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Tips on Coping with Anxiety

Overall Attitudes For Handling Anxiety

Here are general mindsets for coping with anxiety if it’s a problem for you. The advice below will work best if your anxious feelings are mild to moderate. If your anxiety is more severe you may need to seek extra help. There are quite a few suggestions below, so pick and choose the ones that speak to you the most.

The points below are about tackling anxiety directly. You can also do a lot to indirectly cut off anxiety at its source by making broader lifestyle changes, which this article discusses.

Another huge part of dealing with anxiety in the long term is facing your fears, both of the situations which scare you, and of your anxiety itself causing something bad to happen in them. This article and this article go into that more.

What doesn’t work is avoiding your fears or trying to satisfy your anxious urges

As this article on the nature of anxiety explains, anxiety will either try to tell us, “Avoid this scary situation and I’ll go away” or “Perform these actions and I’ll go away” These approaches never work in the long term. It’s playing right into the counterproductive behavior your anxiety is encouraging. It’s like trying to cure a drug addiction by smoking more crack, because it makes you feel better when you do it. The proper way to deal with anxiety isn’t nearly as easy or immediately gratifying as giving into the cravings. Most people eventually decide it has to be done though.

As you get more experience with your anxiety you’ll be able to handle it better

When anxiety first starts to negatively affect your life it can throw you for a loop because it’s so scary and unfamiliar. It’s easy to get swept up in it without stopping to think about what’s happening or where it’s taking you. With more experience you’ll start to become more familiar with your anxious tendencies. You’ll also get to know the course your anxiety tends to take when it comes on.

Combined with coping strategies, this will give you more of an ability to address your nervous feelings. The first few times anxiety appears it has the advantage of catching you off guard. With time you’re better able to step back and see the process unfold, and matter of factly say things to yourself like, “Oh, I just got reminded of how I need to pay off that debt. My heart is starting to beat a bit fast. If this keeps up I’ll feel pukey and shaky soon. I’ll use approach X now because I know that usually works.” Just being aware of how everything is going to play out can take away some of its power.

Accept you’re going to be anxious some of the time

Everybody gets anxious sometimes. There are just things in life that are going to make us nervous. This is especially true if someone is just wired to be a little more high-strung. Even someone who’s become a black belt in coping with their nerves is occasionally going to have it get the best of them. We all have bad days, but that’s fine in the long run if they’re spread between lots of better ones.

Sometimes people can start thinking that they have to find a way to never be anxious again. They can get stuck because they believe they have to totally eliminate their nerves before they can get back to their lives. That’s never going to happen though. It’s just a part of life that sometimes we’re going to feel negative emotions. This seems obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to forget, especially since some self-help writing sends an implicit message that it’s an attainable goal to get to a place where you feel happy constantly.

Realize that anxiety is uncomfortable but harmless

One reason anxiety is such a problem for some people is that they (understandably) develop the attitude that their anxiety is horrible and intolerable and they must do everything they can to avoid feeling that way. As soon as it starts to pop up they go into high alert and have an automatic response of wanting to escape and get rid of it.

They can change their relationship to their anxiety if they start to see that while it’s uncomfortable, it won’t kill them, and they don’t necessarily have to flee whenever it appears. Learning to let anxiety be present is important to some other steps to overcoming it.

Realize you can be anxious and still function or enjoy something

Sometimes people start to look at their anxiety in Either-Or terms. Either they’re not nervous about something at all, and they can go ahead, or it makes them nervous and they have to take a pass, or somehow make themselves become completely anxiety-free before they can do it. Many things are worth doing even with some jitters. The benefits outweigh the discomfort.

When looking back at an event after the fact, how anxious you were at the time becomes even less important. For example, someone may go to a concert even though they don’t like crowds. Five years later when they’re remembering it, they’re probably going to be thinking, “I’m so glad I saw that band before they broke up!”, not “I felt a little shaky and nervous at times. I totally should have stayed home.”

