The harrowing reality of the global opioid crisis

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There are many threats to health that people are faced with every other day, but there is perhaps none more dangerously deceptive than opioids. The nature of opioid addiction is far more excruciating than anyone who has not experienced it, either themselves or from the sidelines, can possibly comprehend. While of course any kind of addiction is harrowing in its own right, opioid addiction is such because it can creep up on people, with many users not realising how dependent they are upon the drugs until their prescription runs out, or the effects begin to dissipate more and more over time. Every year, more and more people lose their lives to opioid addiction, with the problem becoming so common that it has now essentially bloomed into a full-blown epidemic of global proportions. In the USA alone, hundreds of thousands of people have died from overdosing on opioids. It is an uncomfortable truth, and it is one that is in dire need of attention and viable solutions. Finally, at long last, those solutions are presenting themselves.

Designed to be drugs to help with pain management and treatment of other illnesses, opioids are often deceptive from the onset. Because they are prescribed to individuals as a means of dealing with pain and other illness offsets, people take them as prescribed – often without being forewarned about the side effects of such medications. By nature, opioids are addictive, and so it is imperative that individuals taking them are aware of this fact, and keep an eye on their use. Sometimes, even the prescribed amount is too much, so taking the time to mentally check oneself along the road to recovery is crucial to ensuring that one is doing everything they can to avoid addiction. Further, opioids’ effects begin to dissipate over time. This means that oftentimes individuals start to seek out opioids that are stronger, oftentimes even being unaware of this key trait of the drugs, due to lack of awareness or lack of understanding.

Addiction is a terrifying ordeal, and once one has fallen down that hole far enough, it becomes exceedingly difficult to find their way out of the darkness. Opioid addiction has been treated with the same negative attitude that all other forms of addiction have been throughout the years. This stigma has arisen thanks to misunderstanding and a lack of willingness to be open and supportive in the face of such a dangerous health risk. More than anything else, it is important to remember that lives will continue to be lost as long as we continue to approach opioid addiction (and all forms of addiction, for that matter) from a point of negative approach. Quite simply, we must be willing and able to do the work to create a more positive approach in the future towards this health risk, or be willing to watch the death toll continue to rise exponentially, year after year. And is anyone okay with that?

The fact is that opioid addiction recovery is a long and challenging road. Successfully navigating its reaches demands a lot of energy, time, and even money. It is not at all uncommon for an individual struggling with opioid addiction to have to take the pathway multiple times before the approach sticks and they find their way out of the darkness (if they ever reach that point at all). The millions of lives that have been lost, and continue to be lost, around the world in the face of opioid addiction tell the harrowing tale of an attempt to better lives going horribly, even fatally, wrong. While there is movement to encourage a more positive approach to opioid addiction and the road to recovery now, there is still a long way to go, and much work to be done. We are amid the beginning of a battle that is going to take a lot of energy, money, and time to correct, but it is entirely worth it.

Addiction in any capacity, on any substance, or in any other form, is undeniably shocking and terrifying. This much is true. However, there is an additional layer to opioid addiction that makes it especially dangerous. That layer is the fact that opioids are often prescribed medications designed to help individuals overcome pain and other symptoms of illnesses or other health issues. Often, what occurs is that individuals do not even realise they are addicted to these medications until their prescription runs out or they start to realise that the effects are not as strong as they once were. That is the nature of opioids; unfortunately, they can be addictive, and this is where the trouble often (if not always) sprouts from first and foremost. A prominent form of addiction, opioid addiction has been treated with the same bad attitude as all forms of addiction – until now. Finally, the tides are turning, and we are creating a more honest, open, and supportive foundation for those suffering with opioid addiction to come forward.

The role of rehabilitation centers in the fight against the opioid crisis

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Health is a multifaceted term with as many connotations as denotations. Some humans use the word health to describe their physicality while others reference their mental well being. For some, health is the type of diet someone has. But the word health is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury. The important thing about health is that it should be reasonable for all people who are suffering from a health related infliction to receive proper care or treatment.

Being healthy is not just eating fruits and vegetables or getting exercise; it is so much more about actually being health from mental all the way to physical well being. It is important to understand how to treat and manage illnesses with a chronic diagnosis. For the unfortunate patients who suffer from cancer or other diseases that are not always preventable, we treat them with medical care, and provide them with the necessary rehabilitation services to get cured. But unfortunately, for those suffering from addiction, we do not always treat them with the right care.

For many unfortunate reasons, some people with an addiction disorder are treated as though they somehow chose their condition. Addiction along with many other mental disorders are often pushed aside because they cannot be seen by the naked eye. The lack of empathy specifically for those suffering from addiction is disheartening.

