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Secret # 17: Journal
Journaling is quite therapeutic, and deserves a respectable place amongst other healthy endeavors such as exercising and eating well. Try to take time each day to reflect using a journal.
Once you get in the habit of journaling, just like the habit of eating right and exercising, it will become more natural. It only takes a few minutes a day to record how you feel, and according to research, it is time well spent.

There is increasing evidence to support the fact that journaling has a positive impact on both physical and mental health. James Pennebaker, a psychologist and researcher, notes that journaling
on a regular basis may strengthen immune cells, known as T-lymphocytes.

Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful times and events can help us deal with reality better
and reduce the impact that the stress has on our health. After all, that stress has to go somewhere, right? Holding in stress and pain is like not sweating— it can be disastrous. Additional research demonstrates that journaling may decrease symptoms of some chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

How well do you know yourself?
Journaling helps you get in touch with who you truly are. You may be very surprised to meet yourself in the words that you write. It can also be a great deal of fun. Learn
what makes you happy, sad, angry, and lonely. Writing thoughts down also helps you to understand situations that are difficult or need addressing in your life. When you journal, you will be amazed at all of the rational, well-thought-out solutions that you have to issues that formerly confused you. You may even go back later on to read some of your entries and say: “Did I really write that?”
Journaling is also an excellent way to resolve conflict. Writing about a particular conflict and thinking about solutions is a great way to see the issue clearly and arrive at a meaningful and appropriate solution.

How to journal
First and foremost, don’t be a slave to grammar. Nothing slows the creative process more than worrying about serial commas or verb tenses. Just let it flow. Whether you choose to write with a pen
or keep an electronic journal, don’t ponder over how your writing sounds or looks—just write.
Writing quickly is imperative, as it frees up your brain from the “shoulds” and “musts.” Remember, no one is going to look at your journal unless you let them. It is yours, so don’t be hard on yourself.

There are no set rules when it comes to journaling. You can pick a theme, a word, a thought, a season—whatever you are feeling at the moment. Don’t make it rigid. Find a quiet place where you will
not be interrupted. Many people journal before going to bed or upon rising in the morning.
Some people find it beneficial to keep a journal by their bedside and jot down thoughts as they arise during the night. This may be beneficial to people who struggle with sleep due to stress.

Releasing stressful thoughts may free the body for sounder sleep.
Try journaling for about twenty minutes, but don’t cut yourself off i you are on a roll. Write what you want, when you want.



Secret # 18: Deep Breathing
Most of us take our breathing for granted; it just happens all day long, all night long. However, because of this, we often breathe in a shallow way. Deep breathing is a way to expand the lungs
and the diaphragm so that we can increase oxygen to tissues.

The act of deep breathing is relaxing, and provides a massage to the lymphatic system. Set aside five minutes each day to practice focused, deep breathing. Deep breathing is an excellent way to deal with
anxiety and stress without having to take medication. Deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, slows down the heart rate, and causes the whole body to relax. When we take
in more oxygen, our bodies are better able to get rid of toxins.

How to breathe deeply
Be sure that you are in an upright position. Place you hand an inch away from your belly button. Take a deep breathe in through your nose and allow your abdomen to expand. Release the air slowly
through pursed lips. You should feel a burst of energy pulsing through your body.



Secret # 19: Moving Water
There is something incredibly soothing about the sound of water.
The sound of a stream trickling over rocks or waves lapping against the shore has a deeply calming effect.
Take the time to make or purchase a fountain, and install it either indoors or outdoors, at home or in your office—wherever you spend the most time. A water feature can have a positive impact on health. Water has been used through the ages for relaxation, and is considered to be incredibly therapeutic. Placing a water feature somewhere where you will hear it can help lower blood pressure, enhance your mood, relieve stress, and create a peaceful atmosphere.

Take time every day to stop and listen to the sound of the moving
water. Performing your deep breathing exercises near a water
feature can be especially soothing.




Secret # 20: Know When You Are Full
Your stomach can hold, on average, 17 cups of foodstuffs.
However, the feeling of being full does not come when that 17-cup limit has been reached. It occurs when your brain reacts to chemicals released when you eat or drink. It takes about 20 minutes for these chemicals to register.

After a meal, these chemicals stay elevated for about three to five hours, which keeps you feeling full. Once the chemical levels drop, you start to get hungry again. It is imperative to health and weight management to recognize when you are full. If you don’t feel full immediately after eating, just wait a little while and the chemicals will kick in.

Because we eat so fast most of the time, we often overeat. By eating too fast, we do not give our brains enough time to register what is going on. Don’t be in a rush to finish your meal. Along with
helping your brain to keep up with your body, chewing slowly will also help with digestion.

Get in touch with your body and how it feels at different times. Pay attention to how your stomach feels when you are hungry, versus what it feels like after you drink a glass of water. The empty
stomach feeling will go away after you drink the water. As you are eating, listen to your body. The empty feeling in your stomach should start to dissipate as you eat.

Once you notice a full feeling, stop eating, no matter how much food is left on your plate. You should feel energetic and light, not heavy and uncomfortable, after you eat. Take the time to sit and relax for a while before deciding if you really want to eat more.

Tips to help you stay full
►► Drink a big glass of water about 10 minutes before each
meal. This will encourage your brain to think that you are full
sooner.
►► Focus on the taste of the food, and thoughts of fueling your
body, while you are eating.
►► Once you feel full, remove the food from your plate. You can
always make a new meal later with the leftovers!
►► If you feel the need to continue eating, drink a nice cup of
herbal tea first. Then, reassess if you are still hungry.
►► It is possible that you may feel food cravings that are mental,
not physical. Try not to eat again until you sense the empty
feeling.


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