Sunday, March 31, 2013

8 Tips To Deal With People Who Drive You Nutso

8 Tips To Deal With People Who Drive You Bananas 

Wonderful advise for every day sanity :)  We can all relate, trying to be and stay positive, only to have a negative Nancy throw a wrench in your good vibes and mess things up...well it doesn't have to be that way, it's all a matter of what you allow to affect you, and tools to help you deal with things in the most positive way...no matter how nutso someone may drive you!

By Louise Jensen
In the ideal world (like the one in my imagination) there is no aggression or nastiness. Everyone is fair and kind and love is the driving force, propelling us into a lovely future.
Unfortunately the real world can be very different.

There is one particular person in my circle who is quite unpleasant. Circumstances dictate that this person remains, for the foreseeable future, integrated into my life. 
It has taken me a long time not to take the regular outpouring of venomous words so freaking personally. This is how I did it. 

1. Breathe deeply. 
When I am feeling energetically attacked (and while replaying the memory afterwards), my breathing becomes shallower, or I hold my breath altogether. This in itself is enough to induce feelings of anxiety. 
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. It sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Heart rate and blood pressure falls and a sense of relaxation will automatically take over.

2. Meditate. (You knew this would make the list!) 
Yes, it always come in somewhere, but that’s because there is no better way to keep you in the now, stop foreseeing future problems and replaying past events.

3. Remember: you don't know what's going on in that person's life. 
If you are met with hostility, it can be easy to judge the other person as nasty but we rarely know what’s going on in someone’s life to make him or her feel hostile. 

4. Drop it. 
Holding on to resentment hurts you more than the other person.  Imagine you are holding on to the back of a moving car; being dragged around and getting hurt. Is it the car that’s hurting you? No it’s you actually holding on to the car that’s allowing you to get hurt. Letting go is freeing.

5. Remember it’s only one person's perception of reality. 
It’s hard to remember when you're being criticized, but understanding this is the other person’s perception of reality was a huge leap forward for me. I am true to myself and other people’s opinions of me are really none of my business. 

6. Try to love them exactly as they are. 
This was a tricky one, but whenever I saw this person I would forget anything that had gone on before and accept them exactly as they are without preconceived ideas or wishing they would change. 

7. Don’t mind read. 
I had a phase when if this person's name was mentioned, I'd assume they had been bad mouthing me and I would start to feel anxious. By guessing what I thought they were thinking, my mind went into overdrive creating a story. I am sure I put more energy into them than they ever did into me. Unless I hear something directly now I don’t assume. 

8. Don’t let one bad incident make you feel you have had a bad day, a bad week or even a bad life! 
For every one negative person I encounter, I have a million more things to be thankful for and I make sure I journal a list every day so the good always outweighs the bad.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

8 Best Superfoods To Boost Your Mood & Energy Levels

Like Pauline, I love and consume all these products at least a few times a week...you can incorporate them into your daily life very easily, in meals or desserts.

By Pauline Hanuise
Discovering superfoods has changed my life and was one of my first steps towards my recovery from eating disorders, and becoming healthier and happier. Now, I have them every day and that's helping me to stay healthy and have great energy. 

But what are superfoods, exactly?

Superfoods are basically foods that are much richer in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, electrolytes and phytonutrients, but also much poorer in calories than any other usual foods. They nourish your body on a very deep level. 
 
Here are my 8 favorite superfoods to boost you mood and energy levels:

1. Maca powder

Maca is a root that comes from Peru. You will mainly find it as powder because it doesn’t grow in all climates So, it is dried and powdered to be exported in the rest of the world. 

Maca is amazing for balancing hormones and is beneficial to both women (relief of PMS symptoms and menopause) and men (enhanced fertility). Maca is also a great adaptogen that helps decrease stress levels, enhance strength, stamina and libido as well as providing great energy and endurance. It works with the rhythms and needs of your own body.

Maca is rich is calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vit B1, B2, C, E and iron. It contains lots of trace minerals like zink and selenium and is great for menstrual imbalances, lack of libido, infertility, menopausal symptoms and stress but also for conditions such as anemia, fatigue, depression, poor memory, tuberculosis and malnutrition.

