Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Good Nights Sleep Linked To Happiness

Want a good night’s sleep? Be positive – consistently. Although happiness is generally good for sleeping, when a person’s happiness varies a lot in reaction to daily ups and downs, sleep suffers, reports a Cornell study published online in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

The researchers analyzed data from 100 middle-aged participants in a longitudinal study of midlife in the United States that included telephone interviews about participants’ daily experience as well as subjective and objective measures of sleeping habits. The study looked at the overall levels of positive emotion that the participants experienced in their lives – those associated with more stable personality traits, as well as daily fluctuations in positive emotions in reaction to daily events.

The team found that, as expected, having a more positive general outlook on life was associated with improved sleep quality. However, they found that the more reactive or fragile a participant’s positive emotions were in relation to external events, the more their sleep was impaired, especially for individuals high in positivity to begin with.

“Previous research suggests that the experience of joy and happiness may slow down the effects of aging by fortifying health-enhancing behaviors such as restorative sleep,” said first author Anthony Ong, associate professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology. “Our study extends this research by showing that whereas possessing relatively stable high levels of positive emotion may be conducive to improved sleep, unstable highly positive feelings may be associated with poor sleep because such emotions are subject to the vicissitudes of daily influences.” Ong added, “These findings are novel because they point to the complex dynamics associated with fragile happiness and sleep that until now have been largely attributed to unhappy people.”


Ong co-authored the study, “Linking stable and dynamic features of positive affect to sleep,” with Deinera Exner-Cortens and Catherine Riffin, Cornell graduate students; Andrew Steptoe, University of London; Alex Zautra, Arizona State University; and David Almeida, Penn State University.

The research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Different Types Of Altered States Of Consciousness

What is an Altered State of Consciousness?

An altered state of consciousness (ASC) is a state of mind that is significantly different from any normal state of mind. An ASC is almost always a temporary state of mind where one enters into an altered state of mind. When a person is in an ASC, they often have a morphed sense of identity with their own body, along with their own sense of perception.

Causes of Altered States of Consciousness: 
Generally, there are two ways that people can enter ASC:

1) Accidental - An ASC may be brought on accidentally (usually more common)

Examples of accidental ASC are: 

- Sleep deprivation
- Oxygen deprivation
- Psychosis
- Having a high fever
- Any kind of traumatic event
- Deep lucid dreaming


2) Intentional - An ASC can also be brought on intentionally for either religious and/or recreational purposes

Examples of intentional ASC are:

- Sensory Deprivation
- Mind-control techniques (prayer, hypnosis, meditation)
- The use of psychoactive drugs (opiates, alcohol)
- The use of entheogenic drugs (marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, LSD, DMT, Peyote, etc.)


Types of Altered States of Consciousness

Rapturous - Can be induced by sexual stimulation, ingestion of certain drugs, intense religious conversation. This state is one that is distinguished by overpowering emotions and/or extreme feelings.

Fragmented - Can be induced for a temporary time period by accidents and psychedelic drugs, or in some cases, severe psychological stress over a long period of time. This ASC is typified by an overall lack of integration among the important segments of one's own personality. The ASC often results in amnesia, multiple personality, dissociation, or psychosis.

Hysterical - Can be induced by jealousy, fear, neurotic anxiety, rage, violent activity, or certain types of drugs. This type of consciousness is usually considered to be both negative and destructive to the person which exhibits the behavior, and the people around them.

Expanded - Can be induced by psychedelic drugs, meditation, prayer, sessions of psychoanalysis, and hypnosis. This ASC is made up of four different levels:

1) Sensory level - Typified by reports of the alteration of time, space, body image, and senses.
2) Re-collective-analytic level - Typified by the remembering of one's past and provides insight in regards to personal relationships, self, and work.
3) Symbolic level - Typified by vivid visuals of religious, historical, and mythical symbols.
4) Integrative level - Typified by one enters into intense religious illumination, a dissolution of themselves, and comes into contact with a divine being.

Relaxed - Can be induced by an overall lack of external stimulation, such as floating in water, sunbathing, or certain drugs. This type of ASC is typified by a state of little mental activity, and a lack of motor activity.

Trance - Can be induced by being especially attentive to a single stimulus such as ones own heartbeat, a chant, certain drugs, the voice of a hypnotist, or different kinds of trance-inducing rituals.

Daydreaming - Can be induced by social isolation, sensory deprivation, or boredom.



Sunday, 28 July 2013

Why You Cant Truly Know Other People

It's no secret that we present different versions of ourselves to different people, but we also think we can see through everyone else's versioning system. Somehow we believe ours is impenetrable yet the rest of the world can be read like a book. As David McRaney, author of You Are Not So Smart, points out, carrying on this way is delusional, yet we all do it. Here's why.

The versions of yourself that you present and others present to you are simple and easy to understand. It isn't difficult to for someone to believe that they know you when who you are is a presented set of simplified traits. It's also why people seem easy to read. In reality, who you truly believe you are and who others believe themselves to be is generally internalized and imperceptible to others:

Researchers asked people to describe a time when they feel most like themselves. Most subjects, 78 percent, described something internal and unobservable like the feeling of seeing their child excel or the rush of applause after playing for an audience. When asked to describe when they believed friends or relatives were most illustrative of their personalities, they described internal feelings only 28 percent of the time. Instead, they tended to describe actions. Tom is most like Tom when he is telling a dirty joke. Jill is most like Jill when she is rock climbing. You can't see internal states of others, so you generally don't use those states to describe their personalities.

This phenomenon—what psychologists call the illusion of asymmetric insight—creates a lot of problems. For instance, it allows you to completely reject what others believe because you think you understand it, and remain convinced that they'd agree with you if only they understood your point of view. Basically, you think you can understand everyone else and nobody can understand you. It gets even worse in groups. If you need an example, take a look at politics.

In reality, nobody's really right or wrong. We're never going to be able to paint a full picture of ourselves even if we're completely honest. Because much of who we are is internalized, we'll always project an incomplete version of who we are. When we look at other people, however, we have to remember that they're doing the same thing. It's easy to argue and disagree with what we see, hear, and observe, but the full truth is often often beyond our reach. Next time you disagree with another person or group, remember that you probably don't truly know and understand their point of view. You may agree on more than you're able to perceive.


Friday, 26 July 2013

Common Misconceptions About Stage Hypnosis

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Psychology of Gender Identity Disorder

Gender identity disorder (GID) or transsexualism is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex. People with GID desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress and use mannerisms associated with the other gender. For instance, a person identified as a boy may feel and act like a girl. This is distinct from homosexuality in that homosexuals nearly always identify with their apparent sex or gender.

Identity issues may manifest in a variety of different ways. For example, some people with normal genitals and secondary sex characteristics of one gender privately identify more with the other gender. Some may cross-dress, and some may actually seek sex-change surgery. Others are born with ambiguous genitalia, which can raise identity issues.

Associated Features and Disorders of Gender Identity Disorder

Many individuals with gender identity disorder become socially isolated, whether by choice or through ostracization, which can contribute to low self-esteem and may lead to school aversion or even dropping out. Peer ostracism and teasing are especially common consequences for boys with the disorder.

