Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy

Originally Published on Psychologytoday.com on Dec 16, 2014 By Judith Orloff M.D.

Sensitive people or empaths have an ability to be emotional sponges that can heighten when they are at a social event, around co-workers, or in crowds. If empaths are around peace and love, their bodies assimilate these and flourish. Negativity, though, often feels assaultive or exhausting.

For empaths to fully enjoy being around others, they must learn to protect their sensitivity and find balance. Since I’m an empath, I want to help them cultivate this capacity and be comfortable with it.

I’ve always been hyper-attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. Before I learned to protect my energy, I felt them lodge in my body. After being in crowds I would leave feeling anxious, depressed, or tired. When I got home, I’d just crawl into bed, yearning for peace and quiet.

Here are six strategies from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you manage your senstivity more effectively and stay centered without absorbing negative energies.

  1. Move away. When possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don’t err on the side of not wanting to offend anyone.  At the gathering try not to sit next to the identified energy vampire. Physical closeness increases empathy.
  2. Surrender to your breath. If you suspect you are picking up someone else’s energies, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power. In contrast, holding your breath keeps negativity lodged in your body. To purify fear and pain, exhale stress and inhale calm. Picture unwholesome emotions as a gray fog lifting from your body, and wellness as a clear light entering it. This can produce quick results.
  3. Practice Guerilla Meditation. Be sure to meditate before the gathering, centering yourself, connecting to spirit, feeling your heart. Get strong. If you counter emotional or physical distress while at an event, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. You can do this by taking refuge in the bathroom or an empty room. If it’s public, close the stall. Meditate there. Calm yourself. Focus on positivity and love. This has saved me many times at social functions where I feel depleted by others.
  4. Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Set clear limits and boundaries with people, nicely cutting them off at the pass if they get critical or mean. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
  5. Visualize protection around you. Research has shown that visualization is a healing mind/body technique. A practical form of protection many people use, including health care practitioners with difficult patients, involves visualizing an envelope of white light around your entire body. Or with extremely toxic people, visualize a fierce black jaguar patrolling and protecting your energy field to keep out intruders.
  6. Define and honor your empathic needs. Safeguard your sensitivities. In a calm, collected moment, make a list of your top five most emotionally rattling situations. Then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t fumble in the moment. Here are some practical examples of what to do in situations that predictably stymie empaths.
  • If someone asks too much of you, politely tell them “no.” It’s not necessary to explain why. As the saying goes, “No is a complete sentence.”
  • If your comfort level is three hours max for socializing–even if you adore the people — take your own car or have an alternate transportation plan so you’re not stranded.
  • If crowds are overwhelming, eat a high-protein meal beforehand (this grounds you) and sit in the far corner of, say, a theatre or party, not dead center.
  • Some empaths are highly sensitive to scents, if you are overwhelmed, for instance by perfume, nicely request that your friends refrain from wearing it around you. If you can’t avoid it, stand near a window or take frequent breaks to catch a breath of fresh air outdoors.

If all else fails and you absorb stressful or negative energy while at a gathering when you get home take a bath or shower. My bath is my sanctuary after a busy day. It washes away everything from bus exhaust to long hours of air travel to pesky symptoms I have taken on from others. Soaking in natural mineral springs divinely purifies all that ails.

Dr.Orloff shares more about empaths in The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy_2

Judith Orloff, M.D. is the author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. In the book she educates readers about empaths, highly sensitive people, and offers strategies for anyone who wants to avoid narcissists and transform difficult emotions to positive ones. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her LA based private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, The Power of Surrender and Second Sight. Connect with Judith on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff’s books and workshop schedule, visit her website. Republished with explicit written permission from the author. Join her empath Facebook community for sensitive souls Here.

REVITALIZING BATHS

Originally published on Solzana.com on October 15, 2018

Baths rituals have been around since the beginning of time and are used all over the world in different cultures. Renowned for their healing and therapeutic properties, baths were used in ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and Egyptians for spiritual cleansing and meditation. Even if you don’t think of baths as a form of ritual, most of us have experienced bathing in some form. Whether you were a baby receiving your first bath or soaking in your kiddie pool to escape the heat during the hot summer months. These “bath rituals”, help connect with others and refresh the mind, body, and soul. All of us have benefited from some type of bath in our lives.

Baths truly have the power to purify the spirit and help manifest our wishes.

