4 Healthy Ways To Deal With Anxiety

tea1Everyone gets anxiety. It’s when you worry about something in the future, which let’s face it, can be tomorrow. A meeting, an interview, an exam, a commute, the weather…so much to worry about, right?  Wrong.

STOP those thoughts from spiraling because you’ve no control of tomorrow.

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You have THIS moment. Make it a HEALTHY ONE. Repeat that. STAY in the NOW.

Number ONE: Exercise daily. Don’t make excuses like rich people have a personal trainer.

When I was a kid I was influenced by one man I saw on TV. He had nothing, except ONE chair beside him. I was in the first grade when I first saw him.

His name was Jack La Lanne.  He spoke about the benefits of daily exercise. I listened. Kids brains are like sponges. Mine absorbed his message. His message is still true.

It is proven your brain benefits at the 45-minute mark. So, if you’re feeling anxious it may be a signal from your body or brain that you need to move.

Look at all the benefits you get simply from walking.  Best part? Do it anywhere.

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And stay hydrated. Drink water, even when you’re not thirsty. Look at all the benefits of staying hydrated in the photo below.

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When people tell me they get headaches, the first thing I ask is how much water they drink. Most say none.

Well, that’s why you have a headache. Most tell me they drink coffee, which DE-HYRDRATES. Your brain needs water.

Your doctor in a rush to get his or her next patient will be too quick to give you pills for headaches or migraines before even asking you this simple question.

If you are prone to headaches –you need to check how much water you should be drinking (use search in my blog to find that) daily and do that. Your headaches will probably magically disappear. You’re welcome.

The times you need to visit a Physician is when you’re doing everything right and you’re still experiencing some sort of pain.

But if you’re not doing the basics of self-care, then you need to make a LIFESTYLE change first to find out if that’s what’s causing your pain. We were created to be healthy and feel good, but we need to take care of ourselves. Here’s that photo magnified.

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Speaking of sweat, if you can get to a SAUNA after you exercise, even better. If not, no worries. Can’t get to a sauna?  Take a long hot shower or hot bubble bath with Epsom salt afterwards. They now make Epson salt with bubbles.

Try Dr. Teal’s. It contains Magnesium, which can only be absorbed through the skin. CVS sells it. It costs about six dollars. Smells nice too. Like lavender. It’s usually near the soap section. A lot of people lack Magnesium.

Remember, the second you start to feel anxious get up, DRINK WATER, STRETCH, BREATHE and MOVE.  Drink water, even when you’re not thirsty. Go for a walk.

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Photo by Thomas Chauke on Pexels.com

WALK. WALK BRISKLY and TAKE DEEP BREATHES (BREATHE IN…AND HOLD FOR 4 SEC. AND breathe out slowly) until the feeling passes. It will.  You can do this anywhere, even in a tiny room. Stand up. STRETCH AND HOLD. Then, walk. Every cell in your brain and body benefits when you do this. Don’t focus on what you were worried about. Instead, repeat the words “You can do it…” while breathing. Yes, you CAN walk off anxiety.

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Number TWO:  Take a good look in your refrigerator and pantry. Toss out the garbage. You don’t need me to tell you what’s garbage. Sugar, soda, junk food, processed foods, white bread, alcohol, cookies, cake, donuts, potato chips.

NOW replace those things with healthy go-to items like alkaline water, almonds, walnuts, blueberries, strawberries, greek yogurt without sugar in lieu of ice-cream or cottage cheese, veggie sticks instead of regular chips, cook veggies in olive oil and garlic, green tea.

Veggie sticks are so yummy I regret blogging about them because like everything else I blog about –it’s suddenly SOLD OUT on store shelves the next day.

I’ve blogged about emotional eating in the past and which foods to reach for when you feel a certain emotion because having different emotions are part of being a human being. Don’t let anyone numb them with pills.

The healthiest thing you can do is try all the good stuff first, because the good stuff works.

The good stuff is what they mean when they say the proof is in the pudding.

 

Proven healthy lifestyles are proven time and time again from centenarians and those of us who are healthy.

If someone gets through their 40’s and 50’s feeling great with natural energy and no prescription medications they are doing something right.

Unfortunately, there are males and females in their 20’s and 30’s who still think how they look, even if it’s through plastic surgery, or extreme dieting, makes them healthy. Health magazines (which I no longer buy) fuel this misinformation by placing these cropped top people on their covers. That’s insecurity, folks.

The good news is what it means to really be healthy is rising above all that noise.

As I predicted decades ago, the world has shifted conscientiousness regarding health. Take a look at this circle. There’s no bikini in it. There are no six or twelve pack abs for men.

HEALTH comes from inside and it doesn’t need external approval.

There is no longer any denying how interconnected the following are:

 

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Every generation goes through the same feelings as the one before them, so it’s time to start educating ourselves on how to LIVE HEALTHY and PREVENT ILLNESS while living in a crazy world.  Even if we live in a healthy bubble and try to shield ourselves from all the craziness –there is no escaping it. Even family members, friends, partner, colleagues, boss, kids, parents, strangers driving near you on the road  can infiltrate your peace. You can’t control that.

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The healthiest advice anyone can give you is DON’T REACT. The calm one is the healthy one.  Did someone less qualified get a position you earned, because they’re related to or know someone? Don’t react. Don’t despair.  Didn’t close a deal when something less deserving did? Same thing. It may make you angry. You’ll want to grab a bag of chips or drown your sorrows in ice cream.

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Keep your pantry or refrigerator stocked with healthy stuff you can grab instead. A bag of cherries, a large bowl of blueberries or those veggie sticks I told you about earlier.  You can snack on a ginormous bowl of these thing and not be left feeling even worse afterwards, as you will with regular chips and junk food.

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Number THREE: Turn off TV. Get out in nature instead or read a good book. I’ve been reading a book a day since I was a kid. I thought everyone did until my younger brother laughed and said I was crazy and people are lucky if they read one a year.

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Fine.  Then, make it one positive book a year.

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Keep that ONE book on your nightstand and reread it when you need inspiration. For non-readers I recommend you start with, “The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success” by Deepak Chopra. I used to give them out as gifts. Little gem of a book. Then, get “The Four Agreements.” These are 2 books you can re-read during stressful times.

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My book, “Healthy Within” is one every celebrity who writes a Tell All Memoir should read. The reason is I never mention my ex’s name, or what actually happened. No details. Why? That part is not important. That part is no one’s business. What’s important is how to get through anything that at the time feels like a personal or professional tsunami.

That is the HEAL part in HEALthy. Other than that, it’s tabloid toxicity.

When you’re blaming someone else or pointing out all of your ex’s flaws, people reading it are actually cringing.  No one wants someone in they’re in an intimate relationship with to write a kiss and tell, so to speak.  There are two people in a relationship or marriage. Two.

