Category Archives: Stress Reduction

The Benefits of B’s by Joy McCarthy

Lately I’ve been reading up on Joy McCarthy’s website and her new book, Joyous Health: Eat & Live Well without Dieting. I have really enjoyed what I have been reading so far and have definitely learned a lot. I know some people are opposed to the idea of holistic nutrition, but I love it. I would rather eat the right things (and exercise) to feel better and be healthier rather than popping some pills to mask my issues. One thing I was reading the other night is how much food affects your mood and vice versa. In addition, not having certain nutrients can cause you to feel down and out and not function properly. One vitamin I was really interested in reading about was Vitamin B, particularly Vitamin B12. Based on Joy McCarthy’s blog on her website, here’s some information on B12 that can be found: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/blog/2013/02/22/the-importance-of-b12-are-you-deficient/

Who is at risk?

  • Vegans
  • Vegetarians
  • Some meat eaters who has trouble with digestion

Symptoms of Low Levels:

  • Weakness, tiredness or light-headedness
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Pale skin
  • Sore tongue
  • Easy bruising or bleeding, including bleeding gums
  • Stomach upset and weight loss
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Why might I be low in Vitamin B12?

  • Poor diet, not eating enough foods that contain B12
  • Low stomach acid, low intrinsic factor
  • Long-term use of acid-reducing drugs
  • Conditions affecting the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Food sensitivities
  • Birth control pill

Now that you have these facts, check out Joy’s blog (this one was written by Lisa Knapper, ND) and see what they recommend!

http://www.joyoushealth.ca/blog/2013/02/22/the-importance-of-b12-are-you-deficient/

13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise from Greatist

Unfortunately, I’ve been struggling with a  bit of writers block lately. I’ve got so much on the go right now that my brain doesn’t have time to really stop and think. That and mix in over a months worth of terrible sleeps (haven’t slept through the night since 2013… maybe early December?) and you got writers block. Last night before I was “falling” asleep, I saw a friend posted this on her facebook: “13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise”. Some of these you may have heard, but some you maybe have not. Check out Greatist’s list below:

  1. Reduce Stress
  2. Boost Happy chemicals (anyone remember Legally Blonde? “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”)
  3. Improve self-confidence
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors
  5. Prevent cognitive decline
  6. Alleviate anxiety (I can definitely attest to that)
  7. Boost brainpower
  8. Sharpen memory
  9. Help control addiction
  10. Increase relaxation
  11. Get more done
  12. Tap into creativity
  13. Inspire others

With a list like that, what are you waiting for? Get off your hineys and start moving. I say that with love and because I care 🙂

Check out the link for more information: http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise

Joy McCarthy’s 5 Tips to Beat the Monday Blues!

I don’t know about you, but the weekends never seem long enough. They feel like they fly by faster than anything else. Here is Joy McCarthy’s list of 5 Types to Beat the Monday Blues. Check out her website for all the details. I have added my own notes in brackets):

1. Get moving — exercise! (Being a Registered Kinesiologist, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Health Coach, I totally agree with this one. Exercise is the cure to everything, in my opinion… I would love to be up and moving right now instead of sitting)
2. Give someone a compliment (Yep, it helps… that’s all I can say)
3. Practice gratitude! (Definitely something I have to work on and I m trying to get better at that)
4. Dress Nicely! (I notice that I feel a lot better when I dress nicer/put on makeup. For a while when I was at the office I am working at, I would wear very minimal makeup. Sometimes I would go out of the house looking the same way. I noticed a HUGE difference with my self-esteem and how I felt. I was actually embarrassed about walking around looking like that. My excuse would be “well, I’m not trying to impress anyone at work because a) I’m not currently working in my field yet and everyone knows I’m only there temporarily and b) my boyfriend isn’t at work”. I noticed a difference with not wanting to talk to people as long because I didn’t want them to look at me and would try to avoid meeting someone… both things that are totally not me. Therefore, trust Joy and trust me when I say… always dress nicely and try to look your best. It makes you feel a hekofa lot better)
5. Eat Mood Boosting Foods: (Esp. Vitamin B’s…  wow baby. Not getting enough vitamin B’s sure as hek makes a huge difference. I forgot to take my vitamin B’s today and I feel like running home just to take them to help bring back my mood).

