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11 Benefits of Garlic Oil, According to Science

Garlic and Garlic Oil respectively has been around for a very long time. Since ancient history, people have used garlic both as a cooking accessory and as natural medicine. Pungent in taste and smell like the onion (its close cousin), garlic continues to be consumed for its culinary and health benefits by people all over the world.

Garlic, or Allium sativum, is most commonly thought of as a culinary accouterment. Indeed, fresh garlic is ubiquitous, cheap, and delicious.

Today, we will examine the who, what, when, where, why, and how of garlic.

Our focus will be on the medicinal benefits of garlic, more specifically, the concentrated form of garlic, which is garlic oil. Like its source, garlic oil is also relatively cheap. Garlic oil also has the added benefit of also being widely available, inexpensive, convenient and, ahem, less pungent.

Before getting into the 11 proven health benefits of garlic, lets quickly take a look at the fascinating medicinal history of the plant.

The History of Garlic and Garlic Oil: Hippocrates to Today

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates (c. 460 BCE – c. 375 BCE)

Garlic has an incredibly rich history, from Ancient Greece to the present day.

The “father of Western medicine,” Hippocrates, supposedly ‘prescribed’ garlic for a bunch of ailments, including digestion troubles, fatigue, parasitic infections, and respiratory issues. Hippocrates probably advocated the taking of garlic to the original Greek Olympians.

Shortly after being introduced to the Greeks, the promotion of garlic spread to Ancient Egypt, to the ‘Indus Valley’ (present-day Pakistan and Western India.) The people of ancient India made garlic an essential compound in ayurvedic medicine.

Those ancient Indian healers introduced garlic to Chinese medicine men. Today, China is responsible for 80 percent of the world’s garlic.

Sidenote: The Chinese government has recently come under fire from international health officials for “bleaching” its garlic to make it more appealing. Per the publication India Times, Chinese garlic is “loaded with pesticides” as well.

Garlic eventually made its way Westward to the New World after being introduced by adventurers and merchants from France, Portugal, and Spain.

11 Health Benefits of Garlic Oil

  1. It’s nutritious and is low in calories

Pound-for-pound (clove-for-clove?), garlic is among the healthiest and most nutritious foods. Just one clove of garlic contains 2 percent of the daily value (DV) of manganese and vitamin B6. The same amount also contains 1 percent of selenium and vitamin C. Other minerals in respectable amounts include calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, and potassium.

  1. It may reduce lung cancer risk

Lung cancer accounts for 18 percent of total deaths globally, or 1.4 million people. Some scientists believe that the organosulfur compounds (OSCs) in garlic, excreted via the lungs, provide protective effects for lung cancer.

In a 7-year study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, scientists in China found that people who ate raw garlic at least twice weekly had a 44 to 72 percent lower chance of developing lung cancer. Nearly 6,000 people participated in the landmark study.

  1. It may ward off osteoarthritis

A research team from King’s College and the University of East Anglia posit that allium vegetables may reduce arthritis symptoms, specifically osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a condition that is characterized by a degeneration of cartilage and underlying bone.

Per the study, published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 1,000 females who regularly ate fruits and vegetables, including “alliums such as garlic,” showed fewer signs of early-onset OA.

  1. It is a potent antibiotic

Garlic oil possesses potent antibiotic properties. Antibiotics are pharmacological substances that inhibit or destroy bacteria and microorganism growths.

Per a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, a compound in garlic called diallyl sulfide is up to 100 times more effective at resisting the Campylobacter bacterium. Campylobacter is one of the leading causes of intestinal disease.

  1. It protects the heart

Another component of garlic oil, diallyl trisulfide, is both a viable heart protectant during surgery and after cardiac arrest. A research team from Emory University also finds that diallyl trisulfide may be an effective treatment for heart failure. Another constituent of garlic oil, hydrogen sulfide, also demonstrates heart protectant properties.

In the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, mice that had a heart attack that was administered diallyl sulfide had 61 percent less heart damage compared to the control group.

The same scientists also note that “garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting [the heart]” from cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle) triggered by diabetes.

  1. It reduces blood pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the key driver of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Globally, more people die from heart disease than any other reason. In 2016, an estimated 15.2 million people died from CVDs worldwide.

Some studies show that the substances in garlic extract reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. In one study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, a research team concludes that “…garlic extract … causes significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It also leads to a decrease in oxidation reactions in the body.”

  1. It may improve cholesterol levels

While the proposed benefits of garlic in lowering blood pressure aren’t quite as definitive compared to its effects on blood pressure, anecdotal evidence – and even some scientific literature – suggests a possible connection.

Regarding the latter, some studies in the 90s cite a 9-12 percent reduction; in 2000, 4-6 percent. In a 2012 study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, researchers found that 800 mg of aged garlic extract may reduce cholesterol by 8 percent in people suffering from high cholesterol. The University of Adelaide’s (AUS) Dr. Karin Ried states that garlic supplements decrease the risk of “coronary events” by 38 percent in people over age 50.

  1. It may be a powerful neuroprotectant

As mentioned prior, garlic is a potent antioxidant. Scientists attribute the antioxidation properties of garlic to multiple active compounds, including S-acetylcysteine, S-allyl-mercapto cysteine, and N(alpha)-fructosyl arginine.

A 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, cites the antioxidative properties of aged garlic extract (AGE) in the claim that garlic reduces the risk of dementia. Thus, reports claim “AGE…may help prevent cognitive decline by protecting neurons from neurotoxicity and apoptosis [programmed cell death].”

  1. It may improve athletic performance

Long ago, athletes used garlic as a sort of performance-enhancer. Ancient cultures would supposedly use garlic to enhance the work capacity and reduce the fatigue of laborers.

In a 2005 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, garlic oil was found to reduce the “heart rate at peak exercise and … significantly [reduce] the workload upon the heart resulting in better exercise tolerance.”

In the study, participants took just four garlic oil capsules twice per day (8 in total). Also significant is the fact that these results happened within only six weeks.

  1. It may strengthen bones

In animal studies, subjects that took garlic tested for increased estrogen levels linked to decreased bone loss. In a study that seems particularly relevant, menopausal women given just two grams of dry-aged garlic extract decreased their estrogen deficiency markers.

The scientific literature demonstrates a positive association between garlic intake and osteoarthritis prevention. As such, additional research into the exact effects of garlic on bone health seems warranted. Regardless, supplementing with AGE (800 milligrams/daily?) may be advisable for those concerned with bone health.

bone health

  1. It detoxifies the body

Research exists positing that allium in garlic reduces concentrations of lead in blood and tissue. To test the hypothesis, researchers investigated the effects of garlic intake on a population at risk of lead poisoning.

In a study published in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, researchers recruited 117 workers at a car battery plant. Researchers administered the workers 1200 micrograms of allicin three times per day for four weeks. As a result, blood lead concentrations “reduced significantly,” the researchers report.

12 (Bonus!). It may promote longer life

Given the vast scientific literature purporting the positive effects of garlic on factors contributing to premature death (e.g., blood pressure, cholesterol, decreased risk of CVD and lung cancer, etc.), it’s fair to say that garlic may help you live longer.

garlic

Final Thoughts on Garlic Oil to Support Health

As a society, we hype up just about every new STEM advance. Thus, it is easy to overlook time-tested, natural health boosters. Garlic, in any form, demonstrates significant health benefits time and again.

The post 11 Benefits of Garlic Oil, According to Science appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

7 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

You have probably heard of an “empath” before, and these intuitive, caring people go by another name as well: the highly sensitive person or HSP. Dr. Elaine Aron, a psychologist who started studying this trait of people in 1991, discovered that around 15-20% of the population has this highly sensitive personality trait.

What makes highly sensitive people different? Dr. Aron says that variations in the brain of an empath cause them to respond differently to external stimuli. They might become overwhelmed quickly by bright lights, loud noises, and a hectic environment. They need more time to unwind after social interactions and enjoy quiet, peaceful surroundings. Highly sensitive people also have a great love and understanding of nature and animals.

The highly sensitive person often feels alone and misunderstood, but this makes sense because roughly 80% of the population does not have this trait. If you read online forums and in Facebook groups, you will likely come across highly sensitive people saying that they feel like they come from a different world entirely. It often feels that way, coming from a highly sensitive person herself.

We feel everything deeply and crave intelligent, soulful conversations with people. As this is hard to find in today’s world, it leaves many highly sensitive people feeling empty and on a constant quest to make the connections they desire.

“Highly sensitive beings suffer more but they also love harder…” – Victoria Erickson

What the Science Says About Highly Sensitive People

You might be thinking, “This sounds like a bunch of New Age nonsense,” but hear us out. Scientific studies have started to emerge, confirming actual differences in the highly sensitive brain. Highly sensitive people have what’s called sensory processing sensitivity, which causes them to become easily overwhelmed by too many stimuli.

Study #1

Highly sensitive people are greatly affected by others’ moods, which is confirmed by this study. Researchers did fMRI scans of the brains of those with SPS. Eighteen participants, ten females and eight males, viewed photos of their romantic partners and strangers showing positive, negative, and neutral expressions. 13 of the 18 participants were scanned twice within a year.

The study found that HSPs had “increased brain activation of regions involved in attention and action planning (in the cingulate and premotor area [PMA]).” Furthermore, it found that happy and sad photos were associated with activation in brain regions involving awareness, empathy, integration of sensory information, as well as action planning. This trait is thought to be one of two strategies that evolved for survival purposes. This outcome makes sense because being sensitive to environmental stimuli would allow us to take quick action and be on constant alert for threats.