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Advice to Demi.  Let.It.Go

I don’t know who advised her to write this in the first place. It feels like something that should have never been made public. When someone is in the public eye and they reveal they were someone entirely different than we believed them to be –it feels like WE were lied to and betrayed. So, I felt more let down from who I thought Demi Moore was than anything having to do with Ashton. Even when the other person betrays you it’s enough to know it was a betrayal –we don’t need details, thank you.  I would have passed on this book. I’m an avid reader and have zero desire to buy it.

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Back to self-care. Fuel your body and brain daily with nutritious foods. What does healthy food look like? Here are a few visuals.

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And do not forget how important SLEEP is…

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NUMBER FOUR: REST. NAP. SLEEP. Allow your brain and body to shut down and reset itself just like you do when your computer has lost it’s charge or starts acting up.  Shut it down. Anyone who brags about only getting or needing little sleep isn’t healthy. Every cell in your brain and body is created to regenerate and health itself, but you need to sleep and shut it down in order for it to do what it does naturally. It’s called Beauty Sleep for a reason.

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I’ve blogged about foods that help you sleep. If you’re a late-nigh snacker keep bananas, cottage cheese, blueberries and a bag of cherries in your pantry, along with decaf organic tea. Turn off all electronics 2 hours before a set time. Keep the room you sleep in a little chilly. Wear eye shades. Take that hot bath with lavender and you will crash naturally.

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If you are on any type of anti-anxiety or depression medication it needs to be under the supervision of a physician, who should ONLY prescribe TEMPORARY low-dose if you are in crisis mode, say after the death of a loved one or other tragedy. It needs to be in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, fancy word for Talk Therapy, to taper you off prescribed medication.

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It’s not dealing with what is causing your anxiety or depression. What’s causing it is change and stress from it. That change can come from work, finances, seasons, relationships, age, moving, parenthood –anything in life.

That’s why it’s natural and you need to LEARN healthy coping mechanisms for LIFE. Having a trusted confidante in life to go through ups and downs also helps keep your brain and body in top form.

Healthy relationships are a wonderful buffer against daily stressors in life. It’s having someone in your life to talk to, bounce ideas off of and be there during good times and bad. Healthy relationships proven to be a positive  constant in a sea of change. Positive because healthy relationships release all the feel good chemicals and hormones in your body and brain. Love releases oxytocin. When you have LOVE and commitment everything is less stressful.

So what do you do when you don’t have a trusted hand to hold during it all?

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Revert to the Four Tips solo, because HEALTHY attracts HEALTHY. Be your best you in mind, body and spirit.  Work on healing any past hurts. Put them in the past. Forgive. Move on. YOU need to BE that which you want to attract. Think about that. You want a healthy, intelligent, kind, independent, fun, supportive, honest, loving, faithful, committed, loyal, trustworthy partner?

BE that.

Photo by Rosie Ann on Pexels.com

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When your friends and the people you surround yourself with are healthy –you’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms, even through observing their habits. HealthDay

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Post note: I love tea and have blogged about the benefits of tea and my favorites in the past. USA Today and Washington Post now says tea bags contain plastic and that it is toxic. I cut right to the bottom to find out which brands contain plastic bags because not all of them do. Here are brands to avoid.

Mostly, it’s those cute triangle bags. Apparently, it looks like they are made out of paper, but it’s plastic that holds them together. They are cute. Recently, a restaurant served me on that looked was so cute. I commented asking how it was held together Now we know.

Avoid brands in RED

“So which tea bags contain plastic?

Brands that use plastic sealants include Tetley, Twinings’ ‘heat-sealed’ and ‘string and tag’ ranges, Yorkshire Tea and some Aldi tea bags.

Co-Op and PG Tips have all switched to 100% compostable bags.

Abel & Cole and Teapigs using plant-based SoilOn and Clipper makes a plastic-free teabag made from bananas, while some Tetley and Twinings ranges are biodegradable.

But if you want to be absolutely sure your tea is plastic free, loose leaves are the best way to go.”       [Source: USA Today, September 2019]

It’s not all tea and it’s not all brands, so get past their hype to the facts. Then, get back to:

Remember, when you have a bad day, week, month or year –don’t call it a bad life. Think of it as a bad season, like leaves falling off a branch in Fall. What do you need for leaves to grow back?  Oxygen, water, nourishment, sunshine. Nourish yourself every day and your leaves will return one day at a time. You got this!

Stay healthy!

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Find Out What Ages Your Brain Prematurely

Late Night Health interviews Dr. Daniel Amen

BRAIN HEALTH

Named the most popular psychiatrist in America by the Washington Post

Find out what helps and hurts brains and what causes your brain to prematurely age. The good news is even if you haven’t taken care of your brain up to now, you can still reverse the damage.

Dr. Amen tells you what you need to do FIRST.

Since 50% of people age 85+ will be diagnosed with some form of dementia, this is a topic EVERYONE needs to care about, including teenagers.

According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. Find out why it’s critical to pay attention to brains first.

Dr. Amen talks to Mark Alyn about what has a negative impact on your kid’s brain AND adult brains, and what has a positive impact.

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Children and teens are vulnerable because they’re experiencing increased stress  when their brains aren’t fully developed and won’t be until their mid-to-late 20s. Find out the number one thing kids can do to improve their brain’s health.

Dr. Amen says ignoring environment, nutrition, physical, spiritual and mental health can result in behavior problems, depression and anxiety.

Dr. Amen also answers questions about playing football and your brain, the use of marijuana or CBD and your brain.

We’ve heard a lot of opinions on this topic. Find out what the brain expert says based on hundreds of thousands of brain scans. He has seen first-hand what helps or harms your brain.

Dr. Amen has scanned over 160,000 brains and what he’s learned is something everyone needs to know, especially kids, who currently face increased on and offline pressure.

And test performance requirements, and competitiveness to get accepted into colleges.

Mark Alyn, Host of Late Night Health  talks to Dr. Amen about how to boost your brain power and prevent it from aging faster than you do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to Interview here:

Change Your Brain – Change Your Grades – Brain Health For All Ages!

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ABOUT DR. DANIEL AMEN:

Dr. Daniel Amen co-authored more than 70 professional articles, 7 scientific book chapters and 40-plus books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, “The Daniel Plan” and “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.”

“Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” includes editorial contributions from his teenage daughter, Chloe Amen, and niece, Alizé Castellanos.

Late Night Health host, Mark Alyn and Dr. Amen share funny stories about raising daughters and what it’s like to have a psychiatrist Dad.

Known for his work in treating the most complex psychiatric issues through eight Amen Clinics around the country that hold the world’s largest database of functional brain scans on behavior.

