Doctor Visit

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After eight years, I finally put on my “big-girl panties” and went to the doctor for a “wellness visit”.  Once again, when it came time to go for my pre-visit blood test, I almost backed out.  Seriously, after eight years of not having any tests done, why go now?  I feel healthy and only have a few questions.  However, the change now is this – who knows how long I’ll have health care?  I could lose it at any time, just as you could (if you live in the U.S.).  The cost of our insurance is sure to continue rising, and it looks like rising is the least of it.  I’ve heard up to 18% increases and more in my state alone.  So, I decided to keep my appointment, just in case.

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How did it go?  Great!  All my blood work was terrific.  The only problem is that once again my blood pressure was a little high.  Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with how nervous I was?  My doctor suggested that I buy a cuff and take my pressure every day for two weeks and see if my normal pressure is lower than the one at his office.  So, that I will do.  If it is high during the day on a consistent basis, I’ve got to go back. I hope it’s not.

I do know that I’ve got a major “fight or flight” response, so in order to combat my stress I want to try just laying on my bed and practicing my yoga breathing since that is one thing that I know works for me.  I’m happy that I went, and I’m extremely happy that I’m healthy!

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Creating Happiness

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Believe it or not, material possessions and other people do not make us happy.  Sure, buying something new can give you a little “lift” in spirits, if that’s the way you think you should be happy.  However, that lift never lasts, and then you’ve got to go out and get something new again.  It’s a never-ending proposition and one that certainly will not bring you lasting happiness.  The same holds true with collecting new people.  When you look outside yourself for happiness, you will always be disappointed.  Whatever lift you feel initially, will not last, and will often leave you feeling even more empty inside.

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However, when we realize that the only happiness that lasts is the one we make ourselves, that is when we will truly be happy.  Happiness really is an inside event.  Only we can create our own happiness.  How can this be done?  First of all, you have to really know yourself.  You need to spend some quiet time with yourself, and find out what might make you happy.  Many times, unhappiness stems from not pursuing those things that really give meaning to our lives.  If you want to change your life, what’s stopping you?  Can you start small, and build from there?  We have an unlimited capacity to improve our own lives, even in just the tiniest ways, and happiness will stem from there, if only we try.

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By working on ourselves we can create our own happiness, and from there, we can change the world.  How can our own happiness change the world?  By bringing happiness into the world, we bring kindness to others, creating a new compassion for others.  Your changes help transform the world you live in.  It’s a pond with ripples radiating out into the rest of the pond where it eventually hits the shore and continues on from there.

 

Confidence

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This quote is so true.  For many of us, we spend so much time trying to be something that we are not, that we lose track of who we are. I know that for most of my life I’ve been trying so hard to please other people that for a long time I lost my sense of self.  In fact, I often feel like I’m stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out who I am.  Confidence in myself is something that I’ve struggled with for a long time, as I’m sure many other people have.  By always pleasing others, I’ve come to a point in my life when I don’t really know who I am.  How do you find the confidence to be yourself when you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way?

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My solution to this dilemma has been to try to get back to those things that made me happy before I began trying to please others.  The longer I’ve been working on improving and changing myself, the more confident I’ve become.  Another side-effect of this is that I’ve become a lot more understanding of not only my own deficiencies, but other peoples.  I also spend less time complaining about things than I did before.  Confidence is a gift that we give to ourselves.

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Binaural Beats

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are something that I just discovered, and so I thought that I’d write about it here to help spread the word.  Binaural means to hear with both ears, and in this case, means to hear two different sounds, one in each ear.  The history of this dates back to Carl Stumpf a German philosopher who referred to listening to two separate stimuli for each ear in order to create different effects on the brain.

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Today you can go to YouTube and find all different kinds of tones to help with a variety of issues.  You can listen to these for relaxation, creativity, anxiety, focus, etc.  You can listen to just the tones, or the tones with music.  I’ve found that listening to the tones on a very low volume works best for me.  I also like listening to the tones along with music.  There are quite a few videos on YouTube that let you listen that way.

