Redefine Yourself

"How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News" Review

If you've been stressed or down on yourself, it may be time for a personal check-in. The negativity that surrounds you may be seeping into your unconscious. Check out Kate Cummins' suggestions for how to deal with this overbearing challenge (from the article How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News).

1. Check Your Emotions Regularly

News stations purposely engage you through emotional content. For them it’s just business. But unfortunately, negative news has the ability to keep you engaged without fully realizing how the information makes you feel.

So observe your news-watching habits. As you view local stations, do you pay attention to the way you connect to the information? Do you ever flip through channels and stop to watch a story that you never expected to be interested in seeing? Some content makes your heart race, holds your attention and keeps you engaged in the story, while other content fills you with anger or sorrow.

Then observe how your body reacts to the news you’re watching. Do you feel your heart racing? Do you feel your stomach twist with nerves or feel the weight of sadness coming over you? These bodily symptoms are connected with negative emotions, and they are called somatic symptoms. They engage your sympathetic nervous system (the part of your body that runs in attack mode) and can mimic anxiety.

So the next time you’re watching the nightly news or scrolling through stories on your go-to news site, check your body and feelings. If the information is making you stressed, turn it off. Get away. Detach. Knowing your limit of information flow will help decrease your connection to unhealthy emotions and keep you in control of your mental health.

2. Change Your Environment

Do you pay attention to where you get your news? Do you watch the morning edition while getting ready for work? Tune in at night while making dinner for your family? Or do you do one last check of Facebook/Twitter before you go to bed?

Negative information has the ability to wrangle its way into your long-term memories and means you’re likely to connect negative emotions to the place where you view the sad stories. Paying attention to where you watch news and limiting the environment can help you stay positive.

Think about it this way: Would you invite someone to sit on your couch if he or she told horrific stories the entire time? Probably not. As human beings, we need a place to detach from the world.

You work hard to create a peaceful living space and to make your house a home. Try to only watch the news on the bus, in your office or some other neutral location. Or bring your computer to a coffee shop and limit your news searching to certain spaces, so you can be free of negativity in your own space.

3. Talk About What You See, and Let It Go

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about the sad or horrifying stories you see on the news, but it can actually help you put them out of your mind. Do you have someone you feel safe talking about tragedy with? It’s important to engage in conversation with people you trust. Getting emotional information out in the open can release it from becoming internalized worry and concern.

There are also many community resources that you can use to discuss concerns and take action. For example, social-media groups and meetup events in the community are geared toward specific audiences. You can find like-minded people in these groups that may help you discuss the world around you.

Always make sure you have someone available to lend you an ear about negative information. If you can, find someone who will help encourage you out of the depression and anxiety that can arise from sad stories.

4. Be Aware of What Others Around You Are Saying

Social media has become a main source of connection in our world. However, it can also be a place of negative content. Do you find yourself cringing when a specific person’s posts pop up? Do your friends post a lot of negative information? If you’re surrounding yourself with people posting stories that are bringing you down, it may feel almost impossible to find positivity in life.

Sometimes the best remedy is disconnecting from social media. Don’t feel bad for unfollowing pessimistic people. Your social network, via online or in person, has to be a source of encouragement. Find stories that make you feel good. Most news sources have positive highlight stories in certain sections of their websites. Search for hero stories and you’ll find yourself in a better place emotionally.

5. Go Do Something to Change Your Tune

One of the biggest problem with disheartening news stories is that most of the time it seems like there’s nothing one person can do to change it. And that can make you feel like things are out of your control.

The best way to combat internal sadness is to do something good in your community. Turn off the television, get online and find an organization that compels you to get involved. Buy a meal for someone in need. Volunteer at a place that could use your help.

Behavioral activation increases your feelings of hope. And hopelessness is directly linked to depression. If you’re able to increase your ability to change something small in your environment, you will increase feelings of hopefulness. The world needs you to do great things. Go volunteer with your family or friends and get moving!

How do you deal with negativity? This topic is definitely worth reflection. You may also want to read "99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today" for more life-changing inspiration.

