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How Does Quitting Drinking Affect Your Body?
How Does Quitting Drinking Affect Your Body?
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Article Author : dwells (July 30, 2013)

Drinking has become such a regular part of a modern lifestyle that we don’t think to question exactly how much we really drink each week. Many people drink regularly, albeit not necessarily a lot, and have done since they were legally allowed to do so – but how does this affect your body? If you’ve gone years without really ever stopping drinking, chances are you’ll find it more difficult than you think. If you’ve been feeling under the weather for a while, or can’t seem to feel like yourself no matter how many diets or health kicks you go on, it could be that the alcohol is to blame.

Those evening glasses of wine or a beer to end the working week each Friday night soon add up, and if you were to stop yourself from having them you would almost certainly notice the difference. Alcohol not only affects your mental ability, but it can also lead to sleep deprivation and weight gain. Beer, mixers and cocktails are all loaded with sugar and calories, so your waistline will thank you for cutting back, as will your liver. Alcohol is also a stimulant, which is why you’ll find your sleep is more disrupted when you’ve been drinking more. Sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle and for your body to function efficiently, so cutting back on the alcohol can make you feel more energised and improve your wellbeing.

The social element of drinking is part of the reason why a lot of people drink more than they possibly would normally – when you quit, even for a short time, people notice and question why you’re not joining in. This peer pressure element of the drinking culture is partly to blame for many people’s drinking habits, but don’t feel pressured into drinking just because it’s questioned when you don’t. Giving your body chance to repair and recuperate for a while is not a bad thing, even if it’s just for a week.

Better Sex

Aphrodisiacs: Well-Known Foods to Get You in ...
    A night of passion with that special someone is just what the doctor ordered for your emotional health and wellbeing, so it’s important to set the stage for success. You look amazing, the stars are out, you’ve got your go-to make out song ready on the stereo, so what’s on the menu? This is no time for takeaway curry or a ready meal my friend, you want to hit him with a taste sensation to awaken and arouse his senses – and this is where aphrodisiacs come in. Tempt him with these tasty treats and you’ll have sexual wellness sorted.   1. Oysters: Well-known red-hot lover Casanova was said to eat oysters by the dozens, which is perhaps why they’re the most famous aphrodisiac on this list. As well as the fact they visually represent a woman’s, ahem, womanhood, they’re associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. We get the word aphrodisiac from Aphrodite herself, who even sprang from an oyster shell! Aside from these subconscious associations, oysters possess massive amounts of zinc which aids in a man’s sperm count and fertility. Plus, oysters pack a real iron punch which is great for preventing fatigue – the enemy to any couple’s night of passionate love-making.   2. Chocolate: You see it practically jumping off the shelves when Valentine’s Day rolls around and with good reason; chocolate is another well-known aphrodisiac. While originally people went loco for cocoa simply because it was so rare and luxurious (potatoes were considered mood-boosters for the same reason), studies have linked chocolate lovers with higher libidos. This is because chocolate contains serotonin, which is a chemical that makes you happier and thus more likely to show your partner some affection. Plus, the caffeine and sugar content in chocolate gives you the energy you need to take care of business. However, the real secret weapon in chocolate is phenylethylamine. This is the natural neurotransmitter version of amphetamine, high levels of which are associated with love.   3. Carrots: There’s a reason why Bugs Bunny is so good with the ladies (come on, Lola Bunny was far too hot for him); he’s always munching on a carrot. Much like oysters get you thinking of lady parts, carrots are phallic symbols (in case you were wondering, the female equivalent of “phallic” is “yonic” – who knew?!) Phallic symbols hold power over the mind as a way to get your partner’s parts moving into action. In fact, the power of many aphrodisiacs relies upon a medieval philosophy known as the "Doctrine of Signatures." The belief goes that the Good Lord created things to resemble their purpose; herbs meant to treat the liver look like the liver etc. This is why carrots and other phallic foods supposedly get you going; it’s practically divine intervention.   4. Real Phalluses: While many aphrodisiacs look like male genitalia, some cultures take the idea one step further: consuming the actual penis of other animals. If you want to emulate the masculine prowess of a tiger, you might want to take a bite of the king of the jungle’s crown jewels. Meanwhile, animals with a particularly randy lifestyle, like dogs, are thought to hold this libido secret in their reproductive organs. The idea is that eating these animals' organs enables you to take on some of the animals' powers. However, if you can’t stomach the idea of eating an animal’s penis (after all, you’re not trying to kick-start your career on I’m a Celebrity) there’s always animals that look like human penises; snakes. Snake blood has been used as an aphrodisiac in the past, simple because a human male's penis is often likened to a snake. Still, I think I’d rather stick with chocolate and oysters.  
How to Enjoy Great Sex After the Birth of You...
    For many women, the mental and emotional impact of going through childbirth can have a negative effect on their sexual wellness and wellbeing. They may be in pain, or fear that intercourse will cause them pain. They are also often stressed (due to having a very small baby) and don’t feel much of a desire to have sex. Gynaecologists often advice that new mothers to not have sex for six weeks after the birth, in order to give their genital tissues time to heal. After that time, however, it is perfectly normal to want to recover some kind of intimacy with your partner.   The first time you have sex after the birth of a baby, take it very slowly. Men need to understand that women’s bodies have changed, and that their genitals may be still recovering from the immense task that they have performed. Men should be supportive of their partners, and be willing to be gentle and tender with them.   Women should also remember that they are their husband or partner’s chosen sexual partner. It is too easy to feel unattractive or undesirable after going through childbirth, but they should be aware (and men should make them aware) that they are still completely desired by their partner.   Some women may (understandably) fear getting pregnant again too soon. In order to remove this as a possibility, look into suitable methods of contraception well ahead of any sexual encounter. There are various methods available to men and women, but mini pills are generally advised as being the safest method for women who are breastfeeding.   When women are breastfeeding, they should also be aware that not only does the hormone prolactin suppress sexual desire, but it also causes vaginal dryness. Some kind of artificial lubrication may, therefore, be useful in order to make the experience as straightforward and comfortable as possible.  


