Stress management

Stress Management: Easy Everyday Tips

Stress management is important for your health. Unfortunately, stress is a part of life, but our response to stress is important. When stress takes its toll, it’s important to understand that you are in control. Let’s discuss ways that you can combat stress. 

Stress management is key when working

Breathing Out The Stress

A way to combat stress immediately is slow diaphragmatic breathing. This is an essential part of stress management. Proper breathing technique is extremely important.  If you are breathing with more chest and shoulder involvement, then you are not taking in the optimal amount of oxygen. 

To determine if you are breathing inadequately, look in the mirror, and breathe normally.  If your chest and shoulder move more than your belly, then practice diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is best because you are able to fill your lungs fully. The Cleveland Clinic has a great explanation on this technique. Link here.  Additionally, more shoulder and chest breathing means tight traps and shoulders.

Stress Management With This Tasty Herb and Tea

Both matcha tea and cilantro exhibit improvements in stress and anxiety. Matcha is popular as you’ll see it on most coffee shop menus. Cilantro is a diverse herb that can be used in a variety of dishes.

stress management

Adding greenery to your space can lower stress.

Clear The Clutter And Stress

A less stressful work environment or home is important for productivity. Less stress equals more productivity. Studies show that air quality, light wattage, work station ergonomics, and office layout impact work productivity.

Clutter is controllable.  The more clutter in your environment the more opportunity for objects to divert your attention.  The best way to remove clutter, is ask yourself, “Do I use this often?” If the answer is no, trash it or store it out of site. Do this with supplements, cosmetics, documents, clothes, or anything that can distract you. 

stress management

Lighten Your Load Of Stress

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and News Years,  reducing social obligations during the fall/winter months can be helpful too. Instead of planning that long road trip, try spending the weekend at home. A weekend at home with family and friends can go a long way to help you recharge for the busy holiday season. 

May your fall and winter be as stress free as possible! Take a deep breath and relax. My next post quick post- quick and easy exercises to get your blood flowing and large muscle groups activated. 

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Winter health foods

4 Amazing Foods For Optimal Health

Winter health is dicey. These 4 amazing foods can help keep you from getting sick. Many people get sick when the temperatures drop. Add large amounts of stress and errands during the holidays.  It’s reasonable to imagine the possibility of more doctor visits. Instead of waiting for a cold or flu to develop. Let’s try to prevent them. 

winter health food

Health can improve with optimal diet, rest, stress management, and exercise. We examine foods and beverages high in antioxidants; a must in everyday life. 

Amazing Foods Stuffed With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are important because they inhibit free radicals from damaging healthy cells. The result is prevention of further damage to DNA or cell membranes. 

Imagine: antioxidants plugging a leak in the dam protecting the village. If the leak isn’t fixed, the result could be disastrous. The leak will get bigger and water will flood the village. Choosing these beverages and foods are a great way to plug that leak. 

Dark Chocolate

Cocoa is the main ingredient in the making of chocolate, but don’t start scarfing Hershey Kisses. Cocoa is a rich source of flavanols and procyanidins both antioxidants. Eat dark chocolate that is at least 75-90% cocoa dark chocolate. Avoid brands that are “processed with alkali.” 

Blueberries

Blueberries have a different array of antioxidants such as: beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C selenium, and polyphenol.  Mix your berry intake with blackberries and raspberries. Since berries are more plentiful in the summer, freeze them. 

Green Tea

Catechinis the main antioxidant in green tea. Green tea has been linked to reduction of bad fats (LDL) and has positive effects on obesity. Green tea also has antibacterial, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Curl up with a hot cup of tea with a teaspoon spoon of honey and a lemon wedge to soothe a sore throat or as an alternate to coffee. 

Garlic

Allicin is the major player in garlic along with other healthy compounds. Garlic has shown to be antiviral and antibacterial. Additionally, studies have shown the potential benefits of garlic with cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure.  Cook with it!

