The Perks of Being Positive!

The Perks of Being Positive!

Hey there Griffs!

Have you every found yourself grumpy and unable to get out of the mood? Do you find yourself thinking negative thoughts instead of being positive? Do you ever want to be one of those people who are happy all the time? Well you’re in luck! Today I’m here to talk about how you can start journey to positivity and how it can help you in school, at work, and with your general well being.

First, I have a disclaimer. Positive people aren’t always happy. Everyone makes mistake, everybody has those days (Hannah Montana fans finish that line for me). It takes a lot of brain training and work to become positive. Personally, it’s taken me 8 years of dedicated changes to my life to get where I am today, and of course, I can still improve. The process may be slow, but you have to stick with it and strive to make yourself better each and everyday.

So what do we do?

The goal isn’t to overlook the bad things in life. We need to remember that not everything smells like roses. What we can do, is change our mindset to pull the positive out of the negative and try and find ways to make situations better. We need to work to make ourselves feel good in our own skin and in our own mind. I think its also important to spread this positivity onto others.

For example, in school we are often bogged down with that huge research paper, a test, and a project due all at the same time. This can be a stressful situation for anyone. We could get caught up in our negative emotions and decide to procrastinate the work. Or, we can decide to be positive and power through all the work and try to get something positive out of it, like a good grade. Its all really about the way you react to situations.

The thing that really encouraged me to start being more positive is the movie called The Secret. It gives tips and tricks about what to do in your everyday life to be a more positive person. I highly reccommend watching the movie. They currently have it on Netflix. There is also a book if you choose to go that route. It is written by Rhonda Byrne. It’s really a great message and anyone can get something out of it.

 

 

What are the benefits of positivity? 

1. Coping with Stress: People who are positive are going to be able to handle stress much easier than those who are pessimistic. Optimists are going to go into situations happier and with a lighter attitude about things. They will also be able to see the positives in bad situations, which will help them get over the stressful situation.

2. Improves your health: Research studies have shown that people with negative emotions have a weaker immune system because of differences in brain activation. Think about a time that you’ve been stressed. It may cause you to have a headache or even catch a cold. Happier minds lead to happier bodies. Positive people have less of a chance to have cardiovascular problems, less depression, and a longer life according to research.

3. Better relationships: It is our human nature that we want to be around happy, positive things. If we are happier, it will attract people around us and the quality of our friendships will be higher. When we have a positive mind, we often decide to ignore people’s defaults or weaknesses and care more about what we like about that person.

4. Turning problems into opportunities: Just like the example I gave before, positive people can take a bad situation and pull the good out of it. We can turn a glass half empty into a glass half full depending on how we look at situations. This takes a lot of brain training, but deciding to take our bad situations and turn them into a chance to grow can really benefit us in the long run.

5. Seeing the good things in life: Once you start to change your mindset, you will start to see all of the great things we have in our lives instead of what we are lacking. It will help us to appreciate our life and everything in it. We will have a better sense of gratitude and be thankful for our blessings.

 

How to get started:

Positive Thinking Meditation: I really love meditations and I have found that guided meditations have really helped me become more positive and refresh my mind when I need it. Just click on the link, put your headphones in and listen. You could be doing homework, laying in bed, or just browsing the internet. The only think that is important is that you listen to the message and take it in. Some of the videos may tell you to close your eyes and take deep breaths. You do not have to do this, but it will help you, especially if you are stressed.

 

Here are a few that I find helpful:

Guided Meditation for Healing: Experience the Pure Loving Energy of the Universe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEXa_3ELy_o

 

50 Positive Thoughts to Live an Awesome Life

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAoTbwVHYUI

 

Positive Thinking Meditation Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP2Fw9Fz56Y

 

How to Reprogram Your Mind for Positive Thinking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmx_35rQIRg

 

I hope you guys can work towards a more positive life! It is really worth the hard work and dedication. You will start to see yourself change and become happier, become more productive, and spread it onto others around you.

