September 2015
Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

You may know someone who is depressed and not know they're depressed. People expect someone who is depressed to cry a lot, stay in bed all day, mope, or sound like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. But depression isn't always this obvious.
Some people can totally fake it. They can smile and laugh; they can act like everyone else, even while they are in excruciating emotional pain. Occasionally people who can do this end up killing themselves, and no one can believe it.
The pain is also complicated by the fact that depression attacks a person's thoughts and feelings, rather than liver or lungs. Depression can cause a person to think she hates herself or is unhappy in her relationships.

It can cause someone to believe everyone would be better off without him, or even that others would be better off dead. It can cause people to feel sad, angry, guilty, numb, or rageful, even when none of this is how they feel when they aren't depressed.

Being with Unhappy People
Body, Mind, Heart and Soul
Competition - Good or Bad
Confront Fear
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Dialogue with David - The Person in Anxiety and Depression
Do Not Panic Unnecessarily
Do You Keep People Happy?
Don't Take Life Seriously

Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

Life is a journey comprised of many steps on our personal path that takes us down a winding road of constant evolution. And each day, we are provided with a myriad of opportunities that can allow us to transform into our next best selves. One moment we are presented with an opportunity to react differently when yet another someone in our life rubs us the wrong way; on another day we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from a particular circumstance but are not sure if we can. Eventually, we may find ourselves stuck in a rut that we can never seem to get out of. We may even make the same choices over and over again because we don't know how to choose otherwise. Rather than moving us forward, our personal paths may take us in a seemingly never-ending circle where our actions and choices lead us nowhere but to where we've already been. It is during these moments that awareness can be the first step to change.

Awareness is when we are able to realize what we are doing. We observe ourselves, noticing our reactions, actions, and choices as if we were a detached viewer. Awareness is the first step to change because we can't make a change unless we are aware that one needs to be made in the first place. We can then begin understanding why we are doing what we are doing. Afterward, it becomes difficult not to change because we are no longer asleep to the truth behind our behaviors. We also begin to realize that, just as much as we are the root source behind the causes for our behaviors, we are also the originator for any changes that we want to happen.

There is a freedom that comes with awareness. Rather than thinking that we are stuck in a repetitive cycle where there is no escape, we begin to see that we very much play a hand in creating our lives. Whether we are aware of them or not, our behaviors and choices are always ours to make. Our past and our present no longer have to dictate our future when we choose to be aware. We are then free to move beyond our old limits, make new choices, and take new actions. With awareness, our paths can't help but wind us forward in our lives while paving the way for new experiences and new ways of being. It is through awareness that we can continue to consciously evolve.
Live life to the fullest
The Power of Purity
Welcome the Unexpected
6 Thinking Hats Technique for Innovation and Creativity
What Are Your Emotions?
The 7 Great Powers To Have
Winds of Change
Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

Good Behavior is not Magic—It's a Skill  The 3 Skills Every Child Needs for Good Behavior
When you have a child who acts out and is disrespectful or disruptive, it's easy to compare him to the so-called "good kids" who never seem to get into trouble or give their parents grief. Many people feel hopeless about the possibility of ever teaching their child to "magically" become the kind of well-behaved member of the family they envisioned before they had him.
It's actually the learning process associated with consequences that changes the behavior.
The truth is that good behavior isn't magic—you can't just wave a wand and turn your child into who you want him to be. Rather, good behavior is a skill that can be learned, just like carpentry, teaching or nursing. I believe three of the most important skills for children to learn as a foundation for good behavior are: how to read social situations, how to manage emotions, and how to solve problems appropriately. If your child can learn to master these three tasks with your help, he will be well on his way to functioning successfully as an adult.

Related: How to teach your child the skill of good behavior.

Skill #1: Reading Social Situations
The ability to read social situations is important because it helps your child avoid trouble and teaches him how to get along with others. If he can walk into a classroom, lunchroom, playground or a dance, read what's going on there, and then decide how he's going to interact in that environment in an appropriate way, he's already halfway there. So if your child sees a bunch of kids who usually tease and bully others, the skill of reading social situations will help him stay away from that group, rather than gravitate toward it.
Parents can help their kids develop these skills by getting them to read the looks on people's faces at the mall or a restaurant, for example. If your child can learn to see who looks angry, frustrated or bored, two things will happen: the first is that he will be able to identify how people might be feeling. Secondly, he'll learn that he should try to identify other people's emotions. Both are integral in learning how to read social situations.
Related: Calm parenting in any situation.

