Who’s Responsible!?!?!?

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Who’s responsible for what’s going on in your life?

The government? Your employer? Maybe your doctor is to blame for your poor health? Or the food manufacturers for your weight problem. Hmmmm…

 

Who else can I blame??

 

The hard truth is, there’s no one to blame except you. If your life isn’t where you want it to be, that’s all on you. 

 

And the sooner you decide to take ownership of and responsibility for your success or positive changes, the sooner you’ll begin to move forward. Blame places fault, while responsibility determines who is committed to improving.

Yes…it’s really that simple

Health comes in many forms. There’s physical health, mental health, financial health, emotional health, etc., and all of them are up to each of us to reach and maintain.

But how? What steps can I take to make positive changes in my life?

Well, the first step is taking responsibility for it (your life, the changes in it, your success, etc.). That’s probably the hardest part. We are constantly surrounded by negative energies, all telling us it’s someone else’s responsibility for our health, wealth, and success. Getting past that can be hard enough! Turn off the news (it’s full of negativity anyway). Stop being pulled into the negative meme’s and post on social media. Begin looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you’re looking at the person responsible to change your life. Your medical provider can’t workout for you, nor do your shopping/cooking. He/she can only give you the resources and guidance to make the changes. YOU have to do it.

Start exercising. YES…exercise will change every part of your life! While it will make you more physically healthy, it will also give you more energy, help you to sleep better, work better, and can even affect your income! So start!

Begin investing in YOU! Meditate daily to get more centered, calm, and in touch with your spiritual self. It will help you look at things differently and see/feel less stress – no matter what the situation.

Use affirmations. Yeah, I know it sounds silly. But it works. It’s been proven time and again that by using affirmations you make positive changes in your attitude, and by extension, your life. I’ll go into how at a later time, but if you want, look up positive affirmations in Google and start using a few. Daily. Not just once or twice, but throughout the day.

Visualize. Yes visualize. Begin the day by seeing yourself doing what you want to get done. See yourself exercising, or cleaning out the garage, or writing that book you always wanted to, or whatever it is. It’s been shown that athletes who visualize themselves doing their sport well (perfectly) perform better.

Read. Daily. Start reading books on either positivity or successful people, or even self help. Read 10 – 15 minutes a day. Don’t worry if you can’t read fast. Even a page or two is more than you’re doing now! The big thing here is to begin to put into action in your life the things you read about. Try them all! Keep the ones that work, and discard the ones that don’t. Soon, you’ll start seeing some positive changes coming in your life!

Eat better. Yes, food impacts out moods, our energy level, our ability to think, and many other things. Eating healthy foods provides better energy levels. Eating a heavy meal (fact food, lots of carbs, etc.) is actually hard on our bodies. It’s hard to digest and takes more energy than it gives. That’s why you’re tired after eating a big or heavy meal. Eat for energy and satiation, as opposed to sport or entertainment.

All of these things will begin feeding your mind and body with nourishment that can be used to positively impact your life. Listen, if you don’t like where you’re at, you have two choices. You can keep complaining and finger pointing that it’s someone else’s fault, or you can try my suggestions and see what happens. What have you got to lose??

And don’t forget about my free stress busters PDF!! If you haven’t yet, CLICK HERE to get it!

Posted in Happiness, Personal Coaching, Personal Growth, Physical Health, Spiritual Health

FREE!! Fourteen Stress Busting Tips for you!

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Hey Everyone!

I’ve been blogging about stress in a few different ways, so I decided to put together a PDF book of some of my favorite stress tips. And the best part is

 

it’s FREE!! 

 

Just click on THIS LINK (Click the words), and it’ll take you to the page on my site where you can get it. Read through it and let me know what you think!

 

All the best,

 

Paul

Posted in Alternative Therapies, Happiness, Personal Coaching, Personal Growth, Physical Health, Spiritual Health

All Disease Begins in the Gut

inflammation-triggers

Hippocrates is attributed as saying that.

Now, obviously not ALL disease starts with the gut, since we know some can be traced to genetics, exposure to certain compounds, or other reasons.

BUT…

Evidence shows that chronic metabolic disease DO in fact, start in the gut. This has a lot to do with the bacteria in out digestive systems, as well as the integrity of the gut itself.

Diet induced chronic inflammation – caused by endotoxins that leak from the gut (called leaky gut syndrome – and yes, it’s a real diagnosis), can cause insulin resistance (Type II Diabetes), fatty liver disease, and studies have shown that it’s linked to some of the most serious diseases in the world. Even sepsis – the most recent major problem medicine is tackling with protocols, special response teams, and the government is tracking (for reimbursement reasons) has inflammation as a component.

