Entitled Attitudes Lead to Less Joyous Lives

A new study confirms that those who feel more entitled than others ultimately end up feeling the most unhappy.

Me, Myself, and I

Entitlement is a term that connotes a degree of selfishness. It’s a state of thought and behavior where an individual feels he/she deserves better than others. Standard rules don’t apply to the entitled.

This particular attitude is not just about deserving more “things” or money. It exudes a tad of narcissism; it’s a me-me world, which is all about what I want. And, I should get what I want—because I’m me!

Sound Familiar?

We’ve all observed a person who believes he/she is an exception to the norm. They are often the person who complains the most, the loudest, or blames others for their own unmet expectations.

A lot of times that individual expects something for nothing.

But we know the world doesn’t operate that way. That person may annoy us—or even make us feel envious (because a lot of times they do get what they want.) But new research out of Bowling Green University in Ohio shows that the “entitled” more often experience disappointment. They basically set themselves up for disenchantment and distress.

Don’t Whiney, Be Happy

The lead author of the study, Joshua Grubbs, explains that along with a sense of entitlement, there is a void of pride in earning. When we work hard and receive what we desire, we feel a sense of satisfaction.

Taking it a step further, we can feel satisfied by the smallest of accomplishments on a daily basis. We even have the ability to feel happy for the things we already have. That falls into the category of gratitude.

The study reviewed over 170 separate studies on the theme of entitlement. One discovery, which was a pervading theme, was the entitled person’s level of disappointment. Because he/she created a level of expectations (that were often unmet), the individual became angry and depressed. Those emotions bled into social and personal relationships, and life overall, did not hold much joy.

Ambition vs. Entitlement

As we are learning, entitlement is often synonymous with negativity and unpleasantness. Ambition, however, can be healthy if approached properly.

A strong drive and motivation to achieve is a positive model for attaining goals. Working hard and setting standards are realistic modes of meeting one’s own expectations. “Many of the world’s greatest, most-accomplished leaders have been truly humble people.”

Thankful

Truly, the world doesn’t owe us one thing. Perhaps that’s a good reason to be thankful for the things we do have. How positive it must be to teach and model for our children behaviors that display best effort and genuine gratitude. After all, isn’t the thing we want most for our children is for them to be happy?

If you want to read more about positive living and lifestyle tips, check out www.GetThrive.com

CanaGel Melts

Eye Test May Identify Alzheimer’s Before Symptoms Appear

Researchers may have discovered a way to identify early Alzheimer’s using a device that examines eyes.

Seeing a Connection

A study out of the University of Minnesota has linked what can be happening in the brain through the use of an eye test. So far, there hasn’t been a way to detect the onslaught of Alzheimer’s before the physical and behavioral symptoms appear.

When Alzheimer’s strikes, the brain, and the eye’s retina undergo similar changes. Scientists understand that Alzheimer’s patients possess an amyloid plaque build-up in the brain. That build-up causes progressive cognitive and memory decline. Until now, there’s been no way to view when that build-up begins. That would be the extremely early stages of the disease.

Detecting the very early stages (before symptoms even appear) can be crucial in the advancement of Alzheimer’s treatment.

Eye Spy

The eye exam measures change in the reflection of light off of the retina. The patterns of light changed progressively as Alzheimer’s further sets in. The experiment was done with mice.

The retina and the brain are connected as part of the central nervous system. So, as changes in the retina occurred, the researchers noted similar changes happening in the brain. Using a specialized device, they could more readily view changes through the eyes.

Fighting Plaque

Dr. Robert Vince, director of the Center for Drug Design, noted, “This technology is a noninvasive way to identify Alzheimer’s disease before plaque is formed.” What this means is that we may be able to test medications on Alzheimer’s patients before it’s too late. By the time a patient displays symptoms and a doctor makes a diagnosis, the plaque has already built-up.

Using this retina-imaging device, researchers plan to begin human clinical trials. It’s a fascinating way to make an early diagnosis in a noninvasive and relatively inexpensive way. The hope is to bring us closer to developing a treatment—one that can stop the progression of the disease and its symptoms.

For other articles relating to up-to-date research, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other health conditions, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

Some Things to Know About Drug Abuse in Teenagers

Teenage years are extremely formative years. They definitely have a significant impact on an individual’s personality. However, there are also a number of biological and physical changes taking place in the body, which affect decision-making. Unfortunately, because of this (and other factors), we are seeing an increase in drug abuse in teenagers.

