Avoid Junk Food at Work

We all fall victim to eating junk food at work; virtually no one is immune. In my clinical practice as a nurse practitioner, my office is constantly being bombarded with cookies, cakes and candy every day of the week. I imagine yours is too. So if you want to get off the junk food merry-go-round and improve your health--I have a few suggestions that may be helpful.courtesy:ehow.com


Manage your junk food intake or let it ruin your health. The choice is really yours! Totally avoiding eating any junk food is only for those of us with Superman-like strength and willpower. Sadly, if we totally abstain we may end up overeating and consuming way more junk food then we would have had in the first place. So at the beginning of the day, allocate a predetermined amount of junk food you will allow yourself. (Some days you may not feel like having any and cheer yourself on!).

Do not make a big deal or announce your plan to avoid/limit junk food. You will be setting yourself up for peer pressure, office jokes and endless monitoring by your coworkers of what you eat. You are doing this for YOU.

Look at your body in the mirror totally naked (I know this is hard for some of us, but is really essential). First list what you LIKE about your body and then what you feel needs improvement. Don't be shy--this list is for your eyes only. Write down the truth.

There are plenty of articles on nutrition, building muscle and working out. Read them if you need to refresh your knowledge base. Determine what your goals and nutrition needs are and fit in a "junk food allowance." Remember, just because you give yourself permission to have some junk food, there are simply going to be days you will not want or crave any. Rejoice privately!

Keep a stash of healthy snacks in your office. Before you go get that cup of coffee or take a bathroom break, eat some raisins or other healthy snacks before finding the junk food glaring up at you.

Write down your junk food intake each day and the reason why you felt compelled to eat it. Sometimes it is as simple as the person who brought the cake is an excellent baker and you knew it would be wonderful! Other times, and most often, it will be stress, boredom or peer pressure. Now you have to figure out how to handle these differently.

Most importantly, don't beat yourself up if you had a bad day and ate a lot more junk food then you anticipated. It is "progress, not perfection" that should be your goal.

Use Headphones Frequently Without Risking Hearing Loss

MP3 players, portable CD players, Walkmans-many of us use headphones on a daily or semi-daily basis. But improper, excessive headphone use can lead to temporary hearing loss or even permanent ear damage. Here are some pointers on how to avoid those kinds of problems.courtesy:ehow.com

> Always make sure that the sound output coming out of your headphones is set at a moderate volume. What exactly does "moderate" mean? You should be able to hear someone nearby if they call out to you.

> Pay special attention to the volume level when you're listening to music, especially music that's especially percussion- or bass-heavy. This kind of music can cause serious hearing damage if played in headphones at excessive volume.

> If possible, avoid "ear buds" or other headphone styles that penetrate inside the ear. Instead, choose headphones that rest on top of the ears. This style is less obtrusive and less likely to cause hearing damage.

> It's not a good idea to use ordinary headphones while on airplanes, trains, or while you're near loud machinery. Such environments contain a high level of ambient noise and will incite you to turn your volume up to dangerously high levels without even noticing it. If you must use headphones in such situations, use the "noise canceling" type.

> Use headphones in moderation. Even if you are listening only to the spoken word (such as a talk radio station or an audiobook) try not to use your headphones for more than 90 minutes a day.

Train Your Mind to Positive Thought

Training your mind to practice positive thinking enables you to increase your self-esteem and perceived control in your life. Learning how your mind works and how to incorporate positive thoughts can help improve many areas, including work, family and social relationships. Improving your life through positive thinking, however, requires a proactive effort on your part to combat and change your current lifestyle and perceptual attitudes.

> Identify the internal negative thought patterns your mind uses. Types of negative thought patterns include: personalizing (blaming yourself), filtering (focusing only on the negative) and catastrophizing (anticipating the worst and blowing negative events out of proportion). Think of concrete examples in your own life in which you internalized problems and used these patterns to think negatively about situations.

> Practice positive self-talk. Think of a negative situation which you encountered over the past day or week. Turn the negative thoughts you had about the event into positive thoughts. For example, perhaps you experienced a flat tire on your way home from work. Instead of catastrophizing the event, find a way to spin it into a positive experience (e.g., you gained the important skill of changing a flat tire). Practice this positive self-talk for several negative situations or events that you've experienced to get into the habit of training your mind towards a different thinking pattern.

