The Essence and Beauty of a Smile!

If you knew the potency of a smile, you would use it more often. The hearts doesn’t lie and one of the languages of the heart is your smile. Did you know that that positive reaction you craved from people, but never received, was denied because you never smiled? There is a profound science behind a smile which you should know so that you use this weapon more often to your advantage.

Non-verbal communication

Did you know that a lot of the meaning we share in communication is actually non-verbal? People tend to believe more in what you don’t say than in what comes out of your mouth. One of the non-verbal cues that people resort to in order to judge your intentions and character is your smile. Even little children avoid older people who don’t smile genuinely and often!

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Smiles are like communicable diseases

A smile is a contagious cue that transmits an emotion. More importantly, a sincere smile is easy to decipher and it comes our involuntarily. Your mood or emotion is like a barometer that people use to gauge approachability. Your smile represents the units of measurement. When you smile, you are telling the people around you that you are a positive minded person they should get close to you.

In addition, a smile elevates your mood and the emotions of people around you. Have you ever noticed how a smiling child brings cheer to people in the vicinity, including strangers? Try looking at a mirror and smiling at your face and you will be surprised at how your smiling mirror image will create wells of positive feelings inside you.

Research has shown that when a positive-minded and smiling person enters a room, the mood of the people in that space is transformed to reflect what the newcomer has introduced. The opposite is true. A smile is like an echo that must reflect back. The only way you can make people to view you positively is to be genuinely concerned about them to the extent that it shows on your face through your smile.

What else does research say about smiling?

• What would you feel if someone gave you a big amount of cash or you won the jackpot in a lottery? That is the feeling a simple smile will give you at no cost.

• When you smile, you help your body to fight against worry while simultaneously bringing down you heart rate and blood pressure.

• Do you love eating chocolate? A smile will bring so much happiness your way that not even 2000 chocolate bars will!

• A child will smile 400 times more than you every day. The best most of us can accomplish is 40 to 50 times, if we really love to smile.

• Endorphins, the feel-good hormones in your brain, are secreted when you smile thus increasing your propensity for positivity and success.

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Let’s be more practical

When you smile often you increase your chances of succeeding in your interactions with other people and also in your individual pursuits. A smile is sometimes the differences between the job candidate who secures employment and the one who merely attends an interview. Of course you know that interviewers are human who cannot resist a smile!

A smile makes one salesperson successful while grumpiness drags the other person to failure even though the two have similar qualifications and the same products to sell. The reason some shopkeepers have a constant flow of customers and others end up closing shop in the first month is because one smiles with customers and the other doesn’t. Indeed as the Chinese say, “If you can’t smile, don’t open a shop!”

One woman has a hard time getting men to notice her despite her natural beauty and the added magic of makeup and stylish dressing. Another woman is confused on how to choose the right man for her because the number that is attracted to her warm genuine smile is too high to handle.

How then do you make smiling a natural habit?

1. Be grateful for who you are and what you have and you will realise you have something to give to the world including a genuine smile.
2. Maintain a positive mind-set and you will realize that the world has so much to laugh and be happy about.
3. Fake it till you make it. Go before a mirror and smile at yourself. Visualise yourself smiling before people and feel the positive vibrations you will create in these people.
4. Keep in mind that special person in your life. Think about the many happy times you shared together and particular events that are unforgettable for both of you.
5. Learn to see the unusual and hilarious side of life. There are many events, people, movies, songs and many other issues that should not leave you without a smile.
6. Surround yourself with positive minded people who also like to smile. Soon you will catch the smiling diseases and never get cured!

Finally, please remember to smile genuinely!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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How to Make Your Resolutions A Reality

Positive thinking and the law of attraction have continued to mesmerise people over the years. In particular, the idea that by visualising something and holding that image in the mind can actually bring that object to a person is popular among people. But does it always work like that? What lessons can we learn from visualisation to help us realise our New Year resolutions?

Some people cannot tell the boundary between fantasising and visualising. You can create fantasies in your mind about a car you want to purchase and believe that simply by dreaming about it, it will be actualised. This is what most naïve practitioners of positive thinking believe. Most of what people call the law of attraction is actually lopsided and unable to yield results, unless by coincidence.

Earn Your Results

One of the tenets of life that many people ignore is the fact that results must be earned even when visualisation is part of the equation. According to research, you stand to gain if you focus on the real steps that you will take to achieve your dream instead of fantasising about the dream itself. You are better off thinking and planning the process of achievement instead of wasting time on the potential outcome.

