Commit To Be Happy

Today, why not made a personal commitment to be happy, in spite of what life hands over to you. You have to admit that there are too many things over which you have no control. The only thing you can do is to stop allowing them to make dents in your spirit.

Happiness is not something that others can take from you. It’s something that you would have to throw away on your own.

There will be times when things don’t turn out the way you want them to. Your best friend at work may turn out to be a power-hungry corporate animal that backstabs you at every opportunity. The promotion you worked so hard for may go to someone else. Your partner might decide to leave me, a day before we are due to go for a vacation together. You may lose most of your savings in a market crash.

These are things that can happen to the most loving, compassionate, careful and reasonable person. But after the initial pain and shock, the decision whether or not to let yourself languish in despair is entirely up to you. You can allow misfortune to form the bulk of your life, or you can choose to leave what’s past in the past, and move on.

One’s friendly and caring behavior towards others should not be motivated by the thought of equally kind and affectionate responses. You understand yourself best, and regardless of how reasonably and responsibly you live your life, there will be people who won’t see your point of view or share your motivations.

People have the right to act in any way they see fit. I don’t have the right to judge whether their behavior is acceptable or not. They have to bear the responsibility for their own actions, and so do you. By feeling sorry for yourself, you are simply continuing the work for them, long after they have dealt their blow. You have to decide that, as far as possible, you will not allow these people to disturb your mind.

There are many things for which you can be grateful. There are yet unexplored experiences in which you can find enrichment and meaning. There are yet others who will like you for who you are, and in spite of who you are. If you spend my time being resentful and miserable, you are denying yourself the satisfaction of enjoying what this life has to offer.

There are enough unhappy people in this world who punish themselves and others constantly in a bid to find redress and compensation. But there is no satisfaction in retaliation and revenge. It’s a waste of time and spirit.

“To be happy we must not be too concerned with others.”

Albert Camus

Are You Well?

Wellness refers to the condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits. Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes. But do we know if we are really well? How do we tell?

The first place to start would be with the examination of your eating habits. Since we are a product of what we eat, if our eating habits are unhealthy, or do not provide for the nutrition we need, we’re not going to be healthy individuals at the end of the process. Do you take in more calories than your body needs? Are you supplementing your vitamins and minerals to make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowances? If you’re not making the most basic of efforts to take care of your nutritional needs, you aren’t a well individual. You may not look sick, you may not have any noticeable symptoms of ill-health, but you’re not the well individual you could be.

Next, you might want to look at your exercise habits, if there are any. If there aren’t any exercise routines to examine, no wellness. Everyone, no matter what their age, benefits from exercise. It keeps our bodies conditioned, our mental sharpness working at top speed, and thanks to the physical aspect, we get a boost to our cardio health, extra calorie burn, and more oxygen to those cells!

What about the stress levels in your life? Do work in an environment with high levels of stress? Is your personal life a source of comfort or does it add to your stress levels? Do you engage in some form of stress-relieving activity? Stress is the number on contributor to heart attacks and strokes, since they manage to speed up the affect of the real culprits. Stress is basically an out of control situation for most adults today. We manage to schedule every moment of our free time, and leave ourselves with no time for quiet reflection, or time to deal with life’s unexpected emergencies.

Stress brings us to the next two topics of health abuse. Smoking and drinking are often used to offset the effect that stress has on our nervous system. These solutions however do not provide any real help. If you smoke, drink, or lose sleep to excess, you’re not the well individual you could be. Smoking, drinking, and loss of sleep work to our detriment, and it takes extreme discipline to stop. Smoking fills our body with carcinogens, and works to keep us tired and lethargic.

There are so many occasions to stop and question our efforts at maintaining optimal health, that we usually don’t even take the time to begin the examination. But it is beneficial to our overall health, the quality and quantity of our life, to make every effort to be well, healthy, individuals.

Acupuncture is an Example of Holistic Healthcare

Holistic healthcare by definition is being able to cure an illness through the use alternative means. This means no medication is given to the patient and an instrument like a bunch of needles could do the trick.

