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Mental Health Tips: How to Look at the Glass Half Full

Optimism is the key to living a happier lifestyle. In a world full of struggles, stressors, and unknown outcomes it is very hard to consistently choose to keep a positive mindset. Anxiety and deep thoughts tend to take over and I want to guide you in a totally different direction. Once you master optimistic thinking your whole perspective on life will change. Activities or errands that you once hated will become much more enjoyable. Little parts of your life will have greater meaning. I am here today with researched and practiced tips and tricks to help create the most fulfilled life that you could possibly have!

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” 

Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

Time & Effort

This isn’t a sudden transformation and you’re not going to wake up one day and just be happier. That’s not how this works, and you can’t expect instantaneous results. You have to redirect the way your brain thinks. That comes with time, effort, and energy. It is proven by experts that a pessimist’s brain can be wired to have an optimistic mindset within 21 days. Research proves that humans tend to think social problems and the state of the world is actually worse than it is. That’s why I am here to relay some tips to help you see all the good in the world! No one ever said being happy was easy, but it is completely worth it once you get there. 

human speaking listening power of mastermind together world universe inside your mind, watercolor painting hand drawn

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

5 Tips to Become an Optimist

Changing your negative mindset will bring you much more happiness and positivity. The energy you put out into the world is the energy you receive.

  1. Stop Comparing Yourself
    • The majority of humans can now access pictures, profiles, and the lives of other people that they had no clue even existed. Social media has made this possible and I challenge you to realize that social media is everyone’s ‘best life’. All individuals go through struggles every day. Don’t compare yourself to someone that looks happy on Instagram because in reality they probably aren’t. 
  2. Change Your Focus
    • If you continue to constantly look at the glass half empty and ponder about all the negative parts of your life you’re going to be extremely unhappy. If you change your mindset and begin to think of all the things you are grateful for you will see a sudden shift in your mindset and well-being. 
  3. Look for Positive Signs
    • Identifying signs of goodness from the universe in states of the unknown are ways to stay positive. Finding a ladybug, a penny, or seeing something you believe is some sort of message from the universe are all great ways to stay optimistic. 
  4. Detach from Outcomes
    • When all expectations are set aside you are setting yourself up to be much happier. When you aren’t completely set on a scenario playing out a certain way you will appreciate the outcome much more. If an opportunity passes you will know a much better one is on its way. Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it. 
  5. Focus on the Possibilities
    • It is absolutely not possible to lead a more fulfilled life if you’re always focused on the negatives and impossibilities. Instead shifting your thought process to thinking about all the great possibilities and exciting outcomes in your life will overall be a healthier and happier process. Rewiring the way you think will eventually bring you into an optimistic state. 

Optimism comes from within. If you are ready to be happy, optimism will follow. Re-wiring your mindset can help you see your life as half full and that’s the best gift you could ever receive. 






Beneficial Tips to Socialize Your Dog

It is extremely valuable for a puppy or dog to socialize with other puppies or dogs. This ensures that your puppy is happy, confident, and well-adjusted in new environments and situations. The best time to socialize your puppy is between 10-16 weeks old when they are young and eager to play with others. As the puppy grows older, it is harder to help them feel comfortable socializing. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that you should stop taking them to socialize with other canines. We have listed some tips to create fun and positive experiences for you and your furry friend.

  1. Introduce socialization gradually A large number of new pets and people can feel overwhelming for your young puppy. In turn, this may cause your puppy to feel nervous or scared around dogs in the future. Instead, plan a small doggie date or take your puppy to introduce to the neighbors.
  2. Go on daily walks. The environment outside of your house provides substantial stimuli for your puppy. This includes cars, the mailman, neighborhood dogs to help ease your puppy into their new environment.
  3. Change it up. Expose your puppy to a wide variety of people, rather than only the individuals in your family. Your canine will grow to be comfortable with your family, yet nervous when meeting new people. When your puppy begins to feel scared, remain confident and calm.
  4. Take car rides. Even though your puppy may not be socializing with another, car rides provide beneficial stimulus. There are many new environments and smells that they will see when they stick their head out the window. In the beginning, travel short distances to help your pup become comfortable in the car and prevent any potential messes to clean up. 
  5. Attend puppy classes. You may begin taking your puppy to classes when they have begun to receive their vaccinations. Do not hesitate to talk to your vet beforehand. It’s important that you and your pup are safe. When you attend puppy classes, your canine learns basic commands and becomes exposed to new puppies and individuals. 
  6. Don’t force a scared dog. If there is a scenario or environment that is causing your puppy to become nervous, allow your dog to decide what to do. Most often, our dogs rely on their intuition to keep themselves protected against others. Your dog may decide to meet the new dog or walk away. Never force your dog into a situation that they may not want to be a part of because it causes them to become more nervous or skittish. 

