Study Shows That Teens Lose Sleep After Change To Daylight Saving Time

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, please share your comments below…..

SleepingWomanA new study shows that high school students lose sleep on school nights following the change to daylight saving time that occurs in March. The loss of sleep during the school week was associated with a decline in vigilance and cognitive function, which raises safety concerns for teen drivers.

Results show that the average objectively measured sleep duration on the weeknights after the spring time change declined to 7 hours, 19 minutes, which reflects a mean loss of 32 minutes per night compared with the school week prior to the implementation of daylight saving time. Average cumulative sleep loss on weeknights following the time change was 2 hours, 42 minutes. During school days after the time change, students also displayed increased sleepiness and a decline in psychomotor vigilance, including longer reaction times and increased lapses of attention.

“For many years now, sleep researchers have been concerned about sleep deprivation in adolescents,” said principal investigator Dr. Ana Krieger, medical director of the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and associate professor of clinical medicine, of medicine in clinical neurology, and of clinical genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “This study unveils a potential additional factor that may further restrict their sleep in the early spring.”

Study results are published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

According to the authors, this is the first study to quantify the detrimental effects of daylight saving time implementation using objective measurements of sleep duration and vigilance in students attending high school.

The study group comprised 35 high school students with a mean age of 16.5 years. Nightly sleep duration was measured at home by actigraphy during the weeks prior to and after the change to daylight saving time. Participants also completed a sleep diary to report subjective sleep measures. Measurements of daytime sleepiness and vigilance were collected using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) and the Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT).

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adolescents get a little more than nine hours of nightly sleep for optimal health and daytime alertness during the critical transition from childhood to adulthood.

“Getting adequate sleep is key for many facets of an adolescent’s development,” said Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, president of the AASM. “This study raises significant concern about the consequences of impeding their already hectic sleep schedules with Daylight Saving Time every spring.”

To request a copy of the study, “Adverse Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Adolescents’
Sleep and Vigilance,” or to arrange an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact Communications Coordinator Lynn Celmer at 630-737-9700, ext. 9364, or lcelmer(at)aasmnet(dot)org.

The monthly, peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine is the official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a professional membership society that improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards (http://www.aasmnet.org). The AASM encourages patients to talk to their doctor about sleep problems or visit http://www.sleepeducation.org for a searchable directory of AASM-accredited sleep centers.

ACSM Announces Name Change For Exercise Physiologist Certifications

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malepushupThe American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) announced today that the names of two ACSM exercise professional certifications will be revised to better represent the scope of practice and expertise of the exercise professionals holding these titles. The new titles, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, will replace ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist and ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, respectively.

“Exercise professionals holding an academic degree have additional knowledge that is not duplicated in other health-related professions,” said Bill Simpson, Ph.D., a fellow of ACSM and chairperson of the Committee on Certification and Registry Boards (CCRB) executive committee that championed the name change process. “Naming these certifications ‘exercise physiologist’ helps the public better understand and recognize the high level of training and education these exercise professionals have attained.”

ACSM conducted extensive research prior to updating the titles of its certifications, surveying certified professionals, fitness industry employers, health and medical partners and the general public. The survey data showed the new names resonated with audiences across the board, with more than 70 percent of all individuals surveyed agreeing with the new titles.

The first organization to certify health fitness professionals, ACSM establishes the exercise guidelines that all other certifications use for training and certification and, therefore, continues to set the standards in the fitness industry. ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world, and has more than 25,000 certified professionals in 44 countries.

This article is courtesy of ACSM. Please read the entire article here, and feel free to leave your comments below…..

It’s Time For A Change From The Black Swan Occurrence For Non-Contact Female Knee Injuries

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By Warren J. Potash, Sports Performance Coach

girljogYogi Berra said: “You can observe a lot by watching.” I have had a front row seat as a parent of a two sport athlete, and as a trainer of primarily female teen athletes. And, as an avid fan of all sports and a former basketball player, I have watched a lot in the past 30+ years and I have observed a lot.

One of my strengths is being able to form a solid foundation of safe and age-appropriate exercise guidelines for all female (and male) athletes. Sadly, I continue – in 2014 – to see too many injuries occurring to female athletes that can be minimized if youth sports organizations and their volunteer coaches would implement single leg balance exercises for all of their participants prior to, and continuing through their teenage years as an integral part of having these athletes play their sport(s).

All female athletes experience challenges at puberty that contribute to what researchers describe as an “epidemic” of ACL [knee] injuries. They need to prepare their bodies; i.e., training to play sports as I wrote in my book: They’re Not Boys – Safely Training the Adolescent Female Athlete [2012].

