1. Beating the Blues: Natural Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

    November 1, 2013

    Natural Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

    by Lisa Coleman

    Depression is a serious illness, but even those with relatively happy lives can still come down with the blues once in a while. Everyone feels this at some point, and often throughout their lives. However, there are natural steps and remedies that a person can take to help aid in beating the blues without turning to prescription medications. If this sounds like something you’re currently going through, you might be interested in following natural ways to lift your spirits.

    1. Eat Right

    Eating and maintaining a healthy diet that includes all the appropriate nutrients that a body requires is very important to a person’s health and mood. Deficiencies of nutrients in a diet such as omega-3 fatty acids, the B vitamins folic acid and B12, chromium, selenium, vitamin D, and zinc can all be contributing factors of depressive symptoms. Eating a well-balanced diet is a vital key to increasing your mood and to experiencing less of the blues. Including more fish and flaxseed in your diet can help with their mood boosting properties and health benefits. Taking an organic multi-vitamin may help ensure you are getting some of these deficiencies back into your diet.

    2. Get into Exercise

    You’ve likely heard this before, but exercise can work wonders when it comes to easing depression. Studies have shown that getting regular exercise can lift your mood, create a better outlook on life, help you achieve deeper sleep and give you higher self-esteem. It helps ease the beginning signs of depression and anxiety by improving blood flow to the brain. Of course, these are only the mental effects of exercise. The many positive physical effects, such as weight loss and increased immunity, will help you better deal with the stress of your everyday life. Michael Babyak, professor of medical psychology at the Duke University Medical Center, performed a study with a team of researchers that revealed doing a mild aerobic physical activity three times a week was equivalent to a standard treatment of antidepressant medications.

    Studies have shown that participating in yoga can help encourage relaxation, and remove stress and anxiety for your daily life. Studies have also revealed that the breathing exercises that accompany yoga can help lower levels of cortisol, an adrenal hormone linked to stress.

    3. Spend Time with Friends

    One of the best cures for the blues is to spend time around people who you have fun with. Often, people suffering from depression begin to isolate themselves from the world, but this only makes the problem worse in the long run. Even if you’re feeling bummed, try to force yourself out the door for that coffee date with a friend. Once you get there and begin chatting, you’re likely to feel a lift in your mood.

    If talking with someone is not an option, try keeping a journal. This is a way to “talk” without involving others, whether it is due to shyness or privacy. Jotting things down and releasing your feelings is a great way to gain perspective on how to let go of negative emotions.

    Another option is to reach out to your mother. From birth, the bond between a child and their mother is one of wholeness and purity of love. If you have a solid relationship with your mother, just hearing her soothing voice, and her words of support and wisdom can help.

    4. Revamp your Appearance

    Changing up your appearance can do a lot to help your emotions. Even if you like your appearance, there is something exciting about looking in the mirror and seeing a new version of yourself. Consider dying your hair, exploring some different outfits or even getting that tattoo you always dreamed of. If you’re a little phobic of needles, don’t worry: There are many online tattoo distributors who sell customizable and cool temporary tattoos in a variety of designs. Getting dolled up like a rock star and going out dancing for the evening might be the ticket to pulling yourself out of your slump.

    5. Try Herbal Remedies

    The extract, hypericum perforatum, from the herb found in St. John’s wort has been used for many years to treat mild to moderate depression. However, this natural herb can interfere with some anti-depressant medications so it is vital not to use without consulting with a doctor first. It is always wise to consult with a doctor or medical professional before using any nutritional supplement.

    6. Take Time for Yourself

    Sometimes, a change of scenery is all that is required to lift your mood. If it’s been a while since you got away and had some fun, now is the time to do so. Go camping with family, spend the weekend at the beach with your girlfriends or visit an amusement park with your kids. If lack of time is an issue, try a trip to a local day spa for a few hours. Get rejuvenated by a professional masseuse. This is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety currently apart of your life. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that you need a lot of money or vacation time to take a nice trip. Much can be accomplished in a weekend, or in a few hours, and by the time you get back home, you will likely feel refreshed and ready to face your problems.

    Life can be tough, and it’s natural to get depressed from time to time. However, if you find yourself unable to enjoy activities that you previously loved, you experience your mood getting worse over time or you begin having dark thoughts about hurting yourself, you should consider talking to your doctor. Sometimes, depression can be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain and not anything in your lifestyle. If that’s the case, a doctor can help you figure out a proper treatment plan.

    Author Bio: Lisa Coleman understands how stress and anxiety can overtake an individual’s life, and create mood altering feelings of depression and sadness. She recently decided to shop online for cool temporary tattoos, stylish clothing and jewelry to give her personal appearance and mood a boost with a DIY makeover, after an encouraging and supportive talk with a dear friend.

    Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytudut/5180386049

     


  2. Healing by Wilderness

    October 31, 2013

    Healing by Wilderness

    by Jamie Waddell

    You might imagine that advocates of leading an outdoor existence would fall into two camps: Bear Grylls-esque survivalists who expound the health benefits of drinking your own urine and eating grubs, or free-spirit transcendentalists who wax-on about how immersion in nature “really aligns the chakras”.

    If you’re as much of a skeptic as I am you’ll be happy to know that there has recently been a wealth of scientific research that finally adds empirical clout to these formerly anecdotal claims. Read on to discover how and why getting out in the country can enhance mental wellbeing, make you better rested and even stave off cancer.

    Healing Light

    Since the dawn of man the general consensus has been that light’s pretty awesome. Whether it be the Egyptian Sun god Ra, Zoroastrianism’s Ahura Mazda (Illuminating Wisdom) or the fiery wisdom handed down at Pentecost in the Christian canon; light brings happiness, wisdom, and wellbeing.

