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13
APR

7 Reasons Everyone Needs a Turmeric Supplement

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Herbs,Supplements at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Turmeric is mostly known as the main spice in curry but curcumin, an extract of turmeric, has been used to promote health benefits for years. Since it seems like turmeric/curcumin can help with a little bit of everything, we present you 7 reasons everyone needs a turmeric supplement.

1. Arthritis: multiple studies have proved that turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties and supplementation can be helpful for people with joint pain or arthritis. One study found that turmeric extract supplement worked just as well as ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

2. Heartburn: supplements form the turmeric plant have been shown to be effective at curbing heartburn and stomach pain, likely due to its known powers to fight inflammation.

3. Brain Support: studies have suggested that curcumin can help promote repair to stems cell in the brain. Research has also found that supplementation may help boost memory.

4. Digestive Aid: turmeric may help reduce symptoms of indigestion by promoting the production of bile. Supplementation has been also beneficial to relieve gas and bloating.

5. Diabetes: curcumin extract has been found to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in a couple of studies. Supplementation over nine months was necessary to obtain significant results.

6. Cancer: a couple of studies have shown promising effects of curcumin in preventing and treating cancer. Turmeric supplements are powerful antioxidants which may protect cells from oxidative damage, a risk factor for cancer.

7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease: studies have found that curcumin contains properties that can reduce inflammatory bowel disease. Naturopathic practitioners often recommend turmeric for treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

 1 Comment, latest by Lisa in Cali


 
10
APR

4 Health Benefits from Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Vitamins and Minerals at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Alpha-Lipoic acid is antioxidant made by the body and found in every cell in the human body. Alpha Lipoic acid (ALA) is used in the body to break down carbohydrates helping turn glucose into energy but it also seems to help prevent certain kinds of cell damage, and restores levels of vitamin C and E. Spinach, broccoli, yeast, liver, kidney, and potatoes are great sources of Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Here, we present you 5 health benefits from Alpha-Lipoic Acid.

1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid can amplify the positive effects of other important antioxidants in the body, such as Coenzyme Q10, an essential compound in the fight against aging and disease, as well as glutathione, a major detoxifying antioxidant.

2. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a great supplement for treating diabetes and nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms.  ALA has been shown to not only maintain optimal blood sugar levels but also supporting insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular health.

3. Alpha-Lipoic Acid has been shown to increase vasodilation of the blood vessels due to its effects on the inner lining of the vascular system.  High levels of cortisol released from the adrenal glands under stress can create the opposite, vasoconstriction, where the blood vessels can tighten up, creating high blood pressure and causing glaucoma.

4. Alpha-Lipoic Acid may be highly effective in reducing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.  The inner lining of the cells (endothelium) in the brain is very tightly bound preventing toxins from entering the brain.  This is nature’s way of protecting the brain from harm.

5. Alpha-Lipoic Acid may help promote better vision. ALA has been found to offer notable protection against cataract formation by increasing level of essential antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione.


 
30
MAR

CoQ10 vs. Ubiquinol: What’s the Difference?

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements at 8:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Do you know the difference between CoQ10 and Ubiquinol? If you answered no, you are not alone. Many people ask themselves the very same question when shopping for supplements. So, to make things a little bit easier for you, here is a quick overview between CoQ10 vs. Ubiquinol: what’s the difference?

CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) is a fat-soluble nutrient produced naturally by our bodies. CoQ10 is concentrated in organs that are essential to the process of producing cellular energy such as the heart, liver, muscles and kidneys. CoQ10 is found inside the mitochondria where energy production occurs. It acts as an electron acceptor or donor in the chain of reactions that lead to energy production.

In the body, CoQ10 exists either in its oxidized form, known as ubiquinone, or in its reduced form,  known as ubiquinol. When oxidized CoQ10 is used by the body, it becomes ubiquinol. In the same way, reduced CoQ10 becomes ubiquinone when it carries out its role in the body. Essentially, when you take CoQ10, your body converts it to the active form, ubiquinol.

