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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

ABOUT ASTRIDESTELLA.INFO








Astrid Brown is an Author and a Professional Medium/Psychic who writes vastly on her experiences, some of which are in her books and others on her blogs and personal web pages. She is an experienced College Lecturer in Holistic Studies and Reiki Master. She currently freelances and writes periodically for an online magazine and works for a large well known international psychic company as a professional psychic medium. She resides in the UK.

TRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN




Becoming beautiful inside is what radiates beauty evergreen.


This means looking at ourselves as people and reflecting what makes us who we are. Remember the world does not owe us a living, we are what we ourselves have created. Ask yourself, "Do I like who I am?" "Am I a good person?" When you give "of" yourself and start loving people in a unconditional way, liking them without being judgmental you begin to radiate beauty from within, you radiate it from your soul. It is through this you will achieve "Inner Beauty".

Maggie Brown

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

COULD DEPRESSION BE PREVENTED?

  • Dr. Turhan Canli is a professor from Stony Brook University, in the U.S. 
  • Argues depression should be re-conceptualised as an infectious disease
  • Condition is caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses, he claims
  • People with depression show sickness like those suffering infection
  • If his theory is true, a vaccination against depression could be possible


Depression should be re-defined as an infectious disease rather than an emotional disorder, argues one scientist.
The condition could result from a parasitic, bacterial or viral infection and future research into the condition should search for these micro-organisms, argues Dr. Turhan Canli, of Stony Brook University, U.S. 
If his theory is true, he hopes a vaccination to protect against depression could be developed in future.
Writing in the journal Biology of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Dr Canli said: 'It is time for an entirely different approach.
Depression should be re-conceptualised as an infectious disease caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses, argues Dr Turhan Canli, a professor at Stony Brook University, U.S.
'Instead of conceptualising major depression as an emotional disorder, I suggest to re-conceptualise it as some form of an infectious disease.
'I propose that future research should conduct a concerted search for parasites, bacteria, or viruses that may play a causal role in the etiology of major depression.'
He divides his theory into three arguments.
He said patients with depression exhibit sickness-like behaviours.
They lose their energy, have difficulty getting out of bed and lose interest in the world around them, displaying the same symptoms as people who have an infectious disease.
Studies of the patients with depression also show the presence of inflammatory markers in their brains, he said.
These inflammatory markers might indicate the immune system has been activated in response to some kind of pathogen, which could be a parasite, bacterium or virus - this being what is causing the symptoms of depression, he argued.

HIGH-FLYING WOMEN 'FACE DEPRESSION', STUDY FINDS

Women in positions of power at work are at risk of poorer mental health than women further down the career ladder, a study has found.
Researchers found that while men tend to feel better the more authority they have, the reverse is often true for women.
‘Women with job authority – the ability to hire, fire and influence pay – have significantly more symptoms of depression than women without this power,’ said Tetyana Pudrovska, of the University of Texas, who carried out the study.2
‘In contrast, men with job authority have fewer symptoms of depression than men without such power.
‘What’s striking is that women with job authority in our study are advantaged in terms of most characteristics that are strong predictors of positive mental health,’ she added.
‘These women have more education, higher incomes, more prestigious occupations, and higher levels of job satisfaction and autonomy than women without job authority.
‘Yet they have worse mental health than lower-status women.’
His second argument is that there are examples of parasites, bacteria or viruses affecting emotional behaviour throughout nature.
The best known example is Toxomaplasma gondii (T.gondii), a parasite which lives in the intestinal tract of a cat.
There, it lays eggs which are dispersed into the environment when the cat excretes.
When a rat comes in contact with these eggs and becomes infected, it becomes attracted to the scent of cat urine.
The rat’s behaviour is through parasitic cysts being deposited across its brain, activating the same pathways involved in sexual arousal.
He says one third of the world’s population is thought to be infected with T.gondii. The infection is associated with markers of inflammation, as observed in depressed patients.
Of patients with a diagnosed major depression or bipolar disorder, those with a history of attempting suicide had higher levels of antibodies created to fight T.gondii bacteria.
‘Yet, large-scale studies of major depression and T. gondii or systematic searches to discover other potential parasitic infections have not yet been conducted,’ Dr Canli argued in his paper.
Similarly, he cites a number of studies in which rodents’ emotional behaviour changes when they are exposed to bacteria.
Large studies looking at associations between viruses and depressions exist already too, he said.
He cites an analysis of 28 studies, which found a link between viruses and depression. These included the Borna disease virus (BDV), the herpes virus responsible for cold sores, varicella zoster virus, which causes chicken pox and and Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever.
One study found BVD virus was 3.25 more likely to be found in depressed people than in non-depressed people, he said. Another found BVD in the brain’s of two out of 30 depressed patients.
His final argument is that re-conceptualising depression as an infectious disease is useful when thinking about the genetics of the disease.

