How to Drink More Water for Body and Soul?

How to Drink More Water for Body and Soul

Ah, water – clear, pure water, with a tricking sound like music. Home to the fish, salvation to the thirsty, relief to the sunburned vacationer. But who does actually give this life-giving substance the attention it deserves? Not most of us.

Get tired and don’t know why?

Water is ‘basic.’ It’s not something that crosses the mind much at all. Yet, that doesn’t prevent water from giving. Water gives life, health, serenity. As long as you drink enough of it. Two-three litres a day for a woman and up to four for a man should do the job. Any less, and you may be compromising your health and well-being.

If you don’t have a habit of counting how much water you drink, there are immediate symptoms you can look out for that you’re not getting enough. Headaches, dizziness, and dry-eye are all common complaints that seem to have no cause. Could be dehydration. A salt craving, cramps, or dark circles under the eye are some of the odder signs that you need to drink more water.

Let’s just take a look at what water can do for you. It lubricates your joints, because cartilage is four-fifths water. This helps you keep moving and reduces pain. Water also lubricates your mouth, nose, and eyes. Without it, you can’t eat or breathe. And when your eyes get dry, guess what: you feel tired and you don’t know why.

Water is also essential to your brain and nervous system. It helps you think straight. It keeps you calm. It cushions blows from the outside world, as a shock absorber for your brain and spinal cord.

And 90% of your blood is water. Blood is good, right? Low water intake can lead to high blood pressure. That in turn can cause a stroke or dangerous clotting.

Getting around with alarms and reminders

So we’ve agreed, water can make you feel better and actually be better. But it’s still kind of a chore to remember to drink it. That’s why it can be useful to work out some ways of changing your habits to drink more.

Actually, it’s not too tough to change your schedule. Making the decision to do so is a good start. But you may need alarms and reminders to keep you on track until drinking water regularly becomes your second nature.

1) Drinking a glass when you get out of bed is the best start. You know it’s the first thing you need to do, and also it will dehydrate you after a long night. After that, make the effort to drink a glass of water every hour, on the hour. Or at least fetch yourself a fresh glass of water to sip for the next hour. That way, every time the clock strikes, if you still have water in your glass then you need to drink it up so you can catch a refill!

2) One sip of water per email! If alarms and hourly alerts are too square for you, try attaching your water habits to other things you do regularly instead. Take a sip with every email you send, or – if you spend much of your day reading – fetch a new glass of water for every chapter you read.

3) Coffee and tea as a bonus! If it’s the taste of water that fails to excite you, there are ways around this. Despite the myth that coffee dehydrates you, it actually counts as water intake up to a point. As long as you’re not drinking unhealthy levels of caffeine, tea and coffee hydrate you. But it can be best to think of these as bonuses to your cold water intake.

4)That cold water can be improved by infusing it with fruit or ginger. Put berries or citrus fruits in your water bottle (or buy an infuser) and don’t think about it as drinking water at all; think of it as your fruity liquid treat. Mmmm!

Okay, so it’s tough to get excited about water. But water’s basic nature means it’s quite simple to slide it into your lifestyle. Check out this infographic with tips to drink more water, and you’ll soon realize that upping your intake is one of the simplest ways to feel better and be healthier inside and out.

What are your habits for drinking more water? Let us know in the comment section!

 

Resoluciones de Año Nuevo

¿Te has encontrado alguna vez postergando las metas y resoluciones de año nuevo para el próximo?

Esto se debe, a que muchas veces no nos tomamos el tiempo necesario para realizar todo el proceso que implica establecer nuevas misiones y crear nuevos hábitos para lograr los objetivos del año que comienza.

En este artículo te invito a realizar cada uno de los pasos y ejercicios que  me han servido para mantener constancia durante los doce meses, que si nos descuidamos se van volando.

Todos nacemos con ciertas características que nos diferencian de los demás, inclusive de nuestros hermanos criados por nuestros mismos padres y en el mismo entorno. Por lo tanto, es responsabilidad de cada quien reconocer sus virtudes y sus retos sin avergonzarse de quien realmente es y además, ser consciente de los compromisos personales y sociales que se requieren para transitar esta vida. 

Primero, debes preguntarte: ¿Cuáles son los anhelos de tu corazón? 

Para transformar deseos en acciones primero debes conocerte a ti mismo y esto involucra todas las áreas, toma algún tiempo, pero te sugiero que comiences con una idea general y luego continúes el proceso de auto-observación para ir profundizando en cada una.

En este artículo clasifico las áreas de la vida en siete grupos:

1) Finanzas

Todos tenemos necesidades básicas por las cuales debemos tener una estabilidad financiera. Como por ejemplo la alimentación, educación, vivienda, etc. Ahorrar, mantener las finanzas en orden, asociarse con gente que realice las mismas actividades, son buenas prácticas que te ayudarán a administrar los recursos para vivir en balance y sin estrés. Tú relación con el dinero es como una relación de amistad, necesita atención y agradecimiento. El dinero te puede generar muchas oportunidades pero debes mantener esta relación limpia y positiva. 

Ejercicio: 

Dedícate a observar tu relación con el dinero, como hablas de el, si le echas la culpa por tus problemas o si más bien agradeces por lo que tienes y hasta dónde has podido llegar.

2) Crecimiento espiritual y personal

Todos tenemos la capacidad para ser instrumentos de increíble compasión y perdón, no debemos limitarnos a la creencia popular de que ser espiritual implica vivir en un monasterio o internarse en una montaña sin contacto con el mundo hasta que encontramos aquello llamado “iluminación”, pero el crecimiento personal implica actividades para cultivar paz interior, unirse a una organización sin fines de lucro o simplemente el hecho de mostrar gratitud y compasión hacia otros. 

