Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.
If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.
Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives. Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.
Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.
All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..
I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing. ~ D. D. Barant.
Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night. Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health? If you do stuff that
fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.
All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so
bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
- Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
- Avoid caffeine later in the day. It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking. Smokers never sleep well.
- Booze. Don’t drink to much, especially late at night. A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest. Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the
smeggingway to being an alcoholic.
- Do not eat late at night. Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
- Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
- Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time. Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
- Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no
fuckingblue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
- Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant
son of a bitchperson who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
- Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting. If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).
One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis. There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death. All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term. (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs. Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)
Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous. And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so. All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.
you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night
There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.
Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….
The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.
For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.
There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials. In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:
- Live in a smaller place. Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
- If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company. All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
- Drive a smaller car. Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine. If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
- Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
- Learn some DIY skills. You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners. It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
- Cut out impulse purchases. On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like. All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
- Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place. A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Don’t try to buy love. It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
- Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies. You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
- Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
- Buy generic brands. Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content. Only the packaging is different.
- If you can, then buy in bulk.
- Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch. Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway. And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
- Don’t join a gym. Most of the people who have gym membership never go there. For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
- Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
- Don’t give to a big charity. (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves? The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
- Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.
And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest. Credit cards are NOT money. Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.
You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own. For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked. Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.
Some say that money can’t buy happiness. And that a fool and his money are soon parted. All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.
you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..
You can never get away from where you’ve been.
We cannot change the past, we can only change the ways feel think and feel about the past. Most people have brutal, painful, and regrettable memories of their past. Events from the past have created who we are today, and events from the past will affect us today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and maybe until the day we die and beyond…..
Some of us may say that we are OK with the past, that things that happened in our childhood and adolescence do not haunt us at all. But beware, even if you are not aware of it, everything that you have experienced in the past; good, bad, terrible, traumatic, joyful, boring….. is affecting your sub-conscious today.
Nobody, up to and including you and me, is completely at peace with their past. We cannot, and should not, forget the past. Our past creates in us feelings of anxiety, bitterness, disappointment, doubt, guilt, fear, frustration, hurt, regret, rejection, sadness….. and most of us recall and remember the negatives from our past more than we focus on the positives.
Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Some of us try to run away from our past; changing where we live, drifting from one relationship to another, changing jobs, drinking too much, taking drugs, attempting suicide, and metaphorically running away to join the circus. But none of that running away ever works, for wherever we go we take the past with us. (Even if a suicide attempt fails it will most likely do irreparable damage to the body, mind, and spirit.)
For some of us it’s even worse, because we are also affected by the past of someone who is very close to us, and emotions created by someone else’s past are incredibly difficult to deal with. This is doubly so if our ‘friend’ hasn’t themselves fully come to terms with their own past.
To be cool with the past we must first be motivated to deal with the past. We need to understand what really happened in the past, not just some biased half-memories that we use to fuel our negative emotions today. Try to find out what really happened in the past. Be willing to talk about and fully explore issues from the past. Stop pretending that everything from the past is fine, when most likely it isn’t. Acknowledge your true feelings, whether they be loss, hurt, shame, anger…..
You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. ~ Iyanla Vazant.
Depending how deeply the past affects us, we may need help to come to terms with what happened, how it affected us, and who we are today because of the past. Speaking to family and friends may help, you may need to see your doctor or a therapist, you may talk with your priest or spiritual adviser, you may need something like hypnosis, or you may just need to really meditate, read inspirational books, listen to motivational lectures, or just go for a long walk in the sunshine.
With any luck we may find out that the past is better than we feared. But, no matter if the past is better or worse than we think we remember, we cannot move on from something we don’t understand and we refuse to accept.
That’s the past for you. Not only does it come back at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but it’s set in stone. ~ Jeffery Deaver.
There may well be things from the past that need resolution. This might be very difficult, but the longest journey starts with the first baby-step. Be honest. Be self-aware. Be kind with yourself. Seek to understand yourself. Be kind and understanding towards others. And, give yourself time to heal.