It is human to try and avoid the long and practical route. We want the shortcut and that is why we believe that fantasy will yield fruits without exerting any efforts. Your mind normally believes in the images you create for it. It is possible to create an image of success and convince the mind that it has already been achieved, thus negating any need for real effort.

First – Visualise Your Action

That is like putting the cart before the horse. To do things the right way would be to visualise the efforts first before the outcome. The moment you base you aspirations on a solid foundation of action, you are on the path to success. In essence, you cannot simply set New Year resolutions and wait for time and chance to make them happen simply because you have ingrained the image of your expected outcome deeply in your mind. The moment you glorify dreams at the expense of pertinent action, you lose the way to success.

Your New Year resolutions are good but you must chart the path to them. While your destination is known to you, it is impossible to get there unless you know the way and actually travel on it. You will do yourself a great favour if you identify the way and start visualising how you will cover every step. Before you realise it, you will have covered every mile and arrived where you always wanted to be.

See yourself going through the steps to your resolutions instead of fantasising and feeling excited that you have arrived even before starting your journey. It is not naturally for fruits to grow where the roots are or vice versa. Everything has its place in the scheme of things. Nature does not change its processes and principles to favour you. You must plan based on the infallible laws of nature.

Second – Take Action 

Now that we are clear that you must focus on the actions you will take towards achieving your New Year resolutions, begin to realistically act on your plan. The first point would be to fight doubt. Doubt is the water that douses the flame that is your dreams. It is rare for a person to have a dream without some lingering thoughts of self-doubt in the background. The difference between successful people and those who don’t make it is that the former decide to stifle self-defeating thoughts.

The next important action you must take is to work on your positives and affirm your positive conduct. This New Year, you need to work on eradicating your negative thoughts while at the same time adopting positive behaviour. Think about your strengths and focus on making them even better and surpassing what you have already done. For example, waking up early to exercise will lead you gradually to your fitness goals instead of fantasising over the ideal image.

Another crucial step towards your dream is to stop procrastinating. Granted, there will always be a tomorrow to accomplish your goals if you are too tired and have enough excuses not to do anything today. However, that tomorrow may be next month or next year and you will not have realised your objectives. Procrastination is one of the greatest thieves of time or so we are told. Don’t fall into the temptation of having excuses for what you should be doing now.

To complement these efforts, exercise mindfulness as you plan for the New Year. Concentrate on one action at a time. Mindfulness teaches us to focus instead of multitasking. Give each action towards your resolution the time and effort it requires before moving to the next one. Only then will you realise your plans for the New Year.

Happy New Year! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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The Perfect Bedtime Drinks To Send You Into A Peaceful Sleep

After a long day making a living, nothing brings more relief than to finally slip between the sheets and enjoy a restful sleep. However, for many people, sleep does not come easily for a number of reasons. More importantly, people have devised healthy ways of ensuring they get adequate and quality sleep whatever the day might have brought their way.

One of the best ways to make sure you enjoy your night’s rest is to drink herbal tea! Due to its amazing benefits to the body, herbal tea is loved all over the world. But do not imagine there is only one type of this product. Thanks to tradition and developments in the kitchen and medical field, there are many varieties of herbal teas each with unique benefits. A look at a number of them will reveal exactly why you need to start taking herbal teas today.

Importance Of Herbal Teas

Before then, let us understand a few things on the importance of these teas. Herbal teas help you to sleep because they contain nutritional elements and less caffeine. Compare this with common teas which contain caffeine and you will realise why herbal teas are the best choice of beverage before going to sleep. Caffeine generally keeps sleep away from the body and that is not what you want before you go to bed.

Many of these teas also have a soothing effect on the tummy. Normally, when your tummy is rumbling and complaining about something you ate during the day, you cannot afford to close your eyes. A number of herbal teas help to control flatulence and bloating which are common stomach problems. In essence, when you drink herbal teas before going to bed, the gas in your stomach is neutralised and sleep becomes your friend.

Another major problem that many of us have is heartburn. You know that obnoxious feeling when your chest feels like it is in hell. How many of us can sleep when having heartburn? How many common beverages or teas can take care of this problem? Your guess is as good as mine. By dealing with acid-reflux, herbal teas help you to deal with heartburn thus allowing you to have a restful night.

