sleeping tiger

How to Naturally Get a Good Night’s Sleep to Reduce Anxiety

Sleep is very important when it comes to health and productivity. However, not many people are able to enjoy a good night’s sleep and this could lead to serious cases of anxiety, stress and even mental breakdown. Research has shown that everyone needs to enjoy not only the right amount of time in sleep but also to do it qualitatively.

Unfortunately, many people today can’t easily fall asleep without taking sleep pills or drugs. The good news however is that each one of us can enjoy peaceful sleep naturally. This article will discuss some natural ways to help you get a good night’s sleep to help reduce anxiety.

Control the amount of light you are exposed to prior to bedtime

Exposure to light normally triggers the production of melatonin hormone which helps in the regulation of sleep-wake cycles. This hormone is normally secreted by the brain when it’s dark thus helping you to sleep.

When the light is bright, the brain produces less melatonin which makes you more alert. As such, maintaining dimmer lighting in your bedroom could naturally help you sleep peacefully and thus reduce anxiety. It will also be good to avoid watching television until bedtime as this could be disruptive to your sleep.

Try some yoga

Yoga has been found to be helpful when it comes to the calming of the mind and body. When the body is stressed due to the strenuous activities of the day, sleeping peacefully becomes an uphill task. However, by practicing yoga before bedtime, you will be able to relieve the mind and  thus helping you to sleep calmly. This is a natural thing and works effectively well.

Check what you eat especially at night

Your eating habits have a direct relation with how you sleep at night. Not only should you watch what you eat at night but also at daytime as this plays a major role in the way your body reacts or responds. You should avoid things such as nicotine and caffeine, avoid eating too much at night and if possible, eat a few hours before going to bed.

An early meal is encouraged and this should not contain acidic and spicy foods as these could cause heartburn and stomach trouble keeping you awake or giving you troubled sleep. Energy drinks should also be avoided at night as too much of the same will cause you to wake up thus disrupting your sleep cycle.

Create the right sleeping environment

The environment you sleep in will play an important role in determining whether your sleep will, be restful or troubled. In addition to lighting, you should try to eliminate unnecessary noise and keep your room cool.

Sleeping environments that are too cold or too hot could greatly interfere with your sleep thus denying you the opportunity to enjoy quality time. No matter how many hours you sleep, your body and mind will still not have rested if you spend most of this time tossing and turning in bed.

Sleep on a good bed

Everything else you do will fail if you do not have the right bed to sleep on. Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive. As such, it is good to have a mattress with the best firmness so as to support the spinal cord and the entire body. You may need to add a nice pillow and mattress topper as these will help improve the support on your head and body respectively. Additionally, your bedding should be made of breathable material and offer enough space for you to stretch comfortably as you sleep.

With these few tips, you can deal with cases of insomnia and get a good night’s sleep to reduce anxiety. We all need relaxed sleep if we are to enjoy good mental, emotional and physical health. Try these methods and enjoy great results.


Molly Garner is a freelance writer at MemoryFoamMattressGuide.com . She also writes about herbal and mental health and shares amazing tips to maintain and rebuild good health. Molly’s mission is to help people get energized and achieve healthy lives so they can concentrate on the important things in life.

drunk alchoholic

5 Common Issues Children of Alcoholics Face as Adults

It is a club most never ask to join, but there is a solidarity among members that is hard to find anywhere else. Given a choice, most who belong wouldn’t have chosen the path that brought them there. Not only do they still carry the emotional, and sometimes physical, scars of that journey but some have been cursed to repeat the journey in their own lives.

drunkenAdult children of alcoholics (ACOA) spend most of their childhoods struggling to make sense of the insanity that is alcoholism, only to find out as adults that they still don’t have all the answers. Even more frustrating is the awareness that for all the promises that they were *never* going to be like *them* when they grew up, they often find themselves back in the vicious cycle of addiction.

One in four children under the age of 18 are exposed to alcoholism in their family, and those children are four times more likely to face their own addictions as adults. They are also more likely to marry someone dealing with alcoholism, either their own or with a similar family history. For some it can be a double-edged sword because they will either become the alcoholic, or marry one. Even if they escape the addictive personality, they are sometimes drawn to partners who will treat the as badly as they saw their parents treating each other.

Copycat Behaviors

Parents model many of the behaviors that children learn from, and that includes how to treat other people. If, for example, a son grows up seeing his alcoholic father or mother berate and belittle the other parent, he learns from their example how to 1) berate and belittle others; 2) what constitutes “acceptable” behavior in a relationship, especially if the other parent never stands up for themselves. It can create conflicting emotions as an adult because they will either look for someone they can bully, or try to find someone who will bully them.

