A Hug a Day

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Have you ever had that feeling that all you need is a hug? Well research has shown that hugs not only help us feel close and connected with people, but they also can help with our health. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University examined the effects of perceived social support when receiving a hug on the susceptibility of developing a cold even after being exposed to the virus. Those with higher social support were less likely to come down with a cold. Even if a patient with greater social support did catch the cold, they experienced less severe symptoms. The study saw that this beneficial social support that is critical to our health can be achieve through hugging.

Other studies have found that increased hugs can lead to lower blood pressures, decreased stress, and less of a chance of having a stroke or heart attack. Researchers are still unsure how exactly hugging has such an impact on health, but one theory suggests that it is due to the oxytocin release when receiving a hug. Oxytocin causes a decrease in heart rate and a drop in stress hormones. This helps the person feel calm and relaxed. So next time you see your loved ones, make sure to give them a hug!

Love Your Body

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As little girls, we grow up playing with Barbie and Ken as they live happily together in their dream house. It seems innocent. However, our subconscious is associating Barbie with happiness. We all want to be Barbie in our Barbie world with the perfect body and expansive wardrobe. That’s how you find your Ken, right? You need the Barbie body?

However, according to rehabs.com, if you made Barbie a real woman, she would be 5’9″ and weigh 110 lbs. This would put her in the severely underweight category. Her neck would be so small that she would not be able to lift her head. In addition, she would have size 3 feet, therefore would have to crawl on all fours, because she would be unable to walk. Does this sound like a good role model to you?

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A lot of people brush these facts off thinking that it does not affect children. However, it is leaving a lasting impact! Studies found that when little girls chose to play with Barbie over dolls with normal proportions, they had less self-esteem, worse body image, and a stronger desire to be thin.

But it is not just Barbie, media also portrays the lie that thinner as better. The truth is that every body type is different. The goal is to be a healthy weight for your body type. No one will be Barbie, and honestly, do you think she would get Ken in real life crawling on all fours with her head hanging low? Probably not!

So make sure to love your body! Treat it well. Feed it healthy foods. If your body stops working, then how will you live your life to the fullest?

I Don’t Want To Forget You

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Whether it is the death of someone you love or the end to an relationship, losing someone is one of the most painful experiences in existence. Losing someone is like receiving a heart transplant. Your body fights the change, causing you pain and heart ache. As time passes, your body starts to adjust, however little things can often shock your system at unexpected moments, so you have to take things slowly day-by-day. However, eventually your body starts to accept its new reality allowing you can live again, causing time to start moving.

But as time moves, new memories start to replace the old. You may never forget that person’s smile or the way they hated rollercoasters, but some of the smaller details start to fade. It gets harder to remember their voice and the way it felt to hold their hand. You look through old photos, but it’s not the same! That special person is gone, but you don’t want to forget them.

Experts say there are may ways to still hold onto memories of lost love ones. While it may be painful, you have to talk about them and the memories you shared together. Watch home videos and listen the old voice messages they left you. As the holidays swiftly approach, strive to keep the traditions you shared with them alive. Remember them as frequently as possible. As you drive past their favorite restaurant, think of their favorite order. Visit the places you liked to visit together. Preserving their memory is easier than you think. You don’t have to forget them. They are always with you.

All You Need is Love

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According to a 75-year research study conducted by Harvard, the Beatles had it right all along, “All you need is love.” The study sought to discover what exactly makes us happy. It was found that warm and loving relationships have the greatest impact on making us happy and satisfied in life. When we have positive connections with friends, family, and loved ones, we experience less anxiety, have a greater sense of overall pleasure, live a healthier life, and have more success with work or money.

Read more at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/06/what-makes-us-happy/307439/

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/02/decoding-keys-to-a-healthy-life/

Anything Can Happen, So Say “I Love You”

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Life is unpredictable. It is full of surprises. That is a part of why life is so great! You are never going to live the same day twice. However, with those happy surprises come sad and tragic ones. Yesterday, I witnessed a car accident right in front of my own eyes. The man was behind me one minute and the next his car was being T-boned right in front of me.

