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Category: Mental Health

Easy and Healthy Ways to Reset your Body

We try our hardest every day to not only look great but also feel great. To do this, most people change their exercise and diet. But there are other things that apply to our overall health. Our mental, physical and emotional health are the most important factors in living a good and healthy life, but sometimes life itself gets in the way of doing so. In order to live a happy life, we have to take care of our bodies. Things such as work, social interactions, school and other obligations we face can interfere with our body’s natural mechanisms and functions. How can we fix or “reset” this disturbance? There are different ways we can help our bodies get back on track and feeling healthy again. Eating a healthy diet and implementing exercise into our routine may be the primary issues to our body’s health, but taking good care of our internal sleep clock, metabolism, and hormones are three contributing factors that are also essential to helping our bodies feel good. We’ve provided information on each and steps to help you “reset” your body.

Resetting your internal (circadian) sleep clock:

Getting enough sleep is an important and essential component to our health. When we have the right amount of sleep, at least 7 to 9 hours, our bodies are more able to function properly and adequately during everyday tasks. But things that can influence and disturb our body’s internal sleep clock include external factors (lighting, sunrise and sunset time, and temperature), internal factors (hormones, genetics, neurotransmitters), and our personal habits and behaviors (travels, insomnia, stress, social life and work). What do we mean by our internal sleep clock? Our sleep clock is a psychological mechanism that delivers cues to our body to sleep or wake up at certain times of the day or evening. This is also known as the Circadian Rhythm. When functioning normally, our body tends to become tired during the evening and awake during the day time. When our clock is out of sync, our body tends to feel “jetlagged” or deprived. You can also check out our articles on the health benefits of sleep and foods to help you sleep better.

How to reset your clock:

Manipulate lighting – Light exposure cues us when to wake up and when to fall asleep, so it is natural that we follow nature’s natural lighting. Manipulating light exposure, such as dimming your lights or brightening your room can help reset your sleep clock and normalize your circadian rhythm because your body will naturally adjust.

Fast and then normalize your meal times – Your diet and metabolism are important to resetting your clock as well. To normalize your sleeping schedule try to eat one meal in the afternoon and then fast until the next day. This will help your body get back on track. Also, check out our article on the health benefits of fasting.

Practice healthy sleep habits – Making a routine and being strict and consistent with yourself is important to helping you get back to a normal sleep schedule. This includes only taking naps for no more than 20-30 minutes, limiting caffeine, avoiding usage of electronics and watching TV before bed, and keeping your room dimly lit and cool.

Resetting your metabolism:

Your metabolism is another important factor to your overall health. As we grow older our metabolism begins to slow down, which causes us to gain and retain more weight. Losing fat becomes a bit more difficult. What we eat ultimately gets converted into energy so when we feed our body junk food, things high in unhealthy fats, and other things bad for our body we are harming our metabolism. You can also read our article on fast ways to kickstart your metabolism!

Get enough sleep – As we mentioned before, your sleep is very important. So make sure to get the recommended amount of sleep needed to help your body properly function.

Drink lots of water – Water is essential to our survival and overall health. It is recommended that you drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, which is about half a gallon of water.

Manage your stress – Stress management is essential to both a healthy mind and body. When your body is overwhelmed by stress, it reacts by releasing certain hormones known as epinephrine and cortisol in order to respond to this stress. You then tend to feel hungry even though you’re still burning calories because your body tries to compensate for this. Try finding ways to keep your stress levels at bay by doing activities that help ease your stress. You can also read our article on tips to reduce stress.

Eat foods that make you feel good – It’s a sign when your body screams at you “don’t feed this to us!” So listen to your body when you start to feel bloated, gassy or tired. Start eating foods that make you feel better and energize you instead of foods that make you feel groggy and lazy. You can read our article on the Top 10 mood boosting foods.