It takes time, love, and patience to train a well-behaved puppy. Remember practice makes perfect and the more often that you socialize your puppy, the more positive interactions it will encounter. If you’re looking for more tips for you and your puppy, read our previous blogs “Helpful Tips to Housetrain Your Dog” and “Helpful Tips to Teach Your Dog How to Sit”.


Success Stories Within The IDD Community: Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is a competitive swimmer who is known for being the most decorated Olympian of all time. Throughout his life, Phelps struggled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But, he did not let that stop him from accomplishing his dreams.

Early Life:

Michael Fred Phelps was born on June 30th, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland. Phelps is the youngest of his three siblings. For education, he attended Rodgers Forge Elementary, Dumbarton Middle School, and Towson High School. In kindergarten, his teacher told his mother that Phelps would never be able to focus on anything. In classes, he was known for being a troublemaker. When Phelps was 9 years old, his parents got divorced. He later said that this negatively impacted him as his relationship with his father grew weaker. 

When Phelps was in the sixth grade, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Shortly after this, his mom decided that he should try swimming as a way to release his energy. At first, Phelps hated swimming, but once he got a hang of it he started to love it. 

“Once I figured out how to swim, I felt so free. I could go fast in the pool, it turned out, in part because being in the pool slowed down my mind. In the water, I felt, for the first time, in control.”

Michael Phelps

Although Phelps had a difficult time concentrating in the classroom, he excelled in the pool. By age 10 Michael Phelps held a national rank as a swimmer. When he was 11 years, he met renowned swim coach Bob Bowman. Although the two butted heads at first, Bowman saw potential in Phelps and continued to work with him. 

Career Success:

At the young age of 15, Phelps swam for the first time at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Since then, he has medaled at every Summer Olympics event he has participated in. In total, Michael Phelps has 28 Olympic medals, 23 of which are gold medals. Phelps has competed in numerous World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships, and Olympics. 

In 2012, Phelps announced his first retirement from the sport of swimming. But, in 2014, he announced that he would be coming out of retirement. In May 2014, he competed and won gold in the 100-meter butterfly event at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte, North Carolina. Phelps continued to compete in the 2015 US Nationals and 2016 Summer Olympics before officially retiring. His last event was the  4 × 100-meter medley relay in which he won his 28th gold medal. He had an amazing career!  

Current Day:

On June 13, 2016, Phelps was married to Nicole Johnson, who is a former Miss California. Together they have three sons: Boomer, Beckett, and Maverick. Phelps, along with Coach Bowman, volunteer as coaches for the Arizona State swim team. 

Be sure to check out our previous success story featuring RJ Mitte and a similar success story featuring Li Xiang!





https://www.biography.com/athlete/michael-phelps https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michael-Phelps


Helpful Tips to Housetrain Your Dog

It can feel rather intimidating at first when you realize that you will need to potty train your young puppy or newly adopted dog. Housetraining will require patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. It’s important to initially instill good habits and create a strong and loving bond with your furry friend. To give a strong start in the right direction, here are some tips for housetraining your canine.

