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Don’t Take Your Coughing Lightly! Natural Tricks for Cough

Don’t Take Your Coughing Lightly! Natural Tricks for Cough

Ahem… Fed up clearing your throat? Can’t get rid of coughing?

After licensed practicing for 20+ years and having contributed to clinical research for high-risk ailments like COPD, bronchitis, etc., I have gained thorough medical understanding and practical knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of various health problems scoping from serious diseases to common ones such as coughing.

Get complete understanding of how coughing occurs and could aggravate to a serious condition if not taken care of. By the end of this informative read, you should be able to find a downright solution for your cough.

What is Coughing?

While people experience coughing from time to time, it’s considered normal when you cough at an occasional instance. Nevertheless, a bloody or discolored mucus expelled during a persistent cough of several weeks is a sure signal to be medically cautious. It could be an underlying health problem requiring immediate medical attention.

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But, why do we cough anyway?

Well, when your throat and airways are inhibited by irritants, your body responds via coughing. According to expert medical site Mayo Clinic, the brain receives cough impulse from the affected throat and airway nerves stimulated by irritants. The brain then signals back to abdomen and chest walls. This signal is to expel the irritants from the body through a forceful push of air to the lungs.

Long spells of vigorous coughing is observed to cause sleep problems, excessive exhaustion, urinary incontinence, headache, and even rib pain. The reason for this is the powerful push of air reaching up to “500 mph” through the closely structured vocal cords that coughing triggers.

Know that coughing is your body’s response to correct something that is going against or impeding your natural body system. Therefore, it’s significant to determine the underlying issue and what you can do to treat it.

How to Treat Coughing Naturally?

As a usual scenario, our first medical response to health problems such as coughing is relying on over-the-counter medications.

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Yes, those instant, fast relief options do get results sometimes, however, one cannot turn a blind eye to the lasting and effective solutions that natural remedies provide.

With immature immune systems and inattentive personal health habits, children are often found suffering from cough and cold. Nonetheless, there’s always a natural solution! Check out these robust home remedies to treat coughing thoroughly.

For children:

  • Add moisture to the air your child breathes to ease or control his coughing. How to do that? Allow a hot shower to run in your bathroom for 10-12 minutes with the door shut, of course. While there are many ways to moist the air, using a cool-mist humidifier is probably the easiest.
  • Thickening of mucus can aggravate coughing. Give your child enough hot liquids to drink so that the mucus doesn’t get stiffened. This will also help to relieve throat soreness.
  • Cool air helps in treating dry cough. Surprised? It’s true. Allow some cool, fresh air into your child’s room or get him a short distance walk outside. You could also let your child enjoy a cool drive in your car with the windows open.

For adults:

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  • Continuing with hot liquids, herbal teas like peppermint and thyme are good alternatives compared to black teas.
  • To make it even better, you can add honey to hot liquids or other drinks like lemon juice.
  • Besides honey, a rarely eaten food called licorice can also help to ease coughing and soothe throat inflammation.
  • Onion is known to be the best natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine because of its quercetin content according to the studies of University of Maryland Medical Center. Create your own unprocessed cough suppressant by adding honey to cut red onions and allowing the mixture to rest for 12 hours.
  • While lemon can relieve an irritated throat, ginger can help with decongestion. It’s a good bet to use both natural treatments against cough.

In order to find the right treatment for your specific cough, it is vital to have knowledge about the different types of coughs.

Are there Different Types of Cough?

Yes. All coughs sound different, and listening to your cough closely will help to find out the exact type and subsequent appropriate treatment.

On a general basis, cough is divided into four types:

  • Wet cough: Sometimes, this cough could be a sign of serious diseases such as pneumonia or bronchitis. However, it commonly occurs after catching an average cold. A clear sign of this type is a running nose and throat.
  • Whooping cough: Prevented with the help of a vaccine, this kind of cough can put children at risk as it is contagious. It leaves the patient gasping sharply following a long bout of coughing.
  • Dry cough: This is a common one which does not produce mucus and is triggered by smoke, dust, and other atmospheric irritants.
  • Croup cough: Getting worse as the sun sets down, this type is accompanied with loud barking sound. It could verily be caused due to a viral infection.

Ignoring what your body is trying to tell is simply a sign of carelessness. You don’t want to let your cough take a severe toll later by allowing it to aggravate further. There have been cases where some patients didn’t take their persisting cough seriously and were later diagnosed with multi-drug tuberculosis (MDR-TB) or even cases of typhoid leading to severe constipation and coughs due to untimely treatment.

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This could be referred to a recent update published in a version of DNA (Daily News and Analysis) online news portal where a veteran doctor had fallen prey to Extremely Drug-Resistant TB (XXDR-TB). While constant exposure to TB patients was a major reason for contracting the disease, his negligence towards the symptoms, refusal to medications, addiction, and sloppiness in maintaining health also contributed equally.

After knowing this, you’d want to take your coughing seriously. Any cough persisting even after the normal range of 3 weeks should be diagnosed immediately. So from here on, remember to make it at your doctor’s office before it gets too late.

Featured photo credit: Kristian Bjornard via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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