A team of researchers from Loma Linda University have revealed that eating the dark chocolate with a 70 per cent cocoa content has positive effects on the stress level, mood, memory and immunity. Dr Lee Berk, who led the study, said: “For years, we looked at influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content that more sugar makes people happier. This is first time we looked at impact of large amounts of cocoa in doses of small regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time and are encouraged by the findings. The studies show higher concentration of cocoa has more positive impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity or other beneficial effects. Researchers carried out two studies to test the effect of eating dark chocolate. In a first study, the team looked at the impact of eating 70 percent cocoa in chocolate on human immune system, and found the treat set off cascade of reactions in turn reduced inflammation. A second study analysed brain health benefits of eating the dark chocolate, and found snack enhanced neuroplasticity in turn boosted memory. Team suggests benefits lie in a chemical flavonoid found in cocoa, plan to carry out follow-up studies to understand the mechanism behind these effects. A dark chocolate made from cocoa plant means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits from flavonoids which act as antioxidants.Endorphins bind receptors in the brain leading to feelings of euphoria, like the kind joggers get from runner’s high. The dark chocolate is a top dietary source of tryptophan amino acid like a serotonin neurotransmitter of happiness positive mood. Health benefits of chocolate often endorsed by Reader’s Digest and others recommend eating the dark chocolate for health wellness. This dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphin chemicals in the brain to create feelings of pleasure. Dark chocolate contains the serotonin antidepressant that elevates mood,” says Scritchfield. Flavanols are believed to play a role in chocolate’s mood enhancing effects. Dark chocolate benefits your brain to improve memory for good moods. Even the single doses of high-flavanol dark chocolate shown to improve performance of cognitive tests including memory test in healthy adult. Contentment is noticed in just 30 Days as new study reveals the dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa benefits mood so reduces anxiety. Cocoa benefits eaters due to the root compound called polyphenol shown to positively improve mood and enhance calmness. And those without any clinical depression, anxiety, mood swings gain good mood boost.
Traumatic tragic death bereavement is completely unexpected loss, worst form of grief people go through. Suddenly changes lifeplan dramatically, cancels activities so a shock to the system. One minute conversation is taking place about life but the next minute subject changes to unexpected death. It is most painful if the person appeared healthy, full of life with a great future suddenly cut short by death. The numbing shock of loss is hard to sink in and feels that loved one is about to walk through the door home. Seems like a dream, surreal but wide awake with sleepless nights so deep within the heart an overwhelming pain lingers on. Everyday passes by without a text, contact or phone call, facebook so realises it must be really true. Shock is a normal reaction and unbelief deceased person is really no longer with us here on earth. Sudden change of plans means numbness while taking in loss starting to sink in. Though we understand death as part of life it does not make it easier to accept. Death is painful and difficult to experience it hurts beyond belief and complicated. At times pain seems insurmountable but support and a therapy can help to understand, accept and ease the pain. After death of a loved one life is never the same but talking therapy helps to provide skills and tools to assist with creation of the new normal to integrate life into new existence. Annette was on the way to mortuary when Julia phoned to support death of daughter Amber, aged four, who drowned in a swimming pool, and going to see her body. Many people would not call at that moment they feel encroaching on a raw traumatic grief. Julia, friend of couple, a psychotherapist specialises in dealing with loss knows when people in throes of overwhelming grief, sharing the pain is the only thing that makes even the tiniest difference. Grief professionals don’t have endowed special powers its empathy compassion. Phil answered the phone, so Julia liked to say something to make it better but knew nothing could do that, so she said the only thing she could. “I am terribly sorry to hear your daughter, Amber, has died; I’m sorry the devastating pain that has happened to you. How can I help?” 25 years as grief psychotherapist taught Julia great deal about human condition that focus on grief means focus on life, loss exposes things that matters about a person, their strengths and weaknesses. When someone dies, it reveals faultlines in bereaved family, even deepest, most hidden ones. If you know about loss you know about family, about love, survival, resilience and strength. Knowing about loss means you know about life. But there is a paradox at the centre of loss, and it is this. Grief is the most intense pain there is, and we will do anything to avoid pain. So we run away from it; we run away from our own grief, and we run away from others’ grief. Yet, says running away from grief means we will not recover but embracing helps move through the agony and deal with pain.
Allowing ourselves to be while it washes over us, is only way to survive because we have to feel the worst in order to let it change us. Then we can start to find out who we are going to be in wake of it. This is the message at the heart of Julia’s new book, Grief Works. “If you ignore grief and push it down, you can live and you can function, but you live a very narrow emotional life because using emotional energy to cope,” she said. “Everything in psyche will be squashed down, and that means small things can trigger a much bigger kind of effect. The fact is to do the work of grieving. You have to let it run its course. Pain is agent of change; pain allows you to change, it enables you to reach a new reality.” Her book traces journeys of many of the bereaved people she has walked alongside; she describes how she wept and mourned with them. “let clients know what they say has an impact: Tell them when feels shocked, sad or upset,” she says. So talk about relationship with bereaved and a relationship with friends in service of a deceased. Say what you feel if thinking about them if it’s useful to share. One of the many moving stories in her book is that of Bill and Sally, whose 13-year-old son Matthew died of rare virus. Sally tells Julia losing her son has made her feel dead, no more expectations of life; so does not want to go on living. “I said quite plainly, although she was giving up on herself, I refused to; I would fight for her, held her and whispered hidden strength within her said, to live.’ Julia, in 50s, mother of 4 grown up children, grandmother of four, vivacious and fun: has time to feel recharged with life. You know it helps feeling of clients who like Sally regain joy to be alive again. Helps Julia’s interest in answering questions on experiences of traumatic loss to help open hearts for the healing process.
