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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spiritual Lessons We Can Learn From Weight: Part 1 - Marc David

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chronic constipation in women

Looking After Our Colon

I find it odd that most doctors don't know about the effect constipation has on a body, never mind a female body and what it can mean. 

Time and time again I hear my patients say their GPs think it's ok for them to not have a BM for 5-7 days. That's its normal for their system and not to worry. Ok I agree with the not to worry part, but eeeeek it's NOT normal or ok to eliminate only once a week. 

We need to eliminate once a day minimum, two is great and if you get a bonus round in the afternoon - excellent! Most illness begins in the colon, and the colon is one of the most critical organs in the body. 

As the colon becomes a stagnant cesspool, failing to move the poisons from food waste out of out of the body on a regular basis, the toxins back up.
It is estimated that there are 36 different poisons that come from the colon, and as these accumulate in the bowel over a period of weeks, months or often years, they spread into your liver, gall bladder and other organs; into your blood; into your tissues and finally into your cells.

The colon is the starting place for most disease in the body, including cancer (and not just colon cancer, but many if not all cancers). The colon is the sewage system or “septic tank of the body” where; if it is not properly cared for, a large volume of toxins (or poisons) accumulate until it becomes a foul cesspool of toxins, bad bacteria and mucous.

Contributing Factors
Hormones can also affect bowel movements. For example, too little thyroid hormone, and too much parathyroid hormone (which raises calcium levels in the blood) can cause constipation.

At the time of a woman’s menstrual periods, estrogen and progesterone levels are high and may cause constipation, some women experience worse constipation after pregnancy due to hormone imbalances. Constipation tends to be more pronounced during pregnancy, and causes may include the pressure of the baby on the bowel, as well as the production of high levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Other causes may include:
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Colon diseases
  • Suppressing the normal urge to go to the toilet

Levels of Progesterone
The levels of progesterone in a woman’s body rise and fall dramatically with her monthly cycles. At ovulation, the production of progesterone rapidly rises from 2-3mg per day to an average of 22mg per day, peaking as high as 30mg per day a week or so after ovulation.

After ten or twelve days, if fertilization does not occur, ovarian production of progesterone falls significantly. It is this sudden decline in progesterone levels (as well as estrogen levels) that trigger a period (menstruation), and another menstrual cycle will begin.

If pregnancy occurs, progesterone production increases and the shedding of the lining of the uterus are prevented, preserving the developing embryo. As pregnancy progresses, progesterone production is taken over by the placenta and its secretion increases gradually to levels of 300-400mg per day during the third trimester.

One of the major effects of progesterone during pregnancy is to cause relaxation of ‘smooth muscles.’ Levels of progesterone in the last trimester can reach 350-400 mg per day. Organs that contain smooth muscle are the blood vessels, the uterus, and the bowel. Progesterone decreases the strength and the frequency of bowel contractions that are necessary to move food, fluids, and wastes through the bowel. The slower the motility of the bowel, the greater the opportunity for absorption of fluid and foods.

Unfortunately, by the end, if the remaining waste becomes very dehydrated, the stool becomes compact and hard, making it more uncomfortable to pass, sometimes getting to the point where a woman will not have a bowel movement for 5 or more days. This is constipation and it can be very uncomfortable.
More than 50% of all pregnant women suffer some degree of constipation. ‘Nature’s way’ of getting the mother to absorb the most food and fluid from her diet she possibly can to help nourish her baby and maintain the pregnancy.

Now add this to someone taking 300mg heme iron and 560mg potassium tabs, and you've got someone manufacturing cement in their bowels. 

Heme or animal based iron, is very harsh and constipating on the system and as a prescription, never has accompanying vitamins that help the body absorb the iron into the system. This is meant to come from the diet, but who wants to eat, if you can't eliminate for a week at a time? Quality of life goes out to window for good lab results. There has to be a better way than keeping them on that prescription and adding in constant enemas and harsh treatments to regulate BMs. Plus adding in these treatments makes the bowels even lazier to eliminate on a regular bases, becoming a lose-lose situation.

