What Every Parent Ought to Know About Being a Role Model

As a parent, you know your children pay more attention to what you do than to what you say. They look up to you and imitate your actions.

In fact, modeling is one of the most effective ways to encourage the values and behavior you want for your children. Try these tips to help you set a shining example.

Role-Modeling for Social and Emotional Development

1. Resolve conflicts. Show your kids how to settle differences peacefully and respectfully. Be willing to forgive and collaborate on reaching compromises.

2. Listen attentively. It’s easy to become distracted when your child wants to give you a 30 minute recap of a 10 minute cartoon. Remind yourself to be present for them. Be true to your word if you suggest talking about it after you finish making dinner.

3. Cultivate relationships. Your children observe how you interact with others. Give them a head start on forming strong and supportive friendships by establishing a pattern they’ll want to follow.

4. Be kind and generous. If you want your kids to share their toys, you need to do the same. Sign up for family events where you can volunteer together at a food kitchen or animal shelter. Speak politely to others even when you’re in a rush or feeling blue.

5. Grow spiritually. Encourage your children to find a purpose in their life. They may decide to stick with your faith tradition or use it as a stepping stone in forming their own beliefs.

Role-Modeling for Healthy Behavior

1. Eat your vegetables. One out of three children in America are overweight or obese. You can help your sons and daughters lower their risk for diabetes and other serious health issues by managing your weight and making smart food choices. Minimizing junk food and getting most of your calories from vegetables and fruits are two of the most effective strategies.

2. Exercise regularly. Physical activity is another important part of the equation. Buy a family gym membership. Walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator, especially when your kids are around.

3. Continue learning. Minds need conditioning too. Your kids are more likely to read books and be interested in science if you join them for bedtime stories and creative play.

4. Manage stress. Teach your kids how to respond to pressure and make time for relaxation. Invite them to meditate with you, and turn off your phone during dinner.

5. Demonstrate safety. Kids tend to think they’re invincible, but you can train them to make caution a habit. Explain why you don’t drive when you’re tired.

Role-Modeling for Financial Responsibility

1. Stick to a budget. When your kids ask for fancy electronics, turn it into a teaching moment. Reveal how you balance your income and expenses. Reining in excess spending now will help your kids avoid credit card debt later.

2. Save for the future. Put aside some money from each paycheck for retirement or home improvement projects. You may inspire your kids to devote a portion of their babysitting loot for college.

3. Pursue meaningful work. Bring your kids to the office or take pictures so they can see what do for a living. Describe how your interests led you to your current career.

4. Break free from materialism. Most of all, clarify your own philosophy about money. Your kids will notice your priorities.

Naturally, you’ll slip sometimes, but you can use those setbacks as learning opportunities to discuss what happened and make positive changes. Your children are watching each move you make, so guide them towards happiness and success.

Worst Contact Lens Mistakes and How to Fix Them

More than 40 million Americans wear contact lenses. However, up to 90% of wearers don’t follow the instructions for how to care for their lenses.

Some of the most common risky behaviors include not removing lenses before going to bed or taking a shower. As a result nearly a third of all wearers visit their eye doctor at least once a year to treat redness and discomfort or more serious infections.

With this in mind, the Centers for Disease Control started Contact Lens Health Week in 2014, but you don’t have to wait until August to celebrate. Study these tips so you can protect your eyes year-round while you enjoy the freedom of contact lenses.

Selecting Your Contact Lenses

1. Talk with your doctor. There are many different kinds of lenses to choose from. Even if you end up buying your lenses online, it’s advantageous to have an optometrist or ophthalmologist examine your eyes and ensure that your lenses fit correctly.

2. Understand your condition. Contacts lenses are now safe and effective for correcting many issues including cataracts and astigmatism. You may be an especially good candidate if you’re nearsighted and would need to wear your glasses most of the day.

3. Compare the costs. You’re probably wondering how much this all costs. With a typical prescription, you’re likely to spend about $400 a year on lenses and solution. The cost of eyeglasses varies widely depending on designer frames and other choices, while laser surgery usually costs more than $4,000 for both eyes, and may not be suitable for some patients.

