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An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of GratitudeSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Ahh, the holidays, that magical season that lasts from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. The holidays are a time of festivities, family gatherings, honored traditions, and sharing of gifts and good cheer, culminating with toasts of goodwill to welcome in the New Year. While the joy and wonder of the season is sometimes temporarily lost to the hustle and bustle, taking a few moments to embrace gratitude can make the holidays and, eventually every day, more meaningful. As we look forward with optimism at the start of a new year, why not encourage an attitude of gratitude, an appreciation for all that is positive in our lives. Because, when it comes right down to it, every day has the potential to be a good day. If the sun is shining, even better.

Why gratitude? In its simplest form, gratitude is a state of thankfulness. Studies show that gratitude can positively affect our long-term health and long-lasting happiness, as well as raise levels of optimism, enthusiasm and energy. When practiced regularly, gratefulness decreases self-centeredness, keeps envy at bay, facilitates positive emotions, raises self-esteem and strengthens the quality of our relationships with family, friends and coworkers. It appears that focusing on gratitude creates a contagious zest for life that encourages positivity and motivates those around us to be more grateful, as well.

Like any other skill, cultivating an attitude of gratitude takes patience, practice and commitment. And like any other habit you’d like to improve upon or develop a new, changes begin with small steps. Carving just a few minutes out of a busy day to show appreciation to those we love and often take for granted, and being thankful for all that we have, can reap spiritual, emotional, physical and mental health benefits. Taking time each day to count our blessings rather than our burdens, can result in increased sleep quality, decreased blood pressure, improved mood, a more positive outlook and enhanced recovery from health-related quality of life events. In short, feeling grateful helps us to feel good about ourselves.

For that, we can thank our brains. Neuroscience tells us that expressions of gratitude activate brain regions associated with dopamine and serotonin, mood enhancing neurotransmitters. The brain recognizes and reinforces positive stimuli, making it more likely you will engage in this type of behavior again. As grateful thoughts and deeds continue, neural pathways are strengthened, ultimately changing neural structures and creating a permanent grateful, positive and more content nature within ourselves. Considered by some to be the healthiest of all human emotions, it is gratitude that drives happiness and joy.

Real joy lies in the small things that become big things when touched by gratitude. Perhaps, instead of expensive gifts, give the thoughtful gift of time. Giving of oneself with no expectations of receiving is the true meaning of generosity and unselfishness. If someone in your past made a difference in your life, give back by making a difference in someone else’s. Thank someone every day just for being a special part of your life. Perform acts of kindness. Help others. Share with those in need. Spread the love out into the universe and watch it come back to you. Cultivate gratitude and a fullness of heart and you will inspire others around you to do the same.

References:
The Grateful Brain. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201211/the-grateful-brain
6 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude. https://psychcentral.com/blog/6-ways-to-cultivate-gratitude/
28 Benefits of Gratitude & Most Significant Research Findings. https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-gratitude-research-questions/
The Neuroscience of Gratitude and How It Affects Anxiety and Grief. https://positivepsychology.com/neuroscience-of-gratitude/

LivOn Labs – Featured Brand

LivOnSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center now offers LivOn Labs, a line of vital nutrients delivered with patented liposomal encapsulation technology for enhanced absorption and maximum utilization. Similar to the double-layer structure of cellular membranes, liposomes are composed of essential phospholipids that protect nutrients from the harsh digestive environment, aiding safe and effective delivery of nutrients to the cells and tissues. Liposomal nutrients achieve maximum absorption in the bloodstream and cells by bypassing absorption barriers without relying on transport systems. Research has shown that encapsulation is one of the most effective ways to increase the therapeutic value and bioavailability of nutrients.

In additional to the principal nutrient, each formula contains essential phospholipids and phosphatidylcholine. Phospholipids are the primary building blocks of cellular membranes that provide cellular protection from free radicals, pathogens and toxins. Phosphatidylcholine is the prominent phospholipid that is necessary for neurotransmitter synthesis and proper heart, brain, immune and nervous system function. LivOn Labs Lypo-Spheric™ nutraceuticals are free of gluten, sugar, dairy, hexane, fillers, and artificial colors and flavors. All formulations are Non-GMO and vegan.

Professional Supplement Center now offers the following liposomal products from LivOn Labs:

Lypo-Spheric™...Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C: To maximize bioavailability, Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C is delivered via smart liposomal nano-spheres. Each packet provides 1,000 mg vitamin C, as sodium ascorbate, and 1,000 mg of essential phospholipids in support of healthy immune, cardiovascular, reproductive and nervous system function, collagen production, cellular health and healthy aging. Gluten, dairy, sugar, filler and artificial flavor and color free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

Lypo-Spheric...Lypo-Speric™ Glutathione: Lypo-Spheric™ Glutathione provides 450 mg of reduced form glutathione and 1,000 mg of essential phospholipids delivered via smart liposomal nano-spheres for maximized bioavailability. Considered the “mother” of all antioxidants, glutathione supports tissue building and repair, healthy liver function, and immune system health, as well as promotes optimal cellular health by providing protection from free radial damage. Gluten, dairy, sugar, filler and artificial flavor and color free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

Lypo-Spheric™...Lypo-Spheric™ Magnesium L-Threonate: This product supplies 1,000 mg of highly absorbable liposomal magnesium l-threonate, a form clinically shown to support cognitive and neuronal function, calcium absorption and bone health. The formula includes 1,000 mg of phospholipids which allow for assimilation of intact magnesium into cells, and 500 mg of phosphatidylcholine, necessary for healthy cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous system function, neurotransmitter synthesis and cell membrane fortification. Gluten, dairy, sugar, filler and artificial flavor and color free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

