You depend on your immune system to fight off foreign substances that could make you sick. It will even help you recover if any of these contaminants attack your body.
A healthy lifestyle strengthens your body’s defense network. As a result, you catch fewer colds and reduce your risk for many serious health conditions. Try these natural methods to boost your immune system and enjoy better health.
Foods and Eating Habits That Boost Your Immune System
1. Fill up half your plate with fruits and vegetables.Antioxidants are what superfoods are all about. They help prevent and repair cell damage. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is the best way to meet your requirements for important nutrients. Most significant are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
2. Get enough zinc and selenium. Two other important antioxidants are zinc and selenium. Good sources for zinc include seafood, beans, red meat, poultry, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products. Selenium is also found in many foods like beef, poultry, tuna, and whole grains.
3. Watch your calories.Studies show that being overweight can depress your immune system. Excess fat cells are linked to chronic inflammation and decreased production of antibodies. Maintaining a healthy body weight can help fend off diabetes, heart disease, and other threats.
4. Limit sugars and fats. Diets high in sugar and saturated fats make your white blood cells less effective in guarding against bacteria. Stick to sensible portions of healthy fats like olive oil and cut back on soft drinks.
Helpful Lifestyle Changes
1. Reduce stress.Chronic stress bombards your body with hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that interfere with your immune system. Find relaxation techniques that work for you like meditation or massage.
2. Get adequate sleep and rest. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to keep their immune functions in top shape. As much as possible, go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
3.Indulge in healthy pleasures.During exercise and enjoyable activities, your brain releases chemicals that reinforce good feelings. As a result, this helps triggers the production of IGA proteins that boost your natural defenses.
4. Cultivate friendships.Social connections are essential to our physical health. The quality of friendships is more important than the quantity, so focus on whatever arrangements make you feel loved.
5. Engage in regular exercise. People who exercise regularly produce more leukocyte cells. Furthermore, they have a better chance of avoiding infection. Moderate exercise is all it takes, so go for a walk for a half-hour at least three days a week.
6. Drink alcohol in moderation.Repairing the damage from heavy drinking can weaken your immune system. As a result, you are more likely to succumb to any bug that’s going around. Play it safe by sticking to a daily maximum of two drinks for men and one for women.
7. Consider herbal treatments. Medical experts caution that further research is needed, but people have been using herbs for centuries to promote good health. Work with an experienced practitioner. Check references carefully and tell your doctor about any products you decide to take.
8. Observe good handwashing habits..The benefits of frequent and thorough hand washing are indisputable. Use soap and water or hand sanitizers to reduce the risk of infection for yourself and others.
Take care of yourself so your immune system. By doing so, can focus on unwanted invaders like germs and viruses. Simple steps like eating right and reducing stress will pay off in fewer sick days. It may even extend your life by reducing your risk for cancer and other serious conditions. Add some of these immune-strengthening strategies to your life today.
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.
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!
👉👉👉The Power of Deep Breathing & What You Should Know
Any Questions? Any thoughts you may have about these topics, do get in touch!
What Everyone Ought to Know About Diabetes and Sleep
You probably know that watching what you eat is important for managing your diabetes, but you may not realize that how you sleep can have a big impact too. In fact, the relationship between diabetes and sleep runs two ways.
Sleep issues can increase your risk for diabetes, and diabetes can interfere with your sleep.
If you’re living with diabetes, ask yourself whether you’re tossing and turning at night. Learning more about the connection between diabetes and sleep can help you to protect your health.
Discover how you can boost brainpower, enhance your mood, restore energy levels, and nourish and protect your brain.
Diabetes Management Tips for Protecting Your Sleep:
There are several common symptoms of diabetes that are likely to keep you up at night:
– Always thirsty
– Frequent Hunger
– Blurry Vision
– Tingling in the legs
– Numbness in the legs, feet
– Frequent urination
– Slow to heal wounds or bruises
Try these strategies for keeping them under control:
1.Eat a balanced diet. When you’re tired, you may be tempted to seek energy from junk food and excess calories, but that backfires by spiking your blood sugar levels, which means you’ll be making frequent trips to the bathroom at night to urinate.Break the cycle by consuming adequate portions of wholesome foods earlier in the day.