Boys with gender identity disorder often show marked feminine mannerisms and speech patterns.

The disturbance can be so pervasive that the mental lives of some individuals revolve only around activities that lessen gender distress. They are often preoccupied with appearance, especially early in the transition to living in the opposite sex role. Relationships with parents also may be seriously impaired. Some males with gender identity disorder resort to self-treatment with hormones and may (very rarely) perform their own castration or penectomy. Especially in urban centers, some males with the disorder may engage in prostitution, placing them at a high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Suicide attempts and substance-related disorders are common.

Children with gender identity disorder may manifest coexisting separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and symptoms of depression.

Adolescents are particularly at risk for depression and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.

Adults may display anxiety and depressive symptoms. Some adult males have a history of transvestic fetishism as well as other paraphilias. Associated personality disorders are more common among males than among females being evaluated at adult gender clinics.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Benefits Of Being Open Minded

'I WOULD RATHER HAVE A MIND OPENED BY WONDER THAN CLOSED BY BELIEF'
Gerry Spence

Being open-minded can be really tough sometimes. Most of us are brought up with a set of beliefs and values and, throughout our lives, tend to surround ourselves with people who share the same values and beliefs. Therefore, it can be difficult when we're faced with ideas that challenge our own and, though we may wish to be open-minded, we may struggle with the act of it from time to time.

I'd like to say I'm a fairly open-minded person, but, like most people, I do have some pretty strong views about specific topics and find it hard to sway from those opinions -- no matter how others might try to persuade me. Of course, I fully believe that having strong beliefs can be a wonderful thing and I believe we should all stay true to what we believe in, but having strong beliefs doesn't have to mean having a closed mind.

Though it can be tough to do sometimes, I've always found that when I open my mind, I've reaped a lot of rewarding benefits. There is much to be gained from opening the door to your mind and letting new ideas and beliefs come in. Here are just a few of the benefits I've uncovered when I've taken the time to view the world around me with an open mind...


7 Benefits of Being Open-Minded

Letting go of control. When you open your mind, you free yourself from having to be in complete control of your thoughts. You allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts and you challenge the beliefs you currently have. It can be very liberating to look at the world through an open mind.

Experiencing changes. Opening up your mind to new ideas allows you to the opportunity to change what you think and how you view the world. Now, this doesn't mean you necessarily will change your beliefs, but you have the option to when you think with an open mind.

Making yourself vulnerable. One of the scariest (and greatest) things about seeing the world through an open mind is making yourself vulnerable. In agreeing to have an open-minded view of the world, you're admitting you don't know everything and that there are possibilities you may not have considered. This vulnerability can be both terrifying and exhilarating.

Making mistakes. Making mistakes doesn't seem like it would be much of a benefit, but it truly is. When you open your mind and allow yourself to see things from others' perspectives, you allow yourself not only to recognize potential mistakes you've made, but also to make new mistakes. Doesn't sound like much fun, but it's a great thing to fall and get back up again.

Strengthening yourself. Open-mindedness provides a platform on which you can build, piling one idea on top of another. With an open mind you can learn about new things and you can use the new ideas to build on the old ideas. Everything you experience can add up, strengthening who you are and what you believe in. It's very hard to build on experiences without an open mind.

Gaining confidence. When you live with an open mind, you have a strong sense of self. You are not confined by your own beliefs, nor are you confined by the beliefs of others. For that reason, you are able to have and gain confidence as you learn more and more about the world around you. Open-mindedness helps you to learn and grow, strengthening your belief in yourself.

Being honest. There is an honesty that comes with an open mind because being open-minded means admitting that you aren't all-knowing. It means believing that whatever truth you find might always have more to it than you realize. This understanding creates an underlying sense of honesty that permeates the character of anyone who lives with an open mind.

For some, being open-minded is easy; it comes as effortlessly as breathing. For others, having an open mind can be more of a challenge, something that they have to work on and make an effort to obtain. Whether or not you consider yourself to be open-minded, you can certainly see from the list above that there are great benefits to viewing life with an open mind. It's not always an easy thing to do (believe me, most people struggle with this), but the effort to think openly and embrace new ideas will be worth it when you're able to take part in the benefits that come from opening your mind.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Human Relationship With Dogs: Parents And Children?

Humans have an innate need to bond with other human beings and with pets. Many animals are hardwired to form intimate bonds with other members of their species. Anyone who has bonded with a dog knows first hand why dogs are considered “man’s best friend.”

For domesticated pets, close-knit bonds are often formed not only with conspecifics (of or belonging to the same species) but also with their owners. Domestic dogs and humans have been forming intimate bonds for at least 15,000 years. The moniker “man’s best friend” grew out of the fact that dogs are so well adapted to living with human beings that the owner often replaces conspecifics and becomes the dog’s primary social partner.

What are the roots of the intense bonding that occurs between humans and dogs? Scientists at the University of Veterinary medicine in Vienna have found that the bond between dogs and their owners shares striking similarities to the relationship between human parents and their children. Previous studies have shown that pet owners have improved psychological and physical health but surprisingly dogs have not been proven to increase human longevity.

The relationship between pet owners and dogs parallels the deep connection formed between young children and their parents. The Vienna veterinary study was published in the journal PLOS ONE on June 21, 2013. This is the first study to trace the roots of this bonding between dogs and their owners back to the “Secure Base Effect.”

What is “Secure Base Effect”?

Secure Base Effect is a fundamental part of parent-child bonding. Human infants literally view their caregivers as a “secure base” when it comes to gaining confidence for interacting with the environment inside and outside the home. Until now, Secure Base Effect had not been thoroughly examined in dogs and their owners. The Vienna study provides the first evidence of the similarity between the Secure Base Effect found in dog-owner bonds as it parallels child-caregiver relationships. The researchers intend to follow up this investigation with a direct comparative study between dogs and children.

Lead researcher Lisa Horn was curious to take a look at the relationship between dogs and owners based on the Secure Base Effect. In order to do this she decided to examine the dogs' reactions under three different conditions: "absent owner," "silent owner" and "encouraging owner."

In her experiment, the dogs could earn a food reward, by manipulating interactive dog toys. Interestingly, Horn found that dogs seemed much less interested in working for food when their caregivers were absent. Whether an owner encouraged the dog during the task or remained silent, had little influence on the animal's level of motivation to earn a food reward.

In a follow-up experiment, Horn and her colleagues replaced the owner with an unfamiliar person. The scientists observed that most dogs didn’t interact with the strangers and were not much more interested in trying to get the food reward than when this person was not there.

The dogs were generally only motivated more when their owner was present. The researchers concluded that the owner's presence is important for the animal to behave in a confident manner based on Secure Base Effect. As Horn says, "One of the things that really surprised us is, that adult dogs behave towards their caregivers like human children do. It will be really interesting to try to find out how this behavior evolved in the dogs with direct comparisons."

Bonding With a Pet Improves Owner’s Well-Being

Pets can serve as an important source of social and emotional support for people from all walks of life. According to a 2011 study published by the American Psychological Association, owning a pet improves the well-being of people who are sick, but also makes "everyday healthy people" feel better. Psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University conducted a series of experiments to examine the potential benefits of pet ownership among what they called "everyday people."