Realize it’s just okay to feel anxious

Feeling anxious doesn’t mean you’re weak because you’re cowardly and you can’t control your emotions. It’s okay to be nervous about certain things. We all get that way at times. If you’re starting a new job the next week and you’re anxious about it, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with you for feeling jittery, even though you logically know there isn’t anything to be scared of. Give yourself permission to be afraid. Having this attitude means embracing a contradiction; Anxiety is obviously better if it isn’t around, but if it does appear, that’s totally acceptable as well.

Figure out what is important to you in life and go after it regardless of your anxiety

This is one of the central concepts of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Take the time to clarify what your goals and values are and then commit to living them out. You don’t put your life on hold waiting for your anxiety to go away, because that will never happen. You accept it will always be there to a degree, but you do what’s important to you anyways. Like the point above mentioned, if you’re pursuing something you really care about then any nervousness that comes up along the way will be worth it.

Someone might decide that it’s important to them to increase their social circle. Maybe they also decided one of their values was trying new things. If they get an invitation to go rock climbing with some new people at work, and the thought of it makes them nervous, it’ll be easy for them to accept anyways because they can see how it aligns with what they want out of life. Or say someone has to give a speech to help raise money for a charity. They may not be crazy about public speaking, but they’ll do it because it fits with their value of helping other people. The anxiety might still come up, but it’s put in a totally different context.

Maybe you’ve met an anxious person who seems to follow this philosophy. They come across as fairly anxious in general, but they get by in life. They may even seem oddly comfortable with the fact that they look nervous sometimes, or that they may trip over their words around new people. I’ve even known people to casually tell their friends about how they get so nervous sometimes that they have to throw up, but they just go to the bathroom, do it, and then get back to whatever it is they were doing.

Get to the point where you don’t care if you show any anxious symptoms

This is easier said than done, but it can be very freeing and soothing if you can get to this place. Anxiety can have such a powerful hold on us because we’re afraid of the consequences of experiencing some of its symptoms. Someone may avoid meeting new people because they’re afraid of trembling in front of them. Another person may not take the subway because they’re worried about what might happen if they get nauseous between stops.

It can take a lot of that influence away if someone just says to themselves, “You know what? If I look nervous in front of people, I look nervous. If I turn red while talking to someone it’s not the worst thing ever, if I seem comfortable with myself otherwise. If I’m out at a dinner, and I get so worked up that I lose my appetite and people comment on why I’m not eating, that’s fine. I’ll manage. I’m going to do what I want to do anyways. I’m not going to let my anxiety dictate my life and hold these things over me.” Of course, if you can start to think like this, where you don’t care about the consequences of your anxiety, you’ll often be less likely to feel anxious in the first place.

Be okay with telling people you’re anxious

Another point, similar to the one above, is that it can help to get to a place where you’re comfortable telling people you’re anxious at that moment, or have a problem with anxiety in general. It takes away one more thing anxiety can hold over you, the belief that you can’t ever let anyone find out you’re feeling that way. Anxiety is universal, and pretty much everyone can relate and won’t judge you for it. Yeah, you probably don’t want to tell everyone the whole saga of your nervousness within five seconds of meeting them, but just knowing you don’t have to keep anything a secret can be a relief.

Most anxious symptoms aren’t as obvious as it feels they are

This point seems to contradict the ones above it in a way. I just said not to worry about showing symptoms, but now I’m explaining how many symptoms aren’t even that noticeable? Doesn’t that seem to play into the idea that people should be concerned about everyone picking up on their nervousness? I guess it is a bit of a contradiction, but sometimes I think it’s fine to hold two conflicting ideas in our minds at once.

Like I was saying, many people let their anxiety control them because they’re worried about appearing visibly jittery. Most symptoms of anxiety aren’t as apparent as it seems they are from the inside. Even when someone is extremely panicky, it often doesn’t look all that special to an observer. Just knowing this can take away even more of anxiety’s power.

Learn when to listen to your anxiety and when not to take it seriously

Anxiety isn’t all bad. It warns of dangers we should attend to. A smidgen of anxiety about a school assignment can get us started on it, when we’d otherwise put it off until the last second. Nervousness about a debt we have to pay off reminds us of the importance of not ignoring it, and that we shouldn’t frivolously spend our money. We all know anxiety can be very irrational as well. Our fears can be greatly exaggerated and unrealistic. We can find ourselves worrying about things that are extremely unlikely to happen.

