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The Ardell Real Wellness Self-Assessment Test for Exuberance

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INTRODUCTION

This self-assessment instrument is designed to reflect your knowledge, satisfaction level and general experience of Exuberance, one of four REAL wellness dimensions. Self-assessments for the Reason, Athleticism and Liberty dimensions are also available.

The self-assessment protocols are copyrighted; all rights are reserved. Visit donardell.com for licensing information regarding educational, corporate, non-profit or other uses of one or more of the four REAL wellness self-assessments, as well as a separate self-assessment test for stress management.

The purpose of all the self-assessments is to promote familiarity with and added commitment to REAL wellness mindsets and lifestyles. The overall goal is a philosophy guided by reason, inspired by exuberance, supported with athleticism and enriched by increased personal liberties.

EXUBERANCE

The English word exuberance has a certain ring to it, so much so that even non-English speaking people probably recognize that it connotes a joyful, celebrant quality, rich with excitement, almost lustful (in a polite way), living with the positive emotion of cheerful ebullience.

Exuberance is about human flourishing.

As a REAL wellness dimension, exuberance is the category for happiness and joy, meaning and purpose, social and relationship connections, the quality of work, careers and more. It’s hard to go overboard seeking exuberance–synonyms for the term suggest its attractive qualities, including but not limited to jauntiness, high spirits, exultation, gaiety, effervescence, vivacity, zest and even chirpiness! Exuberance is expressed in the contagiousness of play, laughter, the giddiness of new (and old) love, the intoxicating effects of music and in varied forms of religious ecstasy. (Note: Mention of religious ecstasy in this context should not be seen as an endorsement of being slain in the spirit, dancing with poisonous reptiles, exorcisms or other forms of group squealing, shrieking, inability to stand or sit, loudly uttering apocalyptic prophecies, holy laughter or human barking.)

As with anything else taken to ad absurdum levels, exuberance can be and is in some cases experienced in unattractive, jejune ways. Three examples should suffice to make the point:

  • Artificial highs beyond the heights, with loss of one’s usual capabilities of sound judgment, as with overindulgence in chemical substances, such as drugs and alcohol.
  • Reckless decisions, as in irrational exuberance. (A phrase Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan coined to describe the dot-com bubble of the 1990s.)
  • Aberrant behaviors, as seen in mood disorders. For example, bipolar disorder, once known as manic depression, is an affective disorder defined by manic or hypomanic episodes. It’s a serious disease.

The last noted example of excesses are not poor choices, so much as medical conditions or cultural aberrations. They are cited only to recognize that exuberance, while a highly positive and desirable experience, can have a dark side, under curious and unusual circumstances.

For the most part, as a REAL wellness lifestyle experience and element of successful living, exuberance is a very good thing. It animates intellectual searching, risk-taking, creativity and survival itself. There is most likely a hereditary predisposition to exuberance; neuroscience researchers, among others, continue to explore the role brain chemicals, such as dopamine, play in positive moods and psychological resilience.

There remains much to discover about the phenomenon of human exuberance.

SCORING THIS TEST

The Exuberance self-assessment contains ten statements. Each statement is prefaced by a background commentary that provides a context for a fuller understanding of the statement to follow.

Please choose a number from one to five that reflects the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement. If you strongly believe that your thinking or situation aligns with the statement, place the number 5 as your answer choice in the space provided. If you strongly disagree, enter the number 1.

One and five are the two extreme positions.

The middle number 3 represents a neutral position, indicating that you are not sure where you fit or take a middle ground position for this statement.

The numbers 2 and 4 should be selected to express a modest alignment with one side or the other along the five-part continuum. The number 2 would reflect mild disagreement; 4 would signify mild agreement with the statement.

Upon completion of ratings for the ten statements, an interpretative commentary is provided based upon your cumulative score. A selection of ten Exuberance-focused books are included as recommended readings.

A NOTE FOR BEST RESULTS

This instrument is not intended as a competition, but rather for purposes of a personal self-assessment. Therefore, please be scrupulously frank with your self-assessment ratings.

The value of the assessment will be in the degree to which your score accurately represents your thinking. The cumulative score of point totals for all ten statements will determine the feedback provided. This should be valuable for making positive adjustments, if needed and desired.

Enjoy the process.

TEN STATEMENTS

I. Background

Many factors affect the quality of your life in terms of health in general and experience of exuberance in particular. These include genetics and where you were born and to whom. There are twelve recognized determinants of health; five seem most influential to your prospects for exuberant living.

  • Income and social status
  • Education and literacy
  • Childhood experience
  • Social supports and coping skills
  • Healthy behaviors

Statement # 1

My experience with respect to all or most of these determinants was and continues to be positive and beneficial. _____

II. Background

Happiness is a prominent feature associated with exuberance. It is experienced in varied ways, but seven elements are commonly identified in studies of happy people: a sense of gratitude, wise choice of goals, effective time management, optimism, association with positive people, music appreciation and frequent expressions of love.

Statement # 2

These seven elements are regular features of the way I feel, value and experience living most of the time. _____

III. Background

A recent article in Psychology Today by Suzanne Degges-White entitled, Four Keys to Happiness: Live in Harmony with Others to Best Enjoy the Music of Life (July, 2015), focused on just four qualities essential for happiness. One is gratitude, which has already been acknowledged. The other three are cheerfulness, friendliness and compassion.