I usually add maca powder to my breakfast muesli, smoothies, juices, chocolate, desserts, etc.
Try adding maca into your diet and notice the benefits. (You can find more recipes here.) 

2. Pure, raw organic cacao

YES, chocolate is a superfood! But I am not talking about the sugary, packaged chocolate bars you find at the supermarket. I'm talking about the real, original, raw, pure cacao. You can use the beans, which are quite bitter or you can find it in powder in any health food store to make amazing desserts like my wonderful Love Chocolate Pie or Sour Cherry Fudge.

Pure, raw, organic cacao is just amazing and to be honest, I am enjoying it every single day in healthy, sugar free desserts or smoothies. Because what's bad about chocolate? It's actually sugar, dairy and other additives that have been added to packaged chocolate you buy in supermarkets.

Cacao itself is great for your health and is nature's number-one weight loss and high energy food, according to David Wolfe, the cacao master (watch his TEDx talk about chocolate here). 

Chocolate is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vit-C, phosphorus and more. It's also rich in tryptophan, which is a powerful mood-enhancer, crucial in the production of serotonin, which diminishes anxiety and has the same impact as love in our brain. That's why chocolate is often associated with love and Valentin's day.

Add more raw, pure and organic cacao into your diet and start feeling amazing effects.

3. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are a complete protein rich in fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Just one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber. So adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your breakfast (cereals, smoothies, juices, etc.) is a great way to increase your fiber intake. 

But chia seeds are also very rich in vitamin C, Omega 3 and 6 and antioxidants. They absorb lots of water (about 10 times their weight). When you soak chia seeds, they will absorb lots of liquid and create a gelatine-like substance, which will clean your digestive and immune systems by moving all the toxins and impurities to the bowels.

Soaking chia seeds in coconut water or mashed fresh fruit for breakfast is great and chia puddings are also delicious and great for your health.

4. Coconut (water, flesh/meat, oil and butter)

This is one of my favorite foods and drinks ever. The water inside the young coconut is an isotonic drink full of electrolytes and can even be used in blood transfusions. It is rich in potassium, is ideal for proper rehydration and has strong antiviral properties.

It also contains kinetin, which keeps the coconut young despite the fact that it's under the sun all day long. Kinetin has the exact same effect on our body and keeps you young. 

(Amazing isn't it?) 

Coconut meat is high in protein and fiber and is a great saturated fat (essential to our body). It's been proven that the saturated fat in coconut oil supports the immune system, thyroid gland, nervous system and skin.

Coconut oil and butter are also a very healthy saturated fat and are perfect for cooking as it's the only oil/butter that stays stable when you heat it (even olive oil is not perfectly stable when you heat it). Thus, using coconut oil for cooking is much safer and healthier than any other oils.

Personally, I only use coconut oil for cooking. I still use olive, hemp and flax oil, which are all amazing oils, but only for dressings. I also use coconut oil on my skin, as moisturiser as coconut oil is actually a top beauty product... and at a very cheap price!
 
5. Spirulina

Spirulina is a Blue-Green Algae, which thrives in alkaline lakes. It contains over 65% of complete protein (300% more than fish, meat or poultry, with 0 cholesterol). Spirulina is also very rich in chlorophyl, iron (about 58 times more than spinach), antioxydants, beta-carotene and essential fatty acid Omega 3 and 6.

Spirulina really helped me to have more strength and energy to recover from bulimia. It also fixed my anemia and I was able to get rid of my unnatural iron supplements.

Today, I am taking 3 to 6 grams of spirulina every morning. You can choose to use powder - which is the most powerful way as it's directly absorbable by your body - and add it to your juices and smoothies. If you don't juice or blend every day, you can use tablets (I personally find that the taste is too strong to mix spirulina powder with water only). You can change your dosage regarding your levels of energy, activity and your diet.

Spirulina is also great for people who have digestive issues as it helps improving the absorption of nutrients by your body.

As you can see, I love spirulina and I really recommend you to give it a try. I am pretty sure you will notice great improvements in your energy in just a few days ;)

6. Goji berries

Goji berries are a berry-fruit found in Asia and America. They are usually dried before being exported elsewhere in the world.