It’s important to balance your reaction to your anxiety between these two ideas. On one hand, a lot of the things our anxiety tells us are totally unrealistic and exaggerated and can be brushed aside. These thoughts are the anxiety speaking, not the ‘real you’. If you want to take a stroll around your block and your nervousness tells you, “A meteor may hit you”, that’s something you need to dismiss.

Sometimes your anxiety is trying to tell you something legitimate, even if the way it’s presenting those concerns is a bit over the top. In these cases trying to make the nervousness go away may not work as well. This sounds a little odd, but here it can help to actually listen to your anxiety and acknowledge that you’ve really heard it and considered what it has to say. The way I picture it is that a part of your mind knows something is a legitimate concern. It sends your anxiety as a courier to relay that message to you. If you keep trying to push the anxiety away, that part of your mind will continue trying to deliver the information. When it’s satisfied you’ve actually heard what it has to say, it will breathe easy and leave you alone.

For example, say you’re nervous because you need to find a job. If every time you start to feel anxious you try to make the feelings go away, they may keep coming back. If you take a minute to listen to what your anxiety is telling you, and then go, “Yeah, I do need to look for a job soon. I’ll get on it. Thanks for the message” you may find it stops coming back. The important thing is that you truly consider the message and intend to act on it. In a sense you ‘solved’ the issue you were anxious about, so the emotion has no reason to linger. You didn’t literally fix anything, but sometimes just intending to get started is the same. Sure, this tip won’t magically work every time, but it can help in some cases.

Follow the ‘process’

When we’re anxious it’s sometimes because we’re worried about something that may happen in the future. For certain situations you may be able to calm your nerves by reminding yourself you’ll follow the ‘process’. What I mean is that for things like looking for a job, there’s an ideal process you go through. You update your resume, you apply for different positions, you reach out to your contacts, maybe even see an employment counselor, and generally try your best to find work. If you don’t find anything, the process has additional steps you can go through, like asking your parents for a loan, selling some of your stuff, applying for unemployment, or moving back home while you wait for the job market to get better. The process is designed in a way that if you follow it you’ll probably be okay.

There are similar processes for other situations like applying to universities, navigating a troubled relationship, or creating a social circle. You can reduce your worries by telling yourself, “There’s no point in fretting about what might or might not happen. I’ll just follow the ‘process’, handle each phase as it comes, and that should see me through.” You’re going to be doing the right actions, so you can take your thoughts out of the equation.

The defiant attitude vs. the calm, accepting attitude

For many of the attitudes mentioned above, you could take two approaches to applying them. Both seem to work in their own way. As I love to say, you could always use a mix of both. One way would be to take a tough, defiant stand towards your anxiety; “Oh, I’m starting to feel pukey before meeting my friends? I don’t care. I’m not letting my nerves push me around any longer. I’ll throw up in front of everyone if I have to, but I’m standing my ground and not avoiding my fears any longer!” This can be a very good way to motivate yourself, but some people might say the whole struggling and fighting thing is unnecessary.

The other route would be to take on a more Zen mindset. You calmly roll with whatever your anxiety dishes out, all without straying from following your values. If your anxiety interferes with your life you accept that and don’t expect everything to work out perfectly all the time. You have a positive, understanding view of your nervousness; It’s just trying to help, but it goes overboard sometimes and it nothing personal.

As written on Succeed Socially

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My Horrible Day…

Yesterday was a terrible day. HORRIBLE.

Is the proximity of the moon to earth making people mean and fragile?
I don’t know
The Bloggess has her view on this

I started yesterday full of hope.

I was in line to win a project and was scheduled to meet with a two senior people overseeing the project.
I’ve stayed up nights to do extra reading to be as well prepared as I could be.

My first meeting went well enough.
The second meeting very quickly down the tube.

The Director pretty much shot done all my experience and said it didn’t count.
In the end, he said he wasn’t going to recommend me for the project.

I am not good at arguing with people and someone else would probably have done a much better job of refuting him.
I didn’t. I looked at him and just tried to keep my calm and not cry.

The guy trampled and trashed all my experience and made me feel like crap, that I was worthless because my recent experience wasn’t what he demanded based on his specific criteria.

