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5 Natural Ways to Improve Your Emotional Health

By Theresa Harding

If you struggle with managing your emotions, keep reading to learn 5 natural ways to improve your emotional health.   So many times, we experience setbacks in our life and emotional well-being, and we feel defeated when the solution is not readily available. 

We get so caught up in our emotions that we can’t use wisdom to improve our emotional health.  There are times when plain old common sense to judge what is best for us and when to seek emotional help is all that it takes. 

While some might think it’s best to load up on antidepressants or some other form of medication to “help us through” the challenge, others seek alternative solutions.  I’m going to share with you 5 ways.


This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you click a link to make a purchase.

The emotional well-being of a person regarding thoughts or how they behave or feel contributes to the emotional health of a person.  Listed below are the 5 natural ways to boost emotional health.

1. Maintaining Healthy Sex Hormones

The drive for sex can be improved through natural means.  Sex drive is the desire or urges to engage in sexual activities. There comes a time when a person does not have the desire for sex.  Exercise is a proven natural way of boosting sex drive in that it helps in the flow of blood which is important in boosting sex hormones like testosterone and endorphins.

There are many reasons that your sex hormones can become out of balance.  Whether it be from childbirth, a poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, or medication, it’s easy to become out of balance with your sex hormones.

If you believe any of the points in the list above are affecting your hormones, just know that there is help available.  Those points should each be addressed individually to get back in balance.  In fact, an article written by the Wellness Mama gives some great tips to help you address your sex hormones.

2. Stress Management and Aromatherapy

Natural Ways To Improve Your Emotional Health

Stress Management & Aromatherapy

Stress is a state of mind which is disturbing and might develop into depression if not properly managed. In the field of aromatherapy, essential oils have been found to be very effective in stress management and helping to improve your emotional health.  These include lavender essential oil which has been proved to improve moods as well as decreasing anxiety.

Citrus essential oils have also been found to work well on depression, as these oils help with boosting your mood.  This can give you an experience of positive mental health as you focus on the citrusy scents to help revive your mood and begin to feel better and happier.  I love these citrus essential oils when added to a diffuser

It helps to uplift my mood in the morning when I’m taking that quiet time to think about my day and just meditate.  If you’ve never used a diffuser, you’re in for a real treat!  Diffusers release the medicinal properties of essential oils to help you get great healing results from minor ailments like migraine headaches, congestion, and some aches and pains, to name a few. 

Give them a try!  Even my teens use them topically.  Just remember, all essential oils cannot be ingested,  so you have to make sure that the ones linked above are not for ingesting, but you can try others that can be ingested, like Young Living Oils.  They usually have to be purchased through a Vendor, but they are also sold on Amazon by some Vendors too.

3. Avoid Seasonal Disorders

Seasonal affective disorders (SAD) are associated with daytime heavy sleeping, isolation, being depressed in certain seasons as well as cravings for certain foods like carbohydrates. There are natural ways to control this disorder. 

For example, to help improve your emotional health, follow the right diet by reducing your intake of carbs and instead, increase your intake of foods with tryptophan. This is an amino acid which is highly available in seafood, broccoli, and poultry.  Its importance is that it is changed to serotonin which is a mood booster.

4. Avoid the Development of Depression

Depression is a critical condition which can develop into hypertension if not managed correctly. This condition develops through stages and among the stages is mild depression.  To improve your emotional health, natural remedies like having enough sleep have helped in managing mild depression.

You can learn more ways of avoiding depression as mentioned in an article by Dr. Axe in detail.  This may help you learn of holistic ways to heal from depression if you suffer from depression.

It is also better to focus on positive mental health as you find many positive ways to manage symptoms of depression when you feel down. Exercise is also important in that it promotes the production of certain hormones which boost mood.  I can say in my own personal experience, going through a season of severely losing sleep over a work project. 

I remember feeling very sleep early in the morning after waking up from about 3 hours of sleep.  This happened for about 3 months until I dozed off while driving my kids home from school one afternoon.  Luckily I didn’t run into anything, but that moment scared me straight! 

Once I realized that I needed to make more time for sleep and less time for the other things that prevented me from sleeping properly, I made some adjustments to my sleep schedule.   After making adjustments to my sleep schedule, the depressed feelings faded away.  Omega 3 fatty acids  were my solution in helping me with balancing my mood health.  

5. Avoid Emotional Eating Habits

Natural Ways to Improve Your Emotional Health

Emotional Health

Emotional eating happens when one eats too much because they are undergoing chronic stress. This behavior is an unhealthy way of handling stress and managing your emotional well-being. A natural way of handling it is through guided meditation.

This is a great form of positive mental health when finding a better way to improve your mental health.  It is done by summoning all your thoughts on one thing as this is seen as an exercise to the brain and ends up relieving stress in the process.  For me, I avoid food when I feel any emotional stress. 

