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Cinnamon Carter

Charging Your Batteries in a Chaotic World

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Whether you follow the news, the fake news, or the very fake news, managing the stress of daily living is and is becoming more and more difficult.  The following is offered as possible ways to alleviate that stress and to succeed at making small changes at least in your own life.  Hopefully, one of these strategies will strike your fancy:


Making small changes is a better way to reach your personal goals than making a single grand gesture:

  1. To help drop your blood pressure take a classical music break.  Listen to Strauss, Mozart, Abba, or nothing at all. 
  2. To help prevent illness order an Americano (an expresso with hot water added).  It contains more copper than brewed coffee which helps burn fat and is higher in disease-fighting antioxidants.
  3. To become happier eat a salad.  The more fruit and veggies you eat, the happier you will be.  Eating up to eight produce servings a day has the same impact as going from unemployed to employed.
  4. Loose a few pounds by clearing your counters.  Leaving cereal on the kitchen counter can make you 20 pounds heavier than those who had empty counters.  Leaving out soda can make you 26 pounds heavier.
  5. Keep your muscle strength by drawing a picture.  Spending 45 minutes on an art project reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone).  Gains in cortisol speed up muscle loss and the more you have, the weaker your grip strength is.
  6. Improve brain health by cleaning your desk.  Those who work in clean and quiet places are less likely to have long-term cognitive decline than those working in dirty or noisy places.

Laugh Every Day: laughing can give your immune system a temporary boost, ease pain, relax arteries, and give your torso a mini-workout.  Memory can also improve and stress levels lowered.  So, how do get your daily humor?

  1. Laughter Yoga has its roots in India and is spreading via laughter clubs and online videos.  Try easy moves such as waddling like a penguin while making laughing sounds.  Doing it with others has the biggest benefits.
  2. Watch a comedy in Netflix, YouTube, or free movies on cable television.  Pick something by a comic you have hilarious in the past.
  3. Clap along as you chant ho-ho-ha-ha-ha.  This exercise is designed to give you the some of the physical benefits of spontaneous laughter.  Gather your family and friends.  Once you start, you will have to laugh for real.

  

 Walk everyday: a twenty minute walk can calm an overactive brain and restore attention.

  1. The Family-Time Walk: Talk, laugh, debate, or just hold hands.  All are healthy.
  2. Tree Hugger’s Walk: Walking in a forested area improves heart and lung function.  City walks don’t appear to be healing.
  3. Memory-Booster Walk: Making walking a daily habit can help preserve your memory.  Those who walked six to nine miles a day lowered their risk of memory problems by 50 percent.
  4. Philosopher’s Walk: Walking is good for deep thoughts.  Those who walked for 40 minutes, three times a week slowed age-related declines in brain function and improved performance on cognitive tasks.
  5. Socializer’s Walk: Taking walks with friends helps lower blood pressure, helps reduce cholesterol, and helps create a lower resting heart rate and more effective weight loss.


Living to 100: ways to delay the effects of aging and extend our years of healthy life. VOLUNTEER!

  1. Share your skills and passion with others.
  2. Find a need and devote your time to filling it.
  3. Donating one’s time to benefit others lowers mortality rates and depression, as well as providing a greater sense of control over one’s life and higher rates of self-esteem and happiness.
  4. States with high volunteer rates have lower incidences of heart disease.  Those that devote approximately 100 hours or more per year are the most likely to experience health benefits.
  5. The older the volunteer the greater the personal benefits of volunteering.
  6. Volunteering renews sense of purpose and prevents social isolation (a recognized health hazard of later years). 


Getting through the acute phase of grief; how to live with it, how to find some meaning, some growth.

  1. Worrying about things you never worried about before.  The fear has its roots in isolation.
  2. Find ways to break the isolation, especially telling people you want to talk.  Silence only allows the adversity or trauma of what happened to you to pile up and on top of that the isolation of no one talking about it.
  3. The three P’s that stunt recovery:
  4. Personalization: we are at fault for our losses.  Let it go.
  5. Pervasiveness: all areas of our lives will be affected.  Give yourself permission to notice and appreciate what’s good.
  6. Permanence: aftershocks of the event will last forever. It will subside.
  7. Resilience is a muscle that has to be built.  Happiness is found in the small things.  Hang on to those moments of joy so they start to add up in our minds.
  8. Build old/new bridges with friends and find ways to talk about what you’re going through.  Hugely important is self-compassion by treating yourself with the kindness you would a friend.  Journaling, even for a few minutes allows the processing of emotions.  Listen to your own voice and don’t allow guilt to steal joy.
  9. Give yourself permission to laugh, to feel joy, and take back whatever we can – our sense of security our sense of justice, and happiness.  Acknowledge your capacity to persevere.

  

What suggestions appeal to you?  

Sources: AARP, The Magazine: June/July 2017
Author
Cinnamon Carter



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