Many media outlets and social media trolls aim to demonetize addiction because they simply have little understanding of how to treat the disorder. Some western media aims to act as if addiction is in someway a crime. Because some drug-related incidents lead to legal action and crime, people tend to associate drugs with crime, and in turn, associate addiction with crime. Suffering from an addiction does not necessarily constitute criminal activity.

The opioid crisis used to be in rural localized regions, but has since began migrating throughout the United States. Specifically, some of the poorest states like West Virginia and Kentucky have some of the highest rates of opioid addiction. In the southern part of the state of West Virginia, some maps showcase the number of opioid prescriptions per county or per doctor to give a visualized number effect of how over prescribing can lead to addiction. The worst part of the opioid crisis is finding a solution.

One of the first ways to fight the opioid crisis is providing rehabilitation centers that promote sober living. In states and locations with high economic disparity and disadvantage, the opioid crisis is also at an all time high. To combat this issue, it would be wise for local and federal governments to start thinking about a treatment plan with a bottom up approach.

Rehab centers that are focused primarily on opioid and prescription drug addictions will be helpful to combating the disease. It’s important that we treat addiction as a disease in society instead of continually acting like the people who suffer from addiction wanted to have an addiction. Instead, those with an addiction need to get to the root of the issue of why they chose to take the drug in the first place. Because having an addiction is a mental disorder, it should be treated as such. Rehabilitation center can provide patients with medical care as well as psychological care. Often these centers provide patients with group and individual therapy to help them find themselves and be resilient when entering back into civilian life.

The opioid crisis is often at the blame of pharmaceutical companies wanting to make more money, but it is honestly a crisis with many angles. Producing too much of the drug is one part of it, but also, over distribution is another negative effect in the industry. When taking inventory, pharmacists in charge of ordering them need to order only what is needed and not just have extras laying around. Another section of the crisis deals with the realm of doctors and physicians themselves. Physicians are not always completely competent when treating patients. Treating patients as though they have things wrong with them that they don’t or just treating pain in general instead of actually taking the extra step to find out what is wrong can be damaging to the patient’s health. Some patients with addictions will make doctor visits just to try and get more opioids. It is the doctor’s job to be the sleuth for  the opioid crisis and find out who truly needs the pain medicine and who does not actually need it. There are so many reasons that the United States suffers from opioid addiction, but each industry is willing to blame someone else for the problem instead of working together to do research on how to actually find solutions to the problem. The worst part about the opioid addiction is the amount of overdoses that are killing people. When lives are at stake, it is crucial for the government to step in and find answers to problems.

The ongoing discussion surrounding mental health

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Since the dawn of our time here on Earth, our health has been the most paramount part of our existence and our species’ progression. As time has gone on, we have developed a healthy obsession with understanding, improving, and maintaining out physical health. We are now at the point where we have a strong, capable grasp on our physical health and all that it entails. However, the same cannot be said for our understanding and open attitude towards mental health. In fact, if anything, the attitude towards mental health is heavily tainted with a stigma that, despite much effort to the cause of improvement, has not budged much – if any. The fact is that mental health is just as important, if not more so, than physical health, and the stigma has created a global epidemic that is boiling over. For far too long, mental health has been treated as more of an attitude and behavioural problem, than the genuine health risk that it is. Thankfully, thanks to a relatively recent influx of research and studies focusing on mental health, this unhealthy attitude is finally shifting.

When it comes to addressing mental health, it is fair to say that there has always been a stigma surrounding the fact. There is a preconceived notion that mental health is simply a case of attitude and weakness. This response to mental health is not only incorrect and unhealthy, but also incredibly dangerous. Individuals who suffer with mental health struggles often find themselves displaced and unsure of where they sit in the world, and in their world. This is not an opinion, this is fact. And this fact stems, at least partially, from the reality that the alienation and isolation that individuals feel when they struggle with their mental health is partially the response to the attitude of others towards their struggles. This attitude has become a global one, and it stems from the stigma that has been attached to mental health since the dawn of our time. Mental health struggles are not as easily seen and diagnosed as physical health issues, because they do not manifest aesthetically, clear to the eye. But this does not mean, in any way, shape, or form, that they are any less important. If anything, they are even more so.