Avoid over exercising – We know that exercising is essentially good for you, but there is such a thing as exercising too much. Exercising too much and too intensely can lead to you slowing down your thyroid. Your thyroid is a gland that regulates your hormones and these hormones are what also affect your metabolism.

Resetting your hormones:

Your hormones are an important factor to how your body functions. Hormones are what control your emotions, your metabolic rate, and help trigger certain signals and cues to the brain, such as the fight or flight response, that ultimately allow you to function.

Cut down on sweets and starches – Too many can make your hormones go wild. Try cutting back to see how your body reacts and feels.

Reduce intake on grains, legumes, and high sugar fruits – Having too many carbs can cause problems with your metabolism, especially if you are insulin-resistant or your body is unable to break down certain carbs.

Eat more healthy fats – Healthy fats can help your body produce the needed hormones to break down foods and turn them into the energy that you need. It can also help suppress cravings.

Avoid inflammatory foods – These are foods such as processed foods, junk foods, and any highly sugary and gluten filled products that can harm your immune system and endocrine system.

Sleep more – It’s quite apparent that sleep is good for you since we all need it in order to function. But adequate sleep is beneficial in helping your hormones repair, restore, and heal by regenerating cells. Not enough sleep can lead to rapid aging of your body and brain.

Reduce intake of stimulants – Try cutting back on the caffeine. Coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and also tea or chocolate can interfere with your sleep, which your body needs in order to restore.

Cut out chemicals – Instead of using your normal products, try using products that are more natural or have the least chemicals in them. Chemicals can interfere with your hormonal functions.

Minimize usage of meds – Continuous exposure to medication, whether they are prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, can stress and throw your hormones into imbalance.

RELAX! Stress might be one of the most important factors related to your hormones. When your body is overwhelmed with stress it can cause your hormones to go off the charts. Find ways to unwind and blow off steam regularly such as yoga, stretching or meditating.


Five Steps To Mental Wellbeing

Scientific evidence points to five steps that we can take to improve our mental wellbeing. If you give them a try, you may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from your life.

Your mental health is important. Some mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, are common. If you have such an illness, it’s important to get the right treatment. Read more about mental health.

However, there’s more to good mental health than avoiding or treating mental illness. There is also positive mental wellbeing.

This article explains:

  • What is mental wellbeing?
  • The five steps to mental wellbeing

Why is mental wellbeing important? First, we all want to feel good – about ourselves and the world around us – and to be able to get the most from our lives.

There is also evidence that good mental wellbeing is important for our physical health, and that it can help us achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

What is mental wellbeing?

Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health at the University of Warwick and a wellbeing expert, says that when we talk about mental wellbeing, we mean more than just happiness.

“It’s useful to start with the idea that overall wellbeing involves both the mind and the body. And we know that physical and mental wellbeing are closely related.

“Of course, feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it is far from the whole. There is a deeper kind of wellbeing, which is about living in a way that is good for you and good for others around you.

“Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are, too.

“So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.

“Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult. But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.”

Mental wellbeing can take many different forms, but a useful description is feeling good and functioning well.

Wellbeing and society

Over the last 50 years, we in Britain have become richer. Despite this, evidence from population surveys – in which people were asked to rate their own happiness or mental wellbeing – shows that mental wellbeing has not improved.

This suggests that many of the things we often think will improve our mental wellbeing – such as more possessions, more money to spend or expensive holidays – on their own do not lead to a lasting improvement in the way we feel about ourselves and our lives.

The message is clear: it’s time to rethink wellbeing.

Evidence and wellbeing

Over the last 20 years, new evidence has emerged about what really causes lasting improvements to mental wellbeing.

“Some of this evidence comes from observational studies, in which scientists look at the behavior and wellbeing of certain sections of the population,” says Professor Stewart-Brown. “Other evidence comes from trials in which scientists take a group of people and ask them to change their behavior or participate in a treatment or other intervention – such as an exercise program – and then watch what happens to their wellbeing.”

