Uncategorized, Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Crucial Lifestyle Changes for People with Rheumatoid Arthrits

rA2017

Crucial Lifestyle Changes for People with Rheumatoid Arthrits

Improving your diet using a combination of my nutritional guidelines, nutritional typing is crucial for your success. In addition, there are some general principles that seem to hold true for all nutritional types and these include:

 

Eliminating sugar, especially fructose, and most grains. For most people it would be best to limit fruit to small quantities

Eating unprocessed, high-quality foods, organic and locally grown if possible

Eating your food as close to raw as possible

Getting plenty high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats. Krill oil seems to be particularly helpful here as it appears to be a more effective anti inflammatory preparation. It is particularly effective if taken concurrently with 4 mg of Astaxanthin, which is a potent antioxidant bioflavanoid derived from algae

Astaxanthin at 4 mg per day is particularly important for anyone placed on prednisone as Astaxanthin offers potent protection against cataracts and age related macular degeneration

 

Incorporating regular exercise into your daily schedule

 

Early Emotional Traumas Are Pervasive in Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis

With the vast majority of the patients I treated, some type of emotional trauma occurred early in their life, before the age their conscious mind was formed, which is typically around the age of 5 or 6. However, a trauma can occur at any age, and has a profoundly negative impact.

 

If that specific emotional insult is not addressed with an effective treatment modality then the underlying emotional trigger will continue to fester, allowing the destructive process to proceed, which can predispose you to severe autoimmune diseases like RA later in life.

 

In some cases, RA appears to be caused by an infection, and it is my experience that this infection is usually acquired when you have a stressful event that causes a disruption in your bioelectrical circuits, which then impairs your immune system.

 

This early emotional trauma predisposes you to developing the initial infection, and also contributes to your relative inability to effectively defeat the infection.

 

Therefore, it’s very important to have an effective tool to address these underlying emotional traumas. In my practice, the most common form of treatment used is called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

 

Although EFT is something that you can learn to do yourself in the comfort of your own home, it is important to consult a well-trained professional to obtain the skills necessary to promote proper healing using this amazing tool.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency Rampant in Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis

The early part of the 21st century brought enormous attention to the importance and value of vitamin D, particularly in the treatment of autoimmune diseases like RA. From my perspective, it is now virtually criminal negligent malpractice to treat a person with RA and not aggressively monitor their vitamin D levels to confirm that they are in a therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.

 

This is so important that blood tests need to be done every two weeks, so the dose can be adjusted to get into that range. Most normal-weight adults should start at 10,000 units of vitamin D per day. If you are in the US, then Lab Corp is the lab of choice. For more detailed information on vitamin D, you can review my vitamin D resource page.

 

The best way to raise your blood levels is by sensible exposure to large amounts of your skin. Most can’t do this in the winter so if you take supplements make sure to take 500 mg to 1000 mg of magnesium and 150 mcg of vitamin K2, (not 1) which are important cofactors for optimizing vitamin D function.

 

Call us for your RA personalized plan.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dir P Carrothers

Director of Personalized Healthcare

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Promote Healthy Teeth and Gums

healthyteeth

Promote Healthy Teeth And Gums 

 

There is more than dental health at stake if you fail to brush and floss. Research suggests that the bacteria that cause gum infections can also lead to or worsen atherosclerosis, the arterial disease that contributes to heart attacks and strokes. Start practicing these good oral habits if you don’t already:

Use dental floss at least once a day (such as immediately after you brush in the morning or evening). I suggest using unwaxed dental floss if possible, and get it under the gum line to scrape the tooth surface. If you have the opportunity, ask a dental hygienist to teach you how to floss effectively.

Whenever you have a chance, wash your hands and massage your gums with your fingertips. You can also stimulate your gums by running the end of a round wooden toothpick under the gum line.

If your gums are sore, mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to a paste and work this mixture into and under your gums with a toothbrush. Leave the mixture on for a few minutes, then rinse.

Use a goldenseal mouth rinse.

Have your teeth and gums cleaned by a dental hygienist twice a year, and get treatment for any signs of infection that are discovered.

