What Is Social Anxiety?

what-defines-social-anxiety_path_web

Do you love canceling plans? Staying home with a blanket and watching Netflix all day sounds nicer than going out and interacting with people. Some days you feel like you have social anxiety and other days you don’t. You get the best of both worlds, huh?

But how about those who are diagnosed with social anxiety?

Social Anxiety is a mental disorder where fear takes a toll on social situations. People with social anxiety want to make friends and be engaged in social interactions– but the fear of being negatively judge take a toll.

Social anxiety is the third largest mental condition in the U.S.

According to the data, social anxiety affects about 7% of the population. These people are deemed to be shy, quiet and disinterested – even though that’s not the reason for their behavior. People with anxiety know that their condition is irrational. But their thoughts and feelings never change. Their anxiety persists even though they acknowledge the fact of their condition.

This condition usually starts when a person is young, but it can also happen in early adulthood. The causes may include genetics, trauma, and chemical imbalances. A person who has experienced a traumatic event can also gain a social anxiety from a performance as well.

People who have social anxiety may get embarrassed easily, hate being center of attention and not look into other people’s eyes when speaking. With these emotions, their body goes through negative emotional cycles. This can lead to their hearts to rest, sweating and muscle twitches.

It’s not easy for them to face their fears. It’s more complex than that. How people get help is through antidepressants and cognitive-behavioral therapy. According to “SocialPhobia” about 15% are helped by antidepressants. Though, cognitive-behavioral therapy is the one that may help for a long-term effect.

In result, social anxiety is a fear of constantly being judged by people when placed in a social situation. Though these people are mostly shy and quiet – they want to befriend and engage in conversation.

How To Fight The Sickness

You hear a sneeze.

Someone tells you that they’re “somewhat sick.” Because of this, you’re getting anxious because you already know what’s going around.

The flu bug.how-to-fight-the-feeling-of-sickness_path_web

Almost everyone hates getting sick. Even those who aren’t fully sick hate the feeling of fighting the virus inside their body. If many people are sick around you, here are some methods that can prevent you from being stuck in bed.

Stay clean

Make sure you wash your hands and keep your environment sanitized. If there are people around you who are sick, give them some personal space—for them and for you. This will help from getting in contact with some germs. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes if you think you touched an area that’s contaminated.

Orange juice and emergency-c are your best friend

The people bringing the emergency-c to work are prepared. Orange juice is known to be the number one drink of vitamin C to boost your immune system. But if you’re in a rush, do you have time to pour you some fresh oranges? Emergen-c contains about 1,000 ng of vitamin c. It also holds B vitamins and electrolytes to boost your energy. It can easily be stored in a purse or backpack. Then all you need is a water bottle—which can help you drain out the virus as well.

Steamy air

If you get a stuffy nose, that means the sickness is hitting you. Go into the bathroom and close the door, then run the shower (bath in it, if you want) until the steam fills the air. This will help open your airways to make it easier to breathe. If you want to get fancy, you can always make a fill the tub with hot water (that’s bearable to sit in) put in a bath bomb and soak in it — so you will feel like you’re in a spa as you open up your airways.

In result, keep yourself clean and away from germs. Boost up on your immune system by getting the vitamin c and drinking lots of fluids.

 

Concert Therapy: What Live Music Does To Your Health

concert-therapy-what-live-music-does-to-your-health_path_webEven though music festival is filled with a large crowd, loud music and most likely lots of alcohol—live music can actually be seen as concert therapy for those dealing with anxiety, stress, and depression.

How do musical events help you mentally?

According to StudyFinds, researchers from Goldsmith’s University in London did a study of 60 adults and their benefits in seeing live music compared to dog walking and practice yoga. Their mission was to see what activity boost mood more. The result of the study showed that 21% of the people had a mood boost after seeing a concert compared to 10% from yoga and 7% from dog walking.

When the researchers did a study on a crowd who attended a concert in the O2 Arena, many have mentioned the calling of the crowd. When participating in concerts or music festivals, it gives the participant a sense of belonging to the community.

