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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Rule of Thumb: Getting Involved

In some ways college students are more connected than ever. Social media has provided multiple methods of staying in touch with friends and sharing information and content. Gaming has also provided a venue of being connected with others and having fun at the same time.

But in other ways many students are not connected at all, and they struggle with “face-time” that is real and not just virtual. Many living environments are both heavily wired and private; if one chooses one may isolate for huge chunks of time and “communicate” widely, yet not actually interact with anyone at all. This is a recipe for diminishing mental health.

So here is a rule of thumb to protect against that deterioration: at least twice a week, get involved in something that takes you out of your living environment, puts you in physical contact with others, and has nothing to do with class, work, or partying. This simple strategy incorporates crucial skill sets which, once learned, will benefit you for a lifetime. The skills also promote good mental health and are also related to retention and academic success.

So what kinds of things can you do? Most students had interests and hobbies in middle and high school, but they may have drifted from them in the excitement of starting college. Consider returning to them, or perhaps be more adventurous and take up new ones. Psychologists believe that learning new skills every five years or so is actually protective of brain health, so it will be good for you on that score as well. On most campuses there are dozens if not hundreds of student organizations, covering topics such as sport, politics or advocacy, environmental awareness, outdoor recreation, art, and so on. If you can’t find one that suits you, start your own. You can also see some ideas on this listThere is really no excuse not to try something.

On the other hand, there is no need to get over-involved, as this can lead to meaningless activity and burnout. Trying new activities also does not have to lead to long-term commitment. Simply try some and if they don’t feel like a good fit, move on and try another. Frankly, what you pick does not matter. What matters is that you pick something in the first place, and that you expand your skills and relationships. This is part of the recipe for feeling satisfied and in good emotional health, and generally your grades will improve too. That’s hard to beat!

By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea

This is where I spent part of my morning today. That is the Pacific Ocean to the left and Dana Point, California down below. I love walking here. The temperature was a mild 73°F/22°C. The sun was shining, and there was a lovely breeze coming onshore.

Although there are people of all ages walking or jogging here, on a Thursday morning, it is quiet and uncrowded. Most weekday mornings are like that. At times, there are surfers in the parking lot preparing to walk down the 140+ steps to the water below. Sometimes, I stop at the green wrought iron fence and watch them as they ride the waves.

It is on days like this that I am most grateful that my sister badgered me into moving back to South Orange County. I was living in Hawaii for a short period of time, but I really don’t care for the feel of the air in the tropics. I really prefer the fresh air on this side of the Pacific.

I took my Fitbit for a spin here for the first time today. I have some statistics to report. I did only one lap of the walking/view park this morning. That added 1,714 steps to my day. I was hungry and left after only one lap to catch lunch. I’ll make sure to go earlier next time, so I can walk two laps without my stomach giving me an excuse to leave. This was only a seventeen minute walk. It’s silly to stay for such a short period of time. I adore spending time here.

Notice in the photograph above, that the city painted colorful waves on the concrete path. At regular intervals there are small patios hanging over the side of the cliff, where they constructed two or three concrete tables and benches so people can rest, read, picnic or just enjoy the view. Opposite these spots, there are wide steps up into the parking lot. The sides of the stairways are bordered with raised planters containing colorful flowering plants. But the cutest thing is that bronze starfish have been embedded into them, so that they look like they washed ashore on the waves.

There are also colorful mosaic fish laid into the patios of the picnic areas. The palm trees that you see on the right of the photo appear here and there adding a little shade. But they don’t add too much. People who come here do so for the air and the sun. We also stop and look at the enormous majestic mansions that are being constructed in tiers along the sand. Although many people stop to stare, few are really jealous. Some have made comments about a possible tsunami and the damage it would cause the homes.

I would be more concerned about the probability that a full moon, high tide and a storm off the coast would cause large damaging waves. This is a cove. The force of higher than normal waves could rip apart the homes closest to the sea. Then the debris would be pushed into the next tier up and so forth. If this happens, actually, when this happens, the walkway here will be full of people with cameras. Unless there is an science fiction sized tidal wave, the path is much higher than any water could reach.

