Ways to deal with stress – Natural vs.Prescription




Stressed? We have all been there, some of us on a daily, weekly, perhaps monthly basis. Did you know that “stressed” spelled backwards spells “desserts”? Hmm… I wonder if that’s why some of us eat our stress away… Oh No! that can lead to even more stress. 🙂

Well, let’s take a look at how stress is defined shall we?

Stress: “A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

Things that cause stress

While there are a plethora of things that can cause stress in our everyday lives, let’s take a look at these to name a few:

  • More financial responsibility – none of us want to have more bills than money coming in
  • Being in a job you aren’t happy with – this might include working long hours, not having clear instructions from supervisors on work expectations, dangerous working conditions, discrimination or even harassment
  • Death of a loved one
  • Getting married
  • Divorce
  • Taking care of a terminally ill family member
  • Then there’re emotional problems such as: Depression, low sex drive, anxiety, compulsive behavior and mood swings

Go Natural

Have you ever come across a scent that took you back to a “happy” time in your life? I think we have all experienced that at one time or another. Burning a scented candle or even using essential oils may help reduce the level of stress or anxiety you may be feeling. Here are just a few scents that are soothing:

  • Roman chamomile – It is generally used as a blood purifier- it helps to prevent menstrual cramps and irregular periods. It can also be used in a steam bath to inhale to help sinus inflammation. It can also be used to help with ear inflammation and sore throats, just a general pain reliever overall.
  • Lavender – It is known to have antiseptic qualities. Not only can it help with headaches and toothaches, it can also help with minor burns and even bug bites. And there’s a bonus, it can even help to prevent hair loss. But, one of my favorite qualities about this oil is its calming effect. You ask how so? Well, it interacts with the neurotransmitter known as GABA that helps to quieten the brain and nervous system activity therefore reducing restlessness, aggression, agitation and anger. I’m thinking we could all use more Lavender in our lives !
  • Ylang Ylang – This oil is known for causing a reduction in blood pressure and stress hormone levels due the following study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3836517. It is still in the testing phases regarding lowering blood pressure.
  • Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Evening primrose oil, Ginger, Turmeric essential oil and Basil all have a variety of anti-inflammatory qualities. For those who have Rhuematoid Arthritis, mixing certain oils together to get a better effect can be done. In everything there are positive and negative side effects so it is always best to consult your physician before applying new techniques to your health regimen.

Traditionally Speaking …

Even though natural alternatives can sometimes help to alleviate the added stresses and ailments, prescription medications are the more likely choice. So which ones are usually used to treat stress-related issues?

The most common ones are Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin and Librium just to name a few. Which ones treat what ailments? Well, Xanax (alprazolam) Klonopin (clonazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam) are normally used short term for anxiety.

Those who have anger issues typically will be prescribed anti-depressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa. Even though these drugs don’t really target “anger” in the body, what they do have is a calming effect that helps to control negative emotions and the feeling of rage.

Balancing

So how do you balance between traditional and natural treatment for stress? Why not use “complimentary medicine” in conjunction with traditional medicine? Complimentary medicine is when alternative medicine therapies are used along with traditional medicine.

Examples of complimentary medicine include:

  • Natural health products – such as dietary supplements, herbs and probiotics
  • Mind and body techniques – such as massage therapy, acupuncture and even tai chi
  • Alternative health choices – such as homeopathy, naturopathy and traditional Chinese medicine

We are all unique and what works for one person may not work for another, so with the guidance of a doctor, why not try different therapies to see what works best. It’s all about the right research and knowing what is right for our bodies. There are risks and side effects in traditional as well as alternative medicine.

I wouldn’t recommend letting alternative medicine take the place wholly of traditional medicine. I would suggest, however, to combine some more complimentary approaches such as meditation, massage therapy, yoga and chiropractic with your doctor’s plan of care for you, if that’s the direction that would be beneficial.

Other ways to consider…

When dealing with stress, sometimes we simply need to think outside the box and perhaps the easiest way to deal with it is right in front of you.

Did you know that when you are always around constant noise, it tends to keep your brain actively on alert mode and can lead to physical stress? Some ways you can alleviate this is to play some soothing music in the background or try downloading white noise on your phone or simply wear ear plugs.

When you feel your stress temperature rising, try massaging your ears. 🙂 Rub your ear lobes as well as the outer edges of your ear. Did you know that by doing this, it triggers the reflex points on your body and cause you to relax more. Hmm…who knew?

