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Fun Fact Friday

  • Eating bananas, pasta, almonds, grapes, oatmeal, chocolate, watermelon, orange juice, cornflakes, and tuna can help relieve stress.

  • A chicken is 75% water.

  • A Canadian university has built a “Puppy Room” in its campus, where students can go and play with puppies to relieve stress and tension.

  • The average woman absorbs up to 5 pounds of damaging chemicals a year thanks to beauty products.

 
Happy Friday!
source: @Fact
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Natural Remedies For The Most Nagging Everyday Ailments

Post-work headache, we will bear you no more.

Adaptation has its pros and cons. While we humans often benefit from melding into changing environments, we can also become accustomed to constant daily discomforts.
Whether it’s the after-work headache, a cough that you can’t seem to shake, eye strain, achy joints or chapped lips, it could be time to raise the bar of expectation, wave the kitchen spoon, and bear it no more.

For quick and easy remedies, here are some recipes and simple techniques that you can stir-up at home, to shake it all off.

Headaches

When it comes to headaches, we can investigate two major culprits: dehydration and elimination. If we are not properly hydrated or if we are constipated, we could be suffering from frequent headaches. A quick and easy solution is to drink room temperature water with a pinch of Himalayan salt to return trace minerals and hydration back into the body. If you are not eliminating properly, then you could place a warm castor oil pack on the stomach to help kick start excretion. Castor oil packs and Himalayan salt can be purchased at most natural health food stores.

Neck tension

Tension headaches can occur when we hold stress or strain in our shoulders, chest, neck or eyes. To relieve stress in the neck and shoulder areas, start by stretching open the arms and breathing deeply into the chest a few times. Release the arms to down. Open the jaw and stretch the chin down toward the chest. While holding this gesture, inhale and exhale through the mouth 3 times. Close the mouth and slowly and gently, begin to move the neck forward, then back to neutral. The motion should look as though you are a chicken, slowly pecking for food. The neck should not move backward, only forward to neutral. Repeat this action 15 to 20 times. This will release the tension in the neck.

Eye strain

Tired red eyes or eye strain can often accompany headaches at the end of a long day. Stretching your eyes can relieve stress and tension. Start by slowly looking up toward the forehead, then down towards your toes.  The eyes should feel like they are stretching up and down, as you move them. Then in a horizontal movement, slowly look all the way to the left and then all the way to the right. Remember not to move your neck or head. Move only the eyes. In a diagonal movement, look to the top right corner of the eyes, then look down to the bottom, left corner of the eyes. Finally, look up to the top left corner of the eyes, then down to the lower right corner of the eyes in a diagonal. Repeat very slowly, 8 times in each direction and then close the eyes for a moment.

Another exercise is ‘Blink 45’: Sitting down, blink rapidly 45 times in a row. This can also help to loosen tension and re-energize the eyes. To avoid dizziness, wait a few minutes before standing up.

Cold symptoms: Achy joints, runny nose and sore throat

Try these three remedies to relieve symptoms.

The gift of gold: Turmeric and honey

Turmeric is an immune modulator that acts as a natural anti-microbial with antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can also be used to reduce inflammation in the joints and increase immunity.

Mix a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a spoon of organic honey until it becomes a smooth golden paste. Lick the honey and turmeric mixture throughout the day.

Fresh, energizing ginger tea

Warm liquids increase the body’s temperature, which can help to maintain immunity and reduce stagnation in the joints.  Honey is antimicrobial and is packed with nourishing minerals. Ginger fights infection, improves digestion and reduces nausea.

Cut and peel a few round slices of fresh ginger. Pound the cut ginger with a mortar and pestle to release the juices. Add the juice and the pounded ginger slices to about two cups of water and bring it to a boil for a few minutes. Take it off the heat, and let it cool for a few minutes. Pour the tea into a thermos and sip it throughout the day.

Himalayan salt and lime

Although a simple salt gargle could suffice, a shot of Himalayan salt and lime can be a potent antibacterial concoction. Squeeze half of a lime and combine the fresh lime juice with two or three pinches of Himalayan salt. Mix together and sip slowly.

Chapped lips

A fast and easy remedy can be found at the centre of your universe – the navel. Before bed, lie down and place a few drops of warm, natural oil into the navel. Allow the navel to retain the oil for about 1 minute before rubbing it in. *Natural options for oil are cold-pressed sesame, sunflower, almond or coconut oils.

Nicole Mahabir · CBC Life · November 15

Nicole Mahabir is the Founder and Director of JAI Wellness, a platform for health education, mindful living and wellbeing. For the past 10 years, Nicole has lead professional certified programs, teaching Nutrition, Meditation, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy and Natural Anti-Ageing Beauty Regimes. When she isn’t teaching, Nicole creates integrated, sustainable health protocols for her busy clients. Follow Nicole on Instagram @jaiwellness or on her website, jaiwellness.com.

source: www.cbc.ca


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The Easiest Way To Kill Stress And Tension

The simple instruction that reduces stress and increases energy and optimism.

The easiest way to kill stress and tension is:
Don’t be so hard on yourself!

People who are more compassionate towards themselves experience less stress, new research finds.

Self-compassion is also linked to more:

  • optimism,
  • feeling alive,
  • and energy.

The conclusions come from a study of students coping with their first year at college.

Dr Katie Gunnell, the study’s first author, said:

“Our study suggests the psychological stress students may experience during the transition between high school and university can be mitigated with self-compassion because it enhances the psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, which in turn, enriches well-being.”

Self-compassion has three components, the study’s authors explain:

(1) self-kindness, which represents the ability to be caring and kind to ourselves rather than excessively critical,
(2) common humanity, which represents an understanding that everyone makes mistakes and fails and our experience is part of a larger common experience,
and (3) mindfulness, which represents being present and aware while keeping thoughts in balance rather than overidentifying.”

Professor Peter Crocker, a study co-author, said:

“Research shows first-year university is stressful.
Students who are used to getting high grades may be shocked to not do as well in university, feel challenged living away from home, and are often missing important social support they had in high school.
Self-compassion appears to be an effective strategy or resource to cope with these types of issues.”

self compassion

Develop self-compassion

One way to increase this sense of self-compassion is to carry out a writing exercise.

Think about a recent negative experience and write about it.

Crucially, though, you need to write about it while being compassionate towards yourself.

In other words: don’t be too critical and recognise that everyone makes mistakes.

The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Gunnell et al., 2017).

source: PsyBlog


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Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

“We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.”

When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

As Herman Melville once wrote, “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

silence strength

Silence relieves stress and tension.

It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech.

“This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.

Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.

Summation
Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

BY REBECCA BERIS