Four Ways To Be Happier (and Healthier!)

 

A fascinating read. I already knew gratitude and hugs were good for us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but this article has some great information about the neuroscience behind why certain things have the effect on us that they do. Even worry can have a (temporary) positive effect, but unlike gratitude and hugs, it comes with a price….  

 

New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy

You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t trust them.

Actually, don’t trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life. Here’s what you and I can learn from the people who really have answers:

1) The Most Important Question To Ask When You Feel Down

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like your brain wants you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?

Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain’s reward center.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, pride is the most powerful of these emotions at triggering activity in these regions — except in the nucleus accumbens, where guilt and shame win out. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves — they’re activating the brain’s reward center.

And you worry a lot too. Why? In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little better — at least you’re doing something about your problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, worrying can help calm the limbic system by increasing activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and decreasing activity in the amygdala. That might seem counterintuitive, but it just goes to show that if you’re feeling anxiety, doing something about it — even worrying — is better than doing nothing.

But guilt, shame and worry are horrible long-term solutions. So what do neuroscientists say you should do? Ask yourself this question:

What am I grateful for?

Yeah, gratitude is awesome… but does it really affect your brain at the biological level? Yup.

You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable…

Know what Prozac does? Boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.

I know, sometimes life lands a really mean punch in the gut and it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for. Guess what?

Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to find anything. It’s the searching that counts.

Via The Upward Spiral:

It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.

And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy — it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.

(For more on how gratitude can make you happier and more successful, click here.)

But what happens when bad feelings completely overtake you? When you’re really in the dumps and don’t even know how to deal with it? There’s an easy answer…

2) Label Negative Feelings

You feel awful. Okay, give that awfulness a name. Sad? Anxious? Angry?

Boom. It’s that simple. Sound stupid? Your noggin disagrees.

Via The Upward Spiral:

…in one fMRI study, appropriately titled “Putting Feelings into Words” participants viewed pictures of people with emotional facial expressions. Predictably, each participant’s amygdala activated to the emotions in the picture. But when they were asked to name the emotion, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activated and reduced the emotional amygdala reactivity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions reduced their impact.

Suppressing emotions doesn’t work and can backfire on you.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

Gross found that people who tried to suppress a negative emotional experience failed to do so. While they thought they looked fine outwardly, inwardly their limbic system was just as aroused as without suppression, and in some cases, even more aroused. Kevin Ochsner, at Columbia, repeated these findings using an fMRI. Trying not to feel something doesn’t work, and in some cases even backfires.

But labeling, on the other hand, makes a big difference.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

To reduce arousal, you need to use just a few words to describe an emotion, and ideally use symbolic language, which means using indirect metaphors, metrics, and simplifications of your experience. This requires you to activate your prefrontal cortex, which reduces the arousal in the limbic system. Here’s the bottom line: describe an emotion in just a word or two, and it helps reduce the emotion.

Ancient methods were way ahead of us on this one. Meditation has employed this for centuries. Labeling is a fundamental tool of mindfulness.

In fact, labeling affects the brain so powerfully it works with other people too. Labeling emotions is one of the primary tools used by FBI hostage negotiators.

(To learn more of the secrets of FBI hostage negotiators, click here.)

Okay, hopefully you’re not reading this and labeling your current emotional state as “Bored.” Maybe you’re not feeling awful but you probably have things going on in your life that are causing you some stress. Here’s a simple way to beat them…

For the other 2 “rituals,” check out the link below. Well worth the read, in my opinion.

