High Stress Jobs May Not Be As Unhealthy as You Think

High demand jobs can certainly cause stress, which can eventually lead to poor health, chronic illness, and even early death. A new study, however, reveals how the concept of “control” may improve your health, even in a high-stress position.

Organizational Behavior

According to the results of a seven-year study, health and mortality are not necessarily linked to a high-demand job. It’s the level of control the employee has (or even perceives she has) that shifts the pendulum.

A worker experiences greater stress and unhappiness when a manager assumes all control. People (employees) want to feel they are part of their activity; they can’t thrive in an environment when someone else makes all the decisions for them.

The Study’s Findings

The researchers at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business discovered some interesting results from their study. They found that those in high-stress jobs with little or no control die younger than those who have some or a lot of control.

“A lot of control” doesn’t mean not having a boss or anyone to be accountable to. It means something as simple as, for example, making your own schedule. Being part of how to set goals and accomplish tasks in the workplace is part of having control. These types of freedoms on the job are empowering to workers.

Good Stress

In fact, a useful and positive observed result was that those in high-demand positions, who also had high-control, actually flourished. Erik Gonzales Mule was the study’s lead author. He suggested that having more control can motivate workers and can breed better health. Mule points out an example: “…having pressure to work fast and use intense concentration, may result in feelings of accomplishment and mastery.”

The study included 2,400 people (half men/half women) and tracked their health for over seven years. Those in high-demand jobs with low control fared the worst. Those in high-stress positions but with high control decreased their chances of earlier death by 34%.

Job Satisfaction

How we perceive our work and workplace definitely affects our overall well-being. If we’re unhappy for the largest portion of our day, behaviors may emerge to mask the bad feelings. This can result in poor diet or overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. Or, the stress can lead to depression, high blood pressure, etc.

So, perhaps it’s not literally “the job.” Maybe it’s how we are allowed to do our job. Having more control can lend to employee feelings of empowerment. Morale at work can be boosted. Instead of seeing work as “hard”, when given the freedom to participate, the work can then be seen as challenging or an opportunity to problem-solve. Those are far more positive outlooks and approaches to doing one’s job.

Personal Stress Management

When you’re at work and finding yourself too stressed out, you can always take a moment for some deep breaths, a quick walk (even around the desk), or a break outdoors. But in addition to your honed coping skills, perhaps think about your company, boss, or management. Do you feel you have low control? If so, perhaps some suggestions to human resources could affect positive change for you and your workplace.

After all, feeling good about your work—whether it pays well, is rewarding spiritually, or makes you feel like you are contributing and/or you’re appreciated—any positive feelings will be part of your best health regimen.



Getting Sick from Anger and Stress?

Sick of It

Holding onto anger and stress can certainly lead to making you sick. Stress-related illness in women is on the rise. Here are some interesting ways to dispel your negative emotions.

Getting it All Out

One theory about a way to release stress and anger is to physically indulge in the emotions. A new workshop in the UK encourages women, in a safe environment, to rage until their hearts’ content. Tantrums are welcomed—punching pillows, screaming, jumping on bubble wrap, and more.

In general, we are taught to restrain ourselves—for the sake of civility. What about our inner emotional turmoil? Long work hours, low pay, screaming kids, ignoring spouses, traffic, no chocolate, all the things that can make us downright frustrated and furious, but we have no outlet.

Adele Theron has created a space designed for stressed ladies of all ages and statuses to “shout and pummel their way to inner peace.” Her philosophy is that the negative emotions need to be released. Two tantrum instructors currently guide the workshops.

The participants are urged to write angry thoughts on balloons and then pop them, don goggles and a bat and smash various items, all while screaming expletives as loud as they desire. The theory is that our anger is suppressed. Once it’s experienced, it makes room for us to experience greater joy and happiness.

A Different Philosophy

Indeed now is always the best time to improve our health—emotional and physical. And no doubt, stress-related illness is on the rise. But is feeding into the anger the best way to release it? Some therapists, yogis, and other healers would promote a different way of dispelling anger.

