Articles — Self Improvement_And More(227)

Lifestyle

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

This week I have been thinking about what it means to be in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary lifestyle means: “the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture”. Now that made me think about the word “typical”.  You see no matter where you go, there are many differences in society.  Individuals think, feel and act differently from their neighbours.  Groups usually form based on a common interest or value that might not be shared by others in the same geographic area. Even cultures have differences both within and without. So, today...

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Psychology Uniqueness

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles Reference and Education Reference and Education_Psychology Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

February is Psychology Month in Alberta.   In 2006 I was asked to be a Coordinator and Liaison Worker for the Psychologist’s Association in the province.  That was the first time that my column “All Psyched Up” was published in the Medicine Hat News.  Hard to believe that I have submitted weekly articles for seventeen years!  Time changes things.   The Saskatchewan small-town newspaper where I had written a column in my high school years asked me if they could also publish my column.  This continued until November 2021 when, sadly, the newspaper was handed over to a larger entity.  In the...

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Get Better!

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I knew there was something wrong on Saturday.  Usually I handle stress really well and am a very contented individual.  But I felt “out of sorts”.  I wasn’t really sick, but everything seemed to bother me, and I was frustrated with the simplest of things.  I thought a nap might help and was shocked when I woke up eleven hours later! By Sunday I had a headache and my body hurt so much that it felt like I had been hit by a truck.  One minute I was burning up and the next minute I had chills.  Everything was confusing...

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Are You Worried?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Over the past months there has been a great deal of fear and confusion associated with the COVID-19 and how legislators are dealing with it.  Some parts of the world are completely locked down by government officials while others have had very few restrictions.  Mixed messages abound regarding the importance of wearing masks and taking shots.  Some medical officials state these are vital while others claim they are experimental and even dangerous The media is quick to offer statistics and also to threaten consequences for those who do not comply with recommendations.  “Talking heads” who dominate twenty-four-hour television often speculate...

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Choose Health

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Think about driving down the highway.   You are going the speed limit but all of a sudden, unexpectantly there is a red light right ahead of you.   You hit the brakes and think “Wow.  I didn’t know I was going so fast. Life can be like that.   In fact, we have allowed society to ingrain the motto of the Olympic Games into our heads and we think that we need to be “Higher, faster, stronger”. Higher – Many people enter or stay in career that they don’t like just because they think that it is important to have a large...

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Faith Versus Hope

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I am often surprised by the way that people confuse the words faith and hope.    They don’t understand that although there is a little overlap in their meanings, they are actually very different in their application and the results that they garner. Let’s examine these two commonly used words.  Hope is a wish or desire.   Think of the child who, with fingers crossed, hopes that she will get a pony for Christmas.   No matter how badly she wants this, she does not have the ability to make it happen or realistic expectation that the pony will arrive. Often in life,...

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Be Active in Your Life

Dr. Linda Hancock 06. The Sixth Year 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I find it interesting to listen to people who are sad, afraid and immobilized because they have heard something that is sketchy which they believe is the truth.  Often the source was unreliable or was just spouting off ideas that had no realistic basis.   Yet, despite the fact that the message was faulty, the individuals who hear it feel victimized and in crisis. Before you allow yourself to fall into a slump consider the following: You have the power to choose what you believe. Adopting or rejecting news is something that you can decide to do at a personal level....

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Social Media Addiction

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

This fall a documentary called “The Social Dilemma” began airing on Netflix.   In it former employees of large technology companies are interviewed and tell about how their work initially appeared to be helpful for society but later, because of its impact, led them to resign from their positions. Actors who are portraying a family in this show, have different ways of interacting with social media.  A teenage son, who is constantly online is challenged to not touch his phone for a week and, if successful, would receive a new screen to replace the one that is broken.  Unfortunately, the notifications...

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How Much is too Much?

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year iStock Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Frequently, individuals tell me that they are overwhelmed with life and after a few questions they reveal the fact that they are surrounded by “stuff” that steals their time and energy. Laundry piles up when teens try on several outfits in the morning, throwing the ones they don’t want on the floor.   When it is time to prepare for a wash, they just gather up everything despite the fact that most of it is already clean.  A lot of clothes mean a lot of laundry. Toys all over the place can be very annoying.  Paperwork can feel like a burden....

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Beliefs Drive Our Behaviours

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year iStock News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

When a baby elephant is born, those in charge use a chain around one of its legs and a stake in the ground to limit its ability to roam.  Over time, even though the elephant grows to more than 5,000 pounds and has considerable strength, it has a belief that it cannot move beyond what the length of the chain allows.   It has been conditioned. As humans, we also are conditioned.   In childhood we are influenced by our parents who may pass on ideas that aren’t even rational – yet we believe what they say – even into adulthood at...

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My Responsibility

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could control everything?  Well, maybe not!  I can remember when, in my youth, I would think that I had some amazing ideas and if God would just appoint me to his Board of Directors, I could enact them.  How naïve!  In time I realized that it was good that I didn’t have that role as I would have messed up an awful lot of things! Now that I am older and hopefully much more “mature” I realize that I have both rights and responsibilities to enact at a personal level.  Everyone seems to focus...

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Growing Strong and Beautiful

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Every year I put a few pots of annuals on my condo’s deck. The other day I was disappointed to see that a storm had blown off all the blossoms from my trailing petunias. They were lying on the deck and needed to be swept away. A couple of days later, however, it shocked me to realize that there were even more blossoms on the plants that before the storm! All this got me to thinking about how our lives can be very much like container gardening. Each of us is a plant that needs the following; 1. Vessel or...

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Who Can You Trust and Why?

