Tuesday, December 26, 2006

10 Ways to Quit Smoking - by Kevin Dark

10 Ways to Quit Smoking Forever

Quitting is big business, and there's an endless array of ways to spend money on kicking the habit. Smokers spend about $2,400 per year on cigarettes, so, while some of the products and therapies are expensive, they are still less expensive than a life-long smoking habit. As with all programs, each person is different, so everyone will respond to a program in a different way. Giving up smoking is like giving up a neurotic relationship. Ultimately there comes a day when the decision is made, only to return to what you know is bad for you. Premature wrinkles and yellow teeth don't deter smokers - so, how do you quit? Here are some of the most popular program today.

Many people try to quit cold turkey. It's the easiest method to begin. Simply stop smoking and resolve -through willpower alone - to never take another puff. The success rate is about 3-5% because most smokers are not prepared to take on both sides of quitting: intense withdrawal cravings and smoking habits. If you have had a difficult time trying to quit in the past, studies show you should consider trying an assisted quit method

The patch is KING! In clinical trials, nicotine replacement therapy was shown to double a person's chances of quitting. The patch functions by transdermally (topically) feeding the body nicotine at a continuous and regulated pace over a 24-hour period, controlling the body's physical addiction which allows a smoker to sever the mental reliance on tobacco. The total cost of Nicoderm is $270 for the 10week therapy. There are normally no adverse reactions, but side effects can include irregular heartbeat, rashes, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and weakness.

Grass Roots "Smoke No More" is an herbal tincture. This option is popular because of the "oral fixation" so often associated with smoking. Whenever a smoker has a craving, the Smoke No More drops are placed under the tongue and held there until its absorbed. According to the creators, the tincture works based on healing the connection of mind, body and spirit. Relaxing the mind staves off cravings. And the absence of tobacco detoxifies the system. Reports claim that the drops are horrible tasting and burn immediately upon using. Side effects include quesiness, making the user less interested in both smoking AND eating, but it is something to do with the mouth. Smoke No More can be purchased for about $22 at herbal stores.

If you'd like to try acupuncture, don't confuse the National Board Certified or Licensed Acupuncturist with Certified Acupnucturist. The latter is a doctor or dentist who has completed only 300 hours of course work. These types are great for physical injury but are less equipped to handle internal problems. According to this Chinese tradition, inserting needles in certain points on the body will draw energy to that point and then redirect it to the area of concern. This allows the body to heal itself. For addictions such as smoking, the three points that correspond to the liver, kidneys and sympathetic nervous system are targeted and, by detoxifying the body, the cravings for nicotine are reduced and there is an increase in the flow of energy into the body. While peaceful and stimulating at the same time, for a half-hour treatment one can expect to spend $75 for the first treatment and $55 for subsequent treatments. Over a series of 20 treatments, although acupuncture is not a miracle cure, the experts guarantee the results.

Many people find the support and encouragement of counseling or group treatment helpful. Counseling can help smokers identify and overcome situations that trigger the urge to smoke. Research shows the success rates for all quit methods are higher when coupled with ready access to support. For help with your quitting effort, consider selecting a program that is at least four to eight weeks in length. The programs that work best provide plenty of encouragement and weekly one-on-one meetings with a counselor.

Deciding to do an in-home hypnosis program like Dr. Walton's or employing the services of an certified hypnotist, stimulating the occurrence of deep focus and relaxation means making yourself vulnerable to someone else. By filling out an extensive questionnaire to determine one's particular smoking habits, motivations and patterns, the hypnotist can use the subjects brain to "reprogramm" the cravings. Self-affirming phrases like "I don't want to smoke" and "I don't need to smoke" are used to convince the brain that what it has been told during hypnosis is factual, therefore allowing the body to "ignore" the need to smoke. The National Institute for Mental Health reports that 80% of smokers who use this method successfully quit smoking; it's the longest lasting form of therapy on the market. For this service, expect to do sessions again and spend $75/hour to drop your average addiction.

CHANTIX is a pill that is different from other ways to quit. It contains no nicotine but works on the same receptors as nicotine. And it's the addiction to nicotine inhaled from smoking that makes quitting so hard.
Ciga-Rest is also a pill designed to help smokers overcome the urge to smoke whenever and where ever it strikes.

Smoking cessation prescription medications are clinically proven to help smokers.

There are also the fun ones that let you think you're actually having a cigarette! E-Z QUIT is a smokeless cigarette substitute that fills your need to do something with your hands and mouth, and to inhale deeply. Smokers can use E-Z QUIT by itself or together with any other quit smoking method.