Regardless of what form of CoQ10 you take as a supplement, the body is able to convert the consumed form to the other form as needed. For example, if you take a reduced CoQ10 supplement (ubiquinol), the body can convert the reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) to the oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) and vice versa. This conversion takes place to maintain a state of equilibrium between reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone).

In resume, ubiquinone and ubiquinol are effective and essential to important processes in the human body, since both can be reduced or oxidized to form the other, they are both considered excellent products to maintain good health.


 
20
MAR

Spring Beauty Sale – Fatal Attraction: Chemicals to avoid in your Cosmetics

Filed Under: Beauty,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Personal Care at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Cosmetics have been popular products for years but this attraction to beauty products may be risky. Many products contain hazardous chemicals ingredients that can be dangerous to your health. Here’s a list of 7 chemicals to avoid in your cosmetics.

1. Parabens: commonly used in makeup and listed as methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl paraben, this toxic ingredient may interfere with hormone function and it has been associated with breast cancer. Found in nearly 90% of all products on the market, parabens are also used in lotions, scrubs, shampoos, and conditioners.

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): used in cosmetics as a detergent, SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer, as well as a variety of other issues such as eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions. Additionally, SLS may damage liver, and affect the respiratory tract.

3. Petrolatum: avoid this particular ingredient at all costs. Used in make-up products, lip balm, lipstick, and skin care products, petrolatum is a mineral oil jelly used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin in a variety of moisturizers.  This chemical is derivative of petroleum and crude oil and it is known as an endocrine disruptor and a carcinogen. Healthy skin needs to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Instead, this chemical may suffocate the skin.

4. Triclosan: Found in many cosmetic products including anti-bacterial soap, shampoo, facial cleanser, toothpaste and deodorant, triclosan has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. However, this chemical is a known endocrine and thyroid disrupter.

5. Siloxanes (Cyclomethicone): these silicone-based compounds are used in cosmetics and facial treatments to soften, smooth, and moisten but it may interfere with hormone function, impair human fertility, and damage the liver.

6. Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs): these petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Commonly used as cosmetic cream bases, PEGs are easily absorbed through the skin and may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which can cause cancer, as well as lead, nickel and arsenic.

7. Mineral Oil: often used in beauty treatments products, mineral oil is a petroleum by-product which may clog the pores and interferes with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. It may slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Its solvent properties are used on cleansers to remove oil-based.

 2 Comments, latest by Peri Petras


 
16
MAR

Do you REALLY need a Multivitamin?

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Vitamins and Minerals at 8:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Many people wonder about this important question: do you really need a multivitamin?

Multivitamins contain a combination of the nutritional minerals and vitamins that are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. People often believe that if they eat well and have a healthy lifestyle, a multivitamin isn’t really necessary. That might be true but the most appropriate answer is, not always.

The human body needs nutrients to ensure proper function, proving energy, vitality and good health. Multivitamins cannot substitute a healthy diet but it may provide some important nutrients. Even a well-balanced diet may lack a vitamin or mineral that might be important for your health. For example, people who exercise regularly may need extra vitamins and minerals to avoid injuries and other issues. The more you work out, more nutrients is required by your body to keep functioning properly. So, even someone eating a healthy diet may benefit from taking a multivitamin.

Additionally, a few groups of people may really benefit from taking a multivitamin. Kids and teenagers require a variety of nutrients during the growing stages and, sometimes, it may be difficult to obtain these vitamins from food. The same can be said for athletes, people with digestive issues, and pregnant women. For the elderly, multivitamins are necessary because as people age, the body starts losing the ability to absorb nutrients from food, and providing nutrients directly in the form of multivitamins can help their body being supplied with all the necessary nutrition.

A whole food product is highly recommended if you are planning to start taking a multivitamin. Whole food multivitamins are made with nutrients from natural sources and contain concentrates of fruits and vegetables as well as additional nutrients that help the body absorb these essential vitamins and minerals.

