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Psychology Reveals How Positive Thinking Helps Smoking Cessation

Psychology Reveals How Positive Thinking Helps Smoking Cessation

If you’re a smoker, there’s never been a better time to quit than now. Nobody said that it’s going to be easy because nicotine is a strong addiction. However, advances in smoking cessation support and nicotine replacement therapy can make it less difficult for you.

The Age of Innocence

You didn’t set out to be addicted to tobacco. Remember watching the films in grade school about the dangers of smoking and the countless studies linking it to lung disease? You probably donated some of your spare change to the Send a Mouse to College research program of the American Lung Association.

Those educational films were eye-opening, as they showed pictures of diseased lungs that were blackened and deformed from years of smoking. The profound pain and suffering from end-stage emphysema and lung cancer is widely known. You don’t want these diseases, but you probably didn’t even consider them when you were hiding in the school bathroom smoking with your friends.

Smoke & Mirrors

The world’s love affair with tobacco has been a dangerous association for thousands of years. When European explorers came to the shores of America, they found that tobacco had a place of reverence in sacred rites of the indigenous people. During colonization, after the fight for independence, and into modern times, tobacco remains a major crop in the United States.

In the early part of the 20th century, many states and local laws forbade women from smoking in public. With the advent of the females’ right to vote and women joining the workforce during World War II, public opinion waffled, and many women saw smoking cigarettes as a glowing emblem of freedom.

Even after laws were made to place a health warning from the American Surgeon General on each pack of cigarettes and cigars, big tobacco companies used sly advertising campaigns to lure young people into smoking. Television, magazines, and the golden screens were ablaze with attractive models and actors poised with a burning cigarette in hand.

Ads for dainty, perfumed cigarettes used women’s liberation themes to appeal to females. Rugged cowboys rode horseback with a favorite brand of a cigarette dangling from their lips to show how macho smoking was. Unfortunately, these subtle imageries worked, and they captivated entire generations of Americans.

The Mindset of Smoking Tobacco Addiction

As with any substance abuse, you were in control at first. You probably enjoyed that initial rush of energy with that first puff of smoke. Perhaps, you started smoking at an early age and felt a guilty pleasure from doing something naughty and dangerous. You may have told yourself that you could quit at any time, but soon found that the tobacco was in control of your life.

Your first step to breaking nicotine’s hold on your life is to admit that you have a problem that’s out of control. Nicotine is highly addictive, physically, mentally, and emotionally. For smoking cessation, you need a holistic approach that involves the body, mind, and spirit.

Many former smokers said that beating the psychological dependency was probably the most difficult part of their journey. When they opened their minds to self-compassion and positive thinking, it was easier to fight the cravings and stop smoking for good. Their victory started in their minds and revised thought patterns.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Can positive thinking benefit smoking cessation and help you avoid lung-related illnesses and other associated diseases? Your mind is a powerful tool that can help you beat addiction. If you’ve decided to lay down the cigarettes, here are some ways that positive thinking can help.

• It Changes Your Attitude

If you’ve been a smoker for years, maybe you think it’s too late for you. Many longtime smokers say that they’ve smoked this long, and they may as well continue, regardless of their failing health. Does that sound like a familiar excuse in your mind?

Since nicotine addiction started in your mind, so does your cessation. Reverse some of the images you had that inspired you to smoke in the first place. Instead of thinking that smoking makes you look cool, realize how admirable you look when you crush the habit. Rethink your whole attitude about how smoking has affected your lifestyle and health.

You are changing from a smoker to a non-smoker, and your emotions may be all over the place. You’ve identified with that lighter and cigarette for so long that it has become an extension of yourself. Part of making the break from smoking realizes that your addiction does not define you and that you have the power to change.

• It Can Help with Visualization & Affirmations

Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely concluded that you are what you think. If you believe that you can overcome the smoking habit, you can do it. First, you must visualize yourself passing by the cigarette stand in the store and only saving your lighters to light scented candles at home.

Visualize how different life will be when you’re no longer in the constant grip of smoking tobacco. Your hair and clothes won’t stink like stale smoke anymore, and you’ll lose those unsightly nicotine stains on your nails and teeth. Visualize all the money you’ll save when you stop buying tobacco products, and you should think of all the things you can do with that extra money.

Affirm to yourself each day that you are a beautiful, loving person who deserves to be loved. Tell yourself that you are taking charge of your life and removing the hold that smoking has over you. Remind yourself that you will be kind, loving, and patient during the cessation process.

As you look in the mirror, smile and say that you are the image of health and refuse to let cigarettes threaten you with lung disease or other disorders. Declare yourself a winner and a survivor, even when you have a few failures along the way. Make positive affirmation signs and post them in conspicuous places in your home and office.