With the release of his 40th book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” Dr. Daniel Amen provides students, parents and teachers simple steps to improve brain health for better performance in school and in life

 

Try Dr. Amen’s Free Brain Health Assessment Quiz: https://brainhealthassessment.com/

Your Thoughts Impact How You Age

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Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, says for years doctors have had notions that attitudes and thoughts may predispose us to early aging.

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More and more these notions are turning into scientific research.

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He says there are different types of negative thinking.  Each can be impactful.

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“One is just cynical hostility, where you know, we stew a lot,” says Dr. Bea. “When people are kind of suspicious and pretty certain the world or folks are against them it stays with them; and keeps stress chemicals like cortisol circulating in the body too long.”

Dr. Bea says some studies have looked at how certain types of behavior and thought patterns can impact our aging and DNA.

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He says we tend to lump all negative thinking into one place, but there are actually many little ways that can actually harm us by influencing our telomeres, which are – the tips at the end of our DNA that affect the aging process.

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Thoughts like pessimism – — always predicting doom and gloom, as well as ruminating, which is dredging up past events and mulling them over and over again, can keep stress chemicals active and alive.

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Dr. Bea also says thought suppression – where we actively try to avoid thoughts – takes a lot of activity and tension and tends to overload our brains.

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What to do?  When we’ engage in the outside world, and not in our own heads, Dr. Bea says we can better handle these negative thought patterns.

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The key is to be able to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts.

“Dr. Bea recommends you do the following to cut off negative self-talk:

Say to yourself, ‘I’’m allowed to think without trying to fix or solve anything.’ “

Use simple mindfulness exercises that can be done, even in five second bursts at various times throughout the day.  Focus on the sensation of your breath.

If something distracts you (sights, sounds) ease your attention back to your breath.

 

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MEDIA:  Video and Sound, See Pathfire July 19 or contact: ccnewsservice@ccf.org
MY two cents and what I recommend. My blog. My two cents: 
 
I subscribe to something called DAILY PRIME.  You know how a “Good Morning Beautiful” text from your significant other can make you wake up with a smile.
Well, relationships ebb and flow, so you can’t count on consistency. It can also border on creepy if it’s not from your SO.  DAILY PRIME is consistently in a positive, good mood.
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Here’s how it works. Each morning, I get an amazing, positive, motivational, inspirational text that kick starts the rest of my day. You pick a time preference.
It’s created by John Assaraf.

John and his wife Maria are two of my favorite people in the world. When I first met them we walked in San Diego for Rady’s Children Hospital.

They’ve wonderful energy and such an authentically calm, healing presence. It’s the kind of good, positive energy that radiates from within. I

When you get to that state, it benefits your well-being and everyone in your presence.

Assaraf has been preaching thoughts equals things way before before The Secret (which he appeared in) was on Oprah or studies confirm it.
One of my favorite books, The Power of Positive Thinking did too.
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Positive THOUGHTS lead you to make positive ACTIONS.
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Also, you can do things that release the opposite of cortisol in your body. There are naturally healthy healing chemicals and hormones inside your body, but it takes action to release them.
Actions like daily exercise, listening to music, mediating, spending time in nature or with positive family and friends, laughing, petting your dog, and hugging release endorphins.
Love is a biggie. It releases all the feel good hormones, including oxytocin. I read a great book about it in 2014 and interviewed author, Paul J. Zak for this blog. It’s called The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity.  I
I was recently interviewed on a radio program about mind-body connection –hot topic.
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Stay healthy!
Related:
I was delighted to meet Brian Tracy while in San Diego.  I attended one of his conferences and brought one of his books with me. Without my even asking he graciously says, “Let me sign that.” He wrote, “Maria, You can do it!” inside it.  That’s positivity for you. Whatever “it” is doesn’t matter when someone believes in you.

How To Be More Positive by Brian Tracy

Your mental diet largely determines your character and your personality and almost everything that happens to you in life.

What is a mental diet? Keep reading and I’ll explain…

When you feed your mind with positive affirmations, information, books, conversations, audio programs, and thoughts, you develop a more positive attitude and personality.

You become more influential and persuasive. You enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem.

Those who work with computers use the expression “G.I.G.O.” or “Garbage in, Garbage out.” But the reverse is also true, “Good in, Good out.”

When you make a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to take complete control over your mind, eliminate the negative emotions and thoughts that may have held you back in the past, and become a completely positive person, you can actually bring about your own personal transformation.

Mental fitness is like physical fitness. You develop high levels of self-esteem and a positive attitude with training and practice. Here are the seven keys to becoming a completely positive person:

1) Positive Affirmations

Speak to yourself positively; control your inner dialog. Use positive affirmations phrased in the positive, present, and personal tense:

“I like myself!”

“I can do it!”

“I feel terrific!”

“I am responsible!”

We believe that fully 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go throughout your day. The sad fact is that if you do not deliberately and consciously talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will, by default, think about things that will make you unhappy or cause you worry and anxiety.

As we said before, your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all.

Discover your level of self-confidence and build greater confidence in yourself.

2) Positive Visualization

Perhaps the most powerful ability that you have is the ability to visualize and see your goals as already accomplished. Create a clear, exciting picture of your goal and your ideal life, and replay this picture in your mind over and over.

All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. As you “see” yourself on the inside, you will “be” on the outside.

3) Positive People

Your choice of the people with whom you live, work, and associate will have more of an impact on your emotions and your success that any other factor. Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who are going somewhere with their lives.

Avoid negative people at all costs. Negative people are the primary source of most of life’s unhappiness. Resolve that from today onward, you are not going to have stressful or negative people in your life.

4) Positive Mental Food

Just as your body is healthy to the degree to which you eat healthy, nutritious foods, your mind is healthy to the degree to which you feed it with “mental protein” rather than “mental candy.” Read books, magazines, and articles that are educational, inspirational, or motivational.

Feed your mind with information and ideas that are uplifting and that make you feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.

Listen to positive, constructive CDs and audio programs in your car and on your MP3 player or iPod. Feed your mind continually with positive messages that help you think and act better and make you more capable and competent in your field. Watch positive and educational DVDs, educational television programs, online courses, and other uplifting material that increases your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself and your life.

5) Positive Training And Development

Almost everyone in our society starts off with limited resources, sometimes with no money at all. Virtually all fortunes begin with the sale of personal services of some kind. All the people who are at the top today were once at the bottom, and sometimes they fell to the bottom several times.

The miracle of lifelong learning and personal improvement is what takes you from rags to riches, from poverty to affluence, and from underachievement to success and financial independence.

