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Hi readers, I read this article by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD and wanted to share her very important behaviors with you, especially during stressful times.
10 Healthy behaviors (beyond the four basics) that contribute to wellness and satisfaction with one’s lifestyle:
Brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease.
Get a good night’s rest. Well-rested people not only cope better with stress, but may also have better control of their appetites. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can put our “hunger hormones” out of balance — and possibly trigger overeating.
Enjoy regular family meals. This allows parents to serve as good role models, can promote more nutritious eating, and sets the stage for lively conversations. Being connected to family and/or friends is a powerful aspect of a healthy life.
Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. It keeps you grounded, and helps you cope with situations that would otherwise make you crazy. Read the comics, watch a sitcom, or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings.
Meditate, pray, or otherwise find solace for at least 10-20 minutes each day. Contemplation is good for your soul, helps you cope with the demands of daily life, and may even help lower your blood pressure.
Get a pedometer and let it motivate you to walk, walk, walk. Forget about how many minutes of activity you need; just do everything you can to fit more steps into your day. No matter how you get it, physical activity can help defuse stress, burn calories, and boost self-esteem.
Stand up straight. You’ll look 5 pounds lighter if you stand tall and tighten your abdominal muscles. Whenever you walk, think “tall and tight” to get the most out of the movement.
Try yoga. The poses help increase strength and flexibility and improve balance. These are critical areas for older folks especially, and both men and women can benefit.
Power up the protein. This nutrient is an essential part of your eating plan, and can make up anywhere from 10%-35% of your total calories. Protein lasts a long time in your belly; combine it with high-fiber foods and you’ll feel full on fewer calories. Enjoy small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish.
Last but not least, have a positive attitude. Do your best to look at life as if “the glass is half full.” You must believe in yourself, have good support systems, and think positively (“I think I can, I think I can…”) to succeed.
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Greetings readers, today I want to share a short but meaningful article written by Emily Esfahani Smith.
Being happy is the goal in life, isn’t it? Isn’t that what we all aim for? For most people it looks something like this: good grades, popularity at school, good education, great job, ideal life partner, beautiful home, money for great vacations.
Yet, many people have achieved exactly this and still feel empty and unfulfilled.
Is there something wrong with expecting happiness to result from success in life? Clearly it’s not working.
The suicide rate is rising around the world, and even though life is getting objectively better by nearly every conceivable standard, more people feel hopeless, depressed and alone.
Is there more to life than trying to be happy?
Writer Emily Esfahani Smith thinks so.
In her search she found out that it’s not a lack of happiness that leads to despair. It’s a lack of having meaning in life.
What is the difference between being happy and having meaning in life?
“Many psychologists define happiness as a state of comfort and ease, feeling good in the moment. Meaning, though, is deeper. The renowned psychologist Martin Seligman says meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself and from developing the best within you,” says smith.
“Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but I came to see that seeking meaning is the more fulfilling path. And the studies show that people who have meaning in life, they’re more resilient, they do better in school and at work, and they even live longer,” she adds.
Her five-year study led her to the discovery of four pillars than underpin a meaningful life. The first three I might have guessed, but the last one caught me off guard. And it’s really a crucial aspect of the meaning we give to our lives.
“The first pillar is belonging. Belonging comes from being in relationships where you’re valued for who you are intrinsically and where you value others as well,” says Smith.
But she warns that not all belonging is desired belonging. “Some groups and relationships deliver a cheap form of belonging; you’re valued for what you believe, for who you hate, not for who you are.” This is not true belonging.
For many people, belonging is the most essential source of meaning. Their bonds with family and friends gives real meaning to their lives.
The second pillar or key to meaning is purpose, says Smith, and it’s not the same thing as finding that job that makes you happy.
The key to purpose says Smith is using your strengths to serve others. For many people that happens through work and when they find themselves unemployed, they flounder.
