Author Archives: raiseinstitute

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Help Your Teen Develop their Emotional Intelligence.

Take a moment to think about the people in your life – family, friends, teachers and acquaintances. Is there someone in your circle who seems “special”?

You know the one, when a tough decision needs to be made, this is the person you want making it. They never seem to get too upset when things go wrong or carried away when they receive good news. They’re a fantastic listener and always considered when responding to you. They don’t have any enemies or people gossiping behind their back. Whenever you have a problem, this person doesn’t judge you and will always make you feel better after speaking to them, regardless of whether they can solve your problem or not. If you’re having an “aha” moment, but didn’t realise there was a name for this behaviour, let us share it with you.

People like this have a high degree of emotional intelligence or EQ. EQ is the ability to recognise your emotions, understand what they’re telling you and realise how your emotions affect others. People with good EQ are able to deal with stress, manage conflict, overcome challenges, perform under pressure and communicate more effectively. In the heat of the battle, it’s EQ that stops you from saying or doing something that you later regret. EQ makes you more aware of your own emotional state and that of those around you, giving you the ability to look at things from a balanced perspective.

How does EQ work?

All information to the brain comes through our senses. If this information is overwhelmingly stressful or emotional, instinct will take over and our ability to act will be limited to the flight, fight or freeze response. Therefore, in order to make good decisions, we need to be able to recognise and then balance our emotions with rational. 

Why is EQ so important?

Research shows that EQ is just as important to success as technical know-how or your IQ. Since the world we live in is essentially made up of people, anything that impacts people’s minds will have a knock-on effect on their behaviour and, potentially their success in life. What’s more, a high EQ has been found to be a key component in happiness, physical and mental wellbeing and the quality of our relationships.

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Learn How To Meditate

“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

Dalai Lama

Do you ever get that feeling that life is just overwhelming? Your mind is constantly filled with the chatter of thoughts, pressures, stress and obligations. You seem to always be either beating yourself up over what happened yesterday, or worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow. This can lead to feeling disconnected, empty and being out of sync with your life’s purpose and direction. You are unable to appreciate the now and the beauty and splendour of the magical moments that are happening all around you.

The good news is that you can find that elusive place of peace, joy and stillness. However in order to do that you must be willing to break-free from the mind and surrender to the soul. A willingness to go to a place where there is no judgement, only truth, love and purity.

Meditation is the road to that place. While prayer gives us the opportunity to speak to God, meditation is the act of listening to God. Meditation has been practiced for centuries and is an important component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. In its simplest form meditation is a discipline that involves turning the mind and attention inward, focusing on a single thought, image, object or feeling. It involves a conscious effort to self-regulate and quiet the mind in order to find meaning, purpose, connectivity and direction.

Why Meditate

Meditation can help you manage stress, improve your ability to focus, deal with grief, fight off disease and find solutions to everyday problems. Even more important meditation will allow you to connect to the infinite power of the universe (God). Let’s take a look at some of these benefits in more detail:

Physical Benefits:

Meditation releases physical stress, reduces anxiety, muscle tension, slows blood flow, increases energy and reduces blood pressure.

Mental Benefits:

Meditation enables the brain to work with clarity and focus. By using meditation one can bring calm resulting in the reduction of negative thinking, all-or-nothing thinking and catastrophic thinking.

Emotional Benefits:

Meditation can help remove emotions such as anger, resentment, and selfishness, allowing for experiences of forgiveness, acceptance, and tolerance. It can be said that through meditation you will begin to experience thinking from the heart versus thinking from the mind.

Spiritual Benefits:

Meditation if often called the silent prayer. Through meditation you can hear the voice of God. You can connect to that part of you that is God’s image and likeness. As Psalms 139:13 states “for you created my in most being”. That part of you that is governed without judgement or fear. That part of you that holds your internal truth. By stilling the mind, meditation has the ability to remove the ego (the mind) allowing this connection to occur.

Developing meditation techniques

The word meditation sometimes scares people as they think it is a very complex process reserved for people from the East. As I mentioned earlier meditation is a practice that has been done by people of all religions and backgrounds for centuries. The idea of meditation is to reclaim the silence within. In such silence, you can meet your real self, the real you.

Meditation should be a daily practice done the first thing in the morning before the chaos of your life kicks in.  Try the following meditations and enjoy the experience of finding your inner peace.

