Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting In Tune With Your Spiritual Well-Being

Very few people are a tuned with their spiritual health which has a significant effect in the over-all wellness of the mind and body. Spirituality is unique to each individual. It can be equated with traditional religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism. It could also mean as growing in your personal relationships with others, or simply being at peace with nature.

Those who are not in touch with their spiritual needs usually experience deep sadness, depression, intense anger, fear, anxiety, and grief. These negative feelings can create the environment for emotional, physical, and mental health dysfunction. People who suffer from repeated physical and emotional abuse carries a wounded and broken heart tormented by life's difficulties and pains. They do not realize that their heavy-heartedness may influence their well-being. Denial of the depth of distress will only aggravate the situation and may lead to serious heart conditions and illnesses.

Recent studies have shown the connection between depression and anxiety, and the development of heart diseases. They are considered risk factors equal to high cholesterol and diabetes. According to research, patients going through depression are twice as likely to die from the complications of a heart attack, compared with people who don't have depression. Some experts even suggest that depression and anxiety should be classified as new risk factors for the development of heart disease.

People who are alone and friendless tend to be more sickly, with greater chances of developing heart disease and a shorter life expectancy, than those blessed with a wide circle of friends, relationships, and support. There seems to be a direct connection between illness and lack of love as documented in research studies conducted by Dean Ornish, M.D., a respected cardiologist from the University of California in San Francisco.

A few years ago, scientists have discovered that inflammation of the coronary arteries plays a role in the arteries becoming clogged with cholesterol. Two of the most successful heart medications, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, work at the hormonal level, reducing the influence of adrenaline released when we are upset, nervous, or experiencing stress and fear. These drugs have been nothing short of miraculous, reducing incidence of death by 30 percent.
However, there are many patients who do not respond well to drugs alone because of emotional as well as physical ailments. This is where alternative healing, such as meditation, prayer, or psychotheraphy, comes in.

Sufism, or Practicing Remembrance, is an ancient spiritual practice that originated in Islam, and best known in the West through the poetry of Rumi. Sufism focuses its many practical and effective methods of healing on the heart with a simple but miraculous way of opening a person to the healing rays of love.

Spiritual wellness is discovering a sense of meaning in your life, and healthy lifestyle living out the reason and purpose of your existence.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Letting Go

Different people have different views about life.. They either marvel about it, or mouth a litany of complaints. Life is is is what you make it...and so on and so forth. But what about death? Not very many will engagingly discuss the topic of death unless the situation is at hand. And since most people find it morbid to dwell on such an issue, they also find it very difficult to accept a tragedy when it strikes.

Death is inevitable as birth is common. However, while birth is considered a natural part of life's processes, people tend to have a different attitude towards death. And yet, it is an eventuality we all have to face sooner or later. Like it or not, we have to cope with it when we are finally faced with the death of someone we care about so much.

We grieve when we lose something. It can be a job, a prized possession, an unborn child, or the end of a relationship. But nothing compares to the loss or death of a loved one which could bring about the most powerful feeling of grief. It is characterized by not just a single feeling but a whole succession of feelings which take a while to overcome and which cannot be hurried. And no matter how similar the the experiences we may have, the intensity of grieving will always be different with each individual. There is no “right” way, or “correct” order for the grieving process.

As soon as the news of death of a close relative or friend is disclosed, most people feel simply stunned, as though they could not believe it has actually happened. Even in the case of terminally ill patients whose demise are already expected, still, most people may feel surprised by the tragedy as if it hasn't been expected at all.

There are times when the sense of emotional numbness initially keeps a person from grieving but helps in getting through some of the important practical arrangements that have to be made, such as getting in touch with relatives, as well as organizing the funeral. Yet sometimes, such feeling of unreality may become a problem if it goes on for too long. Suppressing emotions will only aggravate the situation and can have detrimental repercussions in the physical, emotional, and mental health of an individual.

People who refuse to acknowledge the feelings of sadness have the tendency to avoid relationships which only aggravate the depression. Similarly, emotional eaters usually become angrier with themselves after a bingeing episode.

Guilt is another common feeling for people who are in the process of grieving. They could not get it out of their head and may even consider what they could have done differently to prevent the tragedy of death. The grieving person may need to be reminded that death is usually beyond anyone’s control. In the case of deaths of terminally ill patients, the feeling of relief is natural but may cause guilty feelings.

In due time, the intense pain of grieving, as well as the depression, will fade away and it is again possible to think about the future. Although the sense of having lost a part of oneself never goes away entirely, the final phase of grieving is a letting go of the person who has died. Live a healthy lifestyle!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Workout In The Midst of Global Crisis

There's more to getting in shape than gym memberships or those costly home gym equipments. The current global economic crisis shouldn't be an excuse not to get into shape. There are myriad of ways to get those excess pounds off and still save money with the following tips:

1. Work Out At Home

You may find it hard to figure out what exercises you should be doing at home. Charla McMillan, creator of, a training program for fitness professionals told WebMD to follow a few simple guidelines. “You have to ensure that all your major muscle groups are targeted at least once each week -- and no more than three times a week, and your program has to include 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise three to five times a week.”

