Tag Archives: happiness

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Make 2017 Your Happiest, Healthiest Year Yet (Part 2)

As the next year quickly approaches many of us get excited about making resolutions to make the New Year the healthiest and happiest one, but often end up disappointed that these plans didn’t quite pan out. Sometimes that is because we don’t stop to think about just how important these changes can be and how they often act as dominoes to the next important change. In order to live an overall happy and healthy life, many things need to be balanced such as sleep, diet, fitness, stress level and mental health. Last time we looked at how to better mental well-being, nutrition and fitness, next up are:

Score Great Sleeps

Adequate sleep is a pillar of good health. Are you getting at least 6 hours a night? The goal is between 6-9 hours of sleep every night, getting less or more than that could lead to chronic lethargy or worse. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH), not getting enough sleep over the long-term can contribute to mental and physical health problems, quality of life as well as safety. Do you want to know if your sleeping habits are on target? Take our quiz.

Rely on Relaxation

Our world is a stressful one. Between over-working, technology over-use and hefty financial demands, it is easy to find one’s self chronically stressed. When you are in a state of near-constant stress, your cortisol and adrenaline levels are out of whack (thanks to our innate fight-or-flight response to potential threats). This is a bigger problem than you may think. Chronic stress can exacerbation nearly every existing health problem. Therefor, it is of utmost importance that you work to lower your stress level if it is elevated. How? There are many things you can do between taking up meditation, getting massages, exercising regularly or talking to a therapist. Check out these 10 helpful tactics in our Stress Busters post.

Happify Your Heart

Aside from lowering your stress, it is also important to set aside time in your daily life to do things you love and are passionate about. Whether that means a daily drawing or painting session, some routine woodworking, or cuddles with your pet or significant other, make sure you allot yourself time for what makes you smile. All too often we get stuck on autopilot running errands, driving the kids around, doing housework, and before you know it another day is done. It is so important to shake that routine up with things that make you truly happy. This will aid in your sleep, stress level and mental health, greatly improving your quality of life.

So, make 2017 the Year of You and get your life back in balance by working on each of these areas. Thanks for visiting DocChat, we wish you all the happiness 2017 can bring!

 

Make 2017 Your Happiest, Healthiest Year Yet (Part 1)

At the end of every year we all get hyped up to make positive changes but unfortunately, these changes don’t always happen as we’d hoped. Sometimes it could be because we make one change and are dumbfounded that it didn’t drastically improve quality of life. However, in order to live an overall happy and healthy life, many things need to be optimally balanced such as sleep, diet, fitness, stress level and mental health. It is so important to make sure each of these areas are in check. How? Let’s take a look at some helpful hints to help you better manage these important zones of well-being:

Mind Your Mind

A healthy mind is essential to your well-being. Whether you have a mental health condition like depressive disorder that may require therapy, or you have a surplus of anxiety or stress and can learn to wind down yourself, do what you need to do this year to get your mind in check. If you have jitters you can’t overcome, the blues or a confidence problem, there’s no shame in seeking some counseling just to get a few tips on how to curb those issues. A therapy session or two could benefit (almost) anyone, so if you feel you need a little boost when it comes to your mental well-being, book an appointment today.

Do Your Diet Right

If you’re fueling your body with sub-par substances like chips, alcohol, take-out and other empty calories, you’re likely to be sluggish, out-of-shape, and not to mention, chronically under performing on daily duties and tasks. You’ll see a difference in your quality of life if you give your body what it wants and needs: insoluble fiber, plenty of water, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, complex carbohydrates and fresh fruits and veggies. You’ll have more energy than you know what to do with. You’ll be your optimal self, ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Not only will you feel more energized, but you’ll be more inclined to routinely exercise as well. Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand; if one suffers, the other often will as well. If you eat poorly, you have no energy to exercise, becoming a vicious circle only you can break.

Watch Your Weight

Just as it is essential to stock up on healthy fuel for the body, it is equally important to keep your body fit. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise every week to maintain good health. Are you getting at least half an hour 5 days a week of heart-pumping exercise? If not, its time to renegotiate your fitness goals. Extra weight can directly contribute to many life-threatening and life-impeding illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory illness, organ failure and even cancer. If you are keen on a sickness-free future, it is time to shed as many excess pounds as you can through healthy nutrition and regular exercise. Not sure what kind to try? Ease in to something simple like short daily walks or swimming every second day.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more great life-balancing tips! Thanks for visiting DocChat. Remember, our board-certified physicians re standing by 24/7/365 to assist you with any health inquiries.