This is due to the topography of the California coastline. There is a steep drop off along the coast called the California Incline. It is rare that homes or businesses are actually built at sea level. Most of California, even the famous Pacific Coast Highway is higher than that. There are some sections of the beach which can be reached by driving down a steep road or climbing down an unsafe hill. You have probably heard about houses falling into the sea, or landslides along the highway. This is part of the deal when you live in California.

It is best to live on higher ground and enjoy the coast the way I do. I either admire it from my living room window a mile or so away, or drive down to a lovely manicured path like this one for a walk. It is possible to walk along the sand itself, but I will wait until the funicular is running. Let the young ones hike the 140+ stair treads in both directions. I will admire it from this path until I can ride down below. I can be patient.

People are wrong when they say that tide and time wait for no one. When you are retired, you have the time to wait until the city turns on the funicular and the tide is out.

Is where you walk as lovely as this?

Polycystic Kidney Disease and Natural Healing

A friend I have made on the Internet has found that her mother was just diagnosed with this disease. Since they are in the UK the National Health Service is making her mother wait two weeks until they “decide what to do”. I have done this research to try to help. This could be an ongoing story for awhile.

Polycystic Kidney Disease, also known as PKD, is an illness characterized by cysts growing on the kidneys. This disease is known to have heredity as a causal factor. With PKD the kidneys lose their ability to function.

I actually cured myself of a pilonidal cyst without surgery. Pilonidal cysts have a hereditary factor to them as well. When I first got one the doctor told me that I had a congenital tendency to get them. That first time I had it surgically removed. This is a draining cyst that excretes blood and water. If left untreated it will eventually grow cancerous. He told me that I could get another one later in life and if I did it would probably grow back in the same general area. He was mainly right except that it grew on the other side of my body in my abdominal area on my belt line. This made it very uncomfortable.

When I realized I had another pilonidal cyst I reasoned that since it is something that could turn into a tumor and become cancerous that my body’s immune system would see it as an infection and try to fight it. Since I knew about the power of shiitake mushrooms to boost the immune system I decided to use them. Shiitake mushrooms are culinary mushrooms that are delicious in cooking but are not tasty or easily digestible eaten raw. Shiitake is the Japanese name. In Chinese restaurants they are on the menu as black mushrooms. I had Shiitake mushrooms in my meals four to five times a week for an entire month. The cyst went away. I continued to have shiitake mushrooms three to five times a week in my meals for the next month and the cyst never came back. Since polycystic kidney disease means that there are many cysts in the kidneys surgery would be out of the question except for a kidney transplant. The cysts could however come back. I recommend trying the shiitake mushrooms as well as eating other foods that boost the immune system such as garlic, salmon and tuna. Flax seed oil is very helpful because it is anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It is the shiitake mushrooms however that I have to stress if someone really wants to boost the immune system. The fish is important for the vitamin B12. The iodine in the fish is important to help the thyroid gland to produce the hormones for proper metabolism.

Meanwhile in order to improve kidney function there is much that can be done with the right nutrition. Do not use salt because the inability of the kidneys to pass salt will cause fluid build up. Avoid processed sugar. Reduce or avoid animal protein. Animal protein will cause stress to the kidneys. Shiitake mushrooms contain all of the essential amino acids a person needs in their diet which is better for a person in this condition than animal protein. Vegetable sources of protein such as beans, legumes and whole grains are fine. Avoid beet greens, chocolate, eggs, rhubarb, spinach, Swiss chard and caffeinated tea. Avoid dairy products except cultured dairy products such as low-fat yogurt, buttermilk and cottage cheese.

Celery and parsley seeds will improve kidney function and reduce levels of uric acid in the blood. Natural, unsweetened cranberry juice will reduce bacterial build up and heal the bladder. Dandelion root will help the kidneys to excrete waste material. Herbs that help include goldenrod tea, juniper berries, parsley, marshmallow root, nettle, red clover and watermelon seed tea.

It is good to have a diet of mainly raw foods. Include asparagus, bananas, celery, cucumbers, garlic, papaya, potatoes and watercress. Legumes, seeds and soybeans contain the amino acid, arginine, which is good for the kidneys.