You may also consider toothbrushes incorporating ultrasound – they have been clinically shown to treat gingivitis more effectively than regular toothbrushes. Ask your dentist about them.

There are several causes of gingivitis, and we can help you determine how to cure this problem. Treating the symptoms is important, and finding the cause of this condition lifesaving.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dir P Carrothers

Director of Personalized Healthcare

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Fill Up With Walnuts

canwalnutsfeelfull

Walnuts Can Help Fill You Up

 

Research from Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reveals that consuming walnuts affects a brain area that regulates hunger and cravings. This finding emerged from a study of 10 obese volunteers who spent two 5-day sessions in the hospital’s Clinical Research Center. During one of these sessions, the participants drank daily smoothies containing 48 grams of walnuts. During their other stay, the smoothies tasted the same and were nutritionally identical but contained no walnuts. At the end of each session, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor the volunteers’ brain activity while they viewed images of hamburgers, desserts and other desirable foods as well as neutral items such as flowers, rocks and foods considered less desirable. After drinking walnut smoothies, the images of desirable foods triggered increased activity in a brain area called the right insula, which helps regulate appetite. This activity was much less pronounced in the fMRI monitoring that followed consuming smoothies that were walnut-free. Neither participants nor researchers knew during which session the walnut smoothies were served. The volunteers also reported that they felt less hungry during the session they received the walnut-rich smoothies.

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Truvia Sweetener A Powerful Pesticide

ZIbZvOn1

Truvia Sweetener a Powerful Pesticide

 

Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol

 

Truvia sweetener is made from about 99.5% erythritol (a sugar alcohol), and 0.5% rebiana, an extract from the stevia plant (but not at all the same thing as stevia). A shocking new study published in the journal PLOS ONE (1) has found that Truvia, an alternative sweetener manufactured by food giant Cargill, is a potent insecticide that kills fruit flies which consume it.

 

The study is titled, Erythritol, a Non-Nutritive Sugar Alcohol Sweetener and the Main Component of Truvia, Is a Palatable Ingested Insecticide.

 

The study found that while fruit flies normally live between 39 and 51 days, those that ate the Truvia ingredient erythritol died in less than a week.

 

Erythritol made from yeast fed genetically modified corn derivatives

Erythritol is often indirectly derived from genetically modified corn, by the way. Cargill was forced to settle a class action lawsuit last year (2) for labeling Truvia “natural” when it’s actually made from a fermentation process whereby yeast are fed GM corn maltodextrin.

 

Cargill plays word games with this process, insisting that “erythritol is not derived from corn or dextrose feedstock; it is derived from the yeast organism.”

 

Yeah, okay, but the yeast are fed GMOs. So they’re playing mind games with their explanations.

 

There is a verified non-GMO erythritol available today, by the way, and it’s made by Pyure Brands, based in Florida.

 

Pyure Brands offers alternative sweeteners for the health-conscious marketplace, and their product is USDA Organic certified and Non-GMO Project Verified.

 

Truvia a really amazing insecticide

This story on Truvia’s insecticidal properties has really caught the attention of the public. Even CBS News (3), a mainstream media outlet that rarely covers the dangers of food additives, covered this story, reporting:

 

Erythritol, the main component of the sweetener Truvia, has a new, unexpected application — it may be used as an insecticide. …Researchers found that fruit flies fed with food that included erythritol or the erythritol-containing sweetener Truvia died much sooner than flies fed with food containing other types of sweeteners.

 

“The more you get [fruit flies] to consume erythritol, the faster they die,” Sean O’Donnell, a professor of biology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, told CBS News.

 

“We are hoping to develop it into a human-safe insecticide,” O’Donnell later says in the story.

 

The abstract of the published study concludes, “Here we show that Erythritol, a non-nutritive sugar alcohol, was toxic to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.”

 

No other sweetener killed the fruit flies

Fruit flies were also subjected to feeding tests with sucrose and corn syrup, but those sweeteners didn’t kill them. Only erythritol had this effect, as it shown in the chart below:

 

 

 

Erythritol also interfered with the flies’ motor coordination, as stated in the study text:

 

…adult flies raised on food containing Truvia displayed aberrant motor control prior to death. We therefore assayed motor reflex behavior through climbing assays. Flies raised on food containing Truvia showed a significantly decreased ability to climb.

