Building Rock-Solid Friendships

by Kevin on July 23, 2014

Friendships are one of the most important relationships we have as human beings. Without friends, we would feel lonely, rejected, and left out. Even in a marriage, we need friends outside of the relationship to fulfill our social needs or help us through difficult situations.

Building rock-solid friendships takes loyalty, trust, and honesty and it can’t happen overnight.

Most people have rock-solid friendships with only a couple of people or a handful at the most. The truth is a friendship is about quality, not quantity. Yes, you can have several friends, but most are merely casual friendships and don’t have that deep inner connection.

A good example of this is Jesus. He had 12 disciples, but only three were considered as his closest companions, Peter, James, and John. Jesus had companionship with all 12, but only three were truly close to him, like a best friend.

The Friendly Sacrifice

Being a true friend also requires sacrifice. In a rock-solid friendship, we may be asked to give up our desires for our friend’s needs. Our friend may need us when it’s not so convenient for us, like in the middle of the night. In a rock-solid friendship, this would involve sacrificing the comfort of a good night’s sleep in a nice, warm bed in order to be there for our friend. But that’s what friends do!

Give and Take

In a rock-solid friendship, there is both give and take. There are mutual feelings between the parties and it’s never one-sided. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be conflicts because we’re human, after all. However, when there is a conflict between two very close friends, the struggles usually don’t last long because there is forgiveness, understanding, and communication.

• Forgiveness means that you let go of any malice or grudges and you move forward at peace with one another.
• Understanding comes from knowing your friend inside and out – knowing where they’re coming from and knowing what they’re going through.
• Communication means that you connect with your friend with an overall understanding of his or her relating style.

When a friendship is truly rock-solid, the parties are real with each other; there are no facades, no masks and no secrets. There is trust, honesty, sincerity and loyalty, however, and this comes only as a friendship grows.

How to Connect With a New Friend

You may have stumbled upon someone new by chance or through friends and if there is enough common interest, you may decide to meet again. Sounds pretty obvious, right?

With each encounter you have, your relationship grows and strengthens. Then as you continue to get to know one another, the communication gets easier and you become more comfortable with each other. The key here is that it can’t happen overnight. If you try to force it, you may make the other person feel uncomfortable and threatened, so go at a smooth and steady pace.

Showing Your True Colors

As the friendship continues to blossom, casual friends build trust and loyalty through both the peaks and valleys of life. However, it’s in the difficult times that a person’s true colors are revealed. When you’re going through a tragedy, a personal crisis, or simply a rough patch, it is the rock-solid friends that are there to help lift you back up.

Friends Help Friends Grow

True friends help each other grow mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. A true friendship requires both unconditional love as well as tough love.

Building a rock-solid friendship takes time to achieve, but once you’re in a rock-solid friendship with someone, you will know who you can trust. Neither distance, nor hard times can spoil a truly rock-solid friendship.

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Top 5 Energy Boosters

by Kevin on July 16, 2014

With so many ads about which super foods are best, it can be confusing to decipher what’s a scam and what’s the truth. That’s why I compiled a list of the top five energy boosting foods that will give you true, lasting energy to keep you hopping all day!

Oatmeal

Oats contain the energizing and stress-lowering B vitamin family, which helps transform carbs into usable energy. Oats are also low on the glycemic index because they have a lot of fiber. That means that your body gets a steady stream of energy, as opposed to a short-term spike, because the carbohydrates gradually flow into your bloodstream.

The key here is to look for high-fiber oatmeal, like oat bran. For the best nutrition kick, avoid instant oatmeal and stick with more natural varieties, then add your own sweetness.

Lentils

Beans are a great source of fiber, which translates to a slow release of glucose, as well as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and copper. Lentils provide both carbohydrates and protein, making them a great addition to any meal. Lentils help reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, and they’re low in fat and calories to boot.

Bananas

Bananas provide a lot of potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. Unlike some nutrients, the body doesn’t store potassium for long periods of time. This means that your potassium level can drop during times of stress or during strenuous exercise when the nutrient is lost through excessive sweating. The sugar in bananas is an easily digested form of carbohydrate.

Other fruits such as apples, grapes, peaches and pineapples also make great energizing and refreshing snacks. We all know we need to be eating more fruits in our diet!

Chocolate

Studies show that chocolate can elevate your energy levels by way of certain bioactive compounds such as tyramine and phenylethylamine. Chocolate has also been claimed to improve anemia, awaken the appetite, aid in digestion, and improve longevity. Chocolate contains sugar and caffeine along with fat and calories so consume in moderation. When possible, opt for dark chocolate or raw cacao for the highest source of antioxidants.

