Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘happy’

23 (Scientific) Happiness Hacks

happiness-hacks

It’s easy to regard happiness as something that happens to you, but being happy is a choice that you can actively seek out and attain. You needn’t sit by and wait for happiness to come to you; you can go out and grab it virtually whenever you want.

What types of choices lead to happiness? Many of them involve leading a healthy lifestyle, because a healthy body goes hand-in-hand with a healthy mind.

Happy people tend to eat healthier, exercise more, and get better sleep than those who are stressed out or depressed — all habits associated with health.

On the other hand, when you feel happy, you’re more likely to actively seek out and follow a healthier lifestyle. Regardless of which comes first, happiness or a healthy lifestyle, striving to be happy can lead to physical changes along with emotional ones.

Lower Blood Pressure, Better Immune Function and Improved Mobility

A review of more than 200 studies found that positive psychological well-being is linked with a lower risk of heart disease as well as lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles.1

Further, among those 60 and over, feelings of happiness and enjoyment were associated with improved mobility and a lower risk of developing a disability over an eight-year period.2

Past research has found that positive emotions — including being happy, lively and calm — appear to play a role in immune function. One study found that when happy people are exposed to cold and flu viruses, they’re less likely to get sick and, if they do, exhibit fewer symptoms.3

The association held true regardless of the participants’ levels of self-esteem, purpose, extraversion, age, education, body mass or pre-study immunity to the virus, leading the lead researcher to say:4

“We need to take more seriously the possibility that positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk.”

23 Happiness Hacks

Do you want to be happier? CNN compiled 25 happiness hacks that are backed by science.5 Incorporate as many of these into your life as you can, and you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier you.

    1. Exercise

The feel-good effects of exercise are often attributed to endorphins, but anandamide may actually deserve the credit. Anandamideis a neurotransmitter and endocannabinoid produced in your brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression.

It’s a derivative of the Sanskrit word “bliss,” and a deficiency is associated with increased anxiety and stress.6

Anandamide levels are known to increase during and following exercise. A recent animal study similarly found that anandamide might be responsible for producing a “runner’s high” in mice.

Exercise also boosts levels of potent brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress. It’s even one of the most effective prevention and treatment strategies for depression.

    1. Yoga

Yoga has been around for about 5,000 years, and while many regard it as just another form of exercise — some even see it as a “fad” — it’s really a comprehensive practice that integrates mental, physical, and spiritual elements.

With regards to the latter, yoga can be viewed as a form of meditation that demands your full attention as you move from one asana (yoga position) to another. As you learn new ways of moving and responding to your body and mind, other areas of your life tend to shift and change as well.

In a sense, you not only become more physically flexible, but your mind and approach to life may gain some needed flexibility as well.

Research suggests yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy, by influencing neurotransmitters and boosting serotonin. It’s known to benefit mild depression and anxiety, too.

    1. Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens like spinach are rich in folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. One 2012 study found people who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression than those who ate the least.7

Furthermore, research from the University of Otago found eating fruits and vegetables of any sort (except fruit juice and dried fruit) helped young adults calm their nerves.8 Department of Psychology researcher Tamlin Conner, Ph.D. said:9

“On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier, and more energetic than they normally did.”

    1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is designed to help you deal more effectively with situations that fill you with anxiety. It teaches you to recognize and reverse harmful thought patters and replace them with positive ones.

In a systematic review of 11 studies, no statistically significant difference in effectiveness was found between second-generation antidepressants and CBT.10

    1. Adorn Your Home With Fresh Flowers

People who looked at flowers first thing in the morning reported feeling happier and more energetic.11 Just be sure your cut flowers come from organic growers (or your own backyard).

    1. Think Happy and Smile

Simply thinking about a positive event, and smiling as a result, can make you happier and more upbeat (more so than simply fake smiling, which is actually linked to worsened mood).

A genuine smile includes the facial muscles around your eyes, and can actually prompt brain changes linked to increased mood.

    1. Light Therapy

Full-spectrum light therapy is often recommended over antidepressants for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but according to recent research, light therapy may be preferable even for major depression.12

Light therapy alone and placebo were both more effective than Prozac for the treatment of moderate to severe depression in the eight-week study. Blue light has been found to be particularly beneficial for boosting your mood, as it plays a key role in your brain’s ability to process emotions.

    1. Open Your Shades

If you don’t have a light box, at least open your shades and let the sunshine in. A brighter living or work area will help to boost your mood.

    1. Go Outside

Exposure to bright outdoor light is crucial for a positive mood, in part because regular exposure to sunlight will helps to enhance your mood and energy through the release of endorphins.13

Getting sun exposure outdoors will also help you optimize your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with SAD, as well as more chronic depression.14,15

    1. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are certainly a wonderful medicinal food and many varieties are rich in the antioxidant selenium, low levels of which have been linked to anxiety.

