6 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER – OR ANY OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA SITE

Social media, it’s something all of us use, and a reality that children are now introduced to at a very young age. It’s a powerful tool that seems to be involved in the daily lives of many people. Millions of people are constantly flocking to popular social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Vine to give and receive the latest scoop on almost everything.


Don’t get me wrong, in some ways this is awesome because there is no denying that social media has connected us all in ways we couldn’t have imagined. This connection allows us all to become more aware of valuable information, and it also allows us to share it. Some of this is information that we wouldn’t have easy access to if it weren’t for these social media platforms.  The rapid growth of social media is likely the leading contributor to why alternative media platforms -such as our site -have become as widespread as they are today.

Within this article however, I would like to focus on the other side to social media -in particular some of the habits, addictions and ego driven things many of us seem to do quite regularly. Here is a list of 7 things that I believe we all need to stop doing on social media:

1. Stalk The Life Of A Former Partner

We’ve all done it, some of us openly flat out love to do it, but that doesn’t necessarily make it healthy. Using social media to regularly check in and follow the life of a former partner is a surefire way to keep unnecessary attachments strong and also sets you up for a lot of drama filled mental comparison. It’s one thing to use social media to remain friends with an ex, but it’s another thing to use it as a tool to keep track of them. Remember that you broke up for a reason, you never did own them and certainly do not now and monitoring their every move will only preoccupy you with thoughts in the opposite direction of truly moving on.

2. Create An Ideal You

One thing that social media profiles offer us that real life interaction cannot, is the opportunity to master the creation of a false persona. We hand select which pictures we post, formulate the perfectly witty status update and choose to follow and like the groups and posts that we feel best represent who we want to be perceived as. The end result, an ideal you that in reality I’m sure very few of us can actually live up to. Rather than creating a false self that is bound to crumble if ever faced in person, why not use social media as the perfect platform to truly be yourself and connect with likeminded individuals?

3. Poke Fun Of Or Respond To Something Angrily

Being on the other end of a bigger social media page I regularly get to see all of the colours of social media commenting. No matter how researched, factually supported, or simple a post you put up may be, you will always have 1 to 2 “smart ass” remarks for every 50 made in support. It’s not to say that everyone needs to agree with everything that is posted or shared, it’s just that there is a definitive difference between constructive criticism that presents an opposing view to be considered and a smart ass remark fuelled by spite, anger or hatred. Next time you find yourself disagreeing with something, opt to take the more sensible approach, which ultimately is way more likely to be taken seriously.

4. Compare Yourself To Others

With the lives of so many people at our fingertips it’s easy to find ourselves regularly comparing ourselves to countless friends, family and acquaintances even as we simply scroll our news feed. Rather than compare ourselves to the social media lives of others, instead choose to either genuinely celebrate or pay no attention to what they share. There is always going to be someone publicly sharing something (a relationship, job promotion, a killer beach body) that your mind will want to be jealous of, whether or not you let it, is up to you.

5. Make It Your Primary Form Of Socialization

As cool and connective as social media may be it never has and never will trump in-person socialization. Just as you make sure to make time to regularly check your news feed, make sure to make even more time to connect with people in person.

6. Post Things Solely To Get Attention/ Gain Approval

Getting a like, comment, share, retweet, pin or any of the other fancy signs of approval can always be a pleasant experience, especially when it comes in response to a very genuine post. The issue I’d like to bring our attention to is when we specifically choose to post things with the sole purpose of hoping to get attention or to gain approval. I’m not trying to be the post police here, since I’m sure several posts scattered across my own social media account could come across in this way. The intention is to get us all to reflect on our true motivation behind things, and rather than always look externally for something to make us feel better, to instead look internally and hopefully learn to love ourselves for who we are regardless of whether or not anyone else agrees.