Study #2

Another study found that people with this trait had an increased awareness of opportunities such as food, mates, and alliances within their environment. In our modern environment, it makes sense that it only evolved in 20% of the population, because it wouldn’t allow individual payoffs if it were found in the majority.

With that said, perhaps this is why many highly sensitive people have such a hard time adjusting to modern life. Scanning for threats and opportunities in our modern world takes a lot of cognitive energy, which explains why people with this trait need so much time to recharge. Also, the threats and opportunities are not as easily discernible, which leaves the HSP feeling drained. We are here to help the species survive, but in our modern life, what skills can we bring to the table? If you are an HSP who feels a little lost and misunderstood, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few signs you might relate to if you’re a highly sensitive person.

7 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

1 – You’re easily overwhelmed by social situations.

In crowds of people, you usually feel frazzled and tired. Sure, you can enjoy a concert or a night out on the town, but you might need a day or two to recharge afterward. Even worse are events where you have to engage with many different people. It’s not that you dislike people, it’s just that socializing drains your energy much of the time. Even if you identify as an extroverted HSP, you may find that you need a lot of downtime after a social event.

Plus, you’re picking up on the thoughts and emotions of everyone around you, and this only adds to the feeling of overwhelm. To combat these feelings, make sure you practice setting boundaries and don’t try to be something you’re not. People appreciate a good listener who can provide thoughtful conversation.

2 – Bright lights, loud noises, and chaos irk your nerves.

Many people who identify as HSP have a hard time in typical jobs because of this. Retail and foodservice jobs are the HSP’s worst nightmare due to the near-constant influx of stimuli. In fact, many HSPs are drawn to freelance work from home or becoming their own boss for this very reason. They require a more quiet life, which can be explained by the studies above.

If we’re always on alert for threats and opportunities, our brains are running on overdrive. In the modern world, this translates to an almost constant state of overstimulation. Therefore, the HSP retreats to their refuge more often than not.

3 – People always say you’re “too sensitive.”

Perhaps you’ve grown up in an environment where people didn’t understand your sensitivity. They might have seen it as a sign of weakness or even a flaw in your character. Luckily, scientists can now back us up and provide sound research for why we’re made this way. The next time a family member or friend pulls this card on you, you can tell them that you’re in the minority. You would’ve helped them survive in our earlier days, and this should make you feel pretty special indeed.

4 – You prefer spending time alone rather than with others.

Your favorite place is your home, where you can unwind after a long day of work or school. All the stimulation in the world melts away, and you can relax with a good book and a hot cup of tea. You’re free to exist without having to cater to the demands of the outside world. If you’re genuinely a highly sensitive person, you will relate to how amazing it feels to have some peace and quiet. Unless you live out in the country, this is very hard to come by.

5 – Other people often come to you with their problems.

Have you ever noticed that other people are drawn to you? Highly sensitive people often have this aura of compassion and safety about them. In other words, people feel they can come to you with their problems, and they won’t be judged or turned away. In this cruel world, many people are lonely and left on their own to deal with their demons.

However, to them, you’re a beacon of hope, a light shining in the darkness. If you find that random strangers approach you and pour out their life story, you’re likely a highly sensitive person.

6 – You get easily upset by violence or injustice.

You can’t stand movies, TV shows, books, or music that depicts violence or hatred. You much prefer happy, uplifting entertainment that shows the beauty of being human. Movies and shows that represent love and peace are much more in line with your true nature. You also can’t stand seeing animal and human abuse. If only you knew how to fix the troubles of this world, your heart would finally feel happy. You often think about the environmental destruction and greed on this planet and wish you could eliminate it somehow.

7 – You feel starved for deep connections.

This trait is common among many highly sensitive people. They find that others don’t “get” them, and they’re always on the search for deep, meaningful connections. Highly sensitive people can’t stand shallow conversations about gossip, money, possessions, or other things that most people talk about. They crave conversations where they can talk about the meaning of life, outer space, dreams, fears, doubts, childhood dreams, etc.

HSPs usually feel pretty lonely among most people, so this is another reason why they retreat into their hermit cave so often. It’s not that they don’t like people; they require a specific type of connection that feels like searching for a needle in a haystack.

highly sensitive personFinal Thoughts about Highly Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people make up around 20% of the population. Characterized by sensitivity to external stimuli, a knack for reading people and the environment, and feeling emotions genuinely, HSPs are something special. If you come across someone with these traits, cherish them, because they will never leave your side. Sensitive people are some of the most loyal, beautiful people you will ever meet.

“Slowly, a gentle, quiet, personal victory of the spirit grows out of her fear and doubt.”

? Elaine N. Aron

The post 7 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

What’s Your Love Language? (According to Zodiac Sign)

Discovering what the best love language is with every zodiac sign can be fascinating. In fact, a person’s astrology sign can reveal much more than just the top traits. By and large, the knowledge can be quite powerful. It can help make relationships last longer and also help you avoid inappropriate relationships.

In truth, many people have reported that learning about the five love languages changed their personal life with their partner in a positive direction. What is more, studies now show that love can be literally addicting. According to research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), there is a narrow view and a broad view of loving addiction. NCBI refers to the close look as extreme and harmful. However, the expansive view entails the whole spectrum, including primary social attachments.

The Five Love Languages:

Loving can be received and expressed in 5 different languages. Applying any of the five languages to your life can be exciting. The five languages include:

1 – Words of affirmation.

Giving and receiving words of praise are vital. It is essential that you hear the words “I love you.” Adversely, insults and harsh language leaves you shattered and are rarely forgotten.

2 – Acts of service.

The perfect love relationship is about what you do, not what you say. Anyone that lends a helping hand is highly thought of. Magic words to your ears are, “What can I do to help?”

3 – Receiving gifts

You show that you really care for someone by showering them with a special gift. You also like receiving gifts. You thrive on loving, thoughtfulness, and the whole endeavor of a special gift. A forgotten birthday or anniversary is unforgivable!

4 – Quality time

You feel loved when someone gives you their undivided attention. That means the cell phone and TV is off, fork and spoon are on the table, and work is put on hold. You will also do the same for a loved one.

5 – Physical touch

You are very “touchy.” You have a strong need to give and receive hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and physical intimacy. Being there and staying accessible is essential. Abuse or neglect is unacceptable and unforgivable. Learning and applying the key language may improve and strengthen your relationship.

Here is a more in-depth profile of lover’s languages according to each zodiac sign.

Find Your Love Language, According to Your Zodiac Sign

Aries

Primary Languages: Quality Time and Words of Affirmation

The zodiac sign Aries is independent and zealous. They can also be brash and impatient. On the other hand, spending a lot of time with them will make them happy. However, the time spent with them should include an activity. For example, have a date at a car or craft show or have a picnic in the park. They also adore surprises!

An Aries thrives on attention. They need to be showered with words. To win their hearts, surprise them with small compliments, make them feel important, and praise their accomplishments.

Taurus

Primary Languages: Physical Touch and Gift Giving

Body language often says a lot about a person’s character or mood. When it comes to non-verbal communication and the language of love, Taurus has the art of touching down to perfection. A Taurus loves to hug, cuddle, and kiss. As well, they adore any physical activity with their loved ones.

Taurus people are dependable, down to earth, and stable. They are also one of the most sensual signs of the zodiac. In fact, a lot of touching is essential! As well, a Taurus can be materialistic. They adore giving and receiving gifts. However, a gift should be tasteful and exquisite.

Gemini

Primary Languages: Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation

Gemini is a zodiac sign that loves to talk. They are very fun-loving and friendly people. Likewise, the Gemini personality requires quality time and a good deal of mental stimuli. This sign also needs eye contact. Looking at your phone or the TV while they are talking is a big “No.” Give a Gemini your complete attention and they will feel loved.

Gemini’s also need adventure and intelligent conversation. Otherwise, they get bored. When a Gemini gets tired, they can lose interest and search for someone new. It is also imperative that you show how you feel through your actions.

Cancer

Primary Languages: Quality Time and Words of Affirmation

Cancers are sensitive, moody, and emotional. They can also be clingy at times because of their insecurities. However, they are nurturing, have a heart of gold, and will adore you unconditionally. They do require a lot of quality time to remedy their anxieties. They need to know that they are the most important.

Cancers also respond well to acts of service. You will quickly gain their trust and loving heart when you clean or cook for them. Nice candlelight dinners are a big plus.

Leo

Primary Languages: Acts of Service and Gift Giving

The zodiac sign Leo is one of the most generous and warm-hearted signs around. They are also somewhat confident and good-humored plus have a temper to boot. However, the Lion is very kind and generous. They really enjoy a lot of hugs and kisses. They need a partner who can leave them alone when it’s time for a cat nap and also be available when they’re in a frisky mood.

Surprise gifts will always warm their hearts, such as flowers, sweets, excellent food, or something grand. In addition, Leos need words of affirmation and praises. Makes sure and tell them how you feel about them and give plenty of physical affection. Likewise, this sign adores public displays of affection.

Virgo

Primary Languages: Quality Time and Acts of Service

The Virgo is very practical and is a hard worker. They function best with a planned schedule and will always follow through. This meticulous sign will generally have a planner that entails all the things they need to accomplish.

A Virgo will feel loved if you volunteer to do small errands for them. To them, it is a sign of caring. In fact, it will melt their hearts if you do their laundry or dishes. However, this earthy sign is not much for the romantic talk, but they do like physical touch. A word of caution; be careful with giving public affection. Some do not like it at all!

