How Reading Can Help You Cope With Anxiety

The feeling of anxiety is something people deal with in our daily lives. Others have to manage it every day. But regardless of how often it bothers you, we can all agree that it isn’t easy to deal with.

There are many ways to combat that anxious feeling. Altering your diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep are some of these ways. But did you know that reading can help as well?

A Study On Novels

A study on this was conducted back in 2013 at Emory University in the United States of America. Results found that reading novels were good for the brain. It enhanced brain connectivity and improved overall brain function.

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The study also had another interesting finding. Brain activity associated with physical movements and sensations suggested that reading novels could transport the reader into the body of the main character. These feelings persisted long after the reader finished it.

Reading a great story can help us experience the hero or heroine’s journey. That’s a given. But who knew it could also improve our neural networks?

There’s a term used to describe this phenomenon. It was first coined in 1916 by a Presbyterian Minister named Samuel M. Crothers. He called the therapeutic effect brought about by books bibliotherapy. “Biblio” in Greek is “book.”

The Benefits Of Reading

Novels and the stories they weave bring about a lot of benefits. These benefits help in reducing anxiety and can also better the overall state of your mental health. So, why should you read regularly? Here are five reasons.

 

  • It helps in reducing your stress levels.

 

Stress is a good thing. It gives people a sense of urgency that convinces them to do their work. But too much of it is a bad thing. One way to manage your stress levels is to read.

Research has suggested that reading for a minimum of six minutes can reduce one’s stress by up to sixty percent. It eases both the physical and mental tensions that you feel.

 

  • It’s a healthy form of escapism.

 

The term “escapism” has a negative connotation. It makes it sound as if people are ignoring their problems and focusing on useless fantasies. Contrary to popular belief, it helps people a lot if practiced in moderation.

Reading books, especially novels, is one form of healthy escapism. Are you feeling overwhelmed by all your work or academic requirements? Why not pick up a book and be transported to another world for a while?

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By doing this, you momentarily forget all of your current problems and get lost in a story. After that, you’ll be able to tackle what you need to do with a refreshed mind.

  • It gives you some perspective.

Characters in books go through a lot throughout the story. Many of them have beliefs and personal philosophies that could be different from ours. Reading through their journey and understanding their mental processes can be interesting. They can give you insights that you’d never get anywhere else. Acknowledging that there are many perspectives apart from your own is humbling.

Who knows? Maybe the solution to whatever problem you’re facing is in the book you’re reading. Shifting your way of thinking by adopting a new mindset can help you solve a problem in a way you never thought to before. It may also improve the quality of your life.

  • It can make you more compassionate to other people as well as to yourself.

Anxiety brings about a lot of other adverse side effects. It includes self-deprecation, feelings of inadequacy, and even shame. Getting rid of these feelings is not at all easy, but reading can help you work towards that.

Research suggests that reading can increase your level of empathy. It’s a skill that helps you understand what people are feeling. It gives you a solid grasp of the spectrum of emotions that humans experience. Empathy does not only apply to other people. It also applies to yourself. It can help you understand the emotions you’re feeling. By doing that, you’ll be able to go easier on yourself.

  • It physically relaxes you.

Anxiety as a mental disorder has physical symptoms such as increased blood pressure and heart rate. These symptoms tend to worsen the state of your mental health. Luckily, reading can help in alleviating these symptoms. Studies show that reading can lower one’s heart rate and ease muscle tensions. By relieving the physical symptoms of anxiety, reading helps you think more clearly.

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And that’s five benefits brought about by reading. Who knew that a stack of bound paper on the table could bring about so much good?

Healthy Hobbies To Reduce Your Anxiety

It’s true that you can’t solve anxiety overnight. It can take months and even years of treatment to address this problem. However, there are also small changes in your life that you can make to help manage your worries. Here are some habits you should consider incorporating into your daily routine.

Cut Down On Caffeine


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Coffee is an absolute “must” for many of us. However, the caffeine in our daily drink can be responsible for our anxiety. Those who don’t drink coffee aren’t safe either. Caffeine is also in tea, chocolate, and even ice cream. Having too much of those can also affect you negatively.