This toxic attitude towards mental health has created a dangerous precedent. It is one that makes those who suffer with mental health struggles feel alone and terrified. This is so dangerous not only because it goes against basic human nature to be so harsh, but also because it can result in risks to the affected individual’s health. Sometimes, in the worst of cases, the results can be lethal. Fatality as a response to mental health struggles of all kinds is unfortunately quite common. Around the world, more and more individuals have been finding themselves in alarming circumstances. Mental health struggles are a global epidemic, and without the right attitude, and an honest, open, and supportive environment for those suffering to turn to, this issue is only going to continue to fester. Mental health struggle is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that even the boldest and most determined of strengths can crack under pressure. This is our reality. Mental health struggles can impact anyone, anytime, anywhere. So, it is crucial that the toxic attitude towards mental health changes.

This is, thankfully, changing now. These days, with more research and more studies out there than ever, there is a strong acknowledgement and overall understanding of what we have gotten wrong. Today, the issue of mental health is more prominent than ever – and on a global scale, at that. In fact, acknowledgement and understanding surrounding health on all levels and inputs is growing. Approaches like CBD science, or professional psychology, for example, are dedicated to helping people understand points of health and all it encompasses. Similarly, there are companies motivated to do the same. Finally, people are becoming more supportive and open when discussing issues of mental health, and addressing them adequately and proactively. More than ever, people are honest about their struggles, because they realise that the doorway to the help they need is wide open, rather than edged open slightly at the close. It is the change that the world has so desperately needed, and it is shocking that it has taken this long for it to barrel into effect. Of course, the work is nowhere near done yet, but if we keep moving in this same general direction, there is no reason that we cannot make genuine, lasting impact for mental health and those who suffer with its struggles, both now and into the future.

Mental health is just as important to one’s well being as physical health is. Over the years, there has been an eager and ongoing abundance of research and studies on physical health. This ongoing influx has led to a strong understanding and grasp of physical health. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for mental health. Despite the arching necessity of more studies and research into mental health, there is still a drastic imbalance surrounding the general understanding and support of mental health research. Thankfully (and long overdue), this is slowly but surely changing. Mental health is such a significant contributor to overall health (if not the most important of all), so it is crucial that we reach the honest, open, and supportive point that we have with physical health, with mental health. This is too important than issue to hold off on addressing any longer. In fact, this is long overdue. There is still a lot of work to be done, and a long way to go, but we are finally on the right track.

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise to achieve peak health

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There is something intriguing about the way that we approach health. The way that we treat our bodies has a genuine, significant effect on our quality of life. Our health is paramount to, quite literally, everything. And yet, despite this fact, we are facing perhaps our unhealthiest era ever. More and more often, people are taking their good health for granted, and whether intentional or not, this has become a global problem. When something is taken for granted (in this case, one’s health), the individual tends to treat it as less of a priority. This can lead to negative responses. In the case of our health, it can even lead to unhealthy consequences, and in the most severe of cases, premature fatality. So, how can we best care for our bodies? There are the obvious anecdotes: get your regular health check-ups, seek professional help when you are feeling under the weather (either mentally or physically), surround yourself with positive people, and engage in positive environments. And then there is diet and exercise.

So many people live with the mindset of, “I can start tomorrow”. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this, what often ends up happening is that tomorrow dwindles on forever…even with the best intentions, many people find themselves “too busy” to slow down just long enough to eat a balanced diet, and commit to their exercise routines. To be fair, modern individuals are busier than ever, so it is indeed true that there is less time in the day, but it all comes down to priorities. And further, the truth is that some people do everything right, do everything in their power to achieve peak fitness and health, and still are unable to achieve and maintain it. It is not fair. However, even for these people, there is comfort in knowing that still doing all these things, still committing to their health journey wholeheartedly as much as possible, can make the world of difference. Everyone can indeed achieve their peak level of health possible for themselves as individuals, if they are willing and able to do the work to get there.

The human body is an incredible thing. We are a species built for hunting, gathering (whether this means gathering berries and edible flowers and grasses while in the wilderness, or gathering cannabis seeds to harvest them organically oneself, for instance), travelling, and wandering. This is the scientific truth that binds us to what we were created for. Our bodies are built to withstand constant exertion and movement. With this in mind, it is important to remember that how we treat our bodies has a significant impact on our quality of life. The diet that one subscribes to has a genuine and significant impact on how that person feels, acts, responds, and even how they look. Eating a healthy diet does not have to mean cutting out all the treats, either. The ideal healthy diet is obviously the one that works the best for the individual and their specific lifestyle and needs. However, more and more there is a growing consensus that the ultimate healthy diet is one that consists of largely healthy foods and drinks, in balance in treats and other less healthy items in moderation.

