Be Nice, It’s Good for Your Heart

woman smiling

It is rare for people to consciously try to be nasty, but it is also quite rare for people to go out of their way to be kind to others. While helping other people should be enough of a reason to be nice, research has shown that having this friendly attitude will also bring you a number of different health benefits, making it more worthwhile than ever to be nice to others.

Heart Health
There are now several studies that have shown that there is a link between acts of kindness and the different markers of heart health. A study carried out in 2006 was especially successful in showing that acts of kindness were able to lower blood pressure, as it releases a chemical called nitric oxide within the body, which then dilutes blood vessels. This is also the case for “bad” cholesterol, which is lowered to quite an extent after consistent levels of kindness have been practised.

Stress and Cortisol
Whenever your body experiences stress, it releases the hormone cortisol throughout your body. While this is absolutely fine on occasion, chronic stress, and therefore the continuous release of cortisol, has many negative health effects. However, being nice is something that can drastically lower the cortisol levels within your body, which then has an impact on everything from your state of mind to the rate at which your body ages.

Illness Prevention
Research has shown that people who spend more time helping others tend to have a much stronger ability to ward off infections and illnesses.

doctor and patient

This could be due to the fact that they have lower markers of inflammation, as inflammation is responsible for a whole array of different diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

Reduced Pain
In addition to being nice to others, you should also remember to be nice to yourself. This means that, if you suffer from chronic pain, you should try to be as accepting and understanding about your condition as possible, rather than berating yourself for not improving fast enough. By being kinder to yourself in this way, the amount of pain that you experience is likely to quickly drop, which will then help you to recover even faster.

Longer Life
It comes as no surprise that those who are experiencing all of the above health benefits would enjoy a longer life, and research has backed this up. The studies looked in particular at people who volunteered for two or more charitable organizations, and found that they experienced a 44% lowered risk of dying early, which is even more of an impact than regular exercise has.

Science has definitely proven that being nice really pays off in so many different ways. If you are looking to carry out more acts of kindness, there are a number of ways in which you can do this. From volunteering at a local charity to paying someone a genuine compliment to simply being a listening ear for someone who is having a tough time, make it your mission to go out of your way to be nice to others as much as possible.

Extend Your Life by Reading Books

Woman reading on bed

Reading brings about many different benefits, from de-stressing the mind to improving language skills, but there is one extremely advantageous benefit that many are not aware of. A recent study carried out by the Yale University’s School of Public Health showed that people who regularly read books, rather than magazines or newspapers, add an extra two years onto their lifespan when compared to those who do not read, giving you the perfect excuse to begin spending your evenings curled up with a good book.

Results of the Study
The study carried out by Yale University lasted for 12 years, and focussed on three subject groups; those who did not read at all, those who read for around three and a half hours per week, and those who read for more. Even in the second group of subjects, there was still a 17% chance of an increased lifespan, showing the incredible benefits that reading can bring.

How Does Reading Books Extend Lifespan?
Unlike magazines or newspapers, reading books encourages two cognitive processes that are extremely beneficial. The first is referred to as “deep reading”, which is an immersive process that enables the reader to form a connection to the world around them. The second cognitive process is the way in which books are able to promote everything from empathy to emotional intelligence, all of which heighten the body’s chance for survival. The way in which books feature complex, interwoven stories cannot compete with the short snippets of information provided by newspapers and magazines, and this recent study has more than proven the varying effects that different types of reading material can have.

Reading book

How Long Should You Read For Each Day?
Yale University’s study showed that the longer that a participant read for each day, the longer they would live for. While you may not have time to read for hours each day, even 30 minutes a day can still be hugely beneficial in terms of extending lifespan. One of the advantages to reading is that it can be done just about anywhere, so even if you do not have time at the end of your day, try bringing a book along on your commute to work, or setting aside some time on your lunch break.

What Types of Books are Best?
While the study did not look into the exact genres of books that were read by participants, other studies have discovered that around 87% of book readers choose to read fiction, meaning that fiction was most likely to be the primary type of book read during the study. However, this does not instantly mean that other types of books are not beneficial, although more studies will need to be carried out in order to confirm this.

In addition to extending your lifespan, reading also brings about so many other health benefits. From improving memory to expanding knowledge to boosting analytical thinking skills, making the effort to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of book reading a day will have some hugely positive effects on your life.

Breathing Tricks to Put You to Sleep in No Time – OROGOLD Reviews

In addition to causing some serious medical problems, including obesity, diabetes and a shorter life expectancy, a lack of sleep each night also results in dull, unhealthy skin. However, with all the technology that we are likely to have in our bedroom, plus the stresses of everyday modern life, turning our minds off each night to go to sleep can often be difficult. Rather than tossing and turning for hours each night, or even turning to medication, OROGOLD brings you some breathing tricks to try, that will have you fast asleep in no time at all.

Woman practicing pranayama before going to bed.

The 4-7-8 Technique
The 4-7-8 technique is a relaxing breathing exercise that is based on the ancient Indian practice, Pranayama. In addition to helping you fall asleep, you will notice other great changes in your body if you practice the technique every day, such as a decrease in anger and food cravings, improved digestion and lower stress levels. To begin with, press the tip of your tongue onto the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth, closing your mouth but maintaining that position with your tongue. Inhale slowly and quietly through your nose for 4 mental counts, and then hold your breath for 7 counts. Then, exhale completely from the mouth, around your tongue, for 8 counts. This counts as one breath. Repeat this 3 more times, so that you have done 4 cycles in total, and you should then notice a more relaxed state of mind. This form of slow, voluntary breathing has been proven to help to reset the nervous system, and also helps to clear the mind, being, in a way, another version of counting sheep.

Woman meditating on her bed.

Meditative Breathing
If you find that the main reason you find it difficult to fall asleep each night is because your mind just can’t seem to slow down, it may be time to take a few tips from meditation techniques. When it comes to clearing your mind for meditation, connecting with the rise and fall of each breath, and feeling where each breath flows in the body, is essential. Try this in bed at night, fully focussing on each breath, as this will relax any tense muscles, as well as help you to let go with any negative thoughts or stresses as you focus on exhaling each breath. Try to do this for 8 to 10 minutes each night in order to fully benefit from it.

Woman trying to sleep.

Breathe Through Your Nose
Many people find it more comfortable to breathe through their mouths at night, but this does not lead to the best sleep. Breathing through your mouth sends subconscious signals to your brain that your body is in distress, meaning that your mind will not be able to fully relax. However, breathing through your nose sends signals of homeostasis and relaxation to your brain, ideal for helping you to fall asleep much faster.

OROGOLD highly recommends taking the time to solve any sleep problems, as sleep deprivation can have severe consequences. Breathing and yoga exercises have been proven to relax the body and mind, and by practicing them on a regular basis, you will not only solve your sleep problems, but will also be able to reduce the overall stress levels in your body.