Healthy Vibes
Daily healthy vibes

We always hear that stress is terrible for our mental and physical health. What we don’t always hear is that stress can actually be an advantage in some situations. Feelings of stress can stem from almost every aspect of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to allow it to get out of control. Stress can actually be an indicator that we’re challenging ourselves, pushing ourselves to reach our goals.

If you’re feeling a little more stressed out that normal, take a look at these five ways that stress can actually be used as a tool. Don’t let stress hold all the cards in your life, but try to use it to your advantage.

1. Use it to Create a Positive Attitude

Although this seems a little counterintuitive, you can actually use stress as an indicator to create a more positive outlook on your life. If you’re feeling stressed out about past mistakes or some unwelcome emotions, don’t linger on them, simply let them go.

You’re feeling stressed because these things aren’t useful to think about any more than you should. Your mind and body are telling you to let them go.

2. Let it Teach You to Let Go of Control

In addition to letting it transform your attitude, you can also use it to let go of your misplaced desire to be in control.

This is more of an issue for some people than it will be for others, but feeling stressed can be a sign that you need to stop trying to take control of every situation. It’s no secret that people like to be in control, but there are some scenarios where it simply isn’t an option. Listen to your stress and let it teach you to let it all go.

3. Harbor a New Found Perspective

Stress can result from a number of different things in our lives, which means that it could be time for a change. If you’re feeling stressed out about a relationship for example, it could be time to look at that relationship from a different perspective. Solve this issue by changing your environment, improving yourself in one way or another, or take the time to try new things. You may find that a new perspective eliminates your stress completely.

4. Share Your Emotions with Others

One of the worst parts about being stressed out is that you just feel drained both emotionally and physically. Although this usually makes us want to be alone, sharing is really the best way to combat these feelings.

Talk to the people around you who care and want to listen; these people are your support group and they want you to get better. Don’t let stress keep you from sharing with those closest to you.

5. Get Some Rest

Sleep is one of the best ways to fight off stress in our lives. Stress can actually be the result of not getting enough sleep in the first place. Getting a full night’s rest will make you feel like yourself in the morning, and it will fight off those negative emotions or worries. Adults should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

When I became a dog owner, I didn’t think I was going to be one of those people who saw their relationship with their dog as a legitimate connection. From the outside, those people seem weird; we all think it. But now that I’ve been responsible for my dog for the last three years, I’ve come to realize how inescapable that feeling is. Even though I have a girlfriend, I have a loving family, and I’m surrounded by good friends, I can’t help but think my dog knows me the best. Needless to say, it’ll be devastating when my dog is gone, like it is for most dedicated pet owners.

The problem is that most dogs just don’t live that long. If your dog lives around 15 years, that’s considered a pretty long lifespan for your furry friend. Some of the large breeds, Great Danes in particular, are only expected to live around seven years, and that’s the average. When you know you’re going to be connected to this dog emotionally from the moment they’re yours, this can definitely put a strain on the decision to even get one at all.

However, a seven-year-long study led by the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London found that a drug called pimobendan delays the onset of heart failure linked to mitral valve disease, or MVD, in dogs for an average of 15 months. When multiple heart valves become damaged or infected, blood flow to and from the heart isn’t as easy; this is what causes MVD. This is the most common heart disease for dogs, especially small dogs.

Most dogs who suffer from heart disease die within two years of its start, but this drug could counteract the condition long enough for at least another year. Though it has to be proven through various scans and ultrasounds that a dog has MVD before a veterinarian can prescribe the owner the drug. This can be a problem because heart disease will rarely make itself apparent through physical symptoms, other than a heart murmur. Another reason why owners should make going to the vet a regular occurrence.

Around one in every 25 dogs will show signs of heart disease. In the United Kingdom alone, over 250,000 dogs likely suffer from the disease, MVD. If this statistic gets bumped up to a more global scale, the number of dogs and owners who could benefit from this drug increases drastically.

Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t even realize that this problem exists. The fact that this particular disease effects smaller breeds rather than large breeds, breeds that typically have heart problems, makes the issue even worse.

This study was actually terminated early because it was deemed unethical to withhold the drug from dogs in the placebo group. The evidence was so conclusive that no further research was even necessary to draw an in-depth conclusion. For pets, this type of study was unprecedented in the field because it was already up to the standards of human medical trials.

Due to the study’s findings, we can all expect to have a few more great moments with our furry companions. No drug will be able to give us the time that we’d like, but that’s just a part of life. All we can do is give our dogs the best possible lives, and all the bones, they could ever want.

 

Negative, harmful energy can find its way into our homes.  Whatever the reason for it entering, it’s important to perform some regular rituals to rid our homes of it.  Regularly removing negative energy from your living space will help restore balance and harmony. You should repeat the following 4 cleansing rituals if someone is sick, a lot of people have entered your home, you moved into a new home, you feel negative emotions, or negative occurrences keep arising.

1. Burn sage, frankincense, and copal

Burning sage is one of the oldest and fastest ways to remove negative energy from your home. To perform a sage cleansing, open your front door and the windows in the house. Starting from the back of the space, light the sage, let it burn a moment, then blow the flame out.

Proceed to walk around the room covering as much of it as you can. Using a feather or feather fan, waft the sage smoke into the corners of the room up to the ceiling. Make sure to go into every room as you move from the back of the house to the front. When you’ve reached the front, walk out the door and sage around the door and frame. Leave the sage outside to allow it to burn off.  Then light some frankincense resin or copal incense and perform the walk again.

Doing this will ward the negative energy off on a deeper level.

2. Salt the corners, windows and entrances of your home

Pour sea salt into the four corners of your rooms and let it sit for 48 hours. This will absorb the negative energy of previous owners, if you are just moving in, or the negative energy of people who are sick or arguing. After the 48 hours, either vacuum or sweep the salt and throw it away. For extra protection, grind up saffron and mix it in with the salt. In Tibetan tradition, evil energies do not like the smell of saffron, so they won’t enter a space if saffron has been used.

Then, clean the doors and windows of your home thoroughly using a mixture of the juice of 5 lemons, a cup of salt and a 1/4 cup of white vinegar added to a bucket of water (the mixture is strong, so use gloves).  Once the surfaces are dry, pour sea salt on the window sills and on the floor by the door to prevent the negative energies from re-entering your home.

3. Use protection crystals

Black tourmaline absorbs negative energy from people and spaces.  To use it, place a piece in each corner of a room. Doing this builds a protective shield to prevent negative energy from entering your space.  It also absorbs electromagnetic energy, so keeping it near your Internet router, television, computer, and other devices protects you from their harmful energy, also.

Black tourmaline eases anxiety and depression, so holding it in your hands can pull the negative energy from your own body out.

4. Add sound

Think about all of those scary, haunted houses you see in horror movies.  They’re usually empty, dark and quiet.  A quiet space attracts negative energy, which is why sound is such a powerful cleansing method.  Walk around your home ringing a bell, chimes or using a singing bowl to prevent negativity from residing in your space.

Elon Musk and Tesla are doing some great things in terms of renewable energy. If you aren’t familiar with Musk’s master plan part two, you should go to Tesla’s website and check it out for yourself. Not only does he plan on making homes 100 percent sustainable through the use of solar energy, but he plans to do the same thing with his automobiles. Soon, you’ll be able to meet all of your renewable energy needs through one company.

However, making sustainable homes and cars isn’t enough for the super entrepreneur, and he’s recently powered an entire island in the South Pacific Ocean using solar energy. The island of Ta’u and its 600 residents now have their electricity nearly 100 percent supplied by a micro grid of battery storage systems and a single solar power plant.

The entire project took under a year to implement and it now consists of a 1.4 megawatt micro grid of 5,328 solar panels. Although the island is close to being a sun-soaked paradise, that’s technically enough energy to keep them powered for three days total, even without the sun.

