Dos and Don’ts of Supporting a Sick Friend or Relative

When someone we care about gets bad news about their health, we naturally want to help. Whether it’s holding someone’s hand through chemo treatments or just sending a thoughtful gift or card, we want to feel like we’re doing SOMETHING in the face of an illness that may leave us feeling quite powerless to help. I’ve experienced it to be quite nice to bring funny movies or video clips. Just download videos from Youtube (you can use a downloader like Pro Video Downloader), and put them on a DVD. Most hospitals have DVD players these days, so your friend or relative will be able to watch them when you’re not there.

how-to-visit-a-sick-friend_stk99529cor.s300x300When interacting with a gravely ill person, we often end up saying stupid things out of nervousness or confusion. Review these tips before your visit and you’ll have a much better chance of expressing yourself in a kind and helpful way.

Don’t compare your friend’s situation to someone else’s. Every medical case is different, and depending on their mindset at the time, they might take even the most positive statement the wrong way. For example, if you say the treatment they’re getting has a 90 percent success rate, they might focus on their chances of being in the unlucky 10 percent.

Don’t compliment their appearance if they look sick. If they know they look bad, you’ll lose credibility. And if they look good but feel awful, they might hesitate to share their true feelings out of fear of disappointing you.

Do let your friend or relative know you are there for them when they need you. The best way to do this is by letting them set the terms for when they need you and for what. Ask them to tell you when they want company and when they want to be alone.

Remember, the most important thing is honesty and availability! Don’t sugarcoat bad news, but be there to empathize with your friend over it.

8 Things Happy People Can Teach Us

happiness_by_miroku251-d4tf7v9The first line of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina famously states that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Could a similar statement also apply to individuals? In other words – are happy people somehow all alike? Dr. David Myers has indeed discovered that those who tend to be happy have several things in common. While happiness is undoubtedly a fleeting thing, it seems that having these eight characteristics might help you feel and cherish those precious happy moments.

So, what are happy people like?

1) Optimistic. This seems obvious – those who expect good things to happen keep their focus on the good moments. Because of this, even if an optimist’s day is equally filled with good and bad things, he is more likely to perceive that day as a happy one. Do you tend to be optimistic?

2) Creative. Having an active mind, pursuing your interests and finding new ways to approach familiar things and situations adds a certain spark that often increases one’s enjoyment in life.

3) Extroverted. Surveys show that those who tend to be more sociable and extroverted also tend to be happier. Are you an extrovert?

4) They have close relationships. Forming close relationships full of trust and love brings emotional fulfilment and helps to keep loneliness away.

5) They feel a sense of personal control. Being in control of one’s life makes it easier to deal with everyday stress. Take charge and fight against your helplessness whenever you can! If you are looking for that spark of happiness from things you are not in control of like slot machines, maybe reading about the psychology behind it will open your eyes (a quite interesting article can be found here).

6) They live balanced lives. Dedicating your life to only one area of life might leave you with a nagging feeling of imbalance. Being productive and still finding time for relaxation is the winning combination.

7) They have a spiritual foundation. Research shows that spirituality adds vitality and meaning to life, resulting in higher levels of happiness.

8) They like themselves. Happy people feel good in their own skin. This is perhaps a key quality you will need to truly feel happy! Think about your greatest qualities, remember why it is simply good to be you, and happiness will find you on its own.