Picture Credit: do you think the "news" is really making you feel about yourself and the world?

More to Read:
Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015 " Review. This list helped my personal training clients in 2015 and will help you today.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News " on
"How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Transform your life with Michael's  self-help book   Redefine Yourself here !

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!


"4 Science-Backed Hacks to Strengthen Your Self-Control" Review

Even when armed with the most effective tools to lose weight or reach your fitness peak, your self-control (willpower) will be the defining factor in your success. The message below could be the push you need to overcome the hurdle to your best self (from the article 4 Science-Backed Hacks to Strengthen Your Self-Control).

The Willpower Workout

In their book “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney disclosed the idea that willpower is like a muscle that can be strengthened.

The authors argue that the mental equivalent of high-rep, low-weight training can boost willpower. Their method: Start small, then build. Little willpower wins over the course of a day, week, or month can lead to larger gains down the road.

As an example, Baumeister and Tierney cite performance artist David Blaine. When he trains for his strange public feats —such as spending 64 hours inside a giant ice cube—he does so by practicing small acts of willpower, such as not drinking alcohol. “Getting your brain wired into little goals and achieving them helps you achieve the bigger things you shouldn’t be able to do,’’ Blaine said. “It’s not just practicing the specific thing."

If your goal is to diet and lose weight , you can build your willpower by doing seemingly non-related things – like taking a walk every day, or cleaning your home every night.

If you’re Blaine, maybe you shave your creepy facial hair every day. Whatever works for you.

4 Proven Willpower Hacks

1. POSTPONEMENT OF DESIRE - You can, for lack of a better word, trick yourself into better behavior. Nicole Mead of the Catolica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics and her colleagues say that postponing consumption of an unhealthy snack to an unspecified future time reduces snack intake. Mead believes that reducing desire, rather than strengthening willpower, is an effective strategy for controlling unwanted food-related cravings.

Postponement gives the brain a cooling-off period that leads to more snack no’s than yesses, Mead told WebMD. She adds that the postponement should not be specific. In other words, you shouldn’t say, “I’ll eat that entire Fudgie the Whale Carvel Ice Cream Cake in 30 minutes.” You should say, “I’ll eat the cake at some point later.”

2. FLEX YOUR MUSCLES - But there’s another trick you can use if you feel your willpower slipping: Flex your muscles. Iris W. Hung of the National University of Singapore and Aparna A. Labroo of the University of Chicago conducted a study in which participants were who were instructed to tighten their muscles, regardless of which muscles they tightened, demonstrated a greater ability to withstand pain, consume unpleasant medicine, attend to disturbing but essential information and overcome tempting foods.

The researches theorize that the body primes the mind.

3. USE MENTAL IMAGERY - Mental imagery, used by athletes worldwide, is another willpower hack. According to Harvard researchers, people who do a good deed or who imagine doing a good deed are better able to perform tasks of physical endurance.

In a strange twist, those who envisioned themselves doing something bad had more endurance than those who envisioned themselves doing something good. In this case, researchers believe that the mind primes the body.

The findings are based on two studies. In the first, participants were given a dollar and told either to keep it or give it to charity. They were then asked to hold a five-pound weight for as long as they could. Those who donated to charity held the weight for an average of almost 10 seconds longer.

In a second study, participants held a weight while writing fictional stories in which they helped another person, harmed another person or did something that had no impact on other people.

Participants who wrote about doing good were significantly stronger than those whose actions didn't benefit anyone. Researchers were surprised to learn that the people who wrote about harming others were even stronger than the participants who envisioned helping someone.

"Whether you're saintly or nefarious, there seems to be power in moral events," researcher Kurt Gray said when the study was published. "People often look at others who do great or evil deeds and think, 'I could never do that' or 'I wouldn't have the strength to do that.' But in fact, this research suggests that physical strength may be an effect, not a cause, of moral acts."

So next time you’re jogging and getting tired, picture yourself on a heroic quest to save the princess—or murder her father, the beloved king.

4. MODIFY YOUR ENVIRONMENT - You can also trick your brain by modifying your environment. Consumer psychologist Brian Wansink discovered that people eat and drink more out of bigger containers.

