Life can be ironic. So many of us have more blessings than we can possibly count. We wake up every morning with our five senses intact. We have good jobs and good education. We live surrounded by friends and family who love and support us. Yet somehow, getting out of bed to take on the day happens to be a struggle. Simply because thoughts of anxiety suffocate what little optimism we can muster. If you are reading this and it’s difficult for you to find your smile – take hope. Because in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct.”
It’s your Choice
Happiness is a byproduct of self-determination. It’s a byproduct of a conscious decision to live in your own truth and be at peace with who you are. Regardless of what you may be going through, do not let your mind become consumed by negative thoughts. Choose instead to take responsibility for your own life, and your own attitude. Choose to be hopeful in the face of despair. Choose to be composed in the face of threat. Choose to have the courage to lift your head high, and make it known that your problems do not own, or define who you are. Even if choosing to be optimistic at this moment seems impossible, fighting against your sadness is worth it for the sake of your health, and peace of mind. Be deliberate about pressing through your struggles and you will eventually weather the storms of life. It may be hard, but rising above adversity is not impossible. Here are four small things you can do to find your way back to the joyful person you are meant to be:
1.- Get Active:
Exercise does more than condition the human body. Physical activity specifically releases endorphins that improve mood and boost energy. Not only does exercise improve the way you feel in the moment, it also helps eliminate the restlessness of insomnia by inducing fatigue which compels the body to sleep soundly. Both physically, and mentally, exercise can provide activity that significantly distracts from the issues which bring about stress and sadness. If you’d like to learn more about how to maintain a fitness routine, check out the RISE Fitness posts on our YouTube channel.
2 .- Lighten the Load:
One of the biggest reasons why people wrestle with depression today is overexertion. This might sound like a problem that’s mostly professional in nature, however overexertion can happen because of multiple reasons beyond work. On top of the demands that come with having a job, we all have to make time for family and friends; do chores and errands; keep up with current events; exercise to stay fit; satisfy religious responsibilities; attend school; practice hobbies… and the list goes on. If you find yourself gasping for air at the end of the day, try to reduce or eliminate activities in your life that aren’t essential. If everything you do is essential, try breaking down your schedule into small tasks and making sure to take intermittent breaks. Pushing yourself too much will only cause frustration and feed stress.
3.- Get in Touch:
Human beings are social creatures by nature. We instinctively experience the most fulfillment in life when immersed in strong communal environments. If there is someone you can talk to about difficulties you’re experiencing, even if it’s purely to vent, take the opportunity to converse with them and express your feelings. In fact the deeper your sadness, the more important it is for you to be able to reach out to someone and have a therapeutic talk. Experiencing prolonged sadness that lasts for weeks is a symptom of clinical depression which can even require medical diagnosis in order to alleviate. Don’t bottle in your feelings until they boil over into destructive habits.
4.- Get Away:
If it’s been a long time since you took a vacation, stop putting it off and set some time aside to get away. Breaking monotony is always an invigorating experience. In the same way that our bodies need time to shut down during sleep, our psyches need time to dissociate from predictable routines that can end up dulling our passion. It doesn’t even have to be some elaborate trip overseas. A vacation as simple as a road trip on the weekend can end up resetting your perspective and refreshing your enthusiasm for life. Don’t wait, don’t think, just let loose and go for it.
Life is always going to be unpredictable and demanding. This is exactly why tethering your happiness to a specific goal or set of circumstances is a mistake. Stop expecting other people, and other things, to provide you with contentment that can only come from loving yourself and appreciating the little things. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.
The only way to truly succeed in life is to work hard and to work smart. Likewise, the only way to make a meaningful impact as a leader is to fuel those who follow with enduring incentive to provide their best efforts. There are many different ways to accomplish this outcome. One of the most effective methods is to practice what is known as Visionary Leadership.
What is Visionary Leadership?
