Category: Stress

Exercise, To Get Your Mind Right

At David’s Way, we strongly encourage all who want to live a healthier lifestyle to incorporate a regular exercise regimen into their daily routines, or at a minimum three or four days per week for at least a half hour of activity. Just ensure you have your physicians approval before beginning any new physical fitness activities. If you have never been one to exercise, know that thirty minutes of moderate intensity, such as walking 3 days per week is sufficient to be a benefit to your health and well being. If thirty minutes is too much for you to begin with, then try three ten minute walks each day as they are equally useful as one thirty minute walk. In fact, if you have never exercised, you would be better served to do three ten minute walks and build into walking for a half hour straight at your own pace.

Having studied several popular weight loss/management programs, I have observed that many of them appear to only concentrate on two things, getting you to lose weight and taking your money. A glaring problem I have identified is that even if they encourage some exercise, the focus is aimed squarely at losing pounds, and reaching a number on the scale or maybe a smaller size article of clothing. The mental health aspect of why people might become overweight is almost never addressed. The programs are always aimed at getting your weight down and not at fixing your mind in order for you to understand why you might have an eating disorder and fail to address how regular exercise helps to clear your mind and how it can increase your self esteem and confidence. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mind are caused in part by the blood supply’s improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Inactive people usually experience cognitive inflexibility which keeps them repeating unhelpful behaviors and restricts their ability to process or to even acknowledge new information which reduces the ability to change their behaviors which contributed to their overweight or obese situation. Regular exercise will help to clear the mind in order to see new solutions to life’s problems.

For a large number of overweight or obese individuals, possibly even a majority, if you do not get your mind right as a part of a weight loss program, even if you do reach your goal weight, you are likely going to put that weight back on and likely even more than you lost in the first place. The mind has to be in the game too, or you will fail at your efforts. As a part of having your mind right, exercise has to be about more than causing a scale number to drop. Exercise has to also improve your mood along with increasing your lean muscle mass, or at a minimum be sufficient for you to maintain the lean muscle mass you currently possess. As a component of a healthy lifestyle, the health benefits of regular exercise that should be emphasized include the following:

  1. Improved sleep.
  2. Increased interest in sex.
  3. Better endurance.
  4. Stress relief.
  5. Improvement in mood.
  6. Increased energy and stamina.
  7. Reduce tiredness which can increase mental alertness.
  8. Weight reduction.
  9. Reduce cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness.

Friends, you do not have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better in body and mind.

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Anorexia Nervosa, Dying To Be Thin

I must begin this article by saying that if you suspect yourself, or anyone else, of having this possibly deadly disorder, go, or take them, to a medical doctor immediately.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight and a distorted perception of weight. (1) Victims place a high value on controlling their weight and use extreme efforts that tend to interfere with their lives. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia tend to severely restrict their calories. They may voluntarily vomit after eating, which is bulimia. Excessive exercise is also common.

Quite often self worth is directly linked to body weight in the anorexic’s mind. It can become the central focus of your life, leaving everything else in ruin, including your health. It can be reversed, but requires professional, medical intervention because it is life threatening.

Some of the symptoms of anorexia are:

1- Extreme weight loss

2- Unusually thin appearance

3-Abnormal blood work

4-Fatigue

5-Insomnia

6-Dizziness or fainting

7-Bluish discoloration of the fingers

8-Hair that thins, breaks or falls out

9-Soft, downey hair covering the body

10-Absence of menstruation

11-Constipation and abdominal pain

12-Dry or yellowish skin

13-Cold intolerance

14-Irregular heart rhythms

15-Low blood pressure

16-Dehydration

17-Swelling of arms and legs

18-Eroded teeth and calluses on the knuckles from induced vomiting (bulimia)

The difference between anorexia and simple bulimia is that anorexics have an abnormally low body weight.

There are emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms which may include:

1-Preoccupation with food

2-Skipping meals

3-Denial of hunger

4-Eating only a few “safe” foods which are usually low in calories

5-Adopting rigid meal or eating rules

6-Not wanting to eat in public

7-Lying about how much food has been eaten

8-Fear of gaining weight

9-Frequently checking the mirror for perceived flaws.

10-Complaining about being fat

11-Covering up in layers of clothing

12-Flat mood

13- Social withdrawal

14-Irritability

16-Insomnia

17-Reduced interest in sex.

