Health & Wellness

  • Four Major Mental Health Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

    Are you wondering what mindfulness is? Perhaps you already know and want some reasons why this would be a beneficial lifestyle change. While mindfulness is often associated with meditation, you don’t have to mediate to be more mindful. Today I’m going to share more about mindfulness and the benefits of this practice.

    What Exactly is Mindfulness?

    Mindfulness is the art in which we learn to pay attention to our feelings and thoughts. Practicing mindfulness comes with acceptance, not judgment, of what you’re thinking and feeling during any given situation. You’ll evaluate what you’re feeling and thinking as a means to be more aware of what works best and doesn’t work best for you in life. You’ll use this information to start being more aware of how you respond and act in all areas of life.

    The Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
    Boosts Working Memory

    Since mindfulness is an art that makes you more aware of how your feeling and what you’re thinking, your working memory improves. You’ll be forcing your brain to work during your daily interactions as a means to become more self-aware of your thoughts and feelings. When you increase your brain usage, your working memory starts to improve.

    Reduces Stress & Anxiety

    When you become more aware of how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking, there’s a sense of calm that overcomes you. Mindfulness is more about acceptance and awareness than judgment. You’ll start to reduce stress and anxiety because you’ll learn to embrace how you’re feeling and thinking as opposed to analyzing or criticizing it.

    Improves Focus

    As you continue practicing mindfulness regularly, you’ll find that you have improved focus in all areas of life. You’re using your mind to focus on how you’re feeling and thinking, therefore it’s a similar activity to help increase your concentration skills. When you become more aware of your thoughts, you’re better able to clear your mind to have more brain power for focus in other areas of life.

    Reduced Emotional Reactions

    Lastly, another benefit of mindfulness is that it reduces the risk of you reacting emotionally to any given situation. When you start practicing mindfulness, you’ll be able to pause before speaking. This practice enables you to respond to situations as opposed to react to them. Being able to reduce emotional reactions is a fabulous way to increase your ability to effectively communicate with anyone.

    benefits of practicing mindfulness mommyrandr

    These are just some of the major benefits of practicing mindfulness that you’ll experience. Mindfulness will take a lot of effort and focus at first, but in time this practice will come quite naturally to you. You’ll begin to feel lower stress levels, fewer anxiety attacks, and in turn, live a happier life when you make the commitment to practice mindfulness.

  • Health and Wellness Books By Black Women That Will Improve Your Life

    *This post was originally posted on Wellanin Collective and has been partially reshared on this platform. It contains Amazon affiliate links that earn that site a small commission that goes towards keeping Wellanin Collective active.

    In a recent IG post, we talked about discovering some new titles for Black History Month. Well, we’re going to get you started. Here is a list of 12 wellness books by Black women that are designed to uplift and restore you. In this listing, you’ll find titles related to overall health, spirituality, wellness, healthy eating, fitness, and self-care. You’ll also find journals that will help guide you along the way.

    *Book descriptions are via Amazon

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Vibrating higher daily is about making intentional day-to-day choices that lift us out of mindsets, habits, and lifestyles that don’t serve us and into ones that do. This book is an invitation to engage with everything that feeds our soul and raises our vibration and to simultaneously let go of the things bringing our energy down. Through poetry, mantras, and affirmations, Lalah Delia empowers us to live with higher potential and quality of being.

    BUY
    Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within – By Latham Thomas

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Own Your Glow is an inspirational, actionable, and wildly enriching companion for change. Celebrity wellness and lifestyle guru, Latham Thomas provides soulful principles that offer an illuminated path for examining life’s challenges, helping you curate your path to greatness while embracing your uniquely feminine attributes. Packed with rituals, meditations, and snackable lifestyle tips, Thomas provides a clear framework for harnessing your passion, developing spiritual fitness, and embracing true vulnerability. This guide is for anyone who wants to witness her own life transform and contribute to the positive change of the world around her.

    BUY
    Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats: Tasty Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day – By Rachel Ama

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats offers brilliant plant-based dishes that make cooking and enjoying delicious vegan food every day genuinely easy—and fun. No bland or boring dishes, and forget all-day cooking. Rachel takes inspiration from naturally vegan dishes and cuisines as well as her Caribbean and West African roots to create great full-flavor recipes that are easy to make and will inspire you to make vegan food part of your daily life. Rachel’s recipes are quick and often one-pot; ingredients lists are short and supermarket friendly; dishes can be prepped ahead and, most importantly, she has included a song with each recipe so that you have a banging playlist to go alongside every plate of delicious food.

