Feeling Groovy: PsychTests’ New Study Reveals Something Interesting…

High Emotional Intelligence Improves Life Satisfaction

New research by PsychTests.com indicates that there are certain facets of emotional intelligence that can strongly influence a person’s level of happiness and contentment.

“Emotional intelligence” may have only became a hot buzzword in recent decades, but over 2,300 years ago, Aristotle had already grasped the importance of emotional awareness and the ability to apply this knowledge: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

If it’s not enough that EQ has been linked to job performance, leadership ability, and relationship satisfaction, research from PsychTests indicates that people with high emotional intelligence also tend to be happier and more content with their lives.

After collecting data from 824 people using their most recent version of the Emotional Intelligence Test (and over 3 million test-takers since the test’s inception in 1996), researchers at PsychTests focused their analyses on two distinct groups: Those who are completely satisfied with their life and those who are not.

The satisfied group not only displayed higher emotional intelligence, they also outscored their discontent counterparts on 14 EQ competencies by at least 10 points – traits and skills that researchers at PsychTests consider essential to happiness and life satisfaction.

Some of the largest gaps in scores were found among the following key competencies:

  • Resilience/Hardiness: Encompasses the ability to bounce back from failure and hardship. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 80 to 44 (on a scale from 0 to 100).
  • Problem-solving: Assesses the willingness to face problems head-on and proactively search for solutions. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 51.
  • Positive Mindset: Ability to see the silver lining; a hopeful yet realistic point of view. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 78 to 49.
  • Self-Motivation: Ability to inspire and encourage oneself to engage in goal-oriented behavior. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 44.
  • Self-Control: Ability to soothe oneself and to express negative emotions in a healthy manner. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 70 to 45.
  • Coping Skills: Tendency to use healthy techniques to cope with stress, like seeking emotional support from others, changing the way a problem is viewed, or seeking out information to better deal with a problem or stressor. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 49.
  • Striving: Desire for increased knowledge and skills; always wanting to go further, become better, and learn more. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 69.
  • Comfort with Emotions: General sense of comfort dealing with one’s emotions and those of others, or emotionally charged situations, like conflict. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 63 to 42.

“It isn’t that happy, content people don’t experience bad days, or don’t get sad, angry, or worried,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “They very much do – the difference is in how they deal with these emotions, and this is where emotional intelligence plays a role. People who are satisfied with their life are very much in touch with their emotions; they are honest with others about how they feel, and they accept responsibility for their feelings … such as, ‘This person makes me angry’ vs. ‘I allow myself to become angry when I see this person do such-and-such’. Most importantly, they do not deny that they are emotional beings and don’t see feelings as either good or bad. Our feelings are simply a message our body send us to alert us to issues, and to provide us with information that our rational, conscious mind doesn’t have access to.”

The researchers at PsychTests offered a few tips on how to further develop one’s emotional intelligence:

  • Take small steps if you’re not used to expressing your emotions. Start with those that are the least intimidating and you will surely find that it’s not as bad as you think. On the positive side, begin with genuine compliments and then take it further to an expression of appreciation. When you need to communicate a negative feeling, try writing it if you feel too intimidated to say it. Like learning any new skill, it will get easier with practice.
  • Accept the good and the bad. Both good and bad feelings facilitate the thinking process by allowing us to view things from different perspectives. Did you ever notice how, when thinking pessimistically about a problem, you come up with solutions that are in line with that thinking, and when you think positively, the perspective and solutions change? Our feelings, good and bad, offer us different views on the world. While one perspective may be more beneficial than the other, both angles offer us valuable information about others and ourselves.
  • Don’t brush aside your gut instinct or intuition. Gut instinct is that voice in your head or that feeling of foreboding that’s trying to tell you something isn’t right. Some refer to it as a sixth sense. Whatever the label, it can offer us valuable information if we take a moment to listen. Those who ignore this inner voice can often end up regretting it. This doesn’t mean that logic has no benefits. The perfect balance, in fact, would be to think a situation through, and then going with what feels right.
  • Take a time out. “When angry count to ten; when very angry count to 100.” It’s not always easy to maintain your composure when you feel like your “buttons” are being pushed, but it is essential that you make an effort to do so. It’s important to cool down emotionally when a situation makes you upset or stressed. As time passes, you will be able to be more objective about the issues and to sort out the situation more clearly. Count for as long as it takes for you to reach a state of mind conducive to the cool, rational consideration of possible consequences of your actions. This counting technique can be used no matter what the intense feeling is.

Want to assess your EQ? Go to http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3038

Professional users of this assessment (therapists, life coaches and counselors) can request a free demo of this or any other tests from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

About PsychTests.com

PsychTests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. PsychTests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com). The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.