Click here to check out Lucky Vitamin’s special multivitamin sale.


 
22
FEB

4 Supplements for Eye Health

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 10:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Healthy eyes are so important to all of us but it’s not easy to prevent the slow degradation of the eyes. In order to avoid this problem, it is essential to consume certain nutritional and dietary supplements for eye health, so here’s a list of 4 supplements for eye health.

1. Lutein: a highly essential supplements for eye health, lutein forms a protective shield and prevents formation of cataracts as well as macular degeneration in the eyes. This antioxidant is the primary carotenoid present in the central area of the retina called the macula. People with high intakes of the carotenoid lutein have been reported to be at a low risk for cataracts. Lutein also protects the retina from damage caused by sunlight and studies have shown that supplementation can be helpful to people with both early and advanced stages of the disease.

2. Vitamin A: required in large doses to ensure proper functioning of the retina, deficiency of vitamin A may cause ocular disorders like xeropthalmia or night blindness. Often recommend by doctors to correct a deficiency, vitamin A also plays a vital role in preventing dryness in the eyes.

3. Beta Carotene: directly related to vitamin A, supplementation of beta-carotene helps the body convert into vitamin A, correcting such a deficiency and improving vision and related issues such as night blindness. Additionally, studies have shown that long-term beta-carotene supplementation slowed the loss of cognitive function in middle-aged healthy males.

4. Selenium: this essential mineral is a good source of natural antioxidants and can be a useful supplement to maintain good eye health. Found in many multivitamins and multimineral products, selenium is known to regulate thyroid and prevent thyroid eye disease, also know known as Graves’ disease, a condition that can affect your eyes.


 
17
FEB

3 Amazing Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Women's Health at 8:00 am | By: Guest Blogger

Pregnancy is a time of monumental transformation. How can Prenatal Yoga support you during this incredible journey?

Physical Body:  Your body is stretching from the inside to make room for a second human to share the space within, and your organs are being displaced to accommodate your new roommate.  Symptoms from sciatica to nausea to varicose veins can make physical existence uncomfortable.  While pregnancy is a joy and a miracle it also comes with discomfort.

Yoga directly addresses common physical discomforts through postures that release, tone, and enliven muscles, ligaments, organs, and nerves.  When you move through yoga postures, your whole body takes part in a dance that moves blood and fluids to purify the body’s systems.

Labor and birth can be long and hard.  It deserves no less attention than training for a marathon does.  And if you want a training regimen for labor, yoga is it. All the key movements that help a baby be born are replicated in yoga postures.  By moving in spirals, circles, toning and releasing the pelvic floor, opening the hips, and breathing deeply into all parts of your lungs, you prepare for the big day when your body will facilitate bringing a new human being onto the earth.

Emotional Body:  Beyond the physical transformation that pregnancy instigates, there’s the emotional impact.  The hormone soup that bathes your inner world and regulates your emotions is suddenly shaken.  Beyond that, you know in some vague sort of way that the freedom to sleep for a whole night is about to be revoked for years.  Anxiety, depression, anger, obsessive thoughts, and sadness may flow unpredictably and erratically through the lives of many pregnant women.

Yoga supports your emotional well being by bringing balance to your mind, deepening your perspective, and releasing emotional energy from your body’s tissues.  This is supported by postures and breathing techniques that help to move energy/prana through the body and of course meditation, which provides some distance between the “I” and the thought that creates or reinforces the emotion.   The ancient wisdom of yogic philosophy can also support a balanced and resilient mental/emotional complex.  We learn about santosha, or radical acceptance; shraddha or faith/trust in what is; and viveka, or discernment between the thoughts that serve us and those that don’t.

Spiritual Body:  A new human being – mind, body, and soul – is being born within you.  The deepest mystery of the universe is taking place within you.  And it’s changing your sense of self, your identity.  The individual that you have experienced yourself to be for decades will be no more, as your destiny is joined to a tiny being that will depend entirely on you.