Now this is for pregnant women – some of the most delicate people we have in society. Nausea and morning sickness are common and you need to find a way to overcome them if only to have a normal day when you wake up. Your unborn child is also safe when you take herbal teas before your sleep. You may not be pregnant but you have a relative that may need herbal teas to ease her morning sickness.

Not all herbal teas perform the same role. Some of them may have elements that may not augur well with you. Consequently, read the labels carefully before your purchase herbal teas to determine whether the products will help you. For those who prepare the herbs directly, please read about the particular herbal tea to know if it contains any negative effects.

Our Recommended Herbal Teas:

  1. Peppermint

This is a popular herbal tea especially because it gives energy to the body and relieves stomach upsets. In case you had a busy day eating and drinking all sorts of foods, your tummy may give you trouble and this is the kind of herbal tea that will give you relief before you sleep.

  1. Chamomile

This is the most renowned of herbal teas all over the world. Many people prefer to dry out the flowers, prepare the powder and use it directly. You may also purchase it from a shop where it may be combined with other herbal teas.

  1. Lavender

Lavender is also a very important bedtime tea variety. It is a common plant that you can find in most places. However, there are also lavender herbal teas that you can purchase and use before you go to sleep. More importantly, lavender helps you to relax and deal with stress.

  1. Valerian

Research has confirmed that valerian has sedative properties. Our ancestors may not have had the benefit of research but they knew instinctively and through experience that valerian would help to deal with anxiety and help people to sleep.

  1. Lemon Balm

There are many people who also prefer lemon balm as a bedtime tea. Those who love this product say it helps them to relax thus inducing restful sleep. You may opt to buy the processed type or make your own from the leaves of this important plant.

  1. St John’s Wort

This plant with yellow flowers may be your solutions for lack of sleep. Research shows that St John’s Wort reduces anxiety and is also an anti-depressant. With so many people experiencing depression, this plant will boost sleep by dealing with anxiety.

Now you know it. Don’t suffer from lack of sleep or use pharmaceuticals that have negative side effects. Choose herbal teas and sleep soundly and healthfully daily.

Which is your favourite herbal tea? Any tricks or secret flavour combinations? Share with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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Beat That Dreaded Bulge – A Quick and Simple Detox After a Period of Indulgence

Christmas is a time of indulgence – good and bad alike. The festive season provides an opportunity for us to unwind after a long busy year. At the end this season, many of us will be exhausted. Hangovers, lethargy, illnesses and irritability will be common as we try to deal with the aftermath of our drinking sprees and binge eating.

Before you think you are being judged for your excessive behaviour, remember you are not alone. All of us indulge over Christmas and New Year, it’s one of the best parts of the holidays! There are numerous visits to other people as we also receive visitors. In between, there is the temptation to eat and drink beyond normal to please our hosts or guests.

The only problem is that you will be left to deal with the repercussions. When all the niceties have been said, the music has died down and everyone has returned to their day to day lives, you will be left to argue with the weighing scale that dreaded bulge (erghhhh).

Most of the regrets actually emanate from poor planning of the holiday season and a carefree attitude. It is like a dog that has been unleashed and given a few hours to indulge in its most-craved activities before being tied up again.

The following are our quick and effective methods that you can use to detox your body after indulging in binge eating and excessive drinking:

1. Go Water Crazy

Your body is predominantly made up of water. Water is life and without it your body cannot function (especially on a hangover where you are more than likely to be extremely hungover and have a lot of salt in your system from that guilty pizza, kebab or burger at 3am). Water is also a cleansing agent, working with the kidneys and the skin. After mistreating your system during festivities, you will do well to cleanse your blood by drinking a lot of water.

Mixing warm water with lemon is also known to remove any toxins from the night before. Similarly, peppermint tea and green tea can be extremely helpful with relieving symptoms of bloating, constipation and other digestion problems. They can also act as a temporary fix to speed up a process of loosing any weight you may have gained from having one too many minced pies. (Yay for herbal tea!)

2. Squeeze In A Workout

It is ironic how we throw caution to the wind when the festive season arrives. People who used to flock fitness centres all of a sudden take a break. The few exercises you used to do at home evaporate from your mind and schedule. You sleep late and wake up when the sun is up. By the time you celebrate the New Year, you have added kilos.

