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Healthy Family Communication


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A good flow of communication is one of the building blocks of healthy relationships with people we care about. This is especially true of family. When families are able to talk openly and honestly with each other, they both parents and children are able to build mutual respect and trust between each other. Everyone is different and everyone has different needs, so cooperating through communication can help each person feel valued and heard and strengthen the spirit of family cooperation. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when building your family’s conversations and connections:

Be clear and be direct: One thing that trips up conversations between family members is when they are indirect and foggy; when people don’t say what they mean out of fear, shame, or distrust, it contributes to a dysfunctional family conversation that can worsen over time. Make sure that all family members feel safe enough to speak clearly and directly about their needs, feelings, and opinions in order to avoid harboring an atmosphere of resentment and secrecy.

Try family meetings: Pick a time once a week where the whole family gets together to talk about all things related to the family or life in general. This is a really good way of staying connected, especially in our furiously busy lives. Make the family meeting a place where are all members come together to authentically connect with one another.

Have a policy of focused listening: Nothing jambs a conversation like an inattentive listener. It is rude and disrespectful and leaves both parties feeling unhappy at the end of the talk. Make it a family policy to listen intently and with focus to what each member has to say-this is a way you can show your love, value, and respect for them.

Avoid yelling and shame: Do not allow shame and ridicule to seep into your family talks. Shame and yelling are counterproductive methods of dealing with issues that lead to fear, guilt, sadness, and anxiety. Keep the conversation environment positive and make everyone feel that they are in the safest place in the world to express themselves honestly-their family.

Building a healthy communication environment is vital to sustaining the wellness and self-esteem of all members of the family. We are social creatures and we need to be able to exchange information, feelings, and opinions in a safe and loving space. Take the time to reevaluate the way your family talks and interacts with each other-it may be time to oil the hinges on your family’s communication express. If you do, you will reap the benefits that come with a family who has a deep respect for one another and the freedom to express themselves openly and lovingly.

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Communication at the Basic Level


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At its most basic definition, communication is the exchange of information between two parties. It is a two-way system; it always needs a sender of the information and a recipient of the information. When you tell me something and I hear and receive it, that it the act of communicating. When a president addresses a crowd of people, that is the act of communicating. Writing a book for children is an act of communicating with a large group of people. This form of interchange requires that both parties are able to understand the information that is being conveyed and it is one of the foundation stones of our existence and social beings, so it is very important that we understand what it is and how it operates.

In humans, there are several types of communication methods that are used to exchange and convey information. These include:

Nonverbal: Nonverbal communication is also known as body language. It is the way we convey information without using our words-instead we use gestures and facial expressions. It can also include the kinds of clothing, hairstyles, and other physical representations that we use to send explicit or implicit information about ourselves into the world.

Oral: Oral communication is verbal and requires that we convey information by using our words along with other visual cues such as gestures, images etc. Communicating orally allows us to express our emotions in words and allows us to be more direct. It is also a vital form of interchange in the modern world-we use it for presentations, interpersonal relationships, education, and work.

Written: Written communication has developed over time and though it s vital part of the fabric of the industrialized world, it is not a necessity for human life and society to function like oral and nonverbal interchange are. Writing allows us to convey information at distances and for large audience, allows us to convey stories and fictions, and makes it possible to facilitate the needs of societies that span large spaces and have large populations.

There are many more detailed descriptions of the various methods of interchange that take place between humans and other species of animals, but the three listed above are the most basic forms of communicating styles. Communicating is at the nexus of our activity as human beings. We need to constantly share and receive information in order to build relationships, accomplish tasks, work, and at the fundamental level, survive.

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Pregnant? Is Exercise Right for You?


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Many women worry about the weight gain that is inextricable with pregnancy. You often hear women talking about their bodies before and after baby, and how pregnancy really wreaked havoc on their body’s shape and their ability to lose weight. Since we live in such a body-image obsessed world, in which flawlessly skinny celebrities are often held as the ideal, weight worries can be a major danger zone for pregnant women, especially for those who worship at the temple of diet and exercise. This body-image mania can lead to under-eating and over-exercising during pregnancy. Let’s take a look at the ways that exercise can healthily be practiced during pregnancy in order to help you avoid doing any harm to your developing baby.

Regular, light exercise during pregnancy can help you feel good and keep your body moving and healthy. Light exercise such as stretching, yoga, and taking long walks can be really helpful and keep your muscles loose and your body and its metabolic processes running smoothly. Light exercise can also help prevent gestational diabetes, relieve stress, and build the stamina needed for the eventual labor and delivery.

Cardio during pregnancy can be ok, but you have to remember that cardio raises your core temperature, and your baby already has a higher body temp than you do-thus, too much cardio can overheat you and baby and lead to exhaustion and fatigue. When it comes to cardio, only you can know your limits, but you need to be aware that however you are feeling, your developing baby feels the same way only ten-fold. This is why it is best to limit your cardio workouts during pregnancy-you don’t want to overdo it and put yourself and your baby at risk.

Some women are actually not allowed to exercise during pregnancy. This includes women who have experienced recurrent miscarriages, are prone to pregnancy bleeding, have a weak cervix, a low placenta, or a history of premature births. Exercise can disrupt these women’s delicate bodies and cause miscarriage and premature birth. If you fall into one of these risk categories, limit your pregnancy activity to easy walks and simple stretches, but be sure to consult your doctor on what is safest for you.

