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Image by Irina Polonina / Stocksy

We tend to associate pessimism with a defeated, the sky is falling sort of demeanor—a constant downer or an overall bummer to be around. But as performance expert Steven KotlerNew York Times bestselling author of The Art of Impossibleand founder and executive director of the Flow Research Collective, notes, pessimism actually casts a much wider net, and it doesn’t always mean doom and gloom.

In fact, “People do tend to get more pessimistic as they age,” he says on the mindbodygreen podcast. But wait—it’s not exactly what you think, and there is a way to combat the so-called negativity. 

Why people get more pessimistic as they age. 

OK, the term pessimistic might understandably give you pause—it’s not like you’re continuously seeing every scenario with a glass-half-empty mindset. What Kotler really means is people typically shift from a goal mindset to a fear mindset over time: “Everything we see and encounter is really shaped by two things: our fears or our goals,” he explains. 

As you age, the stakes can be much higher for every decision you make—perhaps you have a partner, kids, or career to keep front of mind—and, thus, you may become more reality-focused, automatically weighing security threats rather than leaping toward a lofty goal. “Safety and security will dominate,” Kotler notes.

You got married — maybe that was a goal. You had kids — that was a goal. You got a house — that was a goal. We hit our early thresholds, and we’ve stopped setting goals.Steven Kotler

Research has even shown that older adults are more risk-averse than younger people when making decisions. We should note: This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! After all, says Kotler, feeling risk-averse just means “the things you care about start to mount.” It’s when you stop making life goals altogether in fear of failure that he wants to squash. ADVERTISEMENT

What to do about it. 

Since every encounter is shaped by either fears or goals, the natural first step is to create enough milestones that your brain stays in this goal-setting mindset. The problem is, says, Kotler, many people stop setting goals once they’ve reached a certain societal threshold: “You got married—maybe that was a goal. You had kids—that was a goal. You got a house—that was a goal,” he explains. “We hit our early thresholds, and we’ve stopped setting goals. As a result, the system goes, ‘Well, if you don’t have any more goals, I want to keep you safe and help you survive.'” 

The solution? Don’t stop creating goals—not just process-oriented, daily goals (although these are great, too) but long-term dreams to reach. Of course, you want to keep them realistic—shoot for the stars, just make sure you have proper aim—so try to create tangible, specific plans. “You want to chunk those [long-term goals] down into hard, one- to five-year goals,” Kotler says. Perhaps start with setting intentions for the year or creating a vision board to map out your strongest desires. 

The takeaway. 

According to Kotler, it’s easy to fall victim to pessimism—disguised as realism—as you age. It only makes sense that as you encounter more responsibilities and success, your brain shifts into risk-averse mode. Just don’t put goal-setting completely on the back burner; by keeping your milestones in plain sight, you’ll have a healthy balance of security and ambition. 

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/why-people-get-more-pessimistic-as-they-age-and-how-to-combat-it?mbg_mcid=777:6008c2cc75819c75f250cea5:ot:5c22b3f39799ec3cc6aecb97:1&mbg_hash=57103be3843e0e1cb6615f5efa797221&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_v2_20210121

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Image by Lauren Naefe / Stocksy

Body language is the way people communicate nonverbally, through facial expressions, different gestures, pacifying movements, and vocal characteristics such as the tone and pitch of the voice, David Stephens, a senior mentor at the Body Language Academy by Joe Navarro, once told mbg.

Reading people’s cues can help you understand whether someone is comfortable, uncomfortable, nervous, angry, or even attracted to you. While people of all genders tend to have similar behaviors overall, there can be some subtle nuances more common among women. Here’s how body language experts break them down.

Can body language be gendered?

There are certainly some body language cues that might be more common among women than men, and vice versa. Though whether body language is inherently gendered is more complex. Many of the nuances in male vs. female behaviors can often be boiled down to socialization, culture, and environment, though some may be hard-wired in us, behavioral advisor Anne-Maartje Oud, tells mbg.

