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The Benefits of Developing A Positive Mind

Published: November 1, 2018 by Kenneth Small

Life is not all plain sailing. Indeed, hardship, trials and tribulations are part of parcel of living. Encountering difficulty is not necessarily a bad thing –what matters is the way you deal with it. A positive frame of mind is important for so many reasons. Positive thinking is proven to enhance performance in productivity and quality. You tend to think more and actively and perform better when you are feeling positive and well. 

There are biological explanations for this. A positive frame of mind is due to enhanced levels of neuro transmitters like serotonin which is required to regulate the performance capabilities of the brain. The knock on effect of a positive frame of mind also include better health – not just better mental health but better in the physical sense. This is due to a boost to the immune system that a positive frame of mind can give you from positive hormones . 

The reverse is also true, when you are depressed you are far more liable to contract other diseases and mental health issues. Your relationships with others deteriorate, you begin to think irrationally and productivity can ground to a direct halt. In short this is a frame of mind that is best to avoid at all costs. Feeling unhappy from time to time is not unusual- but how we choose to deal with a problem comes from our default state of mind. 

A positive mental attitude is also about giving you a can do attitude. People who think positively are far more likely to see challenges rather than problems or opportunities rather than difficulties. For instance entrepreneurs, who are successful,often are because they are able to spot opportunities for growth in a market which others only see as problems. The positive mental attitude of the successful businessmen means that opportunity becomes a reality ; because they also have the drive and motivation to succeed and make their dreamsTh come true . So as you can see there is much to be gained from a positive mental attitude. The problem for a lot of people is in developing one in the first place. 

It is true that some people seem to be more positive than others. Having a so called ‘ sunny disposition’ implies that there is something inherent or genetic to account for a frame of mind. While this may be true in some cases it is also true that a positive frame of mind is not an attribute for a privlleged few. It is something that is open to everybody. Anyone, that is, who is prepared to put the necessary work in to attain it.

Developing a positive frame of mind is not some new aged fad. For centuries religious men and scholars alike searched for and developed techniques to harness an inner harmony. While this may have begun to make one closer to god the essence of this idea is just as relevant today. That a positive frame of mind makes us closer to the divine while a negative frame of mind can only lead us into ways of being that are a detriment to our lives. Monks realised this long ago which is why they devote themselves to a life of abstinence and mental and spiritual fulfilment. 

One of the best ways to determine your frame of mind is to think about how you are with other people. A great way to do this is to picture how you behave towards people you do not know. Are you outgoing and open to meeting and talking with others? Or are you insular and afraid. Believe it or not one of the best ways to overcome a negative frame of mind is to change your attitude to the world around you and that means the people in it as well. If you are usually uncomfortable around others then try this experiment. One night force yourself to strike up a conversation at random in a public place. Do not be concerned about how you look or appear – or what you talk about. A reference about the weather or anything will do. Just try it and note how you feel afterwards

You see, the way you are with others will affect the opportunities you get offered. Think about it in this way – who is the most likely to get the furthest in a workplace between two people of equal ability and experience except for one difference- One is uptight and ill at ease with others around them, the other easy going and comfortable in the company of others. If I were the boss of those two people I know which one I would pick for promotion.

Bracing for the Holiday Blues

Published: November 1, 2018

The holidays are supposed to be a time for joy and celebration – full of wonderful foods, social occasions, religious and spiritual enrichment, or just plain fun. However, many people experience holiday blues. Are you one of them? One common complaint of those who suffer from this form of depression or period of sadness is their awareness of the expectations surrounding the season and their inability or lack of desire in meeting those expectations. Personal health, relationship issues, past losses, isolation, financial circumstances, and pure stress of the season can contribute to these holiday blues. The company employee assistance program or a counseling service in your community can see you temporarily to give you support during this time. Your insurance may help pay for such services. Ask about group counseling support. It's often the best kind because others who seek to conquer similar challenges can often generate powerful solutions with the mastermind effect found in the group work experience. If all else fails, don't suffer in silence. Instead, Google "holiday blues solutions" for a ton of ideas on beating the season's impact on your happiness or mood.

Communicating With Your Siblings About Money and Aging Parents

Published: November 1, 2018 by Scott Serfass

Many adult children are called upon to help their aging parents as life changes set in, yet only 65 percent of siblings report talking about money with one another, according to research by Ameriprise Financial. While only 15 percent of siblings have conflicts over money, when siblings do spar over finances, it's usually about their parents' situation. Financial conversations between siblings become inevitable, as brothers and sisters manage their parents' money matters, including estate planning, healthcare, retirement income and wills.

In the event that you have shared responsibilities with your siblings down the road, it's important to make sure your family is on the same page. Here are some tips to help you and your siblings have civil conversations about money-related family matters.

Set aside your differences. When your parents need help, don't waste your time re-hashing old family feuds. Keep yourself in check if you are tempted to fall into old patterns of behavior that may alienate grown-up siblings. You may not be able to control how your siblings behave, but you can control your own actions.

Determine key priorities. You'll accomplish more - and potentially spar less - when everyone is committed to common goals. Assess what financial matters you and your siblings will need to manage together. If your parents' safety is a primary concern, find agreement about the support and services they need to remain safely in the family home. If it's time for your parents to move to an assisted living facility, put your energy into seeking a solution.

Schedule time to talk. Schedule regular check-ins with your siblings to discuss pressing topics related to your parents' care, including how finances are being managed. Frequent conversations can help diminish anxiety and improve collaboration. Ongoing dialogue will help prevent misunderstandings from blowing up into full-fledged battles and help keep your parents' best interest top-of-mind.

Divide and conquer. It's important to set responsibilities, with the understanding that each sibling may be able to contribute different amounts of time, money and expertise. Be forthright about what you can reasonably handle and open to taking on more tasks if you have the capacity. Keep in mind that responsibilities may shift over time, as circumstances change for you and your siblings.

Be open to advice. Bringing outside sources into your inner circle can help provide unbiased guidance as you enter this new phase of life. Your parents' tax preparer, financial planner and other trusted advisors could provide an important bridge to understanding their current financial situation. Once you're ready to plan the next steps for your family, consider working with a single financial advisor. This approach allows the advisor to help you create a comprehensive plan that addresses everyone's needs and concerns.

Money conversations can be emotional and hard to initiate, but keep in mind that there are benefits to having open communication. Families who are willing to tackle money-related topics are often more confident about their ability to handle financial challenges and work toward their goals.


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