Visionary leadership is a style of leadership that is characterized by a desire to push the envelope, and exceed the basic expectations of a team’s mission. Visionary leadership focuses on the future, and how to achieve success in the long-term. Whereas a basic leader only concerns themselves with immediate goals such as meeting sales targets or project deadlines, visionary leaders contemplate the overall impact of such activities and how they can be augmented to ensure the survival and prosperity of both their team and any external stakeholders who rely on their leadership. Here are four characteristics of visionary leadership you should embrace in order to refine your aptitude as a leader:
It is no coincidence that vision serves as the root word for the term visionary. Visionary leadership is only possible when a leader is inclined to be analytical and thinks about the future. The more a person deliberates and prepares for the future, the better positioned they become to capitalize on any assets they wield in the present. Developing a clearly defined vision for a team establishes a sense of direction that can guide the decision-making process beneficially.
2.- Emotional Intelligence:
Being visionary and being inspirational go hand in hand. A visionary leader is someone who bears a distinct ability to motivate others into committed, enthusiastic action. This is an ability that ultimately hinges on how well said leader understands the fact that different people have different natures. The circumstances that motivate one person into action may not necessarily motive another, purely because of personality. If a leader can figure out how to complement varying personalities collectively, they stand a better chance of drawing out exceptional performance from their followers.
Visionary leaders should not hesitate to defy convention. They should be ready to think the unthinkable and try the unimaginable. To put it simply, it’s impossible to be a visionary leader without thinking outside the box. This isn’t just a standard that should apply to the work a leader does, but also to what a leader believes. There are moments in life when success can only be achieved through unusual methods. If a leader cannot actually apply these techniques, they can never break past being ordinary.
Considering the fact that visionary leaders take risks in order to accomplish their goals unless they have enough mettle to withstand the pressure that automatically accompanies risk, chances are they’ll be doomed to struggle with stalled plans and unfinished business. Visionaries must persevere under stress. They must be able to keep their eye on the prize even when everyone around them has given up on the dream. It is ultimately a leader’s responsibility to keep hope alive and provide an example that ensures others stay focused on the finish line.
The only way for dreams to come true is if people dare to dream in the first place. The higher the ambition, the higher the stakes are for a leader to strive for greatness. Being a visionary doesn’t just set high standards for a leader’s performance; it provides a team with meaningful motivation to go above and beyond with their duties. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.
Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? The Department of Health and Human Services projects that in 2017, there will be an estimated 252,710 new cases of breast cancer in the United States. Whether or not this population survives their diagnosis depends entirely on how early they detect their cancer before it spreads and grows. Here’s a simple summary of breast cancer and how to preempt its development.
Cancer is a disease that is caused by abnormally escalated growth and division of cells in the human body. When cells become cancerous, they form lumps of tissue known as tumors. Tumors are a unique type of swelling in that they aren’t accompanied by inflammation. This is what makes cancer a particularly dangerous disease. The symptomless nature of early tumors means that people won’t even notice them unless they’re distinctly visible. Tumors can either be benign, or malignant. Benign tumors settle in a single area of the body without spreading to any neighboring tissue. On the other hand, malignant tumors not only grow in one area of the body, they also invade surrounding tissue and regenerate persistently. As indicated by its name, breast cancer is a type of cancer that exhibits these aforementioned characteristics, but is localized to the breasts or chest area. Even though it occurs rarely in men, both men and women can suffer breast cancer.
Normal breast cells become cancerous as a result of mutations in DNA. DNA is a material in each human cell that comprises genetic instructions – including instructions that dictate cell-division. As a result, when DNA in the breast cells mutates, it triggers dysfunctional cell-division which forms tumors. Most breast cancers originate in the mammary glands, which are the ducts that carry milk to the nipples. The lumps which form in other areas of the breast are either referred to as sarcomas or lymphomas. Any presence of breast lumps is cause for alarm, however the majority of them actually tend to be benign. Early detection through regular screenings not only discovers breast cancer before its symptoms can be felt, it increases the odds of successful treatment.