I am excited to share the below bath rituals that I use in conjunction with my manifesting spells and Reiki.

May these enhance your life and refresh your soul! Enjoy!

ABSOLUTE SUNSHINE BATH

This bath is used when I feel drained and I want to boost my energy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup of Sea Salt
  • 2 Lemons – The Juice
  • Half a Cup of Honey
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • A few sprigs of Mint or Lemon Grass (optional)

While filling your bath with hot water, sprinkle the sea salt, lemon juice, honey, milk, & mint/lemon grass. Stir in well so that all of the ingredients dissolve. As you get towards the end of filling up the bath, change the water temperature to cold, that way to balance out the heat of the bath until it is at a comfortable temperature. Careful not to scald yourself.

Before getting into the bath, take time to imagine that the water is turning into liquid gold that is radiating light energy. Concentrate on the belief that your body will soak in this energy and increase your vitality as well as help you attract more of what you wish for. Like bees to honey, you will attract abundance, health, and happiness.

For those that are Reiki attuned: Channel Reiki energy into the water to increase the power of the above intention.

Get in, relax, and enjoy!

LOVE POTION BATH

This bath is used to increase self-love and/or to attract love.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup of Sea Salt
  • Half a Cup of Honey
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • Rose Petals

While filling your bath with hot water, sprinkle the sea salt, honey, milk, & rose petals. Stir in well so that all of the ingredients dissolve. As you get towards the end of filling up the bath, change the water temperature to cold, that way to balance out the heat of the bath until it is at a comfortable temperature. Careful not to scald yourself.

Before getting into the bath, take time to imagine that the water is radiating green and pink color light energy. Concentrate on the belief that the salt is a cleanser. That it will help release past traumas, fears, and any negative thoughts or feelings towards any past relationships or yourself. Imagine that the milk & honey will help heal all wounds and help attract true love and healing.

For those that are Reiki attuned: Channel Reiki energy into the water to increase the power of the above intention.

Remember, you must love yourself before you can love another. Get in, relax, and enjoy!

Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?

Show Me the Science - Why Wash Your Hands

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

How germs get onto hands and make people sick

Feces (poop) from people or animals is an important source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them. A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs 1. Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.

Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it.
  • Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
    Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:

  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 2, 3, 6
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58% 4
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 3, 5
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7

Not washing hands harms children around the world

About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the
world 8.

  • Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea 2, 3 and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia 3, 5.
  • Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively 9.
  • Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance 10, 11, 12.
    Good handwashing early in life may help improve child development in some settings 13.
  • Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19% 6.

Handwashing helps battle the rise in antibiotic resistance

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds) 2, 5. Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues 14. Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands frequently helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Handwashing can also prevent people from getting sick with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and that can be difficult to treat.

References

 

 

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says

Originally published on bustle.com  By Emily Dixon
Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says
By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_2

So what did the University of Pennsylvania study indicate? The researchers divided 143 student participants into two groups: a control group, who weren’t asked to alter their social media usage, and an experimental group, who were asked to limit their use of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to 10 minutes on each platform per day. They completed a wellbeing survey both before the study began and after four weeks of adhering to their assigned social media limits, rating aspects like access to social support, fear of missing out (FOMO), anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and loneliness.

At the end of the study, the students who restricted their social media use demonstrated significantly lower levels of loneliness, and those who indicated a high level of depression at the start of the study experienced a “clinically significant” reduction in their symptoms. There was no significant difference between the control group and the experimental group when it came to levels of anxiety, social support, fear of missing out, or self-esteem, however.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_1

By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Another interesting finding? Overall, both groups — even those who weren’t asked to limit their social media use — showed a decrease in fear of missing out and anxiety. The researchers hypothesised that this could be “a result of the self-monitoring inherent in the study,” as both groups were asked to send screenshots of their iPhone battery usage pages to measure how much time they spent on each app. So if a 30 minute social media cap sounds too restrictive for you, you might still experience some benefits just by keeping an eye on the time you spend online.

The researchers concluded that “limiting social media usage does have a direct and positive impact on subjective wellbeing over time, especially with respect to decreasing loneliness and depression.” Suspect that social media is negatively affecting your mental health? You might just have found your New Year’s resolution.

