Trouble in the Middle East – Sometimes all you need is love…

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Music gives a soul to the Universe – Seven Ways That Music Benefits Your Health

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“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain .” - Bob Marley

Lets see the effect music can have on a physical/ mental and psychological level :

1-   Improves your visual and verbal skills

Early music education stimulates a child’s brain, leading to improved performance in verbal intelligence. This was suggested in a study among 4-to 6-year-olds who received only one month of musical training. It included training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice and basic musical concepts, and this proved to have a “transfer effect,” enhancing their ability to understand words and explain their meaning.

Another study among 8 to 11-year-olds found that those who had extra-curricular music classes, developed higher verbal IQ, and visual abilities, in comparison to those with no musical training.

2) Affects the heartbeat, pulse rate and blood pressure

As Nietzsche, said, ‘We listen to music with our muscles.’ Studies have proved that music can not only strengthen the heart but also improve the recovery of patients suffering from heart disease.

No matter the genre of music, listening to one’s favorite music releases endorphins in the brain that improves the vascular health. (Opera, classical and other types of ‘joyful’ music were more likely to stimulate endorphins as opposed to heavy metal)

At Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, men and women who listened to music soon after undergoing cardiac surgery were less anxious andreported having less pain than those who just rested quietly.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, a nurse-led team found that heart patients confined to bed who listened to music for 30 minutes had lower blood pressure, slower heart rates, and less distress than those who didn’t listen to music.

The rhythm, the melody and harmony, all play a role in the emotional and cardiovascular response.

3) Improves sleep quality in students

Young or old, we all face sleep problems, in some cases, regularly, in other cases, when we’ve had an overactive day. Listening to soft music is indeed relaxing, hence improving the quality of your sleep.

Research shows that music can help reduce several factors known to interfere with sleep (including stress and anxiety), promote physical changes that support more restful sleep (such as lowered heart and respiratory rates), and aid in treatment of Insomnia.

4) Makes you Happier

Music affects our emotional state, making you feel happy, ecstatic or even sad. According to a study, your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, when you listen to tunes that move you. Sometimes you also experience feeling of shivers or chills while listening to a particular track, this shows that brain releases large amount of dopamine, that gives you happiness and pleasure. So listening to music gives us the same hit of happiness that we would get from a piece of chocolate, sex or drugs.

While another study shows that Music with a quick tempo in a major key, brought about all the physical changes associated with happiness in listeners. In contrast, a slow tempo and minor key led to sadness.

Even when we listen to happy music with the intention to feel happy, it always works as opposed to simply listening to music without attempting to alter our mood.

5) Boosts your immune system and reduce Pain

Music has been found to reduce the levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which can weaken the immune system and is responsible for many illnesses. If you like to dance to uplifting music, then you are definitely on a path to better health. Scientists found that after listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting dance music, the levels of antibodies in participants’ bodies increased.

Different types of music might have different effect, but it also depends on your personal preference and what tunes resonate with your soul. What resonates with the spirit, does have a healing effect.

6) Reduces Depression and Anxiety

Listening to music has much more effect on the human mind and psyche. Researchers say that it can helpease anxiety among cancer patients, have positive effects on their mood, pain and improve quality of life. Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety, had better blood pressure levels and improved moods.

7) Keeps an aging brain healthy

Having musical training could help keep the brain healthy as people grow older. Any kind of musical activity in life serves as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain sharper and more capable of dealing with challenges of aging.

Even someone with brain damage or dementia can recover memories through listening to music. It is ingrained in our deepest core of being, no matter the language, the sound and the rhythm resonates deep within. Like Kahlil Gibran puts it, “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”

Credit MyBeatFix

If you’re still not convinced just listen below to Radiohead‘s Codex

Flashback Fridays – We will never ever Forget about Sarah Marshall (Jason Segel)

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Jason Segel

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There’s STILL something about Mary – Cameron Diaz #TBT

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Cameron Diaz

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Just going with the Flow like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan

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Have you’ve ever ask yourself who are you? – The Who

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Do you really want to be a well respected man? – The Kinks

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Stop being Depressed & Go Nuts for Cashews – Benefits from Eating Cashews

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Two handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac. Inside you, the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters.

Serotonin gives a feeling of well-being and mellowness, or as the Australians would say, “no worries.” This is such a profound effect that Prozac, Paxil and similar antidepressants usually either mimic serotonin or artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high. You can do the same thing with your food. And no one can tell us that beans, peas, cheese, nuts and wheat germ are toxic if you eat a lot of them!

