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Life is better when you smile.

Have you ever had a horrible day?

Things just aren’t going right, you’re all stressed out and you’ve got a knot forming in your back.  Nothing seems to be going your way and you’re just a wreck.  Then the unexpected happens.  Someone looks your way and flashes you a friendly smile, you smile back and somehow things feel a little better.

What just happened?

It turns out when you smile things do actually get better, and if your smile reaches someone else it can actually make their day brighter.

How is this possible?

Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides in your brain which go to work to start fighting off stress!  When released neuropeptides assist with messaging feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, depression and excitement to the whole body.  You also release serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine when you smile.  These all go to work to actually make you feel better.  These endorphins also help to reduce pain.  The Serotonin that is released when you smile acts as a pain reliever and anti-depressant.

Not only does smiling help your mind and body it also makes you more attractive.  People will treat you differently when you smile.  This is because when you smile others will view you as attractive, in control, stable, honest and trustworthy.   An article placed in the journal Neuropsychoelogia found that seeing a smile excites the region of the brain that processes sensory rewards.  This may explain a study that was done by the Face Research Laboratory at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.  Participants were asked to rate how smiling corresponds to attractiveness.  They found that people who smiled and made eye contact were viewed as more attractive than others.

The smile is actually contagious.  The smile originates in the cingulate cortex.  This is the part of the brain that is responsible for facial expressions.  In a study, subjects were shown photos of people expressing anger, fear, joy and surprise.  When the picture of joyful expression came up the researchers asked the participants to frown.  Instead the participants would automatically imitate the expression that the subjects observed.  It took a conscious effort to invert the emotion shown.  So when you smile at someone they will almost always smile back.

So the next time you find yourself in the dumps, take a break from your pity party and put a big smile on your face.  It can’t hurt and it may actually make you feel better!

I know that there is nothing that makes me happier than having my wife smiling at me.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Strategies for Alleviating Lower Back Pain

If you’ve ever dealt with lower back pain, you know that it can be extremely debilitating. If you’re dealing with it now, chances are you’re feeling completely useless. You’re miserable, you can’t do anything and to add insult to injury {literally, there seems to be nothing you can do to reduce your pain.

 

Sure, you can take over the counter medications, but they only provide temporary relief. Plus they mask what’s truly happening with your back. And after they wear off, you return to square one. That’s a depressing thought, isn’t it?

 

If you’re looking for something new to try, these following strategies can alleviate your lower back pain:

 

  1. Work on your posture. If you sit for hours on end, consider a device like this one. It will keep your body aligned properly and will help reduce pain.

 

  1. Use willow bark. Did you know that willow bark is considered to be a natural back pain reliever. It’s reported to work at full capacity after about a week of use.
  • If you have kidney issues or are allergic to aspirin, make sure to check with your doctor before using willow bark.
  1. Bend your body. There are lots of people who have lower back pain who swear by yoga. Yoga improves core strength which in turn helps to protect the spine.  It also helps to improve your posture which means that there is often less pressure on the spine.  Less pressure means back pain.
  2. Lift with your legs not with your back. There are a lot of people whose back issues can be attributed to lifting improperly.
  • When you lift something, avoid bending at the back and then straightening up with weight in your hands. Bend at the knees instead.
  1. Sleep on a hard surface. While a soft bed might seem like a good idea, a firm support is important in your quest for less pain.
  • Ensure your bed is firm enough to support your back, but not too hard to cause discomfort.
  • The “safe” sleeping positions include on the sides as well as on the back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, especially with your head elevated.
  • Find a Chiropractor that works for you. I’ve got a Chiropractor in the Fort Wayne area that works miracles.  I’d highly recommend him to my friends here in town.  But a good Chiropractor can give you valuable advice and treatment that can help keep feeling great. 