Gojis are probably one of the most nutritious berry-fruit found on the planet. They are a complete source of protein and amino acids, contain lots of trace mineral as well as vit B1, B2, B6, E and C. They are extremely rich in antioxidant, which protects you from the ageing process and free radical. They are also well-known to improve vision, boost libido, sexual function and immune system. Sounds great, right? 

You can consume them in many different ways. Add them to your smoothies, breakfast, salads or use them in your trail mix or in your awesome chocolate desserts ;)

7. Hempseeds and oil

Hempseeds and oil are one of the rare complete source of protein (33% to 37% of its weight) and are packed with life-force energy and enzymes. They are rich in Omega-3, 6 and 9 which are all very important for brain functions and considered a quality beautifying oil. 

Hempseeds and oil are great to boost your immune system and bring balance in your essential fatty 
acids, thus are also decreasing inflammation. They deliver a balanced array of amino acids and are rich in minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, sodium, silicon, copper and many others. 

Use the oil in in your dressings and sprinkle the seeds on your cereals, fruits, smoothies or salads, they are delicious!

8. Flaxseeds and oil

Flaxseeds (or linseeds) and their oil are one of the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health as our body doesn't produce them on its own. The problem in our societies is that the big majority of people consume too much Omega-6 fatty acids and not enough Omega-3. However, the balance between both is absolutely vital to be healthy. Flax seeds and oil is one of the rare food that contains Omega-6 and 3 (EFAs - essential fatty acids) in perfect balance for the human body. 

EFTAs are vital for brain function, energy production, oxygen transfer and strengthen immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids help to fight and prevent inflammation and many degenerative conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, etc .

They are many other superfoods great to try and add to your diet such as acai, bee products (bee pollen, royal jelly, honey and propolis), marine phytoplankton, aloe vera, wheatgrass or any seaweed, but here are the ones I am using the most to boost my mood and enrgy levels!

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Power of Quantum Cleansing

Detox Your Mind in 5-Minutes: The Power of Quantum Cleansing
By Dr. Alejandro Junger

We've all heard about the power of meditation. It's been shown to ease depression, improve mental functioning, and reduce stress and anxiety. It also reduces what I call Quantum Toxins -- thought patterns, or attachments to negative feelings that actually influence our physical chemistry. 

Meditation quiets the “monkey mind,” the constant, un-directed thinking that often brings anxiety, worry and distraction into our everyday lives. Even taking five minutes to practice meditation can bring us back into the present moment, encourage better decision-making, and allow us to truly experience our lives to the fullest.

Let’s take a few minutes right now to detox our minds. Read through the instructions below, and then use the guided audio to take you through the meditation.

Five-Minute Meditation Detox

Step 1: Get Comfortable & Breathe
Sit up in a chair with your back straight. Place your feet flat on the floor under your knees. Rest the palms of your hands on your thighs and relax your arms. Look straight ahead but try not to focus anywhere in particular. Instead, notice everything in the room at once. Take a deep breath and start feeling your feet. Feel them touching the floor or the inside of your shoes. Feel the temperature, the humidity; feel the texture of your socks. Feel your feet intensely from inside. Do not “think” about them, just feel them, sense them.

Step 2: Scan Your Body with Attention
After a few breaths, move your attention to your calves. Feel and sense these for several breaths. Then move your attention from body part to body part, first to your thighs, then your bottom against the chair, then to your abdomen and lower back, your chest and upper back, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your neck, face, and lastly your head. Then let your awareness cover your whole body at the same time. The idea is to “scan” your body with your attention, stopping for a few breaths on each part. This practice will strengthen your ability to direct and hold your attention.

Step 3: Thank Your Monkey Mind for Sharing
You may notice that the moment you sit down, you start remembering things and feel the urge to act on them. This is part of the process. When those thoughts come and try to steal your attention away from your body, simply say silently to yourself, “Thank you for sharing,” and direct your attention back to your body. If you feel discomfort or frustration and want to stop, just keep sitting still. Know that the discomfort you feel is not caused by the exercise itself. It’s what happens when you become aware of your baseline state, that underlying anxiety you are typically not aware of when the outside world is at full volume and your attention is far from your body. Becoming aware of this underlying state is the first step toward dissolving it, and claiming back the energy it consumes.

