Category Archives: Mind and Body

Dealing with allergies

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We are currently in the middle of spring, at least in the United States, and that means that allergy season is here. Many people suffer from allergies, and react especially negatively to pollen and seeds that get carried in the wind. And while there is really no way to avoid these allergies completely, there are a few things that you can do to make your days a little less miserable.

The first solution is allergy medication, which can work wonders for blocking histamines that cause allergic reactions. There are many good medications that are available without a prescription and that can be gotten for relatively cheap. And while they may not always do the trick, they are usually the first step in protecting against pollen.

Tree removal

Perhaps something even better than using medicine to block allergies is getting rid of the source as best as possible. There are a few different types of trees that give off seeds that people are very allergic to, and if they are in your yard, they can be a nightmare. Oklahomacitytrees.com – tree service, removal & trimming is a service that offers tree removal both in commercial and residential areas and can help make your spring much more enjoyable.

The worst part about allergies is that they often act up when you least expect. If there is a tree in your yard that is sparking your allergies, it can be painful to even enjoy the nice weather in the comfort of your own yard. By getting rid of the trees causing the problem, you are one step closer to reclaiming your own health and property.

Conclusion

Allergies are difficult to avoid, but by getting rid of problem trees, the fight is much more manageable. If you find yourself with allergies in your own yard, consider having the trees removed.

The deal with supplements

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There is a long debate about the benefits of natural supplements. Many believe that they serve little to no purpose, while others believe that they are more beneficial than modern medicine. From my experience, and like most things, the actual answer lies somewhere in the middle. Some energy supplements such as B12 offer a nice boost to your mood and energy, while vitamin D supplements give you the valuable vitamins that you can get from the sun.

Basically, depending on which supplements you are taking, you may or may not notice a difference. One of the major drawbacks to supplements is that we want immediate benefits. If we feel bad, we want to feel better now. Unfortunately for many, supplements are slow acting and need to be taken regularly in order to notice any real changes in mood or physiology.

Sticking with it

Sleep aids as well as energy supplements do actually have benefits and I highly recommend taking them. My daily dose of supplements consists of a multivitamin, vitamin D supplement, B12 for energy, and tumeric, which is a mood stabilizer. Like I said before, however, the key to getting supplements to work for you is to stick with it. It was about a two week period of feeling the same and taking the supplements before I began to notice a difference.

There is no doubt that supplements do have their benefits, but if you expect them to give you the immediate results of modern medicine, you may be out of luck.

Sun benefits

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Everyone knows that the sun is beneficial to human health. In addition to supplying the body with vitamin D, it has also been shown to improve skin health and a variety of other benefits. It is a sad truth that we often do not enjoy the sun as much as we should. Many of us work indoors, which means that we do not get a great deal of time to play outside. Fortunately, if you know how important the sun is to your well-being, you can then being to make time in order to enjoy it.

We, as human beings are supposed to be outside, and unfortunately the way the world is today, we must go out of our way in order to achieve this. I did an experiment where I spent as much time as I could outdoors, and found that not only did I feel better, but I was in better overall health.

Tips to enjoying the outdoors

Even if it is as little as an hour a day, it is important to get outside. Vitamin D is beneficial in many ways and many people require supplements if they do not spend enough time outdoors. The next time you feel like watching television, simply get out there! Spend some time outdoors and watch your mood and health change right before your eyes. No matter how you do it, make a point to spend time in the sun and enjoy its myriad of health benefits. You will be glad you did.

Breathing properly

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Breathing, it is something that we and every other living thing needs to do in order to survive. You take in oxygen through your mouth and nose into your lungs, where it is then transported throughout your body before you exhale carbon dioxide. It is literally the first thing we do and the last thing we do. What could be so hard about it?

Well there is a difference between breathing to stay alive and breathing to help reduce your stress and live a healthier lifestyle. In essence, breathing can not only be used to stay alive, but can also enhance your life while you are living it. You’ve heard of breathing techniques during pregnancy, well there are breathing techniques for virtually any situation that can help.

