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Focus Posts

7 Unlikely Connections You May Not Know About Your Body

Julia Miller

Body Connections

Like a car, your body is a finely tuned, complex machine that relies on every part to work in synergy. Different parts often work in conjunction to prevent, treat or ward off diseases. What happens in one area can affect another. Here are some fascinating connections between different body parts that seem mutually exclusive, yet function together.

Heart and Gums

It may surprise you to hear that your dental health can affect your heart health. Plaque exists in two places: in your teeth and in your arteries. One can lead to gum disease; the other can lead to coronary artery disease. But besides having similar names for buildup of matter, there’s a stronger connection between your gums and your heart. You're at greater risk of heart attack or stroke if you have gum disease or gingivitis.

Make sure you practice good oral hygiene to prevent plaque buildup by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and getting your teeth cleaned twice a year. Other dental hygiene practices that can improve oral health include oil pulling, salt-water rinses, and mouthwashes with natural ingredients. However, once gum disease advances to periodontitis, it will need to be treated by a specialist.

Brain and Gut

Sometimes when you experience mental health issues, it may be more than your brain talking. It could also be your gut or gastrointestinal tract. The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is the part of your brain that controls your digestive system. Your brain is always in communication with other parts, so when the ENS is in disorder, so is the Central Nervous System. Scientists have also discovered a connection between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and depression, with gut health affecting mental health and vice versa.

Taking probiotics can positively affect your gut microbiome by healing your gut flora. Probiotics help with bloating and digestion issues; however, a healthy diet with sufficient fiber can do wonders for the GI tract and your brain. The most natural way to heal the organs that process your food is with food itself.

Inflammation and Everything

Inflammation shows up in different ways, especially as bloating, redness, and irritation. It can be a reaction to stress and environmental factors or a symptom of disease. It could also have an impact on anxiety and depression. Although the two may not appear to be connected, research has shown that inflammation and mental illness can contribute to each other.

Sometimes your immune system tries to fight off threats that aren't there, resulting in chronic inflammation. Reducing that inflammation can help reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. You can fight inflammation with natural remedies, which include eating anti-inflammatory foods, omega-3 fatty acids, and turmeric. Exercising regularly and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can have a positive impact too.

Sleep for Relief

Many problems can actually be solved by a healthy lifestyle that includes clean eating, exercising, and sleep. It's normal for busy people to neglect quality sleep. Some people even choose to wake up early to exercise instead of getting an extra hour of rest. Skipping sleep to keep the engine running isn't necessarily the right move, though. Without letting your body rest, your motor might not even start properly.

It's important to get enough sleep to balance your mood, keep your mind sharp, and manage chronic pain. The recommended amount is seven to nine hours per night, which means you may have to sacrifice a few things to ensure a good night's sleep. If your sleep quality doesn't improve with a tweaked routine, then the problem could be your sleep habits or your mattress. Think about when you bought your mattress, and consider getting a new one if it's been more than seven years since you bought it. If you're groggy or in pain when you wake up, sleeping restlessly, or lying on a lumpy and sunken-in mattress, it might be time for some mattress shopping.

The human body is an incredible machine, but like any complex mechanism, it requires proper maintenance. An awareness of how to feed and care for this amazing machine will ensure that it runs for years to come.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Mind, Body, and Soul: An Undeniable Connection

Julia Miller


Few people would deny the link between physical health and emotional wellness, but there’s an even stronger bond that connects our mind, body, and soul. If any of these areas get weak, the trifecta that is you won’t be strong in any area. Fortunately, there are ways to nurture your physical and emotional health to feed your spiritual side.

Physical fitness

Author Sean Edwards experienced a disconnect between mind and body when he entered middle-age and started gaining weight. He, like many of us, turned to food for comfort. Of course, the physical effects of an unhealthy diet were only part of the problem. According to Edwards, his self-condemnation and emotional pain resulted in him using food as comfort. It’s a common problem, one physical fitness can help alleviate.

Exercise, in all its many forms, offers many mental and emotional benefits. Exercising triggers the brain to release endorphins, also known as the “happy chemicals.” Maintaining a regular fitness schedule can increase self-confidence, boost energy, and strengthen and develop our relationships. These all lead to a greater spiritual awareness.

