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Daily Archives: July 6, 2016

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3 Ways to Become a More Resilient Person ?

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Looking for some help to get through a rough patch? If you’re sick of hearing tired advice like “things will get better” or “lift yourself up” (or even worse, bad things happen for a reason) then grab a copy of the new book 21 Days to Resilience ($16, Amazon.com) by Zelana Montminy, Psy.D.

Dr. Z (as she likes to be called) has created a science-backed guide to help readers learn how to bounce back from hard times and become a stronger person in the process. And don't feel bad for feeling bad, says Dr. Z, who has a background in clinical psychology. It's “healthy and almost necessary to sometimes be unhappy in order to find lifelong well-being,” she told Health.

Here is a quick look at some of her tips for building resilience.

RELATED: 12 Worst Habits for Your Mental Health

Put yourself first

You wouldn’t try to patch a tire without first finding where the leak is, right? Similarly, “you have to focus on yourself before you work on anything else,” says Dr. Z. “That’s the nucleus and everything else kind of stems from that.” So turn your focus inward, and really get to know your own thoughts and emotions.

One way to do so is by focusing inward, into how your body physically reacts to certain situations, explains Dr. Z. In her self-awareness chapter, she writes, “The physical response to emotions serves as a cue and gives more insight.” Once you start to take the time to tap into these clues and understand your own feelings, you’ll likely find life’s challenges way more manageable.

RELATED: Depressed? 12 Mental Tricks to Turn It Around

Accept what you can’t change

In the "spirit" section of her book, Dr. Z homes in on the idea of acceptance, which she believes is frequently misunderstood in our culture. “People think if they accept something they sort of have to sit back and just let it happen,” she says. Instead, she views the concept in a much more active way. “We have to accept our circumstances, but at the same time proactively work to change them if we don’t want to be in that position,” explains Dr. Z. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with trying to take charge, but it’s also crucial to understand sometimes you can’t control certain parts of your life. And when it comes to those things you don’t have power over, explains Dr. Z, also remember that nothing in life stays the same indefinitely.

RELATED: Dos and Don'ts for Dealing with Anger

Don't ignore or suppress your feelings

We all know it’s way easier to send a simple thumbs-up emoji via text than express to a friend or partner our actual feelings. While keeping your emotions in check may seem like a better option at times, it could be doing you a major mental disservice. According to Dr. Z, acknowledging and expressing your feelings is crucial for building what’s known as emotional intelligence.

She also points out it’s important to get specific about how you feel. So when you say you’re mad—are you actually angry or frustrated? Hurt or annoyed? According to Dr. Z, we’re often limited by the vocabulary we use, but being able to “differentiate it and really understand the root of the emotion gives you more insight, which allows you to shift your reaction based on what you’re really feeling.”

Each of these steps is aimed at bringing clarity to the root of your problem, which will help you get back on your feet as soon and healthy as possible.

 

 

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Discovering complementary therapies

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There’s no denying complementary therapies are on the rise. We’ve taken the guesswork out of discovering what these therapies mean and how they can be of benefit to you.

 

Osteopathy: Using observation and manipulation, the practitioner addresses any structural difficulties of movement which may affect the body and works towards realignment. May help with back or neck pain.

Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese therapy uses needles on specific meridian points, or ‘energy lines’, to address specific ailments and diseases. Based on the opposing forces of yin and yang. Can be used for a range of conditions including arthritis, allergies, asthma and insomnia.

Homoeopathy: Uses extremely diluted organic extracts. Based on the philosophy of ‘like cures like’ (not dissimilar to vaccines), homoeopathy is concerned with the underlying causes rather than the immediate symptoms. Has had good results in the treatment of colds, eczema, nausea and obesity.

Iridology: Analysing a person’s health by an examination of a person’s eye, specifically the iris. Often used by naturopaths and herbalists to identify the cause of a person’s illness.

Kinesiology: A system of muscle testing linked to the functions of organs and energy. Has been used in the treatment of allergies, depression, tiredness and back pain as well as identifying any vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Naturopathy: Looks at diet and lifestyle and may use numerous treatments including herbs, essential oil, extracts and natural supplements. The focus is on prevention and self-help.

Herbal Medicine: A sophisticated ‘complete’ medical approach that has many branches including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as traditional Western methods. Has been popularly used in Australia to treat skin conditions such as eczema as well as treating digestive problems and sexual difficulties.

Chiropractic: Similar to osteopathy but uses more direct thrusting movements to realign the body rather than gentle manipulation. May also employ X-rays for diagnosis. Most commonly used for back and neck pain and sports injuries.

Hypnosis: The patient is placed in a ‘trance-like’ state where the practitioner is able to address any hidden problems. Has been used as part of an effective treatment for phobias and addiction, particularly smoking.

Looking for more natural ways to combat certain health issues? Discover how to reduce bloating naturally.

 

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Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini & Pork Bowls

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Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini & Pork Bowls Recipe
Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini & Pork Bowls
Bursting with colorful veggies, this healthy grain bowl recipe is topped with an easy miso dressing. If you have quinoa already cooked, skip Step 1 and use 2 cups in Step 4.