Breathing Meditation

Sit in an upright position with your hands comfortably on your lap. Close your eyes and feel your tongue, mouth, jaw and eyes relax. Next focus on relaxing your face and body. Allow yourself to breath natural for a time and then begin to slow your breath. Feel the breath enter through your nose filling your lungs and expanding the chest. Then slowly release your breath. Continue focusing on your breath for as long as you wish to meditate. It is impossible to think and focus on breathing at the same time.

Visualisation Meditation  

When you have settled down comfortably, eyes closed, focus on your breath allowing it to slow. Become aware of your thoughts and distractions as they chase each other in your mind. With each breath slowly dissolve each thought. Allow all your concerns and worries, stresses and issues, fall away with every breath. With every breath imagine that you are exhaling all disturbing thoughts and feelings, surrendering them to a greater Source. With every inhalation imagine you are breathing in blessings and peace. Imagine your body filling with light and love and experience the calm and stillness of the universe.

Contemplation Meditation

When you have found stillness and centred your breath, allow yourself to bring into being the intention of your meditation. If you are experiencing a negative emotion with your ‘life situation’ reflect on the emotion and find the appropriate antidote for you to contemplate. If you are feeling angry the antidote and energy you wish to focus on would be forgiveness. If you are feeling conflict or resistance to something try contemplating acceptance. If you are feeling stressed and worried you may wish to meditate on the sensation of surrender and trust. By meditating on positive emotions and thoughts you will begin to vibrate a more positive state of being transcending your problems and allowing your mind to align itself with solutions.

You will notice benefits from meditation after spending as little as five minutes twice a day on your practice. However the more you do it and the longer you do it for, the greater the benefit and more profound the impact.After around a week of regular practice you will notice how active your mind is and begin to get a handle on those distracting thoughts. Within three weeks meditation will become easier and you will find more mental clarity and start to feel the physical benefits as well. Once you make it part of your everyday life, your problem solving skills will improve, you will experience a greater sense of awareness and be more connected to the present moment.

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Helping your child build self-esteem

Stopping Smoking In Teens

The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror – not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray.
David Byrne

Today we’re more aware than ever before about how bad smoking is for our health. In most Western countries smoking is restricted or banned in almost all public places and cigarette companies are no longer allowed to advertise on TV, radio, and in all other public areas.

Almost everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, emphysema, and heart disease; that it can shorten your life by 10 years or more; and that the habit can cost a smoker thousands of dollars each year. So how come people are still lighting up? The answer, in one word, Addiction!

Let’s talk about addiction

Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. In fact it is more addictive than any other drug including alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. What’s even more dangerous is that the body and mind quickly become so used to the nicotine in cigarettes that a person needs to have it just to feel normal.

No one starts off wanting to be a smoker. Many are just curious to try it or they think it may be cool or their friends or family members offer them that very first one. Every day, almost 3,900 adolescents under 18 years of age try their first cigarette. More than 950 of them will become daily smokers,About 30 percent of teen smokers will continue smoking and die early from a smoking-related disease. On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers. Just imagine what you can do with all those extra years.

Health effects of smoking among young people


In summary cigarette smokers will suffer from the following medical issues:

·         Cigarette smokers have a lower level of lung function than those persons who have never smoked

·         Smoking causes heart disease and stroke.

  • Smoking hurts young people’s physical fitness in terms of both performance and endurance
  • The resting heart rates of young adult smokers are two to three beats per minute faster than non-smokers putting unnecessary stress on the heart
  • Smoking at an early age increases the risk of lung cancer.
  • Teenage smokers suffer from shortness of breath almost three times as often as teens who don’t smoke, and produce phlegm more than twice as often as teens who don’t smoke.
  • Teenage smokers are more likely to have seen a doctor or other health professionals for an emotional or psychological complaint.
  • Teen smokers are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Smoking can age skin faster, second only to the effect sun exposure has on giving premature wrinkles.
  • Teens who smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. Smoking is associated with a host of other risky behaviors, such as fighting and engaging in unprotected sex.

What if I am Already Addicted?

The first step is to recognise the fact that you are now an addict. In other words you are being controlled by the tobacco companies against your will to purchase a product that is only doing you harm. Sounds like a pretty silly thing to do doesn’t it? However despite how illogical this may seem fighting nicotine addiction is not a simple process. If you are one of the many whom accidently fell into the trap of smoking, in the tips section there are 5 steps you can take to break the addiction now before it does irreparable damage.


If you have already started smoking here are 5 tips that can help you stop:

1.       Realise that you are not the one making the decision to smoke. It is actually the tobacco companies through the use of Nicotine that is making you feel like a cigarette.