The project is a result of the continued collaboration between SolarCity and Tesla, which is behind his new solar panels and sustainable energy plans for the United States. As the two companies merge, they are continuing to push the boundaries of solar power and it’s use in everyday life.

The project was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Interior. The locals are hoping it will sort out their decades of struggle with unreliable electricity due to their isolation, and end blackouts entirely.

In a SolarCity blog post, local grocery store owner Keith Ahsoon describes the impact of the project on the island.

“I remember growing up using candlelight. And now, in 2016, we were still experiencing the same problems. I recall a time they weren’t able to get the boat out here for two months. We rely on that boat for everything, including importing diesel for the generators for all our electricity. Water systems here also use pumps, everyone in the villages uses and depends on that.”

Best of all for the residents of the island is that their bills will drastically decrease in cost. SolarCity claims that the project isn’t a glimpse into the future, but an example of what is possible right now, in the present.

Both SolarCity and Tesla hope that other islands will begin following suit, and although this is a small project relative to the global energy crisis, it’s a major step in the right direction.

It’s important to understand that solutions to the energy crisis and our addiction to fossil fuels exist. Solar power and renewable, sustainable energy sources aren’t reserved for the future; we are capable of making the necessary changes right now. What starts with an island in the South Pacific will grow to involve entire regions, countries, and then the rest of the world. We need more ideas and more entrepreneurs willing to put forth the time and money for the sake of the globe.

There’s nothing good about being an alcoholic. It can and will disrupt your relationships, it will make you hard to be around for an extended period of time, and it will impede your ability to hold a full-time job. Not only does it create chaos when it comes to your social circle and everyday life, but it also ruins your physical and mental health. Alcoholics are not healthy, and their addictions can wreak havoc on their bodies and their brains.

In the modern age of stress and fast-paced lifestyles, identifying alcoholism can be problematic. There are a number of people who can drink alcohol regularly, but still remain relatively functional. Friends and family can easily ignore the warning signs because no one wants to believe a loved one has a problem with addiction. Here are six warning signs someone is a high-functioning alcoholic.

1. They Choose Alcohol Over Food

You may first start to notice someone close to you is an alcoholic when you rarely see them eat. For breakfast lunch and dinner, they show no interest in solid food, but only consume alcoholic beverages. They also talk about their love for beer and other drinks to excess.

This is a serious sign that often gets overlooked.

2. They Don’t Get Hungover

Alcoholics are used to having large amounts of alcohol in the blood, which means that they have to drink a lot in order to feel the impact the next morning. If you notice that your friend or loved one is drinking large amounts but seems unaffected the next day, this could be a pretty good indication that they have a problem.

3. They Become Irritable if Not Drinking

This is a classic sign with addiction in general, not just alcohol. When someone is addicted to a substance, the most pressing issue they have is getting their hands on more of that substance.

Alcoholics are no different, and they will become extremely irritable if they can’t drink when they want to. In extreme cases, you’ll start to see the psychological symptoms of withdraw in a day or two of abstinence.

4. A Loss of Memory or Weak Brain Function

Alcohol directly affects the nervous system of the body, which impacts a person’s ability to think. Memory loss and weak brain function are serious indicators that someone has a problem with alcohol as a result of excess drinking. If you want to test whether or not this is the case for someone in your life, ask them what was happening around them at the bar or place they were drinking the night before. If they can’t recall, they could have a serious problem.

5. They Scramble for Justifications

When someone has an alcohol problem that they don’t want to admit, they will scramble in order to justify their excessive drinking.

Most of these justifications will be illogical, and a person without an alcohol addition will be able to spot them immediately. Even when faced with the horrible health problems that drinking causes, they will come back with an excuse that doesn’t at all justify what they’re doing to their bodies.

6. Regular Behavioral Changes

A person with a strong addiction to alcohol will go through behavioral changes or suffer from mood swings. A person who is regularly soft spoken or polite may become aggressive or more easily agitated when drinking. This will cause them to want to spend more time alone rather than with their friends or families.