One of the most common myths is that only women are fidgeting, playing with hair, or adjusting their outfits. People often think of these behaviors as being stereotypically “female,” Oud says, but that’s not the case. As humans, we engage in a lot of the same general actions, but how people execute those actions may vary.

“When we look at body language, it’s about human body language,” Oud says.

That said, some studies have found gender affects body language reading; that is, your gender might affect how accurately you can read other people’s body language. Some research has found women are generally better at recognizing emotions in facial expressions, whereas other studies have found women to be better at recognizing negative emotions like anger whereas men can pick up on emotions like happiness with more ease.

Physical signs a woman might be interested.

1. Exposing their neck.

Because the neck contains the jugular vein, it’s a vulnerable part of the body. In an attempt to protect themselves, a person may be inclined to reach for their neck in discomfort. When they’re feeling comfortable and safe though, they might expose their necks. To do this, they could brush their hair to the side or tilt one shoulder forward and down, body language expert Blanca Cobb, M.S. tells mbg.

2. Playing with jewelry.

While grabbing for the neck is generally a sign of discomfort, if a woman reaches for her necklace, she may be sending the opposite signal. If the movement is slower, sensual, and more of a caress, Cobb says that can be a sign of flirting. Fidgeting with rings, however, could be a sign of discomfort and nervousness.

3. Moving objects. 

When eating at a restaurant or sitting across from someone, a woman might move objects out of the way. This could be a sign she wants to be closer to the other person, Oud explains, particularly if it’s followed by physical touch. This tends to be a sign of affection among all genders.

4. Showing facial expressions. 

The feedback loop in conversation tends to be more visible in women than men. Nodding of the head, arching the eyebrows, smiling, or saying things like ‘oh, really?’ may be signs of flirtation or interest, Oud explains. While men do this too, women may be generally more obvious in their flirty facial expressions.

5. Playing with hair.

When a woman plays with or twirls her hair around her finger, that can be a sign of flirtation, especially when showing the inside of her wrist.  

According to Cobb, women will generally pull a strand from the back or side of their head when flirting. “When they’re readjusting with the front, like a bang, that’s more nervousness,” she explains. 

6. Biting or licking the lips.

Biting the lip can be a sign of nervousness and flirtation—sometimes both at the same time, Cobb explains. “Some women might lick their lips,” she adds. In some cases, this is done to draw attention to the lips or to moisten them before kissing.

7. Turning their palms upward.

While clenched hands can be a sign of withdrawal or discomfort, open hands with palms facing upward, can signal trust and openness.

8. Touching.

When interested in someone, a woman might engage in some kind of physical touch. This could be a brush of the hand, a tap on the shoulder or the knee, or something more obvious like a hug or hand-holding. “Men do the same in reverse,” Cobb says. However, a man’s intent might be more to see how the woman will react and whether she’s comfortable enough.

9. Changing their voice pitch.

When a woman is excited or interested, her voice may become faster and slightly higher. But, depending on where a person lives, they may actually draw out their words and speak a bit more slowly to flirt. While the latter helps the other person hear what you have to say, it could also draw attention to the lips, Cobb explains.

10. Tilting their head.

“The more interested you are in somebody, the more attention you’re going to give them,” Cobb says. One way to show that attention is by tilting the head as someone talks or nodding for them to continue. On a more sensual note, a woman might tilt her chin down slightly, then slowly look up. “Particularly when you have the smolder look with it, that can be very captivating,” she says.

The bottom line.

Nonverbal cues and verbal cues play equal roles in communication, but without explicit confirmation, it can be difficult to understand exactly what someone is trying to say.

“If you’re a guy and you’re looking for a date, you’ll look to see how a woman is acting toward you. That’s very fair,” Cobb says. Still, avoid making assumptions and always keep context in mind. “Just because someone smiles at you, doesn’t necessarily mean they like you,” she adds. Instead of taking one body language cue as a sign that someone’s interested, you should look for a cluster of clues that happen around the same time.

