A Family Strengths List Can Build Stronger Relationships

Families are an essential component of human development. The environments that our parents, grandparents, and siblings create work to develop our character and competence. These structures play a significant role in how children perform in school, how they work as adults, and what the overall contribution of each individual is to society.

Even though the modern family faces more stress and trouble than arguably at any other time in history, there are ways to keep this unit healthy.

If you build a family strengths list that focuses on nine specific traits to have at home, then you can dramatically reduce the risk of experiencing future problems.

The Nine Traits that Strong Families Share

1. Caring and Appreciation

Families that appreciate successful outcomes and provide caring structures support stronger relationships. Saying “thank you” when chores get done can help to establish this trait.

2. Spending Time Together

Some people need to have time alone, but it is also important to have everyone spend time together. Meeting each night at the dinner table for a meal is an easy way to promote this habit.

3. Encouragement

Instead of tearing others down, look for ways to build each other up. One of the best ways to encourage someone is to help them through a difficult task.

4. Commitment

Instead of giving up on the family relationship, look for ways to improve it. Some couples end up being incompatible for a variety of reasons. That doesn’t mean the family disappears. It just changes its structure.

5. Communication

No one can read minds. If you’re upset, then have an open and honest conversation about why you feel that way. 

6. Coping Skills

Difficult emotions can be challenging to manage in family environments. When you can implement coping skills together, then it is possible to create new learning situations.

7. Spirituality

Spirituality doesn’t need to be religious to be useful. You can add meditation, a walk in the woods, or a deeper appreciation of science in this category to promote more strength.

8. Community and Family Ties

No one can possibly know everything. Making connections in your community can build a resource network that can get you through some tough times.

9. Clear Roles

Eliminating confusion within the family about each person’s responsibilities can eliminate a lot of conflicts.

Families come in many different shapes and sizes. All of them can be supportive and healthy when this list is the foundation from which everyone works.

Here’s How You Eat Your Way to Life and Health

Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat?” 

This phrase often gets used to describe the poor nutritional decisions that someone makes each day. If you eat lots of sugar, then you won’t become a pastry – but your waistline will likely expand like a cake rising in the oven.

When you choose to eat healthy foods, then the fuel your body receives can give you all-day energy. Then you can supplement those new decisions with products from Solgar, Healthy Origins, and DaVinci Labs

If you’re ready to make some lifestyle changes to create new habits, then here’s how you eat your way to life and health.

Best Foods to Eat for Better Health

1. Lentils

This food is a pulse that you can find in many southeast Asian cuisines. It offers high levels of magnesium, fiber, and potassium. Although they require a lengthy cooking time, sprouting the seeds can lead to a healthy snack.

2. Oatmeal

The soluble fiber found in oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol levels. This food product can also reduce several cardiovascular risk factors. Since oats contain complex carbs, it slows down your digestion processes to stabilize blood glucose levels. It’s also high in potassium and folate.

3. Broccoli

This vegetable contains several phytonutrients that reduce the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. It’s also high in folate, potassium, calcium, and fiber. A single service provides about 85% of your daily Vitamin C needs. You must eat it lightly steamed or raw to maximize these benefits.

4. Apples

This food is sometimes referred to as “nature’s toothbrush.” It provides an excellent source of antioxidants for your diet so that free radicals can’t play in your body. Those damaging substances can contribute to several chronic conditions – and even impact the natural aging process.

5. Avocados

This fruit might have higher fat content, but it is a healthy option because it increases the levels of HDL cholesterol in the body. When you have higher levels of “good” cholesterol, then it is easier for the body to remove the harmful versions. There might also be associations with improved nutrient absorption.

You can always add leafy green vegetables to your diet to eat your way to life and health. They are an excellent selection because of their dense nutrient profile that includes trace minerals. Spinach and collard greens are great choices to add to the other options listed here.

Having an occasional treat isn’t going to ruin your health. Enjoy everything in moderation.

Is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs an Accurate Judge of Life?

Abraham Maslow proposed a simple theory about human existence. He suggested that when a person has their basic needs met, then they feel happier.

Although this thought seems like common sense, the scientific world lacked any proof of validity until 2011.

Researchers led by Professor Emeritus Ed Diener at the University of Illinois discovered that people are at their happiest when they feel the most fulfilled with their basic needs met. The team gathered information from people in over 150 countries over five years. They looked at positive and negative emotions related to a variety of basic needs, including food, shelter, and money.

The research team included respect, autonomy, social relations, and respect as part of a person’s basic needs. 

Maslow Wasn’t Right About One Thing

Maslow proposed that humans have five specific areas of need: physiological, safety, love (belonging), esteem, and self-actualization.