4. Weigh each factor. Talk with your doctor about finding the appropriate balance for you. You might decide that you’d rather spend more for lenses that are easier to care for or give up a little sharpness of vision for greater comfort.

Caring for Your Contact Lenses

1. Wash your hands. Scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your lenses or your eye. That way you’ll cut down on the transfer of germs.

2. Check your solution. Different types of lenses require different products. Follow your doctor’s recommendations. Empty your lens case and fill it with new solution each day instead of topping off the remaining liquid.

3. Buy a new case. More than 80% of contact lens wearers are holding onto their cases for too long. They need to be replaced at least once every 3 months so bacteria doesn’t build up.

4. Remove lenses before sleeping or swimming. Your eyes become dryer and more prone to irritation when your lids are closed. Similarly, even distilled water can contaminate your lenses. Regardless of what the label says, it’s safer to take your lenses out before you shut your eyes or even take a shower.

5. Master insertion and removal. Fumbling around can tear your lenses. Watch a demonstration online or at your doctor’s office about how to handle them.

6. Apply eye makeup skillfully. You can still wear mascara and eyeshadow. Shop for non-allergenic brands and put your lenses in before you apply cosmetics. When you’re ready to take your makeup off, remove your lenses first.

7. Wear sunglasses. You may notice that contact lenses make your eyes more sensitive to light. Bring your shades along when you head outdoors.

8. Treat symptoms promptly. Following your doctor’s instructions lowers your risk for eye infections and injuries to your corneas. Seek care immediately if you notice any sudden change in vision, flashes of light, or significant discomfort.

Maybe you like how you look without eyeglasses or you need contact lenses for your particular medical condition. Either way, being diligent about caring for your lenses will help keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

Why is Success So Elusive?

Our society places an emphasis on success. However, success often seems hard to come by. We’re taught many things in school, but how to be successful isn’t one of them. One thing is for certain, if you want to achieve greater levels of success than you’re currently experiencing, you’ll have to change. A change in your results will require a change in your approach.

Understand why you haven’t been as successful as you’d like:

1. You don’t know what you want. The accomplishment of something amazing is rarely accidental. You must have intention and purpose over a period of time. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t expect that anything great is going to happen.

* Do you know what you want? Do you have an intention for each day? What did you try to accomplish today that will enhance your life in the long-term?

2. You have detrimental habits. Whether you’re too flabby, too poor, too lonely, or too ignorant, your habits are to blame. The small actions that you take each day determine your long-term outcomes.

* Appropriate eating and exercise habits ensure a fit body.

* Regular saving and effort to increase your income ensure wealth.

* What habits do you currently have? Can you see how they’ve lead to your current circumstances?

3. You have poor self-control. Some degree of self-control is necessary to be successful. Humans are drawn to comfort. Sitting on the couch with a movie and a snack sounds good to the average person. Successful people are good at controlling themselves where it counts. If comfort is your primary objective, success becomes much more difficult.

4. You waste more time than you realize. How much time do you waste each day? The TV, internet, e-mail, and gossip are a few examples of time-wasters that suck many of us into their vortex. When we emerge, more time than we imagined has simply disappeared.

* Consider the most effective actions you can take each day and measure how much time you actually spend on them. The small amount of time you spend productively each day will amaze you. Just imagine the results you could obtain if you changed that trend.

5. You’re wrong. Achieving success also requires making productive decisions. None of us is correct 100% of the time. If your view of the situation or the world in general is incorrect, you’re bound to struggle. If you believe the pet rock is going to make a comeback, and it doesn’t, you won’t be successful.

* This issue isn’t easy to rectify. However, at the very least, you can examine your beliefs and ask yourself why you believe them.

6. You give up too soon. The most successful people have endured numerous failures. Persistence is the most important attribute you can have on the road to success. If you can make a small amount of progress each week, you can eventually accomplish anything.

7. You’re not growing as a person. The person you are today might not be capable of making 10 times your current salary. You’ll have to learn, grow, and adapt. You can’t stay exactly the same and have your life grow. You may need to become more knowledgeable, a better communicator, more disciplined, more sociable, or have more focus.