For an organic, herbal, kidney formula extract try:

I just got home from the dentist. I can’t feel my face.

I had some work done at the dentist. The shots they put in my mouth didn’t work at first so they ended up putting more in me! It was awful. My heart started racing and I was shaking a lot. They had me walk around the office until it stopped.

I’m happy to get the work done though. If you don’t take care of your teeth it ends up even worse in the long run. I have to take care of myself the best that I can since I’m still quite young. I don’t want any major problems when I’m older so I’m going to stay on top of things now.

I Want OFF my Blood Pressure Medicine!

I have finally figured out what is causing the vast majority of my tinnitus – my blood pressure medication! I’ve never been really good about taking it every day, mostly because my blood pressure is not THAT high, but my doctor put me on it anyway.

A few nights ago, I woke up with such bad ringing in my ears that I was afraid something else was wrong. I didn’t have any other symptoms, like a headache or anything, so I finally just took an anxiety pill (I rarely take those anymore) and sat up for awhile until it seemed like the ringing got less loud.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my tinnitus has really gotten a lot worse since I’ve been better about taking my blood pressure meds. So I’ve decided to try to do some things that might allow me to get off the meds, like eating healthier foods that are high in potassium, magnesium and calcium, exercising more, losing weight, etc.

Sure hope it works!

Chocolate Cravings-Are There Medications to Help You Stop Them

From time to time, a good number of people experience cravings, especially for sugary food.  Chocolate cravingsare on the top of the list for many people.  Biologically, it happens when there is a low sugar level in the body.

The body therefore, sends a message to the brain leading to sugar cravings. Most of the people who are victims, have found it hard when dealing with it. Nevertheless, one can curb the cravings through a combination of healthy exercises and dietary changes.
There are so many ways that can help you stop chocolate cravings. First, you can do substitution. This means you can take a healthy food, and eat it in the place of chocolate.  For instance, you can eat tasty fruits such as pineapple, strawberries and watermelon.
Fruits contain fewer calories, and are more beneficially recommended than chocolate.  The fact that water has no calories, and is vital for your health; it is a remedy to chocolate cravings. When the feeling hits you drink a glass of cold water.
 It is also advisable that you reduce over indulgence of sugar in your diet.  Eating too much of a sugary food can lead to addiction.  Sugary items such as chocolate enhance the growth of certain bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which will have your body wanting sugary food all the time.
Chocolate cravings can be healed by fulfilling it with other options.  Your body may be lacking an essential nutrient such as magnesium, in which chocolate is one of its sources. It is essential that your diet has enough magnesium to lower the cravings.
Regular eating is another remedy to your cravings. When you skip meals it may lead to more extreme cravings. This is because during starvation, you experience low sugar, and you respond with cravings for something sugary to elevate your sugar level.
Healthy exercise helps your brain generate the same chemicals that are created when you eat chocolate. Besides, you can consume something that is totally different from the chocolate that you are craving.  This automatically triggers your taste buds, and as a result cools down the feeling.  For example you can eat a snack full of spices and nutrients. Small portionsof darkchocolate can remove the craving also.
It is also possible to stop chocolate cravings by waiting it out. It is evident that cravings for any kind of food collapse after 15-20 minutes. You can consequently keep your self busy doing other tasks, and wait for it to disappear. Most people have emphasised that when they are distracted they forget, and the cravings disappear. Changing environments that tempt people with cravings eases the craving as well.
Most people boost their mood by consuming a chocolate which has contributed to their addiction.  You should involve yourself in other lifting activities besides chocolate.
With the information in hand, you can easily do away with chocolate cravings. Though, the procedure might be hard, and it seeks commitment. It is also advisable that you seek more information from a qualified physician. There is really no medication on the market that can cure a chocolate craving.

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How to handle Emotional Tension

Emotional tension is something most people deal with, on some level, on a daily basis.  You cannot always control tense situations that provoke you to lose your temper or become distraught. Things happen to everyone that are out of our control.

