Bullying: Physical and Cyber Equally Dangerous

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A telephone survey conducted by Rasumussen Reports found 69 percent of adult respondents said physical and cyber-bullying are equally dangerous. The same percentage believe cyber-bullying should be a punishable crime. Twenty-one percent said physical bullying is more damaging than the online version, but seven percent said they believe cyber-bullying to be worse than physical.

Eighty-five percent of adults are somewhat concerned about bullying in schools, while 57 percent are very concerned. Just three percent are not at all concerned. Fifty percent of the adults surveyed thought parents are the ones who should deal with bullying. Thirty-seven percent said they thought schools should be responsible for dealing with the problem. Only five percent said police are the ones who should be used for bullying problems.

Sixty-one percent of adults surveyed said bullying is more of a problem today than it has been in the past. The Rassmasuen Reports survey included 1,000 adults. You can see how their surveys are conducted here.

Cyber-bullying was the number-one fear of parents in a Care.com telephone survey of 384 American adult parents. Other parental fears scored for the survey were kidnapping, terrorism, and suicide. Cyber-bullying was selected by 3o percent of the respondents, while kidnapping was close behind at 27 percent.

A Harris Interactive poll found 9 percent of 13-15 year-olds surveyed had experienced bullying often or always, to the degree it made them feel very sad, angry or upset. Twenty-eight percent said they are sometimes bullied to the point of those feelings.

A news article from Flagler College stated one third of American teens have experienced cyber-bullying. A number of U.S. states have passed laws to punish cyber bullying and to raise awareness about the damage it can do. They were spurred to do so in part, by the tragic suicide of a thirteen-year old girl in Missouri.

Article was originally printed at: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/bullying-cyber-and-physical-equally-dangerous.html

Malnutrition Can Cause People With Alzheimer’s Disease To Deteriorate

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Many people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease are seeing their illness deteriorate because of bad nutrition and lack of care according to a report.

The report was launched by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) this week. The report, which also found one in 10 older people in the UK are at risk of malnutrition, that malnutrition leads to many older people being forced into care homes and that lack of standard measures means older people face a lottery of services throughout the UK, has been published as part of Community Meals Week (11-17 October 2010).

The NACC and the British Dietetic Association are now calling on the government to support a new Nutrition Standard which will provide guidelines to those providing community meals services.

Alzheimer’s Society comment:
‘We all know how important a balanced diet is for maintaining good health. This is especially true for people with dementia. Malnutrition can have a serious impact on the symptoms of dementia and general well-being, potentially resulting in a person needing avoidable hospital admission or residential care earlier.’

‘As well as being distressing for the person and their family, malnutrition and poor care create huge and unnecessary costs for already stretched health and social care systems. Supporting people to live well in the community can help relieve this financial burden and hugely improve quality of life. Good nutrition must be at the heart of this care.’

Andrew Chidgey,  Head of Policy and Public Affairs
Source: Alzheimer’s Society

Why Pleasure Is Not Happiness

HappinessNo one wakes up in the morning thinking, “I wish I could suffer all day, and if possible my whole life.” We all strive, consciously or unconsciously, competently or clumsily, to be happier and to suffer less.

Nevertheless, we often confuse genuine happiness with merely seeking enjoyable feelings. Happiness is a state of inner fulfillment, not the gratification of inexhaustible desires for outward things. The universe is not a mail-order catalogue for our desires and fancies.

Happiness is often equated with a maximization of pleasure, and some imagine that true happiness would consist of an interrupted succession of pleasurable experiences. This sounds more like a recipe for exhaustion than for genuine happiness. There is no reason to deprive ourselves of the enjoyment of a magnificent landscape, of swimming in the sea or of the scent of a rose, but we must understand that the experience of pleasure is dependent upon circumstance, on a specific location or moment in time. It is unstable by nature, and the sensation it evokes can soon become neutral or even unpleasant.

Unlike pleasure, genuine happiness may be influenced by circumstance, but it isn’t dependent on it. It actually gives us the inner resources to deal better with those circumstances.

Thus, happiness is rather an optimal way of being, an exceptionally healthy state of mind that underlies and suffuses all emotional states, that embraces all the joys and sorrows that come one’s way. This way of being comes together with a cluster of human qualities, such as altruistic love, compassion, inner peace, inner strength, and wisdom, which can be cultivated. Happiness is a skill that requires effort and time.

It is the mind that translates good and bad circumstances into happiness or misery. So happiness comes with the purging of mental toxins, such as hatred, compulsive desire, arrogance and jealousy, which literally poison the mind. It also requires that one cease to distort reality and that one cultivate wisdom.

Moreover, we can never be truly happy if we dissociate ourselves from the happiness of others. The pursuit of selfish happiness is bound to fail. It is a lose-lose situation in which we make ourselves miserable and create misery around us. This in no way requires us to neglect our own happiness. Our desire for happiness is as legitimate as anyone else’s. We must realize that in the deepest part of ourselves, we fear suffering and aspire to happiness. We should then realize that all sentient beings want to avoid suffering just as much as we do. This should lead to the strong aspiration to do whatever we can to ease other’s suffering and contribute to their lasting well-being.

