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7 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts

When we start to have negative thoughts, it can be difficult to break the cycle. Try these 7 tips from TinyBuddha.com.

Meditate or do yoga. Yoga and meditation take your attention away from negative thoughts, and place the attention on your breath.

Smile. Smiling has been proved to help change your mood and relieve stress.

Surround yourself with positive people. Call a friend who can give you constructive, yet loving feedback. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.

Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive. For example, instead of thinking, “We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation,” think, “We will face some challenges in our living situation, but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.”

Don’t play the victim. You create your life—take responsibility. There’s a way out of any situation. You simply have to make the choice to change.

Help someone. Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. You’ll feel better.

Remember that no one is perfect. It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. Instead, learn from them and move forward.

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Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

The idea of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King’s death, U.S. Representative John Conyers and U.S. Senator Edward Brooke introduced a bill in Congress to make King’s birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition (King had never held public office). Only two other figures have national holidays in the U.S. honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus.

Soon after, the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public. The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single “Happy Birthday” to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. Six million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 article in The Nation as “the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history.

Today, consider taking a moment to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on America.

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5 Steps to Living a More Positive Life

Staying positive is much easier said than done, especially in these hectic times. Consider these 5 steps from PositivityBlog.com:
1. Appreciate, appreciate, appreciate! People often want appreciation from others. It can become a craving need. Instead, start to appreciate everything around you, such as: the sunshine, your food and your health.
2. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. It is very easy to fall into a habit of focusing your thoughts on what you don’t want rather than what you want. If you do that then it will be hard to get what you want in life. If you want to improve your finances then focus on having a great financial situation rather than your lack of money and your debts. If you want a new relationship then focus on meeting a lot of new people and forming great relationships rather than focusing on your loneliness and your lack.
3. Educate and explore yourself. Self-education can be a great help to live a better life. Read great books on the areas of your life you want to improve. Maybe it’s it your financial situation or your health. Or maybe it’s your relationships. Ask people with more success in that area what they did to improve. This is also a great way to get to know yourself better and understand why you think, feel and do – or don’t do – the things you do.
4. Take action in your life. “Just do it!” is a nice slogan. If you feel that fear is holding you back from doing something, there are practical solutions that have been used for thousands of years. Take small steps and confront your fear little by little. At least you’re taking action.
5. Improve your social skills. Happiness really comes from having positive relationships with other people. Improving your communication skills can greatly improve your life.

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Reminder: January is National Blood Donor Month!

The American Red Cross is encouraging residents to donate blood in January, which is National Blood Donor Month.

National Blood Donor Month has been observed since 1970 as a means to not only honor blood and platelet donors, but also to help increase donations during the winter months. Red Cross officials explain extreme winter weather and seasonal illnesses typically have a significant impact on donor turnout.

In case you didn’t know how important blood donation is, check out these facts from redcrossblood.org:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.
  • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
  • Sickle cell disease affects more than 70,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.