Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Archive for March 25, 2013

Is Your Happiness Conditional?

Is Your Happiness Conditional?

 

Did you know that the first day of Spring 2013 was also The first World  International  Happiness Day, declared by the UN to signal the  importance of going beyond  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of  progress. The UN is taking a stand  on happiness! They are saying that we need a better measures of society’s real   wellbeing — including happiness. Right on, UN!

Consider  this outcome of the Gallup  Millennium World Survey: They polled almost  60,000 people in 60 countries,  Gallup ranked ten things that  people said were the most important to their  ability to experience happiness. At the top were health, a happy family life and  a job (a  life’s purpose) while “Standard of Living” (how rich you are compared  to  other people) was one of the least important.

So  this is what I know about happiness.  If you want to be happy you need  to be intentional about it. How are you  creating happiness in your life?  Happiness comes from our own actions. We  actually have to create it, and it can’t be conditional.

Tips on Intentional Happiness:

Is  there something that always bothers  you? Can you put it down for a  while, and take a break from it? Can you be  happy for the joy in  memories and not be sad that they are over, but happy that  whatever it  is, actually happened?

Can you spend so much time working on  your own crap, that you have little time to be critical and mean about others?

Can  you put resources towards your own  happiness creation project? That  means money, time and effort. That means  putting the pleasure in your  own hands, and not waiting for someone else to  give you permission to do  it. Can you stop being sensible about your happiness,  and stop having  to justify it behind disease and wellness? It’s true that  happiness  makes us healthier, but what if we can give ourselves happiness and  good  health is just a side effect?

Do you make happiness conditional?

One of my biggest learnings around happiness happened in the middle of my infertility   experience.

Every month, my happiness became conditional on whether or  not I was  pregnant. I was like those women who live and die by the  scale. If they lose  weight, it’s a good day. If they don’t, they sink  into a deep depression. That  was me and pregnancy.  All month long I  lived on this conditional  possibility of my own happiness. My happiness  could only look one way, and that  was not getting my period. That was a  rough way to live.

Then  in the middle of my great unhappiness came this next revelation: could  I  only be happy if everything always continued to look the way I expected  it  to look? Was there absolutely no room at all in my life for other  kinds of  happiness? Could I never enjoy other peoples’ children or go to  a movie without  thinking about pregnancy? Was there no possibility for  happiness in anything  other than a pregnancy?

I realized that I was living in the land of constant expectation. And  that  expectation set me up for pain, over and over again. It was a  pretty miserable  way to live.

I began to wonder if there were other ways to find this happiness and pleasure that I wanted in my life in between waiting for pregnancy to happen.

This is what I have found: conditional happiness was not a path to  pleasure  and well-being. I shifted my view because I started to realize  that I was  missing out on a lot of love, pleasure and joy with my  current perspective. I  was wasting a lot of really good living in my  very narrow view of what would  make me truly happy.

Often my thoughts would go to what I thought I truly wanted first,  and then  I would have to settle into what was in front of me. With some  practice the  process of being happy with my second pick was getting more  delicious with each  round.

It helped open a path filled with unexpected pleasures that I almost  stomped  away from in my anger over infertility. Silly me. Instead, I  started to be  filled with a new kind of peacefulness that I highly  recommend.  Sure, I  still wanted my babies. And they did come. The good  news is that when they  finally arrived, they came home to a woman that  was more able to receive love  than ever before.

So, when it comes to happiness think about how you look at it.   Are you  intentionally creating happiness in your life? Look at the ways you make your  happiness conditional on certain life events.  Happiness is worth  understanding and creating for yourself and the world around you.

Sometimes, happiness takes a little practice. How do you practice  happiness?

By Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women’s  Issues.   Pamela is  also author of the best selling memoir Shameless (Rodale,  Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.  Her websites BeingShameless.com and her daily blog, thefertilityadvocate.com, are  a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and  policymakers.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

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enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

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4 Ways to Use Music as Medicine

4 Ways to Use Music as Medicine

 

Human beings are governed by rhythms. From our pulsing heartbeat, to the  cadence of our speech patterns, to when we fall asleep and wake up—countless  rhythms drive our existence.

Perhaps this is why we are so mesmerized by music.

“From lullabies to funeral  songs, music is a part of our lives from the moment we enter the world,  until the moment we leave it,” says Diane Snyder-Cowan, director of the  Elisabeth Prentiss Bereavement Center for Hospice of the Western Reserve.

She describes a phenomenon called, “entrainment,” whereby people’s biological  rhythms become synchronized with the music they’re listening to.

Entrainment exerts such a powerful force that simply listening to and  focusing on soothing music can actually help a person enter a more relaxed state  of physical and mental functioning. Once people enter this state, they’re better  able to physically and mentally process things—from medications  to emotions.

A professional music therapist, Snyder-Cowan is part of a specially-trained  group of care providers who use melodies to achieve a particular treatment goal. “Music therapy is all about the intentional use of music to bring about a  particular change; whether that change is therapeutic, emotional or spiritual,” she says.

Melodies may be better than meds

Music therapists work in a variety of different settings, from hospitals to  halfway houses.

In some cases, music may even be more powerful than more traditional medical  interventions, such as prescriptions and physical therapy.

Here are a few studies that demonstrate how Mozart may trump medicine:

Singing helps the stroke-stricken to speak sooner: A study  conducted on a group of Finnish stroke sufferers found that listening to their  favorite tunes while recovering helped them regain their ability to recognize  words and communicate. When compared to stroke sufferers who listened to  audiobooks or nothing at all, those that listened to music for a few hours a day  experienced a much faster recovery of their verbal skills. The music listeners  were also less likely to be depressed and confused, two common post-stroke side  effects.

Pulsing pitches set pace for people with Parkinson’s:  Numerous studies have indicated that music therapy can allow people with  Parkinson’s to regain some of their overall functioning. In certain cases, music  may even prove more effective at helping a Parkinson’s sufferer move better than  traditional physical therapy techniques, according to an Italian study published  in, “Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.” Music therapy  also upped the quality of life and overall feelings of happiness reported by  those dealing with the disease.

Classical compositions have calming cardiovascular effects:  German researchers discovered that people recovering from open-heart surgery had  lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, after listening to classical  music. Relaxing refrains also helped patients calm down pre-surgery. In some  cases, listening to music before an operation was more effective in getting  a person to relax than commonly-prescribed anti-anxiety medications.

Melodic intervention to manage grief

Music therapists also work with hospice care providers to assist a dying  person and his family as they go through the grieving process.

Depending on the unique needs and wishes of the ailing individual and her  family, a music therapist can perform services, such as helping to create a  compilation CD of songs that have special meaning to the dying person to give as  a legacy gift, composing a song about the person’s life, and selecting and  playing particular melodies meant to ease their emotional and physical  pain as they transition out of this life.

Harness the healing power of harmony at home

You don’t have to be formally trained to help an ill loved one reap the  holistic healing benefits of music. Snyder-Cowan offers a few simple  suggestions:

Make your own music: If you or your loved one have a passion  for playing a particular instrument, don’t hesitate to dust off the old  six-string and strum out a few chords. “Live music has its own set of special  rewards,” says Snyder-Cowan.

Travel to another time or place: Music and memory are  intimately intertwined. To help your loved one get in touch with their past, try  playing music that was popular when they were in their 20s and 30s.

Match tempo to temper: No one genre of music is more  therapeutic than another. According to Snyder-Cowan, it’s all about personal  preference. Pick songs that you and your loved one enjoy listening to. Keeping  in mind the principal of entrainment, try to synchronize the songs to the mood  you’re trying to invoke.

