Don’t let fear control you: how to create courage

Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but rather having fear and taking action anyway. Most people wait for their fear to disappear before taking risks.

Good luck with that one.

What people fail to realize is that if you don’t have fear, courage isn’t needed.

It’s only when you have fear to ask for a raise, to tell someone you love him, to start a new business, does courage become a useful tool.

A friend of mine once said, “it only takes three seconds of courage to alter your life forever.” I’ve taken that to heart and started seeking out areas where I’m afraid to take action. I realized that when I’m afraid, the future is calling me forward. Obviously I’m not talking about stepping into moving traffic, where fear is appropriate and effective. Rather, this is about making that business call or asking someone to be involved in a project or join my board of directors. For me, fear in those situations feels the same as stepping into moving traffic, even though it makes no logical sense given that my survival isn’t being threatened.

Recently, I was afraid to go to the doctor and get a test done.

My fear was based on thinking he would find something wrong and then I would have to take action to deal with it. I avoided the doctor for months. Finally, I listened to my own advice and reminded myself that “it only takes three seconds of courage,” and I took the moment to make the appointment. Once it was made, I knew I would go. I had the test and all was well, but the point is that the fear stopping me took more of my energy and aliveness than the reality of going to the doctor.

I am inviting you to play the two-step COURAGE GAME with me. Here is how you play:

1. Everyday, muster up three seconds of courage to take a risk you would not normally take in an area that’s important to you.

2. Share what happens with others. You will be developing your muscle of UNMESSABLEWITHNESS every time courage wins over fear. Fear isn’t going anywhere, but you can triumph over fear and be UNMESSABLEWITH in the face of anything life throws at you.

Benefits of Sleep on Healthy Aging

Not getting enough shut eye used to be considered a minor irritant, one that (perhaps) made us a bit grumpy, but nothing more. Now doctors realize the many health benefit of getting the proper amount of sleep. Specifically, the benefits of sleep on healthy aging are significant.

For instance, studies have shown that adults that routinely get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep per night are more at risk of a host of age-related illnesses and diseases.

Heart disease

Statistically, your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is greatest in the early morning. This is due, scientists believe, to sleep’s affect on the blood vessels. These researchers know, for instance, that lack of sleep leads to higher blood pressure and cholesterol which are major risk factors for heart disease. They also know that the risk of developing this disorder increases with age. By implication, then, one of the benefits of sleep on healthy aging is a reduction in cardiovascular illnesses.

Weight Control

A surprising effect of sleep deprivation is weight gain. Several studies have shown that lack of sleep increases a hormone that causes hunger and decreases a hormone that signals satiety. The results is sometimes uncontrollable overeating which leads to weight gain. Unfortunately, carrying excess weight has been shown to increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other ailments. This risk of developing these disorders increase with age, so the benefits of sleep on healthy aging are a reduction of these diseases.

Inflammation

One of the reasons your body deteriorates with age, researchers believe, is inflammation in the body. Moreover, such inflammation has been proven to cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. Sleep can help here, too; for consistently getting a good night’s sleep has been shown to reduce this inflammation.

Cancer

As odd as it may seem, sleep deprivation even has an effect on cancer. For instance, studies have shown that those who work the night shift have a higher risk of colon and breast cancer. The culprit here seems to be melatonin, which is a hormone that your body uses to promote sleep. When workers are exposed to light during the night, their melatonin levels fall, which minimizes the cancer-protective properties of this hormone. If you don’t get enough shut eye, therefore, your chance of developing cancer is greater. Like most other diseases, the risk of developing cancer increases with age.

These are only a few of the benefits of sleep on healthy aging. But how can you make sure you’re getting enough sleep?Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep• Turn off your TV, computer, or back lit reader at least one hour before bed time. This will ensure your melatonin levels rise, making you tired.

• Ensure that your bedroom is dark and there are no noises coming from a television, radio, etc.

• Move your clock out of the bedroom (or at least turn it around so you can’t see the time). This will ensure that you’re not anxiously checking the time every few minutes while you’re trying to fall asleep.

Getting enough sleep is not difficult. It just takes some planning. But its beneficial effect on your health is well worth the effort!

A Bad Flu Season Has Arrived? Here’s How To Stay Healthy

By now you have probably heard that we are amongst one of the worst flu seasons in history. Like me, perhaps you didn’t get a flu shot this year and are growing concerned for your health. In reality, there are plenty of people who never have gotten the flu shot and end up not getting the flu. This also goes the other way around; a lot of those who do get the shot end up with the illness.

I’m one of these people who has never gotten a flu shot before. I have however gotten the flu one or two times in my life and I can safely say it is not a fun excuse to miss school or work. Chills, sneezing, coughing, and so much more complete this lovely sickness that we know very well. There are however ways to help you combat the flu this season without the vaccination.

Here are a few helpful guidelines that will help you stay healthy:

Take Your Vitamins

It might sound silly but most people who get the flu aren’t taking their vitamins regularly.
It’s so simple and easy to do so why not take advantage. Maybe you’re nervous about taking a huge vitamin pill…find the gummy form for adults! I take three everyday and always feel a difference in my energy level if I forget to take them one day. These can be found in any local drug store and will definitely help boost your immunity.

Dress For The Weather

It’s the dead of winter and that means frigid weather, snow, and wind. If you aren’t properly dressed you are sure to catch something bad, more than likely the flu. Break out your heavy coat and scarf before you make your way outside.

Wash Your Hands Regularly

This is probably my most important tip. Especially if you are a commuter taking public transportation everyday, scrub your hands whenever you get the chance. I don’t know about you but whenever I take the subway in New York I hear sneezing, coughing, or even a slight sniffle in the distance. Think about how many people commute to work everyday and then perhaps you’ll wash your hands as much as you should be.