Happiness is the highest from of health

Human Microbiome and Mood Swings

It is considered that the baby in the womb is sterile. It is not until birth that the baby has its first exposure to the mother’s microbiome while passing through the virginal canal. That, together with the microbiome in the breast milk, plays a crucial role in the onset of the immune system development. (Hence, babies born through Caesarean and/or not breast-fed have weaker immune systems). Later on in life, the microbiome is constantly being influenced by exposure to the environment. (Thus, over-sterilization and the constant use of anti-microbial soaps, etc. affects negatively the development of the human microbiome). One interesting thing to note here is that playing with dogs (but not with cats!) helps build a healthy microbiome. And last but not least, proper nutrition and avoidance of medication is another factor in keeping our microbiome healthy.

Now, we know that the microbes help digestion, immune system functioning and the production of vitamins, among other things. But did you know that the same microbes play a role in our emotions and brain development?

Microbes make two important compounds, ARA and DHA, both of which tell brain cells to divide. Hence, these compounds are crucial for babies and young children as their brains are still growing and developing. ARA and DHA have been shown to pay an important role in learning and memory.

Furthermore, gut bacteria send signals to the brain as they make neuro-transmitters such as melatonin (regulates sleep and inflammation), acetylcholine (regulates endocrine and REM sleep function), GABA (regulates anxiety) and serotonin (regulates, mood, social behavior, appetite, sex drive, sleep and memory), to name but a few. In other words, the state of the gut microbiome can determine to a large degree whether you are going to be feel happy or depressed.

How to build a healthy microbiome

  • Eat plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber as well as probiotic foods.
  • Avoid sugar, alcohol and dead (i.e. processed) food.
  • Avoid antibiotics – they don’t kill viruses, they kill all the good microbes, and they make pathological bacteria more resistant.

Hemp Plant

The hemp plant was one of mankind’s first cultivated plants. As a society we could eliminate smog from current fuels, create a cleaner energy source that could replace nuclear power, remove radioactive waste from the soil, and eliminate smog from our skies in more industrialized areas. The hemp plant could assist in eliminating non-biodegradable plastics and cars by re-introducing Henry Ford’s 100 year old dream of building cars from hemp. These could be made from a plastic hemp that can with stand a blow 10 times as great as steel without denting. It would weigh thousands of pounds less than steel, and have better gas mileage. The car would be capable of running on a vegetable oil based all natural hemp fuel, and would have a completely biodegradable body.

Nationwide hemp production could eliminate deforestation by converting current paper to hemp paper. Hem paper can be recycled up to 8 times where as our current wood pulp is only recyclable up to 3 times. We could thrive from eating hemp seeds and feeding it to our animals and livestock.

Studies have shown that hemp’s biomass can be converted into energy and replace our current fossil fuels. Just by farming 6% of the United States farmland could this be achieved. Hemp grown in biomass could fuel a trillion dollar-per-year industry. This would create more jobs, clean our air and distribute wealth to our communities and away from centralized power monopolies. Hemp’s biomass can be converted into gasoline, methanol, and methane at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal or nuclear energy. When burned in a diesel engine, bio-diesel replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum with a smell something akin to french-fries. Bio-diesel is 11% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur. So instead of creating sulfur-based smog and acid rain as by-products, it produces 11% oxygen instead.

The hemp grown through government farming and regulation is called “Industrial Hemp” and contains no more than 0.03 percent THC content, maximum allowed. Canada, China and England are examples of countries who have never prohibited, but have responsibly grown, produced and thrived off of industrial hemp.

Despite industrial hemp having some 50,000 uses, the likes of the Duponts, Rockefellers, Hearsts, Mellons and their constituents cornered the industrial and medicinal market with political propaganda. All four of these very wealthy families worked together to aid in the criminalization of hemp for their own personal and financial gains.

Importance of Gratitude

I recently entered gratitude into a search on Google and it returned 109,000,000 results, and I noticed a disturbing trend. Based on the top links that came back it appears that many people are using gratitude for selfish aims. Among the top links that came back on page one in my search were: “The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About,” “Can Gratitude Make Millennials More Successful?” and “7 Surprising Health Benefits of Gratitude.”

In my experience, the only genuine practice of gratitude is when it is done to enrich others. In fact, in my regular practice of gratitude I specifically ask the recipient not to acknowledge it, but rather, if they feel compelled to respond, to send a similar message of gratitude to someone in their life OTHER THAN ME!

