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How To Breathe Better? Remedies To Clear A Stuffy Nose

How To Breathe Better? Remedies To Clear A Stuffy Nose

There is nothing fun about having a stuffy nose. It’s drippy, annoying, and you can’t do anything without having to breathe through your mouth. Physical activity becomes tough, you can’t talk or eat without breathing heavy. This is not to mention the constant blowing, the red irritated skin around your nostrils, and (this is the worst) losing all sense of taste. Let’s face it, stuffy noses are miserable.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that stuffy noses are not actually caused by mucus buildup. This is hard to believe, especially when in the midst of a cold when you have what seems to be the never ending supply of mucus. In truth, a stuffy nose is a result of inflamed blood vessels. The three most common causes of stuffy noses are as follows:

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  1. The Common Cold/Flu/Or Virus

  2. Sinus Infection

  3. Allergies (hay fever)

Although, stuffy nose symptoms will, as a general rule, dissipate on their own within a week (or two), that doesn’t help relieve discomfort in the moment. Here are some remedies that you can use to help clear the sinuses and reduce inflammation.

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Eucalyptus

There’s a reason I put this one first. This is my favorite remedy to relieve stuffy nose symptoms. Studies have shown that eucalyptus oils have extreme health benefits, including increased circulation, decreased bacterial cells, and being a decongestant for the stuffy nose. The University of Maryland Medical Centre explains that oil from the eucalyptus tree are often found in over the counter remedies such as cough syrup, vapor rubs, and other such cold products designed to relieve congestions.

There are many ways to use this essential oil to relieve your stuffy nose. An aromatic diffuser is extremely helpful. A diffuser is similar to a humidifier, but it works a little different. I like to put a few drops of Eucalyptus oil in my diffuser and let it do its thing. The diffuser creates a fine mist of essential oils. Aromatherapy also has a lot of health benefits besides relieving your stuffy nose as does the eucalyptus, so no matter how you look at it, it’s a good practice. You can also use the essential oil to create a facial steam or simply set it beside your bed and let it sooth you to sleep. Although, the latter two methods may not be as effective as the aroma diffuser for your stuffy nose, it certainly does help.

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Ginger with honey and lemon

Here again is another natural remedy to help ease your stuffy nose. Ginger is an amazing natural herb that can help clear your nasal passages. Ginger is incredible, everyone should eat it. Did you know that ginger has cancer fighting properties? Because ginger is packed full with antioxidants that ward off free radicals, it will work hard to rid your viral infection. You can either use freshly grated ginger or you can buy a ginger tea. Both methods are equally effective, although I prefer the fresh. When paired with honey and lemon (both of which are also very good at relieving stuffy noses) it’s an unbeatable task force. Oh, and one more thing: try adding a touch of cinnamon. It might not rid your stuffy nose, but is sure does taste good. Oh! And it helps lower blood sugar too.

Mint

I love mint. It smells so good and it’s super easy to grow. You might wonder how it helps a stuffy nose? Mint is another one of those herbs that has many benefits, however, the most notable here is that mint clears the nasal passages, reduces inflammation within the respiratory tract, and eases symptoms of asthma resulting in relaxed breathing. There are many ways to use mint to relieve a stuffy nose. Here are just a few ideas.

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  1. Boil water and pour it into a bowl with crushed mint leaves. Create a tent over your head with a towel and breathe in the steam.
  2. Pour a cup of water and add mint leaves and let them simmer with blueberries (another great antioxidant). Let the fumes caress your nostrils. Again, as with ginger, you can add honey and lemon to the water to help relieve your stuffy nose even more.
  3. Sleep with a mint plant on your bedside table.

The poet Giovanni Papini said, “Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.” When you have a stuffy nose it robs you of this pleasure. If you find yourself suffering from stuffy nose symptoms, try one of the above natural remedies. In the long term, remember rest is key to fighting off any problem in the body. Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and create a relaxing and stress free environment. When your body speaks to you, you know it’s time to take special care.

Featured photo credit: BY VIKTOR HANACEK/https://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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