As you are going through the day to day activities, you may consider upping your intake of vitamin C, as your body can get run down quickly and become susceptible to those nasty germs floating around.

Have you ever paid attention to your body when you are trying to tell someone something in a hurry? Your heart rate is up and your breathing becomes more shallow. Try talking slower and see how your body reacts. I think you’ll find it more physically and emotionally relaxing. The same goes for eating; when we eat too fast, it stresses our bodies’ digestion system. We have a tendency to feel a sense of urgency about the events happening around us even when eating therefore causing us to not be relaxed. Next time you eat, try focusing on the quality of food and give yourself a chance to slow down.

Schedule some “me time”. We probably don’t do this often enough. You’d be amazed at how much calmer this can make you feel. I like to dabble with my acrylic paints and oil pastels so sometimes I take a day off work just to do those things that make me feel better.

Learn to just say “no”. I know this can be a hard one for some of us, especially those type A personalities. Sometimes we can overwhelm ourselves, so next time someone requests something of you, if your gut tells you … just say no. You’ll feel better and people will respect your decisiveness, eventually.

Last but not least, sometimes when our manganese level is high, it causes us to be irritable, aggressive, nervous and anxious. Occasionally we just need a good cry. Watch a sad movie, because when you cry, it lowers your manganese level therefore making your mood better and lowering your stress level.

Just to Recap…

Whatever way you deal with the stress in your life, make sure you follow what your doctor tells you along with trying things that will be helpful for your body overall. So, if you decide to go natural as well, then go healthy.

To Exercise or Not to Exercise -What does YOUR Brain Do?

Michio Kaku once said, “The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.” So, with that being said, just how do we exercise our brain in such a way as to keep it at it’s healthiest?

Muscle or Organ?

Have you always thought that the brain was a muscle? Well, actually it’s not a muscle in the sense we think of, it consists of neurons and glial cells, not muscle fibers and just like muscles can improve, so can the brain.

Then it must be an organ? Yes, it is part of our Central Nervous System and works closely with our Endocrine System.

Ok, then how can we proceed to exercise it?

Home-Based

Here are just a few things you can do at home:

  • Teach yourself something “new” – you might try things like learning a musical instrument, quilting, digital photography – this challenges your memory compared to just watching television or listening to music
  • Learn a new language – this will help stretch your mind as you continue to accomplish new things
  • Socialize more – by doing this, you can engage multiple areas of the brain – maybe play some sports, take on volunteering
  • Improve your memory and cognitive abilities – Try working on a jigsaw puzzle, play card games such as: gin rummy, poker, crazy eights, bridge, solitaire and hearts
  • Build up your vocabulary – It’s a great idea to always learn new words but did you know that it can also help stimulate your brain’s visual and processing areas
  • Dance !! – Dance? What? How could this help? – Learning new dance moves makes you think and it will help your speed and memory abilities- So Have FUN with it !
  • Make sure your diet is right – Eat foods that are low in fat and cholesterol as well as high in antioxidants
  • Do the opposite – Try writing with your opposite hand – This isn’t easy for some of us – this should really make you focus

Did you know ?

  • According to Bennet Omalu M.D. , “It takes the brain about 1/10,000th of a second to respond to something and generate an action.”
  • Brain waves are actually more active when we’re dreaming
  • Did you know that your brain can make new neurons?
  • Memories start forming in the womb as early as 4 months in to the pregnancy – (Prenatal Memory – Wikipedia)
  • Neurons travel 150mph in the brain (National Geographic)
  • The brain is incapable of forming memories when we’re intoxicated – Yukitoshi Izumi, research professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said: ‘We’ve found that exposure to alcohol inhibits some receptors and later activates others, causing neurons to manufacture steroids that inhibit memory formation.’
  • Even though we access information quickly through the internet, it actually makes it harder for our brains to remember compared to the harder we have to work for the information, the easier it is to remember.
  • According to the Huffington Post, the average brain has between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts daily -most being negative; it’s no wonder that our bodies look older than we are sometimes
  • Did you know that 95 percent of all decisions we make take place our subconscious mind? Wow !! (Science Daily)
  • According to Time Magazine, the attention span is shorter than a goldfish and has decreased by 12 minutes over the span of 10 years

Can Your Brain Play Tricks On You?