He felt that there were higher and lower needs that people required to be fulfilled to maximize happiness. The research team led by Diener found that the sequence in which they got met was not consequential to personal joy or satisfaction.

Researchers discovered that the people who felt positive about their life had happier feelings when their most basic needs got met. Those items included money, shelter, and food. Higher needs, such as respect and autonomy, also brought positive emotions.

That means the findings suggest that the theory Maslow proposed is mostly correct. Cultures from all over our planet show us that need fulfillment has a direct link to individual happiness. The one difference is that self-actualization and social relationships can lead to a similar outcome even if all of a person’s basic needs don’t get met.

What Got Missed in the Research?

Maslow added an additional point to his hierarchy theory late in his career. He felt that transcendence, a place where self-giving is essential, was also necessary for happiness.

Transcendence includes the question to understand the spiritual dimensions that life provides – here on Earth and in the universe at large.

The research team from the University of Illinois didn’t directly look at how spiritual fulfillment could translate into happiness. 

It also creates a striking statistical point. People in the United States have a considerably higher standard of living, but they also experience some of the highest divorce and suicide rates in the world. 

More research will likely unlock additional clues to happiness. Until then, it is good to know that Maslow was on the right track.

What to Expect on a Journey to Self-Realization

It would be fair to say that honesty only goes skin deep. It’s available to anyone who wants to look beyond an individual’s physical appearance. 

Truth enters the body. It can consciously move because you are the consciousness. That means you decide to experience honesty and live with it.

As you become more self-aware, you’ll notice more connections between yourself and the world around you. That means you’ll be ready to follow in the footsteps of a journey toward self-realization.

1. Take Time to Explore the Self

Once you become more aware of the truth, there is a desire to get to know oneself better. It is a mission mixed with curiosity and dissatisfaction. You will work to find out more about your personality to understand where destiny has placed your life. Often, we get caught up in what others think about us that we don’t say “no” and create more time for ourselves.

2. Discover Who You Are

Self-discovery begins when there is a willingness to start answering the “why” questions about existence. It looks at the reasons behind why you feel, think, or make decisions in specific ways. It’s like you are looking in a mirror, but you get to see what makes you tick.

3. Understand the Reasons Behind Your Existence

Your ego isn’t something evil or proud. It is a representation of the dynamic self. When you get to know who you are at this level, then your self-understanding becomes wisdom you can use in any situation. Once you reach this stage, it even becomes possible to begin healing wounds that impact your spiritual core.

4. Learn to Love Yourself

One of the foundational commands of society is to love others in the same way you love yourself. It’s what we call the Golden Rule. The critical aspect of that thought is a need to have self-love in the first place. You must have compassion for who you are and the challenges you’ve managed in life.

5. Embrace the Concept of Transformation

Once you reach this step, then you’re ready to begin shedding your limiting habits. Any compulsions or perceptions that hold you back start to transform you into the most authentic version of who you are. It can be a destabilizing experience at first, but it also helps you to feel more comfortable in your skin.

Self-realization is a gift from the universe. It occurs when we stop identifying with the limitations that falsely hold back our soul. When you can recognize who you are and what you can do, then no shackles can hold you back.

Important Things in Life Quote for Personal Growth

We can gain inspiration through the insights of others who have already conquered the challenges we face in life.

Their quotes about the important things in life can be a critical component that improves your personal growth.

Here are some of the best observations that can hopefully inspire you to make today better than what you experienced yesterday.

List of the Most Important Things in Life Quotes

1. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

2. “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

3. “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

4. “The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.” – Charles Dickens

5. “When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life. Now that I am old, I know that it is.” – Oscar Wilde

6. “In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

7. “The most important thing in life is human affections. Without it, one cannot achieve genuine happiness. If we want a happier life, a happier family, happier neighbors, or a happier nation, then the key is inner quality.” – Dalai Lama

8. “Family is the most important thing in the world.” – Princess Diana

9. “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

10. “Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forego an advantage.” – Benjamin Disraeli

11. “Be the girl you want your daughter to be. Be the girl you want your son to date. Be classy, be smart, be real, but most importantly, be nice.” – Germany Kent

12. “Comfortable shoes and the freedom to leave are the two most important things in life.” – Shel Silverstein

13. “Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant.” – Stephen Covey

14. “Time is the single most important resource that we have. Every single minute we lose is never coming back.” – Tarun Sharma

Do you have a daily mantra or words that you live by? If not, some of these may be worth your consideration. Knowing these words won’t turn your life around without action, but they can help to give perspective.

How to Say No More Often to Create Extra Time for Yourself

Does it feel like you give of yourself to everyone else without getting the same in return?

If you find yourself saying “yes” to that question, then you might have some trouble saying “no” to your family members and friends.

