Well-being

In our search to find well-being (the balance of compassion and thought) we discovered the magic of meditation, the wonderful benefits of prayer, and the healthy infusion of mind, body, and spirit through the consumption of tea.  Throughout these discoveries, we have come across various writings, videos, and artistic presentations which further this pursuit.  To be of further service to you, we have compiled an assortment of these works which you may find beneficial.   Please enjoy as we have.


 

Sunshine and Well-being by Rachel Moss & huffingtonpost.co.uk

LIFESTYLE

04/11/2016 13:35 GMT

Sunshine Improves Mental Well-being, With Dark Months Linked To Emotional Distress, Study Finds.

A study has shed some light on why many of us feel happiest during the summer months.

According to scientists at Brigham Young University (BYU), sunshine can have a huge impact on our mental health and overall wellbeing.

They found mental health distress increased among the population during times of the year with reduced hours of sunlight, but improved during the lightest seasons. 

They suggested this finding applies to the population as a whole, not just those diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). 

M-GUCCI VIA GETTY IMAGES

To analyse links between mental health and the weather, three scientists joined forces to bring data from their individual fields.

Mark Beecher, clinical professor and licensed psychologist in BYU Counselling and Psychological Services, was able to provide insight into the times emotional distress was most reported using emotional health data from clients.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Rees, a physics professor at BYU, had access to weather data.

Finally, they were joined by BYU statistics professor Dennis Eggett to identify links.

The study took weather variables into account such as wind chill, rainfall, solar irradiance, wind speed, temperature and more.  

The trio concluded that “seasonal increases in sun time were associated with decreased mental health distress”. 

Notably, they found that days with a high amount of sunshine, even when they were interspersed with cloudy or stormy moments, appeared to have the most positive impact on our well-being. 

“That’s one of the surprising pieces of our research,” said Beecher.

“On a rainy day, or a more polluted day, people assume that they’d have more distress. But we didn’t see that. We looked at solar irradiance, or the amount of sunlight that actually hits the ground.

“We tried to take into account cloudy days, rainy days, pollution . . . but they washed out. The one thing that was really significant was the amount of time between sunrise and sunset.”

He urged therapists to be aware that winter months may bring a high demand on their services. 

“With fewer sun time hours, clients will be particularly vulnerable to emotional distress,” he said.

“Preventative measures should be implemented on a case-by-case basis.”

The study only looked at trends in data between sunshine and mental health, rather than analysing the reasons behind the link.

However, previous studies have suggested our vitamin D levels may influence our mental health. 

A report by the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran, found that people who had vitamin D deficiencies were also more likely to suffer from mental health conditions than those with good levels.

In particular, they found that 65% of participants who had schizophrenia had “significantly” lower levels of vitamin D in their blood compared to people without the condition. 

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Healthy Habits to Help Seniors by Jason Lewis & strongwell.org

Seniors in the Park

Photo via Pexels

 

Healthy Habits to Help Seniors Age

with Grace and Happiness

 

Unfortunately, aging often comes with physical and mental problems that make it difficult to maintain a good quality of life. However, there are several healthy habits that seniors can practice to continue enjoying the activities they love and support their bodies for as long as possible. Take control of your physical and mental health with these tips so you can relish your golden years.

 

Invest in Hired Help

 

Typical household chores, such as cleaning, mowing the lawn, and maintaining the landscaping, can become more difficult with age. Before you start a chore or project, think about the risk factor for injury. Invest in a service to help you tackle a strenuous task, so that you can maintain good physical health. Decide which type of service you need, then search online for local companies and their prices. In Fort Wayne, you’ll likely spend between $99 and $294 for a maid service, for example.

 

 

Treat Any Mental Health Problems

 

Did you know that over 20 percent of seniors suffer from a mental or neurological disorder, most often consisting of dementia or depression? Untreated mental health problems can contribute to physical ailments such as heart disease. Luckily, modern treatments involving psychological interventions and medicine can help treat mental issues so that elders can enjoy a higher quality of life. Early diagnosis of neurological disorders can help improve treatment outcomes. So, be sure to seek professional advice if you notice changes in your mood or behavior.

 

Get Regular Exercise

 

Only 1 in 4 seniors get a healthy amount of exercise on a regular basis. This is unfortunate since regular exercise can prevent many physical and mental ailments. For example, improving your muscle strength will reduce the risk of falls while increasing bone density protects you from fractures if you do fall. Cardiovascular exercise is great for your heart, increasing blood flow throughout your body and reducing your risk of stroke or heart attack. Exercising can even offset chronic pain, by reducing muscle tension and joint stiffness.

 

According to Livestrong, seniors can benefit from 15 minutes of daily physical activity, though 30 minutes is even better. Walking, hiking, biking and dancing (private lessons will likely cost $50 – $85 an hour) are great ways to get moving. You should also try to fit in about two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity each week, such as weight training or bodyweight workouts. Just make sure you wear sunscreen while you’re outside. Older skin is more delicate and vulnerable, making it increasingly prone to skin cancer and damage.

 

Stay Hydrated

 

As we age, our bodies become less efficient at holding water. This makes seniors more likely to become dehydrated quickly. Older adults don’t perceive thirst in the same way as younger people and tend to drink less water as a result. It’s important to drink plenty of water to support your body and brain functions. Without it, you risk infection, weakness, fatigue, headaches and mood changes. Keep water readily available and try to eat fruits and veggies high in water such as cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon.

 

Keep a Well-Balanced Diet

 

Consuming proper nutrition in old age is important for preventing common age-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Choose nutrient-rich foods and avoid empty calories. Whole fruits, veggies, beans and lentils provide plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals that your body requires. Nuts, seeds and lean meats are excellent sources of protein. You can even buy frozen or canned veggies for more convenient meal options. Only consume unhealthy beverages and desserts on special occasions. Importantly, never skip breakfast. This morning meal helps regulate your metabolism and provides you with a necessary energy boost for the day.

 

Improve Your Sleep Quality

 

Getting plenty of rest helps seniors reduce memory problems and helps the body heal from disease. However, sleep disorders and disruptions often make it difficult for seniors to get a proper rest each night. Regardless of what is causing your sleep issues, there are ways to help promote a more restful sleep. First, receive treatments for any medical problems that are keeping you awake, such as arthritis pain or bladder problems. Then, try adjusting your bedroom environment to make it cooler, darker  and quieter. If you can’t sleep at night, Everyday Health recommends getting up and do something relaxing instead of lying in bed.

 

Be conscious of your general health and how you’re feeling each day. That way, you can take control of any mental and physical problems before they become serious issues. Aging doesn’t have to mean becoming debilitated and unable to live the life you want. Though you may be slightly more prone to disease and physical injury, simple lifestyle habits can help keep your body and mind resilient so you can maintain your quality of life well into old age.

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