Skill #2: Managing Emotions:
It's critical for your child to learn how to manage his emotions appropriately as he matures. Managing your emotions means that it's not OK to punch a hole in the wall because you're angry; it's not OK to curse at your dad because he took your iPod away. Children need to learn that just because they feel bad or angry, it does not give them the right to hurt others.
    Ask the Right Questions
    If your child calls his little sister a nasty name, it's your job to first sit down and ask, "What did you see going on that you thought you needed to do that?" Not, "How did you feel?" but "What was going on?" You'll find that usually this type of behavior is generally self-centered. Perhaps your child's little sister is getting more attention or she's watching a show and he wants the TV, or she's playing with the video games and he wants to play them. When your child does not know how to deal with that situation and he becomes nasty or abusive, it's time for you to step in and put a stop to it. And I think you should very clearly state, "Just because you're angry, it doesn't give you the right to call your sister a nasty name." That's an important, direct way of teaching the skill of managing emotions.
    What Giving Consequences Does (and Doesn't) Accomplish
    I believe that consequences are part of accountability. In other words, your child should know that if the inappropriate behavior happens again, he will be held accountable. Saying that, I don't think people change simply because they're punished or are given consequences. Although parents often focus on them, consequences alone are not enough. Rather, it's the learning process associated with the consequences that changes a child's behavior. So it's the part of your child's thinking process that says, "Next time I'm upset, if I call Sarah a name, I'm going to be punished. Instead, I can just go to my room and cool down."
    Here's the truth: you can punish kids until the cows come home, but it's not going to change their behavior. That's because the problem is actually not the behavior—the problem lies in the way kids think. This faulty thinking then gets externalized into how they behave. If you punish them for the behavior and neglect to challenge the way they think about the problem—or discuss what their options are for dealing with that problem effectively in the future—then really, what are you doing? You're punishing your child, but he hasn't learned anything and he's not going to do anything differently. In fact, he's probably just going to do it again when you're not looking.
    Related: How to give consequences that really work.
    "What Will You Do Differently Next Time?"
    I think it's very important that you talk to your child about what he can do differently the next time he feels angry or frustrated. This tool is something I developed as part of The Total Transformation, and it's an important way to focus on changing your child's behavior. When you use this technique, it encourages your child to come up with other things he or she might do instead of using ineffective behavior. By the way, when you have this talk with your child, it should be a pretty businesslike conversation—it's not all smiley and touchy feely; it shouldn't be abusive or negative, either. Stick to the facts and ask, "What can you do differently next time?"

Skill #3: Teach Problem Solving Skills
    There's No Such Thing as "Good Kids" and "Bad Kids"
    I believe that the kids who are labeled "good" are children who know how to solve their problems and manage their behavior and social life, and the kids who are labeled "bad" are kids who don't know how to solve those problems. A child is often labeled "the bad kid" when he's developed ineffective actions to solve the problems that other kids solve appropriately. So this child may turn to responses that are disrespectful, destructive, abusive, and physically violent. In my opinion, there's no such thing as good kids or bad kids, there are simply kids who have learned effective ways of solving life's problems, and kids who have not.
    As they develop, children have to continually adjust their problem-solving skills and learn new ones. For instance, for a three year old, being told "no" is the biggest problem in her life. She stomps her feet, she throws a tantrum. Eventually, she has to learn to deal with that problem and manage the feelings associated with it. And so those tasks continue for five-year-olds who have to deal with the first day of school and for nine-year-olds who have to change in gym. They continue for 12- and 13-year-olds when they're at middle school, which is a much more chaotic environment than they have ever faced before.
    Related: How to teach kids problem-solving skills.
I've devoted much of my career to dealing with kids who behaved inappropriately, all the way from kids who were withdrawn and depressed to kids who were aggressive and acted out physically. I believe a very key element in helping children change their behavior is for parents to learn techniques where they help their child identify the problem they're facing. Together, you look at how to solve problems and come up with other solutions. So talk to your child about the problem at hand and how to solve it—not just about the emotion your child is feeling.
In the end, there is no magic solution to good behavior. The secret is really in teaching kids how to solve problems; good behavior is simply one of the fruits on that problem-solving tree. Your goal as a parent is to give your child the tools to learn good behavior. It's never too late to get these tools, but know this: if your child can't read a situation in the ninth grade and doesn't know how to respond, reacts by getting aggressive, and then gets into trouble, how do you think they are going to handle it when they're an adult and their boss tells them something they don't want to hear? That's why it's important for you as parent not to "wish away" the bad behavior and to start teaching your child the skills he needs to change his behavior for good.
Read more: empoweringparents
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You Are What You Speak
Power Of Words