"We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions," said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD, of Miami University in Ohio. "Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners."

Prior studies have shown that elderly Medicare patients with pets have fewer doctor visits than similar patients without pets, and that HIV-positive men with pets are generally less depressed than those without. McConnel and colleagues examined whether pet owners benefit more when their pet is perceived to fulfill their social needs better. This study found greater well-being among owners whose dogs increased their feelings of belonging, self-esteem and meaningful existence.

They also discovered that pets can make people feel better after experiencing rejection. Subjects were asked to write about a time when they felt excluded. Then they were asked to write about their favorite pet, or to write about their favorite friend. The researchers found that writing about pets was just as effective as writing about a friend when it came to staving off hurtful feelings of rejection. The researchers concluded, "The present work presents considerable evidence that pets benefit the lives of their owners, both psychologically and physically, by serving as an important source of social support.”

Conclusion: Pets provide many benefits, but cannot substitute human bonds.

Bonding with animals improves the quality of life for most dog owners. Surprisingly, pets have not been shown to have a direct impact on our longevity. Dog owners know first hand that a dog is reliable ally for company, friendship, and affection. The positive impact that animals have on their caregivers' overall well-being and happiness are undeniable. But, human social connections trump the connection to a pet when it comes to increasing longevity according to researchers.

The verdict on whether pets can actually help us live longer is complex and perplexing. Health scientists Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin have analyzed data gathered over an 80-year period from 1,500 people in California. As authors of The Longevity Project, Friedman and Martin have studied more than eight decades’ worth of data and deciphered which personality traits and lifestyle behaviors increase lifespan. The research was started in 1921 by Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman.

The Longevity study's results debunk many popular notions about what actually helps us live longer. When asked what one resolution would have the greatest impact on longevity, Friedman insists that time spent with family and friends is the single most important habit for living longer. "The Longevity Project discovered that it is responsible, goal-oriented citizens, well-integrated into their communities" who are most likely to have healthy and long lives, he says. "Connecting with and helping others is more important than obsessing over one's diet, rigorous exercise program, or work load," Friedman concludes emphatically.

There is no denying that pets become like family to their owners and that the family dog views his or her caregivers as surrogate parents. A dog offers love, companionship, and also increases the odds of an owner being more physically active—which has mutliple health benefits. But social connectivity with family and friends is always going to be the best way to create the Secure Base Effect in your adult life, improve long term health, and increase your lifespan.


Friday, 19 July 2013

Psychology Of The Male Beard

Are bearded men good with babies? Are beards attractive to women? In a fight, do beards help or hinder? 

If you're having trouble telling men from women, here's a clue. Men are the ones with hair sprouting from their faces (alright more hair sprouting from their faces). Some men attempt to cover up the effect of all those androgens by shaving off their beards. Others prefer to send out manly signals in all directions (well, either that or they can't be bothered to shave).

Who is right? What signal does the beard really send? Here are four very important beard-related facts that every man, woman and child should know.


1. Beards are attractive... or are they?
Whether or not beards are attractive to women is a big area of controversy in beard-related psychological research. Some studies find that bearded men are more attractive to women than the clean-shaven, others not (e.g. Reed & Blunk, 1990; Muscarella & Cunningham, 1996).

The most recent research goes against both beards and being clean-shaven and is starting to show the benefits of stubble.

But do women prefer light stubble or heavy stubble? The jury is still out, with one study suggesting light stubble (Neave & Shields, 2008) and another heavy stubble (Dixson & Brooks, 2013).

Just a matter of fashion? Well, probably best for men to cover all bases by letting it grow through light to heavy stubble and into a full beard. See what effect it has on the women in your life and adjust to taste.

It's a social psychological experiment that's easy to do and saves precious moments in the morning.
2. Beards increase age, social status and aggressiveness
Dixson and Vasey (2012) found that (European) women from New Zealand and Samoan Polynesians both thought that men with beards looked older and that they looked of higher social status.

On top of this, when men look angry and have a beard, they look even more angry than clean-shaven men.

Why not test this out by poking a bearded man with a stick. How angry does he look? Make sure to note down your results before being knocked unconscious. Science is important.
3. Bearded men are good with babies...

...or at least that's women's perception according to Dixson and Vasey (2012). This is a little mysterious given that beards are associated with masculinity and very masculine men are, on average, less likely to be good long-term bets.

But perhaps the beard as 'good-daddy-signal' operates through other variables. Because men with beards look older and of higher social status, they are more likely to be able to provide for their offspring.

Or it could be, as Dixson and Vasey (2012) say, that it's because they used pictures of bearded men who were smiling and this is a strangely potent combination.

Like a cage fighter baking a cake.

Or a fireman writing a poem.

You get the picture.
4. Beards are a disadvantage in a fight

Finally, let's take an evolutionary perspective on the beard. What signal does it send? Is it costly to produce in some way and therefore an ancient signal of good genes? Perhaps.

Like a lion's mane, beards may be a way of showing off. Since one man can easily grab another's beard in a fight, they could be a disadvantage. So, any man with a long beard is saying: "I'm so good in a fight that even grabbing on to this beard won't help you!"

(I'm not totally convinced by this argument, although the thought of men fighting by grabbing each other's beards is inherently funny. You really don't see enough beard-fights in movies nowadays do you?)

NB I saw a documentary once that stated a lion's mane would protect its throat in a fight and would therefore give it the advantage in a battle with a tiger... could the same be true of the human beard? What are your thoughts? 


Thursday, 18 July 2013

IMAGE Big Pharma Creation


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Hypnosis Breast Enlargement Invesitgation

Has the time come when we can burn all those uncomfortable push-up bras? Hypnotherapist Zack Polanksi reckons so. He says he can boost your cup size using the mind alone. “This is an extremely new approach, but I can see it becoming popular very quickly, because it’s so safe and a lot cheaper than a boob job,” says Zack.
“In theory, it could work on other areas of the body, too.
There’s no reason why it can’t help nails grow longer and stronger, for instance.
“And there is already proof that hypnotherapy has helped a number of alopecia sufferers with hair growth.”
So can hypnotherapy really boost your bust?
We sent 32B Sun girl KASIE DAVIES to find out for herself.


IMAGINE being able to change your body simply by thinking about it. All you have to do is close your eyes and relax while your unconscious takes over. Surely such wondrous magic is the stuff of fairytales — or is it?

As I’m standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror, I’m hoping that getting my breasts enlarged by a HYPNOTIST could be a reality. I had a baby last year and since then my 32in B-cup breasts are struggling, so the idea of being able to “think” them bigger (and while we’re at it, why not firmer as well?) is attractive.

When I tell friends about my plan, they react in a similar way. It starts with a puzzled “How on earth?” followed by a nervous laugh when they realise I’m not joking. All except a couple of male pals whose instinctive response was, “Does it work on penises, too?” To be honest, I have no idea. But I am here to find out for myself if it will give my boobs a boost.

The practitioner, Zack Polanski, looks immaculate when he lets me into his London Harley Street practice. He’s in dark slacks and a tight-fitting jumper but I try to ignore the resemblance to Marvin from JLS.

