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Lifestyle Health & Wealth

8 Life Habits – A Must For All Women In Their 40s

We still feel great in our 40s – these are the years a woman can really enjoy. But there are could be problems ahead which could turn into health issues for us women if care isn’t taken. Check out these tips below.

sarahcover

So what happens during the previous 10 years?…well
Female bone density falls by about 3-5%
Stress levels may increase due to lifestyle matters involving kids, money, parents etc.
Depression, a complex condition, but is more common in these years.
Hormone changes affect a woman’s bodily systems, in particular, the sex drive.
Metabolism slows by around 2% more making weight control difficult especially for women and
Muscle loss is at around 7% over the decade. But don’t worry, help is at hand – read on…

Practice the following 8 lifestyle habits and you will be able to combat these life-changing events.

Not only that, but you should see an improvement in your all round health, having more energy, be more focused, less ill forming a platform for a continuing quality of life that is so important in later years.
And there is even better news. The weight that a lot of us women start to see in our 40s will gradually decrease so any plans of going on a diet can go out the window. We hate diets!
Middle-aged woman using weights

1. Improve muscle strength

A woman can increase her metabolism through strength training. This increase in her resting metabolism will maximize the calorie burn effect even when relaxing, making weight control a lot easier.
It also helps strengthen bone density, keep your balance, and avoid injury, important for protecting your skeleton both now and in later life. Try and get into the habit of doing half an hour of weight resistance training 5 days of the week.

Strength training is an important part of complete fitness and well-being but knowing where to start can be a problem. The  Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training is an in-depth guide that takes someone at any level through a 16 week strength program. It can be followed at home or at a gym. This short video features some regular women who have followed the program.
hearty breakfast

2. Take time for breakfast every day

Nutritionists agree that having a good breakfast is key to keeping weight down and fat-burning metabolism up especially for females. In one study, women who ate a big breakfast lost 21% of their body weight after 8 months, compared with 4.5% for women on a low-carb diet who made breakfast their smallest meal.

And the big breakfast eaters continued their success even though they ate more calories, while the low ‘carbers’ put on weight after 4 months. This is because breakfast works in concert with metabolism, which is highest in the morning, fueling energy consumption and prevents cravings when blood sugar drops.
salmon

3. Don’t ignore calcium and vitamin D

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women in their 40s get 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D every day from foods like fortified milk or salmon – our favorite, mackerel and other oily fish and with supplements if needed.

Even certain mushrooms are high in vitamin D and don’t forget eggs. Some nutrition experts suggest getting up to 1,000 IU a day is best for optimal health. The use of these foods is one of the main principles of the Beauty of Food Bible whose emphasis is not on a “diet” and “dieting” but on healthy eating.
yoga2

4. Control your stress levels

There’s no doubt that stress can age a woman quicker than anything else (even a man).
Stress can inhibit the natural rhythm of the heart rate, which can trigger unhealthy messages to the body’s systems. This can mean high blood pressure, less brain energy and less cell growth amongst other things.

To get your heart into a healthier rhythm, breathe in through your nose for 4 beats and out for 8 at least twice a day or anytime you feel the pressure. That activates the vagus nerve that runs from the brain to the pelvis, relaxing the heart, muscles, airways, gastrointestinal tract, and blood vessels.

Also, look into the benefits of the gentler forms of yoga such as Hatha for a moment of peace and reflection.
the dall the dork series

5. Have fun with your other half<

Try something new and not just in the bedroom. “When a woman falls in love, dopamine centers in the brain fire like crazy, and the same thing happens when you do something different and adventurous,” says Laura Berman, Ph.D., director of the Berman Center, a sex therapy clinic in Chicago.
Activities like ballroom dancing or traveling to a new vacation spot promote bonding and stimulate the libido. The same goes for spicy play with sex toys.

One device on the center’s website features a pair of lacy panties with a built-in contoured vibrator that you or your partner can secretly trigger with a remote at boring cocktail parties.

A survey conducted by the Berman Center found that women who use sex toys (mostly in relationships) had more interest in sex, greater arousal, easier orgasms, and less pain during intercourse. Check out some strange facts about orgasm.proteinab

6. Eat more protein

Getting foods with all the amino acids needed to form complete proteins at least twice a day boosts levels of mood-lifting neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help relieve symptoms of depression, like slow thinking and poor memory. Women should try eating each main meal with 4 ounces of lean protein. Foods like fish, eggs, and quinoa. But don’t go without carbohydrates as the boost mood by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain.
Time out with girlfriends

7. Make a regular date with your girlfriends

Relaxing with friends reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, and even makes you more loving toward your partner when you get home. Women often lose their way socially into their 40s because of family and work commitments.

But women who have extensive social networks through family, work, their hobby and other organizational groups have lower blood pressure, less diabetes, reduced risk of heart disease and half as many strokes as women who are less well connected.
Woman having checkup

8. Get essential check-ups

As well as numbers 1 through 7 and your overall health, please don’t a woman should pay particular attention to the practical stuff like checkups:
Eye exam: Every 2 to 4 years
Blood pressure: Every 2 years
Pap test and pelvic exam: Every 1 to 3 years
Thyroid: Every 5 years
Mole check: Every year
Mammogram: Every 1 to 2 years
Blood glucose: Every 3 years starting at age 45
Source: Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services

So that’s it – being aware and practicing these 8 healthy lifestyle habits will see you in good stead.