Mushrooms are also one of the better food sources of vitamin D, which supports healthy mood (however, your best option to optimize your vitamin D levels is regular sun exposure or use of a high-quality tanning bed; if that’s not possible, a vitamin D3 supplement may be necessary).

    1. Meditate

Meditation is an underutilized tool to optimize mental health. Not only is it helpful for stress relief and gaining greater self-awareness, but it has also been shown to alter the structures of your brain for the better, including reducing activity in the “me” centers of your brain.

Meditation is also linked to decreased anxiety and depression and improved psychological well-being.16 Mindfulness meditation has also been shown to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus and brain areas involved in the regulation of emotions and self-referential thought processes.17

    1. Smell Oranges or Orange Essential Oil

Sweet orange oil has been found to have anxiety-inhibiting effects in humans, supporting its common use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.18 Ambient odors of orange (and lavender) also reduced anxiety and improved mood in patients waiting for dental treatment.19

Compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor in a dental office had a lower level of anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness. Researchers concluded, “exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect.”20

    1. Play With Your Pet

Couples who own pets are less stressed by conflicts and recover quicker when conflicts occur. Pet-owning couples also report more signs of happiness and sociability than non pet-owning couples.21 Elderly dog owners also report being more satisfied with their social, physical and emotional states.22

    1. Recharge With a Microbreak

Taking a few minutes to watch a funny video online, go for a quick walk or have an uplifting chat with a coworker may leave you feeling happier, more upbeat and more energetic.

    1. Eat Turmeric

Curcumin, the pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow-orange color, is thought to be the primary component responsible for many of its medicinal effects. Among them, curcumin has neuroprotective properties and may enhance mood and possibly help with depression.

    1. Listen to Music

Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations. One study found listening to music even resulted in less anxiety and lower cortisol levels among patients about to undergo surgery than did taking anti-anxiety drugs.23

    1. Sing

The sacculus, a tiny organ in your inner ear, responds to frequency notes associated with singing. In turn, the sacculus is connected to pleasure-inducing areas of your brain, leading researchers from the University of Manchester to conclude that we may be hard-wired to derive pleasure from singing.24

    1. Eat Dark Chocolate

Like exercise, chocolate may trigger your brain to produce the “bliss compound” anandamide. It also contains other chemicals that prolong the “feel-good” aspects of anandamide.

Chocolate has even been referred to as “the new anti-anxiety drug.” One study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology also revealed that drinking an antioxidant-rich chocolate drink equal to about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily felt calmer than those who did not.25

    1. Drink Organic Black Coffee

Coffee appears to affect a number of neurotransmitters related to mood control, so drinking a morning cup could have an effect on your general sense of wellbeing. Research has shown that coffee triggers a mechanism in your brain that releases BDNF, which activates your brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, thereby improving your brain health

Interestingly enough, research also suggests that low BDNF levels may play a significant role in depression and that increasing neurogenesis has an antidepressant effect. One Harvard study even found women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than those who drank little or none.26

    1. Drink Green Tea

Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier and has psychoactive properties. Theanine increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and alpha wave activity, and may reduce mental and physical stress and produce feelings of relaxation.27

    1. Get or Give a Hug

Hugging is known to lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Hugging also activates the orbitofrontal cortex in your brain, which is linked to feelings of reward and compassion.28

    1. Eat Avocados

Avocados provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folate, and, according to research published in the Nutrition Journal, eating just one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may satiate you if you’re overweight, which will help prevent unnecessary snacking later.29

Those who ate half an avocado with their standard lunch reported being 40 percent less hungry three hours after their meal, and 28 percent less hungry at the five-hour mark compared to those who did not eat avocado for lunch. The study also found that avocados appear helpful for regulating blood sugar levels. This combination of satiety and blood-sugar regulation can help keep your mood steady, even in times of stress.

    1. Eat More Omega-3 Fats, Found in Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon

Found in salmon, sardines and anchovies, as well as in supplement form, such as krill oil, the animal-based omega-3 fats EPA and DHA play a role in your emotional well-being.

One study in Brain Behavior and Immunity showed a dramatic 20 percent reduction in anxiety among medical students taking omega-3,30 while past research has shown omega-3 fats work just as well as antidepressants in preventing the signs of depression, but without any of the side effects.

I’d also add one more important mood booster, which is optimizing your gut health with fermented foods. Fermented foods, including fermented vegetables, are one of the best sources of probiotics there is. Certain probiotics are now being referred to as psychobiotics, or “bacteria for your brain,” and are being used to successfully treat depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric problems.

In one recent study, a multispecies probiotic supplement taken for four weeks reduced cognitive reactivity to sad mood, which is a strong marker for depression (the more a person reacts to sad mood with dysfunctional thoughts, the more prone they are to a depressive episode).31 So if you want to be happy, be sure your diet is rich in traditionally fermented foods.