Think about it!

The people around you are enjoying the music you enjoy and creates this connectivity between strangers. This is good for your mentality. When you engage with the music, you engage with the crowd.

There have been studies of the positive psychology of crowd engagement in music festivals.

According to a modern psychologist, Martin Seligman, “engagement is key to improve well-being.” It constructs an important factor to improve a person when a person feels like they don’t have a purpose. The music itself gives a positive emotion to people. When engaging with music, there are benefits in social, emotional, and physical domains that can bring joy to many people’s lives.

The attendance in festivals creates a community with a common purpose to connect and enjoy the same music, the same crowd and similar experiences – where they focus on the moment and themselves. It’s like as if they are all understanding the importance of the music in their own lives, but together.

Grocery Store or Home-Grown Food? Is There a Difference?

How does gardening and the grocery store affect your health level?

Most people have bought their produce at a local grocery store. Whether it’s Publix, Walmart or Whole Foods—there are many factors that come with picking a store because its produce is “healthier,” “cheaper” or “fresher.” There is a difference on how store-bought and home-grown food are processed.

Grocery:grocery-or-home-grown-food-is-there-a-difference_path_web

Before the produce gets onto the shelves, they are grown in different places—depending on the brand. There are two ways to grow the crops:

  • On the farm
  • In the greenhouse

Once the produce is picked they are packaged carefully and are sent through a refrigerated transporter to stores. The produce can travel for miles, which can degrade the nutrients it holds—especially if they contacted heat. These products are usually picked a few days before they are ripened—therefore, if there is a delay, it can ripen faster and cause a lack of fresh produce when you go and buy from the store.

Gardening:

Having a green thumb has its benefits. Not only is gardening a workout, but it lets you know how, when and where your produce is grown. You get to control your harvest such as, what fertilizer is used and what pesticides come into contact. It is said that gardening your own fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer and heart disease. The reason might be that the produce left in the garden to ripe, gain more nutrients than those that ripe on the shelves. That’s more beta-carotene and calcium supplements to protect your body from diseases.

In conclusion, you would not lose the nutrients found in grocery food. You still gain the benefits from the nutrients fruits and vegetables hold. Gardening just boosts your chances of receiving more vitamins and minerals your body needs.

 

Let’s Talk Coffee

What is it about coffee that people love so much?

Starbucks or Dunkin?
Or are you not a coffee-lover?

Initially, coffee beans are bitter. Depending on how the beans are roasted, depends on how sweet the coffee is. But is the sweetness that drives people to take the normal coffee run? Or is it the feeling they get once they sip that cup of coffee?

The caffeine in coffee mostly targets adenosine receptors, which is a brain chemical that dampens brain activity. When the message goes through, it affects another brain chemical dopamine—which deals with feelings of arousal and pleasure. Maybe that’s the feeling coffee-drinkers get.

Unfortunately, consuming too much coffee can be bad for you. According to the American Psychological Association, consuming more than five cups can affect anxiety, a headache, and excitement. Caffeine found in coffee acts like a psyclets-talk-about-coffee_path_webhoactive drug—setting the addictive factor for coffee-drinkers.

But how about the benefits of coffee?

If you search up health benefits on coffee, they’ll tell you the same thing. It will help with a longer lifespan, prevent you from receiving cancer or heart disease and may even help with Parkinson’s disease. These result first started from studies that were made across Europe. They say, that studies show that coffee can boost alertness and memory. That’s probably the main reason why you have your morning coffee, right? Yet, before you grab your Starbucks gold card, these benefits are mostly obtained by moderation. The Food and Drug Administration says it’s safe to drink about three to four cups of coffee per day. A little more can cause negative effects and a little less (for avid coffee-drinkers) can cause withdrawals.

Again, coffee in moderation is beneficial to a person’s health. Though, if you don’t like coffee you don’t have to start brewing your own drink. There are other alternatives noncoffee-drinkers can turn too for a wake-up drink!

