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I really appreciated a 2014 blog post by Guy Winch (a Ph.D. graduate and licensed psychologist) that helps people figure out what is causing their bad mood. Bad moods are apparently commonly related to one of these 10 causes: Guilt, Small rejections, Outstanding tasks, Brooding, Low self-esteem, Fearing failure, Feeling disconnected, Unexpected disruptions out of your control, Hunger and Exhaustion. Knowing what is causing a bad mood can make it easier and faster to get out of it.

Knowing the reason is of course only the beginning, and the next step can be easier or more challenging. Some of the ideas for dealing with guilt, hunger, exhaustion and low self-esteem seemed to me to be in the 'easier' category:

1. Guilt - take some time to think of a way to apologise in a really meaningful way; and then do the apology well.

2. Hunger - have a snack (a healthy snack would make sense, otherwise weight gain or health issues could impact self-esteem one day)

3. Exhaustion - Rest. If needed, rid your life of some responsibilities to get the rest you need. The trick is of course to do this without feeling guilty; but guilt has been covered already. Rest and sleep are absolutely essential to good health, good mood and creativity.

4. Low self-esteem - Think of it as a low self-esteem day; just like a bad hair day. And when you notice low self esteem creeping into your day, do something you are good at. Do it whenever you can fit it in that day. It can be something that takes an hour or more, like a work-out (which also releases those feel-good endorphins), or something that takes only minutes, like changing into clothes that you feel good in, or making a phone call to organise to attend something you'll look forward to, or speak to someone who truly appreciates you and makes you feel good about who you are.

Being constantly in a bad mood may be a reason to seek help from a GP, psychologist, psychiatrist or a natural therapist. A good book written by someone qualified or experienced on the topic, trying natural or other therapies, a change to your diet, or a change to other parts of your lifestyle may equally be helpful. Some of the options may not be accessible right away if they cost significant ongoing money or are time-consuming. That is why any useful free advice on the internet can be valuable; and that blog really seems to be one of those gems.

Some of the common reasons for a bad mood may be harder to deal with. But if you find yourself in a bad mood, it may be worth reflecting if guilt, hunger, exhaustion, or low self-esteem may be the reason, and knowing there can be some simple ways to deal with these. It may just lift a weight off your shoulders.

For more information on natural ways to deal with bad mood, visit my free eBook site at http://www.rejuvenation-business.com


 
 
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Reaching 40 or 50 can attract a lot of jokes. Have you heard: "So you've figured out that time is a great healer and a not-so-hot beautician", or "you finally got your head together, and your body has other ideas"?

When I hear jokes like that, I realise that what I see in the mirror makes a big difference to me. If I see glowing skin, I am amazed at how automatically energised and revitalised I feel. Whilst good skin care is a place to start, have you tried that yourself and realised that a bad night's sleep, or an ice cream binge has more impact on your skin than how you cleanse and moisturise? There does seem to be more to glowing skin than good skin care.

A challenge when approaching these age groups is that many still have a mortgage and work fulltime. Devoting time for self-care and experimenting with skin-ageing prevention routines can be difficult, and if kids are in the home, time may be even more stretched. Self-care and anti-ageing care really is about experimenting, because it is unclear what works and who is correct. When I make that statement I think of scientists, commercial companies and bloggers alike. I make no distinction between these groups, since anyone's teachings and key messages can be misguided, or correct, in my experience. Plus people are unique so nothing works for everyone in any case.

What you eat is probably very important for glowing skin; that seems intuitive. The Austin Dermatology Journal had a good article on this topic in its 2 October 2014 issue. It concludes "... alterations in gut functions are starting to be recognized... Understanding the interplay between this gut-skin axis for cutaneous diseases may serve as a new avenue for developing novel therapeutic strategies". This means they vaguely conclude that the condition of the skin depends on how well the gut functions.

The link between good sleep and glowing skin also seems intuitive. The Huffington Post had an article on that topic on 25 July 2013: "Sleep Deprivation Linked To Aging Skin, Study Suggests".

Perhaps because scientists have not proven these relationships statistically and conclusively, doctors and governments put less than emphasis on these than they probably should. So it is up to each of us to find time to read, and try-try again, to find nourishing, healing skin care, and also to find solutions to improve sleep and gut health. Exercise, eating fermented foods, essential oils, supplements and other natural and synthetic options are out there. It takes some devotion to yourself to get out there and find what works. Isn't glowing skin worth it?

For more information on glowing skin, visit my free eBook site
This is a reprint of my article published on Ezine at http://EzineArticles.com/9353799

 
 
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I read an article at the tea shop a few weekends ago: "Workers report increased stress". The story was in one of the major Australian newspapers on 5 March 2016, and went on to say that corporate psychologists have warned stress-related absence from work is on the rise.