5.Lose weight. Slimming down can help you to prevent diabetes or reduce the symptoms. It also lowers your risk for apnea.
6.Talk with your doctor. If you’re still up at night, your doctor may suggest a sleep study. Being monitored while you sleep is an effective way to target your individual needs.
Sleeping Tips for Lowering Your Risk of Diabetes:
1.Sleep deprivation can cause hormonal changes similar to diabetes.When you’re short on rest, your body may have trouble using insulin efficiently, so your blood sugar rises. In addition, lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, which is also a risk factor for diabetes.
2.Keep a consistent schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day. That includes weekends and holidays.
3.Deal with stress. Knowing how to relax makes it easier to drop off to sleep faster. Develop a daily meditation practice or find a hobby that helps you release tension.
4.Darken your bedroom. Bright lights stimulate your brain. Stay away from television and computer screens for at least a couple of hours before bedtime. Consider installing blackout curtains in your bedroom.
5.Block out the noise. If noisy neighbors and car alarms are disrupting your dreams, screen out the background sounds. Use a white noise machine or turn on a fan.
7.Exercise regularly.Many studies show that adults who exercise report having better sleep. Aim to work out for at least 30 minutes on at least 3 days a week. Find a variety of activities you enjoy and will want to stick with.
More than 30 million Americans are currently living with diabetes and that number is expected to double or triple by 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sleeping well can help you to reduce your risk or manage the symptoms of diabetes so you can lead a longer and more active life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 levelof 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.
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.
Working at a desk may look safe, but it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. While the occupational hazards in an office are different from those at a construction site or hospital, it’s still wise to take some precautions.
A growing number of studies have raised concerns about the effects of sitting for long periods, which can include increased risk of heart conditions, diabetes, certain cancers, and weight gain. That’s especially troubling considering that the average American spends more than 10 hours a day sitting.
Add job-related stress to the mixture and you can see how the consequences can start to add up.
Learn what steps you can take to counteract the downside of your desk job. Start with these ideas for protecting your health and wellbeing.
Tips for Protecting Your Physical Health:
1.Adjust your posture. Slouching can cut off your circulation and make your lower backache. Try drawing your shoulder blades down and back to open up your chest. A lumbar support pillow may help too.
2.Take frequent breaks. Studies show that moving around about every half hour reduces the negative effects of sitting. In fact, it may be even more effective than regular exercise. Make it a habit to stretch or walk around your office for a few minutes.
Just a few quick stretches you can do to give your backrest, get back circulation to the spine and legs. Sitting for long periods can cause blood clots, leg pain, and muscle stiffness.
STANDING WALL STRETCHES
Stand facing wall. Slide both hands up to the wall as shown, feel your back stretch, imagine like you are lifting your body off your hips. Hold this for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times as necessary and as tolerated. This gives you a nice stretch and elongation to the torso, relieves compression on your spine especially the discs.
To stretch the sides, slide both hands up about 45 degrees to the left side. Hold for about 5-10 seconds, repeat the movement to the right side. Perform this stretch alternating between the right and the left directions to balance the spine.
Even just a few of these simple stretches can make a difference on your back. I recommend doing these stretches at least every 2- 3 hours/ This is especially if you tend to work 4 hours or more seated.
3.Align your wrists. Typing with a bent wrist could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Rest them occasionally and ensure your workstation is set up ergonomically.
4.Rest your eyes. If your eyes are dry, and your vision is blurred, you may be staring at the computer screen too long. Look away occasionally and do eye exercises like blinking or staring at something in the distance.
5.Stay hydrated.Drinking plenty of water helps to maintain your body temperature, metabolism, and heart health. Aim for 8 glasses a day.
6.Bring snacks. It’s easier to resist the vending machines when you have a supply of wholesome foods. Good choices include nuts, baby carrots, and hummus.
7.Pack your lunch. Save money and calories by bringing your lunch to work. You can prepare it the night ahead if you tend to run out of time in the morning.
Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health:
8.Make friends. Work buddies increase job satisfaction. Get to know your coworkers and look for common interests. Share stories about your personal life and encourage them to do the same.
9.Connect in person. Face-to-face contact also contributes to stronger relationships. Try dropping by someone’s office instead of sending an email.