Even better, get together with friends and family to make a big batch together; you’ll get the benefit of healthy foods together with the mood-boosting benefits of positive social interactions. It doesn’t get much better than that!

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

www.mercola.com

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Seeking solutions for radiant skin, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler, CMSAT ~ Certified BioEnergetic Technician

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes

​Ethical Organic Health & Beauty Consultant ~ Neal’s Yard Remedies​

Member International Association for Health Coaches

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org and NYR Organic

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

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8 Habits to Ditch & Embrace in 2015

8 Habits to Ditch & Embrace in 2015

Stop feeling guilty. We spend a considerable amount of thought-energy on guilt — and where does it get us? It doesn’t solve problems; it ironically worsens them by building up stress which takes an incredible toll on your body and mind. Instead, take a proactive approach to life and improve the situation. Don’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself. No matter how bad you feel today, tomorrow is always a new day, and a new chance to live better.     

Accept yourself as you are. You are imperfect. Deal with it. Everyone is flawed in myriad ways. Thinking that you’re somehow any worse than anyone else is incorrect. Everyone makes mistakes. But, by practicing confidence and self-acceptance, you will exude the illusion of ‘togetherness’ that everyone is striving to achieve. Heck, you may even start to fool yourself!      

Exercise, meditate, and eat natural foods. No one’s telling your to try and win the next Ironman competition, but these 3 pillars are pivotal to a healthy, happy lifestyle. Think about it as a trifecta: Some gentle, fun exercise every day keeps you young; 5 or 10 minutes of meditation will nix your chronic stress; wholesome, natural foods will help your body function the way it was meant to. Start incorporating these into your life, bit by bit, week by week, and notice how much better you feel. Your body will love you for it.    

Embrace your dreams. Everyone has dreams. But, for most, that’s where they stay. Make your dreams reality this year; they’re not impossible. Make a realistic, step-by-step timetable to help you achieve your wildest, most desired dreams. It may take an entire year — it may take 10 — but you’ll be pursuing your dreams and enjoying the experience instead of just letting them flit about and wither within your mind.   

Stop fearing the unknown. Take chances this year. Fear of the unknown is what squashes most dreams. Comfort is overrated; try something you’ve never done before. Get out there. You may just discover a whole new dimension to yourself! What’s the worst that can happen? 

Stop stressing about money. Again, stressing only worsens the situation. Instead, do something about it. Be proactive. Financial stress can make you miserable. Figure out a way to deal with it and trust that, with effort, it will all work out in the end. You’ll feel the load on your shoulders lighten considerably. 

Do things that make you feel strong and independent. This is especially true if you are in a long-term relationship with loved ones and friends. We can get so comfortable and dependent on our partners and comrades that we lose a bit of ourselves — that beautiful, spunky spark. This year, take chances and rediscover yourself out on your own. Take a solo trip, delve into a new class by yourself, talk to interesting new people. It will bring further dimension and excitement into your life — and your relationships.       

Let go of negativity. The counterclockwise whirlpool of your mind can suck even your most intrinsic happiness and positivity out of you if you allow it. The beautiful thing is: you’re in control. You can cut the branches of negative thought off at the source. Most of what we experience in life is heavily influenced by the mind, meaning you have the power to alter and improve your experiences through positive thinking. Kick out negativity and negative words like ‘can’t’, ‘no’, ‘won’t’, ‘too hard’, and all the rest. Negativity is simply a waste of precious, beautiful time. 

2015 is the year to make yourself into what you want to be. Carve your own path and thrive in the positivity and confidence these habits will offer your life. So, go ahead and do it — there’s no better time. It’s all within you.

By Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the back country! 

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ 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.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

Cashews to Beat the Blues

Cashews to Beat the Blues

What makes cashews so powerful? Tryptophan. That’s right; tryptophan isn’t just in your holiday turkey. One serving of cashews contains 28% of our RDA of the essential amino acid. Tryptophan is actually a precursor to serotonin. When serotonin levels are low, anxiety and depression can set in. The body uses tryptophan to produce serotonin in the brain, so 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cashews can actually help your body boost its stores. In fact, about 1/2 cup of cashews contains around 500 mg of tryptophan, which is justified as a therapeutic amount for mood elevation. Just don’t start eating 1/2 cup of cashews every day as, although they are healthy, they are nutritionally dense in calories.

But tryptophan alone is not what makes cashews such a powerful antidepressant food. Cashews are also high in magnesium and B6. Our modern diets are often deficient in magnesium, due to stress and poor eating habits. Incidentally, magnesium has been shown to prevent and rapidly treat depression in many patients, so it is an incredibly important mineral for mood balance. B6, on the other hand, is also extremely important, as it is the vitamin responsible for tryptophan’s conversion into serotonin. It also enhances magnesium’s absorption by the body. In fact, tryptophan, B6, and magnesium work together as a trifecta of mood-boosters, and cashews are a great source of all of ‘em.