Step 4: Where did that thought come from?
When you find yourself consumed by your monkey mind, try for a second to separate your attention from your thoughts and re-focus it on the present. Ask yourself:

"Who is deciding that I think these thoughts? If I had a choice, would I be thinking them?”

If your answer is no, say to your thoughts: “Thank you for sharing!” then immediately direct your attention to something in the present. For example, you can focus your attention on your feet. Again, this doesn’t mean think about your feet, but feel them. This small boost of awareness breaks through habitual thought patterns that lead away from the present moment and into distracted thoughts. Anchor your attention into the present moment as often as you can.

Step 5: Use Anytime, Anywhere
This technique can also be used in the middle of any stressful situation like a business meeting or a job interview. When we are nervous, it is because our unconscious thoughts are interpreting, judging, measuring, and expecting. This unconcious process consumes vital energy and builds anxiety.

By re-directing our attention to our body and breath, we reclaim that wasted energy. It may be hard to remember to do this in difficult situations. Start with easy ones. Then try to do it in harder and harder ones. My personal experience is that if I am even present for a split second, and remember to redirect my attention into my body, immediately the energy of the situation shifts. When you become more present, others in the room feel it as well.

Practicing being present will help clear out Quantum Toxins from your mind. You will begin to be able to use your energy and attention to stay present and be more productive. This practice will also help you be more aware of the decisions you are making about what you eat. Practicing this simple 5-minute meditation is a great way to help clean the mind, body, and strengthen your ability to stay present and anxiety-free throughout the rest of your day.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let go of Stress

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jtqyphZP6U8/UKnJMWseK_I/AAAAAAAAAus/zeqRkPz8GlE/s1600/glass-in-hand.jpg

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!


A great way to wind down at the end of the day (or latest right before bed) is to sit comfortably on a chair with your back straight, hands resting on your lap with you feet flat on the floor and take deep breaths for several minutes. Let your focus lie only on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. You can play light music in the background, or soothing sounds such as ocean waves, rain, or any other soothing sounds that you have available (very available of electronic devices).

Allow your mind to detach from the chatter.  If a thought arises in your mind, acknowledge it and let it go, followed by an even deeper inhalation to acknowledge the release. Be present in the moment, and only in the moment.  When you lay down to rest your body starts the process of healing and rejuvenating your body, help it do this by actively letting go of all the stress of the day. There is nothing you can accomplish with that stress as you go to sleep, so recognize that and consider sleep a sacred time and detach from the physical world and its problems. When you can still your mind you innately learn to handle the stress of the day more effectively, so you don't hold on to it long enough to make yourself sick.   

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why Meditate?


During most of our waking life our minds are engaged in a continuous internal dialogue in which the meaning and emotional associations of one thought trigger the next. We hear a snippet of music and suddenly we’re thinking about the first time we heard that song with an old boyfriend or girlfriend and how that relationship ended. If we’re still holding emotional pain over that ending, those feelings may bubble up and then our mind may veer into criticism, self-pity, or worries about the future.
 
All day long our mind spins stories about our work, our health, our finances, our family, or that funny look the store clerk gave us. Often we’re not even conscious of the internal soundtrack unspooling in our mind and yet it is the greatest source of stress in our lives. Although the mind is capable of creating life-affirming stories, it has what neuroscientists refer to as a negativity bias, a tendency to pay more attention to negative experiences than to positive ones. The negativity bias evolved as a survival instinct millions of years ago, as our ancestors focused much more attention on avoiding potential threats than on rewards. Stopping to savor a delicious meal or admire a Paleolithic sunset would have used valuable attentional resources, leaving our ancient ancestors more vulnerable to attack by a predator. Those who survived to pass on their genes paid a lot of attention to danger. Their legacy is a brain that is primed to focus on negative experiences and has a tendency to get stuck in conditioned patterns of thinking, returning again and again to thoughts of anxiety, depression, and limitation.