Statement # 3

I consider the above three qualities, as well as that of gratitude, to be conscious features of my personality–and I strive to think and act accordingly. _____

IV. Background

Unlike the way we learn language and religion, namely from parents or guardians who raise us and others who influence our early years, most of us do not engage in much independent thinking about our unique purposes or other existential-like questions. Only after years of experiences and personal development do we develop a capability to identify and describe our own take on purposes and meanings, if ever.

As time goes on, we often make new discoveries, and our ideas about meaning change and evolve. Just when we think we’ve found our purpose (s), things happen and we realize that additional adjustments are in order. We might do well to learn to expect this, to remain attuned to further possibilities that seem of interest, sometimes compelling and even consequential in reshaping our reflections on such matters.

Statement # 4

While comfortable with my present views about meaning and purpose, I’m open to new learning or discoveries that could influence my thinking. _____

V. Background

Many, perhaps most people, don’t contemplate meaning of life questions until near death, if then. One reason is because they, like 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, unconsciously perceive existence as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Life is indeed short. As JFK remarked at American University in 1963 a few months before his death, We all inhabit this small planet, We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.

Statement # 5

I am not troubled by death or given to forms of denial about the certainty of my approaching non-existence–and my thinking about the meaning of life is enriched by acceptance of my mortality. _____

VI. Background

Resilience means a capacity to resist, as well as recover from difficulties. When developed to a high level, resilience allows you to remain calm under duress, sustain a positive outlook, stay present in the moment despite distractions and stressors, be true to your best self and maintain confidence in trying circumstances. A well-tuned physical state contributes to mental alertness, flexibility and homeostasis–and vice-versa. A quiet confidence in your foundation purposes, positive social relationships and a mindset that enables adaptation to unfavorable change are key qualities of resilience.

Statement # 6

In light of the above background information about the nature of resilience, I consider myself a master practitioner of this aspect of artful living. _____

VII. Background

Laughter (fun/joy/humor) seems almost too good to be true. Claims for ititss benefits are legion and sometimes over the top. Long considered good medicine, laughter in its varied forms also feels great. Laughter could be a poster image of happiness. It bonds people, triggers desirable physical and emotional changes in the body, strengthens the immune system, boosts mood, distracts the body from pain and the brain from distress. Humor lightens burdens, contributes to hope, connects one person to others and keeps people grounded, focused and alert. It’s a wonder that it’s still free, always available and not trademarked.

Statement # 7

I get my fair share of laughter (fun/joy/humor) and, if I could donate some of my abundant supply, I would gladly do so. _____

VIII. Background

No less an authority than The Beatles proclaimed that all we need is love, love is all you need. Maybe love is not quite all we need, but a good life of exuberant living is almost unimaginable without love. It truly is a many splendored thing; no doubt we all, like Elvis, want someone (or many someones) to love me tender, love me dear… till the end of time.

Statement # 8

I am loved and lovable and, like Goldilocks, the three bears and three bowls of soup at different temperatures, my love life (interpret freely) is not too cold, not too hot but just right. _____

IX. Background

Good relationships are important in all human connections. However, several qualities required for mutually satisfying communications with strangers take on even more consequence with intimate, long-term partnerships. The difference is that in the latter case, such qualities, particularly trust, support for the other person, conflict avoidance and resolution skills, shared values and the grant of sufficient freedoms are all crucial to success. These factors only skim the surface of good relationships. Other dynamics affect the success of primary relationships over time, particularly mutual respect, sense of humor, generosity of compliments, sufficient levels of affections, shared interests and responsibilities, adventures and spices that prevent boredom and so on. The payoffs of good relationships are enormous, but the costs of failure are high (40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce–and the rate for subsequent marriages is even higher).

Statement # 9

I am as satisfied as I could be with the quality of my primary relationship and all or nearly all of my other consequential relationships. _____

X. Background

We all want to live, love, laugh and be happy. Basically, this entails being consciously aware of several things that are rather delightful about your days, such as fun things to do, captivating people to be around, good feelings about how you’ve turned out and knowing your needs are met, more or less.

Statement # 10

These sentiments fit my life to a T. _____

INTERPRETATION OF SCORE

Please add the total count for each of your responses to the ten statements. The range will be from ten to 50.

The following commentary is impressionistic, subjective and approximate; it is not based upon robust randomized clinical trials, nor does the author proclaim nor imply magisterium via ex cathedra sources of inspiration or certainty. Rather, the interpretation will but suggest the extent of your familiarity with the nature of Exuberance and mastery of this REAL wellness dimension.

And now, the interpretation of your score from an Exuberance perspective.

10 to 20

At present, REAL wellness attitudes, behaviors, skills and priorities associated with exuberance have not been well developed. However, the simple fact of exposure to the elements of exuberance in this self-assessment might prove to be a fortuitous encounter that opens new possibilities for you.

You already know, I’m sure, that life is not fair, not even close to being fair. Inequalities and injustices, prejudice and discrimination ensure uneven playing fields, in America and elsewhere throughout the world.