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I always find it interesting to watch politicians who attack their opponents and then, when they drop out of the race because of lack of support, back the person who they have been trashing. It is easy to attack others and make promises when you are hoping that others will vote for you! But the process doesn't always seem to be honourable. It is easy to listen to a charming individual who seems to have a good line but keep in mind the old expression that states: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". To trust...

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Stand Against Fear

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Journalists know that "what leads - bleeds". People read newspapers and listen to news when there are exciting - not boring - things happening. Twenty-four-hour internet and television broadcasts can throw you into a world of crisis very easily so you need to be careful. Recently, we have been hearing about the presence and pandemic possibilities of the corona virus. Now I am not ignoring the fact that we are facing a problem but, at the same time, I have lived through eras of measle outbreaks, tuberculosis and polio so I tend to believe in the expression my grandmother used...

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Believe What Others Do

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Often individuals are disappointed or resentful after a person who they trust lets them down. Anyone can make promises or say things that they don't mean, and problems occurs if we believe they will follow through. It is especially foolish of us if we know that the person has a pattern of saying things without linking them to congruent actions. So why do you think that people say things they don't mean? There are several reasons:   Unrealistic hopes - There is an old expression that states: "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride". Just because you want something...

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Professional Silos

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I was raised in a small town in southern Saskatchewan. We had a couple of doctors and a small hospital but seldom had any contact with "specialists" and if required, needed to drive almost an hour to the nearest city for assessment and treatment. The doctors made house calls back then and took care of all our physical and mental illnesses with only the aid of instruments carried in a black bag. Things are VERY different today. It is unusual to think that a doctor might make a house call and those in the medical profession have a narrow scope...

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Hard Work and Courage

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

When my granddaughter Janaya graduated from high school in Saskatoon the school gave her a one-thousand-dollar scholarship for university. She is intelligent but also has an amazing work ethic and invests a lot of time into her studies. Intelligence plus hard work are a good formula for doing well. Even though she played the piano beautifully and was a good artist, she decided that she wanted to study engineering. Not everyone encouraged her in this choice as there is an occupational gender bias in the field. In fact, statistics indicate that less than ten percent of registered engineers in Saskatchewan...

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Slow Down: One Step At A Time

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

A few years ago, I telephoned a mentor and said "I don't know if I want to live in British Columbia". She was surprised and asked for more information. I told her that I had found an advertisement for what seemed to be an interesting job opportunity in BC. Now mentors are individuals who set a good example for us and offer wise advice. This is exactly what my mentor, Elsie offered me. She said "First you decide if you want to apply for the job. Then you wait to see if they invite you to an interview. If they...

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Valentine: Love Is Not Enough

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I recently spoke at the wedding of a dear friend. My message to the couple who had made vows that day might have surprised some of those who were listening. You see, I told them that love is not enough. Over the years I have been very disappointed to hear individuals state "But I love him" or "I really love her" followed by a description of all the horrible things that they have said and done to each other. There is an expression that states: "Love covers a lot of sins" but who on earth wants to just go through...

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Think Young

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I usually smile when I am around young children but there isn't a bigger grin that when I am with my three-year old granddaughter, Nariya. We spent some time together this weekend and she reminded me of so many things in life that adults often forget:   Be curious - Talk about questions! "Grandma, how did you get here?" "Where did you get those cards?" "Do you have Paw Patrol?" Each answer was quickly followed with another one of her questions. She loves to learn and knows that asking questions is a great way to get information. No assumptions on...

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Establishing Routine

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I remember when I had my first child. We lived in a basement suite in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. Our landlady told me that the secret to having healthy and happy babies is to keep their stomachs full and their bottoms dry. That sounds simple but there was a lot of wisdom in that advice. Babies don't care if they are dressed in designer fashions. They can sleep through a great deal of noise and usually handle being passed around from one admiring person to the other. The problem is when they start growing. If they don't have a routine or reasonable...

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Your Children Are Now Adults

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I believe that our job as parents is to work ourselves out of a job. This means that it is wise to teach our children how to be independent. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that they are responsible for the choices and behaviours of their offspring long after they have reached legal age. They let them live at home without jobs, schooling or purpose. They pay for not only the basic such as extra electricity, water and food but also finance luxuries. The parents go to work every day to earn money for the bills while the adult child...

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Facing Consequences

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Sir Isaac Newton was a scientist who studied motion. His third law states: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". Simply put, this means that in every interaction there are two forces at play. The size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. Big action, big results. Now that might seem complex but all it really means is that we will face consequences - positive or negative - depending on our actions. For example, debt and payment of debt interact. When you make a payment on your...

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Good Enough?

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Whitney Houston co-starred with Kevin Costner in the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard". The film was a worldwide hit grossing $411 million. It was Whitney's acting debut and the soundtrack was amazing. One song, "I Will Always Love You" sold 20 million units. Kevin Costner was a speaker at Whitney's funeral. He told about how despite her singing excellence she would come to him after filming each day and ask, "Was I good enough?" This surprised him and he would assure her that she had done a good job. At the funeral he again said "Whitney, you were good enough". This...

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What Is Confidence and How Do We Get It?

Dr. Linda Hancock 14. The Fourteenth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

There are different definitions of the word "confidence" and different ways of viewing the concept.   Keeping a secret - When you have a close friend or co-worker who will take the information you give them and keep it quiet; you are blessed. Not everyone will respect or honour you enough to keep your words private. When someone asks you to keep a confidence, however, you will need to discern whether it is appropriate to do so. Situations including things like abuse or illegal activities do not make good secrets. Belief in something or someone - It is easy to...

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