If you have any of these symptoms, see a physician.

If you notice that a family member has low self esteem, severe dieting habits and dissatisfaction with their appearance, consider talking to them about these issues and encourage them to seek help by visiting their physician.

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anorexia-nervosa/symptoms-causes/syc-20353591

Do Psychotropics Affect Weight Loss?

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A Common Issue

Many people  have  mentioned their use of prescription,  psychotropic drugs as a reason that they are overweight and/or can’t lose weight. While this can happen, there are strategies for coping with this side effect of what is sometimes necessary medication.

Everyone’s Health Is Important

While the percentage of people who are obese has skyrocketed in recent years, the percentage of severely mentally ill people who are obese is even higher, at approximately 60%. (1) While most of our readers may not fall into this category, there are doubtless, some who do. There are also many who are treated with the same or similar drugs who may not consider themselves to be in this category. I am addressing the medications involved and their impact on weight. Where you fall on this spectrum is irrelevant except for your suffering. Your physical health is critical to your overall well-being and weight affects your health. There is a delicate balancing act involved in administering and receiving psychotropics that may affect your weight. The methods of weight control in this special scenario are unique and we in NO WAY advise discontinuation of these necessary medications. We do not pretend to be doctors. Always discuss medications with your physician. Due to a possible bias against the mentally ill, this issue is not discussed very often in weight management scenarios, however it is absolutely necessary if we are going to try to help the world to be healthy. Many people fit in this category.

Danger Zone

There are anti-psychotics that can increase blood sugar and it’s mandatory to monitor your blood sugar on a regular basis if your physician indicates that your medication may be one of those. In some cases, medications have to be discontinued and others prescribed. These drugs are known to contribute to weight gain.

Some mood stabilizers can contribute to weight gain and some also affect thyroid function. Always return for prescribed lab work and other treatments that monitor the biochemical environment of your mind and body.

The appalling truth is that high cholesterol (69%), metabolic syndrome (63%), hypertension (58%) and type 2 diabetes (15%) are higher in this population of mental illness. In turn, you have a shorter lifespan, so weight management is even more critical to the health and well-being of this population. The most common cause of death in this group is heart disease, just as in the general population but these patients have an even higher percentage of heart disease. If you are in this group, please address your physical health. Your life will be so much better, and quite possibly longer, if you do.

Poor Choices

There are various factors that affect the weight of the mentally ill including genetics, medications and lifestyle.  We seek only to intervene in the lifestyle area. Mentally ill patients smoke more, are less physically active and have poor dietary practices compared to the general population. These are factors that can be controlled by the patient by deciding to be healthy. Take control where you can. This is an area that’s all your choices, make them good.

Interventions

There are interventions that only your doctor can oversee such as switching medications and adjunctive therapies to lessen the weight gain effect of drugs that are known to contribute to an increased BMI but there are lifestyle choices that you can make that will make a difference. These strategies work for everyone. Agreeably, your progress may be slower but if you do nothing to halt this process, your health will almost certainly suffer if your weight continues to climb.

Talk To Someone

Cognitive behavioral therapy with a good therapist is a good tool to learn how to implement healthy changes.

Get Some Help With Your Nutrition and Wellness

Nutrition counseling and combined nutritional and exercise programs delivered to individuals and groups have shown to reduce body weight in patients taking psychotropic medications and in patients with preexisting psychotropic-induced weight gain.The data indicates that these benefits may be maintained for up to 2-3 months after this intervention and that weight may be further reduced even after counseling. (1) At David’s Way we want to educate you and send you on your way. We do not want you dependent on us, so according to this finding, that’s entirely possible. Spend some time learning how to be healthy and carry it with you forever. It becomes your normal life and will benefit you as long as you live.

Basics

If your doctor has prescribed a nutritional program for you, take responsibility and follow it. If you don’t know how many calories to eat, use the Calorie Counter Pro on the “Menu” tab here on the blog. Go to the Homepage and you will see the “Menu” button. Activity is great, but get your nutrition fixed quickly and then you may want to work into working out, with your doctor’s permission. Eating better and moving more works for everyone, although it works at a different pace in everyone. Be patient and “Trust The Process.” (David Yochim)

Priorities

Mentally ill patients on these drugs that are known to cause weight gain are met with a unique situation. You must first make the decision to seek treatment for your mental illness and then you must make another decision, to be as physically healthy as you possibly can be.  Being physically healthy will help to ease the burden of your mental illness. If you are strong and healthy you will be much better equipped to handle your mental illness on a daily basis. There will be much less to distract you from improving your life. If we can be of help with your Nutrition and Wellness initiative, we are here. The light is always on at https://davidsway.blog .  Always get your doctor’s approval before beginning any nutrition, wellness or exercise program.