While unpleasant in any form, quitting smoking can be devastating. Most relapse and then crawl back on the wagon without successfully giving up. Picking and sticking to one of these methods is the best way to ultimately increase health and rid the body of cravings all together.

Article Source: http://www.upublish.info

10 Ways to Destroy Stress and Anxiety

Let’s face it. Wouldn’t you like a life with the peace of mind that comes from knowing how to find stress relief? Is it as easy as just finding ways to relax?

Here are my best Lori Prokop Tips on how can you get rid of stress and anxiety and have peace of mind? Here’s how.

1) Down Easy. When you feel your muscles tightening from stress and anxiety, make a choice to relax. Years ago at one of my first speaking events I found stress relief from a seasoned member of the stage crew who said, “Lori Prokop, here’s how I relax.” This is what he told me to get rid of my stress and anxiety.
Imagine yourself as a rubber band stretched tightly. Relax and just let go. You will see how quickly the rubber band finds its own stress relief and comes back into its normal shape. Upon your direction, your muscles and body do the same thing and find their stress relief.

2) Breathe. I find when I feel stress and anxiety, I breathe shallowly. When I am at events, and especially if I am feeling stress and anxiety, people remind me, “Lori Prokop, you need to find stress relief and peace of mind. Breathe!”

Here is the Lori Prokop Peace of Mind Technique. I’m not saying that I, Lori Prokop, invented it. I am saying it is one of the ways I use to relax and get rid of stress and anxiety.

To find peace of mind imagine being surrounded with pure air. Breathe peace in. Breathe stress and anxiety out. Notice how much more pure and unique the peaceful air smells. Breathe in peace again. Breathe out stress and anxiety. Repeat as desired.

3) One-Minute Peace of Mind. At times the world can be moving so fast we forget to relax, take a break and find stress relief. Many people who experience stress and anxiety have a challenge with slowing down and finding peace of mind for any length of time.

If this is you, start with the Lori Prokop One-Minute Peace of Mind Technique.

Just stand still for one minute. Look at something beautiful or read a quote for one minute. Spread these through your day and see how many minutes of stress relief you can accumulate.

4) Lori Prokop One-Minute Relax. Here is quick stress relief and one of many great ways to relax.

To get rid of stress and anxiety, sit for a moment or longer if you choose. Relax and extend your feet on the floor in front of you and feel the stress and anxiety leave your body.

For maximum stress relief, place your head back on the headrest. Raise your arms in front of you. Then permit them to gently fall towards and rest on the top of your thighs. Feel the stress relief and peace of mind.

5) Mind Trip. Right now for peace of mind, picture the most pleasurable place you have ever been or seen. Multiple times each day, return in your mind to this place and experience the healing peace of mind feelings. When I do this, I imagine a beautiful lake with a sign saying, “Welcome, Lori Prokop.” Instantly I have peace of mind and stress relief.

6) Peace. Melt away stress and anxiety by imagining what peace of mind feels like. Feel peace flowing through your mind and body. For stress relief, I say to myself, “Lori Prokop, I am peace. I feel my body moving from stress and anxiety to relaxation.” You can do the same and feel peace of mind.

7) Remove. Every morning and evening remove thoughts of stress and anxiety. See these thoughts flowing out and peace of mind flowing in.

8) Say. A spiritual healer once said to me, “Lori Prokop, words heal, especially words such as relax, tranquility, peacefulness, restfulness, serenity.” Pick words that relax you. Repeat them throughout your day.

9) Time. Here is one of the top Lori Prokop Ways to Relax. Each day spend 10 minutes in quite. Use this to empty your mind, as best you can, of thoughts or stress and anxiety. If you find it challenging to experience peace of mind for 10 minutes, then try one minute each hour of the day. If you find it challenge to find peace of mind at all then use this time to read a book with a healing message.

10) Three. For maximum stress relief, upon rising in the morning and turning in for the evening, I say three times to myself, “Lori Prokop, 100% pure love and light is with me, guiding me and helping me.” Try doing the same.

There you have 10 ways to relax and melt away stress and anxiety. So go ahead and use these Top10 Lori Prokop Stress Relief and Peace of Mind Techniques right now.