As you might have noticed it’s all about what you do with your body and what you put into it …
…I’m for anything natural and avoid plastering chemicals on my face and eating too much artificial this and processed that – occasional cake aside.
If you like the natural healthy options too, you can take advantage of all the foodstuffs that are probably in your fridge right now and transform your hair, skin and general health, with a little help from this free book on Natural Beauty Secrets – it’s something I’ve got my daughter into at last so she’ll serenely enter her 30’s, 40’s and beyond.

Anyway – would you like to look 10 years younger? We have looked at the things that are “DO’s” now check out this article by Steve & Becky Holman on 5 steps revealing the big “DON’T DO’s” for slowing the aging process, feeling healthy and full of energy with a body to die for.

It includes a program designed specifically to retard the physical and mental signs of aging. We like it because it works without having to spend hours in the gym or pounding the streets for hours on end.
source: richard-laliberte

Categories
Lifestyle

Over 45? How To Keep Your Brain Age Young

People often talk about what they’re doing to get in shape or improve fitness, but not so much about keeping their brain sharp. So our body age can improved by exercise but what about our brain age?

brain exercise

Giving your brain a “workout” can improve your memory and make you feel goooood.
Most people think that after a certain age the human brain no longer regenerates but it’s been found that new neurons are being born throughout our lives and it occurs in the grey matter of the brain structure, the hippocampus.

This is known as neurogenesis and it’s been worked out that around 700 neurons can be generated every day, which by the time you’re 50 means that all the neurons you were born with have been replaced.

We’ve known for a long time that the hippocampus is responsible for learning, memory, emotion and mood.

There is no doubt that getting older means a reduction in the growth of neurons and a higher likelihood of external factors causing a higher rate of inhibiting the growth and survival of them.

But the good news is that cognitive decline in older adults can be arrested, long-term memory can be improved and depression and stress become less likely as long as the growth of these neurons aren’t inhibited.

Based on what researchers have found so far here are some do’s and don’ts that will encourage the brain to regenerate and “sharpen the mind”.

family outdoor1 – Go Outdoors

As well as being good for your body and happiness in general, going outdoors (not just to get a paper!) will help your happiness and help your mind to focus. Getting older often means a loss of spatial awareness so getting out and about improves spatial memory.

Find somewhere green as near to you as you can (this doesn’t have to be the countryside, a local park will do).

The way it will help your mind is by giving it a break from your day to day stresses and strains as it helps you mentally and physically escape.

Festering indoors with little stimulation apart from tv soaps is a no-no.

salmon high in omega-32 – Diet

It may be no surprise that what sort of food you eat has an affect on your brain age to the extent that researchers now believe that our diet is the modulator of brain functions like memory and mood corresponding with an increase in neurogenesis.

It still follows that all the things we’re told about what to eat and what to avoid holds true, there is no new magic food substance to feast on as there is nothing new to avoid.

So flavonoids found in dark chocolate (hooray) or blueberries increases neurogenesis as does the fatty acids, omega 3 found tuna, sardines and salmon. But a diet ladened with high saturated fats will tend to inhibit the production of neurons.

Apart from what you actually eat it’s been shown that restricting calorie intake by 20 to 30 percent will increase neurogenesis as will intermittent fasting, so spacing the time between meals.

There was something new and a bit strange however, that Japanese researchers unearthed and it is to do with the texture of the food we eat. They have shown that a soft food diet impairs neurogenesis compared to food that needs mastication, so chewy or crunchy food.

It’s not only what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat, but it’s also the texture of the food that promotes good mental health, improved memory and a better overall mood due in turn to the production of the new neurons in the hippocampus.

Gardening good for the brain3 – Gardening

If the idea of digging a heavy spade until you break into a sweat is unappealing, particularly if you have lower back issues, it is worth knowing that gardening doesn’t necessarily have to be a big physical chore.

The good news is that even just doing a bit of basic planting or pruning can help your mental wellbeing. Gardening helps with this by taking your mind off daily stresses and also gives a sense of satisfaction and control.

If you do have your own garden, there is a great sense of pride in reaching certain goals throughout the seasons and entertaining your friends in it is a great bonus.

reading outside4 – Reading Books

Reading books has been proven to assist your memory power especially memory recall. If you read a book or indeed your kindle before bed as part of your night time routine it can assist in getting a good night’s sleep, enabling you to be more focused and less stressed the next day. It can calm your mind too, if you get absorbed in a decent story, or stimulate it if you are reading a factual book.

Anything that improves the quality of sleep is always going to be a good thing as it’s been found that sleep-deprivation is a sure way to inhibit neurogenesis.

couple cycling for exercise5 – Exercise

You may already be aware of the advantages exercise can have on the heart and body, but cardio actually delivers oxygen in the blood flow to your brain too and it’s believed that this is the connection between exercise and neurogenesis. Experiments have shown that without a wheel in it’s cage a mouse develops far fewer neurons in the hippocampus than one which can run around it’s wheel daily.

Exercise has been proven to improve long and short memory and to lower the stress inducing hormone cortisol, enabling a clarity of thought.

