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Body, Mind & Heart

6 Things To Do Before Getting Out Of Bed In The Morning

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When the alarm clock goes off, most of us either hit snooze or groggily get out of bed without much thought about how we’re starting the day. But if you can spare 10 extra minutes, you can make a world of difference to your mental and physical health — all before leaving your bed in the morning. Use these tips to get up on the right side of the bed from now on.

1. Put down your cellphone

Time needed: 30 seconds

After the alarm goes off, put your phone back down on the nightstand. Get into the habit of guarding your mental health, which means resisting the temptation to scroll through your social media feeds or checking the news.

Research has some startling things to say in this department. For example, frequent social media useis linked with high rates of depression and low self-esteem. In addition, it’s well established thatwatching or reading the news negatively impacts our mental health. That’s because the news you see on your feed may be violent and emotionally-charged, causing you to feel more anxious and angry. Over time, it may even alter your world view, leading you to believe the world is more dangerous than it actually is.

Whoa! The last thing you need in the morning is to activate your sympathetic nervous system, which simulates the flight or fight response. Instead, simply opt out. In his book “4-Hour Workweek,” author and lifestyle designer Tim Ferris says, “I never watch the news and haven’t bought one single newspaper in the last five years.” He prefers to hear a quick recap of the news from friends and colleagues. Now there’s something to consider.

2. Think of 10 things you’re grateful for

 

TO BE CONTINUED ON 

Source: 6 Things To Do Before Getting Out Of Bed In The Morning

Saint Patrick’s Day Magick Ritual ~ — hocuspocus13

Originally posted on Ye Olde Dark Arts: * This is a modified version of our annual Saint Patrick’s Day Magick Ritual performed by members of Ye Olde Dark Arts Coven-Tradition which has turned into a very fun gathering for all and we hope to be able to open it up to others of like mind…

via ~ Saint Patrick’s Day Magick Ritual ~ — hocuspocus13

How Dogs Help People Get Along Better | Greater Good

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Casey, is one of my favorite beings on the planet. Not only is he extremely cute, his presence calms me, makes me happy, and helps me to meet new people…especially when I take a walk with him.

My husband and I often joke that if everyone had a dog like Casey, there simply wouldn’t be any wars—the assumption being that everyone would just get along if he were around. Now, a new study suggests that we might be onto something.

Casey the dog
Casey the dog

Researchers at Central Michigan University gave small groups tasks to do with or without a companion dog in the room. In the first experiment, groups generated a 15-second ad and slogan for a fictional project—a task requiring cooperation. In the second experiment, groups played a modified version of the prisoner’s dilemma game, in which individual members decide whether to cooperate with one another or to look out only for themselves. All of these interactions were videotaped.

Afterwards, participants reported on how satisfied they felt with the group and how much they trusted group members. In addition, independent raters analyzed the video recordings, looking for displays of cooperation, verbal and physical signs of bonding or closeness, and expressions of vulnerability that indicated trust.

Regardless of the task, groups with a dog showed more verbal and physical signs of closeness than groups without a dog. Also, raters observed more signs of cooperation during the first task, and group members reported that they trusted each other more during the second task, if a dog was in the room.

These results suggest that there is something about the presence of a dog that increases kind and helpful behavior in groups.

“When people work in teams, the presence of a dog seems to act as a social lubricant,” says lead author Steve Colarelli. “Dogs seem to be beneficial to the social interactions of teams.”

Why would that be? Could it be that dogs make us feel good, which then impacts our social behavior?

To test that idea, the researchers asked independent raters to watch 40-second videos of the groups edited from the first study—with the sound off and no evidence of the dog in the room—and to note how often they saw indicators of positive emotions (like enthusiasm, energy, and attentiveness). The raters noticed many more good feelings in groups with a companion dog in the room than in groups with no dog, lending some support for their theory.

Although the dogs didn’t seem to impact performance on the group tasks during this short experiment, Colarelli believes that the observed social and emotional benefits could have impacts on group performance over time.

“In a situation where people are working together for a long period of time, and how well the team gets along—do they speak together, have rapport, act cooperatively, help one another—could influence the outcome of the team, then I suspect a dog would have a positive impact,” he says.

Of course, not everyone likes dogs, and some people may even be allergic. Colarelli says that we shouldn’t just start bringing dogs into every workplace—there would be a lot of factors to consider.

