The cold winter season can get dreary fast. Fall ends in a heartbeat, followed shortly by freezing temperatures and hazy skies. When the cold forces people indoors, some people may feel more like hibernating for the rest of the winter than others. Read more
Most of us really try to make healthy decisions, but if you are struggling with a low energy level or unexplained anxiety or weight gain, your hormones may be off-balance. Research shows that hormone imbalance attributes to anxiety, weight problems, depression, even high blood pressure. They play an enormous role in regulating body functions like weight, skin, or energy levels, and having a better understanding of how hormones stay in balance is important for maintaining good health. Read more
If you think your blood pressure is normal and you don’t need to be concerned, you may need to check again. Heart experts have issued new guidelines for high blood pressure, which means nearly half of all adults may now have blood pressure that is considered high. Read more
Do you think you are kind? Although most of us act on kindness and service during the holidays, most don’t make kindness a priority beyond November and December. An NBC News poll showed 62 percent of us believe children aren’t as kind as they used to be. And 77 percent of us think parents are to blame for those declining figures. The poll results show that most parents believe teaching honesty (43 percent) is more important than teaching kindness (29 percent). But 52 percent of those polled believe kindness is an innate quality that doesn’t need to be taught. Although people may not agree on the process of being kind, there’s no doubt the world could use more of it, especially after the holidays are over.
Here are four ways to start practicing kindness and build a positive, happier life all year.
Like most worthwhile tasks, the act of gratitude takes practice. “It’s a practice to take a moment each day to take in natural beauty and reflect on positive events,” says Lori Chandler. “And like all practices, it takes stamina to stick to it.” Not only does showing gratitude improve the life situation for others as well as ourselves, but it’s also good for our health.
Related link: How to add meaning to the holiday season
“Research shows that when we think about what we appreciate, the parasympathetic or calming part of the nervous system is triggered, and that can have protective benefits on the body, including decreasing cortisol levels and perhaps increasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good,” says Today Health and Wellness contributor Lauren Dunn. Simply identifying three things for which you are grateful will have a profound impact on kindness.
Set new goals every month.
Rather than declaring this broad statement that your commitment to being more kind starts today and shall commence for the rest of your life, try taking smaller steps and reinforce this goal with new personal challenges every month. We come across new things to inspire us every day. And by allowing time to incorporate new things and change strategies when needed, we can continue to take charge of kindness all year.
Related link: 7 Ways seniors can make the new year happy
“We appreciate the efforts our staff makes every day to be patient and kind to those who need their help, saidDebra Koenig RN LNHA, executive director at Fort Dodge Health & Rehabilitation. “We recognize that this time of year can be overwhelming for both our staff and residents, so the kind service and support that they share with each other, regardless of their hectic personal lives, inspires me to be better and try harder all throughout the year.”
The foundation for sharing kindness is loving ourselves. Inspired by the book, Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, written by television producer and creator Shonda Rhimes, saying yes to trying new things, playing instead of working, and placing our happiness as a priority can motivate people to share those positive feelings with others. “When you’re willing to do something uncomfortable, it inspires other people to take action themselves,” says Bernardo Carducci, professor of psychology and director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast. This act of paying it forward sets the stage for positive change.
Commit to kindness every day.
It’s great to hear that the food bank shelves are filled in December, but what about March? People need to feel love and kindness every day of the year and not just during the holidays. “Kindness is not an ‘extra,” says Harriet Lerner, Ph.D, psychologist and author of Why Won’t You Apologize? “Kindness is at the heart of intimacy, connection, self-respect, and respect for others.”
The truth is the opportunities to be kind during the holidays present themselves all year. We just need to use the same eyes and ears that are so attuned to doing service during the holiday season and choose kindness every day. “War, natural disasters, politics—you hit a point where you’re looking for positivity, but you don’t always know what to do or where to start,” says Kelsey Gryniewicz of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. “But that’s the power of kindness—it just takes one person, one act. You don’t need money or a ton of time.”
This article was previously published on 39 for Life and republished here with permission.
As temperatures fall and people turn their focus to staying warm through the winter, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. On average, more than 50,000 people visit the emergency room nationwide each year, and 400 die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be very difficult to detect, so it is essential to take preventative measures and know the signs of poisoning. Read more
There’s a quote going around that says, Volunteers are not paid — not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless. Many people believe their volunteer experiences changed the way they saw the people around them and developed a better appreciation of what they had. It isn’t often that one hour of doing something for others has the power to transform. Yet, it happens every day in a variety of causes. Read more
When you reach that point in your life when it seems you’ve seen it all and done it double that amount, it’s hard to stay fully aware of the amazing blessings in your life all of the time. But when you stop to think about it, we live in an exciting time where we can compare the knowledge of our lives in the past and marvel at the advancements we enjoy today. So when you find yourself grumbling about the good old days, consider these six blessings and compare them to day’s past. Read more
It’s the start of another holiday season! Before you hit the road with a trunk filled with presents and Bing Crosby queued up, let’s list some of the other important things to remember: Healthy snacks—check. GPS—check. Avoid drowsiness when driving—check. Know the signs of blood clots, huh? Read more
October may have been breast cancer awareness month, but anytime is the right time to protect your health. Approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. And the best defense against this disease is to know the risks, recognize the early symptoms, and act on early detection. Read more
When you see commercials with elite athletes dramatically tearing up the basketball court or drilling long balls to center field, the ever-important question always follows: Is it in you? Well, according to experts—not as much as it should. Doctors say we need 4,700 milligrams daily, but studies show most people aren’t getting enough potassium in their diet. Read more