The Healing Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is one of the best tools we have to counter the brain’s negativity bias, release accumulated stress, foster positive experiences and intentions, and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:
  • Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline
  • More efficient oxygen use by the body
  • Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
  • improved immune function
  • Decreased anxiety, depression, and insomnia
Let’s look in more detail at how meditation benefits the body, mind, and spirit.

Meditation Reduces Stress and Burnout

Chronic, unmanaged stress can make you sick and accelerate aging. As many scientific studies have found, prolonged stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcers, autoimmune diseases, anxiety, cancer, insomnia, chronic fatigue, obesity, depression, and accelerated aging.
In meditation, your body releases stress and reverses the effects of the flight-or-fight response – that ancient instinct we all have to either run from perceived danger or take it on in battle. Intended as a short-term protection mechanism, fight or flight causes our body to speed up our heart rate, increase our blood sugar, suppress our immune system, reduce insulin production, pump out stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and reduce the blood supply to our digestive organs. All of these reactions happen so that our body can focus on either running away as fast as it can – or staying to fight.  Although few  people reading this  face daily threats to their bodily existence, many  live in a prolonged state of fight or flight, generating stress in response to bad traffic, criticism from a spouse, or a disagreement.
Regular meditation dissipates accumulated stress and cultivates a state of restful alertness. There are many compelling studies showing the power of meditation to relieve stress and promote inner calm. For example, a 2011 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal found that full-time workers who spent a few hours each week practicing mindfulness meditation reported a significant decrease in job stress, anxiety, and depressed mood.

Meditation Enhances Your Concentration, Memory, and Ability to Learn

As researchers have found, meditation can help you tap into your brain’s deepest potential to focus, learn and adapt. While scientists used to believe that beyond a certain age, the brain couldn’t change or grow, we now know that brain has a quality known as plasticity, enabling it to grow new neurons and transform throughout our lives. Meditation is a powerful tool for awakening new neural connections and even transforming regions of the brain. A recent study led by Harvard University and  Massachusetts General Hospital found that after only eight weeks of meditation, participants experienced beneficial  growth in the brain areas associated with memory, learning, empathy, self-awareness, and stress regulation (the insula, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex). In addition, the meditators reported decreased feelings of anxiety and greater feelings of calm. This study adds to the expanding body of research about the brain’s amazing plasticity and ability to change habitual stress patterns.

Many other studies provide evidence for the value of meditation in improving the ability to stay focused in world filled with increasing distractions and demands on our attention. For example, research conducted by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Center showed that teenagers and adults with ADHD who practiced various forms of meditation for just eight weeks improved their ability to concentrate on tasks, even when attempts were made to distract them.

Meditation Helps You Create More Harmonious, Loving Relationships

When you’re feeling balanced and centered, it is much easier to respond with awareness rather than have react in a knee-jerk way or say something that creates toxicity in your relationships. Meditation cultivates equanimity and compassion, allowing you to be present with a loved one, client or co-worker and really listen to what they are saying and what they may need.
As you meditate on a regular basis, you develop what is known as “witnessing awareness” – the ability to calmly and objectively observe a situation, notice when you are being triggered, and consciously choose how you want to respond. The ability to be present and aware is extremely valuable in every relationship.
 

Meditation Improves Your Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

We each have an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day – unfortunately, many of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday, last week, and last year. The mind tends to get stuck in repetitive thought loops that squeeze out the possibility for new ideas and inspiration. Meditation is a powerful practice for going beyond habitual, conditioned thought patterns into a state of expanded awareness. We connect to what is known as the field of infinite possibilities or pure potentiality, and we open to new insights, intuition, and ideas.
The world’s great innovators, athletes, and other high achievers have described this state as “being in the flow,” being in the right place at the right time, or a state of grace. Time seems to stand still and instead of struggling and trying to force things to happen, everything you need comes naturally to you. You do less and accomplish more. You aren’t burdened by the past or worried about the future; you’re flowing in the ever present eternal now. This higher state of consciousness is the birthplace of all creativity. The mind is in an open, receptive state and is able to receive flashes of insight and fresh perspectives. As Marcel Proust wrote, “The real journey of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.”

