Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to Move On After a Break Up




Sometimes going through a break up (irrespective of who initiated it)  leaves you with a big challenge of moving on. Dwelling on any break-up is not emotionally healthy and keeps you from re-discovering your needs and wants from a relationship.  Sometimes a break-up can even be a good thing because it will give you a chance to re-evaluate your life, and maybe even lead you to find someone more suitable.


1. Accept the Reality. Give yourself plenty of time to heal and recuperate. Remember that time heals all wounds. Put away pictures, gifts or any mementos that remind you of your ex. It is natural to experience feelings of denial, but do your best to resist the urge to call your ex and ask to get back together. Immediately after a break-up, you are at your most vulnerable state, so be careful not to get into a rebound relationship that may prove to be a mistake. Avoid some of the pitfalls, such as drowning your sorrows in negative pursuits, and instead channel all of your energy into positive activities that make you feel good about yourself.


Accept the fact that the relationship is over. Do not give yourself unrealistic fantasies that you might get back together one day. Respect the fact that the relationship had its time, but has no ran out ways to work. This was a chapter in your life that has now closed and you are now ready to grow and enter another chapter of your life.


2. Learn from It. Everything is a learning experience, so use it your advantage! Look over your relationship and list what went good about it and what went wrong. Use these notes as a tool to improve your relationships skills.


3. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones. Talk about how you're feeling and allow them to comfort you and offer you advice. A break-up can be a very lonely experience, so surrounding yourself with others you love and trust will help to erase some of the loneliness. Don't try to deal with the experience all by yourself. Keep yourself busy doing things you enjoy with the people you love, and don't dwell on the past.


4. Never Generalize. Going through a break up does cause you emotional withdrawal and pain, which may cause you to generalize everyone you meet. Keep in mind that everyone is an individual with their own unique qualities and personalities and your encounters with them will not carry the same experiences as your ex-relationship.


5. Focus on You. Take some time to get to know yourself again before you get involved with someone else. Know what you really need and deserve and what you are ready to give another person. When you are sure about what you are willing to give and to receive, you will be able to find a partner who will suit you well.

Take some time off for yourself and get away from the world for a while. Use this time to reflect on your life and expectations for the future. Enjoy your time alone with relaxing activities such as reading, taking long baths, watching your favorite movies or engaging in a favorite hobby or pastime. Basically, take this time to do whatever makes you feel the most relaxed and calm. Clear your mind of all negative feelings to help you slowly let go of any lingering bitterness.


6. Consider getting back into meeting new prospects after you have given yourself adequate time to get over your last relationship. Allow yourself to fall in love again and enjoy the start of a new relationship. Be careful to not rush things and take the time to really let your partner into your life. Take care not to be consumed in this new union, or any other relationship, for that matter....you never know when another break-up may happen.


Tips and Warnings : 


If you don't feel like you are recovering from your breakup after a significant amount of time, seek professional help. You may be suffering from clinical depression.


Even though things may seem hopeless after a relationship break up things do get better. You will get over your ex and after you grieve a while it’s time to move on with life.


Whatever you do, don't let a break-up get you down. Yes, easily said than done, BUT, Remember that everyone experiences break-ups regardless of age, race, class or social status. Even celebrities go through bad break-ups, so don't let the end of a relationship destroy your self-esteem.