Fitness during pregnancy is not a no no-you can definitely exercise and keep your body in shape while carrying your developing little one. The important thing is to know your own body, know if you fall into any of the exercise risk categories, and have a good rapport with your doctor so that you can get advice about the best pregnancy exercise route for you. However, remember that your life is not only about you anymore-everything you are doing is now affecting your baby. If that means you have to gain a little weight and it puts a little wear and tear on your figure then so be it. Your baby’s health should be the only driving force behind your pregnancy habits, plain and simple.

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Healthy Eating Pitfalls For Teenagers


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Do teenagers need to eat more or differently than adults? In short: yes. The teen years are a time of rapid body development and physical activity, so teenagers need a daily increase of calories, minerals, and vitamins. Teenagers have raging hormones and resultant mood swings, so it is important that they do not miss out on any of the vital nutrients they need. However, what teens should be eating doesn’t vary that much from adults: they still need to consume a healthy, balanced diet comprised of grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. The biggest nutrition challenge during the teen years isn’t that they need a special diet that differs from adults, but that they need help avoiding the many dietary pitfalls that can shape the formation of life-long, unhealthy eating habits. Let’s take a look at two of the major issues teens struggle with in terms of healthy eating:

  • Junk Food: Teens are especially prone to overindulging in fast food and unhealthy treats. Gangs of teenager often congregate at McDonald’s and other fast food centers—junk food is a part of the social fabric of Teendom. Since teens have high metabolisms, coupled with very in the moment thinking, they cannot always see the negative impact that junk food has on their future and it is easy for them to form bad eating habits. As parent of a teen, you can mitigate teen junk food consumption by not falling into the junk food trap yourself—make your home a health food haven and model healthy eating habits—sooner or later, they will probably sink in for your teen.
  • Weight worries: Many teenagers, particularly teenage girls, are extremely worried about their weight, and it is no wonder why: super skinny models and celebrities are everywhere, plastered across billboards and beaming out from TV screens. The teen years are a time when eating disorders are a risk, as teenagers are susceptible to peer pressure, low self-esteem, and an unsure sense of self. As a parent, be open and honest with your children about weight worries, and never under any circumstances comment on their weight in a negative way.

As you can see, there are many impediments standing in the way of teens developing healthy eating habits. Teenagers need guidance from their parents in all areas of life, including health and nutrition. As a parent, this means you have an obligation to your children to model healthy habits to your children so they can mirror them. Make sure that you plan meals that stay away from trans fats, sugars, and processed junk food. Make it a priority to have a home that is focused on wellness and nutrition—it will benefit everyone in the long run.

Is Health A Choice?

Health is a term that is constantly referenced in modern society. It’s most basic definition is the state of being free from illness or injury, according to Merriam Webster, but it has become a very flexible adjective for describing a multiplicity of things: we can talk about healthy people, healthy animals, healthy relationships, governments that function in a healthy way etc. So what does health really mean? Going a step further, what does it mean to be a healthy person?

The World Health Organization, the UN’s special agency on health, defines health as being a ‘state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. If you think about it, this is a pretty loaded statement, and it goes far beyond simply being free from physical ailments. According to the WHO, being healthy means achieving a kind of harmony with all of the major factors in our lives: the social, physical, environmental, and psychological/spiritual. So how do we achieve the kind of health that the WHO promotes?

First, it is crucial to acknowledge that the WHO’s definition of health in some ways mirrors Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. You can only be as healthy as the environment around; if you are a Somalian refugee that has been affected by terrible famine, your primary health concern is meeting your physiological needs for survival, not worrying about whether you have the right fad diet, clothing brands, or if you are happy in your career. Those kinds of worries are luxuries.  Plain and simple: Environmental/physiological health is the basis of achieving social and psychological/spiritual health. In this light, many of us living in the developed world seem to have lost our way—we take our physical health and environmental resources for granted, and instead of searching for healthy balance in our lives, we indulge in overeating and vices like cigarette smoking and drugs. So how do we get back on track and keep our health and wellness holistic and integrated? The answer is easy in theory and hard in practice: we make a choice to be healthy.

A lifestyle that keeps you physically, socially, and psychologically/spiritually healthy is about making the choice to be healthy and then building the habits that support that choice.  Contrary to popular belief, we are in control of our feelings, desires, thoughts, and habits. If you want to be socially healthy, choose to surround yourself with loving, stable, and caring people. If you want to be physically healthy, do your best to stay active, eat right, and get enough sleep. If you want to be psychologically or spiritually healthy, take the time to learn your strengths and weaknesses as a person and work to bring your mind into a positive, loving, and happy place—however that manifests for you, whether through meditating, prayer, or a long walk in nature.

Health is difficult to define yet at the same time we all know what it means, because we can all sense when things are unhealthy. You may not have the power to control everything in your life—you can’t control whether or not you will get cancer, you can’t control whether or not you will be born into a dysfunctional family. But you do have the power to control how you will react to adversity and how you will pursue a healthy lifestyle built on healthy habits, and that is the key—we don’t have to achieve perfection, but we can continuously pursue balance and happiness.

If you found this article of interest and would like to be notified as more articles become available subscribe on my website www.LifeCoachToQuitSmoking.com.  Also ‘Like’ my Facebook page to get exclusive offers, share your stories and join our community at www.facebook.com/lifecoachtoquitsmoking.