IN YOUR DAILY DOSE: today is research from Intermountain Medical Center addressing the needs of heart patients to reduce their rate of death.
MAKING CHANGES: Some of these changes are small, but will reap large benefits.
FACT OR FICTION: How WAS election day chosen?
In The News
Researchers from Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City studied over 24,000 patients who underwent angioplasty surgery. This group of patients was then subcategorized into those who suffered from depression, by how long they suffered from depression and those who were not depressed.
The researchers found a significant number of people who had heart disease and were depressed died, reinforcing previous research that depression affects those who suffer from heart disease and may lead to an early death.
Daily Health Tip
Whether you have heart disease or not, depression may significantly adversely affect your physical health in the long-term.
Reducing your experience with depression takes several steps - not all of which will help you. However, to determine the right approach for your situation it’s important that you or a loved one commit to helping you through this difficult time and thus reduce your risk of death and increase the potential for more joy in your days.
Techniques for stress reduction do an amazing job of helping to improve your attitude and gratitude for the day. If these strategies are not enough, you should consider cognitive behavioral therapy to address the current issue. This type of therapy doesn’t delve into your childhood or dredge up distant memories but helps you to cope with the current life situation you find yourself in.
Staying physically healthy and incorporating stress reduction techniques may help to reduce your stress level and your blood pressure.
- Get 8 hours of sleep a night. When exhausted, your brain does not function as well. You will have more problems with focus and with the ability to think through problems. In fact, when tired, your brain functions as if you have been drinking alcohol with reduced reaction time and processing speed.
- Get 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day. Sun is a great way for your body to manufacture vitamin D, but it also affects your brain and your mood. If you can’t get outside, use a light bulb in the house designed for people with seasonal affective disorder. All of us benefit by being in the sun!
- Exercise every day. Whether you are walking after lunch and dinner or working out for an hour at the gym, get some exercise. Your digestive system works better, your arteries will be healthier and your mood better too.
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Your urine should be light straw color. If it’s darker then you aren’t drinking enough and if it’s lighter you are drinking too much.
- Find what works best for your stress reduction. Some people practice yoga, others just exercise and others find that prayer helps to relieve their stress of everyday living. However you choose to manage stress, it’s important that YOU manage stress and not that the stress in your life manages you.
There are several different stress reducing activities you may have tried but the following three are our favorites as they are supported by research and they work, whether you believe they will or not. In other words, there is no placebo effect with these strategies - when you practice them consistently and correctly you WILL enjoy the benefits. And one of the nicest benefits is stress reduction.
Don’t just read these - actually DO THEM.
- Exercise - you may not want to hit the gym and sweat to the oldies, but you can go for a 30 minute walk after dinner each night. The combination of being outdoors in the sun and exercise has a calming effect on your nervous system. If being outside is out of the question, try an indoor bike, exercise ball, mini-trampoline or any other activity that raises your heart rate. You aren’t training for the Olympics, you’re just moving.
- Emotional Freedom Techniques - this is a bit like acupressure, using specific areas of your body to interrupt energy pathways. This is NOT some new age nonsense, but is based on 1,000s of years of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps reduce stress and anxiety and can even help improve your motivation. It’s easy to learn, can be done at home or even in public and takes just minutes. You can learn more about it here: http://eft.mercola.com/
- Yoga - that’s right - yoga. It can be a simple form that isn’t very physically taxing or you can try a Hot Yoga class done in a room heated to near 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Research demonstrates that yoga has a significant number of positive benefits to your health, well above reducing stress and anxiety. Just 12 minutes a day may reduce your potential for osteoporosis, reduce stress, depression, anxiety and improve your cardiovascular health. Simple, easy and 12 minutes a day - do you have an extra 12 minutes each day to reduce your stress?
I offer reparations. If I break a plate at a garage sale, I offer to pay for it. If I miss my turn to take out the garbage, I double up on household tasks to thank my family for covering for me.
I make positive changes to keep me from repeating the same mishaps. I break old patterns. I push myself to do better.
Fact or Fiction?
Super Tuesday is election day. It falls on the same Tuesday of November every four years. Do you know how the government determined it should be on a Tuesday in November?
It was a practical date. The nation was young and largely rural and family communities. Early November was the best time because it was between harvest and winter - which meant the farmers could get to the polls after harvest and before the roads became impassable!
Have a wonderful day!
Your Healthy Life America Team