Thankfully, you don’t have to cut it out completely. You can reduce your caffeine intake by being more mindful of what and how much you drink or eat. Limit your coffee intake to about two cups a day or switch to black tea which has less caffeine.

Enjoy Some Quiet Time

When you suffer from anxiety, daily life can feel chaotic. You’re always worrying over past or future events that you forget to slow down and enjoy the present. One habit to help you lessen this feeling is stopping what you’re doing and enjoying some quiet time.

Find a perfect spot, close your eyes and focus on how you breathe. Clear your mind of anything other than breathing in and out. If you find your thoughts wandering, redirect it back to meditation.

Take Social Media Breaks

We tend to compare our lives to others’ when we spend too much time online, bringing us distress. There’s also anxiety from negative news that people share. Some people also worry about validation online, wanting their photos and posts to receive a lot of likes or attention.

Disconnect for at least a day every week. Turn off the Wi-Fi if you must. For extra help, you can even download an app that can block out these sites for a while. If you find that you can’t avoid Facebook and other websites, try to lessen your visits instead.

Clean Your Space

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A cluttered mind can mimic your environment. Clear up your work area, bedroom, apartment or home. Take out the trash, sweep the floor, and find a proper place to keep your things. A clean house boosts your physical and mental health.

Similarly, take a hint from Marie Kondo and get rid of things that don’t make you happy. If something in your space reminds you of a negative experience, toss it out. You want your home to be a relaxing place where you feel safe from stress.

Similarly, the act of cleaning can be relaxing for many people. It gives us something to focus on something outside of our usual daily activities.

Enjoy Some Downtime

We sometimes become anxious because we feel like we always have to do something. Your planner and to-do list are full of activities that you have to tick off. However, it’s crucial for your mental health to have downtime. Your body was not meant to be always working.

Find something you enjoy doing. You could sit down with your loved ones and watch a movie. Have a Netflix and chill night with your significant other. Go out for a massage. Whatever you find relaxing, be sure to set aside time for them.

Write It Down

Sometimes, the best way to rid ourselves of anxiety is to let it out. However, not everyone is comfortable opening up to people. Similarly, there isn’t always someone available to listen to you. As an alternative, you can jot down what you’re worrying over. After you write it down, toss the paper out. It’ll feel cathartic and symbolic of getting rid of your anxiety for now.

Listen To Music

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Playlists are a common thing on music-streaming sites today. You’ll find ones that people curate especially for a workout, for studying, and for relaxation. This trend is because music can affect your mood. So when you’re feeling anxious, reach for your phone and look for a playlist that can help calm you.

Summary

When it comes to anxiety, you can manage it by making small additions to your daily routine. These can include listening to music, spending five minutes of quiet time, remembering to have downtime, and distancing from social media. These small changes can seem small but can make a difference in your life. Try taking up some of these habits and keep your worries under your control

Why It Is Hard To Be Mentally Healthy Nowadays

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Would you believe that the world we live in today is designed to kill us? For some reason, the goal of innovation has been secretly promoting health problems, both physical and psychological. It is somewhat contradictory to what humanity aimed for which is to make life easier and happier. Now, life is more like quicker. Maybe someone believed that short life is more meaningful especially when you spend it on pleasurable things, enjoying modern advancement. Read more

Understanding Panic Attack

 

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The sudden surge of unpredictable and overwhelming fear is what we call a panic attack. It comes without warning and often happens without an apparent reason. Sometimes, the distressing bodily symptoms, where people somehow think are normal, accompany the condition. However, the panic attack is far more intense than being stressed out and pressured.

 

The Signs And Symptoms

The symptoms of panic attack are commonly related to physical discomforts, some of which are dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, pounding heartbeat, trembling, sweating, shaking, choking, tingling fingers and toes, churning stomach, and chest pain. In unfortunate circumstances, those people with depression and anxiety disorders may suffer a terror that is almost paralyzing. The panic attack makes them lose control of themselves and exaggeratedly think about dying. There are hot flashes, sudden chills, acidity, diarrhea, and indigestion as well.

