Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

cell phone 2It’s a running joke in our house. Where are mom’s glasses? Mom, that would be me, is constantly putting them down and forgetting where they are! I don’t think it is an aging thing because the misplaced glasses have been misplaced for years.

Oh and this happens to my cell phone on a regular basis as well. Thankfully, someone in the house just has to call my cell number and I am like On-Star, unless I forgot to take my phone off vibrate!

Apparently, I am not alone in my misplacement of objects. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the average person misplaces up to nine items a day! Hey, I am way below the national average here.

And thank goodness this tendency to misplace doesn’t mean I’m heading into dementia. People of all ages forget things. However, the does brain begins to shrink with aging (meaning in our 20s)  and it does worsen this tendency to forget.

The problem is that the number of things we have to remember in a typical day doesn’t decrease with age. And to top it off, we often multitask, making memory even more difficult. It’s a wonder we don’t lose more than 9 items a day!

Some German scientists think that our memory and distraction are related to a certain variation in a gene we inherit. Regardless of the cause, what works is finding a regular spot to put something. At night, I put my glasses on top of the dresser, same place every night! I don’t lose my car keys in the house either because I put them on a hanger the second I walk in the door. There they hang in the same place every day. If you are losing things, put them in the same place every day!

But when it comes to remembering  things that don’t have their own special place, I have to be intentional and make a note of where I am putting something. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I come out of a store and forget where my car is parked. The reason is that when I park, I might be on the phone, deep in thought or simply thinking of other things. If I don’t want to lose my car, I have to look around, get a few markers and tell myself to remember where I parked. If I am tired, upset, or highly stressed, my memory is even worse and so I pull out my cell phone (when I can find it) and put a reminder with an alarm on it. This works unless I forget where I put my cell phone or leave it on vibrate!

So if you want to stop losing your checkbook, keys, office items and cell phone, make a mental note of where you place those things, find a consistent place, and add a little reminder via your phone or a note to self. Refuse to lose 9 items a day or you just might lose your mind!

2 happy coupleYes, today is tax day and many of you will make that last minute run for the post office before midnight! Why? Because you don’t want to be penalized by the federal government. But what about your emotional bank account?  Do you need to make more deposits when it comes to your relationships?

An emotional bank account has to do with how often you deposit positives into your relationships. Do you praise, show fondness and admiration to your partner, give complements, make gestures of affection, tell the person you love him/her, use words of encouragement, pay attention to his or her needs, etc.?

If you don’t make regular positive deposits, your emotional bank account can go into a negative balance.  When this happens, the negativity begins to tip the positive, causing you to start looking at your relationship in a negative way. In fact, we know from the research of John Gottman that couples who are doing well have a 5 to 1 positives to negatives ratio operating in their relationship.  Happy couples have 20 to 1 positives to negatives. Unhappy couples have .08 to 1 ratio of negates to positives.

So on this special tax day, get to the post office on time, but tell your loved one something positive along the way. Make sure you are making regular positive deposits into your intimate relationships. These will be absolutely necessary when problems erupt. An overall positive feeling about a relationship makes it easier to deal with problems.

You can’t stop the government from taking your tax dollars, but you can stop your relationship from being depleted. Make those emotional deposits every day and your emotional bank account will be full!

gum 2When that new flavor of gum hits the grocery store, its tempting. Watermelon sour, triple berry fruit…sounds like dessert in a stick, but what is the skinny on gum chewing?

As a mom, I didn’t let my kids chew gum, probably because I am not a gum chewer, so we never had gum in the house. But I know a lot of people who smack away. So I wondered, does chewing gum have benefits or does it do some harm?

Don’t panic! Gum chewers don’t end up in the ER! But those of you who are a little orally fixated, might want to know your gum facts! And who knows, this could be a Jeopardy category one day!

Dr. Bell, a GI in Virginia Beach, VA. weighs in on the pros and cons of gum chewing in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. According to him, we need to get our gum facts right!

Some people think gum chewing causes an upset stomach. Dr. Bell explains that when you first put that gum in your mouth, you signal the brain to begin the digestive process. Saliva is released thinking food is coming. Since no food shows up, you might think, uh oh, the stomach is tricked and acid is released. I feel boated or gassy. That feeling  comes from the air intake that comes with chewing, not the acid. So gum is not upsetting the stomach. I guess that gives credence to the old saying, chew with your mouth closed!

Gum doesn’t act like a weight loss agent either. Remember it kick starts the digestion system which might make you feel even more hungry. So despite the claims, chew because you like it, not to lose weight! And if you want to freshen your breath, gum is true to that promise!

If you listen to your dentist and chew sugar free gum, you aren’t completely in the clear. The main ingredient in sugar free gum, Sorbitol, taken in large amounts, can give you GI problems. Some people can get excessive gas from that ingredient taken in high doses, so moderate or stop if you are sensitive to Sorbitol.

Dr. Bell also notes that there are studies linking adolescent gum chewing to migraine headaches and that people with mild jaw problems could irritate those problems even more.

So is there any good news here? Yes, other studies say chewing gum during a task can help you think better. Maybe that is why so many teens smack away during their exams!

I probably just took the fun out of gum, but hey, if you need to chew, it’s way better than tobacco!

 

 

 

snsTWEET: You didn’t follow through on your promise today#madatyouagain

TWEET: How about the way you responded #outofcontrol

TWEET: No way. Call me @JohnSmith. I’m over Tim!

TWEET: #overreacting. #outofcontrol and trying to blame me. I guess I eat out tonight!

TWEET: Seriously, no dinner with me is right! Checking my options @JohnSmith

What would be your guess as to the relationship health of this couple? Good, problematic, headed for trouble?

If you said problematic or headed for trouble, you are right!

In fact, one researcher, Russell Clayton, discovered that active Twitter use leads to greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict among romantic partners. In other words, couples may find themselves fighting over those tweets and creating conflict that leads to a break up or infidelity.

Twitter, a social networking site (SNS), can have a damaging effect on romantic relationships. Those 140 character tweets can create jealously, flirting, distrust and strong emotions. Just add the hashtag (#) or @replies and you’ve got a public conversation that should have remained private. This gives new meaning to airing your laundry in public!

Like other SNSs, it’s a good idea to keep your private life private. Don’t use SNS to stir up jealousy or engage in betrayal. If you are having problems in your relationship over the use of Twitter, stop using it and start talking to your partner in person.

#DoneWithTwitter until we can work out a plan!

#StoppingHurtingOurRelationship!

Good idea @drlindahelps!

 

 

Source: ClaytonRussell B.. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/cyber.2013.0570.