Blog Archive

Health: Japanese Diet Tips

The Japanese have the longest life span in the world with 86 years for women and 79 years for men. All of this is thanks to what they eat thus making the islandnation with the lowest obesity rate (3%) in the developed world. "The Japanese diet is the iPod of food," says Naomi Moriyama, a dietician, "it concentrates the magnificent energy of food into a compact and pleasurable size."

1. Eat with your eyes
There's a proverb in Japan that literally translates as "Not dressing up the meal with color is like sending someone out of the house without clothes." Traditional Japanese meals use food items that are red, green, yellow, white and black in colour to give the food an aesthetic appeal and reflect the nature of the seasons. Compare a platter of sushi or a bento box to a hamburger and fries (although the latter is perceived as delicious and can be wolfed down) the former is a work of art that has to be appreciated like art. Go slow, take small bites, relish every flavour.

2. Smaller portions
Break down your meal into smaller portions, this way you can enjoy a greater variety of foods.
Scientists in the University Of Illinois found that people tend to eat up to 45% more when they are served bigger portions. They filled their plates according to it's size. So bigger the plate, larger the portion size.
Lesson learnt: Use dessert and salad plates.

3. Fill your stomach up to only 80%
Or Hara hachi bunme as it is said in Japanese. The idea is to reinforce the eating of smaller portions. We have been raised to eat until we are absolutely full so that we don't feel hungry later. However it's better to not stuff ourselves and only eat until we feel adequately full.

4. Light dinner or supper
Following the 80% rule discussed above, a light dinner puts less pressure on your intestines and allows you to digest your food in your sleep. Heavy meals can sometimes make you wake up feeling full in the morning and this upsets your routine when you skip breakfast.

5. Rice is nice
Rice is a low fat complex carbohydrate that helps fill you up on lower calories (small bowl of rice has lesser calories than two slices of bread) This will not keep you hungry and craving for snacks right after your meal.

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30 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

Have you ever wondered why you are not able to do more at work?
What are some of the things that come to mind? Is it the lack of planning or passion for the work you do, or not liking your co-workers, your boss, or your salary, etc.?

The list can go on and on, but one way to help you achieve more at work is to learn different ways to reduce stress. If you are less stressed at work, you will be better able to focus and accomplish more tasks. By reducing stress you will be able to become more efficient, work with enthusiasm, and produce great results. Another great way to be less stressed would be to do work that you love!

If you want to reduce stress at work, simply find a few different ways that will help you to reduce that stress. Remember, what works for Peter does not always work for Paul, so don't give up if the first few things you try don't work for you. The good news is, reducing stress at work does not have to be difficult, and below you will find 32 simple things you can try out. They are some of the most common things individuals like you have used to reduce stress and get on with the job.

32 simple ways to reduce stress at work

1. Talk to a co-worker and keep the conversation positive. Ask for help if you need it.
2. Watch sports videos during lunch and short breaks.
3. Go outside and take a walk, even if it's just for five minutes. Running won't hurt either.
4. Eat some healthy snacks or food. Dark chocolate is excellent.
5. Listen to audio books, or read a book.
6. Take pictures of the beautiful scenery around your work place.
​​7. Re-organize and prioritize your tasks.​
8. Find out what is stressing you, and try to change how you feel about it.
9. If you work standing up, try sitting down for a few minutes, and vice versa.
10. Read the news. Stay abreast with what's going on in the world to see the bigger picture.
11. Breathe in deeply, and out again. Do this for a few minutes.
12. Chew gum. Yes, it's that simple.
13. Stretch your body. Stretch your muscles, legs, hands, etc.
14. Socialize and meet someone new at your work place.
15. Meditate.
16. Massage your neck, shoulders, and back with your hands.
17. Write in your journal. If you do not have one, write about your dream life.
18. Reminisce your past times, those euphoric moments when you felt alive.
19. Wash your face or your hands with cold water on hot days, and warm water on cold days.
20. Laugh out loud ( LOL!). Laughter is a great way to reduce stress.
21. Move away from your computer, smartphones, etc. and observe your surroundings.
22. Take your shoes off, and walk barefoot. Enjoy being barefooted for a minute.
23. Spin in your chair for a few seconds.
24. Do some pushups.
25. Reach out to one of your friends. Send an email or call them on your phone.
26. Look out the window and admire nature.
27. Drink some tea or coffee.
28. Eat lunch with your best co-workers and do not talk about work.
29. Turn on your favorite internet radio.
30. Pranks. ONLY the ones that will make people laugh and talk!