Acupuncture has been around for than 2000 years. It is only recently that this holistic form of healthcare has reached the US. Studies have shown that it can treat minor problems and prevent some from happening.

The needles used in acupuncture are very thin but thicker than the human hair. This makes it smaller than those used on hypodermic needles.

Most patients that undergo acupuncture will not feel any significant change after one session which is why a few sessions are needed. Best of all, it is painless so your body will not feel sore afterwards.

Several studies have been conducted about acupuncture and there have been positive results. For instance in the UK, 400 participants who were suffering from migraines claimed they felt better after 3 months worth of sessions.

In the US, acupuncture has also proven to be effective in helping people deal with arthritis because the needles help the body fight against this chronic illness that is much cheaper and more effective than conventional medicine.

Acupuncture can do more than just helping patients deal with arthritis or migraine. Clinical tests have shown that it can help obese people lose weight and those who are suffering from insomnia.

In some countries, acupuncture has even been used to replace chemical anesthesia prior to surgery as there are some patients who are not able to tolerate regular anesthesia.

Another field which acupuncture has proven to be effective is helping patients deal with their addictions such as alcohol, drugs and smoking. One study of smokers revealed that the average patient will cut down by half the number of cigarettes they consume after just one treatment. Just imagine the potential after a few more sessions!

This has resulted in the establishment of clinics nationwide that only use acupuncture as the means of rehabilitation.

Acupuncturists in the US charge from $75 to $150 per session. This usually gets lower in the succeeding treatments. The person will probably have to undergo 10 to 15 treatments 2 to 3 times a week but this really depends on the condition of the patient.

Before you go to one, you should check if this is covered by your insurance. If it isn’t, perhaps you should suggest that it should be included as it is much cheaper than having to undergo surgery.

Although there are risks if you decide to go undergo acupuncture, these can be avoided as long as the one doing it is a licensed professional who makes sure that the needles used are sterilized before they are inserted into the body.

These days, a lot of people in the medical field have accepted the fact that alternative medicine such as this can also help the patient which is why they may refer someone when it is needed.

So, if you are tired of experiencing the side effects of conventional medicine and want to try a holistic form of healthcare, why don’t you see what acupuncture can do for you? It is painless and cost effective. In fact, it is just one of many you can try to help treat a chronic condition.

Acupuncture Could Help You Finally Manage Your Stress Levels

Today’s world can fill the very busy individual with a lot of stress. Without some way of removing this stress from your system, you’re placing yourself in danger from a lot of stress-related diseases. You might suffer from insomnia or headaches or very serious heart diseases.

You could take anti-stress pills to help you relax but, like me, you might also be worried about the side effects these pills could have. The good news is that you could try acupuncture at least once to see if it could help you manage the stress. It certainly couldn’t hurt to try acupuncture if all you’re after is stress relief.

If you find it doesn’t work for you, then you can just easily stop taking acupuncture treatments. If it works, though, then you can say you’ve found a good treatment for stress that doesn’t rely on those dangerous chemicals and pills.

How does sticking needles into your body help manage the stress?

In traditional Chinese medicine, much of the treatments depend on an understanding of the balance in our bodies and its internal organs. The sicknesses we sometimes develop are seen to be caused by imbalances in our lifestyles and environment. Stress is also affected by this imbalance. That is why when there is something wrong with your body, you’d typically have less of an ability to deal with stress. You’d get more irritable and find it really to difficult to relax.

By sticking these very thin needles past the surface of our skin, the acupuncturist stimulates nerves in our body. These nerves send signals to our brain and scientists believe that the brain then releases its natural painkillers into our system. This immediately causes a feeling of relaxation for many people.

The needles could also help your body by stimulating its circulation. With the circulation between the organs of the body improved, a lot of the body’s wastes could be cleansed properly. Your organs would also receive the full benefit of the oxygen from your lungs making its way into the cells of your body without any blockages. This makes your organs much healthier and leaves you feeling much better in the long term as well.

You can think of a session with the acupuncturist as very much like massage therapy. A good massage would help give you a very relaxing sleep that night and an acupuncturist could help you with your sleep as well. You might immediately start to feel drowsy as soon as the right nerves are stimulated by the acupuncturist’s needles.