A better solution would be to change to a non-heme iron (plant based, less likely to constipate), low, frequent doses and make sure your supplement has Vitamin C, B12 and Folic acid as a complete absorption package. You may not get the 300mg of iron in one shot, but if it's less and frequent and has ingredients to aid absorption you might be better off. 

Douglas Labs has a great product called Ferro-C, and I prescribe it to all of my anemics. They are doing really well on it, iron stores are increasing and they're comfortable and eliminating. Remember, it takes a long time to deplete your iron stores and it will take a while to build them back up, with prescriptions or with supplements.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Right Remedy for the Right Job

Have you ever thought of how different jobs need different remedies?
Carpenters, for example, are prone to whacking their thumbs with hammers or taking a blow from beams of wood. They could certainly do with a bottle of Arnica montana (Arn.) in their first aid kit as its ability to treat bruising and soft tissue damage is legend.

Chefs would also be wise to keep some homeopathic Cantharis (Canth.) on hand to reduce the pain and blistering of burns while typists, prone to repetitive strain problems, would benefit from a dose or two of Ruta graveolens (Ruta.) which is a leading remedy for tendon strain.

But it’s not just these occupations that have a need for homeopathy. Let’s match some more remedies to other types of work to see how homeopathy can help.

Arnica montana (Arn.): For sprains, strains and bruises.
Bryonia alba: For pain that is relieved by rest or firm pressure and worsened by motion. Hot, swollen joints.
Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus-t.): For aches, strains and stiffness of joints or muscles that is improved by movement and worsened by rest.
Ruta graveolens (Ruta.): Bruising to the periosteum of bones. Ligament and tendon pain. Stiffness of joints.

Arnica Montana (Arn.): For bruising and soft tissue damage arising from fights and scuffles.
Staphysagria (Staph.): For cuts and lacerations from broken glass.
Nux vomica (Nux.): The main remedy for overindulgence and hangover.

Carpenters & Builders
Arnica montana (Arn.): For bruising, sprains and strains.
Belladonna (Bell.): For heat and sunstroke with throbbing headaches.
Calendula (Calend.): For scrapes and grazes.
Hypericum perfoliatum (Hyper.): For crush injuries affect that nerves of fingertips and toes.
Ledum palustre (Led.): For puncture wounds from nails and staples.
Silicea (Sil.): To help expel embedded splinters and slivers of glass.

Chefs and Bakers
Cantharis (Canth.): To reduce the pain and blistering of burns.
Staphysagria (Staph.): For slicing cuts from knives and other sharp implements.

Cantharis (Canth.): For electrical burns.
Ledum palustre (Led.): For puncture wounds from wire.
Phosphorus: For electroshock.

Apis mellifica (Apis.): For beestings.
Arnica montana (Arn.): For sprains, strains, bruises, and soft tissue damage.
Calendula (Calend.): For scrapes and grazes.
Ledum palustre (Led.): For puncture wounds from nails and wire. Insect bites.
Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus-t.): For aches, strains and stiffness of joints or muscles that is improved by movement and worsened by rest.
Ruta graveolens (Ruta.): Bruising to the periosteum of bones. Ligament and tendon pain. Stiffness of joints.

Antimonium tartaricum (Ant-t.): For rattling mucus that collects in the trachea and lungs and is difficult to cough up.
Arnica montana (Arn.): For sprains, strains, bruises, and soft tissue damage.
Belladonna (Bell.): For heat-stroke with throbbing headaches.
Calendula (Calend.): For scrapes and grazes.
Cantharis (Canth.): For burns.
Euphrasia (Euphr): For burning, watering eyes.
Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus-t.): For aches, strains and stiffness of joints or muscles that is improved by movement and worsened by rest.

Arnica montana (Arn.): For sprains, strains, bruises, and soft tissue damage.
Calendula (Calend.): For scrapes and grazes.
Ledum palustre (Led.): For puncture wounds from sharp implements.
Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus-t.): For aches, strains and stiffness of joints or muscles that is improved by movement and worsened by rest.
Silicea (Sil): To help expel embedded metal or slivers of glass.
Staphysagria (Staph.): For slicing cuts from sharp implements.