Through exercise your brain signals you are feeling good with the release of endorphins.

doing sudoku in the sun6 – Sudoku/Crosswords

As well as helping you to chill out while you take a break, Sudoku/Crosswords and any other form of brain training have many other benefits. Let’s face it,  the more it’s used the more power the brain will retain. Use it or lose it.

They can give you a feeling of personal satisfaction and you could even sit and enjoy some puzzles with the grandchildren, enriching their brain power at the same time as your own.

Puzzles, particularly Sudoku have a link to limiting the aging effect on your brain and helping your memory. You could always “mix it up” a bit more by alternating between Sudoku, Crosswords improving your number and word skills.

Or why not try one of the good brain games that there are online these days.
We would suggest neuronation.com which was created by scientists or luminosity.com which also looks good although we haven’t tried it.

Wine drinking women friends toasting glasses7 – Cut Down On The Booze but…

Ethanol or alcohol intake will decrease brain age.
While there are conflicting reports at the moment about drinking alcohol in moderation, excessive alcohol consumption does unfortunately, damage the brain and inhibits neurogenesis, the regeneration of neurons in the important grey matter.

Although we raise our glasses to celebrate at occasions such as weddings (or even at our weekly pub night out!), it shouldn’t really be taken lightly that alcohol is ultimately a depressant.

The feeling of “relaxing” you may get after an initial drink or two of the alcoholic kind is down to your brain processing slowing down, which is why some people literally can’t remember what they were doing the night before. Laying off the booze can have a positive impact on your sharpness.

Okay, the good news is though, if you’re like me and like a glass of red then research has also shown that resveratrol which is found in red wine helps promote the survival of these growing neurons.

Neighbors Party Yard 8 – Be Sociable

With so much technology surrounding us, there is a temptation to insulate ourselves in our cocoons, but engaging in company can be fun as well as mentally stimulating.

You and your friends could engage in a new activity such as chess, a quiz or book club for example. If a few of you are into cooking, why not host a get together at each others houses, perhaps on a monthly basis, and enjoy sharing your food and recipes? You could also join a cookery class.

women in the gym doing yoga exercise9 – Remember To Breathe!

Stress, poor posture and being too busy are just a few of the contributing factors that can stop us performing the most basic bodily function of all, breathing.

We forget, or may not even know, that ten or fewer slower breaths per minute are best for your heart. This is largely because this helps to get the oxygen to your brain, helping with your energy and sharpness.

Yoga and Pilates concentrate on breathing if you fancy trying a class, or a dvd if you prefer the comfort and privacy of your own home.

There is also plenty of advice online and in books about detailed breathing techniques and meditation, This is a yoga course which should be helpful although it promotes it as a weight loss product as well but I believe it’s still only $9 for the download.

Good luck with growing those neurons.

Categories
Lifestyle

Will Fruit Fly Genes Help Us In Our Health As We Age

Fruit-Fly-Close-UpaIn the last few centuries, medical advances have greatly lengthened lifespans. Among other causes, a central driver has been improved care at the beginning of life, when declining infant mortality rates have boosted average life expectancy at birth.

Now, as more people live into their eighties, nineties, and beyond, researchers are focusing on the end of life. And with the increasing incidence of age-related diseases, like Alzheimer’s and cancer, it’s not just prolonging life, but prolonging health too.

Some believe the answer to a long, healthy life lies hidden in our genes.

In a recent study, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), say that activating a gene, AMPK, in fruit flies’ intestines was found to add 30% to their average lifespans—up to eight weeks from the typical six weeks.

Beyond simply boosting lifespans, the flies stayed healthier too.

The research found that activating the gene increased the rate of a cellular process called autophagy, in which cells break down damaged cellular components and proteins that can negatively affect cell health. This cellular junk tends to accumulate as we age.

In addition, activating the gene in one organ appeared to have wider ranging effects.

david-walker-ucla-longevity-geneticsDavid Walker.
UCLA’s David Walker.

“We have shown that when we activate the gene in the intestine or the nervous system, we see the aging process is slowed beyond the organ system in which the gene is activated,” said David Walker, UCLA associate professor of integrative biology and physiology and senior author of the research.

The fact that turning on the gene in one place slows aging elsewhere may simplify future treatments for age-related disease in humans—the researchers’ long-term goal. This is because developing therapies for some organs, like the intestines, may prove to be technically much simpler than developing therapies for others, like the brain.

Fruit fly studies are a great place to start for genetic research. Scientists have intimate knowledge of the insect’s genome and have learned to activate and deactivate individual genes. This particular study looked at over 100,000 genes.

However, there is, of course, a difference between fruit flies and humans. And although extending human longevity is the goal, scientists are still years from achieving it.

Longevity studies, in general, have a fraught history wherein promising new discoveries get an avalanche of press only to fall from favor a few years later. In this case, additional research, especially in human populations, is necessary.

Beyond potential therapeutic uses, however, its finding that increased autophagy can lengthen life is intriguing on its own. Aubrey de Grey’s SENS Research Foundation, an organization focused on the study of human longevity, outlines seven categories of cellular damage that, added up over a lifetime, result in aging and age-related disease.

Two of the seven categories target the accumulation of junk protein in and around cells.