Sitting on his high horse, with his big title and pay check, he just went on say I couldn’t execute the project on the same level of expertise as the rest of the team.
He failed to realize how difficult and it challenging it was for me to work on a project basis.
Could he do it instead? Get up every day and go out and pitch himself to get projects to work on?
Hear no no no no no the entire day and weeks on end but continue to persevere to look out for projects?
He didn’t bother 1 bit to recognize the qualities it takes to do that and give me credit for me.
He just shot me down, labelled my experience lacking, and trampled all over me.

It was SO EASY for him to flick me off like a pesky fly.
What was an easy, thoughtless, simple decision to slam the door in my face meant a drastic loss of opportunity for me.

This is the part that kills me.
It is that flick of a moment that changes the course of your life.

I was SO close to getting the project.

If not for him, I would have had a decent to good shot at getting the project.
But in his one moment of whim, he slammed close the door and as a result it is a huge loss to me.
I was passionate about the project, it is something I really want to do and can do.
It would have been an incredibly journey to work on it.

And, he’s taken that away from me and made me feel like crap.
Everyday he wakes up. He goes to his office and sits there knowing he will get a big fat paycheck at the end of the month.
Every week, I have to go out and look for people I can pitch to, try to get projects to work on.
I never know how much I will make in a month or whether it will be an empty month.

I’ve been crying since yesterday evening, into the night, and this morning when I woke up.
I went to sleep shivering from the pain of my misery.

I wanted to stop trying. Why bother to try and achieve my ambitions to be told my experience and work means nothing.
I should just go back to a simple job, be a waitress or a cashier. Forget my work goals.

someone puts you down , they have a problem, not you

I didn’t feel like doing anything but I had a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in a long time who was in town.
I felt like crap but I wanted to see her.
I just hoped I wouldn’t burst into tears.

We sat. We talked. I told her I was upset, and possibly emotionally unstable.
She listened and helped me see the other angle.

The logical side of me knew I shouldn’t let this guy pull me down and make me feel so bad about myself and my accomplishments.
But his judgement cut so deep.

This is what great friends do. They support you.
Today, my girlfriend saved the day and helped pick me up while I crumbled.
My girlfriend told me to look at all the things I had accomplished in a variety of areas.
So the guy refused to recognize it. So what? The fact was I had achieved so many things
She told me to believe in myself.

I told her about a project I’ve been working on.
She told me to stop downplaying it and be proud of it.
Instead of saying it’s just a small project, own it and say I’m spreading the message for this organization as their spokesperson.

I don’t think she quite realized how badly and deeply I was hurting.
Because of course, I downplayed that too.
I hadn’t seen her in over a year and I was more excited to see her and didn’t want to dampen our meetup.

At this point, as I’m trying to type it out, I’ve forgotten most of what she said.
She made me feel better by helping me to recognize my talents and accomplishments.
She saved the day and gave me hope that I could work through it.
She probably won’t see this but I’m so thankful for her, her friendship and support.

I’m still hurting, but I’m feeling a little better.
Maybe I’ll be fine tomorrow.

What’s the moral of the story here?

1. Do not let them get to you (yeah, self, please take note…). Do not let them destroy you.
There are many mean bullies who will take advantage of their superior position to put you down.
Do you really want to let some bully you will not have anything to do with stop you from your progress? NO.

someone puts you down, it's their opinion. It's not a fact.

2. Reframe. Remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished, how far you have gotten.
Someone doesn’t recognize your value, but another person will.

Most of all, you must recognize your own value.
You need to believe in yourself to continue your journey to reach your goal.
How else can you convince someone else in your ability?

3. Have amazing friends who will support you through the tough times.
I’ve learned this the hard way.
I’ve struggled a lot recently and some friends I thought would be there for me turned out to be a great disappointment.
When you are walking in the dark, you’ll find out who will be there to help you, encourage you, and support you.
The ones who will help you see yourself in a positive light instead of making you feel worse than you feel.
I’m so thankful for the few friends who have helped and support me. They will probably not read this.
But I’m so glad they are in my life and I’m so thankful for them.