To gain evidence on wellbeing, scientists have to find ways to measure it.

Often, scientists measure wellbeing using a series of questions that ask subjects how they feel about themselves, their lives and the world around them.

Find out how happy you are: use our interactive Wellbeing self-assessment tool.

Wellbeing in your life

Many factors influence our wellbeing. Evidence shows that the actions we take and the way we think have the biggest impact.

It can help to think about “being well” as something you do, rather than something you are. The more you put in, the more you are likely to get out.

“The first thing you can do for your own wellbeing is become curious about it,” says Professor Stewart-Brown.

Start to think about what you’ve done in the past to promote mental wellbeing, and whether it worked. Then think about new things that you can try.

“Remember, no one can give wellbeing to you. It’s you who has to take action.”

Five steps to mental wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

If you approach them with an open mind and try them, you can judge the results yourself.

  • Connect. Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. Spend time developing these relationships. Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing.
  • Be active. You don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find the activity that you enjoy, and make it a part of your life. Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing.
  • Keep learning. Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing.
  • Give to others. Even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks. Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing.
  • Take notice. Be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”, and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Learn more in Awareness for mental wellbeing.

Trend in High-Nutrient Diet Suggest Reduced Risk of Depression

Nutrition is a staple of our daily lives, whether we realize it or not, by opting for healthier, home-cooked choices in our diet or giving in to the glutton of what tastes best. However we choose to eat, what we eat ultimately affects our lifestyle – from how well we exercise, to cognitive function and even to how long we live.

Vegetables and Legumes in A High-Nutrient Diet

A new study published in BioMed Central journal revealed that what we eat and how consistent we are with our diets can reduce the risk of depression. The researchers determined consuming diets high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and were low in processed meats may decrease the onset of depression.

High-Nutrient DietThe longitudinal study surveyed 15,093 individuals with no depression at the start of the study with how strict they maintained one of three diets – the Mediterranean diet, the Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern, and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010.

Ten years after the initial survey, 1,550 individuals reported diagnosis of clinical depression or had used antidepressants.

The Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 was observed with having the greatest reduced risk of depression among the diets. High-nutrient diet is Similar to the Mediterranean diet, both diets feature omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, nuts, fruits, legumes and moderate alcohol consumption, according to the BMC Journal press release.

 Lead researcher Almudena Sanchez-Villegas of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria said in the press release, “Noticeable difference occurs when participants start to follow a healthier diet. Even a moderate adherence to these healthy dietary patterns was associated with an important reduction in the risk of developing depression.”

Continued research can revolutionize the treatment of depression and other mental illnesses. If further research is conducted to the extent of determining how a holistic approach to treating depression and mental illness, it can very well be possible for those battling mental disorders to take a more well-rounded approach to mental health.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Sleep

Over 30% of Americans don’t get enough sleep. They’re easy enough to identify: lethargic, forgetful, and always with a cup of coffee (which perpetuates the cycle of poor sleeping habits), they live among us. We’ve all experienced this brain-power deficit after being sleep deprived, but what are the implications for our health? If you’ve been meaning to shed your caffeine crutch and start a good sleep routine, we’ll give you a little extra motivation. Here are the top 10 health benefits of sleep:

  • Clearer Thinking:

Studies have shown that adequate sleep results in better cognitive function and a clearer mind during the day.  The effects of sleep deprivation were studied and results indicated that sleep deprivation impairs attention, working memory, vigilance, decision-making, and long-term memory.  

  • Adequate Sleep Contributes to Better Mood:

Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation and you will be prone to feeling tired and prone to stress if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before.  In a Sleep and Mood study done by Harvard, results suggested that healthy sleep can enhance well-being, and inadequate sleep can cause more irritability and stress.  Chronic insomnia was even linked to a higher risk of developing mood disorders such as anxiety or depression.