Alzheimer’s disease is perhaps the best known example of such accumulation. The brains of Alzheimer’s patients are a mess of misfolded proteins called plaques and tangles. It’s thought these malfunctioning proteins cause parts of the brain to die off.

A number of big drug trials targeting brain plaques have failed in recent years, confounding pharmaceutical firms and researchers alike. But some have suggested a major shortcoming is diagnosis—that is, by the time behavioral symptoms show up, significant fractions of the brain have already died and damage can’t be reversed.

Flipping a genetic switch early on, however, would be a bit like ordering the body’s natural cellular maid service more regularly—or like doing the dishes as you use them as opposed to waiting days to tackle teetering stacks of crusty bowls and plates.

Fountain-of-youth-gene-1

dnaFurther study will hopefully learn more precisely how such genetic switches work, what they control, and perhaps find more of them. Longevity likely involves the interplay of a number of genes. This is why the plummeting cost of genomic sequencing is so exciting. Mass studies are just now getting underway.

Genomic sequencing pioneer, Dr. Craig Venter, founded Human Longevity Inc. earlier this year and seeded it with two cutting-edge genomic sequencers. These Illumina sequencers can transcribe thousands of genomes a year at $1,000 per genome—a simply massive improvement.

It took years and hundreds of millions of dollars to sequence a single human genome a decade ago—Human Longevity Inc. aims to sequence 40,000 human genomes a year.

For Venter’s firm and other research organizations, these advances in genomic sequencing, paired with better and more automated data analysis software, may accelerate the discovery of genes linked to longevity and age-related disease. Perhaps we’ll soon know the human genome as intimately as we know the fruit fly’s.

Alone, it’s probably wise not to read too much into the recent UCLA study for now. More broadly, however, the study’s findings offer a tantalizing glimpse into the potential power of coming genetic discoveries. That is, it’s likely only the beginning of the story.

Author: Jason Dorrier

Categories
Lifestyle

10 Ways To Find Your True Self

I think we construct ourselves for other people, and that’s okay … but not 100% of the time. There are times we have to be ourselves or we are going to wither away beneath our fear forever.
Portrait of elegant brunette woman

Here are a few things you can do to uncover who you really are at the core. All of these take courage.

1. Accept that negative things people say about you could possibly be true. And then dare to change. It’s that DARE part that hurts so much. But come on. I’ve had several people in my life tell me some pretty negative and hurtful things about myself. It wasn’t until I really dared to see what they were saying and accept that there might be some truth in what they said that I could finally face the pain and do something about it.

2. Really figure out if you are an introvert or extrovert. Nobody is 100% one or the other, but it has been proven scientifically in more places than one that everyone is bent more towards one or the other, and that we are born that way. It doesn’t change. We can often learn how to be really good at pretending to be the opposite of what we are, but it’s innate. Knowing what you really are and what that means is a huge, huge eye-opener.

3. Stop hiding from yourself. Literally. Look in the mirror every single day.Nothing can replace really looking at yourself in the mirror and learning to love what you see, flaws and all. I used to have horrendous acne. I still have scars, and I’m beginning to look past them now. It has been a difficult journey.

4. Make a list of what you judge about other people. It’s true what they say: the things you judge about others is what you’re judging about yourself. Sit down and figure out the judgments you make on other people. Those are the things you’re most concerned about in life, and probably the things you should try to work on for yourself instead of pushing it all on other people, even if it’s only in your thoughts.

5. Find a true hobby. Your hobbies and what you do in your spare time says a lot about you. If you don’t like that you’re playing video games four hours a day when you get home from work, maybe you should step back and figure out some other things in your life that you’d like to explore instead. Maybe you’re just an avid video gamer and you’re playing with your entire family. That says a lot right there too. Positive things! But step back and make sure you’re filling your spare time with things that you truly love, not things you’re doing just because it’s popular, or to avoid your true self.

6. Learn to say no. It’s hard to say no to people, or even opportunities, especially if it makes you feel guilty or selfish to do so. But look up at point #2. If you know what you tend toward — introverted or extroverted — you’re going to know more about your limits and the limits of others. That’s when it gets a little easier to start saying no to the things that aren’t really going to help anyone, or make them or you happy, in the long run.

happy woman enjoy summer time7. Find some silence every single day. Life is loud. Life is crazy. Singling out some time just for you, and making sure it is quite literally SILENT, is essential … and not just for introverted people who prefer silence. I think it’s essential for human beings in general. How can you know yourself if you can’t hear yourself? Even if it’s just three minutes, find some silence to ask yourself how you’re doing and what you might need to do to alter your course, even if it’s just slightly, in order to find your center again. Sometimes that means following #6 and saying no to something. Sometimes it means saying yes.

8. Check your social media interactions. Consistently. I think a lot can be said about how we interact on social media. Take a good, hard look at how you interact and what it might be saying about you. Do you always want to prove yourself right? Are you seeking out ways to state your opinion everywhere to make yourself feel validated? What are you trying to validate and why? If you get upset after being on social media, why? Really try to figure out how social media makes you feel, how you’re interacting, what you share and why you are sharing it and what you’re expecting out of sharing it. Knowing these things and studying them can say so much about you. I’ve found that it often shows me where I’m feeling a lack in my life. That’s when I have to ask why, how, and what I should do to fill that lack.