Another connection: sleep and stress

In the many layers that make us unique, there are many aspects of our health that play upon one another. Among the most important is the sleep/stress connection. The human body was perfectly designed to expend energy during daylight hours, and recuperate and re-energize each night. If we want to have the physical and mental stamina to improve our overall well-being, we have to get enough sleep, but in today’s busy world, it’s often difficult to do that.

Unlocking inspiration

We have to be inspired to complete even the most mundane of actions. For example, you might check the mail looking for a birthday card or take a shower in preparation for work. In these cases, warm wishes and the need for a salary are your respective inspirations. You need a different kind of inspiration to keep your mind, body, and spirit whole and healthy.

You can find inspiration everywhere. Learn to look at the world with a heart as open as your eyes. Lori Deschene, founder of Tiny Buddha, recommends going for a nature walk, taking photographs of the world’s natural beauty, trying new things, and spending time with the children in your life.

Other ways to improve spiritual well-being

We can devote hundreds of pages on small actions you can take each day to improve yourself from the inside out, but the following suggestions are a good start:

  • Optimize your home for a well-balanced life. Did you know that a cluttered home can have a negative impact on your emotional health? Taking some time to cut back on belongings you no longer need or want, and then organizing those you want to hang onto will significantly reduce your stress level.
  • Slow down and search for meaning. When you take the time to study the trees, leaves, flowers, and breeze, you will realize that, like our body and soul, every aspect of nature is connected.
  • Do yoga. Yoga is an ancient technique that blends physical health and spiritual wellness. You don’t need to have experience; you can do yoga in a class or at home by watching a video online.
  • Change the way you think. It may sound cliché, but you’ll be happier if you reframe your thoughts from negative to positive. This can give you a new perspective and greater appreciation of all you have and all you are capable of.
Making small changes to your daily routine can lower your stress levels, strengthen your body, and quiet your mind. These actions can help you focus on your overall wellness, including your relationship with yourself and your higher power.

Tips to Improve Sleep for the Entire Family

Julia Merrill

A 2018 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 65 percent of Americans acknowledged that quality of sleep is important to their next-day effectiveness, but only 10 percent prioritize it over other things in their life. In other words, we know a good night's sleep can improve our lives, but we neglect it because we don't think we have time.

We believe that a good night's sleep is something both adults and children should focus on in their lives. Improving your sleep means enhancing your physical and mental health, creativity, focus, school and work performance and lifespan. Here are some ways to sleep better as an adult and to encourage healthy sleep patterns in your kids.

Sleeping Better As An Adult

A large proportion of adults don't sleep well or don't sleep enough. If you are one of them, you first need to figure out what is keeping you from sleeping well.

  • Baby - We'd be remiss if we didn't mention it, but if you have a newborn, we're afraid you may just have to wait until they are older for a good night's sleep.
  • Sleep Disorders - You may have a sleep disorder like insomnia that keeps you from relaxing enough to fall asleep. Check out the full list of symptoms here and talk to a doctor if they feel familiar.
  • Environment - Is your room quiet? Is it dark enough? Have you replaced your mattress in the past seven to 10 years? It's difficult to fall asleep if your body is uncomfortable, so do your best to make your bedroom a soothing environment.
  • Binge Watching - A relatively new phenomenon, binging content has been shown to have a negative effect on sleep. If you know you're prone to staying up until 1 a.m. watching TV programs streamed on Netflix, set yourself a limit and stick to it.
  • Stimulants - Drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening can lead to feeling too aware for sleep. If you know you are prone to this, avoid caffeine in the evenings entirely and switch to a calming infusion like chamomile.
Sleeping Better As A Child

