We all want to be happy. But how does one do that? Is it even possible to become a happier person? And if so, what’s the best way to go about it? Researchers in the field of positive psychology have been studying these questions and the answers are encouraging. Turns out you can genuinely increase your happiness and overall satisfaction with life—and it doesn’t require a winning lottery ticket or some other drastic change of circumstances. What it takes is an inner change of perspective and attitude. And that’s truly good news, because it’s something that anyone can do.
What won't make you happy
Do you, like many people, have a mental list of things you think you need in order to be truly happy? There are many externals our society teaches us to chase: success, wealth, fame, power, good looks, romantic love. But are they really the key to happiness?
The research says no, at least when it comes to long-term happiness. A prestigious award, a big raise, an exciting new relationship, a fancy new car, losing weight. These things can make us feel great at first, but the thrill doesn’t last very long. Human beings are quick to adapt to new circumstances—a quality that has helped us survive and thrive. But it also means that the good things that initially make us happier soon become our new normal and we return to our old happiness baseline.
Are you comfortable in your own skin?
I must confess I’m sometimes not, yet I’ve found that the more I take care of myself, the more I embrace my physical “flaws” (can you see a bit of a belly and a few stretch marks in this pic?), the more I do things that make me happy, and the more I spend time with myself, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin.
I’d love to share these insights with YOU, so I've compiled 6 Ways To Feel More Comfortable in Your Own Skin:
1. Take Care Of Yourself:
It's so easy to let your health fall by the way side, and yet taking care of yourself is an important part of feeling comfortable in your own skin. Not sleeping, not eating right, not drinking enough water — it can all leave you feeling less than wonderful. As noted by Mary Dunlop on the lifestyle website TinyBuddha.com, "I can never say enough about how important it is to celebrate my body. Every day, I thank it for all that it does, and honor its needs through 30 to 40 minute runs, long showers, flossing my teeth, and drinking lots of water." Dunlop suggests making a list of all the things you need to do to take care of yourself so that you feel healthy and grounded, and then schedule them into your day. "It's easier to feel good about who you are when you make your needs priorities," Dunlop says.
2. Meditate To Figure Out What Ails You:
Even if you have a lot of great stuff in your life, it can still feel like something's missing. Taking time to meditate can help you figure out what that something is. I'll probably sound like Oprah for saying this (whatever, she's awesome), but often times when you feel like something is missing it's because you aren't living authentically. According to Dunlop, "I was uncomfortable because I didn't know how to be myself. This was also why I often felt unattractive and ill at ease with others. I was frequently projecting someone who didn’t feel 'like me,' and that projection habitually depended on who I was interacting with." If this sounds like something you do, consider why you do it, and then take steps to figure out who "you" really are.
3. Do Things That Make You Happy
One way to figure out who you really are is by doing things that make you happy. When you're feeling bad about yourself, it's easy to get swept along with the flow. You end up saying "yes" to things you don't really want to do, and you wind up adopting other people's hobbies just for the sake of having friends. But people who are comfortable with themselves rarely do this. They know how to say "no" and they aren't afraid to spend time doing things they enjoy. When you start focusing on what you like to do, you'll get that sense of authenticity I was talking about earlier.
4. Learn To Love Your Physical "Flaws":
Do you remember being younger and hating your freckles, or wishing desperately for smooth hair instead of your curly ringlets? But then, as you got older, you realized that your freckles are adorable, and your hair is super awesome? It's good to embrace your so-called flaws, and the more you can do it the more you'll be comfortable with yourself. It's often easier said than done, but many people start to love their appearance as they get older. Everyone has something they don't like about themselves, but that "flaw" is often what makes them interesting, unique, and lovely.
5. Embrace Your Unique Personality:
For all my fellow loud laughers out there, you've probably been told to "shush" more than once in your lives. But when people tell you to stop doing something that comes naturally — like a loud laugh, a dark sense of humor, a quirky eccentricity — you start to feel embarrassed and apologetic for who you are. Don't let other people put you down for the things that make you unique. If we all were the same, the world would be a pretty dull place. So laugh away.