How to be the Person You Want to be

Originally Published on WhenWomenInspire.com  on August 31, 2018 By Christy B

How to be the Person You Want to be
Do you want to be a better version of yourself? Whether it’s being smarter, kinder, getting a better job, or finding a loving relationship, self-improvement always starts with you. As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to bring into the world.” And he wasn’t wrong. As we go steadily through our days, the only way to achieve more and find greater satisfaction with the world is by becoming the best version of ourselves. This isn’t the challenge that you might be expecting. There are a number of small but very positive steps that you can take to improve your way of thinking, boost creativity, and take you closer to being the person that you aspire to be. It also can involve removing toxic people from your life. Here is how to be the person you want to be.

The Better Version of ‘You’: Have a goal

Most people dream of being ‘better’ don’t fully understand what that means in any real terms. For those who hope to grow personally, the first step is to identify exactly what you don’t want. Without knowing what aspects of your lifestyle, personality, or habits you want to change, it is much harder to implement the right changes.

Don’t be afraid to let your goals evolve, but always have a plan and direction to head in. Having a clear idea about who you are right now and what you want to change about yourself is the first step to making the necessary changes and becoming a better version of yourself.

Make the changes to be the person you want to be

The changes you make don’t have to be grandiose. There’s no need to immediately quit your job or sign up for the gym today. Often, the smallest of changes can have the most long-lasting and positive effects. Taking up a new hobby is a good way to make a positive change in your life. There are many social and mental health benefits to choosing a good hobby. It might be pursuing a new collection or a sport you hadn’t tried before.

With so many options possible, it can be tricky to narrow things down. Unique sports like Cloud Chasing are growing in popularity, so if that’s something that you’re interested in, then invest in some quality e-liquids from Juice.co.uk. No matter which hobby you choose, your confidence can grow. You deserve to be the person you want to be.

Eliminate toxic people

The problem with toxic people is that they don’t always reveal themselves until they are already part of your life. Often, you meet them through family members, friends or at the workplace; this makes them much harder to avoid or simply cut out of your life. If toxic people are unavoidable, then you need to be firm in setting up personal boundaries.

Stop allowing toxic people to pull your into drama and irrelevant crises. Hopefully you’ll find that positivity is much easier to achieve then. Ideally, you want to surround yourself with positive influences. Those toxic friendships can detract from and overwhelm the good things in life.

The path to becoming the person you want to be doesn’t always mean making huge life changes. Take small steps, and you’ll gradually grow into the better version of yourself.

What is the Ego ?

Originally Published on Pathwaytohappiness.com on February 23, 2013 By Gary van Warmerdam

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The ego is an identity of our own construction, an identity which is false. If we take all the beliefs of what we are – beliefs about our personality, talents, and abilities – we have the structure of our ego. These talents, abilities and aspects of our personality will be attributes of our skills, but the mental construct of our “self” is artificial. And while this description might make the ego seem like a static thing, it is not. Rather, it is an active and dynamic part of our personalities, playing an immense role in creating emotional drama in our lives.

When we have thoughts about our self that we agree with we construct a self-image. The kinds of thoughts that contribute to the ego structure are:

“I’m not good at math.”
“I am smart.”
“My freckles make me ugly.”
“Nobody likes me.”
“I am better than you.”
“That was stupid of me.”

The ego hides behind the “I” and “me” in those declarative thoughts and statements about our identity.

When we have such thoughts and agree with even the slightest conviction that these ideas define us, then we are building, or reinforcing, an ego. We first have these thoughts when we are kids, perhaps when we were teased on the playground, or when reprimanded or praised by a teacher or parent. In all cultures, developing a self-image is a normal part of socialization. Problems arise, however, when that self-image is negative, inaccurate, or even overly positive. Considering that we develop our concept of “self” as children, it is inevitable that our self-image doesn’t map to reality as adults.

The Ego Unmasked

Why is the ego so hard to explain or describe? The ego is difficult to define because the ego isn’t one specific thing. It is actually made up of many different beliefs that a person acquires over their life. Those beliefs can be diverse and even contradictory. To further complicate it, each person’s ego is different. If someone were to clearly identify and describe all the parts of their ego and what it drives them to do, you might not get a good description of what yours looked like. The challenge of becoming aware of what your personal ego looks like becomes more difficult because our culture doesn’t reward us for directing our attention inward and noticing such things.