Futher Reading : How to Mend a Broken Heart

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Coffee Can Save Your Brain


Drinking coffee, by and large, is one of modern man’s exquisite pleasures. Coffee literally perks one up from the doldrums of everyday life. It elevates one’s spirits whenever it is needed.
“A daily dose of caffeine blocks the disruptive effects of high cholesterol that scientists have linked to Alzheimer’s disease. A study in the open access publication, Journal of Neuroinflammation revealed that caffeine equivalent to just one cup of coffee a day could protect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) from damage that occurred with a high-fat diet.”
We’re all equipped with a blood-brain barrier, which acts as a filter to isolate the brain from chemicals found in your body that shouldn’t be in your brain. One reason high cholesterol is bad for your brain is that it damages the blood-brain barrier to the point that it’s not as good at keeping harmful chemicals out.
Though this study found that daily caffeine helps protect the blood-brain barrier in rabbits, it’s still (sadly) too early for coffee drinkers to cast away fears of fat intake. Even if the results translate to humans, a high-fat diet is bad for your body and brain in a number of other ways. Still, this is one more reason to appreciate your morning java.
Through the years, it has been discovered that coffee, aside from the pleasurable drink that it is, actually helps boost a person’s health in so many ways. 
Coffee as an Antioxidant.
Grapes, cranberries and dates are high in antioxidants aside from their vitamins and minerals. Yet, people get more antioxidants from coffee than from these fruits or other vegetables.
One reason we get our antioxidants from coffee is that we simply consume more of it than any other source of antioxidants. According to a study by Nestle Research Center in Switzerland, coffee has four times more antioxidants than the famous green tea. It has also more antioxidants than cocoa, herbal teas, and red wine.
One other good thing is that both decaffeinated coffee and a regular brew have the same antioxidants. Decaf or not, coffee helps people fight off damaging effects of free radicals. Oxidation is a normal process that breaks down chemicals in our bodies. However, it also creates free radicals which can attack our cells. (Tobacco smoke and radiation can also create free radicals.)
Left alone, free radicals can cause permanent body damage. Antioxidants, which have also been linked to protection against heart disease and cancer, round up and neutralize these damaging radicals in the system.
Coffee as a Stimulant.
The caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant. This is why it is a perfect morning beverage to start the day. Recent studies have also discovered additional stimulants not related to caffeine. It is a chemical agent, unknown as yet, that induces production of cortisone and adrenaline, two stimulating hormones. Tip: If you want coffee to keep you alert, drink small amounts of coffee throughout the day.
Coffee Enhances Short Term Recall and Increases IQ.
In tests, people who regularly drank coffee were found to perform better in simple reaction time, incidental verbal memory, and visual-spatial reasoning. Another study showed that women over 80 years old who regularly drank coffee throughout their lives performed significantly better on cognitive tests.
Coffee and Diabetes.
There have also been discoveries on the beneficial connection between coffee and diabetes. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham Women’s Hospital have found that the participants in their study who regularly drank coffee significantly reduced the risk of the onset of type 2 diabetes, compared to non-coffee drinking participants. Their findings appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan. 6, 2004 issue.
Coffee and Fiber.
The presence of fiber in coffee seemed a dubious idea at first. But recent findings in Spain suggest that the levels of soluble fiber in coffee are higher than those found in wine and orange juice. This is the fiber that helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines. One interesting note: the fiber is higher in instant coffee than in freshly ground coffee.
Coffee as an Analgesic.
It has also been found that caffeine increases the effectiveness of pain-killers, especially migraine and common headaches. (caffeine is included in the formula of some headache drugs) Since regular coffee contains caffeine, coffee can help in significantly toning down simple headaches and migraine.
Coffee and Other Diseases.
There are other diseases that coffee seems to fight off. A recent study (2009) found that moderate coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of developing dementia in addition to Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee drinkers are likewise significantly less likely to contract Parkinson’s disease later in life. It has also been shown that coffee can reduce the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver and a primary liver cancer with cirrhosis. The same is true of coffee’s consumption correlated to reduced risk of oral, esophageal and pharyngeal cancers.
All in all, coffee has been through many scientific studies. The old myths about coffee have been banished. Formal scientific discoveries though the years have uncovered significant positive health benefits associated with coffee drinking. Let’s have a coffee toast to that.
Sources :


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Depression




What is Depression
The word 'depression' is used to describe everyday feelings of low mood which can affect us all from time to time. Feeling sad or fed up is a normal reaction to experiences that are upsetting, stressful or difficult; those feelings will usually pass.

If you are affected by depression, you are not 'just' sad or upset. You have an illness which means that intense feeling of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness are accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy, or physical aches and pains.

Sometimes people may not realize how depressed they are, especially if they have been feeling the same for a long time, if they have been trying to cope with their depression by keeping themselves busy, or if their depressive symptoms are more physical than emotional.

Here is a list of the most common symptoms of depression. As a general rule, if you have experienced four or more of these symptoms, for most of the day nearly every day, for over two weeks, then you should seek help.
  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Persistent sadness
  • Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting
  • Undue feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual
  • Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends
  • Finding it hard to function at work/college/school
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of sex drive and/ or sexual problems
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Thinking about suicide and death
  • Self-harm

Eight ways you can help someone with depression
  • 1. Remember that they cannot help being affected by depression.
  • 2. Encourage them to talk and listen to what they are saying.
  • 3. Let them know that you care about them.
  • 4. Stay in contact with them. Send a card, give them a ring, visit them in their home. Remember that depression can be a very isolating experience.
  • 5. Help them to feel good about themselves by praising daily achievements.
  • 6. Encourage them to help themselves by adopting self-help techniques.
  • 7. Find out about support services available to them and to you (self-help groups, out of hours emergency support, helplines, etc). Put them in touch with Depression Alliance.
  • 8. Encourage them to visit their doctor, and ensure that they take any prescribed medication as directed.
Talking to someone who is depressed

DO SAY
  • 1. You're not alone in this.
  • 2. You are important to me.
  • 3. Do you want a hug?
  • 4. You are not going mad.
  • 5. We are not on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through.
  • 6. When all this is over, I'll still be here, and so will you.
  • 7. I can't really understand what you are feeling, but I can offer my compassion.
  • 8. I'm not going to leave you or abandon you.
  • 9. I love you (if you mean it).
  • 10. I'm sorry that you're in so much pain. I am not going to leave you. I am going to take care of myself, so you don't need to worry that your pain might hurt me.

DON'T SAY
  • 1. There's always someone worse off than you are.
  • 2. No one ever said that life was fair.
  • 3. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
  • 4. So, you're depressed. Aren't you always?
  • 5. Try not to be so depressed.
  • 6. It's your own fault.
  • 7. I think your depression is a way of punishing us.
  • 8. Haven't you grown tired of all this me, me, me stuff yet?
  • 9. Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.
  • 10. Have you tried chamomile tea?