But his work adds to a body of research that suggests that dogs impact social interactions and personal well-being. Past studies have shown that people accompanied by dogs tend to elicit more helpful responses from others and that dogs in the workplace can reduce stress. Though most of this kind of research has been done on individuals or pairs, Colarelli’s study shows the positive impacts of dogs may extend to groups.

While the study is relatively preliminary, Colarelli believes that his results tie into another area of research finding positive effects when people are exposed to natural elements—which he thinks could include dogs and other animals—on wellness in the workplace.

Perhaps it’s time I consider letting Casey come to our next staff meeting…for everyone’s sake.

Source: How Dogs Help People Get Along Better | Greater Good

7 Simple Exercises That Will Transform Your Body in Just 4 Weeks

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To get you in shape,  at Bright Side they have come up with some simple exercises that will change how you look in as little as four weeks. You won’t have to go to the gym or buy any special equipment — all you need is determination and ten minutes a day.

Plank

Here are 20 rituals validated by neurosciences to be happier.

  • well_being2Express your gratitude: Say “thank you” more often.
  • Breathe: focusing on our breathing several times a day is soothing. Try the 6 breaths per minute, it’s even more beneficial (heart consistency).
  • Savor: instead of eating on the go, slow down and “listen” to your sensations. Mastiff and taste in full consciousness. In addition, you will eat less.
  • Walk: A 30-minute walk a day ventilates the mind and keeps it healthy.
  • Get closer to nature: nature does us good. Look at it, touch it, feel its benevolent presence.
  • Verbalize your emotions …: “today I feel”
  • … And your needs: “I need to …”
  • Smile: the smile has a retroactive effect. It improves mood.
  • Call or meet people you like: our brain is neuro-social and physical contact (like cuddling) releases the hormone of happiness (oxytocin).
  • Give, help: altruism makes you happy. Do not expect anything in return.
  • Make decisions: this reduces anxiety.
  • Make a list of your wildest wishes and then store it somewhere.
  • Draw: Draw makes happy, clarifies thoughts and facilitates emotional expression. Why not make a small drawing a day?
  • Sing and dance: the body influences the mind. Dancing and singing give fishing.
  • Weeping: Tears lower stress and allow a saving emotional discharge. If you can not, listen to sad music.
  • Meditate: Regular meditation has incredible effects on us.
  • Turn off the TV and do a digital detox treatment: start a few hours and then whole days.
  • Get involved in a project that is very close to your heart: take advantage of every action that contributes to this project. Become aware of your path.
  • Attract your curiosity: open magazines you’ve never opened, browse books on unknown themes, sign up for new lectures for you, explore new music, …
  • Simplify your life: throw, sell, empty, …

Last tip: sleep. Lack of sleep depresses and degrades our health.

AlchemyAstrology: 4-5 March, 2017 – sidereal — Lost Dudeist Astrology

Originally posted on Alchemy Astrology: Saturday-Sunday ACTIVE –

Saturday-Sunday
ACTIVE – Moon in Taurus, laboratory process of Congelation – emotionally stable

Congelation is a loose or temporary Conjunction of opposites; a mixture in which a liquid is gelled or made semi-solid; intercourse.


A good time to: stand tall; embrace your inspiration and upright motivation.

Challenges: one track; it’s so easy to concentrate and think outside the box you could get tunnel vision and miss what’s going on now.

Balance: compassion; take care of someone who needs a hand.

Keywords to Contemplate:
Unconventional . . . . . . . Sun in Aquarius – persistent, concentrative
Stable (emotionally) . . .  Moon in Taurus – changes, retentive
Original  . . . . . . . . . . . .  Mercury in Aquarius  – mental, concentrative
Compassionate . . . . . .  Venus in Pisces – pleasant, relaxative
Dynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . Mars in Aries – impulsive, persistent
Dutiful  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Jupiter in Virgo – fortunate, analytical
Dignified   . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn in Sagittarius – disruptive, inspirational