You might be asking yourself how you’d be able to relax if you’re suffering from the pain of the needles attached to your body. What you might not realize is that because of the thinness of the needles, you would hardly feel anything. The most that many people claim they feel is a kind of tingling feeling where the needles are. And that is actually a sign that the process is working,

Acupuncture is a practice that helps you use your bodies’ own ability to manage stress properly. This leaves you healthier, and more importantly, prevents any of the serious diseases that could come from unbalanced, stressful lifestyles.

It might not be something to replace regular trips to the doctor but with its many possible benefits, acupuncture might be worth trying out very soon.

Indoor Running

Among runners, there are two opposing camps debating on the merits of running indoors, particularly on top of a treadmill. One faction is very vocal in its dislike of these manmade contraptions that are very popular equipments in spas and gyms.

The other group is equally at home running on treadmills as well as doing their jogging outdoors. These runners do not particularly like one over the other. Most often, the reason they give on why they use treadmills is convenience rather than preference.

Treadmills are preferred and popular in smog-filled urban areas and outdoor running are enjoyed by those in suburban places where smog is not yet a menace.

Treadmills

There are many reasons given by treadmill users and fans regarding their preference of the gym’s most-used equipment.

Treadmills are consistent and familiar all throughout. Aside from the safety factor in running indoors, treadmill users like the familiarity aspect of the equipment. What is more, you can set the speed and the incline of the contraption.

In treadmills, you do not have to worry about rains, extreme heat, or snow. In the comforts of a closed indoor space, you can work out to your heart’s content.

You can safely wear your iPods and headphones and listen to your favorite music while exercising. (For relative safety, use of headphones for music listening had been discouraged for outdoor runners.)

Running outdoors

On the other side of the discussion, there are runners who will brave the most inhospitable weather like a heavy downpour rather than run on top of a treadmill.

For them, the visual stimulation of the sights afforded them during their runs adds up to the appeal of outdoor running. Some runners who can run up to 10 miles outdoors get bored after only a couple of miles on a treadmill.

More treadmill uses

For anti-treadmill runner, there are other ways to make treadmill use more exciting than usual. One can open some seldom-used controls of the machine and use them to your advantage.

One way is to incorporate sprints in your workouts. After warming up for about 10 minutes in a leisurely pace, increase the speed and do a sprint for about 2 minutes.

Afterwards, slow the pace and do some jogging for a few minutes until your heartbeat falls to about 120 beats a minute. Speed up the machine again and do a sprint for another 2 minutes or so.

Another way is to take advantage of the pre-programmed courses on most of the new models of treadmills. These courses include several changes in speed and incline. Runners who have tried them swear they are no different from those natural elements they meet in outdoor running.

Still another use of the treadmill for runners is to use them to train for faster speeds, say, if you are angling to enter in your local 5K run. Begin by incorporating short sprint intervals in your treadmill running starting as short as 30 seconds of your desired speed.

Once the 30-seconds intervals become easy gradually elongate these intervals into longer and longer time frames until you can run the entire course at this speed.

Who says indoor running is boring?

An Introduction into Zen Training

When it comes to Zen, you have to understand that this is a time where you will need to think about yourself. Zen has a lot of benefits and the training can be a lot different than what you are use to, but you should first understand what Zen is exactly. You will need to understand that it has a religious aspect, as well as, as a way for you to discover yourself. A lot of people use Zen training for many different reasons, but you’ll need to try Zen and figure out what it brings to you.

Zen is a part of the Japanese culture and it is a direct link to Buddhism. A lot of people have studied Zen as part of their learning and schooling, but when it comes to Zen in America, this is something relatively new. You will find that once you get into the training this is something that you use to help you out of the difficult situations. You’ll want to keep in mind that there are many ways and reasons to use Zen in you life that you may become overwhelmed with it all.

If you are interested in learning more about Zen and get the training for Zen, then you’ll want to keep in mind that there are many institutions that teach it throughout America. You may want to check out some of the local yoga classes and instructors, but also even some of the martial art instructors. If they don’t teach others about Zen, then you will be able to find someone who does through these instructors.