8 Tips to Minimize Holiday-Related Stress

 

The holidays can be the best time of year, but they can also be the most stressful at times as well. Let’s take a look at a few holiday stress-reducing tips for a happier, healthier time:

  1. Don’t overreach when it comes to presents – the holidays are about so much more than just material things. Many people stress themselves out by going way over their holiday gift budget. We’re all guilty of it sometimes, but a little less can still show someone how much you care.
  2. Keep a handle on the partying – the holidays are a time for celebration, but too many hard party nights can take away from relaxing and being present in the moment with your loved ones. If you’re hung over, you won’t enjoy the holidays as much as if you were feeling better.
  3. Try to avoid company clashes – when the family is over or you’re visiting your extended family, veer away from controversial subjects that may provoke a family brawl. Having company can sometimes be frustrating but don’t let the stress get the best of you. It may help to excuse yourself from your guests and take a couple deep breaths as needed.
  4. Think ahead – Last minute shopping can be very stressful because the stores are crazy and the shelves are nearly bear. Try to get your shopping and wrapping done well ahead of schedule so you’re not cursing yourself trying to get everything done last minute!
  5. Knock off some of your cooking and baking well ahead of time. Cookies keep really well in the freezer, so why not get your baking and some cooking ready a couple weeks before everyone starts showing up?
  6. Be kid-ready – Have some kids Christmas activities ready so when they get off school, there will still be some structure to give you time to do what you have to around the house.
  7. Don’t sweat the little hiccups – they are bound to happen! Some of us are holiday perfectionists. If more people show up to your event than anticipated, or the Christmas lights blow or a flight gets delayed, try to stay calm and make the most of what you have for the holidays.
  8. Still take “you time” between all the company – It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind busy of the holidays, but you will enjoy them much more if you take time out to do things that keep you calm and happy such as a nice long bath, painting or walks.

The most important thing is not to get distracted from what the holidays are truly about. Be sure to make time for those special quiet moments for your family to celebrate the things that really matter, all the rest is just tinsel! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Saying Good Riddance To Bad Company

negativity

Do you have a friend or family member who seems to bring you down with each interaction? Many of us have people in our lives who leave us feeling worse for wear after that conversation or visit. Often, we keep these toxic relationships afloat even when they are destructive to us. We don’t always realize the impact these negative people can have on our overall wellbeing over time.

Friends Over Frenemies

It is detrimental to our mental health to surround ourselves with people who bring us down. According to Saul McLeod of Simply Psychology, other people have a huge impact on our self-concept. McLeod says “If people admire us, flatter us, seek out our company, listen attentively and agree with us we tend to develop a positive self-image. If they avoid us, neglect us, tell us things about ourselves that we don’t want to hear we develop a negative self-image.” 

A Poison That Spreads

Keeping this kind of company can cause more damage than a chipped self-concept. Doctor Karen Lawson of the Center for Spirituality and Healing in Minnesota explains it like this: “Chronic stress from negative attitudes and feelings (of others) can upset the body’s hormonal balance and deplete the brain chemicals required for feelings of happiness, as well as have a damaging impact on the immune system.” So, soaking up too much negativity can eventually affect the body, as our emotional distress converts itself into physical stress.

Emotions Are Contagious

It is fine to get together and gripe occasionally with a friend, but when that griping turns into an every-time occurrence, it may be time to re-evaluate this not-so-quality time you are spending together. Psychologist and Author Sherrie Bourg Carter, who specializes in the area of women and stress, asserts that humans often emotionally mimic one another and are innately vulnerable to “catching” the feelings of others. So spending too much time with negative people will inevitably lead to us carrying deleterious emotions around with us for the rest of the day (or much longer).

Cut The Cord

Even though it can be difficult to lower the hammer, weeding out these negative people will feel like a weight off your shoulders. If you feel like it is your duty to always be the therapist-friend, or even the figurative punching bag, it may be best to just rip the Band-Aid right off for the sake of your own mental health and happiness.

Laugh Out Loud

Try to look for positivity, humor and warmth in the new friends you bring into your life. Of course no one can be that way all the time, but it helps to find people who share a similar foundation to yourself, so you know that whatever kind and quantity of energy you are putting into the relationship will be reciprocated. Dr. Bourg Carter says, “Catching the “happy” bug from those around you is a contagion that everyone should try to catch. Just being around positive people can be energizing, motivating, and inspiring”.

So there it is, folks – doctor’s orders to go get your funniest friends and laugh each other into tears!

Sources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201210/emotions-are-contagious-choose-your-company-wisely

http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/health/thoughts-emotions/how-do-thoughts-emotions-impact-health

http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/our-experts/karen-lawson-md

http://www.simplypsychology.org/self-concept.html