A healthy diet allows the body to function at its best and most reliable. Fuelling our bodies with healthy foods and drinks ensures that our bodies can process them naturally, rather than having to work overtime to process them more slowly. Similar to diet, exercise is important to overall health because it gives the body the movement and arching adrenaline that it thrives on. Exercising at least thirty minutes a day is the official recommended amount, but of course anything is better than nothing, so regardless of if one can commit a few minutes or a few hours to their exercise regime on the daily (or at the very least, at least four to five times a week, periodically), they are already on track to achieving a healthier lifestyle. The best part about diet and exercise is that while they both work well individually, they work extremely effectively in collaboration with one another, allowing an individual to achieve maximum results on an ongoing basis. Understanding and adequately responding to our bodies is something that many people struggle with. This is not shocking news. This has been the case for many years. However, what is changing now is the awareness and in-depth understanding that people have about the importance of staying on top of their overall health.

The more studies and research that is carried out, the more prominently acknowledged the truth becomes. Our health is paramount, it is the foundation and the building blocks that create our quality of life, and when it begins to break down, our bodies do too. It is so important to take care of our overall health. The best way to do that is by taking care of our bodies, in every sense of the concept. This means keeping up-to-date with, and going to our health check-ups, eating a balanced, healthy diet, and maintaining a routine of exercise that we are comfortable with and driven by. Of course, sometimes the cards are drawn and doing everything right still is not enough to achieve the health we want for ourselves, but doing all these things certainly helps us achieve the peak level of health possible to ourselves as individuals. And that is important and special.

The Epidemic of Sleep Deprivation: A Silent Killer

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Everyone in the world is tired. As each day passes, it feels like there’s never enough time in the day to get everything checked off the list. Our schedules are busier; we’re running here and there, never getting a chance to sit down and take a time-out.

At work, your mind is drifting, thinking about what you need to make for dinner or why you agreed to take your son’s soccer team out for pizza. By the time you’re home, you’re done. You turn on the television and drown yourself in a new episode of the latest show while folding laundry or scroll through the internet. By the time you even consider going to bed, you look at the alarm and think about how you have to get up in five hours to do it all over again. This is a typical day for most people.

But these busy schedules aren’t natural. As a consequence, they’re disrupting our sleeping patterns. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over one-third of the adult population in the U.S. sleeps less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours per night. This “7-hour rule” wasn’t formulated by companies so that you’ll hunt for the best mattress brand on the market. It was created after a panel of experts reviewed over 5,000 scientific studies relating to sleep deprivation. And what was found was that sleep deprivation is correlated with shorter lifespans, and health conditions such as heart disease, and cancer.

Over the years, there’s been an increase in sleep disorders including insomnia, but also those who simply aren’t getting enough sleep. As Professor Matthew Walker, a British neuroscientist, and director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley states, “I think sleep is still a missing piece in the puzzle of people’s health. It’s not something people are necessarily recognizing as a critical issue when comes to fighting disease and sickness. And that’s partly the fault of people like me: the science has not been communicated well enough.”

But we’ve all said to ourselves, “I’m feeling really tired; I’m going to go to bed early tonight.” Yet, we’re still unaware of the need to sleep. We may be tired one day, and sleep a proper eight hours that night, but then we go back to the same routine of sleep deprivation. So, why aren’t we more aware that we need to sleep? Well, there are a couple of reasons why.

Firstly, our societies are built to produce and consume. Many of us are commuting to work, even spending after-hours connected to our email and phone. While we’re continuing to stay connected to work outside of working hours, we also need to connect with our family and friends. Not to mention, staying updated on social media as well. Essentially, from morning to night, we’re always on. We don’t spend time separating ourselves from the very things that are emotionally and mentally draining us.

Secondly, we have a love-hate relationship with sleep. Of course, everyone loves sleeping, but getting a full eight-hour rest is usually associated with being lazy. Since we live in a consumer culture, no one is advocating a good night’s sleep. If anything, the more you stay awake, the more motivated you appear to the people around. “Oh wow, George is such a hard worker. He only sleeps four hours a night.” Most people would be impressed by this statement, rather than being severely concerned about George’s mental health. So, yes, we’re surrounded by technology and always connected to work and social media. But our outlook on productivity is also what’s causing us to sleep less.

How to Fight the Sleep Epidemic

As we’re now in the era of self-care and self-compassion, it’s time to give ourselves a break. Our society needs to change its outlook on sleep and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Though just because it may not happen on a societal scale any time soon, it doesn’t mean you can’t change your relationship with sleep.

There are quick and effortless ways to improve your sleep. Create a sleep routine and go to bed at a consistent time every night. Lay off the caffeine so late during the late afternoons and evenings. And most importantly, remove the blue light from your all devices and avoid using them a couple of hours before bed. Just by making these small changes, your life will never be the same – in a good way. Until society starts to wake up and realize the sleep epidemic is much more severe than they thought, improve your own life by focusing on getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night.