Peace: Sometimes It’s More About CREATING it than FINDING it

How to Create a More Peaceful Mind

Peace of Mind Quote

Stop Fighting with Your Thoughts…

We all say we’re looking for happiness. We often it’s what we want more than anything – for ourselves and for others. However, I often think it goes deeper than just happiness we’re seeking. I think we’re seeking PEACE as much as anything else.

After all, how can you possibly attain happiness if you aren’t at peace?

When any variety of strife or conflict is going on in our world, we crave peace like a teenager craves pizza.  This strife can come from a number of places:

  • family members
  • news
  • society
  • co-workers
  • work
  • school
  • debt/bills
  • friends

We often even create our own strife (as if there isn’t enough already) by worrying, judging, criticizing, and creating expectations that are higher than any human can possibly reach.

Truth be told, we often put as big a dent in PEACE as anyone.

Peace of mind is a beautiful thing.  It’s such a beautiful thing that I want to take the next few minutes with you, if you’ll allow me to. I’d love to help you find out, first of all, if you currently are in a peaceful state of mind. Second of all, if you are not, I’d like to help you take a step in the right direction.

Peace of Mind Quiz

To find out how peaceful a place your mind is at this moment, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How quickly do you fall asleep at night. Barring “sleep obstacles” (flat pillow, barking dog, crying baby, aches and pains, etc), does it take you longer than 30 minutes to drift off to sleep?
  2. Are you able to concentrate fully on one task at a time or does another one butt in out of order?!
  3. If you were to hop in your car and drive for 2 hours, would you be able to ride with yourself in silence or would you require a loud radio to drown out your thoughts?
  4. If you were to set aside 10 minutes to pray, would you feel too overwhelmed to even know where to begin?

These are just a few questions – and they’re pretty darn unscientific, at that – but they’ll give you an idea of just how peaceful a place your mind is to visit right now. You look like a very logical person to me (after all, you’re on Self Help Daily – that makes you brilliant), so I won’t talk down to you by interpreting your answers.  You know, by now, if the country of your mind is at peace or at war.

If you are in a peaceful state of mind, I couldn’t be happier for you! Whatever you’re doing in your life to bring balance to your world and to calm storms before they claim you, keep it up. Don’t fall off the wayside and don’t let down your guard. Stay steady and never, ever take peace of mind for granted.

If, after answering the questions, you realize that your mind isn’t as peaceful as you’d like it to be, keep reading. I won’t keep you long, I promise.

{Continued below the affirmation…}

Peace of Mind Affirmation

My peace of mind is not disturbed by things beyond my control.

How to Create More Peace in Your Life

I’ve promised not to keep you long, and for me, limiting my words is tough, so I’m going to simply leave these tips with you. You can flesh them out for yourself.

  • Pray. I view my prayer life as my own personal ministry. I pray throughout the day and find that it brings more peace to me than anything. Knowing that God is with you, no matter where you are or what you’re going through is priceless.
  • Ease up on worrying! Easier said than done, I know, but you will never have peace if you never stop worrying.  Worrying never accomplishes anything and, worst of all, it’s a slippery slope. Once you start, it’s all downhill. If that’s not bad enough, people around you will start thinking of you as a worry wart and when you actually have a legitimate worry, they won’t listen!  Having expectations that are too high is one of the biggest roadblocks to both peace and happiness. Stop over-expecting and over-thinking. Live your life.
  • Affirmations are a positive-ly wonderful way to reaffirm the attitude you desire. Use the following “Peace of Mind” affirmation daily: My peace of mind is not disturbed by things beyond my control. For the most success, an affirmation addresses the situation as though it is already in place. Don’t say, “I don’t want my peace of mind to be disturbed…” or even “I won’t let my peace of mind be disturbed…”  Say it is NOT disturbed! Repeat this affirmation often throughout the day, and not just when it’s needed.
  • Carve out time each day for bliss. What’s bliss? Anything you enjoy that puts you in a complete state of happiness. Maybe it’s watching sports on tv or playing with your cat. Maybe it’s putting on your favorite robe and reading a great mystery by a favorite author.  Maybe it’s watching your favorite drama on television. Whatever it is that TAKES you away from the noise in your head and MAKES you forget the noises were ever there in the first place… that’s your personal bliss and you need daily doses. That’s an order.
  • Enjoy a good laugh every chance you get. Try to see the humor in all situations. It’s all but impossible for a war to take place in your mind when you’re having a good laugh.

Life isn’t always easy, but we are terribly guilty of making it harder than it has to be.