Highlight hobbies: For example, a sick person may not be  able to visit the opera like he used to, but that doesn’t mean he has to forgo  his favorite arias. You can help bring the opera to him by purchasing or  downloading some of his favorite performances and playing them.

Elderly Man Revitalized by Music (video)

Elderly Man Revitalized by Music  (video)
By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com  Editor
AgingCare.com  connects family  caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing  options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted  resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed  decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

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12 Natural Remedies that Boost Hair Growth

12 Natural Remedies that Boost Hair Growth

 

Hair loss affects both men and women.  While genetics plays a role,  there are other factors, including:  hormonal imbalances, an underactive  thyroid gland, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient scalp circulation.   Here are 12 natural remedies that can help boost hair growth:

Cut back on meat: Hormonal imbalances are a primary culprit  in hair loss.  Japanese researchers also link excessive sebum production in  the scalp to high levels of 5-alpha reductase.  Their research indicated  that animal fat intake may increase sebum production.

Add the herb saw palmetto: A study in the Journal of  Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that saw palmetto (serenoa  repens) may increase hair growth in men.  Hair growth improved in men  taking 400 mg of a standardized extract of saw palmetto and 100 mg of  beta-sitosterol (from saw palmetto) daily.  Historically, saw palmetto has  been used by herbalists for hair loss in both men and women.

Address a possible underactive thyroid gland  (hypothyroidism) which can cause thinning hair:  Add sea vegetables like  kelp, nori, dulse, kombu and wakame, all of which are rich in iodine may be  helpful to balance this condition.  Avoid drinking tap water since it  typically contains fluorine and chlorine, two chemicals that inhibit iodine  absorption.  You may also want to supplement with 100 mg or 1 mL of the  herb bladderwrack (focus vesiculosus) daily.  Work with a qualified  holistic health care professional if you suspect a sluggish thyroid gland.

Get enough essential fatty acids:  Essential fatty  acids from walnuts, flaxseeds, fish and avocado are also important for healthy  hair.

Boost bioton: Biotin encourages hair and scalp health.   Dietary sources of biotin include: nuts, brown rice and oats.

Boost keratin production with MSM: Methylsulfonylmethane  aids in the production of keratin (a protein in the hair) while doing  double-duty to strengthen hair follicles.  In one study 100 percent of  people who supplemented with MSM showed reduced hair loss and increased growth  in only six weeks.

Rejuvenate hair follicles with B-complex vitamins: 100 mg  daily of a B-complex supplement that includes biotin and vitamin B6 can reduce  hair thinning by increasing scalp circulation and rejuvenating hair  follicles.

Rev up collagen production with vitamin C: Collagen  surrounds the hair strands but as we age collagen breaks down, causing hair to  be more vulnerable to breaking.  The best way to boost collagen is not  through some expensive medical procedure, it’s by getting more vitamin C.   Foods high in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries and red  peppers.  Supplementing with 250 mg daily can help boost collagen  production which has the added bonus of reducing wrinkling.

Prevent breakage with vitamin E: Vitamin E is required to  nourish damaged hair and to prevent breakage.  It aids the body’s ability  to manufacture keratin within hair strands to reduce breakage.   Supplementing with 400 IU of vitamin E can be helpful to restore locks.

Eat foods rich in iron: Iron is also essential for hair  growth and can be found in blackstrap molasses, green leafy vegetables, leeks,  cashews, dried fruits, figs, and berries.  To help your body absorb iron,  you’ll need enough vitamin C.

Give your hair a mineral boost: The minerals silica and zinc  are also critical for hair growth.  Take 500 mg of silica two times daily  and 30 mg of zinc once daily.

Boost scalp circulation with rosemary essential oil:  Rosemary essential oil has been traditionally used to increase circulation to  the scalp.  Add a few drops per dollop of shampoo or, better yet, add a few  drops of rosemary to coconut oil and massage your scalp regularly.

By Micheelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~  www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

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