I would venture to say, “Why Yes it can.” But how? Has it ever occurred to you that your brain is sometimes in “lazy” mode? What do I mean by that you say? Well, simply put, this is done by heuristics, a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently. One example of this is when our brain relies on what has worked well in the past, as in if you are afraid to fly because you think it’s more dangerous than driving, then your brain is actually using what is known as availability heuristic. In reality flying is much safer than driving, but your brain if fooling you into believing that it is much more dangerous than it really is.

Here are a few fun Mind Trick questions you can play on your family or friends:

  • Want to get a giggle or two out of your friends? Ask this mind trick question: ” Jane’s mother has four children: May, June, July and …” Now more than likely most people will say August but that’s not right . The answer is Jane.
  • “How can a man go eight days without sleep?” Betcha you’ll stump them with this one 🙂 The answer is: By sleeping at night ….see, it’s the simple thinking … but you’ll have them overthinking a lot ! That’s what we usually tend to do first .. look for that mysterious answer when it was right in front of us the whole time.
  • Now, your friends will be in awe of how you pulled off the following mind trick:
  • So here’s the way it goes: Look up the 9th word on page 108 in your dictionary and write it on a slip of paper and fold it into an envelope. Next you’ll want to ask two people if they want to have their minds read. Give one person a dictionary and the other a calculator. Ask the volunteer with the calculator to pick any three digits without any of them repeating e.g. 569. Tell them to reverse the number (965). Next, tell them to subtract the larger number from the smaller one (965-569=396) and reverse the answer (693). Now, tell your volunteer to add the last sums 396+693=1089. This will always be the answer whatever the number initially picked. Are you ready for what’s next? So, ask the volunteer the first three digits of the answer. This is 108. At this point, ask the volunteer with the dictionary a to check the 9th word on page 108. Here’s where you can play with their minds so you’ll want to pretend to read their minds – drag this out as long as you want to. Pull out the envelope where you had earlier placed your slip of paper and get out the word. So have fun with this mind trick, maybe even incorporate it for the Holidays somehow – get creative !

Maintaining Good Brain Health – The Essentials

So overall, here is a list of beneficial steps to take to keep our brains as healthy as can be.

  • Indulge in a healthier diet
  • Try to get a good nights’ rest – 7-9 hours is recommended
  • Try to lessen the stress in your life
  • Be Socialable
  • Mentally challenge your brain daily
  • Give every effort to be physically as active as possible
  • And last but certainly not least – Look after your heart – surprisingly there’s a big connection between your heart and brain health

So while you’re exercising other areas of your life, don’t forget about one of the most important parts of your body – Your Brain will be glad you did 🙂

The ABC’s of Healthy Holiday Habits

It’s that time of the year when all around the world, all thoughts are given to the Holiday planning. Whether it be decorating, meal preparations, event planning or just trying to line up your Chakras, everyone in their own way seems to be getting ready for The Holidays. Here’s a few tips for your reading enjoyment.

Approach The Season With Fresh Eyes   

Do you ever get in that Holiday rut with the way you view the happenings around you? We’ve all said it, “Walmart is already putting up Christmas things and October is barely behind us.” It’s that same ole’-same ole’ mentality that we often get caught up in. Instead of focusing on things of this nature, sometimes we need to take time to see the surrounding beauty be it inner or outer in things or people.

Break At Least One Bad Habit

We ALL have them !! They say it takes at least thirty days to incorporate a good habit. Some interesting theories to try when trying to break a bad habit might be:

  • Focus on one at a time
  • Find your “trigger”
  • Scold yourself each time you continue to do them
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself – Go Slow – little steps of changes
  • Spend a few weeks preparing yourself mentally before making changes          
  • Remind yourself often not to repeat bad habits
  • Find a very good reason to quit
  • Maybe a change of environment is in order
  • When you have a relapse – circle the wagons and figure out why
  • Teach yourself to have a more positive thought process
  • Be nice to yourself
  • Be Patient

Cleanse Your Winter Skin

First, let’s talk about dry skin. It’s a good idea to keep showers or baths short and don’t use hot water; lukewarm is better.

You’ll want to use a gentler soap or body wash preferably with some hydration qualities such as Cerave Hydrating Body Wash; it can be purchased several places, but if you’re like me and order it online then I would recommend Amazon.