Hard as it may sound, hitting the gym just once will help so much. Not only will you feel better within yourself, you will also jump kick the return of the fitness bug ready for the new year!! Even if you take a short jog round a local park, or along a river, throw yourself ahead of the game and in front of everyone else (don’t deny those mini competitions that will arise with your friends come January).

3. Ditch Carbs

Now that you want to detox your body it is important to remember where it all began. It all started with uncontrolled eating and drinking. Similarly, your path back to the ideal weight and healthy body is through diet. You must start watching what you are eating. More importantly, eat foods that help you to clear the bad stuff you have eaten over the previous weeks.

To begin with, don’t bloody skip breakfast! I don’t know what time you will have to wake up, but irrespective of your busy work schedule, make sure you enjoy a heart and healthy morning meal. The food items on your breakfast table should be well-balanced. High levels of fibre and protein are key.

Secondly, ditch the heavenly carbs. Oh yeah we’re talking pasta, pizza, rice, bread – the whole team. Feeling lazy and craving a Big Mac, or Fish and Chips? Hell no, you can forget about that. Ditch all processed foods, put the phone down what do you think you’re doing ordering Dominos Pizza or that lamb curry? We’ve just had Christmas! The time for guilt-free indulging is over! You will without doubt begin to feel the difference if you stop eating carbs and processed foods even after a couple of weeks!

Lastly, You cannot detox your body if you don’t watch the portions you are eating. Your lunch should not be as heavy as your breakfast. Actually, the best way to ensure you don’t overeat during lunch is to eat well in the morning. Keep your lunch to leafy greens and some protein, mix with some delicious salad recipes and dressings so that it encourages you to keep eating healthy.

4. Get Your Zzz’s

In addition to water, exercise and diet, give your body adequate rest. Part of the reason you have gained weight over Christmas is lack of sleep. Eat a light dinner some two or three hours before sleep. Got to bed early and give your body ample rest. Your mind needs detox just as the body. Make sure your house is well-ventilated, and surround yourself with your favourite music. Practice positive thinking especially as you face the challenges of January. If you are religious, revive your spiritual life.

Practice this and you will recover quickly and effectively from any excess weight and psychological complications of the holiday season and face the New Year confidently.

If you have any special tips that work for you, we would love to hear about them! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

 

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Christmas Chaos – How To Keep Your Cool During The Holidays

Once again Christmas is around the corner, which includes extremely busy schedules and a whirlwind of activities. You will be expected to host parties for your immediate family, relatives, friends and neighbours where necessary. You will also have obligations to attend work events, neighbour’s dinner parties and make the trip to the grandparents’. To prepare for all these activities, there are hundreds of items to be bought. Somewhere in between, you may be fortunate to travel and enjoy some time with your friends. The list endless, but the fact is indisputable – your excitement will be as high as your troubles!

How do you remain sane in the midst of all these activities? We hear you say… Here are a few of our best suggestions to ease the chaotic holiday period:

  1. Priorities

There are many activities that you can engage in this Christmas. You are spoilt for choice on which destination to visit. Your friends and relatives are competing to visit you or for you to grace their parties this year. You want to purchase the best gifts for your family but with such a long list of presents to buy you may be stuck for money. Your salvation lies in having priorities. However, whatever you choose to put first, remember family is the most important aspect. If anybody wants to involve you in an activity that will disadvantage your spouse and children, turn the former down.

  1. Plan Ahead

I want to believe that you took time to plan for this holiday. You must have decided how much you will spend on various aspects of the holiday including travel, clothing, food, parties and so on. If you haven’t, it isn’t too late. Remember January is coming and with it bills and expenditure. Do not plan to spend everything during Christmas and begin to struggle when the bills come your way in January. If you fail to plan, you will be working on autopilot and will not know when the gas in the tank will be gone.

  1. Avoid Impulse Buying

Make sure not to overspend. You must be disciplined. Christmas spending can easily get out of hand. If you are the type that cannot remain faithful to a financial plan, you will soon be dealing with excessive spending and this will cause you a lot of mental anguish. Don’t purchase items because your neighbour has similar ones. If you are a parent, take advantage of this period to teach your children how to make wise purchasing decisions. You will not have peace of mind celebrating Christmas when you are unsure of your financial abilities in the New Year.

  1. Learn To Delegate

If you don’t want to run around like a headless chicken, share out responsibilities with people around you! Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, partner, and family members for help! Sharing out your Christmas to-do-list is actually a great way to spend some time with your loved ones, away from the usual distractions of iPhones or TV! Prepare some meals with your partner, divide the shopping list with your friends, and open a bottle of wine to decorate your home! Who said organisation isn’t fun ;-)!