I once lost 5 pounds in one week from emotional stress.  As we always hear, “stress can kill you” if you don’t get it under control.  One supplement I started taking to help me manage stress was, magnesiumThis was effective in helping me relax before bed too.

A good habit to start is to keep a food diary. This can help you document what you are consuming so that you can look back on the list and see what you’ve eaten when you felt a certain way.  Sometimes, the wrong foods can contribute to your bad emotions.  You might think the foods you eat when you feel sadly emotional will make you feel better, but in truth, you will only feel worse! 

One tip from an article written by the Mayo Clinic is to document everything you eat each day, how much you eat when you eat, how you’re feeling when you eat and how hungry you are.  Over time, you may find a pattern that leads to your food consumption and the mood you’re in each time.  This may really hone in and help you find ways to avoid this happening.

SUMMARY

Everyone will experience some level of emotional stress at some point in their life, whether it be from the death of a loved one, the stress of a job, or the stress of parenthood.  emotional stress is inevitable.  How it handled effectively is what can make all the difference in the world.  You can either take a natural approach to heal from it or the conventional approach, through medication or drugs.

Of course, the safest way is the holistic approach since the side effects are minimal.  Always speak with a health care practitioner before changing your diet or trying new supplements.

The success of your health is always contingent upon which approach you take to reach your healing.  It can be done, just be patient. 

How do you manage emotional stress?  Is it effective?

References and Resources

Dolgin, E. (2018). Tracking down the optimum dose of exercise. Stroke, 13, 57.

Hoeger, W. W., Hoeger, S. A., Hoeger, C. I., & Fawson, A. L. (2018). 

Lifetime of Physical Fitness and Wellness. Cengage Learning.

Pattyn, N., Van Puyvelde, M., Fernandez-Tellez, H., Roelands, B., & Mairesse, O. (2018).

From the midnight sun to the longest night: Sleep in Antarctica. Sleep medicine reviews, 37, 159-172.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20047342

 

Sometimes your diet can influence how you feel and affect your emotional health.  If you want to improve your emotional health and eliminate toxic foods from your diet, I have a free Diet Makeover course that I used to help me improve the health of my family.  Click below to download.

Get Terry’s FREE Diet Makeover

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Mother’s Day Ideas: Gifts for 2021

By Theresa Harding

Mother’s Day comes right along with the full wake of spring, and I’m sure you’re all anxious to catch some sunlight after a long, harsh winter. Taking walks in nature is a fantastic way to get into the summertime vibe we yearn for throughout the seasons.  Spending time with your Mom by joining her on a nice walk in nature is a great gift.   Below are 5 ideas you can choose from to gift to your Mom on Mother’s Day.

1. Take a Road Trip

When you hear the words, Happy Mother’s Day, you usually think of a backyard get-together, right? How about you switch it up this year and plan a trip somewhere she won’t forget!

Taking a nice, pleasant road trip can be fun if she’s ok about the drive.  You can stop somewhere like a State Park to rest, relax, and take pictures to create memories.  If she isn’t into the whole strapped-up boot, tree- branch cane scene, set up something more relaxing like a camping trip. Now you’ll want to do some research on this one and make sure its somewhere she’ll be comfortable in. You will be there for quite some time after all. Don’t forget the bug spray!

 2. Mother’s Day Dinner Ideas

Mother'sDayDinnerIdeas

Mother’s Day Dinner Ideas

Over the years, I personally have enjoyed the much-enjoyed Mother’s Day Brunch with my immediate family.  Lately, I’ve been most picky about where I choose to dine out because of the food choices at some restaurants.  You can find some restaurants that do serve some healthy choices on the menu, however. 

since the covid pandemic has changed the way we dine out temporarily, about 46% of people say they still plan the traditional Mother’s Day outing, brunch, or other activities according to the National Retail Federation.

Now, this is something very common amongst us Mother’s Day celebrators. In fact, about 54.3% of celebrants say they’ll be going out for brunch or dinner for a happy mother’s day outing, according to the National Retail Federation. Instead of taking her out to the usual spots Dads, might I suggest a trip down memory lane?

By that, I mean take her back to the restaurant you two first laid eyes on each other for a Mother’s Day brunch or maybe the town where you proposed.  If you aren’t in the husband or boyfriend category, another great gift for Mom is to go somewhere she used to take you when you were younger. Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just somewhere familiar that’ll put a smile on her face.

3. Mother’s Day Breakfast In Bed Ideas

Mother’s Day breakfast in bed was the popular option in our household when I was a kid.  I remember cooking what I’d seen as my mother’s favorite breakfast foods. 

The toast might’ve been a little on the darker side, and the eggs might’ve been cooked a little too long, but in my eyes, my meal beat any Mother’s Day brunch without a doubt!  She always ate it too.  (well, I stood there until she finished all of it.), but it was the thought that counts, right?

Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive… actually, let me rephrase that: A happy Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be CRAZY expensive! Maybe you already have a pricey Mother’s day gift in mind for your one and only.

To help save money and balance out your spending, what better way to start Mother’s Day than a delicious breakfast in bed recipe? It’s pretty light on the wallet too. Here is a link to some vegan breakfast recipes some delicious breakfast in bed recipes.  If your Mother prefers meat, you can always throw in her favorite breakfast meat.

4. Relaxation

Who says a Mother’s Day gift has to be monetary?

Guys let’s face it, being a mother is hard work. The way I see it, being a mother is pretty much a full-time job and it’s not like she can call in sick or put in her 2 weeks.  So to show your appreciation for all the hard work she puts in, spend the day finding ways to lighten her load so she can relax for the day.

Or, if you’re a mother reading this, you can make a list for your family of what you want to be done around the house or whatever tasks you can think of so that you can just sit back and enjoy the holiday.  I mean, it is Mother’s Day!

5. Homemade Body Care Products

Mother'sDayBodyCareProducts

Homemade Body Care Products for Mom

You will find that there are many small businesses that can easily be found online.  Just take a look at etsy.com and you will easily find any skincare product.  There are entrepreneurs on Etsy who make their own skincare products that are free from harsh chemicals and preservatives. 

Your Mother would really appreciate a skincare line that’s made with love.  Just make sure you’re aware of her skin type so that you can search for the product that complements her skincare needs.  You can do the same for hair care products too. 

First, find out your mother’s hair type, then search on sites like Etsy or just search online for hair care products made by a small business owner or solopreneur.  You will also find home-made scented candles and homemade soaps made by small business owners as well. 

This is my favorite candle and soap making company, owned my Libby.  Her candles smell so yummy!  Just remember, you don’t need to focus on an expensive Mother’s Day gift.  Just focus on spending invaluable time together.

By personalizing a gift for your Mother, you will make her feel really special.  This is also a form of self-care for her, as I’m always promoting self-care when possible.

 What is your idea of deciding on great Mother’s Day gifts for mom?

Resources and References

https://nrf.com/blog/3-ways-coronavirus-changing-how-we-think-about-mothers-day

 

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Build Strong Friendships with 5 Love Languages

By Theresa Harding          (updated 2/17/20)  

As a child, I’ve always had a “best” friend Whom I always found to be my favorite person to spend time with.  I didn’t understand the meaning of true friendship and love, so we both carried on our friendship based on a response we received from one another.

This post contains affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no charge to you if you click a link to make a purchase.


Even as an adult, we feel like we “outgrow” a person because we really don’t know their love language.  That’s challenging because we expect to build strong friendships without knowing our friend’s love language.  If you experience this then fear not!  The Top 5 Love Languages can re-energize your friendships!

Did you know that you can grow and nurture meaningful relationships and love with your close friends using the 5 love languages? Yes, the 5 words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts.  These are not only reserved for lovers, they’re also for platonic relationships.

Showing a great friendship and love, and choosing to learn how your friends’ best experience love will take your friendships to a more meaningful place and improve relationships.  So, how well do you understand your close friends? Can knowing your close friends’ love languages help you be a better friend to them?

When we choose to learn about our friends’ preferred modes of affection, we are better placed to create strong friendships.  We feel more connected to them, and offer them better support.  Read on to discover how you can reinforce your friendships using the 5love languages just because you care about your friends.

1. Words Of Affirmation

According to an article written by Positive Psychology, “positive affirmations can help us to respond in a less defensive and resistant way when we’re presented with threats”.  If you have studied your friend and discover they love praise, then they are the type of person who actually likes hearing words of love.

Compliment them a lot, praise them and thank them as often as necessary. Avoid harsh words when passing criticism to them as it hits them very strongly. You have to choose to be consciously aware of your words when you are around them.  This will help improve relationships over time.

Scientists at Carnegie Melon University discovered that heightened error-related negativity — a measurable brain response to mistakes — actually creates a positive result.

2. Quality Time

Build Friendships with Quality Time

Quality Time Builds Friendships

This type of friend thrives on spending time with you and getting your undivided attention. They are not needy; they just connect better when they spend physical time with their friends. They are the best to take along for shopping or brunch.

They thrive around company and not necessarily a crowd unless you confuse the two; they connect one-on-one. They value your friendship and love and feel most valued when you listen to them.  Don’t worry, they love listening to you too.

3. Acts Of Service

This friend appreciates the small (or big) gestures you show them. When you offer to help them with their project, help them fix their garage door or room makeover, this builds a strong friendship with them.

Jamil Zaki, a professor of Psychology at Stanford University noted, “The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!”

4. Physical Touch

This friend doesn’t want you to be all weird about it, seeing you can touch your friends for only so long.  A simple hug, shake hands while talking, hand on the shoulder, or just sitting next to this friend is okay with them.  Still, remember personal space is important.