Resources

 http://psychology.about.com/od/PositivePsychology/a/benefits-of-positive-thinking.htm

http://www.beautyandtips.com/motivation/10-benefits-of-positive-thinking/

 

Thanks for reading and Stay Golden!

Statistics, scary or beautiful?

Statistics, scary or beautiful?

When you think of statistics most people cringe or get this fear in their eyes of remembering their undergrad stats class and how daunting and boring it was. Just wishing that if they pass with a C grade then stats would be over in their life.

Not Prepared

 

“μ = ( Σ Xi ) / N”; “x = ( Σ xi ) / n”; “p<.05” — What is that? Will I need this for my career?

 

In reality information and statistical data is everywhere and we use it all the time. The data comes in all forms like percentages, probabilities,  frequencies and averages. We use statistics in card games, gambling, political races with polling numbers and even in weather reports for if there will be a chance of rain today.

The problem with all this information coming into our mind everyday is organizing it and above all making sense of it. We bring in so much data from our daily drive to work to everything you see on the online interface. Is there a way to make all this data make sense? Can statistics not be daunting and scary? Can statistics be friendly and beautiful?

There are a few statisticians and information designers out in our world trying to show the importance of the data we have at our fingertips and utilizing it in a positive way. One person who turns statistics and complex data into beautiful visual art is David McCandless. One of his works is featured below:

 

Best in Show - DavidMcCandless.comPhoto Credit: David McCandless at informationisbeautiful.net

This work is from his book, “Knowledge if Beautiful.” This fun visualization compiled data to figure out what breed is the best and what dog is a “hot dog.” This make statistics not scary but artistically beautiful. McCandless is able to capture all this data to make it visually pleasing and easy to comprehend the importance of the topic at hand.

Thanks to my statistics class at Canisius College, Stats for Health Professionals taught by Daniel J. Smith, PhD, I was opened up to a beautiful world of statistics. We analyzed several TEDTalks featuring David McCandless’s works and another visual statistician Mr. Hans Rosling with his GapMinder Project (http://www.gapminder.org/). Overall, I embraced my statistical knowledge and I have been able to apply it to reviewing research studies in other classes and evaluating the true significance of the data being reported. In my opinion, statistics is beautiful and to follow David McCandless, “Knowledge is Beautiful.”

Special thanks to:

David McCandless & his awesome staff!

David McCandless at informationisbeautiful.net

For information on the book “Knowledge is Beautiful”;  Click Here

 

Cabin Fever: A Horror Story!

Cabin Fever: A Horror Story!

Hey there Griffs!

That’s my back porch full of snow!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really done with winter. I live in Upstate/Central New York and I really shouldn’t be complaining about it because that’s what I signed up for. But alas, here I am sitting at my laptop in the dead of winter as it continues to snow, complaining. I live in a tiny little town just north of Rome and Utica. The windchill has been up to -30F and the snow hasn’t decided to stop yet. I know Buffalo got a huge storm at the beginning of the season, and again, I shouldn’t be complaining. But I can’t help but to drop into a daydream of warmth, sun, rain, and grass.

The horror story got so bad that I actually started to look up plane tickets and hotels in Florida for the middle of February or March just to get away. I really set up a great dream for myself. I am a substitute teacher, I have some money saved up, and I can do my school work from anywhere with internet (just another perk of online classes). But I don’t think I’ll have very much fun in Florida for a week all by myself (so I’m now accepting travel companion applications).

To take myself out of the cabin fever blues, I started planning a 4-5 day road trip to the Adirondacks in the middle of June. I planned out an entire itinerary for my best friend and I to live out of my car and see the mountainous beauty. We are going to stay in a different state park each each night and go sight see in the thick of the mountains. Sounds great, right?!

Although the snow and the cold haven’t stopped, I have tried to get myself out of the cabin fever mood to go actually try to enjoy the snow a bit (key word TRY). My friend and I took a walk through a park in town with my dog and took some winter photos.