  1. Remember Yourself

I know everyone will be looking up to you to deliver on this big occasion. However, remember you have a life to live and a Christmas to enjoy. Don’t forget to buy yourself a Christmas present. Get enough sleep in between parties and travels. If you are religious, remember to reflect on your spiritual beliefs of Christmas. Take time to pray and connect with the Supreme Being. Bring cheer to the lives of the unfortunates as this will bring cheer to your heart too. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will have a chaotic Christmas and that is the last thing you want!

  1. Enjoy The Outdoors

Whatever you do this Christmas, take time to breathe fresh air. You can do this by making a trip to a favourite destination, having a picnic with your family along the banks of a river, visiting a children’s home and playing with the kids in the open or play your favourite outdoor game. The most important thing is that you absorb fresh air because it invigorates your blood and brain and renews you to participate in more events. Staying indoors for most of Christmas is likely to make you stressed and maybe even grumpy. Let nature help you to remain calm during this hectic time and you will not regret in January saying you just helped others to be merry at your expense.

We would love to connect with you more, you can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Refresh The Energy In Your Home

Your home is your palace and temple. It is a palace because it is your little kingdom where you rule like loyalty. Here, nobody can come to belittle you or make your life miserable. Your word is authoritative. Your home is also a temple because this is where you commune with yourself and the Supreme Being. Home is the space where you feel most fulfilled and most spiritual.

Why You Need An Energy Renewal in Your Home

Such an important facility requires the best form and level of maintenance and care. However, as you become busy, it is possible to fall into a routine and forget about the care of your home! After a while your home may not inspire you as it once did. That is the point at which you need to allocate some time and refresh your surroundings.

Let us look at this issue from a different angle too. Many of us spend time, especially during some weekends, cleaning up our houses. We take time to arrange documents and take out any form of dirt to dump it in the rightful place. Despite such efforts, you may realise that your house is still not as energising as you may want it to be. In essence refreshing and renewing the energy in your home is not a one-off activity but a continual process of identifying areas that need change.

What then are some of the activities you can engage in to rejuvenate your domestic space?

  1. Fresh Air

There are reasons for keeping doors and windows shut – security, to keep off dirt and to prevent ourselves from the elements. In most cases, when we are away at work we ensure all windows and doors are locked. Not any of us dare leave windows open at night for fear of intruders, including wild animals. For those who don’t have time over the weekend, their houses rarely have time to ventilate adequately. Such an environment is full of foul air even if you don’t realise it. Your thinking and creative abilities are effected significantly when there is no fresh air in your house. This festive season, let gusts of fresh air have their way in your house for positive energy.

  1. De-Clutter

Over the last year, your home may have become one big rubbish dump. Some of the dirt is not hidden because it comes in the form of old pairs of shoes which you don’t need any more. How about those clothes in your wardrobe that you used to wear but haven’t thought about for nine months? There are some useless documents and papers that have no value to you yet they still take up space in your drawers. It is time you kicked out all the unnecessary stuff from your house since this will allow more positive energy to flow into your space.

  1. Nature

It is time you brought in some other living entities to share with you. How about beautiful plants that can recycle the air you breathe out and give you more of the air you need. You can even become a gardener and use unwanted containers in your house to give a home to one such plant. These plants will attract some insects and natural processes of life and growth will be taking place right inside your house. As you nurture these plants, they will absorb foul air and energy and imbue your house with life and positivity.

  1. Fly On The Wall

What decorates the walls in your house? When was the last time you brought down that 10 year old family portrait and hung a new one? It is time you gave the visual image of your house a new face. Look for artworks that are more in tandem with your current feelings and desires and hang them on the walls. Look for images that inspire you to change your life for the better. Remove those photos and paintings that do not reflect good memories or intentions for you.

  1. Animal Lover

We share a rich heritage and genes with animals. Pets know what is happening around them and feel the same way we do. If you don’t have a pet, consider the options and benfits. Share your house with another living thing that can express itself in a way towards you. As long as you have space and time to take care of that cat, dog, fish or other favourite animal, do not hesitate to introduce it into your life. Such a decision will bring you positive energy and a new way of looking at life.

