Category Archives: Healthy Aspirations

What Is Responsibility?

When we think of responsibility, we tend to think of being reliable and doing our jobs well. Whatever it is that we do from day to day, the perception of doing it well is seen as responsibility. Also the concept of showing up when needed, being there for others and taking good care of what we’ve been given in life. But is that it? Or is there more to being responsible?

This is a topic I’ve thought about for years.  The average person considers responsibility to be a consideration only within their personal realm or space.  But what about reaching beyond your comfort zone?  Here are some other ways I’ve found responsibility to be key and essential in life.

Being a good example when no one is watching.  When you see someone drop a wallet on the street, would you pick it up and bring it to them?  That is an important aspect of social responsibility.  If we want this world to resonate on a higher level of consciousness, we are responsible to be good even when nobody notices.  Doing this passes kindness along and increases a personal level of social responsibility among ourselves and others.

Doing the right thing without expecting a reward.  Something as simple as picking garbage up off the street makes you a more responsible person.  Instead of walking past wrappers and other things tossed out of car windows and thrown over shoulders, you can choose to take it upon yourself to clean up and brighten the world around you.  Even if it’s never acknowledged, you know you did the right thing.  This will increase your personal consciousness and self esteem which always ends up rubbing off on others you know.  Even if you don’t purposely try to make them aware of your beliefs.  And when others see how responsible you are, it will motivate them to be more responsible!  (At least some of them!)

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Being fair and extending a helping hand.  We all have moments and situations come up where we have the opportunity to help another person out who may have the possibility of hurting us.  Sometimes being a responsible person is offering a hand up with no assurance of it turning out well.  At times, it’s good to give another person the benefit of the doubt.  And if it ends up biting you in the end?  Well, at least you tried.  I’m not saying to be a doormat and allow people to walk all over you.  What I am suggesting is when you are able, knowing that if the situation would fall flat, you are still willing to take a chance, take it!  Sometimes these are the best moments in life:  moments that can not only change you but the people you’re walking out on a limb for as well.  Actions like this not only increase your personal responsibility level and your self esteem but also the personal responsibility levels and self esteem levels of those who you’ve given the chance to.  When out of nowhere if you decide to trust someone and it goes well, it’s a very beautiful thing!

Doing your part to remedy societal issues.  Society has a sad way of “passing the buck” too many times.  “Oh, they’ll take care of that,”  or “I don’t know much about that.  Let someone else deal with it,”  or “I just don’t have the energy.  It’s a losing battle anyway,”  are all excuses created to keep us from feeling responsible.  But the reality is, we can all do something with the resources we have, even if it’s something small.  It really doesn’t take much to donate a coat to a shelter or to provide a bag of groceries to someone who’s hurting.  Maybe even secretly leave Christmas gifts on a needy familys’ doorstep or fill a bag with a few essentials from a dollar store to donate to a charity.  There are ways of filling in the gap with the resources we’ve been given.  If we’d all do our part, we could create huge waves of responsibility to ripple through our communities.

Take care of our planet.  Our children inherit this planet from us.  What we do to it, they’ll have to deal with.  Why give them more pain and heartache?  Take an interest in healing this world on a physical level.  Learn more about solar and wind energy, begin to grow gardens in our yards or stop using pesticides on our lawns.  There are numerous efficient chemical free ways of dealing with issues like this.  Why spray more harmful things into the atmosphere for our children and grandchildren to breathe?  Why kill off more animals and plants and eat GMO foods that are riddled with hurtful carcinogens?  There is no good point to these types of things. And engaging in harmful behaviors only makes things worse and worse.  It’s time to start paying attention and go back to healing this planet before the domino effect of pain becomes too great for us to conquer!

Rise above destructive thought processes.  If we all close our eyes to the hurtful things going on, who is going to make it better?  We need to increase our awareness….our level of responsibility…and understand that we each have a piece in this puzzle.  If we pass all of the responsibility on to our neighbor, our friend, our senator, our president, how can we expect anything to really change?  Yes, our elected officials can make changes but nothing compared to a global realization that we can all make a difference.  Even the poorest of us!  We can grow gardens, we can stop using pesticides, we can share with our friends and plant trees and spread kindness.  There are literally thousands of things we can all do.  No matter what our socioeconomic level or level of education.  We need to pull together to make amends!

