Categories
Health and Wellness

The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never get sick – no more colds, stomach bugs, or other nasty viruses?

Close to $40 billion a year is spent treating the common cold. But what if there was a simple solution to avoid sickness? Imagine how much more you could do, and the money you’d save if you never got sick.

In his book, The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, author Gene Stone interviewed everyday people who claimed to never get ill.

Some of the secrets were unique, others weren’t that obscure. But, would these secrets work for anyone? Gene tried them all, and tells how the secrets worked for him. He also includes any science that might support some truth to the “secrets”.

Is the claim backed by science?

Meet Patricia, a native New Yorker who eats dirt. She washes her hands no more than 3x’s a day, and barely rinses her garden vegetables. That way she feels she is dosing herself with all the microorganisms that can cause disease.

Patricia says, “I think exposing myself to a little bit of sick allows my body to create its own defense against passing germs, dirt, viruses, or whatever.”

Then there’s Phil, a teacher who claims detoxification cured his cancer. He explains that the fattier, more processed and more adulterated our diet, the greater amount of toxins we retain. Organs are stressed by their efforts to eliminate the toxic molecules. By keeping the concentration of these toxins in our body low, the toxins are more easily eliminated, and less likely to be retained in our cells.

Eating brewers yeast, living in the blue zone, calorie restrictions, cold showers, yoga, vitamin C, probiotics.

But does it really work?

The author is not promoting snake oil remedies. Rather, he shares a peek into the lives of regular people, who do a little something extra – eat fresh garlic, consume only plant based foods, take a daily nap, and balance their PH.

They all swear their routine keeps them healthy.

I prefer prevention to cure, defense, to offense, and am game for any common sense practice that doesn’t require more money or time than I can afford.

I consider myself in overall good health. I do get sick from time to time, so I don’t have any big secrets for not getting sick. Instead, I believe the secret to good health is simple: a commitment to healthy living.

Eat a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. Get good sleep. Have a pet and give it a beautiful life. Keep positive thoughts. Don’t smoke anything. Drink wisely, if at all. Walk every day. Have faith. Love big. Find your purpose. Take nothing for granted.

I enjoyed reading about what these folks do to stay healthy. There is always more to learn, and it’s fun when you tell me a secret!

How about you. Are you someone who never gets sick? What’s your secret?
But if you tell me, I can’t promise it will stay a secret

Categories
Education Health and Wellness

Memorize Anything With 3 Blissfully Simple Tricks

Memorization is not that hard. It’s as blissfully simple as finding patterns and anchoring information with things you can relate to.
Take names. Are you like me and as soon as you are introduced to someone new you say hi to so-and-so. And then bam! You already forget his name.

Why does that happen?

Because memory formation is an energy-consuming process.

In order to remember a new name you will have to make an effort: repeat the name, say it again, and make an association in your mind to go with the name.
stashP1140329Take this fella – his name is Mario. I say the name Mario, notice his mustache and make the connection with this guy:

Mario=Stash
Mario=Stash

The only problem is now I think every dude with a black stash is named Mario.

Or have you tried to memorize a phone number or an address with no success?

Become a power networker, win friends and influence people with these 3 little memorization tricks.

Facts, quotes, poems, names, number sequences, commercial jingles, or how to do the Macarena. Nothing is impossible.

Imagery

Most people remember images best. Images are concrete, and serve as mental hooks to store and receive information from your long term memory. However, for this to work, you need to know how to

FOCUS

You have this glob of facts or words, and you have to take time to convert this to pictures. Lets try a trip to the grocery store. You need to pick up milk, bananas, coffee and dog food. Convert the list to an image.

Your dog trips on a banana peel while pouring milk into his coffee. Of course it’s silly.  All the more likely you’ll remember it.

I’ve been learning Spanish on Memrise.  They have you select a meme to help you memorize your phrases and new words. For Hablo I have the word written over a simple drawing of a girl shouting Ha! while her companion is blowing a bubble. It really works!

Chunking

This refers to the strategy of breaking down information into bite-sized pieces so the brain can more easily digest new information. It works better with four, maybe five bits. In nursing school I memorized the bones of the face with a mnemonic F.P. Tose which was enough to trigger my brain to remember frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, sphenoid, and ethmoid.

How about numbers? You wanted to memorize the number 678123984. It will be a challenge if you tried because most people can recall only about 6 digits, and after that it gets tough to remember more. Instead, break it up. Group them into 2 or 3 digits. That big number is way easier if you try it like this: 678-123-984.