 

Researchers were also able to determine that stevia was not the cause of the problem. They also tested Purevia and found it was safe for fruit flies. Only erythritol, the main component of Truvia, replicated the toxic effects on fruit flies.

 

Erythritol also exhibited a dose-dependent death response, meaning the more that was consumed by the flies, the more quickly they died.

 

What to make of Truvia’s usefulness as a pesticide?

The FDA has declared Truvia to be safe for human consumption. Then again, the FDA has also declared aspartame to be safe for human consumption, so that doesn’t carry any real credibility.

 

Sugar alcohols are widely consumed by millions of people, but that also isn’t any guarantee of their safety because Vioxx was also widely consumed by millions of people (while killing tens of thousands of them via heart attacks).

 

Most people believe sugar alcohols are safe to consume, and perhaps they’re right. But maybe there’s some yet-unknown contaminant in erythritol that’s causing these toxic effects. Or perhaps it’s the GMO connection, since most erythritol comes from genetically modified corn. A really interesting study on this would test GMO-derived erythritol vs. non-GMO erythritol to determine if there’s any difference.

 

Many scientists might also argue that perhaps erythritol is perfectly safe for humans and only selectively toxic to insects because of their different physiology. That would be the best-case scenario.

 

If true, it opens up a positive conclusion to all this: What if erythritol could be used as a natural pesticide that replaces the toxic chemical pesticides sold by companies like Monsanto and DuPont?

 

Imagine, if you will, a natural, plant-based pesticide that could be sprayed on crops to kill insects, yet still eaten by humans in trace amounts with no ill effects. That’s the hope of this discovery: maybe sugar alcohols can be sprayed on crops or used in organic food production.

 

By the way, the idea for this research came from a sixth-grader named Simon D. Kaschock-Marenda, once again proving that science is available to everyone, including children. This is why I have openly called for enhanced science education in America — in the hope that more children can learn about scientific investigations and use their knowledge to help achieve a safer, less toxic world.

 

 

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

2 Ways to Practicing Visual Imagination

2 Ways To Practicing Visual Imagination

2 Ways To Practicing Visual Imagination

 

Visual imagination or visualization can be a potent tool for emotional well-being. It is mostly what we focus on when we daydream, and it can totally fascinate us when we engage in imagining what we desire.

 

A significant portion of the brain, the visual cortex, is responsible for processing visual imagination and other data coming from the retinas and optic nerves. When the brain is not occupied with that task, it is free to generate pictures of its own – from your brain’s perspective, the distinction between what you see and what you visually imagine is not large. The visual cortex can act as a conduit between the conscious and unconscious mind, giving access to parts of the nervous system that regulate body functions normally considered involuntary.

 

Meditation on visual images is a religious practice in Hinduism and Buddhism, where geometric designs of spiritual significance are used. Apart from its religious purpose, this sort of meditation is said to calm the mind and body.

 

Visual images that we pay frequent attention to can determine the set point of our emotions just as habitual patterns thought can, possibly more so, because they influence physiology so strongly.

 

To get a sense of the power of visual imagination, close your eyes and picture a lemon wedge, freshly cut and glistening with juice. Concentrate on making the image as clear and detailed as you can. Then visualize bringing the lemon to your lips, sucking on it, and biting into it. As you do this, chances are you will experience sensations in your mouth and salivation, just as if you had sucked on an actual slice of lemon.

 

Practitioners of visualization therapy, visual imagination and interactive guided imagery teach patients to modify health conditions by taking advantage of this mind/body phenomenon, often with good results. Over the years, I have referred many patients to such therapists and have seen benefit with problems ranging from atopic dermatitis (eczema) and autoimmunity to cancer and recovery from surgery.

 

To improve emotional well-being, I am experimenting with visualization in two ways:

 

Practice shifting attention from negative thoughts to mental images that evoke positive feelings. For example, think of an actual place where you experienced contentment, comfort, and serenity.