Like happy homes, peaceful minds don’t just happen – they have to be created. The payoff is truly worth the effort. I hope you’ll take several steps today in a more peaceful direction.

Wishing you a mind that’s more peaceful than you ever dreamed of,

~ Joi (“Joy”)

Dine Out at Mellow Mushroom in September and Help End Childhood Hunger in America!

Mellow Mushroom No Kid Hungry

Click HERE for More Information on How You Can Help

The words “Childhood Hunger in America” just should not exist, should they? With all our resources, all our people, all our money… how is this heartbreaking crisis even possible.

Fortunately there are organizations and companies actively doing all they can to end childhood hunger in our country.

No. Kid. Hungry. AMEN!

Below is a press release from Mellow Mushroom. I hope you’ll…

  1. Read it.
  2. Share it all over social media.
  3. Eat at a Mellow Mushroom near you as many times in September as possible!

From Mellow Mushroom:

More than 16 million American children live without consistent access to food. This September, for the 4th consecutive year, Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers is joining thousands of restaurants nationwide to support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign by raising funds in their restaurants. During the month of September at Mellow Mushroom, there are four exciting ways to be a part of this initiative.

  1. Make a donation at www.mmnnokidhungry.com of $10 and receive a FREE small cheese pizza.
  2. Make a donation at www.mmnokidhungry.com of $25 or more and receive a FREE small cheese pizza and a limited edition House of Shroom t-shirt.
  3. Purchase Mellow Mushroom’s limited edition House of Shroom kids’ t-shirt at www.houseofshroom.com and Mellow Mushroom will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry.
  4. Share your Mellow Mushroom moments on Instagram using hashtags #MellowCupcake and #NoKidHungry and a $3 donation will be made on your behalf to No Kid Hungry.

Each $1 raised is equivalent to 10 meals for hungry children. This year Mellow Mushroom’s goal is to raise $150,000, providing 1.5 million meals for children without food. “Childhood hunger is a very serious issue in this country. We are humbled to be involved with a cause that can help find a solution,” Annica Kreider, VP of Brand Development for Mellow Mushroom says.

In 2014, the 8,661 participating restaurants raised $8.9 million for the No Kid Hungry campaign. These funds are used to raise awareness of child hunger in the U.S., create public-private partnerships that align kids with the resources they need, support nutrition programs like School Breakfast and Summer Meals, and educate kids and their families on how to cook healthy meals with limited resources.

Since the launch of the No Kid Hungry campaign in 2010, Dine Out for No Kid Hungry has increased more than 600% with an average of double-digit growth.

For more information about Mellow Mushroom please visit www.mellowmushroom.com.

About Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom was founded in 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia.  This franchise, operated under Home-Grown Industries of Georgia, Inc., is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. For over 40 years, Mellow Mushroom has been serving up fresh, stone baked pizzas to-order in an eclectic, art-filled and family-friendly environment. Each Mellow is operated with a unique feel focused around great customer service and high quality, locally sourced food. Follow Mellow Mushroom on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through Cooking Matters.  This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.

Again, Please…

  1. SHARE.

Read my Bowling Green Mellow Mushroom Review on Genuine Kentucky.

Using Music Therapy to Heal Minds

Self Help Daily Info

Have you ever noticed how the sound of music can soothe you, or a crying child, how it relaxes, and how it can lift up your mood, no matter how low you’ve gotten? For those that play an instrument, they too know the healing power of music.

Think about the last time you listened to the radio and the emotions that you felt as each song played. You know that it depends on what type of music you listen to or play on what it does to your mood. Some music can make you want to dance, make you angry, or it calm simply calm you down or even make you cry.

Music can bring back long lost memories as well. But for the healing properties listed below, classical music is probably one of the best choices, but all music can have some effect on your mood and life.

Music Fights Stress

One of the biggest things that people use music for, most of the time without even knowing it, is for stress relief and relaxation. When you visit a massage therapist they play some new age or classical music while they do their job, and that blended with the the massage itself and aromatherapy is enough to relax you for the whole day.

People that play an instrument, or sing, also feel stress drift off them when they play their instrument of choice. Sure they may have gone through some stress when they were learning to play, but that all goes away when they know their craft and can pick up their instrument and just enjoy it.

It Battles Depression

In much the same way that music helps fight stress, it can also help battle depression. Music has an amazing way of tapping into your emotions and making you feel what the song is about. This is why mood lifting music can do much to remove depression.

Learning to play an instrument can also help with issues with depression. It gives you something to focus on other than your worries. The biggest bonus of using music for therapy is that it is something you can do right from your own home.