Meditation Decreases Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia

The emotional effects of sitting quietly and going within are profound. The deep state of rest produced by meditation triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Each of these naturally occurring brain chemicals has been linked to different aspects of happiness:
  • Dopamine plays a key role in the brain’s ability to experience pleasure, feel rewarded, and maintain focus.
  • Serotonin has a calming effect. It eases tension and helps us feel less stressed and more relaxed and focused. Low levels of this neurotransmitter have been linked to migraines, anxiety, bipolar disorder, apathy, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, and insomnia.
  • Oxytocin (the same chemical whose levels rise during sexual arousal and breastfeeding), is a pleasure hormone. It creates feelings of calm, contentment, and security, while reducing fear and anxiety.
  • Endorphins are most commonly known as the chemicals that create the exhilaration commonly labeled “the runner’s high.” These neurotransmitters play many roles related to wellbeing, including decreasing feelings of pain and reducing the side effects of stress.
Meditation choreographs the simultaneous release of these neurotransmitters, something that no single drug can do – and all without side effects. A growing body of medical research is providing scientific evidence that meditation and mindfulness alleviates depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mood-related disorders.  A pivotal study (published in the April 2012 issue of Emotion) led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, found that participants who underwent a short, intensive meditation program were less depressed, anxious, and stressed, while also experiencing greater compassion and awareness of others’ feelings.

Meditation also can benefit people suffering from chronic pain, potentially decreasing or eliminating the need for medication. A study conducted by Wake Forest University School of Medicine (published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience) found that participants who attended four 20-minute training sessions over the course of four days experienced a sharp reduction in their sensitivity to pain. In fact, the reduction in pain ratings was significantly greater than those found in similar studies involving placebo pills, morphine, and other painkilling drugs.

Meditation: The Birthplace of Happiness

Beyond the substantial benefits meditation creates for the mind-body physiology, the greatest gift of meditation is the sense of calm and inner peace it brings into your daily life. When you meditate, you go beyond the mind’s noisy chatter into an entirely different place: the silence of a mind that is not imprisoned by the past or the future. This is important because silence is the birthplace of happiness. Silence is where we get our bursts of inspiration, our tender feelings of compassion and empathy, and our sense of love. These are all delicate emotions, and the chaotic roar of the internal dialogue easily drowns them out. But when you discover the silence in your mind, you no longer have to pay undue attention to all the random images that trigger worry, anger, and pain. When you meditate on a regular basis, all of your thoughts, actions, and reactions are infused with a little more love and mindful attention. The result is a deeper appreciation and a profound awareness of the divine quality of existence.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

22 Things Happy People Do Differently

There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, smiling and content with their life. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.

The question is: how do they do that?
It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …

1. Don’t hold grudges.
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

3. See problems as challenges.
The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.

5. Dream big.
People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.

7. Speak well of others.
Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.

8. Never make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.

9. Get absorbed into the present.
Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

12. Choose friends wisely.
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.

13. Never seek approval from others.
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

14. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.

15. Nurture social relationships.
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.

16. Meditate.
Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.

17. Eat well.
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.

18. Exercise.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

19. Live minimally.
Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

20. Tell the truth.
Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.

21. Establish personal control.
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.

Monday, March 25, 2013

March Conscious Box 2013- Vegan


Every single person on the planet and every single Consciousness in the Universe has the same experience of being here and having a desire to be there. In other words, it is the promise of this eternal Universe. You're always, always, always going to be on your way to something more - always. And when you relax and accept that, and stop beating up on yourself for not being someplace that you're not, and instead, start embracing where you are while you keep your eye on where you're going - now life becomes really, really, really fun.
--- Abraham
Argo Labs Organic Wheatgrass Boost Energy Shot
Equal Exchange Fair Trade and Organic Chocolate
Chef Sleeve Disposable iPhone sleeves
Better Life Even The Kitchen Sink Natural Cleansing Scrubber + $1 Off Coupon
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts (Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds) + $1 Off Coupon
Two Degrees Apple Pecan Bar
Ancient Essence Frankincense & Myrrh
Stash Very Berry Tea

Simple Organic onion flakes
Sweet Riot 70% Dark Chocolate



How Does Conscious Box work?

Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

  • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
  • From organic food to vegan beauty products, you’re sure to find new favorites!
  • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes!
  • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
  • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!
 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March Conscious Box 2013- Gluten Free

When you take the problems of the world on your shoulders, your body doesn't feel good. It's just that simple. Leave the problems of the world to the individual problem-makers of the world, and you be the joy-seeker that you are.
--- Abraham

How Does Conscious Box work?

Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

  • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
  • From organic food to vegan beauty products, you’re sure to find new favorites!
  • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes!
  • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
  • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!
 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Massages

5 Reasons Massages Aren't Just For Pampering Yourself

 
Massages are my favorite way to pamper myself and promote my health and well being. 
 
By Kate Greenleaf
Many people believe that going to a massage therapist is just a way to pamper or indulge yourself. This is why so many of us wait to have one; we treat it as a way to reward ourselves for special occasions, like birthdays or vacations. The truth is, the benefits of receiving a therapeutic massage run much deeper than the superficial "feeling good" — which seems like a good enough reason, in my mind!

There are endless positive benefits to receiving a massage, but here are just a few: 

1. Receiving a massage can alleviate chronic pain

This may seem obvious, but there are many people out there who live with chronic back, shoulder and neck issues. Massages can reduce the causes of this pain, which can be a healthier and more holistic approach than reaching for synthetic drugs or other forms of pain relief. 

2. Massages promote better sleep

Many people struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep. When we get a massage, it not only reduces tension in the muscles, but it can also change our hormone levels in such a way that allows for more profound relaxation to arise. Massage therapy has been linked to increased delta waves in the brain, which are connected to deeper, more restful sleep.

3. Massage therapy may relieve mild depression

Massage therapy has been touted for releasing the tension, stress and anxiety that is often accompanied with mild depression. It's believed that receiving physical touch can change our bio-chemisty and lower our cortisol levels, our bodies stress hormone. If our cortisol levels are too high on a regular basis it can lead to all kinds of imbalance in our system, including feelings of depression. Massage therapy can be a beautiful, natural way to regulate these hormones levels thus creating a more relaxed, improved state in our overall mental and physical wellbeing.

4. Getting a massage is a great way to boost your immunity. 

When we're stressed and anxious all the time, it's harder for our bodies to fight off and defend against the pathogens we're exposed to every single day. Even a light, gentle touch can allow the lymphatic system to drain and release waste like bacteria and viruses from the body more efficiently, increasing our chances to fight off the germs we come in contact with as a part of our everyday lives.

5. Self massages can ease your financial concerns.

If you're someone who finds that taking the time to schedule a massage on a more regular basis is a challenge, or you feel hindered by the cost, you can always try self massages. Begin by finding the right oil — I like using sesame or coconut oil. You can add a few drops of high quality therapeutic grade essential oil to it, like lavender (this part isn't necessary but adds a lot to the experience). I'll have my health coaching and massage clients begin practicing this by focusing on the major joints in the body first. You can begin by gently rubbing the oil into your neck area, shoulders, elbows and wrists. Then continue by moving to your hips, knees and ankles. If that's all you have time for, that's still going to be of great benefit to you and will naturally lubricate these often neglected areas of the body.

So the next time you're thinking about getting a massage, remember that the experience runs much deeper than just pampering yourself. Having a massage can be seen as a great tool for improving your overall health, and it's a step in the direction for increasing your own capability to enhance and practice exceptional self care.

Friday, March 22, 2013

8 Ways To Promote Hormone Balance

8 Ways To Promote Hormone Balance

 
By Margaret Wertheim
One of the most common hormonal imbalances in women is estrogen dominance, which can mean elevated estrogen or simply estrogen that is unbalanced by progesterone. Estrogen dominance is associated with conditions like PMS, endometriosis, and fibroids. 

Luckily, there are some simple ways to help reduce estrogen dominance:

1. Eat cruciferous vegetables daily. 

These superfoods, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, bok choy and collard greens, have a compound called indole-3-carbinol that helps promote the production of less potent forms of estrogen.

2. Get plenty of vitamin C. 

Eat vitamin C-rich foods and consider supplementing with 500-1000 mg vitamin C daily. If you have low progesterone, vitamin C may help support progesterone production. Include lots of vitamin C-rich foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, strawberries and bell peppers.

