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How To Get Rid Of Cystic Acne

Of all the types of acne you might be cursed to suffer through, cystic acne is undoubtedly the worst. And while it’s tough enough to experience it in high school, it’s even more horrifying to see it pop up on your face when you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s.

Unlike blackheads, whiteheads, and surface acne, which are smaller and stick to the surface of the skin, cystic acne tends to create deep pockets of inflammation deep under the skin, causing mountainous, red lumps on the skin that can tend weeks to resolve. They also tend to leave massive scars, something normal acne doesn’t do.

What Causes Cystic Acne?

Strangely, doctors still don’t understand acne. They know it’s a problem with your pores, the small troughs that house your hair follicles, but there still isn’t an overarching theory to explain why cystic acne pops up on some people, and not on others, and why it comes and goes the way it does.

There are, however, a few things to seem to impact the prevalence of cystic acne for some people (though not for all). These include:

  • Hormones. Cystic acne that pops up on your jaw or around your mouth is often an indicator of hormonal acne. Some women experience acne flare-ups before their periods, which might be connected to the body’s natural rise in testosterone. This might also explain why male teenagers are more likely to get acne than their female counterparts.  
  • Stress. Some individuals (especially women) find their cystic acne increases during times of stress. Perhaps it’s the inflammation stress triggers or perhaps certain hormones; either way, it’s a reliable trigger for some.
  • Diet. Sugar and dairy are often triggering for people who aren’t otherwise dairy or sugar intolerant.

What we do know is that it’s a bacteria that causes acne–the P. acnes bacteria strain, to be precise.  As science learns more about the importance of the microbiome–the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria on our skin, in our gut, and throughout our body–some have begun to theorize that perhaps it’s the kind of P. acnes bacteria on our skin that determines whether or not we’ll develop acne.

A New Theory for What Causes Cystic Acne

cystic acne 2

In 2018, researchers presented evidence for two different strains of P. acnes bacteria–one that colonizes and is found on people who suffer from acne, and one that doesn’t colonize and is found on people who do not experience acne.

Eureka? Maybe. There’s a lot more to learn. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know so you can learn how to get rid of cystic acne.

Natural Cures for Cystic Acne

Here’s how to get rid of cystic acne naturally:

1. Change Your Diet

There’s evidence that diet changes can cure cystic acne and there’s evidence that it does not; we suspect it depends on the person and your type of acne. However, a diet change is the least invasive and potentially most effective cure–and involves no harsh chemicals or hormones with crazy side effects.

The two most common culprits are sugar and dairy, and since sugar is linked to inflammation and hormonal issues like PCOS, we recommend starting there if you suspect your acne is hormone-related.

Once you’ve eliminated sugar from your diet for approximately 30 days, you can try some again–and track your body’s reaction carefully.

2. Lower Your Stress

We know that people–especially women in their 30s and 40s–are more stressed than our predecessors, and we know that stress directly impacts inflammation in the body, and we know that acne has a lot to do with inflammation–so it stands to reason that if we can lower our stress, we might be able to minimize cystic acne.

Two great options are meditation, which is proven to lower stress, and exercise, which has the same impact.

3. Use Natural Ingredients on Your Face

There’s a whole host of natural ingredients that act like superpowers for your skin. Here are our favorites:

  • Honey
  • Aloe Vera
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Turmeric
  • Apple cider vinegar

Honey

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  • Honey has antimicrobial properties and acts as a natural humectant, holding moisture against your skin (acne can be caused by a damaged skin barrier).

Aloe Vera

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  • Aloe vera is extremely nourishing and packed with powerful antibacterial properties.

Tea Tree Oil

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  • Tea tree oil is also known for its ability to kill bacteria without stripping your skin of its natural oils.

Turmeric

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  • Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a mask.

Apple Cider Vinegar

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  • Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, a powerful bacteria-fighter. You can dilute it with water and use it with a toner to wipe out the bad bacteria on your face naturally.