Most individuals experience occasions of panic attacks and sometimes seems to fear to have it in the future. This instance changes their behavior, emotional approach, and mental state. It affects their lives in a way that these signs take over their general well-being. Though panic disorder is not that dangerous or life-threatening, its persistent cycle of fear is what makes it terrifying. Having uncontrolled fear gives an idea that everything is seriously wrong. From there, people often lose control of their thoughts and actions.

 

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Why Panic Attacks Occur

The primary reason why panic attacks happen is that people often misinterpret the utterly not detrimental but frightening signs and symptoms of anxiety. They usually don’t have the knowledge to identify the difference between reality and imagination. The lack of understanding locks individuals into a “fear of cycle” that negatively feeds mental illness and disorders.

It may seem that most people are well-informed about mental disorders, particularly panic attacks, but they are not. Only the exact and direct experience can create a connection through proper intervention and resolution. That’s because the brain receives the significant reaction on a particular moment of pursuing the start of the recovery. However, not experiencing it doesn’t mean people should ignore its explained information. Though the steps of understanding it are quite simple because it is related to anxiety and depressive disorders, some people are still confused with its definite description.

 

The Intervention

In terms of knowing what to do with the condition, there are some ways to address it. Therapy and medication enable a controlled step-by-step procedure that creates a gradual result. Some methods help motivate individuals to predominantly process their recovery progress instead of throwing themselves into the pit.

 

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Most individuals who bravely face their fear are doing a great job. Though it may seem a little bit harsh sometimes and people can’t seem to bear with it all the time, the idea of wanting to get better is always a good choice. Since all of them want to get their life back to normal, they’ll try to do things to get rid of their fear. But first, they should realize that learning to cope with anxiety or panic attack is different from completely freeing themselves from it.

What Exercising Does To Your Skin

 

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The idea of working out invokes mixed feelings in people. Whereas some perk up in excitement whenever they enter the gyms, others dread every moment they need to exert physical effort.

Quite predictably, the latter is the more generic reaction of individuals toward fitness. Many dabble in it because the doctor said so, or they want a slimmer waist for a special occasion. When things return to normal, however, they tend to stop exercising, which only generates adverse outcomes.

In case you’re guilty of doing the same thing, don’t worry – you can still start afresh. You may

Read more

Why Consider Adding Virgin Coconut Oil To Your Diet

 

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It has been a word of mouth that organic virgin coconut oil is packed with a lot of health benefits that it’s considered one of the healthiest foods. Considering that it’s oil and has saturated fat, it makes you wonder what magical properties this particular oil contains that makes it so beneficial and why you should consider adding it to your diet.

Virgin coconut oil is said to contain medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which includes caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid. What are these exactly?

These are considered healthy fatty acids, with a caprylic acid having antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, a lauric acid having antimicrobial properties, and a capric acid having antiviral properties. With all these components, you can just imagine the uses and health benefits that virgin coconut oil can offer.

 

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Aids in Losing Weight and Keeping Fit

MCFAs in virgin coconut oil become a source of energy. These healthy fatty acids can help increase metabolism, which consequently helps burn calories. They are also known to quell overgrowth of yeast-like fungi or candida in the body that may provoke cravings for carbohydrates, which can cause weight gain as a result.

Coconut oil can also help and control hunger so you won’t have the urge to eat more than necessary.

 

Keeps the Heart Healthy

The healthy saturated fats in coconut oil may help boost good cholesterol while decreasing bad cholesterol in the body and alter it into something less damaging.

The lauric acid contained in coconut oil helps prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

 

Food for the Brain

to the brain. This may be helpful for Alzheimer patients whose brains are less capable of producing insulin to process glucose into energy.

 

Powers the Immune System

Virgin coconut oil helps prepare antibodies that enhance immunity against bacteria, infections, and diseases. Lauric acid, one of the components of coconut oil, is packed with nutrients that can help improve and strengthen the immune system.