What We All Can Use Social Media For Instead

A lot of these may seem very common sensical but here are some of the more healthy ways that we can use social media:
  • To keep in touch with friends and relatives
  • To connect with like-minded people all over the world
  • To support one another
  • To follow and share posts from pages that inspire you
  • To help spread awareness of non-mainstream news
  • To bring us all together more easily to create and inspire change

source and courtesy: Collective Evolution

Kind People Fail at Being Happy: Here Are 5 Reasons Why

Kind people are some of the most beautiful and interesting souls. Unfortunately, they’re not as happy as they may seem.

I know several kind people who are giving and patient. When I look at them I see a smile, a soft voice, and quiet demeanor – it seems they are happy.
I suppose doing things for others and always being there makes a happy human, huh. Well, I’m not so sure about that, to tell you the truth.
Happy humans, I mean truly contented individuals aren’t always the giving kind. It seems the world is a little backward in that area. Kind people are deeply flawed, believe it or not, well, at least for the most part. What? You seem shocked. Well, let me explain to you why kind people fail to be happy.

Happiness is a many layered emotion, filled with complicated aspects.

Kind people are not always angels who have fallen to earth to do good will. They have multi-faceted personalities like the rest of us. Whether you are kind or more on the self-absorbed side, there are variances about you that determine whether or not you are truly happy.

They Give

Kind people give. The thing is, they tend to give when they are already stretched to their limits. Sometimes, they can even find themselves in a bad predicament by giving too much and never expecting anything in return. They are generally the ones who do not barter or trade-handing out with no hope of return. While their hearts may be full at the moment, in long term, they desire someone to give to them in the same amount.

They have high expectations

Kind people expect the best out of those around them. As they help and donate their time, they see the world as being on the same charitable with level. Unfortunately, the world is not always as giving as those who give to it. People who are kind have high expectations that rarely get fulfilled by others. This can make some people feel hopeless in their good deeds.

They work too hard

People who are giving tend to work harder than those who are not. When help is needed, kind individuals are always ready to jump right in and get the job done. They often suffer from lack of sleep, rest and even nutrition in order to make others happy. Good people make sacrifices more often.

They are limited

There is only so much a kind person can contribute to society. They may become too emotionally involved in the fact that their resources do not match their ability to help. This is one of the worst feelings in the world to them. Instead of giving up, however, they tend to work even harder and brood in their failings to reach their own set goals.They just always wish they could help more.

Kind people are intelligent

You know what they say about smart people, right? Intelligence is often accompanied by depression. Most generous individuals are intelligent but also suffer from sadness as a result of their brain power. When they are not working to help others, they are sometimes spending time thinking too much about the world’s problems. They are analytical and critical, but only in introspection. Sometimes they feel as if they are never good enough.
But take heart! Kindness has its rewards!
It’s not all about doom and gloom, as the end game of being kind. Being nice to others has an emotional reward beyond self-criticism and defeat. Each time someone has a new lease on life given by a kind person the world takes a step in the right direction.
If you are a kind person and feel like you have failed, just remember. Even action has a reaction, ripples are moving across the world as we speak. You could be that one person who creates huge waves, making changes and improving life as we know it.
Keep up the good work!
source and courtesy: Life Advancer

10 Reasons You Need To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Morning

We did some digging around and found some valid, science-backed benefits to apple cider vinegar that are worth sharing. In fact, research shows that vinegars contain antioxidants, which slow premature aging and reduce the risk of cancer, for example. – Dr. Oz
Many people are quick to classify the medicinal benefits of vinegar as an “ancient folk remedy.” However, much medical research has been published that demonstrates the effectiveness of vinegar in alleviating many health conditions – including obesity, high blood pressure and others.
The most popular type of vinegar is known as apple cider vinegar. As the name implies, cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from the cider of apples. More specifically, apple cider vinegar is made by crushing apples and squeezing the liquid contents. Common uses for apple cider vinegar include: food preservatives, marinades, vinaigrettes and chutneys (an Indian side dish).
To manufacture apple cider vinegar, yeast and bacteria is added to the liquid squeezed from a batch of apples. This initiates the fermentation process, in which the sugars are turned into alcohol. The product is then converted into vinegar via healthy acid-forming bacteria – it is this process that gives vinegar its sour taste.
Now that we’ve covered the basics as to what constitutes apple cider vinegar, let’s discuss its benefits.