The most effective way to fight breast cancer is to hinder it with early detection. Conversely, early detection can only happen if you make the decision not to ignore the possibility of cancer. Take the time not only to learn your body, but also to take care of it through healthy living and routine medical checkups. If you make a habit of keeping watch for indications of cancer it automatically increases your chances of diagnosing it before it becomes malignant.
- Schedule Regular Screening Tests: Screening Tests are specialized medical examinations that are designed to find or diagnose a given disease. Routine screenings make it possible to detect cancer before it spreads. The earlier cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.
- Schedule Routine Mammograms: Both mammograms and screening tests are essentially medical exams that evaluate patients for cancer, however mammograms are strong enough to detect cancer-related changes in tissue years before tumors start to form.
- Breast Self-Exam: Self-exams are not the most effective way to preventively diagnose cancer, however they still create a chance that you’ll detect a lump that needs treatment. At the very least, breast self-exams allow you to become familiar with your body and pay attention to any unusual symptoms you may notice.
There’s an age-old saying that says prevention is better than cure. This especially stands true when it comes to cancer. Screening tests and mammograms may sound tedious and involving, however their importance can’t possibly be understated. Be proactive and take charge of your health by making the right decisions today. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.
There’s a killer among us: a ruthless villain who will stop at nothing to deprive people of their health, their wealth and their very life. This killer strikes every day, and inflicts unimaginable pain upon a countless number of victims. The killer doesn’t hide, and neither do they run. They show no mercy, and are relentless in their destruction. They target everyone under the sun, year after year, with no signs at all of letting up their assault. Having read this your instincts are probably screaming at you to do something and fight back… but that’s going to take a little extra effort considering that this killer is in the form of a one-gram cigarette.
There are obvious reasons why smoking tobacco is a bad idea: it’s addictive; and it causes adverse health complications such as cancer, heart disease, or lung disease, to name a few. Cigarette-use and its problematic outcomes transcend far beyond the hospital bed however. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the economic costs that are attributable to smoking within a three-year period can total up to $300 Billion. These costs include financial losses due to premature death, medical expenses, unproductive employees and residential fires. Since 1965 in fact, approximately 20 million people – and counting – have died as a result of causes that are directly linked to smoking, and that’s just in the United States alone.
The greatest tragedy about this loss of life is that it’s completely preventable. One simple decision to live healthy can completely change your destiny from inevitable illness, to longevity and prosperity. Letting go of your cigarette-use is a path to sound well-being both as an individual and at the societal level as well. Less cigarette use means longer life and more time to spend with loved ones. Less cigarette use means a smaller financial burden in terms of medical care; all circumstances that have a cascading effect of fostering stability and happiness. If you are ready to take a leap and kick the habit, here are five things to do that will set the right foundation for a tobacco-free life.
Don’t expect to stop smoking without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. By the time most smokers make the decision to quit, chances are they’ve become addicted to the nicotine in tobacco. This is why quitting cold-turkey is unrealistic and futile. If it took you time to develop the practice of smoking habitually, it will also take time for you to reorient your body to life without a constant infusion of nicotine.
Identify your Triggers:
Smoking is a nervous behavior. This is to say that it’s something people reflexively do as a way to self-soothe during tension. If there are recurring circumstances in your life that happen to compel you to grab a cigarette, learn to identify them, and intentionally resist their influence. For instance if you know that social anxiety makes you crave a smoke, train yourself not to reach for cigarettes in social contexts.
Quitting isn’t an event, it’s a process. It’s a process that should ideally last for the rest of your life. Once you take the plunge, do it wholeheartedly and don’t look back. If you treat quitting as a lifestyle change rather than a momentary decision, you will develop the determination it takes to keep trying even when you relapse and smoke again.