The third pillar of meaning is transcendence. Transcendent states are those rare moments when you lose all sense of time and place and you feel connected to a higher reality.
“For one person I talked to, transcendence came from seeing art. For another person, it was at church. For me, I’m a writer, and it happens through writing. Sometimes I get so in the zone that I lose all sense of time and place. These transcendent experiences can change you.”
So we have belonging, purpose and transcendence.
Now, the fourth pillar of meaning is a surprising one.
The fourth pillar is storytelling, the story you tell yourself about yourself.
“Creating a narrative from the events of your life brings clarity. It helps you understand how you became you.
“But we don’t always realize that we’re the authors of our stories and can change the way we’re telling them. Your life isn’t just a list of events. You can edit, interpret and retell your story, even as you’re constrained by the facts.”
This is so true. It boils down to perspective and that can make all the difference: the difference between a miserable life plagued with misfortune or an inspirational life filled with gratitude and insight.
No matter what has happened in your life to break you, you can heal again and find new purpose in life like so many people who have allowed the bad in their lives to be redeemed by the good.
So often life can get too busy and you have lots of things on your mind.
Try to make a new routine and start your morning half an hour earlier by taking a walk, reading a book, say your morning prayer, meditate or write a story. It’s so good for your mental health.
It’s essential to get a good nights rest if you want to wake up earlier. Just try it for yourself, it’s an uplifting experience that might stick for the rest of your life.
Life is precious, we saw it during these past 8 months with COVID-19. Live your life one second at a time, make the best of your day by blessing someone today even if it’s just with a smile on your morning walk, or giving a homeless a bag of groceries.
Anything good is better than Nothing.
I took a morning walk today with my family before school and work, we all felt refreshed and ready for our new day.
Stay safe and enjoy your life.
Founder of the Ladies Enrichment Club Worldwide
PS. Tracy Kennedy shared and interesting article on her website
As some of you might know by now, I am the founder of the Ladies Enrichment Club Worldwide and would like to invite women to advertise their businesses, products or services for free on the LEC social media platforms.
Our social media platforms caters Worldwide for anyone that doesn’t have the budget to pay for online advertisement or just need an extra space to advertise. We started Very recently with a Youtube channel and have received many requests to advertise, we are working on publishing videos every week, but we still need more.
I encourage you to become part of this type of advertisement and spread the word to grow this medium. Why should we pay if we can use mediums like this one to advertise. Ask me how.
Why free? Well, I feel the need to support women in business and to help others so we all can grow stronger together. Online advertisements costs a lot and not many of us have the budget to spend during these times. As a photographer and social media influencer I create a space for those that needs to advertise at no cost.
To get more information on free advertisements, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just this morning I heard about the LOL dolls news. How could this cute, innocent toys for girls be sold? What’s the intention of this toy maker? My daughter has some of them and for sure we would need to bin them after I investigated her collection and find it in appropriate.
I just feel frustrated that this toy maker made so much money from these dolls, while parents paid for this and now need to explain to their girls why it needs to be binned!
Unfortunately the dolls come in a package as a surprise doll, so much for surprise. Mums, If you wish you can read more on this topic click here.
Toy companies should be sure not to offend anyone with their designs before selling them. We as mums should protect our kids from so much these days like online games, staying healthy during the Covid time, etc. We should not be concerned when we buy a cute doll for our girl to play with, I guess that’s why they call it LOL surprise.
In support to Lady Authors out there, I did some research and came across female Christian authors By fanawards.com
I encourage you to read books written by these lady authors and if you are a writer and would like to be featured on my social media platforms, please contact me on email@example.com
Here are some female Christian authors in fiction…
If we were to name a queen in the court of Christian fiction, there’s no doubt that Karen Kingsbury would be a contender. When she was just starting out in her 20’s, the author specialized in crime novels full of grit and mystery. By the late 90’s Kingsbury had changed course by becoming a romantic fiction author. Since making that decision, she has written dozens of novels over roughly two decades. Among her most popular books are the Baxter Family collection (featuring “Love Story” and “To the Moon and Back”) and the “Angels Walking” series.