World Health Day and Current Health Issues

what-are-current-health-issues-worldhealthday_path_webWhen you get sick, doesn’t it feel like everyone else follows?

The same concept goes for the world. Whatever happens in one part of the planet can spread epidemically. The World Health Organization (WHO) established World Health Day on April 7. World Health Day initially started in the 1950s to honor WHO for its purpose of spreading the importance of global health. According to WHO, “At least half of the world’s people do not receive the essential health care services they need.”

“Health for All”

For decades, the WHO’s motto has remained “Health for All.” Since this year is the 70th anniversary, the organization wants to act upon the universal health coverage (UHC) for all countries to enable them for the services needed for their people. UHC helps with people’s life expectancy and protects the community from epidemics. 2017 was not one of the years that America faced a disease epidemic. That doesn’t mean America can’t be affected by worldly diseases. In recent years, The U.S. had to deal with preventing the spread of Zika, Ebola, and the H1N1 virus.

How about the rest of the world?

To make it short—last year Yemen was fighting the cholera disease–leaving half a million affected and more than a thousand dead. Madagascar recently experienced a plague including cases of pneumonic plague, bubonic plague, and septicemic plague. Even though it doesn’t seem surprising to most, health professionals were a concern since the area affected was far from the usual radius that receives an epidemic. Additionally, Syria’s people have been fighting their own civil war, but what came with it was the spread of the polio disease leaving about 70 children paralyzed.

Universal health coverage

According to the World Health Organization, universal health coverage can help decrease the poverty rate in most countries – since poverty diseases are a factor. In 2018, WHO is hoping to “inspire, motivate and guide” universal health stakeholders to focus on their mission to advance the health of all people. Like their website states – according to their Director-General, “No one should have to choose between death and financial hardship. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and buying food.”

Why is Chocolate Good for You?

why-is-chocolate-good-for-you_path_web

Cocoa can help with your digestive system

Did you overstock on chocolate this past holiday weekend? Or maybe you’re one of those people who bought a few sweets during the grocery store sales. Either way, chocolate-lovers have no reason to complain because cocoa can help with your digestive system. Weird, right? Don’t start binge eating on chocolate bunnies just yet though. We’re not talking about the chocolate bars you usually buy and consume from the stores, we’re talking the chocolate that comes straight from the cocoa tree! Most of the chocolate people consume are processed cocoa beans with ingredients that contain milk and sugar.

Dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure

There have been studies to prove that dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure. Why? Dark chocolate has the most cocoa in it compared to milk or white chocolate. According to the “News In Health,” the reason why chocolate is good for you comes from the studies of the Kuna Indians who lived in the islands of Panama. Scientists thought the reason why they had a low risk of cardiovascular disease was that of their genes. Yet, the Indians who moved out of the country experienced an increase in high blood pressure. Researchers believed this was caused because the amount of chocolate these people consumed.

Panama is the 11th largest producer of cocoa beans. Therefore, the Kuna Indians had a natural source of chocolate. Dr. Brent M. Egan, a researcher at the Medical University of South Caroline, says that the Kuna Indians consumed chocolate at least “10 times more” than most people in a typical day. The Kuna Indians would have a drink with dried cocoa beans – grounded to their liking – and a drop of sweetener. So the more cocoa, the better.

Who says chocolate is not good for the heart?

Autism Awareness Day

autism-awareness-day_path_web

Today, April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day!

Autism is a mental condition and usually appears in the early stages of childhood. But it’s not a single condition. It comes from a spectrum of disorders. A person can have an autistic disorder where the persona has significant language delays, social interaction, unusual behavior and interests. But there is also Asperger syndrome—a pervasive development disorder that has milder effects than autism disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts about 1 out of 68 children in the United States are on the autistic spectrum. It has become one of the most common disorders in children development. The hallmark symptom is impaired social interactions. Autistic people may or may not understand social cues. They may not answer or respond to their name as often or hold eye contact when they speak to people. Many kids with autism even repeat their behaviors such as rocking or twirling.