via AlchemyAstrology: 4-5 March, 2017 – sidereal — Lost Dudeist Astrology

8 Natural Arthritis Pain Relieving Strategies — hocuspocus13

  1. Magnesium. Before you do anything else to relieve arthritis pain, make sure you are getting enough magnesium. The body does not make this important mineral on its own.  It must come from outside sources. Magnesium helps the body to absorb the nutrients it takes in.  Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet is a great way to start.  Those foods include dark leafy green vegetables, all kinds of nuts, and beans.  Another wonderful day to end the day and add magnesium to your body is to take an Epsom salt soak.  A 15 – 20 minute soak in a warm bath laced with about a cup of Epsom salt will ease pain and stiffness.  The magnesium sulfate is absorbed through your skin.
  2. Dandelion.  If the season happens to be Spring, you can gather this remedy for free!  Even your neighbors may allow you to wild harvest dandelions from their lawns.  The tender leaves in the Springtime can be added to salads or you could just let dandelions be your salad.  You can also make a cup of warm dandelion tea.  Use 3 tablespoons chopped fresh leaves or 1 tablespoon dried leaves.  Steep the leaves in 6 ounces of boiling water for 5-8 minutes.  Add honey, if you want your tea sweet.
  3. White Willow Bark.  White willow is considered nature’s aspirin!  If you don’t have a white willow or care to wild harvest it, you can certainly purchase shredded or powdered willow bark from your favorite herb supplier.  The powder can be taken with the liquid of your choice.  If you use the chipped or shredded bark, you will need to make a decoction.  Using 2 teaspoons bark to every 8 ounces of water, place both in a pan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and allow it to simmer 20 minutes.  Strain.  Again, you can sweeten the infusion with honey or stevia if you like.  You can also drink it warm or cool. Drink 2 – 4 ounces twice daily to relieve pain.  Native Americans would chew the inner bark of the White Willow to relieve pain.
  4. Gentle exercise.  Yes, the dreaded ‘E’ word.  The fact is the more you move the more your joints and muscles will want to move.  Walking, of course, is a great and gentle exercise.  Have you considered tai chi?  Tai chi utilizes slow, graceful movements to strengthen muscles and joints and bring your body and mind back into balance.  It is an ultra-gentle way to keep your body moving.  If you are fortunate enough to have an instructor in your area, awesome!  If not, there are many videos on You Tube, or you can purchase a DVD.
  5. Liniment. You could make your own liniment oil using a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, grapeseed, or almond.  Mix in 20 drops of essential oils, eucalyptus or peppermint or a blend of both.  Rub the mixture into your achy joints to massage the pain away. Here again, if you don’t have those items on hand you can purchase pre-made liniment from your trusted health food store.
  6. Cayenne. Cayenne oil will warm up those stiff, achy joints in no time.  To make your own cayenne oil infuse 1 tablespoon of the crushed, dried cayenne pepper in 1/4 cup olive oil.  To infuse, mix the oil and pepper in a heat proof container and set it in a slow cooker on low for at least 3 hours.  After it is infused, strain the oil into a dark glass jar or bottle.  Cayenne oil is especially wonderful in cold winter months. Take care not to get the cayenne in your eyes!
  7. TENS Unit.  I don’t know that a TENS unit is a totally natural, but I do know that it is non-invasive and it works for many people.  A TENS unit is a small device that sends electrical pulses through the skin into the achy joints.  It can relieve pain and swelling when used on the affected joints.  These can be purchased at any drug store, many units are under $35.  Make sure you follow the device’s instructions carefully to insure safety.
  8. Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These supplements, often combined in one pill, will not deliver instant results.  They will offer lasting relief when taken regularly.  It normally takes 7 – 10 days for you to begin to see the effects.  Once you do, you will probably never want to stop taking them.

via 8 Natural Arthritis Pain Relieving Strategies — hocuspocus13

The alternative daily: Does Your Poop Sink or Float? (And Why It Matters)

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While the subject of our bathroom habits is usually either brushed under the rug or discussed in the form of embarrassing jokes, it is actually a complex and important area of health that should not be ignored.

We’ve talked about healthy bathroom habits and ways to resolve constipation, and today we will discuss the buoyancy of poop in particular. Whether your poops bob at the surface or dive to the bottom can be a sign of many things to do with your health and nutritional status.

Here are some of the hidden wellness messages that can be deciphered from the contents of your toilet.

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Poor digestion of fats

A common conclusion in the health community is that floating poops are a sign of poor digestion. When the floating stool sticks to the side of the toilet bowl and is difficult to flush, or an oily sheen appears on the surface of the water, fats in the diet are likely left undigested.