For those of us who have really dry skin, it’s recommended to only wash your face once a day and don’t rub your skin when drying – just pat it with a towel.

Always follow through with a moisturizer, you may need to apply it several times a day to for your skin to feel replenished. And again, I know there are lots out there, but I would recommend the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream as it seems to have the best overall rating for: Aging Skin, Sensitive Skin, Dry Acne Prone Skin and it has the best value.

Now, let’s talk about how to care for Oily Skin:

  • Wash your face twice a day – perhaps a creamy face wash would work better than a harsh medicated cleanser
  • Exfoliate often – usually about three times a week to help keep out the dirt and excess oils
  • As for applying moisturizers, water-based is encouraged to keep your skin from becoming increasingly oily.Neutrogena and Olay have some really good ones.
  • Try to stay away from oily foods and of course always hydrate with water as much as you can.
  • Use a water-based sunscreen when needed and not oil-based

Pre-Detox For The Holidays

  • Change all beverages with water
  • You’ll want to stay away from highly processed foods and sweeteners that contain alcohol sugars in them
  • Be sure to pick the fruits and veggies that won’t make you feel bloated
  • So even though we all need our Carbs, it’s a good idea to cut them out for a day or two and focus on lean proteins and green veggies
  • When you chew your food, do it slower to allow for easier digestion and try not to talk whilst chewing as too much air might get into your digestive track causing bloating
  • Cut out your salt intake
  • Be mindful of your portions

Express Your Gratitude

While we all should be grateful for our health and well-being, there are other things to remember to be thankful for as well.

I believe that when we have a heart of gratitude daily, more positivity tends to be drawn our direction. Sometimes I start off with just being grateful for the simplest of things such as: the air I breathe, the roof over my head, the monies I am allowed to have, the clothes and food I’m fortunate to have. I could go on and on but the point is, stop and remember to be grateful for what even the smallest of things in our lives – it can’t hurt.

Fill Your House With Scents

Oh the smells of Fall and Winter and everything that goes with it! I remember when I was a little girl, going to my Grandmother’s house and smelling all the scents of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh how I cherish those memories …

I miss the smell of her home-cooked meals during those days, the chicken and dressing baking in the oven, the sweet smell of chocolate, coconut, pecan, cherry and lemon pies. Ah yes, and my favorite … her homemade coconut cake which some of us hid pieces of it in the cupboard so we could take it home with us later. 😉

The best smell of all is Grandma’s homemade yeast rolls !!! Oh what I wouldn’t give to have those again …

Since I’m now in a new home and all my kids are grown and I’m awaiting the arrival of more grand babies in the near future, I want to put out my scentsy warmer and wax melts. Amazon has some pretty delicious smelling ones out there such as: Scentsy Blueberry Cheesecake, Wickless Candle Tart Warmer Wax and Scentsy Vanilla Bean Buttercream, Wickless Candle Tart Warmer just to name a couple. Talk about putting you in the mood to bake for the holidays 🙂 Check’em out !

Give More Than You Recieve

Now I don’t know about you, but I always feel better when I give more than I receive, especially when giving to those of us that are less fortunate. It doesn’t take much and it’s good for the soul so to speak. Whatever talents you have, turn that in to gift giving. Now I like to paint so I’m likely to give my paintings as gifts to family and friends. Be thoughtful in your giving as you never know how much you touch someone else’s life.

Help Others

There are always those people around us that have needs that we are not aware of, so be kind and give a helping hand.

Ways you can do this are:

  • Anonymously buy the car behind you their lunch for the day
  • Share a coffee with someone on a cold winter day
  • If you know someone who is struggling to make ends meet, maybe pay their electric just once so they can afford Christmas
  • Feed a family for Thanksgiving

Invite Someone to a Holiday Event

With all the holiday hustle and bustle and events happening, there are those who can’t or won’t for whatever reason many places. It could be that they are lonely, depressed or just don’t have many friends. You never know what someone might be going through and one event just might make a difference in their lives.

Just Breathe

I bet you’re wondering about how filling your house with scents, giving more than you receive, helping others and inviting someone to a Holiday Event could be a “Healthy Holday Habit”. Well, it all boils down to being more positive which leads to a healthier YOU. So, take time for yourself and “Just Breathe”

Know Your Limits

It’s easy to get caught up in “Yes” mode. You may be a part of various groups and activities during the holidays. There’s only so much one person can do, so don’t overload yourself as that can lead to stressful situations – remember staying healthy is our goal.

