Evie

Hello, hello! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! I’m happy to announce that my new article, was just published on Evie Magazine!  The joy that I feel every time one of my articles gets published is unwavering. Every single time I get that e-mail from the editor stating that “your article is up”. I feel like dancing around the house, and text everyone that I know to share the great news. 

Are Negative Thoughts Ruining Your Life?

BY NUNZIA STARK·Nov 12th 2019·

 6 min read

are negative thoughts ruining your life

Being happy may improve both the quality and longevity of your life. Many of the chronic diseases we see in industrialized countries can be attributed to the stress that we encounter daily in our society.

Since happiness is something we all strive for, behavioral scientists have spent a lot of time studying what makes us happy (and what does not). Negative thoughts are ruining your life.

In our society, for various reasons, we seem to have forgotten how to be happy, because we are too busy being angry at the world. Studies show that people who engage in positive thinking have better health. We all know that optimistic people seem to enjoy life more. They smile frequently because they know where and how to seek happiness.

Positive emotions are good for your health

According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, a negative attitude can affect the way you think. In addition, if you already have a pre-existing health condition, the effects can be drastic. Research has shown that even a small amount of negativity can harm our health. It can weaken the immune system, and even make us more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke.

Research has shown that even a small amount of negativity can harm our health.

Speaking of adverse effects on health, you may want to rethink your personal relationship with the smartphone that is wired to your hands.

Sometimes, we need to filter out the world

While technology has improved our lives, communication on social media has placed a stranglehold on modern society. We spend hours scrolling, “liking,” and sharing pictures. Then we do it all over, again and again. The 24/7 availability of instant communication with almost anyone, and the unprecedented ability to access virtually every bit of human knowledge in no time is making us chronically irritable and exhausted. It is also affecting our attention spans. All these symptoms among Americans have become disturbingly common.

If you feel stressed out, maybe your cortisol level is high. As this excerpt from The New York Times states: Elevated cortisol levels impair the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain critical for decision-making and rational thought. “The prefrontal cortex is the brain’s Jiminy Cricket,” says Dr. [Robert] Lustig. “It keeps us from doing stupid things.”

Cutting out the negativity whenever possible is always a good idea for the body and mind. Studies show that people who engage in positive thinking experience better health. Oprah Winfrey herself advocates this method, and has said: “Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.”

Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.

Yale University researcher has claimed that “we spend at least 60% of our adult conversations talking about people who are not with us at the time.” What percentage of those conversations are positive? Listening to someone complain or gossip about someone can be tempting because it often makes us feel good. However, if we spend too much time with an eternal pessimist who complains about everyone and everything, we need to be hyper-vigilant, because we tend to emulate the people around us, and misery loves company. Just remember the old saying: “one bad apple spoils the barrel.”

In this fast-paced world, stress and negative emotions are impossible to avoid. At the end of a stressful day, we are all familiar with those feelings of hopelessness and frustration, not to mention the inner negative voice inside us that always makes us feel less confident about ourselves and the choices we made throughout the day. It certainly wreaks havoc in our daily lives. Arianna Huffington calls that voice the “obnoxious roommate.”

How can we lessen the effects of these negative emotions on our bodies and minds?

Getting rid of negative thoughts is not always an easy task, and it is tempting to hide them from others and silently struggle with them inside the brain. When they suddenly pop up out of nowhere in your mind, it may be a good idea to talk to someone you trust about managing your thoughts. Doing so will also help you put things in perspective.

President Obama said that “if you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

Maintain your emotional distance. It is essential not to allow ourselves to become infected with toxic negativity. Boundaries are a good thing. This does not mean that you should not interact with your negative friends, but there are some techniques that we can learn to make our lives easier.

Create your emotional toolbox

To ensure a happier and healthier life, we need to keep our bodies and minds in good shape. “Train Your Brain With Exercise.” We must take care of our bodies and minds because they are our most precious assets. It is easy to get caught up in the continuous and vicious cycle of work, sleep, then more work. Let us put into motion, in our daily routines, what our doctors keep on reminding us: exercise is good, not just for our physical health, but our mental wellbeing.

Exercise is good, not just for our physical health, but our mental wellbeing.