So what can be done about floating poop? Talk to a trusted health practitioner about the health of your liver, gallbladder and pancreas, all of which are involved in producing the bile that is used to digest fats.

Too little fiber

While many sources seem to indicate that sinking poops are preferred, others suggest that floaters are a sign that the diet contains a good amount of fiber. This is because those who eat more fiber, also known as prebiotics, have greater colonies of bacteria in the lower gut. This leads to poop that contains more gases produced by the bacteria. The gases make waste less dense and cause poop to float.

Regardless of whether you are seeing floaters or sinkers in the toilet, make sure that your diet contains lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes to ensure that an adequate amount of fiber is being consumed. The goal is to get at least 35 grams each day.

If fiber is a new thing in your diet, start slowly! Otherwise the number of bacteria feasting on all that fiber may increase too quickly and cause digestive discomfort.

Celiac disease

Some experts believe that floating poops could be a sign of celiac disease. Gluten leaves the gut inflamed and unable to digest food properly. Stools may float and be grey or tan in color, and have a foul odor. A particular concern is if you see floating, soft, diarrhea-like stool frequently or for an extended period. If this is you, consider getting tested for celiac disease, or better yet, simply decide to eliminate gluten from your diet!

Constipation
On the other hand, sinking poops can be a sign of chronic constipation. Constipation can occur when a person doesn’t have enough digestive motility (i.e., the intestines are not working to push the waste along). There are many causes of constipation, such as poor diet, anxiety, lack of exercise and not drinking enough water.

Common solutions are to drink more water to help hydrate the bowel and the stool, take magnesium supplements to relax the intestine, and use herbal remedies such as aloe vera juice and cayenne pepper, which are known to improve elimination.

Does the floater vs. sinker debate really matter?

In the end, many health experts do not emphasize the buoyancy of poop (or lack thereof). More important is the frequency, shape, color and smell. Use the following checklist to determine if you are a healthy pooper:

  • Eliminate at least once per day (but not more than three times).
  • Have poops that are smooth and about the shape of a banana, not too hard and not too soft.
  • Color should be an even medium brown with no visible bits of food, fat, blood or mucus.
  • Smell should be fairly neutral, not overly unpleasant.

The more points you answer “yes” to above, the better your poop health is! Ideally you will experience a mix of floaters or sinkers on different days, along with some that just hover in the water and don’t go to either extreme.

MORE TO BE CONTINUED ON SOURCE:

Does Your Poop Sink or Float? (And Why It Matters)

Rhythm of Breathing Key to Controlling Fear and Emotional Behavior : Waking Times

We live in a fearful world with exposure to a deluge of stressors everyday. As much as fear is a result of reacting to the actual or perceived events in our lives, it is also a biological function of the human body, and when equipped with an understanding of how the body manages the emotional system, we can easily outsmart it, tricking ourselves into emotional balance.

This perspective is scientifically validated by new research from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago Illinois, which discovered how the various rhythmic patterns of breath profoundly impact memory recall and the emotional body, specifically the fear response.

The amygdala is decisively liked to the processing of emotions, especially those related to fear, while the hippocampus is strongly linked to memory recall, and the breath, which originates with the diaphragm, plays the critical role of regulating their function.

“Breathing is modulated at the diaphragm, and it is also the location where many physical symptoms associated with fear and anxiety manifest.“ ~Brett Wilbanks

The differences in brain activity which occur during unique breathing rhythms were recognized by looking at brain activity during the introduction of fearful or surprising human faces, finding distinctively heightened activity during inhaling. Knowing this can be highly advantageous when you realize that your fear reaction is working overtime.

“We can potentially use this fact to our advantage. For example if you’re in a dangerous environment with fearful stimuli, our date indicate that you can respond more quickly if you are inhaling through your nose.” ~Christina Zelano

Furthermore, this further validates the importance of meditation, which commonly centers of developing control of the breath in order to quiet the mind and normalize physiological function in the body. The long-term results of a dedicated meditation practice include more stable and optimal emotional reactions to the world around us, indicating again that breathing is a critical component of living a fearless life.

This is viewpoint is backed up by this research, as noted by Zelano.

“When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network.” ~Christina Zelano

Source: Rhythm of Breathing Key to Controlling Fear and Emotional Behavior : Waking Times

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