Listen To What’s Around You

If you don’t have a clue what to do or get someone for the holidays, just listen to what they say, what matters to them, Sometimes, all it takes is listening with your heart.

The heart can hear what the ears cannot.

Make Time For Yourself

Don’t be in such a rush during the holidays that you forget to make time for yourself. Just having that “Me time” works wonders. Find some quiet time, sit by a fire and read a book or do whatever it is that makes you feel calm. Then once you have “recharged your batteries”, you can continue on your quest.

Netflix Baby !

Speaking of ways to Relax !! There are a lot of great TV shows and movies on Netflix. Ever bing-watched a series? This would be a perfect time to lay back and bing watch some oldies. What are some of your faves?

This will definitely put you in the holiday spirit !

Out With The Old – In With The New

If you’re like me, we all most likely have those old tried and true traditions that will never die. (and that’s a good thing) However, life is constantly changing and new people come in our lives and with that brings New Traditions. So, even though you’ve done something the same ole’ way for years, try adding something new to the mix and see what happens.

Prepare Early

How many of you out there are procrastinators? I have to admit that I sometimes lean that direction in different areas in my life. I am however learning to prepare early for the different seasons. Now I like to look on Facebook to watch those videos that show you tips and tricks of how to do creative, time saving, crafty things that can make my life easier.

Quench Your Thirst …

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water !! I know that during the holidays there are a variety of drinks we will consume, such as anything alcoholic along with coffees, punches and soft drinks. Just be mindful that your body needs to purge some of those things out of us so what better than good ole’ water. ( you should check out Kangen water at www.enagic.com)

REST !

There will probably be late nights of activities that might include Christmas Plays, Ice Skating, Shopping, Dinners with Friends etc… Before you know it your body will be saying ” SLEEP” … Just don’t forget to get your rest.

Share With Others

Remember those videos I was speaking of that show you the DIY things to make … sometimes you might want to point other’s in the right direction, especially if they are not naturally creative. Or, if you make one item for your decoration for your house, make an extra and give it to someone. It’ll brighten their day and make you feel good as well.

Take Lots of Holiday Photos

Pics ! Pics ! Pics !

It’s SO much fun to look back at old photos of holidays past and reminisce. Life is too short NOT to savor those memories.

Technology has made it easier than ever to take and save pics and videos of your special loved ones.

Uplift Someone

Often times, people just need a kind word, someone that will listen to them. Be that someone and take the time to uplift those that might be having difficulties during the holidays. It just might be that they lost someone dear to them and they just need to know that someone cares.

Volunteer

Try volunteering at a homeless shelter in the area where you live. I know in the Hospice where I work, we have volunteers that go visit patients weekly. Especially during the holidays, gifts are taken of things they need; some of them have no family. Makes a person humble real quick ….

What Holiday Food No-No’s Should You Avoid?

Let me just start by saying that I KNOW we are not going to stay away from the holiday foods but what we CAN do is make smarter choices. For example, instead of eating Pecan Pie which has 500 calories, 37 grams of fat and 27 grams of sugar, we might want to opt for a dessert with fewer calories and fat and sugar intake such as: 298 calories, 8 grams of fat and you reap the benefits from the fiber.

Another biggie to steer clear from would be The Cheesecake. This delectable dessert can have up to 707 calories :-0, however you can opt for a low-fat version with alternative ingredients which turns it in to a 245 calorie dream .. Now that’s more like it !

It’s not just the main foods that you need to watch out for as far as the calories, beware of this culprit that seems innocent enough: Cranberry Sauce – it may have Vitamin E, K, C and dietary fiber in it but contains 105 grams of sugar which is over four times the amount that the AHA recommends per day for women. This adds over 400 calories to your plate. Geez !!! So be smart and choose fresh fruit for the topping of that turkey.

There are a plethora of other alternative recipes that are much healthier to indulge in, so I challenge you to be a little creative with the food you are putting into your bodies – your bodies will thank you for it.