Soruce: https://www.theladders.com/p/21219/neuroscience-4-rituals-happy

Related Self-help Health posts: Smiles = Good Medicine, Get Healthier With Gratitude, Gratitude & The DNA Connection, and Acts Of Kindness = Win-win-win Health Benefits

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

Using Solfeggio Frequency 528 Hz For Repairing Your DNA, Opening Your Heart, And More

 

Several years ago I did a post featuring information on the background and history of solfeggio tones/frequencies and how they can be used to positively affect our health in multiple ways. Today’s post is an article from Underground Health Reporter about one of the most popular tones, the 528 Hz “love frequency”, and how it can actually help repair DNA. What could be better (or easier) than chilling out listening to some soothing music and repairing your DNA at the same time?! More self-help tools like this, please and thank you! 🙂

 

WIKI Solfeggio 9frecuencias 300x300 Solfeggio Frequencies Set Body Into Full Harmony

Specific Music for Health Shown to Repair Your DNA

 Did you know that simply listening to a single musical note that vibrates at 528 Hz has been shown to repair your DNA?

All music that we’re familiar with consists of notes from the 12-Tone Equal Temperament Scale. Each individual note has vibrational limits.music for health

However, there is an ancient 6-tone scale of electro-magnetic frequencies called the original Solfeggio Scale. This scale, which was lost for centuries and was just recently rediscovered accidentally by Dr. Joseph Puleo, is said to hold unlimited potential in healing and personal transformation.

One of the notes on the Solfeggio Scale, particularly the one that vibrates at 528 Hz, has been used by biochemists to repair human DNA. The frequency of 528 Hz appears to influence the water molecules that surround the DNA helix, thereby bringing about healing effects on DNA.

DNA Healing Effects of Frequency 528 Hz

Perhaps the leading proponent of the miraculous healing power of the 528 Hz Solfeggio note is Dr. Leonard Horowitz, world famous author of 15 health science books, and Harvard graduated public health expert. According to Dr. Horowitz, all healing occurs from sonic waves or vibrations, specific frequencies of sound, resonating throughout the universe.

He claims that human cells use DNA, like radios use antennae, to receive the note vibrations and attune the body’s rhythm to that of the cosmos. He refers to the 528 Hz Solfeggio note as “the frequency of love” which, in addition to providing health benefits, opens the portals to spiritual transformation.

This is echoed by Dr. Candice Pert, PhD, who states that energy and vibration go all the way to the molecular level. She further states that we have 70 different receptors on the molecules — and when vibration and frequency reaches that far, they begin to vibrate.

This vibration, which happens at the cellular level, opens the chromosomes and exposes the DNA to the frequencies.

Experiments involving in vitro DNA exposed to different recordings of musical styles have been performed by Glen Rein of the Quantum Biology Research Lab in New York.

Four styles of music for health, including Gregorian chants that use the Solfeggio scale, were converted to scalar audio waves and played via a CD player to test tubes containing in vitro DNA.

The effects of the music were determined by measuring the DNA test tube samples’ absorption of UV light after an hour of exposure to the music. The absorption of UV light is regarded as a significant effect on DNA because when the DNA helix unwinds, it allows such absorption.

The results of Glen Rein’s experiments showed that the Gregorian chants caused a significant increase in the absorption of UV light versus rock music, which had little or no effect.

It was concluded that the audible sound waves of the Solfeggio scale can cause resonance in DNA and can, indeed, have profound healing effects.

To experience the effect of the 528 Hz note of the Solfeggio scale, just type “528 Hz” in YouTube and you’ll find several *videos that feature this healing frequency.

Source: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/music-for-health-dna-repair/

Related Self-help Health post: Sound Healing: Harmonize Your Life & Body With Solfeggio Tones

*FYI, one of my favorite tracks using the 528 Hz frequency is this great The Miracle Tone and Love Frequency “background music” from ZenLifeRelax; it’s said to heal DNA and activate, open, balance and heal your heart chakra. The recording is 8 HOURS long, so you could easily set this to play while you sleep or do your daily routine. When I first came across it on YouTube a number of months ago I let it run all day and loved having it going. I especially notice how nice my personal environment feels when I have something like this playing and go out for a while and then come back in. Almost feels like entering a sacred place/space.

If you want more of my picks for solfeggio tones and other health-enhancing music, visit the What’s New page of my website where you can download a pdf I’ve put together listing a variety of recordings to check out. 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Acts Of Kindness = Win-win-win Health Benefits!