• It Can Help Your Chart Your Progress

Many people find that journaling is an ideal way of recording their thoughts, dreams, and aspirations while recovering from addictions like smoking. The great thing about journaling is that it’s your project and you decide how you want to do it and what’s right for you.

It can be as simple as a computer-based log, an inexpensive school notebook, or an elaborate handmade journal. You should write whenever you feel like it or when you get the urge for a puff. Maybe you could write about your first experiences with smoking and how it deluded your thinking.

Perhaps you can use a few pages to devote to your affirmations to change your attitude about smoking. Another section may be reserved to remind yourself of the negative outcomes of smoking, such as smelly clothes, premature aging, money loss, emphysema, and lung cancer. At the bottom of each page, reassure yourself that you are making the positive changes necessary to avoid these troublesome side effects.

In another section of your positive thinking journal, imagine what your life will be without smoking. You’ll have no more days of standing outside in the cold and rain to get a cigarette break. Your appearance and health will improve, and you will get past the fear of possible lung cancer and premature death.

• It Can Help You To Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones

It’s human nature to want to barter rather than to give up something. If you’ve been a smoker for years, many of your daily habits and pleasures in life probably revolved around cigarettes. There’s the after-dinner smoke and cocktail, the weekly Friday night poker game with a splendid cigar, or a relaxing smoke in your favorite lounge chair while watching a movie.

Just the thought of nixing smoking from the equation may fill you with anxiety. On a positive note, you needn’t give up the things you enjoy just because you stopped smoking. There’s nothing you must stop doing because it requires a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Trade out the bad habit for a positive, healthy one.

Keep a stock of sugarless gum and mints close by for when you get a cigarette craving. Smoking won’t give you any more luck in your beloved card games than chewing gum can. In the beginning stages of smoking cessation, you may find it comforting to fiddle with a pencil or pen in your hand to ward off psychological cravings.

Did you know that your body starts to heal almost immediately after you stop smoking? You’ll probably be amazed that you can walk greater distances and do more things without losing your breath or having coughing fits. To keep your mind off smoking, consider taking walks, and marvel at the beauty of the world around you that’s not blurred by cigarette smoke.

Final Thoughts on Staying in a Positive Mindset During Smoking Cessation

Breaking any addiction, like smoking, requires a good support system, especially from your primary healthcare provider. Talk to your provider about a smoking cessation plan that is tailored to your needs. It may include nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum, as well as counseling.

Positive thinking can be your guide to lay cigarettes down for good. Improving your health and avoiding lung diseases is worth it. Leave the hazy smoke behind you and step into the fresh air of a new lifestyle.


Therapists Reveal How to Stay Positive When Your Partner is Irritating You

Therapists Reveal How to Stay Positive When Your Partner is

There’s something beautiful about having a partner that you’ve committed to for life. You get to spend every waking morning together and go to bed beside them at night. All that togetherness can be a bit too much for some people–sometimes ever irritating.

The cares of life can weigh heavily on your relationship, and there are times when your partner is getting on your nerves. It may not be about his or her actions. But it has everything to do with what’s going on in your life. How can you stay positive when your partner is irritating you to the point of an explosion?

Therapists work with people every day who have relationship problems. The tiniest of infractions can fester, causing arguments that last for days. Many people break-up and move on, and they don’t know what the problem was in the first place.

If your partner is getting on your nerves, you need to learn positivity in dealing with these situations. Here are some tips to help you keep from going over the edge.

•Realize Why They’re Irritating You

You’re human, so it’s only reasonable to shift the blame from one person to another. For instance, if a coworker made you upset at work today, then you may come home and take it out on your partner. Sometimes, even their heavy breathing can make you want to scream.

You must realize where your frustration is coming from, and never take it out on anyone else. Anger is the most natural emotion to show, and it’s so easy to show it to the wrong person.

•Do Not Resort to Childish Games

When someone is on your last nerve, it’s easy to want to call names, yell, or even not speak to them at all. Instead, why not effectively communicate the issue. If your partner leaves his or her dirty clothes on the floor beside the hamper rather than inside it, you can simply tell them how this is bothering you.

Never avoid speaking to them, leave angry, or make the situation worse. Act like an adult and get to the crux of the matter. Many people don’t even realize why they are getting on their partner’s nerves until the other person says something about it.

•Set Aside Time to Discuss Frustrations

One of the reasons why so many couples don’t make it is because they don’t have a good communication line. If your partner has little habits that drive you mad, you need to have an open dialogue about it. You should set aside a time each evening to talk.

