What Is the Secret to Eternal Youth?

 

Most of us seniors have probably grown up with stories and movies centered around the fantasy of discovering the fountain of youth.  Of course we all know it is just that,  a fantasy, but have we ever stopped to ask ourselves the question “What is the secret to eternal youth?”

Anti-Aging Attitude - 5 Secrets to Eternal Youth

Helen never aged.  Not in my mind anyway.  She was at least ninety years old, wearing long, wavy hair, sporting popular teen fashion, and generally facing life with attitude.

Her attitude was positive, upbeat, cheerful, sweet, and most important, youthful. If you asked how she was doing, her answer was always the same, “Great!”

I never saw Helen down or discouraged.

She never spoke of her aches or pains if she had them.  Her daily exercise and healthy eating may have eliminated them, but she must have had some. I know this because when she fell or bumped herself she would say, “I must have needed acupuncture there!”

What an amazing woman she was. If she went to the doctor, she never spoke of it, and just listened to others talk, never complaining once about any condition except perhaps the fact that other people didn’t laugh nearly enough or have enough fun with life.

I want to be Helen when I grow up!

So I’ve incorporated everything I know about how she faced life, no embraced life, with every fiber of her being.

Her spiritual life was the most important thing of all to her and she never stopped serving all life with love (and a bit of rebelliousness, too!)  Here are her secrets and some of my own:

1. Keep your attention on the goal, not the roadblock.

Anti-Aging Attitude - 5 Secrets to Eternal Youth

 For example, if you want to catch the ball, you keep your eye on the ball, right?  In this case, keep your eye on the feeling and attitude of youth.

Each time you catch yourself feeling old, ask yourself what a kid would do in that situation. You may find you can do way more than you thought you could!

2. Observe and change your language, to yourself as well as others.

When you are tempted to use the word “old”, instead, replace it with the word “experienced” or some other creative phrase.

Another friend who inspires me never tells her age because she said that people automatically think of you a certain way and get an attitude about you.  Be ageless, be a god or goddess!

3. Think Young.

Every single day, anytime you think about how you look or feel, imagine yourself as you were when you were your ideal age. That might be different for everyone. 

I like to hold my image of myself as thirty-five and when I have birthdays, they are each “my annual thirty-fifth birthday” for anyone who asks!

4. Smile as much as possible

Anti-Aging Attitude - 5 Secrets to Eternal Youth

Not only do you look younger, but you’ll feel younger too. Try it right now!

5. Relax and fill your heart with love

That’s the real secret to staying young.  When you trust and focus on your spiritual life it will energize you.

Any comments?

 

Depression After A Divorce

Divorce can take a heavy toll on the lives of those involved. The feelings of anger, loss, confusion and betrayal can be overwhelmingly painful.  Depression after a divorce can be a very real  challenge.

Fighting Post-Divorce Depression and Loneliness

 

For those who have not undergone divorce, it can be extremely tough to even imagine what it takes to part ways with a loved one.  For most of those  who have, dealing with uncertainty is tough, and the only thought that runs wild in their minds is, “now what?”

Someone I know was one of those who was plagued with the thought,  “How can I thrive outside of the relationship?” When her unhappy marriage of six years came to an end, it became difficult for her to deal with rejection and a broken heart.

The negative feelings were so profound that panic attacks became a regular feature, and soon fear, loneliness and boredom began to creep in.

Gradually, depression became her identity, and in a bid to escape from reality, she resorted to drinking.

A few shots of alcohol made her feel light-headed and numb to the emotional pain.  However, each drink left her craving for more. Her brain began to depend on alcohol to release the feel-good chemicals.

Unfortunately, she ended up being a victim of addiction, which further aggravated her mental condition.

Coping strategies to combat pain of divorce

Divorce is neither shameful nor an indicator that life is over. The bottom line is that some relationships work, while others simply don’t.

Fighting Post-Divorce Depression and Loneliness

Undoubtedly, divorce is unfortunate, regardless of the causes or the circumstances, but one must learn to move on in life, rather than dwell on the past.

Here are some tips to consider after moving away from a loved one:

  • Regaining lost self-worth:

Believing in oneself is the key to regaining diminished self-esteem.  It is common to experience grief and bitterness, but it just takes a bit of focus and a new intention to allow oneself to keep going and regain the lost self-worth.

  • Staying busy:

As the old saying goes, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” An occupied mind can effectively counter the feelings of dejection. Investing time in pursing something gratifying goes a long way in banishing undesirable thoughts.

  • Letting bygones be bygones:

Clinging onto remorseful feelings and resentment is futile. While it is essential to acknowledge the past, as there could be several lessons to learn, dwelling on it only prevents an individual from getting ready for the next thrilling phase of life.

  • Seizing the moment:

Life is too beautiful to ignore. Getting the most out of life by seizing the moment is the remedy to stop worrying about what tomorrow may hold.  What matters is this moment in time, which is too precious to lose.

  • Setting right priorities:

Knowing one’s purpose in life will steer an individual in the right direction, and keep him or her away from unproductive thoughts and anxiety. Setting priorities in life is a compass which gives life a goal and meaning.

Moving toward a better life:

Fighting Post-Divorce Depression and Loneliness

Divorce should not be considered shameful, but it is not something easy either.

It can be a nerve-racking transition,and may lead to depression in the absence of proper support and counseling.

Talk therapy helps a divorcee to recover from post-divorce depression by incorporating partnership, support, relationship, collaboration, communication, understanding, action, and participation.

Talk therapy has been effective in addressing depression by changing the perception, thoughts, beliefs and moods of a divorcee toward a more positive direction.

Be it noted that everything in this post my apply to not only a couple but also to the children, close relatives, and friends who have had their lives disrupted by the divorce as well.

Children, and especially young people are often left to ask the question “Was I somehow responsible for what happened?”  That can be very dangerous!