Reduce stress

The most common breathing exercise is to take a deep breath through your mouth, hold it for a second or two, and slowly exhale through your nose. This is often used during meditation, and for some, has been used as a way to control stress and anger for their entire life. There is also breathing exercises that can be used to reduce stress overall, not just when stressed or angry, and can help your body make better use of the oxygen that it is given.

The important thing about breathing is understanding that it can dramatically enhance your life. Not just simply breathing, but doing research that shows you how to breathe the right way. In essence, it is just as much about the work you put into breathing as it is about breathing itself.

Finding inner peace

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For some, inner peace is something that can be achieved on a daily basis, but for most of us, it is a moment in time solidified by us being one with the world. There is no secret that our biology syncs up with the rhythm of the universe, that the times that we feel the best are the times that we feel most connected to the world as a whole.

Think of the last time that you were in the woods, when you felt nothing resembling city life around you, that you were just left with nature and your toes in the sand. This is the time where we come as close as possible to enlightenment, the times during which we come closest to inner peace.

But we live in the real world

Where concerns loom and we are constantly bombarded with externalities from our everyday life. We can’t simply live in the woods whenever we want, and must find a way to achieve inner peace in our daily lives. For some this means meditation, for others it simply means taking your mind away from reality and thinking about the times when you felt most connected with the world.

No matter how you choose to do it, there should be a priority in finding the balance between the real world and where you feel most comfortable with the universe. In essence, it becomes a way to cope with the stress of the world and know that you are a part of something larger than yourself.

Relieving the stress

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As someone that is pretty centered, I found myself in quite the stressful dilemma, just like many people do in the situation that I was in. I was asked by a friend to help move not only him, but his sister, from two different locations in the same day. The day started at the crack of dawn and did not end until the sun was setting. I was actually surprised to find that I was more stressed than I had ever been in my life.

This would not do. Luckily, I have a friend, a worker for a local moving company (http://www.moveokc.com/) and asked him how he dealt with the rigors of moving not only on occasion, but every single day! What he had to offer was incredibly useful and allowed me to extend this form of stress relief to the rest of my life.

The secret to highly stressful situations

I’ve always been a fan of yoga and meditation. They serve as a way to remove you from the physical world and simply exist in sort of a peaceful void. The way in which this is done is by eliminating (as best you can) sensory input from the outside world and focus on something else. Of course, I do this in my home, which is usually free of outside distractions for the most part.

He told me that he was able to meditate while working, removing his physical self from the world, but still maintain the ability to pay attention and do his job. I was blown away by this! How can someone live in the real world while taking themselves out of it. What he did was teach me a meditation technique that focused on the world, but not as an environment of stress, but one of inner peace.

Conclusion

Meditation can come in a variety of ways, whether it be yoga, traditional meditation, or even by taking your mind off of the things that stress you out. Even when moving an entire household, it is possible to stay within the physical realm, while also viewing it through a slightly different lens.

The mind versus the body

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Ever since the beginning of time, man has wrestled with identity, and more specifically, the struggle and divide between the mind and the body. Some may argue that the two are separate, that each side of the person is responsible for different feelings, functions, and desires. But the more that scientists look at the mind and body, the more they realize how closely related the two are. The mind-body problem if you will.

Another way to look at it is the divide between the heart and the brain. People often reference following their heart, as a way to define acting upon desires that are not necessarily logical. So what you get is people thinking that following either the heart or the brain precludes the other.

In reality

In reality, identity does involve the two parts of humanity, but they are very closely connected, and one does not preclude the other. Even when following your heart, there is some logical benefit for doing so. For example, loving somebody that you know is not right for you. Some might say that you are following your heart to your own detriment, but in reality, the mind plays a role too.

Somewhere, deep in the mind of the person having this thought, there is a logical reason for it. Perhaps they think by sticking with this person, they can find love, something that the mind would greatly appreciate. So by examining our humanity, we have come to learn that there is really no divide between the mind and the body, that they are all part of who we are.