    What’s more, medical science actually backs up the claims of ancient religious tradition. Scientists at the University of Colorado recently found that, on average, people on camping trips are exposed to 400% more sunlight than during their day-to-day lives. Sunlight benefits the human body in a multitude of ways.

    It causes the body to create vitamin D, which medical science is starting to suggest is the best of the vitamin alphabet. Whilst other vitamins are necessary, epidemiologic studies are showing that vitamin D may have protective properties that will fight against such diverse ailments as depression, heart disease, stroke and even cancer.

    Natural light, rather than the man-made light that is such a major presence in modern life, is crucial for achieving a healthy sleep pattern. The aforementioned University of Colorado researchers measured a group of volunteers’ melatonin levels during their normal lives and whilst on a camping trip. Melatonin is the hormone which causes sleepiness in humans and should be highest in the bloodstream just before we go to sleep and at its lowest just after we wake up.

    During their lives in the city, however, melatonin levels were still high in the bloodstream several hours after waking. After just a few days camping without man-made light, melatonin levels normalized as their sleep patterns began to synchronize with the rising and setting sun. They were, in essence, getting back to a natural rhythm for humans. Subsequently, the volunteers confirmed that they felt better rested than they had been before the trip.

     

    Country Walks Cure Cancer

    Well, maybe not cure, but there has been research that suggests being in the country can drastically bolster your immune system and aid in recovery.

    Professor Richard Ulrich studied American patients all recovering from gall-bladder surgery. He split the patients into two groups: those whose rooms had views of trees and those whose windows faced buildings.

    The results suggested that trees have a natural calming effect on humans, as patients in sight of foliage required less pain-relieving medication and went home two to three days before their brick-facing cohorts. What’s more, this effect extends to hospital staff and visitors, meaning hospitals with a lot of fauna could be more efficient, happier places.

    Okay, I predict you’re rolling your eyes a bit at that last one, it seems like there are quite a few variables that weren’t take into account such as the patient’s age, sex and general health even before their operation. And I agree. Luckily, the Japanese conducted a far less woolly experiment that actually draws from their unique Shinto traditions.

    Studies undertaken by the Nippon Medical School into the ancient art of shinrin-yoku (forest walking), a folkloric practice intended to promote wellness through immersion in nature, have shown that there may be some truth behind the myth.

    Whilst Japanese 500 years ago would attribute greater wellness to a kindly kami (god or spirit, for lack of a better word)encountered during their time in the woods, the researchers actually found that walks in Japan’s admittedly awe-inspiring forests actually promoted the creation of natural killer cells (NK), lymphocytes that fight off infection.

    A dozen Japanese men had their NK levels taken during their normal workaday lives. They then had the same tests done twice during a three-day shinrin-yoku. The results were nothing short of astounding. Not only were the NK levels much higher than in the pre-forest walking sample but the levels remained consistently high for nearly a month after the trip had ended.

    The researchers were understandably very excited, as NK cells are effective at battling cancer, and they are currently undertaking greater research to determine exactly why this is the case.

     

    It appears that the gritty survivalists and tree-huggers may be on to something – maybe a more natural existence is the way to go to improve health and wellbeing. If just getting out in the sun and amongst the trees for a short spell every month can have drastic effects on your body, perhaps it’s time we all put down the iPads and got off social media and just took a walk in the woods.

     

    Author Bio: Jamie Waddell is a medical and pharmaceuticals writer and camping enthusiast writing on behalf of Sunbourne, an outdoor holiday specialist based in Wales. Whether you’re interested in camping or not, he’d like to see more people enjoying the great outdoors.

    Image Credit: Mark Sebastian – http://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/4272090259


  3. Achieving Your Health Goals with Nutrisystem

    October 30, 2013

    Breaking mental barriers is often necessary to achieve your goals. Our thoughts precede our emotions, and our emotions fuel our actions. This is true when you want to lose weight, too. You first need to see it in your mind. You need to visualize yourself fit and healthy. Once you bring into your mind those emotions of having energy, vitality, and looking good, then taking action toward achieving a healthier you becomes easier. You don’t need to push yourself every morning to exercise and eat healthy. Instead, your goal pulls you into taking the right action.

    I recently read about Robert, an obese individual who achieved his weight loss dream after realizing that the battle is in his mind. He eliminated barriers in his mind that had sabotaged his previous weight loss attempts. For the first time he started picturing himself thin, healthy, and whole. The change came from a program called Nutrisystem.

    Achieving Your Health Goals

    So what is a Nutrisystem? It is a weight loss program that began as meeting places to provide products and counseling for success.  Since the late 1990s, the program was changed and designed to sell directly to the consumer, becoming one of the most popular online resources for easy, healthy weight loss.  It is implemented for people of all ages and genders, from plans to help the diabetic, teens ages 14 to 17, women, vegetarians and individuals of senior years.  You choose your plan, make your food choices and watch the foods get delivered straight to your door.  While on the program, you have total support from staff and a forum of other members who are on the same weight loss journey. Robert from South Carolina was looking for such help and decided to take the plunge.

     

    How Robert Succeeded with Nutrisystem

     

    Robert, like so many of us, has tried every diet plan for the past 20 years in hopes of shedding some pounds.  He heard of the Nutrisystem program and decided to give it a try, noticing progress in only a few days from the date he received his food order.  Robert was so happy with the food choices and the ability to adapt the foods to meet his irregular work and eating schedule.  What impressed him was the personal support by real people.  He stated that “questions I had were always answered by a real person that seemed to actually care about me.”

     

    Beside the personal support, Robert was delighted with all the online tools to success such as the ability to set realistic goals, weight tracking, interacting with others he can relate to, feedback and comments from the community along with menu and recipe ideas using the Nutrisystem foods.  In order to fit his busy schedule, Robert was able to download a diet tracker onto his cell phone for continual help, losing a permanent weight loss of 80 pounds.