6. Learn How To Be Alone With Yourself:
This step is huge, especially in this modern era of ours that never offers a moment's peace. Most of us probably can't even remember what the world was like before 24/7 entertainment and communication. Did people sit in a chair and stare at a wall? I don't even know. And that's why it's so darn difficult to be alone with yourself. Not to mention that any moment of silence allows for insecurities and worries to come creeping into our minds.
Peace and quiet can be downright hellish, but that's precisely why you have to find time to yourself. No distractions, no chatting, no streaming videos — just you, your thoughts, and (hopefully) a sense of comfort. It may take time to work up to, but you should be able to spend a night by yourself, or a weekend alone, without having an existential crisis. According to Dunlop, "In order to be comfortable with yourself, you first need to be comfortable just being."
Being comfortable with yourself, both physically and emotionally, takes practice and time to work up to yet it's inner work that really pays off.
To your vibrant health,
1. Buying Locally
Buying from your local farmer allows you to support local agriculture. This means that the food you are eating comes from nearby, and does not require us to waste lots of energy and petroleum to ship the food halfway around the world. You are eating food in your environment, where it has perfectly-created nutrients for your specific climate and region. You are also supporting the environment by reducing the usage of fossil fuels.
2. Cheaper Organic Fruits & Veggies
You can find a variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than in a supermarket. There are also many farmers that carry products that are not technically “organic,” but have many low-priced foods that are pesticide and herbicide free. The advantage at a farmers market is that you can actually talk to the farmer, learn about their methods, and then decide for yourself. In some cases, they may even allow you to come and visit their farm.
3. Supporting Your Local Economy & Farmers
You are supporting human beings and the local economy, not massive agribusiness GMO food conglomerates.
Not only will your money be staying in your area, but you will happily please the farmer that worked to grow that food. Your belly will remember the farmer’s smile as they handed you that juicy lemon.
4. Eat Seasonally
By shopping at the local farmers market, you will eat seasonally, fresh and ripe. This is a great way to increase your overall health. Supermarkets offer too much variety, and the food is picked before it has ripened decreasing the vitality.
5. Safer Foods
Food from your local farmers market is generally safer. Remember the recent outbreaks of E. coli in bagged spinach? These things happen mostly in large industrial settings, where business-men work to mass produce food, preserve it and bag it in mass amounts.
6. Fresher Fruits & Veggies
The food from your local farmers market is, quite frankly, fresher. Because it was grown locally, there is a good chance that the apple you buy from the farmer was picked a few days ago. This is virtually impossible in a big supermarket.
7. Great Variety
There is usually an amazing variety of fruits and veggies at your local farmers market. Each farmer may have a method for growing tomatoes or peppers. This is something that never happens at a grocery store.
8. Better Taste
There is no doubt that locally-grown foods just simply taste better. You will never be able to eat a carrot from the grocery store again!
9. It’s Healthy!
There’s just no way around it, eating fresh, locally-grown fruits and veggies are great for your health.
Buy yourself some local honey which is sold at most local farmer markets. It has just the right components for allergy prevention in your neck of the woods, not to mention it’s tasty!
10. Most Importantly — It’s Fun!
farmers markets are just plain fun for the whole family. Meeting your local community is an excellent way to feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for body, mind, and spirit.
With Summer finally here, I highly recommend spending lots of time outside. I personally get so many benefits from it, and that’s why I call nature my playground. It makes me feel happier, more alive, more connected, and I feel I perform much better when I get back into a creative space after spending time outside.
Nature offers one of the most reliable boosts to your mental and physical well-being. Here are just a few potential benefits:
1. Improved short-term memory
In one study, University of Michigan students were given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups.
One group took a walk around an arboretum, and the other half took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than the first time. The ones who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve.
Another similar study on depressed individuals also found that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.
2. Restored mental energy
One thing that can help get your mind back into gear is exposing it to restorative environments, which, research has found, generally means the great outdoors. One study found that people's mental energy bounced back even when they just looked at pictures of nature. (Pictures of city scenes had no such effect.)
Studies have also found that natural beauty can elicit feelings of awe, which is one of the surest ways to experience a mental boost.
3. Stress relief
Tensed and stressed? Head for the trees. One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in the city.
