‘Woman on top’ is most dangerous sex position, scientists conclude

Scientists have found that the ‘cowgirl’ position is responsible for half of all penile fractures during sexual intercourse.

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It might have emancipated women from the drudgery of the ‘Missionary Position’, but it seems that men are paying a painful price for revolution in the bedroom.

“Woman on top” is the most dangerous sex position, according to a new scientific study.

Scientists have found that the position, dubbed “cowgirl”, is responsible for half of all penile fractures in the bedroom.

The research also revealed that the “doggy-style” position, with women on all fours, is behind 29 per cent of afflictions.

In contrast, the traditional “man on top” is responsible for just 21 per cent.

Doctors and academics looked at patients attending three A&E units with suspected “penile fractures” over a 13 year period.

Half of them reported hearing a crack before experiencing pain, with some also suffering swelling.

Their average age was 34 and some of the men waited up to six hours before seeking medical help.

The research concluded: “Our study supports the fact that sexual intercourse with ‘woman on top’ is the potentially riskiest sexual position related to penile fracture.

“Our hypothesis is that when woman is on top she usually controls the movement with her entire body weight landing on the erect penis, not being able to interrupt it when the penis suffers a wrong way penetration, because the harm is usually minor in woman with no pain but major in the penis.

“On the contrary, when the man is controlling the movement, he has better chances of stopping the penetration energy in response to the pain related to the penis harm, minimizing it.”

The study found that 44 men had attended hospital, with 42 having “the condition confirmed after clinical, radiological and surgical evaluation”.

Of these, 28 were injured in heterosexual romps, four during homosexual intercourse, six as a result of “penis manipulation” and four in circumstances which were “unclear”.

The study, published in the Advances in Urology journal, reads: “Half of patients (50 per cent) presented with the classical triad of an audible crack followed by pain.

“The presentation time of patients to the hospital after penile fracture ranged from 0.5 to 6 hours.”

“Penile fracture is a relatively uncommon clinical condition that frequently causes fear and embarrassment for the patient, hypothetically resulting in delayed search for medical assistance, which can lead to impairment of sexual and voiding functions,” said the authors.

“Considering that most studies are retrospective and based on patients records information regarding the social dynamics surrounding penile fracture is scarce in the literature, mainly potentially risky sexual positions.”

The scientists, who looked at three hospitals in Campinas, a city of three million people in Brazil, used hospital records and in some cases interviewed the patients.

5 Key Ingredients Your Moisturizer Must Have

Moisturizing is arguably the most important step in your daily beauty routine, keeping your skin supple, elastic and younger-looking. So, when choosing a face lotion, you want to make sure it’s packed with vital ingredients that will really make a difference over time.

No matter your skin type or age, here are the five essential components that should be in your daily face cream in order to help you maintain optimal skin health. Make sure to double check that label before making your next skincare purchase!

Sun protection: This should go without saying, but sunscreen needs to be worn daily — and ideally, you should be slathering on an SPF of 30 for the best effects. Sun damage not only causes wrinkles, age spots and broken capillaries, but it can also turn deadly. No excuses, ladies.

Antioxidants: Renowned dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf says that antioxidants actually work synergistically with SPF to further protect your skin from damaging UV rays. She explains that antioxidants also fight free radicals, which are small molecules that disrupt healthy DNA of skin cells and lead to premature aging.

Retinoids: Retinoids are a form of highly effective vitamin A, Graf says, and include over-the-counter products like retinol and retinaldehyde, as well as prescription-strength retinoic acid like, Renova or Retin-A. She explains that Retinoids are the most well-researched and understood anti-aging ingredient — yes, there are nearlythree decades of medical research behind their effectiveness. “Retinol stimulates cell turnover, which in turn helps increase collagen production,” she says. “It also helps with fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.” If you’re worried about how this ingredient may react with sensitive skin, know this: The newer formulas are formatted differently than the old ones, she explains, meaning that they can penetrate your skin on a deeper level and don’t cause as much irritation as older versions.

Peptides: These chains of amino acids act as messengers, Graf says, signaling your skin to set off a series of various reactions that can lead to collagen production and elastin stimulation, among other good-for-your-skin actions that help slow the physical aging process. “They are most useful at night when the skin is in renewal mode because they heal and regenerate the skin,” she explains.

