Life Is Fulfilling through Education
91-500x281.jpg
 
   

Self Actualization 

How to be happy

Tips for cultivating contentment Are you tired of waiting around for happiness to find you? Stop waiting and start getting happy with these tips. How to be happy: What science tells us Only 10 percent or so of the variation in people's reports of happiness can be explained by differences in their circumstances. The bulk of what determines happiness is your personality and — more modifiable — your thoughts and behaviors. So, yes, you can learn how to be happy — or at least happier. Although you may have thought, as many people do, that happiness comes from being born rich or beautiful or living a stress-free life, the reality is that those things don't confer lasting happiness. Indeed, how to be happy can't be boiled down to one thing. Happiness is the sum of your life choices.

People who are happy seem to intuitively know this, and their lives are built on the following pillars:

• Devoting time to family and friends
• Appreciating what they have
• Maintaining an optimistic outlook • Feeling a sense of purpose
• Living in the moment
 
How to be happy: Practice, practice, practice The good news is that your choices, thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness. It's not as easy as flipping a switch, but you can turn up your happiness level. Here's how to get started on the path to creating a happier you.


Invest in relationships

Surround yourself with happy people. Being around people who are content buoys your own mood. And by being happy yourself, you give something back to those around you. Friends and family help you celebrate life's successes and support you in difficult times. Although it's easy to take friends and family for granted, these relationships need nurturing. Build up your emotional account with kind words and actions. Be careful and gracious with critique. Let people know that you appreciate what they do for you or even just that you're glad they're part of your life.


Express gratitude

Make a commitment to practice gratitude. Each day identify at least one thing that enriches your life. When you find yourself thinking an ungrateful thought, try substituting a grateful one. For example, replace "my sister forgot my birthday" with "my sister has always been there for me in tough times." Let gratitude be the last thought before you go off to sleep. Let gratitude also be your first thought when you wake up in the morning.


Cultivate optimism

Develop the habit of seeing the positive side of things. You needn't become a Pollyanna — after all, bad things do happen, and it would be silly to pretend otherwise. But you don't have to let the negatives color your whole outlook on life. Remember that what is right about you almost always trumps what is wrong about you. If you're not an optimistic person by nature, it may take time for you to change your pessimistic thinking. Start by recognizing negative thoughts as you have them. Then take a step back and ask yourself these key questions: • Is the situation really as bad as I think? • Is there another way to look at the situation?

What can I learn from this experience that I can use in the future? Find your purpose People who strive to meet a goal or fulfill a mission — whether it's growing a garden, caring for children or finding one's spirituality — are happier than those who don't have such aspirations. Having a goal provides a sense of purpose, bolsters self-esteem and brings people together. What your goal is doesn't matter as much as whether the process of working toward it is meaningful to you. Try to align your daily activities with the long-term meaning and purpose of your life.

Research studies suggest that relationships provide the strongest meaning and purpose to your life. So cultivate meaningful relationships. Are you engaged in something you love? If not, ask yourself these questions to discover how you can find your purpose: • What excites and energizes me? • What are my proudest achievements? • How do I want others to remember me? Live in the moment Don't postpone joy waiting for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful. That day may never come. Instead, look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life. Focus on the positives in the present moment. Don't spend your time rehashing the past or worrying about the future. Take time to stop and smell the flowers.


Determine Your Destiny

I was reminded of a quote attributed to Muhammad Ali, "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses — behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." The grace of a ballerina and the grit of a boxer hammer home the message: The future belongs to those who prepare. If you simply sit back and let life unfold without a clear focus, the results may not be to your liking. If you are proactive, take charge and throw off the victim mentality, you have a far better chance of going the distance and reaching your goals. Nutrition basics By Mayo Clinic staff Do you feel like you can't keep up with the latest nutrition news because it's always changing?


Healthy Nutrition

While it's true that what is known about nutrition and diet is evolving, there are some nutrition basics you can keep in mind. By knowing these nutrition basics, you'll be better equipped to sort through the latest research and advice. Mastering the nutrition basics comes down to understanding the concept of a food pyramid and the roles of fiber, fat, cholesterol, and calories in a healthy diet. Want to go beyond the nutrition basics? Talk to your doctor or a dietitian for personalized dietary advice that takes into account your health status, lifestyle, and food likes and dislikes. Do you want to adopt a healthy diet but aren't sure where to start? Start by thinking about your health risks. Do you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure?