4. Eat Your Probiotics

If you buy into the latest research about P. acnes bacteria on the skin, then improving your body’s microbiome by consuming probiotics is your next best bet. You can take probiotics in supplement form, or you can get them through foods like yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha. Just watch out for added sugar, though!

5. Cleanse With Oil

It sounders counterintuitive to cleanse your face with oil, but oil cleansing is one of the biggest face care trends right now, and here’s why: if you battle excess oils, you’ll likely reach for harsh astringents or soap that remove excess oil. Your face, however, responds by producing additional oil, so all you’ve done is make the problem worse.

Using non-comedogenic oils like castor oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil to cleanse your face removes excess oil that has built up without forcing your face to produce extra oil. You’ll see your skin start to rebalance itself–and you’ll likely see it start to glow.

Plus, the oils we’ve mentioned have similar pH levels to your skin, which might help the good bacteria thrive and the bad bacteria wither.

6. Try an Over the Counter Retinol Cream

While not, strictly speaking, a natural solution, a retinol cream can do wonders for breaking up clogged pores and resurfacing the top layer of your skin, helping you get rid of cystic acne.

Most creams and washes the local drugstore offers for acne include salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide, which can’t get down deep enough to help. Retinol, however, can, so it’s worth a try. Be careful, though, as it can sometimes cause acne when you first start using it; spot test and go slowly.

Working With Your Doctor to Cure Cystic Acne

If you have serious and pervasive acne that doesn’t readily respond to spot treatments or natural treatments, we recommend you see a doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible. Since cystic acne can leave scars, this is a problem you want to get to the bottom of quickly!

Pros and Cons to Using Antibiotics

PROS

For cystic acne, doctors often move directly to antibiotics–either oral or topical. These aren’t always the best choice since they are usually short-term problems; as soon as you stop using them your acne returns. However, they might be able to stop the scar-causing acne long enough for you to find a more permanent solution.

CONS

Be careful, however–antibiotics can wreak havoc on your microbiome, which can cause short-term problems like diarrhea and long-term problems like poor mental health.

Other Solutions

cystic acne 3

Retinoids may also be recommended to blast through clogged pores to minimize further breakouts.

If your doctor believes your acne is hormone-related, she might refer you to your OB-GYN, who can run tests, and prescribe birth control or other hormones to help remedy the problem.  

Laser Therapy

Another option for how to get rid of cystic acne is photodynamic therapy or laser treatment. It is likely to be expensive, especially if you can’t get your insurance to cover it, but in a twelve-week study, volunteers experienced a 72% reduction in acne, making it an attractive option for treatment–especially since it doesn’t involve antibiotics.

Light therapy doesn’t work for everyone and it rarely completely treats the problem, but it can help with things like scarring.

Accutane

One of the best options to completely ending cystic acne for good is Accutane. It’s an intense form of Vitamin A that permanently changes how your face produces oil and how your skin cells mature. It’s the only product available now that completely ends cystic acne forever.

People on it complain about dry skin and have to keep a close eye on their cholesterol levels (no eating greasy foods while on Accutane!), and it can cause birth defects so if you’re a woman, you’ll need to be on birth control and using an additional form of protection.

Final Thoughts on Getting Rid of Cystic Acne

Cystic acne has a habit of making you feel like you’re the only one suffering from it.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne

If you’re one of the fifty million Americans impacted by acne, you know how wretched it is. Whether it’s a giant pimple that inconveniently pops up before a big event or painful, cystic acne that leaves scars across your face, acne leaves you feeling insecure, anxious, and even hopeless.

What’s worse is that over the counter acne medications can strip your skin of its natural moisture, causing it to produce even more oil, leading to even more acne. Plus, these products are often filled with harsh chemicals that aren’t good for your skin or body.

Fortunately, there are natural options that are just as effective--if not more effective--than their harsh counterparts. One of our favorites is tea tree oil, an oil made from the Melaleuca tree, a shrubby green tree that thrives in Australia.