In another study, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and levels of cortisol in subjects in the forest when compared to those in the city. "Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy," they concluded.
Among office workers, even the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.
4. Reduced inflammation
Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to respond to threats like damage (e.g., a stubbed toe) and pathogens (e.g., exposure to the flu).
But when inflammation goes into overdrive, it's associated in varying degrees with a wide range of ills including autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cancer. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check.
5. Improved concentration
We know the natural environment is "restorative," and one thing that a walk outside can restore is your waning attention.
In one early study, researchers worked to deplete participants' ability to focus. Then some took a walk in nature, some took a walk through the city, and the rest just relaxed. When they returned, the nature group scored the best on a proofreading task.
Other studies have found similar results — even seeing a natural scene through a window can help.
The attentional effect of nature is so strong it might help kids with ADHD, who have been found to concentrate better after just 20 minutes in a park. "'Doses of nature' might serve as a safe, inexpensive, widely accessible new tool ... for managing ADHD symptoms," researchers wrote.
6. Sharper thinking and creativity
"Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost." That's the dramatic opening to a 2008 paper describing the promise of so-called "nature therapy" — or, as a non-academic might call it, "time outside."
7. Improved mental health
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may all be eased by some time in the great outdoors — especially when that's combined with exercise.This is to be expected, to some extent, as both greenery and exercise are known to reduce stress.
So get out there and make nature your playground too!
I'd love to hear about how nature inspires you, how it makes you feel healthier and more connected. So please do share your insights in the comments bellow.
To your vibrant health,
Coconut water is not only an incredibly popular thirst-quencher, but it packs quite the nutritional punch as well.
Here are seven little-known coconut water nutrition facts and how they can benefit your health:
1. Coconut water is mostly just ... water.I'm sure you already know you need to drink enough fluids so you can keep your body healthy and properly hydrated. Just like its name suggests, coconut water contains about 95% water. This makes it a great hydration drink. Coconut water can hydrate your body just as well as plain water (the mother of all hydrating drinks).
2. It's low in calories.Unlike plain water, coconut water is not entirely calorie-free, but at 42 calories per serving (240g) it's still a pretty low-calorie drink. This makes it an awesome replacement for any one of your regular, sugar-sweetened drinks and when used like this, coconut water can help you reach your weight loss goals.
3. It contains potassium.Potassium is a vital mineral in your body. You need enough of it if you want your brain and nervous system to function properly. Coconut water can help provide some of that much needed potassium. One serving of coconut water will cover about 13% of your daily potassium needs.
4. It contains magnesium.Magnesium is another important component of our diet, yet only 32% of people consume enough magnesium. If your body is running low on magnesium, that could cause low energy levels or even lead to serious health conditions like asthma, diabetes and osteoporosis. A serving of coconut water take care of about 14% of your daily magnesium needs.
5. It contains copper.Copper is another essential mineral for your health. Without copper, your organs and your metabolism simply can't work like a well-oiled machine. One serving of coconut water will provide about 11% of your daily copper requirements.
6. It contains cytokinins.Cytokinins are little-known, yet highly beneficial compounds found in coconut water. Science has confirmed cytokinins slow down the development of cancerous cells, plus they slow down the aging process. What's not to love, right?
7. It contains antioxidants.Coconut water contains a lot of antioxidants, which help prevent the damage to our bodies caused by free radicals. Free radicals are produced by your own metabolism, so there's no other way to neutralize the damage, except making sure you consume enough antioxidants in your diet. And coconut water can help you with that.
So for these and so many more benefits I absolutely love to drink coconut water, and a I'm so lucky to live in a tropical place where I have access to the freshest and most delicious form of it.
I'd love to know about your experience drinking it, so please leave me your comments bellow :)
A cleanse is a good way to start you on your path to wellness. Why is a juice cleanse the best way to go? Starting a regular cleansing strategy will supply your body with so many benefits that your health goals will be well within reach.
For you, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite juice cleanse benefits.