Now, this time should not be reserved to point out all the wrong things that they’re doing, but it should be a time to talk about anything and everything. You need to tell them about work frustrations, problems with the kids, and the things that you both can improve on as a couple.

However, you mustn’t nitpick your partner. You don’t want to send them a text at work and tell them about the cap being off the toothpaste once again. Save all these little frustrations for discussion time. You can quickly drive them out of the door if you are constantly badgering them.

If you don’t have an active line of communication, don’t be surprised if your relationship doesn’t make it. Most conflicts can be resolved with effective communication. It helps to keep positivity in the union.

•Take Care of You

If your partner is annoying you, it might be because you haven’t had time to take care of yourself. You may tend to make mountains out of molehills when all you do is work. If you’re not getting enough sleep, meeting your deadlines, and feel like life is passing you by, then it’s easy to be aggravated by the smallest things.

Schedule a massage or a night out with your friends. With some rest and relaxation, you will be amazed at how much better you feel. The things that seem to bother you when you’re stressed out will probably be lessened when you are in a better place.

•Address an Underlying Mental Health Issue

Some things can be irritating to you because you have an underlying anxiety disorder. Did you know that anxiety can make you moody, irritable, grouchy, and a bear to be around? If you feel that you’re on edge often, it’s worth seeing a therapist.

You may have an anxiety issue that is causing you to be irritated by everything your partner does. In the spirit of positivity, you want to make sure their irritating ways aren’t only bothering you. For instance, do they drive you mad when they are crunching on potato chips or eating popcorn?

Misophonia is an anxiety-based condition that is aggravated by noise. So that chomping isn’t them being annoying, it’s your disorder kicking into overdrive. You can learn effective ways to manage this condition.

• Take a Walk

If your partner is doing something irritating, like turning the television up too loud, you may need to remove yourself from the room. The reason they may have the TV volume up so high is that they cannot hear it. While they may need hearing aids, it’s not something that you can take care of right now.

The best thing to do in this situation is to remove yourself. Go outside, take a walk, or sit on the porch and talk to one of your friends. When you take yourself away from the noise and chaos, then you will be able to refocus.

It’s not easy living with another person, and you will find that some days are worse than others. If they aren’t trying to annoy you, then just take a break. You will feel refreshed when you come back.

•Address Some Issues in the Moment

While you don’t want to be a nag, some things need to be addressed at the moment. For instance, if your partner is wearing shoes through the house, explain why this bothers you. There’s no need to wait for a specific time to talk when it’s something that you can address right now.

Rather than telling them all the reasons you’re upset, you can use science to back you up. Saying something like, “Did you know that when you wear shoes in the house, you are dragging in fecal matter and urine from dogs, not to mention all the other toxins on the ground?” You’re taking the focus off you and telling them a scientifically based reason why wearing your shoes in the house is terrible.

Plus, it’s incredibly irritating to have to clean up mud and shoe marks from the floors but blame it on science for the sense of positivity.

• Get Professional Help

Just because you’re in love with someone doesn’t mean that you will always like them. There may be times when you downright can’t stand them. If your union is worth salvaging from their irritating habits and the constant bickering, you need to see a therapist.

Therapists have a way to get to the crux of the matter and help you find effective methods for conflict resolution. Some issues are damaging to the relationship if they’re not dealt with immediately. Other situations boil and fester and put permanent wedges between people that are not repairable.

Therapy isn’t something that can fix everything, and it doesn’t work overnight. You both must commit to finding positive ways to deal with the irritations that are in your relationship.

• Learn Meditation

Meditation is a widely accepted Eastern treatment for what ails you. It helps to put the mind and body in perfect alignment as you learn to control your breathing. Did you know that you can learn simple forms of Meditation to stop a panic attack?

If you’re new to this art form, then using guided audio from the internet is easiest. However, Tibetan singing bowls are becoming increasingly popular in this country too. These bowls have a harmonious sound that brings an immediate focus and calm to your body.

Meditation helps you to rid negative energies that attach themselves to you during the day. For instance, you may have argued with a person at work, and all that negative drama is plaguing your mind when you get home. You can wash away the effects of that by simply meditating for a few minutes.

Final Thoughts on Overcoming the Irritating Parts of Your Relationship

There is no relationship without conflict and irritants. However, you must learn how to deal with these times positively for your union to last. When you look at people who’ve been married for 20 years or more, they have mastered the art of conflict resolution with their partner.


The Truth About Positive Thinking (and how to get there)

The Truth About Positive Thinking (and how to get there)

On my path from a negative place in my life to positive thinking, I must thank the bad times. Those challenges spurred me into a transformation.