* Think about the person you’ll need to become in order to accomplish your objectives.

Success isn’t complicated, but it also isn’t easy. Becoming more successful is an issue of making good decisions, using your time wisely, and persistence. Decide what you want and determine the actions required to get there. Never give up and keep evolving. You’ll grow your knowledge and skills to reach your full potential.

Understanding Emotional Crises and Treatment Options That Can Help

Do you have a family member or friend who is dealing with an emotional crisis? Are you suffering through a particularly devastating time yourself? This type of challenge can be caused by many things, including loss, extreme life changes, health issues, severe stress, anxiety, or depression.

An emotional crisis shouldn’t be ignored, and you can get help to make it through to the other side.

Learn about these crises and treatment options:

1. Understanding an emotional crisis. An emotional crisis can be defined as a breakdown or other issue that occurs after serious events.

* An emotional crisis can occur because you lose a friend, family member, or pet.

* A crisis can also occur from a buildup of stress and anxiety that comes from work, family, or others. Health issues can also lead to an emotional crisis. Natural disasters, unemployment, divorce, separation, and other life events can lead to a crisis.

* A person in crisis can suffer from multiple symptoms that include anxiety, depression, paranoia, irritability, and more. They may not be able to work or handle family duties.

2. Physical issues associated with an emotional crisis. The mind isn’t the only part of the body that is affected by an emotional crisis. You can suffer physical symptoms related to the crisis too.

* Headaches, insomnia, fatigue, pain and other symptoms are common.

3. Consequences of an emotional crisis. During an emotional crisis you may not be able to think or plan properly. You may have suicidal thoughts and severe depression.

* The consequences of this type of crisis can range from loss of work to loss of life.

* You may feel isolated and lose relationships. You may also suffer financial issues and setbacks.

4. Medications as a treatment option. Medications are frequently used to help a person who is going through an emotional crisis. Depression is common, so antidepressants and other drugs may be prescribed.

5. Support groups as a treatment option. You may benefit from a support group that helps you deal with the crisis.

* Support groups vary, but they include groups for those who have lost family and friends. There are also groups for people dealing with depression, anxiety, and other disorders. Groups for people who have survived natural disasters also exist.

6. Therapy as a treatment option. Therapy is another option that can help you get through an emotional crisis.

* Therapists can help you find coping strategies and work with you during a crisis.

* They may prescribe medications to help you deal with the stresses of day-to-day life during your crisis.

7. Vacations. A vacation may even help you handle an emotional crisis. It will at least allow you to temporarily escape the daily issues that are creating the crisis and give you time to “regroup.”

* Stress is often a factor in an emotional crisis, so taking a vacation can help you reduce that stress and achieve a new clarity. It can also help you find a different perspective on the situation. On vacation, you can even meet new people that may help you move past the crisis.

8. Addressing individual needs. An emotional crisis can differ greatly from person to person. Each situation is unique and requires a special approach.

* A single approach may not fix an emotional crisis, so you may have to try more than one.

* It may take some time, resources and effort, possibly even on a long-term basis.

* Inpatient or outpatient care at treatment facilities may be necessary in serious cases of an emotional crisis.

An emotional crisis can be difficult to handle, but there’s help available. You or your loved ones shouldn’t suffer alone. Get the help you need to be able to overcome the crisis and move forward with a joyous and fulfilling life.

Who Else Wants to Go Pegan?

Going pegan may be the solution if you’re confused by conflicting claims about which diet is most effective or want to enjoy your dinner without having to consult a rule book. Pegans claim they’re combining aspects of both paleo and vegan diets for maximum advantage.

The term pegan was coined by Mark Hyman, M.D of the Cleveland Medical Clinic. While the name sounds catchy, keep in mind that it’s more accurate to describe this plan as a modified paleo diet because true vegan diets contain no animal products.

Whatever words you use, both paleo and vegan diets can be good for you. Plus, you may find your new routine easier to follow when you adapt the dietary restrictions to your individual needs.

