Heavy drinking can lead to liver disease, but a new study suggests that it's not just the alcohol that damages the liver — fungi that commonly live in the human gut appear to contribute to the disease as well.
The study, which involved experiments in both mice and a small number of people, found that consuming alcohol is linked with changes in the types of fungi living in the gut and that the fungi that tend to be more common in people who drink also worsen the effects of alcohol on the liver. The study is the first to link fungi and liver disease, the researchers said.
What's more, the findings suggest that antifungal drugs may be a possible treatment for alcohol-related liver disease, the researchers said. Alcohol-related liver disease is a category that includes a range of diseases, from the less severe "fatty liver" disease to end-stage liver disease, also called cirrhosis.
The findings suggest that "we might be able to slow the progression of the alcoholic liver disease by manipulating the balance of fungal species living in a patient's intestine," study co-author Dr. Bernd Schnabl, an associate professor of gastroenterology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said in a statement.
Previous studies had found a link between excessive drinking and imbalances of bacteria in the gut, but until now, few studies had looked at the role of gut fungi in the development of alcohol-related diseases. In the new study, the researchers gave alcohol to mice daily for eight weeks and found that this chronic alcohol exposure resulted in an overgrowth of certain types of fungi in the animals' intestines.
But if the researchers treated the mice with the antifungal drug amphotericin B, this decreased levels of fungi while also reducing the severity of alcoholic liver disease in the animals. Mice that received the antifungal drug had lower levels of liver damage and fat accumulation in the liver, compared with mice that did not receive the drug, the researchers said.
The researchers' experiments showed that fungi contribute to alcoholic liver disease in the following way: The fungi release a sugar called beta-glucan and this sugar moves out of the intestine and into surrounding organs, including the liver. When it gets to the liver, beta-glucan can trigger an inflammatory response that kills liver cells and promotes alcoholic liver disease, the researchers said. Thus, heavy drinking boosts the level of fungi in the gut, and this, in turn, leads to an increase in levels of beta-glucan, which promote more inflammation in the liver.
The researchers also examined fungi in the stool of eight healthy people and in 20 people who had abused alcohol and were in various stages of liver disease. They found that the alcohol-dependent people had a dramatic overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida in their guts.
Next, the researchers analyzed blood samples from a separate group of about 30 patients with the alcoholic liver disease, and they measured levels of antibodies that recognize fungus. They found that the people with higher levels of these antibodies — which indicate greater exposure to intestinal fungus — were more likely to die from liver disease over a five-year period.
The researchers cautioned that their studies focused on only a small number of people, and so larger studies are needed to confirm the findings. In addition, future studies should look at whether a single fungus contributes more than others to the progression of liver disease.
The researchers are now interested in testing amphotericin B in patients with alcohol-related liver disease to see if the drug helps with the condition.
The study was published May 22 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation
Quinoa is a whole grain variety that originated in the Andean highland regions of Peru and Bolivia, where it was utilized as a staple food source by pre-Columbian civilizations.
Pronounced "keen-wah", it remained relatively unknown to the rest of the world until about the 1990's, when it was popularized to a significant degree by trending Western macrobiotic, vegetarian and vegan-based diets.
Author Donna Gates and her book "The Body Ecology Diet", first published in 1995, also played a significant role in introducing quinoa to many health seekers in California and other parts of the U.S.
Back then, it was chiefly found in local health food stores and only imported from 2-3 main South American producers. Today, quinoa is widely available at many large chain supermarkets from well over 50 different suppliers.
Becoming increasingly popular among a more mainstream audience for its higher protein to lower carbohydrate ratio, it has also taken center stage as one of the top gluten-free grains advocated for those with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or celiac disease.
Although it is often referred to as "Incan rice", the Incan peoples actually adopted its dietary use and cultivation techniques from preceding Andean Quechua and Aymara cultures.
The Incas referred to quinoa as "chisaya mama" or "mother of all grains" and considered it a sacred food in which the first crops of the season were sown ceremonially with golden implements.
Quinoa, like the two other Incan grain varieties kañiwa and kiwicha (or amaranth), is known for its greater balance of essential amino acids compared to other grain types.
What is Quinoa?
Although it is considered a whole grain, quinoa is often called a "pseudocereal" because, unlike other cereal grains, it is actually a seed that comes from a non-grass species.