Ejercicio: 

Te sugiero buscar un retiro donde puedas re-conectar contigo mismo, sin interrupciones, sin distracciones, donde puedas alejarte de los horarios, de las compras, del teléfono… Un espacio donde te dediques solo y únicamente a ti mismo. La práctica de la meditación te puede ayudar a controlar los pensamientos, incrementar la creatividad, crear estabilidad emocional y por consiguiente, mejorar la relación contigo mismo y con los demás.

3) Salud

Sabías que estar saludable es sinónimo de felicidad? La salud no solamente implica el buen estado físico, si no también a nivel mental; del mismo modo que le dedicamos tiempo al cuidado y limpieza del cuerpo debemos purificar y disciplinar la mente. De esto depende todos nuestros pensamientos, palabras y acciones. Si la mente y el cuerpo están en balance, podría decirse que nos encontramos en buena salud.

Ejercicio: 

Asegúrate de dormir suficiente cada día, presta atención a las situaciones que te generan estrés y al manejo del mismo, come natural y sin exceso, elimina las fuentes de toxinas como el alcohol y la comida procesada, mantente activo realizando algún ejercicio físico como el yoga u otro deporte, y práctica la meditación 

4) Familia y amigos

Desde que nacemos formamos parte de una familia, somos seres interdependientes. Compartimos el mismo espacio, los mismos valores y la misma genética. Cuando nos quedamos en nuestra zona de confort, empeñados en nuestro propio bienestar, es como ir en contra de la corriente; debemos aprender a compartir y respetar el espacio y la ideología de vida de nuestra familia y valorar todo el aprendizaje generado en base a esta relación. 

Ejercicio: 

Tómate unos minutos para hacer una lista de las personas que verdaderamente te importan (no incluyas a tus hijos, si tienes). Probablemente te darás cuenta de lo que ya sabías, pero es importante tenerlo actualizado. Ahora dale vuelta a la página y anota una lista de las 10 personas para las cuales crees ser importante. No tiene que coincidir una lista con la otra. Compara las dos listas y te darás cuenta que las relaciones no son necesariamente recíprocas. Con este ejercicio podrás decidir el tiempo, la energía y la fuerza que usas en cada una de tus relaciones. 

¡Rodéate de personas positivas que te ayuden a crecer!

5) Profesión

La profesión requiere pasión y compromiso. Comienza cuando nos apasionamos por una actividad para la cual tenemos la habilidad y el conocimiento hasta que poco a poco se va convirtiendo en un trabajo. Busca la luz en lo que ya haces y conviértelo en tu profesión. Comenzar a tener éxito en lo que haces es la clave para mantener viva tu profesión. 

Ejercicio:

Qué te apasiona? Cómo lo puedes aprender?  Realiza pequeños pasos a la vez, busca tus talentos. 

6) Diversión y Recreación 

Un determinante en nuestro bienestar físico, mental y espiritual es la forma de ver y resolver la vida, la manera de aceptar los retos con una mente clara y desarrollar la creatividad para resolver esos mismos retos. Estar contento viene desde adentro, sin embargo, existe un sinnúmero de actividades externas que nos permiten reír y disfrutar de la vida de una forma sana y divertida. Estar contento es una parte innata y representa como nos expresamos de nosotros mismos. Observa un bebé y como disfruta de cosas pequeñas, sus emociones son verdaderas y auténticas. 

Ejercicio:

Busca un actividad por semana que te genere placer para tus sentidos (que no sea trabajo), de pronto asistir a una clase de baile, montar a caballo, ir al cine, encuentra algo con lo cual te relaciones y que de pronto hayas dejado en el olvido. 

¡Diviértete!

7) Romance

En una relación de pareja, la comunicación es clave, el respeto mutuo y el entendimiento por reconocer las necesidades de cada uno es clave para que perdure el amor. Establecer pilares fuertes de afecto, entendimiento, valores y creencias son fundamentales para el crecimiento en pareja, así como el respeto a los objetivos y sueños individuales.

“Una relación de pareja es la unión en un momento determinado entre dos seres que han descubierto su amor propio y están comprometidos a cultivar y mantener ese amor para poder dar y recibir sin expectativas”.

Si cada parte comparte el mismo nivel de disciplina y perspectiva es muy probable que la relación funcione. Pero nos esforzamos por querer mantener relaciones románticas con personas completamente opuestas a nosotros. 

Ejercicio:

Has un listado con tus necesidades y otra lista con las características que te gustaría encontrar en una pareja romántica. Luego compara las listas y trata de observar si lo que pides es algo que estarías dispuesto a dar. Te sorprenderá saber que a veces no estamos lo suficientemente claros de lo que somos ni de lo que estamos buscando en otros. 

8) Entorno Físico

Existe un concepto hindú llamado Vastu Sastra, y se refiere a la organización de espacios y arquitectura y en los textos habla de cómo el espacio físico nos afecta tanto a nivel físico, mental, emocional y espiritual. La congestión y desorganización de objetos en el hogar y áreas de trabajo podría bloquear la creatividad y la claridad mental. Limpiar los espacios genera paz y un entorno ordenado. Estudios han demostrado que mantener los espacios ordenados pueden reducir la irritabilidad, el estrés, mejorar la productividad y evitar las distracciones. 

Ejercicio:

Es tiempo de eliminar el desorden; comienza por uno o dos cajones y selecciona lo que puedes regalar, botar y guardar. Asegúrate de dejar solo lo que necesitas y acomódalo de acuerdo a la frecuencia de uso. Luego toma un momento para conectar con tus sentimientos, te sientes más ligero? Con más energía? Inspirado a continuar el proceso de limpieza? Y así continúa en todos los espacios del hogar y del trabajo hasta que logres completarlo todo. 

Te animo a que revises cada área y califiques tu nivel de satisfacción en una escala del uno al diez, donde uno es igual a insatisfecho y diez es igual a completamente satisfecho. 

