Power of Music

Power of Music

Have you ever wondered why we feel better when we listen to music?  Well, there is proof in the pudding, er I mean, notes!

According to BestBinauralBeats.org, a website dedicated to research on music and mood, the rhythm and tone of music has the most impact on our brain.  Our heartbeat synchs up with the rhythm, while the tone relays to our brain the attached emotions.  It’s amazing to think that an external sound can regulate our mood in that way!

The website goes on to state how you can increase the “mood-boosting benefits of music” by:

  1. Rise and shine with light, easy music.  The peak time to get moving with a grooving is around breakfast time.  So, while you eat your eggs and bacon, listen to some enjoyable music.
  2. Meditation and soft music will help decrease anxiety.  Are you feeling jittery or sad?  If so, listen to some calming tunes, such as wind chimes, nature, waterfalls, etc.  Listening to soothing music will sooth you over like a blanket of comfort.
  3. “Choose ‘directed tones'”.  Allow your brain to grow by alternating the music in the sound of one ear and then the other.  Your brain will follow the sound and in exchange, so will your mood.
  4. Provide down time from listening to your tunes.  In order to train your brain to change emotions, allow distinction between quiet time and therapeutic tune time.  Allow your brain to anticipate the next time you listen to music.  If you listen to music constantly, then the effect to lower anxiety will diminish, because it is no longer paired with set music time.
  5. Hard or fast music is appropriate in doses.  With a fast rhythm, our heart beat increases, which in turn can increase anxiety.  Don’t stop listening to the music you love, but recognize the effect it has on our bodies and emotions.
ROCK ON (hard or lightly)!  Overall, enjoy your tunes and enjoy the effect it has on your emotions!

Race!!!

the color code

I was recently having a conversation with 3 ladies. We were all of different ethnic backgrounds.  The topic of conversation was Dr. Ben Carson and affirmative action. For those who do not know, Dr. Carson is an African American who has placed his bid for president on the Republican ticket.  The others seemed to think that I would agree with all of Dr. Carson’s beliefs simply because we are of the same race.  I explained that when selecting who I will vote for, race is not a factor. Their stance on how to better the USA for everyone is my concern.  I did however, express my concerns with Dr. Carson basically speaking against affirmative action…..when affirmative action played a role in him becoming a doctor. Every African American is not the same and should not be considered as such…..nor should any other race.  Yes, I believe that race plays a major role in who we are but it should not be used to stereotype any specific ethnic background.

So what do you think………does race matter?

Should race matter?

Declaration for the Day

Declaration for the Day

One of my girlfriend’s shared this declaration with me and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share with you all!!

“I DECLARE I will speak only positive words of faith and victory over myself, my family, and my future.  I will not use my words to describe the situation.  I will use my words to change my situation.  I will call in favor, good breaks, healing, and restoration.  I will not talk to God about how big my problems are.  I will talk to my problems about how big my God is.  This is my declaration.”

Save this somewhere — on your phone, fridge, mirror, computer, calendar, journal — and when you feel discouraged, pull it out and say it aloud.  I hope it will encourage your spirit as it has mine!

Stop Trying to Change Your Man

Stop Trying to Change Your Man

I was listening to a video devotional about Decoding the Silent Man’s Language.  At the end of the devotional, the speaker said, “The only time a woman can change a man is when he is wearing diapers”.  This comment tickled me but there is some truth to it!  Of course, I’m not saying that your man or my man or whoever’s man may not need to make some changes, but I do agree we (women) are not going to make him change.  Now there is a difference between a man who needs to tweak some things and a man who you just have no business being with in the first place.  Leave that man alone!  But if you have a good man who may only have some rough edges, I am encouraging myself, my friends, my family, and you to stop complaining and nagging your man to make changes.  Put a pause on discouraging him (taking courage out of your man) and increase your words of encouragement (putting courage in).  So Ladies, let’s stop trying to change our man. Let God, his mentor, prayer, accountability partner, time, and emotional and spiritual growth develop so that the changes he needs to make become clear to him, and he earnestly seeks to make those changes for you and him.

Foods to Help Lower Cholesterol

Cholesterol lowering foods

We go to the doctor for an annual check up or due to an illness…….usually if a problem is detected, the first solution is medication. Sadly, we are in an era where medication is the solution for most symptoms.  Don’t get me wrong….sometimes medication is necessary but often times it is a lifelong Band-Aid solution.  When my husband’s cholesterol was a little elevated; I began to do research on the causes as well as ways to reduce your bad “LDL” cholesterol.  According to the staff at the Mayo Clinic the following are ways you can reduce your cholesterol:

Can a bowl of oatmeal help lower your cholesterol? How about a handful of walnuts or an avocado? A few simple tweaks to your diet — like these, along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — might help you lower your cholesterol.

Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods

Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber. If you add fruit, such as bananas, you’ll add about 4 more grams of fiber. To mix it up a little, try steel-cut oatmeal or cold cereal made with oatmeal or oat bran.

Fish and omega-3 fatty acids

Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — may reduce the risk of sudden death.

Although omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL levels, because of their other heart benefits, the American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:

  • Mackerel
  • Lake trout
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Albacore tuna
  • Salmon
  • Halibut

You should bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you don’t like fish, you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as ground flaxseed or canola oil.

You can take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to get some of the benefits, but you won’t get other nutrients in fish, such as selenium. If you decide to take a supplement, talk to your doctor about how much you should take.

Walnuts, almonds and other nuts

 Walnuts, almonds and other tree nuts can improve blood cholesterol. Rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.

Eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease. Make sure the nuts you eat aren’t salted or coated with sugar.

All nuts are high in calories, so a handful will do. To avoid eating too many nuts and gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts. For example, instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.

Avocados

 Avocados are a potent source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). According to a recent study, adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL levels in people who are overweight or obese.

People tend to be most familiar with avocados in guacamole, which usually is eaten with high-fat corn chips. Try adding avocado slices to salads and sandwiches or eating them as a side dish. Also try guacamole with raw cut vegetables, such as cucumber slices.

Replacing saturated fats, such as those found in meats, with MUFAs are part of what makes the Mediterranean diet heart healthy.

Self-esteem: The Conductor of Emotions

Who's Taking Care of You?

Self-esteem is a very important aspect of everyone’s life. It is such a vital part of a person existence, yet at the same time too much or too little of it can be detrimental. Self-esteem is often used as a controlling tool. People prey on those who have low self-esteem because it is easy. Having low self-esteem, especially for children, also makes a person an easy target for bullying. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I thought to myself this is a perfect time to talk about self-esteem. People who fall victim to domestic violence, as well as those that inflict domestic violence, offer suffer from low self-esteem. When a person has low self-esteem it is easy to convince them that the treatment they are receiving is their own fault. At the same token, as the old saying goes ‘hurt people hurt people’. With that being said people who do not feel good about themselves sometimes lash out at others in the form of release. It is never ok to hit someone, domestically or not. As humans we all have emotions and sometimes these emotions outweigh the logic of our brains. It is very easy when feeing cornered or hurt to lash out. We, especially in the African-American community support violence. I know when I was growing up I was always taught if someone hits you….hit them back. I was also taught you never let the other person get the first lick in in a fight. This way of thinking, though it did give me a thick skin, did two things to my way of life. One it limited my thinking. There was no need to think about things. When I felt corned just strike first. Two it perpetuated the use of violence. This is why people need the tools and resources such as counselors or anger management, or sometimes even grief support to help them through life. With these tools in place the instances of violence just might become less.