Music Can Help With Cognitive Function

Studies have shown that listen to and playing music can have a great affect on the mind, keeping it active no matter what age. Music helps children learn and develop quicker and also may help stave off things like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Music therapy does so much good for the mind that music therapists are using it to help children learn to communicate, which could make great advancements in the world of autism.

It Helps With Social Function

Music can also help you be more social, not just help communicate better. If you play an instrument it’s likely on occasion you play for an audience or with friends. You share that music with them and you also learn to communicate with them on other levels.

If you don’t know how to play and want to learn, you can find lessons through a site like LessonRating.com. Through classes you can also learn more communication skills and learn social graces that come along with music.

It’s truly amazing how many great things music can do for your mind, whether you play or just listen. The important thing is that you do listen, and let the healing power of music soothe your mind and soul.

As There are Seasons in a Year, There are Seasons in a Life

And You Know What They Say About Seasons, They Change...

As there are seasons in a year, there are seasons in a life.

Seasons Change

Ever find yourself smack  in the middle of one of life’s “ruts?”  Whether it lasts a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you find yourself wondering what a nice peaceful day would feel like.

Dentist visits, doctor visits, transmission problems, trips to the vet, broken water pipes, dishwashers that go on the fritz (God forbid!)… they’re all part of life, unfortunately, but they’re more tolerable when they come one at a time, aren’t they?  When they double, or even triple team you, that’s when nerves get frazzled.

The problem is, it’s been my experience that these thorns of life aren’t fond of flying solo. They love company, so they almost always bring other thorns with them.

My mom always said things like this came in bunches.  She was never able to pinpoint a number for me, no matter how often I pressed her. My grandmother always believed the magic number was 3. I’d point out instances to her where the 3 was exceeded and she’d always have the same answer, “Oh, the fourth isn’t the fourth – it’s the first of a whole new three.”

Granny logic.

I’ve come up with my own way of looking at the “bunches” and “terrible threes.” I call them “seasons.”

I am utterly obsessed with the seasons of the year. I live in beautiful Kentucky, where we have three very distinct and glorious seasons, complete with all each should bring:

  • Spring with its tree buds, blooming flowers, and greening grass – everything seems to come alive.
  • Summer with its intense greens, yellows, reds, blues, and purples – everything seems to thrive.
  • Autumn with its crisp leaves, colorful trees, and autumn breeze – everything seems to show off!
  • Winter with its blankets of white, bare trees, and peaceful quiet – everything seems to sleep.

Then it starts all over again.

The fact that we have similar seasons in life occurred to me many years ago.  We were going through a rough patch with health issues, moving, elderly/unhealthy parents, and a series of “thorns” that seemed particularly unnecessary and downright mean-spirited.  I don’t know how many times I uttered the words, “Realllllly? On top of everything? Realllllly???

Thorns never answer back, do they?

One morning, as I was packing away pumpkins, ghosts, monsters, and bats and replacing them with the Holy Family, snowmen, reindeer, and Santas – I couldn’t help thinking about the seasons.  Each one brings its own bag of tricks, so to speak.  Each has things I love about them and each has things that I don’t particularly love. But not only can we NOT fast-forward any of the seasons or skip them, altogether, I don’t think many of us would even WANT to.

Putting up with mosquitoes in summer and shoveling snow in winter are all part of the game.  We get through it. Even people who don’t like a particular season somehow get through it.

We endure it.

The same holds true for life. Life also comes with its own seasons – joyous seasons, crazy seasons, peaceful seasons, sick seasons, restful seasons, and seasons when anything that COULD go wrong, DOES go wrong!  You know, the “Reallllly?” seasons.

I guess all I’m trying to say is this: No matter where you are right now – no matter what sort of life season you’re in… whether it’s one you’re enjoying or one you’re just trying to get through – know that it will not last. Another season will come and take it’s place.

What can you do when you’re in a “thorny” season?!

  • Breathe. When under stress, we sometimes hold our breath without even realizing it. Be cognizant of your breathing and make sure to inhale and exhale.  This, alone, can actually make you feel better.
  • Slow everything down – your mind and your body.  When you’re in a bad season, your mind races. It’s trying to figure out how to get out of the rut, how to deal with the rut, how to make everything okay for everyone else… race, race, race. When your mind races, your body tries to keep pace. If your mind treats everything as an emergency, your heart will think you’re under constant attack! Slow everything down and realize that you aren’t under attack from zombies. Save the panic for the walking dead.
  • Remind yourself that you are simply in one of life’s seasons – it will pass and another will come along.  One day the things that are driving you batty right now will be nothing more than memories. Go ahead and remind them of that.
  • If there is anything you can do to make the situation better, don’t just think about it (and don’t ever just wait for someone else to do it) – take action. Very often, the simple act of knowing you’re doing all that you can brings you a measured amount of relief.