But inflammation is not, in and of itself bad (just like cholesterol – more on that a bit later). Chronic, and/or uncontrolled inflammation is.

Short term, inflammation is the body’s response to trauma, or foreign toxins or invaders. It causes the immune system to start its’ attack as well as help in the repair of the damage.

However, when this inflammation remains long term, it can (and does!) cause problems with how the body works (or breaks down). Heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and many others all are now thought to be caused, at least partly, by this type of long term inflammation. But what causes it to begin with is not firmly understood yet.

There are some leading theories on this though

One such theory is stress; whether that be physical or psychological in nature. Again, short term stress can be good. Think fight or flight response. But long term, it causes an overactive immune system, which includes the inflammatory response the body mounts to try to fix problems – or get ready for injuries (again, fight or flight).

A poor diet – one that we in the Western part of the world eat – can cause it too. One study actually showed a 71% increase in endotoxins in the blood stream (endotoxins are known to cause inflammation!!), while a low fat diet caused only a 31% increase. Some researchers also believe that highly refined carbohydrates (breads, cake, cookies, candy, most cereals, etc.) also cause it (wonder why we Westerns have such widespread disease!?!?!?).

But, researchers truly don’t know with any certainty just what exactly causes it. It’s believed to have multiple factors (like pretty much everything else – including heart disease!).

So, is it really your cholesterol level, or is it that paired with your poor diet, high stress, lack of activity, plus genetics? We’re NOT really sure!

But what we DO know:

A Western style diet – high in refined carbs, fast foods, and finger snacks – DOES contribute to these diseases AND inflammation
Not controlling your stress DOES induce the fight or flight response and cause chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation IS linked to many chronic diseases

So, what should you do?

Learn about how to take care of your gut
Eat a healthier diet
Exercise
Control your stress

Posted in Alternative Therapies, Physical Health

The Wellness Wheel

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The Wellness Wheel (above) is a tool you can use to visually see where you are in essentially every area of your life. You can score each area from 1 – 10 (10 being best and on the outermost part of the wheel, 1 being the worst and at the center of it), and then decide where you want to concerntrate efforts to improve first.

Each area is important to your overall health and wellbeing, so there’s no one place that is more important than others, except specifically for you, in your life.

Some of them overlap with each other too. For instance, “Intellectual” includes your adaptability to change. But that can also be part of emotional, socio-cultural, and even career. How you rate “Family” under “Socio-cultural” also overlaps to emotional and spiritual. So while each can be evaluated or worked separately, improvement in one can impact one or more others.

This is where a coach – specifically a holistic coach – can help. He/she can help you to see a bigger picture of your life, decide where you’re at, where you want to go, and help you decide how you want to get there. Throughout the process, a coach can give you tools to help, or provide insight, or even just provide reassurance or a person to bounce ideas and thoughts off who is nonjudgmental.

There are many ways to partner with a coach. You can hire one to work one on one, or you can take courses/seminars, or many other ways. Regardless of how, having a coach on your side provides a wealth of service to YOU.

Remember, if you want to change your life, the best way is to work on you first. Improving your mental/physical/spiritual self will go a long way to improving the rest of your life too!

Posted in Happiness, Personal Coaching, Personal Growth, Physical Health, Spiritual Health

My Supplements (Part 2)

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So, a few days ago I put up a list of some of the supplements I use regularly (pretty much daily). Here’s another list of supplements I take – either daily or as needed.

Turmeric/curcumin – I take this daily. While you can get it through your diet by using Turmeric, curcumin is the active ingredient you’re looking for. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. Decreasing this chronic inflammation can help decrease the likelihood of you having any of these problems, or at least minimizing their effects.
It’s also an antioxidant, can help protect the brain, has been shown to help arthritis patients with their pain/problems, and may help with some gastrointestinal disorders.
As a standardized powder (pill), the normal does is 400mg – 600mg three times daily.
If you are diabetic, it may lower blood sugar, and if you’re taking blood thinners, it may increase your bleeding time (you’ll bleed more), so talk with your provider before you decide to take it.

St. John’s Wort – I used to take this when I was working straight nights. It can help with mild/moderate depression. In many studies it seems to work as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a popular type of antidepressant often prescribed to treat depression. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), and sertraline (Zoloft). In addition, St. John’s wort doesn’t seem to cause loss of sex drive, one of the most common side effects of antidepressants.
It’s also been shown to help with premenstrual syndrome, menopause, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and minor burns or wounds.
The normal dose is 300mg, three times a day with meals, and it may take up to six (6) weeks to feel any changes.
Side effects can include stomach upset, hives or other skin rashes, fatigue, restlessness, headache, dry mouth, and feelings of dizziness or mental confusion, and it can interfere with getting pregnant.
Here again, it can interfere with multiple drugs, so speak with your provider first.