If his theory is true, he hopes a a vaccination to protect against depression could be developed in future
The search for specific genes linked to depression has come up empty, he said, adding: ‘Perhaps, we have been looking at the wrong organism.’
While studies have looked for internal changes in human genes, which might explain depression, 8 per cent of the human genome is based on external changes, such as from viruses.
Bacteria, viruses and parasistes could transfer genes into our cells, leading to changes in our genetic structure.
They could also be passed during birth or through contact between parents and their children, he said.
He concluded that large scale studies involving patients with depression and people without the condition should be carried out to see if parasites, viruses or bacteria could be the cause.
He added: ‘Such efforts, if successful, would represent the ‘end of the beginning’ , as any such discovery would represent the first step toward developing a vaccination for major depression.’ 







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Monday, 10 November 2014

HOPEFULLY A NEW GENERATION OF ANTIBIOTICS


I am glad to see this development as there has been no significantly new antibiotics for sometime. Over prescribing of antibiotics is something that really annoys me, it's all too easy to blame doctors but its the public who are at fault and its the public who have created the super bugs such as MRSA, through their ignorance, though there's been plenty of attempts to educate them on the use of antibiotics. Many countries sell antibiotics over the counter without a doctors prescription, this is wrong as taking antibiotics for relatively minor conditions leads to the bacteria developing resistance to the antibiotic. If you are ill enough to feel you need antibiotic please see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis. Even ointments containing antibiotics, however how much are still antibiotics at the end of the day and the body does have the capacity to deal with minor infections, if the condition continues to worsen please see a doctor. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses or fungal conditions, so going to the doctor when you have a cold and asking for antibiotics is pointless. Doctors I have to say are now aware of this more. And one of the worse culprits for leading to resistance is failing to finish the course prescribed, this leads to the bacteria developing immunity to the antibiotic, so if you are prescribed an antibiotic finish the entire course even if you are feeling much better. When I was a young nurse I was trained to gown up i.e. to wear gloves, a mask and a protective gown when administering antibiotic injections, this was to prevent us becoming sensitive to the antibiotic, this no longer is the case, for the less we are exposed to antibiotics the less we are likely to develop allergies and for bacteria to become resistant. I hope in the future people will become aware to how valuable and wonderful antibiotics are and not take them for granted and listen to medical advice.

ARTICLE BELOW FROM THE DAILY MAIL


Could HORSE MANURE develop a new generation of antibiotics? Mushrooms on dung could be effective at killing bacteria

  • Substance, known as copsin, can be found on the gray shag mushroom
  • Scientists say that copsin has the same effect as traditional antibiotics
  • It belongs to a different type of biochemical family because it is a protein
  • As well as antibiotics, it may also be possible to use copsin in the food industry to tackle pathogens such as Listeria


Scientists claim the rise of untreatable bacteria is one of the biggest health threats facing the world.
To prevent minor infections killing people globally, researchers are in a race against time to develop new and better types of antibiotics.
Now scientists in Switzerland believe they have found one solution to the problem in an unlikely place: the gray shag mushroom that grows on horse dung.
Scientists in Switzerland believe they have found a substance that can lead to a new type of antibiotic in an unlikely place: the gray shag mushroom (pictured) 
+3
The three-dimensional structure studied by ETH researchers exhibits the compact form of copsin
+3
The gray shag mushroom grows on horse manure

ARE WE FINALLY WINNING THE WAR AGAINST SUPERBUGS?
Scientists have created the first viable alternative to antibiotics, marking the next step in the fight against drug-resistant superbugs