Libra

Primary Languages: Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation

The top language for this sign is quality time. They love spending time with their partner, almost daily. However, Libras have an independent streak that you should never step on. Allow their free spirit to fly, and you will keep them happy.

Libra is the peacemaker of the zodiac. They are all about fairness and justice. They hate arguing, especially when someone raises their voice. They love beauty! On the other hand, Libras are very intellectual and adore a good debate. Just don’t get them out of balance, they will be very temperamental!

Libras are the most romantic and kind-hearted people in the zodiac. As well, they are very charming, sociable, humorous, and dazzling. Libras also like giving and receiving gifts plus spending quality time with their partner.

Scorpio

Primary Languages: Acts of Service and Physical Touch

Scorpio is a zodiac sign that is very sensual and enjoys engaging in physical affection. In fact, their most primal language is physical touch. Scorpions are also one of the most alluring, secretive, and mystic signs of the zodiac. They are also quite intense, passionate, and emotional. What is more, it can be hard to get to know them because they are very good at maneuvering and hiding how they truly feel.

A Scorpios magnetic and electrifying personality is hard to ignore. Moreover, they will want quality time, not quantity! Also, be attentive to what they say, especially when they share the secret side of themselves.

Sagittarius

Primary Languages: Physical Touch and Gift Giving

Sagittarians are the adventurers of the zodiac. They thrive on spontaneity and spending quality time with their partners. As well, they enjoy doing fun activities and having in-depth conversations with their significant other.

The Sagittarius is free-spirited, motivated, and she or he has a positive attitude and is well-traveled. They also hate to be tied down. In fact, they are often the bachelors and bachelorettes of the zodiac. Their temperament is also filled with fire along with their bluntness. Moreover, they are inconsistent by nature and will seldom share how they really feel.

When a Sagittarian falls in love, they are wholly committed. They have big dreams and will treat you to an unforgettable and unbelievable experience. They are also huggers and love physical intimacy. In fact, physical touch is vital to this sign.

Capricorn

Primary Languages: Quality Time and Acts of Service

Capricorns are goal-oriented and will always have their eye on a goal. They are very responsible and serious as well as reserved and quiet. In fact, a Capricorn is often alone and does not seek a romantic relationship. Their priority is to work and accomplish their goals.

Oftentimes a Capricorn will proceed with the action and not words. However, they genuinely require verbal encouragement and support. They also need a partner that is as loyal and devoted as they are.

For the most part, Capricorns will not invest in a relationship if they do not think it has potential. Once they commit, you can be assured that they are in the relationship for the long haul. You can generally win a Capricorn’s heart with acts of service. They also like someone to be as reliable as they are.

zodiac signAquarius

Primary Language: Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation

The zodiac sign Aquarius is very independent, creative, kind, and empathetic. In addition, they often lead with their compassionate hearts. Aquarians are also unpredictable, stubborn, and unwilling to conform.

Although Aquarians thrive on taking a risk, they are quite slow to reveal their true feelings. To win the heart and love of the water bearer, you need to give them their freedom. As well, words of affirmation are vital to them. They need to know that you appreciate their ideas. Aquarians also need quality time with their partner, especially since they are often out and about enjoying their freedom. This sign does not disclose their feeling very often. To top it off, an Aquarian needs to know that you care more than the average person.

Pisces

Primary Languages: Quality Time and Acts of Service

Pisces is one of the most sensitive signs of the zodiac. They are very emotional, gentle, and kindhearted. Pisces is also very intuitive, friendly, and creative. In fact, their sensitivity is so keen that they absorb other people’s emotions. Likewise, trying to decipher their feelings with someone else’s can be confusing.

Unfortunately, the Pisces individual is often taken advantage of. They are classic romantics and do not like being alone. It is easy to gain their hearts and trust if you are completely devoted and romantic. Their main primary language is quality time. They relish moments that are filled with undivided attention from their partner. In addition, acts of service will make them feel needed because they often struggle with ordinary everyday activities.

Pisces is the truth holder when it comes to proving that a loving partner can heal all.

love language

Final Thoughts on Knowing the Love Language for Your Zodiac Sign

You might have begun reading for fun, thinking it would intrigue you to know your love language by zodiac sign. But here’s the surprise! As it happens, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), there may be some truth to how being loved can actually heal your soul. Thus, knowing yourself better will help you attract the partner you deserve.

The post What’s Your Love Language? (According to Zodiac Sign) appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

12 Ways To Overcome Negative Thoughts (In 10 Minutes Or Less)

Negative thoughts can severely drain your energy, making you feel depressed, anxious, and stressed out. Even at its most harmless, they can take a toll on your self-esteem and lead to self-sabotaging behavior.

As with all bad habits, you can break a pattern of repeated negative thinking – and you’re capable of that with just a little work. There are plenty of tried and true methods that can promote positivity and discourage periods of self-pity and sadness.

Here Are 12 Ways To Overcome Negative Thoughts

1. Actively Look For The Good In Life

Seek out good things, and they will come to you. Sometimes, we’re so used to focusing on the negative that we don’t try to find the obvious positive things around us. As such, it’s a good idea to build a good habit of looking for good things. You can do this by:

  • Appreciating the excellent taste of food or drinks you love
  • Taking note of subtle things you like in textures, surfaces, and more
  • Appreciating opportunities to learn, grow, or improve yourself
  • Actively going out and looking for things you enjoy

2. Have Dedicated Time For Negativity

When you’re first starting to fight negative thoughts, you might find that you struggle to contain them. Instead, you might shove them all to one corner of your brain, where they will eventually overflow and cause problems for you later.

Instead of letting this happen, what you can do is set aside some time for yourself to experience negative thoughts. This habit should be a daily practice and should take up no more or less than 10 minutes.

During this time, feel free to think of all the negative things you want. Outside of that time, when you discover a negative thought forming, push it aside, and wait for your next 10 minutes of negative thoughts to give it attention. This exercise will slowly but surely teach you to manage and, eventually, phase out negative thinking.

3. Find New Habits and Skills

Sometimes, imagining the necessity of overcoming the negativity of thought can be intimidating. Instead of trying to eradicate them, try changing the way you think about it. You’re not getting rid of something – you’re forming new habits.

Experiment with new skills and hobbies until you find some that click for you. Aim to find things that make you feel good about yourself. You can:

  • Take a new class
  • Create a bucket list of things to try
  • Tag along with a friend to something they enjoy
  • Make new recipes or crafts

4. Take Responsibility

It’s easy to point fingers or play the victim when life has you feeling down. You might say things like:

  • It wasn’t my fault
  • I had no way of knowing
  • I only did that because I was stressed out
  • There’s nothing I can do about this
  • I have no choice

Yes, some situations are outside of your control. But at the end of the day, it’s your life. You’re responsible for the decisions you make, you’re accountable for your actions and reactions, and it’s time to take control of that.

5. Replace Negativity

Take your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. It seems simple, but it can take some getting used to. There are a few steps you can take to catch negative thoughts and turn the tables on them.

  • Take note of when negative thought patterns begin to occur.
  • Decide that you dislike this pattern and want to change it.
  • Figure out how you want this thought pattern to change and what you wish was different about it.
  • Find an appropriate thought replacement that matches the goals you made in step 3.

Here’s an example of a situation and the steps taken to solve them:

  • I notice that I tend to call myself names like “dumb” or “incompetent” when I make mistakes.
  • I don’t like that I talk myself down this way, and it usually just makes me more upset.
  • Instead of name-calling, I would like to accept and process mistakes and move on from them without feeling terrible.
  • The next time I make a mistake, I will remind myself that even the greatest minds make mistakes, and then I will tell myself that mistakes mean I am learning.

6. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is a fantastic way to become more positive. It has numerous benefits for both mental and physical health, as well as relationships.

Start a gratitude journal where you record a minimum of 3 things that you’re feeling grateful for every day. They can be anything from small, seemingly insignificant things to huge events. Even on bad days, you can probably find things to be grateful for. This reflection can help put things into perspective and give you a chance to remember things you often take for granted.

Here are some ideas for things to be grateful for:

  • Your health
  • Access to clean food and water
  • Electricity, gas, water, and other utilities
  • A roof over your head
  • Your friends and family
  • Your pets
  • Classes you enjoy
  • Your favorite books, TV shows, movies, and music
  • Things that made you smile, even for a second
  • Job opportunities
  • Upcoming vacations or plans
  • New items you purchased

7. Separate Yourself From Negative Factors

Often, we willingly surround ourselves with negativity without realizing it. Here are some things you may want to separate from yourself:

· Social Media

Look at your feed on the social media platforms you frequent. Are there a lot of people complaining? Or are there lots of people you like to compare yourself to, usually ending with you feeling bad about yourself?

Unfollow “influencers” who make you feel bad about yourself. Remember, their lives aren’t like they portray, anyway. Mute friends or family who are too negative. Control what you see on social media, or don’t use it at all!

· News

News programs, especially the morning news, can be real bummers – and it’s a terrible way to start the day. In fact, research indicates that consuming news of a harmful variety for just three minutes first thing in the morning can hugely impact positive thinking and productivity for the rest of the day.

Yes, keeping informed is essential. But if you really must read sad or bad news, do so later in the day, not in the morning with breakfast.

· People

Surrounding yourself with negative people is guaranteed to bring you down. Cut those toxic people from your life and seek to find friends who are positive, supportive, and kind.

Of course, you can’t ignore negative things forever. But until you learn how to manage negative thoughts properly, steering clear of these factors can work for you.