What Causes Acne?

acne

Before you understand how to use tea tree oil for acne, it’s helpful to understand how and why you ended up with acne in the first place. Acne is caused by one or more of the following reasons:

  • Pores clogged by sebum buildup or excess dead skin cells 
  • Damaged skin
  • Bacteria on the face
  • Hormones

Most standard acne medications treat acne by removing excess oil from the face to slow down the potential clogging of pores. However, this can further damage the skin, leading to both increase oil production and increased acne.

The most common active ingredients in over the counter acne medications are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. If you see a dermatologist, you’ll likely be written a prescription for an antibiotic to kill the acne-causing bacteria on your face. If these aren’t working for you or you want to look for a natural alternative that won’t hurt your face while it tries to help it, the next step is to learn how to use tea tree oil for acne.

What is Tea Tree Oil and How Can It Help Fight Acne?

tea tree oil 2

Tea tree oil has been in use for centuries. It has a grassy, slightly sharp aroma similar to eucalyptus leaves. It’s made via steam distillation and is usually diluted in 5%-10% quantities. Like menthol, it leaves a cooling sensation on the skin, so it’s often used to help with breathing difficulties. It will sting severely if it enters the eye or sensitive nose membranes, however, so be careful!

Tea tree oil has become more and more popular in recent decades as modern medicine learns more about its benefits. Here are just a few:

  • In a recent 2018 study, tea tree oil, when combined with antibiotic Cloxacillin, was found to be effective at killing staph bacteria
  • Another 2018 study concluded that tea tree oil has powerful antimicrobial properties, particular against drug-resistant bacteria
  • The same study found tea tree oil might be an effective treatment for pneumonia
  • A 2006 review reported the effectiveness of tea tree oil against E. coli bacteria as well as its efficacy against fungal infections

Tea tree oil can be used to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot, dandruff, and a whole variety of other common problems, but its powerful abilities to both fight bacteria as well as its ability to soothe and heal the skin make it a powerful agent against acne.

What Does the Research Say About Tea Tree Oil?

A 2007 study in India divided sixty patients with acne into two groups. Once received a placebo topical treatment and one received tea tree oil gel. Each group applied the treatment daily; study authors found that acne lesions were improved more than 3.5 times and acne severity improved nearly six times over.

A decade later, a study published in an Australian research journal assessed the efficacy of tea tree oil applied twice a day for twelve weeks. Study participants saw a significant decrease in total facial acne lesions, leading to the conclusion that “tea tree oil products significantly improved mild to moderate acne and that the products were well tolerated.”

Another study, this one published nearly three decades ago, compared the use of 5% benzoyl peroxide, still one of the most common acne treatments, with 5% tea tree oil on 124 patients with acne.

The study authors concluded that tea tree oil was just as effective as benzoyl peroxide. And, while it worked slightly slower than the standard treatment, patients who used it experienced fewer side effects.  

One of the most promising studies on tea tree oil and acne comes from research journal Clinical Pharmacology. This study was published at the very end of 2018; it aimed to research the use of plants in treating acne.

Scientists divided sixty patients with acne into three groups: a placebo (control) group, a group that received erythromycin cream, a common antibiotic used to treat acne, and a group that received a cream with propolis, a compound that comes from honey, tea tree oil, and aloe vera.

At the end of the study, the results were clear: the tea tree oil combination was better at reducing acne severity, occurrence, and scars than the antibiotic!

Is Acne the Only Skin Concern Tea Tree Oils Helps With?

tea tree oil treatment

As we noted earlier, acne isn’t just the result of bacteria proliferating on your face or over-zealous oil production. Acne can also be caused by things like dermatitis, an allergic reaction to a foreign substance.

Acne can also look suspiciously like eczema or psoriasis, or simply inflamed skin. Incredibly, tea tree oil doesn’t just help with acne by killing bacteria; it also helps by healing and soothing irritated or damaged skin.