Cashews aren’t a miracle food, however. It is still important to reduce stress, get moderate exercise, and consume a healthy diet to get the one-up on depression. Stress may be the most significant factor, as cortisol can prevent tryptophan from being converted in the body. So, be sure to practice meditation, yoga, or positive self talk with those cashews, and be sure to always consult a trusted doctor for anything occurring chronically.

What’s often overlooked, however, is that nutrition and depression are inextricably linked. If you are feeling blue, it may be a good idea to get tested for dietary deficiencies before popping pills. Other great foods loaded with tryptophan, if you are adverse to cashews, are pumpkin seeds and beans. But, with B6, magnesium, and tryptophan, cashews are veritable depression busters. Keeping some on hand in your freezer for a quick and delicious boost or to combat the winter doldrums is an excellent idea.

Leesa recommends choosing Organic Cashews, Organic Pumpkin Seeeds, and Organic Beans!

By Jordan Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! 

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ 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.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

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link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

3 Unexpected Therapies to Improve Mood

3 Unexpected Therapies to Improve Mood

Mime Therapy. You needn’t don a white face and striped shirt to mime. Miming is actually a very complex art form that encourages the coordination of both body and mind. Miming as therapy has been used to successfully help patients with Down syndrome in Houston, who find it more easy, fun, and educational to communicate their feelings through mime than through verbal explanation. Pantomime is essentially a form of “nonverbal art therapy”, and can have a profound effect on those who have difficulty expressing themselves creatively, while potentially offering benefits for those who are generally stressed or feeling low.

If you are really not into the thought of pantomime — perhaps you suffer from metamfiezomaiophobia — try turning up the beats and dancing those blues out for a similar effect. Not only does dancing, or general rhythmic movement, feel good and unleash a surge of endorphins, it also enhances your capacity to learn. Not a “dancer”? You don’t have to be. Just be confident. It is my belief that you could be the worst dancer in the world, but if you commit yourself to what you’re doing, it’s impossible to have a bad time. Bad dancers are those who are embarrassed or tentative. Let it loose, ditch the blues, and show off your best/silliest moves!

Smile Therapy. The chronically stressed can really benefit from this one. Even if it is not genuine, forcing yourself to smile and laugh can have profound, lasting impacts on your mood. Not only does smiling boost mood by releasing endorphins and serotonin, but it makes us appear more attractive, relieves stress, boosts immune system, and even lowers blood pressure. Benefits galore! What’s more, smiling and hearty laughter is contagious, so smiling at someone who is having a bad day might lift their spirits along with your own.

Light Therapy. Perhaps you have heard of this therapy in association with seasonal affective disorder. Light, or lack thereof, has the power to control our mood hormones, meaning too little sunlight could lead to feelings of inadequacy and depression. Traditionally, patients use a lightbox in the dearth of winter to encourage a brighter mood, sometimes used in conjunction with the equally intriguing concept of chromotherapy. Sunrise stimulation is particularly useful for waking up and lifting the fog on those dark, cold days. To help with your minor morning grumps at home, just open up your shades upon awakening, or go for a short walk in the early sunlight. Exposure to sunlight in the morning halts production of melatonin — which is responsible for making you feel sleepy and groggy — and will bring a jumpstart of positivity and renewal to your day — even before your first cup of coffee!

Being in a bad mood is never enjoyable. Life is short, so try to enjoy your time in the most positive way possible. Fitting a little exercise, sunlight, and smiling into your daily routine can go a long way towards making you an even happier person.

By Jordan Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ 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.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

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Boost Metabolism Naturally in 8 Easy Ways

 Boost Metabolism Naturally in 8 Easy Ways

Sleep well. Your sleep habits and your metabolism are undeniably intertwined. According to a study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, sleep deprivation can have stark effects on metabolism, including an increased risk for Type II diabetes. Lack of sleep or sleep dysfunction also increases appetite due to increased leptin production. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try nixing the electronics for an hour before bedtime. The light from televisions or computer screens can stave off melatonin production and keep you awake.

Drink (moderate) caffeine. Green tea and black coffee both have proven metabolic benefits. Research has shown time and time again that both green tea and coffee offer metabolic benefits as well as ample antioxidants. Just don’t overdo it, as being wired all night can outweigh the benefits.

Surprise your body. Still doing the same old workout video from 5 years ago? Your body and your metabolism reap serious benefits when you switch it up. Try taking up a new workout hobby, like kickboxing or swimming, to contrast with your current regimen. Better yet, try HIIT (high-intensity interval training) if you’re really looking to get fit. Even though these workouts are shorter, they are more intense. The contrast of intensity to rest periods skyrockets your metabolism through the roof as you continue to reap benefits for hours to come.