Words have power. Despite reassurances of the old childhood rhyme, "sticks and stones will break your bones, but words can never hurt you," we all know words can hurt. Hopefully, most of us try to refrain from saying hurtful things, but we can take a step further on the path to enlightenment by being conscious of all the words we use. To become conscious of one's speech means to become aware of the power of words and the energy behind them.

Speaking consciously is very effective in bringing about positive change. You can actually change your life for the better, by being more aware of the things you say. For instance, if you're constantly putting yourself down, "I'm fat, clumsy, unpopular, etc." then you will no doubt feel as such. However, if you stroke yourself with positive affirmations, "I'm fit, athletic, friendly..." you will feel more positive about yourself to aspire to such admirable qualities.

Having a positive attitude and being aware of our words is equally important when speaking to others. Everyone knows how draining it is to be around people who complain,or gossip all the time. However, we are drawn like magnets to cheerful people who are free with compliments or make us laugh.

Be conscious of your words and your intentions in speaking. Speak truthfully, so that you truly mean and feel what you say. Try to be fully aware of those that you are speaking to and the effect of your words on them, this way you will be less likely to speak negatively.

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Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

For the past 2,500 years, honey has been an essential ingredient, used by countless cultures all around the world. Perhaps one of the reasons why, even today, honey is so widely consumed, is due to the variety of ways it can be eaten: You can eat a spoonful of honey directly, or spread it on bread like a jam, you can mix it with juice or tea for a sweeter taste, or simply add it to warm water. No matter how you use it, honey has become an extremely useful and versatile ingredient. It is also becoming increasingly recognized not only for its amazing taste, but its medicinal properties. To reap its benefits, selecting the right type of honey is key.  

Knowing the Difference between Pure and Artificial Honey
When purchasing honey, bear in mind that raw honey (honey in its purest form) is best. Raw honey hasn't been filtered, strained or heated above 115°F (46°C), unlike many of the commercial varieties we find lined up in our conventional grocery stores. In fact, most of the commercial kinds have been processed to the point that many (if not all) of the beneficial enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants have been completely destroyed.

But, how can you identify the difference between the two? These 4 tests will help you determine whether the honey you purchased, is pure or not:

1. The texture testUnlike artificial honey, pure honey is solid. A spoonful will remain intact and will not drip off or spread easily.

2. The water testArtificial honey, dissolves easily in water. Pure honey, on the other hand,  will lump and settle at the bottom of a glass that is filled with water.

3. The shelf life testPure honey will crystallize over time. While imitation honey will continue to look like syrup, no matter how long it has been stored.

4. Light a fireIf you dip the tip of a matchstick in honey, then strike it to light, natural honey will light the match easily and the flame will burn off the honey. Artificial honey,
though, will not light due to the moisture that it contains.

To get the most out of this beneficial food, purchase a raw, organic honey from a whole food shops, a farmer's market or specialized food stores.  

The Key Nutrients Found in Pure Honey Raw honey is loaded with many essential vitamins and minerals. It is packed with essential B vitamins, including B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid) and B6 (Pyridoxine), all of which function as coenzymes that help the body attain energy from food. The B-vitamins are also important for normal appetite, good vision, healthy skin and nervous system function, as well as red blood cell formation. Honey is also a good source of vitamin C, which benefits the body by holding cells together through collagen synthesis (a connective tissue that holds muscles, bones and other tissues together).

Honey also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, sulphur, zinc and phosphate - most of which aid in body metabolism, water balance and bone health, among many other beneficial qualities.

10 Ways Pure Honey Can Benefit Your Health
1. A great source of energyCarbohydrates in the form of glucose and fructose supply the body and mind with energy, which can boost endurance and reduce muscle fatigue. In fact, honey is used by many athletes as an instant, yet sustained, energy source.  

2. An excellent source of antioxidantsBesides containing a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, honey also contains the flavonoid pinocembrin - which is unique to honey. This supports and promotes healthy enzyme activity.  

