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Research Finds Alcohol Lovers Live Longer

Research Finds Alcohol Lovers Live Longer

For many years alcohol’s effect on human health has been debated by everyone from scientists to moms’ groups everywhere defending their weekly (ok, daily) wine habit. We’ve all heard that too much alcohol can hurt and even kill you, but so can too much water and you don’t hear anyone telling you not drink it. So, is it ok to indulge in mild to moderate drinking as long as you’re not overdoing it?

Well, according to research, the answer is a resounding yes.  Not only is it okay to drink alcohol, it is actually encouraged. While those maintaining dry lifestyles may be living long and healthy lives, their alcohol loving counterparts are enjoying even longer ones.

Alcohol Helps Keep Your Heart Beating

Moderate alcohol consumption, especially of red wine, is good for your heart.  Most alcohol contains antioxidants which increase your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. This is the “good” cholesterol that protects your arteries from damage and helps keep heart disease at bay.

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Though not an organization likely to promote the consumption of alcohol, The Research Society on Alcoholism even admits that drinking a healthy amount can be beneficial.  In a published review they stated that. “A considerable body of epidemiology associates moderate alcohol consumption with significantly reduced risks of coronary heart disease …. and cerebrovascular (ischemic) stroke.”

Moderate Drinking Improves Cognitive Function

It is almost jaw dropping to read all of the research that supports the fact that throwing back a shot of Jack can actually improve your mental function. The American Journal of Epidemiology outlines in their study, “Alcohol Consumption and Cognitive Function”, that people who regularly drink alcohol (at least one drink per week), were significantly less likely to suffer from poor cognitive function than those who did not drink alcohol on a regular basis.

Alcohol Makes You Prettier

Remember what it was like to suffer through teenage breakouts during adolescence?  No one wants to revisit those days of self-loathing and too much hairspray. By consuming a few glasses of your favorite wine each week, you can keep your skin clean and clear due the bacteria fighting antioxidant called resveratrol found in wine.

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Resveratrol inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause unsightly acne.  Drinking wine can, research shows, clear up your skin better than many of the over the counter face creams because let’s face it, a science lab has nothing on mother nature.

Alcohol Fights Stress

Perhaps the reason why we are drawn toward alcohol in the first place, is because of it’s undeniably efficient ability to reduce stress levels. There’s a reason why people reach for a glass of wine over dinner or head to the local happy hour after a long day in the office. Just one glass of alcohol can help calm the nerves by increasing circulation (and thus allowing more oxygen into the blood) and decreasing brain activity, which allows for a more tranquil mood.

Drinking Beer and Wine Builds Strong Bones

Yes, you read that right. Recent research has linked moderate drinking with increased bone density. While most people think that a big glass of milk for breakfast is the only way to build strong bones, it turns out that your evening glass of wine may be benefiting you even more.

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While bones tend to weaken and break down as the aging process occurs, it has been shown that the ingredients in alcohol can actually help turn this process around. Studies have literally shown, especially in women, that the people who drink regularly have bones that are being rebuilt, whereas the ones who don’t drink at all have the normal amount of breakdown.  If that isn’t an excuse to pour a beer instead of a glass of skim milk, I don’t know what is.

Drinking Alcohol Gives You a Whiter Smile

For too long wine has been blamed for darkening or staining teeth, when in reality, it actually helps keep those pearly whites nice and bright.  For the same reason wine gives you great skin, it also protects your teeth against several types of bacteria that can otherwise thrive in your mouth and cause plaque to grow.

Rerevatol’s antimicrobial effects will prevent excess plaque buildup and bad breath causing bacteria to help you flaunt that winning smile you’ve been aiming for. So the next time you get a “thumbs up” from your dentist, reward yourself with your favorite glass of vino.

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Alcohol Wards Off Cancer

By consuming a moderate amount of alcohol, people may actually be able to help avoid chemotherapy by warding off cancer in the first place. Due to its high content of antioxidants and flavanoids, alcohol provides a great barrier against inflammation triggers which can lead to cancer cells multiplying in the body.

The old adage of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can these days be applied to a drink of alcohol as well. Often given a bad wrap for causing negative health issues, this once demonized drink is turning out to actually be a nectar of health. Rich in many antioxidants that can help protect the body against everything from the common cold to cancer, research undeniably concludes that a drink a day may be a great regimen to add to your health routine.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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