It belongs to the family Amaranthaceae (or goosefoot family) which includes other plants like lamb's quarters, beetroot, chard and spinach. It is also closely related to the mentioned kañiwa seed (Chenopodium pallidicaule) and many of the amaranth or Amaranthus species.
Wild variations of Chenopodium quinoa are native to the Andean region of South America and have been identified to have originated near Lake Titicaca bordering Peru and Bolivia, an area that was once home to the Incan peoples. The word "quinoa" in fact is derived from the common ancestral Andean Quechua language and the terms "kinwa" or "kinuwa."
According to the Lost Crops of the Incas, "Quinoa can be grown under particularly unfavorable conditions, at high elevation, on poorly drained lands, in cold regions, and under drought." (*)
It is an annual flowering weed-like plant that grows approximately 3-7 ft (1–2 m) tall. The tiny seed grains are about 0.08 in (2 mm) in diameter and usually a cream off-white color.
Depending on the cultivar, the plant however can also produce different colored grains. The two most common variations sold in the marketplace are black and red quinoa. These are often blended with white grains and sold as a tri-colored variety.
Uncooked quinoa seed has a flat rounded shape and, when completely steamed in water, pop open to form tiny rounded grains with a white curled germ falling off of them and a comparable texture to that of couscous or bulgur wheat.
Quinoa has a slightly bitter taste but pleasant buttery rich pasta-like flavor because of its higher protein content. Bitterness can be reduced by pre-rinsing the grains before cooking them and/or soaking them for a brief amount of time.
Cultivated red and black selections, have a rather different taste, a slightly denser quality and more fiber content than white quinoa. These colored grains are mainly pigmented on the outside of the seed, but when cooked produce a cream-colored center and curled germ.
Like wild lamb's quarter, the leaf of the quinoa plant (called "llipcha" in the Quechua language) is also edible and traditionally cooked like spinach, but can also been consumed as a raw salad green.
Quinoa Seed Saponins
Quinoa seeds are known to have a thick saponin coating around the seed hull which acts as a natural pesticide to defend it from birds and other predators.
While saponins in small amounts are health enhancing substances, called triterpene saponins, often found in herbs like gynostemma and various other superfoods, when consumed in large quantities they can be potential "antinutrients."
This is due to their soap-like qualities which may cause mild gastrointestinal irritation and digestive upset. They also have a strong bitter-tasting flavor that is less palatable to some people.
Because saponins readily dissolve in water, rinsing the seeds before cooking them is a good way to remove most of the saponins encasing the seed.
Cultural Use of QuinoaThis can be achieved through either water washing or through a dry processing technique that usually involves a dehulling process. Both methods will invariably leave a small amount of saponin content, so it's a good idea to always briefly pre-rinse the grain before cooking.
Keep in mind, however, that in some research the saponins from quinoa were shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, so some remaining in your cooked grain can actually be beneficial, depending, of course, on one's digestive sensitivity level. (*)
Quinoa was one of the primary staple foods of the Andean peoples long before the Incan civilization.
In Andean locations, quinoa grain was traditionally steamed like rice and added to various dishes, soups and stews. It has also been used to make "chicha", a homemade fermented drink in regions near Lake Titicaca.
In Peru, the dry seeds are heated in a hot skillet and consumed as a type of mini-popcorn. Quinoa is also used straight or toasted and ground to make flour for use in various recipes and to fortify baked bread. In regions near Cusco and the Bolivian highlands, it is used to make "peske de quinoa" or "pesque", a spicy thick risotto-like dish.
Quinoa Domestication and Commercial Production
Archaeological evidence actually indicates that Andean quinoa was domesticated long before the Incan civilization.
In the book Quinoa: Sustainable Production, Variety Improvement, and Nutritive Value in Agroecological Systems, it was identified that pre-Incan native populations grew quinoa and also "practiced intensive agriculture, using irrigation, composting, rotations, and construction of terraces to conserve soil fertility in the mountains and to increase agricultural production, especially in the areas surrounding Lake Titicaca."
Over thousands of years, wild Chenopodium quinoa has been developed into many cultivated subspecies that are adaptable to a number of different climate zones and elevation ranges.
There are therefore many "landraces" or local crop varieties of quinoa seeds, especially between Cusco, Perú and Lake Poopó, Bolivia where it has long been domesticated, maintained and controlled by generations of Andean farmers.
Certain Bolivian heirloom varieties, like "royal quinoa" or "royal pearl", are grown at higher elevations above 12,000 feet and believed to be superior in both taste and nutritional quality.
Why is Quinoa So Expensive?
