FOCUS: Helpful Hints and Simple Solutions


Everyone likes to find helpful hints and simple solutions to make life a little easier. I always find these solutions in Woman’s World. Sometimes I find some neat ideas from First. I hope you find a solution or hint that make things easier for you.

Summer is a busy time with many things to accomplish. Sometimes we lose our focus. If you find yourself mentally drained before an important virtual meeting, simply rinse out your coffee mug! Neurologists say that since dishwashing can’t be multitasked, it allows you to fully focus on what you are doing from start to finish. This helps shift your mind into a “meditative” state that increases alertness, fast!

Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D. shares this information about Brain Fog. The vagus nerve connects the brain to key areas of the body such as the heart, lungs and stomach. Stimulating this nerve encourages the release of a compound called acetylcholine that clears away brain fog and sharpens thinking in a hurry. Since the nerve is connected to your vocal cords in the back of your throat, it’s easy to get it humming by… humming! Try opening and closing your mouth while humming the alphabet song—it will create a strong vibration that stimulates the vagus nerve for an even bigger mental boost. Listening to music and singing is a great way to calm the nerves and clear your thoughts.

Here are a few solutions to a younger thinking brain. Do you forget where you put your keys or something you need? Move your eyes side to side a few times as you gaze out at the horizon. Canadian research says this will help you remember what you cannot find 90% of the time. The back-and-forth motion of the eyes triggers the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate and work together to retrieve memories. Do you have trouble remembering names? German scientists say to smell flowers or garden scents like roses and geraniums. Their scent “trains” the brain to recall words and phrases better than brain games. I need to try this solution.

Here is a bright idea. Reading outside midday for 10 minutes a day three times a week cuts your risk of developing memory problems by up to 65%. A European Society of Cardiology study says that sunrays will help your body create vitamin D, which shields brain cells against aging. Finally, an apple a day wards off memory loss by spurring the growth of healthy new brain cells. This tip comes from the German scientists.

Do you have a problem with foggy eyeglasses? Prevent the problem by spritzing a bit of warm water mixed with dish soap onto lenses and let air-dry. Soap’s surfactants leave behind a thin film that prevents water molecules from forming hazy droplets on the lenses. I wonder if one can see clearly through the glasses with the soap film. I have not tried this idea.

Ease joint pain by eating sunflower seeds which are rich in selenium. Turns out that selenium mops up free radicals before they damage joints. Selenium-rich foods help with joint pain.

Whipping up a summer smoothie with coconut water instead of plain H2O does more than add tropical flair. The University of the West Indies found that sipping 2 and ½ cups of coconut water daily reduced blood pressure by 12 points within two weeks. Credit goes to coconut’s payload of potassium, a mineral that relaxes blood-vessel walls. (Always check with your doctor to be sure these various ingredients are a good solution for you. Sometimes, a special ingredient will mess up the medicines we have to take.)

Here are some more solutions to help us be heart smart. Trading table salt for potassium-enriched sea salt cuts heart disease risk by 41%, says The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Ask your doctor if this is a good solution to cut your sodium intake. Aromasong low Sodium Sea Salt is one of the brands suggested.

Frozen yogurt which is packed with probiotics helps block plaque buildup in arteries according to the American Journal of Hypertension. Froyo, a plant-based yogurt, is cultured the same way as dairy yogurt. Tip:  Top the yogurt with a sprinkle of chocolate chips.  A recent review in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that enjoying chocolate (dark or dark chocolate milk) more than once a week keeps blood vessels flexible and curbs the risk of coronary artery disease. Again, check with your doctor if you are not to eat much sugar.

With summer upon us, mosquitos are always around. Here is a way to ward off mosquitos. Keep basil plants on your patio or porch.  The University of Connecticut scientists say the pests dislike the herb’s scent and will avoid it. To keep from itching from bug bites, rub a minty lip balm over the red spots. The same healing menthol that soothes chapped lips helps relieve insect-induced irritation and swelling.

There are so many old-time remedies for issues regarding our health and stress. I found a book that belonged to my grandmother. Years ago, folks used plants in their garden or yard to help with their health issues. Sometimes, the over-the-counter solutions we use today have ingredients that we can’t even pronounce. I hope some of these solutions that were found in Woman’s World and First are helpful.

This weekend is the big yard sale. Folks will be traveling into Buckhannon to find a special bargain. If you are selling, make sure your items are priced and that you have signs for your sale. If you are going to the yard sales, drive carefully and watch out for children. Do not park in front of fire hydrants or in the middle of the street you are shopping on. Be courteous to those who are shopping. I hope you find many items you are looking for. Be safe and have a great time!

I leave you with these thoughts. Look back and be grateful, look ahead and be hopeful, look around and be helpful. —Helen Barry

Two Things To Remember In Life—Take care of your thoughts when you are alone and take care of your words when you are with people.

“Each time you stop to pick a daffodil, or gather violets on some hill, or touch a leaf, or see a tree, it’s all God whispering, ‘This is Me’” —Helen Steiner Ricek

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