Yoga helps you to embrace the spiritual transformation that is inherent to pregnancy and harness it to support a deepening awareness of the timeless YOU that lives beneath all definitions and circumstances.  It invites you to explore deeper and deeper levels of “Self”, integrating and synthesizing them as you go.  It prompts you to ask yourself the most important questions and find the answers hidden within the depth of your breath, resting in intuition and relationship to spirit.

It’s no wonder that during this journey that really has no parallel in ordinary life, women seek out a yoga practice because it is so complete.  An ancient practice steeped with wisdom, yet one that is evolving over the years to serve the ever-changing culture we live within.

This wisdom and much more can be found in Birthing Mama® an online holistic pregnancy program.

BIO: Corinne Andrews is the founder and head author of Birthing Mama®. As the owner of Yoga Center Amherst, a senior Embodyoga® teacher and the Co-founder of the local Birthing Mama Yoga, she has been teaching yoga to people of all ages and abilities since 2003.  In addition to classes, Corinne teaches private yoga sessions for health and healing. She is the mother of two children who are her greatest spiritual teachers and the focus of her life when she is not practicing or teaching yoga or experimenting in the garden and kitchen.

www.birthingmama.org

www.yogacenteramherst.org

 


 
12
FEB

5 Healing Benefits of Hugging

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing at 4:31 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching it can seem like love is everywhere you look for it – chocolate, flowers, those little heart-shaped candies that seem to only be available in February (the month’s version of Halloween candy corn).

Love, of course, is not just limited to presents, junk food and tchotchkes. Valentine’s Day can be physical, too, including the simple act of enveloping your loved one in a warm embrace. Research shows that when you give someone a hug your brain produces oxytocin — the love hormone. This substance has many benefits, including some we listed below:

Reduce Stress

When you wrap your arm around someone you care for your cortisol levels – which measures what is referred to as the “stress hormone” – take a nosedive. Secreted in high amounts during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress, the security that comes along with a comforting hug from a loved one helps keep this hormone in check.

Support Your Ticker

Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug can help ease blood flow lower a person’s heart rate.

Fight Fatigue

One 10-second hug per day can lead to biochemical and physiological reactions in your body that can significantly improve your stamina and energy levels.

Boost Immune Function

Hugging creates pressure on the sternum which activates the Solar Plexus chakra, stimulating the thymus gland. This gland is responsible for regulating white blood cell production, which helps keep our bodies disease-free.

Improve Mood

So-called “happy hormones” such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, AKA the pleasure hormone, are released when we hug.  Keeping these hormones elevated can help fight depression and Parkinson’s disease.

Now for the fun part: go hug it out!

 

 

 4 Comments, latest by Mari


 
11
FEB

3 Natural Ways to Battle Cholesterol

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements at 3:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

A well-balanced diet and exercise are proven ways to reduce cholesterol but another natural way can really make a difference in your treatment. Natural products for cholesterol have been one of the most popular supplements for many years for a simple reason: they are efficient. If you are not familiar with these, here are 3 natural ways to battle cholesterol.

1. Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice has been a hot-selling item for cholesterol for many years. This all-natural product has been tested in many different ways and has been shown to lower cholesterol as well as a statin drug. Most red yeast rice supplements are similar to the ones used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. A number of pharmaceutical drugs contain the exact same ingredient, red yeast rice, in their formulations.

2. Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 supplements are good for overall health but they are also a great way to regulate cholesterol. The popular “fish-oil” offers a combination of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the two most beneficial types of omega-3 fats. Doctors recommend 1000mg a day and you can choose from softgel products as well as the liquid form. A good tip: look for enteric-coated products which are designed to dissolve in the intestines instead of the stomach, avoiding the unpleasant fishy burps.