10.Wake up early. Do you barely see the sun because you’re inside all day? Rising an hour earlier could enhance your mood and give you more time to work out and eat a hearty breakfast.
11.Use your vacation days. Letting your vacation days go to waste undermines your health and productivity, so time off is beneficial for you and your employer. Even just planning a vacation can lift your spirits, so make a list of your favorite destinations and start researching them.
12.Decorate your space. A cluttered desk can be a source of stress. Find an organizing system that works for you, and put files you rarely use out of sight. While you’re at it, add in a few personal touches and a pretty plant.
13.Focus on helping others. Any job is more meaningful and gratifying if you keep the purpose in mind. When you’re having a rough day, think about the people who benefit from your efforts.
With the current health environment, we have all heard about the effects of COVID 19 on the respiratory system. The need for ventilators and a continuous supply of oxygen just to survive was common. For survivors who lived through the corona-virus onslaught, their fight was fierce. Unable to breathe on their own and the anxiety of other complications are known facts.
It makes one realize that something that we enjoy for free every day can mean the fine line between life and death once your body succumbs to the coronavirus.
Deep breathing techniques are often cited as an important tool that can help you immediately alleviate stress, anxiety, frustration, and anger. This is also especially useful to the COVID 19 survivors.
Many people have difficulty practicing deep breathing exercises because they either don’t believe that it can help or they try once and are not motivated to try again. No judgment, as I myself am guilty of forgetting this very simple activity that can make a difference in how your day goes. So I have programmed my watch to remind me to take deep breaths every hour.
The same is true for breathing exercises, however, as is true for many other things: practice makes perfect. It is a surprising fact that many of us do not really know the proper and ideal breathing pattern! Singers however are trained to breathe using the diaphragm efficiently for volume.
The more you get into a routine of practicing breathing exercises, the better you will become at doing so. Thiswill give you the ability to reduce stress, anger, and frustration with more ease than before.
Why do breathing exercises work to relax our bodies and minds?
The body has two systems within the nervous system: the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system.
Both of these systems contribute to the reasons why deep breathing exercises can calm us down.
Discover how the nature of our physiological systems contributes to the positive effects.
The Fight or Flight Response
Our biological systems have a natural ability to react during times of stress, especially in those situations where we face a significant threat. As a matter of survival, humans have this innate ability. In prehistoric times, humans came face-to-face with all sorts of wild animals, such as bears or tigers.
In response to such a threat, our body activates the Fight, Flight, or Freeze Response, or FFF reaction.
The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the physical sensations we get when we feel stress, anxiety, or severe anger and frustration. These can include sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and faster breathing. The activation of the FFF response is preparing our bodies to either run, fight the threat, or freeze.
The problem with the activation of the Fight or Flight Response is that it can be activated whenever we perceivethat we’re up against a threat – whether we really are facing a threat or not.
Even though we experience negative situations in our lives, this does not necessarily make them a threat to our physical well-being.
Situations involving personal relationships, work responsibilities, work promotions, verbal arguments with others, and bad news about your health or the health of loved ones are just a few scenarios that can trigger the flight or fight response.
Despite the fact that all of these situations may be emotionally hurtful or painful, our body’s nervous system may interpret them as physically threatening. As such, our bodies activate the natural FFF response to get us ready to fight or run away.
Triggering the Opposite Reaction
In order to tell our biological systems that the situations we’re facing don’t require a fight or flight response, we must trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system produces the opposite response to the FFF, causing a relaxation response instead.
One other important aspect of the Fight or Flight Response is the way that it diverts your blood flow. To prepare you to fight or to get ready to run from a perceived threat, blood is diverted away from the brain to the extremities in the body, such as the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Deep Breathing Reverses This Process
Breathing exercises send the blood supplies back from the extremities (since we’re not concerned with running or fighting) to the areas of the brain that allow us to think, reason, and problem solve.
TIP: When you notice that your blood pressure is high, take slow deep breaths for at least 10 repetitions. Then take your blood pressure again. You will notice a drop in the reading just with deep breathing. Although this may not be the ultimate solution for controlling high blood pressure it can at least help you deal with it for the moment.
This is why breathing exercises work to calm us when we experience acute stress, anger, or frustration. Blood is returning to the brain and it becomes easier for us to think.