The word epidemic has been used by several leading orthopedic surgeons/researchers for decades to explain their frustration with the explosion of female sports injuries that can be minimized (sports injury is an inherent risk for those who play sports) with single leg balance exercises as part of a total training program that provides functional and sport-specific training.

FACT: Single leg balance exercises with strength training will go a long way to helping female athletes. I know this based on all the value added research (more than 300 evidence-based research papers) over the past decades that support this claim. Even better validation is the more than 600 teen female athletes I have trained since 1995 using this foundation of single leg balance. Remarkably, not one female (or male) athlete has ever had an ACL injury after completing my training program; i.e., every sport and cheering.

As Tim Hewett Ph D, a leading researcher for helping female athletes said: “I was only a page or two into the prologue, when I realized that a non-contact ACL injury is, by Taleb’s definition, a “Black Swan.”

A Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb) “is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. The “black swan theory” refers only to unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history.”

jumpingropeYes, non-contact ACL injuries are this consequential since Title IX was enacted more than 40 years ago. FACT: Female youth sport participation has exploded since Title IX. Myth: The increase in female injury rates is only due to this explosion. FALSE!! Apples to apples comparisons over the decades show the ratio of female ACL injuries is much higher by a factor of a 3-8 times higher rate than male ACL injuries. Even worse is that a vast majority of male athletes are hit while the females are non-contact; i.e., the knee just gives out.

Q angle, quadriceps dominance, and many more challenges occur at puberty and place every female athlete at risk for knee injuries. Long term consequence is OA [osteoarthritis] in the joint affected for 70%+ of all female athletes injured. Future moms should not have to deal with OA in their late twenties and beyond.

Will single leg balance exercises prevent all knee injuries? No, of course not!! But, there is no downside to safe and age-appropriate training to play sports. Training will help every female to become the best she can be and if injured, the athlete will return to play quicker than an untrained athlete.

So, all parents must understand the status quo for four plus [4+] decades now must change. You need to demand that every sports organization implement single leg balance exercise with strength training for every female athlete. Yes, it’s REALLY IMPORTANT that all female athletes train to play sports.

We need to be smarter and insist that the leaders of youth sports organizations mandate that all volunteer and paid coaches learn how to safely train all of their athletes to play their sport featuring single leg balance exercises – not several minutes before practice – and implement this training year round (everywhere there are trainers who can help implement this training). Train to play sports must become the norm for all female athletes now. IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE NOW!!

– Mr. Potash has successfully trained more than 600 teen (and older) female athletes to play every sport since 1995 with much success. His BNP Training Program is an integrated approach that also provides quality information on eating for daily energy and sports nutrition, strategic thinking skills, how to concentrate between the lines, and more. He is also the creator and co-author of Your Lower Back (1993) and author of They’re Not Boys – Safely Training the Adolescent Female Athlete (2012). Quality information for helping all female athletes can be found online at learn2trainsafely.com.

Reversing Climate Change Achievable

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Submitted by Aaron Kinsman, Rodale Institute

newsToday Rodale Institute announced the launch of a global campaign to generate public awareness of soil’s ability to reverse climate change, but only when the health of the soil is maintained through organic regenerative agriculture. The campaign will call for the restructuring of our global food system with the goal of reversing climate change through photosynthesis and biology.

The white paper, entitled “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming,” is the central tool of the campaign. The paper was penned by Rodale Institute, the independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit agricultural research institute widely recognized as the birthplace of the organic movement in the United States.

The white paper states that “We could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term “regenerative organic agriculture.””

If management of all current cropland shifted to reflect the regenerative model as practiced at the research sites included in the white paper, more than 40% of annual emissions could potentially be captured. If, at the same time, all global pasture was managed to a regenerative model, an additional 71% could be sequestered. Essentially, passing the 100% mark means a drawing down of excess greenhouse gases, resulting in the reversal of the greenhouse effect.

Regenerative organic agriculture is comprised of organic practices including (at a minimum): cover crops, residue mulching, composting and crop rotation. Conservation tillage, while not yet widely used in organic systems, is a regenerative organic practice integral to soil-carbon sequestration. Other biological farming systems that use some of these techniques include ecological, progressive, natural, pro-soil, and carbon farming.