8. Find A Silver Lining

Every single dark cloud has a silver lining, though it can be hard to see them at first. The next time you find yourself in a bad situation, ask yourself questions to help you find that elusive silver lining. Your questions can include:

  • What can I do differently next time to prevent this?
  • How would I treat a friend in this situation?
  • What’s one positive side of this event, no matter how small?
  • What can I learn from this event?

9. Do Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can help you to overcome negative thoughts in a myriad of unwanted scenarios, and research indicates that even the worst situations can be made better for those who are used to performing these acts of positive thinking. Here are some examples of positive affirmations that you can try:

  • I am intelligent and capable
  • I am strong
  • Negative thoughts have no power over me
  • I think positively in all situations
  • I’ve got the strength to overcome adverse circumstances
  • I react well to mistakes
  • I expel negativity and welcome positivity

10. Express Yourself

Pent-up negativity can burst forth and overflow when you least want it to. That’s why expressing that negativity, especially if it’s very strong, can help you to overcome those thoughts and switch to positive thinking. Here are some ways that you can do this:

  • Talk to a friend, family member, loved one, mental health professional, or anyone else you feel you can trust
  • Use art as a form of expression; draw, write stories or poetry, make music, rant in a journal or personal video log, dance, sing, or make any art you like
  • Express yourself through physical activity; lift weights, jog or run, punch a punching bag, dance, cycle, or do any other kind of exercise
  • If all else fails, talk to yourself; rant out loud about your issues

stop negative thoughts

11. Be Kind To Others

Making others happy is a great way to make yourself happier. It allows you to shift the focus off from yourself and your negative thoughts, and the positivity that will spread from your compassion will be contagious (and it may even beget more kindness!). Here are some ideas of things you can do to be kind to others:

  • Smile at someone or say “good morning” to someone you pass
  • Hold open the door for someone or let them pass first when you’re driving
  • Give an honest and thoughtful compliment to someone
  • Be there for someone in need
  • Help someone out with a problem they’ve been having
  • Do a favor for someone
  • Buy someone a gift

12. Be Kind To Yourself

Humans tend to be harder on themselves than they are on everyone else. You might be less forgiving for your mistakes and say mean things to yourself. It’s crucial, therefore, to be your own best friend.

What does this mean? Well, if you wouldn’t say what you’re thinking of yourself to your best friend, then you’re unnecessarily cruel. Treat yourself like you would a dear friend, with all the patience and compassion that entails.

Remember, you’re human! You’re going to make mistakes. And, of course, you’re going to have bad days. You’re not going to be perfect, and that’s part of your beauty. Take it easy and be kind. You deserve to be treated with compassion, especially from yourself.

positive vibes outweigh negative thoughtsFinal Thoughts on Overcoming Negative Thoughts

No one wants to be negative all the time. By understanding the patterns behind bad thoughts and working to change them and replace them with better habits, you’ll be giving yourself a happier, healthier life and mind.

The post 12 Ways To Overcome Negative Thoughts (In 10 Minutes Or Less) appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

10 Signs Someone Is Trying to Blackmail You

Blackmail is a heavy word. Luckily, this crime isn’t committed very often against regular, everyday folk – but emotional blackmail is. Emotional blackmail is a fairly straightforward concept. It involves getting someone under your control through the use of psychological manipulation and mind games.

The problem with this kind of blackmail is how subtle it can be. You think you’re not susceptible, but master blackmailers are capable of slowly but surely creeping their influence under your skin when you’re not paying attention. That’s why you need to be aware of the red flags for this behavior.

Here Are 10 Signs Someone Is Trying To Blackmail You

1. Guilt-Tripping

Guilt-tripping is very common behavior from emotional blackmailers. The goal is to make you feel bad for something you’ve said or done, or to feel bad for them. Blackmailers hope that this will make you cave in and compromise on your beliefs or statements out of sympathy.

Primarily, guilt-tripping uses your compassion against you. It gets even worse if the blackmailer has the support of other people. The tricky part about all of this is that, usually, an expert emotional manipulator will never need to blame you openly. They’ll imply your guilt somehow, often through phrases like:

  • “It’s not like I (insert things they’ve done for you) just to help you out before or anything.”
  • “Yeah, it’s just that I tried hard at this, but whatever.”
  • “I guess it’ll be difficult for me, but maybe I’ll be able to figure something out.”
  • “I just thought it would be a great symbol of our friendship/relationship, but if you don’t feel the same, I guess I can learn to handle that.”
  • “So I did this because you don’t care about me much, anyway.”
  • “I talked to (insert person), and they agree with me on this that you’re unreasonable.”
  • “I mean, you owe me, don’t you?”
  • “Are you sure you want it to leave this like this, with me in this situation alone?”

2. Gaslighting

Gaslighting involves twisting situations, events, or statements into something that didn’t happen. Basically, it means that emotional blackmailers will try to change a story to best suit their whims, even if that’s not what happened. It can mess with your mental health, positive thinking, sense of self, and, eventually, your perception of reality.

Gaslighters have a way of making you feel like you’re losing your mind, and in the long run, this can be extremely damaging. Here are some common phrases gaslighters use:

  • “You’re crazy, that’s not what happened at all.”
  • “Actually, it happened in the way I remember it. Don’t you recall?”
  • “Lighten up! It’s just a joke.”
  • “You’re a little sensitive, huh?”
  • “You’re really overreacting to this.”
  • “Why even bring this up? Let it go.”
  • “I never said or did those things. You must have imagined it.”
  • “You’re always reaching all the wrong conclusions.”
  • “Don’t be so insecure.”
  • “Maybe you need some mental help.”
  • “If you’d been listening or paying attention, you would know that…”
  • “You’re reading into this whole thing too much. It’s not that deep.”

Stand up to gaslighting by reiterating that what they described is not your reality and stand by what you remember.

3. Promises Of Incentives

Some blackmailers offer some incentive to convince someone to do as they please. They may offer a gift or a favor, or, more menacingly, they may dangle something they know means a lot to you over your head and imply that they could find time to do it if you do something for them first.

Conversely, if someone has already done something nice for you in the past, they may use that old favor to convince you that it’s time for you to do something for them.

4. “Protection”

Many emotional blackmailers like to take on the role of a protector because they can do whatever they want under the guise of such “protection.” Someone who is trying to blackmail you will likely be very controlling and claim it is for the greater good. They may say things like:

  • “I do all of this for you.”
  • “I’m just looking out for you.”
  • “I care about you, that’s why I’m doing this.”
  • “Don’t you appreciate all I’ve done for you?”
  • “I only have your best interests at heart.”

Primarily, they use this as a means to control those around them while pretending not to be blackmailers – an easy success for them, as most emotionally abused individuals have difficulty characterizing mistreatment of any kind as abuse. Some even positively view those actions.

It’s important to remember that the kindness of anyone towards you does not make you indebted to them. You are under no requirement to put up with things you aren’t fond of just because someone has positive intentions – and especially if those intentions are secretly bad ones in disguise.

5. Punishment

There are healthy ways to get some time and space to process a disagreement. Discipline is not one of them. This involves a blackmailer letting you know indirectly that you’re to blame for what happened and that you must suffer consequences:

  • Ignoring you for hours on end after an argument
  • Giving you the cold shoulder for days
  • Trying to make you feel anxious, jealous, or angry
  • Refusing to acknowledge your sadness or emotions
  • Withholding information from you to spite you

These seem like insignificant things, but what they do is slowly but surely teach you that fights, disagreements, or other problems will lead to a “punishment” of sorts, which will make you feel even more terrible. You may begin doing everything you can to avoid these disagreements

6. Mentions Of Harming Themselves

An emotional blackmailer may threaten to harm themselves, instead of threatening to harm others. They are banking on the idea that you would be frightened for them, so they imply that if they harm themselves, it will be you who is to blame. They may say things like:

  • “I will hurt myself if you don’t do this for me.”
  • “I’ll probably just end my life if even you aren’t willing to help me.”
  • “If you go, I’ll commit suicide.”
  • “I hope you know that if I don’t wake up tomorrow, it’ll be because of what you did.”
  • “I guess I’ll just have new scars after having to deal with this all on my own, huh?”

Emotional blackmailers believe that these threats can help them gain control over you. There are also less severe versions of these kinds of threats that don’t mention physical self-harm but still count as emotional blackmail. These statements can include:

  • “Do this for me, or I’ll be really upset”
  • “I’d be so unhappy if you didn’t help me out with this”
  • “I’ll probably cry all night long if you don’t do what I asked”
  • “I thought you cared about me enough to do this, and I’m hurt that this relationship is more one-sided than I thought.”
  • “You’re going to ruin my whole night!”

7. Calculative Behavior

An emotional blackmailer is often calculative, as this is the best bet they have at controlling you with factual or statistical evidence. The numbers don’t lie, but a healthy friendship or relationship of any kind doesn’t involve perfect 50/50 split rules – they require an exchange of giving and take. A blackmailer may perform the following calculative behaviors:

  • They do things for you to get something in return
  • Keeping a perfect score of how much you’ve done for each other
  • Always expecting you to make up for the time they’ve spent on you
  • They use their past positive behavior as proof that you owe them something

8. Blaming

Emotional blackmailers never want to be in the wrong. They will always find a way to shift blame onto you, refusing to take responsibility. Common phrases include:

  • “Look what you made me do!”
  • “I had no way of knowing about that.”
  • “You should have been clearer.”
  • “I only did it because of what you did first!”
  • “This isn’t my fault.”
  • “You should have stopped me.”

9. Threats

Blackmailers very commonly make threats to get what they want. They behave this way to gain control over the situation. Indeed, you have to either obey or risk their wrath. Here are some of the common threats performed by emotional blackmailers.