These are all simple stress reduction methods, and do not cost an arm and leg. Stress can negatively impact your life directly, and those around you indirectly. I hope these tips will help you reduce stress while you work, and improve your life.
How do you reduce stress at work? What can you add to this list?

Source: LifeHack

Humor: The Economics Professor

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked well since no one would be poor and no one would be rich, thus providing a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on the Socialist plan".... All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they likewise studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one was motivated to study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED 

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​20 Things to Stop Letting People Do to You

It's time to…Be with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.
  1. Stop letting people drag you into needless arguments. – Never waste your time trying to explain yourself to people who have proven that they are committed to misunderstanding you.  And don't define your intelligence or self-worth by the number of arguments you have won, but by the number of times you have said, "This needless nonsense is not worth my time!"
  2. Stop letting people drown you with their negativity. – Positivity is a choice.  Choose wisely.  Be smart enough to walk away from the negativity around you… it is never worth your while, ever.
  3. Stop letting people make you feel ashamed of your scars. – Scars remind us that our past is real, and that we have grown beyond it.  Every scar has a story.  Don't be afraid to tell it and own it.
  4. Stop listening to those who berate you for your honest mistakes. – To grow strong and wise, you must have the courage to make mistakes.  Allow yourself to be a beginner.  No one starts off being excellent.
  5. Stop letting others blind you from YOUR truth. – Today, the only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.  Prove yourself to yourself, not others.  (ReadA New Earth.)
  6. Stop letting people bully you. – Bullying is not OK.  Period.  There is no freedom on Earth that gives someone the right to assault who you are as a person.  Sadly, some people just won't be happy until they've pushed your ego to the ground and stomped on it.  What you have to do is have the nerve to stand your ground.  Don't give them any leeway.  Nobody has the power to make you feel small unless you give them that power.
  7. Stop letting friends be untrue to you. – What is a true friend?  Someone who loves you just the way you are, but still inspires you to be a better person.  BE a true friend to others, and keep only true friends close to you.
  8. Stop letting the same people lie to you over and over again. – If someone fools you once, shame on them.  If someone fools you twice, shame on you.  If you catch someone lying to you, speak up.  Some people will lie to you repeatedly in a vicious effort to get you to repeat their lies over and over until they effectively become true.  Don't partake in their nonsense. Don't let their lies be your reality.
  9. Stop letting people take advantage of you. – Sometimes people don't notice the things we do for them until we stop doing them.  This is NOT right!  Realize this.  You deserve better.  You deserve to be with people who make you smile – friends who don't take you for granted – friends who won't leave you hanging.
  10. Stop letting people treat you like a back-up plan. – Don't settle to simply be someone's downtime, spare time, part time, or sometime.  If they can't reliably be there for you when you need them most, they're not worth your time.
  11. Stop letting the wrong people get between you and the right ones. – Don't let the people who refuse to love you keep you from the people who do love you.  Spend time with those who make your world a little brighter simply by being in it.  Someday you will either regret not doing so, or you will say, "I'm glad I did."
  12. Stop letting hateful people motivate you to hate them back. – As Gandhi once said, "An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind."  Regardless of how despicable another has acted, never let hate build in your heart.  Fighting hatred with hatred only hurts you more.  When you decide to hate someone you automatically begin digging two graves: one for your enemy and one for yourself.  (Read The Four Agreements.)
  13. Stop letting people leave grudges in your mind. – Remember, the first to apologize is the bravest.  The first to forgive is the strongest.  The first to move forward is the happiest.  Always.
  14. Stop letting people use your past to poison your present. – Life is too short to tirelessly struggle with old news and those who refuse to let it go.  Some people cannot stand that you're moving on with your life and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you.  Do not help them by acknowledging their behavior.  Keep moving forward.  Practice acceptance and forgiveness.  Letting go of the past is your first step to happiness.
  15. Stop letting people convince you that change is a bad thing. – The things we can't change often end up changing us.  This change happens for a reason.  Roll with it.  It won't be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.
  16. Stop letting people steer you away from meaningful pursuits.– If you can smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.  So don't let other people get between you and the ideas and activities that truly move you.
  17. Stop letting people dump on your dreams. – Life will test you to see how serious you are about pursuing a particular path.  And sooner or later you may face negative feedback from others.  When this happens, remember not to let anyone crush your spirit.  If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That's how dreams are achieved.
  18. Stop letting naysayers talk you out of putting in the extra effort. – Hard times often lead to greatness.  Keep the faith.  It will be worth it in the end.  The beginnings to great things are always the hardest.
  19. Stop letting people convince you of their quick-fix schemes. – Anything worth achieving takes time and dedicated effort.  Period.  Honestly, I used to believe that making wishes and saying prayers changed things, but now I know that wishes and prayers change us, and WE change things. 
  20. Stop letting people tell you that you need more to be happy. – Thankfulness is the start of happiness.  Be sure to appreciate what you've got.  Be thankful for the little things in life that mean a lot.
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Bodily Imperfections: Tips to Reducing the Appearance of Scars, Moles, and More