For example, meditation instructor Surbhi Sharma believes anger can be redirected. In order to manage inner rage, he states three essential aspects that must be considered: 1) restlessness in the body and mind; 2) past impression of anger in the mind; and 3) lack of awareness or imperfections. Basically, control the anger before it controls you.

The advice is simple, but not always so easy to practice. Guess that’s why it’s called practice—it’s a work in progress. Get your chemistry balanced: eat nutritionally, sleep well, and get some exercise and/or convene with nature. That’s a start. He then suggests that the moment you sense yourself becoming angry, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Observe the change in your state of mind. Deep, mindful breathing releases stress and calms the mind.

Meditation can also be a superb tool for calming the beast within. For other articles on mental and emotional best health, check out www.GetThrive.com


My Superfood is Superer than Your Superfood

10 Superfoods That Improve Your Brain. 22 Superfoods That Make You Prettier. 35 Superfoods That Will Win You Gold in the Olympics. Do these titles sound remotely familiar? If I were a vegetable, fruit, seed, or a grain, I certainly would want to know how to get on one of those lists! Well, it appears there’s more to the competition than just optimum health.

That’s Super!

The Oxford Dictionary defines a superfood as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” From a marketing standpoint, a superfood is “associated” with decreasing cancer-risks, packed with antioxidants, and is beneficial to cardiovascular performance. It all sounds great. And we must have it, even if costs too much.

Another fun, marketing angle for superfoods is that they all seem to have a mysterious back-story, something exotic, usually. For example, Maca, a root vegetable, is grown in the Andes mountains of Peru at an altitude above 11,000 thousand feet. Legend has it that Incan warriors used to consume maca before battle to increase endurance. Doesn’t maca sound way more exciting to add to your smoothie than a turnip? Why, yes it does!

The Bottom-Line

The best part of the superfood craze is that it’s changing the way Americans view a healthy diet. We’re becoming more educated about nutrition and implementing dietary improvements. It appears, however, that nutritionists, produce growers, and even writers have the final word on which superfoods eventually make their list.

Regardless of opinion, the fact remains that some foods are higher in nutritional value than others, containing a wealth of vitamins, antioxidants, and other health-promoting properties. Nonetheless, there are some superfoods that always make the cut, and then there are other, less popular ones also worth being recognized.

Popular Superfoods:

  • Acai
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Brazil nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cocoa
  • Chia Seeds
  • Edamame
  • Flaxseed
  • Green Tea/Matcha
  • Kiwi
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Pumpkin
  • Quinoa
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Watercress
  • Wheat Germ
  • Zucchini

Lesser-Known Superfoods:

Arame – It’s a sea plant collected on the coast of Japan. It smells funky, but it’s packed with calcium, iodine, iron, and magnesium.

Black Pudding – Americans are just now becoming familiar with black pudding, a longtime favorite amongst the English and Irish as a fried breakfast food. Black pudding is made with oatmeal and pig’s blood. Although it’s high in fat, it’s chock full of protein.

Natto – The Japanese use natto in many of their meals as it promotes heart health. It’s high in pyrazine and helps destroy arterial plaque. Natto is fermented soybean, and most sources claim it tastes disgusting, no matter how you try to dress it up.

Camu Camu – Grown in the Amazon, Camu Camu supposedly has the highest concentration of vitamin C of any food, anywhere. It comes in supplement form, as the actual fruit is not readily exported.

Cordyceps – Grown in China, it’s used to improve stamina and performance. It’s a fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae.

Purslane – It’s a weed that looks a little leafy and is high in vitamins A, B, and C, omega-3s, and contains melatonin.

Teff – A gluten-free grain from Ethiopia.

What I’d like to think is that this superfood trend will continue and eventually be a commonplace way of eating. Organic and whole are the foods of today and the future if we hope to maintain our health and prevent illness and disease.

What’s “popular” today might fall back on the list tomorrow. Regardless, knowing about nutrients in all the foods you eat, super or superer, will help you make more informed choices about what you’re feeding your body.