Scientists in Switzerland believe they have found a substance that can lead to a new type of antibiotic in an unlikely place: the gray shag mushroom (pictured) 
The substance, known as copsin, has the same effect as traditional antibiotics, but belongs to a different type of biochemical family because it is a protein.
The researchers led by Markus Aebi, a mycology professor at ETH Zurich, discovered the substance in the common inky cap mushroom Coprinopsis cinerea.
Copsin belongs to the group of defensins, a class of small proteins produced by many organisms to combat microorganisms that cause disease.
The human body also produces defensins to protect itself against infections. They have been found, for example, on the skin and in the mucous membranes.
The gray shag mushroom grows on horse manure. It contains a substance known as copsin, The three-dimensional structure studied by ETH researchers shows the compact form of copsin on the left
For Professor Aebi, the main focus of this research project was not primarily on applications for the new substance.
'Whether copsin will one day be used as an antibiotic in medicine remains to be seen. This is by no means certain, but it cannot be ruled out either,' he says.
The ETH professor is now looking at how fungi have used defensins and other naturally antibiotic substances for millions of years to protect themselves against bacteria - without becoming resistant. 
Scientists have created the first viable alternative to antibiotics, marking the next step in the fight against drug-resistant superbugs
Scientists have created the first viable alternative to antibiotics, marking the next step in the fight against drug-resistant superbugs.
A small test study has found the new drug is effective at targeting the bacteria that causes MRSA.
Researchers believe the likelihood of the bug developing a resistance to the new drug is 'very limited'.
A version of the drug is already used in specialist creams to treat conditions including acne, eczema, rosacea and skin irritations.
Dutch biotech firm Micreos claims Staphefekt is the first endolysin - a bacteria-killing enzyme - available for use on human skin.
While targeting MRSA and other strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, the drug's make up means it leaves 'good' bacteria unharmed - important in the case of long-term use.
The firm unveiled its discovery at the EuroSciCon meeting, Antibiotics Alternatives for the New Millenium, in London last week. 
'Fungi have internal instructions on how to use these substances without resulting in selection of resistant bacteria. How to decode these instructions is an intriguing problem for basic research,' explains Professor Aebi.
In addition to being used as an antibiotic in medicine, it may also be possible to use copsin in the food industry as well.
This is because copsin kills many pathogens including Listeria, a type of bacteria that can cause severe food poisoning and is therefore feared, especially in the production of non-heat treated foodstuffs such as raw milk cheeses and dried meats.


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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A NEW STUDY SHOWS GIRLS WHO ARE PRONE TO DEPRESSION AGE FASTER





*

Girls who are stressed and prone to depression 'age faster than their peers'
Girls with a family history of depression respond differently to stress
Their bodies release higher levels of the hormone cortisol
They also have telomeres that are shorter by the equivalent of six years
Telomeres are caps on the end of chromosomes which are linked to ageing
Shorter telomeres are linked to premature death, and increase in disease
Exercise has been shown to delay telomere shortening, experts advised ..............continued below.................


____________________________________________

WHAT HAPPENS TO US WHEN WE ARE STRESSED?

Well this goes way back to the times when we were developing as humans and in early periods in history. The body's chemistry was designed to protect us with "The fight or flight response". For example man sees a big bear approach what does he do? he either tackles it or he runs off. Nature is very clever and gives us the capacity to do this. However in 2011 we no longer have the bears, wolves, etc. (ok some of you may) like of yesteryear we have different stresses. Your work colleagues or your neighbours may annoy you but you can't fight them, nor can you run away, but you can learn to deal and dissipate your stress levels so that it doesn't impinge on your health.

But firstly we need to deal with the science bit for if we understand the physiology of stress we're half way there to solving the impact stress has on our lives.

THE SCIENCE BIT

Deep within the brain we have an area known as the Hypothalamus (1), its the home of our moods and emotions and a very primitive part of the brain. The Hypothalamus is also the area that maintains equilibrium in our bodies and it maintains and regulates every bit of our body's chemistry. It is the area that controls the Endocrine system, it forms part of the Autonomic Nervous System and part of the Limbic System. It is Hypothalmus  that is the key to managing stress and all its detrimental effects on our mind and body. It is directly through this area that the holistic therapy Aromatherapy works and is managed by other holistic therapies.

 Since the Hypothalamus is the home of moods and emotions anything that affects these will influence the Hypothalamus, thus will have an effect on the body's equilibrium.

Now if we are stressed and modern stressors are not the same as those stressors we had as we were evolving as humans, they still have the same effect resulting in "the fight or flight response"
  
(1)The Role of the Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the endocrine system.

The Pituitary gland lies beneath the Hypothalamus  and it is this that controls the other endocrine glands.

The Hypothalamus receives information about the Homeostasis (balance) of the body, this is achieved by two means:

  • The blood circulation i.e. temperature, blood glucose levels and hormone levels
  • The nervous system i.e. The Autonomic Nervous system i.e. the part of the nervous system that regulates automatic functions e.g. breathing, heart rate etc. and mental and emotional states, our feelings: these influence ‘automatic responses’ e.g. ‘The fear, flight response’

The Hypothalamus responds to these changes by:

  • Secreting Hormones (chemical messengers) that regulate hormones to be released by the anterior lobe of the pituitary
  • The hypothalamus also directly releases hormones via the Posterior Lobe of the Pituitary , Vasopressin (ADH) and Oxytocin
  • And by stimulating a nerve response to the ‘Central Nervous System’ (Brain & spinal Cord)


SO WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE?

