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How-To Boost Your Mood and Reduce Depression

Keeping your good mood is essential to maintaining your healthy lifestyle, and your overall health. As a leading cause of disability worldwide, loss of a good mood and depression affects an estimated 350 million people and is a major contributor to the burden of disease. If you are one of the many people who struggles with maintain your good mood, here are a few strategies that can help you stay happy. Exercise: Getting your heart rate up for even 15 minutes a day, can help increase the production of mood boosting chemicals in the brain including norepinephrine and serotonin. Not only that, but getting regular exercise also usually requires that you get outside, get up and get moving! Which can also make you feel good. Mind Body Practices: Mediation, breathing techniques and exercises like yoga or tai chi help to create a sense of mindfulness that may serve as a type of cognitive therapy, or behavioral therapy for a good mood. You won’t just feel better while doing a meditation, or yoga as the benefits of these practices extend beyond the practice into daily life to help reduce stress, hostility and anxiety and improve energy for a better sense of wellbeing, and a good mood. Try a Dietary Supplement: Certain nutrients have been shown to help reduce the common symptoms of depression including mood swings, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and feelings of hopelessness. Fish oil supplements may be particularly helpful as they contain large amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids Read More »

Top 4 Travel Destinations for 2014
Posted By on January 13th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 70

Travel is an important part of your overall health, as it helps to break habits and change up a regular routine. But you don’t have to think small. Go big in 2014 and set your sights on these fantastic travel destinations. This year, save up your vacation days and hit some of these top four spots for travel. 1. Cape Town, South Africa Travel here if you want to develop your meditation techniques in the place where Nelson Mandela found inspiration. In a speech, Mandela once said, “To us on Robben Island, Table Mountain was a beacon of hope. It represented the mainland to which we knew we would one day return.” Visit Robben Island prison, and the fist place Mandela made his home as a free man. The country has since transformed and offers fashion shows, architecture open houses, sustainable farms, galleries and performance spaces and welcomes the public to art studios for an annual visual arts spectacular making Cape Town a cultural destination. 2. North Coast, California Just over a hundred miles north of San Francisco sit the bluffs of the Mendocino Coast. Travel here and observe marine life and view humpback whales as they pass, sea lions, and watch the foamy waves ebb and flow here. With over 1,300 acres of hiking access to 12- miles of coastline, fields of wildflowers, cypress forest and cliff areas, the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands is a great place to see the North Coast. Also home to the California Coastal National Read More »

3 Yoga Workouts Just for Energy
Posted By on January 13th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 70

Yoga workouts provide so many benefits to your health, and while some poses are for muscle building and some burn tons of calories, Yoga as a practice is one of the best workouts for energy. Many workouts offer the idea of an energy boost but can cause you to feel tired, fatigued and sore in the long run. There are two different types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. While any physical exercise will boost feel-good brain chemicals, burn calories and help you to break a sweat to release toxins, aerobic exercise can also leave you feeling tired shortly afterwards. If you are looking for an anaerobic workout that provides benefits to your brain power, and your energy levels without leaving you feeling even the slightest bit tired, try yoga. While some forms of yoga are more tiring than others, by doing a simple combination of poses called asanas, you can boost energy levels without exhausting yourself. Here are a few yoga poses you can do, even if you are a beginner: Yoga Pose #1 –  BAH-dah cone-AHS-anna,
baddha = bound 
kona = angle Sitting with your legs out in front, raise your pelvis with a blanket if your hips or groins are tight. Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. With the first and second finger and thumb, grasp the Read More »

10 Stress Relievers That Work in Less than 5 Minutes
Posted By on December 23rd, 2013 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 67