I believe that expressing gratitude for selfish reasons will eventually backfire in the same way I see general selfishness and greed eventually come back to bite people. It’s not always easy to do, but in the long run, helping others will fill you up a lot faster than only looking out for yourself.

Our society has become obsessed with results, to its detriment, in my humble opinion. I have found that the need for results makes those very results much less likely to occur. That’s why my focus is based primarily on process and purpose. Unfortunately, I do not have time to go into process and purpose (but will in a future blog post) as I want to tackle another issue with how people practice giving thanks.

The other problem I have with the way people express gratitude is that they often focus on the easy things. If you have read my blogs before, you have likely seen me utter the phrase: ‘Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it” (although I now believe it’s more like 3% and 97%). I have personally found that once I learned to embrace the bad things that have happened to me, and to be grateful for them, it accelerated my growth exponentially.

As a child, I used to curse the fact that life was not fair and often felt sorry for myself. I think a big reason I felt this way was because my mother passed away two days before my fourth birthday. Regardless of the cause, all feeling sorry for myself did was make a bad situation even worse.

I eventually realized there was a positive side to losing my mom at a young age. It made me a more sensitive and empathetic person and those traits serve me to this day. I’m even grateful for all the people who bullied me or took advantage of me when I was down, for I would not have gained the valuable skills or knowledge I have, otherwise. These experiences forced me to learn how to problem solve at a young age and think on my feet. All of these traits and skills are vital to the work I do today.

In addition, I also suffered deep depression and anxiety after my mom passed away, but fighting those battles made me a better person. Though it took a lot longer than I would have liked, I like the person I am today.

Having said all of that, if I could choose, I would give up all of these benefits in a second to have my mother back for even a few days. But I can’t choose, so I have finally learned to play the cards I have been dealt in a forward looking way.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about what would have or could have been. In my case it would be if my mother had lived. But those fantasies are filled with inaccuracies as they envision an idealized version of the person I am now, and the reality is I may have ended up being a completely different person. Perhaps even an entitled spoiled momma’s boy with very little compassion, for all I know.

If you want to accelerate your growth, learn to have gratitude for the things that you missed out on or that went wrong, as well as the things that went right, and when you choose to express it outwardly, do it to enrich others not to receive any benefits for yourself.

Ways to Stop Drinking Alcohol

Avoid High Risk Situations

The best strategy to quit drinking is avoiding high risk situations. Avoid social settings where alcohol is served. Do not buy or keep alcohol at home as this will easily tempt you. Friends and family members can also assist by refraining from drinking alcohol in the presence of those in recovery.

Build a Strong Support Network

Ensure that you surround yourself with positive people. This will help you to build and improve your self-esteem and confidence. Without a positive support network, it is difficult to make changes that will completely lead to sobriety. An available social network support is particularly important during the early months of recovery.

Communicate Effectively

Having an effective communication with family, friends and workmates can help them to understand the different aspects and challenges involved in your road to recovery. Expressing yourself to them will help them to be much more supportive and assistive.

Incorporate a Nutritious Diet

A healthy diet and proper hydration are important to an alcoholic’s healing process. Proper nutrition, as well as hydration, helps to restore physical and mental health, improving the chances of recovering.

Macro and micro-nutrient deficiencies can cause low energy levels, depression & anxiety, which are triggers that can lead to a relapse. Your diet should incorporate food types that improve digestion, promote steady blood sugar throughout the body and improve brain chemistry. A healthy process of digestion optimizes the rate of absorption of vitamins, amino acids and minerals which help to reduce alcohol craving. An adequate intake of lean protein ensures that your brain produces optimal amounts of neurotransmitters which are associated with feelings of well-being.

Comprehensive nutrition education program and individualized nutrition counseling have been found to improve a 3-month sobriety success rate in people with substance abuse issues. If you wish to quit alcohol drinking on your own, here are a few nutrition tips you can follow.

  • Do not make major diet changes immediately. Gradual diet changes will lead to a better body compliance.
  • Eat foods that are low in fat and include adequate levels of lean protein.
  • Eat regular meals throughout the day
  • Water is the most important nutrient required for every body function. Adequate water intake helps to reduce alcohol craving.
  • Vitamins and mineral supplements such as vitamins A& B, zinc and B-Complex are helpful during and after the recovery phase.

