Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Improve Your Health, Well-Being And Happiness With Plants

As we enter a new year, it’s a great time to consider a few ways of adding greater value to our lives.  Engaging the world of plants will improve our sense of well-being, happiness and health, whether that means growing our own food in containers or a garden, nurturing indoor plants or simply walking in a green space.

In terms of growing the healthiest food, the latest research has found that not all varieties are created equal.  Certain varieties of vegetables have far more nutritional value and antioxidants than other varieties in the same food group.  Eating nutritious foods is one of the best ways to stay healthy and maintain a better quality of life, so it’s important to know which varieties offer the most significant health benefits.

Plants promote good health in so many ways

Food gardening has skyrocketed in popularity, mainly because folks want more control over the food they eat. They want fruits and vegetables that are free of harmful pesticide residues, and they want to savour flavours that can be achieved only by harvesting fresh, naturally-ripened produce.  It seems logical that today’s food gardeners should focus on the varieties with the best nutritional, vitamin and antioxidant qualities.

Leeks are great for flavouring many dishes, and the ‘Kilima’ leek has the highest nutritional value.  This variety contains vitamin C, B-complex, potassium, magnesium, silica, iron and calcium. If you enjoy leeks, it makes sense to grow this variety.

Onions are also right up there for flavouring salads, soups and meats, and the variety ‘Candy’ is the most valuable because of its ability to fight bacteria and reduce blood pressure, harmful cholesterol and blood sugars.

Peppers, both sweet and hot, are healthful in many ways, but the hottie, ‘Mucho Nacho’, is high in vitamin C, phenolic acids, plant sterols, and it has lots of carotene.  The sweet peppers, ‘Red Beauty’ and ‘Blushing Beauty’, are chock full of vitamin C, and, ounce for ounce when mature, have more vitamin C than oranges,

Tomatoes, the most popular garden fruit, contains cancer-fighting lycopene, a very strong antioxidant and free radical neutralizer, and ‘Health Kick’ has 50 per cent more lycopene than other standard varieties. Research has shown that men, who consumed a minimum of 10 servings of high lycopene-enriched tomatoes a week could reduce their risk of prostate cancer by 45 per cent. Very few foods contain lycopene — watermelon, apricots, pink grapefruit and guava have varying amounts.

oregano

Combine your favourite edibles to make a beautiful container

Leafy vegetables, particularly the darker green varieties like spinach and kale, contain high levels of lutein and zeathanthin, two carotenoids helpful in protecting eyes, arteries and lungs from those nasty free radicals.  Advanced Nutraceutical Research Inc. has found that folks consuming lutein every day have a 43 per cent less chance of developing macular degeneration.  Two to five servings a day of leafy vegetables will provide adequate amounts.

We often hear of the value of garlic, and garlic researcher Dr. Eric Bloch suggests that regular consumption of garlic lowers the incidence of stomach cancer and reduces the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Yu-Yan Yeh indicates that regular use of garlic results in lower cholesterol levels. Historically, garlic was used in treating infections because of its anti-microbial agent called allicin.  In addition to flavouring so many dishes and keeping vampires away, it also inhibits many harmful bacteria.

All these plant foods simply need to be grown, harvested and enjoyed. Over winter, as you await the arrival of spring and a new opportunity to grow these wonderful foods, do a little research on the varieties that will provide you with the greatest health benefits.

Revive your spirits when you surround yourself in a canopy of green

Our gardens provide another opportunity for improving our lifestyles: exercise. The regular, natural movement of the body is one of the best prescriptions for good physical health, and the anaerobic nature of gardening is an exercise we can enjoy.  The Royal College of Physicians in Britain has produced a list comparing various activities and the number of calories each burned over 30 minutes of exertion.  Here is part of that list:  90 calories when walking, 162 when raking, 182 when weeding, 202 when digging, 243 when using a push mower, and 243 to 364 when shovelling.  Clearly, our gardens can be our new gyms.

Green spaces also afford us the opportunity to engage with plants.  Arizona State University has identified a name for a “connection to plants and nature”:  biophilia.  Creating this connection by bringing the outdoors inside is the latest trend in “interiorscapes.”  Using water, living walls, larger indoor plants, and other natural elements boost people’s mood, productivity and health.  After a long, arduous flight, arriving back at the Vancouver airport to the sound of water and loons and the natural look of weathered stumps is a relaxing and comforting welcome.