Antimonium tartaricum (Ant-t.): For rattling mucus that collects in the trachea and lungs and is difficult to cough up.
Arnica montana (Arn.): For sprains, strains, bruises, and soft tissue damage.
Calendula (Calend.): For scrapes and grazes.
Ledum palustre (Led.): For puncture wounds from sharp implements.
Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus-t.): For aches, strains and stiffness of joints or muscles that is improved by movement and worsened by rest.
Staphysagria (Staph.): For slicing cuts from sharp implements.

Typists & Data Processors
Ruta graveolens (Ruta.): Ligament and tendon pain. Repetitive strain injury. Carpel tunnel syndrome. Eye strain.

Cantharis (Canth.): For burns and blistering.
Ledum palustre (Led.): For puncture wounds from wire.
Phosphorus (Phos.): For electroshock.
Staphysagria (Staph.): For slicing cuts from metal edges.

As you can see, some remedies are very occupation specific while others make an appearance again and again. Do you have an occupation in mind that is not included in the list above? Just identify the injuries common to that area of work and with the help of a homeopathy book, pick an appropriate remedy.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RDA and RDI for Vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

What is good nutrition anyway?
Actually, we can define it as a diet that contains an adequate supply of essential nutrients: the elements required for normal body functioning that can’t be made by the body itself. Categories of these include vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. The full range of vitamin and mineral requirements comprises 19 micronutrients in all, including vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, plus the B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and iodine. An absence of any of these leads to the development of deficiency diseases.

The problem with RDA and RDI's. 
There’s just one problem with this - and it’s a big one.

Confused by RDA's? 
Most doctors still maintain that you can obtain all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need from a normal healthy diet.

Changing RDA's 
The U.S. government continually reviews new research on required nutrient intakes – but this is a vast and never-ending task, and the results are always controversial. There are surprisingly few data on which to draw conclusions, and as a result, its recommendations are based largely on interpretation.

Cause of degenerative diseases? 
In fact, for vitamins and minerals, there’s enough new evidence to justify updating our RDA levels immediately, or taking a higher level of nutrients than is recommended by the RDA.

Two challenges; doctors attitudes and degraded food 
As stated in a previous section it is unfortunate that doctors are trained to believe RDAs are the levels of nutrients needed for optimal health. In addition doctors generally have a bias against nutritional supplements. This causes a great deal of confusion.

What is an RDA and is it really important? 
An RDA is a recommended daily allowance - but the answer is not as simple as that!
As most of us know by now, an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are two of the main risk factors for all kinds of diseases: raised blood pressure, for example, and obesity, as well as the major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

The fact is that nutrition is a foundation for health and development.
Better nutrition means stronger immune systems, less illness and improved health. Our children learn more easily when they are fed nutritious, body & mind building foods. Healthy people are stronger, more productive and better able to create opportunities for themselves. 

How do we know how much of these nutrients are “adequate” to keep us healthy? 
That’s where Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), or Reference Daily Intake (RDI) comes in.
These are the daily dietary intake levels recommended by the governments of most countries. They’re printed on food labels and supplements, and are used for developing new foods. Basically, they’re intended to serve as nutrition guidance to the public and health professionals. 
The RDAs that everybody uses may not be accurate! You see, they were developed during World War Two by the U.S. National Research Council, and used for dietary recommendations for people on rations.

They were invented to help prevent outbreaks of rickets, scurvy and pellagra. Clearly, our dietary habits and the kinds of diseases we get are now very different.
The RDA standard has since been taken up by countries the world over, and now accounts for the minimum levels of nutrients needed for normal growth and development.
But although RDAs are revised from time to time, they still only suggest the minimum nutrient requirements, for nearly all (97–98%) healthy individuals.

But of course, we’re all different! 
Some people (older people, pregnant women, those with illnesses, you name it) need different amounts of nutrients. In addition, the type of food we eat has changed dramatically recently, populations are ageing, and people with sedentary lifestyles are now commonplace.
RDAs don’t really account for all this. It would be good if this was the case but because of the degradation of the food supply has become almost impossible to achieve a diet for optimal health and the prevention of degenerative disease.