I follow him up a flight of stairs while making jokes about shows where hypnotists make people chew onions like apples. Zack laughs. “The reality is very different,” he says. Realising I’m new to this, he explains how it works. “People think differently when they’re fully conscious and trying to think about something, compared to moments when they’re unconscious and running on automatic,” says Zack. “Hypnosis essentially involves taking a person’s fixed attention and moving it from one place to another.
“Take, for example, the last time you were engrossed in a book or TV show and didn’t hear someone say your name. Right then, you were under a form of hypnosis.” I’m sold. I think Zack must sense my eagerness as he ushers me into a dimly lit room and sits me down in an armchair. He tells me to relax.

We start to talk about my past — I assume to build up some kind of psychological profile. He asks me how I feel about my body and any areas (apart from my breasts) that I’d like to change. Then the part I find embarrassing: He wants to know what my husband thinks of my body and how our relationship has been affected. He asks me to imagine how my life will change with my new boobs. Will I dress or walk differently? This is for visualisation purposes, one of the techniques he’ll be using.

So how exactly will this change the size of my breasts?

Our body image is in our brain, so by working with visualisation of the ideal bust size, Zack reckons he can change this image and ask the unconscious to increase the bust size to match the new body image. OK, I’m with him so far. But I still don’t understand how physical change occurs. The unconscious mind also controls our bodily functions, says Zack. So he will be speaking to the part of the brain that controls the release of growth hormones needed for breast enlargement, as well as stimulating tissue growth and blood flow to that area.

Zack refers to a study at the University of Manchester where they split people into two groups. One had to exercise to promote muscle growth, the other had to visualise muscle growth. They found that the group who visualised got 50 per cent of the same muscle growth as the group that exercised. Zack asks me to visualise what I had for breakfast, urging me to remember how it smelt and tasted.

Then he asks me to picture what I’m having for dinner and we go through the same process again. He tells me that I should be feeling relaxed now, and not to worry if I drift off from what he’s saying because it’s my unconscious, not my conscious, mind he’ll be talking to.

Now, on to my breasts.

Zack asks me to picture myself with bigger boobs. “Imagine you’re in a movie,” he says. “I want you to make the image bigger and brighter so it fills the screen. Now step it up and feel what it’s like having your new breasts. Are you walking differently? Do you look happy?” This goes on until, eventually, he turns his attention to my unconscious by addressing it like a person. He asks it questions: “Would the unconscious be willing to support this process? Are there any ways your unconscious could support you in making these changes?”

After each question, Zack politely thanks my unconscious.

I feel my nipples begin to tingle, although that might be because we’ve spent 20 minutes talking about them. When Zack brings me round, I feel simultaneously heavy and revived. I ask him whether I can do anything to help the process once home. He suggest I visualise myself with bigger breasts as often as possible. But more importantly, he urges me to listen to my unconscious.

Over the next couple of days, I feel relaxed. I’m eating foods I’ve never really liked, such as bananas. I email Zack to ask if this is related to the therapy. He says it is part of the process, drawing me to high-energy foods to encourage tissue growth.

I measure my bust after three days. I’ve grown from a 32in chest to 34in. Three days later, my chest measures 35in. Another three days and I’m 36in. I’m still wearing a B-cup but it is a lot more snug and I realise I should have been wearing an A-cup before. Panic sets in. What if my breasts don’t stop growing? But after ten days the growth grinds to a halt and my usual eating habits resume.

After two weeks, I email Zack to ask him why. He says that, during our session, it emerged my unconscious wasn’t happy for this experiment to occur for an indefinite amount of time, so he asked it whether it was OK to happen for ten days.

It apparently agreed. I’m stunned.

So, has it worked? I believe so. I also feel calmer and happier. And I don’t scrutinise my body as much — so perhaps some mysterious force is still at work.

Now... where’s that new lacy bra?

Read more about hypnosis for breast enlargement here:

A 90-minute session with Zack Polanski costs £220, zackpolanski.com. Or contact The Lewis Clinic at lewisclinic.co.uk.

How it works 

ZACK POLANSKI SAYS: “The brain is the most complicated computer we know of.

“Our unconscious knows how to run our bodies better than we do. Essentially, I am looking to utilise the unconscious process to make changes to the body. We don’t exactly know what is changing because of the complexities of the unconscious.

“We do know that whatever is changing is ecological, so if it’s changing one thing – such as the size of a person’s breasts – it’s making sure that the whole system is changing in order to support it.”

Home help for bigger breasts

1 - Visualise yourself with a bigger bust as often as possible.

Imagine you’re in a movie so you can watch yourself walk and talk with other people. The more detailed the better.

2 - Follow your instincts – particularly around food. Your unconscious may be guiding you towards healthy, high-energy foods to promote tissue growth.

If this doesn’t happen, then make a conscious effort to eat more whole grains, fresh fruit, veg and protein.

3 - Practise the seven/11 breathing technique whenever you feel anxious or angry. Breathe in through your nose for the count of seven; then out through your mouth for 11.

The important point is to breathe out longer than you breathe in for optimum relaxation.

4 - Talk or write to your unconscious just before bed. Tell it what you would like it to focus on during the night, such as promoting tissue growth and boosting self-esteem and confidence levels.

A great deal of activity occurs during our sleep.

5 - Work on improving your posture. Walk with you head straight, shoulders back and arms relaxed by your side. It will help you look taller and slimmer, but will also have a huge impact on your confidence levels when you walk into a room.

You won’t believe it until you try it!

6 - Write a diary or just a page of random thoughts that relate to how you feel about your body now and, most importantly, how you’d feel about it with bigger boobs.

How would your life change?

What areas of your life would stay the same?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/4966650/bigger-boobs-hypnotherapy.html#ixzz2Ywv34ezn

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

5 Ways Hypnosis Can Improve Your Love Life


Change your assumptions Hypnosis recordings will help you begin the process of questioning your assumptions about what is possible in your life. Oftentimes people assume that because their lives have always been a certain way, then they must continue on that path forever. This type of assumption works as a self fulfilling prophesy, because all of the micro decisions that you make on a daily basis become influenced by those basic assumptions. When you begin to visualize success, you begin to assume that you can achieve your wishes. All of the decisions that you make thereafter will begin to support that assumption.

Visualize success All decisions in life begin in the mind. You cannot make a decision or take any action before the mind has created that vision first. In order to avoid getting hit by a bus, you must first imagine what will happen if you do not move, then you imagine moving out of the way. By listening to hypnosis recordings, you create and embed the neurological pathways that will make successful outcomes seem second nature. Eventually you make success a habit, but it all begins in your mind.

Gain confidence Hypnosis will help you to visualize that you can reach your goal. Once you see the possibility of success, you will take actions to support this vision. As you begin to take action, you will encounter mixed results. This is natural with any task. Any new task always involves a process of trial and error. With practice, you become better, and eventually you become good at that task. As you begin to encounter success, your confidence will increase, which will make repeating that task seem easier and easier.

Begin to take action now It's and old cliché that before you can run, you must first crawl. After crawling, you can take baby steps, then walk, then run. People become overwhelmed, because they focus on the end result and they want to run first. They see someone who has achieved great things, but completely ignore how much practice it took for that person to become great at that thing. Hypnosis will help you to begin to take the easiest possible actions first so that you can build on the success of achieving those mini goals.

