Let’s color!

It’s more than a trend…it’s a madness that infects thousands of people every day. They end up carrying colored pencils and books full of pages with flowers, mandalas and all sort of coloring designs. Yes, coloring! Adults are coloring and they do it because they want to!

This relatively new way of relaxation is gaining fans and followers all over the world. While new designs are launched every season, forms and challenges pop up also to inspire and attract new adepts. Why? people are discovering that their problems, their stress, and their worries can disappear, at least while they are immersed coloring.

A recent article published by the Cleveland Clinic says that according to clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, Psy.D. it has everything to do with refocusing our attention.

Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness. It is a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves. In the same way, cutting the lawn, knitting, or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.”, said Dr. Bea.

All the specialists talking about adult coloring coincide in saying that this activity basically relaxes the brain while is forcing it to focus on a simple action. Coloring doesn’t require exceptional skills, and before starting you already know how the result will be, therefore, there are no expectations that can create anxiety or pressure on yourself. One of the most rewarding benefits could be probably that since your attention is directed to the specific activity you are executing, there are not thoughts about yourself or the problems you might be experiencing, which is what happens when you meditate.

There is no space for negativity while you are coloring. Once you start working on your project, everything is just like the design you are detailing: colorful, beautiful, positive and full of opportunities, and guess what? You are replacing the one that was once your inseparable electronic, for a beautiful box of colored pencils and your designed papers.

In a few words and concluding, coloring will free your brain of pressure, anxiety, and worries. You will have a relaxing time, and who knows? Maybe you have the opportunity to discover that it could be more than a hobby.

So, let’s color! Pack your pencils, print some designs if you don’t have time to buy a book now, and start enjoying a new, healthy, and rewarding activity!

 

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How about a wellness gift?

You don’t have to break your head thinking about original and unique gifts for Christmas. You just have to think about those very special things that you would love and appreciate yourself.

Clothes, jewelry, shoes, electronics, yes, everything is useful, and chances are that all of us would love to receive any of those gifts during Christmas, but did you know that there are several options for you to give the gift of wellness?

Wellness is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle that attracts millions of people around the world every year. It includes all sort of products, services, and activities. So, let’s explore some of those options. You might become the most popular Santa around!

  • Relaxing candles: They are perfect for meditation sessions because they fill the space with wonderful scents, while the offer a decorative option too.

 

  • Yoga Session: If the recipient of the gift is not a yogi yet, for sure, this present will activate the desire to at least know more about one of the most popular and fastest growing activities in the world.

 

  • Essential oils: Also known as volatile oils, or oil of the plants from which they are extracted. These oils are used in aromatherapy to induce relaxation, during meditation or massage sessions.

 

  • Cooking classes: It’s never too late to learn something! If we are talking about cooking, you will agree that there are always great things, tips, and recipes to learn and try, right? Healthy Cooking classes are offered not only in person but online, and they can make a great gift.

 

One of the greatest things about the gift of wellness is that it has a double effect, one in the person who receives it, and another in the one who is giving it. Isn’t that a great way to express your love during these holidays?

 

Hair loss shouldn’t be taken lightly

Losing hair is something that affects much more than the physical appearance.  Who begins to see the changes due to this condition, begins to perceive other effects that can range from anxiety to depression.

For most women, for example, hair is more than just the fibers that cover their skin. Hair could be a very important part of their personality, a way to express their own self, and that’s one of the reasons why hair loss can’t be taken lightly.

Even though hair loss has been linked mainly to guys, women also suffer from it, and it can be as devastating or more as it is for a man. But in both cases, for males or females, the first step before pursuing any hair loss treatment, is to start looking for a possible cause, and according to experts, those causes might vary from men to women. However, there are a few common causes detected that can affect both, male and female patients:

  • Heredity (Family History)
  • Stress
  • Medical Conditions or Infections
  • Some Medicines
  • Poor diet
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Certain Hairstyles

 

For some of those causes, specialists have certain recommendations that could help you to stop or avoid the hair loss process:

  • Avoid tight hairstyles if you have thin and fine hair
  • Consume a balanced diet
  • Before using some beauty treatments, read carefully the labels
  • Avoid extreme temperatures on your hair
  • Take good care of your hair by brushing, cleaning and conditioning when needed

There is no reason to feel desperate. If you believe that the cause of your hair loss goes further, consult your doctor. Sudden hair loss or hairless patches could be a sign of a medical condition that has to be diagnosed by a physician.

 

Holiday stress can be worse than you imagine

For many, it’s the best season of the year, but for others, this is a time of stress, anxiety and even depression. Holidays can be wonderful, colorful and joyful, but at the same time, they involved so many activities and expectations, that they can be also overwhelmingly stressful.

For those who have lost a loved one, this is an inevitable moment to think about them, and to miss them around. Sadness, anxiety, lonely feelings, and nostalgia could be present during the entire season, adding even more pressure.

The good news is that there are ways to cop and handle the situation in order to say bye-bye to the depression and the stress. Let’s focus on what to do to spend a healthy and calm holiday season. Here some tips that experts in behavior and  psychology suggest us to apply:

  • Plan ahead your activities, shopping trips, and meetings. Once you see everything on the calendar, it will be easier for you to know what to expect in terms of time.
  • If you experienced a loss recently, don’t try to avoid or hide your feelings. To acknowledge your own situation will help you to process it.
  • Be honest with yourself and your closed ones. If you are not in the mood to attend a party, let them know.
  • If loneliness is knocking on your door, look out for social,  community, or faith events.
  • Eat and sleep consciously. Your body might need extra energy, but it only comes if you are feeding and resting properly.
  • Physical activity will always help you to relax. Even a short walk around the block could help you to see things differently.
  • Don’t stress about family gatherings. Unexpected guests or tumultuous dinners could be overwhelming, but remember that everything is temporary and, at the end of the day, family, is family.
  • Perfection is imperfect. You are the one who decides what an ideal holiday season is for you. Make the best of what you have around, and enjoy!
  • Shopping while keeping a budget could be difficult, but not impossible. Explore different gift options. There is always a way to say “I care” or  “I love you” without emptying your pockets.