Plenty of carbohydrates (starches) in your meals help tryptophan get to where it does the most good: in your brain. In order to cross the blood-brain barrier to get in, carbos are required. So cheese and crackers provides a better effect than the cheese standing alone. An egg or two on toast is better than just the egg. Beans, peas, and nuts already contain carbohydrate, so you are all set there.

Consider that five servings of beans, a few portions of peanut butter, or just one big handful of cashews provides one to two thousand milligrams of tryptophan, which will work as well as prescription antidepressants… but don’t tell the drug companies. Some skeptics think that the pharmaceutical people already know. Here are two quotes in evidence:

“Pay careful attention to what is happening with dietary supplements in the legislative arena… If these efforts are successful, there could be created a class of products to compete with approved drugs. The establishment of a separate regulatory category for supplements could undercut exclusivity rights enjoyed by the holders of approved drug applications.” (Source: FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy David Adams, at the Drug Information Association Annual Meeting, July 12, 1993)

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Benefits of Eating Cashew Nuts

Who doesn’t know about cashew nuts? Caju is what we call them in India. We use them mostly in sweets and children love to eat them as they are. They are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are required for the normal functioning of the body. They actually belong to Brazil but Portuguese brought them to India in the 16th century. The kidney shaped or bean shaped nuts have many health benefits, a few of which are presented below:

1. Prevents Cancer: Proanthocyanidins are a class of flavonols which fight against tumor cells by stopping them to divide further. These proanthocyanidins and high copper content in cashew nuts help fight against cancerous cells and keeps you away from colon cancer. This is one of the major cashew nut benefits.

2. Healthy Heart: Cashews contain low fat content when compared to other nuts and that too in the oleic acid form which is very healthy for heart. They are cholesterol free and the antioxidants present keeps you away from heart diseases.

3. Lowers High Blood Pressure: Cashew nuts lower your blood pressure with the help of magnesium present in them.

4. Helps Hair: Copper is the mineral which helps your hair get that color. So if you take cashews which are full of copper content, you can get that black hair that you always wished for.

5. Healthy Bones: Like calcium, magnesium is also important for bone health which is the main content in cashew nuts.

6. Healthy Nerves: Magnesium is stored on the bones surface which prevents calcium from entering the nerve cells and thus keeps the blood vessels and muscles relaxed. Insufficient amount of magnesium can lead calcium to enter the blood vessels leading them to contract. It also leads to high blood pressure, migraine headache etc.

7. Prevents Gallstones: Daily intake of cashewnut can reduce the risk of developing gallstones up to 25%.

8. Helps in Weight Loss: Even though cashew nuts are considered as fats, it contains good cholesterol. So contrary to popular belief, those who eat cashews at least twice a week gain less weight when compared to those who eat less.

9. Anti-oxidants: Selenium, copper, magnesium etc. act as co-factors for many enzymes.

10. Helps Digestion: Cashew nuts help in growth and development, nucleic acid synthesis and digestion.

11. High on Vitamins: Cashew nuts are rich in vitamins like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin etc. These vitamins keep you safe from sideroblastic anemia, pellagra, etc.

12. Healthy Gums and Teeth: As mentioned before, the magnesium content present in cashew nuts is very good for bones. So it gives healthy teeth as well as strong gums to hold them.

13. Pleasant sleep: After menopause, these cashew nuts can give you relaxed and pleasant sleep during nights.

14. Free Radicals: Cashew nuts help our body to utilize iron properly and eliminate free radicals which cause health problems.

15. Macular Degeneration: Cashew nuts have the ability to filter Sun’s UV rays and protect us from macular degeneration. Now that you know the health benefits of Cashew nuts, ensure that you eat a few once every week I am sure you already love them.

CreditNatural Cures Not Medicine

What does it take to be a Happy Couple or does that even exist? (Tips & Tricks)

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1. If you and your partner are indecisive about where to eat or what movie to watch, play the “5-3-1″ game. One person names five choices, the other vetoes two of them, and then the first person eliminates the remaining two. Ta-da, no more “Where you do want to eat?” “I don’t care, what do you want to do?”

2. The person who cooks shouldn’t do the dishes. It’s only fair!

3. Every cohabiting couple needs a separate room with a door that shuts, even locks. This room can be used for napping, reading, listening to music, wrapping presents, having private phone conversations, or sulking.

4. Thank each other for everything. There’s no need to be effusive when someone takes out the garbage, but it’s nice to show and be shown appreciation for even the most everyday obligations.