When Too Much of a Vitamin Supplement Becomes Dangerous

The topic of dietary supplements and their effectiveness is always up for debate. Many health experts will recommend adding vitamins or minerals when a person appears deficient in a particular area; however, taking an overabundance of supplements can actually prove to be harmful to one’s health—even to the extreme of causing grave illness or cancer.

Who’s on Supplement Guard?

When it comes to the dietary supplement business, there is no watchdog. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is basically responsible for guarding the safety of Americans in respect to foods, cosmetics, tobacco, and medical products. On the Administration’s website it reports, “The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs.”

Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other non-pharmaceutical supplements do not need a green light from the FDA to be sold on the public market. Those aforementioned products do not need to prove they are safe or effective before being placed on a shelf or online for consumer purchase. This is both a blessing and a curse.

The Good News First

For those health professionals as well as interested consumers, it’s a slightly good thing the FDA isn’t involved with dietary supplements. Some people want to have accessibility to products they believe will enhance the quality of their health (without government interference.) Getting the vitamins we need from fresh foods is always the best source. But, what about when people show a deficiency in a particular vitamin? Shouldn’t they be able to supplement with a pill, powder, or drops to improve their nutritional levels?

This, of course, is where the debate on efficacy comes in. But that is not what this article is addressing. It’s not whether you believe or can prove a supplement’s effectiveness, it’s about getting it and taking too much. This is where the not-so-good news comes in.

The News You Don’t Want to Hear

Whether supplements are positively effective or not is still medically and personally up for debate. The reality, however, is that overconsumption of certain vitamins, minerals, and/or herbs can definitely be dangerous to your health. This is where guidelines can come in handy. The problem is that many consumers are misinformed. Instead of becoming educated, they have become victims of marketing.

For example, GetThrive recently posted an article on the pitfalls of over-the-counter acid-blocking medications. Many of them do not allow absorption of vitamin B12, which is a necessary element required for proper health. Many health experts in this particular case recommend a B12 supplement. But how much? If people aren’t informed properly, they may believe that more is better. As for the B vitamins, as it turns out, more is not only “not better” it’s downright disastrous.

A B Study

The results of a study on high doses of vitamin B6 and B12 supplements were very recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers discovered that overdosing on those particular vitamins could triple or even quadruple the risk of the user getting lung cancer.

Vitamin B6 and B12 have shown to actually prevent cancer—when taken in proper doses. The problem, it seems, is that health food stores and online markets are selling such high doses of these supplements without care (or regulation) for their possible adverse effects. As it appears, avoiding excess is as crucial as supplementing properly.

The results of the study showed this data:

– The US daily-recommended allowance for Vitamin B6 is 1.7 milligrams per day. The high-risk group of lung cancer patients were taking over 20 milligrams of B6 per day. (Here’s the off-the-charts detail: Vitamin B6 is sold in stores and online regularly in pills bearing up to 100 milligrams!)

– Vitamin B12 is available in 5,000 microgram doses. The daily recommended allowance is 2.4 micrograms.

Clearly, consumers can easily overdose.

In this case, it is easily understandable how consumers can put their health at risk (even when they are trying to do something to improve their health.) The best advice is get information. When examining the US daily recommendation of a particular vitamin or mineral, keep that number in mind when making a purchase or ingesting.

As with anything, moderation is the best choice.







The Stress After the Storm: Will There Be Relief?

The aftermath of natural disasters, such as the flooding from Hurricane Harvey, can be devastating. Injury, illness, loss of property, and sadly, loss of lives are part of the storm’s destructive path. What many health experts, however, are also hoping to bring to awareness are the mental ramifications in which flood victims may suffer—and how they may get help.

Being There

You may have just experienced (or experienced in the past) a natural disaster event. If you have, you already understand the feelings of pain, grief, and loss that accompany and follow the event. If you have been fortunate enough to stay safe from a catastrophic event (such as an earthquake, flood, or fire), it may help to understand what others have gone through in order to assist.

