Think About What You are Thinking About

What have you been thinking about for the last five minutes? Was it good? Bad? True? False? Happy? Sad? Beautiful? Sometimes I can do them all in less than five minutes.

Here's some good news—we are the boss when it comes to our thoughts.

In fact, we're the only ones who get to decide what you think about. We are large and in charge—the CEO of our thoughts. And that's a big, important, fun responsibility. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "You are what you think all day long."

Sometimes we may feel so sad because things have happened to us that we have no control over. But no matter what happens, we always have control over our own thoughts.

Take a moment to think about what you've been thinking about. Wouldn't it be much more fun and inspiring to think positively about each day? Wouldn't it be great to wake up every morning and think that something great is going to happen today?

Miracles—big and small—do happen to us every day, but we have to expect them.

Here's some more good news—we can make this happen. Of course, it takes practice and more practice; but whatever we practice every day we get good at. Right?

Practice the good thoughts!

If you have to choose one, should you sleep or exercise?

Obviously, both sleep and exercise are vital, and ideally, adults should make time for both. "Sleep is a pillar of health," says Dr. Bill Barrett, Medical Director of the Barrett Cancer Center at UC.

Because both are so critical for optimum health, medical experts hesitate to say one is more important than the other. However, there is a key differentiator between the two. "We have a biological need to sleep — it's a behavior we must do every day," says Barrett. "Physical activity, on the other hand, is definitely beneficial for health, but being less active for a few days here and there doesn't have the same negative health impact as skimping on sleep for consecutive days."

What's the strongest predictor of men's happiness and well-being?

In a recent happiness survey of 5,000 men ages 18-95, the results showed that men who have high job satisfaction are very likely to be content in other aspects of their life. "Men at work are more likely to be men at ease with themselves," says the report. "Everything else — happiness at home, in relationships and friendships — flows down from men being satisfied at work."

Following job satisfaction, the top indicators of a positive mindset and wellness for American men are, in descending order of priority, their physical and mental health, income, age (men over age 50 were significantly happier), relationship status, and friendship.

How can you succeed under extreme pressure?

• Goal setting in small increments
"Break a big goal into a series of micro-goals," said John Barrett, CEO of Western & Southern. "Then, when you are in the midst of the highest-pressure parts, you can leverage achievement of the previous micro-goal to give yourself a boost of confidence and energy to attack the next one."

• Mental rehearsal
"This is also called visualization, working at something over and over until it comes naturally and so that it's easier under extreme duress," says Alvin Roehr, CEO of The Roehr Agency. "When you do enough mental rehearsal, muscle memory kicks in. You want the brain prepared and familiar with the high-pressure situation you're going to be in."

• Positive self-talk
"Our brains can quickly take us into very unhelpful places when we're panicking," says Barrett. "In high-stress situations it's more important than ever to omit tones of panic and 'awfulizing' and, instead, replace them with a more focused, 'let's just do what needs to be done right now' dialogue."

• Stay calm
"It's important to stay cool and breathe!"says Roehr. "Staying calm in any tense situation is easier said than done, but sometimes just the slow, methodical inhale and exhale can make a difference."

What's the best thing to do when you feel like you're about to lose it?

• Hit the brakes and really pause
"When you are caught off guard, pausing and taking a deep breath activates our parasympathetic nervous system," says Dr. William Barrett, Medical Director of the Barrett Cancer Center at UC. "This reduces the release of cortisol, a major stress hormone, and naturally lowers our emotional temperature."

• Tap into your best self
"Visualizing our best self can redirect our attention away from the triggering person, words or event and back toward our values," says Meredith Hogan from Modo Yoga. "How do you want to be seen, talked about, and experienced? What would you do if someone you respect was watching you?"

— Strategize and act
Moving from automatic and unhelpful actions to deliberate and helpful strategies is hard work — it also depends on factors such as diet, exercise and sleep. "When we eat poorly, our minds don't function properly," says Barrett. "Too little physical activity and insufficient sleep also has a negative effect on mental capacity and moods.

— Maintain your overall well-being
"Do things you love," says Hogan. "Spend time with family and friends, pursue passions and pastimes, immerse yourself in nature, read a good book, watch a great movie." Research shows this will make you more resilient when emotional turmoil inevitably strikes.

— Forgiveness
If we fail, we also need the courage to apologize and forgive ourselves as we'd forgive others. We'll never stop having to work at being our best selves. "But the payoff is worth it: better health, better decision making, better relationships, better everything," says Barrett.

How can you avoid some common running injuries?