En este cierre de año te invito a realizar un pequeño ritual donde agradeces por todo lo que tienes, tus relaciones y las metas cumplidas en el presente año. Luego, escribe una lista con tus resoluciones de nuevo año tomando en cuenta todas las áreas y luego busca un lugar tranquilo donde puedas cerrar los ojos, inhala y exhala algunas veces hasta sentirte en calma y trata de visualizarte cumpliendo todas las nuevas metas. Cómo sería tu vida si todos los obstáculos fueran removidos? Créete capaz de lograr cuánto te propones, si no sientes ahora mismo esa confianza, comienza por crear una lista de tus logros anteriores donde te has sentido victorioso. 

Finalmente, conecta con esas cualidades que te hacen sentir orgulloso de ti mismo y crea afirmaciones que te motiven a diario a cumplir tus deseos. 

“Desde el ser que habita en mi, honro y agradezco al ser que habita en ti.”

Namaste 

How Human Rights Contribute to Peace

people holding heart together

After a long day at work, many of us have the privilege to go home, take a hot shower, cook dinner, and sleep in a warm bed. For those of us who live a life of relative comfort and have our basic needs met, it can be hard to imagine what life would be like if we weren’t so lucky. What would the day look like without these basic things?

We might sleep outside on the street, hungry or even sick. Things as simple as consistent access to food and shelter are not a given for many people around the world. Without access to basic human rights, feeling at peace is unlikely to happen.

Peaceful people make up a peaceful society, and peaceful societies make up a peaceful world. Since scarcity often leads to conflict, societies that support their citizens by providing them with healthcare, education, food, and shelter, are generally more peaceful and prosperous than those who don’t.

What Is Peace?

Understanding what peace means is essential if we want to understand why it is so important — especially if peace is something we take for granted in our day-to-day lives.

At an International Day of Peace celebration organized by Peace Revolution Cameroon, participants from various countries weighed in with different definitions of peace. The word was defined in many ways, including “the respect for life and fellow human beings” and “freedom from disturbance.”

Peace might mean different things to different people around the globe, but it’s clear that without peaceful individuals, we cannot have a peaceful world.

Most Peaceful Countries

According to 2017 data released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the United States ranks 114th out of 163 in a list of the world’s most peaceful countries.

“Data highlighted a declining level of trust in the U.S. government, as well as growing social problems such as income inequality, heightened racial tensions and rising homicide rates in several major American cities,” writes Megan Trimble in “The 10 Most Peaceful Countries in the World” to explain why the US ranked so low.

Which country tops the list? According to Trimble’s U.S. News article, it’s Iceland — a place where discrimination is illegal and citizens have access to universal healthcare. Iceland is widely regarded as a leader in human rights. The United States, on the other hand, demonstrates that it values capitalism over the well-being of its citizens. The success of Iceland and the problems in the U.S. clearly show that human rights are deeply linked to peace.

Challenges

There are many barriers to peace in today’s world. The unrest in the United States is a great example of what happens when a country doesn’t protect the basic human rights of its citizens. In the fight for peace, protest signs are as common a sight these days as birds in the sky.

Social workers have defined 12 major challenges that need to be overcome to create a better world. These challenges include making sure that everyone has access to healthcare, helping homeless individuals find dependable and affordable housing and food, and ensuring that all people have equal opportunities to pursue education. Let’s take a closer look at these challenges:

1) Access to Healthcare

In some countries (including the United States), healthcare is a privilege, not a right. Money, location, mobility, and availability can all be barriers to receiving medical care. As the need for chronic care increases, the elderly are especially vulnerable to lack of care.

Discrimination also impacts access to healthcare. Low-income communities often have limited access to healthcare facilities. Given the racial makeup of such areas, this is often a form of discrimination in and of itself. Healthcare providers could discriminate on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, economic class, religion, individuals with pre-existing conditions, and more. In areas where there is a dearth of medical professionals, this lack of choice poses a serious problem for minorities.

2) Access to Food and Shelter

It’s hard to achieve peace of any kind when you are hungry, tired, and don’t know where you’ll sleep at night. Food deserts and lack of affordable and accessible housing options are huge barriers to health and peace worldwide.

3) Access to Education

Education is one of the best ways to improve your personal options for success. But because of money, discrimination, and availability, not everyone has access to education. Oftentimes, lack of education means lack of job opportunities. In turn, that can lead to additional struggles like financial stress and trouble affording food and housing.

Solutions

Healthy bodies and minds are a part of the foundation of peace. Without them, people cannot thrive. So what do we do? To have a peaceful society, we must turn these challenges into solutions.

Positive change can take place in the very sectors that are often barriers, including classrooms, medical buildings, law offices, and social communities. Getting involved in any of these areas is a great way to help create a healthier and a more peaceful world.


This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

Fulfilling Changes to Improve Your Lifestyle

What does it mean to feel fulfilled? For each person, the answer may be different. You might not find a specific “answer” at all, or it may be fleeting, changing often, or stemming from some unknown source. However, there are small adjustments you can make to your behaviour and the way you interact with the world around you that could help maintain a healthy, happy mindset. Here are some strategies for finding satisfaction in many areas of your life.

1. Organize Your Spaces

With the busy lifestyle many of us lead, it’s easy for things to begin to pile up.  Letting your home and work spaces get out of control can happen in small increments and may seem like a low priority at the time. However, researchers and philosophers have pointed to a connection between the physical environment we create for ourselves and our emotional well-being.

Put simply, your physical environment may be a reflection of your state of mind. If you leave your clothes strewn in piles on the floor, maybe even stepping on them, does that mean you don’t care about your appearance? Maybe not, but it’s a habit that might form from convenience, laziness, or necessity, and you might not even think about how it affects you on a subconscious level.

Consider the same sort of question about leaving dirty dishes in the sink, keeping your books in odd stacks, losing important papers in piles, or allowing clutter of any kind to accumulate. At some point, these areas may become confusing and unusable.