     

    For those who worry that pounds will try to return, he offers some tips; read labels, eat healthy snacks, watch sodium intake and calories.  Through the Nutrisystem program, you learn healthy eating habits for long-term success.  It is always helpful to have the love and support of friends, co-workers, others on the weight loss journey and family.

     

    Savings on the Way to Weight Loss

     

    People most often feel that Nutrisystem can be a costly weight loss choice although it is economical if you consider the cost of groceries compared to the foods provided.  To make the plan more affordable, nutrisystem.com and various other sites offer discounts to encourage membership and weight loss.  Some discount options can be found at weightlosstriumph.com while others are available at savings.com.  Such discounts may include $50 discount from your first order with a 20 percent discount on subsequent auto-delivery orders, $30 off of your first order plus the special going on right now for 35 percent off of your first order and 5 percent every month thereafter, up to a total of a 50 percent discount.  If you choose to order ala carte and form your own plan, you can order a membership for about $50 which guarantees you 20 percent off all subsequent orders and free delivery for up to a year. You choose the plan that best meets your needs.

     

    Weight Loss Options Similar to Nutrisystem

     

    It is sometimes difficult to make a decision on choosing the best weight loss program.  Some of the plans similar to Nutrisystem are Jenny Craig and Medifast along with other options such as Weight Watchers, ediets.com and dietsonthego.com that can help you choose the best plan that meets your needs and lifestyle.  You just need to do your research if you are looking for the best eating plan that fits your schedule and way of life.

     

    What keeps you from achieving your goal?

     

    Perhaps, you don’t have a strong “why” behind it. Whether you want to lose weight, make more money, or find the mate of your soul, breaking emotional and mental barriers is necessary to realize your dream. Once you clarify your goal and empower it with a strong “why”, then commit to making it happen. Robert succeeded because he made a commitment, and so can you.

     

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32447182@N00/4895571106/

     


  4. Learn How To Defeat Stress

    October 5, 2013

    defeat stress by Sam Cleveland

    Stress can get incredibly burdensome. It can affect both your productivity and health. This is why it pays to take control of frustrating situations by training yourself. With good coping skills, you can surely take on seemingly unbearable challenges of the day. Below are practical tips for you to handle pressure, and enjoy more out of life.
     

    Find the Source of Your Stress

     
    First, you need to know why, how, and when you feel pressured, so you’ll have a better perspective of yourself.  This can be difficult as there are many factors which disgruntle you. For other situations, the reasons for stress may not be obvious.

    To avoid the confusion, you need to be more attentive on your daily tasks. You may realize how certain deadlines can always put you on the edge. Perhaps heavily reading through documents make you feel drained. A good way to find the sources of your stress is to make a journal. You can plot the days when you mostly experience straining activities, and which times are more relaxed.

    By identifying the culprit scenarios, you can find ways to avoid or control them. If your keyboard is not easy to use, you can have it replaced. When it seems you have too much task to work on, discuss it with your supervisor. In time, you will see the pattern of your stress levels. When you understand how you react in given situations, you can find a way to lighten your load.
     

    Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep

     

    Sleep recharges your body after a whole day’s work. Try get to less of it, and you’ll end up feeling lousy the day after. It also doesn’t help if you’re constantly stressed out with irregular sleeping habits. You end up feeling tired and when it’s time for you to finally rest, you’ll have more difficulty to snooze.

    It’s best to sleep for six to eight hours a day. This is the optimum amount of time for your body to rest through the night. You should also rest early, so you won’t feel pressured of dozing off within a scheduled time. If you are having a hard time to get sleepy, try doing a breathing exercise. This helps you lessen the tension in your body as well as the stress hormones in your body are lowered.
     

    Visit a Health Retreat

     

    Most people experience lifestyle tensions due to pollution, noise, and other urban environmental factors. You can to recharge your body by taking a trip to a health retreat centre. This venue is not just a resort for you to go to on vacation. It’s specifically made to make sure you establish a healthy state of mind.

    Most health retreats consist of specialised facilities such as day spas, heated pools, and dance studios for yoga sessions. They can even be located in mountainous areas, so visitors could engage in mountain trekking, hiking, or other physically enriching activities. Health retreats also serve nutrient-packed dishes. All in all, the activities, facilities, and food selections help to detoxify your body. When you get home, you’ll be more ready to fight another batch of stress-related challenges.
     

    Organize your life

     

    Clutter in your office, home, and even your car can mentally influence you. It shows disorder, and these would make you feel even more stressed out. You’ll end up thinking of a schedule to get your place in order. You might often feel out of focus in your daily work task because of the mess. Important items such as the keys to your car might be lost in the shuffle. Organising your desk, the rooms of your house, and everything else you see in your life can benefit you. It can give you a clear mental state which aids you to combat stress.

    To have a healthy state of mind, remember to be active and organize. You should also consider a trip outside the city to help you in lowering your stress levels.

     

    Author Bio: Sam Cleveland writes for a number of websites like Living Valley Springs – an Australian health retreat company. As a nature-lover he often takes time travelling or camping at least once a month. Nature can give you freedom and a priceless beauty.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparral/730400293


  5. How To Recover From a Failed Relationship

    September 23, 2013

    lost love

    by Connie Jameson

    While looking for our one perfect love, we usually run across a few loves that only seem to be “the one and only”. And then we say goodbye to our illusions, which on the other hand usually helps us make the decision of breaking up with our partner.

     

    No matter whether the decision of separation comes from you or your partner, the recovery from a failed relationship is never easy. Living though this period sometimes takes a lot of time and in order to learn how to bear the whole process more easily, you need to have in mind some of the specialists’ advices that will help you turn back to your “normal” way of life sooner.

     

    Separate like grown-ups

     

    Save yourself the insults, arguments, unwanted arguments and infidelity. Be honest with yourself and your ex-partner and try to separate as friends.