1. Strengthens Your Immune System
When you do a juice cleanse you are detoxing your body, flushing it of impurities and toxins. Detoxing allows your organs to focus on functioning the way that they should. This gives your immune system a jump-start since it will be able to absorb nutrients better. During a cleanse there are specific herbs that are introduced into your system that help the lymphatic system. That system makes sure that you are firing on all cylinders to keep you healthy. West Hollywood Juice Cleanse
2. Energy Boost
When you start your cleanse you will feel an influx of energy (like many other cleansers have experienced). This is because a cleanse cuts off the things that need to be cleansed from our bodies in the first place. When caffeine, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fats are replaced with fruits and vegetables you will experience a natural boost in energy. Cleansers are encouraged to stay well hydrated throughout the cleanse. Increasing your water intake will also contribute to a boost in energy.
3. Rids Your Body Of Excess Waste A cleanse has the biggest impact on the amount of waste we have stored in our systems. Most cleanses are designed to purge the body of excess waste which allows organs, such as your liver, kidneys, and colon to do the things that they do best. By cleansing the colon, you are allowing toxins to exit the body. A backed up colon means that the toxins remain in your body, creating more damage. West Hollywood Juice Cleanse
4.Healthier HairA regular detoxing strategy is important to keep your body fully functioning. Regular cleansing will strengthen your hair at the follicles, resulting in stronger, healthier hair. When there are no longer internal toxins causing havoc, your hair will be able to grow without restriction. Many cleansers boast of having softer, shinier hair. West Hollywood Juice Cleanse
5. Better Skin Your skin is the largest, most visible organ; this is where the effects from detoxing will be the most obvious. At the end of your detox cycle you will have visibly smoother, clearer skin. Detoxing can help with acne, but be aware that conditions may worsen before they get better. Since the toxins are leaving through your skin you may experience itchiness or patches before it clears up. This is a sign that you are on the right track. To help your efforts, hang out in the sauna to help sweat out additional toxins. West Hollywood Juice Cleanse
6.Anti-Aging The aging process is sped up with the constant overload of toxins in your body. When you reduce the amount of damage-causing agents your body absorbs you will see short and long term benefits. But it is important not to revert back to your previous lifestyle that was causing the original high levels of toxicity. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and cleansing regularly will ensure that you look and feel great.
7. Sense Of Wellbeing Often times, people use a cleanse to lose weight or at the start of a diet plan. But there is no better reason to do a cleanse than to simply feel better. Setting the stage for good things to happen will allow for good things to happen. A positive mindset goes a long way and you will see improvements in all aspects of your life.
I'd love to hear about what your experience has been with a cleanse or if you've never done one before and have questions post bellow.
To your vibrant health,
Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals, like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese. Heh, so what have those minerals done for me lately, you might be wondering. Well…
Of all the minerals we Primal folks talk up, magnesium may very well be the most widely supplemented. It’s certainly one of the most important; over 300 physiological processes in the human body require magnesium to function optimally, foremost among them the production of ATP for energy. Your mitochondria use magnesium to produce ATP, the body’s energy currency. So if it’s so important, why must we all supplement? How did people get enough magnesium before Natural Calm? There are a few factors, including the disappearance of magnesium from our drinking water and top soil, but the fact remains that most of us aren’t even trying to get enough magnesium through our food. That should change. Eating greens like spinach and chard will go a long way toward adding dietary magnesium.
Of all the minerals we discuss, calcium may be the least-supplemented or most-ignored. That’s a mistake. We still need calcium. We still need that raw building block. And if you’re not eating dairy, leafy greens are probably your best source.
Potassium is another nutrient a lot of people miss out on, especially if they’re overcooking their meat (the juices contain the potassium), avoiding tubers and fruits (both are high in potassium), and shying away from avocados because of the linoleic acid (don’t stress out over a little whole-food omega-6, folks, especially when it comes in such a creamy, green package). So if you’re not eating the aforementioned potassium-rich items (and even if you are), be sure to eat your greens.
Your mitochondria use manganese to manufacture manganese superoxide dismutase, a potent mitochondrial antioxidant. With inadequate superoxide dismutase, you increase your chances of ischemic brain injury (think stroke). Simply put, manganese keeps your mitochondria running cleanly.