There are two sorts of loss, says Julia: expected loss and traumatic loss. And perhaps, for one in her profession, her own losses have all been expected ones. Her father died at 87, sad, grieved but it not traumatic loss. Bereavement work involves charity Birthright, Well-being of Wo/men made her aware of the pain of losing a baby although wonders was unconsciously influenced by parent’s loss of three parents and three siblings by the time they were 25. “Everything seemed OK, but thinks back aware of some unresolved grief. Almost only personal experience of a shocking, out-of-nowhere, loss figures such death brought loss closer and changed how to deal with grief. Julia was a close friend of Princess Diana, a connection echoed when asked by William and Kate to be a godmother to Prince George in 2013. That is, she says, a very joyful role lots of fun, and the chance to enjoy the little boy as he grows up but she doesn’t want to say much about it or Diana, save she agrees her death made difference to the nation’s approach to grief. So, too, she says, did other major shifts of history, especially the first and second world wars. “Our parents, parents of people of my generation, were the generation that couldn’t afford to grieve. Were parented by survivors of first world war simply to survive but modern luxury means able to deal with it differently.”
Despite public outpouring of grief after Diana’s death, doesn’t think most people are sufficiently aware impact traumatic bereavement has, the ripples it leaves or how long they persist. As someone who experienced a traumatic loss at the age of nine, when three-year-old sister was killed in road accident agrees with her analysis. It is 44 years since death, and shockwaves still reverberate in the family: everyone is different because of it, next generation touched by it in ways too subtle for them to fully understand.
Traumatic losses shape future of family as subject of great interest to Julia; so, is the way men and women deal with loss differently. Men, tend to want to move on to make plans, to focus on new horizons. Women on other hand want to spend more time remembering the person who died so want to immerse themselves in the pain. But the fact is, each can learn from others. “You have to do both things: you must have time to grieve and mourn and other time when you have break from the grief. You can create circumstances where you grieve, and circumstances where you move on; so men and women help one another. He can help her go for a walk to a park or gallery can help him talk about how he feels to express some of his loss.” The problems set in when individuals fails to understand the pattern of grief in the other; they think of them as selfish or they don’t care enough, but it isn’t about that due to the different ways of coping. Grieving is an intensely individual and incredibly lonely experience, which can make it difficult time in family, group of people going through something sparked by same event, but is in each case very different. The way to cope, is be open in communicating feelings to others in your family. Families that fare best share feelings openly when a death disrupts complex finely tuned balance in a family. So needs a reorganised and open approach to help with process.”
At the beginning, and this is especially true of a traumatic loss, the grief is all-consuming: but over time, says Julia, you find you are starting to live again. The mistake some make, though, is believing they can go back to being the way they were. “Some people say, ‘This isn’t going to change us.’ But that’s not how it is: and it’s when you recognise that bereavement is a life-shattering experience, and that you have to grieve and rebuild, that you can move on positively into a new phase of life. You don’t forget the person who’s gone; you can never do that, and you should not worry that you’re going to. But you keep them in memory so their loss helps you become a new person you become; and maybe in the end is greatest tribute to make to anyone who passed to Glory. Grief affects us all so hope in God and read HIS beautiful WORDS in Bible to guide prayers. Powerful scriptures will help you face feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is very normal to feel it is not really true the person is still alive soo will be at home, then in shock, angry they died, hoping the loved one comes back alive, realising they passed on into Glory and finally accepting loss and accepting new unexpected sudden sad changes of life. Crying, weeping, feeling low not eating properly, sad, confused, depressed are all part of feelings of pain, hurt of loss, bereavement, grieving and mourning. It is normal to feel helpless, lost without a loved one with deep sorrow and pain. One helpful action is remember a loved does not want your life destroyed and ruined because of them. They see you in heaven so like you to live and continue life despite feeling changes happening. There’s no shame in being sad. The life we’ve been given was never promised free of pain or sorrow so during times we hurt most run to God and HIS Word for peace and comfort. Psalm 117:7 says God cares about death of the righteous.
Help from family and friends
Listening. Be a friend who is prepared to give their time, to listen and to acknowledge the extent of your friend’s loss. Listening is the key. Bear witness, and allow your friend to be upset, to be confused and contradictory, or to say nothing at all. Every time they tell their story once more, or are allowed to say how important the person who has died was, burden of carrying pain on their own is incrementally a little lighter.