Controlling Walls

child-of-alcoholic-hiding

As children, they saw or experienced painful behaviors from the alcoholic and so as adults, the walls they build are comprised of rigid routines, inflexible predictability, “no one will ever treat me like that,” and “I will never do that.” It is their way of controlling what they couldn’t control as children, and it helps to make them feel safe again.

When someone breaks one of their boundary rules, changes plans, or they feel  out of control in other ways, there can be a sudden reaction of anger and anxiety. Relationships can be swiftly and uncompromisingly ended. It is often “all or nothing” or “my way or the highway.”

Role Reversals

In some single parent homes where the parent is the alcoholic, children may roles reverse and it is the child that takes care of the parent. Often if there are multiple children in the home, the oldest child becomes the parent for all of them, because there were no other options. As an adult, an ACOA may become overly responsible, taking responsibility for things that are out of their control such as problems they didn’t cause or other people’s feelings.

Isolation as a Wall

alcoholicWith a childhood that was often filled with neglect, abuse, rejection, or feeling unloved, unwanted, and alone, ACOAs can have a hard time trusting others, making it hard to develop lasting relationships because they can’t bring themselves to open up to others in an effort to protect themselves from getting hurt again. They may not even know how to trust themselves, or honestly know who they are. They may have hidden their own emotions for so long, going along with what others wanted just to keep people from knowing them.

Approval Seekers

ACOAs want to be liked, loved, accepted and approved after childhoods filled with everything but those needs. They want to avoid conflict, and so they do whatever is necessary to make everyone happen, even at the sacrifice of their own desires. Hand in hand with people pleasing, ACOAs can also be perfectionists. In another effort to avoid conflict and criticism as a child, they sometimes had unattainable goals of perfection which may carry into adulthood.

A Brighter Future

While these are just a few of the traits that Adult Children of Alcoholics may have learned as coping mechanisms, there is hope for change. Counseling, or (free) groups like Al-Anon and ACOA, can provide help, direction, support, materials, and just the knowledge that you are not alone in your struggles. Sometimes the road to recovery begins with a  welcoming hug.


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

Ultimate Guide to Post-Workout & Muscle Recovery (Infographic]

Do you need an energy boost after your workout? Or maybe you want to increase your endurance? Some of us may even want enhance our muscle recovery so that we can reach our training goals. The answer? Post-workout supplements.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to supplementing while working out. Post-workout nutrition & supplements are just as important as your pre-workout supplementation. By taking care of your body after your workout, you are helping your body absorb all of the benefits from your work-out while also allowing your muscles time to heal. The benefits to post-workout supplementation also include:

  • Improving your immune function.
  • Enhancing bone mass.
  • Increasing your ability to utilise body fat.
  • Reduces soreness in your muscles.
  • Improves your ability to add muscle.

In 2016, there are virtually thousands of different supplements on the market. This can make it difficult to know which supplements are right for you. The most important thing to be aware of is the ingredients in the supplement you are planning on taking. For example, the most esstential ingredients in post-workout supplements should include some of the following: tart cherry, BCAAs, carbohydrates, vitamin C and vitamin B6 & B12.

The people at Supplement Mart have made this awesome infographic that provides us with all of the essential information we need to know about post-workout nutrition and supplements. Let’s check it out!

guide-to-post-workout-muscle-recovery-infographic

Medical Procedure Estimate Tool

No Surprise Medical Bills – Medical Procedure Estimate Tools

You deserve to know the cost of caring for your health.

Amino @AminoHealth recently launched new health care cost estimate tools that you will be interested in.

See cost estimates for ~50 medical procedures and services nationwide (USA) across dermatology, diagnostics, men’s health, orthopedics, preventative care, surgeries, and women’s health.

Amino tools now let you:

  • Compare cost differences in your region based on your insurance.

  • Calculate what you might pay from your own bank account with an out-of-pocket cost calculator.

  • View and compare cost estimates for individual doctors–and book an appointment with the doctor of your choice for free through Amino.

As part of their  launch campaign, they created an exclusive infographic that will walk you through the complexities of estimating health care costs.

Estimate_Health_Costs_Infographic

Launch the health procedure cost estimate tool

completely mess up your diet or detox!

Wrong Ways to Diet or Detox – Stop Doing This Now!

Diet versus detox – the confusion is real

 

detox vs diet

There is a difference between going on a short-term detox to reset your body (from eating heavier meals during the holiday) and dieting. The main difference is in the mentality and emotions we hold around a detox and around a diet.

I believe in general, a detox is temporary and comes from a grounded, loving, honoring and listening-to-your-body place, whereas dieting is intermittently continuous and never ending (on, off, & repeat) and comes from a self-punishing, shame-based, “hate-my-body” place. This is just my observation in my practice with clients and also with myself in my own experiences.