Select an image that you associate with your most positive moods and focus on it frequently. Take that scene from earlier, and recreate it in your mind’s eye. Each time you do, concentrate on sharpening the details, making the colors brighter, imagining sounds, physical sensations, and scents that might have been part of the experience. Keep that image as a place you can go to in your mind whenever you feel stressed, anxious or sad.

Find your own such place, and visit it mentally whenever stress threatens to overwhelm you.

If the negative mental and physical effects of unhealthy stress are affecting your day-to-day life, take steps to address it. Proper diet, lifestyle and supplements may be beneficial.  Call us at Health and Wellness Associates to get you on your personal wellness plan.

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

What to Eat to Strengthen Those Arteries and Vein.

butchersbroom

What to Eat to Strengthen Those Arteries and Veins

 

Butcher’s Broom?

Butcher’s broom is a low-growing common evergreen shrub. It is widely distributed, from Iran to the Mediterranean and the southern United States. The plant develops edible shoots that are similar to asparagus in form. Butcher’s broom has tough, erect, striated stems with false thorny leaves. The name of this plant should not be confused with broom (Cytisus scoparius) or Spanish broom (Spartium junceum).

 

What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

  1. aculeatus was given its common name, butcher’s broom, because its stiff twigs were bound together and used by butchers in Europe to keep their cutting boards clean. The plant has a long history of use. More than 2000 years ago, it was noted as a laxative, diuretic, and a phlebotherapeutic (beneficial to veins) agent. Extracts, decoctions, and poultices have been used throughout the ages, but the medicinal use of this plant did not become common until the last century. Early investigations during the 1950s indicated that extracts of butcher’s broom could induce vasoconstriction and therefore might have use in the treatment of circulatory diseases. The increasing popularity of natural and herbal remedies in Europe in the 1970s reaffirmed its position in modern medicine. Novel uses for this plant have included its use as an anti-inflammatory agent and to prevent atherosclerosis.

 

Venous conditions

A variety of compounds have been isolated from butcher’s broom. The 2 primary active saponin compounds are ruscogenin and neoruscogenin. Butcher’s broom is the active component in several produce formulations and topical treatments for venous diseases and venous insufficiency, such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Limited results showing some promise from clinical trials are available. The German Commission E approves oral use for supportive therapy for discomforts of chronic venous insufficiency and complaints of hemorrhoids. Butcher’s broom also may be useful for orthostatic hypotension, although data is limited.

 

Other uses

Novel modern uses for this plant have included its use as an anti-inflammatory agent and to prevent atherosclerosis. The discovery of new pharmacological activity of butcher’s broom, particularly as a cytotoxic agent, demonstrate the need for continued research on butcher’s broom.

 

What is the recommended dosage?

Extracts have been dosed at 16 mg daily for chronic phlebopathy, while a topical cream formulation was used to apply 64 to 96 mg of extract daily.

Pregnancy/nursing

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Avoid use.

Cup of tea, teapot and branch of clover on wooden background

Butchers Broom Tea

Preparation Methods & Dosage: To make a tea from chopped root, place 1 teaspoon of the herb in a cup of boiling water and allow to steep in a closed teapot for 10 minutes.

 

Orange Peels

Yes, add those orange peels to any tea and it will help with strengthening the veins.  Orange peels can be put into desserts and when cooking meat, and get all the same health benefits for your veins,.

 

Grapes

If you have vein and or artery issues, or have had a heart attack, grapes with seeds is the route to go.  Try never to buy grapes without seeds, for there are too many hidden chemicals in those grapes.

 

Just a few things to help you out!

 

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Uncategorized

Kratoms FDA Warning

kartom

FDA Warns of Herb Kratom’s Opioid-Like Harms

 

TUESDAY, Nov. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued an advisory about harms tied to kratom — an imported herbal supplement with opioid-like effects that is increasing in popularity.

 

People are taking the unapproved supplement to treat conditions like pain, anxiety and depression — without medical supervision, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. Others use kratom for its euphoric effects, or to wean addicts off opioids such as prescription painkillers or heroin, also without medical say-so.

 

“Importantly, evidence shows that kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and, in some cases, death,” Gottlieb said. “At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning.”