Hyaluronic Acid: “Hyaluronic Acid is a must for any moisturizer,” says Graf. “It’s a humectant that keeps the skin hydrated by drawing water to the skin.” When the skin is dehydrated, its natural exfoliating enzymes stop working, leading to a build up of dead, clogging skin cells. (Gross.

4 Things Every Man Wants In A Woman

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Are you finding it more difficult than you think it should be to find a great man and go from him just feeling “casual” about dating you to WANTING and NEEDING YOU on both a physical and emotional level?

If so, then I’m going to show you 4 “must-have” things that are needed to win the right man’s heart.

But before we get started, I want to clear the air on something important.

There are Real Men… and then there are “Boys.”

Real Men are mature and grounded on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. They are on a great path and open to growing on a deeply personal level.

A Boy will become uncomfortable when he gets too close to his own emotions, or too close to a woman who truly sees him inside and out, for better and worse.

So what does a mature, REAL man want in a woman?

#1: A Real Man Wants A Woman Who Is Playful

There’s something that drives men wild and invites them into a deeper level of “connection” – play.

Men love to be active and to play. They were raised to express themselves and connect with those around them through ACTION.

Unfortunately, too many women seem to forget this and want to TALK TALK TALK their way into a man’s heart. But the fact is that men don’t “feel it” for you because of what you SAY.

It’s not the words… it’s the experience.

Do things with him – watch or play sports together, be competitive in casual games like ping pong, even add a little teasing and sarcasm here and there, and you’ll really ramp up the attraction and interest.

#2: A Real Man Wants A Woman Who Is Independent

Lots of women mistakenly believe that men are looking for a “weaker” woman who will make them feel like they are smarter and more powerful.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

REAL MEN want a woman who INSPIRES them because she has great things going on her own life. They want a woman who has her own purpose other than being in a relationship.

A man isn’t “intimidated” by independence and success. What matters to a man is that a woman still has space in her life for a great relationship and is grounded and present when she’s with him.

#3: A Real Man Wants A Woman Who Is “Emotionally Mature”

If a man feels attracted to a woman, eventually there’s going to be a situation that comes up where you and a man will see something differently and misunderstand each other.

How will you respond to this and share your feelings?

A woman who has the maturity to not blame or criticize a man for what she’s feeling, but to share her feelings in an honest and authentic way that helps a man better understand her will be attractive to a man. How a woman handles her emotions is one of the most important things men look for when deciding whether or not to get serious with a woman. If she lets her emotions get out of control, this is a big red flag to him.

#4: A Real Man Wants A Woman He’s ATTRACTED To

Men aren’t as scared of commitment and relationships as they are scared of being in a relationship with a woman where there is no passion and attraction.

A common way women accidentally kill the attraction men might be feeling is by either trying too hard to get him to like you, or by acting like the relationship is too serious too soon.

Relax and let things happen naturally. Make sure you do and say things that interject FUN and HUMOR into your relationship from the very start.

There’s nothing more appealing to a man than a great woman who knows how to relax and have fun.

You can do this through playful teasing, flirting, humor, and being UNPREDICTIBLE (in a good way).

14 Reasons to Work Out That Have Nothing to Do With Weight Loss

When people join the gym – or just say they need to – their No. 1 reason is usually weight loss.

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And, hey, wanting to drop a few is a valid reason to work out. After all, when trying to lose weight, people who eat healthy and exercise lose considerably more weight than those who stick to cutting calories alone, according to research published in Obesity.

But losing weight still isn’t the best reason to start a workout routine. A growing body of evidence, including one Psychology and Health study of 252 office workers, has found that when the main motivation is losing weight and looking better, people don’t stick with their exercise program for very long.

So we’ve served up 14 reasons to work out that have nothing to do with losing weight – and everything to do with getting you moving for good.

1. You’ll Have More Energy

In one University of Georgia study, when previously sedentary adults who suffered from persistent fatigue performed just 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week for six weeks, they reported feeling way more energetic. It may be because exercise increases the body’s efficiency and energy-generating capacity, says California-based exercise physiologist and certified strength and conditioning specialist Holly Perkins.

2. You’ll Score a Better Work-Life Balance

Whether exercising really improves your work-life balance remains to be seen, but people who exercise feel they have a better balance, according to a 2014 study published in Human Resource Management. And that’s despite the extra room exercise takes up in their schedules.

