Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nicki Minaj - Your Love

Love, love, love this tune. Nicki is great and this song tells the story I want to put into words. Love you baby!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Short & Long Term Effects of Stress on The Body

The Long & Short Term Effects of Stress on The Body

Most of us know by now that stress does not discriminate when it comes to age or gender. The majority of us who live in more modernized societies are subject to fast paced lives, where multi-tasking is not only important, but absolutely necessary in order to achieve goals, get things done and even lead a semi-normal life according to our culture's standards. There is acute stress, or short term stress, which occurs when you're approaching a deadline or trying to figure something out. Then, there is chronic stress, which continues for an extended period of time, often bringing along with it, added factors contributing to stress levels, thus, wreaking havoc on our bodies, minds and spirits.

Stress is a normal physiological response of our bodies to any hostile environment. The effects of stress affect not only man, but animals as well. Stress can affect children, adolescents and adults alike and can be equally as detrimental.

Short Term Effects of Stress

The moment a person encounters a threat, his/her body prepares to handle it by the 'Fight or flight' response. During this time, certain functional adjustments occur in the body. When the threat is no longer there, the body returns to its normal state. This is a physiological response seen in all persons exposed to stress. Functionally, adjustments to short term stress can be:

Blood diverts from less vital organs to more vital ones.

Increase in the heart rate to supply more blood quicker.

Increase in the blood pressure to supply blood efficiently.

Increase in the respiration to get more oxygen.

Breakdown of glycogen stores in liver and muscle to get more glucose, hence, giving more energy.

Formation of more glucose from non carbohydrate substances.

These functional adjustments responsible for the stress' effects on the body, manifest themselves with different signs and symptoms including:

Chest pain
Frozen shoulder
frozen shoulder
Cold clammy skin with gooseflesh
Flushing and feeling of warmth
Dry mouth with difficulty in speaking and swallowing
Abdominal discomfort
Aggravation of Peptic Ulcer
Loose stools
Increased blood glucose levels.
Headache, back ache and neck pain
Depletion of energy stores
Flare up of diseases like eczema, psoriasis, arthritis
Difficulty in concentrating
Memory disturbances
Decreased sexual drive
Loss of appetite
Outbursts of anger

Long Term Stress Effects

When the stress factor is persistent or repetitive, the body keeps secreting the stress hormone cortisol and their blood levels remain continuously at a higher level. The body now experiences stress with extra burden due to the side effects of the persistently high stress hormones. Some irreversible physiological damages of the brain and related stress physical symptoms like organ damage are caused by these substances. They are manifested by:

Chronic head ache
Mood swings
Anxiety disorder
Substance abuse
Memory disturbances
Heart attack due increased blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol
Stroke due to similar reasons
Weight loss
Exacerbation of allergies including asthma
Irritable Bowel disease
Ischemic Bowel disease like Crohn's disease
Decreased sexual drive

Even when the stress factor is absent some of these physical and physiological effects of stress persist unless properly treated.

Let us take an example. If the person fails in an exam, he loses the opportunity of getting a job and financial security. His stress factor persists as he is jobless and has financial insecurity. He gets affected by the above mentioned symptoms. Even if he learns to live without a job some of the above mentioned conditions like substance abuse may still persist.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder is a delayed reaction to an exceptionally stressful situation or a life threatening event where the person feels helpless. After a dormant period the person re-experiences the past traumatic events as 'flash backs', or dreams and tries to avoid any stimuli or situation which reminds of the past trauma. The symptoms include:

Psychological numbing
Amnesia of certain aspects of the stressful event
Inability to experience pleasure
Reduced interest in activities

Stress in children

As said earlier, stress does not discriminate and affects us all, right down to the little ones. Recent research has shown that persons who had experienced traumatic events during childhood are more susceptible to stress during adulthood and some of the experiences are the reminiscence of the childhood trauma.

Some of the events which act as trigger for stress in children are:

Loss of parents
Mistreatment by step parents
Physical/sexual abuse
Sibling rivalry
Inability to adjust within peer groups
Educational stress
Bullying at the school.

If adequately and appropriately managed, the child should grow to lead a normal, productive life. If it is not, this child may simply grow more susceptible to stress' effects for the rest of his/her life.

Stress in adolescents (teens)

This is usually where childhood meshes with adulthood and the tween, is becoming more independent.

