April 13, 2021 4 min read
A walk in the woods, photo by Mark Miller
Do you want to reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, feel less tired and more alive?Experts say a quick way to do all this is to take a 20-minute walk outside or spend other quality time outdoors.It's called nature therapy.
Research on the topic of the invigorating effects of being outside goes back a ways, but the topic is having a resurgence lately.
Harvard Health Letter's blog has a posting titled Spending Time Outdoors is Good for You.
Another Harvard Health blog states that if you are in a sour mood, spending time outside can be beneficial:
Looking for a simple way to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and maybe even improve your memory? Take a walk in the woods.
The Harvard blog says being outside has several benefits :
Speed healing from injury or disease. "In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) helped recovery in the hospital," Harvard says.
As we mentioned, being outside can reduce stress. Business Insider writes that just having a view of the outdoors at work can result in lower stress and more job satisfaction.
Amos Clifford discusses forest therapy or forest bathing.
Business Insider mentions two studies that cite a reduction in stress levels from being outside :
One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in a city.
In another study, researchers found a decrease in both the heart rates and levels of cortisol of participants who spent time in the forest compared to those in the city.
"Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy," the researchers concluded.
Business Insider says studies have shown a marked mental improvement among those who spend time outside. Depression and anxiety and other mental problems all are eased by spending time in nature.
Couple your outdoor activities with exercise, and you will really find an improvement. Business Insider says:
One study found that walks in the forest were associated with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods, and another found that outdoor walks could be "useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments" for major depressive disorder.
"Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood," found an analysis of 10 earlier studies about so-called "green exercise." That review also indicated that "the mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements."
The Business Insider article says other studies have found that nature therapy and being outside results in:
The mints have 40 mg of caffeine, are sugar-free and freshen the breath, plus they contain invigorating B vitamins.
Which brings us to all the other ways that caffeine benefits people. Our Viter Energy Mints blog did a posting titled Evidence piles up that caffeine is good for us.
According to various experts, caffeine:
So combine the outdoors time with caffeine, and maybe you will really have a big effect on your health.
May 06, 2021 4 min read
Being a lawyer is so stressful that 44 percent of practicing attorneys wouldn't recommend the field to a young person.
Stress can wreck your general quality of life, provoke anger, cause you to drink, and even ruin your sex life (egads!). And it's like a feedback loop: The more of these types of problems you have, the more stress you experience.
Read on for the signs of stress and burnout and how to deal with them.
May 04, 2021 5 min read
Coffee beans are very stable chemically, even when roasted. That means coffee beans don't lose much caffeine in the roasting process.
However, light-roasted coffee beans are denser and heavier because they lose less water, so they have more caffeine per bean.
Dark-roasted coffee beans are less dense and weigh less. So you need to use a bigger volume of dark beans to get the same amount of caffeine in an equal volume of light-roasted beans.
But be cautioned, if you use a larger volume of dark beans, you are likely to have a very strong pot of coffee.