Please feel free to leave below your comments or observations.

 

How To Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

It is a little-known fact that the air inside your house is dirtier than the air outside it.  No matter what you do, how many windows you open or whatever, this will always be the case.  For this reason many are searching for how to reduce indoor air pollution.

The Solution To Indoor Air Pollution

The fact that we have so much indoor pollution is simply because of the amount of hiding places that your house has for dust and other particles, while at the same time having a limited amount of escape routes for the particles.

If you are a pet owner, you are probably sharing your environment with one or more household pets, most likely cats and dogs. 

As a result many pet owners develop allergies to their beloved pets.

Pet allergies are caused by the air particles that are created from pet hair and dander. To eliminate or reduce this problem as well as your allergies or asthma; you need to breathe cleaner air.

Here are some tips to help you cope with allergies or pet dander:

  • Bathe your pet more frequently and also wash your face and hands as well.
  • Try keeping your bedroom as a “pet-free” zone.  If not, change bedding often.
  • Learn to love housework. Vacuum floors, dust and wipe down walls where pets rub.
  • Consider hard surface floors rather than carpeting.

The Solution To Indoor Air Pollution

Pets are not the only cause of indoor air pollutants. The air in your home or business is filled with contaminants from cleaners, chemicals and fumes that are spread in the air.

Allergies or asthma can be aggravated by dust or other particles and if you smoke, the pollutants in the smoke will build up in the air over time, making it very unhealthy.

If you perform an indoor quality air test, you’ll most likely find evidence of bacteria, mold or viruses in the air you breathe.

A solution to indoor pollution can be an air purifier. Air purifiers eliminate dangerous or unhealthy contaminants from the air. When the air you breathe is healthier, you breathe easier.

When you breathe better you’ll sleep better and with cleaner air, your health is likely to improve.

The Solution To Indoor Air Pollution

The air we breathe will also have an impact on our emotions and well-being.  Breathing cleaner air helps you feel better and when you’re feeling better, you may also enjoy life a little bit more.

In most cases, you will find that air purifiers work best if you use them all of the time. This will allow your air purifier to keep up with all of the particles floating around inside your home or office.

If you haven’t purchased an air purifier before, it is about time that you give it some serious thought.

There are many kinds of air purifiers, so do some research to find the best one for you. You may very well find it to be one of the best purchases that you’ll ever make.

My own research for an inexpensive, quality air purifier led me to this one in Amazon.

Feel free please to add your comments, observations or questions here.

Fighting Depression Without Medication

Among the multitudes of people throughout the world today who suffer from depression, many are looking for ways of fighting depression without mediation.

Depression: Don't Let It Take Over

Just how bad has the problem become worldwide, one may ask?

According to the World Health Organization depression is the single largest contributor to disability worldwide (300 milliion), and they estimate that it accounts for close to 800,000 deaths by suicide annually.  

Even more serious is the fact that the problem is growing over time, and for those who may wish to fight depression without the aid of medications, what are some possible ways?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Exercise

Exercise is wonderful for both the body and mind.  While this will not cure severe depression, it can help to lessen the symptoms to make them more manageable.Depression: Don't Let It Take Over

If getting out of bed seems like a chore, it may take some effort to go for a morning run. If a morning run seems like a bit too much at the moment, start off slow.

A brisk walk around the block or through the park will still have a positive impact on both the body and the mind, and on symptoms of depression.

  • Get out of the house

This mental health condition can make a person feel like they never want to leave the house. 

It is normal for a depressed individual to close the blinds, leave the doors closed and then stay in the house as much as possible.  While this may be what a person feels like doing, it can make the symptoms more severe.

Human beings are created to interact with one another.

The body is also designed to benefit from natural sunlight. Going for that walk in the morning will help, as will simply getting out of the house.

Going window shopping or to the grocery store can help lift a depressed person’s spirits just a little bit.

  • Thai massage

Getting a regular Thai massage has proven to be beneficial for a wide spectrum of health conditions, including mental health conditions like this one.

As the Thai masseuse stretches and manipulates the body into different poses, it has the same impact on the body as exercise. The brain releases specific endorphins that will help make a person feel happier.

  • Recognize the symptoms

Individuals that have been clinically diagnosed with depression that would rather not take prescription medication are encouraged to pay attention to their body and their mind.

Instead of waiting until they are too sad to get out of  bed in the morning, they can address the issue as soon as it arises and get the help that they need.

Depression: Don't Let It Take Over

Patients can do this by keeping a daily journal of thoughts and feelings.  Reading the previous day’s entry will give an idea as to whether a depressive episode is coming on.

  • Counselling

While most individuals are not keen on the idea of counselling due to various stigmas attached to seeing a professional, counselling can help every individual that is dealing with this mental illness.

Severe cases of depression, however, may require medication, particularly if they are due to a chemical imbalance.

If a person is not comfortable taking prescription medication to deal with their mental illness, counselling can still help.

They can provide their clients with useful ways to help deal with the symptoms of mental illness, guaranteeing that this mental illness does not take over their life.

What works for one individual may not work for another individual with the same mental illness, and those that work in the counselling field understand that.

Through counselling, patients will learn a variety of different tools to help them deal with their mental illness.

They will also learn about the impact that it has on their life, helping them lessen the impact that their mental illness has on their life and their relationships.

Your observations and comments are welcome.

Weight Loss Tips and Tricks

A lot of the world’s population today are looking for answers as to how to loose weight.  To help accomplish that, here are a few weight loss tips and tricks

Weight Loss Tips and Tricks For Effective Weight Loss

Everyone wants to look good , especially the young . But more and more people today understand that looking good need not mean they are healthy, and being healthy is more important than just looking good. Of course, the better deal would be to both look good and be healthy.