Disorder impacts everyone at some point. Especially in the wake of life changes and other distractions, small tasks and responsibilities can slip out of sight. However, if you make a point to be aware of your physical spaces and intentionally work to keep them clean, clear, and organized, you can achieve a better peace of mind and create a more positive relationship with your home.

Consider trying out minimalistic storage and organization strategies in order to simplify your home. Practicing minimalism doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything you own. Instead, you can take less drastic steps to declutter your home – one area at a time – and create habits that will make it easier to maintain these spaces in the long term.

For example, you might start by sorting out clothes you haven’t worn in a long time and deciding if they are really something you plan to wear or if they should be donated. Paring down your wardrobe to the most essential items will reduce the confusion you might face when choosing an outfit. With this space cleared, you’ll eventually buy more clothes, but it’s possible to choose items that will fit well with your downsized wardrobe.

When purging items from various areas of your home, a best practice is to consider whether the object truly makes you happy or if it’s just taking up space. Whether it’s a chair that isn’t comfortable anymore or a piece of art that doesn’t bring you joy, clearing space can allow for new opportunities and a simpler, more fulfilling home life.

2. Get Some Exercise, Even Small Amounts

Just as our homes can fall into disarray, it’s easy to neglect our bodies and miss out on the effects self-care can have on our physical and mental health. Exercising regularly is something most of us know we should do, yet it can feel like a chore — even when it stands to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as improve mobility, physical health, and appearance.

It’s difficult to find the time and motivation. However, starting small is the key here. Even taking a brisk walk for 10 minutes in the morning could help you begin creating a fitness routine without requiring a gym membership or extensive planning.

If you think you simply hate all exercise, it might be because you haven’t found the right activity for you. The most obvious exercises that come to mind are things like lifting weights, running, and bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups. Going out of your way to perform these activities might not sound like fun, which means you’re less likely to keep up a steady routine.

Instead, you can get a solid workout from activities like yoga, hiking, gardening, swimming, dancing, cycling, and even shopping. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy, try experimenting with some of these fun exercises or anything that gets your body moving.

3. Be Mindful of What You Eat

Like exercise, maintaining healthy eating habits can be challenging. Many people choose to go on specific diets because they want to lose weight or change their appearance, while others might go on a diet to combat medical conditions like diabetes. The sheer number of diets and nutritional fads available can be overwhelming and may seem too restrictive. However, healthy eating habits don’t have to revolve around any goal bigger than simply giving your body the nutrients it needs.

Rather than starving yourself or choosing an extremely restrictive meal plan, the best way to promote a healthy body and mind is to focus on a balanced diet. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply put, a balanced diet involves eating some of each of the following food groups:

  • Whole grains, such as pasta, bread, and cereals. When choosing these products, look for “whole” or “whole grain” on the packaging’s nutritional information.
  • Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, apples, and blueberries are all great choices.
  • Protein helps to build and repair tissues in the body. You can get protein from meat, fish, eggs, beans, soy products, and nuts.
  • Dairy, which provides calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Yogurt, cheese, and low-fat milk are a good place to start.
  • Fats help your body absorb certain vitamins, improve your energy, and contribute to brain health. Try to limit the saturated fats you’ll find in fatty meats and fried foods as these can lead to heart disease. Instead, aim to eat unsaturated fats that are present in avocados, nuts, and oily fish.

You may already eat some of these on a regular basis, but making a point to include each of these can make a huge difference in your life. In addition to understanding the major food groups, here are some general strategies for eating a healthy diet.

  • Pay attention to your hunger levels and aim to eat until you are full, not until you are completely stuffed.
  • Try to eat mostly fresh foods, avoiding processed foods when possible. Processed foods often contain added ingredients like dyes and preservatives. In some cases, the act of processing foods can destroy nutrients.
  • Limit added sugars whenever possible as these can lead to heart problems, weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, and other medical conditions. It’s okay to enjoy a sugary foods occasionally, but next time you’re craving a sweet treat, try reaching for fruits instead of cookies or ice cream. (Mixing yogurt and berries is my go-to dessert!)

4. Don’t Avoid Professional Help

It’s difficult to be happy when we’re not well. Too often, we wait until an injury or illness becomes unbearable before seeking medical attention. By that time, the condition is likely much worse than when you first noticed it. This makes the condition more difficult for doctors to treat, creates longer recovery times, and causes you more suffering in the long term.

In some cases, waiting too long to seek professional help can result in irreversible effects. For example, early detection of lung cancer can mean the difference between life and death. This is true for many forms of cancer and other serious diseases, and unfortunately when symptoms begin to show, it may be too late to treat them effectively.

Seeking medical attention may seem scary and expensive. However, consider that talking to a doctor is less scary than becoming deathly ill. It also costs much less to treat a condition early rather than paying for expensive treatments and surgeries later.

Instead, seeking out opportunities for preventative healthcare can allow nurses and doctors to catch conditions in their early stages and create a more effective treatment plan. Preventative healthcare includes regular checkups, blood tests, physical examinations, and immunizations. Even if you aren’t sick or noticing symptoms, a medical professional may notice patterns in your health that point to a specific, preventable or manageable condition.

Beyond in-person visits, new technologies in the medical field are helping healthcare providers better track, treat, and communicate with patients. For example, wearable health trackers and mobile apps can report changes in a condition remotely and in real time. This allows doctors to shift their approach to treating an illness on a moment-to-moment basis without forcing you to visit the hospital so often. Similarly, telemedicine options including phones, email, and other remote communications can allow healthcare providers to communicate with people who may live far away from a medical facility or specialist.

5. Take Part in the World Around You

This may be the most important thing you can do to improve your life. It’s too easy to shut out the world around us, especially when we’re busy. You may move from task to task, from home to work, and back, day after day. But it’s important to take time for yourself — to do something out of the ordinary to wake up from the repetitive cycle. This could be as subtle or drastic as you like.