3. Minimize dairy. 

Even organic dairy products are a source of estrogen, which comes from cows’ own estrogen production. Dairy cows are often pregnant when they’re milked, and this leads to higher levels of estrogen in the milk and subsequent dairy products.

4. Minimize processed soy products due to high levels of phytoestrogens. 

Meat replacement products and energy bars with “soy protein isolate” or “texturized vegetable protein” contain higher levels of phytoestrogens that natural or fermented soy foods like tempeh or miso. It is unclear if these phytoestrogens have an estrogenic or anti-estrogenic effect. The majority of your soy intake should come from traditional or fermented soy foods.

5. Support good digestion with probiotics and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. 

Good digestion and regular elimination supports removal of estrogen from the body. Include probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.

6. If you eat beef, make sure it’s hormone-free.  

Better yet, organic and grassfed. Conventional beef cattle are treated with estrogen to make them grow bigger faster, so be choosy about your meat.

7. Avoid BPA exposure. 

BPA, or bisphenol A, is a hormone disruptor and acts like estrogen in your body, so make sure your food and beverage containers are BPA-free. Limit your intake of canned food (as BPA is in the lining of most cans), and wash your hands after handling receipts (which contain BPA).

8. Avoid parabens in your personal care products. 

Parabens are a preservative in many personal care products like shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. Parabens are another estrogenic chemical. You will see parabens near the end of the ingredient list usually as “methylparaben” or “propylparaben.” Luckily, there are many great paraben-free products out there.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Microwave destroys food


Why cooking with a microwave destroys cancer-fighting nutrients in food and promotes nutritional deficiencies

food
Microwaves absolutely decimate the nutritional value of your food, destroying the very vitamins and phytonutrients that prevent disease and support good health. Previous studies have shown that as much as 98% of the cancer-fighting nutrients in broccoli, for example, are destroyed by microwaving.

To understand why, you have to understand the nature of vitamins and phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients). These are very delicate molecules which are fragile. They are easily destroyed by heat, which is why raw plant foods contain more plant nutrients than cooked foods. Carotenoids, antioxidants and other molecules like DIM (in broccoli) or anthocyanins (in purple corn) are all easily destroyed by microwave energy.

Microwaves "nuke" your food at a cellular level

Microwaving is the worst way to cook foods because microwaves excite the water molecules inside whatever you're cooking, causing heat to be formed from the inside out. This results in a cell-by-cell "nuking" of the food (such as broccoli, carrots, etc.), causing the near-total molecular decomposition of the vitamins and phytonutrients that promote disease.

Microwaved food is not merely "dead" food at every level, it is food that has been molecularly deconstructed, leaving nothing but empty calories, fiber and minerals. Virtually the entire vitamin and phytonutrient content has been destroyed.

Anybody who says microwaving food is a healthy way to cook is wildly ignorant of nutrition and cooking methods. While steaming vegetables is, indeed, a good method for some veggies to help make certain nutrients more bioavailable, microwaving destroys veggies from the inside out at a cellular level.

Don't be fooled by appearances

What's really deceptive about microwave cooking is that the food still appears to be basically the same, but at the cellular level, it's like a nuclear war has taken place. The actual molecular structure has been decimated. If you could see microwaved foods with a powerful microscope, you'd never eat them again because you would recognize just what a nutritional wasteland they really are.

If you want to eat in a healthy way, make sure a significant part of your diet is raw plants. It's okay to eat some steamed, stir-fried or even grilled veggies, but when grilling foods, avoid burning them because all burned parts contain toxic, cancer-causing chemicals that promote colon cancer.

Personally, I am absolutely astonished that more people don't already know all this. I'm even having to talk with my own staff about these issues, as they don't seem to know the full story on microwave cooking. Spread the word: Microwaves promote death because they turn nutritious, healthy food into empty, decimated calories. I gave up using a microwave well over a decade ago, and I don't even own one.

Remember, a person who cooks a lot of their food with microwaves will inevitably have chronic nutritional deficiencies that promote cancer, diabetes, bone diseases, loss of brain function, heart disease and many other health problems. The least healthy people of any society are typically the ones who frequently use the microwave oven to "nuke" their foods.