The answer to a long and healthy life is much simpler than you think. What it really comes down to is having a good night’s sleep.

The effect that sleep has on physical health

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The industry of sleep has experienced quite the upheaval in recent years. Shopping for a mattress is higher than ever before, people are more invested in ensuring that they get a good night’s sleep, and the world is more obsessed with the sleep industry than ever. On all counts, it seems like sleep is finally getting the attention it so desperately needs. However, a lot of this newfound emphasis is built on people simply wanting to feel better, and they know they will if they sleep more soundly. We have all felt the difference in our energy levels and even out attitude when we sleep soundly as opposed to when we have a bad night’s sleep. We all recognize that there is a distinct advantage to ensuring we initiate and maintain solid sleeping patterns, but we rarely (if ever) consider the impact sleep has on our overall health on a deeper, more fundamental level. What about the actual health benefits? Why is sleep so fundamentally important to our overall health, or more specifically even, our physical health?

Sleep is crucial for the body to function at its best, but it is also important for the body to look and feel its best. When a person experiences fractured sleeping patterns, bodily functions like one’s metabolism are impacted significantly. Over time, if left unchecked, these changes in bodily functions can manifest in unhealthy representations in the body. In the case of affected metabolism, the results manifest in weight gain. It really is quite simple. The less sleep one gest, the higher their levels of stress hormone cortisol are. The body literally needs sleep, and without it, the body becomes stressed, overworked. Cortisol increases your appetite. A lack of sleep hinders the body’s ability to process things properly. And if you oversleep, your body does not get the chance to burn off the energy as you are awake. Either way, the unhealthy fats and sugars remain in the body, taking longer to break down. And so, weight gain often ensues.

There are more studies and research than ever that showcase how getting less than six hours sleep can actually hurt your blood vessels as well. This is bad news for obvious reasons. High blood pressure and obesity can and do occur in individuals who have issues with their blood vessels, and so it becomes fundamentally important for people to understand and practice healthy sleeping habits to give their bodies the best likelihood of being at their healthiest. The jury is in. The research keeps pouring in, as do the countless studies. Sleep is just as important – if not more so, in some cases – for overall health as diet and exercise are. We are now in the position of having the awareness to make the necessary changes, and it is crucial that we do so. As it stands, we have the fundamental knowledge that sleep is important for practically all the body’s physical systems.

From weight distribution and blood pressure, to cognitive functioning and memory, the body needs sleep. It really is as simple as that. When we sleep, our bodies have the chance to repair themselves from the day’s labors, and replenish and revitalize for the day ahead. Sleep is an important factor in achieving the best results for our bodies on a long-lasting level, and we can no longer ignore this fact. Perhaps more than anything else, sleep is fundamentally important to our physical health, as well as our mental health and overall health. There has never been so much information, so much knowledge and overall awareness surrounding the topic, and we are in the position of having the power to instill positive change – and to maintain it. To ignore all that would be irresponsible, and so the responsibility to not only change our sleeping habits, but to instill a healthy view of sleep and its relationship to our overall health in future generations, has never been stronger, more prominent.

We have all felt the phenomenal difference in our energy levels, and even our attitude to the world around us, when we get a good night’s sleep. However, what many of us fail to consider deeply is the effect that sleep has on our overall health. We rarely, if ever, consider the impact that our sleeping habits have on all aspects of our bodies, and the result of that failure to understand is that we are locked in a collectively unhealthy pattern – but not for long. We all want to feel and look our best, but sometimes people lack the awareness. And this is when the studies start, and the research piles up. Sleep is crucial to our health. There are many reasons why, but ultimately it comes down to one thing: what our body needs, not what it wants. This is what is most important, what ultimately controls it all.

Adequately addressing the global epidemic that is mental health strain

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Health is a topic that the world has grown to become definitively obsessed with. Over the years, as we have conducted more studies, done more research, and gone further out of our way to discover more about the world of health, we have gotten to the point where we are positively immersed in all the information we have learnt over time. More than any other aspect of health awareness, is the knowledge of our physical health. We live in a world that has placed so much emphasis on taking care of our physical health, that we have become positively obsessed with ensuring our physical health is given the utmost care. While this is of course a positive, there is a shadow cast over other aspects of overall health, with arguably the most affected of all being mental health. It is not exactly difficult to understand why this is. Physical health often manifests on the surface. On the other hand, mental health is quite the opposite. Couple this with the fact that mental health is often (incorrectly and unfairly) treated as a pinpoint of weakness in individuals, and it is not at all difficult to understand how or why mental health strain has reached epidemic proportions on a global scale.