How to Spot the Ego

The ego is difficult to see, because it hides behind opinions that appear true – our attachment to descriptions of our identity – and because we haven’t practiced looking. You can get a glimpse by noticing certain thoughts, similar to those listed above. The easier way to spot the ego is by the trail of emotional reactions it leaves behind: Anger at a loved one, a need to be right, a feeling of insecurity in certain situations, feelings of jealousy that are unexplained, the need to impress someone, and so on. These emotions can be attributed to the false beliefs that comprise the ego. In the beginning it is easier to see the symptoms of resulting emotions and drama, rather than the ego that caused it.

One of the most deceptive aspects of the ego is that it generates powerful emotional reactions, and then blames us for how it made us feel. The anger we react with comes from ego based beliefs of being right and “knowing better’ than someone else. Perhaps there is also a victim interpretation of betrayal or injustice underneath. After we overreact with anger we might feel badly for what we expressed. The ego shifts to a “righteous self” that “knows better” and berates us for overreacting with anger. At the same time, it assumes the identity of being the “stupid idiot” that didn’t know any better and takes the blame for overreacting. All these attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs take place in the mind, and even though they are completely different, we assume all of them come from us. If they really were expressions coming from our genuine self, they wouldn’t contradict, and we would be able to stop them.

To the unaware person, it is difficult to discern the difference between what is ego and what is really them. They are left to wonder, “What came over me that I reacted that way?” Even their post-emotional analysis lacks the consideration to see the different parts of their belief system at work as separate from themselves. As a result, everything they express is blamed on “themselves” by one of the condemning voices in their head. In effect, the ego hijacks the analysis and turns it into a self-criticism/blame process. When the ego controls the self-reflection process you have no chance of seeing the root cause of your emotional dramas, as the ego reaffirms itself and hides in the self-criticism.

Is the ego arrogant or insecure?

“Having an ego” is usually associated with arrogance and is a term used to describe someone who thinks they are better than others. Yet this is only one part of the ego. In fact, it is possible to have some positive self-esteem and some negative self-esteem – we are aware of these different beliefs at different times. The negative beliefs about our self make up our negative self-esteem, while our positive thoughts comprise our positive self-esteem. Together, the negative and positive esteem forms our ego.

Quite often, these two aspects of our personality are nearly equal in magnitude and offset each other emotionally. A person who is very hard on themselves with their inner critic may have feelings of worthlessness. This is a painful emotion to live with, and in order to mask the pain, they might cover it up with bravado, projecting an image of security and confidence, all the while struggling with feelings of insecurity, worthlessness and inadequacy.

Arrogance is markedly different from the confidence that doesn’t come from ego. A person can be completely confident in their ability, skill, or self-acceptance, without letting it “go to their head” and impacting their interactions with others. And while humility may often be mistaken for shyness and insecurity, a person of true humility is fully present and at peace with themselves and their surroundings. Confidence without arrogance, humility without insecurity, these are manners of personality that are without the self-image dynamics of the ego.

Letting Go of the Ego

Because the ego has multiple aspects, it is not practical or effective to dissolve all of it at once, nor is it likely that you could do so. Much like a tree or large bush that is overgrown in the yard, you don’t just lift it out and throw it away – you cut off manageable pieces instead. The same approach is effective with letting go of the false beliefs that make up the ego. You begin by detaching from individual thoughts that reinforce the ego, then let go of beliefs, separating yourself from the false identity of your ego.

We have spent years building our ego self-images, living inside of them, and reinforcing them. Extracting our genuine self out of this matrix of false beliefs will take more than a few days. Yes, it will take a while… so what. It also took a while to learn to read, do math, walk, and develop proficiency at any valuable skill. Things worth doing take time and practice. What better thing do you have to do than let go of what is causing you unhappiness?

For a practical step-by-step process in identifying and changing the core beliefs that comprise the ego, sample the free sessions of the Self-Mastery series.