 

Wow, we all know we feel good when we do something nice for someone else, but I didn’t know the health benefits were so tangible, no only for the giver, but also for the receiver AND any by-standers. Plus, who knew the effect could be more profound health-wise than exercising 4 times a week?!

 

Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love.
Which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing. 

~ Rumi

The Act of Kindness and it’s Positive Health Benefits

 Did you know…that whether you are the giver, the receiver or the observer of an act of kindness — you reap tremendous benefits to your health?

Yes, this is a phenomenon that has been discovered not too long ago. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the act of kindness has a positive effect on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin is a naturally occurring neuro-chemical that has a calming, mood regulating, and anti-anxiety effect … and it’s regarded as a “feel good” substance because it serves as a pathway for pleasure in the brain.

The mechanism of action in most anti-depressant drugs is that they stimulate the production of serotonin chemically, which helps alleviate depression.

One of the most fascinating research findings to come out in recent years is that whenever a simple act of kindness is extended by a human being towards another, it results in a significant improvement in the functioning of the immune system and increased production of serotonin in both the recipient of the kindness as well as in the person extending the kindness.

What’s even more amazing is that persons observing the act of kindness also experience a similar strengthening of the immune system and increased production of serotonin! Kindness is a win-win-win scenario which produces beneficial effects in the giver, the recipient and the observer.

People naturally feel good when they give, help or serve others because they experience something called “helper’s high,” which authors Allan Luks and Peggy Payne (The Healing Power of Doing Good) describe as a feeling of exhilaration and burst of energy similar to the endorphin-based euphoria experienced after intense exercise … followed by a period of calmness and serenity.

The benefits of kindness are not limited to immune system strengthening and serotonin production. Research has shown that those who routinely engage in acts of kindness, such as volunteers, experience alleviation of stress, chronic pain, and even insomnia.

An article in Psychology Today titled “What We Get When We Give” (by Christine Carter, PhD., 2/18/10) states: “People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying — and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status, and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.”

A study conducted at Harvard University, called this phenomenon the “Mother Teresa Effect.” Researchers showed a film to 132 Harvard students about Mother Teresa’s work among the poor people of Calcutta. They then measured the level of Immunoglobin A present in their saliva. [Note: Immunoglobin A is an antibody that plays a critical role in immunity.]

The test revealed markedly increased levels of Immunoglobin A in all the test subjects — this, after simply witnessing somebody else involved in charity work.

Considering the abundance of proof that acts of kindness increase one’s sense of self-worth … enhance feelings of joyfulness … boost one’s sense of physical and emotional well-being … increase sense of happiness, optimism and self-worth … decrease feelings of depression … and diminish the effect of diseases and disorders … one of the best things we can do is find opportunities to extend kindness, and teach children to do the same.

Here are a few suggestions to extend the act of kindness to other:

  • Smile at strangers … especially those who are having a bad day
  • Volunteer your time to do charity work or help wherever there’s need
  • Watch movies that display kindness
  • Write a note to let someone know they are loved
  • Give compliments often
  • Give up your place in line to another person
  • Donate blood
  • Write a thank-you note, especially to someone who’s not expecting thanks

In his book, The Healing Power of Doing Good, Allan Luks states that volunteering, entertaining, regular club attendance, or faith group attendance is “the equivalent of getting a college degree or more than doubling your income.”

Source: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/act-of-kindness/

(Image: Timeline Photos)

PERSONAL NOTE: Speaking of giving, Raw Food World is not only offering their biggest discount (17.5%!!!) of the year between now and the end of June, but also giving away free Vitamin D-3 patches and a chance to win an all expenses paid retreat getaway! You can find out more on my What’s New page.

Related Self-help Health posts:

Gratitude And The DNA Connection

Get Healthier With Gratitude

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Meridian Tapping For Depression, Anxiety And More

 

For those of you who are not familiar with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and other forms of meridian tapping, this is a good introduction to an easy to learn type of self-help tool that can be used for any number of issues, including depression and anxiety, which is what this article by Katherine Marko focuses on…….