The truth about my path to positive thinking and living is this: I wouldn’t be where I am without the bad times. By accepting the negative, not rejecting it, by understanding the negative, not being ignorant of it, and by growing from the negative, not being stunted by it, I have changed for the better. As a result of this shift, I’ve been able to experience the real Power of Positivity in my life.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but our thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Correcting Course: Shifting from a Negative Place into a Life of Positive Thinking

Accepting the “Negative”

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher, Founder of Taoism

First, I had to accept the negative and not reject or ignore it. The fact is my life was, and is, imperfect, and our lives are imperfect. The key is accepting these thoughts, feelings, and events without judgment and self-criticism.

  • When I experience loss, I allow my heart to ache and the tears to flow.
  • I feel the anxiety and frustration when I experience disappointment.
  • When someone upsets me, I feel the anger and the resentment.

It’s human – we feel these things.

The key is not holding onto these emotions. Just feel them, allow them to pass, and move on. If you don’t give too much credence to any given feeling, they cannot grab ahold of you. Again, just move on.

In truly accepting the situation, I subsequently got rid of one of the most significant sources of unhappiness–the inability to accept things as they are. This inability is the crux of sadness for many people. But I realized that I could change my outlook by merely recognizing that the present is the only thing that exists.

  • By embracing the present situation, we steel our minds and bodies for action. We take on a warrior’s mentality – ready to take our blows, but never conceding defeat.
  • By accepting the negative things that happen, we can now begin to understand why they happen and how we can experience incredible growth and power as a result.

Allow and accept the bad things to happen. It’s not easy, but it’s a part of life and a crucial component to your growth as a human being.

Understanding the “Negative”

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” – Michael J. Fox

Understanding the bad things that happen to us is a crucial element in accepting them. Also, without understanding the negative, we could never take advantage of the situation and become a better person.

I began to understand the negative situation as temporary. In time, bad things that brought on negativity would pass. Even if it were a massive, looming problem, it would end soon.

Next, I began to understand how to deal with these adverse events in my life. I learned that to understand situations wholly. I had to deal with them without judgment or criticism of myself. Self-deprecation does nothing but add to the stress in making the situation more complicated.

Also,  I began to understand that what I was experiencing had to be truly resolved. As humans, our nature immediately desires to either get rid of or ignore bad feelings and thoughts. However, by ignoring the negative, we are making it worse. The stress grows and takes its place within our subconscious, darkening our disposition.

I began to understand the bad thoughts and feelings as the energy that needed to be released. We were not created to be negative beings with darkness in our hearts. We must release this negative energy and allow goodness to fill its void. By releasing this negative energy, I eventually understood and appreciated the gratification of positive energy taking its place.

Flipping the Mindset from Negative to Positive

I began to understand that my frame of mind determines just how detrimental a situation is, and what I’m going to gain as a result. Instead of thinking of the situation as a problem, I began to think of it as an opportunity; an opportunity to become stronger, wiser, and more resilient.

In addition, I began to understand the power of reframing. This process explained how I could reprogram my mind to switch negative words into positive words, and a negative situation into a more favorable situation. If you can transform your thoughts and language, you will see the scenario differently and experience dramatically different results.

Finally, I understand that in order to experience and appreciate the positives, there have to be negatives. I’ve been through the struggle, turned problems into opportunities, and became a better person. I continue to be mindful of this fact every day.

Growing from the “Negative”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela

Through my trials and tribulations, I have grown into a better version of myself. I have transformed in literally every area, all from first changing my thoughts and then taking action.

And this opportunity for growth is where the exquisite nature of our human mind and spirit culminates into something so positive and powerful that it causes the negative forces of our universe to shudder.

Sure… we’ll get hurt, disappointed, even shattered… but we can resolve to become better, stronger, more powerful, more loving, more appreciative, more positive people. In other words, we can take a hurtful situation and grow into a better version of ourselves.

Human beings are the only creatures on the face of the Earth that can consciously take a negative, harmful situation and mold it into something that benefits themselves and their world.

Through acceptance of the negative elements as they become present (even prevalent) in our lives, and by understanding that through the experience of the negative, we can grow into a better people, Furthermore, we learn that we have the capability and the courage to handle any situation.

Final Thoughts on Adopting a Mindset of Positive Thinking

We each have the power to handle the situation. Indeed, each of us can grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually every time.

So here’s to acceptance, understanding, and growth in becoming a more positive version of ourselves.


Life Goes On (think positive) | Power of Positivity

Life Goes On (think positive) | Power of Positivity

Depending upon how old you are, how fast-paced your life is, or even the number of events that have occurred, you may feel as if you have lived several lifetimes and several different lives.  You look back at yourself through various stages and barely recognize the old you.