A ship does not sail with yesterday’s wind. ~ Louis L’Amour
Some say that we can become cool with the past by keeping a positive outlook and a strong determination to succeed in finding joy instead of negative emotions. And, that the past only exists in our memories and imagination. All I know is that the past isn’t actually here.
If what you’re doing isn’t working,
then do something else instead.
I you’re not offending someone, you’re not doing your job.
Yesterday evening I started to write a post for today ~ or rather I began 3 different posts, and scrapped all of them. All three of those posts would have offended some of the people who follow my blog, and some of my close friends, so I junked all of those questionable posts.
I believe in absolute freedom of expression. Everyone has a right to be offended. ~ Taslima Nasrin
If you have followed my blog for any length of time you will know that I don’t shy away from offending some people, but the people I’m happy to offend deserve whatever they get, and more. I have no problem being offensive to Bankers, Politicians, Government Officials ~ and on Monday of this week I was offensive toward the disgusting sex-pests, perverts, paedophiles, and rapists who work for some ‘Big Charities’ such as Oxfam.
I’m not happy to offend the innocent who just happen to do, (or have done), some things I profoundly disagree with. That would be cruel, hurtful, hypocritical, mendacious, and vicious of me.
I try to practice ‘mindfulness’ every time I encounter a stressful feeling or negative emotion, of I am challenged by my own anger. Mindfulness grounds me in the present and stops me obsessing about the past. I can look at my feelings as though I am an uninvolved observer, rather than being at the centre of the maelstrom. That way I can act and react in a balanced and thoughtful way.
So, instead of what I intended to write about, which in each of the three cases would have been stressful, challenging, negative, and emotive ~ I’m going to tell you how I came to the decision that writing about this stuff would have been a bad idea.
These days I try to live a kind, mindful, self-aware, and spiritual existence ~ bringing inner peace and happiness to myself and those around me. Offending innocent people for no good reason than my own instant gratification is not living an ethical and spiritual existence.
I try to be accepting, understanding, and supportive to those around me. I do my best to live a mindful life. I work very hard at walking the warrior’s path to ultimate truth and inner peace. I profoundly believe that as I give to the world, so I shall receive in return.
Ergo, publishing a blog which I knew would upset and hurt some people, which would make them think that I was actually attacking them, was not who I am trying to be today. In any event, I am not perfect within myself.
When you are offended at any person’s fault, turn to yourself and study our own failings. Then you will forget your anger. ~ Epictetus
I want to make good changes in my relationships, my behaviours, habits, and routines ~ attacking someone, or a group of people, is neither good nor positive. So, I decided that I just wasn’t going to do it.
And you know what? I feel better for not publishing any of those three negative, emotive, and judgmental posts.
The posts I had half written, and then trashed were about Borderline Personality Disorder, casual sex with strangers, and the medicinal use of marijuana.
Life is an unending struggle at the edge of uncertainty.
Some say that nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes. And, that we should live in the moment, taking what joy there is to be had. All I know is that a little certainty sometimes would go a long way. Worrying about things that may happen is to create pointless pain.
Over the past few days I have been struggling to make sense of a relationship that’s important to me, and my introspection and deliberation hasn’t gone so well. Either I just do not understand my friend and why she does things, or I do not understand women at all, or both. It’s probably both.
My friend is taking a trip to England ~ going on a retreat in the Cotswolds with a weird self-improvement group. Her first trip to England isn’t to visit me, it’s to be with her group. That doesn’t make me feel good, it makes me feel very second-best. What my friend is going to do by taking this trip to England to see a bunch of other people hurts me more than just a lot. Anyhow, I hate groups. Most small groups revel in their self-righteous and introspective stupidity.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. ~ Martin Luther King.