Even if some women demonstrate flirting in a specific way, there are always outliers, Cobbs adds. When we stop taking into account people’s unique tendencies, that’s where stereotypes come into play. 

Gender aside, Oud recommends anyone thinking about what their body language might be conveying to consider: Who am I, what are my behaviors and nonverbal communications, and is that effective for what I want to achieve?

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/female-body-language?mbg_mcid=777:6003391a75819c36e93a7ca6:ot:5c22b3f39799ec3cc6aecb97:1&mbg_hash=57103be3843e0e1cb6615f5efa797221&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_v2_20210118

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Image by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Betty White is celebrating another year of life, but if you ask her about her age, she’s quick to remind you of one important fact: It doesn’t really matter. The sitcom star turns 99 on Sunday, and she’s still got an active career.

“You don’t fall off the planet once you pass a given age,” she said in a 1991 interview, “You don’t lose any of your zest for life, or your lust for life, if you will.”

Now 30 years later, and in the face of continued sidelining of older women in film and television, White has continued to have a successful career—and it’s part of her secret to longevity, even if she says she didn’t have one.

“I don’t have a secret,” she said in a 2018 interview with Parade. In the same breath, however, she said she plans to “never” retire. In another interview with the publication, she said, “I just love to work, so I’ll keep working until they stop asking.”

While she may believe she has no secrets, we think there are a few things White’s done in her life that may be to thank for her longevity:

1. She found what she loves and made it her purpose.

Her love of her work, and the sense of purpose it gave her, is probably a major part of White’s years of active success. Having purpose has been linked to improved physical and mental well-being, and it’s also been shown to help protect your brain.

White acknowledges that keeping busy has been a crucial part of her long and productive life. She encourages others to find their passions and to run with them.

“It’s not hard to find things you’re interested in,” White told Katie Couric in an interview to mark her 95th birthday. “Enjoy them. Indulge them. And I think that keeps you on your toes.”

If finding your purpose in life is too daunting at the moment, start small and find some things you love. For White, that thing is acting but also crossword puzzles and animals—”except possibly the two-legged kind,” the comedian quipped.

2. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and finds the joy where she can.

In her interview with Couric, she also reminded people to take a broader view of their world and their life: “Don’t focus everything on you; that wears out pretty fast.” She’s also all about self-reflection: “You can lie to others—not that I would—but you cannot lie to yourself,” she told Peopleahead of her latest birthday.

In the same interview, the actress also shared that she always tries to focus on “looking at the positive side,” on the happy moments and joyful things.

In the new year, we’re focused on cultivating and celebrating small moments of happiness with our “Resolution Joy” series—and we like to think that’s something White herself could get behind.

3. She supports causes she believes in.

White is actively involved in supporting lots of causes, many tied to things she loves, like animals. She’s a trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and wrote a book called Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo. She’s also said she aspired to be a forest ranger or a zookeeper before she decided to pursue acting. In fact, she’s actually been made an honorary forest ranger.

Find something you’re passionate about supporting. Don’t know where to start? Here are three tips to help you find the right volunteer opportunity.

4. She lives in the moment.

The other thing she focuses on? Living in the present, and enjoying what life has given her. “I don’t think about things I might have missed out on,” she told Parade.

In her Couric interview, she also gave advice for dealing with grief after loss, saying she focused on what was happening in the moment. “You don’t look ahead, and you try not to look back,” she told the host.

Although it’s difficult to be fully in the moment, here are the key principles of mindfulness and how to start a meditation practice.

Whatever the secrets are to her long life, and whether she believes she has them or not, White’s definitely doing something right. One thing is for sure: Her work brings joy to so many, and for that, we’re grateful. Happy birthday, Betty!

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/betty-white-longevity-tips?mbg_mcid=777:60025a7875819c36452d4586:ot:5c22b3f39799ec3cc6aecb97:1&mbg_hash=57103be3843e0e1cb6615f5efa797221&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_v2_20210117

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