(1) https://consultant360.com

 

 

Causes of Stress Eating and Possible Prevention

The American Psychological Association estimates most people live with a stress level of 8 out of 10. Stress initially decreases appetite by causing an increase in adrenaline but if the stress persists, cortisol is produced. Cortisol ramps up everything, including appetite. Once a stressful situation is over the cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress persists, the cortisol may get stuck in the “on” position. (1)

Cortisol is known to cause sugar and fat cravings, possibly to create energy for “fight or flight”. These food preferences coupled with the tendencies to sleep less, exercise less and drink more alcohol all contribute to weight gain. Women tend to turn to food and men tend to turn to alcohol. Active stress correlates with weight gain. Some people produce more cortisol and they are more prone to weight gain.

Since we know that stress causes weight gain, we need coping mechanisms to stop it before it starts.

Do not keep “trigger foods” in your area.

Exercise, it tends to burn through the cortisol.

Get social. Positive friends and family naturally buffer the effects of long term stress. Just make sure that they are positive. Negative input can set you way back. Don’t associate with people that you don’t want to be like. We tend to acquire the habits of those around us by a process known as “social contagion”. Make sure that if you catch something, it’s something that you want to catch! Health minded people like our Followers will help keep you on top of your game. Visit often and be active, comment, join the “Topics ” discussion forum and download the Calorie Counter Pro. Search for topics of interest and recipes. At David’s Way, you are in good company. We reply to your comments and questions. ;-*

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat

Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Chronic anxiety creates a difficult life. Anxiety and disease are related. Heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia and strained relationships are only a few of the effects of living with chronic anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is a broad range of disorders defined by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes. Anxiety disorders can trigger nervousness, apprehension and fear and their severity can range from mildly unsettling to debilitating. (1)

Some of the most common anxiety disorders today include the following:

-Generalized Anxiety Disorder

-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

– Post Traumatic Stress

-Social Anxiety Disorder

-Panic Disorder

While you might feel alone if you’re living with anxiety, the truth is that these disorders affect more than 40 million people across the United States, making it the most common category of mental illnesses in the country. Even so, just over a third of sufferers receive adequate treatment. (1)

Dealing with anxiety can be a lifelong struggle, as most people first develop the symptoms during childhood in their teenage years. Women under 35 tend to be the most diagnosed population, especially those living in western countries. (1)

Anxiety manifests itself differently for everyone, but the symptoms usually include a sense of losing control, either through nightmares, panic attacks or a feeling that there is a disconnect between your mind and body. Many people with anxiety struggle to fall asleep or can’t concentrate on what’s in front of them. (1)

Ways to Reduce Anxiety

1-Practice Relaxation Techniques

Deep breathing lowers your stress levels. You can practice the 4-7-8 breathing method by exhaling completely, then inhaling through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath as you count to seven and then release it for a count of eight. Do this at least three times whenever you feel a wave of anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from a qualified counselor can also be helpful.

2-Exercise Regularly

Exercise helps you release stress energy and also increases self-esteem. Research indicates that at least 21 minutes is needed to lower anxiety levels.

Outdoor workouts are even better because they boost Vitamin D levels and GABA, a calming neurotransmitter. Exercising among trees is even more effective.

3-Organize your thoughts by writing

Journaling is effective for some people as a way to understand the source of anxiety. Creative writing can process anxiety to the end point.

4-Spend Time With Animals

Animals provide unconditional love and the care of them organizes and calms the mind.

5-Practice Time Management Strategies

A lot of stress comes from feeling like you have lost control of your schedule. Taking the time to organize your life with a calendar will help to lower your levels of anxiety.

6-Drink Tea

Both Chamomile and Green Tea are known to have beneficial anxiety reducing compounds.

7-Stay Full of Healthy Foods

It’s common for people with anxiety to skip breakfast. It’s much better to fill up on a satisfying meal early in the day to remain in control throughout the morning.