Pegan Eating Changes That Benefit Most Dieters

Many studies show that paleo and vegan diets can help you lose weight, manage diabetes, and strengthen your heart. Both systems share a few fundamentals that will help you eat smart.

1. Focus on whole foods. Add more whole foods to your diet. Potatoes in their natural form have more fiber and nutrients than a bag of chips. They also have less fat, sugar, salt, and other additives.

2. Eat your vegetables. Get at least 75% of your calories from plant-based foods. If you decide to eat meat, look for labels that say grass-fed, and shrink your portion sizes.

3. Choose healthy fats. Fats are essential, but they are not created equal. Good choices include olive oil, avocadoes, and fatty fish like salmon.

4. Cut down on sugar. The average American consumes 3 pounds of sugar a week. Try tapering down until you become used to drinking your coffee unsweetened.

Pegan Eating Changes That Benefit Some Dieters

Depending on your personal preferences and medical needs, you may opt out of some of the usual paleo and vegan restrictions. Consider these factors.

1. Serve legumes. Legumes are a type of vegetable that includes beans, lentils, and even peanuts. If you’re watching your blood sugar or experiencing digestive issues, you may want to avoid them. Otherwise, keep eating these superfoods.

2. Decide about gluten. Gluten-free products are great if you’re sensitive to wheat. Otherwise, you may want to remain friends with your morning oats.

3. Drink your milk. Similarly, many adults develop lactose intolerance while others can eat dairy products comfortably. If you feel deprived, yogurt and aged cheeses may be easier to digest.

4. Shop carefully for soy products. There’s a big difference between extra sugary soy milk and whole soy beans. Buy plain tofu or sample fermented tempeh and miso.

Additional Pegan Tips

While you’re upgrading the way you eat, consider the rest of your lifestyle. These habits will make it easier to stay fit.

1. Exercise regularly. The safest way to maintain your weight is a combination of sensible eating and increased physical activity. Incorporate more movement into each day and find a variety of workouts that you love doing.

2. Read beyond the headlines. News articles about nutrition research often fail to tell the whole story. They may be based on small samples or participants who aren’t much like you. Talk with your doctor and experiment with different eating plans to find what works for you.

3. Be flexible. Listen to your body and think creatively about eating. If you feel cramped by a diet with strict guidelines, bend the rules to accommodate occasional cravings or eating out.

Eating like a caveman or cutting out animal products may help you to select nutritious foods and watch your weight. Craft your own eating plan by adapting the principles of paleo and vegan diets to suit your personal needs.

What to Do When You Have No Idea What to Do

Sometimes the right choice is obvious. Other times, the solution is a little less clear. When you’re most uncertain, you’re often in a situation with great potential. This type of confusion is common when you come to a crossroads in life. The biggest decisions are often the most intimidating.

The ability to make challenging decisions increases with experience.

Try these techniques to deal with uncertainty and make intelligent decisions:

1. Be clear regarding your values. A wise choice might be easier if you’re aware of your values. Whenever you’re stuck, return to your values and take another crack at the situation. If you’ve never considered what your values may be, take the opportunity to make a list and describe what’s most important to you.

2. Gather more information. Do you have enough information to make a good decision? Take the time you need to gather the information needed to make a wise choice. Take advantage of every possible resource.

3. Avoid indecision as a decision. There’s a difference between taking your time and being indecisive. Make no mistake: failing to make a decision is a decision. It’s a decision to rely on luck and forces outside yourself to decide your fate. When you don’t make a decision, you lose control of your future.

4. Ask a mentor for advice. Maybe someone else you know has faced a similar dilemma. Experience counts for a lot. Get guidance if it’s available to you, but avoid blindly following the advice of others. Make your own decision. A mentor guides, but he doesn’t decide.

5. Relax. Your brain works better when it’s relaxed. An overly stressed state results in the inhibition of the higher functions of your brain. Your best ideas come when you’re mentally at ease. Take a long, hot bath and ponder your situation.