As Jim Rohn said, ”Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

When you dedicate yourself to learning and growing and becoming better and more effective in your thoughts and actions, you take complete control of your life and dramatically increase the speed at which you move upward to greater heights.

6) Positive Health Habits

Take excellent care of your physical health and wellness. Resolve today that you are going to live to be eighty, ninety, or one hundred years old and still be dancing in the evenings. Eat healthy foods, natural and nutritious, and eat them sparingly and in proper balance. A nutritional diet will have an immediate, positive effect on your thoughts and feelings.

Resolve to get regular exercise, at least two hundred minutes of motion per week, walking, running, swimming, bicycling, or working out on equipment in the gym. When you exercise on a regular basis, you feel happier and healthier and experience lower levels of stress and fatigue than a person who sits on the couch and watches television all evening.

Especially, get ample rest and relaxation. You need to recharge your batteries on a regular basis, especially when you are going through periods of stress or difficulty.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Some of the factors that predispose us to negative emotions of all kinds are poor health habits, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and nonstop work. Seek balance in your life.

7) Positive Expectations

Practicing the Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to become a positive person and to ensure positive outcomes and better results in your life. Your expectations become your own self-fulfilling prophesies.

Whatever you expect, with confidence, seems to come into your life. Since you can control your expectations, you should always expect the best.

Expect to be successful.

Expect to be popular when you meet new people. Expect to achieve great goals and create a wonderful life for yourself. When you constantly expect good things to happen, you will seldom be disappointed.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post on developing a more positive attitude with positive affirmations.  Please leave a comment and share with your friends!

 

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Why You Need Positive People in Your Life

Happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice.

One big mistake people make is not realizing that happiness is an individual choice. But every choice is influenced by the people in our lives. If you change your life influencers for the better, you can dramatically increase your chances for happiness and success.

In my research, I’ve found that positive social connection is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness. Welcoming a positive new influencer into your world can be one of the most important choices for happiness you make. That person might be a professional life coach or a mentor or simply someone whom you respect and who has the positive outlook you want to emulate.

A positive influencer will have a few outstanding traits that rub off on you over time. This person will practice gratitude. He will seek joy daily and work at becoming his best self. He’ll enjoy being active and feel connected to others.

Think about the negative influences around you. These are people who focus on the bad things in their lives and cause you to do the same. You’ll be left searching for new problems to worry over. Negative influencers don’t smile or laugh easily. They have trouble maintaining relationships and see stress as a threat rather than a challenge to embrace. Steer clear!

We know that happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice, especially when life gets challenging. Think about the people you know who could be positive influencers and spend more time with someone who will improve your happiness and lead you to greater success.

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind.Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

(Photo credit: Positivity Amongst Negativity via Shutterstock)

 

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

healthnews

 

638 Primary Personality Traits from MIT

Positive Traits (234 = 37%)

  1. Accessible
  2. Active
  3. Adaptable
  4. Admirable
  5. Adventurous
  6. Agreeable
  7. Alert
  8. Allocentric
  9. Amiable
  10. Anticipative
  11. Appreciative
  12. Articulate
  13. Aspiring
  14. Athletic
  15. Attractive
  16. Balanced
  17. Benevolent
  18. Brilliant
  19. Calm
  20. Capable
  21. Captivating
  22. Caring
  23. Challenging
  24. Charismatic
  25. Charming
  26. Cheerful
  27. Clean
  28. Clear-headed
  29. Clever
  30. Colorful
  31. Companionly
  32. Compassionate
  33. Conciliatory
  34. Confident
  35. Conscientious
  36. Considerate
  37. Constant
  38. Contemplative
  39. Cooperative
  40. Courageous
  41. Courteous
  42. Creative
  43. Cultured
  44. Curious
  45. Daring
  46. Debonair
  47. Decent
  48. Decisive
  49. Dedicated
  50. Deep
  51. Dignified
  52. Directed
  53. Disciplined
  54. Discreet
  55. Dramatic
  56. Dutiful
  57. Dynamic
  58. Earnest
  59. Ebullient
  60. Educated
  61. Efficient
  62. Elegant
  63. Eloquent
  64. Empathetic
  65. Energetic
  66. Enthusiastic
  67. Esthetic
  68. Exciting
  69. Extraordinary
  70. Fair
  71. Faithful
  72. Farsighted
  73. Felicific
  74. Firm
  75. Flexible
  76. Focused
  77. Forecful
  78. Forgiving
  79. Forthright
  80. Freethinking
  81. Friendly
  82. Fun-loving
  83. Gallant
  84. Generous
  85. Gentle
  86. Genuine
  87. Good-natured
  88. Gracious
  89. Hardworking
  90. Healthy
  91. Hearty
  92. Helpful
  93. Herioc
  94. High-minded
  95. Honest
  96. Honorable
  97. Humble
  98. Humorous
  99. Idealistic
  100. Imaginative
  101. Impressive
  102. Incisive
  103. Incorruptible
  104. Independent
  105. Individualistic
  106. Innovative
  107. Inoffensive
  108. Insightful
  109. Insouciant
  110. Intelligent
  111. Intuitive
  112. Invulnerable
  113. Kind
  114. Knowledge
  115. Leaderly
  116. Leisurely
  117. Liberal
  118. Logical
  119. Lovable
  120. Loyal
  121. Lyrical
  122. Magnanimous
  123. Many-sided
  124. Masculine  (Manly)
  125. Mature
  126. Methodical
  127. Maticulous
  128. Moderate
  129. Modest
  130. Multi-leveled
  131. Neat
  132. Nonauthoritarian
  133. Objective
  134. Observant
  135. Open
  136. Optimistic
  137. Orderly
  138. Organized
  139. Original
  140. Painstaking
  141. Passionate
  142. Patient
  143. Patriotic
  144. Peaceful
  145. Perceptive
  146. Perfectionist
  147. Personable
  148. Persuasive
  149. Planful
  150. Playful
  151. Polished
  152. Popular
  153. Practical
  154. Precise
  155. Principled
  156. Profound
  157. Protean
  158. Protective
  159. Providential
  160. Prudent
  161. Punctual
  162. Pruposeful
  163. Rational
  164. Realistic
  165. Reflective
  166. Relaxed
  167. Reliable
  168. Resourceful
  169. Respectful
  170. Responsible
  171. Responsive
  172. Reverential
  173. Romantic
  174. Rustic
  175. Sage
  176. Sane
  177. Scholarly
  178. Scrupulous
  179. Secure
  180. Selfless
  181. Self-critical
  182. Self-defacing
  183. Self-denying
  184. Self-reliant
  185. Self-sufficent
  186. Sensitive
  187. Sentimental
  188. Seraphic
  189. Serious
  190. Sexy
  191. Sharing
  192. Shrewd
  193. Simple
  194. Skillful
  195. Sober
  196. Sociable
  197. Solid
  198. Sophisticated
  199. Spontaneous
  200. Sporting
  201. Stable
  202. Steadfast
  203. Steady
  204. Stoic
  205. Strong
  206. Studious
  207. Suave
  208. Subtle
  209. Sweet
  210. Sympathetic
  211. Systematic
  212. Tasteful
  213. Teacherly
  214. Thorough
  215. Tidy
  216. Tolerant
  217. Tractable
  218. Trusting
  219. Uncomplaining
  220. Understanding
  221. Undogmatic
  222. Unfoolable
  223. Upright
  224. Urbane
  225. Venturesome
  226. Vivacious
  227. Warm
  228. Well-bred
  229. Well-read
  230. Well-rounded
  231. Winning
  232. Wise
  233. Witty
  234. Youthful