Bodily Imperfections: Tips to Reducing the Appearance of Scars, Moles, and More

There are only a few people that reach adulthood without having some sort of surface imperfection that they wish they could get rid of. Be it scars from childhood, a mole, broken veins, stretchmarks or genetics, they can be a real damper on your self-confidence. Depending on how significant the imperfections are, they can cause you to shy away from certain times of year (like warmer months), eliminate certain items from your wardrobe and even avoid social events. If your bodily imperfections have got you feeling down, you'll love these tips on how to erase (or significantly reduce them).


Scars are certainly no fun to look at. Though they might depict a story of childhood bike accidents or teenage clumsiness, walking around with scars on your body may make you feel less attractive. To remedy this situation, you should try utilizing exfoliating ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid as they can reduce the appearance of your scars. Other options would include pigment lightening products that have hydroquinone and kojic acid.


Though beauty icons like Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford have made moles more of a beauty mark, they don't all look so glamorous and small. If you've got a mole on your face or anywhere on your body that's driving you crazy, you can purchase a natural mole removal product. Applying it several times a day will help to reduce the appearance of unsightly moles.

Before trying to treat your own moles, however, it is important to speak with a doctor or dermatologist if:

·  The mole changes size, color or shape

·  The mole causes itchiness, bleeding, or has a crusty surface

·  The mole has an asymmetrical border

These could be signs of skin cancer, which would require proper treatment.

Stretch Marks

When the body starts to grow faster than the skin can accommodate, it creates stretch marks. This tends to happen during pregnancy, puberty, sudden weight gain, or when building muscle. Though most stretch marks will fade over time, the appearance can be enough to make you feel insecure. The issue with treating stretch marks is that some dermatologists believe that they're treatable and others do not. Treatments that seem to have the most affect include cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin E.

Vein Issues

Spider and thread veins are another bodily imperfection we'd wish would go away. They are essentially veins that have been stretched out. They then fill up with blood causing them to be visible under the skin. Laser treatment is available for those who are interested in removing the appearance of these veins.

You may even suffer from varicose veins. These are veins that are present in the leg area, and are the direct result of some form of malfunction in the valve of the veins. If you're dealing with a mild case of varicose veins, you can have a saline solution injected into the vein. It causes the vein to restrict. In moderate to severe cases, you will have to schedule to have the vein closed off or removed.

Hand Warts

If you've had or have ever been in contact with someone who has had human papilloma virus, you can get warts. The good news is that warts are treatable. Salicylic acid can help to dissolve warts. You can also have them removed through cosmetic laser surgery. While warts can return with a vengeance, it is important to practice proper hygiene when engaging with others.

While many of the blemishes, bumps, and bruises we develop over the years can be treated with proper skin care routines, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies, there are times when you need to consult a skin care professional. As you try each of the above tips for eliminating or reducing the appearance of bodily imperfections, be sure to try one treatment at a time so that you don't irritate the skin any further. With the right regimen and a little time, you'll start to feel a lot better about the skin you're in.


