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Cold Showers Can Improve Your Health

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A cold shower is undeniably uncomfortable and deviates from the traditional way of showering. But did you know that it could be one of the healthiest changes that you make in your life?

In a recent study conducted by Geert A. Buijze and a number of his colleagues, 3000 volunteers in the Netherlands were asked to finish the end of their morning shower with a 30, 60 or 90-second blast of cold water. When this was completed for 30 days, there were overwhelming results when it came to the overall health of participants that were dousing themselves with cold water for the more prolonged period. The participants that had longer exposure to cold water had 29% fewer days where they were sick throughout the study. Therefore, cold showers can lead to fewer sick days and a greater sense of overall health.

In addition, participants that engage in regular physical exercise also experienced a 54% decrease in sick days. Cold showers can make us less sick because it can make us feel more energetic. Just a short dousing of cold water is often all we need to deliver an autonomous response from our body that brings our core temperature up and keeps us more alert. This triggers the body to produce a fight or flight response, which can often result in brief hormonal changes and causes us to feel less relaxed. This often leads to the ability to push through sickness and keeps our energy intact throughout the day.

As well as improving overall health and reducing the number of sick days as proven in this scientific study, cold showers have these benefits as well:

  • Improved Alertness: A cold shower will enhance your alertness throughout the day and stimulate your breathing. This can help to decrease levels of carbon dioxide  throughout the body and improve concentration through the day.
  • Reduction in Stress: Since a cold shower will place a small amount of stress on your body,  this can lead to a process which is called hardening. Your nervous system will be able to handle more moderate levels of stress gradually and this can help you find yourself keeping a cool head in stressful situations.
  • Enhanced Immune Response: Regularly exposing your body to cold water can improve the number of white blood cells you have in your body. The immune response can protect you against diseases and deliver an ongoing benefit in the lesser sick days.
  • Increased Weight Loss: Exposure to cold showers can improve our metabolic rate, and this stimulates the generation of brown fat. This will help us to quickly burn calories and assist with any weight loss efforts you may be taking on too.

Even though taking cold showers may seem daunting, its benefits are promising and can help restructure your health. Let us know in the comments section if you have tried taking cold showers or if you have noticed a difference in your health.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/
  2. https://hbr.org/2018/03/cold-showers-lead-to-fewer-sick-days
  3. https://www.fastcompany.com/3043767/the-scientific-case-for-cold-showers

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Lifestyle

How to Build Joy in Your Life

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A recent study demonstrated that taking a course to help cope with stress can improve mental health. Northwestern University Professor Judith Moskowitz developed this course to examine how positive emotions can affect people’s health and stress. The sample consisted of a group of caregivers who took care of a family member who had dementia. These individuals enrolled in a five-week course that taught techniques of mindful breathing, performing acts of kindness, and keeping a gratitude journal. After the individuals participated in the course, depression scores decreased by 16 percent, and anxiety scores decreased by 14 percent. 

Here are eight tips that Moskowitz recommends to cultivate joy and enhance mental health: 

  1. Identify one positive moment in your day. 
  2. Tell someone about that positive moment or share it on social media. 
  3. Start writing in a gratitude journal. 
  4. Set goals and keep track of them to increase positive emotions.
  5. Determine one of your top strengths and jot down how you used it effectively.
  6. Try to think about negative events in a more positive light. This can become a habit if you practice it consistently, according to Moskowitz.
  7. Be kind to others, and perform a good deed to someone without any expectation in return.
  8. Try to live in the present moment. This can be achieved by incorporating mindfulness in your daily life. 

What are some of the ways you cultivate joy? Let us know in the comments section. 

Source:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/05/719780061/from-gloom-to-gratitude-8-skills-to-cultivate-joy

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Lifestyle

Tips For Organizing Your Medication

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Having immediate access to the medication that you need is extremely important, especially if you are dependent on daily medication. Regular organization of your medication can ensure that you are keeping track of your medications properly. Here are some tips to follow:

Organizing for Prevention:

A small section of your medicine cabinet should contain items such as supplements or flu remedies that are designed to be taken within the first few days of feeling sick. Some items you can have in this section of your cabinet include but are not limited to cough drops, Tylenol, aspirin, muscle pain-relief cream. Be sure to check the expiration dates for any over the counter medication. 

Organize by Diagnosis:

If you have a series of prescriptions, you can organize them together based on each medication’s treatment option. For example, if the medication treats intense pain, consider placing those medications together. This can help you determine whether or not you are taking the right medication. Medicine cabinets do not have a lot of places; it may be helpful to buy medicine/pills trackers.  

Separate Accordingly:

Your medicine cabinet should have proper areas for separation. You can use storage baskets or dividers to compartmentalize your medication. Also, proper labeling on your bottles can be a great way that you can keep everything organized and make sure that everything has its own place.

Track Your Prescriptions:

Tracking a prescription is very important to maintaining your dosage and monitoring any symptoms of negative effects as well. Hanging up a small dry erase board can help to make sure that you can track your dosage. You may also look into mobile health apps that help do this. 

Source: https://www.containerstore.com/organization-projects/bathroom/tip/how-organize-medicine-cabinet

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Lifestyle

The Health Benefits of Gossip

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Almost everyone actively engages in gossip; in fact, approximately 52 minutes per day are spent gossiping. The reason we gossip is that human lives are deeply rooted in groups, and sustainability in these groups is key to our survival. While gossiping has quite a few negative connotations, there are some psychological benefits to it. 

Gossip Helps Us Vent:

If faced with a pressing situation in the workplace, gossiping is a great way that we can get rid of some of the underlying tension. It is then easier to address issues that may require changes in a work environment. 

Gossip Helps Us Relieve Stress:

A Stanford University study suggests that gossip actively helps us to relieve anxiety and stress. Participants were asked to witness a scene in which people were misbehaving. The majority of participants witnessed an increase in their heart rate and a surge in stress. However, when they reported the incident to others, the effects of stress and increased heart rate lessened. 

Gossip Brings About Self-improvement:

In research conducted by the University of Groningen, a group of individuals heard a series of good stories about others, and this provided them with new motivation for self-improvement. When we hear positive gossip it often causes us to reassess certain situations or even reform behavior. This allows us to be more cooperative in group settings. 

As you can see, gossip can be considered a highly effective exercise for a number of reasons. The next time that you see people gossiping or initiate gossip yourself, you may have a better idea of why this behavior exists and some of the psychological benefits that can be experienced. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.health.com/mind-body/why-do-people-gossip 
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/one-true-thing/201506/5-benefits-gossip-even-negative-gossip

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