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Monday February 21st Canyon Rance Ride Conversation

Happy Presidents day all! Hope you have a swell weekend. As we embark on this week, what better way to start it off and chat about the health benefits of kindness.

*This article is by Sandee Lamott of CNN.


February 17th was the National Acts of Kindness day and even though it was a few days ago the message is still important. It's not just about a single day of acts of kindness, but bringing awareness around the continual acts of kindness we can put out into the world.

The health benefits of a random act of kindness

This year's Random Acts of Kindness Day falls during a pandemic for a second year in a row, but the foundation behind it wants you to consider being kind every day.

They want you to be a "RAKtivist," or a "Random Acts of Kindness activist."

Here's why: Spreading kindness not only helps others feel better about themselves -- it can also boost the giver's health and happiness, according to research. It's a win-win for all. Here's why.

A 'helper's high'

Putting the well-being of others before our own without expecting anything in return -- or what is called being altruistic -- stimulates the reward centers of the brain, studies show. Those feel-good chemicals flood our system, producing a sort of "helper's high." Volunteering, for example, has been shown to minimize stress and improve depression. That's not all: The same activity can also reduce the risk for cognitive impairment and even help us live longer. One reason for this, experts say, is because kindness contributes to our sense of community and belonging. And that, studies have found, is a key contributor to a healthy, longer life.

Lower blood pressure

Giving donations to others, or "prosocial spending," has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health. One study asked a group of hypertensive people to spend $40 on themselves, while another group of people with high blood pressure were told to spend the money on others. They found that those who spent money on others had lower blood pressure at the end of the six-week study. In fact, the benefits were as large as those from healthy diet and exercise.

Pain reduction

Giving seems to lessen our pain. A recent study found that people who said they would donate money to help orphans were less sensitive to an electric shock than those who declined to give. In addition, the more helpful people thought their donation would be, the less pain they felt. How could this happen? The study found that regions of the brain that react to painful stimulation appear to be instantly deactivated by the experience of giving.


In the UK, researchers found that being kind could boost happiness in as little as three days. The study assigned people to three groups: the first group had to do an act of kindness each day; the second group tried a new activity; and the third group did nothing. The groups who were kind and did novel things saw a significant boost in happiness. You'll experience even greater joy if you're creative with your acts of kindness. Happiness researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky and Kennon Sheldon found that people who did a variety of acts of kindness throughout the week showed greater increases in happiness than those who performed the same activity over and over again. And here's the good news: It seems acts of kindness can be anonymous or visible, spontaneous or planned, and can be as simple as giving a compliment or opening a door for someone.

Kindness suggestions

OK, you're convinced and want to jump right into being a kinder and more helpful person. There are literally hundreds of ideas on the internet, but here are a few to get you started: While driving, make room for the car that wants to enter your lane. Give a genuine compliment to a family member, friend or colleague (via text, email or video chat, please). Do the same for your boss -- they probably never get compliments! Let go of a grudge and tell that person you forgive them (unless telling them makes it worse).Be there for a friend having a tough time. Don't try to fix it; just listen. Leave your mail carrier a thank you note. Overtip your delivery person.

Tiredness is taking over

That's more than fair. Many people are overworked or have lost their jobs during the pandemic and are so worried about their children and their elderly relatives. Consider being kind to yourself (whatever that means) in the midst of this chaos. We all need a break. Want more ideas? The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation also has lists of kindness ideas, organized by work, community, environment, animals, strangers, kids, seniors and more. If you become a "RAKtivist," you'll get a monthly kindness challenge designed to help a worthy cause or individual.

"You're making the world a better place," they say. But don't forget -- any kindness you give to others is also a gift to yourself.

Have you done any random acts of kindness lately that you would like to share?

“You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” —Princess Diana.
“Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” —Scott Adams

“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.” —Wes Angelozzi

“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.” —Maya Angelou.
“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” —Jackie Chan


Emotional Eating…

*The following is advice from Canyon Ranch.

