Showing posts with label justaskd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label justaskd. Show all posts

How to Deal With the Negative News

The Proven Health Benefits of Positive News....

Many people are grappling with this year’s depressing and disturbing news—meaning, they want to turn away, but they just can‘t.

The constant focus on partisan politics—as well as murders and mayhem—is taking a real toll on peoples’ psyches.

The surgeon Dr. Christiane Northrop says our nervous systems simply weren’t designed to handle a daily barrage of bad news which contains the worst of humanity, brought to you from every corner of the globe. The inundation is too much for most people.

The trend toward sensational bad news on television began in the 1990s. At the same time as the U.S. homicide rate was dropping in that decade by 42%, television news coverage of murders skyrocketed—rising more than 700%, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

During that time, TV network news audiences and newspaper circulation began to fall. We can only guess that this was due to the increased focus on crime coverage.

Instead of gorging on an endless media diet of conflict, some people have taken drastic action, by closing their eyes and turning off the news altogether. (They are also unfriending their angry brother-in-law or friend whose partisan posts contaminate their Facebook feed.)

Completely tuning out the news, however, is not a great solution. To be an informed citizen and voter, we need to know what’s going on. Instead, I recommend that people become “selective sifters”, choosing what kind of news they take in daily. Headline news from the BBC or NPR, or perusing newspapers and magazines is enough to provide the basics.

Most people will need to make a conscious effort not to get sucked into the rancorous trivial debates of the day, like how much Melania Trump’s jacket costs when she travels into a poor neighborhood—and the inference that it should make anyone angry if they are a Liberal.

It’s not enough, though, to just sift through the bad news. Norman Cousins, a political journalist and 30-year editor of the Saturday Review said, “If news is not really news unless it is bad news, it may be difficult to claim we are an informed nation.”

There is another crucial step that people can take to relieve some of their anxiety around current events. They can write themselves a prescription for a daily dose of good news. Like a “Vitamin G” in their media diet it can provide some balanced nutrition beyond the negative news menu.

A Happy You prescription - book cover
I look at it this way: If a child is only given junk food, then that’s all he knows and wants, but if he is given some sweet carrots, watermelon or apples, he learns to appreciate them, and gets the benefit of an enriched diet and healthier body.

Thomas Jefferson said the job of journalists was to portray accurately what was happening in society. As a former TV news freelancer, I created Good News Network (GNN) because the media was failing to report enough of the positive—and it was simply too hard to find good news in large enough quantities to make a difference in one’s mental health.

An overabundance of pessimistic, depressing stories can create a perception of a crime-and-greed-filled-world that is out of proportion with reality.

Benefits to Physical Health
According to letters from GNN readers, the website is playing a major role in relieving depression and anxiety symptoms—and basic physical health, too, can be altered when you make an effort to balance the depressing news. Scientific studies have shown the startling benefits.

In a study of nearly 3000 healthy adults, a London University found that those who reported upbeat moods had lower levels of cortisol—the ‘stress’ hormone that leads to high blood pressure, weakened immune systems, and even abdominal obesity. In the study, women who reported more positive emotions were less prone to chronic inflammation, which is related to heart disease and cancer. The authors of the paper published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2008 said, “People need to recognize the things that make them feel good.”

Researchers at the Harvard University School of Public Health found that optimism cuts the chances of developing heart disease and the rate of lung-decline as we age. They followed 1300 men in their early 60’s for ten years. “Lung function declined significantly faster in pessimists, even taking into account major biological risk factors.”
A Dutch study of elderly men found that those who were identified as “optimistic” were associated with a stunning 50 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death during the 15-year study.

Benefits of Mental Well-Being
A study by J. P. Harrell in 2000 found that when participants watched concentrations of positive news and media, they had decreased levels of stress and anxiety. A study by Huffington Post and Harvard Researcher Shawn Achor showed that if people watched even 3-4 minutes of negative news, 27% of participants were more likely to be depressed for the next 6-8 hours of their day.

Testimonials sent to Good News Network provide self-reported anecdotal evidence that supports the notion that positive news can actually improve your health.

15 year old Lisa says, “Daily, I was affected by panic attacks which were triggered from the news and all its negative content. This site has helped me tremendously.”

Mike says, “I suffer from depression and paranoia. I feel like I can never truly be happy as I always get this sense of encroaching doom and most of my fears are heightened by media sensationalism. Your website is JUST what I need to focus.”