It’s not about you. Follow a mourner’s lead: they may not want to talk about their grief right now, or with you. It is good to say something to acknowledge their loss, but then let them have the control they need, they had none over death so choose to talk or not. If they ask you to come and be with them, and want to talk openly to you, go. If they truly don’t want a visit or don’t want to deal with it at that time, don’t force it on them. Don’t confuse need to speak, call, contact, with friend’s need of privacy to come to terms with grief. Some kings or or important dignitaries, leaders buried in secret. Deuteronomy 34:5-7, Numbers 27:13-28 says God buried Moses Himself without gravestone marker, headstone, monument remain unmarked, Israelites not have idol worship. So Moses’ eternal soul rests in peace buried in the Moab valley opposite Beth Peor near Mount Nebo from plains of Moab near top of Pisgah. None knows where Moses’ body buried, concealed in grave stops people flocking to idolise him. In Jude 1:9 angel fought with Michael over Moses’ body, only unique burial by God. Moses’ body soul, alive in Transfiguration met Jesus with Elijah alive from heaven on Mount in Matthew 27:1-10.
Mourning state of total shock and disorientation exempts you from performing actions requiring attention to detail. Time is given off work at least minimum of 2 weeks plus due holidays to grieve and mourn. Time is needed to sort out paper work, fill in forms and to notify various agencies of the departed. In mourning people wear symbolic or an appropriate colour suitable for the age of the departed. To be able to attend unhindered to funeral arrangements it is important to dress appropriately. The family decided obligated choice agreed on to help support family. Immediately following burial mourning the mourner does not listen to music, go to concerts, does not attend joyous events or parties unless absolutely necessary. If a date set prior to death strictly forbidden or to be postponed cancelled. Week-long period of grief mourning observance referred to by time to grief. During this period all mourners traditionally gather the home and receive visitors. Mourners refrain for a week from showering or bathing, wearing leather shoes, jewelry, shaving. Some communities cover mirrors in the mourner’s home so they not concerned about their personal appearance. It is customary for mourners to sit on low stools or even the floor, symbolic of the emotional reality of being “brought low” by grief. Meal of consolation first meal eaten on return from funeral consists of hard-boiled egg or other round oblong foods. Biblical hospitality means during this seven-day period, family, friends or colleagues visit and call on mourners to comfort them. Is considered great time of kindness, compassion to pay respects to visit the mourners. No greetings are exchanged, visitors wait for mourners to initiate conversation. Mourner is not obliged to engage in a conversation and may completely ignore his/her visitors. Visitors take on hosting role, attending to guests, bringing food and serving it to the mourning family. Mourning family avoids cooking or cleaning during this period. Those responsibilities become that of visitors to ease burden and pain.
Acknowledgment. Death isn’t catching, but those who are bereaved might think so, judging by the fear they see in other people’s eyes. People are frightened about whether to come forward, about what to say, about saying the wrong thing so, in the end say nothing. All of that comes from a belief whatever you say should make things better but have enough wisdom to make the pain more bearable but you can’t or need to. Be kind enough to acknowledge them and their suffering is difficult enough. Offer to be there if they need you, suggesting that they should be the one to ring you, is probably asking too much of your friend at this time. It is better if you take the initiative and make contact, and then follow their lead: they may want to see or speak with you or not. Often, people don’t make contact because they feel they don’t know the bereaved person well enough. If you are erring one way or the other, better to err on the side of making contact.
Practical help. Doing practical things is often what really makes a difference. Don’t say, “Let me know if I can help”; actually do something helpful. At the beginning of a bereavement, there may be a lot of people around, so bringing food may be the best thing you can do. Taking food around for longer than the initial crisis is particularly appreciated.
Honesty. Be honest because honesty is comforting and easy to deal with. So direct honesty helps complex messiness of grief so an enormous relief to people. Be honest about what you actually can do rather than covering up because you feel guilty about what you can’t. And be specific to say, “I’m going to come round for half an hour” or come on Tuesday” don’t say, “I’ll come when you want, tell me, and I’ll be there”, and then find you can’t deliver on that offer.
Be sensitive. Being honest is important, as being sensitive. Promiscuous honesty is not a good idea. Be aware of showing too openly your life is trotting along as happily as can be, feels like you rubbing their nose in your happiness.
Be in it for the long haul. Remember to make contact and be supportive after everyone else has gone. Usually three months following the death, people get back to their lives, as they should. But it is by no means over for the person who is bereaved. Sending a text or popping is hugely supportive.
Writing. Letters, cards, texts or emails: it doesn’t matter what you write – all are extremely helpful. It is better, however, to say that you don’t want a reply, because some people simply can’t respond. And it is never too late to send them. It is a welcome surprise to receive a card much later, because it is when everyone else has forgotten and your friend is still grieving. When you do write, try to make it personal and avoid tired cliches such as, “She’s had a good innings” or “Better to have loved and lost because they are trite in some way diminish personal importance of this very loved person who died. You don’t need to go into long explanations of why the person died or theological explorations about death; be loving and personal, warm and acknowledging.