3. Colds Won’t Catch You

If you want to skate through cold season without getting sick, you better get moving. In one 2011 British Journal of Sports Medicine study, adults who performed aerobic exercise – such as running, biking and swimming – at least five days a week were 43 percent less likely to come down with an upper respiratory tract infection. Plus, when they did get sick, their symptoms weren’t as bad.

4. You’ll Live Longer

In one Archives of Internal Medicine study, Stanford University researchers monitored the health of hundreds of people who, at the start of the study, were 50 and older, for 21 years. At the end of the study, about 85 percent of the runners were alive, whereas only two-thirds of non-runners were. “Exercise greatly reduces your risk of all-cause mortality, your chances of dying – of any cause – on any given day,” explains certified personal trainer Nick Tumminello, owner of Performance University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

5. You’ll Finally Get a Good Night’s Sleep 

In one Mental Health and Physical Activity study of adults nationwide, people who performed 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week (the national guideline), slept 65 percent better than those who didn’t hit the 150-minute mark. “Regular exercise radically improves sleep quality – and reduces the amount of sleep you need in order to feel rested,” Perkins says. “When you work out, your body becomes more efficient at recovering, not just from workout sessions, but from daily life.” That means that at night, you need relatively less shut-eye for your body to repair itself and maintain health.

6. You’ll Have a Sunnier Disposition

“Exercise is a substantial mood booster,” Perkins says. In fact, according to research published in the International Journal of Psychology in Medicine, exercise is as effective as medication at treating mild to moderate depression. “While we aren’t sure of all of the mechanisms, exercise does optimize the body’s levels of hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as aid their uptake by tissues including your brain.”

7. You’ll Turn Back the Clock

Forget looking younger: Exercise can make you biologically similar to someone much younger. In fact, regularly swimming can postpone aging by about 20 years, according to research from Indiana University. One reason why: Exercise lengthens your chromosomes’ protective caps, called telomeres, which determine how quickly your cells age, per 2013 research published in the Lancet Oncology.

8. You’ll Boost Your Brainpower

“Exercise stimulates the production of new brain cells and neurons, lowering your risk of cogitative impairment now and in later life,” Tumminello says. Why? Well, apart from increasing the brain’s levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that promotes brain cells, exercise gets the blood flowing. In one 2014 Psychophysiology study, people who exercise have more oxygen flowing through their brains’ anterior frontal regions, helping them blow their way through difficult cognitive tests.

9. Your Bones Will Be Stronger

Exercise, especially high-impact and weight-bearing exercise like running and weight lifting, strengthens not only your muscles, but also your bones and joints. “Exercise can help prevent bone loss, even in people who have osteoporosis,” Tumminello says. “When your bones are stressed through exercise, they will adapt to become better capable of handling that stress.” Or, in a word, stronger. And, contrary to popular opinion, 2013 research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that running distances as far as a full marathon decreases the risk of knee osteoarthritis.

10. You’ll Get More Done

Working out takes time, but it may save you even more time in the long run. A 2011 Journal of Applied Physiology review of more than 100 studies found that, by training your brain to focus on the task at hand, regularly performing strength workouts keeps you focused and productive in whatever it is you do outside of the gym. In fact, one International Journal of Workplace Health Management study found that people are 23 percent more productive on days they exercise.

11. Your Heart Will Be Stronger

You probably (or at least, hopefully) know that cardio does your heart good. But it turns out, so does strength training. In one study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, just 45 minutes of resistance exercise instantly lowered people’s blood pressure by about 20 percent. And in people who worked out for 30 to 45 minutes three times a week, the effects lasted for about 24 hours.

12. You Won’t Get So Stressed

Regularly exercising helps people cope with anxiety and stress long after their workouts, according to 2013 research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. And that’s not just emotionally. “Exercise reduces the biological markers of stress, such as elevated cortisol levels,” Perkins says.

13. You’ll Be More Confident

All looks aside, hitting new personal records in the gym boosts confidence big time. “It makes people feel stronger and powerful, like they can overcome challenges in other areas of their lives,” Perkins says. Hence why one Cochrane review of 23 studies found that exercise increases self-esteem in young adults.

14. Your Hormones Will Be Healthier

“A lack of exercise will move you away from healthy hormone levels, and exercise will help move you toward a healthier hormone levels, balancing out estrogen and testosterone and training your body to better handle blood sugar through insulin and insulin receptors,” she says. In fact, when people go from not exercising at all to sweating it out for one hour per day, their levels of insulin resistance (a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes) improves by 25 percent, according to research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Yummy Swedish Glögg Recipe (hot spiced wine)

To Warm You Up This Holiday Season!

