Monthly Archives: December 2011

Kiss Me to Health

People in a close, committed relationship or those with a tight-knit group of friends experience better health. Research shows this better health extends to emotional, mental and physical. As anyone who has a great marriage or dedicated, loyal friends is aware, these relationships must be nurtured and cared for on a consistent basis. With the New Year about to ring in, what will you do to be a better spouse, friend, lover or sibling?

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Post-Christmas Food Strategy

So you made it through Christmas, maybe with a little too much food and drink. This is the time of year when “holiday foods” not typically available the rest of the year are plentiful and present in our eating environment. For those triggered by visual cues of food, this is the toughest. If all the food was not eaten, share with co-workers or wrap it in individual containers to either freeze or pack away in the pantry. No food is bad or good, but if it triggers you to overeat, don’t set yourself up. Love what you eat but love how you feel MORE.

Mood Elevator

Your mood depends on your thoughts, so if you tend to focus on the negative, you will have a tougher time being upbeat and in an ideal mood. To help shift that thinking pattern, start writing down 3 things each night that went well for you during the day. They do not have to be monumental things, but something as simple as finding the perfect gift for Uncle Bob for Christmas or getting the kids to daycare and to work on time. If you have children, start the tradition of asking them to share 3 things that went well for them that day. Focus on the positive things in your life… the change is miraculous!

Energy and Mood Boosting Fruit

To get a quick mood boost, try a sniff of any citrus fruit, citrus-scented perfume or oil. Oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruits give off the pleasant and distinctive scent that research shows can improve mood and enhance energy levels. My favorite all-natural cleaner is orange-scented from orange oil. Do you have any favorite perfumes or body lotions that are citrus-scented?

The Gift of Silence

Give your body and your mind the gift of silence. Each day, for as long as possible, turn off your cell, TV, fax, landline, washer, dryer and any other noise-making machine. In the study done at Cornell, low-level noise caused office workers to experience significantly higher levels of stress than those allowed to work in a quiet office for 3 hours. The quiet increased their problem-solving abilities too. Peace and quiet… doesn’t that sound wonderful? How long each day can take a quiet break?

Holiday Traditions

The malls are packed, the highways are busy and people are getting cranky from tension to get all the holiday “to-do’s” accomplished. To get back to the simpler, less stressful holiday times, rekindle some of your family’s traditions as a focus, rather than the hustle and bustle of “spend all you can”, hit every party and have the most up-to-date decorations. We hang a very special ornament on our tree every year that belonged to my husband when he was a little boy. He would lay under the tree and blow under the bottom of the ornament and watch with delight as it spun around inside. What tradition do you follow?

Music and Pain

Probably partly because it distracts us, listening to music can help reduce pain. There are theories that it may affect how we perceive pain by causing the body to release endorphins. Listening to slow music does slow down breathing and heart rate. A study done at the University of South Alabama, Mobile was able to show that listening to either classical or self-selected relaxing music resulted in significant reduction in anxiety and anger. What do you like to listen to?