Mental health has been a topic of struggle for centuries. And over time, the topic of mental health is one that has been subject to much debate. While even now there is a lingering stigma that suggests that mental health struggle is a circumstance that affects the weak, the reality is that mental health strain can (and does) affect anyone, anywhere, any time. Anything can set off a chain reaction of mental health challenges, from the results of an STD test, to disappointment when one does not get the results from themselves that they wanted in a school examination (or any other manner of things). If left unchecked, it can often evolve, effectively morphing into a snowball effect that becomes exceedingly difficult to escape from. The reasons behind mental health struggle differ drastically from person to person, but ultimately what it comes down to is a chink forming in an individual’s armour. Mental health strain is not a symptom of weakness, but rather a sign that a person has been strong for too long in challenging circumstances.

Not only is mental health as a broad topic of discussion a serious issue, but it is one that is unfortunately immersed in a stigma that still remains to this day. In 2019, it is frankly astounding that there is still a stigma surrounded such an incredibly serious health issue. Unbelievably, we live in a world that is still struggling to change its views on mental health, and the effects of this lagging shift are devastating, even fatal in some cases. People are reaching out for help more than ever before, but they must be met with understanding and willingness to help, for any assistance to have any lasting effects. Thankfully, the tides are finally turning, but there is a lot of work still to be done. The outdated (and frankly never warranted) stigma surrounding mental health is on the way out the door, but there is still a lot of ground work to be done before it dissipates entirely. The stability of mental health is so overwhelmingly negative that it has reached epidemic proportions, and now it is our job to work towards reversing the damage until it disappears entirely.

Mental health is an incredibly important topic that does not get nearly as much attention or basic awareness as it should. When there are literally millions of individuals all around the world who are grappling with their mental health, there is no excuse not to be anything but honest and open about it. We live in a time where we have more of a platform to raise awareness, raise our voices, and make them count towards the causes and issues that matter the most to us. And we must use our voices to make lasting, positive impact. Anything less is simply not good enough. There is an overwhelming awareness that mental health is more of a prominent issue than ever before, and it is the responsibility of all of us to do our part to ensure that we are working towards viable solutions, rather than whispering in dark corners where no one can hear us, where there is no way for impact to spread.

The world that we live in today is one that has become exceedingly obsessed with health. It seems that, no matter where one looks, every other day there is a new finding in relation to physical health, a new study on the links between health and wellness. Throughout all this constantly-flurrying activity, one aspect of overall health that is often overlooked – and unfortunately quite often misunderstood – is mental health. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, but for multiple reasons it has sadly not gained as much awareness or understanding in the media and the public eye. Now, finally, times are changing. Today, there is a growing body of research, in addition to countless field studies, that prove not only that mental health is incredibly important to the balance of our overall health, but also that it is just as dangerous – if not more so – than physical health, when not taken adequate care of. With the awareness under our belts, and the information in our corner, the time was yesterday for change – but better late than never, right?

Plant-based diet increasingly pegged as chosen lifestyle of future generations

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For centuries, the human body has gotten much – if not all – of its protein and energy from meat consumption. While this diet and lifestyle has increasingly come under fire over the years, it is one that millions of people continue to live by it, citing it as the most healthy whole dietary approach. It is human nature to stick to what we know, and what we [seemingly] know is that, if we eat meat, we can get a significant amount of our daily necessary dietary input. To be fair, meat consumption does give us plenty of energy, protein, and iron (among other benefits), but the reality of how that meat is made available is both disturbing and unsustainable for the planet. Over recent years especially, we have become more aware than ever before about the impact that our dietary choices have not only on our own bodies, but on the environment and the planet. The up and coming generations are growing up in this world of increasingly self-aware ideologies, and if recent projections are anything to go by, the core of the lifestyle of the future is going to be the plant-based diet.

The shocking thing about so many people’s viewpoint on their diet’s impact on their whole health is that they are almost never (if at all) willing to admit that they do not necessarily have to eat meat at all. Simply put, the food system has been shattered by the millions of human beings that maintain unhealthy, unsustainable, and inhumane lifestyles – including their diets. We are so stubborn in the dietary choices that we are comfortable with that we are unwilling or unable to conceive of the mere idea that there could be a diet that gives us everything we need, without unnecessarily taking from other living beings on Earth. Think of it this way: there are roughly 300,000 edible plant species in the United States alone, and only three of them make up almost 60% of American calories (rice, wheat, and corn). It is entirely within our power to fix the way that we obtain our food, and doing so will not only benefit our individual bodies, but the global healthcare system.