One of the greatest reasons for confusion amongst doctors and physicians and therefore the general population is the reliance on RDA's.

The problem is really that somehow RDA’s have become a guide for optimal nutrition which is not what they were designed to do.

Optimal nutrition is the level of nutrition required to prevent chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimers, osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease. 
New nutritional guidelines being suggested by the few scientists and doctors that specialize in nutrition are describing levels of nutrients far higher than RDA’s for the maintenance of long term health and the prevention of chronic degenerative disease. 

If you look, you’ll see the RDAs for different countries at different times vary dramatically.
For example, some countries have lower RDAs than others, because they’re calculated based on the needs of a single cell, and not those of the whole body. Nowadays, governments are beginning to revise their RDA levels upwards.

They’re still not high enough, according to many experts, and there’s growing evidence to suggest that we can benefit from increasing our nutrient intake well above RDA levels in some instances. 
It shows that besides preventing deficiency diseases, higher levels of nutrients could play an important role in preventing chronic degenerative diseases, one of modern society’s major causes of illness and death.

RDA calculations currently don’t account for these. Evidence is also mounting on the importance of increasing micronutrients for better immune function, physical work capacity, and brain development, especially in developing children.

Actually, the levels of nutrients needed for optimal health are greater than RDA levels, as a host of modern medical reports will tell you. The problem’s compounded because many multivitamin products are poor quality, they don't always contain what the label says it does and are based on RDAs and not on the correct levels of nutrients needed for optimal health.

Even worse, nowadays, there’s probably no way to get the optimal levels through food alone. That’s because it now contains less nutrients than it ever did before, thanks to over-processing, long storage periods and modern growing methods. Plus, the soil we used to grow our foods has been degraded, and our food is often full of chemicals, and GMO.

Luckily, there is a solution. Modern science has provided us with supplements to help us out of the problem!
So now, there’s no excuse for suffering needlessly in the future, as a result of inadequate nutritional intake now. With the right high quality nutritional supplements you can increase your chances of avoiding diseases and chronic ailments easily and effectively, so act today – and reap the benefits later! 

But how do your supplements rate?
According to independent scientists and published by Lyle McWilliam in the Complete Guide to Nutritional Supplements. Based on 20 criteria here's how your Canadian supplements rate, you might be surprised that you've been spending your mont on virtually nothing.


5/5            USANA: Essentials, HealthPak, Body Rox & Usanimals 

5/5             Douglas Labs Ultra Preventative X (pills are significantly larger than the USANA)
3/5             Thorne Research Basic Nutrients lV
2/5             Metagenics Gold for Women/Men
2.5/5          Seroyal Super Orti Vite
2.5/5          Isagenix Essentials Women/Men
3/5             Genuine Health Greens + Multi 
4/5             GNC Multi Ultra Mega Gold
3/5             Platinum Naturals, Women or Men 50+
0.5/5          Centrum Performance
1.0/5          Jamieson Vita-Vin
0.5/5          Life Spectrum Gold/Performance
0/5             One-A-Day Maximum 
0/5             Flintstone Kids Vitamins

So why settle for something that's not doing anything in your body, and not having in the bottle what they say is on the label.

Aren't we lucky we have USANA!
When taken twice daily these nutrient packed, bioavailable vitamins and minerals not only help rebalance your system with the proper nutrients they can help with: weight loss, promote natural detoxification, energize your system and help regulate digestion. When we have the proper nutrient levels in our body, our body can function at a higher level, it can detox, we can reduce cravings therefore decreasing our waistline, we can increase elimination decreasing toxin build up in our systems. We're just so accustomed to the feeling of being deficient, fatigue, toxic, we don't know how great we can feel when we are actually getting the nutrients we need. 

If you would like to find out more about USANA products and how they can benefit you, please contact me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

7 Nutrient deficiencies that can make you sick

Tired? Depressed? Always under the weather?
You might not be getting the right amount of these vitamins and minerals.