When you get your Zen training you will be able to find answers within yourself. You will be able to give up things like addiction and find something to believe in yourself. You’ll want to keep in mind that there are many positive aspects to learning Zen, but with the meditations, you’ll find that it’s not as easy as you would think. There are many teachings and there are many depths of the practice. You will notice that there is an ever-learning aspect to Zen, but the more you try, the more you will benefit from the training.

The instruction of Zen will place an emphasis on your new awakening. Basically, this is where you discover truly what lies within and also what you are capable of doing for yourself. Many people who are addicted will use Zen to help them over come some of their issues and attachments to drugs. This is because it allows you to find inner strength. It will allow you to figure yourself out. You’ll become very empowered with the training.

Once you have begun your training, you will notice an immediate change within yourself. You may begin to feel better about yourself. You may even begin to feel relieved. Often, people are inspired from their first onset feelings that they will begin to feel different about themselves. Overall, people are enlightened by the art of Zen and they also seek more, because of the positive energy that it seems to put forth.

The first thing that you have to do when it comes to Zen training is to try to understand the history and culture that comes with the art of Zen. You’ll also want to consider that there are many reasons why someone will begin training, but it will encourage you to seek more knowledge out, because you feel so much better about yourself and about most situations when you take the time out to become one with your surrounding and become neutral. You will be able to see the changes in yourself with just some “beginner” classes.

Citrus Fruits and Healthy Eating

Citrus fruits have long been known to have many health benefits. In the days of the first ocean crossings, sailors often became sick with scurvy due to vitamin C deficiencies caused by a lack of citrus fruits. Even though vitamin C deficiency is no longer such a problem, many people do not eat enough citrus fruits.

That is a shame, since citrus fruits are among the most delicious, and most nutritious, fruits available. Whether you have a grapefruit at breakfast or an orange at lunch, adding more citrus to your diet can do wonders for your healthy eating program.
Of course citrus fruits are not limited to the standard oranges and grapefruits. Most major grocery stores have an endless variety of citrus fruits on their shelves, including pineapples, tomatoes, lemons kumquats, mandarin oranges, tangerines, and lemons.

Everyone knows that citrus fruits have large amounts of vitamin C to offer, but many citrus fruits have significant levels of other important nutrients, such as potassium, as well. Let’s take a closer look at what citrus fruits have to offer.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of citrus fruits, and it is true that most citrus fruits are simply loaded with this important vitamin. Vitamin C is perhaps the most studied of all vitamins, and it has shown promise in shortening the duration of colds, helping wounds heal faster, and protecting the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin and gums, and since vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, sufficient quantities must be consumed every day. Unlike fat soluble vitamins, vitamin C is not stored in the body. That is why eating at least a few servings a day of citrus fruits and other vitamin C rich foods is so important. Luckily, getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin C is not difficult, since a single orange contains 150% of the government’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

Fiber
Fiber content is often overlooked as a benefit of citrus fruits. After all, most people picture cereals and grains when they think of fiber. Even so, citrus fruits are a good source of dietary fiber, including the all important soluble fiber. Fiber plays a vital role in digestion, and studies have indicated it may help to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood and even reduce the risk of some kinds of cancer.

Folate (folic acid)
Folate, or folic acid as it is also known, plays a vital role in early pregnancy, so all women of child bearing age are encouraged to consume adequate amounts of this important nutrient. That is because one of the most critical times in a pregnancy takes place before the woman knows she is pregnant. In addition to its importance in preventing many neural tube birth defects, folic acid also aids in the production of mature red blood cells and helps to prevent anemia. Citrus fruits are an excellent source of folic acid.

Potassium
Oranges are particularly high in potassium, as are non citrus fruits like bananas. Potassium is vital to maintaining a proper fluid balance in the body, and for transmitting signals between nerve cells. Potassium levels can be affected by excess caffeine consumption and by dehydration, so it is important to consume adequate levels of potassium every day.

With all these things going for them, it is easy to see why citrus fruits are so important to the diet. No matter what your ultimate fitness goal, a diet rich in citrus fruits will help to get you off to the right start. And with the many varieties of citrus fruits to choose from, it is easy to spice things up and bring variety to your healthy eating plan.

