Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Frenzy is an emotional state, a feeling of being a little (or a lot) out of control. It is often underpinned by anxiety, sadness, anger, and related emotions.

— Train Your Brain to Focus (www.blogs.hbr.org)

It’s only natural for someone going through a divorce or separation to feel like this at times. When those times come, acknowledge the existence of the negative emotion and they try to find ways throughout your day to balance your negative emotions with positive ones. To do this you can try exercising, meditating, and being mindful of the good and beautiful things around you. Do you have a favorite street? Then walk down it. A favorite scent? Spritz in on. Find ways to laugh. Use your senses to get out of yourself and appreciate the world around you.

And then notice what triggers those frenzy attacks. When you feel one coming on, treat it like you would a headache.

  1. Acknowledge that it’s there;
  2. Take a deep breath;
  3. Balance it with the positive; and
  4. Let it go.

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Studies show that people who are lonely because they generally don’t trust people are more likely to die from cancer, infection, and heart disease than those who are more connected.

The reason is found in the genes of lonely people.

In such people, the genes that regulate inflammation go into overdrive, making their  bodies inflamed when they shouldn’t be.

Chronic inflammation is a major heart disease risk factor.

In addition, the genes of lonely people linked to providing antiviral and antibiotic responses tend to underperform. As a result lonely people probably have less of the cells needed to fight off viruses and bacteria.

If you are this type of lonely, do your best to connect with others. Your life may depend of it.

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English: Ivana Trump departs the 10th Annual A...

English: Ivana Trump departs the 10th Annual Angel Ball 2007 that helps raise money for the G&P Foundation for Cancer Research. Marriott Times Square, October 29, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you seek revenge, dig two graves.

–Chinese Proverb

That’s the message I got from the movie “War of the Roses.”

But for some, it seems to have worked liked negative advertising. You know, whatever commercials say don’t do, people do anyway. The attitude is like, “It happened to that person, but I’m smarter (the Man of Steel…whatever) so it won’t happen to me.

To see what I mean, you have to read the article we just read on http://www.telegraph.co.uk, titled “Don’t let divorce turn out worse than the marriage.”

But before you go, I want to say that the stories you are about to read aren’t just other people’s stories. We’ve seen case after case where someone sought revenge and ended up living in the prison of their own making in the end. And, if you are on the receiving end, take the high road. Don’t engage. It will really be hard to do at the time, but in the end you will be glad that you did. Really.

Here’s the article. It is by Julia Llewellyn Smith

7:00AM GMT 10 Feb 2013

“There was one client who let loose the handbrake of her ex’s Mercedes and sent it over a cliff,” recalls divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd Platt. “Another went naked under a fur coat into her husband’s office, where he was in a meeting with important Japanese clients. She threw it off, shouting: ‘This is what he’s given up.’”

A marriage might be unhappy, but that misery is often nothing compared with the agonies that accompany divorce. Last week, many of us may have decided to forgive our spouses’ hogging of the duvet and the remote control after witnessing the spectacular fall-out from the break-up of the former cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his wife, the high-powered economist Vicky Pryce.

Pryce told a newspaper that she unwillingly took speeding points on her husband’s behalf eight years earlier, when they were happily married, to save him from a driving ban.

Having steadfastly denied the accusations, on Monday Huhne pleaded guilty in court and resigned from Parliament. Pryce’s case continues to be heard. It was alleged that she was driven by revenge; Pryce, however, denies this and says that she has been manipulated by the press. “I was beginning to feel that actually I had been perhaps manipulated in a way and that things had probably been pushed too far,” she said last Friday.

Both high-flyers face a possible jail sentence. Never has the Chinese proverb “When you seek revenge, dig two graves” rung more true.

Even more tragic, however, were the expletive-laden texts read out in court between Huhne and his then teenage son, who now refuses to talk to his father, or see him. “Happy Christmas. Love you, Dad.” “Well I hate you, so f— off” reads a typical exchange.

According to Lloyd Platt, a huge number of divorcing spouses she counsels are initially hell-bent on vengeance. “Every practitioner has noticed that clients’ behaviour is getting worse. It’s always been bad, but over the past few years it’s become even more common. All those films such as The War of the Roses and The First Wives Club have made us think that it’s acceptable to behave insanely.”

Family lawyer Alex Carruthers agrees. “There is a lot of talk about judges becoming very stressed, that with legal aid for most divorce cases about to be stopped in April, the amount of anger they’re witnessing is really taking its toll on the judiciary.”

At his practice, Hughes Fowler Carruthers, partners have heard of clients dumping white paint over cars, shredding clothes, scattering possessions in the garden, and a wife arranging for the actress who had been having an affair with her husband to be served with divorce papers just before she went on stage in the West End. “It can be the people you’d least expect, the middle-class people who hold down respectable jobs, who can be very, very manipulative and nasty and display some really low cunning,” says Carruthers.

Last year, Kevin Fiore from Staffordshire sawed in two all the furniture in his former family home, labelling each half “Kev’s half” and “mine”. He was outdone, however, by Cambodian Moeun Sarim, who suspected his wife of an affair with a policeman. In 2008 he bisected the entire family home, removing the debris to his parents’ house and leaving his ex-wife’s half still standing, at the mercy of the elements.