· Threats Against Themselves

We’ve already covered this, but it warrants saying again: an emotional blackmailer may threaten to injure themselves so you will feel guilty and do whatever you can to not be to blame for such an event.

· Threats Against What You Care About

An emotional blackmailer may threaten to break your belongings, hurt the people you love, or ruin your chances at something. These are all hazardous signs of aggression and should not be taken lightly.

· Threats Against You

If someone is making threats against you, this is a serious matter, and you should go to the police and spend the night with people you can trust. Many people make the mistake of brushing off threats with positive thinking, but many physically abusive relationships begin with emotional abuse. Protect yourself.

10. Repeated Shaming For Flaws

It’s okay to be honest and direct about someone’s flaws. But always harping on every minor misstep someone makes is not healthy at all. Someone who wants to blackmail you may do these things to lower your self-esteem so they can get through to you in your compromised state.

This behavior can cause you to doubt yourself, and it can even make you anxious and afraid. You may second guess everything you do, only to have the blackmailer assure you that only they are being honest with you. This will cause you to rely on them more than they deserve, and it may make you feel like no one else could like you, so you’re stuck with them.

lies and emotional blackmailFinal Thoughts: Don’t Fall Victim to Emotional Blackmail

All blackmail is terrible, but the sinister nature of emotional blackmail lies in its creeping subtlety and how easily someone can fall victim to it.

Remember, you do not deserve to be treated in this manner, and it is never okay for someone to coerce you into doing anything through manipulation, blackmail, or other underhanded tactics. Don’t be afraid to distance yourself from someone who shows signs of wanting to blackmail you.

The post 10 Signs Someone Is Trying to Blackmail You appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

Mental Health Experts Explain 14 Health Benefits of True Friendship

“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love,” Hubert Humphrey once said. And he was correct, in more ways than one. Of course, we all know that spending time with friends makes us feel good. But not as many people know that having supportive friends has been scientifically shown to benefit our well-being and health in a multitude of ways.

A plethora of psychological and scientific research has revealed a significant and essential relationship between having good friends and good health. Therefore, we now know that our friends have a tremendous impact on our health. Research has shown the living in a state of loneliness and isolation can have fatal consequences.

Evidence proves that having quality friendships plays a vital role in promoting better mental and physical health. But what beneficial outcomes are associated with having real friends, in particular? Furthermore, what does a healthy relationship with a true friend look like? Read this article to learn more about the many benefits of true friendship. In addition, you’ll see what healthy friendships look like and how to develop and maintain them.

IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP

The people that you surround yourself will affect you, for better or worse. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to friends. Much research proves that having unhealthy friends and unhealthy relationships with friends can bring you harm. This study, this study, and this one are a few among the studies that underscore the adverse effects of unhealthy friendships.

Thus, having a few real friends that you can count on is much better than having many low-quality friends. But what makes someone a true friend? Here are some of the essential aspects of true friendships:

  • Respect.
  • Honesty.
  • Reciprocity.
  • Appreciation.
  • Truly listening
  • Genuine kindness.
  • Emotional support.
  • Ability to be yourself.
  • Empathy and sympathy.
  • Meaningful conversations.
  • Openness and vulnerability.
  • It encourages personal growth.
  • Want what is best for one another.
  • Trustworthy character and behaviors.
  • Willingness to compromise and sacrifice.
  • Mutual enjoyment of spending time together.

14 Health Benefits of True Friendship From Mental Health Experts

In addition to improving our lives on a day-to-day basis, our friends can also have a life-saving impact on our health. Here are some of the many ways in which having true friends is beneficial to mental and physical health:

1) Lessens Stress:

The authors of this study examined how a person’s friends influence their well-being and health. Data revealed that having frequent contact with friends directly links to less stress and better health.

Another study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry evaluated whether social support can “mitigate the harmful effects of stress.” Researchers found that individuals with social support had lower cholesterol levels and higher immune functioning. Based on the findings, the authors concluded that social support could mitigate the harmful effects of stressful stimuli.

2) Friendship Elongates Life:

This study assessed the link between social isolation, loneliness, and mortality. Based on an in-depth analysis of 6,500 people, researchers determined that socially isolated and lonely individuals had significantly higher mortality rates.

Another study followed breast cancer patients for 12.5 years to evaluate the impact of close personal relationships on their survival. Researchers found that “increased contact with friends post-diagnosis was associated with a lower risk of death.”

3) Increases Happiness:

This study examined if, and how, having a supportive network of friends increases happiness. Researchers found that people with a supportive network are happier and that “social support plays a mediating role.” Another study revealed that “friendship quality predicted happiness above and beyond the influence of personality and number of friends.”

4) Decreases Depression:

This study analyzed the strength of participants’ friendships as a predictor of change in their depressive symptoms. Results revealed that the strength of friendships “predicted decreases in depressive symptoms.” The authors of this impactful study evaluated the effect of social support on depression in individuals who survived childhood abuse. Researchers found that having friends who provide social support “protected against adult depression.”

5) Lowers Blood Pressure:

This ground-breaking study used longitudinal data spanning the course of years to evaluate the relationship between having friends and measures of health. The authors found that “a lack of social connections more than doubled the risk of high blood pressure.” Another study published in Psychology and Aging reveals that loneliness “is a unique predictor” of elevated blood pressure.

6) Improves Overall Health:

This study used longitudinal data to assess the association between social relationships with objective measures of health. Researchers found that a lack of friends increased inflammation to the same degree as physical inactivity. Additionally, the data revealed that “the effect of social isolation on hypertension exceeded that of clinical risk factors such as diabetes.” This research review examined the lives of over 300,000 individuals to analyze the link between social relationships and health. Researchers discovered that people with serious medical conditions who had stronger relationships had a 50 percent higher chance of survival. Having friends predicted survival more than twice as much as exercise did and at the same rate as quitting smoking. Indicating that strong friendships improve overall health.

7) Friendship Increases Confidence:

recent research reveals that interacting with members of different social groups can increase self-confidence. Authors of this review of research discuss how and why intergroup contact promotes enhanced self-confidence among participants.

This groundbreaking study evaluated the effect of participating in a friend-making program on participants with severe mental illness (SMI). The program matched individuals with SMI with a community volunteer to participate in weekly one-on-one social activities together. Clients with SMI who participated in the friend-making program showed significant increases in self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth.

8) Decreases Risk of Obesity:

This study revealed that “overweight youth were twice as likely to have overweight friends.” This effect works both ways. An individual’s willingness to adopt healthy eating and exercise behaviors are highly related to the behaviors of their friends.

An additional study assessed the differences in weight loss between two groups of individuals. Individuals who participated in a weight-loss intervention alone were compared to individuals who participated in the intervention with friends. Only 76% of those who participated in the program alone finished the intervention, and 24% maintained their weight loss. Comparatively, 95% of those who participated in the intervention with friends completed the program. With 66%, or about twice as many of the participants with friends in the program maintaining their weight loss.

9) Assist in a Better Aging Process:

In this pivotal study, nearly 2,761 aging participants were followed for 13 years. The goal of the study was to examine the relationship between social activity and survival. Results demonstrated that social activity was independently predictive of survival when controlling for all individual and health factors. Based on results, researchers drew the following conclusion: “Social and productive activities that involve little or no enhancement of fitness lower the risk of all causes of mortality as much as fitness activities do.”

Another study assessed whether social networks predict better mental health in 1,669 adults aged 60 and older. Results revealed that depressive symptoms were lowest for participants with a diverse network of friends and highest for those without friendships.

10) Can Aid in Smoking Cessation:

A study published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors examined the relationship between smoking habits of participant’s friends and smoking cessation. Research data for more than 6,000 adult smokers who were attempting to quit smoking was collected over several years. Results revealed that smokers who had friends that quit smoking were significantly more successful in their attempt to quit smoking.

This review of research aimed “to provide an overview of the role of social support in smoking cessation.” Data revealed a significant increase in participants’ ability to quit smoking in interventions that included social support.

11) Improves Coping Abilities and Resilience:

Authors of this study investigated if, and how, having one supportive friend improved coping and resilience in at-risk individuals. Researchers found that participants with a supportive friend developed a more “constructive coping style.” Data also revealed a significant link between having a supportive friend and resilience. Furthermore, the authors indicated a clear relationship between the presence of a supportive friend and increased coping skills and resilience.

Another study showed that the quality of the participant’s relationship with their best friend was positively associated with “mastery coping.”

12) Decreases Risk of Mortality from Heart Disease:

This longitudinal study assessed the impact of social connections on the risk of heart disease in more than 9,000 participants. Results revealed that participants who lacked social connections “had a two times higher risk of death from heart disease.”

In an additional longitudinal study, researchers evaluated the relationship between social connections and mortality rates in participants with coronary heart disease. Researchers reported the following findings.

“Those who are socially isolated are at 2- to 3-fold increased risk of death over 5 to 9 years when compared to those most connected.”

13) Decreases Risk of Developing Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease:

The authors of this study examined the role that loneliness plays in the onset and development of dementia. Results revealed that participants who felt lonely developed dementia more often than those who did not.

Another pivotal study followed 823 aging participants for four years to determine if loneliness impacted whether they developed Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). None of the participants had an Alzheimer’s diagnosis at the start of the study. After the study, data revealed that the “risk of AD was more than doubled in lonely persons.”

14) Reduces Relapse Risk in Recovery from Substance Use Disorder:

This consequential study evaluated mediators for the effects that self-help groups had on 2,337 veterans suffering from substance abuse disorder (SUD). The findings demonstrated that “enhanced friendship networks predicted reduced substance use at 1-year follow-up.”