Saw palmetto – As a male over 50, it’s inevitable that I will probably have prostate enlargement. Saw palmetto can help this condition. The normal does is 160mg twice daily.
It can interfere with anticoagulant drugs so, again, talk with your provider first.

Omega – 3 fatty acids – This is an essential fatty acid, and can be found in fish and seafood. It has been shown to help (at least sometimes) with keeping your cholesterol level under control, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and depression, and many other illnesses. Dosing is based on EPA and DHA as opposed to just “fish oil”. The normal dose is from 1 – 4 grams daily as a supplement.
Once again, interactions with prescription drugs is a concern, so ask your provider before taking it.

L-Theanine – This is used for stress reduction. I used it regularly during my nurse practitioner program and it seemed to help. It also plays a preventative role in cancer. The recommended dose is between 200mg – 250mg daily. According to Drugs.com, there are no well documented side effects, but again, I suggest talking with your medical provider first.

CoQ – 10 – This is a naturally occurring substance that is found in almost every cell of our body. It can help with high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, and diabetes. The usual does is 30mg – 200mg daily.
It can lower blood sugar, and can interact with multiple drugs, so speak with your provider before you think about starting it.

So there you have it! My list of supplements that I take on a pretty regular basis. There are others I use as needed, and I’ll cover those in future blogs. Again, I’d enjoy hearing what you take and why, so send me an email or post a comment here!

Paul

Posted in Alternative Therapies

Sleep better – Tip

As a nurse, I have always been interested in research articles. Reading what’s new (and relevant) is part of being in medicine/healthcare.

 

Research into complimentary and alternative therapies has, until recent years, been lacking however. The biggest reason is most likely that most of these therapies are natural or, at least, less than tangible. If it can’t be patented, it’s not worth the money to study. That has excluded many things that have been used for centuries to treat the human condition. Fortunately, that’s changing, at least in part because the general public (said consumers) have found out about these treatment options and are using them instead of just taking more pills!

 

I recently read a study that was done last year on using music to improve the quality of sleep in the elderly. The study, “The Effects of Music Intervention on Sleep Quality in Community-Dwelling Elderly” (DOI: 10.1089/acm.2015.0304), was performed in China, and published in The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine. It found, in part, that those who listened to music of their choice (from a specific database) had better sleep latency (they fell asleep faster), better sleep efficiency (they slept longer/better), and less sleep dysfunction (subjective perception of daytime activities after sleep).

 

The music database was comprise of 169 pieces of music that included Chinese instrumental classic, Western classic, natural sounds music, and classical songs without lyrics, and were chosen for inclusion by what the researchers called an “expert panel”. One group was given the database to use, while one was not. Each group was also given one educational session on sleep hygiene, which covered preparing the environment for sleep, avoiding coffee, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, smoking, not being too hungry or too full before sleep, and the importance of keeping a regular sleep schedule. While each group showed improvement in the outcomes noted, the intervention group (the ones who listened to music” showed greater improvement.

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To me, this study showed three things. First, the importance of quality of sleep on waking hour function. We need good sleep to be able to function well in life. Second, that understanding what activities promote better sleep or inhibit it is important. You really can’t get good, quality sleep if you keep drinking that cola, or watch the news before you go to bed. The cola (unless it’s decaffeinated) will keep you more awake, and the news will fill your mind with anxious thoughts (about the community, the economy, politics, the state of world affairs, or whatever else is negative it can capitalize on for ratings). Lastly, that carefully selected music that you enjoy (without lyrics) can improve your sleep quality.

 

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
― Confucius

There are plenty of places you can find this type of music. Just do an Internet search through your favorite search engine and see what I mean. There are also plenty of ways to play it that can suit your lifestyle. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to help improve your sleep quality, which in turn, will improve your life quality! And the best part? No drugs!

 

PS: You can click on the DOI of the research article to read it for yourself! Enjoy!

 

Paul

Posted in Alternative Therapies, Personal Coaching, Personal Growth, Physical Health, Spiritual Health

My Supplements (Part 1)

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I’ve been remiss in not posting this last couple of days. However, I have been working on something I think you’re going to really enjoy! Stay tuned, because by Monday, I hope to have it ready!