Focus on Fashion...
  Written by Jenny Catton   With the price of fashion falling all the time, it’s become easier than ever for many people to buy new clothes on a monthly or even weekly basis. And when fashions change so quickly, the longevity of an item of clothing is shorter than ever. Many fashion followers wouldn’t dream of wearing last season’s outfits. But what happens to all of the old clothes we throw away? Well sadly, many end up in landfill. In fact, studies have shown that every year in the UK around 2.35 million tonnes of clothing and textiles are wasted with up to 30kg per person going to landfill.   So how can you play your part in cutting the amount of perfectly good clothes that are thrown away each year? Here are some ideas.  
  • Mend clothes instead of throwing them away
  • Rather than buying new outfits, update your old ones by creating new combinations or accessorising in different ways
  • Recycle old clothes by donating them to charity rather than throwing in the bin
  • Hold clothes swapping parties with your friends
  • Check you don’t already own something similar before buying a new item
  As well as cutting the amount of clothes you throw away, it’s also important to think about how to care for your clothes. You can help the environment by washing clothes at low temperatures and let them dry naturally rather than using an electric dryer.   For ideas on how to mend or reinvent your old clothes, take a look at    
Learn to Love Public Speaking...
  Written by Jenny Catton   Do you have a fear of public speaking? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, some surveys have shown that people are less afraid of death than they are of speaking in public. But in the world of business most of us will be called upon to give a presentation at some point. So if it really is so terrifying, how can you get through the experience without having a complete breakdown?   Why people hate giving presentations If you’re nervous about giving a presentation then it’s worth stepping back and asking yourself why. Is it because you dread being asked a question you can’t answer, are afraid of your voice turning into a squeak or are worried that your projector will break down mid-presentation?It may be a combination of things. By working out what scares you, you can begin to address your fears. Every fear can be overcome with a little planning and there’s no reason why even the most nervous presenter can’t learn to be a great presenter.   Be prepared The first step to giving a great presentation is to be prepared. Know your subject inside out. Rehearse your presentation as much as possible. Think about the likely questions you might be asked. If you’re using props or technology, check that they work in advance. If you’re worried about forgetting your lines, keep your notes close to hand. If you’re presenting away from your usual office, get to the venue in plenty of time so that you can familiarise yourself with the room and set up any equipment you may need.   Disguise your nerves It’s natural to feel nervous before giving a presentation. A few butterflies in the tummy can actually be good as they’ll add energy to your performance. But no-one wants to watch a presenter who is clearly hating every minute. So even if you are feeling the pressure, put your audience at ease by hiding your nerves. Here are some ways to disguise the physical symptoms of nerves:  
  • Don’t hold loose papers as they’ll draw attention to shaking hands. If you need notes with you, attach them to a solid clipboard or write them on index cards which will stay steady.
  • Keep your voice even by exercising your vocal chords before your presentation. Have a glass of warm water to hand in case your voice gets croaky. Avoid ice-cold water which could make it worse.
  • Even if you don’t feel like it, smile broadly at your audience – it will give a sense of confidence instantly.
  It may seem impossible, but try to have fun during your presentation. If you appear to be enjoying yourself, your audience will too. In his book Brilliant Presentation, Richard Hall gives the following tip: “Lighten up a little…you will stand out if you let your charm and personality shine through.”   So next time you’re called upon to give a presentation; don’t panic! Prepare, relax, smile and you may just find you enjoy it.  


