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Stress and food

When most people experience stressful life situations, they tend to eat more and eat mindlessly. A study shows that high levels of stress result in more weight gain. Here are some tips to combat this situation.

Exercise to relieve stress

Exercise is an effective way to reduce stress. Due to the positive effect exercise has on endorphin production, getting enough makes you happier and therefore relieves stress. In order to reduce stress you should include regular exercise in your life. I exercise almost everyday because I like the feeling of euphoria I get after a good workout. So put on your workout shoes and start exercising!

How to add years to your life

I believe if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you. There are so many simple little things you can do to enhance your life that will not require much effort. All that is required from you is a willingness to try. The following tips are worth incorporating into your daily life.

How to feel better

Most people who come to our meditation classes are experiencing some pain in their lives. It can be one or more of the following: physical pain, emotional pain or spiritual pain. We mainly talk about the benefits of meditation in relieving these pains. People typically ask what else they can do besides meditation.

The good news is that there are many things you can do. Two great things you can do besides meditation are practicing mindfulness and exercising. This article explains why exercise and mindfulness practice are so powerful.

Stress reduces your chance of getting pregnant

High stress levels can damage a woman’s chances of getting pregnant, researchers warn.

Those who are anxious are 12% less likely to conceive during their fertile time than those who stay calm.

It is the first proof that stress makes it less likely a woman will fall pregnant, despite long-standing anecdotal evidence that being relaxed can improve the chances.

You can read more here.

Some tips to be more healthy

Americans are living longer now than ever before due to a better understanding of health, more exercise, better nutrition and improvements in medical care.

And to make sure you enjoy those years to the fullest, here’s a list of tips to add more life to our longer years.

Why resting is as powerful as sleeping

A new book by eminent U.S. sleep specialist Dr Matthew Edlund suggests if you can’t sleep, a rest can be just as curative as sleep. The key is how you rest. Dr Edlund describes four different kinds of active rest below:

SOCIAL REST

This is defined as spending time with friends and family. No matter how busy you are, it is vital to build this into your day. Just chatting with others has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones and provide hormonal and psychological benefits.

MENTAL REST

Today we all try to do too many things at once – texting while driving, eating while watching TV – and we’ve lost an understanding of the brain’s need to focus on one thing. Give your brain a break by doing one thing at a time. Slow down a bit. Your brain can only absorb so much at any one time.

PHYSICAL REST

This is about actively using the body’s processes, such as breathing, to calm body and mind.

The best way to do this is to stop and take a few really deep breaths. Breathing deeply fills the lungs with oxygen, opening up collapsed air spaces, sending richly oxygenated blood around the body.

SPIRITUAL REST

Meditation allows us to slow down and smell the roses along the way. It recharges our body, mind and spirit. It renews and energizes us. Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Meditators are able to get in touch with their deeper selves.

Source: Daily Mail

Interesting information about the common cold

I get sick a few times a year especially during the colder months. I found this NPR story very helpful in understanding how we get the common cold. If you want to minimize your chances of getting the common cold, here are a few things you should know:

1. Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with your hands unless it has been washed thoroughly.

2. Wash your hands frequently.

3. The most common cause of the common cold is most commonly spread with objects or hands contaminated by the nasal secretions by someone who is infected.

4. Not getting enough sleep and chronic stress increases our chances of getting a cold.

5. Colds are not caused by cold weather but by viruses.

6. Vitamin C has no effect in preventing the common cold.

How to get rid of chronic stress

Do you have trouble sleeping or find it really hard to relax? Do you feel overwhelmed by people and things in your life? A lot of us spend our days and weeks running around like headless chickens, frustrated and angry with things, people and ourselves. And new research shows that chronic stress can do as much damage to our bodies as smoking, not eating right or not exercising. Here’s how you can combat this silent killer and start to feel a bit more chilled out:

1. Learn to manage your time better. Learn to prioritize, delegate and say no more often. Time management skills will not only free up time, but also precious mind space. By simply making a to do list and prioritizing urgent and important tasks over things that can be put off, delegated or deleted, you will notice you can get more done with the time you have.

2. Exercise regularly. Exercise is not a luxury or a choice. Whether it is a power walk, a cycle, or a fitness class, it doesn’t have to last long, it just needs to be intense enough to get you out of breath and break into a good sweat. Exercise helps your muscles and your mind relax and as a consequence you’ll get to sleep better too.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Why worry about the traffic not moving fast enough, about other people’s annoying habits, or the rain? First, recognise what is been stressing you out. Then, decide to do something about those things you have control over, and let go of those things you have no control over.

4. Avoid stressors such as alcohol, cigarettes, sugary foods and wheat.
These put your system under immense strain. If you lead a high stress life you can at least help yourself by eating well. Make sure most of what you eat is fresh seasonal produce

5. Breathe! When we are stressed out we tend to hold our breath or breathe quick and shallow therefore taking in little oxygen to our lungs, brain, organs and muscles. Try this out: Inhale for four counts, imagine that your belly is a rubber balloon and you are slowly filling it with air. Hold your breath for four counts. Now, exhale for eight counts, making sure your belly stays relaxed as it lets the air out. You may feel that after four counts you need to expel all the air out. That’s fine. Empty your lungs fully before you take another deep breath into your belly. Repeat eight to ten times.

4 ways to boost your immune system

I can’t believe summer is over. Autumn and winter usually ushers in more colds and flus for people because of the amount of time we spend indoors. There are 5 ways to build your immunity naturally to protect yourself from germs and viruses. I picked 4 ways that I really like below:

1. Add Some Sunshine
Researchers are quickly catching on that Vitamin D may be the secret to avoiding colds and flu. Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening your defense system to better fight any invading viruses and bacteria.

2. Get some exercise
Most of us are aware of all the amazing benefits exercise has for our overall health and well-being. Few of us, however, know that exercise is one of the most powerful ways to boost the immune system. The amount of exercise required to obtain an immune boost is relatively low. Twenty minutes of brisk walking 4-5 times per week has been shown to significantly improve the body’s immune response.

3. Eat healthy
Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will make sure that your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals essential to fighting off colds and flu. Fruits and vegetables are packed with thousands of phytochemicals.

4. Keep balanced
When we experience stress, the natural balance of the body is affected in ways we could never imagine. In fact, stress takes an enormous toll on the immune system. For this reason, it’s important to find ways to bring the body back into balance. Meditation, prayer, exercise, and yoga are all great ways of taking care of yourself and keeping stress levels low.

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