Back in the late 90's, we remember purchasing a pound of organic quinoa for less than $1.50, a little more than most grains at that time. Then, over the next decade, it slowly increased to about $2.99 a pound which remained consistent for many years.
After 2013, the price soared considerably as popularity reached an all-time high. Currently as of 2017, bulk organic quinoa is usually sold at a price range between 5.99 and 8.99 in California and other U.S. locations. Pre-packaged whole grains are notably more expensive than purchasing it in bulk quantities.
Most economists believe the nearly tripled price of quinoa since 2006 is a classic example of supply and demand. The top South American producers, predominantly Bolivia and Peru, are simply not able to meet the demand which makes it more expensive. Price increases are also claimed to be necessary to provide a sustainable livelihood for many of these small-scale quinoa farming operations.
Crop expansion in other parts of the world is ongoing, but there have been some limitations apparently as far as seed distribution and sharing of quinoa germplasm as some farmers are understandably reluctant to share their unique seed cultivars.
In addition, we have found from our research that it is a crop that can be somewhat hard to introduce and establish successfully, especially in completely new terrains or among farmers used to growing other food staples.
According to the journal "Frontiers in Plant Science", the primary crop producers as of 2013 were Bolivia and Peru, who provided more than 80% of the global quinoa supply, with the remaining 20% coming from Ecuador, USA, China, Chile, Argentina, France and Canada. (Source)
Today the top producers are still Bolivia, Peru followed by Ecuador and the U.S, particularly California and Colorado.
Another reason for the added price increase, is also the now employed process of saponin removal which is necessary to improve the taste and digestibility of the cooked grain. (*)
Health Benefits of Quinoa
Higher in Protein and Essential Amino Acids
In research documented in the previously mentioned book Quinoa and the chapter entitled "Nutritional Properties of Quinoa", it was stated that "The protein content of quinoa ranges from 8% to 22% among different varieties." This variability is believed to be dependent on the specific genotype as well as the environment and climate in which it is grown.
About 60% of the protein content is found in the seed embryo, approximately 40% in the perisperm, and a small amount in the bran or outer seed coating and pericarp.
Along with teff, wild rice and amaranth, quinoa is a few grams higher in protein compared to other grain varieties. It also uniquely offers a higher protein to lower carbohydrate ratio as well as a balanced essential amino acid profile, providing a complete protein source.
Most grains are low in the essential amino acid lysine which helps the body to absorb calcium, build muscle, repair tissue and produce hormones.
One cup of cooked quinoa contains over twice the amount of lysine as the same proportion of brown rice (193mg lysine). The 442mg of lysine found in a 1C serving of quinoa is also substantially higher in contrast to white rice (153mg), millet (117mg), couscous (115mg) and about 153mg higher in lysine than buckwheat groats.
According to nutritional data, one cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein content or 16% of the RDA, but again this could be potentially higher depending on the seed quality. (*)
Along with leafy green vegetables, spirulina and hemp seeds, quinoa is a choice plant-based protein-rich food to include in the diet whether vegan, vegetarian or seeking to reduce animal meat consumption.
While the concept that plant proteins are incomplete or inferior to "complete" animal-derived foods has been largely dismissed as false information by most holistic health nutritionists, when adhering to a vegan diet it is good to consume a varied combination of plant-based foods to ensure one's essential protein requirements are being met.
One cup of cooked quinoa (8g) contains about the protein equivalent of one large cooked egg (7g), one ounce of cooked skinned chicken breast (8g) and one ounce of salmon (7g).
Other grains also worthy of mentioning for their higher protein amounts include teff, amaranth and wild rice. Although most of these also have a greater ratio of carbohydrate content, they may also provide additional replacements to gluten-based selections.
Herbs have many amazing healing properties and one of their most fascinating qualities is their potential ability to affect your hormones in a positive way.|
Five of the herbs that are of special interest to hormonal health and hormone balancing are: thyme, holy basil, clary sage, sandalwood, and myrtle.
What do we mean when we say balancing hormones? Some of the primary hormones at work in your body include:
Adrenal hormones: Your adrenal glands produce cortisol, which manages stress and contributes to metabolism
Reproductive hormones: Estrogen and progesterone manage menstrual cycles, female fertility, and help balance vaginal pH. Testosterone manages male fertility, bone mass, libido, and red blood cell production. Both men and women actually have all 3 hormones in their bodies, but an unhealthy balance has been linked to a higher risk of cancer.
