How to improve your concentration
1. Take a 10 minute break each hour.
2. Chew something – such as gum, or a plastic coffee stirer.
3. Get up and walk around. Even better, go out and get some exercise.
4. Try and keep a relatively tidy desk – or at least clear off a part of your desk.
5. Make sure you have all the stuff you need at hand (books, notes, paper, pens etc).
6. Turn off facebook, twitter, email, tumblr and your cell phone.
7. Try and develop a good sleep pattern and work at your most productive time of the day.
8. Hide from your friends and work on your own.
Circular Conversations and Arguments
Circular Conversations are arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns, with no real resolution. Usually both parties take opposing positions over an issue, dig in and reiterate the merits of their position until one (or both) of them becomes exhausted and stops communicating. Circular conversations can last hours, days, weeks, months, years, even a lifetime.
Often, the argument begins over something superficial. For example, it may be about who should say “I’m sorry”. The reason these become circular arguments is that the issue expressed often represents an underlying feeling, such as “I feel disrespected”, “I feel hurt” or “I feel afraid”. When we argue, we are often trying to communicate feelings but, because of the tension in the air and, because the other person is not validating our position, we often feel too vulnerable to express our feelings. Instead, we tend to represent our feelings in the form of a position, an issue or an event such as “You lied to me”, or “You’re being insensitive”.
Coping With Circular Conversations - What NOT to do:
· Don’t repeat anything you have already said once.
· Don’t explain or respond to a question that you have already answered.
· Don’t engage in aggressive acts such as slamming doors or storming out.
· Don’t try to get the last word.
· Don’t wait for your feelings to be validated.
· Don’t try to change the other person’s mind. Their thoughts and beliefs and feelings are their own property.
· Don’t try to manipulate the other person’s feelings. Don’t try to make them feel guilt, remorse, sympathy etc.
· Don’t spend time describing the other person’s behavior, feelings or actions. Focus on describing your own needs and feelings.
· Don’t insist on agreement or consensus before the conversation can end. It’s normal and healthy for two people to arrive at disagreement, different conclusions and different interpretations of the same events.
What TO Do:
· Recognize the pattern. Acknowledge that you are in a conversation that is just going around and around.
· Accept that feelings aren’t inherently good or bad - they just are. You can’t control the way you feel, neither can the other person. The way you feel is just a natural reaction to what you are experiencing.
· Switch from stating facts to stating feelings. Describe your own feelings not the other person’s. Don’t say “I feel like you are lying”. That is not a feeling. That is an opinion. Say “I feel scared” or “I feel hurt”. You don’t have to say why, just say it. The wonderful thing about stating your feelings is that nobody can contradict you, although people might try. Nobody knows or owns your feelings except you.
· End the conversation, calmly and with your dignity intact. If you like, you can say, “I need a break” or “Let’s discuss this later” and end it there.
· Get out of the way.
· If you can do that, you can break the cycle.
The Nine Types of Intelligence
1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.
2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.
(Source: neurolove.me )
Making Life Work
1. Focus on doing one thing at a time. Tackling multiple activities may seem more efficient, but giving one task your complete attention is actually more productive in the end. It also cuts down on your levels of stress.
2. Slow down and enjoy the journey. Whatever you’re doing is important right now. Don’t wish that it was over – and try and make it fun.
3. Stop being such a perfectionist. If you’re a pilot or a surgeon then standards have their place … but for the rest of life “don’t be so hard on yourself”. Don’t stress out over details and impressing everyone.
4. Learn to delegate to others: take the pressure off yourself. Perhaps other people won’t do the job as well. But that’s how people grow – so why not give them that chance – and spend your own time doing things that you’d prefer to do.
5. Don’t always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Lots of people spend their lives terrified of what might happen – and most of the time things work out to be just fine. Thus, they’re worrying for nothing when they could be having fun!
6. Focus on what you have, not what you wish you had. All of us have things we can be grateful for. Not everything is awful –and life’s not always bad. And if you change your focus to what you’re thankful for, you’ll find you feel much happier, and worry a lot less.
7. If things go wrong, just shrug your shoulders and smile. Remind yourself that life goes on - so don’t wreak your life wishing things were different or regretting what you’ve done. Also, things might work out next time. Tomorrow’s a new day.
8 Positive Benefits of Smiling
1. It makes us seem trustworthy: We generally interpret a genuine smile to mean that this is someone who is honest and trustworthy. Those who smile are rated higher in generosity, in extraversion and in friendliness
2. If you smile when you get caught you’re more likely to get off: Somehow we think that those who smile are really nicer people so we tend to be willing to treat them leniently.
3. It eases embarrassment: If you do something stupid like slip on a banana, or trip and fall in the middle of a mall, people laugh with (not at) you if you laugh or smile. That is, it changes their reaction so they’re less likely to mock.
4. If you smile with others when they share good news, you’re less likely to feel jealous or annoyed at them: Interestingly, even if we smile politely but we feel slightly annoyed, our emotion quickly changes and we feel happy ourselves. Somehow we feel much better for having chosen to be “nice”.
5. It can ease any feelings of distress or pain: Smiling stops us spiralling into negativity and eases our feelings of shock and distress - if we force ourselves to smile when something bad happens to us.
6. It can help with problem-solving: When we’re stressed or nervous our focus seems to narrow and it makes it harder to find answers or solutions. But when we smile, the tension eases and we think of more ideas.
7. It can increase your ability to make money: Those who smile at their colleagues and their customers are usually more successful and are frequently promoted.
8. Smile and the world smiles with you: If you smile at other people, they will often smile at you, and they’ll tend to see you in a positive way!