Additionally, another study assessed whether participating in a peer-support community program would reduce relapse rates in individuals recovering from SUD. Results revealed that “a significant reduction of risk of relapse was found in clients who participated in the peer-support program.”

relationshipsSTEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO CULTIVATE AND STRENGTHEN FRIENDSHIPS

There are many steps that you can take to develop and strengthen your relationships with friends. Thus, here are some of the things that you can do to cultivate friendships that will last a lifetime:

  • Volunteer
  • Join a team.
  • Take a class.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Visit local hangouts.
  • Join your alumni association.
  • Carpool to work or class.
  • Participate in a support group.
  • Attend local events of interest.
  • Unplug and interact with the people around you.
  • Explore your neighborhood and meet your neighbors.
  • Invite a neighbor, co-worker, or classmate to do something fun.
  • Finally, re-connect with old friends and acquaintances using social media.

friendshipFINAL THOUGHTS ON CULTIVATING FRIENDSHIPS

This article demonstrates how incorporating positive social interactions with real friends into your self-care routine can improve your health in many ways. Not only that, but having quality friends could save your life.

Of course, it can be challenging to find the time to maintain quality friendships in the busy world that we live in. But it is never too late, and you are never too busy to take the necessary steps to better your life. So you can begin building a great relationship with someone today. Whether it be finding a new friend or reconnecting with an old one, potential friends are everywhere.

Research has revealed that having true friends is as important as anything else you do to take care of yourself. By working to have great relationships with friends, now, you can avoid the multitude of harmful effects of loneliness later in life. Remember, investing time in finding and keeping quality friends is spending time in your own health, as well. So why wait? Get out there and start developing and strengthening your friendships today!

The post Mental Health Experts Explain 14 Health Benefits of True Friendship appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.


Source – powerofpositivity.com

Lifestyle

15 Foods That Arthritis Sufferers Should Avoid

If you suffer from arthritis, then you know the pain and tenderness that comes along with the condition. Fortunately, there are at-home remedies that can help alleviate your discomfort. One of the best ways to calm the pain is by eating a healthy diet of non-inflammatory foods.

Arthritis is a very common health condition, with over 3 million cases being reported in the US every year. This condition manifests by swelling and tenderness around your joints that typically worsens with age. The two most common types of the disease are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. However, there are more than 100 types, including:

  • Rheumatic Fever
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Gout
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Scleroderma
  • Tendinitis
  • Back pain

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in bones begins to break down, whereas rheumatoid X is a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks your joints. Treatment depends on the type of condition that you have, but the main focus of treatment is to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life.

A key part of treatment is preventing inflammation from flaring up, as more inflammation means more pain. What can you do? A great first step is to avoid whole foods that are scientifically linked to chronic inflammation, such as refined sugars and fried foods. Making simple changes to your diet can help relieve some health symptoms, like pain and swelling.

If you think you may suffer from arthritis, make sure you consult a healthcare professional to determine the best action plan for you. But if you’re ready to take back some control, keep reading for 15 foods you should always avoid.

Foods to Avoid When Coping with Arthritis Pain

1. High-Sodium Freezer Meals

Corticosteroids are a common treatment used to treat inflammation, and doctors often prescribe them for patients who have rheumatoid arthritis. These corticosteroids can cause your body to retain more salt. A regular intake of excess sodium can contribute to inflammation in the body. Experts recommend limiting your daily intake of sodium to 1,500 milligrams.

2. Soda

Sugar connects back to inflammation in the body, and research shows that sodas sweetened with sugar link to an increase in arthritic symptoms in women. A study revealed that consuming a single sugary soda a day increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by a whopping 63 percent. Most sodas have a high sugar content that exceedingly surpasses the recommended daily amount.

3. Sugary Fruit Juice

If sugary sodas are bad for you, then that means that sugary fruit juices are also just as bad. Fruit juices that have a high sugar content are key drivers for inflammation. Chronic pain and fibromyalgia are substantially affected by the microglial activation and central sensitization process. Sugar is a key driver in facilitating this process, all of which substantially amplifies arthritic pain.

4. Ice Cream

Ice cream contains saturated fats and added sugars, which is the perfect mixture for inflammation. Saturated fats are one of the biggest culprits of inducing inflammation. However, evidence from a rat study indicates that casein, the primary protein found in dairy foods, can potentially minimize swelling by quelling inflammation. The only way to know how dairy is affecting you is to experiment by cutting it out of your diet. If your symptoms do not improve, then maybe a scoop or two will not hurt.

5. Baked Goods

Speaking of desserts, baked goods that contain partially hydrogenated oil are a group of foods that anyone suffering from inflammation in the body must avoid at all costs. Partially hydrogenated oil contains trans fats – an ingredient that you should always avoid. Trans fats can trigger inflammation and regular consumption of trans fats:

  • Increases “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Lowers “good” HDL cholesterol
  • Increases the risk of developing heart disease

6. Margarine

Since we’re talking about trans fats, it’s important to note that margarine, your favorite butter substitute, is also a no-no. Margarine is typically made from trans fats, which are associated with heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. This group of foods also includes vegetable oils, which undergo a hydrogenation process that changes its chemical properties.

7. Polyunsaturated Cooking Oil

Polyunsaturated cooking oils, such as soybean, safflower, corn, sunflower, and canola oil, are commonly found in restaurants and homes. These cooking oils are rich in omega-6 fatty acids but lack omega-3 fatty acids. Most adults do not ingest enough whole foods that contain omega-3s, and an imbalance of these acids can cause inflammation, which can worsen symptoms of pain and inflammation throughout the body.

8. Fried Foods

As a general health rule, you should stay away from fried foods. This advice is because fried foods are often fried in oils that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which disturbs the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the body. This addition to your diet can cause more inflammation to occur and worsen arthritis symptoms.

9. Full-Fat Cheeses

Cheese is one of America’s most prized ingredients. But before you indulge in a bowl of your favorite four cheese tortellini, it is important to remember that most cheeses load you up with saturated fats. These fats are scientifically proven to be a trigger for inflammation in the body.

10. White Flour

A study found in The Journal of Nutrition revealed that white flour is a huge driver for inflammation. It can emphasize omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in the body, which significantly impacts inflammation in the joints by subduing prostaglandin E3. Omega-3s are important for preventing diabetes and heart diseases, protecting your brain, and combatting inflammation.

11. Pizza

Errr…hate to be the bearer of bad news. But if pain and inflammation are a health concern, then you may want to put down that extra cheesy slice of pizza. Pizza is one of the biggest sources of saturated fat due to the cheese and meat toppings. The saturated fats found in the cheese can trigger inflammation in the body, which can worsen symptoms and cause heart disease.

12. White Rice

Refined carbohydrates like white rice can cause your blood sugar to spike, which can increase markers for inflammation in the body. White rice lacks the nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Instead, you should opt for whole grains like brown rice, whole-grain barley, whole-wheat couscous, freekeh, buckwheat, rye, whole oats, bulgur, and quinoa.

13. Pretzels

Pretzels are an all-time favorite snack. However, several studies link a sub-optimal microbiome to inflammation. Pretzels are a form of refined grains, and healthy microbiomes do not like these grains. Healthy guts prefer whole foods that are rich in fiber such as pistachios, chickpeas, quinoa, fruit, and oatmeal.

14. Canned Fruit in Heavy Syrup

Although fruit is an essential part of any healthy diet, you should avoid canned fruit packed in heavy syrup. That is because the added sugars in the syrup may prompt proteins called cytokines to release into the body. Cytokines link to increases in inflammation. However, this only applies to canned fruit that is in heavy syrup. Dried fruit or canned fruits that have no sugar added are perfectly fine to eat.

15. Sausages (and Other Processed Meats)

Processed foods are usually advised against due to their high salt and fat content. Processed meats are rich in advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are triggers for inflammation and can worsen your symptoms. AGEs are present in every type of meat, but there are higher concentrations of AGEs in processed meats. So if sausages are a must-have in your meal plan, look for organic or all-natural products.

foods to avoid for arthritisFinal Thoughts on Avoiding Inflammatory Foods to Calm Your Arthritis Pain

What a list, right? As more people aim to become more health-conscious, it is important to pay attention to the foods that we eat. Everything that you ingest affects you and your body, whether it is positive or negative.

It may seem as though you are giving up all of your favorite foods (because how can anyone say no to a slice of pizza?). However, these things tend to become less important as your body begins to feel better over time. Plus, who said you have to give everything up forever? A scoop of ice cream or a slice of pizza is okay in moderation, but they should not be staples in your diet – especially if you are suffering from chronic pain and inflammation.

Inflammation is a common symptom of several diseases. Therefore, the severity of pain caused by inflammation depends on several factors, and the lifestyle choices you make are one of the largest contributors. To combat chronic pain and inflammation, avoid foods that are high in sodium, sugar, or trans fats. Instead, opt for whole fiber-rich foods like whole oats, fruits, and organic meats.

Making simple changes to your diet can have a significant impact on your well-being and overall quality of life. Additionally, by avoiding these trigger foods, the severity of your arthritis symptoms could lessen, and your life will become yours again.

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Lifestyle

14 Things About Sagittarius to Always Remember

Are you a Sagittarius trying to make your way through the Universe? Do you feel like there is a higher purpose for your life? Are the Cosmos pulling you in a different direction than you thought your life might travel?

Your zodiac sign may have a lot to do with the way your life is and the way your future might turn out.

