Don’t be so Hard on Yourself

During stressful times, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Whether it’s big projects at work, trying to loss that stubborn weight, saving money or anything that makes you feel like you’re failing. We can be SO hard on ourselves that it causes depression, anger and self-abusive tendencies. Stop being so hard on yourself today. Know that failure can happen, but putting yourself down doesn’t make getting back on the horse any easier. Take these steps into consideration next time you’re feeling down on yourself.

  1. Life is one big learning experience. Everything you do teaches you a lesson. Stand tall, recover and move on when in the face of failure.
  2. Stop comparing your situation to others. Not one situation is identical, we all handle our problems in different ways. Be at your own pace and don’t try to be like anyone else.
  3. Stand up for yourself, if you feel what you are doing is right, don’t let someone else tear you down, respectively stand up for yourself. The more confidence you express, the easier others can see your side.
  4. Learn from criticism. You can’t ignore or get angry at criticism. Everyone dishes it out, so do you. Let it happen and take it as a positive.
  5. Take pride in your weaknesses. We all have something we don’t like about ourselves or our mannerisms, doesn’t mean we beat ourselves up for them. Take those faults and spin them in a positive way. Be proud of being human.
  6. Dwelling on the past will dig a big hole that you will struggle to get out of. Seriously, dwelling on something you did wrong days, months, years ago will drive you into a deep depression. Instead of saying “why did I do that?” say “ok, that happened, let’s not do that again and instead do this…”
  7. Be smart. Think before you act. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with yourself, step back write it all down and assess the damage and stress. Think smarter not faster.
  8. Remove negative energy from your life. Whether it’s people, objects, situations, if it’s causing you to hate on yourself then maybe you should re-think how and where you spend your time.

Is Your Emotional Eating to Blame for Excessive Weight Gain?

Emotions can Cause Weight Gain?

Woman looking sadly at a table of foodOverweight? Gaining Weight? Not sure what has caused the pounds to pack on? Most people think overeating, poor diet and lack of exercise is the cause but ever think it’s how you are feeling mentally? Have you ever asked yourself “am I happy?” or “where was the last time I was happy?” Emotional eating is a very common cause of weight gain and obesity. Your emotional and mental health are very important to your overall health. Some people don’t make the connection that the reason your gaining weight is your emotional health. 75% of over eating is caused by emotional stress, that is a problem. Emotional eating is when you eat because you need comfort, whether you are sad, stressed, lonely or bored. Eating “comfort food” can help numb the bad feelings and give you something to occupy yourself and give you happiness.

What Causes Emotional Eating?

Fat Man at table with too much food and a laptopDo you find comfort in food because of social situations and anxiety, conflicts or just depression? Are you bored or lonely? When I was a child they only way to get seconds was to eat faster than my brothers, so I grew accustomed to eating fast which can cause you to over eat. By the time my stomach showed signs of feeling full I had already over indulged. Going out to social events with free food, or to restaurants where everyone gets appetizers, entrees and desserts. These events cause you to eat to fit in with the group and also over eat. When everyone at your table is eating unhealthy entrees of course you are influenced to make the same bad choices. Sometimes a daily routine causes us to overeat. Scheduled lunch breaks, busy schedules where you know you won’t be able to eat for hours so you over compensate now. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget to eat and then starve causing us to scarf down as much food as possible. Emotions in general cause us to overeat. If you’re excited and joyous going out to celebrate you are more prone to eating fun foods than a salad or sandwich. We can get upset and emotional that we crave sweets and sugary mixed drinks. I know women will tend to crave chocolate and salty snacks when emotional. If you are stressed you may binge eat to relax your nerves. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed and stressed I like to disengage with a snack because it relaxes my mind and nerves, it’s a reason to chill out. If you are lonely it’s very common to overeat. Make food for two and then eat for two. Portion control is very difficult when alone. If I am with someone I will eat less and have that distraction to not eat more. If I am alone I will get seconds and eat snacks just to feel occupied. It’s even harder to not binge eat when you have health issues like low blood sugar. If my blood sugar is low I feel horrible and very weak. The faster I get sugar in my system, the quicker I will feel better. This is when I scarf down a candy bar and chug a soda. All this sugar can be addictive. The sugar can boost your endorphins making you feel high and happy. When this high is gone you crave even more sugar.

When Emotional Eating Causes Serious Problems

A woman lying in bed staring at a plate with a cherry tomatoFrom a psychological standpoint, emotional eating can cause a lot of problems like eating disorders. Say you are feeling fat and upset for over indulging. So, you starve yourself from all food. Then you feel sick and deprived so you binge eat. This makes you feel great but then you quickly feel regret and anger which causes the cycle to start again. In extreme cases the regret and anger can cause the purging of all the food consumed. This can become a very dangerous and life-threatening situation.