The Mayo Clinic shares the following 10 tips to Tame Stress

  1. Get active
  2. Eat a healthy diet
  3. Avoid unhealthy habits
  4. Meditate
  5. Laugh more
  6. Connect with others
  7. Assert yourself
  8. Try yoga
  9. Get enough sleep
  10. Keep a journal

Peace and happiness

Face it: we do not get anything by yelling and screaming at people. Limit your expectations when dealing with a difficult person who is seemingly out of control. Everyone has the power to make small changes.

Stay calm as the temperature rises. Try to resist the urge to fight in order to win the argument. When someone or something is challenging you and making you feel vulnerable, why not practice something that can be beneficial to your health? Remain calm.

On a biochemical level, it is believed that kindness increases the production of oxytocin, the love hormone. Many studies have shown that developing a good habit of kindness helps reduce stress, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.

On a biochemical level, it is believed that kindness increases the production of oxytocin, the love hormone.

When confronted and under stress, we sometimes feel the need to lash out in self-defense. It can be totally worth it, but not necessary. To keep our minds calm and attain a sense of peace, practicing patience is essential. It will help develop empathy and compassion in our hearts.

Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief:

  • Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air.
  • Breathe out through your nose.
  • Place one hand on your belly. Place the other hand on your chest.
  • As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly lower. The hand on your stomach should move more than the one that’s on your chest.
  • Take three more full, deep breaths. Breathe fully into your belly as it rises and falls with your breath.

Conclusion

These proven techniques will help you manage a stressful situation and maintain a peaceful state of mind. You can use the same techniques with your boss, or with that antagonistic family member. Remember that being positive is a choice. So, why not?

Hello, November! 
What is it about fall that makes everyone happy? Maybe it is because the holiday season is not that far away.

This cozy season brings us so much fun, and Thanksgiving holiday, is just around the corner. Then, right after Turkey Day, a new Holiday season begins. I love Laura Vitale’s Pumpkin Spice Latte during this time of year. 

I purchased this adorable scarecrow for Halloween. When I brought it home, Claudio welcomed this cute little doll to our house with a bark and a gentle push to the floor. I’m sharing some cute pictures taken on Halloween.🎃🎃
I will be back for my next blog update soon.  Please be sure to comment below. ❤️ 

XoXo,
Nunzia

Hello, everyone! Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. We had such a great day! Yes, he was born the day before Halloween. Can you believe it is already here?

Children love Halloween. They are going to be busy celebrating this holiday with many different activities, such as going door-to-door Trick or Treating, carving a pumpkin, visiting haunted houses, or attending costume parties. Tonight, Claudio is going to help us give out candy.

Growing up in Italy, Halloween was not a thing at that time. We only saw it on TV, when Dad and Grandpa watched American movies.

I can’t believe how fast time goes by. It seems like, just yesterday, we were busy celebrating the 4th of July, and here we are at the end of October already. Please, Time, don’t go so fast!

I know that Christmas is still a couple months away, but I’m happy to share that I have already started Christmas shopping. I have always disliked shopping in a crowded store. I always remind myself that planning accordingly during the holidays will keep the stress level low.

If you are taking your little ones out tonight, have fun. The time with your family is priceless. I will be back soon for my next update!

Best,

Nunzia

Greetings!

Last year, a year after my first knee surgery, I was inspired to write an article called Doctor and Patient to encourage people to communicate with their physicians. These dedicated and caring professionals are there to assist us 24/7. When it comes to any type of trauma, flu, broken bones, you name it, these amazing human beings, with their overwhelming and exhausting schedules, are always ready to take care of us! These men and women deserve the highest credit for the brilliant work they do for us.

Last Friday, I had my second knee arthroscopy, which is a surgical procedure for diagnosing and treating many problems around the knee joints. My knee was fixed for the second time by a wonderful orthopedic surgeon.

Sadly, shortly after the surgery, the doctor informed my family that running can be detrimental to my knees. So, to avoid further problems and surgeries, I should avoid running. My doctor did, however, suggest swimming and biking as replacement exercises. I decided that, if a sports doctor advises his patient not to run, I need to take that advice seriously.

The love, the help, and support from my whole family has been unwavering. Now I am on the road to recovery, and I am looking forward to starting a new cardiovascular program that will keep me in shape. As for now, I miss running, but let’s take it one day at a time.

I will chat with you on a new blog post coming soon. XO!