Moods/emotions affect the hypothalamus, the hypothalamus evokes a reaction on the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland produces Adrenocorticotropic hormone this in turn targets the adrenal glands causing them to secrete Cortisone, Cortisone in turn effects the kidneys causing a rise in blood pressure by causing changes in the amount of salt secreted, this hormone causes the body to retain salt. Now remember the Hypothalamus one of its jobs is to maintain the body's equilibrium, it detects a rise in salt levels in the blood so to keep balance it causes the body to retain fluid, it is this retained fluid that increases blood pressure. At the same time, the Hypothalamus being part of the Central Nervous System evokes what is known as the Sympathetic Nervous System this diverts blood away from the digestive system and to lesser important body structures such as the skin and concentrates the blood to the heart, lungs and muscles. Simultaneously this nervous response influences the adrenal glands to produce Adrenalin and Noradrenalin, it is these hormones that induces vasoconstriction (reduces the blood supply) to the skin and peripheral tissues, thus also raising blood pressure.

Now this is putting it simply there are a few other processes also going on to increase blood sugar to give the body fuel to either run off or fight, Corticotrophic hormones influence the pancreas to secrete glucagon this has the opposite effect as insulin.

When the stress is over the Parasympathetic Nervous reverses the process again it is the Hyptholamus that instigates this.

Obviously its much more complex than this and I have focused on a few key hormones as it the action of these hormones that affects our well-being, the ageing process and blood pressure.

The fight or flight response was not designed to last forever it was meant ti instigate an action to deal with an aggressor, be it a wild animal or in a fight with an attacker therein lies the problem modern stressors tends to be work, work colleagues etc. the stress becomes long acting, this kind of reaction is fine in the short term but very detrimental to the body in the long term.

Take Cortisone, it has a damaging effect on specialised cells within the dermis (the skin), fibroblasts, these cells produce collagen and elastin, it is collagen and elastin that gives our skin elasticity and support. Adrenalin reduces blood supply to the peripheral tissues, such as the skin and hair, therefore, these structures do not receive adequate nourishment from the blood. So the effect of long term stress affects the skin resulting in ageing of the skin





Stress and how it affects us 

Stress The dictionary definition of stress is: a constraining or impelling force, effort or demand upon physical or mental energy. A stressor is a person or situation that makes you become stressed. We are more likely to suffer stress in society today than that of our ancestors. 70% of all illness to day is now directly attributed to stress. Modern society with all its pressures traffic congestion, over-crowding, noise, fears and general uncertainties about work, mortgages and family life present situation after situation where the state of stress is ever present. Stress is an everyday part of modern life, everyone experiences at sometime or another and everyday stresses are not necessarily harmful. A certain about of stress keeps us motivated and stimulated to make life more enjoyable and interesting. It is the effect of long-term stress that can be positively harmful to our bodies.

When do stress levels become harmful? 

The factors that seem to make any situation dangerously stressful are:

• Lack of predictability
• Lack of control
• Lack of outlets for frustration

For when these elements are present even simple situations can become stressful and produce a reaction that is completely out of proportion to the cause. It is not the situation but our reaction to it that creates the stress in our lives. The problem with us humans we have this tendency to dwell on the past and worry about the future and this takes our attention away from the present. Yet it is in the present moment that we have the greatest clarity to deal with any situation. We should enjoy our life in the present for in holding on to the past and holding back the future we create fear and ultimately stress. Growth in our lives is usually preceded by change the problem is handling change can be difficult in the short term and life-changing events such as:

• Bereavement
• Moving House
• Debt
• Ill Health
• Difficult Relationships
• Stressful Work
• Family Problems Have been identified as the most likely to cause negative or harmful stress.
Even positive events such as:
• Marriage
• Pregnancy
• A child starting school or University May cause you stress and can ultimately lead to illness.

Your personality and coping mechanisms will largely determine how you deal with these daily stresses and strains.

MPB (c)

CORTISOL OFTEN KNOWN AS THE 'STRESS HORMONE' 

Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced within the adrenal cortex in the adrenal glands, these are cone shaped organs sitting on top of the kidneys. It's a very important hormone and responsible for proper glucose metabolism, helping regulate blood pressure, has a part to play in insulin and blood sugar levels and is part of the inflammatory response. It's often known as the stress hormone but as you can see that's only part of its functions, and this is because it's secreted in higher levels as part of the 'Fight or Flight response'. When secreted in short bursts its beneficial to the body as due to it's actions, it helps mobilise energy reserves, heightens memory and lowers response to pain. This is how and why it's beneficial in the 'Fight and Flight response', it acts quickly and helps survival, however today's stresses are not the same as yesteryear and therein lies the problem.

When there is prolonged secretion of this hormone, when stress is on going, it causes blood sugar imbalances, affects bone density, causing it to decrease and also causes a decrease in muscle tissue. It raises blood pressure affects the body's immune system making us more susceptible to infection and leads to poor healing. It also causes shifts in body fat by increasing more fat around the abdominal areas and leads to higher levels of cholesterol.