One recent review found that, even if we have no conscious memory of a touch—a hand on the shoulder, say—we may be more likely to agree to a request, respond more (or less) positively to a person or product, or form closer bonds with someone.

5. Gift Giving

The Language of Gift Giving

Gift-Giving is a Love Language

They are quite straightforward, they love receiving gifts, thank you notes, even a candy bar. Your friend doesn’t mind a Porsche if you can afford it, but you get the drift. They respond better to your friends when you gift them.  So the next time you spot something that reminds you of them, go ahead and pick it up to surprise them with it.

In one of the studies, CindyChan, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto found that emotionally evocative gifts can also strengthen relationships. Emotional material gifts like a joke-of-the-day calendar, a framed photo, or jewelry engraved with a loving message can be very effective gifts in that regard.

It takes time to get used to, and commit to using available opportunities to understand your friends and improve relationships. The more you commit to consciously learn your friend’s needs, the easier it will get.  This will also help you build a lasting friendship as well. 

You can learn more about the 5 love languages in more detail in Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.

What is your love language, and does your friend know this?

References and Resources

tps://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/self-affirmation-enhances-performance-makes-us-receptive-to-our-mistakes

https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-science-of-kindness

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18992276

https://psychcentral.com/news/2016/12/18/the-science-behind-gift-giving/113963.html

 

 

 

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5 Love Languages That Improve Relationships

 

By Theresa Harding (updated 2/14/20)

In my own personal experience of marriage, I did not always approach difficult situations with understanding and love.  I was young with less understanding at times. 

This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission at no cost to you when you click a link to make a purchase.


If I’d known about these 5 love languages from day one of our relationships, I would’ve saved us from many challenges in our marriage!   I never knew there was a better way to nurture relationships.  I first learned about the love languages some years ago from a Christian radio show I was listening to. 

It was appalling to learn about the 5 Love Languages!  It’s always nice to learn new and better ways to improve relationships, which can make them healthy for life.

Before we go further, let’s first define love language.

What are the 5 Love Languages?

The love languages are 5 ways to express love emotionally.  We are all different and in a marriage, we have different needs of which we must learn the language of our partner so that we may speak their language if we want to make them feel loved. 

What I desire and need from my partner is different from what my partner desires and needs from me.  It’s so important to understand this from the beginning if we want our relationship to be long-lasting and fulfilling.

A lot has been said about love and how to improve a relationship.  Songs have been sung, emotional poems have been drafted.  Yet this intriguing emotion remains as complex as it gets.  

When Gary Chapman wrote aboutthe 5 Love Languages, I am not sure he comprehended the kind of help and understanding he brought into relationships. This is because misunderstanding brought about by the inability to understand your partner’s language of love can cripple a healthy relationship as soon as the “sparks” die out. So, how can you apply the love languages to improve and make your relationship solid?  Let’s identify all 5.

1. Words of Affirmation

First on the list of love languages is “Words of affirmation”.  Affirmations, verbal compliments, and encouragement are valued by the people who embody this love language.  Statements such as “I love you”, “I adore you”, “You are handsome” accompanied by body language and facial expressions that denote the same, will have them smiling ear to ear, fully reassured of your love.

Assuring your partner every so often can be magical, particularly during the turbulent times of the relationship.  People love to feel appreciated for their hard work and effort.  Not recognizing their effort with kind words of appreciation can make them feel less valued and unappreciated. 

If this is what your spouse complains the most about-your lack of showing gratitude or appreciation for his or her hard work, you can change that by showing your appreciation in affirmations.  Even saying kinds words like, “I’m so thankful for your help, I don’t think I’d have finished if it wasn’t for you.”  Those words can really make your partner feel on top of the world if words of affirmation are their love language.

Feeding your partner what he/she desires is the ultimate key that’ll take your relationship to another level.  In the early years of our marriage, my husband always said things to affirm his hard work and I thought he was gloating, so I never spoke words of affirmation to him.

What he was doing was trying to train me to speak those encouraging words of affirmation to him, but I took his efforts the wrong way.  I learned later learned that that was his love language.  My thought process changed about it and started complimenting him when I felt he needed those kind words of affirmation.

Try This: 

  1. The next time your partner tells you how hard it was to accomplish a task. Look him/her in the eyes and tell them how much you appreciate them for taking that action.
  2. When you’re headed out to dinner or a formal event, tell your partner how handsome or sexy he/she looks in that outfit.
  3. Compliment our partner on how nicely shaved his face is, or how nice her hair is styled.

These kind words will affirm to your spouse that you care and you appreciate their efforts.

2. Quality Time

How many of you desire quality time from your spouse?  I don’t mean just having him or her in the house somewhere.  I mean, right in front of you, engaging in conversation, face-to-face.  This is the love language of “Quality Time

 Quality time involves spending one-on-one time with your partner. This time should be devoid of interruptions like looking down at your cell phone while your partner is engaging in a conversation with you,  especially during dinner time.  We want our partner to always feel significant, so not giving them our undivided attention can make them feel less significant. 

