SPRING INTO SPRING!! 7 Ways to Be More Optimistic


We set the clocks ahead for daylight savings and many of us woke up to a darker sky feeling sluggish thanks to a one hour loss of sleep. If you hit the snooze, pulled the covers up over your head still feeling bummed out about your waistline, bank account, career or love life, you’re not alone. Despite more daylight our worries will still be there. So how do we spring into spring, a season that’s all about new beginnings and rebirth? For practical ways, to cultivate optimism in our lives we turned to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services who shares these tips and tools.

1. Focus on the good.

“A daily exercise I often have my patients do is keep an appreciation or gratitude journal. When you focus on all the things to be happy for in your life then more great things come. Think generally and use your senses. What do you appreciate seeing, smelling, touching, tasting, listening to? Write it down. Within a few weeks you’ll train the mind to pivot to an appreciate thought when a negative thought comes,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

2. Make plans.

Making plans to see relatives, to see a new exhibit a movie or to travel gets our mind moving forward towards something positive that we can be hopeful and optimistic about. Dr. Hafeez suggests making plans to do 3 things per month for the next 3 months. “Choose things that you know will bring you joy and then go do them! Feeling excited about what is coming and talking about how fun it will be keeps us optimistic and forward moving,” says Dr. Hafeez.

3. Control what you can, delegate the rest!

We get pessimistic and worry about the worst possible outcomes when we realize that we cannot control every detail. This leads to anxiety and an even stronger feeling of having to control conditions, and even others. According to Dr. Hafeez, this is a trap. “Figure out what needs to get done. What actions you can take. Then let go of anything else that is beyond your control with faith that everything will turn out fine. Envision the desired outcome,” advises Dr. Hafeez.

4. Limit your news watching and avoid it before bed.

“There is a very common pattern I see people falling into,” says Hafeez. “People awaken and immediately reach for their smartphone for news headlines. They then turn on the TV news as background noise. They listen to news in their cars, have news alerts going off on their phones all day, catch the evening news and then the 11pm news before bed. No wonder they’re less optimistic! What you choose to look at will impact your mood. Remember, good news doesn’t get ratings,” she adds.

5. Don’t snooze. Instead just breathe.

When the alarm goes off give yourself a few minutes to just lie there, eyes closed focused on your breathing. Breathe in counting to 4 and then breathe out. Do a mental scan of your entire body from head to toe thanking your cells for restoring you as you slept. “Deep breathing is a form of meditation and in the morning, you have a small window of opportunity to decide what kind of day you want it to be,” says Dr. Hafeez.

6. Distract yourself with something that requires focus.

The key here is to pick something you truly enjoy doing and do it daily. It can be painting, coloring, yoga, a 20-minute walk or jog, listening to music and dancing around your living room. “When you are fully engaged in something, you can’t ruminate which leads to pessimism,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

7. Make feeling good top priority.

When you commit to feeling good you instantly start to think more optimistically. According to Dr. Hafeez, when you’re mindful of your own negativity and shift to a better feeling positive thought you feel powerful. You’ll feel like you can conquer anything when you can master your own mindset.

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens.
Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com
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March 14, 2017 – 6:27 PM - | Posted in daily life | No Comments »

Take a Winter Break in Ocean City, MD


Life on the Maryland shore slows down off season. That’s enough reason to take a winter break in Ocean City, MD.

With the crowds gone from beach and boardwalk, you can take your time, shop the stores, and eat your way through the popular restaurants.

Why Ocean City?

The winter chases away the hordes of summer visitors, but it leaves the white sands and crashing waves in all their peaceful beauty. The long stretch of beach becomes one bright photo opportunity.

Boardwalk: Some stores and amusement arcades on the famed Ocean City boardwalk close for the winter. But, that’s okay. It leaves much more room for strolling, jogging, and bicycle riding for fun or exercise.

The Annual New Year’s Day Beachwalk sees tourists and locals walk along the waterline of Assateague Island to show support for the island’s unique ecology. It starts at 1 p.m. and ends with hot chocolate and cookies.