Who does not value a chance to live a life filled with happiness and joy on a regular basis, to love and be loved, to trust and be trusted? What chance do people have for positive adventures, for affirmation about the work they do, for developing norms that support mutually satisfying relationships, if raised in cultures and circumstances marked by poverty, violence, environmental decay, inadequate health care, overcrowding, miseducation and high rates of crime and alienation? Surely, the answer must be little to no likelihood.

These conditions are barriers to experiencing exuberance in a REAL wellness sense, and cannot easily or otherwise be overcome, even by heroic, exceptional actors.

However, despite the long odds, you can, with awareness of the elements of exuberance, with determination and with a little to a lot of help from your friends and caring others, advance little-by-little and bit-by-bit toward more experience of the positive qualities identified in this section of the test.

If you know where to look and whom to ask, you can move forward toward enjoying more exuberance in the future than you’ve known in the past.

21 to 30

You seem to be moving deliberately up the rungs on an imaginary ladder of emotional development. You might not have enjoyed the best possibilities for easy, largely unaware absorption of the background determinants of wellbeing introduced in the first statement. Your score range suggests benefits may come from three areas in particular: 1) personal initiatives in exploring selected coping skills, 2) more formal education in topics that interest you and 3) making lifestyle changes while developing more supportive environments.

Consider ways to lower your levels of intensity about varied challenging issues and assignments, work on mental flexibility and techniques to brighten your moods. Evaluate the seven listed elements of happy people and brainstorm under-appreciated small favors granted by having certain circumstances or people in your life. Also, assess ways to better manage time, pursue a truly cool goal in a systematic way, discover reasons to be more optimistic, associate with seemingly happy people and keep looking for love, especially in all the right places. And, don’t forget to play more!

Play time is vital, as much for adults as children. Make an effort to favor a playful outlook and demeanor. A playful mind is inquisitive and sees learning as exciting, as in an adventure. Efforts spent looking for creative outlets or indulging natural curiosities often lead to added purposes and, like play, momentarily distract from unpleasantries.

Sometimes initial outlets and curiosities develop into valued pursuits beyond a work or other taxing labors. Be sure to seek happiness outside a job environment. Look to the unfamiliar, to new arenas where you can experiment and try things. Henry David Thoreau famously observed that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. He was being polite; he was too kind to add that the rest are often caught in periods of loud desperation. Desperation is toxic to health and poisonous for play and exuberance. Never forget what you want and remember that success takes many forms, not all or most defined by salaries or power. Prestigious careers and happy people are not synonymous. Invent your own life’s meaning that is truthful and redeeming,

Welcome occasional and controlled exuberance, but always know when to curb your enthusiasm, to a degree.

Finally, see if you can invent ways to go about your business with even more cheerfulness, friendliness and compassion for others. While the old bromide about how we’re all in this together might be true, some people are in it while enjoying a lot more privileges than others. Many are no doubt less fortunate than you, and may need a little help from their friends, as well as total strangers. Reaching out and being of service provides its own returns in exuberant good feelings.

31 to 40

Well done–you are on the right track, well along to becoming a master of the Exuberance dimension of REAL wellness. You are but one level from the upper reaches of exuberance; thriving and flourishing is within your reach.

In Shakespeare’s As You Like It, the Seven Ages of Man speech begins as follows:

All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances… ending with mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Poets, philosophers, theologians and others enthralled with the Bard’s eloquence and genius have searched for a moral in this and many other wondrous passages in the voluminous works of Shakespeare. However, no struggle is necessary in this case. Shakespeare is simply reminding us to keep perspective, an important lesson in the present context of exuberance. After all, what could be truer? We are born, we grow up, we do things and perform roles, both invented by ourselves and assigned by others. In time, we grow old, slow and fade away.

So, seize the opportunity to live fully, to experience as many and as much of life’s pleasures associated with exuberance as possible. That is, don’t be shy about such states as jauntiness, high spirits, exultation, gaiety, vivacity, effervescence, zest and, if so inclined, chirpiness! Exuberance is manifested in laughter, happiness, love, meanings felt consequential by ourselves, dancing, music and art — for starters. As noted, you are doing quite well — for best results, pick up the pace to the next level, namely, one that puts you in the 41 to 50 category, the Eagle Scout, five star general or Pope of REAL wellness category. You’re close–a little more of this and a little more of that and we’ll anoint you a Wonderbarus Personarus of Exuberability.

41 to 50

Outstanding. Congratulations. You seem to be a virtuoso of human flourishing, at or near the summit of ebullient thinking and acting.

Your score reflects a history of improved functioning over time. You are a savant of positive living, a sage of Exuberance, generally happy with life, generous with others, appreciative of the arts and familiar with multiple avenues to follow for humor, play and so much more.

Your standing also calls to mind specific qualities the great 19th century orator Robert Green Ingersoll identified in his superlative 1890 speech entitled, Improved Man. You appear to manifest qualities that Ingersoll foresaw for improved men and women.