 

The United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic. Since 2000, more than 500,000 Americans have died from a narcotic overdose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Donald Trump recently declared the crisis a public health emergency.

 

Meanwhile, a similarly troubling trend has been seen with kratom. Between 2010 and 2015, kratom-related calls to U.S. poison control centers jumped 10-fold. And 36 deaths have been linked to kratom-containing products. Kratom use can also cause seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms, the FDA said.

 

In the United States, there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, which grows naturally in Southeast Asia.

 

In some cases reported to the FDA, kratom is laced with opioids like hydrocodone (Vicodin), Gottlieb noted.

 

The commissioner stressed the need to evaluate the drug’s potential benefits and harms. He said kratom products must go through the FDA’s drug review process before they can be legally marketed for therapeutic uses in the United States.

 

“This is especially relevant given the public’s perception that it can be a safe alternative to prescription opioids,” he added.

 

So far, no marketer has tried “to properly develop a drug that includes kratom,” Gottlieb said.

 

“While we remain open to the potential medicinal uses of kratom, those uses must be backed by sound science and weighed appropriately against the potential for abuse,” Gottlieb added.

 

In 16 countries, kratom is a controlled substance. And in the United States, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin have banned kratom. Several other states are reviewing proposals to outlaw it, Gottlieb noted.

 

For now, the FDA said it is working to prevent shipments of kratom from entering the country.

 

“We’ve learned a tragic lesson from the opioid crisis: that we must pay early attention to the potential for new products to cause addiction, and we must take strong, decisive measures to intervene,” Gottlieb said.

 

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Eat Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Together!

choc

Those with a high cardiovascular risk profile should eat dark chocolate with olive oil, new study finds

 

In recent years, the medical community has put a lot of effort into educating people about reducing their cholesterol levels in order to protect their heart health. Of course, those who do have elevated cholesterol levels are often prescribed statin drugs like Lipitor, Zocor and others to lower these levels. In fact, these are among the most prescribed drugs of all time.

 

Nonetheless, these toxic drugs carry serious side effects, including muscle pain and weakness, increased liver enzymes, asthma complications, and birth defects in pregnant women, to name just a few.

 

This doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t a healthy solution to reducing cholesterol levels naturally. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, a recent study has unlocked another key to taking care of your heart: eating dark chocolate and extra virgin olive oil together.

 

The study, undertaken by researchers from the University of Pisa in Italy, who presented the results at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in August, concluded that dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil can lead to improved heart health and a better cardiovascular risk profile.

 

“A healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist at the University of Pisa, and the lead author of the study. “Fruits and vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, olive oil, and apples. Research has found that the Italian Panaia red apple has very high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants.”

 

The researchers set out to determine whether a combination of either dark chocolate and olive oil or dark chocolate and Panaia red apple might halt the progress of atherosclerosis (a build-up of plaque on the artery walls, causing obstructed blood flow, and potentially a life-threatening blood clot) in otherwise healthy people with cardiovascular risk factors.

 

The ESC explained in a press release:

 

The randomised crossover study included 26 volunteers (14 men, 12 women) with at least three cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, or family history of cardiovascular disease) who received 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for 28 days. For 14 consecutive days it contained 10% extra virgin olive oil and for 14 consecutive days it contained 2.5% Panaia red apple. The two types of chocolate were given in random order.

 

Progression of atherosclerosis was assessed by metabolic changes (levels of carnitine and hippurate), lipid profile, blood pressure and levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). EPCs are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of endothelial function.

 

The researchers took urine and blood samples at the beginning of the study and again at the end. The urine samples were analyzed for endogenous metabolites using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and circulating EPC levels were evaluated with flow cytometry. Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure levels, smoking status, lipid profile and glycaemia, were also carefully monitored for all participants.

 

The results were quite astounding. At the end of the 28-day study, the researchers found that EPC levels were significantly increased after consumption of the olive oil-enriched chocolate. Carnitine and hippurate levels were considerably decreased – which is a good thing – both in comparison to baseline figures and to the apple-enriched chocolate.