For example, you may normally spend a lot of your downtime on your smartphone. You might be listening to music, watching shows or movies, or scrolling through a never-ending stream of social media posts. These activities are convenient, and it’s nice to tune out from time to time. However, if you’re always on your phone, your mind never has a chance to rest and you’re more likely to ignore the people and places around you.

The effects of overusing social media, in particular, can be subtle yet devastating. Because of the ways people present themselves online, social media can distort your self-image and lower your self-esteem. You may feel disappointed when you compare your life to other people’s photos of extravagant meals and vacation spots. You can also compete with yourself in a negative way if you struggle to live up to the exciting life you’ve presented online. And, of course, spending all your time taking photos and thinking up clever taglines can distract you from what’s happening around you.

You don’t have to give up social media altogether, but planning a week out of each month when you won’t use social media can help reset your brain and help bring you back in touch with the world around you. If taking a week off is too big of a step, at least be conscious of how much time you spend in the digital world and try to be present in your surroundings.

Sometimes you need to get away from your routine and surroundings altogether, and travelling is one of the best things you can do to invigorate your life and interact with the world. There are so many beautiful places to see, and each can offer you the chance to immerse yourself in the unfamiliar, learn about new cultures, sample exotic dishes, and take in breathtaking landscapes.

Travelling can be a life-changing event that will help shift your perspective for years to come. Having found a new way to see the world, you can come back home refreshed and better able to accept the challenges and the beauty of your daily life.

The Top 5 Regrets To Avoid for a Happier Life

Have you ever wondered if there is something you could learn in this moment of your life; if there is a source of wisdom you could access by connecting with those who are your seniors that could give you some advice on how to save your time, energy and prevent you from repeating the same mistakes?

One way to do it is to go through the top 5 regrets that people express as they reach the end of their lives:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself

It is important that on everyday life you accept yourself as you are in the present moment, get in touch with your feelings as often as needed, listen to your inner talk, be honest, forgive yourself, and feed your curiosity.

Then, dream big and know your heart’s true desire, – and the path will reveal.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard

Stress, burn out, feeling overworked and underpaid from taking on too many responsibilities is the cause of many stress-related illnesses. In order to maintain work-life balance, set appropriate boundaries and intentionally look for a career and a position that will allow you to make a good living and enjoy your life.

Health brings freedom and a multitude of possibilities, so use it right. Money is not the goal, but the means to fulfil your desires.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings

What we feel but don’t manifest is often not fulfilled. Bitterness and resentment affect both the mind and the body. Here are some steps to get the courage to express your feelings: clarify your intentions, consider the risks and benefits involved, take accountability for your own emotions, start small and practice regularly, respect others and keep a positive attitude.

4I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

It has been proven that the quality of our relationships with others will dictate our level of happiness. Wondering what you need to do to stay in touch with friends often? Call them, set weekly reminders, meet regularly, contact close friends in times of “crisis”, be present on important occasions, find ways to show appreciation and know when to say “sorry”.

5I wish I allowed myself to be happier

Here’s what you can do to be happy every day: wake up early and plan your day, prioritise your health, make time for regular meals and being outdoors, learn something new, declutter – social media included, spend time with your loved ones and do something nice for yourself every day.

Happiness is a choice. Feeling comfortable in patterns that keep you miserable shuts the door to happiness.

Be bold and set compelling goals that are motivating. Take time to get a clear vision of what it is you would like to achieve and try to see yourself in 5 years, having achieved all these goals. Imagine yourself having accomplished your goals in bright colours and fine details, turn up the volume and hear the excitement in other people’s voices. Keeping yourself busy, motivated, surrounded by the right people leaves no space for regret.

Photo credits: Leon Liu@unsplash.com

The Close Connection Between Good Relationships And Health

good relationships

In the busy bee schedule that most of us have these days, there is little space for familial ties and close relationships. We’d rather remain sucked in our smartphones than connect in the real world. For instance, 57% of women in the US would gladly pick their phone over intimacy with their partner.

However, this is where we are sadly mistaken. While phones and daily hustle add to the burden on our plates, close connections take it off.

Reading BrainTest reviews might punch an information crater in your knowledge bank. However, healthy relationships are more critical due to their close connectivity to health. All good relations work as a buffer for stress and are tied to longevity. They also boost mental well-being and reduce health concerns including a cut in the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Slashes the risk of premature death

A lack of healthy relationships runs parallel with an increased risk of depression and early death. A study confirmed that the odds of early death due to a lack of strong associations inclined by 50%. Such an impact can be roughly understood as the risk carried by puffing 15 cigarettes a day.

The importance of a healthy relationship is also a piece of the dementia puzzle. In fact, socially active life is an essential marker to prevent dementia. A passive social life chips in 2.3% risk of developing this mental condition. Social isolation adds to the psychiatric glitch by lining up anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Declines loneliness

Forging close ties that keep you company is as important as the other activities marked on your to-do list. Solitude can increase the likelihood of functional deterioration, as well as, premature death. From a pool of 1,604 participants, a study showed that loneliness swelled the likelihood of early death in people by 45%. It is in comparison with those individuals who enjoy good company and companionship in their close ties.

Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto, a geriatrician who headed the study further clarified, “Lonely people aren’t taking the extra step of talking to their doctor or their kids. If you don’t talk about it, nobody’s going to know.” Research also connects loneliness with coronary heart disease, dementia, restlessness, depression, weakened immunity, and a decline in cognitive functioning.

Reduces stress

Healthy relationships also cushion the impact of stress. Not only do these ties help to deal with stress, but also bring down stress levels. Good relations prevent adverse reactions to stressors that usually include disturbed gut function, coronary arteries, immune system, and insulin regulation.

In this regard, a happy marriage is applauded for curbing stress along with other long-term health benefits like a healthy heart. Research indicates that committed relationships encourage a drop in the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. It also signifies that unpaired people are more sensitive to psychological stress relative to coupled individuals.