We would to see images of your newly renewed homes, or pics of your kittens and puppies! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Stand Out From the Crowd – Gain That Natural Sparkle and Glow This December

Your skin is one of the most important body organs – in fact, the largest. The quality of your skin is an indicator of your overall health status. Your skin is the most visible part of your body and people tend to make certain judgements about you based on the health, texture and glow of this amazing part of your body (come on, we’ve all done it).

We all know that feeling where we have completed our daily routine, we look in the mirror and feel no glow, no light. Whether we are wearing make-up or a natural complexion, some days you think you look glum, maybe patches of dry skin and your make up just doesn’t look as it usually does. This article will highlight the key ways that you can make sure you feel a little glam every day, you know when you feel like the light catches you in the right places all God damn day!

More often than not when people call you beautiful, they can be talking about your skin, as well as your other features. Just as a smile or bright eyes can light up someone’s face, so can your skin! For this reason, if you want to stand out from the crowd this holiday season it is time to go back to basics. There is no point with adding more make-up to your skin when the problems may be arising from the quality of your skin itself.

Natural Strategies For Glowing Skin

So, here are out recommended natural strategies to ensure your skin has a new lease of life this December.

  1. Drink A LOT Of Water

This is the probably the most obvious yet ignored strategy for making your skin glow. We all underestimate the power of water, for one, your body consists of roughly 70% water so keeping yourself hydrated could not be more important! Water is the fluid that must be present in almost all body processes. Your blood is water enriched with essential minerals, fluids, nutrients and so on. For your skin to glow, you need the recommended eight or more glasses of water daily. But there is a catch here. Some people argue that other drinks can contribute to the eight glasses, but I would highly recommend eight glasses of pure water. I know that I used to believe that drinking tea or coffee, for example, would count as water. But in fact, due to the levels of caffeine in these drinks this actually dehydrates you. Alternatively, herbal teas can help with hydrating the skin, and can also detox you at the same time!

  1. Eat Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables

We often forget that the skin is not artificial. No amount of makeup and chemicals will transform your skin – especially not without negative effects. Moreover, your body needs to be nurtured from inside to the outside. The body understands one language – good nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are particularly important for making your skin healthy and free from toxins. Remember acne and other skin blemishes are not what you need two weeks before Christmas, now is the time to ensure you don’t wake up Christmas morning with a trip from Santa and a horrendous break out. This December look for the fruits and vegetables that are in season, snack on them raw or as part of lunch or dinner. You will be amazed at how eating apples, kales and other superfoods will make your skin glow. We outline our recommended fruit and veg for this season here: http://graceguru.net/7-food-stars-of-december-to-boost-optimal-health-2/

  1. Know Your Skin

If you are sick of your skin controlling you, you may have realised that some foods you eat often leave you with blemishes and rashes. It means you are sensitive or intolerant to certain foods. Sometimes what you think is eczema or acne could actually be a case of your skin being resistant to some food item you have eaten! This December, listen to your body and how it reacts to certain foods. Attempt to detect the foods that affect your skin negatively and remove them from your diet. Alternatively, you can take drastic measures like taking two weeks to eliminate all suspicious foods from your diet and then introducing them one by one, this detox may initially bring out a break out as your skin is usually the last place your body will release toxins from. But, after this break out has cleared, and your diet is clean, you will begin to see progress!

  1. The Worst Of All… Stress

The condition of your skin is related to the activities in your mind. To put it differently, your mental health can directly affect the health and texture of your skin. For example, when you are stressed, your skin becomes pale and vulnerable to external damage. Stress creates a rich environment for bacteria to invade your skin. Eventually, your immune system is compromised and acne, eczema and psoriasis begin to manifest. This is why it is extremely common to see teens and students with more cases of acne, due to their high levels of crazy hormones.

  1. Use Natural Skin Products

This December is your perfect opportunity to start using skin care products that agree well with your skin. Due to the demand for fast results in skin care, thousands of women are applying harmful chemicals to their skin. The results are often unpleasant especially in the long run. Your skin should glow naturally and nothing brings you closer to this ideal than to use as many of natural skin care products as possible. Products made from fruits, plants and herbs actually contain nutrients that your body needs, just like fruits and vegetables. The good news is that you can learn and apply raw fruits and other herbs to your body without any extra costs and still achieve that natural, glowing skin that you have always craved!