 

Most encouragingly, consumption of the olive oil-enhanced chocolate resulted in significant increases in high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and sizable reductions in blood pressure levels. (Related: Olive oil antioxidant naturally kills all cancer cells tested within an hour.)

 

So, if like millions of others you’ve been advised to take steps to decrease your cholesterol levels, you now have a fantastic excuse to increase your consumption of delicious dark chocolate. Just make sure you take some pure virgin olive oil with it! Perhaps melt that chocolate in a little olive oil and pour over fresh strawberries? Yum

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Are You Making Your Life Harder Than it Needs to Be.

walingupstairs

Are You Making Your Life Harder Than It Needs To Be!

 

10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be

 

  1. You ascribe intent.

Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.

 

Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.

 

  1. You’re the star of your own movie.

It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had.

 

You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.

 

Unfortunately you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play. Then, when they screw up their lines, or fail to fall in love with you or don’t give you a promotion, your movie is ruined.

 

Lose your script. Let someone else star once in awhile. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists.

 

  1. You fast forward to apocalypse.

I have a bad habit of fast forwarding everything to its worst possible outcome and being pleasantly surprised when the result is marginally better than utter disaster or jail time. My mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. My sore throat is cancer. My lost driver’s license fell into the hands of an al-Qaeda operative who will wipe out my savings account.

 

Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under.

 

  1. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations.

Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims.

 

 

Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first movie date? Did your girlfriend refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to fawn over your tribal tattoo?

 

Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life. Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy.

 

  1. You are waiting for a sign.

I have a friend who won’t make a decision without receiving a “sign.” I suppose she is waiting on a trumpeted announcement from God. She is constantly paralyzed by a divinity that is either heavily obscured or frustratingly tardy. I’m not disavowing that fate or a higher power plays a role in our lives. I’m just saying that it is better to help shape fate than be governed by it.

 

  1. You don’t take risks.

Two words: Live boldly. Every single time you are offered a choice that involves greater risk, take it. You will lose on many of them but when you add them up at the end of your life you’ll be glad you did.

 

  1. You constantly compare your life to others.

A few years ago I was invited to a nice party at a big warehouse downtown. I was enjoying the smooth jazz, box wine and crustless sandwiches. What more could a guy want? Later in the evening I noticed a steady parade of well-heeled people slide past and disappear into another room. I peeked and saw a large party with beautiful revelers dancing and carrying on like Bacchus. Suddenly my gig wasn’t as fun as it had been all because it didn’t appear to measure up to the party next door- a party I didn’t even know existed until just moments before.

 

I do this frequently. Those people are having more fun. Mary has a bigger boat. Craig gets all the lucky breaks. Ted has more money. John is better looking.

 

Stop it.

 

Always remember what Teddy Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

 

  1. You let other people steal from you.

If you had a million dollars in cash under your mattress, you would check it regularly and take precautions to insure it is safe. The one possession you have that is more important than money is time. But you don’t do anything to protect it. In fact you willingly give it to thieves. Selfish people, egotistical people, negative people, people who won’t shut up. Treat your time like Fort Knox. Guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it.

 

 

  1. You can’t/won’t let go.

These are getting a little harder aren’t they? That’s because sometimes you have to work at happiness. Some hurdles are too difficult to clear by simply adjusting your point of view or adopting a positive mindset.

 

Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to turn your back on a failed relationship? Do you need to come to terms with the death of a loved one?

 

Life is full of loss. But, in a sense, real happiness would not be possible without it.  It helps us appreciate and savor the things that really matter. It helps us grow. It can help us help others grow.

 

Closure is a word for people who have never really suffered. There’s no such thing. Just try to “manage” your loss. Put it in perspective. You will always have some regret and doubt about your loss. You may always second guess yourself. If only you had said this, or tried that.

 

You’re not alone. Find someone who understands and talk to that person. Reach out for support. If all else fails, try #10 below.

 

  1. You don’t give back.

One way to deal with loss is to immerse yourself in doing good. Volunteer. Get involved in life.

 

It doesn’t even have to be a big, structured thing. Say a kind word. Encourage someone. Pay a visit to someone who is alone. Get away from your self-absorption.

 

When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. Givers are happy. Takers are miserable. What are you?

 

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