Many would assume that you can just lose some weight or pockets of unwanted fats here and there in your body; and that constitutes weight loss to good health.  But nothing can be further from the truth.

To lose weight and keep healthy is to burn more calories compared to what you take in.

Your optimal weight is measured by your BMI which relates your height and weight measurements to the amount of fat in your body.

More and more adults and children  are overweight today because they consume more saturated fat or processed foods which may in turn lead to more diseases.

Losing weight can be easy for many, but the challenge is maintaining the weight loss. However, if you adopt a weight loss program on a regular basis, it should not be that hard.

Tips and Tricks

For you weight loss program to work effectively, here are a few tips and tricks

  • Have more low nutrition foods, such as fresh fruits and green veggies

Weight Loss Tips and Tricks For Effective Weight Loss

These contain less calories and high fiber, which translate to faster weight loss and keeping extra weight at bay. Avoid highly saturated fatty foods, like deep fried foods, as extra fat is always stored as excess fats.

  • Part of the weight loss maintenance program calls for a fewer food selection especially snacks.

The fewer choices you have in front of you, the less tempted you are to binge.

  • Drinking lots of water or low calorie beverages is an excellent way to keep your weight consistent as you get full with water instead of fats.
  • Listen to your mom who always tells you to chew your food.

There is a lot of truth in that advice as it would take you longer to finish your meal, which means you would feel fuller than if you were to gobble you food down quickly.

  • It is crucial to stabilize the amount of sugar in your blood to maintain your weight loss.

This can be achieved by eating the right types of food such as whole grains and dried beans which release their glucose slowly into your blood streams.

  • Those who love the hot peppers have the advantage of another way to maintain their weight loss by taking on a bit of hot pepper with mustard on their meals.

Weight Loss Tips and Tricks For Effective Weight Loss

This easily increases the body metabolism by 25%.

  • Changing certain foods and preparations will go a long way.

For example, using low fat and sour cream instead of  full cream. Changing the way you cook your foods or how they are prepared gives you greater control over maintaining your weight loss.

There are so many ways you can work on to lose weight and to maintain it.

Any comments or questions you may have are welcome.

Natural Cures For Anxiety And Depression

In this day and age, in most countries around the world, anxiety and depression have become household words, with many types of treatment.  In this article we want to take a close look at what are some of the causes as well as  some of both the medical and  the natural cures for anxiety and depression

Decoding The Depression Puzzle Most of the statistics used in this article will be from the US, as it is an  example of what is going on in many developed countries today.

Are We Overusing Antidepressants?

Eleven percent of Americans over 12 years old take antidepressants, which is the second most commonly prescribed medication in the U.S., after cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Many more women than men use them. About 21 percent of women aged 20 and over take them; among women aged 40-59, the rate is 25 percent.

Antidepressants are psychiatric medications used to treat mood disorders including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

The most widely used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that includes medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro.

Less used but a popular alternative to SSRIs are serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).   Some of the commonly used medications in this drug class include Effexor and Cymbalta.

With such a high preponderance of usage, some may wonder whether we have become a Prozac nation.  Others question if these medications are handed out to patients too casually.

Who Is Prescribing Antidepressants?

In the U.S. nearly 80 percent of antidepressant prescriptions are written by primary care physicians, not psychiatrists.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Many depressed patients seen in general practice have not been thoroughly evaluated and may not even meet the full, formal criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

Instead, they are given the medications for symptoms of mild depression, likely caused by everyday stress, sadness, and sorrow, which could perhaps have been alleviated by psychotherapy alone.

Pediatric use for depression and anxiety has also skyrocketed but it peaked in 2004 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning for SSRIs due to evidence that they may be linked to increased risk of suicidal thinking, feeling, and behavior in young people.

Low Serotonin Levels Don’t Necessarily Cause Depression

SSRIs and SNRIs were developed to treat depression and other mental health conditions caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitter chemicals, particularly serotonin and norepinephrine.

This chemical imbalance theory purports that low levels of these chemicals in the brain cause depression.  For over two decades, this theory continues to be the dominant paradigm for treating depression.

However, the chemical imbalance hypothesis has its problems and numerous scientific studies conducted in the last 20 years have examined it and rejected it. They found that:

  • Not all depressed patients have low serotonin and norepinephrine levels.
  • In fact, some have abnormally high levels, while others with no history of depression have low levels of these chemicals.

The significance of this finding is huge, yet it is rarely publicized or taught in medical schools. There are probably various reasons for this but financial is likely to be one of them.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Antidepressants are a $10 billion industry!

Antidepressants Don’t Always Work

If depression is not caused by an imbalance of serotonin and norepinephrine, then it will explain why antidepressants don’t always work on people who have depression. Countless studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of these medications.

A massive meta-study compiled by the U.S. government that incorporated findings of over 100,000 research studies over a 15-year period concluded that:

  • Antidepressants are only effective in around one-third of cases, and partially effective in another third, and have no benefit at all in the remaining third.
  • High rate of relapse when depression is treated with drugs alone.
  • For many patients, the side effects are more unpleasant than the depression itself, so they discontinue usage.

Likewise, a number of double-blind, randomized controlled studies have come to similar conclusions. They found that:

  • The superiority of antidepressants over placebo is clinically significant only for patients who are very severely depressed.
  • For those with mild, moderate, and even severe depression, placebos work nearly as well as the medications.

Plus They Have Side Effects

Like most medications, antidepressants have side effects, including nausea, weight gain, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, irritability, and anxiety.

They are not addictive the same way substances like heroin or alcohol are, but people can still develop a physical dependence if they stop taking the drugs abruptly and may experience rather unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or vivid dreams
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms, including achy muscles and chills
  • Nausea
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Return of depressive symptoms

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Compelling Evidence: Inflammation As A Contributing Factor To Depression

There is a huge body of research connecting depression and inflammation. 