 

Tapping can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

How To Use Tapping For Depression And Anxiety

 (By Tapping, also known as TFT (thought field therapy) or EFT (emotional freedom technique), is a method that combines ancient Chinese acupressure with modern day psychology. It’s called tapping because you literally tap on points of the body while making certain statements. Advocates of this method further claim that tapping can successfully treat any disorder — even banish depression and anxiety.

What does tapping do? 

Tapping is thought to be extremely powerful and may be used to treat a wide variety of physical and psychological conditions, including pain relief, weight loss, addiction, self-sabotage or financial stress. By tapping end points on meridians — a network of channels that transport energy — energy flow is unblocked and releases the phobia.i

By further focusing on the stressful issue or challenge, you send a calming signal to the amygdala in the brain. This is the part of the brain that sends out the “fight or flight” response. Tapping desensitizes that stress signal. So, in a sense, it alters your brain, energy system and body, and how you react to stress.

How can tapping help with depression and anxiety?

Depression is a common mental disorder that, according to the World Health Organization, affects as many as 350 million people of all ages around the world. It’s characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration. It can last a long time or it can be sporadic, substantially impairing your ability to function at work, school or even in your daily life. When it’s at its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

So how can tapping help? For starters, tapping is like acupuncture, except it uses no needles. Both tapping and acupuncture heal through stimulating the body’s meridians and energy flow. So, when we consider the benefits of tapping for depression we can also look at the benefits acupuncture has on depression. According to HealthCMI, research from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine found that acupuncture is an effective treatment for depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It also enhanced the effects Paxil, a commonly prescribed anxiety med.

Tapping can reduce symptoms of depression

Similar studies involving tapping and depression also show promising results. A study published in the journal Integrative Medicine, set out to evaluate the effectiveness of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and EFT in the treatment of depression and anxiety. CBT treats depression with a hands-on approach and a goal to change patterns of thinking or behavior.

The study, which took place in Queensland, Australia recruited 10 local participants. Researchers found that both treatment approaches produced significant reductions in depressive symptoms. The CBT group reported significantly less depression after the treatment, but was not maintained with time. The EFT group reported a significant reduction in symptoms with a delayed effect after three and six-month follow-ups.

So, overall, the study provided evidence to suggest that EFT might be an effective treatment strategy worthy of further investigation. In another study research involving post-traumatic stress disorder and veterans, researchers found that anxiety and depression were both reduced significantly, as was psychological symptoms and pain after EFT.

Here’s how to tap away depression or anxiety

Remember tapping can be used for everything, but for the purpose of this article we’ll focus on depression and anxiety. Here are the tapping guidelines according to The Tapping Solution. Before you begin, identify the problem you want to focus on, and create a statement. EFT Universe suggests that the following phrase works well to clear depression, in particular. “Even though I am depressed, I am a happy person because I deeply and completely accept myself.”

1. Karate chop point

With four fingers on one hand, tap the “karate chop point” on your other hand. The karate chop point is on the outer edge of the hand. Now repeat your statement three times out loud, while continuing to tap the karate chop point five to seven times. Say out loud, “Even though I am depressed, I am a happy person because I deeply and completely accept myself.”

2. Eyebrows

With firm but gentle pressure, as if you were drumming on the side of your desk, tap with two fingers on the inside of the inner edges of the eyebrows (closest to the bridge of the nose) five to seven times. Repeat the statement, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

3. Sides of the eyes

Then, with both hands tap on the side of both eyes with two fingers, five to seven times while repeating the same statement: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

4. Cheekbones

Then, with two fingers on each hand, tap on top of the cheekbones, under the eyes. Tap five to seven times while repeating again, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

5. Above the lips

Then, with one hand, tap under the nose in the crease above the lip with two fingers, five to seven times and repeat, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

6. Under the mouth

Tap under the mouth, below your lower lip with two fingers, five to seven times and repeat: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

7. Collar bone

Tap with both hands on either side of the collar bone (under the hard ridge) with four fingers, five to seven times, repeating, “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

8. Beneath the armpit

iNow tap under the armpit (bra level for women) with two fingers, five to seven times and repeat: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.”