We Don’t Know Them; They Don’t Know Themselves

Being a teenager can be a precarious time. Aside from biological shifts, there are huge social challenges. Kids at that age are in the throes of figuring out who they are. With that, it’s almost impossible as parent to know who they are. There are constant changes. 

Teens often make decisions based on emotions. And, rational thinking is not quite their forte. Many of their decisions can be related to “not thinking”. Or, they are swayed by peers, society, or impulsive or, sometimes, self-destructive behavior. As parents, it’s truly a challenge for us to foresee our teens’ next choice. That’s why it’s especially important for adults to remain as “connected” to their youngster as possible. Check out some helpful parenting tips HERE.

Education for Prevention and Assistance

Parents and teens alike should learn about the dangers of drug abuse in teenagers. Additionally, a parent’s participation (and being a good role model) in their child’s life can help to prevent substance abuse. However, sometimes no matter what anyone does, the teen may fall prey to addiction.

If you feel your child may be using or abusing drugs, here are some associated signs and behaviors:

Signs of Drug Abuse

1.    Physical Changes

Some of the physical changes that occur when a teen becomes addicted to drugs are:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Regular nosebleeds
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive Fatigue
  • Pupils that are widely dilated
  • Frequent Tremors and/or Shakes

2.    Behavioral Changes

There are certain changes that you will witness in your teenage child’s behavior if they are involved in drug abuse. If your teen is showing more outbursts and is continuously engaging in harmful activities, there is a need to keep a check on their regular routine.

3.    Personality Changes

Being moody is not the only personality change that teens go through as a result of drug use. You may also find your child to be less sympathetic towards others or witness a trend of poor results in school.

Effects of Drug Abuse

As mentioned earlier, if an adolescent develops a habit of drug abuse at this stage, they are more likely to turn into drug addicts during adulthood. Moreover, there are many other dangerous linked effects. These include: poor decision-making, greater susceptibility to developing diseases caused by needles, and emotional and mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Thus, it is vital for parents to play an important role in their teen’s life during this time.

Treatment

If parents play an active role in their child’s life during this time, they can help protect them from making further bad decisions. In his book, “The Teen Formula”, Dr. Dave Campbell provides parents with a guide that they can use to protect their teenagers from becoming victims of substance abuse. Many parents have reported seeing results within 30 days. 

In Conclusion…

The brain is still developing during an individual’s teenage years. This is why teens are drawn to drugs. But, it’s also one reason why the young brain can be harmed. And unfortunately, substance abuse amongst this age group is fairly common. Most noteworthy, a majority of substance abuse problems begin at this juncture.

Hence, it is extremely important for parents to keep a close eye on their child’s behavior and activities during this phase of their life. By incorporating positive parenting, adults can counsel their children, as well as be avid listeners. Hopefully, parents can prove to be a source of constant support. We can only do our best, so let’s do our best!

For more articles about parenting and teens, check out GetThrive.com

Understanding the Teenage Years

No parent is ever absolutely ready for the changes and challenges they have to encounter and experience when it comes to a teenager. Even though there have been numerous studies trying to explain the reason behind the unpredictable nature of their behavior, there are still some surprising moments faced by every parent during this time. However, understanding why the behavior is such can help you, as a parent; feel more supportive towards them during this phase.

It Ain’t Done Yet

According to neuroscientist Frances Jensen, the teenage brain is still undergoing change and is getting developed which is why their actions do not always seem rational to adults. In this article, we will share some of the realities associated with the teenage years in the hope to educate parents.

The frontal lobes of our brains are considered to be responsible for the decisions that we make and the reactions that we have to things around us. During teenage years, this part of the brain is still in the process of getting re-wired, which is why you should expect yourself to witness a lot of unpredictable responses and bad judgment calls.

Keep It Up

However, this does not mean that you give up on your child; rather it is essential that you play your part as a parent since the habits developed during this time might stay for a long time. Teenagers that develop bad habits such as smoking, drug use and alcohol addiction will face more problems as adults when they try to quit. Thus, it is extremely important that as a parent, you keep doing the best you can to improve your teen’s habits.

Let’s Get Physical

Apart from the biological changes, there are also many physical changes that are taking place during this time of life. Hormonal changes leading to puberty can also be held responsible for the erratic feelings that your adolescent shows – for example, a change in voice, in demeanor, acne, etc. are all changes that make adolescents more vulnerable to having problems related to self-confidence and self-esteem. Your child is at a stage where they are trying to discover and understand their inner-self and at the same time is learning to accept the physical changes that have taken place. It almost feels like they are in someone else’s body. Knowing this, parents are more likely to give the teenage children some benefit of the doubt.