A diet that's low in salt and fat and high in fresh, unprocessed foods can help. For personalized advice, talk with your doctor or a dietitian. As you consider the parade of healthy diets in magazines and cookbooks, make sure to look for one that: • Includes foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, nuts and seeds • Includes proper amounts of nutrients and calories to help you maintain a healthy weight • Includes foods you like and can easily find in your local grocery store • Fits your lifestyle and budget.


Get Moving Now

Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. After all, physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight — even boost your self-esteem. And the benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. • When you design your fitness program, consider your fitness goals. Think about your fitness likes and dislikes, and note your personal barriers to fitness. Then consider practical strategies for keeping your fitness program on track. • Starting a fitness program is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be an overwhelming one. By planning carefully and pacing yourself, you can make fitness a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime. Stretching and flexibility By Mayo Clinic staff • Stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program.

Most aerobic and strength training programs inherently cause your muscles to contract and flex. Stretching after you exercise promotes equal balance. Stretching also increases flexibility, improves range of motion of your joints and boosts circulation. Stretching can even promote better posture and relieve stress. • As a general rule, stretch whenever you exercise. If you don't exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least three times a week to maintain flexibility. When you're stretching, keep it gentle. Breathe freely as you hold each stretch. Try not to hold your breath. Don't bounce or hold a painful stretch. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching. If you feel pain, you've gone too far.

 

Building Social Skills & Relationships

 

Social skills are our tools for understanding and interacting with the world around us, which then leads to a better understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.  Social skills allow us to express ourselves appropriately and connect well with others.

 

Interpersonal Skills:

·         What are Interpersonal Skills?

·         What is Communication?

·         Interpersonal Communication Skills

·         Interpersonal Skills Test


Core Interpersonal Skills

·         Verbal Communication

·         Effective Speaking

·         Non-Verbal Communication

·         Personal Appearance

·         Listening Skills

·         Active Listening

·         Reflecting

·         Clarifying

·         Barriers to Effective Communication

·         Improving Communication


Building Interpersonal Relationships

·         Assertiveness

·         Building Rapport

·         What is Charisma?

·         The Art of Tact and Diplomacy

·         How to be Polite

·         Balancing Politeness and Honesty

·         Giving and Receiving Feedback

·         Communicating in Difficult Situations

·         Dealing with Criticism

·         What is Empathy?

Working in Groups and Teams

·         What are Groups and Teams?

·         Group Life Cycle

·         Group & Team Roles

·         Building Group Cohesiveness

·         Difficult Group Behaviours

·         Meetings

·         Conducting a Meeting


Questioning & Negotiation

·         Questioning

·         Types of Question

·         What is Negotiation?

·         Negotiation in Action 
     Win-Lose and Win-Win

·         Avoiding Misunderstanding in Negotiation


Problem Solving and 
Decision Making

·         Problem Solving

·         Identifying and Structuring Problems

·         Investigating Ideas and Possible Solutions

·         Decision Making

·         The Decision Making Process

 

Conflict

 

Conflict can be negative - in its ultimate form it can lead to war - but it can also be positive, depending on how it’s resolved. For example, it can help get feelings out in the open, help people learn from disagreements, resolve problems, gain someone more respect, or enable people to learn that others are willing to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. In fact, conflict is a natural human process that doesn’t have to lead to violence; conflict resolution and anger management techniques can provide opportunities for people to grow and improve their relationships and the quality of life of those around them despite the inevitable disagreements that arise.

 

Take a Break

One of the most effective ways to lower the stakes for teen conflict is to teach your teen to take a break. Getting angry and yelling can sometimes seem satisfying, but it doesn't really help or get your teen what he wants out of the conversation. Instead, institute a "time out" rule. Before attempting to resolve a conflict, each party takes a break in his own corner and formulates a better conversation. After some cooling off time, everyone is less heated and more likely to listen to each other, rather than start a hot headed fight.

Neutral Ground

Teens often use a mob mentality to fight their battles. Consider a group of girls getting together to start a yelling match with another girl that has offended just one in the group. Talk to your teen about fighting her own battles and choosing neutral ground for conflict resolution. If she has a problem with another teen at school, it should be a one-on-one conversation on neutral ground so both parties have their say. The same goes for conflict at home. Airing a grievance only with the offending party and on a neutral playing field can help you come to a better agreement without distractions or other people joining the conversation.