“You’re crazy – that never happened.” “You’re imagining things again.” “It’s all in your head.” “You know you have a bad memory.” Does your partner say things like this to you on a regular basis? Do you often start questioning your own perception of reality, even your own sanity, within your relationship? If so, your partner may be using what mental health professionals call, “gaslighting.”

The term comes from the 1938 stage play, “Gas Light,” and the 1944 film adaptation of the same name. The premise in both stage and film adaptations involves a husband’s attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the gas-powered lights in their home, and then he denies that the light changed when his wife points it out.

It is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts, and sanity.  This gives the abusive partner a lot of power; and we all know that abuse is about power and control.  Once an abusive partner has broken down the victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship.

Gaslighting usually happens very gradually in a relationship.  In fact, the abusive partner’s actions may seem harmless at first.

Over time, however, these abusive patterns continue and a victim can become confused, anxious, isolated, and depressed.  They can lose all sense of what is actually happening. Then, they start relying on the abusive partner more and more to define reality, creating a very difficult situation from which  to escape.

Knowing about gaslighting can help bring awareness and even prevent it from happening in the future. If you notice your significant other, or even a friend or family member, causing you to doubt yourself constantly and trying to make you think something’s wrong with you in many ways, there is probably something wrong with your relationship.

Don’t let people manipulate you.  Trust your own judgment and decisions. Don’t let someone else change your perception of who you are, and stay true to yourself and who you want to be.

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Relationships take some work, but how much work you’re willing to put in is entirely up to you. If you truly care about your significant other, putting in the time is something that you’ll want to do, and it won’t be that hard either. However, there is definitely a line that can easily be crossed. A good relationship that’s worth staying in won’t feel like work at all.

There will be things that both of you do for the other, but no one will be working more as an individual, you’ll be working together. Take a look at these seven ways you can step up your relationship, and put in a little effort for the person you care about the most.

1. Be Thoughtful

Being thoughtful is something that you should practice in all your relationships, but it’s essential when it comes to your romantic relationships. Loving someone means that you think about their needs, feelings, and desires just as much as you do your own. Being thoughtful can be as simple as remembering a birthday or anniversary, and it can also mean you do something nice when your partner is stressed out.

2. Encourage Your Partner

When it comes to your significant other, you need to be a cheerleader.

Don’t break them down or criticize them when they’re pursuing their goals; you need to be build them up and be as encouraging as you can.

If you find yourself feeling jealous when your partner achieves something, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship as a whole.

3. Develop a Sense of Humor

This is particularly important when it comes to perceiving yourself. For example, if you say or do something mistakenly, laugh it off and move on.

No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who takes themselves too seriously, and it will force your partner to walk on eggshells.

4. Take Care of Yourself

When you’re single, chances are you want to look and feel your best in order to attract a partner. However, this way of thinking can switch when you’ve entered into a long-term relationship.

Taking care of yourself by working out or eating healthily will make your partner feel important; they’ll notice you trying to be your best for their sake.

5. Try to Be Surprising and Spontaneous

It’s easy to get into a routine, especially with your partner. You need to be surprising in order to keep things from getting stale.

If you find yourself already knowing what’s going to happen in the next couple of days, change things up and do something you’ve never done before. This can be simple, like going to a new restaurant or trying out a new activity.

6. Just Listen and Pay Attention

Attentiveness is extremely important in a relationship, and it has the power to make your partner feel important, or completely unimportant. When your partner is talking or telling you a story, engage with them so they know you’re paying attention.

You don’t have to be able to recite what they said verbatim, but ask questions and look them in the eye as they communicate with you.

7. Assume Responsibility

Taking responsibility for your actions is important in a relationship for obvious reasons, but you also need to take responsibility for the baggage you carry around as well. We all have baggage that we’ve gathered from past relationships, and it will impact our future relationships forever. Address it with your partner and own it; they will have to do the same.