Luckily, both parties are okay. However, after calling 911, attending to the parties involved, and talking to the police, I started to think about how precious life is. That man could be any of us and some of us may not have been as lucky as him to survive.

Life is unpredictable and while that makes life great, it also means you need to appreciate life for all that it is. Anything can happen at any time. So next time you are mad at your partner or parents, think again is it worth it? When you leave each other, tell them that you love them. And please, look both ways before you turn your car or cross the street.

The Dating “Type”

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One night, my two best friends and I decided to put pictures of all of the guys we had ever dated on the wall. Timing didn’t matter to us. As long as we had chosen to have dinner with them at least once in our lifetime, they made the cut. After a lot of hardcore Facebook stalking, we finally had accomplished our mission and had our living room wall raining men.

You may wonder, what was the point of this? While we did get quite a laugh at the memories, the goal was to unveil our “type.” My friends’ types were clear cut. One went for the nerds, the kind that not only do well in physics, but major in it. The other went for the church boys, the kind that your dad would very much approve of. However, I was the more complicated one. I had dated a larger variety of men than the other two: tall, short, black, white, American, British, Canadian, older, younger, muscular, skinny. We tried and tried to come up with a rationale behind who I picked to date, because I simply refused to except the fact that I just told any and every guy “yes” when he asked me out.

Finally, it hit us! We had been so focused on appearance that we forgot to consider their personality and hobbies. The guys I kept around for at least a couple of months were all into music in some way. They were either in a band, played guitar, or produced music. While I had always been a music fan ever since Elmo’s Song, I realized that this type stemmed back to my dad. Growing up, he was always learning to play guitar to whatever hit song my sister and I had stuck in our heads, from Britney’s “…Baby One More Time” to Shania’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”

While I may have a type, it is not a limiting factor of who fits in my exclusive club of datable men. To me, having a guy be my type is simply a bonus. I refuse to limit myself. It’s a big dating pool out there full of millions of people with different traits, characteristics, and personalities that you wouldn’t have seen if you hadn’t opened the club doors. Be open-minded! They might just surprise you!

The Communication We Need in Our Relationship

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We’ve all heard time and time again that communication is the key to a successful and happy relationship. It seems simple enough. Unless we live in a isolated environment, most people spend a large majority of their day talking. From the weather to sports to politics to who is going to be the next person eliminated on the Bachelor, we are essentially chatter boxes. However, most of what we talk about isn’t truly important. Yes, we don’t want to spend our dinners in silence, but that is not the type of communication that is going to save our crumbling relationship or keep our flourishing one afloat.

The key communication that all relationship experts talk about refers to honest, open conversation about issues that arise. For most of us, this is where we go from chatter boxes to silent mimes. So how can you open up and have healthy conversation about problems that arise?

  1. Find the right time. If something is bothering you, then you need to talk about it. Bottling up your feelings is only going to make you slowly go insane. However, do not let your feelings explode out of you, especially when your partner is in a public place, currently carrying another conversation, or working. Pick a time when you are both able to talk about the issue in a private place.
  2. Talk face-to-face. Try to avoid talking about problems over the phone or through a written message. Even if you are currently too far apart to meet up, speak over Skype. Talking face-to-face will ensure that you are both heard and miscommunication is not occurring.
  3. Be honest. Honesty is a huge part of any relationship. Even though the truth can hurt and is not always what the other person wants to hear, lying hurts worse.
  4. Maintain respect. Even though you may currently be disagreeing, they are still a person you care about that deserves your respect. Talk to them and not at them. Don’t make accusations or assumptions. Explain to them your point of view in a calm manner without attacking them and make sure to give them a chance to talk after you said your piece. When they are talking, truly listen to what they have to say, look them in the eyes, and try to see the situation from their perspective.