Neutral Traits (292 = 18%)

  1. Absentminded
  2. Aggressive
  3. Ambitious
  4. Amusing
  5. Artful
  6. Ascetic
  7. Authoritarian
  8. Big-thinking
  9. Boyish
  10. Breezy
  11. Businesslike
  12. Busy
  13. Casual
  14. Crebral
  15. Chummy
  16. Circumspect
  17. Competitive
  18. Complex
  19. Confidential
  20. Conservative
  21. Contradictory
  22. Crisp
  23. Cute
  24. Deceptive
  25. Determined
  26. Dominating
  27. Dreamy
  28. Driving
  29. Droll
  30. Dry
  31. Earthy
  32. Effeminate
  33. Emotional
  34. Enigmatic
  35. Experimental
  36. Familial
  37. Folksy
  38. Formal
  39. Freewheeling
  40. Frugal
  41. Glamorous
  42. Guileless
  43. High-spirited
  44. Huried
  45. Hypnotic
  46. Iconoclastic
  47. Idiosyncratic
  48. Impassive
  49. Impersonal
  50. Impressionable
  51. Intense
  52. Invisible
  53. Irreligious
  54. Irreverent
  55. Maternal
  56. Mellow
  57. Modern
  58. Moralistic
  59. Mystical
  60. Neutral
  61. Noncommittal
  62. Noncompetitive
  63. Obedient
  64. Old-fashined
  65. Ordinary
  66. Outspoken
  67. Paternalistic
  68. Physical
  69. Placid
  70. Political
  71. Predictable
  72. Preoccupied
  73. Private
  74. Progressive
  75. Proud
  76. Pure
  77. Questioning
  78. Quiet
  79. Religious
  80. Reserved
  81. Restrained
  82. Retiring
  83. Sarcastic
  84. Self-conscious
  85. Sensual
  86. Skeptical
  87. Smooth
  88. Soft
  89. Solemn
  90. Solitary
  91. Stern
  92. Stoiid
  93. Strict
  94. Stubborn
  95. Stylish
  96. Subjective
  97. Surprising
  98. Soft
  99. Tough
  100. Unaggressive
  101. Unambitious
  102. Unceremonious
  103. Unchanging
  104. Undemanding
  105. Unfathomable
  106. Unhurried
  107. Uninhibited
  108. Unpatriotic
  109. Unpredicatable
  110. Unreligious
  111. Unsentimental
  112. Whimsical

Negative Traits (292 = 46%)

  1. Abrasive
  2. Abrupt
  3. Agonizing
  4. Aimless
  5. Airy
  6. Aloof
  7. Amoral
  8. Angry
  9. Anxious
  10. Apathetic
  11. Arbitrary
  12. Argumentative
  13. Arrogantt
  14. Artificial
  15. Asocial
  16. Assertive
  17. Astigmatic
  18. Barbaric
  19. Bewildered
  20. Bizarre
  21. Bland
  22. Blunt
  23. Biosterous
  24. Brittle
  25. Brutal
  26. Calculating
  27. Callous
  28. Cantakerous
  29. Careless
  30. Cautious
  31. Charmless
  32. Childish
  33. Clumsy
  34. Coarse
  35. Cold
  36. Colorless
  37. Complacent
  38. Complaintive
  39. Compulsive
  40. Conceited
  41. Condemnatory
  42. Conformist
  43. Confused
  44. Contemptible
  45. Conventional
  46. Cowardly
  47. Crafty
  48. Crass
  49. Crazy
  50. Criminal
  51. Critical
  52. Crude
  53. Cruel
  54. Cynical
  55. Decadent
  56. Deceitful
  57. Delicate
  58. Demanding
  59. Dependent
  60. Desperate
  61. Destructive
  62. Devious
  63. Difficult
  64. Dirty
  65. Disconcerting
  66. Discontented
  67. Discouraging
  68. Discourteous
  69. Dishonest
  70. Disloyal
  71. Disobedient
  72. Disorderly
  73. Disorganized
  74. Disputatious
  75. Disrespectful
  76. Disruptive
  77. Dissolute
  78. Dissonant
  79. Distractible
  80. Disturbing
  81. Dogmatic
  82. Domineering
  83. Dull
  84. Easily Discouraged
  85. Egocentric
  86. Enervated
  87. Envious
  88. Erratic
  89. Escapist
  90. Excitable
  91. Expedient
  92. Extravagant
  93. Extreme
  94. Faithless
  95. False
  96. Fanatical
  97. Fanciful
  98. Fatalistic
  99. Fawning
  100. Fearful
  101. Fickle
  102. Fiery
  103. Fixed
  104. Flamboyant
  105. Foolish
  106. Forgetful
  107. Fraudulent
  108. Frightening
  109. Frivolous
  110. Gloomy
  111. Graceless
  112. Grand
  113. Greedy
  114. Grim
  115. Gullible
  116. Hateful
  117. Haughty
  118. Hedonistic
  119. Hesitant
  120. Hidebound
  121. High-handed
  122. Hostile
  123. Ignorant
  124. Imitative
  125. Impatient
  126. Impractical
  127. Imprudent
  128. Impulsive
  129. Inconsiderate
  130. Incurious
  131. Indecisive
  132. Indulgent
  133. Inert
  134. Inhibited
  135. Insecure
  136. Insensitive
  137. Insincere
  138. Insulting
  139. Intolerant
  140. Irascible
  141. Irrational
  142. Irresponsible
  143. Irritable
  144. Lazy
  145. Libidinous
  146. Loquacious
  147. Malicious
  148. Mannered
  149. Mannerless
  150. Mawkish
  151. Mealymouthed
  152. Mechanical
  153. Meddlesome
  154. Melancholic
  155. Meretricious
  156. Messy
  157. Miserable
  158. Miserly
  159. Misguided
  160. Mistaken
  161. Money-minded
  162. Monstrous
  163. Moody
  164. Morbid
  165. Muddle-headed
  166. Naive
  167. Narcissistic
  168. Narrow
  169. Narrow-minded
  170. Natty
  171. Negativistic
  172. Neglectful
  173. Neurotic
  174. Nihilistic
  175. Obnoxious
  176. Obsessive
  177. Obvious
  178. Odd
  179. Offhand
  180. One-dimensional
  181. One-sided
  182. Opinionated
  183. Opportunistic
  184. Oppressed
  185. Outrageous
  186. Overimaginative
  187. Paranoid
  188. Passive
  189. Pedantic
  190. Perverse
  191. Petty
  192. Pharissical
  193. Phlegmatic
  194. Plodding
  195. Pompous
  196. Possessive
  197. Power-hungry
  198. Predatory
  199. Prejudiced
  200. Presumptuous
  201. Pretentious
  202. Prim
  203. Procrastinating
  204. Profligate
  205. Provocative
  206. Pugnacious
  207. Puritanical
  208. Quirky
  209. Reactionary
  210. Reactive
  211. Regimental
  212. Regretful
  213. Repentant
  214. Repressed
  215. Resentful
  216. Ridiculous
  217. Rigid
  218. Ritualistic
  219. Rowdy
  220. Ruined
  221. Sadistic
  222. Sanctimonious
  223. Scheming
  224. Scornful
  225. Secretive
  226. Sedentary
  227. Selfish
  228. Self-indulgent
  229. Shallow
  230. Shortsighted
  231. Shy
  232. Silly
  233. Single-minded
  234. Sloppy
  235. Slow
  236. Sly
  237. Small-thinking
  238. Softheaded
  239. Sordid
  240. Steely
  241. Stiff
  242. Strong-willed
  243. Stupid
  244. Submissive
  245. Superficial
  246. Superstitious
  247. Suspicious
  248. Tactless
  249. Tasteless
  250. Tense
  251. Thievish
  252. Thoughtless
  253. Timid
  254. Transparent
  255. Treacherous
  256. Trendy
  257. Troublesome
  258. Unappreciative
  259. Uncaring
  260. Uncharitable
  261. Unconvincing
  262. Uncooperative
  263. Uncreative
  264. Uncritical
  265. Unctuous
  266. Undisciplined
  267. Unfriendly
  268. Ungrateful
  269. Unhealthy
  270. Unimaginative
  271. Unimpressive
  272. Unlovable
  273. Unpolished
  274. Unprincipled
  275. Unrealistic
  276. Unreflective
  277. Unreliable
  278. Unrestrained
  279. Unself-critical
  280. Unstable
  281. Vacuous
  282. Vague
  283. Venal
  284. Venomous
  285. Vindictive
  286. Vulnerable
  287. Weak
  288. Weak-willed
  289. Well-meaning
  290. Willful
  291. Wishful
  292. Zany