3. Policosanol

Rounding up our list, we present you policosanol. Made from sugar cane, this all-natural supplement has been known to be effective in lowering cholesterol as well as maintaining normal HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. Policosanol has powerful antioxidant capabilities that inhibit oxidation of cholesterol. The long-chain alcohols found in policosanol are present in many foods of plant origin but supplemental policosanol is typically extracted from sugar cane or beeswax.


 
27
JAN

10 Ways to Avoid the Winter Blues

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements at 10:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Looking for some ways to boost your mood and motivation even on the darkest of chilly days this winter? We present you 10 ways to avoid the winter blues this season.

1. Take Vitamin D supplements

Increasing your vitamin D intake should be a priority in the winter months. The body reserves of this immune-boosting vitamin fall dangerously low at this time of the year. Taking vitamin D supplements can be very helpful to compensate the lack of sun exposure, one of the best ways to produce vitamin D.

2. Spend Time Outside

Try to enjoy the snow and the cold weather instead of always avoiding it. Ice-skating, snowboarding and sledding are fun activities you may want to give a try this winter. If you are not into winter action, take some pictures as snow and ice can make wonderful stages for beautiful photos.

3. Exercise

No matter the time of the year, exercising is always great! Exercise helps your mind by releasing those feel good chemicals that improve your mood. One of the best ways to fight off depression and stay in shape, exercising in the winter can be done either indoor or, for the braves ones, outdoors.

4.Aromatherapy

For many people, aromatherapy is the best way to lift your spirits. Smells can be a big source of comfort and evoke memories of happier times. Studies have shown that aromatherapy can be an effective supplementary treatment for people with depressive symptoms.

5. Be Social

Stay social during the winter months. Invite family and friends over, go for walks, or start a group activity. These are some of the great ways to stay “connected” and happy during the cold days.

6. Enjoy Hibernation

Why not? One of the best ways to stay happy during the winter is enjoying “hibernation”. Stay home, watch movies, read a book, eat some popcorn, or drink hot chocolate, that’s just a few ideas to help you enjoy the “indoors”.

7. Get More Lights in Your Home

In some northern places, lack of light during the winter has been linked to depression. With shorter days and shorter sunlight, lighting up your home can be helpful to keep your mood and energy up.

8. Relax

Spending time doing nothing can also help. Catch up on your sleep, take a long bath, or relax for a whole morning or a whole day if you can. Try yoga to alleviate stress and leave you with a calm energy. Relaxation is one of the best ways to avoid winter blues.

9. Go on a Trip

Travelling is always fun. Going from a cold place to a warmer paradise makes it even more fun. Enjoying a winter trip, even if it’s a short weekend one, can be a wonderful way to stay happy.

10. Sleep Well

People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. Try to catch up with your sleep when it’s cold outside. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent, normalizing sleeping patters and getting more daily energy.


 
17
JAN

7 Medicinal Teas that Heal

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Herbs,Teas at 9:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Teas have been used medicinally for years. During the winter months, we often look for some help from teas to battle common health issues. So, here’s a helpful list of 7 medicinal teas that heal.

1. Echinacea

One of the most popular healing teas, Echinacea stimulates the body’s immune system to fight off bacterial and viral attacks. This delicious herbal tea is known to fight off colds, relive pain and reduce inflammation.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile tea is one of the best options for people looking for calming, relaxing teas. This soothing tea has mild sedative properties which can help relieve anxiety and promote better sleep. It is also a good option to treat indigestion and nausea.

3. Goldenseal

Often combined with Echinacea, this tea is also known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. The chemical berberine in goldenseal activates white blood cells that destruct viruses, bacteria, fungi.

4. Mint

One of the most flavorful, refreshing options, mint tea helps minimize congestion, is a mild expectorant for a chest cold or bronchitis, and can also reduce stomach pain. Despite many varieties available, most mint teas offer similar healing properties, whether you choose spearmint or peppermint, as the active component is menthol.