More Strategies to Reduce Anxiety

-Get 8 hours of sleep each night

-Avoid stimulants

-Laugh, loud and often, a merry heart does good, like a medicine!

;-*

(1) AFPA, Claire Riley, B.S.

Positivity

Every action we take is a matter of choice. We choose our attitude, good or bad. We choose to either be reactive or proactive to life circumstances.

Choosing positivity is always going to healthier than choosing negativity.

By making a choice to be negative, you will be taking what is on the surface, the easy route. The irony is, that easy path often leads to more misery.

A healthy lifestyle comes from positivity, it comes from a healthy attitude.

Make the right choices with a positive attitude and enjoy your life.

Symptoms of Stress and Tips to Reduce It

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The picture above I took from on the road in my semi out somewhere in south western Kansas. The tranquility of the open road is great for easing a stressful mind. At David’s Way, our approach to wellness is so much more than weight loss alone, as we know there are other elements that need addressed for true healthy living. Physical fitness helps us in losing weight and stress reduction. Stress reduction helps us in losing weight as our bodies produce less of the stress hormone Cortisol. Weight loss helps us in getting more physically fit and helps to reduce the stress which comes from being obese. All these factors are tied into a lifestyle and are interwoven together. David’s Way is not a temporary diet or a short term solution, it is a lifestyle we live.

Symptoms of Stress

Physical Symptoms:  Muscular tension, Headaches, Insomnia, Twitching eyelid, Fatigue, Backaches, Neck/Shoulder pain, Digestive disorders, Teeth grinding, Changes in eating/sleep patterns, Sweaty palms

Emotional Symptoms:  Anxiety, Frequent crying, Irritability, Frustration, Depression, Worrying, Nervousness, Moodiness, Anger, Self doubt, Resentment

Mental Symptoms:  Short concentration, Forgetfulness, Lethargy, Pessimism, Low productivity, Confusion

Social Symptoms:  Loneliness, Nagging, Withdrawal from social contact, Isolation, Yelling at others, Reduced sex drive

Tips for Reducing Stress

  • Learn to say “no.” Do not over commit. Delegate work at home and work.
  • Organize your time. Use a daily planner. Prioritize your tasks. Make a list and a realistic timetable. Check off tasks as they are completed. This gives you a sense of control of overwhelming demands and reduces anxiety.
  • Be physically active. Big muscle activities, such as strength training or even walking, are the best for relieving tension.
  • Develop a positive attitude. Surround yourself with positive quotes, soothing music, and affirming people.
  • Relax or meditate. Schedule regular massages, use guided imagery tapes or just take ten minutes for quiet reflection time in a park.
  • Get enough sleep. Small problems can seem overwhelming when you are tired.
  • Eat properly. Be sure to eat a diet high in protein and low in carbs. Do not eat refined sugar or processed foods. Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine.
  • To err is human. Do not treat a mistake as a catastrophe. Ask yourself what will be the worst thing that will happen.
  • Work at making friends and being a friend. Close relationships do not just happen. Compliment three people today. Send notes to those who did a good job.
  • Accept yourself. Appreciate your talents and your limitations. Everyone has them.
  • Laugh. Look at the irony of a difficult situation. Watch movies and plays and read stories that are humorous.
  • Take three deep breaths.
  • Forgive. Holding onto grudges only causes you more stress and pain.

 

 

De-Stress and Live a Full Life

My friends, besides being a health and fitness author, I am also a professional trucker. The picture above was the frozen landscape of southwestern Kansas this morning. Despite the bitterly cold wind, it was a beautiful morning which I wanted to share with you. I snapped this picture just a few miles east of Dodge City, Kansas. Yes, the wild west home of Marshall Matt Dillon, the rowdy cowtown people refer to when they say they are “getting the hell out of Dodge”.

I love this job for the solitude of being on the open road with no one to disturb my inner peace, although I do run teams with another driver. When one is driving, the other driver will be in the sleeper berth getting their much needed rest as we hammer down on the black top for a 935 mile trip on each outing, 3 nights per week.

