Posts tagged with "self improvement"

Scott and Alison Stratten, The Jackass Whisperer, 360 MAGAZINE

The Jackass Whisperer

Five ways a Jackass can stress us out while travelling, and what we can do about it.

We could write an entire library about travel and the Jackasses you meet (or become) along the way. We travel for a living, so we find ourselves in planes, trains and rented automobiles more days than not.

Getting from A to B is a Jackass minefield. We’re all just trying to get where we’re going on time, without losing our cool. Air travel is particularly stressful, bringing together an expensive purchase, long lines, a ton of strangers, each with their own agenda, close quarters and being faced with our own mortality. It’s basically a Jackass stew.

How we react to the frustrations of travelling shape the way we interact, and most importantly whether we pay the Jackassery of our seatmate Carol with the emotional support squirrel, forward. We all need to be Jackass Whisperers – snuffing out the purveyors of pet peeves, before their attitudes spread.

So, after years of research with no arrests, here is our Travel Survival Guide, AKA our top five ways Jackasses stress us out while travelling, and what we can do about it. For each, there will be a Jackass Reaction – that pays the attitude forward, and the Whisperer Reaction – that stops the spread.

  • The Jackass thinks children should be seen and not heard

No one likes to travel beside a crying baby. Not even another crying baby. You’re going somewhere important enough to defy gravity to do it. You’ve awoken, driven in traffic, dragged your belongings through security. There were lines and waiting and an unexplainable anxiety, even though you don’t have any drugs, weapons or fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ve removed your shoes in public. All you want to do is watch a movie on a tiny screen and eat bad food off tiny cutlery, in peace. So when they find themselves sitting beside a crying baby and their apologetic parent, this Jackass just can’t keep their angry eyes to themselves.

Jackass Reaction: You threaten a baby.

Whisperer Reaction: You smile, pick up fallen toys and try your best to help out the worn-looking parent. We were all crying babies once. Besides, you packed your noise cancelling headphones in your carry on.

  • The Jackass never gives up their seat

This Jackass never gets out of their own head to look around them. Usually we support this kind of keep-it-to-yourself personality, but this is our exception. If someone could use that seat a little more than you, get up, buttercup.

Jackass Reaction: You walk over and sit in their lap. Clearly they’ve voided all rules of common decency, so you may as well teach them a lesson. Grab their hands and try to clip them together around you like a seat belt. After all, safety first.

Whisperer Reaction: You give up your seat, offering it loudly enough for others to see and hear. “Good example” is your middle name.

  • The Jackass boards a plane

Now boarding group Jackass! They stand up half an hour before boarding and crowd the entryway. They show no concern for others, for airport staff, or for the fact that they’re actually boarding group C. Once on board, they commit every overhead-bin crime against humanity. They squish a giant bag into the overhead bin, which we assume they believe has a tiny Houdini inside it, ready to magically transform their duffle bag into a tote. Without concern for others, they flail madly, hitting fellow passengers with their bag, elbows and belly, as their shirt rides up.

Jackass Reaction: You take a photo of that bare, hairy midriff, tag it #PlaneMoron with your flight info and seat number and hope the internet finds him.

Whisperer Reaction: You smile because you’re sitting in first class. Can’t swing a first class seat? Your preparedness, excellent packing skills and latte make every seat feel luxurious.

  • The Jackass makes out in the elevator

This Jackass treats hotel hallways, elevators and the check-in desk as their own personal space. Even with the plutonium-grade insulation we assume they think is in the walls, we can see and hear them fighting (or, shall we say, the opposite of fighting) with their significant other in any of these places.

Jackass Reaction: You do what Scott did recently. You open the hotel room door while standing in your robe and stare quietly at them until they notice you.

Whisperer Reaction: You invest in some ear plugs, and if it gets out of hand, you contact hotel security. They’re used to it, and you don’t need to get into an altercation in your bathrobe. Again.

  • The Jackass has arrived

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the flight is over! This Jackass takes that seat belt off as soon as they hit the tarmac and stand up. They muscle ahead of everyone and pull their giant carry-on out of the overhead bin, elbowing and bumping along the way. Deplaning is about survival of the fittest, patience be damned!