Thyroid hormones: Triiodothyronine and thyroxine are produced by your thyroid and control your metabolism.
Sleep hormones: While not as much of a ‘heavy hitter’ as the above hormones, sleep hormones like melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland, can have a dramatic effect on your health when out of balance. Poor quality sleep can make your entire body much less efficient and more prone to sickness and burnout.
Your endocrine system functions to keep all of your hormones working in a careful balance. When just one is out of balance affects the others, leading to all kinds of nasty symptoms from weight gain to fatigue to pain.
5 Hormone Balancing Herbs
1. Thyme: Preventing Breast Cancer
In an in vitro study, researchers tested the effects of different herb extracts on breast cancer cells. One of the herbs that was able to bind to progesterone — a key female hormone — was thyme. Progesterone is a sex hormone that is involved in the menstrual cycle and in pregnancy. Researchers found that thyme also contains a high number of phytoestrogens and phytoprogestins and tested this herb to see if it would have negative or positive effects on cell growth regulation in breast cancer cells. Surprisingly, results showed that thyme mimicked the activity of anti-progesterone drugs by blocking the activity of progesterone and inhibiting the growth of the breast cancer cells. (9)***** RENUMBER in numerical order
2. Holy Basil: Lowering Anxiety
Studies report that holy basil has properties that decrease the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. (3) One study found that holy basil extract helps in lowering anxiety levels. Participants received holy basil for 6 weeks and saw improvement in various stressful aspects of their life such as memory issues, recent sexual problems, exhaustion, and sleep quality. (6)
3. Clary Sage: Healthier Menopause
Clary sage is another herb that can potentially lower cortisol levels. According to a study, the cortisol levels of women in their 50s decreased after they inhaled clary sage oil. Interestingly, hormones that stimulate the thyroid also decreased, but only slightly. (7)
Clary sage may also increase estrogen levels in women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms due to declining levels of estrogen. (5)
4. Sandalwood: Reducing Stress
One study looked at the effects of aromatherapy on women who were undergoing a breast biopsy, which is an exam to determine whether a lump is malignant. Having a breast biopsy can be stressful for some women and participants were asked to try two combinations of essential oils. The study found that the combination of orange and peppermint oil was not as effective as the sandalwood and lavender combination, which had a calming effect on the patients and reduced their anxiety during the exam. (8)
Another study found that cancer patients who suffered from a lack of sleep improved their sleep quality by inhaling different blends of essential oils. Sandalwood was one of the essential oils included in one of the blends. 64% of patients showed at least a slight improvement in their sleep pattern and almost all patients said that they would continue to use the oils to help them sleep. (2)
5. Myrtle: Improving Sleep
Although some cultures use myrtle as a sedative or hypnotic herb, there haven’t been any studies on its effects on humans. However, there have been a few promising studies on rats and mice. Researchers noted that lab animals that received myrtle extract were sleeping more frequently and having a deeper sleep and their muscles were more relaxed. The study concluded that myrtle could have antianxiety properties. (4)
Another study found similar relaxing results in lab animals. Mice that consumed myrtle essential oil experienced prolonged sleeping during which the activity in their brain was slowed down. (1)
The Best Ways to Use Herbs Medicinally
Herbs can be used in a variety of ways. The easiest way to reap their benefits is to put them in your food or in a smoothie, but they are also found in teas, essential oils, and extract forms. Medicinal herbs can also be used in poultices and ointments.
Extracts are concentrated doses of the medicinal herb and can be found in tinctures (liquid form), or in powder form (capsules, or loose powder) when all the water is removed from the herb. Tinctures are best consumed on an empty stomach, about 1-2 mL at a time.
Herb-based essential oils can be used in a variety of ways:
Mix with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage into skin
Add a few drops to a hot bath
Use a diffuser. Add a few drops to room temperature distilled water and set in a common area of your house
When buying or making herbal teas, make sure your ingredients are certified organic. It’s also better to buy whole leaf teas, rather than teabags, which can sometimes be laced with pesticide residue. Steep the teas to your desired strength and enjoy up to 3 times a day.
Different forms of herbs are suitable for different situations, and some herbs can interact with certain medications, so always speak with a trained practitioner for the appropriate method before you use herbs in any form.
(1) Birhanie, M. W., Walle, B., & Rebba, K. (2016). Hypnotic effect of the essential oil from the leaves of Myrtus communis on mice. Nature and Science of Sleep, 16(8), 267-275.