Good Friends support and encourage each other

When you are going through a rough patch, You’ll find out who are your friends — the people who will support you and encourage you

Has someone put you down or marginalized your contribution at work?
Share what did you do and how you got over the pain?

Stress Relief Tip: Don’t Think the Worse of a Situation, It Often Works Out

I’ve been nervous for the past few hours.
I don’t know if it’s because it’s 9/11 and thus sub-consciously, I’m more alert, anxious, nervous.
Who can forget the day. It’s clear as day in my mind.
I don’t want to see any movies about it.

So maybe it’s because I’m a little more on edge.
Today, like most of my days, everything takes way too long to get done.

Or maybe I’m just inefficient or a worry wort and worry my tasks to the ground.
(Unfortunately you can’t worry tasks or anything away. If that were the case, worrying would actually be productive!)

I needed to tell someone they reversed the scheduling on one of my jobs.
I’ve been putting off emailing them as I’m afraid how they will react.
I keep worrying the Operations Admin woman  might get all irritated and upset with me and blame it on me when I’ve in fact told her about this scheduling mix up 2 months ago.

In psychology, they call this Fatalistic Thinking.
Thinking the worse of a situation and snowballing the situation in your head.

Worrying-is-like-praying-for-what-you-dont-want

So many hours later, after much worry and angst, I emailed both the Operations Admin and my colleague informing them of the mix up and for my colleague to confirm she can work on the day we discussed.

I’ve been agonizing about it.
I finally dug up the courage to check my email.
My colleague replied she could work that day as I had discussed with her.
I had a sigh of relief when I saw that and my stress levels went down.
I haven’t heard back from the Operations Admin but I feel this will limit any angry yelling from her since the schedule is all sorted out.
Phew.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought!
The moral of the story: Thinking the worst of a situation only stresses yourself up for nothing. Don’t over-worry about the other person’s reaction,
especially if it’s something you’ve taken care of previously.
We often think the worse of a situation, when it usually turns out fine with much less drama than we imagine!

Now I need all of you to remind me weekly of this very good piece of advice

Let's worry less & enjoy the moments more!

Let’s worry less & enjoy the moments more!

Taking the Relationship to the Next Level… or Not…

Zoey says “I want you to really commit to me.”

My muscles tense up immediately.
It makes me nervous. VERY nervous.
My instinct is to run.
I try to escape but am blocked by a bed, the wall, and Zoey.

She wants me to take things to the next level
She wants me to believe in her
That’s the commitment she needs.
She tells me not to be afraid of pain.

ARE you KIDDING ME??
This is freaking scary.

I look down. I see the faded blue carpet. I’m not ready.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be. Maybe someday.
Not now, not next week, not even next month.

I move my arms as fast as I can in a slow manner, trying not to let on I’m gathering my things to leave.
Honestly, she can probably see I’m trying to get away.
My bag and jacket in hand, I say “I need some time to think about it”

I stand up from the table slowly, “I should go…”
She asks gently, knowing she’s tipped the balance with her demand, “When am I seeing you again?”

I’m just 8 steps from the door. Almost out.
I try to act normal, replying ;”I’m not sure of my schedule yet. I’ll call you… When I can. Bye”
I scurry out.

Yeah my alternative medical therapist wants to take things to the next level
so she can poke me with needles. She says it will help my ankle heal.
Ok ok  fine it’s Acupuncture. It’s legit. She’s certified. But STILL!

Do you get your tire punctured on purpose? NO.
Does a punctured tire miraculously heal and become newer than it was before? NO.

You know why it’s called AcuPUNCTURE?
Because it involves puncturing my skin with holes
(I DON’T care how tiny they are!! They are still Holes!)
and maybe even puncturing my organs!!
Actually skin is an organ so in effect, YES. It’s a practice of puncturing my organ!
Thank You but I’ll PASS on that. You keep that for yourself honey!

I’m scared of needles & I hold off getting injections when I’m sick unless I’m left with no other options.
Sharp objects poking into my skin and nerve endings voluntarily? BLURGH
now she wants to poke me with MANY sharp objects. HELLO?!?

It’s not you. It’s me.
Maybe it’s you. Actually, it IS You.
You and Your needles.

I’m sorry this relationship did not work out…..