  • Tea tree oil has been shown to soothe itchy skin
  • It can help reduce oil production on the skin
  • It’s a proven effective treatment for eczema  

The bottom line is that tea tree oil is effective when it comes to treating a wide variety of skin concerns. Ready to learn how to use tea tree oil for acne?

Tips for Using Tea Tree Oil to Banish Your Acne for Good

Tea tree oil is inexpensive and easy to find. You should never ingest it; it is only for topical use. You should also first do a patch test since tea tree oil can cause an allergic reaction in some people. And again, be careful when you apply it around sensitive areas, like the eyes, as it can sting or even burn!

Tea Tree Oil: Best Essential Oil

tea tree oil
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DIY Tea Tree Oil Treatment

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You can find face washes and lotions with tea tree oil in them already, but to make sure you’re getting the proper tea tree oil dilution and to make sure you’re not getting extra, harmful ingredients, you can make your own tea tree oil treatment. It’s easy.

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First, you’ll need a clean jar or bottle. Dilute tea tree oil with an oil that has a very low comedogenic rating. This means that it won’t clog your pores. Coconut oil, for example, has a high comedogenic rating and is unsuitable for your face as it could worsen your acne. Popular oils for acne-prone skin include castor oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and olive oil.

Mix tea tree oil with your favorite carrier oil in a 1:12 ratio; for every drop or two of tea tree oil, use twelve drops of your carrier oil. Combine, and then use twice a day as a full-face treatment or simply as a spot treatment.

How Often Should You Apply Your DIY Tea Tree Oil Treatment?

You can leave it on all night long but if you feel it’s too oily in the morning, let it sit for thirty minutes and then gently wipe away with a damp cloth.

Try Adding These Powerful Acne-Fighters, Too

If you want to improve tea tree oil’s efficacy, you can combine it with other powerful, natural, acne-fighting solutions like honey and aloe vera gel. You can get aloe vera gel straight from the plant; it’s packed with a dizzying array of vitamins and minerals that will add moisture to your skin without making it oily and help repair any damage or inflammation.

Honey, as the study above mentioned, also has powerful acne-busting properties, in part thanks to the vitamins it packs and also thanks to the fact that it has antimicrobial properties.

It’s likely too sticky to leave on your face during the day, but you can combine honey, aloe vera, and tea tree oil into a mask to leave on all night. Wake up the next morning to glowing skin and watch your acne fade away!

Final Thoughts

Thanks to decades of scientific research, using tea tree oil for your acne is a no-brainer. It’s inexpensive and easy to combine into a treatment for your face to end acne naturally. Here’s to clearer, healthier skin!

What Is the Power of Positive Thinking?

The Power of Positive Thinking

If you already know even the smallest amount of information about the power of positive thinking, there are likely a couple of things that come to mind when you think of positive thinking and its power. One is a book, and the other is a way of life.

The book The Power of Positive Thinking was penned by Norman Vincent Peale. This book has been on the bookshelves since 1952, and it remains an important tome to people that want to live happy and positive lives.

The lifestyle of living positively is one in which people find the most successes and happiness. They spend time with less stress and anger in their lives. They also attract more positive people and things into their lives because of their thoughts and beliefs.

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking is a 240-page tome that will inspire you to live an amazing and happy life. It's a book based on faith and inspiration.

In the Amazon description, it states that this book will help people achieve their hopes and goals. It's a book that will help you live a more fulfilling life.

If you take the time to read this book, some of the things you'll learn are:

  • How to believe in yourself and believe in all of the things that you set out to achieve.
  • How to reach your goals without backing down.
  • How to build your internal power and stay determined for success.
  • Be more relaxed and worry less.
  • Learn to practice self-love and be your own biggest fan.
  • Allow you to have better relationships, at work and at home.
  • Help you take control of your own circumstances.

If you agree that this book can help you live a more fulfilling life, why not check out The Power of Positive Thinking PDF (although you should add the book to your bookshelf for easy reference when you need a little inspiration).

How to Think More Positively

Thinking positively is mainly just about being aware of your thoughts. When you have a negative thought, you should acknowledge it and then send it on its way. Replace it with positive affirmations.