In one of his studies people lost weight when they ate off salad plates instead of large dinner plates, kept unhealthy foods out of sight, moved healthier foods to eye-level and ate in the kitchen or dining room instead of in front of the television.

Willpower Depletion

Like your muscles, your willpower can tire out. According to a study co-authored by Baumeister, the more frequently and recently people resisted a desire, the less successful they will be at resisting subsequent desires. He believes people only have so much willpower to use during the day.

How can you tell if your willpower is depleted?

People with low willpower feel things, both physically and emotionally, more intensely. Baumeister and his colleagues found that people with low willpower reported more distress in response to an upsetting film and rated cold water as more painful during a cold-water immersion test.

Making choices isn’t the only way to burn through your willpower. Another culprit: hunger. Another Baumeister study concluded that acts of self-control reduce blood glucose levels and low blood glucose levels predict a lack of self-control. It’s the proverbial vicious cycle.

The good news is that glucose is sugar, which is fuel for the brain, and it can be replenished. Ideally your sugar should come from a healthy source, such as fruits.

Don’t drink a regular soda to avoid eating a cookie.

What you want to do is ward off decision fatigue. McMaster University associate professor of kinesiology Kathleen Martin Ginis says that having to make many decisions can cause a person to cave into temptation.

In his efficiency book "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity," David Allen urges busy people who want to be more productive to create folders in their email, and in their file cabinets, into which they can file decisions that don’t need to be made until later.

Allen’s tactic acknowledges that it takes a lot of energy to focus on the present and remain productive. Folders remove the burdens of constant decision-making.

Ginis said making regular plans to exercise at the same time every day also nets positive results.

The Depletion Debate

Not everyone agrees with the Baumeister camp. Many researchers believe that willpower, in fact, can not be depleted. For example, Stanford psychologists found that people who think willpower can be depleted are more likely to be tired when performing a tough task. People who think that willpower cannot be drained easily stay on task longer without losing focus.

So which one are you?

Can you stay focused on one thing for long periods of time? If you can, you’re in the Stanford camp. Soldier on.

Do you find that your energy drains quickly when you’re focusing? If so, you’re in the Baumeister camp. Grab an orange.

The Future of Willpower

It has only been three years since Caltech scientists pinpointed the parts of the brain that regulate willpower—the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

“After centuries of debate in social sciences, we are finally making big strides in understanding self-control from watching the brain resist temptation directly," researcher Colin Camerer said on discovery. Camerer hopes his research will lead to better theories on how self-control develops and how it works for various types of temptations.

Until science makes a willpower pill, find hacks that help you will your way past the donut.

How will you strengthen your self-control?

Picture Credit: - My personal training clients have used a lot of these strategies to lose weight. Do you have the self-control to stay away from a cupcake when you need to?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "4 Science-Backed Hacks to Strengthen Your Self-Control" on
"4 Science-Backed Hacks to Strengthen Your Self-Control" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

The 1 Thing You Must Do in 2016

It's January 7th and it's hard to believe that we're already one week into the new year. Thank you, El Nino, for making us think it's spring until last week!!! While most people think New Year's Eve is overrated (argument understood), it's always a pivotal time in my year. It's my chance to start fresh. While I'm always grateful for my professional and personal lives, I always look forward to reflecting on the year and setting new goals to create a "better self".

While writing my book Redefine Yourself last year, my bedroom wall was covered with sticky notes of research (luckily Sammy didn't mind). Not only did this approach help me organize my thoughts, but it also provided the daily direction and reminders I needed to reach this goal.

Nearly a year later, the sticky notes have moved to my closet. Now, they state my personal and business goals for 2016. I see these reminders every day, and I do my best consciously (and unconsciously) to live in line with them.

I'm not sure what your focus is for the new year yet...or even if you take the time every year to reflect on one (or many) as I do. Just know that life isn't a steady stream that allows us to sit on a boat comfortably and watch it pass by (we might be bored after awhile, anyways). It requires us to remind, reenergize, reboot, redo, relearn, and repeat.