It was actually really peaceful and beautiful. So today, I encourage all you blog readers to go out and enjoy a little bit of the snow’s beauty while it’s still here. I’m sure you don’t have to rush at all. It’s here for a bit longer. Here are some suggestions to rid the cabin fever:

  • Plan a trip with your friends to a cool place that you enjoy for spring break or once the semester is over.
  •  Build a snowman.

  • Have a winter photo shoot.
  • Get in shape for the summer. When you are working out, listen to sounds of the ocean.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG2eGVt6v2o –Here is a One Hour Clip for your enjoyment!

  • Get some sunshine. We are forced to take Vitamin D during the winter months, but take a day off and go out and get it naturally.
  • Spring Clean early! Get rid of stuff that you don’t use or doesn’t fit and replace it with something new. Change your dorm or bedroom around. Get a new candle to make it smell nice. (Caution: don’t burn down your dorm room. Get an electric scent thing instead.)
  • Go buy some indoor plants! Your local store (Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot) will have indoor plants out all year round. Go get a few and spruce up your space!

  • Take care of yourself. Use a humidifier, lather up on the lotion, drink some tea, take your vitamins and make yourself healthy again. 
  • Go to your local YMCA or gym and go to their swimming pool. The warm water will feel nice in the winter and it will make you think of summer. It’ll also give you that extra bit of exercise that you may be lacking this winter. 

I wish you all the best of luck! Let me know how you survived the winter blues and the horrible Cabin Fever!

Thanks for reading! Stay Golden!

Is Online School Right For You?

Is Online School Right For You?

Hello Friends!

THE INTERNET! What a wonderful thing, right?! We can Google anything we want to know and get a fairly accurate answer in less than five seconds. We can Skype with friends around the world! We can keep in touch with everyone and know what they had for breakfast via status updates. This is so great! The internet has become particularly important to me this past year. I decided to start my journey through graduate school. Today, I’m here to tell you the about the start of my journey in online graduate school, why it works for me, and what I’ve learned so far.

My Undergrad Graduation

So a little about myself and my educational background: I graduated from a really small private school in Central New York in May of 2014. I got my degree in Inclusive Elementary Education, which is a dual degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. The school was great! It was small and it had a really tight community. The professors really cared about our personal lives and succeeding in their classes and beyond. I knew that I wanted to go straight onto grad school. I applied to SUNY schools and went through the process of trying to figure out where I was going to fit best. These schools had great programs but the thought of going to college and sitting through more classes really caused me to have a lot of anxiety. I thought about taking a semester off, but knew that it would be difficult for me to pick back up where I left off. One day, my prayers were answered. My friend in my major mentioned that she got into this school called Canisius and it was an online program. I checked it out, did the quick and easy application process and was accepted a few weeks before graduation. Zip! Zap! Boom! Today, I am in my second semester at Canisius working on my Master’s in Literacy Education. It is the first time I have done online classes and I am loving it.

 

Here are some discoveries I have made while doing an online program:

1. Structure and Deadlines: When I first talked about doing online classes everyone seemed to have this relaxed response to it that usually said, “Oh great! You’ll get to make your own deadlines and work when you have time….” That is partly true. You do get to work around your own schedule, which is great! If you work, you can just hop on after work and get work done. But, there ARE deadlines. I don’t think an online program would work well without deadlines. You can’t just work on all your work at the end of the semester and expect to do well. I personally need the deadlines or else I try to do too much work all at one time. You know exactly what you have to do each week and you can easily schedule it around your own schedule.

2. Email Communication: While taking on campus classes, you see your professors at least every other day. But in online classes, you potentially never see your professor. Because of this, it is VERY  important to check your email everyday and to stay in contact with your professors.

3. Teaching Yourself: It can be difficult to stay motivated if you aren’t dedicated to the fact that you have to teach yourself for most of the material. Some of the professors make presentations with voice incorporated and you can go through it as if you were sitting in class with them, except in the comfort of your own house, at your own pace. But other professors just provide you with materials that you have to read through in order to learn it and apply that knowledge. Personally, I really like that I can take charge of my own education and go at my own pace. The professors are always there to ask questions through email as well, which may be easier for people who are shy to ask questions in class.

