What do these things have in common?

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Roses, lavender, birch trees, sweet basil, tomatoes, and coriander? They contain a compound called linalool, which produces a scent that lowers stress hormones. It’s found in over 200 species of plants and produce. And scents can calm us down because they bypass the rational, thinking part of our brain and go straight to the emotional center.

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What’s the key to happiness?

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Lower your expectations. That’s according to neuroscientist, Dr. Robb Rutledge. In experiments, he found that our happiness doesn’t depend on how well things are going – just that they are going better than expected. So if you expect a meal to be the greatest thing you’ve ever tasted, you’ll probably be disappointed. But if you don’t have any expectations, you’ll be delighted by how delicious it is. And that goes for just about everything. So like the old saying goes, “Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.” Instead, you’ll be pleasantly surprised – and happier.

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Fighting is bad for your heart!

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If you and your significant other fight and bicker all the time – not only is your relationship in trouble, so is your heart!

According to UC Berkeley, constantly fighting causes your cardiovascular system to overload… and that can damage your blood vessels. The result? High blood pressure. But avoiding fights isn’t much better. The researchers found that stonewalling – or giving your partner the silent treatment – caused muscle tension, headaches and sore joints. So, choose your battles wisely, let some things go, and when you need to hash things out – do it in a calm, rational way. Remember, you’re together for a reason. And having a loving relationship is definitely GOOD for your heart health!

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How to live a long and happy life.

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You know having close friends is one of the keys to longevity and wellbeing. But even being on good terms with your neighbors has benefits. Research from Rutgers University found that having regular, positive contact with neighbors was linked to a greater sense of personal growth, self-worth, and purpose. And all you have to do to get the benefits is wave hello – or let your neighbor borrow your hedge clippers. It’s all down to the fact that our daily lives can be enriched by seemingly minor encounters, which make us feel like we’re part of a community, and that we add value to a larger social network.

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You can boost your brainpower every time you eat out.

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Just calculate the tip in your head! According to the book “Boost Your Brainpower In 60 Seconds,” using your phone’s tip calculator robs you of a chance to exercise your brain – the same way driving to a restaurant a mile from home robs you of the opportunity to exercise your body. And unless we reinforce simple mathematical skills, our brain will eliminate those neural connections because they’re not being used. Meaning, it really IS a case of use it or lose it. So the next time you’re out to eat, figure out the tip in your head to keep your brain sharp!

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Want to have an awesome day, where everything seems to go right?

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Take a brisk morning walk! Researchers at George Mason University say exercise releases feel-good hormones, triggering a mood boost that can last up to 48 hours. Plus, starting the day on a high note creates a so-called “cascade of positivity” – where one good thing leads to another. It increases the likelihood you’ll get more done, have positive interactions with others, and have less impact from negative events. And the longer you work out, and the more social you make it – like walking with a friend – the happier you’ll feel.

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Why are so many of us afraid of the dark?

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It turns out, we can thank our caveman ancestors! According to sociologist Margee Kerr, our ancestors knew, once it was dark, that’s when predators or rivals might attack. And even after all this time, our brains still have so-called “evolutionary anxiety” associated with darkness. So, we may not be afraid of a saber tooth tiger anymore. But once night falls – somewhere in the back of our mind – we feel vulnerable and stay on alert.

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Good news if you’re worried about food allergies:

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It turns out, a new study found only about half of the people who THINK they have a food allergy actually do. And nutrition experts say that’s a big deal… because if you’re avoiding certain foods because of the way they make you feel, you may be missing out on key nutrients you need to stay healthy!

In other words: If you suspect you may have a food allergy, see an allergist for a diagnosis BEFORE you start restricting your diet for no reason.

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Want to ward off a sore throat?

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Start gargling with salt water now. Salt is anti-bacterial – so gargling will reduce the chances of bacteria or a virus latching onto you by 25%. So mix a half-teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle a couple times a day.

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Reduce your risk of skin cancer:

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Here’s a relatively cheap way to drastically reduce your risk of skin cancer: Pop a vitamin B3 supplement. The University of Sydney found a derivative of B3, nicotinamide, can prevent up to a quarter of non-melanoma skin cancers.

Nicotinamide is the water-soluble, active form of vitamin B3. It’s also commonly found in meat, fish, nuts and mushrooms.

And in a study of nearly 400 people, those who took the B3 supplement slashed their risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinomas by nearly 25%. And those two types of skin cancers account for 80% of ALL skin cancer cases. The study used a 500‑milligram supplement – but talk to your doctor about it first. And make sure you’re taking the active form of B3 with nicotinamide. That’s what turns off cancer-causing pathways.

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