Be Positive Today - Everyday

Today, choose not to allow anyone or anything to drag you down.
No matter how stressful or negative anyone or anything is, stay up, stay positive, stay happy.
If something or someone drags you down, shift and lift yourself up.  Get up, get positive, get happy, and you'll soon lift everything and everyone around you.

Listening Your Inner Voice for Making Decisions

"When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature."

-Sigmund Freud

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13 Confident Ways to Overcome Your Shyness |

​Those who have never suffered from shyness have no idea how debilitating it can be, especially for someone in a professional situation. If shyness is holding you back, learn how to get past it and become more confident.
Shyness can truly hold people back--partly because those who are shy tend to avoid public situations and speaking up, and partly because they experience so much chronic anxiety.
If that's you, take comfort in knowing you are far from alone--four out of 10 people consider themselves shy.
But here's the good news: Shyness can be overcome. With time and effort and a desire to change, it's possible to break through.
If your shyness is severe, you may need help from a therapist or counselor, but most people can overcome it on their own.
Take your first steps in getting past shyness with these 13 techniques to help you become a more confident you.

1. Don't tell.

There's no need to advertise your shyness. Those who are close to you already know, and others may never even have an opportunity to notice. It's not as visible as you probably think.

2. Keep it light.

If others bring up your shyness, keep your tone casual. If it becomes part of a discussion, speak of it lightheartedly.

3. Change your tone.

If you blush when you're uncomfortable, don't equate it with shyness. Let it stand on its own: "I've always been quick to blush."

4. Avoid the label.

Don't label yourself as shy--or as anything. Let yourself be defined as a unique individual, not a single trait.

5. Stop self-sabotaging.

Sometimes we really are our own worst enemy. Don't allow your inner critic to put you down. Instead, analyze the power of that voice so you can defuse it.

6. Know your strengths.

Make a list of all your positive qualities--enlist a friend or family member to help if you need to--and read or recite it when you're feeling insecure. Let it remind you how much you have to offer.

7. Choose relationships carefully.

Shy people tend to have fewer but deeper friendships--which means your choice of friend or partner is even more important. Give your time to the people in your life who are responsive, warm, and encouraging.

8. Avoid bullies and teases.

There are always a few people who are willing to be cruel or sarcastic if it makes for a good punch line, some who just have no sense of what's appropriate, and some who don't care whom they hurt. Keep a healthy distance from these people.

9. Watch carefully.

Most of us are hardest on ourselves, so make a habit of observing others (without making a big deal out of it). You may find that other people are suffering from their own symptoms of insecurity and that you are not alone.

10. Remember that one bad moment doesn't mean a bad day.

Especially when you spend a lot of time inside your own head, as shy people tend to do, it's easy to distort experiences, to think that your shyness ruined an entire event--when chances are it wasn't a big deal to anyone but you.

11. Shut down your imagination.

Shy people sometimes feel disapproval or rejection even when it isn't there. People probably like you much more than you give yourself credit for.

12. Stare it down.

Sometimes when you're scared, the best thing to do is to face it head on. If you're frightened, just stare it down and lean into it.

13. Name it.

Make a list of all your jitters and worries. Name them, plan how you're going to eliminate them, and move forward.
Suffering from shyness shouldn't keep you from the success you are seeking, so try these simple tools and make them work for you--in fact, they're good techniques to try whether you're shy or not.

7 Smart Strategies for Dealing With Moody People

7 Smart Strategies for Dealing With Moody People
Some of us seem to have pretty constant moods, while others' moods are much more turbulent. Dealing with moody people can become tiresome in the long-term.

Some moody people are just struggling with life, while others use moodiness as a tool to manipulate the people around them.

It's helpful to know the difference.