(2) Dyer, J., Cleary, L., McNeill, S., Ragsdale-Lowe, M., & Osland, C. (2015). The use of aromasticks to help with sleep problems: A patient experience survey. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 22, 51-58.
(3) Gholap, S. & Kar, A. (2004). Hypoglycaemic effects of some plant extracts are possibly mediated through inhibition in corticosteroid concentration. Pharmazie, 59(11), 876-878.
(4) Hajiaghaee, R., Faizi, M., Shahmohammadi, Z., Abdollahnejad, F., Naghdibadi, H., Najafi, F., & Razmi, A. (2016). Hydroalcoholic extract of Myrtus communis can alter anxiety and sleep parameters: a behavioural and EEG sleep pattern study in mice and rats. Pharmaceutical Biology, 54(10), 2141-2148.
(5) Lee, K. B., Cho, E., & Kang, Y. S. (2014). Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil. Phytotherapy Research, 28(11), 1599-605.
(6) Saxena, R. C., Singh, R., Kumar, P., Singh Negi, M. P., Saxena, V. S., Geetharani, P., Allan, J. J., & Venkateshwarlu, K. (2012). Efficacy of an Extract of Ocimum tenuiflorum (OciBest) in the Management of General Stress: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012(1), 1-7.
(7) Shinohara, K., Doi, H., Kumagai, C., Sawano, E., & Tarumi, W. (2017). Effects of essential oil exposure on salivary estrogen concentration in perimenopausal women. Neuro Endocrinology Letters, 37(8), 567-572.
(8) Trambert, R., Kowalski, M. O., Wu, B., Mehta, N., & Friedman, P. (2017). A Randomized Controlled Trial Provides Evidence to Support Aromatherapy to Minimize Anxiety in Women Undergoing Breast Biopsy. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.
(9) Zava, D. T., Dollbaum, C. M., Blen, M. (1998). Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 217(3), 369-78.
Most of us are aware of the health problems that alcohol can cause. Not only can excessive drinking lead to major problems like liver disease, but there’s growing evidence that even moderate drinking may increase our risk of illnesses such as some cancers. It’s also pretty bad for our waistlines too
Still not convinced? Then take a look at the significant benefits you could reap from cutting back on your drinking, not just for your health – but for your finances, looks, and general wellbeing too.
While it might not seem much at the time, even just drinking a couple of bottles of wine a week can add up to hundreds of pounds spent over the year – or even more, if you’re partial to a pricier tipple! Why not try using the money saved to treat yourself to a spa day, or to put towards a shopping spree?
Many of us watching our weight simply do not realise, or account for, the calories present in alcohol. In fact, the average wine-drinker in England takes in around 2000 kcal per month from alcohol, with as much as 185 kcal in just one large glass. Not to mention the late night munchies or greasy fry-up that so often follows a heavy night of drinking. So while you might at first miss that post-work tipple or weekend drinking session, your waistline certainly won’t – in fact, you might be surprised at the pounds you could lose simply by cutting out or reducing how much alcohol you consume.
A glass of wine can sometimes help us get to sleep, but did you know that over time, that glass of wine could actually cause insomnia? A study by the University of Missouri School of Medicine found using alcohol as a sleeping aid long-term could affect our ability to fall asleep, leading to disrupted sleeping patterns, and a lowered quality of sleep. So swap your usual alcoholic nightcap for a sleep-inducing Camomile Tea, or a relaxing, scented bath, and you could find your sleeping patterns improve and you wake up feeling more rested.
Drinking alcohol can dehydrate your skin, leaving it feeling dried out and sensitive. Over time, drinking too much can have long-lasting effects on your skin, depriving it of vital vitamins and nutrients, leaving your skin looking dull. Not only this, but many skin conditions, such as rosacea or psoriasis can often be exacerbated through alcohol consumption, with many dermatologists recommending minimising drinking to avoid flare-ups. So cutting back on alcohol could not only help keep any skin conditions at bay, but could actually help to keep your skin hydrated, and looking fresher, and more youthful – win win!
WORKOUT BY: Leandro Cavalho, Creator of the Beachbody Brazil Butt Lift
For quick and effective workouts, you’re better off focusing on the larger muscle groups like the chest, back, glutes, quads, hamstrings, abs, and shoulders. For this workout, there is a total of 4 moves: Beginners can start with 1 set of each move; intermediate, 2–3 sets; advanced, do 4 or more sets.