In general I don’t much like the self-righteous people who join groups, and I don’t like group mentality. I would not join any group / association / society/ club that would willingly have me as a member. I firmly believe that groups create a vicious ‘them and us’ mentality, especially closed groups, and I despise that. It disgusts me. I firmly believe that groups close off outsiders and that people develop unhealthy relationships within the group. The whole group ethos sickens me.
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Groups can and do operate to unhealthy norms. Group members will continue to conform to norms that are quite harmful rather than healthy, even norms that run counter to society’s accepted standards of behaviour. Members of small groups can find their behaviour unconsciously regulated in a way which is not good for their physical, mental, and spiritual health due to pluralistic ignorance.
Sex, drugs, and pluralistic ignorance: smart groups do dumb things. ~ Geoff Cohen
Pluralistic ignorance is a shared delusion common in small groups. A small group can engage in systematic barbaric, harmful, hurtful, and uncaring behaviour ~ even though the individual members of the group may be good people in their own right. The members of small groups are amoral within the group, they tend to drink too much, smoke too much, use drugs, and engage in casual sex, all within the group, and those self-destructive behaviours can become the group norm. I know, I’ve seen it happen.
Sometimes most people in a group will disagree with the group norm, but nobody will ever speak out. Groupthink is a powerful thing, it’s what creates a mob mentality, a cult mentality, a harmful and poisonous bunch of people. The list of destructive groups is long and painful.
No one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes. ~ Tricia Wang.
I do not like this situation, I do not like that my friend’s first trip to England is to be with a ‘group’, and it’s making me very unhappy, which is stupid. Unhappiness should not be endured, it should be cured.
I can do nothing about some things. I can’t try to stop my friend from being in a group she says is valuable to her self-development. But I fear that this situation will end badly and painfully. Yet, I cannot change other people and what they do. I cannot even change what happens to me. All I can change is myself. All I can do is be the best guy I can possibly be; accepting, considerate, kind, reliable, and understanding. All I can do is be there for my friend.
written close to midnight on
January 30th 2018
Pouring wine onto yourself means you might be crazy.
There are a lot of crazy and insane people in this world, and I should know because I used to be one of them. Strictly speaking crazy means you’re wild and possibly aggressive, while insane means you have an abnormal view of the world. Both mean that you can’t interact normally with other people, and that any relationship you’re in is likely to lurch from one crisis to another.
Symptoms of being crazy and insane include extremes of; being intense and passionate, being unstable, doing stupid and dangerous things on an impulse, self-harm, excessive consumption of booze, taking drugs, smoking marijuana, engaging in cheap and meaningless sex, nudity at inappropriate times, mood swings, explosive bad temper, insomnia, extremes of jealousy, panic, paranoia, schizophrenia, feelings of worthlessness, depression, euphoria, and quite a few more personality disorders and character defects.
Most crazy and insane people have most of the above problems some of the time, and most of us have self-diagnosed and tried to cure ourselves with much more of the same things that drove us crazy in the first place.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein
Or we try to cure ourselves by switching from one crazy and insane set of behaviours to another~ say from depression and melancholia to copious quantities of booze and indulging in unsafe meaningless cheap sex.
I wouldn’t recommend alcohol, sex, drugs, or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me. Hunter S. Thompson
How do we know if we’re crazy and insane, or as ‘normal’ as the rest of the crazy people out there?
One person’s craziness is another person’s reality. ~ Tim Burton
Some say that if you have to ask yourself the question, ‘Am I going crazy‘ then you probably are insane and crazy. And, that if anyone else says that you’re crazy, then most likely you are. Of course, you can find Am I Insane?, Personality Disorder Tests, and Just How Insane Am I? tests online. Or, find your own online insanity / craziness tests. Your results might surprise you ~ a lot.
The last time I took one of these on-line tests, to see if I was suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I came out at the extreme bad end of the scale.
