How To Use Facebook To Improve Communication

For the past few years facebook has been all the rage.  To be honest it took me a while to warm up to facebook.  I had a profile but for no apparent reason I16406531_s just wouldn’t get on Facebook to communicate… until recently.  It wasn’t until I got involved I mean actually involved with a group that I began to have an inkling of the power of facebook.

A recent study about facebook revealed results that were both surprising and dramatic. These results can teach you about communicating better and being more memorable.

Background on the Facebook Study

  1. Check out the study. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Warwick conducted this study.
  2. Learn surprising results. They found that Facebook status updates were remembered one and one half times better than sentences from books, and two and a half times better than faces. That’s equivalent to the difference between healthy memory and amnesia.
  3. Resolve any doubts. The findings were so remarkable that the scientists went back to double check the factors that could have interfered. The results were the same, even when they made sure people weren’t just paying more attention to their own friends than to strangers.
  4. Consider the additional findings. The study also found that headlines are remembered better than random sentences. Reader comments make the most lasting impression of all!


12687431_sLet Facebook Teach You How to Communicate Better 

 

  1. Write quickly. Our brains are wired to prefer effortless, casual conversation. You may get better results trying to write faster. Sometimes it’s good to just jot down your thoughts as they come.
  2. Edit less. Think twice before you edit. Depending on the context, it may be okay to sound less formal. People may connect with that writing style.
  3. Organize your thoughts. Always convey a coherent and complete message. Outlining is a great strategy to implement because it helps the flow of your writing!
  4. Read more comments. Spend time reviewing online comments. Reflect on the word choices and insights that make them striking or funny.
  5. Write more comments. Practice writing comments. People like to receive feedback, and you’ll sharpen your writing skills along the way.
  6. Make time for culture. Literature, philosophy, and science place more demands on our brains than just looking at our friends’ photos. Becoming more cultured gives you more topics for online commenting and discussion. Read and take courses to broaden your culture and your mind!

12687414_sLet Facebook Teach You How to Protect Your Online Image

 

  1. Know your company guidelines. Social media mistakes can have long-lasting results, so protect your career by following your company’s rules. Ask for a written copy of the rules if you don’t already have one.
  2. Separate your personal and business accounts. Express your private views on your own time and through your own channels. Use a disclaimer when publicly stating an opinion at work!
  3. Project a positive attitude. Readers usually respond better to postings with a positive tone. When you’re online, people can see only your words. Be precise and matter of fact with your word choices in posts, so they cannot be misinterpreted by others. Save the more sensitive subjects for face to face discussions!
  4. Think before posting. Clarify your purpose before making any posts. Do you believe that others will find it helpful or entertaining? Is the content something you feel comfortable sharing with the general public?
  5. Minimize dubious content. Remove any text or photos that you are unsure about. Ask others to do the same if they have posted content about you that could be questionable. If all else fails, post more neutral or flattering information until you push the debatable information away from the first pages of search engines.
  6. Monitor your online presence. Keep track of how you look online. Review your profiles and what others post about you. Set up a Google Alert with your name and check it regularly!

Facebook has become an important tool in the personal and professional lives of many people. Your interactions on Facebook can enhance your communication skills if you can learn to write in ways that people connect to and understand and appreciate.

Remember to use good judgment and be professional in order to become memorable while also protecting your online image.

Nine Simple Strategies to Add Happiness to Your Day

We live in a complex society.  It’s no secret that every day has its ups and downs, but sometimes you might find more downs than ups! Rather than 10929395_swaiting around for things to change, you can make an active effort to add a little happiness to your day.

Sometimes you may need to make a big effort, but most of the time all you have to do is something subtle and simple to completely change how your day turns out.

Here are some easy ways to add happiness to your day:

  1. Watch a movie. Curl up with a big bucket of popcorn and your favorite movie. Leave all your worries behind you as you engage in an activity that you’re sure to love.
  2. Call your best friend. A phone call with a close friend is a great way to pass some time in a way that is comfortable and familiar to you. You can think about old times or enjoy planning something fun for the future.
  3. Enjoy nature. Take in nature by watching the world around you. You can do this by going on a nature hike or even just observing the beauty of the stars at night.
  4. Take a hot bath. This is a great way to bring happiness to your day, especially if you’ve found the day stressful. Light some scented candles to include the benefits of aromatherapy to the relaxing warmth of the bath.
  5. Take a nap. An afternoon nap may be just what you’re looking for. Even 15 minutes of shut-eye can help you feel more energized and happy.
  6. Snuggle with your partner. Take the time to appreciate your partner and snuggle up for some couple-time. It’s a great way to reconnect, especially if you’ve been really busy.
  7. Be lazy. Sometimes you might not feel as happy as you’d like because you expect too much from yourself. Take some time to simply be lazy, with no responsibilities, and give yourself time to recoup.
  8. Listen to your favorite song. Your favorite song is bound to brighten up your day. Bring out your iPod or music player and start cranking up the tunes.
  9. Be thankful. Reflect on all the things that you’re grateful for in your life and write them down. You might be surprised at how long your list is! Sometimes changing your focus to what’s going right in your life is all you need to turn that frown upside down.