 That's how I feel about your commitment request. NO. NO NEEDLES.

That’s how I feel about your commitment request.  NO. NO NEEDLES.

4 Seemingly Healthy Foods With Lurking Dangers

Continuing from my last post where I’m working eating healthy, I managed to avoid the chips yesterday.
So right now it’s Chips Vs Me: 0/1 =)
YAY!

Here’s 4 foods often perceived as healthy foods but lurk with dangers.

1. Strawberries.

Ok don’t yell at me. I know they’re beautiful, juicy and yummy.
What’s there not to love about strawberries?
How can something so delicious be dangerous at all?

They are sprayed with insecticides and being without a skin layer that you can peel off, the strawberries absorb the pesticides sprayed on them.

In a study, there were 13 pesticides found on strawberries!
YIkes!

Sure they are yummy and attractive but there're layers of pesticides on them!

Sure they are yummy and attractive but there’re layers of pesticides on them!

Do: Organic Strawberries are probably safer. Buy those if your budget allows. But realize organic doesn’t mean it is pesticide free. It just means they use organice pesticides, which may be less dangerous.
Tip: If you want to eat regular strawberries, as a precaution, wash them and brush them gently with a mushroom brush. That may help to remove some of the pesticides on the surface. But it still doesn’t help remove the pesticides that have been absorbed.

2. Sprouts & Alfalfa

They need moist, warm environments to grow which provides the perfect condition for bacteria and germs to grow.
Added to the danger, is that manure is often used in growing sprouts and alfalfa.
Sprouts are considered one of the foods most likely to harbor pathogens like E. coli and salmonella.
These bacteria will make you very sick. If it’s a severe strain, may even cause organ damage or be fatal.

Sprouts are most often responsible for food recalls.
They have been responsible for large-scale outbreaks of food poisoning in the past few years.
Retailers have found it difficult to ensure the safety of any given batch of sprouts.

The danger of sprouts are such a health problem that WalMart and Krogers have stopped selling Sprouts and Alfalfa.
Organic sprouts and alfalfa do not improve your chances and are just as likely to be contaminated.

In fact, half the reported contaminated batches were organically grown products.
Pregnant women, elderly, children and those with weak health should never eat sprouts or alfalfa.

Dos: Refrain from eating raw Sprouts or Alfalfa.
Tip: If you want to eat them, try cooking them to kill any bacteria that may be there.

3. Large Fishes – Swordfish, Tuna

Large fishes live longer and accumulate more mercury. Fishes like Tuna, Swordfish tend to have high  mercury levels. Tuna caught in the Atlantic contains more mercury than those caught in the Pacific.

Imported Swordfish often fished with unsustainable methods causing great environmental damage and other sea life to be killed in the process. As we know, In trying to catch Tuna, Dolphins often get caught and die as collateral damage. Add to that, the increasing popularity and rising demand for Tuna is now resulting in overfishing of Tuna and the Tuna stock is rapidly being depleted.

Many fish are contaminated with mercury and some are way more than tuna.
The general EPA advice is that pregnant and nursing mothers and small children should avoid Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish.  The FDA’s monitoring program run since 1990, indicates the mercury contamination in “fresh / frozen” tuna is around 0.38 mg / kg, 0.35 in canned albacore and 0.12 in canned light tuna. Swordfish comes in at 0.98 mg / kg, Tilefish with 1.45 mg / kg

For an average 160 lbs adult, the safely limit is 90 g / week (3 oz) of fresh/frozen tuna, half a can of albacore tuna, 1 1/2 cans of light tuna per week, 2.5 oz of Swordfish or 1.5 oz of Tilefish per week.  This excludes any other fish consumption. So basically this is ALL the fish intake that is safe to eat.

Choose fishes with lower mercury levels. Limit Tuna, Shark, Tilefish,

Choose fishes with lower mercury levels. Limit Tuna, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish,

Dos: Eat fish in moderation. For adults, keep mercury levels below the minimum reference dose of 0.1mg/ kg/day (or 0.045mg/lb/day) of body weight.
This means for an 160 lb/ 73 kg adult, keep it to 7.3mg per day.
Tip: Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Four of the most commonly eaten seafood low in mercury are shrimp, salmon, pollock, and catfish.