The Hypothalamus & the Relationship to the Endocrine System in ‘Stress’

Below the flow chart illustrates how our minds' emotions and feelings trigger a reaction in the Hypothalamus to instigate what happens in the 'Fight or Flight' response. The Hypothalamus then in turn influences both the Autonomic Nervous System and the Endocrine system. This is fine short term it helps us cope in dangerous scenarios and was designed as a protective response, however the stresses of today are not those of yesteryear. No harm comes to our bodies in the short term, this is not the case in long term stress. All is not lost for there are ways we can influence the Hypothalamus to prevent the long term damaging effects of stress on our health. I shall be exploring this under Holistic Therapies. 

Girls who are stressed and prone to depression may age prematurely, a new study has found.
The research shows girls with a family history of depression respond to stressful situations by releasing higher levels of the hormone cortisol.
Scientists believe that in large amounts, cortisol can damage the immune system and organs, including the brain.
Girls with a history of depression also have telomeres that are shorter by the equivalent of six years in adults, researchers found. 
Girls prone to depression respond to stress by producing more of the hormone cortisol. They have shorter telomeres -  the caps on the end of chromosomes - which is a sign of ageing
Girls prone to depression respond to stress by producing more of the hormone cortisol. They have shorter telomeres -  the caps on the end of chromosomes - which is a sign of ageing

Telomeres are caps on the ends of chromosomes, which get a little shorter every time a cell divides, or as a result of exposure to stress.
Telomere length is like a biological clock corresponding to age, getting shorter as adults grow up.
Previous studies have shown links between shorter telomeres and premature death, more frequent infections, and chronic diseases in adults.  
Professor Ian Gotlib, from Stanford University said the findings came as a surprise.
He said: 'I did not think that these girls would have shorter telomeres than their low-risk counterparts — they're too young.'
For the study, researchers recruited 10 to 14-year-old healthy girls with a family history of depression and compared them to healthy girls without that background. 
They measured the girls' response to stress tests, asking them to count backward from 100 by seven, and interviewing them about stressful situations.
Before and after the test, the team measured the girls' cortisol levels and also analysed DNA samples for telomere length.
'No one had examined telomere length in young children who are at risk for developing depression,' before the study, Professor Gotlib said. 
Healthy but high-risk 12-year-old girls had significantly shorter telomeres - a sign of premature aging. 
Exercise has been shown to delay telomere shortening in adults, so girls at high-risk girls should take exercise and learn other stress reduction techniques, experts advised
Exercise has been shown to delay telomere shortening in adults, so girls at high-risk girls should take exercise and learn other stress reduction techniques, experts advised

Professor Gotlib said: 'It's the equivalent in adults of six years of biological aging.
But he added that 'it's not at all clear that that makes them 18, because no one has done this measurement in children'.
Exercise has been shown to delay telomere shortening in adults, so girls at high-risk girls should learn stress reduction techniques, he advised.
Other studies show that neuro-feedback and attention bias training – which redirects attention toward the positive - appear promising.
Other investigators are studying techniques based on mindfulness training.
Professor Gotlib said he and colleagues are continuing to monitor the girls from the original study and it seems as though those with shorter telomeres are more likely to become depressed.
'It's looking like telomere length is predicting who's going to become depressed and who's not' he said.
The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.



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Sunday, 2 November 2014

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

HOW FRESH AIR AND BEING AMONGST NATURE CAN HELP ALLEVIATE LOW MOODS



Any kind of exercise will lift mood as the body's natural endorphins are released, these are the body's natural painkillers, they also induce a natural euphoria.

Exercise especially if its done regularly:
Reduces stress
Wards off anxiety and feelings of depression
Boosts self-esteem
Improves sleep
It strengthens your heart.
It increases energy levels.
It lowers blood pressure.
It improves muscle tone and strength.
It strengthens and builds bones.
It helps reduce body fat.
It makes you look fit and healthy.

So even walking is beneficial however being amongst nature amongst trees and woodland or even by a stream enhances the benefits. Trees and plants give off positive energy and running water as well as soothing releases negative ions into the atmosphere.

Negative ions increase your sense of well-being and mental clarity by removing  positive ions in your environment.
Negative ions clear the air of dust, pollen,  mold spores and other potential allergens.
Improves the function of your respiratory tract 
Negative ions have a relaxing effect and have been reported to normalize your breathing rate, decrease blood pressure and relieve tension.
Studies show high levels of negative ions can be as effective at treating Seasonal Affective Disorder 
Improves energy levels  Research has shows negative ions normalize serotonin levels
Better sleep
Reduces instances of headaches and sickness. .
Helps mental concentration and performance. 