Always remember that the list is endless when it comes to ways to brighten your day. Be creative and try new activities that you might like. Most importantly, seek a way to enjoy each moment, and your life will be filled with new happiness.

Stressed-Out Business Owners – Are you Catching a Enough ZZZZZs?

tired_young_woman_sleeping_in_her_office_on_her_laptopThe obstacle to your peace could be a number of things – the voice in your head reminding you of past mistakes, concern over not making enough money, or disagreements with your family .  Your obstacle might be the health scare you had when you went for your cancer screening, or your unruly teen who is tattooing and piercing every part of her body.

All of it causing stress and having a negative impact on your mind body and spirit including not getting enough sleep.  In any case, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you are increasing your stress, compromising your health and probably operating well below your potential.

One of the first and most important things to do to build a stress resilient  body is to get enough sleep on a regular basis. 

Here’s what I mean.  You look at the clock. It’s 2 a.m. You’ve been trying to get to sleep since 11 pm, and you’re still awake.  Your mind races, your eyes are burning and worse still you feel exhausted.. Your muscles are tense. You think you’ll never get any rest. Sound familiar? if so, you are one of 60 million people in the U.S. who suffer from some form of insomnia.

A recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation indicates that 58 percent of adults in America experience insomnia at least a few nights a week. Insomnia increases with age, afflicting approximately 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women.

Over half of the American work force reports that sleepiness on the job interferes with the amount of work they complete.

Unfortunately sleep disorders and insomnia often disturb our sleep even if we go to bed on time.

Sleep deprivation has a specific and dramatic physical effect on the body.  Te average adults requires eight hours of sleep per night.  If you don’t get enough sleep you could experience the following:

  • Increased irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased ability to concentrate and understand information
  • Increase likelihood of making mistakes andhaving accidents
  • Increased clumsiness and slower reaction times
  • A suppressed immune system
  • Undesirable weight gain. 

We may not be able to eliminate all stress from our lives, but we can minimize it. Here are some strategies:

  • Figure out why you aren’t’ getting enough sleep, then commit to changing your routine.  How can you rearrange your schedule to get some things done earlier, allowing for an earlier bedtime.
  • Get thing out of your head and down on paper.  Make a list. Organize your next day’s activities into three categories: “To Call,” “To Buy, “To Do.” Attach a specific time to each activity, and rest assured that you won’t wake up to chaos.
  • Create a bedtime ritual for yourself.  Your routine should include a series of steps that are conducive to relaxation – for example a bath or shower, then perhaps a few minutes of deep breathing.  Read or listen to music as you drink a cup of herbal tea or warm milk. Create a barrier of calm between your jam-packed day and your bedtime.
  • Try not to get into the habit of falling asleep in front of the TV.
  • Do some progressive relaxation techniques.  Relax your body.  When you get into bed, lie flat your back for a few minutes. Tense and relax each muscle group as you work your way up from your toes to your temples.
  • Monitor your breathing by focusing on breathing in and out without any expectation.  This will allow you to relax and not feel tense because you haven’t fell asleep yet.

If you continue to have trouble sleeping it may be a good idea to speak with your doctor.  To rule out any medical reasons, most of which have an easy quick such as sleep apnea.  I now several business owners who burn the midnight oil and wonder why they are not as effective as they would like to be in the morning.  Sleeping is just as important as eating and breathing and sleep deprivation  should not be taken lightly.  Remember feeling energized and ready to go in the morning takes a good night sleep.

 

What To Do When Stress Makes You Feel Rotten

Image: Woman with face in handsYou might be  tearing your hair out with all the aggravation, grief, anxiety, and of course, frustration.   You may be in at a point and place in your life that you would love to find inner peace but not sure where to start looking.  It’s been so long since you felt at peace with your life.

But I’d like to point out that being proactive is the best way to find peace.