When you take on too many commitments, then you’re spreading yourself too thin. If you are keeping track of your life with a smartwatch or Fitbit with a Fitbit band and see that you never get to sit down, you are making a recipe that will guarantee that nothing is going to get done. 

If you want to reduce stress in your life and stay productive, then learning how to say “no” more often can get you to where you want to be. Here’s how you can start to set better boundaries for yourself.

Be Straightforward With Your Answer

If you don’t have the bandwidth or desire to help, then be honest about yourself. When you explain the reasons why you’re turning someone down, it makes the answer more understandable. Then make sure to stay on message because telling three different people two different solutions is one way to lose friends quickly.

Provide a Lifeline to the Other Person

Showing some empathy to the other person when you offer a “no” can help that individual to tolerate your answer. Happiness isn’t going to be an emotion you’ll see in this situation, but you can offer a lifeline if someone feels overwhelmed. Contributing in small ways can still make it feel like you’re part of the team.

Balance Being Friendly With a Desire to Stay Firm

If you try to make the other person feel bad about their request for help, then you’ll get a lot of resistance to your answer. Avoid any grimacing, sighing, and other non-verbal cues that show dissatisfaction.

It might seem tempting to soften the answer to reduce problematic feelings when you’re in that moment, but it is okay to be firm with your response. Don’t walk away leaving people with the impression that you’ll change your mind.

Keep Your Expectations Accurate

Some people will not accept “no” for an answer. If you offer that response, the other person might be more than happy to burn a bridge. You can influence the decisions of others, but you cannot make choices for them. You’re never going to find ways to please everyone, so it is up to you to adjust your expectations. If you give people space to sort out their feelings, then they might come back around.

Practice saying “no” to get better at it. Then you’ll create the extra time you need to take care of yourself. 

How to Remove Clutter from Life

If you want to remove clutter from your life, then here are some meaningful steps that you can take right now to streamline your life.

Clean Up Your Desk

Your desk is the epicenter of life at work or home. If it is filled with junk mail, magazines, outdated paperwork, and trash, then you will experience higher levels of stress. Even if you can only take a couple of minutes to do some organizing, corralling your paper clips and pens into a container can be enormously helpful.

Be Honest About Your Closet

Is it true that fashion is cyclical? Absolutely.

Should you be keeping something in your closet that has a thick layer of dust on it because you haven’t worn it in three years? Absolutely not.

Cleaning out your closet works well when you use the six month rule. If you haven’t worn something at least once in that time, then you can get rid of it.

Stop Using a Junk Drawer

The junk drawer might be the scariest spot in the house. It’s your go-to place to put everything, but it also tends to fill up with a lot of useless stuff. Get rid of anything that’s expired, broken, mismatched, leaking, or smells bad.

If you have duplicates of items in your house, then a donation to the local thrift shop can be useful. Do you need to have six-can openers in the house?

Get Your File Cabinet Sorted Out

Don’t use the excuse that you’re a “piles” person. Loose paperwork is an indication of disorganization. If you have files that are still active, then sort them into the appropriate files. Archive anything that you need to save. Anything that falls outside of these two categories should get shredded or recycled.

Remove the Clutter in Your Home 

The easiest way to determine what clutter you have in your home is to look at what contributes value to each room. Anything that doesn’t belong should disappear. Receipts, old magazines, broken furniture, and similar items don’t need to be there.

Then you will want to work on cleaning up your daily routine. Many people let their homes and offices fall into a mess because they’re too busy trying to complete other tasks. If something hinders you from enjoying the life that you want, then it also needs to go. 
A lot of these suggestions can be difficult to complete. Often, it is poor habits that lead to clutter and other issues. Small changes in your personal life and how you keep your home can make a world of difference. Similarly, items from brands like Desbio, Unda, and Biron may help to can ensure that you have the energy you need to make it through your day.

Can People’s Habits Change?

Humans are routine-orientated creatures. When something unexpected happens, it feels like the entire world has begun to unravel.

Everyone experiences this issue at some point in their life. We develop habits and behaviors that stay with us for a lifetime. When these behaviors are healthy, then it is helpful to have them. 

Unfortunately, some of the choices that we turn into habits can be destructive.

People can change their habits. When someone stops smoking, starts exercising, or adopts better eating choices, then you see evidence of this fact. The issue is that it is somewhat difficult for anyone, at any age, to change their routines. 

What Habits Can People Change?

Our most uncomplicated routines are the easiest ones to change first. This fact exists because these are the activities in life that mean the least to us.

Anything can fit into this category. You might choose to take vitamins in the morning, go for a walk more during the week, or read at least one book per month. The key to making these changes isn’t to swap one activity for another. You must challenge yourself every day to do something new or different.