6. Get some exercise. Physical exertion can change your chemistry and provide a new perspective. Hit the gym for an hour and then reconsider your dilemma. Don’t be surprised if you have a few new ideas.

7. Meditate or pray. The choice is yours. The mental state achieved through meditation and prayer can be highly creative. You’ll be in a better place to make a good decision.

8. What would you tell a friend in the same situation? Dealing with the challenges of others can be clearer than dealing with your own. What would you tell a friend or family member? It may be wise to take your own advice!

9. Review your goals. Each action you take will make achieving your goals either more or less likely. How do your choices mesh with your goals? This can be an effective way to find an intelligent solution. Make a list of goals if you don’t already have one.

10. Consider the downside. Maybe there is more than one choice with the same potential benefits. But consider the possible downside to each option. Manage your risk. When two or more options have the same potential benefit, the choice with the least risk is often the best.

When you’re stuck, it means that all the choices seem equivalent. After you’ve done everything you can to reach a decision, choose.

Even if you’re still uncertain, make a choice and stick with it until you’re certain it was a wrong choice. Even a poor decision is usually better than no decision at all. Taking action might show you a new idea for a better approach. And you’ll be moving forward, instead of stuck in the quagmire of indecision.

Top Questions for Couples Considering Parenthood

Are you considering becoming a parent? Although having a baby may be one of the best experiences of your life, it’s important to remember that parenthood also requires an enormous amount of time, effort, and responsibility.

Before you start planning who will change diapers, you may want to ask yourself these questions:

1. Can you afford to have a child? Children are expensive and time-consuming. They can affect your ability to work and earn a paycheck. They also require a great deal of care and financial investment.

* How will you handle the medical costs of a pregnancy and the baby? Will one of you stay home with the baby or will daycare be an option?

* Consider all of the financial implications of having a child. Children require medical visits, clothes, food, toys, cribs, and other items. They also quickly outgrow items and need new things.

2. Have you discussed your parenting style? It’s important to discuss the type of parents you want to be before the baby arrives.

* Will you follow a strict parenting style or a more relaxed one? How will you handle conflict, discipline, and praise?

3. Are you both enthusiastic about becoming parents? If only one of you wants a baby, then this can lead to serious challenges in your relationship.

* An unwanted pregnancy is a serious issue in relationships. Even pregnancies that are wanted by one side of the relationship can be difficult to handle. Before you have a baby, ensure you’re both ready for one.

4. How will you handle the changes that come with a baby? Children can fundamentally change relationships.

* Children require a great deal of your time and resources. You won’t be able to spend as much time with each other. You might not be able to spend money on other things you enjoy.

5. Have you considered the logistics? Parenthood can seem like an incredible journey, but it’s important to consider the logistics.

* Do you have room for the baby in your current environment? Do you have the ability to sacrifice work time for the baby? These simple questions can lead to powerful answers and show you if you’re ready.

6. Are you prepared for the possibility of negative outcomes? A baby can be a beautiful part of the family, but it’s important to consider all sides of parenthood.

* How will you handle a change in your body or your partner’s body after pregnancy?

* What will you do if there are complications in the pregnancy or after the baby is born? Can you handle a high-needs child and the financial, emotional, and physical toll?

7. Are you ready to share your world with a child? Children need more than the regular feedings and diaper changes to thrive. They need love, devotion, and care from their parents. How will you handle a child’s needs along with your own?

* Your personal space won’t be the same after a child is born. Are you ready to share your space, belongings, thoughts, and time with a child?

Parenthood isn’t an easy decision. Before you become parents, you may want to carefully consider the changes and responsibilities that come with transforming your world from a couple to a family.

What Will You Do When Your Child Wants a Part-Time Job?

Some studies show that teens who work part-time jobs have lower grades and higher risk for issues like alcohol and drug abuse. Other studies show that early employment leads to higher graduation rates and increased lifetime earnings. What’s a parent to believe?

It turns out that there’s some truth on both sides of the argument, and the choices you make can help determine the outcomes. Read this before your child asks you if they can mow lawns or work at the mall.