 

Some things on this list crack me up.

 Stay healthy! Stay positive!

Longevity Ladies of Lehigh Valley

 

 

LVS16_Signature2.jpg

Ruth, Elizabeth, Angie and Theresa reside in Lehigh Valley. Lehigh Valley is in Pennsylvania.  It consists of small picturesque towns with principal cities being Bethlehem, Allentown and Easton.

It’s 60 minutes north of Philadelphia, and 90 minutes west of New York City. The valley is between two mountains to north and south. Blue Mountain and South Mountain.

These beautiful four ladies have one more thing in common. They are all centenarians. They range in age from 100 to 105.  They also share a common love of family, health and honesty.

“I always say, ‘Never lie or be mean to anyone.'”
-Theresa J. Roth, age 105

Full link:

As seen in the March 2017 issue of Lehigh Valley Style. 

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Related Stories:

 

How A Tiny Pennsylvania Town Held the Secrets to Long Life

[1 / 17  by Jim Deegan for Lehigh Valley Live]
Kathie Marinucci and brother Sam Nittle display a portrait of their uncle, Carmen ‘”Armie” Ruggiero, who was enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. When Ruggiero died Dec. 20, 2015, at age 103, he was believed to have been the oldest person alive from Roseto and one of the only remaining to have participated in a landmark study of mortality rates from 1955 to 1961 that came to be known as “the Roseto Effect.”

In spite of the dark suits and solemn hymns at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, there was a celebratory tone to the funeral for Carmen Ruggiero.

Ruggiero was born in tiny Roseto on Jan. 21, 1912, the year the Titanic sank and the year in which leaders incorporated the predominantly Italian-American borough near the tip of the Lehigh Valley.

The man nicknamed “Armie” died Dec. 20, a month shy of his 104th birthday.

At the time, he was believed to be the oldest living Rosetan and one of the last alive to have participated in a landmark 1950s study that tied good health and long life to the close-knit Italian family structure defined by the town.

Carmen ‘Armie’ Ruggiero at his 100th birthday party
Carmen “Armie” Ruggiero at his 100th birthday party in January 2012 at Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Monroe County. (Courtesy photo)

“Everybody firmly believed he had a long, good life and he went the way he wanted to go,” said his nephew Sam Nittle, of Wind Gap. “He lived life to the fullest and had no regrets about anything. He was the patriarch of the family.”

Ruggiero was one of 11 children and never married or had kids of his own.

He worked at clubs and taverns, tending bar at popular watering holes like the Buckhorn and Luigi’s Ranch-O outside Belvidere and running the bar service at Florida hotspots such as the Boca Raton Resort and Hollywood Beach Hotel.

His life and outlook came under special interest by Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy, an Easton Hospital specialist in internal medicine. The doctor’s fascination with the so-called “Roseto Effect” blossomed after first treating Ruggiero about two years ago.

Ruggiero, he said, was a special patient.

“He was happy with very little,” said Krishnamurthy, program director of the internal medicine residency program at Easton.

“I believe that’s key. When you feel contented with what you have as opposed to always reaching for the sky and keeping up with your neighbor, it was a lesson learned.

“To me his story was told in four words: happy with very little.”

The Roseto Effect

Movies have been made and books written about the secrets of longevity. In 1964, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association hit upon an astonishing find in the hilly town in Northampton County.

A University of Oklahoma physician, Dr. Stewart Wolf, studied the effect of social structure on health from 1955 to 1961. He concluded that Roseto’s low rate of heart attacks and mortality compared to the rest of the region and the nation was attributable to the close-knit community and generations under one roof typical of Roseto at the time.

Roseto produced such results despite health risk factors that were all around: jugs of homemade red wine, foods cooked in lard, the smoking of cigars.

Fifty-five years later, Krishnamurthy encountered living proof that there must be something to the hypothesis and believes it might be applied to centenarians in general.
An article he wrote with a colleague, Dr. Raafia Memon, after spending time with Ruggiero notes that nearly 20 percent of the 55,000 100-year-olds in the U.S. in 2014 lived below the poverty line.