A good example of this is when you think that you're not good enough for your job or your relationship. You acknowledge that there are reasons to think that but then focus on the fact that if you weren't good enough, you wouldn't be there. Finally, affirm that you are good enough and perfect for this career or relationship.

Positive Attitude Quotes

Now that you're on the direct path to a positive life consider inspiring more positivity with some quotes. These positive attitude quotes will help you even in the moments you're feeling most negative.

“Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.” Rodolfo Costa

“An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.” Brian Tracy

“If you want light to come into your life, you need to stand where it is shining.” Guy Finley

“When your attitude is positive, you will naturally have more courage to take the next best step toward your goal.” William DeFoore

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” Herm Albright

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” Norman Vincent Peale

“A positive attitude may not solve all our problems but that is the only option we have if we want to get out of problems.” Subodh Gupta

“Adopting a really positive attitude can work wonders to adding years to your life, a spring to your step, a sparkle to your eye, and all of that.” Christie Brinkley

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” Wade Boggs

“Having a positive attitude isn’t wishy washy, it’s a concrete and intelligent way to view problems, challenges and obstacles.” Jeff Moore

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.” Willie Nelson

“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.” Pat Riley

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” Dalai Lama

Be Positive

There's no reason not to be a positive person. There are so many great things in your life and available to you.

Be appreciative of them, show your gratitude, and keep a smile on your face.

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How to Be Charismatic and Likable

how to be charismatic

Exuding charismatic confidence that inspires other people is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with being charismatic and outgoing. People like people that feel good about themselves and aren't worried about what other people think of them.

If you want to be able to be more charismatic and likable, there are things you can do that will make people notice you. You just need to learn how to be more sure of yourself.

What Is Charisma?

Charisma is also known as charm and personality. People with charisma appear attractive, and they tend to charm people. Their charm draws people to them, people that often become devoted to that person. While you attract people to you, that doesn't make charisma a bad thing.

Being charismatic will allow you to have more friends. It will widen your circle and expand your tribe. It will also help you learn to communicate even better, verbally and non-verbally, in any situation.

How to Be Charismatic

If you wish you had charisma, you need wish no more. There are things that you can do to learn how to be charismatic and exude confidence. This is where you'll learn how to turn on the charm.

There are three basic elements when it comes to learning how to be more charismatic. They are presence, confidence, and communication.

1. Presence

Your presence is what makes you stand out in a crowd. It's the thing that makes you charismatic, even before you get to the other elements. You need to be “in the moment.”

With your smartphone in hand, glued to social media, you do not have presence. You need to make the person, or people, you're talking to know that they have your full attention. Presence makes you look interesting and interested, as opposed to just showing off.

While confidence can get you a lot of places, confidence combined with presence will get you even further. Presence is the absence of ego, it's a positive action, and it's part of you – it's not something you're faking for the crowd.

When you have presence in a conversation, you're listening to what the other people are saying and not spending that time thinking of your own next line. Your focus is on them. The rest will just come naturally.

2. Confidence

You need to be confident in yourself if you want to be charismatic. Being comfortable in your own skin and being able to have a conversation without the signs of nervousness will go a long way. Confidence and presence work well together.

Practice your confident stance, a confident look on your face, and greet yourself with confidence in the mirror each day. By doing this, it will become natural over time.

People will be drawn to you if you're confident and have presence. Conversations will come easy because you have confidence in your words. Your self-esteem is in high gear.

3. Communication

There are some important things that go into communicating with charisma. Not only do you need to be great at conversating, but you also need to know how to make eye contact. Without the art of conversation and a signal that your audience has your full attention, you'll fail as being charismatic.

By making eye contact when you're having a conversation with someone, you both know that you're present. You're showing respect and interest in what the other person has to say. That's why eye contact as just as important as knowing how to hold a conversation.

You want to always make sure that you're keeping the conversation going. You don't want uncomfortable moments of silence. Be well read, and you'll always have a new conversation starter in your repertoire.