 

Maintains Healthy Skin and Helps Rid of Skin Problems

When used externally, coconut oil can help keep skin healthy-looking with its moisturizing and smoothing effects. It also has antioxidants that may delay wrinkles from forming on aging skin. With its antimicrobial properties, virgin coconut oil can help alleviate skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

 

Helps Keep Cancer Away

are said to  hinder cancer from developing. The healthy fatty acids found in coconut oil may also help heal damaged cells that often result in cancer and other serious illnesses.

 

Maintains Strong Bones and Keeps Osteoporosis at Bay

First, we ask what osteoporosis is. Osteoporosis is a progressive disorder involving loss of bone tissue and damage to bone mass, resulting in fragile bones. This is often caused by a deficiency in calcium and estrogen.

Supplementing diet with virgin coconut oil can help reduce the risk of estrogen deficiency. The antioxidants found in virgin coconut oil may help prevent loss of bone density often caused by hormonal changes. Coconut oil also helps the body absorb calcium and magnesium that are fundamental in maintaining strong bones.

 

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With all of its health benefits, one must ask if there are any bad sides in using or consuming virgin coconut oil. Side effects are rare to none at all, although allergies to coconuts should be taken into consideration. So think about adding virgin coconut oil to your diet and discover its benefits on your own.

 

https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/

https://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-virgin-coconut-oil.html

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil#section5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move It, Shake It and Do the Zumba

Dancing is one form of exercise that helps keep you fit, and healthy. One of the fun and exciting options to do this is Zumba.

Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance exercise program that is a combination of flamenco, salsa, samba, meringue, belly-dancing with a bit of hip-hop incorporated in the choreography. Rather than following a strict pattern of aerobics exercises, Zumba’s approach focuses more on dancing and constant motion that is designed to make it simple and easy for everyone of all ages to follow. Upbeat music is played during classes or sessions. It provides a more enjoyable atmosphere as if you are in a dance party.

 

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The dance steps in workout sessions alternate between slow, low-intensity and fast, high-intensity level, and are aimed at increasing heart rate and burning calories.

 

Helps Lose Weight and Keep You Fit

The movements included in a Zumba exercise program increase one’s metabolism that makes it a gratifying and effective way to lose weight. A 40-minute Zumba session can burn approximately 370 calories and cut down body fat by 1%.

 

What It Does for Your Body

Zumba dance moves are devised for strengthening certain areas of the body. The routines often focus on hip and midsection movement which helps reinforce your core. Hip-hop jumps, bouncing and hops integrated into the choreography focus more on toning leg muscles.

Stretches and bending are often included in the dance steps, which can play a significant role in improving flexibility. The easier and less-straining movements in a routine enhance endurance so Zumba may not only help you lose weight but may also help improve your physical condition.

 

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Good for the Heart

Like any other exercise program, Zumba provides an exceptional cardio workout. This doesn’t only heighten heart rate but also toughens heart muscles. Regular exercise lowers the risk of developing heart disease and keeps your blood pressure at a normal level.

 

An Effective Stress Reliever

Since Zumba promotes a fun approach to exercise, it works in enlivening your mood and emotions and reducing stress. The constant movement involved in the program helps expel endorphins that may influence positive feelings. The happier you are, the less stressful you become.

 

Strong Mind, Strong Brain

Zumba and dance exercises in general help improve memory by stimulating the development of brain cells and new blood vessels. Keeping your brain healthy may hinder cognitive decline.

 

Recommended for All Ages

Since the intensity of a Zumba workout is best maintained at an average level, anyone of any age can enjoy it and reap tremendous benefits. You don’t have to be a good dancer to take part in a Zumba session. It maintains a simple regime that makes it easy for anyone to follow the dance moves.

 

 

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Do Take Precaution

Although Zumba only has a few requirements and even individuals with physical restrictions can participate, it is still best to take precaution. Despite having a medium intensity level, Zumba exercises can be switched to high-impact levels, which may pose risks to anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, kidney problems and back problems such as osteoporosis. It is advisable to consult with your physician before engaging in this activity.

If you find aerobics too straining but would still like to consider having regular exercise, try doing Zumba and get into the groove. You might not just be keeping your body fit and healthy, but you may find yourself having fun as well.