One of my best friends stayed in an unhappy relationship for years.  I often wondered why, but didn’t say anything to her for a long time.  I felt that, if she wanted to talk to me about it, she would.  Then, one rare occasion when we were alone together, I asked her why she stayed when she was obviously so unhappy.  She got so angry with me for asking that she walked out and refused to speak to me for over a year.

So, I waited.  I let her have her space.  It was only after she finally left him that she called me.  She came over to my house and we talked almost all night.  The reasons she gave me for staying with him both surprised me and didn’t surprise me.  They were all of the same reasons listed below.

If you have a friend like mine and are really confused as to why he/she stays in their unhappy relationship, I hope this helps you understand.

1. Children

This was the main reason my friend gave me for staying in an unhappy relationship for so long.  She didn’t want to break up her family.  Her children loved their father and she couldn’t bear the thought of them being hurt.

She also didn’t want to have to go through a custody battle and didn’t want to have to give up birthdays/holidays/weekends with them.  What she slowly came to realize is that it was hurting them to see their parents so unhappy.

2. Finances

Reason number 2 for her was finances.  She didn’t want to have to move from their home, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to afford to live there without her husband’s income.  She had quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom and hadn’t been out there in the job market for years.  Luckily, she was able to find a job that would support her and her children comfortably with the help of child support.

But, she did have to find more affordable housing.  Something else that helped her was her parents paying for a divorce attorney for her.  The cost of divorce is mind-boggling expensive.  She never would have been able to do it without her parents’ help.

3. Time invested

In my friend’s case, she and her husband had been together for over 10 years.  That’s a lot of time invested in a relationship and she felt that she couldn’t just walk away from it.  She had also built a life with her husband.  They had a house that she had worked hard maintaining and improving.  They had a lot of mutual friends she was afraid of losing.  She loved her in-laws and was afraid they would hate her for leaving.

And, she also thought that if she just gave it time……

4. Things will get better

She kept thinking things would get better.  She had a beautiful home, great kids, friends, a husband.  She should be the happiest woman in the world.

So, she thought maybe something was wrong with her.  She thought that if she just worked harder to be a better wife/mother/person, and gave it more time, everything would get better.  She asked her husband to go to counseling with her, but he refused.  So, she started seeing a therapist by herself and what she discovered through therapy helped her finally make the decision to leave.

5. Public opinion

My friend worked so hard to keep up the public facade that everything was great, she was afraid of what would happen if she left the relationship.

What would people think?  Would they all think she is a failure?  Will her family and friends think she’s wrong?  Will her in-laws hate her?  She didn’t want to have to explain over and over again what happened.  She didn’t want the public scrutiny and judgment.

6. You still care

My friend still loved her husband.  They had built a life together.  It was extremely hard for her to leave because of this fact alone.  The relationship wasn’t working for her, but that didn’t mean she didn’t love him anymore.  She told me that divorcing him hurt her as much as his death would have and she grieved for a long time.  It took her years to even begin dating again.

As you can see, there are many reasons why people stay in relationships they’re not happy in.  If you know someone like this, the only thing you can do is continue to love and support them without judgment.  They are the only one who can decide what is best for them.  Maybe, like my friend, they will decide to leave.  Maybe they won’t.  The decision is theirs alone to make.

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Chronic pain is defined as a prolonged physical pain that lasts longer than the natural healing process.  The pain may be caused by injury, inflammation or disorders of the nervous system.  Chronic pain can make it very difficult for some people to move with ease and can stifle the ability of someone to function normally.  It can lead to addiction to pain medication, which only makes things worse.

Many people already know that emotional stress can lead to stomachaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches.  But you might not know that it can also cause other physical complaints and even chronic pain. Studies have found that the more anxious and stressed people are, the more tense and constricted their muscles are, over time causing the muscles to become fatigued and inefficient.