Responsibility is a way of life.  It’s a process of thinking that we need to commit to.  Responsibility doesn’t just happen.  It’s cultivated.  And if we begin to cultivate it into the younger generations, just imagine the changes it could bring!

I Think I Can!

Have you ever heard someone tell you to be more positive? Have you been told to try to achieve a more positive attitude? I know I have. Years ago when I was younger I had a horrible attitude. I was negative and felt like nothing would ever go right. My life was rough and it took its toll on me mentally and physically.

But I have changed my attitude. And I’m writing this blog to tell you why you should try to be more positive. There are numerous wonderful reasons for changing your perspective from “I know I can’t” to “I think I can”!

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Reason #1: It has been said that a positive attitude will increase your life span. Guess what? It has been proven! People with a positive attitude generally live 7 1/2 years longer than people with a negative attitude. What a great incentive right there!

Reason #2: People with a positive attitude have less stress. Not because life sends less stress their way, but because they choose to perceive it in a different manner than negative people. Positive people do what they can to change things and accept what they can’t change. They actively participate in life and this gives them a happier perspective.

Reason #3: Positive people deal with hardships more effectively because they realize “this too, shall pass.” They know that hardship doesn’t last forever and they take little steps each day to bring something positive into their lives during times of hardship. They know how to cope more effectively until better days come by taking responsibility to make good things happen while they are burdened by suffering. Positive people focus on good not bad.

Reason #4:  Positive people have a reduced risk of heart disease!  Stress takes a toll on the heart.  Therefore, less stress equals less heart problems.  Having an attitude of gratitude keeps diseases at bay.

Reason #5:  Positive people have an increased immune system.  As I mentioned above, an upbeat attitude lowers your risk of disease.  Happier people get sick less…even with the common cold!  Happier people produce more antibodies than unhappy people.  They also produce more serotonin-a chemical in the brain-which decreases depression and increases a feeling of well being.

Reason #6:  Positive people age more slowly.  During studies, it was found that positive people stayed mobile and thought more, engaging in frequent tasks that increased memory and body function.  Because they had a “can do” attitude, their bodies responded with “I think I can”!

Like the Little Engine That Could, so are we.  Much is left to our mental state.  If we choose to be positive, we reap the rewards that a positive life brings.  I’d rather have those rewards than sitting around expecting the worst…and getting it!

Resources:

Mayo Clinic:  Healthy Lifestyle:  Stress Management.

Science:  How Stuff Works:  Is There A Link Between Exercise And Happiness?

Scientific American:  How Happiness Boosts The Immune System.

Live Science:  Happier People Keep Healthier As They Age.

The Huffington Post:  Do Positive People Live Longer?

Have You Tried Vitamin D To Ease Psoriasis Symptoms?

As a sufferer from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, I have tried numerous things over the years to ease my symptoms. Some things helped, others didn’t. One thing I’ve noticed that helps significantly (if I remember to take it) is Vitamin D.

Since I’m interested in becoming healthier and happier, I’m really into vitamins. I take them whenever I remember (I’m really busy and many times I ‘space out’ my vitamin regimen). but when I am alert and on the ball (!!) Vitamin D has proven quite helpful.

I’ve noticed that when I take a high potency dose (5000 IU’s) of Vitamin D, the buildup of plaques are greatly reduced. Also the itching. (Which, trust me, is a welcome relief! You know what I’m talking about if you’re a fellow sufferer.)

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I know that sounds like a lot of Vitamin D….and it is. 4,000 IU’s a day is considered a safe upper limit. So my pills are just a touch over that. I have done some research and I think taking 5,000 IU’s every other day is an acceptable amount. Maybe even twice a week. So I guess it’s a good thing that I forget to take it rather frequently! That’s probably why I’m doing well with it. I do remember to take it at least every 3 days. If you’re a fellow sufferer you should give it a try.