Specifically, you seem disposed to:

  • Give to all others the rights you claim for yourself.
  • Be the enemy of all caste (inherited privilege), no matter whether its foundation be wealth, title or power.
  • Favor universal education and believe it the duty of every person to shed all the light he can, to the end that no child may be reared in darkness.
  • Support the gaining of useful knowledge, the development of the mind along the natural paths that lead to human happiness.
  • See to it that every child has an opportunity to learn the demonstrated facts of science, the true history of the world, the great principles of right and wrong applicable to human conduct — the things necessary to the preservation of the individual and of the state, and such arts and industries as are essential to the preservation of all.
  • Endeavor to develop the mind in the direction of the beautiful – of the highest art.
  • Regard those who violate the laws of nature and the laws of States as victims of conditions, of circumstances, and do what you can for the well-being of your fellow men and women.
  • Find your greatest joy in the happiness of others — your greatest reward will come from being loved by those whose lives you have enriched.
  • Be self-poised, independent, candid and free.
  • Use facts as the foundation of your faith.

In summary, it must be noted that society needs more REAL wellness masters of exuberance like yourself.

RECOMMENDED READINGS

Ardell, Don and Welber, Jack. “Not Dead Yet: World Triathlon Champions 75+ Offer Tips for Thriving & Flourishing in Later Life.” Amazon, 2019.

Dalai Lama and Cutler, Howard C. “The Art of Happiness.” New York: Riverhead Books, 2009.

De Botton, Alain. The Consolations of Philosophy. New York: Penguin Books, 2001.

Donovan, Grant and Ardell, Don. Wellness Orgasms: The Fun Way to Live Well and Die Healthy. Amazon, 2015.

Dunn, Halbert L. “High Level Wellness.” Arlington, VA: Beatty Books, 1973.

Friend, David and the Editors of LIFE. “The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here.” Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1991.

Gilbert, Daniel. “Stumbling on Happiness.” New York: First Vintage Books, 2007.

Greeley, Roger E. “The Best of Robert Ingersoll: Selections from His Writings and Speeches.” Amherst, NY, 1993.

Jamison, Kay Redfield. “Exuberance: The Passion for Life.” New York: Vintage Books, 2005.

Kurtz, Paul. “Exuberance – Your Guide to Happiness & Fulfillment.” Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1977.

Seligman, Martin. “Authentic Happiness.” New York: Atria, 2004.

Watterson, Bill. “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes.” Kansas City, MO: Andrew McMeel, 2005.

Beauty

Top 5 Natural Face Packs To Remove Wrinkles

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Here are 5 amazing homemade face packs that will help to reduce wrinkles from your skin. Have a look.

  • Homemade Lemon Juice And Egg White

By tightening the skin, the protein present in egg whites reduces wrinkles and improves its elasticity. Break an egg in a bowl, remove the yolk and mix the egg white for 5 minutes. Then add one teaspoon of lemon juice to the egg white. Apply this face pack on your face gently and rinse it off from your face using warm water after 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Homemade Apple Face Pack

Vitamins A, C & E are some of the antioxidants which are found in apples and these play an important role in our quest to achieve younger skin. Premature arrival of wrinkles is also prevented by these antioxidants. Boil an apple and allow it to cool down, mash it after removing the seeds and make a paste, and the add milk powder and honey in the paste. Apply this pack on your face and wash it with cold water after 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Homemade Honey And Papaya Pack

Vitamins A, C and E are found in abundance in papaya. You can reduce the signs of ageing like age spots and freckles by using a face pack of papaya and honey. Make a paste of papaya by mashing and then add some honey into it. Apply the paste on your face and wash it with water after 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Homemade Lemon And Honey Face Pack

Lemon juice provides nourishment to dry skin and a healthy, natural glow. Honey is known for increasing skin’s capacity to preserve moisture. Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice and honey each and apply on your face, then wash it with cold water after 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Homemade Cucumber Face Pack

The antioxidants present in cucumber will help you to fight wrinkles. Take a fresh peel of cucumber and grate it properly, then pour 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 egg white into the bowl of grated cucumber and make a mixture. Apply this mixture on your face and wash it with warm water after 15 to 20 minutes.

Wrinkles and fine lines develop commonly on our face due to reasons such as ageing or exposure to ultraviolet rays coming from the Sun. Nowadays, you can easily find many beauty products & creams being sold in the market that claim to reduce the signs of ageing.

However, if used in the long run, then many of these beauty products could have a negative effect on the skin. Apart from getting skin treatment, you can also opt for natural remedies to achieve healthy, glowing and youthful skin.

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Beauty

3 Aesthetic Beauty Tips For Achieving and Maintaining a Youthful Rejuvenated Skin

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As we age and are exposed to free radials from the sun, environmental toxins and the aging process, our smooth, soft, vibrant and tight youthful appearance often evolves into fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation spots, sun spots and often enlarged pores with a rough and dry skin texture. It is easy to be confused by all the anti aging skincare products and claims for breakthrough anti aging treatments.

These 3 tips will help you to understand your options for skin rejuvenation and a total facial renewal without invasive procedures or using products that can actually cause more damage in the long term.

Aesthetic Beauty Tip #1:

Medical grade skin care products are your safest and most effective choice. Many products are not carefully regulated by the FDA and include ingredients that can actually harm your skin. Choose only skin care products made with all natural ingredients that are selected for your specific skin type and needs. This should be determined by a qualified aesthetic practitioner after a careful skin evaluation. Product lines like Obagi Skin Care products and the AFA Amino Acid line by Biopelle are excellent choices.