When you really want a chocolate bar, it may seem pretty hard to take control of your food craving. Hankerings like that can get the best of you if you’re not mindful, causing you to go overboard in your indulgence and take a detour from your healthy eating goals.

First, don’t shame yourself for eating something that might not be the best for you. We all give in from time to time, and completely depriving ourselves of what we desire can take the joy out of food. It’s when those food cravings overcome us often that we may compromise good nutrition and a healthy weight. Pangs can happen for a variety of reasons, and knowing how to control those cravings when they set in — or at least ride them out in a healthy way — can give you a strong defense against their alluring ways.

Why We Crave Foods

While food cravings may seem (and sometimes sound) like they originate in your stomach, your brain is the more responsible party. In fact, our cravings for fat, sugar and salt seem to date back to the Stone Age. Early humans consumed fatty meat , sweet plants and salty substances, but these foods weren’t always readily available.

So, whenever our ancestors did enjoy them, their brains registered the message that they had done a good thing — programming them to want to have more, as a means of survival. Although food is more abundant and available today, this primitive drive still makes itself known from time to time.Boredom, stress, anxiety, loneliness — how we feel can also dictate when cravings set in. Certain types of food, and even lifestyle choices, can have an impact on our neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that transmit signals throughout the body. Though the act of eating may be a way some people comfort themselves, food itself can impact our mood: Carbohydrates, for example, can help calm us by increasing the levels of the hormone serotonin. One pair of very efficient hormones — leptin and ghrelin — are responsible for telling the brain when we’re hungry, and whether to store excess calories as body fat or use them for energy. When blood sugar levels dip , it causes an increase in ghrelin, leaving you ravenous and craving something to eat.

When levels of leptin, a blood protein that helps suppress appetite, decrease — which happens when you’re sleep deprived, among other times — it causes ghrelin to increase, again leaving you famished.

How Can You Control Your Cravings?

Every food can have a place in a well-balanced diet, as long as it’s eaten in moderation. But if you find that it is time to get control over your food cravings because they’re impacting your weight or your other efforts for better health, try these tips:

Eat more often. Eating every few hours can help you keep your blood sugar levels steady and make you less likely to desperately crave something to eat. 

Split your breakfast and lunch into two portions, so you have something to munch on in between each meal.

Eat slowly. It can take up to 20 minutes for your stomach to send the message to your brain that it’s full. 

If you slow down and savor each bite, reaching for candy right after dinner may seem less appealing.

Distract yourself. If a craving strikes, do something else until it passes. 

Exercise, go for a walk around the block, call a friend, sort the mail — anything that keeps you busy and your mind off food for a bit. 

If you’re still hungry after 30 minutes, have a little snack.

Make smart substitutions. Craving a cupcake from the corner bakery? Try making your own and tweaking the recipe to make it healthier. Or, eat a better-for-you option — like a juicy apple or a decadent fig — to satisfy your desire for sweetness.

Limit your trigger foods. Your body can develop a tolerance to certain foods, much like alcohol or a drug, making you want more and more of it. The more you consume, the more you’ll want to consume. Try buying foods you can’t seem to resist in small amounts, or only once a month.

Try to skip artificial sweeteners. Eating or drinking something that contains artificial sweeteners can actually increase your appetite for sweetness more than something with real sugar, meaning you may end up eating more than you intended. 

Try turning to 100 percent fruit juices or honey for a touch of what you crave.

To that, We hope you have learned something new today and can carry on the kindness throughout your week. We wish you a happy week and look forward to seeing you next week!

as always

Be Kind, Do Fearless

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2 comentarios

Tammy Sapach
Tammy Sapach
23 feb 2022

The topic on Monday was my absolute favourite! Not sure why but these quotes just mean so much to me and give so much meaning to riding my bike! Thanks so much Mari and Charlotte!❤️

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Charlotte Backus
Charlotte Backus
23 feb 2022
Contestando a

I am so glad you enjoyed it!

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