So, for Today, I thought I’d go over some of the nutritional supplements I take on a regular basis (daily). I’m also going to list WHY I take them, so you can get an idea of what might fit your life/needs too.

First, the supplements I take because of lacks in our food sources:

Magnesium – this is a nutrient we get from our food, but is not stored in our bodies. So, if you don’t get enough on a daily basis, you don’t have extras to pull from. The recommended intake for men over 14 is above 400mg per day, and for women it’s around 300mg/day. You can get it from many sources, including tap water, but only 30% – 40% of what you take in is absorbed.
It does have possible side effects like nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea though. It also shouldn’t be sued when you’re taking antibiotics (however, they can deplete your levels easily so take them afterwards), and people with diabetes or kidney disease. As with any supplement, you should always talk with your medical provider first before starting them.
A deficiency can allow inflammation in the body to continue or worsen, which has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Vitamin D – This is another one our bodies don’t store, so you should get it daily. The easiest way is to get in the sun for a short time (like 30 minutes). But, then there’s the possibility of skin cancer, and the fact that many of us work indoors during daylight hours (or work nights!). The RDA is around 600 International Units daily for most people, and it CAN be gotten from foods. But here again, unless you have a tablespoon of cod liver oil every day, that might be hard.
There’s been some talk of which is better – D2 or D3. The government says they are both essentially the same within the human body, however, there are some who say D3 is the best. I use D3, but the choice is yours.
Weakened bones are one side effect of a lack of Vitamin D.

Vitamin B complex – this group of vitamins help convert food to fuel, and specific ones help with nerve health, as well as skin and hair healthiness. B6 for instance, can help reduce inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. While these too can be obtained from food sources, making sure I get what I need daily is a good idea (at least for me).
Vitamin B side effects can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, or incomplete bowel movements, as well as black stools. So again, talk with your provider first.

Vitamin C – Almost everyone knows the benefits of this one! It is known to help iron absorption, but has potential to help with age related vision loss, certain cancers, fighting the common cold, and chronic pain as well as many others! It can raise blood sugar, and help contribute to kidney stones, so again, caution may be warranted.
A dose of up to 3 GM per day is helpful for the common cold, but 500mg/day is good for chronic inflammation. Again, talk with your provider before starting it.

That’s a good start for today. I’ll add to this list soon, but for now, I’d like to hear what you take for supplements and why! Feel free to comment here! I look forward to reading your comments!

Posted in Alternative Therapies, Physical Health

Dream as if you will live forever

Live as if you will die today. James Dean is credited with this saying.

 

Simple, yet profound.

 

Dream as if you will live forever….

What are your BIG dreams? More precisely, what do you want to accomplish in this life? Do you know? We all have dreams of winning the lottery, or living somewhere specific, or some other such thing. But do you have any burning desire to do something? Have you ever thought about it? I mean past the New Years’ Resolutions we all set and promptly forget. It’s soon going to be that time of year again, ya’ know.

 

I know, I know…….it’s not even December yet. Why think about resolutions? Well, why not? The entire world is changing right in front of us. This amount of drastic change hasn’t been seen since the 80’s when the Berlin Wall came down (and all the other world changes that happened just after). While many are foretelling doom and gloom for what is to come, I prefer to think of it as an opportunity. An opportunity to dramatically change our own lives. Many countries – the UK, United States, Italy, and more – are looking hard at their options right now. The decisions each makes will have long lasting effects on their course in history. This is a time of revolutionary changes! And a time for potentially huge personal growth!

 

Change is frightening and scares us. Too much change, too quickly, throws us into a tailspin. That’s what’s happening. There have been many years of incremental changes in the world. Many of these changes began in the 40’s after the Second World War. Social welfare programs began sprouting up all over the world, even in the US; although much more slowly and subtly. The difference being the economic philosophy as well as the value of personal responsibility. The US is the only country that was founded on this principle. The whole of Europe sprang up from kingdoms and ruling families, and religious leaderships, with very little of what we call a “middle class”. Social welfare was a major part of the government from the outset. Here, not so much. We chose self governance.

 

So what’s your point, Paul? Well, it’s that self governance as opposed to governmental control that’s important. It’s important to all of us. We all have a responsibility to live our lives to the fullest – every day.

 

Let me ask you this. If you could change one thing about your life, and have no doubt you’d succeed, what would it be? Think about that for a minute before you say “I’d win the lottery and buy an island”. Nice dream, and one you certainly can have, but would you truly be happy doing that? I mean really happy. For some, maybe, but for most, probably not. Our lives wouldn’t hold much meaning any more. So what one big thing do you want to do? Write a book? Travel to far off places? Start your own business? Maybe you’d lose 10 or 20 pounds? Everybody has that one big thing they want to do.