Aesthetic Beauty Tip #2:

Non-invasive laser skin care treatments can be a remarkable anti aging solution for tightening and rejuvenating the skin. This safe, comfortable technology can be used on the face, neck, hands and other areas of the body and has many applications for anti aging and other beauty treatments, many of which are not offered by cosmetic surgery procedures and injectable fillers such as Botox. Laser skin care treatment offers dramatic anti aging benefits including skin rejuvenating color correction, skin tightening and wrinkle reduction. Laser treatments correct uneven skin tone and eliminate such imperfections as brown spots, sun spots, age spots, red blotches, multiple freckles and rough texture. Other improvements include clearing of problem acne and reducing the flushing red, ruddy complexion of Rosacea. Laser skin treatments can reduce broken capillaries, spider veins of the face and other vascular-based conditions. After a treatment regimen that may range from 5-7 treatments, sun damage and visible signs of aging are significantly reduced, restoring a youthful, clear and radiant complexion.

Aesthetic Beauty Tip #3:

Self treatment for anti aging and skin rejuvenation can limit your results and lead to more problems later on. This is why careful evaluation by a skilled aesthetic professional is highly recommended. With advanced equipment and examination techniques, a trained practitioner will determine the best course of treatment that is likely to produce the best results for achieving your goals. Sometimes skin care products alone are enough while other times your needs will be better met with a combination of laser treatment and a regimen of pharmaceutical grade skin care products.

Before you reach for that product on the shelf, consider finding a reputable skin care professional who can offer you the safest and most effective skin care technologies, techniques and products for reclaiming your most youthful and beautiful skin.

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Beauty

Wellness Is a Business Decision

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No matter how what industry you are in, your people are an asset. I would be willing to bet that your people are your most valuable asset. Where would your business be without your people? What would happen to your business if all of your people disappeared? Worse yet, what would happen if you didn’t take care of them and they broke down?

This question may sound ridiculous, but think about it this way:

You have a maintenance plan for your equipment. You know that if you don’t take care of your equipment, it will break down. You also know that it is far more expensive to do major repairs or replacements than it is to keep up the routine maintenance of your equipment. People are no different. It is far more expensive to wait for major health issues and fix your employees than it is to help them with their own routine maintenance.

The fact that people make businesses go is not a new concept. What’s new is the approach that businesses are now taking to make sure that they are investing in keeping employees running smoothly rather than waiting for problems to fix. The concept has been in place with equipment and machinery for years, but now companies are seeing that their employees are even more valuable than the equipment they are using. They are skilled and able to use things with precision for your business if they are healthy. If they are not healthy, they are not able to do their jobs and therefor the equipment they are using is less valuable.

Not only is an employee far more valuable because of their skills, but they are far more productive when they are at full capacity. Just like the machine that hasn’t been cleaned in a while, employees slow down when they are not “maintained”. Now, many would argue that it is up to each employee to maintain themselves, but the environment they are in is a major factor in how they are able to do that.

Speaking of environment, there is one thing that everyone in your workforce has in common. They are using a valuable and very expensive resource that your company has generously provided. That resource is the benefits plan. They have health insurance to take care of them and to take care of their families. This is not a free resource to most employees in this day and age, but it is still a heavy burden for any company to provide benefits for employees. There are few things you have to do in order to make sure that your health plan (or any system) is as effective as possible:

Training

Teaching employees the best ways to use the plan so that it is cost-effective for the company and for the employee is a smart way to operate. You wouldn’t turn someone loose with a new piece of expensive equipment with our proper training. Why do we provide health benefits without proper training on how to use it?

Accountability

When you train employees, you are holding them accountable for their actions. When an employee’s actions have a negative impact on the company, there are consequences. When you know very clearly that something will cause a negative result in your company, you communicate very clearly so that people are not doing it and if they do they are going to be held accountable. You wouldn’t sit by and watch employees cause damage to any part of your business and cause costs to increase. You would train them not to.

The Connection between People and Business

Wellness is simply the training that your employees need to keep the health plan running smoothly. Wellness mitigates risk and future costs. Wellness is what your health plan needs in order to stop the steady increases each year. Employee health has a direct impact on the plan and the costs, which makes this a serious business conversation. Employees want to live healthy and your company can support them and see positive results on the bottom line and in many other areas, which makes this a people conversation as well.

Health and healthcare are all about your people. You provide them benefits to help them in their personal lives. You provide benefits to keep good people employed and seeking employment at your company. You provide benefits, for the same reasons you do everything else in your business. You want results.

You get many results from your benefits. Those results all depend on what you invest. If you invest nothing other than premiums, you get claims and you get to pay premiums again next year. You are likely paying more each year too. If you invest in employee health, you are able to see improvements in employees, reduction in claims and in turn, your company benefits in multiple ways.

In other words, wellness provides you with results that affect both your employees and your company as a whole. In fact, they are intertwined. As you help your employees reach their goals, they are becoming more engaged, productive and seeing results that make them feel and perform better. As these changes continue, you are seeing better use of the plan and fewer health issues which leads to decreased costs. Wellness is a people decision with business results. Meaning, your health plan and how you manage it is a serious business decision.

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Free Beauty Tips

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Hair products, lotions, potions, cosmetics can really put a dent in your wallet. We all want to look our best, but are there ways to invest in our appearance without breaking the bank? If you’re looking for some free beauty tips read on – you’ll be amazed at some of the things you probably already have in your kitchen that can really boost your beauty quotient.