Lypo-Spheric™ Acetyl...Lypo-Spheric™ Acetyl L-Carnitine: For maximum absorption, Lypo-Spheric™ Acetyl-L-Carnitine utilizes liposomal encapsulation technology to deliver 1,000 mg of bioactive acetyl-l-carnitine, 1,000 mg of essential phospholipids and 500 mg of phosphatidylcholine. Together these nutrients support cellular energy production, mitochondrial fat metabolism, healthy cognitive function, neurological health, increased endurance and muscle recovery after exercise and overall wellness. Gluten, dairy, sugar, filler and artificial flavor and color free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

Lypo-Spheric™ R...Lypo-Spheric™ R-Alpha Lipoic Acid: Liposomal encapsulation of the most bioavailable and biologically active R form of alpha lipoic acid enables maximum absorption of this powerful intracellular and extracellular water and fat soluble antioxidant. In addition to whole body free radical protection, alpha lipoic acid supports mitochondrial energy production, glucose utilization and the maintenance of healthy glucose levels already within the normal range.  Gluten, dairy, sugar, filler and artificial flavor and color free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

From Dreary to Cheery

DrearyToCheeryJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The busy holiday season has officially begun with many of us looking forward to a time of good cheer and celebrations with family and friends. While we may have become accustomed to the hustle and bustle of the holidays as we plan, arrange and organize, surveys show that more than 60 percent of Americans report feeling challenged by the stress-inducing holiday preparations. Most might agree that the holidays would be much more enjoyable without all the pressure we put on ourselves to make everything perfect. Sometimes, less really is more. Eliminating some tasks and embracing the spirit might just be the path to celebrating the true magic of the season.

Taking steps to minimize undue stress by lowering exceedingly high expectations can help make the holidays more delightful and perhaps, even more meaningful. How we respond to the pressures the holidays bring influences the level of enjoyment or anxiousness. When we set unrealistic expectations, overwhelming stress-inducing demands on our time, energy and finances can negatively impact personal wellbeing. Setting holiday boundaries by making deliberate choices and prioritizing what’s most important can help ease holiday stress and allow for time better spent with family and friends to really enjoy what you love most about the holidays.

Focus and reassess. When the holidays are more dreary than cheery, it’s time to reassess. If holiday traditions are more work than fun, give yourself permission to lighten the expectations. To bring more enjoyment and meaning to the season, mindfully choose your priorities and concentrate your time and energy on meeting just those goals.

Create a budget. Racking up holiday debt is a major stressor. The average American overspent by $1,000 last year. Prioritize your resources by determining an amount you can comfortably spend on each person on your list. Though it may sometimes be tempting to exceed your budgeted amount, not overspending eliminates the negative impact of carrying debt into the new year, effectively resulting in reduced stress and peace of mind. Ultimately, it is truly the thought that counts.

Give and receive. In lieu of a gift, take a good friend or relative to lunch at their favorite restaurant or to an outing they would enjoy. Offer assistance to a person on your list that could use and appreciate your help. The holidays are really about creating memories of time spent with those near and dear to us. A gift may soon be forgotten, an act of kindness or shared experience will be remembered.

Establish priorities. When time, energy and resources are limited, concentrate on the tasks you really enjoy, and delegate or eliminate others. Pare down responsibilities as much as possible so tasks can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

It’s okay to say no. You are not obligated to accept every invitation or request to volunteer. Attend when it works for you, help when you can, politely decline when overcommitting adds more  stress to an already stressful time. Fewer commitments means more energy to spend enjoying the events you really want to attend.

Set boundaries. While others’ expectations may increase pressure, awareness of your own priorities allows for better management of time and energy. Check in with yourself often to focus on what matters to you. Setting boundaries is a great strategy for preventing  overcommitment to allow for a less hectic, more joyful holiday season.

Breathe. Deep breathing is one of the most convenient, simple and best ways to quickly re-energize and de-stress. Find a quiet space and concentrate on deep breathing. Nothing else. Tuning out the world for five to ten minutes calms and relaxes the body, reduces tension and relieves stress.

Go for a walk. Even when time crunched, you can still prioritize some amount of stress-relieving exercise. A brisk walk anytime is mood elevating and energizing. Taking a walk after dinner with family or friends is an enjoyable way to view holiday lights and decorations, lower stress levels, support health and burn off some extra calories.

One more thing. Fortunately, while the holiday season may be chaotic, the whirlwind is short lived. While you may not think it possible to manage even one more obligation, focusing on personal wellbeing has positive effects on mental and physical stress. No matter what stage of life, perhaps it is possible to really enjoy the holidays by carving out time to spread tidings and good cheer to those all around you.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality formulations for stress relief:

Stress SuppressStress Suppress by Diamond Formulations: Fast becoming a customer favorite, Stress Suppress is formulated for relief of symptoms of daily physical and mental stress. Specific ingredients encourage normal adrenal function, help to balance stress hormones and support relaxation without drowsiness. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO, kosher  formulation.

UnStressUn-Stress® by MegaFood®: This easy-to-digest vitamin, mineral and botanical nutritional supplement is formulated with FoodState Nutrients™ derived from 100% fresh and local foods in support of a healthy stress response, immune health and tension relief. Free of gluten, soy, dairy, herbicides and pesticides. NSF Certified, Non-GMO, kosher, vegan formulation.

Stress B-ComplexStress B-Complex by Thorne® Research: This complete B complex provides an optimal balance of essential B Vitamins along with extra vitamin B5 to support healthy adrenal and immune function. Gluten free formulation.

 

References:
Holiday Stress and the Brain. https://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/holiday-stress-and-brain
The Impact of Holiday Stress on the Mind and Body. https://chopra.com/articles/the-impact-of-holiday-stress-on-the-mind-and-body
Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255
Holiday Stress: How to Cope. https://www.psycom.net/holiday-stress-how-to-cope