Exercise

One way of replacing destructive behaviors is getting involved in physical activities. Exercise stimulates the same neurotransmitters and circuits in the brain as most addictive substances. Start out your exercise routine slowly and focus on strength training and cardiovascular exercises.

Engage in Healthy Activities

Alcoholics are known to give up on activities that they once found enjoyable. Part of the recovery process is rediscovering previous hobbies and developing new interests. This will help to alleviate boredom that can trigger a relapse and help you to pursue much healthier and fulfilling alternatives.

Evaluate Your Progress

Evaluate your sobriety progress by setting an evaluation date. A 30 day plan is more effective so that your new behavior can become a habit. Evaluate and review your reasons for quitting alcohol. Write down the benefits and, if you relapse, start again. An evaluation plan will help you to see how far you have come and motivate you to do better.

Aromatherapy Enhances Meditation And Yoga

Combining the practices of yoga and meditation allows you to holistically better your mind and body health. Meditation calms the mind, relives anxiety, and is good for heart health, cognition, focus, and memory. Yoga has more than fifty different benefits for physical, emotional, and mental health.

The benefits of yoga and meditation are well known, but to name a few major advantages of yoga include: lower blood pressure; healthy immune system, emotional stability, and sharpened focus just to name a few. Never underestimate the powers of meditation and yoga.

To achieve even greater results from your practice, you will need to take your yoga and meditation to another level. Adding aromatherapy can help you in achieving a much higher level of discipline. The greater your discipline, the better your results.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote a positive mind and body health. Essentials oils are derived from various plants, flowers, fruits, roots, stems, bark, and other botanicals.

These organic materials are greatly concentrated in essential oils, giving us a strong olfactory experience. Oils stimulate the all-important sense of smell and olfactory glands, and then communicate with the brain’s memories and emotions, or limbic system.

This kind of therapy is believed to combat pain, insomnia, depression, other mental conditions, and more. Essential oils have very similar purposes as yoga and meditation, so they make perfect sense as an addition to your practice.

When selecting your essential oils it is important to consider your goals in aromatherapy. Different oils have various purposes, functions, and effects, and each are suitable for its own particular and specific situation.

The treatment for one concern will fluctuate from that of another, just as an antibiotic would be used to treat an infection, but a steroid could be used to treat inflammation.

For instance, a person suffering from insomnia may use oils like lavender, vetiver, or chamomile, which are calming and elicit the relaxation response in the body. Conversely, a person who struggles with lethargy would use oils like basil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, or peppermint to induce energy.

By researching essential oils and their benefits, you can discover the appropriate options for you.

Once you have explored your essential oils options and selected the right oils for you, you are ready for essential oil use and application. There are a few different ways you can add aromatherapy into your daily routine. Here are some great options so you can determine the best implementation method in your personalized practice.

  • Anointing: Essential oils are deeply massaged onto skin during stretching or rest time. This can allow for increased visualization and focus. Never apply essential oil directly to the skin; it must be blended with a carrier oil, like jojoba, canola, or olive oil.
  • Diffusing: Using an aromatherapy diffuser, essential oils are dispersed throughout the air of your yoga space. This creates a certain mood or atmosphere for enhanced practice. Candle lamps are another way you can diffuse oils. They smell magnificent, creating an attractive yoga and meditation space.
  • Purifying: Essential oils are used as an astringent cleaning method. This deodorizes and cleanses the workspace. Add your oils to a spray bottle with water to begin using. Spray to cleanse and purify your areas.

Meaning Of Dreams And Mental Health

The information I had was very different from the false information of the commercial world. The special information I had in dream messages proves that the unconscious mind discovered by Carl Jung really is God’s mind.

Now that the satanic origin of the human conscience was discovered you have to realize that you must always look for signs of absurdity and evilness in your thoughts and in your behavior, and also when you analyze other people’s personality and their attitude in various situations.

Your dreams help you verify the depth of your absurdity and evilness in order to correct your behavior and help you think based on God’s wisdom. They also help you analyze other people’s behavior and identify various signs of absurdity and evilness in their personality.

God helps you become a psychologist and understand how the human brain works. He gives you many lessons in every dream.

Now you know that your satanic anti-conscience never stops trying to destroy your conscience through craziness and despair. So, you know that you must protect your conscience and stop accepting absurd and evil thoughts as if they were inoffensive and they could be helpful.

Now you know that you must be suspicious and always look for the real intention of every thought that pops up in your mind.

Your dreams help you understand the influence of your anti-conscience in your mind and in your behavior and in other people’s words and reactions.

