by Lovena Suson | Apr 29, 2021 | Senior Health
Dementia is a major concern among elderly adults. If you’re a senior or you’re taking care of an elderly relative, you may have concerns about dementia. While some factors, like aging and genetics, are beyond your control, many experts believe that lifestyle changes can reduce your risk by as much as 30% or more.
WHAT STUDIES SHOW ABOUT DEMENTIA
In fact, a recent study found one more way to help your brain stay healthy in your golden years. According to researchers at Yale University, a positive attitude about aging could cut your risk of dementia in half.
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They also found that gracefully accepting the aging process worked just as well for seniors with the APOE 4 gene that is strongly associated with developing chronic brain conditions.
Discover how you can boost brainpower, enhance your mood, restore energy levels, and nourish and protect your brain.
You have to know, that dementia is not a normal part of aging. It is a set of symptoms that often includes a decline in memory and other daily functions. It can be very debilitating and can lead to physical deficits as well. This can include the inability to take care of one’s self or handle one’s life and daily responsibilities for self-care.
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Protect yourself and your loved ones by learning how to embrace aging and develop other healthy habits.
STRATEGIES FOR CHANGING YOUR ATTITUDE ABOUT AGING
- Stay positive, reframe your thoughts. Changing your attitude about aging can make a difference.
You’re in control of how you respond to situations, so replace negative beliefs with more affirming ones. Learn from setbacks and use hardships to make you stronger and braver.
- Stay in touch, stay connected. Surround yourself with family and friends who nurture and encourage you. Ask for help when you need it.
- Let out those funny bones! Laugh more. Try to see the humorous side of difficult events. Schedule time in your day to play with your grandchildren or watch a funny movie.
- Be an advocate for aging. Studies also show that experiencing age discrimination can intensify negative beliefs about aging. Speak up when you see incidents of ageism at work or in the media.
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OTHER STRATEGIES TO LOWER YOUR RISK OF DEMENTIA
- Stay active, exercise that body. Aim to work out at least 3 days a week for at least 30 minutes. Exercise can help to protect you from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, which are some of the most common conditions that raise your risk for dementia.
- It’s time to quit smoking. Using tobacco harms your brain by interfering with your circulation. If you have had trouble giving up cigarettes in the past, try a different method or a combination of approaches.
- Shed that extra weight. Shedding excess pounds benefits your brain as well as your body. Even a modest 5% loss can have dramatic effects.
- Cut down on alcohol intake. Heavy drinking makes you more vulnerable to dementia. The Centers for Disease Control recommends no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.
- Keep that brain working. Exercise strengthens your brain just like lifting weights builds your muscles. Enjoy word puzzles or Sudoku. Study a foreign language or practice playing a musical instrument.
- Check your hearing. Scientists are discovering more evidence about the link between hearing loss and dementia. Many experts believe that this is because hearing impairment causes social isolation and also makes the brain work harder to process sounds, leaving fewer resources available for other mental activities.
Sit less. Prolonged sitting can take its toll on your mental and physical health even if you exercise regularly. The most effective strategy may be to shift positions often among sitting, standing, and walking.
- Spot early signs. The first visible symptoms of dementia frequently include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can often delay the onset of further symptoms. Talk with your doctor and get routine checkups.
Stay mentally sharp and active by lowering your risk of dementia. A positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle will give you more years to spend with your loved ones and enjoy your favorite pastimes.
👉👉👉7 practical Tips to Dealing with Chronic Pain
by Lovena Suson | Apr 22, 2021 | Pain Management
The Secret to Getting Powerful Pain Relief Through Meditation
Would you like to reduce pain without the side effects that accompany medication? You can, with a simple meditation practice. Meditation can be a very valuable tool to ease pain, stress, even anxiety.
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Scientists have been studying Zen monks to learn how meditation helps them cope with both chronic and occasional pain. While some of their accomplishments depend on their faith, many of their techniques can be used by anyone. Whether or not you already have a meditation practice, the suggestions below can help you get relief from pain.
TOOLS FOR MEDITATION
1. Appreciate the mind-body connection. There’s a growing understanding that our health depends on a wide range of factors. Our mind and body interact closely. This is a psychosomatic connection. The pain we experience due to physical conditions such as arthritis also affects us emotionally.
2. Reduce apprehension. Your reaction to pain can become exaggerated if you anticipate that it’s going to occur. Fear of pain is a good thing when it helps you avoid dangerous situations. It’s less helpful if you dwell on how your back will keep hurting. Mindfulness meditation helps you live in the present moment and take a break from worries about the future.
3. Manage anxiety. Studies show that experienced meditators feel pain but experience less emotional impact. Even beginners can use meditation as a useful distraction. With practice, you can become more skilled at noticing the affected body part but declining to get upset about it. You may be able to notice the sensation of pain without judging it as unpleasant.