HERE ARE 10 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR EVERY MORNING:


1. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR LOWERS BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

The most potent use of apple cider vinegar is that it lowers blood sugar levels. In fact, consuming this type of vinegar is known to help patients with type 2 diabetes. In one particular study, consuming apple cider vinegar lowered blood sugar glucose by 19 to 34 percent when eating a high-carbohydrate meal.

2. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR HELPS YOU FEEL FULL

Research has shown that consuming vinegar can increase feelings of satiety, or fullness. Of course, this makes it possible to consume less food – and less calories. In turn, prolonged consumption of apple cider vinegar can lead to weight loss. In one studyindividuals that consumed apple cider vinegar ate 200 to 275 less calories over a 24-hour period.

3. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE

Cardiovascular diseases – e.g. heart disease and stroke – are the leading causes of death globally. Vinegar is thought to reduce LDL cholesterol, a type of “bad” cholesterol that causes plaque buildup in the arteries. Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant in vinegar, prevents the oxidation of cholesterol particles, which explains the mechanism through which the product can reduce the risk of heart disease.

4. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR MAY PROTECT AGAINST CANCER

This benefit has an “asterisk” of sorts. First, studies were done on test tube rats while using rice vinegar. However, such findings are promising – although such hypotheses require additional experimentation. In China, links have been discovered between vinegar intake and reduced cases of esophageal cancer.

5. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR KILLS UNHEALTHY BACTERIA

Vinegar’s anti-bacterial properties are the reason why the product is used as a food preservative. Further, vinegar has also been used for cleaning and disinfecting a variety of ailments – including ear infections, lice, warts and nail fungus. Rumor has it that Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, used vinegar for cleaning wounds over 2,000 years ago. Simply put, apple cider vinegar can be used as an anti-bacterial agent in a number of different ways.

6. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN HEAL A SORE THROAT

Sore throats are a nuisance, but research has shown that apple cider vinegar may help eradicate the germs that cause it. As a potent germ-killing liquid, vinegar can eliminate the infection that causes sore throat early in the process. Simply gargle ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of warm water when the throat begins to feel itchy and sore.

7. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN PREVENT INDIGESTION

Warding off indigestion is easy by making a habit of sipping a simple concoction of apple cider vinegar before eating. To implement this remedy, simply mix one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of warm water. Drink this mixture a half hour before eating.

8. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN CLEAR NASAL CONGESTION

Speaking of nuisances, it doesn’t get much worse than nasal congestion. The next time you experience a stuffed-up nose, reach for a bottle of apple cider vinegar. It turns out that, because of apple cider vinegar’s high potassium content, vinegar can thin the mucus that accumulates within the nasal passageways. Simply mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of cold water and drink.

9. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN ELIMINATE DANDRUFF

Dr. Oz actually recommends apple cider vinegar as a dandruff treatment, as the product alters pH levels of the scalp. This chemical interaction makes it more difficult for yeast to grow, which in turn can eliminate dandruff production. Mix ¼ cup of apple cider with ¼ cup water and spray it onto the scalp. Wrap your head in a towel for 15 minutes to an hour and then wash. The process should be repeated twice a week for optimal results.

10. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN CLEAR UP ACNE

As mentioned, apple cider vinegar is a potent anti-bacterial. This property can be applied to benefit the skin’s complexion. Specific acids found in apple cider vinegar, such as malic and lactic acids, aid in exfoliation and softening of the skin, which in turn reduces acne’s redness effect while balancing the pH levels of the skin.

source and courtesy: Power of Positivity

8 Foods You Should Never Eat If You Have Joint Pain

Joint pain can be characterized from mild to severe, acute or chronic. It can cause discomfort, pain or inflammation from any part of a joint. The most common causes of joint pain include gout, arthritis, injuries, broken or dislocated bones, fibromyalgia and lupus. If you suffer from joint pain, the foods you eat may be aggravating your inflammation. Here are eight foods you should avoid to help keep joint pain at bay:

1. Sugar


As good as those donuts, chocolate bars and other desserts look, you’ll want to resist if you suffer from joint pain. Processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers known as cytokines. This includes sugar in candy, sodas and cereals and other snacks. Excess sugar in the body also puts pressure on the joints and can lead to weight gain.

2. Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a flavor-enhancing additive that is most commonly found in soy sauce and Asian foods. But it can also be found in fast food meals, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. MSG can trigger inflammation in the body and worsen joint pain.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol isn’t just hard on your liver. Excessive alcohol consumption also has a negative effect on joint pain. Beer contains purines. These are converted into uric acid in the body, which is extremely detrimental to joint pain. Beer also contains gluten, which can be harmful to fragile joints.

4. Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products such as breads and crackers, white rice, white potatoes and many cereals are refined carbohydrates. Studies have shown that processed carbs may be one of the main causes of obesity and other chronic conditions. These foods have a high glycemic index. They fuel the production of AGE, which stimulates inflammation.

5. Red And Processed Meats

Both red and processed meats contain purine and nitrate. These chemicals aggravate pain and inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that red and processed meats not only trigger inflammation, they also support cancer growth.

6. Dairy Products

For most people, dairy is a highly inflammatory food. Studies have shown that the majority of adults have at least some difficulty digesting milk, whether they know it or not. Making dairy a large part of your diet can trigger an inflammatory response. If you suffer from joint pain, it’s best to keep dairy products out of your diet.

7. Salt

Many packaged and pre-made foods contain excessive amounts of salt and other preservatives in order to promote longer shelf lives. Refined salt is high in additives and chemicals that disrupt the fluid balance in the body. Pay attention to what’s in your food. Avoid junk food and microwaveable meals. If you want to use salt when cooking, replace your table salt with Pink Himalayan sea salt.

8. Corn Oil

Many snacks and baked goods contain corn oil or other oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Studies have shown that these oils can lead to inflammation. Avoid soy, peanuts, salad dressings and grape seed oil. Replace foods containing omega-6 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory omega-3 alternatives such as olive oil, nuts, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.
source and courtesy: David Wolfe

7 Signs of Concealed Depression

Depression can strike anyone at any given time, but many people keep their feelings hidden. Someone you know could be falling apart inside, but they might appear tough on the outside so they don’t feel like a burden to loved ones, or cause themselves any embarrassment. Depression affects approximately 350 million people of all ages worldwide, according to the World Health Organization
Depression can fluctuate in severity depending on events going on in a person’s life, and can vary in duration. Depression stems from many different factors, including genetics, diet, environment, personality, and chemical imbalances in the brain.
Sadly, many people in the world who have depression don’t get the help they need either because they feel embarrassed to speak up about their mental health, or because other people have made them feel guilty or weak when they tried to explain their feelings.
Knowing the signs of depression isn’t always easy, as people can hide it very well. Look out for the following signs of hidden depression, in regard to both yourself and loved ones so that you and others may get the help you need.

HERE ARE 7 SIGNS OF CONCEALED DEPRESSION:


1. A LOSS OF INTEREST IN ACTIVITIES THEY ONCE ENJOYED.

Many people with depression find that they have no interest in doing much of anything, and just getting out of bed can seem like an insurmountable task most days. People who are depressed try to engage in things they once found enjoyable, but don’t find these activities pleasurable anymore. For example, if you once loved to dance, but just the thought of getting up and moving seems like torture, you might have concealed depression.

2. LACK OF ENERGY MOST OF THE TIME.

One of the biggest indicators of concealed depression is a lack of energy, which stems from either the inability to have a sound sleep at night, or the constant feelings of hopelessness and despair that plague the mind. Both of these can cause severe exhaustion, which makes it difficult for those with depression to get out of bed most days. However, you can combat these feelings by eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and socializing even if you don’t feel like it. Also, make sure you don’t schedule too much in one day, so that you don’t become overwhelmed.