We would love to hear any tips you have for maintaining a healthy glow, of if you have any amazing natural tips for exfoliation or moisturising! You can see us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/graceguru.net or send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

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Unexpected Ways The Weather Can Affect Your Health

As we begin to embrace the cold weather, we need to be aware of the ways the drop in temperature and the high wind speeds can affect our health. The fact that winter is a gloomy season means we need to look for ways and means to be merry instead of allowing ourselves to be restrained by the cold. However, even with all efforts to lift the misery and remain positive, we need to remember that winter often makes us vulnerable to severe health complications and even death.

So, what are some of these risks and how we can prevent them from occurring in the first place?

  1. Fluctuating Moods and Depression

This may not be what you may call a clear-cut problem but when observed closely, but feeling down in the dumps is actually a major problem for many of us during winter. Cold weather has a way of making people gloomy, sad, exhausted and withdrawn. Perhaps it is because in general we spend a lot of time indoors, with limited exposure to sun light and feel closed out from the rest of the society. Maybe the dull weather outside affects us psychologically to feel as if all is not well!

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), as it is called, can make us less mobile, overweight and likely to over-eat starches. During this time, some people fall into depression, feel unworthy and may even resort to suicide. It is important for us to keep an eye out on our loved ones who may be feeling low, anxiety and mild depression is common during winter seasons visiting a counsellor can also help! In addition, maintaining your social networks and exercising outside the house when the weather is favourable will bring back positive feelings that can ward off depression!If you would like to know more about mild seasonal depression you can read more here:http://graceguru.net/how-to-ward-off-winter-blues/

  1. Cold’s and Flu’s

Although you can contract colds or flu at any time of the year, the cold season makes us more vulnerable to these conditions. The viruses that cause these conditions enter the body through the nasal passage. On the other hand, during the cold season, the flow of blood to the nostrils is affected negatively and this means that fewer white blood cells, which fight infection, reach the nasal passage. In addition, cold weather is rich ground for the flu virus because the latter thrives in cold dry air.

Colds and flu have similar symptoms although the latter exhibits more severe symptoms. Generally, we will usually experience a sore throat; have a runny nose; headache or even sneezing. Your nose may also experience blockage while your body may feel lethargic. Expect muscle aches as well as low appetite. Ehh… the joys of feeling under the weather!

To avoid getting colds and flu, ensure you are warm during the cold season! If you are also particularly concerned topping up on flu jabs is a great way to limit your chances of catching a nasty bug! If you are already infected, take a trip to see your local GP so that you get the right kind of medication. For the one week or so when you will be affected, ensure you take warm liquids particularly those with ginger, mint and other flu-fighting elements. (yummy – see our favourite ginger tea recipes here: http://graceguru.net/why-you-should-eat-ginger/

  1. Allergy, Asthma and Pneumonia

Another set of serious problems that can affect many of us during the cold season is an allergy, asthma and even pneumonia. Allergies vary from person to person. However, there are people who develop a cold every time they are exposed to cold conditions, even if it is not winter yet. Similarly, there are people who are affected by the behaviour of plants during the cold season.

Asthma and pneumonia are cold-related illnesses. Most of us have mild forms of these illnesses. Some have inherited these conditions. While the illnesses may lie idle during other seasons, winter creates the right atmosphere for the respective viruses to thrive. This is the time many people suddenly realise that they are asthmatic. It all depends on the level of exposure to severe weather conditions! Hayfever is my worst enemy!

While these conditions may not be cured, it is important to keep off severe cold by all means. Simple things like remembering an umbrella so you are covered by the rain, or a bring a pair of gloves to keep you hands warm can be super beneficial! Remain indoors and warm as long as is necessary. Avoid cold baths and ensure you sleep under warm beddings.

  1. Heart Attacks

You may wonder what heart attacks have to do with cold weather because you know the conventional causes of this often-fatal condition. What you may not know is that many people suffer from this condition in winter more than the other three seasons. Why is this so? The fact is that your blood pressure is low during the cold season which in turn pressurises your heart. Moreover, because of low temperatures, your heart must work extra hard to pump blood thus making it vulnerable to attacks.

Beware of uncommon chest pains, sudden bouts of dizziness, excessive sweating, irregular heartbeat and nausea among other signs. Always remain warm and use the right medication in the recommended way if you are under treatment. More importantly, ensure your telephone line is working because you may need to contact 911 when the unfortunate happens. 