As one stressed-out person to another, I know how it feels, and believe me there are many alternatives when it comes to stress. Coping with life, and carrying the problems that may or may not belong to you can scratch away the little joy and happiness that you can carry once you head out that door. You can’t blame them for being like that; they have their own reasons, so much like we have our reasons to allow stress to weigh us down. They say that stress is all in the mind, well, what’s bugging you anyway?

There are several ways to manage stress, and eventually remove it out of your life one of these days.  So I’ll give you seven triggers that if you recognize them when they come I promise you you’ll feel better when deal with them head-on.

1. Accept that stress can be good

Make stress your friend!  Based on the body’s natural “fight or flight” response, that burst of energy will improve your performance at the correct time. I’ve yet to see a top athlete  entirely comfortable before a the big game.  The athlete uses stress to push themselves harder.

2. Dodge stress sneezers

When your stressed your immune system is suppressed and  more susceptible to infection.

Protect yourself by acknowledging your stressed and limit your contact with those with infections until you can get your stress under control.

3. Keep your cool

When everyone around you seems to be going crazy look around and see who’s keeping their cool. How are they acting?  What are they doing differently?  What is their attitude?  Does their body language seem different from others?

Watch them learn from them.  They are the natural stress managers.

4. Be a heavy breather when your stressed

This is something I’ve learned from Anthony Robbins.   You can trick your body into relaxing by using heavy breathing. Breathe in slowly for a count of 7 then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down, your sweaty palms dry off and things start to feel more normal.

5. Give Negative thoughts the red light

If your ever ruminated and I know you have because everybody does about something that may happen it’s almost always negative.  For example what am I going to do if I fail this test; its not what am I going to do when I ace this test.  It’s what am I going to do if this project is not done on time, it’s not how am I going to celebrate when I get this project done on time.  Without putting the kibosh on those negative thoughts it will cause unnecessary worry.

Stop stressful thoughts in their tracks.  The simplest way to do this is when you get a negative thought say “STOP” to halt that thought in its track.

6. Know your trigger points and hot spots

Presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, tight deadlines…. My heart rate is cranking up just writing these down!

Make your very own list of stress trigger points or hot spots. Be specific. Is it only when you get ready to give a presentation to a group that gets you stirred up?   Does one project cause a lot more tension than another?  Is it when you drink 3 cups of coffee instead of one cup?

Understanding what triggers you tension is powerful information.  Do you need to acquire upgrade your skills, optimize your environment or switch to decaf coffee.

7. Burning the candle at both ends

Poor sleeping habits, bad diet, lack of exercise ruins our body and thoughts.  Have you ever heard the saying don’t burn the candle at both ends?  Well pay attention because this is worth listening to.

So being stress can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to keep  us to finding the peace of mind that we have wanted for a long time.

Journey Into Creative Thinking

attractive business woman with a magic wand and hatHow many times have you caught yourself thinking there has to be another way to solve this problem only to come up blank.

How often have you felt frustrated because you knew exactly what the  problem was but had not ideal of how to solve it.  No idea, nada, zip, zero, just can’t come up with the RIGHT solution no matter how hard you try.  Matter of fact, the more you try the further away the solution drifts from your mind.

The number of  possible solution  may be exhausting and too overwhelming to come up with a single answer.  Maybe you feel like you’re walking up the side of a mountain to get to the other side only to find another mountain once you reach the top.  The pressure to find THE ANSWER  puts you in overload.

 

But celebrate! There is hope!

When you get creative you can look at your problems and see them in a different light.  The solution may be right under your nose and you just can’t see it.

First you need to be open minded and allow for the fact there is probably more than one solution to the problem.  That creates an environment to take an unsolvable problem to a solvable solution.   With a positive mindset you can get more creative in solving a problem.

  • Trying writing down all the possible solutions.  Just put everything down on paper.  Even if one of your ideas for a solution is far-fetched
  • Don’t restrain your thinking. 
  • Explore funny ideas or even foolish ideas
  • Look at the problems through the eyes of a scientist, or athletic, artist or child
  • Allow yourself to be playful
  • Let go of fears, judgment’s, assumptions, biases or criticisms
  • Visualize to see new opportunities, and think creatively.
  • Define the problem by asking questions
  • Who, how, what, when, where and why.
  • Recall past experiences both good and bad
  • Explore strategies identifying the benefits, drawbacks and obstacles. 

Sometimes you have to venture into uncharted territory to make progress fully knowing problems are an opportunity in disguise.

Here is one example of the creative process at work.

