Friday, September 28, 2012

Eighteen Easy Ways To Be Kind

Kindness - it's in you to share, and research is proving why a liberal sprinkling of kindness is not only good for those who are on receiving end, but is also good for you.

I tuned in on Anderson Live at just the right time last week. Here, psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman and Goldie Hawn explain how kindness affects the brain.

Under stress, or duress, kindness often evaporates. The pressure squeezes and reshapes the person that you are, so that you become unrecognizable to yourself and others. This ability to portray another person is much admired on the stage, but in real life - not so much. The great news is that you can rewrite the script by simply using the power of the heart. A daily, mindful practise produces profound changes. When you understand how powerful an act of kindness is and how it affects not only your brain, but your heart, you will feel compelled to go back for more helpings.

Here is a short list to get you started:
  1. Notify the website owner if you notice that something isn't working on their website.
  2. Stopped at an intersection? Safely move over to the left just enough to allow the car behind you to make a right turn.
  3. Hold the door open for someone.
  4. Scrape off your neighbour's windshield in the morning.
  5. Done with your magazine? Share it with your someone else.
  6. If you notice a tripping hazard, such as a curled over mat, straighten it out.
  7. Inform the management if you see an area where safety or accessibility improvements could be made.
  8. Write a thank you note.
  9. Did the letter carrier accidentally place your neighbours' mail in your letter box? Take it to them, rather than returning it to the post office.
  10. Let someone know if you heard a good thing about them.
  11. Call a friend just because.
  12. Clean up after yourself at work - wash your own dishes and put them away.
  13. If you're able to, offer your seat on the bus to someone who looks like they need it.
  14. When you're on your cell phone, leave the room, or speak quietly.
  15. If someone behind you in the line-up only has one item, and you have a full cart, let them go ahead.
  16. When someone drops something, help them pick it up.
  17. When visiting with a friend, be fully present. (Turn your phone off or to vibrate and let the answering machine get it.)
  18. Transform your stress.
To learn more about stress and how to transform it, please email me.

Please tell us how you sprinkle your day with kindness.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mirthful Monday - One-Liners - Part 1

If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the guy who once said: "I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen...and replaced by exact duplicates." His mind sees things differently - to our amazement and amusement. 

I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Borrow money from pessimists - they don't expect it back. 

Half the people you know are below average. 

99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name. 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. 

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

~Source Unknown

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mirthful Monday - The Man Cold

When you undress your stress, you lessen improve your immunity.

Stress dampens natural killer cell cytotoxic activity. (NK cells affect the immune system and provide protection from viral infections and cancer cells.)

Get the “Auntie-dote” from me, Auntie Stress.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mirthful Monday - Oh, Those Catty Engineers!

Thanks to Laurel for this one.

If you're in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and are looking for a feline addition to your household, Kitty Kare have cats and kittens to spare.

If you're not, do consider a pet from your local animal shelter. Feeling good, courtesy of four legs and fur.

Related post: Heart of Gold Leads to Second-Chance "Tails".

Friday, September 7, 2012

Stress, Seniors and Care Decisions

If you had a chance to view an episode of W-5 entitled "Senior's Moments", you may wish to reconsider sending your loved one, or yourself, into a care home.

Your time may be fractured as you look after an ailing relative, while working, taking care of your family and/or dealing with your own health issues.

How do you cope with the stress of doing it all? By not shifting into over-drive - that panicky, hyperactive go-go-go state that is unsustainable. Access a calmer, more intelligent and systematic way of dealing with each hurdle, of which there can be many. Learn to balance your nervous system and undress your stress so that you can not only feel better, but make better-informed decisions. Decisions that may affect the quality of life one experiences in the twilight years.

Not everyone is able to stay at home because of the nature of their health, nor may they be able to afford at-home care, in which case the next step would be to move into a care home.

Dependent upon the situation, you may wish to consider a medical alert service. This service may help to postpone a move into a care home. 

Below, is a guest post from Rescue Alert of California, providing tips to help you choose the best service for yourself, or for your loved one.

How to Find an Unbiased Medical Alert Review

Those who are trying to find a good medical alert for the first time may feel that the information they are being given by the alert system provider’s sales representative might not be the big, complete picture. They commonly resort to reading up on the alert system reviews they can find online. But as a single online search could turn up hundreds, even thousands of such reviews, how do you sift through all the information? 

Here are a few no-nonsense tips to help you determine not only if the
review is unbiased, but also to know where to proceed from the lead given by a review.

Are the reviews factual or merely opinion? It is a simple matter to determine which is fact and which is opinion—you simply have to read between the lines, so to speak. A factual review will mostly discuss in detail the actual features of the product or service—the underlying technology used by the system, the personnel training, the recorded response time of the personnel to every emergency alert, even professional or industry affiliations and certifications received. If you cannot find these “facts” throughout the text of the review, or if the review relies too much on anecdotes or testimonials without any sufficient supporting evidence to back up the claims, then it is likely that the review is not independent and is being produced by a shill. 

Be aware if the review you are reading tries to manipulate your emotions too much; be conscious of certain buzz words that tend to push your emotional buttons. A good alert system can stand on its own list of features.

Is the information being provided to you updated? Most alarm system providers use telemarketers or sales representatives who aggressively try to sell the product or service. If you encounter one, do not immediately whip out your credit card or money—check to see if the alarm provider’s website has updated information. 

The industry of personal emergency systems is largely unregulated, but occasionally, certain cities or states release or promulgate a new rule or ordinance concerning the dispensation of such personal alarm systems. The review may not contain the new ordinance, or may even intentionally omit it to the alarm provider’s advantage. 

The point is, whether you are reading a review or reading the contents of the alarm provider’s website, make sure you are dealing with updated information.

Does the review recommend several personal alarm providers, or only one?
One obvious red flag that indicates a review may be totally biased is if it mentions or exhaustively discusses the features of only a single company. Any reviewer worth their salt should go to great lengths to keep it fair and independent, which means they should try to at least discuss the leading alarm providers, if not all (even the smaller players). 

A review that provides an easy-to-understand graph or chart where the features of several different alarm providers are indicated side by side is best—you can easily see which alarm provider can best address your specific needs.

Does the review site have a disclaimer or a disclosure? A good, independent review site will disclose their source of information. They will also say if they have any business affiliation with the company they are reviewing. Such information disclosure may not affect the site that is being reviewed (after all, if the alarm provider is good, it will still have a good review whether or not the reviewer is affiliated with it or not), but knowing if a business relationship exists between the reviewer and the company being reviewed can help you determine the extent of trust you can invest in the review.

Does the reviewer have a clear, easy-to-understand rating system? A rating system is not an absolute necessity, but it helps in giving you an “at a glance” idea of where the alarm provider stands in the scheme of things. Also, a rating system also indicates that the reviewer cares about its reader’s convenience.

There are many good medical alert reviews online, but you have to take them with a grain of salt and with your own wits intact—use your own sense of critical thinking in order to determine the best course of action for your own advantage.

Monday, September 3, 2012