Winter is a time to be very cautious. We need to be aware of inherited and opportunistic illnesses and other complications that we can aggravate or contract during this cold period. More importantly, we need to keep warm, exercise and have positive attitudes to keep of negative health conditions! Although this article has followed a more negative path, it is also important to how amazing the autumn and winter seasons are, if all you need is a little boost for your health visit this page for out top tips: http://graceguru.net/amazing-nutrition-tips-for-a-super-healthy-fall/

We would love to hear any tips you have for maintaing your health during winter! You can see us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/graceguru.net or send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Super Easy & Super Healthy Workplace Habits

Your workplace is one of the most important spaces in your life. The place where you make your living. It is in this space that you build a career and nurture social relations with your colleagues. A significant chunk of your life will be spent working, which makes this place all the more important. But apart from work, what else can you do to make your workplace a more comfortable space?

Not Always Blissful!

Let us face the truth. Workplaces are not always comfortable and desirable. A slave driver of a boss does not make your life pleasurable. Nosy colleagues may create a scenario that you wish to run away from. Clients can be difficult to deal with. Sitting behind a desk and computer the entire day may not be your cup of coffee. In essence, you are not guaranteed enjoyment in your work station. You have to find a way to lighten your burden and bring cheer to your day!

Maintaining Your Health And Sanity

That is why you need to learn new super easy and super healthy workplace habits to incorporate in your daily schedule! We are talking about habits that help you to remain healthy and sane throughout the day. Believe me; you can easily lose your mind, although momentarily, when certain stressful situations arise. The following habits are worth learning and practicing in your workplace:

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness means that you are aware of yourself, your environment and the happenings within that surrounding. It also implies that you can observe what is happening but defer your judgment. In other words, you can detach yourself from events surrounding you so as to concentrate on one issue that is important to you. You also avoid reacting spontaneously to issues and choose rather understand what is happening.

In the workplace, you can practice mindfulness by reminding yourself of your roles and responsibilities every day before you begin working. It is also important to recall the mandate and objectives of the organisation. With this in mind, your mind will not wander a lot. You will also avoid working on issues that do not add value to the organisation. Mindfulness will help you to be productive because you will accomplish one task at a time.

A person that exercises mindfulness also leaves workplace issues behind before going home. More often than not, we steal joy from our homes when we carry home the stress we should have left at work. Mindfulness means that you reflect on your accomplishments before leaving your workplace and ensuring that chapter is closed until you return the next day.

Young woman doing yoga on the mat on the roof, sitting in lotus posture, looking at camera and smiling

  1. Meditation

Whenever meditation is mentioned, some people think of long sessions of silence and prayer. While there is some truth in such beliefs, the truth is that you can actually meditate for short durations in your workplace. Before we get to the specifics, we need to understand that meditation can calm your mind and help you to focus on what you are doing thus eliminating many of the casual mistakes you make daily.

You can meditate at regular intervals (say one hour) if your work station and schedule allow. Alternatively, you can take time to reflect when there is no much work. Whichever way, ensure you are comfortable. Preferably, have a mat in your workplace if circumstances and regulations permit.

In your meditation, ensure you feel every part of the body. Practice breathing deeply and make sure you feel the sensations travelling through your body. Once you have blocked off distractions in your environment, sit still, relax and breathe rhythmically. As you do so, identify one part of your body that you want to ‘listen’ to. It could be your feet or even your heartbeat. By the end of your exercise, you will have strength and motivation to face the next challenge.

caucasian business woman in eyeglasses relaxing neck,stretching arms - short break for exercise on chair  in office

  1. Physical Exercises

Space within which you operate may not be big enough, but you can still stretch out your body. Deskbound living is damaging our bodies. However, since most of us work in such circumstances, we need to find ways of making the body active. There are quite a number of exercises that you can engage in without much hustle in your workplace.

For example, you can stretch out your body while supporting it using furniture in your office. You can improvise push-ups or other forms of exercise as long as your body is not injured. After sitting for a long duration, you can perform squats or stretch out your legs or hands. Walking around the office after sitting for some time will also help to stretch out body parts which have been constricted after sitting for long.

Exercises in the workplace will keep your mind and body healthy and also promote interaction since you will be forced to leave your desk and visit other people’s stations to see what they are doing. The most important issue is that you don’t spend all the time seated and that you take the time to move around and stretch out your body. Remember you can significantly improve your workplace experience through mindfulness, meditation and simple exercises.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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