 

Live as if you’ll die today….

 

Get started on making those dreams come true!

 

So this coming year, instead of keeping it as that far off dream that you’d love to do, but never will, why not get serious about it? Dream like you’ll live forever – that you won’t fail – and live like you’ll die today – start working on making that dream a reality. Don’t die regretting not ever trying. Take small, consistent, positive steps toward achieving that dream. Don’t just pick something as a resolution without having a burning desire to make it happen! Make 2017 YOUR year of change! what have you got to lose? If you want to lose 20 pounds, but only lose 10, aren’t you still better off than you are right now!?!?

Posted in Happiness, Personal Coaching, Personal Growth, Physical Health, Prosperity, Spiritual Health

Not letting one moment in time ruin your day

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As an ER nurse, especially in this day and age, there are many interactions that, if you allow them, can totally throw your day off. Whether it be a patient interaction, one with a co-worker, or any other of a number of things, there are multiple chances for something to not go how you would like them to and put you into a negative attitude. The same is true of everyone’s life. Whether it be interacting with your children, spouse, co-workers, customers, or even customer service (now THERE’S a biggie!!). None of us is immune to it.

Roughly two-thirds of Americans admit they want/need help with their stress. And the long term implications of stress on the body are well documented.

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And yet, stress itself isn’t where the problem is Stress, the physiologic response to a stimulus, is something we need for survival. That “fight or flight” response is something has saved everyone at least once in their life. And what is stressful to me may not be for you (and vide versa).

Stress can also enhance our abilities to perform. Professional athletes use the “stress” of a big game, or a certain situation within a game, to “rise up” and play above their perceived abilities. But how? How can you harness this power for your own life?

While there are multiple things that you can (and should) do to increase your abilities and live “above” your perceived abilities, creating a moment in time to step away from the situation – if only mentally – and allow yourself to come back into the present moment – and nothing else – can go a long way to decreasing your perception of stress.

One such way is called the S.T.O.P. meditation. While it takes a bit of practice, learning it and actually using it – daily – can greatly diminish the effects of stress in your life. Whether that be emotional, physical, or the outcomes of situations. Here’s what the acronym stand for:

S – Stop what you’re doing.
T – Take a deep breath or two, and concentrate on your breathing. Counting and and out a few times can be helpful (1 in, 2 out, 3 in, etc.).
O – Observe what’s going on. Ask yourself: “What am I thinking?”; “What am I doing?”; “What are my feelings?”; “What are my intentions?”.
P – Proceed with your day with this sense of mindfulness, based on your answers.

Over time, and with practice, this short exercise can help us be more productive, more relaxed, more aware, and make better decisions. It can help us take a step back when we’re feeling overwhelmed and make better decisions moving forward; or even help you hold your tongue before saying something you know you’ll regret as soon as it leaves your mouth.

Give it a try a few times over the next week and see how it works for you. I’m betting, if you truly put it into action, you’ll start seeing a difference in your stress levels. If you DO decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it works for you! Post a reply here and share your experience!

Posted in Personal Coaching, Physical Health, Prosperity, Spiritual Health

The Morning After

Happy Morning After Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a great day yesterday, filled with family/friends, great fun and food!

Thanksgiving is a US Holiday meant to show thinks and gratitude for what each of us have in our lives. It’s the one day that, nationally, we SHOULD be thankful. But why just ONE day a year? Why not be thankful or show gratitude each and every day?

I know how this sounds. It sounds light and fluffy, and touchy feely. But, there is actual proof that those who are grateful – and actively do it daily – have better physical and mental health, handle adversity better, and a multitude of other benefits. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, people who show daily gratitude sleep better (who wouldn’t like that!?!), have better self esteem, and reduced aggression (something a LOT of us need recently!).

There is even research into HOW to be grateful. An article published by Harvard Medical School discusses a few ways, which include:

Writing a thank you note
Mentally thanking someone
Keeping a gratitude journal
Meditate

Daily meditation has multiple benefits, many of them are attributable to the feelings of being grateful or thankful for what you have – no matter how much or how little. As the saying goes, “Every day above ground is a good day”. Be thankful not just on Thanksgiving Day, but EVERY day. Wake up and before your feet even hit the floor, be thankful for being. Many people won’t have that tomorrow. Think about that tomorrow morning.

Posted in Happiness, Personal Coaching, Personal Growth, Physical Health, Prosperity, Spiritual Health