X-tra Tips …

  • Wash your hands frequently – No one wants to get sick
  • Manage your tasks early and break them up into weeks
  • Delegate tasks- this allows you some breathing room
  • Stay on Budget – And don’t feel guilty about it
  • Don’t worry or fret if your house isn’t decked out like “The Jones’ Next Door” – you’re not trying to impress them :-0
  • Limit your Holiday Obligations – Don’t agree to what doesn’t fit into your schedule

You Never Knew …

  • 3,473 is the number of the largest gathering of people wearing holiday sweaters on December 19, 20015
  • 559 is the number of the largest lit Christmas Trees on November 2, 2015
  • 6,400 is the number of jelly doughnuts (“soufganiyot”, in Hebrew) stacked 12 foot high on the first night of Hanukkah of 1997
  • In Italy on Christmas Eve – an ugly but kind witch known as Befana (giver of gifts) is celebrated and on January 6, children will find treats and toys in their stockings
  • Japanese don’t celebrate Christmas but on December 25 they have a tradition of eating KFC

Zero Calories – Well, Almost 🙂

You can find the following Cocktail Recipes by googling them 🙂

  • Pumpkin Spice Hot Buttered Rum
  • Minty Dog Cocktail                                      
  • The Grinch-Tini
  • Healthy Spiced Egg Eggnog 
  • Mulled Wine
  • Boozy Skinny Hot Chocolate

Back to the Grind …..

As they say… All Good Things Must Come To An End.

But just because the holidays end doesn’t mean we have to break all of our healthier habits that we incorporated along the way. Try to practice some of these daily or at least monthly. Find ways to stay “young at heart”.

Just remember … “Make Every Day Count, Beautiful People”

Laughter – Not your Typical Health Tip

They say that laughter is the best medicine.

Hmm… maybe we should look into this further – shall we?

So Exactly How Can We Benefit From Laughter?

Oh the joys of childhood when there weren’t really any stresses to speak of…. When all we had to worry about was when it was time to put away our toys and clean up our room. If we could only keep our stress levels down to that minimum again, wouldn’t that be great?

One of the biggest stresses that plague us is high blood pressure. There are so many things in our lives that can stress us, even the “little” things. Sometimes we just need to learn how to “let go” of those little things.

Did you know?

Did you know that according to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, that “After performing in an improv comedy course, people with Parkinson’s disease showed significant improvement in activities of daily living” Wow, that alone is mind boggling !

So, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then how much more ailments are kept at bay with simply a laugh or two?

While we all know that laughter is contagious, did you also know that it can help tone your abs? Yes, you heard correct. That alone should be more of an incentive for us all to find more ways to have a good laugh.

Also, according to some studies, laughter can also boost immunity, meaning that it may increase our bodies natural killer cells (the white blood cells that attack cancer cells)

Did you also know that from a Health perspective, when you smile or laugh more, you don’t get as many “frown lines” on your face. It actually takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, so imagine what laughing does to your skin.

Now we know that laughter alone will not stave off all our health problems but it can and should be incorporated into our daily healthy living practices.

Ways To Laugh More Often:

  • Watch a comedy -I’m talking a gut laughing comedy with tears rolling down your cheeks
  • Read a favorite comic daily
  • Reward yourself now and then just because (OK, this one will make you smile, but still … 🙂
  • Watch your favorite comedian
  • Find a funny person who can make you laugh and befriend them (some people are just gifted that way)
  • Play fun games with friends

Don’t forget to give yourself permission to just be silly – (We all need to learn to laugh at ourselves more often) and the list goes on and on …..

So how long has it been since you had a good laugh? Do more of that stuff that makes you laugh more!

I am reminded of a quote by George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950:

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

And on an interesting note …..

Let’s take a look at some things that are associated with Laughter.

Did you know there are three different kinds of laughter?

Genuine – You know …. heartfelt 🙂

Spontaneous – Like from being tickled

Simulated – Otherwise “Fake”

The Other Side ….

Did you know that laughter is not always a pleasant experience? Sometimes people have what’s known as “cataplexy” or excessive laughing or unpleasant laughing spells. I would imagine that it would cause the ribs to be quite sore. Reports have been taken from Parkinson s, Multiple Sclerosis and Psuedobulbar Palsy patients to have undesirable sensations when hearing the punch line of a joke that causes them to appear to be laughing out of amusement.

People with schizophrenic psychoses seem to have an adverse effect laughter; they seem to not get any joy out of it and do not understand the humor involved.