We tend to break up our timelines based on major changes or shifts in our lives.  When we look back, we see the triggers that created tremendous change in our lives and in our selves.  Those triggers may have been events that happened around us or to us, either as a result of a decision we made or a random coincidence that occurred.

The events at the time may have felt like the bowels of hell were a better alternative or like an entirely new world had embraced you and sprinkled you with fairy dust.  Time takes on a life of its own in the aftermath of such events.  It may fly by like a hawk chasing a mouse or perhaps move slowly, sludging through the thickest mud.   No matter what it felt like, time was still moving forward.  Life goes on, and so do you.

Life Goes On: Think Positive During Challenging Days

life goes on

When we first think of the phrase, “Life goes on,” we might remember those words given upon the passing of a loved one.  This is somehow meant to encourage us to keep living despite the pain of losing someone.  It acts as a reminder that time doesn’t stand still for anyone and it will continue to pass despite you sometimes wishing time itself could just stop.   You want life to stop to give you time to process what has just happened, how you feel, how it affects you, and how everything will be different from here on.

I once attended a seminar regarding the subconscious.  As part of the seminar, one of us was chosen from the audience and asked to sit in a chair on the stage.  We were to think of an event that happened within the last 6 months.  Then, we were asked to close our eyes and imagine wherein our mind’s eye that event occurred.  Next, we were to hold out our hand and put it either in front of us, to the left or right, above or below.  The location depended upon our personal view of where time was stored in our minds.

Then we were to position the hand approximately the distance away from us that we felt the event occurred, as if a dot on a timeline.   After that, we were to imagine an event from several years ago.  Once again, we were to reach our hand out to that invisible timeline. Logic would dictate that the event from 6 months ago would be closer to us than our far past right?  That was not always the case.  If many events had occurred in the last 6 months, it may still be positioned far away from us.  Conversely, if we still dwell on our past of several years ago, we may position it closer to ourselves.

Memories and Emotions

I found it very interesting and telling how our subconscious retains memories in relation to the emotional impact and relativity to our current lives.  In other words, we essentially slow time down when we are deeply affected by something in our lives.  Life around us has gone on, but we slowed our own timeline and stopped moving with it.

Of course, the reverse is also true.  We can speed up our timeline by embracing events and changes in our lives, making even relatively recent events appear to have happened long ago.

Why is this important?   It goes to show the importance of staying in life as much as possible.  Time will drag if we stay in the past and we do not necessarily benefit from that.  When we alter our perception of time, we also alter our perception of reality.  If life stopped for you 10 years ago after the death of a loved one, then everything around you is still based on your knowledge, feelings, and beliefs from 10 years ago.  Information, people, events, and the world have moved 10 years ahead of you.

People are meant to move forward with time – to grow, change, and experience life.

Embracing changes in life

Unfortunately, the brain is averse to change.  Every time you feel uncomfortable about something new, that is your brain thinking it needs to protect you from something it does not know, which also means that once you do that “unknown” action repeatedly, your brain learns it is safe and will stop giving you that uncomfortable feeling.   This is why you can even become comfortable with negative circumstances that might currently make you feel miserable.

How can we learn to embrace change so our life can go on in a happy, healthy way?

1. Recognize when your brain is telling you something that isn’t the truth.

For example, you’ve told yourself that you want to start working out.  On the day you are about to start, suddenly your brain is flooding you with a bunch of excuses.  “You don’t have enough time, too many things to get done, you’re too tired, etc.”

Realistically, you can do a simple 30-minute workout and it won’t impact your day that much.  As a matter of fact, it has been proven that people are more productive and have more energy on days they exercise than on days they don’t.

life goes on

2. Focus on the positive in your life.

Oftentimes, we train ourselves to focus on the negatives regarding a change rather than the positives.  If you have decided to eat healthier, you can choose to focus on how much you miss the cheeseburgers and fries, or you can tell yourself how much more alert you feel after eating chicken with rice and vegetables.  You can tell yourself how much better your body feels having beneficial nutrition in it rather than processed ingredients.

This can also be reinforced by giving yourself something positive afterward.  Every time you eat a healthy meal, you can reward yourself with $5.00 toward the new wardrobe you are going to need.

3. Self-Talk or Affirmations.

Talk nicely to yourself.  Tell yourself something positive, such as, “I am going to finish this report today and it will be the best report my boss sees this month.”  It’s important that you don’t word it as, “I am not going to procrastinate doing this report.”  What the brain will focus on is “I am” and “procrastinate,” whereas in the first example, it will remember “I am” and “finish.”

