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Stress Killer: Why You Need to Relax



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Stress Killer: Why You Need to Relax



We live in an age of constant stress and hectic daily lifestyle that it has become something most people are immune to. We have reached a point where we are dealing with stress as a daily occurrence rather than a mood anomaly which if you think about it is very unhealthy to both our mind and body. Stress has been known to be one of the most common reasons we develop sickness and health issues as well as mental and emotional instability in our modern generation – a sad reality we all face. 

But instead of allowing stress to exist in our lives, let’s learn to relax and catch a breather not simply because it is necessary but also because we deserve it. Here are 4 reasons why relaxing should be practiced regularly:



1. Relaxing helps you to be more productive


A clear and fresh mind is the ingredient to a happy soul and body. Not only are you rejuvenating yourself to battle life’s challenges again but you are allowing your body to rest. We need to stop viewing relaxing as something a lazy person would do because the only way we can stay productive is to give yourself a break. A relaxed mind is also said to be more creative and more energized to spark new ideas and new perspective. Can you imagine an overworked machinery? Yup, you don’t want to have a burnout, do you?



2. Relaxing helps keep sickness at bay


A well-rested body is less susceptible to falling sick and succumbing to illnesses because the body is recharged and ready to fight whereas a tired body has a lower immune system. Stress contributes to a lot of issues in our body than we realize; so, in order to keep a clean bill of health, always remember to take some time off for yourself.



3. Relaxing helps you to be happier


Relaxing doesn’t always have to mean going off on a long vacation but instead you can unwind a couple of hours before bedtime doing things you love or simply taking a day off to do whatever pleases you. These small acts and bursts of happiness can greatly increase your mood, decreasing your risk of depression and self-loathing. Keeping yourself happy should be a given, so always remember to put yourself first.

4. Relaxing helps you to be present

Being present and in the moment is a struggle we all face especially in our technologically driven generation. When we say stress it doesn’t necessarily stem from physical work stress but also self-comparison and self-esteem issues. These are arising problems from immediate accessibility to social media where perfection seems rampant. Remind yourself to relax and take deep breaths when that happens to keep yourself in the present moment – knowing that whatever you have around you is enough and is good. 

Stress is like running a treadmill – it makes you tired but it doesn’t take you anywhere – it is basically a pointless worry you are carrying around with you daily that only weighs you down more and more. Instead, learn to take the burden off your shoulders once in a while and let your hair down to feel the breeze.

Image: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ by Mike Hoff https://www.flickr.com/photos/crashmaster/

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Good Sugar, Bad Sugar: What’s the Difference?

Good sugar, bad sugar: What’s the difference?

Eating any form of sugar have always been dubbed as bad for your health. For many reasons, people avoid the intake of sugar in excess and some even go so far as to avoid it at all cost but did you know that some sugar can be good for you? Everything in moderation as they say but also knowledge and awareness is important. 

So, what’s the difference between good and bad sugar and what can you do about it? Here’s how:

 

Good sugar is natural


Sugar found in fruits and vegetables are generally good for you when taken in moderation. They come bundled with a chock full of other nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals – enough to make it beneficial for your body. When looking for “good” sugars, look for them in food such as berries, bananas, carrots, bell peppers and 100% natural honey. You don’t have to deprive yourself of some sweetness in your life, you just need to know where to find it. 



Bad sugar is refined

Of course, on the other end of the spectrum is refined sugar most commonly found as simple carbohydrates such as sucrose, maltose and lactose. These forms of sugar are heavily processed and is usually found in your desserts, sweeteners and appears to be finer in grains. 



Find substitutes to your sugar

Sugar can be easily substituted in your everyday life. All it takes is a little conscious effort and awareness and you are good to go. Instead of taking a spoonful of sugar in your morning cuppa joe, replace it with Stevia or honey – you’ll be surprise to find that it gives a different aromatic experience to your morning routine. Other options include agave nectar or Splenda. If you need a sugary snack or a sweet breakfast cereal, try eating a piece of fruit instead. Not only will it help keep you fuller throughout the day, you will find yourself more energized, too!


Know what sugar to avoid


Now that we know what good and bad sugar looks like and how we can replace our sugar intakes, it is important to also know what you need to avoid at the grocery store. Sugar has a million names and it is interchangeable on food labels. Do take note of these commonly used names: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose, maltose, sucrose, lactose and glucose. These are names you should be wary of but while it can be difficult to cut out from your diet, you should take note of its sugar content for your own reference. 