Everyone inherits a satanic anti-conscience. Some people seem to be more balanced, but everyone inherits a demon in their brain. The demon can be buried in their psyche or it can be very powerful and destroy their conscience.

Everyone’s anti-conscience must be eliminated through consciousness because it is very dangerous and it can invade the conscious surface at any time.

Even when it is deeply buried in someone’s psyche it can suddenly invade the conscious surface like a volcano.

Dream analysis and therapy is a deep process of transformation that works as a mental health treatment, spiritual purification, and mind empowerment at the same time.

The transformation of your personality depends on a behavioral change. You have to stop acting like a cruel demon that merely pretends to be human and become a true human being.

You have to be able to understand other people’s pain and show compassion. You have to respect your moral principles. You must have the behavior of a saint.

Sound mental health depends on goodness and wisdom.

Eating Out, Make the Right Choices

Skip the fancy drinks

Both, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks add to only calories in a meal. The margaritas, pina coladas and the other fancy drinks are laden with sugar. If a drink is must, a glass of wine or a simple martini can be an option. For those preferring a non alcoholic drink, buttermilk, jal jeera or a light lemonade can keep away the unwanted calories. However, plain water is always the best option.

Appetizers and Soups

Avoid fried or breaded appetizers, which are generally high in calories. Of course, you can also save calories by skipping the appetizer altogether. Steamed appetizers like momos, grilled chicken, dimsums, etc are good options. When choosing soups the best choices are broth-based or tomato-based soups. Cream soups, chowders and pureed soups can contain heavy cream or egg yolks.

Salad tips

Those opting for salads before the main course tend to eat fewer overall calories. However, avoid creamy cheese, honey based dressings, cheese, potatoes, bacon, fried noodles, croutons etc in salads as they are high in calories. Instead, squeeze a lemon or try rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar. If you want to order a dressing based salad ask for the dressing on the side as then the amount of dressing you put in the salad will be in your control. A salad with just some vegetables, corn, lean meat or beans could be a great filler. Stir fries can also be a great option instead of the salad to help you avoid eating more calories later.

Watch the portion sizes

At restaurants, since the dish ordered is usually sufficient for 2-3 people, split the dish with your partner instead of eating the entire portion yourself. If you are at a fast food restaurant, order the small sized meal instead of the large sized one. Let go of the fries and the carbonated beverages.

Make your meals low in fat

When you go out at a restaurant to eat always check how the food is prepared. Check whether the food is broiled, poached, grilled, baked, or steamed as it tends to be lower in fat than foods that are fried. Limit foods that come with cream sauce or gravy. Avoid or have butter, sour cream, gravy, and sauces served on the side. This will allow you to control how much you eat as they are high in fat and calories. While ordering for burgers and sandwiches avoid ordering them with cheese, bacon, and other sweet sauces and opt for whole wheat or multigrain bread with added vegetables. With sandwich meals, choose water and fruit or plain yogurt if they’re available, rather than sugary or carbonated drinks, chips, and fries. Choose seafood, chicken, or lean red meat rather than fatty or processed meats.

Add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

At fast food restaurant ask if french fries can be replaced by fruit or salad. Order extra vegetables with pizza, sandwiches etc. Indian, Thai and Japanese restaurants have a lot of vegetarian options available. Always opt for brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat or multigrain bread and tortillas instead of white rice, pasta, or white bread.

Be aware of overeating at a buffet

Check the entire buffet before you start filling your plate. Always start with a soup (non-creamy, broth based), fill the plate with veggies; opt for non-fried and less oily options. Instead of sugar sweetened beverages opt for plain water, buttermilk or jal jeera. Avoid butter / oil laden kulchas, puris, parathas, butter nan and ask for plain wheat rotis. Instead of desserts go for fresh cut fruit plate. Always wait for 5 to 10 minutes before going for a second helping.

Meditation Failures

Self-hypnosis generates the same mental states that meditation does. It does it in a very different way, though. The techniques and principles are easy to learn and just as effective. In many cases, they are easier and more powerful than meditation.

It even overcomes the main obstacle with meditation. What’s seen as failure is actually raw fuel for self-hypnosis.

Some people say that meditation and self-hypnosis are the same thing. Others believe that they are completely different. I wouldn’t disagree with either perspective. The way I see it, there is a lot of overlap between the two. I practice both and I use them in unique ways.