How to Achieve Good Life and Fitness

How will you know if you have a good life and a fit body? When you visit your doctor, do you ever bother to ask him that question? Good life and fitness are somehow synonymous, but not all people will agree to that. If you’re fit, then you’re bound to have a good life in terms of being healthy and not being prone to illnesses. If you have a good life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re already fit, because chances are, you’re one of the many people living an unhealthy lifestyle.

So how will you find out if you have a good life and fitness altogether?

First, define what good life means to you. For some people it may mean having all the luxuries in life or having lots of money. Other people may think of good life as living a healthy life. If the latter is your definition of good life, regardless if you have lots of money or not, then you chose the better one. If this is your life’s belief, then you might be physically fit as well.

If you have a good and healthy life, you will have the chance to earn more money because you seldom get sick. You can work for long hours if you like, and you can buy all the things that you want. Whereas, if you’re not healthy, you will always get sick and most of your expenses will be for medications and other medical costs.

Living a good and healthy life will always mean that you’re into fitness activities. Fitness exercises are great ways to stay physically fit and healthy. You can join health clubs or fitness gyms if you like, if you think that is the way to stay on track. Some people prefer to do their exercises at home, and that is quite convenient because you can do it at any given time, and on any part of the house.

The next step is to evaluate your lifestyle now. Are you currently involved in fitness exercises? Do you have vices? Do you often get sick? Ask yourself all the important questions to determine your health’s state at present. If you think that you’re not having a good healthy life, then don’t you think that it’s high time that you change your unhealthy ways?

How will you go about the process? Well, it may sound easy to say that you can start any time you like. But this can happen especially if you’re really determined to go for a good and fit life. Start changing your unhealthy ways gradually because it’s quite impossible to change overnight. Little by little, you will notice the changes taking place, and you will thank yourself for it.

If you have difficulty in changing your eating habits, you can seek the help of a dietitian so that you can be provided with a sample of healthy menus that you can eat everyday. Purchase cookbooks and it would be best to prepare your meals if you have the time.

Fitness exercises are easy to do like walking, running, jumping, and doing push ups, step ups, lunges, and many other exercises. By doing them the right way, you can burn a lot of unwanted fats and these are great cardiovascular exercises as well.

A Healthy Diet to Beat Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety. In fact, being unable to do so can be a sign of a serious psychological problem. In our hazardous world, anxiety is a strategy the body uses to help the mind recognize danger and keep well out of its way. As with most mental illnesses, it’s not the presence of anxiety alone that creates problems. It is more about how severe it is and how much it gets in one’s way of life or quality of living.

Most people feel anxious at some time in their lives. However, only about five per cent of people experience severe anxiety and rarely seek professional help. Anxiety is a mixture of physical and mental symptoms. They are part of what psychologists call the “fight or flight” response. When the body is under threat it automatically prepares either to defend itself or run.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, or remain focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope with the tasks and demands of everyday life. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can become a disabling disorder.

Fortunately, effective treatments for anxiety disorders are available, and research is yielding new and improved therapies that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive and fulfilling lives.

However, studies have shown that having a healthy diet may reduce signs and symptoms of anxiety. Although food can’t cure an anxiety disorder, consider some diet changes and that would benefit a severely anxious person:

• Avoid or limit caffeine intake as much as possible. Caffeine is present in many soft drinks, not just in tea and coffee and it can set up its own vicious cycle. It can speed up heart rate and disrupt sleep — which later on become prevailing signs of anxiety. Trying to overcome tiredness by drinking more caffeine only makes the long-term problem worse.

• Avoid too much alcohol. Similarly, alcohol can worsen the symptoms of anxiety, and disrupt sleep. Many people reach for a drink to calm their nerves, but the consequences of overindulgence can outweigh the benefits of initial relaxation. For some, a hangover, insomnia, and dehydration make one feel worse than before one had a drink. In excessive amounts, alcohol can actually act as a depressant, making the drinker feel sluggish or more anxious. Alcohol, like a simple sugar, is rapidly absorbed by the body. Like other sugars, alcohol increases hypoglycemia symptoms. It also causes mood swings.