Always remember to stretch first before doing any fitness program to help with both strength and flexibility. Adrian Garce, a personal trainer, suggests that at least two to three minutes of stretching is also needed as you end your exercise.

Some of the basic, no-equipment exercises to get you started are squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, chair crunches, and chair dips.

2. Plan Your Workout Schedule

With expensive gym memberships, people are less likely to miss a schedule. In the same way, approach your “budget” workout with the same convictions. Make a realistic schedule and fulfill it by all means. Get rid of interruptions like phone calls, visitors and errands.

3. Motivate Yourself

Keep your workout on track by laying out your exercise clothes the night before. According to Susie Shina, director of and author of 60-Second Circuits: 1,000 Easy Exercise Combos You Can Do Anywhere, this acts as a reminder that you don't want to skip out on your session.”

For music lovers, choose a playlist of your favorite exercise songs and load them into your mp3 player, or create a workout CD. Timing the music to fit the length of your workout will help keep you on track for the whole routine.
“Motivation and music go hand in hand, so again, it's another way to ensure you stay motivated,” said Shina.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obese And Overweight Americans Growing In Number

Being overweight is not included in a healthy lifestyle, considered a bad thing. Too much fat on the body causes a lot of stress on the skeletal and muscular systems, the structures that keep the body standing. Being obese brings with it a number of effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and can become one of the most debilitating physical problems that a person can have. It isn't difficult to imagine that being both overweight and obese at the same time would be a major problem for people. The American federal government has been trying very hard to curb the slow increase of both problems, but a recent study has found that rather than go down, the numbers are going up. The worse news, however, is that the numbers show that more and more people are being both overweight and obese.

The National Center for Health Statistics, which has been keeping records of public health matters in terms of numbers in the population, has recently published the latest statistics on overweight and obese people in the US. The data shows a very dismal estimate. More than 34% of the total US population is obese, in comparison the lower number of those who are overweight, which was at 32.7%. The only bright side is that those who are considered obese in the extreme only appeared to be at 6%. Still, more than one-third of all adults – an estimated 72 million people – are obese and overweight.

The statistics were obtained by using mobile physical examination centers, taking the relevant measurements of over 4,356 people over the age of 20. The physical examinations included measurements of height and weight, along with more comprehensive body measurements. The study found that obesity has doubled in prevalence since 1980, while the prevalence of overweight people in the population has remained relatively stable within that same time period.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Violent Tendencies Of Depression

Teenagers can become depressed, and all too often, people tend not to notice. After all, teenagers don't usually display the most commonly known signs of depression. For example, most people would assume that the condition would cause prolonged episodes of emotional lows, a lack of energy, and a clear inability for them to enjoy activities that they used to regularly engage in. However, depression does not always manifest in this manner for teenagers. Psychiatrists have long come to realize that the symptoms of the mood disorder in teenagers can often coincide very well with typical teen behaviors.

Sudden changes in behavior are not uncommon among teenagers, and most parents would shrug these off as normal occurrences. Teenagers are often known to have mood swings and can experience emotional highs and lows far more easily than adults. Most parents also believe that any changes to behavior should just be ignored, as it could simply be rebelliousness, or some other factor. However, the reality is that, while all of the above are considered normal events in a teenager's development, they are also symptoms of depression within the teen and young adult years. Many parents also tend to dismiss one key sign of teen depression – violent behavior – to be something normal.

Violence is considered to be closely tied to depression for teenagers, such that a previously calm teenager suddenly displaying violent behavior is taken as a serious sign by many mental health professionals. However, as with any of the other symptoms of depression manifesting during the teen years, it can easily be interpreted as a normal event. Indeed, violent behavior can be the outcrop of any number of factors that affect the average teenager's life.

According to many studies, it is often the parents who are the last to know if something is wrong with their child. The common parental tendency is not to question changes in behavior, brushing it off as effects of the changes that come with puberty. Others react in less pleasant forms and may even become aggressive, but very few would actually consider the possibility that their child might not be mentally stable.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Poor Kids Turn Into Depressed Teens

Being poor, as many people have stated and will continue to state over the course of human history, sucks. The limited financial resources make it difficult – if not impossible – to access certain things. Food, medical care, education, and living space can all be drastically affected for the worse by a lack of financial resources. It doesn't get any easier as you grow older, but according to a recent study, part of the problem might be connected to the mentality instilled in the typical child below the poverty line. Research suggests that children in poorer families are at a higher risk of developing depression than those in higher income ranges.