Author Jan Karon has lived a long and complicated life. From family drama to a long line of different occupations, her journey to becoming a writer hit more than a few bumps. Her first major work, “At Home in Mitford,” was published when Karon was in her late 50’s. The novel turned into a long-running series about an Episcopal priest in a small town. There are now over a dozen books in the Mitford Years series and the author has released several related works as well.
With many female Christian authors in fiction, one setting or group of people may come to dominate their work. For Beverly Lewis this area of focus is the Amish community and similar folks. The author has been transporting readers to this simpler setting for more than two decades. Mystery, romance, and coming of age tales are all part of the stories that Lewis has written in series like the Rose trilogy.
Our next author is known more for her non-fiction than her literary works, but Priscilla Shirer recently joined the ranks of the other female Christian authors in fiction on our list. Her epic series “The Prince Warriors” has already released a number of installments with more on the way. The books follow a group of young people who are transported to an enchanted world where they must fight evil. Of course if you want some good non-fiction content, you can also check out books of Shirer’s like “Fervent” and “God is Able.”
If you were to poll readers on the ten most popular works in Christian fiction, Francine Rivers’ “Redeeming Love” would be on the list. The author has always specialized in romantic historical fiction, be it in the early days of America or all the way back to Biblical times. Her most recent book, “The Masterpiece,” was a bestseller that received rave reviews from fans. The book’s story is closer to a present day setting but still has the themes of redemption and romance that readers have enjoyed for years.
Like many female Christian authors in fiction, Lynn Austin started her writing career while she was raising her kids. The long years of work paid off with the publication of Austin’s first book series in the mid-to-late 90’s. The Refiner’s Fire series which won multiple Christy Awards for its effort is among her most famous work. The collection of books follow a variety of women as they navigate the Civil War.
RACHEL HAUCK – FEMALE CHRISTIAN AUTHORS IN FICTION
For fans of contemporary Christian romance and Hallmark films, author Rachel Hauck is one you’ll want to look for as soon as possible. The recent wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Meghan for those of the lay person.) may inspire you to pick up the author’s Royal Wedding series that features a trio of love stories fit for a princess. If you’re not into the royalty thing you can also check out “The Writing Desk” and “The Wedding Dress” for stories that span decades and speak to the heart.
Untangle a mystery with author Kristen Heitzmann when you take on the Michelli Family trilogy. These stories, much like the writer’s other work, are all about understanding the past in order to make sense of the present. Readers can also bond with Morgan Spencer in the Rush of WIngs series, as the character deals with tragedy, romance, and finding himself. If you don’t want to commit to a whole series, “Freefall” gives you a self-contained story about a young woman who can’t remember who she is and the man investigating her past.
Colleen Coble is another one of these prolific female Christian authors who began her writing journey well into her adult life. Having married and raised kids at a young age, Coble decided to fulfill her dream of writing a book. More than two dozen titles later, Coble is a respected author who has served as the CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. Among her bestselling works are installments from the Rock Harbor mystery series and “Tidewater Inn.”
Author Terri Blackstock has been writing romance and mystery novels for decades. Her most recent series kicked off in 2016 with the publication of “If I Run.” The books follow a woman wrongly accused of murder as she attempts to find the real culprits. Blackstock’s main focus is on suspense novels, but if you’re looking for something less squeamish, check out “Covenant Child” or the romance anthology “Chance of Loving You” which she co-wrote with Susan May Warren and Candace Calvert.
Another great writer of suspense is Lynette Eason. Her work often revolves around law enforcement and other groups designed to protect. One of her most popular book series is the “Elite Guardians.” The books are about a bodyguard agency fully staffed by women. Readers can also look for the “Women of Justice” series that follows (as you can imagine) different women in law enforcement and related fields. Eason’s work is great for fans of female characters and mystery/suspense.