Walking Pushup: Bend over at the waist, keeping a flat back, until your hands touch floor. Walk hands out to a push-up position and perform 1 pushup, then walk hands back and return to standing. Each time increase number of pushups done by 1. Beginners, go up to 3–4 reps, intermediate/ advanced, 5–6 reps. After your sixth rep, perform 10 pushups.
Squat: Beginners, do this exercise 12 times holding 12 lb. dumbbells; intermediate, 15 times holding 15 lb. dumbbells; advanced, 20 times holding 20 lb. dumbbells.
Bentover Row: Beginners, use one 8–12 lb. weight in each hand and do 12 reps; intermediate, 15 lb. doing 15 reps; advanced, 20 lb. doing 20 reps.
Inverted Tabletop: Lie faceup with knees above hips, feet flexed and positioned slightly higher than knees, hands behind head. Start with double reps: In 1 count, lift head, neck, and shoulders, bringing knees in toward chest. Then lift shoulder blades and tailbone a little higher for 1 more count. Return to start in 2 counts, bringing your head back down to touch the mat. Then do single reps: Perform the move for 1 count up, 1 countdown. Then do short reps: “Pulse” at top of move rather than returning back to the start. Beginner: Do 8 double counts, 8 single counts, 8 shortsIntermediate: Do 12 double counts, 12 single counts, 12 shorts Advanced: Do 16 double counts, 16 single counts, 16 shorts.
We all go through rough patches in life, some of us more frequently than others.|
But whether you believe yourself to be regularly faced with turmoil, or only occasionally, we all know what it’s like when the collection of our current experiences (aka “shit”) hits the proverbial fan.
It’s often in these moments that taming our emotions becomes harder than ever, and where even the tiniest of triggers, like someone cutting you off in traffic, can lead to a tirade filled with curse words and ill wishes for a stranger you will never get to know.
While I wish I could offer a solution that would prevent your life from ever being filled with such challenging circumstances, I can’t, so instead, I present five quick but powerful reminders for when shit hits the fan in your life:
1. This Will Make a Great Chapter in the Book of Your Life
Whether or not you ever plan on documenting and sharing the unique culmination that is your life, we all know that it is moments of hardship that make for the best chapters. They may not be fun to go through at the time, but they are always fun to reflect on and have a knack for perfectly setting the stage for later triumphs.
Think of how many times you’ve already told and retold the story of an experience that at the time was “shitty” to go through. There is a reason that comedians who tell primarily self-deprecating jokes (Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan) are so popular, so remind yourself that this crappy situation will one day make for a great story.
2. Good Things Come From Tough Situations
Not only do challenging circumstances often make for a great story in time, they also regularly lead to and/or precede positive experiences. Whether it be a valuable life lesson, an unexpected opportunity, or greater emotional fortitude, we can all think of at least one time in our life (if not many) where a good thing eventually came from a tough situation.
Even if the silver lining is not immediately apparent, focus on getting through the hardship and trust that it will make itself known soon enough.
3. You Always Have Things to Be Grateful For
When shit does hit the fan, it can be incredibly hard to think of anything but the shit and how widespread it now seems to be. But one of the simplest and most powerful tools for overcoming challenging times is to challenge yourself to immediately list off at least 10 things you are grateful for in life.
I don’t care who you are or what your life circumstance is, we all have way more than 10 things to be thankful for in life. Be broad (ex. I am thankful to be alive), be specific (ex. I am thankful for the way my dog greets me excitedly when he first sees me), be anything you need to be to get your gratitude train of thoughts going and to break up the negative ones your mind depends upon to further spread the shit.
4. You Control Your Reactions and How Long They Last
You may not be able to prevent challenging circumstances from entering your life, but you are always in the driver seat of how long you allow yourself to be impacted by them. It is natural, and far healthier, in my opinion, to express rather than suppress emotions when they arise, but you do yourself a disservice when you allow them to linger for longer than they have to.
Just because you were cheated on by your now-ex does not mean that you are forever doomed to be betrayed. So stop telling yourself these lies and start cleaning up the mess rather than sulking in the middle of it.
5. Persistence Pays Off
We’re all human in this world, and hardship is an integral part of the human experience. That means that even those you admire have had their shit hit the fan on several occasions, yet this did not stop them from getting to a point where you and others perceive them as admirable.
Challenging situations may slow down or even temporarily stop your train toward your goals and dreams in life, but only you decide if you are going to let them fully derail you.
Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.
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