2.       Also note that after stopping smoking for 48 hours all nicotine leaves the body hence the physical addiction actually stops. Consequently once you stopped smoking for this amount of time any withdrawals you are feeling are only psychological. So get through the first 48 hours.

3.       Have a plan for those tough moments. Some people like to smoke when they are stressed or after a meal. Identify those moments and have a plan for what you are going to do when your mind tries to trick you into believing that you want a cigarette.  Please note that a cigarette does not make the food digest better nor does it make the stressful situation disappear.

4.       If you normally have a cigarette with a friend make a deal with them to either quit with you or never to offer you one again.

5.       Now you are ready to quit, set a date and time that you are going to quit, congratulate yourself on becoming a non-smoker again, and stick to your plan.  

Start Now!

1.       If you are a non-smoker make a promise to yourself that you will never become a smoker and put yourself in unnecessary danger.

2.       If you are a smoker set a date to quit and undertake the 5 step plan mentioned in the tips.

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Teach Your Teen the Art of Time Management

Carpe diem, seize the day, live life fully, make the most of every opportunity. Getting up each morning and going to work in your dream job – how awesome does that sound. Isn’t that the very thing we are were put on this earth to do – to experience life fully?

What a strong and liberating message “Carpe Diem” holds: life is now and life will always only be now. It’s only in the present moment that we can experience, joy, happiness and contentment. So it is up to you to take this responsibility upon yourself and seize it fully.

Yet – Carpe diem, also holds the message not to waste a single moment. It means giving your all, being the best you can be. As you have learned from the Personal Leadership tutorial that’s not easy. It takes a fair amount of commitment and hard work. So why would you do it? Because you owe it to yourself, you deserve it! Don’t you?

You have begun your journey towards your dream job by:

  1. Developing a strategic plan which leverages your strengths and works on your weaknesses
  2. Deciding on which career you want to pursue based on your unique personality and skill sets, and
  3. setting some compelling goals covering the 4 pillars or foundation stones of life (body, mind, heart and soul)

What next? In this tutorial, you will learn a time management system that will keep you focused on the bigger picture.  It does this by ensuring that you are always prioritising and then completing those activities that will move you closer towards your objectives. You will become more aware of how you spend your time and as a result be able to make smarter decisions on a daily basis.

With competition at an all-time high, your ability to manage your time will be key in determining whether you implement your Career and Life Plans. Those that don’t, tend to be slaves to the clock, never having the freedom to do the things they really want to. Let’s start by looking at the underlying principles of time management.

Principle #1 – The 80/20 Rule

80% of the results you achieve in life come from 20% of the activities that occupy your time. Put another way, out of 5 things you do in a day, only 1 will yield long-lasting results. These are what we call high-impact activities. Just think for a moment of all the activities you do on a daily basis, how many of them will have an impact on your life even one month from now?

The question is then, what should you be spending your time on? You should be spending time doing those things that are in line with your career plan while at the same time enriching your life. These include:

  • taking care of your health
  • improving your knowledge and the way you think
  • investing time and energy into important relationships and networks, and
  • renewing your spirit by connecting to the wonders around you

These are just a few of the high impact activities that will allow you to design the life that you deserve.

Principle #2 Important versus Urgent

Successful people understand the difference between activities that are important and those that are urgent. They are priority-driven focusing their attention on what is really important and have no time to waste on those things that are not. They are also always wary of time thieves. These are people that are time wasters and want to engage you in meaningless activities. You must be ruthless with your time and learn to say no! Don’t be frightened to shut the world out if you need time to concentrate on an important task. For instance, don’t be a slave to your phone! You don’t have to answer your phone every time it rings. It is there for your convenience, not the convenience of others.

Principle # 3 Just Do It!

Are you a procrastinator? How many times do you find yourself putting off something either because it is difficult or, because you simply don’t like doing it? As a result, you find yourself doing a much less productive activity, which really, is just “killing time”. The most productive people have cultivated a habit of doing those things that less productive people don’t like doing, even though they may not like doing them.  Remember at some stage you will still have to do that activity that you have put off. So why not, “Just do it”.

These principles are at the very core of the KickStart Time Management System. Living your life by these principles will help you develop the mind-set that you need to implement your career plan. The Tips and Start Now Exercises include a step-by-step guide on how to implement the system. It’s now time to break free from the shackles of what you are not and to set free the person you were meant to be.  Carpe Diem – seize the day!

The Raise Scholar Program

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