Stress, however, is a natural by-product for caregiving daughters who account for 16% of the US population. Caregivers cannot afford the luxury of good health including emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Over time, vigor deteriorates with poor health jumping from 14% to 20% from the first year to five years of caregiving.

Better heart health

Evidence favours close familial ties due to their health benefit of improved cardiovascular health too. A study highlighted that women with satisfying marriages show a waning risk of cardiovascular diseases compared with less satisfied married women.

It was found that healthy married relationships diminish the odds of a heart attack. In fact, one study considers the impact of the quality of marital life on health and immunity. A clear indication of this was found with poor healing of wounds in couples that have a dust-up. A professor of psychiatry and psychology, Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, elaborated this, “Wounds on the hostile couples healed at only 60 percent of the rate of couples considered to have low levels of hostility.

Trims depressive symptoms

Blooming bonds also provide an antidote to depression. A growing body of evidence suggests that friends can help in coping with stress and fighting diseases. Intense love is viewed as a token of improved health.

A study found that its participants recorded a 40% sink in moderate pain by looking at a loved one’s picture. The same research also showed that severe pain slumped by 15% by doing the same.

Another research work verifies that emotional affinity between grandparents and adult grandchildren lowers depressive symptoms in both. These inter-generational relations also widen the knowledge spectrum of youngsters, as grandparents boast a wealth of wisdom and experience. At the same time, the older generation gets a window into the younger generation. A study linked thriving grandparent-grandchildren relation to diminished behavioural and emotional problems too.

Healthful behaviours

Healthy relations also set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle by promoting a proper diet, discouraging smoking, and encouraging exercise. Strong ties also instill a sense of purpose that further extend life expectancy. People with an active social life tend to push each other toward healthful eating options and motivate physical activity.

As such strong relationships serve as a social support system that keeps you on a track to physical and mental health well-being. Marriage, in particular, is applauded as a good alliance in this context. George Ploubidis, the reader in population health and statistics at University College London, adds to this. He says, “Married people tend to smoke less, drink less alcohol, and eat more healthily. Having a joint income also helps, and relationships can provide a buffer against the stresses of major life events.”

Final words

All in all, there is a very close connection between good relationships and health. Conflicted bonds can take a toll on one’s immune system and mental peace. An anxiety-ridden relationship can ante up the vulnerability of heart diseases with marital strain enhancing the risk of heart surgery by 2.9 times.

On the other hand, strong, sturdy bonds can add years to your life, improve mental health, and save you from several diseases. In fact, social isolation falls among poor health contributors, in tow with high blood pressure, no exercise, and smoking.

Photo Credits: pexels-photo-247858


Resources:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships

 

A Few Questions To Help You Care For Your Mind

Inner Peace Time

Our human elements need maintenance. Meditation theory understands that we, as human beings, are composed of body and mind that relate to each other as the hardware and software do in the computer.  And we know that if we don´t pay much attention to any of those elements, illnesses arise and our decaying process speeds up. Our body needs care – water, clothe, shelter, exercise, and nourishment. And our mind, our inner world, our consciousness, needs proper care too. This type of care can be called Mental Health, or, Psychological Care.

In order to sensibilize ourselves about our own health, we require experiencing ailment. There is no other way. Experiencing both sides of the coin gives us knowledge, and by getting sick we understand that we need to take care of a certain aspect of our health to which we didn´t pay attention before. In our body this is easy to see, few days with flu are uncomfortable enough to pay more attention to its causes and take some actions to prevent the same experience in the future. For our minds, when we are burnt out, when we are stressed out and collapsing, creating chaos in any aspect of our lives, is when we realize that we need to learn how to take care of it.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways, a good medicine, to heal our mind from stress and related illnesses (this Harvard Health post talks nicely about it). Relaxation is a key part of the process, it´s actually the foundation of our meditation practice because it is by relaxing that we learn to unload our mind from worries, problems, heavy emotions. Those things are a part of our daily life. Left unsupervised, they cause stress, anxiety, emotional problems, insomnia, digestive problems etc. The list is long.

Medicine is as important as prevention. The cycle of knowledge is not complete, the lesson remains unlearnt until we not only heal but also learn to manage and prevent the same unfortunate experience. We examine the causes and act upon them. If we know that A creates B, and B is not something that we want to experience too often, we develop strategies to prevent A. If I discover that I´m allergic to lactose, I check the sources of it and avoid them, or, if I can´t help it, I take a pill to decrease and manage the symptoms. As simple as that.

What we can do for our psychological health is to ask a couple of important questions in order to check how everything is going. These questions are not exhaustive (there are more that you can try), but these are a good starting point:

  • What gives you mental clarity and inner peace?
  • What stresses you out?
  • How do you relax after a long day?
  • How do you take care of your mind?

The answers to these questions are key to your psychological wellness and can help you a big deal to clarify where to act on to take proper care of your own mind. After all, the things that weigh on our minds have a great impact on the way we deal with our job/studies, relationships, duties and life in general. They can create chaos or peace, it´s up to us.

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky” Rabindranath Tagore

4 Ways Spending Time With Your Immediate Family Benefits You

The contemporary lifestyle is very demanding and has several facets which need to be catered to simultaneously. According to modern standards, a person must remain vigilant and conscious about several things which include social status, health, beauty, a promising career, a happening social life, and so on and so forth. Attempting to satisfactorily achieve all of this can sometimes be very aggravating and can lead to a person becoming agitated and even downright depressed when things are not going well. In this whole ordeal, one aspect of life that is likely to suffer immensely is the time you spend with your immediate family.

With increasing pressures and technological distractions, communication between immediate family members is often hindered and they seldom spend quality time with one another. While some may consider themselves to be too busy, others may simply lack the empathy to make plans or give their immediate family the required attention.