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If you want to try a heavenly Glögg, prepare it and serve it throughout this Holiday Season!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6 people
Serve hot in proper glass or mug

INGREDIENTS
3 Bottles of good red wine
2 sticks of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of grated fresh nutmeg
4 cardamom pods, green or brown, cracked
4 whole cloves
2 strips of orange peel

PREPARATION
Mix all ingredients together in the sauce pan or crock pot, place the sauce pan at low heat -make sure you don’t boil the mixture- for 1 hour. Serve warm!

You can also set aside and re-warm up later.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays !

Black Pants for Every Body Type

They’re fashion’s holy grail. Thanks to the experts, the search is officially over.

If You’re…Tall

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Show off those legs with these crisp, flared trousers. “They’re what I buy for my tall clients,” says Noelle Cellini, Chicago-based personal stylist and founder of the Style Academy, an online style school. “When you have long limbs, you can pull off details like high necks, wide lapels, and full sleeves—and these pants can be worn with almost anything.”

If You’re…Petite

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A trim cropped cut won’t overpower a small frame. “And the vertical creases down the front make legs look longer,” says Randi Packard, New York City–based market editor and brand consultant. “They also have compression fabric, so they’re slimming all over.”

If You Have…Full Hips and Thighs

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“You want a cut that falls straight down from the widest point of the thigh—this makes curves look less wide,” says Bridgette Raes, New York City–based personal stylist and author of Style Rx. The slight bootcut is effortless yet structured.

If You’re…Plus Size With Curves

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Wide-leg styles are made for plus-size bodies. “This pair skims curves, nips the waist, and gives that look of the longest legs ever,” says blogger Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista. The dramatic silhouette makes even the most basic top look trendy.

If You Have a…Tummy

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A classic straight-leg plays well with your entire closet, and the flat-front design also sits nicely on the waist for extra midsection support. “It’s best to avoid pleats and baggy cuts that may draw attention to your midriff,” says Minnie Romanovich, stylist for Keaton Row, a personal styling service.

If You’re…Plus Size With a Tummy

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This not-too-fitted skinny hugs in just the right places, smoothing out lumps and bumps through the midsection and thighs. “They are made of a cool material—a thick, scuba-like blend of cotton and polyamide,” says Denee. “You can wear them at night with a fun top, or pair them with a suit jacket for work.”

 

What Influences Our Happiness the Most?

Happiness

I have two friends, Seth and Michael, and one of them is a lot happier than the other.

Seth is chronically unhappy. He is often glum, frequently irritable, and sometimes hopeless, though he has never been clinically depressed. By contrast, Michael is a remarkable happy person. Although he has his low moments and periodic stress, he manages to find joy in his days and is quite content with the way his life is going. To understand why these two men are so different, let me tell you a little bit about them.

Both are in their early 40s and doing well in their careers. Seth is a professor of psychology at a prestigious university, who has reasonably bright students, a fair amount of autonomy in his work, and many opportunities for travel. His research program has been successful, garnering attention from all over the U.S. Michael is a deputy city attorney in a small but beautiful city right on the Pacific Ocean. He specializes in landlord-tenant disputes and other civil matters, and his success as a litigator has led to occasional media appearances, in which he is asked to speak about his latest cases. He gets a kick out of doing that.

Both have close-knit families. Seth is married to Allison, whom he met while on sabbatical in the Netherlands, and they have 5-year old twin boys. Michael is married to Holly. They started dating in law school, and now have a boy (age 6) and a girl (age 3).

Both men own homes in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area, about half an hour from the city and their jobs.

So, why is Michael happier than Seth? Was he simply lucky to be born with a sunnier disposition? Or, is he more fortunate with regard to the events and circumstances of his life?

Knowing them, I would be hard-pressed to assert that the life situation of one is clearly superior to the other. On balance, neither seems to have the better job, wife, kids, house, or car. Furthermore, scientific research has shown that prosperity, health, and physical attractiveness are only minimally related to one’s overall happiness. For example, a study by Ed Diener from the University of Illinois demonstrated that the richest Americans – those earning more than $10 million annually – report levels of personal happiness only slightly greater than the people who work for them. So, even if Seth had fewer of life’s “goods,” this shortfall wouldn’t explain his acute unhappiness.