An average sized adult is encouraged to take 1,000-3,000 IU’s a day. Larger sized (extra fun sized) adults are encouraged to take a little more which leads to the 4,000 IU a day mark. It is possible to overdose on Vitamin D since it’s fat soluble, which means your body has a hard time getting rid of it it you take too much. The symptoms of too much Vitamin D are:
-high blood calcium (called hypercalcemia) which can be indicated by a blood test
-feeling sick or thirsty
-pain, confusion, tiredness (I have that. Too much calcium? I think not. Too much of life! Ha!)
-constipation, diarrhea, frequent urination ( I could make a funny for this but you might not think it’s very funny…..)

Vitamin D3 is more powerful than Vitamin D2 and raises blood levels almost twice as much so be sure to keep that in mind. Also, children require much less Vitamin D. (The more you weigh, the higher your dose to the 4,000 IU daily mark). Infants are encouraged to have about 400 IU a day while older children are encouraged to have about 600 IU a day. If your kids are out in the sun, they’ll need less. (One of the beauties of sunlight? Natural increases in Vitamin D!)

Sooo…..you may want to visit the local pharmacy to invest in a bottle. See if it gives you some relief.   You might be very glad you did!

A Lack Of Magnesium and Potassium Can Cause Insomnia

If you’re like me…and I am guessing a lot of you are, insomnia can be an issue. So I decided to research the topic and here is one of the first things I learned: a lack of magnesium and potassium can cause insomnia!

We all know that food is important but many times we don’t keep in the forefronts of our minds that food is the fuel we live off of. (At least I don’t!) I have a tendency to get super busy and only concentrate on eating “healthy”, a.k.a. fruits, veggies and grains (and in no particular order). I gave up meat a while ago so they’re all I really eat. And I take vitamins….when I remember. And yes, I admit, I eat junk food. It’s been a lifelong quest to slow down on the sugar and carbs….and it will continue to be a quest! It is a little easier to stay away from these goodies when I eat healthy, but I still indulge more than I should! Anyway, I digress…..

To try to help with the insomnia issue, I’ve decided to eat more foods with magnesium and potassium. So I researched the foods rich in both and here is what I found:

Potassium: The foods highest in potassium are bananas, sweet potatoes, orange juice, tomato sauce, carrots, milk and yogurt. I like the first four. The last three? Not so much. Also prunes (which I can eat a few of) and fish (which I don’t eat at all.) Plus dark leafy greens (I can do that!) and apricots (not so much). I’ll experiment. And let you know how it goes.

Magnesium:  The food highest in magnesium are green leafy veggies.  Plus pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados (yum!) and figs (not so sure about those) as well as bananas and dark chocolate (Okay!  Hand it over!).  You could also go catch a fish and cook it up with some whole grains and beans for a magnesium feast!

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I’ll attempt to make it a priority for the sake of the maintenance of my sanity!  In a perfect world, that would mean…hmmm….a meal plan…oatmeal and bananas for breakfast with a side of orange juice (sounds good), a big salad for lunch topped with beans, carrots and quinoa (I don’t think so.)  How about a salad with some type of seeds, tomatoes, avocados and dressing?  (Yes. Much better.)  And a plate of spaghetti with lots of tomato sauce for supper?  (Sure.  Why not?).

Less than thirty percent of adults eat the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.  If you drink soda, eat refined sugars, drink caffeine every day (I’m guilty!), drink more than seven alcoholic drinks a week or experience anxiety, hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping, a lack of magnesium is most likely one of the culprits.  The RDA of magnesium is about 400 mg a day for men and 310 for women.

As far as potassium?  It can cause sleeplessness, numbness, constipation, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating and cramps to name a few.  Less than two percent of people eat the amount of potassium they need a day.  (That’s crazy!  Two percent??  Yikes!)  Adults should be consuming around 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day.  That’s equal to three russet potatoes (about 420 mg each), two bananas (about 350 mg each), two cups of cooked lentils (beans-730 mg each), three cups of swiss chard (58 mg each) and a little less than a cup of beet greens which are loaded with potassium at 1309mg/cup.

Wow.  To eat responsibly almost requires becoming a mathematician.  But then it would be worth the effort.  Maybe creating a chart is the way to go.  That might end up being one of my goals!  Another good thing to do?  Find some awesome vitamins and remember to take them every day!

I’ll post more as I figure things out.  Thanks for reading!