Hit the weights. More muscle mass means a better resting metabolic rate. What does that mean exactly? Well, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn when you’re doing absolutely nothing. How do you build muscle? Weight training. No, you don’t have to be a muscle-head at the gym to use weights. Start off with many reps of light weights to challenge your existing muscles, and work your way steadily heavier over time to help them grow.

Drink water. It seems obvious, but most people don’t drink enough water. How is your body supposed to function properly if it is lacking in its most essential substance? It doesn’t. As far as metabolism is concerned, a study showed that drinking 500 mL of water increased metabolic rate for about an hour by 30% in subjects, which is quite significant. Be aware that the standard 8-cups-a-day rule may not be enough. If you workout with any intensity, you’ll need more. Drink regularly throughout the day, and especially when you’re thirsty, to keep your body at peak levels of hydration. Also try incorporating a big, room temperature glass into your early morning routine. Drinking 2 to 3 cups (16-24 oz.) first thing in the morning after a dehydrating sleep revs your body up for a fantastic day.

Get spicy! Spicy food not only reduces your appetite and increases satiety, but it also actually boosts your metabolic rate by about 8%. Stop eating bland chicken and sprinkle a chile rub on! Both your taste buds and waistline will benefit.

Eat smart. Certain foods are known to boost metabolism, like coconut oil, certain fruits, and especially proteins. Fill your diet with these healthy foods instead of processed, sugary alternatives to properly fuel your body. Note, if you overeat, this small boost in metabolism won’t compensate. Eat only when you’re hungry and until you’re 80% full to ensure maximum benefits of your metabolism-boosting snacks.

Add a pinch of cardio. Thirty minutes to an hour of cardio a few times a week can raise your metabolism for the next 14 hours. Sweating a little is a small price to pay for the benefits, which include heart health and the influx of endorphins. However, overdoing cardio can be just as bad as not doing it at all, as it can exhaust and over-stress your adrenals. Keep pushing yourself, but try not to become too obsessive. Everything in moderation is key.

If your daily routine is feeling sluggish and dull, try incorporating some of the above ideas to liven up your metabolism and jump start your health. You can change yourself for the better in a few simple steps. Live healthfully and moderately, and your body will oblige.

By Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

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(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

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5 Foods Proven to Make You Happier!

5 Foods Proven to Make You Happier

 

broccoli

Broccoli

This veggie contains a trace mineral called chromium, which in addition to helping you metabolize food, also increases your brain’s levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin, helping it regulate mood. It’s even been shown to decrease symptoms of atypical depression (like overeating and sleeping excessively). You can also get chromium from grape juice and potatoes.

 

cashews

Cashews

Cashews are full of zinc, which has been found to decrease depressive symptoms and even improve the response of antidepressants. A lack of the vitamin can lead to loss of appetite, depressive symptoms, and a weaker immune system. Roasted pumpkin seeds and pork loin are also good sources of zinc.

 

Salmon

This fish is packed with vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”—the easiest way to get your helping of the mood-regulating vitamin is to spend about 15 minutes out in the sun a few times a week. Having trouble getting your dose during wintertime? Make sure you’re getting it from the foods you eat—in addition to salmon, milk and egg yolks are also good sources of vitamin D.

 

Spinach

Spinach contains the mineral magnesium—something that the USDA estimates about a third of people are deficient in. It’s important to get it into your diet—magnesium plays a big role in the development of serotonin, and a deficiency can lead to depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue. You can also get magnesium from almonds and edamame — and also an epsom salt bath.

 

Chickpeas

Reach for the chickpeas to get your helping of vitamin B6—the vitamin helps the body make serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood. A serious B6 deficiency can lead to irritability, nervousness, and depression. Other sources of the vitamin include chicken breasts and yellow fin tuna.

Leesa recommends choosing organic nuts and produce and wild caught salmon!

By Diana Vilibert

Diana Vilibert is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. You can be blog-friends with her at dianavilibert.com, or tweet her at @dianavilibert.

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

consult/coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

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How to Achieve Happiness…10 Proven Happiness Hacks

Leesa - Author Photo for Live Well 5-2014
I’d be willing to bet you recognize at least 3 of these names if not all.Friedriech Nietzhche. Plato. Seneca. Socrates. Daniel Gilbert. Marcus Aurelius. Other philosophers. Recent scientists. Neuroscientists, even. They’ve covered the gamut of the meaning of life, happiness and what makes human beings tick. It’s kind of a big deal. And for good reason. Humans are the only species we know with such self awareness. More than ever, people are asking the deeper questions in life and are interested in creating more well-being and happiness in their life. And they want it yesterday.Still, we’re not going to get into a philosophical ramble here. That’s been overdone and isn’t really my forte. We’ll dig deep into the how you can hack your happiness. We’ll also look at why these tactics work so you can apply them in your own life.Treat these ideas and tactics like a buffet. The kind you can’t really get enough of. Bookmark this page to revisit when you’re feeling less than happy so you’ve got a list of actions at your disposal.  Reading this post without action is a kind of mental masturbation. Of course, you’re not someone who indulges in that, are you?  Good. As you read these ideas – pick one thing you can implement in the next 25 minutes. It could be scheduling dinner, calling up a friend to set up accountability or scheduling a visit to the gym. It doesn’t matter. The foundation of all success is based on action. The action items are italicized to save you time.