The last tip it’s probably the most important. Seek professional assistance if you need it. If you tried to overcome your sadness, your anxiety, or your depression and you believe it didn’t work, maybe it’s time to ask for help. Nothing is more important than your health!

The benefits of gratitude

Specialists from different disciplines have said this for a long time: there are scientifically proven benefits of gratitude that will inspire you to express it not only during these days around Thanksgiving but every single day of your life.

According to many researchers, gratitude is a powerful practice, so powerful that it could radically change your life and your environment, but for that to happen, you have to practice it conscientiously.

Experts say that once gratitude is part of your daily life, you can see positive changes and effects in your personality, your health, your career, your emotional status, and your social development. Why? Simple, because the world around you will see a person who cares, a person that enjoys life, a person who wants to give back, and that kind of attitudes can only produce positive outcomes.

There are several studies made in the world in order to measure the effects of gratitude in the life of a person. The results are extraordinary!

A grateful person will avoid toxic emotions, reducing also pain, stress, and frustration. We are talking about a person that will have more energy, a better awareness of wellbeing and health, and therefore more initiatives to exercise and to practice better life habits.

But that’s not all. When you feel grateful for your life and everything that happens around you, you tend to be more sensitive to other people, and about situations that otherwise would bother you. Why is that important? Because it allows you to face problems with an optimistic attitude. In terms of career, that’s a huge pro! It will translate into mentoring opportunities, better chances to be recognized and a better performance.

Now, if you have sleep issues, and although it may sound strange, gratitude could be a good answer to your problem, or at least a good beginning. A study published in 2011 in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, says that writing in a gratitude journal before bed could help you to sleep better.

In short, being grateful can bring to your life more happiness, harmony, balance, and success, so, why to reserve it only for one day a year? Let’s practice gratitude every day!

 

The Alzheimer’s World

It’s cruel and rough. It’s mysterious, full of puzzles and questions without answers. The Alzheimer’s world seems to be as strange as dark.

Once a person receives the diagnosis, everything changes. As one of the most challenging and common types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that affects cognitive function and memory. The life expectancy after the diagnosis could be as short as 3 years or go up to 20, but in average we are talking about 8 or 10  years where the patient will experience the damage of the brain, and symptoms like confusion, depression, mental decline, delusion, inability to create new memories, to recognize common things or even to execute simple tasks.

The damage to the brain begins years before a diagnosis could be produced, or even before the first symptoms appear, which is one of the biggest challenges for the science. Even though the causes of Alzheimer’s are unknown, we know that the abnormal deposits of protein in the brain produce a disconnection between cells, causing their death.

The symptoms usually appear after the age of 60, but there are cases of Alzheimer’s in younger people. Now, it’s such a complex disease that it can be diagnosed with complete accuracy only after death during an autopsy, however, there are different physical, neurological, and neuropsychological tests that the specialists perform to distinguish it from other conditions. Those, in conjunction with lab tests, and brain imaging, allow doctors to determine if the patient is suffering from Alzheimer’s or any other disease.

As in any other incurable disease, it affects the entire patient’s environment. Family support and education are essential in order to facilitate the treatment. More than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, and as we said before, there is no cure, its causes are unidentified, and it’s heart-rending.

If you are a caregiver, a family member of a patient, or someone who was recently diagnosed, keep this in mind: You are not alone! Your doubts, your questions, and your concerns could be answered 24/7 calling 1-800-272-3900, the Alzheimer’s helpline. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Some people say that even if the brain forgets, the heart always keeps the marks of love and happiness.

 

 

 

 

Back Pain, as common as uncomfortable

While 80% of all Americans will experience low back pain at least once in their lives, back pain in general it’s also considered one of the main reasons for work absences and doctor visits.

But, why is it so common? Well, we are made of muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, and discs. If we have problems with any of these components, the back pain may appear.  It is important to know that sometimes it’s just impossible to determine the cause of that pain, but what matters in this cases is to find treatment and professional advice.

According to experts, back pain could affect adults between 35 and 55 years old, and as we said before, it could be reflective of any issues with our structures. However, there are different conditions that might be connected with that discomfort. Osteoarthritis of the spine, osteoporosis, herniated or ruptured discs, and pinched nerves are some of those conditions that should be diagnosed and treated by specialists.

Other possible causes of the terrible back pain that not only affects millions of Americans, but also constitutes the leading cause of disability in people younger than 45, are strains, muscle spasms, sciatica, poor posture, and stress…yes, stress can lead to muscle tension in your back, and although it seems incredible, anxiety and depression can make worse the pain, so if you already have that horrible pain, take it easy, rest, and breathe.

Then, what’s the first thing we should do when we first experience that back pain? Think about possible causes to determine if it could be an injury, a posture issue, or something else. Having an idea could help you to make a decision about the next step.

If besides that discomfort you also present other symptoms like numbness, swelling, pain down the legs, fever, weight loss or urinary incontinence, it’s time to visit your doctor.  Also, have in mind that if you have or had cancer, if you have immune systems problems, or are less than 20 and more than 55 years, you too should go to your doctor as soon as the first back pain symptoms appear.

If the pain is persistent for more than 4 weeks, or it doesn’t improve after a couple of days of rest, ice and common pain relievers, it’s better to get a doctor’s opinion. Don’t underestimate the pain and its relative normality. Nobody has to get used to living in pain.