Jackass Reaction: You stand up and do your best Roadblock from G.I. Joe impression, running into the prematurely standing passenger with the force of an offensive lineman on gameday.

Whisperer Reaction: You stay in your seat and let the stewards deal with this guy. Some people are just the worst.

Whether on the road, in the air or at a hotel, travel brings out the colicky baby in all of us. So take your seat, adjust your mirrors and for the love of tiny bags of peanuts, remember to pack your sense of humor. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

For more Jackasses and reactions, at work, at home and on the road, check out The Jackass Whisperer by Scott and Alison Stratten. You can also submit your favourite (or not so favourite) Jackasses at http://www.JackassWhisperer.com or email them to donkey@jackasswhisperer.com.

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Signs You’re Spending Too Much Time With Your Partner

How can you tell if someone loves you? Have you ever wondered and say to yourself, “We spend too much time together?”  Do you know that spending less time with your partner can be something positive? There are couples who either because they work together as for any other reason, which makes them in spending too much time together, and without realizing this can cause damage in the relationship.

Are you spending too much time together with your partner? Let’s find out!

If you notice that in your relationship there are any or several of these signs, then for your sake the time has come to start making some plans separately, you will appreciate it!

Lack of conversation topic

If you and your partner are 24 hours together it is normal that you have exhausted everything you have to say, this will make you look like two boring strangers. But for this not to happen, think about conversation topics to have with your partner.

Whatever the topic of conversation, what matters is that the affective bond that unites them and that they take care of it is reinforced. If you never feel like having a conversation with your partner, it is possible that something starts to go wrong between you two.

You don’t look like yourself

It is possible when spending too much time together with your partner, there comes a time when they look like the same person. They think the same at the same time and there comes a time when you can begin to think that your essence is being lost.

If this happens to you it is very important that you meet again. You are you and your partner is a different being from you. 

Do not speak on the phone

If you don’t talk to your partner on the phone, it’s because they may be together all day. In addition it is also likely that if you have to separate but do not want to talk on the phone it is because you need time for yourself.

Do not go outside

By sharing the same home as your partner you do not find it necessary to go outside and do things together. You prefer to be at home and the fun starts to run low. Spending the whole weekend in pajamas at home can be a warning sign, and especially if they do the same thing over and over again. This is dangerous because it can make the passion get lost. 

You can get a compatible partner from DoUlike.com. Try going out even once during the weekend to do new things that both of you can have fun.

Can spending too much time together ruin a relationship?

Too much togetherness can harm even the most harmonious/intimate relationship. Often, the couples do not notice immediately that spending time together loses quality and is determined by everyday life and routine. If one partner wishes to spend more time without the other that does not mean that love is cold. Maybe only the first euphoria has disappeared or the one feels restricted by too much closeness.

To prevent a harmful habit in time, five simple tips help:

● Keep your interests!

Even in the initial euphoria, the partners should not concentrate completely on each other. Therefore, maintain your own interests and do not give up your beloved hobbies especially for the partner. Also, make sure that he does it to you and encourage him to pursue his passions on a regular basis.

Own preferences make you really interesting for each other and ensure your personal satisfaction. When you are balanced, your partner will perceive it positively. Too much closeness can be avoided by, for example, spending a few hours apart on shared weekends.

● If you have friendships, you have few problems with too much closeness

Both the partner’s own and friends can be an important support to your relationship. The opinion of others is helpful in making difficult decisions because it may give you new perspectives and perspectives on some situations. Men’s or women’s evenings bring you the necessary variety in everyday relationships and new topics of conversation.

Do not make the mistake of isolating yourself from the rest of the world with your partner and losing valuable friendships. Many couples forget about maintaining their friendships and do not notice the gap that opens up between them and their friends over time. Bear in mind that your partner can not and should not exclusively replace your friends.

● Realize your own dreams

Compromising on the relationship is absolutely necessary in a long-term, successful partnership. Nevertheless, it is equally important not to lose sight of your own wishes and dreams. If you are always taking a back seat, giving up hobbies, or not taking advantage of career opportunities out of consideration for your partner, it can lead to tension and dissatisfaction in the relationship.

See changes – such as a stay abroad or a move – not just as a threat to your relationship. The temporary spatial separation can also be a chance to grow as a couple to the challenge.