9. Realize your true friends. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with #1. Your true friends are the people who know you best. Sit down and make a list of the people you’d tell anything to. Once you know who those people are (there probably aren’t a lot), sit down and have a chat with them about what they see as your strengths and weaknesses. If they truly love you, they’ll tell you the truth. It’s an eye opener.

10. Learn to admit your worst imperfections to other people. It’s a good thing to be able to admit to other people face-to-face that you are not perfect and there are things you’re working on. When you can realize and face your worst imperfections and admit them to other people, you are finally ready to see yourself as you are, your True Self, so to speak. Seeing that True Self doesn’t mean you’ll love that True Self, but it does mean you can start discerning between what is amazing about you and what might need some working on. And not obvious things, either, but the things that will get to the root of everything else you’d like to better about yourself. I believe it’s only when you can see your true self that you can truly see others, as well.

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Relationships

10 Top Reasons Why Relationships Fail – Especially At Holidays

Happy couple drinking hot tea.The festive holiday period is portrayed as a time of loving families and relationships – of giving and sharing, but it seems that the Christmas period is also most busy time for looking for relational breakups and looking for another romance.

According to Match.com, over recent years hits to their site are at a peak on December 25th.

Perhaps it’s the holiday time stress, or all those office parties that is the springboard for succumbing to temptation.

To find out what was going on, the progressive dating site whatsyourprice.com, filtered on a big portion of their membership and came up with the 10 top reasons to explain this seasonal anomaly with romance and relationships.

So the number 1 reason relationships to end and love tokens to be returned was…
Ready for revenge! Rear view of young women holding a knife whil1. Cheating & Unfaithfulness. Dastardly and unforgivable – or is it?

It was found recently that 54% of people surveyed said that cheating is justifiable under certain circumstances.

The survey by USA Network with the premiere of its new show Satisfaction teamed up with New York magazine to ask 411 New Yorkers about their relationships.

82% said they would have no tolerance if someone cheated on them, but 81% admitted that they would cheat if they knew there would be no consequences to their actions.

Is that surprising? – I’m not sure and there isn’t data that tells us if this has changed over the years.

young upset couple in bed
2. Unfulfilling sex.

Whether it was uninteresting sex or maybe one partner got bored with the same old form and action, interest in the bedroom was number 2.
Before you give up though try these 7 Ways to Put The Spice Back Into Sex.

woman talking to her phone3. Jealousy.

Too much jealousy especially when it becomes controlling should be taken seriously. Interests may have departed wildly from the partners which may have brought about contact with a new crowd. Or maybe it’s a case of getting a little too attached to social media accounts. It’s always best to find out early on why the other half is acting like a kid before it gets to stalking and checking the credit card receipts.

Stressed couple fighting over the family budget, spending4. Finances.

Couples getting frustrated over their finances is as old as marriage itself. Having an argument over money is better than having none and it’s better than never discussing the topic. Know each other’s credit, earnings, and debts.

Pcouplehappy-25. Family differences.

It may well be that the person someone first knew, laughing at the same things and liking the same movies are different and some odd skeletal remains are found in the closet. Compatible values are important in a burgeoning relationship – find out early.

men enjoying his meal while watching tv6. Weight gain.

As he settles into a comfortable life with the healthy fit you he slides into the couch with a beer and a huge bag of potato chips. Maybe you can’t force him down the gym every night but perhaps suggesting some joint goals together would help. Sometimes the weight just grows imperceptibly.
Man sitting on a money pile while woman is doing chores7. Laziness.

Who wants a lazy partner? Sure we all want some relaxing moments, but if now and again becomes all the time, it’s worth pondering on the fact that people won’t normally change a great deal.
Pclingy-28. Too clingy.

There needs to be boundaries set early although it can be hard if someone is naturally that way inclined but he must learn that it’s never a comfortable feeling – being clung.

wake up 49. Cleanliness.

Unless your partner is OCD there would be no complaints regarding cleanliness. But if he’s too messy, tell him that tidiness and orderliness can make you instantly happy and content.

It's Your Fault10. Frugality.

Well I’m sure this is a euphemism for cheap and cheap ain’t good. However if money is a problem don’t worry and work things out together. Cheap is bad though.

Categories
Lifestyle

23 Ways To Improve Your Happiness Quotient

Portrait of a woman changing her mood

Not only is happiness one of the most positive emotions we can experience, but being happy is also the key to a fulfilled, healthy life. Being cheerful is linked to living longer, physical function as we age, and an improved immune system, among other health benefits.
While some factors that affect happiness might be outside of our control (such as genetics or certain life circumstances), there are always actions we can take to amp up our own good feelings. To smile wider, be more satisfied with life, and feel altogether better—both in the present and the future—try introducing any (or all!) of these practices into your life.

outdoors1-1
1. Spend time in the great outdoors.
Enjoying time al fresco is a great way to put some pep back in your step. Living near green spaces is associated with better mental health, and even just looking at images of nature scenes can stimulate the parts of your brain associated with happiness, positivity, and emotional stability. Plus, spending time in the great outdoors exposes us to sunlight, which can help our bodies produce vitamin D. Since low levels of the nutrient have been linked to depression, soaking up a little bit of sun (we’re talking just 15 minutes per day) may lift your spirits both in the present and over the long term. Just make sure to slather on some sunscreen!

stress-1
2. Minimize stress.
When it’s a chronic problem, the big bad stress monster is responsible for tons of health problems—including anxiety, sleep issues, depression, and more—and these can all put a damper on your mood. To keep your spirits soaring, try  some of the stress-busting strategies in this list into your life, and get ready to feel the stress melt away.