Unless you’re eating bones, drinking blood/meat juice, and eating hoof, fur, and tail, you will be missing out on magnesium, potassium, and calcium by excluding leafy greens.
I like greens for their vitamin content, specifically B-vitamins like folate. I tend to agree, and I’ll highlight a couple key nutrients that greens provide.
Though it’s widely touted as particularly crucial for expectant mothers and the development of the babies they bear, folate is also important for anyone’s general health. Inadequate dietary folate intake can lead to elevated homocysteine levels.Modern processed grain-based foods are usually fortified with folic acid, but you’re not eating that stuff. And unless you’re also eating plenty of liver, if you shun greens you are most likely lacking this vital nutrient.
Betaine is another important but oft-ignored nutrient that many people, even Primal eaters, lack. Like folate, it regulates proper homocysteine levels. Betaine also helps maintain liver health. Spinach is perhaps the greatest vegetable source of betaine (other than maybe wheat germ, but who wants that?).
Besides the micronutrient content, there are other benefits of eating leafy things, especially in concert with the other foods on your plate. For those interested in eating less or losing weight, eating a salad with your meal spontaneously reduces overall caloric intake.
But the real beauty of leafy greens? They are prepackaged whole food “supplements” with safe and well-balanced vitamin and mineral levels. You eat a few cups of spinach, a romaine lettuce salad, maybe some kale chips and you’ll be getting a nice healthy range of nutrients. Your overall caloric intake won’t really be impacted and you’ll be safe. No, you won’t have a nutritional profile from the manufacturer telling you exactly how many milligrams of magnesium your bowl of sauteed kale contained, or the amount of betaine in that head of spinach you chopped up and turned into a salad. The nutrient range will vary from head to head and leaf to leaf. And that’s okay.
That’s why it’s food, without a label: it doesn’t need to be exact. So if you ever find yourself paused in front of the grocery store display, agonizing over the respective folate content of two particularly large heads of romaine lettuce and frozen – totally unable to act – hang it up. Start back at square one. Realize that this is food that’s meant to be eaten, not over-analyzed.
If it’s green, leafy, crisp, and free of chemicals, it’s safe, healthy, and good to eat. Adding such a food to your diet – in sauteed, steamed, boiled, dehydrated, baked, or raw form – will most likely help, so eat it! I’m not saying you have to eat three heaping platefuls of vegetation, I’m suggesting that adding leafy greens to a diet lacking in them will almost certainly improve the nutritional content of that diet.
You may have heard of coconut kefir and wondered: What is kefir? Well, kefir is a unique cultured dairy product that’s one of the most probiotic-rich foods on the planet, and kefir benefits are incredible for healing issues like leaky gut.
Its unique name comes from the Turkish word “keif,” which means “good feeling.”
For centuries, it’s been used in European and Asian folk medicine due to the wide variety of conditions it’s been known to cure. When made correctly, it’s one of my favorite drinks and, after reading this article, I hope that you consider including it into your regular natural health regimen.
You can give your alimentary canal, or the main digestive passageway in the body, an easy boost with kefir. This nutrient- and probiotic-packed drink holds the key to helping improve many immune and digestive linked health issues. Tabbed as an “it” health food of the 21st century, kefir is a probiotic food that contains many bioactive compounds, including as many as 30 strains of good bacteria that help fight against tumors, bacteria, carcinogens and more.
Kefir is made using starter “grains,” which in reality are a combination of bacteria and yeasts that interact with the milk to make the lightly fermented drink that even lactose intolerant people can drink! It can be made from any source of milk, such as goat, sheep, cow, soy, rice or coconut. It can even be made using coconut water. Scientifically speaking, kefir grains contain a complex microbial symbiotic mixture of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in a polysaccharide–protein matrix. Read on to see how this can benefit your health.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Coconuts
Maybe you’ve sought out information on the power detoxing has to help you get healthier, loose weight, clear up your skin, and leave you looking overly amazing, amongst many other benefits, or you possibly already tracked the success of some of your besties as they’ve detoxed. If so, then you already have firsthand experience on the powerful results detoxing delivers not only on a physical level, but also on a mental and emotional one.
So why does the idea of detoxing have you quaking in your boots?