Animals Are the Cure for Loneliness 

In recent months, a wave of alarming research has suggested the emergence of what some health officials are calling an epidemic of loneliness. That may be an exaggeration (solitude does have its charms, and creativity often depends on it), but social isolation-a lack of meaningful interaction with others-is on the rise. The results of one study are particularly disturbing: a generational survey by Cigna, the global insurance company, evaluated 20,000 U.S. adults on the UCLA Loneliness Scale, an academic measure of social isolation determined by a questionnaire. What it found was that, moving forward in age from the Greatest Generation to Generation Z, each age bracket feels progressively more isolated.
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 more about this cure.

How to Be Present and Peaceful When You Can't Stop Thinking

1. Understand it is impossible to silence your mind.

It's human to have thoughts. It means you have a healthy and functioning brain. We don't need to get rid our thoughts at all. Why?
Just like our eyes see, our ears hear, our nose smells, our tongue tastes, and our body feels, our mind thinks. If you want to get rid of a specific function, you will have to destroy the corresponding organ. The underlying message is simple: No one has a mind without thoughts, unless he or she is dead.
When I tried to stop my mind, I was actually doing the impossible. Just as I can't make my eyes not see and my ears not hear, there is no way I can make my mind not think.

2. Don't judge yourself.
A quiet mind is not a mind with no thoughts. Rather, it is a decision you make to embrace every emotion and thought within you.
Here's the irony: When you embrace all your thoughts without judgment, no matter how annoying they are, your mind will calm down.
So don't resist your thoughts. Don't beat yourself up for thinking too much. If you do, you are giving yourself unnecessary stress and anxiety. Thinking is the core function of your mind, and you are going to hear mental dialogue whether you like it or not.
If you try to fight it, you resist what is inevitable. The more you fight your thoughts, the more you amplify them. Being non-judgmental is the key to stillness. Be okay with whatever thoughts you have, and true inner peace will come naturally.

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Is Your Back Out Of Whack? These 4 Simple Exercises Will Help Realign Your Spine

You can tell a lot about someone's movement patterns by their posture, and all solid posture starts with spinal alignment. When we find our optimal structural alignment, we have a greater ability for freedom of movement and better muscular engagement. "Neutral spine" is the most direct route to spinal alignment, when the S-curve of the spine is in alignment (read: good posture).

There are three components involved in finding your ultimate alignment:

1. Space.
Breathe as much space as possible from head to toe, head to tailbone-based on your position. This creates an ease in your structure. Creating space also helps encourage disc health. It helps the bones to be able to settle into the joints most optimally.

2. Find your neutral.
This is the healthiest position for our bodies. Focusing on moving through life in this postural awareness is crucial, as it translates directly to all facets of our lives. Three curvatures make up your spine: Cervical curves inward, thoracic curves posteriorly, and lumbar inward.

3. Support.
This is the act of keeping the space, maintaining the alignment, hugging inward, and engaging muscular support for that optimal position. It's an energy that originates from the inside out and is a supportive and easeful balance that ultimately results in a person being able to hold neutral spine with more ease.

Ready for the 4 exercises for back pain?
  1. How to achieve a neutral spine (NS) for an optimal seated position.
  2. Turned-out squat for core and knee-joint strength.
  3. Flat back on the floor for length.
  4. Upright lunge for neutral spine and glute strengthening.
Click here for step by step instruction and visual examples!


These Easy 5-Minute Rituals Will Give You An Instant Happiness Boost
If you're dealing with stress and anxiety, here's my advice to you: Take a moment to allow yourself to feel OK about feeling stressed. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel, without judgment or a need to fix anything. Have a chat with yourself or even write it down. Acceptance of our situation and feelings, especially when they're difficult, allows us the clarity to make better decisions about how to move through them.

  1. Zoom in on the good with a "gratitude minute."
  2. Blast stress with an "intentional kindness minute."
  3. Make over your to-do list by finding a bigger "why."
  4. Reset your happiness with a self-care minute.

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30 Days to Strong: A Month-Long Fitness Plan

Are you ready to build some muscle Take the next 30 days to work out with us, and feel the results! This at-home fitness plan mixes strength training, cardio, and yoga - you even get two rest days a week. The workouts are 30 minute or less, and all you need are a set of medium-weight dumbbells and a mat. Let's do this!

Click here to read each day!

Richmond Tai Chi Community

This group is designed to teach those of all ages and experience whom desire a new way of being and breathing! We practice the 36 posture short form yang style tai chi chuan, qigong breathing/ meditation, and nutritional wellness; bringing awareness and martial applications to daily life.

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Healthy Tailgating Snacks: Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Your friends will never suspect that this stick-to-your-ribs turkey chili is loaded with omega-3s and high in fiber - thanks to superfoods like chia seeds, butternut squash and black beans.

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound 99 percent fat-free ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • Two 14-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up chunks with the side of a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Push the turkey to the edges of the pan, leaving the middle empty. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, then the onion and garlic to the center of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin and coriander and stir about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until the paste begins to darken in color, about 30 seconds. Then add the squash, tomatoes and 4 cups water, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any stuck bits. Bring to a simmer, adjust the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chili has thickened and the squash is tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Stir the beans and chia seeds into the chili and heat through, about 5 minutes. Season with an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, then taste the chili and stir in up to 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Spoon the chili into bowls and top each bowl with cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

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These 8 Wellness Podcasts Will Up Your Wellness Game


If you're dealing with stress and anxiety, here's my advice to you: Take a moment to allow yourself to feel OK about feeling stressed. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel, without judgment or a need to fix anything. Have a chat with yourself or even write it down. Acceptance of our situation and feelings, especially when they're difficult, allows us the clarity to make better decisions about how to move through them.

  • That's So Retrograde

Hosted by fashion guru Elizabeth Kott (formerly of Rachel Zoe Digital) and comedian Stephanie Simbari, these two friends share all the good and the bad about trying to live a more conscious and awakened life. In each episode, they interview some of the most prominent figures in the wellness world and get the answers to every wellness question you've wanted to ask. A perfect mix of pop culture, well-being, and humor, That's So Retrograde is a must listen.

  • Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations
Oprah brings her trademark interview skills to the podcast world. In SuperSoul Conversations, she handpicks thought leaders, spiritual luminaries, and wellness experts to talk to about life, love, and everything in between. Each episode is packed with so much inspiration and so many amazing guests that you might end up listening to the episodes twice.

To see more, click the link below:   
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