Instead, look in their eyes, show body language by nodding your head to let them see you are attentive to their conversation and you’re engaged.  This will also prevent any later misunderstanding should the same conversation come up later and you forgot the discussion because you weren’t really engaged in the first place!   

Doing things together or simply engaging in deep conversation or silly jokes will have people who value quality time beaming with satisfaction.  Actions that will make a healthy relationship.

Try This:

  1. The next opportunity you’re alone at home with your partner, instead of engaging in busyness, take a moment and go sit next to your partner to engage in a conversation without any distractions.
  2. When you’re getting ready for bed, instead of jumping in the bed and drifting off to sleep, have a fun conversation with your partner without the TV or other distractions.
  3. The next time you or your partner is preparing dinner, take a moment to go engage in a fun conversation, to keep him/her company.

By taking the time to give your undivided attention out of the ordinary, your partner will really appreciate it if their love language is “quality time”.

3. Acts of Service

5 Love Languages That Improve Relationships

Acts of Service

The love language of “Acts of Service” gives a person the satisfaction of feeling loved when you perform an action that speaks their language.  An example would be helping your spouse with the house chores or helping cook dinner for the family. 

When they feel you are helping them with acts of service, they feel loved and their love tank begins to fill up.  You are the type of person whose love language is acts of service if you feel a deeper kind of appreciation and connection when your partner runs errands for you or does a chore that leaves you with a lighter load of work.

I always enjoyed having my husband assist me in the kitchen on the weekends when I prepared dinner.  It filled my love tank every time he could assist me in this task.  His act of service to me showed me that he was expressing his love in a way that I desired more than just telling me he loved me.

If your spouse complains to you always because you don’t assist with different tasks, then their love language is probably Acts of Service.  Your job is then to fulfill that need and perform those acts of service that will make them feel you’re expressing your love in a way that they desire. 

Other people value touch. These people understand love in terms of “Physical touch”.  Cuddling, kissing, hugging, a caring touch on the arm or shoulder and sexual intercourse touch their souls. Without these, these individuals will not feel loved adequately.

Try This:

  1. The next time your partner prepares dinner, go help out and offer your assistance in the kitchen and cook together.
  2. The next time your partner prepares to go grocery shopping, offer to go along and shop together.

Offering to help out around the house is a fantastic way to perform an act of service to your partner.

4. Receiving Gifts

When was the last time you received or gave a gift to your spouse and it made you feel loved?  If you desire to receive gifts and it makes you feel loved, then your love language is receiving gifts or giving gifts. 

The gifts don’t necessarily have to be expensive, lavish gifts, just small gifts such as a love note placed on your spouse’s pillow, or a chocolate candy bar will suffice. 

Just make sure you give more appropriate gifts for really special occasions like a birthday or Christmas.  A thoughtful gift will warm the hearts of those who exemplify this love language.  In addition to receiving, they also love to give gifts.

What matters is the thought behind the gift.  So a cute note will go a long way, and rest assured, will make a healthy relationship.

Try This:

  1. Leave a love note with one sentence telling your partner why you love them.
  2. Give your spouse a cute beanie baby or other small gifts at random times.  No special occasion is necessary.

You random gift-giving fills your partner’s love tank if receiving gifts is their love language.

5. Physical Touch- Is Human Touch a Need? 

Physical Touch is the first of the five senses to develop in the womb.  A quote by Margaret Atwood says, “Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language, and the last, and it always tells the truth.”   Touch is naturally engraved in our DNA.  We simply don’t need to be taught this much-needed practice.  It just comes naturally for us. 

Unfortunately, in today’s electronic world, the art of touch is diminishing in many relationships.  Touch is important in both plutonic and romantic relationships.  As written by Berkely Science Review, “A growing number of studies on touch and emotion reveal our deep-seated need for human contact and warmth.  Touch may be the key to communicating prosocial emotions, and for promoting group cohesion and survival.”

Not only does touch foster cooperation within groups, but it also has an effect and is necessary for the right physical and psychological development for infant mammals.   From birth, regular, nurturing touch has been shown to have growth-promoting effects in infants. 

Pups that are separated from their mothers for extended lengths of time have shown stunted growth in comparison to rats who aren’t separated from their mothers even though their diet is the same.

Studies have shown that babies who are held and touched in a positive way more often also demonstrate lifelong resilience to stress and improved cognition.  So as you can see, touch is universal, in that all mammals and living creatures need touch beginning in the womb.  If physical touch is your partner’s love language, find the time to add this to your daily interactions to fill his/her love tank.

After you have identified your love language, you can boost your understanding and love of your partner.  It can be a little bit difficult if you value physical touch, to understand why someone would need acts of service to feel loved. This calls for understanding and to appreciate that every human is different. Therefore do not be afraid to ask what your partner values.