Hope you all have a great Monday and make the best of it. Monday is almost like hitting a restart button. Had a bad week last week? Hit the restart button and make this next one better! Use it as motivation. Exercise, eat healthy and be grateful. If you had a lapse, it’s okay… that’s normal.

Check out the link below with Joy’s explanations on why this list helps beat the Monday Blues:

http://www.joyoushealth.ca/blog/2013/10/07/have-a-nice-day-5-tips-to-beat-the-monday-blues/

MBG’s 9 Ways to Become A Better and More Positive You

Sometimes I get a bit down on myself because I haven’t gotten my Kinesiology job yet. Then  I stop and think to myself that it’s okay. My day will come that I get my dream job. I am more particular about what I’m searching for and it is harder to find. Once I get all my credentials, I’ll go full force into “Operation Get Chantal a Kinesiology Job”. Anyways, I try not to get down in the dumps or discouraged about it (however, sometimes I definitely do). This morning I really felt like reading about how to be more positive and feel better about myself. Funny thing is, when I went onto the Mind Body Green webpage, “9 Ways to Become a Better and More Positive You” was on the front page. Things definitely happen for a reason. Below I’ve summarized the 9 things from the webpage. I’ll post the link below.

1. Say affirmations every day until they sink in and resonate within every cell of your being.
– Saying affirmations eventually fully resonate with you and make you feel better.

2. Use visualizations to get clear on what you want.
– Positive visualizations help bring positive situations to you. I once heard “you only have room for one thought at a time in your head… why not make it a positive one?”

3. Create a vision board and place it where you can see it regularly.
– Make sure you see it on a regular basis. MBG suggests that you write in BIG words: “Thank you, thank you, thank you” telling the world that you are thankful for everything it’s brought you and everything you will be receiving.

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11879/9-ways-to-become-a-better-more-positive-you.html

 

4. Practice expressing an attitude of gratitude for all that you have in your life.
– Gratitude creates a positive spin on your life

5. Listen to joyful music.
– Happy music always pumps me up and MBG agrees!

6. Read motivational books.
– MBG suggests that it makes you feel beautiful and empowered and excited about your personal growth journey

7. Put inspiring quotes around everywhere for you to see.
– By doing this, you’ll feel more inspired

8. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.
– This is so true. I always try and be around positive people because their positivity rubs off on me. The same thing goes for surrounding yourself with negative people.

9. Practice meditation.
– I’m going to be honest, I don’t practice mediation. I do pray a lot and find that does the same thing for me. Both make you feel more at peace and at ease in the world.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking is extremely powerful. Many times it’s so hard to think positively in situations because it seems so gosh darn difficult to. You feel like your worlds about to fall apart or you feel like it’s unchangeable. Over the past few months, I have really tried to form my thoughts and my words to focus on it being more positive. I am trying to frame my mindset and re-word things to make them better. For example, if I feel like I am getting sick, I used to think “Oh no! I don’t want to get sick! I can’t get sick!”. Instead, I will tell myself “I am happy and healthy” repeatedly throughout the day. I feel that by saying things in the more positive way, I am more likely to remain healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I still take my Vitamin C, Echinacea and Oil of Oregano but I continuously think positively. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it gets easier with time.

Why not think positively? I once heard a quote that said something like (I suck at quotes so don’t quote my quote), “Your brain has room for only one thought at a time. Why not make it a positive one”? So true. Why not? If you had a choice, wouldn’t you much rather think the positive way versus the negative way? Why not choose to see the good in situations, instead of strictly the bad. What do good things do? They make you happy, cause you to calm down and actually think clearly and reduce your heart rate. Thinking negatively will cause you to increase your heart rate, cause you to more likely think irrational thoughts and just make you feel worse about yourself. It’s a lot less likely that good things will come out of thinking negatively versus thinking positively.

From this point on, think positively. Why the hek not? There’s really no good reason to not think positively. Situations — both positive and negative — shape us to who we are today.

Think positively — I dare ya!

