Being Quiet

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The world that we live in is fast.  I know, I’m a person who runs around for a lot of my time trying to get things done as fast as I can.  I talk fast and I walk fast.  The sooner it’s done, the faster it’s over.  That’s usually how I live my life.  I speak so fast that it’s hard for others to understand what it is that I’m saying.  I’ve been working on slowing my speech down, and moving a little more slowly since I know that operating in a super-fast mode is doing myself no favors.  There is probably more than one reason I’ve got high blood pressure.  Slowing down is a struggle.  It’s something we all probably have to work on.  The real problem with living life in the fast lane is that you lose touch with your inner self.  Do you feel that you’ve got a “speed” problem?  Let me know how you deal with it in the comments below.

 

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Negativity Kills Your Joy of Life

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Living with negative people is difficult.  Heck, even talking to negative people can cause you to feel like life isn’t worth living.  Especially with them.  For a while now, I’ve been trying to work on myself, change the things that I can and move forward with my own life.  However, when confronted consistently with someone whose goal is to make me feel less than, I find it difficult to remain positive.  I have no idea why this is happening, and I’ve decided that I am not going to spend any more time on wondering what I could have possibly done wrong to cause this abusive behavior.  Mostly because I am aware that it’s not just me that is suffering this abuse, and not one of the other people deserve it, either.  This is just who this person is.  Unfortunately, this is also a person who is a close family member that I apparently must live with.

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I wish I had wonderful advice to give anyone else who is in this situation, but I don’t.  I can tell you what it is that I’m doing to help cope.  First of all, I’ve been concentrating on improving myself.  I’ve been working on eating healthy, getting daily exercise, and working toward my goals.  I’ve also been working on decreasing my blood pressure by meditating as well as I can, (it’s a work in progress); practicing Yoga; and saying daily affirmations.  Self-worth is something that most of us have to work at, and right now my best way to help that is saying affirmations a couple of times a day.  In fact, I’ve found that the most positive thing I can do is to say them before I fall asleep.  That plants the positive in my mind so that it can work on my subconscious all night.  I’m working on saying them throughout the day, but I am not as consistent as I probably should be.   The other thing that I’ve been doing is to have as little reaction to the negative abuse as I can.  This is hard, but it helps.  If the negative person doesn’t get the reaction they desire, they will leave you alone.  If they don’t, my solution is to hide in the bathroom.

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If you are dealing with a highly negative person in your life, please let me know how you cope in the comments below.  This is a difficult way to live, and I would love to hear how you manage.

 

Aging

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Today is my birthday.  I’m not going to come right out and tell you my age, since I feel that mystery is a good thing.  However, I will tell you that even though I’m in my 50’s you wouldn’t be able to guess, since I’ve been blessed with both a baby-face, and good genes – not great, but good.  Until very recently I haven’t been taking care of my skin, instead choosing simply to put coconut oil on my face and neck every night for a number of years.  Although coconut oil is wonderful, I’ve decided that I’d probably benefit from some age-appropriate eye and face/neck night creams.  I’ve found some that I like, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  Next up on my list is to start using masks.  This is something that even though I am aware of them, I haven’t bothered to use them.

For a long time, I didn’t wear any make-up, I also didn’t bother to cut my hair for years and years at a time, choosing to wear it in a bun every single day.  I do cut my bangs with a variety of very crooked results, many of which have been amusing to the world at large.  However, as part of my effort to improve my life, I’ve started both wearing some make-up and I recently had my hair cut at a salon.  How transformative is that?

As I age, I can’t help but notice that people seem to feel that we need to fight against any obvious signs of aging, cover our gray/white hair, and pretend that we’re not getting any older.  And, for celebrities who have rocked the aging coin, Helen Mirren, we say they are “sexy for their age”.  No, Helen Mirren is sexy, period!   But exactly what is sexy, anyway.  True sexiness comes from within.  It’s confidence in yourself, and some people, like Helen, have that in spades!

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Since I read some fashion magazines (yes, it’s a little secret of mine), I find it upsetting that most models/celebrities who are featured are young or at the most, in their 40’s.  So, is it that as women we drop off the face of the earth as we become older?  I know that men get to age like “fine wine”, but what do we say about older women?  Usually, the nicest thing we say is that she “looks good for her age”, as though age is a thing we can fight and overcome.  Well, I’m here to let you in on a little secret, no matter how many facelifts and/or nip and tucks you get, you do indeed age.  It happens to ALL OF US!

So, what is my plan for aging?  Well, I’ve got those magic creams and masks.  I’m keeping my haircut up, and I’m thinking of using something to actually brighten my gray/white hair.  But most Importantly, I’m exercising, eating right and keeping myself moving.  Yes, I did just do a little dance to Saturday Night Fever in BJ’s this morning.  You know what, so did another woman who happened down my aisle.  We had fun!  So, yes, I will rage against the dying light.  Life is a gift, and I want to keep unwrapping it.

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Alcohol – What is it Good For?

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I think that by now, most people know that drinking isn’t good for them.  There are a variety of reasons why this is so.  The reasons why I’ve kept my alcohol intake to a small (or none) amount is that it’s a depressant, and I just don’t need that in my life.  The other reason is that if feel like I need all the brain cells I can get.  While these are reason enough as far as I’m concerned to drink very little – less than one alcohol beverage per month, I’ve recently come across some new evidence that leads me to believe that my small amount of imbibing is over completely.

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A new, relatively small study suggests that alcohol actually causes the shrinking of the hippocampus (the region in the brain that is associated with memory and navigation), as well as the white matter in the brain.  The more people drink, the greater the rate of shrinkage.

Now, this study involved 550 subjects over the years from 1985 continuing to the present.  While it was just the one study, I myself found the results to be troubling.  It seems to suggest that even moderate drinking can cause changes in the brain.

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Do you indulge in alcohol, and if so do you worry about the effect it could have on your brain?  For myself, I’m glad that I’ve always kept my alcohol intake on the extremely low side.  There is also the documentary”The Truth About Alcohol” on Netflix which is scientifically interesting without being boring in the least.  If you want to know more about the effect of alcohol on your health, I recommend watching it.   What do you think of  this new information?  Let me know in the comments.

https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/even-a-moderate-amount-of-drinking-could-cause-brain-decline/

 

 

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.

 

The Benefits of Walking

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While we all know that we should walk more, there are now even more reasons to do so.  In a study published one year ago in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2047487316655466  low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality rates.  In other words, if you don’t walk, you will die.  Of course, this study was conducted on middle aged men, however, as with other studies, one can assume that it will hold true for women as well, since other scientific studies do show corresponding factors for women.  To back this assumption, there is another study http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288042.php  completed with 340,000 male and female participants showing that 20 minutes of brisk walking per day was enough to decrease the chance of early death by 16% to 30%.

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However, there are benefits other than fitness and lower early mortality rates to consider when a person walks.  For one thing, anyone can go take a walk.  We don’t need fancy shoes, we can walk no matter what our fitness level is, and we can control how long and how difficult our walk is.  Just the very fact of getting outside does wonders for our mental health.  We can get some sun (not too much), breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature.  All these factors are a mental health boost.  Not only that, walking in our neighborhoods gives us a chance to interact with our neighbors, boosting our sense of community.

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I go for a daily walk, and I find that it really helps me to be outside and getting some much needed exercise.  I love the boost walking gives me, and of course being in nature is so important to my own mental health.  Do you go for a daily walk?  Where are your favorite walks?  Do you prefer your own neighborhood or do you go to a park or a walking trail?  Have you felt the benefits of walking in your own life?  Let me know in the comments below.

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And of course, don’t forget to perfect your silly walk!