Try This:

  1. The next time you’re engaged in a conversation with your partner, touch their hand, facial hairs (for men) or run your hands through their hair as you engage in conversation.
  2. When you’re out shopping with your partner, hold hands while walking, or sitting in church together.

The physical touch love language is endless!  Just be creative and fill your partner’s love tank with this one.

Apply It

Improve Relationships With 5 Love Languages

Apply Your Partner’s Love Language

The next course of action is to use your partner’s love language to improve your relationship with better understanding and love.  If they value quality time, be sure to create time, go out and do fun things together.

This will create a bond not easily broken, as well as create a healthy relationship.  Gift him/her often and watch him/her glow with appreciation and love.  Be mindful of your partner’s love language and you will receive the same in return.

Summary

To summarize, it is important to learn how to improve a relationship if you want positive experiences with your friends and loved ones.  Identify your love language and that of your partner, understand his/her love language and “do” their love language then sit back and watch your relationship soar higher in understanding and love every day.

My experience in applying these 5 love languages has helped me understand my husband and improve our understanding of each other better.  This has helped us avoid complaining to each other (something we did in the past), about what we’re not getting or giving in the relationship.  After all, love is an action, not just an expression.  I invite you to give them a try if you want to create a healthy relationship lifelong!

Have you used the 5 love languages in your relationship, and has it improved?

Resources and References
https://www.5lovelanguages.com/

https://www.jneurosci.org/content/30/2/703.abstract?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=1&author1=Baram&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&fdate=1/1/2010&resourcetype=HWCIT

berkeleysciencereview.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Clean Your Health and Wellness

 

By Theresa Harding

When I was growing up, we always did our spring house cleaning during “clean-up week” when we were out of school for spring break.  The idea to spring clean your health and wellness was never a goal. 

We would do extra cleaning around the house, such as clean windows, donate clothes and furniture, toys, etc.  I really enjoyed this time of year because it always seemed to be a family affair that included not only me and my siblings but also my parents. 

They would do the big jobs around the house and we assisted with their instruction.  However, spring cleaning should go far beyond just cleaning your home.  We should include some other things too!  So keep reading…

Spring Clean Your Diet

Spring cleaning is not about just cleaning your home or its surrounding. This article is specific to health and wellness and it refers to your diet and body workouts. Forget cleaning the entire house, and having everything arranged. However, you will notice that your home becomes more welcoming and comfortable after it is thoroughly cleaned during your spring house cleaning.

Similarly, when you spring clean your health and wellness you are left feeling good about your body while at the same time boosting your immune system.  You could also see this as a spring clean-up.

During this period, your diet is healthier and cleaner. The key objective is to boost your immune system. This not only keeps you healthy but also ensures that you look good. There is a key balance between your overall physique and your internal health.  It also includes incorporating a balanced diet in the right proportions.

Foods to Eliminate

Alcohol. Alcohol can take a toll on your liver.  You need your liver to function optimally as intended to detoxify your system.  Because alcohol acts as a diuretic, it makes it harder for your body to remain hydrated.  My favorite drink is Kombucha Tea

I started drinking Kombucha Tea when I learned that I needed probiotics to help me end my struggle with sugar cravings and a suppressed immune system.   Additionally, I had to make some diet and lifestyle changes that really made all the difference in the world for my health.  

I have been able to get my husband to drink Kombucha Tea when he thought there was nothing in the world better than his soda drinks.  He loves the taste of it and that makes me happy to know that he’s getting the beneficial bacteria when he drinks them. 

We eliminated his consumption of 46 grams of sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup that’s in the sodas he was addicted to drinking daily.  Kombucha Tea only contains 2 to 4 grams of sugar per serving and the beneficial bacteria your body needs.   The trade-off is much healthier!   We started ordering them online because we’ve found it to be more cost-effective instead of buying them individually.

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Healthy Sweeteners

Added Sugars. Refined sugar already has its own long list of reasons why you should stay away from it.  Number one being that it is inflammatory.  Most processed foods, cereals, and snacks are loaded with refined sugar. 

 Refined sugar increases your risk of obesity and heart problems. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars under 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. This may sound like it can’t be done, but it can be avoided or eliminated. 

I did it myself when I thought it was impossible to live without my refined sugar.  I just substitute my sweetened foods with raw honey or coconut palm sugar.  There are other natural sweeteners like Stevia on the market that you could use in place of refined sugar, so don’t think it’s impossible.   

When I first learned how to make smoothies, my favorite Stevia flavor was the liquid Vanilla because I was still addicted to sugar and needed my smoothies to be sweet.  Now, I don’t add Stevia to my smoothies because my taste buds are used to the green taste.  It took some time to get to this point though it was a journey! 