Hello, family and friends! I am super excited to announce that my new article has been published by the Health Journal. I will post the link on here.  One of the best things about celebrating life’s accomplishments is celebrating with the ones that are close to your heart. You guys are truly my rock stars. Thank you. Xoxo

April 25, 20195 min read

elderly depression

Written by Nunzia Stark

One of the greatest mental health challenges Americans are facing right now is depression.

Depression is like the flu virus. If left untreated, it will undoubtedly get worse, which could lead to self-harm or death. This silent killer is responsible for damaging or ending tens of thousands of American lives each year, and it is reaching epidemic levels both in America and around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently more than 300 million peoplearound the globe struggling with depression.

Sadly, depression can be overlooked by medical professionals. This is especially the case for senior citizens, simply because seniors are sometimes unwilling to seek help. When elderly family members are diagnosed with a chronic condition, they are often aware of their imminent loss of freedom. They may try to hide their symptoms and isolate themselves.

There is a tendency to believe that symptoms of depression are a normal part of aging. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that is not the case. Depression is not solved by putting mind over matter and getting through it. 

We need to learn how to listen attentively to elderly people who struggle with mental illness and are suffering in silence. As a community, we need to act and get involved with helping them improve their psychological immune system. Through social media, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared his thoughts about opening up:

“Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it all in. You’re not alone.”

To explain more on the subject, Dennis Ramos, a psychotherapist from Corpus Christi, Texas, fielded some questions about depression in the elderly.

How can a therapist help elderly people with depression?

Ramos: I have learned in working with elderly clients over the past 25 years that depression is quite common. What appears to be causing this to a large degree is grief and loss. Yes, they can have biological factors as well, but that is many times not an issue. As a person ages, they will begin to lose their abilities. This includes the ability to be independent, the ability to work, the ability to go and come as they wish. They often can’t do things they enjoy like running, swimming, playing games, gardening, traveling, making love and many other activities that help a person manage stress. Each one of these losses can, and usually does, lead to feelings of grief. Older people also have more traditional types of losses, like losing a spouse, friend, or relative. Grief is a normal human response to loss.

Many times, the people in an elderly person’s life will not understand this simple fact. Loved ones, friends, and doctors may say to a person, “just accept it, get used to it, get over it, it’s just part of life.” Or they may just try to ignore or minimize what the elderly person is experiencing. What a good therapist understands is that grief is helped by acknowledging that it is valid and real. I will encourage healthy processing of these normal feelings. “You’re not crazy, or weak, or defective, just having normal feelings of loss. It’s OK to feel sad.” With gentle and positive feedback and encouragement, an elderly person can often become less depressed. A therapist can also help to monitor the status and depression of an older person, and make referrals for needed medical care, when indicated.

How can caregivers and family members help?

Ramos: Family members and caregivers can be very helpful to an elderly, depressed person, especially when they understand that grief and loss are normal experiences of aging. They can help to acknowledge and support the reality of the losses that elderly people deal with. So, allowing that person to feel sad, cry, or even get angry can be helpful. Sometimes, we don’t want to see our loved ones sad and grieving, so we may avoid them, ignore them or try to change the subject. But understanding, encouraging and supporting the process of grief can be a very loving and helpful thing to do. If the depression appears to be getting worse, it is good to help that person get some help from a therapist or doctor.

There is an urgency, in every community in America, to learn about and research different ways and strategies to help someone who is struggling with depression. Dealing with and fighting depression requires action. It takes bravery, strength and persistence. Mental illness does not make you less of a person, just as a sports injury does not make you less of an athlete.

Who to call for help

Like the athlete, you will get better and get back in the game if you have professionals monitoring your recovery. Confidential hotlines are there to help. Nonprofit organizations can connect you with a trained therapist. Need to speak to someone right away? Text “CONNECT” to 741741 in the United States to connect with someone from www.crisistextline.org if you are feeling depressed. There is also the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255.

Also, if you know someone who is feeling down, you do not need to be a trained professional to check on them. Use technology to send them a virtual hug via a caring text message, an e-card or even just an old-fashioned phone call telling them you were thinking about them.

We can drastically reduce and eventually eliminate the suicide rate from depression by becoming more aware of red flags associated with this illness, as well as becoming more comfortable with simply acknowledging and discussing the topic of depression.

Days I have posted.

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