied to the Death Star saga. So, many fans have declared this the best way to dive into the Star Wars universe.
3. The Time Machine Order – *IV, *V, *VI, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX
This one is basically impossible to replicate. It requires watching the original cuts of IV, V, and VI before the CGI edits of the 1990s. They haven’t been released since 2006, and Disney hasn’t made any plans to re-release them anytime soon.
4. Theatrical Release Order – IV, V, VI, I, II, III, VII, VIII, IX
This is the most obvious and popular way to experience the saga.
5. Machete Order – IV, V, II, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX
This order was first proposed by software blogger Rod Hilton in 2011. It drops the bad stuff while amplifying all of the good things in the saga. It also cuts whiny Anakin and most of the Jar-Jar Binks ridiculousness of Episode I.
This was originally published on Off The Main Page on May 10, 2017.
A new study found that, under certain circumstances, swearing can provide more pain relief than prayer. Richard Stephens from Keele University said:
“We know from our earlier research that swearing makes people more able to tolerate pain. A possible reason for this is that it stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system—that’s the system that makes your heart pound when you are in danger. But we have yet to understand the power of swearing fully. Swearing seems to be a form of emotional language. Perhaps it’s the emotional effect of the words that leads to the distraction, but this is just speculation at the moment.”
During the study, participants were given anaerobic and other physical tests both swearing and not swearing. The people who swore were able to produce more power on an exercise bike and on other tests. Here is what Stephens said about the power of swearing:
“When I am giving talks on the psychology of swearing I usually end with transcripts of the final utterances of fatal air crash pilots, captured on the black box flight recorder because, unsurprisingly, many of these feature swearing. I use it to emphasize an important point: that swearing must be important given its prominence in matters of life and death.”
“We appear to have established a two-way relation between swearing and emotion. Not only can swearing provoke an emotional response [as shown in the swearing and pain research] but raised emotional arousal has been shown to facilitate swearing, or at least one aspect of it, swearing fluency. These psychology studies demonstrate that there is more to swearing than routine offense-causing or a lack of linguistic hygiene. Language is a sophisticated toolkit and swearing is a useful component.”
Yeah, that’s why I do it.
This was originally published on May 17, 2017 on Liberal America.
Have you ever wanted to help organize a political campaign and didn’t know how? Well, here are some basic steps and tips to get you started.
Examining The Difference Between Organizing And Mobilizing
Organizing involves getting people together under a common cause. With organizing, you get people together and come to a consensus. Mobilizing doesn’t necessarily involve coming to a consensus, it involves taking action. Mobilizing involves creating a goal which can be measured. The best organizers are not necessarily the best mobilizers. The reasons for this are many:
1. Build Opportunities To Mobilize
First, you need to form goals for the actions that you want to start. Identify a list of priorities for your group depending on the size of your organization. If your organization is big enough, break it up into teams to accomplish multiple things.
2. Identify Friction
Many individuals already consider themselves part of a cause. Some people may join you because they agree with your beliefs. When you are organizing a group, some people will join and begin mobilizing with you. A great organization will have beliefs and actions for people who share your beliefs and for those who want to take action.
3. Build Up Your Group
Is your group small? Do you need more people to join your efforts? Try to build it up if you can. Small organizations either organize or mobilize, but they rarely have enough people to do both. They either meet and socialize or they mobilize.
We’ve covered the bare minimum basics here just to get you started. Chris Reeves at Daily Kos has an entire series on organizing and mobilizing, covering everything from the beginnings of an idea to completion of your efforts. He has titled it the Nuts & Bolts Guide and we highly recommend heading over there to check it out (it’s free to look, so what’s the harm, right? You’re not gone yet?)
h/t: Chris Reeves at Daily Kos — Thank you Chris, for your dedication and persistence!
Here are some of the best TED talks out there on the subject of mental health:
This comic talks about struggling with depression:
This is a powerful talk about schizophrenia:
Another great one on schizophrenia:
This is about the funnier side of mental illness:
A great one about the struggle of talking about mental illness:
This was originally published on Liberal America on April 4, 2017.
Before you close this window, realize I’m not talking about all Christians. This list, however, is pretty crazy. Dr. Dave Williams gives 11 things that Christians should do if the Rapture is happening and God doesn’t take them.
1. Don’t Believe The Media
.Yes, of course, the first thing he says is to not believe the “secular media.”
2. Ditch Your Cell Phone.
Whelp, I guess your cell phone is evil if you don’t get raptured. They believe that you will be tracked using your phone.
3. Don’t Kill Yourself.
One this part of the list, he says:
“Whenever there’s social disorder and confusion, people tend to think suicide is the only way out. It’s not. You probably feel hopeless, but there is still hope. The Holy Spirit will still be working during the final shabua. Pray and ask Him to guide you, give you strength and dwell in you.”
4. Repent Immediately
Yep, so if God doesn’t take you during the Rapture, then you must still pray to him. Makes total sense.
5. Have A Bible.
Again, God didn’t pick you as one of the “chosen,” so you still have to read his book and pray to him.
6. Leave Your House And Get Out Of The Cities
Good apocalypse advice.
Again, you didn’t get chosen, so you still have to pray to the God that didn’t choose you?
8. Don’t Go To Church.
Dr. Williams says:
“That’s right—don’t go to church or join the world conglomerate religion because it will be under the control of the false prophet (Rev. 13). All true, godly ministers have left the earth in the rapture. Do not believe the lies of the ministers who are left behind. Even if you see miracles and apparent wonders, do not believe them. They are lying wonders (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22; Luke 21; 2 Thess. 2:9). Deception will be the order of the day. Delusion will be everywhere, especially in ‘churches.'”
9. Get A Small Radio.
This is also good apocalypse advice. Also, remember to double-tap the zombies.
10. Keep Praying For Loved Ones.
“God will still answer prayers during the Tribulation. Your prayers may be the key to seeing your loved ones again after this period of supreme agony is over.”
11. Spread The List.
Of course, Dr. Williams says that you should spread this list everywhere.
Additionally, he ends the article saying that there are more Rapture tips along the way. This is one of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories I’ve seen.