Regardless of the source of the moodiness, these tips can help:

1. Try to be understanding. Some people are simply going through a difficult time. Teenagers are prone to all sorts of hormonal issues that make managing their emotions challenging. Sometimes people are depressed, sick, tired, or chronically upset about something in their lives. It's important to attempt to be understanding during these times.
  • However, some people are simply bullies and use their moodiness to get what they want from others. Read on for strategies for dealing with this type of moodiness.
2. Take a break. If you're forced to live or work with a moody person, give yourself a break at regular intervals. Go do something fun and get away for a bit. Find a non-moody person to talk to for 15 minutes. Dealing with moody people can be exhausting.
3. Stay calm. There's no reason to get upset. Nine times out of ten, you've probably done nothing wrong. Others are generally moody for reasons that have nothing to do with you directly. You don't have to solve the moodiness or allow it to make you feel bad.
4. It might be best to consider removing the person from your life. If you're dealing with someone that always seems to dictate the mood around them, they are controlling. If your patience, concern, and advice don't seem to have any effect, and they are making you miserable, consider removing them from your life.
  • Any relationship should consist of both people giving and taking. If you're always giving and they're always taking, why are still spending time with them?
5. Avoid falling into the trap. Moody people stay moody because it helps them to get what they want. Others allow them to have their way in order to keep the peace. But giving in on a short-term basis only increases your challenge in the long term. If you reward them, they're much less likely to change.
6. Learn to ignore the negative mood. Pretend the other person isn't moody at all. Just go about your day as if nothing were wrong. We can't control others, but we can control our reactions to them. With practice, it becomes easier than you think.
7. Address the behavior. Sometimes you can put an end to moodiness by letting them know that you're onto their game. This can be as simple as asking, "I've noticed you're irritable a lot. Why is that?" The last thing a moody person wants is for their moodiness to become a topic in itself. They want to use it as a tool.
Be sensitive to those that are moody due to dealing with a significant challenge in life. Some people simply need sympathy and understanding. Those that use moodiness as a means to manipulate are a different story.
Avoid rewarding these bullies by having some personal boundaries. Don't let their moods affect the choices you make. Learn to act as if there were no moodiness at all. Letting these folks have their way is a huge mistake. You're only encouraging the behavior to continue in the future.

The moodiness of others doesn't have to have a huge impact on you.

Use these strategies to effectively deal with their negative moods so they don't become a challenge in your own life.

HEALTH: Easy Ways to Tame Excessive Gas

Excessive gas can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Here are seven easy treatments that can help.

There are a lot of ways to describe excessive gas: burping, belching, flatulence, and bloating. While what you call it might not seem to matter, being able to identify where gas starts – and where it ends – can help you treat painful or embarrassing symptoms.

For example, burping and belching usually refer to gas that escapes from the mouth, while flatulence, or farting, is intestinal gas that escapes from the rectum. Bloating is used to describe the sensation of excess stomach gas that has not yet been released.

Some gas after eating – and releasing it through belching or flatulence – is normal. According to theNational Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, most people produce as many as one to four pints of gas a day, which they pass, on

average, about 14 times a day.
However, if you're experiencing painful gas and the embarrassment of chronic and foul smelling flatulence, you can start to play detective and try to eliminate the cause.

Step 1: Avoid Foods Known to Cause Gas
One way to manage flatulence and belching is to eat fewer of the well-known gassy foods. Common culprits include: certain fruits, like apples and pears; vegetables including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and onions; whole grains such as bran; and dairy products like milk, cheese, and ice cream. These items contain fiber, sugars, and starches that don't digest or absorb easily, eventually causing intestinal gas.

Foods containing sorbitol, a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, are on some people's gassy-foods list. Others are bothered by carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks. If you discover that these foods are causing you excess gas, eliminate them from your diet or eat them in small portions. When it comes to foods to avoid, the key is to be like the Greeks, says Stephen Bickston, MD, professor of internal medicine and director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond. "Everything in moderation."

Keep in mind that almost any food or combination of foods can cause gas. "Certain foods don't get along together in certain people," says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with Harrison Medical Center in Poulsbo, Washington. "Some people find they are gassy if they eat fruits with proteins, or if they eat starches and proteins together. It's personal and requires a little experimentation to find out what the culprits are." Dr. Novey suggests keeping a food diary and noting when you feel gassy. "If you find you're gassy after eating a certain food, eliminate it from your diet and see if it helps," he says.
Cooking may help break down some of the offending ingredients, Bickston says. "But the style of cooking can also decrease healthy chemicals found in vegetables. Boiling seems to break down chlorophyll and other desirable ingredients." Look for recipes that call for steaming as that seems to be a better cooking method for gassy foods.