Stress in teens could be due to:

Pubertal Changes
Changing relationship with peers
New demands in the school
Issues in the neighborhood regarding safety
Responsibilities to their families
Negative thoughts and feelings
Separation or divorce of parents
Death of a loved one
Chronic illnesses
Changing schools
Financial problems

Stress in Adults

Adults are exposed everyday to different persons, stimulus and situations. Some of these can be very negative experiences, leading to stress. Moreover if the person has had a stressful childhood the chances are still high. The triggers could be:

Argument with the spouse
Death of the spouse, children or parents
Workplace stress including bullying by colleagues, inability to perform well
Accidents and arguments with strangers in the traffic
Financial insecurity
Job insecurity

The age groups vary. The stress factor may not be alike. But the effects of stress are very much the same. Due to the effects of stress on the body, the physical and the mental health get affected and the affected person finds difficult to lead a normal life.

If you want steps to take to combat stress in your life or someone you love today, visit:

Life is much too short and unpredictable to let yourself become buried in a world of worries and stress. Some stress is healthy, but based on the information above, we can become aware of unhealthy stressors and learn effective ways of making life more manageable, enjoyable and stress free.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Music's Effects On Our Minds.

Indeed the music we listen to on a daily basis, affects us mentally, emotionally as well as physically. Ever noticed how your mood changes at a party the second you hear a song you like? Well, this is because there have been numerous studies suggesting that music alters your mental state and oftentimes, takes us to another place in time, or in our minds.

Music sometimes helps us to make sense of our feelings and help us to express them verbally. This is why some songs make us cry, laugh or even get angry. This is because either the tone, rhythm or lyrics have reminded us of a feeling we once had, a person we know or an overall experience in life that occurred at which time, we heard that particular song.

Our physical/psychological connection to music is powerful, which is why people say that music is the language of our souls. Sometimes it can be through music that we can catch our senses or even begin believing in something. People may be in different moods when they listen to music and they also have different reasons why they listen. A lonely person, more than likely will not want to tune into love songs. It has a substantial effect on our mood and mental state.

Below, is a list of musical genres and the effects they most commonly have on our mental states:

Classical Music

Classical music is a type of music often involving large orchestras and typically exists without vocal accompaniment. It has the tendency to calm the body and stimulate the mind. It has been found to reduce stress (even for those for whom classical music is not the preferred genre) and enhance specific types of intelligence such as verbal ability and spatial-temporal reasoning. It does not make you more intelligent, but instead provides you with an ideal environment for thinking. A study conducted in Hong Kong on 90 boys between the ages of 6 and 15 found that the boys who learned to play music with their school's string orchestra program scored higher on tests of verbal memory and were able to learn more new words compared to those who did not receive musical training. Listening to classical music also has a very soothing effect on heart beat, and may be helpful in heart diseases.

Indian Classical Music

Indian classical music is both elaborate and expressive, and is based on ragas (melodic modes) and taals (specific rhythmic cycle). Certain ragas are known to activate all the chakras (moods or energy center) of the your body, thus benefiting you in the performance of other creative tasks. Music therapy based on classical ragas is being used or advised these days for the treatment of insomnia, migraine, chronic headache, hypertension, anxiety, etc. A study found that listening to Indian classical music can improve the quality of sleep in individuals with depression. The researchers concluded that the effects were comparable to hypnotic medication in improving quality of sleep in depressed patients.

Country Music

Country music has been linked to depression and suicide. Sociology professor James Gundlach, in his research, found that higher rates of suicide can be attributed to those who listen to country music. He found that the themes in country music foster a suicidal mood among people already at risk of suicide. , Gundlach notes that the suicide link occurred only with older country music, which he believes is not as upbeat as today's.

Rap or Hip Hop Music

Hip Hop music has had many different effects on teens. On one side, it is found to promote negative feelings and on the other, it is so energetic that it makes you want to stand up and dance.

A study done to explore how rap videos influence emotional and physical health suggests that teens who who spend more time watching the sex and violence depicted in the "reel" life of rap music videos (especially "gangsta" rap videos) are more likely to practice these behaviors in real life.

Rock Music

Listening to rock music can give you an adrenaline rush like no other kind of music. If you don't prefer listening to rock, it can make you feel angrier and annoyed as well as increase your heart rate and blood pressure. However, if you enjoy and are used to listening to this type of music then it can help relieve stress without affecting your heart rate or blood pressure.