Let us be patient, and endure a while; the time may come that God may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers. -John Bunyan

Coming unglued during the bad times is the worst thing you can do. Stay steady. As a commercial once said, “Never let them see you sweat!” You can replace sweat with any description that fits your own style of coming unglued…

  • “Never let them see you cry!”
  • “Never let them see you scream!”
  • “Never let them see you pout!”
  • “Never let them see you sulk!”
  • “Never let them see you lash out!”

Never let them see you anything but in control… riding out the bad season until a better one comes along.

Endure the storm with your dignity intact!

One final thought: If you’re going through rough or challenging waters, odds are that you have loved ones in the boat with you. The calmer you remain – the more “in control” you are – the better it’ll be for everyone else. Many times, our loved ones follow our lead. If we act all kinds of crazy, they’ll do the same.

Bad. Deal. That’s the sort of thing that causes boats to capsize. Don’t be the reason the boat capsizes. Be the reason the boat makes it to calmer waters.

It may sound cliche, but sometimes you really do just have to “hang in there.”

~ Joi


What’s Got You So Down? Keys to Doing a Life Assessment

Self Help Daily Info

In order to truly be happy, having a well balanced life is important. Sometimes we make the mistake of taking on too much and essentially begin to feel bummed out. Feelings of sadness, stress, anxiety, and despair are certainly no way to truly enjoy your life and live it to the fullest. The trouble for many people is that they’ve spent so much of their life feeling this way and carrying on their daily responsibilities, that they don’t have the slightest idea of what is holding them back from true happiness. The best way to get a grip on life and start working on a better you is to do a life assessment.

Importance of Life Assessments

At some point in your life taking an assessment or evaluating your life is beneficial to achieving your goals and ultimately finding real happiness. As stated previously, sometimes you’re so busy “getting through life” that you don’t realize that you’re not “living”. To find out what may be hindering you from ultimate satisfaction, taking a quick assessment of various elements of your life can make a huge difference. Below are some steps on how to accomplish this.

1.  Set Up Categories

First, you’ll need to set up categories of your life. Trying to analyze things all at once can be a bit confusing and also can cause you to miss a few things. While there are plenty of categories you could break it into, let’s try the follow:

·  Professional (i.e. your career)

·  Spiritual

·  Health

·  Financial

·  Emotional

·  Relationship

·  Family

2.  List Pros and Cons

Once you’ve broken your life into categories such as those recommended above, go through each area of your life and list all the pros and cons in that particular category. For instance, professionally you might be happy in the industry you’re in, but wish that you could be promoted. Spiritually, you might have a deep sense of connection with your religion, but feel as if you’re not getting the teachings you need from your church (or religious meeting facility). Financially, you might be making a decent amount of money but you may be drowning in debt. Keep going until you’ve finished laying out the things you’re satisfied or happy with in your life verses the things that you’re not so enthused about and believe you need work on.

3.  Create a List of Your Issues

Now you will need to take all of the cons you’ve just listed in each area of your life and put them all into one group. This will give you a clear picture on the things that you need to work on in order to find true balance and happiness in your life. No matter how big or small the list may be, don’t be discouraged and coming up with solutions doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

4.  Find Effective Solutions

Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s keeping you down, it’s time to come up with a feasible plan of action to get these matters solved. For example, if you’ve been stressed financially because your cost of living seems to keep increasing, you might start by finding ways to save on housing costs such as your energy bills. Now that many countries and states in the US and Canada have energy deregulation in place, you can compare energy rates (here is more information on comparing costs in Canada, which is similar to the rates here in the US) and choose a provider who will save you money. Saving on housing costs can improve your financial status, thus helping you to feel more complete in that area of your life.

5.  Tackle the Problems One Step at a Time

Once you’ve come up with a list of solutions, you want to try and tackle them bit by bit. Trying to take on too many changes at once will essentially cause more stress and unhappiness in your life. Make sure that the solutions are feasible and within your control as trying to fix things outside of your control are essentially pointless.

It may take time to find true balance in every area of your life, but it is well worth the investment (and the wait). Sometimes taking a step back and reviewing where your life is in comparison to where you want it to be is the best way to go about finding true happiness. Setting up feasible solutions and tackling them bit by bit will certainly pay off in the long run.

Quote About Joy – Joyful Quote of the Day

This One's Worth Memorizing

Quote About Joy
Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson, author

So many people get so stuck in a negative mindset that they don’t even fully realize why they were there in the first place! I’m fairly convinced that if you walked up to the average “sad sack” or “worry wart,” and asked them, “Why so down, chum?,” they wouldn’t have a legitimate answer.