Winterfest of Lights: If you miss the crowds, you can join the tourists for the Winterfest Express through the fabulous Winterfest of Lights. For $4.00/person (Free under age 10), you take a 10-minute ride through the 50-acre site that includes Christmas trees, tunnels, and displays all lit beautifully.

In his Northside shop, Santa Claus awaits children with their Christmas wish lists and steeping hot chocolate through December 23rd.

Christmas Parade: If it’s parades you want, you can see the best on December 5th at 11 a.m. Regional high school bands, antique cars, and decorated holiday floats march on the Coastal Highway from 100th Street to the mall at 115th.

Hotel Deals: According to OceanCity.com, the Ocean City, Maryland hotels offer various New Year’s packages including dining and entertainment on New Year’s Eve.

For example, the Princess Bayside resort features special rates, New Year’s Eve dining and dancing, a New Year’s Day brunch, and the annual Atlantic General Hospital’s Penguin Swim in the hotel’s huge indoor pool.

Winter Golf: Maryland’s Eastern Shore is filled with quality golf courses. But, Rum Pointe, named in the top five Maryland courses by Golf Week, has bent-grass on its Scottish-style course. All but one of the 18 holes has a bay view and several are along the water line. It’s simply a gorgeous location on a mild winter’s day.

All told, there are 25 challenging golf experiences within minutes of Ocean City, and all have winter rates, and many participate in various winter golf package deals described at GolfAvisor.com.

Dining: The Captain’s Table has reopened. The Lighthouse is still a favorite. And, Seacrets, Fager’s Island, and Liquid Assets top the list of comfortable and crab dominant restaurants in the area.

Blue Crab: There’s this special thing about Chesapeake blue crabs. They remain the biggest culinary attraction on the Mid-Atlantic coast. The Sunset Grille in the beautiful Sunset Marina has indoor and outdoor seating for their crab specialties

Higgins Crab House has been serving crabs dishes for 7 days a week for 40 years. And, the Mug and Mallet starts you off with crab chowder in an absolutely casual atmosphere.

Winter Fishing: The winter report at thatsrightcharters.com recommends chasing the Rockfish in the Chesapeake Bay. While fishermen are happy with the top fishing around the Bay Bridge, you’ll have to watch the seasons scheduled for sea bass, blues and grouper.

Planning a winter break in Ocean City, MD offers bright clean air, photogenic landscapes, bargain discounts, and plentiful golf and fishing opportunities.

If you’re in Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Washington, D.C., it’s a better way to spend a weekend!

Author’s Bio
Michael F. Carroll
Title: Freelance writer at OutreachMama
Mike is a freelance contributor to Towering SEO and OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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March 14, 2017 – 5:42 PM - | Posted in travel | No Comments »

My Visit To The Arnold Sports Festival Was Motivating and Inspiring!


My visit to the Arnold Sports Festival was simply put…. AMAZING! This past Friday me and the hubby had a chance to take a trip down to Columbus Ohio without kids in tow to attend. For me, it was an exciting day. Fitness has become a passion and basically my life over the past year, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, so being among other fitness minded people who have a love of the industry, I couldn’t wait! I was worried about my husband having a good time though, because although he works out, he’s nowhere near……obsessed……addicted……or loves the fitness lifestyle like I do. For him, it was more of a tag along thing to keep me happy.

When most people think of the Arnold they think bodybuilding, that was my husband included. I know a lot of people might be intimidated to attend, thinking they’re not up to par, thinking that when you walk in it’s a bunch of muscle heads walking around, and that’s not it at all!

The Arnold yes promotes a lot of bodybuilding, and that is one of the major focuses of the event, however there is so much more! Tennis, Ping Pong, Fencing, Wrestling, Pole Dancing and even a Kids Expo to visit. The Arnold Sports Festival is for just about anyone who is at any level and has any sort of love for sports or fitness in general. Sure there were bodybuilders around, but there were average people around too, everyone in the convention center together, celebrating fitness!