Become an ideal version of your own self As you become adept at believing that you can become successful with women, you will begin to take the actions necessary to support that belief system. Those actions might involve practicing better hygiene, dressing better, going to the gym, taking a speech class, talking to new people, or any number of things that will validate the belief that you are successful with women. The end result is that you become the ideal you.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

VIDEO Contacting The Dead Derren Brown

Friday, 12 July 2013

Hypnotist Shows Women How To Manipulate Men

A hypnotist is teaching women how to use simple mind tricks to manipulate boyfriends or husbands into doing what they want. 

Canada-based Colin Christopher says men don't even realize that their minds are being controlled thanks to covert method that uses subtle physical, visual and verbal cues.

Many of his female clients want to know how to drive their relationship forward, from moving in with a partner to tying the knot.

One of the first things he suggests is leaving relevant hints lying around, such as flat particulars or wedding magazines, in a bid to plant ideas.

'The use of imagery works very well in getting men to do things,' he told MailOnline.

'Marriage is one thing that makes a lot of guys nervous. It's important to be subtle.

'Even choosing who you socialize with can help. Mix with people in good relationships - being around unhappy couples will not sell the idea.'

For singletons about to embark on a first date, he recommends a number of sneaky techniques that will help snag a second rendezvous - should one be wanted.

'It's important to find out a bit about the man beforehand. Check out their online profile or chat with them on the phone and find out their likes and dislikes. Study photographs.'

Based on the outcome he advises selecting an outfit associated with their interests. For example, wearing clothes in their favorite color or adopting a style that complements theirs.

During the meet up Mr Christopher says women should be the first ones to initiate physical contact.

'Women must lean in not away, and they should make an effort to grab their date's hand. Touch is a very powerful thing for guys.'

On the conversation front, he suggests exploring shared interests and talking about doing things in the future together such as visiting a museum or going to the movies. The touch mechanism is also something hypnotists teach their patients when trying to recall a particular response or emotion.

He says a follow-up text or email keeps the energy going after the date and it is better for the woman to suggest the next activity.

'I am finding nowadays more women are picking what they want to do on a date. It definitely ensures greater success,' Mr Christopher explained.

How things are said, either face-to-face or over the phone can also unknowingly trigger different reactions.

'For example: "You will have another drink, won’t you?" Or "we’ll have another date next week, right?"''It’s not what you say but how you say it. The key is to use the power of suggestion in your line of questioning to get what you want,' Mr Christopher says.

As well as giving cues, Mr Christopher also shows women how to read their partner's body language to determine what they want or if they are telling the truth.

'It’s easy to tell if your man is lying because his eyes will react in certain ways,' he reveals.

'Looking left typically indicates a lie or a constructed image / sound, whereas looking right indicates a remembered image or sound, or the truth.

'When you’re telling a lie, your pupils also tend to dilate. Hypnotists use this technique to tell if someone is really under hypnosis.'

Mr Christopher doesn't just specialize in relationships though.  His new book, Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make Or Break You, details how hypnosis can help people get ahead in the workplace.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2320777/Dont-look-eyes-Hypnotist-shows-women-manipulate-men-using-mind-tricks-knowing.html#ixzz2YHTMAHIX



Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Still Unexplained Human Behaviours

When you were a little kid, you probably got on your parents' nerves quite a few times by responding to everything they said with the word "Why?" Most of their responses involved breaking down the way the world works or the importance of eating your vegetables until they devolved into the classic parent answer, "Because!" But if you asked your mom or dad about the following nine normal human behaviors, they genuinely wouldn't be able to answer you (and would probably make something up) because even the brightest minds in science still aren't sure why we do these things. You probably didn't realize we were all so mysterious, did you? www.onlinecertificateprograms.org
Laughing

You laugh at jokes. You laugh at guys getting kicked in the crotch. You laugh when you and your girlfriends get together to talk about how adorably clueless all men are. And yet science still can't vouch for why exactly we do this. We start laughing around 3.5 or 4 months old and scientists believe it's a way to build relationships rather than a response specifically to something funny. Researchers are still trying to figure out what triggers laughter in the brain and why being tickled, which feels a bit like torture sometimes, makes us laugh so much.

Kissing

Can you imagine the first kiss in history? It makes you wonder if those people just thought, "What would happen if we mashed our mouths together?" or if it's always been a part of human nature. We may never know, though scientists are certainly looking into it. These special kiss researchers are called philematologists and they've come up with theories on the origins of kissing and looked at the biological effects. Some say kissing is a learned behavior, evidenced by the fact that 10% of humans don't kiss at all. Other scientists say that kissing is an instinct and point to the fact that some animals do it. Whichever way it is, we're just thankful that locking lips is an accepted way of showing affection.

(I had read before that kissing with tongues was originally a way of feeding babies in prehistoric times similar to the way birds feed their young)

Yawning

This may not be a strictly human behavior, but it's puzzling nonetheless. Why is it that we open our airways to take big gaping breaths? And why do we start yawning when we see someone else doing it, or even when we just think about it? (Are you yawning yet?) The answers are unclear; different theories attribute it to a number of causes. Some believe it's simply an involuntary act that happens when your lungs need more air. Some say the contagious yawn is actually a way of empathizing with the original yawner. Still others say it's all just a way to cool off our brains.

Blushing

You know the feeling. You just tripped on the street, were talking about someone when they were right behind you, or got called on in a class you were not at all prepared for, and suddenly you can feel your whole face begin to burn. Blushing is a common response to embarrassment, but scientists aren't sure why it happens. The how is explained by increased adrenaline allowing the blood vessels in your face to expand, allowing more blood, and thus redness, into your cheeks. Making blushing even more mysterious is that blushing from alcohol or sexual arousal has nothing to do with adrenaline, according to scientists.

Dreaming

Dreaming is one of our most fascinating behaviors, partially because it's impossible to share with others. Sure, you can try to explain that strange nightmare you had, but you find yourself without a lot of explanations: "We were in our house, but it wasn't really our house. Somehow you were there, but then you were someone else. Wait, why was it scary again?" Dreams themselves are hard for us to hold onto, and the explanation for why they occur is equally challenging to grasp. Scientists have been theorizing on the purpose of dreams for centuries, but we're still as far away from an answer as ever. Some guesses are that we're practicing our response to a frightening situation, that our brains are sorting through the knowledge we've gained during the day and purging themselves of the unnecessary bits, or that we are working through our emotions. Conclusive evidence for any of these theories seems totally out of reach.

(More on the technique of dream interpretation) http://healnowtherapyhypnosis.blogspot.mx/2011/12/meaning-of-dreams.html

Hiccuping

Hiccups, the annoying, squeaky jolts you sometimes get, are a reflex of some kind, but exactly what they're reacting to is a mystery. A hiccup occurs when your diaphragm contracts and you inhale suddenly; the sound is produced by your vocal cords closing quickly. People can get hiccups from emotional distress, swallowing too much air, drinking a lot of alcohol (classic), or even just consuming a hot beverage. All these causes make it hard for doctors to pinpoint exactly what's going on in the body. Common ideas are that something irritates your diaphragm, causing it to spasm, or there's a disruption in your nerve pathways.