And finally a clinical and police psychologist, Dr. Kevin Keough, wrote this, “A 13 year-old boy was depressed and suicidal as he entered my office. He cited TV news as proof that there was no point to living, ‘Everything is out of control, it’s all bad news, people are killing each other, terrorism, corruption, kids being slaves.’ After I let him cry, I explained how TV news worked—that it didn’t reflect reality accurately—and I showed him your site. He started to cheer up. He smiled and gave me a hug. Life was okay again.”

Tal Ben-Shahar was a lecturer at Harvard University and his positive psychology course was the most popular class on campus. Author of ‘Happier’, and ‘Choose the Life You Want’, he believes the Good News Network can benefit everyone: “It’s an extremely important initiative. I recommend that each person makes it a habit to visit the website at least once a day to counter the barrage of negativity in the media. Being exposed to positive information benefits us emotionally, physically, and mentally. It can contribute in a meaningful way to a happier and healthier life.”

A 2005 study by Bayer concluded that an overwhelming 93% of Americans wanted more good news, and 77% percent believed there was not enough good news offered by mainstream media. The study also showed that people believed they are more productive in their jobs after hearing good news.

Fortunately, good news is now easy to find at GoodNews Network.

What we think in our minds directly affects our health. Through the mind-body connection, our thinking leads to stress or happiness. It is your choice—and your health depends on it.

Expand your knowledge and enlighten your mind with tools to help you excel in life. Complimentary Coaching Session at:

Professional Development is a Lifelong Activity.

How often do you set aside time to learn new skills? Chances are, not as often as you'd like! If you're like many people, you're keen to learn, but you struggle to find the time. So, how can you make this time, develop your knowledge, and increase your value, both to your organization and to future employers? 

Why Make Time for Professional Development?
If you're a manager, you'll know how important it is to ensure that your team members are given plenty of training and development opportunities. However, it's just as important to focus on your own learning and development. To do this, it's essential to set aside enough time. 

There are several reasons why you might not make learning a priority. Volume of work is the most obvious reason: with work and personal responsibilities competing for your attention, it can feel impossible to find room in your schedule for learning. 

As well as this, you may feel guilty about taking time out for personal and professional development; after all, this could be used to work on urgent or important tasks, or even to be with your family. 

It can also be difficult to make learning part of your routine. In the course of a busy, hectic day, tasks like "Read leadership book," and "Complete online course" can easily slip to the bottom of your To-Do List.

This can lead you to feel disappointed about not living up to your own expectations, which can affect your self-confidence and make you feel less positive about your career. You can also suffer if you don't stay up-to-date with changes to your industry or profession. For instance, you might miss opportunities to make a greater contribution to your team or organization, and other people may become more effective than you in the workplace.

However, when you make learning a priority, you increase your value to your organization. You're more marketable as a professional, and you're in a better position when you apply for a challenging project or seek a promotion.
Continuous learning can also help you develop expert power. If your boss, team members, or clients see you as an expert, they're far more willing to respect your opinion and follow your lead. This can make it easier to win support for your projects, negotiate a contract, or manage change.

Personal Learning Strategies
There's no doubt that it's important to make your own professional development a priority. But how do you find time to do it?

1. Set Learning Goals
If you don't recognize the importance of what you're doing, it will be easy to give self-development up whenever you're pressed for time or lacking energy and motivation. 

So, your first step is to identify your learning objectives, and visualize how these will help you achieve the other professional goals that you've set. So, what do you want to get from your learning? And why are you making time to learn? 

It's important to set smart, realistic goals from the beginning, and to break these down into long- and short-term goals that you can add to your daily to do list. 

Then, write down why you are devoting time to this activity and how these learning activities are going to make your life better.

2. Identify Obstacles
Next, identify possible obstacles that might make it difficult to stick to a learning schedule, and come up with strategies to overcome them.

For instance, imagine that, over the coming week, you've committed to spending half an hour reading a book when you get home. One possible obstacle is that your kids may want to play with you as soon as you walk in the door. To overcome this, you'll need to explain to them why you need time to study alone. Promise them time as soon as you're finished, and then sit in a quiet room, so you won't be disturbed.

Go through the possible obstacles that might prevent you from spending time on your learning, and write down the strategies that you'll use to overcome each one.

3. Think Small
Many of us assume that we'll need large chunks of time to devote to learning. However, short blocks of time can be just as effective, if you focus.

The key to learning effectively is to maximize the impact of every moment that you have available. Look at your To-Do List, and see what you can achieve in the time available. Make sure that you minimize distractions, even if you only have just 10 minutes free, and concentrate on what you're reading or learning. 