3. Supports good bacteriaHoney supports Bifidobacteria, which is present in the gastrointestinal tract and is essential for efficient digestion and good health. Honey also contains pre/pro-biotics, which helps growth and activity of Bifidobacteria. Honey doesn't ferment in the stomach and can be used to counteract indigestion.

4. Treats allergies and supports a strong immune systemHoney contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can treat allergies by supporting a strong immune system. Using honey often can also strengthen the white blood corpuscles, which help fight bacterial and viral diseases.

5. Slows down the aging processThe slow depletion of enzymes in the body partly contributes to the aging process. Raw honey, however, is one of the few foods that helps slow the depletion of enzymes through the ingestion of amylase - an enzyme that breaks down sugars and carbohydrates. This has the ability to restore damaged skin, giving a softer, younger look.

6. Promotes better blood sugar controlExperimental evidence suggests that consumption of honey may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity compared to other sweeteners. The body's tolerance to honey is significantly better that its reaction to sucrose and glucose sourced from other foods. Individuals with greater glucose intolerance (those with mild diabetes and Type 1 diabetes - a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin) showed significantly better tolerance to honey than sucrose.

7. Helps suppress a coughIn children and teens aged between 2 and 18, honey has been found to be more effective than cough suppressant dextromethorphan. Buckwheat honey, has been shown to be an especially successful cough medicine.

8. Helps lower high cholesterolIn a series of experiments involving healthy subjects and those with high cholesterol, honey has been found to be the healthiest sweetener. However, the study also found that in patients with high cholesterol, artificial honey increased LDL (bad) cholesterol, while pure, natural honey decreased total cholesterol by 8% and LDL cholesterol by 11%.

9. A beneficial wound healerRaw honey applied topically to the skin, has been revealed to contain a number of wound healing benefits. Because honey is composed mainly of glucose and fructose (two sugars that strongly attract water), honey absorbs water in the wound and dries it out so that the growth of bacteria and fungi is inhibited. Studies have also discovered that Manuka honey decreases the surface pH level of wounds so that germs can no longer survive and bacteria is kept out.

10. Potentially prevents low white blood cell countHoney may be a promising and inexpensive way to prevent low white blood cell count caused by chemotherapy. In a small study, 40% of cancer patients who were known to be at risk of neuropenia (very low blood count) had no further episodes of the condition after taking 2 teaspoons of therapeutic honey each day during chemotherapy .

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Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

If your days seem filled with unwanted negative feelings, there is only one cure. When they come, choose them. Don't ask why, don't wonder how, don't fight them and never put yourself down for having them. But most of all never blame someone else for how you feel. If you do, it means you are still fast asleep and your choice is to be a victim.
When the feelings come, even big disturbing emotional feelings say, "I choose this feeling" and know it comes because of something you have thought or done in the past, perhaps a certain belief that you have learned or an attachment that is threatened.
Choice does not mean you want the feelings, but it does mean you are taking responsibility for them. And that is the beginning of self mastery. It is the first step to the healing and resolving of your emotions. But only the first step. Try this today and then ask yourself what the next step might be. If you are really interested to know, you will come to know!

A Good Article -- The Things I Believe
Live life to the fullest
The Power of Purity
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6 Thinking Hats Technique for Innovation and Creativity
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The 7 Great Powers To Have
Winds of Change
Reactive and Response Modes
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"If you think you're enlightened, go spend a week with your family." ~Ram Dass
I just returned from a four-day trip with my family. It was my own family of four (my husband and two kids), plus my mom, my two sisters, and my brother-in-law.
It was great. We get along well and have fun together.
And, it was four days with family.
It's a funny thing…although you grow up with your siblings, listening to and being influenced by your parents, you all end up so unique—different from each other and different from the adults who raised you.
Of course we're all unique. But our differences seem to be a little harder to accept or dismiss when we're talking about family. These are the people you care about most in the world, and that usually means they can get under your skin like no others.
We tend to have the most opinions about, and agendas for, the ones with whom we have the deepest emotional connection. Unconditional love and all of that good stuff aside, four days with family can be the perfect breeding ground for I-can't-believe-she-said-that and I-must-be-adopted.