Tips to Support You and Your Furry Friend

  1. Manage your expectations. Remember that you are potty training a puppy and accidents will occur. Often, it takes about 4-6 months for your puppy to be fully housetrained. When considering this, it’s important to utilize patience. If you feel frustrated, don’t hesitate to take a deep breath and step away. It may be better to lose the opportunity to correct the behavior than to respond in a negative fashion. 
  2. Limit the space. The recommendation is to not give your puppy the ability to run around your whole house yet. Instead, utilize one room or an area of a room and gradually expand their area once they are more responsible. Access is limited by doors, baby gates, or exercise pens. This aids you in containing the environment that your puppy has access to. 
  3. Maintain a regular feeding schedule. Find a schedule that works best for you and remain consistent at it! This helps you in knowing when your puppy last ate. Do not keep the food bowl in their area if they did not eat all of it, especially if you leave for a period of time. 
  4. Reward the correct behavior. When you take your dog outdoors to pee, bring treats with you. As soon as they are done, praise them and give them a treat. 
  5. Take them to the same spot each time if possible. When you take your puppy to the same spot, their scent may prompt them to go. Similarly, the repetition and familiarity of where they are at may aid in this too. 
  6. Create a housetraining schedule. It is important to remember that puppies have smaller bladders and that they may need to pee more often than older dogs. But all puppies and dogs are different and you have to remain observant in how often your dog needs to go potty outside. Once you have seen how often your puppy needs to go, this supports you in creating a schedule. For example, in one day you may need to take them out between 6-10 times. After you’ve figured out a schedule that works well for you and your canine, strive to keep it consistent. 

Closing Thoughts

When potty training, it takes time and patience. Don’t lose hope! Your puppy or dog will learn the habit and be a pro at housetraining in no time. When it feels that your canine is straying and not retaining the behavior, return to the basics and start again. Each dog is different and takes its own individual path to learn the correct behavior. For additional tips in dog training, go read Introductory Dog Training Tips and Helpful Tips to Teach Your Dog How to Sit!


Mental Health Tips: How to Stay Calm in a Stressful Situation

In the state of the world we live in today, it is extremely hard to avoid high-stress situations. At this point in time, I believe most people have accepted stressful situations to be a repetitive and unfortunate part of their lives. Since we already covered Simple Tools to Get Through the Day I thought it was about time we start discussing how to cope with high-pressure situations. Anxiety and stress are mental health issues that can be heightened in these specific situations, but they can also be dealt with. Staying calm within high-stress situations is a superpower that all humans deserve to have. Luckily I am here to give you some tips on how to make these situations much more relaxed and enjoyable.

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” 
― Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

Defining a High-Stress Situation

Many humans have different opinions on what a ‘high-stress’ situation could be. Today we will be utilizing the definition that a high-stress situation tends to make everything seem worse. In a high-pressure or stressful situation, feelings of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure are heightened. An example of a high-pressure situation would be a job interview or a harsh deadline at work. Personally in this type of situation, I tend to sweat and shake. Everyone’s individual nervous system reacts differently towards high-stress situations and I will share some trusted tips to help your body adapt to what it needs in order to relax and stay calm. 

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” 
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

5 Tips to Stay Calm in High-Pressure Situations

Use these tips to relax in stressful situations. Stress doesn’t have to ruin your life

  1. Remain Positive
    • Always remember to give yourself positive affirmations. Self-love and positivity are extremely important when you are in an uncomfortable situation. Let’s say you get into a car accident on a very important day at work. In this scenario you should continuously remind yourself that “everything will work out”, “I am going to be okay”, or “this is a temporary situation.”
  2. Avoid Caffeine
    • This is a fact I feel a lot more people should be aware of! If you drink too much caffeine on a day you are feeling very stressed the caffeine stimulates your brain to feel even more overwhelmed. Basically what I learned is you should not drink coffee and opt for water on these types of expected days with high-pressure situations. 
  3. Lighten the Mood
    • Cracking jokes in high-stress situations can always be helpful. Saying something funny in the midst of a nerve-wracking scenario can release hormones to make you feel calmer. Laughter is truly the world’s best medicine. 
  4. Identify the Stressor
    • Establishing the main stressor in a situation can be very helpful in order to stay more relaxed. Once you analyze the source of your anxiety the actual task at hand will seem a lot less scary. 
  5. Decompress and Refrain
    • It is extremely important to take a step back from a situation that is bringing you so much stress. In these types of scenarios, it’s important to do something small to take your mind off of the stressors. Examples can be going for a walk, taking a drive, reading a book, or watching a movie. After “decompressing” you can then refrain. Your perspectives will generally be different after decompressing and you can see the situation in a whole new light. 

These 5 tips have been extremely convenient and useful for me in times of high stress. Definitely utilize these tools to stay calm, cool, and collected when stress normally seems to get the best of you!








By Zoelle