The common saying, "work is not a party" comes to mind. It is no secret that many are exhausted or feel emotionally abused during their day at work. It may be helpful to undergo a sea-change and leave a job in some cases. But when the thought of doing that causes more stress than staying in your job, it may not be the right time for such drastic solutions. This article reminded me that it is important to re-energise and refresh at home, using any simple, effective and affordable methods available.

Aromatherapy for relaxation at home can cost pennies, and can be a simple, effective option. Essential oils embody the regenerating and protective properties of plants. The power of a few drops of the correct therapeutic essential oils in a warm bath can work wonders within minutes. The molecules in essential oils are small and fat-soluble; many of them easily penetrate the skin. These properties also allow them to get inside the cells of the body, even if cell walls have hardened because of disease. Essential oils have the potential to affect every cell of the body within twenty minutes, and then get treated like any other nutrients in the cells. A bath allows aromatherapy for relaxation to work on the body and mind by two different routes: the oils sit on the skin, and the aroma is also inhaled as you breathe in the steam from the bath.

Aromatherapy for relaxation can also work just by placing the correct therapeutic essential oils on a cotton ball and leaving it nearby during a nap or while reading a book. Inhalation of the aromas this way can be just as powerful, and is an even simpler option for home.

Essential oils are powerful anti-oxidants. Some can support the liver in detoxifying the blood. Some contain sesquiterpene molecules, which are known to be able to interact with brain cells (these essential oils pass through the blood-brain barrier). Even those essential oils that can't cross the blood-brain barrier can still affect the brain through the sense of smell. Odours and emotions are processed in similar pathways in the brain, in an area called the "limbic system". Favourite smells are worth a try. If aromatherapy for relaxation helps you to unlock and release emotional trauma after a day at work, these pennies will be well spent.

For more information on aromatherapy for relaxation, visit my free eBook site.

This is a reprint of my article published on Ezine: http://EzineArticles.com/9353817

 
 
Lack of sleep not only makes it hard to get through a day of work or socialising, but can have negative impacts on your health.

Some sleep expert advice can be found easily with Google searches. It generally teaches that sleep is not just about night time. How you spend your day is as important, such as limiting the caffeine you drink, drinking water, how much daylight you expose yourself to, how much stress you have through the day, exercise levels, and other factors. Basic advice also includes having a dark and quiet bedroom, and using background white-noise.

One important source of advice may be a GP. But it can be confusing to know what sleep expert advice to follow. For those who are quick to treat sleep issues with pharmaceutical solutions, a range of medicines can be prescribed. Unfortunately my personal experience was frustrating. Sleep tablets have no other use, so unused packs end up in the bin, money wasted. I tossed out several packs of partly used sleep medicines because they didn't work, made me feel too groggy in the morning to take care of my kid, or I got side effects.

GPs, pharmacists, natural practitioners and nutritionists can be a good source of sleep expert advice on how to use natural products. Otherwise basic literature research skills, the local health food store, the internet (but use basic literature research skills to double check information you find) and family and friends can all be helpful.

Pharmaceutical medicines and natural products typically all have benefits, and also adverse risks. So it is important to read the labelling on all products and to seek advice about how to use the different products safely. Especially if you plan to take both pharmaceutical medicines and natural products, it is important to ask both the GP and the pharmacists about how these mix together (there can be interactions). Pharmacists are the experts in interactions between medicines and natural remedies in my experience. It can also help to ask what to expect over time. Some sleep treatments lose some of their effect over time.

Getting advice from many sources can be helpful. Everyone is unique, and often it takes a few solutions to finally sleep better.

I would be interested to hear who gives you the best sleep expert advice in your life? Do you sleep really well, what sleep aids work for you?

For more sleep expert advice on natural sleep aids, visit my free eBook site
This is a reprint of my article published on Ezine:  http://EzineArticles.com/9339666Free Picture: ID 260693© Marilyn Barbone | Dreamstime Stock Photos
 
 
If you have feelings of worry, nervousness, or unease about something, or feel a strong desire to do something or for something to happen, you probably already know that this is the definition of anxiety. Questions that are important to ask are: How serious is it? And, what is the best thing to do to calm anxiety symptoms, for you?

By asking yourself important questions, you are starting a meaningful conversation with yourself, and setting yourself up to be your own best coach to calm anxiety symptoms. Advice is great, but anxiety can spiral into worse mental states, and everyone is unique, so getting advice from many sources can be a way to find ways to calm anxiety symptoms that are most correct for you.

