Simplify Your Life: Audit for Better Health and Happiness in 15 Easy Steps

staying healthyIn our pursuit of the American Dream, most Americans are willing to put up with quite a bit. Very long work hours, sacrificing vacation time, missing out on milestones in their kids’ lives … and maybe even suffering from a few stress-related illnesses.

You may very well have enough activities crammed into each day that you barely have time to think … let alone to eat healthy, exercise or (gasp) relax — and that is just from the external pressures.

On the inside all of this stress and 24/7 lifestyle can leave you with racing thoughts so severe you have trouble sleeping or, on the flipside, feeling like your brain is completely fried, numb and on the verge of a complete meltdown.

And for all of this strife, many of us are still spending our free time worrying about finances, the state of the economy, terrorist threats or coming down with a bout of flu.

This begs the question: for all that we’re sacrificing, how many of us feel truly happy? And could it be that the quest for happiness lies not in how many hours we can work in a week, but in how many we can thoroughly enjoy?

With that in mind, we urge you to audit your life and decide if you could benefit from slowing down and reducing out of control stresses, so that you, as a human being, can free up more time for relaxation and fun.

And if you decide the answer is YES … here are important tips to get you started.

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Aspirin: What are the Benefits, What are the Risks?

aspirinThe first form of aspirin — today one of the most widely used drugs around — existed all the way back in the 5th century B.C., when the father of medicine, Hippocrates, used willow bark and leaves to relieve pain and reduce fever. It wasn’t until the 1820s, however, that scientists identified the active component in willow bark: salicin.

Salicylic acid derived from willow bark worked to fight aches and pains, but there was a major drawback: it upset the stomach. So, a few decades later, French chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt found that combining salicylic acid with acetyl chloride made it less irritating.

But Gerhardt, thinking the compound was too complex to make, abandoned the idea. It wasn’t until 1899, when Felix Hoffmann, a German chemist, came across Gerhardt’s recipe and found the compound really worked, that aspirin came to be.

Hoffmann worked for Bayer and convinced the company to make the drug, named Aspirin (the names comes from acetyl chloride [A] and spiraea ulmaria, the plant that salicylic acid comes from [spir] along with an [in] ending).

Bayer released Aspirin tablets in 1915 (it was previously sold as a powder), but, interestingly, had to give up the trademark after World War I as part of Germany’s war reparations. At the Treaty of Versailles, the trademark (along with the trademark for Heroin) was given to France, England, Russia and the United States.

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The Top 15 Signs of Heart Disease Everyone Needs to Know

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, which resulted in 29 percent of all U.S. deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Meanwhile, more than one-third (37 percent) of adults reportedly have two or more of the six risk factors for heart disease and stroke, which include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity

In all, heart disease is thought to cost well over $403 billion for health care services, medications and lost productivity, according to the CDC.

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How to Turn Your Bathroom, and Home, Into a Healthy, Soothing Spa Sanctuary

Modern day life is full of stressors — work stress, deadlines, and family demands.

Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, infertility problems and even accelerated aging.

A comprehensive economic survey posted in The Washington Post highlighted some of the effects since the start of the recession and the stress Americans have taken on:

  • The nation’s poverty rate has continued to rise even though unemployment rates have dropped
  • Since the data was originally collected for the first survey millions more have lost their jobs

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Can Copper Wreak Havoc on Your Body? Studies Reveal How Copper Imbalances Cause Mood Disorders, ADHD, Anger Problems and More

It’s no secret that America is renowned for being the pill-popping “Prozac Nation” trying to medicate its problems with a host of ‘miracle drugs’ that constitute a billion-dollar industry.

But you may be surprised to learn mood disorders — in addition to a host of other disorders, like anxiety disorders, behavioral disorders, ADHD and more — are not always caused by the common environmental or mental issues that doctors so commonly associate them with. In fact, new reports find that many of these emotional or behavioral problems are largely due to varying imbalances in our bodies.

You might be familiar with a large collection of daily ‘essential nutrients’ that are listed on your everyday food labels. Among the common nutrients are elements like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc and iron. What you may not know, however, is that there is another essential mineral your body needs, and you almost never see it listed along with those other nutrients.

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Flu Epidemic: A Nasal Cleansing a Day May Keep the Doctor Away

What happens when you don’t feel well… Nasal Congestion; Sinus Headaches; Sinus-drip… When you begin to feel sick… what do you do and what can you do… without taking drugs… what natural remedy historically has been used by as many as a billion people every day?

Simple Inexpensive Painless Nasal Cleansing (without toxic Drugs), known as “Neti”, has been a common easy to use wellness practice for many centuries.

This is an ancient healing system from India, done effectively by billions of people for thousands of years.  This simple, easy and soothing technique is actually one of the six purification techniques done by many prior to doing yoga and many do daily religiously.

This ancient treatment can reduce the exchange of sinus fluids and viruses in addition to personal benefits of sinus congestion relief.

Nasal cleansing, also known as nasal irrigation, involves using a neti pot to pour a lukewarm saline solution (pure water mixed with natural salt) inside one side of your nostril while tilting your head sideways so the water runs out of your other nostril.

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How Adults (and Teenagers!) Can Avoid Acne and Pimples

Acne is often thought of as one of the rites of passage of being a teenager — one that, fortunately, you get to grow out of. Yet, acne does not always disappear once you reach your 20s and beyond.

“Despite the fact that adult acne tends to be generally milder than teenage acne, this common medical condition can have a significant impact on a person’s overall quality of life — regardless of when it occurs,” said dermatologist Julie C. Harper, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

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Stomach Pain? Here are the 9 Most Common Sources and What to Do

Stomach pain is incredibly common, impacting just about everyone at one point or another. Sometimes, such as if you’ve just eaten a giant bowl of spicy chili, the cause is obvious. Others, and more often, you may have no idea what’s causing the pain.

Because your abdomen houses numerous organs (your stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas), the first step to identifying the cause of your stomach pain is to figure out where it hurts. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can then narrow down the source accordingly.

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11 Unexpected Things That Are Making You Fat

 Add to your list below the endless series of things that make you fat, many of which have to do with architectural planning and design. TreeHugger.com compiled this excellent list, which contains numerous waist-expanding phenomena you probably hadn’t thought of …

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Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Re-Set Your Resolutions NOW For Success

How many times have you vowed to lose 20 pounds starting with the New Year or said that this was the year you were going to cut back on your drinking or quit smoking once and for all?

After celebrating on New Year’s Eve and using it as the last hurrah to overindulge, most people set out on a stringent quest of resolutions beginning the very next day. Then around the end of January, many fail to live up to their stated resolutions, give up and go back to their former lifestyle.

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