Let’s get started, shall we?

  1. Practice of Gratitude

    If there’s one piece of tested advice that scientists and all religions agree on, it’s this. And the emphasis is on the first word. Practice. Practice leads to habit. And contrary to popular belief, practice doesn’t make perfect. It makes permanent.

    Gratitude is the experience of counting one’s blessings. And how you practice it makes a real difference. Some people express it to other people. Some people do it in their mind. Some people write it down. And it’s proven that if gratitude is written down and shared with others, it makes a stronger impact.

    So how to practice gratitude? There are many ways. I’ll give you a simple example. Write down three things you are grateful for as soon as you wake up. 

    Also known as keeping a gratitude journal, this small but simple habit can make a massive difference in your day. Test it out. You can use a ready-to-use format as we provide at The Five Minute Journal (www.fiveminutejournal.com) or you can write it down in a blank notebook.

  2. Pay Attention to What You Eat

    When traveling in Thailand, I met somebody who made a big difference on the way I think about food and happiness. We were talking about the different ways people eat, their approach to dieting whether it be vegan or paleo. And then he said something that I’ll remember.

    “One thing I’ve always noticed. The more discernment people pay to what and how they eat, the happier they are.”   

    Not from a gluttonous perspective. From a is-this-going-to-make-my-life-better perspective.

    That’s true for many reasons. We are what we eat. Put a different way, the food you eat affects your biochemistry. And your neurochemistry. Happiness, as it turns out is a neurochemical phenomenon.

    There’s good evidence that identifying what foods make you feel good in the long term can affect your well-being and happiness significantly.    There are a few ways of doing this – the best way to start is food experiments. Quit sugar for a month and see how it makes you feel (after a month, not the next afternoon!).

  3. Cultivate Great Friendships

    The single greatest impact on your happiness is the quality and number of your close ties. In other words – your spouse/partner and your friends. The research makes it clear. If you want to be happier, make more money and live longer – have wonderfully close ties.

    Evaluate the quality and quantity of your friendships
    . Your relationships. You’ve probably heard this enough times, but it bears repeating. You are the average of your five closest friends. Choose wisely. And cultivate great friendships.

    Cultivating a friendship is very similar to cultivating a garden. It requires care, honesty and the willingness to move through the discomfort (of a difficult conversation, for example). I believe the ability to have difficult conversations and be able to handle confrontations peacefully is one of the best skills to acquire for this.

  4. Get Moving!

    When was the last time you weren’t feeling so good? Do you remember? You can probably relate to the words sluggish, disheartened and dissatisfied. How long did you stay in that emotional state?

    Want to know Richard Branson’s secret for being productive? Work out.

    Here’s a tip to get your feeling better almost immediately. Get moving. Walk. Run. Job. Lift weights. Cycle. Have (safe and consensual) sex. You get the point.

    You can never think your way out of an emotional problem. You’ve gotta change the way you feel. And moving your body is great way of doing that.

    What’s a physical activity that you enjoy? Schedule it now. And make sure you do it early and often.

  5. Do Great Work

    This one sounds like a motivational poster but let me explain. Have you heard people remark often that ‘life is short’? They’re wrong.

    Life’s short when you’re having fun and long when you’re not. And you’re going to have a long life if you don’t find out what you’re good at and find a viable way to incorporate that in your life. How to find out what you’re good at is the subject of another course and I trust we’ll get to it soon enough.

    But finding out what you’re good at and making sure you’re improving on that everyday is a surefire way to enjoy most of your life. This has nothing to do with fame, fortune or external rewards. It’s got to do with developing and your reputation with yourself. And the best way to develop that is to develop a great work ethic built on a powerful vision for the future.

  6. Meditate

    What was once a hippie trend has some serious science backing it in the last 10 years. This one is my personal favourite. It’s a great way to get clarity, increase awareness and (staying on point) improving happiness.

    It’s because what meditation does on a neurological basis is improve whole-brain thinking. Long-term meditation is like drugs. You have no idea how good you’re going to feel unless you do it. Thankfully, meditation is much safer and healthier for you.

    The best way to get started is to join a meditation club or course. There’s almost nobody I know who hasn’t gotten started on a serious meditation practice without a course or the support of peers. So stop telling yourself “I need to meditate” and sign up for a course 🙂

  7. Be Authentic

    Brad Blanton wrote a book about Radical Honesty about a decade or so ago about being incredibly transparent with everybody you know – your partner, friends, family even strangers. Needless to say, it’s hilarious and a novel idea. But he makes a point that a lot of people miss.