Stress can build up over the holidays and sometimes there just isn’t enough time to unwind. But you can sneak any of these stress relievers in (for just 5 minutes) and get back your sense of serenity. 1. Have a Laugh. Keeping your good humor and having a laugh has short-term effects on your stress levels. The physical change that occurs in your body as a result of laugher relieves your stress response and also relaxes muscles. So take a time out and make a joke for an instant stress reliever. 2. Repeat a Mantra. Keeping your thoughts focused on positive ideas can really help reduce stress. Here are 5 mantras for stress relief you can quietly repeat to yourself when tensions get high, to bring your awareness back to the present moment: Everything I do is by choice. I’m not supposed to have all the answers. I will slow down and become conscious. This too shall pass. I will accept the things I cannot change. 3. Take a Step Outside. Breathe in the fresh air and fill your lungs. Slowly release the breaths and let them clear your mind of all thoughts just for a few minutes. If there is sunshine, try to soak it up. Researchers say that the vitamin D in the sun’s rays has the ability to boost your mood. 4. Listen to Music. Put on your favorite playlist, sing along to one of your favorite songs, or just play something you have never heard before Read More »

15 Jokes to Tell to Keep Holiday Spirits Bright
Posted By on December 9th, 2013 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 65

Kids need to feel noticed, included and engaged and during the holidays it can get pretty lonely at the kids table. Parents get busy planning parties, managing to-do’s lists and end up entertaining guests. This can make it difficult to manage the kid’s changing schedules. But it’s not all that easy on kids either. They need to feel that they are a part of things but that can become a task in itself for busy parents. So to keep kids engaged, and their holiday spirits warm and bright tell these simple jokes. Share them with young party guests, or your own children to keep them feeling included during the fast paced hustle of the holiday season. 1. Question: What do you do when a teacher rolls her eyes at you? Answer: Pick them up and roll them back to her! 2. Question: What kind of milk comes from a forgetful cow? Answer: Milk of Amnesia. 3. Question: Why don’t bananas snore? Answer: Because they don’t want to wake up the rest of the bunch. 4. Knock knock, Who’s there? Olive. Olive who? Olive you! 5. Question: Why was the strawberry sad? Answer: His mother got into a JAM! 6. Question: Why do pandas like old movies? Answer: Because they are black and white. 7. Question: What did the pencil say to the sharpener? Answer: Stop going in circles and get to the point! 8. Question: What is a cat’s favorite breakfast? Answer: Mice krispies 9. Question: Which day do fish Read More »

Fast Yoga moves That Spare the Spirit

Yoga postrues can help you feeling energized and in the spirit during the holidays. When things start to move fast your holiday spirit can get depleted. Keep up with the season with these fast Yoga moves that offer an boost in needed energy and a good mood so you can stay present and take in all the holidays have to offer. Inverted Yoga Position #1: Legs up the Wall Pose: Viparita Karani This pose is known to ease anxiety, reduce stress and lower blood pressure while stretching the hamstrings, legs and lower back. 1. Find an open wall space. Start seated beside the wall, with your feet on the floor in front of you and your left side body in contact with the wall. On an exhale, gently lie down on your back and pivot yourself so that the backs of your legs are pressing against the wall and the bottoms of your feet are facing up. You may need to wiggle around to find your way into this position. 2. Your sitting bones should now be pressed up against the wall, or slightly away from the wall, and your back and head rested on the floor; this will form approximately a 90-degree angle in your body. 3. If you find this position uncomfortable in any way, or just wish for extra cushion, you can use your prop here. By pressing the bottoms of your feet into the wall, lift your hips slightly and slide your prop underneath your hips. 4. Read More »

11 Things You Don’t Need to Forgive
Posted By on December 2nd, 2013 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 64

Forgive and forget right? WRONG! There are somethings that are simply unforgivable. And at some point you just need to say to yourself, “It is what it is” and know there’s no need to look back. Here are 11 things you don’t need to forgive a mate, or a date for: 1. Not telling you upfront that they are separated or not actually divorced. This really just means they are still married. That’s a no go. If they cheat on this one, they will cheat on you. Maybe not with another, but in some significant way. This isn’t something to fib about. Don’t forgive it, forget it. 2. Not changing their choines (that’s underpants) every day. Keep it clean! You go to great lengths to stay presentable for them, the least they can do is maintain a clean daily wardrobe. Maybe he wore that t-shirt yesterday, but those boxers? Ew! 3. Trying to tongue kiss you with morning breath. That’s just not the time for a passionate kiss. If they haven’t considered that you may not like the taste of what lingered in their mouth all night, they may not be the type of guy to hold the door open for you, or girl that attends to any other things you may need her further into the relationship. Ask them not to and if they continue, see if this lack of consideration extends beyond the bedroom. Don’t forgive it, forget it. 4. Falling asleep while you are talking. Listening is a Read More »