Sing it

I loved using this technique when my kids were little and they needed to learn  grammar rules or lists.  Make whatever you are learning into a catchy jingle.

Use an original tune, a nursery rhyme or favorite song.  Music helps us remember words.  That’s why it is easy to learn the words to a song rather than learn the words to a story.

Memorizing is good for the brain, and doesn’t have to be a chore. Just remember, if you want to make something memorable, you first have to make it meaningful.








Categories
Health and Wellness Writing

Turn Heads With These 10 Gramazing Words

Awesome is an excellent word.  So is amazing. But don’t you agree they’re over used?

I had an awesome time.  That movie was amazing.  How ya doing?

Amazingly awesome.

I like to use the A words reverently, sparsely, when no other words will do.

Maybe you’d like some alternate words to use too?  Try These 10 gramazing stand-in words. They’re fun, and just as powerful. Sprinkle them in your writing or in your feedback to others.

Kryptonian You reached kryptonian heights with that speech!

Fly That car is so fly!

Kickass  Those are some kickass moves!

Wicked That sequel was wicked!

Transcendent I am blown away by his transcendent writing.

Capital You did a capital job on the presentation!

Magnificent The hotel was simply magnificent!

Rawk That song is so rawk!

The honey pot The finale was the honey pot – a sweet ending to a perfect day.

Double rainbow brilliant Are you kidding me? That was double rainbow brilliant!

awesome

Why not try your hand at coming up with your own sparkling wordage to describe something really impressive?

How about exponentially excellent. Deluxe. The capstone. Over the top great. Phi Beta Kappa…

And when no other word will do,

go ahead and use awesome.

P1130116








Categories
Health and Wellness Heath and Medicine

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: How Common is it?

Research shows that 7% of American adults suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. That’s a respectable number. Compare it to other medical/mental health issues:

1% have Celiac disease

3% have Hepatitis C

2.6% have Bipolar Disorder

30% have High Blood Pressure

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as:

A pathological anxiety that usually occurs after an individual experiences or witnesses severe trauma that constitutes a threat to the physical integrity or life of the individual or of another person.

PTSD is diagnosed if a person exhibits specific behaviors, such as flash-backs of the terrifying event, nightmares, intrusive or disturbing thoughts, avoiding places that bring back bad memories, numb feelings, edginess, restlessness.  It’s normal to experience these after any life-threatening or traumatic event, but with PTSD the feelings and behaviors persist after a reasonable time.

PTSD is mostly seen in war veterans, child abuse victims, and those who have survived trauma such as rape, torture, kidnapping, car accidents, plane crashes, bombings, and natural disasters.

Within roughly 4 years, 44% of people will recover from their trauma without specific treatment.

This natural recovery is likely seen in those who have a healthy self-esteem and a resilient nature; meaning an ability to adapt to adverse events and bounce back from stress. Resilient people are able to cope with what happened to them and find purpose in life.

In my medical practice setting (psychiatry), I see patients with PTSD regularly, some are doing well on medications and therapy, others not so well, with some turning to illicit drugs, while others plunge deep into depression. Sadly, there are some who can’t escape the torture of flashbacks and incessant anxiety and die by suicide.

Here’s something to think about – because we don’t know who has PTSD or who may be thinking about suicide, let’s be generous with our considerations and treat everyone with kindness. Recently I read about a suicidal man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge to his death. He left behind a note,

Would a small smile from a stranger really have made a difference for this man? I’d like to think yes.

Since we don’t know what people are going through and chances are you will brush shoulders with someone suffering deeply with PTSD, be a part of the solution and not the problem. Check in on your emotional barometer. If you feel testy, or fiery, press the pause button. Take a moment to chill and breath. Whatever is causing your turbulent mood will pass soon enough. Give yourself a time out before you go and give grief to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Also, don’t argue unnecessarily. Be a peaceful driver. Hold a door. Never post derogatory comments on someone’s social media page. Don’t seek revenge. Say hi. Be patient. Pray for your enemies, and forgive those who trespass against you. Give the benefit of the doubt. Get to know people.

Life is difficult enough, but imagine trying to get through day after day with PTSD. If you or a loved one is living with it, I hope you have found help. If you need help see your health care provider or check out PTSD Alliance Also, In the U.S.: Call the NAMI helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI to find support.