Salon-quality shampoos and conditioners are expensive, and generally for good reason. They contain high quality ingredients and many are made from organic or natural plant sources. Cheaper brands are certainly an option, but some can dry your hair or strip your colour faster. Do you know you can actually make your own shampoo at home? You need to invest in some liquid castile soap, but other than that, you likely have the rest of the ingredients in your kitchen. A good basic recipe is: ¼ cup castile soap (unscented or choose your favourite scent), ¼ cup distilled water, and half a teaspoon of olive oil. Keep in a plastic bottle and shake before using. If you want to add essential oils, put a few drops in before use. Your hair will feel wonderfully light and soft.

A terrific homemade conditioning treatment is also easily whipped up at home. Scoop out a ripe avocado and add a small jar of real mayonnaise and mix them (use your hands!) until blended. Work it into your hair from root to tip, and cover your head with a shower cap. Putting a warm damp towel over the shower cap intensifies the conditioning. Leave on for about 20 minutes then rinse with warm water. Doing this once a week or so will nourish and strengthen your hair.

Applying honey or plain yogurt directly on your skin makes an excellent anti-bacterial face mask. Rinse gently with warm water and you won’t believe how soft and supple your skin feels!

Speaking of water, here’s the easiest free beauty tip of all: drink more of it! We all know we should, but it’s easy to forget our 8 to 10 glasses a day. I know that it’s been said lately that we don’t actually need that much, but I really notice a difference when I’m drinking a lot of water. I feel so much better – probably because I’m not reaching for another cup of coffee when I have a glass of water in front of me all the time. Now that bottled water is passé I keep my stainless steel drinking bottle with me all the time. I refill it wherever I go and just having it there helps me remember to drink. I’ve found it reduces my desire to snack, as it is really filling. My skin feels and looks better, and it also really helps with bloating. Your body doesn’t retain water if its getting lots of water, ironically. When you’re feeling puffy drain a few glasses. You’ll notice the difference.

I hope these free beauty tips help you save a bit of money without skimping on quality treatments for your hair and skin! Treat yourself to organic, natural products that you can easily make yourself, and you can control what goes in and on your body.

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Beauty

Beauty Tips for Luscious Lips

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The last step in your makeup regime is lipstick application. Some women say if they could have only one beauty item it would be lipstick. Lip color brings the whole look together to create harmony. To keep your lips looking perfect, have lip color with you at all times and reapply when needed.

When you select a lip color take in consideration your clothing and blush colors. The color of your clothing and blush should complement your lipstick but doesn’t have to be perfectly matched. However, the colors should be in the same intensity and range. Wear cool colors together and warm colors together. Pink lipsticks go with blue and pink colors and corals and russets go with clothing that falls in a yellow/orange range.

Steps to apply lip color:

1. Prepare your lips by applying foundation over them (this will extend the wear).

2. Outline and define the shape using a lip pencil that has soft, pointed top. Start at the V in your upper lip drawing down to the corners. Then, starting at the middle of the bottom lip draw a line to the corners. To help lipstick stay on longer, use your pencil to cover the lips entirely.

3. Fill in upper lip with lipstick or you can use a lip brush.

4. Fill in the lower lip and then blot with a tissue and reapply.

5. Dab gloss in the centre of your lower lip to create a fuller more glamorous look.

When defining the lips with a lip pencil be sure the pencil and lipstick colors are very close. The lip liner should not be noticeable. Lip liners are meant to keep your lipstick in place, keep lipstick from bleeding, define the shape and help them look more natural. Do not try to change the shape of your lips by going outside the natural line.

* Dark lipsticks will make small lips appear smaller.

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Summer 2012 Make Up Trends

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This summer, the warm months will bring with them make up trends that are fun, feminine and energetic. We’ll see colors like coral, orange, pastels and metallics making their appearance on the runway and amongst celebrities and other fashion icons. This summer, you’ll see lighter colors on the lips paired with dark smokey eyes. Be ahead of the game and get your summer beauty essentials early. Below are a few make up trends you’ll see making a big his this summer.

Pastels: Pastel shadows will be popular this summer, with colors like baby pink, blue and purple. Pastel eyeshadow with a little shimmer is best, and looks better and stays on longer when applied on top of primer. Pair it off with just a little liner for a complete look. Get your pastel eyeshadow from a wholesale cosmetics retailer so you can get a large selection for a fraction of the cost.

Flushed Cheeks: Summer make up trends of the past have been bronze and tinted cheeks, but this summer say hello to more natural pink hues. If you have darker skin, you can opt for a darker blush, but still try to still to a color in the pink family. If you want to add some color to your face, use a tinted moisturizer and apply the blush on top. This will give your face that warm summer glow and will keep the blush on longer. You can also add a little shimmer to your cheek bones for a night out.

Metallic Colors: Have fun with your eyes this summer and explore metallic colors in silver, gold, green, blue and purple. Adding these gorgeous colors on your eyes with shadow and liner puts all the focus on your eyes, so go easy on the rest of your face with softer lips and cheeks. Like the pastels, these are great cosmetics to get wholesale so you can order a large selection and have fun mixing and matching the colors.