    Shame is the opposite of being authentic. The less authentic you are, the less happy you will be. And the vulnerable and open you allow yourself to be in the company of others. The more free you feel to ‘be yourself’ and act from your core the happier you will be. The less self-conscious you will be. The closer you will feel with friends and family. And on and on.

    Is there something personal you feel uncomfortable sharing with close friends/family? Consider sharing it. 


    Consider picking up Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

  8. Schedule a Weekly Dinner with Close Friends

    You’ll be surprised how much this simple tip can change your life. The logistics are simple – contact between 3-8 close friends and schedule a weekly dinner at a place where you won’t have to worry about overstaying. 

    Let the food and drink flow freely. Ban cellphones. And most of all, laugh often.

    Laughing with close friends is one of the greatest experiences in life. It’s right up there with great sex and probably right below nirvana.

  9. Develop the Habit of Introspection

    What do you think separates the human animal from other animals? Self awareness. The ability to be aware and contemplate our existence. Wax philosophy. Think strategy. Etcetera.

    This self awareness is a gift. It allows us to think about “How can I be happier?”   

    Introspection is using your thinking to understand yourself better. And it usually leads to better behaviour and a better life. It’s as simple as asking yourself at the end of the day – “What would I have done differently today if I could do it all over again?

    Most high-level athletes keep Journals of their training, how they feel, what they ate, etc. in order for better self knowledge. The more you know yourself, the happier you will be.

  10. Make Your Choices Count

    The quality of your life is the result of the quality of your choices. Everyday, you take several choices that can move you toward or away from the future you want. The trick is to be aware of them.    A while ago, I read an article by the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow who is best known for his work on the hierarchy of human needs. He wrote this article at the end of his career when he’d assimilated a lifetime of data comparing those who were self-actualized (experiencing the pinnacle of happiness and actualization of their potential). After reading through thousands of papers, going through an entire lifetime of studying and assimilating what made these people different from the rest of us he came to a remarkably simple conclusion.    Everyday we make several choices. Every choice we make have the potential to either be better or harmful for us in the long term. The choices that are better for us in the long term can be called ‘conscious decisions to grow’ Self actualized people make significantly more conscious decisions to grow than the rest of us.    Making conscious decisions can help you expand your comfort zone or doing something that scares you everyday. Most importantly, conscious choices will help you to take the responsibility for your happiness solely in your hands and actions. 

By UJ Ramdas

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

consult/coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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4 Ways To Go Out Of Your Mind And Get Happy

5 Ways To Go Out Of Your Mind And Get Happy

You know what it’s like when you get stressed, as if you’re going out of your mind: “Oh no, I’m losing it, I’m going crazy, I can’t take any more.” And how the more thoughts you have like this the more you’re caught up in the madness and get further away from being peaceful or happy.

The good news is that as long as we know we’re going nuts then we’re ok; it’s when we’re not aware that we’re off keel that it’s more serious. As Ed’s teacher once said: The difference between a yogi and a madman is the yogi knows he’s mad!

There’s no denying the importance and value of the mind—there’s great brilliance, creativity and beauty here—but also great absurdity. For no matter how intellectually astute or inspired we may be, this can have little effect upon the habitual mind and its repetitive patterns of guilt, anxiety, shame, or self-centeredness. The tragedy is when maintaining our dramas, ego-trips, or getting stressed out is seen as some sort of achievement.

So what if going out of your mind was actually the coolest thing to do? What if being out of your mind means you aren’t disturbed by your own madness and are more in touch with your feelings, your heart, even your freedom? What if it means getting away from insecurities, worries, judgments and doubts, away from everything that keeps you scattered and fearful, away from the commotions and stories that reinforce who you think you are?

As the great Zen teacher Alan Watts said, We all need to go out of our minds at least once a day. By going out of our minds we quickly come to our senses.

Meditation really helps here as it’s about calming and making friends with our chattering monkey-like mind while being aware and present in the moment. Being mindful of what we’re doing means that even if we don’t get it right it’s ok, it’s not such a big deal, for we can see that this doesn’t define us, that who we are is more than appearances.

Here are 5 ways to help you go out of your mind and in to real happiness:

1. Pay attention: By being mindful you can witness the madness of your mind without identifying with or becoming it; you see that who you are is more than just your thoughts and feelings

2. Make friends with fear: Being fearful of fear keeps it an enemy, while befriending it turns it to fearlessness

3 Turn shit into gold: Transform difficult or dark times into rich experiences that generate greater insight and wisdom

4. Meditate daily, even for 5 minutes: It really will change you from being a victim of your own mind into a victor! Then imagine you are free of all the limitations and difficulties you are dealing with, that you’re free of who you thought you were and can now rest in your own beingness. Just close your eyes and know yourself to be completely free with nothing stopping you from being or doing anything. You are happy! You are free!