3. LOSS OF APPETITE, OR AN INCREASE IN APPETITE.

Another common symptom of concealed depression is either overeating, or losing interest in food altogether. Gary Kennedy, MD, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, says, “A sudden change in weight, either gaining or losing, can be a warning of depression, especially in someone who has other symptoms of depression or a history of depression.”
Both of these scenarios can lead to severe complications, so if you notice yourself either having no appetite, or eating to appease your emotions, you could be depressed.

4. REGULAR INSOMNIA.

According to WebMD, 80% of adults with depression have trouble falling or staying asleep. Patients who have chronic insomnia have triple the chance of developing depression compared to those who don’t suffer from insomnia. Many doctors believe that by treating insomnia, most patients would see a drastic decrease in their depression symptoms. While a couple of nights of tossing and turning don’t signal depression, not being able to fall and stay asleep over the course of weeks or months could point to a deeper issue.
If you find that you have trouble sleeping most nights, and you’ve noticed this happening consistently over a long period of time, you might suffer from concealed depression.

5. ABUSING SUBSTANCES IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH THE DEPRESSION.

Many people use substances for a variety of reasons, but it can indicate concealed depression in some people. Most of the time, people just want to escape their mind and emotions for a short amount of time, and can easily become addicted to the substance since it provides the desired result. While this is a more obvious sign of depression, someone who abuses substances such as drugs and/or alcohol might try to deny their depression and say they use the substance for other reasons.

6. ALWAYS SAYING “I’M FINE” WHEN SOMEONE ASKS.

People with depression have become skilled at covering up their true feelings, either so they don’t have to go through the hassle of telling someone about their struggles, or because they feel embarrassed. Either way, if you notice that someone you love tends to never complain and keeps their feelings to themselves the majority of the time, they might have concealed depression.

7. WANTING TO SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME ALONE.

People with depression lose interest in many activities and people they once loved, and tend to isolate themselves from others. A good indicator of depression is turning down social activities the majority of the time, and spending most of the time alone in his/her own room away from others.

source and courtesy: Power of Positivity

5 Signs You Give Too Much

While kindness and compassion are great qualities to have, there is such a thing as giving too much. It’s important to care about other people, but there’s a point where it can become self-destructive and cost you your own happiness.

Here are five signs you might be caring and giving just a little too much.

1. People Take Advantage of You

When you make a habit of putting the needs of others above your own needs, people are bound to notice. Your true friends won’t take advantage of your kindness, but your acquaintances will. People around you might start to expect that you’ll always give in to whatever it is that they want. Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you have no sympathy for others. When you feel overwhelmed, unhappy, or you simply don’t agree with someone else, it’s OK to say no.

2. You Hide Your True Feelings

If you’re the only one who feels a certain way, you keep your opinion to yourself. You’re afraid of standing out in a group and disagreeing with what everyone else thinks, because you’re worried they won’t like you if you voice your opinion. Caring too much about what others think of you will eventually drive you crazy. You can’t make everyone like you, no matter what you do. Be yourself, be kind, and the people in your life will like you for who you are.

3. You Put Everyone’s Needs Above Your Own

Only a truly selfless person is able to constantly put the needs of others above their own, but this can be the most draining aspect of being a kindhearted person. It makes it easier for others to use you to get ahead. Setting boundaries is extremely important. Make sure that others don’t view your compassion as weakness.

4. You Don’t Spend Enough Time Taking Care of Yourself

When you devote all of your time to making sure others are happy, you might not have time left for yourself. Don’t let your schedule get so packed that there’s no room left to do the things you love. It’s just as important to give yourself love and attention as it is to care for others. In order to be happy and thrive, you need alone time to relax, breathe, practice your hobbies and recharge.

5. You Seem to Attract Needy People

Being overly nice and caring can have its downfalls, and needy people are one of them. Those who are needy or desperate often seek out someone they can use to get what they want. When someone is kind and compassionate, they may see it as an opportunity. Be careful not to become a doormat. Learn to help them without sacrificing your own happiness. When a situation is too much to handle, or someone is asking too much of you, learn how to step back and say no. Saying no isn’t mean or selfish – it’s often very necessary. The world needs people who are kind and compassionate, but don’t let others take advantage of your selfless qualities.

source and courtesy : David Wolfe

11:11 – Are You Seeing It Too?

