Archive for Beauty

Seven Habits for Healthy Skin

Posted in Beauty, Daily Living, Health & Wellness, Self Improvement with tags , , , on January 25, 2011 by Angela

Wondering what you can do to nurture healthy, vibrant skin from the inside out? Tackle stress! Make Dr. Amy’s seven habits — which are the heart and soul of her book, The Mind-Beauty Connection — part of your life. Then, watch every inch of you — but especially your face — start to look younger, less stressed, more alive. Each step chips away at the nonstop pressure and tension that can age you 6 years or more. Use the 9-Day Renewal Plan to get the stress wrecking-ball rolling.

1. Practice Deep Breathing

Shift your body’s balance of oxygen versus carbon dioxide in favor of energizing, stress-squashing oxygen by doing slow, controlled breathing exercises. Here are three good ones.

  • How often? Aim for twice a day.
  • Why do it? When you focus on your breathing, you’re not focusing on anything else (your to-do list or the late babysitter). That mental shift helps remove stressors, bringing you to a deeper level of consciousness, a place where you can put things into perspective.

2. Get Active

Release the repressed anxiety trapped inside you by putting your body in motion for 30 minutes or more.

  • How often? Do something — anything — every day, because exercise only tames stress for a maximum of 24 hours. So to reap the most benefits, you need to do it daily. If you prefer, tuck 10-minute pockets of activity into your day — at lunch, after dinner, right after you get up and the house is still quiet. Find ways to sneak fitness into your schedule.
  • Why do it? Staying active boosts circulation, which delivers more nutrients to cells and skin. It also increases lung capacity, so you can take in more oxygen; lifts your spirits and sense of well-being; and fights age-related diseases. And, for many, it’s the ultimate stress reducer.

3. Beat the Foods That Beat You

Reduce the allure of sugary, fatty foods — which are as bad for your skin as they are for the rest of you — by eating more lean protein: fish, eggs, poultry, low-fat dairy foods, and even walnuts. Use this list of good-for-your-skin foods that can help lower stress and fight wrinkles, too. Also, try to be more aware of what you reach for — and how much you consume — when you’re stressed. Get some pointers on mindful eating.

  • How often? All day, but especially early on — morning protein helps curb afternoon cravings.
  • Why do it? Protein is key to avoiding mood swings and energy dips. It helps you maintain a healthy blood sugar balance, which in turn keeps certain hormones (including insulin) in check. Bumping up your protein intake also gives you more energy and fights hunger pangs, which can play games with your moods.

4. Focus on the Good Things

Pick up a notebook you particularly like, and at the end of each day, make a list of things for which you are truly grateful. Or write down three things that went well, and why.

  • How often? Nightly, as part of your winding-down routine.
  • Why do it? Keeping a journal that records the good things in life helps shift your focus to what you’re doing right, and that can put the brakes on the stressful negative chatter that often goes on in your head.

5. Stretch Out Your Sleep

Make it a goal to sleep as many hours as you need to feel alive and productive the next day — all day.

  • How often? Every night.
  • Why do it? Sleep is free cosmetic medicine, pure and simple. When you ask Dr. Amy what single thing makes the biggest improvement in how a stressed-out person looks, she says, “Sleep.” Nothing exacerbates stress and etches in lines like exhaustion.

6. Take a Time-Out

For most of us, life is so hyperscheduled and speedy that we never do absolutely nothing. It’s rare to set aside time to simply be — no agenda, no demands, no plan. (Just like a real vacation. See if you’re due for one.) Find a comfortable, quiet spot to sit for 10 to 15 minutes every day, stop all your hustling and bustling . . . and simply, by yourself, be still.

  • How often? Try for once a day.
  • Why do it? Slowing down for a little while helps create a sense of spaciousness in your life, a break in the nonstop whirl that can open the door to new perceptions, new solutions, new possibilities. It gives your brain, your psyche, your whole being a break. Like one long, peaceful sigh.

7. Cuddle or Have Sex

Enjoy a little intimacy.

  • How often? At least once a week.
  • Why do it? All kinds of age-defying, beauty-promoting events happen during sex as three seductive hormones spill out of the brain: endorphin, a natural opiate, which contributes to that delicious high; prolactin, which gives you that relaxing, tension-zapping ahhhhhhh; and soothing oxytocin, which promotes feelings of affection and triggers a nurturing instinct.

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The Power Of Touch

Posted in A Lil About Me, Randomosity, True Confessions with tags , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by Angela

photo credit: another talented deviant…

You know the lips and fingertips contain  concentrations of some the most sensitive receptors which probably explains my fascination with touching and kissing….myself.

Noooooo. It’s not as weird as it sounds, by any stretch. If you’re a person who’s honestly wired similarly to me, then you’d know. However, we are all different and all possess varying degrees of sensitivity and awareness as it pertains to our senses.

{SIDE NOTE: For example, I consider my sense of smell to be one of my weaker senses. Interestingly enough this is despite working part-time in the health & beauty industry, I can differentiate the notes or scents of perfume, candles and fragrance items yet….I don’t seem to smell stuff like smoke or gasoline unless it’s right under my nose. Needless to say, I keep an operable smoke detector because if I don’t see it….I don’t register there’s a fire.}

OK soooo, back to the touch thingy.

According to neuroscientists, the sensitivity that we feel is also connected to our brains. Our brain receives messages from the touch receptors in our lips and hands. These areas are much larger in relation to the areas which receive messages from receptors in far less sensitive places such as parts of the back. Our brain requires more activity to interpret the sensations that we get in our lips and/or fingers than from other areas.

In many cases our fingertips and/or lips are good at providing us information such as whether something is hot v. cold (surface temperature), whether something is smooth v. rough (texture)  whether something is soft v. hard (density to a very simple extent).

Here’s a real basic experiment to conduct: Have someone place a  specific coin on various parts of your body (your back, knee, shoulder, etc) and without looking see if you are able to identify what that coin is as easily as you might based on holding it your fingers or reaching into your pocket and feeling it. Most people, even if they don’t have intense sensations, are able to recognize the differences of which I speak.

That’s as simplistic as I can make it without getting into the deeper aspects of making someone, who isn’t one, understand the dynamics of being a “touchy-feely”. Truthfully you have no idea what you’re missing….seriously!

But do know there are benefits to blood circulation, lymph flow, release of toxins, the exchange of energy…..not only is our skin amazing as a covering the power we possess in our actual hands to work in unison with it is equally amazing.  While I am a verifiable “touchy-feely” and I receive compliments on my sense of touch when laying hands on someone, I am very leery about folks touching me and that’s based on my level of sensitivity. If the energy is off/wack then its almost as if I’ve been stuck with a knife. I can’t describe but I’ve actually “felt” some downright nefarious intent in someone’s touch. Once again, if you know, you know and that’s all I need to say about that.

If  you’ve never had the chance to experience a therapeutic massage then I highly recommend it. At the very least, start out with one of those 10-minute chair massage or foot/leg massage during your next pedicure. If you don’t feel better I will reimburse you the cost + 10%.

(… ummm, not really I’m just kidding but you will have to be made of stone to not feel even momentarily better…)

~Peace &  Blessings~