By Ed and Deb Shapiro

Award-Winning Authors Ed and Deb of Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World, are mindfulness, meditation and yoga experts. Deb’s new novel is: Merging: Women in Love — what happens when you fall in love with the least likely person of the least likely gender? – and she is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. They have three meditation CDs. See more at EdandDebShapiro.com

You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the Worldforewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

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

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5 Foods Proven to Make You Happier!

5 Foods Proven to Make You Happier

 
Can you find happiness in your fridge? Yes—as long as you’re eating the right stuff. Looking for a pick-me-up? Here’s what to nosh on:
broccoli
Broccoli This veggie contains a trace mineral called chromium, which in addition to helping you metabolize food, also increases your brain’s levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin, helping it regulate mood. It’s even been shown to decrease symptoms of atypical depression (like overeating and sleeping excessively). You can also get chromium from grape juice and potatoes.
cashews
Cashews Cashews are full of zinc, which has been found to decrease depressive symptoms and even improve the response of antidepressants. A lack of the vitamin can lead to loss of appetite, depressive symptoms, and a weaker immune system. Roasted pumpkin seeds and pork loin are also good sources of zinc.
Salmon This fish is packed with vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”—the easiest way to get your helping of the mood-regulating vitamin is to spend about 15 minutes out in the sun a few times a week. Having trouble getting your dose during wintertime? Make sure you’re getting it from the foods you eat—in addition to salmon, milk and egg yolks are also good sources of vitamin D.
Spinach Spinach contains the mineral magnesium—something that the USDA estimates about a third of people are deficient in. It’s important to get it into your diet—magnesium plays a big role in the development of serotonin, and a deficiency can lead to depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue. You can also get magnesium from almonds and edamame. (You can also get a magnesium boost with an epsom salt bath.)
 
Chickpeas Reach for the chickpeas to get your helping of vitamin B6—the vitamin helps the body make serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood. A serious B6 deficiency can lead to irritability, nervousness, and depression. Other sources of the vitamin include chicken breasts and yellow fin tuna. Leesa recommends organic produce and wild caught salmon!
By Diana Vilibert

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 Wheeler

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

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5 Smells That Make You Kinder, Happier, Nicer

5 Smells That Make You Kinder, Happier, Nicer

Cinnabon knows what it’s doing. The smell of baking bread can make us kinder, says a study from Journal of Social Psychology by scientists from the University of Southern Brittany in France.

Wanting to test the notion that smells can influence behavior, the scientists had eight young men and women stand outside either a bakery or a clothing store, says the Independent. The participants were instructed to pretend to be searching for something in their bags and then drop an object (a glove, a handkerchief) while walking in front of a stranger.

People stopped to pick up the object about 77 percent of the time in front of the bakery, versus 52 percent of the time outside the clothing store, according to the researchers who observed the proceedings from some 60 feet away.

Eight participants is a small number but the scientists did repeat the experiment some 400 times, notes the Daily Mail. From their observations, they state that

“Our results show that, in general, spontaneous help is offered more in areas where pleasant ambient smells are spread.”

“This experiment confirms the role of ambient food odours on altruism.”

One wonders at possible practical applications of this study. Could the answer to us all getting along, dealing with anger management, turning the other cheek for each other and so forth — to nothing other than world peace! — be to waft the scent of bread baking around?

While contemplating such, here are four more smells that have been found to lift up our spirits.

Peppermint

Pepper-mint

Researchers from Wheeling Jesuit University found that the smell of peppermint boosted both mood and motivation in competitive athletes by making them run faster, do more push-ups and squeeze a hand grip harder.

Spice Apple

Best Apples for Baking

The smell of American spice apple has been found to help reduce blood pressure. Perhaps that’s why a cup of warm apple cider seems so inviting, not to mention the smell of an apple pie baking?

Lavender

Lavender hill mob

No wonder some refer to this smell as nature’s own “chill-out oil.” Lavender scent has been found to help reduce stress and relieve pain (possibly).

Coffee

Coffee Beans

Or more precisely, roasted coffee beans: a South Korean study found that this aroma reduces stress in rats. Scientists found that lab rats (who certainly have reason to be stressed) had lower stress levels after smelling roasted coffee beans.

As a serious coffee drinker, I would agree with this. But one has to wonder if not all smells are created equal for all people. My husband does not drink any coffee and is no big fan of the smell — but then, in some twenty years of daily contact with coffee’s aroma, he has never once complained.

Leesa recommends always using orgnic options whenever possible!

By Kristina Chew

Photos: bread: Thinkstock; peppermint: Sir_Iwan; apples: Veganbaking.net; lavender: Billy Reed: coffee beans: Peg Waggener.

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Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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