 

We decided to go on a Friday at the advice of some others who have been there before. We met up with our friends / my trainer (NGA Figure Pro Betty Thomas and IFBB Pro Phil Thomas from CNC Lifestyle Management) when we got there as well. It was…BUSY! But apparently wasn’t even close to what Saturday’s look like where I’ve heard it’s elbow to elbow. I had a plan walking in, which booths I wanted to go to first, but once I walked in, my mind was overloaded and I said screw my plan let’s start at that end and just GO!

My only real plan was to get to the PrimEval booth to meet my idol, my inspiration since I started realizing my dream of getting into bodybuilding IFBB Pro Dani Reardon. She’s amazing (Follow her on Instagram). Since I started on this journey, she is the one I’ve been looking to for inspiration and motivation, so meeting her was a MUST! When I first got to her booth she wasn’t there, and I was heartbroken, but we went back later in the day and I got to meet, and talk to her for a good amount of time. She’s so amazing, genuine and interested in hearing about my journey and where I hope to go.

A few others I had hoped to meet didn’t happen because I simply didn’t want to wait in line. Be prepared! If there’s someone there that you want to meet, get there early, and be patient because you will be waiting quite awhile to meet them. The best part about the expo is getting all the swag and samples. I can’t tell you how much apparel I have, supplement samples etc. This is just a portion of our haul, I’m telling you freebies everywhere!

My husband actually had an AMAZING time, he loved it and can’t wait to go back again next year. I loved the atmosphere so much I was begging him to go back on Sunday again, but it didn’t happen. For anyone wondering if it’s something they should go to, my advice is GO! Not only for the ‘celebs’ to meet, the ‘freebies’ and great deals you can get on supplements, but because of the atmosphere.

I came away from The Arnold with a better, brighter outlook. Everyone I met there was so nice, so inspiring and supportive. The negative stereotypes of fitness or bodybuilder type people go out the door once you’re there and see it’s a community of people with a love that they all share with one another. People motivate and inspire one another, no matter what their fitness level is. My motivation to keep going, to get to my dream and goal was made clear when I walked out, I was encouraged by many people including my idol to keep going and to push beyond my limits because I WILL get there. I walked away inspired and with a love for this lifestyle and community more than I had before.

If you have any interest in health, fitness or sports make it a bucket list item to go at least once to the Arnold Sports Festival, you won’t regret a moment of being there!

If you’d like to see more photos from our day at the expo you can visit our entire album HERE.

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March 7, 2017 – 1:27 PM - | Posted in daily life, fitness, health | 1 Comment »

Spring Clean your Eating Habits by Ditching Food Triggers and Mindless Snacking


Cues to eat are everywhere – and we cave. Food psychology expert, author, tells how to take back control of when & where we eat & trim down for spring in this food-saturated world.

We’ve all been there: The mere sight of the Starbucks logo makes us crave a caramel latte. Ditto craving a chocolate-glazed treat when driving by Dunkin Donuts at the end of each work day.

These, along with dozens, if not hundreds, of other sights, sounds and smells in the world around are our food triggers, says Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., author of the new book Bright Line Eating, releasing March 21 (Hay House).

They cue us to eat, whether we’re hungry or not. And they are one of our waistline’s biggest enemies.

We are fighting off food triggers all day long, says Susan, who is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester and an expert in the psychology of eating.

Our culture promotes eating at any time of the day, in any imaginable location. Long gone are meal times at the family table. Which means that nearly every situation has become a cue to eat.

But mindlessly putting food in our mouth as a knee-jerk reaction to triggers not only leads to overeating and weight gain, but actually rewires the brain to create constant cravings. In a vicious cycle, the more we give in to food triggers, the more we have them.

 

But breaking the cycle is relatively easy once you’re aware of it – and spring cleaning your eating habits to ditch food triggers away may be just what you need to slim down for the season ahead.