As with adults, the first step to encouraging your child to sleep better is to find out exactly what is keeping them from doing so.
  • Fear - Many children struggle to sleep at night due to a fear of the dark or of being alone. Though it may be tempting to simply let them sleep with you, this isn't ideal for their development. Instead, prime them with positive thoughts and feelings by creating a soothing nighttime ritual, and then let them know you are nearby in case they need you.
  • Electronics - According to The Guardian, teenagers' sleep quality is being negatively affected by their late-night phone habits. The best way to prevent this is by implementing reasonable controls over their use of electronics from a young age, and to lead by example by leaving your own phone outside your room during the night.
  • Caffeine - Just like you should consider reducing your intake of coffee, you should look at how much caffeinated soda your child is drinking during the day, as this has been shown to impact kids' sleep.
  • Homework - Many kids stay up late finishing their homework, either due to poor time management or an overloaded schedule. This can have negative effects on both their school performance and mental health. Have an open conversation with your children about how the pressure of homework affects them and how you could help them manage their time better.
Of course, some of the reasons listed above for adults can also apply to children. In particular, check whether their bedroom environment is conducive to restful sleep, especially if they're too young to figure it out themselves. If the time has come to replace your child's mattress, a twin mattress is the ideal choice. These tend to be cheaper than larger models, while still being a good size for kids (as long as they are not taller than 5'9). If you decide to upgrade your child's mattress, it's best to do some research on the prices, upholstery and other features. Refer to this guide to learn more about selecting a proper fit for your child.

Improving your sleep habits is something you can do together as a family. Implementing rules that apply to both the kids and adults is the best way to make sure everyone sticks to their good intentions. Before you know it, you will be seeing happier faces at the breakfast table.

Achieving A Healthy Lifestyle

Jennifer McGregor feels strongly about the need to be active in defining and living a healthy lifestyle. Here is an article she wrote for us to share some important information with you. We hope it helps you learn and act.


For Year-Round Health, Make an Actual Plan

When it comes to maintaining proper fitness and healthy eating habits year-round, just saying you're going to do it and having a general idea about how you may go about it is not enough. It's time to take a page from the business playbook and develop an actionable health plan complete with specific goals, methods, and trackable results.

Saying, "I'm going to eat healthier" or "I'm going to get in shape" isn't enough. You need a focused, structured plan - one that you can put down on paper and stick to.


For decades, goal-oriented people in all types of business have thought about their plans and strategy-making in terms of a simple acronym: SMART. When thinking about your health goals, make sure that they are all specific, measurable, accountable, realistic, and time-oriented. Generality is the enemy of progress. Say, for example, you want to lose weight. That's fine and good - but it's not a plan. Instead, say "I want to lose 10 pounds this month." That goal is specific, measureable, accountable, realistic, and time-oriented.

If you spend your year making smaller, specific goals as opposed to large, unspecific, unrealistic ones, you're more likely to follow through.

For better eating, give yourself time and plan ahead

Most people are busy year-round. When you think about work, kids, social obligations, and all the other requirements of everyday life, it's hard to fit in things like "go to the grocery" and "cook a healthy meal." When we don't plan ahead we often settle for convenience, and convenience usually looks like a trip through the drive-thru.

To combat this, you must take some designated time to plan ahead. One way to do this is to practice some basic meal planning. You can utilize tools like the slow cooker to prepare easy, nutritious meals that you can eat every day for lunch or multiple nights for dinner. You can also prepare meals up to the point of actual cooking and freeze them. If you're busy in the mornings, you can pack all of the necessary nutrients for breakfast into an easy-to-travel smoothie.

Force exercise into your everyday life

Without a plan, exercise is the first thing to fall by the wayside for most busy people. When the choice is between finishing up that overdue work project, picking the kids up from soccer practice, or taking time to go for a run, the latter doesn't seem that important.

You can combat this exercise apathy by planning out how you're going to incorporate some moderate exercise into your daily routine. One of the best ways to get some exercise while performing a task you need to do daily anyway is dog walking. Fido needs his daily walk, and so do you. Find ways to plan for daily exercise. Tell yourself that you are going to perform a quick, intense 7-minute workout during your lunch break at work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Walk on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike while catching up on work or watching your favorite show on Netflix. If you plan easy, manageable workouts into your daily routine you'll be more likely to keep up with them - and it's cheaper than a fancy gym membership.