Step 2: Try These Ways to Minimize Gas
Here are six steps you can take to cut down on painful gas:

Drink before meals. If you drink liquids with your meals, you lose stomach acids and can't break down food as well, Novey says. Try drinking about 30 minutes before a meal to help your stomach digest better.

Eat and drink slowly. When you eat or drink fast, you can swallow a lot of air, which can cause gas, says Bickston. The simple solution? Slow down when you eat. If you have dentures, check with your dentist to be sure they fit properly so you're not gasping air while eating.

Take over-the-counter digestive aids. Digestive enzymes are available as over-the-counter supplements. "I recommend going to the health-food store and getting a digestive enzyme," says Novey. "You can take one or two. You will know very rapidly – within a few weeks if it makes a difference." However, antacids won't do much for excessive gas, says Bickston. Another over-the-counter digestive aid, Beano, contains an enzyme that can allow the body to digest the sugar in beans and many vegetables. Add five drops of the liquid form or swallow one Beano tablet per half-cup serving of food before eating. Heating degrades the enzyme in Beano, so adding it to foods while cooking reduces its effectiveness. Beano will not help if excessive gas is caused by fiber or lactose.

Try activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has been known to reduce and treat excess gas and bloating. Unlike the charcoal you find in your grill or fireplace, activated charcoal undergoes a special treatment that makes it safe for human consumption. Once you take activated charcoal (via liquid or pill), it attaches to fluid in your gut, reducing gas and bloating and creating firmer stools.

Don't fill up on air. Habits like smoking, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw may cause your stomach to fill with air, leading to gas.

Avoid artificial sweeteners. Sorbitol and related sugar alcohols used in many sugar-free versions of foods can also aggravate gas. "Sorbitol is the first ingredient in every brand of sugar-free gum I've found at local grocery stores," says Bickston. "One to two sticks is akin to eating a prune." However, the sugar substitutes that are found at a typical coffee stand or in popular soft drinks are not the kind that cause gas. The various packet sweeteners – yellow (sucralose), pink (saccharine), and blue (aspartame) – are not associated with gas or laxative effects.

When Gas Is a Symptom of Something Else
If your excessive gas is persistent or severe, consult your doctor – it could be a sign of a more serious digestive condition, such as:

Lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products. "I test with a milk challenge," says Bickston. "The patient drinks a pint or two of milk – it can be any percent fat. What follows tells the patients whether they should limit their milk intake." If avoiding milk reduces your symptoms you may be lactose intolerant.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). "Patients who meet the diagnostic checklist for irritable bowel syndrome suffer more pain at the lower levels of abdominal cavity," he says.
Colon cancer. "Excess gas is rarely the presenting symptom for patients with colon cancer," Bickston notes. "But it does trigger my reflex to remind patients to get screened for colorectal cancer."
Upper gastrointestinal disorders. Occasional belching is normal, but frequent belching may be a sign of an upper gastrointestinal disorder. These include peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying.

Also, warns Bickston, if you have had abdominal surgery, a hernia, or significant weight loss or weight gain, never dismiss your gas-like symptoms as normal. Get them checked out.

As annoying as it might be, some gas is a natural by-product of the body's digestive system. But if your gas is excessive, painful, or chronic, talk to your doctor about possible causes and remedies.

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Unrealistic Expectations That Do You Harm

Your expectations, more than anything else in life, determine your reality. When it comes to achieving your goals, if you don't believe you'll succeed, you won't.
Research from LSU shows that people who believe in themselves use more metacognitive functions than those who don't. This means that they use more of their brains and have more brainpower to solve problems. Metacognition is especially important for achievement as it ensures that you approach problems from many different angles and adapt your approach as needed.

The tricky thing about your expectations is that they impact other people too. As far back as the 1960s, Harvard research demonstrated the power of our beliefs in swaying other people's behavior. When teachers in the studies were told that certain (randomly selected) children were smart, those kids performed better, not only in the classroom, but also on standardized IQ tests.
Indeed, we get the most out of other people when we believe in them. Research shows that this happens because when we believe in someone,
  • we treat them better than people we think will fail,
  • we give them more opportunities to succeed than we give those we think will fail,
  • we give them more accurate, helpful feedback than we give others, and
  • we do more teaching because we believe it's time well spent.
Letting your doubts cloud your belief in someone (or something) practically ensures their failure. Medical professionals call this the "nocebo" effect. Patients who have low expectations for medical procedures or treatments tend to have poorer results than those who expect success, even with regards to well-established treatments. If a doctor uses a treatment with a clinically verified high rate of success but presents it in a negative light, the probability of a negative outcome increases.