Stormy Consequences

Needless to say, the flooding in and of itself creates disastrous results. But there are other elements that can accompany the negative effects of the rising water. Some of them are:

  • Displacement of creatures. Reptiles, such as snakes and alligators can be found in flood waters. Pictures of swarms of floating red ants surfaced from the recent hurricane in Texas.
  • Unseen objects in the water. There can be debris like glass or other materials that can cut or injure you.
  • Electric currents may still be live. Electric lines can be under the water carrying dangerous voltage.
  • Human and animal waste. Feces can become combined in flood waters causing stomach illness, diarrhea, and E.coli infections.
  • Viruses and bacteria spread. Open wounds invite infection from tainted water. Insect populations rise, some carrying disease. Hygienic resources are sparse in populated shelters; humans can get each other sick.
  • Chemicals in the water. Pesticides, gasoline, and oil can linger in the water causing rashes, fungal infections, and in some cases, fires.
  • After the water dries. Once the flooding recedes, there is often damage from mold. Many flood victims wind up with respiratory illness from breathing in mold fumes.

Relief Is On The Way

The American Red Cross, FEMA, and other volunteers and contributors (both corporate and personal) have stepped up to assist the victims. Medical care has been made accessible to as many who can be reached. Temporary shelter is also being provided. Larger drug stores have helped with getting medication to those in need.

The mental trauma, however, may be more than many people can handle. Stress, anxiety, and depression can increase—especially for those with pre-existing mental health issues. Clinical social workers have been talking to victims in the larger shelters—listening, guiding, and offering solace and hope.

Signs in centers showing the symptoms of PTSD have been posted for the victims. Everyone is encouraged to seek help if they are struggling with unmanageable feelings. Many tears and lack of sleep are normal after experiencing a natural disaster.

One doctor (who also lost her home in Hurricane Harvey) said she and her children have been helping others in the shelter. She explained that it took their minds of their own woes by helping others. She also added that the community recovery effort is crucial.

-The American Red Cross is calling on mental health professionals to volunteer to help storm survivors.

-The National Alliance on Mental Illness is providing hotlines for people affected by the storm.

-Those who have strong bonds with friends, family members, and/or coworkers tend to mentally recover more quickly from the support and strength with others.

-The Health and Human Services Department offers a Disaster Distress Helpline to help those struggling with mental health problems resulting from the storm. That toll-free number, staffed by mental health professionals, is 1-800-985-5990.

You can help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS, or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Read up on other articles about achieving best physical and mental health, even in the most stressful of times. www,GetThrive.com.







Man’s Best Friend is the Best Medicine

Man’s Best Friend

They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but this story of a 73-year-old man and his dog takes this to a whole new level.

Love Sick

Seventy-three-year-old, James Wathen was hospitalized due to an illness. Over the course of a month, his condition worsened and he stopped eating. At the same time, his Chihuahua, Bubba, was brought to an animal shelter for care while James was in the hospital. “Bubba” also stopped eating and became ill.

Remarkable Recovery

Once hospital and shelter staff figured out the separation was literally killing both the man and his dog, the two friends were reunited. Soon after, both made a full recovery.

Curing “Milder” Illness and Infection with Natural Antibiotics

The introduction of antibiotics into our medical realm has no doubt saved lives, limbs, and organs. The advancement in medical research and the ability to cure has been boundless—until now.

The Superbug has gained a stronghold. It’s now imperative that we educate ourselves and others—and act prudently.

The Genius of Antibiotics—and Its Downfall

Before the creation of what we understand now as antibiotics, people died of infections. They could have begun with, let’s say, a paper cut or a bug bite. With the invasion of bacteria into the bloodstream, the infection became life-threatening. And, unfortunately, often became life-taking.

Hence, antibiotics have saved our lives. Until recently. Because of the misuse and overuse, we almost no longer have the ability to fight diseases. The “bad guys” have mutated and become stronger and somewhat impermeable.

This is why your doctor (if he/she is worthy and ethical) will not prescribe antibiotics until it is clear that it is necessary.

Understanding Your Illness

First, of utmost importance, is to understand if your illness is bacterial in nature or viral. If it’s bacterial, you can treat it with medical antibiotics or homeopathic ones.