“The purpose of our work is singular; we are working to create a massive awakening,” said “Coach” Mark Smallwood, Executive Director of Rodale Institute. “Our founder, J.I. Rodale, had a vision so ambitious that many people wrote him off at the time. Almost 75 years later, the organic movement is exploding with growth and fierce determination. But the stakes are much higher in 2014. J.I. saw that agriculture was heading in a dangerous direction by way of the wide-spread adoption of the use of synthetic chemicals and the industrialization of farming. He attempted to prevent that transition. We no longer have the luxury of prevention. Now we are in the dire situation of needing a cure, a reversal. We know that correcting agriculture is an answer to climate chaos, and that it hinges on human behavior. The massive awakening itself is the cure. The future is underfoot. It’s all about healthy soil.”

The Institute supports its claims by explaining that if sequestration rates attained by the cases cited inside the white paper were achieved on crop and pastureland across the globe, regenerative agriculture could sequester more than our current annual carbon dioxide emissions. Even if modest assumptions about soil’s carbon sequestration potential are made, regenerative agriculture can easily keep annual emissions to within the desirable range necessary if we are to have a good chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C by 2020.

“The white paper is to encourage new research, new policy and the rapid expansion of regenerative agricultural methods,” said Smallwood. “The media campaign brings the broader vision to the public much faster. The idea is to stoke the public outcry that already exists and to validate those who demand these changes be made now. By engaging the public now, they build the pressure necessary to prevent this call to action from sitting on the desks of scientists and policy-makers, or worse yet, being buried by businesspeople from the chemical industry. We don’t have time to be polite about it.”

Below are three excerpts exemplifying the call to action set forth in the white paper.

* Organically managed soils can convert carbon from a greenhouse gas into a food-producing asset. It’s nothing new, and it’s already happening, but it’s not enough. This is the way we have to farm, period.

* There’s a technology for massive planetary geo-engineering that’s tried and tested and available for widespread dissemination right now. It costs little and is adaptable to localities the world over. It can be rolled out tomorrow providing multiple benefits beyond climate stabilization. It’s photosynthesis.

* The solution is farming like life on Earth matters; farming in a way that restores and even improves on the natural ability of the microbiology present in healthy soil to hold carbon. This kind of farming is called regenerative organic agriculture and it is the solution to climate change we need to implement today.

Since its founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems Trial (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. In years of drought, organic corn yields are about 30% higher. This year, 2013, marks the 33rd year of the trial. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots, new techniques for weed suppression and organic livestock.

About Rodale Institute

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

motherbabyyogaA brand new year presents many opportunities to help our children with the challenges that come their way. One of the things we may not think about is the importance of continually growing and making changes in our lives as individuals. Our children learn by watching us. In fact, most children talk about their own New Year’s resolutions by watching and listening to their parents as they discuss their personal resolutions. Mentoring for our children that change is difficult, but not insurmountable, is best done with actions, not words. Reminding your children that self-talk such as, “can’t” or “it’s too difficult,” can be overcome by saying new and stronger self-talk such as, “I can do this” and “I will make these changes.”

If you are trying to make changes, no matter what area they are in, the first work you have to do is clear your mind of the “I cant’s.” To help you get rid of the old thoughts that keep you stuck in the rut of can’t, try these tips.

No matter what your goal or change is, if you pay attention closely, you will notice there are other areas that you sabotage as well. For example, if you eat to find comfort, you may also notice you have a lot of drama in your life that needs emotional comforting. Before you can stop the drama in your life, you will need to understand prior to eating what you are feeling. Ask yourself what the feeling of pain is that you are trying to fill. You may find past feelings of loneliness, abandonment or neglect.

Slow down. Moving too fast with our thoughts and expectations causes us to fall off track. This happens in dating, in teaching our children, and in expecting our partner to change after years of marriage. Going slowly gives us the advantage of understanding why we sabotage our plans so we can fix them as they occur. If you are planning on losing weight, removing toxic friends from your life or improving your marriage, allow at least six months to see improvements. Slowing down also helps us use more of our brain capacity.

brainForgive yourself and others for your past excuses, mistakes and selfishness. Your brain is so much more useful when you live in the now. Most of the negative patterns people continually fall into are due to their inability to live in the now and make the necessary changes at this time and this moment.

Old patterns are difficult to break, and no matter what negative pattern you are trying to extinguish, you will fall off track once in a while. This is to be expected, and rather than going back and shaming yourself, try to catch yourself and ask yourself what good this food, relationship, or whatever old pattern you are trying to break free from will do for you. Rather than indulging in the old pattern, try breathing through the moment or distract yourself with exercise, calling a friend, or getting away from the situation you are in. Being proactive at times of weakness helps you accomplish your goal leading to increased confidence that you are breaking free of your old rut.