Refreshing Water
3. Sweat it out regularly.

We are obviously big fans of exercise in general, but making time for a regular fitness session does more than just sculpt a strong physique. While getting your sweat on may not cause happiness, it can certainly contribute to it. Physical activity helps our bodies produce disease-fighting proteins—called antibodies—and our brains release endorphins. While antibodies boost happiness by keeping illness at bay, endorphins are feel-good chemicals that improve your mood while promoting feelings of euphoria. To top it all off, research suggests that regular activity may lead to lasting happiness . So it’s safe to say your pricey gym membership pays off—physically and mentally—in the long run.

Sleeping. Rise and Shine

4. Give over to more quality sleep.
Catnaps, power naps, a full night’s sleep… no matter the method, a quality snooze session is vital for overall well-being and happiness. In fact, research shows that not sleeping enough (four hours per night) may lead to lower levels of optimism. And skimping on sleep can cause us to choose larger portion sizes and hurt on-the-job performance . Load up on your vitamin Zzz’s for a healthier, happier life.
meditation
5. Meditation.
Not a great fan in the past we have now become supporters of the benefits of meditation. Though meditating can sometimes be daunting (quieting your mental chit-chat is tough work!), there are tons of health benefits associated with the practice. Research shows that eight weeks of daily meditation can lead to greater happiness. 

Composing while enjoying a glass of red wine

6. Find something new to enjoy.
Not only is it mentally stimulating (not to mention fun), but challenging yourself to learn a new skill can lead to greater happiness. That’s thanks to the feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence that often come along with gaining new expertise. Consider this your cue to sign up for those Italian lessons you’ve always wanted to take, or pick up the ukulele—choose something that genuinely interests you, and run with it!

Excited grandmother listening music together with her granddaughter at home

7. If music be the food of love…
Just try to frown while listening to upbeat songs – we dare you! Jamming out can help reduce stress—which leads to greater happiness in general. Plus, listening to music with the goal and desire to become happier may actually lead to greater happiness than simply listening for the sake of listening. So the next time you pump up the volume, keep that positive intention in mind—you may just find yourself smiling a little wider.

Happy woman getting oral sex in bed.

8. Get moving under the sheets.
It’s no secret that stress can get you down. Luckily there’s a pretty sweet solution: some between-the-sheets action—and that totally includes solo sessions. Those mind-blowing romps can not only boost your mood, but also slash stress and beat anxiety . Can’t argue with that, right? And in case you need an excuse to get it on more often, consider this: Research suggests that the more sex people have, the happier they tend to be.

A Man Brainstorming about Thanks

9. Thank your lucky stars.
Our parents were onto something when they reminded us to always say your “thank-yous”—doing so can make you healthier and happier. What’s more, being grateful may lead to other positive emotions (including a boost in energy and optimism) and well-being . Besides simply thanking people, try keeping a gratitude journal, and write down what you’re thankful for every day. Experts maintain that jotting down even one sentence of gratitude a day can boost feelings of happiness.
Two female friends having goot time together
10. Make a friend – be a friend.
A few wise men once sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends”—and they couldn’t be more spot-on. Except we don’t just get by thanks to our friendships—positive friendships help us feel more confident, less stressed, and happier. As well as making new friends don’t forget to keep in touch with the ones you have.

Group of friends taking a selfie - Tourists taking a photograph on a day trip

11. Be a joy spreader.
Much like yawning and a case of the giggles, happiness really is contagious. One study found that happiness has a waterfall effect among pals (and their pals… and their pals’ pals). When one person’s happy, it spreads to his or her friends and entire social network over the long term. Pretty much the most awesome way to influence other people, right?
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12. Don’t worry – be happy.
Adopting a hakuna matata outlook can boost overall happiness. Easier said than done, to be sure, but making a point to detach yourself from mistakes, worries, and regrets may lead to more lighthearted times. In fact, holding onto resentment and hurt feelings can tie you to the past and also marks a decision to continue suffering. Make the choice to be happy by forgiving people who hurt you and moving away from situations from your past that brought you down.

Mother and daughter doing exercise outdoors. Healthy lifestyle. Yoga

13. Do some feathered peacock poses.
Getting your om on is an excellent way to boost your mood and beat anxiety . In fact, one study suggests yoga may be more effective at boosting mood than other methods of exercise. Plus, practicing yoga can also help slash stress and improve immunity—both of which contribute to overall, long-term health and happiness. Try out some beginner moves here.

happy family eating fresh fruit

14. Eat well and load up on nutrients.
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well is paramount—especially since the nutrients you consume improve your mental health as much as your physical well-being. Case in point: Research finds that happiness and mental well-being are highest among people who eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables per day (seven portions, in this case). Plus, some nutrients, like calcium and iron, are particularly good at making you merry. 

portrait beautiful happy girl holds two masks isolated grey wall background. Human face expressions, emotions, feelings, bipolar state of mind concept

15. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Too often, we’re our own worst enemies. While it’s good to be aware of mistakes you’ve made and improvements you can make, beating yourself up on the regular is a surefire way to wind up singing the blues. In fact, experts believe that self-criticism can just make us more miserable. So instead of dwelling on your every failing, focus on how and why you value yourself. This shift will help make you stronger, more productive, less stressed, and, yes, happier.