Self-torture will get you nowhere

However, a detox can be coming from a self-punishing place too if a person is not truly in-tuned with their mind-body-spirit connection, and is doing it just for the sake of “losing weight”. So the goal would be externally focused rather than internal– this too then would feel like torture. The accompanying thoughts are stemming from a place of body hate: “Ugh, I am so fat, I hate myself for getting so fat, why did I let myself get so fat?!”   So in other words, a cleanse in this case is just another form of “dieting”. To this individual, there is no expiry date with dieting. It’s just an endless cycle of being on the diet, then fall off the diet, then back on a diet (and sometimes, it’s on to the next fad diet).

dieting vs detoxing

In contrast, a detox, if coming from a loving place, would be more aligned with intuitive eating:

  • noticing the body feels bloated,
  • noticing the body is craving more fresh and whole foods again, and
  • honoring the body’s needs (e.g., more energy, better digestion, less mood swings, clear brain fog and increase mental alertness and clarity, improve quality of hair and skin, etc).

Implementing ‘body love’ is vital

love your body

The accompanying thoughts are one stemming from a place of body love: of “needing to care for myself, reset to optimize my health again because I deserve it”. The individual would expect this cleanse to be temporary and resume with ease normal eating behaviors again that support and optimize their health immediately afterwards. Notice there is no mentality about needing to “lose weight” (it is a side effect but it is not the main purpose of a detox).

So, let’s make it a goal to stop dieting, and start cultivating body love from the inside out.

I’ve struggled as a chronic dieter and binge eater for years and hated my body, and through my journey, I now have landed in a sacred place where I completely and wholehearted embrace and love myself and my body.

Want more?

Download my FREE Body Love Superfoods Checklist here and you can check out my

10 Day Body Love Detox Reset & Mindset Program too! 

 

10-day Body Reset Detox


Rosalyn Fung is a Registered Psychologist & Founder of Holistic Body Love. She is a wellness speaker, consultant, mentor, writer & blogger. Roz specializes in Holistic Nutritional Psychology in which she empowers people in their relationship with food, body image, weight, as well as digestion, fatigue, immunity and mood.

BODY IMAGE ISSUES AND COPING

What’s It Like to Have Body Image Issues?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

People who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) develop an obsession over some perceived or imaginary flaw in their physical appearance.

BODY IMAGE ISSUES AND COPINGThey mistakenly believe they are deformed and monstrous. This delusion can literally ruin their lives. Michael Jackson was a famous person who had it.  After therapy a person may know that they are not disfigured and monstrous. In fact, they can actually know that they are very pretty from all the compliments that they get. Even then, they may sometimes avoid mirrors, worry about lighting, and even fall back into the thought that, “Oh my god, they see it, they all see it, and they’re disgusted.”

How does it feel to have body image issues?

body image issues

Tanya Brooks 16 – High School Student

“To me it feels like I’m missing out on my own life. Like I’m missing quite a lot of what my peers are enjoying to the full; right in front of me and all around. Wherever I go, I see their slender, beautiful and fit bodies in their perfect coordinated outfits, with casual smiles all over their young and delighted faces and awfully perfect skin.”

Bart van Kippered 21 – Gamer

“Even though I stay in due to the pressure I feel when facing the world and its people, Facebook is there to remind me how all these constructed lives are cheerful and unconcerned, while I’m the exact opposite.

To me, it means I don’t go hang out with friends, I don’t go to the beach in the summer, and I never meet new people except through internet. I’m trapped in my own body. I simply cannot make myself do such things and let myself be exposed to the surroundings.”

Fiona Wild 28 –Volunteer Fire Fighter

“I get depressed every time I glance at my reflection in a mirror or walk by a shop window and get a glint of my own image. I simply don’t want to glance down at my body by accident. I can’t bear to look at myself and accept how awful I feel about my appearance.

When I am in intimate with my husband, it is never without having my self-hatred pound on me the entire time; every single time. I don’t get joy out of activities other people tend to enjoy. I therefore avoid them because I simply can’t handle them. I feel mortified and want no one else to see what I’m seeing when I look in a mirror.”

Do intelligent people worry about body image?

intelligent guy with body image issues

Intelligent people keenly understand the impact that their physical presentation can have on their lives. From an early age, we all realize that people who look a certain way tend to get treated differently in certain situations. You don’t believe this to be a fact? Read Teachers Give Better Grades to More Attractive Students: Study.
As one gets older, it becomes more apparent that, say, a boy looks athletic and strong will be less likely to be bullied. A girl with nice skin, straight teeth and a slender body is more likely to be popular amongst her peers. A teen with piercings and tattoos may not be taken seriously by the coach of the debate team.

Anyone who thinks the surface is an illusion is wrong. It’s true that we should strive to pay less attention to surface presentation, but we also cannot ignore its effects.