If it’s viral, there’s really not a lot you can do but wait it out. You can certainly take action by hydrating and offering nutritional value and rest. But otherwise, a virus must take its course. Relief for symptoms may be effective (hopefully), but cure only counts on time.

Bacteria Beware

Always check with your health practitioner before deciding to embark on a “natural” course for a cure.

There are several options for “attacking” an infection in a natural way. One such product would be colloidal silver. This product dates back a thousand years to when cholera was rampant. Some of those who were wealthy enough to afford silver spoons beat the epidemic. The silver “killed” the bacteria.

There are no known side effects to drops of colloidal silver, but keep in mind, you need to address probiotic consumption. Any drug (natural or man-made) will deplete you of the “good” bacteria. Colloidal silver is a suspension of pure silver in water. It’s used to augment the body’s immune system. Even so, work with it. Balance with probiotics.

Here’s Your Starring List

Natural antibiotics have been known to resist the worst of the worst. Here are some remedies that may assist. Again, don’t count on these if your primary physician counsels otherwise. But there’s no reason why you can’t use these in defense as a secondary tactic.

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ginger extract
  • Echinacea
  • Habanero peppers
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Oil of oregano
  • Horseradish root
  • Raw honey

Heed your health and choose wisely. There are a multitude of sources showing how natural foods can assist in curing illness. Be prudent in your reading and implementation. For other helpful articles on health cures, wellness, and prevention, definitely, read on GetThrive.com.





New Treatment for Salmonella, Without Antibiotics

Salmonella is a common bacteria often called “food poisoning.” In some cases, antibiotics are needed to keep an infection from spreading. New research has developed a treatment that can be an alternative to antibiotic use.

Salmonella is not an Omega-Rich Fish

Salmonella is a bacteria that was named after an American scientist, Dr. Salmon, over a century ago. It is a food-borne illness that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. The symptoms usually begin somewhere between 12 and 72 hours after ingesting the contaminated food.

Over one million cases of Salmonella are reported each year in the US. Experts believe, realistically, there are over 20 million; they’re just not all reported. You cannot tell if food is contaminated by looking at it. Eggs, meats, produce, and nuts are all susceptible to becoming tainted.

A Word on Eggs…

It used to be, before the 1970’s, that eggs shells would become contaminated from chicken feces. Since then, eggs must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected, which diminished the eggshell-Salmonella-problem. Now, however, the bacteria can be inside grade “A” eggs. Hens’ ovaries contract Salmonella, so the egg actually contains the bacteria before the shell is even formed.

Research to the Rescue!

A team of scientists from UC Irvine and MIT have tested a treatment that allows the body to create new antibodies that fight Salmonella infection. The new antibodies attack the invading microbes. The scientists immunized lab mice with microbes that target salmonella and other bacterial molecules.

After two immunizations, the mice were injected with the bacteria. From the vaccine, antibodies were formed, which were found to decrease gut bacteria levels in the mice.

Antibiotics Vs. Alternate Treatments

Antibiotics can be lifesavers, but because of their overuse over the past decades, their ability to fight off some infections has weakened. Additionally, antibiotics kill off good antibodies as well as the sick ones. With this new treatment, the researchers are introducing an antibody strengthener without killing anything but the bad stuff. Scientists are hoping “this new approach may reduce the reliance on antibiotics.”

Avoiding Salmonella

Sometimes it will be impossible to avoid getting bit by the food poisoning bug. However, there are measures to lower your risk…

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold
  • Never leave food sitting outside in temperature over 90 degrees for more than one hour. Two hours tops for cooler temps.
  • Clean utensils, bowls, and cutting boards with antibacterial soap or bleach. Keep your hands very clean while cooking and serving too.
  • Cook foods thoroughly; 160 degrees for ground meats and 165 degrees for poultry.

If you should experience Salmonella-like symptoms, remember to stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers when suffering from diarrhea and fever. You may also want to read about E.coli bacteria, another common source of food poisoning— click here. And more articles on healthy living, feel free to peruse GetThrive!