A study was conducted by scientists on a group of mice to study the effects of rock music. The group of mice to which rock music was played performed progressively worse over the period of time they were exposed to the music and eventually became so disoriented that they became unable to complete the maze at all. When the brains of these mice were dissected, it was found out that their brains have undergone abnormal structural changes. The neurons in their brains (particularly in the hippocampus region which is known to be important in learning and memory formation) have grown out wildly in all directions without connecting to other neurons. Significant increases in messenger RNA, which is involved in memory formation, were also found. This could be the reason why listeners to rock music are more prone to use illegal drugs and engage in extramarital sex. This is also the reason why listeners to heavy metallic rock music are much more likely to commit suicide.

I like and listen to all sorts of music. Sometimes it has a personal message, takes me back to a certain time, reminds me of someone or the beat is just uplifting. Personally, rock is my favorite because it's usually invigorating and makes me feel like I can do anything. I guess this is the strategy the U.S Marines and Army use in their commercials to subconsciously get young adults to feel the adrenaline rush, hence, lose the fear of getting killed and consequently, sign up. A few years ago, I was on a strict diet and exercise regimen and the only music that got me through was Linkin Park and Chevelle. I felt like I could take on the world! Hence, losing over 35lbs in two months!

Nowadays mainstream music is different and generally about flaunting your assets. The rappers/hip hoppers like to talk about cars and ice (diamonds) and scantly clad females. Although I am a big fan of some, I refrain from others because they give me a vague and oftentimes, negative view of life through the artists' eyes.

So be sure to choose your melodies wisely as they have a considerable effect on how you feel.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Your Fat Loss Secrets - Robert Kennedy's Oxygen Women's Fitness

Your Fat Loss Secrets - Robert Kennedy's Oxygen Women's Fitness

Cinnamon ginger sweet potatoes - Robert Kennedy's Oxygen Women's Fitness

Cinnamon ginger sweet potatoes - Robert Kennedy's Oxygen Women's Fitness

Fat Loss Basics

Before you blame mom and dad for your “slow” metabolism, consider what you can do to take control of your fat-loss plan today. Oxygen Magazine.

Fat-burning facts

By Sandy Braz

You’ve heard this before: Thin people have fast metabolisms and overweight people have slow metabolisms. Experts say it isn’t so and that weight loss can be boosted if you know how to ramp up your natural fat incinerators.

The truth about metabolism and fat loss. The simplest way to break it down is that your metabolism converts food into energy. Your metabolism is just waiting to unleash itself, so go for it!

Here’s what you can do today to take your metabolism up a notch . . . or 10:

Quit “dieting.” Eating clean is a lifestyle (not a fad diet) you can start today. Make simple changes like swapping fatty cuts of meat for lean ones and passing on calorie-laden salad dressings for a tangy balsamic vinegar, a natural appetite suppressant, that has fewer calories yet all the flavor (one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar contains approximately five calories). For your next metabolism-revving meal, check out our online recipe section: My Recipe Book.

Eat small meals, five to six times a day. This will help satisfy hunger, plus leave room for another small meal in two to three hours. Your metabolism will be on high all day! As a tip, try to keep each meal between 300 and 400 c
Combine right. Eat lean protein (e.g., fish, chicken, turkey and flank steak) and complex carbohydrates (e.g., Ezekiel bread, sweet potato and whole grains) together at every meal. This super-charged combination keeps metabolism balanced and insulin levels in check.

Portion control. The golden rule: Getting clean food is just part of the full clean eating picture – you have to apply the basic principles of serving sizes, too. Although all food servings are not created equal, Oxygen’s Tosca Reno, author of the Eat-Clean Diet (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2007), states in her book that following these simple rules can help you navigate the right portion sizes for your needs: A protein serving should be the size of your palm; complex carbs from whole grains and starches is the amount you can hold in a cupped hand; and complex carbohydrates from fruits and veggies is the amount you can hold in two hands cupped together.

Eat spicy food! Spices (or “thermogenics”) including taste-bud pleasers like cinnamon and cayenne, actually burn fat by keeping metabolism in drive. Consider thermogenic foods when looking to add some personality to your meals.