A Shift in Understanding

In the past, when I'd think about the frustration and annoyance that would come up around my family, it looked very real. It looked like it was definitely about—and caused by—them.
I would have described it something like this: "Being around my family stirs stuff up. That's normal, right? I experience some frustration, but it's relatively minor. We get along great for the most part, and whatever annoyance there is tends to fade as soon as we go our separate ways."
Basically, it looked to me as if there was an actual issue with my family, but I was grateful that it was minor. I was good at seeing the bright side.
Bright side-looking isn't all bad. That was the best way I could see our "issue" for a long time and it served me. It kept me showing up and it allowed me to mostly enjoy our time together.
But on this most recent trip, I was blessed with an insight that gave me a different understanding of the exact same circumstances.
What I saw is that there is no problem with my family. There never was.
We don't have an actual issue. If you looked at us from the outside, you'd see eight people hanging out with each other. There is no problem.
The "issue" I was feeling and attributing to my family all these years was nothing more than my own thinking. It's just where my mind tends to go.
My mind likes to tell stories and get quite overactive when it comes to my family. It's been doing that for decades, actually.
When I'm around them, my mind tells predictable, old tales tinged with frustration and fear, full of why-do-they-do that, and they-don't-ever, and what-about-me. On this particular night, my mind was full of stories of how we should feel around each other, how we should be on the same page, how people should listen to me more.
And those stories have nothing to do with my family. They have to do with my own unmet expectations and my own biased mind in the moment, not with my family at all.
What a relief! The moment I saw this, the tension was gone. This may sound like a strange reaction, but I found it hilarious, actually, to see that I've spent thirty-some years in a mental dialogue about something that was never about what it looked to be about.
The mental dialogue was the source of my angst all along.

The Same May Be True for You

The same may be true for you and your family, or whatever you think your outside "issue" is, as well.
Part of why my insight had such an impact on me is that it wasn't just about me and my family. It showed up as I found myself lying in bed ruminating about what someone had said earlier that day. But the problem wasn't what they had said.
It hit me like a ton of bricks that the rumination my mind happened to be doing was the only "problem" I had ever had.
Your opinionated, personal mind is either being quiet or loud. When it's quiet, it looks like all is well in the world outside. Actually, all is well on the world inside—the peace you're feeling is your own inner peace.
And when your mind is loud, it looks like all is chaotic in the world outside. Actually, it's just a little chaotic internally, at the moment. It may have nothing to do with what it looks like it's about. Or, as they say, it's not what you think…it's what you think.
This difference may sound insignificant, but it's been really huge for me. I thought I was getting off good by putting a nice spin on our family "issues."
To see that there are far fewer issues than I think—that often the main source of frustration is the show my mind is putting on in any moment—that's freedom. When my mind gets tired or the show ends, it's done. No issues to get over, just seeing thought as thought.
You might wonder: but what if there is something that needs to change? The beauty of seeing how your mind ruminates and replays and creates problems is that when it stops doing that so much, you know if there's something to do and you do it, drama-free.
It's like if you're driving across the country with a filthy windshield. That's kind of what an I-can't-believe-she-said-that opinionated mind does—it muddies your inner windshield and taints everything you see.
So going on a road trip with globs of dirt and mud on your windshield, well, that's going to affect your judgment, right? Things won't look as clear. You'll probably miss turns because you can barely read the signs. You might mistake a town as "dirty" or "blah" because you're seeing the windshield more so than the city.
From a very busy mind that believes everything is a big issue to be solved, you're not seeing clearly.
You're might try to intervene on things that might naturally blow over; and fear, self-doubt, or resentment might have you staying quiet when there is a place to intervene. You're seeing from a dirty windshield so you're not getting an accurate view of things.
Seeing that your mind is constantly running what are essentially re-runs of this story about your family (or whatever your story happens to be about) lets you discount those stories. You naturally disconnect from them because you see the truth about them. That clears your windshield.
From that place, you handle any actual problems you might want to handle calmly and peacefully. It's a night-and-day difference. From a clear mind, you simply know what to do and you go about doing it the best you can.
When you see that a gigantic proportion of your "issues" are caused by a dirty windshield, the windshield is wiped clear and anything that needs to actually be dealt with in the real world is dealt with. It's as simple as that.
I can breathe deeper knowing that. I hope you can too.
Man lying on grass image via Shutterstock
Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

Tip of the day
Weight Control :: #40
By Al Loomis from Denver USA.

The Best Diet is no diet at all but a lifetime commitment to better choices! 