Managing the Downside of Part-Time Work for Teens

1. Limit the hours. Most of the negative outcomes for teens who work are associated with putting in more than 15 hours a week. As long as you stick to 15 hours per week or less during the school year, you can eliminate most of the risks for a decline in school performance or forming questionable new friendships.

2. Write out a budget. Another potential drawback is the tendency for teens to pick up extravagant spending habits that will be tough to break when they’re in college or settling into their first home. Make a plan for how to use their paycheck responsibly.

3. Emphasize safety. Some jobs pose more hazards than others. You may want to give your approval for tutoring and counseling at summer camp rather than delivery or construction work.

4. Research labor laws. Federal and state laws regulate the hours and type of work that minors can do. Ensure you follow the rules for work permits and other requirements.

5. Visit the workplace. Take a first-hand look at where your son or daughter will be employed. Introduce yourself to their new boss. Observe their co-workers.

6. Put academics first. Remind your teen that completing their education is their primary job. Agree in advance that being permitted to work is conditional upon maintaining their grades and participating in school activities.

Maximizing the Benefits of Part-Time Work for Teens

1. Develop soft skills. Dealing with a demanding boss and dissatisfied customers instills qualities like punctuality and patience. It’s a good complement to classroom education.

2. Save for college. While your teen may want to keep some of their paycheck for buying burgers and music, encourage them to put aside money for something more lasting. The funds will come in handy as tuition costs rise.

3. Review career plans. If possible, consider a job that aligns with your child’s interests in sports medicine or ethnic jewelry. They’ll feel more motivated and may even find a mentor.

4. Practice job hunting. Just looking for a job is valuable training. Your child can practice browsing job boards, filling out applications, and interviewing before they face the financial pressures that come with living on their own.

5. Gather references. Wherever your sons or daughters work, their supervisors can provide positive recommendations for college applications and future jobs. These early contacts can be the beginning of your child’s professional network.

6. Provide supervision. Are you concerned about what your teen is doing in the hours between school letting out and your arriving home from work? A shift at the local coffee shop will fill that time.

7. Teach diversity. In spite of all the benefits of employment, fewer youths are in the workforce today. Just 33% of teens had a summer job in 2009 compared to 52% in 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor. A part time job can be a unique opportunity to introduce teens to a wide variety of citizens from different backgrounds.

As a parent, you can guide your child towards making their first work experience a rewarding investment in their future. Hold down the number of hours and discuss responsible budgeting so they’ll be prepared for academic and career success.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Fevers

If your forehead is warm and your energy is low, you probably have a fever. Before you call in sick to work and swallow a couple of acetaminophen, read this. Use these tips to understand your body temperature and treat fevers effectively.

Clearing Up Myths about Fevers

1. Understand healthy fevers. You might be surprised to learn that fever is a symptom, not an illness. It’s your body’s way of defending itself against infection. You feel hot because blood vessels are expanding to bring the excess heat up to the surface of your skin.

2. Find your baseline. Temperature readings of 98.6F are an average figure based on the fact that your temperature fluctuates throughout the day, usually peaking in late afternoon. Measure yourself a few times on a day when you feel well to find your normal range.

3. Monitor recurring fevers. Fevers that come and go can feel like they’re continuous. Medical tests will rule out more serious causes if you’re experiencing 6 fevers or more a year.

4. Get out of bed. Did your parents order you to stay under the covers? As long as your condition isn’t contagious, you can probably go to work. Just avoid strenuous activity.

5. Call your doctor. Immediate medical care is required for infants with rectal temperatures of 100.4F or higher, or any child with a fever above 104F. Most adults will need to see a doctor for temperatures starting at 105F or additional symptoms including a stiff neck, severe stomach pain, or skin rashes.

Taking Your Temperature

1. Pick your method. You can take your temperature almost anywhere on your body. Rectal thermometers are recommended for children under age 3. Older children and adults will usually get the most precise and convenient reading from an oral thermometer.

2. Watch your timing. Many factors can affect your body temperature. That includes eating, intense exercise, or a hot shower, so wait at least 30 minutes to ensure an accurate reading.

