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Archive for August, 2010

If you feel stressed to the extreme a great deal of the time and you yearn to increase your level of productivity both at home as well as at work then what you require is a more effective means of managing your time. Here we look at some tips for time management that can help you to feel less overwhelmed.

Developing effective time management skills is so important for everyone. The skills that involve time will make it easier for you to accomplish what needs to be done. This can then help to reduce the amount of stress you feel and it will also lead to a happier, healthier and more satisfying life.

Plan and Write Up a To-Do List:

Planning ahead can help put you back into the driver’s seat of your own life. How do you do that?

It is simple really. Write up a to-do list and put the most significant tasks at the top of the list. Mark each item off as you get it done. It also helps to keep a record of your schedule in regards to appointments, meetings, deadlines, etc. In this way you are more prepared and are less likely to be flustered or harried.

Now it is time to take the to-do list one step further. In other words, you should give each and every one of your tasks the priority they deserve. To use an example, of all of the items on your list today what must be accomplished as soon as possible and absolutely cannot wait until tomorrow? What can wait for another day? If you can prioritize items and tasks in black and white then you will be calmer, more relaxed and more centered.

This equals less stress and reminds you that everything on your list is not do or die. Plus life is about more than just 1-2-3 on a list.

Seek Balance in Your Life:

Figure out what is most significant and then get to it first.

This is especially important if it is something that you are not looking forward to doing. You want to be as fresh as possible when you tackle such a task so pencil it in for early in the day. Then once it is over you can get on with the rest of your day and you will not have to worry about it anymore. Keep in mind too that some things you need to do will take up larger blocks of time than will others.

Balance in life is essential to not having to cope with a stress overload. Strive for this balance when it comes to how you manage your time. You have your personal life and your professional life and both matter tremendously. Do not let work take over your life to the point where you leave yourself no time for loved ones and friends and no time to enjoy pursuing your favorite activities.

Take a close look at all of your responsibilities, your work related tasks, your family unit, and your social activities and find ways to balance it all out. Overdoing anything to the exclusion of other things can lead to neglect of something significant in your life or even worse- burnout. Manage your time well and the same can be said for stress management.

Becca

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There are a variety of symptoms of menopause and no two women experience all of the same ones. Some may suffer one or two while others may have to cope with a host of symptoms. Some symptoms may occur only once while others may reoccur time and time again. Here we look at some ways to treat menopause in a natural manner.

If the symptoms of menopause are causing you some pain, discomfort or general grief in your life then be aware that there are options beyond Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and HRT (which is a therapy that combines estrogen and progesterone into one).

Before you look to chemical means to deal with your symptoms, consider other options that are less risky to your health, such as making modifications to your lifestyle, and/or alternative forms of medicine. Drugs and/or surgery should always be your last resort when it comes to menopause symptoms.

Alter Your Lifestyle:

Lifestyle modifications involve no risk whatsoever but instead a great deal of discipline, self control and willpower. It is also easier to make modifications to the way you live your life if you possess a good attitude about life and think in a positive and hopeful manner. Believe in your ability to make your life as good as you want it to be.

Put effort and energy into your life to support yourself in being as healthy as possible. This includes eating as nutritious as can be, getting plenty of exercise and finding productive outlets to reduce the stress in your life. If you are a smoker and/or drinker then quitting is a good idea.

In order to correct hormonal imbalances in your body, eat plenty of estrogenic foods. These include apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, soy, wheat and yams.

If you do not get enough exercise then find ways to add more physical activity into your daily routine. This does not mean that you have to start working out at the gym if that does not suit you. It may involve taking a long walk and then doing something else such as participating in a team sport or taking an exercise class.

It is also important to find ways to calm your body and your mind. This can do wonders for hormones that are fluctuating like crazy. Practice yoga, meditation and/or deep breathing in order to accomplish this.

Look to Natural and Alternative Means:

One of the most effective and safest methods for coping with the symptoms of menopause is to turn to alternative and natural medicine. Herbs can help to correct the imbalance of hormones that is common when a female is premenopausal or menopausal.

The two kinds of herbs that are most appropriate for treating menopause symptoms include phytoestrogen herbs and non-estrogenic herbs. The former are herbs such as black cohosh and dong quai that are made up of components that are estrogen-like in nature. These herbs come from plants and are effective at replacing a portion of the estrogen that has been depleted from the body.