4. Discipline your mind.

Meditation, prayer, and visualization have proven to strengthen the mind.  Forcing your mind to quiet down or focus on an image or desire creates a form of self-discipline which automatically teaches your brain to look for those triggers to achieve the level of happiness you felt when you thought of them.

pop meme

5. Do something a little different every day.

We mostly operate on routine.  We get up, stumble to the bathroom, brush our teeth, make coffee, and sit down first thing in the morning.  Change it up.  Maybe get up and jump in the shower first; or start the coffee pot and then go to the bathroom. Or, take a cold shower instead of a warm one.   Drive a different route to work or say hi to someone in the elevator that you don’t know instead of looking at your phone.  These are small changes that allowour brains to become accustomed to that uncomfortable feeling while breaking up our mindless routine.

6. Accept the change that occurred beyond your control.

A lot of people believe they need to control everything; when something happens beyond their control, they grow distraught.  They believe there must have been something they could’ve done to prevent it.  That is not always true.

You cannot and should not control everything. You can’t control your friends, children, or partner, for instance.  Yes, you can make them feel bad or guilt them into doing what you feel is best for them.  Yet, they may still go behind your back to do it anyway.

We try to teach our children to study and do their homework.  They may choose to not do it and fail a class.  There was nothing more you could do. It was their decision.  People are responsible for their own decisions.

Another example is if you were in a car accident.  You were driving the correct speed, looking at the road without any distractions but suddenly a car darted in front of your car and you hit it.  You were doing everything you could do to be a safe driver, yet it happened anyhow.

Things happen in life and there is only so much control we have.  The sooner you realistically accept that fact, the faster you can move on and accept changes that occur in your life.

pop memesFinal Thoughts: Think Positive, Things Will Get Better

Life goes on.  Regardless of how you choose to live your life, you will be affected by people and events in your life, whether they are good or bad. The more we train our brains to not fear change, the better we go on with our own lives and experience them to the fullest.


10 Mental Health Tips to Stay Positive During Quarantine

10 Mental Health Tips to Stay Positive During Quarantine

There are few things worse than being under quarantine. You want to provide safety for you and your family, which means utilizing shelter-in-place protocols. However, while you may shield yourself from outside exposures to various viruses and toxins, you must stay positive. By keeping a positive mindset, you will protect your mental health too.

10 Tips for Stay Positive and Protect Your Mental Health

If you ask any mental health professional, they will tell you that if you want to avoid depression, then you need to get out from behind four walls. When you’re under quarantine, you can’t do that as easily. Thankfully, here are ten tips to help you ride out the storm and keep your sanity.

1. Get Plenty of Time Outside to Help Stay Positive

Nothing can give you a better boost in your mood than sunshine. The sun provides ample doses of Vitamin D, which is something your body desperately needs. There’s no reason to stay inside when the weather is beautiful outside.

The key to being outside is to maintain your distance between other folks, while still allowing everyone to enjoy parks and other public spaces. During social distancing, you always want to observe the rules of the quarantine. However, you can play ball, walk hiking trails, and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.

vitamin d deficiency

2. Tackle Household Projects

Do you have tons of little projects around your house that you’ve never got around to doing? Well, being off during the quarantine offers you plenty of downtimes. Why not paint the stairwell or the master bedroom, or can you build that deck you’ve wanted for years?

When the world opens back up and is going at an accelerated speed, you will appreciate all the time you had to work on these projects. Most hardware stores are open for your home repair needs. Head over to the paint department and see what new hue you can splash on your walls.

3. Dive into Spring Cleaning

The adage states that a clean home is a happy home. You’ll be able to stay positive after the restrictions lift by having a better-organized household. Since you want to ensure your family’s health anyway, why not tear out all those closets and wash the curtains? Spring cleaning can be something you get the whole family involved in doing.

Remember to pull out the stove and refrigerator and clean behind those significant appliances. It might be a great time also to have the carpets shampooed and give your abode a deep clean.

isolated during quarantine
Here are 10 ways to feel less isolated during the quarantine.

4. Engage in an Excellent Novel

When it comes to mental health, there are few things as beneficial as a good book. You can transport yourself to another time and place by simply reading a captivating story. If you want to be anywhere but stuck at home, why not join an adventurous story that will engage your mind.

If you have children at home, then you should encourage them to read. Why not have a family book night where you all read a novel a few chapters at a time? You can have some really engaging conversation when you’re all excited and hearing a story come to life.

5. Catch up with Friends and Family

While you may not be able to see your friends and family during quarantine, you can still communicate. Thanks to the power of technology, you can use apps that allow you to have video phone calls.