RAPTURE ETERNAL RESURRECTION
Believers have assurance of eternal life in Christ so mourn with hope for their resurrection. In the Bible Jesus raised Lazarus from death, widow of Nain son, Peter raised Dorcas, Paul raised young man who fell dead sitting on a window ledge. The dead arose alive when Jesus was crucified and went into town seen by many people. We pray and ask GOD to raise loved one too in Jesus Name so thank God Jesus raised Lazarus. Bible says Christianity lasts beyond earthly life into heaven so mourn and grieve with hope in Jesus Christ. Christians call death falling asleep to pass into glory to be with God. Although grief pain hurts deeply and so feels tragic loss yet know future reunion family circle will be complete in heaven in the Presence of God Almighty. In the Rapture, the dead in Christ will first be resurrected to join those alive together to meet Christ in the clouds into heaven. The signs of the end times are predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24. So death is part of transition into eternal life although it is better to have loved ones on earth as members of a family, God calls them to higher service in heaven. Rest in peace safely beloved in the loving arms of God so no more sorrow, grief, pain, tears we love you and miss you terribly but God LOVES you more. We shall see you one day in Jesus Name for you are delivered because your name is found written in the BOOK OF LIFE according to Daniel 12:1-2. All asleep in Christ in dust of the earth wake to everlasting life in heaven in Glory in GOD’S PRESENCE. The Holy Spirit of God is our Comforter in times like these so we draw strength from the word of God to carry on in life in Jesus Name. GOD Our Father Comforts us too through His Love and Words of comfort from loved ones, friends and family.
Extract from Grief Works by Julia Samuel
Adolescence starts earlier in modern generations than previous ones lasting twice as long as it did in the 1950s. So children are hitting puberty earlier than ever before said Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg who explained why to Brainwaves. Adolescence is a period of life between starting puberty and becoming stable, independent adults. This time is being extended because some children begin puberty earlier.
Adolescence is three times as long as it was in the 19th Century and it’s twice as long as in the 1950s.Professor Laurence Steinberg
According to Professor Steinberg, in the western world adolescence runs from age 10 or to about age 25. Professor Steinberg attributed this phenomenon of lengthening of adolescence to several surprising factors as follows:
Obesity & Man-made Chemicals
The first and most important is obesity. The kids who are fatter go through puberty earlier than the leaner kids he said. Man-Made Chemicals. There are other factors as well. One has to do with the exposure of children to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the man-made environment. The chemicals are not just in food, they’re in cosmetics, they’re in plastics, they’re in pesticides they’re ubiquitous.” “When people are exposed to these endocrine disrupters it alters their hormonal development and many chemicals lead to earlier onset puberty mostly in girls.”
More SunLight exposure
The third factor that’s been discovered fairly recently has to do with exposure to sunlight.” It turns out that kids who grow up near the equator go through puberty earlier than kids who grow up near the north or south pole and that’s because, when you grow up near the equator, you have more exposure to sunlight over the course of childhood years.” While it may not be of too much concern to parents in northern Europe, recent research suggests a final factor which applies to many children here.
“Scientists discovered recently the light emanating from tablets or smartphones or computer screens can affect onset of puberty by disrupting brain’s melatonin system. Kids who spend more and more time in front of these screens especially in front of the blue light emitted by the devices probably contributed to earlier puberty as well. Light from the phones impacts brains of kids and adults.“
Brainwaves of the adolescent brain as Pennie Latin examines is relatively a young field of teenage neurology. It has revealed lack of frontal cortex ability to understand risk and consequences. And so although adolescent children may hit puberty earlier, they may not be able to handle the harsh realities of the trauma of war years, distress, rations, famine, lack of tough physical life forced upon previous generations. They worked in factories, chimney sweepers, railway as tracks as children making them more mature. They develop faster on growth spurt but face challenges of the modern generation.
Billy Graham said, read the Bible and watch the Bible unfold in the news. The news is full of global events setting the stage towards fulfilment of Rapture and Armageddon. Updates everyday reveals the contents of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation precisely as Jesus foretold. It is also written in the Bible that the truth you know sets you free. So those free in God in Christ see the signs and wonders of the supernatural events testifying of God’s Glory in majestic created universe and firmament. Weather forecasts and storms, flood warnings, fire risks, other warnings to the world are relayed constantly throughout the day to alert people. Various channels also provide documentaries to educate the public and provide entertainment. Publicity generated by news creates awareness for injustices all over the work to make people bring change.Although the news is at times repetitive news of exact words repeated every 15-30 minutes overwhelming but ensures people are alerted, updated, reminded of more breaking news. Some however find the news irrelevant so are advising people not to watch news at all to prevent fear mongering. They argue “In the past few decades, the fortunate have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) so started to change diets. But most do not understand news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest so media feeds small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern lives or don’t require thinking. So experience no saturation unlike the reading of books and the long magazine articles (which require thinking). The limitless quantities of news flashes are bright-coloured candies for mind. Today reached same point in relation to global information faced 20 years ago similar in regard to food. People are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be:News misleads. For example following an event of a car driving over a bridge, and if bridge collapses, the news media focuses on the car, person in car, where from, journey etc not the structural root causes of instability of the bridge. That’s underlying risk lurking or lurk in other bridges. The car is flashy, dramatic and a person in the news cheap to produce.’ News leads ‘misleads’ with completely wrong risk map in heads. Some news are over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated it continued.