It seems like we need to do this at least every three months. The beginning of a new year is different, though. It's your time to look at your "big picture goal" and to reflect and adapt. Find new hope. You can make this as big or as small as you want. Start this process early, though. Start thinking about how 2016 will look like for you and what you want for yourself right now.

You don't need to do it yourself. Read self-help or self-improvement books. Ask friends for support. Hire a personal trainer. Talk to your doctor.

Please keep in mind that I'm not asking you to turn your life upside down or change every little approach. We don't need to brush our teeth hanging upside down or with our foot because we're bored. If it works the "normal" way, why change it (same applies to exercise). If there's something we can do to enhance your life, though, don't settle. Let's take a leap together and see what we can create.

Picture Credit: - What are your goals for a new year?

Other Related Content: Self Improvement from - is the most complete guide to information about Self Improvement on the Internet.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody
The 1 Thing You Must Do in 2016
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

The Simple Trick for Finding Joy Amid Holiday Chaos

While writing my self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness, my bedroom wall was covered with sticky notes of research. Not only did this approach help me organize my thoughts, it also provided the daily direction and reminders I needed to reach this goal.

Nearly a year later, the sticky notes have moved to my closet. Now, they state my personal and business goals for 2016. I see these reminders every day and I do my best consciously (and unconsciously) to live in line with them. While I recommend that you do the same, heed this author's advice and add self-care sticky notes too-you deserve it.


Create a ‘well-being wall’ and your sanity – and loved ones – will benefit.
If there's one thing I need to be my best self, it's a good night's sleep. For my husband, it's a biking session before work. For my friend Beth, it's 15 minutes of yoga. For Serena, it's a quiet bath. We all have at least one baseline self-care need that allows us to function at our most energetic, our most joyful, our best.

But during the holiday chaos, why should we even try to make time for ourselves when we have so much to do for everyone else?

The answer is simple: When we make sure to meet our own basic self-care needs, we fuel ourselves to take care of the daily tasks that make up our busy days – and still have time to care for our loved ones and friends.

Of course, practicing self-care can be easier said than done. But my simple trick – what I call a "well-being wall" – can help. The wall is a dedicated space where you'll put a sticky note every day about the small act of self-care you plan to do or you want to celebrate having done. This wall will blossom with these small acts, helping you document your efforts to cultivate well-being – even amidst the chaos of the holidays. With the wall, you don't have to wait until after the holidays to relax and experience well-being. Here's how to get started right now:

1. Scout out space.

Find a space in your house that you see every day where you can post sticky notes. It can be a blank wall in your family room, a door to your office, by your bedside table, your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator. If need be, ask family members to help identify the right spot, and invite them to participate too!

2. Identify feel-good activities.

Think of one, two or three small things you can do for yourself that bring you a feeling of well-being or joy. Sleep 15 minutes longer one morning. Take a 10-minute walk any time during the day. Read a book for five minutes. Sign up for a personal training session. Call a friend. Watch one funny YouTube video. Play with your dog. The list goes on.

3. Grant yourself permission.

Allow yourself to practice at least one small act of self-care every day through December 31, starting today. It can be something as small as one minute of reflection about a great vacation or a loved one.

4. Share.

Get a buddy to create a well-being wall with you for mutual support. Tell your family and friends what you're doing and ask them to support you by watching the kids while you snag your 5-minute meditation session, asking you what you did each day or checking in with you about how you feel, or helping with holiday-related tasks. You can also get virtual support by posting about this self-care project on Facebook.

5.Think ahead.

Every evening, decide what one small thing you want to do the next day and when you'll fit it in. Put that on a sticky note and post it to your well-being wall. If spontaneity is your friend, decide what you'll do when you wake up in the morning.

6. Notice.

Every time you do something to tend to your self-care in any way, be sure to take a moment to notice how you feel as you are doing it, and afterward. (If you want, add what you noticed to the sticky note.)

7. Repeat every day.

You can find new nice things to do, or recycle ones you really loved. Your life is yours to enjoy!