Since you can’t be there in person, then a video call is the next best thing. Catch up with siblings and relatives both near and far. Technology can bridge the gaps between you and your loved ones, and you can find out all the happenings in their life.

grief quotes

6. Join an Online Support Group to Feel Less Isolated During Quarantine

Some people handle being in lockdown better than others. If you feel that you are on edge and about to have a break, then it’s best to reach out to others for support. The internet is full of people that are experiencing the same emotions as you, and they can be a great source of comfort.

You must remember that your feelings are not abnormal and that many people are having a hard time with sheltering-in-place. Online support groups using apps like Zoom can make you feel as if you are attending a meeting. Seeing all the other faces and hearing their stories can make you think that you’re not alone, and you have someone’s shoulder to cry on.

7. Use Humor as Much as Possible

Much research has gone into the effects of humor on the body’s health. It’s hard to stay blue if you’re laughing. Many people are using Tik Tok to create funny videos.

Could you be the next great chef, or would you like to create a hilarious video using your children and their abilities? You can create anything you want and share it with the world. When you’re laughing and smiling, it helps to pass the time.

Also, your videos can help someone else who may be going through a difficult time right now. Sign up for a daily joke and watch some of the hilarious videos that have gone viral because of their great content.

8. Turn Off the News and Put Down the Phone

In times of uncertainty, it’s important that we only get the right amount of news. You don’t want to burden yourself with all the negativity. Rather, you need to focus on the things that are important for you and your family.

It’s also of supreme importance that you limit your children’s interaction with social media. While video games and watching YouTube are all great things, there should be limits placed on them for mental wellness.

You and your children need to be spending time together playing board games, running in the wind, and cooking dinner together. Putting so much negativity into your spirit can really start to cause issues for your psyche. It’s okay to leave the TV off for a day and have everyone put their cell phones in a box.

9. Stay Positive by Establishing a Comfortable Routine

Daily habits are there because they are important. During quarantine periods, things get all mixed up, and your schedule gets off. However, if your timetable is really off, then it can really mess with your mental wellness.

No matter how hard it is to get out of bed, you must get up at a decent hour. Sleeping in should be no later than 9 am. Also, you and your children should get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, and be presentable for each day. Not only will you look better, but you will feel better when you are up and have completed your daily routine.

When it comes to your children, you must have some patience and understanding when dealing with them. They don’t comprehend what’s going on and why they are at home so much. They will have behavioral issues, and they will not be perfect angels.

Be sure that you react with kindness and understanding. While everyone needs to follow the rules, you can extend some leniency due to the circumstances. Just keep reminding yourself and your family that this will all soon be over.

10. Stay Positive by Finding a Safe Retreat

All this togetherness is sometimes overwhelming. You can and should spend as much time with your children as you can. Those little moments playing a board game or watching them learning to ride a bike will be precious to you one day. However, there are times when you need a little solace.

Do you have a sacred space where you can go and meditate for a while? Meditation should be one of your new daily habits during the shelter-in-place orders. Many studies show how beneficial meditation can be for your mind, body, and soul. Plus, during these sessions, you can learn to get rid of negative feelings and channel positive ones.

If you don’t have a designated space where you can go to escape the world, then you need to go outside and take a walk. Don’t ever underestimate the power of sunshine, fresh air, peace, and quiet. It’s healing beyond measure. Make sure you get at least a half-hour of uninterrupted me time each day.

vitamin c
China is testing the use of Vitamin C to battle coronavirus–and it’s working!

Final Thoughts: Stay Positive and Make the Best of a Tough Situation

It’s important to remember that your children are looking to you during this time of uncertainty. If you are anxious and upset, then they will copy your emotions. However, if you use this time for something good, like spending lots of time together, then they will be happy and playful.

Being under quarantine is not easy for the strongest person. If you feel that you are getting to a point where you need help, then reach out to your doctor or a therapist. There are extra resources in place to help people who struggle with depression and anxiety, as well as other mental illnesses.

The only way to get through a difficult time is by doing things that you love most. So make that gourmet meal, go for a ride on your bike, and by all means, take a nap to rejuvenate yourself. Whatever it is that makes you happy–just stay positive.


4 Books About Addiction Recovery to Help Inspire Positive Change in Your Life

4 Books About Addiction Recovery to Help Inspire Positive Change

4 Books About Addiction Recovery to Help Inspire Positive Change in Your Life

When recovering from any sort of addiction, it often feels like you’re all alone. The truth is that addiction is common. More people suffer from it than most of us realize.

Something good to come from this is the fact that those experiences help us in our own fight against addiction. Instead of letting that segregated feeling consume our every thought, we read about others who’ve gone through the exact same thing.