I am no Einstein, but yes, I would consider myself an intelligent person. I do loathe what the world has become: a place where image is considered more important than humanity. I do however realize that if I presented myself without concern to the way I appeared to others, I might not have an easy time getting a job, a life partner, or have my grievances heard in court.

The danger is when you start obsessing about it. Forgetting who you are and relegating yourself to be just a body, when actually your body is just a vehicle that carries who you are.you are a soul

How do I make my parents understand my body image issues?

how do i tell my parents

The lack of support from parents is a complex issue. You should however consider involving your doctor too. He should be able to help you get through to them if you ask him to explain to them the impact and distress your condition is causing you.

It’s possible that you your body is perfectly OK. That doesn’t mean that you’re not unhappy about what you perceive about your body. If that’s the case, your doctor will certainly be able to help.

Sometimes the problem has practical aspects too. If you’re actually overweight for example, and you are still living with your parents, then you’re probably expected to eat whatever meals and snacks they provide, which may not be a healthy diet.  Your doctor can advise them about improving their diet or at least be more conscious to your health needs.

Where can I get help for body image issues?

One may read 5 Ways to Deal With Body Image Issues or  10 Steps to Positive Body Image to better understand where they need to be to start recovery. Although helpful, you cannot just read these articles and switch off your Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) button. Go talk to a therapist. If you are still living with your parents, talk to them and help them understand what you are going through.

Here is a helpful organization that deals with body image issues; take action to today!

USA – Association and Depression Association of America

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Outside USA

http://treatment.adaa.org/finding-help/advanced-search/?ShowAdvanced=Y


 

Sweeteners in coffee

Stevia, Monk Fruit Extract, or Aspartame – Healthy or Not?

The Popularity of Artificial Sweeteners

We are all becoming more educated about reducing the total quantity of sugar in our diet for our better health, but are the sweetener-alternatives any better?  According to EatingWell.com, the artificial and sugar substitute industry is growing, topping $18 billion in 2019!  But do the artificial alternatives to sugar cause more sugar addiction and health problems?

sugar and sweetenersYou will find artificial sweeteners in the most inconspicuous packaged products. You expect them added to diet sodas, flavored yogurts, low-calorie ice cream, and diet candies. But would you expect them in fat-free salad dressings, high-fiber cereals, ketchup, or bread? When you add it all up in this product, that lunch, this snack; the quantity accumulates real fast.

Identifying Sweeteners in Your Food

sweetener ingredients supermarketIt’s important to know the names that artificial sweeteners go by:

  • aspartame,
  • acesulfame potassium,
  • saccharin,
  • supra lose, and
  • neotame.

You should also know the names of ‘natural’ sweeteners:

  • stevia leaf extract,
  • monk fruit extract,
  • and sugar alcohols such as erythritol,
  • and xylitol.

When looking at the ingredient listing of a product, look for these ingredients. All of these sweeteners have been FDA-approved, but there is some controversy from organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) which question the impact all these additives on a body’s long-term health.

So Are Sweeteners Healthy or Not?

sugar alternatives verdictDo sweeteners help you lose weight or crave sugar even more? One study will prove that in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle they do help you reduce your overall sugar intake. Then there are opposing studies that say that those who consume sugar substitutes aren’t leaner, and are sometimes heavier!  What’s the solution?

Many nutritionist recommend utilizing sugar for sweeter swaps moderately and include more whole, unprocessed foods to your diet. Many people with gut sensitivity may increase their health symptoms if they consume aspartame, sucralose or saccharin. I personally had a doctor recommend this to me to improve my chronic digestive symptoms.

According to Joyce Hendley, Americans ingest a staggering 140 pounds of sugar substitutes annually. Any effort to improve reducing that number is health-beneficial.


Paula MaierI began Paula’s HealthyLiving.com to share my passion for staying fit, eating healthy and scheduling rest time.  As a 50 year old mother of 3, I understand that it can be difficult to make healthy meals, exercise and carve out time for you, while constantly doing this juggling act called, life!

Healthy eating and exercising on a regular basis gives me self-confidence and personal satisfaction.  I encourage my readers to eat whole foods instead of processed foods that are not as nutritious because that processing removes the nutritious elements in the food.  They do not help you achieve your body-shape or long-term health goals. When I cook my families’ food, I’m in control of the sugar, salt, and the type of oils used.

It is difficult to resist temptations of fast foods, desserts, soda pop, and skipping workouts, but by making a commitment to your ‘best health’, you can be successful! Change your view toward healthy foods as fuel for all your systems. Take control.  Educate yourself your family.

I don’t believe any ONE PERSON has all the answers.  Be open minded but critical.  Be logical, but have wild-abandon.  Know that baby steps begin before a sprint…and love yourself for trying!!!