Crying

Since we've been crying since birth, we rarely think about why we do it. But we're the only species that we know of with water gushing out of our eyes when we experience emotions. Scientists think it may have done something positive for the advancement of our species, perhaps acting as a signal that enemies wouldn't pick up, and that's why we've continued to do it over the years. We now cry when we're feeling all kinds of emotions, ranging from sadness to joy, frustration to pain, even though we're not trying to hide our weaknesses from predators. Crying is also a way to provoke empathy from others, which may have built strong communities among our ancestors.

Blinking
While blinking has the obvious benefit of moistening our eyes, we do it more than is necessary to perform this function. Researchers think the reason is probably psychological because we blink more as adults than we did when we were babies — 10 to 15 times a minute compared to just once a minute for infants. We still don't know exactly why this is, but they've found that we blink less frequently when we're really engaged in or concentrated on what we're doing.

Feeling a phantom limb

We hope you will never experience this sensation, but it's one of the most mysterious phenomena that happens to humans. Amputees often say they feel like their amputated limb is still there. Some can just feel it, while others can feel actual pain in their phantom limb. Doctors aren't sure why this happens but they have plenty of complicated explanations they think could account for it, such as severed nerve endings and the reorganization of the somatosensory cortex. We may never understand where these phantom limbs come from, but many are treated with antidepressants, electrical spinal cord stimulation, or even using a mirror box to visualize the phantom limb and practice relaxing it.


Has the article left anything out? Please leave a comment and let us know!!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

5 Brain Hacks That Give You Mind Blowing Powers

Sure, you could improve yourself the normal way, with hard work and years of slow, incremental progress. Or you could use some of your body's built-in cheat codes and just hack your way to awesometown.

These hacks come with various degrees of difficulty, but no risk or potential for injury. And actual scientists say that all of them work.


#5. Remember Long Lists With a "Memory Palace"

The human brain sucks at remembering lists. Think about it: When you go to the grocery store, how many items can you manage before you have to write them down? Three? Five? For most of us, if there's any more than that, we're going to get back home and find out we forgot the milk (which by the way was the whole fucking reason we went to the store in the first place).

That's weird, because there are other things in life we have no problem with. For instance, we don't have much trouble remembering the locations of a hundred different spots around town, even if we don't know the addresses (do you even know the street address of your favorite coffee shop?), or the locations of a thousand items around the house. Sure, you couldn't write them all down, but if a friend asks you where they can find a flashlight, you're probably going to have an answer. If only there was a way to exploit this strength to overcome the other weakness.

The Hack:

You're able to find your way around because a whole lot of your mental horsepower is devoted to spatial memory -- learning the layout of your environment. And there is totally a way you can tap into it as a hack to remember long lists. So-called memory champions have been doing it forever. They call it creating a memory palace.

Here's how it works: You pick a familiar place that you know well and can imagine without much problem -- the inside of your house, the layout of your neighborhood, whatever. You then imagine yourself walking along a specific route in that place and associate an item on your list with each location.

So let's say you're trying to remember a long grocery list, and you choose to use your neighborhood to mentally visualize it. You could imagine the first item on your list -- condoms -- scattered willy-nilly along your driveway. The next thing on your list might be beer -- you could picture your neighbor passed out drunk on his lawn, pants down, if you want. Next up is frozen pizza, so you picture pizza pies replacing all the windows at your drunk neighbor's house. Let your imagination do the hard work for you -- the more ridiculous/striking the image, the easier it'll be to remember.

It all sounds like a ridiculous extra step, but you soon realize how incredibly easy it suddenly makes it to recite a list. You're simply forcing the spatial memory part of your brain to help out. And you can start doing it at any time -- the memory palace (or method of loci) memorization technique isn't something that requires years of practice. In one 1968 study, college students were asked to memorize a list of 40 items by associating each item with a specific location around campus. Not only were the students able to memorize an average of 38 of the 40 items, but the next day they were able to name 34 of the original list (and that was in 1968 -- imagine how much more they would have remembered if the kids hadn't been on so much pot).

In another study, German senior citizens were also asked to memorize a list of 40 words by associating each word with Berlin landmarks. Before using the method, they could only recall an average of three words. After associating the German word for "father" with the Berlin zoo, for example, participants could remember an average of 23 words from the list. Oh, and you don't have to have one location for each list item, either. In yet another study, subjects just took their imaginary walk twice and were still able to remember 34 of the 40 items. Seriously, go try this.

#4. Retain Information by Spacing Out the Reminders
The hell of trying to learn anything is that time randomly wipes important information you've committed to memory -- you can't remember the Pythagorean theorem, but you remember the base stats of 649 Pokemon. This is why so many of us wind up cramming at the last minute for exams -- it's not just procrastination, it's fear that if we study a month ahead of time, we'll forget part of it by exam day. So our only answer is to cram everything into our short-term memory, knowing that we'll lose it right after the test. A hundred grand in tuition well spent!

No, what we need is a way to retain information for the long haul, without doing a lot of work. In other words, we need a scientific method to arrive at the exact minimum amount of time and energy we need to successfully retain important information.
The Hack:

There is a measurable process by which your brain drops information, a "forgetting curve." If you want information to stick, there's a specific hack you can do to work around it. It takes a bit more practice than the memory palace thing above, but if your job or degree depends on it, it's worth it. Basically, it's a matter of figuring out the rate at which your brain forgets things and adapting to it. They call it spaced repetition.

So let's say you're trying to learn Spanish, and you're going to have a big final on it in four months. The most rudimentary way to practice spaced repetition is to put the words you need to learn on note cards with the English on the front and the Spanish on the back (flash cards, basically) and get three boxes (or create three piles, if you don't have any boxes sitting around) marked:

1. Every Day
2. Every Week
3. Once a Month

The labels tell you how often you're going to look at the flash cards. "What?" you say, "I don't got time to be studying this shit every day! Besides, I know I can hold this stuff in my brain longer than that!" Right, you probably can. This method will tell you exactly how long. That's the point: to arrive at the exact bare minimum amount of time you need to study.

So, the first time you study, yes, you drill yourself with all of the flash cards. The ones you get right you promote to the Every Week pile. Ones you get wrong go in the Every Day pile. The next day you try it again, but now you've got a smaller pile. The next day, it will be smaller still. A week later, you'll try the Every Week pile again, and the ones you get right you stuff into the Once a Month pile. You're just filtering this shit right on down the line, giving yourself less and less to do.

A month later, you go through the Once a Month pile to make sure you remember it. The stuff you've forgotten goes into the weekly rotation again. See what you're doing? You're figuring out the exact rate at which this stuff falls out of your brain. Breezing through that monthly box? Great, make it every two months. The spans of time are flexible (conversely, if you have an exam or presentation in two weeks, you can shorten the whole process -- make your three piles Daily, Every Other Day, Every Three Days).

If that still sounds too complicated, a Polish psychologist named Piotr Wozniak created computer software that does it for you:

Wozniak actually conducted an experiment on himself by memorizing thousands of nonsensical syllables ... and found that he could repeat the list three years later. So when you're walking around the city and you see filthy people mumbling nonsense syllables to themselves all day, this is probably what they're doing. Ask them about it!