Do you have PTSD? You are not alone! There is definitely hope for you and healing to be found. For all of us: let’s be kind always, and smile at strangers. You may be that one shining light to someone in desperate need. Look around you and remember, 7%.








Categories
Health and Wellness

The Happiest People Do These 4 Things Every Day

No one sets out to have a bad day. Can you imagine rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, stretching your stiff muscles while thinking,

Sure, you may not be in your best mood when you first get up, but you do want your day to go well, and be happy, yes? So how is it that you start out in a pretty good mood and poof: one text, one attitude, or an unexpected disruption steals your mojo and 180’s your disposition?

It happens to me all the time.

  I don’t like the tone of that email. Did she just raise her bushy eyebrows at me? What did he mean by we’ll see? She didn’t answer my text, she’s mad at me!  Why do I always have to clean the microwave? OMG – he didn’t say good morning back – what a jerk.

How can you and I stay happy? How do we avoid getting our cheerfulness and upbeat spirit eclipsed?

By not reacting.

You can’t change what people say and do any more than you can’t do anything about the awful weather. What you can change is how you react. A huge part of your happiness comes down to your interpretation of what’s before you, and your reaction to it.

React

Unless it’s a run for your life fight or flight kind of thing, don’t knee-jerk react. Pause. Take a couple of invigorating breaths and think before you speak, type, text, or act.

The happiest people do these four things every day:

  • Pause. For a short five to ten seconds and just breathe.
  • Remember: Think or say quietly to yourself, It’s my choice. I don’t have to react. I choose to have a good day and be happy.
  • Reflect: Look at the big picture. Does it matter? What are you trying to prove? Do you need another battle? How you behave now, or the decisions you make in an unthinking moment can cause serious damage to your reputation, relationships, and career.
  • Respond: Only after pausing, remembering, and reflecting can we respond appropriately to the situation before us.

Put things in perspective and don’t read too deeply into things. Not everyone has a hidden agenda or is passive aggressive. Let it go. Use your calm voice, offer encouragement, give kindness, be patient, imagine what it is like to be in “that” person’s shoes. Be mindful.

You and I are going to have a good, happy day. Fist bump! Let’s do it again tomorrow? Cheers!

happiness

Categories
Health and Wellness

Why I Stopped Sending Christmas Cards

Back in the good old days when I was growing up, Christmas cards were a big deal. My mother started signing and addressing stacks of them just after Thanksgiving. She must have sent two hundred! I’d offer my help by licking the stamps, placing the special Christmas series ever so carefully in the upper right corners of the green and red envelopes.

Each card we received was immediately taped to the long wall in our kitchen, serving as both a festive decoration and a reminder of how fond others were of us. My sisters and I would take our time browsing each neat row, oohing over the sparkly ones that dripped silver glitter onto our fingers.

When I grew up and had my own family, I carried on this tradition for a long time, until I began to notice a trend a few years back.  My door frames and fireplace mantle, which were always overflowing with photo cards and Christmas letters, were noticeably thinning with each consecutive year. I pared my card list from a hundred to fifty. Then thirty. Then sixteen. Twelve. Seven. Then none.

Though the Christmas cards and annual update letters are no longer a part of our family tradition, it is still for millions of families around the world. I’m actually ok with giving up the card exchange, here’s a few reasons why.

Less holiday stress: My husband and I would spend several hours a night over a week’s time individualizing and addressing the cards. When we graduated to the photo cards it become a little easier, but we spent more money. Inevitably there was the card that came Christmas Eve day. I didn’t send them one! I kicked myself for crossing that friend of my list. I felt like a jerk. Now that I don’t send any I feel much less stressed.

We have a smaller circle of extended family and friends: Christmas cards were a way to say hi to friends and relatives who we didn’t see on a regular basis. And, when our boys and our friends’ children were small it was fun to see how much they changed in a year’s time. Now that most of my aunts and uncles have passed away and our boys are venturing into adulthood, it’s time for new traditions. Also, even though we said we would, it has been hard to stay in touch with friends who have moved.

It’s a digital world: Why send handwritten snail mail cards when I can stay in touch with everyone digitally?  I can post pics online and text you all with instant delivery! It costs nothing but a small time investment, and it’s good for the environment. Or I could use a free online card service such as 123 GreetingsBlue Mountain, or Canva.