From diabetes to obesity, eliminating meat and other common dietary means such as processed sugars and unhealthy fats will have an incredible effect on the healthcare system. The problem is that we do not exactly realise how unhealthy the staples in most modern kitchens are. In modern-day grocery stores, for example, most of the food that surrounds people is not necessarily good for the human body. Even as we browse through the aisles or walk into the shopping centre with a detailed shopping list, some of the foods that are “good for us” are not necessarily healthy. Avoiding meat and dairy can feel like an extreme step to a lot of people who are so used to having these things in their weekly – even daily – diet, but realistically it not only has a significant positive impact on the planet, but it is incredibly beneficial for our bodies as well.

The statistics of the current meat trade are distressing, to say the least. The meat trade is not only unsettling, but it is also unbelievably unsustainable. It takes eight times more land to produce one kilo of protein for meat, as it does for plants. Further, it takes four times as much water to do the same thing. The majority of the land in the US – and around the globe, for that matter – is begging to come to the realisation that, in order to have a more sustainable food system, there must be a stronger emphasis on plant-based diets. The enormous undertaking required to produce livestock is disgusting – providing just 18% of calories, the livestock needed to make up the meat trade takes up 83% of farmland. It is just not sustainable. So, that then begs the question: has it ever really been sustainable in the first place? How far back does the damage go? A whole article could explore that question.

But, in short, for centuries, human beings have obtained a lot of their protein and energy (among other dietary intake necessities) through the consumption of meat.

This is something that people have been – mostly – at peace with, but in the last twenty or so years the relatively small percentage of the human population that is more and more people are turning towards an herbal life and choosing greens on Grasscity over chemicals and today there seems to be more individuals practicing a holistic lifestyle, more than ever – and more of a drive to go plant-based than ever before. When it comes down to it, the shift is really due to the shift in mindset of the current generations. We are realising the impact of our dietary choices and our chosen lifestyles affect more than just us – they affect the environment and the planet. This increasingly common shift in mindset is causing a gravitational shift that, if current projections are anything to go by, is going to result in the lifestyle of the future being centred around plant-based diets. And really, is that really such a bad thing? Is it not more than our turn to instil positive impact for the planet?

Acupuncture, Massages and Alternative Options for Weight Loss

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The way we typically approach weight loss is flawed. The focus is primarily on changing your diet and incorporating exercise. Although this is important, it does not address the root cause for why we overeat. It’s all a temporary solution, not one with long lasting effects. In fact, many people who lose weight go back to the same eating habits once they reach their goal. Unfortunately, some go on to gain even more weight than they lost. This cycle is taxing on the body and also psychologically. There are some other options that address the behavioral component of why we overeat.

It’s important to answer the question of why you struggle with your weight. Do you eat when you are bored, stressed, when you are not feeling good about yourself, it is an escape? Do you associate food with love? Were you told as a child to eat everything on your plate?  If you have tried traditional methods with limited success it might be time to consider alternatives.

Meditation

Meditation is a healthier way to deal with the stress that comes along with life challenges. When we are upset, sometimes we reach for food to comfort us. We wouldn’t characterize most of those “comfort food” choices as healthy. Meditation helps you to breathe, redirect that energy and calms the body and mind. It can help with resisting the temptation of food. It’s a highly effective alternative to releasing that stress. French research during a public health study showed meditation helped cut the risk of obesity by 50% when practiced regularly. Whether it’s for 15 minutes or longer, there are apps available to use on your own, you can take classes, or you can learn about a number of different options for meditation within the privacy of your home.

Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss

Hypnosis can be an effective option in meeting your weight loss goals. Hypnosis focuses on identifying the root cause of why we overeat. It works at the subconscious level to address the negative thought processes that leads to overeating. It helps determine what triggers your overeating and focuses on replacing those habits with more positive behaviors. Once you determine the root cause, the hypnotherapist can reframe how your mind interprets it and provide suggestions which you are more susceptible to while under hypnosis. It’s remarkable to change the way you have looked at food your whole life.

Diet and exercise don’t address your relationship with food and what triggers you. After struggling with weight for 2 years after giving birth, one of my clients lost 32 lbs. in 10 weeks through hypnosis. Another one of my clients stated “It was completely not what I expected, I was fully awake. By my 2nd session, I haven’t touched anything that would harm my body. I started to exercise. I stopped caring about if anyone was judging me anymore. I’m very comfortable with myself.”

Another client talking about his experience with hypnosis stated “I tried many things with some success and ultimate failure. I was hoping for lasting results. I get into a deep relaxed clear-headed state. The hypnosis through you alleviated all these strong urges I had. I was very obsessed with food. Now I eat sensible bites, I don’t have to have food to socialize. We hosted Thanksgiving at my house this year. Believe it or not, I did not touch carbs, it was not a desire. I was thrilled. As of today, I lost 52 lbs. in 5 months.”