One more way to show someone you're paying attention to them is called mirroring. You repeat the motions of someone else. If they move their hand, you move your hand. It's a non-verbal form of communication that shows interest and presence (see how presence fits in there every step of the way?).

Being Charming Without Being an Eddie Haskell

When you know how to be charming without being fake about it, you will have mastered the art of charisma.

When you throw on the charm, and it's not genuine, you look like Eddie Haskell in the old “Leave It To Beaver” television show – you look like a suck-up.

So, you asked, “How to be charismatic?” The answer is to be natural, and get your ego in check.

What the Power of Positivity Can Do for You

the power of positivity

There is something about thinking positively and living a positive life that brings people joy and happiness. Maybe it's the act itself – being a positive person – or maybe it's something to do with like attracting like, as The Secret book and documentary say.

No matter what it is about the power of positive thinking, it can change your life for the better. You need to take the proper steps to allow that positivity to seep into every aspect of your life. It's not always an easy task, but once you master it and you will be happy.

What Is the Power of Positivity?

First, take a moment to watch this power of positivity video that can help you start understanding the traits of positive people. People with a positive perspective view the world differently than others. They react to things in a more calm and uplifting manner as well.

The power of positive thinking is a state of mind – and it's a state everyone can reach if they just put their hearts and souls into it. Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking is the power of positivity book that began most of the ideas behind this way of living and embracing the good thoughts while letting go of the negative.

It's definitely not about ignoring the bad things in life though. It's about understanding that they happen, facing them, and then moving on from them without letting them break you. Yes, having a positive outlook will make you stronger.

Help with Embracing Positivity

Here are three of the ways you can add more positivity into your life. These steps may seem simple, but they are extremely powerful when you start putting them to use.

1. Focus on the Positive

If you want to be able to shift your focus to positive thinking, there are lots of things you can do. You can do it using affirmations that put positive statements into action in your life. Take a moment each day to meditate,  using guided meditations specifically for positive thinking.

Use gratitude to help increase the positivity in your life. You can keep a gratitude journal. You can hang positive statements of gratitude around your house to remind yourself to always be thinking good thoughts, and help you kick those negative thoughts to the curb when they sneak up on you.

It's also important to be with someone who inspires your positivity. Romantic partners and friend alike need to be supportive or your happiness and need for a positive life. If they can't accept that, you may need to move on from them.

2. Pick Up Healthy Hobbies and Habits

Find every way you can to add more positive things into your life. What are the things that make you happy? What are the things that you are most passionate about? Allow more of these things into your life and positivity will be just around the corner.

Some things that can help with adding more positivity into your life include arts and crafts, reading, and learning new things. Pick up books that inspire you and teach you. Get to know more about your zodiac sign by reading zodiac sign quotes and by studying what interests people with your sign normally have.

Healthy habits include eating healthy foods – especially vitamin and mineral rich foods that boost your mind power. Exercise on a daily basis so that you keep your body and mind healthy. A good workout can release feel-good endorphins that will have you feeling positive for hours.

3. Get Back to Nature

Giving yourself some time in the outdoors can help you clear your mind and remind you about all of the beautiful things that nature has to offer. It's difficult not to smile when you see wildlife or furry little caterpillars.

Many people find that time in the outdoors helps them come up with some amazing ideas as well. It's some time to sort out the things in your mind without the distractions in your home.

Things That Affect Your Positivity

Embrace the things that give you more positivity. Do the things that make you happy.

If you see signs of a disrespectful husband or wife, or even friends, in your life, consider letting them go for your own mental health. If they can't be positive with you, it may be time to move on. You'll open yourself up to attracting more positive people into your life when you let go of the toxicity.

How Positive are You?

If you're not waking up with a smile on your face each day and a positive thought in your mind, make the changes needed and each day can begin on the right side of the bed.

You don't have to accept an unhappy life when happiness is all about choosing the right thoughts with the power of positivity.

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