In one of the most conclusive findings, a study in JAMA Psychiatry determined that brain inflammation was 30 percent higher in clinically depressed patients.

The research team pointed out that previous studies have only looked at biomarkers of inflammation in the blood; this is the first to find definitive evidence in the brain.

Scientists have long known that inflammation is at the root of nearly every modern disease, including allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

So it is not a huge surprise that depression is also linked to inflammation.

Researchers found that people with clinical depression have elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers such as cytokines in the blood.

Cytokines cruise through the bloodstream, damaging tissue, causing plaque buildup in the arteries, and sometimes even promoting the growth of tumors.

Cytokines can also travel to the brain, possibly via the vagus nerve which connects the gut and the brain. Specialized immune cells in the brain called microglia become activated in inflammatory states and they too, secrete cytokines.

Neuroinflammation alters neurotransmitter pathways and brain circuits.

In the early 1980s, researchers had already discovered that inflammatory cytokines produce a wide variety of psychiatric and neurological symptoms mirroring characteristic signs and symptoms of depression.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Known Causes Of Inflammation

If inflammation is a contributing factor to depression, it is critical to understand how we get inflammation in the first place.

This correlation has the potential to suggest both therapeutic and preventative approaches to combating depression.

Stress and traumatic life events

Researchers reported that acute negative life events, chronic psychological trauma, and exposure to childhood trauma hugely increase the risk of developing clinical depression and mood symptoms.

There is very strong evidence that different types of psychosocial stressors may stimulate the pro-inflammatory cytokine network in the brain.

Diet

There have been substantial changes to dietary patterns over the last 50 years. We have swapped a diet high in fiber, nutrient-dense foods, and omega-3 fats (all anti-inflammatory) to one that is high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy refined vegetable oils (all highly pro-inflammatory).

Since 2009, there have been numerous studies reporting inverse associations between diet quality and common mental disorders in children and adults across cultures.

Exercise

Many studies found that exercise is an effective treatment strategy for depression.

Regular exercise protects against the development of new depressive and anxiety disorders while physical inactivity during childhood is associated with an increased risk of depression in adulthood.

Obesity

Without doubt, obesity is an inflammatory state. Inflammatory cytokines are found in abundance in fat cells.

With the prevalence of obesity increasing to epidemic proportions, in many parts of the world, studies have demonstrated a close relationship between obesity and depression.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

 

Obesity predisposes one to depression, while depression also predisposes one to obesity.

A recent meta-analysis found obesity to increase the risk of later depression by 55%, whereas depression increased the risk of developing obesity by 58%.

Gut permeability

Another diet-related cause of inflammation is gut permeability or “leaky gut”.

Under normal circumstances, immune cells are geographically separated from gram negative bacteria in the gut, which are part of the normal gut flora. 

However, if there is a loosening of the tight junction barrier in the gut wall, toxins produced by gram negative bacteria called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) may get into the bloodstream, causing immune cells to respond and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Since the gut and brain are connected by the vagus nerve, mental disorders are highly associated with gut permeability.

The most common causes of leaky gut are:

  • Food sensitivity, such as gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) and dairy.
  • Chronic gut infections, such as parasites, Cryptosporidium, Clostridium difficile, Blastocystis hominis, and Helicobacter pylori.

Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains many thousands of chemicals, many of which induce inflammatory responses in the body and direct damage to cell tissues in the brain.

Studies showed that smoking may increase one’s susceptibility to developing depression.

Periodontal disease

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that involves infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Periodontal disease is associated with high levels of systemic inflammatory cytokines.

 It is a significant predictor of other inflammatory illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, and may also increase the risk of depression as well.

Sleep deprivation

Research has demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation results in impairments in immune functioning, characterized by increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

It is estimated that up to 80-90 percent of individuals who suffer from a major depressive disorder experience sleep disturbances.

Studies have suggested that sleep disturbances may also predispose individuals to subsequent development of mood disorders.

Vitamin D

There is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in developed countries.  Low vitamin D is linked to many diseases including osteoporosis and cancer.

Vitamin D receptors are present in key brain areas and vitamin D plays a major role in circadian rhythms and sleep. Vitamin D has a regulatory effect on immunity too.

In human studies, supplementation greatly reduces inflammatory markers associated with depression.

Strategies To Overcome And Prevent Depression

Check for inflammation

Depression can be a devastating illness.

For very severe depression, studies show that antidepressants appear to be rather helpful in alleviating symptoms.  But if your depression is milder, antidepressants may only be just as good as placebos.

Therefore, it is worthwhile to check your inflammation level by getting a blood test for C-reactive protein (CRP), which is made by the body in response to high levels of inflammatory cytokines.

Address stress

Depression is a sign that your body and your life are out of balance.

Unless you address your stress, it is difficult to return your life to balance.  Both mindful meditation and cognitive therapy have been proven to be extremely helpful in combating depression.

Change your diet and lifestyle

  • Trade in the processed and sugary foods for an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon, leafy greens, fermented vegetables, cultured foods such as unsweetened yogurt and kefir, berries, garlic, and green tea.
  • Make sure you have at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday.
  • Get a minimum 7-8 hours of quality sleep daily.

Take supplements to lower inflammation

  • High quality animal-based omega-3 fish oil (3 g daily if you have depression)
  • Vitamin D3 (5,000 I.U. daily) with vitamin K2 (for bone and heart health)
  • Probiotics (for gut health)
  • Curcumin (active component of turmeric)

Other supplements to lessen depressive symptoms

  • Vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9)

Studies found a link between deficiencies in these B vitamins and depression. Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal proteins; hence, vegans are more susceptible to B12 deficiency.  Folate is found in abundance in dark leafy greens and beans.

f you have symptoms of depression and you know that you are not eating enough of these foods, you should consider incorporating them in your daily diet.