5. Lemon

Lemon tea is an excellent source of vitamin C, known for multiple health benefits. Lemons contain bioflavonoids that help maintain adequate levels of vitamin C in every cell of your body, boosting immune system function and promote overall health. If you do not like the taste of lemon tea, add some honey or just add a slice of lemon to your favorite tea.

6. Cinnamon

The smell of cinnamon has many tea lovers listing this as their number one tea. Cinnamon offers anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties and contains an excellent amount of immune-boosting antioxidants. Among the benefits, cinnamon increase blood flow and improve circulation as well as soothe a sore throat and reduce cold symptoms.

7. Ginger

Ginger is one of the best options to heal cough and cold. It is also widely used to reduce nausea and prevent or treat motion sickness. Some people may not enjoy the taste of ginger teas but a quick fix is to add a spoon of natural honey to your hot beverage.


 
23
DEC

More than Muscles: 4 Reasons to Start Taking Creatine

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Sports Nutrition at 6:00 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor

 

When you think of creatine, you probably think of a bunch of guys pumping iron in the gym. What you don’t know is that creatine has a long list of benefits that goes well beyond the gym.

Fountain of Youth – On a cellular level, creatine supports skin function by supporting regeneration of cells and connective tissue.  With an increase in cellular turnover, collagen and elastin are working harder to slow down the hands of time.

Heart of Gold – Research has shown that supplementation can lower triglycerides which lowers the risk of heart disease. Those who suffer from congestive heart failure can also benefit from creatine by increasing their muscle strength, muscle mass and physical endurance.

Does a Body Good – Creatine increases muscle strength and muscle size. As we age, are body experiences a drop in growth hormone.  By preserving this muscle, not only do we avoid sarcopenia (muscle loss) but we can prevent osteoporosis too!

Sharp as a Tack – Our brain cells require a lot of energy to function on a metabolic level.  Research has shown through creatine supplementation we can increase our short and long term memory.

Recently, more and more studies have shown other therapeutic benefits of creatine for the treatment of chronic diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Muscular Dystrophy. Our lifestyle choices can contribute to many of these diseases so why not make the healthy choice to age gracefully with the help of creatine.


 
21
DEC

Why Be Mindful?

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Mindfulness at 8:00 am | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

 

 

We go through life day by day almost as if we are on autopilot. We wake up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, go to sleep and do it all over again the next day. Maybe your daily routine changes through out the day but the basis for your day is still the same. All of the stress, worry, anger etc. associated with our daily activities can lead to numerous health-related problems. Anxiety and depression are just two conditions that more and more Americans are starting to unfortunately become familiar with.  Just because our days seem more and more worse off by the minute doesn’t mean your anxiety and depression has to as well.

In a recent article researchers found that mindfulness for the treatment of anxiety and depression was as effective as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is one of the most frequently used psychotherapeutic modalities.  It has also been used worldwide as a stress reduction technique. But what does it mean to be mindful? Mindfulness is becoming aware to what is happening to us moment by moment. In other words mindfulness is all about being present.  In order to practice mindfulness you must pay precise nonjudgmental attention to all of your experiences both physical and mental. This means that instead of rejecting a feeling because it is bad or good you learn to cope with this feeling by not labeling it. Mindfulness teaches us to be present for all of our daily activities instead of being on “autopilot.”

With the craziness that the holidays bring into our already stressful lives try looking into meditation techniques that might help reduce some of the stress this holiday season. Also use mindfulness to enjoy the happy moments and be present for all the joy the holiday season may bring into your life.

 

 1 Comment, latest by dad


 
18
DEC

Wellness tips for a Healthier You

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,General Wellness & Wellbeing at 8:00 am | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

 

Let’s face it; the holidays are a time for family, joy, food, and unfortunately the ever-present unwanted stress.  A new year brings new beginnings and new opportunities. Opportunities to start making time for yourself so you get your health back, or at least improve on it.  Whether you want to shed a couple pounds, detox, find more energy, or just feel better these simple tips will help you get 2015 off on the right foot.