Article also said, some are ‘not rational enough if exposed to press. Watching an airplane crash on television changes an attitude toward that risk, regardless of its real probability. Bankers, economists with powerful incentives to compensate news-borne hazards could not prevent the credit crunch. So said, ‘cut yourself off from news consumption entirely. To advise people to boycott news totally is not possible because lives are saved by the dedicated services of newsmakers. Everyone has their own perspectives in life so entitled to their opinions, views or dimension of relevant suitable news If anyone feels strongly influenced to an extent of depression then it is better not spend whole day watching the news. In life moderation is required and so quick check of the weather forecast help the people to dress suitably, if they need an umbrella from rain, wind or the storm causing hazards warning drivers to be careful on roads. The media educates the public to warn of spread of diseases and where to avoid. So the news is not just exclusively consistently bad news. One has options to change the channel or switch it off if too busy at times. With unpredictable weather, storms tsunami, or fires, news becomes available source of information during crises to alert and save lifes. The Christian Channel News is available teaching and explaining the endtime signs and wonders to preapare people to store food, water and blankets or essentials before disaster happens.
News is irrelevant. In approximately 10,000 news stories read in the last 12 months, name one that allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business. To them consumption of news is irrelevant but people find it very difficult to recognise so. It’s much easier to recognise what’s new, relevant versus new is the fundamental battle of the current age. So Media organisations want people to believe ‘news offers the sort of competitive advantage many fall for.’ Get anxious if cut off from flow of news consumption as a competitive disadvantage. The less news consumed, the bigger advantage one has they said.
News has no explanatory power. News items bubbles popping on surface of a deeper world is accumulating facts but not helpful to understand world in their opinion. “Relationship is inverted so important stories are non-stories and slow, and powerful movements develop below journalist radar has transforming effect. The more ‘news factoids’ digested the less of bigger picture is understood.” If more information leads to the higher economic success, journalists will be at top of the pyramid. That’s not the case.” Journalists not relay news from various places in all weathers risking life to tell world stories affecting lives. Journalists do not vlog their personal lives in news as the YouTube videos do.
News is toxic to body. It constantly triggers limbic system. Panicky stories spur release of cascades, glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates the immune system and inhibits release of growth hormones. So body in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels causes indigestion, lack of growth of cells, hair, bone, nervousness and susceptibility to infections. A potential side-effect causes fear aggression, tunnel-vision and also desensitisation and lethargy.
News increases cognitive errors. News feeds cognitive error towards the confirmation bias. Warren Buffett: said “What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so their prior conclusions remain intact.” News exacerbates this flaw to become prone to overconfidence, to take stupid risks and misjudge opportunities. It also exacerbates a cognitive error story bias. Brains crave stories “make sense,” even if they don’t correspond to reality. Any journalists who writes, “market moved because of X” or a is company bankrupt because of Y” is cheap “explanation” to the world they also stated in the article.News inhibits thinking. Since thinking requires concentration, concentration requires uninterrupted time. The News is specifically engineered to interrupt so like “viruses distract attention for own purposes. The News makes some people shallow thinkers but worse than that, it severely affects memory. There are two types of memory. Long-range memory’s capacity is nearly infinite, but working memory is limited to a certain amount of slippery data. The short-term to long-term memory for brain to understand passes through it. If brain passageway is disrupted nothing gets through. Because news disrupts concentration, it weakens comprehension. Online news has worse impact. In a 2001 study two scholars in Canada showed that the comprehension declines as the number of hyperlinks in a document increases. Whenever a link appears the brain makes the choice not to click so distracting. News interrupts the system of focus and concentration.
News works like a drug. Ongoing story develops so people want to know how they continued. Hundreds of arbitrary storylines in a head craves increasingly compelling information hard to ignore. Scientists thought dense connections in brain formed in the 100 billion neurons inside skulls were largely fixed by time one reached adulthood. But nerve cells routinely break old connection forming new ones. As more news is consumed the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking ignores reading skills for deep thinking and profound focus. Most news consumers even if avid book readers lost ability to absorb lengthy articles or books. After four, five pages get tired, concentration vanishes, and restless. Not because older or schedules or more onerous but physical structure of their brains changed from the news.”
News wastes time. Read newspaper for 15 minutes each morning, check news for 15 minutes during lunch and then 15 minutes before going to bed, add five minutes here and there when at work, then count distraction and refocusing time loses half day a week. Information is no longer scarce commodity attention is. If responsible with money and health or reputation health why not the mind?
News makes some passive. The News stories overwhelmingly about things one cannot influence by daily repetition not acted upon makes some passive. It grinds down until adopts the worldview pessimistic, desensitized, sarcastic and fatalistic. The scientific term is “learned helplessness.”So not surprised if a news consumption, partially contributes to the widespread disease of depression.
News kills creativity. Finally, the news limits creativity. Great mathematicians, novelists, composers and entrepreneurs often produce their most creative works at a young age. Their brains enjoy wide, uninhabited space that emboldens them to come up to pursue novel ideas. There is no single truly creative mind who is a news junkie not a writer, not composer, mathematician, physician or a scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. But viciously uncreative mind consume news like drugs si come up with just old solutions by reading the news. However those looking for new solutions they said do not listen to the news.
The writer of the article said, has gone without news for 4 years so sees, feels and reports effects of freedom from the first-hand: less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time and insight. Concludes its not easy, but it’s worth it.