4. Fight depression. Depression is known to make the pain worse. When meditation helps you to feel happier and more peaceful, it’s also giving you greater protection from all kinds of afflictions.
5. Loosen up. Many people feel some tension around an injured body part. If you’re nursing a stiff neck, you can focus on relaxing the area and opening it up. Imagine that your breath is flowing across the muscles, where it warms and heals them.
6. Engage the pain. Pain may command all of your attention when it becomes severe. In such cases, trying to resist it may just make things worse. Some patients find relief by taking an active role in rating the relative intensity of their symptoms or observing how they increase and decrease over time.
7. Get an early start. It’s a lot more challenging to learn to meditate when you’re in the middle of recovering from back surgery. By starting your practice in advance, you’ll be better prepared to cope with medical issues or the common aches that come with aging.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN MEDITATION
1. Understand the relevance of meditation breaks: You’ll probably spend most of your life away from the meditation cushion. By learning to access the states of mind you attain while meditating, you can take advantage of those benefits anytime you want.
2. Pay attention to your body & use pain as a cue. Even if you need to keep working when a headache hits, you can guide yourself with constructive reminders about how to deal with it. Use everyday discomforts to check in with yourself and see if anxiety and apprehension are building up.
3. Guard yourself against depression. Depression can strike anybody, but you can lower your risks. A healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude can make it easier to stay on track. Depression is very common not just in adults but in children too. Your child sees how you feel and are quite astute at reading your body language. They tend to be in tune with their parent’s moods. Take care of yourself so you can take care of them too.
4. Reduce other sources of stress. This may be easier said than done. However, it is imperative to address stressors that are within your control. Living with chronic pain can take a heavy emotional toll. It does tend to affect people around you too. If possible, build a strong support network and avoid taking on too many obligations.
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5. Consult with your doctor. If symptoms of pain continue, talk with your doctor about other available methods of treatment. Fortunately, meditation can be used to complement conventional approaches. It is not a cure in itself.
Anyone can get started with meditation. Meditation is affordable. A myriad of resources can be accessed through books, audiobooks, and even just searching online. Youtube alone has videos to guide you with meditation. It is an effective method for treating physical and emotional suffering without harmful side effects. As you continue to practice, your skills will improve You will then spend less time worrying about pain and more time enjoying life.
🙏A Simple Guide of Meditation for Beginners
- Find a quiet area where you sit or lie down comfortably. There are meditation cushions that you can buy. I just use a cozy body pillow I already have. If lying down, rest your hands on your sides and visualize that they are heavy but relaxed.
- Closing your eyes allows you to focus and feel as visual feedback that can distract you from seeing your surroundings limit your other senses to focus and feel.
- Make your breathing effortless. simply breathe naturally, in through your nose and out through your mouth in a very relaxed manner.
- With eyes closed, focus on your breath: on how the upper body, torso, and chest rises and falls as you breathe slowly, in, and out. Inhale…… Exhale…..
- Feel and sense your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Focus your attention on your breathing without controlling its pace or intensity. Just let it flow. Your body limp and relaxed. Do not allow your mind to wander;
- It helps to visualize being in a place that is most relaxing and calming for you. As a tip, I search and look at a specific image of nature that I like. I search this online. Then I visualize myself in the midst of that serene place. Below is an example of an image where I visualize myself in its midst.
Practice this meditation for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods. I seem to have a better and deeper trance when I also listen to meditation music. Try this and it is truly amazing the tranquility you will feel when you allow your body and mind to be free and calm for a few minutes.
Hope this helps!
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Any Questions? Any thoughts you may have about these topics, do get in touch!
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by Lovena Suson | Apr 4, 2021 | Stress Management
Relieve Stress with these 4 Great Tips
Stress can come in many forms and shapes. It happens in everyday life. Traffic, being pressed for time, health concerns, relationships, family, a job can be sources of stress. If allowed to rule your life, it can cause psychosomatic disorders that can manifest in health issues.
Do you feel more stressed out than ever? Is your work life so hectic that you’re starting to burn out? Just faced with a financial crisis? How about the recent pandemic and how it affected your life? I don’t even want to delve into that one. All of us have been affected by it one way or the other.
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Unfortunately, it is up to us to deal with this. Short of paying big bucks for a mental health therapist, let me share easy ways to help alleviate stress. The little things and adaptations we make in our lifestyle can make a big difference. Situations may differ but our bodies react similarly to the physiological effects of stress. So here goes.
If you’re desperately seeking peace and relief from the hustle and bustle of your demanding life, the good news is that you have the power to adopt simple strategies you can use to combat stress.
I am realistic. You or I may never eliminate stress entirely. I talk to people every day with varying degrees of stress. In fact, a life without stress would be pretty boring. The challenges of life often make it worth living. However, employing a few simple strategies to reduce stress will increase your peace and happiness, even in the midst of life’s storms.