Sleep It Off

Also, the circadian rhythm of the teenager is subject to change as well. Teens, because of this change, feel more alert during the night and need 3-4 more hours of sleep in the morning as compared to adults. Unfortunately, academic needs do not allow them to get the proper sleep, which is what they need during this stage for to be calm and relaxed.

Bottom Line

Even though this time of your child’s life is going to be challenging for both of you, it is recommended that you still play your role to avoid any damaging lifelong effects. As a parent, you need to make sure that you stay connected to your child by being a constant source of support in their life.

To read more about family dynamics, kids, teenagers and parenting, check out GetThrive.com

 

Road Rage: Anger behind the Wheel Could Be a Sign of Poor Mental Health

A look at any recent police blotter will most likely reveal at least one incident involving an aggressive motorist. Known as “road rage,” volatile behavior behind the wheel is a leading cause of car accidents—and is becoming a growing health concern.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road rage contributed to 218 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries in a six-year period. Check out this site here to read moreabout real road rage facts.

Most recently, former child star and singer, Aaron Carter, was captured on video allegedly engaging in a road rage incident at a gas station. One story says Carter yelled at the other man to fight him, then threatened to report the man to police for threatening him. Read more about this news story here.

In another case, a motorist rear-ended another vehicle and then got out of his car to shove the other driver. Last year, a road rage case made headlines across the country when a mother of four was shot and killed by another motorist.

These incidents are tragic and scary – but new health news research shows they may also be linked to an underlying mental health condition. Psychologists state that motorists who experience pronounced road rage may actually be suffering from a mental condition.

Characteristics of Angry Drivers

A study conducted by a Colorado State University psychology professor revealed that angry drivers share numerous personality traits. Although they aren’t always dangerous and aggressive behind the wheel, they are far more likely to become irritated or irrational when challenged on the road.

Their common characteristics include:

More Likely to Take Risks

Angry drivers take more risks than average motorists. They tend to driver faster than other drivers – even 10 to 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. They’re also more likely to switch lanes more rapidly, tailgate other drivers, and run red lights.

The Anger Progression

Compared to other drivers, it doesn’t take much to provoke an angry driver. On average, angry drivers experience more episodes of anger in their daily lives. Whereas normal drivers felt angry less than once per day on average, angry drivers experienced anger more than two times a day.

Experience More Accidents

It’s not much of a surprise that angry drivers get in more accidents. They are also involved in more near-accidents and off-road crashes. Additionally, they receive more speeding tickets than average drivers.

More Likely to Engage in Hostile Thinking

Angry drivers are more likely to have hostile and retaliatory thoughts compared to their average counterparts. This type of thinking leads them to make assumptions about other motorists. They are also more judgmental about the ways others drive.

Tips for Sending Your Anger to the Curb

Car accidents are a fact of life, but drivers who engage in road rage make the highways unsafe for everyone – including motorists who act out their aggression on the road. If you feel hot-tempered behind the wheel, there are several things you can do to reduce your rage from a boil to a simmer.

Tips for keeping calm on the road include:

  • Getting enough rest – The National Sleep Foundation says 45 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep. Read more about this here.
  • Planning your route ahead of time – Getting lost during your drive can raise your stress levels, making you more prone to anger. Give yourself enough time to reach your destination without speeding; also, map your route before you pull out of the driveway.
  • Thinking of your car as a tool, not as an extension of yourself – Americans have a long history of loving their cars. For many people – especially those who routinely drive long commutes – the car becomes part of them while they’re driving. When someone cuts them off or follows too closely, they are more likely to view it as a personal attack.
  • Practicing deep breathing – Breathing exercises aren’t just for yoga class. Taking in more oxygen and focusing on your breaths can slow your heart rate and clear your mind.

Learning to curb your anger can not only save yourself—and others—from accidents, but it can halso be more beneficial to your mental health. Get some rest and get in the right frame of mind before getting behind the wheel.

Like this blog? Read more here at Getthrive.com.

 

 

Are You Raising an Entitled Child Without Knowing It?

Doesn’t everyone want well-behaved children? Are we doing our best to prepare our children for the world? Surely, as our children get older, we have less ability to inform their behavior and their decisions.