Orange and Coral Lips: Coral is a beautiful neutral shade that works great with dark eye make up. It comes in an array of tones, so find one that’s right for your skin tone. If coral is a little too neutral for you, or you want to opt for darker lips and lighter eyes, then go for orange lips this summer. You’ll see bright matte orange lips making their big debut this summer, paired with a little orange shimmer on the eyes and cheeks. Bright orange is great for all skin tones.

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Young Sexy Lovely: Yet Another YSL Perfumes Masterpiece

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Chic, fresh and light, ‘Young Sexy Lovely’ by Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) is the ideal perfume for the woman of style and fashion. Oozing with the usual YSL perfumes’ quality, this scent is sure to bring out the most feminine side of any attire. Named after the Algerian born designer Yves Henri Donat Dave Mathieu Saint Laurent, this house of fashion, beauty and fragrances has been offering quality items to the elegant, feminine, chic woman for over fifty years now.

Embracing and depicting the values and principles of Yves Saint Laurent, youngest designer to ever run a house of fashion and tyro to Christian Dior himself, YSL’s purpose has made appointed efforts to heighten female looks with elegance and modernity.

This time, and with this perfume, the fashion and beauty house has again excelled. Embodied in a flat, clear crystal bottle with the trademark gold details of Yves Saint Laurent; this glamorous scent is marked with a note of Italian mandarin orange and exotic Nashi pear. The vivacious combination of fruity spirits renders ‘Young Sexy Lovely’ a playful, energetic perfume capable of drawing an air of self-confidence that the entire room will notice.

This great fragrance, regardless, slowly morphs into a slightly serious one thanks to the magnolia and cherry blossoms included into the mix. As the day passes, this fragrance peaks with freshness and ends with a soft light-woods and a whiff of fern.

The key to the YSL perfumes’ stylish rests on the history of the brand itself. It is said that Christian Dior, the fashion genius whose name has too been immortalized on a fashion brand, was so impressed with Saint Laurent’s fashion brilliance that the man became his right hand soon after joining his fashion house at the age of eighteen. Yves’ genius, humility and integrity were such that Dior took to affectionately call him ‘mon dauphin’ (my dolphin), a nickname previously used and exclusive to the heirs of the throne of France.

Yves Saint Laurent was a man who lived by this motto: ‘It’s better to have honor than to have honors’. That was translated in professional, devoted work marked with humbleness in an industry where vanity and pride reign. Regardless of him coming off as more quiet and shy than witty, his genius was such that he was the first (and, to this day, only) fashion designer to have his work shown in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Such is the man and spirit behind every YSL fashion piece and perfume.

Following the vision of the house creator, Yves Saint Laurent’s creative staff once again develops a fragrance that provide any woman with grace and sensuality with this discreet yet stunning scent.

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Why Do Some Women Show More Scalp In Their Part Line?

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I recently heard from a woman who told me that over the last couple of years, she had noticed her hair’s part line widening. In fact, she said that if she compared photos of herself from a few years ago with photos today, her scalp showing through her part line was much more noticeable in the recent photos. She asked: “now that I suspect there’s an issue with my part, I’m starting to notice that some women just show more scalp in their part line. Why does this happen? Is it normal? Should I worry about it? I don’t like how it looks and I worry that it will be very noticeable in the future.” I’ll try to address these concerns in the following article.

Some Women Naturally Have A Wider Part Line: Your part line is that area in your hair right on top of your head where your hair parts and falls on both sides. This doesn’t happen if you pull your hair straight back or put it in a ponytail, but most people see their part line unless they purposely style their hair in a different way. If your hair is thicker and you have more of it, your part line will often be quite thin or barely noticeable because there are a lot of strands pushing up on both sides. But, if your hair is thinner or more sparse, you may well have a wider line because there is less hair on both sides.

Some women just normally have finer textured hair or less strands and this has always been true for them. In fact, many women can look at photos of themselves when they were a child and will notice that their part looks similar then to the way it does now. In this case, you may not be talking about a hair loss, hair thinning, or androgenic issue because the part that you see now is the one that you have always had and this is what is normal for you.

Sometimes, Your Part Line Is Showing More Scalp Because Or Hair Loss Or Hair Thinning Issues: It can be normal for hair to thin out about as we age. Few of us have the same head of hair that we had in our teens. But people without noticeable hair loss issues generally have enough hair to adequately cover all areas of their scalp, including their part.

And sometimes, when this is no longer happening, you’ll want to explore whether you have a hair loss, hair thinning, or an androgenic issue happening. Probably the most common cause of seeing more scalp is the hair thinning condition of androgenic alopecia (or AGA.) With this condition, not only does more hair fall out (because it is adversely affected by androgens) but the hair that grows back because more fine and miniaturized as it regrows, which means that it takes more hair to provide the same coverage.

Of course, any issue that causes reasonably dramatic hair loss can cause changes in the coverage that you have on your scalp. If you have less hair (for whatever reason) then you are going to have less coverage to work with. But, the top of the scalp is a common area where you see typically see androgenic issues, although the presence of a wide part line doesn’t always mean that AGA is present. There are many possibilities. Sometimes, the coverage is what is normal for the person. And other times, a hair loss or thinning issue is taking place and still needs to be identified.