Personal Experience
I managed to survive all the 'Don't Say' list from various people in my life. It is no wonder many depressed people end up rock bottom or no more when they have such people around them…but it's no one's fault….it's just ignorance, no awareness or knowledge on the subject, not knowing that they are doing more harm than help. Thank You to those who made it a point to understand the illness and handle it in the right way. 

Depression is NOT a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you have been trying to be strong for too long. 1 in 5 of us will suffer at some point in our lives.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eating Fresh Fruit





This is very informative!


Eating fruit on an empty stomach plays a major role in detoxifying your system, boosting energy reserves and helping with weight management. It is important to know how and when to eat fruit.
What’s the correct way to eat fruit? Fruit is quickly and easily digested, gentle on the stomach and floods the body with energy, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Which is why, ideally, you must eat fruit on an empty stomach. 

Eating fruits after a meal may cause bloating. If you eat food before you eat fruit, the food starts reacting with gastric juices but will not be absorbed into the body because the fruit is preventing it from doing so. This will cause acidity, gas and bloating. Secondly, some fruits are high in fructose (sugar found in fruits), and when digested by your body, a gas may be produced in your large intestine through fermentation if your body's ability to metabolize the excess fructose has exceeded. This happens especially in persons who have fructose malabsorption, where they should absorb fructose in limited amounts. 



FRUIT FACTS



  • Most fruits especially citrus fruits are acidic, but they will turn to alkaline in your body after they have been metabolized.
  • Fruits are the roots of health, energy, and longevity. We do not recommend fruit juices in a can or bottle, especially soda-mixed fruit—soft drinks that may be against your health and beauty. Moreover, it may create stress later on, since they can destroy all nutrients especially vitamins in the body.
  • It is best to eat whole fruit rather than drinking the juice of it, because juicing will reduce the fruit's fiber content.
  • Most fruits have no cholesterol.
  • Fruit stimulates our minds and helps recall memories. Don't you know that fruits have healing effects for many diseases as well as the mind? Aside from it, the majority of beautiful girls love to eat fruits. Fruits may be the key to beauty.
  • Scientifically, fruits contain more medicinal properties than other foods. Is it the reason that fruitarians are healthier than average people?


SOME FRUIT BENEFITS :
KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.
APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.
STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.
ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.
WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene — the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.
GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content.. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.
  • Resveratrol found in red grapes and anthocyanin found in cherries, blueberries, kiwi, plums and blackberries helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases at bay. 
  • Guava, oranges, papaya and indian gooseberry are very good sources for vitamin C an antioxidant.
  • Mangoes and papaya are excellent source for beta carotene. 
  • Dried fruits are good source of energy and iron and can be added in the breakfast cereals.
  • According to recent studies consuming cherries or cherry juice helps to relieve the pain caused due to gout, arthritis and joint inflammation.

  

References : From various medical, Health food and Food Science research articles.

Footnote : Did you know that it is sunnah to have fruit before a meal? :)



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To All Mothers - My Story


original post was on Mother's Day Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 12:00am


I've carried each of my 3 babies within my body. I've Slept with them on my chest and Breast fed them or pumped out milk till I bled from my nipples. I'll never forget the first time my babies wrapped their little hands around my finger, when they took their first steps. I've kissed boo boos & kept them close. I even gave up my career to have the previledge of being with them 24/7. I've been puked on, peed on, pooped on & spent sleepless nights when they were babies & nursing them when ill, …but I wouldn't have had it any other way.  

I have made mistakes being a Mum and Sometimes more than I'd like to admit. But I will always be there for them when they need me, to listen, to advise, or to share an emotional moment or an event…and I will tell them things they don't want to hear. They drive me absolutely nuts sometimes... But I wouldn't trade them for the world. I know I do not show it much outwardly now that they have grown up…but it is strong and deep and I will protect them with my life if it ever came to that even. Most of All…I Will love them unconditionally with all of my heart till my end and no one can take that away from me. 

This is my story and I am sure similar in some ways to most mothers. I dedicate this to all Mothers.

May the sun shine, all day long, everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true! Wishing you all the love and happiness you so richly deserve…
Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers and especially to my own Mum!

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Notes from Others :

** Mothers , go through so much for us, and we go through life forgetting about them, they brought us to this world, raised us , protected us, and we don't cherish them ..... So dedicate this moment to all moms dead/alive, her children died or in labor now, young or old, that Allah always guide them, forgive their sins, reward them with Jannah, and ease their pains and sorrows !!! ..... :D (zak)

** Things will go back to normal. People cursing, stealing from, abusing and ignoring their moms. If you truly love your mom then the second Sunday in May shouldn't be any different than the other 51 Sundays in the year. Show her how you feel every day so you won't feel obligated to buy her a gift, when in all actuality you probably could not care less. - 


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