When you change your thoughts, you change your life, your children’s lives, and the lives of every person who you connect with.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

The Psychology Of Change

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By Diane Lang

mansmileMost of us spend our lives avoiding change and transitions. The truth comes out eventually that we can’t avoid change and the more we try to the worse our lives become. We have been changing since we were born. We go from crawling to walking, from Elementary school to middle school to High school. Then we transition into college and adulthood. In adulthood we go through many more changes and transitions. I find myself to be in the middle of one in Mid-life, or as most would call it a “mid-life Crisis”. Change has been a part of our lives forever but yet we spend so much time avoiding it and living in fear of it. Imagine if we never changed, we would never grow and develop. You wouldn’t be the person you are today.

In today’s society, change is forced upon us with the recession, changes in employment or fear of being laid off, real estate market changes, prices going up in food, gas, etc. As adults, these changes can be overwhelming and traumatic. So, we try to stay right where we are. We think if we don’t change everything will be ok. We think we can trade in change for security/stability which we assume we will have if we don’t change but that’s impossible and trying to do so just sets you up for failure.

For today’s challenge decide on what you want to change in your life today…..

What can we do to avoid this vicious cycle of change being thrown at us and trying to stay the same which ends up in misery.

1. We must realize and ACCEPT change will happen. Yes, I mean just accept it right now. Evaluate your life at this moment: what changes are going on? Are you in the middle of a transition? What changes do you want to make and which ones are you trying to avoid?

A few years ago, I got very sick. In the first few months of my illness, I was in denial. I knew I was sick but I didn’t want to change. Instead I became very angry about my situation and that eventually lead to depression. One day I hit rock bottom. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had lost all control of my life except for one thing; I can accept where I am. Accepting gives you some control back. Accepting is a choice. I accepted that my life was forever changed and that was ok. This acceptance leads you to the next step.

2. Once you accept that change is unavoidable and accept the change you are going through then that phase of your life starts to finally end. Change happens because something is ending. We don’t look at change as an ending but yet it is. Change happens due to an ending and so a new beginning can start. When you don’t accept change, you delay the process.

3. Perception – how you perceive change will help you through the process and help you come through it smoothly. When you accept change then you can perceive it for what it really is.

“Change = New possibilities and opportunities”

grandparentchildChange brings a whole new phase of life, a new chapter, a new beginning. These are positive things and should be perceived as so. We tend to look at change negatively due to old limiting beliefs we have.

Take a few minutes to look back at your life. What does change mean to you? How have you dealt with change? How did your family deal with change? What beliefs can you change because they no longer serve you?

For example: I perceive change as exciting. I still feel the anxiety go through my body when change is occurring but I have changed my belief about change. I see change for what it really is: A New Beginning!

When I look back at my past and changes, I see that I have made it through all my changes and ended up a better person for them.

4. Teachable moments – all changes bring lessons. Look through your past changes and current ones and ask yourself:

What can I learn from this situation? What benefits will come from the change?

What can I do different next time to avoid the situation?

5. What we think, feel, believe and experience controls your personality. If you’re not experiencing new thoughts, beliefs, experiences and behaviors then everything stays the same. This means you will have the same results day after day. If something isn’t working and you don’t change how you think and feel about it, it will remain the same. If nothing changes, we feel stuck and we won’t develop and grow which leads to boredom and depression.

Most of your old thoughts and beliefs are in your sub-conscious which means these thoughts are on auto-pilot. We need to be aware of our thoughts to change them.

Awareness is a key factor in change. Be aware of your negative thoughts/beliefs that no longer serve you.

Diane Lang, MA, Counselor Educator

Perspective Change for Healthy, Long Term Weight Loss

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By Ann Musico

bigpantsWhether you have to lose the extra 10 pounds or 100 pounds or more, your perspective can make all the difference between success and failure. All too often we look at weight loss as a “destination.” I suggest considering it a “journey” might be much more productive.

I believe pretty much every diet will work – initially. The problem, in my opinion, is that some are just too drastic to maintain long term. And therein is the problem. People can lose weight at first but because they can’t or don’t want to continue with a restrictive or drastic diet, they don’t maintain the weight loss long term. It’s not that hard to lose a few pounds – keeping them off is the more difficult thing. What if the goal was making gradual lifestyle changes so that you can create lasting health, rather than just losing a certain number of pounds?