Also be aware that some relationships are broken by an excess of closeness or togetherness: “Too much closeness rarely causes two people to feel closely connected. The opposite is often the case: if the partners spend too much time together, they emotionally move away from each other.

Conclusively, if you notice that you start to get bored in a relationship, make changes to make the relationship work better. Truе love iѕ not a hidе and ѕееk gаmе: in truе lоvе, bоth lоvеrѕ ѕееk each оthеr.                               

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

5 Ways Your Relationship Can Hurt Your Health

By Robert Oldman

Anyone who clicked on a site like https://www.flirt.com and is now in a meaningful relationship as a result may well face their fair share of ups and downs. For most people, dating relationships are new and exciting uncharted territory. The experience will more typically be exemplified by happiness, contentment, fun nights out, cozy nights in. With all that going on, surely there can’t be any negatives associated with being in a relationship or dating someone? Actually, that’s not always the case at all. Your relationship can actually damage your health, in a variety of different, sometimes surprising ways. Here are five you may not necessarily have considered.

Stress

In any relationship, there will inevitably be times when you are less satisfied than others. It is pretty much impossible to coast along without there ever being moments of friction, whether this is anything to do with yourselves, or external factors have come into play.  Everything from worrying about family to money issues to work can impact your stress levels, but having doubts about your partnership can be especially concerning. If you are unduly bothered about anything at all, this can have a negative affect on everything from your blood pressure to your libido. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to even more potentially harmful problems, such as mental ill-health.

Overeating

There can be a direct correlation between stress and eating. What is known as comfort eating is a well-known medical condition, leading to people compensating for feelings of inadequacy by over-indulging, often in fatty or fast foods which are bad for your cardiovascular system. When couples are enjoying a healthy, relatively hassle-free relationship, they might not be aware of it but they can also do damage by spending excessive amounts of time dining out or going on regular restaurant dates. Drinking too much is another potentially risky side-effect for partners who relish each other’s company a bit too much!

Insomnia

While sleeping together and enjoying all the fruits of an active love life are all well and good, the fact you are sharing your bed with somebody can have its downside. Some partners can be restless, tossing and turning, or hogging the covers. One of the commonest issues in the bedroom department is when one of the parties has a snoring habit. Many factors can trigger this unfortunate activity, from eating late at night to drinking too much coffee to smoking, but the bottom line is hours of interrupted sleep for their other half. Insomnia brings several other issues, including impacts on mental health.

Partying

People who are enjoying a healthy and fulfilling partnership will often feel like letting off steam after a long working week. This is something which could well commence when they are at home, fortifying themselves with a few drinks prior to heading out to the bar, club or party. When couples get into the habit of indulging in liquid refreshments on a regular basis, they may well get to the stage where they no longer need the excuse of kickstarting their evening with pre-date drinks. It’s not uncommon for this type of behavior to begin on ‘school nights,’ too. People can all too quickly lapse into problematic drinking patterns, and if there are two susceptible individuals hovering near the supply of bottles, this could become something they share.

Depression

Many things can cause a relationship to slide off the rails, whether there are temporary disagreements or profound arguments. Disaffection can lead to more negative symptoms, and if these remain unchecked, the end result can be depressive illness. When one partner succumbs to any form of depression, the relationship can be tested to its breaking point.

About Robert Oldman

A Chief Writer of a relationship blog. He posseses a degree in Psychology from Kent State University and specializes in the field of interpersonal relationships as well as communication.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

The Secret Code to Resetting Your Body’s Inner Clock

By Cynthia Li, MD

“Our modern lifestyle is disrupting a deeply ingrained, primordial, and universal code to being healthy.” This is how Dr. Satchin Panda, a professor at the Salk Institute in San Diego and a researcher on circadian rhythms, begins his book, The Circadian Code. His statement is backed by a compelling body of research.

In 2012, Dr. Panda’s team divided genetically identical mice into 2 groups, one with unlimited access to a high fat-diet, and another with access to the same diet but whose eating was restricted to an 8-hour window (during that 8-hour window, however, the second group could eat as often as they wanted). The total caloric intake per day ended up being the same in both groups.  