Is the traditional physical Christmas card approaching extinction? Hallmark says no way, but in my home it’s now history. It’s ok if you cross me off your paper card list. But please add me to your digital one. However you and I choose, it is a good thing to find a way to stay in touch.snoopy








Categories
Health and Wellness

Life Thoughts

Many of us zip through life at breakneck speed, starting too many days behind schedule and ending them with not enough hours to get it all done. Some of us forget to eat, don’t know how to stay healthy, or don’t pay attention to our sicknesses. Maybe that’s you. Often it’s me. I’ve been asked and yeah, have thought to myself,

What is the point?  Where did I go wrong?  How can I do this?  What is the reason for it all? Why am I so unhappy? Why am I here? Where is God? This world is a mess.

Why are we here? Is there…?

Yes! There is meaning. You are alive. You are here. You belong. You have a chance to do something. Even when everything around you is falling apart.

Take a deep breath and consider this. We live, we die. It all goes by too fast.

quotescover-JPG-44

Love God. Love your neighbor. Do good. Be present. Do your best work. Stop complaining. Don’t gossip. Don’t judge. Say I love you to whom it is due. Bloom where you’re planted. Give. Take care of what you have. Be non-toxic. Be considerate. Laugh more. Be a peacemaker. Plant hope. Reap joy. Shine. Be kind. Forgive. Don’t look back. Take good care of yourself. Live. 

We rush through our lives so eager to grow up, get a career, make and spend lots of money, climb to the next rung on the ladder. We are forever looking back or fantasizing the future that we neglect the present. The here and now. This day, this hour, this moment.

I’m not saying don’t ever look at the past – reflection is necessary for growth and learning. And only a fool wouldn’t make plans for the future. The point is to find balance, and in the process don’t forget to live. And that’s the meaning. The point of life, is simply to live. Wherever you are. Whoever you are. Whether things are good or bad, if you’re rich, or you have nothing. We live, we die. Too fast. No one is promised tomorrow.

Life is a gift. Life is life. So in honor of those who are no longer here with us, out of a spirit of love and a desire to believe despite our unbelief, let’s live together, you and me. Let’s do the best with what we have and where we are, so when our time is over here we can leave knowing we have no regrets.

Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. C.S. Lewis








Categories
Health and Wellness

These two!

Have you met someone and immediately thought, I like this person! You get talking and find you have so much in common; you like the same foods, the same music, and have similar world views. You are like two peas in a pod. Twins with a tiny umbilical cord, a matching set, two minds thinking as one. You even finish each other’s sentences.

What a glorious thing it is to find someone who ‘gets’ us, relates to us, and makes us feel at ease. We can pour out our heart and soul to and we know there is nothing we can’t say that will turn our “pea” away. That deep, mysterious connection with another human being is a magnificent gift.

It is irreplaceable.

Do you have someone in your life like that? If you do, don’t take that person for granted. The world is a better place and life is so much richer because of that one extraordinary individual.  Maybe you don’t, not yet. Or perhaps you do and just haven’t realized it.

Who would have thought this wombat and piglet would become best friends?

Credit: Photo by Rob Leeson/Newspix / Rex Features (1808299a) http://www.rexfeatures.com/stacklink/IFJIDKRTD

We can find kindred spirits in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and also in the unlikeliest places such as grocery stores or social media.  If you’ve found yours, that is so awesome! If you haven’t yet, don’t give up. Keep your eyes open.

 You never know who might be the right pea for your pod. 

peasnpod








Categories
Art Health and Wellness

Do you want the truth no matter what?

Does this dress make me look fat? How did you like my presentation? Did you enjoy your meal? Are you mad at me?

We all ask questions like these, but do we really want the truth no matter what?

When I was a teen I remember asking my dad if he liked my haircut – it was 1978 and I got the trending cut at that time, “The Dorothy Hamill” wedge. 

It look darling on her, but not so much on me. My dad validated what I already knew when he responded with, “Do you like it? If you like it that’s all that matters”.  No, I didn’t like it, and I was hoping he could convince me that I did. Instead he delivered the truth in the gentlest way he knew how.

Are you familiar with the old testament story of King David and Bathsheba?  David was the boy who slew the giant with a slingshot, and years later was appointed King of Judah. He was rich, beloved, and well, had everything a man could want, but I guess that wasn’t enough. One day he spied Bathsheba bathing across a distant rooftop. He immediately desired her and had her brought to his palace. He slept with her and she got pregnant. He later had her faithful husband Uriah murdered and then Bathsheba became his queen.