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How This Grown-Up Coloring Book Can Help You Heal From Grief

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Grown-up coloring books are all the rage right now—an estimated 12 million books were sold in 2015, according to Nielsen Bookscan, up from 1 million the previous year. Most books feature swirling mandalas, intricate floral patterns, or scenic cityscapes, and help colorers soothe everyday stress and explore their artistic side.

One new adult coloring book, however, was designed specifically for people who've experienced significant loss or challenges in their lives. Colors of Loss and Healing: An Adult Coloring Book for Getting Through Tough Times ($11; amazon.com) serves as both an art project and a guide for coping with grief. 

Deborah Derman, PhD, a Dresher, Penn.-based grief and bereavement counselor, was inspired to write the book after receiving a coloring book for her birthday last year. “I looked at the book and all the little lines and thought, ‘oh my gosh I’m never going to finish this!’" she says. "But I picked up a pencil and I started to color, one little space, and another little space. I was so relaxed, it was like a meditation almost. I realized this is exactly how I got through all of these losses—one small, little space at a time."

Derman knows from experience what it takes to heal after a personal tragedy. At age 27, an ex-boyfriend died by suicide, sending Derman into a spiral of grief and self-blame. Ten years later, she was waiting for her parents at an airport when she watched their small private plane crash from the sky, killing everyone aboard. A few years later, her husband died suddenly from a heart attack, leaving her a single mom. And shortly after his death, Derman was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. Rather than allowing grief to take over her life, Derman picked up the pieces, channeled her sadness into researching loss and methods of healing, and eventually earned her doctorate in psychoeducational processes. 

For her book, Derman drew on her own losses, as well as experiences of her patients. She distilled those elements and feelings into 35 words and phrases, such as "one day at a time," "resilience," and "bitter and sweet." She then took those words to Lisa Powell Braun, an illustrator, and together they created illustrations for each word and phrase. 

“When someone is grieving or having a difficult time with loss, one of the hardest things to do is concentrate," Derman says. "Your whole world is focused on what hurts and what’s lost, and everything seems so overwhelming. I want people to be able to take this book out in a nice space with pencils and have a few quiet moments a day, putting aside their concerns and just being in a quiet, contemplative state.”

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3 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating (And Why You Should Try It)

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Mindfulness is a major buzzword right now—and rightly so. In my experience, becoming more mindful is life-changing. It can help you react more calmly and thoughtfully in any situation, whether you’re stuck in traffic, dealing with a difficult boss, or making food choices. And mindfulness isn’t just a new age theory; its benefits are backed by plenty of research. Studies have found it may help reduce inflammation (a known trigger of premature aging and disease), lower stress hormone levels, boost happiness, shrink belly fat, improve sleep, and curb appetite.

Mindfulness can also be pretty powerful when it comes to your eating habits. With my clients, I've observed how mindful eating can totally transform a person's relationship to food. (That's why I devoted an entire chapter to it in my book Slim Down Now.) Mindfulness can help you eat less and enjoy your food more. Plus, feeling relaxed while you nosh helps improve digestion and reduce bloating. And while becoming mindful doesn't happen overnight, the process is actually pretty simple. Here are three steps you can take today.

RELATED: Do These 5 Things Every Day to Live Longer

Practice slowing down

If you find yourself eating too fast, or making spontaneous food decisions often (like grabbing a handful of M&Ms from the office candy jar), start by slowing the pace of your day. One way to do so: Pop in your earbuds and listen to a five-minute guided mindfulness meditation. You’ll find many options on YouTube, and through apps like Headspace, Meditation Studio, and Calm.

At meal times, try putting your fork down in between bites. You can also try an app like Eat Slower which allows you to set an interval (anywhere between 20 seconds and 3 minutes) between bites; a bell lets you know when it's time to lift your fork again. Even if you don’t do this at every meal, regularly practicing slow eating will help you become accustomed to unhurried noshing.

RELATED: 49 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Feeling Full

Take smaller bites and sips

When clients really struggle to quit a speed eating habit,  I often recommend that they cut their food into smaller pieces. I also advise choosing  “loose” foods. For example, it's helpful to eat popped popcorn kernels or nuts one at a time, and chew each well before grabbing another. Grapes, berries, and grape tomatoes can also work well for slowing the pace.

RELATED: 5 Superfood Snack Recipes You Can Make at Home

Eat without distractions

As efficient as multitasking may be, it’s not a great idea for meal or snack time, since it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to really pay attention to more than one thing at a time. So step away from your computer, TV, phone, and even books during meal time. By removing distractions, you can really pay attention to the flavors, textures, and aromas of your food, and better tune into your hunger and fullness levels. You’ll also be more mindful of how quickly you’re eating, and likely realize that gobbling down food at lightening speed doesn’t actually feel good. If you can’t do this at every meal, commit to undistracted eating at least once a day.

RELATED: 8 Sneaky Reasons You're Always Hungry

Ready to give it a go? In my experience, this trio of steps can lay the foundation for balance, and help remedy chaotic or erratic eating. So rather than thinking about calories or carbs, shift your focus inward, take a deep breath, and start to adopt a new type of healthy eating pattern.

Do you have a question about nutrition? Chat with us on Twitter by mentioning @goodhealth and @CynthiaSass. 

Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her newest book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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