    BUY

    Continue reading this post on Wellanin Collective

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Are there any health and wellness books by Black women that have been helpful to you? Share in the comments below.
  • Seven Key Things You Need To Do In Order To Maintain Healthy Eyes

    Healthy Eyes mommyrandr valerie pierre

    The ability to see makes up a great part of how we view the world. Without sight, living can be limited. Yet few people ever see the need to care for their eyes. The eyes are often neglected until near/far-sightedness worsens or cataracts and glaucoma begins to limit vision.

    Despite being nearsighted since the second grade, you can count me in as someone who neglects her eyesight. Up until recently, it had been a decade since my last eye exam and I was wearing the same frames from 1997. Yeah, you read that right, 97. My mom got me some great Emporio Armani frames that set her back $500 plus. She told me in the store to never take them off and by 2018 aside from changing the lenses, I hadn’t. I think it’s safe to say she got more than her money’s worth.

    Thankfully, to my eyeballs credit, my prescription hasn’t changed much over the years hence my laziness to get a checkup. But that was the problem they had changed even if it was a little bit. My eyes had changed enough that I was straining to see. I forgot my 37-year-old eyes didn’t work the way they used to at 27.

    Not to mention, today’s technology doesn’t help matters as it creates conditions that degrade our eyesight. Along with millions of other people, I’m constantly looking at some sort of blue screen which steadily increases eye strain or even vision loss. Which means everyone needs to be diligent about their eye health.

    Maintaining healthy eyes naturally should be an important part of everyone’s life. Here are ways to keep your eyes healthy and sharp.

    An Eye-Healthy Diet

    Eye health starts with foods that improve eyesight. A diet of fresh fruit and vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, collard greens, and kale come loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help the eyes filter out harmful radiation. Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene that has protective effects on the eyes. Lycopene, bioflavonoids, proanthocyanidins, quercetin, and polyphenols are found in many brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including green tea.

    Antioxidants are effective in protecting the eyes from free-radical damage. Considering that most foods lack enough essential vitamins and minerals, supplementation with vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and zinc can promote eye health. Bilberry, ginkgo Biloba and taurine help to improve night vision, enhance circulation to the eyes and support collagen production. Check out WebMD for a listing of foods that are good for your eyes.

    Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Your Diet

    Speaking of diets, in ancient cultures ate a diet that consisted of equal quantities of omega-3 and omega-6. Today’s diet leans heavily toward omega-6 but omega-3 contains DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and this particular fatty acid is praised for its many health benefits one of which includes eye health. While both are important, omega-3 is found in foods that are the least consumed. Fish such as sardines, salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, and tuna are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed also provides essential omega-3 oils but is versatile as it can be incorporated in almost any dish.

    Do Eye Exercises (Yes, it’s a thing)

    Eye muscles are constantly at work, but they experience a great deal of strain and fatigue when used through repetitive movements. These movements stem from reading, watching television, driving long distances, and working with computer screens. Eye exercises can help improve the elasticity of the eye muscles. Healthline lists a number of eye exercises to help you maintain your vision.

    Wear Sunglasses

    Wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, in addition to hiding your dark circled or bloodshot eyes. Now before you grab any old pair of shades make sure your sunnies can block 99% to 100% of UV rays. Also, you’ll want to look into frames with thick sides to keep the sun from hurting your eyes from the side.

    Keeping Blood Sugar in Balance

    High levels of glucose and insulin levels in the bloodstream are not only a recipe for diabetes, but they adversely affect eye health, particularly the small vessels that supply the eyes with the oxygen and nutrients the cells need to function properly. Keeping your blood sugar stable means eating fiber foods and less refined, high-calorie foods that raise blood sugar levels. While drugs help control blood sugar, they do not prevent the complications of blindness and neuropathy that affect so many diabetics Much of the problem is due to the lack of nutrients such as chromium, Gymnema Sylvestre, vanadyl sulfate and banaba leaf that can protect the eyes. Many diabetics do not have adequate levels of many vitamins and minerals that help enhance eye health.

    Take Device Breaks

    As I mentioned before, we spend a lot of time looking at computer monitors and phone screens for work and entertainment but what we have to remember is over time is our tv and phones contains blue light and too much exposure can affect our eyes. You can tell you’ve been looking at the screen too long when you’re eyes begin to notice you’re straining to see and your eyes begin to burn. Now because blue light travels all the way to the retina too much exposure can damage light-sensitive cells in the eye. This is why it’s crucial we take device breaks to give our eyes a rest, especially before bedtime.