The importance of green spaces in urban areas is now recognized as critical to people’s mental health and sense of well-being.  As little as five minutes in a park can have a positive impact.  Japanese researchers found that spending just 20 minutes walking in a natural area enhances mood, vitality and creativity.  They call it shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing”.  They discovered that trees in forested areas give out aromatic phytoncides, and “forest bathers” inhale these compounds.  They also learned that a forest walk, two days in a row, stimulated the human immune system in a significant way, as well as the production of a type of white blood cell.  Apparently, this effect remains 23 per cent higher after a month of forest exposure.

It’s hard to beat the sound of rushing water

According to the World Health Organization’s report, Urban Green Spaces and Health, increasing children’s exposure to green spaces influenced their cognitive ability in a positive way, improved their social inclusiveness and behaviour and lowered the risk of ADHD.  There’s also a growing understanding that the quality of “streetscapes” enhances social cohesion.

WHO also compared the proximity of green spaces and the corresponding health benefits.  Ideally, there should be 1.5 hectares of green space within a five to 10-minute walk from any home; a 20-hectare park within a 2km distance; a 100-hectare park within 5km, and a 500-hectare green space within 70 km.  Scientists have determined that one-hectare of green space per 1000 people in the surrounding area is the optimal situation.

This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the benefits of connecting to plants and green spaces.  To be happier and healthier in the new year, grow, nurture and eat healthy, fresh foods.  Enjoy the plants inside your home, the ones growing on your patio or in your garden, and visit the parks, gardens and forests around you.

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8 Ways to Stay Energized All Day

It’s no wonder so many of us struggle with energy issues. We go, go, go from morning to night, running on little but grit and caffeine. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “The reality is, you can get a real boost by making a few simple changes,” says Dr. Nada Milosavljevic, director of the integrative health program at Massachusetts General Hospital. That’s why we put together this complete guide to all-day energy: It’s packed with proven strategies that will keep you powered up as you plow through your to-do list. You’ll also learn about surprising energy drains (social media, we’re looking at you)—and how to keep them from stealing your mojo.

Keep allergies under control

People with hay fever often feel sluggish. “You spend so much time trying to breathe, you don’t have energy for anything else,” says New Jersey-based allergist Dr. Neeta Ogden, spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Your congestion might also keep you awake at night: French researchers found that more than 40 percent of seasonal-allergy sufferers reported they weren’t able to get a good night’s sleep when their symptoms flared.

Studies have shown that over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays (like Nasacort and Flonase) effectively relieve congestion and improve quality of life—including fatigue and sleep issues—in people with seasonal allergies. Ogden suggests pairing a spray with a daily dose of an OTC nonsedating antihistamine (such as Claritin or Allegra); the drug will block the action of histamine, the compound that triggers pesky nasal symptoms. For best results, begin treatment a couple of weeks before sniffle season starts.

Get enough (quality) sleep

It’s estimated that up to 26 percent of all adults in the U.S. have sleep apnea, a disorder that involves shallow breathing or pauses in breathing while you sleep. If you’re among them, you may often feel like you’re in a “brain fog,” even if you’re clocking seven hours of shut-eye a night. If your primary care physician suspects sleep apnea, she can refer you to a sleep center. Most cases can be diagnosed with an at-home test, says Dr. Raj Dasgupta, professor of sleep medicine at the University of Southern California and spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Mild cases can often be treated with lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight and avoiding alcohol before bed. Moderate or severe cases may require sleeping with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which supplies a steady stream of air to keep your airways open.

Exercise

A sweat session is great for upping your oomph, even when you feel like you’re out of juice. “When you exercise, you release hormones like adrenaline. This hormone actually tells our bodies to ignore feelings of pain and fatigue while enhancing blood flow to large muscles,” says Sabrena Jo, senior exercise scientist at the American Council on Exercise. As a result, a workout can leave you with more energy than you had beforehand—an effect that can last several hours.