Too many dieters fall into the trap of yo-yo dieting – dieting; losing a few pounds and then gaining them back and more and then dieting again. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Changing the way you think about food, what and why you eat is the only way to get to a healthy weight and maintain it. Get back to basics! Eat real food! Replace all the packaged, processed, “diet” garbage that passes for food and focus on one-ingredient, fresh, real foods. And go slowly. Take what I call “baby steps” and make one small change at a time. Once that becomes ingrained in your daily routine, make another healthy change. Studies show those who focus on one change at a time are much more likely to incorporate them into their daily lives.

One danger is becoming too legalistic about what you can and can’t eat. Learning that you are in control and there is no food off limits is empowering. You can eat whatever you want, however, just not every day. Making the best choices available to you and knowing that the way you fuel your body will directly affect your energy level and how you look helps you learn to make better decisions. Shame and guilt are counterproductive. Learning to love and nourish yourself for health is the bottom line.

scaleI know there are thousands of diets and fitness plans out there and I believe just about any one of them works temporarily. Most people can lose weight – it’s keeping it off that’s the challenge and that only happens long term, I have found, if you change how you think about food and fitness and create new habits. So my insightful take on the subject of healthy weight loss is this: Get Real.

By that I mean two things: get honest and be realistic about what you are willing to do. If you’re not willing to make lifestyle changes, gradually, then chances are very great that you will be trying a different diet very soon because any success you enjoy will be short-lived.

Make the focus getting healthy for a lifetime rather than just dieting and losing a few pounds.

– Ann Musico is a holistic health coach who helps women, at every age, to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Her mission is to show women how to adopt a healthy lifestyle in a way that is simple and achievable, empowering them to take responsibility for their own health in order to be a positive influence on their families. You can visit her website at threedimensionalvitality.com

Four Ways Your Darkest Moment Could Be The Beginning Of Your Life Change – Part 2

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By Mark Bowness

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

Blank canvas opportunity

stressWe absolutely take life way too much for granted. Trying to end my life was my awakening moment to this truth. I truly recognized with my head and my heart that we live life only once and so I made a decision to view my life as a blank canvas, to start again and paint whatever picture I so desired for my future. The result was that I created an eco-island business in Fiji that gained worldwide media attention, was filmed for 18 months and became a TV show that aired in the UK, Australia and America on BBC. My darkest moment became my catalyst to pursuing life in all its fullness, and as a result I embarked upon a crazy adventure.

Benchmarked experience

When we experience a powerful life situation and nothing feels as though it could get any worse, we have then built a foundation of experience on which to construct the rest of our lives. Nothing could be any worse than trying to take your own life, and so I launched a bold and daring business idea – if I went bankrupt it could never be as bad as non-existence. The tough times that we endure give us a place of reference and offer the motivation to continue. When we realize that we have endured ‘X’, and ‘X’ was horrific and terrible, yet we are still standing–then we are filled with the hope that we can get through the smaller battles each day.

A moment of awakening

There are times in our lives when everything piles on top of us, and as a result, we make decisions for our lives that are not healthy, nor wise – wrong relationships, poor choices in behaviour patterns, addictions and more. Friends and loved ones may tell us we are on a destructive path, but we don’t listen, as it is a path that brings us comfort in the moment. I truly believe that there are times in our lives that we are given a place to breakdown. It is through this “breaking down experience,” we undergo a powerful transformation, letting go of all that no longer serves us, arriving at a moment of awakening. Now we rebuild ourselves, truly discovering who we are, what we are about and everything that we stand for–from the ground up. These are the powerful moments of true awakening.

During my darkest moment in my life, the only person who may actually have experienced much of what I was going through, was the poor guy who wrote that post on Google. If you are on the precipice as we approach the dawn of this new year, I encourage you to not simply endure your life, but to embrace it.

In fact, so you won’t need to go through this alone, I’ve created a free online community called New Year’s Revolution where you can find the support you need from experts and other people just like yourself who are working to get over the hump! You’ll find a community of people, a life-changing ebook, webinars and plenty of encouragement to start your new life. It was a New Year’s resolution which changed my life!

So don’t wallow…grab life by the horns, wrestle it to the ground and overcome your demons. I truly know that you will look back and be able to say that this moment, right now, was the best thing that ever happened to you. I believe in you.