The study followed a total of 500 families from Iowa for a decade, and their gathered data showed that children in families below the poverty line were at a higher risk of developing depression upon reaching adolescence. These teenagers, based on observations, displayed a tendency to make decisions that made it difficult for them to get out of their economic situation. The decisions listed included leaving home, getting married earlier than average, and having unprotected sex and proceeding to keep the baby.

These decisions inevitably make it harder for them to escape their economic difficulties, which results in a cyclical situation. The cycle eventually causes children to be at higher risk of encountering obstacles during adulthood that they may not be prepared to handle. These can include lower levels of educational attainment, a lack of stability in their personal relationships, and yes, depression. The findings reflected that the adversity tended to be reflected within a given family over generations, from the family of origin to the family of the offspring. Only in rare cases have there been exceptions that disproved the data, and even then, depression seemed to be at higher risk than in the rest of the population. In simpler terms, the researchers described it as “the transmission of poverty.”

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Foods That Combat Depression

Depression is a rather common emotion for people to feel. At one point in your life or another, you've felt sad or depressed from being let down by people in certain situations. And what do people usually do when to relieve themselves of their depression? Pigging out.

Most people use food to get themselves out of the emotional pit that they are stuck on. Some of the common foods people use to comfort themselves when their depressed are chocolates, chips, popcorn, ice cream, and cake. Most of which they binge on until they feel better.

If you're going to use food to push your depression away, why not choose the healthy, but nonetheless good variety of food. Here are some examples of delicious foods that can help you combat depression:

Take pasta or bread for dessert.
Pasta dishes and bread are packed with carbohydrates. Studies have linked carbohydrates to the brain's serotonin (a brain chemical responsible for mood regulation) production, showing that a lack of carbohydrates in one's diet can cause mood changes.

Eat omega-3 rich fish for lunch or dinner.
Tuna, salmon, and mackerel are great examples of great fish choices that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important in maintaining good communications between nerve cells. With neurons communicating perfectly, risks of depression are minimized.

Try different poultry dishes.

Poultry meat, specifically chicken or turkey meat, are rich in vitamin B6 and contain selenium. Vitamin B6 and selenium are both noted to play a part on the body's serotonin production.
You'll never go wrong with vegetables.
Dark green vegetables, in particular, are rich in folate. Folate is yet another key component in the serotonin production of the brain. Spinach is a good and tasty example of a dark green vegetable that can help you fight depression.

If you're going to stuff yourself with food to get over the blues, know that there are tastier, more healthier options you can go with to combat your depression.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Natural Pain Relief Methods For Headache

The pain brought about by headaches is really annoying, especially during times when you are really busy at work or during times when you are so busy at home chores and other responsibilities. Most of the time, headaches can be easily cured by over-the-counter medications that can be availed in local drugstores and online pharmacies. However, it is not always a good idea to take medications as treatment for mere head pains.

See, headache pains come in a variety of levels. These levels are associated with the causes that trigger the pain. Hence, the treatments for headache also vary depending on the intensity and factor that trigger it.

As cited earlier, it is not always best to take drugs to cure head pain, for one can even develop more serious side effects from taking medication treatments for headache. Instead of always taking over-the-counter drugs, why not try to practice using natural pain relief methods for your head pains?

To know more about the different natural ways to cure headache, read on below for more effective means to get rid of nasty head pains:

1.Get enough sleep.

Sleep is probably the most popular form of natural pain relief method for headache. Rest is something that no amount of drugs can match up with. Sleeping revitalizes the body as it removes the stress that tends to build up into head pains. So always get enough sleep everyday in order to avoid headaches.

2.Stop smoking and drinking too much coffee.

Studies revealed that too much consumption of coffee and nicotine can trigger mild to severe head pains. With these, coffee and nicotine are known and referred to as stimulants. Hence, to avoid headache, it is best to stay away from these stimulants for good.

3.Avoid consuming too much cheese, wine, nuts, and chocolates.

Like caffeine and nicotine, these foods are also noted to trigger mild to severe head pains. For this, avoiding them is a good way to dodge head pains or migraine attacks.

4.Take a long and relaxing hot bath.

One of the best ways to relax and get rid of head pains is to take a long hot bath. This way, tension leaves the body as well as the pain brought by headache.

5.Drink plenty of water.

Research showed that once the body is dehydrated, headaches are bound to be experienced. Hence, it is recommended to drink eight glasses of water everyday in order to stay well hydrated.

6.Exercise daily.

Exercising helps one get rid of head pains. This activity fights stress, thus, relieving one from recurring headaches. Exercising does not necessarily mean rigorous workouts. Simple routines such as walking, jogging, or running are enough to relive pain.

Now that natural pain relief methods for head pains are given and expounded, people should not just take drugs as their only means to get rid of headache pains. Make do of these methods and one is sure to have a safer way to dodge the annoying hassles brought about by recurring headaches.
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