But even this pales beside the exploits of American doctor Nicholas Bartha, who, in 2006, died from his injuries after he blew up his New York townhouse rather than hand it to his ex-wife. Then there’s the 2009 story of another US doctor who donated a kidney to his wife, thereby saving her life. When their marriage ended, Richard Batista demanded the return of his organ or $1.5 million (£950,000) in compensation, but his case was thrown out by a judge who ruled that organs were not marital assets.

Last year, an open-mouthed British public UK witnessed the unedifying case of Kavanagh versus Kavanagh: two lawyers who lost their £3 million home after spending five years and nearly £1 million bickering over their children and assets.

Recent research by Manchester law firm Pannone revealed that one in five divorce rows features custody disputes over items such as a packet of smoked salmon and a mustard jar, in each case invoking a lawyer’s bill that could probably have paid for the same item 100 times over.

“These cases sound funny, but the reality of someone being assailed with that degree of heartbreak is deeply sad,” says divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag, managing director of Vardags Solicitors. She adds that the internet has given estranged spouses a whole new boxing ring.

“They get hold of their spouse’s online address book and send an email to all their contacts outlining what they’ve done; or they alter statuses on Facebook.” Husband and wife Kate Rothschild and Ben Goldsmith, scions of two of Britain’s wealthiest families, last year heaped humiliation on themselves by attacking each other on Twitter, with his calling her “appalling” and her responding that her new lover had “saved my life.”

Social media apart, Vardag’s experience is that men most commonly express their anger at marital breakdown through physical violence, or by withholding money – stopping credit cards and emptying bank accounts.

In contrast, women try to withhold contact with the children or damage the father’s relationship with them. “It happens again and again, but fortunately, the courts will not sanction any of this. I tell my clients that it’s much better not to be vindictive but to follow Ivana Trump’s maxim of, ‘Don’t get mad, get everything.’”

Lloyd Platt agrees that many clients are initially too angry to think logically. “So many people say: ‘I’m going to tell the Inland Revenue about his dodgy tax returns’, or ‘I’m going to tell the boss he had an affair with someone in the office’. I have to ask them to think things through.

“The Inland Revenue may accuse you of colluding, and you’ll end up involved in criminal proceedings. There could be tax penalties, interest, and it could wipe out everything you want to get. If you reveal his affair with the assistant director, he could lose his job and then you won’t get maintenance. I can usually persuade around 85 per cent of vengeful clients to step back, but the other 15 per cent get into all kinds of difficulties.”

Lady Sarah Graham-Moon became a poster girl for scorned wives when, in 1992, she cut up her philandering husband’s Savile Row suits and distributed the contents of his vintage wine cellar on neighbours’ doorsteps. But Moon’s actions distressed her children and ended all chances of a favourable settlement. “I ended up living in a basement flat in Swindon feeling completely wretched,” she said a decade later. “Being seen to be happy is the greatest revenge.”

Christopher Compston, a retired judge who has written a book on divorce, Breaking Up Without Cracking Up, is the child of divorced parents and has himself divorced and remarried. He agrees. “Lady Moon delighted the media and the public. She did about £30,000 worth of damage, I believe, and severely embarrassed her children. Years later, she conceded that wisdom had not been her friend at the time. The moral is be as angry and bitter as you like but don’t publicly harm your former partner. After all, the divorce itself is traumatic enough for the children, and they, not you, are the most important people in this tragic breakdown.

“I have been divorced and, over many years, both in court and outside court, have dealt with these problems. One of my favourite stories concerns a middle-aged vicar’s wife whose husband had run off with a younger woman. She was devastated. Furthermore, she lost her status and her home. Her reaction? When in great pain she would place a photograph of her husband on the sofa, collect every cushion in the house and then throw them at the photograph. She’d collect up the cushions, put the photograph away, and make a cup of tea! That’s the way to do it.”

Marriage therapist Andrew G Marshall, author of My Wife Doesn’t Love Me Any More, is another advocate for restraint, not only for financial reasons, but for the sake of any children.

“People think older children, such as the Huhnes’, won’t be hurt by divorce, but it’s just as painful, especially if your parents start confiding to you inappropriate things like ‘your mother didn’t have sex with me for six years’ or ‘you were an accident’. It makes you question your whole past and wonder if your childhood was a lie, which is incredibly upsetting and destabilising.”

Mary, 35, was shaken by her parents’ divorce when she was 26 (which included her father cutting down her mother’s pride and joy, the ancient wisteria that grew around the family home). “The divorce was the first time I became aware of my parents as people with distinct personalities, strengths and foibles rather than just Mum and Dad in bad ways as well as good. It was also the first time I felt I had to look after them rather than vice versa. The feeling of having lost the people who looked out for you, that your wellbeing was no longer the focus of their attention, was surprisingly painful.”