What about genetics? Growing research done with identical and fraternal twins suggests that each person is born with a particular “happiness set point” – that is, a baseline or potential for happiness to which he or she is bound to return, even after major setbacks or triumphs. The set point for happiness is similar to the set point for weight. Some people are blessed with a “skinny disposition.” Even when they’re not trying, they easily maintain their weight. By contrast, others have to work extraordinarily hard to keep their weight at a desirable level and the moment they slack off even a bit, the pounds creep back on. So, Michael may simply possess a higher set point for happiness, a higher potential for well-being. He doesn’t have to work hard at it – he just is happy.

So if Michael’s happiness is due to genetics, what is left for Seth to do? Are we all doomed to obey the directives of our genes?

The answer is “no.” I am an experimental social psychologist who has conducted the first controlled experimental intervention studies to increase and maintain a person’s happiness level over and above his or her set point. In broadest terms, this research suggests that sustainable happiness is attainable regardless of genetics, if one is prepared to do the work. Much like permanent weight loss and fitness, becoming lastingly happier demands making some permanent changes, requiring effort and commitment every day of one’s life.

My two colleagues – Ken Sheldon at the University of Missouri and David Schkade at UC San Diego – and I developed a theory that describes the most important factors determining happiness. In sum, we argue that the set point determines just 50% of happiness, while a mere 10% can be attributed to differences in people’s life circumstances – that is, whether they are rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, married or divorced, etc. This leaves a surprising 40% of our capacity for happiness within our power to change. This means that Seth can be a great deal happier and Michael could be even happier too.

A Simple Natural Effective Homemade Dry Shampoo

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There was a time in my life when I was one of those people who washed my hair every single day. I took a shower every morning, dried my hair, and straightened it with a flat iron. I did that all through high school and college, even though it took me at least half an hour each day. Looking back, I can’t believe how much of my life I’ve spent drying my hair.

Part of the reason that it used to take me so long to do my hair is that my hair is thick. Seriously, hairstylists marvel over how much hair I have. (That’s always a hard thing to reply to, by the way. Do I say thanks? Are they even complimenting me? Are they actually kind of complaining because my hair is more work? I can never tell.)

After a few different hairstylists styled my hair and then said something like, “Wow, I hope you don’t wash this every day! That would take so much time!” it occurred to me that perhaps I really should start skipping a few showers.

So I did. I started washing my hair every other day. It was a little oily at first, and sometimes it was really hard to make it through that second day without giving in and washing it. But I was determined to give it a good try at least, and within a few weeks my hair had adjusted to my new schedule and was hardly getting oily at all between showers.

In fact, it went so well that I started fantasizing about going even longer without washing my hair. Could I wait three days? Four? A week? I had won back so much time in my life, and if anything, it made me detest styling my hair even more.

Dry shampoo was the obvious solution to my problem. When a friend suggested it to me I went and picked up a can from Target immediately. I tried it the next day and was sadly unimpressed. It smelled weird and it felt weird, and those are two deal-breakers for me when it comes to products that I use on my body. (I don’t even want to think about what the ingredients were. I’m sure they weren’t all-natural!)

Still, I was intrigued by the idea of dry shampoo, and it occurred to me that I could probably make some form of it on my own. Thus began my quest for a natural dry shampoo that I could make myself.

Homemade Dry Shampoo Recipe

There are many different substances that you can use as the base of dry shampoo. Ground-up oatmeal, arrowroot powder, and a variety of other fine, absorptive powders can be used. I like organic cornstarch because it’s easy to find and it’s something that I always have around the house anyway.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic cornstarch

Optional Additions

  • 3-4 drops essential oil for the scent
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder–for people with darker hair
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon–for people with red or auburn hair

Directions

Combine all ingredients well and store your all-natural, homemade dry shampoo in the container of your choice. Some good options are a mason jar with holes poked in the lid (the method I used), a large, un-used salt shaker, or a recycled parmesan cheese container.

Application

Dry shampoo is always applied at the roots of the hair. Use a brush or a comb and separate sections of your hair, shaking the powder onto your scalp. Massage it into the surrounding hair and let it sit for approximately two minutes–just enough time to absorb all that oil! When you’re finished brush the dry shampoo through your hair until it is no longer visible.