So my question is: Where would we all be without it? How would we cope with various life experiences? How would our relationships alone be affected if not for the laughter to make us smile? These are just a few of the concerns that would need to be answered.



Just When You Thought You Heard It All…

It has been documented that:

You can’t surprise yourself by tickling yourself

Adults laugh 15-30 times a day (of course females laugh more) Hmm… wonder why ?

Babies on the other hand – laugh 300 times per day !! (Ah but of course, they haven’t been tainted by the world yet)

Charles Darwin noted in the late 19th century that tickling and laughter is a form of bonding between a parent and a child

Why do we NOT laugh when we hit our “Funny Bone”? Because we’re actually hitting our Ulnar nerve that bumps into our Humerus

Interesting Laugh Quotes to ponder:

“People who stop laughing are always the ones who get hurt.”

― Josh Sundquist, Just Don’t Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.”

― Michael Pritchard

“The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.”

― Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip

“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.”

― Enid Blyton, Mr Galliano’s Circus

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

― anthony burgess

“Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel loved.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh.

But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.”

― Charlie Chaplin



A Little Bit Goes A Long Way



So all in all, spread a little laughter in your world. Make someone smile that might not have otherwise. Your health may depend on it. Your heart will thank you.

One more thing, I’m reminded of something that Victor Borge once wrote, he said: “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.”

With that being said, remember to include laughter in your life ….. because a little goes a Loooooong Way.

Living Healthy – The Avenues Are Endless

HELLO BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD !

I believe we are all beautiful in our own way. Today more than ever, there are many avenues one can go down to start his or her journey to living healthy. In my previous blog, I talked about the many health benefits of ionized water. Today I would like to touch on another way that we can learn to be healthier.

Dieting or Is It ?

When you think of “dieting”, what comes to your mind? Well, if you’re like me, I tend to think of it as limits to the foods that I can or cannot have. I don’t know about you but I definitely don’t like being told I can’t have something. With so much tempting food out there, how is one suppose to “reign it in” so to speak? While there are many ways to eat better, allow me to engage with one way in particular, as it hits close to home with me.

Watch your Weight with Weight Watchers

As the illustration tends to lend itself, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? I know I have been pretty silly when it comes to losing weight and trying to become healthier overall.

I’m going to be honest with you; I’ve tried several “diets” over the years myself and never could quite get the results I wanted.

Now mind you, I have never been terribly over weight for my 5’2 body frame until one day I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw. I had gone from my average weight of 120 lbs. to 164 lbs. in what seemed like overnight ! Now I know it didn’t happen overnight, but that’s beside the point. LOL There were a lot of factors that caused such a drastic change in my weight. (Mostly stress) With that being said, I knew I had to take measures to fix “me”. Now, keep in mind that this was the year 2011 when all this was happening to me and so started my journey on living healthier from that point on.

“You Are What You Eat”

Most everyone has heard this phrase, and I think it’s true to a degree. In all essence, it doesn’t take a lot of thought process to start living healthy, or does it? I would lean toward the opinion that quite simply, it does take somewhat of an effort and planning of some sort to stay successful on the road to losing weight and living healthier. So why did Weight Watchers work for me when nothing else would? Well let’s take a look shall we?

Planning Is Key

Just like reaping the reward of a good recipe or meal when it comes together, there are stages of planning that need to be tended to in order for it to be a success.

Below you will see a brief introduction to the plan that Weight Watchers has to offer.

  • To calculate how many points you will be getting on their plan, here are the steps:
  • If you are a female – give yourself 2 points
  • If you are male – give yourself 8 points
  • Ages 17-24 get 3 points
  • Ages 38-47 get 2 points
  • Ages 48-58 get 1 point
  • Add 1 point per every 10 pounds of body weight
  • Add an additional point if you are between 5’1 and 5’10
  • Add 2 points if you are over 5’10
  • Add 6 points if you have a labor intensive job
  • Add 2 points if your level of activity is moderate

(Zero points for being Sedentary)

Now you can add everything up to see your total Daily Points and you are also allowed 35 Weekly Flexible Points.

Next here’s how to calculate how many points are in food:

1. Divide the Total Calories by 50

2. Divide the Total Grams of Fat by 12

3. Add these together

then …..

4. Divide the total amount of Dietary Fiber by 5 and subtract this number from what you got from Steps 1 and 2 and this will show you how many points a food item will be.