Angels and spirits like to contact us through various methods, such as playing a recurring song on the radio that may have special significance, answering a prayer, flipping to a certain page in a book we’re reading, or even directing our attention to repeating numbers on a clock or sign, such as 11:11.
At first, this might seem like a silly coincidence, but by looking further into it, you will find that it has a powerful spiritual message hidden within.
More and more people seem to notice these repeating numbers on the clock, on roadside billboards, signs, and other places lately, which only provides further truth that a massive shift in consciousness and awareness is taking place. This phenomenon basically occurs to remind us of the profound synchronicities and cosmic shifts occurring during this beautiful time on the planet, and also brings our attention to our present thoughts and feelings. The underlying intention of our angels bringing our awareness to 11:11 is to make us more conscious of ourselves, and remind us that we always have guidance and a greater wisdom to rely on anytime we feel stuck, scared, or frustrated.
According to Doreen Virtue, a well-known angel therapist and psychic medium between the spirit world and human world, seeing repeating numbers, especially 11:11, means you should focus on keeping your thoughts positive, because your desires will manifest instantly into form. Put all your attention on what you desire instead of what you fear, and your angels will continue to reward you.
The more 1’s you see on a clock, sign, or anything else with numbers, the stronger the connection between yourself and your spirit guides or angels. Millions of people all over the world can attest to seeing these numbers more often, which only suggests that more of us have begun our journeys to becoming Lightworkers, or healers for the planet. Since the Earth is in such a state of disarray outwardly, so many humans have been called upon in order to bring back peace and harmony to the planet, making our Earth a true Garden of Eden on which we can all thrive and enjoy the human experience.
According to the Mayan Calendar, the turning of ages began on December 21, 2012 at 11:11, marking a New Age on our planet – a literal shift in consciousness from the Dark Age to the Golden Age. Another interesting thing about 11:11 is that the numbers add up to four, which is the number for transformation and the dissolving of the ego. Many healers and spiritual leaders on Earth interpret 11:11 to mean that the ascended masters have come back to the planet to aid us in this grand healing and help bring Earth back into alignment once again.
Any time you see numbers repeating themselves, specifically 11:11, your angels want you to know that you are on the right path, and that they will protect you no matter what adversities you face. During this time, we must become masters of ourselves, instead of succumbing to the negativity and chaos around us. We have literally created this world due to a lack of self-control, so now our masters have reminded us that we must reclaim our internal power and once again learn to govern ourselves, learning to coexist with all beings on the planet.
This is a very exciting time here on Earth, despite what you may see going on around you. As the grand healing and transformation continues to unfold, small changes will soon amount to much more significant changes as the veil is lifted and more people are awakened to our Oneness. It might seem difficult right now, but continue to trust in the angels, and know that they have your best intentions at heart.
We are all one family, and we are in this together. Don’t look outside yourself for any answers; it will only lead to more confusion and feelings of disempowerment. Trust in the power of the universe to help you heal, and anytime you notice 11:11, monitor your thoughts and make sure that your vibration matches what you want to see in your physical reality.

source and courtesy: Power of Positivity

These Things Happen To Your Brain When You’re Anxious

Mechanisms of Anxiety: (1) Overactivation of brain neurotransmission and neuronal firing; (2) Underinhibition of brain neurotransmission and neuronal firing; (3) Both – Carl Salzman, MD
Experiencing anxious feelings from time to time is no big deal – it’s a normal part of life. Anxiety, in many ways, can actually benefit us. One prominent psychiatrist puts it this way: “Anxiety traits can be beneficial evolutionarily,” but warns “Yet an emotional event, even minor sometimes, can induce brain changes that might lead to full-blown anxiety.”
It is important, therefore, to distinguish anxiety from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is an umbrella term applied to the activation of the amygdala, and any subsequent thoughts or emotions. An anxiety disorder is a condition whereupon a person experiences the former in ways that creates distress. The former may be good or bad, but the latter is always bad.
Evolutionary biologists posit that anxiety is a brain trait developed during the early years of man. In these primitive times, humans had to be on constant alert for all types of threats – and it was often a matter of life or death. Today, we know this as the “fight or flight” response. While we may not be fending off cougars or sabretooth tigers, external stressors in modern society can be formidable.
This segues into the topic of this article: what happens to the brain when it’s anxious. We approach this topic from both a physiological and psychological perspective.
We’ll also discuss some coping mechanisms that professionals have suggested.