The Better Choice of Salt

Salt. One of the biggest misconceptions about salt is that we’re taught that salt should be avoided and that it causes Hypertension.  The truth of the matter is that it’s the table salt that causes health problems.  

 Table salt has no mineral content that your body needs and thus can be taxing on your health.  The better choice of salt is the Pink Himalayan Salt or the gray Celtic Sea Salt.  We use both in my household.  We just order ours online because we don’t always find it at our local grocery store when we need it. 

 Americans eat an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. Cut 1,000 mg out every day and you could lower your risk of heart disease by up to 9 percent, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

How to Avoid Refined Grains

Refined grains. White flour, white rice, and the like are stripped of healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These grains also cause inflammation in the body and should be avoided. 

Many people are also sensitive to refined grains and eat them a lot not knowing that these grains actually cause them problems with weight loss and food cravings.  If you’re going to eat grains, check food labels carefully and look for foods that list whole grains as the first or second ingredient.

Some foods that say “whole grains” on the packaging usually won’t have whole grains in them or they’ll only contain very tiny amounts listed at the very end of the ingredients list, which tells you how much whole grains are really added to the food.  Some better options of grains are gluten-free or whole wheat.  Here are some gluten-free options to consider:

1. quinoa

2. millet

3. gluten-free oats

4. buckwheat

5. amaranth

6. teff

7. brown rice

Other whole grains that contain gluten are whole wheat, barley, rye, some oats, corn, rice, sorghum, and spelt.

Remove the Processed Foods

Processed foods. Sometimes it seems like there is a processed food for every whole food that exists in the supermarket.  Processed foods are convenient foods that give many people a reason NOT to cook from scratch. 

 They also come with a long list of artificial, lab-made ingredients that cause food cravings and health problems.  Prepared foods with long lists of ingredients load you up with sugars, salts, and unhealthy trans fat. Pass them up and make room for more healthy, whole foods instead.

Incorporate These Foods

Seek to incorporate fresh foods that are in season. This will differ from one person to another depending on their location. Fresh foods have more nutrients and are more easily absorbed in the body.

Also, incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget to consider a daily multivitamin to address any vitamin and mineral deficiencies when your diet alone is not enough. 

Set Smart Goals

During spring cleaning, you could set Smart Goals. In this, they should be specific and time-bound. However, it is recommended that you keep your goals simple and realistic.   This will prevent you from straining your body and denying it the necessary quantity of nutrients.

Motivate yourself and keep track of your actions. For example, in the event you have a spring clean-up session that will last three weeks, you can check your progress every week.  In the event you are right on track, you may choose to reward yourself.

This will keep you motivated as opposed to not checking at all until the session is over. After all, you may feel disappointed if, at the end of the session, you find out that you have not met your goals.  As you update yourself, you will also know where adjustments are required.

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

spring-clean-your-fitness-routine

Fitness Routine

Spring cleaning also involves body workouts. A balanced and healthy diet is not enough to help meet your goals. Included are body workouts that will help boost the functionality of your body.

While many consider indoor exercises, it is recommended that you work with more intense exercises. In this, machinery such as a treadmill should be avoided as opposed to going outdoors.

The environment will also play an important role in helping your workout better.  There’s something about getting out in nature that really helps me connect with my workout. 

The beauty of the trees, clouds, birds singing all help me really engage in my workout routine.  Even though I enjoy working out indoors, nothing compares to the beauty of nature, in my opinion. 

Add A Fitness Routine to Cleanse

Play around with different intense workouts. You may choose to go solo or hire a trainer to guide you. Try even running workouts and try a change in the terrains you use. You can start slow with flat terrain and advance to rocky and hilly terrain.  

With the above guide, a spring clean-up will help you to stay healthy and boost your physique.  While it can be challenging, it is beneficial for everyone. You may choose to go solo or work in a group with those who have similar goals.

This should be a practice for every spring season to help you revive your workout routine and enjoy long-term benefits.   You could also consider doing this with your family the way we did when we only focused on spring house cleaning.

What about you?  How do you implement spring cleaning? 

Spring Clean your diet with my FREE “7-Day Clean Eating Challenge!”  A meal plan full of over 30 healthy recipes including snacks.

    Click Here to download your Free Meal Plan now!

 

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Toxins that Negatively Affect Your Heart Health

 

 

By Theresa Harding (updated 2/20/21         This post contains affiliate links.

I always thought of toxins as something that only came from the environment and from a science lab.  I never knew toxins could be unhealthy for your heart either.

So that you are not ignorant of the dangers of toxins the way I was, I would like to inform you of the dangerous effects toxins can have on your heart health and where they come from.  They are not very far from you, as they are in many products you use daily.  Omega 3 fatty acids are great for cardiovascular health and are taken by others as a heart supplement.

A toxic substance is a substance that can be poisonous or cause health effects. People are generally concerned about chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin which can be found at some hazardous waste sites.