#3. Write It Out (Even if You Don't Read It Later)
Quick! When was the last time you held a pen and wrote something? It was probably while signing a receipt, wasn't it? A note you left on the parked car you dinged at the mall? Child support checks? In this age of smartphones, constant texting, and spending half our waking hours online, most of us have lost the gentle art of holding a pencil and scratching out ransom notes the old-fashioned way. Which is too bad, because if you want information to stick in your brain, you need to write that shit out by hand.

The Hack:

The act of handwriting actually engages neural activity that you don't get by hammering on a keyboard. During an experiment at Indiana University, preschool kids who were learning the alphabet were separated into two groups. The first group was shown letters and told what they were, while the second group had the additional task of practicing writing the letters. When the kids were put into a "spaceship" (an MRI machine), the brains from the writing group lit up like somebody had crammed a road flare into their ears. Their neural activity not only was more enhanced, it was more "adult-like," which we presume means they later asked researchers to check their cholesterol levels while they were there.

In other words, it seems to be the same principle as the memory palace thing above -- forcing another part of your brain into the action to help out with memorization. We invented keyboards because typing is way easier and faster than writing, but making it faster means we're losing handwriting's unique ability to imprint information in our brain. So those flash cards we had you make above? Get a pen and write that shit out instead of printing it off your computer. Watch your score improve.

A 2008 study proved that this works especially well when you're doing something that involves learning unfamiliar characters, like some computer languages, or sheet music, or Japanese. Again, making your fingers draw out the shape engages a completely different part of your brain than if you're just staring at it on a screen and saying, "Remember this, goddamnit!"

But of course your brain is good for more than memorizing stuff. For instance, this next hack is for those of you with rage problems...

#2. Control Anger by Using Your Less-Dominant Hand
Everyone knows at least one guy who hulks out over the stupidest things -- a messed up coffee order, a red light, global warming. Usually these people are just harmless joke fodder until they road rage on an elderly person over a politically charged bumper sticker. If you don't know one of these people, consider that it might be you.

Of course, there are all these tricks that your mom taught you that are supposed to calm you down ("Stop and count to 10!"), which of course don't work because in the moment you're enraged, you can't think logically anyway. What you need is to beef up your anger defenses before it gets to that point.

The Hack:

This one comes from the University of New South Wales, who found the perfect anger-management trick, and it wasn't cool jazz music or playful kittens wearing sunglasses. People who had anger issues were asked to spend two weeks using their non-dominant hand for anything that wouldn't endanger anyone: opening and slamming doors, writing hate mail, pouring coffee, and other dirty activities that are now crossing your mind. After two weeks, the subjects could control their temper tantrums better, even when other participants deliberately insulted them to get a reaction.

Why would this possibly work? Well, looking at angry people under brain scans shows that outbursts are less about too much anger and more about depleted self-control. That's both good news and bad news. The bad news is that self-control is a finite thing, and you can run out of it. The good news is that it's a physical mechanism of how your brain works, and you can strengthen it (or hack it into working better).

Now, you'd assume that the only way to do that would be some kind of meditation or long classes in anger management. Or maybe to pay somebody to make an annoying noise in your ear for hours at a time and slowly decreasing the frequency with which you punch them in the head. But it turns out it doesn't take anything like that -- just asking these people to use their clumsy hand to do everyday tasks forced them to deal with hundreds of tiny, totally manageable moments of frustration. But that was enough to make them somewhat immune to it.

So, when things got ugly, suddenly they found that the walls around their internal anger demon were stronger. And it's probably also calming to know that if things get so bad that a gunfight breaks out, you're now capable of dual-wielding that shit.

#1. Boost Your Immune System (by Looking at Pictures)
Getting sick is something you wouldn't think you have much control over beyond the obvious things (eat healthy, wash your hands, etc.). But damn it, this article isn't about the obvious shit. This is about weird hacks that let you trick your system into working better. And if you want to beef up your immune system, find some pictures of disease.

The Hack:

Your brain manages everything, including your immune system. And we already know that seeing certain images can trigger physical responses in the body -- some pictures make us salivate, while others do downtown business on our private parts (boners). Well, when you see sick people, your body beefs up its defenses.

Scientists from the University of British Columbia showed students a 10-minute slideshow of sick people to measure their immune system's responses. So for 10 solid minutes, test subjects looked at images of people with rashes, bad coughs, and those weird booster shot scars you see on the middle-aged. What they discovered was that after the sick reel, the participants' white blood cells went into overdrive and began to produce interleukin-6 (IL-6), the same kind of protein a body would produce to fight off infection or combat burns.

And if you're wondering if the triggered immune system was just a general response to stress, the answer is not really. While the participants certainly weren't held at gunpoint, there was a group who got the opportunity to look at pictures of people pointing guns at them, which netted a negligible 6 percent increase in IL-6. Looking at sickies, on the other hand, resulted in a 23 percent increase.

From an evolutionary standpoint, this sort of makes sense -- if you see your cave brothers and sisters spilling their guts all over the place or falling victim to the prehistoric flu, your body has to work a little harder to avoid catching the same illness and dropping dead. So your doctor is kind of screwing you by filling the waiting room with pictures of calming landscapes and clowns. If he or she wanted to beef up your defenses, the walls would be full of oozing sores.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