One thing I love about the open road is it gives me time when I am behind the wheel of my big rig to work out topics for my blog. As I wind my way across the Kansas prairie during the middle of bright star lit nights, my mind seeks out and easily finds pure tranquility, the starlit sky brings back very fond memories of days past when I was a young “high speed, low drag” sailor in the US Navy, steaming across the Pacific and Indian Oceans at night aboard the pride of the fleet, my first ship, the mighty USS Enterprise CVN 65. Nights on the open road remind me of peaceful nights at the conclusion of flight operations when I could find a comforable place to kick back on a sponson or catwalk and stare off into the night sky so clear there would be no horizon, you could not tell where the sea ended and the sky began. During these calm nights on the road, I can begin piecing articles together in my mind before actually setting down to my lap top. Once I log out to my sleeper berth, I have time to study and research, and also to work on my blog pieces. A tremendous amount of time goes into bringing you, our faithful readers, quality topics. As I have told my co-author Brenda Sue, quality is always first and foremost over quantity in this endeavor.

At David’s Way, besides promoting a diet of low carbs and high protein combined with physical fitness, we are also strong advocates of stress reduction as another integral element of healthy living. Years ago, when I was a young man, I got into a little trouble in the Navy and had to complete a program where I was first introduced to The Serenity Prayer. Ever since, I have done my level best to live by the principals of this prayer in all of life’s endeavors. This prayer has helped me immensely through life, and even if you do not believe in God, the principles can still help you too. Here is the prayer with my breakdown of what it means to me:

Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept that which I can not change.

In life, there are always going to be circumstances beyond our control that we can do little about. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Those people might be ourselves, or a loved one. I am not saying it is easy in anyway, but in order to best get through a tough time, we must remain calm and keep our wits about us. By not letting our stressed emotions over ride common and practical sense, we can then think about applying the next part of the Serentiy Prayer.

Grant me the Courage to change that which I can.

Sometimes it takes courage to get through a tough time with a proactive approach to improve your situation. For an example from my own life, nine years ago I suffered a debilitating spinal injury at L5 S1. I blew the disk out like a jelly donut and it encapsulated my sciatic nerve. I was for all intents and purposes disabled at this time as I could no longer work. Treatment for this injury required a series of Epidural Steroid Injections to my spine which were totally non-effective. Then I underwent spinal surgery where all the herniated disk material was removed along with arthritis which had formed in my lower spine. Surgery was followed by two months of physical therapy. Despite the injections and surgery, my sciatic nerve was damaged and it subseqently scarred over which leaves me with daily chronic pain in my right leg, even all these years later. I will suffer chronic sciaitic pain for the rest of my life. Back to the Serenity, I have come to accept this chronic pain as a part of my life. But, it took a lot of courage in learning to walk normal again and then to return to the work force. It took me a year to train my leg to track normally instead of having my foot dragging off to the side. Every step was a conscious decision to make it track right. It was a lot of effort and more than a few tears were shed during the process. I have experienced unnbearable pain, yet, I knew that if I could get through the pain, I could once again lead a normal life. My family doctor recommended I go on permanant and full disability because I was so debilitated with pain and was relying on pain pills to just get through the day. I could have gave in to the pain and went on disability, instead I chose to face life without the numbing effects of pain meds and began doing everything within my power to regain normalcy. I had to face the fact that some of the therapy I had to endure to get better was going to bring tears of pain, and yet I still did it for myself and my family. I knew that I could make a change for the better, therefore I mustered up the courage and did everything in my power to get my full life back which I accomplished.

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

The wisdom to know the difference is important in that there will be circumstances you can not change no matter how courageous you may be. If you have more courage than common sense, you will only find yourself stressed in trying to acheive the unachievable. We are not all Superman or Wonderwoman, we are not super heros who are infallible. No, we are all human, with very real human problems. I believe in being proactive in making my own life better and encourage others to always do the same, yet once we have the serentiy to accept that which we can not change, we can make vast improvements in our quality of life by just letting things go and not being stressed. Conversely, if we have the courage to step up to life’s never ending challenges, we are also rewarded in that what may be difficult today, realistically can be made less bothersome each and everytime we confront adversity head on. To sum up the Serenity Prayer, it really amounts of learning to pick and choose your battles. Choosing which hill is worth dying on and which hill is worth walking away from. How you confront the stress of life is totally up to your own personal decisions, choose wisely.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept that which I can not change.

The courage to change that which I can.

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Think about this, study this, and then live by these principles in all of lifes endeavors, your life will only be enriched by doing so.