There you have it. Add these foods, sleep, and regular hand washing. No magic bullets exist for perfect health. Moreover, no such thing exists. Try your best, and reap the benefits.

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4 supplement pills

Omega-3 Is Important For Low Levels Of Inflammation

Omega-3 fats are a necessary part of good health and low inflammation. You can obtain them from fatty fish. Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, trout, and herring all contain Omega-3 fats. Sorry, Goldfish don’t count. They are essential in the maintenance of brain tissue in adults and the development of the fetal brain. Learn more about fetal brain development here. Do I have your attention? I hope so.

Omega-3 Fats To Reduce Inflammation

The omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA, should be etched onto your brain. EPA and DHA help balance the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Western diets contain high levels of omega-6 fats found in nuts and cooking oils. Unfortunately, high levels of inflammation are associated with high omega-6 fat levels.

4 omega-3 supplement pills for inflammation

What Does Fish Oil Prevent?

Also, there is strong evidence omega-3 fats aid in the prevention of the following conditions: coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention. High inflammation is the root cause of many cardiovascular diseases.

Additionally, studies show improvement in abnormal heart rhythm, cognition, allergies, anxiety, asthma, cancer prevention, and age-related macular degeneration.

There Is A Daily Recommended Amount Of Fish

The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings (3.5 ounces) of fish per week. People with cardiovascular disease need more servings or supplementation.

What Type Of Fish Should You Buy?

Small fish in cold-waters like sardines, herring, and mackerel are best. They will eat small plankton thus less likely to have contaminants like heavy metals and plastic. The larger, predatory fish eat smaller fish which increase levels of unwanted contaminants.  

Is Supplementation Right For You?

What if you don’t like to eat fish? What you can do is supplement with fish oil capsules. Beware not all fish oil capsules are of the same quality, so research your supplements at The International Fish Oil Standards Program. Link here. Finally, potency is important as well. Shoot for at least a 1,000 mg of fish oil per capsule. Therefore, high potency or pharmaceutical grade fish oil mean less capsules to swallow.

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best sleep in bed

The Best Sleep Tips For A Great Night Of Rest

Sleep is tough to come by. These sleep tips should be at the foundation to your routine. Yes, a sleep routine is a great idea. Here are some great tips to help.

Your Best Sleep Starts Early

What you do approximately 60-90 minutes before you retire for the night matters. Preparation is key. Thus, a schedule or steps to prepare for sleep is good. The key is to follow an order. As the first step is complete, naturally the body will ready itself for sleep mode.

Additionally, following the easy tips below will help jump start a restful sleep. 

best sleep in bed

Choosing Your Morning Alarm

The majority of people wake up to an alarm every morning. However, not all alarms are made equal. The tone of your alarm can make a big difference to the start of your day. Loud beeps or horns are common alarm sounds, but these may not be the best for you. Researchers at a Melbourne university suggest a more melodic or pleasant morning alarm.  

best sleep tips

When the alarm is melodic, levels of alertness improve. Whereas, a harsh alarm sound can increase levels of grogginess and sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is increased sensory or motor impairment in the morning. Sleep inertia can last up to 4 hours and negatively impact your morning.  

Stay away from harsh alarms and go for the more melodic and pleasant sounds. Research shows you’ll feel better in the morning if you do.  

Don’t Do These Things

Below are a few things that one should not do 30-60 minutes before bedtime.

Do not eat or drink preferably 2 hours before bedtime. Eating or drinking increases the likelihood of a person disrupting sleep and using the bath room. Your brain senses when the bladder is nearing fullness thus triggering you to wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.

best sleep tips

Blue light from TVs negatively affect sleep.

Do not watch TV or look at your cell phone. Or avoid blue lights. You can block blue lights by using these glasses. Watching TV can keep you from sleeping by provoking a variety of emotions, like excitation or sadness.