Meridian Tapping

I know this may sound a bit “hippy dippy”, but I recently heard about Meridian Tapping and wanted to share it with you. I hope none of you are like me, a sufferer of anxiety. Anxiety is not fun and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. I’m always looking of new ways to help combat it, without having to take any of the drugs. I’d much rather exercise to feel better about myself than to pop a simple pill and mask everything.

So, never heard of meridian tapping? Well you’re not alone. In basic terms, meridian tapping is tapping on certain points around the body to relieve stress. These specific spots are related to acupuncture, so in a sense, it’s acupuncture without the needles. All you need to do is say a simple statement and tap on certain parts of your body 5-7 times. Repeat this process 3x. Once completed, you should feel some sort of relief.

Check out the site below on the tapping sites, the video on how to properly do tapping and an example of statements you should do while tapping.

Again, I apologize for the “hippy-dippyness” of this post, but whatever works works right?

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8311/what-you-need-to-know-about-tapping-a-free-easy-stress-buster.html

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Gratitude & Creating a Gratitude Jar

As we come up to Thanksgiving 2013, many of us stop to think about how thankful we are. The unfortunate part is, we often forget to be thankful and grateful for what we have on a regular basis, outside of Thanksgiving. We often are hard on ourselves and wonder why we haven’t gotten that raise yet, why we don’t have a nicer car, why we can’t afford a new wardrobe etc. Do you ever think about how harmful complaining and being pessimistic is on ourselves?

This weekend I want to challenge you to get a jar, whether it be a mason jar or even a coffee bin and each day, put write down something you’re grateful for and throw it in the jar. I bet you’ll be amazed at how happy you feel and how lucky you are to have great people, things and opportunities in your life. Keep this gratitude jar for as long as you possibly because you always have things to be grateful for.

Here are some great links about gratitude and how to live a better/stress free life:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11062/how-to-create-a-gratitude-jar.html

http://zenhabits.net/why-living-a-life-of-gratitude-can-make-you-happy/

http://www.toscareno.com/2012/11/10/10-practical-ways-to-eliminate-stress-and-restore-balance-to-your-life/#.UlP_9MDD-70

gratitude

 

How long should I nap for?

Ever wonder how long you should nap for to in order to reap the benefits you desire? Sometimes we nap for energy, sometimes for memory and sometimes to make us feel better. Are you napping for too long or too short? Check out these neat facts from Life Hacker:

10 to 20 minutes: Boosts energy and alertness

30 minutes: may cause a sleep inertia and almost hang-over feeling that lasts for 30 minutes after. This usually takes around 30 minutes to get over.

60 minutes: improvement in remembering facts, faces and names, however you may feel groggy upon waking up.

90 minutes: a full cycle of REM sleep. Improves emotional sleep and procedural memory. You don’t usually feel groggy after waking up from a nap this long.

Check out the rest of the article here. It comes with a cool picture and more facts: http://lifehacker.com/how-long-to-nap-for-the-biggest-brain-benefits-1251546669

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The Hidden Power of Smiling

smile

I recently watched a TED talks video called “The Hidden Power of Smiling” by Ron Gutman. In this video, Ron speaks about the importance of smiling and how smiling positively impacts our life.

http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_gutman_the_hidden_power_of_smiling.html

Here are some key facts from the video:

  • We are made/born to smile. 3-D ultrasound videos show babies smiling in the womb
  • Children smile 400x per day
  • It is so hard to frown when you’re looking at someone who is smiling, therefore, smiling is contagious
  • The act of smiling makes us feel better and feel good
  • 1 smile can generate the same brain stimulation of up to 2,000 bars of chocolate
  • Smiling can make you healthier — reduce the amount of stress hormones (cortisol)
  • Smiling is associated with an increase in mood enhancing endorphins and decrease in blood pressure
  • Smiling can make you look good in the eyes of others — more likeable, courteous, competent, more attractive
  • Smiling helps you live a longer and happier life (increases your lifespan)

My homework for you: smile often. Smile at your coworkers. Smile at your family, your friends, your spouse. Smile in every situation you can.

I bet you the picture of the baby made you smile!