Acupuncture

Although acupuncture alone is not a solution for weight loss, it can complement another weight loss method to help you stay balanced. Acupuncture has been part of Chinese medicine for a very long time. There has been some success in strategically placing tiny needles in areas that help with reducing cravings and control hunger.

Lymphatic System Massage Techniques

A lymphatic drainage massage uses a machine that focuses on the lymphatic system to help eliminate waste, enhance circulation and breaks down fat within the body. The thinking is that these lymphatic system massages may in conjunction with diet and exercise help facilitate and speed up the process.

So many people struggle with their weight. There are many different diet plans out there; it’s difficult to determine what will work. Some people try different diets their entire life with limited success. There are alternative methods that are becoming more popular. Hypnosis has become more mainstream for people that are looking to address the emotional and behavioral components associated with their weight problem. It’s important that whatever method you choose, it helps you get to the root cause of the problem. This helps you can break these unhealthy habits. Making lifestyle changes that refocus our energy with ongoing healthier life choices is key to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight going forward.

Sleep becoming an exceedingly fruitful business

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Sleep is something that is vital to our very survival. This is a fundamental fact of life. The healthier our sleeping habits, the happier and more functional we are throughout the days and into the nights before the next night’s sleep reaches us. Another fact of modern life is that we are the busiest we have ever been, and so we are sleeping less and doing more throughout the day. This has obviously created an imbalance that many people struggle to right once it has taken hold. Alas, the entire world is trying to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, sleep is one of the leading topics of research in recent years. With so much focus on sleep (focus that, even now when we are busier than ever, continues to expand), it is little wonder that the mattress industry is going through something of a high run right now. The mattress industry is worth a staggering $30 billion US dollars currently, and is expected to balloon even further in coming years, reaching a projected $42 billion US by the year 2023.

If these figures hold any weight, this mattress boom is far from over. In fact, it is just beginning. But let’s look at exactly why this boom has hit us so hard. Sleep literally makes us more productive. Recent studies show that 90% of executives wake up before six in the morning. 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before they get to work for the day. These are facts, tried and tested, time and again. It speaks volumes of the issue with sleep the world over that despite us all being busier than any past generation, and thus more exhausted at the end of the day, we are struggling to get a good night’s sleep. And surprisingly, many people do not even attempt to go through simple searches to find solutions. It can be much easier than many thing to change sleeping patterns. Of course, this is not always the case, but it is for millions of people, every year. So, how has the mattress industry becoming such a booming success?

Well, the increase of people purchasing new mattresses in the pursuit of a better night’s sleep, of course. People today are busier than ever, and they understand the importance of having a mattress that does the job perfectly. The rise in consumer interest has led to a consequential rise in mattress reviews online. Consumers today value word-of-mouth recommendations just as much as they do the impressions they get from the companies they are potentially buying their mattresses from. These reviews for mattresses speak volumes for the improvements that have been made to the industry across the board. Sleep Junkie reviews are infinitely more positive than those that were online five years ago. The mattress industry the world over has moved leaps and bounds in the right direction, paying more attention to the finer details that make all the difference for its consumers.

Given that we spend a third of our lives sleeping, it makes perfect sense that we should be investing as much effort, time, and money into selecting the perfect mattress as we would a new car or a new house. The fact of the matter is that sleep and performance go hand in hand. This is something that has been backed up time and again in various studies and research surveys. This is not just blind assumption gaining attention. This is scientific fact and consumer awareness working collaboratively and gaining [much-needed] traction in the right direction. As in any industry, the customer is always right, and the mattress industry has used this ideal to their distinct advantage, earning more respect and longevity in an ever-changing economy in the process. The mattress industry today is a glowing evolution of the mattress industry in years past, and it is near impossible to know just how it will look in another twenty years. Odds are, though, it will be positively thriving.

When it comes to booming industries, the mattress industry is one that quietly makes its billions in the background, doing its thing and helping people the world over have a better relationship with their sleeping patterns. Worth $30 billion globally right now, the mattress industry is only set to expand even more. With the population continuing to grow, and the increased awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep, the projected value of the mattress industry worldwide is expected to hit an astronomical $42 billion by 2023. This is an incredible feat, and one that brilliantly showcases just how instrumental this industry is to our health and performance. This is where we are at, and millions of people all over the world are buying into the increasingly lucrative industry that is giving them the rest they deserve and need. This is only the beginning for the blooming mattress industry.