How to Control your Emotional Eating Habits

A happy couple eating healthy plates of foodThe easiest way to control yourself from over indulging is to be mindful of what, when and where you eat. If you eat fast then be aware of each bite, calm yourself and enjoy it, there is no race. If you eat more when alone, then occupy your mind, be active and be busy. If you need to eat or indulge keep only healthy snacks in the house so you’re never packing on the calories and fat. Be aware of portion size when eating in a group. Sometimes we get distracted and eat way more than we should. If you have a small plate then there’s no way you can over eat. If stress is causing you to over eat then go for a walk instead, take a bath, listen to music. There’s many things you can do to not overeat. If you have that strong of a need to consume something, then drink a glass of water. When it comes to low blood sugar, a soda and candy bar doesn’t have to be your only savior, try an apple or a glass of orange juice instead. All in all, the things you need to be aware of when tempted to over indulge is to slow down. Think about what you are feeling and eating. Be patient, don’t jump to food as the first option. If you over eat it’s not the end of the world, you will slip up. Still feeling like your emotions are getting the best of you? Is anxiety the reason behind your eating habits and weight gain? Check out my previous article, it will help you learn to suppress your anxiety.

Why you Should have Avocado in your Diet

Avocado prepared four tasty waysSo, Avocado is one of the tastiest foods, you can eat it plain, spread it on breads and crackers, add it to a salad or a dish, make it a Dip and even drink it in a smoothie. This “Superfood” is loaded with good fats, and vitamins! Now that we know Avocados are tasty and healthy what are the main reasons to add it to your diet? First of all, they are high in monounsaturated fats that help fight heart disease and reduce cholesterol. Avocados have a ton of antioxidants which help protect your cells, and they are loaded with vitamins like K, C, B5, B6 and E and potassium. This is a big selling point, Avocados contain protein! They also contain folate which is helpful for pregnant women. Avocados can also be used as a healthier and less fattening oil or butter. Want to go a step further than eating an Avocado? They can also benefit your hair! It acts as a moisturizing, shine-boosting hair mask. It can help boost hair growth, strengthen and soften hair. Avocados also help maintain healthy, smooth skin from drying out. Other than it being a tasty treat and delicious additive to any meal, Avocados can do a wonder to your body. Add it to your next grocery list!

Warning Signs of a B-12 Deficiency

Vitamin B-12 Deficiency and Health BenefitsVitamin B-12 is very important to your overall health, it helps maintain normal brain and nervous system functions. A B-12 deficiency can be caused by anemia, gastritis, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Lupus and other Auto-Immune Diseases. You get most of your B-12 in meats and dairy products. If you follow a vegan diet you may be B-12 deficient. Symptoms of a Vitamin B-12 deficiency are

  • Pale Skin
  • Afternoon Exhaustion and Fatigue
  • Memory Issues
  • Weakness, Tired Body, Muscle Fatigue
  • Blurred-Spotty Vision
  • Dizziness
  • Pins and Needles, Numbness
  • Anxiety and Depressive Mood-Swings

If you have many of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor. You will receive blood tests to properly diagnose a deficiency and receive proper vitamin dosage. If you go with this deficiency for too long you can develop nerve damage so getting your mind and body in check is important.

Parkinson’s Disease: A Neurological Nightmare

What Exactly is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that stops the brain from producing dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that sends chemical signals to nerve cells. This is a very important function that majorly controls and effects your central nervous system, your immune system and circulatory system. With that being said, without dopamine, you gradually lose the ability to control movement and your emotions. The health risk from this disease is very serious which can cause infection, complications and even death. According to the Center for Disease Control, the complications from Parkinson’s is the 14th highest cause of death.

How to Tell if You Have Parkinson’s

Human BrainParkinson’s is very hard to diagnose, but there are symptoms that can signal the early stages of the disease. First, is shaking known as tremors. Usually, the shaking starts in the hands or feet. The tremors start as a twitch and progresses to an uncontrollable shake. Issues writing? Notice it’s harder to write or your handwriting drastically changes? Your sense of smell can decrease, and you start tossing and turning more in your sleep. One of the more major signals is body stiffness. If you’re feeling very stiff in the joints, even when walking or stretching then you may have Parkinson’s. Are you being told to talk louder? Sounds like you need to clear your throat? These are also early signs. Blank stare, masked expression, dizziness and a slouched/hunched posture are also signs. As the disease progresses, you will see stronger symptoms like worsened ability to write, muffled or mumbled speech, inability to swing arms when walking and also dragging of the feet. More extreme symptoms are loss of facial expressions and emotion, difficulty moving muscles in the face and difficulty swallowing and blinking. Parkinson’s also can affect your mentality. You can become anxious, angry and depressed. Difficulty paying attention, remembering events or words and even worse, difficulty thinking general thoughts.

Think You Have Parkinson’s? Here’s how it’s Diagnosed.

stethoscope on deskThe main symptoms to diagnose Parkinson’s Disease are uncontrollable tremors, stiffness, slow movement of the body and issues balancing. If you’re feeling these, then call your doctor. With those symptoms, the doctor will give you a thorough neurological exam which tests your arms, legs, muscles and nerves.

Here’s how it’s Treated.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. But there are medications that can stabilize and give off dopamine to the brain. Yes, it is only temporary, but the medications do help reduce and suppress symptoms. It is important to stay physically active, mainly staying flexible. Stretching, aerobics, resistance, anything to get your joints and muscles active. There are also many vitamins and supplements that may help suppress Parkinson’s.

How to Handle being Diagnosed

hand being held in loving way Being diagnosed with an incurable disease can be difficult to process. The heavy thought and burden of knowing your future is heavily affected. But there is hope and support. You don’t have to keep this a secret, your family and friends will support you, your work will understand. You don’t need to be alone and you won’t want to be alone. Sometimes your symptoms will be very hard to ignore or hide, don’t be ashamed or want to hide. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may find normal physical activities to be trying.

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