Finding a good physical therapist

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In today’s day and age, it is almost impossible to find a good physical therapist. As someone with chronic pain, I understand that there is only so much that exercise and meditation can do. Some pain requires the work of a professional, doctors that can deal with deep-seeded pain in a professional and effective manner. In some ways, finding a good physical therapist is much like finding a good mechanic. Price is important, but what is more important is the work that gets done.

As someone that is active, pain is not an option. Having suffered a climbing-related injury as a teenager, I spent a great deal of time trying to find lower back pain therapy as an adult. Because I have been dealing with acute pain for most of my life, I became very focused on finding a cheap, effective way to deal with a wide variety of ailments.

 What to look for

When searching for a physical therapist, it is important to find one that specializes not only on your pain areas, but has treatments that treat your pain effectively. Let’s be honest, pain is different for everyone, making it different to find a one-stop-shop for physical therapy. Take for example, seeking shoulder pain specialists.

Given the above example, it is important to find a specialist that not only understands shoulder pain, but also knows how to manage different types of shoulder pain. It is important to find someone that has had a lot of experience in managing pain and working toward a solution to the problem rather than simply masking pain. A good physical therapist can work wonders on painful areas, promoting healing in addition to dealing with pain.

Conclusion

There is no catch-all when it comes to finding the right physical therapist, but there are things to look for. Perhaps the most important thing to look for is specialists that focus on one area, or a collective of therapists, each specializing in specific areas of pain management. No pain is the same, and no person is the same, making it essential to search deep for the right physical therapist to fit your needs.

 

 

Defining prayer

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When people think about prayer, they likely do in such a manner that involves sitting with one”s hand folded, looking up, and speaking to God. At least this is the case where I grew up in the United States, in a mostly Catholic area of the country. But as I began to travel the world and open my eyes to other religions, I realized that prayer is not only much more complicated than I could ever imagine, but is an important part of every religion.

Take for instance Muslim prayer. Muslims pray multiple times a day in mandatory fashion, and it involves laying out linens and kneeling. As a Christian, I prayed while at church or when I found it necessary, but Muslim prayer is done every day multiple times. Conversely, Buddhists don’t really pray, but rather meditate and self reflect.

Understanding prayer

Prayer acts as a way to communicate with higher powers through reflection. By humbling ourselves and appealing to whichever God we believe in, we open our lives to their will and doing. It is this aspect of prayer that makes us feel closer to God and that our lives are not simply in our own hands.

Virtually every organized religion has some form of prayer, and even the word itself can mean different things. In order to fully understand prayer, we must understand why we do it and what we hope to gain from it. By understating that all religions are different, we start to get an idea of how prayer is the same, yet different for everyone.

Religion versus spirituality

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For many people, the difference between religion and spirituality is quite small, but for others, there is quite a large distinction between the two. In general, religion refers to a specific set of doctrines, often accompanied by a religious text, while spirituality simply refers to a connection with the world that cannot be seen. Whether that means believing in ghosts or not, those that are spiritual believe in a force greater than that of humanity.

In many ways, being religious means being spiritual, but being spiritual does not necessarily make one religious Believing in one or many gods means believing in something greater than ourselves, but many spiritual individuals simply believe in this force and not an all powerful being.

There is no wrong answer

Being human means trying to explain the world around us, and many do so through religion or spirituality. No matter what a person chooses to believe, it is all a vehicle with which to quantify our existence on this big, floating rock. In addition to religion and spirituality leading to more fulfilling lives, studies have shown the physical benefits to self reflection and meditation.

What is beautiful about religion and spirituality is the ability to think beyond oneself and invite the possibility that there are forces beyond our understanding. Whether you are religious or spiritual, remember that both of these aspects of living should persuade one to be a better person. There may or may not be a governing force in the sky, but what is important is treating others with compassion and understanding.