ANXIETY ALTERS PERCEPTION

In a study published in the journal Current Biology, researchers discovered “that people diagnosed with anxiety are less able to distinguish between a neutral, “safe” stimulus…” and other types of stimuli. In other words, anxiety creates a behavioral phenomenon that skews the brain’s perception of reality. Neuroscientists call this phenomenon “overgeneralization.”
What does this behavioral phenomenon do to the brain?
Anxiety and overgeneralization effectually changes the brain’s structure – a physiological alteration known as brain plasticity. These alterations to the brain’s structure can be either positive or negative. For example, brain plasticity may allow a stroke victim to regain some or all of their previous functions.
On the negative side, consistent exposure to stress may rewire the brain. In this case, these changes may result in a person living in a near-constant state of fear, anxiety, depression, and so on.
Brain plasticity is often referred to as neuroplasticity within the medical community, and is defined as: “The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.” As early as 10 years ago, scientists believed that the brain’s ability to reshape itself had a fixed time window; this theory has since been disproven.
The brain’s ability to structurally change throughout life is considered vital knowledge for the treatment of those suffering from both physical and mental illnesses. Indeed, the resiliency of the brain has – in many ways – revolutionized the treatment of conditions, from aneurysm to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

NEUROPLASTICITY AND ANXIETY

According to the same study, anxiety can alter the brain’s plasticity, specifically in the areas responsible for regulating neuronal activity. As a result of these structural changes, people with anxiety-related conditions such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) often perceive a threat when none is present. The brain is much likelier to initiate a “fight or flight” response under these conditions.
Contrast this response to those without anxiety. In the latter group, the brain mechanisms responsible for triggering this emotion will quickly revert back to their original, inactive state. However, for people with anxiety, “…(the) emotional experience induces plasticity in brain circuits that lasts after the experience is over.
Simply put, the brain is now on “high alert,” anticipating a threat and preparing to react. Researchers observed that “anxiety patients respond emotionally to new stimuli…even in irrelevant new situations,” attributing these responses to “a perceptual inability to discriminate.” For those with GAD and other anxiety disorders, this response is both involuntary and uncontrollable.
Predictably, brain images taken of the two participant groups revealed noticeably-different activity. Functional magnetic resonance images (fMRIs) of the anxiety group revealed elevated neural activity, including in the primary sensory regions of the brain. The most conspicuous differences in brain activity were observed within the amygdala – an area of the brain responsible for the “fight or flight” response, and other associated, excitatory brain activity.

TREATMENT OF ANXIETY

As anxiety is a complex medical condition, recommendations for treating the condition are multifaceted.
Of course, the most common form of treatment – as with most medical conditions – is prescription medication. Anxiety is a byproduct of intricate brain activity, and these medications seek to rebalance associated brain chemicals.
Promisingly, natural treatment in the forms of meditation, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and even regimentation of nutritional and exercise habits have shown tremendous promise. More research studies continue to surface demonstrating the effects of MBSR and mindfulness meditation.
Sara Lazar, a leading neuroscientist and professor at Harvard Medical School, says “I’ve been (meditating) for 20 years now…it’s had a profound influence on my life. It’s very grounding. It’s reduced stress. It helps me think more clearly. It’s great for interpersonal interactions. I have more empathy and compassion for people.”
Lazar has also participated in numerous research studies that correlate meditative practice with reduced stress and other benefits.