Products that we use daily, such as household cleaners, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs, gasoline, alcohol, pesticides, fuel oil, and cosmetics, can also be toxic. Any chemical can be toxic or harmful under certain conditions.

Insecticides and Pesticides

Although the damage is sometimes reversible if caught in time, a serious brush with a heart toxin can also be fatal.
Here are toxins you should know about, in order to avoid them or limit your exposure:

They are a major contributor to Parkinson’s disease. Researchers have found that organic fruits and vegetables are much, much lower in pesticide residue, as well as substantially higher in natural antioxidants compared to non-organic produce.

Prescription Drugs and Heart Health

They deplete the body of nutrients and energy. For example, statins deplete coenzyme Q10 and diuretics deplete precious potassium and magnesium. So, if you need to take medications you want to consider natural vitamins for heart health and vitamins for energy to supplement accordingly.

Alcohol and Heart Health

Liver destruction is but one of many possible consequences of heavy drinking. Excess alcohol causes nutritional deficiencies and oxidative damage. It breaks down into aldehyde, a substance that damages cell membranes and causes premature aging. 

Supplementing with natural vitamins such as a liver cleanse to remove the toxic buildup from your liver is one way to remove toxic buildup. Simply eliminating unhealthy processed foods and drinks from your diet for a period of time can also help remove the toxic waste from your body.  Doing this will give you more energy that you would also get if you took vitamins for energy.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

ToxinsThatNegativelyAffectHeartHealth

Support Heart Health

This sweetener is added to thousands of processed food items and is particularly prominent in soft drinks. It promotes inflammation, obesity, and liver dysfunction.  Along with liver dysfunction comes the lack of energy and the need for a healthier sweetener replacement like raw honey.  You could also maybe consider vitamins for energy to help with the effects of liver dysfunction like low energy.

Indoor and Outdoor Pollution

Air pollution can be harmful to heart health. Proficient use of an air purifier, at least in rooms where you spend the most time, helps to reduce dust and other particulate matter. Be aware of sensitivities to outdoor chemicals, pollen, and mold.

Mold and Heart Health

It grows in dark, damp places and can cause severe allergic reactions.

Cigarettes and Heart Health

Each puff carries a toxic payload of chemicals and carcinogens, things like nicotine (used as a natural pesticide for hundreds of years), carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and formaldehyde, just to name a few of the 600 ingredients. So to detoxify your body, you want to stop smoking.

One study showed that some levels of vitamin C are depleted with cigarette smoking, so subjects were given vitamin C by mouth increased the amount of vitamin C in their bloodstreams and improved blood flow.  So cigarette smokers can consider natural vitamins like vitamin C to supplement their possible loss of vitamin C if they find that they are deficient in this very important antioxidant.

Soft Drinks and Heart Health

ToxinsandHeartHealth

Avoid soft drinks

These drinks contain too much sugar or artificial sweeteners that cause inflammation, plus phosphoric acid that leaches calcium out of bones.

Trans Fats and Heart Health

These unnatural fats have been removed from many foods, but you still need to be on the lookout for them. Because Tran’s fats promote inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, avoid consuming or cooking with, anything containing fats that are hydrogenated in order to detoxify your body.

Chlorine and Heart Health

Although this chemical is used to disinfect most public water supplies, it reacts with naturally occurring elements in water to form toxins called trihalomethanes. These have been linked to asthma, cancer, and heart disease.

Perfumes, Cosmetics, and Aluminum-Containing Deodorants

Perfumes and cosmetics contain all kinds of chemicals that are absorbed into the body. Use essential oils instead of perfumes, and make sure your cosmetics are made with natural and organic ingredients. The aluminum in deodorants may cause inflammation in the armpits and may contribute to breast cancer.

Processed Meats and Heart Health

They contain nitrites, which, in addition to being preservatives, are toxic to the GI tract and contribute to the formation of cancer. To detoxify your body, avoid these nitrite-laden meats.

Heavy Metals and Heart Health

Heavy Metals and Heart Health

Heavy metals and heart health

Lead from dust, dirt, old house paints, batteries, new toys, and even water flowing through lead-lined pipes can increase the risk of a number of health issues. The nervous systems of young children and the unborn are most vulnerable. Cadmium is another toxic metal, and exposure can contribute to hypertension, among other things.

Radon and Heart Health

 This odorless, invisible gas seeps from the ground into houses through cracks in foundations, and it poses a real health danger. Radon toxicity is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

What is your favorite food or supplement of choice for better heart health?

 

Sources

https://www.everydayhealth.com/atrial-fibrillation/living-with/hidden-heart-toxins-how-to-avoid/

https://www.nccn.org/patients/resources/life_with_cancer/managing_symptoms/cardiac_toxicity.aspx

https://ephtracking.cdc.gov/showHeartExpRisk.action

https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/chemicals-clog-arteries/

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/chemicals/toxic_substances.htm

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