Posted by: cpace2 | December 1, 2010

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is good for your health in many ways. It lowers blood pressure, anxiety, depression and stress. It leads to healthier relationships and less hostility. It causes a greater spiritual and psychological well-being.

When you hold a grudge, every aspect of the mind, body and spirit are affected. Relationships suffer as well as individual health. Forgiveness brings an inner peace that improves the quality of your life.

Studies have shown that forgiveness is good for your health.  “It reduces the risk of heart attack, slows the growth of cancer and retards HIV development into full blown AIDS” (npr.org). Forgiveness results in better overall mental and physical health.

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Posted by: cpace2 | December 1, 2010

Herbs

Herbs have have amazing medicinal qualities.Here are just a few examples.

Take garlic, for example. It raises HDLs while simultaneously lowering LDLs and triglycerides. This has a very beneficial on heart and vascular health and thereby prevents cardiovascular disease. Garlic also prevents cancer and acts as an antifungal and antiviral.

Rosemary promotes circulation and improves digestion. It also has anti-inflammatory compounds and stimulates the immune system. The herb thyme is rich in thymol, an antiseptic, antioxidant and antibacterial. The oil in thyme is used in mouthwashes for throat infections and is a common ingredient in cough drops.

Gingko biloba is used in improving memory and circulation. Peppermint treats indigestion, headaches, nausea, fever and respiratory problems. Licorice is an antiviral and treats gastrointestinal ulceration.

 

 

Posted by: cpace2 | December 1, 2010

Laughter

Ever heard that laughter is the best medicine? Laughter does indeed have many benefits for your health. It’s a great stress reliever by reducing levels of cortisol and epinephrine. It increases levels of endorphins and antibody-producing cells. It also makes T cells more effective. Basically, it overall improves and strengthens the immune system. There is even a new field of treatment called humor therapy to help people heal more quickly.

Laughter also provides an emotional release and can be effective in distracting one’s attention from a potentially negative event or feelings. It connects people with each other as it helps people relate to each other and their experiences. It builds and strengthens relationships. It can make negative situations less threatening and improves one’s ability to cope. Laughter releases positive chemicals into the body that are beneficial to overall health. It is a powerful weapon against stress, pain and conflict. It helps people stay emotionally and physically healthy.

Posted by: cpace2 | December 1, 2010

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is proven to be effective in many areas of health. It has in recent years been included in complementary cancer care due to its effectiveness as a stress relief tool. Yoga acts as an aid in improving sleep and reducing stress, nausea and fatigue which are caused by chemotherapy drugs. Yoga has also been medically proven to reduce inflammation due to aging and stress as well as help those with back pain.

Meditation is an element of yoga and though usually recognized as a spiritual practice, is also a healthy for your mental and physical well-being. Yoga and meditation techniques are used in management of life threatening diseases and in healing mental illness, among many other things. Here are just some of the benefits of meditation: increases blood flow, slower heart rate, increases exercise tolerance in heart patients, a deeper level of relaxation, lower blood pressure, reduces anxiety attacks by lowering levels of blood lactate, decreases muscle tension and headaches, increases serotonin production which then boosts mood, helps in post-operative healing, and enhances the immune system.

Posted by: cpace2 | November 30, 2010

Exercise

The benefits of exercise are for the entire body. It not only builds and tones the muscles, but strengthens and rejuvenates the mind as well. I have found exercise to be an excellent tool in reducing and managing my stress while also improving my mood. The benefits of exercise are in part due to the release of endorphins. These neurotransmitters help to block both stress and pain and produce a “numb, high, or euphoric” feeling. Exercise is a natural way to relieve depression, a fact supported by one study in which exercise proved just as effective, if not better, than antidepressants.

“A few years ago, colleagues from Duke University compared the antidepressant effects of aerobic exercise training to the popular antidepressant medicine sertraline, as well as a placebo sugar pill. They randomized depressed patients to one of the interventions and found that after four months about 40 percent of the subjects were no longer depressed. Those who exercised or received the medicine had higher and comparable response rates, but they were only slightly better than the placebo group. Those who exercised at a moderate level – about 40 minutes three to five days each week – experienced the greatest antidepressant effect. So they interpreted that to mean that exercise was just as good as medicine. And in that particular study, the high placebo response meant that nonspecific influences like patient expectations and the attention from the study personnel during monitoring visits may have caused the therapeutic response.”

Posted by: cpace2 | November 30, 2010

Stress

We experience stress on a daily basis and throughout our lives, whether it be minor day-to-day issues such as being late to work or a much greater problem such as losing a loved one. Though some stress is necessary for a healthy life, chronic stress is damaging and harmful to our well-being.

Chronic stress has been found to be a contributing factor in many diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Stress releases hormones into the bloodstream which aid the body in being alert and ready to participate in the “fight or flight” response. In those individuals with chronic stress, these hormones are constantly present in the bloodstream, never allowing the body to return to a normal resting state. This harms the body’s normal processes and puts it into constant overdrive. The immune system is suppressed and makes you more vulnerable to flu, colds, digestive problems, weight gain and fatigue, among many other health problems. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn healthy ways to manage and reduce stress in our lives.

 

 

Posted by: cpace2 | November 7, 2010

Food and Mood

Certain foods affect the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby altering your mood.

Dopamine and norepinephrine affect the body by increasing alertness, ability to concentrate, and reaction times. Foods that increase these neurotransmitters in the brain are those rich in proteins. Protein provides the brain with tyrosine, an amino acid that is a pre-cursor to these chemicals which promote alertness.

Foods that increase the production of serotonin are high in carbohydrates. Cereal, pasta, chocolate, and cake, among many others, would fall into this category. This temporary boost in serotonin results in a calming and anxiety effect. No wonder carb-rich items are called “comfort foods.”

Food also has an effect on alleviating depression. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in fish, are necessary for healthy brains and nerve cells. Studies have shown that “people who eat a diet rich in fish are less likely to be depressed” and “new research shows that one nutrient in fish (omega-3’s) might actually be more effective against depression than traditional antidepressants.”

One study’s results showed people experiencing a 50% reduction in their symptoms of depression, which included sleeplessness, sadness, inability to work, pessimism, and low libido.

Posted by: cpace2 | October 24, 2010

Happiness

What is happiness? “The most useful definition—and it’s one agreed upon by neuroscientists, psychiatrists, behavioral economists, positive psychologists, and Buddhist monks—is more like satisfied or content than “happy” in its strict bursting-with-glee sense. It has depth and deliberation to it. It encompasses living a meaningful life, utilizing your gifts and your time, living with thought and purpose.”

While pursuing our happiness, we must be actively working towards it from day to day. There are many things that we can do on a regular basis that are proven to be successful in helping us lead a more satisfying life. University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, based on her research findings, offers us 8 simple ways to increase our level of happiness.

1)      Count your blessings.

2)      Practice acts of kindness.

3)      Savor life’s joys.

4)      Thank a mentor.

5)      Learn to forgive.

6)      Invest time and energy in friends and family.

7)      Take care of your body.

8)      Develop strategies for coping with stress and hardships.

Posted by: cpace2 | September 15, 2010

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