  • Sleep – Everyone knows the importance of sleep. Let’s face it.  You can’t start your day off on the right foot, if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Sleep deprivation has been shown to affect not only your immune system but also your cardiovascular system.  Sleep deprivation has been linked to diabetes, obesity, and decreased mental health. Every night you should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep in a dark room.  Cover any light producing objects as it has been shown to affect sleep patterns.  A great tip for a better nights sleep is to hide the alarm clock. Don’t worry about how much sleep you have left by watching the clock and just enjoy your sweet dreams.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise has many benefits. Exercising daily has been shown to improve sleep quality so long as you don’t workout too close to bedtime.  Exercise, such as a brisk 30 minute walk stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.  A daily exercise routine is a great way to control weight, combat health conditions, and boost your energy.  It is also a great way to battle the stress of your day.
  • Diet – Diets are one of the keys to wellness. If we don’t give our bodies the proper nutrients, then it won’t be able to function properly. Eating a diverse diet that contains fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fat is very important.  In 2015, try cutting back on the sugars, reducing your intake of white bread and limiting those unnecessary processed foods.  Instead, try to increase foods like avocado, artichokes, asparagus, kale and the many other foods that help support your natural detox pathways.
  • Get outside – Being in nature is the way we are supposed to live our lives. There is a great deal of research being done on the benefits of being in a green environment, and no I am not talking about recycling and energy efficient environments. I am actually talking about being in nature or near green plants. One research article found children with ADD/ADHD had fewer symptoms when activities were carried out in a green or natural outdoor setting such as parks, woods, farms, etc. Another set of research showed that surgery patients in a hospital with rooms that had a view of a tree, had shorter visits, fewer negative evaluative comments from nurses, and even took fewer moderate to strong analgesic doses. In the New Year, try getting out of the cafeteria and eating your lunch outside.   Take a walk in the park or near patches of green, and buy some plants to keep in the house.

 
25
NOV

7 Ways to Practice Gratitude

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Mental Wellbeing at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

We all wish we could live in a world full of joy and happiness. Joy and gratitude are spiritual practices that can help human interconnectedness and promote better lives. We often do not realize how wonderful life is and do not recognize how good things really are. Practicing gratitude can be an excellent way to promote happiness and bring better days for you, your family and your friends. Here is 7 ways to practice gratitude:

 

1. Say “Thank You”

Say these two magic words can really make a difference. It is always nice to hear that from our partner, kids, parents or friends. Sometimes we are so used to people doing the little things in life like cooking, cleaning, making breakfast, taking the trash out, that we forget to appreciate these small gestures.  Say “thank you” frequently, as often as you can.

2. Call your family members frequently

Call your mother, father, or grandparents just to check in. Tell them something about your life, share some good news, even if those news are not so important. Ask them if they need any help or maybe find an activity that can be done together.

3. Don’t forget anniversaries

Birthdays and anniversaries are special occasions and a great time to practice gratitude. With today’s technology, it is a lot easier to remember these moments and celebrate special days with your loved ones.

4. Respect the nature

Showing gratitude does not necessary have to be towards people. Promoting gratitude can be a simple gesture to show respect and kindness to the Mother Nature as well as pets or animals. Cleaning up your street or a public area nearby can be a great way to help, not just the environment but other people too. You can be sure that some people will be grateful to your simple gesture.

5. Expand your understanding

People are different and have different opinions and views about many things in life. Many times we argue and even fight just because we are unable to accept differences. You do not have to change your opinion about a subject but you can expand your understanding towards other ideas or point of views.

6. Thank the people behind the service

We come across many people in life that are also part of our life for short moments. Think of the barista, the bank teller, the cashier at the grocery store and many others who are somehow quickly, but often, part of our life. Take a minute to sincerely thank them for the ease they bring to your life.

7. Write a Letter of Gratitude

One of the most common ways to show gratitude is to write a letter. Send one to a teacher, coworker, mentor, coach, friend or anyone who has made a difference in your life.


 
 
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