Flossing might seem like a weird topic for a blog post but since my focus is on emotional, spiritual, and physical self-care, I thought it belonged here. Especially when you read this shocking find:
Harvard Medical School researchers studied longevity (what makes people live longer) and found one of the most important contributing factors was daily flossing!
Flossing removes bacteria from the teeth and gums — the same plaque that is absorbed into the blood stream causing clogged arteries and veins.
Most of us know that flossing helps prevent periodontal disease and gingivitis, but one study found that men with periodontitis had a whopping 72% greater risk of developing coronary disease. And gingivitis was associated with a 42% increased risk for men.
I was one of those people who was always too tired to floss. After performing my nightly routine of taking off makeup, putting on moisturizers, and brushing my teeth, I was always too weary for one more task.
My dental hygienist said I should keep dental floss on my coffee table and floss while I was watching TV. That made all the difference.
The combination of medical information and finding a convenient time has turned me into a habitual flosser.
How about you? Do you floss?
Here’s what stress-hardy women do:
- They have a sense of meaning, direction, and purpose. They are value-centered rather than reactive and defensive. They understand that emotions are great sources of energy and motivation but are often poor guides for action. Instead these people use their values as guides.
- They realize that the quality of our lives depends on how we focus our attention and our energy. They try to align their thoughts and actions with their values. They know how to motivate themselves to take action.
- They don’t judge themselves or others harshly when things go wrong. They focus on what they want, not on what they don’t want.
- They are able to tolerate ambiguity, uncertainty, and imperfection. They have a long-range perspective, so they give themselves and others room to grow. They can afford to be resilient, flexible, and creative because they are centered in their values.
- They are reasonably optimistic and have a sense of humor. Even though they are dedicated to doing things well, they don’t take themselves too seriously.
- They take responsibility for their mental programming, their emotions, and their actions. If they have ineffective ways of thinking and behaving, they evaluate them and make appropriate changes.
- They look at adversity as a challenge rather than as a threat. They realize that no matter how the present situation turns out, they will learn and grow from it.
- They respect themselves and other people. They have a spirit of cooperation, looking for win-win solutions rather than trying to win over other people or ignoring their own wants and needs because of fear.
- They are grateful for the good things in their lives.
- They know how to mourn the inevitable losses in life. They know how to let go of things they have no control over.
(Portrait of a Stress-harder Woman by Jean Browman)
Researchers randomly beeped subjects and asked them two questions:
1. What are you doing right now?
2. How happy are you?
Wouldn’t you expect the the folks lying on a beach somewhere gave the highest scores? Nope! It was the people who where doing something challenging and novel.
Researchers call this idea of being lost in a challenging project, “flow.” A few months ago I was at a speaker training and I heard comedian Bob Stromberg say he often sits in his sauna with music, thinking of creative idea. Without realizing it, a whole hour has gone by.
When do you feel you are doing what you were born to do? My friend Danica found that she experiences much pleasure knitting. For Michele, it’s running a quiet trail, and for Becky it’s cooking a gourmet dinner. All of these activities involve a challenge.
If you want to be happy, do what you’re good at and do what you love, but find something that challenges you. And try something new! Not sure what your strengths or interests are? This book will help you determine what your strengths are.
When do you lose track of time because you are doing something so enjoyable that you are caught in a sense of timelessness?