Each person has a zodiac sign that is specific to them. A Sagittarius is born between November 22 and December 21.

These signs tell a lot about how we should live our lives. Furthermore, we can use these signs as an excellent tool to understand personalities, ambitions, goals, and passions. They provide insight into the people we are compatible with and the people they are not compatible with.

In the United States, recent surveys have found that nearly 58 percent of teenagers believe in zodiac signs. According to the American Federation of Astrologers, approximately 70 million people read their horoscope every day. Zodiac signs are a guide for our lives as they can help us understand more about ourselves and the world around us. If you are a Sagittarius or know someone with this sign here are some things that you need to know about them and always remember

14 THINGS TO ALWAYS REMEMBER ABOUT SAGITTARIUS

#1) A Sagittarius Will Speak What’s On Their Mind

Sagittarius does not hold back what they think. They are not afraid to stand up to others and speak what is on their mind. Even if the whole room is against them, they will say what they think and may also get you to change your mind. Their ability to tell what they think maybe the reason that there are 8 billionaires with this sign.

If you are in a relationship or are close friends with someone from this part of the zodiac circle, you must be prepared to hear what they have to say. These people would let you listen to what is on their mind even if you did not ask for their opinion. Remember that these people have a lot to say and that they are not afraid to say it.

#2) Can Get Bored Easily

People with this sign tend to get bored quickly. They like to be moving around and spontaneous. Even if they are relaxing, they want to have a thought-provoking conversation. Since they can get bored easily, it is essential to keep them engaged. The other signs that are ideal romantic matches for this sign are Aries, Leo, Gemini, and Aquarius because they can keep up with their spontaneous personality.

To help prevent people in this Zodiac category from getting bored, you should be prepared to take adventures with them. Since they will not want to have a relaxing night at home, you should create spontaneous trips or dates. They will always be up for an adventure and trying something new, so do not be afraid of them not wanting to go with you.

#3) Healthy, But Overly Indulgent

In the universe, this sign takes after the planet Jupiter. Since Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system, the organ that Sagittarius’ must look after most is their liver, since it is the biggest organ. These people should avoid things in excess. Drinking too much may cause health problems in typically healthy people.

While people with this sign may have some liver problems, they are healthy in all other ways. They tend to get sick less than those with other Zodiac signs.

#4) High Ability To Charm Others

Sagittarius knows how to win people over. They have a high ability to charm others, and many daily horoscopes mention their ability to charm. These people tend to connect well with others and have a lot of friends because they know what to say.

If you are looking for the perfect date for an important business meeting or a special event, you should take a person with this sign. They will be able to charm anyone in the room and will make you look good. Their ability to attract others can help them get ahead, but it can also make those around them look good too.

#5) Socially Active

Sagittarius does not like to sit down. They always want to be moving and going on some adventure. They love hanging out with friends and family, getting out of the house and trying new things. This sign does not like sitting at home alone and will always make new friends wherever they go.

If you are friends or partners with someone that has this sign, you should remember that they will likely want to have friends over a lot. They may also want to go out with friends. They are social creatures and do not like being isolated, so you will always have to remember this.

#6) Honest is the Sagittarius Policy

Those born of this sign tend to be brutally honest. If you want to know the truth about something or you need advice, you should not shy away from asking a Sagittarius. These people will tell you exactly what they think, no matter how much it may hurt to hear.

If you are looking for an honest friend or partner, you will find one in a Sagittarius. They are incredibly realistic in all aspects of their lives. Remember that if you ask for their opinion or their advice, they will be brutally honest when they give it to you.

#7) Optimistic

Sagittarius’ is optimistic about everything in life, from health to career to relationships. They may be honest about the past and the present, but will always have high hopes for the future. In addition, they understand that life can change like the flip of a switch and will forever remain optimistic about everything.

They make great friends, and people love to be around them because they are always looking on the bright side. Also, they can find happiness in even the darkest places, making them some of the most optimistic people you can find.

#8) Spontaneous

Forget about routines and a relaxing weekend. A person with this sign is full of spontaneity. They love adventure, trying new things, and living life to its fullest. They are naturally spontaneous people and have no room in their life for boring routines.

Their spontaneous nature is one thing that you should always remember if you know someone of this sign. Surprises and spontaneous adventures can help you win their hearts.

#9) Passionate

When it comes to relationships and zodiac signs, passion controls it all. Sagittarius’ are very passionate about life and honesty. They love life and will not miss out on new adventures simply because of their partner. If you are not willing to live your life to its fullest potential, you will not be able to connect well with someone from this part of the zodiac cycle.

We all want a person who is passionate about life and relationships, but people with this sign may be too intense for some to handle. Remember that their passion is a part of their personality. They may be more passionate about some things than you are, but it is a part of who they are.

#10) Life Full of Laughter

These people do not take life too seriously. They enjoy being around people who can make them laugh since they tend to have a great sense of humor. They love to hang out with people who like to laugh and have a good time.

If you have an arsenal of witty jokes, these people will love to laugh with you. They appreciate those with a good sense of humor and will enjoy telling stories right along with you.

#11) Great Judge Of Character

If you want to know about someone’s character, introduce them to a Sagittarius. Sagittarius’ has excellent intuition, and they listen to it. Their gut instinct tells them a lot about a person’s character from a single introduction.

They may be optimistic about life and people, but they will always listen to their intuition. If you make a terrible first impression with a person from this part of the zodiac circle, it may be hard to change their opinion about you.

#12) Flirty Personality

They love to flirt because it is just a natural part of their personality. If you can’t handle being with a strong-willed, flirty partner, you should keep walking. This part of their character is something that they cannot change.

sagittarius horoscope

#13) In Touch With Nature

While Sagittarius may not be hitting the gym every day to get a good workout, they will like hiking and going on outdoor adventures to get in shape. People with this sign love nature and everything about it. Their adventurous personality will take them places.

#14) Curious Like A Cat

Sagittarius is one of the most curious zodiac signs. They are sure to ask a question in any conversation and will likely have a few follow up questions. Their curious personality makes them love learning and adventure. They are always up for learning something new.

sagittariusFINAL THOUGHTS ON MAINTAINING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A SAGITTARIUS

If you are born between November 22 and December 21, these characteristics likely resemble you and may have influenced your life. Your curious, optimistic, honest, passionate, flirty, and adventurous personality have likely impacted your career, relationships, and goals. Understanding how your zodiac sign affects your personality and, ultimately, your life can help you make better decisions and meet the person of your dreams.

If you are in a relationship with someone from this part of the zodiac calendar or are good friends with one, you should understand how their horoscope affects the person that they are. Understanding how the world and universe guide Sagittarius’ through life can help ensure that your relationships last and are the best that they can be.

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Lifestyle

Doctors Reveal the Impact of Fast Food on Your Immune System

Fast food has become the easiest way for many families to get a hot meal. Americans are increasingly busier, and finding time to put dinner on the table is almost impossible for some people. However, while it may be quick and convenient to stop at the local drive-thru for a bite, what is all this saturated fat and sugar doing to the body? Specifically, what is it doing to your immune system?

Sure, an occasional hamburger from your favorite establishment isn’t going to kill you. Still, new research shows that consuming too many quick meals can have a devastating effect on your immune system.

Understanding the Shocking Nutritional Aspects of Eating Fast Foods

The problem with local takeout joints is that their food is highly processed. It’s shallow in nutrients while being very high in calories. Additionally, these take out places often use high amounts of sugar, salt, and fat to make their food taste great and last longer.

Most food sits in warming trays for long periods. They must use methods so that when customers arrive, they can quickly get their food and go. What do doctors say about junk food?

Dr. Phil Maffetone strongly opposes consuming any quick, to-go food. He states that in his studies, he has found that eating junk food is just as addicting to some people as taking drugs or alcohol. He also doesn’t buy into the healthy options offered by these establishments because they are still unhealthy enough to be classified as junk food.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman advocates for healthy eating. He is one of the many physicians that vocally oppose the effects of a poor-quality diet. His research proves that junk food has a direct link to some severe health conditions. A constant diet full of junk food will cause the following:

•Obesity

•Digestive Issues

•Type 2 Diabetes

•Cancer

•Heart Disease

•Increase Risk of Stroke

•Gastric Complications

•Depression and Anxiety

•Early Death

Junk food has a profound effect on your health. The average family frequents the local drive-thru more than they should. Did you know that more than 45 percent of the population budgets nearly half of their grocery money for eating out?

Things weren’t always this way. Going back in time about four decades, a family hardly ever ate outside the home, and they didn’t have the health concerns of today. You didn’t hear of cancer and ADHD affecting a massive amount of people.

Cancer is so rampant right now that it’s become an epidemic. Could all of these medical issues be because of a poor diet that consists of fast and other junk food varieties? Part of the problem is it’s hard to estimate your calories and keep track of fat when you’re eating on the go.

The Biggest Threat to A Quick Food Diet Is Obesity

The biggest concern regarding overeating fast food is obesity. Americans are heavier than ever, with two out of three adults falling into the overweight category. Shockingly, it’s not just adults that are large, as one-third of children are also considered obese.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists states that weight problems are so out of control that obesity is now a disease. Since 1970, when Americans mostly ate their meals at home, the number of people that struggle with weight has more than doubled.

Obesity comes from a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet. The extra weight can wreak havoc on muscle mass and bone density. A person who carries too many pounds for their frame also faces an increased risk of falling and breaking bones.

Let’s not forget the significant impact it has on the body as a whole. Being overweight shortens your lifespan and puts you at risk for many diseases. The problem is people don’t watch what they eat.