One important source of advice is a general practitioner. For those who are quick to treat health issues with pharmaceutical solutions, a range of medicines can be prescribed. It is important to let your GP know if you are willing to spend money out of your own pocket, since the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which subsidises the cost of medicines for all Australians, is tightly controlled. This means that often the GP must prescribe a certain medicine first. Only if you meet special criteria after trying the first medicine, will they mention other options. To be your own best coach to calm anxiety symptoms, it may be helpful to know about all medicines that are sold in Australia, and the good and bad about each one. After a fully informed discussion, you may find that some newer medicines may not be on the PBS. But just because the government has not agreed to pay the price that the overseas pharmaceutical company charges for a medicine doesn't mean that your decision will be the same. If you want to be your own best coach, then knowing all your options will lead to the best decision for yourself. How much extra information you want may depend on your budget and other factors. Letting your GP know what your situation can set you up for the best dialogue.

For those who prefer all diet, exercise and natural product options before using pharmaceutical medicines, the GP may also be worth asking for advice. Especially if you plan to take both pharmaceutical medicines and natural products, it is important to ask the GP and the pharmacists about how those will mix (there can be interactions). The GP may be a good source of information about well known natural products like St John's Wort or breathing exercises, but is less likely to be aware of essential oils, kinesthesiology, or special nutrition for anxiety symptoms. Natural health practitioners and nutritionists, if you can afford the consultation fees, can also be a great source of information. Otherwise basic literature search skills, the local health food store, the internet (but use basic literature search skills to double check the information you find) and family and friends can all be helpful.

It may not take long to find a natural product that works for anxiety because the calming effect doesn't take long to notice. If a calming effect isn't noticeable in a reasonable timeframe, it makes sense to stop spending money on it and try something else. The GAD-7 or DASS questionnaires are also useful tools to ask a GP about. Even if you didn't find your GP was helpful when you asked about natural therapies to calm anxiety symptoms, it can be worthwhile going regularly to check how much you have improved using these questionnaires, which give you a score and an easy way to track your improvements.

For more information on natural ways to calm anxiety symptoms visit my free eBook site.
This is a reprint of my article published on Ezine: http://EzineArticles.com/9339597
 
 
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Dry skin can make you look worn, and feel itchy or sore. If it is not nipped early, it can spiral into a really bothersome problem, especially on the face.

There are many products available on the market. But when it comes to natural facial moisturisers, even many of these include ingredients with long scientific names leaving me wondering if they are all natural. And in any case it can be tempting to go with a product with "scientifically-proven" claims, and ingredients like stem-cell-derived growth factors or other scientific molecules. Sometimes the all-natural products cost similar to the "scientifically-proven" products. When I used to see that, I used to think I was getting more for my money from a scientifically-formulated product.

I had wanted to make a gradual shift to all natural products for home, beauty and health for a long time, simply because of the effort of detoxification routines. A lot of people seem to do detox programs regularly nowadays; but if I could avoid becoming toxic in the first place, maybe all this detoxification effort would not be needed? It did however take me awhile to make the commitment to all natural skin care for dry face.

Discovering therapeutic-grade essential oils was what made me finally switch. These are beautiful not just for dry skin, but also for mind and spirit. Essential oils make sense for skin because they are fat-soluble, and can work themselves deep into the skin (which composed of lipid, i.e., fat). Plants have also co-evolved with humans on Earth for millions of years. So it seems plausible that the pure oils produced inside plants and trees are designed to protect them from wind, bacteria, fungi and other environmental factors; the same factors that affect our skin every day.

There are so many different essential oils for dry skin. Aromatherapy text books and PhD theses that I have read teach that your own sense-of-smell is an important guide to choosing an essential oil for any purpose, whether it be dry skin, relaxation or support for pain. If the aroma of an essential oil is pleasant for you, it is more likely to have a meaningful impact on your wellbeing.

I use a lot of different essential oils on my skin. But my tendency to use health economics, value for money and multi-tasking as my criteria when I shop, means that sandalwood oil is my favourite, and is worth mentioning here as a possible starting point for anyone searching for natural skin care for dry face:

- Renowned for its woody and sweet aromas, sandalwood has been widely used for its spiritual and uplifting qualities in temples to deepen meditation.

- A 2014 aromatherapy textbook that I read states that there is a high demand for the oil and that overharvesting has severely depleted the legal supplies (90% of India's supply and 20% of Australia's supply have been subjected to poaching apparently). But suppliers of essential oils that work with growers directly to create sustainable farming-practices, and reward them very fairly for their hard work growing the Santalum album tree species (which is the most renowned source of sandalwood oil) are saving the day.

- I use this oil daily morning and evening as part of my natural skin care for dry face routine.

- The fact that it is also wonderful to use in the bath for exhaustion, during yoga and pilates to deepen my movement practices, and to provide self-care at home for mild bouts of rashes and a few other niggly health issues (note: always check with a healthcare practitioner to decide if self-care at home is appropriate), makes it versatile and super good value.

For more information on natural skin care for dry face visit my free ebook site.
This is a reprint of my article at http://EzineArticles.com/9331041

 

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