36 Buddhist Quotes On Life

Originally Published on Inspired-Motivation.com on June 22, 2018 By David & Mike

36 Buddhist Quotes On Life

1 “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha
2 “No one saves us but ourselves.” – Buddha
3 “Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words.” – Buddha
4 “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
5 “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
6 “Purity or impurity depends on oneself.” – Buddha
7 “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha
8 “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – Buddha
9 “To keep the body in good health is a duty.” – Buddha
10 “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” – Buddha
11 “Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.” – Buddha
12 “In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth.” – Buddha
13 “To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.” – Buddha
14 “A jug fills drop by drop.” – Buddha
15 “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” – Buddha
16 “Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” – Buddha
17 “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.” – Buddha
18 “Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.” – Buddha
19 “Give, even if you only have a little.” – Buddha
20 “Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him like a guide to hidden treasure.” – Buddha
21 “Meditate … do not delay, lest you later regret It.” – Buddha
22 “Conquer anger with non-anger. Conquer badness with goodness.” – Buddha
23 “There is nothing comparable to one who is Awakened.” – Buddha
24 “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across.” – Buddha
36 Buddhist Quotes On Life_2
25 “When watching after yourself, you watch after others.” – Buddha
26 “Resolutely train yourself to attain peace.” – Buddha
27 What we think, we become. – Buddha
28 Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts. – Buddha
29 You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. -Buddha
30 Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. -Buddha
31 Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. -Buddha
32 There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha
33 You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. -Buddha
34 Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. -Buddha
35 Patience is key. Remember: A jug fills drop by drop. -Buddha
36 Pain is certain, suffering is optional. -Buddha

The Ultimate Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Originally published on TheCut.com on June 15, 2018 By Katie Heaney

The Ultimate Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is having a moment. The first thing you should know is that it’s an umbrella term for a variety of eating patterns that cycle between eating and … not. Silicon Valley is interested, and new companies shilling fast-aiding supplements, like HVMN (pronounced “human,” of course) have popped up as a result. A forum called WeFast, organized by HVMN, boasts thousands of intermittently fasting members, who meet in Facebook and Slack chats to share tips and, presumably, to complain about being hungry.

There are a lot of ways to do intermittent fasting, and a lot of self-proclaimed experts attempting to brand their specific formulations: there’s the 18/6 model (18 hours of fasting to a six-hour window in which you can eat normally), and the 16/8; there’s the 5/2 model espoused by Jimmy Kimmel, in which fasters eat normally for five days of the week and eat only 500 to 600 calories a day on the other two; and there’s alternate-day fasting, which is mostly what it sounds like: one day, you eat normally, and the next, you eat very little, or nothing. As to why anyone would do this, motives vary, from weight loss to better cognitive function to enhanced creativity.

As is the case with most trendy diets, there’s a lot of information online about intermittent fasting, and it’s not all good. Here you can find a solid, science-backed beginner’s guide to the practice, a few different ways to do it, and the health benefits supported by evidence thus far.

So what is intermittent fasting?

According to Dorothy Sears, the associate director of the Center for Circadian Biology at UCSD, intermittent fasting can mean a lot of things. The one thing all forms of intermittent fasting have in common is the cycling pattern between eating, and not eating. But, says Sears, even what is meant by “not eating” can vary — for some people it’s very literal, as in water only, and for some people it might mean only a certain, low number of calories. There are a variety of approaches to intermittent fasting, each with their own supporters and detractors.

Sears suggests a practical model called time-restricted eating. While some studies have shown promising results in participants who eat only during short time frames, like six hours a day, Sears fears such a small window wouldn’t be sustainable over the long term, and might make fasters more miserable than it’s worth. If, for instance, you experience work stress during a fasting period, you’re likely to be less able to handle it than you would be if you’d eaten recently.

“We have these fight-or-flight hormones, like epinephrine and norepinephrine, that get secreted when you have a stressful experience, and then you can get a very quick drop in the blood glucose, where you feel a little shaky. Some people call it hanger,” says Sears. “I think that happening a lot over a long period of time is probably not good for us.”

Instead, Sears suggests a 14/10 fasting-to-eating ratio — meaning you’d eat over a ten-hour period (say, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.), and fast the rest of the time, for example. That way you can still have a social life, and still function at work, while getting all the benefits time-restricted eating provides.

Does intermittent fasting work?

In short: all signs point to yes.

Dr. Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, has been studying intermittent fasting for decades, predominantly in mice. In the late ’80s, says Mattson, there were a couple of studies that found that alternate-day fasting in mice extended their life spans by 30 percent. That finding made researchers wonder if there might be a connection between alternate-day fasting and brain function. So in studies published in the late ’90s and early aughts, Mattson tested this hypothesis, and found strong support for it. “Over two decades, essentially, we found that the intermittent fasting enhances the ability of nerve cells to cope with and resist stress, the kinds of stress that we think are leading to degeneration of nerve cells,” he says. The way this seems to work, says Mattson, is that intermittent fasting aids in the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which is known to be critical for learning and memory.