ARTICLE BELOW IS FROM THE 'DAILY MAIL'

Feeling down? Get some fresh air: Taking a walk really does beat stress - without the need for antidepressants

  • Walking is especially beneficial for people going through a tough time
  • Strolling through natural settings such as woodlands and mountains best
  • One theory is because these areas allows the brain to completely relax and enter into a state of contemplation 

If you're feeling sluggish, low and hopeless you might want to reach for your trainers, or even head for the woods.
Taking a walk beats stress without the need for drugs such as anti-depressants, according to a new study.
It was especially beneficial for people going through a tough time, such as death of a loved one, becoming unemployed or splitting up with a partner, U.S. researchers found.
Walking can beat stress and boost mood, according to U.S. researchers. They found it was especially beneficial for people going through a tough time, like the death of a loved one or splitting up with a partner
Walking can beat stress and boost mood, according to U.S. researchers. They found it was especially beneficial for people going through a tough time, like the death of a loved one or splitting up with a partner

And walking in a natural setting such as woodlands, up in the mountains, or around a beautiful lake might be better for relaxation than in urban settings, they advised.
Professor Sara Warber, of Michigan University in the U.S., said: 'We hear people say they feel better after a walk or going outside.
'But [until now] there haven't been many studies of this size to support the conclusion that these behaviours actually improve mental health and wellbeing.'
She added: 'Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise .
'And, it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilised stress buster.
 
'Our findings suggest something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone's daily positive emotions but may also contribute a non-pharmacological [non-drug] approach to serious conditions like depression.
'Group walks in local natural environments may make a potentially important contribution to public health and be beneficial in helping people cope with stress and experience improved emotions.'
The findings add to the growing body of research on the benefits of taking a stroll.
Previous studies have found that walking can delay the onset of cancer, help stave off obesity, heart disease and diabetes as well as lowering blood pressure.

HOW TO FIT WALKING INTO YOUR SCHEDULE

Government health recommendations are for us to exercise for 30 minutes daily, for a minimum of five days a week. 
But you can split the walk into a couple of 15-minute journeys each day or make up for lost time with an extra-long walk at the weekend.
Dr Craig Williams, a sports science lecturer at the University of Exeter says: 'Where walking beats other forms of exercise is that there are excellent strategies for boosting the amount you do.
'For example, getting off at an earlier bus-stop than your usual one will add on a two to three minute walk. That may not sound much, but if you do that twice a day, every day, it all adds up.
'Other tips include walking up a flight of stairs instead of taking the lift. Even a brisk walk around the block for ten minutes in your lunchbreak contributes to your daily walking.'
Walking for 40 minutes a day seemed to increase the size of people's brains, according to one study, improving their memory and protecting against dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
As part of the new research, experts evaluated 1,991 participants from the Walking for Health programme in England.
The programme helps facilitate almost 3,000 weekly walks and draws more than 70,000 regular walkers a year.
They found people who had recently experienced stressful life events like a serious illness, death of a loved one, marital separation or unemployment appeared to see more of a mood boost after outdoor group walks.
Experts said walking in natural settings like a woodland or in the mountains may be especially beneficial, due to a theory which suggests people concentrate better after spending time in nature.
The theory argues that those in peaceful settings are not bombarded with distractions which tax their working memory and attention systems.
As a result, the brain can properly relax and enter a state of contemplation.
Two years ago a study found walking in woodland sparked a 16 per cent increase in attention and memory compared to the same time strolling on a busy street – although both types of walk improved participants' mood significantly.
Another study showed adults who had not been diagnosed with any illness received a mental boost after an hour-long walk in a woodland park.
Their performance on memory and attention tests was improved by 20 per cent compared with after an hour-long walk in a noisy urban environment.
Walking in natural settings might be more relaxing because there are less distractions for the brain than in urban settings, meaning it can properly relax and enter into a state of contemplation
Walking in natural settings might be more relaxing because there are less distractions for the brain than in urban settings, meaning it can properly relax and enter into a state of contemplation





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Friday, 29 August 2014

WARNING THIS VIDEO MIGHT BE TOO GRAPHIC FOR SOME (LUNG REMOVAL OF A SMOKER)



This video shows the surgeon dissecting and removing cancerous lesions of the lung of a smoker