The non-estrogenic herbs are not composed of any estrogen and they help to encourage the hormone glands to produce more of their own natural hormones. A woman’s hormone production is stimulated because these herbs act on the endocrine glands as well as the pituitary gland. Think alternative options before you decide to try something that may have its share of adverse side effects.

Samantha

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To protect your head of hair it’s time for you to look at the type of shampoo you use. If it’s a commercial brand and not organic then consider a change.

Having a head of hair that you can be proud of is important to so many people. It is your crowning glory after all!

You may or may not have heard of these organic lines of shampoo- Avalon, Aveda and Burt’s Bees. These lines also produce other organic products as well. If you have never seen these in any of the stores you shop at then it is time for you to start paying more attention.

There are many reasons to make the decision to switch from a commercial shampoo to an organic one. Not everyone’s reasons for doing so are the same. For some individuals the thought of using harsh chemicals on their hair causes them to look to organic alternatives while others may be vegans or may wish to become more ethical consumers.

Whatever your reason for doing so, you are making a wise decision for your health to switch from a chemical laden shampoo that contains parabens and sulphates to start using one that is mild on your hair and good for the environment.

Organic shampoos and other types of hair products are becoming more and more common as consumers demand products that are gentle on their hair and do not contain abrasive ingredients that can lead to future health problems.

When then do you need to think about when shopping for a shampoo (and other hair products) of the organic persuasion?

Most grocery stores, department stores and pharmacies are stocking their shelves with organic alternatives but they are doing so at a slow pace. If you have no luck in finding such products then head to a health food store in your town or a national organic product chain store if there is one nearby. If these options are not available to you then search over the Internet for organic shampoos and other hair care products.

Organic shampoos are geared towards different hair types such as normal, dry, oily, curly, frizzy, lacking in volume, color treated and so on. This is the same as popular commercial shampoos. Make sure you read over the labels carefully and choose the one that is most appropriate for your specific hair type.

You also need to read the labels on the shampoo bottles thoroughly to verify that all of the ingredients are genuinely natural. In particular you are looking for a shampoo that does not contain any artificial colors, any synthetic fragrances or any preservatives such as diazolidinyl urea. All of these ingredients are potential carcinogens which is why they need to be avoided.

Organic shampoos are suitable for everyone. Natural ingredients used in many different types of organic shampoos such as jasmine and lavender are also very gentle on the hair and scalp. They make superb choices for those who often look for hypoallergenic products because of sensitive skin.

If your hair is dry and needs more moisture then look for an organic shampoo that contains green tea. Green tea is full of antioxidants and is therefore excellent for the hair. Other ingredients that help to hydrate hair that is too dry include those that contain ginseng and white camellia oil.

If you suffer from dandruff and an itchy, scaly scalp then look for the natural ingredient rosemary in an organic shampoo. Rosemary is very mild to the hair as it cleanses but it is also very soothing to a scalp that is prone to dandruff.

Samantha

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Asthma is a widespread chronic respiratory problem and it’s been known for awhile natural help comes in the form of aloe vera. Here’s more information.

Approximately one out four people suffers from asthma in one form or another. Asthma can range from mild to moderate to severe. This breathing condition can get its start at any point in a person’s life. It can be caused by any number of factors. Looking to alternative means to help yourself is always in your best interests. When it comes to asthma natural help comes in the form of aloe vera.

Researchers believe that asthma is an inherited allergy related condition. However allergens in the environment can also cause problems to erupt, as can such things as too much stress. Atopic asthma is common in children and is often triggered by such things as dust mites, carpeting and central heating. Animal dander can also cause a problem as can animal saliva and pollen. Beyond that not a lot is known about what causes asthma and why it affects some people worse than others (or some not at all).

Asthma Symptoms:

Asthma can show up very suddenly or it can develop at a slower pace.

It can be characterized by a difficulty in breathing, as well as excessive coughing or excessive wheezing. A person who is asthmatic is likely to cough up large amounts of clear sticky mucous. Asthma is a health condition that causes the muscles in the airways to overreact to stimuli, thereby causing too much mucous production accompanied by the coughing and wheezing.

The Stages of Asthma:

In the acute phase of asthma, allergens are breathed into the lungs and they come into contact with sensitized mast cells. These mast cells are filled with histamine. The cells then degranulate and cause the histamine to travel to the surrounding tissues. This brings about inflammation and swelling. A lack of the minerals copper and magnesium can also cause too much histamine to be released into the system and cause an acute attack to develop.