If you need to know the nutrition value on food items that are not packaged, you can either ask a nutritional expert or google it.

This is just a small portion of what their plan is all about.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

So here’s the thing…

As I mentioned earlier, I gave Weight Watchers a try in my younger years (in 2011) and even though their plan was just a bit different but not by much, it was successful for me. I started out weighing in at 164 and I ended up losing over 30 pounds in 6 months. (and then some) Their plan taught me to not only eat in moderation but to have a more balanced and healthier way of eating. Not only did I lose the weight I wanted but I gained the confidence in myself that I was always missing.

Have I been able to keep my weight off after losing it with Weight Watchers? Since 2011, I can honestly say that for the most part, as long as I stick to the main points in the plan, then yes I have kept it off. Have I fluctuated sometimes? Yes. The point is, I made a choice back then and now to live a healthier life and I would like to believe that I have probably curtailed some minor or maybe even major health problems along the way.

All in all I want to encourage all you beautiful people out there in the world to think about making a choice for yourself to live a healthier life, whether that be by trying Weight Watchers or just by eating healthier all the way around. There is only one YOU so take care of you the best and healthiest way you can.

Some people have different reasons they choose to live healthier and everything that entails.

Whatever your reason, I wish you all the best in your endeavors !!

Sqwirlgrl 🙂

Health Benefits of Ionized Water – There is a Difference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of us go on in our every day lives not thinking much about the type of water we drink, or do we?

Sometimes with even the smallest of aches and pains, we are all too quick to pop that pain pill but why not try another avenue of relief. With prescriptions medications gradually becoming more costly, sometimes people try other alternatives to become healthier overall.

Without realizing it, the answer to some of our health issues could be as simple as changing our water.

Restoring The Body

Do you sometimes feel very tired or sluggish and can’t quite figure out why? Are you noticing slight changes in your body? For instance, your hair might be looking a bit unhealthy or the appearance of your skin looks more aged as of late. The reason for this may be attributed to your body being too acidic. Now that’s something that many of us never give any thought to.

What are the Benefits

According to several health sources, ionized water has been known to help with a good deal of health related disorders. Some examples include:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Weight Problems
  • Allergies
  • Chronic Pain

and much more….

So exactly how does it work?

Remember the acidity that was mentioned earlier? Well, ionized water restores the pH balance causing acidity levels to be reduced. It also works as an antioxidant, is super hydrating, cleansing, rich in minerals and oxygen as well as helping with weight loss.

Even more benefits include an increase in energy levels and also mental clarity giving an overall fresh alertness. It has also been proven to help with detoxifying to help eliminate the mucus build-up on the walls of the colon.

Another benefit of ionized water is using it to clean fresh fruits and vegetables. Sources say that when the pH level is over 10.5, it removes pesticides from the surface. That alone is awesome !!

Are You Aware?

I would like to introduce you to some other benefits that some people never think of when referring to ionized water.

Let’s talk about our daily skin care regimen; some products out there that help remove dirt and oil from our skin can sometimes be irritating causing skin breakouts and the such, however, with ionized water there are no chemicals to cause these problems therefore it has natural astringent powers. Did you realize that it helps to alleviate the aggravating skin conditions such as: psoriasis, eczema and even helps to clear up acne. Although lotions and creams are great for our skin, why not use the ionized water to help nourish as well.

Have you ever thought about using it as a mouth wash? With the higher pH levels, it helps to remove plaque. Who wouldn’t want that, right ?

When it comes to washing our hair, it helps to remove dandruff- who knew?

Ionized water has also been proven to expedite the healing process of many areas including but not limited to:

  • athletes foot
  • rashes
  • minor wounds
  • cuts
  • fungal infections
  • insect bites

A Different Outlook

 

From all the healthy ways in the world help our bodies to improve, I hope I have given you something else to consider.

Something as simple as changing our pH levels and using the ionized water in the many facets that are ours to choose from can only benefit us in the long run.

Whether you use the ionized water to help with your daily skin care regimen or to help remove pesticides from your fresh fruit and veggies, you can’t go wrong !

Like I mentioned earlier, there are a plethora of ways to maximize on the health benefits by using the ionized water.

To know there are other choices out there that can help improve our overall health naturally is good to know. There are a lot of different kinds of ionized water machines available so research what is there to make the right decision to meet your needs.

Remember – Change Your Water, Change Your Health 🙂