Alternatively you could just look for these attitudes, feelings, and behaviours in yourself;
- Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, jealousy, anger
- Mania, depression, thoughts of suicide
- Memory loss, personality changes and mood swings, time and place distortions and disorientation
- Talking to yourself, talking to your pets and plants, giving unwanted and unsolicited advice, believing in angels, demons, extraterrestrial abduction, ghosts, gods and goddesses, past lives, and witches.
If you suffer from / truly believe in any of the above, it may mean that while you are doing the best you can, and are thinking deeply and seriously about yourself and your issues, you’re not thinking clearly, and you may be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.
The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. ~ Nikola Tesla
Another sign of utterly crazy insanity is being addicted to anything; Alcohol, Anger, Coffee, Cough Medicine, Drugs, Food, Gambling, Jealousy, Laziness, Masturbation, Pornography, Prescription Drugs, Sex, Shopping, Smoking, Social Media, Technology, Trivia, or Work. (Trust me, people can and do get addicted to just about anything.)
Perhaps the easiest things to check to see if you really are an addict is to see if you’re suffering from; alcoholism, drug addiction, or sexual addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous have a very, very good self test that will let you know if you’ve slipped from being a social drinker to an insane boozer. There are similar self tests for drug addiction and sexual addiction.
However, the chances are that if you find yourself ever taking one of these tests, then you are already crazy, insane, and slightly weird. That doesn’t mean you are bad and stupid, it means that you’re unwell.
I’ll take weird and crazy over stupid any day. ~ Joss Whedon
Of course, another sign of being crazy, deranged, insane, peculiar, strange, unstable, unusual, or weird, is doing things in secret and lying about what you’ve done afterwards. And, lying includes lying by omission, refusing to say anything at all, and only telling part of the truth.
The problem with slightly crazy people is they do crazy things ~ and you will know this to your cost if you’ve ever dated a bunny-boiler, stalker, self-confessed witch… or any of the other strange people out there.
So if you’ve been a little bit crazy recently, acting like a sack of cats in a thunderstorm, how do you recover?
- Fully and honestly accept that you haven’t been doing so well lately.
- Figure out / try and remember just what the hell you’ve been doing that’s so bad you’re reluctant to even admit it to yourself.
- Go and see your doctor and honestly tell them what’s been going on.
- Take whatever medication your doctor advises.
- Stop self-medicating with booze, drugs, sex, or whatever.
- See a professional counsellor / therapist for whatever flavour of crazy insane you’ve been.
- Get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sleep.
- Have a good diet, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Try soothing and calming stuff; meditation, restful music, reading uplifting books, talking long walks in the forest or by the sea, yoga
- Apologise to everyone you have harmed, unless doing so will only make things worse.
- Make a solemn promise to yourself to be a ‘better’ person.
- Just get through each day without being a totally evil crazy insane wazzock, just one day at a time.
In my case I was completely crazy and insane due to a chronic lack of critical vitamins and minerals in my blood, (potassium and thiamine) ~ because I wasn’t eating properly. The symptoms of a lack of potassium, and a lack of thiamine are quite severe~ literally you go crazy insane, and possibly die.
The upside is that within a couple of days of taking prescribed, very strong, vitamin and mineral supplements I made a miraculous recovery. Today I feel very well indeed, in body, mind and spirit.
So however bad you may feel;
nil desperandum ~ carpe diem ~ noli illegitimi carborundum
and that’s crazy.
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Life is not merely being alive, but being well.
If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only will you feel better, you will also add ten or more years to your life. But, what is a healthy lifestyle? Turns out that not smoking, (nor abusing prescription or street drugs), drinking booze only in pretty strict moderation, and keeping to a healthy weight are the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking and drinking may look cool, for a short while, but after a short while those pastimes will turn an attractive women into a cackling, wrinkled, old hag.
The reason fat men are good-natured is that they can neither fight nor run. ~ Theodore Roosevelt.
Personally, I would add another three things we should all do if we want to be fit and healthy well into our senior years; get plenty of good quality sleep, get plenty of appropriate exercise, and eat a good, healthy diet. Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer a horrible and early death, from this moment on you should;
- Stop smoking. Stop smoking weed too. Smoking is dirty, disgusting, anti-social, and it will kill you in a selection of particularly nasty ways.