“These people have very little income but they have an attitude to life that is phenomenal,” Krishnamurthy said. “Mr. Ruggiero told me that’s how you live a happy life and a long life.

“The moment you start stressing about things, he said, is when the problems come. He believed that being happy with very little was the secret to longevity.

“Once people are older, they are very contented people,” Krishnamurthy said. “I can’t prove it based on the life story of one person, but I have seen it in people like him who don’t have a gloomy attitude and aren’t ticked off about small things. I do believe that there is something to it.”

Proud of his independence

Most of Ruggiero’s siblings lived into their 80s and 90s. He moved to Florida in the late 1960s then came back in the 1990s to help tend to two of his sisters, said niece Kathie Marinucci, of Roseto.

He maintained a fierce independence and lived the past few years at the Walden III assisted-living facility in Wind Gap.

Ruggiero drove until he was 100, could recall stories from his childhood in vivid detail and passed along traditions to his many nieces and nephews that they say would be lost forever were it not for his insistence.

With decades in the service industry, for example, he prided himself on his Caesar salad.

“It had to have the 13 ingredients,” said Marinucci, who lives in the house where she grew up. “You had to use the wooden bowl, which you never washed, and you had to smash the anchovies.”

Marinucci and Nittle are brother and sister whose late mother, Rose Nittle, was the youngest of Ruggiero’s family. While they looked after their uncle Armie, he lived essentially on his own up until the end.

One day last month, he called Nittle at home and summoned him to Walden III.

“I need you to come and see me,” he said.

To me his story was told in four words: happy with very little.”
Nittle said Ruggiero was uncharacteristically serious and business-minded that day. He pointed a crooked finger at his nephew and shook it at him.

“He said ‘This is my home now,'” a surprised Nittle recalled.

“He said ‘I had a home in Florida and don’t have it anymore. I had a home in Roseto and don’t have that anymore. This is my home. I go and come as I please.

“‘Don’t you ever put me in a home and don’t you ever let people see me if I can’t take care of myself.'”

Ruggiero also related something that Nittle says he can’t explain today. The family traditionally gathers at Nittle’s home on Christmas Eve and the nephew makes Manhattans.

“He said, ‘I don’t want you to feel bad about this, but I’m not coming over this year for Christmas,'” Nittle said.

A few hours after leaving, NIttle got a call from his sister. Ruggiero had taken a fall in the dining area and was going to Lehigh Valley Hospital. Doctors said he had fractured his neck in the spill.

Ruggiero died of bronchial pneumonia about 10 days later, his family said.

“The day this all happened, which was the beginning of the end, is the day he called me and told me all this,” Nittle said.

A different time

Roseto is different today than the town that gained recognition for its endurance. About 1,500 people live there, but the concentration of Italian-Americans has been diluted.

In 1989, Dr. Wolf restudied the Roseto Effect and found the mortality rates were in line with other communities such as Bangor and Nazareth. The difference was gone.

“The Rosetan values of cohesive family structure started fading away in the late 1960s,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Roseto
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Roseto has been the place of worship for generations of the borough’s Italian-Americans. (Jim Deegan | For lehighvalleylive.com)

Even today, the mayor and most of borough council have last names, like the streets, that end in vowels. But it’s not the place it was, according to longtime residents.

“Back then everybody knew everyone else,” said Michael Romano, 62, the borough council president. “If you walked down the street and you were doing something wrong, the parents didn’t have a problem disciplining someone else’s child. It’s not that way today.”

You can still get tomato pie and cannoli at Roseto Bakery, formerly LeDonne’s, and there’s Italian fare and espresso machines for sale at Ruggiero’s Market on Dante Street. But the days when Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church was packed and Catholic schools were open have faded like the Roseto Effect.

Romano said the Italian-American culture that emphasized education and college served to diminish the effect.

“There’s still a core of Italians with the church and the fire company, but the composition of Roseto has changed,” he said.

Doc looks back on colorful 57-year career
Doc looks back on colorful 57-year career

While the Roseto Effect may be long gone, its documentation remains useful, according to Easton Hospital’s Krishnamurthy.

He feels grateful to have been able to capture a fleeting phenomenon in Carmen Ruggiero and his stories of Roseto.

“All of my patients are equal because I care for their medical conditions,” he said, “but sometimes there are cases that speak to you much more.

“He had a profound effect on me,” he said of Ruggiero. “There was a different connection. He would make you so comfortable and you could talk to him for hours and not even realize it.”

With further study involving other centenarians, Krishnamurthy hopes to one day publish a medical paper that ties attitude and longevity together.

It’s something he says is worthy of emphasis.

“We’re going through tough times all across the world,” he said. “I see a lot of discontentment in the youth of today and I don’t know how to change that.”

An old man from Roseto who didn’t drive anymore still may have held the keys.

“There’s something about the centenarians who find joy in small things,” the doctor said. “They find a purpose in life. We need to find some level of happiness and contentment with what we are and who we are.

“For me, it is going to be a lifelong quest.”

                              ###

[Jim Deegan may be reached at jdeegan@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @jim_deegan. Find lehighvalleylive on Facebook]

 

 

 

Love: What the World Needs Now by Maria Dorfner

oxy3 

 

Today, I interview Paul J. Zak about health, love and morality.

Zak has done extensive research into discovering what chemical in our brain ultimately prompts us to love.

So much so, that this son of a prior Catholic nun has a new nickname.

paul-zak

Paul J. Zak is a scientist, prolific author, and public speaker. His book The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity was published in 2012 and was a finalist for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.

He is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Dr. Zak also serves as Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He has degrees in mathematics and economics from San Diego State University, a Ph.D. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in neuroimaging from Harvard.

He is credited with the first published use of the term “neuroeconomics.” He organized and administers the first doctoral program in neuroeconomics. Dr. Zak’s lab discovered in 2004 that the brain chemical oxytocin allows us to determine who to trust.

His current research has shown that oxytocin is responsible for virtuous behaviors, working as the brain’s “moral molecule.”

This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for civilization and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Zak’s work on relationships earned him the nickname “Dr. Love.”

Q & A with Paul J. Zak
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1.  First, what prompted you to write The Moral Molecule:  The Source of Love and Prosperity and what’s love got to do with it?

I think the oldest debate humans have had since we have been having debates is on whether our human nature is good or evil.  Think Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, etc.  We are really curious about this!

Of course, most of us can be incredibly kind and sometimes nasty.  I wanted to see if I could find a “switch” in the brain from naughty to nice and figure out what turns this switch on and off.  And, my mother, before she was my mother, was a Catholic nun.  So, growing up I was given a very black and white view of morality.