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Bread and Butter Basics – Hair Health With Homeopathy

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No one wants to lose their hair. Whether it’s a result of middle age for men, the aftermath of menopause for women or after a fever, the loss of hair can be a trying event. Hair loss can also be attributable to drug use, prescribed or not. Even hereditary hair loss can sometimes be halted with the correct natural care. This is where homeopathy and simple kitchen methods can be employed.

Homeopathy is a medical discipline that has been shown to halt the loss of hair and put the sufferer in order. Because the word homeopathy includes the word “home”, many assume it means home remedies. Home remedies can indeed be useful in regaining and maintaining our health, but, homeopathy is actually a form of medicine with a record that dates back to the late 1700’s and has been accepted throughout the world ever since. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in the United States since modern medicine was so enamored with antibiotics that it no longer considered homeopathy of value. This is changing and rapidly so. The premise of homeopathy is that the body has the ability to bring itself to health when given the correct stimulus. Well chosen homeopathic remedies offer that stimulus.

So how can homeopathy help with hair loss? If the loss is fairly recent and hair is still falling, then homeopathy has been shown to more likely aid the situation. There are many remedies that can cover the issue of hair loss, but before contacting a professional homeopath, it certainly would be prudent to give the following remedies a try.

The first remedy to consider is Calc phos 6x. This is particularly useful for hair loss due to a fever; however, it can also restore hair without that symptom. It should be given three times each day for several weeks. In the old homeopathy books written by homeopathic doctors in the United Kingdom, Silica 6x and Calc fluor 6x are also consdered good choices for the loss of hair and it is suggested that they be alternated so that one day three doses of Silica can be taken, while on the alternate day, Calc fluor 6x will replace Silica.

Although not considered homeopathy, diet can be a substantial contributor to either the loss of hair or the gaining of lustrous hair. A diet rich in animal and tropical fats is of the greatest value. That is, butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Making a habit of consuming these oils rich in vitamins required for healthy hair and skin can insure no further loss of hair and may reinstitute the growth. In fact, it is likely that if these quality foods have been missing in the diet, that it might be the cause of the problem in the first place. Additionally, any of these natural oils applied to the scalp can invigorate hair health.

If these simple ideas find you without results, consider consulting with a homeopath who can take the situation to a more personal level. The combination of homeopathy and natural diet change is natural and rational. It is not capricious like its modern medicine counterpart. Homeopathy and a high quality diet are true medicines for people who want to empower themselves. Good bread and butter common sense for intelligent action.

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The reader is encouraged to make independent inquires and to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare provider.

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Will My Hair Grow Back If I Have CTE (Chronic Telogen Effluvium)? My Opinion Based on Experience

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I get a lot of questions about hair regrowth from people who have hair loss or shedding from conditions like telogen effluvium, chronic telogen effluvium, androgenic alopecia, or medical / autoimmune hair loss. Of all of these questions, the folks who have CTE seem to be the most upset because they’ve dealt with this shedding for quite a long time. By the time that they write me, usually the loss has been going on for such a long time that the effects have started to become noticeable. Of course, they want reassurance that once they are able to get the shedding to stop, they will regrow their hair and move on with their life. I will discuss this more in the following article.

The Clinical Definition Of CTE And Why You Must Stop It: You may well already know this, but technically chronic telogen effluvium means that you have been shedding over 10% of your hair volume (which works out to over 100 hair per day for most people) for longer than six months. Obviously then, shedding this much for this long is going to eventually show up and become noticeable both in terms of a loss of volume and perhaps some noticeably thinning areas on some parts of your scalp.

It’s quite likely that you are regrowing hair while this process is going on, but because you are losing it so rapidly you can not make any real gains. In other words, your scalp is kicking these hairs out before they can contribute to any real improvements. So, it’s vital that you are able to stop this cycle as soon as you can.

Now, chronic telogen effluvium is commonly caused by a trigger that you either can not find or can not seem to fix and this is what makes treating it so difficult. It’s sometimes a process of trial and error, and of slowly trying and evaluating different things until something finally works. And sometimes, unfortunately, the treatments will change our hormones even more or kick off another trigger that only perpetuates the problem. This is why you have to move as slowly as you can when trying out these treatments and why you should only introduce one thing at the time.

Your Hair Has Probably Been Regrowing All Along, But It Can’t Catch Up: What is happening right now is that you’re in the middle of a cycle in which your hairs keep going into the resting phase and then shedding out once again. This really doesn’t have much to do with your regrowth process. It’s actually happening but it just can’t keep up. You have probably been regrowing hair all along, only to shed it out again. If your loss was due to androgens or DHT, then this cycle would be a bit different. You’d have AGA instead, and AGA does commonly affect both the quality or quantity of your regrowth, but chronic telogen effluvium generally does not (unless it has gone on for so long that it has kicked off AGA or has started to affect or thwart your follicles.)

In some cases, losing this much hair this fast will cause some inflammation of the scalp which can affect your follicles and your regrowth. If this is the case, there is a lot that you can do to soothe and to heal the scalp. Still, this alone is not going to help as much as it should if you can’t stop this cycle from continuing to repeat itself. Your first priority should be to find your trigger and then to treat it once and for all, with an eye toward prevention from recurrence. Once you’ve back to stable levels of hair loss, then you can address stimulating your scalp and reducing any inflammation so that your regrowth will be quick, vigorous, healthy, and thick.

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