     

    Remember that you won’t feel better if you start blaming your partner for everything that happened between you two, because it is very likely to get the same amount of insults and this usually means that things will get ugly.

     

    If you are married and you have made the serious decision of getting divorced, make it as quickly as you can – the sooner all divorce procedures end up, the faster you will be able to start your new life.

     

    Do not idealize your ex

     

    Often, some people who were walked out on, are inclined to create an idealistic image of the person who is no longer in their life and start blaming themselves for losing the Perfect One. Don’t do that. This way you will only create a non-existing image that you will not be willing to let go easily. Try to face the fact that everybody has their flaws. The same applies to your ex.

     

    Leave the home you have shared with your ex

     

    Try to do the same with all the places where you have been together. Do not put some salt in your own wounds and stop visiting your favourite places, trying to remember the good old days. Change your home, choose another restaurant where you can go in the Friday nights and keep yourself away from all the places that are able to recall the pain back.

     

    Find yourself a new hobby

     

    Start working out, or visit the local theatre more often, start going out with some friends, etc. In other words – start doing everything that you have wanted to do when you had a relationship. Watching romantic movies is strictly prohibited, you can see why, right?

     

    Prepare yourself for the changes in your life

     

    When it’s a fact, the separation and the failed relationship is hanging over your head like a sword, and you think that the pain will never go away. That is not the right approach. Try thinking of all the positive things in your life that are yet to follow. It is time to make changes.

     

    Do not make hasty decisions and start a new relationship very soon

     

    Some people rush into a new relationship right after they have broken up with someone just because they are scared of staying alone. Do not become one of these people.

     

    Wait for a while in order to put your feelings in order before letting yourself fall in love again. Have some rest in order to give yourself the opportunity of taking another person into your life. And the most important thing – when that happens sooner or later, do not compare the new person with your ex spouse. This is not healthy for your new relationship.

     

    Take advantage of the separation

     

    Make some conclusions from this painful separation. Analyze your mistakes, as well as the mistakes of your ex. Of course, don’t forget to point out your advantages. In other words – become a better person and starts loving yourself the way you are.

     

     

     

     

    Author Bio: Connie Jameson’ big love is love and health. She is really keen on and loves to reads. Her current job at Shiny deep clean makes her even more sensitive. In her spare time she loves to take walks in the nature.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotorita/2587226758

     


  6. How To Find Peace When Struggling With Mood Swings

    September 21, 2013

    mood swings

    by Katie Lewiz

     

    Do you feel swinging between strong emotions? Like you go for a ride, not knowing whether you’re happy or sad, suddenly losing your positive mood to an irritated one? This article is for people who experience continuous emotional swings, unsure why their mood behaves this way while the outside world still remains the same. Typically, women at their pre-menstrual stage or pregnancy period undergo a melancholy of swings which would be exhausting and a frequent malady which can be reduced by continuous effort and proper guidance. Apart from that, teenagers, people suffering from bipolar disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder, or anyone who come across stress or pain falls in this unwell state of mood swings.

    Mind – Where Your Swings Originates

    Do you know your mind travels faster than any other media in this whole universe? The complex and greatest processing unit, mind, receives information from five senses and any of it could alter the mood. Let me put down an example here; someone close to you have passed away sometime back and you happened to hear the person’s voice through a record from your friend’s phone recently. This could tear your mental state badly and start to struggle inside with unpleasant thoughts which are possibly not able to solve and ultimately end up in a depressed mood.

    Mood swings can be certain stimulus, which can either be known or probably unclear which shifts your current thought, and it could mostly arise from recollecting events you have tried ignoring. Maybe you are aware that people to cope up their swings, take company of alcohol, drugs, pills to compress their temperament. It is known that millions of Americans depend on pills to control their moods. In a study, during 2011 drug companies sold antidepressants, antipsychotics (to battle mental disorders like ADD, bipolar disorder) worth $11 billion, which was later increased to $18 billion. Unfortunate to say, millions around the globe struggle with swings leading to ill-advised decisions like unnatural quitting from job, packing up business, squabbling with spouse, which doesn’t deserve any pill.

     Not Aware Of Your Swings? Symptoms To Note

    Let me begin with good news, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Mood swings, tag as a weird change of mind or an uncontrolled state where you become totally frustrated, sensitive to all feelings. As mentioned above, more than 75% of women undergo emotional instability during menstruation or menopause period. Here are the common symptoms noted during mood swings.

    • Frustration
    • Irritation
    • Insomnia
    • Inability to think
    • Depression
    • Fatigue
    • Stressed out

    Let the cause of mood swing be any, like menopausal emotional imbalance, hormonal fluctuations, depression, stress, pregnancy, clinical disorders, and so on, the ultimate question is, are you finding peace during this roller-coaster struggles ( a more apt term for bipolar suffers)? Though traditional treatment procedures are effective, with narcotic drugs focusing on serotonin levels (actual mood stimulators in brain), finding peace during these episodes are more significant. Are you ready to open yourself and understand how you can knock out these adversities before it feeds you totally?

    Let’s recollect the struggles and get more practical on how to deal it peacefully.

    Know Your Episodes

    According to NIMH, people with bipolar disorder undergo intense swings of mood which can be over-excited or explosive. During depressive swing they go down badly and become hopeless, and once the mood episodes are known, eventually the person could control over the hypersensitive nature. Bipolar mood swings are not as easy to cope as we say, unless proper effort is put by the person. For example, depressive episode makes the person feel empty and anxious. So recognizing the mood, try to curtail the sad state by involving in activities like reading a positive book, talking out with your friend, running for errands, do some gardening, hence slowly awakening yourself that nothing has actually changed except your mood being unnecessarily sad. If you feel the emotions are way intense to control, it is well advised to get needed help from the physician than fantasizing in your own world. A regular check-up or a talk with your counsellor or psychiatrist will help you as well the psychiatrist to explore the swings and provide with new therapies.