However, if you knew how much spending time with your immediate family is likely to benefit you and them, surely everyone would make it their first priority. Spending time with your immediate family does not only provide something to do on a weekend but also has several health and well-being benefits.

Here are 4 ways that spending time with your immediate family will benefit you.

  1. You will relieve stress

There is no place like home and no better friend than your own family. Spending time with your immediate family gives you a cushion to everyday stress and allows you to release stress levels by having an engaging and heart-connecting conversation. When a person feels close to his/her immediate family, he/she realizes that they have a proper support system and this can substantially decrease their risk of stress-related diseases.

For example, spending time with a parent reduces a key stress hormone and also injects oxytocin into the brain, which is a chemical that makes you feel good. Hence, whether you are spending time with your kids for their benefit or spending time with your own parents to give yourself an uplift, it is a win-win situation.

2. You are likely to live longer

Having meaningful relationships with your loved ones is associated with longevity as explained by a study from Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers. Hence, if you take out time every day or at least every week to spend time with your immediate family, this is likely to give your lifeline a boost and you will potentially live a longer and happier life.

Having a family is a blessing as parenting is also a proven aspect of living a more fulfilling, meaningful and thus a potentially longer life, void of major health issues. Therefore, those who cherish their families and make it a point to spend more time with them, definitely add to their years.

3.  You are less likely to have mental health issues

Mental health is a very important aspect of a fulfilling life and as life becomes more pressurising, many people are likely to suffer from several mental health issues including dementia, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and others. However, spending time with your immediate family helps you develop a bond that gives you the required strength to deal with everyday pressures and allows you to keep your brain balanced. A Swedish study that examined adults aged 75 and over stated that those who had satisfying and meaningful relationships with their family were less likely to suffer from dementia.

Spending time with your family helps you reduce stress, connect with people who can help, and reassure you that you have an active support system to assist you in matters that are important to you.  Spending quality time with your immediate family is more beneficial than speaking to a therapist as regular family time provides the same stress-relieving therapy that you pay for. According to a study that surveyed 309,000 people, it was found that strong relationships are a cause for longevity and decrease the risk for premature death by 50%. Another study stated that caring behavior is beneficial for both the giver and the recipient and releases stress-reducing hormones, decreasing the chances of brain diseases.

4.  You are likely to have a sharper memory

We usually remember things that matter most to us, don’t we? When our minds are filled with meaningful information that also hold emotional relevance to us, this leads to a sharper and more accurate memory. As mentioned above, adults over the age of 75 who had meaningful relationships with their family and friends were less likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Studies have proven that emotionally charged events are more likely to be remembered and pleasant emotions are remembered more than unpleasant ones. Hence, creating happy memories with your family is definitely a plus point for your memory as it leads to brain exercises increasing your accuracy in details and allowing more retention.

These results are usually highly visible and signs of better cognitive abilities and memory can easily be measured. Your sharper memory will be a highly beneficial asset to your career, sociability, and other aspects of life.

Hence, spending time with family does not only benefit them but is also highly beneficial to you. As proven by several scientific studies, caring behavior is beneficial to both the giver and the recipient and does wonders for your stress and anxiety levels, significantly reducing them and leading you to a happier and healthier existence.

There are numerous other benefits to spending time with your immediate family which involve your emotional wellbeing, the way your children are raised, and benefits that can aid in elevating your career. Research suggests that professionals with a stable family life are likely to achieve more than those who do not have a very comfortable or fulfilling relationship with their immediate families.  Likewise, research also states that children who are raised in an environment which supports family time are likely to make better decisions in life.

Do not ignore your family, as they will lead you to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life!

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Indigestion

food basket

Whether you’re experiencing severe symptoms that disrupt your daily life or you just have a lingering discomfort, indigestion can completely pull you out of the present moment. And though these conditions are common topics, many people suffer from heartburn and other forms of indigestion for years without finding a solution that works for them.

In a society where medications seem to be a cure-all, it’s easy to believe that taking the right pill could be a one-size-fits-all solution. However, this is not true as individual cases of indigestion are caused by a number of factors, including food choices, physical conditions, unrelated medications, and even certain postures and forms of exercise. This brief guide will look at some of the major causes of indigestion along with a variety of solutions so you can find a way past digestive problems and appreciate each moment.

Make Healthy Food Choices 

Of course, your diet is one of the most impactful forces on healthy digestion and conditions like GERD, a common form of acid reflux. You may already have a solid understanding of which foods are more likely to give you an upset stomach, and it’s a good idea to trust your body’s reaction to certain foods, even if avoiding them is a difficult choice to make. Because we often try to identify our symptoms within common overlying conditions such as lactose intolerance, it can be easy to dismiss your particular intolerances.

When planning your meals, it may be helpful to keep a list of foods that cause a bad reaction. You can also track this by keeping an indigestion journal where you record entries about what and when you eat, the types of exercise you’re getting, the medicines you take, when the pain starts, and anything that makes it feel better.

Though these will not apply to everyone, here are some foods that commonly cause indigestion:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Onions and garlic
  • Black pepper and excess salt
  • Tomatoes
  • Chocolate and other candy
  • Peppermint
  • Coffee and caffeinated products
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Fatty, oily, or fried foods

Here are several foods that have been known to relieve symptoms:

  • Vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, leafy greens, cucumbers, and potatoes
  • Non-citrus fruits, such as bananas, apples, pears, and melons
  • Chicken, turkey, fish and seafood (not fried)
  • Ginger
  • Aloe vera
  • Oatmeal
  • Couscous and rice
  • Egg whites
  • Healthy fats found in avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil
  • Fermented foods like kimchi, kvass, sauerkraut, and kombucha can help to restore your body’s natural bacteria levels.

Any time you change your diet, be careful not to cut out essential nutrients. Even if you’re avoiding certain foods to relieve indigestion, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet.