How To Cope With Depression And Anxiety After...
  We all face challenges in life, but how do you recover when a debilitating injury has left you unable to enjoy life the way you once did? After a major injury, you may experience feelings like sadness, anger, denial, worry, and fear. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself recover and get back to the life you once enjoyed.

Acknowledge Your Emotions

Acknowledging that it is normal for you to feel sad, helpless, or anxious, can go a long way in helping you recover. Try not to hold these feelings back. Surround yourself with supportive people who will listen to you and help you work through these feelings without judgment. Allow yourself time to accept what has happened, and do not try to rush the recovery process.

Don't Push Yourself Too Much

It's natural to want to do the same things as before the accident as quickly as possible, but it's important to understand that it won't happen soon, and things may never be the same. Don't be afraid to say “no” to things you could have easily done before. Don't push yourself physically or emotionally to avoid more stress.

Talk to a Counselor

Counseling can be a very effective tool in helping you deal with your emotions after the injury. However, many people feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with a complete stranger. Remember, talking to a third party can help you get an objective look at your situation and show you what steps to take to improve your condition. Your counselor can also advise you of any beneficial support groups you can attend.

Stay Active & Healthy

Staying active has proven to help the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about what kind of physical activities would be beneficial for you to enjoy while recovering from your injury. Also, make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs. It can also be beneficial to engage in some of the hobbies you enjoyed before the injury such as painting or reading.

Consider Speaking to a Lawyer

After an injury, the last thing you may want to endure is a long legal battle. However, if the injury is no fault to your own, you deserve a chance to rectify the wrongdoing. There are lawyers in your area who are committed to helping their clients cope with life after the accident and receive any compensation they may be entitled to.   Depression and anxiety after a major injury can cause normally productive, socially active, independent people to withdraw into a world of emotional pain that is often far greater than the physical pain they are experiencing. However, by following a few of the suggestions above, it is possible to find yourself enjoying life again free of your psychological handicaps.   Informational credit to Howard Yegendorf & Associate.  
Could Depression be Linked to Disease Resista...
Diseases such as cancer are thought to be best treated using both the body and the mind, in order to boost the immune system in every way. Our immune systems do far more than simply fend off the common cold. Social support, for example, can significantly improve a person’s condition and extend the life of a cancer patient. In studies looking at victims of cancer, researchers found that women who attended support groups lived twice as long as those who didn’t, on average. A study in Los Angeles at the University of California found that patients who had survived cancer for a minimum of five years and attended group therapy lived three times as long as those who didn’t attend any therapy sessions. It seems that relying on others to boost our mood when we’re ill could help us fight conditions and diseases far more effectively. When people are grieving, their T-cells and the natural killer cells in the body, both of which are important for defending the immune system, function far less effectively. By being supported and comforted by friends and family members, this aspect of the immune system may well be bolstered. However, people who are depressed and anxious may suffer the opposite effect.    

In a study involving 4825 healthy individuals, 146 of them were depressed. In those who had been depressed for a minimum of six years, the chances of developing cancer were far higher. This is thought to be because of the fact that this condition kills of the natural ‘killer’ cells, so the body doesn’t fight off diseases. This isn’t to say that depression can cause cancer, but it does signify that depression and related issues such as anxiety can lower one’s immunity to the disease. This makes it not only a risk for cancer, but also other diseases. There are however other theories that suggest that cancer may cause depression, with a study discovering that in 43 liver tumour patients there was a direct link between clinical depression and an immune modulator. The chemical which is released when our immune system fights cancer is the same substance that may trigger depression biologically. Although this may seem like bad news, it is actually the opposite. It provides researchers with new tools for treating cancer - it also highlights the link between the mind and other diseases. Taking the time to meditate and de-stress is important in order to strengthen the immune system, so that we can better fight off illnesses.

Leading a stress-free lifestyle as best you can is one of the best ways to fight off anxiety and depression. This means doing plenty of exercise, which can boost your mood and release endorphins to keep you happy, as well as eating a balanced diet that’s rich in brain-healthy foods. Oily fish, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and omega-rich nuts and seeds will ensure that you’re happy through your food. Take time to meditate and relax at least a few times a week, so that you don’t overload your mind with worries and stress - this can be anything from some alone time each week to spending time with friends and loved ones. Lowering your stress levels and ensuring you lead a healthy lifestyle will not only help to reduce the risk of depression but it will also stave off other health concerns such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. If you think you’re at risk of developing depression, or think you’re displaying signs of cancer, speak to your GP as soon as possible for advice on the situation.