> Evaluate your thoughts throughout the days and weeks that follow. Periodically stop throughout the day to review your internal thoughts to determine if they have been mostly negative or positive. Think rationally about the negative thoughts which you do encounter. Find ways to spin those negative thoughts and train your mind to see them in a positive light.

> Create a positive thoughts journal. Spend time each evening or morning reflecting and writing down good things that have happened in your life or throughout the day. Acknowledging good events and positive experiences then writing them down helps improve your thinking habits and trains your mind to think positively.

> Find healthy ways to deal with stressful events and situations. Develop and keep an exercise routine several times a week. Exercise and regular physical activity stimulate brain chemicals that improve your mood and boost energy levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. Spend time each day in meditation, focusing on clearing your mind and on relaxation. Meditation decreases the negative effects of stress and rejuvenates the mind and body.

> Surround yourself with positive friends and family members. Negative people who continually focus on the bad and are unsupportive may only re-enforce negative thinking habits. Alternatively, making friends with and spending time with supportive individuals may help you achieve clarity when troubling situations arise.

Avoid Early Morning Stress

It's 6:30 a.m. and the "rise and shine" song bellows through the house as the little squeaks and groans respond to the early morning alarm.

It's time to get the little one's ready for school/daycare and make sure they are properly dressed and fed before running out the door. You can either fly by the seat of your pants and hope that everything is taken care of, or you can follow a few simple steps to make your mornings fun and stress-free.courtesy:ehow.com

> Get out clothing the night before: For babies, make sure you have all of their diapering items available and ready for use. For toddlers, get out their entire outfit including socks and shoes and stack them neatly in a place where you will dress them first thing. For your older children, encourage them (well...make them) get out their own clothes, shoes, and socks for the next day. This will help teach them responsibility and show them how to plan. It is critical that each sock and each shoe be located the night before because these lost items seem to be the major culprit when it comes to frenzied morning chaos. Keep the television off until all children are fully dressed and ready. Without fail, the TV slows morning activities to a screeching halt, so keep it off until all kids are fully dressed.

> Prepare breakfast the night before: For babies, get the formula and bottles ready for quick early morning preparation and have prepared any bottles that need to go to daycare. Get these prepared bottles into the diaper bag along with other necessary items for the babysitter, and it will all be ready to go with you as you walk out the door. For the older kids, have their breakfast ready the night before the extent that you can. It is wise to get out bowls, spoons and even pour the cereal into the bowls the night before. Once the kids are completely dressed, they can find the milk, and pour it onto their own cereal and you can spend the time enjoying them and talking to them about their upcoming day.

> Homework: Set a rule that all homework must be done immediately after school so that there aren't any last minute efforts at 7:25 a.m. the next day to finish up. Make sure the kids have all necessary paperwork and assignments in their backpacks before bed, and then have the kids put them in a convenient place so they aren't frantically searching for it in the morning.

> Bond: Spend the mornings bonding with your kids as opposed to participating a daily scavenger hunt for necessary items that always seem to evaporate when you are in a hurry. It is well worth it!

The Secret for Perfect Health

Holistic health brings us great insight into the mind body connection. By focusing our minds and energy on positive thoughts, we are better able to foster healing in our bodies. Principles taught in Rhonda Byrne's book "The Secret" mirror this philosophy and are of great use when dealing with sickness. Follow the steps below and begin to attract health to your mind, body and soul.courtesy:ehow.com

> Use your imagination and believe you are in perfect health. Imagine how a healthy body would feel and hold onto such feelings. Recall a past time when you were in good health or picture yourself as strong, energetic and pain free.

> Get a clear picture of what you want to look like. Cut out pictures of people with healthy bodies and put them in a place where you will see them each day. Such photographs carry positive energy that will increase your attraction to wellness.

> Write down several positive affirmations about your health. For example: "I am getting healthier everyday," or "My body is slender, strong and full of energy." Then spend 10 to 20 minutes each day meditating on these positive affirmations.

> Find the things that inspire you and experience them frequently. When you feel joy, the Law of Attraction will bring more joyful energy into your life. Go for long walks in nature or listen to inspiring music. Anything that makes you feel calm and at peace will do wonders for your body.

> Let go of negative emotions. Holding onto anger, resentment or fear will eventually manifest itself as sickness. If your emotions are deep seated, consult a counselor or psychiatrist to help you work through them.