It is an unrealistic expectation to ask someone to change all of their habits or routines. Even if those alterations would keep them healthier in the long run, humans need to have a certain level of comfort to pursue their life goals.

That’s why the first step to create change is to find the circumstances that we care the least about in life.

Does it Get Harder to Change Routines as We Age?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?”

It is an expression that says as people get older, it becomes more of a challenge to create new routines. There is some truth to this sentiment since we are familiar and comfortable with our lives as we get older. That means our thoughts, feelings, and choices all fit into a manageable box.

Making changes to those circumstances can mean something unpredictable starts to happen.

This issue doesn’t happen to only people who reach a certain age. Anyone can become comfortable and set in their ways. Asking someone to give that up for what is unfamiliar is scary, and humans do an excellent job of avoiding any situations that involve anxiety or confrontation.

Can people change their habits? Yes. It takes a serious effort and a time commitment to generate positive results, but it is something that can happen. If you are struggling to make a necessary change, consider how counseling can help with how you approach life.

How Does Society Define Feeling Down?

Could society be manufacturing people who experience high levels of depression and feeling down, or is this part of human nature that only now is being recognized for what it is?

Up to 20% of people will experience at least one episode of clinical depression during their life. Most issues with feeling down involve acute circumstances, but questions that affect more than situational emotions continue to rise.

Society says that you are supposed to be happy. If you don’t feel that way, then there must be something wrong with you. The truth might be the complete opposite of this perspective.

Is Life Supposed to Be Beautiful All of the Time?

Labeling people as being depressed or “feeling down” as if it is a negative outcome is one of the greatest injustices of modern humanity. Life can be challenging at times. It isn’t the circumstances that should define individuals.

How someone responds to awkward moments is a better reflection of their self-confidence, skills, and maturity.

That’s not to say there aren’t people who have clinical depression and deserve a high-quality treatment plan to help with their symptoms.

When people receive support for their life challenges, even if the situation is abusive, involves suffering, or includes a loveless relationship, then the symptoms of feeling down start to go away. We must understand where a person is in life by having empathy for their circumstances.

If we know the context of a person’s symptoms, then we can understand the differences between situational and clinical depression.

What Is Situational Depression?

Depression becomes situational when an acute event triggers temporary feelings and unwanted symptoms. This issue could involve an illness, the loss of a loved one, or sudden unemployment.

Working through the grief that happens with loss is painful. It is also more effective than trying to medicate away the discomfort. Unless the underlying causes of these situations receive attention, then the symptoms will always remain. That process can eventually lead to a clinical diagnosis.

Even when fear and anxiety are part of the mix of feeling down we must all embrace the struggle that life provides. These trials can help to make us stronger people.

It is okay to question why problems come our way when they don’t seem to impact others.

If you need to take time to resolve some difficult emotions, then do so. There isn’t something wrong with you if happiness doesn’t seem to be around. When we can accept this fact, then we take the first step toward being able to accomplish anything. 

What to Tell a Child that Hates College

The college dropout rate in the United States is 30% after the first year of school. Kids sometimes struggle to adjust to this level of learning. Several reasons exist that can cause some people to hate college or university classes, so knowing what to say in this situation can be the difference between earning a degree or finding yourself wasting years in low-skill job.

If your child wants to drop out, here are the conversation points you’ll want to have.

1. Do You Feel Tired?

College is an exhausting experience. The combination of classes, athletics, work-study programs, and part-time jobs leaves little time for sleep. Ask them if they are eating right and maintaining a nutritional profile using products from lines like Gaia Herbs to sustain themselves. Then encourage time organization habits that allow for at least six hours of rest each night. 

2. Are You Learning Anything?

Some people struggle in college because it feels like a review from high school. Ask them if they are engaging with their professors and the curriculum. If not, then explore ways to improve those circumstances. Using omega-3 products from Carlson Labs can be one way to create a positive difference in this area.

3. Do You Feel Homesick?

Moving away to college can put long distances between children and their families. When people feel homesick, their eating habits tend to focus on high-fat, high-sugar options. Supplementing these foods with items from Douglas Laboratories can encourage healthier living by targeting critical health functions. Supporting a healthier lifestyle can reduce the number of painful days that happen when this change occurs.

4. Are You Worried About Something?

College can bring out feelings of helplessness that didn’t exist before. Being at home feels safe. Living in a dorm room means that some elements of life are now outside of their control. Talk to them about developing a series of coping skills that can help them to stay grounded and centered. Journaling, exercise, meditation, and creative endeavors can all help to take one’s mind off of their worries.

If a child says that they hate college, then offer them support. If you indulge the negative energy in each conversation, then repetitively going over each problem will enhance the hatred. Use these conversation points instead to direct the talking points toward positive solutions that can make life better while attending classes.

It will make a significant in their life and yours.