10 Ways to get a Good Night's Sleep

1. Set the Stage - turn off the computer and television at least one hour before you'd like to fall asleep, and turn on some music that you find relaxing. Test what your stereo system will do when the recording is finished – does it SNAP! or does it “wrrrr” – this will make a difference as you’re drifting off. My CD player makes a very soft "wrrrr" noise (though I honestly can't remember the last time I was still awake when the CD was over).
2. Music without words

- words can provoke and direct your thoughts more than instrumental music or pure vocal sounds. Try Music for Relaxation and Sleep

3. Music with natural "breaths" - music where the soloist takes natural pauses to breathe can help you to slow down your own breath - try flute, other wind instruments or voice (either with no words or words in a language you don't understand).

4. A good book - For bedtime reading, try to stay away from material that gets you thinking about things you deal with during the day. Magazines or stories that distract you from your own life may help you to drift into sleep.

5. Imagery - If you find that your mind is racing when you are trying to sleep, picture a viewpoint where you're traveling down a road. See your thoughts as signposts that you're passing. Concentrate on letting them pass right by.

6. Progressive muscle relxation

- Imagine that a ball of light is traveling along your body, beginning at the top of your head, going down to the tips of your toes, and then coming up again. As it passes your muscles, they fill with light and relax.

7. Take a nap - If your sleep has been interrupted or there've been unavoidable late nights, an afternoon nap can help you catch up. Experts advise that naps should be taken earlier in the afternoon, rather than later, and that we should keep them to 30 minutes or less. This will avoid disrupting your sleep at night.

8. Lavender Bath - Take a hot bath and add a couple of drops of lavender oil. Lavender has naturally occurring relaxing properties. Use a lavender filled eye pillow

9. Chamomile Tea - Calms the nervous system and helps to promote restful sleep.

10. Calcium/Magnesium

- Take 500 mg Calcium with 250 mg Magnesium at bedtime – The calcium has a calming effect, and the magnesium works along with it.

The advice and information in this article is not meant to replace medical advice. If you suspect you have a serious sleeping problem such as sleep apnea, or if you experience insomnia or extreme fatigue, please consult a healthcare professional.

(c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, is the author of “The Everyday Self-Care Workbook”. To receive one of her free monthly newsletters, subscribe at http://www.genuinecoaching.com/newsletter.html

10 Ways to Boost Your Memory

Everyone forgets things from time to time. But for some people, poor memory can be a perennial problem. The brain never actually loses a memory. It records each one like a computer.

However, problems with recall begin when we don't practise retrieving this information and so the memories we had become lost. The brain, like other parts of the body, needs physical and mental exercise, together with particular nutrients, to increase the power of memory. Here are 10 things to remember to do in order never to forget anything ... Read more

Ten Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

We all have people with whom we have to work to get things done. Our ability to communicate with clients, customers, subordinates, peers, and superiors can enhance our effectiveness or sabotage us. Many times, our verbal skills make the difference. Here are 10 ways to increase your verbal efficacy at work:

1. Develop your voice – A high whiney voice is not perceived to be one of authority. In fact, a high soft voice can make you sound like prey to an aggressive co-worker who is out to make his/her career at the expense of anyone else. Begin doing exercises to lower the pitch of your voice. Here is one to start: Sing — but do it an octave lower on all your favorite songs. Practice this and, after a period of time, your voice will begin to lower. Read more

Top 10 Energy Boosters

1. Increase Your Magnesium Intake

Eating a balanced diet can help ensure your vitamin and mineral needs are met. But if you still find yourself too pooped to pop, you could have a slight magnesium deficiency, Heller says.

"This mineral is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy," Heller says. "So when levels are even a little low, energy can drop."

In a study done at the Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D., women with magnesium deficiencies had higher heart rates and required more oxygen to do physical tasks than they did after their magnesium levels were restored. In essence, their bodies were working harder which, over time, says Heller, can leave you feeling depleted.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. To make sure you're getting enough, Heller suggests:
Add a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your daily diet.
Increase your intake of whole grains, particularly bran cereal.
Eat more fish, especially halibut.

2. Walk Around the Block

While it may seem as if moving about when you feel exhausted is the quickest route to feeling more exhausted, the opposite is true. Experts say that increasing physical activity -- particularly walking -- increases energy.

"I like walking because it's accessible, easy to do, doesn't need training or equipment and you can do it anywhere," says Rita Redberg, MD, science advisor to the American Heart Association's "Choose To Move" program.

In experiments conducted by Robert Thayer, PhD, at California State University, a brisk 10-minute walk not only increased energy, but the effects lasted up to two hours. And when the daily 10-minute walks continued for three weeks, overall energy levels and mood were lifted.