They’d either say something vague like, “I just can’t catch a break” or go they’d whip out the old standby, “Life just isn’t fair.”

On the other hand, of course, there are plenty of people who have reasons why they’re wearing a “never in season” frown:

  • they don’t have enough money
  • they haven’t found Mr./Mrs. Right
  • they live in an empty nest
  • they don’t live in an empty nest
  • their spouse doesn’t measure up
  • their kids don’t measure up
  • they don’t measure up
  • they hate their job
  • they hate their co-workers
  • they live in a “one horse” town
  • they live in a noisy city
  • they’re overweight
  • they’re underweight
  • they have health issues
  • etc etc etc

Regardless of their own personal reasons for feeling down, the surest way to move their emotions upward resides in the beautiful quote above: Allowing themselves to recognize just how good things really are.

Like me, you’ve heard the quote, “Things are never as bad as they seem,” right? Well, if we’re going to be completely honest here – sometimes they are as bad as they seem. Losses happen, change happens, and sometimes life really and truly does not play fair.  And, yet… if we take the time to look around us – even in the dark – we’ll realize that there are more good things than bad.

More reasons to smile than to frown.

More reasons to feel hopeful than to feel hopeless.

More reasons to feel grateful than hateful.

Joy is a beautiful, wonderful, completely euphoric feeling. It’s more than worth the few minutes it takes to “round up” your blessings and “find” reasons to smile.

Advancements in Sleep Technology

Self Help Daily Info

Advancements in Sleep Technology

When you wake up in the morning, do you feel rested or do you feel as if you haven’t slept at all? Getting a good night’s sleep can affect more than just the way you feel in the morning – sleep deprivation can actually have some very serious effects on your health and wellbeing. While you sleep, your body goes through important processes that promote healing, improve learning, support growth/development, and boost the immune system. Can you afford NOT to get a good night’s sleep?

Each individual person’s need for sleep varies, but the average adult requires about 7 ½ to 8 hours of sleep per night for optimal function. A loss of just 1 or 2 hours compounded over several days can impact your body’s normal function to the same degree that it would if you hadn’t slept at all for a day or two. Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased performance and cognitive impairment – it may also increase your risk for occupational injury and automobile accidents. Getting a good night’s sleep each and every night is incredibly important, yet many people still struggle to make it happen. If you are in this boat, you will be glad to know that modern advancements in sleep technology may be just what you need to get your sleep habits back on track.

Modern Developments in Sleep Tech

Over the last decade or so, many advancements have been made in sleep technology. From specially designed mattresses and phone apps to anti-snoring mouth guards, sleep technology comes in many different forms. Below you will find a brief overview of some of the top developments in modern sleep technology:

Sleep Cycle App – The Sleep Cycle app is available for both Android and iPhone, and it is designed to help you maximize your quality of sleep using your smartphone. Simply install the app and set up a window for your desired wake time. Then, you just need to activate the application and place your phone on the mattress next to your pillow before you go to bed. While you are sleeping, the app will analyze your quality of sleep, sounding a gentle alarm to wake you during your lightest sleep phase. By waking you during light sleep, you will feel rested and rejuvenated.

Casper Mattress – The Casper mattress utilizes a uniquely designed sleep surface that contours to the shape of your body while still retaining a healthy degree of support. This mattress features a firm memory foam core with a top layer of springy latex foam for maximum comfort and cooling. By ensuring optimal comfort, support, and air circulation, the Casper mattress facilitates a good night’s sleep every night.

Anti-Snore Mouth Guards – Anti-snore mouth guards are not only an effective way to stop snoring – they can also be used to treat sleep apnea. Some mouth guards work by pulling the jaw forward to keep the airway open while you sleep, but this may result in bite misalignment over time, not to mention a sore jaw in the morning. Modern anti-snore mouth guards, like the Good Morning Snore Solution, utilize tongue displacement technology, pulling just the tongue forward to open the airway comfortably and effectively.

If you suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, or if you are just looking for a way to improve your quality of sleep, consider one of the sleep tech options above. Getting a good night’s sleep is the key to good health, so you should do whatever it takes to get it.

3 Reasons You Should Seek a Balanced Life if You Want a Better Life

At Work or Home, Success Depends on Finding Equilibrium

Quote About Finding Balance in Life

Find Balance in Your Life and Stand Firm when Storms Come

Most people are searching for something, whether they even realize it or not. Some seek money, fancy cars, and expensive wardrobes. Others seek better health and the ever elusive Fountain of Youth.  A small contingent simply seek days filled with laughter, their family, bottomless pitchers of tea, and as many cats as they can find.

But enough about me.