Now, an important caveat: Most, though not all, of the conclusive research done on intermittent fasting thus far has been on mice. Very few such studies exist for humans, and those that do often rely on very small sample groups. According to Sears, at the time of the review she published last year, there were only 17 studies done on intermittent fasting in humans, and most were very small. “Humans are just so different from one another that you really need to do studies on men and women, and you need to do people of different ages, and people of different disease states,” says Sears. “To do really rigorous testing of health benefits in populations you need to do large studies of lots of kinds of people.”

Part of the problem so far, Sears says, is that the NIH hasn’t funded many of the larger studies on the subject. But she hopes that will change. “When they are funded, and the studies are done, then I feel very strongly that we will start to see strong support of the health benefits of intermittent fasting.”

Mattson agrees that more support can only be forthcoming. He, along with Dr. Michelle Harvie, published a study that found that overweight women assigned to the 5/2 fasting diet lost more belly fat and had greater improvements in glucose regulation than their counterparts, who ate meals as usual but reduced their calorie intake by 20 percent. (Both groups lost equivalent amounts of weight.)

Will intermittent fasting help me lose weight?

Probably.

As with any other form of calorie restriction, evidence suggests that intermittent fasting will lead to weight loss — but again, there are some important caveats: most of the research on humans was done on those who were severely overweight or obese, and most measured weight loss over a period of a few months or less. To date, there aren’t any longitudinal studies on humans who fast intermittently, and we know that most people who lose weight eventually gain it back. This, suggests Sears, is all the more reason to pick a fasting model that you’re able to maintain.

Should I skip breakfast as part of my fast?

The verdict is still out.

While Mattson is in favor of the skipped breakfast (he claims he hasn’t eaten one in 35 years), there’s some reason to believe it really is the most important meal of the day, says Sears. “When you eat a meal, you have what’s called a thermogenic response, where your body produces a little bit of heat. You do that more readily in the morning than you do at night, so when you eat at night, you’re not liberating some of the fuels or energy that you’re eating as heat. You’re keeping all that energy in and storing it as fat,” she explains.

“We have a special hormone system in our bodies that helps us clear the sugar out of the blood, and that hormone is called insulin,” Sears says. “Insulin works really really well in the morning, and then it starts to not work so well in the afternoon, and it doesn’t work so well at night.” In other words, our bodies seem set up to process food more favorably in the morning than they are at night. “When we eat a large meal at breakfast, our bodies can handle it really well. So when it comes to intermittent-fasting regimens, I think the ones that are going to show the most promise moving forward are the ones where the food consumption is in the daytime.”

Is it okay to exercise while intermittently fasting?

Yes — in fact, it’s even better for you.

Most people work out when they can, so it might depend on where you can fit things in, but the ideal fasting and exercise setup might be to fast overnight — i.e., from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for a 12-hour fast, or 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. if you’re going for a 14-hour fast — and exercise first thing in the morning, before you eat, says Mattson. “When you’re sleeping you’re not using as much energy, so when you’re sleeping, the rate of depletion of your energy stores is slower than if you’re active,” he says. “So if you exercise in the morning, then you’re definitely going to start burning fat during the exercise. This is one thing we’ve been studying in animals, and there’s some indirect evidence in humans, that exercising while in the fasted state may amplify or enhance the beneficial effects of exercise on health.”

What am I allowed to eat or drink while I’m fasting?

Again, that depends on your fasting model.

Importantly, both Mattson and Sears say that their research suggests that animals and humans benefit from intermittent fasting even when it’s only done most of the time — whether that means doing the 5/2 model, or only doing time restricted eating during the week. “We think you don’t have to have a perfect adherence to the regimen, you just need to practice it for the most part. Five out of seven days is probably enough to see a long-term benefit,” says Sears.

So, while you’re fasting, you can have water, but you can also chew gum, or have coffee, if you want — maybe even a Diet Coke, says Sears (though she wouldn’t encourage it, either). In a study she’s currently piloting, Sears says she told subjects, “When you’re waiting for your fast to end, and you have one more hour to go, and you want your coffee, have it, but just don’t put anything in it that has calories. So if a woman wanted to have a black coffee with an artificial sweetener, she could do that.” You don’t have to be a true ascetic to make intermittent fasting work for you.

