The health benefits of watching the World Cup

It’s the fever that has infected millions of people around the planet, the same that paralyzes businesses, offices, and even traffic…It’s the Soccer World Cup!

Yes, soccer, the game that concentrates two teams of 11 players each in a field where everyone fights for the ball, and where the winner is the team that manages to get more goals to their opponent. Soccer is not only one of the most popular sports in the world, but also the one that attracts every year thousands of American teenagers who want to be part of the soccer wave.

According to recent statistics, the number of high school soccer players in the U.S. reached a record just a year ago with more than 800 thousand boys and girls joining and playing the popular sport.

Then, it’s not strange to see that today everybody stops to watch a game in the middle of the morning or even before the sun goes up. Every 4 years the World Cup gathers the most important national teams and millions of fans want to witness history with them.

Now, if you’re still not part of that mass of people who vibrate with a goal and suffer from their soccer team, you may change your mind after knowing that watching soccer is not only fun but has benefits for your life and for your health.

  • It’s relaxing and distracts you from stress. Since you never know what’s going to happen, it keeps your mind focused on the game and out of your daily problems. It also stimulates the neuronal activity reducing the stress hormone level in your brain.
  • It allows you to scream, jump and vent your emotions without being judged.
  • A soccer game it’s the perfect opportunity and scenario for you to interact and socialize with different people. Classes, background, and even political views stay behind while you and others are watching a game together.

So let yourself get infected by soccer fever and make time for you to enjoy the biggest sports party on the planet, after all, it’s even healthy!

Advertisements

Do I Have Anxiety?

To be nervous, to feel butterflies in your stomach before a meeting or an important situation, you are not alone. In fact, we all are like that! It’s normal and common to worry about big events or complex situations where we are involved.

Now, if that feeling is so strong that it prevents you from leaving the house or doing your normal life, then you may be facing anxiety. According to recent statistics, the anxiety disorder is common in our country with more than 3 million cases per year.

There are many reasons why someone could face anxiety, and according to experts almost everyone experiences some sort of it at some point of their lives, but the important part here is to be able to identify it and to treat it in time.

You should know that there are several anxiety-related disorders and even though some of them could be similar and interact with each other, the common elements on all of them are ongoing fear, worry, excessive nervousness, and inability to live normally due to those feelings.

Who can diagnose anxiety? Initially, you! If your fear and nervousness are out of proportion, you may know that something is wrong. But it’s your primary physician or your mental health doctor who can conduct a physical exam looking for symptoms that could underline a relationship with medications or any other medical condition that could be triggering the anxiety disorder.

Once the anxiety is diagnosed you will probably be referred to a psychiatrist specialized in anxiety and its treatment. Your psychiatrist could provide not only counseling and therapy but also medication for your anxiety disorder.

If you believe that you are suffering from anxiety disorder, act now and talk to your doctor. There is treatment and help available.

Trying to sleep and you can’t? Here is what you can do

You are not alone. The first thing you need to know is that this is more common than you imagine. Insomnia is a very common problem that affects millions of people around the world, and there are all sort of studies, gurus, home remedies, and even miraculous solutions around.  Now, while each case must be handled individually because the causes of insomnia can be related with very personal and specific reasons, there are simple steps that you can take in order to make the problem less invasive as soon as it presents to you.

So, as it’s very difficult to talk about how to cure or solve insomnia, let’s better focus on what you can do at the precise moment when you start struggling to get to sleep, or when you wake up in the middle of the night facing probably a long night.

We all know that a night with bad sleep translates into a bad mood, low energy, and tiredness the next day, and nobody wants to go through that. The good news is that some experts say that there are easy tips for you to apply in order to detect possible habits or problems that could be affecting your sleep.

  1. Are you taking new medications?
  2. Did you change your work schedule recently?
  3. Are you going through a new diet program?
  4. How frequently are you exercising?
  5. When was your last meal before you went to bed?
  6. What’s the most stressful part of your day?

By answering those questions you might detect basic issues that could be affecting your ability to fall asleep, or just to sleep without interruption.