  • More Sleep = Better Skin:

Studies show that lack of sleep contributes to visible signs of aging, diminished skin function, and lower overall satisfaction in physical appearance.  Good sleepers (7-9 hours of sleep) had significantly lower signs of skin aging and also reported better perception of their appearance compared to poor sleepers (5 or less hours of sleep).

  • Decreases Appearance of Dark Circles Under the Eyes:

Not only does lack of sleep affect your skin health, it will be visible right on your face!  In a study conducted by the Karolinska Institutet of Stockholm, Sweden, 40 observers were asked to rate 20 facial photographs of 10 individuals who were photographed 1) after normal sleep, 2) after 31 hours of sleep deprivation, and 3) following a night with 5 hours of sleep.  The study showed that the signs of sleep deprivation were physically visible on a person’s face.  These signs relate to the eyes, mouth, and skin, and include more hanging eyelids, eyes that were more red, darker circles under the eyes, paler skin, and more fine lines and wrinkles.  For overall skin health and to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, it is important to get the daily recommended amount of sleep!

  • More Sleep Makes You a Safer Driver:

Drowsy Driving is an extremely important issue to be aware of if you drive your own vehicle on your daily commute.  Drowsy driving happens when a driver operates a vehicle after not having slept enough.  The risks and results of drowsy driving can be devastating: drivers have a harder time paying attention to the road, are less sufficient in decision making, and have slower reaction times.

  • More Sleep Makes You Less Lazy!

A study done by The City University of New York showed that people who were sleep deprived or suffered loss of sleep showed a preference for tasks which required minimal effort the next day.  They were essentially more lazy and had lower performance scores when subject to solving math problems on a computer.  Adequate sleep is required if you want to have enough energy to complete your goals for the day!

  • Getting Adequate Sleep Can Lower Pain Sensitivity:

Studies suggest that getting adequate sleep can decrease pain sensitivity and increase daytime awareness.  There were two groups of volunteers in the sleep study done by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine: The habitual sleep group went to sleep as they normally would, and the extended sleep group spent 10 hours in bed every night. Volunteers then had their pain sensitivity and daytime awareness measured the following day.

To measure pain sensitivity, volunteers were exposed to a radiant heat source and were timed on how long it took them to withdraw their finger from the heat source.  Volunteers in the extended sleep group removed their finger from the radiant heat source 25% slower than volunteers in the habitual sleep group, and results showed that volunteers in the extended sleep group were more alert and had lower pain sensitivity the days following the 10 hour sleep period.

  • More Sleep Improves Your Memory:

Many studies have suggested that one of the benefits of sleep, which happens in two stages (non-REM and REM), is associated with neuron growth and development and memory consolidation.  It is no surprise that you experience significantly more difficulty when trying to take in new information after not getting enough sleep the night before.  Additionally, getting a sufficient amount of sleep after learning something new is integral in retaining that information.

  • Adequate Sleep Makes Weight Control Easier:

On of the benefits of sleep has been shown to play a crucial role in weight control.  A study published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information journal suggests there is a link between short sleep duration and weight gain, particularly in younger age groups.  This study was conducted on a group of women over a 16 year period.  Each participant started out healthy and unaffected by obesity, but over the next 16 years, researchers found that volunteers who did not get adequate sleep (less than 5 hours per night) tended to weigh more than volunteers who slept at least 7 hours a night.  This study also found that short sleepers had a 30% higher risk of gaining 30 pounds over the course of the study compared to women who slept for at least 7 hours per night.

  • Adequate Sleep Lowers Overall Risk of Chronic Diseases:

Longitudinal epidemiological studies are beginning to suggest that adjusting one’s sleep can reduce the risk of developing chronic disease or may lessen the severity of an ongoing disease.  

Cytokine is a hormone produced during your sleep which helps your body fight off infection.  Carnegie Mellon conducted a study on how sleep affects the body’s ability to fight inflammation and participants were found to be up to three times more likely to develop cold or flu symptoms after inadequate sleep.

So go on... sleep on!
So go on… sleep on!