3. Follow instructions. Read the directions that come with your thermometer. For an oral reading, place the instrument under your tongue, and keep your mouth closed for the recommended amount of time, which is usually about 3 minutes.

4. Take care of your thermometer. For good hygiene, clean your thermometer after each use with cool water and soap. If you’re using a digital model, check the batteries, especially if it’s been stored away for a long time.

Treating Your Fever

1. Visit the drugstore. It’s usually safe to let a mild fever run its course, but you can treat higher temperatures and relieve discomfort with over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic for the underlying infection.

2. Lower the thermostat. Keeping your house cool will help you to rest and sleep more comfortably. Keep a light blanket handy if you feel chilly.

3. Dress in layers. Multiple layers are better than heavy clothing or bedding that could make you sweat. That kind of rapid heat loss actually makes a fever worse.

4. Drink liquids. You might not feel like eating much when you’re sick, but it’s important to stay hydrated. Sip water, low sodium soup, or other beverages.

5. Sponge off. Taking a sponge bath while sitting in shallow water provides additional quick relief. Stick to warm water to prevent chills.

Keep your cool about fevers. Call your doctor if you or your child have a dangerously high temperature or show other warning signs such as seizures or being unresponsive. Otherwise, fever symptoms are usually a sign that your immune system is working properly and protecting you from illness.

Top 10 Ways to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity

We have obstacles to overcome each day. How we deal with obstacles and adversity defines our lives.

Some obstacles are more serious than others. You might crave potato chips, only to realize that the bag is empty. This is a minor obstacle and the solution is obvious. Bigger obstacles require an effective approach and a high level of perseverance.

Use these strategies to overcome any obstacle or adversity:

1. Take responsibility. Blaming the circumstances or others is disempowering. If you believe the cause for the failure is outside yourself, there’s nothing you can do to rectify the situation. Take responsibility for the current situation and you maintain your power to change things for the better.

2. Control your negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are limiting. It’s very easy go down a dark mental path. There are no answers to be found there. Asking yourself, “Why do I always fail?” won’t provide useful information. You’ll only succeed in making yourself stressed, miserable, and less effective.

3. Focus on solutions. Instead of beating yourself up, seek a solution. Unsuccessful people focus on problems rather than solutions. Be different. Keep your negative thoughts to a minimum and redirect your attention to finding a simple, elegant solution.

* It’s easier to find something if you’re looking for it. Focusing on problems only makes them appear more challenging.

4. View adversity as a test. Imagine that the universe is testing your commitment and cleverness. Can you stay positive, find a solution, and make it work? Adversity is a challenge of your skills.

* Get excited and face the challenge head on. You can do it.

5. Exercise. Adversity brings stress, and few activities deal with stress better than exercise. Hitting the weights or running for few miles can relieve your stress and provide a new perspective.

* The type of exercise doesn’t matter, as long as it lasts at least 30 minutes and you’re breathing heavily by the end.

6. Relax. There are few advantageous to being anxious. Prolonged anxiety will eventually lead to illness. The best solutions are likely to present themselves when you’re calm and relaxed.

7. Focus on what you can control. What’s the point in worrying about things that are out of your control? Keep your attention on the things you can control. Ask yourself what you can change and then get busy changing it.

8. Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Eating poorly, lying around all day, and staying up all night only make you less capable. Be at your best, regardless of the setback. Maintain your grooming and your social life.

* The world is still turning. Be a part of it.

9. Revisit your goals. Remind yourself of what you’re trying to achieve. Visualize the endpoint and remember how great you’re going to feel when it happens. If you’re bogged down in the present, remind yourself of your ideal endpoint.

10. Keep going. Have the courage to continue pressing forward. Winning is only impossible if you quit. You can always find a solution. The key is to keep moving forward.

Life is always throwing up roadblocks at inopportune times. The choice is either to wither away in misery or to use adversity as challenge to take your life to the next level. Adversity is a test of your perseverance and problem-solving abilities.

Challenges in life are universal. No one is immune. Dealing with adversity skillfully separates those that are successful from those that are not. Make your choice.