While they are still impressionable, it’s imperative that as adults, we educate ourselves on best-practice techniques for socialization. When it comes down to it, our aim is to help teach our children how to get along with others.

Oh, Behave

Most behavior is learned. A five-year old wants another stuffed character from the movie Frozen. Mom says, “No, you have enough.” The child will try throwing-a-fit for size. She screams, falls to the ground, and refuses to get up until she gets another Elsa doll.

A scene in the store ensues. The parent is embarrassed and feels helpless. The parent concedes and buys the girl what she demands in order for the chaos to cease. The child just learned that her behavior was reinforced. Hence, “If I tantrum, I get my way.”

Historically, there have been several various styles touted as “the way” to approach parenting. Some had validity and continue to be effective, just as others were an experimental exercise in failure.

From a socio-psychological standpoint, a variation of operant conditioning seems to be a successful basis for bringing forth desired behavior and reducing unwanted behaviors or responses. It can be one technique in your bag of tricks that may prove to be effective.

On That Condition…

In layman’s terms, operant conditioning is basically teaching behavior through reward or punishment. Establish the reward or consequences beforehand. For example, tell your son if he doesn’t study and gets a D on his next math test, you will take his computer/gaming privileges away for a week.

He gets a D, you take it; he doesn’t like this. Next test, he studies and gets a B because he doesn’t want to lose his computer. He’s now learned how to avoid punishment through adapted (improved/desired) behavior. However, negative reinforcement can also breed unwanted results.

OK, so your son got a B. But did he do it because he understands the importance of best effort? Not really. It may not even boost his confidence as a student or give him a sense of pride for doing a job well done. In fact, once that “consequence” is removed, will that “good” behavior remain? (When he goes to college and you can’t take away his computer, will he have learned to study or even care?)

There’s something about reward that tends to be a better overall motivator. When your boss gives you a raise, you feel more apt to continue to apply yourself at work. And, you feel acknowledged and appreciated. Our kids need that too.

Don’t Go Overboard

Beware, however, of over-rewarding or rewarding for a job half-assed. Our youngsters need to learn a sense of earning, but also disappointment. Not every effort in life is going to get a prize. Helping your child find coping skills for disappointment is just as valuable as teaching them a sense of gratitude for accomplishment and reward.

Here’s a brief list of effective tips for raising a well-behaved person:

1. Set boundaries and enforce them: Make them realistic and manageable.

2. Reward desired behavior: (Note: Let’s say your kid screams “No!” and then crawls into bed every time you ask him to do homework. If you teach him to use words like, “I’m tired right now” and ask him not to scream at you, and soon, instead, he stops screaming, but still crawls under the covers—reward the good behavior of NOT screaming. Then work on the next part. Maybe offer 15 minutes of video time after 15 minutes of homework.)

3. Be a good role model by behavior: Let your kids see you treat others with respect. Treat your children with respect as well.

4. Keep your cool: Try not to be “reactionary.” You’re the adult. Ignore bad behavior—it will eventually decrease if no one’s responding to it.

5. Change takes time and effort: You have to be willing to attend to each situation. Be patient and you will see positive results.

6. Don’t be afraid to apologize when you’ve done something wrong or mistakenly

7. Don’t be afraid to be the bad guy: Your kids will love you and respect you when you take charge and implement rules. They may not like it at the time, but ultimately they understand you are there to protect and keep them safe. You can even explain that.

8. Teach and practice gratitude: Remind your kids how lucky you feel to have them in your life. Let them know you are thankful for all that surrounds you. Ask them occasionally what they love in their lives. Practicing gratitude allows us the freedom to care for others in hopes that they can have the best in life like we do.

 

 

Parent Quiz: Do You Know What Your Teen is Up To?

Many of us would like to think we know what our teen is doing. Even using the barometer of “I was a teenager once” may help us to better understand their behaviors and actions. But, still, … these are different times.

What our kids are up to may surprise us, even if we feel informed. Check out the Parent Quiz below. See the Answer Key afterwards to see how you ranked and for explanations and details.

 

Questions:

 

1.) The Rational Part of the Brain Isn’t Fully Developed Until…

a) a person turns 18

b) a person turns around 25

c) a student gets a high score on the SATs

 

2.) Teenagers Drive More Recklessly When They Are…

a) with a parent

b) with a peerc) alone

c) alone

 

3.) On the Subject of Marijuana…

a) Over 35% of high school students report having used it at least once

b) Over 100 deaths a year are attributed to marijuana overdose

c) It can have permanent effects on the developing brain, especially with heavy or regular use

 

4.) On the Subject of Alcohol…

a) By 18, around 60% of teens have had at least 1 drink

b) More adolescents use alcohol than cigarettes or marijuana

c) Over 5 million adolescents reported binge drinking at least once in the past month.