Think about how you can use your mobile device to learn when you're on the move – by using appropriate apps, by listening to podcasts, or by storing information that you want to memorize on the device's notepad. 

4. Learn at Your Best
Many people schedule their learning for a time when they've completed everything else. However tempting this may be, think about how you feel when you've accomplished everything on your to-do list. You're usually exhausted, right?

Everyone has different peaks and valleys in their energy levels. It's important not to schedule learning, which requires a fresh, open mind, for the time of day when you have the smallest amount of energy. Explore how you can better schedule learning to take advantage of the changes in your energy throughout the day.

5. Make Learning a Habit
You'll only be able to sustain your learning if you make it a habit. Developing any habit takes work and self-discipline.

To build a habit, look at your schedule and see how you can work time for learning in every day. Could you get up an hour earlier, or learn on your lunch break? Could you study after everyone else has gone to bed? Take into account the energy levels we mentioned earlier.

Think of a reward that you can use to motivate yourself through, say, the next two weeks. This will help to keep you going when you don't feel like studying, or when you're tempted to skip a day because you want to do something else instead. 

Once you've made it through the first two weeks, take time to congratulate yourself! That first step is always the hardest. Next, commit to spending the next 30 days learning every day. Reassess the time slots you've carved out for yourself: are they working? If not, what tasks could you move around to make learning more practical? 

Remember, habits start out as little daily activities that you force yourself to do. They only become habits with time and persistence. 

6. Choose the Right Learning Style
Do know how you learn best? For instance, some people learn and retain information best when they can read and take notes. Others are active learners; they need to learn by doing something themselves. Still others learn best when they're presented only with the facts and with none of the theory.
It's important to identify your personal learning style so that you can tailor your learning to fit what works best for you. 

7. Collaborate
It's often easiest to learn in collaboration with others; after all, if you know that there are people who are always available if you need help or advice, you're more likely to turn to them instead of giving up. When you join a community that makes learning a priority, these people can also hold you accountable for your learning goals.

One of the best ways to do this is by joining a class or doing a course with others. However, you can also network on LinkedIn and Twitter to find other professionals in your industry who are interested in learning. You can also talk to colleagues to see if they routinely devote time to learning. If so, perhaps you could form a study group, or simply spend time reading or learning together? 

8. Delegate Tasks
Your day is likely full of tasks that you're responsible for. So, how are you going to fit learning in?

Look at your professional and personal responsibilities to see if you can delegate any tasks to someone else, for example by giving new tasks to team members, or by hiring someone to clean your house. If you can clear even a half hour from your schedule, you can use this time to work on your learning goals.

See this time management article for tips on managing your time. 

Key Points
Lifelong learning is essential if you want to stay "in demand" in a changing business world. However, many of us feel that we don't have time to devote to regular learning, in spite of the many benefits it offers.
Start by setting small goals with your learning; commit to devoting time daily for the next two weeks. Identify your learning goals, so that you know why and what you want to learn.

Try to delegate activities to open up your schedule, if you can. And consider forming a support group with others who are also interested in learning.

Get on the right path to achieve your full potential! Focus on professional and personal development to improve your life. Book a free strategy session at

The Beauty of the Sistine Chapel

As I watch midnight mass at the Sistine Chapel in Italy on Christmas Eve, I am reminded of my trip to Rome. Seeing the Chapel again on TV and its appeal to all ages and races throughout the world has encouraged me to share some interesting information of its inception and history to date.

The Sistine Chapel is not only one of the world’s most significant sites of holy pilgrimage, but contains unparalleled historic artwork by some of Italy’s most celebrated Renaissance artists, including the unparalleled Michelangelo. A period in history when optimism and belief in classical ideas provided artists of that time with the desire and energy to realize their incredible works. Still relevant today as a venue for important religious ceremonies for The Holy Catholic Church, The Sistine Chapel is more than a historical destination. This site still inspires artistic and spiritual awe amongst its millions of visitors each year, and is in fact the very epicenter of the thriving religious community of The Vatican City.

The Apostolic Palace
The Sistine Chapel is part of a 1,000 room network known as the Apostolic Palace, or the Sacred Palace, which is the pope’s sanctioned Vatican residence. In addition to the Sistine Chapel, this massive set of buildings includes the Papal Apartments, the Vatican Library and Museums, various government offices of the Holy Catholic Church, numerous lesser chapels, and Raphael’s Rooms, which are public areas of the papal residence decorated in superb frescos by the legendary renaissance artist Raphael Sanzio.