The surprise: despite the same total caloric intake, the mice that ate within the time restriction showed no signs of disease often seen with a poor diet. No weight gain, diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, fatty liver, or elevated markers of inflammation.  

In 2014, Dr. Panda’s team took it further. They divided genetically identical mice into 4 groups based on 4 different diets: high fat, high fructose, high fat and high sucrose (table sugar), and regular mouse kibble. Each of these groups had unrestricted eaters as well as those with time restrictions. Again, the caloric intake per day for all the mice ended up being the same. 

The result: the unrestricted eaters across the 4 groups tended to be obese with blood sugar, cholesterol, and inflammatory disorders, while those that ate within a 9- or 12-hour window stayed healthy, even if the latter “cheated” on the weekends. 

The purpose of these studies isn’t to condone a poor diet, but to stress the impacts of circadian rhythms on health and disease. Paying attention to when we eat seems to be a missing piece in the discussion of food, whether the goal is weight loss, more energy, or general health.  

What Exactly is the Circadian Clock?

The circadian clock is a biological rhythm found in plants, animals, and humans, closely aligned with the 24-hour day. This clock is influenced by our external environments—largely the exposure to light and dark—but is also controlled internally by our genes. Each organ has a set of genes that turn on, then turn off, at various times of the day and night. And though our environments have changed dramatically over the past century with artificial lighting and digital gadgets, our physiology remains largely the same today as it did two million years ago. In other words, there’s a mismatch between our internal clocks and stimuli from our modern lifestyle.    

Many of us know about the circadian rhythm, or have at least experienced it, in terms of jet lag.  Jet lag happens in part because melatonin, a brain chemical that dictates our sleep-wake cycles, gets disrupted by changes in the light-dark cycles when we cross time zones. But since each organ has its own internal clock, the liver is thrown off, too. And the digestive tract. And the lungs, the kidneys, and so on, through every organ. It takes on average 1 day for every hour of time change for the body to adjust.  

Why This Matters

When we deviate from our internal clocks, it creates added stress on the body. And stress, when perpetual and cumulative, can make us more vulnerable to chronic disease. Disrupted rhythms have been correlated with insomnia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, migraines, diabetes, obesity, dementia, and cardiovascular disease. On the flip side, aligning with our clocks can optimize function, and optimizing function means improving health. 

The Good News

Getting back in sync is relatively easy. We can optimize our clocks in just a few weeks. Based on the rhythms of insulin, digestion, and sleep, you can try the following:

  1. Eat a big breakfast. Don’t skip it! This sets the clocks for the other organs.
  2. Eat a medium-sized lunch. Drink 1-2 glasses of water between meals for a greater sense of fullness, or healthy snacks in between are fine, too.
  3. Eat a small dinner. The earlier the better. If you want to skip one meal a day, it’s best to skip dinner.  
  4. Nothing to eat or drink after dinner (water and herbal teas are okay).

Research suggests to repair, reset, and rejuvenate, it’s best to have a fasting window of 12 hours or more (EX: 8:00 am-8:00 pm, or -6:00 pm for the more ambitious). Our bodies need this window as much as our brains do.

Time-restricted eating isn’t about counting calories; it’s being mindful and disciplined about timing. 

*If you have chronic fatigue or moderate-severe diabetes, short-term or intermittent fasting may not be optimal, and might worsen your symptoms. It’s best for these conditions to work with an integrative doctor or functional nutritionist. 

A Few Last Tidbits

—Our bodies can’t make and break up body fat at the same time. Every time we eat, the fat-making program turns on and the body aims to store it. The fat-burning genes only turn on a few hours after the food stops coming in.  

—Gut motility increases during the day and slows down at night. So when we eat late, indigestion, insomnia, and weight gain are more likely.  

—The gut’s microbiome (the bacteria, viruses, and yeast that aid in digestion, absorption, and overall health) is affected by our internal rhythms.  

The take-home

—The better you can stick to regular eating intervals, the easier on your body.  

—A twelve-hour overnight window can have major benefits for your overall health.

—Eat real foods with lots of vegetables of different kinds, and keep the processed foods to a minimum.

—Try this for 30 days and see how you feel. 

—To be in sync with the internal and external rhythms of your body can do your body right.