So, let’s take a look at 6 types of chronic pain that could be caused by emotional/psychological distress:

1. Head

Headaches or migraines can be brought on by the stress of day to day life. If you get chronic headaches, you need to take some time for yourselves on a daily basis.  Relieving the body of stress may help to ease any head pain.

2. Neck

Neck pain does not mean kids are driving you crazy!  Pain in the neck could be caused by holding on to grudges or being unable to let go of past grievances. It may be forgiveness of another person or even forgiveness of yourself.  It is important to think about the things you love about yourself and others to fight this pain.

3. Shoulders

Shoulder pain is a sign that you may be carrying a heavy emotional burden. Basically, you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Try to think of ways to solve this emotional problem or share the load with trusted friends or family.

4. Upper Back

Lack of emotional support can manifest in upper back pain. Maybe you don’t feel appreciated, or you’re holding back feelings of affection.

If you’re in a relationship, have a discussion with your partner about things you are feeling. If you’re single, it might be time to branch out and meet new people!

5. Lower Back

Lower back pain may signify someone has financial worries. Try to sit down and focus on managing money better or hire a financial planner. It might also be time to ask for that well-deserved raise.

6. Hips

Fear of moving, change and waiting to make a big decision could all cause pain in the hips. Change can be stressful, but chronic pain in your hips can make moving intolerable! Make the changes you need to meet your life goals. Also, make a choice and stick with it!

September of this year marked yet another milestone on the destructive path that fossil fuels and industrialization have led us down as a planet. At a time when carbon dioxide levels should be at their lowest, we never even experienced a slight dip in those levels over the course of the month. In fact, we’ve actually moved permanently beyond the 400 PPM mark. These levels are not expected to decrease at all unless some drastic changes are made.

Although levels are not expected dip below 400, at least during our lifetimes, there are known solutions to the problem that scientists have been trying to bring to light for years. As a more progressive attitude sweeps the United States and the rest of the world, they are finally able to explain their solutions to a wider audience.

Many institutions continue to claim that there is nothing to be done in regards to the greenhouse effect, but there are immediate solutions that we aren’t taking advantage of. There’s always talk about reducing carbon emissions, exactly what was discussed during the Paris Agreement, but this sort of avoids the root of the real issue. Even if we collectively stopped emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere today, it would take decades for levels to reach what’s been deemed as “safe”.

What we really need to do is safely pull the CO2 from the atmosphere, and take it back down to the ground. This is something we’ve not only known we need to do for years, but it’s something we already know how to do as well.

Tom Newmark, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Carbon Underground, posed this question in a recent interview: “Why reduce the problem when you can actually reverse it?”

His organization is known for teaching the importance of what is known as carbon sequestering, which is the very act of pulling CO2 from the atmosphere, and placing it into the soil for plant use. This method is extremely effective for both the planet, and for farmers.

Studies have shown that this type of technique actually promotes improved plant growth, soil water-holding capacity, increased macro and micro nutrient availability, reduced system energy requirements, and reduced land preparation and cultivation costs.

New Mexico State University scientist Dr. David Johnson has been demonstrating the effectiveness of beneficial microbes and carbon sequestering for several years.

“The rates of biomass production we are currently observing in this system have the capability to capture enough CO2 to offset all anthropogenic CO2 emissions on less than 11 percent of the world cropland,” he explains, “Over twice this amount of land is fallow at any time worldwide.”

He goes on to describe that soils with higher carbon content and larger fungal, or microbial populations doubled the production in the soil with same amount of water. Basically, enriching the soil with carbon and other helpful microbes or organic materials will enable you to double production while reducing the amount of land and water you need to grow food. You don’t have to be an expert in agriculture to understand the benefits this can have for a global community. Agriculture uses about 80 percent of our freshwater resources, so this technique will have a major impact on that figure.

Not only are we able to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, but we’re also able to increase agricultural production while reducing the amount of resources we use.

I can’t think of a better win-win situation. However, do to lack of funds and popularity mass scale carbon sequestration still has a ways to go…