- Drink only in moderation. If you regularly take more than a couple of drinks in an evening, if you empty a bottle of wine in a couple of days, if you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles of spirits ~ then you have a drink problem, and eventually it will make you very ill.
- Don’t be fat, don’t be obese. It is very easy to stuff yourself with burgers, take-outs, canned food, and other unhealthy crap calories. Type 2 diabetes will make you very ill, and then it will kill you. There are three foods / ingredients you should never, ever, knowingly have in your diet; sugar-free / diet soda, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, wheat flour, wheat products.
- Get plenty of good quality sleep. Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy. Lack of enough proper sleep causes accidents, makes you stupid, kills your sex drive, and puts you at greater risk of; heart disease, heart failure and heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
- Take enough appropriate exercise. Just a daily walk can add 7 years to your life. You don’t need to join an gym and lift heavy weights. Both yoga and tai chi have a myriad of health benefits, improving your balance, control, fitness, flexibility, reducing the risks of falls, sprains, and other injuries, easing pain, and reducing the symptoms of depression.
- Have a good quality and healthy diet. And, there are lots of cool diets to choose from; Atkins, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pritikin… The key is don’t eat junk, have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat slowly and chew your food properly, and don’t stuff yourself at every opportunity.
Americans and the British are much less likely to live long and healthy lives than do the inhabitants of most industrialised western countries, and it has nothing at all to do with the standards of medical care in the USA and the UK. In fact, the Japanese have the highest average healthy life expectancy in the world ~ and it doesn’t have anything to do with either sushi or rice.
Japanese people give attention to health in all aspects of their daily life. Professor Kenji Shibuya.
Some things you can do today to work towards that fitter, healthier, happier life in your senior years are;
- Change your attitude ~ tell yourself, convince yourself, that you will be fitter, healthier, stronger, more capable, filled with self-confidence, and more self-aware.
- Get your blood pressure checked.
- Eat a better diet ~ stop eating junk.
- Stop knocking back the booze in the evenings. Especially DO NOT drink just before you go to bed.
- Stop smoking.
- Start exercising. There are both mental and physical benefits to regular exercise ~ at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. Walk, (at least) 10,000 steps every day.
- Walk don’t drive. Learn to drive in a slower, calmer, more relaxed manner.
- Don’t get stressed. Practice meditation and mindfulness ~ just relax.
- Don’t hang out with people who eat junk, smoke, drink, and slob about just watching sports TV all day. Stay out of pubs, bars, and down-market restaurants. If you can’t do those things you need to get to an AA meeting.
- And for goodness sake, stay out of hospital. Hospitals are incredibly unhealthy places to be for very long.
These are all simple lifestyle changes, and each one is pretty easy on it’s own. Taken together these lifestyle changes will make a massive difference to your health, fitness, and happiness. As a side effect you will stop throwing huge hunks of change down the drain.
A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~ Paul Dudley White.
Being angry, hateful, jealous, negative, stressed…, will all damage your physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of an early death by three-quarters.
Mens sana in corpore sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.
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All of us have to accept some anxieties.
Back in the day, when I was working all the hours God sends, I suffered terribly from the effects of stress. Everyone around me suffered too because I was bad-tempered, impatient, irritable and moody.
We all experience stress, to a greater or lesser degree. In fact without some stress we couldn’t function ~ our minds and bodies need a little stress to feel alive. However, too much stress is bad, and far too much stress can kill you.
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ~ Hans Selve
The proximate causes of stress and distress vary from person to person, but the usual suspects are: Bad News, City Life, Too Many People, Mindless Bureaucracy, Being Discriminated Against, Bullying, Work, The Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, Dysfunctional Relationships, Failed Relationships, Sex, Sexual Dysfunction, and the Death of Someone Close to You. And then you might have your own particular reason to feel that you’re under intolerable stress. Of course, there is also a chance that you are seriously mentally ill with something like Borderline Personality Disorder.