So what about Asperger’s syndrome?

Before autistic disorder and Asperger’s syndrome were two different conditions. Though it’s a recent study, it shows that there is no subtype of a larger disorder. Instead, characteristics are stated making the symptoms of Asperger’s underneath the autism spectrum. It was considered to be placed on the “high functioning” end–affecting kids and adults with difficulty in social interaction. With that being said, social anxiety is different than Aspergers. Social anxiety is a symptom and is based on the social situation. People with Aspergers have significant problems with social interactions. They usually have a hard time understanding social cues and have a hard time developing social empathy.

 

 

Ceylon Vs. Cassia Cinnamon and Health Benefits

what-can-cinnamon-do-for-you_path_webDon’t you love the taste of cinnamon buns?

What about the extra spice cinnamon gives you when you take a sip of coffee? Cinnamon is known to be paired with sweetness, but is it weird to say that cinnamon is good for people with diabetes? The pure cinnamon is called Ceylon. It carries an essential oil that comes straight from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree called, cinnamaldehyde. With this type of pure cinnamon, the body can receive amazing benefits. A couple of these benefits are listed below.

Ceylon cinnamon health benefits:

Anti-clotting: Cinnamaldehyde may help with blood clots by slowing down the formation of inflammatory molecules.

Blood sugar control: If you didn’t know, cinnamon is an antioxidant that helps slow the rate of digestion after meals and improve insulin response – hence the reason it’s been said to be good for those with diabetes!

Improve colon health: Cinnamon has a source of fiber and calcium. With this combination, it helps remove bile salts from the body that can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Unfortunately, according to GentleWorld, the ones sold in grocery stores are not Ceylon — it’s cassia cinnamon.

What’s the difference?

Both are healthy, but one is toxic if consumed too much. Cassia contains a compound called known as coumarin.  In 1954, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of coumarin after they found that it caused liver damage to animals it was tested on. In the year 2006, there was a study where, even though it caused cancers in lab animals, humans could consume coumarin in small doses. According to the U.S. Department of Health, cinnamon is safe if  6g or less is consumed daily for only 6 weeks. After that, it can become toxic.

So before you go shopping for some cinnamon, try to find Ceylon. If not, make sure you’re not overdoing your cinnamon on your cinnamon rolls!

Afternoon Naps are Appreciated

They say, “sleep is for the weak.” But that doesn’t mean napping is not beneficial.

afternoon-naps-are-appreciated_path_webDr. Sarah Mednick, a psychologist from the University of California, did research that shows 15-90 minute naps can improve brain functions such as memory and creativity. Even some companies such as Google, Uber and Ben & Jerry’s added nap spaces to help their employers boost their creativity and performance. Other studies say napping can be connected to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

But according to Mednick, it depends on what kind of napper the person is. There are some people who can take a nap and feel groggy when they wake-up. Others are natural nappers where they sleep for a couple of minutes and wake-up energized. Whether or not you are a natural napper, provided below are a couple of benefits you may receive when you snooze for a bit!

Benefits of afternoon naps:

Enhance performance

Just like an 8-hour sleep, a nap can enhance performance to reduce mistakes and accidents. NASA did a study on pilots and astronauts to see if napping would help them be more awake. They found out that a 40-minute nap improved their alertness by 100 percent.

Improve memory

There has also been researched that naps can improve memory. Axel Mecklinger, Ph.D., from Saarland University had a study of a memory of word pairs. Once he said the words to the volunteered students, he examined the behaviors of those who took a 90-minute nap and students who watched a movie afterward. Everyone remembered what was said, but the nappers remembered most word pairs.

If you think an afternoon snooze will help you go on with your daily duties, grab a pillow and blanket. Then hit the couch because everyone deserves a nice brief nap once in a while. Afterall, who doesn’t like an afternoon nap?