9. Top of the head

Finally, tap on top of the head (center of the crown) with four fingers, five to seven times, repeating: “I am such a happy person. I am so happy.” Take a deep breath and relax.

The tapping order begins at the top, works its way down, and ends by returning to the top of the head to complete the loop. Once you’ve completed the sequence, focus on your depression again. How intense is it on a scale of one to 10? If your depression is higher than “two,” you can do another round of tapping. Keep tapping until your symptoms have subsided.

Depression is treatable

When you’re depressed, for example, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under that dark cloud. But, it’s important to understand that even the most severe depression is treatable. So, if depression is keeping you from living the life you want, then don’t hesitate to seek help.

Learning about your treatment options will help you decide what approach is best for you. No two people are affected in the exact same way by depression. So, treatments may vary from therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes. According to HelpGuide.org you shouldn’t rely on medications alone. While medication can relieve the symptoms of depression, it is not usually suitable for long-term use.

Consider natural remedies instead of antidepressants

Research published in the BMJ asked the question: “Does long-term use of psychiatric drugs cause more harm than good?” Researcher Peter C. Gotzsche from Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark believes that taking antidepressants could increase your risk of dying prematurely. Furthermore, he suggests drugs do little for patients over a placebo and that the medicines should be scrapped altogether.

Prescribed meds are generally a Band-Aid solution for an underlying problem. In fact, according to Gotzsche, psychiatric drugs are responsible for the deaths of more than half a million people — aged 65 and older — each year in the Western world. Yet, the debate rages on; many doctors agree that for those who suffer from severe depression drugs could make a critical difference. But there is no “one size fits all” approach to treating depression, which is why meds won’t work for everyone.

Tapping is an alternative therapy treatment that may help you avoid taking potentially dangerous drugs. Even if you are on prescribed meds, you can certainly try tapping as a means for speeding up recovery.

— Katherine Marko

Source: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-to-use-tapping-for-depression-anxiety/

Related Self-help Health posts:

Feeling Stressed? Rub Your Ears

Use Acupressure Points To Alleviate Stress

Spirit Gate: Heart 7 For Anxiety, Insomnia And More

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare

Make Every Day Thanksgiving Day!

 

There are numerous studies that show that gratitude and thanks giving are good for the mind, body and spirit. So if you want to be healthier and happier, make EVERY day Thanksgiving!

 

By Dr. Mercola

Each year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans gather together with friends and family for a Thanksgiving feast — a ritual that many psychologists believe actually fosters greater happiness and health.

And, while the ritual of giving thanks once a year is beneficial, doing it more often could be life changing. At least that’s what science suggests.

The Benefits of Ritual Get-Togethers at Mealtime

As noted by Barbara Fiese, a psychologist and author of “Family Routines and Rituals”:

“Through direct observation of family mealtimes at home, we’ve found that how families communicate with one another during meals is related to the children’s health.

For example, when families show genuine concern about their child’s daily activities … teachers report these children are less likely to show acting-out behaviors in school.

What’s more, these interactions make children with chronic health conditions such as asthma feel more secure, and they’re more likely to report that they feel better throughout the day.”

Bill Doherty, a family therapist and researcher added:

The classic outcomes of regular rituals for families are coherence (a sense of identity) and connection (a sense of closeness) …

[But] barriers to good interaction — such as cellphone use, people getting up from the table and arguments — were even more strongly related (in a negative direction) to children’s psychological well-being and academic performance.

The implication is that we have to pay attention to doing some things well during meals — such as staying at the table and laughing together — but also avoid negative interactions.”

Gratitude Increases Happiness — and Health

As suggested in the video above, research shows that gratitude is a cornerstone of happiness. Moreover, actually expressing your gratitude publicly or openly yields greater results than keeping it to yourself.