This is an edited extract from an essay first published at dobelli.com. The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions by Rolf Dobelli is published by Sceptre, £9.99. Buy it for £7.99 at guardianbookshop.co.uk
Coconut oil classified is considered a superfood according to Coconut oil is high in saturated fatSales of coconut oil are rocketing, propelled by celebrity endorsements and claims that drinking the stuff will cure everything from halitosis to digestive disorders. Actress Angelina Jolie-Pitt is said to have a tablespoon or so with breakfast most mornings, while model Miranda Kerr says she not only adds it to salads and smoothies, but she cooks with it and splashes it on her skin as well. The health claims that swirl around coconut oil are treated with a great deal of scepticism by scientists. Coconut oil is seen, in the scientific community, as an unhealthy fat. It is very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%) or lard (39%). The reason that foods rich in saturated fats are frowned on is because eating them causes a rise in blood levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein). LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” because high levels are linked with increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, saturated fats – which are particularly bad for you – also tend to raise HDL, “good” cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly.
So is coconut oil a cholesterol-busting wonder food, as some claim, or is this all dangerous hype? Despite all the sound and fury that surrounds coconut oil there have been surprisingly few human studies carried out to test specific health claims. So for the current BBC2 series of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, we thought we should help organise a trial. The Trust Me team started by contacting Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof Nita Forouhi, both eminent Cambridge academics. With their help we recruited 94 volunteers, aged 50-75 and with no history of diabetes or heart disease, and designed a study to assess what effect eating different types of fat would have on their cholesterol levels. We began by randomly allocating our volunteers to one of three groups. Every day for four weeks, the first was asked to eat 50g of extra virgin coconut oil – that’s about three tablespoons full.
|Type of oil or fat||Polyunsaturated (%)||Monounsaturated (%)||Saturated (%)|
The second group was asked to consume the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is widely seen as being extremely healthy. And the third was asked to eat 50g of unsalted butter a day. Again, that adds up to just over three tablespoons. The volunteers were told that they could consume these fats in whatever way they pleased, as long as they did so every day for the whole four weeks. On the other hand others think that Coconut oil ‘as unhealthy as beef fat and butter’ so the Diet debate: Is butter back and is sat fat good? They were also warned that, because they were consuming an extra 450 calories a day, they might well put on some weight. Before our volunteers started on their new high-fat regime we took blood samples to get baseline measurements, focusing mainly on their levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and HDL (the “good” cholesterol) The importance of these two measures is that your heart attack risk is best calculated, not by looking at your total cholesterol score, but your total cholesterol divided by your HDL score. NHS Choices suggests that this figure should be below four. So what happened? As expected the butter eaters saw an average rise in their LDL levels of about 10%, which was almost matched by a 5% rise in their HDL levels Those consuming olive oil saw a small reduction, albeit a non-significant drop, in LDL cholesterol, and a 5% rise in HDL. So olive oil lived up to its heart-friendly reputation.
Early Stages of Studies
But the big surprise was the coconut oil. Not only was there no rise in LDL levels, which was what we were expecting, but there was a particularly large rise in HDL, the “good” cholesterol, up by 15. On the face of it that would suggest that the people consuming the coconut oil had actually reduced their risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is seen as particularly healthy. I asked Prof Khaw, who was clearly surprised by these results, why she thought it had happened. “I have no real idea,” she candidly replied. “Perhaps it is because the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid and lauric acid may have different biological impacts on blood lipids to other fatty acids. The evidence for that comes mainly from animals, so it was fascinating to see this effect in free-living humans.” So should we be hailing coconut oil as a health food? “I think decisions to eat particular oils depend on more than just the health effects” she said. “This is just one study and it would be irresponsible to suggest changing dietary advice based on one study, however well conducted.” This was a very short-term study and compared to olive oil, research on coconut oil is at an early stage. So the claims about coconut oil being a superfood are premature. But if, like me, you enjoy putting coconut in your curries, there seems no very good reason to stop.
The new series of Trust Me I’m a Doctorcontinues on BBC2 at 20:30 GMT on Wednesday 10 January and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.
A North Carolina Gospel Minister Sows Seeds of Hope in a Food Desert in USA. The Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Conetoe, NC, exhorts his congregants to strengthen their community. First, the Reverend Richard Joyner got mad. Then he got a trowel. Sick and tired of seeing his congregation suffer from poor nutrition, the North Carolina minister sowed seeds of hope in a food desert. ABOUT A DECADE AGO, the Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church realized he ministered to a congregation of people often hungry and living in poverty but never complained. He came up with an ingenious use of land that helped keep the young ones involved in learning about nature first hand. The Church members unfamiliar with farming in the city are educated on how to grow own good produce. The pastor found it difficult to comfort grieving or contain his outrage: “How do you tell someone who’s just lost a child to poor nutrition that this was God’s plan when it was totally preventable? Who would hang out with that God?” Each Sunday, Joyner felt like a hypocrite, urging congregants to worship a deity he doubted. During the week, he was forced to confront the community’s health problems constantly as a hospital chaplain. After one particularly trying hospital shift, Joyner pulled his car over and began to pray. “I heard a voice saying, ‘Open your eyes and look around,’” the 64-year-old remembers. All he saw was farmland. His parents and grandparents had been share- croppers; his great-grandparents, slaves. That moment fields blanketing Edgecombe County represented not untapped opportunity but a painful reminder of the region’s racist past.