Almonds

These little guys are great if you’re looking to improve your focus and mental clarity. Monounsaturated fats such as almonds provide essential fatty acids, known as omega-3s and omega-6s that produce an alert mental state.

Healthy Fats

Other healthy fats to include in your diet are avocados, seeds, nuts, olive oil, and fish oil. Of course, you’ll want to check with your health practitioner before making drastic changes to your diet.

Incorporating these foods into your daily menu takes some planning, so here are some ideas you can use to ensure you’ll have all the energy you need every day.

Breakfast

• Smoothies: For breakfast, a banana fruit smoothie is a quick and easy way to get the potassium your body requires for normal function. In a blender, combine a small banana, some frozen berries of your choice, ice, 1/2 cup low fat milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla. You can also add a tablespoon of peanut butter or some raw cacao powder as well.

• Oatmeal: If you need a quick breakfast, you may not always think of oatmeal, or you may think of instant oatmeal, which isn’t as nutritious. Some companies are making instant oatmeal healthier by not adding as much sugar and artificial flavoring, but you’ll always want to compare the sugar and fiber amounts across a few different brands to find the most nourishing oatmeal.

• Cereals: Another great alternative to a bowl of hot oatmeal is bran and muesli cereals. They contain a lot of the energy boosting nutrients of oatmeal, and often contain healthy nuts and dried fruits as well.

Snacks

• Almonds: These nuts are perfect as a mid afternoon snack. Grab a handful and take them to work with you in a snack cup or baggie.

• Dark Chocolate: When you’re feeling sluggish, a small dark chocolate bar is all you need for a great pick me up that will last longer than an hour or two.

Dinner Side Dishes

• Beans: Lentils are a great side dish to enhance many dinner entrees such as tacos and burgers. You can also make lentils a main dish by combining several types into one dish as a bean soup or bean casserole served with cornbread. Another way to eat lentils is to add some pepper and melted shredded cheese as part of a healthy lunch.

Working these naturally energizing foods into your daily routine doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little imagination and effort, you can have all the energy you need to stay awake and alert throughout the entire day!

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Coping with Stressful Changes in Your Life

July 9, 2014

Life is constantly changing around us, in us, through us, and about us. It’s inevitable that there are going to be changes throughout life. Some will be good, some bad, and some indifferent. Some you like, some you hate, and some just don’t matter. Obviously the changes you like are easy to deal with and […]

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5 Simple Relaxation Tips

July 2, 2014

Everyone experiences times throughout the day where you just wish you could relax for even a few minutes. You already know that relaxation helps your body re-energize, but sometimes you’re so busy and caught up in the moment that you just don’t have the time to unwind. Well, fortunately there are simple ways to relax, […]

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How to Live Simply

June 25, 2014

Confucius once said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” If we make life complicated and fill it up with a bunch “stuff,” how can we ever focus on what matters most? Many of us are running around trying to squeeze everything we can out of life when, in fact, we’d […]

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The Power of Failure

June 18, 2014

What do you think when you hear the word failure? You probably are thinking that you’re not good enough and that you should give up. While failure can involve those thoughts and emotions, failure can also make us stronger or wiser. A simple definition of failure is: An act or instance of failing or proving […]

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How to Boost Your Memory

June 11, 2014

Although many things about the brain are still unsolved mysteries, we’ve learned a lot about memory. Your brain is made up of 100 billion neurons. As you grow up, develop, and gain wisdom from life experiences, these neurons become connected to each other and they communicate through these connections. Memories are formed when certain neuron […]

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Five Ways to Find Inspiration

June 4, 2014

Sometimes life is tough and it’s hard to see the pot of gold waiting for you at the end of the rainbow. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to find a source of inspiration that will motivate you and keep you on the right path toward your goals. Here are five quick and easy ways […]

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Rejuvenate Your Mind and Body in Nature

May 28, 2014

Enjoying fresh air and sunshine is one of the easiest ways to rejuvenate your mind and body. There are numerous advantages to going outside every day! Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors • Fresh air and sunshine can help you regain focus. Spending a brief period of time outside in-between work tasks can benefit you greatly. […]

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Overcome Shyness in Five Easy Steps

May 21, 2014

Do you feel awkward in social situations? If your shyness is keeping you from enjoying yourself, you can discover your inner confidence. With a little practice, you can finally have the good life you deserve! By following the steps below, you can overcome your shyness in a healthy, gradual manner: 1. Increase your self-confidence. When […]

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