Life isn’t sweet if you didn’t have a sprinkle of sugar in it. Don’t torture yourself and cut sugar from your diet (although that’s okay too!) but instead learn to educate yourself and find out just what sugar really is all about.



Image: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ by Jeanny https://www.flickr.com/photos/jayangel/

 
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6 Reasons to Decrease Smartphones Usage to Protect Your Eyes and Health

6 Reasons to Decrease Smartphone Usage to Protect Your Eyes and Health



We live in times of rampant technologies – people glued to their smartphones and some would even claim it is their lifeline. Most of us cannot deny that we rely on our phones 24/7 and it is almost impossible to go to bed without first checking our e-mails or watching a video. How did we come to this lifestyle? Does it have any side effects? 

The cold hard truth to that question is yes. Yes, the effects are unfortunately negative to our health. While smartphones have posed a positive effect on our productivity and convenience in our daily routine, smartphones can be damaging our sight. 

Here are 6 reasons why decreasing your smartphone usage could protect your eyes:

1. Smartphones emit blue violet light


Why does it matter what light my smartphone emits? Well, blue violet light is the primary light emitting from smartphones and screens in general which can pose potential harm and damage to your eyesight in the long run. 



2. Using smartphones can cause eye strain


We may not notice this but sometimes when we are using our phones, we are actually holding it a lot closer than we normally would most objects. We are almost always straining our eyes to see small texts – it is a very subconscious, minute action but it does big damages if we overuse our smartphones.

3. Using smartphones before bed can alter sleep patterns

Because of its blue violet light emission, using your smartphone before bedtime is highly discouraged because of how it can subconsciously alter your sleeping patterns. The blue violet light decreases your melatonin causing you difficulty to fall asleep because it tricks your body into thinking it is still daylight.

4. Smartphones are said to cause headaches and shoulder tension


Most of the time when we are using our smartphones, our posture tend to deviate to a slouchy, head-hung-low position because it feels most comfortable. But in doing so, it causes our neck, and shoulders to tense up and in turn cause headaches. This is in no way a good posture for you and can cause other health hazards with time.

5. Using smartphones are linked to less blinking


If you noticed, if you are on the screen for a prolonged period of time, chances are you might have blinked a lot less than you should. This is because our eyes are so focused and fixated on the screen, it not only causes our eyes to strain but to reduce blinking in order to focus. This decreased blinking will in turn cause eye fatigue and dryness in your eyes – a general discomfort that is no fun to feel.



6. Prolonged smartphone usage can damage vision

Primarily because of the blue violet light emission, smartphones and other devices such as laptops, TV screens and tablets can cause damage to your vision with prolonged and extensive usage. According to opticians, overuse of smartphones may damage the back of your eye and pose a higher risk of macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness. 



While smartphones have become our way of life, we should always be aware of the damages it poses onto our health. We cannot deny it has benefited a big part of our life but it is important to give your eyes a break and look away once in a while. Don’t succumb to smartphone addiction – remind yourself that you can live without it – even just for a minute.



Image: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ by Japanexperterna.se https://www.flickr.com/photos/68532869@N08/

 
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5 Healthy Heart Choices to Make Daily

5 Healthy Heart Choices to Make Daily



Making healthier choices daily is more than just choosing the right foods to eat sometimes. It is a chosen lifestyle change, a conscious effort made and of course a desire to a healthier well-being. This World Heart Day, let’s take a look at the core of our being – our beating heart. Daily choices for long-term heart health are important and these small steps towards a healthier heart make all the difference.

Here are 5 choices you can make every day towards a healthy heart:



1. Daily exercises


It is a no-brainer that exercising regularly and even daily is nothing but beneficial to your overall health. From simple calisthenics to relaxing yoga, there are so many ways for you to move your body and get your heart pumping. Whichever fitness regime fits you best, do it with consistency and always know that a good habit takes effort to cultivate.



2. Eating a proper diet


Knowing what to eat is a very vital part in maintaining a healthy heart. What you eat influences the way your body reacts and it is important to know what benefits your heart and what doesn’t. Foods like oatmeal and salmon are great for your heart – high-fiber foods as well as omega 3 are linked with lowering risks of heart diseases and it boosts your immunity as well. So, always be aware of your daily diet and be conscious of what you feed your body.