    Make Yourself Comfortable

    It is obvious that we depend on some source during our struggles or hard times to feel comfortable. First, build acceptance in yourself, experience your negatives and positives, as when you start digging deep, you will understand how in reality you can control the changing moods. This could lay stones of hope, courage and seek help to battle the affliction. It is required that you build up a healthy relation with a person who could understand your swings and manage your feelings, thereby pulling you out from the life’s difficult condition.

    Avoid Polarised Thinking

    This is a mental state where the person imagine world is either black or white. For example, if you are not the CEO of a big-fat company you feel total failure; if you didn’t have a good credit rating, you are a scrawny wimp. These kinds of polarised belief demotivate and affect one’s healthy living. Think aloud, AM I A COMPUTER OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE? The answer is 100% NO. Enlighten yourself that, I AM A HUMAN. If you are low in your credit rating, no one could come and kill or screw your life, and daresay you are hunting for a good blow and will achieve it the coming days; if you are not the CEO of the company, of course you are worth a team lead in a reputed firm, when many with higher qualification are not.

    Cogitate No News Is Bad

    Have you at least once thought pondering too much on a situation could finally bring you despair? It is obvious that too much thinking can spoil the goodness in a person, giving way to rumbling clouds of anxiety and worry. Okay, let’s say, a situation like you worked your tail off for a firm and bounced by your CEO, since you don’t know the cause, don’t fill your mind with tumult, instead console yourself saying it’s time for you to step out of the firm as they took much from you, whereas polishing you stronger and sharper for another company which waits for your skills.

    Exercises Beat Mood Struggles

    Equip your routine chart with exercises, yoga and meditation. Throw yourself to a nearby gym, charge your muscles and cut off the bad moods with high confidence. Regular exercise build more bone density, control the overwhelming feeling of unpleasant swings, stress and stabilise your mood much better than you think. If you are ready to practice some moderate exercises daily, around 15 minutes, you would definitely see the change from the earlier disturbing swings. Start adding exercises to your chart!

    No More False Interpretations

    False interpretations arise mostly by externalising from the outside source. It mostly happens like during your swings, the interpretations you build by externalisation could go wrong. For example, if your lover says, you look so lean – alas you start to fight with her thinking she is enough with you and wish for a smart guy. Here the actual reason is, poor girl, she was affected by your health where you took the external matters alone. Don’t make your mood more irritating by unnecessary deceptions.

    Fix Right Foods And Drink Less

    You are here to regulate your mood. So do you believe certain food can affect your mood? Change in serotonin levels alters one’s mood. You obviously know the fact that mood booster chemicals, serotonin is significant to modulate moods. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, wheat, pastas, peas, legumes, peanuts can increase serotonin levels, curbing mood swings. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, sprouts, help in proper liver function, maintain hormonal balance of oestrogen helping you way out of mood swings. Legumes are good for regulating oestrogen, a healthy way to reduce mood swing in women during menstrual cycle. It is good to stay wards away from alcoholic drinks or cocktails, though the booze could charge your nerves for the time being, soon you would get the symptoms kicked up high.

    Cleanse Your Negative Thoughts

    Beading up negative thoughts is the fodder for depressive swings. As you stumble upon a negative thought, purge it out with positive notes. For example, put up a Must-Do-Lists, it maybe not gentle as I say, let it be the exam you were trying for 5-7 years, but once you clear off the clutter of emotional worries and poor self-esteem; you would wonder how brilliantly you have crossed the hurdle which once you thought would never accomplish.

    Have belief in yourself? It is nothing impossible, be patient and start plowing on your swings. Keep in mind, it’s pretty natural everyone get swings, the only worry is how long you ponder on those or is it taking your full energy to come out of the petty matter. Let it be any method you adopt, beware, it’s your mind and you are mastering on the emotions.

     

    Author Bio: Katie Lewiz, a professional blogger, she loves writing on health, fitness, nutrition, technology and medicine, emotional well-being and whatever that provokes a health enthusiast. Off time, she finds herself enjoying nature and its delights and has a long-term obsession with photography.

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51615623@N08/5036658861


  7. From the Outside In: How to Overcome Physical Insecurities

    September 19, 2013

    Physical insecurities, especially skin imperfections like acne and skin blemishes, take a toll on more than just the outward appearance. Affecting positive self-image and healthy self-esteem, the internal, mental harm caused by physical insecurities often outweighs the imperfection itself. Overcome physical insecurities by bringing focus from the outside, in.

     

     

    Balance logic and emotion

    Overcome a physical insecurity by approaching it with logic. First, research the condition thoroughly.  For example, if acne is the problem, read about symptoms, causes, and medications prescribed to reduce breakouts.  From the information gathered, form a written plan.  Detail the steps needed to tackle the insecurity and enlist help from professionals like doctors, dermatologists, and psychologists.  Journal daily and take pictures to track progress.  Give yourself a timeline to follow, keeping in mind that most treatment plans will take several weeks.

     

    As you approach each step in your treatment plan, be mindful of your emotions.  Recognize how you feel nervous as you meet the dermatologist for the first time, but don’t let the feeling hold you back from completing the visit.  Allow yourself to feel angry about the scar on your face, but don’t let it consume your self-image.

     

    If you start to feel overwhelmed with emotion, switch gears to think logically.  Revisit your written plan and give yourself props for all of the positive steps you have taken in your quest to overcome your physical insecurity.

     

    Stand up against bullies, including yourself!

    Dealing with a physical insecurity increases one’s susceptibility to bullying. Don’t underestimate the hurt stemming from the teasing and name-calling that go hand-in-hand with physical insecurities.