Here’s how:

Eat regular meals

A steady schedule of three meals a day at regular mealtimes—breakfast, lunch, and dinner —trains the brain to eat the right things at the right times and to pass up the wrong things in between.

Establish food-free zones

Draw up a list of places you tend to eat beyond the table: your car, the couch, your office desk… Designate them food-free zones – and stick to it.

Practice an attitude of gratitude

Research shows that something as simple as expressing gratitude will replenish willpower. Gratitude also helps shift the focus from what you want, or crave, to what you have – making it easier for you to drive right by that donut shop as you count your blessings.

Gradually you’ll take back control, clean away those triggers and be the only one deciding where and when you eat.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester and an expert in the psychology of eating. She is President of the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss and CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions, a company dedicated to sharing the psychology and neuroscience of sustainable weight loss and helping people live Happy, Thin, and Free.

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March 6, 2017 – 7:09 PM - | Posted in health | No Comments »

8 Must-Do Family Activities On The Weekends


Image source: www.familygolive.com

Weekends are the time we need to spend with our family. After a week of stress from work, our consolation is to have quality moments with our love ones. The benefits of enjoying your weekend with your family is priceless.

There are a lot of family activities on the weekends you can choose to plan ahead of time. Nonetheless, it’s important to have an idea of different exciting activities that you, and your family can do.

Today, we will go through eight must-do activities you can do with your family on the weekends.Leave your TV and contemporary kitchen faucets alone for the day and see what you can do outside our home with your family.

Top Eight Activities

1. Try to go bike riding together in your neighborhood or in a nearby park. If you don’t have bicycles for the entire family, there might be a bicycle rental store in your area, the easiest way to find out is by hopping on Google to find out. The best part about this is you will all get physical exercise while creating special moments together.

2. Have you ever thought about flying kites with your family? Kites are fun, especially for children, and it doesn’t cost that much. Not only do you get to spend time with your children maneuvering their respective kites. If your kids are not a fan of kites, you can choose a frisbee, baseball, football or soccer ball.

3. A day at local tourist destinations is always a fun idea and grabbing something to eat at everyone’s favorite restaurant afterwards will lighten everyone’s mode.

4. Plan a day at the local zoo in your area. Everyone likes animals, and it’s a great time to spend with your family. Sometimes zoos have special days where particular days have discounts or distinct events with animals.

5. If you’ve ever thought about going to a sports game, now is your chance. If you happen to be too far from a major city, you can always look for a minor-league team that plays in your area. This is typical for baseball and hockey if you are away from a major metropolitan area. What’s best about minor-league teams is they have all the great food and entertainment of major league teams at a fraction of the cost.

6. Seasonal activities are always fun to do with your family, particularly if it’s in the winter. You can go ice skating, sledding, skiing, or just build a snowman. If you happened to be in spring, summer, or fall, going to play paintball, laser tag, or going to a roller rink.

7. When was the last time you took your family to an IMAX showing? Many movies now are in IMAX, and it makes a movie really come to life. Sometimes it can be expensive to buy candy at the movie theatre, and if you had some bought some from SweetServices.com you could save that extra money to spend on popcorn and soda.

8. Have a pot luck party with your neighbors and friends. Not only does this give you time to spend with your family, but your friends as well. At night time, you could have a bonfire in the backyard and have the kid’s roast marshmallows.

Conclusion
Your family is important, and it’s vital to spend quality time with one another, even if it’s only on the weekends. You can choose one activity on a particular weekend, and go on to another one for the succeeding weekend.

You must be creative in the activities that you choose to do, and you have to remember it doesn’t have to be elaborate. It only needs to be fun and exciting, so everyone enjoys the time you spend together.

Author’s Bio

Carl Aamodt
Title: Super-Connector at Outreach Mama

Carl is a super-connector with Towering SEO and OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. He frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses his efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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March 2, 2017 – 9:22 AM - | Posted in daily life | No Comments »
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