It is not the actual situation that is the problem, or the fact that you are experiencing emotional tension, it is how we handle it that matters most.  Emotional tension is inevitable, but not impossible to handle.
There are many tips for dealing with emotional tension.  The very first one is the easiest tip to follow and will benefit your health, as well.  It is as simple as taking a deep breath.  You will need to repeat the process a few times and in a manner that will benefit your body.
It is not just as simple as breathing.  You will need to adopt correct exercises that are focused on breathing and performed consciously.  While you are busy with your daily routine, take time to pause and repeat easy breathing exercises.
You will need to focus on how to take in a deep breath so it will help eliminate stress.  Opening up the blocks to your consciousness will help clear your mind and make you more aware so you can improve tense and emotional situations.
Not only will it put your mind in a tranquil state, but it will increase your learning ability and imagination.  This alone can improve any emotional tension, lead you to a relaxed physical state, and help you deal with the stresses of daily life.
When you direct your body to take a deep breath during times of stress and tension, you are telling your body to relax.
Focus on taking a deep breath from you abdomen, then deeply inhale from your nose for five seconds.  You have just supplied oxygen to your brain and blood which in turn will allow your body to relax and become calm.  Hold that breath for twenty seconds.  This will cleanse your blood and allow your immune system to kick in.  You are purifying your lungs and expelling oxygen to every part of your physique.
To fully feel the benefits of deep breathing, exhale the breath you have held for ten seconds, through your mouth.  This allows your body to release carbon monoxide, as well as other toxins.  For the best results, it is recommended that you find the perfect number of seconds you can hold with ease.  Once you have this figured out, you can begin implementing this technique when you feel emotionally tense.
Just keep in mind that it is best to hold your breath as long as you can in a comfortable state, and exhale twice the amount of time that you took your breath in. This is a safe and healthy way of dealing with emotional tension.  It is easy to do, doesn’t cost you any money, and can be done virtually anywhere.  Replace your stress and strain with deep breathing and find out how happy and relaxing your life can be.

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Cleaning In Increments For People With Medical Issues

One thing that I thought I would share is something I have to do when doing deep cleaning. I have to clean in fifteen minute increments because of my medical issues. I need a about the same or more to rest. This way I don’t overexert myself or cause a flare up. I wish I could do the same for working out, but most of the time I am in too much pain. Today we are doing spring cleaning. We are breaking right now and I am going to do my bubbles as well as go on to all my other websites I work from home on and make a bit of money in between. Now, if only I could get paid for spring cleaning !

The Causes of Feeling Down

Feeling down is an obvious reaction to life’s disappointments, impediments, and day to day struggles. A substantial number of people refer to this kind of feeling as depression or sadness. When people are depressed they feel down, empty, apathetic, inpatient, irritated, and in some cases even violent.

Feeling down affects your day to day activities includinginterfering with your eating habits, your studies, your sleep, and your capacity to work. There are many ways in which you can tell whether you are down or if you are depressed.

It is important to pay attention to the sighs, and to seek help if the problem becomes severe. When you cannot sleep for a longer period of time, or is you sleep excessively, then you may be suffering from depression. Feeling helpless or worthless is another sign. Sometimes it may even become difficult for you not to take control over your thoughts regardless of how much you try.

Some people who feel down or depressed lack appetite altogether, or cannot stop eating, because they find comfort in food. For those who consume alcohol, they may find themselves drinking excessively or engaging in strange behaviours.

Some become very bad-tempered, and more aggressive than usual. Another symptom is when you find that you have a very difficult timeconcentrating with normal everyday activities. These are symptoms associated with depression only if they occur for a prolonged period of time.

Feeling low has been attributed to a number of causes. One of the major causes is loneliness, when a person is lonely; they have a very low feeling of self-worth.

Other causes of feeling low or depressed include being short of money, being separated from family members, the death of a loved one, or anything that adversely affects the person’s life that is having the low feelings.

It is also common for people who lack social support to experience such feelings. Socialization is something that everyone needs in their life to feel that they are worthy. Marital problems can always be the onset of depression problems.

Another cause could be the weather. As strange at that may sound, studies have shown that the winter blues bring people down mentally.