Today’s average restaurant meal is more than four times larger than in the 1950s, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults are, on average, 26 pounds heavier. Despite the embarrassing abundance of food, many Americans still unknowingly suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Whether from vapid calories (hello, junk food), chemical-induced deficiencies, a lack of a variety, or any number of other factors, some of us just aren’t getting what we need.
The CDC’s Second Nutrition Report, an assessment of diet and nutrition in the U.S. population, concludes that there are a number of specific nutrients lacking in the American diet. Not only can nutrient deficiencies have long-lasting health effects, they can make you feel rotten. Here are some of the more common vitamins and minerals lacking in our diets, deficiencies that can cause an array of symptoms, from poor memory and bleeding gums to impaired work productivity and depression. 
1. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in many animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy items; it is generally not found in plant foods. Fortunately for vegans, fortified breakfast cereals and some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. The vitamin is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. Deficiency of this important vitamin is common, affecting up to 15 percent of the general population.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for males and females over the age of 14 is 2.4 micrograms (mcg).
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite and weight loss. Neurological problems like numbness and tingling in the hands and feet can also occur. Other symptoms include difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory and soreness of the mouth or tongue. Vitamin B12 has also been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
2. Vitamin C
Most animals are able to synthesize vitamin C internally, but not humans; we need to get it from our food — lest we end up like the scurvy-ravaged sailors of lore. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, tomato juice and potatoes are major sources of vitamin C in the American diet. Other good contributors include red and green peppers, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe. Vitamin C is not naturally found in grains, but it is added to some fortified breakfast cereals.
The body uses vitamin C for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine and certain neurotransmitters, and it is also involved in protein metabolism. In addition to its biosynthetic and antioxidant functions, vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron. The RDA for adults over 19 is 90 milligrams (mg) for males and 75 mg for females.
Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, the symptoms of which include fatigue, malaise, inflammation of the gums, loosening or loss of teeth, joint pain, and poor wound healing. Although scurvy is no longer the scourge it once was, but narrowly chosen diets and bulimia among teens has created a scurvy resurgence. It can also afflict alcoholics or older people whose ability to absorb vitamin C has diminished from excessive medications or poor eating habits.
3. Vitamin D
Not many foods naturally contain Vitamin D. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and fish liver oils are the best natural food sources. To a lesser extent, vitamin D is also found in beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms. Fortified foods offer Americans most of the vitamin D they consume. Since the 1930s, nearly all of the U.S. milk supply has been fortified with 100 International units (IU) per serving. Breakfast cereals are also commonly fortified with vitamin D. And fortunately, our clever bodies make vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight; most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way.
Vitamin D regulates calcium in the body and helps it to maintain strong bones. It is involved in healthy muscle movement, the nervous system relies on it, and it improves immune function as well as helping to reduce inflammation. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU for males and females between 19 and 70 years.
In children, vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, which has become less common since the 1930s but does still occur. With rickets, the bones become soft and bend. In adults, vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia, causing bone pain and muscle weakness. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to daytime sleepiness.
4. Iodine
Iodine is a mineral found in ocean fish, seaweed, shrimp, and other seafood, as well as dairy products and products made from grains. Produce also contains iodine, although levels in fruits and vegetables depend on the soil they were grown in.
Iodine is used by the body to produce thyroid hormones that work to control other essential functions. Thyroid hormones are also required for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy. The RDA for those 14 years and older is 150 mcg.
Iodine deficiency during fetal and early-childhood development is a leading cause of brain impairmentsin much of the world. In adults, mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency can cause goiter, as well as impaired mental function and work productivity. Chronic iodine deficiency may be associated with an increased risk of some forms of thyroid cancer.
5. Iron
According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the number one nutritional disorder in the world. Dietary iron comes in two forms, heme and nonheme. Heme iron is found in red meats, fish and poultry; nonheme iron is found in plants, like lentils and beans. Nonheme iron is the form that is added to enriched and fortified foods. Animal-derived iron is absorbed better than nonheme iron, but most dietary iron is nonheme iron. (Read more about iron for vegetarians here.)
Iron is essential for proper body functions. It helps transport oxygen to the cells, aids in blood cell creation, supports protein structures in the body and other important functions. The RDA for iron is 8 mg for males age 19-51, and 18 mg for females 19-51. For both males and females over 51, the RDA is 8 mg.
Symptoms of iron deficiency can include fatigue and weakness, poor work and school performance, slow cognitive and social development during childhood, difficulty maintaining body temperature, decreased immune function, increased susceptibility to infection, and inflamed tongue. (Read one writer’s experience with iron and overwhelming fatigue here.)
6. Magnesium
Magnesium is found in legumes, nuts, whole grains and vegetables, but American magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Most Americans do not get the recommended amounts of magnesium, according to the experts.
Magnesium helps the body regulate more than 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. The RDA for males 19-30 is 400 mg, and 420 mg for males 31 and over. Females 19-30 should aim for 310 mg; those 31 and over should get 320 mg.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms can occur. One prominent study revealed that a magnesium-rich diet may lower stroke risk.
7. Zinc
Zinc is abundant in oysters, red meat, poultry and fortified breakfast cereals. Beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy products also provide some zinc, but beans and grains have compounds that keep zinc from being fully absorbed by the body. Because of this, vegetarians may need to eat twice as much zinc than what is recommended.
Zinc is important for helping the immune system battle bacteria and viruses. It also helps in the production of cells and during pregnancy and infancy; in childhood, zinc helps the body to develop correctly. Zinc helps wounds heal properly and plays a role in taste and smell. The RDA for zinc is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for adult women.
Symptoms of zinc deficiency include slow growth in infants and children, delayed sexual development in adolescents and impotence in men. Too little zinc can also be to blame for hair loss, diarrhea, eye and skin sores, loss of appetite, problems with wound healing, decreased ability to taste food, and lower alertness levels.
Reposted from:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