For further information, check out EPA’s health advice on mercury levels in fish.

4. White Chocolate

Pick chocolates with a higher percentage of cocoa for more health benefits!
Pick chocolates with a higher percentage of cocoa for more health benefits!

While cocoa beans contain antioxidants and many other health benefits.
White chocolate doesn’t contain much cocoa and most of it has been heavily processed that there isn’t much antioxidants left.
White chocolate is mostly flavoring, milk and sugar that makes up White Chocolate.

Besides, why pick white chocolate over milk or dark chocolate??
Milk and dark are much tastier!

Do/Tip: Eat chocolate with a higher cocoa level as it has more health benefits.
Dark chocolate has antioxidants and is good for the heart.
Of course, you shouldn’t rely on chocolate alone for these health benefits.

Love Your Ankle Day

I didn’t write for a month (or more) back in December and I promised to write about that.

Well, NOW I’m (finally) getting to it.

Part of it was due to a freak injury.
I was happily walking in flat shoes when suddenly my ankle gave way and just bent inward.

I ended up in Physiotherapy for an additional body part (my ankle) and it just hurt and ached for a whole month.
It usually isn’t this temperamental.

It wasn’t my first ankle injury.

I’ve had ankle injuries over the years which makes it worse because my ankle gets weaker and weaker and more prone to more injuries.

It’s gotten so bad that these days, these freak injuries happen for no reason, such as the situation mentioned above.

Fast forward to today, June 28 and my ankle has been aching and not getting back to its normal self.
I stopped my Physiotherapy 2 weeks after my injury. Ok, I’ll admit I didn’t go to the gym to strengthen my ankle…
but I DID stick to doctor’s orders and only wear flats till my ankle got better.

It evidently hasn’t gotten better =(

In fact it was throwing a fit yesterday. I looked at my foot and realized there was a light bruise across the entire front of my foot. >GASP<. This is not good. It’s bad!!!
If there’s a bruise, that means some capillaries or veins have broken and the blood is leaked, thus forming a bruise.
(I’m sure “leak” is not the right term but I’m not a doctor so don’t sue me…)

I tried to take a picture of the bruise rainbow across my foot but it didn’t show well in the pics.

So here’s what it kind of looks like to give you an idea.

What the bruise across my foot looks like.  Thankfully, my foot isn't severed like this one.What the bruise across my foot looks like.
Thankfully, my foot isn’t severed like this.

Let me take some questions here from the audience…

Yes, that is the approximate location of the rainbow bruise
No, the bruise isn’t in rainbow colors. I call it that because of the shape across my foot.
No that is not my foot.
No, my foot is thankfully still attached to me and the rest of my leg/body.

When I went back to my Physiotherapy and she pressed it, my ankle hurt like hell. I was yelling softly the whole time only because i was trying to avoid scaring all the other patients which might have gotten me banned from her clinic and I like her.

So I’m stuck with a messed up ankle that refuses to get better and I can’t wear heels!!

ARGH. The Indignity of that!!

I miss wearing heels. I feel taller and sexy in them.
Wearing flats, I feel like I’m a withering prune shuffling around.
There’s something about heels that makes feel sensual and more attractive even if heels ARE a killer and hurt my feet many times.

I have many stories of the countless situations where I wore very pretty heels but my feet were killing me.
I’ll save that for another time.
I’ll share the gist of how most of those conversations went with my dates after we were dating for awhile.

Me: ahhhh my feet are so. painful. Let’s walk slowly…

Guy: WHY did you wear those heels?

Me: Because they’re beautiful and they make me look good. AHh ahh. walk slower! Slower!

Guy: Sure, that makes total sense… *shakes head*

Hot Heels that hurt like hellHot Heels that hurt like hell

And so, in closing, appreciate your ankle.

Think of all it’s done for you and how it carries you all day.
For you girls, wear hot sexy heels and smile at your ankle in thanks while I shuffle in flats.

In the meanwhile, I’ll be hoping for my ankle to get better and I leave you with a bad ankle inspired haiku…

Ankle Friday Haiku

Stuck only in flats,
Drats, missing my sexy heels,
Four inches no less.

