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Socializing with Your Friends and Family Could Be An Added Health Benefit

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Health is a holistic term that encompasses physical and mental well-being. When most people set out to improve their health, the initial aspects they change are physical activity and diet. These factors are important; however, research is now putting a large emphasis on social health, stating that it is just as crucial for well-being as physical health is. 

A research study published in PLOS ONE recently demonstrated that the strength of one’s social group served as a powerful indicator for self- reported stress, well-being, and happiness. According to one of the researchers Nitesh Chawla, traditional indicators of mental well being such as fitness levels, heart rate, and sleep does not capture the entire picture. The qualified self, as Chawla puts it, is not reflected in numerical measurements. 

Prior research has supported this claim. Being surrounded by friends and family has been shown to lower stress, improve mood, better cardiovascular health, and speed up illness recovery rates. On the other hand, social isolation is connected to an increase in chronic diseases, thus suppressing immunity. It is also akin to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. What perpetuates this high rate of loneliness is social media. Researchers found that social media interferes with human interaction and is tied to feeling more lonely

Social media and technology will continue to grow in the digital age, but what remains important is forming social networks. The presence of social networks in our day to day lives can shift our physical and mental health, thus allowing us to experience life wholeheartedly. 

Source: 

  1. https://time.com/5609508/social-support-health-benefits/

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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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