22 Positive Habits of Happy People

What’s the secret to being happy? You can learn how to do it, just as you can learn any other skill. Those who are happy tend to follow a certain set of habits that create peace in their lives; if you learn to apply these habits in your own life, there’s a good chance you’ll be happy too.

The featured article compiled 22 such behaviors that you can use to enhance your life and your happiness.

1. Let Go Of Grudges

Forgiving and forgetting is necessary for your own happiness, as holding a grudge means you’re also holding onto resentment, anger, hurt and other negative emotions that are standing in the way of your own happiness. Letting go of a grudge frees you from negativity and allows more space for positive emotions to fill in.

2. Treat Everyone With Kindness

Kindness is not only contagious, it’s also proven to make you happier. When you’re kind to others, your brain produces feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin and you’re able to build strong relationships with others, fostering positive feelings all around.

3. Regard Your Problems As Challenges

Change your internal dialogue so that anytime you have a “problem” you view it as a challenge or a new opportunity to change your life for the better. Eliminate the word “problem” from your mind entirely.

4. Express Gratitude For What You Have

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health.

5. Dream Big

Go ahead and dream big, as you’ll be more likely to accomplish your goals. Rather than limiting yourself, when you dream big you’re opening your mind to a more optimistic, positive state where you have the power to achieve virtually anything you desire.

6. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

If the issue you’re mad about will be irrelevant a year, a month, a week or even a day from now, why sweat it? Happy people know how to let life’s daily irritations roll off their back.

7. Speak Well of Others

It may be tempting to gather around the office water cooler to get and give the daily gossip, but talking negatively about others is like taking a bath in negative emotions; your body soaks them up. Instead, make it a point to only say positive, nice words about other people, and you’ll help foster more positive thinking in your own life as well.

8. Avoid Making Excuses
It’s easy to blame others for your life’s failures, but doing so means you’re unlikely to rise past them. Happy people take responsibility for their mistakes and missteps, then use the failure as an opportunity to change for the better.

9. Live in The Present
Allow yourself to be immersed in whatever it is you’re doing right now, and take time to really be in the present moment. Avoid replaying past negative events in your head or worrying about the future; just savor what’s going on in your life now.

