GABA-Relieve Anxiety Naturally

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 million adults suffer from severe anxiety disorders each year, and it seems everyone deals with less debilitating but still harmful levels of anxiety on at least an occasional basis. But while we spend billions of dollars on prescription medications that promise to calm us down, drugs aren’t always necessary. Trying a natural supplement can do the trick just as well and is often better for our bodies anyways.

For instance GABA.  Also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid-has a calming effect on the brain.  GABA is a nonessential amino acid and neurotransmitter that blocks stress and anxiety by preventing neurons from over-firing.  GABA is produced naturally in the body but also is available in supplement form.  Try Rainbow Light Busy Brain Release sold at $24 for 60 minitabs.

 

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Halt Those Hiccups!

Hiccups can be disruptive while working and just plain annoying! Whatever the cause of your hiccups, you usually just want them to stop.  Here are five strategies that may help halt those hiccups!

1.  Hold your hands over your ears- According to the Mayo Clinic, hiccups could be caused by something as simple as a stray hair in your ear that’s touching your eardrum. Calming the nerve endings here can throw off the hiccup pattern.

2.  Suck on a lemon soaked in non-alcoholic bitters-According to a letter in The New England Journal of Medicine, this treatment cured 14 out of 16 people with hiccups.

3.  Breathe into a paper bag-It increases the carbon dioxide in your system and may stop spasms.

4.  Guzzle a warm glass of water-The theory is that the warmth soothes and relaxes the diaphragm.

5.  Swallow a spoonful of sugar-Eat a teaspoon (5 mL) of sugar, a tablespoon (15 mL) of peanut butter, or a teaspoon of honey. The sticky sweetness may change the rhythm of your breathing, which calms the vagus nerve.

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Stop Snoring!

Take a look at these tips if you tend to be a snoring sleeper.  There are some surprising ways for you to cut back the snoring if the breathing strips aren’t cutting it.

1.  Get off your back.  You experience the most airway instability when you are face-up.  Staying off your back reduces snoring.

2.  Take up an instrument.  Playing a brass or woodwind instrument tones the muscles of your upper airways, which allows for better airway dilation control, so you will breathe easier when you sleep.

3.  Avoid drinks before bed.  Alcohol is a muscle relaxer that eases the tension in the muscles of your airway—and a relaxed airway leads to snoring.  So make sure you have your last pint or glass at least 3 to 4 hours before bed.

 

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Enhance Those Eyes!

You can easily protect your eyes by eating more foods with “vision-friendly” nutrients.  If you have a family history of either macular degeneration or cataracts, be sure to include these foods in your daily diet.

1.) Pink/Red Grapefruit: Both are rich in both vitamin C and beta carotene, which can help protect your eye health. One study followed a group of more than 4,000 people for eight years to see how diet affected the risk of macular degeneration, and found that people who ate a diet rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc had a 35% reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who ate an average diet.

2.) Kale: Antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are standouts in a family of nutrients called carotenoids because they’re the only carotenoids found in the lens of the eye. Like all antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin can defuse potentially damaging free radicals. In addition, these antioxidants are found in high concentrations in the tissue of the macula, and because they absorb 40 to 90 percent of blue light intensity, they act like sunscreen for your eyes.

3.) Tea: Has powerful antioxidants, and some research suggests that drinking relatively large amounts of it — the equivalent of about five cups daily — may help prevent or delay cataract development.

4.) Salmon: heart-healthy salmon is rich in B-vitamins and omega-3’s, both of which can help protect eyes. Salmon is particularly rich in the B-vitamin niacin; several scientific studies have shown that people who eat a diet containing plenty of foods rich in riboflavin and niacin can slash the risk of cataracts by about half.

5.) Shellfish: Clams, crab, mussels, oysters and lobster, are all rich in the mineral zinc. Zinc is important for the health of all body tissues, but it’s found in unusually high concentrations in tissues of the retina and is required for the functioning of enzymes that keep vision sharp.

6.) Quinoa: Emerging research suggests that certain foods — most notably low-quality carbohydrates like sugary foods and white refined carbs — may increase the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.  Switch to quinoa, brown rice, oats and whole grain bread for overall health.

7.) Sunflower Seeds: A diet full of foods rich in vitamin E, like sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, and butters made from these nuts and seeds can protect your vision.

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Finding Pleasure

When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good. Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress.

You don’t have to do a lot to find pleasure. Even if you’re ill or down, you can find pleasure in simple things such as going for a drive, chatting with a friend or reading a good book.

Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 15 minutes.

