Friday, February 10, 2012
From Woman's World (sorry..don't know date of issue)
Cats protect your heart!
Owning a kitten or cat provides enough stress relief to lower your risk of a heart attack by 30%, according to a recent 10-year study at the Univerity of Minnesota's Stroke Institute.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
In cleaning out paper accumulations I found a clipping of interest. From the June 2006 Prevention magazine page. 54
"Why you need a HUG.
"The reassuring hand you reach for in times of trouble has more power than you know: It calms areas of the brain that register alarm, finds a new study from the University of Virgina and the University of Wisconsin. Neuroscientists put 16 married women in a stressful situation (they knew they'd receive mild electric shocks). When a friendly male volunteer held their hand, scans showed less activity in the parts of the brain that respond to danger. The effect was even greater when the hand belonged to the participant's spouse.
"It may be that your mind relaxes because someone is there to help," explains lead researcher James Coan, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UV. Other forms of touch - a hug, a shoulder rub - may also ease an anxiety-ridden experience and even reduce the amount of stress hormones the brain produces. RM"
Saturday, January 28, 2012
I love chocolate. When I learned I was diabetic, I began to be much more selective in my choice of chocolate...learning to like darker and darker chocolate. I would have my chocolate most days, but wanted the calories to be a good choice.
When I lived in the US Virgin Islands for two and a half years, my chocolate of choice was Dove Dark, but I couldn't find it on the island. One serving (my choice of serving size) was three pieces. My daughter mailed me bags of Dove Dark from Carson City NV...and I rationed it out. 3 pieces a day. My blood sugars were in very good range. All the walking I did every day was contributing to that.
Now, almost 8 yrs after returning to TN, I am struggling with my blood sugars and my chocolate addiction. Easy access made it easier to indulge. Then I met darker chocolates, and began cultivating the taste for them though Dove remained my favorite for a long time. THEN I met Xocai! Oh dear. High antioxidant chocolate with acai berries and blueberries in a very dark chocolate (and very pricey dark chocolate!). I learned to LOVE it! Because of the price, I was again doing better at limiting how much...and for a while, that was all each day.
This last year or so, though, I found myself eating more than my allotted amount...first more Xocai, then more of other chocolates. Still dark, but without rationing.
A few weeks ago I decided that I was out of control. I was wanting chocolate before breakfast. I was nibbling at chocolate every chance I got...sometimes mindlessly. Of course, my blood sugar problems were not helped by this indulgence. Chocolate was becoming an obsession and of ridiculous proportions.
As I approached my last bottle of my diabetes meds I knew my HbA1C test was coming up with the next Dr. appointment. Hmmm...not good! BUT, that gave me the incentive to stop.
So, two weeks ago, I stopped...no chocolate pieces...no Dove pieces or bars, no Hersheys kisses...no (fill in the name!). I had to stop. I also upped my blood testing when I could.
My HbA1C test is still a few weeks away...but as of today, I have gone two weeks without my beloved chocolate.
I HAVE had a few other things with chocolate in them, but very little. I am trying very hard to manage the impulse to nibble/snack etc. My kids have been out of school for years, but I am STILL finding that the mental "snack time" around 3:30 in the afternoon when my kids had after school treats is a trigger time for me. I have broken the "free for all" snacking mentality from that hr on.
Hopefully, this effort will bear good results. I look forward to chocolate again sometime (soon perhaps) but simply cannot let it be my food of choice from when I get up till when I go back to sleep!
So I ask: No chocolate? Who me? Yup, ME for now! I did it...two whole weeks...and counting.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
My friend Pauline shared this. Thought it worth sharing with you.
A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question , 'Half empty or half full?'... but she fooled them all .... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter, it depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "And that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest, before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.
So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... pick them up tomorrow, or better yet...eliminate them completely, if possible.
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