If you’re in a dark place right now, try reading some of these books about addiction recovery. They’ll help far more than you think.

1. Black Out by Sarah Hepola

This book tells the story of a woman who goes on a feminist and freedom-inspired drinking binge that doesn’t ever seem to stop. In the end, everything catches up with her and she must find a way to begin that long road to recovery.

Humor, sorrow, and self-realization are only some of the starring emotions portrayed in this book. A witty writing style makes this book a quick read even though the heavy topics don’t make it easy to digest.

But despite the darker tones, there’s a hint of quirk and amusement that shine in this all too familiar story.

2. How to Grow Up by Michelle Tea

Coming to the realization that something needs to change is one of the most difficult parts of recovery.

This entire journey is what makes this book one of the more interesting recovery books around. It reads more like a how-to book than a memoir at times, guiding the reader through each step.

Follow along with the story as the character finds out that their addiction isn’t what they treasure most in life.

3. Party Girl by Anna David

This story focuses on the ultimate question all addiction recovery books need to ask: what do I do now?

After the protagonist breaks free of her addiction and is steady on the road to sobriety, she’s faced with obstacle after obstacle. Each one dents her new sober armor a little bit, making the next one even hard to face.

This book does a great job of showing the struggle of someone who is doing everything the right way but needs to stay strong against all odds. Nothing worth having is ever easy. 

4. Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl

Even those who are both successful and creative struggle with addiction. This gripping memoir show this with sharp clarity.

Heroin addiction causes this writer to make many mistakes throughout his life, even against his own better judgment. It shares with the world all of the terrible side effects of some of the harshest of drugs.

The way it’s presented in this book makes the entire journey both captivating and educational.

The eventual and heart-wrenching downfall is hard to swallow. But it leads to a better life for him and his family.

Let These Books About Addiction Inspire You

With these books and their experiences at your side, addiction recovery becomes a little easier. It’s always good to learn from both the mistakes and victories written upon those pages.

But we all have our own stories to tell. The books about addiction recovery listed above are only a few points of view.

Your own story might help someone else in their recovery someday. So why not try your hand at writing your own memoir? Don’t forget to check out these tips on becoming a better writer to give your memoir the best start possible.


How to Stay Positive and Reduce Divorce Stress

How to Stay Positive and Reduce Divorce Stress

How to Stay Positive and Reduce Divorce Stress

While divorce rates are falling, they’re still quite common, with about 40 percent of all marriages ending in divorce.

Splitting up with a spouse can bring tons of heartache and turmoil, as well as financial, familial, and personal stress.

During these times, it’s pertinent that you stay positive and do everything you can to reduce divorce stress.

While that’s often easier said than done, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can minimize divorce stress and stay positive during this dark period.

Spend Time With Family And Friends

When you marry, you expect your partner to be the one person you can always count on. So it makes sense that your faith in others may be a bit shaken following your decision to get a divorce.

Don’t let your past experiences dictate your future. Now, more than ever is the time to reach out.

Start spending time with family and friends. Don’t be afraid to confide in them and let them know you’re hurting.

By nature, humans are empathetic and seek companionship from others who understand us. Leaning on your loved ones can bring you closer and lift you up during your time of need.

Keep Track of Finances

Aside from the emotional pain, divorces can be financially draining when you factor in the cost of lawyers and court fees. On average, the price of divorce falls somewhere between $500 and $9,000.

Therefore, you’ll need to be smart with your money. If you haven’t already, start keeping track of your finances.

Free sites like Mint can help you determine a monthly budget that fits your needs when going through a divorce.

Write About Your Divorce Stress

Even with work and social obligations, it’s easy to isolate yourself and get stuck in your own head.

Be careful of critical thinking. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

You can curb negative thinking by writing your feelings down in a journal, or detail your journey online.

Whenever you’re feeling upset, write out your feelings. Studies show that there are benefits to seeing your thoughts on paper.

Volunteer Your Time

Giving your time to others in need is a great way to take you out of your own mind (and home) for a little while. By volunteering, you’ll stay busy while making a difference in your community.

There are tons of service options for people of every type.

Take cute shelter puppies out for a walk if you love animals. Hand out meals at your local soup kitchen if you’re concerned about the homeless. Mentor kids and take a vested interest in their future.

After an afternoon of service, your divorce stress will lower and you’ll feel great about yourself to boot.

Final Thoughts on Coping With Divorce Stress

Divorce is never a happy situation. But you can view it as the end of your life or the beginning of a brand new chapter.

Keep these tips in mind and remember to breathe. You can handle anything that comes your way.

And don’t forget to keep coming back to ArticleCity for tips on how to live your best life.