Lumbie Mlambo, magazine editor and stroke survivor puts a wonderful spin on searching for a better life in the article below.  She speaks of finding “balance” in our lives.

To me, balance has always meant staying “grounded” and “level-headed.”  Being balanced means never getting too high or too low. It’s the single best way to stay grounded. The more balanced you are, the less apt you are to become rattled or unglued.

Why is being balanced and grounded SO important? Because balance gives us roots.  The deeper our balance, the deeper the roots.  We should strive to have our “roots” run so deep that after even the worst of storms, we’ll be like a large, old tree….. still standing.

~ Joi

3 Reasons A Balanced Life Is A Better Life

Life sometimes can seem off kilter as responsibilities mount and people plow all their physical and mental resources into what seems to be the most pressing crisis of the moment.

But Lumbie Mlambo says that’s a good time to take a step back. Everyone has the potential to shine in life’s darkest moments, but the key to achieving goals and an overall better existence is to maintain a balance so that one aspect of your life isn’t consumed by another.

While some people might say balance in life is an impossible goal, she disagrees and says when each of us find our equilibrium, we become more productive and a greater asset to our communities.

There’s balance in everything we do, be it walking, talking, eating, sleeping, working or spending time with family,” says Mlambo, editor of Equanimity Magazine (www.equanimitymag.com), an online publication that features inspiring stories of life and success.

For example, look at how we try to deal with our work-life situation. We balance our workload so that we can still make room for other activities, to spend more time with our spouses or our children. We do that because we understand how important it is.”

She offers these reasons for why living a balanced life is essential:

• The health factor. Staying balanced is a key to a healthier and successful life. Both mental health and physical health benefit, and as a result, so do our overall lives. When we’re healthy, we’re able to care for ourselves and others in our community,” Mlambo says.

• The empathy factor. “When we find balance in life, we can better understand the importance of helping the underprivileged,” says Mlambo, who grew up in a rural area in Zimbabwe. You begin to realize that someday you could be in their situation, which makes you a more empathetic person. “Your economic situation is like your health,” she says. “Nothing is guaranteed.”

• The role-model factor. Sharing our stories – whether it’s a tale of success or even a tale of failure – is important because others can learn from us or be inspired by us as they too strive for a balanced life. “When you tell your story, it empowers, motivates and encourages people to not give up on their dreams and goals,” Mlambo says. “Maybe you think your story is just not that interesting or important. But for someone out there, it may be the spark that ignites them to great things.”

Mlambo always strove to find balance in her life. But she became even more passionate about it after she suffered a stroke in 2001 that left her partially paralyzed. She since has recovered, but says the event had a profound impact on her and she will always consider herself a stroke patient.

Before the stroke, I thought my life was balanced in a way,” she says. “I mean, I ate healthy foods. I exercised seven days a week. But it was not balanced in the way I wanted. I had been too focused on myself. I realized that life was not just about me, but about others.”

Finding balance in life isn’t just a feel-good concept, Mlambo says. As people achieve balance, they realize they have the potential to rise above their circumstances. They can become more productive in their communities and that is good for everyone.

Staying proactive and shifting the way we think can even help the economy to grow and can help create more jobs,” she says.

Certainly, maintaining a balanced life may be tougher than ever because technology allows work – emails, text messages, telephone calls – to intrude on people’s “off” hours. But that’s just all the more reason to make a concerted effort to strive for balance, Mlambo says.

She says it’s become popular in some circles to argue that a balanced life is a myth and can’t be achieved. But regardless of their views, she says, most people seem to be trying to bring balance to their lives, even if they don’t think of it that way.

“We eat healthy to stay balanced, we get enough sleep or rest to avoid stress, we juggle our daily activities to stay balanced,” Mlambo says. “To be successful in anything we do, we must have some sort of balance.”

About Lumbie Mlambo

Lumbie Mlambo is editor of Equanimity Magazine (www.equanimitymag.com), a lifestyle publication that shares the stories of “real people and their search to lead better lives.” She also has a background in project management, computer/software engineering and business analysis. She holds an associate degree in computer science from Indiana University South Bend; and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Texas Woman’s University. She is multilingual, speaking English, Zulu, Ndebele and French.

Happy Families Don’t Just Happen

Everyone Has to Do Their Part

Quote About Home

The One Place…

I spend a lot of time thinking about families – husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles… the whole shebang.  That’s why I made “Building Happier Families” the focus of Self Help Daily for 2015.

My family is my treasure on earth. I’d rather have this colorful cast of characters and nothing else in the world than to have everything but one less of them.

They’re crazy, but by gosh, they’re my crazies!