Salted Fries – Bloated Thighs

Do you have any idea how much salt is in the average to-go meal? When polled, most people grossly underestimated the amount. Salt makes things taste better, even after they’ve been sitting under a heat lamp.

Fast food restaurants love to pour on the salt to enhance the taste of their meals. The problem is that all that extra salt causes the body to retain water. Most people feel bloated or swollen after consuming these meals.

If you have blood pressure problems, overeating salt can be hazardous. You’re only supposed to have 2,300 milligrams per day, and one fast food meal can equal your entire day’s requirements.

Dr. Pinky Agarwal is a neurologist that focuses on brain disorders. She believes that too much salt also affects brain function. In her studies, she has shown how a Parkinson patient who consumes too much sodium has more significant symptoms than one who keeps things regulated.

Your Immune System’s View of Junk Food?

You drive through your local pick-up spot, grab your favorite meal, and eat it on the way home. Later in the evening, you notice your feet are puffy and your stomach bloated. You don’t feel good, and your lethargy sends you to bed early.

Does this sound like a familiar scenario? A recent study shows that the body may view fast food as a harmful bacterium. What does the body do when you expose it to bacteria?

Your immune system immediately starts working in overdrive at first sight of any foreign invaders. The University of Bonn studied how your body treats these junk foods as an infection, and it causes your immune system to become more aggressive.

The standard Western diet is full of fat, sugar, and carbs, but it’s low in fiber and nutrients. The study used mice to simulate our dieting trends. They fed all the mice junk food and watched as their bodies reacted.

Some of the mice were then taken off the high-fat diet and put on a low-calorie, healthy plan. However, their immune system had already been reprogrammed. So their immune cells remained unchanged.

Dr. Eicke Latz oversaw the study in Germany. He firmly believes that eating a diet so high in fat, sugar, and sodium, permanently alters the body. This study shows that the immune system has a memory.

He says the body’s response to fast food is the same as an infection. The immune system becomes aggressive. When the body is sick, the defense team goes into a panic state. It begins working in overdrive. It quickly identifies any new attacks and responds faster than usual.

When the body is continuously consuming foods that the body sees as harmful, the immune system is always in a heightened state of alert.

Other Impacts of Fast Food

Other shocking things found in the University of Bonn study include the fact that life expectancy in Western countries is decreasing. These happen to be the areas where high-fat diets with little exercise have become commonplace.

What will the generation of tomorrow look like? These children see poor eating habits that will carry on into their lifetime. Regardless of the billions of dollars spent in the dieting industry each year, many still try to consume fast food on a healthier level.

The medical community warns that take out food isn’t healthy at all, regardless of how it’s labeled. Take, for instance, a salad at the local burger shop. A southwest chicken salad has around 520 calories before adding any dressing. With dressing, it can put the meal over 900 calories.

Now, the standard single hamburger has around 300 calories. So is the healthy option a healthy option? It’s all about marketing and ploys to get more money. These places don’t care about your health; they want to sell products.fast food and the immune system

Are You Depressed Because of Your Diet?

People who continuously consume fast food have higher rates of depression. 16.2 people in this country are depressed. Does their diet play a significant part in their mental well-being?

The Keto diet has made news recently because of its ability to provide mental clarity. The diet eliminates sugar and restricts carbohydrate intake. Shockingly, it shows that people who cut these things from their diet improve their focus, depression, and anxiety.

Food is fuel. Stopping by the local burger shop may satisfy a short-term hunger, but the long-term picture is anything but positive. People that eat junk food are 50 percent more likely to develop depression than someone who eats a healthy, well-balanced diet.

fast foods and the immune systemFinal Thoughts on the Shocking Ways That Fast Food Harms Your Immune System

They say you are what you eat. Most people find themselves in a time deficit. To combat the inability to cook a meal, they grab something quick on the way home.

The problem is these quick meals are putting your immune system in overdrive, increasing your waistline, and causing a firestorm inside the body. Your body is worth the extra effort to make a home-cooked meal that is healthy and nutritious.

Your children are watching your eating habits, and they learn by example. Do you want to shorten your life span just for the convenience of a burger on the go? It’s certainly something to consider before stopping for the quick fix to your hunger issues.

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Lifestyle

Science Reveals 5 Hidden Dangers of Pharmaceutical Drugs

The word ‘pharmaceutical‘ derives from the Greek word pharmakos. Moreover, the roots of the term can mean either poison or remedy. But that’s part of the problem. You might believe that your doctor is prescribing a pharmaceutical drug as a remedy for your illness. But you’ll soon see that it might be both helpful and harmful at the same time.

Many of us tend to prefer natural remedies over pharmaceutical drugs whenever possible. However, you might sometimes have a condition that requires a medical solution. Thus, there at least five things you need to know about the medicines that your doctor prescribes for you.

5 Things You Need To Know About Pharmaceutical Drugs

There is nothing new under the sun, other than the elements that are human-made. Thus, most pharmaceutical drugs originate from plant sources anyway. Manufacturers process these as such:

  • Refined
  • Distilled
  • Processed
  • Tested
  • Approved
  • Packaged
  • Marketed
  • Sold to consumers

Since chemical laboratories can refine plant sources into pharmaceutical drugs, is this better living through chemistry? Or, have we stumbled into a cure that is worse than the disease?

1. Many pharmaceutical drugs have side effects

Some of the shocking facts about the risk of death from pharmaceuticals is highlighted in the first chapter of the book The Risks of Prescription Drugs, published by Columbia University Press and edited by Donald W. Light, professor of social medicine and comparative health care at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a senior visiting researcher at Princeton.

The authors begin by telling us that in 1994 alone, over 2.2 million American hospital patients experienced an adverse drug reaction. Of those, an estimated 106,000 died due to the harmful effects of the pharmaceutical drugs that they took. That figure makes adverse drug reactions the fourth highest cause of death for people in the United States. The number also does not account for fatalities from drugs taken at home or by nursing home patients since this only counted hospital patients.

Potentially unhealthy drug interactions with food that we eat or with our bodies can cause death, disease, or disability. The drug that you take treats a specific symptom, but you can bet that there are side effects that are not ideal for your medical condition.

These side effects may harm your body in other ways, or cause unnatural changes. For example, the drug Paxil, designed to help reduce anxiety, can have the side effect of causing shakiness and muscle tremors. Anxious people already feel shaky, so adding a medication that causes shakiness, but helps with mood is pointless.

Pharmaceuticals have the highest risks for women, older people, and people with disabilities. When labs test new drugs, these populations are the least run through clinical trials even though they are the most affected groups. Drugs also have significant hazards to pregnant women, their unborn children, breastfeeding mothers, and the children who drink their breast milk.

2. Almost all prescriptions contain ingredients that most people can’t even spell (let alone pronounce)

Pills contain ingredients that were once easily identifiable plants, minerals, or even animal components. Still, now there are chemical derivatives that mimic these natural substances, including those from biotechnology and genetically modified products that are now unrecognizable as a natural product.

One example of this is the Chinese herb Corydalis, a relative of the poppy, which shows up in pharmaceuticals as tetrahydropalmatine. Doctors issue this remedy as a sedative and analgesic for pain. You can pay for the drug version, or you can visit an herbalist for the lower cost, unprocessed plant version.

3. Most prescriptions provide short-term relief to a long-term disposition

A typical pharmaceutical drug is taken once or multiple times per day to maintain a dosage in your bloodstream that provides the desired treatment effect. You have to keep taking the medication, or the effect wears off. Often, the long-term illness that the drug is designed to treat never goes away. Instead, you merely mask the symptoms of the disease with the medicines that you take rather than healing yourself.

4. Many pharmaceutical drugs likely lead to having to take more medications

One of the significant problems with pharmaceutical drugs is that they do not cure the underlying cause of the illness. As a result, you become dependent on the drug to treat your symptoms, not to heal you. Becoming dependent on your medication is a problem for many patients since the drug takes away the symptoms. Still, it does not cure you. If you begin to feel better, now you have to continue taking the pharmaceutical drug for the rest of your life if you don’t seek to treat the underlying cause of the illness.

opioid abuse is a killer

5. Prescription drugs cost a pretty penny

The pharmaceutical industry often makes outlandish profits on trademarked drugs, and the consumer who is dependent on the drug pays a hefty price. In a recent review of prescription drug costs, researchers say the following:

“Prescription drug expenditures grew at double-digit rates during almost every year since 1980.” They add, “the overwhelming majority of the increases in expenditures on prescription drugs were attributable to increased volume, mix, and availability of pharmaceutical products.”

In other words, the more drugs that become available, the more costly they are for consumers, whereas greater availability would generally drive prices lower.

pharmaceutical drug versus natural for eczemaFinal Thoughts on Taking Prescribed Medications

At times, people may find they have a condition that necessitates more aggressive therapy. In this event, seek the advice of your family doctor. Express your desire to try natural remedies if it’s safe to do so. When it’s possible, your doctor might be able to offer up another natural remedy that you have not considered or tried.

However, some medical doctors will jump to writing prescriptions if you do not speak up and inquire about natural alternatives. That fact stems partially from the fact that pharmaceutical companies have slick ad campaigns and reps that woo doctors. And, partially, that script is the result of patients who demand quick cures.

Your physician can also advise you when a condition is severe enough to warrant a prescription instead of a holistic treatment. Remember, you must serve as your own advocate in the pursuit of improving your wellness. If you disagree with your doctor about pharmaceutical drugs after an open discussion, don’t go it alone. Seek the care of an alternative healer for advice and guidance.

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