Now I have never been a smoker and probably being an Aquarian, I like to do my own thing and never had any desire to try it, so I have no idea what it tastes or feels like. As I was growing up I lost my grandfather and several aunts and uncles to lung cancer and had other relatives suffer heart disease and other lung diseases. When I went into nursing one of the first ward I worked on was one where there were several patients in the terminal stages of lung cancer. I guess therefore this instilled in me the dangers of smoking and what it can do to you. It's extremely distressing to watch patients suffer from lung cancer where upon death is a blessed release from the extreme suffering. Lung Cancer is avoidable unlike a lot of cancers, so why risk it by smoking. OK so you may want to risk it but research has proven not only are you risking your own health but on others by passive smoking, is this fair? In the UK our much cash strapped National Health System is under severe strain treating all those who indulge in smoking and you have to ask, why should others who take care of their health by not smoking pay for the treatment of those who do? Remember too it's not just lung cancer, but a whole range of ailments are caused by smoking, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, throat and mouth cancers, oesphageal cancer, heart disease, arterial disease, leading to amputation, high blood pressure, strokes. Can you imagine the stresses on the NHS being reduced if all the smokers were to give it up? but more importantly think how healthier the nation would be and how younger they would look too. I can't think of one good reason why anyone should smoke and if smokers were true to themselves, I am sure they would share this view.


Astrid Brown (Author)
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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

EXCERPT FROM "THE JOURNEY TO SPIRIT"

IF YOU WANT TO READ MY POPULAR PSYCHIC DEVELOPMENT BOOK FOR FREE ON KINDLE NOW IS YOUR CHANCE.
"THE JOURNEY TO SPIRIT" is available for FREE download on Kindle from Thursday 28 August to 30 August 2014 inclusive











HOLDING ON TO GRUDGES

Is there any point in holding on to grudges, sulking and not talking to anyone? You may not have any control of how others treat you but you can set and live by example. How is there any hope of solution or compromise, if one or neither party is talking to the other? This goes for all arguments and this goes for wars too, someone has to make a move and this should be you. You will never make a "right" from two "wrongs", be the bigger person and make a special effort to hold out an Olive branch and I will tell you why.

Holding on to grudges, resentment like other negative emotions only damages your own soul in the long run, it will affect your health and well being for when you dwell in negativity this causes changes in your auric field causing it to shrink in on itself, this in turn then affects the functioning of the Chakras (energy vortices within the body and responsible for conducting the body's life force through the body and maintaining homeostasis). Each Chakra governs a major endocrine gland thus affecting hormone balance, hormones are chemical messengers within the body that instigate actions in their target organs e.g. stress hormones such as cortisol instigating a rise in blood pressure, which in turn can damage the kidneys and heart long term. So can you see, how resentment and other negative emotions do us no favors?

So you hold out the Olive branch the other person has a choice, they can take it or they carry on with their resentment. You may even find they will apologise, this may even get them to talk and both of you together may then see the other's point of view. I would suggest you try this tact a few times appealing to the other party you want to resolve your differences, only by talking will you resolve your differences.

Supposing they turn away and refuse and want to carry on with their grudge in spite of all your efforts, supposing after you have tried appealing to them a few times even in a letter if they still wont talk and wish to carry on? Well then you walk away, knowing you have done your very best and leave this to Universal law. We live in a Universe where there is a constant balance and exchange of energy. What you give out, you will get back tenfold, this applies to Positive thoughts as well as Negative, if you are constantly giving out positivity to others you have nothing to worry about and all this positivity will be returned to you. However if you constantly want to be wrapped up in Negativity and things go wrong in your life you only have yourself to blame, this is the Universe's way of showing us if we don't learn by our own actions then we will have to take what comes to us. We all have personal responsibility. Sometimes we do have to walk away from toxic people all we can do is pray that spirit will help them see the errors of their ways. Walk away but send them love and hopefully that kind and loving thoughtform will instigate a change and help them for their own good.

CONSTRUCTIVE ARGUMENTS

Why am I not happy? Many people say this without stopping to think. This is often not because they are unhappy but in a period of stasis. We do need a certain amount of stress to motivate us, yet the curious thing is no stress at all is also stressful, we find we have too much time on our hands or we get stressed from the repetition of the same routine, change and variation keeps everything fresh and alive. This goes for all aspects of our lives, be it at home or work. However if you know the reason you are unhappy is the result of another's behavior rather than leave it to fester it is best to tell the other party in order hopefully leading to a resolution, and not resulting in an argument.

When it comes to arguments and disagreements, these can be healthy as they help clear the air. For how are we able to know if our behavior is affecting others, if no one tells us and likewise if we find others are upsetting us, instead of berating the other person we should tell them how we feel. The problems arise though because instead launching into a tirade of insults, it is much constructive to start with, "I feel" and then go on to explain how YOU are feeling, without being insulting. You will then find it a lot easier to find some common ground and a solution. Another problem arises when airing grievances and that is one where old arguments are brought up, this is neither healthy or constructive. However what do you do, when you are trying to air your grievances healthily, you've started off by saying how you feel, you haven't insulted the other party, nor have you brought up the past but the other party has taken offense and gone on the defensive and started dredging up the past? Well keep calm, take a deep breath talk slowly and state you do not want an argument and that we are discussing ….etc and its unfair to bring up the past. If you are in a relationship with this person reassure them that you love them and that you don't want to argue but this is what I am feeling and I'm telling you because I love you and want to be truthful and honest and you are also my best friend and I am asking for your help. As soon as you say you are asking for their help you will generally find the whole atmosphere will change. However if they are  still acting negatively keep calm and try the broken record technique. If this doesn't help and you have done everything else correctly, then its best to wait until they have calmed down, so walk away and politely tell them  we will talk when we are BOTH calm. Now I know you are calm but if you say "YOU" it is more than likely they will flare up further.