And it doesn’t take much. One study looked at healthy, sedentary people who began exercising three days a week for just 20 minutes a day, at either a moderate or a low intensity. By the end of six weeks, their energy levels were 20 percent higher than those of a control group of nonexercisers.
Remember: The idea is to leave the gym energized, not exhausted. “If you feel beaten down by the time you step off the treadmill, it’s a sign you need to scale back,” says Jo.

 

Get adequate vitamin D

Research suggests this key vitamin plays a role in keeping us charged up. Experts suspect D helps regulate insulin secretion and metabolism, both of which affect energy levels. The nutrient has also been linked to better moods (not to mention a slew of other health benefits). If you find yourself constantly dragging, particularly in the winter, it might be worth asking your doc to check your D levels. Since it can be tough to get an adequate amount from food (sources include fatty fish, eggs, and fortified milk), she may recommend a supplement.

Purge your Facebook friends

There are two reasons social media can be an energy suck, says Dr. Brian Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh. “On one hand, you look at everyone’s curated photos and get depressed because your life doesn’t look so perfect,” he explains. “But on the other hand, anything that’s negative also gets magnified. Neither extreme is good.” Indeed, one of his studies found a link between the amount of time spent on social media and the likelihood of depression.

Not ready to cut the Facebook cord? Try paring your “friends” down to your actual friends. “When you don’t know someone, you’re more likely to have a miscommunication or be upset by something in their feed,” says Primack. “But using social media to connect with old friends can have the opposite effect—it’s energizing.”

Eat to fuel

To improve your everyday energy, try this tweak: Substitute plant protein for animal protein whenever possible, suggests Samantha Heller, a registered dietitian at the NYU School of Medicine. Plants feed the “good” bacteria in your gut, she explains, which help boost your immunity to keep you healthy. They may also boost overall mood. A 2015 study found that people who followed a plant-based eating program for 18 weeks saw an increase in their productivity. Here, Heller describes a sample menu for an ideal day.

Breakfast: A Berry smoothie. Blend 1/2 cup berries with a scoop of avocado and 3/4 cup soy milk. The shake is high in both fiber and protein to stabilize your blood sugar until lunch.

Lunch: Lentil soup and kale salad. Lentils and kale are a mighty nutritional combo, offering protein, fiber, iron, potassium, zinc, folate, and more.

P.M. snack: Fruit and nuts. This duo serves up a nice balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to help you power through the rest of the afternoon.

Dinner: Vegetarian tacos. Wrap beans with shredded lettuce and cheese, chopped tomato, avocado, and salsa in a corn tortilla for a light dinner that won’t mess with your sleep.

Try some fast pick-me-ups

Take a mini break. Stand up and stretch, or watch a funny video. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers found that people who took two short breaks during a repetitive 50-minute task performed better than those who worked straight through.

Go for a quick walk. A landmark study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that a brisk 10-minute walk can have a revitalizing effect, enhancing energy for at least two hours.

Chew a stick of gum. A 2015 U.K. study found that this trick raised alertness and improved concentration, possibly because chewing increases blood flow.

Don’t ignore fatigue

Sometimes feeling spent isn’t a problem that can be solved with a nap. Below are a few possible medical explanations for flagging energy.

Anemia. This condition, common in women, means you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues. If blood tests reveal you’re anemic, you may need to take an iron supplement.

Celiac disease. Fatigue is one of the symptoms of this serious condition, in which an autoimmune reaction to gluten damages the intestines. If blood tests suggest celiac, you’ll need an intestinal biopsy to diagnose it. The only proven therapy is a gluten-free diet.
Hypothyroidism. “If your body isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone, you’re going to feel like you’re running low on fuel all the time,” says Milosavljevic. This disorder can be treated with synthetic hormones.

Heart disease. A 2003 study published in Circulation found that 70 percent of women who’d suffered heart attacks had reported feeling unusual fatigue for up to a month beforehand. “Patients often say that they feel tired in their chest,” says Dr. Dana Simpler, an internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. After a full workup, your doc can prescribe a treatment plan.