8. Celebrate.

Notice how your well-being wall is growing, and revel in the positivity and proactive self-care it reflects in your life. Enjoy it in private, or take a photo of your wall and share it with others. Celebrate the idea that when you take care of yourself even in the smallest way, you feel better – and the people in your life benefit too.

Picture Credit: © Images

Article Credit:
Author: Michelle Segar from U.S. News & World Report
The Simple Trick for Finding Joy Amid Holiday Chaos (Adapted)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

Don't wait until the new year....

Redefine your life right now.

Click below and find the book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!

Chicago Petsonal Trainer's Self-Improvement Book

Chicago Petsonal Trainer's Self-Improvement Book

Over 200 Tips on Weight Loss, Fitness, Stress Management, and More (My Ultimate Resource Guide of Links)!

Up to this point, you've been stuffed with endless health and fitness information from the internet, tv, and magazines. It's time to decipher between fact and fiction! Here is my master list of tips on how to lose weight, achieve peak fitness, cook healthy, minimize stress, and more. Considering the number of articles, I did my best to categorize them in an approachable way. Please share this list with anyone who wants to change their life and finally see a difference in their health and lifestyle. Also, be sure to save this link in a folder for future reference.

Weight Loss

-The Secret to Losing Nearly 27 lbs!
-Your 1 Month Weight Loss Plan
-7 Ways to Lose Weight After 50
-Will Eating at Night Really Make You Gain Weight?
-5 Non-Diet Ways to Trick Yourself into Losing Weight
-5 Summer Foods That Cause Bloating
-Determine Your Boundaries to Achieve Weight Loss
-Do This Every Day, and You May Lose 20 Pounds in 6 Months
-The Secret to Losing Weight
-How to Eat Healthy at the Airport

Why You're Not Losing Weight

-11 Diet Foods That Make You Fat
-2 Foods You Should Avoid During Weight Loss
-More Surprising Reasons You're Gaining Weight
-17 Meals That Will Erase Your Weight Loss
-2 Foods You Should Avoid During Weight Loss
-6 Diet Tricks That Are Actually Making You Gain Weight
-The Underlying Influence on Your Weight Loss Failures

Weight Loss Recipes

-The Best Fish Nachos for Weight Loss!
-Weight Loss Recipe: Chili Cajun Chicken and Sauteed Vegetables
-The Best Spinach Stuffed Salmon Weight Loss Recipe Ever!
-Weight Loss Quick Supper: Cajun Almond Crusted Chicken with Asparagus and White Beans
-Weight Loss Recipe: Almond Crusted Mahi with Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Garlic Potatoes
-New Weight Loss Salads
-Weight Loss Dinner: Chicken Shawarma with Spinach and Veggie Slaw
-Weight Loss Recipe: Kena's Kale Smoothie
-Weight Loss Recipe: Island Mahi with Roasted Kale Chips
-Vera Cruz Fish and Brussels Sprouts Weight Loss Dinner
-15 Minute Weight Loss Dinner from Trader Joes

Healthy Food Choices

-You Won't Believe What's in These Girl Scout Cookies!
-Save the Cow! Here is a List of Non Animal Protein Sources
-36 Ways to Fulfill Your Protein Needs While Losing Weight

Fitness and The Body

-10 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Wear Flip-Flops
-5 Things You Should Never Do Before You Work Out
-4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach
-What You Don't Know About Your Waistline
-End Your Lower Back Pain Today
-Exercise May Not Help You Lose Weight
-Personal Trainer Wisdom: 1 Fitness Myth Unraveled
-Keep These Items in Your Gym Bag!

Creating the Life Your Want

-99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today
-Top 15 Travel Tips That You Need to Know
-Excerpt from the book Redefine Yourself: Define Your Purpose
-Your New Years Resolutions
-Your New Goals for a New Life in 2015
-Your Top 3 New Years Resolutions

Picture Credit:

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Over 200 tips on weight loss, fitness, stress management, and more (my ultimate resource guide of links)!
Weight loss and fitness tips from Michael Moody, author and personal trainer in Chicago.