Many studies have proven that all diets have a temporary effect! The secret to losing weight is to make permanent choices in what we do. Here we have some simple long term commitments:

• Commit to whole wheat bread

• Drink fruit juices instead of soft drinks

• Always select fruit as a dessert

• Start most meal with a large salad

• Use whole grain pasta, bread and rice

• Take longer to eat. It takes time for your body to send its satisfaction signal

• Always park your car far rather than near

• Use the stairs for anything less than 4 stories

• Think positive about all of the choices above.

Forming good habits is the answer to long term health! 
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The symptoms of panic attacks can vary from person to person and chances are you know somebody that has them, or maybe that somebody is you. Symptoms can be a feeling of impending doom or terror, loss of control, heart attack-like symptoms, and some people hyperventilate or feel they're choking or are going to pass out.. Many of these symptoms are those of the instinctual "fight or flight" response that arises in when the mind perceives a dangerous situation. But during a panic attack, there is often no danger at all. Panic attacks may come unexpectedly or during predictable situations such as driving, being in crowds or riding in an elevator. Many people hide the fact that they suffer from panic attacks, but it is important to remember that they are common, survivable and treatable.

Though panic attacks can be terrifying, they are not deadly and can be controlled with practice. Any strong or suppressed emotion can trigger a panic attack, so one way to combat them is to deal with fears and feelings as they arise, rather than holding them in. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help eliminate the source of panic attacks by changing the way the brain responds through various calming techniques. When a panic attack comes, accept that it is happening but will pass, and ease yourself through it while remaining as relaxed as possible. If necessary, try to focus on the fact that nothing bad is going to happen to you and that you are not crazy or about to die.

If you suffer from panic attacks, these are some tools that can help you. As an example, this is a situation involving driving:

1. Before you get into your car, take time to write about what you are scared of, it is important to reach to root of what is causing your attacks.

2. If you have a cell phone, prepare it with a headset and dial a friend and tell them they don't need to speak to you but you just want them on the line while you are driving, just to know they are there.

3. If you start to panic, take a moment to realize what is happening - you aren't going to die. Breathe deep and take a drink of water. Ground yourself by seeing yourself connected to Mother Earth by a cord coming down through your tailbone into the earth. Have your friend speak to you in a calm manner. Keep an object with you that is grounding such as a rock, crystal, or something else from nature that you can hold or keep in your lap.

4. When you get to your destination, reward yourself. You worked very hard and deserve recognition for stepping into your fear.

It can be helpful to view panic attacks as a cue that your body or mind is trying to tell you something about the way you experience stress or negative emotions. Panic attacks can be traumatizing, but they can also be shortened or eliminated over time. The key is controlling your fear rather than letting it control you.

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Communication Motivation by
We have all had that period in our lives where we feel, regardless of what happens, we simply have nothing positive going for us. It's easy to criticize yourself in just about anything–from your competence in the workplace to how you deal with situations at home–and this can make it easy to become clouded to our own successes in life.
This kind of constant action and lack of clarity can make it easy to believe that you are a failure, even when all the evidence in your life–personally and professionally–points to other conclusions. If you are too busy in life fighting fires, you'll likely never make the time to actually appreciate your own success and accomplishments. You could already be successful and just not realize it. Here are some signs that is the case:

1. You aren't controlled by your income.

Many people feel like they are tied to that next paycheque to make things work for them. If you are able to go day-to-day without the worry that you won't have enough money to last until the end of the month, then you are most definitely a success! You might not be able to afford a Rolex, but if you aren't living from week-to-week you are a success.

2. You don't seek praise.

Seeking praise from loved ones and colleagues is something that we typically grow out of in our teenage years. If you aren't hanging around waiting to get the proverbial pat on the back at work or at home, you are a more successful individual than you might even know. Being able to do your part without looking for praise is a strong sign of mental security.

3. You suffer less drama.

Look back even just a year in your life: are you finding that things are quieter? At home and at work? If this is the case then you can probably say that your life is pretty successful–a lack of chaos points to order and harmony.

4. You have a plan.

Success is built on structure and having a long-term plan to get to where you want to be. If you actually have a framework to follow in your life to reach your life goals, you are already pretty successful. Most people don't plan ahead!

5. You crave more.

For someone who might feel like they aren't doing well very in life, if you tend to look for more from any situation you are already on your way to success. Ambition and a desire for knowledge points to a determined individual who seeks to better themselves.

6. You are an early bird.

You know the old saying. The early bird catches the worm. If you are to make your life a success, you can't be starting each day in the afternoon. When you find that you are jumping out of bed, ready to attack the day, you can probably point to a successful lifestyle and personality.