10 Tips for a Mindful Home

Karen Maezen Miller
Wife, mother, Zen priest and author of Hand Wash Cold

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The idea of mindfulness seems to be catching on. That’s good, but if we’re not careful, an idea is where it remains.

To be sure, mindfulness is a concept most of us like: to improve our lives with special contemplative consideration, a method for making saner choices and assuring better outcomes. To actually transform ourselves with the wisdom of mindfulness, we have to start with the lives we’re living from the moment we wake each day. We have to bring mindfulness out of our heads and into our homes. That’s where ideas become harder to handle.

Here are 10 simple and powerful ways to bring a day of mindful moments into your home.

Wake with the sun – There is no purer light than what we see when we open our eyes first thing in the morning. Resisting the morning’s first waking moment instantly adds stress to your day. Avoiding the sun, you commence a chase that lasts all day long: running short of time, balance, peace and productivity.

Sit – Mindfulness without meditation is just a word. The search for mindful living is always grounded in a meditation practice. Seated meditation is the easiest and fastest way to clear your mind of anxious, fearful and stressful thoughts. Meditation puts your overactive brain on a diet, so you have more attention to bring to the real life that appears before you. You will be far more productive in the ensuing hours if you begin the day by spending five minutes actively engaged in doing nothing at all.

Make your bed – The state of your bed is the state of your head. Enfold your day in dignity. The five minutes you spend making your bed slows you down from your frantic, morning scrambling and creates a calm retreat to welcome you home at night. Plus, making your bed means you’ve already achieved an even more challenging feat: getting out of it.

Empty the hampers – Do the laundry without resentment or commentary and have an intimate encounter with the very fabric of life. Doing laundry is a supreme act of personal responsibility. It requires maturity, attention and discipline, and it engenders happiness. Don’t believe me? See how you feel every time you reach the bottom of an empty hamper.

Wash your bowl – Rinse away self-importance and clean up your own kitchen mess. If you leave it undone, it will get sticky. An empty sink can be the single most gratifying sight of a long and tiring day.

Set a timer – If you’re distracted by the weight of what’s undone, set a kitchen timer and, like a monk in a monastery, devote yourself wholeheartedly to the task at hand before the bell rings. The time you’ll find hidden in a kitchen timer unleashes more of your attention to the things that matter most.

Rake the leaves – Take yourself outside to rake, weed or sweep. You’ll never finish for good, but you’ll learn the point of pointlessness. The repetitive motion is meditative; the fresh air is enlivening. Lose yourself in doing what needs to be done, without a thought of permanent outcome or gain. You’ll immediately alter your worldview.

Eat when hungry – Align your inexhaustible desires with the one true appetite. Coming clean about our food addictions and aversions is powerful and lasting medicine. Eating is so central to family life and culture that we can pass on our habits for generations to come. Mindless overeating feeds our sickness; mindful eating feeds the body’s intuitive, intelligent wisdom and nourishes life well past tonight’s empty plates.

Let the darkness come – Set a curfew on the Internet and TV and discover the natural balance between daylight and darkness, work and rest. Your taste for the quiet will naturally increase. When you end your day in accord with the earth’s perfect rhythm, you grant the whole world a moment of pure peace.

Sleep when tired – Nothing more to it.

Originally Posted on The Huffington Post: http://goo.gl/gHXv

The Gift of Change

by: Caroline Smith, MA, LPC, LSAC

Caroline Smith
Caroline Smith

Families often change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.  Hurt and anger are two frequent emotions experienced by families struggling to understand and assist a loved one with addiction.  The Pine Grove Family Program is designed to facilitate and support family systems healing.   By extending an invitation to family members, the identified patient is actually setting the stage for deep healing and curative systems change.

Family systems recovery is a process very much like the stages of grief.  Shock and denial are often the first stage followed by bargaining (trying to control), anger (sarcasm and passive aggressive behaviors), depression (overwhelming sense of hopelessness and helplessness) and eventually (hopefully)… acceptance.  Recovering the sacred family bonds of respect, resilience, renewal, and intimacy require tenacity and courage. Breaking through denial, gaining awareness of the multiple faces of addiction, communicating with clarity and sincerity, and healthy experiencing and expression of emotions are all gifts awaiting those courageous patients and family members who make the choice to face their fears and change their lives.

It’s interesting to note that our word “addiction” comes from the Latin word “addictus” meaning… attached to something.  In a sincere effort to help the addict, many family members end up being over involved, feeling over responsible, and attaching to the false belief that they can somehow control or cure their loved one’s disease.  These ineffective attempts to control can result in a sense of powerlessness, high levels of frustration or pits of despair.

Well intended family members can actually “love their families to death.” I remember hearing a recovering addict describe how his mother did this very thing by years of enabling his alcoholic father. Sadly, this story is not unique to his family.  We encounter a version of this scenario almost every week.

There is true wisdom in the old saying, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” Most people instinctually resist change, but for those family members who make the commitment and find the courage, the gifts they exchange during their family week are life changing.  Our talented Family Care staff is excited to help patients and family members as they shift from old patterns of blame and shame into the gifts of acceptance and healing.

Visit http://www.pinegrovetreatment.com/ or call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) for more information.