Depression & Anxiety, Healthy Aging, Pets, Your Amazing Life

Pets Boost Happiness

It’s no surprise that pets help to boost happiness. Not only can they be cute, cuddly, and affectionate, but they love us unconditionally!

As of late, I am delighted to hear from friends and colleagues who have recently opened their mind up to the gift of having a pet. It’s a gift for both the animal and the pet owner. Truly a win-win for all when a pet is welcomed into a loving, caring, and healthy home.

A new trend is emerging where pets are even allowed in some workplaces. I work mostly from home and just this morning, while writing, I was so grateful to have my cat Bella cuddled up in my lap while I tapped away at the keyboard. In between petting her of course. 🙂 So I think the workplace idea, when it is able to be both conducive to the work environment and adaptable, is a great idea!

My Bella trying to nap with that “Don’t bug me look….” lol

Animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity. They are also really good companions for the elderly. They provide a loving and interactive presence for those who can no longer get out and interact with others due to age and mobility. They also don’t worry about tomorrow, which can be a very scary concept for an older person.

Pets can also have an astounding effect on symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness.  When one has someone else to care for and to love, a person’s entire world and viewpoint can shift from that of lack and loneliness to one of compassion and purpose.

Finding ways to have more compassion for people and animals is a huge catalyst to having more peace and love in life. I have recently written a blog post on Compassion over at my main blog. Here is the link if you would like to read it:

For those that already have a pet or pets, it’s no surprise that 98% of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family. Both pets and therapy animals can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, lack of purpose, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Interactions with animals can help people manage long-term mental health conditions, as well as boost happiness and JOY through day to day interactions with these adorable creatures.

What about you? Have you always wanted a pet? Or are you en-JOYing the ones you have? Please drop a comment in the comment area and let’s share our JOY of pets and support the idea of providing loving homes to these gifts of pure unconditional and unbridled love! If you have ever come home to a dog so happy to see you, you will know what the term ‘unbridled love’ really means. 🙂

Unbridled: uncontrolled; unconstrained.”a moment of unbridled ambition”

synonyms:unrestrained, unconstrained, uncontrolled, uninhibited, unrestricted, unchecked, uncurbed, rampant, runaway, irrepressible, unstoppable, uncontainable, unquenchable

While writing this blog post I reached out to my friends on FB for some of their best pet pics and below are a few of these adorable pics for us to En-JOY! 🙂

Maggie Holbik.com is a Certified Life Coach, Board Certified Nutritionist and lover of life and anything living like plants and animals. She believes in love and love between all creatures and living things.

Brain Health, Healthy Aging, Your Amazing Life

7 Pillars of Brain Health

There are many factors that affect brain health. How a person manages stress, how well they socialize, how well they sleep, how much they exercise, and what they drink and eat all are crucial to brain health.

So how does one achieve brain health? Here are seven pillars that can help you achieve optimal brain health, even into old age.

  1. Exercise. Exercise can improve both your memory and your blood flow. It also causes chemical changes in the brain that can boost your mood. Exercise is very beneficial for brain health. Exercise can prolong your life, reduce the risk of heart disease, maximize sleep, help you lose weight, and improve your mood. The mind is closely linked to the body so the more exercise you get, the better your mind functions. Try regular exercise to develop a strong memory and improved brain vitality.
  2. Reducing Stress
    We cannot always avoid mental stress but there are things we can do to offset stress and to reduce our stress levels in general. High stress levels can also lead to depression and anxiety so it is very important to diminish stress in our lives. Find ways to have more peace in your life. Yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, listening to peaceful and relaxing music, and power napping, are all great ways to help lower stress. Find ways that bring you JOY and do those.
  3. Food and nutrition
    There is a lot truth in the old adage “you are what you eat.” By making good food choices every day, you can improve the health of your brain. As we age our brains are affected by many factors and nutrition plays a huge role in brain health. Brains are affected by “oxidation” which results from free radical damage. Foods and supplements that are antioxidants can be very beneficial in reversing the effects of oxidation. Choosing foods that are natural and not processed help to provide the body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and natural antioxidants. Choose foods that do not come in a package and/or are processed. Learn to question the foods that you put into your body. For example, ask yourself: Is this food helping my body and brain or is it a detriment?
  4. Lower Your Risk Factors
    Things like smoking, high cholesterol, head trauma, depression, obesity, and diabetes all increase a person’s chances of developing dementia. The good news is that we have a lot of control over many of these risks factors. Again question your habits and ask yourself is the habit or behavior you are participating in beneficial to your health and longevity or is it having a negative impact?
  5. Sleep and relaxation
    Your brain functions better when you are well rested. Sleep is energizing, improves your immune system, enhances your mood, and restarts the brain. It may also decrease the development of beta-amyloid plaque, which is linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. Anyone who has had to stay awake for an extended period of time, or has gotten a bad night’s sleep knows how much of an impact this has on mental functioning, focus and concentration. If you have trouble with sleeping well, try meditation to manage your stress levels, which may also help to decrease the age-related decline of brain health. There are few things that help a person feel better than getting enough sleep. It sharpens the brain and helps maximize the brain.
  6. Mental fitness
    Brain health depends on using your mind to its maximum ability. Those who spend much of the their time in front of a television are not really stimulating the brain and exercising it in a way that promotes its growth and power, something that is similar to muscle atrophy from lack of movement. Getting enough mental exercise is just as critical as physical exercise is to brain health. Mental exercise can maximize a person’s ability promote brain cell growth and improve the functioning of their brain. It can decrease the chances of developing Alzheimer’s dementia as well. Just as a person exercises their muscles, they need to exercise their brain. People who persist in developing new interests and skills, engage in things that are interesting, partake in new activities, and continue to learn new things, will maximize their brain functioning.
  7. Social Interaction. People who maintain social interaction and remain connected with others have better brain health. Try to engage in conversation with others, spend time with others, and stay in touch with loved ones. Those people who have the most social interaction enjoy better brain health. The wonderful benefit of technology in today’s modern world allows easier connection with others right from your own home. There are many Facebook groups, for example, and you can find people with a kindred mindset for gardening, cooking, art, health topics, etc. There are so many to choose from.

Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner and Certified Life Coach who loves to share information that make a positive difference in the lives of others.