Top 10 Most Satisfying Jobs

The right job will give you more than just money. Money isn’t the only thing you gain from working. There is a level of satisfaction that comes from doing something you love that is rewarding for you and others. We’ve compiled a list of the most satisfying jobs to guide your decision while searching for a job.


Teaching makes the number one spot on our list of most satisfying jobs for the obvious reasons. Teachers witness children making leaps and bounds in learning and facilitate in their achievement and progress.  Special education teachers have particularly rewarding jobs because they have such an impact on special needs children’s education.  These dedicated educators help them achieve their true potential in the face of adversity.

 Personal Trainer

Personal trainers usually enter their line of work with the goal of making their own healthy lifestyle into a career.  Motivation for pursuing this career comes from the heart.  It is extremely fulfilling when you are able to teach, motivate, and help other people to live a healthy lifestyle.  You also share your knowledge of the body and what it is capable of with your clients to educate them on health and fitness.  Perhaps the most rewarding aspect is having the privilege to witness someone improve their confidence and healthy body image with your help.  

Medical Practitioner

Being a medical practitioner is rewarding because you can meet fascinating patients and improve their quality of life.  Eye surgeons have a particularly exciting job due to the exponential changes that have taken place over the years in vision correction technology.  According to eye surgeons, restoring or improving a patient’s vision is one of the most rewarding surgeries you can perform.

Personal Assistant

Personal assistants are the unsung heroes of many organizations: ask any successful leader how they manage their busy schedules and many will say they wouldn’t be able to do it without their personal assistant.  Being a personal assistant might meant that you help the chief CEO achieve more with his time, and after a while you’ll find your position is crucial in arranging the lives of the people you work for, which is intense and fulfilling.  


Gardeners enjoy their jobs because they have the ability to manage their workloads, schedules, and daily tasks autonomously.  Additionally, they are given a chance to use and hone their skills each day in a job that allows a vast scope of creativity.  There is ample demand for gardeners in nearly every part of the country.  Jobs range from running greenhouses to designing and building elaborate plantings or overseeing vast estates.  Training in horticulture can also lead into floral design, conservation, and even psychotherapy where you use plants to soothe your patients.


Engineers are happy with their careers because their job allows a reasonable work/life balance with good hours, travel time, versatile locations, and colleagues that they enjoy working with. While being an engineer can present many challenges, the work is interesting, engaging, and pays well.

Construction Worker

Construction is an industry that has many walks of life with people working in offices to people working on site.  Creating something from scratch is rewarding, and it is fulfilling for construction workers to see the physical results of their labor.  While construction can be extremely manual labor-intensive, many construction workers report job satisfaction thanks to the good relationship they have with their colleagues.   

Executive Chef

Executive chefs run the kitchen.  They create menus, order supplies and keep track of inventory among many other responsibilities.  Their line of work gives chefs a creative outlet and a chance to make an impact in their community.  Many executive chefs pride themselves on training their teams and keep it running smoothly because they are also in charge of inventory and ordering supplies.   

Property Manager

The responsibilities of a property manager include, but are not limited to: planning, directing, and coordinating the selling, leasing, or buying of real estate properties.  People who work as property managers report a feeling of fulfillment when they are able to help their clients find the perfect home, and many enjoy the interaction with their clients.  


When you think of nursing, you may get the image of stressed out ER nurses rushing around in a frenzy.  This isn’t always necessarily the case, especially when it comes to nurses that work in children’s hospices.  Hospice nurses are less rushed and are able to do fun activities with the children under their care.  At cosmetic surgery centers, people go in desperately unhappy with a physical feature, so it is rewarding to see patients looking and feeling confident at their follow ups.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Journaling

We tend to think of journaling as an activity for famous politicians, angsty teenagers, and people who lived in the 19th century. But don’t let this prejudice prevent you from taking up this habit. Keeping a log of your thoughts and activities is an excellent organizational tool that will have a positive impact on your life. In fact, writing in a diary or journal every day is great for your health. We’ve listed the top health benefits of journaling to convince you to pick up the pen.