David’s advisor Nathan saw the evil in David’s actions and soon made him see it as well by telling David a parable about a rich man who stole from a poor one. David was livid that the rich man could be so heartless! Then Nathan dropped the bomb: you are the rich man.

David knew what he had done was reprehensible. He could have cast Nathan out from his court – but he didn’t.  He needed accountability and although it was painful, he wanted truth.

Sometimes we can be too involved or blind from our own denial that we don’t see things as they really are. Do you want the truth, even if it stings? My fingers are paused on home row. It’s a tough question.  I want to say yes because I know it’s the wise choice.  I can’t grow without truth. Yet it’s in my nature to avoid pain.

I think the best you and I can ask for is to have people in our life who are honest, but not brutal, who speak the truth in love

The more I think about it, truth trumps pain.  I may not like it, but I don’t want sugar coated lies.  Does this dress make me look fat? Obviously or I wouldn’t be asking. However…don’t be too quick to say yes lest I drop three sizes in self-esteem. Tell me it doesn’t accentuate my best features, or it’s a nice dress but I look stunning in the black one.

At the end of the day, I want truth. Not half-truths, not sugar-coated-beat-around-the-bush blah blahs. The truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God!  How about you? Truth, as in a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like? As in that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality?

I may not always like the truth, but it’s only the truth that will set me free.

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. C.S. Lewis








Categories
Health and Wellness

What Abe Lincoln Taught Me About Suffering

Abraham Lincoln is well known for his quips and clever words. Whether it be advice on civil rights, character, freedom, or success, our 16th president had simple, yet profoundly wise words that are timeless and still worthy of our attention.

Such as…

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt

 And this one that I hold dear,

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

Though he couldn’t have known it when he said it, his years were cut short at 56. And much of his life was suffering. He was born poor, he was plagued with melancholy and suicidal thoughts, his wife had mental health problems, and three of their four sons died young.

Yet, he persevered despite these terrible life circumstances.

Thinking about that made me wonder-

Why is it that some people can’t cope with disaster or difficulties, while others with similar troubles thrive despite?

It blows me away when I meet people with things like terminal cancer, disfigurement, chronic pain, traumatic childhoods, or great loss are able to adapt and cope despite the atrocity of their situation.

They don’t give up. They still believe that God is good. That life is precious, and that they will overcome.

Others with similar circumstances groan how miserable they are and believe the world is a wretched place and life has no meaning.

I know life is unfair and full of pain and suffering. It makes no sense.

But life is also full of love and hope.

Bad things happen. But you and I have a choice –  to rise above, or to drown in the muck.

Yes, I do believe we can live and thrive in spite of an awful childhood, a debilitating disease, or a loved one gone too soon.

Lincoln with his son Willie

You may wonder,

How can I go on? How can I be happy? You have no idea what I’ve been through! 

You’re right. I have no idea what you have been through.  But I can try to understand. I only know what I’ve gone through, what I have wrestled with, and I’m still here.

  • I believe good triumphs over evil.
  • I believe there is a God who loves us, despite what the majority may believe.
  • I am sure we are not abandoned. 
  • I don’t think everything happens for a reason, rather life is fragile, an accident is an accident, and we will all die someday.
  • I can say broken hearts heal, and the pain lessens in time.  
  • And I am certain that no matter what, life is always worth living.  

When you arise in the morning – let your first thought be what a glorious privilege it is to be alive. To breathe, to think, to create, to hope, to love.

Be the person, like Abraham Lincoln, who carries on despite suffering. There are many who stand by us, offering us their example as a comforting embrace and reminder.  Like Abe, who wrote these loving words to a friend who just lost her father. ALquotescover-JPG-18

No matter what you are going through, no matter what has happened – let me, like Abe, alleviate some of your suffering. You are not alone. You are more resilient than you think. Life is what it is. Suffering is inevitable, but misery, existing in wretched desolation, is optional.

Although Lincoln’s melancholy “dripped from him as he walked“,  his hardships and intense distress gave him an unlimited supply of sapient guidance and an innate ability to truly empathize with anyone. If Abraham Lincoln was able to endure countless tribulations on top of his lifelong (untreated) clinical depression, surely you can, and most definitely I can too.

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to 
succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.

Abraham Lincoln