Some unhealthy habits, like late meals, lack of exercise, sudden change of habits and/or routines, can be part of the problem, and they can be easily addressed by you, once you are conscious about their presence around you.

Some basic recommendations from experts are to write down your regular schedules so you can detect holes, changes or possible alerts. Set up time for you to exercise every day, even 15 minutes of good walking could help you to release the stress. Analyse your diet. Remember that some foods are difficult to digest and they shouldn’t be part of your dinner because your metabolism won’t have enough time to process them. Finally, turn of all the screens at least an hour before you go to sleep. The blue light emitted by those screens disrupts your body production of melatonin and it combats sleepiness. Don’t feel hopeless, there are ways to fight insomnia, and seems like part of the solution could be in your own hands!

 

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!

What happened in Vegas… affected all of us

It happened miles away from Florida, more than 2,400 to be accurate. However, the impact of the attack that claimed the lives of 58 people and wounded almost 500 in Las Vegas touched each and every one of the lives of this country’s residents, in one way or another.

According to mental health specialists, that’s not strange. We live as a community and the fact of knowing that so many people died in a matter of minutes, people like you or me, housewives, nurses, teachers, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, wives, and husbands, could shake anyone and sow fears.

Every time we hear tragic stories like that attack in Las Vegas, and who were the victims, it’s inevitable to find similarities with our life or our own loved ones. It’s impossible not to identify ourselves with one or more of the involved people. That could be the cause of stress, anxiety and even depression, it doesn’t matter how close or far away are you from the epicenter.

This week it happened in Las Vegas, last year, in June, it was Orlando, in 2015 San Bernardino was the scenario, and like those, every violent episode brings questions, fears, and doubts that could affect our mental health, our emotional stability, and our peace.

Experts say that those scars will be there forever. It’s impossible to delete from our memory and our heart the pain that dozens of families have experienced, the anxiety that entire cities have to face after such a tragedy. But rather than fearing what could come next, specialists say, it’s important to prepare for future events.

If you feel that this situation is overwhelming for you, it’s important to take some action:

  • Avoid news exposure at least until you feel that you can handle it.
  • Talk to other people. Express your fears and ask others how are they coping with their own.
  • Consult your physician if you feel like the anxiety and the fear are taking over.
  • Your family and close friends are your best support. It’s healthy to open the conversation with them to listen how are they feeling about this.
  • It helps to discuss the specific situation that causes more anxiety.
  • Look for relaxation methods that you can apply easily and constantly.

Distance doesn’t define who we are and how we feel. The important thing is to be able to face the situations that cause us pain or anguish in the best possible way, and always thinking and knowing that there are ways to get ahead.

 

Be ready! Adult acne is increasing and it could be part of your life

Adult acne is increasing and it’s more common than many may think. The bad news for women is that as a matter of fact, females are more likely to have it than men.

But, why? Why is it that after having passed adolescence, adults might worry again or for the first time in their lives about pimples?

The answer is not simple. According to many experts, there are several possible causes, but here are the most common:

  1. Hormonal changes
  2. Stress
  3. Diet
  4. Cleansing routine
  5. Health issues

 

Dermatologists say that the first step is to determine the cause of your breakouts, so, we could start going over the list.

Hormonal changes are difficult to detect by the patient, but women could pay special attention to their menstrual cycle. If the acne appears around that time of the month, that’s a good clue to follow.

A good way to fight stress is exercising, and it also helps you to promote a better health in general.

In terms of your diet, experts recommend a low-fat consumption routine, with a lot of water and fresh veggies and fruits.

Now, this might sound crazy, but if you are cleansing your skin too much, that could be the cause of the acne breakout. Dermatologists say that a gentle face wash, once a day is good and enough to protect your skin.

If you follow a healthy diet, if you are taking good care of your skin and your environment and still the acne is persistent, it could be time to visit your doctor. There are different health issues that only a physician could diagnose in order to let you know if they are related to your acne.

As always, don’t give up and take it easy. The most important thing is to take action.