Young people enjoy outdoors activity so this roadside epiphany directly inspired the church’s now-bustling nonprofit agriculture and education center might construct a tidy narrative. It would, however, be inaccurate. Back in 2005, when Joyner first equipped area youth with seeds and spades on a borrowed plot down the road, he simply hoped to engage kids at summer camp. The campers consumed their initial harvest, but the following year, they started delivering free boxes of ‘Hen Pecked’ mustard greens, ‘Puerto Rican Red’ sweet potatoes and the vegetables to local senior citizens. “One 97-year-old lady, she was so excited, she kissed the children,” Joyner says. “That was the first time in a long time I witnessed anybody speaking a blessing over our troubled children.” Not everyone welcomes bounty. Only a generation or two removed from sharecropping, some church elders questioned the wisdom of participating in any sort of agrarian pursuit. They remained uncomfortably familiar with Edgecombe County’s role in the South’s antebellum cotton economy. Henry Toole Clark, a Civil War–era governor of North Carolina, owned a vast plantation—and dozens of slaves here. Joyner explains prevailing concern: “Do we really want our kids going back to that?” He empathized. Then again, he’d witnessed satisfaction junior parishioners derived from the soil. Less encumbered by Conetoe’s complicated history, they were free to dig in the dirt. “They’re bringing food to people who need it,” Joyner says. “They enjoy the process. They’re playing out there.” Meanwhile, various activities on the farm like preparing beds, selecting seeds, tending crops, selling produce, tracking digital data impart valuable lessons in science, technology, exercise, economics, math, and nutrition.
Joyner thunders from the pulpit in stereotypical Baptist fashion, but heed his words. They’re less fire and brimstone than sweet rain for parched souls. Ponder this passage from one rousing sermon: “Friendship is deeper than what you do. Friendship is deeper than your actions. Friendship is deeper than the story told. That’s how we are going to transform this community. Not by being churches. Not by being preachers. We are going to transform it by being friends! heightened dramatic effect.] Can I get a witness?!!”Adept as Joyner may be at casting visions, he admits to shortcomings in the arena of organizational management. At the outset of the farm’s second season, the preacher petitioned Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, where he volunteers as a chaplain, for a grant. “I wrote application, with my dyslexia, and it was terrible. I prayed over it: God, please help them understand what’s going on.”
Although a phone conversation was required to clarify intent, the hospital ponied up $2,000. Two years later, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gave Joyner $15,000. And in 2011, The Conservation Fund donated $7,500 through its North Carolina–based Resourceful Communities initiative, which emphasizes the link between socioeconomic and ecological strengths. “Richard can sweet-talk people out of tractors,” says the initiative’s director, Mikki Sager, “yet the whole effort seemed random.” So she made further funds dependent on proper managerial oversight. “We weren’t trying to be controlling,” explains Sager. “We wanted them to have the pieces in place so they could articulate a good plan and deliver on it.”Joyner’s magnetic charisma and missionary zeal have attracted a wide base of fervent fans. Among the converted: Garrie Moore, a retired vice-chancellor of the City University of New York, who signed on as executive director of the program three years ago. Ruth Little, an assistant professor of public health at East Carolina University, has pitched in by training a number of Edgecombe County citizens as lay health advisers over the years. Tes Thraves, of North Carolina State University’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems, immediately thought of Joyner in 2010 when she founded the Food Youth Initiative, a statewide effort to bring teens together to explore food justice issues. Of the Conetoe delegation, Thraves says, “They grasp the power analysis of the world around them. They’re raised with integrity and empowerment. They believe in something.”
Today, the Conetoe Family Life Center—a name befitting the farm’s beyond-the-field ambitions—encompasses five different plots that together total 21 acres. Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, the Edgecombe County school system, and a number of area restaurants pay in advance to secure salad greens, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and other crops. The center’s 150 hives generate $10 jars of honey, as well as an alternative income stream from local farmers renting the pollinators. Proceeds are reinvested in the program. A single market-rate cabbage puts 10 cabbages on the tables of needy families. Approximately 25 percent of the produce is distributed among church members, with those who can afford to contribute subsidizing others who cannot. Health-related outreach continues year-round. The results are nothing short of dramatic. Since 2012, visits to Vidant’s emergency room—the de facto primary care clinic for underinsured parishioners—have decreased by 75 percent. Collectively, the 250-member congregation spends $4,000 less on medication per quarter than it did a decade ago. Joyner’s many accolades include the 2014 Purpose Prize (honoring the social work of citizens over 60) and a 2015 Hero salute from CNN. Last year, when he accepted a Local Food Hero award from the nonprofit Farm to Fork North Carolina, the pastor did not stand alone. Two of the program’s participants—Tobias Hopkins, 19, and Marquon Pettaway, 20—were also honored. Pettaway thrived in the apiary. He’ll talk endlessly about the hives, about honey’s merits, about how he made beeswax candles for a school project. “The bees have a job, too. They have an everyday job,” he says. “That made me motivate myself to keep pushing.”Before getting involved with the farm, Pettaway viewed the army as his only option, but he now attends community college. “The program,” he says, “changed things for me.” Still, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging in Conetoe, a food desert that lacks a single full-size supermarket. Pettaway’s mother works at Bojangles’, where fried chicken and biscuits anchor the menu. “I get the grilled Cajun Filet Biscuit from Bojangles,” he insists. “I get the grilled.”