  • Start an art project (oil paint, sketch, create a scrap book or finger paint with grandchildren).
  • Take up a hobby, new or old.
  • Read a favorite book, short story, magazine or newspaper.
  • Have coffee or a meal with friends.
  • Play golf, tennis, ping-pong or bowl.
  • Sew, knit or crochet.
  • Listen to music during or after you practice relaxation.
  • Take a nature walk — listen to the birds, identify trees and flowers.
  • Make a list of everything you still want to do in life.
  • Watch an old movie on TV or rent a video.
  • Take a class at your local college.
  • Play cards or board games with family and friends.

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Music For Medicine

Exciting research suggests that the brain responds to music almost as if it were medicine. It may regulate some body functions, synchronize motor skills, stimulate the mind—even make us smarter.

What Music Can Do for You

Clinical studies and anecdotal evidence from music therapists suggest that the sound of music:

  • manages pain
  • improves mood and mobility of people with Parkinson’s disease
  • reduces the need for sedatives and pain relievers during and after surgery
  • decreases nausea during chemotherapy
  • helps patients participate in medical treatment that shortens hospital stays
  • relieves anxiety
  • lowers blood pressure
  • eases depression
  • enhances concentration and creativity

The best part is that to take advantage of music’s healing power, you don’t need to take a prescription to your local music store. You don’t even have to go to the music store at all. The home remedies you need are probably already in your music collection.
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Get Cleaning!

My Better Self would like to encourage you to take on a cleaning project today! Whether it may be your closet, kitchen, or garage-get going! You may have been neglecting it for the past few days or even weeks so we encourage you to tackle the mess to relieve some stress! Cleaning is also a great way to get moving while getting your mind off of stressful situations.  Think how great you will feel once you have accomplished a cleaning task! Turn on some music and get going!

 

 

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The Brain Diet

Dr. Oz and neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi believe diet is crucial to preventing Alzheimer’s, and it’s not just for seniors.  They have made up a list of five easily added diet additions to carry out their game-changing memory diet.  Research has demonstrated a direct correlation between obesity and a shrinking of your hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for memory and recall. So it’s vital to limit the quantities of food you eat, and to be sure to get plenty of exercise. The second factor in a brain-healthy diet is carefully choosing what you eat. Certain unhealthy foods, like refined sugars, increase cellular inflammation and reduce blood flow to the brain. The superfoods listed below do the opposite, reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the brain to make it stronger than ever.

Brain Superfood 1: Elderberries
Elderberries are packed with quercetin, a flavonoid that’s critical to your brain’s health. Like blueberries and strawberries, the flavonoids found in elderberries help reduce harmful inflammation at a cellular level.

Brain Superfood 2: Pecans
Pecans are high in omega-3s, which are vital for a healthy brain. In fact, pecans are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut, and are ranked by the USDA among the top 15 foods with the highest antioxidant capacity. A brand new study shows consumption of omega-3 rich foods like pecans can dramatically reduce the risk of neural degeneration.

Brain Superfood 3: Chicken Giblets or Clams
Not only can the giblets be delicious as an addition to a chicken stock or prepared on their own, but they’re a great sources of vitamin B12, which is crucial for brain health. In fact, just a cup of giblets provides 228% of your recommended daily dose of B12. If you can’t bring yourself to eat them, however, clams are another terrific source. They also contain zinc and iron, which have been associated with the brain’s ability to stay focused and recall information.

Brain Superfood 4: Vegetable Juice
Vegetables are like heath gold mines, providing all the vitamins and antioxidants our hearts and brains need. Juiced vegetables are a convenient and delicious way to get all those vital nutrients. If you’re buying vegetable juice at the market, look for bottles labeled all-natural with no added sugar.
Brain Superfood 5: Beets
As we age, poor blood flow contributes to cognitive decline. Research has determined, however, that the natural nitrates found in beets (as well as cabbages and radishes) can actually increase blood flow to the brain, thereby improving mental performance.

 

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Soothing Tea for Heartburn

Suffering with heartburn or uncomfortable stomach problems? Before heading to the drugstore, try this natural home remedy from Best Health Magazine.  Licorice, ginger, and chamomile are traditional, easy-to-make, and inexpensive digestive tract soothers that still work wonders for occasional flare-ups of heartburn and stomach pains.

Soothing Tea for Heartburn

Ingredients:
• 1 cup water
• 1 teaspoon grated licorice root
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
• 1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers

Directions:
1. In a small pan, bring the water to a boil. Add the licorice and ginger. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add chamomile. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
2. Strain into a teacup and drink.

 

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