Nourish your mental health

Exercise is good for your body, but don't forget to nourish your brain too. Your mental health affects the way you feel about yourself and others, and directly impacts your ability to deal with your feelings and everyday obstacles. Rather than harmful methods, use positive methods to improve your mental health such as coming up with a powerful mantra, taking breaks, going to bed on time, or finding someone to open up to, possibly finding a workout motivator to boot.

Improving your physical and mental health takes work, but with a plan in place you'll find it's much easier to stick to your goals and knock them out. Make small changes in your diet, fitness routine, and mental health efforts to reap large benefits and set yourself up for a healthy lifestyle.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Will We Ever Learn

The following post is a speech given by Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 on the occasion of the assassination of Martin Luther King. It has application to many events since then including 9/11, the continued mass shootings plaguing our country, the continued terror attacks atound the world and the rancorous dealings of the politicians of both Right and Left who seem to have lost a sense of how to responsibly govern. You may find exception with it. We ask you at least read and think about what he was trying to say about us as human beings. It was said over 50 years ago and still things need to be fixed, perhaps even more now than then.

Robert F. Kennedy Cleveland City Club April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity to speak briefly to you about this mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by his assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach nonviolence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear; violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all. I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies - to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear - only a common desire to retreat from each other - only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this there are no final answers.

Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is now what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of human purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of all. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember - even if only for a time - that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek - as we do - nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

Buy Books to Support Worthy Causes

"Chocolate Bar, The Book"

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer featured a story on February 26, 2014 about Jonah Pournazarian who suffers from a very rare childhood disease called Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD 1B) and his very special friend, Dylan Siegel.

There currently is no cure for the disease and, because of its rareness, funding on research was going to end. Dylan had met Jonah in school and they became best friends. Dylan decided he wanted to help his friend so he wrote his book.

All proceeds go directly to funding research on finding a cure. Dylan has a goal of raising $1,000,000. To date, over $400,000 has been raised. If you want to help Dylan reach his goal and save Jonah and others suffering from this rare and fatal disorder, go to http://chocolatebarbook.com/. Oh, by the way, Dylan was 6 years old when he wrote the book. He's seven now and wise way beyond his years.

"Just One More Day In the Driver"s Seat"

Nanci R. Rainey has written "Just One More Day In the Driver"s Seat" published through Tate Publishing February 2012. "Just One More Day...". Is a personal memoir of her son, Billy's daily struggles, positive accomplishments as well as failed attempts at controlling the mutation of DSRCT cancer cells. DSRCT (Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor). Is an extremely rare strain of cancer, with only about 100 (a number which may change over time) published cases in the New England Journal of Medicine. A portion of the profits from the sale of the book are marked DSRCT research. The book is for sale in both written and eBook format, available at Barnes&Noble.com, Amazon.com, through Nanci's website, www.nancirainey.tateauthor.com; and also available through Tate Publishing.com.

An Invitation








Life Comes With Many Choices. Choose Wisely and Share Love With All You Meet.

"The Dash" - Making a Diffrence With Your Life

We stumbled across a link to this video and wanted to share it with those visiting our site. In an age where there seems to be an overabundance of fear and hate, even by those claiming to be religious, it might be time to sit back a think and look at what we make of our lives. Please go to http://www.thedashmovie.com/walkthetalk.

Even if you don't agree with the words, the pictures are beautiful.

Will We Ever Learn?

Here is a message we received from a friend. It speaks to all the world if only we allow ourselves to READ CAREFULLY TO COMPREHEND!

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, 'I don't understand.'

'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'

Remember that I will always share my spoon with you.

Let Us Join Together In A Prayer For Peace

Lord make me an instrument of thy peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.


It is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi

Consider This

Listen to some of the words spoken by Robert F. Kennedy. Think about the meaning of what he said. You may or not agree with his political beliefs, but we think it important to consider what we can each learn from his words.

"Tragedy is a tool for living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live"

"Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks said so many years ago to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world let us dedicate ourselves to that"

"Some men see thing as they are and say why I dream things that never were and say why not"

Have Something to Share?

Remember, if your organization has something you would like to share with our site visitors, send an email to info@wecaretoo.com and we will consider posting it as a future "Focus" item.

The Staff at WeCareToo

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