The last entry on our list of female Christian authors in fiction is Patricia Bradley. The writer keeps up our list’s current trend of suspenseful authors. Bradley is behind the successful Logan Point series. It tells a variety of tales involving the events of a small Mississippi town. Criminal profilers, women on the run, and private detectives tracking missing persons are just some of what the series has to offer readers. Staying in the South, the author’s current series follows the cold case files of the Memphis police. It all begins with “Justice Delayed,” a story about finding a killer before the wrong man is given the penalty of death.
We know there isn’t any shortage of great female Christian authors in fiction as there are many other storytellers would could go on about, but these 12 writers are a strong representation of the talented individuals who are creating fun and captivating reading material for faith-based audiences. The K-LOVE Fan Awards is all about celebrating entertaining music, films, and books that are making an impact on Christian communities. Find out how you can be a part of the ultimate fan experience by clicking on the link below.
Thank you to fan awards for doing research and giving us the information to share.
Greetings readers, I would like to share this important article written by BY REBECCA RENNER on the National Geographic channel.
THE MESS STARTED with typical office supplies—loose papers and pens. As the time she spent cooped up inside dragged on, Sarah Frances Hicks saw a whole new kind of clutter pile up on her desk. Hicks’ grandfather had died before the pandemic began, and she was sorting through his possessions to pass the time during lockdown. Not the type to start new projects before she finished old ones, Hicks quickly let that mission take over, filling her desk with a small ukulele-banjo, twirling batons, a violin case, old hymnals, and her grandfather’s laptop. Her productivity suffered.
“I can’t function with clutter,” says Hicks, a freelance writer in Orlando, Florida, who prefers working in coffee shops under normal circumstances. “I need everything in order to be able to focus on my work. Whenever I can see clutter, I can’t think of anything else until I deal with it.”
Hicks is far from alone in this feeling, which has only intensified as more people have had to live and work at home to avoid COVID-19. Since the early 20th century, and perhaps long before that, conventional wisdom has linked success with fastidiousness. “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” theologian John Wesley said in a 1778 sermon.
More recently, neuroscientists and psychologists have studied the effect of clutter on our cognition, emotion, mental health, behavior, decision-making skills, and more. Researchers have made connections between low quality work environments, such as loud offices with harsh lighting, and a reduction in work productivity and job satisfaction. Disorganized or cluttered workspaces, specifically, seem to increase levels of stress and anxiety.
Tidy images give many viewers a sense of calm.
But when clutter reigns supreme, it can trigger one’s fight-or-flight mode.
Neuroimaging has shown that some people’s brains react subconsciously to mere images of order and organization. Tidy images give many viewers a sense of calm. But when clutter reigns supreme, it can trigger one’s fight-or-flight mode. For many people, cortisol levels leap, and they become emotionally exhausted or burnt out more quickly. This heady emotional stew can even affect our relationships.
For others, mess is a mark of creativity.
Lawrence J. Peter, known as author of the “Peter Principle,” famously asked, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” The line is often misattributed to Albert Einstein, who indeed had a messy desk; so did other innovative thinkers, such as Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs. In a study from the University of Minnesota, students working in disorderly spaces came up with more creative ideas than their counterparts in clean areas.
Clearly, clutter causes more stress for some people than it does for others. And while the fix for folks who are perturbed—cleaning up messes—might seem easy to some, many people live in environments that they cannot change, so coping becomes a necessity.
Your divided attention
Sabine Kastner, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Princeton University, started researching the science of attention in 2008. Curious how the human brain reacts to randomness and variation in our environments, Kastner created a study in which she showed images of street scenes to participants undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, which show blood rushing to the active parts of the brain.
In multiple experiments spanning several years, Kastner asked subjects to focus on an item in the images, such as a person or a car. In every case, the frontal cortex, which plays a key role in cognitive control, working memory, attention, and emotional reactions, came alive on the fMRI screen. Participants’ brains were expending more energy trying to concentrate than on processing any one thing in the picture.
“Many of us aren’t good at processing clutter,” says Kastner. “It can become overwhelming and make our brains do more work to complete simple tasks.” The more conflicting stimuli we’re dealing with, the more our brain has to work to filter out what we need.
When you take away this strain on our brains from competing objects, focusing becomes much easier. In 2011, Kastner found that people who cleaned up their homes or workspaces were able to focus better, and their productivity increased. Other research teams have confirmed that decreasing visual distractions can reduce cognitive load and free up working memory.
Our environments influence more than just our attention. They can influence our hormones as well as our mood. Clutter can cause our bodies to release cortisol, the stress hormone associated with the fight-or-flight response. Long-term exposure to clutter can induce chronic stress, and clutter seems to stress out mothers even more, according to a 2009 study. Another study in 2010showed that wives stress over clutter far more than husbands. Regardless of gender, clutter seems to cause some people to procrastinate in response to stress.
Mind over clutter
Although schools might never be the same in our post-pandemic world, before COVID-19, smart teachers harnessed the power of neuroscience to declutter and create learning-focused spaces.
Jared Smith, a high school exceptional education English teacher in Tampa, Florida, understands that organized, comfortable classrooms make better learning environments than chaotic, messy ones. So, he made his classroom an inviting space, decorating the walls with art and replacing the traditional desks with moveable tables and rolling chairs. He emphasized cleanliness, open space, and flexible seating. After he made the changes, all of his students’ test scores went up, he says. But changing his classroom to psychologically benefit his students was about more than the numbers. He says he could tell by the way they acted in his classroom: his students felt welcome.
Many of Smith’s students were already facing learning challenges because of their exceptionalities. “They’re already going to be adapting more than any other student,” says Smith. “I had to give them ways to do that, to be in control of their own space and feel comfortable where they are, so everything can fade into the background, and they can focus on learning.”
If cleaning up is difficult, other solutions exist. Like many people weathering the pandemic at home, Hannah McLane, a neurologist and occupational medicine specialist in Philadelphia, is juggling childcare and her job. But unlike many people who are stressing over the pileup of pandemic clutter, McLane can turn to her neuroscience background for some perspective. She knows being at home comes with distractions, so she implements a strategy of mindfulness, and she recommends her clients do the same.
“As you’re sitting in a room and trying to work, your mind can easily jump to different things and tell you to do something else,” says McLane. “You see a dirty dish, and you just have to clean it. You see a dress on the floor, and you pick it up. This can lead you into a series of thoughts, stressing about what you need to do or actually doing it, even though you should be focusing on something else.”
When you notice you’re having cluttered thoughts, ask yourself if you’ve already thought that before. Do you really need to be thinking about that right now? Could you write it down instead?
HANNAH MCLANE, NEUROLOGIST AND OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST
If messiness is affecting your ability to work from home, try to declutter or reduce other distracting stimuli, including noise. If you can’t get rid of the mess, McLane advises cultivating a mindfulness practice, which can help you stop worrying about problems in your home and focus on your work.
“When you notice you’re having cluttered thoughts, ask yourself if you’ve already thought that before. Do you really need to be thinking about that right now? Could you write it down instead?” McLane says. “Mindfulness definitely helps you stop overthinking, understand the thought processes behind your procrastination, and overcome distraction.”
The people who are coping with working from home best might not even be the neatest people, but they are the ones who have trained themselves to avoid distractions, or at least, not to react to them. Our perceptions of our environment, in other words, have a greater impact on us than the environment itself.
For some people, clutter can even be stimulating. “It depends on what your brain can deal with,” says Kastner. “There is no one size fits all. Our abilities come in such a broad spectrum. There is so much diversity in what our brains can do.”
BY REBECCA RENNER
Hope you have enjoyed the article as much as I did.
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