4. Location and Comfort: This is my favorite part of online college courses. I can wake up, make a cup of tea, turn on my computer and do my school work in my pajamas if I feel like it. There isn’t the requirement to show up to class with your hair brushed. Another great thing is if I’m awake at 2 am because I can’t sleep, I can get on my computer and just start on some school work. There is no set time and place that you need to do your classes. I think that makes it pretty magical.

5. Strengthens Online Skills, Communication, and Networking: Within online classes, you connect with professors and other students in an online forum. It really strengthens your knowledge about the internet and what is available for you to utilize. It gives you a chance to do some networking too. Students come to do online programs from all over the country. You may meet someone you have something in common with or someone you can talk to to get more information about your career field. It may not be the face to face friendships and interactions that you are used to, but it really helps you learn to communicate on the internet.

As I continue my online coursework, I’m sure I will learn so much more. If you take an online class, what have you learned and what is your favorite part? If you are thinking about online classes, what would you like to know more about?

Thanks for reading Griffs! Stay Golden!

 

Another Snowy Night

Another Snowy Night

With it snowy and blizzard-like outside, I’m snug inside with some hot tea and my blogging…lol.  I actually finished my assignment for the night early and was able to complete my chapter quiz for the week too, which frees up Saturday night!  My only Pet Peeve this semester is that so far, every Friday and Saturday night has had some king of assignments due.  It’s funny, because I’m not bummed that I’m stuck in and unable to go out and drink and party like most think instead those are our fun family movie/game nights :).  So, I try to get as much of my assignments as I possibly can done early on so that I only have to finish and submit, but those of you who have children know that this isn’t always that easy.

For example, tonight I snuck in the bedroom to try and finish my assignment, but my four year old son wanted to work on his Pre-K homework with mommy.  So, we set up a little “desk” area for him to work and he began tracing the letters.  As for me, I tried reading my chapter in between being asked how well he was doing (which was AWESOME by they way :).

Of course he was a lot faster than me and finish way before me, so then I got my dinner order taken from his diner while I worked diligently away.  Thankfully, my husband was able to take over the role of the customer long enough for me to proof read my entry and submit just in time to snuggle before bed time.

My daughter on the other hand (not yet 2), was so wound up tonight that she just dozed off, allowing me to blog and my hubby to head out with some friends for gaming.

So far, my assignments haven’t been too bad this semester.  In one of my classes we are weening our way into a research project, which I’m a little nervous about since I haven’t had a lot of practice with APA format.  I’m still trying to figure out why MLA would be used up until this point?

The End of a Great Break

The End of a Great Break

It’s hard to believe that I’m beginning my fourth semester online with Canisius.  The time has flown by so fast that it feels like I had just recently decided to take online classes with Canisius and now I’m seeing yet another break drift away, allowing me to begin the journey yet into another stressful, exciting and knowledge packed semester.

Today we took our kids to the game room as I knew that this week I’d begin hitting the books with assignments.  We had a fun filled day with a merry go round for the kids, spider stomping (game), motorcycle racing (game) and prizes to be won! My hubby even made some delicious chilli to warm us up from our toes to our nose (hey I love not having to cook!) :).

Tomorrow will be hectic with a birthday party for my grandma – aka Amma Ralph and then back home to play with my kiddos, work on the house work and then examine the various assignments given for me to start.

I’m glad I got out for a little while with the hubby last night – even if it was just us running to the store together and getting coffee at Tim Horton’s .  It’s nice to just slow down and enjoy our time together every once in a while.

As for break…I hope everyone had a great one as I did!! My son was excited that Santa brought him a Big Foot and my daughter adores her Dora chair and Dora doll – not to mention everything else!  As for me I finally got my Cricuit…and tons of accessories to go with it and the new Sabres hoodie I wanted (Now I’ll be getting tickets for a game!)

Just want to finish off with wishing everyone luck this semester!