Dr. Cynthia Li, MD, is an integrative and functional medicine practitioner in Berkeley, CA. She serves as faculty on the Healer’s Art Program at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. She is the author of Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness. 

Hudson Yards, New York City, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Miracle-Minded Mojo?

It’s More than Looks and Appearances that Attract You

By John J. Murphy

In this fascinating world of innovative music, stunning fashion, eccentric new looks, and digital methods of expression, we are often mesmerized by the physical appearances of things. Stop and consider the amazing images we share with one another every day. Music videos. YouTube clips. Instagram messages. And photographs. Ahh, yes, the photographs! Foods. Sunrises. Sunsets. Mountains. Rivers. Beaches. Animals. You get the picture (pun intended).

Now stop and consider that there is a lot more to what we see than meets the eye. In fact, everything we see with our physical eyes is over 99.9% empty space. That glorious mountain. That riveting sea. That rising moon. That graceful butterfly. That beautiful celebrity. That delicious plate of pasta. Just ask your favorite physicist. At the atomic level, everything physical is predominantly empty space. Take an atom, for example, and enlarge it to the size of the Superdome. The nucleus of the atom is now the size of a grain of sand on the 50-yard line, while the electron circles the outside of the stadium. The rest? It appears to be empty space.

So, what are we really seeing, and experiencing, when we are wowed by an image, a person, or a sound? What is it that we are connecting with? The answer in a word is energy. We are feeling something that is unseen. We are resonating with an energetic frequency, like a song on the radio. Some will enjoy it, because it resonates with their “vibe.” Others will not like it and may even change the channel to find something that appeals to them. How beautiful is that? Can you imagine this world if everyone were the same?

Contrast is exciting and enriching. And it serves as a positive teaching aid, too. How are we supposed to know up without down, or day without night? Thus, the more we can learn to appreciate and respect diversity, in one another and in the multitude of expressions we see day to day, the more at peace we can be. This is the essence of miracle-minded thinking and behavior.

The Miracle-Minded Manager™ sees beyond the physical. She recognizes the sacred light in others, and she lights up the room because others now see the sacred light in her. What goes around comes around. She knows that her perception of the world and her “vibration” is the only thing she really has any control over. So, she manages her “signal” in a loving, helpful, kind and generous way. She appears as a ray of light in a dark and frightening world because she lets go of criticism, judgement and condemnation. She embodies joy and enthusiasm and hope, fully aware that she could join in the “misery loves company” crowd if she so chooses. Some may call this charm or charisma or inspiration. It doesn’t really matter what we call it. We know it when we feel it. Some people, without even saying a word, simply bring us hope and joy and renewed faith because they are present.
We also know now that we can measure it. The late Dr. David Hawkins did brilliant work on this, ultimately developing a “Map of Consciousness.” Put simply, Dr. Hawkins used a method called Applied Kinesiology to test and measure the various energetic frequencies of everything from animals to songs to books to vegetables and to people. With people, he measured the frequencies of feelings like shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, lust, anger, pride, courage, acceptance, love, joy, bliss and enlightenment. In other words, we send out a signal – a vibration – everywhere we go, and it is this signal that is the only thing we really have any control over. We have no control over anyone else’s signal – only our own. And we can change our signal by changing our minds about things.

This is the essence of miracle-minded management. When we shift our thinking about someone or something, we shift our vibration, and when we shift our vibration, we alter our experiences in the world. Think of this like changing the radio channel from an angry, violent song to a relaxing, soothing song. Or, turning off a news story of something horrible and negative, and taking a walk on a beach or sitting in a garden, listening to songbirds rejoicing to life. Peace is ever-present. All we need to do is tap into it.

Once we begin to realize that we live in a field of energy, and we are energetic (spiritual) beings – beyond physical time and space, we can begin to manage ourselves in more miraculous ways. A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as a shift in perception, a correction of wrong-minded thinking. It is something we all have the capacity to do. We just need to surrender the root cause to our problems – the fear-based, dualistic ego thought system, and awaken to an alternative that is always right in front of us. A shift at this level changes everything. A shift at this level turns the mundane into the miraculous. A shift at this level attracts more beauty into our lives by sharing more beauty with others.