Take a piece of paper and write any word that comes to mind at the center. Now look at that word then write the first two words that come to your mind. This can go on until you can build a tree of related words. This helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

So, next time you see a problem you think you can not solve, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, and a whole lot of work.

Journaling Your Way To A Clear Mind

meditation-with-computer-in-wheat-fieldWhen we are thinking and feeling (vibrating) in accordance with what we desire, the actions come from a place of inspiration and it is always the right action to take. The results in your life naturally flow into manifestation.

Keeping a journal can be a healthy outlet for letting go of the tedious clutter of thoughts and freeing yourself to be more fore
giving, compassionate  productive and less burdened by the overwhelm of life.  Take a little time to write down your thoughts in the morning.  This exercise will help you clear out the disorder and confusion in your mind and free up you creative juices.  To help you get started, consider the following questions as suggestions for getting you off on the right foot.

  • Write whatever comes to mind
  • Don’t worry about punctuation, grammar, or spelling
  • Simply be in the moment with your random thoughts and feelings.  And if you can’t think about anything to write then write that and repeat it as many times as you need to until you recognize another random thought.
  • What are you thinking, feeling, dreaming, imagining or hop for?

Writing enables you to access parts of your deeper self.  When you transcribe your thoughts and feelings on paper, you are opening a gateway in your mind for healing.

By working with your feelings, thoughts, and intentions, you can become a master creator.

Commit to Journaling for 2 weeks and let me know how it goes!

You’re A Real Fathead… and So Am I

121129_omega-3Fat is a fearsome word to most people.  For decades nutritionists and medical professionals have warned us that fats are bad for us.  They raise our cholesterol, clog our arteries and tend to make us…. well fat.  But if you take this at face value then you will avoid fat like the plague.  But that’s just plain wrong.

We need fats.  We’d be dead without them.  They’re critical to the well being of every cell in our bodies, and they’re critical building blocks for the construction of every neuron in our brains.

Did you know your brain is mostly made up of fat?

It sounds like a straight line from a stand-up comedy routine  but it’s true.  The human is about 60% fat by dry weigh.  Fat molecules (sometimes called fatty acids) play a critical role in the construction of brain cells and the insulation of nerve fibers.

But all fats are not created equal.  The essential dietary fats come in tow versions - Omega-3 and omega-6.  They play a complementary roles in the brain and the rest of the body.  When all goes well, omega-3 and omega-6 work in harmony to keep us firing on all cylinders.  But when our dietary fats fall out of balance, we become vulnerable to many forms of illness.  Depression is one of the most common.

According to studies, hour hunter-gather ancestors maintained a superb balance of omega-6s and omega-3s in their diets, usual in a 1:1 ratio.   The typical American, on the other hand, has a radically imbalanced fat intake heavily slated in favor of omega-6s.  The ration in the modern American diet now stands at a staggering 16:1 ratio.

Fortunately, the body is able to make many of the fat molecules the brain needs.  But their are some forms that the body can’t manufacture on its own, these fats can be obtain only form our diet.  And among the most important dietary  fats is a group called omega-3 fatty acids- critical building blocks for brain structure an function.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found mainly  in fish, wild game, nuts, seeds and leafy vegetable, all thing found in abundance.  Our distance ancestors ate five to ten times more omega-3 fat than we do today.  In fact, omega-3s have gradually disappeared from the American diet over the past century.

In the past our great-grandparents, for example, ate beef cattle that were free range, where the cattle ate grasses and wild plants sources of omega-3.  Remarkably beef used to be good for us.  Today’s cattle in contract are mostly grain-fed, and have little beneficial omega-3

Omega-3 fats are made in the leaves of plants, grasses, and algae.  Any animal that eats one of these omega-3 plant sources quickly absorbs the essential fats directly into its own body.  So, for example we find high levels of omega-3 fats in wild game, which feed on grasses.  and many species of wild fish that fee on algae.

Omega-6s fats on the other hand, are usually concentrated in plant seeds.  These fats are also abundant in nuts and grains.   One of the biggest changes involved the shift form leaves to seed in the diet of livestock.

To restore your dietary balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, there are really only two major possibilities to consider.  You can either

  • Increase your intake of omega-3s 
  • Decrease your intake of omega-6s

You can do this by:

  • Switiching to grass-feed beef or simply drop beef from your diet
  • Stick mostly with lean meats like chicken breast and fish
  • Cook with olive oil, or coconut oil
  • Use butter instead of margine
  • supplement with a good omega-3 supplement.

So now that you know that it’s good to be a fathead.  What are you going to do to add omega-3s to your diet and decrease your intake of omega 6s.