How To Be Happy



The Long and Winding Road


It’s unusual to remember your very early childhood, but I do. It was a very good time. I was very happy. We lived across the road from my maternal grandmother and my mom and dad were loving and kind. At the age of four, life began to change. My mother told me that I was fat and began to monitor my every bite. I weighed 40 pounds which is the average weight of a 4 year old. My mother was anorexic and her view of life and beauty became mine and my self esteem ceased to exist. I loved my mother dearly and from that day on, I never measured up in her eyes. My life became a living hell, always striving and never attaining, reaching for the illusive state of perfection that does not exist. I struggled aimlessly until about a year ago. I can truthfully say that I have discovered the key to happiness. At the age of 62, I am finally happy.

Make Some Decisions

January of 2018 I decided that I would create a life that I loved. Although I was at my WW goal, I had high blood pressure, insomnia and anxiety. I was taking three medications. I was living in an abusive environment. I had been out of the workplace, full time, for over 20 years working with my special son, who graduated from college, and nobody believed that I could or would do anything else. After all, I had financial security, right? My abuser even asked incredulously. “How could you survive “? Seriously? I’m a nurse. I figured out what I wanted for my life and I knew that it was possible, but only one way…hard work in every area. Nursing is hard when you’re 25 and been at it a few years. I was 61 and had been out of it for 25 years. I also had to arrange living quarters. A good paying job was necessary if I wanted to be truly free.

Make Plans


In January I laid my plan. Along with getting free, I also wanted to get profoundly healthy and come off all medications. I wanted to get sculpted and strong. I wanted to live a focused, efficient life. I admired David because he is serious about health. I knew that with his military background that he could help me and that he would accept no excuses. I had to be inspired and pushed. He began to coach me and as my strength grew in my body, my mind grew more. I found my identity in the Iron. It gave me a true measure of my strength and dedication because let’s face it, The Iron Never Lies. (Henry Rollins)

Implement Your Plan


This can be the most daunting step to a fulfilled life. It’s easy to talk the talk. Walking the walk takes grit. It’s necessary to decide if you want peace or panic. Do you want  decisions or drama? Do you really want this life that you have envisioned enough to dig in, work hard, work harder and then do it again or do you want to complain about being unhappy? Old habits die hard.


Remove unnecessary negative influences from your life.


Negative people and habits are stress. In order to live a fulfilled life, these things must be removed because they drain the energy that you need for building good things. We have X amount of energy. If we waste it on drama and bad habits, we will never become all that we can be.


Commit to the long haul.


Remember, you are CREATING a new life. This is not going to end until your life is over. It is quite literally, a lifeSTYLE. Go in deep. Change everything that needs to be changed. Work hard.

There is a law of science that something can’t be created out of nothing. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. There is only so much. Use yours to create.


Feel the burn.


Acknowledge the difficulty of your endeavor and glory in small successes. Acknowledge your strength in overcoming and persevering. Acknowledge helpers along the way. And then compare this level of difficulty to the level of pain and suffering associated with being a slave to your old life…and breath.


Take care of your body.


Be healthy. Most of the time, it’s a choice. Do healthy stuff. Avoid unhealthy stuff. It’s that simple. Don’t eat sugar.


Take care of your mind.


Think about positive things. Love, honor and respect those who deserve it in your life. Give in. You don’t always have to be in control. Find one person that you can truly trust and revel in that knowledge.


Chill


Sometimes we make a mountain out of a molehill and walk off into that mountain and die from exposure and starvation. Don’t do drama, period. Just don’t. You will never be happy if you are like a leaf in the winds of emotion. Walk away. Work out. Preserve the good things that you have achieved and always remember to be thankful.


If you do these things, you will be happy. ;-*

Insomnia!

Do you ever wonder where your get up and go has gone? Has it deserted you for good? How often have trouble falling to sleep, remaining asleep? Do you ever awaken in the middle of the night deep in serious thought? Insomnia sucks, it can rob us of our lives, but why do we suffer this malady?

The average person spends about a third of their life in bed, hopefully getting beneficial sleep. And then there folks like myself who might be in bed, yet find sleep to be ever so elusive. We sometimes can dial right in on the problem, yet often the cause is sketchy at best. There are any number of issues which can rob us of our much needed slumber, stress being the most common, and major factor. Sometimes, just the stress alone of laying there wondering if you will ever nod off is enough to keep you awake.