• Eat complex carbohydrates, also known as carbs. During anxious times, turn to comforting carbs. These foods act as a mild tranquilizer by increasing the amount of serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter in the brain. Complex carbs such as potatoes, wholewheat bread, and pasta take longer to digest than sugary simple carbs like white bread. That way, one can stay fuller longer and blood sugar is likely to stay steady, eliminating stress and anxiety.

• Be sure to drink eight or more glasses of water a day. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and stress. One should be well-hydrated and drinking lots of water a day can decrease symptoms of anxiety.

• Take multivitamins and mineral supplements. B vitamins, whose role is to unlock the energy in food, are crucial. Vitamin B-6 helps manufacture serotonin in the brain. Choose a daily supplement that supplies 100 per cent of the daily recommendation of all vitamins and minerals.

Although tension and daily stresses are unavoidable, one can relieve tension and manage stress and anxiety better by watching out for what one eats and what one does not eat. Remember that a healthy body and a healthy mind are often one and the same thing.

Eat A Wide Variety Of Foods For A Healthy Diet

One of the most frequently cited reasons that diets and attempts at healthy eating fail is boredom. Many people simply do not know how to keep a healthy diet interesting day after day, and it can be quite a challenge.

Given the huge variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats and other healthy foods at the local grocery store, however, it is definitely possible to create exciting, nutritious meals that will keep boredom at bay.

Your key to healthy eating
The key to the success of any plan for healthy eating is to eat what you like, but to exercise moderation when it comes to the less healthy foods. Improving your level of health and fitness does not mean forgoing that piece of chocolate cake, for instance. It does mean, however, limiting yourself to one piece. A healthy diet contains all types of foods, including carbohydrates, proteins, and even fats. The key is choosing foods that provide the best combination of taste and nutrition. After all, if your diet consists of foods you hate, you will not stick with it.

The revised USDA food pyramid contains five major food groups – grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy, and meat and beans. When choosing foods from these groups, it is important to eat a wide variety of foods from every food group. Doing so will not only give you a great deal of variety and keep boredom from setting in, but it will provide the best nutritional balance as well. In addition the widely known micronutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, etc. all foods contain a variety of macronutrients, like fats, proteins, fiber and water. Though present in extremely tiny amounts, micronutrients are vitally important to good health. That is why a healthy, varied diet is so important.

In addition, when choosing foods from within the various food groups, some choices are naturally better and healthier than others. For instance, choosing skim or 2% milk instead of full fat whole milk is a good way to cut down on both fat and calories. And choosing poultry or lean meat is a great way to get the protein you need every day without extra fat, cholesterol and calories.

Likewise cereals and breads that carry the whole grain label are healthier than those who do not. Even in the world of fruits and vegetables some choices are better than others. For instance, peaches packed in heavy syrup add unnecessary sugar to the diet, while those packed in water or juice provide only good nutrition.

There has been a trend lately to add vitamin fortification to food, and this can sometimes be a good way to maximize nutrition. It is important to remember, however, that proper nutrition comes from a healthy diet, not from vitamin supplements. It is fine to buy calcium fortified cereal, but the bulk of your calcium intake should still come from milk, dairy products and green leafy veggies.

Choosing the best foods
Knowing the five major food groups and how much of each to eat every day is only part of the picture. The other part is choosing the best foods from within those food groups. That means things like choosing the leanest cuts of meat, using egg substitutes instead of whole eggs, choosing the freshest fruits and vegetables, etc.

Even with fruits and vegetables, some choices are better than others. Some fruits, such as avocados, for instance, are packed with fat and calories. It is important to check the nutritional qualities of the fruits and vegetables you buy, and not simply assume that all fruits and vegetables are equally healthy.

One way to maximize nutrition while minimizing cost is to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually quite a bit cheaper than those that must be shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles, and they are generally much fresher too. Of course, depending on where you live, there may be varieties of fruits and vegetables that are not available locally, so the northerner in search of citrus fruits will just have to watch the sales and buy accordingly.