Does that make them the same or different? I choose to separate them. That’s a choice though, a belief and perspective. You can take it or leave it.

If meditation is hard for you, then I encourage you to embrace this idea. Self-hypnosis is different enough to be exactly what you need.

Meditation involves clearing your mind and emptying your thoughts. This is tricky to do (at first). It’s hard to know whether you’re succeeding. Realising that it’s working is a thought, which sets you back.

If that’s a pain for you – if this is what you’ve always disliked about meditation – then I have great news:

Self-hypnosis uses your thinking.

You don’t have to clear your mind. If you do, great. If not, also great. You can be in the present moment, fully aware, or not. You can have a quiet mind, or not. It’s all good with self-hypnosis.

The reason is because it uses a different style of thinking. It’s easier to think something new than to think nothing.

Both practices bring you into a trance state. Both require practice and discipline to master. But only one encourages you to do something unnatural. Self-hypnosis is cool with you doing what you need to.

And once you’re in trance, it’s so useful to be able to think. Sometimes you need to imagine, visualise or consciously process something. That’s great, go ahead because that will only enrich the experience.

Rise of Warming Oils

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is well known for its ability to heal motion sickness. More than that, it helps expelling the heat from the skin by its warming action. Thus, if you get fever, it should not be neglected in your blend. This is due to its rubifacient therapeutic property, and by generalizing localized increase in blood flow and circulation, heat can be released through the skin by means of perspiration. Though there are many functions of Ginger essential oils, these few make it stand out of the rest in healing ailments concerning fever.

A case in point

A client with mild fever came to ask for help, she had headache and running nose. The reason for her sickness was catching wind cold. To relieve her sickness, the following blend was made:

  • 1 drop of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 1 drop of geranium (Pelargonium roseum x asperum)
  • 2 drops of ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) of olive oil

This helped her relieve the symptoms and she slept well. She felt a lot better the other day after her first applications. Actually, in Chinese medicine, ginger is praised for its ability to relieve surface wind cold.

Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamon and ginger belong to the same family. In most cases, they can be used “interchangeably”. In my practice, ginger is used more to induce surface perspiration while cardamom is used for deeper action like tonifying and vitalizing the body, if any difference arises.

The 1,8 cineole of cardamom makes it a good choice for ailments related to nasal congestion. Since it is a decongestant, it helps reduce the mucous congestion and swelling. It is a rising star for stopping the spasmodic (bronchial) cough in my clinical experience.

A case in point

A client with nasal congestion and bronchial (spasmodic) cough was given an inhaler with the following blend to relieve the symptoms:

  • 5 drops of Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum)
  • 5 drops of Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 5 drops of Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

This combination could benefit nasal congestion, but to my surprise, it was effective in stopping the client’s spasmodic cough whenever it happened. After three days of inhaling the blend, her spasmodic cough was healed completely. In fact, in my practice, I have used different decongestant oils to sooth the cough. But, it is only soothing without completely eradicate the problem. However, by adding cardamom essential oil, the problem got solved in a dramatic way.

Ways to Enhance Brain Fitness

  • Try memorizing a song – Choose a song that you are fond of, but haven’t memorized the lyrics yet. Listen to the song as many times as you can and try to memorize the lyrics. This will help improve the habit of careful listening, apart from building an active memory.
  • Visit a museum – Consider going on a guided tour of any historical place or a museum. Listen to the guide carefully throughout the tour and after you reach home, try jotting down all the details that you remember. While doing so, your brain will take part in three different operations – receiving, remembering and thinking. This will surely help improve the function of your brain.
  • Try meditating daily – Meditating for a certain period of time everyday is one of the best possible ways to improve brain fitness. This not only helps you relax to a great extent, but also gives your brain the perfect workout. While meditating, you can create a different mental state and thus engage your brain in interesting and new ways.
  • Watch television at a lower volume – Consider setting your television volume a little down than what you normally do. Check out if you can concentrate properly on whatever is being shown. As soon as you get comfortable with the setting, turn the volume down another notch. This is because most of the times, you keep on increasing the volume without even realizing that your listening capability has become a little detuned. Such a step will not only help improve your concentration power, but also give your brain fitness a boost.

Apart from trying these, you can also learn to play a new instrument; solve a jigsaw puzzle; play Sudoko or crosswords; take tutoring classes to lean a new language or take plenty of rest. It’s equally important to opt for a balanced diet and choose brain healthy recipes to ensure that your brain remains fit and healthy for years to come.