Young woman in the spring field

16. They call me mellow yellow.
The next time you’re feeling down, try harnessing the power of a yellow hue. Happy people tend to associate their mood with the cheerful color, and folks also tend to think of yellow as the color of optimism (possibly because we associate it with the sun). To incorporate the power of yellow into your life, try adding a bit of yellow to your outfit or painting your walls the cheerful hue.

Beautiful blonde young woman lying in flowers

17. Get back to flower power.
Apart from brightening up a room, flowers can also brighten up your mood. A floral fixture may reduce feelings of pain and anxiety while boosting positive emotions. One study also shows that looking at flowers first thing in the morning leads to increased happiness and energy and decreased anxiety. Not only that, but being surrounded by blooms can also positively affect your 9-to-5—it’s been shown to boost creativity and make workspaces feel more pleasant.
Joie d'être ensemble
18. Glass is half full and about to be filled.
If there’s one trait that goes hand-in-hand with happiness, it’s optimism. People who think positively are less likely to feel depressed, more productive at work, and generally healthier than their doom-and-gloom counterparts. That said, it’s important to be both optimistic and realistic instead of just blindly positive (In fact, forcing ourselves to feel over-the-top positive may do more harm than good, especially for those of us more prone to cynical thinking.). People with a healthy combination of optimism and realism don’t let unhappy thoughts bring them down, but they use their realistic outlook to make smart decisions and actions. Talk about the best of both worlds.
Children talking
19. Make conversations meaningful.
Shooting the breeze may be fun and completely effortless, but small talk won’t lead you to a happier life. In one study, people who engaged in the least amount of meaningless chit-chat were also the happiest . And speaking of conversation skills, being a good listener may also lead to a greater sense of well-being, stronger relationships, and all-around better experiences.

Silhouette of a champion on mountain top. Sport and active life concept
20. Get things done.
Fact: Since it prevents us from accomplishing goals, procrastination diminishes happiness. Avoid putting off tasks and continue working towards your goals in order to give yourself a mental boost. Though conquering something challenging may stress us out while we’re doing it, it also makes us happier in the long run (hey, who doesn’t love an accomplishment?). Plus, when we set goals (and meet or surpass our hopes and expectations), it can help us feel more purpose and control and boosts our self-esteem.

A picture of a customer coplaining about the food in a restaurant

21. Complain—effectively.
Whining is generally considered a bad thing—and yeah, it can get pretty annoying if you’re on the receiving end. Done effectively, however, it can actually benefit our mental health. So what exactly makes complaining effective? When voicing a concern leads to results, which in turn lead to a better mood and self-esteem and feeling empowered, it’s effective. In other words, complaining done right involves identifying a problem and taking positive action to address it, not just getting stuck in a loop-de-loop of complaints.

Elderly woman with piggy bank. Isolated over white.

22. Saving for those rainy days…
Building up a nest egg is an important part of a happy life—and a financially sound future. One surprising survey found that the more people saved, the happier they tended to be. Putting money aside is also associated with feelings of security, well-being, and control.

Happy senior woman shopping with tired man holding presents in Christmas store

23. …but also spend money thoughtfully.
While it’s crucial to stash some cash away for a rainy day, indulging in the occasional shopping trip can actually reduce sadness by making us feel more in control. While retail therapy seems to be a legit thing, science shows that spending money on others is especially beneficial to happiness. And if you really want to boost your mood, experts suggest combining an actual gift with the gift of your time so both you and your giftee enjoy both the purchase and the time spent together. To reap the mood-boosting benefits, enjoy the gift with your loved one—whether you’re giving an experience, like cooking classes, or something more material, like new golf clubs.

Categories
Lifestyle

7 Dangerous Home Hazards For Your Cat

catatdrink1. Dangerous Drinks

As much as we love our tea, coffee and glass of wine these drinks are not appreciated by our feline friends so under no circumstances should they be given coffee, tea or any alcohol – that applies to dogs too of course. So as much you think she might appreciate a ‘cat nip’ just say no!

According to the American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals” “alcoholic drinks can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, and breathing difficulty, among other things”.

cat eating a muffin on a yellow background2. Foods That Can Be Fatal

Most people know that chocolate is harmful to dogs but it is as harmful to cats so be aware and also make sure any around children understand the danger.

Too much sugar is not only bad for us it’s worse for our pets. Also be vigilant about sweet, candy wrappers.
Even if it’s his birthday no chocolate muffins.

onionscat23. Some More Foods To Steer your Cat Away From

Keep them away from all fatty foods as well as these specific items.
Chewing gum
Macadamia nuts
Grapes & Raisins
Onions & Garlic
Salt
Avacado &
Raw dough
Source: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.

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4. Plants That Will Poison Your Pussy Cat

As lovely as lilies are, they happen to be one of the worst plants for cats. It’s probably best to keep lilies out of the home as they can be poisonous if chewed on or eaten by your cats.