30 Ways To Forgive Someone

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi
Up until my early 20s, I carried around a lot of anger toward someone in my life. I’d been hurt by a person I trusted, and for a long time in my adolescence I wanted to hurt them back.
I lived in painful stories and in visions of what could have been if I hadn’t been wronged. I blamed someone else for the life I didn’t have, and felt vindicated in the soul-sucking resentment I carried around from day to day.
I realize it makes less compelling writing to talk so generally, but these stories aren’t only mine to tell. They involve someone I love and have since forgiven. So perhaps the kindest thing I can do both for them and me is not retell the story, but instead create a new one: a story about letting go.
It’s a hard thing to do—to completely let go of something painful and forgive the person who may or may not have realized what they did. At my angriest point, I was convinced the person who hurt me did it with full intention and cruelty. I felt not a shred of compassion; just unadulterated pain and rage.
Then I realized: unless someone is a sociopath, they are rarely without feeling. And if they’ve hurt another person, even if their ego prevents them from admitting it, odds are they feel remorse on some level.
No one is purely bad, and everyone carries their own pain which influences the decisions they make. This doesn’t condone their thoughtless, insensitive, or selfish decisions, but it makes them easier to understand.
After all, we’ve all been thoughtless, insensitive, and selfish at times. Usually, we have good intentions.
And for the most part, we all do the best we can from day to day—even when we hurt someone; even when we’re too stubborn, ashamed, or in denial to admit the hurt we’ve caused.
So how do you forgive someone when every fiber of your being resists? How do you look at them lovingly when you still have the memory of their unloving action? How do let go of the way you wish things had worked out if only they made a different choice?
I decided to consult the Tiny Buddha Facebook community to learn how they’ve moved on from anger and resentment.
Readers offered nearly 150 ideas to help forgive someone when it’s hard. The ones that resonated with my most strongly were:
  1. I remember them as a child and it’s much easier! -Joy Thompson
  2. I remind myself that I forgive not for them but for me and that it’s easier to forgive than to hang on to so much anger, hurt and betrayal. -Sarah Clark
  3. I just acknowledge that we are humans, so we are allowed to make mistakes. -Haydee Lizbeth Lopez Cruz
  4. Remind yourself that they are not separate from you; they only appear that way. Then you will realize you are one, and it is yourself you are forgiving. -Justin Hayden
  5. Do not keep thinking of the past or the bad thing that happened; when you let go of it, you get over the anger/bitterness that you felt and it clears the path of forgiveness! The best thing is time! -Ashna Singh
  6. Remember that we are all doing the best we can at the time. -Diane Paul
  7. Remind yourself of how much forgiveness would mean to you if it was your turn for a mistake! – Carol Mcbride-Safford
  8. Wayne Dwyer describes how hate is love which has been turned around. Seeing the expression of what can’t be forgiven as love makes it easier to forgive. Were also all doing the best we can, according to our own evolutionary state, including those we find hard to forgive. – Lise Heeley
  9. Because it takes less energy to love and forgive than it does to stay angry and hold a grudge. It brings peace to your life. -Linda Adams
  10. I know that I need to forgive someone, not for their benefit, but for my own peace of mind. Don’t do it for them, do it for you! -Cathryn Kent
  11. You remember why you love them. Love is about forgiveness.- Holly Chapman
  12. Forgiveness comes easier with the passing of time. I tend to find that, if I am wronged, I forgive the person before they forgive themselves, and when I am in need of forgiveness, it is I who feels the guilt for longer. -Mandy Richardson
  13. Stop thinking and just do it. Open your heart and forgive. -Lindsey Windrow
  14. Don’t force it. If I don’t feel forgiving, I can at least not act on my anger. Eventually forgiveness will come if you welcome it. -Julie Trottier
  15. Just learn to smile and let things go. -Sudharma Lama
  16. Give up on all hope of a better past. -Matt Child
  17. Every time you think of them send them love. After a while it gets easy. -Crystal Chang
  18. Meditate, meditate and meditate some more until it’s gone! -Margot Knight-Guijt
  19. The harder it is to forgive someone else, the more I am responsible. When I understand and forgive myself, forgiving others is easy. -Pamela Picard
  20. Two different approaches. One involves restoring your boundaries and sense of protection first. The other involves focusing on what your body is feeling and stop dwelling on the offense. Both involve being present. -Chris Campa
  21. Forgiveness comes easy when you know that what people say or do is about them, it’s not about you. -Kim Kings
  22. Shift the focus, feel the pain and think of the thousands of others in the world who are also feeling the same pain, then send a loving-kindness message to everyone to be relieved of this suffering. -Nick Ong
  23. When it happens I often ask myself “What strengths must I develop further from this?” Often the feeling of resentment just goes away, slowly but surely, because I wasn’t focusing on the person that wronged me, but the lesson that the event was trying to tell me. -Natassia Callista Alicia
  24. I allow myself to feel again whatever I didn’t express “in the moment” when I was with them. Forgiveness always seem to follow those (usually) difficult emotions. -Cynthia Ruprecht Hunt
  25. Write a brutally honest, emotionally raw letter telling them how much they have hurt and angered you, then tear it up and burn it. As you watch the smoke rise, think about the fact that you are not that hurt and that anger. It is fleeting, just like everything else. As the smoke carrying your hurt and disappointment disappears into the air, you can let it go. -Renate Wuersig
  26. For some wrongs, I just have to remember that they are responsible for their actions and then it is easier for me to just let it be. -Karen Garland
  27. By remembering that it will free me from the burden of the stress I feel, also, if I can’t forgive then how can I expect to ever be forgiven? -Leslie Brown
  28. Just look to the future instead of focusing on what’s past…think of creating new good memories to wipe away old bad ones. -Elizabeth Lindsay
  29. It becomes easy when you remember a time when you were forgiven, centering on how it made you feel. -Louisya Graves
  30. Understand this: whether you like it or not, over time, you will stop feeling the pain, so why hold on to something that’s going to away anyway? -Nirav KAKU
How did I forgive when it was hard? I came to this realization: no one ever gets to the end of their life and thinks, “I wish I stayed angry longer.” They generally say one of three things: “I’m sorry,” “I forgive you,” or “I love you.”
After taking space to heal myself, I decided to cut out the middle man of time. I now set boundaries to take better care of me, but I’ll never regret that I’ve forgiven.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Why Do People Continue Smoking?

Everyone knows the negative health effects of cigarettes... but why do so many people continue smoking?

People smoke for many different reasons. Smoking is very addictive because tobacco contains a powerful drug called nicotine. Smokers have also been influenced by the clever marketing tactics of tobacco companies for many years.
Nicotine as a drug

Cigarettes are deliberately designed to give you a fast nicotine hit. It takes just 10 seconds for the drug to reach your brain from inhaled cigarette smoke. Nicotine causes addiction in much the same way as heroin or cocaine. It is just as addictive as these ‘harder’ drugs.

Nicotine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and affects many different parts of your brain and body. Smokers get a high because nicotine triggers the release of dopamine in the brain - a chemical linked to feelings of pleasure.

This also means that smokers start to make a mental link between the act of smoking and feeling good. Because of this, smokers can also become addicted to abstract things like the taste of cigarettes or the feeling of smoking, as well as the nicotine itself.

Withdrawal symptoms

Addiction explains why giving up smoking can cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include cravings, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness and disturbed sleep.

As your body adjusts to the lack of nicotine, these symptoms will start to disappear and most will go away within a month. Withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to cope but the benefits to your health are well worth it.

Nicotine as a poison

Nicotine is a neurotoxin (a poison that kills nerve cells) found in tobacco plants. It acts as a defence mechanism to stop them from being eaten by animals.

However, in cigarettes, the level of nicotine is too low to cause poisoning. And the nicotine in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a safe way to come off the nicotine in cigarettes. Using NRT can double your chances of successfully quitting.
Tobacco advertising and promotion

Half of smokers die from smoking-related diseases. The tobacco industry needs new customers to replace the 114,000 people who are killed by smoking in the UK each year. Cigarette manufacturers make sure that:
they know exactly why people smoke
they cleverly market products to attract new customers.

In the past cigarette manufacturers have deliberately targeted children and young people. The industry spends a great deal of money on making cigarettes seem glamorous, appealing, fashionable and attractive. Most smokers started when they were young and image conscious. Young smokers often find it difficult to give up in later life.

Cigarette advertising is now banned in the UK. So the industry is developing new and subtle tactics to avoid prosecution.
Stress and relaxation

Many people claim that smoking helps them to cope with stress. But in fact, nicotine is a stimulant and won’t help you to relax. Smokers probably think a cigarette makes them feel better because when they aren’t smoking they suffer from nicotine withdrawal.
Other personal reasons for smoking

People have many other personal reasons for smoking. Smokers may:
use smoking as a support for when things go wrong
enjoy smoking with others as a shared activity
use smoking to start conversations and meet new people
smoke to make themselves look more confident and in control
think that cigarettes help them to keep their weight down
have a cigarette when they’re feeling bored or lonely
smoke when they need a break or a moment to themselves.

Knowing why you smoke is one of the first steps towards giving up.