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As a person who is always looking for ways to improve my focus, creativity and reduce my stress levels I found this to be a pretty interesting study of scientific research.  Do you use Binaural beats?  How do you like it?  Has it helped you in life?  Let me know in the comments below.

http://www.web-us.com/thescience.htm

Music and Health

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As someone who spends way too much time being depressed and suffering from anxiety about the state of the world – and other things that I can really do little about, I do my best to listen to music that is designed specifically to soothe, relax and bring about a peaceful frame of mind.  Because of this I was wondering if listening to certain kinds of music had been found to scientifically improve mood and health.  So, of course, I looked into it.

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So, what I’ve discovered is that yes music is a valid, scientific way of improving health.  It is used in a variety of medical situations including depression, anxiety, autism, dementia, brain development and sleep disorders.  It is also used in the premature baby ward in many hospitals to help promote the growth and health of these babies.  Different types of music also enhance different feelings; for example, rock music increases the heart-rate and can either agitate or energize.  Personally, I try to usually listen to peaceful and relaxing music since I’m just a bit hyper and on edge naturally.

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Do you purposefully listen to different types of music to either energize or to relax?  Let me know in the comments below.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10673229.2011.549769

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/natural-standard/201306/music-therapy-health-and-wellness

 

 

Be Your Own Advocate!

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I’ve been writing about self-education for a long time.  I truly believe that the more educated you are on a subject, the better off you are.  Do you check out the reviews of a product before you buy it?  How about ingredients on the side of a box at the grocery store?  Do you know what most of those ingredients are?  Are you the type to look something up if you don’t know?  If you are, then you’re definitely ahead of the game.

Knowing what your buying and/or ingesting is a good thing.  Finding about more about a disease you or a loved one may have is another good thing.  Educating yourself is always wise.  If you’ve got a long-term disease, keeping up-to-date on new ways to manage/deal with it is a great thing to do.

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No one is going to take care of you.  Self-care is one of my problems.  I live I the land of denial at all times, and this has been a real challenge in my life. I’m really good at taking care of everyone else, but not so good at taking care of me.   As a quick example of this, my underwear drawer is full of torn panties.  I know what you’re thinking, but unfortunately, they were not torn in a fit of passion, they are just old. In my defense, I’m still losing weight and am waiting to drop some more to replace them with a hopefully smaller size.

Being your own advocate can be hard.  This means that you have to take responsibility for yourself, whether it be at work, at home, in relationships or with your health.  Being responsible is difficult.  However, think of the benefits (besides great underwear), you can influence in your own life.  Wouldn’t it be great to live the life you really want?  This is what being your own advocate can achieve for you.  Let me know what you do to advocate for yourself.  Let’s see if we can inspire each other!

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Clutter

Clutter

I recently watched a documentary on clutter.  First of all, I must admit that I was pleased that I don’t have the level of clutter in the houses that were shown.  These were typical American homes; however, these weren’t hoarders, just the usual clutter that we’ve probably all seen.  You know, where you can’t walk anywhere except in the ally-ways that have been made.  None of these houses looked like that.  So, they weren’t talking about the extreme clutter.  Just the mostly normal amount of clutter that most families live with on a daily basis.

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However, while I was watching the documentary I was wondering what the effect on people is from just having the “normal” amount of American clutter.  Some of the information that I found includes weight-gain, stress, sleeping problems and anxiety.  This I can believe, since even though I don’t have the amount of clutter I saw in some of those houses, I do have more than my fair share – and it drives me crazy.

While I have no ambition to become a minimalist, I do want to stream-line my life.  I know that I’ve got too much.  Who really needs thirty or so journals? Well, apparently, I do, since I keep buying them.  Or how about twenty or so plastic and stainless steel drinking bottles?  Yes, even though I’ve gone through them, gotten rid of a bunch, somehow, I’ve managed to end up with more of them.  Seriously people?  Do we really need more?

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So, my project for the next few months so going to be getting rid of the clutter.  Have you done this?  How did it work out for you?  And, if you accomplished this goal, have you seen any differences in how you feel?  Let me know in the comments below.