If you are a vegan, you need to take a B12 supplement.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

The following amino acid supplements should only be taken after consultation with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner and a completed neurotransmitter test.

For some individuals, these amino acids may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression by balancing the body’s neurotransmitter levels.

However, it is still critical to address the underlying causes of depression (as mentioned above).

  • 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) or L-tryptophan

L-tryptophan is first converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted to serotonin in the brain.

Some people cannot tolerate 5-HTP.  They will have to use L-tryptophan instead.

For those who have low serotonin levels and are either negative, obsessive, worried, irritable, sleepless, or have low self-esteem, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, and carbohydrate cravings.

  • L-Tyrosine and DLPA (D,L-Phenylalanine)

For those who have low norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, and have a flat-tired type of depression and crave stimulants like caffeine and sugar, L-tyrosine and DLPA will help you feel more energized, improve mood and drive, and increase mental focus.

  • GABA (Gamma amino-butyric acid)w

For those who feel wired, stressed, and overbwhelmed, GABA will help with anxiety and stress, reduce excess stimulation, and improve sleep.

I truly hope that some of the aspects of this article will be of help to someone out there who is struggling with these debilitating  health problems. 

Please do not hesitate to add your own comments and/or life experiences below.

How to Overcome A Depression

We hear a lot about depression these days, but people of all ages continue to struggle with how to overcome a depression.

How to Overcome From Depression

If you had been active in social media you would have noticed that even Deepika Padukone, who is a famous Bollywood star, has gone through depression.

This makes us wonder that if even a celebrity who seems to have everything in life, is battling with depression, what could be a possible reason?

What is depression?

Depression is usually connected with being sad and unhappy.  But, that’s not all. 

Depression is a widespread phenomenon.  it is said that every 1 person out of 10, is prone to be suffering from depression.

Depression is actually a state of being unwell, or having a negative mindset about anything and everything. The main point is that there is no particular cause for being sad.

How to Overcome From Depression

This is what differentiates the state of being unhappy from the state of depression, 

In the former case, you have a cause to be so, such as a death in the family.   Depression on the other hand is not associated with any particular cause.

There is also no age bar for depression.  People of all ages who are suffering from depression experience high levels of anxiety, and negativity, which is a feeling that doesn’t leave them.

What are it’s symptoms?

The most common symptoms include loss of interest, loss of energy, sadness without any reason, being gloomy all day long, not being able to enjoy pleasurable things, not even those which you had liked in times gone by.

Even self harm is an evident symptom of depression.

The peak point of depression is said to be self harming, or suicidal indications.  Unfortunately In extreme cases, this can become a reality.

What leads to depression?

As stated earlier there is no definite cause for depression.

Finding a cause can aid in a better treatment. It can be because of unemployment, family problems or any past trauma.

Some say that disapproval, or not being able to withstand the pressures and expectations of parents, colleagues and/or other people can also be a cause.

Getting help

How to Overcome From Depression

Depression can be serious, as it can harm both the individual and others around him/her. Getting help from a medical practitioner could be one method. Don’t be an expert yourself and start experimenting.  

Doctors may also recommend anti-depressants. This may be in combination with other methods. But mostly it is seen that these medications can have side effects on the patient’s health.

There are also natural ways of overcoming depression which will be addressed more fully in a future blog post.

It is seen that often the patients can be cured or their mental health can be significantly improved through counseling methods.

Another method called “psychotherapy” is also quite useful and is usually done to detect the behavioral traits, like how you behave and react towards others.

Depression is most common among students and working professionals.   In any country where the majority of the population is youth, lack of counselors is a serious problem.

Even though there is a wide spread acknowledgement of counseling needs in most societies many educational institutions have not included training for these in their curriculum.

Having these counseling experts as a part of a panel can often help people to identify depression at an early stage,and cut it off at the roots.

We need to understand that having expectations of our children or friends is reasonable but pressuring and forcing them is not okay.

Also, those who are recovering or have recovered from depression need  immense support.  Be strong pillars for them!

How to Overcome From Depression

Hang out, have fun, do things together, but don’t judge. If they are resistant to do something, don’t force them. Let them take their own time.

It takes time to heal these wounds. Let them be themselves!

We should always remember that life is for us to enjoy, not to be wasted in stressing about things that we can’t excel in.  It’s okay not to be up to someone else’s expectations. You will excel in many other things.

You can’t judge an elephant on the basis of climbing a tree. SEE, how irrelevant that is?

Likewise, don’t let people judge you.  Be yourself and achieve your goals the way you want to. 

ALL these small things can help you to rule out depression.

Let’s do it together people. Bye-Bye depression!!

You are more than welcome to make comments or ask questions below and I will make every effort to reply.

The Best Way to Start an Exercise Program

Has this ever happened to you?  You make promises, preparations and determination to start that exercise program. You have been thinking about it.  You are ready.  But a question remains — “What is the best way to start an  exercise program?”

Tips for Starting an Exercise Program and Staying With ItEven though you have been putting it off for a long time, you finally said “tomorrow is the day that I am going to start”.   And you are well prepared with good intentions. 

But something happened between the night before and the morning after… You got cold feet!

Why?  Because you don’t feel like exercising this morning. Your feelings, in spite of all the preparation and determination, got the best of you. You gave in to your feelings!

If this has happened to you, you are not alone.  So many other people have been in the same situation. The good news is that they overcame it, and so can you.

In this article, you are going to learn how others in the same situation have overcome reluctance to exercising. Ideally, this will give you hope that you can do exercising regularly. 

Here are some tips:

1. The first thing that you need to do is to make a re-determination of starting an exercise program.

This means you need to make a fresh decision to “restart your engine” again. You should not give in to your failure to follow up with any prior determination.