Help You Lose Weight

Keep track of your diet with a food journal. There’s a few approaches you can take. Some meticulously log every bite they eat and the macronutrients of their meals. But if you want something a little less intense, just keep a general record of whether you ate clean or indulged in junk foods. Try to recall and write down your emotions and mood before your decision. If you know what triggers you into reaching for the donut, you have power over that response and can control it in the future.

Relieves Stress

Anxious and stressful thoughts can stay pent-up in your head if you have nowhere to release them. Some choose to share their stresses with a friend or therapist. But journaling also provides an outlet to relieve anxiety.

Improves Memory

Time starts blending together as you age. While you remember major events, little details start to blend together or slip away altogether. How do you reverse the flow of time and improve your memory? Journaling can help.

First, you have a physical log of daily details that tend to slip away. But findings in the APA’s Journal of Experimental Psychology indicate that journaling can improve working memory, a huge help in day-to-day life. Researchers believe that journaling reduces negative thoughts about life events by committing them to paper. This prevents your brain from ruminating on them all day and frees up working memory to commit details down.

Healthier Personal Relationships

As we get older and take on more responsibility, it can be tough to maintain the personal bonds that are so important to our lives. Work through your problems on paper and you’ll find helpful patterns and emotional honesty that might not otherwise have come to you. Also, you can identify toxic people in your life and then think long and hard whether they are worth your time in the first place.

Boost Self-Esteem

Life can be tough for those suffering from low self-esteem. Confidence helps us take leaps of faith to overcome new challenges and old habits. But if you have low self-esteem, chances are you undermine your own ability to improve.

That’s where journaling comes in. Just as people trying to lose weight should focus on food in their journal, those lacking in confidence should focus on their daily accomplishments! Write down a few positive things about yourself every day. Did your teacher says something nice about your work? Did you choose to read over watching TV? By keeping track of positive experiences, you are building yourself up and reinforcing the good.

Teaches dedication to get in shape

Struggling to slip into a regular workout routine? You’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to consistently set aside exercise time when they’re trying to get in shape. Get a jump-start by establishing a journaling routine. Setting aside 10-20 minutes a day takes dedication. But if you manage to do it, you’ll find it easier to keep up with workout routines. Once you start working out you will have an outlet to monitor your successes and write about how good you feel! Translating the positive emotions that come from a workout onto paper will encourage you to keep at it.

Improved Mental Clarity

All of your thoughts, dreams, and worries swirl around in your head. It’s good to sometimes sit still and think things through, but other times you need to focus. Journaling lets you channel the background noise onto paper so that your brain can problem-solve the here and now issues. This helps at work, in personal relationships, or just about anything else.

Mimics Meditation

Meditation is the skill of focusing on one thing and tuning out everything else in the world. Doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center say that journaling, like meditation, has a positive impact on mental health. It can manage anxiety and help you cope with depression. For best results, journal every day in a calm and soothing environment. Drink a mug of chamomile tea and light a candle. Maybe diffuse some essential oils to combine it with aromatherapy. Carve out some time for yourself to collect and reflect.

Lower Blood Pressure

Because journaling lowers stress and anxiety, it can help manage high blood pressure. Dr. James Pennebaker claims that journaling strengthens T-lymphocytes, immune cells that fluctuate with stress and anxiety. Strengthening them boosts your immune system and helps keep your blood pressure low.

Strengthens Communication Skills

Some people are natural communicators. They have a knack for saying the witty or insightful comment, and can spruce up a boring report to make it shine. But not everyone has that talent. Journaling teaches you how to express yourself clearly and confidently. It gives practice writing everyday. After a few months of journaling, you might find it less stressful to send emails or to articulate your ideas at a meeting. This can have professional and personal benefits that benefit you in all areas of life.