3. Meditate


Stress is a common cause to many of our diseases these days. It may seem irrelevant but stress causes our body to run an extra mile to compensate for our health. It leads to many psychosomatic diseases and weakens our immunity which is why it is important to remember to relax and take some time to meditate. Meditation helps keep your mind tuned to the present moment and to improve your overall mood – a great way to start your day.



4. Snack wisely

Snacking and binging are a habit most of us succumb to sometimes. The idea of snacking on something fried and crispy or sweet and chocolatey are always tempting – but on regular basis? Maybe not that good for you. While it isn’t something you should be ashamed of, snacking should also be done wisely to satisfy both your oral fixation and your taste buds. Some snacks you can consider that doesn’t jeopardize your health are raw nuts, dark chocolate, raisins, popcorn (plain and unsalted/unsweetened) and berries – all of which boasts of benefits for your health and packed full of antioxidants. 



5. Sleep well


Sleep is not for the weak. I repeat, sleep is not for the weak. With a good night’s rest, many health benefits flow with you because each sleep is an opportunity for your body to recuperate and heal itself. It not only helps with mental strength and agility but it heals your body from aches and tensions. Having enough sleep also aids in regulating heartbeat and preventing palpitations. 

The fragility of the human heart is only felt when it is gone; so, before that happens, take good care of your heart and for the people around you. On this World Heart Day on 29 September , let’s not take for granted what we have if we can have the power to prevent. 



Image: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ by Abdul Rahman https://www.flickr.com/photos/yunir/

 

 
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5 Effective Ways to Quit Smoking

5 Effective Ways to Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of those habits that takes a strong will to quit. It is something everyone is aware is bad for you but continue anyway just because we can. We are all aware of its consequences but for some reason, the instant gratification is enough to keep everyone on board. For whatever reason you decide to kick the habit, kudos to you! But don’t forget that the journey is going to be a tough one but don’t worry, we are here equipped with the right tips to help you get through this.

Let’s explore these 5 effective tips to quit smoking:

1. Chew some gum
One of the few things associated with smoking is said to be oral fixation. Some people have higher needs and tendencies to keep their mouth or lips occupied and chewing gum could help keep your mind off the nicotine. Soon enough, you should be able to find yourself developing a new habit instead. Although chewing too much gum may not be good for your teeth but it certainly is better than smoking.

2. Exercise regularly
Another way some people find effective for them is by picking up a sport or exercising regularly. This new healthy lifestyle helps them to realize just how insignificant smoking is to them and develop new passions and new love. You will soon find that you have bigger goals and bigger dreams to achieve and smoking could be holding you back from getting there. If you want to run that 12 km marathon, you would train hard enough and would not let smoking get in the way of your steady, healthy breath. Go for the gold, we know you can do it!

3. Eat healthily
A lot of people don’t realize just how fundamental a healthy diet is. It dictates more than just our waistline but it also determines our mental and emotional health as well. What you eat is what you get and it is important to consider the food you are partaking. Switch your diet gradually to cleaner meals of more raw and pure foods and watch your body do its own thing in helping you kick the habit naturally!

4. Encouragement and accountability
Letting someone know that you are attempting to kick the habit helps you keep your promise better. It is also wonderful if someone is there to spur you on and watch over you to keep your goals aligned. Sure, some days you might find yourself swaying but having someone as your support system helps you stay focused on your achievements and be more aware of your own actions.

5. Will power. Strong, strong will power
Most things we do require a lot of will power and this is no exception. To kick a habit especially one as common as smoking is a tough feat but nothing is impossible if you truly want it to come to past. Dig deep and find that will power within you and remind yourself what sort of lifestyle you are choosing to begin and learn to rise from your past. Remind yourself that this isn’t supposed to be an easy journey but at the end of this dreadful run, you will find yourself renewed and accomplished. It will be worth it, I promise.

Smoking is a common habit that many people take for granted but the consequences are dire not just to your own body but for the people around you. If you are on your way or deciding to make a decision, I encourage you to keep going. While some people may laugh at you for being “uncool”, you will find that a great lesson in self-control and will power will greatly benefit you in every decision you make in the future. Nothing will be as difficult as kicking an addicting habit and if you can do that, what else can stop you?

Image: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ by https://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/ Morgan