3. Take a Power Nap

Research has shown that both information overload and pushing our brains too hard can zap energy. But studies by the National Institutes of Mental Health found that a 60-minute "power nap" can not only reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload, it may also help us to better retain what we have learned.

4. Don't Skip Breakfast -- or Any Other Meal

"Studies show that folks who eat breakfast report being in a better mood, and have more energy throughout the day," says Heller.

Her personal theory, she says, is that breaking the fast soon after rising supplies your body with a jolt of fuel that sets the tone for the whole day.

Moreover, studies published in the journal Nutritional Health found that missing any meal during the day led to an overall greater feeling of fatigue by day's end.

5. Reduce Stress and Deal With Anger

One of the biggest energy zappers is stress, says psychologist Paul Baard, PhD.

"Stress is the result of anxiety, and anxiety uses up a whole lot of our energy," says Baard, a sports psychologist at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.

Like worry or fear, Baard says, stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted -- even if you've spent the day in bed. More commonly, he says, low but chronic levels of stress erode energy levels, so over time you find yourself doing less and feeling it more.

In much the same way, unexpressed anger can give a one-two punch to your energy level. The reason: "We're expending all our energy trying to contain our angry feelings, and that can be exhausting," Baard tells WebMD.

The good news, says Baard, is that we can counter these energy killers by programming more relaxation activities into our day. While for many folks, increasing exercise burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger, others find relief in quiet pursuits: listening to music, reading a steamy romance novel, or even just talking on the phone.

"Whatever is relaxing for you will reduce tension and that will help increase energy," says Baard.

6. Drink More Water and Less Alcohol

You may already know that it's easy to confuse signals of hunger with thirst (we think we need food when we really need water). But did you know that thirst can also masquerade as fatigue?

"Sometimes, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic," says nutritionist Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, an associate professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York and author of The Uncle Sam Diet.

The solution is simple: a tall, cool glass of water. This is particularly important to boost energy after exercise, when your body is likely to be craving fluids, Ayoob says. Conversely, Heller says, if you find yourself frequently fatigued even after a good night's sleep, try cutting down on alcohol during the evening hours.

'While alcohol initially helps you fall asleep, it also interferes with deep sleep, so you're not getting the rest you think you are -- even if you sleep a full eight hours," she says.

By cutting down on alcohol before bedtime, you'll get a better night's rest, which is bound to result in more energy the next day.

7. Eat More Whole Grains and Less Sugar

The key here is keeping blood sugar balanced so energy is constant.

"When you're eating a sweet food, you get a spike in blood sugar, which gives you an initial burst of energy," Heller says. "But that's followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, which in turn can leave you feeling very wiped out."

Do that enough times a day, she says, and by evening you're feeling exhausted.

"But, if you eat a lot of whole grains, which provide a slow and steady release of fuel, your energy will be consistent and balanced, so by day's end you'll feel less tired," says Heller.

Indeed, a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more whole grains helped increase the body's sensitivity to insulin, allowing for that slow and steady release.

8. Have a Power Snack

Power snacking is more than just eating between meals, Ayoob says. He suggests a treat that combines protein, a little fat and some fiber -- like peanut butter on a whole-wheat cracker, or some yogurt with a handful of nuts.

"The carbs offer a quick pick-me-up, the protein keeps your energy up, and the fat makes the energy last," he tells WebMD.

9. Make It a Latte

Pair a quick caffeine hit with the sustaining power of protein by having a low-fat latte instead of just a cup of coffee, advises Ayoob.

"All that milk turns your java into a protein drink, which provides not only extra energy, but extra calcium, which is good for your bones," he tells WebMD. Combine it with an ounce of almonds, he says, and the healthy fat will really tide you over -- while making you feel you're spoiling yourself silly!

10. Check Your Thyroid Function and Complete Blood Cell Count

It certainly won't provide an instant boost. But if you're constantly low on energy -- especially if you feel sluggish even after a good night's rest -- Heller says you should talk to your doctor about a blood test for thyroid dysfunction as well as anemia.

"Thyroid can be a particular problem for women -- it often develops after childbirth and frequently during the perimenopause -- but a simple blood test can verify if this is your problem," says Heller. If you're diagnosed with low thyroid function, medication can bring your body back up to speed.

In anemia, says Heller, a reduction in red blood cells can mean your body isn't getting the level of oxygen necessary to sustain energy. So, you tire easily.

"This can sometimes occur during a woman's reproductive years, particularly if she has a very heavy menstrual cycle," says Heller