Unemployment is also another factor that can cause people grief. This is especially true for people who are middle aged, and lose their job to outsourcing or to younger people entering the job market. This is seen every day in the news all over the United States.

Bad health can also cause depression issues, especially if the issue causes the person to be terminal. When you suffer from chronic diseases that seem as if they just won’t heal, you feel lifeless and depressed.

Many people who suffer from long-term diseases lack hope in life, and in most cases some of them have feelings of wanting to die. This is when a specialist should be contacted right away, to prevent suicidal thoughts.

Drug and alcohol abuse can also contribute to depression. It typically drains financial resources, and causes drastic changes in a person. It not only ruins the person, but also their loved ones around them. Whatever people may think, there is hope and help. They just have to realize that they have a problem and seek help.

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Mood Stabilizers

People are often moody for a number of reasons. This is typically healthy in normal people, but if the moodiness turns severe, then it may be necessary to seek professional help. The key to getting the moods under control is to first realize that you have an issue.

Most people are in denial that they have them, but if your family and friends start commenting on your behavior, then they probably aren’t lying to you. Once you come to a self-realization, only then can you begin to correct the problem. If your problem is mild, then there are many natural mood stabilizers that you can try without paying a dime. If the problem is more complex, then prescribed medication can be taken to get your moods under control.

Most people do not realize that even everyday activities can have an effect on a person’s mood. Natural mood stabilizers include being out in the fresh air, sunlight, exercise, St. Johns Wort, passion flowers, chamomile tea and winter cherries.

Research has suggested that the hormone serotonin plays a vital role in keeping people balanced. If this and other hormones are out of whack, then the emotional thought process is disrupted, and this is what causes people to have moodiness. If the hormone levels are low, sleep patterns can be disturbed, energy levels can be reduced and sexual appetite can be affected.

St John’s Wort works to balance moods, by causing a balance of neurotransmitters that control the hormone serotonin. Passion flowers can help mild mood swings if they are caused by mild depression or anxiety.

Winter cherry has an affect because it supports a person’s body during sporadic periods of physical or mental stress. The Chamomile tea works as a balancer, to keep the mood where it should be at an even keel.

If natural remedies do not work, then a person will have to take more drastic measures. If the mood swings are bad enough, this will usually involve seeing a physician to get a mental health evaluation, and to get chemical medication to control he moods.

Some of these medications include lithium, tegretol, and depakene. A person’s blood will be drawn periodically if they are on these medications, to check the levels. The person may also have to undergo counseling. Bio-feedback sessions can also be helpful.

They get a person to talk in-depth just as a therapist would coax the person to do. Once they get to the root of the problem, they formulate a plan of action to help you fix your problem.

The good thing is that the person is getting help, regardless of how they obtain it. Natural remedies are always better for the body than chemical medications, but sometimes they just don’t produce results to the level that is required.

Everyone in the world has mood swings, and life events cause stress for everyone. It is important to learn how to handle that stress to alleviate the mood problems. People may also find that deep breathing exercises, long walks, yoga or other mind stimulating exercise may help with mood issues, as well.

In my opinion (not a doctor, although I play one on TV), I would always try the basics first. Getting out of the house and going for walks in the park are great for the mind. In fact, if you can start waking up and going for a quick walk in the park first thing in the morning, I can promise you that, more often than not, you will see a big difference in your mood.

Working out, eating a healthier diet, staying away from stressful people, going for walks in the park, etc. are all great ways to stabilize your mood. If you find that these aren’t helping, then seek advice from a medical professional. Pills are not a long-term solution, so it’s always best to figure out what’s causing the moods first.

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Fight Depression The Natural Way, With Bubble Baths

Depression is a serious mental health condition that requires treatment. Depression should never go untreated. Outside of medications and counseling, there are things you can do to relax and put yourself in a better state of mind.

A few of these activities can include, changing your current diet to a healthier food plan, exercising on a regular basis, making sure you are getting enough sleep, seeking support with support groups, learning new relaxation techniques, and taking bubble baths. The last activity mentioned can be the best overall concerning your mood and outlook. Bubble baths are a proven method to easing stress and tension.