This article originally appeared on Health.com
Hallie Levine / Health.com       May 03, 2017     TIME Health
source: time.com


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This Mineral May Be Key to Protecting Your Bones (It’s Not Calcium)

Calcium and vitamin D may get the spotlight when it comes to bone health, but there’s another mineral that plays a role in keeping your skeleton strong: It’s magnesium, and 67% of the body’s stores for this mineral are found in your bones. Now, research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology suggests magnesium could help prevent fractures.

While previous research had revealed that magnesium supports bone growth, no study had tied the mineral to risk of bone fractures. Tapping into over 20 years of data on 2,245 men, investigators in Britain and Finland compared the men’s magnesium blood levels to their risk of fracture. They discovered that the higher a man’s magnesium, the lower his risk of fracture.

Magnesium works with bone building cells (aka osteoblasts), and works in conjunction with vitamin D and parathyroid hormone to keep calcium levels normal, and fracture risk low. Medical factors affecting magnesium absorption include inflammatory bowel disease (or other chronic diarrhea problems), kidney insufficiency or certain medications.

So, how much magnesium should you eat? The recommended daily intake for adults over 31 years of age is 320 mg for females and 420 mg for males. Nuts and seeds, especially almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and cashews are rich in magnesium. Other food sources include oatmeal, milk, peanut butter, spinach, broccoli, peas and beets.

However, the Finnish study couldn’t link dietary intake of magnesium to higher blood levels of magnesium, which is strange. Although the study authors aren’t sure why food couldn’t boost levels, previous research suggests an improvement in bone density among menopausal women who took supplements of magnesium hydroxide.

The bottom line is that eating foods high in magnesium still makes sense, since those foods tend to be healthy. If you’re at elevated risk for osteoporosis or fracture talk to your physician or a registered dietitian about taking magnesium supplements.

BY JENNIFER BOWERS, PHD, RD
source: www.rd.com


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10 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is one of the most underrated minerals, but it’s involved in literally hundreds of your body’s functions. Pay attention to it, and your body will thank you.

So what’s the deal with magnesium?

Magnesium is involved in numerous bodily functions, from relaxing sore muscles to relieving anxiety, though it isn’t as widely discussed as other vitamins and minerals. Holistic nutrition coach Andrea Moss of Moss Wellness in New York City says magnesium deficiencies are such a big focus in her practice because nutritionists see the effects so frequently. “So many clients of ours are surprised to hear about it, since it usually isn’t discussed by their physicians,” she says. Don’t let that happen to you—check out our tips for what magnesium deficiency signs you might be ignoring.

You kind of hate vegetables

The most common cause of magnesium deficiencies is a diet deprived of magnesium-rich foods. “Many of us are magnesium deficient because we aren’t necessarily eating enough magnesium-rich foods,” says Moss. Moss recommends veggies, brown rice, nuts and seeds to adjust this.

You’re so stressed out

If you’re under a lot of stress, your body will react chemically and magnesium levels can be affected. “Stress also can make us more prone to magnesium deficiency, as can excessive sweating from workouts,” says Moss. Try to take it easy, both mentally and physically, and your body will thank you.

Junk food is one of your food groups

Replacing fruit with Fruit Roll-Ups can wreak havoc on your magnesium levels. “Normal, healthy people should get enough magnesium as long as they eat enough fruit, vegetables, and complex starches/whole grains,” says Monica Auslander, MS, RD, LD/N, founder of Essence Nutrition in Florida. “You can see how a poor diet quality could result in these deficiencies!” These are good clues you’re eating too many preservatives.

The littlest things can give you a headache

If your head is pounding and you can’t seem to shake it, you might want to get tested for a magnesium deficiency. People often have headaches when their magnesium levels are low, says Auslander.

You’re constipated

You might not think about magnesium levels when you’re constipated, but you should. Auslander says people often experience constipation precisely when their magnesium levels are too low.

You’re more shaky or twitchy lately

A little shake here or there might not seem like a big deal, but take it seriously. Nutritionist Alyse Levine MS, RD of Nutritionbite in California warns that chronically low levels of magnesium can lead to more serious problems like an irregular heartbeat or even seizures. It’s also a good idea to be aware of these other symptoms of atrial fibrillation.