    And the most important tip…

    Get Regular Eye Checkups

    Healthy Eyes mommyrandr valerie pierre

    I cannot stress enough how important it is to get your eyes checked annually, or when you find yourself straining to see. You will save yourself a lot of headaches and pain. And if you’re prescribed glasses for the love of humanity wear them. Yeah, you’re doing all of these things to keep your eyes healthy but if you aren’t wearing your glasses/contacts then you really aren’t doing shit as your eyes will get worse.

    *Extra Tip: Make sure to get glasses or contacts with a blue light filter and UV ray protection.

    Keeping healthy eyes and maintaining sharp eyesight is not as difficult as it may seem. Good eating habits, reducing eye strain, and keeping blood sugar in control will ensure that eyesight remains sharp without the macular deterioration that so many experience today.
  • 7 Tips To Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

    Every year, millions of people start the year with New Year’s resolutions that are intended to make their life a little better. Many people, plan to work out more, save money, and overall just get our shit together for the new year. As usual, folks get off to a great start but after a few weeks, the desire to continue to stick to your new year’s resolutions begins to fade. Listen, I don’t keep most of my resolutions past March, so there’s that. And as a result, lots of folks (myself included) lose confidence or become depressed for not accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions but it doesn’t have to end that way.

    To prevent that from happening here are seven tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions:

    Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions mommyrandr

    Set Realistic Goals

    Having high expectations for yourself is good, provided you don’t go overboard. This is what many people are guilty of, myself included. We tell ourselves we’re gonna do a, b, c, x, y, and z, and ultimately end up not accomplishing shit. Why? Cause we set our own selves up for failure by aiming too high for impossible goals. However, realistic goals are achievable. Instead of setting a goal to read 100 books in a year, start by setting a goal to read a couple of minutes each day. No matter how busy you are, this is something that you can do if you are passionate about improving your knowledge or reading more books in general.

    Starting small doesn’t mean you lack as a person. It’s actually a smart decision to figure out how much you can handle based on your dreams and your routine life. In fact, small accomplishments will help you find happiness and also motivate you to continue to work towards the next step of the resolutions.

    Use The Buddy System

    Having someone or a group of people to hold you accountable will encourage you to keep your resolution going all year long. No matter your resolution have someone in your corner who you can count on to cheer your milestones (big and small) and also call out if you start falling off track. Remember, this is a two-way street in which you’re pushing each other to win. Now if you come to a situation over time when your buddy isn’t being positive and happy for the strides you’ve made then it might be time to seek out someone who is. No one wants or needs a Debbie Downer or worse a hater in their corner.  

    Set Reminders

    We have a lot of things going on at once and trying to remember everything is damn near impossible. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to get daily reminders of the things we need to do. Now you won’t forget to follow through with your goals. And don’t be afraid to set follow-up reminders especially if you know you’re the type to say, eh I’ll do that in the next 10 minutes. By the way, it’s me, I’m the type to say that, and you are too – set that extra reminder.

    Keep Track of Your Progress

    It really is motivating to see all the progress you’ve made so far, even if it’s only been a few weeks. It’s going to encourage you to continue on your path until you reach your goal. Remind yourself of all your hard work by posting your progress where you can see it. On your bathroom mirror, the fridge, in your journal, or on your phone. Every time you look at it it’s going to show you where you started and how far you’ve come since you began. It’s the ultimate motivational booster.

    Focus On The Positives

    Are you going to have setbacks on your way to achieving your goals? Yeah, everyone does. No one sets a goal and then poof in a blink of an eye they’ve achieved it. Nah. That shit takes blood, sweat, and tears which includes setbacks. But don’t focus on that. Learn from it yes, but don’t let it deter you from getting to the finish line. Focus on where you are and how much hard work it took for you to get there not the 2 steps back from a month ago. Let the positive lead you to where you wanna be.

    Keep Trying Don’t Give Up

    Okay, so you set a goal, and guess what? You’re starting to slack off, things aren’t going exactly as planned, or worse you failed. That’s fine, cause that’s life. But the thing you have to remember is don’t stop trying. If you got lazy shake that shit off. Get your mind and body back in the game. If a door closes in the front go around the back to see if that door is open. Also, if you have to scrap and redo your plan in order for it to work better, do it. Do you fail? Alright. Be like Aaliyah and dust that shit off and try again. Do what you gotta do (legally) to reach your end goal.

    And most importantly…

    Don’t Doubt Yourself

    Never for a second doubt that you can’t do it, cause you can, and you WILL. I believe in YOU.