 

  1. Keep moving. During the day, you’ll want to change positions regularly. Alternate between standing, sitting, walking and lying flat.
  • This might be challenging at work, especially lying flat! If lying flat isn’t possible, make it a habit to get up every 20 minutes to take a bathroom or a coffee break.
  • Alternating between walking and sitting helps to relieve the pressure on the spine.

 

Since every person is different, there’s really no foolproof plan for alleviating lower back pain. However, these strategies are certainly effective at helping to minimize the impact of your pain. Over time and with consistent adherence, you should expect to start feeling better.

 

Say goodbye to back pain and say hello to your new life!

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How to Find and Enjoy the Right Bottle of Wine

If you are anything like me you may catch yourself wishing for a glass of wine to help bring the day to a peaceful end.

If you are also like me you probably have some friends that know just about everything about wine.

You probably wish you had the extra knowledge necessary to be able to select and enjoy and enjoy that same glass of wine.

I have friends in the Sacramento Bay Area that really know how to enjoy a glass of wine.  They know what to look for and when they select something for me to try.  I can count on it being really good and enjoyable.   Unfortunately, when I try the same approach it seems like I fail often.  I often pay lots of money for something that I really don’t like.  Usually I just end up with something that’s ok.

Recently I’ve changed my approach to selecting wine.  I actually made this discovery by mistake.  One day I stopped by a Dairy Queen that happened to be located by a Cap-N-Cork…a Liquor Store in the Fort Wayne area.   I stopped in and described what I was looking for.  They helped me select some local area wines that had good flavor and were actually really good.

I think for me the issue was getting past my sense of pride and asking for help.  I’ve found asking for help really makes sense to someone with my level of expertise.

 

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Healthy And Natural Diet Tips

  • Healthy and natural diet is important for overall health and well-being.
  • Sport is important for the mind and the body.
  • The different sources available on medical information online are not up to the mark and they might not provide 100% accurate and original information. Therefore, it is important for you to discuss everything and anything related to your health with your physician. Do not feel shy about any medical problem that you might be having. Remember, doctors never make fun of their patients.
  • Finishing a meal takes just a few minutes but the body requires 12 hours prior to completing the digestive procedure.
  • The body of a human being requires iron for helping it perform various important functions. One of the most important functions of iron is carrying oxygen from different parts of the body. Not having iron in sufficient quantities might result in symptoms like fatigue and weakness.
  • Antibiotics are of good use in fighting off bacteria. However, they are not useful against viruses. This is due to the fact that virus and bacteria differ from each other. Both have their own unique characteristics and thus require specialized treatment.
  • Careful food storage and preparation is crucial for avoiding dangerous bacteria, virus and toxins.
  • People living in the developed countries take access to clean drinking water for granted. However, for the ones living in the poorer parts of the world. Water quality and pollution are factors that result in dangerous diseases.
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Medical And Health Facts Every Individual Should Know

From things as serious as heart rate to such trivial matters like hand-washing, it is necessary for people to know some important medical and health facts. Knowing some of the most important medical and health facts can help people in augmenting or improving their way of living life. The facts mentioned here are not all inclusive but some are major components considered to be important parts of a healthy lifestyle. If you want to lead a healthy life then it is important that you know these facts. Here, you will also find information on things that you need to avoid doing in order to live a healthy life. For most people, healthy living means both mental and physical health are functioning properly and they are in perfect balance. Some important medical and health facts are as follows:

  • The immune system is quite complicated and it possesses the ability of fighting several diseases.
  • Good hygiene and cleanliness helps in reducing the chances of suffering from different diseases. It is essential for people to wash their hands regularly.
  • You should see your physician immediately if you tend to suffer from constant headache.
  • Everything cannot be cured by medicine. In fact, medicine just helps in relieving the signs of different diseases.
  • The relation between a doctor and a patient is very important. If a patient does not feel comfortable with his or her doctor, he or she will never be healed.
  • The importance of psychological health is far more than physical health. This is because there are many unknown diseases caused due to stress.

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