Train major muscle groups at least three times per week. Now that you have all this food energy stored up, it needs somewhere to go! Be sure to work out, hitting all muscle groups, at least three times per week. To learn the moves fitness professionals swear by, check out “Express Fitness: Flab to Firm . . . Fast” in the Spring 2009 issue of Oxygen.
Photography: Terry Goodlad, Model: Valerie Waugaman

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kim Kardashian...bigger lips???

No I didn't mean hips. I meant lips! Yes lips! The hype this weekend in celebrity footage is of Kim K's bigger smoochers. I mean for a person who is famous for having...according to Joel McHale (The Soup)... a big ass and a sex tape, this may be better for her career. Hopefully not planning another sex tape though. : )

Is it botox injections or fat from her overly abundant hips? No one knows as yet but I'm sure they will find out. Whatever it is, nowadays, luscious lips can't be a bad thing. Right?

~Building Self Esteem~

These insightful tips from the Self Esteem Experts will have you feeling more focused, confident and empowered. We have the power within to feel on top of the world no matter what we've experienced in life. 

Read on:

Self Esteem Activities listed below focus on:
    Awareness - waking up to your thoughts, feelings and behaviors Choice - consciously choosing the thoughts you think Change - altering your thoughts, feelings and actions

Awareness describes a state of consciousness in which you are alert, awake and consciously aware of your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. Since your self esteem is a reflection of what you think and how you feel about yourself it is necessary to be aware of your thoughts and feelings.When you notice that your habitual self-talk is judgmental about what you say and do; or critical regarding what you should have said or what you didn’t do, then you are on your way to upgrading the software of your mind – your thoughts and ultimately your experience.

Choice is the act of making a decision. To consciously choose the thoughts that support your positive self esteem and self confidence you must be aware of both your thoughts and feelings that detract from and support your positive self esteem.
With this awareness you will notice when you are thinking thoughts that undermine your self esteem; as well as be aware of the thoughts that boost your self esteem. A powerful question to consider in order to choose thoughts and feelings that promote your self esteem is:
What are the thoughts and feelings that support
positive self esteem and confidence?

Whenever you notice you are being critical and judgmental of yourself you can make the choice to strengthen your brain pathways that affirms your positive self esteem by declaring: I Am Confident!

Change is where the rubber meets the road, where you put into practice the choices you have made, transforming your thoughts and feelings about yourself so you embody positive self esteem and confidence.
This does not mean there won't be times when you are confronted with your fears of failure or success, or that you won't, on occasion, question your ability. What it does mean is that as soon as you notice you are feeling less than or not enough you will:

    1. Be awake to your feelings. 2. Identify the thoughts that result in your feelings of low self esteem. 3. Shift your attention to thoughts supporting your ever deepening experience of positive self esteem.

Start Using These Self Esteem Activities Now!

Beliefs - Discover what you believe about yourself.

Toot Your Own Horn - A self confidence booster to use when feeling low self esteem.

Pleasure List - Change your energy - focus on something pleasurable.

Confidence Builder - Transform uncomfortable and painful situations - feel empowered and confident.

Relaxation Video - Need to relax? A re-newing Stress Break.

Think New Thoughts - Program your mind with thoughts that support your well being.

Inner Messages Audio - Connect to your inner guide. What messages do you have for yourself?

Practice Loving Yourself - Use this activity and worksheet to recognize your talents, skills and abilities.

Positive Thinking Exercise - Overcome your resistance to positive thinking.

Learn Your Visualization Style and find why visualizations improve performance.

Use Vision Boards to stay focused on your goals and dreams.

Acknowledge what is right in your life!. Use this activity to cultivate gratitude. The more you do this activity- the more you get!

Transform Negative Thoughts with the Oops technique. In this video Susyn Reeve, Co-Founder of Self Esteem Experts, shows you how.

Join a Support Group. The research is undeniable - people who join a support group do better and have faster results than people who don't.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Huggies Soiree

Don't you love kids??? This commercial totally sums up life with a toddler! Amidst the sheer panic, pandemonium, chaos and calamity, the little one keeps going. The looks on everyone's faces are absolutely great. I cracked myself right up the first time I saw this.

"Let's dance together" is the name of the song by Paul Reeves.

I want to put this as the ringtone on my phone but people may not 'get it' until the commercial's a bit older. Then say, "this lady really has a lot of time on her hands".

Sue Views