     

    Such harassment is not only annoying and aggravating,  it holds the power to destroy self-esteem, causing the onset of serious mental health concerns, like depression or anxiety.  Bullying may even be a factor in suicide.  Stand up for yourself if you are bullied about your physical insecurity.

     

    In addition to warding off a bully, pay attention to how you treat yourself.  Deeply consider your own inward thoughts, and come to terms with any harsh self-criticisms holding you hostage.  Journal to get in touch with your true feelings about your outward appearance and physical insecurity.  Get all the negativeness out of your system.

     

    Process through the rich emotions and mental scars weighing down your subconscious, giving power to your insecurities.  Self-reflection brings hard feelings to surface and may be difficult to endure.  However, the personal growth from serious contemplation will be worth the struggle.

     

     

    Grow patient, my friend

    When a physical insecurity arises, like the onset of an acne breakout or a skin rash, achieving results seems like an eternity away.  Stressing out about unsightly bumps and facial blemishes comes naturally. Some people tend to opt for quick treatments from professional skin care facilities.

     

    Growing obsessive about the condition sends our bodies into fight or flight mode, making it difficult to eat, sleep, concentrate, and carry out daily routines.  Stress hormones rage through the body, making skin irritations worse.   While you may have no control over the physical insecurity, you can certainly take charge of the way your body reacts to the stress you feel from your condition.

     

    Overcome a physical insecurity by lowering the stress associated with the impurity.  Understand that you have choices in how you think about physical insecurities.  You can choose to be consumed with the problem, constantly stewing and stressing.

     

    Or you can choose to grow patient and calm your mind when negative thoughts start to bog you down.  Since most physical insecurities don’t disappear overnight, learning to calm the mind while dealing with the insecurity and its stress may save your sanity.

     

    Grow patient by practicing yoga and meditation.  Both are ancient forms of healing the mind and body and offer a comprehensive range of benefits.  Yoga is also known to increase self-esteem and positive self-image, while regulating the release of stress hormones. Routine practice of yoga and meditation help in calming the mind and will make it easier to deal with a physical insecurity.

     

    About the author: Holly Kelsven is a writer, speaker, and professional, sharing insights on mental wellness topics such as crisis intervention, self-care, and family involvement. A cornerstone in times of crisis, Holly shares her expertise to empower families on their path to sustainability and wellness. Holly has worked alongside businesses like ThriveMedSpa.com to provide expert content about outward appearance with people suffering with skin care issues and how that affects self-esteem.

    Image Credit: Helga Weber – https://www.flickr.com/photos/helga/4060091785

     

     


  8. Using Yoga and Art to Recover From Trauma

    September 13, 2013

    Yoga and Art for recovery

    by Dr. Jesse Viner

     

    Traumatic events alter the way we function.  Physically, socially, emotionally, and mentally, we operate differently after trauma spikes.  Our bodies hold onto stress, with symptoms like fatigue, high blood pressure, or insomnia as augmented levels of stress hormones, including cortisol and norepinephrine, pulsate through our nervous systems.  We may withdraw from friends and family or displace feelings of anger, guilt, or shame onto those which we hold closest as we struggle in conversation and connection.  Our minds, entangled in distress, hardly focus on daily responsibilities like work, school, or family.  Worry, sadness, or fear consumes our thought patterns.  When trauma hits, we consciously need to focus on restoring balance physically, socially, emotionally and mentally. With reliance on yoga and art as tools for healing, physical, social, emotional, and mental recovery from trauma is possible.

     

    Physical recovery

     

    An abundance of information, detailing yoga’s positive effects for physical health, highlights improvements in flexibility, strength, and endurance.  In addition, to the obvious, outward facing benefits, like a toned body, yoga acts as a catalyst, internally.  Movements that involve twists, like Half Lord of the Fishes Pose or Revolved Side Angle Pose, massage internal organs, allowing for increased blood flow, hormone production, and waste detoxification.  By incorporating daily yoga to combat physical affects of trauma, systems like the nervous system and the endocrine system, resume healthy functioning and restore balance to physical wellness.

    Art improves physical health by allowing for stimulated brain activity.  The brain creates internal paths and forms connections by means of synapses.  Art can be different every time it is attempted, which in turn stimulates synapses to be formed, creating new paths within the central nervous system.  After trauma has occurred, stress can deplete the activity of synapses.  By adding art to recover from trauma, brain stimulation can be restored and the central nervous system will have an easier time coping with stress.

     

    Social and emotional recovery

     

    Our fullest potential to function emotionally and in social situations, stems from a healthy self esteem.  Self esteem suffers greatly as a result of trauma when bullying or victimization occurs. When self esteem lowers, so does our ability to set boundaries with others, accept differences, and handle social conflicts.

    Practicing yoga or art rebuilds self esteem.  Both yoga and art offer creative outlets to explore different mediums, letting us unveil personal strengths and interests or revitalize forgotten talents.

    Yoga practices vary greatly.  From the hot intensity of competitive Bikram yoga to the relaxed, gentle movements of restorative practice, people can find a pace that meets their comfort level. Experimenting with different classes is an excellent way to find a connection in the yoga community, learn new poses, and master mindful meditation. Self esteem may improve as one grows in their personal practice, mastering difficult poses like Dancer Pose or Warrior III.

    Mediums of art differ greatly as well, with options for self discovery. Painting, drawing, sculpting, taking photographs, and playing music helps healing from trauma.  Art allows expression of feelings, without the pressure of putting words to our perception.  Art supplies us with the safety of working through the impact of trauma by broadcasting our feelings through creative measures.  Completing complex tasks, like painting a picture or capturing a stunning visual on film, we feel a sense of accomplishment, thus raising our self esteem.

    By unlocking personal strengths and interests in yoga or art, our sense of self is nurtured.  With a healthy amount of self esteem, we set boundaries, accept differences, and handle social conflict with ease.