Lily poisoning includes vomiting and loss of appetite as well as fatigue. If you think your cat or especially kitten,  has been at the lilies and is lethargic take her to the vet straight away. If not treated after 3 to 5 days of ingestion she may end up with fatal kidney failure.

“Unfortunately, several types of lilies have been found to be deadly to cats, including Easter lily, tiger lily, rubrum lily, Japanese show lily, some species of day lily and certain other members of the Liliaceae family. Ingesting just one leaf can result in severe poisoning, and within a very short time your cat will exhibit signs of toxicity.”
Source:
Poinsettias can also be dangerous for your cat although not as bad as the Lilies but something else to be aware of at Christmas. (Don’t worry – the cat in the picture is not eating anything dangerous but he’ll probably vomit sometime later.

adorable baby sitting on the little bed and playing with cat5. Hazardous Choking Objects

Cats get into everything and it’s no surprise that they get something inside them that wasn’t meant to be there, but sometimes the items they pick can cause choking or can cause harm to the oesophagus lining or stomach.
When using certain everyday items just be aware of how they might attract a playful kitten, but which may turn out unpleasant – common objects like rubber bands, cotton buds, little batteries, hair grips and so on and then there are…

…the things your toddler plays with often has the same fascination for kittens and cats – they are small, fluffy, colourful, shiny, – toys that is, not kittens, although? – but they can be a further choking hazard. So keep small toys in a secure place away from prying paws.

christmascats-46. Holiday Hazards and Christmas Cat..astrophes

At Christmas time, if you have a decorated tree then keep your cat away from the tree water and keep an eye when they start to show an interest in baubles, bangles, bright shiny beads…da da da da

When opening presents keep in a dedicated place for disposal the wrapping, ribbons and any styrofoam, all of which can be a choking hazard. As can the chicken, turkey, duck bones so bung ’em in the bin.

On the 4th of July, 5th of November or any celebration day on which fireworks are featured be aware of where your cat is and how he is behaving.
Any celebration that involves confectionary like Easter and Valentines day keep his paws off the chocolate – oh and the flowers.

catcar2
7. Cats and Cars

Apart from the bedroom, kitchen, living area and almost everywhere another place to be aware of is the garage and storage areas. Well our precious pet will find a way into any space. Cat’s are so bendy!
Keep all the cleaning materials as well as anti-freeze, de-icing fluids and garden related stuff like fertilizer, pesticides in places difficult for your cat to get at.

Come winter and like us, our kitty cat likes to find a cosy warm spot to get a decent nap. And if you’ve just come home from work with the car in the garage what a tempting cosy hideaway nook that looks, under the bonnet by the once purring engine.

A bang on the hood before starting the engine will give cats or whatever other animal that has chosen this as his new home, a chance of escape or at least make their presence known.

Want to get your cat to come when called? click here…

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Categories
Health & Wealth Women's Style

8 Life Habits – A Must For All Women In Their 50s

If, in our 40s it was all about a transitioning lifestyle then in our 50s change is no longer sometime in the future but is with us now.

After the fabulous 40s you’ve developed as wise, assured women full of experience and prepared for anything life throws up. Yes, welcome to the fabulous 50s.
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Fifty used to be the start of a winding down and letting the younger generations steal your thunder – but no more. When a woman hits her fabulous fifties, she still has all of her potential to shine as long as she nurtures her body through excellent health and lifestyle choices. Now is the time to take life by the horns and shape the years ahead.

We know there are challenges to continue feeling good, looking good and enjoying life.

Apart from everything else there is menopause to contend with which affects just about every physiological system in our bodies.

No need for negativity though as the following 8 habits will help minimize your health risks but the fact is that the chances of developing an illness or disease that devalues the quality of life increases greatly in your 50s, so what can be done to lessen the risks, maintain or even improve the quality of health, fitness and well-being?
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Categories
Lifestyle

9 Intelligence Types – What Sort Are You?

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
Family feeding animal on the farm

Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).  This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.  It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
Man violin player in musican concept

Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.  This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves.  They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
scoolgirl standing near blackboard

Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.  It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.  Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.  Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships.  They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

4.Existential Intelligence
why are we here

Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)
Leisure time in park

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.  It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.  Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

acrobat

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills.  This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.  Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
Table with old book

Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart)
businessman running on the road

Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life.  Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition.  It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.  These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

9. Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)
little girl in pilots hat

Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.  Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.

Author: psych2go
Categories
Health & Wealth Women's Style

9 Advantages Women Have For Success In Online Business

It occurred to me that over the last few years we see more and more successful female online business owners whether it’s eCommerce sites, successful blogs, internet marketing product creators, freelance writers or whatever.
Group Of Female Friends In Caf‚ Using Digital Devices

Discussing this with a couple of other online business owner friends (also female) over our usual elevenses we came to the conclusion that this should be no surprise and it would seem a logical path for a woman to take especially as we are seeing the breakdown of traditional work structures and practices.

So we came up with 9 reason why women are better suited to running a successful online business. Not that we decry our opposing gender’s abilities. Besides there are plenty of successful male online business owners to point an enviable finger at.

But there is every reason to think that we have an advantage over men these days in making it online. Male or female, what do you think?
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