But, my observation was that morality was more situational.  So, I basically spent 10 years of research so I could argue better with my mother (!).  Based on research done on rodents, I hypothesized that the mammalian neurochemical oxytocin might be the moral molecule. My experiments (and replications and extensions by many others) have shown a key role for oxytocin in motivating positive social behaviors.  Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love molecule” as it sustains romantic bonds and motivates care for offspring.

So, love makes us moral.  I think my mom would agree with this!

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2.  Absolutely.  How does positive touch and psychological support promote health?

Oxytocin motivates moral behaviors–even among strangers–by making us feel empathy where we share the emotions of others.

It promotes human interactions by reducing stress responses and thereby improving the immune systems.  Perhaps surprisingly, it is other people who keep us healthy (and, we’ve shown, happy).

We need connections, our brains and bodies crave it. We have shown that touch releases oxytocin.  So, I recommend 8 hugs a day.  Hug a stranger–its good for them and for you.

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3.  I’m Italian, so hugs come naturally. What if someone is alone?  Can they raise oxytocin levels?

Loneliness is stressful for social creatures like humans.  But, people who are alone can “hack” the oxytocin/connection system in several says.First of all, get a pet.  Our experiments have shown that dogs are better oxytocin promoters than are cats, but any pet is probably good.Second, use social media.  We have shown in experiments that social media of all types cause oxytocin release.  Third, massage is very healthful and causes oxytocin release (or start hugging people).

Lastly, nearly any activity that people do together can cause oxytocin release, including singing, dancing, going to movies, riding a roller coaster and especially helping others.

All these behaviors can “train the brain” to be better at connecting to people by increasing our oxytocin release.

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4.  Great tips.  All in moderation.  In your book you say love is also the source to prosperity. Let’s talk about that.  I read 90% of well-educated men who have graduated from college are ready for marriage between the ages of twenty-six to thirty-three-years-old.  These are the high commitment years.  Studies show a never married man at age forty-two becomes a confirmed bachelor.  Is oxytocin higher during the high commitment years making them able to trust and bond, as  older men get jaded?

High testosterone, our experiments have shown, is a powerful oxytocin inhibitor.  Testosterone falls in men after age 30 or so.  It also falls when men are in committed relationships and when they have children.  So, younger men may need a romantic partner to “tame” them so they can better attach to others.

Like any other brain system (or the French you took in 5th grade), the brain reduces the energy spent to maintain brain pathways that are little used.  Low attachment opportunities may make it harder in the future to find a mate.  A dog, though, is a good place to start.  Dogs also make being approached by strangers easier.  Go dogs!

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5.  Pets are amazing.  How about studies that consistently find a significant correlation between length of marriage and wealth accumulation?  Most millionaires are and stay married.  According to Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, author of “The Millionaire Mind” millionaires and those who will probably attain this status have a unique ability to select mates with a certain set of qualities:  Honest, Responsible, Loving, Capable & Supportive.  Does love keep you healthy AND wealthy?  If so, how?
 

Married men work harder, make more money, are happier, and live healthier and longer.  This is likely due to the anxiolytic effects of oxytocin.

High wealth men tend to have higher testosterone, so both marriage partners need to make love/romance a committment to keep the flame of oxytocin alive.

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6. I’ve also read certain foods release oxytocin naturally.  Namely, pasta with garlic and tomato sauce,  (happy to hear as an Italian!) plums, apples, turkey, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, cottage cheese, chick peas, oregano and another favorite, chocolate!  Have I left anything out?
Actually, oxytocin is such a primitive molecule we never run out of its building blocks.  Foods rich in phytoestrogens can make us more sensitive to oxytocin (perhaps by increasing oxytocin receptors though this has not been shown in humans yet).  These foods include soy, broccoli, tea, wine.
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7.  What are some more natural ways of releasing this love hormone to stay healthy? (i.e. pets, warm bath, soothing music)
Besides those listed above, moderately stressful events like travel or riding a roller coaster will raise oxytocin.  The best way to spike one’s
oxytocin is sex in a committed relationship.  Cuddling, holding hands, kissing will all do it.  Warm temperature helps, as does sharing a meal.
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8.  Nice.  Why hasn’t everyone been prescribed oxytocin in the nasal spray form to boost their well-being?
The spray inhibits the brain’s ability to control the release of oxytocin.  The brain’s oxytocin system is finely tuned so that oxytocin is released when we have a positive social interaction and then release is shut off.  You don’t want to leave the trust switch turned “on” at all times, this could be dangerous.  There is also evidence in animals that long-term oxytocin treatment can damage oxytocin receptors so the trust-empathy system could, over time, begin to fail.
9.  Interesting. Recently, there have been studies linking oxytocin with having a healthier body image. What are your thoughts on it being used as a treatment for anorexia, body dysmorphia or any other number of body image disorders?
My lab has done many studies of oxytocin replacement therapy.  For short to moderate periods of time, in combination with counselling, this is an appropriate approach for some patients with body imaging disorders.  The first line treatment would be with SSRIs like Prozac or Paxil and it turns out that this class of drugs moderately increases oxytocin in the brain.
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10.  Prescription drugs can have serious side effects so I’d like to focus on natural ways to release oxytocin. If someone were to begin doing all the natural things you mention, how long would it take them to begin feeling better and healthier?

Almost immediately!  Oxytocin is released in about 1 second after a positive contact.  If you follow Dr. Love’s (my nickname) prescription of 8 hugs a day, then you are training the brain to release oxytocin more easily.

That’s the key to being happier and healthier (and exercise and eat well wouldn’t hurt, either).

THAT ENDS OUR INTERVIEW. THANK YOU DR. ZAK FOR JOINING US.  THANK YOU FOR READING. -Maria
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If you’d like to learn more about Paul J. Zak’s amazing work visit http://www.pauljzak.com or watch his Global TED Talk at link below.
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Living Longer

Researchers have uncovered an ancient mechanism that retards aging. Drugs that tweaked it could well postpone cancer, diabetes and other diseases of old age.

By David Stipp, Scientific American

        Image: Photographs by Evan Kafka

In Brief

  • In 2009 scientists discovered that a drug called rapamycin could significantly extend life span in mice, doing so by interfering with the activity of a protein called mammalian TOR, or mTOR.
  • The finding is the most compelling evidence to date that mammalian aging can be slowed pharmaceutically, and it galvanized interest in mTOR’s role in the aging process.
  • The result also highlighted a mystery: Why would suppressing cellular growth and replication—oneeffect of interfering with mTOR—extend life span?
  • Research into that question could lead to medicines that postpone or mitigate aging-related disorders—from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer to heart failure—and perhaps even extend how long human