Your expectations shape your reality. They can change your life, emotionally and physically. You need to be extra careful about (and aware of) the expectations you harbor as the wrong ones make life unnecessarily difficult. Be especially wary of the expectations that follow—they give people all kinds of trouble.

Life should be fair. We've all been told a million times (and likely told other people) that life isn't fair, but in spite of what we know about the intricacies of injustice, it's a concept that doesn't quite sink in in practice. A surprising number of us subconsciously expect life to be fair, and we believe that any unfairness that we experience will somehow be balanced out, even if we don't do anything about it. If you're stuck in that mindset, it's time to get over it. When something "unfair" happens, don't rely on outside forces to get you back on your feet. Sometimes there isn't any consolation prize, and the sooner you stop expecting there to be, the sooner you can take actions that will actually make a difference.

Opportunities will fall into my lap. One of the most important things a person can do is stick his or her neck out and seek opportunity. Just because you deserve a raise, a promotion, or a company car, doesn't mean it's going to happen. You have to make it happen. You have to put in the hard work, then go and get what's yours. If we limit ourselves to what's given to us, we are at the mercy of other people. When you take action, think "what steps do I need to take?" "what obstacles are in my way and what do I need to do to remove them?" and "what mistakes am I making that take me away from my goals rather than toward them?"

Everyone should like me. People have hang ups, and that means all sorts of decent, kind, respectable people are not liked by (some) others, for no good reason at all. When you think that everyone should like you, you end up with hurt feelings when you shouldn't (you can't win them all). When you assume that people are going to like you, you take shortcuts; you start making requests and demands before you've laid the groundwork to really understand what the other person is thinking and feeling. Instead of expecting that people will like you, focus on earning their trust and respect.

People should agree with me. This one can be tough. Sure, you know what you're talking about, and for that reason, people should take you seriously, but expecting people to agree with you out of courtesy or because your ideas are so incredibly sound is another story. Something that's obvious to you might not be so to someone with different experiences and a different agenda, so stop being offended when people disagree with you, and stop assuming that there is only one right answer (yours). Instead, focus on how you can find solutions that give everyone what they need.

People know what I'm trying to say. People can't read your mind, and what you're trying to say is rarely what other people hear. You can't expect people to understand you just because you're talking—you have to be clear. Whether you're asking someone to do something without providing the context or explaining a complex concept behind a big project, it's easy to leave out relevant information because you don't think it's necessary. Communication isn't anything if it isn't clear, and your communication won't be clear until you take the time to understand the other person's perspective.

I'm going to fail. As I've touched upon already, if you expect to fail, you stand a higher chance of creating the very outcome you're worried about. If you fail, accept that sometimes you'll fail and sometimes you'll succeed, but if you pursue an endeavor, believe with all your being that you're going to succeed in that endeavor. Otherwise, you'll limit the chances of that happening.

Things will make me happy. Sure, things can make life more fun and comfortable in the short run, but they can't make you happy in the long run. Too many of us expect a future event ("I'll be happy when I get that promotion") to make us happy, instead of looking more deeply into the real causes of our unhappiness. If you don't fix what's going on inside, no external event or item is going to make you happy, no matter how much you want it to.

I can change him/her. There's only one person in this world you can truly change—yourself—and even that takes a tremendous amount of effort. The only way that people change is through the desire and wherewithal to change themselves. Still, it's tempting to try to change someone who doesn't want to change, as if your sheer will and desire for them to improve will change them (as it has you). You might even actively choose people with problems, thinking that you can "fix" them. Let go of this faulty expectation. Build your life around genuine, positive people, and avoid problematic people that bring you down.

Bringing It All Together

Believing that you'll succeed really does make it more likely that you will. It also means that you'll need to let go of some erroneous expectations that will only get in your way.
Do you see people's expectations helping them and holding them back? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0,