In the next phase of asthma, known as the latent phase, coughing and wheezing get worse. This makes it impossible for the beta 2 stimulants to control the coughing. Inflammatory cells connected to the immune system then bring about the production of bradykinin, interleukin and prostaglandins.

For Asthma Relief Turn to Aloe Vera:

If you are an asthma sufferer then you know all too well how uncomfortable, frightening and exhausting this condition can be to your life, not to mention disruptive. What you need to start doing is to drink whole leaf cold processed aloe vera juice on a regular basis. Aloe vera juice helps to reduce the severity of the latent phase of the disease. It also contains substances that inhibit inflammation such as Campesterol, B-Sitosterol, bradykinase, phyto steroids and Lupeol.

Aloe vera is advantageous in terms of reducing the severity of asthma symptoms as well as the frequency with which asthma attacks occur. This is because it contains a substance known as Acemannan. Acemannan is extremely effective at acting on the immune system to activate and stimulate T-cells, monocytes and macrophages. Acemannan acts quickly to surround a foreign body and from there it starts to destroy bacteria.

Acemannan is the trade name that researchers have given to the mannose rich polysaccharide that has been extracted from the aloe vera plant. Acemannan is extremely helpful in the fight against asthma.

Researchers who have studied the effects of Acemannan on asthma sufferers have found that consuming aloe vera regularly can be beneficial as it can work as a preventative measure. The effects of this miracle herb have been shown to be beneficial both on a short-term basis as well as a long-term basis.

Aloe vera juice can be purchased at health food stores as well as in the health food aisle of most grocery stores and pharmacies.

Samantha

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Feeling the blues once in awhile is common to many people but when your mood and outlook gets any darker and days slide into weeks and even months then it is time to take action. The help you receive from your doctor is likely to come by way of a prescription for an antidepressant.

An antidepressant’s job is to make sure that the neurotransmitter known as serotonin circulates in the brain as nature intended. The good news for those who prefer to take the natural route is that studies have also shown that herbs such as St. John’s wort, licorice, ginkgo biloba, spearmint, thyme, marjoram and Siberian ginseng are also capable of the exact same purpose and may even work much better.

Two of the most commonly used herbs for depression include St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba. Let us take a brief look at them both now.

St. John’s Wort:

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a perennial plant that has yellow flowers and is harvested somewhere around St. John Baptist day which is June 24th (thus the name, St. John’s wort). Sometimes referred to as goat weed or Klamath’s weed, this herb has been used for many centuries to treat disorders connected to stress, as well as anxiety, depression and pain associated with the nervous system.

Herbalists from many years ago looked upon St. John’s wort as a kind of sedative to be used in the treatment of malaria. It was also once used to heal burns, mosquito bites and other minor skin lesions.

Today this herb is most often used to treat anxiety, depression and mood disorders as well as sleep disorders including insomnia. It is the flowering tops of the herb that are used in herbal medicine and turned into teas and tablets. St. John’s wort is an herbal remedy that calm, relaxes and soothes.

Ginkgo Biloba:

Ginkgo biloba comes from a tree called the Maidenhair Tree and is used for the treatment of depression. This herb was first discovered growing in Asia before it made its way to other parts of the world. One significant way in which ginkgo biloba is different from other herbs is that the leaves of the plant are not used in their natural form but are made into a concentrated and standardized ginkgo biloba extract. The seeds and the leaves are both used to make supplements that can help those who suffer from anxiety problems, stress and depression.

Ginkgo biloba can prove beneficial to the human body in other ways as well. The leaves of the plant are made up of two kinds of antioxidants, that of flavonoids and terpenoids. These antioxidants are very good at destroying free radicals that circulate readily in the body and bring about the death of cells.

This herb works on the brain to fight depression but it also helps to improve memory and slow the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, retinal damage and other types of memory issues. It is also helpful in terms of revitalizing the skin and making it firmer and more youthful in appearance. Ginkgo biloba is one of the top selling herbs in both the United States as well as Europe when it comes to anxiety and depression.

When it comes to the natural approach to treating depression give one of these herbs a try. Unlike antidepressants, herbal remedies have few if any side effects. It is always wise to check with your physician before you start taking herbs for any health condition.

Becca

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