Marshall agrees that most rejected spouses entertain revenge fantasies. “But most people are sensible enough not to act them out. So when somebody else does, they have incredible resonance.” This, Pryce is discovering, to her and her children’s eternal cost.


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Austin as a member of the President's Council ...

Austin as a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are so many things in life we can’t control, but here’s something you can: your attitude. Make it positive.

Denise Austin, Fitness Expert

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“…our homes are our greatest possibility of support.”

— Xorin Balbes, Designer

John did it by moving the furniture around.

Elsa did it by giving her ex his stuff.

How have you done it? OR How are you going to do it?

“It” is making the home that you shared with your former partner yours. You may haven’t gotten around to thinking about it, but it is a necessary “moving on” step.

“…When you are completely in love with where you live, you can go out into the world knowing that you get to come back home and be taken care of.”

— Xorin Balbes

This is definitely true when you are going through a divorce. And you won’t feel that way until you’ve gotten rid of old memories and ghosts.

Over the weekend, we read an article titled, “Home, Sweet! Home” by Susan Casey with Xorin Balbes’ suggestions about how to make your home an expression of you. The eight steps mentioned are a perfect way to turn your previously shared space to your place.

1) Assess

Take a look at your home as an outside observer. Don’t do anything yet, just observe. Are there things in your house that just aren’t you? Do you envision furniture being arranged differently? What in your home inspires you? What makes you feel comfortable?

2) Release

Now decide what you want to keep and what you want to toss. Keep things that you really love. We mean that things that bring about positive emotions, that lift you up. Toss items that arouse bad memories, make you feel uncomfortable, don’t work anymore, or are collecting dust. I once inherited a beautiful chest from a friend of mine who got rid of it because it reminded her of her ex.

3) Cleanse

During this step, you’ll be literally getting rid of the emotional cobwebs. Make repairs, dust, open the windows. Add a different scent to rooms that evoke bad memories. Balbes calls this “spring cleaning for the soul.”

4) Dream

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the past, it’s time to dream about the future. A new phase of your life has opened up. You can be whoever you want to be. Who is that? Don’t go shopping yet. Just look around for inspiration. You can find it anywhere. Take pictures, tear out pictures, make a vision board.

5) Discover

Get out there and find what you are looking for. If the temptation arises to get stuck in the old rut, resist it. Remember you are creating a refuge — a place that you will be happy to be in. You don’t want to replace the past with new representations of it.

6) Create

Paint the walls, remodel, plant a garden, make your house a reflection of you. You don’t have to do it all at once. It’s the process that matters.

7) Elevate

Add music, flowers, scent. Balbes calls these things the “grace notes.” Even the smallest touches can uplift your spirit.

8) Celebrate

Let people see who you are by inviting them over to YOUR place. And you know what? You may end up inspiring them as well.

What have you done to make your place yours?

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We don’t know, but the question arose after reading two articles:

  • One about drinking problems contributing to divorces;
  • One about the shape of drinking glasses altering the speed at which people drink.

The first article presented research reported in the  May 2013 issue of the Journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. It turns out that, “The risk of divorce is estimated to be tripled when the husband’s level [of] drinking is low and the wife’s drinking is heavy, compared with couples where both drink lightly,” study researcher Fartein Ask Torvik of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said in a statement.

The second article reported the result of research that suggests that people drink more quickly from curved glasses as opposed to straight ones. This could be because it is easier to see halfway points on a straight glass than on a curved one, so pacing yourself is harder when drinking from curved glasses.

If you find yourself drinking more than you planned or thought, maybe changing the shape of your glass will help.

Please note that we know this may sound like a simplistic solution and that there are some people who need more help then just changing the shape of their glass. However, I know from personal experience that the shape of the glass does make a difference in drinking speed. That’s why we are brining it up here.




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English: Beautiful Smile

English: Beautiful Smile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we’re running, and not loving every minute of it, we smile. It’s something we both learned when we were training for our first respective marathons. But one thing that I (Tracy) have never thought of  doing before is to use the same technique to relieve general life stress. It seems, though, that you can, at least according to a study published in the November issue of Psychological Science.

The study found a greater reduction in the heart rate of people who smiled after doing a stress-inducing activity than those who maintained a neutral expression. The “smiling” group also physiologically recovered from the stress of completing the activity quicker than the neutral-epxression group.

We read about all of this in an article on WSJ.com entitled “Stress-Busting Smiles” which highlights that study’s results and those of related studies, the implications, and unanswered questions.

Not only does the article explain why smiling makes us feel better when we’re running, but it also helps us understand why you can’t feel two emotions at the same time. Flashing a smile when you’re sad won’t just make your sad thoughts and feelings go away like a magic wand. Your facial expression has a physical impact on your body.

Dr. Sarah Pressman, the study’s co-author, says that we smile because we don’t feel threatened. The heart rate reduction and lower stress levels could be due to the fact that our brain receives a message signaling safety when we smile.

It will be really interesting to see the results of her follow-up study which will see how smiling impacts stress hormones like cortisol and oxytocin.

Until then, we’re definitely going to give smiling a try when we feel stressed. Why don’t you try it, too and let us know how it impacts you.

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