If you typically cringe when it’s time to go around the table and share what you’re grateful for, remembering the benefits you reap may ease your discomfort. As noted in a previous CNN report on gratitude and Thanksgiving:2

“… there are some very practical reasons to get into the spirit of things, by taking a minute to remember the reasons you’re blessed. These are lessons that can be applied year-round.”

According to studies, the benefits of gratitude rituals — be it giving thanks at mealtime, keeping a gratitude journal, or sending thank-you notes — include:3,4,5

  • Improved sleep, especially if your mind has a tendency to go into overdrive with negative thoughts and worries at bedtime
  • Higher levels of happiness and a more optimistic outlook on life
  • Greater likelihood to engage in healthy activities such as exercise
  • Higher relationship satisfaction
  • Higher work performance (in one study, managers who expressed gratitude saw a 50 percent increase in the employees’ performance)

Studies have also shown that gratitude can produce a number of measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, all of which can translate into improved health. Biological systems beneficially affected by gratitude include:6

Mood neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine) Inflammatory and immune systems (cytokines)
Reproductive hormones (testosterone) Stress hormones (cortisol)
Social bonding hormones (oxytocin) Blood pressure, cardiac and EEG rhythms
Cognitive and pleasure related neurotransmitters (dopamine) Blood sugar

Read the rest of the article: here.

Other recommended reading:

Gratitude And The DNA Connection

Get Healthier With Gratitude

Thanksgiving 2015

Salud and Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier (and its To Your Health page) and my blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Dealing With The Time Change, Plus Free Health Resources

 

 

HA! Well, it’s that time of year again in the US (unless you live in AZ), when we gain an extra hour on Sunday, which I love. But it takes my body at least  2 weeks to start acclimating to the new routine, so I’m not a big fan overall of the springing forward/falling back and think the country should just pick one and stick with it. I  even featured a post last year about the ill effects going thru springing forward can have on us.

Anyway, as daylight decreases and the time change makes darkness seem to come even earlier, I have a natural urge to almost hibernate or start spinning a cocoon :-), and for some people it can even trigger mild to severe depression.  Aside from seeking anti-depressant pharmaceuticals from a doctor, there are other ways — without side effects — to boost mood and alleviate some SAD symptoms.

Here are some things from Easy Health Options that can help someone deal with or counteract the winter blues:

Light therapy

Light therapy involves exposure to artificial light that mimics the natural outdoor light that is sorely lacking during the winter months.

The devices are called light boxes and are made by a number of manufacturers. They can range in price from around $40 on up. Some light boxes use white light, while others use blue light. There is more research supporting the use of bright white light than blue light to help with SAD symptoms.

If you decide to try light therapy, it’s important to look for a light box designed to filter out most UV light.

The effectiveness of light therapy depends on daily use. You’d want to situate your light box in an area where you can be within two feet of it for at least 30 minutes each day, preferably in the morning. If you have an office job, you could consider keeping it on your desk and using it for the first half hour you work. At home maybe you’d prefer to put in on a coffee table or side table while you read a book.

Get plenty of vitamin D

Did you know scientists believe there is a link between vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, and depression? It makes perfect sense when you consider the amount of natural vitamin D you get from sun changes with the seasons.

An Oregon study showed that young adult women with lower levels of vitamin D had greater incidences of depression over the course of a five-week study.  The researchers concluded that some women could simply get more vitamin D and prevent depressive mood states.

The National Institutes of Health‘s recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IUs a day. But most alternative health practitioners will tell you that is woefully not enough, and that 4,000 IUs will do you better.

Eat mood-boosting foods

One 2013 study, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, examined the relationship between diet and mood in 281 young adults. In this study, participants who ate more fruits and vegetables felt calmer, happier and more energetic.

Junk and processed food can have the opposite effect. They stimulate short-term reward centers in the central nervous system. But over time, they can lead to dependency and mood imbalances, along with all-too-common long-term health consequences.

For a list of mood-boosting foods from Dr. Isaac Eliaz, click here.