     

    Mental recovery

     

    The hardest part of recovering from trauma may be getting your mind back on a healthy track.  Pining over the details forces us to relieve the hurt while restricting us from moving forward.  Practicing yoga or art regularly essentially nourishes our minds with healthy concentrations.  We take control of our thoughts as we turn to our mats or canvasses, giving our minds the mental break we truly deserve.  Choices exist after trauma. Opt for supportive measures like yoga or art to promote the healing process.

     

     

    Dr. Jesse Viner Author Bio: Dr. Jesse Viner, founder of Yellowbrick, is a recognized expert in the treatment of eating disorders, difficulties resulting from trauma and abuse, and bipolar disorder, Dr. Viner has three decades of experience applying the knowledge of psychiatry and psychoanalysis to the challenge of creating meaningful and pragmatically effective treatment programs. Dr. Viner has served as Director of Adult Psychiatry Inpatient Services for Northwestern University Medical School; Medical Director of Four Winds Chicago and Director of University Behavioral Health. He is on the faculty of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and The Family Institute at Northwestern University. Dr. Viner is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

    Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiberartgirl/7174488544/

     

     


  9. 10 of the Craziest Traditional Remedies from Across the Globe

    August 29, 2013

    by Jamie Waddell

    We like to think that living in the scientifically enlightened twenty-first century means the end of superstitious hokum and crack-pot medical theories. But we’d be wrong. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most bizarre traditional remedies that the world has to offer. Do any of them hold scientific merit?

     

    1. Bee Sting Therapy – You Better Believe it

     

    Bee Sting Therapy

    I’m no stranger to imbibing a honey and lemon concoction form to cure my sore throat, but the idea of willingly being stung by a bee doesn’t hold quite the same appeal. Firstly, the poor bee leaves his guts attached to the stinger which, unsurprisingly, kills the little blighter. Secondly, venom’s bad, right?

    The history of using bee venom is a varied one, utilized all across the ancient world. The greatest societies in history: Greece, Egypt and China all swore by the curative powers of bee venom. Are you really going to doubt the ancient Egyptians?

    Now, I’m not volunteering or anything, but modern scientific study has shown that bee sting therapy can help those suffering from wasting diseases like multiple sclerosis.

    Pat Wagner was diagnosed with MS in 1970, and for 22 years she found little relief from the heaps of medications prescribed to her. Then, in 1992, she decided to take the drastic measure of this obscure therapy. She willingly had, wait for it, 200 bee stings in one sitting! The results, she said, were almost instant: within a couple of hours she no longer felt cold; within a couple of days she had a  noticeable increase in energy; and within a couple of weeks she regained the hearing in her right ear.

     

    2. Turtle Power!

     

    medicinal benefits of terrapins

    Despite living in filthy swamps and carrying salmonella, the terrapin is held in high esteem by the people of Cambodia.

    The evidence for the  medicinal benefits of terrapins is purely anecdotal. There is nothing to suggest that the touch of a terrapin can cure rheumatism, acne, or any of the ailments that the people of Cambodia claim.

    Before you laugh at the customs of another nation, remember that there are still plenty of westerners who believe that toads give you warts. They don’t, it’s a fairytale.

     
     
     

    3. It’s the Eye of the Tiger

     

    No lead in your pencil? No wind in your sail? Little soldier refusing to stand to attention? Despite the many lighthearted euphemisms, erectile dysfunction can of course be a seriously damaging condition for a man’s self-esteem.

    But take a moment to think of the poor tiger, whose eyes and penis bone (baculum) are removed and used to cure impotence and virility problems in China. That can’t be good for their self-confidence.

    The tiger has long been traditional Chinese medicine’s majestic walking pharmacy. The tiger’s nose is taken for epilepsy, the tail for skin diseases and powdered tiger bones for arthritis muscle conditions.

    Eye of the Tiger

    China’s population more than tripled during the 20th century. Is it down to the miraculous power of tiger penis? Doubtful, and with current worldwide tiger numbers estimated to be around 3,200 it might be time for Chinese men to look for a different means of floating their boat.
     

    4. Just a load of hot air

     

    The technique of fire cupping has been around for thousands of years, with archaeologists having discovered evidence that it was practiced as much as 3000 years ago.

    fire cupping It involves creating a vacuum of fire-heated air between the patient’s body and a bell-shaped glass cup. Whilst not quite as insane a number as bee sting therapy, around 12 of these cups can be used in a single treatment.

    Popular across Asia, fire cupping is used to treat arthritis, congestion and even depression.

    No clinical trial has ever found that fire cupping can provide any form of pain relief or serves any medicinal purpose. Any relief is purely psychosomatic.

     

    5. Tip the Scales

     

    pangolin therapy

    This impressive looking beast is the proud pangolin. Looking like an armadillo on steroids, the pangolin is native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia.

    Unfortunately for the pangolin, its scales (a unique adaptation amongst mammals) are believed to cure all sorts of ailments, from promoting lactation, reducing swelling and even resisting cancer.

    International trade in pangolins has been banned by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) since 2000, but illegal trade still carries on unabated in China and Vietnam. The illegality of the trade in the scales and meat of the pangolin making them an expensive status symbol.

    Most sadly, the pangolin’s scales hold no medicinal benefit whatsoever. Made of keratin, the same substance as human hair and fingernails, they are becoming endangered simply for having an ostentatious adaptation.

    Verdict: Hokum

     

     6. Dr. Maggot M.D.

     

    larva therapy

    Another stomach-turner, this ancient practice involves the application of disinfected fly larvae to treat wounds which are failing to heal. Often referred to as just larvae therapy, the larvae are applied to the wound and are kept there for around three days in a special dressing that prevents them from escaping. During this time the maggots begin eating away at the patient’s flesh.