Results

I was eventually able to cut my styling time down to nearly nothing, by the way. It mostly involved giving up on straight hair forever and embracing my natural curls, but I have to say that dry shampoo helps too. It hasn’t replaced my regular hair-washing routine, but it does help me get an extra day or two when I need it.

For something that’s simple and inexpensive to make, all-natural dry shampoo is very effective!

10 Relationship Tips You Should Never Forget

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If you’re in a relationship, intimate or platonic, that could use a little help, the tips below will come in handy…

1.  Let go of old wounds through forgiveness.

Every moment of your life you are either growing or dying – and when you are physically healthy, it’s a choice, not fate.  The art of maintaining happiness in your life and relationships relies on the fine balancing act of holding on and letting go.  Yes, sometimes people you trust (including yourself) will hurt you.  Being hurt is something you can’t avoid, but being continuously miserable is always a choice.  Forgiveness is the remedy.  You have to let go of what’s behind you before you can grasp the goodness in front of you.

2.  Come clean when you make a mistake.

An honest heart is the beginning of everything that is right with this world.  The most honorable people of all are not those who never make mistakes, but those who admit to them when they do, and then go on and do their best to right the wrongs they’ve made.  In the end, being honest might not always win you a lot of friends and lovers, but it will always keep the right ones in your life.

3.  Stop gossiping and start communicating.

A good rule of thumb:  If you can’t say it to their face, you shouldn’t say it behind their back.  As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.”  Life is much too short to waste talking about people, gossiping, and stirring up trouble that has no substance.  If you don’t know, ask. If you don’t agree, say so.  If you don’t like it, speak up.  But never judge people behind their back.

4.  Give others the space to make their own decisions.

Stop judging others by your own past.  Never act, judge, or treat people like you know them better than they know themselves.  They are living a different life than you are.  What might be good for one person may not be good for another.  What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better.  Allow the people in your life to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.

5.  Do things that make YOU happy.

If you want to awaken happiness in a relationship, start by living a life that makes you happy and then radiate your happiness into your relationship.  If you want to eliminate suffering in a relationship, start by eliminating the dark and negative parts of yourself, and then radiate your positivity into your relationship.  Truly, the greatest power you have in this world is the power of your own self-transformation.  All the positive change you seek in any relationship starts with the one in the mirror.

6.  Show your loved ones your kindness in small ways every day.

Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  Always be kinder than necessary.  You never know what someone is going through.  Sometimes you have to be kind to someone, not because they’re being nice, but because you are.  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

7.  Say less when less means more.

It takes some courage to stand up and speak; it takes even more courage to open your mind and listen.  Pay attention and be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble.  The people in your life often need a listening ear more than they need a rambling voice.  And don’t listen with the intent to reply; hear what is being said with the intent to understand.  You are as beautiful as the love you give, and you are as wise as the silence you leave behind.

8.  Let your love and trust overpower your fear.

You never lose by loving; you lose by holding back.  No relationship is impossible until you refuse to give it a chance.  Love means giving someone the chance to hurt you, but trusting them not to.  Without this trust, a relationship cannot survive.  You cannot just believe what you fear from others; you have to believe in the good faith of others.  If you are ever going to have someone trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too.

9.  Accept, don’t expect.

Unconditional acceptance is something we want, but rarely ever give out.  Remember, people never do anything that is out of character.  They may do things that go against your expectations, but what people do reveals exactly who they are.  Never force your expectations on people, other than the expectation that they will be exactly who they are.  Who they are is not what they say or what you have come to expect, it is who they reveal themselves to be.  Either you accept them as they are, or you move on without them.

10.  Let the wrong ones go.

Know your worth!  When you give your time to someone who doesn’t respect you, you surrender pieces of your heart you will never get back.  All failed relationships hurt, but losing someone who doesn’t appreciate and respect you is actually a gain, not a loss.  Some people come into your life temporarily simply to teach you something.  They come and they go and they make a difference.  It’s perfectly okay that they’re not in your life anymore.  You now have more time to focus on the relationships that truly matter.

Afterthoughts

Remember, even the healthiest relationships have small flaws.  Being too black and white about the quality and health of a relationship spells trouble.  Accept the fact that there will always be difficulties present, but you can still focus on the good.  Instead of constantly looking for signs of what’s not working in your relationship, what you need to do is look for signs of what is, and then use this as a solid foundation to build upon.