10. Wake Up At The Same Time Every Morning
Getting up at the same time every day (preferably an early time) is deceptively simple. Doing so will help regulate your circadian rhythm so you’ll have an easier time waking and likely feel more energized. Plus, the habit of rising early every day is one shared by many successful people, as it enhances your productivity and focus.

11. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

Your life is unique, so don’t measure your own worth by comparing yourself to those around you. Even regarding yourself as better than your peers is detrimental to your happiness, as you’re fostering judgmental feelings and an unhealthy sense of superiority. Measure your own success based on your progress alone, not that of others.

12. Surround Yourself With Positive People

The saying “misery loves company” is entirely true. That’s why you need to choose friends who are optimistic and happy themselves, as you will be surrounded with positive energy.

13. Realize That You Don’t Need Others’ Approval

It’s important to follow your own dreams and desires without letting naysayers stand in your way. It’s fine to seek others’ opinions, but happy people stay true to their own hearts and don’t get bogged down with the need for outside approval.

14. Take Time To Listen

Listening helps you soak in the wisdom of others and allows you to quiet your own mind at the same time. Intense listening can help you feel content while helping you gain different perspectives.

15. Nurture Social Relationships

Positive social relationships are a key to happiness, so be sure you make time to visit with friends, family and your significant other.

16. Meditate

Meditation helps you keep your mind focused, calms your nerves and supports inner peace. Research shows it can even lead to physical changes in your brain that make you happier.

17. Eat Well

What you eat directly impacts your mood and energy levels in both the short and long term. Whereas eating right can prime your body and brain to be in a focused, happy state, eating processed junk foods will leave you sluggish and prone to chronic disease. My free nutrition plan is an excellent tool to help you choose the best foods for both physical and emotional wellness.

18. Exercise

Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer – all benefits that occur in the future – try viewing exercise as a daily tool to immediately enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.

19. Live Minimally

Clutter has a way of sucking the energy right out of you and replacing it with feelings of chaos. Clutter is an often-unrecognized source of stress that prompts feelings of anxiety, frustration, distraction and even guilt, so give your home and office a clutter makeover, purging it of the excess papers, files, knick knacks and other “stuff” that not only takes up space in your physical environment, but also in your mind.

20. Be Honest

Every time you lie, your stress levels are likely to increase and your self-esteem will crumble just a little bit more. Plus, if others find out you’re a liar it will damage your personal and professional relationships. Telling the truth, on the other hand, boosts your mental health and allows others to build trust in you.

21. Establish Personal Control

Avoid letting other people dictate the way you live. Instead, establish personal control in your life that allows you to fulfill your own goals and dreams, as well as a great sense of personal self-worth.

22. Accept What Cannot Be Changed

Everything in your life is not going to be perfect, and that’s perfectly all right. Happy people learn to accept injustices and setbacks in their life that they cannot change, and instead put their energy on changing what they can control for the better.

A Healthy Lifestyle Naturally Enhances Happiness

You may have noticed that some of the habits of happy people are one in the same with those that are essential for leading a healthy lifestyle – exercising and eating right, for example. Once you adopt a happiness mindset, and even before you do, embracing healthy habits will help keep your mood elevated naturally even in the midst of stress. 

Happy people tend to behealthy people, and vice versa, so in addition to healthy food and exercise, the following lifestyle strategies can also help to support emotional wellness:

Proper Sleep: Sleep deprivation is linked to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and bipolar depression, while getting the right amount of sleep has been linked to positive personality characteristics such as optimism and greater self-esteem, as well as a greater ability to solve difficult problems.

Animal-based Omega-3 Fats: Low concentrations of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are known to increase your risk for mood swings and mood disorders. Those suffering from depression have been found to have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood, compared to non-depressed individuals. Krill oil is my preferred source of omega-3 fats.

Regular Sun Exposure: This is essential for vitamin D production, low levels of which are linked to depression. But even beyond vitamin D, regular safe sun exposure is known to enhance mood and energy through the release of endorphins.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): If difficult life circumstances and the negative emotions they create are making happiness hard to come by, try EFT, which is a form of do-it-yourself psychological acupressure. This simple technique can help clear your body and mind of negative emotions so you can implement positive goals and habits more easily in your life.