Aside from the food choices, our eating schedule and other food-related habits also play a major role in causing indigestion. For example, overeating in a single sitting can increase your chances of experiencing heartburn. When your stomach is too full, the muscles that normally prevent stomach acid from rising up cannot close properly. Eating a meal too quickly or too close to sleeping can also cause an upset stomach. Some people find that eating smaller meals more often throughout the day helps to relieve their symptoms.

Find Ways to Relieve Stress

Making healthy food choices isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce your chances of indigestion. An upset stomach is one of the most common physical effects of stress, and if you’re already tracking your food choices and still experience regular digestive problems, dedicating more time to calming down may help relieve your physical discomfort. This could include guided meditations, yoga, listening to relaxing music, reading a book, or even talking to your family or friends about the things that cause the most stress in your life.

Consider Your Medications

Some medications can cause indigestion and abdominal pain, including drugs for asthma, antihistamines, sedatives, antidepressants, antibiotics, and iron supplements. This could include many more, depending on your individual reaction to a medication. Even common painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen can cause your symptoms to worsen.

Though some medications are meant to reduce the amount of stomach acid you produce, these aren’t foolproof and don’t work the same way on everyone. Over a long period, these can even contribute to gastric bacterial overgrowth, which will cause more discomfort. If you think you’re experiencing digestive problems due to a medication prescribed to you by a medical professional, you should let them know. It’s possible that there is an available alternative that won’t make you feel sick.

Adjust Your Posture

You may be surprised to learn that the way you hold your body when you’re standing, sitting, and lying down can contribute to stomach problems. For example, when you are hunched forward in a chair, your internal organs have less space than they normally do, disrupting the digestive process. An upright seated posture is especially important during and after a meal in order to prevent slow-downs and blockages in your digestion.

If you have indigestion when sleeping, many people have found relief by elevating the head of their bed an additional 6 to 8 inches. Be sure to support your torso as well so your body can rest in a naturally aligned position.

Choose the Right Exercises

While regular exercise can help combat obesity and maintain healthy digestion, certain exercises can place added stress on your abdomen causing stomach pain. This is especially true with sit-ups and weightlifting. Running and cycling seem to have less of an effect, though the jarring motions of these exercises can still cause a flare up. Even certain yoga positions, like downward dog, can reverse the normal flow of your digestive system and should be avoided if you’re already experiencing indigestion. As a general rule, try to wait about two hours after eating before you work out in order to give your stomach time to digest and avoid excessive motion when your stomach is distended.

Stop Smoking

Smoking can limit your ability to produce saliva which slows your digestion. Smoking also weakens the muscle that prevents gas and acid from rising out of your stomach. Over time, smoking can even cause stomach ulcers, and because smoking decreases blood flow to the lining of your stomach, your body will have a harder time healing itself.

It’s worth noting, if you are experiencing severe digestive issues, especially over a long period of time you should reach out to a medical professional about other causes and possible solutions. Though no combination of diet, medication, or exercise has been proven to completely eliminate indigestion, being aware of common triggers and tracking how indigestion functions in your daily life will give you the best chance at spending less time struggling with digestive issues.

Best Organic Foods That Prevent Cancer

Cancer is one of the greatest health concerns of modern times. Not only does this terrible disease have a high morbidity rate, but even the most easily treatable cancers can be very expensive and time-consuming to remove from the body. For these reasons, much research has been done into the possibility of preventing cancer through healthier lifestyle choices, particularly with regards to diet. Here are some of the top all-natural foods that have been shown to lower your risk of developing certain cancers.

Pomegranate Juice

Long known as a Mediterranean delicacy, the pomegranate fruit and the juice from it contain powerful antioxidants that can help to reduce the risk of cancer in those who consume it on daily basis. Most of the research into the anti-cancer effects of pomegranate juice have revolved around prostate cancer in men, one of the most common types of cancer. More recently, however, evidence has emerged to suggest that the compounds that make pomegranate juice effective in fighting prostate cancer could have similar effects on breast cancer as well.

Yogurt

Most people are familiar with the health benefits of yogurt in terms of it being a healthy snack for weight loss and a great source of protein. However, this unassuming dairy product has also been shown to combat the growth of cancer cells. Yogurt is made with beneficial bacteria cultures, which are the reason for its digestive benefits. One of the principal bacteria used in yogurt production, lactobacillus, has powerful immune-bolstering properties. When eaten regularly, lactobacillus in yogurt actually makes the human immune system better at attacking cancerous cells. When combined with its many other benefits, this ability to fight cancer makes yogurt one of the most remarkable health foods available anywhere.

Olive Oil

Over the years, extra-virgin olive oil has been shown to have many health benefits. Among the most important of these is its ability to lower the risk of cancer in those who consume it regularly. In particular, cancers of breast and digestive tract tissue occur less frequently in those who eat a diet rich in olive oil. Fatty acids and antioxidants that occur naturally in olive oil are believed to be the main mechanisms that reduce cancer risks. In addition to its cancer-reducing properties, olive oil also has cardiovascular and immune system benefits. For those who are trying to incorporate more healthy fats into their diets, using olive oil instead of butter is a great way to add flavor to lean meals without including unhealthy fats.

Broccoli

As odd as it may sound, one of the world’s best anti-cancer vegetables may be sitting in your crisper drawer or growing in your garden at this very moment. Common broccoli contains compounds that provide systemic protection against the growth of cancer cells. Most major organs in the human body will have a lower risk of developing cancerous tumors if broccoli is eaten frequently. The same compounds are also contained in cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, and kale.

Even though you can never eliminate the risk of cancer entirely, a healthy diet containing cancer-preventing foods can have a substantial impact on how at risk you are. Remember, the key to getting the maximum benefit out of these and other anti-cancer foods is to eat them regularly. By doing so, you will give your body regular access to the chemical compounds that it needs to fight off cancer effectively. You should also be aware that even the best diet is not a replacement for regular medical checkups. Even if you eat every anti-cancer food on a regular basis, you should still be checked from time to time.