 

5.) On the Subject of Sex…

a) Over 40% of high school students have engaged in sexual relations

b) About 15% of teens having sex do not use condoms or birth control

c) Almost 10 million new STD cases reported each year are among youngsters between the ages of 15 to 24.

 

Answers:

1.) The answer is b; the rational part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) isn’t fully developed until people are in their mid-20s. Teens often respond to situations with the amygdala (the emotional, primitive part of the brain). It’s for this reason that teenagers can often be impulsive and seemingly act reckless. They don’t yet have the capability to respond with the best judgment. Often, they are unable to understand long-term consequences.

2.) Because the prefrontal cortex of the brain is not fully developed, a teenager does not have the “adult” capacity to self-regulate. Additionally, adolescents are greatly motivated by peer influence. A teenager is more likely to drive recklessly when he/she has another peer in the vehicle. They often engage in risky behavior because they do not want to feel excluded by their peers. (It’s emotionally based.) The answer is b.

3.) If you answered a and c, you are correct. The CDC reports that 38% of high schoolers have tried or use marijuana. And yes, abusing the drug can increase risk of negative effects on the developing brain. However, there are no reported deaths attributed directly to marijuana; it is almost impossible to overdose from it.  (There have been reports where accidents have been cause by marijuana use, but in and of itself, it is not deadly.)

4.) All answers a, b, and c are correct. According to the National Institutes of Health, teenage alcohol use is rampant. Accidents are the number one cause of teenage death; alcohol and/or drugs are often a contributing factor to the unintentional deaths. (Binge drinking, by the way, entails 5 or more drinks for males and 4 or more for females within a few hours.)

5.) Again, if you guessed answers a, b, and c, you would be correct. The CDC conducted a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance in 2015 amongst adolescents, teens, and young adults. The figures are staggering when it comes to the amount of unsafe sexual activity that is occurring. About half of all teens between the ages of 15 and 19 reported that they have participated in oral sex, most without protection from STDs.

 

While some of these questions and their respective answers do not come as a surprise to some parents, to others, it can be dumbfounding. We cannot be with our teenagers 24/7, nor do any of us want it that way. It’s for this reason that it’s essential you and your adolescent try and maintain an open line of communication.

Listening and trust will be the pillars of your ability to stay connected with your teen. As a parent, it’s our job to impart important information. How that is handled will define how your child receives it. You and your family’s position on the addressed topic will, no doubt, have certain rules or belief systems. Regardless, it will help to keep in mind that your teen’s brain may yet be incapable of self-monitoring, rationalizing, and emotional impulse control.

Information, care, guidance, and a mature perspective may be the optimal service we can offer to our teens to keep them safe and flourish into responsible, healthy adults. No one said raising teens was going to be easy!

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-wide-wide-world-psychology/201506/why-are-teen-brains-designed-risk-taking

Chein, J., Albert, D., O’Brien, L., Uckert, K., & Steinberg, L. (2011). Peers increase adolescent risk taking by enhancing activity in the brain’s reward circuitry. Developmental Science, 14, F1-F10.

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/underagedrinking/underagefact.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/marijuana-teens-508.pdf

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051

http://www.livestrong.com/article/1003934-leading-causes-death-us-among-teens/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/sexualbehaviors/

 

 

 

 

 

Pill-popping Nightmare

Put a Pause on Pill-Popping

It’s 3 am. You keep glancing at the clock. Yup, you’re still awake. The state of “exhaustion” was so five nights ago. Sound familiar? If so, you are like millions of Americans who suffer from insomnia every night. But while your first go-to solution might be popping some sleeping pills, here are some reasons why that might not be the best idea.

Restless Isn’t Restful

Sleeping pills not only don’t always work but they often leave insomniacs feeling more tired the next day. In fact, they can do more harm than good. Even if you felt like you slept, tossing and turning means your sleep was restless … and not very rest-ful, which is what the body needs to heal.

Sleep Solutions

Aside from pills, there are a number of cognitive treatments that can help the body and mind relax enough to get the natural sleep it needs. Some of these treatment methods involve exercises and tactics insomniacs can do prior to going to bed. Many behavioral therapy methods can help break the pattern of sleeplessness, allowing for the rest we need.