source and courtesy: Power of Positivity

5 Signs You Need To Drink More Water

Did you know that 25% of kids and teenagers don’t drink ANY water as part of their fluid intake?
A surprising number of adults don’t drink enough water, as well, with one study finding that half of Americans don’t get their recommended daily intake of water. Many people down numerous caffeinated beverages throughout the day in order to stay awake, but forget to drink the one liquid that is absolutely vital to our survival. Not drinking enough water can pose serious threats to your health, including digestive issues, urinary tract infections, premature aging, and anxiety.
Water makes up anywhere from 55-65% of your body, which means you need a lot of it to stay hydrated. The water in your body becomes depleted when you exercise and do other activities, so replacing it is crucial. Water aids in almost every bodily function, so it quite literally gives us life.
As the water epidemic continues to grow, people have been searching for ways to drink more water, such as bringing a gallon with them to work, or making smoothies with water as the base. However, even with these attempts to drink more water, it’s important to be able to recognize the signals from your body that you need more water.

HERE ARE 5 SIGNS THAT YOU NEED TO DRINK MORE WATER:


1. YOUR MOUTH, SKIN, AND EYES FEEL DRY.

One of the biggest signs you need to drink more water appears on your skin, believe it or not. If you don’t drink enough water, you won’t sweat out all the toxins that have accumulated on your skin, which means you will be prone to clogged pores, which results in breakouts. Sweat also helps get rid of internal toxins, and since the skin is our largest organ, many toxins can be removed through it.
Also, if you have trouble producing tears, a lack of water could be the culprit. This could be especially uncomfortable for those who wear contacts, so make sure you bring a bottle of water with you on errands or to work if you have trouble drinking enough water. Obviously, getting that dry mouth signals to your brain that you need more water, also. Water does so much for our bodies, and in general, that parched feeling you get in your mouth can be felt in other areas of the body, too.

2. YOU’RE NOT USING THE BATHROOM OFTEN, AND WHEN YOU DO, YOUR URINE IS DARK YELLOW OR BROWN IN COLOR.

This one is a huge sign that you need to drink more water. Frankly, many people do not use the bathroom enough times throughout the day, which means that toxins are just sitting in their bodies. Water helps flush out these toxins, not to mention, keep your renal system running smoothly. If you make trips to the bathroom only a couple times a day, you should really consider drinking more water.
Also, the color of your urine will paint the true picture of how much water you’re consuming. If your urine isn’t clear at the end of the day, this shows that you need to guzzle down some more water. Yellow or brown urine is a big sign that you’re dehydrated, and means that your body is retaining fluids in order to maintain vital bodily functions.

3. YOU HAVE FREQUENT BACK AND JOINT PAIN.

Since your body’s cartilage is composed of nearly 80% water, replenishing water after sweating is essential for keeping bones and joints healthy. Water keeps joints lubricated in order to lessen the effects of strenuous activities or unexpected exertion, such as falling or tripping. In addition, back pain could indicate a kidney infection due to dehydration, so if you have frequent back aches, drink more water throughout the day.

4. YOU FEEL OVERLY TIRED AND HAVE WILD MOOD SWINGS.

Water brings oxygen into the body. The more oxygenated your cells, the more alive you will feel. However, if you don’t drink enough water, the body must get oxygen from your blood, which creates a deoxygenated environment in your body. When your body doesn’t get adequate oxygen, it starts to operate at a slower pace, which will means it must work harder to keep functioning. This will inevitably make you more tired, moody, and downright lethargic.

5. YOU’RE INSATIABLY HUNGRY, EVEN IF YOU’VE JUST EATEN.

This might seem confusing, since hunger pangs usually indicate that you need to eat more food. However, it can also mean that you haven’t had enough water. Dehydration tricks the body into thinking it needs to eat, when really, you just feel thirsty. Hunger and thirst cues come from the same part of the brain, which could explain this confusion. The best way to differentiate hunger from thirst is to try drinking a glass of water, and seeing if the pain goes away. If it persists, it probably means you need to eat something, as well.
If you want to know exactly how much water you should drink, consult this short video for more information:
source and courtesy: Power of Positivity

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