Often, sleep disturbances result from depression, sporadic sleeping habits, having a disrupted sleep pattern such as I have being a professional trucker on top of being a health and wellness author. Most of the time, this life robbing malady of insomnia is a result of psychological and emotional stress. If you suffer insomnia, is it because you are “all wound up”, or “have too much work to accomplish” of find yourself struggling with children and home responsibilities which can hamper the amount of time you can dedicate to slumber.

Hot flashes associated with menopause, and chronic fatigue syndrome are associated with poor sleep habits. Folks who exercise are usually much less prone to insomnia than sedentary people, however, if you get in vigorous exercise within 4 hours of your bedtime, you may find your body is too invigorated to fall asleep. I personally have this problem when I train with my free weights too close to retiring for the evening.

Hormones also might be robbing you of a good nights rest. Some women report needing more time to sleep during PMS. A woman might require more sleep during the first trimester of pregnancy than during the final trimester. Sleep disorders also increase as we age and if we have other health issues. such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), medical conditions such as allergies, heart burn, medications, smoking or even just the environment you are surrounded by.

Another avenue which may be causing your insomnia may be what you eat, since many dietary habits can and will interfere with your sleep. Consider that you may be killing your sleep through the consumption of coffee, alcohol, the size and spiciness of your evening meal. quick weight loss dieting and even some food additives, which is one reason I personally do not eat processed foods any longer. Nor do I advise you to either.

If you are an insomniac, there are things you can do to help it. Watch how much and what you eat for dinner. Large, fat laden meals may make you drowsy, but can ultimately keep you awake later at night. Heavy meals stimulate prolonged digestive action, which can keep you awake. Try eating your largest meals for either breakfast or lunch while keeping your evening meals light. You should consider keeping your evening meal at 500 to 600 calories and include chicken, extra lean meat, or fish in order to keep you satiated all night long. You really do not want to be waking up at midnight and subsequently find yourself cruising the refrigerator or pantry because your stomach is rumbling from hunger. Most often, this kind of grazing results in folks eating what ever is handy and already prepared. This is the time when it easy to snack on that cake on the counter or to grab a spoon and eat ice cream straight out of the carton as you are trying to decide what else to eat. If you have ever had a weight problem, you likely know exactly what that is all about. Spicy or gas forming foods can wreck your sleep for obvious reasons. Spicy foods will really get to you if you are obese with added pressure from your gut trying to push the contents of your stomach back up your esophagus, the ill effects of acid reflux or GERD. Meals prepped with garlic, hot peppers or chilies can cause bad heartburn and indigestion. Foods seasoned with mono sodium glutamate (MSG) can cause sleep disturbances such as vivid dreaming and restless sleep for some. Snarfing down gas-forming foods and eating too fast which can cause you to swallow air, can cause you to feel bloated and uncomfortable, which in turn robs you of quality sleep. Try avoiding gas-forming and spicy foods, at dinner time, and eat slowly to thoroughly chew the food and to avoid gulping air.

If we have ruled food out as the source of our insomnia, stress is the most likely culprit. One tenet of David’s Way is the reduction of stress in order to improve our lives. Controlling our stress levels can greatly improve or eliminate our problems with getting a good nights rest. The bitch of having stress rob us of sleep is it becomes a vicious circle where sleep deprivation actually increases our stress load which interferes with our ability to solve problems, which can eventually pull us down mentally until we find a way to end the stress. Besides practicing coping skills during your day, try to not allow stress into your bedroom at night. You can do this by setting aside a time early in the day to deal with worries such as an ever building pile of bills and other life issues. In the evening, you should be trying to unwind at least 3 to 4 hours before you retire. You can do this by soaking in a hot bath or shower, reading a book in bed. Turn off your television and or other electronic devices. Also, do not pay bills or argue with your spouse at bedtime. Try to keep your emotions on an even keel during the evening hours. If you are tired yet cannot fall asleep within 30 minutes, just get up. Try doing something monotonous, such as reading a book or listening to soft repetitious music.

Try to live your life by the tenets of the Serenity Prayer, even if you are a non-believer. The concept helps immensely.

The Serenity Prayer

Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept that which I cannot change. The Courage to change that which I can. And the Wisdom to know the difference.