    Unlike many of the entries on this list, you’ve probably already heard of this treatment. That’s because it actually works. The maggots not only spped up the rate at which the wound heals, but eat away infected tissue, kill bacteria and thus clean the wound.

     

    7. Med-Fishinal

     

    Bathini Fish Medicine

    In Hyderabad, India, the Bathini Goud Brothers offer their famous Bathini Fish Medicine free of charge to anyone suffering from asthma. The family have been doing this for over 160 years since Somalingam Goud was given the secret recipe by a Hindu holy man.

    The recipe has been kept top secret since that day, as the family believe that revealing it would cause imitators to begin charging for the treatment and the medicine would lose its magical powers.

    The bizarre aspect of this treatment is how it is administered. A small murrel fish is fed the medine and then inserted into the patient’s mouth whilst it is still alive. This live fish, wagging its tail and fins, swims down the patient’s throat and allegedly clears the phlegm that is causing the patient’s distress.

    Under pressure from doctors around the world, the family freely gave the medicine for scientific analysis in 2004. Although no medicinal quaIities were observed there were also no harmful ingredients in the concoction.

     

    8. Sand in your pants

     

    cure rheumatism and sexual impotency

    People in the Siwa Oasis, an area northwest of Cairo believe that being buried alive in sand in the baking heat of the desert can cure rheumatism and sexual impotency.

    It doesn’t. It just makes you really hot.

     

    9. Up and Atom!

     

    I was under the impression that being blasted by radiation isn’t ideal for one’s well-being.

    Apparently this is not a worry for the people of the Czech Republic, with 20,000 Czechs traveling to the small town of Jachymov every year to submerge themselves in radioactive water. The water itself is run off from a nearby uranium mine, and they believe that it can cure arthritis. I imagine it would be less effective for impotency.

    But this is no folk remedy. No, they’ve built a lavish spa around the radioactive waters. Crazy

    radiation therapy

     

    10. On the right track

     

    Another folk remedy without an ancient history, the people of Indonesia have taken to lying  on train tracks to cure pretty much every disease in the book. This trend kicked off after a man reportedly recovered from a stroke by regularly laying himself down on the tracks. This happened 2 years ago. People have swarmed to train yards across the islands, believing that minor shocks from the rails are medicinal.

    railroad therapy

     

    Author Bio: Jamie Waddell is a science and pharmaceuticals writer based in London and employed by Chemist Direct. When he’s not dreaming about having his very own pet pangolin you’ll find him writing about the latest drugs research breakthroughs and athletics doping scandals.

     


  10. Why You Should Teach Your Children First Aid

    August 28, 2013

    Children and First Aid Training

    As any parent will agree, it is always well-worth having the first aid knowledge and skills to deal with an injury, from a minor graze to a potentially life-threatening choking incident.

    As children grow in independence, however, it is not possible to keep them wrapped up in cotton wool and neither can you always be there with the first aid box on hand for immediate care. Therefore it makes perfect sense to train your children in the basics of first aid care so that should a situation arise affecting a friend, a relative or even themselves, you can be sure your child can respond effectively while awaiting adult support.

    The following are the most important aspects which you should include in your child’s first aid training:

    Burns

    In the first instance, place the burn under cold running water. Many children think a quick splash is sufficient and the coldness of the water may itself be unpleasant but the longer the burn is kept cold the more quickly it will recover.

    Burns should not be covered with plasters or dressings. In the event that a burn is larger than a 50p coin, more specialist treatment should be sought.

    In the serious event of a person catching fire, your child should know (and practice) the STOP – DROP – ROLL action to extinguish the flames.

    Cuts and Grazes

    Placing a cut under running water will only inhibit natural healing, although it is an understandable response to wash away blood. Cuts should have pressure applied for several minutes using a clean towel or piece of kitchen roll until bleeding stops (holding the injury above the height of the heart will help). Clean the wound with an antiseptic wipe and, if it is shallow, leave to air dry.

    A deep wound will need expert treatment so keep the pressure applied to restrict bleeding and be sure your child knows to seek adult help.

    Splinters

    The temptation is to pull a splinter out, especially if an end is protruding from the skin. However the first step is to carefully wash the area with warm, soapy water, taking care not to push the splinter in further.

    If the end can be seen above the skin, it can be removed slowly with tweezers. If it is embedded under the skin, an adult should be asked to look at it – Forget the memories of grandmothers wielding sharp needles!

    Neck and Spinal Pain

    Most children are adventurous creatures but unfortunately climbing trees and exploring play areas carries an element of risk. Your child may come across a sibling or friend who has fallen from a height and, in the event of any neck or back pain after a fall, the injured child should not be moved. It is only natural for a child to encourage another to sit up but the importance of keeping the patient still should always be reinforced.

     

    Teach your child to stay calm and fetch help, or send a friend for a help while they stay with the injured person.

    Be Aware of Danger

    Whatever the situation, ensure that your child understands that he must initially assess the risk of danger to himself. This is the ‘D’ in the renowned ‘DR ABC’ of first aid care. Your child must not place himself at risk in order to assist someone else but should immediately obtain adult help.

    Ensure that your child knows how to seek paramedic assistance and always ensure that you, a relative or a neighbor can be contacted if you are leaving them alone at home.
    Training your child to administer basic first aid is a logical step to enabling them to live independently and safely, but it is important that you know yourself how to respond in the event of an injury to a member of your family. Also, to train your child you need to understand basic first aid procedures so that you share only the most relevant and up-to-date information.

    With many organizations offering pediatric or emergency first aid courses at a low cost it is easy to bring your own knowledge up to speed so that everyone in your family can benefit.

    Author Bio: Phil Binks is the owner at Health & Safety Training Ltd, a specialist health and safety experts who provide training courses across the North East of England. These range from heavy machinery training to first aid courses for both individuals and businesses.

    Image Credit: Lindsay Shaver – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindsayshaver/