a tickle of words to create smiles

Posts tagged ‘Health’

Grateful for my Physical Senses (TY-3)


Our ability to see, hear, smell, taste and physically feel is amazing. Those physical sensations are relayed into our human computer (our brain) via specialized sensory receptors (our sensory organs): eyes, ears, nose, tongue (taste buds), skin (nerve endings). I am utterly and deeply grateful for these 5 wonderful physical senses. We often do not think about how wonderful these sensations are until we are without these abilities.

Have you ever experienced a cold (viral infection) where your nose has been compromised so that you cannot smell, nor breathe? It is not too hard to imagine not being able to see or hear, as you can use a blindfold or ear plugs; however, we often do not think about our senses nor appreciate them until our senses are compromised.

I am very grateful for all my physical senses; however, I am especially grateful at this moment for having perfect vision. This was not always the case for me. From the age of about ten, I have been nearsighted and I needed to use eyeglasses and later contact lenses to see distance with clarity. A few years ago, I had corrective eye surgery and I am beyond thrilled of truly being able to see. It is so liberating!

I take extra precautions with my eyes, especially when I go outdoors, by wearing sunglasses. I deeply appreciate my eyes and often give them a break from the computer, television and text as these things can cause eyestrain. It is as simple as closing your eyes and gently placing the palms of your hands over each eye for a minute or so. This activity allows your eyes to relax.

Another great way to pamper your eyes (and your entire physical body) is getting adequate sleep; moreover, it is important that the environment where you sleep is free from as many stimuli as possible (example: lights on various devices such as a clock display or phone charger).  Lights and sounds can prevent your eyes and ears, as well as your brain, from entering into a deep state of relaxation needed to recharge your body.

Think of all the ways we utilize our physical senses daily. There are hundreds of them. Our physical senses are such wonderful gifts of life. I honor and appreciate my eyes, ears, nose, skin and taste buds. Thank you so much!

Grateful for My Hands (TY-1)


My magnificent hands rarely get praise. I do so much with my hands without thinking and thanking my hands. From the moment I arise in the morning, my hands go to work without complaint. Their duties include: turning off the alarm clock; holding my toothbrush to brush my teeth; turning on and off the water in the sink; turning on the shower, washing my hair and body; grabbing a towel and drying myself; grabbing toilet paper, wiping and flushing the toilet; brushing my hair; applying cream and occasionally make-up; opening the closet door and dresser drawers; retrieving various items of clothing; dressing myself; and the list goes on and on and on…and I have not even been awake an hour. You have so many duties and you get so little gratitude.

I want to take this time to really appreciate my hands, as I utilize them to type these very words. Dear hands…thank you…thank you so very much. I deeply appreciate the role you play in my life, allowing me to do so many wonderful and creative things like draw, paint and write. I will take more time from now on to honor you, my hands. I will pamper you with lotion and gently massage you. HANDS… You are magnificent. Thank you so very much!

A Little Does A Lot!


I know I have shared similar sentiments about the importance of kindness, but I believe it bears to be retold over and over again as I find more and more on the positive benefits. Besides the obvious benefit of bringing joy to receiver, kindness brings joy to the giver; as I believe most of you know. But, did you know that people who witness kindness in action also get a benefit from this event? Yes, indeed. One act of kindness touches at least three hearts: the heart of the recipient, the heart of the giver, and the heart of the witness or observer. A little kindness does a lot!

Multiple scientific studies have shown that the act of kindness has a positive effect on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that has a calming, mood regulating, and anti-anxiety effect. Serotonin is considered a joy-inducing substance because it serves as a pathway(a catalyst) for delight in the brain. The function of most anti-depressant medications is to stimulate the production of serotonin chemically, which helps ease depression.

One of the most fascinating research findings to come out in recent years is that whenever a simple act of kindness is extended by a human being towards another, it results in a significant improvement in the functioning of the immune system and increased production of serotonin in the giver, recipient and the observer of the simple act of kindness. (Read more: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/act-of-kindness#ixzz2FRdItP3o) A Harvard study called this the Mother Teresa Effect because a group of over 130 Harvard students were tested before and after viewing a film on the life of Mother Teresa for an important antibody found in their saliva important to their immune system. The students had a noteworthy increase in this antibody after watching the charity works of Mother Teresa in her life story.

You can do your own research. How do you feel after watching a program like Extreme Makeover Home Edition or Touched by an Angel, where people are uplifted by other people? I am willing to bet you feel wonderful. I also believe that as we approach significant holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas where you people see more goodwill and acts of kindness, there is a greater amount of joy in the hearts of all the people involved. Furthermore, there are more heart-warming movies being broadcast on television and shown in the movie theaters. How do you feel after doing a good deed? How do you feel when you see someone performing a good deed? How do you feel when someone helps you out?

According to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, “Non-pharmacological methods of raising brain serotonin may not only improve mood and social functioning of healthy people — a worthwhile objective even without additional considerations — but would also make it possible to test the idea that increases in brain serotonin may help protect against the onset of various mental and physical disorders.” According to experts, the following strategies to raise serotonin levels are worthy of further investigation: the power of suggestion (viewing acts of kindness or suggesting to yourself to be joyful), exposure to bright light (like being outdoors in the sunshine), exercise (runner’s high comes to mind), and diet (eating well-balanced foods that you enjoy).

The benefits are many, but the take home message is: A little KINDNESS does A LOT! Now, the task is to narrow the list of what you can do to spread kindness around because the opportunities are truly endless. What are your favorite acts of kindness to do, observe or receive? My favorites are sharing and receiving a heartfelt smiles, sincere compliments and undivided attention.


Bless the Stress ~ Feeling Grateful

Why not bless the stress in your life. Some stress is good as long as it is in moderation. In order to stay tone and fit, we need to add a little stress to our muscles. Varying types of exercise and activity exerts a bit of stress on our muscles. It is healthy.

This same concept can apply to life as well. A little stress in my life reminds me that my life has purpose. I am needed. A moderate amount of stress keeps me creative and productive.  I only get into trouble when I expect too much from myself. I sometimes need to remind myself to do things at a steady pace; and, that life is not a race! Yes, bless the stress. When I reassess the stress and find humor in it; then it no longer affects me in a  negative way. Appreciate the role of stress in your life.

Encourage the Heart and Spirit

Affirmation, validation and appreciation encourage the heart and spirit. Whether we are receiving encouragement or giving it, our hearts and spirits fill with love and warmth. It is uplifting.

I find that the more encouragement I give, the more I receive. Imagine that. And, I find myself looking for opportunities to encourage others in their intentions, goals and dreams. If they want to try something new and/or worthwhile, I urge them to try it. And, wow, the expressions on their faces…priceless.

Sometimes encouragement is needed when we are experiencing a low moment. Encouragement may come in many forms; and, one of the best forms of encouragement is comfort for others by simply being there for them and listening. All we really need to do is attentively listen. Encouragement can be a smile, a wink or a hug. Encouragement may be the spoken or written word, art or music. Anything that moves another heart and spirit in a positive way is encouragement.

The gift of encouragement is one of the most valuable and affordable gifts we can give to our family, friends and peers. Can you remember a time in your life when you were encouraged? How did it feel? It is an amazing feeling, isn’t it? I invite you to encourage someone…anyone. I bet it will be a great experience! May God and Love bless you and encourage your heart and spirit to encourage others.

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Brisk Air…Clear Thoughts

I really enjoy walking outdoors, especially on a crisp and refreshing autumn morning, like today. The brisk air cleared my mind and allowed new and creative ideas and thoughts to percolate and form. I am excited about everything I am going to accomplish today, but mostly, I am seizing this moment and fully experiencing it.


My heart and spirit is filled with love, gratitude and wonder with limitless possibilities. My imagination is in full throttle and I am energized. I am certain that taking that walk this morning has everything to do with it. Almost an hour I spent (really gained) walking with my father, my husband, and my fur-baby Sasha.

We walked through the woods to a neighboring pier. The tide was high. A strong breeze was blowing the marsh grasses and creating deep ripples and a bit of breaks in the brackish waters of the cove.

I could have stayed all day on the pier as it was wonderfully tranquil. Bliss has filled my inner spirit and is carrying me through this gorgeous day. All these glorious emotions and energy came from deciding to enjoy the outdoors this morning…a deliberate choice to exercise and walk in nature and with my family. I am rejuvenated and recharged. I hope you, too, can capture a moment for yourself today to take a walk outdoors.

One Moment At A Time

I often need to remind myself to be gentle and patient…with myself.
~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

One moment at a time is all I can handle. In all honesty, it is all any of us can handle. The past has lapsed and cannot be and should not be relived. The future is yet to come; and even with the best of plans and intentions, it is only in this very moment that we live. We live one moment at a time.

As I look ahead to the next few days, I see many events that will be taking place. I choose not to stress over these events, because I can only live these events one moment at a time. I will be exactly where I need to be when these events take place. I have the calendar out and I am sketching up a doable routine for myself, which will include walking between 45 to 60 minutes with my father 3 to 5 times this week.

I am looking forward to each and every item I intend for myself; and, I will no longer flounder around in my days going from one activity or project to another without some structure. This will afford me the sense of accomplishment…a start and finish. Progress will be made, because I will put for a specific amount of time to each activity or project. As I stated in another blog article (To Be Gentle and Patient…September 23, 2012) , I need to remind myself to be gentle and patient…with myself. We can only live one moment at a time; furthermore, nothing great was built in a day.

Put an End to Deprivation.

It is extremely important that we take care of ourselves. Are we meeting our basic needs of food, exercise, personal hygiene and sleep? For me, I find I may occasionally skip a meal, deprive myself of nighttime sleep and/or skip out on my daily exercise routine. I need to challenge myself to do more to take care of myself.

My intention this week is to really examine areas in my life where I feel deprived. What do I need more and/or less of? What do I really want at this time in my life? Joy and gratitude are a large part of my life;  however, there is a hint of a feeling that I need something more. I believe I am craving a more structure and routine. And, I would like to find a way to create this for myself in such a way that I will stick with it.

As organized as I am in many aspects of my life, there is room for growth. I still feel periods of overwhelm, which can be eliminated through organization, structure and routine. There is so much I want to do and accomplish. And, I wish to do it all without depriving myself of my needs.

I challenge you to do this with me. Let us look at our lives together. What do we need more or less of? I am going to examine my projects and chores, my needs, my time and create a daily/weekly plan. This seems like a great way to start off my week. I will check back with you tomorrow.



The Gift of a Good Sleep…Tips

Sleep deprivation is NOT RECOMMENDED. So, why do we keep doing it! Give yourself the gift of a good night’s sleep. You will be more productive, healthier and happier because of it. Sleep is necessary for your body and spirit to rejuvenate, heal and work out daily concerns through dreaming. You can chase the blues or listlessness away just by going to sleep 30 minutes earlier for a week.

These good habits will ensure a good sleep:

  • Exercise most days, even if it is just to take a walk.
  • No caffeine 4 to 5 hours before your bedtime.
  • An hour before bedtime, avoid any work that requires concerted thinking like crossword puzzles or analyzing an article. Meditative, repetitive activities such as addressing envelopes, doodling or crocheting are fine.
  • Adjust your bedroom temperature to be slightly chilly.
  • Keep your bedroom dark. It has been reported in research studies that even the light from a digital alarm clock can disrupt a sleep cycle.
  • Keep your bedroom as neat as possible to eliminate having to fight chaos to get to bed.

If you are having trouble getting to sleep here are ten foods that can help:

  1. Almonds
  2. Chamomile Tea
  3. Miso Soup
  4. Banana
  5. Dairy regular or fat-free (Yogurt, Milk, Cheese)
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Hard-Cooked Eggs
  8. Edamame
  9. Cherries
  10. Cereal (low sugar, whole-grain)

Here are some other tips to help you get drowsy:

  • Breathe deeply and slowly…in through your nose and out through your mouth clearing any thoughts visualizing something calm like a pristine lake.
  • If your mind is cluttered with thoughts and concerns, write down what is on your mind…maybe into a journal.
  • Pamper yourself with lotion; if it is lavender or vanilla scented, that is even better.
  • If your feet are cold, put on socks.
  • Wiggle and stretch your toes several times.
  • Stretch your whole body.
  • Yawn.
  • Use aromatherapy. Lavender, Chamomile, Jasmine or Vanilla are great scents to use.

Here are 7 tips from the Mayo Clinic:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Get to bed and rise at the same time everyday, even on weekends.
  2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed as the discomfort will interfere with sleep. Be mindful of the fluids you consume before bedtime; and, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and/or alcohol.
  3. Create a bedtime ritual. Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down, which might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Avoid television watching or the use of other electronic devices before bedtime because it can interfere with sleep.
  4. Get comfortable. Cool, dark, and quiet rooms are best. Make certain that your mattress and pillows are comfortable; and you have enough room if you share your bed with a partner. If you have pets or children, set limits on how often they sleep with you.
  5. Limit daytime naps. Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you need daytime sleep as part of your work routine, make sure the room is dark and sleep is uninterrupted.
  6. Include physical activity in your daily routine, early in the day. Do not do physical exercise 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  7. Manage stress. Meditate. Organize. Write in a journal as you need.

Here are a few more great sites to go to for more sleep tips.

SleepFoundation.org: HEALTHY SLEEP TIPS



Sweet dreams!!!

Not a Luxury….a NECESSITY!

I need to remind myself, as I am sure many of you need to do as well, that rest and relaxation are a necessity, not a luxury. Funny thing is if we keep going and going without scheduling time for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate, it will catch up to us in the form of illness. Then you have no choice but to recuperate.

When we do not take care of ourselves first, then we end up not being able to take care of anybody including ourselves. It truly is an act of kindness to everyone by scheduling the time to pamper yourself . That time is an investment, an insurance policy. Self-love and self-care assures that you will be healthy and in good spirits. This will allow you to be the best you can be for your loved ones and your colleagues at work. I hope you were able to take a little time for yourself this weekend.

It is sort of like chores. If you do a little each day, it is a piece of cake. If you keep putting chores off, then it becomes burdensome and overwhelming. A little respite every day, keeps you healthy in every way!

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