Consider mood-boosting supplements and exercise

Dr. Michael Cutler recommends:

  • Exercise and yoga. Exercise can work wonders against depressive symptoms. A study at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, shows that exercise can drag people out of major depression.
  • Taking Hypericum extract (St. John’s wort) at 300mg three times daily.
  • Taking fenugreek to enhance the effects of St John’s Wort.
  • Supplementing with L-Tryptophan 1,500 mg to 3,000 mg twice daily between meals.
  • Taking 5-HTP (hydroxyl tryptophane): 100-250 mg twice daily.
  • Taking SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine) 400 to 800 mg twice daily, starting at low dose.

Source: http://easyhealthoptions.com/getting-wintertime-blues/

For more on how time change can affect our health and mood, read the Self-help Health post about “jumping forward,” if you haven’t already:

Is The Time Change  A Good Thing?


 

And here are a number of free resources for you to consider taking advantage of….

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Do you have someone in your life that is suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, celiac disease, thyroid disease such as Hashimoto’s, dementia or alzheimer’s? Or are you yourself facing a life-debilitating disease?

In just a few days Dr. Tom O’Bryan invites you to begin a deeply personal journey with his free 7-Part documentary series “Betrayal: The Autoimmune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You About.”

This documentary is important to watch, if you know someone with autoimmune disease, have it yourself, or simply want to be proactive and prevent it.This project leaves Dr. Tom’s hands after 30 years of clinical research, patient care and relationships and it goes out to the world at large to change the face of autoimmunity.

Register here for access to the series.

Lloyd Burrell of ElectricSense.com will be interviewing expert Michael Neuert, who is going to talk about EMF shielding solutions, smart meter shielding, low cost shielding, how to shield your home electricity box, and more…..

http://www.electricsense.com/11948/emf-shielding-protection/


And with all the tension and stress many people are feeling these days due to busy personal lives, the presidential election, Standing Rock, and multiple other situations, it’s nice to know this resource is available. It’s a short meditation by Mark Romero, whose music has been shown to provide healing benefits, to connect you to your breath and help you de-stress. You can also sign up for a free guided MP3 meditation to reduce stress and improve your state of mind. I really like the music in the background of the MP3 meditation. 

http://markromeromusic.com/2016/11/04/breathe-in-this-moment/


Also, be sure to check out the Fat Summit, starting on Nov 7th, that I mentioned in a previous post. You can get all the details and sign up on my What’s New page.

 

 

Salud and enjoy that extra hour!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Healing Illness By Transforming Your Behavior

 

Here’s a stimulating, thought-provoking article a friend shared with me earlier today that I thought I would feature here. Hope you find it insightful and helpful in some way; I know I did…

 

Ditch the Suffering⏤How to Heal Illness by Transforming Your Behavior

author's own

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I take a holistic approach to health—no conventional drugs, no surgeries, no injections, nada.

Over the course of my career, I have gradually abandoned all types of alternative therapies, from herbal medicine to homeopathy to acupuncture. This may seem counter-intuitive, like a surgeon operating without any tools. Yet this approach has led me to discover some extraordinary things about how human beings heal that I’d like to share with you.

By skillfully performing the ordinary activities of our daily lives, we can experience healing that is worthy of the term miraculous. By “ordinary activities” I mean the four activities that all human beings can and must perform for themselves: eating, moving, thinking and relating. These four actions are the most powerful, reliable and rapid forms of healing available to us.

Let’s take eating, for example. If we choose to impulsively indulge in a pint of ice cream every night after dinner, we are not acting with true kindness and intelligence. Sugar and dairy destabilizes our endocrine system, which can lead to a night of tossing and turning, bloating, headaches, and dehydration. Sugar causes inflammation in the body, which causes many of our common diseases and ailments. The pint of ice cream is only one aspect of eating, but it’s easy to see how simply changing one activity in our daily routine can have a dramatic effect on our emotional, mental and physical health.

To consider what re-calibrating all four areas of our lives would be like, imagine if you could purchase the following medicines:

A medicine that gives you the power to eat impeccably, exactly in accord with the wisdom of your mind and body. When taken, you will develop a beautiful, youthful body free from almost every illness.