– Mark Bowness is passionate about changing people’s lives. After trying to take his own life, he made a New Year’s Resolution to totally turn his life around, and only three months later, he had created an international business which was featured in media around the world and became a five-part time series that aired in the UK, America and Australia on BBC. This year Mark has brought together 31 life-change experts who have created a FREE eBook, Webinar and community that will empower YOU to radically transform your life in 2014. Register for free NOW: www.joinanewyearsrevolution.com

Four Ways Your Darkest Moment Could Be The Beginning Of Your Life Change – Part 1

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By Mark Bowness

womanCrash. Bang. Reality. As I woke up, a dark misty haze was swirling around my mind. The moment that I recognized that I was in a hospital bed, the events of the past 24 hours came flooding through my mind. I had tried to take my own life. At the age of 26 years old, my marriage had ended, and along with it, the non- profit organization that I had worked so passionately to grow, was pulled from under me. At that moment in time, living ceased to be an option.

After a seven-year relationship, my wife had walked out of the door, never to return–and as I sat in our apartment surrounded by everything we had built together, the future looked dark and overwhelming It was a future that I was certain I was not willing to endure. I turned to Google and keyed in the words “most painless and quickest way to kill myself.”

I will always maintain that my attempt at wiping my existence off the face of the planet was the best thing to happen to me; it totally changed my life. Whether it’s the end of a relationship, the struggle to get a job, or an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and lack of direction, we all experience “dark moments” in life. It is these most difficult times that can turn out to be the most profound.

Let me share with you four ways that your darkest moments could be the making of your life, should you choose to see this as a new doorway.

Forced self-intimacy

When life takes you to the darkest places, absolutely no one around you can understand how you feel or what you are going through. Others may have had a similar experience, but only you can react to your situations the way that you do. During our tough times, we are forced to stare at ourselves eye-ball to eye-ball, as though we are standing in the mirror and gazing deep into our very soul. As we engage in these moments of forced self-intimacy, we make crucial decisions that redefine who we are, what we want and what we are willing to accept or not accept for our lives. It is the choices that we are forced to make, during this dark period, that lay the foundation of our powerful life change.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Mark Bowness is passionate about changing people’s lives. After trying to take his own life, he made a New Year’s Resolution to totally turn his life around, and only three months later, he had created an international business which was featured in media around the world and became a five-part time series that aired in the UK, America and Australia on BBC. This year Mark has brought together 31 life-change experts who have created a FREE eBook, Webinar and community that will empower YOU to radically transform your life in 2014. Register for free NOW: www.joinanewyearsrevolution.com

Make A Change Today!

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By Diane Lang

thumbsupWe have no choice but to change. It’s a natural part of life but yet we fear it. To decide if you want to change as a whole or just make some small changes ask yourself these questions:

1. Is your life satisfying and/or fulfilling?

2. Do you feel making changes is easy or do you fear change?

3. Do you enjoy changes?

4. What do you want to change and why?

The next question I always get is why don’t people change? These are some of the reasons we fear change.

1. Is the change worth it? We think what if we change and things get worse? Is the grass really greener on the other side?

2. We fear change due to our upbringing or past experiences but remember every situation is different. We can’t base everything on past experiences plus we can use the past experience as a teachable moment so we don’t make the same mistakes twice.

Fear can be learned. The good news: if it’s learned we can unlearn it and form new habits/thoughts.

3. Are you afraid to rock the boat – make waves in your life that will affect others like family, friends, or partner?

4. We are afraid to step outside our comfort zone. We are afraid to lose our stability and security. So, we stay in our comfortable mode but that also means we don’t grow or develop.

5. We become overwhelm during changes.

It is normal to have fears and doubts. Feel the fear, express the doubts don’t try to push them aside or bury your feelings. Making changes is a big move and its ok to feel uncomfortable but don’t let that stop you.

Here are a few ways to start making changes

manpose1. Take a look at yourself and your life. Be honest with yourself. Who are you? What isn’t working in your life?

2. Change your perspective on change – change is necessary to grow, develop and reach our full potential. If we don’t change we will become stale, stagnate and depressed.

3. Treat yourself kind, respectfully and be patient

4. Start small – one change at a time. Baby steps are good with change; you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.

5. Have an action plan – set your “change goal” and an action plan on how to reach this goal. It makes the goal more attainable.

6. Don’t’ expect perfection or unrealistic expectations.

7. Don’t expect all family and friends to agree with your changes but do have support. If you don’t have supportive friends or family, professional support is available through groups or counseling.

8. Make a commitment to yourself to change. This will help when you hit times of discomfort. When you make the commitment you’re more likely to stick with it.

Diane Lang – Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized speaker, happinesss author, educator, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living as well as multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University.