5. Don’t tell people that they’re wrong about insignificant things. For instance, if your guy says that Steven Spielberg directed Star Wars, laugh a little on the inside, but don’t tease him for not knowing it was George Lucas. And for the love of God, do not correct each other’s grammar in public.

6. Speaking of being wrong, let it go when someone admits to being at fault, especially if it’s for something minor. One couple suggested that you play, “FailDance” where the person who was wrong has to perform a song-and-dance routine after apologizing. In doing so, you replace the resentment and “I told you so’s” with a silly moment the two of you can share.

7. Think before you speak. Whenever a difficult conversation keeps you from phrasing your thoughts coherently, ask your partner to give you a moment instead of trying to fill up the silence with whatever it is you have to say. Saying the wrong thing is much worse than an awkward break in the conversation.

8. Play the “He’s Not an A**-hole” game. Whenever you feel angry at him, imagine that you’re a novelist (or a movie writer) assigned to write a story in which the “a-hole” is the protagonist. That way, you’ll have to think of the situation from his point-of-view and make him sympathetic to readers and viewers.

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 Credit: Your Tango

Train, Eat, Rest, Repeat…Reasons why you’re not losing weight

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1. You’re doing too much cardio. 

You aren’t guaranteed a slim waistline just because you spend an hour on the treadmill every day. In fact, long cardio sessions can actually work against you. That’s because your body basically sees exercise as stress, and stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol, which breaks down energy stores for immediate use. Over the short term, this reaction is healthy and natural, but prolonged increases in cortisol eventually lead to insulin resistance, a decrease in bone density, loss of lean muscle mass, and weight gain.

2. You’re eating too much fruit. 

Many dieters turn to fruit as a sweet, low-calorie snack, but the sugar in fruit (like all carbohydrates) gets broken down into glucose in the small intestine. The presence of glucose in the bloodstream causes the pancreas to release insulin, and insulin stores excess glucose as fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, fruit intake should be limited to those with a combination of low carbohydrate content and high amounts of antioxidants like berries and pitted fruits.

3. You’re skimping on calories. 

Some calorie counters assume that if restricting calories will help them lose weight, then restricting a lot of calories will help them lose more weight, more quickly. Unfortunately, the body views severe calorie restriction as starvation and will eventually turn against you, fighting to keep the calories you do eat for dear life. 

4. You’re not getting enough fat. 

When it comes to nutrition, we have to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fat. Unhealthy fats are the trans fats, omega 6 fats, and processed fats that are used to manufacture processed foods. Healthy fats, on the other hand (fats from fish, nuts, coconut, animal meats, eggs, avocados, olives, etc.), are a necessary part of healthy cellular function. Contrary to what you might think, healthy fats do not translate into added pounds. The consumption of healthy fats instead of sugar actually gives us energy, keeps us satiated longer, and prompts the body to burn stored fat for fuel.

5. You’re stressed out.  

Any type of stress (physical, emotional, chemical) causes the body to enter into a state of protection, also known as “fight or flight.” This results in altered hormone levels as the body shuts down all processes not immediately required for survival. Part of the stress response, as stated above, is the release of cortisol. Again, this is perfectly healthy unless stress is chronic, in which case the result is increased fat storage around the belly.

6. You’re overloading on carbs. 

The typical American diet consists of large amounts of processed carbohydrates that wreak havoc on blood sugar and insulin levels. Over time, fat cells become insulin resistant which makes it nearly impossible for the body to burn fat no matter how much you exercise or how few calories you consume.

7. You’re not getting enough sleep. 

Lack of sleep is an often overlooked source of health challenges. That’s because our sleep patterns have a big impact on our hormone levels. This study showed that poor sleeping habits cause us to gain weight, and this one showed that the biggest spike in fat burning hormones occurred during deep sleep.

8. You’re eating too many diet foods. 

Most diet foods (and all processed foods for that matter), contain some form of MSG, which is also known as yeast extract, glutamic acid, and hydrolyzed protein, among others. This chemical has been used in obesity research to induce obesity in rats. It causes a spike in insulin levels, in both animals and humans, which causes the body to store fat. Other chemicals in diet foods can sabotage your weight loss efforts too, like artificial sugars, trans fats, and natural flavors.
In the end, the best way to lose weight is to get healthy. You cannot sidestep nature. This means eating real food, moving your body regularly, getting adequate amounts of sleep, and finding ways to manage stress.
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