A medicine that gives you the motivation and skill to perform a daily 90-minute workout, dramatically increasing your strength, flexibility and endurance.

A medicine that enables you to direct your internal dialogue as an unbroken stream of positive, life-affirming, self-esteeming thoughts. This medicine frees you from collapsing into negative emotions and infuses your mental/emotional body with unshakable faith, hope and love.

The medicine of loving kindness and compassion, which would heal your relationships of arguments, misunderstandings, conflicts and violence.

What would you do or pay in order to get your hands on these medicines? Thankfully, you can forget whatever scheme first came to mind, because we don’t need those medicines—they already exist. Unfortunately, we haven’t realized this because most of us eat, move, think and relate in a way that is incongruous with the four ordinary human activities. Instead, many of our actions are untrained, unskilled, and produce suffering in our physical, mental and emotional bodies.

We cannot abstain from eating, moving, thinking and relating. But we can choose whether our actions will be expressions of our wisdom and love, or expressions of our ignorance and indifference. Choosing love and wisdom is as rock solid and practical as it gets, because healing occurs consistently when we accept responsibility for our behavior, thoughts, words and deeds—when we develop self-control, when we master our appetites and passions, desires and fears. This is the path of the wise.

By mastering our behavior, we honor the foundational principle that all world religions uphold—virtue, or, right action in thought, word and deed. Our mind’s job is to protect our body. The most destructive enemy our body faces is none other than ourselves. Habitually performing actions that harm the body makes our mind anxious. This anxiety is healthy and necessary—when we are addicted to what injures us, no medicine can assuage our anxiety.

Through right action we cease harming ourselves (and others). As we become less dangerous and harmful to ourselves, our mind becomes markedly less anxious. We can then relax and concentrate our attention in prayer and meditation, enabling us to further discover and express in our mundane activities the divinity that we are. This is why I consider the healing of our behavior to be true healing.

We all long for the blessings of health and happiness; without them our lives seem filled with suffering. We seek them through medicine, religion or politics. Yet, look! They are right here for the taking. Nearer than our breath and thoughts; they are inescapably available right now. Our lives are whispering, shouting: “Love me! Give me your all. Now!” Our bodies, minds and relationships faithfully reflect back to us the caring and thoughtfulness behind our actions. Our every act obeys the one universal law: “As you give so shall you receive.” If we want quality from our bodies, minds or spouses we must give it. There is no other way.

The art of living is the art of healing. All of our actions are sacred. All of our mundane activities: breathing, walking, eating, thinking, reading, talking and working are all sacred healing rituals and therapies. Through our actions we make kindness and wisdom manifest in our human body. This is my medicine. And this is yours.

A Simple Three-Step Healing Exercise:

Pick out one self-destructive activity that you want to overcome and one wholesome activity that you want to instill. For example, you want to reduce your sweets, coffee or alcohol; on the other hand, maybe you want to eat two large servings of vegetables daily, exercise three times this week or listen empathetically to your spouse or child’s concerns (especially if it’s you). To make your good intention real, commit to one action, no matter how tiny, that you can and will do.

List at least three benefits of doing this, and three consequences of not doing this. Example: what will be the results in your energy, mood, self-esteem, confidence, income, relationships, health, tension, anxiety and mental clarity?

Tell at least one person the change that you are committed to making and why you have decided to do this. Ask them to check in each day for a week about how you are doing with your commitment. Accountability ensures results—it’s easier to not reach for the pint of ice cream if a friend is there to remind us to pull our hand back.

The kicker? Only thinking about doing this exercise while not actually doing it will bring you about as much benefit as thinking about taking a vacation and not actually going.

Take that vacation and do this exercise to get back to a reality where this epithet rings true:

You heal your body by healing your actions.
You heal your actions with the medicine of kindness.

In health and happiness,
Charley Cropley, N.D.

Source: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/09/ditch-the-suffering%E2%8F%A4how-to-heal-illness-by-transforming-your-behavior/

Image: courtesy of the author, flickr/Karsten Bitter

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.