History and Purpose
The Sistine Chapel was designed by Baccio Pontelli for Pope Sixtus IV, and was subsequently constructed by Giovannino de’ Dolci between 1475 and 1483. The finished Sistine Chapel was at first used for regular religious services, the first mass being held on August 9th, 1483, for The Feast of the Assumption. In more recent times, however, the Chapel has been chiefly used to host The Papal Conclaves, the ceremonies and proceedings that take place to select a new Pope.

Much like the interior decorative artwork, the architectural plans of The Sistine Chapel stemmed from biblical inspiration. The measurements of this simple rectangular brick building with its six arched windows correspond exactly with the Temple of Solomon in The Old Testament: 40.93 meters long by 13.41 meters wide by 20.70 meters high. The building is roofed by a flattened barrel vault ceiling. In the interior, the marble transenna, or screen, is divided into two parts: the larger part that includes the altar is used by the priests and clergy for religious ceremonies, and the smaller part is the area that hosts the faithful churchgoers. During significant religious ceremonies, the side walls are covered in lush tapestries designed by Raphael that represent events in the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The Frescoes by Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Perugino, and Cosimo Roselli
The walls of the chapel were commissioned to be decorated by some of Italy’s premier artists; including Botticelli, Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio and Luca Signorelli. Based on the division of world history into three distinct eras, the first division of the walls of the Sistine Chapel were decorated to represent earth in the time prior to The Ten Commandments, the second partition represented the world between the times of Moses and Christ, and the last segment was dedicated to an artistic representation of the modern Christian era.

The Ceiling by Michelangelo
In 1508, Pope Julius II requested that Michelangelo transform the ceiling of the chapel, at the time a plain blue sky decorated with golden stars, into a piece of art featuring the twelve apostles that would correspond with the richly decorated walls of the church. Although he considered himself foremost a sculptor and was from the beginning opposed to the Pope’s commission, Michelangelo not only obeyed the Pope’s wishes but subsequently surpassed them by transforming the ceiling into an awe-inspiring canvas that featured more than three hundred biblical figures. Michelangelo undertook this challenge and painted the frescoes practically unaided on 12,000 square feet of ceiling between the years of 1508 and 1512. The three hundred biblical figures were dispersed between nine frescoed images including God’s Creation of the World, God’s Relationship with Man and Man’s Fall from Grace. This unrivaled artistic achievement is still regarded as one of the foremost examples of pictorial art.

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo
As if his artistic accomplishments on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling weren’t enough, Pope Paul III commissioned Michelangelo some twenty years later to create a mural of the Last Judgment on the altar wall of The Sistine Chapel. This latest artistic work, completed in 1541, differed greatly in style from Michelangelo’s early works, perhaps influenced by the political and religious climate of the times. His earlier work on The Chapel ceiling evoked a feeling of human triumph and aesthetic pleasure, while this newer mural attracted adversity and some criticism because of the menacing, godly wrath depicted in the mural images, as well as the unexpected prevalence of human nudity in his paintings. Despite the controversy surrounding Michelangelo’s latest creation, it is still considered to be one of the world’s greatest religious paintings.

Some interesting facts about the Sistine Chapel.

The Sistine Chapel was built by a Pope named Pope Sixtus the Vl, hence the name Sistine Chapel?

Michelangelo was only 32 years old when he began painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and completed it in only 4 years?

The Sistine Chapel was built to house the Cardinals while they deliberated on who should become the next Pope.

The famous chimney that releases black smoke telling us the Pope has died and white smoke telling us we have a new Pope is set up in the Sistine Chapel? You can see the marks where it sits towards the back right of the chapel?

No artist in history suffered as much as Michelangelo in the 4 years it took him to complete the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He suffered with painful knees, back, neck and almost went totally blind but he still managed to live to be 89 years old.

Michelangelo painted the Last Judgement (the front wall of the Sistine Chapel) 28 years after he finished the Sistine ceiling?

Michelangelo’s enemy, Raphael, was originally asked to paint the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel but refused. He suggested Michelangelo knowing he was a sculpture and not a painter.

The Sistine Chapel was completely cleaned between the years 1980 to 199. It was paid for by the camera company Fuji Film. Fuji Film now own all copyright to the paintings on the ceilings for 20 years, and that is why there is no photography allowed of that artwork..

Pope Julius ll (the Pope that commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel)sold Indulgences in order to pay Michelangelo for his work? Selling Indulgences meant that people could pay money to get time off Purgatory.

There are 3 Botticelli paintings in the Sistine Chapel, painted 24 years before Michelangelo began the Ceiling.

Share your thoughts and experiences if you like and have a wonderful holiday season.....