People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement. ~ Marsha M. Linehan.
The warning signs that stress is adversely affecting your mental and physical health are;
- Apathy and Depression
- Chest pains
- Drinking too much
- Inability to relax
- Intolerance of and over-reacting to noise and disturbance
- Irritability and a bad temper
- Lack of concentration / brain fog / poor memory
- Palpitations (oh Gods, did I suffer from heart palpitations!)
- Tiredness and an inability to get things done
The symptoms associated with stress are in themselves so distressing that they are likely to make you even more stressed.
Many of us will approach our doctor if we feel under intolerable stress and are suffering from one or more of the very serious symptoms listed above. What your doctor is most likely to do is prescribe you some powerful psychoactive drugs; Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lexapro, Librium, Paxil, Prozac, Tofranil Valium, Viibyrd, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft… to name but a few of the very powerful chemicals your doctor could give you.
All of these drugs come with a load of side-effects, from tiredness, to sexual dysfunction, to feelings of dread, to wanting to commit suicide… Reading the leaflets that come with these drugs can be a very sobering experience. In my experience these drugs will either detach you from reality so you don’t worry about anything at all, or they will have an adverse effect.
If you’re lucky, then your doctor will also / instead refer you to some ‘talking therapy’ such as; Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Gestalt, Group Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, and Psychoanalysis. Alternatively you could take yourself off to a 12-step group like Alcoholics Anonymous.
I love going to my AA meetings and I don’t think I will ever stop. ~ Davina McCall
Drugs act fast, but all they do is mask the symptoms and make you ill from the nasty side-effects. Talking therapies and 12-step meetings will eventually make you well again ~ but the key word there is ‘eventually.
So what can you do to help yourself overcome stress?
Breathing is good. I mean slow deliberate breathing with serene and peaceful visualisations is good.
When I was under extreme stress I would take myself off to somewhere quiet, maybe into a church or public garden or down to the beach, stand or sit, or lie down comfortably, and really slow down my breathing, and at the same time I would breathe very deeply. Concentrating on my breathing I would listen to the sound of each breath, imagining it was the gentle sound of soft surf washing in and out on a white sandy beach under a blue sky. My breathing in and out exactly matched the sea gently washing in and out. After just a few minutes of this breathing exercise I always felt immeasurably more peaceful, and ready to face the next thing the day was going to throw at me.
Learning how to relax is the cornerstone of helping yourself to overcome stress.
‘Ha!’ You say; ‘If I knew how to relax I wouldn’t be so stressed…’
Breathing exercises are recommended by doctors and psychiatrists everywhere as a method of relaxation to overcome stress and anxiety.
Being better organised also helps alleviate stress. The best way to begin being better organised is to start writing things down, keep a journal, keep your diary and day-planner up to date, make lists, always have a to-do list, never go shopping without a shopping list… If you think of something you need to do, write it all down and then stop worrying about it.
Break big tasks into a number of smaller parts, and write a list of those smaller tasks with the date and time they need to be completes ~ then stop worrying about it all.
Learn how to say NO. Being at everyone else’s beck and call all the time is a sure-fire way to put yourself under extreme stress.
Stop using social media first thing in the morning, or late at night, and especially don’t look at crap like Twitter and Facebook when you are pressed for time.
Get plenty of good quality sleep. It’s hard to sleep when you’re under stress. If you really have insomnia, then it may be worth asking your doctor for something to help you sleep. But only rely on sleeping medication for a couple of weeks ~ these drugs are addictive.
Make reducing the stress in your life your #1 project, something you practice all the time, every single damn day.
Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not. ~ Valerie Bertinelli.
And please, please don’t resort to booze or recreational drugs, they make things worse very fast, and you can trust me on that one.
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A gluten-free diet is more than just a fad.