When you have given them a suitable calming off period try again by stating you care and love them but you really want to resolve this as you genuinely didn't mean to cause distress, chances are they will have had time to think and you should be able to resolve your differences constructively. Of course you will get the sulkers and they require a different approach. Sulking is not a very mature thing to do, as it solves nothing for in order to come to a conclusion you need dialogue. Sulking is the adult version of a tantrum in my opinion, its a desire to be noticed and for attention. So you treat the sulker as you would a toddler having a tantrum. When a child has a tantrum its because they are too little to understand strong emotions and they are unable to cope, so the result is a tantrum. To dissipate a tantrum you walk away or remove the child to a quiet place firstly to help them calm down. You keep calm, you must not lose your temper as you have to control the situation for them. Calmly you talk and pretend the tantrum is not happening, you reassure the child you love them and talk quietly and lovingly to them, this does not mean to you have to give in, to what they wanted that caused the tantrum in the first place, but by being quiet and loving gradually the child will calm down and you can hug them when its all over. Its similar to what you do with a sulking adult, give them their space to calm down a bit. Talk quietly and calmly and reassure you care/love the person, you don't want to argue you really don't, but you do want to resolve things but in order to do this, we do need to talk. Now for persistent die hard sulkers you may have to leave them alone if they flare up at that and try this tact a few times but it does work.

Lastly an old saying but a true one, "Never let the sun go down on an argument". In other words don't let conflict drag on as it can grow arms, legs and bells on. Nothing is ever resolved by sulking, fighting or shouting at some point there has to be talking and if more people discussed their grievances there would be fewer wars and conflicts in this world


WORRY

"Worry is a negative prayer. It is telling the Universe how frightened you may be feeling. It also reinforces your ‘fear’ vibration and may bring about exactly what you fear".

In other words if you are negative you attract further negativity towards you. No matter how you are feeling there is no sense in worrying, it is not practical and it achieves nothing, that does not mean you should be over confident, what it does mean however is you trust spirit and the Universe to give you what you need and so it will be done.

A TECHNIQUE TO DEAL WITH WORRY

This is a great little technique to deal with worry you will need first of all a large glass jar, with a tight fitting lid. It doesn't have to be an expensive jar a large washed out coffee jar is ideal for you are not going to keep the jar when it is full

The jar should be kept near to your front door as the idea is you place all your worries in the jar e.g. worries about work, money, health etc. You will also require something like string, or wool, you can have different colors for different things e.g. green for health, yellow for money, it really doesn't matter but the more you can relate to the worries the better.

You will also need a pair of scissors and you keep the scissors and wool/string beside the jar by your front door. For every worry you have cut a length of wool/string you think represents how big your worry is e.g. for a big money worry cut a piece of yellow wool 12 inches long say and for a little health worry cut a piece of green wool 1inch long and place them in the jar and replace the lid. I am sure you will get the idea.

Over time you will find the lengths you cut will get shorter and shorter until you don't see them as worries at all. When the jar is completely full and full of all your worries you can either bury it in the garden or put it in the trash can, then you can begin a new worry jar.


TRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM THE INSIDE

Becoming beautiful inside is what radiates beauty evergreen. This means looking at ourselves as people and reflecting what makes us who we are. Remember the world does not owe us a living, we are what we ourselves have created. Ask yourself, "Do I like who I am?" "Am I a good person?" When you give "of" yourself and start loving people in a unconditional way, liking them without being judgmental you begin to radiate beauty from within, you radiate it from your soul. It is through this you will achieve "Inner Beauty".


INNER BEAUTY
What shows on the outside comes from within
Every giving moment every mortal sin
It shows in the eyes the windows to your soul
It shows where you've come from, a tale to be told
All your experiences, your faults and your pride
It's etched in your psyche there's nothing you can hide
Nothing can be erased nor wiped clean
You may not see what others do but believe me it is seen
It reflects in your aura and the colors it dictates
It shows up regrets, your faults and your mistakes
And this will be seen and reflected for all to view
This becomes your inner beauty, this is You



COPYRIGHT ASTRID BROWN


Astrid Brown (Author)
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