Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
An Excerpt From
The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things
by Peggy Anderson
What are your greatest gifts? How can you best serve mankind? These are questions you must answer to find your true purpose in life.
Who am I?
What am I meant to do here?
What am I trying to do with my life?
These are powerful questions that can be difficult to answer. They sometimes surface during major life transitions such as family strife, job loss, spiritual awakenings, or the death of a loved one.
Every person is a unique being. There is only one of you in the universe. You have many obvious gifts and other gifts still waiting to be discovered.
I truly believe, however, that one of the most important questions you can ask yourself in your journey to find your purpose is, “How can I serve others?”
Albert Schweitzer said it well: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Monday, August 8, 2016
What Hiking Does To The Brain Is Pretty Amazing
Apr 11, 2016 By Michael W. Pirrone
The great outdoors might just be greater than you think. There are plenty of us who love to spend as many hours of the day outdoors as we can, and hiking is obviously quite healthy for the body, but few of us ever give a lot of thought to how hiking could benefit our mental health as well. It turns out that hiking might just be your ticket to a brand-new brain, whether you’re passionate about the outdoors, or just force yourself to take a stroll around your local park.
Recent studies about the effects of hiking and nature have been directed at understanding just how this recreational activity affects both the physiological and mental aspects of our brains. One of the main reasons for this glut of research is because we’re spending so much less time outdoors, overall. The average American child now spends half as much time outside as compared to only 20 years ago. HALF. Only 6% of children will play outside on their own in a typical week. Conversely, kids are now spending almost 8 hours per day watching television, playing video games, or using a computer, tablet, or phone for recreational purposes. That number actually jumps up to 10 hours if you count doing two things at once! Overall, Americans now spend 93% of their time inside a building or vehicle.
So, what does this mean for human beings? Well, unless we get a little more proactive about embracing fresh air and dirt under our feet, the prognosis is pretty grim. The bright side is, as with all great medicine, when it comes to the outdoors, a little goes a long way.
Nature really does clear your head.
According to a study published last July in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a 90-minute walk through a natural environment had a huge positive impact on participants. In a survey taken afterwards, those people who took the natural walk showed far lower levels of brooding, or obsessive worry. The control group who spent that 90 minutes walking through a city reported no such difference. Not only that, but the scientists went a step further and did brain scans of the subjects. They found that there was decreased blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex. What in the world does that mean? Well, increased blood flow to this region of the brain is associated with bad moods. Everything from feeling sad about something, to worrying, to major depression seem to be tied to this brain region. Hiking deactivates it.
Unplugging makes you more creative.
Psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found in their 2012 study that after a four-day-long hike in the wilderness, with no access to technology, participants scored a whopping 50% higher on a test known as RAT, or Remote Associates Test. It’s a simple way of measuring the creative potential in people. A series of three words are given, for instance, “same, tennis, and head.” The test-taker has to find a fourth word that connects the first three. In this case, the answer is “match.” A 50% increase is a huge leap up in performance by research standards. Problem-solving skills like this are thought to originate in the same area of the brain that we also use for selective attention and threat detection, meaning our ability to think creatively is being overwhelmed by the constant stimulus of digital, indoor living.
Hiking boosts your focus.
We mentioned selective attention in the previous section but this is bigger than that. Anyone who has ADHD or has raised a child who has been diagnosed with the disorder can tell you, it’s a daily struggle to maintain grades, work performance, even relationships with friends and family. Medication can help alleviate the symptoms, but often ADHD persists into adulthood and that daily habit of popping stimulants can take its toll on your health and your wallet. Well, what about a good hike? A 2004 study came to the pretty obvious conclusion that getting outdoors and doing something active can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. More than that, it can do so for anyone, regardless of age, health, or other characteristics that can change the effect of medication.
Charge your mind’s batteries with a hike.
Hiking is a pretty solid aerobic exercise that burns around 400-700 calories per hour. This is great on its own, but aerobic exercise also has a really positive effect on your brain: it improves your memory. It’s even being studied as a way to help seniors fight off dementia, because it doesn’t just increase your ability to store information, it also reduces memory loss. Outdoor activity has also been shown to improve grades, so it’s a pretty solid choice all around for juicing your grey matter.
Feel better about yourself, from your sweaty head down to your muddy boots.
According to a 2010 report in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, even getting out into nature for five minutes at a stretch is enough to give your self-esteem a substantial upgrade. Spending the entire day outdoors results in a second jump upwards! Walking near water seemed to have the biggest effect, so when planning your next hike, be sure to seek out a location with some great streams, rivers, or lakes.
Is hiking the solution to all of life’s woes? Probably not. But what science is showing is that it’s actually a pretty solid candidate for making everyone’s lives a lot better, with very little input. If you already hike, good for you! If you’d like to start, find yourself a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes or boots and head to a website like EveryTrail, which can help you find your way to the nearest nature.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016
- Guava leaf tea can decrease bad LDL cholesterol without affecting good HDL cholesterol levels.
- Treat bronchitis and coughs with guava leaf tea
- Apply crushed guava leaves onto affected areas to relieve itching caused by allergies
- This method can also be used for relieving insect bites.
- Guava leaves offer an amazing aid against hair loss when boiled and allowed too cool on room temperature. Gently massage your scalp to stop any further hair loss
- Guava leaf tea stops carbohydrates from turning into sugar and thus suppresses appetite. This will also help you to reduce weight.
- Guava leaf tea is also great for upset stomach and provides a great help in cases of food poisoning.
- This tea is also effective in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentry since it provides strong antimicrobial properties.
- Guava leaf tea is considered to be effective in treating enlarged prostate and cancer.
- It is especially recommended for men who deal with fertility problems.
- Guava leaves are high in vitamin C, which helps to heal those trouble spots on your face, called acne and pimples.
- In order to prevent infections, aplly crushed guava leaves on minor cuts like scrapes or abrasion. You can also prepare a tea to relieve an outer ear infection. Leave the tea to cool and then drop some of it in on the affected area.
- Boil 9 guava leaves in 5 cups of water until the amount you have in your pot reduces by half. This is great in the treatment of dengue.
- Guava leaf tea is very beneficial for diabetics as it reduces blood sugar level and does not stimulate insulin secretion.
- Chew guava leaves in order to relieve toothache, inflamed gums and sores in the oral cavity.
- If you want to remove blackheads naturally, crush a few guava leaves and stir in a little bit of water. Use this instead of your regular face scrub.
- Use the same combination to prevent premature skin aging, and you will be amazed by the result.
Now when you know all these amazing benefits of guava leaves, you can use them whenever you need, and if you have guava tree in your backyard, you are very lucky.