3 Ways Nature Acts as Inspiration
Posted By on November 25th, 2013 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 63

Nature is what connects us to other people, our pets and our  deeper selves. Ever do your Yoga routine on the top of a mountain, in the grass or on the beach? Sinking your hands into the ground and feeling the earth beneath you in it’s many forms has a way of creating a connection that eases tension in every day life, and lasts much longer than the time you spend out there in the elements. But it’s so easy to get caught up in a fast-paced lifestyle and start to worry more about whether you have toothpaste than your connection with nature. So here are a few things to remember so you don’t neglect your time with Mother Earth: 1. Nature inspires you imagination. Wondering how to handle the holidays this year? How do you get that perfect gift for the special people in your life? Set aside an hour or two this week to get away from magazines, catalogs, the television and other things that can get in the way of your imagination. Get out and do your cardio in the park instead of on the treadmill and see what comes to mind. Handmade gifts that celebrate your memories with that person like a custom painted flower pot or picture frame might be better than anything you can find in the stores. So let those creative juices flow, and see what you come up with. 2. Nature enriches your life. When you stand and gaze at a beautiful Read More »

How To Do an Online Personality Overhaul
Posted By on November 25th, 2013 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 63

Your online life may have more to do with your day-to-day than you realize. If you’re ready to make some healthy changes in your lifestyle, don’t leave out your internet presence. Your online personality may include social media, online dating, professional network sites, fitness or weight loss communities and more. If your personal lifestyle and wellness include reducing stress, making a better connection with the important people in your life and tuning back into your natural state of health here are a few things to consider when it comes to your online life. Email Is a great way to communicate, but there is a lot lost in translation so to speak. You can improve your online experience by learning how to communicate better in your emails. There is much to be misunderstood when you can’t read facial expressions, or physical cues. So when sending an email to friends, family, co workers, health care providers or anyone else you need to send important messages to, try to communicate as clearly as you can. Here are a few e-mail etiquette rules to follow: It’s ok to be informal, but use proper grammar and punctuation, or your message can get lost. Keep your messages brief. So many people have tons of emails to weed through, so getting to the point can be helpful. Don’t use all caps unless you want to highlight a point. Otherwise, people feel like you’re yelling. Be courteous. Eventhough they can’t see you, they can deficiently perceive manners. So Read More »

Everyday Getaways You Can Take Close to Home

Getaways don’t have to take you so far from home that you don’t get through the laundry, miss the kid’s game, or forget to stock the fridge. You can break away from hectic schedules and your everyday lifestyle, even for a few minutes a day and feel like you’ve been away all weekend even if you can’t afford to go too far from home by taking a mini getaway. Try these simple “getaways,” this week to break free from the grind, without going far from home: Try Mind/Body Exercise: You may fee like you’re on another planet the first time you hear someone say “breathe in happiness, and breathe out anger.” But the truth is, group meditations and mind/body classes that challenge your comfort zone really can take you away. The combination of calming and invigorating fragrances, people that may, or may not have anything in common with you and a new ideas for your mind to process can help you break away from those day-to-day habits that can leave you feeling stuck. So grab some free flowing clothes and give Yoga, Tai Chi or group mediation and take a getaway! Go Where Your Pet Would Go: If you have a four-legged friend, imagine where they would go if they stepped out your door for a getaway. Take them along with you to a nearby park, or natural reserve and just play. Walk, run, skip, toss a ball around, and bring along a set of headphones if you want. Make Read More »