2.  The second thing that would be beneficial is to know why you are doing what you are doing.

You want to exercise because you want to improve your health and vitality. You want to exercise because you will feel good doing what you are doing.

You know staying fit is critical to your health and wellness. Also, you know that your health is your wealth.

3.  Next is to write out your why’s.

Tips for Starting an Exercise Program and Staying With It

Sometimes we are not motivated to do something because our why’s are not strong enough. Thinking about our why’s will not cut it.

Writing brings things to light. You put it on the paper and the light becomes brighter and brighter.

You discover that you really want to exercise because, maybe, you want to feel good, or impress your ‘significant’ other.

The most important thing is to make your why stronger than your reluctance to exercising.

4.    Next you should  make a decision as to how you are going to be carrying out your exercise program.

Are you going to be jogging, walking, running or whatever? Are you going to join a gym or develop a gym at home?

Are you going to go it alone, or have someone else join you?

The most important thing is to start.  Start somewhere!

5.  The next thing you should be deciding is the frequency of exercising.

Tips for Starting an Exercise Program and Staying With It

Do you want to exercise 3 days a week, 2 days a week? Then you want to determine for how long.

6.  Start small at the beginning or you may well end up   doing nothing.

Even if you start with a 5 minute program, that is still a good place.

You should congratulate yourself for finishing your first 5 minutes of exercising.  Remember,that is more than zero minutes that you have been doing before.

Rome was not build in a day and you are not going to start any exercising program by running (for example) one hour your first day.

Again, the tip here is to start small or you are going to fail. In most cases, you don’t know how much you can do until you actually start something.

That’s why starting somewhere, regardless of how small is very important.

The hope is that by following these tips, you will be on your way to developing an exercise program you can continue with.

Any comments, or questions?

 

Health Concerns for Older Women

As much as everyone wants to move fast in  life, nobody wants to age quickly. Everyone is doing their best to make the most of the present, but they fear too much of what lies ahead. Particularly, this is true when it comes to the health concerns for older women.

Old Age Health Concerns for Women

Old age health, diet, life, and security almost everything about old age scares them. They feel that they will lose a part of themselves as they move forward.

They fear that they will not be prepared to take care of themselves and others. Universally, women are known to live longer than men, so,that being the case, they represent the higher proportion of older adults.

54% of people 60 years of age and older are women, a proportion that rises to almost 60% at age 75 and older, and to 70% at age 90 and older.

The usual old age problems that women face are more serious, as now their body is less equipped to handle such issues.

Many of the health problems faced by women in older age are the result of exposure to risk factors in adolescence and adulthood, such as smoking, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets.

Old Age Health Concerns for Women

Non communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancers, are the biggest causes of death among older women, regardless of what country they live in and how well they have lived.

Cardiovascular diseases account for 46% of older women’s deaths globally, while a further 14% of deaths are caused by cancers – mainly cancers of the lung, breast, colon and stomach. Chronic respiratory conditions, mainly COPD, cause another 9% of older women’s deaths.

Other health troubles experienced by elderly women that reduce bodily and cerebral function include poor vision (including cataracts), hearing loss, arthritis, depression and dementia.

In many countries women are far less likely to receive treatment or supportive aids for such conditions than men. The plight of women in such countries is deplorable.

This when combined with factors such as increase vulnerabilities, and reduced access to needed and effective health services makes it harder for women to stay healthy.

Most of us do not want to start afresh, because of the way we have behaved in the past. We think that whatever we do now won’t amount to anything because of the hard living that we have experienced in the past.

But the thing is that even if you’ve had some unhealthy habits throughout your lifetime, it’s never too late to begin activities that will enhance your health and well-being now and in the years ahead.

This advice also works if you have a chronic medical condition.  You often can make lifestyle changes that will improve your health.

Old Age Health Concerns for Women

.The reality is that after several decades of a continuously working body, you can expect some decline in physical well-being. The body just like most machines goes through a little wear and tear from regular use

You’ll need to take greater care of your body-but not just your physical health.  Your emotional, sexual and mental well-being needs attention, too.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture where youth is valued more than maturity, especially for women.  At this age, women may have to work harder than ever to preserve their sense of self-worth, potential and sexuality.

Most of the ailments linked to aging are caused by daily routine choices, including smoking, lack of exercise, chronic stress and obesity.   Family history, such as diabetes, heart disease, overweight or cancer, also can play a noteworthy part.

To follow the statistics, as a chronic condition, heart disease affects 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older.

As people age, their risk factors increase, in such areas as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, thus increasing the chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease.

Hopefully these facts will help some of you older ladies out there in the world to realize that it is never too late to work at improving your chances of living a long and healthy life.

Feel free to comment or ask questions.

 

Natural Ways To Battle Depression

Many people in this world suffer from depression, and many of those rely on medications to help them cope.  But the good news is that there are also natural ways to battle depression.

4 Things to Know If You Are Battling Depression

Depression can be the shackles of pain that prevents the rays of hope from reaching the affected person. It can dominate the mind with such suppressible thoughts that they would threaten to blow up the very existence of the sufferer.

In fact, depression just bends anyone under its increasing pressure of distress and anguish.  But it can be overcome with proper therapies and treatments.

Millions of people across the world are fighting depression.  However, at times, they tend to overlook or are ignorant about certain facts that hold true for this mental condition.

People should understand depression in depth to cope with the instabilities of the mind.

Given below is a list of key truths, adapted from the Huffington Post website, which a person struggling with depression should know:

1. Not everything you think might be real:

More than the situations4 Things to Know If You Are Battling Depression, it is our thoughts that make us depressed.

For example, if a woman is struggling with weight gain, she would tend to see only lean and thin women and would forget the fact that many women are out there battling weight gain.