Working out can be a great way to relieve stress. Whether you go jogging, pump some iron, or hit the punching bag for several minutes, the physical activity allows you to channel all the frustration you’re holding inside and release it in a constructive manner. Walk it off: by yourself or with someone. You can never underestimate walking outside and seeing nature, the sun, great weather, and just beholding nature in itself.
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Water has a great calming effect on the brain. It may be because we are closely related to water as organic beings. It gives you time to think, promotes circulation that can also reach your brain, filling brain cells with more oxygen for it to function better. Oxygen is found in our red blood cells. With better circulation, oxygen can get circulated better which helps your body get revitalized.
Music can greatly influence your mood. Among its many benefits of boosted memory, it can lighten your mood, reduce anxiety, and even improve your response to pain. Have you heard of how music calms down children with attention deficit disorders? (ADD).
Music therapy has become relevant to alternative therapies for different ailments. Sometimes, all it takes to gain peace and focus is a few minutes of listening to music that soothes you inside. Different types of music affect your mood in different ways and pick a style that suits your emotional need of the moment can dramatically lower the level of stress you feel inside.
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When you’re feeling stressed, try upbeat music. When you’re down in the dumps, you want something that’ll perk you up and lift your spirits. Few things can lift your mood faster than music. How about picking up that guitar you haven’t strummed in a while? Or tinkering with those white and black keys on your keyboard? Even singing karaoke, or just singing along with the music of your favorite artists can make a difference. Experience music in all its forms. YOu have your own unique way of responding to the music of your choice.
When one is stressed, there are two behaviors in response. To overeat, which can risk unhealthy weight gain, or to under eat, where one can be undernourished and not get the nutrients your body needs to fight stress.
Heard of the proverbial ice cream eating while watching TV after a relationship fail or conflict? Yup, that’s very common. When one feels stressed, there is that feeling of wanting to console that empty feeling through instant gratification such as eating. I have heard of people who shop and overspend, only to realize they don’t really need things they have bought. Even go into debt as one does not think clearly when stressed. Emotion rules. Impulse buying can also be the result of this feeling of wanting to fill a need or an empty feeling.
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If your body isn’t getting the proper nutrition it needs, you’re more likely to feel tired and stressed out.
Breakfast is the most neglected meal of the day for busy people. It is called as so, “Break – the ” fast” from sleeping overnight. Fill that belly and feed that body so you have the energy you need to face the day. And make sure it’s a good one too. Balance out your carbs and protein. It does make a difference. Eating healthy prevents from being sluggish, clouded, droopy, and slow to respond to situations or decision-making.
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Meals and snacks are fuel for your body. Are you eating the types of foods that contribute positively to your health?
Keep track of what you eat in a daily log. This simple step will make you more aware of what you’re eating, which often leads to automatically making healthier choices, like these:
- Drink as much water as possible.
- Add as many fruits and vegetables as you can to your diet.
- Look for tasty, healthier alternatives to junk food.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Small changes in your diet can make a big difference in how you feel and how effectively you handle stress.
Breathing is life. Good gas exchange ensures that your body gets the oxygen it needs to function better. This means move better, think better.
If you learn to control your breathing, you can control the level of stress you feel. Slow, deep breathing takes practice, but a little effort goes a long way. Once you learn to take slow, deep breaths from your belly, you’ll have an unstoppable weapon against stress.
Breathing plays a big part in our lives. Even beyond the obvious biological necessity, it comes into play when exercising, giving birth, easing fears, and even releasing stress.
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Deep breathing slows your heart rate down and relaxes your muscles. It also helps you to calm down mentally. Shallow breaths create a feeling of anxiety within you. Deep breaths fuel your body’s cells with much-needed oxygen and your mind with much-needed confidence in the midst of the challenges you face.
BREATHING TIPS TO OPTIMIZE BENEFITS:
Breathe in through your nose slowly as if trying to fill in your lungs completely. Then, as you exhale, purse your lips as if in a kiss, and count 3 seconds mentally before you completely let all the air out. Repeat this about three times at a time, throughout the day and whenever you get a chance. Doing this deep breathing at least 10 times is also known to lower your blood pressure for a bit.
You can in fact try taking your blood pressure before you do this breathing exercise. After about 10 times, take your blood pressure again. Breathing allows capillaries to open and improve blood flow throughout the body.
With these simple strategies, you can learn to practice peace wherever you are.
Stress is all around us and can come in many shapes and forms. Instead of being tossed about in the midst of your storms, you’ll stand strong and handle challenges more effectively. Life is a gift. Use it wisely.
Experience the confidence and inner peace you deserve by applying these simple stress management strategies today.
Until the next ish!
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