A family should be a safe haven, shouldn’t it? A happy band of people connected by blood as well as love. People who have one another’s backs and would go to battle for any member of the tribe.

Problem is some families spend so much time battling one another that their home and family seems like anything but a safe haven.

When I hear about broken relationships within families, my heart breaks because I know somewhere, in the middle of it all, there’s someone who cherishes their family the way I do mine – and I know that what they want more than anything else is peace and happiness.

Doesn’t seem like that much to ask for, does it?

Fortunately strained and even broken relationships can be mended. Love is a powerful force and if it’s a factor in the equation, few things are impossible.

However, the best way to REPAIR broken relationships is to PREVENT them from ever happening in the first place. Within every shattered family is at least one person who wishes with all their might that they could go back and UNdo or UNsay something.

If you’ve ever been in that agonizing position, you know that it’s very much like hell on earth.

Once you’ve wronged someone – either through action, neglect, or harmful words – you simply can’t undo it.  You can’t erase your wrong and (even worse) you can’t erase their pain.   All you can hope for is forgiveness and that, in time, the pain you see in their eyes will fade and happiness will take its place.

If we could all learn to control our tongues and actions, we could avoid seeing this pain in our loved ones eyes in the first place.  The problem is, the “average” person is completely and utterly ME-oriented. They live under the firm belief that the world revolves around them.

  • I want our Christmas meal at 4:00 and WILL NOT budge for anyone else.
  • I hate my daughter’s music choices, so I will berate her every chance I get.
  • My mother in law gets on my nerves and I intend to let everyone in the family know about it.
  • My son needs a haircut and I will humiliate him in front of the entire family to make my point known.
  • My wife spent too much at the store and I’m going to yell until my face turns red.
  • My husband watches too much sports on tv, but if I continually nag him, he’ll eventually watch what I want to watch.

Too many people with too many thoughts revolving around their favorite person in the world… them.  You know what these people remind me of? Pre-Schoolers.

  • I don’t want to take a nap, so I’m going to scream and cry.
  • I want to stay at the park, so I’m going to throw myself on the ground and scream my favorite word – NOOOO!
  • That’s MY toy and she can’t have it.
  • I do not want to be in this store anymore, so I’m going to cry my eyes out.
  • I don’t want this green food! I’m going to throw it on the floor!

Like children, adults make everyone around them miserable for selfish reasons.

I saw a mother in Kroger recently with an adorable but obviously irritable little boy (probably around 2 years old).  The woman looked like she was walking on eggshells as she tried to hurry through the process before the little guy blew his stack.

She didn’t make it. Right as she wheeled into the checkout lane, the complete and utter mini-meltdown began. It was something to behold, too.

While he was, in spite of himself, downright cute with his red face and clinched little fists, the same CANNOT be said for adults who cause others to walk on eggshells as they hope to avoid one of their fits.

Nothing cute or adorable about them.

If you’re one of those people who, God love you, tends to think of self THEN others, I’m not asking you to change your focus. In fact, if you’re past the age of 45, it wouldn’t do any good anyway.  After all, you’ve been in the center stage of your own thoughts for a long time, I won’t try to budge you.

As they say, you do you!

What I am saying is this… Within each family there are people who are, basically, the HEART of the family. They’re the moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, daughters, sons, brothers and/or sisters who just want everyone to get along, be kind, and fill the house with laughter.

These are the people who not only “don’t rock the boat,” they spend 90 percent of their time keeping things afloat.

I want you to think about them for a minute. Think of people in your family who you love completely – the ones who you would be utterly lost without.

How do you make them feel when you behave like a 2 year old in a grocery store? What happens to the smile on their faces or the joy in their eyes when you cause them to walk on eggshells?

Do you really want that?  Shouldn’t we all want to see those we love so happy that they burst out in laughter?!

I hope that if you ARE someone who tends to gravitate toward this kind of behavior you’ll recognize yourself. I  hope that next time you’ll see yourself as a little red-faced toddler and that you’ll completely change your thoughts and actions.

It’d be highly unlikely that a little child would look at his mom and think, “I love that mommy person. She is having fun in this boring, bright store. I’m tired and I miss my toys but my mommy person is happy. I can make her even more happy if I smile at her…

Nope. That’s not going to happen. But it can.. and it should… happen with adults.  The next time you want to nag, yell, pick, complain, “make your point,” or anything else that takes place in the center stage, please take time to think about the people you love.

Make no mistake about it, there IS someone in your life who wants one thing more than anything else in the world – peace and happiness.  Do your part and give it to them.

Imagine the look on their face when, as they’re waiting for you to justify the eggshells on the floor, you simply brush them away.

That is when magic happens.