Some say that gluten is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease. And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition. All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you. Especially genetically enhanced, chemical laden, pesticide sprayed, modern American wheat is really, really bad for you. If you have the sense your mother gave you, then you should stop eating anything made from wheat.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are direct results of American agriculture policy and, specifically, the government’s wading into the food arena. ~ Joel Salatin.
Gluten is what makes flour and water as sticky as glue. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like; wheat, spelt, rye, barley, bulgur, oats, and seitan. There is no gluten in either quinoa or rice. Nor is there any gluten in potato or beans. However gluten is found in almost all processed and packaged foods, sauces, and canned food.
Non celiac gluten sensitivity is poorly understood, and there are no specific medical tests of your blood, stool, or urine that can reliably diagnose gluten intolerance. You and your doctors can only reliably diagnose gluten intolerance by the symptoms and health problems you have. On the other hand, there are reliable diagnostic tests for full-blown celiac disease.
- Irritable bowl problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Irritation of the mouth and throat.
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, problematic memory.
- Frequent headaches.
- Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability.
- Low energy and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Muscle and joint pains. Osteoporosis.
- Peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
- Skin problems, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, skin rashes.
- Nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, anemia.
- Asthmatic attacks.
- Higher risk of learning problems including autism and ADHD.
- Sexual problems and in women missed periods.
- Gut autoimmunity, damage to the gut biome
Gluten intolerance will affect every single part of the body as the bacteria in your gut help to control everything from nutrient absorption, to hormone production, to metabolic function, to the way your brain works.
The problem is that gluten from wheat is found in just as many products as that other evil and unnatural food; high fructose corn syrup. One should read the labels before buying any food, and certainly avoid these foods
- bread, crackers, pizza, burritos, tortilla, cakes, cookies and the like
- beer, lager, stouts, ales
- barley malt
- packaged, store bought chicken broth
- malt vinegar ~ buy natural organic apple cider vinegar instead
- most salad dressings including mayonnaise
- veggie burgers unless they are certified gluten-free
- soy sauce
- packets of seasonings and spice mixes
- noodles unless they are rice noodles
- all pasta, (unless it’s marked gluten-free)
- most condiments
- non dairy creamer
- bullion cubes and stock cubes
- canned soups
- cheese spreads and other processed cheeses
- sausages and hot dogs
- ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk unless it’s from grass-fed cows.
- Sour cream, which may contain modified food starch.
If you are even mildly gluten intolerant you will need to be very careful when eating out. Eating out is fun, however,when eating out becomes the norm, and you find yourself eating out two, three, or more times a week, then eating out is no longer a healthy treat and is instead a bad habit. If you are gluten intolerant dining out is very bad for your health. The same goes for buying Chinese take-out which is likely to be stuffed with MSG, (Monosodium Glutamate). When eating out avoid fried foods, thickened sauces, and obviously bread. Only drink gluten-free booze such as cider, wine, spirits and liqueurs, (there are gluten-free beers). And, if you’re drinking spirits don’t have diet soda as your mixer ~ diet soda is also bad for you.
Some say that gluten intolerance might really be glyphosate poisoning. And that pre-harvest spraying of wheat and sugar cane with Roundup makes for an easier harvest. All I know is that I don’t want to eat food contaminated with weed-killer.
Glyphosate is for sure, in every bite of food that contains wheat. ~ Nancy S. Mure
As it goes, wheat flour and refined sugars are just so very bad for you that your best choice is to avoid them all together. The list of health problems caused by these two staple foods is both long and nasty.
You may want to look for non-gluten alternative foods and products, and there are lots of these if you make the effort. Personally I have merely given up anything made with wheat flour, including; bread, cakes, pizza, pasta, cookies, canned soups… ~ and I now also make an effort to read the labels on the stuff I buy at the supermarket.
For most of us, giving up bread and beer is a pretty easy and very beneficial thing to do.
If you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour, you know it makes sense.
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