Last September, I visited the Conetoe Family Life Center with a delegation from Princeton Theological Seminary and helped plant 10,000 cabbage and collard green seedlings. Three weeks later, on October 8, Hurricane Matthew hit the Carolinas. Conetoe and the neighboring towns of Tarboro and Princeville occupy low-lying, flood-prone terrain (shortcomings that explain the relative ease with which rich whites ceded this land to poor African Americans). The Tar River overflowed its banks and destroyed most of those plants, 100,000 others, plus 120 beehives and all the honey in them. Joyner was apoplectic. “I was not angry at God,” he clarifies. “I was angry at those of us who add to global warming. I was angry at people who will not take ownership.” For centuries, his community has wrestled with the compounding consequences of others’ sins, and he considers climate change another variation on that theme. When I spoke to the pastor again in June, the church had recently buried a 29-year-old woman after she succumbed to renal failure. Several of her relatives had also died of kidney disease. But Joyner noted that this funeral was one of only a handful he’d performed for people under 40 over the previous 12 months. And he mentioned that the woman’s 13- and 19-year-old cousins currently work on the farm. The fields, at least, “were flush green and full,” he said. “You can become hopeless real quick around here. But things are improving. I’m totally hopeful about these children.”
1. Make a seating plan
Arrange and label place if the potential exists for toxic reaction of people based on past history. If you know Uncle Bob is going to press buttons over dinner, moaning about the fox-hunting ban and poor choice of plonk, position yourself opposite end of the table. A seating plan can prevent unnecessary friction during the Christmas meal. It is just a case of knowing who to keep away from who to prevent and stop arguments in advance.
2. Lay off the eggnog
Do not say things to regret after one too many mulled wines. Remember alcohol causes chemical changes in the brain if even it initially makes you feel relaxed, but reduce your ability to think straight. Professor McMurran, a psychologist at the University of Nottingham, explains if provoked under influence of alcohol, people tend to disregard “consequences of rising to the bait. This leads to violent reactions from people who would shrug things off. If tensions are rising, swap a cocktail for a mocktail and encourage others to do the same.
3. Share the cooking
Preparing the festive feast is a huge job. Leave it up to one person and it’s likely that tempers will become frayed and sprouts will be thrown. One way of getting around this is to have different people taking responsibility for each course. Offer to take care of the cheese board, dessert or nibbles and take the strain off the head chef.
4. Budget for presents
With so many outgoings, money can be tight at Christmas so financial pressure can be big source of stress and tension. To ease the pressure on everyone, agree on set budget for presents. Encourage homemade gift-giving options including jams and chutneys, a day of babysitting, orguided pub walk around a local area.
5. Be grateful for gifts
Be diplomatic when you’re unwrapping your presents. Be it a fish steamer, or a shoehorn or Star Wars bath mat, smile and say “its just what I always wanted.” It sets a brilliant example to all the kids. And remember, you can always re-gift it next year to other people so investment.
6. Embrace daytime Nap
If feeling more grumpy and irritable or tired and exhausted that is also because sleep-deprived so amygdala bit of brain control of emotions becomes overactive causing prefrontal cortex brain, the bit in charge of logic and decision-making switched off. The result is more erratic, emotional and likely to lose it over the Christmas pudding. So stay in control, try to get a good night’s sleep before the big day and if you feel yourself nodding off in the Queen’s speech, don’t fight it. You can listen to again later.
7. Channel the innerself
Do something helpful so offer to do the driving, walk the dog, take the kids for a run around, or distribute canapés. By mucking in and lending a hand you’re setting the bar for everyone else, and lightening the load for the people you care about. There is always something required to be done at all times. Doing so helps to distract you and you feel fulfilled by helping others.
8. Learn to let things go
Pick your battles carefully so you do not want to win arguments as and have no friends in life. Do you really care how parsnips are prepared? Or what’s in the box? Grit your teeth and turn blind eye for sake of the peace. Do not be control freak rubbing people wrong way. Avoid controversial topics of football, politics, or who eats last After Eight chocolate.
9. Take a breather
If things are getting a bit much, step in to the garden for some fresh air. Oxygen and sunlight are thought to increase the levels of serotonin released in the body, and more serotonin means lighter mood and more relaxed you. If getting outside isn’t an option, take a cup of tea and the paper to cupboard under stairs, or have a ten-minute phone rant with a friend.
10. Avoid Pictionary gaff
It’s fun playing Monopoly or a game of charades, but there a fine line between competitive spirit, outright aggression. Don’t embark on a board game unless you’re convinced everyone will be able to get to end without crying, fighting or both. Compromise so agree to disagree.
11. Christmas times hard
Christmas time unrealistic expectations or excessive self-reflection create issues in our lives coming starkly into focus. It can be really hard time of year for those who lost the loved ones or experiencing financial hardship, illness, depression. A study by Samaritans revealed, amid pressures to be “merry”, nearly half of men admit they actually feel depressed or sad at Christmas. Be aware of needs of people around you, be patient, and if you feel stressed or anxious yourself too reach out to someone.
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