The light from your TV or electronics also stimulates or tricks the brain into thinking it’s day time.  Studies show melatonin, a sleep hormone, levels drop significantly in the presence of any kind of light. 

Habits are hard to break. I you try to refrain from or reduce these habits, you might be well on your way to a wonderful and productive morning.  

Sleeping Aids

Ever woke up from a car horn or a floors creaking? Sleep machines with white noise can help, but pink noise may be best.  Studies show pink noise improves deep sleep and memory. As we age, especially during our 50s and 60s, deep sleep declines. Researchers believe reductions in deep sleep can contribute to dementia.

Everyone has tried melatonin, but make sure you are taking it an hour or so before sleep. The body will produce melatonin naturally with less light exposure and outside temperature drops. Melatonin is great for your skin too. 

best sleep tips

Phone apps have sleep aids with pink noise.

Rejuvenation With Great Sleep

While you sleep, important events happen in regards to function of your body both mentally and physically. During sleep, your brain forms short and long term memories through the strengthening of a synapse (think of improving the electrical wiring in your house.)

With proper sleep, you are more likely to recall memories the next day more easily. Physically, nutrient absorption takes place in the spinal discs for proper support for the vertebra.

Other proposed functions of sleep include, detoxification of the brain from free radicals and glycogen replacement. In addition to the above improvements, aging is closes related to sleep. 

 

headaches

5 Quick Tips To Boost Productivity

Is your productivity down at work? Does your day seem long and cumbersome? Does it affect work tasks and relationships? Simple steps can be taken to increase production and reduce stress.

The Traditional Productivity Boosters

Everyone knows caffeine, standing desks, and activity trackers will help keep productivity high. Mental and physical acuity is key. Without it, productivity drops.

So besides buying all of the aforementioned products, these tips will help productivity throughout the onslaught of carpool lines, emails, and meetings.

productivity from computer work at a cafe by bruce mars

Stay Alert with Protein Over Carbohydrates

Protein is the building block for muscle and many other bodily functions. A good portion of protein for breakfast will keep you satiated through the morning. Now that you’ve made it to lunch, stay away from a large portion of carbohydrates. French fries, pasta, and bread are delicious, but a high carbohydrate lunch can drive you straight to sleep. 

Less Stress & Matcha Tea

Matcha has become very popular recently. Its origin and popularity stem from the Eastern hemisphere. Now, large coffee shop chains and chefs use it in drinks and food. In addition to its great taste, researchers have found it can help reduce stress. Learn more here

A Stand-Up Desk Is Good But Balance Board Is Great

What’s a balance board you say? Use a balance board to stand on during work or on break. A balance board works your core and legs. The most important benefit of a balance board is proprioception improvements. Good proprioception will improve balance and stimulate your brain. Use a balance board to stave off writers block, fatigue, and weight gain. Lots of sitting equals lots of fat. Boards can be found on on-line for a small fee.

Eye Fatigue Is Real

Just like muscle fatigue your eyes can succumb to fatigue too. Eye fatigue is common among people who work indoors. We get the majority of blue light from the sun, but indoor exposure can be from LED lights, computers, and phones. Large amounts of blue light exposure can cause sleep disturbances, headaches, and eye irritation. Headaches and eye irritation stem from the fact that blue light penetrates to the delicate back part of eye. In order to reduce eye fatigue, buy blue blocking glasses.

Great sleep helps with productivity too. The do’s and don’ts of a great night of sleep here

No Money Needed For These Simple Productivity Booster

Take these action steps to prevent a granny hump and discomfort of the neck, shoulders, arms, and wrists. Raise the bottom 1/3 of the computer screen or phone to eye level. Move computer screens closer to the edge of desk. Additionally, move the keyboard to the edge of the desk. The aforementioned steps will reduce strain of the disc, muscles, and nerves by keeping optimal spinal structure or position. Does it seem you have a granny hump? Or are your shoulders and neck constantly uncomfortable? See a Structural Chiropractor to fully address the problems.