The mind tends to come up with certain thoughts that would make the person believe that everyone else other than him or her is happy in the world.

Depression makes a person believe what one thinks. Everything that is backed by rationality vanishes into thin air and irrationality becomes the norm.

So, it is important for a person to debunk such thoughts and try to think only about pleasant things.

2. Deflate negativity, upgrade for the better:

Generally, a depressed person has thoughts like: “Things are never going to get better”; “I can never come out of this”; “My life is ruined”, and so on. But such thoughts will do no good and only aggravate the problem.

With a little support and willpower, a person can transform such negativity into some positive outlook toward life like: “Things can be better”; “I can overcome my situation”; “I am worthy enough to succeed”.

3. Do the opposite of what “the voice” suggests:

During a depressive episode, the inner voice will give life advices, which should not be followed.  For example, if it suggests to stay at home during a weekend and sulk for all the mishaps of life, one should do just the opposite.   Visit a friend’s home, go out for shopping, watch a movie with a loved one, etc.

Learning to behave in contrast to the voice will help one kill negative thoughts and move out of the painful grip.

4. No one is fighting depression alone:

When depression sets in, one tends to believe that he or she is the worst sufferer.  But that is not the case.

There are people who have felt depressed and have gone through the worst of phases, while there are some who have never had depression in their lives.

One has to realize that the world is a home to all kinds of people, some battle mental issues and some don’t.

4 Things to Know If You Are Battling Depression

The way to a depression-free life

Depression is treatable with the right kind of strategies.

However, seeking professional treatment with a specialized depression treatment plan may sometimes be  the best way to conquer this mental illness.

In addition to the strategies listed above, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, has at times proven to be an effective treatment for depression.

As always, please feel free to add your  comments or observations here:

 

What Is The Best Natural Treatment For Acne?

Our first reaction is to panic from this embarrassing and burdensome problem and the overwhelming fear that we won’t have any control over the breakouts. But with a few simple tips this fear can be conquered.  Yes, there is natural treatment for acne.

Natural Treatment of Acne

Before calling for an appointment with the dermatologist, there are natural remedies that can be just as effective as medications. The right nutritional balance and proper skin care is all your body needs.

By following these simple tips you are taking the first steps to help heal your acne. In about 4 weeks you should see a noticeable difference.

Tips for Acne Free Skin:

Apply a honey mask

By applying this to your face once or twice a week, the antibacterial properties will disinfect and heal minor blemishes. This is great for those  with sensitive skin.

Use acne soap

Wash your face twice a day with a sulfur based soap specifically designed for acne. Get into a routine of washing your face when you first wake up in the morning and then again before going to bed.

A gentle rotating motion is recommend and be cautious not to scrub your face.

In addition, use a soft washcloth in place of one that is rough.  Avoid over washing your skin as this will encourage your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, thus creating an increase in acne.

Clean hair

Long hair or bangs are stylish but hair contains oils that can add to acne breakouts. Pull your hair off your face and wash it everyday and after sports or strenuous workouts.

Eat your carrots

Natural Treatment of Acne

Eating your carrots is a great source of carotene (Vitamin A).

Vitamin A prevents acne by strengthening the protective tissue of the skin. This vitamin is crucial for the maintenance and repairs of tissue that skin and the mucous membranes are made of, and helps reduce the production of sebum.

Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, is needed to rid your body of toxins.

Take your vitamins

Your skin is a vital organ that is usually neglected.

Depending on nutrition, acne can be a signal that there is something wrong on the inside.

When the body does not receive the proper nutrition it rebels by producing excessive sebum, clogging pores, and reducing the ability for your skin to fight bacteria and heal.

Makeup

Many makeup products on the market today may contribute to clogging your pores thus causing more pimples and blackheads. Use a water-based makeup if you must wear makeup.

Natural Treatment of Acne

 

Avoid squeezing

Resist the temptation to pick, squeeze, rub or touch your blackheads and pimples.

These actions increase the sebum production and rupture the membrane below your skin. This can in turn cause an infection and spread the sebum underneath your skin resulting in more pimples.

Clean pillow case 

When your face lies on your pillow case it is absorbing the oils from your skin and collects dirt and oil.  Keeping your sheets and pillow cases clean will decrease breakouts.

Foods rich in Zinc

Zinc is an antibacterial agent that is a necessary element in the oil-producing glands of the skin.  Diets low in zinc may actually cause acne breakouts.

Getting into a good skin care routine takes time and dedication. 

You will need patience, as results will not happen overnight.  However, with time you should see positive results.

Any comments or questions?

Sleeping Tips for Night Shift Workers

Night shift is always a challenge and can have a dramatic effect on your overall health.   Having myself experienced night shift over a ten year period, in my younger years, it seemed appropriate to offer here seven sleeping tips for night shift workers.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

Most people are extremely sleep deprived. They also do not know how to adjust to this new shift and survive let alone thrive while working this shift.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

There are definitely challenges and the need for support from those you live with. Here are a few tricks to help you get started.

  1.  Sunglasses are your friends. Light exposure as you are driving home will stimulate your brain that it is time to stay awake so invest in a good pair of dark sunglasses so you do not get too much light exposure.

2.  A daylight simulation light that is at least 10,000 lux               will help your brain to say it is time to be awake (while            you are working).

      Also, one to two hours of light exposure when you wake        up works wonders for your alertness.  You can use it                while getting ready for work.   Just keep the light in                   your peripheral vision.

3.   Always keep a sign next to your doorbell warning that            you are a night shift worker and to not wake you                        unless it is an emergency.  Most people will respect                  that.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

4.   Eating is your friend and your worst enemy.  When you          are sleep deprived it is difficult to make correct                          decisions about what to eat. You will crave more                        high carbohydrate foods because it will increase                        your sugar levels.