"There's always a small risk you'll experience an injury or pain when running," says Matt Frondorf from JackRabbit. "Here are some steps to run with minimal to no pain."

• Shoes
Get the right running shoes and keep them fresh. Nothing beats getting a quality shoe fit from a local store with experts who have extensive product knowledge. It literally could make the difference in preventing an injury that might otherwise sideline you for months.

• Surface
Do you run on sidewalks or the road all the time? No matter how good your shoes are, you are going to get wrecked running on extremely hard surfaces like concrete. Change it up and run on a dirt trail in one of our local parks. Running on a softer surface will put less pressure on your joints and give your knees and hips time to recover from the wear and tear.

• Go Too Big, Go Home
Everyone has heard the old adage "Go big or go home," but if you go too big, you'll be going home and staying there. Pushing yourself too hard without gradually working up to it can cause big trouble for your muscles, and sometimes it can even cause permanent damage.

• Watch Your Form
Proper form while running can make a huge difference in how your body handles your movements. If you're running hunched over, bent at the waist, or overextending your legs, your body will respond negatively with joint pain and lost energy. By practicing proper form, you learn to use energy wisely, exercise efficiently, and avoid many workout-related injuries.

• Mix It Up by Cross Training
One of the best ways to avoid overuse injuries like runner's knee is by cross-training with strengthening exercises. Try adding a few back, abdominal, and hip strengthening exercises into your workouts.

• Self-Myofascial Release
Use a foam roller or lacrosse ball regularly. If you run, you should try to foam roll the lower half of your body and lacrosse ball your feet ideally before and after you run. Rolling will prime your muscles, tendons, and fascia to be able to handle the impact of running.

What important things were invented by women (that we bet you didn't know)?

• Disposable Diapers
Marion Donovan didn't take all the mess out of diaper changing when she patented the waterproof "Boater" in 1951. But she changed parenting — and well, babies — forever. The waterproof diaper cover, originally made with a shower curtain, was first sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. Donovan sold the patent to the Keko Corporation for $1 million and then created an entirely disposable model a few years later. Pampers was born in 1961.

• Paper Bag
America got a brand new paper bag when cotton mill worker Margaret Knight invented a machine to make them with a flat square bottom in 1868. (Paper bags originally looked more like envelopes.)

• Kevlar
It's five times stronger than steel and will take a bullet for you. DuPont chemist Stephanie Kwolek accidentally invented kevlar while trying to perfect a lighter fiber for car tires and earned a patent in 1966.

• Foot-Pedal Trash Can
Lillian Gilbreth designed the shelves inside refrigerator doors, made the can opener easier to use, and tidied up cleaning with a foot pedal trash can. Gilbreth is most famous for her pioneering work in efficiency management and ergonomics with her husband, Frank.

• Windshield Wipers
Drivers were skeptical when Mary Anderson invented the first manual windshield wipers in 1903. They thought it was safer to drive with rain and snow obscuring the road than to pull a lever to clear it. But by the time Anderson's patent expired in 1920, windshield wipers were cleaning up. Cadillac was the first to include them in every car model, and other companies soon followed.

• Dishwasher
Inventor Josephine Cochrane patented the first dishwasher in 1886. It combined high water pressure, a wheel, a boiler, and a wire rack like the ones still used for dish drying.

• Apgar Score
In 1952, Dr. Virginia Apgar began testing newborns one minute and five minutes after birth to determine if they needed immediate care. About 10 years later, the medical community made a backronym — an acronym designed to fit an existing word — to remember the criteria scored: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration.

• Retractable Dog Leash
New York City dog owner Mary A. Delaney patented the first retractable leading device in 1908. It attached to the collar, keeping pooches under control while giving them some freedom to roam.

• Folding Cabinet Bed
Sarah Goode's folding cabinet bed didn't just maximize space in small homes. However, in 1885, it made her the first African-American woman with a U.S. patent. The fully functional desk could be used by day and then folded down for a good night's sleep. The Murphy bed came along some 15 years later.

• Scotchgard
Apparently, it takes a stain to fight one. In 1952, 3M chemist Patsy Sherman was perplexed when some fluorochemical rubber spilled on a lab assistant's shoe and wouldn't come off. Without changing the color of the shoe, the stain repelled water, oil, and other liquids. Sherman and her co-inventor Samuel Smith called it 'Scotchgard.'

• Invisible Glass
Katharine Blodgett, General Electric's first female scientist, discovered a way to transfer thin monomolecular coatings to glass and metals in 1935. The result: glass that eliminated glare and distortion and revolutionized cameras, microscopes, eyeglasses and more.