Your energy levels are MIA

Magnesium helps energize your body, so if you don’t have enough of it, you’ll feel weak. “Magnesium is involved in at least 300 different chemical reactions in our body, and a lot have to do with energy production,” says Alison Boden, MPH, RD, functional medicine nutritionist in California. “A sign of low magnesium can be low energy.”

You’re not sleeping well

While magnesium can be used to treat a number of medical issues, and Boden uses it the most for sleep problems. “If patients have a hard time winding down, we use magnesium therapeutically to help with that,” says Boden. “It’s a muscle relaxant that can slow things down bit and help with sleep.”

You’re dealing with bone loss problems

A lot of magnesium is stored in bones, so Boden says a deficiency in it can cause bone loss when there isn’t enough magnesium over a long period of time.

You have low levels of vitamin D

When low magnesium levels lead to low vitamin D levels, a whole cascade of problems develop. “We need magnesium to absorb vitamin D. Too much calcium can actually lower absorption as well, so we need to find a balance between all these vitamins and minerals,” says Manuel Villacorta MS, registered dietitian and founder of Whole Body Reboot in California. “This stuff can happen to everyone.”

BY ALEXANDRA WHITTAKER
source: www.rd.com


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11 Ways to LIVE (Not Just Exist)

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

In life, we all have the same hierarchical needs : love, food, shelter, water, companionship, and a chance for self-realization and fulfillment. At the end of the day though, most people live on auto-pilot, thinking they have no control, and only experience what they need for basic survival, such as food, water and shelter.

But what about the dreams, passions, love, and companionship?

Those aspects of life make us actually feel alive.  They give us a reason to wake up each morning and live life with intention, direction, and drive to accomplish something bigger than ourselves. If tomorrow turned out to be your last day here on Earth, wouldn’t you want to look back and say you lived life to the fullest? If you want to fill your life with happiness, abundance and freedom now, these tips can help you create that life you have always dreamed of and leave behind the habit of merely existing.

11 Ways to LIVE (Not Just Exist)

1. Conquer Your Fears

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

What does this quote mean exactly? Well, nearly everything people want in life involves a certain level of uncertainty and fear. Let’s say you want to travel the world, and you have never left the country before. You have no idea what to expect about other cultures, the laws in other countries, and a whole new way of life. You dream everyday of just leaving your life behind and starting a new chapter full of adventure, but you let your fears stop you. You say “I might run out of money. Someone might hurt me. I might not find a place to stay.” You let your mind take over and come up with every possible worst case scenario.

The best way to get over your fear is to do what you’re most afraid of. You’ll feel more accomplished, fulfilled, happy, peaceful, and ultimately, more alive. Let your fears fuel your passion instead of allowing them to stunt your progress. If more people allowed their hearts rather than minds to serve as their compass, this whole world would explode with passion and people following their dreams. Leave fear behind and embrace the courage within you! All of us have it, and you are no different. You are capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to, if you just believe in the power within.

2. Allow Yourself to Shine

Being your unique self gives you the freedom to move through life in a state of “flow,” not worrying what others think or say about you.  Acknowledge your highest self and allow it to flourish! There’s only one of you, and no one possesses all the same amazing qualities as you, so own them. Let your most authentic nature come to life and run free; most people go through life being afraid of who they really are, not allowing their true selves to come to life.

3. Surround Yourself With Uplifting People

In order to really feel alive, you must find others who love living just as much (or more!) In general, you should try to find people on the same mission as you, who value following their dreams and actively work toward fulfilling them every day. Some people believe that you become who you surround yourself with, so keep that in mind as you choose your friends and romantic relationships. When you surround yourself with happy, positive and inspiring people, you choose life. You choose to keep the company of those who allow their true selves to shine, and those who welcome abundance and happiness into their lives. If your current friends or partner make you feel down, uninspired, or discontent with life, consider finding new people to hang around.

You deserve to feel excited about life, and who you surround yourself with can either help or hurt you along your journey. While every relationship can teach us something, you have to discern which relationships are worth keeping from those that are best left in the past. Negative people can hold you back, while positive people can encourage you to become the best version of yourself. Positive energy naturally vibrates at a higher frequency than negative energy, so you naturally will feel more alive by choosing more positive people in your life.

4. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

It’s important to acknowledge the abundance present in all our lives and give thanks for what we have every single day. When you practice gratitude each day, instead of just chosen holidays during the year, you’ll find out that you have even more to be thankful for. The Universe responds positively to anyone expressing their thanks, and provides even more to be thankful for as a result.

If you have been feeling down lately, try waking up each day and reminding yourself what you love about your life. You may have pets you absolutely adore, loving friends and family, and a job you look forward to going to each day. When you express gratitude to the Universe, it listens. The energy you put out into the world comes back to you, so by reminding yourself of your blessings, you will find yourself being blessed with even more!

5. Follow Your Heart

When you give in to your heart’s deepest desires, you begin to see life in a different way. Everything seems to look more vibrant and alive, reflecting your inner state of being. You might feel pressured to follow a certain path to please your parents, friends, or spouse, but that might not necessarily be the path you want to take. Part of embracing your true self is in listening to your inner voice, not the voice of others telling you how to live your life. Only you can walk your path and make your dreams come true.  Make sure you live life based on your ideals rather than everyone else’s. No one can tell you how to live your life except for you, because it is only yours to live.

When you follow your heart, you unlock parts of yourself that have been dormant for years. You can transform your life from complacency to unbelievable exuberance by choosing to listen to the power of your own inner voice.

6. Practice Unconditional Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

When we perpetuate a hateful attitude toward others, we invite that same energy onto ourselves. Hate is easy, but doesn’t feel nearly as good as love does. By giving your love to others no matter their actions towards you, you learn how to love without conditions. How others treat you is a reflection of them, not you, just as how you treat others mirrors your own character. Responding to life in a hateful manner makes you more inclined to feel stressed, negative, and ungrateful. It also discourages others from wanting to spend time with you, and blocks positive energy from coming your way.

When you learn to look at everything from a loving perspective, and realize that everyone deserves love despite their words or actions, you say yes to life and no to anything less.

7. Enjoy the Simple Things

”Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” – Ferris

When you take note of the little things in life, you actually become more alive. You allow yourself to slow down and embrace the simple beauty behind everything in the Universe, and embrace what is rather than what isn’t. Before work each morning, make it a point to watch the sun rise. Spend some time with your kids before they go off to school. Make the most of each moment and realize what a beautiful universe we live in. If you stop and look around, you will notice that life in itself is a gift, and should not be taken for granted.

8. Give Without Expectations

One of the easiest ways to feel alive comes from giving. When you give clothes to the less fortunate, give presents to family and friends around the holidays, or give your time to volunteer for a good cause, you will start feeling more vibrant because others will benefit from your actions. Every day is a new opportunity to give, and we all have something valuable to offer. And when you give without expecting anything in return, you represent who you are in the purest form, which is Love. Love doesn’t expect or demand to be given back, it just is.

So, embrace who you are and give what you can to help others in need. Giving to others is the best gift you could possibly give to yourself.

9. Embrace Your Inner Child

We all are just kids in adult bodies, after all, so do something your inner child would love. Go to the amusement park, play arcade games, or race go-karts. Part of growing up means taking on adult responsibilities, and we often lose ourselves in them.

Take time to nourish your soul and do something that makes you laugh; you may get behind on your errands or chores for the day, but it’s worth it sometimes to forget the real world for a while and get lost in an endless land of imagination and wonder.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

10.  Go Somewhere New

Have you always dreamt of going camping, but never had the chance to try it? Pack up your gear and go to your favorite spot in the wilderness for a few hours or days. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, so give your eyes something new to look at on a weekend when you can get away.

Your soul will feel rejuvenated when you put a new experience under your belt, and you will feel more thankful for life by getting out of your usual environment for even a short time.

11. Live in the Now

One of Eckhart Tolle’s most celebrated books, The Power of Now, explains the power of the present moment, and why no other moment matters but this one. The now is all we’ve got, so we might as well make the most of it and realize that we can create the future we envision by simply doing what we want in the present. This life is short, so don’t worry about the problems of the past or the uncertainty of the future. When you find yourself looking too far back or forward, center yourself in what is happening now, and remember that life occurs when you create it. You can’t create in the past or the future – only in the now.

Simply embracing the now will make you feel more peaceful and allow you to let go and experience the joy in every moment.