        The jolt is what you are craving.  If instead you realize             and plan for these cravings by having some fruit or                   oatmeal you will avoid the weight gain that is                               usually associated with the change to night shift.

5.   You will be cold at around 3 am so plan ahead and have          a sweater or sweatshirt handy. This is part of the                        body’s circadian rhythm and will just be part of the                  experience.

6.   Do not sit in a dark room during the night. You may find          that you get headaches from sitting in a room with                    light but if you are in the dark room your body will say            it is time to sleep and release Melatonin.  Light is your            friend while working at night.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

  7.  Movement is also your friend. Walk around, move                    around, do jumping jacks or squats.  Anything that                    causes you to take deep breathes and raise your heart            rate will help your concentration.

As you are adjusting to this new shift you will find that there are tricks for creating routines, working during the shift and how to work with your family and friends to enjoy your life.

Your comments or questions are welcome.

How to Build a Gym at Home

Today there are many folks with limited incomes who can’t afford gym fees and are looking into how to build a gym at home instead.  Either way there is cost involved, but some of the following suggestions may be helpful.Things to Remember While Establishing a Gym at Home

Don’t buy physical fitness accessories blindly

On fitness, the famed cartoonist and creator of Peanuts comic strip, Charles Schulz had commented: “Our life is a ten-speed bike, and most of the gears we rarely use!”

To a great extent he was right since many in their quest for a healthy body, do buy assorted gadgets, but rarely use them. And reasons are aplenty for such a futile fancy prevailing in our society.

One among them is the lack of awareness because of which a person blindly buys physical fitness accessories with no inkling about its end usage. Further, in many instances, when the gadget doesn’t work as per expectations, there is no proper after sales-service offered by the vendor.

Be extra particular while making the purchases

Hence, while intending to shop for gym accessories, utmost care is the need of the hour to ensure that quality products of a reputed maker are chosen and also the purchases are made from an authorized dealer.

Things to Remember While Establishing a Gym at Home

Over the last couple of years, there has been a gradual rise in the number of home gyms and corresponding fitness accessories.

The resourceful health fads prefer high-end products in design as well as the functions.  By and large, makers of quality gadgets for home gyms do focus on customer satisfaction in their innovative designs.

It would be ideal to spell out the end-uses of a gadget – whether it is for ground exercises, light workouts like stretching, pilates etc., or vigorous sessions of endurance on treadmills and barbells.

Just choose what you exactly need

Among the post-workout needs is the towel warmer that one uses either to dry the perspiring body or after a shower.  If a person visits the neighbourhood gym for the workouts, it would be ideal to choose the one that has a sauna facility.

Things to Remember While Establishing a Gym at Home

At home too, one can indulge in a refreshing bath and then use the towel from a warmer. The towel warmers come in various models, size and functional specifications.

So the preference should be the one that suits the essential needs and the credentials of the gadgets and accessories.

Going online is a great idea to serve your purpose

These days, almost all the reputed dealers are providing their customers with high quality gym accessories at an incredible pricing through their online stores.

When you conduct an independent research about gym accessories sellers on the internet, you will find a huge rundown of choices to make.

When I conducted my own online research (see my previous article on “Home Gym vs  Health Clubs“)  it was my goal to find equipment that was of good quality, supplied by a reliable source, and at a price most people could afford.

Online gym equipment sellers are able to provide cheaper things in the light of the fact that they have lighter liabilities than those who are running physical stores. They need less demanding infrastructure, reduced manpower and various other unnecessary things to run the showroom online.

Please feel free to offer comments or ask questions.

Best Fitness Tracker Review

On June  6th  of  this  year,  I published  an  article  regarding  the  value  of  using  a fitness  tracker.

After much  research,  I was comfortable recommending one particular tracker called Kungix  Activity Tracker,  which has a lot of features and is available for purchase on Amazon at a very low price of only $39.99 CAD with free delivery.

It also comes in a choice of colors and is waterproof.

Why You Should Get a Fitness Tracker

The tracker links with any iPhone iOS 8.0 & above OR Android 4 & above using the very popular VeryFitPro app, which is available for free from the Internet app stores.

In fact, I was so impressed with the apparent value of this tracker that I decided to order one for myself to try.

I have now used it for only a few weeks but can honestly say that I am very impressed, not only with the quality but with  all it can do, and do with accuracy.

The multi features of the Kungix  Activity Tracker,along with the many favorable user reviews are noted on the order site in Amazon and do not require repeating here.

The reviewers did rate the product over four stars on an average, and most seem to be impressed with the fact that the tracker  can track heart  rate as well as  sleep time and quality of sleep

Many also liked the fact that it charges quickly and will keep a charge for up to a week. 

 By coincidence, just yesterday I received an email from someone wanting to send me a new fitness tracker free of charge, provided I would pay the S&H of just under $30 USD.     He said that  the value of the tracker was $250,  but I noted that it was not even waterproof.

What was ironic about that, even if I did not already have one and had gone for the offer, was that after paying the  S&H in Canadian dollars, it would have cost me more than I already paid to Amazon for the fitness tracker that I have.

It is not even necessary to join Amazon Prime to get free shipping on this item!   

Why You Should Get a Fitness TrackerThings that  my new fitness tracker has already taught me are:

  •  I need to get more quality sleep at night.
  • Because it  records and averages bpm both day and night, I can see that I am doing well in that department.

As an encouragement to give this fitness tracker a try for yourself or as a gift to a friend or relative, if you order one here I would like to add a little bonus for you. 

If you will email me at my contact email found in the “Contact” tab of my site menu bar, when you get your receipt from Amazon, I would like to send you a brief article I posted years ago on this blog site, entitled ‘Top 6 Fitness Tips To Get You In Perfect Shape”

To this day I still consider it to be one of my favorite articles, and I would like for you to have it.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions

 

Health & Fitness