7. You are socially active.

Success tends to come in many different ways, not just your rank or your pay packet. If you are able to get involved in many different situations with a variety of social circles you can point to a healthy and harmonious life–people don't tend to stick around toxic personalities.

8. You offer mutual respect.

Success tends to come from your own experiences in life, including going through stresses and difficulties. If you understand the value of treating others with respect, you already harness one of the most important aspects of success.

9. You wish to help others.

Again, your success in this world goes far beyond the cost of your car. If you are able to provide people with a solid base to work with, and act as a pillar of strength for colleagues, success is not too far off.

10. You are driven.

Anybody without an engine and a willingness to get through the hard times and the difficulties will struggle to succeed. If you don't mind getting your sleeves rolled up and your hands dirty, you are better off than you think.

11. You possess confidence without arrogance.

The big difference between a successful person and someone who believes they are successful is the way they conduct themselves. If you can show some genuine humility for others, whilst inspiring those who are struggling, you are already a successful individual

12. You have fought back.

We have already touched on how failure can be the point needed to succeed. You need to hit the bottom before you can reach the top. Being able to battle back from a position of failure to success–any success–is a sign of an iron-willed individual with the nous to succeed in life.

13. You strive to improve.

Many people fall into the trap of believing that they "made it". When you always look to improve on the previous performance, even if it was spectacular, you are setting yourself up to be a long-term success.

14. You have discipline.

Discipline can only come from being a success and seeing how things have gone in the past. Learning how not to make mistakes and how to make the right call is vital to being a long-term success.

15. You preach patience.

Patience is a virtue that the most successful people emit on a large-scale basis. Without patience, it can be hard to ever make the type of impact that you originally intended in any work or personal environment.

16. You can say no.

We spoke earlier about the power of being able to avoid needing to be praised–this is the same ideal. If you are able to say no then you have already avoided the need to please everyone. This is the sign of a successful individual.

17. You manage time well.

Time management is a sign of long-term success, and being able to use the time in any given day to be productive is the sign of a successful person. Capable of dealing with plenty of tasks in any given day? You are already a success.

18. You have successful friends.

Success around you is the easiest way to inspire yourself. If you find yourself surrounded by those who are also doing well it can be easier to actually improve and develop yourself in the right manner.

19. You don't blame others.

You have reached a point in your life where you fully understand what it means to take ownership of your actions and not target others for your frustrations and failures. That comes about from being active rather than passive, and noticing your inner power to transform your life. It also speaks to your ability to prevent the environment from leading you down a direction you do not desire.

20. You don't waste your time.

Long gone are the days when you let others drag you along and make you invest your time in activities you deemed boring or even counterproductive to your self-development and self-esteem. Your greater sense of direction empowers you to know what you want without needing other´s approval.

21. You are assertive.

You understand that simply saying yes or no is not enough. Explaining your reasons in a clear manner is essential for others to understand that you are an individual with your own thoughts and needs. This does not mean being inflexible, but while being understanding you should never let anyone bend your way.

22. You stay positive.

You have learnt the hard way that being negative or skeptical to justify your potential defeats and failures does not serve any purpose. Not only it does make you feel unable and anxious, but also does affect the final outcome. By being positive and honest at pursuing your goals you will unleash the true achiever within you.

23. You take care of your health.

Quitting harmful activities that stop you from working towards the brighter future you have always dreamt is a powerful step. Be it smoking, taking drugs, eating too much saturated fats and sugar, or not exercising, you understand that leaving all of those behind will turn you into a stronger individual with greater drive and willpower.

24. You don't seek a relationship to solve your personal issues.

It is easy to hide our failures behind someone who loves us. But, it is a bit immature for both sides in a relationship to stop tackling the real issues that harm each other's lives. It is not a good idea to avoid helping the other towards becoming a better person just because it is easier not doing it or because "things are just fine as they are".

25. You are mature.

When bad situations unfold in the workplace, or you need to deal with the individual who you have a problem with. A sign of success is being able to put personal grievances to the side for professional gain.
It's always important to remind yourself that success isn't something that can be judged so materially. If you are able to look at your lifestyle and understand that you do things in a mature, social and effective manner then you are already far more successful than any slap on the back will ever make you feel.
Success comes from acceptance of your own skills and abilities, not what somebody you might never have met before tells you.