#haikuanalysis #messedupankle

Wishing you a Happy Ankle Friday!

ps: As I was about to hit Publish, I felt a dull poking pain at my ankle. and I’m sitting!

Not Betting My Life on Gym Goals

So, I said I was going to work on working out more as a way to welcome December

Let’s just say that December is being asked to stay in the corner and probably feeling unwelcome.

I certainly have worked out more — if you consider 1 time in 12 days more than 0 in months…
So. From That angle, I’m meeting my goal….

I went to the gym on Monday, after 30 minutes of stretching, I felt faint (Note: not a good idea to be on a diet and go to the gym at the same time I think). So, my only workout involved 30 minutes of stretching, another much more relaxing 30 minutes in the hot shower, followed by a light meal of turkey meat at 930pm.
Yes that other goal of eating early is so Not happening… Neither is the carb free attempt working out.

Still trying… How about you?

PSA for this Holiday Week

For this holiday week of Thanksgiving, I’d like to remind all of you of the importance of enjoying Thanksgiving, being merry, having a feast and keeping in good health.

Which brings me to this very important reminder that red wine, white wine, and all hard liquors are good for your health. –wink– (*when taken in moderation, provided you do not have a messy history with alcohol or addictions)

Drinks are such a difficult decision

The doctor tells it himself….  So have a great thanksgiving with a few drinks!* I’m counting down!!!

“While red wine has a (well-deserved) health halo, the truth is that other forms of alcohol, including white wine and liquor, are also associated with a lower riskhttps://sparkaliciouswit.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php of heart disease, Davis says: “Scientists haven’t shown that drinking red wine is better than other forms of alcohol in these long term cohort studies.”

But remember you can only reap those benefits in moderation — that means no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two for men. Beyond that, the risks outweigh any benefits.”

You wanna read more? Go here (it’s not terribly exciting but just in case you thought I made that up…)

note: uh oh. crap. I realized the doctor is a phd doctor journalist. vs. a medical doctor…. I’m working on finding supporting evidence… in the meanwhile, just leave that point out when you repeat the quote to whoever it is you’re trying to convince….

Massage noises: Wooo owww keeeeha urrrrgh. It’s a good thing I’m a girl

I vocalize a lot when i’m getting massaged.

and, NO!! How could you even THINK THAT??

It’s not out of pleasure, at all. It’s usually out of pain because i often have shoulder and back aches.
Everytime the aches start, i tell myself, “it’ll get better. it’ll go away.”

Of course, it never does.

By the time I get to my massage therapist, i’ve been plagued by worsening pain for weeks and am ready to slice off the offending muscles to release the pulls in all the wrong places.

Every now and then, I get lucky in finding a good physio or sports therapist who can do their ritual and work out my lump-hard, stressed-out muscles and release me from the aches.

Times like now when i’m living in a city where i haven’t quite found one, I go in search of a massage therapist that can help with alleviating the aches. Some are brilliant and gifted; upon the slightest touch, they feel out the culprit and know how to relieve the pain.  Unfortunately, most do nothing for my pain.

It’s been 2 days since my much needed  massage, I’m now aching from the tough beating I got from the therapist — perhaps that’s what makes my original backache seem better…

During the massage, she went “your muscles are completely hard! what did you do??”

me: “You sure that’s not my abs?”

she: “Only if they’re on your back…”

me: silence. no more smart ass comments. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooowowwwwwiiiieeeeeeee

During the massage, I’m usually going “Oh yes, there… ok that aches, press harder…. rub around the area, try to get the muscles to not ache please?” Some massage therapists, especially the chinese ones, have a tendency of pressing into my poor muscles with the strength of cattle which causes me pain and makes me go “Owwww oooooooo ahhhhhh urha ur ur urrrrrr”.

Now these noises and lines would sound highly dubious to the therapist or someone listening outside the room. Hopefully there are no voyeurs, but I’m just saying… So it’s a good thing I’m a girl, if not, my massage therapists might think I’m actually getting some fun out of the session.

I can feel my shoulder blade twitch and the stubborn muscle threatening to go into a fit and pull its puppet strings causing me pain. Sigh.

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