6 benefits of perilla seed oil for skin

Originally Published on SchoolofNaturalskincare.com 

6 benefits of perilla seed oil for skin

Natural Skincare Ingredients

Today we are sharing with you a fabulous oil that you may not have heard of before – perilla seed oil. We’ll be delving into the benefits of perilla seed oil for skin and skincare, what it is and how to use it.

As a School we love keeping up to date with new and exciting natural ingredients and beauty trends. These more unusual ingredients enhance your products in so many ways: by adding many beneficial properties to them, helping your products stand out from others, and being a great talking point in your marketing.

What is perilla seed oil?

Perilla seed oil is a member of the mint family and is native to Eastern Asia. This oil is a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, from which many of its health and skin therapeutic benefits are derived. Perilla oil is extracted from the plant called Perilla frutescens, which also happens to be the botanical or INCI name. It is also known as:

  • Japanese mint
  • Chinese basil
  • Shiso

Benefits of perilla seed oil for skin

Here are 6 reasons to include perilla seed oil in your formulations:

This potent oil demonstrates excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities due to the abundance of linoleic acid. This makes it a great choice for problematic skin types.
Excellent for treating aging skin – it is rich in omega-3, soothing, repairing and providing powerful antioxidant protection for mature and aging skin.
Rich in flavones, it offers potent antioxidant activity thus helping to prevent free-radical-induced damage to the skin cells, which can result in premature aging.
It also contains a compound which acts as a natural precursor for ceramides, which plays a role in maintaining the skin barrier to protect against water loss. This makes it very suitable in dry skin body oils and face products for drier complexions
The oil is naturally rich in polyphenols (particularly rosmarinic acid) and triterpenoids (particularly ursolic acid), natural molecules that demonstrate anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-allergic qualities.
This oil is a fine, ‘dry’ oil which is easily absorbed into the skin. It is non-greasy and useful for a wide variety of products.

Composition of perilla seed oil

Perilla oil contains very high levels of n-3 linolenic acid (over 50%), an essential fatty acid that plays a major role in regulating inflammation in the body as well as the skin. Perilla oil also contains high amounts of the skin-loving omega-3 essential fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Rich in flavones (plant compounds), which are heavily present in this botanical, it offers potent antioxidant activity thus helping to prevent free-radical-induced damage to the skin cells which can result in premature aging. Perilla oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial,antioxidant, and anti-allergic qualities due to being naturally rich in polyphenols (particularly rosmarinic acid) and triterpenoids (particularly ursolic acid).

Which skin types benefit from perilla seed oil?

As mentioned above it is useful for many skin types, including:

aging and mature skin
problematic skin types and acne
dry skin.

The use of perilla oil for treating acne and aging skin conditions is well known. It is rich in omega-3, which soothes, repairs and provides powerful antioxidant protection for mature and aging skin. With regular use of this oil, the skin can become clearer, calmer and toned with a refreshed look.

In addition, it also contains a compound which acts as a natural precursor for ceramides, which plays a role in maintaining the skin barrier to protect against water loss. This makes it very suitable for drier complexions.

Creating products with perilla seed oil

A fine, ‘dry’ oil, Perilla seed oil is easily absorbed into the skin. This lesser known oil can make a great addition to your skincare oils and creams.

Perilla seed oil is a wonderful addition to facial oil and serum formulations for aging skin and problematic skin.

It is also excellent in body oils and face products for drier complexions.

Free Skincare Formulation Challenge
Design a facial serum (that flies off the shelves) in 5 days!

Learn how to to formulate natural and organic skincare products that people need, want and love

– and keep coming back to buy more!

It’s FUN, FREE and starts 26th March 2018
In this FREE challenge you’ll:

  • Learn our 5 steps to creating products customers need, want and love – and keep
  • coming back to buy more
  • Design your own unique & gorgeous facial serum – with our help
  • Know how to create products for different skin types
  • Learn how to choose which ingredients to use
  • Join our tutors and your peers for a fun, interactive experience

Prizes to be won each day
PLUS be in with a chance of winning a place on our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation!

This is for you if:

  • You have some experience or no experience
  • You want to start creating your own recipes rather than follow others
  • You’d like to create a unique product range for yourself or to sell

This training is usually reserved for paid students only. For a limited time we’re inviting you too!  Go here for more info: School of Natural Skincare