Replace your Habit with a Good One:
Smoking ironically fills a void in people’s lives. Not only is nicotine euphoric, the physical act of biting cigarettes satisfies an oral fixation that would otherwise leave smokers unnerved. If you stop using cigarettes without supplementing said euphoria and oral fixation, you will end up creating a vacuum that can set off relapse unless it is replaced.
Use the Buddy System:
If you have a choice, don’t go it alone as far as quitting is concerned. Take advantage of every emotional support system within reach to find the strength you need to stay the course. You can even get professional support through your primary care provider who can recommend Nicotine Replacement Therapies that are medically proven to counteract withdrawal. Any kind of social support with this decision enhances your odds of successfully giving up cigarettes.
Life’s too short to spend grappling with destructive habits like smoking. You may enjoy the comfort of having a cigarette clenched between your fingers in the moment, but that happiness simply pales in comparison to the freedom of knowing that your health, money and time don’t belong to one-gram of ground tobacco leaves. The power is in you to make the right choice. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.
There are so many reasons to be afraid today, especially with natural disasters flaring up all around the world recently. It’s understandable if the demolition from all these earthquakes, storms and tragedies stir up fear within you; fear which can rob you of peace, productivity and happiness in life. Always remember however that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Meaning that the fear you feel right now can be eliminated by an equal and opposite emotion if you channel your will to reflect hope.
There are two main motivating forces that we confront on a daily basis, namely; fear and hope. Fear is a defensive emotion. Consequently it yields an energy that can be used to protect. Unfortunately fear also has a way of debilitating people through anxiety and apprehension. Fear does indeed have a place in our lives, but it doesn’t need to control us. The healthy way to experience fear is to actually feel fear, without letting fear consume us. Don’t allow fear to dictate how you choose to live life. In order to overcome fear, we must first face it. Many avoid and ignore their fears, because it takes courage to face them. Facing your feelings is the first step toward gaining control over the situation and pressing through to success.
When we are afraid, we pull back from opportunities, and from life overall. When we have hope we become open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. Shining stars are only visible in the dark of night. Although you never asked to be mired in your darkest fears, accepting, confronting, and overcoming your fear is the only way to learn, grow, and survive the difficulties you are going through. Feeling fear is uncomfortable, but I assure you conquering it will make you feel empowered, courageous, and proud.
3 Steps to Overcome Fear and Live in Hope
1. The first step to eliminate unnecessary fear is to evaluate your fears. What are you afraid of and why? Be brutally honest with yourself when facing your fears and decide what fears are necessary, and which ones are limiting.
2. The next important step is learning to trust yourself. Trust in your abilities, skills, knowledge and talent. You must be able to trust yourself before you can fully decide to overcome that fear. If you do not trust, then you will continue to allow fear to rule your life. You are powerful and filled with greatness and potential. Now it’s time not only to believe in yourself, but to live like it too!
3. We need to quit worrying about things we can’t control. You have control over yourself and what you do. However you don’t, and will never, have control over others, or natural disasters that happen in the world. It’s wise to prepare for the worst but, if doing so interferes with your peace of mind to the point of causing constant anxiety it’s not healthy. You must become fully solution-minded and potential-minded. Learn to focus on doing your very best and learning from mistakes. All that matters in life is that you give it your very best and live life to the fullest. Holding onto worry or fear does not allow you to do that. Overcome fear and worry be creating more HOPE in your life. Hope is a CONFIDENT EXPECTATION OF IMPENDING GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR LIFE. You can create hope by having a clear vision for your life. You can create hope by strengthen your fait! h. You can create hope by meditating on all that you are thankful for. You can create hope by remembering all the times in the past where trouble came, and you survived to emerge better and stronger. You can create hope by connecting with nature and its beauty. Lastly, you can create hope by surrounding yourself with people of hope because hope is contagious. That is where RISE Programs can help. Join us to RISE to new levels in life. We are a team of hope-filled people!