This may sound like a simple solution, and it is fairly easy to just slip into a bubble bath to relax and wash away the tension of the day. However, if you are going to seriously use bubble baths in your pursuit to help fight depression; you will need to keep a few things in mind.

Besides the positive action of taking time away from the stresses of daily life, you are taking the time to relax and cleanse not only your body, but also your mind.

A bubble bath is very different from a shower in that the time spent stretched out and submerged in hot sudsy water, has a different effect on your mind set than a quick shower just to clean your body.

The idea is to eliminate stress. It is a good idea to plan a bubble bath at least two times a week if not more. This may sound like an easy task, and truly it is, however the scents and type of bubble bath soap you choose, can make a difference in your outlook and how relaxed you feel after your bubble bath.

Before you slip into a hot tub of sudsy bubbles, prepare your surroundings. To set the prefect mood, light candles, dim the lights as much as possible, and turn on a soft strain of music that will encourage you to close your eyes and focus your attention on the beautiful setting that you have created.

This also means that you should turn off your cell phone and retreat from the world for at least twenty to thirty minutes since your time spent in a bubble bath should be uninterrupted.

Tranquility is the key to a soothing and calming bubble bath. The scent you choose to lounge in will also help to ease your stress and peacefully tantalize your senses. Try such soft scents as chamomile, rosemary mint, roses, and lavender.

If you do not want to invest in expensive bubble bath soap, then you can use an old familiar brand and add scented oils to help induce the relaxation technique. Fragrances will play a key role in helping you relax the most.

Once you sink down beneath the warm water you will start to feel your muscles relax and your depression will start to fade. Take in a long smooth breath and exhale slowly to breathe in the comforting scents that are also soothing your body.

Let your mind wander in the serenity of the moment and promise yourself that you will give yourself the time to enjoy a bubble bath as often as possible. Bubble baths are a positive method for improving depression.

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How Long Can It Take To Start Your Period After Stopping Birth Control

Should You Be Concerned if Your Period Stops after Birth Control

One of the most common symptoms after stopping birth control is the absence of menstruation. It is a term referred to as post-pill amenorrhea and is the act of the body restoring hormone levels. Hormones will regulate ovulation and determine menstrual cycles in women.

Hormone pills or birth control will have women on a regular and predictable cycle with medical control and stopping the birth control will actually replace this responsibility back to the body’s natural functions. Everyone may not respond the same and it can take a varied amount of time for the body to return to its normal function.

On average most women will respond within 4 to 6 weeks as their bodies cycle once without the aid of the medical hormones used in birth control. Some women may typically wait to up to 3 months without worry or concern. It is important to calculate and monitor when one quits the birth control and the active cycle resumes.

Every woman and their bodies can respond differently and it may also be determined by the type or strength of the birth control that will affect the cycles return. A stronger form may cause the body to take longer than a smaller dosage as the body will have to adjust and correct a larger gap of hormone replacement. Many birth controls can have information that can help determine the expected wait for a menstrual cycle to return. One can check this information online or with a health professional such as a doctor or pharmacist.

If you think it has been too long then it may be necessary to perform an at home pregnancy test to determine if one could actually have reason for not having a menstrual cycle. It could be safe precaution to check for pregnancy as soon as one quits birth control to help determine ovulation and chances of pregnancy and cycle of the pregnancy.

To monitor for possible pregnancy it may be necessary to perform a pregnancy test every week to 2 weeks until the menstrual cycle returns, this will help in also determining the time of conception and date of pregnancy.  It is not uncommon for a woman to become pregnant soon after stopping birth control while some may take longer than normal to become pregnant. This is not only determined by the woman and her natural hormone levels but also by the types of birth control and their strengths.

There are some health factors that could be present if it has been longer than 6 months that could cause alarm and may require a visit to a gynecologist. There are tests that can be performed to insure that hormone levels are current and the body is not suffering from any type of disease or cancers. Although it is not uncommon for a woman to not return to normal for that long and even up to a year without complication.

Some women who suffer from stress or low weight can see longer delays in their cycles return as their bodies will have a harder time in restoring natural functions. It is important to monitor your body and its changes and to seek professional aid if questions or concerns may arise.

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