Listening Skills

The most important part of teen conflict resolution is acquiring listening skills. Without carefully listening to the other person's point of view -- sans interruptions -- an acceptable solution won't be reached. If your teen can't seem to make it through a conversation without interrupting, reach for a timer. Tell him that you'll be talking for two minutes, after which he'll have the same amount of time.

Talking it Out

Teach your teen to use "I" statements to take responsibility for his part in various conflicts. That helps him verbalize his feelings without causing an adverse reaction. Consider the difference between "You were a jerk and ditched me" and "I feel left out when I'm not included." The former sounds caustic and accusatory, while the latter helps the other party understand the emotions involved, which is much more effective.

Brainstorming Solutions

The final step to resolving conflict for teens is to brainstorm possible solutions. This is necessary whether the conflict is with friends, a teacher, siblings or you personally. The best way to brainstorm is to first, identify common goals both parties have and second, to ask the other party how she thinks the issue can be resolved. Working together to find a viable solution works more effectively than butting heads and each trying to get her own way.

 

Conflict 101

§ A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (whether or not the threat is real).

§ Conflicts continue to fester when ignored. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them.

§ We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs.

§ Conflicts trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully.

§ Conflicts are an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.

 

Healthy and unhealthy ways of managing and resolving conflict

Unhealthy responses to conflict:

Healthy responses to conflict

An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person

The capacity to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person

Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions

Calm, non-defensive, and respectful reactions

The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment

A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger

An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side

The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing

The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes

A belief that facing conflict head on is the best thing for both sides

 

Anger Management

When teenagers learn skills to manage their anger effectively it can make a big difference in the quality of their lives. Anger-management skills help teenagers resolve conflict peacefully, behave assertively to get their needs met and solve problems effectively. Anger-management skills can improve a teenager's social relationships, academic experience and attitude on the sports field. There are several ways in which adults can help teenagers learn how to safely manage and express their anger.

Prevention and Self-Care

Teenagers who have good self-care skills are better equipped to deal with stress, frustration and anger. Teach kids the importance of eating healthful foods and getting adequate amounts of sleep. Exercise is a great way to help relieve negative thoughts and reduce stress. According to KidsHealth.org, a brisk walk can produce chemicals in the brain that can improve a person's mood, making it a good tool for managing angry feelings.

Education on Anger

Anger is an often misunderstood emotion, and teens can benefit from learning about angry feelings. Teach teens that anger is a normal emotion and that feeling angry isn't bad. Help them identify the difference between angry feelings and aggressive behavior, and review the potential consequences of the latter. Discuss how angry feelings can lead to positive change, such as during the civil-rights movement. Help teens identify productive ways to express their anger like speaking up respectfully.

Healthy Solutions

Teenagers sometimes resort to aggression when they see it as the only option. Learning that there are many ways to solve a problem can help them recognize better alternatives to aggression. Teach teens how to weigh the potential pros and cons of several different responses before impulsively reacting to events. Encourage them to wait until they feel calm before making decisions, as it can be impossible to think rationally and logically while feeling enraged.

Relaxation Skills

Teenagers need to learn skills that can help them calm down when they feel angry. Activities such as listening to music, writing in a journal or talking to a friend can reduce their angry feelings. Deep breathing and meditation are also good ways to reduce physical symptoms of anger, such as increased blood pressure or heart rate. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches how to reduce tension by relaxing various muscle groups. Guided imagery can help teenagers picture a peaceful scene to calm angry thoughts and feelings.

 

 

How to Communicate with Diplomacy and Tact

Have you ever been awed by people who always seem to know what to say and how to say it in any situation? They have mastered the art of communicating with diplomacy, tact, and confidence. This is perhaps the single most import skill to influence people and drive results.

Learn how to determine if your image is sending the wrong message and gain a flexible communication style with an awareness of your word choices, tone, and body language. Develop the skills to disagree agreeably, communicate more effectively through active listening, and control your own "hot buttons

You will learn how to:

  • Discover whether your image is sending the wrong message.
  • Develop flexibility in your communication style.
  • Speak confidently, diplomatically, and tactfully in difficult situations.
  • Use a tried and true method to disagree agreeably.
  • Communicate more effectively through active listening skills.
  • Control your "hot buttons" so that you respond instead of react.
  • Avoid conflict, but stay calm and poised when it's unavoidable.
  • Present yourself in a powerful way without intimidating others.
  • Deal assertively and diplomatically with difficult people.
  • Maintain your composure when criticized.
  • Increase trust, credibility, and respect through words and actions.
  • Build rapport and strengthen relationships.